August 28, 2015
Usually 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!
August 25, 2014
Like all cats, my sweet little Russian Blue always finds that patch of sunlight coming through the windows. I recently caught her taking a vigorous sun bath in the afternoon light and couldn’t resist snapping a few shots of her “caught in the act”.
After a few tries, I finally caught her pink tongue.
About to do the famous cat leg lift to for those hard to reach spots.
I had to laugh when I saw this action. She went after her rear paw, actually holding it in place with her front paws! She spread the toes & cleaned each one, being very thorough.
This paw must be really dirty.
Dessa resting after her sun bath.
She finally finished, leaving her fur soft & clean as usual. She rested a few moments, but I think she also looked a little annoyed at my interference of her “toilette”.
Don’t you love sometimes just watching your kitty? Cats are very determined and precise when grooming themselves. They know how to take care of business! Do you have some funny stories about yours to share?
March 27, 2013
All of a sudden I’m seeing little tufts of grey hair here & there on the carpet. Following them like a trail of crumbs from Hansel & Gretel they lead me to my Dessa’s favorite sleeping places. Now I know! It’s spring and the time for cats to shed their winter coat.
Shedding is normal and healthy for cats. It helps them get rid of dead and loose hair which can irritate their skin. Being a Russian Blue our cat has a thick, dense double coat of fur. She has a lot of fur to shed! (This can also mean a lot of hairballs).
We know it’s time to step up the brushing and grooming to help her out. Some cats love this attention and Dessa tolerates it fairly well when she is in a mellow mood. It’s also a good “bonding” time but when she has had enough she definitely lets us know! After a brushing her coat feels so soft and sleek when you stroke her. And I bet she feels refreshed.
A thick pile of cat fur. A couple of days brushing.
“This smells familiar!”
Some people make good use of this fur. They might spin it into a soft yarn for knitting or crocheting. Or transform it into handicrafts as seen in the book, Crafting with Cat Hair. We use the fur and hair from other animals for miscellaneous things so is this so different? It’s your call!
There’s no items made of cat hair/fur at Georgia’s Gifts, but we have whimsical gifts & decor for cat lovers everywhere. We invite you to check us out!
February 1, 2013
This is not a fun topic, but it is reality. This week driving to work I came across a dead cat in the road. In the past I have stopped and pulled a cat’s body to the curb so it would not get run over again and possibly the owner could find it. This time I did not have the heart to do it and drove on after looking to make sure that it was indeed a casualty. But it has been weighing on my mind ever since.
I know everyone has seen cats in the road. What should you do? Should you call animal control? Knock on doors to try & find the owner? Take it to a vet? I do think if it was still alive I would do this, IF it would let me near.
I go through a lot of emotions when I find a cat like this. My first reaction is a deep sadness for the poor cat. I say a little prayer for his soul and hope that he went instantly. Next I feel anger that the owner let the cat outdoors. I am a definitely advocate for keeping your pet indoors. How many thousands of cats have to die by cars, coyotes, snakes, poison and more before people see the good sense of this?
I’m planning to make sure I stop next time there is a poor kitty in the road. But I would like to hear from you. What would you do? Tell me your stories. And go give your kitty a kiss and scratch and be glad it is safe and sound with you, INDOORS.
Me and our lovely Dessa.
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!
July 8, 2012
We all know that cats are the supreme nappers. They manage to look so cozy and comfortable in almost any position or place. What I enjoy is watching my cat “follow the sun”.
She knows all the best sunny spots in the house according to the time of day. Mornings will find her in her favorite kitchen chair by the window. She has me trained to open the blinds more for her or to swivel the chair for the best sun angle. (she has taught me this nonverbal, of course).
Ahh, just the right spot!
Getting the last rays of the morning.
Afternoons she moves to the other side of the house to relax in a pool of sunshine and do some lazy cleaning.
Just a little “me” time.
Finally at the end of the day, she finds the last little square of sunshine coming in the west window and tucks in as only cats can do.
My day is almost complete. Next: dinner.
Does this remind you of your cats? Do they have some favorite sunny spots? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear about them!
February 6, 2012
There’s two distinct camps when deciding if a cat should be an “indoor only” cat or one that comes and goes. Many believe it goes against the cat’s nature to keep it inside, when it should be outside hunting, climbing trees, chasing bugs and so forth.
For me, it only takes seeing a pile of fur at the side of the road to know which camp I’m in. And I don’t even want to think about coyotes having a tasty meal. In my opinion if a cat is raised inside, with lots of playtime, healthy food and a warm, dry bed then that cat has a quality life.
Driving around in residential areas at night I am always on the lookout for cats trying to cross the road. Sometimes my headlights catch their glowing eyes but many times I just see a dark shape sprinting to make it across. I cringe knowing it’s only a matter of time for that cat NOT to make it. And I get angry at owners that let the cat out in the first place, putting it in harm’s way.
This debate could also include the subject of spaying and neutering, but I’ll save that for another day. Also don’t get me started on declawing a cat!
Which “camp” are you in?