Cat Project Archives for December
7, 2015 - "By associating with the cat, one only risks
becoming richer." - Colette
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Winter, do your worst."
Mewvie: New legs for Vincent.
Enhancement for Cat Owners.
By Leanne Italie
Taking on a cat is one thing. Catifying your home to rise to true Cat
Person status is another.
Choosing just the right gear and tweaking your home can keep felines
safe, sane and stimulated, said Kate Benjamin, a "cat style expert" who
has appeared on Animal Planet's "My Cat From Hell."
She has teamed with the show's host, cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy,
on a new DIY-focused book, "Catify to Satisfy." It's a follow-up
to their 2014 best-seller, "Catification," with both offering
tips from cat owners on what they've accomplished with home enhancements.
Most human-cat relationships can be improved by clearing up one basic
misunderstanding, Galaxy said in a recent interview from Los Angeles:
"Cats are not dogs. Cats care not at all about pleasing you. That's not
why they're here. You have to get your ego out of the way when it comes to having
a good relationship with a cat. You have to compromise to live successfully with
Benjamin writes a "Catification" column at JacksonGalaxy.com
on cat design and sells a line of her own cat products at her site, Hauspanther.com.
She and her fiance live with 11 cats in a condo of about 1,100 square
feet, plus a large enclosed "catio," in Phoenix. Two more cats
live in her design studio.
Some terms and ideas for a cat-friendly home:
BASE CAMP; CAVING VS. COCOONING
Caving is the thing cats do when looking to hide deeply away out of fear.
Cocooning is when they go to a movable, semi-enclosed haven to help bring
their stress level down.
Benjamin and Galaxy advocate creating a "base camp" for a new
cat, meaning a defined room or space where territory can be established.
Potential caving areas, such as under a bed or at the top of a closet,
should be blocked off.
A cocoon can be anything from a paper bag to a cardboard box to a cat
carrier. It should slowly be moved out of base camp as socialization
"Catification is a lot of DIY," Benjamin says. "You don't have
to buy anything. You can look at what you already have and do a little rearranging."
The time it takes to move beyond base camp varies. You should be able
to tell when a cat is ready by body language and behavior.
OBSERVE, OBSERVE, OBSERVE
Before you make changes to your home, understand basic behaviors. Start
by simply watching your cat.
"We really do anthropomorphize cats a lot more than we should," Benjamin
says. "You really have to understand their true nature, their instincts
and their needs."
Some basic personality archetypes: the Mojito Cat, who is social, outgoing
and confident of her territory; the Wallflower Cat, who lacks such confidence
and slinks around on the periphery to avoid confrontation; and the Napoleon
Cat, who sprays, bullies and otherwise postures aggressively.
Many cats are a mix of the three.
Marking and claiming territory has everything to do with scent. Cats
love to mix their scents with yours.
"People wonder, 'Why does my cat always come and sit on my sweaters?' Because
it has your scent on it. They ask, 'Why do they want to be in the bedroom? ...'
They want to be in your bedroom because that's where the scent is strongest," Benjamin
Provide plentiful "scent soakers." They can be soft toys, beds,
blankets, carpeted surfaces and scratchers placed in a cat's territory
to be marked by him. If you're looking to keep kitty off your sweaters
or keyboard, set up a scent-soaked station nearby, such as a no-slip
shelf or table top as a perch.
"You want to give them things that are acceptable to scratch and rub on
rather than constantly yelling at them for doing those things on objects you
don't want them on," Benjamin says. "I have a number of perches around
Cats like to scratch on different surfaces and at different slants. Try
various materials -- cardboard, carpet, thick sisal, tighter sisal, wood
and cork, for instance -- and see what they like. Benjamin discovered
that yoga mats are great scratchers. Consider swatches.
Some cats are horizontal, vertical or incline scratchers.
"You have to get in there and really pay attention," Benjamin says.
One reason your cat likes to scratch your sofa, for example, is to mix
your scent with hers. But the sofa might also be made of a deliciously
scratchable material. And it's sturdy as the cat exercises its upper
body. That tells you what type of material, incline and environment to
provide as an alternative.
Location is everything when it comes to scratchers. If your cat constantly
plays with the door jamb in your bedroom, you'd be a fool not to match
that slant and place a scratcher nearby.
SUPERHIGHWAYS & CATIOS
If you're now an extreme -- or extremely handy -- cat owner, you might
build one of those mega-climbing routes along a wall. For extra stimulation,
build more than one pathway and type of perch. Provide no-slip surfaces
and materials that absorb scent. Incorporate boxy hidy-holes, baskets
In general, cat owners should do more with vertical space, Galaxy says.
"We forget that when cat walks into a room, cat is taking the entire square
footage, meaning not just the floor, not just couch level, but the ceiling as
well," he says. "When you add shelving around a room, or when you create
a cat superhighway ... you've just increased that territorial mojo in a way that
nothing else can."
Cat owners with outdoor space can connect an interior superhighway with
a catio using tunnels or flaps. Catios can be enclosed with wire mesh
and built into existing spaces, such as under an outdoor staircase.
No space? How about Cat TV, meaning the placement of a bird feeder just
outside a window.
8, 2015 - "Her function is to sit and be admired." -
Georgina Strickland Gates
Gratuitous Kittiness: Nothing sleeps like a cat.
Mewvie: "You look warm. Hold still."
Feline Street Art
9, 2015 - "Two cats can live as cheaply as one, and
their owner has twice as much fun." - Lloyd Alexander
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Close to yooooooou."
Mewvie: Saving Elsa.
Art: If you're going to sleep with cats, sleep with CATS.
Saves the Day
By Tyron Butson
Meet Stripes, the four-year-old house cat that saved Christmas at the
O’Brien house by killing an interloping 1.2m tree snake wrapped
around their plastic Christmas tree.
When Natalie O’Brien and her two children arrived at their Kallangur
home, in Brisbane’s north, yesterday afternoon to discover the
Christmas tree on the floor, presents torn open and blood splatters they
feared the worst.
“I thought ‘we’ve been burgled’ and then my son Andrew
spotted the snake,” she told 9news.com.au.
“I saw the blood on the floor and then the snake – at first I thought
it was a rubber snake.
“But sitting there was our cat, Stripes, looking quite pleased with himself.”
A bit of crime scene analysis was quickly carried out by Mr O’Brien,
her 11-year-old son Andrew and 14-year-old daughter Annabelle. They believe
Stripes spotted the tree snake in the newly-purchased plastic tree and
waded in to defend his turf.
Unfortunately, in true feline form, the Christmas tree also had to come
down and the presents got a little shredded in the process.
The tree, purchased for $30 from a nearby discount store, was erected
on December 1, leaving Ms O’Brien worried the snake may have been
in the house for some time.
“It’s a little bit worrying that you could have had a snake in the
house while we were there,” she said.
It’s not the first time the family has seen snakes in the bushland
that surrounds their home, but Ms O’Brien said none had ever dared
Snake Catchers Brisbane’s Bryan Robinson said it wasn’t unusual
for snakes to wander in from bushland and seek the height advantage on
items such as Christmas trees, light stands and blinds.
“Even if it’s plastic, it’s not that unusual – the snake
doesn’t see it as a plastic tree, it sees it as an elevated position,” he
But while Stripes may like to think he’s a hero, Mr Robinson said
it’s just as probable the cat started the whole thing.
“It’s actually pretty likely the cat has dragged the snake inside,” he
Either way in the O’Brien household, Stripes is now known as the
cat who saved Christmas.
“We’re thinking of getting him a rubber snake for Christmas,” Ms
“We’ll hang it over the Christmas tree for him.”
10, 2015 - "A cat pours his body on the floor like
water. It is restful just to see him." - William Lyon
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Catnip! She bought CATNIP!"
Mewvie: I think she likes it.
More Feline Street Art
11, 2015 - "Dogs come when they're called; cats take
a message and get back to you." - Mary Bly
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Family photo? Mmmm, maybe next year."
Mewvie: New Simon's Cat!
Art: A ledge, somewhere in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Office denies gift to cat because he lacked the
By Nina Golgowski
A British tabby cat named Ted became tangled in red tape when he was
playfully mailed a package and then instructed to cough up ID to claim
Ted’s amused owner, Brittany Maher-Kirk, shared her quagmire on
Facebook Saturday after finding herself unable to retrieve what she said
was a cat advent calendar sent from her mom.
"Unfortunately, we missed the delivery and the post office won't give it
to me as the cat does not have ID,” the 27-year-old wrote while sharing
a photo of Ted obliviously sitting beside a Royal Mail notice written out to
Brittany Maher-Kirk The package was addressed specifically to Ted, barring
his owner, Brittany, from collecting it for him.
Maher-Kirk said she called up her post office in London and told them
"They said they were under no obligation to give me the parcel, however,
they suggested that [I] pop into the depo and explain," she wrote in an
email to the Huffington Post Wednesday.
Fortunately for Ted and his time-sensitive surprise, when she did just
that, she said the employees "were fantastic."
" They thought it was hilarious and just laughed at me," she said.
Brittany Maher-Kirk Happy tale: Ted ended up getting his cat advent calendar
in the end, which was full of little treats.
The workers did express disappointment that she didn't bring Ted in with
her, but she explained that the adorable feline suffers from feline immunodeficiency
virus, which requires him to stay indoors.
"I did offer to show them pictures of Ted, but they said that they believe
me, as no one could make it up," she stated.
As for Ted's gift, she described him as more than merrier.
"It's specifically for cats, so, full of cat treats," she said of the
calendar. "They come in little blocks with fish and other festive pictures
on! He loves it -- when he sees it he meows and begs for the treat!"