Face-palm moments with Cats
There are times that cause you to place your palm on your forehead when it comes to our cats. Lately I have had many questions of my own as to why certain things happen with our cats that cause a small amount of chaos in our lives. Here are some things that I have questioned when it comes to my boys, and some I have managed to find answers to and other just remain face palm moments:
Moulting – why does it happen, how often and how can it be controlled?
Firstly, the reason for moulting is pretty simple it seems. I have always wondered why my beloved cats moult, and when I dove deeper to look at the reasons I was pleasantly surprised. Cats moult in spring time generally. There is a difference between shedding and moulting. Shedding is constant, this is something that happens all the time. Humans shed as well, from skin to hair, cats shed their coats all year round. But when it comes to moulting you will see that it is slightly more excessive than the general shed. What happens is this, they lose their undercoat that keeps them warm during winter. They do this so that they stay cool in the summer months. This undercoat grows back just before winter again and so the process repeats itself. As a cat owner I am continuously full of my kitties’ fur, somewhere on my clothes – so bad that I have even been asked by a stranger if I have cats. My feeling is this, I love my cats, yes I have cats, and yes I will have their hair on me sometimes! It is part of my life with cats! I own it!
But there are times where you just cannot afford to look like you haven’t washed your clothes in months - **facepalm** - the way that I manage this situation is simple: Firstly, I have a lint roller in my bedside drawer to try to get as much hair off my clothes as possible before leaving the house. I use it on my bed as well before we climb into it at night as hubby suffers with allergies.
We also have a hand held vacuum cleaner which we use on the furniture from time to time, this helps too. Another great hack is rubber gloves. If you rub your hand, with the glove on, on the surface you want cat hair free, you will be shocked at how much hair this will pick up!
Without sounding too obvious, brushing tends to help as well. During moulting season it makes a huge difference to give your cats a good brush at least twice a week. I would recommend brushing your cat all year round, about once a week should do it, as this too helps minimise the loss of hair from your kitty when the dreaded moulting season begins.
Fact is, we cannot stop them from moulting, this is going to happen. The best way is to find your solution that works for you. We have many options available, and we use them all in my household, because, why not?
Scratching at blankets – I don’t mean kneading – I mean scratching!
As most of you know, we have a little kitten, Scotch! He is now 6 months old and has made the home his domain! He is the boss of the household. He knows what he wants, and one of his new things is he chases the big boys off from our bed. As much as I hate this behaviour as they are all welcome when I am sitting on the bed, no matter what I do to rectify this behaviour, it continues ***facepalm***. I also don’t want to interfere with the ranking in the household, they need to sort each other out. But once Scotch has chased the other two off the bed, he goes ahead and scratches on the bed. Almost like a digging motion and this has always perplexed me. So I did some research and it turns out that it is simply a game. He is not doing it to fluff up the blanket, which is what I thought at first. He basically attacks the blanket trying to fluff it up so that he is comfier, but nope, this is apparently not the reason. He is playing with the blanket. Scotch has this thing of waking us up at 3am then again at 5am when our alarms sound. Each time he sits and meows at the door. I let him in, but then he is at the blankets. Obviously this is disturbing at 3am, so I kick him out of the room again. For those of you wondering why he is out of our room there are multiple reasons. This little kitten is just wild at night time! He will run amuck in our bedroom, so they are kept out, it is just for the best!
Bullying cats – one is always the victim
With our three boys, and I suppose with any household with cats, it is clear to see that there is always the alfa in the house. When it was just Travis and Sancho in our home it was clear that Sancho was the alfa. When I say alfa, it is not really like we know and understand this behaviour. In other words, not like a pack of dogs. For me, the cat alfa is one who will always get the spot in the house and swipe any other who dares to cross him during relaxation mode, or, he initiates play time and if the other participant isn’t ready then and there, it turns to a fight. This is true for Sancho and Travis. Poor Travis gets pestered into playing every night, so much so that if he doesn’t start playing fast enough Sancho will run after him, attacking him from behind until Travis lets out a loud meow. I hate this sound as it makes me feel like he is really getting bullied. I try to stop it when it gets bad as I obviously don’t want Travis to get hurt, but I know that you also cannot intervene with these situations as it will break the hierarchy, and cause extreme behaviour issues possibly. Since we’ve had Scotch not much has changed, and in fact I think he has gained the alfa role. I thought it would be a nice balance where Sancho and Scotch would rough house each other until each are satisfied, but instead they now both pick on poor Travis. I try so hard to minimise this behaviour in Scotch and Sancho but it can sometimes get quite frustrating, more so for little Travis. ***facepalm***
Whenever I see this it reminds me of the time I went to meet Travis at the shelter I adopted him from. He was about 12 weeks old, and just so scared, he had bonded with the feral kitties so he was hiding with them. I sat on the floor patiently waiting for him to come out for a bit from where he was hiding. Eventually he came out to eat some food, but then, all of a sudden a tiny kitten, must not have been much older than about 8 weeks, came out of nowhere, jumped up on Travis’ back and bit him until he ran back to where he was hiding. This broke my heart and right then and there I knew I needed to “save him” in more ways than one! Little did I know that I would bring this into his life again with the two terrors, Sancho and then Scotch. But, please don’t worry, (disclaimer) I do monitor and manage this situation. I will never let Travis get hurt, if it crosses any boundaries I intervene immediately.
I just love that cats give us those moments ***facepalm***. They definitely keep our lives interesting and keep us on our toes with their little antics. With all of this, I cannot imagine my life without my Travis, Sancho and Scotch. My life would be very empty and dull! Enjoy these moments with your cats, take a moment to see what they are for you. Keep calm and accept them for who they are!
The decision should not come lightly to get a kitty companion. There are a lot of things to consider before you even start the process of adopting a cat! Yes, I am a big supporter of “adopt don’t shop”!! There are so many cats in the shelters and there are more coming in each day. The euthanizing of our feline friends is on the rise because the shelters just cannot keep up with the volumes.
Over the years I have definitely noticed and realised that cats have a hierarchy system which has to be in place for a well balance both in their colonies or domestic environment. How I’ve realised this is because in both adventures I’ve had with cats (first Sasha and Dizi then Travis, Sancho and Scotch). Cats are territorial creatures, this we know, but how do you know that some of the unwanted behaviour is just purely acting out against the dominant cat/s? Here are some things to look out for in cats with territorial behaviour.