Month: August 2017

How Scent Can Calm Your Anxious Kitty

We humans love aromatherapy. Even if you’re not the type to buy scented candles or burn incense, we’re all susceptible to the awesome power of smell. Think about the feeling you get when you encounter a familiar smell – like a shampoo someone you love uses, the smell of a pie baking in the oven, or even that cinnamon-y scent when you’re walking past the Cinnabon in the mall! Scents can give you a warm, fuzzy feeling, make you feel calm, and bring back happy memories you didn’t even know you had! Scents are powerful things, and they can affect your cat, too!

There haven’t been many studies done on the effect of scents on cats, but we do know that their sense of smell is much keener than our own. Cats are born hunters, and their nose has always been a sharp tool of their trade. Keep it’s sensitivity in mind when considering aromatherapy for your cat. The scented candles you think are strong are going to be outright unbearable to your cat, and essential oils, which are concentrated, are made to be strong as well. Furthermore, essential oils can be toxic to your pet.

If you have a kitty who becomes anxious when you’re not around, you might consider scents we use to soothe, like lavender and chamomile. Before you go filling your home with flowers to calm your cat when you’re not around, know that those plants and several others are poisonous to your kitty! They are not what you want to leave lying around when you’re not keeping an eye on her.

Scents can still be a treat for your cat, without sending them running away from your oil diffuser or to the emergency vet. How?

We know that our cats respond to our smell. We’ve all loved a cat who wanted to nap in our dirty laundry. Ever wonder why? It’s not because your cat wants to deter you from re-wearing between washes by covering your clothes in cat-hair. It’s because a big pile of soft cloth is a cozy spot, and more than that, it’s saturated in your scent! When your cat cuddles up to your clothes, she’s surrounding herself in a smell that makes her feel safe and calm – you!

The smell you leave on your clothes is a soothing scent to your cat. It’s the smell of the person she loves most – the one who feeds her and keeps her safe. It’s natural, not toxic to your cat (no matter how gross your gym clothes get) and mild enough that it doesn’t overwhelm her. You can feel a little pride in it – your cat feels the same way about your natural scent that you feel about the smell of lavender, baking bread, cinnamon apples, etc.

Every purchase provides a toy for a shelter cat in need!

If your cat is the type who becomes skittish when you’re not home, the laundry basket may start to look like a really safe spot. Skip the oils, candles and incense and give your cat a real treat – the smell of you. The Project Play Comfort Cuddler is made to be cuddled by your cat when you’re not around. You can fill it up with an already-worn shirt and allow your cat to cuddle to their heart’s content with a smell that sends them over the moon! It will soothe them and remind them of you. No leaving candles burning while you’re not around (a fire hazard!) and no dousing anything in essential oils that are toxic to cats, no leaving poisonous plants around to be potentially chewed. The Comfort Cuddler is safe and effective because it’s a scent your cat knows and loves. It’s you.

The post How Scent Can Calm Your Anxious Kitty appeared first on iHeartCats.com.

Why Cats Love Having Their Heads Scratched

Have you ever wondered why your cat loves to have his head scratched so much? Sure, she may crave attention in any form she can get it, but it turns out there’s a lot more to it than that. Dr. Nicholas Dodman, author and professor emeritus at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, spoke to Live Science about his theory on why cats love having their heads scratched.

According to Dodman, not only does scratching your cat’s head give them the affection they desire, it’s also a location they can’t scratch very well by themselves and they can’t lick it at all. Dodman told Life Science:

“It’s a relatively inaccessible area that you can reach for them, so you’re doing them a favor in that sense.”

Scratching their head might also remind them of being groomed by their mother, who would have licked their face and head quite thoroughly when they were a kitten. It’s a part of the grooming routine that they do their best to mimic by licking their paws and rubbing them over their face and head. Your fingers probably do a better job than their paws.

Another reason cats may appreciate you scratching their heads is because that’s where most of their scent glands are located. By letting you scratch their head, they are essentially marking you as their territory. Scent marking is also thought to have a calming effect of cats.

When a cat goes so far as to rub their head against you, known as bunting, it’s a friendly gesture that both marks you as their territory and expresses their moving feelings toward you.

Image source: alljengi via flickr

 

So now you know that scratching your cat’s head is a great way to give love to and receive love from your cat, and show them how much you care in return!

(H/T: Live Science)

The post Why Cats Love Having Their Heads Scratched appeared first on iHeartCats.com.

Rescuers Haven’t Forgotten About Cats In The Wake Of Hurricane Harvey

These stories will touch your heart and remind you of all the wonderful people in the world.

A clip of six crated cats getting rescued is circulating. Although they are cold and scared, these kitties are safe, thanks to the caring rescuers who refused to leave them behind.

It’s a true testament to the fact that in times of trouble, people always seem to band together for good. And it’s not just about helping other humans – it’s about saving the lives of animals, too.

It’s not specified where these kitties are going, but chances are, they’re headed to one of the amazing shelters that are working around the clock to save animals from the flood waters and take in four-legged refugees.

One of those organizations is Austin Pets Alive! (APA!). They’ve already saved over 400 animals from Hurricane Harvey, and their rescue efforts are far from over. Click here for more information on how to donate or help in other ways.

The SPCA of Texas, which is located in Dallas, is also helping tremendously with rescue efforts. Not only are they taking in evacuees, they’re caring for over 100 cats from a shelter in Corpus Christi, which they preemptively took in before the storm hit. They’re also sending helpers and supplies to a shelter for both humans and their pets, making sure all the four-legged family members get the care they need. If you’d like to donate, click here.

Remember, you can help people and animals in the wake of this disaster whether or not you live in Texas. Also, keep an eye on your local shelters, as many now-homeless pets are being transported to different facilities across the country.

Our hearts are with all the people, pets, and animals whose lives are turned upside down by this natural disaster. We also want to commend all the rescuers out there who are working tirelessly to save as many lives as they can.

The post Rescuers Haven’t Forgotten About Cats In The Wake Of Hurricane Harvey appeared first on iHeartCats.com.

What To Do When You Have To Leave Your Anxious Cat At Home All Day

It’s widely known that dogs can have separation anxiety, but the fact is, cats can suffer from it, too. Although they are often thought of as solitary creatures who enjoy their “alone” time, your sensitive kitty may actually be extra stressed while you’re away.

Perhaps you’ve never considered whether your cat has separation anxiety, and if you’re unsure, look for clues that may indicate nervous behavior.

Pet writer Katie Finlay explains some signs of separation anxiety:

Excessive grooming, crying when the owner leaves, overly excited greetings upon the owner’s return, vomiting, urinating and defecating outside the litter box, a loss of appetite and destructive behavior – such as clawing and scratching at the bottom of doors to escape their apparent solitary confinement – are all ways cats show us their distress.

Have you noticed any of these signs and wondered about the reason behind them? (Note: any changes in behavior, especially sudden, should always warrant a call to your vet.)

The fact is, we all have to leave the house at some point, and sadly, our cats usually can’t come with us. So if you’ve come home to shredded curtains or a pee spot outside the litter box – and your kitty is perfectly well-behaved while you’re home – the culprit may be a case of separation anxiety.

You can ease your cat’s stress by offering her a Comfort Cuddler™, a snuggly toy that smells like you. Just tuck a worn t-shirt or slept-on pillowcase into the pouch, and your kitty will be soothed by your scent as she curls up with it.

The Comfort Cuddler™ can lower anxiety if you have to board your cat or leave her with a pet sitter. You can also place one of these huggable toys into her kennel for car rides or vet visits, two things that may make her feel very nervous.

Aside from helping your cat feel calmer and less stressed, the purchase of each Comfort Cuddler™ provides a toy to a shelter cat to help ease her anxiety, too! You’d do anything to keep your kitty as relaxed and happy as possible, and this simple little trick can make a world of difference.

To pick up a Comfort Cuddler™ for your cat and automatically donate a toy to a shelter cat in need, click here

The post What To Do When You Have To Leave Your Anxious Cat At Home All Day appeared first on iHeartCats.com.