A spraying cat: possible warning that another cat is sick.

Recently we heard from a long time customer who told us that one of her cats will spray urine when another furry family member is sick.

Changes in cat behavior around others’ illness have been reported in the press. This link is to an article that talks about how cats can behave when another is sick or dying, and how they sometimes behave quite differently when another cat has cancer.

http://www.petsadviser.com/behaviors/can-cats-tell-when-another-cat-is-dying/

Scientific studies have shown that dogs can detect cancer in people at very early stages using their sense of smell. They can also predict seizures and sense low blood pressure, vitally important for their diabetic human companions. Here’s a link to more information.

http://pets.webmd.com/features/pets-amazing-abilities

It can be quite interesting when a cat sprays or pees out of the box – sometimes it’s our first warning that another animal in the house is sick or is getting sick. It can also happen when an animal comes home from the vet, or crosses the bridge. They can sense it or smell it, and they’ll worry “I might be next!” so they’ll spray or pee out of fear or nerves. These cats are particularly sensitive, almost like those cancer smelling dogs we read about!

Convivial House Cat Spray and Feliway can really help steady the nerves of such a sensitive cat!

Newton’s Purrspective – Sense of Smell and a Cat’s 6th Sense

Here’s guest writer and “one smart cat” Newton to give us the science behind a cat’s sense of smell.

Newton’s Purrspective – Sense of Smell and a Cat’s 6th Sense


Isaac Newton

Cats and humans share the same 5 senses (hearing, sight, touch, taste, and smell), but our abilities are far from equal. Despite my obvious bias, I have to say that you can’t argue with science. In a comparison of the two species, overall cats win paws down. Cats have a far greater range of hearing (45-64,000 Hz compared to humans 64-23,000 Hz). (1) Our eyes have six to eight times as many cells for viewing objects in low light as humans. (2) Our whiskers are so sensitive that we can detect the slightest change in air currents around objects (such as furniture). This is one of the reasons blind cats can get around so well. (3) True, we only have 473 taste buds compared to 9,000 in humans (4), and our reputation for being finicky is well deserved. But, we are obligate carnivores and our natural diet is primarily protein. We have no need to taste sugar! (5) If your apple pie mysteriously disappears from the table I suggest that you blame it on Fido.

Perhaps most amazing of all is our sense of smell. Any human who has suffered a cold knows how important smell is to being able to taste food. Cats have 200 million odor sensitive cells in our nostrils, 40 times more than humans. (6) We also have a special structure called the Jacobson’s Organ (vomeronasal organ). This structure is located behind our upper front teeth and connects to the nasal cavity. Inhaled information is transferred directly to special areas of the brain for concentrated processing and analysis. Has your cat ever sniffed you intensely and then made a face suggesting the smell was bad? Kitty is actively breathing in air to utilize the Jacobson’s Organ. The curled lip is called “Flehmen” (German for lip curl) (7) or sometimes “Flehmen’s smile”. This process allows more in depth analysis of scents and, among other things, is used to detect pheromones. We KNOW if a strange cat has been rubbing up against you! For this reason it is sometimes called an auxiliary or extra sense – a Sixth Sense.

Does this mean cats are psychic? I can’t say for sure, but some researchers suggest that a cat’s sense of smell is extra special. Atmospheric air flow through Jacobson’s Organ may reveal small changes in chemical composition. This could enable a cat to sense impending disasters such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and forest fires. Supporters of this view say Jacobson’s Organ is the structural origin of a Sixth Sense. (8)

In conclusion, understanding the sensitivity and importance of smell to cats can help humans to make our environments more pleasant. Remember, smell can attract or repel. I come running when a new box of Cat Faeries Legendary Catnip toys arrives. But please don’t be offended if I don’t enjoy your Chanel No. 5.

Smell influences:

  • the types of food we will eat (we need lots of protein)
  • what areas of the house we prefer (we don’t like most chemical cleaning agents, so I suggest an enzyme based cleaner such as Cat Faeries Anti-Icky Poo in cat box areas)
  • litter box acceptance/avoidance (we prefer unscented litter) (9)

Following these guidelines can foster a more peaceful coexistence for all.

NOTES:

(1) http://www.lsu.edu/deafness/HearingRange.html
(2) http://www.livescience.com/40460-images-cat-versus-human-vision.html
(3) http://animals.howstuffworks.com/pets/question592.htm
(4) http://lovemeow.com/2009/10/5-senses-cats-vs-humans/
(5) http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/strange-but-true-cats-cannot-taste-sweets/
(6) http://lovemeow.com/2009/10/5-senses-cats-vs-humans/
(7) http://cats.about.com/od/amyshojai/a/Flehmen-Aka-Flehmen-Response.htm
(8) http://www.zooclub.ru/eng/cats/sost/5.shtml
(9) http://www.pet-health-care-gazette.com/2010/02/03/cat-litter-box-problems-what-to-do-when-your-cat-decides-not-to-use-the-litter-box/

New Deadly Dog and Cat Flu Outbreak

You may have heard about the potentially deadly dog flu outbreak that is sweeping through Chicago and surrounding areas.

Now comes the news it has infected cats as well as dogs.

In a press release yesterday from the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory of the University of Wisconsin (“Tests show Midwestern canine flu outbreak stems from new strain“) it is reported the virus is a new one called H3N2. They say there is no evidence the virus has infected humans but that “H3N2 has caused infection and respiratory illness in felines” as well as dogs. And they report “the infection has been associated with some deaths.”

It’s widespread enough that the Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society had to cancel their annual 2015 Bark In The Park fundraiser (“Bark In The Park 2015 Canceled by Dog Flu Outbreak“). Dogster.com reports PetSmart has closed its three Chicago PetsHotel boarding facilities and warning signs have been posted in Chicago-area parks.

Before you panic we recommend that you read this article from Dogs Naturally (“The Dog Flu Epidemic: The Real Truth“). Be aware that their focus is on dogs, but in this case it applies to a dog as it will apply to a cat. We like this magazine because they offer very well researched articles with a wholistic view point. And, yes, what the say about vaccinations is eye opening – a must read for everyone who thinks that vaccines are harmless, and will protect us from anything and everything. Don’t miss the part about the “seeding” pharmaecutical companies do in advance of any product launch.

In the article Karen Becker, DVD recommends giving dogs garlic and essential oils to boost immunity. This could be a dangerous mistake for cats. Both garlic and essentials oils can be very toxic, even a drop of some essential oils can be lethal for a cat. We recommend Colloidal Defense for its virus killing ability and immunity boosting.

Flu symptoms in your cat or dog to watch out for:

  • Labored or rapid breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Lack of appetite
  • Cough
  • Nasal discharge

If your cat or dog exhibits any of these symptoms, isolate them, then please call your vet immediately!

Cat Safe & Cat Poisonous Spring Flowers

How many of you cat lovers were given lilies this past weekend? Who among us gave someone with cats lilies or are about to?
Go this article with a short one minute video about the dangers of lilies for cats then throw them into the compost bin!

Paws on Safety: 1 Min Pet Clinic – Lily Toxicity

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are both coming up and that means gifts of pretty spring time flowers – but many of them are poisonous to cats and shouldn’t be anywhere inside the home of a cat. Among them are tulips, daffodils, and crocus. Did you know that baby’s breath is toxic to cats? We think you’ll enjoy this short article.

http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owners/seasons/spring/

While we don’t endorse Teleflora (personally, we like to shop locally and put together our own flower arrangements) they do have a very good page on their website with safe Spring time flowers and pretty photos of bouquet ideas.

http://www.teleflora.com/nontoxic-pet-friendly-flowers-plants.asp


Pretty kittens with pretty cat-safe lilacs

At our house about the only flowers you’ll ever see are fair trade roses. You cannot go wrong with a nice bunch of roses! Or Lilacs! We adore lilacs during their all too short season. Other cat-safe flowers include: African violets, Alyssium, Calendula, Bachelor’s Buttons, Begonias, Columbine, Coneflowers, Gerber Daisies, Hollyhocks, Impatiens, Nasturtium, Orchids, Petunias, Snapdragons, Sunflowers, Violets, Zinnias.

If you are like me and love flowering herbs these make very sweet little rustic bouquets, darling in Mason jars: Basil, Bee Balm, Cilantro or Coriander, Chamomile, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Lovage, All of the Mints, Oregan, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Thyme.