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Category: senior cats
What types of environmental enhancements do you offer your cat?
Caring for cats properly involves much more than simply furnishing food, water and a litter box. Environmental enrichment, such as toys, food puzzles, perches, and even hiding places, can really change the quality of life for almost any cat.
The Winn Feline Foundation recently took a look at this issue in a group of shelter cats on their blog. Environmental enrichment in shelter cats is an excerpt from a study which provided a food puzzle to a stable group of shelter cats and examined their reaction to the puzzle and their interactions surrounding the object. The study concluded:
“a stimulating item that can be shared by all individuals in a stable group, such as a puzzle feeder of appropriate size, can play an important role in promoting positive social interactions among cats and improving their welfare.”
Certainly, in shelter cats, this is an important study. It underlines the need for more than just basic care in the lives of these animals and the fact that this enrichment is easily achievable. After all, the ultimate goal is to give these cats the best chance for adoption. Cats that are comfortable in their environment and confident will show it in their behavior. And confident behavior is much more “adoptable” than a cat that is hiding in his cage or, worse yet, acting in aggressive manner out of fear.
However, this study also can be extended to those of us who keep multi-cat households. I have three cats and frequently see two or more of my cats interacting with the toys and puzzles at once. In fact, it seems as though if one cat shows interest, it generates interest in the other cats as well.
Many environmental enhancement toys, cat furniture and other items can be found at www.MyThreeCats.com, the experts in optimum care care and well being.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that people without felines were 30 to 40 percent more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than those without cats. No protective effect of dogs as domestic pets was observed.
Over 4,000 people were surveyed about pet ownership and risk factors. Dr. Adnan Qureshi, stroke expert at the University, said of the cat-dog differential, “We don’t understand this completely – it’s probably not a coincidence.”
I think we can help answer this phenomenon pretty easily.
Cats are creatures of peace and tranquility. They sleep on average 16 hours a day, they are generally quiet and they purr. They follow us around like we’re the pied piper, quietly observing us as we go about our daily activities. They force us to stay on the couch a bit longer as they purr away on our laps. Many have an uncanny sense of when we’re arriving back home, waiting in the window sill until we appear, then meowing and bumping up against our legs with a friendly hello.
Some are very conversational, wanting to tell us how their day went. Their meows are generally very pleasant and sweet. If they are hungry they tell us politely. If they are sick, their observant humans will know by the change in their habits or behaviors, but not because they complain.
These are just some of the ways they affect our lives in a calming, positive way.
So……give your favorite feline a big hug and enjoy them every minute you can! You may just add some years to your life in the process.
I thought I would share with our readers a brief story about our week cat-sitting a dear little old guy named T.C. Loved and nurtured by our son Jake for many years, he is now a remarkable 21 year old orange and white tabby, with white paws and an unforgettably handsome face.
At first, when Jake asked us to cat-sit T.C., I was a bit hesitant. After all, this senior kitty was used to his own comfortable home, and his daily routines. We also have two other cats, one senior, who has been ill off and on and is generally not receptive to other cats. Nevertheless, T.C. made his way into our home, and into our hearts.
We first kept T.C. in my husband’s office where we provided all of the creature comforts he needed, all except one – the freedom to roam and explore our home! He soon found a way to escape and within a few minutes, T.C. had explored all nooks and crannies, from the basement to the top floor. All hopes of confining T.C. to one room were dashed. His tenaciousness had won us over!
By the end of T.C.’s “Excellent Adventure” at our home, he had taste tested some new flavors of canned food, discovered he loved catnip and enjoyed his daily exercise, swatting at the Da Bird toy. He also discovered my husband’s comfortable lap, while sitting at the computer. I couldn’t resist taking several photos of T.C. I thought I’d share with you my favorite.
T.C. may have left on that cold, wintry day to return to his rightful home, but he has forever warmed our hearts and our souls. May God bless and keep you, T.C. We think of you often.
We’re excited to be able to announce one of the best quality cat products on the market today, a cat fountain designed to allow multiple cats to drink fresh, aerated streams of water, without having to wait their turn.
The reason the Drinkwell 360 Stainless Steel Pet Fountain has really caught our attention is twofold: it accommodates multiple cats, and its stainless steel design prevents “cat acne”. What is “cat acne”?
When cats’ chins and surrounding area come in contact with unclean, plastic food and water bowls, the bacteria that can work its way into scratches and nicks in the bowl can infect the cat. Veterinarians and other feline experts recommend using ceramic, glass or metal bowls, and daily washing of those, in order to prevent this common condition.
You can find the Drinkwell 360 Stainless Steel Pet Fountain at www.mythreecats.com. As a loyal blog reader, we want to reward you and offer you a 25% discount off the $99.95 retail price of this fountain for a very limited time only, while supplies last. You must type in the promo code 360 in the promo code box at checkout and then click “update” in order to get the discount.