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Archive for Monday, March 26, 2012

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Cats may purr to your heart’s content

March 26, 2012

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We know that pets are beneficial to our health — they can lower a person’s blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and provide opportunities for exercise and socialization.

In some cases, the source of the benefits is obvious. You walk a dog for two miles, you’ll be in better shape. But some of the reported benefits are baffling.

A 10-year study at the University of Minnesota Stroke Center found that cat owners were 40 percent less likely to have heart attacks than non-cat owners.

Could a cat’s purr be the reason?

“Cats will purr when they’re content, but also they’ll purr when they’re about to be euthanized. It’s thought they purr to communicate with their kittens,” says author and animal behavior consultant Steve Dale. “It’s thought to be a calming mechanism.

“If that’s the case ... maybe they calm themselves or other cats, but maybe there’s a fallout and there’s another mammal species, us, that’s impacted.”

In another study, conducted at Kean University in New Jersey, subjects watched a “Lassie” movie. Their levels of cortisol — a chemical associated with stress — were checked before and after the film, and showed a decline after the movie.

This animal connection, Dale explained, “alters our neurochemistry. Not just the physiology, the blood pressure change, which is significant, but also the neurochemistry. The scientists are discovering there really is a difference here.”

Comments

Kat Christian 2 years, 8 months ago

Well aside from purring. I have a cat with bathroom behavioral problems. I got her from the Humaine Society a few months ago. I've worked with her to try and remedy the problem, until she went on my computer case. The house is beginning to smell like a cat box. I've had two cats before and it never smelled like that. She goes on the dryer, mostly clothes either on the floor, clothes basket or on top of the dryer. She also goes in clothes basket. I'm at the end of my rope. Called the Humaine Society -- t hey told me I had to schedule a time to bring the cat to them and right now they have no room. No wander people just kick their animals out the door especially when you get a response like this.

gatekeeper 2 years, 8 months ago

There are many, many reasons that cats will do this and you wanting to just dump the cat back at the shelter shows that you are EXTREMELY irresponsible.

Have you taken the cat to the vet to have it checked over? There are many medical reasons for a cat soiling. If it is medical, the cat is trying to tell you it's sick.

You could still have the smell of your other cats in your house (even if it's been years, their scent could still be there) and that's triggering this cat to mark that the house is it's territory.

If the cat is feeling tension from you, the stress can cause it to pee.

How many litter boxes do you have? there should be 2-3 for just one cat. Do you clean them every day? If not, the cat is telling you to change them.

You can get phermone diffusers at Petco that have a calming effect on cats and tend to stop urinating issues caused by stress.

Have you bothered to do research about this? How about looking up solutions online instead of trying to return the cat.

The reason the shelter is so full - people like you that won't figure out what is causing the undesirable behavior and want to dump the animal.

Based on your last line - YOU SHOULD NEVER OWN AN ANIMAL! Hopefully the pound will ban you from adopting from them again.

I rescue and rehome cats all the time because of people like you.

impska 2 years, 8 months ago

All of gatekeeper's suggestions are on the money. In particular, it seems like your laundry room is a prime location for a litter box.

Then put the two others at other prime peeing locations. Once you get the cat consistently using litter boxes, you may be able to gradually move them to locations that are more convenient for you. You may want to put a couple of extras around until the problem urination is fixed.

Also, don't leave piles of clothes around. I had a cat who liked to pee on clothes (usually dirty). I just picked that stuff up off the floor and eliminated her access. I had to watch my guests too - and make sure to put away backpacks or coats, which aren't usually laundered often.

There's a product called Just for Cats, which I recommend you use anywhere the cat has peed. It will totally eliminate that odor.

The pheromone sprays are marketed by Feliway and come in spray or diffuser. Your success will depend on the cat. They are marketed to eliminate problem scratching, but don't be discouraged by that because they work on all sorts of stress-related behavior (including aggression and urination).

impska 2 years, 8 months ago

One final suggestion that I forgot, is to choose litter boxes that are as large as possible.

tomatogrower 2 years, 8 months ago

Also, some cats like the covered boxes, and some don't. Covered is nice to contain smell, but some cats don't like to be closed in.

Kat Christian 2 years, 8 months ago

First of all I was having a fit of anxiety at that moment and still have her and won't get rid of her because I love her. Can't afford the Vet wayyyyyyyyyy too expensive for what I can afford right now. Lost my job. So the only thing left is to find an holistic remedy for her problem and narrow it down. That is what I am doing.

impska 2 years, 8 months ago

You may also find it useful to check out books by Pam Johnson-Bennett. Several are available at the Lawrence Public Library. She is a cat behaviorist and she will take you step by step through solutions to this problem. I believe she states that she has never failed to correct problem urination.

gatekeeper 2 years, 8 months ago

Unfortunately, it sounds like this person doesn't want to have to put forth the effort to fix the issue. When you call the shelter to return the cat instead of working through problems, you're just plain lazy. I hope they try to solve the problem instead of tossing this cat back into a shelter. I feel so sorry for the cat, but have no sympathy for the poster.

Kat Christian 2 years, 8 months ago

Ooooo thank you for that advice - I will look for her book.

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