What Is A Cat Hairball? Here Are The Hairy Facts Of The Matter!

No cat owner wants to see their pet distressed, but sometimes it happens. Loads of felines suffer with this one, but what is a cat hairball?

what is a cat hairball
Evan Blaser / Flickr

When you choose to take a cat into your home, you make a silent vow to look after them and care for them no matter what. It’s fair to say that pet lovers get particularly worried whenever their cat looks a tad sick. That in itself is totally normal. Coughing and spluttering is the sign of a very common problem with your kitty, so what is a cat hairball and how can you stop your pet getting them?

Are hairballs normal or not?

First, let’s deal with the burning question on everyone’s mind. Are cat hairballs normal or not? This is one of the things that stresses out many cat owners. When you see your kitty struggling to cough up that ball, it may worry you a whole lot. The last thing that you ever need is your cat to be in some kind of pain. But wait a minute, isn’t this whole thing just a normal part of feline life?

The truth is that while cat hairballs aren’t a major problem, they are avoidable. What’s more, they are not particularly comfortable for your kitty to throw-up, and so you should do all that you can to get rid of them sooner rather than later. Let’s take a look at what a cat hairball is and how you can prevent your pet from getting them.

What is a cat hairball?

You’ve likely noticed that your cat grooms themselves a huge percentage of the time. Yes, felines tend to spend most of their waking hours licking themselves. While that means that they are clean animals, it also means that they have to deal with the dreaded hairballs now and then. Yikes.

While your cat is grooming themselves, they are picking up stray hairs from their body. Many of these hairs will be digested (gross, right?), but some will stick in the digestive tract instead. When this happens, they collect and stick together. Mucus forms around them to create a blockage. It’s at this point that your cat will begin to cough them up in the form of a hairball. Scarily enough, there are times when this problem will also be a sign of sickness too.

However, it may sometimes when the cause of these hairballs is more emotional than it is physical. In fact, a 2011 study from Ohio State University, found that felines may throw-up hairballs when their daily routine is disrupted. So, suddenly, you change something in the home environment, you may find that your kitty starts to act sick, when that is not the case at all. Be aware of this issue when it comes to tackling the problem!

Signs and symptoms

Most of the time, if your cat gets just the odd hairball, it’s fine. On the other hand, if this happens on a seriously regular basis, it could indicate that your kitty has a medical issue. If you’re worried that your kitty has more than a hairball issue, there are some signs that you may want to look out for. Here are some of the illness signs and symptoms that you should keep your eye on:

  • Daily vomitting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Change in mood
  • Isolation
  • Excessive mucus
  • Diarrhea

If you happen to notice that your cat has any of the above signs, you may want to take them to the vets sooner rather than later. It’s probably nothing, but it’s worth getting your pet checked out by a professional. Of course, if you do find that your cat has some kind of condition, the vet will be able to tell you what steps you ought to take next. Simple!

How to cure the hairball problem

While most cats get hairballs now and then, you may well want to prevent them. (For one thing, they are no fun to have to clean up and your cat doesn’t like them much either.) There are a few home remedies that you may find help you to get rid of the problem once and for all. Try some of these out on your kitty and you may just find that the hairballs go away for good:

  • Groom your cat well

Since this issue comes from your cat grooming themselves, maybe you should get their first. Brush your cat on a regular basis and make sure that you wipe away excess hairs with baby wipes. Doing so will mean that there are few hairs for your pet to ingest.

  • Add olive oil to their food

Lubricating your cat’s digestive tract will mean that the hairs just slide away. One of the best things you can do is add a little olive oil to their regular food. That ought to do the job in no time at all!

  • Change your cat’s food

Of course, you want to get the healthiest cat food on the market, but what if that’s the problem? There are some brands out there that promote an ‘anti-hairball ingredient’. It may be worth checking one of them out to solve the problem. Genius!

So, what do you think? With any luck, we’ve now answered the question ‘what is a cat hairball’ here. What’s more, we’ve given you a load of tricks and tips to boot! As you can see, there are many ways in which you can treat cat hairballs. Remember, your cat’s health relies on you so you need to do all you can to protect them. Good luck, cat lovers!

Cats and Depression: How Our Cats Help With Mental Illness

You may think the words cats and depression have very little to do with one another. You’re wrong. Our feline friends can boost our mental health.

cats and depression
Sarah / Flickr

If you’re a cat lover, you will already know that having a pet changes the way that you feel on a daily basis. In fact, there is a major link between cats and depression. Owning one of these cute little fluffballs may help ward off that mental illness. With 15 million Americans suffering from depression in the modern world, it’s important that we look for answers. Well, here’s one of many things that people may want to try and why it just so happens to work.

Watching cat videos boosts your mood

Even if you don’t have a kitty of your own, cats can still help to lift your mood in the best possible way. Just head over to YouTube, and there are thousands upon thousands of cat-centric videos. From hilarious kittens to oh-so-cute felines, there’s something for everyone here. The next time you’re feeling a tad down, it may well be worth checking these clips out for yourself. The reason is simple: They might just change your mood.

In fact, according to a 2015 study from Indiana University found that after watching these videos, people reaped numerous emotional rewards. For example, they felt ‘fewer negative emotions’ and had more energy than before. What that suggests is that the small and seemingly insignificant act of watching cats online can genuinely make you happier.

Cats offer companionship to everyone

Often enough, people struggle when it comes to relating to other people. Social anxiety is a real thing and not something that should be overrated in any way, shape or form. What’s most troubling of all is that having this issue often leaves people feeling isolated from those around them. Since social interaction makes them uncomfortable, they find making genuine relationships with people particularly hard. Soon enough, this alienation from the world around them can lead to depression.

That’s where cats come into things. Felines offer a level of companionship like no other. The fact of the matter is that when you take the time to care for a kitty, they will love you back a great deal. When you come home from work, they will greet you at the door and show you the attention that you crave. Much of the time, it’s this level of companionship that can help people who are otherwise struggling. This is just one of the fundamental ways that cats and depression are linked.

Owning a pet is good for your mental health

You may have heard people say that pets are a waste of money, but nothing could be further from the truth. According to a study from the American Psychological Association, owning either a cat or dog can help your mental health. What’s more, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve got good mental health or whether you’re struggling, this companionship seems to help you regardless of that fact.

The takeaway here is that looking after and caring for an animal really does make all the difference. When you have to take responsibility for a pet, it means that you think outside of yourself and begin to care for something else. Doing so is a seriously mentally healthy action. After all, it shows that you have empathy and want to help other living things. It’s no wonder that so many people love having a purring kitty at home!

Caring for a cat gives you routine

When you’re in the midst of depression, one of the things that all decent therapists will tell you is that you need some form of routine. Of course, without a normal routine, many people start to feel anxious, depressed, and generally out of sorts. So, if a person happens to be jobless or work irregular hours, they can quickly fall into a pattern that is likely to be detrimental to their mental health.

Caring for a cat is about more than merely having a pet; it gives people the routine that they so desperately need. When you have to get up to feed the cat or change their kitty litter, it means that you have no choice about it. Sometimes, it’s that tiny little push that really does make all the difference to someone’s mental health. Having the responsibility of looking after a pet means that they always go through the same motions, which is, of course, mentally healthy!

Skinny Kitty? Here Are The Top Reasons For Cat Weight Loss

Nobody likes the thought of their cat being too thin but what are the reasons for cat weight loss? We look at some of the most common causes.

cat weight loss
Jim Ratliff / Flickr

Of course, none of us like to think of our kitties being ill in any way. When you notice that your pet starts to slim down in a rather dramatic way, it’s nothing short of troubling. You may start to worry yourself with all the terrible possibilities here. You should know that there are a great many reasons for cat weight loss — some troublesome and others not so much so. Here’s just a quick and easy rundown of some of the most likely causes for the problem.

1. Cat anxiety or stress

Yes, you might not believe it, but cats can suffer from stress and anxiety just as we can. What’s more, when your pet is suffering with this problem, they are likely to encounter some serious cat weight loss too. Much of the time, this is down to the fact that they stop eating as much as they used to before they were stressed out.

So, what causes this anxiety and how can you fix it? Well, changes in your kitty’s environment are likely to blame. If you’ve moved the place around or introduced a new animal, these could be behind the issue. Keep an eye on the situation and consult your local vet if it happens to continue.

2. The eating area is dirty

Make no mistakes, cats are seriously fussy eaters. Some pet owners are just plain lazy when it comes to cleaning up their cat’s eating area. If the bowls and area in general are unclean, your cat may not like to eat there. It really is that simple. If your cat has suddenly stopped chowing down, this could be the reason.

Check out your pet’s eating station. If it looks something of a mess, you need to take action. It will help to clean the mat beneath the bowls as well as the eating stuff itself. You should realistically do this at least once every couple of weeks to keep your cat healthy and happy.

3. Feline parasites or worms

Here’s a not-so-nice your pet may be experiencing cat weight loss. Felines can often host parasites inside them that feed on their nutrients. What that means is that it doesn’t matter how much they eat, their weight will continue to drop at a rather sharp rate. If your pet still has a seemingly healthy appetite but is slimming down, this is likely the reason.

One of the most common parasites happens to be roundworm. There’s an easy (yet disgusting!) way to check for this problem. Take a look at your cat’s feces. If there are little white worms in them, you will know just what the issue is. A trip to the vets and a course of worming tablets should do the trick!

4. Infections and viruses

If worms aren’t to blame, there may be something else affecting your cat and their weight. Viruses and infections often contribute to and even cause cat weight loss. Again, the signs of this will be that your cat is eating but still losing a whole load of weight on a weekly basis. It can be very troubling for any cat owner once they realize that this is the case.

If you worry that your kitty may be struggling with an infection, you need to get them some medical help as soon as possible. Take them to your vet and explain the situation. They should be able to advise you on what you need to do next.

5. Dental problems

Let’s face it, if your cat’s teeth are causing them pain, it’s only natural that they would lose their appetite. In fact, this is one of the leading reasons that many cats tend to start to lose weight and get thinner and thinner. You need to check your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some of the major signs of dental issues include discoloration and browning. When you find out that there is an issue, the best thing you can do is consult with your vet.

6. Just old age

Finally, here’s one of the most natural causes for cat weight loss. The truth of the matter is that cats tend to get smaller as they age. This is a normal part of them getting older, and should be of no major concern. If your cat is more than 15 years old, you needn’t worry too much about this problem.

Then again, if you believe that your pet is thinning down at a super fast rate, you may want to get some professional advice. Looking after your cat’s best interests should always be your top priority, and so it’s important that you keep an eye on them even as they age.

Do Cats See In Color? We Look At How Our Kitty Cats See The World

We like to think our kitty cats see the world just as we do, but is that true? The one big question on everyone’s mind: Do cats see in color?

do cats see in color
Emilio Küffer / Flickr

How does your cat see the world? It may be something that you’ve never thought about before now, but perhaps you should. One of the things that many cat owners wonder about is do cats see in color? Well, it’s not actually a very simple question to answer, although it may sound it. The truth of the matter is that kitties see some colors but their vision is not exactly like ours is.

While that may sound a little complex right now, we will explain. You see, it’s all about how certain nerves in our eyes (and, indeed, the eyes of our felines) compute the information that they get from the outside world. When you look at something in front of you, you instantly take in a wealth of information. So, in theory, to understand this area, we first need to consider how our own eyes work on a day to day basis.

How do we see color?

To really understand what cats see when they look at the world around them, you need to know how we see color. It’s not merely enough to ask the question ‘do cats see color’, you need to think about what it really means to see and, indeed, understand what different colors are. So, how do we actually see color then?

Well, here’s the science. We humans have nerves in our eyes called ‘cones’. It is these nerves which allow us to see color and interpret what it actually is. When we look at something, different sensors inside the cones allow us to decipher which color each is.

Humans have three types of cone which means that we can see red, green, and blue with ease. Since we have many of these cones in our eyes, we can also see wide variations of these colors as well.

So, what is different about cats?

It may surprise you to find that cats also have three different types of cones. However, they have much less than we do in each eye. What that realistically means is that while they can see color, they don’t get as wide an array of colors as we might. That means that they see differences between the likes of red, blue, and green, but they don’t see the intrinsic differences between different tones and the like.

There’s another difference between cats’ vision and our eyesight. You may have noticed before now that your kitty has trouble seeing things that are particularly far away. There’s a good reason for that. Most cats are actually ‘near sighted’. That means that they can make out crisp, clear images when they are close to something, but not when they are far away from it. That can be tricky, especially when it comes to warding off predators and even hunting.

Cats see better in the dark!

While cats tend to lack color perception and struggle to see things that are far away, there’s one area of vision where they truly excel. When it comes to seeing in dim or darkly lit rooms or spaces, cats really are the masters. Their eyes have evolved to see a great deal in the dark, which means that they are able to hunt at night.

In this instant, color is not so important. The reason that cats have developed in this way is because they never needed to decipher different colors. Instead, they just needed to make out objects in the dark spaces around their home. In doing so, they can use their exceptional eyesight to win the upper hand at night time. In short, what they lack in color vision, they make up with their super cool night vision! Awesome.

Is Your Pet Too Heavy? Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Cat Obesity

If your cat’s a little on the heavy side, you may well worry about their health. Cat obesity is a huge problem! Here’s everything you need to know.

cat obesity
Dan Perry / Flickr

You may not realize it, but cat obesity has been a growing problem for many years. Back in 2011, the APOP (Association for Pet Obesity Prevention) conducted a study in which they found that a whopping 50% of domestic cats were either overweight or obese. The sorry truth of the matter is that many pet owners don’t know whether their cat is at a healthy weight or not. They just assume that their kitty is healthy and don’t bother to investigate any further than that.

In reality, a combination of overfeeding your cat and them failing to exercise as much as they should could mean that they are overweight. This doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a gradual condition that tends to develop over time. That’s why you may not recognize it immediately. Since your cat will become heavier little by little, there won’t be an obvious or even dramatic change.

When is a cat actually ‘obese’?

Many people struggle with cat obesity because they don’t know where the actual line is. Luckily, there’s a Body Condition Score (BCS) that you can use to determine whether your cat is at a healthy weight or not. The table takes into consideration things like whether you can see your cat’s ribs, their muscle tone, and their general weight.

cat obesity score chart

As you may imagine, there are many different things that contribute to your kitty’s general health. It’s worth taking the time to look at the scale and understand it. Of course, if you worry that your cat is obese, it’s probably best to take them to the vets. They will be able to do a full consultation with your pet and let you know what you have to do next.

Health issues related to cat obesity

As you may well imagine, there are a whole load of health concerns related to cat obesity. When your pet is carrying too much weight, they can quickly become ill in all manner of ways. That’s why you absolutely need to make sure that you look after your cat well and take care of their weight too. Here are some of the issues that your cat may suffer from:

  • Joint pain and stress

  • Tiredness

  • Diabetes Mellitus

  • Low energy

  • Breathing problems

Of course, all of the above are just the start of your cat’s issues when they have excess weight. The more weight that they gain over time, the more likely they are to be stricken with some type of illness. For that reason, you 100% have to do something about this issue as soon as you notice it!

How to treat the problem

So, if you have identified that your pet is suffering from cat obesity, what on earth should you do? Well, the first step is to take them to the vet and get an expert’s opinion. Your specialist will be able to tell you what you need to do next. In the meantime, there are a few ways that you can pinpoint and help to solve the problem. Here are some of the things you could try for yourself:

  • Monitor your cat’s food

Of course, the crux of this issue is the fact that your cat is eating more than they need to be. So, what you should do is monitor how much your cat eats on a daily basis. Rather than simply feeding your cat in a haphazard way, check out how much they need. Feeding them small servings at regular intervals is the best way forward.

  • Avoid treating your cat too much

If your kitty has a penchant for treats, you might find yourself giving them to them more and more. Do you ever think about the health impact that this has? It’s a major cause of cat obesity and it needs to stop. Try to keep treats to a minimum and only give small portions.

  • Play with your cat!

This one should be obvious and yet so many people overlook it all the time. What your kitty needs the most right now is some exercise. If you have a house cat, be sure to play games with them. Make them chase balls and lasers. That way, they will use some of their energy on a day to day basis.

  • Opt for quality cat food

Many mainstream cat food brands fill their products with rubbish. That means that your cat could put on weight even if they only eat a little. The best thing you can do is research the various brand before you opt for one.

If you follow the above advice, you should find that the weight starts to drop off your cat in no time at all. Genius! Even so, getting professional advice to boot is sure to help so go ahead and visit the vets too.

How To Choose Healthy Dry Cat Food For Your Pet!

Every pet lover wants to make sure that their kitty to have the best diet and lifestyle. Let’s look at how you can get the best healthy dry cat food.

healthy dry cat food
goodfreephotos

If you’re a cat owner, there are a whole load of duties you have to take care of. It’s your job to make sure that your kitty stays safe and is as healthy as possible. Of course, it will come as no great shock that your cat’s diet has a grand impact on their health and well-being. If you want to be sure that they have all the nutrients and vitamins that they need, you should be sure to get them healthy dry cat food each and every time you shop.

The sorry truth of the matter is that this is something that a whole load of cat owners overlook. They get used to buying the same old brand time and time again. Whether it’s because of the decent price tag or just brand familiarity, few people are willing to make a change. If that sounds like you, it’s time for a serious wake-up call right now.

Choosing a healthy dry cat food is one of the smartest things that you can do for your pet. When you go above and beyond to make sure that they are eating the very best products on the market, this will reflect in their health. So, where on earth should you start? Well, luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Here is just about everything you could need to know about choosing the right product for your cat.

Can dry cat food really be healthy?

First of all, let’s talk about one of the real issues that people tend to have with dry cat food. Many people question whether this stuff is healthy at all. After all, cats need a mixture of things in their diet to be as fit as possible. Simply giving them dry biscuits all the time does not seem like a viable way to give them what they need.

While the above is true, you need to understand that it’s all about moderation. Feeding your kitty both healthy dry cat food and some meat now and then is certain to keep them healthy and active. Just like us, these animals need a varied diet to get everything that they need. If they fail to get that, they will become tired and even unwell.

So, what should you do? Well, here are a few rules that will help you ensure that your kitty gets everything that they need on a daily basis:

  • Make sure that they have clean water each day

  • Feed them a diet of healthy dry cat food

  • Mix things up with some fresh cooked meat

  • Include wet food now and then for variety

As you can see from the rules above, it’s all about variation. The wider the array of food you give your cat, the healthier they will be. If you simply remember that golden rule, you should have no problem when it comes to looking after your pet.

Warning: Ingredients you need to avoid!

Of course, choosing healthy dry cat food when there are just so many options out there is anything but easy. One of the easiest things that you can do is look for ingredients that you will need to avoid if at all possible. If the following things appear in the top five (five largest quantities, that is!) ingredients of a cat food, it’s not the brand for you or your cat:

  • Rye

Although many pet food brands include rye as standard, most cats find this substance tricky to digest. Avoid it if you can.

  • Potatoes

Potatoes are very glycemic, which means that they will make your cat’s blood sugar levels surge. This is not healthy for cats at all.

  • Soy-based proteins

While these may sound healthy, they don’t sit too well with cats’ digestive systems. Some brands contain high levels of soy, and so you ought to avoid them.

  • Wheat or rice

Food producers often use grains, such as rice or wheat, to bulk out their products. The problems is that, unlike humans, cats tend to have trouble digesting these things.

  • Corn-based products

Similarly to grains, corn is just no good for your kitty at all. You should avoid foods which have high levels of corn in them whenever possible.

If you avoid the above ingredients, you should find healthy dry cat food, rather than an inferior product. Remember, the more attention you pay to the ingredients breakdown, the better it will be for your cat. On the flipside, you need to make sure that you look out for foods which are high in protein and meat. These foods may be a little more costly than average products, but they are worth the money.

Look out for specialist brands

Finally, when you’re searching for the right brand for you, there’s one thing that you absolutely need to keep in mind. You will want to avoid buying your cat food from large suppliers who make an array of other products for both animals and humans. Instead, look for a manufacturer that specializes in healthy dry cat food. There are actually many smaller retailers out there that have emphasis on cat health. They are the brands you should trust. Good luck and happy shopping!

Can Cats Catch A Cold? We Answer the Question Once and For All!

Has your poor cat been sneezing and sniffling all the time? Have you asked yourself can cats catch a cold? Luckily for you, we have all the answers!

can cats catch a cold
Magic Madzik / Flickr

We can’t count the amount of times people have come up to us and said, can cats catch a cold? For some reason, many people find it hard to understand that kitties, just like humans, can fall ill at a moment’s notice. If your cat is sniffling or generally looks unwell, it’s important that you do something about it sooner rather than later.

Sadly, if you leave a condition like this one for too long, your pet runs the risk of becoming iller and iller. That’s the last thing that you want. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. We have all the information you need about cat colds you could possibly need. So, sit back, grab yourself a cup of tea, and get reading.

So, can cats catch a cold? And, if so, how?

The short answer is, of course, yes. Cats can get colds just like we can. When you see them sneezing away, it’s down to a little something that experts call ‘upper respiratory disease’. Don’t let the name fool you. It’s not nearly as bad as it sounds. In reality, this condition is very similar to the human strain of cold you or I get.

The problem is that the virus may never leave your cat’s system once they get it. This is the reason why there are cats out there who get colds again and again. Since the virus is still dormant in their system, the cold itself will come back at any given chance.

As for why cats actually get colds, there could be a whole host of reasons out there. These types of infections can be both bacterial or viral. That means that they can pick them up from other cats, through the air, or just by being out in the cold for too long. You shouldn’t be mad at yourself for failing to prevent the cold because doing so is pretty much impossible.

What you really need to do is make sure that you catch the virus as soon as possible. The moment that you see your cat is sick, it’s important that you do something about it. A few sneezes here and there are likely no massive problem. However, if your cat is sneezing all the time, you may find that they need medical attention right away.

What are the symptoms of cat colds?

Of course, the first step is identifying the fact that your kitty actually has a cold. There are some common signs that you should look out for when your cat starts to seem unwell in anyway. If they show the following signs of a cold, you should take action:

  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Dripping (discharge) from the eyes and nose
  • Dyhydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Fever
  • Ulcers around the eyes, nose, or mouth
  • ‘Mouth breathing’

In general, you should be able to tell when your cat is ill. All of the above signs don’t have to be there, but if some are, you need to do something about it. When people ask ‘can cats get a cold’, they are often surprised to find out that they can. It’s what you do next, though, that really does count.

What should you do next?

When you’ve figured out that, yes, your cat most likely does have a cold, what should you do? Well, there are a few home remedies that you may well want to try. These will help your cat to feel better and make the illness easier for them to cope with.

Please note: When your cat is seriously ill, you absolutely have to take them to the vets. They need an expert’s opinion sooner rather than later!

Give them a little steam!

Now, your cat may not like spending a whole load of time in the bathroom, but it could be a good idea right now. When the room gets all steamy (after you’ve had a shower or the like!), get your cat to sit in there for a while. The steam and heat will help to open up their nasal passage making it easier for them to breathe.

Give them a little extra food

Do you remember that old saying? ‘Feed a cold and starve a stomach bug.’ Well, that’s what you need to do here. Your cat’s body is fighting off an infection, and so they need as much energy (and food) as possible. Give them a little extra food in their bowl each day. It might just make all the difference.

Groom your cat

When your cat has a cold, you may notice that their eyes, nose, and mouth starts to run with clear liquid. You should be sure to clean this liquid away as soon as possible. Basically, this will make your cat very uncomfortable and that’s the last thing you want. Get a bowl of warm (ish) water and a clean dry cloth. Dip the cloth in the water and gently wipe around the areas where there is liquid.

How to treat cat colds

All of the above remedies are the perfect way to help your cat deal with their cold, however, they probably need medical help as well. If your take your pet to the vets, they will be able to look them over and see just what’s wrong. Much of the time, a cat with a cold will need a prescription to help treat it. You may find that your vet suggests an antibacterial oral medication and perhaps even some eye ointment as well.

Hint: To get your cat to take oral medication, wrap it in a bit of meat or cat food. They will swallow the tablet in no time at all!

Here’s How Stroking Can Cause Signs Of Stress In Cats, According To Science

We all love to pet our kitties, but could we be doing more harm than good? Research suggests those little cuddles could cause signs of stress in cats!

signs of stress in cats
Lisa Yarost / Flickr

As a pet lover, the very last thing you want to do is see your kitty looking anxious. When we notice any minor signs of stress in cats, we often end up taking them to the vets to be checked over. And we’re right to worry. Emotional distress can be just as harmful to the feline species as it can to us humans. When your pet is stressed out like crazy, it can quickly lead to a whole host of other medical issues.
So, what should we do?

The first thing you can do is notice the symptoms of stress. If your cat displays any of the following behaviors, you may well have cause for concern:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting (or persistent hairballs)
  • Isolated behavior
  • Mood swings
  • Hiding away (or, indeed, running away)
  • Continual meowing or crying

When you notice any of the above, you should take action. One of the best and most effective things we can do as cat owners is try to identify the cause of our kitty’s distress. We already know that cats don’t like changes to their environment or lifestyle, but what if something else is to blame? According to a recent study, there could be a rather unexpected cause for your pet’s mental state.

Here’s the scientific bit:

The research was completed by a team at by University of Lincoln. The original aim was merely to find out something we’ve all wondered from time to time. That is, how felines cope when they have to live with other cats and humans. Along the way, though, the researchers there claim to have found that stroking your cat too much could be the reason they are anxious.

While most of us believe that cats enjoy being stroked, the fact of the matter is that some just ‘tolerate’ this experience. According to Professor Daniel Mills, Professor of Veterinary Behavioural Medicine at the University of Lincoln, this is the reason they become stressed. In short, tolerating the constant petting process gets tiresome and starts to annoy them!

“We chose stable households to look into this question and were quite surprised by the results. Despite typically living on their own in the wild, we have known for some time that cats come together when resources like food are concentrated in a single area, for example when people feed strays,” explains Professor Mills. “However, it might be that they do this out of need and it is still stressful for them, because they are not a naturally social species.”

So, since cats aren’t ‘social’ when they are out in the wild, the fact that they have to adapt to being so could be enough to make them anxious. The researcher went on to explain that it is not the cats that dislike being petted who become the most stressed. Instead, it is the cats who ‘tolerate’ it.

“Many people keep groups of cats in their home and although they might seem happy together, some people have argued that because this is an unnatural set up, it is not good for their welfare. Our research shows this is not necessarily the case. It seems even if they are not best friends, cats may be able to organise themselves to avoid each other without getting stressed. Also, and I think very intriguingly, our data suggests that cats who tolerate, rather than enjoy or dislike being petted, seem to be the most stressed,” says Professor Mills.

Should you stop stroking your cat?

The short answer is no. After reading this study, you don’t have to immediately stop petting your cat forever. That would be a little extreme. However, as a cat owner, it’s important to be aware of whether your cat wants to be stroked. You should pay close attention to their body language and how they act when you touch them. These things will indicate whether they enjoy the process or not. It’s all about not ‘imposing’ yourself too much on your kitty.

“It seems that those cats on whom the owner imposes him or herself are the ones we need to be most concerned about,” explains Professor Mills. “The results also reinforce the importance of ensuring that you give all individuals control over their environment, so if you have several cats you should give them the choice of sharing or having their own special areas to eat, drink and go to the toilet.”

So, do you pet your cat too much? Are you seeing signs of stress in cats? Or do you think you should stroke them more? Let us know in the comment section! We’d love to hear what you have to say!

What Causes Cat Diarrhea And How Can You Treat It?

So, your little pet is suffering from the dreaded cat diarrhea. It’s not the nicest subject in the world, but here’s what you need to know.

Causes Cat Diarrhea And How Can You Treat It
Natasia Causse / Flickr

It’s every pet owner’s worst nightmare, but when this issue starts to affect your little kitty, you need to know what to do. Cat diarrhea is nothing to smirk at; it’s just not a laughing matter. It’s something rather awful that can happen to your kitty at any given time. When it strikes, you need to take action sooner rather than later. After all, the very last thing you want is for your cat to get more and more sick over time. If you’ve seen the signs, here’s what you need to do next.

First of all, you need to clean the area where your cat has had an accident. As horrible as this job will surely be, it’s crucial that you make sure that you disinfect the area sooner rather than later. If you don’t clean up the cat diarrhea properly, you could find that your kitty picks up even more germs from the area. In time, that will mean that they get ill once again and, honestly, there will not be all that much you can do about it.

Once you’ve cleaned up, it’s time to address some rather pressing questions. You will need to figure out what caused the problem in the first place and how you can stop it happening again. As you may already realize, there are many, many reasons that this can happen to your pet. After all, just like us humans, there are a variety of ways in which your kitty can get sick every single day. Here, we will take a look at some of the major causes of cat diarrhea, how you can treat it, and how you can stop it ever happening again.

Major causes of Cat Diarrhea

So, what are the causes of cat diarrhea? Well, there are a number of things that could affect your cat’s bowel and digestive system. It’s worth taking the time to consider the many things that could have hurt your kitty before you take any action. After all, the sooner you know what the problem is, the sooner you can do something about it. Here are some of the possible causes:

  • A change in their diet

If you’ve started feeding your cat new things (such as a new brand of cat food), you may find that it doesn’t agree with them. This could be down to them having a weak stomach or even some allergies to certain ingredients! Try changing back to the old brand of food you used to see what happens next.

  • Viral infections

Cats can pick up viral infections from pretty much everywhere. Don’t forget that kitties tend to be particularly inquisitive. That means that they are more than happy to go sniffing and licking things in a bid to see what they are. The downside to this is that not everything is as clean as it perhaps could be. That means that they can easily pick up a nasty stomach bug.

  • Spoiled food

If the food your cat eats is somehow bad, you will find that it upsets your cat’s stomach. This could happen for a variety of reasons. For example, the cat food could have been slightly past its sell by date or the like. You need to pay attention to this kind of thing if you want to keep your cat healthy.

  • Kidney or liver disease

On very rare occasions, you will find that cat diarrhea is a symptom of kidney or liver disease. If that’s the case, you will find that the problem returns time and time again. It’s one of the scariest things, but the sooner you catch it, the better. Refer to your vet as soon as possible. They will be able to tell you what to do next.

How to Treat the Problem

If this is a one-off problem, you can likely treat it at home. There are, of course, a few ways in which you can treat the cat diarrhea safely and quickly in the comfort of your own home. So, what should you do? Well, the first thing to remember is that you must never panic. Here are a few tips that should help you along the way:

  • Don’t give your cat food for 24 hours

You need to let your cat’s stomach settle as much as possible. The best way to do that is to have them fast for 24 hours. Just avoid giving your cat any food for the next day. Make sure that they have plenty of water so that they can flush the problem out of their system!

  • Then, give them only dry food

The next day, you should not feed your cat any wet food. Instead, you will need to start them on something much less strong. You might want to give your cat some plain dry food (or even kitten food!) for the time being.

  • Keep an eye on your cat!

Finally, while you’re treating the problem, you should keep a close eye on your cat. Make sure that you feed them small portions regularly. Doing so will mean that your cat has a chance to digest their food slowly and easily!

Note: If your kitty keeps suffering from cat diarrhea, you will need to take them to the vets. This could be a sign of a serious medical condition, and so you need to get them the help they deserve as soon as you can. Good luck, cat lovers!

Revealed: Here’s How To Treat Cat Anxiety

If your kitty’s acting strange and distant, they could be seriously stressed out. Don’t panic! We look at how to treat cat anxiety quickly and easily!

How to treat cat anxiety
Alleycat.pet

When your kitty suddenly changes their behavior, it should be easy enough to notice. Most cats have a specific set of characteristics. The moment that they start acting ‘odd’, there is likely a genuine reason for that change. Anxiety is extremely common, especially amongst house cats. There are many reasons that your feline friend may feel worried or stressed out. Once you’ve seen the signs, you absolutely have to take action sooner rather than later. Here we take a look at how to treat cat anxiety and what you have to do next.

Give them a high place to sleep

Cats feel safest when they are up high. If you find that your kitty is anxious, the reason is likely because they feel threatened in their home environment. Often, when you have more than one kitty, you may find that social reasons are to blame. If your cat is being bullied by the other cats in your home, that is a major problem. Giving your kitty somewhere high to sleep means that he or she will have some sanctuary away from the rest of the group. When people think about how to treat cat anxiety, this is one of the tips that they always seem to overlook. Most people don’t consider the fact that their cat just needs to feel safe!

Separate their food and toilet from your other pets

Again, if it’s a social issue your cat is dealing with, you should make sure that they have access to all that they need. Separating their food and litter tray from your other pets is the best way forward. This little trick means that your cat can get the food it needs and use the bathroom without being disturbed. When it comes down to it, your kitty just needs to be as relaxed as possible. By helping them have some space from the other cats (or indeed dogs!), you’re doing them a massive favor.

Be loving and kind to your kitty

Above all else, your cat really needs your love and support right now. When we talk about how to treat cat anxiety, this is one of the things that we all too often leave out. You need to be supportive of your cat. Now, that does not mean harassing them every chance you get. Instead, you have to let your cat come to you. You should make sure that you allow your cat the freedom to come sit with you. Make space for them when you’re on the sofa and make it clear that they are welcome. What’s more, you should avoid shouting at them or telling them off. When your kitty is acting sheepish, you need to make sure that you always use a calm, relaxed tone with them. Doing so will help them to unwind and avoid them fearing you among other things!

Try out some natural remedies

You might not realize it but there are actually some natural remedies that can help your cat recover from their anxiety. If you look for how to treat cat anxiety online, you should find that there are some oils you can use that may help you along the way. Pet stores also often stock drops that you can pop into your pet’s food to help with stress and anxiety. If you’ve noticed that your cat has been acting out of character for quite some time now, this may very well be the best option for you. All you need to do is add the solution to your pet’s food each day. Before you know it, your cat should be calmer and, therefore, happier too.

Consult with your vet

Finally, when nothing you do changes your cat’s behavior, you may have to get an expert’s opinion. Your vet has a wealth of experience when it comes to how to treat cat anxiety. Believe it or not, this is a problem they will have dealt with time and time again. Make sure that you note down your cat’s weird behavior on a day to day basis. That way, you will have an accurate log of everything that’s been going on. Your vet will want to assess the situation thoroughly. No matter what, you should follow their advice and listen to what they say. After all, they are experts in this particular field. Trust them and they will help!

Worried that your cat is stressed out? Here are some signs of anxiety in cats!