Cat Behavior · Human & Cat

Good Morning Cats

In the past few days, my only male cat Messi has gone to my bed first thing in the morning to greet me with kisses as well as with his favorite toy. He expects me to play with him between 4-5AM as well as smother him with kisses. I’m not sure why he is now getting in the habit of doing this, but I can’t complain. There is nothing wrong with early morning kisses, purring and kneading  from my favorite manx kitty.

Anyone else get early surprises from their cat?

Cute tabby manx kitten

Cat Behavior · cat toys · Foster · Human & Cat · Multi-cat Household · Uncategorized

Foster Kittens : Playpen

I am currently fostering three kittens from a local rescue group here in Denver, CO. I have fostered in the past before and have always kept them in their own room, separate from the resident cats. In the past, the kittens would have full utilization of the room and that sometimes proved to be a disaster. I’ve had some kittens rip paint from the walls, others spew diarrhea all over the floors and litter stones everywhere! I decided that I would no longer allow them to have full run of the spare bedroom and keep them confined in a 3-story kitty condo and their own playpen. Not only would it keep the messes in one area, but it would also be safer for them. Kittens are notorious for getting into anything and everything!

The playpen is a mesh tent that I purchased for my cats several years ago when I wanted to have them spend time outdoors. I’ve used it several times and it works great and really easy to set-up and store away. It’s basically like a camping tent, but for kitties! I set-up the tent in the kitten room and laid down a blanket so that their nails wouldn’t catch on the mesh. I put several noisy toys and balls in there to keep them occupied. I placed the kittens into the playpen and it was a huge hit! Several of them used the restroom on the blanket the first two days, but later realized that it was not a litter box. The playpen allows them to run, play and stretch their legs and keeps them safely in one area. Here are a few pictures of their adventures:

Tabby kitten in playpen
Foster Kittens: Playpen
Foster kittens playpen
Foster Kittens: Playpen

 

Want to buy one of your own? They are pretty affordable and easy to clean if there are any kitten messes. Amazon sells it for $39.99 and it’s free shipping! Click here to get the kitty playpen.

 

Cat Behavior · cat toys · Uncategorized

Cat Enrichment: Playtime

Today, I read a post on 10 ways to tell if your cat is happy. Showing belly, twitchy tail, and sleeping on your lap, just to name a few. Cats are very social animals and enjoy spending time with their humans, but they also enjoy active playtime.

Cats by nature prey, hunt and catch their kills. Yes, it may be gruesome to talk about our lovely feline friends killing another animal, but it’s their natural instinct and should not be frowned upon (no discipling!). Since we have domesticated the cat and brought them into our homes, felines have lost their natural way of play, which is killing their prey.

One way to bring the nature back to the cat is 15 minutes of daily, consistent playtime. By setting a schedule to play with you cat, you are providing the activity that is so natural to them, giving them exercise and also keeping them mentally and emotionally healthy.

Cats can be stressed, bored and also be depressed. By encouraging your feline friend to play with a “prey” like toy such as Da Bird cat toy,  you are enriching their lives and their environments. Catnip-filled toys also help prevent them from getting bored, but the best toys are the one where they mimic a real-life bird, butterfly, or small mouse. The movements entice the cat and activates all of their senses. Fifteen minutes of this will make a big difference in your cat’s mental, emotional and physical health.

If you’re cat is a littler older or pickier when it comes to toys, they might enjoy active window watching or some of my favorite youtube channel of up-and-close of gorgeous birds and hilarious squirrels. Paul Dinning Wildlife

What enrichment does your cat enjoy? Comment below!

 

Cat Behavior

Why Do Cats Scratch (my furniture…)

A common question I get asked is how to deter cats from scratching furniture, especially the expensive ones. You really can’t deter a cat from scratching because it’s completely natural and normal for them. There are ways in which you can encourage this positive behavior onto items especially for them, cat scratchers.

“But Nicole, I already have a bunch of scratchers for them!” I usually reply with “What kind of scratchers do you have?” This is an important question because just like humans, cats are particular about their furniture. There are many different kinds of scratchers: vertical, horizontal, sisal rope, cardboard, wood, carpet, etc. Figuring out which kind your kitty likes is a mystery, so instead of buying all of them at once, buy one at a time and go from there.

I would recommend starting with sisal rope and cardboard because they are affordable and most cats love the sisal rope. In regards to horizontal and vertical, vertical scratchers are better because it allows the cat to stretch their arms, legs and back.

orange cat on scratcher
Our friend Nemo on his tree, leaving some scent!

So back to the question on why cats scratch. Cats scratch for the following reasons:

  • To remove the dead outer layer of their claws;
  • To mark territory;
    • Visually
    • Leaving their scent (their pheromones are located around their paw pads!)
  • To stretch their bodies; and
    • Feels good for their arm and back muscles
  • A good way to relieve stress and emotion.

Without the right scratcher, your kitty cannot stretch, relieve stress or do what’s completely natural for them.

If you have any questions on picking the right scratcher for your kitty, or if they are still scratching our furniture and you have EVERY scratcher on the market, comment below and I will do my best to help you and your kitty!

Cat Behavior

Why Does My Cat Pee Outside the Box?

Recently, one of my friends who works at a vet clinc told me about a client who was complaining of their cat peeing outside the box. The cat had been doing it for quite sometime and it didn’t seem to be getting any better. The vet ran all of the necessary tests and found that the cat was healthy.No urinary or kidney issues.

The client then asked the vet to put the cat to sleep because he had just had enough of the cat peeing outside the box.

Hearing this infuriated me. First off, what kind of vet would put down a healthy cat? Secondly, can’t the vet and the client see that this was probably a behavior issue such as something new in the cat’s environment, outdoor kitties, didn’t like the litter or litter box, etc. etc?

In today’s post, I talk about the big misconceptions along with potential reasons for why cat’s pee outside the box through a video blog, or what cool people call – vlogs. Enjoy and comment below.