Category Archives: Cat Behavior

The Lion On Your Lap

This may not be what your cat looks like but it may well be how he feels; imperious, in-charge, confident and king.

Of course much will depend on the breed. In terms of Activity level, intelligence, playfulness, affection and a host of other important traits, cats vary enormously. Anyone who has had several different cats knows this but many of us may not be aware of the remarkable differences between breeds. When acquiring a cat it is important teo know these differences to be sure to select a cat that will fit in with your lifestyle and the environment he is to occupy. This post begins a series of posts on cat breeds and their traits, as presented in the incredibly thorough and informative Barron’s Encyclopedia of Cat Breeds and other sources, all of which will be cited appropriately.

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THE BENEFITS OF COPPER IN WATER

Copper Cat Tap

Having discovered the benefits of copper in drinking water  (see this link:

 

 

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antimicrobial_properties_of_copper I have begun adding more copper components to my fountains. You can see these at http://www.catfountains.etsy.com. In fact, most of my fountains have at least a copper spout. Copper will not corrode in water or air and in fact is an antimicrobial which helps purify water – thus its use in ancient times and in high scale home building.

Above is the 1 Cat Cat Tap and below is the 2 Cat Cat Tap.

Note that these are handmade from pure copper and that the solder is lead-free. Great for the countless cats who like to drink from the tap. You can see these and other copper elements in my fountains at http://www.etsy.com/shop/catfountains

Cat Fights

Woke up this morning (about 4:30) to the sound of a cat fight. It was my “artist not a fighter” Bijou facing off a large black cat never seen before. It was vicious.  Screaming, howling, battling, tearing into one another. I could just see from the vantage of my bedroom window, then went down for a closer look.

It was hard going all around. They seemed equal and equally unwilling either to give up or to completely dominate. But this is Bijou’s territory so the duty for mastery was his to achieve.  Don’t know how my being there (I encouraged him, verbally but it didn’t seem right to completely interfere) affected the outcome. They scuffled more (Bijou came in with claw marks on his face and body and black hair in his claws) and the other cat made a slow if very willing retreat.

But it took its toll on Bijou. He was hurt. Not in any physical way that required medical attention, but somehow, perhaps in spirit, perhaps in exhaustion and he behaved differently. He lay on the carpet, contained, not giving up anything. With calling he came up on my lap and by and by he purred and seemed ok but he was not quite himself. He ate but not much and returned to his exclusive, by-myself-leave me alone posture.

So happens Jackie was under the weather. She carried him up, bodily, to the bedroom where they both spent most of the day, he purring and she delighted to have him so. I think he is ok. In fact, I believe he just went out.

Giving Culture To Your Cat

Want a novel way to please, entertain and add culture to your cats’ life? Give them music. Cats, in fact, love music and are very attuned to quality of sound. The composers, Henri Sauguet, Ravel, Rossini, Reynaldo Hahn and many others have noted this quality in cats.

Kitten excited by the sounds coming from an old phonograph

In the nineteenth certury, the famous harpist, Mlle Dupuy, felt she owed a fair portion of her success to her cat. When she played a piece her cat was familiar with the cat either purred or cried, according to the quality of her playing.  She altered her playing accordingly.

Recognizing how much she owed to her cat, when she died she bequeathed her cat a house in town and another in the country and left a substantial income to several personal friends so they would willing look after her most singular heir.

From my own experience, whenever I used to pick up the guitar my beloved dog would leave the room (and I play fairly well). Canines, unlike felines, hate music, as Jack London has so well demonstrated in his various novels. Our cat, Tiffany, on the other hand, came and sat at my me side, purred  and clearly, deeply enjoyed the playing. She became my biggest fan.

Recently I began playing with a Celtic harp and was amazed to watch my orange tabby, Bijou go into what I can only call throes of ecstasy.   He melted. He writhed in pleasure and abandon with every stroke I played. I wasn’t even particularly good at the instrument but for him I was some kind of pleasure god.

Yes, cats love music, but make it good music. Try some of the classics. Try Bach and you won’t go wrong. But don’t eschew other quality music in any other genre, so long as the musicianship is good and the melodies harmonious.

Some of the information and the image for this post was taken from “The Life, History and Magic of The Cat”

Relaxed Cats & Stress Management

It has been found that some cat personalities handle stress really well while those more timid cats which never seem totally relaxed freak out in stressful or challenging situations. Those which handle stress, which can take and even seek out challenging experiences are super relaxed at other, non stressful times. This would appear to be the case with this Orange Tabby.

A Relaxed Cat Seeks Excitement

Maybe that is why Bijou is so readily attracted to a spray of water. You might think that a cat would be turned away from a spray of water, preferring something a little more under control, but not so. This video is of Bijou enjoying drinking from a spray fountain. In fact, this is the cat who began the whole creation of ceramic cat fountains by showing such an avid interest in the indoor fountains I placed around my home. I don’t know yet if other cats would as readily go for such a cat drinking fountain. I have some coming up so we will soon know.

A Theory About the Ragdoll, or Floppy Cat

I took the following off the web from http://www.familycompanions.com/index.html. Read that, then comes my theory about them.

“Ragdolls originated here in Southern California in the early 1960’s and were created by a breeder named Ann Baker.  There are many myths that surround the development of the Ragdoll breed, but the myth that seems to be the most popular is: A pregnant cat named Josephine, (Persian-Angora cross) was hit by a car somehow altering the DNA of her unborn kittens.  These kittens seemed to exhibit unusual and different characteristics from other cats.  They tended to be much more relaxed.  In fact, they were so relaxed, when picked up they just hung there much like a rag doll.  Hence the name Ragdoll came to be.”

So here’s my theory. When the mother cat was hit, opiate-like pain killers flooded into her blood and consequently into unborn kittens, permanently affecting their psychology and behavior. The following scientific explanation may help, also taken from the net:

“Once the brain perceives the pain, the body releases neuromodulators, such as endogenous opioids (endorphins and enkephalins), serotonin, norepinephrine, and gamma aminobutyric acid. These chemicals hinder the transmission of pain and help produce an analgesic, pain-relieving effect. This inhibition of the pain impulse is called modulation.”

The kittens were modulated – acutely and permanently. They were born as if on opiates and retained the behavior those modulating chemicals produce.

Here is a blog with a lot more on Floppycats.