Cats and Sleep (It’s Primal)

Cats and Sleep (It’s Primal) at CatFaeries.com

Adult cats tend to sleep 15 to 17 hours and in intervals during a 24 hour period. Some cats, particularly elderly cats and kittens, can sleep 20 hours a day. All cat lovers joke about this, and wonder – why do they sleep so much? Is it that our modern housecats are overly pampered, perhaps even lazy?

Not at all! They are sleeping to conserve their energy. All cats, including the big cats, are predators and they are hardwired to leap into action, to chase their prey (or toys) and hunt for suitable food which is what they do mainly at night (which is why they see so well in darkness). Cats are the most active at twilight: dusk and dawn, which is when prey animals such as rodents, birds, and bugs are the most active. Therefore a lot of sleep is required even if the ability to spring into action from sleeping isn’t necessary for survival.

Cats spend so many hours sleeping to store energy reserves and allow their bodies to detox and stay strong for the hunt, even if it’s to stalk a catnip toy. Unlike most humans cats have the ability to spring into action from a light or deep sleep. Hunting takes a massive amount of energy and the best way to nurture energy is through sleep or rest. A dozing cat is conserving energy for future activities.

We’ve heard cats referred to as being nocturnal, but that’s incorrect, they are crepuscular. These are animals that are active during the twilight hours of dusk and dawn when they seek out food and water. Our modern housecats do best with being fed two meals a day, one in the morning and the other in the evening.

Cats aren’t the only crepuscular animals: dogs, nighthawks, moose, rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, guinea pigs, bears, ocelots, deer, moose, squirrels, mice, rats, chinchillas, skunks, wombats, wallabies, possums, spotted hyenas, bobcats, and mosquitoes.

A few interesting and important Notes:

1) Cats being very individual creatures often develop their own sleep patterns, this is normal. Sometimes they mimic our sleep patterns. If you notice a change in your cat’s sleep pattern this could be a sign of illness, especially for older cats. Call your veterinarian.

2) A cat responds to sunlight for waking up. If your cat sleeps with you and your drapes or curtains allow sunlight in the early morning this could explain why your cat wakes you up before you are ready. We recently found a company which makes very interesting inserts for windows which can black out light and sound: http://www.indowwindows.com/

3) Yes, they do dream! And they do have an REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM phases just like we do. Don’t you love it when you cat appears to be dreaming of running through a field and moving their mouth like they are chewing, or chomping on a plump bird?

Are behavior modification drugs right for your cat? Do they really work?

Here’s an article by guest cat-tributor Issac Newton:


I’ve been asked how I feel about behavior modification drugs prescribed for cats. First, I must admit that I do partake in a little ‘nip on occasion. But that’s just for fun and the effect is short term. Shouldn’t we think very carefully before using drugs that could not only affect personality, but also have adverse side effects?

The ASPCA has published a good overview of behavioral medications used in cats. http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/cat-behavior/behavioral-medications-cats


Typical behavior problems include timidity/aggression, litter box avoidance, urine marking and compulsive behavior (e.g. excessive grooming leading to hair loss).

Before asking for a “magic pill” cat parents should carefully assess the home situation. The following includes some of the questions to answer:

  1. How many cats live in the household?
  2. How many of these cats are exhibiting behavioral problems?
  3. Are litter boxes and private spaces sufficient and strategically placed? Sometimes cats just need a place of their own to chill out.
  4. Have there been significant changes in the environment? (e.g. new pets, children, furniture etc.)

Armed with this assessment the cat parent is better equipped to take Kitty to the vet for a complete physical. Cats generally hide their illnesses well, but if the environment hasn’t been altered a behavioral change may very well be due to some physical cause.

If no physical problems are detected the first course of action should be to try a natural solution such as Feliway, calming music, or flower essences. Your veterinarian might also prescribe a food containing amino acids that reduce anxiety. (Please give any of these methods at least a month before making conclusions regarding their effectiveness.) However, if the problem(s) persist the next step would be a consultation with an expert in animal behavior. The veterinary specialist should visit your home to see Kitty’s behavior in her own environment.

(Cat Faeries’ note – Feliway, calming music, and flower essences are available at CatFaeries.com)

After exhausting all of the options above the veterinary behaviorist may want to try a prescription drug. There are four classes of medications that may be used depending on the problem behavior. As with human medications, positive results are not guaranteed and there are many potential side effects. Be sure you are aware of these and know what to do should they occur. Also ask if any foods are contraindicated while taking the medication.

Oh, did I mention that these medications must be given daily? Is Kitty suffering from anxiety? Imagine how she will feel about taking a pill every day. (I know how I would feel about it!) However, many drugs are now available as flavored “treats” or in transdermal gels. This alleviates the stress for everyone, but consistency is vital.

As a cat I think I can safely say that we would all prefer to “just say no to drugs”. However, if they must be used please keep us safe with regular veterinary checkups and blood tests as required.

Anti Icky Poo (the urine cleaner that works) and using a black light

Anti Icky Poo urine cleaner from CatFaeries.com

When using Anti Icky Poo urine cleaner, a black light is handy for finding places your cat has sprayed with urine or peed on. They are also helpful if you are considering buying a new home to find out if there are any urine stains.

But they are not fail safe – they are not accurate on all surfaces. They are most accurate on smooth surfaces like a painted wall or very low pile carpet. They don’t reveal urine in kitty litter or on carpets with a deep pile.

And you must use them in total darkness.

Recently we got this email from a customer:

Dear Cat Faeries

After treatment with Anti-Icky-Poo will spots still fluoresce under UV / Blacklight? I understand this is not as important as removal of the smell / pheromones is the most important, but still I’m just wondering, especially in terms of being able to identify a ‘new’ spot vs on previously treated other than intensity of the fluorescing.

Thanks,


Chuck

Dear Chuck,

Great question. The spots could still how under your black light. Here is why you may still see discoloration after using a round of Anti Icky Poo:

  • Staining or spots could remain if they have been there a very long time
  • The urine could have stripped the dyes from the carpet
  • The naturally occurring dyes in urine could still be in the fibers
  • Believe it or not, sometimes the dye you see is from the cat’s food!
  • Once you are confident that Anti Icky Poo completely got rid of the urine smells and gases, you might consider having a professional carpet cleaning service come in will help to remove the traces of urine dye

This week we also heard from another person who wondered if Anti Icky Poo is safe to use after her cat urinated in a house plant. It is totally safe – it won’t hurt the plant or taint the soil!

As you said and it’s also on our website, smell is the way to know that the urine proteins and gases are gone. Further evidence is observing your cats – do they hover around those spots you treated? If not, then Anti Icky Poo was completely successful!

As for knowing if those are old spots or new ones: You might keep a sheet a paper and list the locations and size of the stains you treated. If you use a black light every month or so this will help you know if the spots are old ones or new ones.

Cat Faeries’ flower essences for cats and crystals on sale at 10% off!


Get 10% off Golden Healer crystals and Cat Faeries’ own handcrafted flower essences for cats through November 1st. No coupon code required – the savings are right on the website.

Cat Faeries’ flower essences for cats are professionally crafted for cats taking into consideration their collective consciousness and doing our best to get into the minds of our feline friends. Our golden healer crystals are quartz crystals which grew near Iron Hydrate tinting them with varying shades of golden yellow to orange and thus amplifying their healing power.

Cat Faeries’ flower essences for cats: a success story from our customer Sherry

Two very nice messages from our customer Sherry about Cat Faeries’ flower essences for cats


Hi, I just wanted to let you know the success I am seeing with your Flower essences I ordered recently. I have 5 cats that have been having behavior issues since my latest cat came to live with us 3 years ago. I have used flower essences from other reputable companies but had limited success. I ordered your Territorial Rescue and Multi Cat. I already had Comfort Zone. I started using your essences and right away I noticed less tension among the cats and things have been getting better every day. Less fighting and less marking. I have also noticed the cats can tolerate each other being closer to each other and seem to play alone more and watching for the other cat’s reaction. I give the essences in their food and water and spray the comfort zone on the areas they have marked before. I also make a treatment bottle of essences with a few drops in a small bottle and spray that around the house. I am sure that with my continued use of your essences that I can get may cat family back on track. I am hooked and will be ordering more when I run out. I think the kitties will be getting some of your cat toys for Christmas this year too. The reviews are great and if they behave Santa just might have a few of your toys in his bag!!

Thank your for making a product that really does work!!

Sincerely,

Sherry Y.


I think you are right that your essences are stronger because of the way they are made. It only makes sense that a live plant would give off more of the essence that a dead one would. Whatever it is they really do work much better than the essences I have used before.

I will be ordering Calm and Serene essence when I order again as I have one kitty that is rather high strung. Her being like that kind of riles everyone up. She is doing good with what I am doing but I think she needs a little more to take the edge off her energy.

Thank you again! What a nice surprise. You are a cat angel!

Sincerely,

Sherry Y.

Tips on how to get the most from your Cat Faeries products

Here’s some tips from our thrifty cat behaviorist. Remember, you get full detailed instructions with your order for all of these Cat Faeries products.

Cat toys, making them last, keeping them fresh & clean

  • Store catnip toys in a Zip lock bag. Press as much air out as you can, then seal.
  • Use Scotch tape or packing tape to remove fuzz and dust (just like you do to remove cat fur from your clothes).
  • If your cat pees on a toy: lightly mist with Anti Icky Poo several times over a day or two, then let dry completely.
  • If your cat hurls a fur ball on a cat toy: scrape off what you can, then lightly mist Anti Icky Poo several times over the course or a day, then let dry completely.

Remembering to use your Comfort Zone with Feliway spray. Don’t put it out of sight, out of mind!

  • Store it in a place that you go to every day so you get the visual prompt to use it.
  • Suggestions:
    • near the coffee maker
    • near the your toothbrush
    • on top of the TV or by the remote control
    • on the coffee table or an end table
  • If you are correcting a problem use your spray two or three times a day.
  • If you are maintaining your efforts and the cats are being good, use it once a day or a few times a week.

Places to NOT store Feliway spray

  • near the fire place
  • near the stove or oven
  • near the heater

Remembering to swap out a spent Comfort Zone with Feliway diffuser refill for a new one:

  • Order from us and get stickers for your calendar or appointment book. And use them!
  • Your stickers will help you to know that your diffuser is working properly. If your refill bottle lasts longer or shorter than 4 weeks it’s time to replace it.

Taking good care of your Feliway diffuser to make it last a long time:

  • The manufacturer says a diffuser will last 6 months. Because we take good care of ours we’ve had the same ones for many years.
  • Every few months unplug your diffuser and with a damp Q-tip remove built up dust and crud.
  • Don’t bang the vacuum cleaner into the diffuser as your clean your floors.
  • Be careful to not drop it when you change your refill bottles.

Cat Faeries Flower Essences For Cats – where to store them, how to handle the dropper:

  • It’s best to store them in a cabinet, but if that’s not practical then find a darkish corner in your kitchen. Ours tend to end up in a kitchen corner so we see them every morning when we change the cat’s water bowl.
  • If you broke your dropper – ask us for a new one when you place your next order. We’ll send one free.
  • Don’t let the dropper touch your fingers, or fall to the floor or countertop. If that happens, don’t panic, rinse it under filtered water and place it back in the bottle. Dirt and oils from fingers can contaminate the waters.
  • NEVER put the glass dropper in the cat’s mouth! That’s why our handout is full of great ways to administer flower essences: food, water, anoint.

Cat Beds – we’ve had some of ours since the 1990’s!

  • Always wash them in COLD water with mild soap
  • Always air dry, never machine dry
  • So that your bed dries fast, grasp the outer velveteen, and the inner fleece and pull them apart to form a <> shape. This allows air to flow and speed up drying time.

Anti Icky Poo – how long it will last and a clever use for it.

  • Unopened it will last 3 years.
  • Opened it should be used within 1 year.
  • Store it under the sink or a cool place.
  • Keep it upright so it doesn’t leak.
  • If you’ve got some left over and it’s getting old – pour it down the kitchen drain and it will eat up soap scum and grease! Leave it sit for about an hour if you can.