Eleven signs a cat is happy at a glance
- Positive body language
- Talking and chirping
- Playful behaviour
- Slow blink
- Bringing you gifts
- Using the litter box
- Seeks out physical contact
Not everybody wants to have a cat visit their garden or home. Feline visitors can fight with or disrupt cats who live on the property, kill native animals and go to the toilet in the garden, which can potentially transmit parasites such as toxoplasmosis, roundworm and hookworm. All cats are territorial, and a visiting cat can cause the resident cat stress, which can manifest as spraying in an attempt to define boundaries.
Mutual grooming (allogrooming) is a common behaviour among many species of animal in which one animal grooms the other. Allogrooming starts immediately after birth when the mother cat (queen) chews the umbilical cord, licks her kittens to stimulate breathing and dry them, then eats the placenta. The mother continues to groom her kittens for several … Read more
Most of us remember the grinning Cheshire cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, but while some cats look like they are smiling, they don’t in fact smile to show they are happy. What does it mean when a cat looks like he or she is smiling? If cats can’t smile, how do we know … Read more
The early weeks of the kitten’s life are essential for them to learn about their environment, become socialised with people and learn species-specific behaviour. This socialisation window (also known as the socialisation period) occurs between 2-7 weeks when the kitten is most receptive to a wide range of stimuli that can lay down the groundwork for how the kitten responds to people and situations for the rest of his or her life. During the socialisation period, the kitten should be exposed to situations that will be a part of their everyday life. This includes interactions with people, pets, veterinarians as well as environmental enrichment. Kittens who are socialised during this critical period have a better chance of growing up into well-adjusted adults.
The pupils are the black hole in the centre of the eye, which dilate (widen) and constrict (narrow) to control the amount of light that hits the retina at the back of the eye. A study published by Science Advances explains why pupil shapes can range in shape from vertical, horizontal and circular and their ecological niche. The study looked at 214 species of land animal and three pupil shapes; vertical, horizontal and round.
Also known as orange, red and marmalade, the ginger coat colour is sex-linked, which means it occurs on the X chromosome and is symbolised by the letter O (for orange). O is dominant over non-orange (o), and O determines whether a cat will produce eumelanin or not (dominant epistasis). In cats with orange fur, pheomelanin (red pigment) completely replaces eumelanin (black pigment).
The average lifespan of a cat can range from 11 – 15 years, but many factors determine just how long a cat will live. One survey which followed 118,016 cats attending 90 practices in England found the average lifespan of a cat is 14 years. The most common causes of death in cats under five was trauma, followed by viral disease and respiratory disease and the most common cause of death in cats over five years was kidney disease.
Laser pointers are a popular addition to the feline home; the laser mimics an insect or animal on the move, which stimulates the cat’s predatory response to stalk and chase the target.
Cats in the wild spend a large chunk of their day hunting. Domestic cats have the luxury of food on call, but those wild instincts remain. Inactivity can lead to boredom and obesity, which is linked to many health risks. Interactive play is a great way to provide both physical exercise as well as mental stimulation for our cats. This is especially important for indoor-only cats.