As cat lovers, nothing beats getting home after a long day of work with your kitty welcoming you back to your house with purrs and with tails held high. But that’s not the only thing a cat’s tail does. We see and enjoy the company of our kitties every single day, but have we asked ourselves if we really know every single corner, joint, or part of our kitty’s body? Let’s start getting to know our kitties more! And one part that most people are not that much aware of is the purrty tail of kitties. Keep reading and you’ll find that a cat’s tail is more than just an elegant, furry swerving part of a kitty.
First, let’s get a bit scientific. Before we get to know what it’s for, we have to know what it’s made of and how it is able to move. An average cat’s tail measures 11 inches long for males and 9.9 inches long for females. It has 19 to 23 bones called vertebrae. That’s about 10 percent of the total number of bones in a kitty’s body, wrapped by a group of muscles, tendons, and ligaments which explains that elusive and magnificent movement that cats do with their tails.
Now, let’s start with the different uses and facts of this magnificent tail. Here are five of the primary use and facts of a cat’s tail.
Sure we’ve heard that a cat’s tail is used primarily for balance. But how is it able to balance kitties? The answer, Counterweight! It provides a bit more weight at the back parts of your kitty making walking along narrow areas such as fences or the backrest of your chair very easy for them. Because of this counterweight, felines are also able to dash or run fast and quickly make a sharp turn when chasing down a favorite toy or perhaps, dinner.
Most of the communication that is being used by kitties depends on a lot of body language. The tail plays a major role in that, especially when communicating with a human. If you know “tail talk”, then you know how your kitty feels right away. If not, here are a few things that may get you started.
A happy kitty walks with the tail held high, for some cases, when your kitty is really happy, apart from the tail being held high, a quiver will also be formed at the tip of the tail.
When stalking prey or toy, the tail is being held low, not only to conceal the kitty’s presence but also to maintain balance while slowly making silent footsteps towards the prey…or toy. There are also instances that the tail may be twitching a little bit at the tip as a form of controlling kitty’s excitement.
An annoyed kitty will have the tip of the tail twitching. If the tail is moving back and forth like a whip, step away from that very instant, because what comes next is a sharp claw that’s ready to scratch.
The spinal cord of a kitty, which controls all movement and function of the body, does not extend all the way to the tip of the tail. But at the very tip of that spinal cord which is also where the tail starts, is what primarily controls the lower functions of the cat, namely, the tail, hind legs, bladder anus, and large intestine. Pulling a cat’s tail may cause partial paralysis, incontinence, or chronic pain. The same happens if extensive damage is done to the tail as this may cause serious nerve damage.
Cats can live without tails. They are very adaptable creatures and even if the tail is being surgically removed due to health reasons, they can easily compensate for the difference and change.
Proof that cats don’t always need their tails is that there are certain breeds that are born without tails. The Manx, for example, is famous for the unique tailless look.
With tail or no tail, what matters most is how we look after our kitties and how we get to know them. Your feline companion is a companion for life. Get to know them little by little and taking care of them will follow smoothly.
Meow for now… Kristian
I’m sure that a lot of us find kitty paws really cute. Within that cute, furry paw, lies a sharp and tricky tool that our feline friends have. That’s right, that’s the cat’s claw. Being cat lovers, we all know about this, some of us hate it, while some of us are good with it. But one thing is for sure, just like every part of a kitty’s body, the claw plays important roles as well.
The Logan of the Animal Kingdom
Logan, as in, Wolverine in the famous comic book series, cartoon series, and movie series from Marvel. If you’re familiar with this guy, then you know of his mutant abilities especially his retractable adamantium claws. So what does this have to do with a cat’s claw? Just like Wolverine, cats can also conceal their claws. Although Wolverine’s may be retractable, for cats, it would be more appropriate to say that their claws are “protractable”. This is because the natural state of our feline cutie’s claws is hidden. It is attached to the final toe bone of their legs and is attached to an elastic ligament. When in a tight situation, be it frightened or excited, the muscles of kitty will pull the tendons back exposing the claws. So it’s not the claw itself that is moving just like Wolverine’s, rather, the muscles around it.
The Hidden Blade
That’s right! It acts like a hidden blade for cats. But just like any other blade, it needs to be sharpened from time to time. That is one of the main reasons why your kitty loves scratching. This is their form of sharpening their claws. Giving your beloved kitty a scratching post or a place to scratch will definitely be useful both for your kitty and also to save your furniture at home.
Aside from scratching and tearing things apart, there are many uses for the claw in kitty’s day to day life. Here are the primary uses for them;
Cats are natural born hunters. Even if you play with your kitty, you will be able to notice these hunter tendencies. Point a laser on the ground and your kitty will surely pounce on it quickly as if a prey was just caught. Their claws are effective in hunting. They can keep it hidden while stalking on their prey to stay quiet and in a blink of an eye, a claw strikes down the prey. Imagine if the claws weren’t “protractable”, the claws would make contact on the floor or any surface where kitty would be standing, making noise, and alerting the prey.
Being natural hunters, not all hunts take place on the ground. They can also hunt from tall trees and they lay in wait on tree branches. This makes our feline companions “pawesome” climbers. Their claws are great at digging into tree barks making it easy for kitties to climb on trees or furniture. If their claws weren’t “protractable”, it would then make it hard for cats to pounce on a prey from a tree as their claws would keep them attached to the tree’s bark thus making them unable to make the pounce swiftly.
Just like any creature in the animal kingdom, cat’s have a defense mechanism too. Even if they are natural born hunters and being good at it, they are not the only predators and hunters. When your kitty is scared or being chased down by a threat, their claws are their first line of defense.
Now that we know the primary uses of a cat’s claws, what comes to mind next is the thought of declawing. It is not advisable to have a cat declawed. Not only is this very painful for your kitty, but it can also prove to be life-threatening for your feline companion as well. Every part of your kitty’s body has a purpose, so why even think about taking out one of them?
Meow for now… Kristian
Alarm Clock Kitties
Cats are wonderful alarm clocks. Having your loving cat greet you straight from dreamland can be a pleasant and enjoyable way to wake up. Your persistent feline will ensure you get out of bed on time or even earlier than wanted. Of course, they are probably waking you up to ask for food or they left a present in the litter box that needs to be removed. Unrelenting as cats may be, it still might be wise to set the mechanical alarm clock, just in case. But have you ever wondered how they know when to wake you up consistently around the same time everyday? Here’s a few possible reasons.
Every cat owner knows this. But why are they so ready to roust you out of bed instead of being able to wait till you get up on your own? Cats, in their wild form, are primarily nocturnal but over time of domestication have become scheduled around food. Now day’s they are actually more prone to be active during the twilight hours. They could have had a busy night chasing dust bunnies and hiding hair ties ready for their morning feast before a day of cat naps.
It’s the routine
Cats are also creatures of habit. That means they fall in line with the routine you provide to them. If you are gone all day at work, they use this time to lounge and sleep, meaning wakeful time is at night. They know when it is time to eat and when it is time to play. If your lucky, your cat has even picked up that you sleep in on your days off and may wait an hour or so later before sitting on your head or providing a complimentary massage to your face.
Your cat could simply be bored with you sleeping and ready for you to wake up already. Your cat is aware of how you’re sleeping, as creepy as that might sound. They know if you are deep asleep or starting to stir on your own. With a few well placed bops they know you will be awake and willing to give them attention.
If your cat has suddenly started waking you up in the middle of the night with off behavior, they might be alerting you that something is wrong and they’re asking for you to fix it. Older cats may start developing arthritis or other problems. They could have a toothache or an onset of another sickness. If the behavior is noticeably different, it might be a good time to call the vet just to make sure.
Whether you cat is your reliable wake up call with gentle purrs on your chest or an unrelenting stare accompanied by heavy breathing, they are there to make sure you start their day off by providing them food or love. Of course if your wake up calls are unwanted, isolating yourself from the cat might be needed until the routine is changed and they know that suffocation is unwanted.
Is your kitty fond of toilet paper or tissues? Do they unroll toilet papers or pull out an entire box of tissue? Although it may be rather fun and cute to see them wrapped in tissue but it may lead to many undesirable things. But what is the explanation behind this behavior?
Our dear feline companions are highly active and demand a lot of activities each day to drain out their pawsome energy, if they don’t have anything to do, they will try to find random things to do within your house for entertainment.
But not all things they find entertaining may have the same effect for us. Our kitties find it entertaining to play with a roll of toilet paper or a box of tissue because it gives them excitement from unrolling or unboxing a load of tissue and shredding it to a million pieces. And perhaps, once every piece of tissue has been pulled out from the box, they will fit themselves inside. Their curiosity and playfulness may lead us, feline lovers, to replace certain items in the house to make it a better place for them to live in. Fear not, there are simple ways that may help to keep your kitty from terrorizing your roll or box.
For tissue boxes, there is only one primary point of entry for cats and exit for tissue. Blocking this by putting something on top, or perhaps, turning the box upside down will prevent the curious kitty from reaching in and pulling all the tissue out.
The best way to safe guard your toilet roll is to use an elastic band or hair band and wrap it around the toilet roll. That way, it cannot easily be pulled and unrolled by your kitty plus it’s cheap and simple.
Although not everyone may be a fan of this, but using aversive sprays on the tip of a toilet paper roll, or perhaps putting a piece of tissue with aversive spray on top of a box of tissue will discourage your feline companion from even approaching your tissue paper.
It’s a Trap!
Since ancient times, it has been a custom to set up traps to keep felines away from food or property. We can apply that knowledge to this scenario, but in a safe and friendly manner. You can balance a cup of water on top of a box of tissue, that way, when the kitty tried to reach in, it will tumble the water down, not only making a sound that can scare the kitty away, but the water will ultimately discourage your kitty from doing it.
Fun and Games
We all know that cats need playtime and attention from us. The number one cause for this phenomenon to take place is BOREDOM. Just like us, cats get bored as well. Given the right amount of play time which can attract their interest and energy will make your kitty easily forget about playing with the toilet paper.
So there you have it, you can take some of these suggestions in case your kitty is fond of terrorizing your toilet paper. But among all suggestions, nothing beats the attention and fun that you spend with your feline friend. Both of you can get bored, why not get rid of boredom together?
Meow for now… Kristian
Our feline companions are mysterious, fascinating, and curious. One of the curious things that our kitties do is kneading. That thing they do with their paws that they tend to push in and out against a soft surface. Others even call it, “making biscuits” as the cat looks like it is kneading dough. But most feline lovers are not aware as to what this really means or why cats even do this. Let us find that out today.
Generally, it would seem that kneading is a relaxing thing for cats. Many will purr contentedly, zone out, and even drool while doing it. Unfortunately, there is no certain reason why this activity takes place, but there are many “pawsible” reasons that may just explain why.
A soft place to sleep. Long ago, feline ancestors didn’t have kitty beds or cushions. They would sleep in grassy areas, but before they go to sleep, they would knead on the grass to make a soft place for them to sleep. It is very possible that this is hard wired to our kitty genes that even until today, they would still knead mostly before sleeping.
Contentment or stress reliever. A “kneady” kitty is a happy kitty. Cats tend to knead more when they are happy or when they have previously been put under stress. Which lead experts to believe that this may be a way for cats to show contentment or to relieve stress.
Kneading their mommy kitty. One theory that may be a possible cause for this phenomenon is that kitties were separated from the mommy kitty too soon. Kittens would knead on their mothers as they suckled. Because they were separated from the mother too early, they tend to bring the kitten habits with them while they grow up.
A territorial display. When a cat kneads on a surface, their scent gets left behind, this is because they have sweat glands on their paws. This would explain why it is possible that our feline friends do this to mark their territories.
Lap Saving Tips
Although kneading is very relaxing for cats, it may not have the same effect towards our things and especially, us. When cats knead, most of the times, their claws are out, which would scratch the surface or the lap they are kneading on. Here are a few tips that you can use to let your cat continue to “make biscuits” without suffering from being the dough.
- Trim your cat’s claws Don’t cut below the quick as this will hurt our dear kitty.
- Teach your cat where to knead. The moment it starts kneading, gently move it by properly carrying it by both of your arms, with one arm supporting the entire weight of the kitty from below, and place it on the scratching post or wherever you want the kneading process to take place.
- A simple toy or by petting your kitty should distract the kneading process.
- A thick cloth or blanket should cover your legs when the kneading begins.
- Never punish your kitty for kneading, it’s in their system and cats don’t react well to negativity. Cats have strong feelings too, you know.
- Declawing is never the answer to this. This process is very painful and dangerous to kitties.
When all is said and done, we actually are not able to fully understand kneading and why exactly they do it. But why worry about it? Isn’t it bliss to see your beloved kitty doing something that relaxes them? Plus, it’s cute to see them knead an imaginary dough.
Meow for now… Kristian
I know many of us get worried that our kitties tend to climb unto shelves or other tall furniture. We worry that they may fall, am I right? But then, when they do, they always land on their feet. Why though? My fellow cat lovers, I give to you the answer today.
Why They Go High
First, we have to know why our feline friends tend to climb high a lot. They seem to enjoy it. One of the influences of this is that cats feel more comfortable when they are in a high place as they can see most of their surroundings. Be it looking for food or running away from something. This can also be traced back through history. Early cats were hunters and would climb unto tall trees to escape for safety or wait for a prey. Climbing for cats is a hard wired survival instinct. Before a cat climbs, they usually would stare at the place that they are about to climb as if they are calculating angles on which they can climb on. This is also a sign that they are making sure that the place they are about to climb is secure and fit for whatever their goal is.
Why Don’t They Fall?
They say cats can’t fall. Wrong. They still do. But they fall in style. It seems very easy for cats to drop from a very tall shelf or perhaps even from the roof. But it actually takes a rather complicated feline effort to be able to fall in style. Cats have a very good sense of balance and flexible backbones which play the major role in this feline act. They use a balancing system in their inner ear called vestibular apparatus to know what is up from down. They then rotate their upper body to face the correct way and the lower body follows along.
Their small bodies, light bone structure, and thick fur also help a lot. These would decrease the speed of the kitty’s fall which makes the impact smooth. Other cats would also flatten their bodies when falling from a high place. This makes their bodies act like a parachute which would lessen the force of the fall caused by gravity and wind.
Did you know that kittens can also fall without problems? Most of them are able to master the skill of falling in style when they are 7 weeks old.
So our cute kitties are really good at this. No need to worry. But we should be more alarmed if they fall from a shorter distance. A short height may not give our precious feline companions enough time to rotate their bodies to enable them to land on their feet. So be careful about open windows. Birds and other animals can easily distract our kitties leading them to fall from our windows which may injure them if the fall is too short. But then again, who can stop us from worrying if our cute kitties are falling right? But don’t you worry, our feline friends are more than capable of handling this. If we are not there to catch them, they will just fall in style.
Meow for now… Kristian