The Different Meows Cats Make and their Meanings – Part 1

The reason why cats “meow,” or make meow-sounding noises is still pretty much unknown. Cats can make over 100 different types of vocalisations, all of which have different meanings behind them. Let’s find out more about these different “meows,” and find out what could each of them possibly mean.

Meowing

Although the basic meow can be used by cats for a number of reason, but more often than not, they use it to draw their owner’s (or other humans) attention. But it’s possible to try and understand what they’re trying to convey, by listening to their meow’s intensity, frequency, and observing their body language. As a general rule, the more intense the cat’s meow is the more urgent the message they’d want to convey.

Purring

Purring is heard as a rhythmic sound, emitted in a low volume with varying ranges of frequency. Now, you might think that only domesticated cats purr, but wild cats purr as well! It’s a shared trait by every single cat in the feline family. Cats purr to express how they feel, depending on their age and what they’re currently experiencing.

For example, mother cats use purring to soothe and calm their kittens down during child birth, and the first few days of their life. In adults, they’re most often used to express contentment, happiness, and safety. However, cats also purr due to sickness, fear, and the feeling of being threatened or vulnerable.

Chirping/Trilling

The chirp is a sound made by cats with their mouths closed that emits noise similar to that of a trill. This sound is most often used by cats to communicate with their kittens during breast feeding time or weaning. Adults also use this as a way to greet their owners, other family members, and pets (like other cats and dogs).

Snorting

While humans use snorting as a way to clear their noses, or when they can’t help but laugh uncontrollably loud, cats use it as a means for self-defense. This is what makes a hissing sound, as the cat keeps itself in a low position, with its ears pulled back. Cats typically begin to start making this type of meow once they reach the age of 3 weeks old and above.

Sexual Calls

Both male and female cats have specific vocalizations for when the mating season arrives. They often use intensely prolonged moans (or meows) that signal to other potential mates their intentions of mating hence, attracting their partners. Males use it to also ward off and warn other males of their presence, and to keep them out of their territory.

There are a bunch of other meows that we haven’t talked about yet, which we will do so on the second installment. Understanding your cat’s meow will help you understand them better, which in turns will aid you to become a more loving, caring, and understanding owner. Don’t forget to come back later to learn more meows, and get to know more about our feline friends all over the world!

Why Milk is Unsafe for Cats

Thanks to cartoons, movies, and iconic photos found everywhere, a lot of us grew up thinking that aside from boxes, mice, and yarn balls, cats love milk but did you know that cow’s milk is actually dangerous for our feline friends?

In reality, most cats are actually lactose intolerant which means that their bodies don’t have the necessary enzymes to digest the lactose found in milk. Since they are lactose intolerant, many experience painful side effects which include stomach cramps and diarrhea. In severe cases, undigested lactose found in milk stays in the intestines for a long time which ferments overtime and can eventually lead to stomach problems that develop later on in life.

Can Kittens Drink Milk?

Surprisingly enough, kittens can digest milk although they eventually lose the enzyme that digests cow’s milk around 8 weeks. While cow’s milk may be deemed “safer” for them at an early age, the best way to avoid future stomach issues is to avoid cow’s milk all together.

Are There Other Alternatives?

The best nutritional source for newborn kittens is their mother’s milk. However, if you happen to stumble on an abandoned kitten, it’s best to prepare the materials necessary for bottle feeding before taking them off the street. Visit your nearest pet store or veterinary clinic and look for milk replacement formulas. Many experts suggest getting the powdered version so owners can measure and prepare the kitten’s milk accurately. Milk replacement formulas also contain the right amount of nutrients for newborn kittens. For kittens who are less than a week old, bottle feedings should be done every three hours (a total of 8 feedings a day!) because of their vulnerable state. It is also important that newfound owners do not skip or overfeed their kittens since both instances can cause diarrhea.

For older cats who don’t necessarily need round-the-clock feedings and can now digest solid foods, the best alternative to milk is simply water! If you’re the type of owner who wants to make things more fun for your cat, you can purchase water fountains online or at specialty stores. Cat fountains are also a great way to entertain cats who are fascinated with sinks and moving water. For owners who want to give their furbabies extra treats, you can also shop for lactose-free milk which is safe for both cats and humans.

What about Bone Broth?

Another popular drink/meal for cats is bone broth so the next time you have roasted meat for dinner, remember to keep the bones and leftovers for your cats! Bone broth is made from animal bones and connective tissue, which are typically derived from cow, chicken, or fish. Bone broth involves boiling these ingredients and then slow simmered for 10 or more hours with herbs and vegetables. Bone broth shouldn’t be confused with regular broth and stock since both do not follow the long simmer time that bone broth does. They also do not contain the much needed nutrients that our cats deserve.

It’s Time to Make this Christmas a Season for Your Cat

Christmas season is not just about decking the halls with boughs of holly. It’s also about making things nice for everyone in the house, including our beloved cats. Your cats will likely be curious and intrigued with all the glittering designs, the busy preparations, and the scrumptious food you’re preparing.

Although Christmas is supposed to be a fun time, it can potentially be dangerous for our feline friends. One could say that they that Christmas might actually be against them, making them feel unwelcome. To help them feel right at home with the season, here are a couple of things you can adjust accordingly.

Making Your Christmas Tree Cat-Friendly

Cats love to climb high places. It’s in their nature and it’s wired in their brains. To make your Christmas tree cat-friendly, hang ornaments that don’t easily break on the lower half of the tree. To avoid accidents, put the tree in a room where you frequently stay in. Place some of your cat’s toys under the tree, along with some blankets and pillows, so they can have the luxury of sleeping beneath it, as you are chilling and relaxing in the room.

Create or Purchase Presents for Your Cat

It’s only once a year, so go on and buy your cat some presents. Get them a new chew toy (preferably one that’s noisy), buy them some fancy food, maybe a new bed and/or a new scratching post too. You can create presents as well, like a toilet paper roll cat toy, feather cat pounce toy, and a cardboard palace. Don’t forget to match the present to your cat’s personality as well, which only falls into the categories of either playful or lazy because we all know how cats truly are, right?

Spend some Quality Time Together

Christmas is a time where a lot of people get to eat a lot of food. This is also very true for your cat, which you’re probably gonna be spoiling with lots of food, treats, and cat sweets. Your furry bundle of joy is possibly gonna be receiving lots of new toys too, so what better way to put them to use? Well, you spend some quality time with your cats and play with them, until they get tired, or they decided they’ve had enough. After that, both of you can then snuggle with each other on the couch, while watching Christmas reruns on the television.

Another important thing to keep in mind is to avoid using some seasonal plants for decoration. Some of these plants can be dangerous for your cat, so it’s best to stay on the safe side and keep off them.

As we’ve said before, Christmas isn’t just season for decorating, eating, and having fun for us humans. It’s also a season for our cats to enjoy themselves, and it’s in our best interest to make that happen for them. Christmas should be the season for our cats too, and seeing that come true should be one of our priorities.

Keeping Cats Comfortable During Christmas Gatherings

Christmas season is getting closer and the same goes for family gatherings. For some cat owners, however, this can be a difficult time. Having scores of relatives coming over could mean a lot of noise, loss of space and pinchy nephews and nieces. That is a lot to process for a cat who is generally used to having fewer people around the house.

After all, cats are cautious and shy by nature. So if you want to make sure kitty is calm and comfortable during the big Christmas dinner, here are some solid tips.

1. Check how sociable your cat is.

Some cats are shyer than others and that can mean the difference between being able to bring them out a bit during the party or giving a whole room to themselves until there are fewer guests.

If your cat is already familiar with a lot of the faces at the gathering (such as your immediate family), then there’s less to worry about. For particularly large parties, however, it is more advisable to isolate your cat. (You can always designate another room for anyone who really wants to meet your feline friend.)

2. Make sure your cat has stress-free access to food and litter.

Naturally, you’d want to keep the litter box fresh and clean while also away from the dinner table and other areas where most of the guests will be gathering. If you decided to give your cat a secure space, then the box should be there too.

The same goes for food and some toys. No matter how social a cat can be, it can get anxious when there are too many people getting between it and its necessities.

3. Keep a strict, closed-doors policy.

If you don’t want your cat to accidentally run out of the house, then make sure that the party has all doors and windows secured. Even if your cat is an outdoor one, they still need supervision (which you can’t really afford to give during a large gathering).

A similar policy can be in place when giving a cat its own room for the rest of the party. Make sure guests understand that the cat’s room is off limits until they ask permission. Make regular checkups on your cat too and keep it calm.

4. Implement noise control.

Whether it is soundproofing the room your cat will be in or telling guests to keep a certain volume, minimizing noise can help an anxious cat.

Cats are very sensitive to not just the sight of new people but also unfamiliar noises. This triggers their own fight-or-flight response. But unmanaged, this can lead to unhealthy anxiety.

So, no matter how big the party, always look for ways to keep the noise from startling your kitty.

5. Consider improving their social skills.

Lastly, you might want to also consider training your cat to be more open to unfamiliar faces. Make a habit of carefully introducing your cat to people at home. In fact, this is highly advisable when cats are still kittens.

The more exposure they have to people in their lifetime, the less anxious they will be. Even if you have to ultimately still keep your cat isolated during parties, frequent exposure will reduce your need to do so in the future.

Christmas gatherings can be stressful enough on yourself but make sure kitty doesn’t end up taking additional stress on its own! Be mindful of its behaviour towards people and make sure its Christmas is as comfortable as your guests.

Six Steps to Countering Cat Allergies

Allergies are said to be the bane of all cat-owner relationships. It is notoriously genetic and once someone in your household says they have it, it is like all chances of a pet are instantly tossed out of the window.

 

Still, it is not as insurmountable as it sounds. Yes, allergies are genetic but they can also range from fairly mild to severe. If you are at least the former, there is still a way to overcome them and enjoy a lifetime companionship with a feline friend. Here are six, tried-and-true steps to tackling the infamous allergy problem.

Step 1. Consult your doctor

This goes without saying. If you want an honest assessment of your allergy, go see a certified allergist. Pet allergies are actually one of the most common ones out there and the experts know a number of ways they can be suppressed, medicated and even eliminated.

Ask the good doctor about how severe an allergy really is. Some people tend to exaggerate their symptoms simply because it gives them a convenient reason to not like cats. Better to get the real facts straight before making any final decision on house pet policy.

Step 2. Allergy shots or antihistamines

A common treatment that doctors prescribe would be medication such as antihistamines or allergy shots. You might also want to consider a change in your own diet, and start eating healthier foods that boost your immune system against allergens.

Regarding allergy shots though, these are not overnight solutions. Treatment can go for as long as 3-5 years before your body has fully built resistance. But if it is your cat’s sake, why not? The earlier you start, the better!

Step 3. Isolate bedroom

You might want to keep your bedroom free from any pets to minimize the presence of hair. The bedroom is where you sleep and sleep will most likely what your body needs if it is constantly battling an allergic reaction.

The thing about allergies is that it is not merely hair you are reacting to but certain proteins that come from anywhere in your cat’s body. That includes skin flakes and even the air in its litter box could be clouded with allergens. Until your body is completely immune, its best to have one space isolated from your cat’s presence.

Step 4. Maintain a high cleaning regimen

When cat allergens can be all the way up in the air, cleanliness can really be close to godliness. Make a habit to start sweeping around kitty’s litter box with a mask and use pet hair removal tools in your vacuum cleaner.

Make sure to also frequently wash your hand and start laundering any cloth items your cat uses, such as towels and even beds. The more sources of allergens you can clean up, the less you will have stifling your nose.

Step 5. Install a HEPA filter

Another way you can further reduce the cat dander in the air is a well-functioning HEPA filter. It might be able to catch the tiniest allergen protein but it certainly works well enough with a vigilant cleaning regimen and other anti-allergy measures.

Consider putting some place close to the area where your cat isn’t allowed. That way, in the event that allergies start to trigger, you can be doubly sure the air in the filter’s space is a lot safer to go through.

Step 6. Consider more regular bathing

Lastly, it also in your best interest to bathe your cat more often. Now, we know this can be a bit of a downer since cat’s are known for being low-maintenance. But if you want less shedding and therefore, less allergens flying around, weekly bathing also reduces them.

As a side note, you might also want to consider improving your cat’s diet and give it items that give it healthier skin and hair.

With all these measures, a pet allergy isn’t as impossible a difficulty as others make it out to be. There are ways to get around it and (are certainly worth the effort when you love cats so much).

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