This week on Fridays with Fred:
Fred writes: Diary of a socially distanced cat:
Friday, March 27, 2020: This is all very strange to me. My smaller humans are home all day every day, and many times they are placing their loudly noised items in my favorite resting spots. The other species (aka dogs) that live in my house are currently jumping up and down making quick back and forth movements with their stuffed items, and sometimes having no respect for my space. I have fallen over on my side several times because of this as Ruby runs to and from the door wanting to run away it seems to me??? I watch the smaller humans take her outside with a long ropey thing around her neck and I think, finally peace, quiet, and my favorite sleeping spot. Then, shortly later, they return and Ruby seems to be bouncing off the walls with her tongue hanging out in excitement. The energy is up again, I can't get a nap. My sister, Bunni, has left her favorite resting spot upstairs because the tiny human occupies that space with another noisy device. Bunni has taken over my fleece mat and she slaps me if I go near. Sigh.... Rafe seems to want to eat more lately and Millie just sleeps. I'm so confused.... I don't understand these changes, I can't sleep normally, my feeding times have changed, and Bunni now throws up almost daily.
I think I may have some sound advice to share as we all all navigate these times of uncertainty. These changes are necessary, and somewhere deep inside I know this, however, its a huge change for me and all of us cats who by nature are the ultimate control freaks. Change is very scary to us too. Here are a few tips from the front lines (aka my house) to help you humans help us cats to adjust. Sudden day to day changes can lead to bladder issues, vomiting, skin issues, diarrhea, among others that can be quite serious.
- First off, if any of you cats are experiencing anything medical or suddenly changing behaviors please let your human know to take you to a veterinarian to have you examined. They are essential businesses and still open to care for us cats.
- Bigger humans, please advise the younger ones to keep their items, especially the noisy ones in their own spaces, respecting our normal day to day habits as much as possible. Rhythms and rituals are EVERYTHING to us cats, and are a huge part of our health.
- Next, consider using feliway classic or feliway multicat in every single room of the house so we can receive some chemical messages of comfort and relax. This is sort of our zen right now you know?
- If you are home with us, and this is new to all, please keep our schedules as close to the normal day to day as possible. We can handle change but in SMALL quantities. Feed us at the same time you normally do, and set aside special time for one on one cat interaction so we know all is ok.
- Now may be the time to look into some environmental enrichments for us. The cardboard rolls left after used toilet tissue and paper towels make excellent treat and food puzzles for us. I'll ask mom to make a video on this for all of you to see how to make them.
- Maybe increase our exercise with wand play or safe leash walking if this is something we are used to.
- During times of stress our conditions that are normally well managed may become unmanaged. Please don't wait to discuss this with the veterinarian. Us cats are masters of disguise and when we begin to show you things we are often far worse than we appear.
Ultimately remember we do feel your worry and stress, so take some time to relax and take care of yourselves, as we do enjoy our lives with our humans. If you have any worries or concerns please contact Cat Care Center at 225-228-1039 or your veterinarian wherever you may live. www.catcarecenter.com