Why Do Cats Wiggle Their Tails? The Answer Might Surprise You!

Make no mistakes, felines are very expressive creatures! Let’s look at the burning question — why do cats wiggle their tails so much?

why do cats wiggle their tails
blhphotography / Flickr

When your kitty is just wandering around the home, you may notice that they do something strange. Often enough, cats will bend and move their tails in quite peculiar ways. You may well have wondered why do cats wiggle their tails. It’s a good question, but one with a complicated answer.

The truth of the matter is that cats tend to use their tail as a way of communicating with one another and, indeed, us. What that means is that we need to pay close attention to how cats move their tails if we want to understand what each movement means. Here are some of the messages they may well be trying to send out. Here’s what you need to know.

Why do cats wiggle their tails?

They are ‘peacocking’
Sign: Elevated tail

This technique is particularly common among male cats when they are trying to attract a lovely female feline. The idea is that the cat makes themselves look as big as possible so that they will seem to be the worthiest mate. You will likely find that your cat elevates their tail to an extremely high position to do so.

They are feeling anxious
Sign: Bushed up tail

Of course, no pet owner wants their cat to feel anxious but it happens from time to time. One of the major signs you will see when this happens is a thoroughly bushy tail. This is when a cat is feeling distressed. They feel that they are under attack or the like. That means that they will likely want to defend themselves. Making the tail appear larger than it is is a sign to predators to back off.

They are about to hunt
Sign: Tail down

When your kitty is in hunting mode, being sneaky is everything. One of the main things that cats do is try to make themselves as small as possible. You may find that their tail is low to the ground — as are they. This helps the feline to hide away and sneak up on prey. Watch out! When your kitty is ready to pounce, you don’t want to be in their way.

They are super happy
Sign: Bent tail

From time to time, your cat will be super happy. One of the things that you will notice when they are content is a slightly bent tail. The tip of their tail is likely to be bent over a tad, but the rest of the tail should be straight. If you see this sign, your kitty is in a great mood. Time for some cuddles.

Open-Plan Living Is Bad For Your Cat, According To Animal Expert

It may be the epitome of modern design, but open-plan living is bad for your cat. One expert explains just why this is a problem for your pet.

open-plan living is bad for your cat
Robert Tortorelli / Flickr

These days, many people opt for the ultra modern open-plan look in their homes. This minimal style is super popular these days and looks incredible. Still, when you’re designing your home, do you consider the needs of your pet? The truth of the matter may be that open-plan living is bad for your cat. Here’s what you need to know.

Animal experts recently spoke out about just this issue at an Animal Welfare Foundation seminar based in London, UK. The core idea was that open-plan homes mean extreme socialization for our cats. While that may not sound like such a bad thing at first, it could cause your pet to become anxious.

“While we may consider we are one big family, with our husbands and wives and our children, those cats might not consider those other cats or dogs as part of their same social group,” explained Sarah Ellis, of International Cat Care, at the seminar.

The fact that open-plan designs don’t allow for much privacy is the crux of the issue. You see, felines tend to prefer time alone. Unlike humans, they are not particularly social animals, spending much of their time in isolation or hunting by themselves. In an open living environment, though, there’s not much space for them to have some alone time.

That means that our cats can get seriously stressed out when forced to be around people or, indeed, other animals for too long. “Humans often like physical interactions that are high intensity and for longer durations,” explained Ellis. “Many of our pet cats find this need for high social interaction distressing.”

Oh, and it gets worse! While we all know that looking after your cat is key, Ellis had a warning for those with pets living in an open-plan home. She claimed that failing to meet the needs of your pet could quickly lead to what she termed ‘chronic negative emotions, chronic negative stress, human directed aggression and house soiling’. Yikes.

Needless to say that the last thing any of us want is for our cats to be stressed or depressed. So, what should you do to make sure that you tackle this issue? Well, even if you already have an open-plan living space, there are some hacks that may well help. Here are a few things that you may want to try for yourself and your cat:

  • Invest in boxes and cat houses

Your kitty may not be able to hide away in a room, and so you need to give them another option. You can get plain old cardboard boxes or even a cat house for your pet. As you know, cats love to sit in boxes! These small things may just make all the difference because they give your pet a space of their own.

  • Use room dividers

We know that open-plan living is bad for your cat, so making things a tad less open could be the answer. Most home stores sell affordable room dividers that you can put anywhere in your home. Simply sectioning off some of the areas could be the answer.

  • Use the height of your home

If you’re lucky enough to have high ceilings in your home, you have to make use of them for the good of your cat. You may want to get some shelves that your kitty can climb on or even just a tall cat tree. If your pet feels that they can escape above the room, the open-plan living will stress them less. Genius!

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!

Here’s How Puzzles Could Improve Your Cat’s Well-Being

Make no mistakes, our feline friends are seriously smart. That’s why giving them little puzzles could improve their well-being, according to science.

 cats and puzzles
David Kessler / Flickr

You could say that the average house cat has a pretty darn easy life. They get to snooze all day long, wake up, and have us feed them whatever treats they may fancy. It really doesn’t get more luxurious than that. While most of us think we’re doing right on behalf of our pet, some research suggests that they need more of a challenge. Here’s why:

This story starts way back with our cat’s ancestor; the African wildcat. Before felines were domesticated, there would be only one way to get food and sustenance — they had to work for it. Whether that meant hunting or, indeed, foraging, it didn’t matter. What mattered was that these intelligent animals had the natural instinct to get out there and work hard until they had the food that they needed.

Flash-forward to the modern day, and our house cats are not so dissimilar to those ancient creatures. While we may feed them on command each and every day, there may be a better way to help them. Yes, according to a recent study published in SAGE, giving your kitty a food puzzle instead may be the best thing you can do for their well-being.

House Cats Need Puzzles

This study is particularly relevant to house cats that never leave the home environment. Being alone all day long and then simply getting fed when they need it can get a little tiresome. Since cats are, at the core, very smart creatures, they need to be challenged in some way. Of course, one of the easiest ways you can do that is by investing in a puzzle of some sort. The very best games are the ones where cats need to work for their food. In a small way, these simulate what it is like to be out in the wild, seeking food.

How Food Puzzles Help

As part of the study, the researchers looked at a whole range of different cases in which cats began using puzzles. There were a great many examples of times when these little games helped kitties to overcome behavioral problems and health ones too. For example, there was the case of a two-year-old cat who was previously scared of humans, but became more willing to accept them after playing the games. There was also the case of a three-year-old cat with aggression problems, who had a rapid personality change after starting the puzzles.

Types of Puzzles

So, what types of cat puzzles should you get? Well, luckily, there are a whole load of different kinds on the market. Without a doubt, the best styles of puzzle are the ones which reward the cat by giving them some form of food at the end of it. This plays into the feline’s basic instinct. They complete a task and they get a reward. This is how things work in the wild, and so it simulates the same process. It really is that simple!

Here’s Why Cats Always Love to Sit in Boxes, According to Science

Forget fancy cat treats, posts, or toys, there’s one thing that our feline friends love more than anything else. Boxes — cats just can’t resist them.

why do cats sit in boxes
Stephen Woods / Flickr

If you’ve ever got a delivery or moved home, you will have noticed just one simple thing. Your cat is obsessed with boxes. When they see them, they just can’t help themselves. Within the space of a few seconds, they will have jumped right in the box and there’s just no way you can get them out. Have you ever wondered why that is? Maybe you haven’t given it all that much thought in the past, but there’s a genuine reason that cats do this. Their love of cardboard boxes is no accident — it’s entirely innate to them.

So, why do cats love boxes so much?

It’s something that’s troubled many cat lovers for quite some time now. The very moment you bring a box into your home, your cat just cannot resist sitting in it. You may imagine that they are playing pretend like kids do, but that’s not the case at all. In fact, according to a recent study published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science, there’s a scientific reason that felines are attracted to boxes.

It all has a little something to do with stress. (Because, yes, cats do tend to get rather anxious and stressed out from time to time!) The researchers looked at cats that live in shelters. These creatures tend to be particularly stressed out much of the time since they have to share their environment with other felines.

The results were quite clear — when these cats had boxes to hide inside, their stress levels decreased at a dramatic rate. That suggests that our kitties use boxes a a way to escape the world and de-stress in a private place. Just like us humans need space from time to time, it’s logical that felines would need the same thing.

It’s all about evolution, baby!

Also, when you think about this from an evolutionary standpoint, it makes an awful lot of sense. When felines in the wild feel threatened (or stressed out), the best thing for them to do is find a hiding place. It’s an innate urge; something they just know they have to do. When it comes to domesticated cats, it’s only logical that they would mimic the same behavior. As the saying goes, you can take the cat out of the wild, but you can’t take the wild out of the cat!

Should you get your cat a box?

Well, the short answer is ‘yes’. Creating an environment in which your pet can be comfortable is essential to their happiness and well-being. That’s why you should absolutely make sure that your home is fit for them. You may want to include some cardboard boxes in your cat’s play area, for example. Failing that, there are many other things you could get for your cat.

If you don’t want to litter your home with a load of cardboard boxes, getting some cat furniture that allows them to hide away may be the answer. For example, you could invest in a cat home that offers them some space. There are loads of fantastic accessories you can get for your feline online so why not take a look and see what you can find? You know it makes sense! After all, this little extra could be just what your kitty needs to feel right at home.

Is Your Cat Misbehaving? Here’s How To Tell Your Cat No!

As cute and adorable as cats are, felines can often be very naughty at times. If your pet needs discipline, here’s how to tell your cat no.

how to tell your cat no
Michael Carian / Flickr

Let’s not beat around the bush here. Cats don’t like authority figures. They are ‘free spirits’ and they basically do whatever they want, when they want. Every cat owner knows the struggle of trying to get their kitty to listen to them. The problem is that often cats just don’t want to hear us when we tell them what to do. Luckily, we have all the details right here, right now. Here’s how to tell your cat no and actually make sure that they do as you say.

Use the command with a movement

Spoiler: Cats don’t understand English. I know that may come as a shock, but it’s a cold, hard fact. Saying the word ‘no’ over and over to your cat is not likely to make much difference to their behavior. The sooner you learn that, the better. You’re likely to have much more luck if you pair the command with a movement that you use each time.

Despite what you may have heard before now, cats can be trained. It will take a little time on your part, though, and so you need to prepare yourself for just that. Choose a movement that your cat can easily recognize such as a sharp wave or the like. When your kitty does something that you don’t like, use the command and movement together. It will take some time, but your pet will soon understand what you mean.

Move your cat away from the problem

What is your cat doing that’s wrong? If they are ruining something, like the sofa, you should pair your command with this action. You need to move them away from whatever the problem is. When it comes to how to tell your cat no, this is one of the most effective methods you can use. By carefully moving your kitty away from whatever they are doing, you will show them that they are in the wrong.

You will need some patience if you hope that this will work. You will basically need to keep repeating the same old action time and time again until your pet starts to understand what you don’t want them to do. Every single time that you see your cat head toward the object, get to them first. Pick them up and move them to another place in the room. It may be repetitive, but it’s the best way animals learn.

Try the spray gun tactic

The following tactic is somewhat controversial and whether you sue it is entirely up to you. If you wonder how to tell your cat no and teach them not to do something, here’s an easy option. For this one, you will need to get a spray gun and fill it up with water. Whenever you notice that your cat is doing something bad, you should tell them no and give them a little spray of water.

Now, this may seem cruel, but it’s not as terrible as it sounds. You see, the water does not hurt your cat at all, but they won’t like it. That means that when you spray them, they will stop what they are doing. If you use this tactic sparingly, you should find that your cat becomes conditioned and knows that whatever they are doing is wrong.

Clap your hands or hiss like a cat

In the wild, cats respond to sounds and loud noises. They don’t respond to voices. For that reason, when you’re thinking about how to tell your cat no, you might want to try clapping or hissing. These sounds act as warnings for your cats. When you start doing this, you will find that your kitty responds right away. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that it’s not exactly fun having to hiss at your cat all the time. No one wants to do that. For that reason, when you’re deciding how to tell your cat no, it may be worth considering some of the above options instead. As you can see, there are a load of ways you can get the job done so figure out what works for you.

Hint: Don’t bother shouting!

Finally, there’s one cardinal rule that you must never break! Don’t shout at your cat. For one thing, your kitty is unlikely to respond to this method. They won’t understand the so-called ‘angry’ tone of your voice. Plus, if you happen to shout louder and louder, you are just likely to scare them. That’s the very last thing you want or need. No matter how annoyed you are, try to avoid this at all costs.

Here’s How to Keep Cats Out of Flower Beds

Your garden might be your pride and joy, but your kitties don’t respect it the way that you do! We reveal how to keep cats out of flower beds.

how to keep cats out of flower beds
panli54 / Flickr

If you’re a keen gardener, you will love nothing more than spending hours at a time perfecting your yard space. But wait just a minute! If you’re also a cat lover, you may find that you have something of a problem. You see, kitties love nothing more than exploring the yard and they could easily mess up your flowers. Once you learn how to keep cats out of flower beds, though, you will never have that problem again. Hurrah!

Since summer is just around the corner, you’re likely already sprucing up your yard and making it look its best. It would be a shame to think that all that hard work will go to waste. While our lovely feline friends may not mean to be pests, they can sometimes get into the wrong places! Ensuring that you keep both your flowers and your kitty safe should be your top priority. Here’s what you need to know.

Remember: Cats love to explore!

First of all, let’s talk about why your cat will likely want to explore your flower beds. The answer is actually pretty simple. These animals are wild and territorial. That basically means that they love nothing more than to explore. Left alone, they will happily trample their way through all your plants and ruin them in seconds. That’s the last thing you want or need. Of course, there are a few things that you can do which will help you along the way. It’s actually much easier than you might think!

Get a commercial cat repellent

One of the first methods you might want to try when considering how to keep cats out of flower beds is repellent. Many pet owners fear the very sound of this solution purely because they think that it could hurt their cats. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, there are many repellents out there that are actually fine for your cats to be around. All they will essentially do is make your pet back off and avoid the area where you choose to spray them. Simple.

So, which repellents should you choose? Well, there are of course a whole load of options. One of the most popular is Shake-Away. The formula actually smells like the urine of predators, such as foxes and the like. When your kitty sniffs it, they will know that the space is not safe. From then on, you should notice that they start to avoid the flower bed more and more.

If you don’t want to go for a store-bought option, you could even use some essential oils to help you ward of your cat. There are some smells, such as citrus, coffee, and lavender that your cat will simply hate. Sprinkling just a little of this stuff on the plants will do them no harm whatsoever. However, you will likely find that your cat steers clear of the places you have put them. Nothing could actually be easier.

Use some handy chicken wire

If your cat walks on the flower bed time and time again, chicken wire might be a great solution to your woes. The reason is simple. It’s not nice for your kitty to walk on. If you lay it across the flower bed, you will find that you still have space for plants to sprout, but that the ground will have an uneven texture. Yes, your kitty might want to walk on the area at first, but once they feel how uncomfortable it is, they won’t be going back anytime soon.

When people first consider how to keep cats out of flower beds, this doesn’t always come to mind. There are many pros to it, though. For one thing, it’s relatively cheap to do and you only have to buy the chicken wire once. The other major reason is that the wire is not harmful to your cat but will keep them away. Give it a go yourself.

Include marigolds in your yard

You’ve likely heard the rumour that cats don’t like the smell of marigolds before now. Now, we’re not going to go into whether this is mere myth or not. The truth of the matter is that some kitties can’t stand these pretty flowers. So, you may as well planet them. If for whatever reason, your cat hates the smell, they will stay away from the beds. Oh, and if it doesn’t work, at least these flowers looking striking and beautiful.

Train your cat to avoid the beds

Finally, here’s the method of how to keep cats out of flower beds that will take the most time and energy. Training your cats on where they can and cannot walk is the greatest way to ensure they don’t ruin the flowers. You can use both positive and negative reinforcement to help them steer clear of this area. For example, when they are on the beds themselves, you have to tell them ‘no’ and move them as soon as possible. When they avoid the area, give them treats and encouragement.

Unlike dogs, cats are notoriously hard to train in any way, shape or, form. However, if you’re willing to stick with this technique, you might just get some luck in the end. You will need to be extremely patient, though, and ensure that you don’t try to rush the process. Good luck!

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 To Stop Your Cat Growling When They Are Upset

When you’re cat’s acting up and lashing out it can be nothing short of a nightmare. If you’re unsure what to do, here’s how to stop your cat growling.

stop your cat growling
A Hindi / Flickr

Most of the time, our kitties are adorable bundles of joy. They cuddle, purr, and play the days are way. Then there are the other times. You know the times that I mean. When they decide that something has annoyed them and they want you to know they are mad AF. The times when they don’t care about anything other than making a loud growl of pure anger. It’s frustrating and you may have wondered how to stop your cat growling before now. Well, here’s what you need to know.

1. Understand why your cat is growling

Of course, the very first thing that you will want to do is figure out why on earth your pet is mad. Growling is, unsurprisingly, a sign that something is not quite right with your animal. That’s a worrying thought, to say the least. You shouldn’t just focus on the symptom here (i.e. the growling itself), but instead the cause (what’s making your kitty growl). It’s not an easy thing to figure out. Cats can’t tell us how they’re feeling, and so we need to do a little detective work along the way.

Consider whether you’ve made any changes to your home or lifestyle. Are you out of the house more than you once were? Have you changed the living room setup? These may seem like small things but they could easily affect your cat’s mood. The truth of the matter is that cats see the home space as their territory. Any changes to that area could easily threaten them and change their natural mood. You should keep that in mind when tackling this issue.

2. Keep note of when your cat growls

If you’re struggling to figure out what your cat growls, you should try this handy tips. Many vets suggest that you keep a diary or journal of your cat’s behavior. When your kitty starts to growl, make a note of what’s happening around them. You may, for example, realize that your cat only makes this noise at dinner time or when a certain person is in the room. That means that you can work on pinpointing the issue so that you can deal with it in the quickest and easiest possible way.

3. Try to comfort them and relax them

Of course, one of the main things you will want to do when your kitty starts to growl is comfort them. This is a natural reaction. When your pet growls, they are letting you (and everyone around them!) know that things are not right. They may feel threatened or anxious. They may need something from you but not be certain of how to express themselves.

Either way, giving them a little extra love, support, and attention is sure to be the best way forward. Make sure that you take things slow and are tentative with your kitty. Show them your hand before you cuddle them so that they know they are safe. That way, you don’t run the risk of them attacking you because they are scared. You may indeed find that this method helps they to chill out. Sometimes, all our pets need is a little support.

4. Separate your cats from one another

If there’s another cat in the room, this is a whole different situation. Much of the time, felines find it hard to socialize with other animals. The reason is simple; they are territorial and want to take charge of the space in which they live. When you have two cats battling it out for the number one spot, they are sure to growl, hiss, and even fight. Yikes! Here are a few things that you may well want to try:

  • Separate the two cats in two different rooms
  • Ensure that they have separate eating stations
  • Show both cats equal amounts of attention
  • Make sure that they each have their own litter tray

The point is that when you have two cats, you need to treat them as separate beings. When it comes to how to stop your cat growling, the answer should be simple. Kitties don’t like to share, and so you shouldn’t make them.

5. Check out your cat’s body language

If none of the above has worked, you need to check out your cat’s body language. Your kitty is quite clearly stressed out and you need to figure out why sooner rather than later. Look for other signs of aggression (such as an arched back, pinned back ears, and widened eyes!) so you can see how your cat is feeling.

If this behavior continues, you may find that the best thing will be to take your cat to the vet. They will know how to stop your cat growling and will help you every single step of the way. What’s more, they will be able to detect any underlying issue that could be causing discomfort for your pet.

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!