Does Your Cat Sploot?

Recently I learned a new word! I love words and wonder how I ever missed this one after multiple decades on this planet collecting words! It’s never too late to learn about “splooting” which is when a cat or another animal sploots!

The Definition of a Sploot or Splooting:

Splooting is an adorable posture when a cat or any animal rests on their belly with their back legs extended out backwards and their front legs are extended straight forward like they are flying. You might think of a frog. They do it for several reasons, including that the stretch feels good and this position on a hot day is very cooling. On a hot day a cat will sploot on hardwood, tile, cement/concrete or the kitchen floor by the water bowl. Kittens and young cats can sploot easily, while older cats with stiffer joints might do a modified sploot.

I discovered this pose on an Instagram page that I follow called The Daily James. It features photos and videos of one man’s wildlife oasis in Los Angeles, where James and Margaret the crows co-mingle with Mildred the Magnificent. Countless hawks and owls are seen frolicking in the bird baths while other wild animals visit, including squirrely friends and champion splooters Dramatic Darlene and her offspring Crazy Baby. They who love to sploot on a hot LA day to cool off. Their photo is below.

Photo from The Daily James, with permission.
Follow them on Instagram and Facebook!

After becoming a follower of The Daily James on both Instagram (www.instagram.com/thedailyjames/) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/thedailyjameswildlife/ – I can’t get enough!) I discovered humorist Amy Sedaris (www.facebook.com/AmySedarisOfficial/) is equally obsessed with squirrel and bunny splooting, which led me to singer Aimee Mann’s Instagram (www.instagram.com/realaimeemann/), who also loves squirrels and cats, and splooting. Feeling I may not be alone in being late to the splooting-party I had to share this fabulous and fun word with you, my dear readers!

 
 
 
 

Cats and Winter – Fast Facts

Cats can get seasonal depression or mood changes similar that that of we humans. Here’s what you can do to help, which will help you too:

  • Run the heater at a temperature you can afford to pay for
  • Place the cat’s bed near a heater vent
  • Move cat beds from anywhere drafty. The window with sunbeams in Summer can be chilly this time of year
  • Take a look at where litter boxes are – is it drafty there? Try to block the breezes with heavy tarps, a drape, or a rolled up “draft dodger”
  • When you are away leave a light on. Even though cats can see very well in the dark a bit of bright LED light will chase away the blues
  • Watch how your older cats walk for signs of arthritis. Note if your cat isn’t jumping on top of the sofa or the bed – another sign of stiff joints.

Believe it or not, cats do not sleep more in the Winter! Healthy cats sleep the same amount of hours year-round which is 15 to 20 hours a day! Cats do not hibernate.

Cats need a few extra calories in Winter so provide an extra bit of food. A nice thing to do for your cat is warm up food in the oven for a few minutes. Even a vegetable steamer for a minute is nice. Food from the fridge is very unpleasant for anyone, including your cat. In Winter even room temperature food is nicer warmed up just a bit. It also mimics the warm body of recently caught prey!

Is the food bowl in a sunny or bright place? Open the curtain and let as much brightness come in as the weather provides.

 
 
 
 

Why October is a great time to take your cat for a checkup! 13 Things You Can Do to Make Veterinary Visits Better for Everyone With 13 Great Tips!

With the holidays rapidly approaching, a busy time for everyone, we thought that we might urge you to take your cats to the see the veterinarian now for a checkup before holiday animal (and human family) emergencies might crop up creating additional stresses. Statistics tell us the emergency room trips increase on holidays for a variety of reasons! Here’s an older newsletter/blog posting of ours with a check list of what to do to make trips to the vet easier for you and for your cat! It will help you organize and plan before you get there. And once you are there double check and question everything – we’ve seen where a doctor mis-prescribed a medication or got the dosage wrong – you have the right to go over every detail without getting push back.

  1. Accustom your cat to a carrier and to traveling in the car.
  2. If your veterinarian doesn’t already have your cat’s medical record on file, bring it with you or have your previous veterinary hospital send or fax the records. Also bring your own notes on your cat’s health and medical history. Don’t send your cat with a person who doesn’t have the information the vet will need to help your cat – or if you must do this, thoroughly document your cat’s current condition on paper and make sure you’re available by phone to answer questions that may come up.
  3. Arrive on time or a few minutes early for your appointment.
  4. Unless children can sit quietly without distracting you or interfering with your veterinary team’s ability to examine or treat your cat or talk to you about your cat, consider leaving your children with a babysitter while you take your cat to the veterinarian.
  5. Turn your cell phone off while you are in the exam room.
  6. Know what medications your cat is receiving (including supplements), as well as how much, how often and how long it is given. Better yet, bring them with you.
  7. Don’t be shy about sharing your observations and concerns with your veterinarian – after all, you know your cat better than anyone else does.
  8. Ask questions. Ask until you understand the answers. Often vets forget that we don’t have a medical degree.
  9. Take notes! Don’t expect to remember everything. While you are taking your notes, you may think of additional questions which you should write down and ask before you leave.
  10. Ask for handouts and brochures. Ask if there are reputable online sources of information about your cat’s condition.
  11. Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations. They’re given for one very important reason – to keep your cat healthy.
  12. Arrange for a follow phone call to review how the cat is doing.
  13. And our Lucky 13 thing to do: Check the name or names of medication. Check the dosage and instructions on the bottle/s of medication and compare them to what the veterinarian wrote down. Show it to the office manager to verify. Mistakes can happen and in the case of drugs – they can be fatal. Never take anything for granted, a cat-parent cannot be too fussy!

How to Keep Your Cat From Biting

Every now and then we hear from people who ask what products we might have for cats who bite. They often bite during play or while being petted. The good news is that you don’t need to spend a dime on a product BUT you do need to change behavior, yours, not the cat’s!

There are many cats who get “overly stimulated” and it can happen fast. Even a few brisk strokes on a cat’s fur can be too overly stimulating and trigger than same excitement of an outside cat when prey is in sight – attack and bite! This harkens back to their early primitive years in forests and jungles when survival depended upon great hunting skills.

If you have such a cat here’s what you should do. Beginning right now No More Petting! Give this a few weeks to a few months. I know – it’s hard! Really hard, but you must. Don’t think about how soft and plush your cat is, resisting isn’t easy! But resist you must. Even if the cat begs for it, rubs on your legs or body, don’t do it. Play hard to get! If you can’t resist some fur-contact do a few strokes, soft strokes on the tippy tips of fur, then stop. Walk away if you need to.

The other thing you must stop doing right is no more playing finger-mice with your hands. You must restrict play by allowing the cat to only play with floor toys (like our Catnip toys) rather than interactive toys. We want to give the cat some time to disassociate you with play, chasing and hunting that your cat might be more genetically prone to than other house cats

You can make this stop and allow your cat to be calmer and less likely to channel their hunter ancestors!

One last thought. Sometimes a cat will bite because of a tooth ache so have your vet check out your cat’s mouth to see if this is the root cause.
 
 
 
 

A better way to get a “difficult” cat into a carrier!

Here’s a better way to get a “difficult” cat into a carrier with less stress for the cat and less chance of scratched up arms and hands for you!

Is your cat one of those who when you need to place your furry friend into a carrier, their legs flare out and it’s a battle to get the cat inside without them panicking and you becoming a bloody mess of scratches? Our brainy veterinarian, Dr. Debra Scheenstra, showed us a trick and now we share that with you!

  • Place a hard plastic carrier on the floor with the door open and the opening facing up to the ceiling. Dr. Scheenstra recommends using a carrier with at least a 8″ x 7″ door opening (a bigger door is even easier).
  • Place a dish towel over the opening. We recommend a large potato sack-like towel – a bath towel is too thick and won’t work.
  • The carrier is now at an angle that the cat won’t recognize and the potato sack towel makes the opening invisible to the cat.
  • QUICKLY pick up the cat and drop the cat on top of the towel where it and the cat will drop down into the carrier before they know what’s happening!
  • Quickly shut the door and lock it!

Mr. Cat Faerie recommends you also wear thick leather gauntlet-style gloves when handling difficult cats to protect against scratches and bites. Animal professionals use “animal handling gloves.” Some can be quite expensive, but some are in the $20-$30 range. Other similar gloves are sold as welding gloves, BBQ/fireplace gloves or rose pruning gloves. One more tip – put aside a pair of gloves just for handling your cat. You don’t want to smudge up your kitty with a used pair of fireplace gloves.

 
 
 
 

Newton’s Purrspective – Cats and Sleep

Sir Isaac Newton is our Feline Editor At Large (just how large, he’s not saying) who writes very brainy and very well researched articles for us. Newton lives in the North East and is fond of storms, our catnip toys, a soft bed, sunbeams, and naps. He has an ongoing email flirtation with our Daphne. This is his current, and as always, very well done article.


Cats have a reputation for preferring sleep over almost anything else. Perhaps you’ve seen the cartoon showing a group of “business cats” sitting around a table. The head cat is calling for a vote. Should they explore, invent things, do research etc. or keep napping? All answer “nap”. You may laugh, but I don’t think that is such a bad idea considering the decisions far too many humans make without taking adequate time to think about it, consider the consequences, or gather information and read about, or “sleep on it”.




Isaac Newton

Cats need approximately 12-16 hours of sleep daily. I really don’t understand why we should get a bad rap for that. Dogs need 12-14 hours of sleep and nobody jokes about them! But seriously, if you’re going to take an afternoon nap wouldn’t it be better for a snooze with a cat? Of course, we felines enjoy helping you read, type on the computer, text on your phone, knit – almost any activity. But naps are our specialty and you could learn a lot from us! Lying down is an invitation for a snuggle. We are soft and super flexible for cuddling – especially in cold weather. We also make the most delightful music while “making biscuits” on your stomach. Irresistible!

In fact, we cats have perfected the art of napping. We can fall asleep quickly and awake refreshed in a flash! Surprisingly, some people (who may have been cats in another life) have even learned the joys and benefits and they call it, appropriately, a “cat nap”.

Even if you aren’t feeling tired you probably enjoy watching Kitty sleep. What could be more relaxing, meditative even? You may wonder if cats dream. Of course we do! Sometimes our legs kick or our toes twitch like we are running in hot pursuit of a toy or something to eat. We can look like we are chewing, dreaming of a delicious morsel. What are we dreaming of? Perhaps we are dreaming of what we love, like chasing butterflies, hunting for a snack, or a platter of fresh meat. Or maybe we are indulging a more sinister side – catching and crunching unwary birdies.

Regardless, we are never as uncouth as dogs. Have you seen them dreaming? Barks and whines and enough leg movement to generate electricity! Cats are refined and elegant even in our dreams.

Can a cat sleep too much? I think a more important question would be “Have Kitty’s sleeping habits changed?” Kittens and senior cats do tend to sleep for longer periods. But lethargy in a normally active cat is a concern. Other considerations include poor diet or a health problem such as changes in Kidney function. A veterinarian should definitely be consulted if there are symptoms of disease (vomiting, changes in water consumption, flinching with pain when touched or picked up, etc.). Keep in mind that we cats are experts at hiding sickness as to not appear to be weak and vulnerable. Extra sleep could be a “self healing” technique handed down via DNA from our wild ancestors. If Kitty is sleeping much more than usual a health check is in order. If the veterinarian gives Kitty a clean bill of health it may mean that Fluffy may be bored and in need of environmental enrichment – perhaps a CATio, extra attention from you, or fresh Cat Faeries toys.

Now some people complain that cats race around in the middle of the night for “no reason at all”. Of course there is a reason! Wild cats are normally crepuscular. They are most active at dawn and dusk when prey is most available. Housecats don’t have to catch their own meals, but we retain some of that genetically programmed timetable. We have just modified the timetable a bit to suit ourselves. Why not? We (in the sense of the “royal we”) were once worshipped in Egypt and have never forgotten that.

Who doesn’t like to have fun and get a little exercise? How fun it is to scuff up the area rugs and knock things off tables! Considering that our night time vision is six times better than that of humans why shouldn’t we take advantage of the extra room to run when the rest of the household is asleep? We have all day to nap.

Sir Isaac Newton, Feline Boy Genius and Cat Faeries Editor At Large