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Here are three surprising cat facts which may make you think twice about what your own cat is capable of:
1. Unsinkable Sam survived 3 shipwrecks during World War 2. One with the German navy and 2 with the British Royal Navy.
The aptly named Unsinkable Sam AKA Oscar was a German ship cat that survived three shipwrecks.
Two with the German Kriegsmarine, the second of these on the famous German Bismarck ship.
Unsinkable Sam was plucked out of the sea by the British navy following the sinking of the Bismarck and lived happily on the British HMS Cossack before he was transferred to the HMS Ark Royal which was sunk following a torpedo strike.
Thankfully the ship sank very slowly allowing all but one of the crew and Sam to escape with their lives in tact before Sam officially retired from the navy.
2.Cats were able to detect Russian spy microphones hidden in the Dutch Embassy in Moscow, Russia in the 1960s.
If it wasn’t for the incredibly sharp hearing and intense curiosity of cats officials at the Dutch embassy in Moscow would never have discovered that the Russians were spying on them.
Russian spies had installed wireless microphones inside the walls, two cats heard these switch on (they would emit a very high frequency noise imperceptible to human ears when they came on) and frantically started scratching the wall.
Suspecting some sort of rodent infestation the wall was opened up only for the microphones to be discovered!
3. The smallest cat of all time is Tinker Toy, at a teeny 7 cm tall and 19 cm long.
As small as a guinea pig Tinker Toy was the runt of a litter of 6 other kittens, his remarkable lack of size was believed to be due to a genetic defect.
Raised in Taylorville, Illinois by Scott & Katrina Forbes Tinket Toy was a male blue-point Himalayan-Persian cat who is full of mischief and is just as likely to get lost down the back of your sofa as he is to be found halfway up your curtains!
The most important aspect of living with a geriatric cat is to understand their needs. In human terms cats are considered to be elderly when they reach about 8 years of age. Equally a cat at any age may be sprightly, playful and healthy but the process of aging is irreversible and gradually wear and tear begins to show.
Ask anyone who has shared their home with an older cat and they will most likely answer “I just don’t know what I would do without him”. This is despite the extra time and attention they demand and the more frequent visits to the vet. While they quietly go about their life, we take it for granted they are there in the background, however we really do miss them when they are gone.
The most important aspect of living with a geriatric cat is to understand their needs. In human terms cats are considered to be elderly when they reach about 8 years of age. Equally a cat at any age may be sprightly, playful and healthy but the process of aging is irreversible and gradually wear and tear begins to show. Therefore it is easier to deal with these changes when you know what is possible.
They will begin to slow down, lose their sight, sense of smell, get arthritis, go deaf, go potty or get cranky. There are some things which can be done to keep our cats healthy and comfortable in their old age. Allow the cat a warm and sheltered environment – if this means keeping the cat indoors at night always ensure a litter tray is available at all times. Some cats may become lazy are prefer not to go outdoors at all. But if your cat does venture out of doors bear in mind that roaming cats may start to threaten his territory when he can no longer defend it adequately. He might become anxious and unsettled with unwanted visitors, particularly if you are not home or asleep. Perhaps letting him out when you are home and then indoors when you are either out or sleeping would minimise this stress.
Provide ramps for him so he is able to get to his favourite spots with minimal fuss, move bedding and litter trays downstairs (if you have stairs) so that access is easier for him. Grooming your cat is also important because as he gets older, reaching those hard to reach places such as the base of the tail, becomes difficult. A daily groom and wash over the face, eyes and mouth and bottom will help ensure your cat is clean. Grooming is such an integral part of your cat’s regimen, so helping it along in this area will surely brighten his day.
Two important preventative health measures for the elderly cat are regular (6 monthly) checkups at the vet as well as a good quality, complete and balanced diet. Regular check ups might help pick up early signs of disease such as cancer, eye problems, kidney disease, arthritis and heart disease etc. Many disorders can be treated, others monitored and some prevented. Because old cats are generally less active, they require relatively less food. The goal of nutrition for old cats is to maintain a healthy body weight. Your vet can also recommend a diet which suits your cat’s needs depending on the situation – weight loss or weight gain.
It is important to allow your cat to lead a relatively unstressed life. Keeping to a routine with feeding, grooming and regular sessions of watching the TV or reading a book together are intrinsic to maintaining overall wellbeing. Watching the first white whiskers appearing is sometimes sad, but the later years of a cat’s life can also be the best – old cats have had time to really develop their character and purrsonality and are a delight to have around.
Finally there comes a time when important decisions need to be considered. There are no easy answers to the subject of euthanasia and everyone will have a different approach to this emotional time. Always involve all members of the family in this process so that they have time to say goodbye and prepare. Close consultation with your vet should help you make your decision but if you don’t feel right about it take your time. Most suffering can be relieved to a certain extent with medication and you may have a little more time to prepare. When the decision is made, expect to feel the same grief that you would feel if a family member has died. In essence this is what has happened. You have lost the companionship and unconditional love of your cat. Grieving is very normal. In time, the sadness lessens and is replaced by fond memories, and in time, who knows? You may even be ready to open your heart and home to another whisker embellished friend. The company of a cat is truly therapeutic to a sad soul.
Grudgingly, I drag myself out of my warm bed and look at the clock; 3:47 am. I reach over to the night-stand and turn on the light, pain is the result, the light, so bright, the light is, so, so bright. My wife rolls over on her side and I can see the annoyed look on her scrunched up little face
Meow! Meow! Meow! I bury my head underneath my pillow. Meow! Meow! Meoooooow! The high pitched meowing persists and penetrates through my feather stuffed shield. Meow! Meow! Meow! My eyes open only with the greatest of efforts. Grudgingly, I drag myself out of my warm bed and look at the clock; 3:47 am. I reach over to the night-stand and turn on the light, pain is the result, the light, so bright, the light is, so, so bright. My wife rolls over on her side and I can see the annoyed look on her scrunched up little face. “Must…. feed…. demon… cat….” I say to myself as I trudge to the kitchen to empty a can of cat food into the little yellow cat dish. The cat has by this time woken up the entire household and I wouldn’t be surprised if the neighbors were also awake.
Our cat is a loud cat. Unnervingly loud. 747 jet-engine loud. And there was a time that she woke up every morning before even the sun had the nerve to peek over the horizon. Our loveable little ball of fur wanted to be fed. While the rest of the household was fast asleep our sweet little kitty wanted to have some food to suck down her gullet. This caused quite a bit of frustration for us, especially since this was not a one time thing. No, this was indeed becoming her morning ritual. Every morning, our cat would sit in front of our door and meow at the top of her little kitty lungs the most blood curdling meows I had ever had the displeasure of hearing. Our initial reaction, after caving in and feeding her several nights/early mornings in a row, was to put her in the laundry room before my wife and I went to sleep at night. This, however, was not the best solution in the world, our cuddly little black mass didn’t seem to like it very much and after a while she wasn’t the warm and cuddly cat we knew before.
There must to be another solution to this dilemma. Fortunately, there is. What your cat is, is what has been termed as an “alarm clock kitty”, what that is, is a cat that wakes up very early (or stays up very late) and begins to meow at approximately the same time every single, bloody day in expectation of being fed. Unfortunately for those of us who enjoy sleeping at night this is a natural behavior in cats and while the problem may not happen to every cat owner it happens to many. So what can you do? Even though cats have been domesticated animals for thousands of years now dating back to ancient Egypt, they still have retained most of their wild instincts and this is a cat’s natural instinct; hunt and feed. Cats are predatory animals, they hunt, and the cat’s natural time to hunt generally falls between dusk and dawn because most of the prey they hunt are nocturnal (rats, mice and other rodents). So, if you can’t or don’t want to let your cat out at night to hunt on her own what should you do?
Training your cat to stop this behaviour may be fairly easy, but be warned, it will take a little patience on your part but a good night’s sleep may be the reward. What you need is a cat toy, preferably a mouse or something similar, a piece of string and a stick. Attach the cat toy to a string and the string to the stick. While you are watching your bedtime TV or doing whatever your before bedtime ritual is take your cat toy and play a hunting game with her. Cats love to chase things because of their hunting instinct. Play with your cat for about 15 minutes, enough time to tire your cat out and give her the satisfaction of having hunted. During your game create as realistic a hunting scenario as you can, make noises like a mouse (or whatever animal you are emulating) squeaking or scurrying through the brush. Let your cat catch the toy from time to time so that your cat will feel as if she was involved in a successful (rather than a frustrating) hunt. Towards the end gradually slow down the game drawing your little hunt to a close. Your cat will probably be sufficiently tired by this time. At the end of the game feed your cat something you know she likes. You don’t need to feed her a full sized meal, but feed her an amount sufficient enough to satisfy her hunger. A handful of cat treats or a little piece of left over pork chop may be sufficient. Then go to sleep. In all likelihood your cat will be satisfied and will not continue her ritual of waking you up every morning.
You may need to continue your hunting game with your cat for a week or two before the early morning meowing goes away, and even after it does its a good idea to play this game with your cat from time to time in order to keep the behavior from returning and to keep your cat feeling like an accomplished hunter. But if you follow this routine you should be able to satisfy your cat and get a little shut eye at the same time.
Copyright & Credit:
Andy Markison is an illustrator, graphic designer, animal lover and pet owner living in Germany. His website, ZapGraphix.com, sells fun and humorous pet related merchandise.
In case you are at the moment experiencing aggressive cat behaviour then I believe I may also help you out. I’ve a couple of cats and someday out of nowhere they began getting increasingly more aggressive and showing aggressive cat behaviour.
In case you are at the moment experiencing aggressive cat behaviour then I believe I may also help you out. I’ve a couple of cats and someday out of nowhere they began getting increasingly more aggressive and showing aggressive cat behaviour.
Get It Sorted Rapidly – The thing is with aggressive cat behaviour is that there is clearly a problem someplace in the house that the cats should not completely satisfied with. It’s a must to type this as rapidly as doable or it’ll simply give you more annoyance further down the road. When you get it sorted now I promise you will thank your self for it 100 times over.
What To Do? – Cats are very territorial animals and like a secure setting where everything remains the same. Suppose to yourself what has changed in the house recently? What could possibly be contributing to the stress? I discover issues like transferring furnishings round an excessive amount of or an irritating surroundings can truly rub off on the cats. Have you ever modified their meals? Has a youthful relative been intimidating the cats? Strive returning these things to regular and checking back in a few weeks to see if something has changed.
Ache And Pleasure – On the flip side you additionally wish to let your cats know that this aggressive behaviour is unacceptable. What you should do is use the carrot and stick or what is extra generally referred to as the pain and pleasure principle.
In case your cats exhibits dangerous and aggressive behaviour you could punish the cat. Do one thing like squirt it with water or bang some pots close to the cats in order that they get a shock. What is admittedly essential right here is that you just guantee that the cats are actually not seeing you do it or they will nonetheless be aggressive, simply not if you end up there.
On the pleasure side of things you must reward not aggressive behaviour. If the cats behave effectively then reward then with a treat, a sit on your knee for a stroke etc. Or maybe even a new toy. Every cat is different. Simply ensure you reward them right away after good behaviour or after a day of good behaviour.
When you sustain this routine your cat will study in its mind that aggressive behaviour will not give it what it wants. Give it a try. What is the worse that could happen?
If you are at the moment experiencing unusual cat behaviour then I think I’d have the option that can assist you out. A while back now my cats just started appearing all nervous and fidgety and I puzzled why. I needed to find out because it was unfair on them if it was something I had been doing. Listed here are some of my top recommendations on strange cat behaviour.
Has Anything Changed? – Do you suppose that something major and even small has modified to the cat lately by way of the territory by which it lives. Animals like cats are very territorial and love a constant and stable environment. Perhaps you’ve moved their basket or changed their feeding time or moved furniture. All of these things can unnerve a cat and make them change behaviour, they’re very sensitive. Try transferring every little thing again to its authentic place and see if something adjustments in 2 weeks.
Stress In The House – You must be completely trustworthy with your self here. Have things bee tense across the dwelling lately? Cats can decide up on a people stress and they are practically all the time watching you if they don’t seem to be sleeping. Perhaps something needs to be carried out in that area. I do not mean to patronize you as a result of I know nothing about your life but it has been proven to be a problem.
Just Wild? – There is a high chance that the animals are just being their wild pure selves. Which means that they are just going to should be educated by pain and pleasure ti give the behaviours you need if they’ll stay in your house.
For example. You’d use the pain part to scare or shock the cats in the event that they act unhealthy like biting scratching. I shock them by banging some pots near their head or in any other case making a loud noise and spraying water onto them with a bottle I have nearby. It really works a charm they usually cease after a while but you need to bear in mind the opposite side of the equation.
It’s a must to use pleasure along with your cats. What do they absolutely love greater than most? Maybe it’s a new toy or simply one thing as simple as a stroke? Bond with your cats within the coming weeks. For those who make time to stroke them for 30 minutes each day they are going to behave so much better for you. Perhaps 30 minutes is an excessive amount of for you however it’s definitely worth the furnishings being saved from scratches and fixed meowing.
Here is what I came upon and my top suggestions for aggressive cat behaviour.
What is it?
Arthritis is the inflammation of a joint. Unfortunately arthritis is common in older animals following a lifetime of general wear and tear on the joints. Younger animals can also suffer from arthritis, but usually as the result of an injury, poor diet or infection. Obese pets are more prone to arthritis due to the extra weight being carried on their joints. Animals with Cushing’s Syndrome (hormonal disorder) and diabetes can also be more susceptible due to the metabolic processes that affect their bones. Working dogs and very athletic dogs may be more likely to be affected due to the additional pressure put on their joints.
If your pet shows signs of lamesness, stiffness or pain they may be suffering from arthritis. Your pet may also be experiencing some pain while exercising or getting up, difficulty in managing stairs or teh jump into the car, have an altered gait or joint swelling and have a decreased range of motion. Sometimes what appears to be arthritis can in fact turn out to be uncomfortable ‘trigger points’. These are simply muscle cramps but can resemble the symptoms of arthritis. Don’t worry though, as they are not serious and can be treated effectively with a series of acupuncture.
What can be done?
It is very important to keep your pet at a normal, healthy weight. Try introducing set meal times rather than leaving food out all of the time. Some pets will respond well to a single protein source diet such as a balanced chicken food. Preventative dietary measures are recommended, especially in larger dog breeds and breeds prone to joint problems such as Maine Coons, Devon Rexes, Burmese, German Shepherds etc. Keeping your pet lean during its formative years help prevent developmental bone problems. Some pets may suffer from leaky gut syndrome which can be a contributory factor. In such pets a detoxification diet may help.
Do not overexercise your pet as this puts additional stresses on the joints. Shorter exercise periods rather than a long walk benefit most pets. Swimming is excellent therapy and is recommended as it strengthens muscles and manipulates joints without unduly jarring them. If there is short term joint swelling, cold ice packs may help relieve the symptoms
Many animals will find great relief following a course of acupuncture and continuing with top up sessions when necessary. Some forms of arthritis may also benefit from a type of deep massage called chiropractic manipulation. This is particularly effective if the pain is associated with the back and spine. Providing a heated water bottle or pad is generally much appreciated by animals suffering with joint pain, especially during the winter months. It is important to encourage gentle exercise, with swimming being the best way to keep joints mobile.
Providing glucosaminoglycans is one of the most important things you can do in the form of chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine, green lipped sea mussell, bovine or shark cartilage. We prefer to avoid the use of shark cartilage as it is an animal product. Omega 3 acids such as fish oil, Vitamins C & E, probiotics, dimethylglycine, digestive enzymes or apple cider vinegar can also prove to be beneficial.
Herbal products can help with the reduction of inflammation and pain of arthritis. The Natural Vet Company have consulted Sydney veterinarian, Dr Barbara Fougere to formulate a range of safe and easy to use products to best help your pet. You can read more about these products and how they can help here.
In the meantime, if your pet is experiencing pain, your veterinarian can prescribe conventional drugs. While the Natural Vet Company can offer you new and natural ways to improve your pets health, it is important not to disregard any of the advice that your regular veterinarian provides you with. It should be noted however that long term usage of cortico steroids such as prednisolone shoudl be avoided where possible (make sure you do not leave your pet in unnecessary pain). This form of treatment should be a last resort, there are many reported side effects and the possibility of speeding up the damage [Johnston & Fox 1997]. Reported side effects of corticosteroids include gastric or colonic ulceration, kidney damage. Care must also be taken using non-steroidal anti inflammatories such as Rimadyl, metacam and ibuprofen. Do not completely dismiss these drugs out of hand as they are extremely effective and important in the fight against pain however there is some controversy regarding the possibility of them causing additional damage and harm to the livers, kidneys, brain, immune system and blood. The sensible way forward is to consult with your vet to discuss and consider all of the options – putting the comfort and long term health of your pet at the front of the considerations.
Consult one of our vets:
For more information and guidance feel free to contact The Natural Vet Company directly. You can sign up for a consultation using our online ordering system. One of the many trained veterinarians will be more than happy to guide you through a personalised treatment plan to ensure that your pet is as happy and comfortable as possible. Another option is to post your question to our online forums where other members can perhaps help you with advice and guidance (please note: we do not have any control over the advice given in our forums). Please feel free to suggest a topic for a factsheet and we will be happy to put one online.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS FACTSHEET IS INTENDED FOR GENERAL BACKGROUND READING AND NOT AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL VETERINARY ADVICE. A VET CAN NOTICE SUBTLE CHANGES PERHAPS NOT OBVIOUS IN YOUR PET AND HAS MANY YEARS OF TRAINING TO PROVIDE THE BEST TREATMENT. WE DO NOT ADVISE YOU FOLLOW ANY OF THIS ADVICE WITHOUT CONSULTATION WITH OUR VET OR YOURS.
There may be more than one cause of a cat litter box problem, but they come from one of two categories. If you’ve read my article on the physical causes of this dilemma, then you already know that this problem is either physical, or behavioral.
Since your cat can’t tell you what’s going on, you have to rule out each possible cause, until you are left with the most logical answer. This is known as a diagnosis of exclusion.
The first step here is to have a consultation with your vet. Always assume that your cat has a physical problem as the cause, unless your vet says otherwise.
If your vet has given the all clear, then you’re going to have to assume, for the moment, that your litter box problems are behavioral. Let’s try to understand our cat’s point of view and see if we can think of some behavioral reasons for not using the litter box.
1. Dirty Box – some cats will use a dirty box without complaining, but others are fussy. In any case, clean your litter box at least once per day. You should change your litter at least every few weeks, unless it gets too dirty more quickly than that. Whenever you change the litter, wash and dry the litter box thoroughly. If you have a hooded box, be sure to wash the lid also.
2. Box Odor – some cats will refuse to use a litter box if it doesn’t smell right. Remember, that means smell right to the cat, not to you. You might be thinking that your clean box smells just fine. This is not always the case.
If you didn’t clean it well enough, your cat will know. If you used a scented cleaner, or didn’t rinse it well enough, it may not smell right to your cat. It’s recommended that you use a solution of one part bleach to 30 parts water to help prevent the spread of parasites and recurring infections. Rinse well and dry thoroughly! When you’re finished, the box should not smell like cat waste, soap, or bleach.
3. Litter Box Odor – some cats simply prefer the odor of one brand or type of litter over another. Even unscented litters have an odor your cat can detect and may not like. Be prepared to try different types and brands until you find the right one for your cat.
4. Type of Litter – your cat may not like the type of cat litter you use. When you switch litters, do it slowly. Try adding 20 percent new litter to 80 percent old, and then increasing the amount of new litter over several days until you’re only using the new litter.
5. Litter Box Type – the shape, size, and type of box does matter. For example, some cats may like a hooded box, while others prefer the open kind. Perhaps your cat would like higher walls, or a larger box. If you’ve recently changed litter boxes, this could be causing a problem.
6. Number of Boxes – in multi-cat households, territory is at a premium. Use the one plus one rule when selecting how many boxes you’ll need in order to prevent traffic jams. That means one box for each cat, plus one extra so that there is always a free box available. Having more boxes also keeps each box a little cleaner, which makes the scooping chore a bit easier on you.
7. Location Choice – in some cases, you just can’t find a good spot for the box, and you’ll have to do your best. If your cat is not pleased with the location of the box, she may stop using it. Always try to keep the box in a low noise and low traffic area. Busy areas like laundry rooms and kitchens are usually not good places.
8. Territorial Issues – territorial arguments are common in multi-cat households. Some cats like to sneak up on others when they’re using the box and pounce. If your cat is attacked every time he’s in the box, he may grow to hate the box. This is where the one plus one rule for multi-cat households is most important.
9. Stress – if your cat is stressed by a recent move, a new addition to the household, or perhaps simply a behavior shift on the part of a family member, this may be at the root of the box issue. Try to think about what might have changed recently in your cat’s life, and then try to ease whatever stress she’s under.
Cat litter box problems can usually be solved, once you know the cause. The solution doesn’t have to mean getting rid of the cat. Your veterinarian needs to first rule out physical causes so you can tackle the behavior side of things. Think like a cat, and you’ll be able to solve your box problems.