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Saturday, October 17, 2020

Ouch. It hurts when my human picks me up

Are you finding that you don't want to jump up on the bed any more? Or feeling that the litter tray is difficult to climb into? Or even beginning to think that going out through the cat flap is just too uncomfortable for you to bother? And when your human picks you up, it hurts, so you nip her.

It's probably arthritis. It begins to hurt when you do anything much, so you spend more time sleeping. Maybe you no longer want to have to tackle the stairs, so instead of walking downstairs to use the litter tray you do it behind the chest of drawers. As any sensible elderly cat would.

Your human doesn't understand. She gets angry. This is the moment to make sure she reads up on the problem here.  It is Arthritis Week for cats. 

Last century even vets didn't know that cats got arthritis. We conceal our pain - unlike those despicable whining dogs. We rarely limp and we never whine. We suffer in silence.

Yet there is so much our owners could do. They could make sure that there was a litter tray upstairs as well as downstairs. And they could cut down the front of the litter tray so it is easier to climb in.

There are little ramps that they could buy to help us get on and off the sofa or the bed. A heated bed would be cosy too. They could make sure we had regular painkillers.

Humans complain about aches and pains as they age.  Why don't they think of feline aches and pains?

 

Saturday, October 03, 2020

Ophan kittens - not just milk but mothering.

Mouse and Moley
Orphan kittens are sometimes handed into rescue and people try to bring them up on the bottle. The milk is the easy part: but the mothering is the difficult part. How will they learn to be a cat without having a mother to teach them? We cats need to grow up to be cats, not furry humans. (And who'd want to be a human anyway....)
Special milk

Mother cats teach their babies what to eat, help them to pee and poo, teach them to hunt, and give them the careful mothering they need. They groom the babies until the babies are ready to groom themselves in a way they learn from mother. They give them milk then when it is time to stop, they begin to close the milk bar. This teaches kittens to eat solid food but it also teaches that they don't always get what they want. That way they learn to tolerate frustration.

The best way to bring up orphan kittens is to put them on a lactating female that already has kittens or to keep them with their mother but bottle feed them. If humans can't do this, then they must keep the babies together or even (if they can) find an adult cat who will "mother" them without milk. 

Can't do that? Well make sure that these kittens go to a home where there are no other cats. Bottle fed cats may be more likely to be loners.

  •  If you are feeding orphan kittens read this article -
    *Little, S., (2013), “Playing mum: Successful management of orphaned kittens,” Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 15, 201-210.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Kittens... who's the Daddy?

 

Yes, it is what you think in the picture..... more than one father! We, cats, are sensible enough to hedge our bets.

We don't fight over who mates with whom. True, there is a lot of noise and caterwauling and usually the biggest tom cat goes first.... if the female allows. But others have their turn too.

Why is this a good thing? Well who knows what will happen to the kittens? Will they go to a good home and be neutered pets? Or a bad home that doesn't neuter them so they end up as strays? Or will they have to live in the wild and find their own food?

Two fathers means that if the little black kittens don't thrive in the world then purrhaps the little grey one will. Or visa versa. so it is a way of making sure one or more of the kittens will have the right genes to survive. 

Humans are sometimes sniffy about our sex lives, but it is the pot calling the kettle black. We only mate when our hormones tell us to. They have sex all the time, any night of the week.

Purrsonally I find that kind of sex drive disgustingly licentious.


  • For more information about humans get this book here.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Whoohoo. The precision strike.


I can jump nine times my own height from a standing start. Beat that, humans! You never will. Even at Olympic games, humans can do nothing as strong and powerful as this.

Why do it?

For hunting in the long grass, of course. If we just pushed through the grass, the mouse would get away. So we leap up and over, with our front paws tucked in to help the jump, then pushed forward at the last minute to grab the mouse. It's called the fore foot strike.

We also use the high jump up, to help us escape on to high places away from dogs and other dangers. 

These photos are blurry because my human was caught by surprise and failed to change her camera settings. But there is a longer video showing my friend Toby on her Youtube channel here.

You will see how carefully we have to shift our weight, poise, and sometimes give a little wiggle just before we launch ourselves into the air. Front legs tucked in on launching, back legs then tuck in, and front push forward just before landing to grab the prey.

It's a precision strike - anything less would lose our prey. 

This is just another example of cats' superiority to humans. Powerful muscles, amazing control, precision and power..... ours, not theirs.


  • More examples of feline superiority here.


 


Saturday, September 12, 2020

Stand up for rescue kittens - in the home.


 These are rescue kittens in a rescue pen. Not an ideal start in life, if you want a cat that is confident around human beings. I am sad that so many rescues are still keeping kittens (with or without a mother) in a pen.

Kittens need human contact - a minimum 20 minutes daily preferably from a series of different humans. Not just women, but also men and sensible children. But that is the minimum.

I was lucky I was brought up in a home, with all the noises and smells of a human home, with people coming and going, and with a friendly dog. The ideal education for a pet cat.

I was used to all these things before I went to my new home, so I settled in quickly. Kittens that are in a pen miss out on the smells and noises of a human home, and some of them don't get enough human contact.

Purrlease tell you human to get their rescue kittens fostered in a home, not a pen. 


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