Answer your cat’s questions

cat with questions

Cats have questions and they want answers. In honor of Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day on January 22 we’ve collected some of the most common feline inquiries and provided the answers for when your kitty asks.

Why do I have to eat diet pet food?

Keeping you at a healthy weight lowers your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, respiratory disease and more. In fact, excess weight can reduce your life expectancy by more than two years, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. That’s why I avoid feeding you from the table, play with you regularly, and take you for regular vet checkups.

Why do I have to see the vet every 6-12 months?

Each year of your life equals about four years of mine, so you are aging faster and need to see the veterinarian at least once a year, twice a year when you reach 10 human years. You’re good at hiding it when you are ill, but the vet would notice something that I might not. The vet will check on your overall health and let me know if you need a dental cleaning since diseases of the mouth are the most common in cats over three years old.

Why can’t I go outside?

If I let you outside you could get hit by a car, one of the greatest risks to you outdoors. You may get lost or trapped. You could get hurt by other animals or toxic substances like insecticides, rat poison or even common plants and flowers. Cats who go outdoors are much more likely to contract infectious diseases especially through fighting with other cats or be exposed to parasites like ticks and worms. You could also hurt the birds outside.

How can I get your attention?

Meowing and yowling are ways that you have learned to “talk” to me. Adult cats rarely meow to each other; they meow mostly to humans to communicate. When you were a kitten you learned to meow to your mother when you were hungry, so you also purr to get my attention at feeding times.

Sometimes you rub against me and that gets my attention, but you just want to leave a scent mark on me to let other animals know that I am yours. This is called, “head bunting.”

Why do I purr?

Purring, like meowing, serves a variety of functions. You may be contented or in pain. You started purring almost as soon as you were born and that helped you communicate with your mother before you could see, hear, or meow. A 2009 study observed that you can change your purr to communicate different things.

How can I entertain myself without getting into trouble?

When you are bored you might destroy the carpet, the curtains, or the furniture. You might dig up the potted plants or knock things over. Keeping you engaged and entertained through interactive, energetic play prevents that. When I’m home we play with the laser pointer, and when I’m gone I leave a puzzle feeder for you to play with. Your cat tree allows you to climb up high and look out the window to keep you from getting bored.

Just like I walk the dog every day, I play with you every day. You love to “hunt,” so we play games with toy mice and feathers that look like birds. This relaxes you and gives you the chance to release this energy in an appropriate way.

When we play together for 30-45 minutes a day, usually 10-15 minutes at a time, it improves your quality of life and your behavior. So we both win.