No matter if you live in Chico, CA or anywhere else in the USA, there are perils outdoors for your beloved kitties. In our urban setting, it’s obvious; cars, neighborhood cats, and feral cats. Out in the countryside, it’s coyotes, other wild animals including mountain lions, and often people with weapons. The problem with living indoors is often there’s nothing to do when you are a natural born hunter. Boredom is boredom no matter what species you are. Having nothing to do is a form of stress that we cat owners must be sure to prevent.
When I play with my cat Bo’s feet, he gets quite irritated with me. I didn’t adopt him until he was six years old so I wasn’t able to teach him to let me touch his feet. The pads of the front feet are rich with sensory receptors. The front cat paws are used in and hunting and manipulating food so need to be very sensitive. Between the pads there are the highest densities of nerve endings in the whole body. They produce tremendous sensitivity to speed and direction of movement across the pad.
Last year, a skinny old cat turned up one morning at our feline veterinary hospital. We are on a busy Chico street so it seemed like a particularly perilous journey. We brought her in and had a look. She wasn’t wearing a collar but looked clean and well cared for. She was quite sweet. We scanned her for a microchip and thankfully found one. The mystery grew deeper when her owner and address were in Washington DC.