Tag Archives: cat behaviors

Adorable Things Your Cat Will Do Over the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us! Many of us enjoy partaking in special seasonal traditions at this time of year. For instance, you may watch a certain movie, play your favorite carols, or go to some annual holiday gatherings. As it turns out, our feline buddies also have a few holiday customs. A Roanoke, VA vet lists some of them below.

Play With The Tree

At this time of year, many of our feline patients turn their attention to those beautifully decorated trees. Kitty-proof your tree by hanging only sturdy, unbreakable ornaments on the lower branches. Put fragile decorations on the higher part of the tree, where Fluffy can’t reach them. You may also want to secure the treetop to the wall or ceiling with fishing line. If you have a super-frisky cat, opt for an artificial tree. (Note: ribbons, tinsels, pine needles, electric lights, and ornament hooks are all hazardous to kitties. Keep these things out of paws’ reach.)

Nap Under The Tree

Once your furball has tired herself out batting at holiday ornaments, she may curl up under the tree for a nap. This makes purrfect sense: cats are precious gifts!

Supervise The Humans

Cats are fairly nosy little furballs, and like to keep a close eye on their humans. Fluffy will monitor you as you are cooking, cleaning, and getting ready for holiday festivities. Your thoughtful pet may even lend a helping paw with giftwrapping and changing sheets!

Sleep On Guest Coats

Are you having company over in the next few weeks? If you ask your visitors to put their coats on a spare bed, you may want to close the door to that room. Otherwise, there’s a good chance you’ll find Fluffy snoozing on someone’s jacket!

Play With A New Toy

Your kitty definitely deserves a special present. After all, Fluffy is part of the family! Offer your pet a few new playthings. Classic options, like catnip mice, are always a good option. You can also try something more modern, like an automated laser pointer or a mechanical ‘swimming’ fish.

Try New Boxes

After everyone has finished opening their presents, set a few boxes aside for Fluffy. As we all know, cats absolutely love boxes!

Season’s Greetings from all of us here at Old Dominion Veterinary Clinic. Please contact us, your local Roanoke, VA vet clinic, anytime.

Catnip: Your FAQs Answered

Most people have heard of catnip, but there are many questions surrounding our feline friends’ favorite indulgence. To get answers to your most frequently asked questions regarding catnip, read on as your Troutville, VA vet goes over the basics.

What Exactly is Catnip, Anyway?

Catnip is actually an herb, classified together in the same plant “family” as mint. Catnip plants in the wild stand a few feet tall and are a leafy green with white flowers. The plant is originally from Europe but has since spread to many different parts of the world, including most of North America.

Catnip is dried and processed to create the product you’ll purchase in a pet store. Raw catnip looks almost like dried basil or oregano that you probably have in your spice cabinet. Catnip can also be infused into toys, sprays, and a variety of other products made just for cats.

How Do Cats React to Catnip?

Cats respond to catnip in several ways. Some run around erratically; some rub their faces and bodies in the area where catnip has been sprinkled; others simply stretch out their limbs and relax in a state of bliss! It all depends on your cat.

Why Does Catnip Affect Cats?

The oils of the catnip plant contain a chemical substance called nepetalactone. It’s this substance that triggers a chemical reaction in your cat’s brain, producing the results that you see. Experts liken nepetalactone to a sort of aphrodisiac-like substance—it’s believed that catnip produces a nearly sexual response!

Typically, the effects of catnip wear off after only a few short minutes. The potency of catnip, and therefore how long the effects last, does depend on the type—raw catnip is usually more potent than catnip that’s been included in toys or other products.

Why Isn’t My Cat Reacting to Catnip?

Have you tried using catnip on your cat to no avail? Don’t worry—your feline friend isn’t broken! It turns out that cats require a specific gene, inherited from both parent animals, to feel catnip’s effects. If your cat does not possess this gene, catnip won’t have much of an effect at all!

Is Catnip Harmful in Any Way?

No, catnip is not harmful to your pet. There is no possibility of your cat “overdosing,” and you can give your cat catnip as often as you’d like.

For more information on catnip, call your Troutville, VA veterinarian.