Why Do Cats Twitch in Their Sleep?

Cats are experts when it comes to devoting more than 2/3rds of their day sleeping. But have you ever noticed that during sleep, cats will often twitch?

There are two basic sleep cycles, active or rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-rapid eye movement sleep, which has three stages.

  1. N1: This stage occurs right after the cat falls asleep and involves light sleep.
  2. N2: During the next stage, the muscles relax and the brain activity slows.
  3. N3: The third stage is deep sleep, at which point it may be hard to wake the cat.

REM sleep

The purpose of REM sleep is still not entirely understood, but it is thought to stimulate areas of the brain that are essential to learning and exercising important neural connections. Active (REM) sleep produces rapid movement of the eyes and the characteristic twitching of the limbs, toes, ears, whiskers and eyes (hence the name rapid eye movement). During REM sleep, the brain is almost as active as when the cat is awake, heart rate and blood pressure are increased. Cats spend approximately 24% of their sleep cycle in active sleep.

One study found that rats who were repeatedly deprived of REM sleep had a considerably shortened lifespan from 2-3 years to five weeks.

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Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?

Peanut butter is a popular treat given to dogs to hide medication, as a treat or reward. But can cats eat peanut butter and is it safe? Cats can eat peanut butter but should only be given in small quantities but most cats don’t find it as appealing as their canine counterparts. If you do have a cat who likes peanut butter, a small amount won’t do him or her any harm, but it should only be given in very limited quantities.

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Is Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) Toxic To Cats?

Is peace lily toxic to cats?

Peace lily is toxic to cats. The toxic property is insoluble calcium oxalate crystals which are located within the tissue of the plant. Many plant species contain calcium oxalate crystals which are bundled together (known as raphides) which protect the plant from herbivores. These needle-like crystals penetrate the mouth and throat (pharynx) when they are chewed causing intense pain. 

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How To Safely Break Up A Cat Fight

A cat fight can develop between cats who share a home (inter-cat aggression) or between cats outside squabbling over territory or females. Two (or more) cats fighting can be an alarming sight and one which has the potential to cause injury to the fighting cats as well as well-meaning people who try to break up … Read more

Can Cats Eat Rice?

Can cats eat rice?

Yes, cats can eat rice. Rice is the most important food crop in the developing world and a staple food throughout the globe. Veterinarians routinely recommend white rice as a part of a bland diet for cats recovering from gastrointestinal disorders because it is easy to digest.

When to feed a cat rice

Cats are obligate carnivores and must consume meat in their diet to obtain essential nutrients which their body cannot produce. When feeding rice as a treat, rice (and other treats) should make up no more than 10% of a cat’s diet as they are not nutritionally complete and contribute to extra calories which can lead to weight gain over time.

Your cat’s veterinarian may recommend rice as a part of a bland diet for cats with acute gastrointestinal inflammation or infection, pancreatitis, gastric ulcers, during chemotherapy and post-surgery (especially involving the GI tract). Depending on the veterinarian’s instructions, this may be fed alone, or with chicken breast.

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Is Chinese Evergreen Toxic to Cats?

Chinese evergreen is toxic to cats. The toxic principle is insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which are needle-like crystals present in the tissue of the plant as a defensive mechanism from consumption by insect herbivores.

Insoluble calcium oxalate crystals are organised in bundles known as raphides when the cat chews or bites the plant, calcium oxalate crystals penetrate the oral tissue leading to intense pain, burning and irritation of the mouth and gastrointestinal tract. In rare cases, upper airway swelling can lead to breathing difficulty.

About

  • Family: Araceae
  • Botanical name: Aglaonema spp.
  • Common names: Chinese evergreen, Philippine evergreen, Poison dart plant, Diamond bay, Emerald bay, Moonlight bay, Stripes
  • Toxicity: Toxic to cats, dogs and horses
  • Toxic parts: All parts
  • Severity: Mild to moderate
  • Toxic properties: Insoluble calcium oxalates

Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema spp.) is a herbaceous perennial which is native to China. The plant is popular as an indoor plant due to its variety of patterned leaves which vary between the 24 Aglaonema species.

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How Hot Is Too Hot For A Cat?

Cats evolved from desert-dwelling animals but can still be at risk of overheating as the warmer months hit. Unlike people who sweat to cool down, cats only have sweat pads on their feet and nose. If the cat is unable to cool down sufficiently, he or she is at risk of heatstroke (hyperthermia) which can be deadly.

It’s hard to give an exact temperature as the answer will vary from cat to cat. What we can do is be prepared and take steps to ensure our cats remain cool as the mercury rises so that we can avoid cats overheating and developing heatstroke.

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Take The Stress Out Of A Trip To The Veterinarian

At a glance

  • Teach the cat to accept being examined from an early age
  • Accustomise the cat to the carrier by turning it into a comfy den
  • Take the cat to the veterinarian for hello visits
  • Use a Fear Free or Cat Friendly practice
  • Use synthetic pheromones
  • Book a home visit
  • See the same veterinarian
  • Speak to the veterinarian about sedatives

About

Visiting the veterinarian is a stressful event for both cat and carer but it doesn’t have to be. One study conducted by Bayer and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) found that 52% of cat owners in the United States had not taken their cat to the veterinarian in the past year, 38% of cat owners get stressed at the thought of a veterinary visit and 58% of owners believe their cat hates visiting the veterinarian.

Cats who do not receive regular (annual or bi-annual) wellness checks are at increased risk of common age-related diseases such as cancer, chronic kidney disease and hyperthyroidism progressing unnoticed until the cat is in an advanced stage of the disease. Cats are hardwired to hide symptoms of pain or discomfort, which makes it difficult for pet owners to pick up changes in the early stages and it can also be hard to notice changes because we are with our cats every day. One veterinary oncologist said that she hadn’t noticed her cat had lost weight, until her mother in law commented on it.

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