7 Strange Habits My Cat Has When It Comes to Food

Posted August 28th, 2014 by admin

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Cats are quirky. Everybody’s cat has strange habits, and mine is no exception. However, when it comes to Furball, he has an exceptional number of eccentricities related to eating. I could list dozens, but here are seven of his quirkiest. Does your cat share any of these oddball behaviors, too?

1. He waits by his food bowl for at least an hour before mealtime

Furball is obsessed with food so we have to use a timed feeder to dispense his meals. Otherwise, he’ll wake us up multiple times in the night demanding to be fed. Once we started using a timer, this unwelcome behavior went away.

Furball waits patiently for mealtime

However, now instead of waiting outside the bedroom door, Furball will patiently sit on the chair next to his feeder waiting for the timer to go off and food to come out. He’s like a dog waiting at the door for his master to come home. My cat never waits for me to come home — he just waits for his food.

2. He scrapes the floor around his food bowl

Sometimes, Furball will scrape the floor around his food bowl in a motion similar to digging in his litter box. Occasionally, he’ll even stick his paw in the bowl and drag it across the floor. I have no idea why he does this.

I’ll take a look to see if his bowl is jammed in the corner, but it’s in the exact place where it always is. I’ll check to see if he’s gathering up food scraps, but the floor is perfectly clean. It’s just a weird thing he does that I’m sure makes perfect sense to a cat. As a human being, I’m completely perplexed.

3. He eats so fast that he makes himself vomit

My cat has eaten so fast that he’s vomited. Even though he gets many meals throughout the day, he’ll act like he hasn’t had a scrap of food in weeks. He’ll gobble everything down so quickly that he triggers a gag reflex. Then I’ll hear a strained little meow and it’s barf-time. The gross thing is that he’ll throw up, pause for a second and then keep eating.

4. He goes crazy for dried seaweed

My cat is like a snapping turtle when it comes to seaweed. It’s one of his favorite things to eat. As soon as he hears the slightest crinkle of the seaweed wrapper, he’ll bolt into the kitchen and meow loudly.

Cat sniffing a maki roll by Shutterstock

I learned from experience that I have to rip the seaweed into long rectangular strips to feed him. Once, I held a short square out and he snapped at the seaweed like a famished piranha with complete disregard for my fingers. The long strip gives me an extra second to get my fingers out of the way.

5. He loves getting groomed while he eats

The only time I can brush my cat is when he’s eating. At first, I thought this was because he was too preoccupied with eating to swat at the brush. But now I think he simply loves to be brushed while he eats.

He’ll be chowing down his food, and as soon as I bring out the purple brush, he’ll start purring in the middle of his meal. Furball’s tail will do that happy shake that cats do and he’ll keep eating and purring while I brush him. As soon as the food is done, he’ll try to attack the brush.

6. He licks the empty bowl hours later

Every once in a while, I’ll hear a strange little scraping noise that sounds like a mouse jiggling a miniature key in a tiny door lock. Because we have a cat, we obviously don’t have mice, and the last time I looked, there were no miniature doors in our home, either.

The first time I heard this sound coming from the kitchen, I immediately had to investigate. I discovered Furball busily licking away at his empty food bowl. The strange noise was the sound of his tongue scraping against the metal bowl. There wasn’t a trace of food as he had eaten everything hours earlier. He was just licking his bowl as if to enjoy the last molecules of scent from the food. He licked the bowl so clean that it was shiny.

7. He eats nonstop

Who said that cats know to stop eating when they’re full? Before I adopted Furball, I read that you could leave the food in a bowl and cats would graze on it throughout the day. Not my cat! 

Cat eating food by Shutterstock

No matter how much food is in his bowl or how much he’s already eaten, Furball will eat everything. Then about 20 minutes later, he’ll come back for more. We feed him high-quality nutrient-dense food, but it doesn’t seem to matter. Furball just eats and eats.

He got pretty hefty for a time, so now we have him on a diet and we ignore the incessant meowing that precedes the multiple meals he gets throughout the day. Furball definitely has his quirks and most of them seem to be centered on food.

That’s okay by me. I love him just the way he is.

Does your cat do strange things when it comes to food? Share them in the comments!

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About Holly Tse: Holly Tse is a green cat expert, author of Make Your Own Cat Toys, and the creator of Green Little Cat, a blog on eco-friendly living for cats and cat lovers. Practicing Taoist and Dragon Spirit Guide who has experienced more than nine past lives and can bend reality at will. Totally into alternative healing, but her Achilles’ heel is reality TV cooking shows. As a Canadian expat, she uses an American spell checker for her Catster articles.

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    TOKYO – Hello Kitty is not a cat, the company behind Japan’s global icon of cute insisted Thursday, despite an uproar from Internet users who spluttered: “But she’s got whiskers!”

    Hello Kitty

    Credit: SomeDriftwood/Flickr

    The moon-faced creation that adorns everything from pencil cases to pyjamas the world over is, in fact, human.

    “Hello Kitty is a cheerful and happy little girl with a heart of gold,” brand owner Sanrio says on its website.

    The shocking revelation came to light when a Hawaii-based academic specialising in the epitome of “kawaii” (“cute” in Japanese) asked Sanrio to fact-check captions for an exhibition she was curating to mark the 40th anniversary of Hello Kitty.

    Christine Yano, an anthropologist from the University of Hawaii, told the Los Angeles Times that she “was corrected — very firmly” by Sanrio that Kitty was not a cat.

    “That’s one correction Sanrio made for my script for the show,” the paper quoted her as saying.

    “Hello Kitty is not a cat. She’s a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She’s never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature.”

    And indeed, an AFP enquiry as to the status — feline or otherwise — of one of Japan’s most famous exports confirmed her non-cat identity.

    “It is a 100-percent personified character,” a Sanrio spokesman told AFP in Tokyo. “The design takes the motif of a cat, but there is no element of a cat in Hello Kitty’s setting.”

    - Agog at the news -

    Her real name is Kitty White, he explained, and she was born in southern England on November 1, 1974. She is a Scorpio and blood type A.

    She has a twin sister, Minny White, and lives in an unnamed suburb of London with father George and mother Mary, according to her profile on the web.

    Despite her whiskers and pointy ears, just like the rest of her family, Kitty has her own pet — a “real” cat named Charmmy Kitty.

    Her life story has always been there, the spokesman said, adding the personification is meant to make her fans feel closer to the character “as a friend”.

    Web users were agog at the news.

    “Hello Kitty is not actually a cat. MIND BLOWN”, tweeted @killedbydying.

    “‘Sanrio confirms that Hello Kitty is NOT a cat.’ One of the many reasons why I have trust issues”, wrote @eisakuivan.

    “So Hello Kitty isn’t a cat? Everything I know is a lie,” said @nymbc.

    Asked about the worldwide reaction to the shock revelation that Hello Kitty is not a cat, the Sanrio spokesman offered: “I don’t think anyone in Japan found it surprising.”

    “There is an explanation we have made the whole time, and I think that’s how people have understood it.”

    A straw poll of Japanese people within the AFP Tokyo bureau found that not to be the case, however.

    The Sanrio spokesman explained that Kitty and her family were given no specific nationality but were designed to be living in Britain, because many girls in Japan had strong admiration for the Western lifestyle in the 1970s.

    Ever since the mouthless white character first appeared in 1974 on a coin purse in Japan, she has graced tens of thousands of products, from handbags to aircraft, in some 130 countries.

    But just remember: she’s not a cat.

    MORE ON PAWNATION: Herd Mentality: ‘Sheepdog Mystery’ Solved at Last

     

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      How to Introduce a Baby to a Cat

      Posted August 26th, 2014 by admin

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      Dear Kitten,” a viral video making the Internet rounds, features an older, wiser cat begrudgingly teaching the new kitten the ways of the world. Hilarious and oddly believable, some of the video is spot on, including how the “human larva … can be a bit grabby.” Although I don’t tend to refer to my child as a “human larva,” she IS a bit grabby, especially with kitty cat tails. Here’s what we’re doing to curb this behavior before it becomes a bad habit.

      “If you tell any more of my secrets on the Internet, I might forget about the ‘soft paws’ rule.”

      When Toby was a kitten, I taught him “soft paws,” a trick I picked up from Pam Johnson-Bennett, CCBC, the star of Psycho Kitty. Kittens are curious, playful creatures, and your moving fingers, toes, and legs are all major targets. When a kitten grabs you with their claws, lean in to their grasp. Prey pulls away, so if you pull away, you’re continuing the “game.” When you lean in, kitty gets bored and eventually learns not to grab you with claws. Clearly, this only works with consistency and much repetition, but it’s super important for your cat to know that grabbing you with claws is NOT acceptable. Your appendages and your guests will thank you.

      People are amazed when they pet Toby and find out he has all of his claws…and yet they remain unscathed. Toby, Master of the Soft Paws!

      So what do soft paws have to do with babies? Everything! Babies are much like kittens –- curious, playful, and eager to explore the world. Kitty fur is soft and that twitching tail is so tempting to grab! Babies first learn to grab things with a “raking grasp,” meaning they curl their fingers inward and pull the object towards them. Later, they learn to pinch things between their fingers to hold them, but both of these methods equals grabby and uncomfortable for a cat.

      They’re just adorable together.

      When we have kitty/baby play time, I carefully monitor their interactions. When Willow Bean reaches for Toby, I encourage her to pet him gently. As soon as I see those little fingers beginning to bury themselves in fur for a good handhold, I open her palm and stroke Toby’s fur with it. I tell her, “Open palm, gentle touch, happy kitty.” I then take my own hand and gently rub Toby’s head, behind his ears, and along his back as she watches me. When she goes for that irresistible twitchy tail, I move her hand and tell her “no,” then place her open palm back on Toby’s side, and we repeat the open-handed petting, all the while praising them both for their patience and good behavior.

      She’s only six months old, so you might think me silly for trying to teach her how to be gentle with animals so early, but I believe that a good foundation starts from day one. Some people think it’s cute when they see children hauling their pet kitties around by the neck, pulling their tails, or tugging at their ears, but I think it’s setting the children and the cats up for failure. Even the mildest-tempered cat may strike out with claws (or teeth!) if they are harassed enough or hurt, and that means that cat may end up in a shelter or much worse.

      Toby says, “Raise ‘em right, raise ‘em to love cats!”

      Remember, our children are the pet owners and advocates of the future. When we teach them love and respect from an early age, they hold those values within themselves for life. An added bonus? They’ll have a wonderful relationship with their childhood cat, making some precious memories for the future.

      Have you ever had a baby and a kitty at the same time? How did they interact? Let us know in the comments. 

      Read more about cats and babies:

      About Meghan Lodge:: Fits the Aquarius definition to a fault, loves animals, and is always pushing for change. Loves ink, whether it’s in tattoos, books, or writing on that pretty sheet of blank paper. Proud parent of Toby (cat) and Axle (dog). I’m a former quiet nerd who’s turned bubbly animal-obsessed advocate.

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        ‘Pig Perfume’ Stops Dogs From Behaving Badly

        Posted August 26th, 2014 by admin

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        Spritzing dogs with a “pig perfume” helps prevent them from barking incessantly, jumping frantically on house guests and from engaging in other unwanted behaviors, according to new research.

        Ingram Publishing

        Credit: Thinkstock

        The eau de oink, aka “Boar Mate” or “Stop That,” was formulated by Texas Tech scientist John McGlone, who was looking for a way to curb his Cairn terrier Toto’s non-stop barking. One spritz of the pig perfume seemed to do the trick in an instant without harming his dog.

        RELATED: 10 Best Sniffers in the Animal Kingdom

        “It was completely serendipitous,” McGlone, who works in the university’s Animal and Food Sciences department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, said in a press release. “One of the most difficult problems is that dogs bark a lot, and it’s one of the top reasons they are given back to shelters or pounds.”

        The key ingredient is androstenone, a steroid and pheromone produced by male pigs and released in their saliva and fat. When detected by female pigs in heat, they seem to find the male more attractive. (The females assume a mating stance.) One can imagine that dogs spritzed with the scent should not hang around amorous female pigs, but other than that, the product seems to work, according to McGlone.

        Androstenone smells pungent and is not very appealing to humans, but it can have an effect on mammal behavior, he said.

        VIDEO: Dogs Have Feelings, Too

        He and his colleagues tested the product on four different groups of barking dogs in separate kennels. The researchers were looking at not only the possible effectiveness of the key ingredient, but also if the spritzing itself (sound and liquid around face) dumbfounded the dogs.

        For the study, the first group of dogs simply had a person with another dog stand in front of the kennels. The second group of dogs was sprayed with a placebo that made a startling spritz noise. The third group of dogs was sprayed with the noise and a lower concentration of androstenone in isopropyl alcohol. The fourth group was sprayed with a higher concentration of androstenone in isopropyl alcohol that also made the spritz sound.

        In the first group, 25 percent (3 out of 12 dogs) stopped barking. In the second group, 44 percent (4 of 9 dogs) stopped barking. In the third group, sprayed with the lower concentration of the pheromone, 78 percent (7 of 9 dogs) stopped barking. In the fourth group, sprayed with the higher concentration of androstenone, 100 percent (6 of 6 dogs) stopped barking.

        “We sprayed it in their nose or toward their head while they were barking…barking and jumping, running back and forth,” McGlone said. “This whole behavior stopped. You could almost see them thinking, ‘What was that?’”

        The good news is that the product had no impact on the heart rate/cardio function of the dogs, which was the main side effect that they were worried about. Androstenone, in addition to being a pheromone in pigs, appears to also be an intermone, which refers to a product that is, McGlone explained, a “pheromone in one species and has a behavioral effect in another species, but we do not know if it is a pheromone (naturally produced) in the other species.”

        RELATED: Dogs Likely Born with Canine Telepathy

        He indicated that the product stops cats in their tracks too.

        McGlone, though, quickly added, “It’s best used as a training tool rather than a circus act to stop animals from doing what they’re doing.”

        He’s now testing pheromones released by dogs, cats, pigs and horses to see if any might be useful in commercial products. Other researchers continue to look at human pheromones as well, hoping to create the perfect Love Potion #9 and other hopefully beneficial formulations.

        MORE ON PAWNATION: Lauren Bacall Leaves $10K for Dog’s Care

         

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          Hi Einstein,

          I’ve been feeling like something the cat dragged in. I’m hot and my legs ache. When my human feels like this, he goes to the magic cabinet and he feels better soon. Sometimes he gives those orange baby aspirin to the dog when Fideaux’s joints hurt. Is there something behind door No. 2 that can help me?

          –Prozac the Persian

          “I feel crappy. What’s in the first aid kit?” Senior cat portrait by Shutterstock.

          Keep calm, Prozac,

          It’s a supremely bad idea for you to take humans’ medicine without a vet’s okey-dokey. The possible causes of fever and painful joints are legion. Better to go to the vet so she can treat the real reason, not just the symptoms.

          We kitties are made very different from humans, and even dogs. So many foods and medications that are safe for dogs and toddlers can have us pushing up the catnip. (For example, dogs and kids can eat lilies and get an upset stomach, but if we kitties nibble on lilies, without quick treatment, we end up in the bottom of a hole.) Human meds should only be given to a kitty when your vet says it’s okay. 

          Even if you and the family dog take the same medications, they will have different doses because dogs come in different sizes, you have different medical histories, and pooches and pusses metabolize chemicals differently. Human instruction labels don’t apply to us because we kitties are so much smaller than kids and we process drugs more slowly; daily doses of medicine for a 10-pound baby still might be an overdose for us. What’s good for the grade-schooler and the Greyhound may not be good for the Javanese.

          Your cat might easily mistake these for edible treats. Pills poured out of the bottle intended for pets by Shutterstock

          Dr. Catherine Adams of the Pet Poison Helpline says we kitties don’t typically break into medicine bottles like dumb dogs do. (Not a direct quote. She didn’t call dogs simpleminded; I did.) Leaving sleep aids or anti-anxiety pills out on the nightstand can end in disaster because they look and act like cat toys. Humans need to make sure they don’t accidentally poison their kitties by letting us lick medicated creams off their skin. Dr. Adams says therapeutic creams may have “a low margin of safety.” Who’d have thought a little love taste could send you to the emergency clinic?

          12 over-the-counter and prescription drugs that can quickly ruin a kitty’s day

          If your human suspects you may have ingested any poison, he should call either of these 24/7 animal poison control hotlines, then take you to the vet immediately: Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680) or ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435). These aren’t free calls, but you’re worth it. 

          • Acetaminophen (Tylenol), a non-aspirin pain reliever that is highly toxic to cats. Even the tiniest dose can be deadly. Drug companies put acetaminophen in all kinds of bipedal cold, headache, and arthritis medications. Acetaminophen not only damages the feline liver, but it also destroys red blood cells. If your human gives you acetaminophen you may experience salivating, brownish/gray-colored gums, labored breathing, a racing heart, swelling in the face or paws, no appetite, diarrhea, low body temp, puking, jaundice (which your human can see in the yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes), coma and even dropping over dead.
          • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), another popular human analgesic. It causes stomach ulcers and kidney failure. 
          • 5-fluorouracil (5-FU, Adrucil, Efudex [topical]), a nasty chemotherapy ointment. When we lick it off of our human’s arm, says Dr. Adams, it causes gastrointestinal concerns, neurologic symptoms and bone marrow suppression. 
          • Medicated creams of any kind (including Vitamin D creams) can cause a variety of serious to deadly effects. You shouldn’t lick your human if he’s using medicated lotions.
          • Venlafaxine (Effexor), a human antidepressant. Most human medications we avoid like a flea bath, but we kitties love to eat venlafaxine, says Dr. Adams. Yum. Humans should keep a close eye on their venlafaxine stash and not leave these capsules on the counters. It can cause agitation, vocalization, tremors and seizures.

          • Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), which is found in many OTC products like Kaopectate and Pepto-Bismol and also in medicated creams. It causes drooling, dehydration, puking, and a staggering gait. It can affect the bone marrow and liver. Internal bleeding is common.
          • Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), an over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory. Even small doses can cause stomach ulcers and kidney failure.
          • Alprazolam (Xanax), a prescription anti-anxiety/sleep aid. Humans often leave them on the nightstand so they remember to take them. It can cause a blood pressure drop, weakness or collapse.
          • Adderall, which is prescribed for hyperactive kids, causes elevated heart rate and body temperature, along with hyperactivity, tremors and seizures.
          • Zolpidem (Ambien), a human sleep aid and another nightstand no-no. We kitties get wobbly and sleepy or become very agitated with a rapid heartbeat.
          • Clonazepam (Klonopin) is prescribed as an anticonvulsant, anti-anxiety med and as a sleep aid. Once again, when kitties ingest clonazepam they can become sleepy and wobbly. It can lower the blood pressure, leading to weakness or collapse.
          • Duloxetine (Cymbalta), a antidepressant/anti-anxiety med. It can cause agitation, vocalization, tremors and seizures.

          Let's hope your human now keeps medications like these locked away in a high cabinet, and make sure he has these important phone numbers on hand: Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680) and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435).

          Read related stories on Catster:

          Got a question for he who knows everything feline? Just Ask Einstein in the comments below and you might be featured in an upcoming column. (Letters don't have to be written from the cat's point of view.) Remember, any change in your cat's behavior or activities could be a symptom of disease and should be investigated by your vet, even if it unfortunately involves glass tubes and cat posteriors.

          Einstein’s assistant, Dusty Rainbolt ACCBC, is the vice president of the Cat Writers’ Association, editor-in-chief of AdoptAShelter.com and a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She’s the award-winning author of eight fiction and non-fiction books including her most recent paranormal mystery, Death Under the Crescent Moon. 

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            Black Cat Interrupts Barcelona Soccer Game

            Posted August 26th, 2014 by admin

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            It’s always annoying when a match is stopped by spectators running onto the field. However, when a cat is causing the ruckus, it’s hilarious. A black feline ran onto the field at the Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona during the opener between La Liga and Elche. The rambunctious kitty romped around before finally being caught.


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            Sleeping Cat Doesn’t Appreciate Wake-Up Call

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            Kitten Has Epic Battle With Ceramic Cat Figurine

             

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