Archived Newsletters

In Memory Of Pets Newsletter
January 2002

We have gotten so many positive responses for our "In Memory Of Pets Newsletters".

In dealing with Pet Loss Grief and Pet Loss Support, there
are many resources on the site to help in dealing with the loss of our beloved ones.


This Months January's News Letter
In Pet Wellness:

"How do Cats Communicate?"

For centuries people have realized that cats have a
complex system of communication.
They communicate successfully with each other in theree basic way:
vocally, through body language, and with visual and scent makings.
Because human tend to focus on speech and more overt gestures,
we can miss some of the a cat's more subtle expressions.

"Cat Talk"

Sixteen different cat sounds have been identified. The sounds are
generally divided into three basic categories: murmurs
(including purring, vowel sounds (meowing),
And high-intensity sounds.


Most of the sounds cats make with their mouths closed
are called murmurs. Purrs are probably the best recognized murmurs.
They are surely among the more common of feline sounds,
but murmurs include a variety of sounds, ranging from grunts
to closed mouth call to brief utterances of acknowledgment.

Grunts are produced almost exclusively by kittens and are made
even by kittens only a few minutes old.
An adult cat will occasionally grunt, especially
if confronted with an obstacle. Both females in heat and males us
a call to notify the opposite sex of their readiness to mate.
A short murmur of acknowledgment sometimes reflect a
cat's anticipation of receiving something he wants.

"Vowels Sounds"

Subtle differences in sound project dramatic differences in meaning,
and a cat can demands , express bewilderment, complain, wail in anger,
and sound a mating cry by opening his mouth and the gradually
closing it while vocalizing. These vowel sounds are rarely
produced by cats less than eleven or twelve weeks old,
although younger cats can produce an anger wail.
Demands vary quite a bit in intensity.
A cat can even occasionally meow a demand with little or not sound.
Owners often mistake the whisper as hoarseness,
but this silent meow is perfectly normal.
Many owners have seen their cat make another sort of demand
when peering out a window at a bird, frantically swishing his tail and
making short, open-mouthed chirping sounds.
Still another common demand is the beg, a persistent meow commonly
made by a cat asking to be fed.

Sounds of bewilderment and complaint are more prolonged,
expressive meows; meows of bewilderment tend to contain a rising
inflection that sounds more questioning.
The mating cry, like the murmured call, is produced
by females during mating season,
but it expresses intensity and urgency.
Young kitten first produce the anger wail as they complete during nursing.
They later make their loud intense two-part sound (wa-ow)
during rough play with littermates.

"High Intensity Sounds"

These open-mouth sounds are usually made by cats
during emotionally intense experiences.
Cats most often growl during a fight with a rival,
but a mother cat will also growl to warn her kittens of danger.
Kittens will growl at littermates that attempt to urn off
with food brought by their mother.
A snarl is an even louder and more abrupt sound made almost
exclusively by rivals during fights.

Cats of all ages - even kittens that have not opened
their eyes can make the familiar hissing sound.
A variant of the hiss the spit, a loud short "pff' sounds.

"Feline Body Language"

The body language of cats is quite subtle and can be hard
to interpret unless you consider the whole combination
of the cat's features and gestures,
including eyes, ears, tail and body position.
Most signals can be reduced to one of two basic types:
either distance-reducing (come closer) postures,
which signal that the cat welcomes -
or will at lest tolerate being approached,
or distance-increasing (go away) postures, adopted by cats
who are feeling aggressive or defensive.

"Distance-Reducing Postures"

Owners who are greeted by a cat with his tail held high
are familiar with the friendly approach.
The cat may also rub the side of his body along the owner's legs or
arch his back against the owner's hand.
The contented cat's whiskers point outward,
the ears are upright and pointing forward,
and the pupils are not overly dilated or constricted.
Other friendly expressions are raising the hindquarters and
sticking the tail even higher in the air when scratched
above the pelvic area, and turning the head for a chin-scratch.
. Friendly felines will greet one another by gently
touching noses and if they know each other well,
they may also rub heads.
You can easily recognize distance-reducing play postures
in the exuberant antics of kittens.

"Distance-Increasing Postures"

Sometimes it's hard for a person, not for another cat to tell
what's motivating a cat that is saying "go away"
through body language because the defensive posture is really
an act of bravado meant to obscure a cat's fear and
can look like a posture of aggression.
A cat ready to attack will point the body and
whiskers directly forward and twitch the tail
forward perhaps just the tip back and forth while
making direct eye contact with the other cat.
The body is held erect, the head is held low, and
the pupils are usually constricted.
The ears will be perked up, but turned to the side or rear.
The familiar "Halloween cat"
Look is a defensive threat posture assumed
when a cat feels he has lost control of the situation and
get a surge of adrenaline as part of the "fight or fight" response.
Rather than facing directly toward the enemy, these "fraidy" cats
will stand sideways in an attempt to look large
by arching the back and bristling the fur.
The ears are flattened backward, the pupils are dilated,
the whiskers are pulled back against the face, and the teeth are bared.

These are just a few of the many ways that "Cats Talk" and
the best source of information is reading good books
that will help you understand, enjoy and communicate well
with your precious little kittens or cats.

New Year Blessings:

We want to wish All who visit In Memory Of Pets
during the New Year our hearts of blessings
with finding everlasting peace and comfort in their hearts
through the Loving Memories of their Beloved Ones.

Please Note:

As always your Veterinarian is the best source of information and
treatment for questions or problems that may exist.

If you have any suggestions or comments or would like
to add to our "Monthly Newsletter",
please e-mail:

mailto:>> Carole Miller
mailto:>> John Mingo

"Our Thank You To All"

WE want to thank all our volunteers and special folks who have shared their
open feelings in support and caring in responding to others in our "Guest Book"
and our "Message Board" and for the continued support for all that
In Memory Of Pets has to offer from our hearts..

Bless all who come to "In Memory Of Pets" in sharing loving feelings
for their beloved ones.

John, Carole and Staff

* Should you wish to make a contribution you may do so to:
In Memory of Pets
278 Cedar Road
Hershey, PA 17033
Attn: Kenneth L. Miller Secretary/Treasurer

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Stop by and visit Ken's "Gallery"
Ken Miller
E-Mail>> Ken Miller