Saturday, May 15, 2010
Is coffee addictive for cats? Is it safe?
Last time I wrote you (if you recall) my female human tried to match her hair color to my eyes color. It didn’t work very well since she …naturally has blue eyes and having her hair in shades of blue…it wasn’t the best choice. So, this time she did her hair to match my …..hair! Aha! That’s right; her hair is beige with darker/brownish points! She really impressed me! To show my appreciation I start keeping her company while she was having her morning coffee!
Soon enough I was very much interested in WHAT was in her cup and she let me inspect! That’s how we started sharing a cup of coffee in the morning as you can see in the picture! I start drinking her coffee and I can tell she was worried but…I LOVE COFFEE! George, coffee has the same effect on me as catnip has on other cats – see the second picture! The other day I knocked-off the coffee maker trying to get to some coffee. George, I CAN KILL for an ESPRESSO! Do you think I’m coffee addict?
Is this serious? Should I check in a rehab? What do you think? Should I stop?
Please retrain your owner! Coffee isn't good for cats. The caffeine in it can make them hyperactive. A very useful article on dangers to cats from human food is available from Sarah Hartwell, an expert veterinarian, on http://www.messybeast.com/bad-foods.htm There's another article about home poisons (without mentioning coffee) on www.fabcats.org
We cats are attracted to milk but even on its own that isn't good for many of us. We get diarrhoea from it. Pusskin, the fat cat who wrote in earlier this year, had a really dirty bottom due not just being too fat to reach it but, we think, probably from being given milk. Milk and fish diets were only given to cats because in the nineteenth century they were cheap. A diet of either on its own is not good for cats. But a century ago most cats went out mousing and supplemented the food given by humans anyway.
We cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that our whole digestive system is geared towards not meat, but the flesh, bone, skin and gut contents in the full carcases of mice, rats, small birds and a few insects such as locusts. (Not many of those here in Oxfordshire, alas, even in a good summer. Just a few tiny grasshoppers. I rather fancy trying the crunch of a locust - like pork crackling without the salt.) Unlike dogs, who are designed to be scavengers and eat decaying meat, or humans who are omnibores designed for meat and veg, we cats are designed for whole mice/birds only. We lack one of the liver enzymes which helps dogs and humans cope with getting rid of difficult substances from the body. We can be poisoned by aspirin, for instance, or other drugs that are safe for humans.
Recreational drugs? Yes, do catnip. Cats enjoy it and (with more sense than humans) are moderate users who know when to stop. So do catnip all you like. But don't do coffee. And stop your human enabling you by offfering it.
Tell her to buy some nice cat milk, specially formulated without the ingredient which causes tummy upsets, and give you some of that at breakfast. Of course, it's nice for humans to share breakfast with a cat. Humans have some sort of need to share, a need that we cats don't have. If she wants to share, she can drink some of the cat milk. Why not?
PS. Tell her with purrs rather than claws. Any owner who dyes her hair to match her cat is a gem. And thank her for allowing me to use this letter. It is so helpful to get the message out there.
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, www.celiahaddon.com This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online VetTechprogramms.org