Ten Things You May Not Know About Cats
5. Cat Scratch Fever
Cats claw out of need, not out of boredom or spite or any other ridiculous emotion that has been attributed to it. Well, there is a small element of love involved. First, cats scratch for exercise. It tones up the back and shoulder muscles important for leaping and pouncing as well as having a healthy, proper gait. Contrary to popular belief, they do not do it to sharpen their claws. So why does your feline friend always seem to scratch your favorite pieces of furniture? The answer is in the question. If your cat feels loved and part of your family, it wants to contribute. It is pretty much the same as when they bring you a dead animal. They know that you enjoy that new sofa. They can read you and sense that it is one of your favorite. What cats do not understand is possession. Yours and mine do not cut it. To the cat, it is just a piece of furniture that the clan uses. The cat thinks it will look good with scratches on it. A little interior decoration never hurt anyone. Your task is not to teach the cat that it is not okay to scratch, nor it is to teach the cat what not to scratch. The best solution is to provide it with something that it can scratch and put it near the couch. Sprinkle some catnip on it and let the cat go to town. In a day, slide the new scratching post four or five feet away from the couch. A day or two later, refresh the catnip and move the post further away. Do not move it much but make some progress. Continue to move the post until it is in the corner that you prefer it to be. If you are smart, you will leave it in the same room lest the cat decide to maim two rooms. Do not forget to praise your kitty when she uses the post.
4. Fraidy Cat
While all animals and humans are naturally afraid of something, cats seem to have a set of fears that is inherent to them. One of these is called separation anxiety. A cat can form a bond with a human or other cat that is so strong that it can have a negative physical impact on their health if they are separated from the one with whom they bonded. This is particularly hard on a cat if its master whom it bonded with works away from home or is suddenly prone to travel for extended periods of time. Symptoms of separation anxiety include loss of appetite, loss of liter box skills, excited behavior at homecoming reunion, and depression. Since your cat already sleeps 16 to 18 hours out of every day, the last one can be hard to detect. If your cat suddenly exhibits these symptoms when a change in a loved ones schedule occurs, you should seek medical attention for your beloved pet. Another, more obvious clue is walking the house crying out or mewling after the person when they are gone. The problem is treatable with the right medications and plenty of love and attention from you or another member of the household. It is only recently that it was discovered cats had the ability to “pair bond” which is the natural ability to develop a strong affinity with something so closely that physical separation is painful. It used to be thought that this only happened in same species animals. Cats, as a general rule, do not get lonely. They are extremely territorial and it is thought that being that territorial has a counter effect on loneliness. Pair bonding is supposed to be extremely rare in cats.
3. Natures GPS
You can take a cat far from its home and it has the ability to find its way back. This is due partly to instinct and partly to a built in homing device. Just like a migrating species of bird, a cat uses its biological clock, the angle of the sun, and a not as yet understood sensitivity to the earth’s magnetic field to navigate. There have been incredible, documented cases of cats finding their way home from great distances. Some believe that they feel their way home. Whether its instinct, its amazing combination of ears, eyes, and sense of smell, or both, cats are some of the best navigators on the planet.
2. The buddy system
Loneliness is not a problem that your average cat has. They are content to be alone but can also share their home. If your cat starts getting into mischief while you are not at home, it could be trying to tell you something. Most people misunderstand exactly what it is the cat is trying to convey. They think that the cat gets lonely in the house by itself all day while they are at work. They mistake loneliness with boredom. These are two completely different problems. If you have tried all the other solutions like leaving out toys and spending more time with your cat but nothing works, the solution might be to introduce another cat into the home. You have to be careful though as your cat will not get along with just any old playmate. Most cats are willing to share and are able to make friends but it is just as likely that it will reject another animal, making the situation much worse. There are a couple of things that you can do to ensure that the new member of the family is accepted.
• Never put two females together unless you absolutely have no other choice. Researchers do not understand why yet, but female cats have a harder time getting along than any other combination. A male and a female will find a way to cohabitate and become friends and two males will have no problems at all, as long as there is not a female feline in heat in the house.
• Studies show that a getting a cat of the same color or close to color will greatly increase the chance of successful friendship. Cats of the same size, color, and temperament seem to get along better than opposite colors and personality.
• Introduce the new family member gradually and under close supervision. Do not just bring home a kitten and toss it in a locked room with a bored cat that has been trashing your house. Short periods of contact 2 or 3 times a day for a few days is all it will take. It is very healthy for two cats to share and interact. It gives both the kind of emotional and social interaction that makes for happy cats.
Now that you have two cats, it will not be long before they are tearing through the house in the middle of the night chasing each other and having a grand old time.
1. Eye of the cat
That cute, furry little kitty at home might be just a pet, but its eyes are a medical and scientific wonder. The cat has some of the coolest vision in the animal kingdom. The reason a cat is not afraid of the dark is that it is rarely in the dark. A cat only needs one sixth of the light in which we need. That is like being in a windowless room at night with the only light coming in through a crack under the door. They also have an extra eyelid that keeps their eyes moist. Cats are not colorblind but they cannot distinguish between red and green. Detail is not big on the cat’s ability list but it can see very far. In fact, cats see very clearly for up to 120 feet and their peripheral vision is fantastic at 285 degrees. The most amazing thing about cat’s eyes is the depth of love that they hold there when they look at you. They can melt your heart.
If you have a cute, amazing, or funny story about your cat, we would love to hear about it. Please leave a comment and let us know.