Showing posts with label respect the cat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label respect the cat. Show all posts

Friday 12 November 2021

'Slow Cat Crossing' sign is nice

I like this sign in Kentucky, USA. The picture is used to illustrate an article about toxoplasmosis infecting wildlife and because the domestic cat, once only, deposits toxoplasma gondii oocysts in their faeces they are criticised for spreading a 'brain disease' to wildlife. This criticism happens all the time but nobody takes any notice and I'm pleased about that because the stories are often exaggerated. To emphasis 'brain disease' in that way is clickbait and scaremongering.

Slow cat crossing sign
Photo: Timothy D. Easley (AP)

But the picture is nice I think because it shows a respect for the cat on this person's property. I believe that this is a private road. Perhaps it has to be a private road because I don't think the authorities would allow anybody to erect a sign like that on a public road in America. I'm not sure about the rules in America in that regard but it is certain to be prohibited (wrong? Please tell me). I think it would be effective, however in slowing people down especially when passing through small villages in the UK. There've been numerous stories of cats killed on the roads in villages because the cars are speeding.

RELATED: Young male cats far more likely to be involved in road traffic accidents

One of the advantages in London, UK is that there is now a universal 20 mph speed limit across much of London and its environs. So all traffic over a very large area is limited to 20 mph. I think that this will save the lives of domestic cats notwithstanding that it is highly irritating because a lot of the roads are quite suited to 30 mph.

The 20 mph speed limit gives domestic cats greater forewarning of the arrival of a vehicle and therefore time to get out of the way if they are on the road. I have this gut feeling that cat lives are being saved but there will be no survey or analysis of this so we will never know.

Monday 7 June 2021

Is spraying cats with water bad?

Spraying cats with water to stop them doing something that you don't like is a form of punishment and therefore it is a bad thing to do. Punishment is misunderstood by domestic cats as it is a human concept and it may harm the human-to-cat relationship. To be effective it requires a knowledge of right and wrong, morality and self-awareness.

Motion activated water spraying cat deterrent. Photo in public domain.

However, if you can spray your cat with water without them realising that it is you who is doing it then from the cat's perspective it is divine intervention. What I mean is the cat just thinks that what they're doing results in something unpleasant and therefore they won't do it anymore but there will be no connection between the unpleasant experience and their human guardian/caretaker. This prevents any damage to the relationship and it is no longer, strictly speaking, punishment but, as mentioned, divine intervention.

Training a cat with punishment is not good. Image: MikeB

That said, there is a third way which is better than both these. You don't spray water at all but you use positive reinforcement through training to stop your cat doing something that you don't like. It is always better to use the positive route for obvious reasons. Spraying water is negative no matter how you do it whereas gently training your cat to do something that you refer is positive. The downside is that it takes longer and more skill to achieve a result doing it this way. It is very simple and direct to spray water over your cat. Instant result.

Personally, without wishing to be boastful, and without wishing to feel superior, I would never consider spraying water over my cat even if it was in the form of divine intervention. I prefer to accept his behaviour. This is the fourth way: nothing that your cat does is wrong or bad behaviour and nothing that he does requires modification through either training or divine intervention. If he does something that you don't like adjust expectations. If he does something 'bad' look at possible medical reasons e.g. cystitis causing peeing on the carpet.

You just accept it and learn to live with it because it is part of respecting your cat. That may seem like an extreme point of view but it suits me and it ensures that the relationship is entirely equal which supports animal rights, and that pleases me.

Sunday 11 April 2021

Resting domestic cat has traffic bollards placed around her for safety reasons

from Cat GIFs via Gfycat

The video is amusing and meant to be but I'll take a serious approach. This is a practical example of how you respect the cat. Respecting the cat is a rather amorphous concept. What does it mean in practice? Well, this, as mentioned, is an example in practice. I know it was done for entertainment purposes. But respecting the cat really is about allowing the cat to behave naturally and respecting their innate behaviours and the drivers behind it. 

It is allowing the cat to express themselves and taking charge of that responsibility. It means that the person takes charge of the relationship and ensures that their cat has the freedoms that they need within the limitations of safety. 

The first step in respecting the cat is to understand domestic cats and in order to understand domestic cats you have to understand cats in general and the domestic cat's wild cat ancestor. I preach (!) that people should love their cat as a family member but treat the cat as a cat. 

What that means is you don't treat your cat as a little person because that can result in feline behavioural problems and problems in the relationship between cat and person. It's a lot to do as well with expectation management. 

People need to have the right expectations when it comes to their cat and their cat's behaviour. I am sure that there are many homes were people adopt cats expecting something and the cat delivers something else and there is a gap between expectations on delivery which causes disappointment which in turn can lead to a cat being given up somebody else or a cat shelter. 

The only way you avoid expectation disappointment is by understanding domestic cats before you adopt them. It means doing your homework. I know this is incredibly tiresome and utterly boring but you've got to do some work on it before you take that big step. 

And it is a big step because there cannot be failure. It has to be a successful relationship. There are no other options. This is for the life of the cat.

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