Secrets To My Cat Success

Secrets To My Cat Success

by Joyce Sammons
(Hodges, SC, USA)

Furby on the washer and on the stove. If these upset you, don't get a cat

Furby on the washer and on the stove. If these upset you, don't get a cat

I've had a lot of people question me on how I get cats to trust me so soon into a relationship. So I decided to write a few quick paragraphs on the secrets to my success with cats. These may or may not work for you, but it's the method I live by.

1. On first meeting a stray cat or kitten, I automatically assume the animal will love me. I'm not being conceited, it's just the way my mind works. I love all animals and I feel they know this. I approach a cat or kitten using a kind, musical voice. Much the same as a mother will sing to her newborn baby. Most of the time I'll sit down to be at a less offensive level. This lets the cat know I'm not going to make any sudden, scary moves.

This is the method I used to "catch" my cat Furby. He was a starving feral kitten the day I found him. He crossed the road in front of my car and I turned around and went back to look for him before he got himself into more trouble. He was sitting at the corner of an old barn and he was starring up at me. I reached down, scooped him up and started petting him. A part of me was shocked when he didn't fight me.

Furby has really been the exception to dealing with a feral kitten. He's tolerated everything we've had to do to save his life. This has included everything from bathing for fleas to lancing an abscess on his neck when antibiotics alone didn't work. It turned out he had a fly larvae growing in his neck. He was neutered at 5 months of age and is a wonderful cat.

2. Boundaries. Furby loves to get on the kitchen counter while food is being prepared. This would upset a lot of people who haven't come up with a back up plan for entertaining the cat. I have a cat carrier large enough to hold three cats. It has a soft blanket and Furby and his cat mama Lola enjoy playing in it. If either of them will be an inconvenience while preparing food, they are lovingly picked up, kissed and put in the carrier. Usually it's for less than ten minutes. My daughter Laura and I allow the cats to eat when we eat. Another tip along the lines of food preparation is to make sure all knives are turned down in the dish drainer. This is a MUST for homes with or without a cat.

3. Lola and Furby are both spoiled to quality human food. We eat a lot of baked chicken and green vegetables. I've studied what foods are toxic to cats and don't even keep them in the house. Furby is the really happy cat at dinner time. He loves chicken, broccoli, lettuce, and green beans. All the cats know is we spoil them. They love being handed food from our plates. They have quality dry food available at all times just in case.

4. My animals have NEVER been yelled at or abused. Anything they might get into was a mistake on our part for not having placed it in a better place. Cats who are verbally abused take on a completely different personality. They try to shrink and hide. I hope mine never have to face this. The worst to happen in my home is the vacuum cleaner. I don't believe many cats ever learn to trust the "loud roaring monster." At least they know we're not going to harm them with it.

5. Learn to listen to what your cat is saying. Many years ago I had a cat named Sissy. She was a beautiful Maine Coon who reminds me a lot of Furby. She jumped in my lap while I was sitting on the bed and proceeded to urinate on me. Instead of getting angry, I realized something was wrong because she'd never done this before. The litter box was kept clean so I knew that wasn't the issue. I scooped her up and took her straight to the vet. As it turned out, she had a kidney infection that required antibiotics. She knew exactly how to tell me something was wrong.

6. Get a cat for the right reasons. They're not toys to pick up as a whim and turn them into a shelter when you get tired of them. Before you adopt any pet, realize this animal will be with you for YEARS. To look at adoption or rescue any other way is just asking for trouble.

I hope this helps. It's the rules I live by and so far they've served me well.


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Secrets To My Cat Success

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Jun 09, 2010 Think cat
by: Ruth

We need to 'think cat' always to ensure they are safe in their own home.
Yes knives should be upside down in the drainer and nothing sharp left anywhere around the house.
We had many cats into the vets with a sewing needle stuck in their mouth or throat, that tantalising bit of thread hanging from it is irresistable to most cats.
Ruth I laughed about Monty getting into his clean bed when your back was turned lol, typical cat, they don't like to appear too grateful.
It's the same with anything new isn't it? It's looked at suspiciously and approached carefully, then a paw batted at it to test it out lol
All that before it's accepted.
I can't imagine a home now without cats in,they are fascinating !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Jun 08, 2010 Knives
by: Joyce Sammons

That's one thing my mama would fuss at me about. And I mean really fuss. My daughter used to leave the blade up and it didn't take long for me to get it thru her head that I meant business. All it would take for a cat to be critically injured would be for it to try to jump to the top of the refrigerator and miss. Our hardest thing to keep away from Lola is elastic hair bands. Laura has to make sure they're out of reach when she takes them out of her hair. You have to pretend you have a 2 year old in the house and put everything out of reach.

Jun 08, 2010 good points
by: Ruth (Monty's Mom)

Really good advice! I like that about the knives being put in upside down. Mine are inside the dishwasher, so Monty couldn't really get at them, but that's something a lot of people probably don't think about as they are doing their dishes. I find myself all the time trying to anticipate things my furry friend might get into. It isn't always easy.

I would add that with cats sometimes things you think are a great idea may be met with indifference. It's like the cat has to think it was his idea. Like today I washed Monty's folded blanket and put it back on the sofa for him, surrounded by pillows-- a cozy little nest. He turned up his nose at it and ran away. That was 20 minutes ago. Now he's snoozing on that blanket. He jumped up there while my back was turned. It had to be his idea before he would do it.

I have finally cured him of his fascination with the iron. Every time he'd show interest in the iron I'd put him in his room until I was done ironing. I felt so bad to do it, because my ironing takes hours-- I'd pop in and pet him and tell him I was sorry, but he'd just be stuck in his room until I was done. I never yelled at him, except when I screamed in fear the time he actually tried to jump onto the ironing board and was hanging on to the edge of it for dear life, his nose perilously close to the iron. I grabbed him, hugged him, and put him in his room. Finally he must have gotten the hint, because now I can iron and he just ignores it.

Jun 08, 2010 Happy home
by: Ruth

Your house sounds a happy relaxing place to be Joyce, just like ours.
Cats are family and it upsets me when people say they are lucky to be 'given' a home, as if it's not their right to have a home.
I consider we are the lucky ones,we have the honour of having cats living with us.
I think some people have expectations too high about cats.We can't expect them to behave perfectly every minute of every day, we are not always perfectly behaved,our children are not always perfectly behaved, so why expect cats to be ?
We use the excuse 'Well I'm only human' if we make mistakes,lose our temper, or whatever.
We should think 'Well our cats are only feline' when they do something we don't like.
And true cat lovers do think that way.
The main thing is to be consistent, if you allow cats on worktops etc some times but not others, they become confused.
We have 2 high chairs for our boyz to sit on if they want to join in whatever we are doing in the kitchen and that seems to satisfy their natural desire to be up a height.
But we keep the kitchen door firmly closed if the cooker is on,our boyz have never jumped up on any kitchen surfaces,but better safe than sorry.
But they've so much else to do in the rest of the house and garden,it doesn't bother them when the kitchen door is shut and out of bounds.
Walter hates the vacuum cleaner but Jozef doesn't mind it, he sits and watches.So we never vacuum a room while Walt is in it,so what, it can wait, it's more important not to upset him.
I think a lot of cats must live lives of misery, always being yelled at for doing 'wrong'
Yes you can tell an abused cat just by looking at the way he acts. It's hearthbreaking.
I think some people just love having power over a small animal that can't really fight back,those people are truly inadequate!

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Jun 07, 2010 To Valley Girl
by: Joyce Sammons

Go to Furby's site and look at all the pics of him. He's into some kind of trouble every day. The front page has all of his Furby stories. Also look at the mothball poisoning story I wrote. It's probably the most important story I ever did. Furbys site is Here's the link to the mothball.

Jun 07, 2010 Great post!
by: Valley Girl


This is a great post. I agree with your take, and learned some extra tips.

I especially liked the pix and the "if this upsets you, don't get a cat" So true, and lol.

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