Monday, 27 June 2022

How To Tell If Your Cat Is Cross With You

Some cats are grumpier than others but even the most laid back kitty occasionally has a grouchy moment.

So if you want to avoid the sideswipe or the horrible hiss learn how to tell if your cat is mad at you.

1. They Give You The Cold Shoulder
If your cat's mad, they might leave the area you're in, avoid getting near you, and simply watch your movements from afar. Cats just like to have some space if there's something bothering them or stressing them out, or if their routine gets messed up.

2. They Swish That Tail
A cat's tail will show you how they're feeling, and if your cat is mad, it's going to show. "A tail that’s flickering back and forth quickly or held low can indicate an irritated cat," explained iHeartCats. "The hair may also stand up on an angry cat’s tail." Look out for a tail that's lowered instead of standing up tall, and swishing back and forth, as this shows kitty is annoyed — and if their tail starts thumping, their mood has probably escalated from annoyed to angry, and they could become aggressive. This is usually a clear indication that kitty isn't happy with you or the current sitch, so steer clear.

3. They Signal With Their Ears
Cats use their ears to express emotions. If your kitties' ears lower down or flatten out against their head, it could mean they're in a mood. A bad one. Steer clear of heavy pets until they've perked up again.

4. They Exhibit Fur-ious Fur
The fur all over their body seems to stand up straight, totally puffed up, and they may even arch their back to appear even larger. Fluffy and adorable as they may look, this is a clear indication that they're angry or in fight mode. Conversely, they may instead try to make themselves look smaller by crouching their body low to the ground and hunching their shoulders. If you notice either of these body movements, it's good to make sure there are no other factors around that could be triggering this response, such as another animal outside the window or another animal in the household who may be antagonizing them.

5. They Growl And Hiss
If your cat is growling or hissing at you, they're probably unhappy with you or what you're doing. A low growling sound (or a deep, guttural vocalization that is different than a meow) is usually a clear indication that your kitty is cross with you or the situation. Same goes with hissing: It's basically a cat's way of saying "lay off," so listen to them. Once a cat starts making these vocalizations, stop whatever you're doing — petting, playing, etc. — and give the cat some space.

6. The Paw Swipe
Almost every cat person has experienced a paw swipe while petting their beloved kitty. Whether it's a gentle bat of the paw or a claws-out, blood-drawing scratch depends on the cat and how angry they are, but in either case, it could indicate that your kitty wants you to step off and give them some space.

7. They Give You The Evil Eye
Cat faces can be expressive too. Does your cat ever just give a look and you know what it means? Sometimes you can tell your kitty is angry with you because they're watching you and giving you that subtle but identifiable angry eye. Another indication that they could be angry is that their pupils dilate — although this could happen for a wide variety of reasons, so look for other factors in conjunction with that before you assume your cat's mad at you based on pupil size alone.

Wednesday, 8 June 2022

Hospital Visitor Henry

A fluffy ginger cat called Henry has gained a following of more than 4,500 on Facebook after making a hospital his second home over the past five years. In case you're worried about hygiene, Henry keeps his morale-boosting visits to outside.

He has become a familiar sight to patients and staff at Addenbrooke's, which is an  internationally renowned teaching hospital and research centre in Cambridge, England.

Patients said they had been soothed by his presence and staff told of being "calmed" by his cuddles after shifts. The hospital said Henry was a "character" but urged people not to tempt him inside.

Pictures of the photogenic feline spawned a Facebook page, which sets out to " keep up morale of all at Addenbrooke's".

Henry is seven and has been visiting the Cambridge hospital for several years. Two of Jo Stranix's sisters met Henry when they came to visit their father, who has been in Addenbrooke's for several months.

They had not been able to see him due to Covid-19 visitor restrictions.

"We weren't sure if this was going to be the last time they would see him alive," she said.

The visit had been distressing but Henry was there when they left.

"They told me 'in that moment he made us all smile' and I was so thankful to that cat I'd never met for being there to comfort my sisters in some small way when I couldn't."

Henry was described as "a beautiful ginger hero" by one regular visitor to the hospital
One parent, whose 14-year-old son had been treated for leukaemia for several years, said: "Henry really does bring joy to patients and staff alike.

"You know it's going to be a good day when you get to see Henry."

A worker said Henry, who is seven, had helped her "massively during the first wave of Covid".

"Seeing Henry's ginger fluffy face at the end of the day was soothing. It's hard to explain really."

Another said: "When I've had a challenging day and I see Henry and I call his name - his tail pops up and he comes for a chin rub. Henry is a big sparkle of joy."

Henry's owners, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had a loving home nearby.
They became aware of his "exploring" via social media.

"I would try to bring him home, but that never lasted more than a couple of days," the owner said.

"It's so nice that he's making so many people happy - if he helps just one person then that's more than many cats do."

Aleks, a member of the hospital security team, has come across Henry many times as they both patrol the site.

"Only animals that support our patients are allowed inside the hospital - they have to have a harness and fluorescent strips," he said.

"But Henry does a great job just putting a smile on a grumpy person in the morning, or brings out a smile from a teenager in a wheelchair."

He said he had occasionally been called on to evict Henry from inside the buildings and added: "There would be people who are not happy that a cat is browsing around the hospital, but 99% of people love him."

Henry inspired the hospital's recruitment administrator, Thalia Barnes, to paint a portrait of him for an art exhibition at Addenbrooke's, called The Best of Us.

"He has been a great sense of therapy and companionship to all those who are graced by his presence," she said.

"We are very lucky to have such a wonderful animal, in fact not just an animal, but a part of the [hospital trust] family."

A Cambridge University Hospitals spokesperson said: "Henry the cat is very much a character and does seem to have found a place in the hearts of many of our staff and patients.

"However, for obvious reasons of infection control, no animals other than Pets As Therapy dogs and guide dogs are allowed in the hospital.

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Friday, 3 June 2022

Call Me Cuddle Cat!

There I was, sitting outside to get some fresh air, minding my own business ...

... when I heard a little squeak and spotted this funny little creature. "I've lost my mother and I need a cuddle," he said. "Well, don't look at me," I replied ....

.... but, call me an old softy, I relented and said he could cuddle up ....

.... now I can't get rid of the little blighter. Never mind, he's keeping my back warm!


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    Monday, 2 May 2022

    "Dinosaur" Cat Looking For A Home

    Oxford Mail:

    Sweet cat Brian, dubbed the dinosaur cat, is looking for a home now he has been spruced up and treated by the Blue Cross rehoming centre in Oxfordshire in the UK.

    Brian, who is around 14 years old, was found wandering the streets alone with huge, matted clumps of fur along his back which reminded one of the helpers of a stegosaurus! 

    Although he has been clipped, groomed and bathed, Brian hasn't yet found a new home, probably because of his age. 

    Elisha Webber, Animal Welfare Assistant at Blue Cross said: “Poor Brian was in such a sorry state when he arrived with us. He was severely matted along his spine, dehydrated and was covered in fleas and ticks. He also needed extensive dental work and some teeth removed.

    “We’re not sure how long he had been alone and wandering the streets but he’s a very sweet-natured boy with so much love to give. He enjoys his food and loves to curl up in a nice warm spot.

    “His new owner will need to be patient with him as they’ll need to build up his trust but he’ll make a wonderful companion. He really does deserve a happy ending.”

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    Thursday, 21 April 2022

    Life Lessons In Lingvistov Cartoons

    I have written before about the benefits of living with cats but artist Lingvistov has detailed those benefits in some hilarious cartoons. Here are just a few of them and who could disagree? If you want to see more of his work, take a look at his Instagram account,


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    Monday, 11 April 2022

    The Enticing Dreamies

    You know me, I'm a sucker for ads with cats. Here are three featuring Dreamies. Whose cat doesn't love a few Dreamies?

    I  hope they don't give anyone ideas about enticing other people's cats into their house - that's a strict no-no. It's as bad as kidnapping a child to many people!

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    Monday, 21 March 2022

    Is Your Cat A Psychopath?

    Is your cat more tiger than pussycat?

    Is your cat a psychopath? My little monster is grumpy and doesn't suffer fools gladly but she is also often sweet, loving and cuddly so I'm pretty sure she's not psychopathic.

    Now researchers have developed a detailed questionnaire that owners can use to analyse their pets to see if they possess psychopathic tendencies.

    The test, named the CAT-Tri+, comes in the form of 46 statements that require owners to rate how well each one describes their pet.

    The study was carried out by a group of scientists from the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores Universityin the UK and has been published in the Journal of Research in Personality.

    Based on the relationship between 2,042 owners and their cats, the test is the first tool available to measure psychopathy in cats.

    Owners must rank on a five-point scale statements including: “My cat torments their prey rather than killing it straight away”, “my cat vocalises loudly (e.g meows, yowls) for no apparent reason”, and “my cat is very excitable (e.g goes into ‘overdrive’ and becomes uncoordinated)”.

    Other statements include observing whether your cat sits in high places, whether they “dominate” the neighbourhood cats, and whether they purr when attacking people or animals.

    The results help measure the cat’s levels of “meanness” – traits such as a lack of empathy and callous aggression – “disinhibition” as in issues with behavioural restraint, “boldness” as well as its level of unfriendliness towards people and other pets.

    Lead researcher Rebecca Evans of Liverpool University said: “In our study, we developed a questionnaire measure of psychopathy in domestic cats.

    “The questionnaire was developed using owner-provided examples of their cat’s behaviour in the context of the triarchic model of psychopathy (boldness, meanness, and disinhibition).

    “The final questionnaire measures five factors of feline psychopathy: boldness, meanness, disinhibition, pet-unfriendliness and human-unfriendliness.”

    She continued: “A cat that has a high score on the boldness scale may benefit from large cat trees and tall scratching posts, as the Cat-Tri+ items suggest that a bold cat enjoys exploring and climbing.

    “Providing environmental enrichment for bold cats may reduce agonistic behaviours towards people, other pets, and possessions.”

    Researchers hope the test will help improve relationships between cats and their owners, and in turn reduce the number of pets that end up in shelters or being put down.

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    Monday, 10 January 2022

    Your Incredible Cat

    We all know cats are amazing! Here are some cat facts that prove the point:

    • A cat can make over 100 vocal sounds (dogs can make 10)
    • A cat sleeps around 14 to 18 hours a day on average
    • Cats are the only animal that walks on their claws, not the pads of their feet.
    • A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.
    • A group of youngsters (kittens) is called a kindle; those old-timers (adult cats) form a clowder.
    • The average cat food meal is the equivalent to about five mice.
    • People who are allergic to cats are actually allergic to cat saliva or to cat dander. If the resident cat is bathed regularly the allergic people tolerate it better. Also, there are allergy shots available.
    • Besides smelling with their nose, cats can smell with an additional organ called the Jacobson's organ, located in the upper surface of the mouth.
    • Like birds, cats have a homing ability that uses their biological clock, the angle of the sun, and the Earth's magnetic field. A cat taken far from its home can return to it. But if a cat's owners move far from its home, the cat can't find them.
    • A cat can jump even seven times as high as it is tall.
    • America and the UK spend more annually on cat food than on baby food.
    • It has been scientifically proven that owning cats is good for our health and can decrease the occurrence of high blood pressure and other illnesses. Stroking a cat can help to relieve stress, and the feel of a purring cat on your lap conveys a strong sense of security and comfort.

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