There is no doubt cats are one of the most pampered pets on the planet. We dote on their little darling faces, they walk all over us and they have programmed us to adhere to their feeding schedules. Whether it’s free-feeding all day long or convincing us with sweet songs of ‘Acatpella’ that they will certainly die of starvation if not fed this minute, we cater to every feline whim and fancy. But serving them on silver platters is doing them more harm than good. Feline obesity in cats is on the rise and that spells bad news for their health and wellbeing. October 11 is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day so we thought It’s time to bring out your cat’s “inner cat” and make him do what comes naturally – hunt for his food.
Cats Scratch Their Sticky Note Texts
Cat siblings have an awful lot to say to each other. In last week’s Caturday Doodle, Ollie made it known that he was not happy with Charlie taking all the treats so he left a kitty sticky note text on the scratching post, as cats do. We thought it would be fun to gather some sticky notes from other cats too and we were happy to see the sticky notes from all sorts of opinionated and disgruntled kitties pouring in.
A scratching post is a vital communication tool used by cats and is also their podium for leaving little scent messages for their fellow feline housemates.
The Silent Treatment
Cats display an array of vocalizations for cat-human communication but when it comes to communicating with other cats, they give each other the silent treatment. In the world of cats this is not a bad thing, in fact, their world is rich with scent messages and stimuli which they are busy decoding every second. Imagine how rich their scent vocabulary must be to be able to establish their little cat hierarchies and time-sharing schedules in their multi-cat homes. Cats will generally avoid confrontation and would rather just leave a little scent message to their housemates to get a point across. They certainly do have lots to say to each other and in order to live happy and enriched lives with their feline housemates and people, they need a platform to communicate their feelings, viewpoints, and grievances.
It seems that cats have it made. The internet worships them and judging by those viral Youtube videos, they rule their households with a firm furry paw.
“Hey Mr. Dog, I need your bed if you don’t mind, thanks, you’re too kind!”
But despite this overall perception of a cat’s elevated status as Ruler of the Drooler, cats are still largely misunderstood. Cats are viewed as independent, aloof and in need of less medical and preventative care than dogs, but this could not be further from the truth. September is Happy Cat Month, an event in its 7th year running, created by the Catalyst Council, to help promote the health and well-being of our purry felines, focusing on the different ways to ensure your cat is happy, enriched and healthy. Read More
Marvelous Monday Haiku with Scout
Hello, friends, I’m Scout the feisty tortie and I present today’s Marvelous Monday Haiku. When you don’t have to go to school or work there’s nothing much to worry about other than where to find the best sun puddles at 10 am, why Charlie seems to get special food and why yellow fluffy bees bother me while I’m trying to take a snooze. I know these woes, though real, pale in comparison to human’s daily lamenting about things like Mondays, traffic, bosses, and bills. Read More
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.
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.
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
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!
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
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.