Are you a cat lover, or just cat curious? Even if your cat knowledge is limited to funny you-tube videos, here are some quick facts from a Lincoln, NE veterinarian you might find interesting to know!
- Why do cats purr? The obvious answer people always jump to is that they are happy. However, they do purr for a variety of reasons and emotional states. Purring releases endorphins, so it may be used to self soothe, or help with pain management. They can purr when nervous, sick, or near death as well. The frequency of a purr is known to help mend and strengthen bones! Purring is often the first form of communication between a mother and her kittens (which are born blind).
- Why do cats knead? If you’ve seen a cat go to town purring, and kneading on a blanket, here’s what’s going on. As a kitten, they knead on their mother to help her produce more milk, and they are often purring while doing so. This behavior is calming and so it can carry over into adulthood. Some may even “suckle” on the surface while kneading. Kneading also activates some scent glands in their paw pads, so they are also marking their territory (or claiming you!) when they knead.
- Why do cats sleep so much? Cats can sleep anywhere from 16-20 hours a day. About three quarters of that is a lighter rest they can easily snap out of any time. Cats are crepuscular animals, meaning they are most active at twilight and pre-dawn hours. As hunters, they expend a lot of energy, so all the sleeping is needed to re-coup that. Your Lincoln, NE veterinarian reminds you that if there is any significant change in your cat’s sleep patterns, they should see a doctor right away!
- Why do cats love boxes? In a stressful situation, cats use boxes for a sense of safety and security. They are essentially finding a safe retreat to help them deal with what’s going on. Boxes also are a great place for heat to get trapped, so they are often warm and cozy too! When providing boxes, be sure all the tape and staples are removed!
- Why do cats like catnip? Nepetalactone is the component that attracts cats, it’s found in the leaves and stems. Smelling it can create a short “high” for about 10 minutes. Eating it can have more of a sedative effect. Some cats can become hyper. Not every cat will be interested. Only about half of cats are into catnip.
Hope these facts were enlightening for you! If you have any other questions about cats, leave them in the comments below, or contact your Lincoln, NE veterinarian today!