Showing posts with label television. Show all posts
Showing posts with label television. Show all posts

Friday 24 June 2022

Improving the olfactory and visual environment of full-time indoor cats

I have just bumped into something that I think is interesting and which is particularly pertinent today with so many full-time indoor cats. I believe that often these cats are under-stimulated. I'm not apportioning blame. I just think that you can't bring cats in from the outside and confine them to the inside and leave it at that. The human caregiver has more to do and here are two examples.

RELATED: The big flaw that is never admitted in keeping cats indoors full-time.


This tip applies more to shelter cats than to full-time indoor domestic cats in homes but I think it is relevant. It is called "olfactory enrichment". The experts believe that it is relatively underused in animal housing perhaps because humans have a relatively poor sense of smell compared to cats and other animals.

Catnip gives your cat pleasure
Catnip gives your cat pleasure. Image: Johnsons veterinary products.

We know that you can buy catnip spray. I think that if you use catnip spray from time to time to spray into the environment you will find that there will be an increasing amount of time that the cat in that home is active because they will be stimulated by the chemical, nepetalactone, which we know excites and stimulates domestic cats.

A study examined the effect of introducing four odours on the behaviour of six zoo-housed black-footed cats. These are small wild cats are known to be the most prolific hunters of all the cats as it happens. The odours that were introduced were nutmeg, catnip, body odour of prey (quail) and no artificial odour and control. They found that there was an increase in their activity with all of the genuine odours with nutmeg causing less of an effect than catnip or odour of prey. As mentioned, catnip is a known stimulant for cats. Although not all cats are affected similarly.


In a cat's life there are two forms of cat television. There is the human television or perhaps iPad through which you can show images which may help to stimulate your cat. I've seen many videos of cats watching television with great interest. I am sure that you can buy programs for a television designed for cats. You'll need a CD player attached to the TV if you can't access programs provided in the usual way.

Window box for indoor cats
Window box for indoor cats. Image in public domain.

Perhaps a better form of cat television is the humble window. Full-time indoor cats spend a lot of time at windows looking out. They can get an awful lot of enjoyment doing that. There should be access to a window or windows in the home of a full-time indoor cat. 

To improve the arrangement you can build or buy window boxes which are inserted into the window and which overhang on the outside of the house. The front of the window box should not be glazed but should be open to the elements with a grill. In this way the cat can both see and smell the outside.

Window box is a firm favorite
Window box is a firm favorite. Image in the public domain.

I would have thought that such a construction would be a fundamental necessity for any full-time indoor cat or cats. I would have thought where there are more than one indoor cat you could build more than one window box arrangement. They are like mini-catios and you see a whole range of designs. How many households have them? I would say very few relative to the number of indoor cats.

They are actually decorative as well and improve the appearance and ambience of a house.

Thursday 25 November 2021

Private zoo owners should experience jail for three years to find out what it's like to be in cages

NEWS AND COMMENT: Private zoo owners are ignorant. They are uneducated and they are stupid at least in respect of one topic: animal welfare. They don't know what it's like to be banged up in a cage. They think it's all right. They think that if a tiger is born in a cage it accepts the cage (wrong, the need for much space is in their DNA). Another indicator of ignorance. They should go to jail for a couple years or more and feel what it's like. This is exactly what has happened to the notorious Joe Exotic. 

Joe Exotic in prison
Joe Exotic in prison. Image in public domain.

He's been in jail for almost 3 years. I guess you know why. He was the star of the Netflix documentary which went viral. I guess the world and their dog know about Joe Exotic - real name: Joseph Maldonado-Passage. He is revelling in his celebrity status. Netflix should be ashamed of providing him with the platform to gain celebrity status.

In the follow-up series by Netflix he apparently expressed some sympathy towards the big cats that he kept locked up in his infamous zoo. At one time it was America's largest private zoo. He saw nothing wrong with it at all. He saw nothing wrong in exploiting big cat cubs for photo sessions after tearing them away from their mothers. He saw nothing wrong in killing adult tigers who became redundant for the purposes that he required them i.e. to make money.

RELATED: Joe Exotic gives his zoo to Carole Baskin

At the end of the first episode, I am told that Joe Exotic expressed some regret for what he's done. Being in prison has given him a different perspective on his treatment of the animals at his former zoo over the many years he kept it running. He admits that he now finally understands why it is wrong to keep big cats locked in cages because he knows what it feels like. In his words:

"After being lumped up her three years, I know now how my animals felt. I'm ashamed of myself. I hope I'll get a second chance just like my tigers."

And hearing that annoys me and many others. It's taken him all these years to realise that he has caused distress and pain in these magnificent creatures. And he did it all for financial gain and celebrity. Frankly it sucks and this is the exact sentiment of many other people as indicated by their tweets on Twitter.

RELATED: Joe Exotic was terrified of big cats and wickedly cruel says film producer

And yeah, in an act of added irony, one of his old mates in the private zoo business, Jeff Lowe, expresses sympathy towards Joe Exotic for his uncomfortable experience of being in prison. He said that it is a long time to be locked up in prison (2.5 years) but he was perfectly happy to lock up animals in his zoo for many, many years and of course the same applies to Joe exotic. I'm afraid that this is another example of ignorance. It is an example of an unenlightened and abusive approach to animals.

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