Showing posts with label human-to-cat relationship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label human-to-cat relationship. Show all posts

Wednesday 18 October 2023

Noel Gallagher's wild parties gave his cats nervous breakdowns, he said

The Metro newspaper online tells us that Noel Gallagher's wild parties caused his cats to have nervous breakdowns. A big and bold statement because it's very difficult to tell if a cat is suffering from a nervous breakdown. In fact, do domestic cats suffer from nervous breakdowns? We don't know. I don't believe so. 

There is still a lot to learn about domestic cats particularly in respect of their brain function and their psychology. I am being too serious. What he means is that his parties made his cats anxious which is entirely to be expected. Perhaps he should have provided them with a hiding place. Perhaps he did.

Anyway, I will press on. The information comes from the man himself who said: "I had a couple of cats who had a nervous breakdown. Benson and Hedges, after the cigarettes."

Well, it is nice to know that Noel Gallagher liked cats enough to look after a couple but, by his own admission, he didn't do a great job.

He was speaking on the Take 5 podcast. He added that, "They were a pair of f*****g lightweights". I have no idea what that means. Not a clue. He then adds that his cats had "seen things that no feline should ever see."

He adds that it was a great time however. At the time, I believe, he was living with his now estranged wife Sara MacDonald and his children, Anais, Donovan and Sonny. They are now aged 23, 16 and 13 respectively. He sold the family house in 2005 and looks back at that time with fondness he says.

He added that "They were great times. It was open house. I look back on it as just really fun, happy, hedonistic, carefree times. I didn't have any kids. It was great. That period from 1998, there were a couple of years that were a bit turbulent but I enjoyed it.

I don't understand this either! Because he said that he had a great time from 1998 and his oldest child is Anais who is aged 23. 1998 is 25 years ago. That means Anais was born during this time that he enjoyed so much. He says that he didn't have any kids at that time! Like I said I'm confused.

Correction/clarification: Noel Gallagher, the 53-year-old former oasis star, lives with his wife Sara and his sons Donovan, 13, and Sonny, 10. He has homes in Hampshire and in London. They have a family cat. He also has a 21-year-old daughter, Anais, from his past marriage to Meg Matthews but she doesn't live with him currently.

He confessed that he would be keen to revive his former band oasis despite the long-running feud with his brother Liam Gallagher. The band imploded in 2009.

I wonder whether he has pet cats at the moment? We don't know. I hope so (he does, see below). He probably lives a quiet life now. Ideal for a cat! On second thoughts I doubt if it is that quiet.

Noel Gallagher, the British musician and songwriter known for being a member of the band Oasis, is a cat owner. He has expressed his love for cats in interviews and has been photographed with his pet cats. In fact, he has mentioned his cats in several interviews, including sharing stories about their antics and companionship. - Poe using AI tech

Tuesday 1 August 2023

A stressed cat owner cannot be a good cat owner

We know how competently even brilliantly domestic cats can de-stress their owner. It's one reason why we live with cats. They are great companions and they help stop us from getting too wound up because once they are on your lap you have to slow down a bit. And they get in the way when you are on your computer. You either accept that and work around it or you fight it and become more anxious and stressed.

A stressed cat owner may have a stressed as well and a stress cat owner cannot really discharge their responsibilities to a high level.
A stressed cat owner may have a stressed as well and a stress cat owner cannot really discharge their responsibilities to a high level. The image is by Michael.

But the point is that if a cat owner is stressed by their lifestyle, by their work or by any manner of reasons, they are not going to be a great cat caregiver.

Stress leads to anxiety and anxiety leads to depression. You can't be a good cat caregiver if you are stressed and anxious although, as mentioned, there is the counter measure which is that although being stressed prevents you being a good cat caregiver, living with a cat makes you a better cat caregiver because it calms you down! 

The problem is that in the meantime you are likely to interact with your cat in a less than good way because of your anxiety. If you are irritated because of stress then you are going to be irritated by your cat at some point. And you might yell at your cat or behave towards your cat in a brusque and unsatisfactory way. There is no blame in this. It is just a simple fact.

I know for a fact that if I'm stressed, I'm not going to present the best side of me in terms of cat caregiving. I might be irritated because my cat brushes against my bare legs and at that moment in time I don't want to feel that. I want to get on with what I'm doing and my cat is getting in the way of achieving that.

But in having a cat we have to be prepared to compromise and to give way to our cat. We are sharing the same environment as our cat. The environment should be pleasant and mentally stimulating for our cat.

It's an interesting mix because on the one side there is the responsibility of caring for a cat well and this in itself can make a person stressed, and yet on the other side there is the pleasure of looking after a cat and the pleasures that flow from it which helps to de-stress a person.

A person stressed by the responsibilities of caring for their cat

There is an interesting post on the website about a person who adopted a cat and became very stressed because they wanted to do their absolute best in looking after their cat. They did everything possible to make the life of their cat as good as possible.

In striving for this state of affairs, the cat owner became very stressed. They went to the website to ask for advice because the person didn't even feel a bond to their cat after doing so much for them. And they asked, "How can I stop holding the bar up so high for myself and revolve my life around my cat?"

I think the ultimate answer as to how you relate to your cat and care for your cat is that you must simply love her or him. If you love your cat everything good flows from that starting point. You will find out what your cat likes and loves and what makes them happy and indeed what makes you happy. And you will find out whether you are suited to being a cat caregiver. You've got to actually like or even love cats to successfully live with a cat companion. That must be a starting point and it is common sense but some people might not think about that when they decide to adopt a cat.

There's no point in regarding cat caregiving as solely a responsibility and a duty. It should be a pleasure to look after a cat. Then you receive the pleasure of living with your cat. It should be entirely reciprocal with equal mutual benefit.

Human to human relationship

There is another quick point to make which is this: if you are in a relationship with a person which is not going that well and you both live in the same home as your cat, it's going to affect your cat negatively, which probably goes without saying. It is another source of stress for you and it will taint the ambience of the household. Domestic cats pick up on that. They demand, really, a calm and stable household.

Tuesday 4 July 2023

Cat follows school girl to bus stop every morning (video)

This is very cute and I have to confess that my cat does the same thing with me. I am not going to school as I am 74-years-of-age! I go to the petrol station (gas station) about half a mile away every morning at 06:15. Yes, very early. My cat follows me about one third of the way and stops to hide under a car in a driveway to wait for my return. You can read about it and see another video if that kind of stuff rocks your boat by clicking on this link.

The reason? The obvious one: a great bond between the two individuals. I'd suspect that the girl interacted with the cat when the cat was a young kitten and they bonded as mother (girl) and offspring (cat). Sometimes humans can be imprinted in the brain of a cat as their mother. This is stronger than the usual cat-to-human relationship which is arguable an offspring-to-parent relationship anyway.

In the wild mother cats take their kittens from the den on hunting trips in their development towards independence. This may be happening in the head of the cat in this video.

Wednesday 21 June 2023

Cat and dog health costs are rising steeply in the UK and it undermines the human-pet relationship

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) tells us that in 2022 insurers paid out over £1 billion. It is the highest on record reported by members of the ABI. It's a substantial increase and they say that it reflects the high cost of veterinary treatment, which results in more expensive claims on pet health insurance policies.

Cat and dog health costs are rising steeply in the UK and it undermines the human-pet relationship
Cat and dog health costs are rising steeply in the UK and it undermines the human-pet relationship. Image: MikeB.

Pet owners are taking out more at health insurance policies in the UK in order to cover these increased investment costs. And, arguably, the increased veterinary costs are driven by the fact that people are taking out more health insurance policies. 

Inflationary upward spiral

It is a self-serving upward spiral. It is inflationary. And it is not good for the human-to-pet relationship as it simply means that it becomes more expensive to look after a cat or dog.

This is because if insurers are paying out more money to clients to cover inflated veterinary bills, they're going to put up the insurance premiums. Pet owners will be paying out more on a monthly basis year-on-year than they were in the past. 

The whole process is inflationary. Underpinning this is pet health insurance plus the fact that independent veterinary clinics are being brought up rapidly by big business to be run as commercial enterprises primarily rather than the focus being on providing excellent veterinary care which is what happens when veterinarians form a partnership which owns the business.

In terms of veterinary treatment, in the UK, the country is moving in the wrong direction. Once big business gets hold of the veterinary marketplace it damages it. That's my personal opinion.

In fact, big business tends to damage everything decent ultimately because their priority is making a profit and they often go too far. The ABI tells us that for 2022, there was a 28% increase in pet health insurance claims from 2021.

Three quarters of the claims concerned dogs while 20% concerned cats with the remainder concerning other companion animals.

For dogs, the number of claims jumped by 35% compared to 2021, to 1 million claims. Payouts increased by 23% to £800 million. Claims concerning cats rose by 20% with payouts up 22% to £184 million.

The average pet insurance claim was for £327 which was marginally up by 1% from the year before. The ABI states that for spinal surgery the cost will be in the order of £8000-£10,000. 

Modern dachshund is too low to the ground

My mind turns to the dachshund which is known to have spinal problems because, through selective breeding, the dog is unnaturally elongated with short legs due to the presence of dwarfism. 

The ABI don't provide me with a breakdown of claims concerning spinal problems but I suspect a number of them concern the dachshund. In which case, we can point to extreme selective breeding as the cause.

Saturday 29 April 2023

Should I handle newborn kittens?

Newborn kittens
Newborn kittens. Image: MikeB

It should be very limited. I'll quote from an excellent resource, Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook, 3rd edition:
"Most queens [breeding mother cats] display anxiety when their very young kittens are constantly handled by unknown people or if unfamiliar pets or other household animals [that] they are not comfortable with are allowed near the kittens."
This statement points to minimising contact with newborn kittens both by humans and other pets. Leave them alone but make sure the nest and environment is top class. You have to know what you are doing in cat pediatrics. It is a big skill and complicated. Seek veterinary advice promptly.

Socialisation later

After sex weeks social interaction with unknown human beings and pets such as dogs and exposure to new and nonthreatening situations are important for the proper development of the kittens. It's what makes them domestic cats and is essential for them to lead happy and well-adjusted lives in the human environment.

Wednesday 12 April 2023

Do domestic cats prefer women? Yes, in general, and I'll tell you why.

If you search on Google, "Do cats prefer women?" The answer comes back yes and some of the websites refer to a study. The DVM 360 website summarises the study. And when I read the summary my assessment of the reason why domestic cats tend (but not always) prefer women is because women prefer domestic cats!

Francisca Franken with Bean her adopted rescue cat who happens to be an Exotic Shorthair who nobody wanted because she was described as being feisty, a diva and ugly. I don't see ugliness in this face. Do you? Francisca certainly didn't.
Francisca Franken with Bean her adopted rescue cat who happens to be an Exotic Shorthair who nobody wanted because she was described as being feisty, a diva and ugly. I don't see ugliness in this face. Do you? Francisca certainly didn't. Image: Instagram.

Because women prefer domestic cats over dogs, they interact with cats more often and being female, they do so in a more gentle and respectful way generally (not always) than men. This doesn't apply across the board quite obviously. And this is not a black-and-white picture of domestic cats loving women and dogs loving men. It isn't as straightforward as that.

There is a big gray area. But the fact of the matter is that in a home where there is a man and woman, a married couple, and a cat and a dog, the woman will more likely approach the cat to interact with them. They do so nicely. The cat enjoys it. The cat wants to do it again. The cat therefore approaches the woman.

Because a cat-loving woman is bonded to her cat and intuitively begins to understand their body language signals and vocalisations, she responds to approaches by her cat in a sensitive and prompt way. She has developed an understanding about what her cat wants which would be a friendly interaction and some love and tenderness.

Or it might be a request for food or any other request if the cat meowed; and we know that the meow is basically a demand for attention and a request.


My assessment is that the reason why cats prefer women in general is because they are more likely to get what they want from women and the signs are that women instigate the interactions. In a study the researchers will see more interactions between women and cats than men with cats which gives the impression that cats prefer women. But the beginning of this preference is women being more likely to approach their cat. 


The study apparently found that cats seem to remember favours done for them and return those favours. For example, if owners comply with their cat's wishes to interact their cat will repay the compliment by complying with their owner's desires to interact. That isn't, in my view, a rational decision. It is simply that domestic cats enjoy interacting with a human being who cares for them and provides for them in a gentle and loving way.

And cats will do things that they enjoy just like people. Let's remind ourselves that domestic cats live in the human world. How they react to that depends on the world that humans create and whether it is cat friendly or hostile even slightly so. Domestic cats are reactive often. They are instinctively reactive.


Now let's refer to men! What got me thinking about this was a video of a couple who adopted a cat, I think primarily to benefit the woman but the cat ended up referring the man. There is a very strong bond between man and cat in this video below. The cat's name is Milo and he is crazy about his human male companion. It's a love. It's as simple as that.

And this tells me really that cats don't really prefer women per se. They prefer people who interact with them in a very respectful kind and gentle, loving way. The cat then associates that person through their behaviour and body odour with pleasant experiences and go to them for more. Perfectly normal.

In the video it will be a bundle of nuanced behaviours by the man which provide signals to Milo that Milo will have a good experience when interacting. For example, he allows Milo to knead his chest through his vest. He tells the camera that it hurts like hell but he allows it to happen because he wants to do it for Milo. He understands that Milo is doing it because he relates to him as his mother.

The man is very tender towards Milo. His respectful and does all he can to please him. This is appreciated. It draws Milo back. It isn't about the gender of the human being. It is about their behaviour and an understanding of feline behaviour.

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