The Catification Lady: The Best Cat Advice
One crazy cat lady explores the depths
of Cat Behavior, Catification, and Environment Enrichment.
Over the years I've run across some
great advice involving cat behavior that has been very helpful. Two
particular bits of advice have been especially good.
The first involves Cat Kisses, or the
Slow Cat Blink. Cat Behavioralist Jackson Galaxy has shown the
technique on his Animal Planet show, My Cat From Hell, but I
ran across this trick years before as a shelter volunteer.
What you do is stare a cat in the eyes
and SLOWLY blink allowing a couple seconds between blinks. Most cats
will blink back or soften their eyes eventually. That's really all
there is to it. It helps you gain a connection with that kitty. And
yes, it really works! At least on the lion's share of kitties.
This is especially helpful in a shelter
situation where you need to be able to connect quickly with a cat or calm an anxious kitty down,
but I also use the technique on my kitties at home. If you've never
done this with your cat, give it a try. You might be surprised at the
The second awesome piece of advice
involves cats that don't get along.
There's nothing like the horrible sound
of cats fighting or seeing two cats you love attacking each other to
destroy harmony in the house. I should know. I have two cats who are
not fans of each other. George is my charming old long haired boy,
about 10-years-old, and Ziggy is my rambunctious three-year-old who
believes he owns every surface that can be sat upon, including any
that George has tried to claim. Ziggy (the black cat) and George (black and white) are pictured at the right.
Things have calmed down dramatically,
partially due to incorporating techniques I learned from Jackson
Galaxy and other cat behavioralists, and partially because Ziggy's
gotten older and settled down a bit.
Over the years I've studied the problem
and know that most cat fights are over territory. So one thing that
can help with the problem is to adjust the territory.
I got this piece of advice from Jackson
Galaxy during a conference call with Carol's Ferals after they won
our $1,000 Catification Shelter Makeover giveaway. The discussion was
about the space we were going to supply cat furniture for and about
cats that didn't get along. Cat fights can be a big problem when
shelters have free-roaming community cat rooms.
Jackson's suggestion was to take
masking or painter's tape and put an X on the floor in the spot a cat
fight initiated. So every time there was a fight, an X goes on the
floor. After a week you can easily see where the biggest problems
are. Here's a picture of Carol's Ferals main adult cat room after
they tried this technique and put blue Xs on the floor.
The suspicion in their case was that
perhaps this had to do with the food set up at the time.
So what to do? If your problem is a
food set up, perhaps create more than one feeding area. If there are
less obvious reasons, try putting a chair or cat tree in the area to
see if that changes the flow of the space. If you have a narrow
hallway, perhaps putting up some shelves or a doing something
temporary to adjust the layout of the trouble spot. Temporary
placement of a box, chair or cat tree can disrupt the behavior, and then you can slowly, by a few inches a day, move the temporary box or tree to a more acceptable position.
After you adjust the space, again put
the Xs on the floor when fights happen for a few days and see if there's been any
This visual gives you an excellent
picture of problem areas. Once those are identified, making an
adjustment in the environment can be a minor, and often temporary,
price to pay to reclaim that harmony for both you and your kitties.
Have you gotten any great pieces of Cat
Advice? Let us know and we'll make it the subject of a future blog
Great advice! I heard about slow blink a while ago and love blinking with my cats. Two of them don't get along so I will be trying X marks the trouble spot over the next few weeks :)