Nov. 8, 2016: I was packing for our trip to Brazil and found Hazel asleep in my mostly packed suitcase. Just a comfortable spot or does she want to go with us?!
My cat Hazel loves to sleep on or between people’s legs! In the winter, she prefers a cozy, warm blanket to be covering the human’s legs.
If she’s very content, she’ll take a cat nap with one leg stretched out.
Sometimes she needs to have her claws clipped! Two people (at least) are required: one to hold her down and one to use the clippers.
Legs & paws are also used for stretching
and for playing.
Cats are natural contortionists!
For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Pets this week, here is our cat Hazel with us doing her favorite things.
Meow! I’m Hazel and I love dinnertime – that is, HUMAN dinnertime!
I’m kind of bored with my own food, but there is always something that smells much better that my humans eat. So when I am hoping for a tidbit from their table, I sit in a very nice, polite pose, looking up at them. I sit up with my front paws together, very straight, and my tail curled behind me, like this:
My begging expression is meant to entice my humans to give me something:
Hurray! The male human is reaching down toward me with his finger – and something delectable is on it! I get nearer:
He wants me to eat the piece of meat right off his finger, but I don’t like to do that. Please put it down on the floor, I say by looking down. He insists. I might bite you, I think. But he doesn’t give in (the female human always does) so I approach, sniff, take a tentative lick….then another, and finally the morsel is in my mouth! I chew, swallow, then I’m satisfied, so I walk away…maybe to see what’s in my own food bowl.
Is your cat afraid of fireworks? I watched Hazel’s behavior during a recent thunderstorm with loud claps of thunder, and her only reaction was to move her ears back and look annoyed – the thunder was disturbing her sleep!
I found two short articles online about what to do if your cat is afraid of loud noises. With 4th of July fireworks coming up, I am posting them with their links here:
1. If your cat hides on top of cupboards or under furniture, leave him alone and do not try to coax him out. This ‘bolthole’ is where he will feel most secure. It is important that your pet can access his favourite bolthole at all times.
2. On the evenings you expect fireworks, ensure your cat is safely inside and secure doors, windows and cat flaps.
3. Plugging a Feliway® Diffuser in the room where the cat spends most of her time 48 hours before the festivities will increase her sense of security.
4. Make sure your cat is microchipped. If he does escape, frightened, confused animals can easily get lost.
5. Ensure your cat is provided with a litter tray both before and during the firework season.
6. Draw curtains to reduce the noise from outside and play music or have the TV on to help mask the noise of fireworks.
7. Ignore any fearful behaviour and do not try to comfort your cat. More importantly, do not try to pick him up or restrain him. Fearful cats prefer to be left to cope on their own.
8. Try not to go out while the fireworks are going off. Stay calm and act normally.
9. In multi-cat households, shutting cats in overnight may cause disharmony amongst your pets. A Feliway® Diffuser may help lower inter-cat tension.
10. If you are worried that your pet is taking a long time to recover from the firework festivities, speak to your vet. Your vet may also wish to refer you to a behavioural therapist.
Helping your cat cope with loud thunder and fireworks
It’s not uncommon for a cat to be afraid of loud noises, especially thunder and fireworks. They usually display by hiding. A cat suffering from a substantial fear of loud noises may begin to display anxious behavior before the thunder begins. Rain on the roof of the house, bright flashes of light or even the drop in air pressure before a storm may be enough to trigger anxiety. It is important to know what to do when the situation occurs:
Staying calm will help your cat feel safe. You might even try to play with your cat to distract from the noise of thunder of fireworks.
Make sure your cat has a safe place to seek refuge. Cats typically will run under a bed or under a chair to escape loud noises. Your cat chooses these places because she feels protected and the noise of thunder or fireworks is muffled. If your cat has not already picked out a place, provide one. Try leaving a few kibbles of a favorite Science Diet® cat food in safe place to encourage your cat to go there.
Try desensitizing your cat to loud noises so the sound becomes normal. This is usually done by playing recorded thunder at a low volume and in short intervals while you monitor your cat’s behavior. This process is long and requires patience, but in the end your cat will be much more comfortable during a storm or near a fireworks display.
Each of my cats had a different attitude toward sleeping with people. Kirry, my childhood cat, didn’t get to spend all night in someone’s bed, because my parents put both of our pets (a cat and a dog) in the garage,where they each had their own bed. I don’t know what Kirry thought of this arrangement, as he would try to swipe Corky (the dog) with his claws every time he came near.
But even though he had to spend the night in the garage, he would still be sleeping either with me or my brother until my parents came to get him.
Kirry was the only cat I’ve had that liked to sleep UNDER the covers! He would burrow under the blankets and sheet and crawl alongside me, usually settling down somewhere around my legs. Sometimes, he’d sleep on my chest or even put his head on the pillow! He would also purr in contentment and knead whichever body part he was next to with his paws.
When Fernando (my first husband) visited me at my parents’ house, he was sleeping very comfortably one night and Kirry jumped on the bed. As usual he burrowed under the covers, and started to knead Fernando’s back. Fernando moved forward a little bit to accommodate him,but Kirry pushed up against his back again and started kneading with his paws! Fernando moved again. This happened several times until finally Fernando was at the edge of the bed! He got up and looked with exasperation down at Kirry lying in his place!
Kirry was contently lying now in the center of the bed, with his head on the pillow and purring loudly.
Kirry loved sleeping on beds so much that it was difficult to change the sheets! I would pick him up and put him on the floor, then begin putting on the bottom sheet. He jumped back on the bed. I took him off again and started to lay the top sheet. I was lucky if I was able to get it smooth and even before he jumped on the bed again! No matter how many times I picked him up and took him off the bed – putting on the blankets, putting on the bedspread – he insisted on being on the bed and jumped right up on it again each and every time!
Joia, Fernando’s and my cat, came to us as a kitten. She was always very skittish, very afraid of people. She did sleep with us, but usually on the corner of the bed – she NEVER got under the covers! If I tried to put her there, she’d try to bite me and jump off the bed. She did love to sleep on our laps.
She had a particular fondness for corduroy – if one of us was wearing corduroy pants, she would jump on the corduroy lap and settle down! She’d still get on one of our laps if we were wearing other clothes, but the corduroy was her favorite. She never slept on bare skin, for which I am glad!
Joia, like my other cats, did like to play with feet and toes that moved under the blankets. This was fine except in the summer, when the covers are so thin they don’t protect our skin from claws and teeth!
Hazel also has her own special sleeping habits. At night, my husband and I usually read in bed for awhile before turning off the lap. Hazel lurks in the hallway, on the stairs, or in another room until she’s pretty confident we’re asleep – we’re lying still and we’re not talking. Then and only then she jumps up on the bed. It’s when she is searching for a nesting place on the bed that she begins purring. Her preferred place to settle down is between my legs. If I’m lying with my legs together, she’ll stand on them and meow at me, until I open them wide enough for her to nest. She then fits herself into the space I’ve made for her – either curled up in a ball, or stretched down the length of my legs, and continues to purr until she falls asleep.
I always have to change positions or get up to go to the bathroom during the night. Her nesting place disturbed, Hazel gets up and jumps off the bed. Sometimes she comes back, sometimes not.
If we are both lying on our side when she comes in, she will climb up my husband’s hips and torso and settle herself next to his chest. But since Dale moves around a lot in his sleep, while I don’t, she generally prefers sleeping between my legs. And yes, sometimes she kneads me with her paws – right on the crotch!
She also enjoys sleeping on the recliner when one of us is sitting there, especially if we have a blanket over our legs. She likes to sleep on the actual chair rather than our legs, so she jumps up and pushes our legs aside so she can squeeze in between them, then starts to purr!