Questions about cats

recharging for mayhem

As new cat owners we are puzzled by a few questions regarding cat behavior. Maybe you can help us?:

1) What do cats do all night long when you’re sleeping and they’re not?

2) What is the irresistible allure of the flat object on the ground for cats? (e.g. a piece of paper, a yoga mat, the map you’re trying to read, etc.) What makes them sprawl on said object and refuse to move?

3) Why must our cat make use the litter box when one of us is using the toilet? Why the sharing?

4) And speaking of the litter box, why is changing the litter so exciting for cats? Why does she rush to use the box the moment it’s changed? (Actually, the first time she watched me change the box, she jumped into the empty box and peed, soaking her feet. Now I really hustle to get the litter in there.)

5) And while we’re on bathroom matters, will the flushing toilet always be a source of wonderment, or will she grow out of it?

6) Would it be a very bad idea to push the kitty into the bathtub? She’s always balancing on the sides, looking at the water. It’s very tempting to give her a closer acquaintance with wetness.

7) What is it with cats and bags??? Don’t kittens know that kittens and sacks have a very dark history? Ours not only loves a bag, she likes to be picked up and swung around in the the bag.

8) How is it that our cat gets off on watching mice on YouTube when she has never seen a real mouse in her life? Does the distinctive rodent silhouette come pre-wired branded in their brains?

9) Why does our cat find headphone cords so irresistibly tasty? We’ve lost 4 sets so far. Now that she can jump pretty much anywhere she wants, I have to keep my ipod in a drawer.

10) Why is our kitten intermittently possessed by the devil? Why is my lip bleeding? 

And finally, the bonus question:

Why do cat people talk about their cats all the time?

Cat updates:

  • Did we tell you we decided on Phoebe for a name?
  • My allergies aren’t bothering me anymore. They seemed to get worse before they got better–though pollen may have been the real culprit. The stories of those of you who’ve overcome allergies kept me strong through the moments of doubt, and I came through the other side. Mind over matter!
  •  Phoebe has tired somewhat of Erik as her Sole Object of Affection, meaning I get some kitten love, too. Which is nice.

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  1. I think an incorrect choice on question 6 could result in more of question 10.

    I am a long time cat owner and most of these are still mysterious to me. Here are a few thoughts though:

    4. Just remember that cats have a stronger sense of smell than we do. If you could only flush once a day, when would you want to use the restroom? Additionally, the litter box is an important territorial thing for cats. When you clean it, you’ve erased their signals of ownership.

    5. Cats tend to be fascinated with running water of all kinds. Try turning on the tap for a while and see how long they will watch it drip. They tend to prefer fresh water for drinking for the same reason that you would not want to drink from a glass of water that has been sitting out all day.

    6. As much as they love running water, cats are desert creatures and do not like to be in the water. Cats are usually pretty good at keeping up with their own grooming so you shouldn’t need to bathe your kitty unless there is a medical issue or he has gotten himself very dirty. Otherwise an occasional combing should keep his coat looking good.

    10. Avoiding scratches is largely a function of learning the cat’s body language. Cats will usually tell you when they don’t want to be handled.

  2. 1. ours ransack the house while we sleep 3-6 regarding all potty habits~ours too love the bathroom(all things in it) and clean litterboxes. Really don’t we all prefer a clean potty area? One of ours did fall in the tub, make sure you get it on video if you ever “accidentally: show her the way.
    7. One of our cats has her own shopping bag. She will get in when you tell her and she loves to be carried around. I will use this the next time we go to the vet.
    8. Ours prefers birds on youtube, although we did get them a zhu zhu pet and that’s hysterical!
    9 has me stumped and 10 is just the nature of cats. Bonus~because they do the funniest things and can keep us “crazy cat people” entertained for hours.

  3. These are all mysteries! I have a cat that likes to lick plastic bags. She also likes to eat plastic for good measure. Another one of my cats likes to eat paper and cardboard. He’s eaten all of my printer paper. And my third cat MUST hang out with me when I’m in the bathroom.

  4. As a life-long cat lover and “owner” (ha!) I’d have to say that the fundamental answer to all these questions is: the ways of the feline are inscrutable. None of the behaviors you describe are universal to all cats, but the overall pattern of self-determination is utterly feline. Two things will probably alter your cat’s behavior: time and giving her outdoor privileges. The outdoors provides a lot more things of enduring interest to cats than an indoor existence. And as cats age they naturally outgrow certain kitten obsessions.

    About the mouse thing: yes, almost everything a cat will ever know comes pre-wired, or is learned directly from pre-wired behavior. They’re lovely creatures, but not very bright at all. Nature gives them instincts sufficient for their survival in lieu of intelligence.

    Oh, and *don’t* push her into the water. Trust me on this one. Reserve that activity for times when she truly requires a water bath for some reason. Water trauma is not something you’ll want to deal with if that situation ever arises. Trust is everything with a cat.

  5. I think they practice hunting in the dark while everyone else is asleep. I think they like to be on top of the world – even if it’s just a piece of paper or cardboard on the floor – it’s a “higher” plane. I don’t know why they love bags, but we have one bag cat – bags are just irresistible to her, especially the knitting bags.

    Your cat sounds normal for a cat. She may outgrow some behaviors. She may really like water – I had a cat once who would play with the water from the garden hose. He would tap at it coming out of the hose. Some cats really like water. Still, I wouldn’t push her into the tub, but you could bathe her if she likes it.

    If your lip is cracked in the center and bleeding, try some homeopathic Nat Mur. It’s indicative of a salt/water imbalance. If it’s cracked in the corners, that’s a b-complex deficiency. Extra b vitamins would clear that up.

  6. First, I want to say that I lost my cat, Walter, last week. So, right now, I am cat-less. Before this I have had a cat all of my life. (I expect by Saturday that I will have adopted another one, maybe two if I can convince the hubby.)

    1. Cats sleep most of the day, something like 80% of the time. The problem is that 80% of their awake time seems to be at night. If your cat is still a kitten you need to let it know that you sleep during the night. Do not cave in to the batting paw at 2 AM. Do not get up!! Instead either try to ignore her or put her on the floor. Eventually she will understand that you will not get up for her.

    For about a year I got up for work at 2 AM. I always fed Walter right when I got up. This was fine until I needed to get up at 6 AM. Guess what time he thought breakfast was?

    2. That is a mystery of the universe.

    3. Hmmm….I have never kept my litter box in the bathroom, so I have never had this issue. (I have not kept it in the bathroom only because of logistics.)

    4. Cats really like clean litter. REALLY like it.

    5. As they get older I have found that they do not notice as much. I do, however, always keep the lid down. I hate the idea of them drinking from the toilet or falling in. (Ummm…yes, I have had both happen.)

    6. If you do you will have a very angry cat. She might, however, avoid the tub after that. She might also avoid the bathroom where the kitty litter is…

    7. Bags are one of the best toys.

    8. Cats, of course, are “programmed” to go after small wiggly things. They will get excited by anything like that. Some cats will notice the TV and other cats will completely ignore it. Walter especially liked to watch the Tour de France.

    9. Again small and wiggly and with dangly added in; a mesmerizing combination for a kitten. Yes, I keep that sort of thing up too. You might want to somehow protect your computer wires too. I had a cat that loved to chew on cables.

    10. Trust me that will go away. When your cat is 16 you will wish for it again. I am not a parent but I think it is similar to how a two year old drives you nuts but when they are 16 you wish they were two again.

    Bonus: Because they are part of the family and some of the things they do are just so silly.

    My last point: You are in the kitten phase. Kittens are cats in the came way that toddlers are people. You are helping to develop her personality right now. Games and behaviors you teach her now could last all of her life. So make sure those games and behaviors are ones that you will appreciate in ten or more years.

  7. Welcome to the wonderful world of being owned by a cat.

    A lot of this is typical of young cats, and so will most likely grown out of most of the more spastic behavior in a couple of years. (Although she may always chew wires, so be warned. And that could extend to fabric like camisole straps and bikini strings, stuff like that.)

    You can keep her off stuff. I would pick one battleground at a time and keep a water bottle handy to squirt at her. (The kitchen table is my personal no-go zone.)

    I would also recommend getting one of those toys that’s a pole with a long string with a feather or something attached to this end. You can whip that around and tire her out.

  8. Lol! As a cat mom and kitten foster mom, I know everything you are talking about but haven’t got a single answer. Hilarious though! 🙂

  9. 1. Cats sleep up to 20 hours a day. They DO sleep at night, after the house gets quiet. Otherwise, they patrol their territory.
    5. Yes, she will grow out of it and get boring.
    8. My cat ignores all video, but it is the mouse-like movement that they are hard-wired to hunt, not the silhouette.

  10. There is one answer to all your questions, because they are cats. These are the things that make them what they are, not the other way around. Since the days of BAST, they know they are special creatures and will not hesitate to remind you as such. You are their caregiver, they are not your pet. Get used to it!

  11. 1 – cats are more active at night. playing, sitting/staring at things, being crazy…it’s what they do.
    2 – hell if i know. they’re addicted to THINGS ON THE FLOOR and boxes. want a cat to sit near you? put a box or a piece of paper on the floor and wait.
    3 – i really think they’re proud of themselves and want you to know. mine have timed their poop runs rather well – one cat goes within 5 minutes of my getting up in the morning, and the other goes within moments of my return home from work.
    4 – they want to claim it as theirs. don’t let them anywhere near the container of clean/unused litter, as they WILL use it. quite happily, i might add.
    5 – depends on the cat. neither of mine care about the flushing, but they’re both over the age of 3.
    6 – nah, she’ll have to learn someday. just make sure you’re not IN the tub at the time.
    7 – it’s a dark place, and that’s incredibly attractive to cats.
    8 – yes, attraction to prey animals is instinctual.
    9 – bitter apple spray is your friend. spray cords with it. she’s chewing PROBABLY because she’s teething.
    10 – oof, claws + face = PAINPAINPAIN. as for why? they’re felines. there is no why. there is only bowing to your feline overlord. now go get some gooshyfood, hairless biped!!

    if you don’t already read twolumps, i HIGHLY recommend it:

  12. 1. They stare at you and walk on your hair to see if you’re asleep.
    2. I haven’t figured this out yet, but I have noticed that my cat gains 10 pounds and goes completely limp the moment I try to move him off a flat object that I’m trying to read.
    3. Ahhh, this is a game of one-up. See? Mine’s better than yours.
    4. See 3 above, you’ve removed her trophy.
    5. She will outgrow it…after 13,000 flushes.
    6. haha…I don’t think it was bad that I gave my cat a closer look. I responded to the outraged look I received by explaining that if he would stop walking on my hair at night I would stop pushing him into the tub.
    7. Mine is 18 and still goes bonkers when a paper bag is placed on the floor. He must think there are mice inside the way he attacks it.
    8. My cat isn’t fooled by tv or toys. He gives me a look that says, “what, you think I’m stupid?”
    9. My cat’s addiction is my knitting needles and embroidery thread. He will torment me to know end to win that battle. Sometimes, he wins.
    10. I have no answer for that one, but I have a band-aid if you need it.

  13. In response to question 1: my cat often sleeps with us in the winter. Some times he sleeps the whole night. so I think some times they so sleep for part of the night but they could just as easily be looking out a window for hours. 2) they are naturally attracted to paper, fabric, etc. And will always sit on it for awhile to guard it I guess? We recently got our cat a compressed catnip mouse and he (after licking it for 1/2 hr) used it as a pillow and didn’t budge from it for hrs.
    3)never had that happen
    4) cats use litter boxes to cover the smell of their waste so that predators don’t know they are their. So if it’s fresh litter they know they don’t have to worry…
    5)no she’ll never grow out of it. Cats have a love hate relationship with water. they love watching it moving and playing with it, but not actually being in it
    6)yes she most likely would freak out and jump out immediately
    7)every cat loves bags! hey cheap toy, just remember to cut off any straps so they don’t choke.
    8) I think they do come pre-wired to hunt typically kitty prey that’s just my opinion.
    9)I have no idea. But they all love cords. Ours even chews on our metal bed.
    9) I assume you mean why does my cat get the crazies? I think this is indoor kitties way of keeping active and training to hunt. If you get her running a lot with a laser pointer that should cut down on the “crazies” a little.

    Why do people talk about cats all the time? I guess when you get them and bond with one it’s hard not to. We adore ours that we have had for 2 yrs. Phoebe is a cutie!

  14. I really do think cats come pre-wired, knowing what mice look like and what they’re meant to do with them. I think the same goes with birds – every cat I’ve ever owned has made the same weird sort of trilling-purr when she watches a bird from the window, like some universal bird call in cat tongue.

    Although, not every cat I’ve owned has shown an interest in watching animals on TV. That seems to vary much more depending on the cat. We have two now, and one absolutely loves watching nature documentaries, while the other doesn’t acknowledge the screen at all.

  15. I laughed out loud reading this post. I’ve had four cats in my life (only two at a time), and I’ve had the same questions. Some get answered over time, but others remain a mystery (especially the desire to lay on flat, square-like objects… I have no idea about that one).

    My husband and I decided with our current two cats that we wanted to keep the bedroom kitty-free at night. So we’ve been trying the vacuum trick, with great results. Here it is:

    1-put your vacuum cleaner outside your bedroom door, with the cord running under the door and over to a plug near your bed

    2-plug it into a powerstrip that has an on/off switch and keep the vacuum cleaner turned on, but the powerstrip turned off

    3-at night, as soon as you hear them scratch at your bedroom door, turn the powerstrip on for a couple seconds

    That’s all it takes. The cats don’t understand how the vacuum cleaner turns on. They only know that it’s scary, and they will stay away from your bedroom door, for fear of angering the dreaded machine. After doing this for a week, I still find them right outside my door when I wake up (waiting for breakfast), but they are always very carefully avoiding the vacuum cleaner, and they don’t scratch at the door anymore.

    • I’ve come back months later–now that we have 3 cats who like to gang up on us in the wee hours–to say that I’m going to try this brilliant idea.

  16. Everyone! I didn’t expect you would actually answer my questions! Your insights are both wise and hilarious.

    @Ronda: I’m so very sorry about the passing of your cat, Walter.

  17. The nighttime activities of our three cats, that we can tell, consist of chasing bugs, messing up every rug in the house, licking our faces and extensive litter box calisthenics. Occasionally, it’s like waking up to the remains of a frat party.

    If she loves chewing cords and things, redirect her with ribbons, strings, or old neckties that are more safe and come with positive attention.

  18. 1. Our cat riffles through our papers looking for his long-form birth certificate. I can tell by the papers all over the floor each morning.

    2. They want to be higher, even if it’s only by a fraction of a millimeter.

    6. Bad idea. But you may safely put the end of the tail in the water.

    10. You must learn to distinguish the look in their eyes – is it empathy, or MURDER?!

  19. 4) our cats wait outside the bathroom door when I scoop the litterbox–oen prefers to be first in. I’ve always wondered what would happen if I immediately scooped her deposit–would she try again? How long could she/would she keep this up? Would this be just too mean?

    6) the cat will fall in eventually, and then pretend it didn’t happen

    We too have a plastic-chewing cat. Plastic bags (shopping, ziploc, sandwich, powdered sugar bags still full of powedered sugar–now there’s a mess), the plastic covers on library books, and legos. Yes, I have a cat that eats legos. Preferably the long skinny antenna pieces, but she’s not really picky. My kids KNOW to put things away if they don’t want tooth marks. The cats will also chew erasers, any kind of cord (yes, headphone cords are a favorite), and we often find tooth marks in random things.

    Our cats prefer watching birds and squirrels out the windows to anything on TV. Just like me 😉

  20. This video answers #1. I personally relate heavily to the poor guy around 0:30. My own furry psychopath is very fond of affectionately licking my eyelids around 2:30 – 3:00am.

    Cats react to all kinds of every day items. My own loves when we can, because one of us will usually set the cardboard box down that the jars came in. And this is JUST FOR HER. She’s wickedly territorial about cardboard boxes. Her greatest love is disposable plastic bags. I kind of get it – they are a rare thing in my house. She’ll curl up to them, nose them, touch them. It’s bizarre.

    And I say it’s always a bad idea to introduce a cat to the bath if you are in the bath.

    (other than that – all cats are different. You may have a cat in the future that also likes a few of these things. Phoebe may also change her mind (gotta keep us on our toes) about her likes and dislikes. It’s all part of the joy of being owned by a cat.) 😉

  21. I’m lucky – all of my cats sleep at night (as well as during the day…some of the laziest animals you’ll ever find).

  22. Cat’s are nocturnal, we can hear ours in the next room chasing each other and things crashing all night lol. Our cats also race to pee first in a freshly litettered box, I think it’s like our version of fresh snow, you just wanna jump in. Also they may be marking their territory, saying, this is MY POTTY. Our cats are also notorious tub perchers, abut I’ve resisted the urge as of yet to bump them in. Bags are fun! it’s like giving a kid a big cardboard box to play in, they’ll sit in it for hours! Youtoube is a valuable toy for cats, I’ll put on kittens mewing and watch my cats search the house for new friends, I think it’s their instincts kicking in, they’re natural predators. We’ve also lost some Ipod headphones to Atticus, maybe it’s the texture? And no, your cat will always love watching the toilet flush. It’s the cat version of the lava lamp, oddly hypnotic. As for the last question, cats are utterly weird and endearing little creatures, how could you not talk about them?

  23. Great tip with the vaccuum cleaner! When I was in college, we kept having to throw shoes at the door. That didn’t work well at all. Plus, all my shoes ended up blocking the door.

  24. 1. They chase things. Claw you in your sleep. Wake you up. Then go to sleep when you are awake, the furry bastards. If there is more than one, Wrestlemania wil occur at approximately 3:14 am on your person as you sleep.

    2. Flat object equals skittery challenge. They also want to own anything that has your attention, such as a book, laptop, iPad, kindle, or bit of embroidery.

    3. They are mirroring to convey solidarity. They are doing as the alpha male and female do. They think more of you being the pride leader, and they have to align themselves with you. It’s like sucking up, but with poo.

    4. Cats really really really really REALLY prefer very clean pee space. They are so excited that it’s clean, they hasten to enjoy it. I have one cat who insta-dumps moments after we clean the box every time, so we don’t put the scoopers away until he’s done. While we areon the subject, be fortunate that she likes the box. I have one who prefers the bathtub.

    5. Toilets and running water are fascinating. I used to have a cat who drank out of the toilet like a dog. He left dirty paw prints inside the bowl and tracked water onto the seat and floor. Then, he would decide that he wanted my glass of water, and stick his paw into my glass to scoop water in his mouth. He was weird as hell, but I miss him.

    Continuing on the toilet discussion, most cats want to visit while you’re sitting, since they have a captive audience. That’s actually how I got my hubby’s girl cat to open up; she trusted me to pet her when I was on the toilet, and she gradually became less terrified of everything.

    They also see it as something they can’t sit on themselves. It’s kind of like a throne, and a sign of your superiority over them. That’s why they love it when you keep the lid down… They can sit up there like you can.

    6. You have to decide tihis one for yourself. Is it worth the laugh, then the inevitable cleanup of puddles around the house for he next half hour?

    7. I swear, cats are adrenaline junkies! But really, it’s the enclosed space, and the sense of safety, even when there’s a thrill ride going. They like playing hide and seek, whether it’s a box, a bag, the space under the sofa, or a cabinet. They’re hunting, essentially.

    8. I think cats are hardwired about small, furry things no matter what. I think it’s the cadence in the step of prey that sets them off. Even if she’s never seen a mouse, she’s definitely seen squirrels, birds, and even rats through the window. That’s the other thing they do at night: sit in the window and watch prey scurry about.

    9. They seem to find bodily fluids, especially salty or pungent ones, very tasty. I have to keep my hearing aids out of reach, or they go nuts at the lovely earwax scent (gross!). Same thing for headphones. They’re usually covered in sweat, salt, and waxy stuff. Combine that with similarity to a string, and you have the untimate cat toy. We have to keep ours away from the cats, too.

    10. They are occasionally Satan incarnate. I wonder sometimes if this is because they are frustated at being kept inside for their safety when they are really predators who want to KILL. I had one claw my foot in the middle of the night while I was in the throes of a nightmare, and I woke up screaming in both pain and terror – the tentacle monster in the dream was dragging my friend under, and I thought I was next RIGHT when the cat clawed me. Also, some cats use that as attention grabbers. Albus boops my nose with his big claws and Moriarty nibbles on my nose to wake me up.

    Last, how can you not talk about them? They’re so damned interesting! Weren’t you the ones that said you like to go out and watch Chicken TV? Same difference.

  25. Comments on comments…

    The all night rowdies or dawn wake ups can be cured by constantly refusing to let your cat sleep during the day for a couple of weeks. They eventually get more on your sleeping schedule that way.

    All my girl kitties liked to cuddle the alpha male, but all the boy kitties have fought over who sleeps next to me. One of my girl cats would not cuddle hubby directly, as that would be impertinent. However, she would immediately occupy anything which had previously contained hubby’s butt; the seat where he sat, the seat of his jeans or work pants he took off and set somewhere, or on the dirty laundry, as close to a pair of dirty underwear as possible. Very weird, but doing so marked her with his scent, thus marking her as a girl in his pride.

    As for the allergies, you can build tolerances. Albus was a scaredy cat, so he always slept by my face when he was younger. I got eye twitches on that side of my head fo about a month, and have been fine since.

    As for cat obsessions, Albus chews on whatever he knows will annoy me and make me pay attention to him. this may include my phone, my iPad, or whatever book is nearby. He has also chewed on the kindle, my book light, my knuckles, my engagement ring, whatever pencil I’m drawing with, and my glasses.

    Be watchful, and don’t let your cat eat string… It can really mess up their digestive tracts. Do not try to pull a string out of a cat from either end. Cut t excess off and be patient and watchful for the rest. Same for plastic, but you don’t use much of that IIRC.

    A bit of butter, olive oil, or other dense fat will grease hairballs so that they pass through. A cat trying to hack up hairballs can puke a lot, and really freak you out. The oil from a can of tuna works well. If your cat gets the pukies, add fat and bone broth to their food – usually that clears it up.

  26. It’s very simple: my working hypothesis is that all cats are weird; how they express it differs from cat to cat, but they’re all weird. I have yet to find a counter-example.

    Each of ours has their own ‘quirks’, like one being absolutely nuts about cantaloupe.

  27. Trick about the paper, put a piece down and pretend to pay attn to it. They’ll come over and sit on it as soon as you turn away. Then you can actually look at/work on the paper you want to work on.

    Paper bags are awesome. I think it’s something about the feel of shredding cardboard boxes and paper bags under their claws that they love.

    At first I was going to say “Yes push the cat in the tub, its funny!”, but as one reader pointed out yea… not a good idea b/c then it’ll be harder to get the cat in the bath tub when you want to. Randomly spray it with the hose in the backyard one day.

    Some do “grow” out of the kitten stage, some don’t. I’ve got a 6yr old “kitten” that’s just starting to calm down. Oh.. except when there’s a laser pointer around. I haven’t met an animal that can resist the red dot.

    Enjoy being owned by a cat. They’ll keep you company for many many years 🙂

  28. Cats are cuddly killers. And they’re ornery. A favorite expression here for a difficult task: “It’s like trying to put a cat in a toilet.” Try not to get an image. Best wishes!

  29. I found myself giggling away whilst reading this post 😀

    We recently adopted Daisy, who is about two years old, and she does many of the same things as your little kitty ~ I’m wondering if/when she will grow out of them!

  30. 2) We call this the “novelty” factor in our house. Anything that is in a new place or moved must immediately be inspected and have fur deposited. I think the laying on new things is a way of claiming them.

    4)My cats don’t do this. Maybe lock her up away from the box while you are changing it?

    5) The toilet will always, always be a source of wonderment.

    6)Prior to pushing a cat into water, make sure you are wearing head to toe riot clothing. Otherwise, have an EMT standing by.

    7) Cats like hiding holes. Boxes and cubbies can make a less lethal hiding hole than bags. They also like the sound of crinkling…. wadded up newspaper can help there.

    8) How is it that our cat gets off on watching mice on YouTube when she has never seen a real mouse in her life? Does the distinctive rodent silhouette come pre-wired branded in their brains?

    9) Yeah, anything stringy needs to get shut up somewhere.

    10) When they hurt you need to let them know that they were bad. Hiss at them and spray them with a bottle of water (optional, add vinegar to the water to make it smell). Keep the water bottle nearby so you can have instant reinforcement of bad behavior.

  31. I assumed your questions were rhetorical. Your cat loving audience has represented! My cat loves cantaloupe too. If I dont take the rinds out to the compost right away, I will generally find tooth marks in them later.

  32. I don’t have much to add that hasn’t been addressed, but I have yet another question.

    11. What is up with cats running a victory lap around the house after using the litter box? Or around the yard after their morning constitutional out there?

  33. Everyone has answered your questions so well already that I only have a good cat toy idea to share. Take an old long sock (my DH’s old tube socks are perfect!) and stuff a plastic grocery bag inside then sprinkle in a teaspoon or so of catnip. Tie a knot at the top of the sock and wiggle it a bit to catch your cat’s interest. After that, most cats are drawn irresistibly to either the rustle, the catnip, or both. Hours of kitty fun! 🙂

  34. Re: Question 2

    They are not interested in the flat object, per se, they are interested in your attention to the flat object which should immediately be focused on them!

    We like to talk about our cats because we don’t know how to talk about football.

  35. The answer to pretty much all of it is, they are cats, and they are the center of our universe, as far as they are concerned. Everything we do and have is solely for their amusement/pleasure. If our attention is not on them, they will make it so it happens. ALL kittens are intermittently possessed by the devil, some cats never outgrow. I refer to kittens (and I’ve fostered probably around 40 or so) as flying furballs with razors.

    And yes, I’d push the cat into the tub. I’ve done it before. I’ll do it again.

    And we talk about them because they’re darn cute.

  36. I remember hearing a long time ago that cats are attracted to plastic shopping bags because some sort of animal by-product (gelatin, perhaps?) is used in their manufacture.
    Most of my cats have come to me as adult strays and have already-developed habits that I simply have to deal with. However, I did get a four-week old kitten last year and I made a practice of giving her weekly baths with baby shampoo, per the vet tech’s recommendation, to kill fleas. Messy, yes, but much less toxic than most of the flea treatments. I can’t say that Molly is especially fond of the baths, but she doesn’t fight me. She just looks pathetic. I’d never try this with my older cats who are not used to baths – sweet as they are, my arms would be shredded.

  37. What everyone here has described is pretty interesting but I bet my cat is weirder. Bella is almost two now, and so far she fake attacks my hand sometimes when I try to pet her, but her growth was Stunted from underfeeding because we rescued her… she likes chlorine… hates not being in the bathroom with me…. if there is an empty laundry basket she will jump in and just start digging, around in circles until she gets bored… one time j walked in the door, picked up her favorite toy, and she attacked me and ran away…. she eats the metal and eraser pieces off the ends of my pencil, attacking me in the process… and last but not least, I have this comb, when I comb her with it she acts like she is high and basically faints…. can anyone explain these?

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