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Keep Your Cat Cool in The Hot Days of Summer! Updated.

August 28, 2015

Cat cooling offUsually the hot days in the Southwest come in late summer. But sometimes a heat wave will surprise us, such as the upcoming week of 100+ temperatures!  I try to believe that outdoor cats are “street wise” and find shady spots to nap out the day hours and know where to find some water to drink.

Meanwhile, as the temperatures rise your indoor cat can be susceptible to dehydration and heatstroke. Cats don’t sweat by panting- they have sweat glands in their paws. On a hot day you might see them grooming more than usual. By licking they leave saliva on their fur and when it evaporates they will cool down. Cats will also seek a cool spot to lie down such as a sink, bathtub, potted plant or tile floor. (Haven’t you seen your cat stretch out completely flat on your kitchen floor?)

Here are a few other tips to help your kitty keep cool:

  • Make “Catsicles”. Put some wet cat food or dry food mixed with water in a plastic cup in the freezer overnight. Pop out and put in your cat’s bowl for a special treat!
  • Keep your cat out of your car if possible. For short trips, bring plenty of cold water for it to drink. Never leave your cat in the car unattended!
  • Brush daily to avoid matting and allow the air to flow through the fur.
  • Refresh the water dish often to keep cool water for your cat.
  • Create cool play such as chasing ice cubes on the floor
  • Keep a shady spot available for your kitty to nap in.

How can you tell if your cat is nearing a heatstroke? Symptoms include agitation, extreme distress, stretching out and panting heavily, vomiting, glazed eyes and drooling. If you notice any of these signs get your cat to a veterinary clinic immediately. Untreated, he could collapse into a coma and die.

If you can’t get to a clinic right away get your cat in a cool environment and keep him calm. Spray or pour water over him very carefully. Cover with wet towels and keep his head wet and cold to protect the brain but do not immerse your cat in water. Get to a vet as soon as possible.

Thanks for reading these reminder tips from Georgia’s Gifts.  We know keeping your cat cool will insure that you’ll both enjoy a safe and happy summer!

Cat with Sunglasses1

 

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Heartbeat Of A Cat

November 14, 2012

I have a secret favorite thing to do. I like to hold my kitty in a certain way so I can feel her heartbeat. There’s something about that soft but constant beat that assures me that my beautiful girl is healthy and happy. Plus it reminds me that this is a warm, furry creature of nature that’s allowing me to be in its world for a moment before struggling to get free from my firm grasp.

I did some research about “cat’s hearts” online. Below is a diagram of a cat’s anatomy just to show where a cat’s heart is located to make it easier for you to find the spot to feel the heartbeat.  Did you know a cat’s beat is almost double that of a human’s?  The range is from 120 – 220, depending on how excited your cat is.  A relaxed cat should be around 130.

I also watched a few anatomy dissections which I prefer not to even think about again. And I read about heart disease in cats and what to look for and do but that’s not the purpose of this post.

I’d rather think about that sweet heartbeat in my kitty as a confirmation of life and appreciate her for just being the wonderful creature she is – a cat!

Dessa cat washing paw


Tales of Cat Tails

August 29, 2012

Our cats have very distinct ways of communicating with us.  There are the variety of “meows” ranging from a soft sweet mew sound to an annoying “feed me now” MEOWWWW!

And of course their eyes send us subtle messages.  The slow closing and opening eyes which seems to show contentment; the wide-eyed stare when watching prey (even if it’s a feather on a long stick); or a loving look which melts your heart.

But the cat’s most expressive method is it’s tail- the perfect barometer of its mood.  Before I elaborate on that, I’ll tell you about my internet research on cat tails.  After wading through a mix of “cat’s tails” and “cattails” there seemed to be a lot of mis-information about the anatomy of cat tails.  To set the record straight, here is a short lesson from a medical center:

The tail consists of a varying number of vertebrae (called “caudal” vertebrae), voluntary muscle, and ligaments and tendon to hold it all together. The tail attaches to the body at an area called “the tail head.” The first caudal vertebra attaches to a special backbone called “the sacrum” which connects the tail and lower back (“lumbar”) vertebrae. Injuries to the tail can cause serious nerve damage.

The number of vertebrae is 19-28, and varies from cat to cat. (Our tailbone has only 4, in case you are interested).

Now that that’s out-of-the-way we can talk about the fun stuff, the wonderful and delightful way a cat really tells us what is going on. I’m sure you have all witnessed most of these.

The Erect Tail- My cat will meet me at the door with a straight up tail which I think means she is content and glad to see me. (Plus she knows a treat will soon be coming). A slight curve at the tip lets me know she is in a playful mood.Question mark tail on cat shows contentment

The Curl– Sometimes, walking between my legs, my cat will let her tail curl gently around my leg or foot. I take this as a loving touch letting me know that she approves of me, at the moment anyway.

The Wagging Tail–  This lets you know your cat is not really sleeping but is content and partially alert.

The Swish–  A very focused cat, watching birds out the window or about to pounce on a toy.

The Whip– “I’m annoyed” is the definite message. And if my cat almost beats her tail back & forth I know she has had enough!

The Bristle– If your cat’s tail suddenly looks like a fat caterpillar you know it’s frightened or feels threatened.

Do you have some more to add to this list? I bet your cat has some special moves all it own and I’d love for you to share them! Cat cartoon with twitching tail