A new television show on Animal Planet called “My Cat From Hell” has caught my attention recently. The show is basically about a cat whisperer called Jackson Galaxy. He aims to help cats work through behavioral issues by giving their owners helpful tips and homework.
Here are some interesting tips and facts about cats that I never knew:
1) Petting a cat too much in one sitting can create over stimulation. This can cause the cat to become frustrated resulting in scratches and bites. You cannot rough house with cats like you can with dogs. Let the cat come to you.
2) Cats do not play like dogs. A cat doesn’t want to grab a frisbee, bring it back to you and play with it all day long. What does a cat want? It wants to kill things. It’s part of its nature. The cat needs an interactive toy where it can pretend to hunt, catch, kill and eat the toy. Then reward the cat by giving it a high protein treat so it gets the satisfaction of really eating its prey.
3) When a cat’s ears are straight up, it is in a relaxed state. When ears and whiskers are back, it means the cat feels threatened and ready to be attacked. When whiskers are forward, it means the cat is exploring something.
4) When a cat kneads, it means it is comfortable.
5) When a cat is stressed out or upset, try gazing in the cat’s eyes and open and close your eyes slowly. This shows your cat that you’re not a threat and relieves tension.
6) Cats that hide in their litter boxes have territorial anxiety. They are trying to regain their security by having their scent around them at all times. They’re trying to reassure themselves that everything is going to be okay if they surround themselves with their scent.
7) If your cat hides in its litter box then a) There may be something wrong physically – take your cat to the vet. If all is clear there then b) The cat is territorially anxious and you need to figure out why. There are many things that could make your cat feel threatened. This includes: new cat, new baby, new boyfriend/girlfriend, etc. Make sure you remove the lid to the litter box so that your cat won’t be prone to hiding.
8) If you have a cat that corners itself and is scared all the time, try to coax it out with food, toys, etc. that will associate you with good things.
9) Play with your cat everyday.
10) To introduce a new baby to a cat, start placing baby powder, Vaseline, and diapers around the house before the baby arrives so your cat can get used to the smells.
11) The nose pad of a cat is ridged in a pattern that is unique – just like the fingerprint of a human.
12) Cats wag their tails when they are in a stage of conflict. The cat wants to do two things at once, but each impulse blocks the other. For example: If your cat is in the doorway wanting to go outside and you open the door to find it raining, the cat’s tail will wag because of internal conflict. The cat wants to go outside, but doesn’t want to go into the rain. Once the cat makes a decision and either returns to the house or leaves into the rain, the tail will immediately stop wagging.
13) Don’t pick a kitten or a cat up by the scruff of its neck; only mother cats can do this safely, and only with her kittens.
14) The domestic cat is the only cat species able to hold its tail vertically while walking. All wild cats hold their tails horizontally or tucked between their legs while walking.
15) Sir Isaac Newton, discoverer of the principles of gravity, also invented the cat door.
16) A cat will almost never “meow” at another cat. This sound is reserved for humans.
17) A falling cat will always right itself in a precise order. First the head will rotate, then the spine will twist and the rear legs will align. Then the cat will arch its back to lessen the impact of the landing.
18) Cats are one of the few animals that know when they are looking in your eyes.
19) Give your cat a quality scratching post to deter him or her from scratching your furniture. Still scratching? Try putting lemon scent or orange scent on the area. Cats hate these smells.
20) The Giraffe, Camel and Cat are the only animals that walk by moving both their left feet, then both their right feet, when walking. This method of walking ensures speed, agility and silence.
21) Cats can see in color but they are partially color blind. They have the equivalency of human red/green color blindness. (Reds appear green and greens appear red; or shades thereof).
22) Cats need 1/6th the amount of light that humans do to see. Their night vision is amazing!
23) Cats can see up to 120 feet away. Their peripheral vision is about 285 degrees.
24) At birth, kittens can’t see or hear. Cats open their eyes after five days and begin to develop their eyesight and hearing at approximately 2 weeks. They begin to walk after 20 days.
25) Kittens begin dreaming at just over one week old.