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Understanding Cat's Marking Behavior

Understanding Cat's Marking Behavior

Have you ever wondered the reasons why your cat is licking you? Is it just showing affection or trying to get your attention? Well, the answer is NO. Cats are solitary animals, and they are more independent than dogs. But, most importantly, they mark their territory by licking, rubbing, or even urinating on things. So when your cat is licking you, it may mean it has marked YOU as its territory. Doesn't it sound sweet?

Marking behavior is found in wild animals. However, domestic cats also show this marking behavior. Marking territory is vital to cats, especially when they live in a specific area or use particular things. For example, they like to feel safe and secure inside their homes and signify their "ownership" over something, such as litter boxes or food bowls.

Most territory marking is done through rubbing, scratching, and licking. But what is the most essential thing in this process? Scent. The scent is the primary way that cats communicate. Cats have several scent glands on different parts of their body, including cheeks, paws, flanks, pads of their feet, and they can put personal scents on objects by rubbing or scratching. In addition, the smell indicates the message to other cats that they've been there and laid claim. So rubbing against you or clicking you is a way of marking you as theirs and telling other cats to back off. This communication pattern can be easily found among wild animals.

Generally, cats will mark their territory by rubbing against objects, scratching, licking, and even urinating. Don't worry if your cat shows this behavior; they can be trained. Spraying urine is mainly done outdoors; means more competition. However, if your cat sprays in your home, it may be anxious about something. Think first if there is any change in your home? Like new furniture or a new cat in the neighborhood? If everything is all right, take some time to observe this behavior and ask your vet about it.

If you have several cats at home, make sure they all have their own litter box, food bowls, bed, perches, and toys. Make sure they don't have to fight for a resource. This can help reduce competition and anxiety and will make them feel safe and loved.

Do cats dream?

Do cats dream?

Hi there, pet owners! Have you ever thought about why your kitten or cat is waving its paw, twitching whiskers, or drooling while sleeping? Have you ever wondered if they dream just like humans?

Well, apparently, just like us, cats are also mammals and have a similar brain structure. This means that their brain's activity during sleep is also quite similar, and they can dream just like us. So here, we will talk about sleeping cats and their dreams!Ā 

How long do cats sleep?

On average, adult cats sleep 15 hours per day, and kittens sleepĀ 20 hours a day. Born as natural hunters, cats sleep most of the daytime and save energy for hunting during the night. So that's why you may notice your cat sleeping during the day. This sleep is also referred to as a "catnap."

But don't ever think that they won't notice when you walk by or open snacks. While sleeping, cats are always alert to their surroundings, and they can simultaneously be awake and asleep. Even domestic cats display such behaviors. So they are most active at midnight and dawn. They may walk on your face or jump between tables, and this may cause a lack of sleep for owners.

Do theyĀ dream?

Yes, cats can dream like us! Just how we dream about people we have met or like, cats do the same. The only difference is the experience and feelings. For example, your cat is very likely dreaming itself lying down on top of the "food carpet." During rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the closed eyes move quickly and randomly. Meanwhile, the dreams cats have tend to be detailed, long, and sometimes imaginative. During non-REM sleep, dreams are short and simply replay the day's activities, like playing with toys or balls.

We can have nightmares when sad things happen or when we are under pressure. Similarly, catsĀ sometimesĀ have nightmares, too! But the things that might haunt them could be separation anxiety or any other scary animal. For some cats, dreams could be about the abuse they've suffered, including hungry days on the streets. When cats have nightmares, you can help by patting them gently and reminding them they are loved. Cats process stress and trauma in life through dreams, and once they wake up, the nightmares and fear go away.

Cats have various sleeping positions, like belly-up, the classic loaf of bread, and sideways. Sleeping cats are so adorable and will melt your heart. You are welcome to share with us your fur friend's sleeping pictures!

Love Is Not Overfeeding Your Pets

Love Is Not Overfeeding Your Pets

Obesity has now become a common disease in humans. It increases the risk of other diseases concerning heart and blood pressure. Like humans, pets may get obese and consequently face other medical problems if they are overfed for a long time. Overfeeding your pets is a wrong decision and may even shorten their lives. Let's take a look at some reasons and how to avoid overfeeding.Ā 

1. Diseases associated with obesity

Overweight is related to many kinds of diseases as it causes extra fat, which puts a burden on organs such as the liver and heart. The common conditions that may be caused by excess fat are diabetes, heart disease, and increased blood pressure.

Diabetes

Like humans, obesity may also cause diabetes in pets. Typically, the body breaks down the sugar through insulin after we/pets eat or drink. The secretion of insulin increases in response to the increased blood glucose level for overweight pets. Extra fat demands more insulin, and when the ability to produce insulin cannot satisfy its demand, sugar diabetes develops. If it goes on for a very long period, it may lead to severe heart disease, kidney damage, and so on.

Heart disease and high blood pressure

Once fat in a body is increased, the capacity of blood circulation also increases. It ultimately puts pressure on the heart. For an overweight body, extra fat tends to cause increased blood pressure and lead to heart disease. In addition, extra fat in the pet's chest limits the expansion of the lungs and results in difficulty in breathing.

Arthritis

You must have observed that overweight cats and dogs move slower than normal ones. It is because too much weight can damage the joints and bones. In the long run, you may notice the development of arthritis, and the pain associated with joints changes also become severe. Extra weight and pain will lead pets unwilling and unable to move actively and fast.

2. How to tell if your pet is overweight?

Two of the easiest ways to tell if your dog is overweight are to feel for its ribs and look at its body shape from the side. If you can easily feel its ribs and they are not prominent, then the dog is fit. A fit and healthy dog has a fluent body curve, a defined waist, and no extra abdominal fat (see picture below).

Image Credit: Greencross Vets

3. Ways to avoid your pet from putting excess weight

Pets are primarily overweight because they are overfed by their owners. In this case, diet and exercise are the two most important keys. Now, if you are thinking about how you can avoid overfeeding your pet, here is the deal!

Choose food that contains nutrients your pets need and less fat, according to your vet. Set regular feedings for your pets, and you could try to use an automatic feeder. DO NOT leave food in the bowl all day as pets like to eat them all at once. With an automatic feeder, you can easily set regular feedings with exact servings, and you don't need to spend time keeping track of how much food your pet eats per day.

DO NOT give them extra treats just because you like to watch them eating or they are begging for it. For the latter, it will increase their begging behavior if they know they can get it. Keep track of how many snacks you give your pets per day as the sum of given snacks can be too much. You can also divide a treat into small pieces and only give one piece to your pet for one time.

Exercise is necessary because if your pets are inactive, they won't burn calories.Ā Encourage your pet to exercise more or take them for a walk regularly. You can start with a short walk and choose different exercises depending on your dog's age and health. Moreover, swimming is a good exercise for dogs if you have a swimming pool. If your pet's joints and bones are badly damaged, please visit your vet for treatment in time.

Overfeed your cat or dog is no doubt bad for them as they may get overweight and may therefore get diseases like diabetes. In fact, overweight may shorten their lives which is even worse. A cat or dog that can run, jump, and rollover will be muchĀ happier. Remember to feed your pets with love, not excess food or snacks.