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!

Do Cats Like When You Talk To Them? We Look at the Facts

When you’re home with your cat, nothing seems more natural than to have a good old chat to your kitty. So, do cats like when you talk to them?

When you’re home with your cat, nothing seems more natural than to have a good old chat to your kitty. So, do cats like when you talk to them
Frankieleon / Flickr

Whether we like to admit it or not, many of us love talking to our cats. When there’s no one else at home but your beloved pet, it makes sense that you would confide in them. One thing that all too many people wonder, though, is do cats like when you talk to them? Well, let’s take a look at the facts and see what we can find out right now.

First of all, before you worry that you’re the only one having full-blown chats with your kitty, there’s something you should know — we all do it. According to a 2015 study, a whopping 88% of people talk to their pet owners as though they are human. That’s an awful lot of us who sit around nattering to our animals. Weird, right?

Cats can identify their owner’s voice

While you’re talking, though, do you ever wonder whether your cat really cares? While they might not love you talking to them, they can certainly distinguish the sound of your voice from that of other people. Research from the University of Tokyo found that cats reacted differently when they heard their owner’s voice than they did when it was the sound of a stranger speaking.

There were actually small biological signs of recognition, such as the kitties’ eyes dilating and the like. That means that when you speak aloud, your cat knows that it is you who is talking. This may also explain why some felines get a tad spooked when you have guests; they notice the sound of a stranger’s voice, and so freak out.

They also respond to the pitch of your voice

Have you ever noticed the fact that cats seem to respond better to female voices than male ones? Well, the reason is simple. Felines can hear high-pitched voices much more easily than they can lower ones. That is to say that when a woman speaks, they are much more likely to react simply because they can hear the sound more clearly.

If you happen to have trouble getting your pet to acknowledge you when you speak to them, try speaking in a higher pitch. You may just find that this small, yet significant change to the way you talk makes all the difference.

Do cats like when you talk to them?

Once you’ve got your cat to respond to you, you may wonder whether they like it. Well, one interesting fact is that cats only meow to humans — this is not the way in which they communicate with one another. What that suggests is that, yes, they do enjoy us talking to them on some level. After all, why else would they attempt to communicate back with us?

Since our pets form an unbreakable bond with us from the moment we get them, it’s only natural that they would crave this form of interaction. Speaking to your cat is a way of acknowledging their existence and showing them that you really do care about them in a deep and meaningful way. What’s more, it’s a whole load of fun too!

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.

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 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.

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!

Here’s How to Stop a Cat Meowing and Begging for Attention

Is your kitty crying out for attention all the time? It’s a little… annoying at the best of times, right? Here’s how to stop a cat meowing easily!

how to stop a cat meowing
rhibiki.geo / Flickr

Make no mistakes, all cats meow from time to time. It’s just what they do! Think of meowing as chatting; some kitties just love to do it more than others. Still, if your cat is crying 24/7, you honestly have to do something about it. Not only is this a tad irritating, but it could be a sign of a deeper problem. Here’s how to stop a cat meowing and begging for attention all the darn time.

Why do cats meow all the time?

You should remember that meowing is the only way that cats have to communicate with uss. For that reason, there are actually many different ways in which a cat will meow and different types of call they tend to use. Here are some of the most common reasons that cats tend to meow excessively:

  • Hunger

Yep, if your kitty needs food, they will find the perfect way to let you know about it. After all, they have to communicate this to you ASAP.

  • They want to mate

If your cat has yet to be spayed or neutered, they may have an urge to mate. Since there are no eligible animals around, this could make them cry out for some attention.

  • Illness

Aw! This one is just so very sad. When your cat is feeling sick or ill, they might let you know. If your cat excessively cries out, you may want to take them to the vets to get them checked out. There could be an underlying problem you just don’t know about.

  • Attention

Cats hate it when you don’t pay them attention. They can’t stand it. If your kitty has gotten used to having your attention at all times, you shouldn’t be surprised if they start to meow more and more when you’re busy.

Of course, one of the easiest ways when it comes to how to stop a cat meowing is to figure out what the cause is. If you can identify why your pet is so wound up, you can help them out. If not, though, you may just have to persevere and try some of the following tricks.

What you must NOT do!

First of all, let’s talk about what you simply must not do. You may have heard that ignoring your cat is the best way forward. After all, you don’t want to reward them when they cry out for no real reason, right? Well, as logical as that may be (oh, and it is!), it’s not always correct. You see, if your cat has a genuine problem, like an illness, ignoring them is a neglectful. You should always try to make sure that your kitty is content and healthy!

Another thing that you want to avoid is punishing your kitty. Don’t hit, shout at, or spray your cat with water. Doing so will make your cat distrust and hate you in the long run. Cats are not as good at learning as we imagine. Sadly, they will not learn to be quiet next time, but will remember that you punished them harshly.

How to stop a cat meowing

So, let’s address the main point; how to stop a cat meowing in a safe and easy way. There are a few little tricks that you may want to try before you do anything else. Here they are:

  • Give your cat the essentials!

Make sure that your kitty has water, food, and a clean litter box. These are the essentials that your pet needs, and so they should have them at all times. Ensuring that they have all of the above will mean that your cat has no reason to cry. If the crying and meowing persists after you’ve done so, try the next tip.

  • Work out when your cat cries

Okay, I’m guessing that your kitty does not cry all the time. At least, I’d hope not. (If so, see the next point!) So, that means that there are times when your kitty is quiet and content. Figure out when they are relaxed and when they meow for attention. For example, if your cat only meows when you are busy, you can be pretty sure that the reason is because they want attention. By figuring out what the issue is, you can make sure that you can solve it or train them out of it.

  • Take your cat to the vet!

Finally, if the meowing goes on and on, there’s only one thing that you should be doing; you need to take your cat to the vets! Crying and meowing may be a symptom of illness or other issues. If you get your vet to check over your cat, you should find that they have the answers. Easy!