Have you ever wondered what it really takes to make your furry friend truly happy? Cats typically will alert you when there is something wrong, but how do we know when they are content with their lives? It’s as simple as learning to pay attention to the unique behaviours of these animals.
1. Talking to your cat (seriously!)
I know this one may seem a little strange, but the general consensus around cat owners is that frequent ‘conversations’ with their cats seems to make them more responsive and loving thus creating a cat who is happier and feels like it fits in with its environment. So start practicing your best meow!
2. A safe home environment
This one is pretty relatable, as who would want to spend their whole life in an environment that they didn’t feel safe in? Since your cat probably spends majority of its time at home it’s crucial that it has access to clean water, food and a quiet and cosy place to sleep, as don’t forget cats average 15 hours of sleep a day! It is also important that any other animals in the house your cat doesn’t particularly get along with are separated allowing for a stress free and safe environment.
3. A stimulating environment
Do you have anything to keep your cat occupied while you’re out of the house? Boredom is an easy fix by adding a few things to your home that your cat may enjoy. Sometimes it can be as simple as keeping the curtain open so your cat can watch the cars go past, or leaving a few cat friendly toys lying around within easy reach. There are also specified cat boredom crushers out there if you really want to keep your cat occupied, try online or your local pet shop.
4. Praise your cat!
It makes us happy if we praise our cats so really it’s a win-win situation! If were happy, these good vibes will rub off on our cats so why not share the love! And what better way to have some bonding time with your kitty.
I must say having grown up watching some of the kungfu movies in the eighties and particularly some classics like Bruce Lee, I was reminded of cat aggression, with the cat sounds and movements of many of the kungfu masters.
Has your cat ever had a sudden outburst of aggression, and you’ve not been able to find the cause? Believe me when I say this is a very common behavior, and can range from simple boredom to something more serious such as being in pain. Here are a few of the most common reasons for these outbursts and the explanations.
As we know Cats are very territorial creatures so we’ll start with this one and unpack it further:
This is quite common in instances where your cat feels like another cat or even people and other animals are invading their territory. This is also often very common when introducing a new kitten or sometimes even a new person to the house.
Think of it like this, your cat has a natural hunting instinct so since he or she is being fed and cared for he or she doesn’t ever get to exercise this instinct. Sometimes these outbursts can be a simple act of frustration and boredom. This can easily be resolved by a daily play session involving a teaser toy, allowing your cat to have a few swipes and get this frustration out!
This is usually triggered by a cat who senses a potential threat and feels like she can’t escape, this can be based on past experience and is quite common to be unsure exactly what your cat is scared of.
Pain induced aggression
A cat that is in pain will generally use aggression to keep you or other cats from touching the affected area. If your cat snaps at you when you touch an area generally not sensitive to your cat, then take this as a sign they may be experiencing pain.
Petting induced aggression
Ever been petting your cat and all of a sudden for no reason they change their mind and decide they don’t want to be pet? Usually the way they let us know is through some sort of aggressive behavior for example, a swipe at your hand or even sometimes a hiss. Veterinary professionals believe that the repetitive motion over time turns from pleasing to irritating.
6 everyday household things which are hazardous to cats
Did you know that your house is home to many hazards? Well at least for your furry friend. Your everyday objects that you leave lying around could very well be one of them! Keep reading to find out some of the most common and dangerous items.
Yes you read that right! Whilst I’m sure most of us know not to feed our feline friend (and our canine ones for that matter) chocolate, there are a couple less known ones that can be equally as dangerous such as grapes, sultanas, avocado and things that include xylitol (like chewing gum) can have adverse effects if ingested. Read more about this here.
Dental floss, cotton threads, tinsel
Basically anything that remotely resembles ‘string’ is a hazard to your cat. We know from the movies and pop culture that cats are often associated with playing with balls of wool, the same goes for any other string type object they can get their paws on and the terrible news is that this deadly habit can result in severe intestinal damage if ingested and can cost thousands of dollars in expensive surgery to remove.
We all know cats love a good hiding place; plastic bags among other non-breathable bags can cause suffocation and are best kept out of reach.
Next time you nonchalantly put your painkiller packet down on the kitchen bench make sure you think twice about it! Cats love anything small and light weight, so a pill packet is a great thing to swipe and chew on. Ingestion can cause adverse side effects and even death.
We all know that household cleaners are toxic to humans and children and people sometimes forget that they are even more toxic to animals. It is more often or not a common occurrence at the vet where a cat has walked across a freshly mopped floor, only to lick their paws later on and ingest a toxic chemical. The same goes for bleach, detergent and disinfectant which even a slight sniff can be fatal.
I know this one sounds a bit strange, but we are specifically talking about the toilets that have an automatic cleanser cake in them. If your cat drinks water with cleaner or a cleanser cake in it, it can be lethal so make sure to always keep that toilet lid closed!
Have you ever stopped to think why your cat likes to rub his body against the wall as he walks past, maybe he brushes against your legs as he walks between them or likes to rub his face up again random objects? There are a few simple explanations for this behaviour, keep reading to find out more on this common happening.
Leaving their scent – pheromones
Your cat rubbing its face on things has a name and it’s called “bunting”, it means he is leaving his scent behind. This is due to the fact that cats have multiple scent glands on their head; these are located around their mouths, chin, and sides of face, neck and on their ears and they transfer feel good pheromones which produces a sense of calm in the cat. The same goes for scratching (which we humans hate) as it releases a similar pheromone, which marks their territory. This phenomenon is more common in male cats and they will often “bunt” over other cats scent marks.
Picking up your scent
Rubbing against inanimate objects can also be a way for your cat to pick your scent up, so they are essentially wearing a ‘you’ perfume!
It’s mating season
Rubbing against objects and people could be a tactic to provide cues to other cats or for a male cat, to find the scent of a female wanting to mate.
If your cat is rubbing against you, he might be making sure you don’t forget to feed him, change his litter or let you know he wants to go outside. If he rubs against another cat, this could be a sign he wants to be groomed. The same way he may rub against your when he wants a scratch behind the ears.
Feline diabetes? Yes it’s a thing. And something even more shocking is how common it is. Maybe you already have a cat with this problem, maybe you’re suspecting your cat might have it OR maybe you’re just finding out that it exists. Whatever one of these applies to you, keep reading and you might find the answers you are looking for.
Veterinary professionals say that 1 in every 230 cats are affected by this condition, which is quite a lot considering there are an estimated 600 MILLION cats in the world. Although this sounds scary, it’s okay because it is a treatable and manageable disorder. It all starts with sugar, everybody needs a certain amount of sugar to produce enough energy which then in turn keeps us alive. The same goes for cats! When a diabetic cat consumes glucose, and cannot process it properly it can lead to a build-up of sugars in the blood stream which can result in a life threatening condition if it begins to spill into the cats urine.
What causes it?
Diabetes can occur in cats of any age though it is most commonly seen to appear in cats over the age of 6. Some of the more common causes can include obesity, pancreatitis, genetic predisposition or Cushings Syndrome (elevated blood sugar levels). Like human diabetes, some cats may need insulin (insulin dependent) and some may be non-insulin dependent and potentially only need insulin when stressed.
So what are the symptoms?
The most common signs of diabetes in cats are increased thirst and increased urination as well as an increase in appetite and sometimes weight loss.
Less common but equally as serious symptoms can include:
Loss of appetite
Fruity smell on the breath
Straining to urinate.
These symptoms can come on rapidly and appear suddenly so it is best to seek urgent medical treatment when noticed, and the diagnoses are normally based on elevated blood sugar levels.
So what if your cat has feline diabetes and what are some of the treatment options available? Common treatment options can include a modification to their diet, increasing exercise and the addition of specific medications which aid in reducing glucose levels or the administration of insulin if insulin dependent.
Cats and hairballs, whenever I see a cat coughing up a hairball, it reminds me of the animated Puss in Boots movie, where our hero seems to have quite a problem with hairballs, and often has to stop the action in order to deal with his hairball problem.
Is your cat coughing up hair balls? The occasional hairball is no cause for alarm, but if it’s a regular occurrence for your cat there could be more to it. Keep reading for more information on hairballs
Ever wondered why your cat coughs up hairballs? Well it all starts with your cats grooming routine; cats being quite interested in how they appear to the rest of creation, one may even say rather vain, are always making sure their coat is in tip top shape. As cats groom themselves they pull out the dead hairs and most of it passes through the digestive tract with no problems, however sometimes some of the hair will stay in the stomach and form a hairball.
This is not a pleasant occurrence for your cat, as they vomit it up, and it can be quite a painful experience; thus it is important to seek medical attention if this is a regular occurrence in your home. If you notice any of the following hairball symptoms be sure to contact your vet as these could be an indication of a potentially life threatening blockage:
Lack of appetite
Ongoing vomiting, retching or gagging without producing a hairball
There are some helpful preventative tips that you can put in place to try avoid these situations as best as possible including:
Feeding your cat food with added fibre
Feeding your cat a diet rich in fibre will help bind the hair and stimulate the intestine to aid in hairball reduction.
Groom your cat regularly
Grooming your cat on a regular basis will help to remove the excess fur which will equal less fur ending up in their stomach when they do their own grooming. A simple comb or brush each day should suffice and can also provide a fun way to spend some time with your cat!
Use a special hairball product or laxative
A vet can recommend a suitable laxative or hairball product which can help the hairball to pass through the digestive track.
Small servings of coconut oil, has also been reported to assist with digestive tract issues, including those related to hairballs
The 5 Most Common Reasons Your Cat Has Stopped Using His Litterbox
Has your cat stopped using the litter box and started using something else (like your favourite rug in the living room or even on the floor beside the box). Sometimes the reason could be a simple fix although it could also mean something a little more important so keep reading for the five most common reasons your cat won’t use it’s litter box
Cats are just like humans in that we won’t use a toilet if it’s grubby or hasn’t been cleaned. Cats have an extremely sensitive sense of smell, so if you can smell it, imagine it being 200 times worse for your cat! If you notice your cat has been doing its business elsewhere, maybe it’s a sign that you need to up the frequency in which you refresh its litter box.
Litter box location.
Location, location, location! It is really important, especially if it has to do with where your cat does its business. Maybe you’ve placed your kitties litter box in an area that is too out in the open, or too frequented by humans and loud noises. Don’t forget your cat likes privacy too!
Have you recently switched litters? Maybe your cat isn’t using the litter box because it is unsure about the new litter you’ve put in it. Cats are very much used to routine and when things change in their environment it can affect them drastically. So consider changing back to their old litter or mixing 50/50 with the new litter for a more gradual change.
If you’ve noticed your cat has begun to urinate more frequently and more often in places other than the litter box then this could be a sign of a urinary tract infection (quite common in cats). This is a good sign that your cat needs to see a vet!
How many cats do you have in the house? If your answer is more than 1 than this could be part of the problem. Some cats will mark their territory in the litter box, especially if it is a shared one. If one of your cats has stopped using the litter box, a suggestion would be to get a second box (in a second location) to see if this solves the problem.
This can be a major issue for so called indoor cats that spend most of their time indoors, so it will need to be attended to in a hurry, remember if you try most of the above advice, and find that nothing works you will need to ensure that kitty gets to see the vet.
Have you ever changed your cats litter and stopped to think about how it came to be? The history behind the invention is quite interesting and funnily enough was a complete accident! In this article I will fill you in on everything you never thought you needed to know about cat litter.
Historically, there was no such thing as ‘cat litter’ until 1947. Which begs the question, what did cat owners use as a substitute? Interestingly enough common litter choices were ash from the fire, sawdust and shredded paper. Absorbent? Kind of. Effective odour control? Not really. One day a young man called Ed Lowe, who diligently worked for his father’s industrial absorbents company was approached by his neighbour who was tired of using ashes in her cats litter box and dealing with the sooty paw prints left all over the house. She asked Ed for some sand, and he suggested using some clay instead. This was an excellent choice and the neighbour would use nothing else again, as not only was the clay super absorbent, it didn’t leave messy tracks around the house like her previous choices.
So Ed set out with 10 brown paper bags filled with clay, messily scrawled on the front were the words ‘kitty litter’, to his local pet shop. The owner was hesitant, as sand was available to anyone at such a cheap price he doubted anyone would be willing enough to pay 65 cents for a bag of clay. Eds famous response to the pet shop owner was “so give it away”, soon customers were asking for more and well the rest is history!
Ed’s business in cat litter continued to boom and in 1964 he created his own brand to be sold in supermarkets called ‘Tidy Cat’, and every day since then each bag of litter has a money back promise of satisfaction.
Just look at the cat litter market today, with the variety of formats and textures and even packaging that is presented on the shelves of pet stores as well as in grocery stores around the world. From the more natural kinds with wood and plant material as the source product, to the highly processed and pollutant silicon gel formats of cat litter, as in the crystals, to the earthy clay and sand types and bentonite and volcanic rock types. There are even cat litters today that cater for cats with sensitive paws, and litters that are extra safe, in case the cat or any toddlers in the house or any kittens for that matter decide to taste what the litter tastes like. Always take your time deciding what is best for your cat, and the litter you use when they are young will stick with them as they get older so be warned.
4 common cat sleeping positions and what they mean
Have you ever taken notice of the way your cat sleeps? Maybe she even changes her preferred sleeping position quite often. There is actually some meaning behind each of your cats quirky sleeping styles so read on to find out more.
The curled up cat
One of the most common sleeping positions of all, the ‘curled up cat’ is basically just a cat curled up into its own body like it’s tucked itself into bed! This position is generally the best way to conserve body heat and to protect their vulnerable organs (it’s a natural instinct, and just like their wild counterparts do!). That being said, your cat is more worried about being prodded and annoyed by a human than a rival animal, a curled up cat typically wants to be alone.
Your cat’s stomach is one of its most vulnerable spots, one that instinctively it feels the need to protect. So for your cat to be sleeping soundly in this position, you must be doing something right! This is a sure fire way to know that your cat trusts you and feels 100% safe in your presence.
The sight of a cat in a box makes most cat owners swoon; there is just something so adorable about it. Cats generally seek out small spaces such as boxes and drawers for a sense of safety and security, maybe you live in a busy household? And your cat runs to a secret box or drawer to find a bit of solitude and security, and hopefully some uninterrupted sleep.
This is another common sleeping position, normally when your cat isn’t set on a full-on sleep but more of a nap that they can still take in their surroundings and not miss out on anything. This is called the ‘cat loaf’ as they tuck their limbs under their body but still remain upright – essentially turning them into what resembles a loaf of bread. This is a sign that your cat is enjoying its surroundings but may have a slight doze whilst doing it!
How to prepare yourself and your home for a new cat
If you’ve made the decision of adopting a cat, I am sure you have thought about the best ways to prepare to bring it into your home environment so that you and kitty have the smoothest start to your new journey. There are of course a few tips that may help you in making this transition as easy as can be.
Whether you’re bringing home a kitten or an adult cat there are always some key steps you should follow first, as we know all cats can be quite inquisitive it is essential to ‘cat-proof’ your home.
Create a safe place
You will probably find when you bring your new cat home, they will run and hide under a table or somewhere else that’s dark and quiet. This is typically to do with cats being very sensitive to new smells and environments. It is best to find a safe place within your house where your cat can go and relax when it needs to, as it can take a couple of days before your cat feels settled and secure in its new home.
Tip: Cats love boxes, so why not repurpose one of your old shoeboxes by cutting a hole for an entrance and placing something soft and cuddly in there!
Secure what your cat can’t have
As we know cats are very curious creatures and they will try and get into anything they deem interesting enough. If there is a room your cat should stay out of, make it a note to keep this door closed at all times, and don’t forget that cats are great at jumping and climbing so sometimes ‘hiding’ potentially dangerous things on shelves and bookcases just won’t do the trick!
Tip: Consider purchasing child proof locks for cupboards which house cleaning chemicals etc., as cats can quickly learn how to open them!
Work out basic items you need for your cat
Make it easier for you and your cat and have these items at the ready before you bring your cat home.
Some necessary items:
• A litter box/tray – and appropriate litter (there are many different types out there, and it may take a few tries before you find the right one for your cat)
• A cosy bed – this could be as simple as a shoebox with a cuddly towel in it or a cute cat bed from the pet shop, either way a designated place to sleep is a must when bringing a new feline home.
• Toys – cats love to play with anything from a scrap of paper to a stuffed mouse.
• A scratch post – highly recommended if you don’t want your furniture to be all scratched up!