Aggressive Cat Behavior – My Inside Edition Interview
How I Would Have Handled Toulouse
Not too long ago, I received an urgent call from the producers of Inside Edition, wanting my opinion about a viral cat video. To be more specific, a video was taken of a “nasty cat” who had trapped his cat/house sitter inside of a bathroom.
Video Courtesy of Inside Edition
If you listen to my advice given on the show, I would hope any reasonably intelligent person would know that what I said was taken out of context, and was part of a much larger conversation and analysis of the situation.
Did I mean to say that the person should just plop down on the floor and make himself vulnerable to an angry cat that may well lash out with teeth and claws? Of course not! That comment was just one part of a series of actions I suggested that would 1) defuse the situation, 2) allow the guy to escape the bathroom unharmed, and 3) make peace with Toulouse so this situation would not happen again.
Here is how I would suggest handling a situation such as this. Remember, as a cat behaviorist, and owner of Just For Cats Pet Sitting, I have been in this situation more than a few times.
1. To get out of the immediate situation of being trapped by a snarling kitty, toss a toy, some treats, anything that will distract the cat’s attention elsewhere. If that does not work, sit or stand quietly until kitty gets the message that you are not a threat. He will eventually walk away.2. Once the kitty walks away from the situation, you need to walk slowly away from the space where he had you trapped. Any sudden movements will get his “fight or flight” instinct going again.3. To win kitty’s trust, don’t try to approach or touch him at all. Sit quietly, read a book or watch television. Let him observe you from a safe vantage point. If he has a cat tree, mostly likely he will be hanging out there to watch what you do.4. Talk softly, read aloud, or sing to get the cat used to your voice and your presence.5. Start to sit on the floor, a good distance from the cat but near enough, and offer him something he cannot resist. Some chicken, a treat, something special that he gets no other time than when you decide to give it. At first you may need to put it down and sit far back before he will come and eat it. But he will slowly get braver and less afraid of you each time, and you may even get a nudge for pets, eventually. You will be slowly gaining his trust.
So, does following these step assure that you and the “Cat from Hell” will become lifelong buddies? Maybe. If this is a cat you’ve recently adopted, that would be the ultimate goal, and there are other methods that would go hand-and-hand with these steps to accomplish establishing a bond. But if you are visiting a friend who has an aggressive cat, or cat sitting for someone who has such a cat, your goal is to be able to be in the same room with this cat, without fear of aggression.
Remember, aggression is usually born of fear. It is highly likely that cats of who act this way, and whom do not have neurological issues, have had trauma in their lives. Usually, these cats will become bonded to only one person, and will continue to feel threatened by others.
I believe that is the case here with Mr. Toulouse.
No situation is impossible; it just takes patience, a willingness to understanding the cat’s point of view, and a calm, thoughtful demeanor to turn an attack cat into an attract cat…
Meow Mix Announces the Year’s Best Internet Cat Moments
Award show season is here and while there are certainly some human actors worthy of purr-aise, I think it’s about time we acknowledge those creatures who know the best way to work a red carpet… is to shed on it!I recently partnered with Meow Mix cat food to recognize the year’s top four-legged performances in The 2016 Cat’s Meow Awards.
That’s right – this year’s most anticipated awards show honors a flurry of furry faces.
Meow Mix brand received more than 25,000 submissions from all over the country for the Cat’s Meow Awards, which was established to celebrate the best cat moments of the year and the one-of-a-kind bond that only cats and humans share.
View clips from The 2016 Cat’s Meow Awards show below:
Best Cat Napper
Best Kitty Hijinks
Wild Cat Card
Con-cat-ulations to the all of the 2016 Cat’s Meow Awards finalists and winners!
But let’s face it, cats couldn’t care less about glory or fame… that’s why Meow Mix brand created a new line of Irresistibles treats so that you can give them the award they’re really looking for. With real meat, a wide variety of flavors, and both soft and crunchy textures, your cat will be sure to thank you in his acceptance speech.
Go to Irresistible Moments and share your cat’s irresistible moment to get a FREE bag and see tons of other cool cat content.
Welcome to the final edition of Morris the Cat’s advice column, revealing need-to-know information on how to release your inner cat and get the best night’s sleep of your life.
As an iconic spokescat and star of over 50 9Lives cat food commercials from the 1970s onward, Morris has a prolific career envied by many of the Internet cat sensations of today. The secret to his longevity? Well, for one, the fact that he eats 9Lives. But more importantly, he has a disciplined sleep regimen – racking up about 140 hours per week!
Morris wants to teach YOU the tricks of the trade and give you all the tools you need, so he’s hosting a giveaway on his Live Well & Prospurr site to win a Morris-shaped plush bed that’s big enough for you AND your cat to snuggle up on.
My cat and I are BFFs. We do everything together – play, eat, snuggle – we make a purrfect team. But in the bedroom, I prefer to have my space. My cat, on the other hand, thinks there’s no better place to sleep than right on my head! Why does she do this? I’m not all that fun when I’m sleeping.
Dear Tired Tails,
You have been bestowed a great honor. As cats, we don’t always wear our hearts on our paws, but one tell-tail sign we love and trust you is when we choose to make YOU our bed. Plus, you’re warm. And getting our warmth from you helps us to conserve our own energy for more important things like eating. The rhythm of your breath also creates a calming effect and the curve of your face, stomach, or legs perfectly forms to our bodies. Basically, you’re like a waterbed, heated blanket, and memory foam all in one! So the next time your cat goes to curl up on you, think of it as a compliment and drift off to sleep knowing you are loved… and you’re very comfortable.
Thank you, Morris the Cat, for your wonderful nighttime tips! See the rest of them HERE. For more info on Morris’ mission to help cats and humans live well – including his initiative to donate one million 9Lives meals to rescue kitties – check out his Live Well & Prospurr website. And while you’re there, enter to win the limited-edition, human-sized Morris the Cat plush bed along with a year’s supply of 9Lives!
Hey readers, I’m back with iconic 9Lives cat food spokescat Morris, giving advice to us lowly humans about how to sleep like a pro, and by that I mean, a cat. After all, they do sleep up to 140 hours a week – that’s 3.5 times your typical 9-5.
To help on your quest to catch more Zzzs, Morris is also giving readers the chance to win a super-cool, human-sized bed in the shape of Morris himself… because who doesn’t sleep better when snuggling up with a cat? Just go to his Live Well & Prospurr website to enter and check out his video with more sleeping tips.
I’m a cat but as you know, even animals have ‘spirit animals.’ Mine is an owl – a night owl to be exact. I love to play “catch the speck of dust” or “chase your tail in the middle of the bed” into the wee hours of the morning. My humans have no idea what they’re missing out on. They just lay there snoring and swat at me when I come too close. How can I make them see that daytime is lame, and the real party happens under stars (the stick-on, glow-in-the-dark kind)?
Dear Hyper Harry,
Sadly, this is a case you may not win. Humans need their sleep at night. You get to spend all day snoozing and they only get a few precious hours when the sun goes down. Your humans can, however, make sure that they understand why it is you’re pouncing about and provide things to make nighttime more fun. For instance, your humans could consider getting a kitty condo or put out bags or boxes for you to explore. For extra credit, they can hide treats around the house so you can go on a midnight scavenger hunt. Or, if you’re really lucky, they’ll bring home a kitty best friend for you to play with whenever you please. Other cats might be up at night because they get hungry, in which case their humans could try an automatic food dispenser to provide small meals throughout the night. Remember, the more you let your humans sleep at night, the more energy they’ll have to play with you during the day!
Thanks for the pawesome nighttime tips, Morris! Read Morris’ first advice column here. Plus, don’t forget to check back for the last installment of “Dear Morris,” and in the meantime, check out his website to see how you can live as well as a cat and enter the giveaway!
Morris the Cat Discusses How to Properly Fall Asleep
If you ask me, there’s one thing in the world that there’s just too little of, and it’s not love. I’m talking about
S-L-E-E-P. I’m always trying to get more of it and make the most out of what little time I do get.
So I had a thought… why not ask someone who’s truly an expert on the subject; someone who spends more time snoozing than most of us spend at work? I’m talking, of course, about Morris the Cat.
For those of you who don’t know him – or who’ve let sleep deprivation cloud your memory – Morris is the iconic spokescat for 9Lives cat food and has starred in over 50 commercials. When he’s not in front of the camera or chowing down on 9Lives, you can bet he’s napping in his trailer, ahem carrying case.
He’s taken time out of his busy schedule to answer some reader questions about the very im-purr-tant issue of sleep. What’s more, he’s offering fans the chance to win a Morris-shaped, human-sized plush bed AND a year’s supply of 9Lives cat food. Just go to his Live Well & Prospurr website to enter.
I’ve been experiencing difficulties with falling asleep, tossing and turning once my head hits the pillow. I don’t get it because I feel tired all day at work; then I come home, brush my teeth, flip on the TV, and just… lie there. I’m hoping I can learn from the expert. Morris, what am I doing wrong?
Sleepless in San Fur-nando
Dear Sleepless in San Fur-nando,
Your case, unfortunately, is not at all uncommon. When you’re going all day long at the speed of a cheetah, it’s no wonder your mind darts around like a red laser dot at bedtime. Luckily, as a cat, I spend up to 140 hours per week sleeping and I can tell you there is hope! For starters, I notice you mentioned turning on the TV before bed. Cats don’t watch TV – this is partly because the majority of us can’t speak English that well, but mostly because it interferes with our snooze time. Scientifically speaking, the ‘glow’ emitted by an electronic screen enters the brain and slows the release of melatonin, the hormone that helps us sleep. So next time you want to turn on the tube before bed, try counting sheep instead – or better yet, mice!
I am so excited to at last have my new website LIVE! I want to thank Charm and her team for creating such a wonderful place for us.
But we aren’t done yet!
Soon there will be even more changes coming, as we add a Members Only section to the site. There I will share even more information about cat behavior with you. There will be content available and written only for members.
And best of all, members will also be able to ask me questions directly and will receive discounts on personal behavior sessions as well.
We’re building a community of loving cat parents, so we can share our challenges and successes together!
Avoid these cat hazards to keep your holidays happy!
The holidays are upon us again, and in all the excitement and rushing around we sometimes forget about our furry companions. Decorations, holiday preparations, and parties might be fun, but they can create dangers and stress for both you and your cat.Please consider the following as you prepare for the festivities, so you and your cat and have a peaceful and happy holiday:
Holiday decorations with glue and glitter may attract your cat, but can cause harm if eaten. Hang those high on your tree or mantle, or better yet avoid them altogether.
If you put up a tree, your cat may decide to try to climb it. Also, watch those low hanging ornaments; noses and tails can knock them over and your cat may get hurt on the broken pieces.
Wrapping your packages with ribbons and string may be irresistible to kitty if she decides to chew on them. These items can get twisted inside your cat’s intestines if swallowed, and that could prove fatal.
Poinsettia plants are among the most toxic of plants for cats and can be fatal if eaten. Skip them if you have a cat, or you may end up with a very sick kitty and a vet bill you didn’t count on.
Be careful using candles! Noses and tails could get burned if your cat decides to get too close!
If you have a party, it might be a good idea to put your cat in a separate room with a cozy bed, his favorite treats, and maybe some soothing music. Put a “do not enter” sign on the door. The sight of a house full of strangers can panic a cat, and all the opening and closing of your front door could also give your cat ample opportunity to escape into the night. One of our clients at Cats 90210 LA Cat Sitting hires us to stay with his kitty and keep her company in a separate room whenever he gives a party.
Also, don’t forget to make time to give your cat playtime and lots of love. In the busyness of the season, it’s easy for your cat to get neglected. Do remember to give your kitty a gift! A special toy or treat will make your kitty feel like she is part of the celebration.
The love she gives you all year long is worth these simple steps to ensure your cat remains a healthy and happy part of your family.