The Raw Food Diet ~ Essential For Sustainable Health and Well-Being  

Table of Contents

What Is a Raw Food Diet?
Not a Trend but True Nutrition
BARF and Dr. Billinghurst
BARF Is Species-Specific
Dispelling Myths of Raw Food
Why Kibble Isn’t Food
The Role of Living Enzymes Found in Raw Food
Why Raw Bones Are Necessary
Types of Raw Bones
Any Age Is the Right Age
How Raw Nutrients Affect the Mind
Well-Being, Behavior, and Training
How To Transition from Kibble to Raw
Cleansing Effect of Raw Food
Signs of Wellness Unfolding
How to Start

What Is a Raw Food Diet?

One of the things that make animal families different from one other is diet. Each family has unique nutritional needs based on available foods in the natural environment. Tens of millions of years ago, the cat family specialized in climbing, pouncing, and grabbing. On the other hand, the canid family adapted to the drying climate by chasing prey running on the plains. As a result, dogs’ ancestors evolved sensitive noses, strong legs built for speed, and stamina to hunt for hours on end.

Their digestive systems were able to make use of all parts of prey: not only muscles and bones, but also organs such as the liver and brain, and stomach with contents. For added moisture and nourishment, these predators also consumed seasonal fruits, grasses, nuts, and other plant material.

This varied diet was fresh, raw, and nutrient-dense.

Not a Trend but True Nutrition

As a species, we enjoy cultural fads: trying new things and enjoying the prestige of flaunting the latest cultural whims. However, the raw food diet is no trend — it’s been around since life began. Cooking is a recent behavior practiced only by human-type critters. Heat does make certain foods easier to chew and absorb, but that only matters to animals lacking the ability to digest large fibrous chunks.

Canines need raw food to keep their teeth clean and their jaw muscles strong. Gnawing is an instinctual activity providing stress relief and recreational pleasure. Manufactured pet foods are highly processed. Although they contain added nutrients, many are incomplete, altered by heating, and produced by whatever method is cheapest and fastest.

BARF and Dr. Billinghurst

An increasing number of pet nutritionists are supporting the idea of the BARF diet. The word “diet” in common use refers to a temporary change in one’s eating habits, especially to lose weight. The true definition describes one’s usual nutritional intake. BARF is an abbreviation for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.

Australian veterinarian Dr. Ian Billinghurst, founder of the BARF diet, believes in health benefits from nature: clean air, clean water, sunshine, live plants, and raw, uncontaminated foods. The right diet for pets and humans alike, he contends, is not about maintaining their existence at the lowest mass-production cost, but about promoting maximum health, energy, and mental functioning.


Click Here for Dr. Billiinghurst’s Book

BARF Is Species-Specific

Since no single pet food meets all pets’ needs, the BARF diet is adjusted to provide the appropriate nourishment for each species according to age, health condition, weight, and activity level.

For example, kittens have developing immune systems along with rapid growth, so they require a diet that’s different from that of a nursing mother, a feral adult cat in the wild, and an aging cat with diabetes. Similarly, while horses and cattle are both foragers, they don’t digest fiber the same way. The equine system has only a single-chambered stomach requiring very specific plant types. Cattle are ruminants that chew cud and ferment fiber in their four-chambered stomachs. Providing only cattle feed to horses can be fatal.

Some meat-eating animals are obligate carnivores, meaning that they are obligated to consume animal products because their bodies can’t manufacture particular nutrients. Taurine, an essential amino acid found only in proteins from animal sources, legally must be added to processed cat food. Cats are unable to store taurine so it needs to be eaten regularly. A raw cat food diet provides taurine from organ meats in its freshest form.

Dogs are considered facultative carnivores: they prefer a variety of meats for most of their dietary intake, but their digestive systems have additional enzymes to break down carbohydrates to extract necessary ingredients. Omnivores are opportunistic, eating whatever is available. Facultative carnivores prefer meat but incorporate other types of edibles.

As you can see, there is no single BARF formula, but several raw pet food variations to meet the needs of each beloved critter.

Dispelling Myths of Raw Food

Some people fear using raw pet food, wrongly believing it to be dangerous. One myth is the presence of salmonella and other biological contaminants. Nutritious food isn’t dangerous unless improperly handled by humans. Foodborne illnesses are prevented by awareness of the environments promoting the growth of microorganisms. BARF principles, when carried out correctly and consistently, mandate the use of clean, fresh foods from reliable sources.

Another phobia relates to bones. While cooked bones are extremely dangerous because they’re dry and splinter like wood, in the wild raw bones are essential for health. Powerful molars slice soft bones into small, easily digestible pieces, providing iron-rich marrow, fats, collagen and other proteins, and several minerals. Larger bones are essential for dental health because gnawing removes tartar and strengthens the tooth roots anchored in the jaw.

Humans often start out with good intentions but become lax in their food-handling practices. Too often raw food itself is blamed for causing problems. Sadly the same situation occurs with “unmanageable” dogs left at the dog pound when the cause is human failure to provide training.

Why Kibble Isn’t Food

Kibble (a trendy word for animal chow) is usually a uniform, heated, dried food mixture of cheap ingredients formed into bite-sized nuggets. Kibble is designed for the convenience of manufacturers and pet owners wanting to store non-perishable feed. The issue is that most kibbles are highly processed, resulting in the loss of many nutrients.


Not only does heating break down many vitamins and proteins, but the addition of carbohydrate fillers such as corn meal overloads the kibble with extra calories. Preservatives, artificial flavors, and colorings appeal more to the purchasers than the pets.

Although processed food temporarily satisfies an animal’s hunger, it isn’t nutrient-dense enough to last long. BARF-type diets pack more punch per pound because they’re what nature intended, so they’re easily absorbed. Your pet not only feels more satisfied but poops less.

The Role of Living Enzymes Found in Raw Food

benefits of raw food diets for cats

Although human and canine bodies manufacture most necessary enzymes, consuming raw fruits and vegetables provides a healthful enzyme boost. What’s more, fresh, raw organ meats from reliable disease-free sources offer many other benefits. BARF raw dog food and cat food contain approximately 10-15% organ meat, half of that liver.

Dogs and even cats can also benefit from small quantities of fermented food such as plain kefir, yogurt, and sauerkraut.

Why Raw Bones Are Necessary

Raw bones are a natural part of carnivorous and omnivorous diets. They’re not only the highest-ranking sources of minerals, but they also contain several different proteins. Did you know that archaeologists have evidence of early humans grinding the entire carcasses of birds and other small animals as part of their food preparation?

Check out our Happy Tails article on why your dog needs raw chicken bones. Since raw bones are soft, they’re flexible and not likely to splinter the way brittle cooked bones will. They help satisfy the natural predatory urge to chew, calming the spirit at the same time.

Speaking of calming the spirit, providing a large raw bone for short-term supervised chewing may result in the bone suddenly disappearing. That’s a good thing because dogs are driven to save carcass parts from scavengers by burying them, anticipating the pleasure of digging up the hidden treasure later.

The scientific explanation behind the calming effect of raw bones is that the act of chewing appears to suppress the production of certain stress hormones, stimulates the production of certain endorphins, and improves some cognitive functions. In humans, chewing gum during prenatal stress may even reduce the likelihood of learning disabilities in the offspring.

Types of Raw Bones

Opinions vary on bones, but the main consideration is safety. Always offer a meaty bone for a short amount of time in your presence to watch for dental problems or choking. Prevent other pets, especially other dogs, from being around. Offer beef tails or small bones such as poultry or rabbit necks initially, preferably after your dog has eaten so the bone won’t be impulsively gulped down. Since too much bone in the diet can cause constipation or intestinal blockage, give raw bones occasionally at first and always monitor stools.

Use the freshest bones available, preferably from a local butcher rather than a chain grocery store. The most nutritious bones still have meat, gristle, membranes, fat, and marrow. Be sure to refrigerate or freeze whatever is left to minimize bacterial growth.

Since the process of weight-bearing — standing and moving — increases bone density, the leg bones of large grazing animals such as cattle or bison are ideal for hours of pleasurable gnawing. Hollow marrow cavities can be stuffed with unsweetened peanut butter or moist dog food for added enjoyment.

Healthful replacements for chemical-laden rawhide, a variety of raw bones are good for your dog.

Any Age Is the Right Age

Here are two basic principles of good health: one is that beneficial practices can be started at any age. The other is that changes of any kind are often most effective when started gradually. Switching to a BARF-type diet is no exception.   Studies show that all pets can show improvement with a fresh, natural, balanced diet, but if digestive issues are significant, more time may be needed to adjust to the changes.

How Raw Nutrients Affect the Mind

It’s not surprising that many nutrition experts celebrate “raw food for a better mood.” We all feel better when we’re healthy. Daily well-balanced nutrition not only supports the brain but also the circulatory system that keeps the brain oxygenated. All the systems work together. The brain itself needs plenty of fresh, clean water as well as omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish (especially salmon and sardines), seaweed and algae, and Brussels sprouts.

Well-Being, Behavior, and Training

Well-known studies document that children do better in school when they start the day with a nutrient-dense breakfast. In addition to fueling the brain, daily nutrition promotes a feeling of safety and security, decreasing fear, and increasing self-confidence. Can there be an easier way to cultivate your pets’ calmness and receptivity to new learning? Being awake and alert creates more teachable moments for effective training.

How To Transition from Kibble to Raw

Wait for a time when your household is generally peaceful and there are no major events or distractions for you or your pet.  Some people opt for a quick switch after their dog or cat goes on a 24-hour fast. Others omit the fast and extend the transition to a week or two, substituting small portions of raw food for kibble. Many pets respond eagerly to bites of BARF-style food as rewards or treats.  Poultry and rabbit can be more digestible than other meats and may be a good place to start.

As the transition progresses, your pet may seem hungrier than usual because kibble expands inside the stomach. It takes less raw food to provide nutrition because it is nutrient-dense. Your pet will eventually adjust as well-being increases. Digestive upsets aren’t unusual, so don’t be alarmed if you observe some nausea, gas, and/or loose stools. The “good bacteria” in the intestines require a little time to adjust to the new foods.

Cleansing Effect of Raw Food

In the beginning, when switching to a raw food diet the nutrients are highly absorbed by the body and will begin cleansing and clearing out what does not belong there.  It’s quite amazing how the correct food will automatically begin to heal the body.  It can throw off toxins, chemicals, pathogens, heavy metals and other things never designed for the body.  There can be a temporary cleansing response of diarrhea and or vomiting.

This is NOT the food itself but the healing quality of integrating a raw food diet.  This period can last for a week or two and even be off and on.  This is very important to understand.  The gut flora is also rebalancing itself due to the introduction of living enzymes within the raw food.

Because raw food lacks fillers and is pure nutrition, you’ll notice bowel movements being much smaller this is normal.  Another added benefit is that the poop is much less odiferous!

Signs of Wellness Unfolding

can cats eat chicken bones

Over the next weeks, more health benefits will become apparent. A stronger immune system means fewer ear infections, cleaner teeth, better breath, more supple skin with few flakes, a shinier coat that smells naturally fresh, gradual weight loss, a more relaxed gait, bouncier energy, and a happier mood. All that.

How to Start

To learn more about how the world will change for you and your dog or cat, look at Dr. Billinghurst’s book, The BARF Diet: Restoring Animal Wellness Using Evolutionary Principles — Raw Feeding for Dogs & Cats. The first chapters provide scientific backup for the principles of the BARF diet, also discussing many of the health benefits in detail.

The second part of the book explains the meaning of the concept of “complete and balanced” feeding. Not only does it address fears often attached to raw foods, but it provides directions on switching from kibble and several recipes to try.

Although Dr. Billinghurst has written several books throughout his career, this one is the primer and go-to source for learning about the Biologically Appropriate Raw Diet.

To get started on a raw food diet immediately either in the form of frozen raw patties or chubs or freeze-dried look at these BARF principled pre-made raw food.

Why Is My Cat So Clingy? ~ Hint: It’s Not About You

You want to know “Why is my cat so clingy?” Good question. The truth is that there isn’t just one answer. Possibilities range from unmet basic needs to the fact that a domestic kitty is always trying to communicate with you one way or another. Or you may just have a very adoring feline friend!

But wait — there’s more! Did you know that cats experience hourly, daily, and weekly cycles unique to the species and even more unique to individual cats? For example, some prefer companionship and cuddles at night, some in the morning, some all the time, and some none of the time. Some don’t want to be touched after they groom or clean. These patterns might change, too. Don’t ever take it personally, but instead learn to accept it as part of their feline ways. They love you regardless.

Cats are individuals but their behaviors become easier to interpret when you understand their needs, communication, and emotions. We’re here to help. There’s a glossary near the end of this post to clarify words in bold.

What Does “Clingy” Mean?

“Why is my cat so clingy?” you ask. We can’t talk about solutions until we explain the term. It’s a very subjective word, too often expressing a feeling of annoyance that your feline is a pest or even a “scaredy-cat.” Put yourself in your cat’s paws, though. Domesticated cats depend on our caring. Provided their most important needs are met, cats feeling close to you and trusting you is beautiful! They express the beautiful relationship they share with their person by being nearby. And what a comfort!

We can redefine clinginess to possibly include some other meanings:

  • Adoring
  • Affectionate
  • Attached
  • Needing something
  • Bonded
  • Cuddlesome
  • Devoted
  • Doting, fond
  • Lonely, feeling deserted
  • Smitten, overcome with attraction

Have you ever felt clingy? Do you think all humans have been clingy at some time in their lives? What were some causes? Can you tell the difference between an individual’s natural personality versus a change in personality?

If your pet wanting to be close to you is annoying, remember to examine your own issues. You might be reacting to memories of a person in your past who was possessive or overly controlling. Just as your cat has been affected by experiences of being hurt by humans, you can be as well.

Why Is My Cat So Needy?

The answer to the question is in the question. Your cat is so needy because your cat needs something. Your job is to be a detective like Sherlock Holmes and follow the clues to find out what your kitty needs. No worries, though, that’s where we come in — our job is doing most of the research for you.

Here’s a simplified list of your cat’s basic needs. Based on psychologist Dr. Abraham Maslow’s studies, it’s pretty much what all sentient beings need:

  • Physiological needs: Air, water, food, shelter, and sleep
  • Safety: Personal health, stability, and a suitable territory providing access for hunting and self-care
  • Connection: Bonding with family, tribe, colony, pack, or society
  • Esteem and freedom: Confidence, opportunities to learn and practice new skills to adapt to new situations
  • Self-actualization: Expressing one’s true self, doing what is natural for to feline species: hunting, playing, solving problems, experiencing psychological, emotional, and physical stimulation

One of the absolute best things you can do for your kitty is to create a catio. It’s a dream hideaway designed just for cats to meet all their needs. Although it’s enclosed, it gives them the freedom to smell and watch the Great Outdoors while surrounded by live plants and fresh air. It has space to exercise as well as spots to climb, perch, hide, scratch, and take care of business in peace and safety.

A few cardboard boxes wouldn’t hurt, either. Read our Happy Tails post to learn all about catios. You’ll no longer be asking, “Why is my cat being so clingy?” because you’ll have created Heaven on Earth for sure!

Why Is My Cat Being So Clingy and Vocal

In wondering, “Why is my cat so clingy?” you might have figured out by now that your cat either has a problem or is fine except for missing your company! Felines are pretty clear about communicating what they want if you speak the language. They’re usually much more vocal with humans than each other, so their commentaries are specifically directed to you regarding a concern with their wellbeing. As you know, some kitties are more vocal than others so even if he or she just wants some cuddle time, you’re going to know.

Cat Communication

why is my cat so clingy all of a sudden

Among themselves, cats use several methods of communication. Because their sense of smell is so powerful, they have numerous scent glands all over their bodies to mark territory as well as each other. When cats rub against you, they’re marking you as part of their family.

Cats also use tactile methods such as rubbing to get your attention since humans can’t respond to scent messages. Humans are more familiar with vocal communication and body language. As with any language, the more you learn and practice, the better you’ll be at “conversing.”

How Do Cats Think?

Felines have been around for tens of millions of years. They developed bodies and skills to become successful predators. Around 10,000 years ago these usually solitary hunters discovered that humans growing wheat and other grasses attracted rodents. Easy meals! It was a natural partnership because humans enjoyed the cats’ beauty, playfulness, and affection. Feline thinking is based on survival involving a combination of physical and mental skills.

Domestic cats have thrived with humans when they can freely live their feline lives:

  • Safe exposure to the outdoors including plants and other animals
  • Exploration and use all of their senses
  • Territory in which to exercise, climb, scratch, hide, and play
  • Mental stimulation and enrichment
  • Companionship, socialization, and affection — although predators themselves, domestic cats are small enough to be prey for larger animals including hawks, coyotes, dogs, and black vultures

Our Happy Tails post explains more about feline mental processes.

What Do Cats Feel?

Emotions are woven into physical and mental health. Cats can feel lonely from separation anxiety, but also from a history of isolation or being removed from their mothers earlier than 12-14 weeks. When overindulged by humans, cats become accustomed to certain routines: they aren’t “spoiled” but suffer from unrealistic expectations. Cats can definitely feel bored and frustrated, but again, that’s a result of confinement by humans depriving them of mental and physical stimulation.

Insecurity and fear result from disruptive, unstable situations. On it goes. “Why is my cat so clingy?” So-called clingy behaviors are often feline attempts to communicate their feelings to their humans. Cats are compassionately aware of orphaned infants of all species and human feelings as well as health conditions, often demonstrating concern. People close to animals fully believe that felines are capable of gratitude and great love.

Why Is My Cat So Clingy after the Vet?

Poor humans have little understanding of animals’ sense of smell! Most animals perceive a world of which we have limited awareness. If you had an olfactory ability like that of a bear or a bloodhound, what would you detect at the vet’s office? Fear, terror, illness, blood, pus, dying, and death.

Experience has taught them that there’s good reason to be petrified of going into noisy facilities where busy strangers with metal and chemicals do incomprehensible things. They’re afraid of being deserted. Asking “Why is my cat so clingy?” might lead to answers about a painful past.

Many cat people prefer holistic veterinary practices where the treatments address the entire patient — species-specific needs, mental and emotional needs as well as social factors — rather than just the medical symptoms. The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association offers an ever-growing directory of doctors who can help explore and explain feline behavioral questions.

Are Cats Really Independent?

Yes and no. As we’ve discussed, domestic cats have integrated with humans for a long time for each species’ mutual benefit. Each relationship is different. When animals are elderly or  compromised in any way, it’s not unusual for them to depend on their people in ways they never needed to during their youth. This is one reason why a predictable daily routine is so important. When cats develop strong bonds, it’s natural to communicate their emotions including their affection for their human companions.

Feline Insecurity And Vital Nutrition

raw and fresh cat food

Now is a good time to discuss ‘real’ nutrition. The phrase “food insecurity” is one of the buzzwords of the past few years. It refers not only to lack of food but also to lack of proper food. To make a profit, too many pet food manufacturers cut corners by adding cheap filler ingredients such as unidentified meat by-products, overprocessed grains, chemical dyes, and preservatives. The cooking process that dries kibble also deactivates vital nutrients and eliminates the moisture content. In nature, felines get most of their water from fresh meat.

A homemade fresh raw diet or a pre-made freeze dried or frozen raw diet contains loads of Taurine, a calming amino acid required by felines for a calm nervous system.  Taurine is also required many physiological processes of the feline chemistry and metabolism.

Cats often feel insecure because they are food insecure or in other words not getting vital ingredients. They do best with a variety of unprocessed foods that include clean organ meats and small, soft, raw bones. Read about the BARF-type diets made especially for felines’ needs. BARF is the acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, a formulation of balanced nutrient-dense foods.

When animals, including human animals, have a regular diet of healthful foods and plenty of chemical-free water, amazing things happen. With all the necessary building blocks for health and with good hydration, critters feel calmer and more confident.

“Why is my cat so clingy?” Maybe your cat is just HANGRY for good quality food! Truly, you’d be amazed at the change in your cat’s temperament with this single most important requirement.

Why Is My Cat So Clingy at Night?

Because cats are usually AWAKE at night and you’re not! They’re crepuscular, meaning that for thousands of years they’ve done most of their hunting at dawn and dusk when prey is out and about. Your cat is your buddy and wants to hang with you, and after sleeping all day, the best time is the night time!

Cat can also adapt to regular household routines as well though, such as your hibernating hours.  They can often will sleep the whole night through with you, on your bed, or curled up in the nook of your legs.  Sometimes under the covers.

How Are Cats and People Alike?

Cats are like people in that they each have individual personalities. They show their affection differently — think of some of the people you’re close to. How readily do they express difficult emotions? Do they use body language more than spoken words? Do they like to spend time with you but not interact much?

Have you noticed some people being pretty solitary but still maintaining a connection? Are some emotionally unpredictable? You don’t want to anthropomorphize by treating your cat like a furry little human, but we do share sentience.

Why Is My Cat So Attached to Me Lately?

Think about what’s changed in your kitty’s life recently. Change is scary for most of us so we appreciate emotional support from friends we trust. Remember all the times you felt disoriented by changes in your life: your parents moved the furniture around. You got fired from your job. Your dog had puppies. A hurricane hit that was worse than expected. You lost a tooth. Your cat is no different from you in that way and needs your support.


Assessing Clinginess: A CHECKLIST

This is a general tool to use regularly for your cat’s wellbeing:

□ INVESTIGATION: Have your cat’s usual behaviors changed? What has changed in the daily routine?

□ HEALTH: Check your cat head to toe (ears, eyes, teeth, skin and fur, paws, genital area, tail) for swelling, wounds, discharge, tender spots, abnormal coloration, abnormal sounds such as wheezing, abnormal odors, etc. Observe for changes in eating, drinking, and activity; when possible, check bowel movements and urine for changes. Consult your kitty’s vet if it’s been a while.

□ NUTRITION and HYDRATION: Offer ample fresh water and clean, high-quality nutritious food.

□ SAFETY: Provide a space that’s safe, sanitary, predictable, and quiet. It should furnish hidey-holes, spots for napping, and several clean cat boxes containing chemical-free litter.

□ MENTAL and EMOTIONAL FULFILLMENT: Ensure that your feline’s psychological needs are met by exposure to different kinds of sights, smells, sounds, activities, and experiences. Cats trust you for socialization with friends (of any species), shared time to give and receive affection, and an environment without fear.

□ EXERCISE: Provide daily opportunities to play, exercise, hunt, explore, scratch, climb, and use all the senses.

□ ROUTINE: Create a generally predictable schedule to prevent disruption by unnecessary changes.

□ ACCEPTANCE OF INDIVIDUALITY: Remember that the cat with whom you share your life may simply love your warmth, attention, and close proximity.


  • Observe life from a cat’s point of view.
  • Make time to learn about their language and needs.
  • Cats love routines, so try to keep life predictable by scheduling playtime and cuddle times.
  • Stay calm, don’t yell, and avoid loud, sudden noises.
  • Introduce new things slowly. Offer extra reassurance when changes in the household take place (moving, loss, death, a new family member, weather drama, illness, etc.)
  • Provide appropriate shelter, easy access to food and water, clean litter boxes, comfy places to hide, scratching areas, and toys.
  • Cats need outside in one way or another. A CATIO is best when possible, but even an indoor sort of garden catio will make a difference with a window. Felines crave smelling outside air. Go on supervised outings with a halter and leash if your kitty isn’t afraid.

Final Thoughts

When asking, “Why is my cat so clingy?” did it ever occur to you that your kitty is concerned about you? It’s well documented that cats tune in to human emotions and frequently respond to our sadness and anxiety. Pregnant women have reported their feline friend’s interest in the growing baby. Cats are incredibly sensitive beings. If they think you’re not getting the message, they’ll keep trying to tell you! They might want your help, or maybe it’s just as the Carpenters sang, “They long to be close to you …”


Anthropomorphize: Treating animals as if they had a human mentality and behaviors instead of recognizing each species’ similarities with and differences from humans
Buzzword: A phrase or word emerging suddenly into popular use
Catio: “Cat” + “patio” — an enclosed feline heaven you create with spots to climb, hide, nap, and do other cat things
Crepuscular: Most active at dawn and dusk, resting during daylight and nighttime hours
Hangry: “Hungry” + “angry” — crabby, needy, clingy, frustrated due to craving nutrition
Holistic: Focusing on the entire individual’s mental, emotional, and social needs as well as species-specific needs rather than a single isolated aspect; often used to indicate medical care that integrates western practices as well as ancient traditional practices and experimental methods all according to the needs of the individual patient’s desiresPhysiological: Relating to physical needs and functions
Self-actualization: Confident in expressing one’s individual self and personality
Sentient: Having conscious awareness of self and changes in one’s environment
Subjective: Interpreted by a person’s personal feelings and opinions without considering other causes; seeing only through the lens of one’s own experiences
Tactile: Relating to the sense of touch, meaning pressure, temperature, vibration, etc.



Meowslow‘s Hierarchy of Needs


How Long Does A Cat Hold A Grudge? Or Is It?

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All animals are sentient beings but since the question, “how long does a cat hold a grudge?” is referring specifically to cats, let’s talk about cats. First of all, sentience is defined as having a conscious awareness: the ability to think, feel emotions, perceive and experience life.

The question is really about the ways that you notice them acting differently. Does your cat seem less affectionate? Acting aloof? Not taking interest? Possibly biting, hissing, or scratching? Hiding in unfamiliar locations? Even avoiding eating? Do you want to understand why your cat appears to be holding a grudge but is really communicating something to you?

Presented here are some concepts to consider and ideals to implement to resolve the most common inharmonies.

Near the end of this post is a glossary for you that explains any words in bold type.

Is It Really A Grudge

Animals live in the present moment and are incapable of holding a grudge as humans tend to do. Cleveland Amory once commented that “As anyone who has ever been around a cat for any length of time well knows, cats have enormous patience with the limitations of humankind.” Cats don’t hold grudges, but instead are communicating to you that something is not right in their world.

We humans often anthropomorphize our pets and other animals, interpreting their behaviors and emotions to human characteristics. Though animals feel emotions, the don’t have motives as humans do. They are honest in their communication. Describing cats as passive~aggressive is another misnomer, changeable and spontaneous is certainly a more accurate descriptive. Grudge is a hard word to try to define a cat by or any animal.

The truth is that we have a lot to learn from the other creatures on Earth and the way they communicate. Because they don’t use words, it’s on us to focus on what they want to convey. Please join along as we consider our feline friends’ most critical needs and what they’re trying to tell us.

What’s Upsetting Your Cat?

how long do cats hold grudges

The general answer is CHANGES — internal or external changes in their world. Environmental changes, something we all experience, can be challenging:

  • A recent move or a rearrangement within the home: Cats like predictability even though they themselves are often unpredictable.
  • A new dog or cat in the house might demand your attention or claim your cat’s territory.
  • A new person or persons in the home change the “pecking order.”
  • The loss of an animal or human member of the household: part of the family is suddenly gone. Cats grieve just as dogs, rabbits, birds, horses, and other pets do.
  • Schedule changes: Is your cat missing your special time together?
  • Dietary changes, especially to a less healthful diet, can upset your cat. We’ll talk more about that momentarily.

Internal changes might include the following:

  • A poor diet deprives your pet of the necessary nutrients needed for survival and maintaining a calm temperament. You want to know “how long does a cat hold a grudge?” A better question is “How long does a cat act HANGRY?”Diet is one of the most important things to take the edge off a crabby cat’s disposition. *See below for information on diet.
  • Toxic environments both indoors and out will silently dose your feline with dangerous chemicals, slowly affecting everyone who spends time there.
  • Chemicals and particles of manufactured cat litter can be inhaled or licked off the paws, building up over time. Choose clean, chemical-free, natural cat litters.
  • Any medical condition that makes your cat feel weak or ill can generate symptoms such as skin sensitivity, pain, isolating behavior, loss of appetite, and crankiness.

“Diet is one of the most important things to take the edge off a crabby cat’s disposition”.

But how do you know when to take your furbaby to the vet? Check out our Happy Tails post to learn the answer to that question. Many pet lovers are finding that some of the most open-minded veterinary care is offered by clinicians who practice holistic medicine: blending the best of standard modern methods with more natural and traditional methods.

Their goal is to treat the entire animal as an individual with emotional and social needs as well as physical needs involving all of the body’s systems. The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association provides a directory of holistic vets updated as new information comes in.

How Often Do You Take A Cat To The Vet? Complete Guide 2022

A final thing that is upsetting to your cat is baggage. It’s not your fault. This popular psychological term refers to the weight of the past that individuals drag around with them whether they need it or not. A feral cat or an abused cat suffering from physical and emotional trauma will need time to feel safe and build trust.

Such a soul will eventually respond to your patience, love, and proper nutrition. It’s not a grudge but rather a communication and possibly a personal history of being deprived of safety and security.

What Cats Love

How long does a cat hold a grudge? A better question is, “How long does a cat feel gratitude?” Do you want to research the answer? Here’s how! Offer these to your cat:

  • Good food and water
  • A clean and private bathroom space
  • Safe exposure to the outside world (smelling, seeing, and hearing), whether on walks with a halter and leash, an enclosed tent with plastic windows, or an enclosed playpen; keep reading to learn about CATIOs!
  • To be able to watch birds
  • Places to claw and scratch
  • High places to climb and perch
  • Hidey-holes
  • Naps in comfy places
  • An interesting and stimulating environment to explore
  • To groom and be groomed
  • Daily playtime
  • To be with you

How Does A Cat’s Diet Affect Mood?

Yummy food and yummy water! Feeding your kitties right will not only extend their lifespan and promote wellbeing, but will also keep them content and relaxed.

Cats eat all kinds of things that seem repulsive to humans, but you probably eat things that seem repulsive to other humans, isn’t that right? To thrive, cats need fresh, nutritious food. They don’t eat dry kibble in the wild.

Not only do they devour the muscle meat of prey animals, but also organ meats such as the heart, lungs, liver, stomach, kidneys, and more. They devour the soft bones of small prey to satisfy their need to bite and chew.

Given the opportunity, your precious baby will often eat the entire body. Taurine is a building block of certain proteins that comes from fresh animal sources. Humans and certain other animals can manufacture it but cats can’t. They must consume it daily because their bodies can’t store it long.

Did you know the absolute best source for taurine? Mice! No wonder the ancient cats decided to hang around farms! The most convenient source is a raw food diet because taurine is found in abundance in MEAT. Hence, the drive for mice …..

So what does “high quality” mean, anyway? We hear that term in advertising so much that we often tune it out. It’s real, though. Poor quality cat food means cheap fillers, uninspected meat scraps, additives including dyes and preservatives, overcooked ingredients containing few nutrients, and little taurine.

What Is A Biologically Appropriate Diet

The ideal diet is fresh, organic, well-balanced in the right proportions, and raw when possible. In the wild, cats are obligate carnivores but do consume a variety of available foods including grasses as well as some veggies and fruits. Domesticated pets prefer a varied diet the same way you do.

BARF-type diets are becoming increasingly popular. It won’t make your pets barf! B.A.R.F. stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods. You can make it yourself but it’s important not to slack or your cat will suffer for it. You can add BARF-type supplements while maintaining the usual diet. You can also purchase fresh ready-made feline BARF foods.

Water is a nutrient, too. Although felines in the wild get much of their water from the food they eat — fresh, juicy prey animals — your kitty cat will appreciate several bowls of clean water (bottled spring water or quality filtered) in various locations. Be sure to place them in quiet spots away from the litter box.

A fun fact: cats LOVE running water! They love the sound, the flickering light and movement, and the freshly oxygenated taste. They love to play with it, as you might have observed in your kitchen or bathroom. Many cat lovers buy portable water fountains just for their furbabies. To learn more, look at our post on the best way to provide cats with the water they need.

Heaven on Earth: A Catio

cat garden

A catio is just what it sounds like: a cat patio. Picture the most perfect patio imaginable with food, drink, comfy places to lounge, lots of green plants, viewing spots to watch the world, and guaranteed safety so no unwanted people or critters can invade your peace.

Cats not only want this but need this, with a few modifications. Watch the video link above to get ideas about different kinds of catios you can construct. Read over our list under the heading “What Cats Love” above. And check out the information on catios in our Happy Tails post. One of the lovely things about a catio is that you and your kitty can enjoy it together.

“Cats Are So Independent” — Sometimes!

Except for lions, most all felines are solo hunters. Nevertheless, just as the ancestors of dogs split off from their common wolf forebears, housecats developed from small cats from the Middle East. Scientists believe that cats and humans have been associating with each other for about 12,000 years, about the time that the practice of agriculture began.

Some say that kitties chose to domesticate themselves! Unlike dogs who assisted with the hunt, cats didn’t assist with anything. They did go after the rodents that invaded the grain harvests, and they also cleaned up the leavings from successful fishing expeditions. As Kristin Cast quipped, “Cats choose us; we don’t own them.”

A Little Feline History

Domesticated cats likely spread from the Middle East to the rest of the world on ships where they kept down the rat population. They also provided amusement and affection for bored, lonely sailors on long voyages.

Modern cats have adapted well to living with and near humans. Feral cat colonies consist of loosely associated groups of neighborhood cats with a social structure that shifts as group members come and go. Like the saying to follow the money, membership changes over time depending on the availability of food and shelter.

Unlike their wild ancestors, today’s domestic cats readily form bonds with other animals. Social media delight in videos of cats cuddling with dogs, ducks, parakeets, chickens, lizards, and more. The list is endless. How long does a cat hold a grudge? In fact, felines seem more likely to hold love in their hearts.

Understanding Cats & Cat Psychology

Cats are misunderstood by many people. Expecting a cat to respond like a dog will result in disappointment. Yet those same people who think like that would probably never expect their horses to think like cattle.

The psychology of hunters is different from the psychology of prey. Hunters must be alert, smart, curious about their environment, and ready to crouch or pounce depending on the situation. They have to be fast and assertive. Like human warriors, cats are always in training to keep their skills sharp. Cats are incredibly sensitive beings who are affected by changes in their environment.

As a cat person, you’re well aware that your cat understands you and your language but doesn’t always go along with what you want. How long does a cat hold a grudge? They don’t hold a grudge. They’re simply responding to external and internal cues, hoping that you’ll understand when something is off.

You see why a catio meets so many of your pussycat’s needs.

Before You Hold a Grudge, Hold a Conversation

How long does a cat hold a grudge? While we do our best to provide you with accurate, up-to-date, and evidence-based information, you still need to consult with your furbaby to figure out what’s the matter. However, cats, as you know, don’t speak your language any more than you speak theirs. To communicate, felines use scent, vocalizations, body language, and tactile signals:


Felines have special scent glands on their faces, foreheads, the soles of their paws, their genital areas, and other places. Whenever you observe them lingering over something (including you) and pausing for a moment, they are leaving their scent as a marker. Humans don’t consciously communicate with scent, but cats definitely do. “This human is mine!” “This is my territory! Scram!” “I’m the boss man here!” “Heyyy! I got some lovin’ for ya!”


Experts in feline zoology were surprised to discover that except for basic messages, cats prefer to use scent and body language with each other. They use vocalizations for communicating with humans. Soft mews often indicate that they want something. Loud repeated meows frequently indicate fear, pain, or anxiety. Purring usually means affection but just as a dog may wag its tail in submissive pleading, purring can express fear, pain, or anxiety. Screaming challenges at night need no explanation.


From head to toe, cats communicate with their bodies. Ear position, eye gaze, head position, back flexion, fur fluffiness, and the amazing tail. Cat tails express an intensive array of messages. In brief, relaxed ears and eyes, slow blinking, kneading paws as if they were nursing their mother, and a softly waving tail all indicate calmness and contentment. On the other hand, wide eyes, flattened ears, and crouching or creeping hurriedly away are signs of anxiety and stress. Don’t go after them but let them find a place to hide and feel safe.


Last but not least is the language of touch. Rubbing against your legs is a greeting as well as marking you with scent to indicate kinship. Head bumping, also called “bunting,” spreads scent and communicates that you’re buddies.

In the resources at the end of this post, we’ve listed a few detailed articles about cat communication that will be helpful. Your furbaby is sure to appreciate your efforts.


  • Cats are sentient beings.

  • Cats don’t hold grudges. They remember experiences but their minds are geared toward survival.

  • When something is clearly wrong, then it’s up to you to explore what they’re trying to express.

  • Understanding cat psychology and communication is worth the investment of your time. The same goes for any animals with whom you interact, including human animals.

  • Having basic physical and psychological needs met is a key factor affecting a sentient being’s temperament and emotional behavior.

  • A nutrient-dense diet consisting of a variety of fresh foods in the right proportions is vital in enabling a pet to enjoy a healthy, happy, satisfied, and calm life.

  • A catio is a wonderful way to ensure your pet’s health and wellbeing


Misjudge a Grudge?

Now you see how the question “How long does a cat hold a grudge?” is really asking about what your cat is trying to tell you. Yes, you have misjudged a grudge. Your cat loves you and wants to be with you. Of all the wonderful things that humans do, one of the things that humans need to do more is to pay attention to those we care about. Part of love is communication.


AAFCO: Association of American Feed Control Officials.Alternative medical/veterinary care: Care that uses methods different from those generally used by doctors and technicians in modern society.

Anthropomorphize: To believe that the minds and emotions of animals are exactly like those of humans. We share the abilities to think and feel but the details of our behaviors are species-driven.

Bunting: Feline head-butting to express affection and ownership by marking scent.

Feral: Describing domestic animals who have escaped and reverted to the lifestyle of their ancestors.

Holistic medical/veterinary care: Care that treats each patient as an individual by addressing the social and psychological needs as well as all the body systems rather than focusing solely on one medical condition.

Integrative medical/veterinary care: Care that integrates modern methods with alternative and holistic methods according to the needs of the patient.

Grudge: As in, “How long does a cat hold a grudge?” — an almost obsessive resentment focusing on a real or perceived action by another individual and resulting in hurt feelings and resentment. Unlike humans, cats don’t hold grudges.

Hangry: A strongly emotional state of being angry from being hungry.

Obligate carnivore: A creature that must consume parts of animals to survive.

Organic: Raised in a sustainable manner taking advantage of natural resources without the use of pesticides, herbicides, and other toxic chemicals.

Sentience: The quality of being consciously aware of oneself and the surrounding world, feeling personal emotions, and making decisions based on sensory input and evaluation.

Tactile: Referring to the sense of touch.

For More Info

Feline domestication:,Egypt%20in%20the%20Classical%20period.

The water needs of cats:

Cat behavior:

Cat communication:


Can Cats Have Honey? What Types, Medicinal Benefits And Feline Friendly Recipes

There aren’t too many foods that you can either eat or wear, but honey is one of them. Not only is it nutritious, but it also has many medicinal effects whether eaten or applied to injured skin. That goes for humans as well as many animals. Can cats have honey?

A cat is neither a person nor a Pooh but small amounts of honey can be good, and we’re going to tell you how! Our goal is to help you learn about honest cat care that works.

Honey with a Grain of Salt

Asking, “Can cats have honey?” is only half the question. The other half is, “HOW can cats have honey?” Feline digestion differs from that of omnivores such as dogs and humans. Omnivores can get their nutritional needs met from both plant and animal sources.

Cats, on the other hand, are obligate carnivores, meaning that they’re obligated to consume an animal-based diet or they’ll starve. Sugars, found most abundantly in plants, aren’t easily digested and can cause upset stomachs, vomiting, and diarrhea. Senior cats with age-related changes frequently experience difficulties with certain foods.

Diabetes and obesity are ever-present risks. Young kittens with undeveloped immune systems are especially susceptible to infection by toxin-producing bacterial colonies growing from spores in their tiny intestines.

Talk to a trusted holistic veterinarian before introducing your pets to new foods, especially if the pets are very young, pregnant, very old, or otherwise vulnerable. If you don’t have a regular vet who’s open-minded and familiar with your animals, consider finding an office practicing integrative veterinary care which integrates the best of modern medicine with alternative methods. A natural holistic approach addresses each patient in terms of age, gender, general health, and personality.

What Makes Honey Special?

Honey is unique, made only by a few bee species. Comparable to an insect equivalent of mother’s milk, honey nourishes the growing young with needed nutrients as well as provides anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial support. Scientists are actively researching its many beneficial properties.

See our related post: Do Bees Eat Honey? The Birds AND The Bees Eat Honey!

Can Cats EAT Honey?

can cats have honey

That might sound like a simple question but it’s not. Did you know that cats can’t taste sweetness? Since plants most often contain the molecules triggering sweetness in certain taste sensors, obligate carnivores have little need for them. Humans have 9,000 taste buds, dogs have 1,700, and cats have only 470. None for detecting sweetness.

If you’ve noticed your feline buddy enjoying honey, it’s likely because of other overriding scents and tastes. Maybe the dog is gobbling up some honey, or maybe your cat is CURIOUS! You know how that works!

Can Cats Have Manuka Honey? Is Manuka Honey Safe for Cats?

Manuka honey is pretty potent stuff. It’s made from flowers of the Manuka bush, a hardy evergreen plant native to Australia and New Zealand. It’s known to contain high concentrations of substances with healing properties. It definitely has antibacterial abilities.

Tests on rodents indicate potential benefits for stomach ulcers, indigestion, gum disease, tumor growth, and as a dressing for skin and wound conditions. More research needs to be done, especially on cats, but Manuka honey offers hope. In small amounts, it’s quite safe.

Benefits of Honey for Cats

benefits of honey for cats

There are more than 300 kinds of honey, but they all contain the following:

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Antioxidants
  • Amino acids
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Anti-bacterial properties

Honey is being researched to treat the following medical conditions:

  • Cardiovascular problems: May reduce inflammation leading to cardiac disease.
  • Cough: Not only a throat-soothing syrup, but honey may also function as a cough suppressant promoting undisturbed sleep.
  • Diarrhea: May ease loose stools from gastroenteritis.
  • Infections: Taken orally or used as a wound dressing especially on burns, honey supports healing.
  • Neurological issues: Some evidence exists that honey helps reduce depression, anxiety, memory disorders, and seizure activity.
  • Rehydration: Can aid in recovery from dehydration.

Can cats have honey? A little, yes. Its traditional medicinal and veterinary uses are sure to increase with time.

Diet: The Foundation of Health for Cats & How Food Is Medicinal

Although food is often regarded in our society as recreation, in truth FOOD IS MEDICINE. The entire purpose of food in biology is to fuel growth and repair. The sense of taste evolved to guide critters to eat more of some substances and less of others.

The importance of the study of ecology is maintaining balance in the food chain with a diversity of life so nothing goes to waste. Diversity implies different kinds of nutritional needs. Felines in the wild have been successful for millions of years because they prevent the overpopulation of prey animals by consuming them. Given freedom of choice, animals crave what they need most.

What Is the Best Diet for Cats?

Cats are obligate carnivores. They must have animal flesh to survive. You can’t be squeamish watching cats eat natural food because their preferred diet is based on instinct. In a perfect world, pets would be able to enjoy all the benefits of a BARF-type diet: Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. “Biologically appropriate” refers to the specific needs of felines in the right proportions, including muscle meat from mammals, birds, and fish.

Additional essentials include brains, eyes, stomach with contents, lungs, liver, spleen, kidneys, uterus with contents, testicles, eggs, fat, ground bone or small raw bones, the works. “Raw” refers to being fresh, clean, unprocessed, and uncooked, preferably from humane local sources. “Food” encompasses supplements such as the essential amino acid taurine, small amounts of plant material such as grasses and herbs in the right proportion, and enough variation to prevent boredom.

kitty paws

In a less-than-perfect world, barriers prevent consistency and might result in indigestion or malnutrition. One alternative is giving pre-made BARF foods from reputable specialists. Another alternative is offering BARF supplements to improve what your cat has been eating. Finally, evaluating your pets’ present kibble and canned food ensures high-quality and minimally processed nutrition.

Transitioning From Kibble To RAW

Transitioning: Cats accustomed to dry kibble may not immediately accept a raw diet because they’re conditioned to carbohydrates as an energy source. Unfortunately, carbs are not nutrient-dense, meaning that they contribute empty calories. Try new foods gradually to give your pets’ digestive systems time to adapt.

Water: Water is an essential nutrient. In the wild, cats gain water from their food, but pets don’t live in the wild. You can meet their water requirements by placing several clean bowls in sheltered spots away from the litter boxes. Many cats enjoy running water, so investing in a kitty fountain will make drinking more fun. Since water supplies vary greatly in their purity, investing in a undercounter reverse osmosis system is an investment in the health of everyone in your cat’s household.

Can Cats Have Raw Honey?

Raw honey is not only uncooked but also unprocessed in its most natural form. This means that it contains the most active enzymes and nutrients in their most powerful form. Same rule applies to cats and raw honey . . . . . a small amount is most like medicinal for them but their carnivorous diet doesn’t require it.

Is Honey Good for Cats?

This is an exciting time in the history of honey. Scientists and doctors all over the world are researching honey’s potential to support the health of people and pets. Can cats have honey? Until confirmed evidence is available, remember Vitamin M: MODERATION. In fact, we have a couple of recipes for cat treats below. Can cats EAT honey? Try these and find out!

Homemade Treats for Cats


Manuka Honey DIY Treats For Cats


  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon catnip
  • 1 tablespoon Manuka honey
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 egg


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix catnip and flour together in a medium bowl, forming a well in the center.
  3. In another bowl, mix Manuka honey, melted butter, and egg together.
  4. Pour honey mixture into flour mixture, combining to make a firm dough. If too sticky, add more flour.
  5. Roll dough to a 1/4-inch thickness and cut small shapes with a cookie cutter or the open end of a glass.
  6. Bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Cool. Store in vacuum-sealed container up to two weeks in refrigerator or up to three months in freezer.
  8. Note: Remember that these are quick kitty rewards, not a substitute for regular meals. Too many treats cause the blood sugar to spike.


Chewy Homemade Honey Cat Treats



  • 1 egg
  • 4 ounces canned duck or chicken cat food
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoon water
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice


  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine egg, cat food, parsley, olive oil, honey, and water in medium-size bowl.
  4. Whisk well.
  5. Add rice flour and cooked rice.
  6. Stir. Dough should be consistency of peanut butter, thick but spreadable.
  7. Spread onto baking sheet about 1/3 inch deep.
  8. Bake 12-15 minutes and remove from oven.
  9. When cool, cut into small bite-sized pieces (for the cat, not you!).
  10. Return to oven for 8 more minutes.
  11. Remove and cool.
  12. Store in fridge until gone (which won’t be very long!).
  13. Note: Since this tasty treat contains honey, discuss them with your vet. We additionally recommend feeding these in moderation.



  • Cats don’t have the ability to taste sweetness.
  • A small amount of honey including raw or Manuka honey is generally safe for cats. Honey, Manuka in particular, may provide health benefits as listed above.
  • Don’t apply honey as a skin treatment on your own. Without proper training, you might introduce infection. Anyway, your kitty will probably lick it off right away, ingesting unneeded sugar.
  • Food is medicine! A balanced diet of a variety of fresh, natural foods is more healthful than cheaply processed food with excess fat, sugar, salt, carbohydrate fillers, and additives such as dyes, preservatives, and flavor enhancers.
  • Always consult your vet before giving a cat new foods, especially in the case of kittens, pregnant or nursing cats, the elderly, and pets with obesity, diabetes, and other conditions.
  • Vitamin M for moderation! Begin slowly in small amounts and observe for problems.
  • Keep reading Happy Tails for new information!

Vitamin O for Other Important Stuff

Along with a nutrient-dense diet, cats have other requirements. Good feline health involves every body system. Here are other basic needs:

  • Mental stimulation: play, places to explore, challenges
  • Companionship: bonding, interaction and communication with others who are familiar, not being isolated; contrary to the saying, cats are not independent souls
  • Exercise: physical movement, opportunities to play, relieve frustration, and practice natural skills
  • Outdoor time: windows and catios; you can take the cat out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the cat

Final Thoughts

Can cats have honey? Yes, in small quantities, but keep watching for research updates. As obligate carnivores, cats mostly prefer animal protein. What they honestly prefer from you is your caring friendship: Vitamin L for love! Now that’s sweetness they can’t get enough of.


  • Amino acid: One of the many building blocks of proteins
  • Antioxidant: Any chemical compound that inhibits oxidation; in common use, it refers to natural compounds believed to prevent cells from degrading
  • Botulism: A condition caused by ingesting the botulinum neurotoxin or the spores produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria
  • Ecology: The study of organisms, including humans, in their environment as they relate with each other
  • Holistic: Treating the entire patient instead of focusing only on disease processes; including factors such as age, weight, general health, lifestyle, personality, and preferences
  • Kibble: Dried processed meal formed into pellets composed of meat, plants, and additives
  • Obligate carnivore: A living thing that must consume meat products for its main source of nutrition
  • Reverse osmosis: The process of forcing water molecules through a filtering membrane that collects contaminants
  • Pooh: A beloved fictional fuzzy yellow bear that talks to his animal friends and loves honey
  • Sugars: Organized molecules of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen (carbohydrates) that form chains and rings; since special enzymes or intestinal bacteria are needed to break down each kind into simpler forms, not all animals can digest all sugars
  • Taurine: A specific amino acid necessary for many body functions; unlike many omnivores who synthesize taurine from other amino acids, cats need to get it from meat, fish, and eggs in their diet; deficiencies can cause blindness, heart problems, digestive disturbances, and poor development in kittens


Feline ability to sense sweetness:,off%20millions%20of%20years%20ago.

Medicinal use of honey in veterinary practice:,is%20presented%20in%20case%20reports.

Need for taurine in the feline diet:

Are Ferns Toxic To Cats? ~ Can Ferns Improve Cats’ Quality of Life?

That’s a great question: are ferns toxic to cats? The fact is that curiosity does NOT kill cats or people–having questions is how intelligent beings behave. Ignoring the answers, though, can be dangerous. Most true ferns are not toxic to cats.

Certain fern a-likes are, so we’ll go over that since cats have an inclination to sniff, nuzzle, taste, investigate, and bat at plants. Taking our exploration of cats and ferns a step further, we’ll show you how to use ferns to create a green wonderland for your beloved furbabies.

Are Boston Ferns Toxic to Cats?

are boston ferns toxic to cats

Boston ferns are true ferns that came on the scene only a few hundred years ago. They’re cat- and dog-safe. Because they’re often hung in pots, you can control the height so your felines won’t be tempted to take flying leaps into them.

Boston ferns are particularly good for detoxifying the air, according to a 1989 study by NASA scientists who were trying to figure out how to keep their astronauts healthy. Using a process called phytoremediation, true ferns are among several plants that absorb toxins from the air, soil, and water.

Are Ferns Poisonous to Cats?

Poisons and toxins are not quite the same even though we often use the words interchangeably. A poison is any substance causing harm to living organisms. A toxin is a poison produced by a living organism.

True ferns are a very ancient group of plants with roots, stems, and photosynthetic green leaves but reproducing by spores instead of seeds or flowers. They first appeared more than 360 million years ago, long before dinosaurs, but many dinosaurs loved to eat them! Yes, they were dinosaur-safe. In asking “Are ferns toxic to cats?”, very few true ferns are toxic to cats. However, not everything we call a fern is really a fern.

Whether plants are labeled “toxic” or “poisonous,” avoid them if you have cats. No worries, there are plenty of safe and healthful plants for our feline friends to enjoy. Are ferns toxic to cats? The bracken fern is one of the rare true ferns that is.

Also known as bracken, brake, female fern, fiddlehead, hog brake, and pasture brake, all parts are toxic. One botanical expert referred to this plant as “nasty.”

Are Asparagus Ferns Toxic To Cats?

Are Asparagus Ferns Toxic To Cats

Asparagus ferns, also called emerald feather, emerald fern, sprengeri fern, plumosa fern, and lace fern, are NOT true ferns. They’re related to asparagus plants. Sapogenin, the offending toxic agent, is in the leaves as well as the berries. Not only can it cause abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, but also skin inflammation. Are ferns toxic to cats? Many non-true ferns definitely are.

Toxic Non-Ferns

Here are a few others in addition to asparagus ferns. Be especially aware of the hemlock fern because it is spreading quickly and is hard to kill:

  • Hemlock fern: Not a fern but has fernlike leaves; also called deadly hemlock, poison parsley, spotted hemlock, European hemlock, California fern, and Nebraska fern, it is very common and very dangerous
  • Foxtail fern: Also called Meyersii fern, it is related to asparagus and not a true fern
  • Winter fern: Not a true fern but resembles one; extremely toxic
are ferns poisonous to cats

Why Cats Need Plants

You can take the cat out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the cat. Even domesticated animals have an inner need to connect with the kind of environment they evolved in. Think of all the ways cats use plants:

  • As hidey-holes for privacy and shelter
  • As cover for their cat boxes, water bowls, and food dishes
  • As camouflage while they stalk prey
  • As the feline equivalent of social media to sniff who’s been around: prey, enemies, invaders, potential mates, dogs, mice, etc.
  • As soft, healthful spots to sleep, heal from injuries, give birth, and breathe naturally purified air
  • As sources of nutrients and natural medicine
  • As shade to provide a cool escape from the hot sun
  • As signposts claiming territorial ownership
  • As surfaces for stretching and cleaning their claws
  • As places to play with toys and with each other

You can see how much live plants contribute to the well-being of all cat species. Are ferns toxic to cats or are they necessary for feline health? They’re very necessary! Next, read about indoor cat gardens and outdoor catios (“cat” + “patio” = catio!) and how ferns and other plants make them into kitty spas!

Creating an Indoor Cat Garden

cat garden

Your home will determine the layout of your indoor cat garden. Remember: you can always make adjustments. In fact, your kitty will tell you how! You can use an entire room or just a corner. Set it up in the laundry room, sunroom, mudroom, or in a well-ventilated garage with a window.

Like most critters, cats are territorial and need their own space. Are ferns toxic to cats? Au contraire, they absorb contaminants and help cleanse the air. As you read the feline basic needs below, notice how many of them are met by having plants around. When assessing the environmental suitability of a potential cat territory, consider his or her basic needs:

  • Safety
  • Cleanliness
  • Shelter
  • Comfort
  • A window to watch what’s happening
  • Food and water
  • A catbox or two
  • Privacy
  • Places to explore and climb
  • A stable, comfortable temperature
cat garden

In creating this special conservatory, what are YOUR basic needs?

  • Ability to move freely without knocking things over
  • Ease of providing food and water
  • Stress-free catbox care (read our Happy Tails post for wonderful catbox tips from experts)
  • Quick cleaning
  • Space to provide plant care
  • Stability of plant pots
  • Beauty
  • Comfortable seating

In other words, if you set things up to meet your cat’s needs as well as your own, you will have a stress-free haven you both can enjoy. What do you see in your mind’s eye for the perfect indoor garden? Check out online resources and talk with other cat people for creative ideas to personalize your indoor cat garden.

The Best of Both Worlds with a Catio

Catios are just what you might guess they are: an enclosed patio designed for the safety and happiness of cats to be protected while experiencing the great outdoors. You apply the same principles as you would for indoor cat gardens but you can incorporate a greater number of plants including outdoor plants. If you’re still concerned (Are ferns toxic to cats?), read through this Happy Tails post with tips on using a variety of safe plants to beautify the catio space.

We’ve given you links describing beautiful cat-safe plants for decorating your indoor garden or catio. Next comes a list of nourishing herbs and grasses that most cats find irresistible. They’re pretty easy to grow, too.
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SuperGood Plants For Cats

You asked, “Are ferns toxic to cats?” but now you know that true ferns aren’t. Ferns are beautiful but not especially tasty. The herbs below are nutritious, although most seeds aren’t easily digestible for cats and many are toxic. Cat grass is usually a blend of different young grasses to be eaten before they send up seed spikes. All of these nutritious plants are ideal in indoor gardens and catios for sniffing, snacking, and even napping:

  • Alfalfa grass: Fresh green alfalfa, not hay, is a good cat grass that may prevent and treat some feline kidney diseases
  • Barley grass: Sprouted barley before it goes to seed
  • Basil: Cat-safe and enjoyed by many
  • Bean sprouts: Cat-safe and enjoyed by many
  • Bermuda grass: Most clean, fresh, untreated lawn grasses are safe for cats
  • Carrot greens: Cat-safe and enjoyed by many
  • Catnip: Feline stress-reliever; the scent is often an aphrodisiac
  • Cat thyme: Slow-growing but a soothing feline stress-reliever for cats who don’t respond to catnip
  • Cilantro/coriander: Cat-safe and enjoyed by many
  • Dill: Cat-safe and enjoyed by many
  • Fescue: Most clean, fresh, untreated lawn grasses are safe for cats
  • Flax: Young flax plants shorter than five inches are good for an occasional cat treat; flaxseed is generally safe for cats but many may have trouble digesting them, especially ailing or older animals; ground flaxseed is unsafe if not immediately refrigerated or if given in improper dosages, often causing diarrhea

More Feline Friendly SuperGood Plants

  • Kentucky bluegrass: Most clean, fresh, untreated lawn grasses are safe for cats
  • Lavender: Not only appealing to the feline sense of smell but also reportedly repels fleas
  • Lemongrass: Affects some cats like catnip; it may also be antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and antiparasitic as well as a digestive aid; the essential oil, however, is toxic
  • Lemon balm: Not the same plant as lemongrass but it does have a pleasant citrus scent; safe when nibbled, chewed, or drunk as kitty tea; can help ease anxiety and stress-induced upset stomach; may repel flies and other insects
  • Oat grass: Young sprouted oat plants not only provide several nutrients but also act as a calming digestive aid
  • Parsley: Delicious and nutritious with reported properties supporting the immune system
  • Rosemary: Enjoyed by many, also a natural flea repellent
  • Rye grass: Young sprouted plants not only provide several nutrients but also act as a calming digestive aid
  • Sage: Cat-safe and enjoyed by many
  • Sunflower sprouts: Cat-safe and enjoyed by many
  • Valerian: Energizing and activating (just the opposite effect on humans)
  • Wheatgrass: Read below!

A Special Note about Wheatgrass for Cats

wheatgrass for cats

Although cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that they must consume prey animals for the bulk of their nutrition, they also ingest plant material; left to their own devices, they usually eat the green stomach contents of small herbivores and omnivores such as rabbits, birds, insects, rodents, and other critters.

They also voluntarily seek out grasses and certain veggies and fruits; among the grasses listed above, wheatgrass is especially beneficial.

The young green shoots of wheat plants are a rich gluten-free source of nutrients such as chlorophyll, antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins such as B6, E, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin; offer minerals including manganese and zinc; act as a laxative by aiding indigestible matter such as feathers and hairballs to pass; given as a dietary supplement in small quantities, wheatgrass supports your cat’s immune system, helps scrub the teeth and gums, and aids in weight management.

Grow Your Own Wheatgrass For Yourself & Fur Babies

You can grow your own wheatgrass by starting with organic pesticide-free hard winter wheat seed or wheat berries. Rinse and drain, cover, then soak for 10 hours or overnight. Repeat three times. Prepare a deep tray by lining it with chemical-free paper towels covered with about two inches of moist organic compost or potting soil. Sprinkle the seeds on top in a single layer and press lightly into the soil. Water gently and cover with a few sheets of moist newspaper.

To germinate, the seeds need to remain damp for a few days. Spray the seeds and newspaper every evening to prevent drying out. On the fourth day, remove newspaper and place the tray in partial sunlight. Water daily, avoiding direct sunlight. In about a week and a half, a second blade of grass will emerge next to the first. Known as “splitting,” this indicates that the wheatgrass is ready to harvest if around six inches high.

Cut above the root and refrigerate in a bowl. One tray will usually yield two or three crops when watered daily. Give your cat several blades every day or every other day. If you’ve kept several trays growing, share them with your other pets, and juice some for yourself as well. It’s a fresh and healthful treat for your entire household.

If You Need to Call the Vet

Hopefully, you won’t have to seek veterinary help for a pet eating a toxic plant, but it’s good to prepare in advance. Many dangerous plants are very common but good resources are available. Establish a good relationship with a reliable veterinary office that listens. For an overview of kitty health and knowing when a vet trip is necessary, check out our Happy Tails post.
Bonus: at the end is a promo code for a discount on Catio designs, so check it out!

Do Cats Like Music and TV in Their Special Spaces?

After hearing so many reports from cat lovers, scientists discovered in their research that many cats do enjoy music. They seem to prefer classical music instead of loud, pounding rhythms but they respond the most to music composed specifically for felines. Because of their ability to hear higher frequencies than humans, feline tastes focus on high-register sounds that resemble their own vocalizations.

Their alertness is automatically triggered by movement, so it’s not surprising that many cats also love TV and video games, particularly those that involve topics they love. Can you guess? Other cats, prey animals, toys, and food. The stimulation is good for them as long as they don’t attack highly placed screens that crash down. (Note: May require a vet visit.)

Because of a Cats ability to hear higher frequencies than humans, feline musical tastes focus on high-register sounds that resemble their own vocalizations.

Have fun experimenting in your cat garden or catio to discover what pleases your furkids the most. Do an internet search to find music, TV programming, and games designed specifically for pets.

There’ll Be Peace in the Valley

You’ve heard the saying that when Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Cat psychology is not so different from human psychology. To put it another way, a household with happy cats is a happy household! What makes you happy? Having your basic needs met: air, water, food, safety, and comfort. What else?

Fun, opportunities to play, mental stimulation, an interesting environment, stability, variety, and things to look forward to. Even more, most critters (humans count as critters) need contact with their own kind. Specifically, friendship, bonding, belonging, family, a tribe, a pack, a community. Finally, a peaceful setting that allows each being freedom of choice.

Providing the feline members of your family with an indoor garden or an outdoor catio will satisfy every physical, psychological, and emotional need. Instead of constant expressions of frustration and desperation, there’ll be peace in the valley for all of you, just as Thomas A. Dorsey wrote for Mahalia Jackson’s gospel song.

Summing Up

Now you have the answer to your question “Are ferns toxic to cats?”. What’s more, you’ve learned about the fern family and about some of the toxic plants-called-ferns-but-aren’t. Best of all, you have ideas on how to put together an indoor garden or a catio for your beloved furbaby. In fact, when you spend time together in this haven, you and your feline companion will share peace and contentment. And your lush ferns will purify the air!


  • Cat grass: Any newly sprouted, untreated, cat-safe grass shoots without the seed heads, usually from a mixture of seeds for variety
  • Conservatory: A glass-walled room, often with a glass ceiling, attached to a building and used as a sunroom or botanical garden
  • Germinate: To sprout
  • Obligate carnivore: Pronounced “OB-li-get,” the term refers to an animal that cannot survive without meat for the major part of its diet
  • Omnivore: An organism that feeds on animals, plants, and a variety of other organic sources of nutrition
  • Photosynthetic: Relating to photosynthesis, generally using chlorophyll and sunlight to make nutrients from carbon dioxide and water, releasing oxygen as a by-product
  • Phytoremediation: The process by which certain plants absorb and metabolize certain toxins from the air, soil, or water
  • Poison: Any substance causing harm to living organisms
  • Sapogenin: A fat-soluble saponin-related compound derived from plants that plays a role in steroid synthesis; while not usually fatal, it does interfere with healthy processes while causing negative reactions; concentrated in leaves and berries of asparagus ferns
  • Toxin: Any poison produced by a living organism

References and Resources

Pet-safe indoor plants:,out%20of%20your%20pet’s%20reach.

Cat grasses:

How Music Affects Cats:

How Long Can Cats Go Without Water? When To Ask The Question

In this post, we’ll explore the water needs of cats. Although dogs and cats are common animal companions, their needs are very different. How long can cats go without water? Not only are we going to answer that, but also explain how felines are able to use water even in the most inhospitable conditions. 

There is not a cut and dry answer to this question because if you are feeding a fresh raw diet to your cat, invariably, you won’t see them hanging over the water bowl very often anyway. They acquire most of their moisture from their food. We’ll explain other scenarios where a cat’s water consumption may be in question though.

You’ll learn about different kinds of water and, most important of all, how you can give your special kittycat the best life possible. You’ll never have to find out the hard way how long can cats go without water.

By the way, we’ve posted a short glossary for you at the end of this article to explain some of the terms.

Your Feline’s Diet Determines Its Water Consumption

how long can cats go without water

Have you ever thought about the many forms water takes in our lives?

  • Out of the faucet
  • In rain puddles
  • In human-made puddles from watering gardens, hosing down things, water sports, birdbaths
  • Morning dew and other condensation
  • Natural sources such as streams, ponds, and lakes
  • In FOOD! Juicy meat is where cats normally get most of their water

However, not all water is the same. Does the question “How long can cats go without water?” refer to water in bowls or any water at all? The answer is that it depends on the age, weight, and health of the cat as well as the temperature and humidity in the cat’s environment. Let’s look at dehydration next.

How to Identify Dehydration & What to Do

Most animals with backbones, including humans, consist of 60-80% water. Water keeps the body’s cells and tissues functioning:

  • Transport–via blood, lymph, urine, and other fluids
  • Electrical conduction–in the brain and heart and along cell membranes
  • Digestion–from saliva to pee and poop
  • Maintaining pH balance–Do you remember hearing about pH in school? It stands for “power of hydrogen” and refers to the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution. What that means is how acidic or alkaline a solution is. Chemical reactions won’t take place without an environment with the correct pH. Discussions about pH are common when referring to medical lab tests, bee sting remedies, tooth decay, gardening and agriculture, cooking, ocean ecology, and climate change, among other things.

You can see that water is a necessary nutrient–without it we would all resemble strips of jerky. Felines are able to concentrate their urine so they need less water to survive. Since they gain most of their water from food, they have a low thirst drive.

For that reason, searching for water is not a major activity most of the time. How long can cats go without water? Some healthy cats without any water may live 3-5 days. A severe episode of dehydration weakens the immune system and can cause a lifetime of kidney and bladder problems, though. It is a serious and potentially fatal condition for any living thing. 

Signs of Dehydration

Because measuring the amount of urine your kitty puts out is challenging, you can use check for these signs to assess for dehydration:

  • Dry, sticky gums and mouth
  • Loose, stiff skin that lacks stretchiness
  • Loss of interest in surroundings and usual activities
  • Sunken eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Panting
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Urinating less or passing dark, strong-smelling urine
  • Recent diarrhea and/or vomiting can result in dehydration

How long can cats go without water? You want to prevent the above signs because they indicate advancing dehydration. If you believe your cat has become dehydrated, it’s time to contact an expert.

Your best bet is an open-minded veterinary office that provides integrative medical care options including modern Western medicine as well as alternative methods like herbalism and acupuncture. This site offers a vet directory in the US from the Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. 

If you want to know more about when to take your cat to the vet, we wrote this article just for you.

how long can a cat go without water

Cats Are Designed to Get Their Water from Food

Current theories hold that today’s housecat descended from desert-dwelling felines in the Middle East tens of thousands of years ago. Because of the lack of precipitation, they evolved the ability to concentrate their urine in order to conserve water. Instead of relying on water holes and rivers, they absorbed most of their water from the prey they killed.

Most modern housecats retain a strong prey drive. How long can a cat go without water in the desert? It doesn’t matter as long as they can catch prey.

MDR – Minimum Daily Requirement Water

For these reasons, the ideal housecat diet consists of a variety of fresh, clean, raw, natural prey sources. Dry cat kibble only provides 6-10% of cats’ MDR (Minimum Daily Requirement) of water while a natural, fresh, wild vertebrate prey animal diet contains 60-80% water. Since preparing such a diet can be challenging but can be done, offering pre-made fresh frozen raw or freeze-dried is the next best choice.

what do cats like to eat for breakfast

If you can’t give your cat a daily raw diet, you can still supplement each meal with additions. Many new feeders of raw food notice that their cats consume less water from the bowl because of the high percentage of moisture coming from the food. You won’t need to worry about how long can cats go without water because they’re getting it just as they would in a natural environment.

An increasingly popular style of feeding pets is referred to as BARF: Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. One reason among many is that a BARF-type diet may contain as much as 70% of your pets’ daily water requirements. If you want some ideas for nutritious and delicious feline foods, check out our post on what cats like for breakfast

Dry cat kibble only provides 6-10% of cats’ MDR (Minimum Daily Requirement) of water while a natural, fresh, wild vertebrate prey animal diet contains 60-80% water.

What if a cat doesn’t drink water but eats wet food or raw food? 

If you’re concerned because you don’t see your kitty drinking from the bowl, it might be happening while you’re not watching. Many pets are nervous about their vulnerability to attack while they’re distracted by eating and drinking. Your cat might also have discovered alternative water sources such as the bathtub or the toilet.

As we mentioned, quality raw or wet/canned food is the next best thing to supplying your cat with adequate water the natural way. Each species of pet as well as each age group has individual nutritional needs, so you need to choose what’s right for your cat. The most healthful food contains few or no artificial dyes, fillers, preservatives, or unidentified ingredients. Cats don’t need food coloring, cornmeal, or meat scraps that could be anything from mouse tails to euthanized cat parts. 

The most healthful food contains few or no artificial dyes, fillers, preservatives, or unidentified ingredients. Cats don’t need food coloring, cornmeal, or meat scraps that could be anything from mouse tails to euthanized cat parts.

Water for Cats to Drink

Like dogs, cats have highly acidic stomachs with a pH ranging from 1.0-2.5. That’s almost as acidic as it can get! Having a low pH (high acid) means that raw meat protein as well as less easily digestible tissues such as bone, gristle, and fur are broken down. Most pathogens can’t survive in such an environment.

Even so, most cats prefer water from clean water sources. Many cats LOVE a natural water source and will often drink water that has been sitting outside for some time. Think of all those tasty little insect flavor bits! 

best water for cats

Stomach acid won’t dissolve toxic chemicals, though. The quality of tap water varies from location to location as well as from variations in atmospheric pollutants and groundwater contaminants. Cats can definitely smell the presence of chemical additives like chlorine.

Bottled water is proven to vary from source to source regardless of claims on the label. Distilled water is reportedly pure originally but may contain substances leached from the plastic containers. The most reliably safe water for your pets as well as the humans in your household is processed by a home purification unit. To give you an idea of an efficient home system, here is a link for an under-counter reverse osmosis system.

The Best Water Bowls for Cats

How long can cats go without water? There’s no reason why your cat–and the neighborhood cat colony–should ever have to go without water. Give them lots of safe places to drink. Tuck different-sized bowls in a variety of locations so there’s more than one watering hole. Most cats don’t like feeling their whiskers bent by the rims of bowls because whiskers have so many nerves at the roots.

Imagine how you would feel being tickled or blown on every time you opened your mouth to eat or drink! Use water bowls with wide openings. A wide base is advisable, too, so the bowl won’t turn over. Although anything can be used to hold water, a stable metal such as stainless steel is easy to keep clean. Scratches in plastic, ceramic, and glass often collect who-knows-what and acquire a bacterial film just like dirty teeth. 

Specialty bowls: For outdoor pets, large bowls are available that generate low heat in sub-freezing weather by using either electrical or battery power. They don’t get hot, but just maintain the water above freezing. Likewise, you can get insulated water bowls that keep water cool for hours if your cat prefers cold water. Some cats even like a bobbing ice cube or two in their bowls.

Other temptations: But wait! There’s more! Not only will bowls in multiple locations encourage your kitties to drink, but you can add flavor to the water. Assuming that you’re cleaning the bowls daily and replacing the water, add a few drops of clam juice, tuna juice, or salmon juice, or unsalted chicken broth without any garlic or onion. Last but not least, sprinkle a bit of catnip to make catnip tea! 

The Optimal Watering Hole: Cat Water Fountains

Most cats love running water. In the wild, flowing water is usually fresher and cleaner than standing water. Another reason for their preference is that the feline sense of hearing is sharper than their vision. They can hear running water from a distance. Their sharp visual ability to detect motion responds to the water’s flickering movements.

In addition, most cats like high places to perch, and most home faucets are higher up than water bowls on the floor. A stream of running water doesn’t confine their whiskers in the way that small bowls do. Finally, running water is just more fun to play with.

Someone someplace adapted small water fountains for cats to use, and the market has exploded. They’re available in a wide variety of materials and prices. Many veterinarians recommend them because they often encourage cats to drink more water. Fountains are ideal if they’re kept clean and refilled with fresh water often.

They’re not a necessity but they will provide your kitty with abundant fresh water to enjoy in a novel way. Is this manipulation to get you to buy expensive fun toys? Maybe. But why not? You love your fur kids. How long can cats go without water? well, how long can cats go without playing? 

Location, Location, Location

Many people say “cats are picky,” but cats have good reason to be picky. It’s a matter of survival. In terms of the location of their water bowls and food dishes as well as litter boxes, they want to avoid other cats and marauding animals. Most all cats prefer their food and water located away from their litter boxes.

How long can cats go without water? You won’t win in a contest between you and your cat about where to put their personal items! You will win by understanding their need for safety, privacy, cleanliness, and their convenience. To learn more about what’s important to cats in their personal environment, look at our post on litter boxes

FAQ–Frequently Asked Questions

Do cats drink water or milk? 
Milk contains water but is classified as a special type of food. What’s more, milk is species-specific, produced by lactating females to help their young grow quickly. Cow’s milk is made up of proteins and other nutrients for young ruminant herbivores.

Cat’s milk is made up of proteins and other nutrients for young carnivores. Not only is milk unnecessary for adult cats, but many cats are lactose-intolerant, meaning that they can’t physically digest the kind of sugar found in milk. It can result in abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

Can cats get infections from water?
Contact with areas of standing water, especially outdoors in warm weather, can cause pythiosis, also called water mold infection. It can be fatal if not treated early. Leptospirosis is another serious infection that infected animals can pass on to other animals as well as humans via contaminated water. 

Can cats get water by eating snow?
Although unmelted snow can provide water, it lowers the body temperature. The critter eating the snow uses up valuable energy trying to maintain body warmth brought down by the frozen flakes. What’s more, melted snow in puddles often contains oil, antifreeze, and other toxic substances.

Final Thoughts

We’ve given you lots of information on how long can cats go without water and how to get cats to drink more water. Cats are intuitive beings and we have a lot to learn from them. We have one last suggestion for you to try–we invite you to test this with your pets.

You know that felines of all kinds love to sit in boxes, so much that many of them will even sit in the middle of corners painted onto a flat surface. If your cat isn’t drinking enough, what might happen if you painted a fake box in a safe, quiet, low-traffic spot near the location of your cat bowl? Let us know!


Carnivore: An animal that survives primarily on flesh and organs from other animals; examples are cats and sharks.

Herbivore: An animal that survives primarily on plants; examples are cattle and ostriches.

Lactating: Actively producing milk from mammary glands.

Omnivore: An animal that survives on a variety of foods from animal and plant sources; examples are humans and dogs.

Osmosis: The process of a liquid with little or no dissolved or suspended material being drawn through a membrane to a liquid on the other side of the membrane that contains dissolved and suspended material, thus balancing the concentration of material on both sides of the membrane.

Pathogen: A disease-causing microorganism.

Permeable: Able to allow a liquid to permeate or pass through; examples of semi-permeable membranes include tea bags and coffee filters that allow tiny particles to pass through special paper.

pH: The acidity or alkalinity of a substance. Neutral is around 7, while lower numbers rate acid intensity and higher numbers rate alkaline intensity.

Reverse osmosis: The process of a liquid with a large amount of dissolved or suspended material being drawn to pass through a semi-permeable membrane to a liquid on the other side that contains little or no dissolved or suspended material, thus balancing the concentration of material both sides of the membrane.

Ruminant: An animal that chews its cud; examples are goats and giraffes. 

Vehicle: Anything that serves as a source of contamination by disease-causing agents; water can carry viruses, bacteria, parasites, neurotoxins, and chemical contaminants.

Vertebrate: Any animal with a backbone (vertebrae)

For More Info

How pH Affects Our Everyday Lives:

Purifying water with reverse osmosis:

Possible reasons why cats love to sit in boxes:

How To Get Cat Pee Out Of The Couch: INSTANT Fix

Periuria! It’s a little hard to say it but if you’ve lived with a cat, then you’ve likely encountered it. “Peri-” means “around” and “-uria” means “urination.” Periuria refers to urination on your couch and other places instead of the cat box or outside. To answer your main query on “how to get cat pee out of the couch,” we’re going to give you some practical ACTION steps to take immediately.

We are here to provide you with real solutions. What’s more, we’ll cover the answer to the cause of the problem in the first place of why cats are not peeing in their litter box. 

What Does Cat Pee Smell Like?

Bet you didn’t know that experienced wine tasters refer to the scent of feline urine as a desirable characteristic of some white wines like Sauvignon Blanc. In fact, a tasting panel of New Zealand winemakers described the cat pee character as “a pungently ‘perfumed’ mix of herbs, asparagus, green bean and bell pepper.” However, many cat lovers choose words such as “reek,” “stench,” and “permeating funk” when the fumes waft up from their couch!

No wonder you want to know how to get cat pee out of the couch. Amazingly, cat pee is about 95% water. The remaining 5% contains ammonia, urea, uric acid, creatinine, and other compounds filtered out of the blood to be excreted. Cat urine also contains felinine, a sulfurous amino acid that only domestic-type felines and smaller wild cat species have.

The urine of unfixed males has the highest concentration of felinine along with potent hormones and pheromones. The substances in urine are unstable, meaning that they break down quickly and are readily metabolized by environmental bacteria. In other words, the scent of cat pee changes over time. And it doesn’t improve. 

what does cat pee smell like

Cat Urine Remover: Natural & Pet-Safe Methods

Don’t despair. If you need to know how to get cat pee out of the couch, save money, and help the environment at the same time, we’ve got you covered. The first thing to remember is to act fast in order to neutralize rather than deodorize! Are you unsure of the exact location of the invisible puddle? Use a pet pee detector black light because pee will glow when illuminated by strong ultraviolet light. Then gather these supplies:

TIP: You want to NEUTRALIZE rather than deodorize


Steps: Part 1 ~ NEUTRALIZE

  1. BLOT LIQUID PEE or if pee is already dried add a little water to spots then continue with step 2
  3. AIR DRY or for quick drying use FAN
  6. Now you’ve NEUTRALIZED which should help with the odor
  7. See Part 2 to clean the spot now that it is neutralized

Steps: Part 2 Clean

  1. Spray Natural Plant-Based Pet Enzyme Cleaner or your natural pet-safe cleaner of choice on the spot
  2. Blot and gently rub/clean area over spot
  3. With a dry towel absorb remaining moisture

More Home Remedy METHODS

Method #1

  • Mix five parts hydrogen peroxide with two parts dish soap;
  • use a mild, nontoxic soap without additives such as disinfectants, fragrances, insecticides, or dyes; acceptable soaps include baby shampoo, castile soap, and dish soaps recommended by animal rescuers because they’re known to be gentle on young and medically challenged critters.

Method #2

  • Liberally sprinkle dry baking soda onto the carpet and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes; then pour a mixture of two cups lukewarm water with two cups distilled white vinegar onto the baking soda and let it finish fizzing; then blot, blot, blot, blot until it appears to be gone; sprinkle on more baking soda and allow the spot to dry for a few hours; vacuum; repeat as needed, especially if the stain is old.

Method #3

  • Mix two cups of lukewarm water with two cups of distilled white vinegar in the bucket, then slowly add 4-5 heaping tablespoons of baking soda; pour the fizzing mixture onto the stained area and let it continue to bubble for a few minutes; blot, blot, blot, blot until it appears to be gone; sprinkle on more baking soda and allow the spot to dry for a few hours; vacuum; repeat as needed, especially if the stain is old.

Method #4

  • Enzyme cleaners are made of natural, biodegradable proteins; in the body, they act by attaching to toxins and other molecules and speeding the breakdown process; they’re safe for pets and effective for old stains as well as new puddles.
cat urine remover

Why It’s Important NOT to Use Chemicals around Your Pets

Although you can find effective cleaning products on the market, there’s a catch: many of them are dangerously toxic. They’re bad for the environment because they seep into the soil where they remain for years affecting plants and wildlife. They also remain in your home as surface films, microscopic particles, droplets, and gases where they remain.

Ammonia is actually a lure for cats seeking places to repeatedly mark with their own scent.
TIP: Don’t Use Ammonia

As if that weren’t bad enough, ammonia is actually a lure for cats seeking places to repeatedly mark with their own scent. And did you know that chlorine bleach, either mixed with ammonia to create a cleaning solution or when used alone to clean up urine, undergoes a chemical reaction that produces chlorine gas? Chlorine gas was used extensively in World War I as a deadly chemical warfare agent–in 1997 an international agreement banned its production and stockpiling as a weapon. 

The good news is that there are safe substitutes for almost everything that’s poisonous.  

First How to Get Cat PEE out of the Couch & Then How to Get the Urine SMELL out of the Couch

As it dries, the uric acid in pee bonds to surfaces more and more strongly with the passage of time. The uric acid crystals are activated when hydrated by humidity or any other kind of moisture, and the stench is released all over again. Your job is to continue using one of the methods outlined above, whether the stain is recent or not. The techniques for neutralizing pee and neutralizing odor are the same.  

How to Get Cat Pee Smell out of Carpet

How to get urine smell out of carpet is similar to how to get cat pee out of the couch or your mattress. First test a small patch of the fabric in a spot hidden away from public view to see if your chosen cleaning product damages the dyes or the fibers.

Depending on the size of the stain, the type of fabric, the weave of the carpet, and the age of the urine, you may need to repeat the process. Keep a close eye on your kitty to observe whether the spot is still arousing interest–you may not smell anything but you can be sure that your feline pal can. ACTION: SEE THE EXACT STEPS ABOVE

Will Vinegar Get Cat Pee Out of Carpet?

how to get cat pee out of carpet

Vinegar–white vinegar–is part of your toolbox when you’re wondering how to get the cat urine smell out of carpets as well as walls, certain types of flooring, and other materials. Acetic acid is the antiseptic in vinegar that kills bacteria, dissolves limescale (calcium carbonate deposits), and breaks down grease. Before using it, verify the composition of your carpet. Natural fibers such as wool and silk are too delicate to tolerate much exposure to vinegar.

Marble and other kinds of stone can be etched by acetic acid. The pH of cat urine ranges from acidic to alkaline, but vinegar is especially helpful in eliminating odors from alkaline pee residue. As the vinegar evaporates after a few days, it takes the urine smell with it. Use one part vinegar diluted with one part water.  

As the vinegar evaporates after a few days, it takes the urine smell with it.

Why Do Cats Pee on Things?

Think about what your couch means to a cat. Don’t sniff it if you don’t want to, but be aware that couches and beds are bouquets rich with a variety of enticing scents for cats and their incredibly acute sense of smell. “How to get cat pee out of the couch,” indeed! To understand why cats spray urine, check out some of the reasons:

  • Marking: Cats smell each other’s chin rubbings, paw trails, and urine sprays in the same way humans might follow Facebook and YouTube. 
  • Genetic predisposition: Some cats inherit a strong urge to spray from one or both of their parents.
  • Excitement and/or stress: We have a whole paragraph on cat stressors later in this post.
  • Hormonal urges: The search for love is never-ending, especially for males who haven’t been neutered.
  • Cat conflicts: Cats make strong olfactory statements to express aggression, territorial claims, or announcements such as “I’m the new Top Dog around here!”
  • Changes in the home: Any kind of change such as a new pet, new scent markings, new objects, or the rearrangement of familiar objects will stimulate the need to reassert ownership.

In fact, take a look at our Happy Tails article on cats peeing outside the litter box for more useful information about kitty litter and cats’ bathroom habits. 

Cat Peeing Outside the Litter Box? INSTANT Fix For This Problem

How to Stop My Cat from Peeing Everywhere

You need to be a detective and collect evidence, focusing on why the cat isn’t peeing in the litterbox. The first priority is cleaning up urine immediately so it won’t “set.” The older it is, the harder it is to neutralize. The second priority is objectively observing your cat in his or her environment.

What’s changed? Is your cat showing signs of ill health? Are you consistent in maintaining a clean litter box in a suitable location? Once you’ve assessed all the facts, they’ll point the way to a solution. Let’s start with the litter box.

Litter Box Principles

In case you hadn’t noticed, cats have strong individual preferences! Each cat will prefer certain features of his or her cat box: a particular type of litter, a particular depth of litter, a particular granule size, a particular location, uncovered or covered, with or without box liners, and so on. Here are some more guidelines on creating the perfect litter box:

  • Cleanliness: All cats prefer clean litter. Scoop twice daily and replace litter weekly after scrubbing the box with unscented soap and warm water.
  • One box per cat: Although cats will share if they have to, they naturally prefer to have their own litter pan.
  • A good location: Just as you prefer privacy during your toileting moments, so do cats. They need to feel sheltered and safe in a low-traffic area away from loud noises, interruptions, and bright light.
  • Natural litter: For their health and that of the environment, find a dust-free, tracking-free, chemical-free, perfume-free litter made of recyclable sustainable materials.
  • Large box size: Consider your cat’s point of view. Would you rather have airy, commodious, uncluttered facilities or a tiny, cramped cubbyhole? Cats love having a spacious box with ample room to sniff, turn, scratch, and indulge in all those other normal feline rituals.

Understanding these principles will help deter your cat from peeing on your couch. Preventing it is easier than figuring out how to get cat pee out of the couch once it’s there. 

What Does Normal Cat Pee Look Like?

Do you look at your own leavings in the toilet? You’re not weird–you’re smart! Checking waste material is like checking vital signs to evaluate health. Examine your cat’s pee when they go on the floor, in the bathtub, or in the sink. The urine of healthy cats appears clear yellow to amber.

Look for tiny crystals resembling sand, mucus strands, or blood. Assess the scent as well because illness changes the chemistry of urine. If you discover abnormalities, continue to monitor it closely, observe for behavioral changes, and contact your holistic vet if you have questions. 

Just as every human needs to have a reliable, progressive healthcare provider, so does every pet. You can save a lot of money and prevent a lot of tragedy by establishing a relationship with a veterinarian you trust. To find a directory of holistic vets who practice integrative medicine — integrating modern western medical practices along with holistic and alternative methods according to the needs of the pet — check out this list from the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association

Maintaining your feline friend’s urinary health involves encouraging fluid intake with easily accessible containers of fresh, chemical-free water, offering a variety of natural, unprocessed wet foods instead of restricting the diet to dry kibble, correcting obesity, and providing opportunities to exercise. Last but absolutely not least is keeping each cat’s litter box clean and inviting.

Communication Behavior

how to stop my cat from peeing everywhere

Speaking of behaviors, our pets try to tell us when something’s wrong. A change in behavior indicates a change in conditions. Cat communication includes body language, vocalizations, and scent marking. Aware when something is wrong, a sick cat might deliberately eliminate anywhere but in the litter box to divert potential predators away from its usual home turf.

Researchers have yet to decode all of the messages in feline chemical signaling. Knowing that humans don’t respond to scent language, cats are generally much more vocal with people than with each other. When you notice a new onset of “pestiness” in your furbaby, it likely indicates that he or she is trying to tell you something. Try to catch the problem early so you won’t be left wondering how to get cat pee out of the couch.

Medical Conditions 

Requiring professional diagnosis and treatment, these are a few of the conditions that often drive your cat to pee outside the box:

  • Age-related conditions such as arthritis, cognitive impairment/senility, general weakness, and sensory changes including worsening vision and ability to smell
  • Bladder conditions such as FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease) and kidney conditions such as stones and urethral plugs
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Liver problems

Stress in the Home

Stress and anxiety can definitely cause cats to urinate outside the litter box. Causes of stress for cats are similar to things that cause you stress: lack of privacy, overcrowding, loud noise, human conflict, changes in the environment or routine, and fear of danger from aggressive animals in the area.

Another kind of stress known to affect dogs but not always recognized in cats is separation anxiety. Your kitty loves you and misses you when you leave, especially when there are no other companions living there. One theory contends that the scent of their own urine helps them feel safer and less alone because they’ve declared ownership of their territory.

The Tempting Scent from Previous Pee Spots 

Most all vertebrates mark their turf, often with scent. Think how reassuring it is for you to see a place card with your name on it at a big table–that spot is officially yours. Your feline friend feels the same way after officially labeling areas throughout your home.

We don’t recommend that you pee over your cat’s previous pee spots, though! We’ve given you better suggestions on how to get cat pee out of the couch, carpet, bed, and other surfaces. 

Final Thoughts

David DeNotaris, an inspirational speaker blinded by an incurable eye disease, said that “Whatever the problem we have in our life, someone has faced it and overcome it.” That’s why connecting with other people is important to share knowledge with each other. That’s why connecting with Happy Tails is important because we seek out the best actionable answers and solutions for you that we can find! 

You love cats because each one is a unique, intelligent, playful, affectionate individual. Cats are good for people’s mental health. To make living with them easier, you just need to know a bit of cat psychology plus a bit of chemistry. Hopefully, school systems in the future will help teach people how to apply science in their everyday lives. For example, how to get cat pee out of the couch! You deserve to be able to bond with your cat in the peaceful, fragrant home you share together.

Recap + LINKS:

Arm & HammerBaking Soda
Distilled White Vinegar
Pet Pee Detector Black Light
Natural Plant-Based Pet Enzyme Cleaner
Spacious LITTER Box With Ample Room
Chemical-free, perfume-free Litter made of Recyclable Sustainable Materials
American HOLISTIC Veterinary Association

To Learn More

How To Use A Black Light To Find Urine,urine%20with%20an%20enzyme%20cleaner!

Are Spider Plants Toxic to Cats? BEST Cat Plants

Are spider plants toxic to cats? In spite of looking like long green cat toys bouncing in the air, the spider plant is safe for cats. In this post, we’re going to talk about spider plants and cats as well as other houseplants. We’re also going to show you how to grow a cat garden and even how to create a catio that you can enjoy together.

What is a catio? Hint: it sounds like the word “patio” because it’s a combination patio and outdoor dream hideaway designed just for cats. It features hidey-holes, structures for climbing, sunny spots to sleep, cat-safe plants, toys, and other goodies to satisfy their natural inclination to chew, play, sniff, paw, track, and explore. More about catios shortly. 

The Mind of the Cat

The first cats appeared tens of millions of years ago. With retractable claws, muscular flexible bodies, and specialized flesh-tearing teeth, they’re built to catch prey. Their vision, hearing, and sense of smell are many times more powerful than humans’. They’ve adapted to every climate on earth. And they’re smart. Curious, observant, creative, patient, calculating, and capable of learning new skills.  

Fortunately for humans, cats are also cute, funny, sociable, and affectionate. They’re the most common pet in the world and have been hanging with humans for more than 10,000 years. They first became associated with divinity in ancient Egypt. Unlike dogs, they haven’t changed much in spite of their alliance with us. 

In spite of how they sometimes behave, they don’t need to be worshipped. Don’t let them manipulate you! They do have some specific needs that need to be fulfilled to stay healthy and happy. In addition to a healthful diet–more about that in a moment–clean water, exercise, and a chemical-free environment with natural litter, they have several psychological needs:

  • Exposure to their natural outdoor environment including plants and other animals
  • Companionship, socialization, and affection
  • Mental stimulation and enrichment
  • Freedom to explore, play, and satisfy their natural prey drive

You asked the question, “Are spider plants toxic to cats?” We’re going to answer that question in more detail right now. 

Why Do Cats Eat Grass & What Is the Natural Cat Diet?

cat grass benefits

Want to know the truth? So do the cat experts! They aren’t precisely sure why cats eat grass. It could be to induce vomiting to rid the stomach of an irritant. It could be to take in extra nutrients. It could be to help the intestines do their job. It could be to provide a change in taste to increase eating pleasure. Or all of the above.

Are spider plants toxic to cats? NO. And since they’re not, don’t worry if your cat nibbles on your spider plant from time to time.

Are spider plants toxic to cats? No, and since they’re not, don’t worry if your cat nibbles on your spider plant from time to time. As you’ll read shortly, you can grow grasses and other plants just for your cats to nibble. 

Different from dogs, cats are “obligate carnivores,” meaning that they’re obligated to function as prey-eating animals to survive. In the wild, cats don’t just eat muscle meat, but also the tissues and organs of their prey. Each part contains different nutrients. Eating the contents of the stomach and intestines provides plant material and fiber.

In fact, an increasing number of people are learning about the benefits of the BARF diet for their pets: Biologically Appropriate Raw Fgood that includes a variety of fresh, unprocessed natural foods formulated to meet the needs of each individual pet. All critters, including humans, need individualized diets depending on their species, age, weight, activity level, medical status, and other factors such as allergies.

Cats’ Need for Plants–Is It Medicinal?

Even though cats are mostly carnivores thriving on meat, they also need some plant material in their diets. Most of us have seen our cats enjoy grass, catnip, marigolds, vegetables, and even fruits. Outside grass offers invisible pleasures of which humans are unaware: insects and their eggs and larvae … scents from cats and other animals leaving their “calling cards” … bits from prey animals such as birds and rodents ….

Exploring a variety of scents, flavors, and textures is a natural mammal behavior that enriches your pets’ lives. So, are spider plants toxic to cats? Although anything in excess can be dangerous, feline nutritionists haven’t found any toxins in spider plants. 

Speaking of enrichment, spider plants offer you a creative way to help meet a cat’s natural need to be around plants. We already mentioned the nutritional and medicinal benefits. Plants can provide a comfy shelter for napping and nesting.

In addition, plants provide cover for a mighty hunter stalking prey. Think of all the times you’ve seen your cat lurking in the shadows, pupils widening in anticipation of attacking. In the case of little baby spider plants bouncing off long stems sprouting from the parent plant, your Chlorophytum comosum is pretty tempting to your feline hunter or huntress. Having an opportunity for excitement is actually calming for your cat.

Cats and the Great Outdoors

Cats are not human infants. Cats are intelligent predators. For their psychological wellbeing, they need to be able to use all of their senses and while exploring. If you’ve ever observed very young kittens, then you know that they begin tracking and pouncing as early as four weeks after birth.

They’re instinctively driven to investigate the boundaries of their world. They need to develop awareness of the natural day and night cycles of light in different seasons. They also need to experience how weather changes affect the animals and plants around them.

What about sunshine? Cats don’t need sunlight for vitamin D the way humans do because they get it from their food. However, it helps them regulate their body temperature. Its heat is relaxing and soothing. The ultraviolet rays in sunshineare known to kill bacteria and viruses on surfaces and in the air.

In The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat, Juliette de Baïracli Levy wrote that “sunlight is not merely a tonic and restorative and a potent destroyer of bacteria; it is also a vital food.” We don’t know if cats experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) from a lack of natural light in the same way humans can. We do know that sunlight exposure stimulates endorphins and neurotransmitters that regulate mood. John Denver knew what he was talking about. 

Cats and the Great Indoors

Your cat needs to have his or her own territory within your shared home. Pets need sheltered places to sleep, open areas to play and exercise, and mind-stimulating opportunities to climb or hide. Even indoor cats have the desire to look for potential prey as well as to check out what other neighborhood cats are up to.

You can understand how a window ledge in your home is the feline version of social media. Live cat-safe plants will contribute to a sense of the outdoors. Are spider plants toxic to cats? Just the opposite: they help clean the usually-stuffy indoor air since most ventilation systems don’t introduce frequent fresh air changes from outside.

Creating an Indoor Cat Garden

plants cats can eat

What exactly is an indoor cat garden? It’s a way for you to bring a bit of the outside inside so your cat can enjoy the benefits without the dangers. The optimum set-up is a surface where your cat can hang out, watch the outside world, and nibble on green goodies. Year-round you can grow plants that your cat can freely access, or you can create a separate off-limits garden where you cultivate special little crops that you present to your cat as needed.

Or you can do both. Be sure to get soils without pesticides, fertilizers, or weedkillers, and choose organically grown plants. Since you can see your cat’s point of view about the importance of an indoor cat garden or room, you can come up with your own creative ways to provide for a cat’s need for plants.

Plants that Are Good for Cats

We love our furbabies so much that we often forget that they evolved in the wilds, surviving in a world of many different plants. Here are several indoor/outdoor selections that are safe, helpful, and pleasing: 

Are spider plants toxic to cats

Houseplants to Avoid

Are spider plants toxic to cats? Not a bit, but many of our most common houseplants are. Even though not all cats are interested in chewing on houseplants, you never know when your furry pal is going to go after a crawling bug. Here’s a partial list of potentially dangerous plants: 

  1. Amaryllis (Hippeastrum species)
  2. Dumb cane (Dieffenbachia amoena)
  3. English ivy (Hedera helix)
  4. Holly (Ilex opaca)
  5. Jade plant (Crassula)
  6. Mistletoe (Viscum album)
  7. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)
  8. Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima): The milky latex sap is irritating but the risk of poisoning has been exaggerated.
  9. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
  10. Sago palm (Cycas revoluta): These sharp-leaved palms have survived over 200 million years in part because their effective toxin could kill dinosaurs!
  11. Snake plant/mother-in-law’s tongue (Dracaena trifasciata)
  12. Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa)

If you’re too late for prevention, you can call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. There may be a consultation fee. 

How Often to Take a Cat to the Vet

As long as we’re focusing on the physical, mental, and emotional health of your cat as well as preventing and handling certain emergencies, have you ever wondered how often do you take a cat to the vet? Check out our Happy Tails article here for answers.

What Is a Catio?

Like a patio, it’s an outdoor get-away where your cat can rest, explore, and just generally be a cat. Because it’s enclosed, it’s safe from invaders such as other cats, dogs, coyotes, raccoons, little kids, and unwanted human visitors. The occurrence of pregnancy, catfights, getting lost or abducted, being hit by vehicles, contracting diseases, catching fleas, and eating unhealthful plants is much reduced when your cat has access to a catio.

If building one isn’t your thing, you can buy them pre-made or you can purchase designs. Like rabbit and bird habitats, catios come in all sizes and shapes. Not only can you offer cat garden selections of plants for your furbaby to enjoy, but you can decorate the catio with other plants to improve the air quality and create beauty. As we mentioned earlier, be sure the plants are pesticide-free and rooted in organic soil. 

Although you’ll want to have an easy-access catbox or two and dishes for water and food, here are some catio features that your cat is sure to love:


  • Places to hide
  • Soft bedding
  • Warm spots
  • Space to play and run
  • Toys
  • Tunnels
  • Patches of sunshine
  • Shade
  • Structures to climb with high surfaces for observation outposts
  • Catwalks
  • Places to stalk prey whether there’s prey or not
  • Places to dig: Cats love loose, soft earth
  • Places to view the world outside the catio
  • Places to scratch: Offer horizontal (flat) and vertical (up-and-down) scratching mats and posts in prominent places because cats need to condition their claws regularly. They also regularly use the scent glands in their paws to mark turf.
  • Plants! Are spider plants toxic to cats? As you know by now, spider plants are among the best plants to hang in baskets around your pets because they’re safe, beautiful, and fast-growing. Other good catio plants include Boston ferns (Nephrolepis exalta bostoniensis), Swedish ivy (Pilea nummulariifolia), cast iron plants/parlor palms (Aspidistra elatior), sunflowers (helianthus angustifolius), and marigolds (Calendula officinalis).

For inspiration on how to make the perfect catio for your kitties, look up information online and talk to other people who have them. If you’ve read our Happy Tails post on privacy and ways to block neighbors’ view of your home, then you might want to learn more about pet-friendly vines for trellises and walls

Tips to Keep Cats Out of Your Plants

While you want your furkids to feel relaxed in their little bit of heaven, you don’t want them to destroy it while they’re having fun. Have a designated area that is there’s where they can roll, step, squash, sniff, eat, and scent; catnip, lemongrass, wheatgrass and lavender. Then you can have an area that is part of the landscape but not necessarily off limits but less tempting. Here are some suggestions to save your plants:

  • Toppings: pebbles, rocks, wire mesh, twigs, thorns
  • Squishy toppings: Deep, damp mulch or leaves where their paws will sink down
  • Safe detergents: Citrus peels, coffee grounds, cayenne pepper, bitter apple, vinegar spray, citronella spray
  • Sounds: Low-hanging windchimes, motion-activated toys that move and make noise
  • Enhanced scented plants (separate tempting plants from distasteful plants): Rue, citronella

Are spider plants toxic to cats? Not a bit toxic–they’re oh-so-tempting because the bobbing baby spider plants look like fluttering green and white birds.

FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions

Can cats be trained to leave my plants alone?
Cats are very intelligent and can be trained, but when you’re not around, they’re likely to use their own minds in making decisions. It’s safer to prevent problems than to hope they’ll focus on being obedient. You probably know this already.

Do cats naturally like to dig?
Digging is a natural feline behavior. They cover their feces so prey animals won’t be alerted to their presence. Burying their wastes helps mask their scent so larger predators won’t go after them. This behavior also allows them to keep their claws in shape. In addition, cats have sweat glands on the soles of their feet and scent glands on their paws, so digging is one way to mark territory.

Do all cats love catnip?
It seems that 50-75% of all cats, including wild cats, enjoy the intoxicating effects of catnip. The response is hereditary, meaning that the love of catnip runs in families. It’s a good addition to your cat garden or catio as long as you maintain control of the plant so it isn’t totally destroyed.

Are spider plants poisonous to dogs?
They’re nontoxic to dogs. They do give off a scent that humans are unable to detect. 

What indoor plants are best for dogs and other pets?
Although mammals share many sensitivities, two factors come into play. One is size: it takes less toxin to affect smaller animals. The second factor is diet: different animals can tolerate different substances. Oftentimes omnivores can tolerate a wider variety of substances because their natural diet is made up of many kinds of ingredients. Cats are mostly meat-eaters so their systems are more sensitive. If you have questions, check out the ASPCA website or contact your pet’s veterinarian. 

Wrapping Up

By knowing what makes a cat a cat, you have the power to create a paradise for your feline buddy! Are spider plants toxic to cats? Now you know that spider plants and cats get along just fine. You’ve learned how to grow a cat garden and how to construct a catio. You and your cat’s bond will become even stronger when you can spend time together in your own little Eden. 

By the way, there’s one thing we forgot to mention about the catio: Unsightly though it may be, your cat would really, really, really like a cardboard box or two. 


Are spider plants toxic to cats?,to%20both%20cats%20and%20dogs.

Information about BARF foods for cats:

More info on safe plants for your catio:,effects%2C%20including%20diarrhea%20and%20vomiting.

Info about Juliette de Baïracli Levy

How Often Do You Take A Cat To The Vet? Complete Guide 2022

Presuming this means your cat as opposed to a cat . . . Excellent question ~ ‘How Often DO You Take A Cat To The Vet’? This question begs a thorough, honest and compelling response. As not only an animal lover but an animal advocate with tremendous love and appreciation for the feline species, let’s explore ~ rather the question, how often do you NEED to take a cat to the vet? This query is a loaded question because there is no black and white answer, it’s relative.

Relative in the sense that if you don’t want to be dependent on an outside source for your cat’s well-being there is a plethora of practical advice to empower you. Or if you just want to provide the best quality of life for your beloved kitty and rely on an expert when you’ve exhausted your toolbox, this post is for YOU!

A Holistic Approach Determines Frequency Of Vet Visits

Providing for your cat’s most essential requirements will determine the answer to the question, How Often Do You Take A Cat To The Vet? When you feed your cat a specie-specific diet meeting all the natural nutritional necessities you are building a foundation of health. Chemicals found in food, water, and the environment are highly toxic and are the root cause of many health conditions; feline and humans.

Choosing cat litters that are natural in substance and appealing for your cat to use to ‘doo’ his or her business is essential. Quality safe outdoor time for an indoor or outdoor cat is essential to their mental health and sense of well-being. Companionship based on the unique characteristics of feline breeds and the individual nature of your cat determines contentment, happiness, and fulfillment.

Toys, games, stimulation, playtime, and mental enrichment all contribute to not only a satisfied kitty but a thriving kitty. And for those times when the unexpected and unforeseen circumstances arise, having holistic remedies and resources at hand can make a world of difference not only in your cat’s life but your life. You’ll feel empowered and enriched.

“Take good care of your cat by making wholesome choices and you won’t find yourself in need of an expert very often because you’ll be your own expert!”

Debbie Criddle

Here is an outline of the tools you can begin implementing immediately with resources and links:

  1. Diet, THE Foundation ~ A Healthy Mind And Body
  2. Chemical Free Environment
  3. Pure Clean Water
  4. The Natural SandBox Chemical Free Litter
  5. Indoors/Outdoors
  6. Healthy Companionship/ Relationship
  7. Learn How To Clip Your Cats Nails And Basic Care
  8. Satisfy Prey Drive
  9. Cats Coming From Unhealthful Living Conditions
  10. First Aid, Basic Care, And Remedies
  11. The Ultimate Living Quarters, A Catio
  12. SUMMARY of Links At The Bottom Of Post

Diet THE Foundation ~ A Healthy Mind And Body

can cats eat steak

How is a feline diet related to the question, how often do you take a cat to the vet? It’s completely related! As I’m sure you know for yourself eating the right foods is mandatory for physical, mental, and emotional health. It’s no different for our feline friends or any sentient being for that matter.

Cats have very specific nutritional needs and when you give the body the proper fuel for the engine the engine runs better and even optimally. Cats are designed to eat a Biologically Appropriate Raw Food diet. Also known as BARF. Not barf like in ‘barf up’ but Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. Raw meats, fowl, fish, bones, organs, and glands are not by any means a new concept for our furred friends.

For decades people have been running to the store to get their pet cat a bag or can of food. The now processed cat food diet replaced a natural, fresh, raw, and wild diet approximately 80-90 years ago. What did cats eat before that? They hunted mice, moles, voles, insects, lizards, fish, and all variety of what was available in the environment they found themselves.

Hunting is a natural drive and where cats derive their complete nutrients from food. But we are talking about domesticated cats here in this post needing the same nutrition they would derive from hunting. Hunting isn’t always practical these days with rodent chemical poisons as common practices to rodent control. Depending upon the area, especially residential cats could easily be poisoned.

Solid Benefits Of Adhering To A Feline Specific Diet

You say, yeah, but my cat doesn’t live in the wild, it’s domesticated and lives a civilized life. Though the relationship between humans and cats has developed to cohabitating together, there is no reason why they can’t be provided with the food/diet that they are designed to thrive on. Literally THRIVE.

Here is a book to get you started learning about the BARF diet. You can read about the BARF diet and then implement providing a raw food diet for your feline buddy. They will LOVE you for it. You will see how their coat shines, their breath doesn’t stink, their poo doesn’t stink, (not kidding on that one) you have to experience it for yourself to believe it.

Where And How To Start Feeding The Optimal Diet

Among other common benefits are that their teeth stay healthy due to the enzymes in the food keeping tartar and plaque down. In a specie-specific diet the health of the tooth is maintained due to the natural inclination to ‘chew bones’ ~ its inherent. They don’t fall prey- literally, to depression and moods, anxiety, and the like because they are getting, absorbing and digesting the nutrients they are absolutely designed to receive.

You will be light years ahead ~ forging the path of optimal well-being and flourishing health for your cat by adhering to an appropriate diet.

*When feeding freeze-dried raw food out of the bag you can reconstitute it with water or you can feed it dry and then your cat will have option to have a drink at their clean fresh water bowl”.

You will be light years ahead forging the path of optimal well-being and flourishing health for your cat by adhering to an appropriate diet. There are also sources to buy freeze-dried or frozen BARF-approved food to get started immediately. Do this whether your cat is brand new to you, a foster, or a stray. You may have just acquired a kitty OR your cat’s health is deteriorating and you haven’t had much success turning it around. Start here:

1. Dr. Ian BilLinghurst BARF Book
2. Freeze-Dried or Frozen BARF Approved Food

A Feline Friendly Environment Is Chemical Free

This is an easy aspect to miss but equally important is considering your cat’s exposure to chemicals. These days chemicals are found in most household products from laundry detergent to fabric softener to weed killer. However, with awareness from a post such as this, you can begin to de-chemicalize your home and environment, therefore creating a healthy environment for your pets and yourself.

Continuing to answer the question, how often do you take a cat to the vet, steering clear of toxic cleansers in the household goes a long way. Think about carpet powders where your cat’s pads are in constant contact.

Cats absorb through the pads of their feet as well as inhalation of the breath to the lungs. Toxins and chemicals disrupt the endocrine system, the organs and glands and produce inflammation.

Additionally, consider the bowls they eat and drink out of and what they’ve been washed with? Strong fragranced soap or a mild more natural biodegradable dish soap? Pet odor sprays are one of the worst. Can you pronounce the ingredients?

How many words are there to an ingredient name? These are all indicators of less than natural ingredients. Above all, and important to realize is that you won’t need pet sprays when you provide a wholesome diet and holistic lifestyle. Your dog or cat won’t stink ~ I promise!

Pure Clean Water

What’s the best water for your cat? CLEAN. Most of today’s water sources are polluted in one form or another including municipal. Yep! In fact, most people rarely drink tap water anymore and have a filtration system of some kind or have 5-gallon water bottles delivered by a water company. If you wouldn’t drink it why would you let your pet!

HAPPY TIP: Cats should always have fresh water available and it should be changed regularly, even every other day. Having said that, cats naturally are supposed to get most of their water from their food. When a cat is eating a raw diet consisting of muscle tissue, gristle, organs, glands, offal, and meaty bones, you won’t find them hanging over the water bowl very often. Maybe just a few laps here and there.

By no means does this mean not having fresh water available. But what you will notice is that they drink much less water out of the bowl when their diet has the right amount of moisture contained within the uncooked/raw food. ALWAYS have fresh clean water available.

What’s Clean And Fresh?

Bottled water such as Crystal Geyser, Arrowhead, or clean spring water is a good choice. Or a reverse osmosis system with the minerals replaced is the best option.

The Natural Sandbox Chemical-Free Liter

You are probably getting the idea now that keeping chemicals away from your cat and for that matter, yourself is essential in maintaining a level of health. Cat litters are no exception, many are filled with unnatural substrates and highly fragranced. Cats don’t DO fragrances. I

In addition, they are extremely scent sensitive and chemicals from unnatural litter absorb right into the pads of the feet and the mucus membranes of their sinuses. Here is a list of the types of natural cat litter as there are many on the market now:

  • Pine, cedar, and other softwood shavings and pellets
  • Grass seed
  • Recycled paper
  • Recycled corn cobs, kernels, or husks,
  • Wheat and other grains

Here is one of the best natural cat liters we have found. We’ve tested a lot of them! And will have a review page on these soon. But this litter is chemical-free, economical, has minimal dust, and lasts a long time compared to other brands.

In our ongoing dialogue addressing the question, how often do you take a cat to the vet, it really depends on how healthful an environment you are providing on all levels.

Read our Related Post On Why Cats Pee Outside The Litterbox

Learn To Clip Your Cats Nails & Basic Care

how to cut a kittens nails

Clipping your cat’s nails is an empowering process for you and your cat.  Why? Because it requires patience on your part and trust on your cat’s part.  Most people take their cats to the vet to have their nails trimmed because they feel like they don’t know how to do it. 

It’s no different than learning to do anything that you really want to do.  The process that you’ll go through will teach your cat that they can trust you and this also establishes a leadership position for you.

Ideally, start clipping when your cat is a kitten, this will get them used to having their paws handled. That is the ideal but more frequently we acquire cats that are already adults or we adopt cats that may have been feral and then adopted out.  This is the case with our two current cats, Elijah and Isaiah.  Both cats were caught, rescued, neutered, and adopted out without much human contact except for being handled for a brief time.  They came to us pretty much full-on wild. It took time and patience to acclimate them to the trimming process.

It can be done! In learning how to trim your cat you’ll both be better off for it.  Start with handling the feet and pads on a frequent basis.  When your kitty comes up to you for pets and love or curls up in your lap use this time to ‘touch’ the pads and paws for 3-5 seconds.  Then add in rubbing deep in between the pads in the webbing of the feet. 

This also takes time and patience.  For cats, its important to know that they are not being ‘held captive’. Hold them and work with them gently.

The Technique

When they are letting you hold/touch their pad for a short time then start clipping one nail at a time.  You’ll actually squeeze the pad of the toe you’re going to clip and this will make the nail protrude (as shown in the photo above).  Clip the last quarter of the nail. 

HAPPY TIP: If your cat has clear transparent nails you’ll be able to visually see the quick within the nail as a darker or blood colored segment. 

Clip AFTER the quick.  If you clip the quick, it will hurt! Always clip past the quick and you’ll be safe.  And your cat will trust you’re not going to hurt him or her.

The Burrito Method

If you have a cat that is taking longer to build trust you can use ‘the burrito method’ to protect yourself from getting scratched or hurt and to help your cat along.  Simply take a towel or smaller soft blanket and wrap your kitty like a burrito pulling out only one paw.  This keeps the other 3 paws secured while demonstrating to your cat that they can do this. 

Stay with this practice and soon you’ll be able to clip the whole foot in one session. RULE: start with one nail and have success with that.  Add a nail every few days.  Soon you’ll have the whole foot done and then you can start the process on the other foot. 

HAPPY TIP: Make nail clipping fun ~ have treats ready afterward for praising a good job.  Play a game after to program new neural pathways in the brain. Nail clipping is not something to be afraid of but rather something FUN!  You and your cat really can do this.

There is more to clipping cat nails than clipping cat nails.  It ultimately creates trust and a leadership position and as a result bonding.  A huge benefit is that when you need to apply first aid to your cat for an injury or acclimate them to a new situation or environment you’ll be way ahead of the game.  Knowing how to take basic care of your pets will enable you to save time, energy, and money in the short term and the long term.  Building and maintaining relationships with our cats is an adventure.  It’s a positive challenge and creates less dependency on others.

See Our Post On CLIPPING Cat Nails

Indoors Or Outdoors Or Both?

Is your cat an indoor cat or an outdoor cat or both? Regarding injuries, accidents, and the like indoor cats certainly fair better since they are not interacting with potential stressors. But and the big but . . . . is . . . . cats need some outdoor time to fulfill their very basic needs.

At a minimum, they need to get their paws on the earth and sniff the dirt, lawn, plants, and flowers. Dig a little bit. Roll a little bit. Furthermore its essential to their mental and emotional well-being. This is such a necessity an entire book could easily be written on this subject.

Why not let your cat take you for a walk at their speed and take a dive into ‘their’ world.

You can easily replicate getting outdoor needs met safely while having your cat primarily be an indoor cat, therefore reducing risks. Risks of being prey for coyotes and wild dogs, catfights, injuries, eating rodents that have been poisoned, threatening the avian population, and more. You can use pet tents and camping tents laid on the ground, lawn or outdoor area to allow them to sniff the air, bird watch, critter gaze, and simply get a dose of the natural world.

Take your cat for a walk with a cat halter and leash. (We use this exact one and its made well, as we’ve been through quite a few!) Yes, it takes them a minute to get used to it but they are your companion, and its a relationship . . . right? Why not let your cat take you for a walk at their speed and take a dive into ‘their’ world. Animals aren’t on a time watch like humans are, though they know exactly what time it is when it’s time to eat! Have you not witnessed that before in your dog or cat or even horse. That is because they are intuitive.

Let Your Cat Bring You Into The Present Moment

Cats and animals live in the present moment. They are IN the right now. Not worried about yesterday or tomorrow, which is one of the reasons we find their company SO rewarding. Why not let your cat take you for a walk and let yourself slow down and join your best-furred friend in the NOW. Just see how much your mind is concerned with the past and future. It’s no wonder we crave the company of pets who are an extension of the natural world.

Healthy Companion & Relationship Needs

Some theories and people claim that cats are solitary, meaning they do just fine by themselves.  And this may be true, that cats can do fine by themselves and some may prefer a more solitary life. But despite this, many cats really do enjoy the company of another cat or several cats. Some may show it more outwardly and others less so.

Whatever the case maybe it will be important to recognize what your cat’s preferences are. A happy cat is a healthy cat. If your cat does desire the company of another cat, you’ll be far better off acknowledging this fact than evading it. Or your cat may prefer your company alone – be prepared to fulfill your end of the obligation.

Satisfying Your Cats Prey Drive

A cat’s prey drive needs to be satiated in healthy ways. Once again we are building on the cumulative answer to the question, “how often do you take a cat to the vet?” The fewer ensnaralments your feline companion gets into, the fewer visits or emergency calls to the vet.

Playing with your cat frequently with toys and games helps them fulfill the primal need to ‘catch’ something. We have lots of games with our cats; the chlorella game, tennis, and hide and seek, just to name a few.

The chlorella game (which we’ll have a video of soon) is exactly quite that, a chlorella game. We take tiny tablets of chlorella and roll them down the wood floors. They LOVE ‘catching’ the chlorella and then eating it! Such fun!

This single game meets a minimum of four basic needs:

  1. Exercise
  2. Prey drive (catching something)
  3. Eating
  4. Concentrated Nutrition

Additionally, this gives them a highly absorbable form of minerals in concentrated algae. What more could you ask? They love their ‘chlorella game’.

The idea is that you can easily satisfy a cat’s natural prey drive by providing a raw food diet and stimulating games and interactions that allow your cat to thrive.
We also play games with raw treats and roll them for them to catch. They get freeze dried liver, lamb lung and chicken breast treats as part of their diet.

Cats Coming From Unhealthful Living Conditions

When bringing a cat home there are several things that we have to consider and prepare for before we should consider how often we take our cat to the vet. It is less of an issue if you do not have other animals living with you in your home.

Practical Kitty Steps To Take

First: The overall condition of the cat and addressing the coat and skin also, parasites internally and externally.

Second: Diet, beginning the dietary intake and the introduction of a quality food source such as BARF or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food or Bones And Raw Food diet.

Third: Clean Water. This cannot be understated. To avoid serious health issues it is imperative not to let your animals drink tap water. A good Reverse Osmoses System that remineralizes the water for the whole house or an under-the-counter system will do the trick. These under-the-counter systems are more affordable and are easier to install than ever before.

This is really important if you live in an apartment or are renting your home to be able to have clean drinking water for you and your kids and animals in other words the whole family.

Their Own Space, The Sandbox & Socialization

Forth: Their little place their little way. Where kitties can have a place to lay down and relax and in addition know where the poddy box is. Make sure to introduce them to their cat box so that they know where to go to take care of business.

Equally important, this is a big part of the relaxation mechanism that allows them to settle into their new surroundings. Very important. New cats should always have NEW litter boxes. This avoids marking in the house when trying to claim their own territory. Give them an new box to mark their territory as THIERS.

Fifth: Acclamation. Some cats get going with their new routine sooner than others. It is important to let things move along organically meaning let the animal dictate the pace of introduction into their new lifestyle. There will be times when we will need to help them along, especially in the socialization department.

Do not just let them recede into the nooks and crannies of the living areas. They will need to explore and find out about their new home and its little ins and outs. But do not let them become reclusive. Teach them to be social with you and your people and the other animals if you have them. It may take some time but it is well worth all of the extra effort.

It is important to let things move along organically ~

Let the animal dictate the pace of introduction into their new lifestyle.

First Aid, Basic Care, And Remedies

There are a plethora of options for your sweet feline when things don’t go as well as our cats thought they should have. Haven’t we ALL been there! Having a Homeopathic remedy kit on hand as well as Flower essences can truly bring peace, calm, and resolution in unimaginable ways. Try them and see for yourself.

When it comes to fright, fear, shock, accidents, tummy upsets, injuries, sprains, new companions in the house, exposures, and the list goes on and on, there are remedies for that as well. The first thing is to educate yourself as to how to use these tools and have them available in the house.

Here are guides/kits to get you started:
Homeopathic First Aid and Emotional Support Kit
Homeopathic First Aid For Animals Treatment Book
#1 Flower Essence To Have On Hand
Flower Essence Repertory Guide Book
The Holistic Animal Handbook

The Ultimate Living Quarters – A Catio

catio ideas

What is a catio and what does it have to do with how often should you take your cat to the vet? A catio is the ultimate in cat living and for that matter people and cat living. To clarify, it is like a pat-io but for cats within an enclosure.

Specifically designed for cats, there are multiple ways and endless ideas to construct an outdoor enclosure off a portion of your house or apartment. Finally, the answer to providing a safe and secure place for your cats to hang out but why not hang out with your cats.

Small enclosures can be easily put together for even a bay-type window enclosure. This allows your cats to be in an environment completely protected from predators, other cats, rodents, and anything else. Let your cats play in the dirt, and plant feline herbs such as catnip and lavender.

Decorate with cat furniture, scratch posts, tubes, catwalks, tunnels, and even DIY water fountains or waterfalls. Add cat-friendly plants, flowers, and greenery. There are plenty of economical ways to bring your catio to life and your cat or cats will truly appreciate it.
PROMO Code for 10% OFF Catio Designs

Wrapping UP

So there you have it ~ a small expose’ on holistic cat health and how it should certainly help you answer the question, how often do you take a cat to the vet? Well, if you are your own expert then you’ll be able to answer that question yourself. In this post we covered:

  • Diet, THE Foundation ~ A Healthy Mind And Body
  • Chemical Free Environment (sprays,
  • Pure Clean Water
  • The Natural SandBox Chemical Free Litter
  • Indoors/Outdoors
  • Healthy Companionship/ Relationship
  • Learn How To Clip Your Cats Nails And Basic Care
  • Satisfy Prey Drive
  • Cats Coming From Unhealthful Living Conditions
  • First Aid, Basic Care, And Remedies
  • The Ultimate Living Quarters, A Catio

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Savannah Cat Or Bengal Cat ~ Walking On The Wild Side

Savannah Cat Or Bengal Cat? What’s the main difference between these two wilder-type cats? First, we are going to discuss the defining characteristics of the Savannah Cat followed by the uniqueness of the Bengal Cat. And finally, we’ll do some comparisons of the two since they look similar but definitely have different temperaments and dispositions.

The Savannah Cat

savannah cat f1

If you were asked to name the largest domestic feline breed, what would you say? Most people who know a thing or two about cats usually say that the largest is the Maine Coon, which is the size of a small to medium dog. While they wouldn’t be wrong, they also wouldn’t be right.

The actual answer is the Savannah cat. This breed was originally created in the mid-1980s by crossing an African Serval cat with a domestic feline. Without a doubt, that is no easy feat because most wild cats are not likely to mate with their domesticated cousins. If you are fascinated by this idea, or just exotic cats in general, read on.

The African Serval And The Start Of The Savannah Breed

Imagine a graceful, very long-legged feline with leopard- or cheetah-like spots slinking through the high Savannah grasses of Africa as it tracks down prey. That is exactly what the African Serval is. It closely resembles its Cheetah cousins with its long slender legs and spots, and it shares the African plains with its cousin too.

However, the Serval is a hunting and killing machine, a fierce predator that will go after poisonous snakes just as easily as it goes after birds, rats, and baby animals that get separated from their mothers and the herds. So why would anyone want such an animal in their home?

It’s the idea of owning something almost wild, much like wanting to own a tiger or lion while still knowing it could maul, maim, or kill you. The big difference here is that the Savannah cat isn’t quite as wild because it’s been bred with a domestic cat. It’s slightly less ferocious and every bit as beautiful.

The Size of the Savannah

If you had an Australian Shepherd, you would know that that is exactly how big the Savannah kitties become. They may start out as cute balls of fluff, but as they grow, their legs get really long. That’s a genetic gift from the Serval, which requires the long legs to see up high through the tall grasses in Africa. The Savannah is a big cat.

Their heads are quite small, with really large ears. The Serval doesn’t have large ears; those come from a domestic cat. What it does have are ears that pivot full one-hundred-eighty degrees like sonar dishes to pick up sounds only wild animals can hear when they hunt.

Between the really tall, pointed ears of the domestic cats and the pivoting sonar ears of the Serval, the Savannah gets the best of both worlds.

The more docile and less wild and ferocious the Savannah the better, especially if you have children. The National Registry for Cats does not allow for declawing or defanging either, which presents a major concern if you purchase an F1 savannah cat or F2 savannah cat.

An F5 is generally the safest around children, but you still can’t keep it around other animals.

Legal Issues of Owning a Savannah

Savannah cat owners need to be aware, in a handful of states, the big cat is completely illegal and considered too dangerous to keep as a pet. In other states, it is only allowed if caged, regardless of its F-rating and distance from its Serval lineage.

Still, a few more states require that you get a permit to own such an animal, which is often difficult to get because you have to justify why you want one in the first place.

Savannah Temperament and the Need for a Lot of Space

how much is a savannah cat

They are still instinctually territorial, so Savannah cats need a lot of room to roam. If your house is tiny, or your property small, these cats are not for you. You should also know that if a Savannah gets out of your house and your yard, it can and will roam several miles from home.

These cats can also jump twelve feet straight up into the air. Your typical property fence is not enough. They can and will climb trees, they love water and can swim, and they are exceedingly clever enough to figure out how to escape. Most people who own a Savannah often build a large outdoor enclosure complete with a fenced-in roof for these cats to roam when the need arises each day.

Be Prepared for the Wild Sounds They Make

These felines will purr when petted, which is nice considering that the rest of the sounds they make are most unnerving. If you live with a Savannah long enough, their vocals become less unnerving, but initially, it might throw you for a loop. They do not meow like a domesticated cat.

Instead they:

  • Hiss like a cobra in a very loud tone to scare off anything or anyone they think is a threat.
  • Growl like a mountain lion to warn you they don’t want to be touched now.
  • Howl softly when they want your attention or they want to be fed.

If you can adapt to an animal that does not meow when you would expect it to, then you should be okay. You just have to remember that these cats are a partly wild animal, and they will sound more wild than domestic.

A Savannah Owner Will Reconsider Having Other Pets

These half-wild animals do not pair well with other pets, not even other domestic cats. Because of their territorial nature and their immense stature, other pets would be in danger. They would view other non-Savannah cats as a threat to their territory, and may even shred them with their long claws.

Dogs are a definite no, since the nature of the wild Serval in the Savannah would seek to defend its territory against a natural enemy.

For the Savannah owner, it is best to wait until all other pets in the house have passed away before getting this exotic cat. This is especially true if you have birds, fish, or anything smaller than the Savannah might see as “lunch” instead of another family pet.

If your children are still infants or toddlers, it is also a good time to wait as these cats do not respond well to having tails or ears tugged/pulled as in the typical family of a cat owner with a domesticated cat. They are generally well-behaved with elementary school-aged children and older, although some children might still find them intimidating with the sounds these cats tend to make.

The Start of the Bengal Breed

Bengal cats are a cross between domestic cats and Asian leopard cats. They’re a comparatively recent breed but have become popular because of the dramatic markings on their coat. Despite their spots, they’re not related to leopards.

The hybrid crosses resulted in strikingly beautiful and intelligent cats, now accepted in all 50 states as a recognized breed.

The Bengal Coat

bengal cat personality

Bengal coats are something special. They have thick, dense, shiny, plush fur that glistens beautifully in the sunlight. What’s more, they don’t shed a lot and require minimal grooming. Because of the way they groom themselves, little saliva or dander accumulates on the fur, making them ideal for people with cat dander allergies.

Bengals are known for a wide variety of colors and patterns, which change during the first few years. Breeders have often focused on spot size and shape rather than temperament, selecting cats for the most notable markings.

Pattern types include:

  • Rosetted (shaped like arrowhead, doughnuts, or pawprints)
  • Spotted
  • Marbled (mottling with irregular patching and streaking like marble)

Bengal breed colors include:

  • Snow (from Siamese crossing): White to cream ground with seal markings, tail tip, and blue eyes
  • Silver: White to steel ground with steel or black markings and tail tip
  • Brown: Light brown ground with darker brown markings
  • Blue: Pale blue gray ground with darker blue markings and dark tail tip
  • Charcoal: Grayish brown ground with dark spots
  • Black or Melanistic: Black ground with black ghost markings

Physical Attributes of the Bengal Breed

Bengals generally range in weight from 8-15 pounds of bulky muscle, similar to a medium or large house cat. They usually have green, gold, or hazel eyes although certain coat colors come with blue eyes.

Special Considerations If You Want to Buy a Bengal Cat

Because they’re intelligent, active, and get bored easily, you’ll want to keep them supplied with lots of different toys. Although they’d undoubtedly love being able to run free outside, they can wreak havoc: not only are they predators who will kill other small animals of all kinds, but they don’t have the same concept of territory as you.

You think that your deed defines your property lines, right? Your Bengal urinates to mark where he or she decides his or her property lines are! And will engage in violent fights to defend that territory. For those reasons, your Bengal will need to stay inside.

However, many Bengal fans have discovered that they easily accept training to wear a harness and that they very much enjoy agility training to exercise both their minds and bodies. You’ll want to socialize your Bengal cat with people early on, frequently, and thoroughly to prevent fearful or aggressive behaviors.

A final word of advice from someone experienced in the workings of the Bengal mind: keep your toilet lid down! Do not forget!

Bengal Temperament and the Need for a Lot of Space

bengal cat size

Comparison of Savannah Cat Vs. Bengal Cat

Size: Savannah Cat vs Bengal Cat – Savannahs weigh 12-25 pounds or more and are noted for their tallness from those long legs, standing up to 17 inches high at the shoulders; Bengals weigh 8-15 pounds, and have dense, muscular bodies, standing 13-16 inches at the shoulders.

Lifespan: Savannahs live 12-20 years; Bengals have a similar life span at 12-16 years.

Personality: Savannah Cat vs Bengal Cat – Both are intelligent, active, curious, affectionate, athletic, love to climb, demanding of your attention, highly territorial, dangerous to outside wildlife, and very vocal. Savannahs do not get along with other pets and will consider them territorial invaders or prey, so you should have no other animal in the home.

Bengals, if socialized during kittenhood, can enjoy other pets in the home, especially dogs and some other cats; however, they should always be monitored in case something triggers their predatory streak.

Talkiness: Savannah Cat vs Bengal Cat – Both are very vocal but in different ways. Bengal vocalizing is less Siamese-sounding but they’re just as talkative, making a variety of amusing and almost word-like mews, meows, and other sounds which they use to charm their humans.

Health, Genetics, and Price

Medical Issues: Savannah Cat vs Bengal Cat – Both are susceptible to the same issues that affect other felines.

Complications from obesity: In the case of savannahs and Bengals, because both are descended from very active predators, they can get easily bored being confined in the domestic setting, and that fact, in addition to being neutered, can easily lead to boredom eating. Boredom eating, as you probably know, can lead to obesity, which in turn can lead to diabetes. A potentially fatal condition is hepatic lipidosis, developing within 48 hours when an obese animal is deprived of food.

Dental disease: Common in animals not receiving dental care and a proper diet, it can lead to gum and bone disease, abscesses, pain, and even sepsis and death.

Genetic tendencies: Savannah cats are amazingly healthy with few known genetic risks. On the other hand, Bengals are prone to a few issues.

Price: Savannah Cat vs Bengal Cat – Both are pricey because of the careful breeding as well as because people are willing to pay that much. Savannahs start around $2000; Bengals from breeders run from $1000-$10,000 depending on the F generation, although rescues may only cost a few hundred dollars.

A note about rescued exotics: they may have behavior problems or, more likely, their former owners may have had unrealistic expectations.

Special Considerations: Savannah Cat Or Bengal Cat vs Domestic Cat

Savannah Cats grow at a fast rate so proper nutrition is vital. They do not require a raw meat diet however a raw meat diet is the most nutritional diet available if properly prepared.

Finding a Veterinarian Specializing in Exotic Cats

Despite the many differences between the savannah cat vs Bengal cat, you can see that they have much in common. You’ll need to find a local veterinarian who is willing and able to provide care for your savannah or Bengal. Every type of animal has its own special needs. Be aware that appointments and procedures will likely cost much more than those for domesticated pets. Some enthusiasts will report that regular vets can provide for exotic cat needs but you’ll need to contact the individual doctor to learn if they feel comfortable doing so. Here are a couple of websites to help you:

Finding the Right Food (Instead Of Your Other Pets)

As with any pets you care for, you’ll want to provide a fresh, nutrient-dense, natural diet for your savannah or Bengal. You know that several types of foods exist for domestic cats, depending on their age, activity level, medical condition, and other characteristics; choosing the right diet for your exotic cat requires the same mindful efforts.

MYTH: Raw food makes your pets more aggressive! Maybe you’ve been told not to give your dog or cat blood or raw meat because such foods will excite the wild side of them and cause them to revert to ancestral behaviors such as increased roaming, hunting, and killing. It’s not true!

What is true is that natural food in the right balance is more nutritious than highly processed chows and kibbles. Canned cat foods print percentages of nutrients such as proteins and fats on the labels, but what they don’t disclose is the kind of proteins and fats.

For example, chicken feathers and steer hooves are protein but they won’t do your cat as much good as eating heart, liver, and muscle meat. Animal nutritionists report that a balance of nutrient-dense raw foods will usually increase your pets’ energy level simply because they become healthier and feel much better.

Final Thoughts

If you love cats, then you know that WE don’t really own THEM – THEY are the ones who own US! With Savannahs and Bengals, it’s the same only on steroids! More than ownership it’s a matter of the responsibility to give these magnificent cats the life they deserve. If you’re knowledgeable about the savannah cat vs Bengal cat residential partnership, we want to hear about your experiences!

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