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Showing posts with label spraying. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spraying. Show all posts

Saturday, August 20, 2016

There's a feline sneak... sneaking into my home, eating my food, seducing my human.

Dear George,
My human and I have recently moved to a new home and, although I dislike any kind of relocation on principle, I have to say that my new territory is well supplied with silly birds, small rodents and nice places to sleep in the sun so I have settled in quite well. However, there is, invevitably, some misunderstanding with my new neighbours who are unaware that I am in charge of this area now. I have had no problem in deterring most of them and can still put on a convincing display of aggression though supposedly middle-aged now. (Seven is the new three, bring it on.) However, one of these interlopers has adopted a strategy that has confused my human. It has approached me with the utmost respect, put on a fine performance of grovelling submission, refused to get into a fight and generally convinced my human that it's intentions are honourable. Which, of course, they aren't. Not that I mind my leftover breakfast being snarfed down every morning, but there are principles at stake. My human is reluctant to use her superior powers of intimidation to this creature and has even given it a name, Cheeky. I am at a loss to understand this behaviour. How can I get rid of this animal in a polite but assertive manner?
Yours ever,
Scarry


Dear Scarry,
All cats keep an eye out for a second breakfast somewhere and most of us two-time our owners. But is this sneak thinking of rehoming himself? If his current premises are inadequate, this is what he might be moving into a better home - yours. I applaud his tactics - sneaky grovelling behaviour is much more difficult for cats to deal with, than aggression. Worse still, humans are very vulnerable to this. If you are not careful, she will be putting down meals for him regularly, then worrying about how he is coping on cold winter nights.
Have you tried the yowl?  A very noisy yowl may not put off this sneak burglar, but will get your human's attention fast.  A rising inflection may purrsuade her that you are not just angry, you are also emotionally devastated. Try it from behind her legs, giving the impression that you are sheltering behind her out of fear.
Has she installed a microchip cat flap? Or done anything about finding the intruder's owners. Probably not. Humans are slow at answering the call of duty. 
If all else fails, I am afraid you will have to spray. This is the ultimate weapon but one which can backfire on the aggressor if a human misunderstands it. I recommend you use it sparingly. 
Yowl to get her attention (without that it is wasted effort), then back up and then let fly at the cat flap. 
Yours
George.

Dear George,
My human and I have recently moved to a new home and, although I dislike any kind of relocation on principle, I have to say that my new territory is well supplied with silly birds, small rodents and nice places to sleep in the sun so I have settled in quite well. However, there is, invevitably, some misunderstanding with my new neighbours who are unaware that I am in charge of this area now. I have had no problem in deterring most of them and can still put on a convincing display of aggression though supposedly middle-aged now. (Seven is the new three, bring it on.) However, one of these interlopers has adopted a strategy that has confused my human. It has approached me with the utmost respect, put on a fine performance of grovelling submission, refused to get into a fight and generally convinced my human that it's intentions are honourable. Which, of course, they aren't. Not that I mind my leftover breakfast being snarfed down every morning, but there are principles at stake. My human is reluctant to use her superior powers of intimidation to this creature and has even given it a name, Cheeky. I am at a loss to understand this behaviour. How can I get rid of this animal in a polite but assertive manner?
Yours ever,
Scarry


Dear Scarry,
All cats are happy to have second breakfast and most of us two-time our owners. But is he thinking of rehoming himself? If his current premises are inadequate, this is what he might be moving into a better home - yours. I applaud his tactics - sneaky grovelling behaviour is much more difficult for cats to deal with, than aggression. Worse still, humans are very vulnerable to this. If you are not careful, she will be putting down meals for him regularly, then worrying about how he is coping on cold winter nights.
Have you tried the yowl?  A very noisy yowl may not put off this sneak burglar, but will get your human's attention fast.  A rising inflection may purrsuade her that you are not just angry, you are also emotionally devastated. Try it from behind her legs, giving the impression that you are sheltering behind her out of fear.
Has she installed a microchip cat flap? Or done anything about finding the intruder's owners. Probably not. Humans are slow at answering the call of duty. 
If all else fails, I am afraid you will have to spray. This is the ultimate weapon but one which can backfire on the aggressor if a human misunderstands it. I recommend you use it sparingly. 
Yowl to get her attention (without that it is wasted effort), then back up and then let fly at the cat flap. 
Yours
George.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pussy's Potent Pee Plunges Power Plug to Phut!

Dear George,
The other morning I went to use my large and frequently-emptied litter tray and to my slight surprise found that the back wall had been covered with a sheet of thick blue plastic. Indeed, this blue stuff had been brought down to floor level and my tray was sitting on a larger sheet of it.
I am not bothered by its presence, but I just wondered why it has appeared and wondered if you had any knowledge of such additions to a perfectly normal tray?
Sororital purrs
Milly

Dear Milly,
I am afraid that I have no idea whatsoever as to why your human changed the local décor, so I gave up trying to think about it and sent him a message via the Cat Ethernet. I do not usually bother to ask the inferior species for information: but this was an exception.This is his reply.
Your kind purrs returned.
George

Dear George,
As if I had dreamt it, I feel the need to write to you to explain a necessary modification to my cat's toilet area. In the small hours of one morning I was awoken by the wind and rain and did what I usually do at such times, turned on the BBC World Service for a news catch-up.
The clock/radio went dead. That week my area had suffered from a lengthy string of power cuts, mostly lasting for just a few minutes or even seconds as the local grid network automatically rerouted itself so as to by-pass a damaged power line. Usually very effective.
However on this occasion I noticed that there were lights on outside. It seemed that only my house was 'out'. So I took it that one of my circuit breakers had tripped. Indeed, the master breaker, as none of my light or power circuits worked.
This was bit of a nuisance for although I have a modern breaker system it is on an outside wall and a previous owner had placed a garden shed in front of it, although with the shed window against the electricity box door. So I had to put clothes on, go outside, reset breaker. Which promptly tripped again. Back inside to find the cause. Which was the power socket on the wall behind Milly’s tray. Where she had done a large pee while standing up. All over the power socket.
I removed the plug and patted the area dry. Went out and reset the breaker, which stayed on. Went back to bed.
Looking at the power socket it was obvious from corrosion of the brass plating and electric contacts that it had all been 'dampened' on a number of occasions. Replacing the socket took but a few minutes and as neither I nor Milly wish to relocate the tray the solution was to use a waterproof cover (wooden floor underlay) over the wall and indeed beneath the tray as a catch-all.
I have since seen Milly do the occasional pee while standing more-or-less upright; she has no problem with her waterworks nor stiffness in her joints, so I put the poor aim down to having other thoughts on her mind, such as "when will it stop raining".
Hope this explains the matter and you can go back to sleep.
Fond strokes to you and all at George Parva.
Jeremy

Friday, July 08, 2011

To spray or not to spray - that is the question!


Dear George,
I am currently extremely stressed by my home situation and my human's behaviour. It has really upset me. She has brought home a new human, one who works in a veterinary clinic. Yes, one of those. A complete stranger to me. He smells of dogs, feline fear, vaccination needles and disinfectant (ironically smells a bit like cat pee). True, I have had a few scent hints about his presence in her life. She stayed out one night all night and came back looking very pleased with herself. As if the cat had got the cream, I might almost say. Now he has turned up and spent the night here. Yes, the whole night. He didn't even have the decency to mate and leave.
Shall I spray? I think it might make me feel better. And it would show her how very upset I am by her mating behaviour. What do you think? I rather thought I might do it on the unmade bed after he had got out of it.
Yours
Louis.

Dear Louis,
No wonder you are upset. The sex life of these humans is so outrageous. Any time. Any season. The females are ready for it all year round. Their permanent readiness is really disgusting to felines. We have proper seasons for it, interspersed with kitten bearing and usually we remain abstinent during the winter. Makes sense. Who wants to have kittens that die of cold. As a cat who has had the snip, I really feel sorry for them, at the mercy of their ever present hormones.
Spraying gives the message "Stop it." Or "Piss off". Or both messages at the same time. However, it is the nuclear option for us cats, Louis. It is the ultimate weapon and the final deterrent. It can go wrong. Humans seem unable to read the message - which is "I am upset". They sometimes think we are just being malicious.
So my advice would be to avoid all out final war and try to set up a training programme using more gradual rewards and punishments. Obviously you will refuse to sleep on the bed, as usual. You wouldn't get a wink of sleep anyway. Pace round it making little kitten mewing noises. Jump up on the side of your human, then shudder, crouch and hiss at the new mate beside her.
Run away immediately he comes into the house, making sure that your human sees your fear. Refuse to eat your food (you can probably get a good meal further down the street anyway). In every way treat him as if he was a cat killer. A human who smells of the vet is a killer. They call it euthanasia. I call it murder.
Sympathies,
George

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Are our humans creating a toxic environment for cats?

Dear George,

Guess… we need help with the definition of a “toxic environment”. May be we don’t have a proper understanding of the term since our place is squeaky clean and all products used in the house are “natural”, “eco”, “bio”, “ pet friendly”

Just pronouncing these words you feel the energy flowing! Got the rhythm?

We can dance with the mop! Our litter is “natural” Swheat scoop” (it smells really nice when you pee), clumps and it’s not “clogging” the upper respiratory track (whatever this is). Our food, of course, is natural and organic and as fresh as it can be!

BUT, last night we heard our humans talking about the danger of second hand smoking.

Do you think…they meant......a poorly “ham smoking” system? Also, they were reading an article about the danger of anti-freezer and pets! Pets don’t freeze (unless neglected), so WHY an anti-freeze? George, we know some apes (!) worry about 2012, but do you think we should worry about a “toxic environment” (we heard the term last night)? Do you think there are “unknown” dangers out there…ready to get the cats? We worry for our feline world.

Breathless (too worried to inhale)

Fluffy & Cayenne


Dear Fluffy and Cayenne,

I can see from the gorgeous sight of you both relaxing that at least your environment isn't toxic. But for many cats this just isn't true. The ridiculous human habit of lighting a stick, putting it into their mouth and puffing the smoke may give cats a higher chance of developing malignant lymphoma. There's disagreement among human scientists about it and I will give the references below my signature for those that are interested. We cats know, however, that tobacco smoke is directly disgusting. We don't like it one bit - and that's a very good reason for humans not to do it in the first place.

The other danger from human interference with the environment is asbestos. This is a highly dangerous substance that these dumb creatures used to use in their buildings. Nowadays they don't. But the danger is still there in older buildings - in pipe lagging, concrete roofing, bath panels etc. Usually this building stuff is covered up with wall plastering and so forth.

But pin your ears back, Fluffy and Cayenne. Humans just won't let their territories be. We cats like our territories to stay the same (perhaps a few extra mice would be good) and we check them daily to make sure we know where everything is. Humans are always doing stuff to theirs - pulling down walls, slapping on horrible-smelling paint, adding lofts, conservatories and fancy kitchens. This in itself is deeply distressing to any sensible cat. Some of us protest by spraying.

Worse still asbestos causes malignant mesothelioma in cats. You can read more about it at www.mesothelioma.com (though this site is doggist when it describes mesothelioma in pets) and more about cancer in cats at www.fabcats.org . Mesothelioma in cats is rare but it does exist. You can find a free scientific journal article on feline mesothelioma at www.sage-hindawi.com/journals/vmi/2010/396794.html

So, if your dumb humans are about to redecorate or generally ruin your territory by doing building work on an older house, spray like mad at the first opportunity. With any luck they will put you in a cattery, a safe haven from asbestos, during the building work.

Love George.

1. Bertone, E. R., Snyder, L. A. & Moore, A. S., (2002), 'Environmental tobacco smoke and the risk of malignant lymphoma in pet cats,' American Journal of Epidemiology, 156, 268-273

2. Dension, K. W. E., (2002), 'Environmental tobacco smoke and the risk of malignant lymphoma in pet cats,' American Journal of Epidemiology, 158, 1227.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A cry for help from Miss Penelope

Dear George,
I’m writing on behalf of my friend Miss Penelope. She is too shy and embarrassed to post her picture or write herself but, I think she has a problem and I need your advice.
Miss Penelope is a rescue from a local shelter and she was adopted with two other cats. She was ok until one of the cats started “bullying” her.
I don’t know if she is scared or has a health problem but lately she stop using the litter box. She “goes” in most unusual places through the house.
What it is very unusual ….she kind of peeing standing!
Her human is worried that she might have some health problem even if all tests came back normal. Did you ever hear of a cat peeing standing? Can this be a health issue? May be some lower back problems? Hips? What do you think?
Many thanks & love
Cat Victoria

Dear Victoria
I think Miss Penelope is trying to tell her human that she is very very anxious. Standing up to pee is the way we cats mark our territory rather than just relieving ourselves. This is scentmarking and it's rather like a post-it note to ourselves to tell us that something worrying is round this particular corner. My friend William used to do it against a box tree (they smell like cat pee to a cat) and also at the corner of the field where the foxes would come past on their way to hunt rabbits. It reminded him to take care.
We mark our territory when we think it is under attack or when we are feeling anxious about it. So if our stupid humans punish us, we get even more anxious and mark even more. Also once we have marked, we top up the place to keep our scent there up to date. The smell reminds us. So does the smell of disinfectant put down by humans. Disinfectant smells just like cat pee to us. My secretary Celia tells me that instruction on how to clean up cat pee, and a list of reasons why cats get stressed is on her website at www.celiahaddon.com
If Miss Penelope is not getting on with the other cats, she needs help. We are not human. Humans are absurdly social - they eat together and spend time together. Most of them like being near other humans - pubs, parties, holidays, hobbies etc. But it takes between 3- 6 months for most cats to settle into a group. We cats deal with social problems by spacing, keeping a decent distance between each other.
So her human can help her by making sure there are plenty of cat beds, that food is put down at at least two locations (a tea-tray with food can be put in the bedroom), that there is at least one litter tray per cat. Don't just put the litter trays in one location - there should be at least two locations. The idea is that cats can do all the things they need to do - eat, sleep and eliminate - without having to come close to each other.
Miss Penelope needs to feel safe from the bully.
If she is being severely bullied - wounds, fur everywhere etc - she may just need to live in a separate part of the house. A Petporte cat flap into a room of her own might help. Some of us are really anti-social and just are natural loners. There's more on Celia's website about that too. Or in that ridiculous book of hers.
If only we could purrsuade humans to think cat, rather than to assume that we will like the same things as us.
Love George
PS. My secretary is trying to make a Facebook group titled Cats behaving badly but so far she has made a group but nobody seems able to join it. What is she doing wrong? Answers to her on Facebook please or via the website www.celiahaddon.com

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I need a friend ... j'ai besoin d'un ami


Dear George,

Your blog might be for cats but I kind of like it! Oh, sorry! Let me introduce myself;

my name is Oliver or in French ….Olivier (guess I need an accent aigue somewhere – not sure- just learning French). Recently I moved to Paris (France, of course) with my mommy. She loves my very much but I don’t have too many friends and I get easily bored. When not in Paris, we spend a good amount of time at the farm (near Paris) but I’m not used to village life either. Last week she took me to Louvre. I liked it (I could pee on the pyramid but don’t tell anybody). Next week will be another museum or something! I mean….how much “Louvre”, “turn Eiffel” “Montparnasse” can I take?

George, I think I need a friend. Should I look for another cute, little dog like me or a house rabbit? Do you know of any parks in Paris where dogs meet? May be I’ll meet the love of my life! O la la!

A bientot

Oliver


Dear Olivier,

Museums.... boring, boring, boring. Very few if any mice and those that exist as as poor as church mice, who face equally straightened circumstances. No rabbits to chase. Just lots of square things on the wall with labels Leonardo Da Vinci and the like. (Though Leonardo was fond of cats and some rather nice sketches of felines exist).

A house rabbit has interesting and gastronomic possibilities. Research your French recipes for lapin, then start trying to persuade your human that you need this kind of friend. I have been working on Celia but she says I should content myself with the very many rabbits that live in her garden. She says that when she has evidence that I have palled up with one of these, she will have some house rabbits. She pointed out that finding the half eaten rabbit corpse on her doorstep did not count as evidence of a fully functioning rabbit-cat friendship.

My online friend Samurai Raoul, (I dare not go near him as he chases cats), whose photo is on the right, recommends the Bois de Boulogne as a good place for a walk but you should warn your human about the dress code. It must be modest, otherwise she may be mistaken for certain people (male and female) who sell special services to male customers. And it is not a good place to go at night or when offices close, as this is married man's time, when customers pick up a quickie before catching the train home to their wife and family.

I am going online later today to ask Raoul for more tips on the canine vie Francaise (can't do the accents on this blog). He never goes off lead in the Bois, as his humans are dismayed by his fighting attitude. As a warrior dog, despite his small size, he attacks dogs three times his own size and, like us cats, takes no notice of any human instructions. But other dogs enjoy playing peacefully there.

Glad you peed on the pyramid. Why else would it be there? Such a nice shape with a lot of edges at pee height. Made for leg lifting. I dare say passing felines have sprayed there too.

Love

George


Saturday, August 28, 2010

I have protested in the strongest terms - spraying

Dear George,
My humans don't understand me. A new despot cat has moved into the neighbourhood and they haven't even noticed. He's leaving unplesant and scary messages on the nearby plant pots and walking up and down the wall glaring at me.
So I did the natural thing. I sprayed on the windowsill - a big post-it sign which said "There is danger here!" I wanted to remind myself that it was dangerous to look out and see him.
Oddly enough my humans then sprayed themselves - pine scented disinfectant. A really big urine mark out of a bottle. Naturally I topped it up and have kept it topped up. They are getting even more upset than I am. And they don't get the message at all. How can I tell them what is going on?
Oliver

Dear Oliver,
This is a common problem among humans. They are scent blind as well as dumb animals. Can't read body language. Can't detect scent. Don't keep an eye out for other cats. Hopeless apes, as Wicky Whudler calls them. Worse still, when they do detect the spray scent of danger, they just don't understand it and try to cover it up with stuff they think smells like pine forests. Actually to us it smells like cat urine in a pine forest, and very strong cat urine. So naturally that makes us feel even worse and we try to cover it up with our own scent.
Your problem is how to communicate with an inferior species, your humans. Our rather sad pets often misunderstand spraying altogether. They think we are being "naughty" or "evil" or even trying to take our revenge on them. This is really pathetically incompetant of them but we must remember that humans are dumb animals. They cannot understand a word of what we are saying.
Spraying is an sign that we are anxious and that we need help. Usually what upsets us is the intrusion of another into our territory -- the cat next door, a new cat in the household, nearby dogs or a new puppy. Sometimes house sitters and cat feeders upset us too. So we spray. And usually where we spray give an indication what is going on. If it is near the window it is because we see something worrying outside. If it is near the door to the garden, it may be that a neighbouring cat has posted a spray mark just the other side of the door. And so on.
Our problem is not spraying. Our problem is getting help for our anxiety. Our humans simply don't understand us and at times this makes me gloomy,
George.
PS. My late companion William is sponsoring a photo competition in the Cat Extravaganza, 4th September 2pm, St Leonards Church Hall, Marshalls Brow, Penworththa, Preston, Lancs.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Boundaries, collars and the famous Mr Lee


Since we got out of gaol, William and I have been checking our boundaries, updating our marks by rubbing our chins against tings, scratching tree trunks, and putting well aimed urine sprays at key points. Boundaries are everything to a cat. With them, we feel safe. Without them, we get very anxious indeed.
Celia is too stupid to know where most of them are. Humans are sense challenged in many ways. They can see but they can't smell anything. All our chin rubs go unnoticed and even our spray marks in the open air aren't strong enough for her. She does notice the scratch marks on the tree trunks. And even though she is visually competant, she loses sight of us very easily. Most of the day she doesn't know where we are. Which is how we like it.
Some humans are crafty. There's a cheeky human who has attached a camera to his cat's collar. Mr Lee is the cat and his privacy has been completely invaded. The camera takes regular photographs showing his every movement - when he sits under the car, his meetings with neighbouring cats, his excursions in the forest, his boundary walks. It's all on www.mr-lee-catcam.de I asked Mr Lee's permission to post his photo on this entry. Here he is. Of course, it's shocking that he allowed his human to photograph his life but it's interesting too.
I wouldn't let Celia put a collar on me. Neither would William. We don't approve of collars ever since we met a thin wounded stray with her paw caught in her collar. And it's a question of pride. Dogs wear collars as sign of their inferiority to humans (if you can believe any species could be inferior to homo sapiens). As cats are superior to humans, a collar would not be appropriate - though I'd quite like to see Celia and Ronnie in one. They'd look sweet.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Free at last.... just checking territory boundaries

We are free. No more prison. No more horrible strange Persians within a whisker of us, unnaturally close for comfort. No more Gill the Cattery. Regrettably, no more cooked coley at lunchtime. (How can I convey to Celia the idea that she should cook for us, not just open yet another tin.) The relief is enormous.
Getting back home required a lot of energy. I went right round my hunting territory boundaries, past the evergreens near the pond (useful for amphibian prey), up past the unused owl box (unused by owls but now home to some pigeon prey), along the side of the ploughed field past the Dutch barn where the brambles are (good for mousing), down the track towards the old piggery (also good for mousing) then up the other side of the hedge towards the rabbit holes (best of all, a lagomorph killing ground.). All the territorial smells I had left from chinning had gone. I renewed them. I left new scented scratchings on the apple tree and the plum tree and that bit of hedge near the rabbit holes. If you don't make your boundary marks, some other cat may take over your territory. William used to stop and spray at various points but he seems to have neglected to do this lately. So far I have not bothered to spray. Maybe as I get older I will start doing this. Spraying is a useful way of leaving "George was here" marks.
The first night back I slept very close to Celia all though the night, and woke her several times for a bit of cuddling. Not that I needed reassurance, you understand. Nothing of the kind. I am just trying to rebond her so she doesn't do that to me again. If a bit of cuddling up makes her feel guilty so much the better.

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