CLOSE
Original image

Do Yoga With Shelter Cats (And Maybe Adopt One)

Original image

These days, you can do almost anything while surrounded by feline friends. From cat cafes to cat libraries, shelters are constantly working to find creative ways to put adoptable cats in front of prospective cat parents. The latest option for cat enthusiasts? Yoga with cats, offered by Yoga at Connie’s, a Latham, Illinois-based studio.

 "I love cats, so obviously it was going to be great," yoga teacher Connie Pease told The Dodo.

Last week, local shelter Homeward Bound sent six cats to mingle with students at the studio. The shelter's social media volunteer, Jeanette Skaluba, came up with the idea after a video of a cat riding on her shoulder went viral. Skaluba believed that the event would bring attention to the shelter and help increase adoptions. 

"By taking the cats to something like a yoga class, people have the opportunity to see and interact with them outside the shelter," Skaluba said. "It gives these cats exposure and shows their personality. I think people can envision these pets in their home easier because they're outside the shelter."

So far there has only been one session, but the event raised more than $500 and led to the adoption of one of the cat participants. Because of its success, the studio plans to host more Cat Yoga classes in the future.

Looking for a new pet in your area? June just so happens to be Adopt-a-Cat month, which means now is a great time to visit your local shelter. 

[h/t: BoredPanda.com]

Original image
iStock
arrow
Big Questions
Why Do Cats Freak Out After Pooping?
Original image
iStock

Cats often exhibit some very peculiar behavior, from getting into deadly combat situations with their own tail to pouncing on unsuspecting humans. Among their most curious habits: running from their litter box like a greyhound after moving their bowels. Are they running from their own fecal matter? Has waste elimination prompted a sense of euphoria?

Experts—if anyone is said to qualify as an expert in post-poop moods—aren’t exactly sure, but they’ve presented a number of entertaining theories. From a biological standpoint, some animal behaviorists suspect that a cat bolting after a deposit might stem from fears that a predator could track them based on the smell of their waste. But researchers are quick to note that they haven’t observed cats run from their BMs in the wild.

Biology also has a little bit to do with another theory, which postulates that cats used to getting their rear ends licked by their mother after defecating as kittens are showing off their independence by sprinting away, their butts having taken on self-cleaning properties in adulthood.

Not convinced? You might find another idea more plausible: Both humans and cats have a vagus nerve running from their brain stem. In both species, the nerve can be stimulated by defecation, leading to a pleasurable sensation and what some have labeled “poo-phoria,” or post-poop elation. In running, the cat may simply be working off excess energy brought on by stimulation of the nerve.

Less interesting is the notion that notoriously hygienic cats may simply want to shake off excess litter or fecal matter by running a 100-meter dash, or that a digestive problem has led to some discomfort they’re attempting to flee from. The fact is, so little research has been done in the field of pooping cat mania that there’s no universally accepted answer. Like so much of what makes cats tick, a definitive motivation will have to remain a mystery.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

Original image
RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/GettyImages
arrow
Animals
Listen to the Impossibly Adorable Sounds of a Baby Sloth
Original image
RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/GettyImages

Sometimes baby sloths seem almost too adorable to be real. But the little muppet-faced treasures don't just look cute—turns out they sound cute, too. We know what you're thinking: How could you have gone your whole life without knowing what these precious creatures sound like? Well, fear not: Just in time for International Sloth Day (today), we have some footage of how the tiny mammals express themselves—and it's a lot of squeaking. (Or maybe that's you squealing?)

The sloths featured in the heart-obliterating video below come from the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica. The institution rescues orphaned sloths, rehabilitates them, and gets them ready to be released back into the wild.

[h/t The Kid Should See This]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios