The Pupicat’s Easter weekend summarized in the following photo:
Back in Manila where we used to live in the 5th floor, I always worry about my cats getting carried away by their bird watching and fall over the balcony. One time I woke up with a “present” that I wasn’t really very happy about. First, I don’t like dead animals and insects. Second, since Sylvia caught this bird, the only way she did is by jumping around and getting off to the extension of our balcony that is really dangerous. And though we already cat-proofed the balcony, I ended up making more reinforcement to keep them in and safe – which in return, turned our balcony to look like a prison.
Now in Berlin, we have a small balcony but we do not let them out because they might jump to the neighbor’s property. So for their bird watching pleasure here’s what we came up with:
Cats, specially elder ones may seem to like to be left alone in their own little world, doing their own thing such as eating when they want, sleeping as much as they want, napping on odd places, or just staring blankly by the window. But it is also quite important, specially for indoor cats, to have physical activities as their exercise.
As much as I love chunky cats (they are so adorable and cuddly!), I am on the other hand tend to get paranoid on the side effects of overweight in cats. Just like in humans, it isn’t healthy. There are a number of factors that affects cat weight which is almost always their diet – what kind of dry/wet food we give them, how much grain does it contain and what not. And although we can always control how much food we give them, it would be nice if you can also push them to do some workout. OK, cats are their own masters so there’s no pushing that’s going to happen, that’s for sure. But what I mean is, we, as their humans, can stimulate activities for them.
To exercise my cats, I have 2 favorite tools : Cat ribbon and a laser pen. The cat ribbon is just an improvised thing. It’s just a long ribbon I tie at the end of stick and just wave it around like a gymnast – and when I have enough energy, I run around the house with it so they can chase me. And if i don’t have the energy to run around with them, I use a laser pen. It’s quite tricky because not all cats get attracted to it, but it’s worth a try. 3 of my cats love it, but 3 of them don’t care much. So still, my best tool is the ribbon.
A hanging cat toy with elastic is also a nice exercise tool. It pounces around so they tend to chase it and jump with it. The best part is, you can just leave it hanging on the door – saves you energy.
I’m not saying you exercise your cat everyday – we have tons of work lined up before us. But it is important to get them do some activities. So when you get a free time to spare, try playing with your cat even just for half an hour. I assure it’s not just them who will enjoy, but you too!
It is the first winter of the Pupicats in Berlin. And although they are all indoor cats, I often ponder about outdoor cats and how they deal with the cold. My mother in law told me a story about their neighbor’s cat, who they often see outside, all night, in the cold. They felt so sorry for the cat that they built him a shelter in their backyard, in case the cat gets cold and can’t go in his own house. Aside from the obvious that this neighbor is an irresponsible pet owner, we don’t know the entire story why they often keep the cat locked out in the cold all night long. Although, I’ve heard that they think the cat, being an independent creature, can withstand cold because of its fur. That is not entirely true.
Cats may seem to be able to tolerate the cold weather in our eyes, because they don’t shiver like us, and they don’t normally demand for a sweater or a coat if they want to roam outside. But as any other domesticated animal, they have lost their wild instinct. They have lost that extra layer of fur or fats that they would have possibly developed if they were born and raised in the wild. And even so, they still can freeze and starve to death in the wild on cold/winter times if they don’t find a shelter. Their needs are basically the same as ours – get warm and dry. They may seem to get by cold weather outside better than us, but that doesn’t mean they are comfortable. If you let your cat out, make sure that he/she have an access back to the house in case you can’t wait for him/her anymore.
Bottom line, with or without snow, freezing or not, do not leave your cats outside the house. Just like you and me, they feel cold and lonely. They need warmth and a comfortable place to chill.
As for Sylvia, being a summer loving cat used to the tropical weather, here’s how she’s coping: