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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. 


Saturday, September 05, 2020

Stand up for rescue cats - feigned sleep stress

This cat is not asleep. Rescue cats that pretend to sleep like this one are highly stressed. But humans often do not recognise this. They describe the cat as "quiet" or "shy."

If you look carefully at this video you will see that the cat has its ears lowered, a sign of fear. Its back is humped not relaxed. And it turns its head away from the human videoing it - another sign of fear. It also blinks rapidly.

Feigned sleep is found in rescue catteries and among wild animals in zoos. Humans do not recognise it. It is a sign of chronic stress and unhappiness.

This cat needs help. It needs a box to hide in and if it has one it will be more likely to come out and look around, knowing that it can retreat if need be. No rescue cat should be without a privacy area.

If a privacy area doesn't help enough, then it needs fostering in a home.

Stand up for rescue cats. Pass this information on.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Permission to pet - a new catumentary movie


 Do we consent to petting? - an important new documentary by George Online Cat, ie me. Using my paws to make this movie was difficult but I did it.  

OK, so my human helped a little but the inspiration was my experience. Humans must learn to ask permission to pet. We cats are sick of being picked up, or hugged or petted without our consent.

Please help me spread the word. Put a stop to human harassment. Help humans recognise the feline Yes and the feline No.

This movie is available on Youtube here



  • For more on the cat-human relationship read my guide here.

 

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Naked humans and compassionate cats

Naked humans are often shy in front of us, a survey revealed last week. Naked and ashamed of their lack of fur presumably. Poor hairless humans. I pity them.

Imagine having to cover up your body with clothing, because the only bits of fur you have are on the head, the chin, the armpits and the groin. The wrong places and the wrong type of hair to keep yourself warm. That is the human dilemma.

Many cats out of kindness move off the bed when their human is about to strip off and go to somewhere private like the linen cupboard. We cats know that staring is upsetting for us: and presumably it upsets naked humans too. The other alternative is to close your eyes and drift off into a deep sleep at these human strip tease moments.

Be compassionate. Don't shame your human. Do not stare at that fur-less human skin.  At moments like this many humans suffer from feelings of inferiority to felines.  Fur envy, I call it.

 

 

 

  •  For further insights in the cat-human relationship read my book here.

 

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Disappointing. Expensive new cat tree but no box.

Here is my new cat tree, designed to help me get onto the highway-wall which is used by all the neighbouring street cats.

In May she bought me an expensive cat ladder so that I could climb up the side of the house and enter my bedroom via an open window. She was going to put a cat flap in the window but I have spared her the expense.

I have refused to put a paw on the ladder. 

I am considering whether to refuse to use this equally expensive wooden device.  On the one hand, I would like to make clear she cannot buy my approval. On the other hand I have been on that wall but it was so high she had to rescue me.

The real disappointment was that there was no box for me to leap into, when it arrived. Too bad.

What matters most? Keeping my human humble? Or having fun on the wall? I will have to decide.....

 

This blog is late due to human failings. My human put her sister's welfare before mine and, because too much typing hurts my paws. I waited till she got back to dictate this.

 

  • For more information about human management go here. 

Saturday, August 08, 2020

Humans must envy us....


 

Miaow.... its International Cat Day. Today we celebrate the sheer elegance of cats.

Gorgeous whiskers like mine, so much more beautiful than beards. 

Soft delicious fur, which poor hairless humans do not have.

Ears that can hear a mouse's footfall and the ultrasonic squeaks of bats in the hot evenings and mice in the wainscot. Humans, as they age, cannot hear these at all.

Ears that grow fur out of themselves - wisps of beautiful fur that add to our elegance, unlike the hair in human ears.

Eyes that reflect moonlight back to the marvelling human that notices this. Eyes that are tuned to the slightest movement and can see in the twilight dark. 

A waving tail that helps us balance on garden fences or the boughs of trees. A sense of balance that far outbalances our humans.

A graceful body at all times. A body that is so supple we can clean ourselves all over, except for the head. We can contort ourselves so that we look at our intimate parts without using a mirror. 

Humans, don't you envy us?



  • Celebrate International Cat Day by buying my book here.

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Stand up for rescue cats..... give affection

It's horrible in a cat pen, yet we have to be there if we need homes. Humans feed and water us, but do they do enough? Do they give us affection?
Just putting in food or water, or cleaning the litter tray, with perhaps a quick stroke, isn't reassuring. If that's all, we are more likely to get sick or withdrawn.
We need at least six minutes of gentle stroking, head to tail, tickle under the chin, and then more stroking every day, by a familiar person not just a passing stranger. Don't talk, just do this silently - which is the feline way. We don't like constant human jabber.
If rescue shelters made sure this was done, we cats would come to the front of the pen in hope of more affection. And cats that come to the front are adopted quicker.
So please, workers and volunteers in the shelter, please stroke more. Affection is as important as food.




  • Want to know more? Read my book here.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Stand up for rescue cats..... homeless cats

I am lucky enough to have a h
ome and regular meals. Many of my sisters and brothers lead wretched lives on the street - starving, flea ridden, and terrified. Please help them by
getting your human to wise up on what to do about them. Spread the word that these cats can be helped. International Cat Care has a lot online about how to help them - https://icatcare.org/unowned-cats/feral-street-community-cats/
Just feeding the cats, like the video above, isn't enough. But regular feeding is the beginning of a process. It is called Trap Neuter and Return - or TNR. Neutered cats are healthier than un-neutered ones. Females often die after endless kitten bearing and males die of diseases transmitted by fighting. Neutering means that the colony isn't full of diseased kittens, many of which will not survive into adulthood.
Feed regularly first. Then trap. Then neuter and euthanise those suffering from diseases. Rehome the stray cats that are used to human homes. Rehab, tame and find homes for young kittens. Return the adult feral cats to the site. Continue with regular feeding for a healthy colony and to keep an eye out for strays or feral cats that turn up.
That way, newcomer cats can also be trapped and neutered and the colony will eventually die out. This should please the people who want to see fewer cats. Their solution of merely shooting or poisoning strays and ferals usually merely results in newcomers taking over the empty territory.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Stand up for rescue cats.... when to neuter

Every kitten should be a wanted kitten. But there are too many cats without homes in this world. One way to reduce overpopulation is to reduce the number of cats that have kittens - but that needs human co-operation.
In the UK, cat rescues are beginning to change their methods. Till recently, they found home for their kittens and asked the adopters to make sure these were neutered. Some rescues handed out vouchers to help pay for this.
Adopters are only human (dumb animals) and so some forgot. Some decided they would like to cash in and sell kittens. The rescues had to follow up and make sure the neutering happened.
It was a mess. It cost time and money. Even veterinary humans were slow to realise that they had got it wrong and females needed neutering faster than they thought. We can get pregnant from 3 months onwards.
Now these rescue humans are beginning to wise up. They have realised they cannot rely on humans to do the right thing, so they are neutering their kittens before giving them up for adoption.
It's safe (researchers have looked into it) and it stops human error. Purrlease spread the word.
Prevent human error. Neuter kittens before adoption.

  • Is it safe? Read 'Help Stop Teenage Pregnancy! Early-age neutering in cats,' Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, (2011), 13, 3-10

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Thinking - the history of cat food.

Me. Deep in thought.
Pondering the cat-human relationship, I have decided it is much improved. Why? While nosing around the book shelves of my human, I came across this small pamphlet, issued by a maker of "Tibs," vitamin pills for cats. It is probably more than half a century old.
We know that humans are dumb animals. But in the l950s they were even dumber than nowadays when it comes to cats. Some of them thought that kitchen scraps (delightful though they are) were sufficient food for cats. Others believed a bowl of milk was sufficient.
Nowadays we know that cows' milk
can be very indigestible to many cats. If humans want to feed us milk, they should buy cat milk.  And kitchen scraps (preferably stolen) are no substitute for a bowl of the most expensive kind of cat food. Scraps yes, but as well as not instead of proper cat food!
We also know that cats require some specific ingredients* in their diets - ingredients which are found in a natural diet of rodents but were not found in l950s cat food.
Yes humans are dumb animals but not as dumb as they once were.

* Amino-acids which are taurine, arginine, methionine, and cysteine




Saturday, July 04, 2020

Stand up for rescue cats - different solutions for different cats.

We cats are not all the same. Some of us don't need rescuing, if that means putting us in a pen and trying to tame us.
True feral cats need neutering, spaying and putting back somewhere where they can be fed. Feral cats, left to survive on their own without extra food and neutering, have short lives full of pregnancies, near starvation and disease.
The cats in this photo were kept on a site, where the owner would not let rescuers help with neutering. When food was put out for them, they rushed to get it. They were surviving on a diet of rodents and waste products but they were far from flourishing. And all the females were pregnant.
So wise up, humans.
Learn how to rescue cats the right way.  Don't put true ferals in pens. Put them back into farms or stables, where someone will feed them.
Different cats have different needs - learn about it here. International Cat Care is trying to educate rescuers round the world. Pass on this knowledge to your human.


  • Buy my book on how to manage humans here

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Stand up for cats in rescue.... keep us apart and safe.

Cats in rescue ought to be kept in single houses - unless they already know their companions. Just dumping us in a pen full of strange cats is enormously stressful.
It may seem like a good idea to save money, or just to rescue more cats, but it doesn't pay off.
More stress means more disease. More disease means more vets bills. More disease also means more cats are euthanised.
Scientists have measured our stress levels in rescue, and a pen full of cats - coming in and going out to new homes - is the worst possible accomodation.
So, rescues, start thinking smart not fast. Build proper premises. Take in fewer cats, concentrate on homing them out fast.You will save money and you will save more cats.
And saving more cats is what we all want.


  • For more feline thoughts on human behaviour go here.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Stand up for cats in rescue.... hideaways

Cats in a rescue shelter or a vet's surgery need a hideaway. They shouldn't be left without privacy, on a shelf being stared at by passing humans. Staring is very intimidating to us cats.
If we have somewhere to hide, we feel happier about coming out to interact with humans. And then we are more likely to be adopted.
So why don't humans give us a hiding place? Because they don't think like a cat. And they don't bother to find out what we need or read up on the topic.
It doesn't cost much. There is an excellent Feline Fort which should be in every vet surgery. It's got a perch and a hiding place. And for rescue shelters who have too little money, a box will do just as well.
Better still, it can go to the new ho
me with the cat, so that the new home has a bed with a familiar smell. Smell matters.
Educate your local rescue....


  • For more information on human management techniques buy this book here.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Humans are getting hairier... and worse dressed

Jasmine has kept her fur beautifully groomed.
Are humans losing it? They seem to be getting hairier! Or is it just that they cannot groom themselves?
Look around at the humans you know, the ones that are now staying indoors most of the time. The fur on their head is growing longer and seems to be changing colour too - grey and brown instead of blonde.
The men are trying to grow whiskers. Poor things can only manage stubby facial fur not proper long and beautiful whiskers.
Compare this to your own fur -- still delightfully untangled, unchanged in colour, beautifully and sensitively styled and groomed. By you. Strong and sensitive whiskers, each tapered at the end for extra finesse.
And their clothes, that they cover their bodies with because they can't grow proper fur, seem to be changing too. Many of them are staying in dressing gowns or pyjamas or night clothes all day.
I have tried to set a good example by rigorous and stylish grooming all over my body. Not forgetting those tricky bits on the belly and lower down.
Humans seem to be losing what little self respect they once had, and becoming unable to care for themselves.
What can we cats do about this?


  • For more on managing your human get my book here.

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Stand up for Cats in Rescue.

Fear and frustration in a rescue
It's time somebody stood up for cats in shelters. Big rescue organisations often treat cats like second hand kittisens. Dogs get all the attention. Cats are just an add on. Humans, purrlease do something.
What is the worst?
Well the worst is the smell and sound of the premises. The scent of dog wafts everywhere - on the hands and clothing of the staff, on the clothing of the would-be adopters, in the veterinary surgery, and in the offices of the manager
Nobody remembers that most of us cats are scared by dogs.
Then there is the constant sound of barking. We cats have the widest range of hearing of almost all animals. We can hear a mouse's footfall. But do shelter staff care? Do they even think of the constant stress of the constant noise of barking?
Nobody remembers the noise of dogs scares us.....
Purrlease, humans, do something.
Educate yourself and others about what we need and want.
Stand up for cats in Rescue!
Share this post!

  • Read more on feline rights here.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Going up in the world....

For once my human has done the decent thing. I am going up in the world.
Bored in lockdown, I finally purrsuaded her to spend some real money on proper cat furniture like the one in the photos. Now at last I will be able to be in the my rightful position of being able to look down on all the humans below. 
Admittedly she is too mean to include a cat house. She's just got a ledge/perch/sitting place.
I can't wait for it... a really huge one.
Of course, I will keep her in her place by refusing to use it, while she is around. Instead I shall inspect and enjoy the cardboard boxes in which the catipilla arrives....
Keep her waiting. For how long? One week? Two weeks? A month purrhaps? But I shall sneak down in the night when she is sleeping and try it out.
If you want your human get one, the website is www.catipilla.com



  • More on human management here. 

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Block that screen! Hit that keyboard! Murder the printer!

Humans urgently need our help to stay sane. They are focused so much on the screen that some of them are becoming addicted.
In this video Tommy shows you how to have fun while interrupting their obsessive gazing. You will notice that he doesn't just jump on the printer, he puts his paws on the keyboard, which cries out with an odd noise each time.
Do your duty during this crisis. Interrupt your human before its obsession with the screen overcomes it.
Stroking us, feeding us, and talking to us is so much more important than they realise. It brings them back to the real world and gives them important body contact.
Place yourself between the screen and your human whenever possible.  
 

  • For more tips on how to manage a human get this book here

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Beware despot cats.

This is my local despot cat, Alfie. I am terrified of him. He sits on my wall and glares menacingly at me. 
This is a dilemma when I do need human help. Humans can be very stupid about this problem. They don't understand that a feline stare is very intimidating. At first she thought Alfie was just being 'friendly.' A ridiculous idea.
Then other humans told her how Alfie fights all other cats, if he can get hold of them. At last she is being helpful. She hisses and shouts at him every time he appears. 
And since she has started doing that, at least he doesn't come into the garden. She also protects me by closing the cat flap at night, when he is on the prowl. It's a kind of time share.
Luckily, he is not a large cat but I don't want to get into fights with any other cat. So I usually just slink back into the house and feel miserable. The microchip cat flap means the house is safe from him.
Last evening I saw him being chased across the wall by a larger cat. It was a great moment.


  • For help in managing your human read this book here.
 

Saturday, May 09, 2020

We are reclaiming the streets...

 Humans are beginning to learn their place in life - in the kitchen with a large pile of food envelopes. Then ready to provide a warm lap for a nap after our meal.
Meanwhile we are reclaiming the streets.  The horrible roaring machines that terrify us and are so destructive, with their revolting smells, are few in number. The irritating human pedestrians tottering along on two feet in ridiculous high heels are no longer interfering with our street patrols.
We have taken back the streets from them.
We can loll where we like. Investigate where we choose. Stroll along without worrying about traffic. Sit in contemplation without some human idiot wanting to interrupt our contemplation.
Learn from us, humans. 
Cats are everywhere... purrhaps this is the beginning of a happier, more serene, feline world.  

  • For advice on managing your human get this book here


Saturday, May 02, 2020

Imitate feline social distancing

We cats have been social distancing for years. It is what we do. We timeshare space when we live in the same house as other cats.
Humans often don't notice us doing that. But often even if we share the large bed, we will share at a distance. We only eat close too if our stupid humans force us to.
We keep our distance from stranger cats - and spend many hours just staring at each other, occasionally breaking off the eye contact, before moving away to an even safer distance.
We practice safe space all the time.
Urgent advice for humans,.... imitate your cat. 



  • Read this book during the crisis. Order here.

 

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Enough! Get out of my space, humans.

I have had enough of humans... As doorflap pets, they are delightful. As indoor-only pets they are a pest. Attention seeking all the time! 
I have my routine. After breakfast, the humans go out and I stroll round the garden before my noon nap. A long one usually and, if possible, in a patch of sunlight on the windowsill.
Round about tea time I begin to feel hungry and, if my human returns in time, I don't have to wait to long for my next meal. Another nap this time on the sofa in front of the TV and then supper before sharing the bed with my humans.
Now this routine has been ruined. They are always at home. In my face a lot of the time. I do not appreciate having my noon time nap interrupted. Nor do I want to nap on their laps. 
True, I now get lunch, but in the afternoon I am never left alone. They want to play fishing rod toys with me. Or brush me. Or just mess me about.
Let sleeping cats lie. Just get out of my space, humans. 


  • Read more about human management here. 

Help for cats whose humans show behaviour problems.

This blog is devoted to the study of human behaviour. We cats, who live with this sometimes unpredictable and always feeble minded species, can benefit from seeing their behaviour in its proper scientific context. The study of feline dilemmas, training problems, and difficulties with humans, can only benefit all of us. All of us train our humans - to buy the right food, for instance, but many of us do not have knowledge of how to improve our training methods. The human species is obviously not as intelligent as the cat, but nevertheless can learn quite a lot - if properly managed. Topics of interest include the use of claw and order, purring as a human reward, rubbing your human up the right way, when to bite, spraying as a method of making our wishes known, ignoring the human, human harassment, human inattention and sheer human stupidity. I welcome your questions. Photos can be sent via my secretary's website, www.celiahaddon.com This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online VetTechprogramms.org