Month: April 2017

Newly-Adopted Cat Won’t Stop Gazing At His Rescuer

If you live with a cat, you know that they love to observe what you do. But Imgur user ‘s newly-adopted ginger tabby simply cannot take his eyes off her!

Wilbur the kitty seems to gaze at his human everywhere she goes. “I hope he’s staring out of love and not plotting my demise,” the cat-mom wrote.

We’re sure he looks at her with only the purest intentions – the Imgur user says her feline friend is “such a sweetie pie!”

“Perhaps he’s jealous when I hang out with the other cat, Chloe.”

Image Source: theacaciasteph via Imgur

“Watching TV while he watches me.”

Image Source: theacaciasteph via Imgur

“This was when I got home from work, he must’ve learned the sound of my car. He also does them when I’m leaving for work, like I’ve betrayed him.”

Image Source: theacaciasteph via Imgur


“He doesn’t want cuddles, he just wants to stare.”

Image Source: theacaciasteph via Imgur


“Other people to stare at but nope, just me.”

Image Source: theacaciasteph via Imgur


“First thing I saw when I woke up a few weeks ago.”

Image Source: theacaciasteph via Imgur

“This was today.”

Image Source: theacaciasteph via Imgur


“This was today too. I love him regardless of if his creepiness.:)”

Image Source: theacaciasteph via Imgur


After seeing those looks of love, we’d say that this kitty has nothing but affection to give his new family!

(h/t: )

Cat negotiation

If we negotiate with cats, do cats negotiate with us?

Of course.

4! We'll take 4 toonas to tell you the whereabouts of your precious car keys. (black cat extends paw with four toes while a tabby cat looks down)

In my post, Willing to Be Manipulated, I explain how some studies examined how people react to cats making verbal requests. It was theorized that people respond to cats because they like the sounds the cats make.

Well, yes, but there’s more going on than that.

Law of Reciprocity

I have appropriated this psychological concept for my Way of Cats system because it works. We make friends and do each other favors.

That’s my kind of enjoyable relationship. (Works on Mr WayofCats, too.)

We could look at it as two beings bribing each other for their own advantage, but the advantage is mutual. That is why I think of it as negotiation and cooperation. Force has nothing to do with it.

Force has no place on either side of a cat relationship.

If we are feeling like the cat is imposing on us, it is always worthwhile to pause on that thought and explore it. Why are we feeling like the cat is being clingy and demanding? Do they have unmet needs?

Or maybe it is us; when we are overwhelmed with our own troubles, it can be difficult to grapple with even the most urgent need in someone else. It becomes just another thing on a pile of things we are having trouble coping with.

The answer is not to blame the cat for having needs. The answer is to start eliminating unwanted, and unneeded, demands from our own life.

So we have room for more cat love.

Interaction is the point

If we think of our cat requesting things as “bugging us,” we have the wrong lens aimed at our pet experience. We agreed to provide food and shelter and interesting things to play with. That was the deal.

As I explain in When Cats Annoy, cats don’t do things to annoy us. If we are tired or exasperated, we will be more likely to interpret it that way, but that doesn’t have anything to do with our cat’s motivations.

I am happy to report that we have found a medicine that works for Reverend Jim’s digestive issues. He’s showing up for affection more often, playing along with the other cats, and once again whacking heck out of his Trackball. Another sign of his recovery is the return of his appetite. In a big way.

Every time we turn around (it seems) RJ is asking for food again. But I do not argue with my cats. He’s recovering, he needs to rebuild, and he’s hungry. So we feed him again.

This would be annoying… if he didn’t have a good reason. But, he does.

Fear of Cats

Then there is the misconception that cats only pretend to like us to get food, and don’t care about us at all. In fact, we are delusional to think otherwise. This is what I call the Puppet Master Theory of Cat Affection.

It is the stuff of James Bond films, not reality.

Sure, if cats are that smart, why resent them being successful with making us happy? It’s not like they aren’t exchanging value for that can of food. Unlike many delusions, there is no downside here.

It is not, after all, a delusion. Because cats show up when it is not necessary. When they don’t want anything more than a head rub or a verbal exchange. To continue to assert this is all “part of the con” is only an example of how far Cat Skeptics will go to cling to their own delusions about cats.

We trade service for love. And so do our cats.

Cooperate as Equals

Which led me into “asking nicely” and actually getting a response from my cats. I love things that work. I do them more. Which leads to more success.

The most exasperating and difficult struggles with my cats have turned out to be due to those cats having some deep and unmet need. RJ’s worst ever behavior was because he was sick. He wasn’t misbehaving, or a “bad cat,” or making us upset on purpose. He wasn’t trying to manipulate me.

He was trying to communicate with me. Because I’m a friend, and he hoped I could help him.

Which is all our cats ever want.

    I explain the other side of cat persuasion in How to use bribes.

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    There’s more to raising and training a cat with The Way of Cats than the article you are reading now. See my CAT TRAINING TIPS.

Ask A Vet: How Do Vaccines Work?

Vaccines are in the news a lot and have become quite controversial. Vaccines are injections designed to protect an individual from infectious diseases. They are not like medications that are dosed by the size of the patient. The effectiveness of a vaccine is based on the number of active particles it includes, and these are specifically calculated in the whole dose.

Image Source: John Hritz via Flickr

How Vaccines Work

A vaccination is like training your immune system for battle. The vaccine primes your immunity to know how to handle the opponent (the disease). If you think of the active particles in the vaccines as training exercises, specific to a certain pathogen, then you can see why you would not want to skip the training or decrease the number of training particles in any way. So if you read anything that advises giving a pet half of the active vaccine because of a patient’s size, think twice about its efficacy.

Vaccines have come a long way in modern times, but the idea has always been the same: Expose a patient to particles that can prime the immune system and train it how to effectively respond. Then when the real threat happens, the immune system is swift to recognize and remember how to eliminate the threat.

There are different types of vaccines today, but they all follow this basic premise. They can utilize the patient’s own system to be the most effective protection for the patient. Diseases that are very dangerous or very widespread are the ones most likely to require vaccinations.

Vaccination vs. Medication

It is important for you to know that vaccinations are not medications. They are not effective AFTER the exposure has taken place and must be given to healthy animals. If the immune system is already in battle with a real pathogen, it cannot maximize the vaccination.  Vaccinations must be given based on risk assessment, as every available vaccine is not right for your pet.

Side Effects

Vaccines have been blamed for countless side effects, but in reality, there is no scientific proof that vaccines themselves cause the myriad of problems they’re attributed to. There are rare cases of problems linked to vaccines, but more pets die from preventable diseases than those that have bad reactions from their vaccines. With that said, however, random administration of vaccines to every pet is not a good idea. Let your veterinarian guide you with risk assessment and choosing which vaccines are right for your pet.

Don’t forget that many of us would not be here at all if our ancestors had not been vaccinated!

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Clingy Cat Even Showers With Her Human

It’s not unusual to have a companion at bath time – but most of us opt for a rubber ducky. Michelle Lagestee of the Netherlands has a fuzzier friend who joins her for showers. This is Fristi, and she loves to be washed!

Fristi’s enthusiasm for bath time grew gradually. As Michelle would bathe she would leave the door open, and Fristi’s curiosity led her closer and closer to the shower until she finally let herself in! Michelle tells that Fristi now joins her every day, and is usually first in!

A post shared by Fristi & Cookie (@fristicookie) on Apr 17, 2017 at 5:06am PDT

Most cats really hate water, but you can see from the look on her face that Fristi appreciates a nice, warm shower. You can follow Fristi and her sister, Cookie, on Instagram.