Let me tell our readers a little secret: Swiss Post loves cat videos.
It’s a blessing and a curse to be among like-minded cat lovers – because sometimes there are just so many great cat moments to share and not enough hours in a day to showcase them.
But not today! Fortunately, we celebrate National Cat Health Month – a time when pet parents can take stock of their cat’s physical and mental well-being.
We learned of the 665 cats that had escaped to safety last year after unknowingly climbing too far into trees in ancient forests in western Washington state. Some canopies reach up to 150 feet in the sky.
The harrowing rescue material from Canopy Cat Rescue in Woodinville, a nonprofit founded by cat-loving arborists Shaun Sears and Tom Otto, features two such scared cats rescued from daring heights. For those who live in wooded areas, it’s not uncommon for cats to be missing for days or even weeks before their wild howls are tracked down a tree, according to rescuers. Because of the shape of their claws, it’s much easier to enlarge them than to pull them back down.
These cats were lucky enough to be found and returned to their loving owners. Unfortunately, 95% of cats that end up in animal shelters never make it home, according to the national animal welfare organization Best Friends Animal Society.
However, cats in danger may be easier to spot than those with illness or emotional barriers such as cat depression. Hence, it is important to remain vigilant when it comes to subtle changes in behavior. For example, crouching body language – ears back, tails pinned, hair pulled up – is a good indicator of anxiety, fear, and aggression. Loss of appetite, sleeping excessively, urinating outside the litter box, poor grooming, and withdrawal are also signs that your cat is mentally ill.
Much like humans, depressed cats lose interest in activities they once loved, like hitting toys or cuddling with a pet companion – much like Snowball and his dog cohort Toxin from London, Ontario, Canada. Her human caught the couple playing Pawsie while taking a break from their usual friendly gaiters.
Stopping this type of activity can also be a sign of acute illness. Hence, it is important to speak to a veterinarian if these changes in appearance or behavior occur.
Dr. Erin Katribe, medical director of the Best Friends Animal Society, warns that cats are especially “masters at hiding diseases”. She told The Post, “If Fluffy is indeed showing signs of illness, your situation may be much more serious than you think and something has been going on for some time.”
“If you notice any small changes in your cat’s health or behavior, it is better for both of you to see a veterinarian sooner rather than later,” said Katribe. “Resolving problems early means a much greater chance of successful treatment and likely less stress for them and less financial costs.”