How to Massage Your Cat

 

A great way to make your cat purr his cares away is to massage him. You know how a good massage lightens your mood and kicks your cares to the curb? Well, it is the same for your cat. You should know a couple of things before you try it. Some cats do not like massages. Don’t worry: he will let you know. Just use your cat speak. Your cat will communicate his wishes to you if you only watch him. There are a few things which you need to avoid.

Do not touch his whiskers

Your cat’s whiskers are very sensitive. They use them for many things. As an example, damaged whiskers can make navigation hard in their surroundings. The least bit of touch (like if their food and/or water bowls are too small for them and their whiskers touch the sides) can cause pain and disorientation.

Do not squeeze

Remember, he is a cat, not a piece of fruit. It would be best if you had a soft touch. You would not squeeze a baby, so don’t squeeze your cat.

Do not massage him if you’re not relaxed

If you are tense, perturbed, rushed, etc, don’t try to massage your cat. Cats are very sensitive and can pick up on your moods. So, if you massage him while you are agitated, he will get agitated, too, and he will not get the full benefit of the massage. (Neither will you, for that matter.)

Do not interrupt him

If he is busy doing something, like grooming himself or sleeping, leave him alone. We all need a little privacy sometimes. He usually will be more receptive if he is relaxed and just laying at your feet (or wherever your cat lays). When he is happy to be with you, that’s the time to share the massage.

Do not massage him right after he eats

Wait about two hours to let his food digest.

Do not push him

If he doesn’t want it, then back off. Give him his space. He will let you know with his body language, how he feels at the moment. Use your cat speak.

Now, we got the don’ts out of the way, let’s dig into the dos.

1) Talk or sing to him to relax him. No one likes to be squealed at, especially when trying to relax.

2) Start with petting him in his favorite place. My cat likes to be scratched behind his ears. So, whether, be it a full body pet or a scratch under the chin, start there to help him relax. Apply gentle pressure. Too soft, and he may not feel the massage, and where’s the benefit in that. (You don’t have to use two hands, one is just fine.)

3) Use your whole hand for the body.

4) Next, the head. Using the palm of your hand, massage in slow, gentle circles.

5) With your fingertips, massage slowly, lightly around the ears. When you have finished the ears, move down to the neck and chin and massage with slow, gentle circles using your fingertips. (Do not press the neck). When the neck is done, then the cheeks and face. Don’t be concerned if he drools or looks a little daze. This tells you that you are on the right track.

6) Next, the forehead. Don’t forget the place just above the eyes. Use your fingertips to massage in circular motions. Remember: softness is the key here.

7) Spend a few seconds to pet your cat, from head to tail, as you would normally, then go back to the gentle touch for his head, body, and tail.

8) Massage the sides of his body, using your full hand. This should be a firm touch, but remember, do not squeeze.

9) The shoulders need some attention, too. It would be best if you first used gentle, circular motions, followed by a soft, but firm, rub down. Include his back and sides.

10) Now, go back to using the gentle circular motion to rub him from shoulders to tail. Be very careful around his tail. Some cat’s hips and tail are sensitive.

11) If your cat allows you to touch his belly, go ahead. Now is the time, since he is nice and relaxed. Caution: This area is very sensitive, so even if he will let you rub it, do not rub too hard. A very light touch with your fingertips is called for here. Do it while you are working another part of his body, for example, his shoulders.

12) The very last step of the massage is his tail. Like his whiskers, his tail is sensitive. Starting at the rump, use a slow, gentle touch until you reach the end of his tail. Then pet him as usual for a minute or two.

If he’s whips his tail to and fro, stop. He is probably overstimulated.

This may sound like a long process, but once you and your cat get into it, it seems to end too soon. For more info: Video on massaging your cat

We give our deepest thanks to:

Cat Behavior Associates

Wiki

Petfinder

 

What Benefits Do Cats Bring To Us?

2nd Day

“What greater gift than the love of a cat.” ~ Charles Dickens

 

Some may think, “We don’t own cats, they own us”, while others think, “Cats are just animals, for goodness sake! ” Those that think the latter, have never been owned by a cat. True, cats are animals, BUT a cat’s nature is such that he will be owned by no one…least of all you! So, I like to think of the relationship I have with my cats as being guardian and cat, not necessarily in that order. I take care of my cats, but as they are not possessions,  they do NOT owe me anything. As long as I remember this fact, we’ll live in harmony. That being said, I will tell you the benefits that my cats bring to me.
For the past 20 years, there have been at least two cats in my household. Why two, you may ask? Some cats are needy and tend to get bossy about your attention.  They want to be the only one in your life.  In other words, the world revolves around them. If I am writing, there is a 99% chance that the cat will try to get my attention, usually by standing on my keyboard. Every time Monkeyface, who was my first cat, felt a little neglected, he would get into the toilet paper, as a form of protest. Then, when I finally came out of my office, toilet paper would be strewn from one end of the house to the other and Monkey would be looking innocently up at me. It was not fun cleaning up, and the expense was got outrageous, but I loved him anyway.

That’s when Tiffany Marie came onto the scene. The two cats had fun together. They would chase each other through the house, playing with their toys (usually fighting over who owns them). Because Monkeyface was a 25 pound furball who didn’t like confrontation, Tiff, a 10 pound Siamese, usually won. Sometimes Tiff, (my ‘living on the edge cat’), would instigate an antic for which she knew, in the end, Monkey would take the blame.   I swear, on these occasions, I saw her sit back, snickering, like a bad little kid. So, I had my hands full most of the time, but at least they stayed off of my keyboard.

The most important benefit, to me, was the companionship that my cats bring the me. When I would kick back at night, listening to some soft music,  they would sit quietly, just being content to lay next to me and purr away the day’s cares.  Whenever I was ill, they would take turns laying beside me and purr. (Everyone who knows anything about cats, know that their purr can heal.)  Other times, when I was upset, they would know just what to do. Tiff would come to me and touch her nose to mine, while Monkey just sat there and purred.  On the other hand, there were nights when I would be watching a mystery on the television, and invariably at the part when the killer was stalking the girl (who was wearing 7″ high heels and trying to run in them) through a darkened house, my cats would chase each other through the room like a flash and scare me to death; but it was all good.  I love them and I know that they love me.  But I digress.
It’s is thought by some in the medical field that people can often benefit from being a companion to either a cat or a dog in a host of ways. Below are just a few:

  1. Pets can help to lower a person’s cholesterol
  2. Reduce stress, therefore decrease blood pressure
  3. They can even predict seizures and episodes of hypoglycemia
  4. They have extraordinary powers to help a person’s emotional well being.  Just petting a cat and hearing it purr, has a calming effect on both you and your cat.

Why, I have even heard of one cat saving his guardians life when he detected a carbon dioxide leak in the house.  He woke his person and insisted that she get out of the house by banging himself against the glass door.  In the end, both cat and guardian were safe, and it was all on account of “Super Cat”.

I sure know that my life has been enriched by the love my cats. The benefits are countless. They make me laugh, they give me solace when I’m feeling blue, and most important of all, they are there when I need a friend. It is for these reasons, that I couldn’t live without my cats. Everyone knows that, as long as you have the companionship and love of a cat, the rest will come easy. 

If you are thinking of adopting a pet, don’t think that a dog is the only choice; look into having a cat. Choose wisely; when adopting that special pet, make sure they fit your lifestyle. I will touch on adopting a pet later.

Thanks to : Doctors Forster and Smith

 

Whisker Stress in Your Cat

We recently came across a term that we thought might be interesting to research. Whisker stress is a real thing and there is a lot of information on it out there. When you first hear “whisker stress”, you may not be aware there really is such a thing.

We all know that the long hairs that stick out around a cat’s muzzle are called whiskers. Maybe some may even realize the hair above their eyes, or the eyebrows, are whiskers, as well, but did you know that cats have whiskers on the wrists of their forearms? These “hairs” can be up to three times as thick as their fur. They are very sensitive because they are located in areas that are full of blood and nerves.
The most important “job” that the whiskers around a cat’s muzzle is navigation. This is because their whiskers allow them to measure air currents and therefore the cat can “feel” objects that are in their path. Their whiskers, from tip to tip, are about the same width as the cat’s whole body. Have you ever noticed that the whiskers on a bigger cat, like the Maine Coon, are much longer than a smaller cat, like a Siamese? This is to make sure that a cat can fit in a place without getting “stuck”. In these ways, whiskers are essential for navigating. That’s why, some mother cats will chew off the whiskers off of her young kittens. She doesn’t want them to wander off, but to stay close by her. Of course, they will grow back in.
Whiskers also can tell you what your cat is feeling. If they are back against his face, the cat is angry. When they are slightly forward and the tips are pointing down, they are relaxed, happy, “kickin’ back”, as they say. If you notice that his whiskers are tense and pointing forward, he is showing his aggression. This happens mostly when he is hunting.
If the cat senses some sort of danger, the whiskers above his eyes will go into action and tell him to close his eyes, there is danger ahead. In other words, they act as a second set of eyes.
The whiskers on the forearm are used in climbing trees and hunting prey.

Signs of Whisker Stress

Whisker stress is brought on when the nerves in the whiskers are over-stimulated by touch. It is most obvious when the cat eats. If he picks his food out of his dish, one piece at a time and drops it on the floor, and then eats from there, most likely he is suffering from whisker stress, brought on by a dish that is too deep, and his whisker can’t clear its edges. Another way that a cat deals with this problem is to stick his paw in the dish and scoop up a “pawful” of kibble and eat it from the floor. If your cat takes one bite of food, walks away, then a few minutes later comes back again, most likely this is a sign of whisker stress. If he paces in front of his dish, he is telling you that he is not comfortable eating or drinking from that dish. The answer to this problem is, of course, to simply buy a wider dish. Not all cats are bothered by whisker stress.
My Misha has super sensitive whiskers and therefore requires a flatter food dish. Since the water is shared by both cats and Misha has whisker stress, I need to keep the bowl full to the very brim. However, my other cat BoBo, doesn’t suffer from it, so he will eat or drink from any dish.

We cannot express how important it is not to cut or damage the whiskers of a cat in any way. They are nature’s way for a cat to defend themselves, to navigate around, especially at night, and to distinguish if he can or cannot clear a space.

We thank:

Trendy Pet

The Nest

How Stuff Works

Web MD

Cat World

Pets Weekly

Pam Johnson-Bennet

Why Is Anti-freeze Dangerous

adorable-animal-cat-302280

When the weather changes from warm to cold, our cats are in danger of becoming fatally ill. To be a responsible guardian, we need to be aware of their surroundings and make them totally safe for our furry friends.

Anti-freeze is one danger that can be deadly to our cats due to the chemical, ethylene glycol. Since cats have a keen sense of smell and curiosity in abundance, they are attracted to the scent of the poison. Once they have found the deadly liquid, they are tempted to sample it and find that it is enticingly sweet. Before we know it, we have a very sick cat on our hands.

So, we might think that it would be perfectly safe if the container has the cap on, right? Wrong! What if a tiny bit dripped down the side of the container? That small drip might be enough to attract him to it and, after a lick or two, we might find ourself rushing our little darling to the vet. If our baby found a puddle of the sweet-smelling stuff under a car and drank it, chances are much more likely that the poison substance would kill him.

There is another type of anti-freeze that contains propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol. This chemical is touted as completely safe for consumption. While it is safer than its counterpart, it still is dangerous and should be treated with the same care as anti-freeze containing ethylene glycol.

If you think that your cat might have consumed anti-freeze or any other poison, please contact the Pet Poison Hotline at  (855) 764-7661.

 

Our thanks go out to:

Animal Kind

Pet Poison Helpline

https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ACYBGNSpjdrBjR11GnXHRgTclK89wXXX-Q:1578598800983&q=antifreeze+without+bittering+agent&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjI05nmovfmAhWBGM0KHfX4ChYQ1QIoA3oECA0QBA&biw=1420&bih=657

What You Need to Know About Feline Diabetes

On computer desk

 

When my first cat, Monkeyface, was diagnosed with feline diabetes, I was devastated.  I had waited too long to take him to the vet, thinking it was just old age.  He was 11 years old, and that is pretty old for a Maine Coon.  They can get to be 45″ long and weigh up to 30 pounds, and their small hearts have to work pretty hard to pump the blood through their big bodies.  They tend to succumb to heart failure.

Monkeyface was 20 pounds when he was healthy.  His fur was full and beautiful and his eyes were bright. When I finally figured out that he was sick, his bright eyes were dull, his luxurious coat had lost is sheen, and instead of being the big, healthy cat that I knew, he had lost so much weight that he became a shell of his former self … he was sick. I took him to the vet.

When he was finally diagnosed with feline diabetes, it was too late and I had to put him down.  That was thirteen years ago and to this day,  I still feel guilty.  After all of the love and companionship he gave to me  I failed him so miserably.  If I had only known the signs of the disease, I might have given him more time.

The symptoms which Monkey displayed were constant thirst; change in eating habits, either eating less; weight loss; fur losing luster; and lethargy.  Some other symptoms that Monkeyface didn’t have are UTI, eating more than usual, sweet smelling breath, increased urination, and urinating outside the litter box.

The exact causes of feline diabetes are not known, but it is more likely that overweight and /or older cats are susceptible to it.   Some other conditions that may lead to diabetes are hyperthyroidism, pancreatitis and/or abnormal protein deposits on the pancreas.

Feline diabetes is all about the insulin, a hormone that helps move sugar from bloodstream into the cat’s cells.  As with humans, there are 2 types of feline diabetes. Type 1 is brought on by a lack of insulin and is most uncommon and rarely treatable. Type 2 occurs when the cat produces the hormone, but the cells become resistant to the insulin put out by the body. This type is treatment if caught in time.

Feline diabetes does not have to be a death sentence.  In some cases, shots are used to balance out the insulin and in some rare cases pills might work.  If your cat starts to show signs of feline diabetes, take him to the vet immediately and you may save his life.

Our thanks go out to:

ASPCA

Web MD

Cat