Feline Behavior

How to Get Your Cat to Like You

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You’ve adopted a new cat from a shelter or rescue group. You’ve set up a safe space for your new family member, and you’ve gradually introduced her to your home and/or your other cats. You’re excited about getting to know your new friend. While some cats will bond instantly with their new humans, others may take more time, and sometimes, a lot of patience from the human who just wants to love and be loved.Continue Reading

Ask the Cat Behaviorist with Mikel Delgado: Cat Is Destroying Screens, Fighting Cats, Cats Eliminating Outside the Litter Box, and More

ask-the-cat-behaviorist

Welcome to our regular “Ask the Cat Behaviorist with Mikel Delgado” segment. Once a month, we’ll post a reminder for you to post your questions for Mikel. She’ll answer as many of them as she can each time, and I’ll publish her answers in a subsequent post.

Mikel is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant at Feline Minds, offering on-site consultations for cat guardians, shelters, and pet-related businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area, and remote consultations around the world. She obtained her PhD in Psychology at UC Berkeley, where she studied animal behavior and human-pet relationships. Mikel is co-author of Jackson Galaxy’s newest book, Total Cat Mojo: The Ultimate Guide to Life with Your Cat.Continue Reading

Does Your Senior Cat Really Want a Younger Companion?

senior-cat

I frequently get questions from readers who are looking to add a new cat to their family. How do I find a cat that will be a good match for my cat? Should I get a cat who’s the same age as my resident cat, or should I get a kitten? Male or female? Will the resident cat accept the newcomer? I wish I could give definitive answers to all of these questions, but the reality is that while you can do some homework, ultimately, each cat’s unique history and personality will determine the outcome. And these questions are even harder to answer when it comes to deciding whether to get a companion for a senior cat. Continue Reading

Ask the Cat Behaviorist with Mikel Delgado: Problems with New Cat Introductions, Cat No Longer Wants to be a Lap Cat, and More

ask-the-cat-behaviorist

Welcome to our regular “Ask the Cat Behaviorist with Mikel Delgado” segment. Once a month, we’ll post a reminder for you to post your questions for Mikel. She’ll answer as many of them as she can each time, and I’ll publish her answers in a subsequent post.

Mikel is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant at Feline Minds, offering on-site consultations for cat guardians, shelters, and pet-related businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area, and remote consultations around the world. She obtained her PhD in Psychology at UC Berkeley, where she studied animal behavior and human-pet relationships. Mikel is co-author of Jackson Galaxy’s newest book, Total Cat Mojo: The Ultimate Guide to Life with Your Cat.Continue Reading

How Cats See the World

how_cats_see_the_world

Feline and human eyes share some similarities, but there are some significant differences in how cats see the world. Cats’ eyes are perfectly designed by nature to aid them in hunting in low light and at night. While they can’t see colors as we see them, they have great night vision, and they can also pick up movement better than human eyes.Continue Reading

Does Your Cat Get The “Zoomies?”

cat-zoomies

I actually found a definition for the word “zoomies” in Urban Dictionary, and even though the definition was for dogs, it’s exactly what I’m talking about: “when your dog runs around the house like crazy jumping on the couch, running up and down the stairs, and all over the house. It usually ends with them falling to the floor, panting like crazy and taking a nap.”

At our house, Ruby is the Queen of the Zoomies. Several times a day, she races through the house, up and down the cat tree, and up and along the back of the sofa. Her zoomies loop seems to be almost exactly the same every day. Continue Reading

Can Cats Tell Time?

cat-clock

I think most cat guardians would argue that cats can, indeed, tell time. Why else would they be waking us up at the crack of dawn, pester us to feed them, or give us the cold shoulder after we’ve been on vacation? But can they really tell time?

A different perception of time

Cats probably don’t experience time in the way we do.Continue Reading

Allegra and Her Special Toy

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A couple of weeks ago, we explored why cats bring their humans gifts. There are a lot of different theories, ranging from cats believing that humans are such poor hunters that they need help to thanking humans for providing a home and food for them. Please read Why Does Your Cat Bring You Gifts for more information. A lot of you shared your cats’ gift giving behavior in the comments, so today, I’d like to tell you about Allegra and her special toy.

Her special toy is not fancy. It’s an ancient olive green and tan suede mouse that was given to her by a friend when I first adopted her in 2010. The mouse lost its tail somewhere along the way.

She picks it up and carries it around the house, chirping and singing and sometimes yowling. It sounds a bit plaintive, a sad little cry, as if she had lost something. The first time I heard it, I thought she’d hurt herself! As soon as I look for her when she does this, she drops the toy and stops, which is why I haven’t been able to get a video of her with the toy.

Almost every morning, I find her special toy in the bedroom, even though it doesn’t “live” there during the day. Some mornings, I find it under the covers. I have never heard her bring it during the night. I’m a relatively light sleeper, but apparently not so light that her chirping, singing and yowling wakes me up – or perhaps, she is considerate enough to bring the toy quietly at night?

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Allegra’s previous special toy

Interestingly, she’s only considered that suede mouse “special” for the last five or six years. Before then, she had a different “baby” – an ancient toy that actually belonged to Feebee, who passed away in 2000. She dug that out of the toy basket one day, and apparently decided that it was going to be her “baby.” It’s a soft, plush little stuffed mitten with a tail that has a pompon at the end. Then one day, she lost interest in that toy and the green suede mouse became her baby.

She never actually plays with these toys, but yet, they’re clearly very special to her.

Amber had her own version of a special toy: a green and tan fuzzy mouse that I got for her when she first came to live with me. For the entire ten years that she was with me, that mouse was her special “baby.” Like Allegra, she’d pick it up, carry it around the house, crying and yowling. Amber would often sleep with her “baby,” something I rarely see Allegra do. 

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Amber with her special toy

What’s really interesting to me is that Ruby won’t ever touch Allegra’s “baby.” Ruby considers every other toy in our house hers – but yet, she hasn’t once played with Allegra’s suede mouse. This was also the case with Amber’s green and tan mouse. Even though Buckley was already a senior when she came to live with us, she still liked to play, but she never once touched Amber’s special toy. When Allegra joined Amber and me as a 7-month-old kitten who would go after anything that moved, she never once played with Amber’s special mouse.

I asked Allegra to tell you about her special toy, but she declined. She said some things aren’t meant to be explained to humans.