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Friday, November 27, 2015

Is there a cat in the bag?.......

Dear George,
I need your advice on a sensitive subject. You know I’m a rescue who adopted this odd couple a while ago. My human pets have two human kittens who, of course, adore me! Last night while having supper I heard them talking about getting a dog who would fit in a bag! The truth is that the human kittens go to university and my human pets feel lonely and they need company, so they thought of getting a dog. I’m not getting into details here since it really doesn’t matter the size, breed, etc. All is good….as I’ll have more help to slave for me but, I think I should have some rules set up, don’t I? And, to get the rules right I need your help! Here is a list with what I have in mind. Please feel free to improve my list!
1)    No sniffing (can’t stand a dog sniffing at my behind)
2)     No mix and eat (meaning that the dog can’t have my food)
3)    Sofa time is all mine (dog needs a break…can sleep on the floor)
4)    No crazy running or chasing (I’m not a hound so I don’t race)
George, any other rule you can think of?


Dear Leo,
The only rule in my household is NO DOGS.  But I have Celia under a firm paw, and so she would not dare to add a dog.
However, it is always more difficult to get total obedience if you have several human pets, so you may have to put up with this invasion. Just thank the Big Cat Upstairs that it is doing to be a handbag dog - small enough for you to bully. (Yes, I dare say you could eat it, but that will really upset your humans!)
The rules you have forgotten are the most important rule of all. 
Rule One. The cat is Top Dog.
Rule TwoAuthority goes like this. Top Honcho, officer in command, is Leo. Humans are other rank, corporals, obeying commands from commanding officer. Dog is squaddy, ordinary soldier, obeying feline commands and human commands.
That's all you need to know. Instigate a claw and order regime from the start. Insolence or disobedience should be punished severely.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Vaccinations - do I really need to be jabbed with a needle every year?

Dear George, 
I completely dislike going to the vet. I know sometimes is absolutely necessary but most of the time our humans are taking us to the vet excessively. My mommy takes me there sometimes for grooming (which I don’t mind so much) but now she is planning to take me to get vaccinated. Vaccination it’s such a hot topic right now in both human and animal realm, very controversial indeed and I’d like to hear your opinion about it.
I was vaccinated when I was a kitten (about 8 weeks old) then I was given a booster a month later. The vet recommended annual vaccination! I personally think this is just money grab! How come that humans kittens are vaccinated once and that vaccine is good for life? Are we different when it comes to the immune system? I think we are stronger.
Also, I’m an indoor cat and I don’t come in contact with other cats or creatures!
I heard of other cats being vaccinated every five years. Is there a rule?
Any suggestions?
Yours truly,

Dear Sophie, 
I hate those annual jabs (and I hate the vet). But these protect you against disease.  So, yes, you do need to be vaccinated. But how often and how many will vary from country to country.
Here in the UK I am vaccinated yearly with a combination vaccine (just one jab) against feline enteritis and cat 'flu. This means I can go into a cattery if there is an emergency at home. When I was younger, because I am a cat who goes outside, I had three years of vaccinations against feline leukaemia. If I had lived indoors I wouldn't have needed that.
Lifestyle matters a lot. If I lived abroad, a rabies vaccination might well be important or even a legal requirement. If I lived in a multicat household or a breeding colony then vaccinations against chlamydia and bordatella (called kennel cough in dogs) might also be worth having. Vaccinations for FIV and FIP are available outside Europe but their efficacy is not proven to European standards.
How often should you get a jab? Well here in the UK most authorities recommend annual vaccinations. You could opt for longer intervals between jabs with yearly blood tests for immunity  - but this will mean more jabs with a needle to take blood and more expense for your human. If you have a bad reaction to a vaccine (a few cats do), try a different sort of vaccine.
I agree that if you are an indoor only cat, an annual vaccine seems like a waste of money  - but what if there was an emergency, such as your humans being in an accident? You wouldn't be welcome in a good cattery. Can your humans be absolutely sure there is always someone to feed you? And what if you escape into the outside world?
Tricky, isn't it?  If in doubt, however, get vaccinated. It might save your life or the life of any cat with whom you come into contact.  And you can get the vet, while she is vaccinating you,  to check your eyes, ears and teeth, at no extra cost! Oh, and by the way, just for fun, you can always bite her afterwards! I do.
PS. My human, Celia, has an annual vaccination against 'flu just like I do. The scientific evidence about feline vaccines, from a UK point of view, can be found here.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Chico's story - the cat that came out of the cold.

Dear George, 
Until a week ago I didn’t have a name….I was kind of “no name” tomcat living on the streets and eating from the garbage bins for about 2-3 years. Even if I had a name I wouldn’t recall it anymore as my only interaction with humans was with this lady who was feeding me in her backyard ….occasionally.
I once had a home and I was spoiled but…I don’t know what happened that I ended up being kicked out and left in the cold. And winters are cold in Canada. I was in a very rough state with an eye infection and scratches and scars all over my body!
I was very tempted to write a “funny” letter about how I was hi-jacked by a human and then abducted by an alien but I think my story is much more serious and hopefully will be an inspiration for other humans.
So, last week the nice lady who was feeding me in her backyard “trapped” me and put me in a cage and then she drove away – that’s what I call hijacking!Then she stopped somewhere in an unfamiliar place and I’ve seen this white vehicle (it could have been an extra-terrestrial car) and this strange looking man who came and took the carrier I was in – that’s what I call …abducted by an alien J
He took me to what I thought was the ET base since everybody was dressed in green and there was this man in green (David) who seems to be the chief operator and this nice lady (Jody) who seemed to be very friendly. OK! The truth is that the alien man took me to a vet clinic where I got a new lease on life! I was spayed, vaccinated, one infected tooth extracted and the others scaled and polished, dewormed, fleas’ treatment, antibiotics for all the scars and scratches and of course, treatments for the eyes. I spent two days and two nights at the vet clinic and now I’m like new.
The “alien” man took me home where I met his wife. They paid the vet bill without any expectations. They even are looking to find me a nice house with a large backyard since I’m used to outdoors and they live in an apartment. They don’t seem to be in any rush though. They are very loving and caring; they cook for me, they play with me and they look for my best interest. All I do for now is sleep and sleep and sleep since it has been such a long time since I had a safe and warm place to do it. I don’t know if I’ll continue to live with this couple or I’ll find a forever home with a backyard but, for now I feel loved and safe as I didn’t feel in a long time. George, my heart goes to all the cats that are on the streets, abandoned and abused.
Just wanted to share my story
Chico (oh! the alien man’s wife called me Chico) 

Dear Chico, 
Thank you for sharing your story with me. Out there in the cold - in Canada, in the USA and in the UK - are thousands of lost or abandoned cats suffering from starvation and hypothermia. So please ask your human pets to donate to their local cat rescue and help save feline lives this winter.
PS. My local rescue is

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Is it play or is it fighting? Toby reveals his play technique.

Watch this on video here
Dear George,
I am trying to help Celia train her foster kitten, Abby the Tabby, to behave well towards other cats. It can be tiresome and sometimes downright embarrassing. She whizzes up to me, rubs against me, and shows excessive affection. Then she plays...
And plays and plays. And she is very rough. She body slams me. I pounce on her but I never have my claws out. How am I going to teach her to play less roughly?
Yours exhausted,

Dear Toby,
I can tell that she is having a great time because there is no hissing, spitting, claws out, no tufts of hair and no blood.  It's play not discipline - thanks to your good manners. You are twice her size and would really beat her up if you chose to. And you don't, even when she jumps on you at speed.
Human pets don't understand us and sometimes think we are playing when we are fighting. So thank you for posting this video. It will help humans recognise play from fighting.
I am not sure if you will succeed in teaching Abby to play less roughly, Toby. But playing with her may help her to live with another adult cat when she finds her forever home.
PS. If you live Oxfordshire and can give Abby a home go to Sunshine Cat Rescue.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

I'm black: I'm beautiful: I celebrated National Black Cat Day.....and now it's Halloween

Dear George,
I may look spooky with my eyes but I am a good luck cat. I bring health and happiness to my home - like all cats do. Yes, I am black but why does that count against me?
It's sad that many humans are colour prejudiced. They won't adopt black cats. So we spend much longer in rescue waiting for a forever home.
I heard a terrible Halloween story from the USA - that around this time well meaning people pick up stray black cats to save them from being sacrificed in black magic ceremonies (probably just a rumour). They hand them into an animal shelter and because so many are handed in, many of them will be euthanised.

Please DON'T DO THIS. Celebrate diversity in your own household. Give a home to a black cat. 

Dear Blackie,
It's time we stamped out colour prejudice towards felines. We cats are far too sensible to judge humans on the colour of their skin, so why do they judge us on the colour of our fur? It's just not fair.
We are not witches' cats or devil cats or bringers of bad luck. We are just cats and we deserve better from human beings.
I am sure your human pet would be ashamed of treating a black human differently from a white human. Nowadays most humans would feel the same way. 
It's a question of justice.
George (all black)

Help for cats whose humans show behaviour problems.

This blog is devoted to the study of human behaviour. We cats, who live with this sometimes unpredictable and always feeble minded species, can benefit from seeing their behaviour in its proper scientific context. The study of feline dilemmas, training problems, and difficulties with humans, can only benefit all of us. All of us train our humans - to buy the right food, for instance, but many of us do not have knowledge of how to improve our training methods. The human species is obviously not as intelligent as the cat, but nevertheless can learn quite a lot - if properly managed. Topics of interest include the use of claw and order, purring as a human reward, rubbing your human up the right way, when to bite, spraying as a method of making our wishes known, ignoring the human, human harassment, human inattention and sheer human stupidity. I welcome your questions. Photos can be sent via my secretary's website, This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online