Saturday, February 24, 2024

Shocking news from Amazon

Box as a refuge from Toby

Amazon is reducing the number of boxes it uses. This news is a shocking blow to all cats.

Box to play in.

We rely on Amazon boxes as cosy places to sleep, as fun places to play and as refuges from other cats or interfering humans.  
Box as a feeding station

My human used to use boxes as feeding stations for her fat foster cat, Boomer. He had to jump into them to get fed - making him exercise more to lose weight.

 They can be used as kitten cradles by nursing feline mothers - keeping the kittens inside while she takes a nap.

They  are the cheapest way for a rescue shelter to make nervous cats feel safe.

So Amazon, PURRLEASE don't do it! 

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Are snowdrops dangerous?

My uncle George scratching

Are snowdrops dangerous to cats? My human was asked this last week and she didn't know the answer. One of her friends had read it in a news outlet - so it must be true.

Well, it was true... but only in theory. Do not let your human believe everything they read online.

Yes, snowdrop are potentially poisonous - the bulbs, that is. And what kind of cat is going to dig up snowdrop bulbs and eat them? A dog - well maybe. A cat - no.

When I go into the garden, I enjoy a good scratch on a tree; I enjoy sniffing where other cats have been; I look out just in case there is a mouse; I laze in the sun if there is any; but what I don't do is dig up things with my claws.

The only digging I might do is for toilet purposes. And I would never eat what I had dug!!

News outlets love bad news and scare stories. This is just one of the latest. 

Sometimes I think the human race has gone completely mad. Or perhaps they always were.


Saturday, February 10, 2024

Why play matters....

 I play, therefore I am a cat.

I play when I am relaxed and feeling safe. I DON'T play if I am feeling stressed, or angry, or frightened or just hungry. So play is a way humans can recognise feline happiness.

It's also the way humans can recognise an unhappy cat. A cat that cannot or will not play is not relaxed and may be anxious or stressed.

Play is almost as good as hunting. Yes, I know that we house cats don't need to hunt for food any more. But the hunting instinct is designed to make us feel intensely absorbed and fully alive.

We indoor cats don't have the chance to hunt, but play is the next best thing to hunting. It exercises our body, interests our mind and fulfills the hunting instinct. It's not the social play with another cat: it's playing with a cat toy or some little object.

This is a book which will help your human give you the best chance for happy relaxed play. It's written by one of the best cat researchers in the world.

Get your human to read it.


Saturday, February 03, 2024

Signs of stress in the shelter

 Many of my feline friends have found their forever homes after a spell in a cat shelter. Otherwise they would have continued to live rough on the street.

So shelters are good - but they are also very stressful for some of us. Most of us cats settle in fairly well and start to feel at home once we have rubbed our scent on the shelter surroundings and got used to strange noises, strange people and strange smells.

Most but not all. Some of us cats are particularly prone to stress and for us stressy cats time in a shelter can be hell - unless we have somewhere to hide.

So we do the best we can to hide. We close our eyes and pretend to sleep. Most humans think we are sleeping.

But the most intelligent humans can see that we are not - our bodies are tense and uptight, not relaxed and spread out, our feet are under our shoulders and firmly on the ground ready to run away, our ears are pointing downwards from anxiety, and every now and again we open an eye.

Here is a video of a cat pretending to sleep. Show it to your human, so that they can spot the signs. If they work in shelter, a cat who copes by pretending to sleep needs a hiding box.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Signs that I am stressed ... ears and eyes


This cat is stressed and fearful.

When I am stressed and a bit frightened, I lower my ears towards the side of my head. So there is a bigger space at the top of my head, between each ear. 

I might swivel them back a little too - if I think I might need to defend myself. That puts them out of the way of an attack from the front.

And my pupils grow large as I need to see exactly what is going on. The photo shows a cat that is crouched low too. 

All these signs should be noted by our humans, but some of them are very bad at reading what we are saying. Or they think that stroking us will calm us down when we are frightened. 

Just the reverse usually. If we are scared at a human who is looking at us, we might even nip them if they put out a hand to grope us.

Respect for our feelings is what we want from humans. We don't always get it because they are so ignorant.

  • They might learn a bit more if they read the book I have written under a joint pseudonym!

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Signs that I am stressed - the quick head shake

I need a quick head shake when I feel stressed - often when my human has stroked me too much and I need to regain my serenity. 

It's such a quick head shake that often humans don't notice it. Or they just think I am rearranging my fur.

But it's like the way humans sometimes wriggle their shoulders or do a quick sigh.  Or fiddle with their hair.

A sign that I want to get back to equilibrium. It makes me feel a little  bit better. 

I can't show this in a still photo - my human has tried and it is just too difficult. So she is posting a video at the end of this post. 


Saturday, January 13, 2024

Signs that I am stressed - the tongue flick

 When I am stressed, I lick my nose - a quick flick of the tongue upwards. This is another example of our body language that humans cannot seem notice. They are very unobservant.

It's not the licking of lips, when I am finishing up a meal. When I lick my lips after a meal, I do several licks in succession or my tongue goes right round my mouth into the sides of the mouth to pick up any food fragments that have been left behind.

This kind of mouth licking takes much longer and is more thorough. The stress tongue flick is a single flicking move and quick. So quick that humans usually miss it. So quick that it only takes about two seconds or even less.

If you have a really good human pet, they will learn about the quick tongue flick. They will begin to notice it. And they will be on the way to understanding  you.

Saturday, January 06, 2024

Signs that I'm stressed - the quick lick

Humans often miss what we are telling them. They don't understand our body language. Indeed, they often just don't even see it.

Many of us have humans that just don't understand us.

This is the shoulder lick, which we all do when we are feeling a bit uneasy, or a bit fearful, or we want to calm ourselves down a little. It's a quick turn to the shoulder, and a quick lick on the fur.

It's like the "phew" noise that humans make when they are getting to the end of something stressful.

It's quick. So quick that humans usually miss it. They just don't understand what we are saying. So quick that it only takes about five seconds or even less.

If you have a really good human pet, they will learn about the quick shoulder lick. They will begin to notice it. And they will be on the way to understanding  you.

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