Author Topic: Through a cat’s nose: How understanding smell. . .  (Read 279 times)

Offline DeeDee

  • P-F's Twitter-er
  • Charter Member
  • Motor Mouth
  • Join Date: Jul 2012
  • Posts: 4822
  • Country: us
  • Barkly & Vlad
Through a cat’s nose: How understanding smell. . .
« on: January 15, 2017, 01:48:52 PM »
Through a cat’s nose: How understanding smell can keep cats in homes and reduce stress in shelters

Quote
Most of us know dogs put a lot of store in how things smell, their noses are legendary for their sniffing ability. It’s not as widely known that the smells in a cat’s environment are a critical part of what makes a cat feel safe and free of stress, whether the cat is living in a home or is in an animal shelter.

We ask a lot of cats. We are increasingly keeping them indoors for their own safety, which offers them fewer opportunities to get away from unwelcome stimuli such as other pets in the family, noise, bright lights or crowding. One of the ways cats turn down the volume on stress is by scratching and rubbing to spread their own comforting scent throughout their environment; they do this with the sides of their faces as well as the pads of their paws.

However, we often deprive cats of that anxiety-reducing option in the name of cleanliness or because we fail to provide opportunities to appropriately scratch and rub. This is especially true in multi-pet households, but it isn’t just a problem for pet cats in homes, it may apply even more to cats in animal shelters.

More at: http://chewonthis.maddiesfund.org/2017/01/cats-nose/
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

Offline Middle Child

  • Charter Member
  • Motor Mouth
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 6077
  • Country: us
  • Just say No to declawing
Re: Through a cat’s nose: How understanding smell. . .
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2017, 07:14:09 PM »
That is a very good article.  Thank you Dee.

This was very compelling:
Quote
One of the five freedoms of animal welfare is the freedom to express behaviors that are natural to the species. In addition to giving cats places to hide and elevated perches, shelters also need to think in terms of giving them opportunities to express their natural behaviors with scent-marking and smelling. Because familiar smells will make the cat feel safer, it is as bad to remove all scent sources — bedding, toys, scratching surfaces — from their shelter housing as it is to give them nowhere to hide. And yet that’s exactly what many shelters do, moving the cat from cage to cage or area to area, constantly washing their bedding and sanitizing their housing, never letting them create that comforting cocoon of familiar smells that can help turn down the volume on the stress all confined cats will feel.

It must be very difficult to balance strictest hygiene with allowing the cats personal space and scent areas.


 I especially like this bit:

Quote
All forms of stress reduction should be investigated, including giving the cat better places to hide, high perches and safe access to outdoor “catios” if possible. Litter boxes should also be placed in areas where the cat feels secure when using them, and there should be multiple, frequently cleaned litter boxes in the home. But approaches like giving the cat places to spread his scent by rubbing and scratching, such as vertical scratching posts, as well as only washing their bedding and toys in rotation, need equal consideration.

The other day I read a post somewhere, the person was saying proudly "I wash all cat beds on a weekly basis" and thinking to myself oh my gosh what on earth for? those poor cats! While not even really thinking about what I meant. 

I don't wash their beds very often, unless they are soiled, really only once a year for the self warming beds.  In spring before I put them away for the summer. Other things, blankies, get washed more often, but not very.  I don't think the hammock has been washed in over a year.




Offline DeeDee

  • P-F's Twitter-er
  • Charter Member
  • Motor Mouth
  • Join Date: Jul 2012
  • Posts: 4822
  • Country: us
  • Barkly & Vlad
Re: Through a cat’s nose: How understanding smell. . .
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2017, 07:37:07 PM »

I don't wash their beds very often, unless they are soiled, really only once a year for the self warming beds.  In spring before I put them away for the summer. Other things, blankies, get washed more often, but not very.  I don't think the hammock has been washed in over a year.


I don't hardly ever wash V&B's beds. I vacuum them a lot, but I don't wash unless they're obviously showing dirt that doesn't come off with the vacuum. Since I wash the dogs every couple of months (neither likes getting filthy outside and I vacuum them too), there's just nothing to worry about except Vlad's beard, and a big bowl of water fixes that. Raw feeding helps keep doggy scent away. Weird but true. It also keeps them from having dirty, oily skin, so I worry about washing too much. Especially in summer when I can't get around having to use flea preventatives. Wash less, use less often.

I found out that dogs don't particularly like their beds being messed with from Dannyboy and Sharkly. They'd roll and roll trying to get their scent back on the beds if I washed them. Vlad peed on Barkly's once, and Barkly had the same reaction as D&S once it was dry. So, a lot of vacuuming with cloves in the bin it is.
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

Offline Lola

  • Administrator
  • Motor Mouth
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 9220
  • Country: us
  • Spay or Neuter
    • Parenting Furkids
Re: Through a cat’s nose: How understanding smell. . .
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2017, 07:49:00 PM »
I remember Jackson Galaxy mentioning something about litter boxes... for the same reason.   :o 

I don't wash cat beds too often.  I do vacuum them, when they get full of hair.  The majority of our cats prefer fleece blankets.  They do get washed, but not all at once.  There is also all the cat tree "shelves."  They get vacuumed when full... not washed.   Silly7 
Everything you NEED to know about caring for your feline. www.catinfo.org

Tags:
 

'Hare