Saturday, October 25, 2014

Seasonally Affected Cats?

As I mentioned earlier (Winters a' comin' 10/1/14), the first snows of the year always seem to confuse and disappoint the cats. While they somewhat tolerate the colder weather, they don't like the snow and unhappily spend increasing amounts of time indoors. Now it would appear there's another reason for their misery: Seasonal Affective Disorder in Cats. "Cats, perhaps more so than people, are sensitive to changes in light. Less light in the winter may cause a decrease in natural brain chemicals, like serotonin, that increase mood. One of the most notable symptoms of seasonal affective disorder is wanting to sleep all the time. Cats may overeat during the winter months. This can lead to unhealthy weight gain, so may need encouragement to get off the couch and be active." (http://www.ehow.com/about_5369713_seasonal-affective-disorder-cats.html). While they certainly overeat in the winter, they do pretty good job of it year round. Ruty's idea of exercise is to go from the couch to his food bowl, then to the litter box, and finally back to the couch. Repeat as needed. But they have adapted to the cold quite well, sharing the old couch dowstairs next to the monitor heater.
Although Ruty often prefers lounging in front of the woodstove when there's a good hot fire going.

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