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Saturday, July 17, 2021

Roads.... danger ahead


 I don't understand roads, so my human keeps me indoors, but many cats are allowed to roam free. They don't understand roads and cars either.

Cars are useful to them to shelter under in bad weather. But when they hurtle down the road,we can't judge their speed, so we usually just make a run for it. And that's dangerous.

Road traffic accidents are the number 1 reason for cat injuries, according to Agria insurance and it is the younger more confident cats exploring their territory who are most likely to be hurt.

It's time humans learned this. The most useful thing they can do is to make sure the cat flap is closed at night. That protects us quite a lot. Then there is the garden possibility, if we have a garden. Good fencing (details at www.icatcare.org) will keep us in but we still can have fun outside. It also keeps intruding cats out, which is a plus.

Some humans use reflective collars (though I don't like collars as they sometimes get caught and hurt cats). Others like me are kept indoors all the time and next week I will tell you how to make indoor life more enjoyable.

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Tossing the mouse - the importance of play

 

This is the sport I like best - mouse tossing, shown in a good photo of the late Toby. The mouse is dead, but Toby is playing with it, tossing it into the air and then pouncing on it.

Why it's such fun is that it is part of our hunting repertoire, hard wired into us so that we carnivores can survive.  Hunting isn't just what we do: it's what we are. And this kind of playing is part of it.

Some of us claim that playing with prey before killing it is "dazing" it, ie tiring it out so that if we make a mistake with the kill bite and don't finish it off, it will be too tired to bite us back. Or that, in the case of unusual prey like rats or snakes, it allows us to assess how to deliver that final bite. Other cats say that only well-fed cats waste time with this sort of thing: wild and feral cats just get on with the important business of killing and eating their next meal.

My uncle George used to hunt live mice and rabbits, but my more scholastic life has meant that I don't have a good hunting field. So I have to put up with small artificial mice, little bits of scrunched paper, or small stuff like a bit of dried pasta or a bean that can be shunted round the kitchen floor.

The point of this play is that the mouse/bean must move. Static prey doesn't do it for us. So we poke and toss to get that movement which sets off our hunting reactions.

Whether it's a real mouse or just a substitute for one, there is nothing cats like better than playing in this way. Purrlease, humans, don't just give us the toys: throw them for us.

 

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