Saturday, May 14, 2022

Why don't I show when I am in pain?

Elderly Sam

Humans are not good at recognizing when I am in physical pain, let alone emotional pain. I do not whimper or whine like a dog. I might shriek from sudden fear, but most of the time I endure pain silently and stoically. 

If I have arthritis and moving is painful, I just spend more time in my bed. I usually don't limp or show that I am stiff. I may also bite you when you pick me up, if it hurts. 

Why do I behave like this?

I am a small animal with big enemies like dogs, coyotes and wolves. These predators are always on the lookout for an easy meal, so they will single out any cat that looks as if it is sick and will not be able to run away or fight back. Therefore evolution has programmed me not to show pain.

I get scruffy because I can't turn round to groom myself properly. I may lose weight because my teeth are bad. But my carers often say "It's just old age."

Please don't do this. I need painkillers from a vet.

Friday, May 06, 2022

Do they know I'm stressed?



 If I'm stressed  but my human doesn't seem to care maybe she just doesn't recognise what I am feeling. This is the dilemma us cats face. Humans cannot recognise the signs of feline stress.

Take our body position. If we are stressed we are likely to be hunched up, paws under the body ready for flight, the body stiff and tense. Our pupils will be enlarged. Our ears may be lowered out of fear, or lowered and swivelled back because we are both fearful and frustrated. We may blink rapidly.

If we are relaxed, our bodies will be spread out, our bellies may be visible, and our legs and paws are stretched out too. Our ears are usually forward, eyes almond shaped. If we see our human, we give a slow blink. We may purr at a familiar human.

But how many humans can read us properly? Their ignorance is at its worst if we are in a rescue shelter. They may not realise how unhappy we are.....


Saturday, April 30, 2022

Are you worse off after rescue?

If you are a feral cat or a street cat, cat lovers will want to rescue you, to keep you safe and happy. But are they always doing the right thing? 

Life on the streets is a natural life for cats that have always lived on the street, even if it is dangerous. Life in a cat pen is like solitary confinement. Even life in a "sanctuary" is a diminished life - rather like a human life in an old people's home rather than their own home.

Unowned cats will be happier if they are trapped, neutered and then returned to their own territory - with a regular feeder if possible. After neutering they are protected from male fights and endless kitten bearing - and they still have the rich and interesting life they enjoyed before being trapped.

No cat should be worse off after human intervention. Get your human to read about unowned cats....

Saturday, April 16, 2022

I know your name, human!


We aren't dumb, you know. I can recognise my own name when my human calls me. And, it seems, some of us can match a name of a fellow cat to their photo, even match the name of a human to a photo.

If we can be bothered, that is.

Japanese researchers named a fellow resident cat, and then showed us either the right photo or the wrong photo of that cat. We spent more time looking, if it was the wrong photo because that was unexpected. They did the same with a photo of our owner.

O, these human obsessives....  I notice that one of the cats refused to take part in this waste-of-my-time behaviour by the researchers! He had better things to do - like a nap or a bowl refill.

I think I would have had better things to do. I know I am purrfectly intelligent. I don't need to take part in clumsy human experiments to show off.

I purr, therefore I am.



Saturday, April 09, 2022

What's the meaning of a chin rub?

 My humans are not always happy when I go round the living room, rubbing my chin against the door frame, the chair leg and various other places. I also rub against any new item placed in the room.

What they dislike - if they notice it - is a tiny smear in the places which I have rubbed repeatedly. Sometimes they clear it up using water and soap. 

That absolutely ruins all my hard work. And it's very stressful for me.

I am rubbing my cheek against the furniture and walls in order to mark this place as my safe home. It's important to me that I do this. It's like a post-it note to myself, reassuring me that all is well and I can relax.

Each time some interfering human wipes it off, I have to put it back on. And I have to keep it topped up with frequent cheek rubs, so that the whole place smells RIGHT to me.

Take your horrible human hands off my skirting boards!

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