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.
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.
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.
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.
Hello Furiends, I hope your week has gone well and that this week’s feline news report finds you healthy and happy.
We actually had sunshine this week. I must say though, I was a bit annoyed by the laughter from The Human when she came in the office and saw me soaking up some vitamin C. Seriously, I have no idea what she found so amusing.
Lily is still adjusting to the change in the Tribe and the loss of Tucker. She is a tiny little feline and she hasn’t been eating so The Female Human went to talk to the people in the white coats about this. She came home with some food called Hills AD Diet for cats and dogs. Now I’ve never heard of a food for cats AND dogs but evidently this is what they give patients when they are not eating well. And I must say it works! Lily is eating again and perking up, even coming over to get her “before bed treats”.The hardest part of this is keeping the stuff away from Oliver who needs no appetite stimulation!
The Female Human was a little stressed out about Tucker’s sister Jasmine after Tucker crossed the Rainbow Bridge. She took Jasmine to have her blood work done and her regular wellness check. Well guess what….Jasmine’s kidney numbers are lower than when she was first diagnosed with kidney disease. Meowza, you should have seen our Human doing the happy dance.
Oliver misses the big guy too so he spends some quality time with The Female Human in the evening. He’ll even hang out with her when she has a glass of wine on the weekend (note, Oliver does not drink wine)
And, as far as the problem with Oliver and I giving Lily a bad time…..things haven’t changed too much but it seems lately Lily is standing up for herself more.
Well, that’s all the news about the Tribe, now, on to the news!
A few years ago we opined about cat music on our website (yes we have a website in addition to this blog that our Purrsonal Assistant does not promote enough). We have mewsic at our house and we quite like it. The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery recently reported on the stress-lowering effects of music in cats. This study says that classical rather than pop or heavy metal soothes felines best….well DUH! I don’t think you need to be a scientist to figure that out!
Now they did dig a little deeper and said that cat-specific music with ‘melodic’ lines based on cat vocalizations (like purring) sooths us. We also purrfer frequencies similar to feline vocal ranges, which are two octaves higher than those of humans.
These scientists studied 20 domestic cadts, playimg 20 minutes of cat-specific music, classical music or no music at random veterinary visits 2 weeks apart. They used cat stress scores (checking the feline’s body posture., ear placement, etc.) as well as how the cat’s responded to being handled. They drew blood samples to mark the physiological stress levels.
And what did they find out? Cat specific music might indeed lower stress levels. Now, I don’t want to sound snarky here but when this scientific study ends with, ““[C]at-specific music may benefit cats by decreasing the stress levels and increasing the quality of care in veterinary clinical settings.” I’m not impressed. Even our Female Human knows that our cat mewsic may calm us down but at least I give the researchers an “A” for effort. You can watch the videos on our website and come to your own scientific conclusions as to whether we were less stressed when listing to our Music for Cats album.
Any company whose motto is, “life is better with cats!” is my kind of company! The company’s founder began this company after being inspired after she rescued a litter of kittens and their mother a few years ago. That rescue experience made her realize that there are thousands of cats and kittens who are not as fortunate as the ones she rescued. The company values are: Improving the Lives of Homeless Cats and Kittens – Advocating for Animals and their Rescuers – Compassion – Making a Difference.
Every time The Female Human gets out h er yoga mat, Oliver and I head on over to snoopervise (well I snoopervise, Oliver splays himself out on the mat) and she gets her whiskers in a twist and shoos us away. Now that I’ve found Boris. the yoga cat I’m going to make a case for us doing yoga with our Human. If you check out Boris’ Instagram you will see there is not a pose that can’t be done with a kiitty!
I don’t think you humans pay enough attention to our tails as they can tell you a lot. I’m not going into all 11 of the tail signs but I will highlight a few. You can read about all of them here.
Straight Up: When we stand with our tails straight up, pointing at the ceiling, it means we are happy, confident and willing to be friendly so come on over and give us a pet!
Fuzzy Tail: Well, that’s what we call it at our house. It’s when our tails get fuzzed up 3 times their regular size. If we are startled, scared or feeling threatened we will floof ourselves out to appear as big as possible. Trust me, you don’t want to pet us when are tails are fuzzy!
The Fast Flicking Tail: When you see us flicking our tails from side to side, the message we’re sending you is that something is wrong. It can be fear but it can also mean we are annoyed or reacting to something we don’t like.
The Slow Moving Gentle Tail Flick: This means we are zeroed in on something, that we’re very focused. We may be getting ready to pounce on a toy, another cat or a mouse. Basically it’s showing our intention to make a move.
I’ll let you read about the rest of the tail signals for yourself. Just remember, we are telling you a lot with our tails!
Evidently, the fact that we get the zoomies at night is not because felines are nocturnal. Shelly Zacharias, DVM, VPM and vice president of Medical Affairs at Gallant, in an interview by POPSUGAR, said that cats are actually crepuscular, meaning their waking hours are at both sunrise and sunset.
Well that information is all well and good but our Female Human wants to know how to keep us from waking her in the middle of the night with our antics. Some suggest that you humans play with us before bedtime. Also, some interesting toys for us to play with while you are sleeping will help keep us busy.
If you have any foodaholic felines in your house (I shall not name names) you might want to consider splitting the evening meal in two. Feed us one earlier in the evening and the other one right before you go to bed. This is supposed to keep us from bugging you for food but evidently ,the expert that suggested this has never met Oliver.
They also suggest puzzle feeders. I don’t know about the rest of you felines out there but The Female Human tried that on us. We quickly let her know we do NOT work for food.
The article also suggests that you humans ignore us if we wake you up. That might work for some but when you suddenly find a 17-pound feline on your chest, your desire to breathe will take over your desire to ignore us.
Our Female Human has decided that the best remedy for our nighttime zoomies is to close her bedroom door (and then prepare herself for the havoc she sees in the morning). MOL
Hi There Furiends,
Fall has arrived here in the Inland Northwest. Our summer was waaaaay too short, we had so much smoke we were stuck inside for most of the time. Ah well, if the weather says nice I still may get some kayak training with The Female Human!
Here are my finds for the week, enjoy!
Purrs & Head Bonks,
Prepare to have all your cat grooming stereotypes blown away! There is a feline only grooming salon in Yorktown, VA. The owners of Purricious Styles say that cats are not as adverse to water as you humans may think (and of course, I wholeheartedly agree). What I do take exception to is that they also state they have special equipment like muzzle cones for “snippy cats”. Muzzles, snippy cats?? Hmmm. If your feline in residence is looking for a new do and you live in the area, you might want to call Purricious Styles
and see about getting kitty a lion or teddy bear clip. As for me, I’ll just leave my handsome fur the way it is.
We felines are not so fond of being shoved in a box, dumped in the metal moving machine and being taken to the place with white coats. I don’t know about the rest of you but all the members of The Tribe of Five loudly sing the song of their people all the way. If we’re singing anyway yu might as well turn on the radio to Calm Pet Radio. It not only provides music but it calms us down as well.
Cat Calm Radio plays music by David Teie, a composer who writes music targeted at cats’ preferences. His songs feature sounds that will be familiar and soothing to cats, like beats similar to the sound of suckling milk, played at the frequencies cats use to communicate with each other. Researchers have found that cats respond better to his cat-specific tunes than to human music. We didn’t need researchers to tell us this. The Female Human purchased the first album from Davied Teje called Music for Cats and we like it very much.
The online cat music station was launched in honor of National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day on August 22. “We’re one of the only radio stations to play species-specific music, designed to have a calming effect on your cat in the car, especially on trips to the vet,” the website explains. You can listen online here. We opined about this music on our website FelineOpines.com and you can even see videos of our first experiences with our favorite mewsic.
If any of you are wondering, “What the heck is cosplay and what does it have to do with cats?” , allow me to explain. Cosplay is a strange hobby that many humans don’t want to admit they are involved in. The short definition (according to Wickipedia) is, ” a contraction of the words costume play, is a performance art in which participants called cosplayers wear self-made costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character.” Okay, I’m fine with humans putting on silly costumes but when you take your feline and stuff him or her into a ridiculous costume and then take photos for all the world to see, well that’s another matter completely!
I must admit that most of the cosplay cats in this article look pretty proud of themselves, but in case my Humans get any great ideas, thanks but no thanks, The Tribe of Five have taken a vote and it was a unanimous NO to cosplay and costumes of any sort.
The Female Human is always griping about how scroungy our existing cat furniture looks, how expensive new cat trees are, blah, blah,blah. Well now some smart humans have come up with a way to turn existing furniture in cat furniture!
Often cat furniture is bulky, ugly and can’t fit into smaller spaces. Even though we felines love to sleep on your stuff (your bed, your computer keyboard, your face….) we still need a place of our own. The folks at Catssup have come up with some purrfect feline furniture designs. Now you don’t have to buy a new piece of furniture, you transform your existing furniture into cat friendly furniture! The people at Catssup say it’s space saving, easy to install and integrates easily into any human home. This is what the designers of Catssup say about their furniture, “”Instinctively, cats are more comfortable with heights because it provides them with a secure vantage point to survey the world below. Unfortunately, many modern households are unable to provide vertical spaces due to limited interior space and the bulkiness of conventional cat trees.”. Well, I say tell your humans to get out their credit card and head over to Catssup right away!
If your female human spends every night washing off the stuff she put on her face in the morning, you may want to point her in the direction of these towels. Once again, our friends across the pond, who are always ahead of the game when it comes to felines, have created these fun face towels (or wash clothes as we call them in the good old U.S. of A.) These Cat Face Towels from Firebox are the cat’s meow for your bathroom.
Firebox is an online retailer based in London that offers all kinds of unusual gifts, home decor, techie gadgets, food, and drink. There are quite a few fun things for cat lovers, Pusheen slippers, cat mugs and even a wonderful kitty coin bank where you can drop your savings to use to buy something special for your feline.
Jasmine Here, Welcome friends. I’m excited that I get to do the Friday Fill Ins this week. It’s been snowy and cold at our house. Thank goodness the humans provide wheat grass for us to nibble on and to add a bit of color in this white world.
As always, if you are a blogger, we encourage you to go to McGuffy’s Readerand join the Fill Ins blog hop or, feel free to do the fill ins in the comments of this blog. Have a purrrfect Friday (I love the weekends as the humans don’t have to go to that place they call “work” and they spend lots of time with us.)
Purrs & Head Bonks, Jasmine (The Tribe of Five Diva)
1. I would like to ask the big fat squirrel who mooches off of us at the upstairs bird feeder why he has such an attitude if the bird seed is all gone? (Take a look at this photo, what an attitude!)
2 My favorite fast food restaurant is any place that serves pizza. All of the Tribe of Five love a nice lick of pizza sauce.
3. If I could go to any concert of someone still performing, it would be wherever David Teie is playing his Music for Cats The female human bought us some of his music and we loved it. You can read about us opining about it on our website . When we go to the place with white coats, they have nice cat music too. Music is good for kitties.
4. My Winter pastime is usually sitting at the window and checking out the creatures who come by looking for food because what happens outside our windows is like cable TV.
The felines felt that they went above and beyond the call in their social media duties so have tasked me to post their first impressions with the new Music For Cats album.
From a human point of view I’d say that I was very pleasantly surprised, but rather than have you read my second-hand observations, best to go to the source. They’ve provided their thoughts and videos as well. Enjoy!
Our human heard about the Music For Cats Kickstarter campaign and when she read about the composer and the science behind the music, she had to pre-order the album.
This album is the result of two years of research born from David Teie’s theory on the fundamental nature music appreciation by mammals. There’s a lot more scientific stuff that’s beyond the mind of this feline but the humans seemed to understand and were quite impressed.
The female human set up the wireless speaker and played this compilation of kitty concertos for us. We’ll be reporting in soon about our reactions. In the meantime, have your humans play you a sample from the Music for Cats website.