Wednesday 30 November 2022

4 reasons why cats love to sit on laptops

3 reasons why cats love to sit on laptops
3 reasons why cats love to sit on laptops. But do you want to!? Image in public domain.

I am not sure we need to discuss this in any detail because over the years a lot has been said on this topic on the internet and cat owners have learned a lot from the internet. And arguably the reasons are common sense. Here goes. The 4 reasons why cats love to sit on laptops are:

  1. They are with their human companion and caregiver. People can sit at laptops for a long time! Me for one 😃😒. And as your cat wants to be with their human from time to time for common sense reasons, they have to be with them while they are at their laptops.
  2. They seek attention and sometimes want to stop you using the laptop and pay attention to them instead.
  3. Third reason: when a cat arrives at their human who's at their laptop, they often receive a reward; their caregiver pets them and says nice things to them. The owner informally trains their cat to come to them at the laptop. This does not always happen as I am sure that sometimes cat owners tell their cat to go somewhere else as it can be almost impossible to work productively and accurately at a laptop with your cat draped all over you. But in general, the reward is the normal human response. This is positive reinforcement training.
  4. Fourthly, the obvious: a laptop emits heat. We see a lot of cats lying on laptop keyboards as a bit of heat is given off by the computer. Domestic cats love heat as it is in their DNA; inherited from their wildcat ancestor the North African wildcat which lives in arid, dry and hot conditions.

So, those are the 4 reasons why cats love to site on laptops. How to stop it? One way would be to place a pet warm pad (available on Amazon) next to you. Place your cat on it when he comes to you. He may get the message in due course.

Don't reward your cat for jumping up and onto your computer. You can't stop your computer giving off heat so there is no cure for that.

If and when they do it, gently lift them off and place them nearby on the warm pad! Yes, I am repeating myself. And pet them nicely at the same time with warm words.

Here is an infographic on the topic prepared by me:

Philosophical question: do you really want to stop you cat doing this? Cats rarely lie on the computer. They just want to be near you. Let them. It makes them happy. It is the caregiver's duty to make their cat happy at all times!

The solution is a compromise: allow your cat to be near you while you are on the laptop but not in a way which prevents you using it with ease. My cat lies on my legs behind the computer as I work in bed! Bed is the best place as I have a Tempur mattress which is kind on my bum. That's enough of the personal detail.

Monday 28 November 2022

England World Cup footballers befriend a couple of stray cats

This is hardly earth-shattering news, but it is a nice little story which at least points to the fact that the English footballers are humans! I mean they have a brain and a heart. It also provides a little insight into Qatari life.

England World Cup footballers befriend a couple of stray cats
England World Cup footballers befriend a couple of stray cats. Photo of cats England Football. Note: I don't think the cat in the photo is Dave but a stock photo.

The England side are staying at a five-star hotel in Doha, Souk Al Wakra. And they've got some stray cats (believed stray cats) there which I find interesting. And the staff at the hotel allow at least two of the cats to wander around the grounds and inside the hotel. 

Bearing in mind the strict Islamic laws regarding citizens this is interesting. You'd think they'd 'clean up' the place by getting rid of stray cats before such high-profile guests. 

Perhaps it is the Prophet Mohammad's love of cats which makes them kindly towards them. Whatever, team-mates Kyle Walker and John Stones where in the 'canteen' at the same place they normally go to. Does a 5-star hotel have a 'canteen' or a restaurant? The latter, I think.

Two cats bowled up, one missing an eye.

“On the first night, a cat wandered up to us, so we chucked it a little bit of chicken and stuff like that. And then the next day, we went to the same corner, and he was sat there waiting for us"
They named this cat 'Dave' because it is the sort of name, they give Yorkshire people. The players are from Yorkshire I believe. The other cat was named Paul. 'Dave' was the first name that entered Stones' head.

Well done guys. Dave and Paul will be back for as long as you are in the hotel which won't be that long as you clearly are not going to go far in the tournament judging by your performance against the USA who played better than England. 😎😒

Sunday 27 November 2022

Five cats make a supermarket their home. Is this a problem?

NEWS AND COMMENT-WALES: It has been reported that five cats have made an Asda store (a UK supermarket chain) their home. They stroll into the foyer of the supermarket and sit there. Clearly, they are coming in out of the cold seeking some warmth. 

Some might be also seeking some company. These must be domestic cats because they're not frightened of people. They probably live nearby, and their owners are away all day, so they saunter into the store as a way of passing the time in relatively warm conditions during the winter.

Five cats make an Asda store their home after they stroll in and get comfortable
Five cats make an Asda store their home after they stroll in and get comfortable. Image: Asada. Dan Roberts/Pwllheli Store Manager

That's my assessment. Initially there was one who routinely started to visit the store. That cat became a feature of the store, and it appears that the vast majority of shoppers accepted him or her. Some actually found his presence charming and I guess some fed him.

It appears that some of the staff tried to discourage the cat from visiting but he returned, and his presence has encouraged for others to join. On the face of it this presents a problem to the store manager because some customers will think that the cats are unhygienic.

There is this mentality about distancing domestic cats from the kitchen counter in the home. The reason behind that is because people don't want the cat to bring pathogens onto the counter which can contaminate food. I get that but this is an overreaction because domestic cats are no more likely to introduce pathogens to food than are humans.

So, these five cats are completely harmless in my view to the customers' welfare. They remain in the foyer in any case. Any disease that they might have will nearly always be not zoonotic. This means that nearly all feline diseases cannot be transferred to humans.

There is no genuine problem but there is a presentation problem in that it doesn't look good to have a group of cats in the foyer and I understand that. It's a presentational thing which goes against the culture of a well-run supermarket store.

But people shouldn't be worried about it except for the fact that if a gaggle of cats habitually start to gather in the foyer of this supermarket on a regular basis it is going to cause a problem. Some people won't like it and the manager won't like it. It depends if it can be contained.

Ciara Faulkner, the 'ambient manager' at the supermarket said that they tried to encourage customers not to feed the cats, but they can't monitor them constantly. They encouraged the cats to leave but they come back.

Fortunately, Ciara Faulkner reports that: "We have had one or two customers who aren't very happy, but most people think it's cute. They just sleep there really; they are not causing any harm."

That I think is the attitude to take. Leave them alone provided the existing maximum five cats don't encourage another five and so on! Then it will be a problem, not of disease transference but in giving the wrong impression that the supermarket has become a cat rescue centre!

Saturday 26 November 2022

This Christmas don't buy a smuggled puppy or a cheap online kitten

Christmas is upon us. Some people will be buying a purebred dog or cat. There are many online adverts for what appear to be charming puppies. The same applies to kittens. Sometimes the prices look good; almost too good to be true.

Puppies at Christmas
Puppies at Christmas. Image: MikeB

These "too good to be true" puppy adverts have probably been placed on social media websites such as Facebook because the overheads of the breeder are particularly low. And the likelihood is that they are low because they been bred in Eastern Europe and smuggled into Britain against the law.

The problem is this: often these puppies are the offspring of abused breeding dogs, living in squalor without proper veterinary care. These are puppy mills and there is no place for them and certainly the purchase of a puppy should not be supporting them unwittingly.

Over the Covid pandemic many thousands of people did indeed unwittingly support puppy mill owners. They were supporting illegal activity and animal abuse.

A problem is that 30% of buyers don't care. They don't even care about the health of the puppy that they are buying. They are fixated on the appearance, and they don't really want to dig into the background of the animal. This is a shame.

Cheap online kittens are another problem. Anybody who knows about purchasing purebred cats strenuously advise that you purchase from a breeder registered with a cat association and that you visit her home. The last bit is a challenge, but it will help to select the right kitten and to ensure that the woman is bona fide.

However, even visiting a breeder's home cannot guarantee that the breeder is treating her cats with care and respect. But it will help. And you can then check that they have a pedigree. All purebred cats should have a pedigree if you are purchasing one. This means a family tree with all the parents and grandparents also purebred and registered with a cat association.

If you buy online without seeing this documentation you are likely to purchase a purebred cat mix which is not the real thing.

Dogs Trust has warned of a growing trend to search online adverts for the perfect pooch, but they say that this trend is a "perfect storm" for puppy smugglers.

Health problems of flat-faced dogs

The surge in demand for fancy but inherently unhealthy, flat-faced, puppies has encouraged the growth of puppy smuggling. Without demand there would be none obviously. It's a supply and demand issue.

Dogs Trust has reported a 60% increase in the number of pregnant dogs and puppies seized at UK borders since 2021 according to a news media report.

The veterinary director at the charity, Paula Boyden, wisely said that it is easy to fall into the trap of making decisions "with your heart" when a more business-like approach is required. It is a very big step to adopt a puppy because it really should be for the life of the companion animal but regrettably when adoption is conducted on impulse the outcome isn't always great.

Boyden said: "Unknowingly buying a smuggled puppy could have very real consequences for the owner too. The puppy might be too young to have been legally imported or have health issues that you don't necessarily notice until too late."

6 tips to find a healthy puppy to adopt

The most smuggled breeds seized in the UK by the border force are English bulldogs, Pomeranians, French bulldogs and Dachshunds. The Dachshunds and French bulldogs are the most popular breeds currently in the UK judging by what I see in the parks. And that I think is a good guide.

They look cute too many people but if you go behind the veneer of what you see and dig around and ask about health issues and socialisation issues you might see a different less pleasant story.

Friday 25 November 2022

Woman adopted three kittens who had their eyes removed

The Express newspaper carries a story which caught my eye, but which is a slight misrepresentation of the truth as I see it. The headline is "Pet owners warned about illness that is leaving kittens and cats at risk of blindness".

They say that cat flu exposes a kitten to the possibility of blindness. And the way they've pitched the story is that the three kittens caught cat flu and lost their eyes, but I would very much doubt that that is the case (but it can rarely happen). And under normal circumstances cat flu is not a treat to kittens in terms of causing blindness. The kittens' owner would have to be incredibly careless if it did happen.

Note: this is the image from The Express newspaper, but it appears to be a stock photo (Getty Images), and these are not therefore the kittens concerned. These kittens have not lost their eyes, I believe. They are just sleeping. The image is published here under fair use principles as this page is educational.

What is far more likely, but I am guessing is that the three kittens were rescued by an animal rescue organisation and brought to a veterinarian. They probably developed secondary bacterial infections in their eyes after they caught cat flu (a viral infection), and this is indeed very common.

When bacterial infections of the eye are untreated, the bacteria eat away at the eyeball and renders the kitten blind. It can affect one eye or both.

This dire state is brought about through lack of veterinary treatment which would be the administration of antibiotics to kill the bacteria.

Normally, you are not going to get that situation occurring in a home with domestic cats. If for some unknown reason a person is allowing their cats to breed informally, they will end up with kittens but unless they are incredibly callous and careless, they will notice that their kittens have a cat cold and deal with it in the normal way.

The treatment might include an early dose of antibiotics to prevent the emergence of a secondary bacterial infection. In short, you're not going to get untreated bacterial infections of the eyes unless you are dealing with a very careless cat owner or stray and feral cats.

When I read the article, I thought I would need to look for some mysterious illness but right away I realised that this was about URIs (upper respiratory infections). And this did not square up with the tone of the article which implied that they were writing about domestic cats in general.

Regarding vaccinations, they can help to prevent cat flu as the cat flu component is included in the primary vaccination course and often in a booster programme.

RELATED: Infographic on URIs in domestic cats.

However, sometimes cat owners are careless on vaccinations as well as being careless on allowing their cats to breed. This is a small minority of people, but it is significant because the contribute to the population of unwanted cats.

The person who adopted the three kittens, a Greater Manchester resident, Su Taylor, said that they are coping well. She said: "They've settled in wonderfully and run around like normal cats. But it is a shame they had to lose their eyes as it didn't need to happen".

That implies to me that she is referring to a domestic cat owner who was careless and allowed the kids to develop bad eye infections which shouldn't happen obviously. But as I've stated it is far more likely that kittens who develop these eye infections are abandoned cats or feral cats.

RELATED: What antibiotics are used for upper respiratory infections in cats?

Thursday 24 November 2022

Dark tortoiseshell, Flossie, is world's oldest living cat at nearly 27

Her name is Flossie. A good name. She is a very dark tortoiseshell domestic cat living in Orpington, near London (southwest) with Vicki Green and Guinness World Records have bestowed upon her the award of the world's oldest living cat as at today's date at 26 years and 330 days old. Here they are:

Vicki Green with her Guinness World Record holder of oldest domestic cat at nearly 27
Vicki Green with her Guinness World Record holder of oldest domestic cat at nearly 27. Image: screenshot from Guinness video below.
Here is Flossie in closeup:

Flossie closeup
Flossie closeup. Image: screenshot from video.

Flossie is deaf and mostly blind. Ahh. I feel for her, but she is a beautiful companion for Ms Green. They get on well Vicki said. Flossie is only just a bit younger than Vicki. Flossie outlived her two previous owners!

Flossie has beaten an American cat to the record. Corduroy was 26 years and 300 days old when she died on May 27, 2016.

Ms Green said:
"I knew from the start that Flossie was a special cat. But I didn't imagine I'd share my home with a Guinness World Records title holder. She's so affectionate and playful, especially sweet when you remember how old she is."
Here they are with the certificate:

The certificate, Vicki and Flossie
The certificate, Vicki and Flossie. Screenshot.

And here is the YouTube video:

Tuesday 22 November 2022

The negatives and positives concerning 'community cats'

The phrase "community cats" has a different meaning depending upon where they are. In the USA, for example, those feral cats which are managed by volunteers in TNR colonies are sometimes referred to as 'community cats'. They are quite nicely looked after, and they can live quite decent lives and indeed long lives. They certainly buck the image that some people describe regarding feral cats namely that they are very sick and live only for three years.

Community cat
Community cat. Image: in the public domain.

Developing countries

But community cats are more common in countries where there is a very laissez-faire or lax attitude towards cat ownership. I'm referring, without criticism, to developing countries and even those that you might consider to be developed such as India which is a kind of hybrid because certain parts of India are well-developed whereas other parts are underdeveloped.

But in India there are lots of community cats. Arguably, there are far more community cats than there are true domestic cats living under the caretaking of their owner. Community cats are cared for by the community as the term implies which means shopkeepers and anybody who wants to be involved.

Little or no veterinary care for community cats in developing countries

But they live pretty wretched lives a lot of the time. They are fed scraps and I guess sometimes crappy food and rarely decent well-balanced cat food. And I would suspect, too, that they are rarely taken to a veterinarian when they are ill. So, they don't get veterinary care.

Therefore, they die and a much younger age than they would otherwise if they were living with a caretaker.

Still better than feral

So, the upside for these community cats in places like India and the Far East is that they are cared for to a rudimentary level but no more. That's the plus point. It is better than being an abandoned feral cat, totally alone and surviving the elements in an urban jungle where they are likely to die young at about three years of age.

But the downside as mentioned is just a very rough life by and large without a proper caretaker.

TNR and community cats in developing countries

TNR is not that well adhered to in places like India or the Far East. It seems to me that the unowned cats in those places are not going to receive the benefit of volunteers involved in TNR programs.

I suppose TNR programs do exist in certain parts of India, but I would suspect that they are rare, indeed very rare. And this is why feral cats procreate unhindered in places like India and Pakistan and so on. They can procreate. They do procreate.

This exacerbates the unowned cat problem. These are stray and feral cats. And of course, as mentioned community cats. The attitude towards spaying and neutering in certain countries is too lax which means they have a perpetual abundance of stray and feral cats some of whom will become community cats because somebody wants to take care of them.

TNR developed countries

The best community cats are those as mentioned which are TNR colonies cared for by volunteers in countries like America. Although it must be said that TNR is controversial. In general citizens support it as it is the only way.

TNR volunteers are often or at least sometimes supported by the local authority through taxpayers' money supplied in a minimum way, but any money is effective in helping to support TNR programs. Donations are solicited to provide veterinary care.

And of course, TNR programs are designed to gradually stabilise and reduce the number of feral and stray cats in the community. And they want to reduce the size of the colony of cats in their care which they describe as community cats.

So, the most effective TNR programs put the volunteers out of work because over a long period of time, and it may take 30 years, there are no longer any feral cats to take care of.


In conclusion, the life of a community cat is better than a life of a feral cat in developing countries. And the same will apply to developed countries if volunteers manage TNR programs and look after a colony of feral cats. But the fact is that in developed countries community cats as mentioned do receive veterinary care

Health and welfare from desexing

Another point worth mentioning is that both spaying and neutering improves the welfare of female and male cats respectively. It improves the health of female cats and improves the behaviour of male cats and stops them or minimises the chances of them getting into fights during which they become injured.

Monday 21 November 2022

Two New Jersey towns support TNR with one trying and rejecting a trap/kill policy

NEWS AND COMMENT: This story concerns a couple of New Jersey, USA towns. One of them is Bayonne, a city in Hudson County and the other is actually described as a borough and it is Matawan. The latter tried to introduce, in a ham-fisted way, a feral cat trap/kill program which backfired badly.


The borough administrators introduced an ordinance which said that they were going to trap stray cats and if nobody claimed them within seven days, they would kill them. And in a badly mismanaged way, they said that the Monmouth County SPCA would do the trapping and killing without consulting with them in the first place. And secondly, they employed the local police force to distribute notices about their new but flawed campaign.

From Facebook.

It all blew up in their face when the SPCA complained bitterly that they hadn't been consulted and the public rebuffed them. The police had to make a statement to say that they weren't involved in the killing of cats. Clearly, the campaign did the police no favours as it damaged their reputation.

Anyway, the mismanaged campaign, organised by Scott Carew (as I understand it), the borough's business administrator together with the animal control officer and councilwoman Melanie Wang, was abandoned without any stray or feral cats being trapped.

They made a U-turn on realising their error and have decided to introduce a new ordnance which focuses on TNR (trap-neuter-release). That's the way to go. But it took the public and the SPCA to teach them that lesson.

Humane and ethical approach

The public are concerned about feral and stray cats. Some people hate them while others are more sensitive towards their needs. But in general, the public want feral cats dealt with humanely. They realise that careless human cat ownership put them there in the first place and secondly, they are sentient beings. The ethical way to deal with feral cats is TNR. It is the only current way, but it requires a good investment and the involvement of the local authority.

This leads me nicely to another story from the same state, New Jersey, which reports that Bayonne's city council has decided to continue with a TNR program which is managed by the New Jersey Humane Society.


They have consistently put in sufficient funds (it seems to me) to run the program. This is a commitment from the local authority to fund TNR and they're using somebody who they respect, Geoffrey Santini, the city's animal control officer who works at the New Jersey Humane Society, to organise the TNR program.

Mr Santini is described by Bayonne's Municipal Services Director Suzanne Cavanaugh as a "lovely gentleman, and he is excellent at what he does. He is a true partner with the city of Bayonne."

That's how it should be done in my view. You have a city council or county council who are focused on TNR to control feral cat numbers. They fund it consistently and they work with the best people to arrange and manage the TNR programs.

According to the report, in the Hudson Reporter, the city has consistently funded TNR and recently agreed to an addendum to the ordnance to add a further $25,000 to the program. The program commenced, as I understand it, in April 2021 when it was funded with taxpayers money amounting to $54,123.

Comment: perhaps local administrators are realising that TNR is the only way forward. It has its flaws according to ornithologists and others because in essence you are putting feral cats back on the ground where they can continue to prey upon wildlife. But patience is required and consistency. Armed with these two qualities TNR works if funded properly.

It needs to be as widespread as possible to be as effective as possible. It is the only way to deal with feral cats currently until something better comes out such as contraception (drug placed in food) which doesn't work well enough.

There are other instances of councils trying to trap and kill feral cats, but they almost invariably end up with a backlash from the public who complain because, as stated, the majority of the public are against the cruelty of trap and kill policies.

Domestic cats caught in trap and kill programmes

And there is always the potential for killing a person's cat companion. There are still places where there are indoor/outdoor cats, and you cannot tell the difference between a feral cat and an outdoor domestic cat (pre-TNR which ear tips ferals). You don't want to kill someone's pet because that would be a catastrophe and it would open the doors to a criminal charge against the local authority for criminal damage.

Saturday 19 November 2022

Twitter on the brink of shutdown and it's going to affect animal rescue!

I'm being very speculative in this short article, but it occurred to me that Elon Musk's approach to staff management at Twitter may have a very detrimental effect upon animal welfare across the planet. 

He's been brutal in his takeover of Twitter which has resulted in some reports suggesting that up to 75% of employees have refused to take up his offer of working long hours and providing 'exceptional performance'. To him, only that would qualify as a 'passing grade' in his words.

Twitter has seen mass resignations following an email from Mr Musk, it has been claimed. Image: Getty Images.

And therefore, there's been a mass exodus of employees. It appears that he is risking losing his $44 billion which was the price of Twitter. Apparently, he overpaid quite substantially for the social media website which is relatively small compared to websites such as Facebook. 

As I understand it, it's about 10th in the league of social media sites by size. But it is influential, and a lot of animal welfare operations rely on it for effective communication and promotion.

Elon Musk seems to be unconcerned because he said that: "We just hit another all-time high in Twitter usage". But a lot of engineers have walked out and there is a possibility that understaffing Twitter will gradually undermine the functionality of the website. 

Things will start to go wrong because not enough engineers and developers are around to fix the ongoing problems.

It appears that Elon Musk has decided that Twitter is populated by lazy staffers. He wants to weed out anybody that he considers by his standards to be lazy and not contributing enough but is he being too brutal and direct?

He's offered three months' severance for those employees who want to leave. Over the weekend he is closing down the Twitter offices. Why is he doing this? I've heard on the news that he is frightened of a disgruntled employee sabotaging Twitter.

One employee, a tech writer called Gergley Orosz said that: "[It] sounds like playing hardball does not work. Of course, it doesn't."

It would be disappointing to lose Twitter. Firstly, I don't mind in the slightest, but it would negatively impact animal welfare I believe.

Friday 18 November 2022

Greek stray cat's charm and loving personality compels British holiday couple to bring him home

Couple say a kitten "adopted them" after they found him meowing outside their hotel room in Greece. I say this sweet, Greek, stray, bicolour cat used his smarts and charm to compel the couple to adopt him 👍😎. That purr can be so persuasive.

Toni Czogalik, 23, and her boyfriend were on holiday on the Greek island of Rhodes in October 2022. There was a thunderstorm outside. And there was a small, six-month-old black-and-white kitten outside their hotel room as well and he was meowing to be let in. He was soaked through.

It's probably pretty clear that the thunderstorm frighten the cat and he was looking for some comfort and used his charm and persistence to adopt this British holidaying couple. 

Toni said:
"One night on holiday there was a thunderstorm, and the kitten came to hotel door crying and soaking wet. We looked after him for the night and ever since then he kept coming back to our room and wouldn’t leave us alone. "
They named him Nermal and decided to adopt him. The video explains the difficulties of doing this and also the persistence and intelligence of Toni in achieving her goal. 

She had to go to a veterinarian to get Nermal micro-chipped and vaccinated. They bought a cat carrier from a local pet shop and an ID bag and some treats for the journey to the UK. 

Nermal was then flown from Rhodes to Athens and then he travelled by boat to Italy from where he was driven to the UK to be reunited with Toni. 

He arrived on November 8 and settled in well as you can see from the video. Toni explains the hurdles she encountered but she was aware of them:
"It was really difficult, the first few days I messaged every single charity in Greece that dealt with cats. We first took him to the vet to find out if he was healthy and microchipped. He wasn’t microchipped, so they said he was definitely a stray. The vet then gave him a microchip, rabies vaccination and a health passport, where I then began the process to have him flown over." 
The rescue cost £800 and it took four days in all. I'm not sure who drove him from Italy to the UK. It might have been her boyfriend. Perhaps they hired a car which must've added to the cost substantially. 

Toni and Nermal
Toni and Nermal. Image: Toni and boyfriend.

Toni says that she loves looking after Nermal and she thanks all those who helped her to bring him back to the UK. She said: 
"We fell in love with him as he is the friendliest and most loving little kitten I have ever met. He is so cuddly; he wants to jump on and cuddle you all the time. We are so excited to spoil him and give him the best life in the UK. He is loving life; he is so spoiled. The volunteers were amazing - without them, we wouldn’t have been able to do it." 
It's the kind of task which is a bit daunting but when you fall in love with a stray cat there's nothing else you can do but take him home.

Thursday 17 November 2022

Young tabby cat appears to comfort his owner in a video

The news headline for this video is that a cat is trying to comfort their crying owner. I think this is a reference to the tear that you can see from the left eye of the cat's owner. Although, to be frank it is not clear that this man has been crying. 

Sometimes people shed tears for a range of reasons other than the emotional state of the person. Snoozing can lead to the production of tears as eyes can tear up when a person goes to sleep.

Although I will give the benefit of the doubt and say the guy is upset and his darling and charming cat is comforting him.

It is a charming video although I have seen many similar videos and I have personally experienced this kind of cat behaviour myself. I am sure many others have too.

The video comes from the Twitter account of Sander from the Netherlands. Although it is not clear that this is him or that he made the video.

The cat's caregiver is snoozing it seems to me, and his young tabby cat wants to cuddle up. His cat wants a bit of contact because cats like that sort of thing. Often you see cats who are friendly with each other lying next to each other.

And you often see cats touching their owner. They thrust their foreleg out and touch their owner on the face or hand. That is what we see here, and you'll see it happen all the time. It is a silent method of communication by a cat to their owner through their behaviour.

Mutual support between cat and person
Mutual support between cat and person. Screenshot.

For example, my cat touches the edge of my duvet near my head when I am in bed her wants me to lift it up so that he can crawl underneath. Another example of communication through action rather than a vocalisation.

So, this young tabby cat wakes up his owner with a gentle touch by his right paw near his mouth and then he snuggles up. It is beautiful and it is what I would expect to see in a close relationship between person and cat.

Of course, it goes without saying that the relationship must be strong and the bond good. This is not the case in all households.

And, as mentioned, this is a young cat. I sense that this man might have raised this cat from a kitten. This enhances the bond between human and cat.

Sometimes kittens who've been raised by humans have their human caregiver imprinted on their mind as their feline parent. They genuinely believe that the person is the birth mother which as you can expect leads to a strong and lifelong bond.

Why should a cat want to lie on their human caregiver like this? Perhaps this is a silly question but perhaps not.

RELATED: 15 facts on cat bunting.

Cats like the smell of their owner through their body scent. They like to scent exchange which means they want the scent of their human caregiver on them, and they want to transfer their body scent onto their human caregiver. Emotionally speaking, this merges the two entities.

It is reassuring for a cat to do this, and I believe that domestic cats seek reassurance many times throughout the day. I believe that humans should be aware of the need to reassure their cat.

The human world can be a bit scary for a domestic cat who is a fraction of the size of a human. They live in an unnatural world to which they have adapted successfully.

Domestic cats are very alert and emotionally sensitive partly because their senses are so finely tuned. Small sounds can, for example, create temporary anxiety. Strangers in the home can make them anxious. Long periods of absence by their owner can leave them with separation anxiety.

RELATED: Size difference between humans and cats makes them vulnerable and fearful, a dog study suggests.

There are lots of possibilities for a cat to be anxious and it is the duty of a good cat caregiver to prevent these feline anxieties and to reassure their cat in a mutually supportive cuddle as we see in the video.

Wednesday 16 November 2022

Stalker abducted former lover's cockapoo in campaign of hate

NEWS AND OPINION: A classic story of an embittered man who harassed a pretty woman and abducted her attractive dog.

Hannah Rasekh with her cockapoo and the man Bashar Ayoub who harassed and threatened her
Hannah Rasekh with her cockapoo and the man, Bashar Ayoub, who harassed and threatened her. Hands up, this is a Sun montage. If The Sun objects, please tell me in a comment.

The basic story is pretty commonplace and rather typical but with a twist as a dog was involved. Sorry no cat stories today 😢😎.

Hannah Rasekh was born in the UK and has a Palestinian heritage. She is an influencer on social media and has a boutique in Al Amman, Jordan. 

She met Bashar Ayoub in Dubai in 2017. Bashar Ayoub is a property developer with some wealth, and he lives in a £2 million flat in a posh part of London (Belgravia). Hannah Rasekh lives in South Kensington, West London.

She decided to split up from Bashar Ayoub claiming that he had "emotionally and psychologically" abused her. Bashar Ayoub was obviously enraged, and he embarked on a campaign of harassment and nasty threats. 

I set out some of those threats below but before I do so I will bring into the story Rasekh's cockapoo, Ted, who was abducted by Ayoub. 

He turned up at her home while she was not there, but her parents were as they were housesitting and said that he was a friend who had offered to walk her dog. He took the dog and did not return him. He therefore abducted Ted. We are told that he returned the dog several weeks later.

He couldn't stop himself harassing her because even after Hannah Rasekh had contacted the police and the police were actually inside her home, Ayoub called her 85 times. The police warned Ayoub not to contact her but within hours he started his campaign again and phoned Rasekh 64 times together with sending her abusive messages.

In one he said: "Die you thief you thieving whore, I pray you die, I pray you die every day, you whore."

He also said in another text: "I'll rip you apart, all of you, your whole family you c****. He sent 35 emails to her between January 4 and January 5 in 2022 in which he called her a "bitch".

His behaviour inevitably led him to the criminal courts where he admitted one charge of stalking with fear of harm and violence between April 4 and September 5.

He was granted conditional bail. The condition is that he does not contact Hannah Rasekh directly or indirectly. 

He must wear a GPS tag to ensure that he does not go near her home. He will be sentenced at Westminster magistrates' Court on December 8. The max he can get is 10 years in jail.

My thanks to The Times newspaper.

Aircraft transporting 56 rescue dogs crashes on Wisconsin golf course

There are many aircraft criss-crossing America transporting rescue cats and dogs from and to various animal rescue centres in order to facilitate rehoming. In this instance a plane carrying a crew of three and 53 rescue dogs from Louisiana crashed last Tuesday morning on a golf course outside Milwaukee. Apparently, they lost an engine and had to crash land.

Dog rescued from plane crash
Dog rescued from plane crash. Screenshot / CBS 58. Note: the red coloration that you see on the dog's body is the lady's gloves and not blood.

The crew were not seriously unharmed (described as not life-threatening injuries) and the good point about this story is that the general public has rallied around as there have been hundreds of offers to adopt the lucky survivors.

The Humane Animal Welfare Center of Waukesha County (HAWS) said that they had been inundated with enquiries and donations about the dogs. They were being flown from Louisiana to Wisconsin.

A communications spokesperson for HAWS said:

"Our phones haven't stopped ringing all day. The response from our community has been absolutely overwhelming. We've had so many people that have enquired about adopting. Or is there some way they can help with donations or come in to help with the dogs - bringing in towels and toys and treats and that kind of thing. Our faith in humanity has been restored because of the care and compassion that we've seen today."

It appears that the dogs were not substantially harmed either and around 24 HAWS staffers and volunteers were waiting to pick them up from the airport and therefore they were not that far away from the crash site and were able to get there quickly.

There were concerned when they heard the news that the aircraft had made a crash landing at a golf course. But, fortunately, perhaps because of the pilot's skills, none were seriously harmed.

HAWS quickly achieved donations of more than $2,600 in a Facebook fundraiser in addition to $2,000 from other sources.

The amount they raised in a matter of hours was equivalent to what they would raise in weeks normally. The dogs are being treated for injuries and their personalities assessed. They are also being assessed for any mental trauma that they may have acquired because of the crash landing.

Tuesday 15 November 2022

Cat abandoned when his owner died but neighbours stepped in

This is a story that, for me, begs some questions like 'How did it happen?' It comes from a local online local meeting site called '' and this branch of the site concerns residents living not very far from me. Here is the post:

"A few weeks ago, I posted a rather different picture of this fine cat who was accessing our enclosed garden at night. I used a paper collar and after the second attempt I was contacted by a lovely lady who lives very locally who had been feeding him twice a day. She identified him as a stray boy who had been abandoned after his elderly human died. Poor boy. So now he is neutered, vaccinated and microchipped, and will never be lonely, vulnerable, hungry, fearful or cold again! A new beginning for Julius, who revealed his 'soul name' to me - we have no idea what name he had been called by his previous human. It was lovely to make a new friend too, in the shape of the dear lady who had been feeding him and generally watching out for his wellbeing too."

It is self-explanatory. The cause of the abandonment is concerning as you might have thought someone would have checked up on the cat. 

Julius, a cat who was abandoned when their owner died
Julius, a cat who was abandoned when their owner died. Image:

I think it is reasonable to assume that neighbours would have known that the deceased woman lived with a cat companion but apparently not. 

It does point to a potential problem of elderly people living alone when relatives have pre-deceased them and perhaps, they do not have a will. They just die and few people if any know about it.

The story dramatically improves as neighbours step in. Firstly, one neighbour feeds the 'stray cat' who was a domestic cat. And a second neighbour then adopts him and calls him Julius. They don't know his previous name as there was no ID.

It appears too that he was not neutered or microchipped. That problem has been sorted out as well.

The end of the story is good. And there is a bonus in that the two neighbours mentioned got to know each other

Monday 14 November 2022

Should domestic cats have wet noses?

No, positively not unless your cat has condensation on their nose leather because they've been outside in freezing weather, or they have a URI. But under normal circumstances a cat's nose should be dry but not hard dry and therefore very slightly damp because there is always a little bit condensation and the air from the lungs is moist. To stress: there may be a bit of moisture there but to the touch the nose leather should not be 'wet' per se. 

I think the problem here is that people are mixing up cats with dogs. Wet noses for dogs are normal but that does not mean that they should be wet all the time. 

There are a range of conditions for a dog's nose leather. But I sense that people think that a dog's nose should be wet and the same applies to cats. Wrong, I am afraid.

Pic: MikeB.

Other than that, I don't understand why some people think a cat's nose should be 'wet'. That's plain wrong. It'll be wet if they have an upper respiratory infection as mentioned. Of course. 

You only have to think about humans and how the end of their nose looks and feels normally. It is not wet. 

About the tip of a cat's nose (nose leather).

Sometimes cats lick their nose as displacement behaviour i.e., distracting behaviour when they can't make up their mind. This may cause the nose to be temporarily a little bit moist but that is it.

Cat Displacement Activity.

I have lived with cats for decades and my current cat for 8 years and touch wood he has been healthy throughout those years. His nose has always been dry and at the most a little damp because of the moist air from the lungs and condensation. I don't mean bone dry and almost chapped but nicely soft but not moist or wet.

Enough said really. I could waffle on but what is the point?

Pet food bank allows unemployed man on welfare to keep his cats

For me, this is a story which looks at the cost-of-living crisis, unemployment, anxiety and depression, domestic cat caregiving, alleged laziness and the state of the Scottish economy! It goes well beyond cat caregiving.

Chris Forrest became anxious that he would have to give up his four black cats, all males and two sets of siblings. They look great. He says that he depends upon them to help him with his mood. They are, in effect, therapy cats for him.

But he lives on employment and support allowance (welfare) in Scotland because the BBC says that he is unable to work due to severe anxiety and depression.

He lives in Granton, Edinburgh, Scotland. His cats are like his children he says. He said: "The cats keep me going-they interact with me and get me up in the morning as they need to be fed. I am in a much better place having them, I'm more chilled out and relaxed."

Chris Forrest and Shadow
Chris Forrest and Shadow. Image: BBC Scotland (believed).

There is a really nice picture of him smiling broadly with one of his black cats on his back on the BBC website. He does not look depressed in that picture.

Because of rising prices, I guess, and what is euphemistically called the cost-of-living crisis in the UK, Chris is dependent upon a pet food bank set up by Mike Dougan, the community outreach and development manager of the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home according to the BBC.

He started the pet food bank when he discovered people were sharing the human food that they had got from food banks with their pets. That's interesting. Clearly it is not a good idea to give your cat exclusively human food because it does not contain the required nutrients for cats. Human food is not "complete and balanced" to use the terminology of pet food manufacturers.

You don't need vouchers to receive pet food from this pet food bank and they also provide other items such as food bowls, toys and harnesses. They do a great job I think and certainly if pet food banks help people to keep their pets it is a great service because nobody wants more cats and dogs surrendered to animal shelters.

Chris says that "The pet food bank is a lifeline. I get so much from my cats; the cats make my day better and I talk with them more than I do humans."

He's a great cat caregiver and lover but I do question his way of life. It is very difficult to talk about depression and anxiety and I don't know Chris. But one way to tackle these mental health problems is to get out and be active.

Working at least part-time is a way of managing depression and anxiety. Staying at home if that is what he does is a sure-fire way of exacerbating anxiety and depression.

I'm not saying that Chris is lazy. But a lot of Scots think that other Scots who are on welfare are lazy. Sir Jackie Stewart, the famous F1 racing driver, accused fellow Scots of being lazy and too dependent on jobs for life in 2007.

And in a survey a high number of Scots thought that poverty is caused by laziness. I read somewhere that less than 50% of Scots actually contribute to the wealth of their nation.

Scotland has consistently spent more than the country earns. There is a sense south of the border that Scotland is living beyond its means. And you wonder if as a nation they can work a little bit harder but that will no doubt rub people up the wrong way.

We have to face the fact that there is a section of society who become dependent upon welfare. And we have to face the fact that certain health conditions are only diagnosed on the basis of what the patient says namely health problem such as back pain and depression and anxiety.

You can't diagnose depression and anxiety other than through what the patient tells the doctor. I'm not saying that this is what is going on with Chris, but it does happen, and it needs to be challenged by the authorities. It is a sensitive area, but a lot of people believe that not only Scotland but also Wales and England have become a little bit lazy.

The UK has a poor productivity record. There are a lot of people out of work in the UK because they are ostensibly ill after the Covid pandemic. These are men and women of working age. Are they genuinely ill? Are they shirking?

The Covid pandemic lockdowns and the furlough scheme, I believe, engendered laziness in the population. And it is a great excuse to stop working by simply saying that you have Long Covid. Long Covid as a way out of working in this country and it has to deal with it more robust in my view.

I wish Chris Forrest well. I hope that he finds he can get back to work at least in some capacity because I think that it will do him good. And then he will be dependent upon a pet food bank or any other charity.

Sunday 13 November 2022

Unusual looking cat is a cross between Judd Hirsh and Liev Schreiber in human terms

A stretch of the imagination I agree but there are some similarities between this cat and these well-known humans. The point is that this is an unusual feline face.  The cat might have some Oriental Shorthair DNA because of the long muzzle. He is described as having a great personality. 

There is certainly a slight human quality about this cat. Some domestic cats are like that, but they are almost aways selectively bred pedigree cats. This boy looks very much like a random bred moggy which makes the unusual appearance all the more interesting.

Montage: MikeB. I claim fair use in using all three images.

We are not told if the cat is male or female, but he has a very thick set neck, and the face is very masculine. Sometimes looks can be deceiving but I don't think so in this case.

There is always the possibility that the cat is a photo-edit creation. It is hard to tell these days. But I don't think so. When people photo-edit cats they normally go for something outrageously extreme.

There is one other factor: when you place a wide-angle lens near the fact of your feline or human you distort it by drawing out the centre towards the lens. I don't think this explains the appearance.

Saturday 12 November 2022

How long do bobcats stay with their mother?

The answer to the question in the title is a little bit elastic because the moment when young bobcats no longer stay with their mother is itself elastic and they disperse at various ages. Essentially the answer is: until 7-12 months of age, but dispersal occurs at 9-24 months of age.

Adult bobcat
Bobcat photograph by PD Ryan on Flickr.

My resource, which is the excellent book Wild Cats of the World by the equally excellent Mel and Fiona Sunquist, states that "Kittens are dependent on their mother until about seven months of age, after which they spend progressively more time away from her, although some mother-young associations may last a year or more".

You see what I mean by the elasticity of that moment? It varies from seven months to 12 months.

The authors go on to state that before bobcats become adult in terms of size and weight young bobcats leave their "natal ranges" (the home range of their mother) and wonder looking for a home of their own in "unoccupied habitat". They become part of a "transient or floating population" of bobcats.

And then the bobcat disperses by which the authors mean bobcats leave their mother's home and set up their own home permanently. This moment varies also with some young leaving as early as nine months of age while others might be two years of age before they disperse and become an independent bobcat living in their own home range.

And the way this takes place also varies with some young bobcats upping sticks suddenly and rapidly travelling many kilometres while others may take several months to do the same thing.

Sometimes, rarely, an individual might set up home in their mother's range if, for example, the mother has disappeared or has died.

Newly adult bobcats want their home range because it's a prerequisite for successful reproduction.

How far do bobcats travel in a day? Studies on radio-tagged bobcats indicate that the distance they travel in one day varies with male bobcats travelling farther than females and movement patterns vary by season and region, but estimates vary between as little as 2.6 km to 18.5 km per day. The longer distances are normally associated with the mating season.

How long is a bobcat's tail? The tale is about 14 cm long being white underneath and marked with dark bands above.

Friday 11 November 2022

For how long do Iberian lynx live?

The excellent book Wild Cats of the World states this about the Iberian lynx lifespan: "There is little information on the longevity of Iberian lynx, although one skull in the collection of the Estación Biológica de Doñana was estimated from counts of tooth annuli (annual rings, like those of a tree) to be 14 years old."

This Iberian lynx lives for 20 years, a record
This Iberian lynx lives for 20 years, a record it is believed.

The book was published in 2002. The stated 14 years of age as a likely and normal maximum lifespan and probably still holds true today. Wikipedia state the average age as 13 years.

Occasionally, and very exceptionally Iberian lynx lifespans can be as long as 20 years as is the case of Aura, who is in the news today as giving birth to more than 900 Iberian lynxes according to the reports. Longevity as you can imagine is greatly enhanced in captivity. The bobcat (part of the same genus as the lynx) also has a long lifespan and is one of the longest lives wild cat species.

Aura was born when there were 94 Iberian lynxes remaining on the planet and it was the most endangered wild cat species. That was when conservation of the Iberian lynx wasn't really seriously on the radar but since then a lot of work has been done to protect this rarest of wild cat species and their numbers have grown.

Each Iberian lynx cost €169,000 to create

Back in the day few Iberian Lynx died of natural causes. About three quarters of all lynx mortality was attributable to human-related activities such as trapping, snaring, poisoning, poaching, shooting and such other countryside activities.

There was even illegal trapping in the above-mentioned national park. Things have changed. Aura was described as a grumpy, strong-willed Iberian lynx. Another reason for the then dire endangerment of this species was a loss of rabbits, the main prey of the Iberian lynx to haemorrhagic disease.

She lived the last part of her life in captivity I guess in order to protect her which may account at least in part for her longevity.

Iberian lynx – comprehensive treatise focusing on conservation 2022

If you like to read more about the Iberian lynx, then please click on the above link which takes you to a full page on the species.

Thursday 10 November 2022

What type of cat behaviour is this?

Here is a video from social media and accompanying it is the question: What is this behaviour? And the answer which you probably know all too well is that this is feline play-hunting behaviour.

All domestic cat play is based on hunting, which inevitably means chasing, stalking, attacking, tearing to bits, killing an artificial prey animal. The toy should be made of a material which can be destroyed (killed) to keep them interested.

Cat play-hunting
Cat play-hunting. Screenshot.

In this video we have a cat hanging on to a bit of ribbon which looked like a cat tease. At the other end is the owner pulling on it. The cat resists because for her or him this is a prey animal trying to escape their grasp. 

From the cat's perspective she has caught the prey animal and now it is trying to escape. This is the tug on the ribbon which is being resisted by the cat.

That is the answer. And it is the reason why petting your cat can lead to your hand being scratched or bitten. Your cat may be stimulated into believing that your hand is a prey animal because you are petting a little bit too provocatively or too firmly or for too long. 

And your cat will suddenly pounce on your hand and trap it and then bite on it sometimes. Petting can become playing and playing is always about hunting and attacking and killing.

You never therefore play with a cat using your hand. Your cat will start to think your hand is a cat toy and whenever you wave your hand in front of your cat's face, she will grab it in her teeth or swat it. In fact, it is wise never to flick your finger in front of a cat's face because this mimics quick movement of birds and it might be attacked.

I always place the back of my hand towards a cat and do it slowly. That also protects my hand because if a cat does want to attack the back of the hand is more robust than the tips of the fingers. It hurts less!

Video on bathing a young rescue cat by holding the scruff throughout

This is a slightly intriguing video. It took me about 10 seconds to realise that throughout the entire bathing of this young rescue cat (who was a bit grimy) the caregiver held the cat in her right hand by the scruff of their neck. And this accounts for the pliable and accepting behaviour of the cat. 

We all know that holding a cat by the scruff helps to pacify them because they are mentally reduced to being kittens held by their mother when they are carrying their offspring from an old down to a new one. This is the 'kitten reflex response' when carried by mom.

Images and video

Both images below are screenshots from the video. The video is below the images. It comes from TikTok where they allow visitors to download videos which implies that they allow them to be used under a creative commons license.

This woman has decided that the best way to bathe cats is to subdue them with the scruff-of-the-neck hold and it certainly works well as we can see in the video.

Cooking pot?

It's intriguing too that she used what appears to be a cooking pot in which I presume she added lukewarm water and some soap. On reflection, I think the reason why she used a large cooking pot is because she wanted to pour it out into the sink for the video. This allows us to see the dirt in the water. Neat idea.

Drowning fleas?

How effective is bathing a cat to get rid of fleas? You are effectively trying to drown them. Can you drown fleas? The woman who bathes this cat thinks that this is an effective way to get rid of them but is it?

My research indicates that you can indeed drown fleas, but it might take 24 hours. That would be untenable while bathing a cat and therefore I think when you bathe a cat you do get rid of some fleas not by drowning but because they are washed out of the fur into the water. 

Some fleas will probably remain on the cat, and they can be removed with a flea comb I would suggest. I would certainly check for fleas after bathing a cat like this especially when they are rescue cats because they are going to have lots of fleas normally.

Scruffing adult cats

Towards the end of the video, we see her holding this young cat up by the scruff of the neck. In fact, her hand has gone around the neck to the side. The entire weight of the cat is pulling downwards from this hold. 

I would not do this for an adult cat. It is going to stress the cat's body and neck too much. But for a young cat it is acceptable. You would simply support the cat by the legs if the cat was an adult and if you wanted to use this scruff technique when bathing.

Tuesday 8 November 2022

Can and do domestic cats sulk?

I have conducted some research on this. The first point perhaps worth making is that 'sulking is a variation on jealousy' according to Dr, Brue Fogle in his book Complete Cat Care. And he goes on to state that 'jealousy is not as common in cats as it is in dogs'. 

Annoyed, jealous or sulking cat?
Annoyed, jealous or sulking cat? Image assessed as being in the public domain.

D. Fogle strongly implies, therefore, that cats can feel the emotion of jealousy. And therefore, bearing in mind the link between jealousy and sulking, have the capacity to sulk. Sulking can also overlap with annoyance and cats can be annoyed.

RELATED ARTICLE: Cats Feel Jealousy but Not Grief.

Today I went for two walks in Richmond Park. My non-attendance at home was almost twice as long as normal.  My cat often waits for me when I go out on my own (he joins me when I buy the newspaper). 

Therefore, he had to wait a lot longer as I did not turn up when he expected, and I think he was sulking when I returned. That was judging by the expression on his face and general demeanour and body language.

However, it is very easy to project one's feelings and thoughts onto one's cat and dog companions. And sometimes feline anatomy gives the impression that a cat is sulking or annoyed when they are not. 

Anecdotal evidence (non-scientific and based on personal accounts) about cats sulking is all you will see on the internet. 

There are no hard science studies on this possible feline emotion. Yes, Dr Fogle is a very well-respected author and vet, but he is not God. He could be wrong.

And I can't be sure that I am right when I say that domestic cats probably have the capacity to sulk. There are lots of confident statements on the social media sites that cats can and do sulk.

I have lived with domestic cats for decade and studied them for 15 years. We can't say with complete confidence that domestic cats can sulk when they are upset, jealous or disappointed.

Let's be more cautious and circumspect and say it is very possible and there are signs that cats and other animals both domestic and wild experience far more emotions that we imagined. If cats can and do sulk it is likely that the emotion is experienced for a relatively short time. 

Cats have the capacity to move on and live in the present.

For instance, in The Times today is an article about a study on the social skills of pigs. The author states:

"These are important and very complex abilities. What is suggests is they have the ability to be sensitive to the emotions and internal state of others, and then to react to somehow intervene and restore calm to the group".

For far too long humans have been chronically ignorant of the capacity of animals to experience a range of emotions. It is only now dawning on us.

Monday 7 November 2022

Cats are NATURALLY aggressive. Discuss.

Dr Bruce Fogle in his book 'Complete Cat Care' makes a statement which caught my attention: "Cats are naturally aggressive". We don't think of it like that very often. But it is true. And it is a source of potential trouble in the human-to-cat relationship. 

Despite the beautifully relationships between cats and their caregivers all over the world, the domestic cat is a top predator armed with weapons: claws and teeth. 

And they like to use them in play because play for domestic cats is play-hunting. All play is centred around hunting and hunting employs sharp canine teeth and even sharper claws on their forepaws.

They are programmed to hunt and kill. It is their major activity in life. And we know how cats act on instinct. This makes their genetic programming more effective as it is not tempered by rational thought.

Man used hand as a cat toy. Bad idea.
Man used hand as a cat toy. Bad idea. Image in public domain and modified by MikeB.

Sometimes a cat caregiver can become annoyed and emotionally hurt by their cat as they feel that they've been respectful and gentle with them only to be scratched or bitten in return. 

Perceived behavioural problems can lead to a breakdown in the relationship and the surrender of the cat at a rescue centre or to a neighbour. Aggressive behaviour is in the top 10 reasons for giving up a cat. Understanding the deep emotional need to be aggressive for cats helps to restore the relationship.

The classic form of feline aggression that pops up from time to time is the 'love bite'. It sounds innocent and loving but the cat love bite is not the same as the human version. We know that.

Another description of 'love bites' is 'petting aggression'. Your cat is relaxed and enjoying your company. You gently pet your cat without thinking too much about how you are doing it and wham, your darling cat companion crunches down on your hand with her sharp canine teeth while holding on with the forepaws.

To release from this uncomfortable situation, distract your cat with the free hand and in that window of opportunity release the trapped hand slowly. Or use the free hand to scruff your cat's neck and then release the other.

RELATED: 11 types of domestic cat aggression and how to resolve them.

Cats' teeth are designed to pierce the skin and break the spinal cord of prey animals. Stroking triggers mixed emotions. Domestic cats enjoy touching their human caregiver and other pets normally.

My cat likes to reach out with his paw to touch my hand when he is with me. They like to be physically connected with their human companion, but they can become worried by it because the domestic cat's adult wildcat ancestor does not make physical contact with others except to mate and fight (normally). 

Although community cats and domestic cats form friendships and can rest together in close contact. But there is a different relationship between cat and human. And there is a big size difference which can work against the relationship. Humans can be intimidating to cats.

When a domestic cat becomes 'emotionally confused' during petting, as Bruce Fogle describes it, they may start to become instinctively aggressive. 

Human caregivers need to spot the signs of feline irritation such as a flicking tail and a tenseness developing in the cat's face and general demeanour. Your cat is warming up for an aggressive act by our standards. Not hers. It is play but all cat play is aggressive.

For people it is all about understanding cat behaviour and respecting it. All feline aggression in the home towards humans can be avoided and should be avoided by reading cat body language and understanding feline behaviour and their deep-seated instincts inherited from their wild cat ancestor which are just below the surface.

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