Happy Wednesday Furiends,
This week, rather than catching you up on what’s going on in our neck of the woods, I thought I’d take a short stroll down memory lane.
As we noted previously our lackey….err Purrsonal Assistant (also known as The Human) worked very hard the last couple of years to receive diplomas in Feline Behavior & Psychology and Understanding Feline Anxiety. She also received a diploma in Pet Bereavement Counseling but that is another subject. She did write a book, or rather we wrote a book, to help humans (and other cats) whose feline furiends have crossed The Rainbow Bridge, It’s called, Are There Head Bonks in Heaven?
But I digress, let’s get back to the subject at hand. The Human was contacted by Porch.com, a company that helps humans with their moving needs, and was asked to share some tips for moving with felines. The tips are published in the article, Moving With Pets? We Have the Experts’ Advice to Do It Properly. I have noted her part of the article below.
What can we do to reduce our cats’ stress and fear when air traveling to relocate to another city or country?
The first (and most important) step in planning any travel for your cat is dealing with its response to the carrier.
If the only time your cat is in the carrier is to go to the vet, chances are he will be stressed when the carrier comes out. This response requires desensitization, the act of gradually exposing the cat to the thing that causes him stress so that an unwanted behavior (fear) is replaced with a positive behavior (acceptance without fear).
Desensitization would consist of placing the open carrier where your cat likes to hang out. Take the door off and put soft bedding and toys inside it. You can then work on counter conditioning by offering treats and playtime so that the cat is conditioned to expect positive things rather than negative things when he is around or in the carrier. Pheromone products (like Feliway) act as a calming agent so spraying the bedding and carrier also helps. The key to desensitize or counter condition your cat is to take it slow and easy. Never rush this process, and that means you need to start the process long before the day of travel.
Once the cat has acclimated to the carrier, put the door back on and then take your cat on some short trips and reward him with his favorite treats. Clean the carrier between uses and return it to the spot in the house where it was before.
If you have success in getting your cat to accept the carrier, the hardest part of the battle is won regardless of the mode of travel.
I only recommend air travel if the cat is in the cabin with you. Airline rules vary so you will need to check beforehand. Cats are highly anxious when they are in an unfamiliar place or situation without their human. Being in the cabin with you will help reduce his anxiety.
Car travel is much easier to set up but it has its dangers too. Don’t take your cat out of the carrier while you are driving. The cat is not acclimated to the car but has been (hopefully) acclimated to the carrier, which will be his safe space. A freaked-out cat zooming around the interior of your car isn’t good for the cat, you or the other people on the road! If you take the cat out of the carrier when you are stopped make sure the cat has a harness and leash. Too many cats have been lost when they run out of the car as soon as the door is open.
You may enjoy traveling with your cat so much you might want to do it again. Check out “Adventure Cats” on Instagram and see how many people enjoy excursions with their feline friends.
-Anita Aurit from Feline Opines
Now The Human knows quite a bit about moving with felines as she traveled 1300 miles from her old home to her new home here in the Inland Northwest. She traveled with Angels Buster, Mis P., Tucker and Jasmine (this was waaaaay before Oliver and I and Lily were on the scene).
I scratched around and got some photos of our Angels discovering snow for the first time.
It was a long trip but everyone adjusted well and loved their new home. Oliver, Lily and I are proud of The Human sharing her feline knowledge (and she’s doing a lot more of it these days at KittyCounselor.com ).
Let’s get to this week’s web wanderings and, if any of my furiends will be moving, don’t forget to check out the tips from all the experts in the Porch.com article.
Our furiends in Japan love cats and I’ve covered many great cat loving innovations from condos designed for feline comfort to feline fashion and “World Cats Travelogue,” a TV show on Japan’s public broadcaster NHK.
According to the manufacturer, H Concept Corp., the “cat cup” as it is officially called, went on sale in July 2019. It became a hot topic on social media, and has been a popular product at their stores ever since. It was designed by Yuka Morii, a three-dimensional sculptor and goods collector who also specializes in clay creations. She commented on the site, “The power of cats is great. Just by being there, they create an air of serenity. I like the way they lay on the street, and I created it (the cat cup) with my inner passion for ‘the visual cat ideal,’ cherishing the image of a cat that suddenly comes into view, but is a little bit distant.”
So this summer, take your “infinite cat making machine” and add some feline flourish to your local beach.
You can order the “Cat Cup” from the manufacturer’s online store (they ship world-wide)
As if The Human doesn’t have enough on her plate, she is working on a diploma in
CBD for Animals. She is always looking for natural solutions for us and she was very curious about CBD for cats (we have very sensitive systems and you humans have to be cautious about what you give us, natural or not).
She said this article does a good job of giving an overview of CBD for felines.
CBD oil is extracted from cannabis plants (the extraction method is important as far as the quality is concerned) the best extraction method is the same used with quality essential oils. The region and country where the plant was grown is also important. When using CBD oil for your feline, quality of the oil and low THC is critical. Also, not all CBD oils that are made for humans are safe for cats.
Once you’ve talked to your vet and found a quality, feline approved CBD oil, it can be used for pain relief, sleep disorders, reduction of anxiety, treatment of seizures and general well-being.
Again, just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean it’s good for your feline so talk to your vet first as CBD oil can be tricky. There is some more information on this topic at PetMD and Boulder Holistic Vet.
Has The Human given us CBD oil yet? Nope. She says she needs to complete her diploma and then talk to our vet. I for one, am glad she’s cautious!
Every cat learns from kittenhood that we were once worshipped by the Egyptians but I’ve always wondered why. We had our research assistant dig out some facts that were pretty interesting.
A Greek historian named Herodotus asked the question, “Why do the Egyptians shave their eyebrows as a mark of respect when mourning the loss of a family cat? Well Herodotus, it’s because they loved their kitties!
The Egyptians believed that many of their gods had cat-like qualities. They revered the duality of the cats’ temperaments, being protective, loyal and nurturing and yet ready to fight, independent and fierce.
These qualities made the Egyptians believe that cats were special creatures, worthy of special attention. They had a goddess named Sekhmet who had the head of a lion and the body of a woman and also the goddess Bastet who was often represented as a lion or cat.
Cats were also loved for their ability to hunt mice and snakes. Egyptians loved cats so much they would give their children names or nicknames of felines including the name “Mitt” (which means cat) for girls.
According to archaeologists cat and kitten burials have been found dating as far back as 3800 B.C.
I don’t know about the rest of my feline furiends but this feline would sure love to see humans show us that kind of reverence today!
I’m including this news piece to placate The Human. We felines could care less what our cat condos and shelves look like but some of you humans are a bit obsessed about décor!
Husband and wife team Igor and Maryna of CatsMode have designed stylish cat furniture that the most finicky décor obsessed human will like.
Each modular compartment of their cat shelves features cut-out sections (some shaped like feline faces) that kitties can jump and clamber through. When your cats have tired themselves out, the shelves also make a great place to take a nap.
You can custom order your hexagon shelves to have a felt lining, and for those with particularly kingly cats or queenly kittens, there’s even an option to include a pillow. In addition, you can choose to order between one and four hexagons. Within each set, you can also determine how many of them have an acrylic window. This adds an extra sense of security for your cat, and it also lets you still see each other. If you opt for a window, you can even order it to include a printed design.
CatsMode also makes wall-mounted cat steps. You can either choose between a decagon or one shaped like a cat’s head. But regardless of what you choose, each piece is lovingly handcrafted by Igor and Maryna in their home workshop.
As beautiful as these creations are, I am wondering if they will hold a 19-pound and 20-pound feline!
The artist Ai Weiwei says, “My cats think they are so important. They always want to sleep in the center of my bed or get on my shoulder, and I really have to negotiate with them. But they bring me so much joy.”
He always seems to be rescuing a cat, he found Shadow abandoned in some trash. His brought his cat Half to Portugal from his studio in Berlin. Yellow is a local street cat he took in who follows him whenever he takes a walk.
When Weiwei grew up in Shihezi, China, in the 1960s, families didn’t have pets because, as he says, “ Communism is against private property, and any kind of compassion back then was deemed questionable. Animals were only valued as tools for productivity, as was the case with donkeys and horses, or for their meat. My mom’s generation also tends to think that animals are dirty. Communism is very concerned with cleanliness — you have to be spiritually clean, physically clean — and so even a little bit of animal hair somewhere is unacceptable. “
Still, when he built his own studio in Beijing in 2000, the first thing he wanted to add was a cat. That was his first cat and they lived together for 20 years.
He said that he ended up with more than 30 cats in his Beijing compound and all were rescues.
His life was hard in Beijing, he was under constant surveilince by the government and he finally left in 2015. His studio is still there and his assistants report on the well being of the cats and send him photos. They will tell him if one dies and how they buried it.
Weiwei says he’s learned much from his cats and they have added so much to his life. Our Human says the same thing!