Even Kitties Get The Blues

Hi there furiends, Lily here.

Ever since Angel Tucker crossed the Rainbow Bridge I’ve been sad and anxious. Tucker was my cuddle buddy and protector and now that he’s gone and I’m left with the two hooligan brothers, Oliver and Alberto, life has changed a lot.

My buddy Angel Tucker



I’m not as comfortable hanging out in my old spots because I don’t have my protector and I’m not a very bold kitty by nature. My anxious behavior has prompted the Human to do some research to help me.

Is a grieving kitty an anxious kitty?

Grief can make us anxious. There are two main factors that contribute to making us anxious, our genetics and our environment.  It’s easy enough for my Human to understand what goes on in my environment but how can she find out about my genetics when I was adopted from the shelter and she has no history about my feline family? Well, that’s why she had my DNA test done with Basepaws

This is me at the shelter the day I met The Female Human. – Lily



As a feline that doesn’t understand things too “sciency” I will try to explain this to the best or my ability.


The science of being anxious

There are humans who have studied anxiety, specifically separation anxiety in felines. This can be separation from our humans or our other furry family members.  We know what happened in my environment to cause me to be more anxious (the loss of Tucker) but what are the genetic reasons for my anxious behavior?

Now, getting back to DNA, did you know that studies have been done that indicate some cat breeds can be calmer than others? For instance, an article on the Purina site states that Birmans, British Shorthair, Persian and Ragdoll breeds tend to be calmer.  If you look at my DNA breed make-up from my Basepaws report, you’ll see I have very little “calm kitty” in me.

As I mentioned earlier, genetics and environment contribute to feline anxiety but did you know that environment can actually change your genetics? Things like stress, trauma, diet, etc. can all effect change and not always in a good way.

How do you know if your kitty is blue?

I think most humans know their fur kids well enough to notice when behavior changes and/or circumstances in the home changes.  Any behavior change should be taken seriously and potential medical issues should be ruled out with your veterinarian.  If like me, your feline is grieving the loss of a buddy and feeling like the “odd cat out” you can be pretty sure your cat is blue.

Me, keeping watch for the brother bullies

Sad kitties are often more lethargic than usual, we don’t hang out in our favorite places anymore, we may want more attention from our humans or just stick close to our human as I do since I’ve lost my feline protector.  We can act as though we are on high alert, never allowing ourselves to be in a place where we could be trapped. In other words, we will act anxious.

So what do you do when your kitty is blue?

We felines can grieve and, like grief with you humans, there is no specific behavior or timeline that we follow when we grieve. While we are going through our sad times giving us extra love and attention always helps.  Talk to us (yes, we do respond to your calming voice) and you might even consider some calming products such as Feliway pheromone spray or plug in or a natural calming product formulated for cats.

Believe it or not, music helps many of us. Our Tribe purrrticularly likes Music for cats. You could even sit with us for a while and watch some of the pawsome movies for cats on Amazon Prime or Cat TV on YouTube.

I hope my furiends who’ve lost their best buddies over the Rainbow Bridge won’t be blue much longer and, if you and your humans have found ways to help you with your grief and anxiey, meow about it in the comments and share what worked for you.

Lily Opines About The Mystery of Her Ancestry

Hello Furiends,

I'm eyeing the butter but I've decided to be a good cat.

Lily

Lily here. Every since I was adopted from our local shelter, The Female Human has been mystified about my heritage. As you can see, I have some interesting markings and my purrsonality is very different from the rest of  The Tribe of Five.

This is why I am so excited! The good folks at Basepaws are sending a kit to The Tribe of Five and I was the lucky feline selected to have my DNA tested!

Basepaws is the first cat care company built around genetics. All The Female Human has to do is to get DNA from my cheeks and hair Now mind you I am a bit of a wild child. The Female Human can’t even get me to hold still enough to clip my claws so the cheek part will be interesting.

Once she has my DNA she sends it to Basepaws in Los Angeles and the Basepaws folks work their magic. My  DNA contains more than 20,000 genes, which are spelled out in a unique genetic code that is around 2,700,000,000 letters (nucleotide bases) long. Basepaws takes this DNA and uses sequencing machines to read and record these letters. Now I have no idea what that means but I do know that they can see if I have genes that make me prone to any diseases and also give The Female Human insight into my history.

And Basepaws isn’t a one- time wonder! We’ll get  constant updates as they learn more. I’ll become part of the Basepaws family and get a lifetime of updates, newsletters and articles (since I  can’t read The Female Human will have to read them to me.)

I hope you will follow my Basepaws journey with me. And if you want to learn more, click here to read their blog.

Purrs & Head Bonks,
LilyLogo