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Thomasina

Do some of the things your cats do seem, well, just plain weird. Thomasina shares her expert purrls of wisdom on cat behavior and why cats do the things they do from a cat's point of view.

Is An Alpha Cat Running Your Household?

Is An Alpha Cat Running Your Household?

Would you recognize an alpha cat if you saw one. I can tell you what to look for. But unlike dogs, cats often share their alpha status.

An alpha cat is often female

Would you recognize an alpha cat if you saw one?

Could my calico be an alpha cat, Thomasina? She’s so bossy and entitled!
— Curious Cat Mom

Hi, Curious!

I’m an alpha cat! Sometimes… I’m always bossy and entitled. But that doesn’t mean I’m always in charge. In our family, the alpha cat changes, depending on the time of day and where we are.

Outside, Soda’s the alpha cat and keeps cats we don’t like away from our territory. He doesn’t fight with them. He just makes it abundantly clear that they’re not welcome.

Inside,  Honey is head cat, although it’s sometimes hard to tell. She’s the oldest and wisest, and she’s very good at keeping our lives organized and peaceful.

Would You Know An Alpha Cat If You Saw One?

From Chirping To Chattering – Eight Sounds Cats Make

If you really listen, the sounds cats make can be very revealing. We don’t just purr and meow. We chirp and chatter, too. I’ve translated some cat sounds for you.

The sounds cats make include a lot more than meowingCan you explain the sounds cats make, Thomasina? My cat often chirps at me when I get home. What does that mean?

— Curious

Hi, Curious!
Oh, how nice that your cat chirps to you! He’s saying “welcome home!” Not all of us do that (I don’t), and you should feel very honored!

When we talk to each other, we usually use body language. We talk with our eyes, ears and tails. But since humans don’t seem to understand our native language, we make sounds, like your cat’s chirp, to communicate with you.

Chirps And Seven More Sounds Cats Make

Going Incognito – Why Cats Bury Their Food

Why do cats bury their food? We have a couple of reasons for doing that, and one of them isn’t to be annoying!

Some cats bury their food, even if it's in a crystal dish.

Does your cat bury his food?

Can you tell me why cats bury their food after they’re finished eating, Thomasina? My cat does that, and the scratching on the floor is driving me crazy!
— Annoyed

Hi Annoyed…

Funny you should ask. Some cats bury their food for good reasons, or at least they think they have good reasons. Our new cat, Boots, does that. I agree it’s really annoying, and it’s not even necessary. It’s not like predators are going to find him inside!

Dogs sometimes bury leftover food so they can return to it later. But we don’t do that. We don’t eat spoiled meat. And the food we catch outside (a mouse) is the perfect size for a meal. We usually don’t have any leftovers to bury.


Why Some Cats Bury Their Food

How To Convince A Cat To Use A Scratching Post

Trust me. It’s not that hard to convince a cat to use a scratching post. I came up with some suggestions for you.

 

It's not hard to convince a cat to use a scratching post.

Your cats can love using a scratching post, too!

Thomasina, how do you convince a cat to use a scratching post? I just got mine a new one, and he refuses to use it. He’d rather shred my furniture.
— So Frustrated

Hi Frustrated!
Funny you should ask. We just got a new scratching post, too, and none of us will use ours either. You can convince a cat to use a scratching post, but sometimes you have to be persuasive and patient.

Cats are cautious, and it can take us a few days to get used to something new. And the problems with that new scratching post are that it smells like the store it came from, not us. And without our claw marks on it, it just looks like a big pole standing against the arm of the sofa.


How To Convince A Cat To Use A Scratching Post

Your Cat’s Litter Box | Creating The Perfect Potty

Trust me on this. The location and style of your cat’s litter box are two of the most important decisions you’ll make. Try to think like a cat, and you’ll get it right!

 

Your cat's litter box shouldn't have a top.

Your cat’s litter box should be open, not completely covered like this one.

Do you have any advice about my cat’s litter box, Thomasina? I recently bought this one, and he won’t use it! He either waits to go outside, or he goes on top of the box, not in it. I thought he’d love the privacy. Doesn’t privacy matter to cats?
— Disappointed 

Hey, Disappointed!
Eeeuuu… I wouldn’t use that box either! Your cat’s litter box is so important, and that one would be like diving into a Porta Potty headfirst. Eeeuuu…

Oh. Sorry. I hope I didn’t hurt your feelings!

To answer your question about your cat’s litter box, we don’t really care about privacy. After all, we’re just doing what comes naturally. That human need for privacy doesn’t make a lot of sense to us. All we want is a quiet peaceful place where we won’t get jumped by another animal or chased by a human.


Your Cat’s Perfect Litter Box