Happy Cat, Happy Life…right? True, that doesn’t have quite the alliterative ring the popular adage Happy Wife, Happy Life has, but it’s still accurate. We cat lovers want our feline friends to be happy, which in turn makes us happy humans. So, how do you know if your cat is happy? Here are a few ways:
Although cats also purr when they are scared, nervous, sick or injured, you can be sure that if your kitty is curled up on your lap and purring away while you pet or brush them, they are content.
Some cats have more to say than others, but most cats will engage in a good gab fest with you now and then. When your feline friend is feeling especially chatty – like she’s telling you the best story ever – she’s saying she is one happy kitty and she enjoys your company. One caveat with this though: some cats are just naturally quiet; when these cats become overly talkative, it can be a sign of unhappiness. Read More »
Most cat owners have seen evidence that their feline friend is a hoarder in one way or another. They might find a stash of trinkets near the cat’s food dish, or a collection of toys where the cat spends the most time relaxing. Whatever tactics cats employ, they do it in plentiful numbers and leave their owners baffled. There are some opposing theories as to why a cat’s hoarding behavior occurs in the first place.
Developing Hunting Skills
Just as all animals have natural instincts and practice using them when they are young, so goes the life of a cat. They are hunters and they have to teach their children, or kittens, to appreciate their prey. They might bring dead prey to their young kittens in order to start feeding them solid food. Eventually, they will also bring live food to the young ones so that they too can practice the art of the kill.
Some speculators believe that a cat’s hoarding behavior is simulating bringing the prey back to the home base. This is why cats often bring it to their food dish. Even finding the item in the first place may be part of the skill of the hunt. You can see this behavior demonstrated when cats practice stalking behavior on things they aren’t going to kill, or can’t kill. It’s just part of their developmental process. Read More »
If you have more than one cat, there may come a time when you have to deal with feline conflict. You can’t just ignore the fighting and hope that your cats will work it out themselves – they usually won’t. Here are 7 tips to help you keep the peace in a multi-cat home.
Identify the Cause
Be aware that a full-on fight – where the fur flies and the claws come out – is actually a late stage in a progression of more subtle signs of feline disagreement. It’s likely that tension has been building for awhile, but it can be easy to miss until it escalates to actual fighting.
Cats may fight for a number of reasons; sometimes the cause is apparent and other times it can take some keen observation and diligent detective work to figure it out. It could be turf tiffs, redirected aggression, jealousy, boredom, bullying, hormones or a new cat in the house. Cats might also fight as a byproduct of stress, such as a move to a new home or a change in their routine.
Regardless of what you think might be causing the behavior change, it’s always wise to start with a visit to your vet to rule out any medical problems. When two cats who have always gotten along suddenly start fighting, there could be an underlying medical issue. Read More »
Children can form a loving relationship with the family cat that will enrich their lives in so many ways. A close bond between cat and child won’t happen by accident though. As the parent and responsible pet owner, you need to do your part to make sure your children know what to expect when living with a cat. You also need to be sure that the home environment is both kid-safe and cat-safe. Here are six important things children need to know about living with cats.
Cats are Not Toys
In a child’s eyes, a cute, fluffy cat may resemble that stuffed animal she plays with and takes to bed at night. They need to be taught that cats are not inanimate toys but living beings with daily needs that need to be met, including food, water, grooming and cleaning up after them. Children also need to understand that animals experience pain, fear, love and many other emotions, and need to be treated kindly at all times. Your kids might think it’s fun to put doll clothes on the cat and lug her around like a baby, but not all cats will like this. Forcing a cat to do things it finds frightening or objectionable will hinder bonding and may even lead to your cat avoiding the child at all costs.
Learn to Read the Cat’s Body Language
Understanding what the cat is trying to convey through body language is such an important thing for children to learn. As individual beings, cats have different likes and dislikes, and varying degrees of tolerance. What all cats have in common, however, is that they will give off warning signals before resorting to biting or scratching to get away when they’ve had enough petting or don’t want further interaction with you. Kids – and parents – just need to know what that tail, eyes, ears, whiskers and legs are “saying.” My article, How to Read the Body Language of Cats, will give you detailed information. Read More »
The other day, three friends posted the same video to my social media page. It was the cutest darn thing I’d seen a while, and it consisted of nothing more than two cats having what appeared to be a full-on conversation. There was plenty of subtle body language being passed between these two, but what really struck my fancy (and apparently 60 million other people’s fancy) was their vocalizations. Full of trills, purrs and squeaks, these cats were “getting it said,” and I wanted to know what they were saying. Let’s take a look at 5 common cat sounds, and what they mean.
Ah, the sweet, sweet sound of a cat’s purr. Snuggling your cat and listening to him purr is said to have therapeutic qualities; it elevates your mood while lowering your blood pressure. That’s a pretty potent combination! Purrs also help newborn kittens to survive. When a mother cat gives birth, she purrs during the process to help comfort herself and reassure her babies. And since the kittens are born deaf and blind, they cannot see or hear their mother – but they can feel the vibrations of her purr. These vibrations direct the kittens to their mother’s warmth and food. Read More »
Contrary to what those tired old stereotypes say (cats are aloof; cats want to be left alone; cats don’t bond with people, etc.), many felines are total love bugs. Many cats crave affection from humans and will return the love. However, because every cat is an individual, some will naturally be more affectionate than others. It depends on several factors. Some things simply can’t be changed, such as inborn personality traits and the way they were treated in the past by other humans before you. Luckily, a third factor – the things you do with and for your cat – can absolutely change the level of affection you get from them. It may take time, patience, understanding and determination, but improvements can be made. Here are some things you can do to develop a stronger bond with your cat and encourage them to be more affectionate.
Meet Their Basic Needs
This has to be the very first thing, because when you meet your cat’s needs they are happy. And a happy cat will naturally feel more affectionate toward the humans who are meeting her needs. See how it’s all one big circle? So make sure the litterbox is scooped daily and provide several types of scratching posts, an assortment of cat toys, access to fresh clean water, and a high quality food in the flavors your cat finds palatable.
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