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Saturday, April 28, 2018

Hi,
I am Tripod. Odd name but it's because I lost one of my back legs after a traffic accident. It was injured and hurt badly. After the op I feel much better without having to live with pain.
My humans are much more upset by this than I am. They seem to think I will not be able to cope.  But already I am finding I can manage fine. 
You should have seen their faces when I crawled up on to the armchair! They have put everything at floor level. Is that necessary, George?
Yours 
Tripod.

Dear Tripod,
You will manage fine. Humans are confused because they only have two legs, so when they lose one of them, they really are disabled. One legged humans have to wear artificial legs. We don't. We can do a lot - and we do do a lot - on only three legs. In a couple of weeks time you will hardly notice the missing one.
There's some information here and here which might help with a few ideas.
Are your humans going to let you out? Most people don't let disabled cats out into the big wide world, but some cats manage so well that they do get given a cat flap.  If so, you may find mousing a bit difficult, though not impossible.
Yours
George
PS. My secretary is away next week and, because my paws don't hit the keyboard reliably, I will have a week without blogging.

Monday, April 23, 2018

What to do? I am bored alone in the house.

Dear George,
I live alone in a small house and I am not allowed out at all. I don't mind that too much, as I am frightened of the great outdoors.
I try to keep interested by chasing flies on the windowsill, zooming around the house after using the litter tray, and watching birds the other side of the glass - though this is a bit frustrating. My humans give me toy mice but I get bored with them rather quickly. Why don't my humans import some real mice and birds for me to hunt. That is what I would really like to do with my spare time.
Yours
Schwartz.

Dear Schwartz,
For some reason humans always refuse to give us live prey. And they think that a stuffed mouse is enough. Well it isn't. This is what your humans need to do....
  • Throw away the food bowl and feed you from food dispensers. Here's an easy one to make - watch here. Lots more home-made ideas here.
    Me trying to get food out of the box
  • And here is one that takes wet food. Watch here
  • Or just scatter dry food on the kitchen floor.
  • Or hide dry food round the house.
  • Lazer light toys are fun but can be very frustrating for cats - so no more five minutes maximum and each chase should finish with a treat (like catching the mouse!).
  • Have a whole box of toys and put out different ones every three days.
  • Lots of cardboard boxes, stable cat trees, and tunnels.
  • Give you 30 pounces with a fishing rod toy daily. They can do this while they are watching TV. 30 pounces a day is more or less what a hunting cat would do. 
Yours George.
PS. Some of these food ideas might lead to competition and conflict in a household with more than one indoor only cat.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Music for cats.... where can I find something suitable?

Dear George,
I need to consult you about human music. My humans feel the need to have music on almost all the time. The male has a preference for loud rock music, while the female prefers classical music - baroque, actually. I find the latter just about acceptable.
But the former is really hard on my ears. It thumps through the house and I find it difficult to ignore. Where can I find some music which is more suitable than this?
Yours
Sam.

Dear Tony,
Human scientists have been studying this and have proved that classical music, like Mozart, is less stressful for cats than loud pop or rock.
Better still, there is a human called David Teie who has composed special music for cats! He has had the good sense to pitch is two octaves higher than similar human classical music! Cozmo's Air, so called, has a rhythmic pulse similar to purring and Rusty's Ballad has a rhythm similar to kittens suckling. The notes slide up and down rather like cats miaows.
Cats much preferred it to human music, when a scientist Charles Snowdon tested it! Teie has now produced an album which can be heard here. Get your human to play it to you. 
And make your appreciation known by purring loudly in time to it.
Yours
George

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Cats can talk.... but I don't bother.

Dear George,
Do you bother to speak with your human? I don't. I communicate in the proper feline way - rubbing, up-tail greeting, belly flop and body postures.
But I don't miaow...
It isn't really natural for me to make that particular noise. I mean, other than Siamese breeds, we don't do a lot of noisy talk between ourselves when we are adults. We are silent most of the time.
Humans yatter to us all the time - blah, blah, blah. I have wondered if they actually have some kind of language or whether these are just meaningless noises to get our attention. 
What's your view on this?
Silent Sid.

Dear Sid,
I strongly believe that there is some kind of language used by humans in their noisy vocalisations. They must mean something, otherwise they wouldn't go on so much. But feline research, even by experts like me, has so far drawn a blank. 
They can't use body language properly. They have no tails or movable whiskers, for one thing. They are nose blind, so they cannot use scent. Therefore it makes sense that they vocalise instead. I have noticed that my human pet, Celia, responds quite well if I miaow. So I use it to get her attention when I want feeding. Might be worth your while to try it. 
Or perhaps you have trained her silently so long that it's not worth the effort.
Yours
George.
PS. Celia did a video on this which can be seen here.

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