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October 20, 2017

Cat Byte: Choose the Right Scratching Posts

04.08.12 When searching for perfect scratching posts for your cat, look for scratchers with solid bases that won’t fall over in the middle of a scratching session. Also, because cats love to stretch while scratching, find posts that are tall enough for the cat to have a satisfying full-length stretch.

Communication Cat Tip: Whisker Watch

03.05.12 Whiskers are part of a cat’s communication system. When cats are relaxed, the whiskers usually are forward. Flattened and pulled back whiskers indicate defensiveness and aggression.

Functional Cat Tip: Sensitive Whiskers

01.30.12 Whiskers are like fingers. They contain a blood supply and nerves. Whiskers help cats navigate—sensing changes in air currents helping cats navigate around objects. They also help cats hunt—little fingers outlining the prey—helping to determine where to bite.

One Month + of Cat Behavior Bits and Still Byting

I am giving myself a virtual pat on the back for continuing to write my semi-new feature, Cat Bits & Bytes, on my home page every Tuesday. I have imposed my own rules for my Cat Bytes. My rules have made my Cat Bytes both fun to write and at times turns them into a challenging game. Rule number one is obvious. Cat Bits & Bytes have to contain information that focuses mainly on cats. No surprises there. The second rule is that they are understandable, as well as informative. Rule number three is more challenging—Cat Bits & Bytes can’t be more than four lines long. I broke rule number three in this week’s Halloween Fryte Byte. Its five lines long though the last line is only one word. Rule number three can be a challenge since I can be a bit expansive in my descriptions. Rule number three forces me to simplify. Some of the bytes take lots of rewrites, until they are the obligatory length, informative and hopefully understandable. Rule number four takes the Bytes to a different game level—word and letter play. Whenever possible I play with words in the title. Halloween Fryte Byte, my Byte for this week is a good example of word and letter play. I had fun with that one. You can read it on my home page. All of the Cat Bytes, to date, can be read on the Cat Behavior Bits & Bytes page.

Sunny Seat Review

It’s been one year… since I’ve blogged. It’s about time I wrote an entry or two…

I was asked to review a product and then blog about it. I haven’t reviewed many cat products, but thought this could be fun to do. After all, I am living with the perfect product testers.

The product is the Sunny Seat. It’s a cat shelf that attaches to a window with suction cups. The product is advertised through a TV Infomercial.

Since I am always looking for vertical territory solutions for my cat behavior consultation clients, I thought that this could be an interesting product to review. If it is a product that withstands the maulings and use from my product testers, then it is a product that would be listed on the product pages I give my clients. I was very honest with the Sunny Seat people. What I find, I will post. Also, since years ago I worked as a Human Factors Engineer for a large networking company, I am no stranger to product testing and testing for usability.

First, meet the product testers:

Product Tester 1: Sudan. Sudan is a 23 pound Savannah male cat. He’s very active and enjoys jumping and exploring, was once observed jumping up to a shelf 7 feet above the floor.

Product Tester 2: Jinniyha. Jinniyha is an acrobatic 13 pound melanistic Bengal. She is flexible and agile, loves performing acrobatic feats. The higher up the better. I swear I once saw her hang upside down by her tail from the top of an 8’ high shelf.

Product Tester 3: Maulee. Maulee is an 18 year young Bengal who loves actively climbing and then napping.

My 3 Product Testers are ready for the challenge…
Product Testers 1 & 2

Product Tester#1: Sudan Krieger Product Tester #2: Jinniyha Krieger

Product Tester #3

Product Tester #3: Maulee Krieger

KGO Radio Interview

I am going to be back on KGO Radio, on the Ronn Owens Show Friday, February 13that 11:00 AM PT. Anyway… I think I am. Ronn’s web site says he is going to be interviewing Jimmy Carter on “Friday February 12” at 11:00. I am assuming he meant to write Thursday…  So… with any luck and with a typo correction, I will be giving cat behavior tips, answering questions from the listening audience and having fun talking with Ronn Owens on Friday the 13th. You can hear the interview live either on AM 810, or on the KGO Radio web site by clicking on the listen live button on the right. Since this is a live talk program, please call the program and ask your cat behavior questions.

The call in numbers are listed on the call in number page on the KGO site.

I promise I will write an entry for the blog soon. I have a couple of deadlines that I’m working hard to meet.

Just Say No to Laser Pointers

Many of you know that I’m dead set against using laser pointers to play with cats. Besides the potential harm from accidentally shining it in a cat’s eyes, laser pointer play is frustrating and unproductive for a cat.  In other words… laser pointers drive cats’ nuts.

Play is an extension of hunting. Play helps cats practice their essential hunting skills. Kittens learn the fine art of hunting through play. Part of the process of play and hunting is the final reward of capturing the prey. The capture is a very important component of play and of the hunt. Cats love the feel of freshly caught prey or a toy under their paws.

Laser pointers can never provide that quintessential feeling of satisfaction that comes with the capture. Instead cats become frustrated and drive themselves crazy trying to catch the elusive laser dot. No matter how hard they try, they will never catch it.

People argue that their cats love chasing the ever-elusive dot. Indeed, cats do love the chase, but the pleasure of the chase is quickly replaced with frustration and anxiety since they can never have the satisfaction of capturing their prey.