Looking at a wall all day, waiting for the moment their busy owner returns home. Food in a bowl, usually too much, eaten out of boredom. Nothing to hunt. Powerful muscles atrophy. Instincts of no use anymore. Scratching a crime, as it damages the furniture. Licking and licking to groom fur that’s been genetically selected to be too long and thick. Try to breathe through nostrils genetically selected to be too small for required airflow.
So sleep. Sleep for hours and hours. Eat. Eat until you’re so fat you can’t leap anymore. Wait for something to happen. Your owner is too busy . . . watching Netflix, eating with friends and family, jogging. No time to play, not even fifteen minutes to spare.
If this is loving a cat, what’s hating a cat?
Why won’t Emma see a vet this year? All systems are go based on my checklist. She’s fine!
Home check list for cat owners:
Clear eyes? (no swelling around eye, redness, mucus, black or brown discharge, scratching at eye)
Clean ears? (no smell, no buildup of black or brown matter, no itching, no redness or scratches in ear)
Wounds? (bites from other animals)
Lumps? (especially in breast area)
Firm stool? (no diarrhea, blood in stool, or rock hard stool)
Urinating inside the litter box?
Behavior unchanged from last year? (Meowing a bit more, but my other senior cats also talked more.)
Fur not too oily? (so she is still able to groom herself)
No mats? (isn’t too arthritic to twist around and groom herself)
Walking without a limp, able to leap and run?
Teeth not brown, gums not bleeding?
I believed in wellness exams until I thought about it.:) I do my own wellness exam. If she hid under the bed for a day or didn’t eat or stopped using her box? Off to the vet we go.
Favorite blog about the nature of medical care: Doctor Skeptic
Favorite quote from that blog: “We should be treating patients with clear, correctible pathology – those that are sick. However, those that are not sick (no disease) but are not well (have symptoms) may be made sick by medical intervention, and they should not be forced into the disease-illness paradigm.“
House call veterinary service or veterinary clinic? Small study supports house call veterinary services as better choice, even when veterinary clinic offers low-stress handling and cat-friendly practice.
Comparison of stress exhibited by cats examined in a clinic versus a home setting
Published in Applied Animal Behavior Science (Journal) 2014
Take home message of the study:
“In the context of this study, where low stress handling techniques were employed throughout both environments, familiarity with the veterinary examiner and procedure were associated with decreased stress experienced by the cat. Higher blood glucose and more hiding behavior in the clinic support the hypothesis that the clinic is more stressful than the home.”
“Cats like to nap.” Wouldn’t you sleep if there was nothing else to do? Cats were designed for hunting. They possess athletic and tracking skills galore. Those skills are going to waste. It’s sad.
Why not try an experiment? For one month, hire a neighbor or a cat sitter to actively play with your cat for at least half an hour several times a week. If you don’t want to hire someone, then actively play with your cat when you are home.
Don’t know where to start? You can learn from Jackson Galaxy, star of “My Cat from Hell” and author of a book about cat behavior. He offers practical, down-to-earth suggestions based on years of visits to the homes of cats. (Ignore his belief in spirit essences sold by the bottle. We’ve all got our quirks. That’s his quirk).
To buy his book:
Toys he suggests using:
To watch his show:
Truth, based on measurable results? Or well-intentioned marketing?
Based on what I see during my visits, cat ownership relaxes some owners and seems to improve their life. For other owners, a cat can become a source of anxiety. If the owner doesn’t have the time, the money or the patience to care for their cat, how can having a cat improve their owner’s health?
From Health News Review — A health news watchdog site.
“Even though Cat People like me are totally predisposed to believe the hypotheses, these stories do very little to scientifically underpin the cat-owning health claims, tease out the conflicts of interests at stake, or critically examine the evidence.”
How would cat fur bypass the body’s protective mechanisms?
Various tubes of decreasing size
“The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. EPA is concerned about particles that are 10 micrometers in diameter or smaller because those are the particles that generally pass through the throat and nose and enter the lungs. Once inhaled, these particles can affect the heart and lungs and cause serious health effects.”
Is fur 10 micrometers or less? No. If fur is pulverized into dust, then perhaps it could enter the lungs. Groomers inhale particles, but are the particles small enough and in high enough volume to cause lung problems later in life? That I don’t know. Since high-velocity dryers are currently a standard grooming salon tool, I would guess that more particles are being blown around nowadays. In earlier years, a “stand dryer” or a human-style blow dryer was used to dry pets.
What I do know is that you will not see a furry lung if you autopsy a groomer.
“Since the late 1970’s, we only monitored particulate matter pollution that was 10 microns in diameter or less, called PM 10. A micron (or micrometer) is a millionth of a meter. To give you an idea of how small PM 10 is, the dot above the letter “i” in a typical newspaper measures about 400 microns!” From Hamilton County Environmental Services website. Good site!
Note: Micron = micrometer = millionth part of a meter. A meter is 39.37 inches. PM = Particulate Matter.
Relevant article from NAILS Magazine: “If You Can’t See It, You Can’t Inhale It.” Take home message: “Particles that are small enough to remain airborne and possibly be inhaled are not visible to the naked eye. In other words, says Will Forest, associate toxicologist for the Hazard Evaluation System Information Service of the California Department of Health Services, “If you can see it, you can’t inhale it.”