Why Does My Cat Lick Me? 13 Ways Your Cat Shows You Love- VyWhy
Last updated on 2021-12-18 13:31:00
My cat never licks me. But my friends’ cats act like they are grooming their humans as one of their own. It is perfectly understandable to want to know why cats do this. We are spending so much time…
My cat never licks me.
But my friends’ cats act like they are grooming their humans as one of their own. It is perfectly understandable to want to know why cats do this.
We are spending so much time with our cats and understanding our feline companion’s behavior is key to a healthy relationship between us and our cats.
Why Do Cats Lick?
I am sure you have noticed that cats’ tongues are very weird.
While dog tongues are smooth like humans, cats’ are rough and feel like sandpaper.
This is because their tongues are covered in papillae, which are made of keratin. These papillae are made of the same material as their claws. It allows them to drink water and groom themselves.
Cats have a reputation for being incredibly clean. The way their tongues are shaped helps them remove dirt from their shiny fur.
If for some reason her tongue does not manage to clean her fur, she will use her teeth and nibble gently to get rid of any residue or matted fur. This hypnotic and calm self-grooming act is called preening.
Cats are self-cleaning animals; this comes from birth.
The mother bites and licks to open the placenta and helps the baby to breathe for the first time. She licks the kitten till she is no longer wet from amniotic fluid. The mother has to lick her kittens every few hours to help them urinate and defecate till the third week, which is when kittens can start to do these things themselves.
While this act is for hygiene maintenance for the kittens, it also reinforces the bond between them. It is a behavior that sticks with them even when they become adults, even if they are with other adult cats.
If you introduce two cats and they get used to each other, you will witness them starting to groom one another as a sign of affection between them.
In some cases, you might witness that some cats lick themselves excessively. This is not normal behavior, in fact, it is a sign of a high level of stress or anxiety. It is a way to release their accumulated tension. When they lick you a lot, this is also a sign of stress and it is called psychogenic alopecia. This can lead to bald spots or rashes.
You should try to find the cause of the stress to see if it is something you can eliminate in order to improve their well-being. The cause of the stress can be many things such as a new member joining the household, loud noises, unfamiliar smells or a new animal.
If you cannot find the cause and your cat keeps doing it, I would advise you to take your furry companion to the vet to see if there is a physiological problem.
Why Does My Cat Lick Me?
If your cat licks you, take it as a compliment!
First, we need to understand one thing: Dogs see you as their owner and cats see you –if they want to– as their pack member. They see you as a big (size-wise) cat. If they like you, they will show you affection as their mother showed them.
This affection can come in many different forms and it may not always be very nice.
They might preen, knead, or headbutt you. They might also bring you “gifts” like dead or alive mice, birds, lizards, or various insects because they see you as a horrible hunter and think you need help in that department. They usually decide whether or not to bring these gifts alive based on how bad of a hunter they think you are. But hey, that is a different topic.
Cats are territorial animals.
They have different methods of delimiting their territory. This is not only limited to marking their space. It can include objects and humans as well. They mark you with their smell to let everyone know that you belong to them. Licking can allow them to exchange scents to strengthen their bond with you.
Your cat might lick you and rub her face against your body. Cats have scent glands at the top of their heads and they “mark” you with it during those head bunt sessions.
You can observe this behavior a lot more if you pet another animal and then come home and let your cat smell you.
This is to let other cats know who you belong to.
Although this type of behavior is perfectly normal, it can cause territorial problems at home if you have more than one cat, so be careful with this.
Another reason for excessive licking can be oral fixation which develops in some cats who were orphaned or weaned prematurely. Because they couldn’t suckle their mom as kittens, licking can be a substitute for that experience.
Therefore, if your cat licks you, take it as a compliment!
Last but not least, if you have a senior cat that has taken a liking to lick you all of a sudden, you might want to head to the vet because this could be a sign of hyperthyroidism which can cause behavior changes in cats.
Why Does My Cat Lick Me and Then Bite Me?
We are all familiar with this scenario: One moment your cat is licking you so peacefully that you are recording it to send to some friends to show how adorable she is. And then, suddenly, she bites you!
There is no one simple answer to this situation that would explain everything and stop them from doing it.
Cats lick and groom us as a sign of affection. In these intimate grooming sessions, there is a possibility that your cat might bite you while she licks you. This is due to using her teeth because she cannot remove the “dirt”. But also, it might be a sign that she is angry or that she wants to play with you.
You might think that she came to you and started to groom you as her choice but this doesn’t change the fact that she might all of a sudden feel that it is enough and wants to leave or be left alone.
Nonetheless, congratulations! You are part of her family.
Cats are weird. When you say their name or make eye contact, they turn into this furball and show their bellies and hypnotize you into petting them. And the moment you touch that soft, fluffy, irresistible belly, they bite you.
Sometimes you just pet your cat exactly where she shows she wants you to pet her and after a few touches, she starts biting. I am sure every person who likes cats must have gone through this at least one time.
If she starts biting you when you are petting her and she thinks that it is a game, then you have a few options.
If your cat is a kitten, then it will be easier to teach them that biting is not okay. You need to be consistent and when she bites you, you should stop showing affection immediately and react vocally by saying “no!”. This is how they will understand that biting is not something you approve and in order to have your attention, they have to change this behavior. You also need to vocally state that you do not approve of this and that it hurts you.
If you want further information on different causes of biting, you may refer to my earlier article called why does my cat bite me?
When cats are part of a litter, and they hurt each other while playing, they will let each other know by biting back or meowing angrily. While you tell your cat that she hurts you when she bites, you should encourage positive attitudes to show her what is acceptable.
But if you play with her using your hands and feet, she will see them as toys that she can play with and bite. Always use toys when you are having playtime with your cat.
If you have an adult cat, you should do the same, but it might take longer for them to accept and adapt. Do not yell at them, never ever hit them. You need to be patient. Consistency is very essential.
While we cannot read the minds of our cats, we can try to read their behaviors and learn to understand how they say, ‘I love you’. It gets easier after spending a bit of time with them.
Here are some things cats do that show they feel affectionate towards you:
13 Ways Your Cat Shows You Love
1. Showing Their Belly
Like most animals, cats do not show their stomachs to just anyone.
It is the most vulnerable part of their body. You might have already noticed that stray cats are always very alert even when they look like they are sleeping.
Their paws are tucked underneath, and they never show their belly.
If your cat rolls over on her back to show you her fuzzy belly, this is an indication that she feels comfortable around you. She feels loved and protected by you, rendering herself defenseless.
2. Following You Around
This is a type of behavior that you would expect from your dog but when your cat does it, it means she cannot get enough of your companionship.
You can notice this especially if it is not close to her feeding time. She will follow you room to room, even jump onto furniture to get closer to you. When you observe this, you can be sure that she loves your company. She might even come to fetch you if you stay in bed too long without her or if you close the door to the bathroom and try to have some alone time.
If you close your bedroom door at night and don’t let her in, she will repeatedly scratch the door or meow constantly until you give up, open the door and let her in. It’s all out of love! Well, maybe a little bit out of nosiness as well.
This behavior may seem very odd, but it shows that your cat absolutely loves you and cares about you.
Cats have glands that are hidden in their cheeks and heads and various other parts of their bodies. When she even lightly brushes against you, she can still mark you with her scent to declare you as her property or her family. However, you would like to believe. For kittens, this familiar scent is a great comfort and it helps them to calm down.
4. Rubbing Against Your Legs
Sometimes, when you come home after a long workday feeling very tired and your cat runs through the door to greet you, rubs herself against your legs and she immediately makes you feel like she is happy to see you.
You are right to feel this because that is how she shows her affection. That, and she is putting her scent on you as a way of claiming you as her own. Just like when she head-butts you. It helps you develop a deeper bond with your cat to allow her to do it.
5. Sitting on You
Cats are known for not being interested in physical contact but once you meet a friendly cat, you will see that quite a bit of them like to be in physical contact and sit on your lap.
It is due to both showing affection and using your body heat in cold weather. But you may also see some very stubborn cats who will follow you around and try to sit on your lap or lean on your body even when it is too hot. Then you can be sure that she is doing it to be close to you and to feel your presence.
This happens a lot more if you are living alone with your cat. It gets easier for them to bond with you and get used to you.
Kneading is when your cat uses her paws to push in and out against a surface like your lap, or arm. Just like making biscuits.
This is one of the things you can be sure that means your cat is saying “I love you” to you.
If your cat comes up to your lap and starts kneading while you pet her, she is returning the fondness. Unluckily, this show of affection can be very painful. Because the happier she gets, the harder she will dig in with her sharp nails.
Regular nail trimming can be very helpful in this situation. If you don’t know how to do it, ask your vet to do it for you during her regular check-ups.
To ease the painfully sharp nails, you can also use a soft blanket as a barrier between her and your body. It helps a ton.
7. Sleeping on You
You might have a king-size bed and a huge sofa, but your cat will still somehow find sitting on your lap or sleeping on your chest a lot more comfortable.
I don’t know who wouldn’t like this scenario but in case you are wondering why she does this; she does it because she wants to be close to you.
8. Responding to Your Call
When you have a guest over and they want to get your cat’s attention by calling her name, your cat can act like she is deaf.
But, when you call her, she immediately responds. Well, this should make you proud, shouldn’t it?
You might have heard your cat purr many times on many different occasions before, but you may not have realized that this is a loving purr.
Cats’ purr can mean a variety of things. It can be from delight, an expression of concern or even to ease their pain. It can range from a soft and subtle to incredibly loud truck-like purr. You can be sure that she is doing it to show her affection and contentment.
Also meowing. Cats don’t meow to other cats to communicate, they do it only to humans. Your cat is talking to YOU. If you pay attention, you can notice the difference between meows when she tries to tell you what she wants.
10. Approaching You With Their Tail Pointing Straight-up
The tail of a cat works as a barometer into how your cat feels about you or her habitat.
You can read all her emotions from her tail. All you have to do is pay attention.
It affects your cat’s perceptions about you. Another way to understand a cat’s feelings is when you see her tail straight up while she gently flickers the tip of her tail. The tail’s shape usually looks like a candy cane, but it slightly quivers and well, it is furry.
They also say that this tail curve “is sometimes called the happy tail dance.” You can read a lot of emotions from her tail such as whether she is in a good mood or on edge, scared or content.
Some people say that this is one of the reasons why cats cannot get along with dogs.
Dogs wag their tails super-fast when they are happy, and it gets faster and faster as their excitement increases whereas cats wag their tails fast when they are angry or annoyed.
11. Bringing You Presents
Your cat might not bring you toys to play with but there is a bigger chance that she may bring you a dead animal or worse, animals. It depends on how “lucky” you are.
You might find this very weird, but this is also another way of your cat showing you that she likes you and she cares about you. This is how she likes to show her love towards you.
If your cat loves you and if she is a good hunter, she will bring a lot of gifts to you. Natural born hunter cats will catch various things from toys to birds, socks to mice and unfortunately, they will share the prize with the ones they cherish.
There may also be instances where you might see your cat playing with a dead mouse (or one that wishes to be dead!) and after that, the mouse is nowhere to be seen.
In a way, you might think that this is better because you don’t have to clean up after her but you might also want to reconsider your relationship with your cat since she doesn’t want to share this gift with you.
However, cats may also bring you dead animals because they think you are a bad hunter. If they bring you an alive pray, then it means they are trying to teach you how to hunt. If it is dead, then they think you are a very, very bad hunter and you are not yet capable of killing prey.
So, they bring you dead one for you to not starve to death. Come to think of it, it is a very nice gesture.
12. Making Eye Contact With You/Slow Blink
It is a very hard thing to see a stray cat blink or make long eye contact with you.
If you try to make eye contact for a long time it makes them feel agitated and threatened. They usually get really uncomfortable and sometimes they leave. This happens when the cat is tameless. It is a whole other deal with your cat.
If your cat is staring at you and slowly blinking, she is showing you that she trusts you and the slow blink is the equivalent of being kissed by her.
This might be the easiest body language for humans to understand. Just watch her eyes and see if she will open her eyes wide and then slowly blink to tell you she loves and trusts you. This is referred to as a ‘kitty kiss’. Cats only make eye contact with the people they like.
When there are other cats around, you may see cats slow blinking a lot. This is a way for them to let other cats know that everything is cool.
13. Tolerating the Affection
You might realize that your cat doesn’t like it when you kiss her, but she tolerates it. S
he might duck, she might give you grumpy looks but if she doesn’t run away, you can consider this as a victory.
In some cases, they like to touch you before you try to pet them! There are a ton of videos on the internet where cats are tapping their human’s shoulder and demanding to get some affection.
Can Cats Be Obsessed With Their Owners?
Your cat getting overly attached to you can happen from the first time you two meet, or you might have a bad start but gradually she learns to trust you. It all depends on how you met.
If you rescued a cat when she was in bad shape, you will have a quite different bond from a cat adopted from a shelter or from someone that treated her well. If she was a stray, wounded or scared, it might and probably will take you a long time to make her truly trust you.
Because unfortunately, most people are not nice towards stray animals. They think strays are dirty disease carriers and will attack them for no reason. All these negative behaviors cause the cat trauma and it becomes very hard for her to trust people and you end up trying to change her perspective towards people. She will probably be terrified of noises and sudden movements.
If you are patient and gentle you will be rewarded with gratitude. She will not trust other people as much as she trusts you. This might look like she is obsessed with you. After all, cats are not famous for their trusting abilities.
There are some possible explanations for why cats get attached to only one person. It could be the person’s approach, voice, smell or simply how that person treats her.
When cats are with their trusted human, they get chattier and playful. But when they are with strangers, they are much less chatty, and you can see that all they want is to leave the premises immediately.
This type of behavior can be seen in young children when they are with adults they are not acquainted with.
So, knowing that cats are not very into trusting people and seeing that she cannot get enough of you is a priceless and very fulfilling experience.
Cats communicate a lot through their sense of smell.When female cats are in heat, their pheromones will indicate their fertility. This is why cats rub their faces on things more when in heat. A lot of feline pheromones are produced in …
We all know when female cats go into heat. They become extremely vocal and affectionate and start rubbing their bodies on everything. They’re relentless in looking for a mate and won’t give up until they do. But what about male cats? When do male cats go into heat?
Technically speaking, males don’t go into heat. While female cats cycle through being in heat and not, males are permanently ready to mate at any given time. However, we can still pick up on strange behaviors in male cats during mating season, usually because they can sense a female nearby.
This can make male cats difficult to live with! Their sexual excitement can be a lot. Like females, males can vocalize excessively, beg to go outside, and act more affectionately towards people and cats. Here I discuss more about why this is and how you can calm your frisky male down.
What is Heat in Cats?
First thing’s first, what is heat? This is the term used to describe a fertile cat that is ready to mate. It is also known as cats coming “into season”. When cats are in heat, mating will nearly always result in pregnancy and a litter of kittens being born a few months later.
Cats will only go into heat once they have reached sexual maturity. In cats, sexual maturity happens at a pretty young age. But at exactly what age can a cat get pregnant? Well, females will reach sexual maturity at the age of four months and will start going into heat cycles from this age. This means your cat could still only be a kitten itself when carrying a litter of her own!
On the other hand, males take longer to become sexually mature. This is just one of the differences between male cats vs female cats. They will only reach full sexual maturity at the at of 6 to 12 months old. Only at this point will they become fertile and be able to impregnate a female cat.
Do Males Cats Go Into Heat?
Once a male cat has reached maturity, he can mate with a female cat at any time.
I guess you could say he is permanently in heat for his entire adult life, rather than going “into heat” at different points in the year.
The opposite is true for females though, who go in and out of heat cycles when in season. After females have reached sexual maturity, they go into season from February to October. This is usually when I see my cat shedding so much as the days get warmer. Indeed, longer and hotter days can stimulate reproduction and cause cats to go into heat.
Within these few months, cats will have several heat cycles. These are periods 2-3 weeks apart during which females are looking to mate. In fact, they search relentlessly for a mate!
You can easily tell your female cat is in heat because you will notice some of the following symptoms:
- Your cat keeps meowing and rubbing against everything
- They keep trying to get outside and find a tomcat to mate with
- Your cat will vocalize loudly to announce to males she’s in heat
- You might notice that your cat is increasingly affectionate towards you
- Your cat will groom its private parts more excessively than usual
- It will stick its hindquarters in the air and assume the mating position
- Your cat will be increasingly restless and might lose its appetite
Male Cat in Heat Symptoms
Despite not cycling through heat cycles, you will notice behavior changes in male cats once they reach sexual maturity. Because tomcats are fertile for their entire adult life, these behavior changes will be permanent, unlike with female cats who will show symptoms of heat intermittently during mating season.
Some of the signs of a male cat reaching reproductive maturity include:
- Urine marking and spraying on objects around your home
- Spending more time outside the home to find a mate
- Attention-seeking and pushy behavior compared to before
- Increased fighting and aggression with other cats in the neighborhood
- Increased vocalizations as males call out to nearby fertile females
During mating season, it’s common to see these signs of male cats in heat become far worse. This is because they can sense fertile females nearby. They’ll be able to hear them calling out and smell their pheromones, signaling they’re looking for a man. Sensing these active females nearby can make your male cat even more insistent on finding a mate. They’ll become louder, pushier, and more aggressive.
How to Calm Down Male Cats in Heat?
Living with a cat during mating season can be extremely challenging.
You’ll undoubtedly have to clean up urine that your cat has sprayed around your home to signal to the females. That’s before we mention the pushing and demanding behavior. Plus, there are loud vocalizations that will be extremely disruptive and keep you up at night.
Here are a few ways that you can help to calm down your cats and ease these behavioral changes during this difficult time:
1. Isolate Your Cat
While your cat is looking for a mate, you will want to isolate them from other cats. Although you have a male cat and won’t end up with an unexpected litter of kittens at home, unplanned pregnancies can have complications. Besides, there are far too many cats in shelters already so it is best to not add to the growing issue.
If you have an outdoor cat, ensure you keep them inside during mating season. Indoor-only cats can be extremely happy, so long as you provide plenty of entertainment. I’m talking scratching posts, cat trees, and plenty of exciting toys to provide mental and physical stimulation. You could also consider making a catio so your cat can access the outside world in a safe and controlled way.
In multi-cat households, you’ll also want to keep your sexually active male away from any unspayed females inside your home. This is especially with male and female cats from the same litter. To them, a mate is a mate! But cats from the same family mating can cause a whole host of pregnancy complications and birth defects.
Also, many owners don’t realize that cats can get pregnant while nursing. So if you have a female cat that has just had a litter of kittens, don’t assume she is safe from round two! She will still need to be separated from your unneutered male cat while she is in heat.
2. Use Pheromone Products
Cats communicate a lot through their sense of smell. When female cats are in heat, their pheromones will indicate their fertility. This is why cats rub their faces on things more when in heat. A lot of feline pheromones are produced in the cheeks, and they’ll be transferred onto the other object. Upon smelling these pheromones, males will know there is a female in heat nearby.
Pheromone products can therefore be used to calm cats down. Injecting calming pheromones into their environment can help to relax active males and override the heat pheromones produced by females. You can get pheromone sprays, diffusers, and even pet collars.
In my experience, calming collars work for cats best of all. As the collar is around your cat’s neck, the calming pheromones follow them wherever they go. You also won’t have to keep reapplying the product as you would with a spray. Simply let the collar release all of the pheromones before replacing it with a fresh one.
3. Keep Your Home Spotless
One of the most problematic male cat in heat symptoms is spraying. Males scent-mark for two reasons. Firstly, it is to signal to female cats in heat that they are searching for a mate. And secondly, it is to signal to male cats that this is their territory. They are telling other males that they need to look elsewhere to find a partner, as this spot belongs to them.
Unfortunately, when a cat pees somewhere once they are likely to return to this spot again and again. Although we might think the smell has gone, cats have millions more scent receptors than people. Lingering odors will make your male think it is okay to pee here. In other words, improper cleaning can encourage them to mark their territory.
During feline mating season, you’ll want to clean your home as much as possible. Clean up any bathroom accidents immediately and with an enzymatic cleaner. Also, keep your cat’s litter tray spotless to help encourage its use. We all know cats hate dirty litter trays!
4. Use Catnip Toys & Sprays
Does your cat respond well to catnip? If so, it might be worthwhile giving your male cat some of the stuff to calm them down. Most cats love catnip! Using it acts as a distraction from finding a mate. Even if only a temporary solution, this might just be the respite you need.
A great way to give you cat catnip is by using catnip-infused toys for them to play with. Alternatively, you can purchase catnip sprays to squirt on your cat’s bed and scratching post. These sprays are less intense, so for extreme behaviors, catnip toys might be a better option.
Catnip causes cats to act a little crazy initially. They might run around like mad, start rolling around the floor, or even start purring and drooling. This is a sign your cat is having a good time. However, this initial reaction will only last for about 10 minutes. After this initial reaction has subsided, cats will become much more lethargic and sleepy.
Remember though, catnip doesn’t elicit a response in all felines. Between 50% and 30% of all domestic cats lack the catnip gene. This means that the substance will have zero effect on your cat’s behavior and mood. If you have never given your kitty catnip before, try them with a little and see how they respond.
5. Play As a Distraction
Playing with your male cat can also distract them from searching for a mate. Choose your cat’s favorite toys and schedule more playtime than usual. This will help them forget about looking for a female in heat, besides keeping them physically fit and healthy.
You should also consider getting automatic cat toys if you spend long periods away from home. Male cats can get bored otherwise, and, with nothing else to do, searching for a female to mate with suddenly becomes their favorite pastime.
How to Stop a Male Cat From Mating?
You can keep your cat indoors and create a cat encloser to try and stop your male from mating. Yet to ensure your male cat never impregnates another female, you should consider getting your male cat neutered. This is the only way to ensure your cat doesn’t get another cat pregnant.
Neutering is where your vet will surgically prevent your male cat from reproducing. In females, it is known as spaying, but in males, it is known as castration. The operation involves removing their testicles which produce the hormone testosterone. Without this hormone, cats will be infertile and thus not in heat. All of their frustrating heat symptoms will disappear!
There are also some other benefits of getting your male cat neutered:
- It reduces the chance of your cat contracting feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) which is an incurable disease spread through saliva entering open wounds
- It reduces the risk of your cat running away from home, which many male cats will do in the pursuit to find a female in heat
- It stops the cat from being so aggressive and territorial, thus reducing the likelihood of them getting into fights with other cats and getting injured
Many owners are concerned about how neutering might impact their cats’ personalities. However, female cat behavior after spaying doesn’t really shift, and neither does the behavior of a male after castration. They’ll just become less insistent on searching for a mate, but their personalities will be just as lovable as before!
It is important to note that freshly neutered males can still impregnate females as it takes a little while for testosterone levels to drop and sperm to clean out the pipes. Just as you need to keep a cat confined after spay operations, you need to keep males confined as well. This will stop any unwanted pregnancies in this period and allow your male cat time to recover.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
When do male cats go into heat? Well, this is a trick question really! As we have just learned, male cats are always in heat. Once they reach sexual maturity at around 6 months of age, they can impregnate a female at any given time.
With that being said, they tend to display more severe heat symptoms from February to October. That is because this is when females are in heat. The more active females there are nearby, the more agitated and insistent males become in finding one to mate with. This can cause unwanted behaviors such as spraying, meowing, and even running away from home!
It is important to try and calm a male cat in heat so these behaviors don’t get out of hand. Or, if you want to make sure cat mating is never successful, speak to your vet about getting your cat neutered.
All cats with disproportionally short legs are known as dwarf cats, and the Munchkin cat is the original and the most well-known dwarf cat of all. As of 1994, it is a registered breed characterized for its tiny legs. These short and thick legs are caused by a genetic mutation that stunts its growth.
Kittens are undeniably adorable, and many pet parents are searching for little cats with short legs that look like kittens even when fully grown. To satisfy this, there was the birth of miniature cats such as Teacup Persians, which are exactly like their full-sized counterparts, only smaller.
However, you can also get cats with disproportionally small legs compared to the rest of their bodies. All cats with disproportionally short legs are known as dwarf cats, and the Munchkin cat is the original and the most well-known dwarf cat of all. As of 1994, it is a registered breed characterized for its tiny legs. These short and thick legs are caused by a genetic mutation that stunts its growth.
Aside from Munchkin cats, there are also several other short-legged breeds, all of which are crosses of Munchkin cats with other breeds. Most of these hybrid cats are not yet given recognition as a breed, due to controversy over whether it is unethical to breed cats with a physical deformity.
In this article, I will talk through the history of Munchkin cats and their unusual appearance. I will also mention other different cats with tiny legs, the genetics behind this adorable trait, and any associated issues these cats could face as a result.
Munchkin Cat Breed Profile
The Munchkin cat, named so after the Munchkins in the popular movie The Wizard of Oz, is the original breed of dwarf cats. You may also hear them being referred to as Sausage cats thanks to their comparison to Dachshunds, otherwise known as Sausage dogs.
Here’s a little more information on their characteristics and history of the original short-legged breed.
Characteristics of the Munchkin Cat
A Munchkin’s most notable characteristic is its short legs. They have short and thick legs that are disproportionate to the rest of their bodies. Sometimes, you may also see a Munchkin cat with short front legs and slightly longer rear legs. A Munchkin also holds the current world record for being the shortest cat alive – Lilieput from California measures only 5.25 inches tall!
Aside from their little legs, Munchins have many other endearing characteristics. Temperament wise they make great family cats, thanks to their loving and playful personalities. They also can be long-haired or short-haired and come in a range of different colors and coat patterns. So, there’s sure to be a Munchkin cat to suit everyone’s wants and need!
History of the Munchkin Cat
Throughout history, short-legged cats remained somewhat of a rarity. There were reports of short-legged cats that existed in England in the 1930s, Russia in the 1950s, and the US in the 1970s. However, these lines were not conserved. Nevertheless, this all changed in Louisiana in 1983.
During this year, a woman named Sandra Hochendel found two pregnant cats and decided to keep one, naming her Blackberry. When the litter was born, it was discovered that half of the kittens had short legs. One of the kittens named Toulouse is where the entirety of the Munchkin breed today has descended from. This makes him the first-ever Munchkin cat in existence.
It took several years for Munchkin cats to be recognized after their official introduction in 1991 as their breeding was controversial. Many argued that, similar to Dachshunds, Munchkin cats could develop back and hip problems, and that breeding them was unethical. However, in 1994, TICA accepted Munchkins as a breed. The same cannot be said with other cat registries, the majority of which refuse to accept any breeds with embedded dwarfism.
Other Short-Legged Cat Breeds
Munchkin cats may have been the original breed of dwarf cats, but there has been much other experimental breeding in the years following its recognition. All of these experimental breeds have involved crossing Munchkins with another cat to create felines with unique appearances. However, the development of these breeds has also been extremely controversial.
Here’s a closer look at all the other short-legged cat breeds that have popped up in recent years.
The Minuet cat breed, formerly known as the Napoleon until 2015, was the next dwarf cat breed to be recognized. It was created in 1996 by a breeder called Joseph Smith by crossing the Munchkin cat with a Persian. The result? A beautiful cat with many qualities of a Persian yet the distinctively short legs of a Munchkin.
Aside from being known as a cat with small legs, Minuets are famous for their rounded faces and large, circular eyes characteristic of their Persian ancestor. However, unlike Persians’ short muzzles and squashed faces, Minuets have straight noses. They also have a combination of a Persian’s gentle temperament yet are more active and playful like their Munchkin ancestors.
Similarly, whereas Persians are a long-haired cat breed, Minuets can be long- or short-haired. Either way, the coat is always plush and thick. They also come in a large variety of different coat colors and patterns, from pointed coats to bicolor and mink kittens.
Lambkin cats are another short-legged cat breed that also comes from cross-breeding a Munchkin. This time, the Munchkin was bred with a Selkirk Rex, a relatively new curly-haired cat breed that was recognized in 1990. Together, these two breeds create a feline that has the short legs of a Munchkin but the curly undercoat of the Rex breeds.
Aside from the recognizable coat and short legs, you may also notice a long fluffy tail and large round eyes. They’ll also have affectionate and calming personalities, love being around people, and can be extremely playful. This makes Lambkins great pets for families and seniors alike.
However, as with many crossbreeds, characteristics will vary largely as they depend on the traits of the mother and father. Munchkins and Selkirk Rex cats can be a range of different colors and both exist as long- and short-haired cats. So, you can purchase Lambkins with a range of different coat types and just about every pattern imaginable!
When Munchkins are bred with the American Curl, you end up with another adorable cat with really short legs – the Kinkalow. This is one of the few cats with dwarfism that is recognized as a breed by The Dwarf Cat Association, and TICA has also given this hybrid an Experimental Breeding status. As Kinkalow cats are another dwarf breed, they too exhibit short and thick legs that are disproportionate to the rest of their bodies.
They have also inherited the mutation in the American Curl breed that gives them their unique and distinctive curled back ears with rounded tips. Like their ancestors, Kinkalow cats are not born with curled ears. Instead, their straight ears will start to bend back towards their skull a few days after birth. How curly they go varies between felines.
As expected with crossbreeds, there is again much variety when it comes to Kinkalows’ coats. The most common patterns are calico, tortoiseshell, and tabby that are gray, cream, black, and orange. They can also be long-haired, short-haired, or somewhere in between!
The Genetta is another new dwarf cat with tiny legs currently being developed. Development started in 2006 by Shannon Kiley in the hopes to design a cat that was similar to a wild African Genet, but had a friendly and loving personality and was smaller in size. This has been done by crossing Munchkin cats with another breed known for its beautiful exotic coat patterns: Bengals.
The final result is a cat with small legs like a Munchkin, but with beautiful spotted, marbled, or rosette coat patterns. As with Bengals, their coats can be brown, silver, black, or snow. Eye colors also mirror that of Bengals, typically being either green, yellow, or brown. Their personalities are also similarly energetic, playful, and intelligent, and this breed loves attention!
The Minskin is the first cat with really small legs that has been derived from not one, not two, but four different breeds: the Munchkin, Burmese, Sphynx, and Devon Rex. This is also one of the only recognized breeds aside from the Munchkin itself. TICA awarded it with the status of a Preliminary New Breed and it is well underway to receiving recognition as an Advanced New Breed.
Aside from their tiny legs thanks to the Munchkin genes, these cats also have unique “fur-points”. They have short, cashmere-like fur usually seen in a Devon Rex, but the tips of its nose and ears are thicker like the pointed markings on a Burmese. They also have large ears like those of both the Sphynx breed and Devon Rex that the Minskin descends from.
In terms of personality, Minskins are extremely adorable creatures. Breeder Paul Richard McSorley specifically chose his Burmese and Devon Rex cats to be added to the mix thanks to their sweet temperaments. As a result, Minskins are affectionate, playful, and love people.
The Skookum is another short-legged cat breed made by crossing the Munchkin cat, this time with the LaPerm. La Perm cats are another new breed, first being recognized in the USA in 1996. They are most famous for their coats, which vary from soft waves to long curls.
It follows that the Skookum has inherited similar traits from its two descending breeds. It has a similar wavy coat covering its small body and short stocky legs. Both the eyebrows and whiskers of this new dwarf breed are also wavy and its luscious tail is long, plumed, and fluffy. This tiny cat truly has a unique and distinctive appearance.
Skookums also have an energetic and playful personality. Despite their little legs, they don’t seem to have any issues jumping and playing. They’re also affectionate, intelligent, and make extremely fun and lovable pets.
The Bambino is another new cat breed in development and the only hairless cat with short legs that’s around today. Again a descendent from Munchkins, this time combined with the hairless Sphynx. Together this genetic pool has created a hairless short-legged cat breed, hence the name Bambino which translates to “baby” in Italian.
As with many other cat breeds on this list, the breed is not officially recognized. TICA has awarded the Bambino with the Experimental Breed title, whereas the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) and the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA) refuse to do so.
8. Scottish Kilt
Finally, we have the Scottish Kilt, which is a mix between the Munchkin cat and the Scottish Fold. These cats with tiny legs have both the characteristics that their ancestors are loved for – the Munchkins’ short and stocky legs and the Scottish Folds’ small and folded ears. Together, these two traits make for an adorable and unique combination.
Other notable features of Scottish Kilts are their large round eyes and thick coat. They are also loved for their fun personalities. These cats are sweet, friendly, and playful. Scottish Kilts also enjoy being around people and get along well with children. This temperament combined with their good look makes this breed extremely desirable.
They are also a recognized breed according to TICA, but this is the only cat registry worldwide that accepts the breed.
Why Do Some Cats Have Short Legs?
Now we know which cats have short legs, the next question is “Why?”. To answer this question, it’s best to turn our attention to Munchkin cats. After all, this cat is used in the experimental breeding for every other cat on this list, so it is safe to say the answer lies with them! And, if you haven’t guessed it already, the answer all lies in genetics.
Genetics determines everything about our cats’ appearances. Their unique set of genes will be what separates long-tail cats from short-tail cats, large cats from small cats, and allows for cats of all different colors! Here’s a closer look at the genetics specifically responsible for short-legged cats.
Genetics of the Munchkin Cat
A Munchkin’s short legs, the distinguishing feature of the breed, are a result of either hypochondroplasia or pseudoachondroplasia. These are genetic forms of dwarfism whereby the growth of the limbs is stunted, but the length of the body stays the same. The result is limbs that are shorter and disproportional to the rest of the cat.
This dwarfism is caused by a genetic mutation known as the Munchkin gene (M). It is autosomal dominant, meaning that only one copy of the mutant gene is needed for the short-legged trait to present. In comparison, the gene for cats with curly tails is recessive, and the offspring needs to inherit a copy from both parents for them to have a curled tail.
Interestingly, homozygous Munchkin cats that have two copies of the gene (MM) will fail to gestate in the womb and never be viable, which explains why Munchkin litters may be smaller than expected. Therefore, every Munchkin cat that exists has a heterozygous genetic profile (Mm) – a normal gene from one parent and a Munchkin mutant gene from the other.
Because of this, there is also a chance that two Munchkin cats could end up having a kitten with normal length legs. In this case, the offspring would have inherited the normal gene (m) from both parents. Without any copies of the mutant gene, the cat will be considered a non-standard Munchkin.
Pulling all this information together means that for each kitten that is conceived from two Munchkin parents there is a:
- 25% chance that the kitten will be non-viable (MM)
- 25% chance they will have normal length legs (mm)
- 50% chance they will have the characteristic short-legged trait (Mm)
Genetics of Munchkin Derived Breeds
The reason that all of the breeds on this list also have small legs is that the Munchkin gene from the Munchkin cat is passed on to the offspring through selective breeding. As mentioned, the mutant gene is dominant, and so any offspring that have the Munchkin gene passed on to them will also have tiny legs. It overrides the normal length leg gene received from the other parent entirely.
The reason these crossbreeds are distinctive from the regular Munchkin breed is a result of the genes it receives from its other parent. All of the breeds chosen have unique mutations of their own which, when combined, with the M gene, create adorable combinations.
For example, Scottish Folds, one of the most famous cats with small ears, carry a dominant folded ear mutation (Fd). When offspring receive a copy of the M gene for short legs and the Fd gene for small folded ears, the result is a standard Scottish Kilt. These small ears make it easy to differentiate this breed from the traditional Munchkin cat.
Similarly, the Rex mutation is a genetic variation that causes Rex breeds such as the Devon, Cornish, and Selkirk Rex to have their unique curly coat. These are all cats with undercoats, but they lack the topcoat, creating a unique fur that is cashmere-soft to touch. It is these genes passed to the Minskin which are responsible for its comparable curly coat.
All of the recognized cats with really small legs are either Munchkin cats or derive from this breed. However, there are a few other reasons why a cat should have short legs. These are not recognized breeds but explains why there may be random short-legged cats that appear in the feline population:
- Spontaneous Mutations: Random mutations not passed down from a Munchkin cat can also occur, which could cause felines to have smaller limbs. Mutations like this are rare, and are made even rarer as many kittens with abnormalities may die in the womb or be stillborn. Still, it is possible! After all, the initial Munchkin gene was a random mutation but it has been conserved through selective breeding.
- Pituitary Dwarfism: This is another form of dwarfism, also referred to as midgetism. With this type of dwarfism, the mutation affects the function of the pituitary gland rather than the limbs themselves. The pituitary gland is what produces growth hormone, so these cats simply won’t grow properly and stay kitten-like for life, including keeping their small legs.
- Congenital Hypothyroidism: This is where the thyroid gland does not develop properly and cannot produce enough thyroid hormone. As a result, cats with congenital hypothyroidism will have stunted growth, smaller limbs, and larger heads. This form of dwarfism is also linked to poor mental development.
- Environmental Factors: Cats can also have short legs due to environmental factors, such as poor nutrition during the key stages of development. This can cause cats to not grow as they usually would, sometimes resulting in stunted growth in their legs.
The Health of Cats With Short Legs
Dwarfism is known to cause health conditions in other animals. Many short-legged dogs, such as Dachshunds and Shih Tzu’s have spinal problems and other health conditions. As a relatively new breed, the health of a Munchkin cat is still questionable. Their short legs, while as cute as can be, are technically a limb deformity and could carry problems.
Thankfully, many experts now believe that Munchkins and the other derived breeds are fine health-wise. They seem to be remarkably free from the health issues that their canine counterparts suffer from! However, there are still common health issues that these cats face. As such a new breed, it is still unclear whether these health problems are breed-specific or not.
Here’s a closer look at the health issues short-legged cats seem to be more prone to having.
Joint Disease & Arthritis
Arthritis is a painful condition where a cat’s joints, most commonly its legs and spine, become swollen. This can make it extremely uncomfortable for them to move around and your cat may become extremely lethargic and stop practicing learned behavior, such as using their litter box.
The condition is common in senior cats whose joints have slowly been worn down throughout their lives. Overweight cats are also more prone to developing this disease younger as they bear extra weight on their limbs. However, it is also thought that cats with really short legs are prone to arthritis as their short legs alter how a cat moves. This means that weight is distributed strangely, pressing down on joints it shouldn’t.
There is no cure for the condition and it will gradually worsen over time. However, by adapting your cat’s life to make it more comfortable and administering pain relief prescribed by your vet, cats with arthritis can live a more comfortable life.
Another concern for short-legged cats is that they suffer from spinal malformations such as lordosis and scoliosis. This is where their spinal column is distorted and has an unusual curvature. The spine can also curve sideways which can lead to compression of the spinal cord. This can lead to paralysis or death in worst-case scenarios.
As mentioned, this is common in dogs with short legs and so many people anticipated the same issue would arise in Munchkin cats and other related short-legged breeds. Indeed, there have been Munchkin kittens born with lordosis, which varies from mild to severe.
However, any cat can develop this rare abnormality and most breeders don’t think it is breed-specific. In other words, this is not the result of the Munchkin mutation, but rather another mutation that could randomly occur in any member of the feline population.
Munchkin cats are also thought to be more vulnerable to a condition called pectus excavatum. This is usually where their ribs and chest do not form properly during development, but the chest can also become deformed later on in early life. The result is a chest that sinks inwards, known better as “funnel chest”.
As with spinal malfunctions, the severity of the condition can range from mild to severe. Those with mild concaved chests tend to not suffer too much, whereas severe cases can compress the lungs and heart, causing more serious health risks. Yet, this too can arise in any breed and it is not thought to be breed-specific.
Munchkins and other short-legged cats are loved not only for how they look, but how they move. They have a distinctive waddle unlike that of a normal cat. However, although not studied enough to be sure, there are also concerns that Munchkin cats live less fulfilling lives. Their short legs can make it difficult for them to run, jump, and play as usual.
As you can see, there are now many different cats with short legs. These cats all carry a mutation that causes dwarfism, meaning their legs don’t grow as usual. The original dwarf cat was the Munchkin cat, who has since been crossed with many other breeds to create adorable and unique combinations.
However, all short-legged cat breeds are highly controversial. TICA is starting to recognize some of these breeds, but other cat registries refuse to because breeding a physical deformity is seen as unethical. There were also health concerns associated with Munchkin cats which present in dogs with dwarfism, but experts now believe cats are fine health-wise and can live happy lives.
Don’t forget about the depth of the shelves either! Cat shelves differ from regular shelves in their depth. Standard shelves for keeping books or decorative items on can be as small as 6 inches deep. However, all good cat wall shelves will be at least 10.5 inches deep. This gives your cat enough space to use them without risking falling off.
When we think of cat furniture, we think of plush-covered cat trees and big bulky scratching posts. Your cat might love them, but they aren’t the most aesthetic and can totally ruin your home décor. Thankfully, a new trend is emerging that promises the perfect compromise of functionality and appearance: cat wall shelves.
Cat shelves mount to your walls just like regular shelves. Your cats will love climbing up to the uppermost perch, resting at the top, and surveying the room below. Many even come with sisal surfaces for scratching or cushioned tops to become the perfect lounging spot. They’re also great space savers as they don’t take up any floor space, and they look great in your home.
In this article, I share with you some more information about this fab new product that works perfectly in the modern home. I also share with you some of the cat wall shelves you can find on the internet. With a range of different designs, there is sure to be an option to complement your home and keep your kitty entertained.
Cat Wall Shelf Suggestions for the Perfect Home Decoration
Below is a selection of cat wall shelves available to buy online. Each is unique in its design, so you’re bound to find an option that is perfect for your home and your cat. So, in no particular order, here are some products that will instantly upgrade your home interior.
LIFIS Macrame Cat Hammock Wall Shelf (Great Addition to Boho-Style Home Interiors)
If you are going for a boho-style home interior, the LIFIS Macrame Cat Hammock Wall Shelf is the perfect addition. This is truly one of the most beautiful cat wall shelves on the market and a must if aesthetic appeal is your number one priority. It also makes a perfect gift for cat and macrame lovers!
As the name suggests, this cat shelf has stunning woven macrame support from which the shelf hangs. For those of you unfamiliar with macrame, this is a crafting technique where a rope is knotted to form intricate woven patterns. This shelf is made from a high-quality 100% natural cotton that is completely safe for cats and designed to last.
Below the elegant macrame pattern is the shelf itself. This acts as a perfect perch for your cat to laze on as they watch the world go by. They will love that it is elevated as cats are instinctively drawn to high ground. Plus, it is a space that is theirs and theirs alone, perfect for them to escape to if they feel stressed or overwhelmed.
Another great aspect is that you can hang this product from anywhere! It works well attached to a wall like a traditional shelf. But can alternatively be hung from the ceiling or anywhere else in your home. For small homes, this is of course another huge perk!
Buy on Amazon
Enjoy the Wood Store Rustic Cat Wall Shelves (Modular Honeycomb Design for Rustic Spaces)
I love these Rustic Cat Wall Shelves by Enjoy the Wood Store. Each shelf is a hexagonal shape that is lovingly handcrafted from high-quality birch plywood. You can choose from six different colors – white, black, grey, light, walnut, or oak – so you can find a near-perfect match to any other furniture that you already have in your home.
One of my favorite features of this item is the hexagonal shape. This is super unusual for a shelf and makes the product an attractive feature piece in your home. The designer’s choice of shape is also highly functional. It makes the shelves modular so that and multiple can be placed next to each other to create a wall feature of whatever size you wish!
This is great as you can tailor the cat wall shelves to your pet. If there’s space, I suggest purchasing a few so you can give your cat an exciting place to explore. Your cat can climb between the shelves easily through the cat-shaped holes in the sides of each block.
For further personalization, you can choose add-ons for each shelf as well. The addition of felt acts as a scratching material for your kitty to file its claws on. Alternatively, a pillow transforms the wooden cat shelf into a cozy and comfortable bed for your cat to lie on. You can even print a design of your choice on an acrylic window to make the product truly unique.
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BIG NOSE Cat Wall Floating Shelves (Curved Design for Added Comfort and Safety)
The BIG NOSE Cat Wall Floating Shelves aren’t as decorative as the first two products on this list. Instead, they are covered in a soft plush material commonly used for traditional cat furniture. Still, they are a great choice for anyone with safety and comfort in mind – you won’t have to worry about your cat when using these shelves.
What makes these cat wall shelves stand out is the unique curved shape which the brand calls “embrace”. It makes these shelves safer for your kitty to climb as the raised edge helps to prevent them from falling off. The sisal covering further helps prevent energetic cats that are jumping at full speed from slipping off and hurting themselves.
At the same time, the intelligent curved design provides your cat with added comfort. It hugs your cat’s body as they lay down and extends the sleeping area. This means they can curl up in nearly every position and move as they sleep without fear. This product comes as a pack of two shelves, ideal for two cats to laze on, or for one cat to run and jump between the two.
Buy on Amazon
THE REFINED FELINE Lotus Leaf Cat Shelf (Fantastic Shelf for Large Cat Breeds)
If you have a larger cat and are worried that a cat wall shelf won’t support them, fear not! THE REFINED FELINE has designed this elegant shelf that attaches to your wall using four long screws. It is extremely secure and won’t fall under the weight of even heavy cats. It also measures a huge 22 inches long, plenty big enough for all domestic breeds.
In terms of decoration, this cat wall shelf has a simple yet elegant design. It won’t attract too much attention, but it does look sleek in any home with a distinctive contemporary style. I also love the subtle upward curve of the edges to give it a slight twist on your traditional flat shelf. You can even choose from four colors to find the perfect match with your other furniture.
Each shelf comes with a Berber carpet that attaches to the shelf with velcro. This helps to prevent your cat from slipping off as they climb. Additionally, your cat can scratch the carpet and sharpen its claws while giving your cat added comfort as they sleep. If you opt for the white model, the carpet is replaced with faux fur for an even more adorable finish!
You can purchase a few of these shelves if you have a fair amount of free wall space in your home. This can encourage your cat to jump and exercise while acting as a beautiful addition to your home. Say goodbye to bare walls and get several of these cat shelves today.
Buy on Amazon
FUKUMARU Corner Cat Shelf Furniture (Perfect for Super Small Homes)
Aside from their aesthetic appeal, one of the main benefits of cat wall shelves is that they are great space savers. The FUKUMARU Corner Cat Shelf Furniture takes this perk to the next level. It neatly fits into any corner in your home so you can continue to hang artwork or other items from the center of the walls. For this reason, it is great for really small homes as you can make the most of every nook.
With home décor in mind, this shelf comes in neutral tones. The main shelf is made from natural wood with black supports and a white detachable fur cushion cover. This means the shelves will look great in almost any home and won’t steal the limelight from other statement feature pieces.
You’re not the only one that will love this cat shelf – your kitty will love it as well! Being positioned in the corner, your cat will have a great view of everything in the room. This will help them feel super safe and secure. What’s more, the luxury fur lining adds comfort and warmth. This will be your cat’s new favorite spot to laze around and watch the world go by.
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TINTON LIFE 9pcs Cat Shelves and Climber Set (Great for Active Cats Full of Energy)
A more elaborate option is the TINTON LIFE 9pcs Cat Shelves and Climber Set. Included in this are four cat shelves, but you are also given two ladders, two cat condos, and one sisal scratching post. These parts combined make an exciting playground that active cats can have hours of fun exploring. And you get all this without compromising on floor space in your home!
I love that this product is all made from pinewood. This creates a finish that works universally in most homes. Pinewood is also a solid material that gives the cat climber set a good level of support. It won’t quiver under your cat’s weight, no matter how fast they leap from one platform to the next.
The wall-mounted design is also great for small apartments. It can be difficult to give your cat the exercise they need to be happy and healthy in small homes. However, this product takes things vertically and offers the ideal solution. It channels their instinctive needs to scratch, climb, and hide, all in one.
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Purife Wood Cat Wall Shelf (Versatile Classic Design for All Home Styles)
Another fantastic product is the Wood Cat Wall Shelf by Purife. This shelf looks almost identical to a standard shelf we would use to store belongings in our home. With two curved black brackets and a conventional straight design, it is extremely versatile. No matter what your home interior looks like, the classic design of this cat shelf means it will work.
Additionally, this cat shelf is versatile in its function. No matter whether your cat is looking to relax or play, this shelf does the job. Install a few together for your cat to jump and climb. Alternatively, put one high up for your cat to have an elevated lounging spot. They’ll even love digging their nails into the woven surface or relaxing from a high vantage point.
I also love the high quality of this wall-mounted cat perch which means it will stand the test of time. The shelf itself is made of thick solid wood topped with woven cotton material for improved aesthetics. The metal brackets on the base are also 3mm thick and make this product sturdier than floating shelf designs. In fact, it can support up to 50lbs in weight!
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PetFusion Cat Activity Wall Shelves (Ideal for the Minimalistic Home)
One of the biggest design trends in the modern world is minimalism. It focuses on simplicity, clean lines, and plenty of white space. If this is the look you’re going for in your home interior, you’ll love the PetFusion Cat Activity Wall Shelves.
This product consists of three shelves. The first is a tiny stepping-stone shelf to help assist your cat in climbing to the higher levels. There is then one that sits diagonally, and another larger shelf where your cat can perch up high. All three are floating shelves with no support brackets and no fancy detailing. They are minimalistic to the core.
Further adding to the simple and elegant design is the choice of color. The shelves are in a beautiful deep espresso brown which works well in most homes. Each is then topped with a cream removable carpet mat. Not only does this add comfort and warmth, but gives your cat somewhere to sink its claws into as well.
What’s great about this product is the trio of shelves can be arranged in any layout. You can tailor them to the space you have available and the agility of your cat. PetFusion also sells both the 18” by 8” and the 8” by 8” shelves singularly. This means you can easily build up and create a more elaborate vertical playground for your cat if you wish.
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Cat Cave Modern Wall Shelf (Elaborate Design for Spoilt Cats)
Always like to give your cat the best? This Cat Cave Modern Wall Shelf that is available on Etsy ticks all the boxes. The set comes with four honeycomb shelves with different shape and size holes for your cat to climb through. There are then three round steps and one drop shelf. Your kitty will have hours of fun navigating their new vertical obstacle course!
I love that the pieces that make up this kit can be placed anywhere along your wall. Space them out to challenge agile cats or have them leading to a window for the ultimate lookout spot. Alongside having a place to jump and play, the hexagonal shelves and drop shelf also make great resting spots. The enclosed space makes your kitty feel happy and safe.
Your cat isn’t the only one spoilt with this product either. In terms of aesthetic appeal, this cat wall shelf adds a lot to your home. Choose from five colors so you can match the cat furniture with your current home décor. It makes a fantastic home feature as well, transforming a plain wall into an elaborate and exciting space that catches your eye.
Buy on Etsy
FUKUMARU Floating Wall Shelf with Scratching Mat (Best Option for Drywall Installation)
I usually always recommend installing cat wall shelves on a stud wall. This helps the shelf become more stable and avoid accidents. However, if you do only have drywall free in your home, try the FUKUMARU Floating Wall Shelf with Scratching Mat. The two shelves in this pack are both large with screws spaced 16 inches apart. This makes them much easier to install on the drywall in your home.
Both of these shelves are topped with scratching mats. Your cat will love filing its claws on these mats, thus helping to keep your furniture scratch-free. They also give the shelves more grip so you won’t need to worry about your cat accidentally slipping off if they climb with speed.
Another great perk is that these shelves are made of beautiful solid rubberwood. Firstly, this will look stylish in any home and the neutral tones blend seamlessly with most interiors. The choice of material also means the shelves are designed to last. They are safe and durable, specifically made to withstand hours of play.
FUKUMARU sells a range of other wall-mounted cat products as well. All made from the same natural wood and sisal material, they work great together when installed on one wall. From scratching posts to ladders and hammocks, you can create an exciting cat jungle for your furry friend.
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TRIXIE Lounger Wall Mounted Cat Shelves (Perfect for Lazy Cats that Love Sleeping)
Is your cat more of a serial napper than a bundle of energy? The TRIXIE Lounger Wall Mounted Cat Shelves could be the perfect option for you. This set consists of two steps plus a cat hammock and a plush-lined cat condo with a removable cushion. Both the hammock and the condo are ideal sleeping spots made to be cozy and warm for your kitty.
You can place the components however you like. Most cats like sleeping on an elevated platform, so having the hammock or condo at the top of your wall works well. Plus, this means you can encourage a little exercise out of your lazy cat – they have to jump and scale the wall to reach their new favorite place to nap. After all, life is all about balance!
Being a wall-mounted product, these cat shelves can help save space in your home while keeping your cat mentally stimulated. You can choose between grey and brown colors, whichever best suits your home décor. Every component also has a sisal scratch mat. This way, the cat wall shelves not only add an extra element to your home but help prevent your current furniture from being clawed at.
Buy on Chewy
Art of Paws Curved Cat Shelf (An Elevated Cat Bed with Style)
Art of Paws has made this gorgeous cat wall shelf that functions as a stylish bed for your cat. The shelf has a subtle curved design to mimic the shape of a hammock. This makes it much cozier and more relaxing. Combined with the soft wool cover, your cat is treated to maximum comfort.
I love the idea of installing this cat shelf at the same height as a window ledge in your home. This gives your cat a great lookout spot where they can watch the outside world go by. Alternatively, put the shelf near a radiator. Cats love curling up in the warmest areas of your home and so this will take their comfort to the next level.
Why not purchase a few of these shelves so your cat can climb up to the top platform? Cats instinctively love having an elevated place to rest in privacy. The shelves also come with a fiber-type cover that cats love to scratch. You can alternate between the topping you put on the shelves to make it exciting for your kitty.
Of course, we are only interested in cat wall shelves that look good, and this product doesn’t disappoint. Its curved shape is pleasing to the eye. Plus, the polished wood finish gives it a sleek and modern look. It is an elegant addition to your living room, bedroom, or anywhere else in your home.
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Large Wall-Mounted Cat Shelf Play Platform (Beautifully Handcrafted Wooden Shelving)
This product is for sure one of the most beautiful on the market. It is made from solid pinewood and is lovingly handcrafted. I love the look of the raw natural wood that works in many homes, but pairs particularly well with rustic décors. For anyone that feels like their home is a little lackluster, this cat wall shelf will be a welcome addition.
This piece of wall-mounted cat furniture is slightly different from others on this list. Rather than consisting of several pieces that can be placed in any arrangement, this multi-level shelf is fixed in position. Each of the three levels is linked by a white material. This creates a wonderfully cohesive look that flows effortlessly up your wall.
The white material also improves the comfort of your cat. They can climb up on the wooden parts but relax on the material. It bends slightly to hug their bodies and cradles them like a hammock. It is still super strong and sturdy though. Plus, I love the appearance of the soft white material against the wood, making for a beautiful contrast.
Buy on Etsy
BQW Cat Bed Wall Mounted Shelves (Exquisite Home Décor Addition)
Another set of cat shelves that make an exquisite home décor addition is the BQW Cat Bed Wall Mounted Shelves. This consists of two small shelves your cat can use to climb, plus a large double-curved shelf. The larger shelf is covered in luxury carpet for added comfort. It is even removable for washing so you can keep it looking sleek and clean.
Cats will love using the stepping shelves to climb up to the main perch. From here, they’ll have a great view of what is happening below and a space that is solely theirs. This will massively boost your cat’s mood and help reduce stress. Climbing up to the top will also give them the physical and mental enrichment that they deserve.
One huge perk of this product is that it can support up to 60lbs in weight. While no domestic cat will ever weigh this much, it does mean these shelves are extremely secure. Big breeds and overweight cats can use them without any worry! They’re designed to last and your kitty can have a lifetime of fun climbing and sleeping on these cat wall shelves.
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SnowTing 3pcs Wooden Floating Kitten Shelves (Great for Kittens to Climb)
Finally, I bring you this three-pack of floating shelves by SnowTing. These have an extremely minimalistic style – each consists of a small wooden platform with curved edges. There are no extravagant details or fancy brackets in sight. They’re plain and simple and thus work well in almost every home interior.
These are a great option if you have young kittens as they can hold up to 20lbs in weight. Many of the larger cat shelves are tailored with fully grown adult cats in mind. But, this trio of selves is small and gives your kittens an outlet for their bundles of energy. This is especially useful if you live in a small apartment and don’t have much free floor space for your kittens to run and explore.
These cat shelves aren’t made for scratching or sleeping on, unlike some other products I have mentioned. However, they aid your cat in climbing up your walls and reaching surfaces that were previously too high for them to climb to. This helps to meet your cat’s instinctive love for finding high ground.
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What Are Cat Wall Shelves?
Cat wall shelves are just as they sound. These are just like regular shelves that you can mount to any empty wall in your home. However, these shelves are specifically intended for cats to climb. This means many are much stronger than most regular shelves and have additional features such as sisal scratching pads or cushions.
I have recently bought some cat shelves for my furry friend and she loves them. What’s more, I love them too! Cat shelves are designed to be decorative and improve your home interior. In fact, they’re the perfect new trend for the modern home.
Below are just some of the benefits of cat wall shelves over traditional feline furniture:
- Appearance: Of course, the main benefit of cat wall shelves is their decorative appearance. Rather than a bulky piece of cat furniture that can ruin your interior, cat wall shelves add so much. You can get ones made from rustic wood or others with a macrame-style hanging. They then come in a range of funky shapes and sizes. Whatever your home interior and personal style, you can find cat wall shelves to complement and add even more pizazz.
- Save Space: Cat wall shelves are highly functional when it comes to saving space. The modern home is a busy home, and with so much going on many people are looking to save floor space at every opportunity. Cat shelves are a smart solution as they can be placed on any empty wall in your home. This makes them great in small apartments, but also a handy solution for even bigger homes that you want to keep looking clutter-free.
- Tailored Experience: Cat wall shelves provide benefits for your cat as well. The main advantage is that they can be tailored to suit your cat and its needs. For example, if you have a young and highly energetic cat, you can purchase multiple shelves and place them far apart. This means your cat can get plenty of physical exercises as they leap between the different levels. Conversely, an older cat might better suit a single shelf that they can easily access. This level of personalization and flexibility isn’t available with other cat furniture items.
- Stimulation: Finally, cat wall shelves provide your cat with plenty of stimulation, both mentally and physically. In fact, they can cover pretty much all of your cat’s wants and needs. They act as something for your cat to climb. They also give them an elevated platform to survey the room which helps them feel secure. Moreover, they can include features such as scratching pads and toys to channel other instinctive behaviors.
Cat Wall Shelves Buying Guide
As you can see, there are so many different cat wall shelves available. They are truly taking the market by storm! People love them for their undeniable elegant aesthetic appeal that boosts home interiors rather than detracting from them. They also provide cats with an elevated surface, one of their instinctive wants and needs. Plus, they’re a great solution for smaller homes.
With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start! Below are just some of the features you should look out for when choosing which cat wall shelves to buy.
Stability and Maximum Weight Capacity
Stability is one of the most important considerations when purchasing a cat wall shelf. The last thing you want is your cat getting injured if the shelf falls off the wall. It could even land on a person or break items of furniture. Moreover, cats are less likely to enjoy using shelves if they quiver and wobble under their weight. There’s no point in purchasing a cat shelf if your kitty refuses to use it!
For this reason, you should always check the maximum weight capacity of any shelf. Most cats won’t weigh over 20lbs, but when jumping with speed the shelves can take a lot more force. Therefore, I only recommend purchasing products with a maximum capacity of 30lbs or greater. For overweight cats or large breeds, 50lbs is a better option.
Installation is also paramount if you want the shelf to be stable. You should always mount the shelf on a stud wall where possible, which will prevent the shelf from ripping out of place. Moreover, shelves with brackets tend to be more stable than floating shelves. Look for shelves made from good quality materials with long screws and drill holes placed 16 inches apart.
Size of the Cat Shelf
The size of the cat shelf is another important consideration before going ahead with a purchase. Firstly, you need to make sure the shelf is large enough to comfortably fit your cat. Start by looking at length. Generally, bigger is better as it gives your cat more space to lounge and play. Your cat can get more comfortable and curl up in any position they wish.
Don’t forget about the depth of the shelves either! Cat shelves differ from regular shelves in their depth. Standard shelves for keeping books or decorative items on can be as small as 6 inches deep. However, all good cat wall shelves will be at least 10.5 inches deep. This gives your cat enough space to use them without risking falling off.
Size is important when considering the space you have available in your home as well. Don’t cram cat shelves onto a wall. They’ll look better positioned apart and with a little space surrounding them. Plus, keeping a bit of distance between shelves is more fun for your cat so they can run and jump between the different levels.
Coverings and Additional Features
Some cat shelves are literally just a shelf that is large enough and sturdy enough for cats to climb and lounge on. However, designers are getting more and more creative. Today, there is a whole host of different coverings and additional features you might be interested in.
One example is a simple scratching pad cover made from sisal or felt. This works as an anti-slip topping to help prevent accidents for cats that climb with speed. At the same time, your cat can use this covering to file their claws on. This is an instinctive behavior so is a great solution if you don’t have space for a cat tree in your home.
On the other hand, carpet coverings make a shelf cozy and comfortable, transforming it into an elevated pet bed. Other products have incorporated hammocks into their design for even more comfort. Ladders, stepping shelves, and other features can transform a simple cat shelf into a vertical playground for your furry friend to explore.
Aesthetic Design and Appeal
Are you reluctant to purchase cat furniture because it doesn’t fit with your home décor? Join the club! I put up with having a carpeted cat tree that ruined my home interior for years before finding cat wall shelves. I have now been converted. Cat wall shelves have an undeniable aesthetic appeal that works seamlessly with the rest of your home.
Of course, we all have a different opinion on what classifies as “good” home décor. Do you have a carefree boho-style interior with plenty of pattern, texture, and color? Perhaps you have gone for a modern minimalistic look? Or maybe you live in a rustic farmhouse adorned with wooden beams and oak finishings?
No matter what the design of your home, there are so many different cat wall shelf products to choose from. Before you make a purchase, think about how the product would blend with your current furniture and where it could be positioned for maximum effect.
Assembly and Installation
It is worthwhile considering how simple the cat shelves are to install in your home. Most will require a fair amount of time to install, especially if you do a proper job. This is the one drawback of wall-mounted cat furniture, but it is arguably worth it for the finished effect.
It may be obvious to say it, but the more components the product has, the longer it will take to install. If you are looking for simple assembly, one lone shelf could be your best option. This is also a better solution for rented apartments – your landlord will be more inclined to let you put up a single shelf than to drill multiple holes in the wall.
Conversely, there is no reason why you cannot treat your cat to a more elaborate climbing frame if you have a little time on your hands. All the parts required for assembly should be included, but double-check this before you buy. Also, you’ll need an electric drill and a spirit level to get the job done as quickly and easily as possible.
Other Wall-Mounted Cat Furniture Products
Wall-mounted cat shelves are a great space saver that your cats will love. However, they aren’t the only option if you’re looking to take things vertically. There is a whole host of other wall-mounted cat furniture that you can combine with the shelves, giving your cat a whole new vertical world to explore.
Here is just a look at a few of the other wall-mounted cat furniture options you might be interested in. You’ll also want to check out litter boxes for small apartments as well to help utilize all the available space in your home.
Cat Wall Feeders
Wall-mounted feeders are a popular item. These usually consist of a shelf with two bowls attached, one for food and one for water. They’re great to combine with a cat shelf, especially if you have a small apartment as you won’t need to find space for your cat bowls on the floor. Alternatively, they can be used as stand-alone items.
Aside from their space-saving benefits, wall-mounted cat feeders are great for picky eaters. They offer privacy when eating and help cats feel secure. They’re also a clever way to keep cat food out of the way of dogs or other animals in your home. Plus, if you have a messy eater, these feeding stations can help reduce mess – your cat won’t be able to push its bowls around the floor or tip them over.
Wall-Mounted Cat Trees
A wall-mounted cat tree is another great idea for small apartments. This gives your cat an exclusive space to explore as their own and channels all of their instinctive behaviors. They often consist of sisal posts for them to scratch, wall-mounted condos for them to hide, and several shelf-style platforms your kitty can jump between.
The benefit of these cat trees over traditional cat trees is that the furniture can be placed much higher on your wall. You can also adjust the height and vertical distance of each piece to suit your cat’s level of agility. Moreover, free-standing cat trees often wobble and can topple over. With wall-mounted designs, you don’t need to worry about this.
In some instances, a wall-mounted cat tree won’t work. For example, perhaps you live in a rented apartment and don’t want to drill holes into the wall. If so, don’t worry – other cat trees for small spaces are available. From products that hang on the door to floor-to-ceiling options, your cat can get the exercise it needs no matter how small your home.
Cat Shelf Beds
Cats can sleep on cat shelves quite comfortably. They love being up high and find it easier to fall asleep when in a safe, private, and elevated platform. But if you want to treat your cat, a better option is a to purchase wall-mounted cat bed.
These practical pieces of cat furniture are similar to cat shelves but made with comfort in mind. They often have extra padding or cushioning. Hammock-style cat beds are also common. Their surface area is typically larger so your cat has more room to spread out. Again, combine with cat shelves or use stand-alone as a decorative alternative to a traditional cat bed.
Q: Should I get cat wall shelves?
A: Yes – Cat shelves are a great addition to any home! Cats love having an elevated platform to climb to as it makes them feel safer. It also gives them a place to retreat when they are stressed while promoting exercise and play. You get all of these benefits without compromising on floor space.
Q: How much weight should a cat shelf hold?
A: A cat shelf should hold just over the weight of your cat. However, I recommend purchasing high-quality shelving that can hold upwards to 30lbs. While most cats will weigh less than 20lbs, this added weight allowance gives you peace of mind and helps to avoid any unnecessary accidents.
Q: Do cat shelves need to be mounted on stud walls?
A: Yes – Cat shelves should ideally be attached to at least one stud wall. This ensures they aren’t going to fall off and can hold the maximum weight capacity with ease. If you only have a small cat that doesn’t weigh much you might be able to get away with installing the shelf on a non-stud wall.
Q: Where should I install cat wall shelves?
A: Ideally, you will want to install cat shelves on a stud wall. You should also keep the shelves away from televisions, fragile items, or expensive items in your home. You don’t want your cat jumping off the shelf and damaging what lies beneath!
Q: How far apart should cat shelves be?
A: The ideal distance between cat wall shelves depends on the agility of your cat. The more athletic your cat, the further apart they can be. If you are unsure, a horizontal spacing of 12-16” and a vertical spacing of 12-18” should work for most healthy adult cats.
Q: How do I get my cat to use a cat wall shelf?
A: You can encourage your cat to use its new cat shelf by enticing them with treats. If your cat responds well to catnip, you can alternatively use this to lure your cat up. In other cases, cats will explore the shelves at their own pace.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
Cat wall shelves came about as a solution for small homes. They work vertically to provide your cat with somewhere to climb, sleep, scratch, and play despite a lack of floor space. However, cat wall shelves have become far more than just a functional piece of kit. Today, they are super stylish and can instantly vamp up your home interior.
As you can see from this list of products, there are cat shelves available in all colors, shapes, and sizes! Choose a minimalistic style if the rest of your home interior is packed with personality. Alternatively, opt for a product that complements your other design choices, or even makes your cat wall display a focal point of your home.
For anyone looking for a ginger puss, here are the 15 breeds which are most likely to have orange coats. 1. Scottish Fold. Already known as being one of the most adorable cats in existence is the Scottish Fold. This breed is most famous for being a cat with small ears.
Different breeds of cats are loved for different reasons.
Whereas the Bengal is adored for its wild appearance, the Maine Coon is loved for its huge size and the Scottish Fold is popular thanks to its small folded ears. However, another trait that seems to be highly desired is orange fur.
There is no surprise that people love orange cat breeds. Their fur is striking and resembles that of a tiger. Many famous ginger cats have also sparked more love for this stunning colored coat – think Garfield, Tigger, and Puss in Boots from Shrek. Ginger coats are also seen as somewhat of a rarity, and these cats have a reputation for being the most loving and friendliest felines of all!
In this article, I have listed the top 15 orange cat breeds. These cats range from large breeds to small breeds, and from long-haired felines to short-haired kitties. So, whatever other characteristics you’re looking for in combination with their stunning red coats, this is where you’ll find the answer!
Top 15 Orange Cat Breeds
If you’re looking for an orange cat breed, you’re in luck! Orange fur can be found in nearly every breed, from the exotic Abyssinian to the luxurious Persian. However, no breed of cat is guaranteed to be ginger all the time. This is because the color of their fur depends on the precise genetics passed down from each parent.
For an orange coat to appear, cats have to inherit the red gene. For females, two copies of this gene have to be inherited, with one coming from each parent, whereas males only need one copy for the orange coat to present itself. So, if you’re wondering “are orange tabby cats always male?” you’d not be far from the truth – although females do exist, males are much more common.
However, besides the sex of a cat altering the likelihood of it having an orange coat, the breed also plays a part. Orange fur is more common in some breeds than others. These breeds typically have a larger gene pool and so there is a higher chance of interesting color combinations cropping up. For anyone looking for a ginger puss, here are the 15 breeds which are most likely to have orange coats.
1. Scottish Fold
Already known as being one of the most adorable cats in existence is the Scottish Fold. This breed is most famous for being a cat with small ears. A mutation in the cat’s genes means that cartilage doesn’t develop properly in these felines, resulting in tiny ears that flop forward towards their skull. This gives them a distinctive owl-like expression when coupled with their rounded faces and eyes.
The first cat with this spontaneous small ear mutation was a cat named Susie who was found on a farm in Scotland, hence the name “Scottish Fold”. Susie had a white fur coat, but many cats belonging to this breed now also have orange coats, known as “red”.
Red Scottish Fold cats are typically a brilliant dark red with no obvious tabby markings. They also tend to be entirely orange, including their paws, underside, and even their nose and paw pads. This coat color is also always coupled with golden or copper eyes – they truly are red all over!
Aside from red Scottish Folds, there are also coats known as “red chinchilla” or “shell cameo”. This is where the undercoat is white, but the hairs are tipped with orange. Generally, this results in a white stomach, chest, chin, and ears, with orange patches over the back and tail. Other coats with red include the “shaded cameo” and “cameo smoke”, both of which are again a combination of orange and white fur. There are also a variety of tabby coats with flecks of red and copper.
All in all, Scottish Folds have one of the most diverse coat colors of all domestic breeds. According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), any combination of genetically possible colors and patterns is allowed. This explains why orange cats are frequently seen – with such a large and diverse gene pool, there’s a higher chance to see a cat with an orange coat.
2. Turkish Angora
The Turkish Angora is another orange cat breed. Rather than originating from Scotland, this breed comes from Turkey. In fact, this is one of the oldest domestic cat breeds around today, having been around since the 1600s. According to some, they are thought to be the first long-haired cat breed to enter Europe!
Originally, only white coats were accepted for the breed, but not anymore. Today, their beautiful long-haired coats come in a range of different colors, including white, cream, black, silver, and red. The bright orange coat is generally seen with yellow or orange eyes. However, cream coats – a dilution of the red color – are also seen paired with blue or green eyes.
There is also a huge variation in the different coat patterns. You’ll come across Turkish Angoras that have a solid coat color, as well as one with tortoiseshell patterning, calico coats, and tabby markings. However, you’ll never come across a ginger cat with a solid coat. Even if they appear to look one color, closer inspection will reveal that they do have subtle markings. This is again all thanks to cat genetics – orange fur coats are always patterned in some way!
In terms of personality, Turkish Angoras are equally as desirable. They are extremely sociable and highly playful and intelligent. Owners love this breed as they can be trained and quickly form strong bonds with their owners, but you need to have time spare to keep them entertained.
3. Munchkin Cat
The Munchkin Cat, also known as the “Sausage Cat”, is best known for being a cat with short legs. The reason for their short legs again lies in genetics. This time, it is a gene that causes dwarfism that is responsible. While the bodies of these cats grow as you would expect, their limbs have stunted growth which makes this disproportionately small.
Because these cats were bred with a physical deformity to appease humans, their breeding was very controversial. However, they were officially recognized in 1994 by The International Cat Association (TICA). Yet, at the moment, this is the only cat registry that accepts Munchkin Cats as a breed.
Aside from their controversial small limbs, another feature of this breed is the huge range of coat colors they can be seen with. You can find a Munchkin Cat in all genetically possible color combinations, patterns, and styles. Of course, orange coats make this list, often coupled with white or with beautiful tabby markings.
Just as gingers cats are known for being some of the most friendly felines, the same is true for Munchkins. Despite their small size, they are confident and playful. This breed is known for being a great family pet and extremely loving, so just imagine how friendly a ginger Munchkin cat could be!
But wait, why are Munchkins and orange tabby cats so affectionate? It all boils down to their appearance. Both sweet little Munchkins and ginger coats are seen as two of the more endearing and adorable characteristics. Therefore, these cats likely got handled more as kittens as everyone was fussing over them! As a result, they’re typically the friendliest and most affectionate felines around.
Persian cats are loved for their elegant and luxurious appearance. With thick plush fur coats and sweet doll-like faces, this breed hasn’t been termed as the “glamor puss” for no reason! They are an undeniably beautiful breed and a great option for anyone looking for an affectionate and sociable feline. It is indeed their good looks and sweet temperament that make them the most popular pedigree cat in the US.
When imagining a Persian, most people will first think of a glossy white or silver cat. However, Persians come in numerous color combinations and patterns and are another example of an orange cat breed. You will also see red fur partnered with other colors to give stunning tortoiseshell and calico coats.
However, with such gorgeous coats comes a lot of hard work, so I wouldn’t recommend a Persian for anyone who doesn’t have much free time on their hands. Their long fur needs brushing daily to prevent mats from forming. Plus, you’ll have to give your kitty a dreaded bath at least once per month to keep their ginger fur looking vibrant and silky soft.
5. Maine Coon
The Maine Coon, one of the largest domestic cat breeds, is another example of a long-haired orange cat. Red Maine Coons are actually pretty common and there are three different orange color combinations that you might see. These are:
- Solid Red: Their coats appear to be the same orange color all over. However, look closely and you will see this isn’t the case! There are actually faint tabby markings. Of all the orange Maine Coons, solid red coats are the rarest to come by.
- Red Smoke: Maine Coons with red smoke coats have orange fur that is darker at the tips yet white at the base. With such long locks, this transition is truly wonderful to look at. They have a much lighter and more cream-like complexion.
- Red Tabby: The most common orange coat is the red tabby. This is where there are clear tabby markings with a combination of light and darker tones. There are three different possible tabby markings too; a ticked tabby, classic tabby, or mackerel tabby.
Red coat aside, Maine Coons are predominantly known for their large size. However, don’t let their size intimidate you! This breed has earned itself the nickname of “gentle giant” thanks to its sweet and affectionate disposition, and they make incredible family pets.
Before you purchase a Maine Coon though, make sure your home is large enough. Large breeds not only need more space for themselves, but they also need bigger pet supplies, such as an extra-large litter box or large cat tree. So, make sure you have space before committing to getting one of these gentle giants.
6. Cornish Rex
The Cornish Rex is another cat breed with orange fur. However, their coat color is not this breed’s most distinctive characteristic. Instead, these felines are adored for their unique curly coats that feel like velvet to touch. This is thanks to Cornish Rex cats only having an undercoat rather than the typical three-layered coat see in most domestic breeds.
Orange isn’t the only color that Cornish Rex’s hallmark coats come in. According to breeding standards, everything including white, chocolate, black, blue, and cream is accepted. In terms of patterning, solids are common, but you will also see all different types of tabby, bi-color cats, and the beautiful tortoiseshell trio of orange, white, and black.
Another notable feature of a Cornish Rex is its eyes, which are always golden if their fur is orange. Being regarded as a cat with big eyes, you can easily get lost in their gaze. The short fur and triangular-shaped head further enhance their eyes and make it impossible to look away!
Their personalities are also adored, and Cornish Rex cats are said to be the clowns of the cat kingdom. They’re lively and playful, always ending up in mischief, and finding never-ending ways to make their owners laugh! However, this breed is also affectionate and will form a strong bond with its owner, making them an all-round great choice for a pet.
7. Devon Rex
Extremely similar to the Cornish Rex is the Devon Rex. The two are alike in many ways. Both have similar curly coats, but interestingly they are caused by a different genetic mutation. They also have a similar bone structure, with slender bodies, large eyes, a pointed chin, and a top-heavy face shape. Besides, just as their Cornish relatives can have orange fur coats, as can the Devon Rex.
Almost any coat pattern imaginable is also seen on the Devon Rex. Of all the red cats, a tabby pattern is most common. However, you will also see flecks of red on a calico coat, combined with white and black. Bi-color white and orange cats also exist, with the white patches generally seen on the cat’s underside and paws.
Another stand-out feature of the Devon Rex cat is its notable large and pointed ears. These ears – in combination with their short nose and wedge-shaped head – are what gives this breed its hallmark elfish or pixie-like look they’re most loved for. Their ears also sit quite low down on their heads, further contributing to the alien-like appearance.
8. Bengal Cat
Bengal Cats are one of the most unique domestic cats around today. They have a sweet and affectionate temperament while looking distinctively wild. In fact, their spectacular spotted or marbled coat markings are their most well-known trait. While the recognized colors are brown, silver, and snow, Bengals also come in a range of “unrecognized” colors, such as black and blue.
It is the brown Bengal cats that have the most orange-colored fur. This varies from a faint orange-brown to warm caramel tones and more vibrant shades of red. However, an orange-brown “butter coat” is usual for brown Bengals. This lighter orange color will make up the bulk of the coat, becoming the base. Darker rosettes or marbling in chestnut brown and black then contrast beautifully, giving this breed a distinctive wild appearance comparable to a leopard’s markings.
It is not only their outside appearance that looks “wild”, but they’ve also kept the playful and intelligent personalities often seen in big cats. This means that Bengals will require lots of attention and exercise to keep them happy. However, put in the type and effort and you’ll also have a loyal and loving new family member. Besides, Bengal cats are much friendlier and affectionate than wild cats, providing the perfect solution for anyone wishing they had a leopard or cheetah as a pet!
9. British Shorthair
When most people imagine a British Shorthair, they picture the characteristic combination of a blue coat and golden yellow eyes. This is the most common and also the most popular combination for the breed. However, despite being much rarer, there are also British Shorthairs with orange fur.
Unlike many of the other breeds on this list, orange British Shorthairs are typically not the vibrant red you may imagine. Rather they are cream, a diluted version of the orange gene. This creates a pastel color that can range from a yellow tinge to creamy pumpkin orange. Cream can show up in a variety of different coat patterns, but these will be difficult to distinguish because of the diluted colors.
If you’re looking for a more vibrant red British Shorthair, these do also exist. However, these are even more of a rarity and are one of the more recently recognized additions to the breeds. As with cream cats, they too can come in a range of patterns, which also include tortoiseshell and bi-color coats.
Aside from their coats, this large cat breed is known for its round and stocky build. They have broad chests, rounded faces, and large paws, giving this cat a powerful appearance. Yet at heart, British Shorthairs are one of the most easy-going felines there are. They’ve got a sickly-sweet nature, love their owners, and would rather take a catnap over exercise any day of the week!
10. American Curl
American Curls can also have orange coats which exist in almost any pattern genetically possible. This includes tortoiseshell, calico, tabby, and ticked. The hair itself can also come in varying lengths; some cats will have medium to long hair, yet short-haired cats are equally as likely. Regardless of the color, pattern, or length, one thing is for sure: their coats are one of the softest and silkiest you’ll find.
What the American Curl is most famous for though is its ears. Its ears are the defining feature that is responsible for this breed’s name. Unlike most cat ears which point upward, the ears of an American Curl have soft and rounded tips that fold backward towards their skull. The degree of curvature varies but typically is between 90 and 180 degrees.
It is worth bearing in mind that while these ears appear cute, they will need constant cleaning. Their unusual shape means the ear canal can become twisted and narrowed, making it more prone to blockages and infection. Besides, be ultra careful when doing so as their ears are more delicate and heavy handling can damage their cartilage.
11. American Bobtail
You can also find an orange American Bobtail cat. In fact, these bundles of fun are another breed that comes in a huge range of different coat colors aside from red, including lilac, blue, black, white, cinnamon, and cream. Their coat length also varies, and you can find both long-haired and short-haired orange American Bobtails.
This breed can also come in any pattern. With cats exhibiting the red coat gene, tabby patterns are most common. However, you can also find bi-color and calico American Bobtails, too. In these cases, orange patches of fur are combined with black and/or white for beautiful and unique combinations.
Arguably the most unique thing to note about this breed though is its shortened tail. American Bobtails, as the name suggests, have tails more alike to a rabbit’s bobbed tail than a cat’s long and slender tail. The length will vary even between kittens from the same litter, ranging from around 1-4 inches. But the most desirable length is no longer than 1 inch!
Many people also make the mistake of thinking that these stubby tails mean they are related to the Japanese Bobtail, but this isn’t the case. Although both have shortened tails, the American Bobtail has a slightly longer and more flexible tail that they wag and move around to express emotion. The American Bobtail also has a much more wild-like appearance and a dog-like temperament, being nicknamed the “golden retriever of cats“.
If you’re looking for a short-haired orange tabby cat, then look no further than the Abyssinian. This breed, unlike many on this list, only has one coat pattern – the ticked tabby. Rather than having traditional stripes commonly associated with tabbies, ticked tabbies have agouti hairs.
What does this mean? Well, agouti hairs each display multiple bands of pigmentation. They are light at the base with several bands of darker color as you move towards the tip. This means there is a banded pattern on each individual hair rather than across the cat’s body as a whole. Orange Abyssinians, also known as red or sorrel Abyssinians, have a lighter copper-colored base with brown ticking towards the ends.
Interestingly, the Abyssinian’s original color was not orange, but rather a reddish-brown base with black ticking. While this cat has a reddish tinge, it is not considered orange by any means. However, a unique mutation of this original coat color is what made the red coat appear and it is now a fully recognized color.
Although this breed has a distinctive short-haired ticked coat, there is also a long-haired version. This is known as its own breed though, called the Somali. So, if you like what the Abyssinian has to offer but prefer the look and feel of a fluffy long-haired coat, the Solami could be your answer. They have the same ticked pattern and also come in sorrel, making them another beautiful orange breed.
The Ocicat was bred in the hope of creating a spotted wild-looking cat with a stunning rosette coat pattern that was friendly enough to keep as a pet. This was done by crossing three breeds – the Siamese, Abyssinian, and American Shorthair – together. Their short, sleek, and spotted coat is now a hallmark of the Ocicat breed.
Like its Abyssinian relative, the Ocicat also has an agouti coat. The spots we see on their coats are formed from where the darker bands of color on the hairs meet. The markings are extremely important for this breed and should not be faint or blurred with the base. You’ll also notice the darkest points at the tip of the tail and around the backs of the legs.
Orange Ocicats, known otherwise as cinnamon in color, have a light orange base with darker orange markings and a pink nose and paw pads. You will often see many variations in the color though, with the background being as light as a pale yellow or beige and the spots appearing more reddish-brown than vibrant orange. There is also a cinnamon silver variety. In these cats, the base is a lighter silver color with orange-spotted markings.
Despite looking like a wild cat, the personality of the Ocicat doesn’t reflect this. They love human company and make great companions. However, they do have a lot of energy and are very intelligent creatures. They need to be constantly entertained, otherwise, they may get bored.
14. Oriental Shorthair
Oriental Shorthairs are another orange cat breed, with spotted tabby patterning being the most common for red cats. However, ticked, spotted, mackerel and classic orange tabbies are all recognized for the breed. Whichever the patterning, the Oriental Red should have a rich, warm, and vibrant color with no visible white hairs. Their coats are always, as their name suggests, short-haired.
These orange cats also have green eyes, whereas most red cats will have gold or yellow. This makes Orientals’ eyes a stand-out feature as they contrast strikingly against their coat. When it comes to breeding standards, the more vibrant the better! Their big almond shape further helps to accentuate this wonderful feature.
However, an orange tabby coat is by far not the only possible coat color and pattern combination. You will also see red fur in tortie cats in combination with cream and either blue, black, chocolate, or cinnamon hairs. In total, there are a whopping 300 different coat color and pattern combinations that are accepted by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) for this breed.
Aside from their diverse range of possible coat combinations, Oriental Shorthairs are also known for their long and angular head, tall pointed ears, and slender limbs. In fact, they look incredibly similar in size, stature, and bone structure to their Siamese relative, simply with different and more exciting coat patterns.
15. Exotic Shorthair
Just as the Oriental Shorthair is comparable to a Siamese, the Exotic Shorthair is comparable to a Persian. This breed is essentially a short-haired version of their glamor puss sister in almost every way – they have the same sweet and calm temperament, distinctive flat nose, large rounded eyes, and small ears. They have simply exchanged their long-haired plush coats for a denser, shorter, and more easily manageable one.
Just as their Persian ancestors can have orange coats, so can Exotic Shorthairs. These red hairs can appear in a huge variety of different patterns. These include a range of different tabby markings, as well as tortoiseshell and calico coat patterns. Exotic Shorthairs can also be cream, a diluted version of a red gene. This creates a pale and more cream-colored orange that is simply adorable!
This is by far not the end of all the different coat patterns and color combinations though. You will also come across Exotic Shorthairs in blue, black, chocolate, lilac, silver, golden, brown, and seal. In terms of markings, there is everything from smoke to shaded markings, too. With so much choice, this breed is a great option if you’re looking for an orange shorthair cat.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
As you can see, many of the most popular domestic cat breeds can appear with orange coats. This includes everything from large and fluffy Maine Coon to the wild-looking Bengal and everything in between. However, there is no singular cat breed that produces orange kittens every time.
Whether or not any of the breeds I have mentioned have orange fur depends on the genes they inherit from each parent. Still, if you are looking for an orange cat, these breeds are your best bet.
I love orange cats – I always have, and I always will! Their striking and vibrant coats partnered with their affectionate and lovable personalities make red cats arguably the best of them all!
How To Stop My Cat From Hiding? Now we know why your new cat is hiding under the bed, we get onto the important part: How to lure a cat out of hiding. Try implementing one, several, or all of the below strategies and you should see a rapid improvement in your cat’s hiding behaviors. And remember, the crucial word here is “lure”.
Helping a new cat adjust to your home can be quite the challenge. No matter whether you adopt an older cat or a kitten, most will need a little time before they feel at home. This is pretty normal, and I found my new cat hiding under the bed for the first few weeks after adoption.
If your cat is hiding – under the bed, the couch, or anywhere else in your home – try not to worry. This is a normal response for cats that feel a little out of their comfort zone. Once your cat relaxes, you’ll see a lot more of them. You can then start to develop this close bond you’ve dreamed of!
However, it can be frustrating if your new cat is hiding and acting weird. You want to spend time with them getting to learn all their quirks. Besides, it isn’t nice knowing your latest addition to the family is frightened and on edge. So how can you lure a cat out of hiding and help them relax?
In this article, I give you nine simple changes that can help your new cat adjust as quickly as possible. What are you waiting for? Read on, implement these strategies, and help your new cat feel at home in a few easy steps. Your cat will be happier, more social, and keen to get to know you.
Why is My New Cat Hiding Under the Bed?
Before I share my strategies for preventing your cat from hiding, it is important to understand why cats hide in the first place. If we can understand the cause, it is much easier to deal with the problem at its root and implement a strategy that is guaranteed to work.
Now, hiding behaviors are instinctive for cats aren’t anything to worry about. They actually relate back to their survival in the wild. When something scary happens, cats’ instincts kick in automatically and tell them to find a place to hide. Their hiding spot acts as a safe space from which they are much less likely to have to face the impending threat.
As you can see, this is super important to survival. If predators are near, these instincts ensure cats find a safe hiding place so they don’t become another animal’s dinner. And although there are far fewer life-threatening risks for our domestic kitties, these natural instincts persist.
Unfortunately, cats are extremely sensitive creatures and even tiny changes to their environment can spark feelings of fear and worry. Therefore, it is unsurprising to see a new kitten scared and hiding. This is the first time away from their mom, and they are thrown into a space that is completely new to them. It has new sights, new smells, and new people within it!
How To Stop My Cat From Hiding?
Now we know why your new cat is hiding under the bed, we get onto the important part: How to lure a cat out of hiding. Try implementing one, several, or all of the below strategies and you should see a rapid improvement in your cat’s hiding behaviors.
And remember, the crucial word here is “lure”. Hiding is an instinctive behavior that cats practice when frightened. While we can do our best to coax them out of hiding, we must never force them out. This will only increase their stress levels and make the adjustment process take even longer than necessary! Taking the slow and steady approach is always for the best.
1. Be Patient & Let Them Adjust
When kittens leave their mom, it can be an extremely scary and daunting experience. They are leaving the safety of their littermates and the protection of their mom for the first time. Simultaneously, kittens are taking in a whole new environment with new sights, sounds, and smells.
Within this environment, there are also new people to get used to. Perhaps it is just you and your new kitten, or perhaps you have a large and noisy family. Other pets also need to be considered, and that’s before you try to introduce your cat to a new feeding routine and schedule. As you can see, they’ve got a lot to take in all at once!
Adapting to these changes doesn’t happen overnight, and the best thing you can do is be patient. If your cat wants to hide, let them hide. When they are feeling braver, they will venture out and say hello. However, forcing them out before this point will only prolong the process.
So, how long will a scared cat hide? This depends on your cat – some are naturally more sociable and brave, whereas some are more timid and jumpy. It will also depend on factors in your home environment, such as noise levels, the number of people, and the presence of other pets. If you’ve still got a new cat hiding after a month, you’ll definitely want to try some other strategies.
2. Remove Stressful Stimuli
In an ideal world, a new cat will be able to enter your home and adjust to it. You won’t need to make any changes to your home or way of living at all. However, if there is too much going on in your home environment and your cat isn’t starting to settle, you will need to make some changes.
Take a moment to consider your home environment. What here could be acting as a stress trigger for your new cat, causing them to hide under the bed? Below are just a few common examples:
- Lots of loud and heavy-handed children
- Having many different guests over at once
- Loud appliances or noises outside the home
- The presence of other pets in your home or neighborhood
- Unfamiliar smells like cigarette smoke
Where possible, I advise trying to eliminate these stimuli. Teach your children how to handle new cats and kittens so they do this correctly. Limit the number of guests in your home until your new cat has come out of hiding. Don’t smoke in your home or use strong artificial fragrances. And introduce old and new pets in the correct environment to minimize confrontation.
3. Provide Plenty of Escape Routes
As mentioned, it is instinctive for cats to hide when they feel a nearby threat. But before hiding, many cats will try to escape. They’d rather run as far away from the danger as possible than hide in the same room as it and hope for the best!
If your new cat is hiding under the bed, one option is to provide plenty of escape routes. This will mean they exit the scene when feeling stressed instead of hiding in one spot. Keep the doors between rooms open so your cat always has an escape route and never block their exit. I know that you’re desperate to play with your cat, but they’ll come to you when the time is right.
Another option is to make use of the vertical space in your home. Cats are natural-born climbers and will enjoy scaling the walls of your home. Besides, cats shelves are a space that only your cat can reach. They’re a great escape route and can help deal with issues over territory.
4. Form Positive Associations
You can use certain behavioral techniques to coax your new cat out of hiding, the best being positive reinforcement. All this means is that your cat is rewarded for coming out from under the bed. You’ll be surprised by how much difference a little positive encouragement can make!
There are two main options and positive “treats” you can give your cat each time it pokes its head out from its hiding spots. These are:
- Edible tasty treats
- Playing with toys
I prefer the latter option for a couple of reasons. Firstly, playing together is a brilliant bonding activity that can help strengthen your new relationship. Playing with toys will also encourage your cat to be active and healthy. Comparatively, a few too many treats could cause your new cat to become overweight or obese. However, both work well and the choice is yours.
You don’t have to only reward your cat when they leave their hiding space either. Why not leave a few treats nearby to help lure them out? Or wave a feather wand in front of the opening to grasp their attention. Most cats won’t be able to resist and will come out of hiding.
5. Create a Cat Sanctuary
I’ve spoken already about removing stressful triggers in your home to make your cat feel more at ease. But alongside eliminating the negatives, you can also add more positives to help your cat adjust to their new home quickly and easily.
One of the easiest additions to any home is a pheromone diffuser like Feliway. These are plug-in diffusers that release chemicals pheromones into the air. You won’t be able to smell these pheromones as our bodies don’t have the right receptors. However, cats will be able to smell them in the air. They have calming effects and can help your cat relax.
You also need to make sure all of your cat’s wants and needs are met. In fact, you should aim to create a sanctuary for your new furry friend! The better you tailor your home to your cat, the more confidence they’ll have in exploring it. Below are some must-have items to include:
- Comfortable cat beds with high sides
- A cat tree with multiple perches and condos
- Designated hiding spaces your cat can retreat to
- Lots of toys to keep your kitten stimulated
6. Rule Out Medical Conditions
Cats don’t only hide when they are stressed, but also they’re sick and in pain. This again links back to survival – sick and injured cats are more vulnerable than healthy felines. By hiding when in this vulnerable state, they are protecting themselves from predators. At the same time, they also need this time to rest and recover.
Now, it is completely normal for a new cat to hide when first being brought home. However, if your cat isn’t adjusting to your home within a few weeks, it’s worthwhile taking them to the vet. Similarly, a new cat hissing and not eating should see a professional. Your cat might be completely fine, but it is always best to have medical conditions ruled out.
Some medical conditions that are common in kittens include:
- Parasitic infections such as worms, mites, and fleas
- Ingesting a foreign material while exploring their new world
- Upper respiratory infections (URIs) comparable to the human cold
If it turns out your kitten is ill, don’t panic. They’re in the best place possible! Your vet will prescribe treatment based on the condition. For example, flea treatment for kittens under 12 weeks will be prescribed for new cats with fleas, while URIs are often treated with antibiotics. Never give your new cat human medication and always seek advice from your vet.
7. Keep Essential Resources Nearby
A new cat hiding is playing a waiting game. They are simply holding tight and sitting in their safe spot until they feel confident enough to come out. But many owners think they can speed this process along by putting all essential resources in another room. If your cat doesn’t have access to food, water, and a litter tray, they’ll surely come out in search of them, right?
Wrong! This couldn’t be further from the truth! Some cats will be too afraid to venture out, even for the necessities. Removing or restricting your new cat’s access to these essentials is only going to make them feel more unsafe and anxious.
Always make sure your cat has easy access to fresh food, clean water, and a litter tray. I recommend putting these in the same room as their favorite hiding spot where possible. In fact, limiting your cat to one room that contains everything they need can be a great stepping stone. Once they’re comfortable exploring this room, you can open their access up to the rest of the house.
8. Introduce Other Cats Slowly
If your only have one cat, you can skip right over this step. However, this is an important strategy for owners of multiple cats. As you probably already know, cats are very territorial animals. Where other cats are present in your home, your cat has stress over territory to deal with alongside its change in environment. This can make their hiding behavior worse!
Improper introductions can also cause unexpected issues with your existing cats. When not introduced correctly, it is common to see your existing cat hissing at new kittens. Cat depression after a new kitten is also likely. This means you’ll be dealing with behavioral challenges from your old and new cats at the same time.
Therefore, old and new cats must be introduced correctly. The best way to do this is to make the change as gradual as possible. This will encourage your old cat to accept the latest arrival, while reassuring your new cat there is no reason to be afraid.
9. Minimize Competition
Friendly introductions only go so far! Tensions can easily run high when cats are living together due to competition over space and resources. If you want to make your new cat feel at home, make sure they have their own resources. For example, households with two cats should have two litter trays, two food bowls, two water bowls, and so on.
Even with this, I find that competition still arises when it comes to mealtimes. My new cat would run back into hiding when my old cat approached her food bowl. Automatic cat feeders are a good solution here for busy owners. These feeders pour out perfectly portioned bowls of food, divided into two bowls for each of your furry friends.
For a more advanced option, take a look at smart cat feeders. I use a cat feeder with collar sensor. These feeders can only be accessed by cats wearing a pre-programmed collar, allowing me to keep my cats’ meals separate from one another. In fact, it is impossible for them to steal even a bite from each other’s bowls.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
Your new cat won’t be hiding under the bed forever! Hiding is an instinctive behavior for cats whenever they feel scared or stressed. Entering a new home with new sights, smells, sounds, people, and animals is a lot for your cat to deal with at once. But as soon as your cat relaxes and realizes there is nothing to fear, they’ll come out to play.
The best thing you can do for your cat is to remain patient. All cats are different, and some cats will take longer to accept their new home than others. You can make the transition smoother by removing stressful triggers, creating a calm environment, meeting all their essential needs, and using positive reinforcement.
However, remember that hiding can also indicate sickness. İf you’re still finding your new cat hiding after a month, speak to your vet. They’ll be able to rule out or treat any medical conditions, besides offering further advice on successful integration into your family.
How to Hydrate a Cat That Won’t Drink Water? 1. Ensure Their Water is Fresh. Cats are notoriously finicky creatures and most cats will only drink fresh water. We can’t blame them really – have ... 2. Move The Location of the Water Bowl. 3. Get More Than One Bowl. 4. Fill the Bowl to the Top. 5. Use ...
Dehydration is a common problem in cats. Thanks to their desert ancestry, they don’t need a huge amount of water each day to survive compared to other animals. But that doesn’t mean that water isn’t a crucial part of their diet!
Besides, some medical conditions require cats to drink more. If your cat is drinking but not peeing, it might be suffering from urinary tract infections or blockages. In fact, you spot your cat trying to pee but only a little comes out they need to go to the vet for treatment. But increasing water intake can help to flush the infection.
Kidney disease is another medical condition worth mentioning. Cats with kidney disease cannot concentrate their urine, so more liquid is lost through their pee. They need to up their fluid intake to compensate for this loss and avoid the negative health complications related to dehydration.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to know how to get a cat to drink water, you’re in the right place. Upping your cat’s water uptake might seem like an impossible task. However, I’ve listed 12 tips and tricks on this page that will help. Why not give some of them a go?
How to Hydrate a Cat That Won’t Drink Water?
It can be difficult knowing how to get a cat to drink water. Cats aren’t big drinkers naturally, but they do still need water to stay hydrated and healthy.
Below are some top tips and tricks that you can use at home to try and encourage drinking. These are all recommended by vets, so are totally safe. However, make sure you never force your cat to drink water. Instead, it is about learning their preferences and putting these in place so that drinking becomes a more appealing and enjoyable activity.
1. Ensure Their Water is Fresh
Cats are notoriously finicky creatures and most cats will only drink fresh water. We can’t blame them really – have you ever sipped from a glass of water that has been left out overnight? It does have a horrible stagnant taste to it. And cats have much more heightened senses than us humans, so to them, a bowl of stale water is going to taste even grosser!
A cat’s preference for fresh water is also linked to survival. In the wild, drinking unfresh, stagnant water carries a higher risk of contracting an infection. Comparatively, drinking fresh water is considered safe. Although the water in your cat’s bowl isn’t going to be carrying any deadly illnesses this instinct for fresh water persists.
Make sure you put fresh water in your cat’s bowl at least twice per day. I recommend doing this once in the morning and once in the evening. Getting into the habit of this makes the chore effortless and is one of the easiest ways to up your cat’s water intake.
2. Move The Location of the Water Bowl
The next thing you should consider is the location of your cat’s water bowl. Is it in a high-traffic area? Most cats won’t enjoy drinking if their bowl is in a noisy location with lots of stuff happening around. How can they focus on drinking with everything else that is going on?
Your cat’s water bowl should also be far away from your cat’s litter tray. You wouldn’t want to drink next to where you pee, so don’t force your cat to do this either. This is also linked with survival – water sources near toilet areas are more likely to be contaminated. Do your kitty a favor and place their water bowl in a different room entirely.
Many cats don’t like drinking where they eat either. This one comes as a little more of a surprise. As humans, we love washing down our dinner with a refreshing drink. But cats don’t feel the need to do this. They don’t want bits of food floating in their water, so they’d rather the two be kept separate.
3. Get More Than One Bowl
Want another easy way to force a cat to drink more water? Make water more accessible to them by putting multiple water bowls throughout your home. Chances are that at least one of these bowls will be in a spot that your cat approves of, meaning they’ll be more inclined to drink from it.
There also might be times when you accidentally cut off your cat’s access to water. Or, if you have more than one cat, they won’t be able to both drink at once. If one bowl gets knocked over, having multiple bowls means there is still plenty of water your cat has access to. If you want to encourage your cat to drink more, more bowls are best.
4. Fill the Bowl to the Top
Another easy fix is to fill your cat’s water bowl to the top. Many cats suffer from something called whisker fatigue. These cats’ whiskers are extremely sensitive, and when they touch the edge of a bowl it can cause a sensory overload to their brains. This can be extremely stressful and can put cats off eating and drinking.
Filling the bowl right to the brim means their whiskers won’t press against the side each time they drink. Instead, they can hover their faces above the bowl and lap up the water with their tongue. No touching whiskers, no sensory overload, and nothing to deter your cat from drinking.
If you are going to use this trick, opt for spill-proof cat water bowls so your kitty doesn’t make a mess. Another alternative is to swap to a saucer of a special whisker fatigue bowl. These are wide, shallow dishes that have plenty of space to fit your cat’s face and its whiskers inside. You won’t need to fill these bowls to the top, so you won’t need to worry about spillages as much.
5. Use a Different Style Water Bowl
Another simple way to get a cat to drink water is to switch bowls. Whisker fatigue bowls are one example that I’ve already discussed. These are great for any cat with sensitive whiskers thanks to their wide design. But cat water bowls come in all other shapes and sizes as well!
To encourage drinking in senior cats, an elevated cat bowl might be a good shout. As the name suggests, these bowls are elevated slightly above ground level so your cat doesn’t have to bend down to drink. Older cats – especially those with arthritis or other joint conditions – may struggle to crane their necks and prefer drinking from a bowl that is already at face height.
Cats also find it easier to see the water level in elevated cat bowls. Although they have killer long-distance and nighttime vision, cats’ up-close vision is poor. If your cat can’t see any water in its bowl, it isn’t going to try and drink it. But elevated bowls help with this issue. They’re also a fantastic option for messy cats as their raised design makes it harder to tip the bowl over.
6. Wash Their Water Dishes Regularly
Make sure you aren’t just topping your cat’s water bowls up, but that you wash them too. After all, even the most perfect dish in the perfect location is no good if it is dirty! Cats are very fussy, and a dirty bowl is going to discourage them from drinking for sure.
Now, you don’t need to wash your cat’s water bowl every day as you do with their food bowls. Yet you should completely empty it and clean it with soap at least once per week. Water itself isn’t dirty, but a slimy layer of biofilm can form around the edges. This needs to be removed or it will make your cat’s water taste gross.
Besides, dirty water bowls and the biofilm around the edge harbors bacteria and pathogens. If you aren’t cleaning your cat’s bowls at least once per week, you are increasing the likelihood of your cat falling sick. For a healthy and hydrated cat, keep on top of the washing up.
7. Switch to a Cat Water Fountain
If water bowls aren’t working, you might consider switching to a cat water fountain. Cats like running water, and so many show a preference for fountains over regular bowls. This again links back to survival in the wild – running water is less likely to be contaminated, so drinking this is a safer option when compared to a stagnant pond or puddle.
Cat water fountains have become hugely popular and there are hundreds of different products you can choose from on the market. I think that cordless cat water fountains are best. You can place these anywhere in your home and you need not worry about the cords acting as a hazard. However, AC-powered fountains are another option if you prefer.
Always consider your cat’s personality when choosing a fountain too. Some water fountains are more violent and noisy than others, which will likely scare off timid cats. On the other hand, more outgoing felines might love the excitement these fountains bring. Have a shop around and find a fountain that suits you and your cat.
8. Try a Different Material
Consider the material your cat’s water bowl is made from. Plastic bowls tend to be cheaper, but plastic does cling onto odors. Constant use means these odors can seep into the water and make it taste funny over time. Besides, these bowls can easily become scratched and the tiny crevices left behind act as an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.
For this reason, most vets recommend either stainless steel or ceramic cat water bowls. Not only do these not cling onto odors that could leak into the water, but they’re also super easy to clean. And I’ve already mentioned how important clean bowls are in terms of encouraging water intake and good health and hygiene.
You have the same choice of materials if you are using a cat water fountain. Stainless steel cat water fountains and ceramic cat water fountains are your best bets for encouraging drinking. However, plastic fountains are on the market if you’re on a tighter budget.
9. Make Their Water More Appetizing
If your cat still won’t drink water, try changing what is in the bowl to make it more appetizing. One option is to add flavor – add a little juice from a can of tuna or a dash of chicken broth to their water. Most cats won’t be able to resist the tasty smell of meat or fish. They’ll be much more inclined to drink.
If you are adding tuna juice, make sure it is from tuna packed in water and not oil. Adding oil to your cat’s water is not a good idea whatsoever. Also, check that the broth has a low salt content. Salt isn’t part of a cat’s natural diet and too much of it can affect their electrolyte imbalance. In worst cases, this can cause sodium poisoning.
An alternative is to add a few ice cubes to the water. This will keep the water cooler, fresher, and more appetizing for longer. Plus, many cats will enjoy playing with the ice cubes. The more fun they find drinking, the more likely they will be to do it. For a double-whammy, make ice cubes by freezing broth or tuna juice and add these to the dish.
10. Feed Them Wet Cat Food
Want my top secret on how to hydrate a cat that won’t drink water no matter what you do? Increase the water content of their food. It doesn’t matter how your cat is getting their healthy dose of water, only that they are. If your cat can only get this through their diet, that’s okay.
Wet cat food has a lot more moisture than dry kibble – 70% to 80% more to be precise. This means that by simply switching to wet cat food, your cat will receive a good portion of its daily water requirements. It won’t matter that your cat isn’t drinking much. Instead, their wet food is making sure they stay hydrated.
Before you make a sudden diet change, I advise consulting your vet. And if you do decide to make the switch, do it slowly. Mix a little of the new wet food in with their dry kibble and gradually switch over. This will help limit any stomach upset or stress while your cat adjusts to its new diet.
11. Add Water to Their Food
Perhaps you don’t want to put your cat on a new diet. After all, it does take a little time to complete the transition and there is no guarantee that your cat will respond well to their new food. Or maybe your cat is extremely fussy and you know she won’t eat anything other than the dry kibble you’re already feeding her.
If this sounds like you, a good alternative is to add water or a low-sodium broth to dry kibble. This way, your cat’s water intake will increase but they don’t have to get used to new flavors of food. You can also play around with different flavor combinations until you find something that your cat loves.
12. Encourage Your Cat’s Quirks
My final trick on how to force a cat to drink water is to encourage its unique quirks. For example, does your cat like jumping on the counter and drinking from the faucet? Let it jump up every now and again and have a drink before switching tap off.
Likewise, I often find my cat drinking from a glass of water I have poured for myself. Let them get on with it! It is safe to take a drink from a glass your cat has drunk from and you won’t fall sick, so you don’t need to worry about this either. In fact, the worst thing that could happen is you get a loose piece of fur floating around in your drink.
With that being said, the one place you should always discourage cats from drinking is the toilet. Many cats like drinking toilet water as it gets oxygenated every time you flush. However, toilets are a breeding ground for bad bacteria. Try and remember to keep the toilet lid closed to discourage drinking or your cat might fall sick.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
Now you know how to get a cat to drink water, you can ensure they stay happy, healthy, and hydrated at all times. You don’t need to implement all of the above tips and tricks to see an improvement either. Choose which you are going to find the easiest to implement and stay on top of. Your cat will be drinking a lot of water in no time!
However, if you are concerned about your cat’s health at all or none of these tips seem to work, speak to your vet. A dehydrated cat can soon fall very sick! You’ll want to get your cat looked over to avoid any health complications. On the other hand, excessive thirst is also worrisome. If you notice your cat drinking a lot of water and meowing, take them in for a checkup.
Before you start cleaning up after your cat and removing all traces of worms in your home, you need to deworm your cat. There are four different types of worms – roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and heartworms – and the deworming medication you need depends on the type of worm that has infected them.. Roundworms are the most common parasite in cats …
No matter how much you try to keep parasites at bay, almost every cat will have some form of parasitic infection during their lives. Worms are particularly common in cats and are usually picked up when they are exploring the outside world.
Worms can thankfully be treated pretty easily with deworming medication. However, the symptoms of worms are pretty unpleasant! They cause your cat to have nasty bouts of sickness and diarrhea. Even the most well-trained cats will have uncontrollable outbursts on your floor.
When your cat has worms, cleaning up after them can be an absolute nightmare! Stains can seem impossible to remove from your walls and carpets, and the foul-smelling odors seem to linger long after their excrement has been cleaned up. Besides, you need to remove all worms and their eggs from every surface in your home to prevent a re-infection.
If you’re hysterically thinking “My cat has worms! How do I clean my house?!” don’t panic. I will teach you everything you need to know in this article, along with tips on preventing a future infestation so you don’t both have to go through this ever again.
How to Clean Your House After a Worm Infestation
When cleaning your home after a worm infestation, you need to do a thorough job. For one, your sick cat will likely be vomiting or have diarrhea as a symptom of the infection which can make a huge mess around your home. Secondly, if the worms and their eggs are not removed from all surfaces, worm infections can easily keep coming back.
When purging worms from your home, you need to use heat. This is the only way to ensure you kill the worms and their eggs. This step-by-step guide will take you through all the stages though, so keep reading and you’ll have a happy healthy cat and a worm-free home in no time!
1. Deworm Your Cat
Before you start cleaning up after your cat and removing all traces of worms in your home, you need to deworm your cat. There are four different types of worms – roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and heartworms – and the deworming medication you need depends on the type of worm that has infected them.
Roundworms are the most common parasite in cats and are especially common in kittens. Tapeworms also cause infections pretty frequently through the ingestion of fleas. Hookworms and heartworms are less common but shouldn’t be forgotten about. If unsure which parasite your cat has, take them to the vet who will be able to offer a firm diagnosis.
Your vet will then recommend a treatment plan and prescription. Alternatively, you can purchase deworming medication over the counter but I would always recommend getting medication from a vet, particularly if you are deworming kittens.
2. Put On Protective Equipment
Putting on protective equipment to clean your home might sound a tad dramatic. However, when dealing with worms this is a vital step you cannot afford to miss. Worm infections can be passed to humans if you accidentally ingest worm eggs that are hiding in your home. This is the last thing you’re going to want to happen!
Roundworms are the most common intestinal parasite of cats that are most likely to be transmitted to humans. Their eggs can become airborne and then inhaled by people. Therefore, you need to wear an N95-rated dust mask when dealing with roundworms, especially when cleaning up hard and dry stools.
Other protective equipment I recommend is gloves and rubber boots at a minimum. I always like to wear full-body overalls so I know I am as protected as possible. However, you may wish to wear a disposable apron instead. Always opt for disposable protective equipment where possible that can be thrown away immediately after use.
3. Clean Their Litter Tray
Once your cat has been dewormed, cleaning to remove all evidence of worms in your home can commence! The first point of call should be your cat’s litter box as eggs of roundworms and tapeworms are found in your cat’s stools.
This is especially important if your cat has roundworms as these are transmitted through feces. However, removing tapeworms eggs is equally as important. These eggs are first ingested by an intermediate host which is then eaten by the cat and causes a tapeworm infection. Therefore, removing the eggs helps to prevent these steps from happening.
You need to clean your cat’s litter box out every single day while they are recovering from worms. Always empty the tray and use a disinfectant to ensure you remove as many eggs as possible. I recommend wearing gloves and other disposable protective equipment that you can throw away immediately after use to prevent the parasites from being passed to you.
4. Clean Up Other Accidents
Of course, bouts of diarrhea and vomiting are one of the most common symptoms of cats with worms. It is essential to clean up all of these accidents as soon as possible as well. In most cases, it will just be the stools that contain worms and their eggs, but in severe infestations, it is possible to find worms in vomit too. Therefore, always handle these substances with care.
If the accident is on a hard surface, you can soak and wipe up as much of the mess as possible using tissue or paper towels. Use boiling hot water and a detergent to wash the floor after use. Then, follow with a disinfectant spray to remove bad bacteria. Always take caution on what products you use so you don’t damage the hard floor.
Cleaning carpet is more difficult. Wipe up what you can and then steam your carpet before applying a carpet cleaner and use it as per the directions on the bottle. It can be tempting to put higher concentrations of cleaner on your carpet to remove the stains and odors. However, this can damage the floor and it is better to clean the area multiple times instead.
Additionally, I recommend getting an enzymatic cleaner. Many cleaning products will mask smells rather than remove them, but enzymatic cleaners break down the odorous molecules to make them leave for good. Again, apply several times if needed.
5. Wipe All Hard Surfaces
Many people assume they only need to clean the surfaces that their cat has directly vomited or pooped on. However, you need to wipe all of the hard surfaces in your home after your kitty has had a worm infestation. The worms or eggs could easily have attached to your cat’s fur and been transmitted to all areas of your home.
Thankfully, worms do struggle to stay alive on hard surfaces for long periods, but it is still always better to be safe than sorry. When cleaning hard surfaces, pay particular attention to ridges and crevices. These are the most likely places that worms will congregate and manage to survive.
Using a mixture of boiling water and bleach is a great way to ensure that any remaining worms are killed. As always, do take care when using bleach though as you do not want it to stain or damage your furniture or floors. Disinfectant sprays and enzymatic cleaners work well too.
6. Deep Clean Your Carpets
Cleaning your carpets is arguably one of the most important tasks you need to do when cleaning your house after a worm infestation. Worms and their eggs can be transferred to carpets in all kinds of ways. For example, they could be found in contaminated soil or animal waste that you or your cat brings in from outside. Next thing you know, the worms are deposited on your carpet.
Many types of worms – including roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms – can all survive on carpets. Some can survive for weeks, whereas others will only survive a few days. However, the real risk is with their eggs which can survive there for even longer. For example, roundworm and tapeworm eggs survive on carpets for several months. If these are not removed immediately, they can cause a future infection down the line.
Cleaning your carpets is vital in preventing this. The best way to effectively remove worms is by using heat, so I like to start by vacuuming my carpet and then steam cleaning it. When my carpet is dry, I sprinkle a small amount of salt over the top and let it sit for a few days. Be sure to keep your cats and other animals in a separate room while you let the salt sit. Finally, vacuum the salt and dead worms and dispose of all waste immediately.
Doing this deep cleaning procedure once should be enough, but regular vacuuming and steaming can also help to remove any remaining worms so your house is completely clean.
7. Wash Soft Furnishings
Unfortunately, carpet is not the only thing worms can survive on. These pesky parasites can survive on other soft materials too, such as bedding, pet beds, cushions, blankets, and cat toys. They can easily get stuck to your cat’s fur and transmitted to these areas.
As such, you need to ensure you wash all of these soft furnishings as well. Take all of these items that your cat has been in contact with and put them in the washing machine. Be sure to use a hot cycle so that any remaining eggs die to prevent another infection in the future.
Larger fabric items in your home such as the couch or an armchair should also be cleaned if they are in a room that your cat has access to. Using a steam cleaner is the most effective as this supplies the heat needed to kill the eggs. Leather furniture can simply be wiped down with hot water and detergent.
As with cleaning hard surfaces, the crevices on soft furniture pieces are where the worm eggs are most likely to survive. Be sure you get properly stuck in and get the entire couch. Any areas you miss could result in a worm infection coming back in a few months!
8. Clean The Outside Area
Most owners will cry in despair, “My cat has worms! How do I clean my house?” However, cleaning outside your home is just as vital as cleaning the house itself, especially if you have an outdoor cat. There is no point going to endless efforts to make sure your home interior is worm-free only to find eggs and worms lurking on your patio.
Boiling water is again the best option here. Fill the kettle with boiling water and mix it with bleach. Then, pour this mixture all over your concrete patio to kill any worms that are there. Avoid using a pressure washer or powerful hose as this could just spread the parasites further around your garden.
Parasites such as worms are also sensitive to UV light and will die if the surface they are living on becomes too hot and dry under the sun’s rays. Therefore, you could also try placing a clear plastic tarpaulin sheet over any soil you think is infected and pin it down with rocks. Over a few days and weeks, the UV light will go through the plastic and kill any worms and eggs on the soil’s surface.
In small infected areas, you can alternatively remove the top layer of soil, the place where the majority of worms and their eggs will be found. Be sure to wear gloves when doing this and take the worm-infested soil to a landfill to prevent re-infection.
If your cat defecates in your garden, you also must ensure you clean up their waste immediately. The same goes for any feral or neighborhood cats that use your garden as their litter tray. Unfortunately, any of these animals may have a worm infection and, as mentioned already, transmission through feces is likely. Try to check your garden for excrement and safely remove it each day.
9. Disinfect Any Tools Used
Once you have done all the above steps, the final thing to do is to disinfect all the tools you have used throughout the process. This includes your vacuum, steam cleaner, and even the boots you were wearing when removing the worms and their eggs from your garden.
These need to all be wiped with boiling water using paper towels that you then throw away. Try to use as much disposable equipment as possible during the cleaning process, such as disposable gloves, aprons, cloths, and more. This makes it easier to ensure no worms are remaining in your home.
When you are disposing of cloths and other waste items, ensure you put them in a garbage bag and then put this bag inside another just to be on the safe side. Take this garbage to a landfill or skip so the source of infection is as far away as possible.
How to Avoid Worm Infections in Cats
Unfortunately, there is no way you can guarantee your little furry friend won’t contract these nasty parasites in the future. However, there are several preventative tactics you can use. Try to implement some or all of these and your cat’s chances of catching worms will be dramatically reduced.
- Keep Your Cat Indoors: How cats become infested depends on the type of worm we are talking about. However, in most cases, it comes from ingesting fleas or fecal matter of an infected animal. Keeping your cat indoors will lower their exposure to such substances, thus helping to keep them safe from worm infections.
- Supervise Your Cat Outside: If you don’t want to have an indoor-only cat, try only letting them outside when you are there to supervise them. Keep an eye on what your cat eats when it is exploring. Prey such as mice and birds can carry worms and can easily infect a cat.
- Give Monthly Heartworm Medication: Heartworms are the most dangerous worm parasites that can infect cats and come with severe health consequences. Providing monthly preventative heartworm medication can help avoid this potentially deadly infection.
- Apply Flea Preventative Medication: Fleas are one of the biggest causes of tapeworms in cats. The fleas will be infected and, when ingested, pass the worms and their eggs onto the feline. Keeping on top of regular flea prevention medication will help them avoid picking up fleas, which in turn reduces the chances of worms.
- Groom Your Cat Weekly: Cats are meticulous self-groomers but still benefit from you brushing their coats with a flea comb once per week, especially if you have a long-haired breed prone to matting. Brushing will help catch any parasites before the infection spreads and causes worms.
- Keep Your Home Clean: Cats will sometimes come into contact with soil or feces contaminated with worms and bring it into your home. As we have discussed, some worms and their eggs can last for months living on soft fabrics. Keeping your home clean can help to remove any lurking worms before they cause infections.
- Clean the Litter Box Regularly: If infested fecal matter is left in the litter box, it can spread to mites and fleas which in turn spreads the worms further. Be sure to scoop their waste daily and empty, clean, and refill the litter box once per week.
- Keep Animals Separate: If you have more than one pet, it is essential to keep the animal with worms away from all other pets in your home. They need to have separate litter trays, food bowls, and water bowls while staying in a different room. The fewer of your pets that contract worms, the easier they are to manage and eliminate quickly.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
Cleaning your home following a worm infection is hard work. These pesky creatures and their eggs can survive on surfaces for months on end, causing frequent re-infections. Worms can also be transmitted to people, so your furry friend isn’t the only one at risk here.
Follow my above steps and you should be able to eliminate all kinds of worms from your home for good. Don’t forget to implement the prevention methods either; avoiding worms in the first place is much easier than treating them and going through the entire cleaning process once more.