Tag - cat behavior

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7 Tips to turn your bully cat into a team player.
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When your bush dweller cat reaches new heights
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The litter box rule that cat owners should not ignore
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Haiku: An Unlikely Friendship Emerges
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5 things I learned about making a bed with cats around
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How to facilitate harmony between rival cats with this easy tip
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How to build a catio your cat will love

7 Tips to turn your bully cat into a team player.

When your cat goes around giving everyone in his path a powder puff for no reason, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s aggressive. There’s one in every multicat household and through no fault of his own, he’s labeled the “bully cat.” When we add more cats to an already established group, it causes a shift in the cat hierarchy. The shift may be as obvious as a stare down and a brawl with fur flying or it may be very subtle, such as blocking the pathway to a litter box. The resident high ranking cat may or may not relinquish his title as top cat … at first, or maybe never.

Mr. Jack, watch your back!

But that doesn’t stop the cat with ambitions to keep trying by asserting his dominance to the rest of the clan through undesirable behaviors. This could include anything from relentlessly ambushing and chasing a timid, docile cat, guarding litter boxes, taking ownership of toys, games, sun puddles and refusing to time share.

multicat households

Someday, Mr. Jack, I shall usurp the throne. Watch your back!

Right now in your multi-cat home, there is most likely a daily episode of Game of Thrones at play.

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When your bush dweller cat reaches new heights

Have you ever felt like you needed to break free from your comfort zone and push yourself to the next level? Do you remember how accomplished you felt when you finally achieved that goal? Comfort zones are hard to break through; after all, that is why they’re called comfort zones. Why explore or push the boundaries when everything around you is ‘just so’?

But today I think Sly Pie had an epiphany which prompted him to break out of his comfort zone. It’s well documented in other posts that he is a bona fide ground or bush dweller. Everything about him says,

“I like to be grounded, I feel safe in my small horizontal world. I don’t need to survey my territory and display my dominance. There’s a myriad of wonderful and exciting creepy crawlies that emerge from the earth’s belly, such as earthworms after a thunderstorm. There is no better place to be than way down here.”

His build is stocky with a short tail, not built for jumping and climbing. He is nimble and quick with his paws and will display his efficient mousing skills by only engaging in ground games with a mouse toy. Forget about the Da Bird. He never explores the bridge, or the high ramps indoors or in the catio. One could say that Sly Pie has his paws firmly on the ground. He was the only cat who knew what to do with a real live mouse when the other cats were flabbergasted in uncertainty.
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The litter box rule that cat owners should not ignore

Providing the right number of litter boxes per cat is one of the key factors in preventing inappropriate elimination or spraying behaviors before they start. Litter box aversion is one of the top reasons cats are surrendered to shelters.

There’s a long line for every situation in life; the line at the grocery check-out, the line at the boarding gate and that inevitably long line in the women’s restroom when intermission is about to end. Don’t you hate that? But there’s a restroom of a different kind in your multi-cat household, the litter box, where waiting in line should never be the norm. It’s a well-known fact that the key to a happy and confident cat is providing ample space for each cat to own, more so when they’re co-existing with fellow feline housemates. And even more so when it comes to their toileting habits. When one of your cats start spraying ‘cat-fiti’ on your walls or doors or gifting you with puddles on your hardwood floor, take that as more than a hint that you need to make some litter box adjustments. Having too few litter boxes for multiple cats is like playing musical chairs; except in this instance, the eliminated cat becomes the eliminator, or rather, the inappropriate eliminator! Yes, that viscous yellow liquid under the chair in the kitchen is not your toddler’s spilled orange juice! (horror of horrors)

There are various factors that may cause a cat to avoid the litter box such as location, size, type (covered vs. uncovered), type of litter substrate, how often it gets scooped and cleaned, stress and the number of boxes.  Read More

Haiku: An Unlikely Friendship Emerges

A sweet peck on the cheeks, a nose to nose greeting, perhaps a game of chase a bit later. One of them is twice the size of the other but in recent months, Charlie and Sarabi have formed a friendship that is quite odd, yet endearing to watch.

At 20 pounds, with a large set head, cheeks and jaw line that resembles an unneutered Tom’s, this large lad could easily rule the Chirpy roost. Instead, Charlie is a huge cuddle bug and chief biscuit maker, always bowing his head in submission to the Chief Social Facilitator, Mr. Jack, asking for head boops and grooms. His physique bears testimony to the much-touted phrase “he’s not fat, he’s just big-boned, because, well, he truly is big boned!

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5 things I learned about making a bed with cats around

Most cat owners know all too well the daily struggle of making a bed with cats lurking about. There you are removing the bedding, shaking out the sheets and cats come from all corners of the house to make a mad dash for the bed to pounce and ‘tent’ under flying sheets. Cats have a built-in radar for hearing the rustle of sheets and bedding no matter where they are in the house.

“Someone’s making the bed, let’s go pawticipate!”

The more you shake out the sheet, the more excited your cat becomes, thinking this game is most definitively ten times better than that silly wriggly new toy you had bought last week. On a cat’s list of things to do, only ‘boxing’ or sitting in a box, tops ‘helping the human make bed’, which comes in at a close second.

These are the 5 things I learned about making the bed with the help of cats

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How to facilitate harmony between rival cats with this easy tip

Cats grooming each other

Let me groom you, my friend.

In every multi-cat household, there is that one cat that unwittingly performs a very important task – sharing and maintaining the communal scent of the whole group through grooming. In our household of ten cats, this cat is none other than Mr. Jack, the groomer of all cats. Cat behaviorists call this the ‘social facilitator’ cat. One could compare this cat to that nice kid in high school who reaches out to the less popular kid and befriends him. He’s confident enough not to care about reputation but believes that everyone counts. For Mr Jack, it doesn’t matter if you’re not in his circle, he doesn’t discriminate and will happily go around grooming the others, mixing all the scents so that everyone smells the same. This is a vital ingredient in the success of maintaining harmony in a multi-cat household. Scent is everything for a cat. Whether Mr. Jack knows this or not, when there is a grooming session in motion, the tension between the cats automatically decreases.

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How to build a catio your cat will love

Senior cat, Earl Grey in the catio tunnel, enjoying a little sunset meditation.

I had always wanted to build an outdoor cat enclosure, or catio, since I had started keeping my cats safely indoors. The idea of creating the perfect safe haven for my cats to explore and experience a piece of their natural habitat seemed like the natural thing to do. So what is the best way of merging the two worlds of a cat, indoors and outdoors? By building an outdoor catio space in a safe environment, where cats can feel free to roam, protected from outside hazards.

As a child, we always had outdoor cats and this was the norm at the time. Today people are more aware of the dangers lurking outside and of the statistics of cats lost to road traffic accidents, not to mention exposure to diseases, poisons, cars, and cruel people. It’s no surprise that indoor cats enjoy a longer lifespan than their outdoor counterparts. But keeping cats indoors comes with its own set of challenges. Behavioral problems may arise from boredom due to a lack of exposure to a changing environment. There are many ways to provide a stimulating environment for your cat but building an outdoor enclosure will make your cats feel like they ate the canary. I really do feel that allowing your cats exposure to a natural but safe environment outdoors will make for a happier cat.

Before we built our homemade catio space, my cats were leashed trained and that worked for a while…

But things changed when my husband adopted three more cats! Read More

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