Cat Grieving

th4clogo blogThe Hotel 4 Cats: Cat Boarding That Is Truly A Home Away From Home!

Do Cats Experience Grief?

YES. Grief is a response to an absence of another animal or person who provided a sense of happiness, satisfaction, comfort or reassurance. For cats, such an absence can cause physical pain, mental pain, sadness and depression which can lead to stress. Even if kittens are taken away from a mother cat she will search and cry for them for several days.

Similar to humans, grief can range from minimal to becoming deeply devastating. The healing process tends to last between two weeks and six months.

Symptoms of Grief: (Death And Other Separation Situations) 

• Hours or even days of searching for the person or animal that is absent. The search can include pacing and crying out.
• Mental disturbance.
• Refusal to eat.
• Showing no interest in life (no interest in eating, playing, being pet, being around others, etc.).
• Waiting at the window for the absent person or animal to return.
• Outdoor cats may sit on the doorstep waiting for companion to return.
• Indoor cats may approach door whenever someone enters the house.

How Can You Help Your Cat Heal During a Grieving/Separation Period?

Note that your vet should be consulted to help with creating an individualized healing plan. Extra pet care and attention is important. Consider the following:

• Cats are creatures of routine so minimize any change of routine to prevent additional stress. However, absence of a companion may drive the need for some new routines so try to establish and stick to a new routine that is not too dissimilar to the old one. 
• Give reassurance and attention. Specifically set time to make your cat a priority - actively engage in a regular time each day (Example, 20 minutes AM and PM). Never force yourself on a cat, however, when you are giving your cat attention, make it meaningful to reinforce comfort and encouragement with significant, yet little things such as play time, offering food treats (without reinforcing a new dependency), brushing, new toys to help reduce sadness or even clingy cat's over-attachment.
• If eating decreases, ask your vet about appetite stimulants. 
• If your cat has no interest in life, your vet can assess whether a prescription for antianxiety medication is necessary. Note that human medications should not be given to cats – they are toxic!
• Determine if there is an acceptable homeopathic remedy available.

Cat boarding at The Hotel 4 Cats is very personalized. We ask that you inform us of any separation concerns so that we can assess grieving signs and give extra special cat care and attention.coping with cat loss

Blog adapted from WHEN CATS GRIEVE 2004, Sarah Hartwell

The Hotel 4 Cats: Cat Boarding Serving the Lake Norman Area.

Why Do Cats Have Whiskers

th4clogo blogThe Hotel 4 Cats: Cat Boarding That Is Truly A Home Away From Home!

Why Do Cats Have Whiskers?

Cat whiskers are located on the upper lip, the eyebrow area, the chin, near the feet and on the back of the legs. Whiskers play an extremely important function for cats – they are said to be the GPS and radar system. They are packed with very sensitive nerves that help cat’s judge distance and space. Sensory organs are at the tip of each whisker.

Examples of how they are used for sensing include:

• Detecting jumping distance.
• Judging abilities to fit through different sizes of boxes and holes.
• Picking up vibrations in the environment that help them sense movement in their prey and what other creatures are around her.
• Detecting what’s around them. Blind cats can effectively navigate with the use of their whiskers.
• Protecting eyes during hunting in grass or bushy areas or even when touching humans.
• Helping to climb trees effectively.

NEVER … NEVER… Trim Whiskers! If they are trimmed, that is cruel and painful and the cat will become disoriented and scared – a cat will not be able to determine what is in their environment. Whiskers naturally shed and do grow back.

One way that cats communicate feelings is how the whiskers are positioned. As a pet care facility, we pride ourselves on purposefully looking for signs to tell us how your cat is feeling during its stay with us.

image2When a cat is relaxed, whiskers will remain still, sticking straight out from the side of her head.


If a cat is curious or is on the hunt, whiskers will be pressed slightly forward.


image4Cats that are nervous or upset will pin the whiskers back toward the face.

Our pet boarding care takers are well versed in understanding your cat’s mood. Our cat care includes reading cat communication signs and accommodating your cat’s individualized needs - such as making their condo more comfortable with beds and toys, giving play time, giving tender loving care time, or just quiet time. We do not take cat sitting lightly…we are more than a kennel! It is our mission to create a cat boarding environment that is truly a home away from home!

Blog adapted by Animal Behavior Institute (ABI)

The Hotel 4 Cats: Cat Boarding Serving the Lake Norman Area.


What is Cat Scratch Disease

th4clogo blogThe Hotel 4 Cats: Truly A Home Away From Home!

What is Cat-Scratch Disease (CSD)?

The Center For Disease and Control And Prevention has stated that CSD is a bacterial infection spread by cats. It is caused by a bacterium called Bartonella henselae. Most cats with this infection show NO signs of illness. Cats can get infected from flea bites and flea dirt (droppings) getting into their wounds. By scratching and biting at the fleas, cats pick up the infected flea dirt under their nails and between their teeth. Cats can also become infected by fighting with other cats that are infected. Therefore, it is important to apply a flea product approved by your veterinarian once a month. Keep cats indoors to decrease their contact with fleas and to prevent them from fighting.

CSD can spread when an infected cat licks a person's open wound, or bites or scratches hard enough to break the surface of the skin. Within 14 days after the skin is broken, an infection can emerge. Common signs are swelling at the source, red with round, raised lesions and can have pus.csd

The infection can feel warm or painful. A person with CSD may also have a fever, headache, poor appetite, and exhaustion. Later, the person's lymph nodes closest to the original scratch or bite can become swollen, tender, or painful.

To help prevent CSD:

cat clawsProper cat care includes keeping your cat's nails trimmed to minimize scratching. Wash cat bites and scratches right away with soap and running water. Also, do not allow cats to lick your wounds. Most importantly, contact your doctor if you develop any symptoms of cat-scratch disease or infection.

At The Hotel 4 Cats our pet boarding practices include assessing for fleas, however, we do require flea medication be applied to cats prior to check-in. In addition, to protect our staff from excessive cat scratching while they give the highest quality of cat care, we ask that you trim your cat’s nails also prior to check-in.

This blog was adapted from “The Center For Disease and Control And Prevention”

The Hotel 4 Cats: Cat Boarding Serving the Lake Norman Area.


What are Pheromones


Pheromones are natural substances produced and excreted by cats that alter emotional states and behavior. For example, a cat rubbing its face on its environment indicates that he "owns" this territory to other cats, and it is also a message to himself for later on. This rubbing behavior enables pheromones to be secreted which helps calm the cat with a sense of familiarity. During cat boarding stays, your cat may rub against the condos – he/she is saying… THIS IS MY CONDO – AND I REALLY LIKE HOW I SMELL – I FEEL COMFORTABLE NOW!

Manufactures are able to make a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromones (F3) which seems to create feelings of calm and safety – making new environments less threatening and stressful. Although we are not endorsing any particular brand, you may however be familiar with the Feliway brand. Feliway is a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromones (F3). There are some studies supporting the effectiveness of the products and there are no known side effects or problems arising from their use. Cat pheromones come as plug-ins, spray/spritzers, collars and wipes.

Your cat may benefit from getting extra cat care with minimizing the stress that may arise in situations such as moving to a new home, being around new people and animals or even loud noises such as fireworks. If you would like to bring any of these items to The Hotel 4 Cats during pet boarding periods we can accommodate your request. For a complete list of pet care included in our various cat boarding options refer to the condo “Rates” section of our website.

The Hotel 4 Cats: Cat Boarding Serving the Lake Norman Area.
Blog adapted by Animal Behavior Institute (ABI)