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Often we think of cats as relaxed and somewhat lazy, like their lasagna-loving-cartoon-cat-representative. But the truth is that cats can be very energetic and active. Cats are nocturnal creatures, so much of their outgoing behavior goes on at night. They can also be active during daytime hours while you are at work. If you’re lucky, and with a little bit of work, you can engage your cat with play while you are at home. Try laser-light pointers, tossing the toy mouse around, rolling a ball, or using the ever-popular fishing pole activity. You’ll soon come to see just how energetic most cats can be.
More Than One Cat Equals More Excitement
In a 2-or-more cat home, you might see the signs of energy expulsion more often. Some cats like to wrestle playfully, chase each other, and get into rambunctious altercations on a regular basis. If you’re at home when it happens, you’ll hear it. From the clattering of 8 paws down the hallway to the yowls of irritation when things get too serious, energetic twosomes can be boisterous. Cats will have many play sessions throughout their lives as long as they have another cat to play with.
The Sounds Of Play
Everyone has woken up to a middle-of-the-night cat fight in their neighborhood. The sound of cats yodeling, howling, and hissing in the dark is enough to make your hair stand on end. Hopefully, your cats are not engaging in that type of activity, but we’ll touch on that later. Cats can form very close social bonds with littermates, but bonds can also be formed with non-siblings. A few signs that cats have formed a social group or bond include:
- Mutual grooming
- Touching noses
- Rubbing against one another
- Cuddling close
- Playing together
So all of the wrestling, rolling, and running is perfectly normal. It might look aggressive to us, but it’s just a part of their nature and discovery of who they are in the world. Of course, even cats who share social bonds can find that their simple play can become escalated. When this happens, you might hear a few hisses, which are normal. But if the hissing becomes frequent, you might have cause for concern. Look for body-language cues to know if things are escalating:
- Repeated hissing
- Flattened ears
- Extended claws
- Swift tail swatting
- Fur on the back standing up
- Confrontational stares
Of course, even if many of these signs are present and there is little to no noise, it is still just an act of play. It’s good for cats to play in this way as it allows cats to be cats!
If these signs appear with loud vocalizations and true fighting, do not try to get in the middle of the confrontation as this could cause you serious harm and change the way your cats view you after the altercation. Distract the cats with a sudden loud noise to startle them, such as a hand-clap, banging a pot lid, or slamming a door. Once the cats are separated, put them in opposite areas until they get back to normal.
Why You Need Wellness Cat Food
Your cats might benefit from separate feeding dishes, litterboxes, and elevated locations for lounging. Try not to make them share these things so that they feel more independent. And for all of your cats’ energy needs, be sure that you are providing foods that are highly nutritional. The first thing to remember is that wellness cat food does not contain artificial colors as these can cause behavioral issues:
- Yellow 5 has been linked to hyperactivity, aggression, and insomnia
- Red 40 can lead to hyperactivity
- Blue 2 can be linked to brain tumors and allergic reactions
- Yellow 6 can cause allergies, hyperactivity, and adrenal gland tumors
Corn, wheat and soy products can cause allergies in some cats which can lead to irritation and stomach discomfort. Both of these can lead to agitation toward a well-meaning feline friend; who wants to play when they don’t feel good? If you are a supermarket shopper, there are some cat foods that might contain a few nutritious ingredients, but add these colors and fillers to the mix, such as:
- 9 Lives Long Life Formula – this formula includes turkey and chicken down the list, but first includes ground corn, corn gluten, soybean meal, and whole wheat. Red 40, yellow 5 and 6, and blue 1 round out the list.
- Meow Mix Original Choice – while salmon and ocean fish meal can be found in this bag, first we find includes ground corn, corn gluten, and soybean meal. Again, red 40, yellow 5 and 6, blue 2 are included.
- Whiskas Tuna Entrée (Wet) – It includes tuna, but also soybean oil, which could cause allergies, and BHA, a preservative that has been banned in human foods in many countries due to cancer risks.
A wellness cat food will contain plenty of meat and no allergy causing ingredients like corn, wheat, or soy. Looking at other brands available, you can see the difference with some of the following:
- Blue Buffalo Indoor Health Adult Salmon & Rice – the first ingredient is salmon, followed by chicken meal, turkey meal, oatmeal, and brown rice
- Nutro Ultra Adult Chicken & Lamb – chicken, chicken liver, beef liver, ground rice, and lamb are right at the top
- AvoDerm Tuna & Chicken (Wet) – as expected, tuna, chicken and fish broth top the list, followed by sunflower oil and carrots.
No matter what brand you choose, the importance lies in the ingredients. For a wellness cat food that will keep our cats adventurous without causing any undo aggressions, look for those that are high-quality and full of meat. Since cats are meat-lovers, having their fill at suppertime will keep them satisfied, happy, and ready to rumble. Have fun!