Saturday, June 25, 2022

Why lions can't purr but we can.


Lions can't purr.

They can roar because they are big animals with no real enemies except humans. They can make all the noise they like - to see off rivals or attract a mate - without having to worry that a bigger animal will hear them and hunt them.

But they can't purr. 

So we are superior to lions in purring.

We can purr like a contented universe humming to itself. It's a long low sound that mother cats and kittens make together in the safety of the nest, knowing that quiet hum won't arouse any predators. It's the sound of safety, of happiness, and of love in that blissful nest.

Why can't lions purr? It's a bit of a mystery. It's not just size. Cheetahs can purr, for example: so can snow leopards.

It used to be thought this was something to do with small hyoid bone in the throat and whether it was rigid enough to make a roar but too rigid for a purr. Now scientists have started to argue against this, saying it might be something to do with the folds of the vocal tract.

Purrng is still a wonderful mystery. 

We purr without pausing for breath because we purr continuously on the in-breath and on the out-breath. Not many animals can do this. 

Humans can't purr. We are their superior in purring.

Friday, June 17, 2022

How we see the world

What a human sees - sharp and coloured
We see the world as we are, not as the world is. That's because no creature sees the whole world. Each creature, whether animal or human, sees what is important to it.

What a cat sees - less colour slightly blurred
So we don't need to see colour like you humans do. You need to tell if the corn is yellow and therefore ripe. We just need to see if there are any mice moving around among the corn.

The other reason why we don't see colour like you do, is because we are designed to be twilight hunters. Our eyes specialise in low light, where there isn't much colour anyway. They also specialise in motion. If something moves, we notice it. If it stays very very still, like a mouse freezing, it's more difficult for us to see it.

Our vision is a bit narrower and more blurry too. 

Twilight is our world. 


Saturday, June 11, 2022

It's the family scent, stupid human!


We cats live in a world of scent which you humans can never fully understand. You are nose blind to our smellscape! No wonder we are a bit of a mystery to you.

We can smell home. It smells of every human in the house (each with an individual scent signature), of every other cat or dog in the house, the regular cleaning fluids used, the regular food eaten - and our own scent. 

We apply our body perfume by rubbing against corners, skirting boards, human legs, other cats or dogs, and furniture. That mixture is important. It makes up the family scent and reassures us that we are in a safe place, our core home.

So when you humans ruin it, no wonder we get stressed. Strangers coming into the house to service the boiler: new cats plonked inside the home: new smells you bring home after being in hospital (yukk smells like vet surgery!), spring cleaning (oh no!), or a new boyfriend/girlfriend with a strong perfume habit, or you add a floral plug in (purrlease....).

It smells wrong. The mixture is wrong, wrong, wrong.... to sensitive cat. 

Try not to disrupt our important family scent mixture. It's our home, stupid.

Saturday, June 04, 2022

Sensitive ears in the shelter

 We cats can hear far more and far better than humans. We can hear the tiny ultrasonic squeak of a mouse behind the skirting boards. We can hear the ultrasonic whirring noises of machine, which you humans cannot hear at all. Yet for us it is screaming in our ears.

So no wonder we don't like it, if the litter tray is placed near the washing machine in the utility room. Would you like to have to sit on the lavatory right by the noise of men drilling through the tarmac? That's what the machine sounds like to us!

We learn to ignore the TV noises most of the time - even though they are far louder in our ears than in yours. We can hear the  faint scrabble of a rat or the tiny hum of a very small grasshopper. They are clear as a church bell to us.

When we are put into a cat shelter, one of the awful stresses are the noises. We can sometimes hear the barking of frightening dogs in the kennels nearby. We hear the clash of the food bowls being washed and the noise of the grass outside being mown -- and we can't get away from the din.

We nervous cats suffer most. Please put us as far away as possible from noisy machinery or the rattle of food dishes. Cats in pens need as much silence as they can get!


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, This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online