It seems that you, my little kibble crunchers, have more questions about the most fantastical and mysterious creature known to earth: the cat. A few friendly felines and their fur-families have sent me their queries, and I am honoured to be their source for pussformation. As I’ve done before, I will endeavour to answer these important inquiries to the best of my ability.
Q: Meow, Miss Sugar:
I am a young kitten, less than a year old. Recently my human has been allowing me outside of my home to hunt my favourite snack of butterflies (Yummy!), however, the neighbour cat who is always outside seems to bully me. I just want to be friends with him and have the big smart cat teach me how to hunt. My human does not allow me outside as much because of this and always watches me really closely. Why is the other cat being mean and how do I prevent this? Is the only solution to stay inside?
Meow Meow, Salem
A: Dear Salem:
Miss Sugar is an advocate of all cats staying indoors. However, I also understand that I can’t control the world, even though it would be a much better place if I could!
The older cat is either jealous of your youth or acting out of territorial aggression. Either way, cats don’t just “work it out”. This cat probably means business! And you, my delicate friend, could come to harm.
If you were both living in the same household, I would suggest keeping you separated until you’re older. That’s not possible in this case. If the other cat is not “fixed”, that would also help. Again, that’s not yours to take on. So, the only means of protecting you from this bully is to make sure your paths don’t cross. Keeping you inside (Miss Sugar’s top choice) or watching you closely in a blocked off area outside, are my best suggestions. And count your blessings that you have a wonderful human bean who cares about your safety!
On the subject of bullies, I must tell you candidly, my little coat shedders, that I was bullied by my significant other. It’s true! We all loved Spice very much, but he had moments when he was overwhelmed with jealousy over my mere presence, and would tackle and subdue me with his panther-like body and his four remaining teeth.
It didn’t hurt me physically, but my feelings were forever bruised. If they were home and heard the commotion, Mother or Father would intervene and make him stop – otherwise it seemed to go on forever. It was as if he was in a trance that they would interrupt with a loud noise or spritz of water.
The incidents happened less frequently as time went on, but he would still surprise me once in a while with his out-of-nowhere attacks. Still, we mostly got along and would even groom each other and nap together from time to time, usually while social distancing.
Q: Hello Miss Sugar, Can you tell me why my cat licks me when I put his food in his bowl? Or sometimes when I am sleeping he will start licking my hair.
Thank you Miss Sugar and I hope you are having a restful day.
A: My dearest Roberta, thank you for your question and your kind wishes. I have never known a day to be anything except restful! I expect this trend to continue.
There are a few reasons that may explain why your cat licks you.
First, the most likely one, is that he loves you! His Mother groomed him this way, so it’s how he has learned to show affection. He’s saying, thank you for the yummy food, and, now that you’re sleeping I can fix your hair the way I like it!
Another reason could be that your kitty is lonely. This could mean – and I’m certainly not accusing you – that he needs more attention. A few scratches behind the ears, coos of compliments and perhaps a good brushing once a day should help. Sometimes, the best defense is a good offense!
The third reason is anxiety. If kitty is anxious, he can over-groom himself and that might carry over to you. Some cats develop anxiety over all sorts of things such as a change in furniture arrangement, or a new food. We like sameness. My Mother once had a cat that hid for three days after a move. Fortunately, I’m not the anxious type, or all of the relocating my human beans have done would have sent me into a licking frenzy!
I hope this information helps. Miss Sugar is all about a harmonious home. If you don’t want to be licked, some gentle hints would work best. And if that means closing kitty out of the bedroom, so be it! As long as there are other places of his own to curl up in, he will be fine, no matter how much he claims otherwise at full voice! We all must make compromises – kitties too!
Thank you for your questions and please, keep them coming in the comments below or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Next to belly rubs, Miss Sugar loves sharing facts about my wonderful species the best!
Until next time, my little toy pouncers,
I remain your friend,