Is It Okay With My Cat?
What Constitutes “Normal” Behavior for a Cat?
It may be considered delinquent behaviour for a teenager, but for a cat, engaging in activities such as sleeping all day, chasing shadows all night, and getting high on unknown herbs is quite normal. You should educate yourself on the idiosyncrasies of feline etiquette so that you will be able to distinguish between innocuous kitty oddities and cat habits that might potentially cause you difficulty.
Rubbing of the Face
A sign of affection from a cat is when they rub their face against you. Glands may be seen on the cheeks of cats as well as in the corners of their lips. They transfer some of their odour to you whenever they rub up against any area of your body, whether it be your leg or another region. That is considered a compliment in the language of feline etiquette.
Bringing You ‘Gifts’ in Their Name
You have responded to your small prey with a kind “No, thank you.” However, your cat is adamant about bestowing upon you presents of recently deceased rodents, birds, or reptiles. It is not unusual for people to bring you dead animals, however it is preferable to keep your cat indoors. The presence of roaming cats may have a disastrous effect on birds that nest in the ground, and hunting can also be a source of parasites and bacterial illness in the environment. Instead, you should provide your cat with toys that have hidden surprises inside. It will provide them with an outlet for their predatory tendencies while also ensuring the safety of the wildlife.
Drinking From Toilets
You’ve witnessed the meticulous grooming routine that your cat goes through. Why would they take to all that work to make themselves clean, and then drink out of the toilet when they were finished? Nobody knows for sure why cats behave in this manner. Because it is refilled after each flush, the water in the toilet typically has a more enticing aroma and flavour than water that has been left to stand. If you don’t have any chemical cleansers in the tank, you don’t need to worry about it. And if it bothers you a great deal, you should keep the lid down.
Cats can derive some nutritional benefit from eating a moderate amount of grass. When consumed in greater doses, it has the potential to induce vomiting and/or a laxative effect. You should take stock of all of your houseplants if you notice that your cat has a penchant for devouring everything green. A great number of plant species, such as aloe and philodendron, as well as Easter lilies, which can be fatal to cats, are poisonous to them. You can quickly determine whether or not a plant is harmful to your cat by doing some research online.
In extremely unusual circumstances, cats are driven to consume something that is not edible. Wool is especially attractive for reasons that are not well understood. Some people are bad at it. Some people do genuinely consume it. Some cats are even known to rip large holes in sweaters with their teeth. Compulsive behaviour is characterised by repetitive actions and is more prevalent in cats who live exclusively indoors. Have a discussion about behaviour modification with your veterinarian. It might be helpful to supply other tempting options, like as catnip, grass, lettuce, or rawhide, for the cat.
Sleeping All Day
If you’re a cat, you need to be able to sleep or laze around for the entirety of the day in order to ensure your own existence. Felines have, during the course of their evolution in the wild, developed a strategy for preserving their energy. They only spend a brief amount of time hunting, and the remainder of the day is spent resting. The pattern can also be seen in domesticated cats. A kitten will eat and play for short periods of time, but they will spend the most of its time sleeping.
The Mouth Motor
Just like people, different cats have varying degrees of the ability to “speak.” They may purr and whimper at various times during the day. Cats of Asian origin, and the Siamese breed in particular, are known to meow frequently. The fact that your cat is a chatterbox should not raise any concerns as long as it appears to be neither nervous nor in discomfort. However, a previously silent cat that starts meowing all of a sudden has to be checked out. This shift in behaviour could be an indication of a medical problem, like hyperthyroidism for example.
Your brand-new pants might have a few snags because of your cat, but she has good intentions. When Tiger gets up on your lap and begins to massage your legs, it is an indication that they are feeling at ease, comfortable, and safe. Kneading is a skill that a cat picks up very early in its life. It’s something that nearly all kittens do while they’re being nursed.
There are a few potential explanations for why your cat may have developed the habit of licking your fingers. The first possibility is that your feline friend like the flavour of your perspiration or hand lotion. Licking is sometimes a reassuring activity, and it’s possible that it’s connected to breastfeeding in some situations. Consult your veterinarian if you notice that your cat is licking you excessively or exhibiting any other indications of nervousness.
Obtaining a High
If even a small amount of catnip is enough to put Fluffy into an ecstatic state, you could start to worry that your sweet little furball is getting high. The correct response is “yes.” Catnip contains chemicals that can induce an effect that is comparable to being drunk. Some cats exhibit unusually strong attraction, and research suggests that this behaviour may have a hereditary foundation. Others do not exhibit any kind of reaction at all. This mischievous plant has even been known to induce hallucinations in certain feline patients. It is safe for cats to consume catnip. Consuming a significant quantity, on the other hand, may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. It is not recommended that pregnant cats consume catnip.
Cats, like people, are susceptible to upper respiratory conditions such as allergies, sinus irritation, and infections. Sneezing and a runny nose are two of the possible symptoms. Sneezing in cats is almost always the result of a viral illness that they have contracted through being in close proximity to other cats that are afflicted with the condition. Inhaled allergies, grass pollen, and even tumours are some of the other things that might trigger sneezing. If your pet has been sneezing for more than a few days, you should take them to the veterinarian.
Continuously Putting on a Show
Cats have a natural propensity to be active at night, when they may take use of their better night vision to sneak up on their prey. The majority of domestic cats are able to adapt their routines so that they are active while their humans are awake, although this is not always the case. If your sweetheart is a night owl, you might want to try feeding them and engaging them in an intensive game shortly before bedtime. The flurry of action ought to put Dracula to sleep, allowing the two of you to enjoy a restful evening together. But if you see that your senior cat is staying up all night all of a sudden, you should talk to your veterinarian about it since it might be an indication of hyperthyroidism.
Eyes That Shine in the Dark
Cats have been revered as supernatural entities in many different societies throughout history, including the ancient Egyptians. The fact that their eyes shine brightly in the dark only serves to deepen the mystery surrounding them. As it turns out, this occurrence may be explained in a manner that is rather straightforward. There is a layer of tissue in the eyes of cats known as the tapetum lucidum. This layer is responsible for reflecting light back through the retina. It is a factor that contributes to their exceptional night vision.
Cat Skin Problems
It’s possible that your feline friend has developed a skin condition if you’ve noticed that she’s been licking and scratching herself nonstop. Skin infections, parasites, allergic reactions, and a wide variety of other illnesses that are prevalent in people can also affect cats. WebMD has included pictures of many of the most typical conditions affecting feline skin.
Even if they don’t have to worry about embarrassing themselves at the prom, cats may still acquire acne. Acne in cats almost always manifests as on and around the chin area. Stress, improper grooming, a response to medicine, an underlying skin problem, or even the plastic bowl you set out with their food or water might be the source of the rash. In the event that your pet also has a bacterial infection in addition to acne, your veterinarian may suggest antibiotics or a specific shampoo or gel in order to clear up the outbreak.
Infections Caused by Bacteria
In most instances, bacterial infections of the skin emerge as a secondary complication of an existing skin condition. For instance, acne in cats can make the hair follicles more susceptible to infection, which can lead to a condition known as folliculitis. Antibiotics can be used to treat bacterial infections, but in order to prevent the infection from returning, it is essential to treat any underlying skin disorders that may be present.
Infections Caused by Yeast
In cats that already have a variety of medical issues, yeast infections are more prone to occur since they are caused by a fungus. Ear infections caused by yeast are one of the most typical places to find them. In addition to a continuous itching of the ear, symptoms may include a black or yellow discharge, redness of the ear flap, and scratching of the ear repeatedly. Antifungal medication is an effective means of treating yeast infections; however, before to administering any medication to your cat, you should get the condition diagnosed by a veterinary professional.
Another form of fungus that may infect cats is called ringworm, and it is most common in kittens and young cats. It is possible for it to create circular lesions on any portion of a cat’s body, including the head, the ears, the forelimbs, and any other region of the body. The skin in the surrounding area of these lesions is frequently scaly and hairless. Ringworm is extremely infectious and has the potential to spread to other pets and people living in the same household. Treatment may involve specialist shampoos, ointments, or oral drugs, but will vary according on the severity of the condition.
Sporotrichosis is still another type of fungus, although it is quite uncommon. It causes skin lesions that are tiny and firm, and they sometimes leak fluid. Because the sporotrichosis fungus is known to transmit from cats to humans, there is worry for the public’s health regarding this condition. People whose immune systems are already impaired are at an extra high risk. As a result of these factors, sporotrichosis in cats has to be treated as soon as possible, and their carers need to pay diligent attention to hygiene.
It’s possible for cats to develop allergies to the foods they eat, the grooming products they use, or even environmental irritants like pollen or flea bites. Itching that occurs on the face, scalp, or neck is a typical symptom of food allergies. Scratching the ears or biting on the paws or the base of the tail are two symptoms that are associated with various types of allergies. In addition, allergies can lead to a loss of hair or skin sores anywhere on the body, including the stomach. There are many different therapies available to alleviate the itchy skin that is brought on by allergies; however, the most effective method is to protect oneself from the irritants.
Shedding as well as a Loss of Hair (Alopecia)
When you live with cats, you eventually learn to accept the fact that their fur will find its way into your favourite sweater. However, if you find that your cat is shedding more hair than normal or has bald spots, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as you can. Abnormal hair loss may be an early indicator of a number of different diseases, in addition to flea infestation, stress, allergies, or inadequate nutrition.
Fleas are a fairly frequent problem, despite the fact that the thought of fleas sucking on the blood of your cat probably gives you the creeps. It is possible to find them or their droppings in a cat’s coat, particularly in areas of the coat that are lighter in colour. Scratching that does not stop, skin sores that crust over, and thinning hair above the base of the tail are some of the other symptoms of a flea infestation. Your cat, along with your furniture, bedding, and carpets, will need to be treated if you want to get rid of fleas in your home.
The monthly flea preventive programme has long been considered the industry standard for effective flea management. In addition to killing fleas on your cat, it will also prevent fleas from reproducing, which will lead to their eventual eradication from your house. However, monthly control is not the only available alternative. Additionally, there are medications that may be administered every other month, in addition to a collar that can offer protection for a period of up to eight months. Have a conversation with your veterinarian about what you think is best for your cat. Also, keep in mind that it is essential to treat all of the household pets in order for whatever strategy that you choose to use to be successful.
Microscopic parasites known as ear mites are attracted to the wax and oils that are found in a cat’s ear canal. As they feed, they induce inflammation, which can ultimately result in a severe infection of the skin or the ear. Ear mites can be diagnosed when a person exhibits symptoms such as persistent head shaking, ear itching, a pungent odour, and a black discharge from the ear canals. When both ears are infected, you should look for ear mites. Your veterinarian can recommend a topical medication that will be effective in treating mites. Mites in the ear can potentially spread to other animals including humans.
Head lice are a kind of parasite that feed on dead skin cells. They are frequently spotted on kittens and cats who have not been properly cared for and most of the time they go unreported. Scratching, irritability, an abnormal look of the coat, and even hair loss might be the result of large infestations. Lice, much like mites, are able to be eradicated with a topical medication. Because lice only infest certain species, there is no need for you to be concerned about contracting lice from your cat.
The condition known as stud tail refers to hyperactive glands on the top of the tail. It is also known as tail gland hyperplasia. These glands secrete waxy excretions, which lead to the development of crusty lesions and hair loss. In extreme circumstances, the disease might leave the tail open to the possibility of infection from microorganisms. If the male cats are neutered, the problem may no longer exist. The meticulous grooming of the tail and the use of shampoos specifically developed to treat the condition are two more therapeutic alternatives.
It is possible that your cat is experiencing an allergic response known as an eosinophilic granuloma if it has elevated ulcers or sores on the nose or lips. The face, the soles of the feet, and the thighs are the most typical places where this response takes place, although it can manifest itself anywhere on the body. In some cases, the lesions are caused by food allergies or fleas, while in other instances, they are the consequence of bacterial infections. The treatment must be tailored to the underlying cause of the response.
If you see a bump on your cat’s skin, you should take them to the doctor so they can rule out the possibility of cancer. Cats who are older than 15 years old and cats that have white ears and heads are at an increased risk of developing skin cancer. A biopsy is required in order to make a conclusive diagnosis of cancer. If the mass is not too large, a veterinarian may recommend that it be completely removed. This may be the sole treatment necessary for malignancies that have not spread to other parts of the body.
Dry, Flaky Skin
Some cats, much like people, experience dry, flaky skin in the wintertime. In most cases, there is no cause for alarm, but you should still have your veterinarian take a look. The presence of persistent dandruff may be an indication of an underlying medical condition, insufficient grooming, or poor nutrition. Dandruff in cats can be treated with specialised shampoos as well as supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids.
Toxic Compulsive Hygiene Behavior
It is well knowledge that cats are meticulous groomers; yet, there are instances when they go too far. Licking, chewing, or sucking compulsively on the skin can cause inflammation, infection, and loss of hair, among other undesirable side effects (a condition called psychogenic alopecia). It is possible for cats to engage in obsessive grooming as a reaction to stressful situations, such as moving into a new house, but it is also possible for cats to overgroom owing to a medical condition, such as arthritis. If this sounds like your cat, you should talk to your veterinarian about stress reduction and behaviour modification tactics that may be able to assist, in addition to addressing any of the underlying medical problems.
When You Should See Your Vet
If you see any abnormalities on your cat’s skin, such as peeling, scaling, redness, or bald spots, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as you can. If you notice that your cat is persistently scratching, licking, or biting itself, you should take them to the vet regardless of the appearance of their skin.