Once again we are lucky enough to have WereBear to share her cat experience with us. Plus some cute kittie photos.
Cats are communists
Despite the myth of the aloof, solitary, cat, the original cat has a social structure. The African wildcat raises their kittens communally, and form alliances for hunting and patrolling duties. These same nurturing abilities are available to their humans.
Right now, we aren’t raising our new kittens alone. We have the services of Reverend Jim, our 12 year old Maine Coon Cat mix and resident Kitten Wrangler. Within days, he had moved into Kitten Country. He is rewarded with hero worship from Bud and Lou, and reliable second breakfasts from the humans. (We think RJ has a Hobbit heritage. Hairy toes.)
He’s like the famous Grandpa Mason, a stray who stole hearts with his devoted nurturing of the foster kittens in his care. RJ teaches manners, reassures them about new things, and appears when something falls over with a bit too much emphasis. His influence limits the amount of trouble they get into.
Now the kittens have a new plaything in Tristan, who comes for visits until his nerve fails and he asks to leave. But it is progress when he became able to take a nap with them. He find sleeping kittens are much more predictable.
Which brings up a request from last time: how do we get kittens to sleep through the night?
We create a ritual and a backup plan.
All of our cats will learn a bedtime routine when we include them in it. As part of our own preparations, we should build in a “wearing out the kitten” play session. This will encourage them to snuggle, too. They are more likely to want petting, once they’ve had their play. All cats cycle faster than their humans, running through many 3-4 hour cycles in the course of a day.
This is why a high-energy kitten will wake us up in the middle of the night. They are bored and lonely. At such times I suggest that if our kitten cannot amuse themselves, we get up long enough to turn on the battery operated toys we left in the living room for such an emergency. This will let us go back to bed.
Invitations from the kitten to get up and play should be met with a ploy I call Hug Monster. Oh, they are waking us up for hugs! No? Well, hugs are what they are getting. All other responses will mere encourage the kitten.
Yes, I leave the bedroom door open so they can come and go. Otherwise, the cat will annoy us, like walking on our heads, until we can’t stand it anymore and get up and open the door. Congratulations. You just trained the cat to walk on your head to get the door open.
Don’t do that.
The Way of Cats is available in paperback and on Kindle HERE
Visit the Way of Cats blog HERE
If you have questions for WereBear, she should be stopping by…
Meanwhile, share your pet stories.