Every feline has its own unique personalities and characteristics. Owners should note this and take it into account when considering what is normal for their cat, and not what has been considered the average cat trait.
Owners can begin by paying close attention to the daily routine of their cats. It also helps to note down activities that can be referred back to if necessary. Adding in certain general details concerning the cat’s routine can help to quickly identify if a change has occurred. This helps to alert owners to early indications that something is wrong.
Should a change be noticed in the cat’s regular schedule, even if the change is minimal, it is best to consult a veterinarian before it becomes a bigger issue.
Below is a list of normal behavior for your cats and how to keep track of them. Any changes in these could underline a problem that requires a veterinarian’s intervention.
- Record the general amount of food the cat consumes in the span of a day.
- Ration out helpings of food, particularly dry food. Make a record of any snacks or treats the cat is offered. Doing this is the sole accurate method of knowing just how much food the cat consumes daily.
- As soon as the typical food amount consumed by the cat has been noted, it is best not to fret over it. Rather, remain vigilant for any slight change.
- Understanding the location and kind of container the cat prefers to drink out of, such as a fountain, bowl, nightstand glass, bathroom faucet and more.
- It can be quite difficult to accurately measure the amount of water consumed by the cat. Nevertheless, it is imperative to watch out for changes in the cat’s drinking behavior. Typically, there is a daily variation in the average amount of water a cat drinks from the water resources available.
- Should the cat consume dry food either exclusively or primarily, it is more likely to consume more water than those cats that solely or majorly consume wet/canned food? A great gauge of typical water consumption is a steady volume of urine.
- It is imperative to record the quantity of urine produced by the cat each day. It is also important to know just how often the cat produces urine.
- If clumping litter is used, it can be extremely easy to note the frequency of urination and their sizes. If an absorbent litter is used, it helps to record the size and number of wet patches, before the litter is scooped and stirred.
- Households that have two cats or more, as well as more than a single litter box, can record the complete volume of urine created daily. The total should be divided by the amount of cats present and the result should be near the average.
- The average adult feline makes about 2 to 3 hand-sized balls of urine each day.
- Cats, as creatures of routine, prefer to use a certain part of the litter box. This is why it is important to be observant as to where the cat urinates.
- Ensure every litter box is cleaned once or more each day
- The plan is to register a baseline, which makes it easier to identify any changes.
- Note the frequency of elimination and the quantity eliminated by the cat every day.
- All bowel movements are to be scooped at least once each day, regardless of the kind of litter being used.
- It is important to notice features like shape, consistency, and color. This observation takes but a moment during the transfer from litter box to trash bag.
- An average feline eliminates at least once in a 24-36 hour time span and makes the stool that is similar in size to a mini candy bar. The color of the stool should be dark brown, its consistency well-formed and moist enough to stick to litter. The odor while not pleasing is not one that should clear the room.
Napping and Sleeping
- Clearly record where the cats prefer to spend their time.
- The majority of cats tend to take naps where the sun rays hit, such as a window sill, TV room, a desk. Cats also sleep in areas that are quiet, warm and safe.
- The average adult indoor cat tends to sleep for around 14 to 16 hours of the day and could have 3 to 4 preferred napping locations. These favorite spots usually change either randomly or in accordance to the time of the day.
- Cats tend to look extremely relaxed when they rest. A napping cat is often responsive and alert when an interesting scenario occurs. A cat that is sleeping, on the other hand, appears slightly groggy when woken up.
- Felines are more likely to withdraw instead of complaining when they aren’t feeling well. If a cat suddenly stops spending time in its favorite spots, it may have an issue. It is best to visit a veterinarian to share any concerns.
Interaction and action
- Understand the general daily activity of the cat. Does it like to greet family members at the front door, run around the house, play with its toys, groom, and lounge on a window sill to watch the outside world?
- Are toys kept inside a box, found by the cat and eventually littered across the floor? If the cat is typically active, are things out of place and are rugs and throw clothes rumpled?
- Any slight changes to a cat’s regular routine typically mean an investigation should be carried out. The changes should also be discussed with a veterinarian.
- It is important to note that the cat’s simple approach in life is one that is constant. It helps to note if the cat in question is a brawler, a take-charge cat or a safety first cat.
- Ensure a sanctuary is provided if the cat in question is one that is cautious. Conversely, ensure the home environment is cat proofed for those adventurous and boisterous cats.
What’s normal for a cat’s health?
The regular body temperature of a cat ranges between 38 to 39.2 Celsius (100.5 to 102.5 Fahrenheit). Cats sometimes get stressed while visiting the veterinarian, either in the office or the car ride over. These stressful situations cause a temperature reading to be higher than the average, albeit temporarily.
Measuring body temperature using the nose’s moisture is an unreliable method. Oftentimes a fever can be registered by feeling the warmth the ears are giving off, however, this as well as an unreliable method.
The average cat has about 16 to 40 breaths in a minute. This baseline average is registered when the cat is at rest. A feline that is suffering pain, having respiratory or heart issues, stressed or suffering from heatstroke is likely to have an increased respiratory rate.
It is imperative to measure the whole condition and situation of the cat when assessing its respiratory rate.
The average heartbeat of a cat ranges from 20 to 140 beats per minute. Heart rates typically increase when the cat comes under stress. The heart rate in a healthy feline normalizes once the cat becomes calms. Felines that suffer from diseases like hyperthyroidism or heart conditions such as cardiomyopathy are likely to have elevated heart rates, registered in certain cases to beat more than 200 times in a minute.
Duration of Pregnancy
The average gestation period of cats is about 63 days, however, it can be as low as 57 days and as much as 69 days.
Amount of teeth
Kittens typically have 26 sets of teeth, while full-blown adults have 30 in number. Kittens tend to lose their baby or deciduous teeth once they become 6 months old. These deciduous teeth are substituted for adult teeth capable of biting flesh.
Archetypal Cat Behaviours Deemed Normal
Certain behaviors appear stereotypically feline, and most cats change other behaviors to ensure whatever it is they do appears feline-like. Below are a couple of such behaviors:
Purring is the most cat-like thing to do. Humans tend to see purring as an indication of contentment, and most times it is. Queens and kittens purring when nursing and the majority of cats purr when petted. They also purr when they are enjoying a comfortable, safe and familiar environment. Adult cats would sometimes purr to show they are not threatening to other felines.
Nevertheless, purring does not always signify that a cat is happy. There are times when cats purr because they are injured, sick or under duress. When cats purr in these situations, it is an attempt to calm down and try to stop the pain. There are numerous scenarios in which a cat can become stressed. One of them being trips to the vet. During veterinarian exams, cats have been known to purr so much that it became difficult for the vet to accurately examine the lungs and heart of the cat.
There are quite a number of environmental and individual factors that affect a cat’s sleeping habits. It is actually normal for a cat to sleep for a duration of 16 hours or more in a day. Changes in the sleeping habit of a cat could be a sign of health issues, which is more apparent in older cats. However, if the cat in question is sleeping less or more than its baseline, it is best to consult a veterinarian.
Does your cat love catnip just a little bit too much
Catnip is a plant that is part of the Lamiaceae mint family, which is a recreational drug that while not being addictive, results in an array of pleasant responses in around 80% of felines older than 3 months. Research has indicated that catnip arouses the brain’s pleasure centers, whilst leaving no traces or long-term harmful effects. While individual responses differ, the majority of cats when given dried or fresh catnip munch it, rub and their heads on it. There have been some instances where cats have been over possessive or aggressive over the herb.
Cats younger than 2 and a half months old do not react to catnip. It is only when cats are about 3 months old do they begin to show interest in catnip. Toys scented with catnip dried catnip and even fresh catnip can be purchased in major pet stores. Catnip can also be grown in the garden, but it is imperative to grow it in a pot as it can become an invasive species.
All cats enjoy being perched high. This is because being high offers a sense of security. Cat owners with dogs have noticed that the cats tend to remain elevated when the dog is nearby. However, it often got down in the middle of the night to attend to important necessities.
Elevation also offers a tactical vantage point which a cat can use to watch the goings on’s around the house or outside without giving away its position. This behavior is an exemplary sign that cats, while domesticated are predators at heart.
Cats typically rub their face on their owners or favorite human’s face as a way of showing affection. This is because a cat’s face contains glands that are located at the corner of their mouths and their cheek.
Constantly Bringing Dead Gifts
Most cat owners and even dog owners have been known to receive gifts from their furry friends. These gifts range from dead lizards, mice, or birds. To help with a cat’s prey drive it is best to give the cat toys which it can hunt for in the house. It offers an outlet for the predator side, while also ensuring wildlife is safe.
All these behaviors are typical of the average cat. While individual cats may differ slightly or not show traits of some of these behaviors, it is important to intimately know your cat. This helps you identify any deviations from normal behavior as quickly as possible.