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Happy Cats, Issue #004
January 02, 2008
|Well it’s January already and the winter blues start to really kick in. It will be a little bluer this year for us, as Little Mo will have to have an operation during the next few months for an overactive Thyroid. Fingers crossed that she will return to her normal happy self soon.
We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and didn’t eat too much, well not too much anyway. Little Mo decided that she really likes our vegetarian Christmas Pie that we make every year she just loves her veggies.
This months article is about separation anxiety, which some cats suffer from during the holiday season especially. We only had to leave Little Mo for a couple of days while we visited family and she was fine about it. But for some owners it can be a very worrying time.
Enjoy this months Ezine and don’t forget to enter our monthly caption competition for a chance to win some great little cat toys.
CONTENTS1.Whats New on Our Happy Cat.Com
3.Little Mo’s Diary Update
4.Article – Adult Cats are Fun Too – Adopt An Older Cat
6.Special E-zine Subscribers
1. Whats New on Our Happy Cat.ComMany of you may have noticed the Our Happy Cat.com website changing. I am in the process of changing the page format of the whole site. This will take some time and so you may notice that some pages are displayed much wider than others. This is not an error; it’s just that I have not converted the narrower pages yet. The whole process might take several months, but the whole site will continue to be available at all times.
A new cat memorial quilt will be started in January. Last years quilt will remain on view but will not be added to. The quilt looks lovely and is a very nice way to commemorate our departed furry friends.
The whole website continues to grow in size, especially as we now receive many submissions from our visitors. Remember that you can always send us your cat stories, cat pictures and questions using our easy to use forms. All these submissions help to keep the site fresh and entertaining for new and past visitors. Keep up the good work and help Our Happy Cat.com become a trusted, fun and informative cat site for all to enjoy.
2. Competition Number Jan04Here is Januarys Caption Competition.
Simply send us your caption to go with this picture.
Click here to submit Caption
This month the winner will receive a bag of cat toys. These proved very popular with Little Mo so we thought we would offer them again.
3. Little Mo’s Diary UpdateHappy Cat Diary Monday 24th December 2007
I have been sooooooooooo hungry lately! I’ve been meowing and meowing all the time at my Mum & Dad, and although they do give me lots of food, it’s never enough. I’m still hungry! Even the nice lady next door said how thin I was looking and wondered to herself if my Mum & Dad were feeding me properly. And I have been feeling a bit unusual as well. Poor little me!
To make things even worse, my Dad took me to that horrible place called the ‘vets’. The man there is all very gentle and sounds very nice, but then he goes and does the most horrible things to me. He squeezed all round my throat and belly, then stuck a long, cold thing up my bottom and then a sharp needle in my neck! “Ow! Meeeow!” I shouted, and then struggled to get straight back into my basket to hide so he couldn’t do any more nasty things to me. I don’t know why my Mum & Dad take me to that horrible place every now and then, but I wish they’d stop. It feels like I’m being punished, but I don’t know what for! CLICK HERE to read the rest of this diary entry.
4. Article – Separation Anxiety And Your CatSeparation anxiety is the term used to describe the condition where an animal has developed too close a relationship with its owner. They become overly dependant on their owners and find it difficult to cope with situations without them. This condition is usually associated more with dogs than with cats as it is usual for a cat to live a more solitary independent life naturally rather than a dog that would live in packs in the wild. A dog requires following a leader and so the bond with their owner is more of a dependant one.
However over recent years research has indicated that cats can make very strong bonds with their owners and for some, this bond becomes more of a dependency. This can be exasperated by owners who treat their cats more like a baby than a pet and is therefore encouraging the cat to behave in a more infantile way rather than develop their adult behaviours.
Generally most cats see us as their mothers and indeed they change their behaviour around us from the hunter to the kitten. They will even change the cries they make and revert to sounds kittens make to encourage their mothers to feed them and pay attention to them. This interaction as a rule works very well, but problems arise when a cat doesn’t then revert back to its adult state and continues to behave like a kitten. Cats who display this type of behaviour generally follow their owners around everywhere, rather than explore the outside world. They may even continue the suckling behaviour and chew and suck on their owner’s cloths and even hand.
Separation anxiety for these “adult baby” cats is therefore quite understandable, as they become very afraid and unsure of how to behave when they find themselves alone and without their protective mother figure. Signs of this condition are:
Constant following of owner or companion animal.
Hiding and sulking when the owner is about to leave.
Attempted blocking of door as owners try to leave. Inappropriate urination of defecating in the house when they are left alone.
Excessive chewing or scratching of items in the house.
Inability to eat or use their litter tray until the owner returns.
Excessive grooming, causing bald spots (although this is rarer).
Any of, or a combination of any of the above, may be a sign that the cat has become over attached to their owner. Although it is always advisable to have a cat that is displaying any of these signs checked by a veterinarian first to endure that the behaviour is not associated with any underlying illness.
Of course prevention is better than cure and the best way to prevent separation anxiety occurring in the first place, is to make sure that kittens are well socialised during the first few weeks of their life and they are introduced to many new experiences, people and other animals. However if the condition does arise the treatment is essentially to help the cat become more independent and more adult like. This can be quite difficult for the owner as it involves stepping back or removing themselves from the cat’s attentions, which can feel like they are rejecting their cat. But as the saying goes you are essentially being “cruel to be kind”.
Treatment involves: Letting other people take over some of the feeding routine.
Only provide affection when the owner and not the cat initiate it.
Reject advances by the cat in a non-aggressive way by removing your self from the situation.
The cat should be encouraged to pursue other activities like going outside to explore or by providing the cat with other stimuli like toys and even in some cases another animal.
Gradually reduce the amount of petting time given to the cat from the owner.
Leaving radios or a television on when the cat is left alone in the house.
When leaving or returning to the house, leave a ten-minute gap where you do not pay any attention to the cat.
These treatments will take time and persistence from the owner and it should be done in a gradual manner so as not to stress the cat too much. The idea is to basically increase the cats other activities and to get them to share their loyalties around to other people or companion animals. Thus preventing their great sense of worry and fear if one particular person is not around all the time.
5. Product ReviewThis month we decided to buy Little Mo a treat (as she isn’t very well at the moment) and we decided that as she loves to climb into boxes etc we would buy her a covered cat bed. We went for the cat cuddle coil as it has a wide entrance and she won’t feel trapped inside. Little Mo liked it almost immediately. She spent some time checking it out and making sure that it wasn’t a trap, but before long she was crawling around inside quite happily. It has quite soft material inside which I think she really liked and she is often found laying in the entrance of her new domain.
We also liked the design because if we need to tidy up or move her bed it folds up flat and doesn’t take up much space, so was easily stored when needed. Overall we liked this product and thought that the price was very reasonable for something that was so cosy and versatile.
6. Special E-zine Subscribers OfferAs a special thank you for subscribing to our E-zine we are giving you the opportunity to buy your very own “Our Happy Cat Tile Coaster” with your cat’s picture replacing Mo’s picture as seen in the image, for the special price of $4.99 +p&p (normal price $6.99).
The Tile is 4.25" x 4.25" ceramic tile coaster. 1/6 inch thick. Dishwasher safe.
your cats picture along with your delivery address and we will do the rest. We will send you a email to let you know that we have received your picture and a link for you to pay us via PAYPAL.
That’s all for this month
Big Purrs and Head Nudge to you all
© Copyright Our Happy Cat.Com 2007
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