Some people might think they have a fat cat because of the pouch of loose skin found around their cat’s stomach in front of the back legs. It has also been mistaken for excess skin after a spay or neuter. But it can be something else, something you might not know about at all.
Don’t worry because this extra skin is usually pretty normal in cats. “The technical term for this flap of skin and fat, which often feels like a half-full water balloon, is the ‘primordial pouch,’ and you can also observe this feature on some big cats like lions and tigers,” according to the article, “Why do many cats have a saggy belly?” at 1800Petmeds.com.
It’s that pouch that has protected cats during fights with predators. Not to mention, a cat’s full body is protected with excess skin, “which helps them squirm out of the grasp of other predators,” according to the article.
The pouch is seen in both female and male cats and varies in size from cat to cat. It serves other purposes as well, according to the article, “The Primordial Pouch” at Valley Cats Inc. “The Primordial Pouch, or belly flap, allows the cat to stretch and move easily when running, jumping, or twisting around,” the article said, adding that wild cats have pouches for the same reason as well.
Another interesting bit of information from biologists regarding wild cats is they believe “these pouches allow extra room to expand when gorging on their kills, since they do not always eat daily,” The Primordial Pouch article said.
No matter what, it’s very important to ensure your domestic cat does not overeat and then store food in the pouch. An obese cat is an unhealthy cat.
Outdoor Safety Tips for Pets During Hot Temperatures
When temperatures rise in Arizona and other hot spots around the country, it can be challenging to keep your pets safe, but it’s imperative that you do. Remember, it’s important for humans and pets to be extra careful when it’s hot outside.
If you have a dog who needs to go for walks, keep in mind the time of day. According to the article, “Keep pets safe in the heat” at The Humane Society of the United States, “On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours, and be especially careful with pets with white-colored ears, who are more susceptible to skin cancer, and short-nosed pets, who typically have difficulty breathing.” And, walk on grass because pavement can burn paws. Also, don’t forget to bring drinking water along for you and your pet.
Heatstroke can be very dangerous to your pet. Learn the signs so you are prepared in case it happens, including heavy panting, rapid heartbeat, glazed eyes, difficulty breathing, dizziness and more, according to the article. Heatstroke can be even worse for senior or very young animals as well as those who are overweight or ones with heart or respiratory disease.
With the warmer weather comes parasites in some areas. It’s important to use preventives against heartworm, fleas, and ticks, according to the article, “Warm weather pet safety,” at American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
The AVMA article also advised to speak with your vet about sunscreen or a haircut for your pet, and whether to start an exercise program in warmer weather, especially for pets who are overweight and those breeds with short noses.
If you are exercising outdoors, always make sure to take lots of breaks and drink enough water. Keep your pet and yourself healthy, and be careful out there!
Pets’ lives are naturally shorter than ours, but sometimes things happen and people die, leaving pets alone. There also are times when family members don’t want to or cannot take over a pet’s care after a person dies. When there’s no plan, many pets are left at shelters through no fault of their own.
Given that, it’s very responsible to make provisions for your pets for after you die.
Here are things to take into consideration when putting your pet in your will, according to the article, “Providing for Your Pet’s Future Without You” courtesy of The Humane Society of the United States and posted at Petfinder.com.
• Discuss your will and prepare a document that arranges for your pet’s care, ownership, and money left for the pet’s care after you die.
• Choose a permanent caregiver for your pet. If you have more than one pet, decide if you need more than one person. Discuss with your caregiver to ensure they agree to take on the responsibility of your pet’s care. Also choose alternates in case the first-named caregiver backs out. “Remember, the new owner will have full discretion over the animal’s care—including veterinary treatment and euthanasia—so make sure you choose a person you trust implicitly and who will do what is in the best interests of your pet,” the article said.
You may want to set up a pet trust. According to the article, “Including Animals in Your Will,” at Animal Legal Defense Fund, trusts are more secure when providing for an animal. “Pet trusts provide an extra layer of security and additional protections.”
Make sure to speak with your attorney.