Cats don’t Purr

 

pettingcat

I cannot make the sound, can you?
I know no one else
able to, from the throat emit this
low frequency, rebounded and repeated
gaining decibel but maintaining
feral, wild rolls like Spanish R’s—false
imitations of pure happiness with eyes
closed and mouth—I can’t roll a tongue
tight-lipped.

Can you be perfect
in joy; content just lying down
on a pair of jeans, a pair of sweats
blindly offering love in return
for a pat on the head?

When the “barrier”
of language exists, we recede
and keep our untrusting walls
distancing that hand, my vulnerability;
not like them. Sounding bells, beacons
of shining glee—

How do you
describe it? Pure pleasure, not
for anyone, not for everyone;
not continuous like a dog
tail-wagging here, there; no. Only
for one moment, guard down, claws in,
calm—that cannot be glazed over
but onomatopoeia; not a bang, or buzz,
or boom; No, not a purr.
Cats don’t purr.

Poem and Illustration: Shelly Leung

About my cats – Nelly chilling out…

Nellly loves to chill out in various places, one day we found this basket in the garage and put some shredded paper in it for Nelly to play with. She carefully treaded in it listening to the noise of the paper and seemed to enjoy it. Eventually she decided to just sit down and relax on it, doesn’t she look as if she enjoys chilling out in it?

Composition Of Cat Food

What Is A Cat Food Comprised Of

When one owns a pet at home they need to know what kind of food they can feed them. Many people are unaware of how they should take care of their pet and they simply give them cooked food at home, the same food that they themselves consume. While they might think that they are doing the best for their pet, that may not be the case. The reason being, a cat or a kitten which is kept as a pet in our home, is an absolute carnivore while we are omnivores. The kind of food we eat and the food that is ideal for them is different. Thus, one needs to be educated and informed about how to keep a cat and the food is one of the best ways of ensuring the good health of one’s cat. Usually cat food does comprise of all the nutrients like carbs, protein, vitamins and minerals. But the constitution of their food differs in many ways.

Protein For Cats

Protein is required by all us as they are building blocks in our body. They make up our cells, organs and tissues. They can be planted based or animal based and both can be included in the cat food.

  • Soy, cereals and vegetable are some of the common examples of plant based protein in the food for cats.
  • The animal based protein sources include fish, turkey, chicken and lamb. In addition, cats also have certain byproducts of animals and plants that humans do no consume. These are included in the cat food that is manufactured and sold in retail stores.
  • A cat needs two or three times more the amount of protein than human beings consume. Their bodies are adapted to metabolize protein and fats and they can gain energy from such food sources better than humans.
  • Protein from animals contain amino acids like methionine, cysteine, taurine and arginine that are essential for cats as their systems do not generate them in adequate amounts.

Carbohydrates

  • Cereals of different kinds
  • By products of plants

These are some of the common sources of carbs in the diet of cats as may be found in cat food. However, cats are able to gain more energy from protein than they can from carbs.

Fats, Vitamins And Minerals

  • Fats are metabolized in a better way by cats than humans. The animal and plant fats are included in the cat food often. You need to read the labels and refer to your vet in order to understand what kind of fats are ideal for your cat.
  • Vitamins like A, B, D, E, K and minerals like calcium, prosperous and oysters are needed by cats from their diet.

Once the dietary requirements of cats are known, one will surely understand what is best for their cats. If you are buying pet food, ensure that the right ingredients are included and also check out the labels for the guarantee and adherence to industry standards. 

Diabetes And How It Can Affect Your Cat

Classic Diabetes Symptoms

Cats in North America suffer lifestyle diseases that are similar to most of the home owners. Diabetes has not only affected many North Americans today but also their pet cats. The classic symptom of diabetes of a cat is detected by:

  • Increase of water intake. Cats that differ from diabetes will drink more water than normal cats. It is said that normal cats are not very sensitive to their need for water. But in diabetic cats the need for water is more acute and they tend to feel more thirsty than normal cats
  • Urine output of a diabetic cat increases. When the blood stream gets overloaded by glucose that is relieved by passing urine. That leads to water loss and the body feel more dehydrated
  • Another symptom of diabetes in cat is similar to that in humans and that is an increased appetite. The mechanism of hunger is triggered due to the different metabolic processes taking place. When there is loss of glucose from the body, the brain triggers the hunger syndrome. That leads to an increase in appetite of the cat.
  • Due to the deficiency of insulin, the building of proteins from amino acids is deterred. Thus, proteins and muscle breakdown in cats and that leads to weight loss.
  • Some cats can experience chronic vomiting as well as diarrhea symptoms

Taking The Cat To The Vet

When you are suspecting your cat or kitten to be ill or diabetic, you need to take them to the vet for a proper examination. For human beings blood sugar is easily detected from the blood test. However, in cats, their blood sugar levels rise drastically when they are stressed and that includes the time frame that a vet takes to draw blood from them. The testing of the urine for glucose levels is a more sensitive and difficult test. Often, due to other renal diseases, there could be a leak out of glucose in the urine.

Diagnosing Diabetes In Cats

There is a combination of tests done in order to determine diabetes in cats.

  • In addition to blood and urine tests, serum fructosamine is a test that is also performed.
  • In such a test, a glucose and amino acid compound in the blood is tested which stays in the blood for 2 to 3 weeks and can provide information regarding the level of blood sugar over time.
  • That allows vets to differentiate between the diabetes mellitus symptoms and the stress related blood sugar rises in the body.

Treatment Of Diabetes In Cats

Treatment for diabetes in cats is unique for every breed.

  • The first consideration is the diet where the goal of the diet has to be to maintain the ideal body weight of the cat and to keep the blood glucose levels at normal.
  • If a cat is obese it should be fed about sixty to seventy percent of the caloric requirement in order to reduce body weight
  • An emaciated cat has to be put on a high calorie diet

Get Your Cat Off The Dinner Table

Your Pet Wants To Taste Your Food?

Most of the cat owners have a hard time resisting their pets from offering them special treats from their dinner table. However those who are experienced in keeping cats know that human food can be unsafe for their pet as that is different from the kind of nutritional needs that felines have.

Digestive System Of Cats

Even if a cat seems to love a cooked food item in your home it can wreck havoc with their digestive system and weaken their system as well. Many people think that there are a lot of things that one cannot feed their cat. However if you refer to special doctors or vets, they will be able to tell you that the list is not as long as one may think. If you keep these names in mind you will ensure that your cat gets the occasional treat without spoiling their system.

What You Should Not Feed The Cat

Here is a list of items that you should not feed your cat at all, not even in small doses:

  • Onion And Garlic

These two ingredients form the basis of most of our cooked meals at home. When you have incorporated considerable amount of such ingredients in a dish, it is best to keep it away from your pet. They might be inquisitive about any new dishes that you sit down to try at your dinner table. But you need to be firm and offer them something else that would suit their constitution better.

  • Grapes Or Raisins

We often think that uncooked or raw food items are safer for animals and we do not see any reason why they should not be offered some. However, felines have certain allergies which one should know better to keep their pets in good condition. Among fruits, grapes or raisins should not be fed to them as that can create havoc with their digestive system.

  • Sugary Treats

Your children may be tempted to share their chocolates or other sugary treats to their pets. While the cat may eagerly lap it up, it is best to keep them away from such food items. One needs to teach their children how to take care of the pets in the home and that includes teaching them what to feed them and what not.

  • Alcohol, Caffeinated Drinks And Milk

While feeding alcohol to a cat can be a rare occurrence and an accident in most cases, do not offer them caffeinated or aerated drinks as well. Also, cats are lactose intolerant. We are often misled into thinking that cats love milk but that is not the case.

Finding Help And Advice

It is best to refer to a vet in order to get a list of the items that you cat may or may not have. There are websites that show which foods can be fed to cats in smaller doses. These articles are particularly helpful for owners to understand how to treat their pet at home. 

How To Ensure That Your Pet Cat Has Fun

Just like your children, when you keep a cat you need to remember that, cats simply wish to have fun. Your cat may be bored for which they might be exhibiting a variety of behavioral problems. These include aggressive behavior towards home owners, depression, compulsive grooming and other behavioral traits. Felines tend to be couch potatoes. Many cats tend to lead sedentary lifestyles due to which they tend to be chubby and overweight. You need to give them a daily dose of aerobic exercise and play time in order to keep them active, healthy and happy.

Importance Of Play Sessions

Play sessions are important for kittens as well as cats. While kittens are more naturally playful compared to adult cats, you need to ensure that a matured cat has ten to fifteen minutes of play time every day. Interactive play times are beneficial for cats in the following way:

  • It ensures their daily dose of aerobic exercises
  • It will help improve the attitude of the cat toward life
  • It will help to keep it fit and trim
  • Interactive play with the owner helps both to bond with each other
  • Reduces the naturally aggressive traits found in cats

Toys For The Cat

If you are wondering where to get the right kind of play toys for your cat, you can find a variety of fishing pole toys in the market. You can even order them online. One needs to establish a routine time for play. Cats love routine so ensures that the exercise sessions are held regularly and at the same time every day. You do not need to physically exert yourself in order to engage in play time with your pet. You can sit on the couch and dangle the toys in front of them or make them spring forth suddenly so that the cat tries to catch it. You need to allow your pet a number of victory turns as well. You can even hide the toys somewhere in the room and the cat will continue to look for it even after play time is over. Play time is great for bonding with your pet.

Fun Activities

If you wish to make your cat’s life more fun, you can do the following:

  • Get a companion for the cat of the same sex and of the same personality
  • Schedule an interactive play session with your cat with a fishing pole toy every day
  • You can allow your cat a view of a bird feeder from the window
  • Have an aquarium or a goldfish bowl for the cat to watch
  • Provide some new thing to explore for the cat from time to time like cardboard boxes, grocery bags, flashing a beam of light on a wall of a room that is dimly lit

Allowing Outdoor Time

If you have a small patio area or a garden, allow your cat some outdoor time to explore. They will love to play among the hedge, chase birds, mouse and engage in other playful activities.

 

Handling Aggressive Behavior Of Cats

There is a saying that even if you take the cat out of the jungle you cannot take the jungle out of the cat. There is a little tiger that resides inside every house cat. It has the behavioral traits of a solitary predator and from time to time it needs to exercise its hunting skills from time to time. The feline creature is designed to hunt and that is what it does best no matter how much we confine it to the four walls of a domestic home and feed it the best of feline foods.

Aggressive Behavior Of Cats

When you get a cat or a litter in your home, they might exhibit playful and aggressive behavior. They might look dangerous even. They might even catch hold of feet and ankles of people who go by and that can upset their victims and even hurt them. When you play with your cat or kitten with your hands and feet you train them to be a feline terrorist. When the pet becomes stronger and bigger, the pounce and the bites may puncture the skin. What is the solution to such dangerous tendencies in the behavior of cats? You need to direct such tendencies towards toys instead of body parts of humans.

Solution To Control Aggressive Behavior

Another solution would be to get a playmate or another kitten or cat of the same sex and age. That would help to achieve the following objectives:

  • They will act as a playmate for the pet
  • There will be two mouths to feed but the pet’s attention from the owners will be diverted
  • The wear and tear on the home and the owners is reduced as the two cats engage in playing or practicing their predatory behavior on each other
  • If you cannot provide another playmate for your kitten or cat you need to engage in play therapy for the cat

What Is Interactive Play?

Interactive play sessions are usually conducted by letting the cat engage in playing with a toy that moves. The play sessions can be conducted in the following manner:

  • Two or three interactive play sessions need to be done with the cat or the kitten
  • Cats love routine so a routine needs to be set for the playtime which should not be deviated from
  • Every play session can be of ten or twenty minutes of duration
  • Toys tied to a fishing pole are great in keeping the cat engaged while the owner can simply sit in one place and wave their arms
  • The play sessions should be stopped when the cat becomes exhausted and stops batting at the toy

Play Things For The Cat

If you are not able to play with the cat all the time, you can leave around stimulating and safe toys around the house for them to discover and play with. That will keep them active and engaged. However, with age the interests change and accordingly, the kind of toys that will interest them need to change as well.

 

Helping Your Cat To Age Well

Changes In Senior Cats

Cats are known to live for fifteen to twenty years and even more. There are breeds like the Siamese cats which are known to live even longer, for twenty to twenty four years. That means, when you have adopted such a cat, it is for more than two decades or so of your life. When the decision to adopt a cat is a well researched one, you are sure to reap the rewards of adopting a feline companion. If you can understand the behavioral traits of every breed of cat and steer them accordingly to the desired behavior you want them to exhibit in your home, you and your cat are sure to have a great time together. When your cat grows old, there are certain body changes that you need to look out for.

Obesity In Cats

While fat cats may look adorable and chubby, you know that it is not good for the health of your aging cat. You need to take steps to ensure active aerobic exercises for some part of the day and make changes in its diet so that the obesity problem is taken care of. Why does obesity occur in cats?

  • This may be due to a change in the metabolic rate. Cats, as they age, their metabolism rate slows down. Thus, if you have given it the same amount of fats and carbs in its diet, it might be a good idea to change the diet to a low fat one.
  • Obesity may occur due to reduced activity levels in the cat. By nature, as they age, cats tend to exhibit lesser energy and they are less active. You can engage in play time with them or take them for a walk in the garden to keep their energy levels up and the metabolic rate up as well.

Loss Of Muscle Mass

The other effect of the senior years in the life of a cat is that of loss of muscle mass. Protein is the building block of all muscle tissues. It is important that the muscle tissues are maintained as well as their strength and tone. As the cats age, the following symptoms show:

  • Bulging belly
  • Drooping arm and leg muscles
  • Loss of muscle tone and vigor

Senior cats thus need to be put on a high protein diet in order to retain their muscle mass. You need to provide your cat a high protein diet and increase the amount of protein in the diet as compared to the fat or the level of carbohydrates included in the diet. That is optimal for muscle maintenance. Also, engaging the cat in playtime will keep them physically active.

Loss Of Coat Shine

The coat health of the cat reduces with age and the shines lose the luster. You need to supplement such a loss by enriching their food with omega -3 fatty acids and omega 6 nutrients as found in fish. That will ensure healthy luster of the coat and a natural healing process.

 

How Cats Show Affection

When you adopt a cat, whether or not it will show affection will depend on their personality. It also depends on the breeding as well as on the upbringing. Many cats remain aloof and they will not shower affection on their owners easily. If a cat chooses to show affection, they show it through certain body languages or signs. You need to be able to read their expressions of love and for that, you need to understand feline body language. These languages are interesting to read and come through in their interaction with humans as well as with other cats.

Blinking Gestures

One way of showing affection is through blinking:

  • When a cat encounters strangers, they greet them with a stare that is unblinking.
  • If they blink their eyes slowly it is known as kitty kisses. These are signs of affection and contentedness
  • The owner can respond by blinking back at the cat in slow motion and see how long the game can continue

Grooming Habits

Grooming for cats is not only about hygiene. It is a stress reliever and a way of bonding when it comes to cats. If they groom you by certain body gestures, it shows that it accepts you as a part of its feline family. It is also a way of showing their ownership of you.

Rubbing Or Following One Around

When a cat rubs their face on you:

  • It is a sign that they are marking you as their property
  • The glands on their face have pheromones that act to segregate their property from others
  • It also signals something or someone who makes them feel comfortable and with whom they are familiar with
  • The pheromone signature of every cat is unique
  • A head rubbing or a butting gesture shows that he or she is signaling that the owner is theirs

Many cats will follow their owners around and they will go wherever they go and hang out wherever you are. It is a sign that says:

  • He or she is interested in you
  • Wants to be in the place you are
  • Many cats who do not display other signs of affection may simply hang out with their owner as a sign of affection.

 

Bringing In Gifts Or Running To The Door

Many cats show their affection by bringing in gifts for their owners. Thus, if they bring in a dead cat or a bird’s tail, you should not get upset or angry with them. It is their way of trying to please you as children do with their parents. You can show them lovingly that they do not need to get gifts for you to love them.

Many cats show excitement when their owner returns home. While it may not be evident to you, many cats run to the door when they hear the car entering the garage or the jingling of keys at the door.