The Savannah cat is a large, slender hybrid cat breed, with brown and white fur and a vibrant, spotted patterning.
Popular amongst cat enthusiasts, the Savannah is the largest breed of domesticated cat, and possesses distinctive physical characteristics that make it stand out from similar breeds.
But how exactly did breeding start, and what is their legal status?
Savannah Cats: How Are They Bred?
The Savannah cat was created by breeding a large domestic cat with a serval - a wild, large breed of cat native to the African continent.
A fairly recent development, the breeding of domestic and serval cats was first experimented with in 1986, when Judee Frank crossbred a serval cat with a Siamese belonging to a friend.
Breeding continued throughout the 1990s, with the breed becoming popular amongst cat enthusiasts, and by 2001, the breed was officially registered by the TICA - noting specifically accepted physical dimensions and traits to classify the animal.
The generation of the Savannah cat can play an important role, not only in the legality of the animal, and the associated paperwork and documentation that will be required, but also to the health and temperament of the cat.
The generation of the hybrid determines how much of the serval cat DNA is present in the animal.
F1 refers to the first generation of the crossbreed, where there is a much more equal ratio of genetic material, whereas F2, F3, and F4 show distinct decreases in the serval cat genetic material - something that usually means the animals face less legal restrictions for domestication.
Savannah Cats: So, Are They Legal?
Despite being perfectly legal to own in certain countries, such as Canada and (in most cases) the UK, their legality becomes more complex in the United States and Australia.
In the United Kingdom, it is legal to own a Savannah Cat, although this depends on the generation of the cat.
The specific breeding of the Savannah cat means that each new generation of the breed possesses less serval DNA. As such, F1 cats often require more legal paperwork.
In the United States, the legality of Savannah cats varies from state to state. Based on the laws set down by the United States Department of Agriculture, most states classify hybrids of wild and domesticated cats as wholly domesticated, however some states are stricter and impose harsher qualifiers.
States such as Hawaii, Massachusetts, Texas, and Georgia all have stricter laws surrounding hybrid cats, and their breeding and ownership is restricted in these states.
Australia is perhaps the strictest of all the countries, completely banning the importation of Savannah cats into the country, with the rationale being that their larger size, speed, and power could introduce greater hunting and survival skills into local feral cat populations, thus posing a greater threat for other species of creatures.
Canada is generally relaxed when it comes to F2 generation cats and greater, although restrictions are placed on F1 Savannah cats, requiring special permits and vaccinations depending on the origin and background of the animal.
Savannah Cats: The Facts
Of course, when owning Savannah cats, there are various things to be aware of, both in terms of physical features and requirements, breeding techniques and patterns, health problems, and temperament.
Along with their large, lanky proportions, and their distinctive patterning, Savannah cats also have many other characteristics that distinguish them from other breeds.
Many of their distinctive, almost ‘exotic’ features come from the serval cat DNA.
Their long, erect, cupped ears, their hooded eyes, their long puffy nose, and the length of their tails all descend from their wild, African heritage, and are what give the cat the appearance of a wild animal - something that can lead to legal trouble and misunderstandings from frightened neighbors and bystanders who confuse it with a leopards or young mountain lions.
Whilst their long physical dimensions give them the impression of a hefty weight, they are actually comparatively light. Males tend to be larger, and reach a maximum weight range of around 25 pounds, whilst females are much smaller, with a weight of around 12 pounds.
F1 through F4 males of Savannah cats are generally sterile, and incapable of producing offspring, therefore breeders tend to use an F5 generation male with an F1 female Savannah to counteract this problem.
The distinctive look of the Savannah cat has meant that several desirable and undesirable traits have been identified, with breeders sticking to Savannah to Savannah breeding to avoid any unwanted outcomes.
As with many cat species, there are several health conditions that the Savannah cat can be prone to, including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - where the heart becomes unexpectedly thickened without an obvious cause or determining factor.
Similarly, other unusual factors include smaller livers, even amongst the largest of the breed. However, there are currently no medical consequences which have been documented as a result.
Despite their large and fearsome appearance, they are known as being a loyal, easily trained, and playful breed of cat, and can be easily socialized into homes with existing pets.
Their playfulness is encouraged by their natural predilection towards hiding, and their ability as good jumpers, which only gives them more scope when it comes to hide and seek.
Unlike other breeds, Savannah cats do not have a natural fear of water, and will often voluntarily play in water to keep cool and have fun. Some owners have even been known to shower with their Savannah cats as a means of keeping them clean and cool.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about the Savannah cat hybrid, and the legality surrounding their ownership and breeding.
An attractive breed, with a pleasant temperament and exotic looks, it is no wonder why they remain so popular amongst cat enthusiasts.
If you are a cat owner, chances are that you get quite close to your cat and spend a lot of time cuddling them or sharing surfaces with them, you might even let your cat lick your hand from time to time.
However, it is important to consider how hygienic these habits are and whether there are any possible health ramifications. In this article, we will look at whether cats' mouths are clean and what you can do to improve your cat's dental hygiene.
Are Cats Mouths Clean?
The short answer to this question is no, cats’ mouths are not clean. While there isn’t any definitive data on the levels of bacteria in your feline’s mouth, it is known that there are disease-causing bacteria present in cats’ mouths that can be transferred to humans.
The bacteria in their mouths can also present health risks to the cat themselves in the same way as it is for humans. Cats are susceptible to dental diseases such as gingivitis, periodontal disease, and tooth loss.
Possible Diseases From Cats Mouths
There are multiple diseases that can develop from the bacteria that is present in your cat’s mouth that can be transferred to humans, mostly through bites, these are known as zoonotic diseases.
Transfer to humans most commonly happens through bites, although poor hygiene practices after coming into contact with your cat’s mouth can also lead to transfer.
There are three main common diseases and viruses that can be passed from cats’ mouths to humans.
Rabies is the most well-known disease that can develop as the result of a cat bite. Rabies attacks the nervous system and has a high mortality rate.
Treatment for rabies is available in the US although for it to be effective it needs to be administered immediately. The effects of rabies can be reduced if you are up to date with rabies vaccinations for both you and your cat.
Bartonella henselae, otherwise known as cat scratch disease, is usually transmitted through scratches, however, it has been known to transfer through bites or open wounds.
Symptoms of this disease include blistering and swelling at the site of the infection, the lymph nodes may also become swollen and painful to touch. Fever, aches, and headaches are also common.
In most cases, the infection will clear up on its own, although it can take a few months, however, antibiotics may be necessary for some instances. Discouraging scratching and rough play, washing hands after contact with your cat, and keeping your cat indoors can all lower the risk.
Pasteurella multocida is the most common disease that is present in a cat’s mouth and is found in up to 90% of cats’ mouths. It is also found to be present in 50% to 80% of humans that seek medical attention after being bitten.
Symptoms such as redness, swelling, and pain can develop within 24-48 hours. If this disease is left untreated in humans it can spread through the bloodstream and cause significant illness.
To avoid the risk of contracting any of these diseases it is important to ensure that you thoroughly clean any wounds obtained from a cat bite. You should also seek medical advice from your primary care practitioner in case there is a need for antibiotics.
Should You Clean Your Cat’s Teeth?
As humans, we have learned the importance of engaging in dental hygiene practices morning and night, and our cats’ mouths go through much dirtier acts than ours do. Therefore, it makes sense that we should be providing a level of dental care to our feline friends on a regular basis.
Although it isn’t necessary to clean your cat’s teeth as often as you clean your own, it is still beneficial to begin regularly brushing their teeth.
There are plenty of different toothbrush options available that are specifically designed for use with cats, from tiny toothbrushes that resemble our own to brushes that slip over your finger. Some trial and error and perseverance may be required to find a toothbrush that your cat is comfortable with.
How To Keep Your Cat's Mouth Clean
As mentioned above, there are plenty of devices available to assist you in cleaning your cat’s mouth, however, introducing your cat to the process can be laborious, particularly if your cat is older.
The first step in keeping your cat’s mouth clean is to invest in the proper tools to help.
This includes an appropriate toothpaste that has been specifically formulated for pets and a toothbrush that is designed for your cat’s small mouth, although this one may require a few tries to find out what your pet is most comfortable with.
When getting your cat used to the idea of having their teeth cleaned, you can simply let them lick the toothpaste from the brush. This will get them used to the taste and the presence of the brush.
When you move up to brushing your cat’s teeth it is best to limit the number of occasions to once a week to give them time to adjust. Gradually increase the number of times you brush their teeth in a week.
If your cat is extremely resistant to letting you clean its teeth or you have an older cat that has never had its teeth cleaned, it is possible to invest in professional dental cleaning for your feline friend.
Much like a visit to the hygienist leaves you with a pearly white, super clean mouth, the same can be done for your cat. These types of intense cleans should be done on a semi-regular basis of about once a year to help maintain your cat's oral health.
You can also invest in some dental toys for your cat to play with that are designed to help clean its teeth while they chew it. This is a great option if your cat is reluctant to have its teeth cleaned with a paste and a brush.
Cats’ mouths are inherently not clean and they can carry harmful bacteria that can result in zoonotic diseases being contracted by you and your family.
Thankfully, there are various ways that you can help to increase the oral hygiene of your feline friend to reduce the risk of disease for them and you.
Cats are wonderful creatures! They are fun, playful, inquisitive, and extremely intelligent. Sometimes, it seems like cats can follow every little thing we say.
Other times, we speak directly to our cats and they just get up and walk away. This begs the question: can cats actually understand English, or not?
In this article, we will attempt to answer this question, and more! So, if this is of interest to you, then read on!
Can Cats Understand English?
No. Cats cannot actually understand English. They cannot interpret the human language because they do not possess the cognitive skills to do so, and they do not have a human physiological structure.
Cats can, however, understand human language, thinking of it in the same way that we would think of a cat’s meow. In other words, cats can understand sound and make themselves familiar with it. In this way, they are very similar to dogs. Like dogs, cats can understand a command after receiving it repeatedly when it is connected to an action.
However, cats never seem to be appreciated or acknowledged for this in the way that dogs are. This may be because they are hard to read sometimes. While they may have picked up human cues, unlike dogs, they may choose to ignore them and won’t always respond in the best way
Why Does It Seem Like My Cat Can Understand Me?
There are various reasons why it seems like your cat can understand you sometimes. Let’s check them out in more detail below!
Cats love positive reinforcement! If you reward them with a treat after they perform a trick or a command, then they are more likely to do it again!
Because cats can be assimilated to sounds, it is implied that they will be able to communicate in various languages provided they are assisted and taught. The same can be said for dogs!
Cats Are Able To Learn Simple Commands
Cats seem like they can understand you because they can actually learn simple commands, such as “stay” and “sit”.
However, as previously mentioned, cats find it much easier than dogs to ignore or forget commands if you do not reward them after you have followed their instructions.
Therefore, just like with dogs, it is vital to reward cats after they have listened to you. This does not only apply to English, but any language you speak!
Additionally, according to research, cats can actually learn around fifty phrases and commands - even their own name!
Now, being able to understand fifty words in any given language may not seem like a whole lot, but this is all your cat is going to need to understand. Think “yes”, “no”, “eat”, and “food”.
So, this means that it is important to only teach your cat the words that they are going to need. In other words, only teach them what is going to be useful to them.
Cats Respond To Meows
Did you know that cats will typically respond to meowing more than they will respond to commands given to them?
That’s right! Cats are more often to come running to you if you begin meowing more so than if you use commands in your own language.
This is because they believe that when you meow, you are trying to communicate with them specifically.
This is especially true if they meow at you, and you meow back. A cat will eventually learn how to make the link between your meow sounds and speaking to you directly.
Cats Only Made Sounds When They Became Domesticated
That’s right! If humans and cats never created the relationship they have today, then cats would never have made any sounds at all! Cats communicate with each other more via body language, as opposed to communicating orally.
So, this means that when a cat meows, it is mainly for the benefit of humans. This is because a cat understands that humans will respond more to oral communication than they do to body language.
So, while cat owners think they are training their furry friend through their meows, it is in fact our cats that train us!
In fact, a meow is supposed to mimic the cry of a baby, which is a cat’s way of trying to get human attention. This highlights the intelligence of cats - but also how they can be manipulative.
The Cat And Human Relationship
Yes, even though cats cannot understand language literally, they do understand humans. However, they understand humans differently than dogs do. Dogs will interact, respond, and play with humans in a totally different way from cats.
For example, dogs see when their owners are stressed or angry with them, and will often respond by bowing their heads. This shows that not only do dogs recognize that they may have done something their owner dislikes, but that they consider humans to be superior.
Contrastingly. Cats do not see humans as superior to them. Cats will interact, respond to, and play with humans in the same way they would with other cats. This is a perfectly normal and characteristic behavior for them!
So, there you have it! Cats do not understand English or any other language. This is because they do not have the skills to interpret human language.
However, just like dogs, cats can be taught commands and to associate certain words with an action. For example, cats can learn “sit”, “food”, “stay”, and even their own name!
However, unlike dogs, cats are far more likely to ignore commands, and even forget them if they are not rewarded for them. In fact, a cat is much more likely to respond to its owner meowing at them compared to giving them a command.
Cats only communicate orally because of humans. With other cats, they are more likely to communicate with body language.
However, cats recognized that humans are much more likely to respond to oral communication, and so they imitated crying babies to try and communicate with us effectively.
Cats are very sensitive creatures who can see things that humans cannot. This has led to people questioning whether or not cats can see infrared lights.
Infrared light is a type of electromagnetic radiation that cannot be seen by humans because it has a wavelength longer than the wavelength of visible light. However, this begs the question: can the same be said for cats?
In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about whether or not cats can see infrared. So, if this is of interest to you, read on for more!
Can Cats See Infrared?
No, just like humans, cats cannot see infrared! Cats have a superior vision at night when compared to humans, as well as a wider view angle.
A cat's field of view is around 200 degrees, which is wider than our view field. However, neither cats nor humans can see infrared.
The reason cats cannot see infrared is that they are warm-blooded mammals. It is a lot more difficult for mammals who are warm-blooded to be able to see infrared.
This is because if they could see infrared, then they would see it with a significant amount of interference from their body heat. They would see the world in terms of temperature, instead of seeing the world in terms of color.
Not only that, but the ability to see infrared would actually harm your cat's eyes. This is because any overexposure to infrared will cause the eyes’ internal temperature to rise, which causes lasting damage.
However, even though cats cannot see infrared, they can in fact detect it in the form of heat. Cats are able to find warm spots to lie in just about anywhere.
How Do Cats See?
A common misconception about cats is that their love of shiny objects and laser pointers can be attributed to their hunting instinct. In fact, it has more to do with the way cats see the world.
Cats are more colorblind than humans. However, they do see the world in some colors, even though those not colors do not appear as rich as they do to other animals.
Let’s check out how cats see in more detail below!
Creatures Of The Night
Cats can actually see in the dark extremely well. This is the reason why they are more active at night and early in the morning, as opposed to the rest of the day when humans are most active.
The reason cats can see so well in the dark is simple. They have a significant number of rods in their retina, which allows them to be more sensitive to motion in darkness and dim light.
Additionally, a cat’s eyes will glow in the dark because of the layer of tissue that will reflect light onto the retina. This tissue is called the tapetum. Because their eyes reflect this light, they can collect as much light as possible. And so, their eyes will glow in the dark.
Seeing The World In Color
Cats best humans when it comes to night vision. However, their color perception is not nearly as good. Cats do not see as many colors on the color spectrum as humans do. This is due to the physical structure of their eyes.
Human eyes have many more cones, also known as light receptors when compared to cat eyes. Cones work best in bright light, so humans are able to see motion in bright lights around twelve times better than a cat can.
Not only that, but humans have more than one type of cone in their eyes, which permits us to see a broader spectrum of color, particularly when it comes to red, green, and blue. This is known as being trichromatic.
Cats are trichromats, too. However, the distribution of their cones varies. So, they cannot see the full range of the colors like humans can, and the colors will not appear as rich.
However, all of this means that cats do see in some color. They typically see the world in grey, yellow, and blue. However, cats will find it difficult to distinguish between colors that are extremely bright, like red and green. Generally, cats will see red and green as grey.
Cats do not have visual acuity because of their perception of colors. This means that their clarity of vision is slightly lacking. So, they do not have the muscles in their eyes that allow their lens shape to alter, meaning their image perception is not as sharp.
This makes cats close to being near-sighted. In other words, they need to be closer to an object to be able to see it clearly.
Humans have an angle of view of around 180 degrees. The angle of view of a cat is broader, around 200 degrees.
The visual field of a cat is wider because their eyes are situated more to the side of their head, which allows them a much better peripheral vision when compared to humans. So, cats are able to see what is in front of them, below, above, and to the side with ease.
What Animals Can See Infrared Lights?
Here is a list of animals that can see infrared light!
These animals can see infrared light because they are cold-blooded.
Just like humans, cats cannot see infrared light. This is because they are warm-blooded, and the ability to see infrared light would actually harm their eyes.
Not only that, but the ability to see infrared light would interfere with their body temperature because they would begin to see the world in terms of heat instead of color. Only creatures who are cold-blooded, like snakes, fish, and bloodsucking insects can see infrared.
Cats cannot see color, as well as humans, can, seeing the world mostly in shades of yellow, grey, and blue. However, cats have exceptional night vision and have a 200-degree field of view.
We hope this article answered all of your questions about cats and infrared light!
If you are a cat owner, you will notice that one of the more unusual behaviors that they display is hiding when they are fearful. This will often happen if a cat is feeling unsure, upset, or afraid.
This is very normal behavior for our feline friends, but it can be an issue when it feels as though they’ve been hiding for a long time, or out of doors.
If you want to know more about the reasons that cats hide, and how long they remain in hiding, as well as some tips to get them to re-emerge again, take a look below, as we explore the topic.
How Long Will My Cat Stay In Hiding?
This is a good question, and has much to do with the individual nature of the cat. Some cats who are hardier and more boisterous, may not stay in hiding for very long at all.
Cats who are more reserved and shy, on the other hand, may remain in hiding for extended periods of time. There are also some other factors to do with the environment that come into play. Some of these factors include:
The reasons why they are in hiding vary, but they all come down to the fact that your cat is experiencing distress. They might continue to hide for a long time, and refuse to engage in any kind of play due to traumatic experiences.
Until they are once again able to feel completely comfortable in their environment, the hiding will persist. For example, if you have recently relocated to a new home, the cat might be wary of its new surroundings.
With time, however, they will gradually become more accustomed to their new environment, and come out of their hiding spot.
If your cat has only been frightened by something very minor, like a loud noise perhaps, then they likely won’t choose to remain in hiding for very long.
Where Do Scared Cats Tend To Hide?
Perhaps your cat has been frightened by something and now they’ve gone into hiding, but you aren’t able to find them. There are some key places to look if you suspect that this might have happened. The places that cats tend to hide are those that are safe from any visits from unwelcome predators. These are usually spots inside your house, so that the threat can’t get to them.
Sometimes, cats can actually decide to hide outdoors as well. This is what usually happens if you’ve recently relocated, and the cat is weary of the unfamiliar surroundings of the new home.
Don’t worry if this has happened to you though. Cats have an inbuilt homing instinct, so if they’ve temporarily run away, they will return. In addition to this, they don’t tend to find hiding places that are very far away from you either.
Some outdoor places that cats tend to take refuge in include:
Some things that you can do to help take care of your cat when they are in hiding, is to make sure to leave food and water for them on your porch, so that they do not become dehydrated.
How Do I Get My Cat To Stop Hiding?
There is no immediate rush to get your cat to stop hiding. The best solution is to simply wait it out, and leave some food and water like we mentioned above. Hiding is a natural response for a cat, so it is best to leave them to it until they feel safe again.
There is one instance, however, where you should prevent your cat from hiding. This is if you have an indoor cat, and it has decided to venture out of doors, where it is now hiding.
This could be a potentially dangerous situation for your cat, because they have not adapted to being in the outside world. There are some ways to get your cat to emerge again that we’ve listed below.
If your cat is in hiding, fear not, they will eventually return once they’ve had some time to cool off. If you’re trying to get your indoor cat to return to you, follow some of the steps above to speed up the process.
Anyone who owns a cat can attest to the fact that their furry friend enjoys slinking around the home under the cover of darkness. Come nightfall, cats turn into formidable predators that can and will bring in their dead prey for you to wake up to in the morning.
Other than preying on helpless victims of the night, cats are also known to go a little bit mad at night - thinking its play time at 3:am is not uncommon for housebound cats.
All this after-hours sneaking, preying, and playing might have you thinking that cats were tailor-made for the dark.
However, and very much unlike nocturnal owls, cats aren’t programmed with night vision. This article will dispel the myths and deliver the facts that surround cats and darkness.
Do Cats Like the Dark?
As we have already pointed out, yes, cats like the dark. The cover of darkness gives cats an extra sense of stealthiness which bodes well with their slinky characteristics and habitual movements.
Even in the middle of the day, cats often prefer to be tucked behind the sofa than out in the open.
Knowing that it gives them an upper hand against their adversaries, cats feel comfortable in darkness. However, cats excelling in dark environments does not mean they like total darkness.
Against popular opinion, they are not nocturnal creatures with highly advanced night vision - they still need a little bit of light to see. It is, therefore, incorrect to say that cats love the dark and to just leave it at that. Dark or light, there is more to this story than meets the eye for cats.
Why Do Cats Like the Dark?
Cats like the dark because they are crepuscular. This scientific label essentially translates (in layman’s terms) to being active creatures at dusk and dawn.
This doesn’t mean that a cat won’t make the most of the day or night if the time is right, it's just that, in general, they are most active in the twilight hours of the day.
In the wild, dusk and dawn are also great times to hunt. If your cat is particularly fond of going out on the prowl in the early hours of the morning and late into the evening, this is their natural instinct at work.
On the flip side, cats who love to lay around snoozing all day, don’t necessarily despise the light, they are simply trying to conserve their energy for the more fruitful hunting hours of the day.
Let’s not forget that domestic house cats are descendants of the fiercest land mammals on earth - lions and tigers. So, even though it isn’t necessarily for house cats to hunt for their next meal, their tenacious tendencies will see them trying their luck in the dark.
How Do Cats See In The Dark?
Cats are fascinating pets because they are so different from humans. One way that cats differ from us is their eyesight.
Their ability to see extremely well in almost totally black environments is one of their most important and defining factors. How do they do this you ask? Well, you’re about to find that out.
Light And Dark
We now know that cats can see well in the dark, but did you know that they can also see well in light environments too? The ability to see well in light environments will help to explain the why behind their undeniable love of darkness.
Cats’ pupils are highly tuned to expand and contract to allow the perfect amount of light into the eye. The pupil of a human eye can do this too but only at a fraction of the cat’s eye.
If you have ever taken note of a cat’s eye in broad daylight you will have noticed how narrow its pupils are.
They turn into tiny little sideways slits that ensure their eye isn’t flooded with excessive light that makes it hard for them to see. For this reason, they have no need for sunglasses.
As darkness falls a cat’s pupils will dilate, expanding to become round. Asides from giving them an undeniable cuteness, it is this dilation that allows them to see and hunt so well at night. In fact, it is proven that cat pupils can grow to 300 times their size.
Compare that to the human pupil that can only increase 15 times its size and you start to understand just how impressive your cat’s nighttime sight really is.
Can Cats See Without Light?
Despite their impressive night vision, cats still need some light to see. Put a cat in a completely blackened room without any trace of light and they will stumble around the place just like we would. After all, cats are mammals and their eyes can not function without light.
In saying that, cats only need one-sixth of the ambient light that humans need to see clearly. So put them in a room with no light except the faintest light of the moon coming in through the window and they will feel at home.
Another thing to consider is how heightened the rest of a cat's senses are. Their heightened senses allow them to function in low-light environments with an astute sense of authority.
Should You Leave A Light On For Your Cat?
One of the biggest myths that cat owners love to abide by is that it is necessary to leave a light on for your cat at night. This simply isn’t true.
The light from windows along with little bits of light from appliances like your tv and oven will give your cat all the light it needs to move about your home without worry.
Leaving a light on for just one night won’t send your energy bill through the roof. Do it for a year straight and you will notice the hit to your back pocket.
So there you have it. You now know that cats do in fact like the dark and the reasons why. Cats are fascinating pets that don’t ask for much but offer so much fascination and affection. Treat them right and you will become enamored by their movements, day or night.
When we think of animals that are avid snow lovers, cats do not immediately spring to mind. They prefer a warm cuddly blanket, and lying down in front of the fireplace.
This might not always be the case, however. Maybe you’ve been surprised to see your feline friend enjoying the falling snowdrops, and are wondering if this is actually normal?
If you want to know more about the climates that cats prefer, keep reading, as we take a look at the topic below.
Do Outdoor Cats Like The Snow?
Let’s start off by talking about the hardier, more robust outdoor cat and their preferences in relation to snow.
So do these outdoor loving cats actually dislike snowy weather, and could this cause them to spend an unusual amount of time indoors?
The answer is - probably not! Outdoor cats actually do not mind the snow as much as an indoor cat typically would.
If your cat is an outdoor cat, then it is likely that they have already set outside of your house as a territory that they feel responsible for guarding.
This means that they view their home as their property, and then need to ward off any invading sources.
This sense of responsibility will feel more important to your cat, than their dislike of snow. They will likely continue to go outside, despite the nature of the weather.
Feral cats, in addition, also don’t mind the falling droplets. They can’t go inside to find a luxurious spot beside the fireplace, so they’ve learnt to put up with difficult weather conditions.
Instead of taking refuge indoors, feral cats will attempt to find a warmer spot out of doors to keep them comfortable. For these cats, the snow is a nuisance, just like it can be for humans. Because of their thick fur, however, the cold won’t be too harsh for them.
Do Indoor Cats Like The Snow?
Indoor cats, on the other hand, differ from their adventurous counterparts. They are far more adverse to the effects of the falling snow.
Your indoor cat will definitely prefer to remain inside where there is plenty of warmth. Even though their coat will be just as thick and heavy as the feral cats we mentioned above, they will only seek to use its protection if necessary.
If you live in a region that experiences the four seasons as they change, you will likely start to notice as the summer months decline, and as we move into a chilly September, that your cat starts spending less and less time on the porch.
Although they are lovers of the indoors, when it’s sunny outside, they will love lounging in your garden, but the same cannot be said for those chillier months. After they have returned indoors, they will likely not venture outside again until the weather returns to its warmer temperature.
Safety Precautions For Keeping Your Cat Safe During Cold Weather
So a cat's regular body temperature falls somewhere between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees, this means that if they are left outside in temperatures below 45 degrees, they could be at risk of developing hypothermia, which can be fatal.
If this does end up happening, however, the best thing to do is immediately wrap them up in a warm towel or blanket, and rush them to a hospital to be treated.
The cold demonstrated by the snow is not the only thing that can prove harmful for cats if they have no place of refuge.
Dry air that is typical of colder months can also cause fatalities for our feline friends. Because the air is so dry, take care to provide them with plenty of water so that they don’t become dehydrated.
How To Tell If My Cat Is Cold
If you aren’t sure of the signs to look out for that signify that your cat is struggling with a cold, there are a few things that you can watch out for. If your cat is suffering from hypothermia, they may display the following symptoms:
Do Cats Dislike Snow More Than Rain?
If you’ve found that your cat doesn’t actually mind venturing outdoors when the snow is falling, but hates stepping outside in the rain, this can be explained.
The reason why they don’t mind the snow as much as the rain, is because the latter is far more likely to penetrate their fur, because it is immediately wetter.
Once a cat's coat is penetrated, they can become cold, and even start to experience symptoms associated with hypothermia that we listed above.
With snow on the other hand, because it does not dampen them immediately, they have the opportunity to shake off the droplets before they wet their fur.
What Is The Best Temperature For Cats?
Like we mentioned above, the normal body temperature of cats is around 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that cats display a very similar resting body temperature to humans.
This makes it fairly easy to determine what their ideal temperature is. Chances are that if you’re happy with the household temperature, your cat is too.
As well as taking care of your cat during cooler climates, it’s also important to make sure that they are comfortable during the summer months. Because they typically have thick coats, they can get sun strokes. So, be sure to keep the AC running.
Most cats do not like to venture outside into the snowy weather if they can help it. How adverse your cat is to the snow will be dependent on whether they are an indoor or outdoor cat.
Make sure to look out for the signs of hypothermia in case your cat is struggling with the temperature.
Cats are amazing creatures that have all sorts of characteristics to amuse humans, such as how they wiggle their whole body before attacking their catnip-infused toy.
Many people consider observing a cat to be similar to that of a wild animal, as they still have all of their natural instincts that they would in the wild.
For example, while a domesticated dog will not stalk prey or hunt in your home, a cat will continue practicing its hunting ability throughout its life. This is where the wiggle comes in. But why do they wiggle before pouncing? Let’s find out.
There Are Many Theories
Unfortunately, many people have different opinions and assumptions about why cats wiggle before jumping onto their prey, but none have been confirmed as of yet.
This is because the only things that can confirm why this happens do not communicate with humans with words, because - well, they’re cats.
So, while we might not know the exact reason for the cute wiggle, we have collated a few theories behind it for you to consider.
It Prepares Them For The Jump
Some veterinarians think that the wiggle is a form of preparation before pouncing on their prey. Cats can’t just jump straight away - well, they could, but it wouldn’t be the smartest move.
Cats are cunning little creatures and like to take their time to plan before jumping the gun and ruining their hunting opportunity.
A wiggle before jumping can prepare the legs to jump to the best of their ability. When cats walk, their hind legs move simultaneously in different directions. However, when they’re jumping, their legs need to be used together.
So, wiggling their hind legs could be a way of resetting them and allowing them to work together rather than opposite one another. This could result in more successful pounces on their prey as they are more controlled within their movements.
A Cat’s Way Of Testing Strength
Another theory as to why cats wiggle before pouncing is that they are testing the strength of their surroundings before they jump. If the ground is not strong enough to hold their weight, then they might be in for a dangerous surprise when they jump.
A wiggle can ensure that they have enough balance, as well as determining whether the ground underneath them is strong enough to support their jump.
This could be used to explain the wiggle in both house cats and wild cats, as anywhere could provide them with uneasy footing.
Cats are meticulous and smart animals, so they’ll always check their safety before risking it for a meal. The wiggle could simply be a funny way of covering their own backs before hunting their prey down.
Biding Time To Make A Plan
Another common theory is that the cat is simply using their wiggle time to make a plan of action before attacking. A pounce is a big move for such a small cat, and their muscles need to be prepared for this action.
Think of how a golfer prepares for the swing of their club - you’ll often see them repositioning their feet, hands, stance, gaze, and more lots before they actually hit the ball. Sometimes they’ll even take a few practice swings as well.
Now compare this to how a cat prepares for their pounce. The wiggle is their way of getting their stance just right for their jump.
It could also help the cat by giving them a few seconds to strategize in their heads before jumping straight into action. This extra planning would most likely lead to more successful pounces and therefore meals.
It’s A Release Of Energy
When cats play and hunt, dopamine is released into their systems from their brains, and so this might be one of the causes of the wiggle.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that commonly comes into focus with reward-motivated behaviors, such as hunting.
Dopamine also releases energy into the body, charging the cat up and getting them excited. The wiggle might be a response to this - helping them get rid of some of the energy so that they can remain composed during the hunt.
Is The Wiggle A Learned Behavior?
Again, it can be difficult to know whether a cat’s wiggle is learned or instinctive behavior. However, the research seems to suggest that it is a mixture between the two.
The wiggle seems to be down to them both stretching their muscles ready for the pounce, as well as excitement for the activity about to happen.
Kittens play rather than hunt, but this is most likely getting them ready for their hunting instincts to kick in.
Kitten play will teach them how to perfect their skills and learn how to hunt without getting too excited that they scare the prey off. It will also help them build strong and lean muscles.
So, it might be an instinctive behavior for cats to play and work these skills unknowingly, for them to help in the future with hunting.
However, they might also learn that wiggling is the best way to remove any excess energy and get their legs in the perfect position for the jump.
Overall, there are a few reasons why cats might wiggle before pouncing. While cats are the only beings that can approve or deny these theories, plenty of research into these animals dictates that there is truth to all four of the theories we looked at above.
Cats most likely wiggle to get their muscles ready for the jump, as well as their stance. They can also use the time to strategize and ensure that they are ready for their attack.
It is also a good way of releasing some energy so that they are not too excitable, as this could ruin the attack.
Cats can both learn and be born with this behavior, and it is one of life’s little mysteries the exact reason why. So, don’t think about it too much and just enjoy the pleasure of watching the wiggle.
Cats can be very curious beings and you might just find them staring at things for long periods of time every now and then.
Most people will find this behavior quite strange but cats definitely see the world in a different way to how us humans do.
You can usually see that the cat is just staring out into space almost like they are under some kind of spell but what are they actually doing or thinking about?
When cats are in the dark, you can sometimes see them staring at objects in open spaces and this is because they have incredible night vision. Therefore, they are able to see everything in the dark and are especially sensitive to movement.
They are also able to see really small things on the floor like bugs that we might not be able to see straightaway. Therefore, they aren't just going crazy at nothing!
Cats have a really good sense of hearing as well as good vision which is why they are so sensitive to a lot. They can hear sounds that humans can't, which means they can always hear something.
Therefore, if there is a continuous sound in your home, it is most likely annoying your cat and that is why they tend to stare at what is irritating them.
Cats also have an episodic memory which means that they are able to remember things from the past. This means specific memories from the past and the first memory of things. For example, they remember how things are done and when they happen.
Research has also been carried out to show evidence of cats also being able to day dream like humans which is another reason for why they might be staring out of windows. It could just be them going through their memories.
Some cats can also suffer from certain types of medical problems concerning seizures which can be quite worrying for the owner.
They could be having a focal seizure which can make them just stare into space and can also start drooling. It is hereditary and affects one side of the brain.
Should You Worry If They Stare Often?
As mentioned previously, cats are very curious about most things in life. Therefore, if you keep catching them just staring at the wall or an object in your home, they are usually just being their curious selves.
There is definitely one action you need to look out for which is called head pressing. If your cats start to actually press their head up against the wall, there is most likely an issue with their nervous system!
This could include problems with their eyesight which can cause them to have behavior issues. If you notice this happening, you need to make sure that you get your cat straight down to the vets to get checked over to get to the route of the problem straight away.
There are other reasons for why your cat might be staring so much for long periods of time. For example, when you look at the history of wild cats becoming domestic cats, they used to have to hunt for their prey, always being on the ball.
They use their great hearing and sight to keep a watch for their prey. Therefore, they will still have these instincts and your cat's attention will always be on something they are looking out for no matter what you do in your home.
Most of the time, your home will have small insects when the windows are left open and especially in the summer.
This is one of the most common reasons for them following a random trail on the floor staring is because they are trying to get to the insect which we might not see.
Sometimes it is not an issue but if you do notice any head pressing or feel as though your cat is behaving weirdly, take them to the vets just to be safe to get checked over.
Overall, it is usually not anything to be worried about if your cat is just staring at nothing or a wall/object. Most domestic cats still have their natural insistics even in the home where they will always be on the ball.
However, in some cases it can be down to medical issues which need to be sorted out immediately before they get worse. Conditions that affect a cat's eyes or hearing can put them off balance and really cause them problems.
Most of the time, a cat is just distracted because their attention can be grabbed by almost everything that is going on around them.
They are so aware of their surroundings because they feel as though they have to be. It is all about their instincts and how they are wired.
Hopefully there are no mice or rats lurking around in your home because they are the most common type of animals which cats are likely to follow and hunt. Keep an eye on your cat and look out for any issues that seem unusual.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do Cats Stare At Blank Walls?
Staring at the wall for long periods could be a sign that your cat is trying to figure out what's going on with a small movement it sees or a sound it is hearing.
If they have discovered a small spider or mouse in the wall, they will focus on their prey and stalk it patiently, sometimes for hours.
Why Is My Cat Just Sitting And Staring?
Cats are visual hunters, so naturally, they tend to stare in order to keep a close eye on potential prey. Cats will also use a direct stare when they are feeling territorial, showing dominance, or posing a threat or challenge to other cats.