Tag: feline behavior

Do You Bathe Your Cat?

Julie’s comment on our last post about cat photos got me thinking: I haven’t given Buddy a bath since he was a kitten.

There are a few good reasons: Many veterinarians don’t think it’s necessary if the cat doesn’t go outdoors, doesn’t have any flea problems and doesn’t come into contact with potential toxins. A short-haired indoor cat who is healthy and flexible enough to thoroughly groom himself doesn’t need bathing, according to trusted animal organizations like the ASPCA.

Unless your cat is a rescue off the street, unable to groom herself or is one of the “hairless” breeds — like a Sphinx — caretakers should “absolutely not” bathe their cats, feline guru Jackson Galaxy agrees.

Not a happy camper: Most domestic cats loathe baths. (Credit)

Since Buddy is young and healthy, and the little guy was always seriously distressed by taking a bath, I decided not to put him through the stress. Fear of water may seem ridiculous to us humans, but for cats it’s a big deal.

He does a good job grooming himself, I’ve never detected any odor on him, and perhaps most importantly I’d need heavy gloves, a plastic mask and a family size tube of antimicrobial ointment for the inevitable wounds in places where I’m not heavily armored.

I am, however, open to feedback. Are there good reasons why I should be bathing Bud? Have I been too eager to accept the anti-cat-bathing argument because I don’t want to get soaked and scratched by an angry cat? Am I being negligent by not bathing him?

If you do advocate bathing cats, how often do you bathe your own little buddies, and how do handle the ordeal?

Cats may be stoic, but not when it comes to enduring baths. (Credit)

This Cat Knows How To Use A Water Cooler

More proof, ladies and gentlemen, that cats are much more intelligent than we give them credit for.

Two-year-old Milo, who lives with his humans in New Brunswick, Canada, is determined to get himself a drink.

“At first we didn’t know why there was water all over our kitchen floor but quickly learned it was him the whole time,” Milo’s humans wrote. “He’s very smart and learns a lot from watching us do it so often. He likes going outside and learned that he has to turn the doorknob to go outside and learned how the window opens by turning the handle. Though he fails every time because he has paws but still likes to try.”

If only his arms were long enough to hold the button down while he sticks his head beneath the dispenser! He even tries flooding the bottom by holding the button for several seconds. Someone get this kitty a bowl!

Or he could ask his humans to get the model below, which makes it easier on the paws:

This cat has a similar model and uses it to drink directly from the dispenser, as well as to flood the basin:

Cats: Elevating Laziness To An Art Form

There’s this thing Buddy does when he’s been napping on my legs or in my lap and he wants to get down.

Whereas the vast majority of living creatures would simply stand up and hop off, Buddy doesn’t bother with that. He yawns, stretches and shifts his weight forward until he’s hanging off me, then allows himself to sag into a ponderous drop, letting gravity do all the work as he practically oozes onto the floor. He’s like water taking the path of least resistance, committing absolutely no energy to the “effort” of moving.

The sequence is complete when he plops down on the floor like sentient slime — paradoxically furry yet gelatinous — then finally picks himself up to pad toward his bowl, his litterbox or the kitchen, where he’ll stand yowling in three second intervals until I give him a snack just to get him to shut up.

It’s horribly manipulative behavior, and I shouldn’t reward it, but sometimes I do because damn, he’s really, really good at being annoying when he wants to be.

If there were an Olympics for being lazy and annoying, Buddy would be its Michael Phelps, pioneering spectacular new ways to do things without expending a single millicalorie more than is absolutely necessary.

And yet, like all cats, he’ll randomly decide it’s time to release all that hoarded energy at once, trilling an enthusiastic “BRRRRUPPP!” before rocketing around the house, ricocheting like a bullet in a sensory deprivation chamber.

Of course I wouldn’t have it any other way. These quirks are part of Buddy, just like his kitten voice, his unintentionally hilarious behavior and his big heart.

We salute you, dear Buddy, for elevating laziness into an art form.