Cats and Kids
We are big fans of Jackson Galaxy. Mr. Galaxy is the host of Animal Planet’s My Cat from Hell and he tells it like it is about the relationships with our cats and those that amaze or drive us crazy.
Mr. Jackson became a cat behaviorist while working at an animal shelter. He said that it was a “necessity thing." He had to figure out how to address cat issues so they could be adopted. He is a frequent speaker for events sponsored by Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanub, Utah and other animal welfare organizations around the country and the globe.
Puppy Dog Tales
He also works to make sure that placements “stick” by teaching pet parents how to work with their pet kids. Add human children to the equation and you have an opportunity to teach two different species how to live together in harmony and how to avoid having tails pulled or getting scratched.
With young people in the household, learning the basics of cats and their natural behavior will make for happy everybody. In this video, entitled Cats and Kids Go Great Together, Mr. Galaxy share his thoughts on good relationships. The critical elements are to supervise kids and cats at all times, to teach your children empathy towards all living things at an early age, and to learn the basics of cat body language. One of the keys to good placement is matching personalities of the cat kid with the human kid (children size or grown up kid).
Do cats think of their owners as parents? Siblings? Friends? Rubbing around our legs when they greet us, cats are signaling that they regard us as friendly but at the same time slightly superior to them. When living in a family group, kittens rub on their mothers, females rub on bigger cats. The reverse rarely occurs.
Why do cats sometimes suddenly bite or scratch the person who is petting them? You have most likely missed a warning sign. Most cats love to be petted but only for a short while. Flattened ears and a slight switch of the tail lets you know that it is time to stop.
Why do cats knock objects off tables and shelves? Some are really just clumsy and others bat things off tables just to get your attention or because they do it for their own entertainment. In our household Ginger will hop on a table and you will hear scoot, scoot, crash. He seems to find this very amusing.
Why do cats climb into boxes, especially those that are too small? Cats love to feel protected and hidden, especially when they are taking a nap. Cardboard boxes are just dandy for felling secure. Why they pick boxes that are too small is a mystery.
Kitty Body Language
- Licking cats of the same size and status grooming each other. This behavior helps the cats bond and reduces the potential for aggression. It is a genuine demonstration of affection.
- Kneading. This is what kittens do to stimulate their mother’s milk. In adult cats this is affectionate behavior and the person being kneaded is seen as being in a superior, mothering role.
- Lying on its back with belly exposed. This is one relaxed cat that trusts you and its environment.
If you have a cat in your life you will find as Yogi Berra said “ You can observe a lot just by watching”. If you don’t have a cat in your life, consider adding one to your family. You will have a built in stress reducer. Just watch this video and you will be convinced.
Love, Daisy Mae