Why do cats dislike car travel?

Cats don’t like to leave their familiar territory. Unlike dogs, they are not really reassured by the presence of their owner. In a new environment, such as the car in this case, they cannot predict what might happen.

Cats may also be more sensitive to the movement of the car – their sense of balance is very acute, so the motion may not be pleasant to them, and they may not feel in control of the situation. The car will also sound and smell very strange.

Cats that experience car travel as young kittens, during the period between 2 and 7 weeks of age when they are most receptive to learning new things, tend to tolerate it much better.

written cat advice to keep cats safe and wear correct collars
Cat Bella on consulting room table seeing vet for vaccinations at Byron Surgery

Why do cats hate aerosol sprays?

There may be a couple of reasons for this: firstly, when cats are feeling threatened or pushed into a corner, or if they are startled, they will hiss. It’s an explosive sound.

The action reveals a gaping mouth and teeth which are hard to ignore, and the animal or person that has provoked that response can feel the air passing as the cat hisses. So it is understandable that cats don’t really appreciate the equivalent of a hiss from an aerosol at close quarters.

Secondly, they have sensitive hairs on their body that help them feel their surroundings and a spray will set off these touch receptors very suddenly and violently and the cat may not enjoy or understand the sensation.

Chemicals in sprays may also smell very strong to the scent-sensitive cat. Flea treatment 20 years ago used to involve aerosols for cats. Thankfully we now have far superior flea treatment available for you cats. See International Cat Care Website

Help keep your cat safe

If you have decided that you do want or need your cat to wear a collar, there are things you can do to help keep your cat safe.

Collars with a ‘snap open’ mechanism can release a cat if it becomes trapped. Owners of adventurous cats may lose a few collars but will keep their cats! Some snap open fastenings open more easily than others, so try them out and choose one that does not require excessive force to open.

Ensure your cat’s collar is fitted correctly! You should be able to get 2 fingers between the collar and the cat’s neck. Check this on a regular basis, especially if your cat is young and growing or its weight is changing, such as going from a thick winter coat to a lighter summer coat.

As with many things, getting your cat used to wearing a collar as a kitten is much easier than putting one on an adult cat for the first time. See International Cat Care Website

Cat Oscar on consulting room table seeing vet for vaccinations at Byron Surgery

Why do some cats miaow and others don’t?

Researchers have noted some 19 different vocal patterns in cats, although individual cats may add their own personal sounds that they only use with their owners. Most of the sounds cats make fall into three groups; the purr or little chirrup they make when they greet us, the sounds they make when they are fearful or emotionally charged (e.g. hissing, growling, spitting) and the miaow. Cats can manipulate the miaow sound to make it very different depending on the circumstances.

Individual cats vary in how much they ‘talk’. Some breeds are much noisier than others, for example the Siamese is known for being talkative. Part of this variation though is linked to how much we talk to them.

If, when they miaow to us, we reply or ask them what they want, and their communication is answered with something rewarding, such as attention or food, then they’re very likely to do the same thing again. The learn quickly how to manipulate us with a miaow.

The most appealing communication of all is the ‘silent miaow’, where the cat goes through the mouth-opening motions of miaowing but no sound comes out –it has been suggested that they do indeed make a sound but the frequency is too high for us to hear. See International Cat Care Website

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