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Saturday, April 08, 2017

Why are these cats pressing a bell? And who's in control?

Dear George,
I’ve been a long time follower of your blog but being very shy by nature I never got the courage to write or post a comment. Lately, as I start coming out of my shell I kind of see the world in a different light – not only more colorful but more playful as well! My humans are more playful and quite happy to entertain me! But what troubles me is one video they keep watching again and again and then…they try to copycat it. Here is the link to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Clm826hHxoA  George, please watch it and tell me ….is it just human silliness or what is it that people enjoy so much that they keep bribing us with treats? What exactly is the purpose? I’ve seen videos with Celia apparently training Toby and Tommy (here and here)! Why? Can you explain this to me?
I don’t get it!
Gratefully yours
Princess

Dear Princess,
They only think they are training us. We are training them. This video shows two cats proceeding to a higher level of training. By doing something silly like pressing the bells, they have trained their humans to give them treats. How good is that? Humans think they are training us: we know we are training them.
Most humans cannot be trained to this level. They are too dumb. They simply cannot credit what we cats can do and so they don't even try to respond. They just give us treats for nothing.... but it is sometimes more fun to do something funny to get a treat. The easiest silly-thing-to-do-for-food is to sit up on your hind legs.  Do this near a meal and there is a very good chance indeed you will get something tasty from the table!
From there it is a short step to doing all kinds of antics that will result of food. Try it. It's good food fun, particularly for indoor cats.
Yours
George 

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Microchipping - what's the use and why can't we microchip our humans?

Dear George,
I'm Ricardo and Bubbles is my twin brother! Look at the photo attached! Bet you can't tell us apart! No one can; not even our humans!
And what's most exciting about us is that we do everything together -like really good brothers often do-  we cuddle together, we hug while sleeping, we eat together. We are inseparable. I know it's rare in the feline's world but that's what we do.
George, I'm writing to you because I have a question and nobody else to ask! I heard my humans talking about micro chipping us!
I don't understand why? We are indoor cats; what is the chance to "go missing"? None!
Then, why am I supposed to suffer an "open skin" surgery? Who will benefit from it? The vet? putting more money in his pocket?
My humans? Finally getting a easy way to tell us apart? Who? Cause I don't see any benefit to me or Bubbles.
Oh! Yes! I've heard about that "run away" cat from California who ended-up in a shelter in Canada!
But, let's be serious! Do we look like the type to gang-up with truck drivers and have an escapade?
I don't think so! Then.....why?
Yours .....quite confused
Ricardo

Dear Ricardo,
There are many ways a cat might get lost . You might jump or fall out of an open window: the cat carrier might break open as you are being taken into the vet surgery: you might just sneak out into the road as your humans open the door to leave for work: you could be cat-napped by a burglar: or just let roam by a negligent cat sitter or even a negligent cattery owner. I have heard of all these accidents. Without microchipping, your human pets might never be re-united with you. 
I have been thinking of how I could microchip my humans. It would be useful for when they desert me for a"holiday." They could be found and returned to me early.
Yours 
George,
Interesting that you look so alike. Most litters of kittens have more than one father, so often kittens don't look at all alike. We cats are sensible. We don't do jealous. We queue up for a chance to mate without any inter-male violence! So unlike humans.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I'm handsome and affectionate - so why can't I find a home?

Dear George,
My name is Chilli - but I am gentle not peppery. I'm loving. I'm handsome with wonderful white whiskers but here I am stuck in a cattery without a human pet. 
Can you give me any advice on how to get out of here.  And how to purrsuade a human to be adopted.
I want to get back into the real world again.
Yours 
Chilli.

Dear Chilli,
The first step is to get noticed. As people pass your pen, you must make them stop to take a look at you. This requires you either to walk to the front of the pen and miaow. Or  if you are sitting on a ledge nearer human eyesight (which is uncomfortably high) as well as the miaow you must do something unusual. Sitting back on your haunches might work. Or better still standing up on your hind legs.  Putting a paw to your eye, as if wiping off a tear, might also work.
Once you get their attention, you can begin purr very loudly indeed. You already have your tail in the correct tail-up position - the position which tells them that you like them. If you are near the wire of the pen, go right up to it and rub. 
If possible roll over and expose your tummy to them, always giving them eye contact at the same time. 
Miaow some more. And some more. In between the purring. Humans do a lot of vocalisation so this is likely to appeal to them.
Yours cheerfully
George

Saturday, March 18, 2017

I’m my Mama’s boy! How to keep it that way.

Dear George, 
Yes, I’m my Mama’s boy and it feels sooooo good (as you can see in the picture).
But, I’m in a fierce competition with my brother Rocky; not that Rocky cares, not even for a faint second, who in fact is the mama’s boy! He just wants to annoy me! And he does! Rocky is such a mischievous cat! I know our Mom loves us both but I was her first rescue! I was her first “fur baby”! So, in the name of my “rescue right” I expect to be recognised as my Mama’s boy and I want everybody else in our household to acknowledge it! George, what do I need to do to maintain my Status Quo?
Any tips or tricks?
Cheers,
Stanley

Dear Stanley,
That is a cute pose - tongue out, paws up, and tummy exposed. Few humans could resist that one! It feeds into their innate maternal instinct for cradling.
Purr loudly and purr often. They love to listen to purring. It soothes and pleases them. Miaow in moderation. The frequent and intense miaowing made by Siamese is not to every human's liking. So use miaows less frequently than purrs. But they still work well to get attention. High pitched is better than low sounding. Run a few tests. Do your humans like one long-lasting miaows or several short ones?
Tactile signals are cute too. While your human is lying in bed rub your cheek against hers. That's a no brainer! A gentle purr at the same time will seem even cuter. Rubbing against the legs and arms is fine too. Slow blinking is another great sign of affection too. And don't forget the slow little paw pat on the face as a wake-up call (claws firmly retracted for this one).
A little gentle play with whatever toy is around will please them too. Show off your graceful pouncing. It is our cute looks that seem to turn them on. Why else have cats taken over the internet, a visual medium if ever there was one. Charm never fails.
Do all this, and you keep Rocky into second place without  doubt. 
Yours admiringly
George.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The SNIP....why do we have it and why don't humans?

Dear George,

I have been rescued few days ago and my new humans instead of taking me to my forever home they took me to a place called “clinic” where I was given a shot and there I went dreaming. When I woke up I was wearing this terrible thing around my head (as you can see in the photo) and didn’t understand why. I meowed them asking what’s going on? What happened to me? Are they going to harm me? They laughed and said “No, baby, we will never harm you! We adopted you because we love you so much”.
Then, they went on saying that “this is snip month” and it’s only going to benefit me! Well, as much as their assurance is comforting to some degree …I feel I’m missing some “parts” of me now. Quite perplexing as I still don’t see how all this is going to benefit me?
If March is “the snip month” ....do the human males get snipped as well? Is this snipping
thing going to benefit them too? Uh! George, I’m too young to understand all this!  
Can you explain it to me, please?
Very curious,
Misha

Dear Misha, 
The same thing happened to me. I lead a celibate life of my own choice due to surgical alteration at an early age. It's a calm life without fights (with the risk of catching FIV), without roaming in search of sex (with the risk of a traffic accident) without urine spraying (which keeps my human happy). Even feral cats are healthier after neutering and spaying.
But one thing troubles me. If we are happier after this, why don't humans practice it worldwide on themselves? Surely their own lives would benefit. Human overpopulation would fall, the natural world would flourish better with fewer humans. Men would get into fewer fights and women would not be exhausted or even killed by repeated child bearing. We need a worldwide campaign to neuter and spay humans!
They call us selfish but if you want to find a selfish species you only have to look at Homo so-called sapiens. They blame us for killing wildlife, but who has been slaughtering elephants, big cats, and ruining the habitat for wildlife. Not us.
Yours indignantly
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