Tag: cat behaviour

How long can a cat go without going to the bathroom?

Cats are mysterious creatures with strange, undecipherable behaviours. From sticking out their tongues in an adorable way to hissing at you (and making the hairs on the back of your neck stand up in the process), cats take some time to get accustomed to. But once you have an inkling to how your pet’s mind Read More...

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Cats are mysterious creatures with strange, undecipherable behaviours. From sticking out their tongues in an adorable way to hissing at you (and making the hairs on the back of your neck stand up in the process), cats take some time to get accustomed to. But once you have an inkling to how your pet’s mind works, you’ve won a friend for life! 

Your cat’s toilet habits are another aspect that takes some time to understand. This Waldo’s Friends guide will help you determine:

What is considered normal peeing and pooping for cats?

When it comes to toilet habits, every cat is different. Normal peeing may range from two to six times a day depending on your cat’s age, water intake, and diet, as well as other factors such as existing medical conditions, medication, heat, humidity, and stress. Pooping, on the other hand, is done by most cats at least once a day.

How long can my cat go without peeing or pooping?

Even if your cat eats or drinks normally, she can go without peeing for 24 to 48 hours. Some cats that undergo neutering or surgery might not pee for 72 hours. Meanwhile, a younger kitten usually pees 4 to 6 times a day, so if she doesn’t do so within 24 hours, take her to the veterinarian. As for pooping, a cat can safely hold it in for 24 to 36 hours. If it goes over 48 to 72 hours, schedule a visit to her vet. 

Failure to urinate or defecate creates a risk of injury due to the toxin buildup in your cat’s system. Increase in toxins can make your cat sick and may lead to damage in her vital organs. Worse, it may cause death. 

Why can’t my cat pee or poop?

If you’ve noticed your cat lingering in her litter box but not being able to expel anything, there are some possible reasons why she’s having trouble doing so:

Stress

Stress is one of the main reasons why your cat can’t pee or poop. It may be caused by changes in your routine, a new pet, separation anxiety, or even traveling. Find ways to relieve your cat’s stress by gradually introducing changes to her life. When you decide to bring home a foster or adopted pet, do not rush the introduction between your cat and the dog or kitten. If you’re going on a road trip with your cat, make sure to take her out of her crate every 6 hours so she can relieve herself.  

Injury

An accidental fall may affect your cat’s pelvic nerves and damage her bladder and urethra, leading to urination complications.  

Dehydration

Lack of water in your cat’s body can cause constipation, making it difficult for her to poop regularly.  

Illness

Undiagnosed or chronic health problems may prevent your cat from peeing or pooping. If your cat has a hard time peeing, she may be suffering from any of these problems: Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), urethritis, and cystitis. Peeing with these illnesses would most likely cause pain to your cat, so she tries to avoid the process.

  • FLUTD is commonly linked with crystals or stones that form in your cat’s urinary tract.
  • Urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra, which may come from injury, infection, or even cancer. 
  • An inflammation in the urinary bladder, cystitis may be caused by a mineral imbalance, a bacterial infection, and/or an abnormality in your cat’s pH levels. 

If your cat has a hard time pooping, she may be suffering from these sicknesses: arthritis, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, megacolon, and ruptured/impacted anal sacs. 

  • If your cat suffers from arthritis, it’ll be difficult for her to do the squatting position.
  • Similar to humans, diabetes in cats is caused by insufficient or ineffective insulin levels from eating human food, prolonged corticosteroid use, and/or obesity. 
  • Hyperthyroidism happens when the thyroid nodules produce excess hormones. It can be triggered by advanced age, fish-flavoured canned food, flame-retardant chemicals, or thyroid cancer.
  • Kidney disease may be caused by viral and bacterial infections, toxins, immune disorders, or even old age. 
  • Megacolon refers to the colon becoming abnormally enlarged due to chronic or severe constipation.
  • Anal sac disorders usually involve the impaction of anal sac fluid, sac inflammation, and/or sac abscess, which can lead to anal gland rupture. 

What do I do when my cat can’t pee or poop?

Observe your cat whenever she tries to pee or poop. There is something most likely wrong if nothing comes out after multiple attempts, she cries out in pain, or her pee or poop is tinged with blood. Schedule an appointment with her veterinarian as soon as possible, monitoring your cat and making sure she doesn’t go beyond the 48-hour mark without urinating or defecating. 

Also, do not attempt to self-diagnose your cat and cure the so-called symptoms with home remedies. You might cause more harm to your cat or conceal the real reason why she’s having a difficult time excreting. Instead, let your vet run tests to determine the cause of the problem and provide the necessary treatment to assist your cat. Depending on the gravity of the situation, your vet may prescribe medication or suggest changes in her diet. 

Read up on more cat-related articles in our blog! Learn useful tricks such as preventing your cat from peeing everywhere or entering a room.

5 Reasons Why Your Cat Vomits After Eating

Aside from providing food, shelter, and entertainment to your cat, safeguarding her health is one of your priorities as a pet parent. Witnessing your cat vomit for the first time may be a cause for concern for most owners, but before you go on full panic mode, know that there are multiple reasons why your Read More...

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Aside from providing food, shelter, and entertainment to your cat, safeguarding her health is one of your priorities as a pet parent. Witnessing your cat vomit for the first time may be a cause for concern for most owners, but before you go on full panic mode, know that there are multiple reasons why your cat may be throwing up—especially after a meal. 

To cat parents reading this post, please remember that this article is only a guide. We want to equip you with all the information you need to assist your pet before her conditions worsen. Take her to the veterinarian ASAP if she vomits more frequently in a day and if you find blood in her vomit. Also, have her checked if her vomiting bouts are accompanied by discomfort, pain, appetite loss, lethargy, or weight loss. 

There are many possible reasons why cats puke after a meal, and these instances may or may not be accompanied by white foam. If your cat throws up soon after she eats, it may be caused by:

1 How fast she ate her meal

Gorging is one of the most probable reasons why your cat vomits soon after eating her meal. Your cat eats so fast that she swallows most of her food without chewing… and a lot of air in the process! Her stomach wall expands too quickly, which signals the brain to regurgitate what she just consumed. Upon closer inspection, it appears as undigested food in a tubular or round shape, and may smell fermented.

Some cats are just accustomed to eating quickly, while others may be stressed with food bowl competition. If your cat naturally eats fast, force her to slow down by feeding her smaller portions. Elevating her dish, spreading out her food on a wide tray, or placing a ball in the dish will also help her eat slower. 

If you suspect she eats fast because of the presence of other pets, separate your cat from the lot during feeding times or create a different feeding schedule for her. These will allow her to eat in peace. 

2 The quality of the meal or treat she consumed

Low-quality cat food may also be to blame for your cat’s vomiting incidents. Lacking in nutrients, these are made of fillers (such as corn) and additives that may not sit well in your cat’s digestive system. Cheap, low-grade treats can also cause your cat to reject what she’s eaten. Worse, these meals and treats may shorten the lifespan of your pet.  

Check the list of ingredients in your cat food and treats and avoid the following: corn and wheat gluten, meat and grain meals and by-products, Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), ethoxyquin, food dyes, Propylene Glycol (PG), and rendered fat. 

3 Her body’s reaction to what she ate 

Whether it’s vet-approved cat treats or cat-friendly human food, make sure the food you give your cat is something her stomach can handle. Some cats are known to have allergies or intolerances to certain food, with the most common ones being beef, fish, chicken, and egg. Dairy products such as milk and cheese are also known to cause digestive upset. 

If your cat vomits after you feed her something new, she may not be used to the new food. It’s advisable to change her diet gradually by adjusting the ratio of the old and new food over 5 to 7 days. However, if you think your cat may be allergic to one of its ingredients, keep a close eye on her. Aside from vomiting, she may display any of these other symptoms: diarrhea, flatulence, frequent scratching, hair loss, skin inflammation, chronic ear problems, coughing, wheezing, and sneezing. Consult with your vet to confirm that your cat has a food allergy and to determine the allergen. If needed, put your cat on a hypoallergenic diet that’s recommended by her vet. 

4 What she should not have eaten

Aside from edible food, non-edible items such as hairballs, grass, and toilet paper may also cause your cat to vomit. It is her body’s natural way of cleansing the digestive system. Some foreign substances such as feathers, toy parts, and string may be harder to puke. If these objects become lodged in her stomach or intestine, she may need to get a surgery to remove them. 

5 What she did after eating

Don’t be surprised if your kitten dashes off to play after dinner and ends up puking most of her meal. Her stomach just hasn’t had enough time to process what she’s consumed. Instead of letting her run around post-meal, keep her calm by petting her. Pat her on the head, scratch the back of her neck, or rub her chin to receive purrs of contentment. 

Always remember…

If your cat vomits once or twice a month but appears normal before and after she does it, it might not be a big deal. But if throwing up becomes a regular occurence in your household and is accompanied by other alarming symptoms, you need to have her checked. Chronic cat vomiting may lead to dehydration and malnutrition if it is not properly treated. 

Read our other guides to help you become an even better paw parent!

4 Ways to Help Your Pregnant Cat Before She Gives Birth

Before you bring home a rescue cat, it’s a prerequisite in most countries to have the animal neutered. The procedure helps regulate cat population (especially in shelters) and reduces unwanted behaviours and cancers from developing. It is recommended for female kittens to be neutered as early as six to eight weeks of age, or at Read More...

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Before you bring home a rescue cat, it’s a prerequisite in most countries to have the animal neutered. The procedure helps regulate cat population (especially in shelters) and reduces unwanted behaviours and cancers from developing. It is recommended for female kittens to be neutered as early as six to eight weeks of age, or at five to six months old. But what if you take in a community cat or foster a cat, and soon discover that she is pregnant? How do you deal?

When you come across a cat that’s expecting, treat her the same way you would treat a pregnant person—with lots of care! Here are 4 ways you can assist a mama cat until she’s ready to give birth:

1 Take her to the vet.

Make an appointment with the veterinarian to confirm that kittens are on the way. Ask the vet to perform an x-ray to give you a rough idea on how many kittens to expect. Since pregnant cats can also pass on some viruses to their unborn kittens, be sure her vaccination is up to date. Confirm with your vet if certain medication or treatment can be administered while she is pregnant.

When your cat shows signs of nesting (learn more about it below!), stops eating, starts vomiting, and her temperature drops below 100°F, bring her to the vet for another round of health checks. Discover how to tell if she’s actively in labour, what you should do during/after the birthing process, and when you should seek assistance from your vet.

2 Provide her with nutritious meals. 

A mama cat needs to consume more calories since there are growing kittens in her belly. She is known to eat at least 50% more of her daily intake, especially when she’s about to give birth. Depending on your vet’s recommendation, give your mama cat high-quality kitten food or food specially made for pregnant cats. Make sure they are made with premium ingredients. Ease the transition by adjusting the ratio of the old and new food over the course of 7 to 10 days.

Remember that dry cat food is known to have more calories than wet cat food. If your cat prefers eating wet food, you’ll need to increase the frequency of her meals or give her larger portions to guarantee her dietary needs are met. Aside from feeding her meals packed with protein and vitamins, make sure she has access to fresh water at all times. 

3 Prepare a nesting space for her. 

When your cat is ready to pop, she’ll be looking for a warm and quiet area where she can give birth. This nesting instinct is accompanied by restless pacing, excessive grooming, excessive vocalisation, and a decrease in appetite. Nesting may begin as early as two days before she goes into active labour.  

Provide everything she needs in this nesting space. Prepare a birthing box filled with shredded newspaper, blankets, or towels. Choose a big cardboard box with low sides that can accommodate both your cat and her litter. (A 16” x 24”-sized box would roughly fit an 8-pound cat and her kittens.) You can also place a clean towel over the box to keep out drafts. Lastly, don’t forget to place food and water bowls and a litter box nearby to encourage her to stay in her nesting area. 

4 Give her what she needs.

Some cats become extra affectionate towards their owners, while others become totally antisocial or territorial. No matter which attitude she takes on, find ways to reassure her and keep an eye on her—even from a distance. Panting, uterine contractions, howling or meowing, and fluid or blood discharge are some signs that your cat has started going into active labour. 

In conclusion

It takes about 12 hours for a mama cat to give birth to all her kittens. Once active labour begins, the first kitten usually arrives in an hour or so. It is normal for cats to take breaks in between birthing, cleaning and nursing their young during these times. When she is resting, offer her food such as kitten milk replacement or plain, unflavored yogurt. Prepare enough kitten formula to keep her nourished, so she can care for her kittens.  

Read up on other helpful pet parenting guides and interesting cat-centric stories in our blog!

5 Ways to Prevent a Cat From Sleeping In Your Bed

Cats are unique creatures that express their affection in various ways. Some communicate their fondness towards their favourite humans via kneading, while others give playful love bites or grooming licks. Still, there are others who prefer to stay close—hanging out where their human is throughout the day and choosing to sleep by their side. If Read More...

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Cats are unique creatures that express their affection in various ways. Some communicate their fondness towards their favourite humans via kneading, while others give playful love bites or grooming licks. Still, there are others who prefer to stay close—hanging out where their human is throughout the day and choosing to sleep by their side. If you own a cat that loves to sleep in your bed (and her actions may be causing you to lose sleep), there are ways to discourage her from doing so. Try these different tips and tricks to stop your cat from sleeping in your bed and successfully take back your sleeping space:

1 Give your cat her own bed.

This goes without saying, but your cat needs a sleeping cot to call her own. The bed should be big enough and comfortable enough for her to lie in, but at the same time, it should make her feel secure. If you own multiple cats, make sure each cat has her own bed. 

Observe your cat’s sleeping positions and find a bed that accommodates her favourite poses. For example, if you discover that she likes stretching out her body while sleeping, it would be best to get a bed with wider dimensions. Aside from finding her the right-sized bed, place it in a safe, quiet corner or on an elevated area to make her feel at ease.

Harmony Cocoon Bed is perfect for cats that love to snuggle and hide away.
The Furrtail Boss High Chair doubles as an elevated cat bed.

2 Make her bed more appealing.

Your cat may be choosing to sleep on your bed because she finds your bed more warm and comfortable than her own bed. She may also like the texture of your blankets and bedsheets against her fur. 

Give your cat a similar set of beddings (preferably made of the same materials you use) to encourage her to sleep in her own bed. Place a shirt you’ve recently worn to leave your scent on her bed. You can also purchase a cosy blanket or heat pad to keep her sufficiently warm. 

3 Keep her out of your room before bedtime.

Find ways to make your cat stay out of your room. This will prevent her from being tempted to get into your bed. Leave the door shut or spray a citrus-based scent to keep her away. Choose non-toxic fragrances such as orange, lemon, and grapefruit, or create a 1:1 mixture of lemon and vinegar, they spray it on your doorframe. 

4 Reward her correct behaviour.

Train your cat to get into her own bed, and reward this action by petting her and giving her a few snacks. Some cat owners suggest placing a few treats on your cat’s mattress before bedtime. This way, your pet will be lured into her own bed instead of jumping into yours.  

5 Spend enough time with your cat.

Your cat may be sleeping in your bed because she is seeking your attention. Sleeping beside you is her way of bonding with you, even if you’d just be both asleep the whole night. If your cat is craving for your attention, set aside 10 to 15 minutes every night to play with her before setting her down on her bed. Giving her toys to play with or a new cat tree to climb and sleep in may also divert her focus. 

In conclusion

Cats associate you with comfort, warmth, and safety, so it’s no surprise they would want to stay close to their provider as they sleep. Take this gesture as a compliment from your furball. If you’re taking in a new cat from a shelter, it’s best to teach her what’s acceptable in your home as soon as she comes home. From day one, don’t allow her to get into your bed for sleeping or else it will become a hard habit to break.

Read up on other intriguing cat behaviour in our blog. 

How often do cats pee (7 things to remember)

Have you ever stopped and noticed how many times your cat pees in a day? Urinating is a necessary bodily process that has several essential functions. It helps get rid of waste products after food is converted into energy. It also helps maintain the delicate balance of water and electrolytes in your cat’s body. When Read More...

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Have you ever stopped and noticed how many times your cat pees in a day? Urinating is a necessary bodily process that has several essential functions. It helps get rid of waste products after food is converted into energy. It also helps maintain the delicate balance of water and electrolytes in your cat’s body. When your cat pees, her urinary system processes vitamin D and produces much-needed erythropoietin and renin. These help produce blood cells, maintain healthy blood pressure, and absorb salt correctly.   

So how many trips to the litter box in a day are considered normal for a cat? There are no hard and fast rules, but most sources mention a healthy urination range of two to six times a day depending on a number of factors. These include:

1 Age

The younger your cat is, the more times she’ll spend peeing in (or even outside) the litter box. Metabolism is the factor at play, making older cats process food and burn calories slower, thus making them pee less.

2 Water intake

The average 10-pound cat drinks about one cup of water a day. Cats who consume more water will likely take more trips to the litter box. If your cat isn’t keen on drinking water, you can use a flowing water source that will urge her to drink more. 

3 Diet

Cats who eat canned cat food, frozen or thawed food, and homemade wet food with water mixed into it will urinate more often than cats who consume dry kibble. Make it a point to mix things up so your cat stays hydrated with the help of her meals.

4 Existing medical conditions

Cats with illnesses may pee less or more times than usual. Feline lower urinary tract disease (which usually happens to male cats), idiopathic cystitis, or cancer can make it challenging for your pet to release urine. Meanwhile, kidney diseases, diabetes, or hyperthyroidism can make your cat urinate frequently

5 Cat medication

On a similar note, certain medication can cause your cat to pee more. Commonly used to lower inflammation or treat allergies, corticosteroids are known to make cats urinate more often. 

6 Heat and humidity

When temperatures rise, your cat will try to stay cool by drinking more water and alleviating her thirst. Help her cool down by keeping her well-groomed, applying a damp towel over her fur, or placing a small fan near her favourite spot. 

7 Stress

Any major changes at home can cause your cat’s peeing habits to change drastically. A new pet or a change in the location of her litter box can make it harder for her to pee. Alternately, she may be peeing everywhere to mark her territory. 

In conclusion

Now that you know what factors might affect your cat’s peeing habits, take a few days to observe how many times she goes in a day. If there are any sudden changes in her habits as well as the appearance and smell of her pee, speak with your veterinarian. If your cat doesn’t urinate for more than 24 hours, go to the vet immediately. Report your observations about your cat’s health and disposition, and follow your vet’s advice on the proper course of action. 

Confused about your cat’s behaviour? We share surprising reasons why cats bite and knead.

5 reasons why your cat is peeing everywhere (and how to avoid it from happening again!)

One of the most challenging things feline owners have to deal with is their cat peeing everywhere in the house… except inside their litter box. If this has ever happened to you, don’t fret! There’s hope for your cat (and your home!). But first, you need to discover all the possible reasons why your cat Read More...

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One of the most challenging things feline owners have to deal with is their cat peeing everywhere in the house… except inside their litter box. If this has ever happened to you, don’t fret! There’s hope for your cat (and your home!). But first, you need to discover all the possible reasons why your cat is avoiding her litter box. Once you’ve determined the problem, you can take the appropriate course of action and prevent it from happening again. 

Be advised that cats who pee in various places do not necessarily do it on purpose. (Therefore, there is no need to scold her and label her a bad kitty… yet.) There may be an underlying medical problem or behavioural issue that needs to be addressed. 

Here are the most common reasons your cat is peeing everywhere along with what you can do about it:

1 Your cat has a health-related problem.

Cats who suddenly start peeing everywhere may be suffering from urinary tract infection (UTI) or diabetes. Senior cats with dementia or kidney disease may also be unable to hold it in until they reach their litter box.  

When your cat’s peeing habits change out of the blue, schedule a visit to the veterinarian so she can conduct a physical exam and possibly run blood tests and a urinalysis. This will help determine if your cat has a sickness that needs attending to.

2 Your cat is feeling stressed.

Cats are creatures of habit, and the smallest change can give them anxiety. Peeing is your cat’s way of regaining control, especially if she feels she needs to mark her territory when a new pet comes home.

Find ways to introduce new changes gradually, such as familiarising her with your newborn’s items before the baby arrives, or slowly moving out her stuff in the part of the house to be renovated. It might take weeks (or even months) for her to adjust, but your cat will surely appreciate the effort. 

3 Your cat dislikes peeing inside her litter box.

From the stinky smell to poop clumps everywhere, a dirty litter box will turn off the most fastidious cat. PetMD recommends cat owners “scoop the litter every day—or multiple times a day if you have multiple cats in your home.” Remember that what smells fresh to humans might not smell great to your cat, so make it a point to do a deep clean every week. This involves emptying and cleaning the litter box completely, as well as placing fresh litter.

Aside from keeping her litter box clean, you need to make sure that the box size and litter you use appeals to her. The box should be large enough for your cat to be able to pee or poop in without feeling crowded. With regards to the litter you pick, Dr. Cathy Lund of City Kitty shares, “Kittens learn what type of litter they prefer from their mothers at about three weeks old. So using a different litter than the one that was used when your cat was a kitten, or deciding to switch the type of litter your cat is used to, could be at the root of litter problems.” 

If you really want to switch litter types, test different brands and observe how your cat reacts to them. You might even want to try mixing litters to find the perfect texture combination for your cat. Also, be wary of using scented litter with strong odours that might drive your cat away.

Senior cats or those suffering from joint problems could also have an issue going inside their litter box. Be sure to check if she can step in and out of the box with ease. If she shows difficulty in using it, replace the box with lower walls or one with a low entrance. 

4 Your cat’s litter box is in the wrong location.

Aside from finding the ideal box size and content, your cat’s litter box should be placed in a quiet space that’s easy for her to access throughout the day. Placing her litter box in the attic when she spends most of her waking hours in the basement might make her too lazy to go up. Instead, she’ll find alternate areas to do her business! 

It’s best to put her litter box in an area where she can do her business without being disturbed by noisy machinery, other animals, and small children. 

5 Your cat needs her own litter box. 

A home with multiple cats should provide enough litter boxes for their pets. Some cats refrain from using a particular litter box because another cat’s smell is stamped all over it. Meanwhile, other cats choose to use different boxes for different purposes. If you have more than one cat, purchase one litter box for each cat and add an extra one.  

How to stop your cat from peeing everywhere

Follow the tips above depending on the likely cause of your cat’s peeing behaviour. When you catch your cat peeing in unsuitable places, make sure to thoroughly clean these spots to prevent future accidents from happening. You can also apply urine odor eliminators or cleaners that destroy the enzymes found in your cat’s pee.

In conclusion

Cat peeing in inappropriate areas should be dealt with immediately, or your pet will think this is acceptable behaviour. Pinpoint the root of the problem, and deal with your cat with patience and understanding. Speak with your veterinarian about it, or if needed, schedule an appointment with a cat behaviour specialist to correct her actions.

Confused about what to do with a newly adopted cat? We share guides on how to introduce a kitten to a cat, how to groom your cat at home, and how to stop your cat from biting you.

5 Ways to Keep Your Cat Out of a Room (Without Stressing Her Out)

Our cats are treasured members of the household, putting their mark everywhere in our home via their scent, scratch marks, and stray fur. Though they are generally allowed to freely move around the house, there are some instances when you might need to keep your cat out of a room. A common reason would be Read More...

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Our cats are treasured members of the household, putting their mark everywhere in our home via their scent, scratch marks, and stray fur. Though they are generally allowed to freely move around the house, there are some instances when you might need to keep your cat out of a room. A common reason would be you’ve just adopted a kitten from a shelter and need time for the two cats to get accustomed to each other’s scent before they meet face to face. Other possible reasons could include construction work in a particular area of the house, or a newborn just recently came home (read Bru Sim’s story on how she made it work!). You could also have fragile items displayed in a room and simply don’t want your cat to have access to them. 

Whatever your reason may be, you can safely keep a cat out of a room through these tried-and-tested ways:

1 Create a physical barrier.

Keep the door to the room closed or install a child safety gate that your cat won’t be able to jump or climb over. The physical barricade will prevent her from seeing what’s inside (although it might not stop her from being curious!). Each time someone enters or exits from the prohibited room, shut the door as quickly as possible so she doesn’t get a chance to enter through the person’s legs.   

2 Distract your cat from entering the room.

Distraction through treats and toys also works wonders in making your cat forget that a particular room exists. Before the door to that room opens, whip out your homemade feather cat toy and entertain her, or hold a treat in your hand and call out her name. With these positive techniques, she’ll keep her attention glued to you.   

3 Make the room less enticing for your cat. 

A room can be cat-free if you make the setting undesirable for your feline pet. This can be done by removing potential hiding places, burning incense, playing loud music, placing unpleasant textures, and introducing unsavoury scents. 

Cats are known to dislike citrus fragrances such as orange, lemon, and grapefruit. You can also make a 1:1 mixture of lemon and vinegar, which you can spray at the entrance and other parts of the room to keep your cat at bay. Whether you purchase or create these scents, make sure they are non-toxic for your pet in case she accidentally licks them.  

4 Make other parts of your house more appealing for your cat. 

Find encouraging ways to keep your cat away from the room. Provide her with scratching posts, climbing areas, and cosy nooks in areas of the house you’d prefer her to linger in. Or, if your outdoor space allows it, build an outdoor catio that she can happily explore on a regular basis. Not only will a catio diminish your worries about keeping a close eye on her, but it will also enrich her life.   

5 Invest in a motion-activated cat repellent.

Buy commercially sold electronic cat deterrents that release a burst of air or ultrasonic sound and flashing light when your cat approaches the vicinity of the room. Some popular brands include PetSafe SSSCAT Spray Dog and Cat Deterrent and Wikomo 1 Ultrasonic Solar Powered Animal Repeller.

It’s important to note that you should never scare your cat and make her associate negative actions with you. For example, the lemon-vinegar mixture should never be sprayed towards your cat’s face and ears. Nor should you startle her with a blast of air or a loud sound. Your cat might end up avoiding you when she realises that you have been frightening her. 

In conclusion

Consistency is key in making your cat follow your rules at home. Make sure everyone sticks to the same protocols so your kitty doesn’t get confused about where she can and can’t go. As long as you approach parenting from a place of positivity, your cat will follow the rules you’ve set and love you just the same.

Are you a new cat parent? Read our other cat-friendly guides and interviews with fellow cat parents here.

Why do cats stick out their tongue? (Discover 8 possible reasons!)

Cats have the cutest expressions, from adorable slow kissy winks to sticking out their tongues. Blep, mlem or whatever you’d like to call it, this act of extending the tongue is outright adorable. But it can sometimes be cause for concern. In this article, we’ll talk about:  What’s in a cat’s tongue? 8 reasons why Read More...

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Cats have the cutest expressions, from adorable slow kissy winks to sticking out their tongues. Blep, mlem or whatever you’d like to call it, this act of extending the tongue is outright adorable. But it can sometimes be cause for concern. In this article, we’ll talk about: 

What’s in a cat’s tongue? 

A cat’s tongue is packed with tiny, hollow barbs called papillae. These are stiff spines that are covered in keratin and are curved backwards to help collect particles easily. More than just for eating, their tongues are used to help cats groom themselves and stay healthy.  

8 reasons why your cat sticks her tongue out: 

1 She has picked up a strange scent.

When your cat suddenly stops doing something, stares into space, and sticks out her tongue with a sneer or grimace on her face, she may be picking up on chemical signals. This is known as the Flehmen response, in which your cat collects the scent through her open mouth and flicks it up using her tongue to reach the vomeronasal or Jacobson’s organ. This organ helps cats diagnose unfamiliar scents or even the sexual availability of female cats. 

2 Your cat is feeling relaxed. 

As your cat is sleeping soundly, her jaw may loosen and cause her tongue to stick out. Similarly, her tongue can also make an appearance as you are petting her and she is enjoying the gentle motions.

3 She has something stuck between her teeth. 

If you notice your cat repeatedly sticking out her tongue after consuming a meal or treat, check for food particles that may be lodged in between her teeth or even mouth. Kittens may also stick out their tongue as they attempt to loosen their bothersome baby teeth

4 Your cat is self-grooming.

Cats lick to keep themselves clean. Their tongue effectively removes dirt particles, while the evaporating saliva stuck on her fur helps lower her body temperature. Sometimes, she may use her tongue to fiddle on unknown particles. Or she may simply forget to stick her tongue back in after a grooming session.

5 She could be feeling hot.

On sweltering days, pay attention when you find your cat sticking out her tongue more often than usual. She may be on the brink of a heatstroke, grooming herself excessively in an attempt to stay cool. Give her access to fresh water, such as cool liquid flowing from a running faucet. Never allow your cat’s temperature to reach 105 Fahrenheit. Watch for symptoms of late-stage heatstroke: lethargy, rapid pulse, rapid breathing, red tongue, vomiting, and stumbling. 

6 Your cat is experiencing motion sickness. 

Not all cats are built for long-distance road trips. If you notice your cat sticking his tongue out, panting, and drooling while you’re traveling, she may be going through a bout of motion sickness. This may be caused by the stress of travelling, a previous bad experience associated with car rides, fear of unfamiliar surroundings, or an inner ear imbalance (which gets aggravated when the car is in transit). 

If you know that your cat suffers from motion sickness, find ways to make her car ride more comfortable. Practise going on shorter road trips before taking a long one. Let your cat get used to traveling in a carrier and surround her with her favourite beddings and toys. If necessary, ask your veterinarian for anti-nausea medication that your cat can take. 

7 She has come into contact with toxic food or items.

If your cat has accidentally licked household cleaners, pesticides, or poisoned prey animals, she may try to get rid of the taste by sticking her tongue out. Observe her for any of the following symptoms: drooling, vomiting, appetite loss, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, depression, pale or yellowish gums, excessive thirst, urination, nervousness, hyperactivity, muscle tremors, seizures, and coma. When these symptoms manifest, take her to the emergency clinic immediately.

8 Your cat may have an underlying medical issue. 

If your cat has been sticking out her tongue more often than usual, she may be suffering from an undiagnosed sickness such as feline stomatitis, dementia, respiratory infection, and dental problems like gingivitis or periodontitis. Try to recall when your cat started doing it, and if there are other symptoms accompanying the action.  

In conclusion

It’s normal for cats to stick out their tongue when they come across a strange scent, when they groom themselves, and when they’re feeling relaxed. However, if your cat’s blepping is accompanied by alarming symptoms, don’t hesitate to schedule a visit to your veterinarian. This way, you can guarantee your feline companion’s health and well-being.  

If you’re interested in becoming a cat parent, we have all the information you need right here! We also have cat-related guides on our blog, such as how to introduce a kitten to a cat and how to train your cat to wear a harness.

9 reasons why your cat bites you (and how to stop it)

Has this scenario ever happened to you? One moment you’re gently petting your cat, and the next, she’s playfully nipping your fingers, hands, or even your nose. Cats bite their owners without drawing blood for a variety of reasons, and in this Waldo’s Friends article, we’ll get to the bottom of all the possible reasons Read More...

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Has this scenario ever happened to you? One moment you’re gently petting your cat, and the next, she’s playfully nipping your fingers, hands, or even your nose. Cats bite their owners without drawing blood for a variety of reasons, and in this Waldo’s Friends article, we’ll get to the bottom of all the possible reasons why they do it. 

But before we list the reasons, it’s important to note that the causes of biting are usually different between kittens and grownup cats. A kitten’s biting is often connected with socialisation (or the lack of it) and exploration, while a grownup cat’s biting may be done to respond to a threat or stop unwanted actions. Either way, biting is a form of cat communication that gives your cat what she wants.  

In this blog post, you’ll find out:

Here are more specific reasons why your kitten or cat bites you:

1 Your kitten is teething.

From two to six weeks of age, your kitten’s baby teeth will start to break through the gums and cause discomfort or pain. Expect her to look for things to chew to reduce these painful sensations until after her permanent teeth come out. This usually happens by the time she is 6 to 7 months old.   

2 Your kitten is still learning how to interact.

Biting and mouthing are natural gestures for kittens who are beginning to socialise with others. With the help of their mother and siblings, they learn how to interact correctly through love licks and play bites, and apply the right amount of biting pressure without causing real pain. Through these interactions, kittens learn two forms of play aggression from each other: the attack-retreat behaviour (one attacks while the other retreats) and the predatory play (stalking and pouncing on their prey). If they’re separated too early from their litter, some kittens miss out on learning these important social techniques. 

3 Your kitten/cat is exploring her surroundings.

If you’ve just taken home an adopted kitty, there’s a huge chance that she is still getting used to her new environment. Give her time to familiarise herself with her new home. She may choose to bite and even scratch people, items, and furniture to get to know them better.

4 Your kitten/cat is playing with you.

Kittens or cats may use finger, hand, or nose nibbling as a form of communication, letting their owners know that they would like to play. When this happens to you, redirect their unwanted habit by letting them play with commercially manufactured or homemade cat toys that are safe for biting.   

5 Your cat wants your attention.

Instead of meowing, some cats prefer to bite their owners to command their attention. If she has done this before and elicited the desired response from you (giving her food or playing with her), she will most likely repeat the action. 

6 Your cat is telling you to stop petting her.

No two cats are the same. When petting a cat, it’s important to observe her body language and let her go before she becomes overstimulated and hits her tolerance level. If you miss out on the telltale signs, you might end up suffering from a cat scratch or bite.  

7 Your cat is asking you to stop doing something. 

Similarly, your feline pet may be pointedly telling you to stop performing a particular action. If you previously tried to trim her nails, received a bite, and stopped trimming them, she may repeat the biting to prevent you from doing it again.   

8 Your cat is grooming you.

Some cats lick and bite while they groom one another, extending this habit to humans they adore. Don’t get offended when they simultaneously lick and harmlessly nip you to reach a particular area of your body. It’s just their way of saying you’re part of their family!   

9 Your cat may be demonstrating aggression. 

Cats can show aggression through biting. It can be caused by fear, genetic disposition, a health condition, environmental change, asserting her dominance, or a threat to her territory. If you notice that your cat’s biting behaviour has passed the point of playful nipping and is accompanied by hissing, growling, and clawing, take her to see the veterinarian. The doctor can run tests to see if she has an underlying medical condition that needs attention. If she is in the clear, he may suggest effective ways to modify the aggressive biting behaviour.  

What to do if a cat’s bite becomes a flesh wound:

If your cat accidentally breaks your skin, follow these steps:

  1. Press on the area. Let out some blood to help flush out the bacteria. 
  2. Wash the area immediately with mild soap and water.
  3. Apply antibiotic cream.
  4. Place a clean gauze or adhesive bandage over the area.
  5. Observe for signs of swelling, pain, redness, oozing, infection, or fever. If any of these symptoms occur, visit your doctor immediately. 

How to stop your kitten or cat from biting you:

Biting is an unwanted cat habit that can be lessened through proper and consistent techniques. Help your cat unlearn this behaviour by:

  • Determining and removing the unwanted reasons for biting. If it is caused by an external factor, find ways to eliminate it or decrease your cat’s exposure to it.
  • Getting another kitten, if possible. This way, they can practise their aggression on each other instead of on you and other humans in your household.  We highly recommend a trial period before you make any commitments.
  • Redirecting their energy and biting habit towards feathery flyer-type toys and rolling balls toys, instead of your body parts. This will help satisfy their need to “catch and kill” their prey.  
  • Providing an appropriate response when they bite you. Give your cat a “time out” by removing her from the situation and placing her in a room (but still with access to food, water, and a litter box). Reward positive non-biting behaviour while petting with cat treats or catnip.   

When it comes to dealing with your cat’s biting behaviour, make sure that everyone at home is on the same page so that your feline pet will get the clear message that play biting is not appropriate. Also, never shout, hit, or chase your cat to stop her from biting you.  

In conclusion

Kittens’ biting habit peaks by the time they turn four months old but decrease by the time they turn one year old. With proper care and consistent guidance, your cat will break the habit of biting your fingers, hands, nose, or legs, and learn to communicate with you in more savoury ways.  

If you’re considering adopting a rescue cat (and would love to discover all her feline quirks), we have all the information you need right here! You can also read up on other cat-related guides and adoption stories on our blog.

Why do cats hiss? [9 possible reasons why cats hiss]

Have you ever witnessed a cat hissing at you and scaring the hell out of you? Cats hiss due to a variety of reasons, and in this Waldo’s Friends article, we’ll get to the bottom of all the likely causes. But first… What is a cat hiss? How does it look or sound when a Read More...

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Have you ever witnessed a cat hissing at you and scaring the hell out of you? Cats hiss due to a variety of reasons, and in this Waldo’s Friends article, we’ll get to the bottom of all the likely causes. But first…

What is a cat hiss?

A hiss is described by Merriam-Webster as a sharp sibilant sound, usually made to express disapproval. When a cat hisses, it is usually misinterpreted as a sign of aggression. But in reality, it is a normal feline gesture that helps her express her uncomfortable feelings. Feline behaviour experts believe that cats have developed creating this spine-tingling sound by imitating the deadly, distinctive noise that snakes emit. 

How does it look or sound when a cat hisses?

When a cat hisses, expect to hear a sound similar to a radiator on overload. Her mouth would usually be positioned into a sneer and her tongue curled into a U-shape. Her ears would either be flattened or positioned backwards, and accompanied by an arched back and/or a poofy tail. (You can watch this compilation video of cats hissing here.) 

Why do cats hiss?

As mentioned earlier, cats hiss to express their uncomfortable feelings. This may be due to any of the following reasons:

1 A cat hisses when she feels threatened.

Fear is the primary driving force that makes cats hiss. The hiss acts as a warning sound against people (or even inanimate objects) that threaten her. If they don’t back away, she may resort to attacking them. Some cats hiss when they are handled roughly or when they are restrained, such as when they are being handled, poked, or prodded at the veterinarian.  

2 A cat hisses when she comes across an unfamiliar animal.

Dr. Marci Koski of Feline Behavior Solutions says that cats go on the defense by hissing at other animals and warning them to stay away. Hissing is also a common intimidation tactic used by male cats who are in search of mates. But this doesn’t automatically mean that the hissing cat would be the one initiating the attack. In fact, it’s usually the other way around! 

3 A cat hisses when she’s hurt. 

A cat may hiss at a person who touches her sensitive body part. If you know your cat is injured or has arthritis, take note of when she hisses at you while you’re petting or carrying her. That way, you can refrain from holding that particular area. You can also bring her to the vet to have that specific part checked.  

4 A cat hisses to protect her kittens.  

Female cats that have just given birth may display protectiveness by hissing at people or animals who get too close to their kittens. Even the most amiable cats may hiss at her humans to stay away. 

5 A cat hisses when she’s playing.

A play hiss is a shorter hissing sound commonly made by kittens. The sound is produced when a kitten gets surprised by a playmate, or when her littermates become too rough while playing. 

6 A cat hisses when she is surprised.

Similar to kittens, a cat may hiss when she gets shocked by sudden, loud noises or quick, unexpected movements. Anything that causes surprise or stress may lead her to hiss. 

7 A cat hisses when she encounters something new or unfamiliar. 

Cats are not keen on change, so it’s no surprise that they would hiss at something new or unfamiliar to them. These may include total strangers, novel environments (such as moving into a new home or being left at an animal shelter), or even a paw sibling that just came back from the vet and smells completely different.   

8 A cat hisses to express her annoyance.

Don’t be surprised when your cat hisses at you when she’s not in the mood to play, when she doesn’t want to do something in particular (like teeth or hair brushing), or when you deny her of a treat. Hissing may also be done towards a person who teases her mercilessly.  

9 A cat hisses because she is undersocialised.

Aside from kittens who are still learning “how to cat,” older felines who are not used to being around other people or animals may be more prone to hissing. 

What should you do if a cat hisses at you?

Whenever a cat hisses, it’s best to give her the space and time to cool off. Going closer to her as she hisses would only increase her stress levels, and also up the chances of you getting hurt if she lashes out. If a cat hisses while you’re petting her, stop what you’re doing and simply let her go. Allow her to hide in her safe nook, and give her the chance to approach you in her own time. Don’t reprimand her or stare directly at her so you don’t agitate her. 

To recap

Cat hissing is a common feline behaviour that you shouldn’t be afraid of. If you are bothered by her hissing, determine the cause and find solutions to decrease it. If the hissing is caused by pain, bring her to a veterinarian immediately. 

Thinking of adopting a kitten or cat from a shelter? We’ve got all the things you need to know and the details you need to make it happen. You can also read up on more informative cat-related guides and inspiring cat foster or adoption tales here.

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