Why do Cats Wool Suck?

Wool sucking

One day you might notice holes in a few of your socks, or that a blanket is wet and has a few holes in it too. Then it becomes a sweater or some other valuable item. Eventually you’ll realise that your cat is the culprit, but you have no idea why she has been doing it.

Nobody knows why cats chew and eat clothing, especially wool, but there are a number of theories on the subject.

One of the theories suggests that if a kitten is taken away from her mother too soon the need to suckle transfers from the mother to other objects. If your cat seems to be doing more sucking than chewing, and she kneads a blanket or piece of clothing with her paws while purring, this could very well be the case.

Another theory suggest that they might need more fibre in their diet. If your cat has never displayed this type of behaviour before and suddenly starts to do it as an adult, she needs to be stopped due to the risk of her swallowing bits of the object that she is wool sucking. She might be suffering from a medical problem such a parasites, or she may be suffering from stress or anxiety. Either way, she would need to see a vet.

It is possible to break the habit of wool sucking and chewing. The first step would be to put any items that she might want to chew on well out of reach or off-limits.Cute kitten

You can also try non-toxic spray repellents on these items as this often works well as a deterrent.

If your cat is fed more canned food than dry food, you can switch to a dry food that is high in fibre, especially those that are made as hairball formulas. Cats who eat high-fibre diets often stop wool sucking if they are kept on this type of food. It is believed that the high fibre intake replaces the wool that they crave in their diets.

After a couple of months of diet change, offer her a sock or a piece of fabric. If she has no interest in it, you may have broken the habit.

Because most cats who wool suck are often taken away from their mothers too early, you may be wondering how old a kitten should be when you adopt her. Most kittens need to be with their mothers until they are at least twelve weeks of age. This will give them a great head start in terms of developing into healthy, well-adjusted adults.

Making Sure that your Cat is Correctly Identified: The Basics

Cat collarsIt is your responsibility as a pet owner to ensure that your cat has some form of identification.

To start with, put a visible identification tag on her collar and include important information such as her name, your name, your address and contact details. Many vets and pet shops supply this service at a nominal cost.

If you’ve never purchased a collar for your cat, make sure it is one with a breakaway clasp so that if your cat catches herself on something it will open easily and not choke her to death. A collar with a tag on it will save your cats life, but the problem is that if it comes off, there is no way of identifying your cat.

This leads us to the subject of microchips.

Microchips are inexpensive (under R400 including insertion by a vet) and a brilliant way of being able to identify your cat if she gets lost. If she is implanted with a microchip she can be quickly identified and reunited with you.microchip

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What happens when a beloved cat dies? Preparing yourself for the worst

pawPrintsCat1-e1314938529814Sadly, cats don’t live as long as humans do (cats can live between 12-20 years, with many living beyond their twenties) and the time will come when your cat dies, or sadly has to be put to sleep.

Having to make the decision to put your lifelong companion to sleep will probably be one of the hardest decisions you will ever make.

It is also the most important decision you will make: If your cat is in pain with no hope of recovery, then his quality of life is being compromised and your vet may give you her professional opinion to put him to sleep.

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Cats and Humans – When were Cats first Domesticated?

catArchaelogical Evidence of Cats in History

The oldest archaeological evidence for domesticated cats was found on the Greek island of Cyprus, where several animal species including cats were introduced by 7500 BC. Further, at the Neolithic site of Shillourokambos, a purposeful cat burial was found next to a human burial, dated between 9500-9200 years before the present. The archaeological deposits of Shillourokambos also included the sculpted head of what looks like a combined human-cat being.

The next is 6th millennium BC Haçilar, Turkey, where female figurines carrying cats or catlike figures in their arms have been discovered. There is some debate about the identification of these creatures as cats. Haçilar is well outside the normal distribution of F. s. lybica.

 

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Stress in Cats: How to tell if your Cat is Lonely, Stressed, Bored or Unhappy

Do cats get lonely, or are they naturally loners? The truth is that cats, like all animals, thrive on love and company (albeit when they need it), and a lonely, bored, unhappy cat may start exhibiting signs to vent his frustrations.

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Obesity in Cats: Fat Cats are NOT Cute Cats

Fat cats are most certainly not healthy cats. In fact, according to some estimates, more than half of cats are overweight and 25% of cats are obese.

Fat cat 1Sarah Hartwell, of MessyBeast.com states: “In my opinion, over-feeding a cat to this extent (despite veterinary advice) constitutes cruelty.”

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14 Famous Internet Cats Who Should Never Retire

For the sake of all of us and all future cats, let’s hope they never retire.

1. Maru

Nobody rocks a box like Maru. How will future cats ever know their full potential without his guiding light?

Maru

2. Grumpy Cat

She reminds us all that we do not have to be smiles all the time. Society would be lost without her.

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Training your Kitten or your Cat to use a Litter Box: It’s Easier than you Think

Placing your kitten in a litter trayThe wonderful thing about cats is that they are naturally clean animals. They have a basic instinct not to soil their “nest” because if they were in the wild it would alert predators as to their whereabouts and also put them at risk of infection and disease.

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Exorbitant Veterinary Bills ? A Vet Responds (Dr. Kathryn Knipe (BVSc))

This is a letter, which is currently being circulated via Social Media, written by a Gauteng Vet in reaction to a recent TV program where Vets were accused of charging exorbitant bills.

It’s long, but it’s very well written and explains a lot of aspects about the profession which are not considered, or known by most.Cat Vet

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Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition

Dry cat foodDiet is the brick and mortar of health.  This article lays out some often-ignored principles of feline nutrition and explains why cats have a better chance at optimal health if they are fed canned food (or a balanced homemade diet) instead of dry food.

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Is Your Cat Really Bad? What to do when your Cat has a Problem

Naughty kitty 1Picture the scene: You’ve woken up in the middle of the night and you’re stumbling into the kitchen to pour yourself a glass of water when suddenly you jump out of your skin as “something” swats your leg and proceeds to bite and attack it.

You switch on the light, only to be greeted by a real mess as kitty disappears behind a curtain. Your beloved cat has decided to go to the toilet outside the litter box.

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Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) – What is it and can it be Treated?

FIPFeline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a viral disease of cats that occurs throughout the world and is almost invariably a fatal disease.

Causes

The disease is caused by infection with a virus known as feline coronavirus. Infection with coronavirus is actually very common in cats but most of the time it does not cause any problems, other than perhaps mild self-limiting diarrhoea.

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When to Call for Help: How to know when to take your Cat to the Vet

Sick catIllness in a cat is not always easy to spot because cats often try to act as if they are not ill. This goes back to their more primitive days when a sick-looking cat would make an easy target for predators. For its own protection, a cat will try to look healthy, or otherwise hide away. This is why a normally sociable cat can become withdrawn when it is unwell.

Should you notice any of the following symptoms (besides any obvious wounds or broken limbs, etcetera), your cat is probably ill and needs urgent medical attention. Use this handy checklist as a guide:

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Understanding the Counter Creeper: Why Cats are so Nosy and How to Set Boundaries for them

Counter Cat 1Cats can be incredibly nosy. They have the means (and skill) to jump up just about everywhere, including on to your kitchen counter while you’re busy carving your Sunday roast. Cats find interesting smells irresistable.

Unfortunately her ability to hop up wherever she wants to can be incredibly dangerous, particularly if she jumps on to a hot stove, or eats food of dishes in the sink which might not agree with her, or even make her sick (particularly if they have been left there overnight).

It is therefore extremely important that you teach your cat which places are off-limts – it may even save her life.

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Why Cats Hunt: Understanding Why Your Cat Brings You a Bird (or Bits of it)

Cat and MouseCats are predatory carnivores. This means that for cats, hunting is a basic instinct. This is despite the fact that you feed her good diet, her 10 000 year old pre-domesticated natural instinct will kick in.

Remember, hundreds of years ago when cats were first domesticated, it was for the sole purpose of keeping grain free of mice and rats and their diseases. This has never left their systems, and even though humans may deem these acts as cruel, they are perfectly natural.

Cats will tire their prey out by chasing after it and playing with it. This way they can kill their pray with minimal harm to themselves.

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What to Do When Your Cat Goes Missing

Hug catIf you’ve moved house, it’s not uncommon for your cat to get lost, simply because kitty is unsettled and doesn’t know the new neighbourhood. This can be extremely distressful for both the owners and the cat, but the important thing is to try not to panic immediately.

Although the words “Keep calm” will be difficult to hear when your beloved cat goes missing, it’s important that you keep your wits about you and follow these simple steps.

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Cats and their Territory: How Cats Mark their Boundaries

Cat dividerCats, like most species (including humans) like to know that they have a “kingdom” that belongs to them. This is based on their basic instinct to have a hunting ground for food.

For domestic indoor cats, this is generally the dimensions of your home. But for outdoor cats, territory is a hotly contested issue. Outdoor cats need other cats in the area to know which turf belongs to them, with male cats generally requiring more turf than females. Neutered cats generally claim less turf than their non-neutered counterparts.

Female cats usually have “neutral” areas in their turf where there is a common understanding that they can meet without conflict.Cats fighting

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Bathing the Reluctant Cat – How to Survive the Dreaded Cat Bath

There are very few cats who actually like taking a bath – or should we say being bathed – purely because cats were never really designed to get wet, or even to like getting wet – but if you start while they’re young most will grin and bear it.Bathing your cat 2

If kitty has gotten herself into a real mess that she cannot possibly clean herself, you may find the need to get the shampoo out. Interestingly enough, many cats will hate water being poured over their heads and bodies, but will tolerate you using a showerhead to spray water on to their fur.

Anyone who has ever bathed a cat will probably have images of claw rakes down ones hands and arms (and anywhere else that kitty could latch on to in a desperate attempt to escape the bath), but if you are able to handle your cat firmly, with confidence and an assistant, the whole process can actually be a lot easier than initially imagined.

The most important thing is that you don’t want your cat having heart failure from slipping around in the bath while she tries to make an escape, so the first thing you need to do is place a small folded towel at the base of the bath or your sink. This makes a perfect non-slip surface.

Brush your cat to remove any tangles and make sure that you have a special cat shampoo on hand. If your cat will let you, place cotton wool balls in her ears to stop water from getting in, and remember to take them out afterwards.

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The Amazing Marvel of a Cat’s Vision: Understanding How Cat’s Eyes Work

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUnlike humans, a cat’s eyes are designed to work best in darkness – they have an amazing power to see well enough to hunt in the dimmest of light. In fact, their eyes are six times stronger than the human eye in terms of night-vision. This is because their eyes have a very high concentration of rods (photoreceptor cells) as opposed to human’s cones which only work well in bright light. Because of the high rod count in their eyes, they have fantastic night vision.

Their great night vision explains why they are best able to hunt during the darker hours, when their prey is less likely to see them.

Their highest concentration of rods falls across the centre of their retina giving them great peripheral vision and this helps them pick up sudden sideways movements (such as a creature sensing them and rushing for cover).

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Good Cat, Bad Cat: Understanding your Cat’s “Naughty” Behaviour

Naughty cat

For reasons unbeknown to us, there are some people who see cats as mean, aloof, spiteful and are even looked upon by some as evil.

However, contrary to what people think, cats are certainly none of the above and certainly not spiteful or even naughty. They are simply doing what is natural to them.

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Why Cats Like to Rub up against you – Decoding your Cat’s Behaviour

Much has been written about why cats rub themselves up against those that share their home, usually in the form of a kitty greeting where they press their heads and their flanks against their human’s legs, often winding their tail around their human as well.

Photo credit: http://kittenhood.ro/leave-the-circus-join-me/

Is it because they love you? Or is there more to it?

This kind of behaviour may come across as a friendly hello or a kitty hug of sorts, which by all rights it is. When she head boops you she is actually is marking you with her scent so that you smell like everyone else in her “tribe”.

When she rubs her flank against you, she is actually picking up your scent, and if you pay attention you will see that after greeting you like this, she’ll usually go off nd groom herself, which is how she tastes the smell of her human and reestablishes her own scent.

– Article posted by Phillipa Mitchell

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How Cats Communicate: Understanding the Sounds Your Cat Makes

Charles Darwin guessed that the vocal range of a cat amounted to half a dozen different sounds, and professionals today have estimated this range to be from 20 to 600. It has even been suggested that cats have an expressive language, complete with a large vocabulary containing words for “meat”, “mouse” and other important objects in the cat universe.

Aggression between CatsBecause cats, like all animals, cannot talk (in human terms that is), they use sounds to communicate and express themselves.

Probably one of the most distrinctively aggressive cat sounds is the caterwaul. This is usually heard when two rival cats come together, and often signals the beginning of a fight for access to a female on heat. He who growls loudest probably fights hardest, so a weaker cat may actually back off once he hears his opponent’s caterwaul. When this happens, the “lesser” cat’s caterwaul might become more of a gutteral yowl – expressing fear but not necessarily defeat, kind of like saying, “Okay, you win, but don’t cross me again!”Head butting cats

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When Cats First Meet: Avoiding the Wrong Introduction when Bringing a New Cat into your Home

In extremely rare circumstances will cats who are strangers immediately “like” and accept one another. In most scaredy catcases, there is bound to be some animosity and because of this it is key that cats are introduced to each other in stages and not just left together to “get on with it”.

The best time to bring a new cat into your home is when there isn’t much else going on, for example doing the introduction at the same time that you have overnight visitors staying over would not be a good idea. The “resident” cat needs to be relaxed, and you need to have enough time to manage the introduction process.

Cats will always get on better if they don’t feel that they have to compete for your attention and affection, or even over their “resources” such as their bowls and litter trays.

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Why Cats Like People Who Don’t Like Them

So you’ve gotten a new cat and you’re so excited to show him off to your friends and family. Everyone arrives and can’t wait to meet the new addition to the family, but what does his royal highness do? He turns around, tail in thePeople who hate cats air, and walks straight up to the person who is not a cat lover and proceeds to settle in on her lap.

This behaviour is a classic case of “mistranslation”. In the cat world, any form of eye contact (even if it is an interested stare) from a stranger is seen by the cat as an aggressive act.

The new kitty therefore gravitated towards the only person who was not an apparent threat – the visitor who was looking away. And why? Because from the kitty’s point of view, the non-cat lover was the only one giving out the friendliest signals.

– Posted by Phillipa Mitchell

Why Cats Scratch: How to Stop Your Cat From Using Your Furniture as a Nail File

All cats are compelled to scratch as part of their natural behaviour. They scratch to sharpen their claws, to mark Scratching posts for catstheir territory (through the scents left behind on the glands of their paws), to remove dead parts of their nails to make the nail thinner and sharper, and to exercise. This behaviour is completely normal, in fact it’s instinctive, and it’s impossible to stop a cat from doing it. The question is, how do you get a cat to stop using your brand new furniture, the speakers on your sound system, or even your laptop bag and other personal accessories?

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Why Do Cats Meow? Understanding Kitty Chitchat

 

Meow, Meow, Meow! Can you hear me now? Can you get your cat to be less chatty?meow

Cats are extremely smart animals and have realised that their humans have absolutely no idea about body language and pheremones as a means of communicating across species. So what did cats do? They noticed that human beings talk in order to express themselves, and thus adapted their behaviour to communicate with us by meowing.

If you don’t believe this, try and remember the last time you saw two cats meowing at each other for an extended period of time!

Some breeds of cat are more vocal than others, especially oriental breeds like Siamese.

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Feeding Time: Meeting the Unique Nutritional Needs of Your Cat

Cats are referred to as “obligate carnivores’ which means that they need larges amount of protein in order to Tips-for-feeding-your-cat_132_433137_0_14084547_500survive, as well as high levels of fat.Cats need at least 10% fat in their diet and at least a quarter of their intake should be made up of protein. Kittens on the other hand requrie HALF of their intake to be made up of protein, so be careful of feeding your kitten adult commercial cat food.

Carbohydrates should make up no more than 40% of your cat’s diet because cats, unlike humans, don’t actually need carbs for energy. They get all the energy they need from meat. The carbs in commercial cat food are merely there to bulk up the food. Cats have no problem digesting carbohydrates however.

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