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Showing posts with label cat food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cat food. Show all posts

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Four weeks old - abandoned twice, but now in a safe home

Dear George, 
My letter will be very, very short as I’m a four weeks old rescue and I can barely reach the keyboard! I desperately need your advice! I was abandoned on a front lawn when I was less than four weeks old. The home owner or rather said the front yard owner said she’ll keep me but later changed her mind. Luckily the next door neighbour (a very nice and loving lady) volunteered to take me in (even if she already has a rescue cat)!
So, I was abandoned twice in my young life so to speak!
My new good mommy never had to take care of such a young kitty and even if she’s trying her best we both need some solid advice! She takes me to work with her (in her purse) so she can bottle feed me but what else does she need to know or do?
George, please help!

Dear Franklin, 
Thank goodness you have finally found a human pet who can be relied upon.  If your new pet needs to be up to speed on bottle feeding, she can find advice here. How wonderful that she takes you to work in her handbag (or purse as you say in Canada). She must have a great boss. What a great way to socialise you to other human beings.
If you are now four weeks old, it's time to think about weaning and there is good information here.  Slowly introduce kitten food.  Because kittens need the right food ingredients, it's best to feed ordinary over the counter kitten food made by a reputable manufacturer. They've done a lot of research into growth rates over the years. Later, if you want to, you can switch your adult cat to organic or ethical diets. At the moment some of these are not reliable (because of libel I can't name names) and therefore should not be used for the first year. Home-made diets can also lead to stunted growth or even bone deformities. 
You look really good - unlike the little kitten handed into Celia last week, which had infected eyes, cat flu, hair loss on two feet, and a belly swollen with worms. 
PS. Remind your human not to play games with her hands with you. 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Six-toed, highly active, and taking supplements....

Dear George, 
I’m following (silently) your blog for a while. I must say I enjoy it very much. At times I found it quite amusing and at times I found it quite informative.
Lately I’ve seen that one of the reoccurring theme was food – what should cats eat.
I’ve learned that Gizmo is eating his broccoli, Chico has his food homemade, Jasper is eating a raw diet from the pet food store and the list goes on and on! But, I have one question: do we need to take supplements and/or vitamins?
I’m a very, very active polydactyl baby (see the picture attached) – I have lots of energy and I can run and play all day (of course having 6 toes helps), but I wonder if it’s the supplements my mummy gives me (she’s in the business - or am I naturally active?
Honestly, what’s your take on this?
Yours in health

Dear Baraboo,
My preferred diet would be mice, other small rodents, the odd bird and the occasional insect , a completely natural diet. But I don't lead a completely natural life as I live in a human home. Instead I get given very good quality complete cat food. No human food, except what I steal off the kitchen floor, the occasional bit off a plate that hasn't yet been put into the dishwasher, and the odd mouse. A little of what I fancy does me good.
I seem to be completely healthy. So I would say that if you are given a good quality complete diet (and there are now raw food diets available in envelopes here in the UK with no risk of salmonella), you shouldn't need anything else. Would a supplement be a good idea? Only if your human knows what she is doing. 
Humans sometimes think what is good for them is good for us. Wrong. Human medicines, like aspirin, can kill us. There are foods like onions, grapes and raisins, and chocolate, which are good for humans: bad for dogs and for cats. There's a list here.
So tell your human always to check with a vet before giving us human food, human supplements or medicines or veterinary supplements. Stay safe.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The cat that eats his broccoli....

Dear George,
It's true... I eat broccoli! And once more I put humans to shame as most of them “hate” broccoli! But not me. Of course I eat a species proper diet (meaning carnivore and well balanced) but I like to snack on broccoli … little bites at a time! My Mom is quite worried but I know it is good for me and it’s not doing any harm! I can even be a “poster cat” advertising for humans to eat their veggies! I’m setting up an example for kids!
Parents should be grateful! What do you think?

Dear Gizmo,
There are many ways that humans can learn from cats. Eating broccoli is only one of them. Humans can learn the value of silence from us, the importance of sleep, the beauty of graceful movement, and ability not to desire material possessions. These are spiritual as well as moral talents.
This all adds up to a spiritual superiority to humans. We have a natural absence of self pity: an acceptance of life as it is without the yearning for things to be different: the courage to live with pain: and a straight forward ability to live in the present most of the time. We don't shop. We don't envy. We don't try to control others. We walk away from, instead of towards, trouble. We keep ourselves clean without being vain about it.
So yes, you are an example for kids who won't eat their broccoli. But more than that. You, and every cat that is alive, sets an example of modest spirituality for humans to follow.
PS. If you Mom is worried about your habit of eating broccoli she should keep an eye on the litter box. There is a special chart here which will gives graphic illustrations of what poo stools. Grades 2-3 are what should be in the box. grade 3.5 onwards suggests you should ease up on the broccoli!

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Food – such hot topic for cats but still a dilemma

Dear George, 
Since you mentioned my name in your post recently I thought it’s time for an update! 
Well, I’m pleased to report that I totally adopted the couple who rescued me; they make good pets. They are very responsive to my needs and are very well trained. I have quite a clear, simple schedule – wake-up at 6 am for a round of play, eat breakfast by 7 am and then play some more and sleep until evening when I get my dinner! Some more play and cuddling and sleep again! I live a blessed, simple life! But, I have a dilemma when it comes to food. When I was living on the streets I was eating from garbage bins unless people would give me some dry food in their backyard. 
I’m no expert in food or nutrition but I see my human mummy spending a lot of time to carefully prepare my meals. I’m on a raw meat diet (80% meat and 20% organs) mixed with a Healthy Powder (it contains Lecithin, nutritional yeast, kelp, bone meal, eggshell powder, Vit. C and other vitamins and minerals) and raw yolks. Each serving in mixed with a teaspoon of organic gluten free oats (cooked) and 1/2 teaspoon cooked butternut squash. Three times a week I get fish oil/omega 3 and an extra taurine supplement to make up for whatever is lost through freezing the meat. Go figure! She follows the recipes from Dr. Richard Pitcairn’s book and sometimes from Dr. Karen Baker’s book.
I’ve seen her watching videos on too. George, one thing I’ve learned while eating from garbage bins was that humans are completely immersed in toxic food culture.
They are fundamentally wired to prefer junk food as we are fundamentally wired to prefer treats over healthy food. I heard a lot about “dry food is no good”, “canned food it is better” but lately I heard canned food is no good either because the can lining is toxic, carcinogenic, etc. And yet I’ve learned about cats who lived to be 18 or 20 or even 22 years old on either canned or dry food. So, what’s the truth about food? There is no way around that! Or is it?
Purring in content

Dear Chico,
It's inspiring to read your survival story.
Most humans are just not clever enough to feed their cats a proper home-made diet. So good quality cat food, whether dry or in an envelope, will be the right choice for a cat. Avoid anything which is 'giblet flavoured' or anything labelled 'complementary.' Here in the UK that last label means the food isn't a complete diet. Avoid anything made in China. We cats have strict diet requirements, unlike dogs, and most good quality ready-made food will at least be adequate.
You can read about the dangers of a badly-made home diet here. The other danger is too much liver. We adore it and we would eat any amount of it. But that leads to an overdose of Vitamin A and severe health problems. So my advice to cats is, unless you have a truly well trained human and most are not, stick to good quality envelopes or dried food. Canned food may be OK for most cats, but there is a suggestion that the can lining might be involved in the development of hyperthyroidism. It's a bit of a minefield!
PS. I've just found a new product called Cat Soup. This might be useful for cats on a dry diet or cats that have a history of  cystitis.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Eating safely.... difficult for both cats and humans.

Dear George,
What do cats in Europe eat? I'm asking since recently I got sick and everybody thought the food I ate was the culprit! Honestly I don't know what to say more that I'm on a special diet of dry kibbles recommended by my doctor. I'm much better now but I start worrying about what I eat. It seems we have a big problem with pet food contaminated with Round-up in North America.
See for yourself what this lady, Shirley, has to say..."Yet another reason to feed our cats a raw food diet. The herbicide glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in weed killer Round Up, has been found in pet foods. A recently-released study by Dr. Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff reported that "We found significant levels of both glyphosate and AMPA in all pet foods tested (Table 15)." (AMPA is "aminomethylphosphonic acid.)
Dr. Michael W. Fox, a veterinarian who writes a syndicated column, says that when the preservative sodium nitrate (which is frequently used in pet food) combines with glyphosate, the combination is deadly. He used that word, deadly. 
The study is here.

George, do you think there are humans out there trying to poison us?
Is the solution....indeed... a raw meat diet?

Dear Spokey,
The ideal diet would be mice, the odd bird, and the occasional insect, all of them with their skin and bones left on to be eaten. We have very exact requirements. We need taurine, which comes from meat. So don't feed us a vegetarian diet, as there is no taurine in plants. We need arachidonic acid, a fatty acid which dogs can make in their own bodies but we can't. So don't feed us dog food. And home-made diets may result in serious deficiencies or even the opposite, too much vitamin A. So don't feed us home made or any liver. Just flesh meat is not natural: animals eat skin and bone too.
Do not be confused by claims that natural is always good. Natural is not always good.
Raw food?  There are problems. The American Veterinary Association says they have the risk of giving cats or dogs food poisoning (and a risk to our humans). Because cats, unlike dogs, are not natural scavengers, they may be in even more danger than dogs. And what do the meat products include? In Germany a couple of dogs have developed hyperthyroidism (almost never seen in dogs) because the raw food included too many neck parts, which include the thyroid gland. And anyway in nature, cats would not be eating pork, beef and lamb.
It is safer to feed a good quality cat food, preferably in envelopes or dry rather than in a can. And avoid giblet flavour - as cans and giblets have been linked with the development of hyperthyroidism in cats. In the UK there is now a packeted raw food diet here which might be suitable: but I would want to check it out very carefully first. 
Finally, yes commercial pet foods can be contaminated quite severely. There's a website for petfoods that have had to be recalled here, though I don't agree with much of what it says. Never eat any cat food that was made in China. And don't believe the labels! Both dogs and kittens have been poisoned by excess vitamin D found in a so called "organic" food. 
It's a rough world out there, Spokey.  Oddly enough eating a food made by a major company is probably a bit safer, simply because they have more to lose if their pet food gets a bad reputation.
Yours gloomily.
PS. Excuse me. I am just going to pop out for a nice fresh mouse. Even if it is contaminated by weedkiller used by the next door house owner.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Rescued... once again.

Dear George,
It's me, Bander, the cat rescued by a whole pet food store! Remember my story? Well, let me tell you the latest news! After that client of ours started making sarcastic comments about my size and shape...the staff analyzed the situation and they agreed that I'm taking my job as the night shift "food quality manager" way too serious (as you can see in photo 1) and this might affect my health. Since there was no other career opening for the moment at the store, the youngest staff member (and the cutest) Danielle decided to take me home to boss her dog around. You might think "why a dog"? Well, this dog is very special; he LOVES cats - can't live without a cat bossing him around! So, I was rescued once again! But, the dog is a lot of work! We play together, we sleep together, but we don't eat together! The result of my new job? I slimmed down a lot as you can see in photo 2. Of course I'm happy! I have a big backyard and a lot of space to run around, I have a lovely dog to boss around and I have the most lovely Danielle to cuddle to.
But the truth is that even if I'm very happy ego was hurt when people tried to shame me for being fat! George, for my own sake please explain to me the difference between being fat, overweight and obese! In my not so humble opinion ...I was just well rounded and nothing else!

Dear Bander,
This puts me in a bit of a spot. In principle I claim that humans have no right to be judgemental about feline size - I mean just take a look at the passersby from your window. About 60% are overweight and of those a further 50% are obese. This species has no right to be critical of fat cats. And I strongly object to the way we are stigmatised in the press, as if we were money-grubbing humans. Cats are not interested in money. This is a particularly vile insult.
That said, being very overweight is not good for our health. Cats get arthritic like humans and being overweight is a stress on the joints. It's probably not good for a whole range of other diseases too and I would remind all cats reading this that disease means a trip to those torturers known as vets. Stay healthy and you stay out of the vet's surgery with its horrible smells and whining dogs.
Overweight? The STS or Sagging Tummy Syndrome does inflict many of us, who are unable to regulate our diet naturally. And if we don't have any exercise, it gets worse. I am lucky enough to go out and kill rats and mice, but indoor cats cannot hunt - so they need hunting games with their humans. Obese? That is more of a problem. If the human cannot feel your ribs, then it is an issue. So perhaps leaving your job as food quality inspector was a good idea.
But I bet the customers miss you.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Training my human -- should I purrsist?

Dear George,
My name is Prudence, like you I am a black cat, and like you I am lively, highly intelligent and insatiably curious. Unfortunately my human Rose went off to university leaving me stuck at home with her rather dim mother, whom I have spent several years trying to train. I have managed to get her to understand a variety of very simple MEOWs: - Get Up its 5am! Open the door NOW! Any nice food in that bag? Catnip NOW! but we seem to be reaching her limit of understanding. 
Any ideas on how to extend her ability to learn would be most useful. I am getting bored of saying the same old meows every day. 
I do rather wish I could have gone to university too, perhaps to study human behaviour and cognition. Or mice.
Best wishes, Prudence

Dear Prudence, 
You have done well to train your older human so effectively. It will not be easy to improve her much more. Do you have the time and the patience to purrsist? You might try training her (if you have not already done so) to buy the right kind of cat food.
This requires self discipline, because it is done by refusing to eat inferior brands or, at least, pretending to eat with great reluctance, then covering the food as if it was something in the litter tray.  (Yes, you can of course eat this on the sly from the food recycling bin once she has thrown it out).  Loud purring when you get the right kind of food followed by a lot of rubbing against her will reward her. Most humans can learn which food to choose on the supermarket shelves.
I am sorry to hear about Rose. Humans that get obsessed with studying often suffer from stereotypic repetitive behaviour. Celia has been particularly trying lately, spending all her time on the computer and showing every sign of being stressed out. At her age she should know better and would do, if only she was a cat.
Many Oxford and Cambridge colleges have career opportunities as the college cat. Register with Felinked in. Purrsonally I wouldn't bother studying human behaviour at university - it is blinding obvious that the species is just thick.
PS. More details of college cat life here.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Dinner is late.... again

Dear George,
I was blessed with a good family! I always took pride in how well I trained my humans but lately I have my doubts. Between you and me? I think I failed in training my "daddy".
See, I always enjoyed having dinner with him! What can be better than looking in each other's eyes and share a ..... juicy steak? But, he is a workaholic! And, I'm afraid I'll develop "emotional eating" waiting for him every night! Sometimes I climb 50 feet tall trees trying to see where he is but most of the times I'm waiting for him in the kitchen (as you can see in the photo attached). George, I worry about my wellbeing! I read in a book that "emotions" derived from the Latin verb "emovere" meaning "to move" therefore the word "emotion" covers any feeling that moves the mind and my mind it is "moved" towards "eating"! George, what do you know about "emotional eating"? Is it going to make me fat? Most humans manifesting "emotional eating" are fat and depressed.
Should I become a vegetarian and punish my daddy?
Yours in distress

Dear Paco,
Do not despair. We all of us have these moments when we think we have failed. Failed to train our humans properly. Failed to allow for their little foibles. And it is at moments like this that we need help and support from other felines.  
Yes, some cats do develop emotional eating - from boredom, from stress or from the difficulties of living with a different species (humans). But you do not look to me, as if you would do that. I can tell from the wonderful look of your coat that he has not failed in his grooming duties. And there is a look in your eye which tells me you are more resilient.
You are letting your human control you. That is a big mistake. Make him wait for you. Cut that waiting down by doing more tree climbing. If you have access to the street, start checking out alternative sources of food. Is there a lonely human somewhere who might feed you on the sly? Can you break through a cat flap and steal another cat's food?
That way when he comes home from a hard day's work, you won't be so hungry. Make him search for you. And use that wonderful look in your eye to make him feel guilty, very very guilty, so that you will get more of his steak! Act starving even though you have dined elsewhere.
I have full confidence in your abilities.
 PS. Do not turn vegetarian: it is not a good diet for cats.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Cat wrestling ... do humans understand?

Dear George,
Nope! It's not what you think (looking at my picture with my brother).
I'd tell what it is - it is called CAT WRESTLING and I'm the champion in our house. It all started with my desire to help Stanley (my brother) to be more active.
Lately there was a lot of talk about lifestyle, healthy eating, being active - all this non-sense. If you think how much we helped humans to evolve over the years one might wonder if we didn't do ourselves a disservice. As soon as we trained them to be our humble servants they never stopped. They developed canned food, dry food, food in pouches, treats, frozen goods including farmed and frozen mice and all this in the name of their love for us! 
We marvel at all these packaged goods but in the meantime we became less and less active. Obesity runs rampant in North America for both cats and their humble servants. My brother is just an example; he's not obese yet but he's not active and he sleeps all day. So, I thought of something fun to entertain him and make him "move" around. That's how I started cat wrestling and I was quite successful until the day Mom caught me and started yelling to leave Stanley alone. She THINKS we are fighting. She said cat wrestling is absolutely forbidden in our house!
George, this is the reason I'm writing to you. Can she get me in trouble? It's just a game! Can she "make" cat wrestling illegal? I don't think she understands what "wrestling" is all about. What do you think?
A very upset wrestling champion

Dear Rocky,
You are so right. Indoor living has a high risk of obesity. Lots of energetic games between loving siblings is just what is needed to keep healthy. So wrestling is great. But there is one worry. How does Stanley feel about this?  Is he enjoying it too?  Or does he feel bullied?
Humans are hopeless at working out whether wrestling is fighting or play fighting.  And it matters, because if it is fighting, not play, one of the cats will be feeling very unhappy. Are you biting him, Rocky? Is there fur, or even blood, on the carpet? If so he needs a new home.   
Is Stanley beginning to wear a cautious look? Is he being ambushed at the litter tray? Or frightened to go to the food bowl?  If the answer is "Yes" to this, then you are bullying him. He needs lots of hiding places, separate litterbox location and a separate food location.
On the other hand if Stanley starts a wrestling bout, if he plays an equal part in the game, if he is sometimes the winner, and if the play is reciprocal - then it is play. So wrestle on, my friend.

Friday, January 30, 2015

I am Wesley, the famous student cat!

Dear George,
I just came across your blog and I think I'm in the right place to get advice. I'm a rescue and I have recently adopted a human kitten not knowing that he attends university in a different city. As he didn't want to leave me behind he took me with him to the student camp where he lives. So I became instantly famous (even if some would call me infamous) and very, very spoiled. Just imagine having at least 4 big guys, all football players, taking care of me!

But, I need your expertise in nutrition as I want to make sure that I eat right for my age  and all my adopted human kittens eat right too (they are athletes after all and probably need more protein, etc). I'm not worried about food when we have a school break as we always go back home to our human mommy and she cooks well! So....dry or wet food for me? What about treats? Should I share food with my human kittens? They eat mostly meat sandwiches. Or....should I just stay home with Mommy?
In gratitude 
Dear Wesley, 
I do envy you. Four big football guys all taking care of you! Lucky old you. I bet that they are real softies.
Nutrition. Adolescent humans usually eat very badly indeed and meat sandwiches are not the ideal cat food. (Nor are they the ideal human food, which should contain fruit and vegetables not just meat and bread). By all means eat a bit of sandwich when you fancy it. A little of what you fancy does you good, but try and get more of the meat and less of the bread! Don't let them fob you off with the outside crusts.
Mouse sandwiches would be a great idea if you could purrsuade your football guys to go in that direction. Could you tempt them by catching one and presenting it to them? Raw mouse is probably the best natural food of all but for some reason, humans are squeamish about feeding them to us. And they don't seem able to produce tinned mouse.
Wet food or dry food? Wet food is great but not ideal for teeth. Dry food can lead to a cat being dehydrated unless they have the chance to drink whenever they want but is better for keeping your teeth clean. Tell your human to put out two bowls in two different locations so you always have a choice.
If you have a cat flap I recommend wandering down the street, and sampling various houses to see if the humans there offer a better brand of cat food. If you are an indoor-only cat it's trickier. Train your human to buy the brand you prefer by purring loudly when you get it. When you get an inferior brand, look at it disdainfully, then walk away. Or take a few mouthfuls and then try to cover it up, like you would cover up the contents of a litter tray.
This usually makes your human feel guilty and we cats make guilt work for us. 
Yours enviously,
PS. I can't read ingredients on cat food containers. Celia can read them but says she can't understand them. All the percentages depend on the amount of water in the food and she can't work out what the ingredient "ash" means.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Big fuss about New Year's Resolutions...

Dear George,
My name is Rocky and, of course, I'm a rescue. I'm the black and white kitty (intentionally) pictured here ...sleeping as I'm always blamed for being up and playing 24/7.  In the picture (attached) you can also see my older brother (a rescue as well) Stanley - who can sleep 24/7. The reason I'm writing to you is to clarify the big fuss about new year's resolutions that human are talking about! For the last two week all I hear is: we should go on a diet, I ate too much chocolate, don't eat this or eat less of that or we should exercise more, etc. If all the commotion is about humans' plans for the coming year ...
I can tell you right here and now that I have just one New Year's Resolution and that is to learn how to open a can! Last year I learn how to open the cupboards' doors and roll out food cans. Now, I need your advise on how to open the cans. In a normal household I wouldn't have to worry about this but ...I don't live with normal people. My human mom is vegetarian but my father is not. That means that I will never attack her rice stuffed cabbage rolls but he might attack my juicy mouse! I know for sure neither one of them will attack my food cans.
So, do I open them?

Dear Rocky,
It is not a cat's job to open cans. That is a human's. However there are times when it would be handy to do it. I have tried pushing cans off the kitchen counter - they bend but they don't break. I have tried prizing them open with my paw or even tearing off the labels. None of this works. 
There is a way round this problem. Get your humans to feed you out of envelopes not cans. Start giving canned food a contemptuous look. Instead of eating it, walk round the bowl with an expression of dismay. Then make digging motions as you would in a litter tray. You are showing the human that this particular food is S--T. 
Your evident disapproval and reluctant to eat is punishment for their buying the wrong food. Make them feel guilty and ashamed.
Given an envelope, eat quickly purring as loudly as you can. This is the reward your human gets for buying the right food. Make them feel happy because you are happy. 
You can do it. Millions of cats do. Why are there shelves and shelves of different cat food in a supermarket? Answer - because humans want to please their cats by buying the one they prefer.
Once you have envelopes you can have some fun with them. They can be torn open and by pressing in the middle with a paw, the food will come out. Pulling the "empty" envelopes out of the trash is also a good game. If you tear them further open, you will find a few fragments of food left inside.
This emotional manipulation is the first lesson in human training.  Humans love to be trained by cats. They are happiest when they are doing what we want them to do.
Get training.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

My human has gone stark staring mad.... she thinks she is training me.

Dear George,
What do you do about a human pet that has gone mad. Stark staring bonkers. She has started a regime of feeding me on a mat.
OK, you might think there is nothing wrong with this. But there is. It is the way she is doing it.
At first she more or less fed me when I was sort of half on the mat. Then she stopped doing this which upset me terribly. I didn't know why the rules had changed. Now I think I have got it. I have to have all four paws on the mat before the food will be delivered to me.
But she keeps changing things. She moves so that she and the mat are in different positions. So I feel anxious and worried. Will 4 paws do the trick in each new position? Each time I have to experiment to find out. She looks pretty fed up as I gingerly put one paw, then two, then walk away several times before putting all four on.
She is also videoing me and I feel like Len, who earlier complained, that I have no privacy. What I can't work out is why she is doing this. And I get confused because she is rather inconsistent and sometimes gives me some food when I am not doing it.
What on earth is going on?
Toby, the Cross-Eyed Stray.

Dear Toby,
Your human has fallen victim to the illusion that cats can be trained. It's a sad insight into their delusional thought processes.
I suggest that you turn the whole project round. Train her. Four paws on the mat, look up appealingly, food is produced, another appealing look and with luck more food will arrive. This looks like co-operation but in fact is cat training a human to dispense food. What does she get out of it? Nothing except a lousy video. What do you get out of it? Food. It's a no brainer.
Yours George
PS. This YouTube intrusion into our privacy get worse every day.  It's cat porn for cat addicts.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Bander, the pet shop cat, - should I go on diet?

Dear George,
My name is Bander and I consider myself one lucky cat!
Why? First and foremost because I'm a rescue!
Secondly, because I was rescued and adopted by an entire pet food store... Yes! Everybody loves me - starting with the owner, the staff and ending, of course, with the store's clients. Do you realize what that means for me? It means lots of petting and belly rubbing and unlimited free food - as much as I want from everything!
One particular client keeps telling the staff that I'm a bit skinny and asks how often do they feed me. They look at him like he is crazy since they think I'm well "too rounded" (pictures attached). But, I  took his saying at heart. I knew he's being sarcastic but his remark helped me develop a very entertaining habit at night. You see, when I'm alone in the store I feel so empowered and in charge...that I can do whatever I want, I literally can pick and choose! And, I choose to open whatever bag of food inspires me! Some nights I open two - three bags (not that I finish any) just for fun or maybe because I'm bored. They say I should exercise. But how can I exercise if I'm confined indoors? I'm no hamster to run on a wheel. And, honestly, food just tastes better than toy
George, I need your help as I don't know what to do. Do you think I should be on a diet?


Dear Bander,
Take no notice whatsoever of these remarks. As the manager of a pet store, it is clear to me that you must sample your wares. How else can you tell if you are selling high value products? How can you fulfill your duties to your customers without careful investigation and trials of the various food items.
As for exercise, tearing open food bags does involve exercise - clawing, tearing, pulling etc. And if you are sampling products, it is important to sample several rather than finish just one. 
It seems to me that what you are doing is a justifiable commercial activity. Get your humans to wise up. If they want to exercise you perhaps they could release some white mice or merely important some ordinary house mice. Then you could have real fun with a delicious meal at the end.
Yours sympathetically
PS. It is a human (not a feline) failing to be obsessed with body shape. Who cares! 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Purrfect Kitchen Cleaning Services Ltd.

Dear George,
We are a team of two young and enthusiastic entrepreneurs. Our business is to clean any food left in the kitchen. We are thinking of registering a company with the above title….just in case other members of the feline community will need our services. Why Ltd. (limited)? Because some people are very bad at leaving any food out or they would leave out junk that we can’t “clean” (like ketchup, garlic powder, chili peppers, etc.) We are fine observers (from higher up levels) of both kitchens and people as you can see in the photo attached.
We inspect any surface or dish in the kitchen looking for bits of bread, meat or any other “people food” that cats may enjoy. However, being so young…we must admit…we don’t have enough experience when it comes to sneaky (please read sophisticated) people who are hiding food in all places.
That’s where we need your help and expertise George. For example – where is the food from the big plate that Jasper is sitting on? We’ve seen the smoke, the vapors and the smells coming out of “this” thing but when we looked to see what’s cooking….nothing was in there (people call this thing a hood?). Myself, Riley, I’m up and above to see what’s up there ….but, there is nothing again and I can swear I’ve seen our human mommy hiding something up here.  Also, how can we open locked cabinets and what do we do with the food we found in the “cold” big box we managed to open? Brrrr! It was cold and full of frozen meat! Ugh!
Waiting for your tips and tricks!
Riley and Jasper

Dear Riley and Jasper, 
I have a cleaning routine. First I patrol round the floor looking for anything that fell off the higher surfaces. Next I leap on to the kitchen surfaces and check these out too. You will be surprised at the crumbs and tidbits that you find.  If you are in luck, there may even be a plate to lick. One one glorious occasion I found an open bowl of semolina pudding. I ate - apologies - cleaned up most of it.
I have never mastered opening a closed wall cupboard, but if you look carefully you may find one that isn't entirely closed. Insert a cautious paw and pull it open. Then jump on to the shelving inside. 
For floor level, try another technique. Fling yourself at the cupboards. They may swing open in reaction. The big freezer boxes? If you are strong enough to pull out a frozen chicken take it away somewhere to defrost. The fridge is easy. Plenty there to clean up if your human is unwise enough to leave the door ajar.
And help recycle the trash! Some people have a recycling food box on the kitchen surface. Edge this off and with luck when it falls on the floor the top will open. Recycle this inwardly. For a larger trash can, stand on your hind legs and pull it over with your weight while nimbly leaping to one side at the last minute.
The hood - normally a waste of time, but it is fun to sit there and survey the cooking. As for you, Riley, that high up retreat is fun but usually you won't find much food there either.
Happy kitchen cleaning, boys.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Of humans and diets

Dear George,  
Mi chiama Luigi e io sono Italiano. At least I think I’m Italian since I was rescued by an Italian family.  And you got it….my name is Luigi and I think I’m about 3 year old (I don’t remember much of my life before being rescued). Well, all was great until the other day when my human kitten bragged about me to some crazy lady. Why crazy? Because the minute she heard I’m a 22 lbs. cat she started lecturing about me being too fat (how does she dare) and that I can become diabetic and all that nonsense.
Now, you should know that I am a big cat and I am….hm! well rounded (as you can see in the picture) but, I think I’m far from being fat. She advised my humans to cut off completely the dry food and to give me only wet food and only twice a day.
George, I’m not only in a state of shock but absolutely worried that my humans might take her advice. Am I going to be starving? I think she’s so crazy that she would put anybody (humans and cats) on a diet. What is wrong with these people? I don’t tell them to cut down on their pasta or red wine or cheese. George, is it true that we can become diabetics if we eat too much? Since humans are so obsessed with diets….what is a proper diet for a cat? 
Confused and mad

Dear Luigi,
I share your irritation with humans. Have you looked out of the window lately and seen those HUGE humans lumbering by. Twenty stone or more of male and female flab. And they have the cheek to lecture us about getting fat! I see my human eating varied and delicious meals, while I have to get by on the same cat food (albeit of a different flavour) each day. It makes my blood boil.
I have to put up with a vet (whom I naturally loathe anyway) who lectures Celia on keeping my weight down. She's quite unpleasant about it: making personal remarks about the saggy state of my tummy. So I am on a restricted diet. Luckily for me I can supplement it by going out there and eating mice and baby rabbits. For cats with a cat flap, I advise doing this or just raiding other cats food by entering their cat flap.
If you are an indoor-only cat, this isn't available to you. What your human should be doing is to give you a more interesting life in order to boost your exercise quota. More fun instead of just less food. Ignore the advice about wet not dry food (unless you have a medical condition like cystitis). Get rid of the boring food bowl. Put your dry food into food dispensers (read How to Have a Happy Indoor Cat here). Scatter the food round the house so you have to hunt for it. It's not such good fun as hunting mice, but it is almost as good. Lots of games with fishing rod toys.
I might say that this should apply to humans too. Less time in the shopping malls and more time in the gyms or out on the hills. I push Celia out every Sunday to walk for 4 hours while I get on with the hunting. She complains but it does her good.
A fun-not-food-deprivation diet is what you need, Luigi. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Online Cat, George's Christmas message - snow, turkey and a new home for Blossom.

Dear Readers,
It's Christmas again. That time of year when humans are particularly irrresponsible and try to dress us up in Santa hats, tied tinsel round our necks or think it is funny to offer us champagne. Do not, I repeat, do not co-operate with any of this. It's downright dangerous to eat Santa hats, tinsel or drink alcohol. I know of a Siamese (not Miss Ruby Foo next door) who drank some champagne from a mantlepiece glass, got dizzy and fell off the mantelpiece and broke her leg.
My advice to you is to find a warm corner in the spare room and avoid most of the festivities. There is one exception. Turkey. Good cooks start cooking this early in the day and there may be interesting bits of skin or gristle thrown away at the start. Pull down the trash can and have a look inside.
Just before lunchtime, this huge bird is usually taken out of the oven and put on a kitchen surface while your human makes gravy, checks on the roast potatoes and puts on the sprouts. While a raw sprout makes quite a good toy for the kitchen floor, the cooked ones are of no interest.
Focus on that turkey. This is the one moment in an otherwise unpleasantly human-filled day, when they may be so distracted they do not notice your presence on the table or kitchen counter. If this is so, get stuck in. There's something called the Pope's nose on the back of the bird which you might be able to tear off and run off with.
The second chance of turkey occurs later when they have finished eating that course, and the dirty plates are set aside. Then greedy humans eat a Christmas pudding, and it is while they are busy with this, that you may be able to help clean the plates.
Blossom needs a home
Snow? Well there's talk of it this Christmas so I am illustrating this blog with some snow filled photos. Personally I like a little stroll in the snow after the Christmas dinner, but only a short excursion. It's too cold to be left outside too long.
I want to thank Fluffy for her contributions this year, and also to mention Blossom, a kitten currently taking up space in my house. She was born on the street, just like a famous human who was born in a manger. She was picked up starving and is still nervous of strange humans. She wants to adopt a kind patient human who can give her a quiet home in 2014. That's her on the right .
Happy Christmas all you cats out there

Friday, October 18, 2013

Cell phones and cool cats. Puss Puss speaks out.

Dear George,
Really, I am at my wit’s end. As you know, my human female has always been a challenging subject—fascinating for research, terrible in the service department. And it’s gotten worse! This past weekend, the time was 5:30—in the morning!—and there was no sign of a forthcoming meal. Naturally, I went to awaken the humans to demand service. I opened their bedroom door, jumped up on the bedside table, and poked, prodded, and meowed plaintively; but I got no response. I was motivated only by concern: I could have starved to death, a circumstance which I find extremely concerning.
While desperately trying to awaken the human female, I noticed her cell phone on the bedside table. I have examined this device before, and find that it changes pictures interestingly when prodded. Also, I have heard the female vocalizing on it in the past, apparently to other humans. In my moment of need, I reasoned that if humans communicate with phones, perhaps I could use this phone to remotely give other humans orders to come and feed me—which would be useful. So, I decided to use my human female’s cell phone to signal for help.
Unfortunately, the bald thumbist prejudice with which these devices are constructed renders them difficult to use by higher beings who lack apelike grip hooks on their limbs. In frustration, I poked at the phone, and I prodded it; and all I succeeded in arriving at was something called a “Facebook page,” where there happened to be displayed an annoying photograph of a cake. But I noticed something: if you don’t like the pictures of cakes or humans or what have you that are on these “pages,” there’s a little button you can poke which reports it as “inappropriate”—presumably to some central authority, which logically must signal some official humans to come and take away the human who put the offending picture there. I was angry, George, and I was hungry, and I have had years of slow and shoddy service from this human female. So I did it. I pushed the “report” button, and then sat back comfortably on the phone to wait for my miscreant humans to be taken away for
neglecting me.
Not only did no-one show up to take these humans away, but the stupid phone has an alarm in it, which makes it vibrate at a certain time. I was sitting upon the phone, awaiting justice, when this alarm went off. You can imagine, George, that my distress was immediate and complete. I later needed an extra meal and a nap in the closet to recover from the shock. And it turns out that all that I reported was the stupid picture of the stupid cake, a mistake which the human female later and with great embarrassment sorted out with the cake’s owner.
So here it is: I am at the end of my rope. I don’t think these humans can be turned into decent servants, years of effort notwithstanding; and reporting the deadbeats I live with to whatever authorities monitor the cake pages proved to be an exercise in futility. George, help me: is there some way I can bend the humans’ technology to my will, use it to re-home the lot of them (two humans, their human kitten, and their ridiculous little dogs), and keep the house for myself? It is, after all, my territory, and I have worked long and hard getting it to smell and look just so. Can I somehow phone in an order for another complete human staff to come to me, instead of me going to them, and have them provide me with meals and regular litter box changes, not to mention an unending supply of tuna-flavored Pounce? There is some Pounce left, in the kitchen, but the supply is down to two full bottles and I think that this is a dangerously low level. Maybe there is a central authority I can
ring up for more Pounce?
George, I rely upon your calm feline guidance to help me determine a course of action. I anxiously await your advice. Time is of the essence! I haven’t eaten in nearly an hour.


Dear Puss-Puss,
I am in awe of you. You are the first cat I know who has successfully used Facebook. And what was wrong with labelling a human cake inappropriate? It surely was. Now a photo of a bowl full of cat food or even a mouse would have been appropriate. Don't give up. Purrsue this excursion into social networking further.
Although we naturally want to rehome unsatisfactory humans, it is usually easier for us cat flap cats to rehome ourselves. But not in a hurry. First explore the neighbourhood, visit various humans, and assess whether they would make better pets than your own. This will involve setting up new territory which is a massive bore.
Why not see if you can progress further. Get on to twitter and start tweeting your dilemma to the outside world. This might shame them into better behaviour. I see you have already purrsuaded your human to post about you on the Cats Behaving Badly Facebook page. Go further: set up your own Facebook page and start letting the world know about your awful humans.
And congratulations on a feline first. Keep poking that mobile phone.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Emergency - a vicious kitten and a sadly demented human

Dear George,
My household is completely upset by this small tortoiseshell and white kitten who has the impertinence to harass me
When she first arrived, it wasn't too bad. She was kept in quarantine with an infection so I just lost one room of my territory. Then she expanded her territory into a second room. As the weather has been fine that wasn't too bad either. I spent a lot of time out.
But the other day I slipped in after my human just to check out the possibilities of a second meal (found a few fragments as you can see). At first she just sniffed me then she started biffing me. She ran up and down the room landing small kitten punches as she passed.
It was very upsetting. I had to get the human to let me out. Me who is five times her size had to retreat. How can I get rid of her? She is a rescue foster kitten, but it is me who needs rescuing.
Toby, Disgusted of Ringwood.

Dear Toby,
You have a problem and that problem is not the kitten, but your pet human. If she is moving into rescuing kittens, your home won't be your own again. Humans with a pathological rescue tendency fill the home with rescued cats. Sometime, when this human psychological condition gets too overwhelming, the place becomes a death trap - scores of cats, disease, and not enough litter trays.
Act now and act firmly. I suggest you spray along the door which opens into the kittens room. This should get a message to your human that you do not want the intruder in your life. If you do get into the room, do not let food distract you, biff back. You should be able to fight off a kitten without using your claws. Use your weight instead.
If you are lucky, this will be a temporary aberration and the kitten will shortly disappear to a new home. Cross your paws, Toby. And pray to that Higher Feline that looks after the welfare of cats.
Yours with sympathy,
For sad news about Gerry read

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dear George, 
My name is Fidget and I have adopted my human's neighbour. She lost her mate and is sometimes sad . I cheer her up by lying in the sink to keep her company when she has a bath . She gives me tuna! I love that even more than being in a sink ! 
I worry when she spends hours looking at photos of her lost mate . It makes water come from her eyes . I have to stalk her and pounce on her to make her laugh again and stop the eye water . I want to tell her that all is well and her mate is in a beautiful sink in the sky and he can have all the tuna he desires . 
Yours Fidget

Dear Fidget,
Me too. Sinks, I mean. Wonderfully cool in this weather. And a great way to get human attention. I don't know why it makes them laugh but it always does. And what is more they often put the photo on  Homo sapiens (don't make me laugh) is an odd species.
Congratulations on your two homes. So useful for an urban cat. When your humans are out or when you have finished your meal, you can just stroll down the street for a second dinner! And sometimes one of higher quality - tuna, for instance. And in winter, if your humans work during the day, you may be lucky to find a human at home with the central heating on.
Keep on sinking.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

I LOVE my strawberries....

Dear George,
I just LOVE strawberries (as you can see in the photos) but my humans won’t let me have any. And I want to understand why?
I love catnip and they let me eat as much as I like. So, why can I eat one freely and not the other? I tried to convince them that eating strawberries, it’s safe but they won’t listen to me.
I even made them watch a video showing a tabby eating a piece of strawberry. It seems that nothing can convince them. Maybe you’ll be able to give some advice as they snoop around and read your blog.
Very frustrated

Dear Fluffy,
It's the smell, isn't it? Does something for me too. I draw in a big breath through my nose right into that extra nasal organ that the smell-blind humans don't have. And then there's a feeling like, well, ecstacy....  Humans seem to get this sniffing recreational drugs. Then they get addicted to it. I just sniff the berries and move away when I have had enough. Like catnip. I use it but (unlike humans) don't abuse it.
I am a recreational user of all sorts of smells - pears, nail varnish, olives, Vick vapour rub, bog beans and valerian in the garden. Some cats go further and eat their catnip and some of these other things. I don't. As I see it, I sniff and go. If I ate it, I might to myself some harm or (in the case of strawberries) just get a stomach upset. They are not on any of the list of poisonous plants but eating more than a tiny nibble just might give you the runs.
We cats are moderate in our use of drugs, whether sniffing or eating. Another sign of innate feline superiority. Humans are often not. Ever seen your humans with a hangover? Mine used to suffer badly from these until I purrsuaded her to give up alcohol. 
So sniff but don't eat, Fluffy.
Love 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, This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online