Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cats And Strawberries- A Connection To Catnip?

strawberry catnip
We're baaaaack! Okay, I had to take some time away from the Pet Blog due to a myriad of health issues and an influx of work on the main blog. In any case, I hope to get back to blogging over here regularly (3-4 posts a week), and re-starting the Pet Pals blogger/reader goodie swap program. In the mean time I thought today's topic would be a perfect way to break back into pet blogging. You see, about a month back, during Spring Break, Sabrina (10) and I spent a day at the local Pick-Your-Own farm. We brought back a modest 5lbs of hand picked strawberries, carefully arranged in clear produce containers. When we arrived Sabrina had placed her bag, with 2 containers of strawberries on the floor by the foot of the couch where she usually sits. We promptly became distracted by the concept of fresh strawberry smoothies, and headed to the nearby kitchen to wash and slice a few cups.
Now, I'm fairly observant, in the sense I have the motherly tingle- I know when something is amiss. Somehow my ears picked up the faint rustling of plastic somewhere in the room over. I was sure it was one of the four legged children, but whom, and why? I allowed this sound to go on for a few minutes, until the rustling became more intense and constant and I was driven to investigate. What I saw when I came around the corner was borderline obscene. Truffles was throwing her entire body onto the strawberry containers and rubbing like a bear on a tree. Now I know cats like to 'mark' their pheromone by nuzzling their whiskers, but I had never seen a cat take to an inanimate object like this; especially a fixed one! We all had a good laugh as this continued for a good 20 minutes until I tired and removed the berries from her range, but I was left quite curious as to what had sparked this catnip like behavior.
You see, cats are carnivores and cannot digest fruits as well as protein; therefor her intent was far from consuming these red berries. I did a little research online to see if I was alone in this traumatic experience, and it turned out I certainly was not. One forum guest recalled a tale of waking in the middle of the night to find her cat had pulled strawberry scraps out of the trash to simply smash and roll in them. While there were many tales of strawberry shenanigans, in particular, there were several accounts of leaf laden veggies and fruits in general. Carrots (click here for fan photo) seem to frequently cause a bit of commotion too, though no scientific reasoning can be provided as to why. The only actual 'scientific' note I could find was a remark that tigers in captivity often have toys soaked with a natural strawberry scent to encourage playfulness. Whatever the case, it certainly is amusing, and slightly awkward. Does your cat got ba-n-an-a-s for any strange human food or non-edible object it prefers to play with rather than eat?