Some of you may already know what Feline Paralysis is, everyone will know what Covid-19 is! 

Feline paralysis is something in our house that is highly sought after. If you can get feline paralysis in the evening it means you can get out of cleaning up after dinner, avoid having to get the dessert for everyone, don’t have to move to find the lost remote or make the bed-time tea. 

Feline paralysis for those that don’t know is when you have a cat on your lap and you cannot move for fear of upsetting your cat.

You can have feline paralysis for hours depending on what time of the day it is and how much your cat loves sitting on your lap. Anyone that has had feline paralysis before knows that you feel dreadful when you have to take your cat off your lap and will go to great lengths to avoid moving. 

Many of you would be aware of feline paralysis if you have ever tried to do work on your laptop while you have a cat on your lap. It is nothing to end up with a sore back because you sit in a funny position so as to avoid upsetting your cat who is sitting right where your laptop should sit. Anyone relate? 

So how does feline paralysis relate to Covid-19?

Interestingly since a vast majority of people are now working from home, feline paralysis has become a bit of an issue relating to work productivity. Instead of people being inflicted with feline paralysis in the evenings (when they have settled in for the night) they are suffering from it in the middle of the day. Not only that, their cats also seem to think that they should be involved in work meetings, often just popping into the middle of a zoom meeting or worse still walking across the keyboard, inadvertently deleting important stuff. What is it with cats’ fascination with computers and keyboards and walking all over them? 

We have also had a lot of calls from clients however about whether their cat is actually happy that they are home all day, with some even reporting that they get the feeling that they are intruding on their cats’ normal routine by being home. Could it be possible that our cats are actually annoyed that we are not leaving the house, have we wrongly assumed that they miss us while we are away and only sleep until we return? The notion that our cats were bored or lonely without us is now in question. 

Cats love routine!

They know our usual patterns of behaviour and our predictable routines (such as the sound of the alarm going off at the same time each morning, boiling the kettle for a cup of tea, getting dressed for work, being away from the house for 8 hours). Suddenly this has all changed, while we know why we must stay home; even though we are finding it difficult, our cats have no idea why we have suddenly changed our routines so dramatically. In fact, routines are so important to cats’ that having them disrupted can even impact their physical health. 

The positive side of owners being home with their cats more is that many clients have been able to observe their cats more closely and have picked up on medical conditions that their cat may have hidden from them had they not been home observing them more closely. We have actually seen an increase in stress related illnesses such as Feline Lower Urinary Tract disease which can be induced by stress. We are extremely grateful that veterinarians have been considered an essential service and that we are still available to our clients and their cats during this time. 

Despite everything that is happening in our lives at the moment, all unprecedented and un-chartered, the number one report we have from clients is how grateful they are that they have a cat in their lives during this difficult time.

The human-animal bond that people share with their cats is so incredibly important. Cats provide much needed support, comfort, companionship, entertainment and give us a sense of being important and relied upon, which we are. This bond cannot be underestimated at this time, feline paralysis is not a bad thing, it is something to be cherished. 

This blog was written with the gorgeous sweet Berg on Dr Moira’s lap the entire time.

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