Outdoor cats – what they do that you don’t know

Didga the Cat (with his human, not pictured).
Didga the Cat (supervised by his human, not pictured).

OK, so your cat has had his dinner, and is now pleading to you to let him outside, using his most convincing, nagging meowwwwwww.    You oblige.

So….what’s your cat’s next move?  Any number of potential adventures awaits him.

Unless your cat is Didga (see the picture above), I would suspect he is completely on his own, at will to come and go as he pleases.   Here are just a few of the many options he has available to him, depending on his environment and the time he spends out there.

  • He finds and chases insects (name your preference); birds; rodents and other wildlife.  Keep in mind your cat is not wild, he is domesticated and not created to run wild.  However, once his hunting instincts kick in, he would tell you otherwise.
  • If he’s lucky enough (again, from his perspective), he will catch them, play with them, and then consume them, in part or in full.  He may even bring the remains, intact or not, to your front door, as his gift to you.
  • Your cat may end up very sick from eating these various vermin, which may cause him and you much distress and cost you a pretty penny at the animal hospital.  If he’s fortunate, he will recover.
  • Crossing the street is another routine, as your cat will undoubtedly want to get from Point A to Point B.  It may be a quiet street, rarely occupied by vehicles.  On the other hand, it may be a busy highway.  It doesn’t matter to your cat.  He will try to cross it. (Can you tell where this story is heading?)
  • Your cat likes to think that all humans are kind and really, really like him, just like you do.  He is trusting.  Unfortunately, the world has both kind people and those who are nasty to animals..   Will he lead a charmed life and never encounter any of the nasties out there, while outdoors?  We hope and pray so, but it’s not certain.
  • Finally, what happens if the sunny, mild weather suddenly changes into a dark, threatening thunderstorm.  Where will your cat go to seek shelter?  He may run right home to you if he’s close enough, but that’s not always possible.  As for me, knowing my cat might be out there cowering somewhere would really bother me to think about.

As you can see, it’s not all sun and butterflies out there.  And, as you can tell, we definitely have a bias in this matter, and believe that companion cats should, whenever possible, remain indoors.  However, we understand it’s entirely up to you as a responsible and cat loving human, to make that decision.

Fortunately, there are plenty of cat toys and safer diversions available for indoor cats.  We invite you to go to MyThreeCats.com and check them out!

 

Cats are amazing. Did you know…

 

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  • A cat’s heart beats twice as fast as a human heart, at 110-140 beats per minute.
  • A cat’s normal body temperature is 101.5 degrees.  This is slightly warmer than a humans.
  • Cats have 290 bones in their body, and 517 muscles.
  • A cat has five more vertebrae in her spinal column than her human does.
  • A cat will almost never “meow” at another cat.  This sound is reserved for humans.
  • During her productive life, one female cat could have more than 100 kittens. (Spay and/or neuter your cat!)
  • Kittens begin dreaming at just one week old.
  • If your cat is 3, your cat is 21 in human years.  If your cat is 8, your cat is 40 in human years.  If your cat is 14, your cat is 70 in human years.
  • The more cats are spoken to, the more they will speak to you.
  • Cats are partially color blind.   They have the equivalency of human red/green color blindness.  (Reds appear green and greens appear red;  or shades thereof.)
  • Cats need 1/6th the amount of light that humans do to see.  Their night vision is amazing!
  • Cats can see up to 120 feet away.   Their peripheral vision is about 285 degrees.
  • A cat’s ear pivots 180 degrees.   They have 30 muscles in each ear, and use twelve or more muscles to control their ear movement.

 

 

Miraculous Story – Frozen Kitten Saved by Man With CPR

A small, white kitten camouflaged by freshly fallen snow, was discovered frozen by the Bingham children playing outdoors.

The seemingly lifeless kitten was rushed inside their house.  A quick thinking father called his vet trained brother, Justin, who rushed to the scene and started to work on the motionless kitten.

After Justin dedicated an hour of rubbing the kitten and pumping his chest in an effort to get his blood flowing (see video at: Lazarus Kitty ), the miracle baby started to revive.  By the end of the day, the little guy was up on his paws and meowing. KittenMiracleBaby

The family named him Lazarus, after the Bible story of Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead.  Lazarus was adopted into the family, and is now romping energetically around their home.

Miracles  do happen!

 

Texas Former Shelter Cat Sheds 22 Lbs., Purr-sonality Blooming at 19 Lbs!

A former 41 pound cat dubbed Skinny has lost more than half of his weight to become the darling of a Dallas based veterinary clinic.

Skinny admits he's a much happier cat these days.
Skinny admits he’s a much happier cat these days.
It's all in a day's work.  Skinny sails through his exercise routine.
It’s all in a day’s work. Skinny sails through his exercise routine.

Dr. Brittney Barton says the orange tabby she adopted in 2013 has slimmed down to 19 pounds with exercise and a special diet.  Barton calls Skinny the “resident cat” at her practice, HEAL Veterinary Hospital.

Barton said last week that Skinny spends weekdays roaming the clinic.  The ex-fat cat’s weekends are spent at home with Barton and her family.

Skinny was founds abandoned near Dallas in 2012 and ended up at a shelter.  The vet says Skinny just had his annual checkup and is healthy.

Source:  Associated Press

 

 

The Secrets to Long Lives for Cats

the secrets to long lives for cats

You never would have thought Luna, my strong willed little tuxedo girl, would live to her current ripe old age of 20. A few times in her life, Luna has endured some health setbacks, most of which have been related to intestinal problems. As a long time cat lover and specialist in their daily care and well being, I am often amazed by Luna’s resiliency when, with the proper care and nutrition, she has bounced back each time to live another day.

Age 20 for a cat is a great achievement in and of itself, but this wily cat also enjoys “working out” at night, a routine typically followed by much younger cats. At the stroke of midnight, a few times a week, Luna leaps from the bed to the floor, races through the second floor of our home, and repeats the performance. Not a way for her humans to get a restful night’s sleep, but we can’t help but admire Luna for her pep.

Observing the living habits of many older cats over the years, I have developed a sense of what is behind the phenomenon of cats managing to live to ripe old ages. Genetics certainly would seem to play a factor. Much like studies on human genetics and how their inherited traits may swing the longevity pendulum to a shorter, or longer life, I believe that this impacts cats’ lives as well. Some purebred cats, for example, seem to generally have a shorter life span than “mixed” breeds, the latter of what I term a “Heinz 57” cat. Although several years ago, there was a story about a Sphinx cat who purportedly lived to age 32. His human was also quite elderly, they were the perfect “little old men”!

Exercise leads to fit cats, another indicator of longevity. Our Luna is about as slim as they get, and that’s the way she’s been for many years. Perhaps that’s why she seemingly has little to no arthritis and the ability to fly through the air at midnight. It’s important to spend as much time as possible interacting with cats. Catnip, wand and other toys that bring out the hunting instinct in cats are effective in ensuring exercise as well as mental stimulation. Although indoor/outdoor” cats undoubtedly experience the thrill of the hunt, they are subject to many more life threatening risks than their indoor feline counterparts, including hit and run car accidents, animal fights, and unfortunately, ill meaning people.

Great nutrition is another leading factor. With the proliferation of cat food choices on the market, it’s easy to choose a food that has fewer by products, and purer ingredients. I have also discovered that moisture in food tends to be an important factor in a cat’s health, especially as they age. A combination of premium quality canned foods with dry foods seems to work for our aging cats. A vitamin supplement such as Felovite with Taurine also helps keep them well nourished.

Keeping cats well hydrated also is good preventative measure for many ailments. Cats tend to wait until they are fairly dehydrated before going to the water bowl. We have been using cat water fountains ever since they first came onto the market and recommend their usage to encourage cats to drink. Our favorite is the line of Drinkwell products, especially the Pagoda and Lotus ceramic fountains as well as the Stainless Steel “360”.

Finally, and perhaps the most important key to feline longevity, is emotional health. I can’t say enough about showing your cats how much you love them. Your cat will let you know what he/she prefers in this sense, whether it’s just a kind word, a stroke on the head, or a “full body hug”. Let them know every day how much they mean to you in your life. Encouragement and affection will go a long way towards extending their lifetimes.