Why do cats lie next to radiators?

Their body temp is a few degrees higher than ours.  I doubt this is the whole reason, because dogs also have a higher body temp than we do.  Dogs don’t sleep with their bodies up against hot radiators for hours on end. One of my cats used to sleep on top of a very hot steam radiator in an old house. For her that radiator was like a hit of kitty Nyquil.

I ordered a heated cat bed for my 15 year old, Emma.

I was just reading some research from the 1960’s on cat sensitivity to heat. While reading, I realized I’d forgotten that sensitivity will be different depending on body location. Face more sensitive than back, most likely.  One study, a behavioral one, found that paws do have sensitivity to temperature. They could tell the difference between stimuli with as little as 1 degree celsius (1.8 degree fahrenheit).

What’s really cute is that they received pieces of fish as a reward!

 

 

Free-Roaming House Cats Rest and Cheat On Their Owners

kittycam cat

The National Geographic & University of Georgia Kitty Cams (Crittercam) Project found that when pet cats wore cameras while roaming outside:

“Four of our project kitties were recorded entering another household for food and/or affection!”

” . . . cats spend the majority of their outdoor time resting (rather than moving).”

Shocking, simply shocking.

 

 

What is this cat thinking?

Can you tell what your cat is thinking? As a cat groomer, I need to be able to “read” a cat.

This cat is one of my feline friends. I visit her several times a week to cat sit, trim claws, brush her and every so often, bathe her.  I have been her “nanny” for over two years.

I hold her in my lap like this about once a week, so she is used to it.  She doesn’t wiggle or try to get away. She certainly doesn’t hiss, scratch or try to bite.

This is a photo of a cat who is with a trusted caretaker, engaging in a routine activity.  This is not a photo of a cat who is scared, apprehensive, angry, timid or tense.

Photo on 3-3-13 at 10.54 AM #3
Notice that claws are not extended, pupils are not dilated, and the cat looks confidently at the camera instead of looking down.

The commoditization of stress-free handling

Stress-free cuddling?
Kevin Richardson demonstrates stress-free lion cuddling with his good friend.

Stress-free handling is all the rage on veterinary websites. Stress-free handling is old-fashioned in that it requires a return to craftsmanship, specialization and intimacy.  I predict that the concept of stress-free handling will become more and more well-known, but that actual stress-free handling will remain as rare as a vegetarian at a barbecue joint.

These techniques take time and patience, both of which are rarities in urban life. Every time I visit a cat, I attempt to provide stress-free handling. Occasionally I succeed.  Sometimes the cat’s stress level is so high before I even start that all I can do is work quickly.  For a quivering cat, the greatest kindness may be speedy efficiency.

Like the term “holistic”, stress-free handling will become no more than a label developed to appeal to the tender-hearted, progressive city-dweller.  All the same, a few advances in our treatment of pets may occur along the way, just as the craze for organic food did bring more fresh fruits and vegetables into the market.

 

“I can’t pick up my cat. My cat is too wiggly.”

Try the “football” hold.

Tuck the cat’s body into your waist, with your forearm pressed against your cat’s torso and your hand under his chest. If your cat wiggles, use your other hand to hold on to the loose fur around his scruff (back of his neck).  I call this the “football” hold because it reminds me of the way football players hold the ball when they’re running down the field.

Holding a cat who’s not into being held

 

Yoga. Jiu Jitsu. Moving 3-dimensionally.

Cats twist their body in ways we can’t even begin to do.

Cats use extreme flexibility to get the upper paw.

If I’m thinking like a human, two-dimensionally, I’m not going to get those claws trimmed.

The cat is not a piece of paper or a brick. The cat is more like air flowing and shifting shape.

May the force be with you, grasshopper!