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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sleeping Cats and Flatulence

      Cat farts are especially annoying, but one big question that even stumps vets is, do they make a sound?
      Cats often show owners their butt and when they do, they're making themselves very vulnerable and by doing so, they're saying they trust you and know you won't do anything to hurt them. Another sign of trust is when they fall asleep on you.
      Cats can sleep up to 16 hours a day, and older cats spend even more, as much as 20 hours a day sleeping. In the wild, cats have to hunt in order to eat and all that stalking, chasing and killing of prey burns a lot of energy so they conserve energy between meals by sleeping. 
     But cats aren’t always sound asleep...about three quarters of their sleep is what might be called snoozing; they are getting their rest, but are still alert enough to spring into action at a moment’s notice. As a cat dozes it generally lies with his head raised and paws tucked beneath them. Sometimes they actually sleep sitting up, in which case their muscles stiffen to hold them upright. Again, they are ready to spring into action. Here's a little secret to know if a cat is in a light, snoozing sleep: their ears will twitch and rotate toward noises and their eyes will be open a tiny bit.
      When they are not in the snooze mode they are in a deep sleep. Except for older cats; they're in deep sleep 30-40 percent of the time. Signs that a cat is in a deep sleep are they are usually curled up with their eyes tightly closed. Sometimes they might even have their tail over their face. Deep sleep is critical for their health and it's also the time they dream.         
     You can tell they are dreaming because their whiskers and paws twitch. Sometimes they also snore. The airway is obstructed by extra skin from the soft palate and is likely to happen when a cat is relaxed.
      When the cat transitions from light into a deep sleep, their body relaxes and they stretch out and roll to one side. Their brain patterns change and become smaller and closer together and are very similar to their waking patterns. However, they are hard to awaken during deep sleep. This phase usually lasts only about five minutes and the cat then returns to slow-wave sleep and thereafter alternates between the two until they finally wake up. Kittens fall directly into deep sleep without this alternating pattern until they're about a month old.
      The cat's senses continue to record sounds and scents during up to 70 percent of sleep, so the they can awaken quickly at the squeak or smell of a mouse.  Slower wake-up times are characterized by a predictable pattern of blinking, yawning and stretching. First the forelegs, then back, and finally rear legs each, in turn, are flexed. Most cats also groom themselves briefly upon first awakening. Sleep time increases on cold, rainy or cloudy days. For house cats, their sleep time is usually modified to fit in with their owner's habits.
     And, what about that nasty flatulence cat's often have? Dr. Mickila Collins DVM, when asked about farting in cats, said she never heard a cat rip one but that doesn’t mean they don’t; she thinks they could. Personally, I have had three cats and certainly smelled them, but never heard one. I can also tell you that when a cat lets one loose, the smell can sometimes cause bile to come up in your throat!
      Diet itself is frequently to blame because the filler found in many cat foods may include such hard-to-digest ingredients as soybeans, beans, peas, corn or other carbohydrates. Food that’s spoiled, table scraps, milk products, especially cow’s milk, high-fat diets and spices all create gas in cats.
      Worm infestation, signaled by stomach upset, diarrhea and foul-smelling gas is is a sign of of a problem. Cats with excess gas need to be examined so vets can diagnose or rule out any illness. Excessive gas or signs such as a bloated tummy, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite are cause to consult a vet immediately. Never ever give any cat a human medicine designed for gas relief.
      Other causes can be a diet high in fiber, eating too fast and swallowing excessive amounts of air, consuming spoiled food or garbage, hairballs and dietary changes, especially ones that aren’t gradual. Don't feed a cat dairy products. Their digestive tract isn’t designed to process it properly.

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