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.

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