Cat Behavior · cat toys

5 Shades of Catnip Crazy

I had the inspiration for this blog post from a current read by Tracey Stewart (the wife of TV personality, Jon Stewart), “Do Unto Animals”. There is a section in there that features some writings on the feline.

In one of the many cat-related chapters she has, she talks about signs you know your cat goes bonkers for catnip.

The science behind catnip is very straight forward. Enter Latin Name, a cousin of the mint plant, contains a chemical that when the plant (primarily the leaves and flower buds) are agitated, it releases a scent that can cause a variety of reactions for your cat.

Does your cat go crazy for catnip or does it turn into a real meanie? Here is a list of 5 shades of catnip crazy:

catnip cat
Catnip cat crazy

Crazy #1: The Roll Around, Happy-go-lucky Kitty

If your cat immediately throws themselves to the floor and starts rolling around back and forth, your cat is definitely crazy for catnip. The oil from the plant helps produce pheromones that reports back to the brain and puts them into a happy mood. The excitement, all around good feeling is expressed through their body language.

Crazy #2: The Very Vocal Kitty

If your cat is typically quiet, but then turns into a chatty Kathy when you whip out that catnip, this is a good sign that your kitty is really into catnip. Cats vocalize by meowing when they want to communicate with their humans so if kitty meows, they are probably telling you how much they love and want it.

Crazy #3: The Cross-Eyed, Drooling Kitty

Cats go cuckoo for catnip toys. Some of them will react to it by drooling all over the toy and/or with one crossed eye. I had a kitty that would literally drool all over the catnip toy until it was soaking wet and the color green. He would just go nuts for the catnip. Some cats will not be able to see straight while enjoying this tasty treat.

Crazy #4: The Dazed and Confused Kitty

The majority of cats fall under this category of catnip reactions. The quintessential “I am soooo high right now and nothing else matters in this world, but this moment” reaction. I love seeing this because the cat is mellow, they are happy and I’m happy that I provided them with this awesome treat. Many say that catnip to cats is like marijuana to humans. In this situation, some kitties exactly the same way the typical human acts with marijuana. Chilled out mannnn….

Crazy #5: The “I Will Bite Off Your Face” Kitty

Last, but not least, the last of the 5 shades/phases that your cat goes bonkers for catnip is the “I Will Bite Off Your Face” Kitty. Most cats exhibit the first 4 shades of crazy for catnip phase, but there are a few kitties out there that will want to tear that bag of catnip straight out of your hands. The aggressive for catnip kitty acts all sorts of crazy when they see or smell catnip. They will try every way possible to get that catnip on to their little faces and will proceed to roll around, meow, howl, and bite and scratch for whomever gets in their way!

Which group does your cat fall into? Is your kitty…..

Crazy #1: The Roll Around, Happy-go-lucky Kitty

Crazy #2: The Very Vocal Kitty

Crazy #3: The Cross-Eyed, Drooling Kitty

Crazy #4: The Dazed and Confused Kitty

Crazy #5: The “I Will Bite Off Your Face” Kitty

Comment below!

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!