Cats have certain behaviours that leave their hoomans scratching their heads, thinking “Why do you do that, kitty?” Of course, there’s little that we can do about them. Our feline companions would only keep on doing them, whether we like it or not. So, why is there a need to know why they do, what they do? Why is there a need to understand these behaviours?
Well, the reason is simple, really. Understanding them would help them communicate with us better. This would also let allow us to accept them for what they are. That being said, we have a couple of odd behaviours that cats usually do. Get to know some of them and the reason why cats do them.
“I Brought You a Gift Hooman!”
You’re on the porch, or living room sofa, just chilling. You’re sitting down, with a warm cup of coffee, enjoying the nice scenery of your garden, or simply relaxing while watching the telly. Your cat suddenly arrives and startles you when it leaves a dead mouse near your foot, with your cat in front of you, looking up at you with eager eyes.
This experience can certainly be nerve-wracking, but there’s no need for you to freak out. Cats, in their very core, are predatory animals. Hunting for prey is normal for them and you need to understand this primitive side. They often bring you dead animals as “gifts” to give thanks for feeding them everyday, in a way returning the favour. They could also be doing it to show you how to hunt or because they have more than enough to eat.
Dawn of the Meow
Most cat owners have experienced hearing sounds at dawn. Sounds that wake them up faster than their alarms ever could. Sounds that come off from every direction, swirling and echoing to every corner of the house. Quickly, they get up and open the door of their rooms to find that they’re cats are already awake. At 4 in the morning. This routine is quite off setting and some might even get annoyed by it. However, there’s a need for us to understand that cats naturally wake up earlier than us.
Also, their circadian rhythms tend to change depending on the season. You can remedy this by installing blinds, or blackout shades, so the sun won’t rouse them awake. You can also put a strict eating schedule to help manage this behaviour. But again, this is what comes as natural for cats, so be patient and if necessary, stop trying to undo this ingrained trait.
You’ve probably had more than one encounter where you’re in front of your laptop, or computer, busily typing with the keyboard. Suddenly, a wild (and cute) kitty appears and starts lying down on the laptop, or keyboard.
This may seem like your cat is trying to annoy you, but it’s actually because they love the warmth of these computer devices, especially the laptop. A cat’s ideal temperature is 20 degrees higher than that of a human, so a laptop is the perfect temperature regulator. They could also be doing this because they’re asking for attention.
Cats are certainly mysterious and baffling creatures. They tend to do odd things just for the heck of it. Things that can sometimes be uncomfortable for us. However, your feline companion needs you to understand that this is just how they are. Accepting and understanding them for their weird sides is the key here. It would mean the world to them and allow you to love them in a better, more genuine manner.
Here’s a little tidbit of info: if your cat gets sick often, it might be because of the food he eats. The health, and even the life span, of your cat depends on what you feed him. Thus, it is important that you feed your pet a high-quality diet that is in accordance with his specific nutritional requirements.
So what should you feed your little Toby? And how much and how frequently? Read on to learn more about feline nutrition basics.
It depends on how old your cat is.
- Kittens are highly active, and thus, they require a diet that is high in fat and protein, which they need if they were to develop strong teeth, bones, and muscles.
- Adult cats typically require lower-calorie diets than kittens. With older cats, weight control is the primary consideration, as they can fall prey to diseases that plague adult humans, such as cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, and diabetes.
- Elderly cats are a lot less active compared to their younger counterparts and thus require a diet low on fat but rich in easily digestible proteins so as to make the process of digestion easier on their kidneys.
Check the label.
When buying cat food, make sure to check the label. All the necessary nutritional elements should be there. The following are the most important:
- Protein – These should come from meat, poultry, or fish sources.
- Taurine – This is an essential amino acid that plays a crucial role in various physiological functions in animals.
- Water – This is the lifeblood of the planet and of every living creature on it.
- Minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, and enzymes – Check with your pet’s vet as to which elements you should look out for.
Know what to avoid.
Cats are curious creatures, and sometimes this may lead them to eat certain types of harmful foods. As their human, it is your responsibility to look out for them and to steer them clear of the following foods:
- Chocolate – While humans love this, it can be lethal for your cats. It contains theobromine, a toxic agent that can cause seizures, tremors, and even death.
- Alcohol – It only takes a minimal amount of alcohol to harm your pet—even a couple of teaspoons of hard liquor can cause a cat to become comatose!
- Milk – Let this become your signal to stop giving your cat that saucer of milk at dinner—cats are actually lactose-intolerant. If your cat often suffers from diarrhea, this might be the cause.
There are a lot more foods that are harmful to your cat. Get in touch with your vet to find out what the rest of them are.
When it comes to being a pet owner, it pays to be informed and aware. It is always better to prevent the possibility of the disease rather than cure already-existing symptoms. If you give your beloved pet an appropriate and well-balanced diet, that could make a lot of difference with regard to his health.
The proper planning of a pregnant cat’s diet ensures that she gives birth to healthy kittens and that she herself will have enough strength to give birth and nurse the newborns. While the food that you usually give to an adult cat is good for her daily needs, it is unable to provide the boost she needs when expecting. As such, you will need to choose food which meets her new needs.
Specifically, you will need high-quality kitten food, the only type of food that provides the pregnant cat with protein, calories, and all the nutrients she will need. For best results, make sure to begin feeding her that type of cat food from mating until the kittens are a few weeks old. Spend up to ten days gradually adding kitten food to her usual adult food, until such time that her taste buds have fully adjusted to kitten food. By doing the above, the adult cat is not only strong but also has enough energy to support her newborn kittens. The above can also help assure you that the food is actually consumed, and nothing is wasted.
In case the pregnant cat’s stomach is sensitive, select a delicate formula. If she is required only a specific diet, talk to your veterinarian for advice prior to making the necessary changes.
When determining whether you should get wet food or dry food, it’s essential to keep in mind that the latter contains more calories than the former. So if your pet only eats wet food or is required to only eat wet food, you may need to feed her larger servings so she gets the right amount of energy. For some cats, a good approach is to mix dry and wet food together.
Like in the case of human females, the intake of a pregnant kitty gradually increases, beginning from mating day until her pregnancy ends. But towards the end of her term, mum will lose appetite a bit. This sign means labour is close. Meals should still be kept close to her at this time in case she would want small snacks.
Once her term ends, don’t be surprised if she will consume fifty percent more than normal or more. There is no need to worry about overfeeding, though. Kitty will just consume as much as she needs, and no more.
Speaking of the amount of meals she needs, you will need to give her many small meals over the course of a single day. To save time, you can make meals and fresh water accessible all the time so she can eat and drink when needed.
That said, you can expect the mother cat’s weight to increase throughout her pregnancy and beyond it. This will be useful, as some of the weight will be the fat layers that she lays down on when nursing the little kitties. So there really is no reason to worry about obesity; this excess weight should go away eventually during her nursing period, which lasts up to four weeks.
Because cats aren’t as social as dogs, many people believe that they are less trainable compared to the latter. But that isn’t the case. They do respond to training—just in a different way.
So how do you go about training your cat?
This is the best stage to start training them as they don’t have that many “life experiences” yet. This is also a great time to begin training as they are not as hard-set when it comes to their habits. For this reason, it’s safe to say that this is the stage when you should introduce them to new situations. When doing so, act in a matter-of-fact manner as this will encourage them to be fearless when facing similar situations in the future.
- Make an effort to understand him.
When training your kitten, the first thing you need to do is to get a good idea of who and what he is. Unlike dogs, cats are more independent; thus, they aren’t inclined to be as needy for attention and praise as dogs. However, they might not be that easy to motivate. For this reason, you need to have a lot of patience and creativity in training them. Rewarding your kitten with a lot of special treats that he is sure to appreciate is a good tactic you might want to employ.
Get him familiar with his own name as early as possible. For instance, when you’re feeding or lovingly petting him, you could call his name in a gentle manner. However, you should never yell out your pet’s name when you are angry with them. This way, he learns to associate his name with positive things and will come running to you whenever you call his name.
Cats in general feel a natural urge to scratch, so you shouldn’t suppress what comes ingrained to them. But so that they don’t destroy your precious furniture, it might be a good idea to provide your kitten with his own personal scratching post. Guide his paws along the post (you might even put catnip on it to encourage him) and in time he will learn to do this on his own.
- Clean his litter box regularly.
One common complaint many cat owners have is that their pets don’t use their litter boxes. But as a pet owner yourself, you might want to consider your cat’s point of view as to why he doesn’t like using his box. For instance, it might be unclean or be in an inconvenient location. Make it a habit to remove dirty litter at least once a day and keep his box in an area of the house that is free from dirt, noise, and human traffic. If you give your cat more reasons to use his litter box, you will have an easier time training him to use it regularly.
There’s another reason why you must train your cats while they’re still young: this is one of the best ways to build up the bond between you and your pet while the latter is growing up. So make sure to dedicate time and energy to do all the above as necessary!
If you wish to make sure that your kitten gets just the right amount of exercise, there are a few things you need to know about. You need to know why kitty needs to get moving every now and then, the right amount of workout time kitty needs, as well as the right way to play with your feline companion.
Why Kitty Needs Exercise
Your pet, in general, needs to be active. By being active, his body weight stays at a healthy level, his muscles are always strong and toned, and his mind stays active and alert for anything. In addition, exercise is a fun way to bond with him.
The Amount of Exercise Time a Cat Needs
It’s important that a cat engage in a few sessions of physical activity each day, with each session lasting for up to fifteen minutes. Fortunately, with kittens and young cats, they will usually invite you to play, and if they won’t invite you to play, they will look for their own sources of entertainment.
But as they grow older, they can be quite tougher to play with. The same is true if they have become overweight. This is because both overweight and older cats do not have enough endurance for long periods of play.
This does not mean that older and overweight kitties alike will no longer benefit from playtime and exercise. To ensure this, a number of short activities needs to be done several times in a day. In the case of the overweight kitties in particular, you should start with a few sessions each day, with each section lasting only a few minutes. To gain the most benefit from this activity, determine activities the kitty likes and formulate variations of that activity. In no time, you will notice that he will spend more time playing with you.
Playing With Your Kitty
The best games to play with your kitty are those which stimulate his or her hunting instincts. One amazing example of a game that stimulates hunting instincts is the playing of a tiny remote controlled toy mouse. When using this toy, make sure to mimic a mouse’s movements as best as you can.
Aside from playing with a toy mouse, your beloved feline can also play with a feather toy, a decent bird replica. If you have chosen this kind of toy, make sure to move the string or stick to mimic the way a wounded bird moves.
The third toy you can use for mock-hunting is a length of yarn or a thick ribbon. Wiggling it on the floor is more than enough to get the pet to play with it.
Want something you can use even from far away? Get a laser pointer! To many felines, the tiny dot is a small bug, and so they will never stop chasing it as long as it moves. While very easy to use, take care not to point the dot straight to his eyes or at heights that may be dangerous to him, to others, and important objects.
As demonstrated in a popular “kitty collection” game on Android, there are many other toys you can use for games with your pet. Boxes, balls, scratching posts, and cat trees are decent options you can also consider in addition to the above. There’s no need to make an elaborate home setup, but you can opt to have one made for you if you have enough space or have at least six cats living with you.