All I want for Christmas …

December 7, 2011 Leave a comment

A City Kitty Climber for ChristmasChristmas is closer than you think, so it’s time to start deciding what you’re going to get your cat for Christmas.  Here’s some ideas to get you started.

1.  You probably have to go to work every day, and it can get REALLY boring hanging out around the house all day.  There is probably already an assortment of toys on hand to keep your kitty occupied.  But some cats get tired of playing with the same old toys, day after day, year after year.  Get your cat a new assortment of toys, and bag up the old toys for a surprise visit next spring.

2.  I LOVE treats.  Watch me tear the paper off my present if you buy me a nice assortment of treats.  My family has a jar for my treats, like a cookie jar, and when I hear that lid rattle – I’ll come running from the far end of the house.  So, if you don’t have a treat jar, you could buy one of those too.

3.  Get your cat a City Kitty Climber.  Now I already have one, but it’s my goal to get a climber for every door in the house!  How cool would that be – running up and down the climber in one room, racing to the next room and doing it again, racing to the next room …  And what great exercise for us indoor cats. 

I can’t wait for Christmas to see what I get – can you?

Categories: Uncategorized

Seriously? You want me to wear that?

December 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Cat in Santa hatYou want me to dress up for Christmas?  Now some cats adore being dressed up. They have several outfits, and will stand for hours while you dress them up and pose patiently while you take hundreds of pictures. 

Other cats tolerate letting you dress them up with silly clothes.  They don’t like it.  There are other things they’d rather be doing.  But they love you, so they let you have your fun.  

But as for me – I’m totally against the whole thing.  I don’t like cat clothes.  I don’t like Christmas outfits.  And I look silly in a Santa hat.   Now if I were a short haired cat, and we lived in a really cold climate, I might appreciate the extra layers.  But I don’t, so would you please get that silly hat off of me!  You don’t want to see what will happen to the hat if I do it myself.

Categories: Uncategorized

Cat in the Christmas Tree

December 5, 2011 Leave a comment

This is really a challenging problem – figuring out a way to keep your cat out of the Christmas tree.  We like to climb trees to start with, and all those dangling lights and ornaments are just too tempting to resist.  Now some owners have come up with a few ideas that will discourage the less daring ones of us.

1.  Spray your cat with a water bottle when it gets in the Christmas tree.  Hello!!!  There’s electricity in there, keeping those beautiful lights sparkling.  I don’t think that’s such a smart idea.

2.  Secure netting around the bottom layer of the branches with twist ties.  That might keep some cats down, but I could jump right over that netting.  And what if my claw gets caught in the netting?  I could pull the entire tree down trying to get loose!

3.  Now, I hate to tell you this one because it works.  There is a cat-training product called Sssscat.  It’s actually an aerosol can that automatically releases a harmless, non-toxic spray when a  cat approaches forbidden areas, such as the kitchen counters or your Christmas tree.  Just “Google” Ssscat, and you will find plenty of places to buy it.

4.  Here’s another idea that works.  Buy a City Kitty Climber for your cat – so your baby has a “legal” place to climb safely.

Categories: Uncategorized

Is a kitten a good Christmas present?

December 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Kitty Under Christmas TreeWell, I see two problems with giving someone a kitten for Christmas.

  1. You have to be sure that person is willing to take care of the cat – for YEARS to come.  Too many young cats end up at the city pound, after that cute, fluffy stage has passed.
  2. You have to figure out a way to hide the kitten until Christmas.

If you decide to gift a kitten, after you have introduced the kitty to its new owner – it is best to take the kitten back to a quiet room where it can hide and be protected from the noise, people, and commotion of Christmas. The kitten will be confused, missing its mother and brothers and sisters, and frightened in a strange, loud place. 

In addition, I recommend that you include kitty supplies such as a City Kitty Climber, a scratching pad, water bowl, brush, high-quality food, and a litter box.  You might also consider including a veterinary gift card, to help with the cost of the kitten’s vaccines, and spay or neuter surgery.

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What Makes Me Purr?

August 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Everyone knows that I purr when I’m happy and contented. So this may seem like a dumb question. But actually, I purr for other reasons too.

  1. Momma's purring and the kittens are nursingI’m a guy, but if I were a female cat with new kittens, I would be purring whenever I’m around my babies. Mothers are doing essentially the same thing when they hum or sing to their babies. It lets the little ones know mommy is nearby and loves them. When a mother cat purrs, she is also letting her kittens know she’s ready to nurse them. Newborn kittens can’t see or smell very well yet, so the vibrations actually help the kittens find her.
  2. Humans have special things they do to comfort themselves when they are feeling anxious or tense – such as eating their favorite comfort food, fixing a cup of hot chocolate, or jogging to run off the stress. Sometimes, when I am purring, I am simply de-stressing, reassuring myself that everything is going to be all right.
  3. If you were my owner, you’d know that when YOU’RE upset – I’m glued right there by your side and purring loudly. Since purring de-stresses ME, I’ll be hoping some of that rubs off on you and lets you know I love you and I’m here for you.
  4. I purr when strangers meet me for the first time, to let them know I like them and want to be friends.
  5. I like to purr when my owners are feeding me, especially if they open a can of my favorite food. 
  6. When my owners get home from work, I purr to let them know how happy I am to see them.
  7. If I’m having a good dream about catching a mouse, I’ll even purr in my sleep.
  8. I’ve never done this myself, but many cats purr when they are in pain. Scientists have found that purring releases endorphins, which are helpful in reducing pain while healing begins.
  9. Cats are often used as “therapy animals” in hospitals and retirement homes. It is a well-known fact that owners of purring cats have lower blood pressure, especially as they get older.

So here’s a question for you … do cats purr when they’re alone and there’s no one around to hear them? What do you think?

Categories: Uncategorized

Why I Need to Knead

August 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Have you ever made bread from scratch, or watched someone kneading pizza dough? Cats do virtually the same thing with their front paws. They shift their weight back and forth, spread the toes of the paw they’re about to lean on, and dig their claws into the surface they’re kneading – whether it’s your lap (ouch!), your leather couch, or their favorite blanket. They are usually purring while doing this with a steady, rhythmic motion.

Now when I’m kneading, my mind has gone back in time to when I was a newborn, nursing on mom. To help get the milk flowing, I used to push on her tummy – first with one paw and then the other. Mom was purring, I was getting fed, and life couldn’t be better. I felt safe, loved and contented.

I’ve also noticed that cats knead to mark their territory. Kitties have scent glands in the soft pads on the bottom of their paws. When they knead, their unique scent is released onto the surface being kneaded. So if I am kneading your lap, instead of shoving me off or smacking me, you should be highly complimented. It means I like hanging out with you, and I’m claiming you as my own.

I usually revert back to that old habit of kneading when things are going well and I’m feeling especially happy. By contrast, Keyla – the dog who lives in my house – has a whole different idea about kneading. She kneads her favorite stuffed animal, a dog about twice her own size, to comfort herself when our owners leave the house or she gets upset. I really need to have a talk with her.

To enjoy a cool video of a cat kneading on a sleeping dog, click HERE.

Categories: Uncategorized

Why I like to scratch on things …

August 23, 2011 Leave a comment

In a purrfect world, I could go outside and get all my scratching done in permitted areas, and then come inside and snooze peacefully, leaving your leather couch alone. But, it isn’t always safe for a cat to go outside, and even outside cats will scratch on the furniture when they are allowed in the house. The fact is – scratching is a natural instinct for cats and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.

Cat ScratchingCats actually have reasonable explanations for scratching on things. Some of mine are …

  • “I need to scratch to sharpen my claws.”
  • “I’m scratching to show Fat Cat over there that I’m better than him.”
  • “I’m releasing my own scent to mark my territory – so Fat Cat won’t dare come over here.”
  • “I’m just so frustrated with the way things have been going around here.”
  • “Scratching keep me buff because it pulls, stretches, and works the muscles in my front quarter.”
  • “I need to file down my nails and remove the external layer.”
  • I just feel like stretching the muscles and ligaments in my toes and feet.”

 Cats don’t understand physical punishment, so hitting me when you catch me scratching on your leather couch is not going to help. Cats like rough surfaces that they can shred to pieces – well, you probably already knew that. The solution is to provide “legal” scratching toys and play with your cats on them so they understand it is “ok” to scratch there.

Put your scratching posts and toys in the main areas of traffic flow, where you hang out a lot of the time. Most cats won’t make it to the back bedroom when they feel the urge to scratch. Pretend that you’re scratching the surface, attack the surface, and encourage your cat to play with you. It’s been proven – you can actually train your cat to scratch in appropriate places. Get a City Kitty Climber and watch your kitty have a scratchin’ good time.

Categories: Uncategorized
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