Today's Purrl Of Wisdom

The reason cats climb is so that they can look down on almost every other animal — it's also the reason they hate birds."
-- K.C. Buffington

Going Incognito - Why Cats Bury Their Food

Some cats bury their food after they're finished eating, even if it's in a crystal dish.
Dear Thomasina...
Can you tell me why cats bury their food after they're  finished eating? 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.

When cats bury their food before they eat, they're telling their people to open another can because they're not going to touch the stuff that was just put in front of them. But there's a different reason why some cats bury their food.

Today's Purrl Of Wisdom

“The smallest feline is a masterpiece.” 
― Leonardo da Vinci

Why Do Cats Rub Around Their People's Legs - The Power Of Pheromones

Cats rub around their people's legs to make their people smell like them.
Dear Thomasina...
Why do cats rub around their people's legs? Does that mean my cat loves me?
-- Flattered

Hi Flattered!
Ohhh... how nice! Cats do rub around their people's legs to show they love them. I guess... Actually, it's a bit more complicated than that.

Did you know we have scent glands in our cheeks, foreheads, chins, the base of our tails and our paw pads? So when cats rub around their people's legs, they're making their people smell like them. That's a way of showing love, I guess, or at least possession.

The Power Of Pheromones

Today's Purrl Of Wisdom

“Cats gravitate to kitchens like rocks gravitate to gravity.”
― Terry Pratchett, Witches Abroad

How To Convince A Cat To Use A Scratching Post

It might take some persuasion to convince a cat to use a scratching post, but it can be done.
Dear 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

Today's Purrl Of Wisdom

“If a cat spoke, it would say things like 'Hey, I don’t see the problem here.”
― Roy Blount Jr.

Tall Tails - Your Cat's Tail Can Tell You A Lot About His Mood

Cat tails tell all. What is your cat's tail telling you?
Dear Thomasina...
Every time my cat sees me, he puts his tail up. Why does he do that? Is he saying hello?
-- Just Wondering

Hi Just Wondering...
Yes, he's saying hello! Putting our tails up is one way we let our humans and other cats know we're happy to see them. If you pay attention, your cat's tail can tell you all kinds of things about his mood.

Here are some more things your cat's tail can tell you.

When your cat's tail is up but curved at the end like a question mark, he's really interested in something. It can be a greeting, too, when the cat is a bit unsure. I do that a lot when I see other cats, because I can't decide if I want to hang out with them or just be by myself.

Today's Purrl Of Wisdom

"There are no ordinary cats."
-- Colette

Do Cats Really Need To Drink Water?

Cats really need to drink water. They should have between five-10 ounces a day.
Thomasina, do cats really need to drink water? My cat recently switched to an all-wet-food diet, and now I never see him drinking his water. How much water does a cat need? Should I be concerned?
-- Worried

Hey, Worried!
Yes, cats really need to drink water. We should have between five-10 ounces a day, but all of it doesn't necessarily have to come from a bowl!

Wherever It Comes From, Cats Really Need To Drink Water

Does Yelling At Your Kids Scare Your Cat?

Yelling at your kids can scare your cat.
Dear Thomasina...
Does yelling scare cats? I yelled at my kids the other day, and now my cat is terrified of me. Why??? I wasn't yelling at him! I love my cat! I would never yell at him.
-- Sad and Confused

Hi Sad and Confused...
I'm sorry your cat's so upset. Yes, yelling at your kids scares your cat! But he won't be scared forever.

I was about to say we're not mind readers. But really, sometimes we are. We pick up on our humans' thoughts and emotions. And sometimes we know what you're thinking almost before you do.

But yelling at kids scares cats because it's a bit different. Your cat could tell you were angry with somebody, and for all he knew that somebody was him. So he figured it was best to just lay low and stay out of the way until you calmed down. He was probably so confused.

The other reason yelling at kids scares cats is that we're very sensitive to loud noises, and booming voices really hurt our ears.

Believe me, I know how annoying human kids can be! But maybe you could not yell at them when your cat is around. Or if you do, take him some treats and sit with him for a few minutes after the kids have scattered.

Apologize for upsetting him and tell him how much you love him. He'll appreciate your kindness. And spending a few minutes with him will make you forget those misbehaving kids and feel like all is right with the world again.

Today's Recommendation
This is our human's
favorite cat behavior book.

Today's Purrl Of Wisdom

"There are few things in life more heartwarming than to be welcomed by a cat."
-- Tay Hohoff

How Cats Keep Their Cool In Hot Weather

There are all kinds of ways cats keep cool in hot weather, although eating ice cream cones isn't one of them.
Dear Thomasina...
How do cats keep cool in hot weather? It's blazing hot today, and I'm very worried about my outside cat.
Concerned Cat Mom

Hey Concerned...
I don't think you need to worry about your boy. Cats know how to keep cool in hot weather. We're homeotherms (We're what??? The human typist strikes again, and I don't like the the sound of that!). Oh, I see. It means we're able to adjust internal heat gain and loss so we can maintain a constant body temperature. Well, I knew that!

How Cats Keep Cool In Hot Weather

Today's Purrl Of Wisdom

“Never try to outstubborn a cat.” 
-- Robert A. Heinlein

The Woes Of Wet Fur - Why Cats Hate Getting Wet

Most cats hate getting wet.
Dear Thomasina...
Is it true that cats hate getting wet? I'd like to give my kittens a bath but I don't want to upset them. 
New Cat Mom

Hi New Cat Mom!
Hope you're having fun with your kittens! Yes, it's true that most cats hate getting wet. I certainly do!

Wet fur makes us cold (think about how you feel when you first get out of the shower). And it slows us down because it weighs more when it's wet and soggy. Another reason cats hate getting wet it that wet fur makes us smell different. Heavy rain or a bath washes away all the familiar scents that we live with all the time, and that's very upsetting.

A Few Words About 'Purrsonal' Hygiene 

Today's Purrl Of Wisdom

“My cat is not insane, she's just a really good actress.” 
― P.C. CastUntamed

Haha! Me, too!

Do Cats Act Like Dogs, Or Do Dogs Act Like Cats?

Do some cats act like dogs? Maybe it's dogs who act like cats!
Dear Thomasina...
Is it normal for some cats to act like dogs? My cat meets me at the door, walks with me and loves to play fetch. I'm not complaining, but don't you think he's a bit weird?

Hey, Purrplexed!
Love your name! I don't think cats act like dogs. But dogs do act like some cats. I've often wondered if they get confused and think they're cats because they usually greet their people at the door, come when they're called, like to play fetch and love going for walks just like we do.

Every cat is different, of course. Personally, I think playing fetch is boring and too much work, and I would never do it. But my friend, Ronnie, loves to chase little tinfoil balls and swat them back to his humans. And another cat I know thinks catching treats in midair is just about the most fun thing ever. She doesn't swat them back to her human, though. She eats them after she catches them. Maybe that's not exactly playing fetch, but I've seen dogs do it, too.

Cats Love Their People Just Like Dogs Do

How To Choose The Perfect Cat Bed

A basket can make the perfect cat bed.
Dear Thomasina...
What do you consider the perfect cat bed? I want to get my cat a new bed, but there are so many choices, I can't decide. 
-- Confused

Hi Confused...
For me, the perfect cat bed is the one that looks like a little cave. I have other beds, but that's my favorite because I can curl up all the way in the back and no one even knows I'm there. It has a soft cushion, too, but it's not so soft I get swallowed up in fluff.

Cat beds can be tricky. They have to be just the right size and shape. And, believe it or not, they can't be too soft. If the bed is too soft, we could get stuck in all that padding and not be able to get away quickly if we had to.

Choosing The Perfect Cat Bed

Here are some thoughts on creating the perfect cat bed.
  • Most of us love "doughnut" beds because they're round, and we like to sleep curled up. Our Honey Cat's favorite has high sides so she can hide in it, and no one disturbs her while she's sleeping. Belle's perfect cat bed has low sides. She likes it because she can stretch out if she wants to. Sizzle has a dog bed because he's so huge. But most of us prefer sleeping in small spaces. 
  • Put the bed on a chair, table, shelf or anywhere except the floor. We like to be up high where we're safe and can see what's going on. 
  • If you get one of those cave beds with a toy attached to the top, take the toy off. A fake mouse dangling in your cat's face will annoy her. And we take sleeping very seriously and don't play in bed! 
  • To let your cat know the new bed is for her, sprinkle some catnip in it or put a few treats inside. She'll like that. 
  • Don't be disappointed if she doesn't use it at first. It takes us a while to investigate new things and get used to them. When I got my cave bed, I didn't sleep in it for weeks! I love it now. Something else that could keep your cat from using the bed right away is the smell. If it smells like the store where you bought it, she won't feel comfortable in it. You can solve that problem by putting an unwashed towel in the bed. Don't forget to sprinkle some catnip on the towel!
  • Speaking of washing, when the bed gets dirty, wash it in plain water with no soap. If it smells like detergent, your cat might decide she hates it. 
  • Color is important, too. The colors we like and see best are in the purple, blue, green and yellow ranges.

Think Inside The Box

Sometimes the perfect cat bed isn't actually a bed. Katie and Muffitt love to sleep in baskets on our human's dresser under a sunny window . And Boccelli's favorite "bed" is a box from We've gotten other boxes from Amazon since that one arrived, but it's still his favorite.

If your cat chooses a basket or box as her favorite bed, she'll love having a soft cushion (the kind that come in some cat carriers) or a couple of towels inside to make it even cozier.

Actually, it would be really nice if she could have a couple of beds so she could choose where to sleep, depending on her mood. I know that sounds like an extravagance, but she's worth it!

Most cats love cozy tent cat beds
Today's Recommendation
This looks like my tent cat bed.

Today's Purrl Of Wisdom

"Dogs come when they're called; cats take a message and get back to you later." 
-- Mary Bly

Your Cat's Litter Box - Should You Go Topless?

Your cat's litter box should not have a top, and getting in and out should be easy.
Dear Thomasina...
Do you have any advice on my cat's litter box? I recently bought this one, and he won't use it! He either waits and and goes 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.

The Perfect Potty For Cats

Today's Purrl Of Wisdom

"If man could be crossed with a cat, it would improve man but deteriorate the cat."
-- Mark Twain

Cats And The Power Of The Spray Bottle

Spraying your cat with a spray bottle could make him afraid of you.
Dear Thomasina...
Why does my cat insist on getting on the sofa? I spray him with a spray bottle, and he just keeps doing it. And to make matters worse, now he seems to be afraid of me. What's wrong with him?
-- Frustrated

Hi Frustrated...
I'm sorry you and your cat are upset with each other. Spraying a cat with a spray bottle rarely works out the way the humans want it to.

Really, I don't think there's anything wrong with your cat. But he must be wondering what's wrong with you! He has no idea why you keep aiming that weapon at him and getting him soaking wet when all he's doing is trying to take a nap.

Cats don't have a strong sense of personal property the way humans do. We think of things as "ours," not "yours" and "mine." So when you're not using the sofa, your cat doesn't see any reason why he can't sleep on it.

Maybe you could give him his own little corner of the couch. If you put a soft throw or cat bed in the spot that's okay for him to use, he'll probably sleep there, especially if you sprinkle his special place with catnip.

Why The Spray Bottle Theory Is All Wet

Today's Purrl Of Wisdom

“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.” 
― Robert A. Heinlein

Licking The Hand That Feeds You | Why Cats Lick Hands

Cats lick hands for a variety of reasons. And yes, one of them is love!
Dear Thomasina...
Why do cat lick hands? My cat does that all the time. Does that mean she loves me?
-- Curious Cat Mom

Hey, Curious!
Cats lick hands for a few reasons, and one of them is love!

Sometimes being around a human we like and trust brings out the mom cat in us. Just like our mothers licked us when we were kittens to keep us clean, some cats lick hands to get all that invisible (to you) dirt off.

Cats Lick Hands With Invisible Sponges

Why Do Cats Carry Their Toys Around?

Cats carry their toys around like they would prey.
Cats carry their toys around like they would prey.
Photo: ©
Why do cats carry their toys around, Thomasina? When my cat gets tired of playing with me, he tries to carry the toy off into another room. Isn't that sort of weird?
-- Puzzled

Hey, Puzzled!
No insult, but I don't think it's weird when cats carry their toys around. Playing with toys is really another form of hunting for us. When we've caught our "prey," we need to take it someplace where we'll be safe while we eat. Not that we'd eat a toy, of course, and we do know the difference. But you get the idea.

Although I've never done this myself, a favorite place for putting toys away seems to be a water bowl. Makes sense, I guess, since the water bowl is usually near where the cat eats.

Another Reason Why Cats Carry Toys Around