Too many people are burdened by anxiety, stress, and grief- and cats are the cure.
Our Can Opener has had her paws full lately. And everywhere we look we hear bad reports and see a lot of anxious or grieving people. The Can Opener herself is still grieving- and so is her sister. But they know of several things that really help- (we’ll talk about those later)- but guess what? We cats are great therapists!
From the beginning time, humans have seen that their cats make them smile, bring them warmth and comfort, and give them a reason to get up in the morning. That’s because if they don’t get up in the morning, their cats will eat their donuts before they can have a chance to.
But besides serving as your faithful alarm clocks (to remind you of our 3 am feeding schedule), and helping you avoid those un-necessary calories in those donuts that you always regret eating later, cats are great for your mental health in a ton of other ways.
Hey, humans- I know some of you are wound up tighter than a cheap clock these days- but did you know that we cats (and other pets you have) can feel your tension and anxiety too?
Humans use different things to relieve their stress- like vegging out in front of the tv (which can also cause stress)- getting on social media (which not only can drain hours out of your day, but can also add to your stress), and play video games (which can be good- but not for endless hours)… and some do better things like spending time with friends, reading, and exercise- or better yet, going to the beach, parks, or any place that is fun and relaxing.
But in case you never thought about it, there isn’t a lot your pets can do to relieve their anxiety if they are indoor pets, and particularly if you are preoccupied with other things and don’t spend time playing and interacting with them.
Did you know that playing and interacting with your pets helps relieve their feelings of loneliness and anxiety? It not only makes them happier, and gives them some exercise and stimulation, but it’s great for helping you to relax, feel less lonely and anxious, and even lowers your blood pressure!
And just as people don’t like to be ignored, or feel lonely, neither does your cat.
And like people, when cats get bored and lonely- they just might take matters into their own paws… *just sayin’. *
And if your cat gets jealous because you spend too much time on the computer, well- he might decide to do something to get your attention…
And if you get too busy to feed the cat, watch out when you go to fridge again- you may get an unpleasant reminder that the cat wants to eat too…
And if you don’t play with your cat, they will find other ways to get their exercise and entertainment…
Trust me, it’s just easier to play with your cat in the first place!
I just can’t believe cats ever misbehave, because I know I’m such an angel… no, really! I don’t ever fight with other cats at all- (I just smack Twilight when she insists on pawing at me to make me play when I don’t want to) – but that’s not naughty- that’s discipline! These young twerps these days just don’t like to take “no” for an answer!
I also notice Sheba’s naughtiness- she keeps her Mom up all night long and won’t let her sleep- and every time Twilight follows our human when she goes next door to visit her sister, that crazy Sheba hisses and fluffs up her tail and chases Twilight out of the house! Even when Sheba comes here, she tries to chase Twilight off her own cat tree! But Sheba won’t mess with me, because I’ll eat her. (Not misbehaving- I just have a great appetite)!
I even hear that some cats eat houseplants – (a vegan CAT?), and some attack toes- (Twilight, are you listening)? And others poop outside the litterbox! I never do these things because I’m a good cat – but from what I hear, these things can really upset the humans and cause some problems. So I decided maybe I should pass on the video my Can Opener found while doing research to help her sister not to be so fur-rustrated with Sheba.
Check this out- maybe it’ll help you or someone you know who has a very mischievous cat!
Just remember you heard it from Sushi- the good cat!
Did you know that the largest hairball ever removed from a cat was 1.9 inches bigger than a Major League Baseball? Neither did I- But I can tell you I wouldn’t have wanted to see that baseball after they used it to measure the size of that hairball!
It sounds awful, but it’s true – (my guess was it was a mountain lion or something)- but still…
All cats get hairballs, and few people realize that rabbits and cattle can actually get them too! They are not only miserable, but they can cause serious problems for your cats.
Hairballs form because when cats groom themselves (which is all the time)- tiny little barbs on their tongues catch loose hair which they then swallow, and it winds up in their stomachs causing a lot of discomfort. (A cat’s tongue isn’t like those self-cleaning cat brushes, you know).
Now, certain cats are more susceptible- like Persians and Maine Coons- and usually the hair passes out safely without issue. But long-haired cats like these have them more often because their coats are longer and denser. Also, did you know cats are more prone to hairballs in the spring and summer? This is because cats are working hard to regulate their body temperature.
If your cat gets a hairball they can’t pass, it can result in a blockage that can threaten your cat’s life.
Signs to watch out for:
Coughing and hacking
Swallowing and licking their lips
Refusing to eat or take treats
Refusing to drink water
Refusing to groom
Spend time with your cats and pay attention to their normal habits – be alert to any changes in their appetite or grooming patterns. If you see anything that makes you suspect something isn’t right, don’t hesitate to call your vet. Keep your cat as comfortable as you can until you can get it help and keep noise and activity to a minimum as much as possible.
Brushing your cat is the best way to prevent hairballs- this is not only soothing to your cat, but increases circulation, relieves any itchiness, and at the same time removes loose hair before it reaches their tummy.
Stress can also be a cause of hairballs at times, since chewing and over grooming are things cats do when they feel stress- sort of like humans biting their nails. To help prevent hairballs because of stress over-grooming, set aside a little time each day to involve your cat in an activity they love.
There are also hairball preventing paw gels, supplements, and hairball formula cat foods for a little extra insurance. Here are a few examples we like:
Check these out to prevent the problem before it starts! And keep your eyes on your fur-babies’ normal habits so you’ll know right away if something is off.
Soul Mates According to the National Institute of Health, various studies show that owning a pet, particularly a cat or dog, can have many benefits for people. They include; decreased stress, lower blood pressure, reducing loneliness, increasing feelings of social support and improving one’s mood. There are also other aspects that bond a person with […]
Our Can Opener saw this post and started to cry. Being the sweet cat I am, I of course, had to investigate and find out what made her cry and then get up from the computer and start praying for a place called “Ukraine.”
Please take a few minutes to read (and follow) The Chester Chronicles- and if you are a person who believes in prayer, please take a few minutes out of your busy day to pray for relief for the people (and children) and animals of Ukraine! Pray for healing of Ukraine and its people- and click the link below (or one of the links on Chester’s page) to help if you are able! So many people and pets (and wild animals) are suffering and need care.
Let them know they are not alone!
Humane Society International (animal rescue/ vet care / supplies/ food /shelter)
This time, she’s discovered a day on April 11th every year (internationally)- to celebrate pets of all kinds (but in this house, it’s cats)!
In 2006, an animal welfare advocate (Colleen Paige)- started National Pet Day to celebrate all the joys (and comfort) that pets give the ones who love and care for them. She wanted everyone to recognize the value of having pets and to encourage people looking for pedigreed pets to check out the Humane Society’s shelters before handing buckets of cash over to breeders.
Her motto was “Adopt, don’t shop!” And I think that makes her a hero when you consider all the millions of pets that enter shelters each year. Thanks to people like her, (and our Can Opener), it worked! People have discovered their best (4 legged) friends there and now over one million happy cats and dogs have found loving homes.
Sushi and I want to thank her and all like her, who care about the happiness and welfare of animals. Since we can’t speak for ourselves, we need heroes to speak up on our behalf- and because of people like this, pets like me and Sushi and so many others can be rescued from abusive situations, and devastation because of wars, hurricanes, earthquakes and all those other things that separate people from their pets and leave homeless and abandoned pets vulnerable and hungry.
So today, take some time to give your pets some extra cuddles, playtime, and grooming. They give you love, warmth, snuggles and companionship all year round. Today is their day to know they matter!
If you don’t have a pet, why not consider visiting your local animal shelter and adopt one?
“Now, Human, about that special treat you mentioned…I hope it’s from a tiny, expensive can!”
Let’s give some homeless / shelter cats some love today!
The point of National Cat Day is to draw attention to the hundreds of homeless and shelter kitties (including ferals) all over the country – it’s a great time to consider adopting a shelter cat from your local shelter, or do something to help the feral cats that roam in your area.
I was a feral cat – and so was Sushi in the beginning. Both of us had been born to a feral mom in someone’s back yard. But I was lucky- because the humans that lived at the yard I was born in, just happened to love cats, and she felt sorry for my pregnant mama who was suffering through the cold, wet, Oregon winters and she did everything she could to give my mama some relief. My mama wouldn’t let the human get close to her, but she knew she would be provided food and fresh water, and a box with a blanket to try and help her stay warm.
When we kittens were born, Mama hid us (from the other neighbors) under the big bush at my human’s back yard, making sure the other neighbors wouldn’t see us, but she let my human know where we were – and would allow her to come relatively close so she could see us nursing under the bush. She instinctively knew that human would watch after us and keep us safe when she wasn’t there.
Now, there are even more homeless cats because of wildfires, hurricanes, other natural disasters, and people who find themselves and their pets homeless because of evictions or foreclosures due to the pandemic.
National Cat Day is a wonderful time to adopt a shelter or homeless cat. Especially with the wet, cold winters being just around the corner now.
If you can’t adopt a homeless or shelter cat, there are still lots of ways you can help them! Here are a few:
donate blankets, food, or toys to animal shelters or volunteer to spend some cuddle time with cats at your local animal shelter
keep a can or two of cat food or a blanket, toy, or bag of treats, or flea treatment in your car to donate to a homeless person you may come across with a cat so you will be ready to help- and please don’t judge them. So many are homeless now because of things out of their control.
Donate cat food / treats / toys and flea treatments to food pantries – Or, to neighbors you know of who have cats and are struggling.
Don’t forget you can also donate these things to church food pantries that are established to help their congregants.
Meanwhile, Check out these beautiful formerly feral kitties that were adopted!
People celebrate National Cat day in a variety of ways:
1.) Spend some time playing with your cat- or, provide him or her some exciting new toys, a new cat tree, or some wall shelves for climbing.
2.) Leave a treat trail around your house to provide an unexpected “hunting” experience (and exercise) for your indoor only cat.
3.) Surprise your cat with some home-made tasty cat treats.
I find Wednesdays to be worrisome. They seriously are. Because through the week, I’ve watched the Critters have fun with the Can Opener while she teaches them, guides them through their lesson plans, plays with them and takes care of them.
All the while I’m wanting the her attention. I have to wait all day to get my brushng, playtime and cuddles after they go home for the day. The problem with that is, Twilight comes flying into the room and steals the attention I would otherwise have. She even did it first thing this morning as soon as the Critters arrived.
She sauntered right into the living room and immediately presented her butt to the Tiny One for a back scratch, and immediately everyone started talking about how cute she is. That is, everyone but me.
I wish it was Caturday- because then I get the Can Opener all to myself.
Wiped out after a long play session and an (attempted) nail trim.
The Can Opener has made several attempts to trim Sushi’s claws, by herself, but without the Marines, it’s just not going to happen. Today she watched a few videos on YouTube looking for tips that might help since she can’t get her into the vet for a trim for at least a few weeks. They aren’t making many appointments.
After watching several videos, she finally decided to try some tips from a Vet who clipped his own (angry) cat’s claws. It looked a lot easier than it actually was- because even though that cat was also angry, it wasn’t “Ms. Alligator Roll.”
Maybe the video will help someone else out there with a militant cat, but for the Can Opener, Sushi won- again.
I think Sushi knows those switchblades on her feet are her only means of ruling the roost around here, and she’s not planning on giving them up. No matter how many treats she’s offered. So, what’s next? I’ll be watching… with a big bowl of popcorn!!!