Blog Archives

Fears And Cats – Fear or Anxiety

Many cats get scared of things we may not understand (Isis has an insane fear of lint balled up from the dryer), they will run and hide.  But if your cat runs and hides for the whole day and doesn’t want to come out at all, does this teeter into anxiety territory?

Fear is something that makes a cat want to leave the situation, hide and possibly act aggressive before running off.  With anxiety, it can make a cat become stressed out and show aggressive behavior, causing them to avoid situations or things all the time (such as a glass breaking on a linoleum floor, the cat will not walk on a linoleum floor ever again).

If your cat tends to react like scenario 2, anxiety is probably the issue and it may be time to look at therapy for your cat.  It is NOT the time to try to perform your own therapy by showing the cat the issue or situation again and telling them “see it won’t hurt you”, this will just cause more unneeded stress and could make the cat lash out or worse, have them hide indefinitely.

It is also not time to punish your cat for being scared and anxiety – ridden over something that may very well be a rational fear.

The ASPCA wrote an amazing article on how to work with your cat through their fears and anxiety, you can read it here.

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The Misbehaving Cat – What’s Up With That?

I hate using the term “bad” for a cat or for any animal.  Animals will misbehave and it is up to us humans to help figure out what the issue is and work with our animals to get them to do what we want them to do.

More often than not, stress can be the biggest cause of a cat acting out.  Figuring out what is stressing the cat out can be the most daunting task, but there are several factors to consider.

The first being, has there been an environmental change?  Have you moved, have you brought other animals in the house?  It can even be something as small as changing laundry detergent and your cat smelling it on you and not liking your new “scent”.
If this is the case, keeping one piece of clothing that smells like the “old” you and putting it out where your cat can smell it can work wonders.

Also, your cat can benefit from having a relaxation time with you.  This can also be a bonding time and a time of relaxation for you, the pet parent as well.  Just sitting in your living room, quiet and without noise and distractions, just petting and talking to your cat, praising your cat and spending quiet time with them can help decrease stress dramatically.

If your cat is stressed or acting out due to pent up energy, the best remedy is to set aside time throughout the day for play sessions.  This will tire kitty out and have them get rid of stress and keep their weight under control.  It will help them to bond with you as well.  Two to three play sessions per day of about 10-15 minutes each session does wonders.

With more ideas and how to curb stress in your cat, this article has the information you need.

Dogs and Yawning – What’s The Deal?

Does your dog yawn?  Have you yawned lately and noticed your dog followed suit?  Sasha yawns often, sometimes even making a funny little “aarreeeooooo” sound as she does so.

I recently read an article with a study about dogs and yawning and it showed that many dogs yawn when they see people yawning, kind of trying to commiserate with their pet parent.  Some do this because the study suggests dogs are masters at picking up social cues from their owners and are trying to empathize with them.

Wouldn’t that be amazing if that really was the case?  We are more connected to dogs than we (or they) realize.

On the flip side, yawning can also mean a dog is stressed and that they are showing that by yawning.  This can be from observing their owner’s tense or stressed state.

I find it very interesting that dogs can take cues from people and possibly sympathize with us.  I know that dogs are very observant.  Sasha will sense when I am sad or tired or in need of cuddles.  She will jump up on the couch beside me, put her sweet face in my lap and let out a content sigh and fall asleep, which quickly turns to cute little snores.  There is quite possibly nothing better than having an animal fall asleep, content in your lap.

Immune System and Aging in Cats

We all want our pets to live long and healthy lives.  Sometimes we end up with pets who are sickly even when we first bring them home.

There are many ways to help fight the aging process and to help ensure that our cats health continues to improve and keep our kitties young.

Many thing such as: clean water, playtime, de-stressing, good food, will all help with the anti-aging process.

 

To read up on this information and to help protect their immune system, here is a great article.

Cats and Moving – Helpful Advice

So you’re ready to move into your new place and kitty is not so happy about it?  That’s because cats are territorial animals.  What’s theirs is theirs and what’s yours is theirs.  Cats thrive on routine and having their own space without people or other pets infringing on them, but when you have to move, a cat must relearn how to cope with this situation.  There are some helpful hints and advice on how to make the transition a little easier on your cat.

If at all possible, bring something from your new place to the cat so they can get used to the new scents, and new territory.

Along the same lines, take your cat’s scent to the new place so that it will help the stress level from skyrocketing.  Rubbing an old t-shirt onto your cat and then rubbing that scent most places in the house will help your cat’s anxiety level decrease.

Do not move the cat in first.  The cat goes last and keep them in a room at your old place with their bed, food, water and a litter box.

Once you have moved, cat proof your house, make sure there is no way for kitty to escape and nothing your kitty can get hurt on.

Once everything is in place, slowly introduce your cat to all areas of the house.  SLOWLY.  This will help ease the stress and changes your cat must make.  It’s also recommended to use a calming spray such as Feliway to ease the transition even more.

There is a great article that gives you pointers, as well as information on a person to contact if you are having severe difficulty with behavior issues with your cat.  I have not contacted the person, but I love the website the article comes from, so I am thinking the person is reputable and helpful!

Good luck if you are moving and keep the kitty stress at bay with patience and love.

 

Household Items That Can Stress Out Your Cat Or Dog

Did you know that regular household items that we use every day or hear every day could be stressing out our furbabies?  Many things that we can block out, our pets can’t and thus, they must deal with it.  There are common things that we can do to stop them from stressing out, and changing our bad habits and ways so that we can learn to live peacefully together!

The first item that could be stressing out your furbabies is noise pollution.  You know, all that static background noise and such that we can tune out, our pets cannot.  Items such as florescent lightbulbs, tvs, video games, etc.  can really stress a cat out because they can hear about 1.6 octaves higher than humans.

Do you fight and raise your voice?  That can also really bother pets not only the sound, but they can feel the emotion and realize that something is wrong.  They cannot fix it and therefore they will feel stress.

The next item is intense odors.  These are things like disinfectants, scented litters, air fresheners, perfume.  A cat’s sense of smell is 14 times better than a human’s, and a dog’s sense of smell is said to be about 1000 to one million times better than our sense of smell.  Toning down our scents in the house and not using scented cat litter can help immensely.  Getting rid of the source of the smell is the first step.

The third item is visual overload.  Bright lights on the tv, or loud and lots of commotion tv.  In order for our pets (and even us) to get a restful sleep, it is wise to turn off our computers and tvs, have peace and quiet and a safe space for our pets to sleep so that they can relax and destress from their day.

Some people swear by playing soft, classical music for pets when they leave the house.  There are studies done that claim there is a huge benefit to animals who have this music on while alone.

There is a great article written by a vet about all the stress our pets face.  It is probably best to help our pets destress and feel safe, loved and happy.  I know I have changed many things that I do (such as scents and turning everything off at night, and leaving classical music on when no one is home).  I have noticed a difference in the two weeks since this was started.  Try it, it will be beneficial not only to your pets, but to you as well!

Pets as Presents for Christmas – Just Say No

This is one topic that many people just don’t understand.  Buying or adopting a pet for someone at Christmas does not give that person the choice nor the idea of lifetime commitment that a pet truly is.

A pet is forever.  A pet is not an “until thing”, meaning that you don’t get a pet UNTIL you have a baby and then give it back, or UNTIL you get bored of the pet, or UNTIL you move.  A pet is not something to throw away when you feel like it.  When you give someone a pet as a present, even if they say they can handle it and they were going to buy themselves a pet anyway, it still is not a good idea.  What if that person doesn’t want the pet that you gave them, then the pet gets returned to the shelter, or they try to give it back to a breeder and what if they don’t take it back?  That poor pet is stuck without a home, without a family and without the love and kindness the pet deserves.

Christmas is not the best time of year to introduce a new pet to the house.  Everyone is too busy and the house is usually in chaos.  Animals don’t really enjoy chaos and this can cause them severe stress.  They can end up going missing and then you have two issues on your hands.  A missing pet and an animal that you really didn’t want in the first place.

Another thing to consider: would the pet get along with children in the home?  It is such a personal choice when choosing a pet, it’s better left to the person wanting the pet to begin with.

Christmas and New Year’s are one of the worst times for pets being returned to the shelters they came from. People say they didn’t realize the commitment and that they just don’t have the time for the pet, or that they didn’t get the chance to pick out the pet and bond with them.

Please reconsider giving a pet as a surprise Christmas present.  It’s always best for the whole family to find the pet of their dreams together, the bonding process is the most important aspect of the pet selection process.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday season and that you take a look at this article.  Get a pet after the holidays, that’s when all the unwanted pets that were given as Christmas presents are now at the shelters.  You’ll give a very deserving pet a home that otherwise wouldn’t have one.  You can pat yourself on the back for taking in a pet that someone got as a present that they didn’t want.  That’s the greatest feeling of them all – taking in a pet that needs love and attention from people who have thought things through.  Happy Holidays to all.