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  • Writer's pictureJoel

Updated: May 31, 2019

Why Do Cats Eat Grass?

It may seem strange when you see your cat eating grass. But just like the domesticated cats’ ancient ancestors, wildcats also eat grass. Learning more about why cats eat grass will help you to better care for your own cat.

Cat grass is a variety of different types of grass that is non-toxic to cats. It has no relation to catnip, which cats greatly love too. While cats are obligate carnivores and can survive only on animal proteins, they also enjoying eating cat grass as a digestive aid.

Has your cat vomited after eating grass? This is a normal response. In nature, after a cat has eaten their prey, they will eat some grass, which will then help them vomit the indigestible bits. This protects their digestive tract and intestines from blockages.

Cats may also eat grass for hairball control. During the summer months, most cats start shedding huge amounts of fur. As most cats love to groom themselves, this can mean they end up ingesting fur which can form hairballs inside their stomachs. This can become uncomfortable over time and most cats will vomit them up.

Another reacatsson cats will eat grass is to obtain nutrients they don’t normally get from their meat-based diet. These include vitamins A, D, and niacin. Additionally, grass can contain folic acid, a protein that helps with a cats production of hemoglobin.

There are certain types of grass that are safe for your cat such as rye, wheat, and barley. Some cats just eat grass straight from the garden and if this is the case, it will be best to keep your garden free from certain pesticides and fertilizers. You can purchase cat grass and cat grass growing kits from most pet shops which should be free from any dangerous chemicals and toxins.

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Firstly, performing a feline health check should not replace your regular vet visits. But, being aware of your cat’s physical and emotional condition can help pick up potential problems before they become serious. Cats can be very good at hiding signs of illness and pain so it is important that the health check is performed carefully and methodically.

1. Appetite

You should observe how much your cat eats. Loss of appetite can be one of the first signs that your cat is feeling unwell. If your cat hasn’t eaten for 24 hours or has a diminished appetite for more than 2 days, you should contact your vet.

2. Thirst

It can be difficult to monitor how much water your cat drinks. Depending on their diet, age, size, how active they are and the time of year can all dictate how much water they should be drinking. It is vital though that you try to notice if your cat starts taking more trips to the water bowl or increases their water consumption. Polydipsia (excessive thirst) is often indicative to underlying health problems.

3. Weight

It can be challenging to weigh a cat at home but its weight is a good benchmark of health so it’s an important measurement to record. The most accurate way to weigh a cat is to place them in a travel carrier with a handle and use a luggage scale to measure the weight. If your cat is becoming over weight it has an increased risk of developing diabetes, osteoarthritis pain and hypertension to name a few. If your cat is loosing weight it could be a symptom of an underlying health problem and is best to consult your vet.

4. Skin & Coat

Your cat’s skin should not be dry, flaky or inflamed. Depending on breed, their coat should be full and shiny without any split ends, bald patches or dandruff. The fur should not be greasy and should be free of any matting. In a healthy cat if you gently pull the skin around the neck it will instantly fall back to normal. If the skin stays in a ‘tented’ position it is a sign of dehydration. If your cat is ill and the skin is tenting you need to contact a vet.

5. Ears

Ears should be clean and odor free. Check for any bleeding or thick brown waxy discharge. There should not be any pain when you gently feel around the base of the ear. If your cat keeps scratching at its ears or shaking its head rapidly, this could indicate mites or an ear infection.

6. Eyes

Healthy cats eyes should be bright and clear, with no signs of runniness, soreness or discharge. Both pupils should be the same size and reactive to light or stimuli.

7. Nose

A cat’s nose is usually soft with no crusting on the surface. A wet or dry nose is not necessarily an indicator of health. The nose shouldn’t be runny, have any discharge or be bleeding. If you do notice any discharge or sneezing you should take him to the vet to rule out cat flu.

8. Mouth

The teeth should be clean, smooth and white in colour. Gums should be a pink colour with no swelling or redness. If your cat’s teeth are brown or black, or their gums are red or bleeding you will need to take them to the vet. Other signs of mouth problems are dropping of food, reluctance to eat, drooling, pawing at the mouth and bad breath.

9. Breathing

Your cats breathing should be steady and effortless. A cat’s normal respiratory rate is between 20 to 30 breaths per minute while at rest. Difficulty breathing and coughing are indicators of potentially serious problems. Rapid, laboured or open-mouth breathing requires emergency veterinary attention.

10. Body check

Run your hands along your cat’s entire body and tail with gentle pressure. If you notice any lumps and bumps or if your cat responds with discomfort in any one area take them to the vet.

11. Mobility

Keep an eye on your cat’s mobility. If your cat starts having difficulty with movements such as jumping, walking or is limping you should consult your vet. Decreased range of movement or pain while moving could indicate injury, arthritis or potentially more serious conditions.

You know your cat best

If you observe your cat sleeping more than usual, or if he seems subdued and less playful, it can mean your cat is feeling under the weather. Unwell cats can also shy away from human contact, start urinating in unusual locations or sometimes appear unusually aggressive for no obvious reason. Remember, you know your cat best and if you notice any unusual changes contact your vet for advice.

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  • Writer's pictureJoel

Going away can be a stressful and upsetting situation for you and your cat. Taking your cat to a cattery or trusting your neighbour to feed and water them can be daunting. Is there a better solution? Yes! Hire a professional cat sitter.

What are the advantages?

There are many advantages to using a qualified cat sitter. Cats are creatures of habit and are very sensitive to change. Using a cat sitter enables your pet to stay in their own home, in the environment that they know best. They will be able to eat their favourite cat food and keep to their daily routine.

Using a sitting service avoids using catteries.

The journey to the cattery, with all the yowling and the obligatory poo in the carrier, can be distressing for all. Due to higher populations at catteries your cat can be at risk of being exposed to potential diseases and parasites. Cats are extremely territorial and being in such close proximity can be very emotionally upsetting for them.

And the advantages don’t stop there.

By using a sitter you will have happier friends or neighbours, who don’t feel burdened, with the responsibility of looking after your house and your much-loved pet. You will also have peace of mind knowing that a qualified professional with feline expertise and experience is caring for your pet.

Cat sitters provide protection.

Your home can be vulnerable to brake-ins while you are away and a sitter provides excellent protection. Most cat sitters will bring in mail out of sight, alternate your lights and curtains so potential burglars won’t even know your away.

And let's not forget the plants.

Any sitter worth their salt will keep your house plants nice and hydrated.

So now you have decided to use a pet sitter, how do you find the right sitter for both you and your companion? Here are some key elements to look for!

1. Experience

Cats are very particular and you should look for a sitter that has a wealth of experience in caring for cats. I would recommend that you hire a cat sitter instead of a pet sitter. This is to insure you find a sitter that has an understanding of feline behaviour and health.

2. Qualifications

Ask the cat sitter if they have any formal qualification that not only reinforce their experience but also prove their competence in feline welfare. Don’t be afraid to ask to see certification.

3. Meet and Greet

All pet sitters should offer a free meet and greet. The aim is to see if the sitter is compatible with both you and your pet. This should be approached as an interview. The sitter should be friendly and professional. Observing the interactions between your cat and the sitter is a great way to gauge their experience.

4. Insured

You should be completely confident in your sitter’s competency. Unfortunately, the unforeseeable can sometimes happen. The cat sitter should be fully insured with public liability insurance and pet insurance for when the pet is in their care. Ask to see the pet sitters policy so you know exactly what is covered.

5. Trustworthy

You will be allowing the sitter into your home to look after your beloved pet. This requires an element of trust. Use the ‘meet and greet’ to gauge how you feel about the cat sitter. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t use them. There are other more quantifiable measures of trust than pure gut feeling. The sitter should be able to provide a basic disclosure certificate detailing any previous convictions if the sitter has any. They should also be able to provide references if required.

6. Service Agreement

A professional sitter should provide a service agreement that protects both you and the sitter. The agreement should state the service, the dates and the price you are going to pay. Always be sure to read the small print!

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