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Totally Off topic but - Cats

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21. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 10y

My cat will tell me off if lm late home from work - she sits and waits for me in the window! She doesnt make a fuss though if lm in the shower though! But when l vacum or use the hairdryer she cowers and scurries away. I dont know why she is so nervous of these - lve had her since she was a kitten and know that she didnt have a bad experience with them! (I dont vacum that much either!!)

22. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

Quoting summer910

Another thing... does your cat kick up a yowling fuss if you have to go to the bathroom for a shower?

No, but Harry has occassional bouts of howling/whining at 2:00am. (Ask Phil and CC about the "Shut up, Harry!!" being yelled from across the hall.) Wafe is making a fuss because you have excluded him from an activity in a room where he's allowed to be. You have closed the door and are not giving him attention. Is it "his" bathroom? If so, that's another strike against you for keeping him out of a room he considers personal territory. He's being ignored and telling you so. It's hard to break the habit once it has started. Do you give him attention (holding, petting, etc.) immediately upon leaving the bathroom, or letting him in while drying your hair? That's a reward. He's now got your attention and just been rewarded for bad behavior. Do you talk/yell at him through the door to be quiet? If so, he's got you again - you gave him attention. Do not acknowledge his meowing while you have the door closed. Do not allow him in as soon as you are finished. When you exit the room, ignore him for 10-15 minutes (every time you shower). This should help get the point across that his behavior is unacceptable and has not gotten him the affection he was seeking. It may take awhile, but he should stop when he's not getting gratification. (Harry took about 3 months to get the idea - he's not the brightest bulb... He does try it very infrequently these days but gives up quickly.)

Also, he'll bite my legs. I know he's playful, but is there any way to stop him from doing that?

Yes, but you will probably not like it any more than ignoring him in the shower scenario. Again, this is a tactic for attention and most common in cats that don't get quite enough exercise or consider you their equal. As it stands, Wafe does not recognize you as the "alpha female" in your relationship. You are his equal and a play toy. (Just the nature of a cat.) Have you given him toys to play with, such as balls to chase after, plushy things to toss up in the air, etc? If so, then he should get enough exercise if he's playing with them. You need to re-establish that you are in charge. When he "attacks" your ankles, give a loud shreik (as if you were scared by something) - then follow it with a very stern "NO!". Proceed to ignore him for about 10 minutes. The shreik will catch him off guard and stop the playful attack. No will mean no. Ignoring him afterward re-inforces the "no gratification for unacceptable behavior". As above, this will take a bit for him to understand, but he'll catch on.

These things don't mean you can't give Wafe tons of affection but he does need to learn that you are in charge. That when you say no, you mean no. When trying to change a behavior, you have to stick with it - not do it one day, then skip a few. It won't work. You both will be happier when the rules are in place.

23. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

Quoting Purdy

But when l vacum or use the hairdryer she cowers and scurries away. I dont know why she is so nervous of these - lve had her since she was a kitten and know that she didnt have a bad experience with them! (I dont vacum that much either!!)

Purdy's response to the vacuum and the hairdryer are not uncommon ones. Sometimes the response is brought on by a bad experience, but more often, it is the noise of the motor that is the culprit. Cats can hear sounds as high-pitched as 65,000 Hz (65 kHz), where humans top out at about 20 kHz. It's the high-pitched noise (that we can't hear) given off while the motor is running that irritates them. It may actually be a bit painful, but that has not been established at this time. Cats are also more sensitive to sound amplitudes. Their ears are designed to "catch" sound (like scurrying mice) so that appliance is much louder for them than for us. Cats tend to become more "sensitive" to sound as the reach adulthood. A kitten's hearing is not as developed and they may not respond to the vacuum cleaner. A cat's (outer) ears are one of the fasted growing organs, becoming full-sized by 4-5 months of age. It's the workings of the inner ear that develop a tad more slowly. (Notice how kittens always seem to have those giant ears?)

24. Posted by summer910 (Respected Member 1342 posts) 10y

Purdy, my kitty has the same problem with vacuum cleaners as well. He doesn't like it at all and runs to hide under the bed or in a secluded spot, until the cleaning is all over.

As for the bathroom thingie, Isa, I don't always pet him after I come out from the bathroom (but he'll be waiting for me sometimes). He doesn't go to the bathroom unless I bring him there to do his business. When the door closes for my shower and he starts yowling, I start yowling along with him. Sorta like a "you sing, I sing as well" session, until my dad tells him to shut up. When I come out, he doesn't go to the bathroom, but is either waiting for me nearby or has gone off to play elsewhere. But I'll try your method and see how he reacts to that.

Wafe does understand when I do the stern "No!" and a spot of ignoring (for example, when I don't want him entering rooms he shouldn't be entering). He also has a ball he chases when he feels like it, and he does these mad dashes around the house. Sometimes we play tag and I chase him for a bit. Just that he doesn't quite get the "No biting ankle/leg" bit. I'll be firmer and see how he reacts. I suppose I'm not very good at showing I'm in charge. I always think that I should just let him be a cat and not try to restrict him too much.

25. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

Ah, I see - you have the entertainment thing going with him. You both sing. I thought you meant he did it every time you showered. Instead the two of you are playing a game - until your dad has had enough of it... I misunderstood - thinking you had a bigger problem than that. ;)

As far as the nipping at your ankles is concerned - that's not a good behavior pattern. And it is one that really should be addressed. Luckily, he doesn't have his front claws or it could be worse. This is one situation where letting him just be a cat isn't a solution. You have to be in control.

Cats are a matriarchal society. Each group will have a dominant female - whether it's lions or house cats. The males are there for sex. If you watch them interact, the alpha female will discipline the others with a swat to the top of the head. She keeps everyone in the group under control.
In Wafe's case, you are the alpha female - but he has learned he doesn't need to listen to you because the discipline isn't continually consistent. Making him obey you is not restricting him too much - it's making him play by your rules - just as the female cat does with her subordinates. The pecking order in a colony is a form of rules. Cross the line and a swat is forthcoming. You can choose how you discipline him, but it needs to be consistent.

If you can find it at the video store - I recommend watching a National Geographic special Cats - Caressing the Tiger (1994). It compares domestic cats to lions and how similar they are. It's excellent and does explain the alpha female role.

26. Posted by beerman (Respected Member 1631 posts) 10y

Quoting Isadora

Cats are a matriarchal society. Each group will have a dominant female - whether it's lions or house cats. The males are there for sex.

Is life good, or what? Don't forget, the females hunt (shop) too......aahhhhhhhh.......

Beerman runs under nearest couch, just in case.....

27. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

Quoting beerman

Quoting Isadora

Cats are a matriarchal society. Each group will have a dominant female - whether it's lions or house cats. The males are there for sex.

Is life good, or what? Don't forget, the females hunt (shop) too......aahhhhhhhh.......

Beerman runs under nearest couch, just in case.....

Oh, there's a comeback comment just ripe for the picking - but I will refrain - for now...

28. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 10y

All cats need to be baked and eaten.

29. Posted by beerman (Respected Member 1631 posts) 10y

Quoting james

All cats need to be baked and eaten.

See? Just goes to show how crude some men can be.......for best results, marinate with beer and onions, then grill over a medium fire, whilst drinking the rest of the six-pack......

30. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 10y

Quoting beerman

Quoting james

All cats need to be baked and eaten.

See? Just goes to show how crude some men can be.......for best results, marinate with beer and onions, then grill over a medium fire, whilst drinking the rest of the six-pack......

Oh beerman you will suffer for that comment!!!!!!!!!