Monday, January 17, 2011

Have you ever seen a panting cat?

I have to say, it's one of the stranger things I've witnessed. They make the same sort of sound that dogs do, but it's much quieter and there's no lolling tongue.

The first time I saw a cat pant was when Sarah (the wonderful pet sitter) came to drop off my keys. She also brought a feather wand that she said Melly had loved during her visits. I wasn't surprised, as it's no ordinary feather wand: it has a whippy handle that's three feet long attached to a string of equal length, with a large bundle of feathers at the end. Sarah gave a demonstration, using the flexible handle and long string to make the feathers fly around in a convincingly bird-like manner, and of course, Melly went bananas. Eventually she was sprawled out on the couch, panting hard.

These photos are from Sarah's visit and were taken by Geoffrey.





After watching Melly zip around the room in pursuit of the feathers, Scarlett eventually joined in. Since she is usually thoroughly unimpressed by feather wands (after all, she has caught a real bird), it was fun to see her batting at the toy and chomping the string.




That's me Scarlett's looking at. It was a very "Mooom, tell her it's my turn" sort of look.

Sarah generously allowed me to keep the toy, and I've been using it with the cats regularly. It's taken me a few tries to figure out how best to maneuver the feathers, but I had Melly panting today after about 20 minutes, so I think I have the hang of it! Next time Geoff is here I will ask him to take some video - it's hard to get the full, hilarious effect in still photos.

16 comments:

tedder said...

I've seen a panting cat, when our cats got into an un-air-conditioned space that was about 120 degrees. Our black/white boy was very ragdoll, blank expression on his face, panting. Scary.

There's also the Vomeronasal/Jacob's organ- that's why they open their mouth when trying to smell something.

But panting during play- that's awesome!

Simba said...

I also pant when I am excited like that. That toy seems like a lot of fun!

carmar76 said...

haha, too cute! kitties with toys are the best!

Katnip Lounge said...

Sweet Pea and May Ling are panters...prolly cause they play as hard as Melly!

So, does Melly defy gravity a lot? She was SIDEWAYS at one point! Can't wait for the video.

Jean said...

Oh yes my floofy Mishi pants from leaping with the feather wand. When she starts panting I give her a break but I assume the aerobic work out good for kitties just like us. It's hard not to make fun of her and call her "chubs" when she pants and lays flat on the floor:)

ABBY said...

Can't wait to see the video.
I know what you mean about not getting the full effect with single pictures. Our Ping is like that. What an acrobat he is!

purrin
xoxoxo

Brad Fallon said...

I love the color combination of Melly and the white sofa! Super cute! I can't wait for the video.

BeadedTail said...

We don't work hard enough to pant but we do love playing with things on strings so maybe we would if we had one with fevvers!

Sparkle said...

When Binga was younger, she used to play so hard chasing after feather toys that she panted. Then as the years went by, my human got lazier with the toys.

meowmeowmans said...

Yes, we've seen some of the cats at the shelter pant when we play with them! :) These are such fun pictures. Glad you are both enjoying the feather wand toy so much. The second picture is the coolest!

Cat said...

Da Bird is a favourite toy around this house! Archie sometimes pants, but I try to stop before he gets too worked up. The other boys don't pant.

Cat Chat With Caren And Cody said...

My Bobo used to pant occasionally and Cody does it when he plays with a laser light. The vet advised against playing with the laser because of it.

Panting is sometimes NOT a very good thing...if it happens regularly with mild exertion it is probably advised to visit the vet just to make sure that all is ok.

Sammy and Andy said...

Scarlett and Melly, you are such gorgeous girls.....we luvsya bunches.

Regarding panting......Sammy has been known to pant when he gets really excited about something, but not every time he gets excited....but mama has never seen Andy pant.

Rene said...

Tucker used to run around so much as a kitten and then pant. It's hard to get a photo of that though. Benny pants when he gets nervous at the vet's sometimes.

Is that toy Da Bird, perhaps? Looks like it might be. Those are lots of kitty fun!

Tanya Sloan said...

Ooh yeah, I'm familiar with these. And a few other "things on strings" toys. All of them are currently living between the box spring and the mattress, because if Sasha sees things on strings, he does stupid things. First, he jumps for them without thinking about landing. Second, when he catches a thing on a string, he backs into a corner/cubby/hidey hole and turns into a wild creature - he GROWLS when anybody approaches, tears the toy into little bits, and then proceeds to hide the pieces in various locations.We play with things on sticks just fine, though.

I'm glad Melly and Scarlett are not THAT nuts about them... although the panting thing means Melly is literally behaving like a dog and will play until she drops from exhaustion.

Geoff said...

Wow Tanya, that IS crazy! I, for one (and only), prefer the girls to act as much like dogs as possible. When Melly was playing fetch for a while, my hopes got up...the fact that she sits on command is a good omen. Although in truth, Scarlett is the one who behaves more like a dog. I suppose for now, that's the best I'll get...occasional dog-like behavior.