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Friday, March 30, 2018

Small and dirty litter trays = slovenly humans.

Dear George,
I have a problem with my litter tray. It is too small. Look at it. I am not a large cat but she has given me a tray that is only just my size. In order to dig I have to leave my bottom outside it, dig the hole, then turn round and place my bottom over the hole. It's difficult. 
Worse still she doesn't keep it clean enough. I am digging through my own waste. She only clears it out once a day and sometimes once two days. I hate getting my paws soiled. And yet that is what I have to do each time I want to use it.
My litter tray - too small, too dirty
I have a cat flap but I never use it because I am frightened of the big cat next door who bullies me. I dare not use the flowerbeds in case he attacks me while I am toileting....
What to do?
Yours
Betty the Birman.


Dear Betty,
You have only one choice. You will have to start going outside the tray. Yes, I know you don't want to. But what else can you do to get the message across?
Small litter trays and slovenly humans are a bug bear of mine. They wouldn't want to have to pick their way through human waste products in order to relieve themselves. Particularly if, like us, they had bare feet. Why make us do it?
I made my views very clear to Celia who has given a short talk on the topic to her fellow humans. Get yours to look at it here.
Yours
George

Friday, March 23, 2018

Help - intruders.... I am having to defend the house.

Dear George,
I have been having troubles with a neighbour, who comes in through my cat flap and eats my food in the utility room at night. Worse still, he left a urine message in the kitchen.
Naturally, I over-marked this, to make it clear that the house is my core territory and I do not appreciate feline intruders. Particularly those who leave mark in my house.
This has happened several times and several times I have felt the need to remark my territory. Not just at the original site but also under the window where I can see him lurking on the wall.
My humans have started shouting at me, when they see me doing this!
Help. It's not my fault but they are blaming me.
Yours
Sebastian.

Dear Sebastian,
Your behaviour is right and natural. It is your humans who are in error. Their behaviour is grossly unfair. They simply do not understand the level of social insecurity which is making you mark. Indeed, they are so hopelessly scent blind they cannot even smell that there are two messages - one is the intruder's and one is yours.
What to do?
Somehow you have to purrsuade them to buy a microchip cat flap - as a start. So you will feel safe indoors. It will also help if they clean up properly - no disinfectant, just enzymatic washing liquid on every single site. Then a squirt of Feliway Classic daily for at least a month. There are more instructions here
It may be necessary for them to get help from a cat behaviour counsellor if they can't understand. This is a huge dilemma for you. I do hope they get help.
Yours 
George



Friday, March 16, 2018

Why are humans so silly about cat colour...

Dear George,
I am a scaredy but loving cat looking for a loving home but I have just turned one down.  He wanted me because I was the same colour as one of his earlier cats... not a good reason, I think.
He also wanted to feed me dry food. I love it, but it doesn't love me. Because I spent the first 6 months of my life nearly starving and frightened, I find ordinary food difficult to digest.
I also have a weepy eye, possibly due to scarring from cat flu. And this would-be adopter didn't have a car so that taking me to a vet would be difficult.
Not the right home. 
But will I get one?
Yours 
Stella.

Dear Stella,
Why, oh why do humans choose cats just for their colour. It's a ridiculous reason for adopting a cat. They should choose a cat to fit the lifestyle on offer.
You did the right thing. A home has to be right for you, not just any old home. Your earlier starvation and stress means that you cannot settle for less. Robust confident cats can thrive in any home. Fearful cats with possible health issues cannot.
You need a human who will feed you a bland diet for as long as it takes for your digestion to recover, with enough money for possible vet bills (they won't insure you with your background I think), a car for trips to the vet. If there is anybody in the Oxford or West Oxford area who fits the bill, please contact Sunshine Cat Rescue - www.sunshinecatrescue.org.uk
In the mean time eat well, sleep a lot, and get Celia to cuddle you - which you enjoy greatly.
Yours
George 

Friday, March 09, 2018

Hunting.... what do indoor-only cats do instead?

Dear George,
This is one of my best fun occupations - hunting mice, then playing with their dead bodies. Sort of like hunting them a second time.
I toss them about and make them move. Moving targets, not still ones, are what turn me on. I do this as often as I can.
But what about indoor-only cats? How do they manage? I feel deprived when I can't do this...
Yours
Toby

Dear Toby,
I know... I know. The sheer concentrated fun of play hunting.  This is what I live for too. And I don't need my human to help as I can just go out doors, find me a mouse and do it.
Alas, indoor-only cats need human help. Just leaving small toys (they must be small) around the house isn't enough. They are so boring.  Even changing them daily only helps a little. We need moving targets.
Good human servants should give their indoor cats 30 play pounces a day - that's the number cats would do if they were wild. (They wouldn't catch a mouse on each pounce.) Fishing rod toys are best as even the idlest humans can wave these around while they are watching TV. Laser lights are good too, but can be very very frustrating if they are used too often. A treat at the end of the game would help the frustration a bit - like finally catching the laser mouse! There are lots more ideas here.
I only wish humans would put in a bit more effort about this.
Yours
George

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Who gets the snip? And why Spay Day?

Dear George,
I’ve heard February 27 was declared the big “Snip Day” or to be fair the “Spay and Neuter Day”. Hmm! I wonder why one day only? Is everybody getting spayed or neutered in one day? I’m kind of disappointed as “the Snip Day” must be valid only in the UK since we have in North America a whole “Snip Month”! It looks like a full celebration up to the occasion! But, I wonder ….is it really a celebration?  George, I’m too young to understand the intricacies of the human thinking! I found human rationale quite appalling! For example: February 14th – they celebrate Valentine’s Day! Meaning …romance, chocolate, blind dates, falling in love and of course mating!
February 19th – Family Day here in Canada - Humans enjoying the “fruit” of their Valentine’s Day night! Meaning new parents enjoying their new born babies and generally speaking parents, kids and relatives they all come together and celebrate!
February 27th – Boom! Snip Day! Are humans crazy? I means who is actually getting spayed or neutered? Our human pets? I don’t think so? It is us who get the snip! So, why are humans so happy and ready to celebrate the moment? I’d like to see a human getting snipped! See if he’ll be in a mood to celebrate after that! Also, I’ve realized they don’t bother to ask for our opinion! Can I be spayed without my consent?
I’m scheduled for the operation by the end of March! So, please explain to me what is with this Snip Day that humans get so crazy about?
PLEASE enlighten me on the benefits of getting spayed!
Yours….very confused
Whiskers

Dear Whiskers,
It's World Spay Day, yes World not just the UK, according to the American Humane Society (https://www.animalsheltering.org/worldspayday). They say "creating a culture of inclusivity and understanding within your spay/neuter programs." (When will humans learn to keep things, and their words, simple.) What on earth is inclusivity? Well, apparently, that means helping people of different ethnicity get their cats neutered and spayed. Most people, no matter what their race or religion, want the best for their pets but many can't afford the snip for them.
Nobody asked us cats, of course? Do we want to be neutered and spayed? Would some of us prefer the risky lifestyle of nights on the tiles, rather than the deep neutered peace of the double bed with our humans? An exciting but short life versus a long contented one?
There are benefits of course. You won't be exhausted by repeated kitten bearing. You won't catch FIV from a mating tom. You won't leave home in order to have your kittens on the street - and then become homeless.
But it would be nice to be asked, wouldn't it?
Yours 
George.

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