Cat Chat

  • Adopting a Cat-What to Expect

    When you decide to adopt a pet it is a big decision. You are bringing in a new family member and it may take time for him/her to adjust to their new surroundings and feel comfortable. They may feel at home quickly, or may need a little time and space before calling their new surroundings home, and bonding with you and the rest of the family.



    Kittens- Adopting a kitten is a popular choice. They tend to adjust quickly unless they are feral (That is a whole new subject!) and, they tend to fit in with other family members very quickly. When adopting a new kitten or two you should always make sure you are prepared with quality grain-free wet food, a litter box, cat toys and maybe a few extras, like a cat bed. Be sure to get the kitten checked by the vet and keep your eyes open for any health concerns or unusual behavior.



    Adolescent Cat- A cat that is a little older but still not fully grown--between 6 months and two years, might need a little more time to adjust. They could require some space of their own for a short time, like a bathroom or spare bedroom. Be sure to find out what kind of food they have been eating so you can provide something familiar to them while they transition. If they are shelter cats they are probably used to any kind of food. Cats are prone to upper respiratory infections, especially when they are in a shelter or kennel environment, so keep an eye on your new kitties for a while and take them to the vet for a check-up right after adoption. Make sure they have had their initial vaccinations and get any health records if they are available.



    Older kitties- Any cat that is older than two is considered full-grown. It is best to provide a safe and secure area for them when you first bring them home. Let them adjust slowly, in their own time. They may hide under the bed or sofa and be a bit scared at first. Make sure to keep a litter box and food and water near-by so they can have access without having to go too far from their hiding spot. Make sure children and other pets aren’t disturbing them often, especially in the beginning. It can take up to three weeks or more for a cat to adjust to a new home, so don’t despair. It’s always good to find out a little bit about the personality of the cat you would like to adopt so you know a little more about what to expect. Pay attention to the body language of your new pet; flat ears and hissing are a definite cue to back off and let kitty adjust. It does not mean that your kitty is unfriendly or aggressive, especially if it has never shown signs of this in the past. This is why it’s a good idea to talk to the foster, shelter staff, or previous owner. Cats can be scared and stressed at first and may not eat or drink. This is only a problem if they stop eating altogether, or eat very little for a period of a week. A cat should never go more than three days without food or water. Their livers can fail or they can get pancreatitis if they don’t eat. Take any cat to the vet who does not eat for three days--they may require IV fluids there. This is more common in older cats and cats that have been through a big change, or are over-weight.



    Introduce all new pets to your other furry family members slowly, and provide fresh, clean litter boxes for each of your kitties. Treats and toys go a long way to make kitty feel more comfortable in a new home. Most of all, enjoy getting to know your new family member, and remember that indoor cats live longer, happier lives than cats that go outside.

  • How To Turn Your Dog Friends Into Cat People!


    We love dogs, but this is a cat site after all, so I thought I would share how you can convince your dog friends to include cats in their furry family.


    1. Cats are funny! They are humble too, because cats don’t even realize how funny they are! They don’t require a large amount of space to pull off their antics, like dogs do, and they certainly don’t need your approval to goof around! 

    Photo from


    2. Cats are quieter and more polite than dogs! They will never accost your visitors at the door, and a cat will never bark at your neighbors as they pull into their driveway! They will greet you when you come home, though! 


    3. Cats don’t need to be walked! But, if your dog-loving friends want to walk them, cats can be trained to walk on leashes! How cool is that?


    4. Cats bring you love gifts. Yay! We love getting little presents of mice and bugs, don’t you? Cats are great at keeping insects out of your house!


    5. Cat purrs are the best sound ever. Did you know that the vibration of purring is actually healing? Can your dog help you get rid of your tummy ache, or soothe you when you are feeling blue? (Well, okay, they can make you feel better when you are down, we’ll give them that, but they still can’t purr!!!)


    6. Cats smell better than dogs!! This is just a fact!!


    Cats are super-cute, and soft too! But, we know you don’t need convincing that cats are amazing…that’s how you found!


  • It’s Time For a Party!


    A kitty Birthday party that is! B-day parties for your kitty, or kitties as the case may be,are all the rage! Make a cake, decorate and make sure to get some gifts. Invite your friends over and enjoy watching your cats’ excitement when they get to play with their new birthday toys!

    A friend of mine recently held a first birthday party for her four kitties. Their mom is a rescue from their street that they took in, only to find her pregnant. They kept the kittens along with mam, and the babies recently had their first birthday! Liza Mae, Princess Zelda, Peaches Marlene and Winchester Northman all enjoyed their new toys and new cat tree!


    Liza Mae checking out the cupcakes.


    Make sure to decorate and have refreshments for your human friends too!

    Remember all decorations should be kitty-friendly, as some ribbon and other party favors can cause injury if kitty is left unattended.


    Winchester Northman looking for a drink.


    Peaches Marlene on her new cat tree (Do you think she will share with her siblings?)


    So next time your kitty has a birthday don’t forget to hit the party store and stock up on Hello Kitty or Pusheen themed party decorations. You could even play pin the tail on the dog! Invite all your kitty loving friends (i.e., other crazy cat ladies and cat daddies), and celebrate with your furry babies.


    The kittens with mama- Their first baby pic!

  • Feline Friendships



    The Internet is full of pictures of cute interspecies friendships, but cats of all sizes are probably most famous for being solitary creatures. Not because they don't socialize, per se, but because they're so selective about it.

    My brown tabby Meesh has always had a hard time making friends, but it's certainly not for lack of trying. He's just a little too friendly. He was that kitten at the shelter who stuck his paws between the bars to swat at passersby and pounced on his cagemates tirelessly. He has a lot of energy, but his intentions are pure... the other cats just have yet to appreciate his more extraverted canine style of saying hello. A typical attempt to socialize results in arched backs, hisses, and high-pitched yelps, while Meesh just sits there with his ears back, ruffled, confused, and slightly stunned that no one likes to have their tails grabbed by strangers.

    So I figured the odds weren't good when a new cat moved in next door: Alice, an oversized calico with an equally hefty attitude. The situation seemed especially hopeless after her humans put her on a diet and gave us two giant crates of her favorite canned cat food. Every time I popped open a Friskies prime filet with ocean whitefish and tuna, I'd catch a glimpse of Alice hovering in the shadows of our back porch, biding her time.



    I often leave the door slightly cracked to let Meesh spend time on the porch — like many cats, he has an intense phobia of closed doors. No nefarious characters had managed to get in yet, aside from the occasional mosquito. Then, out of the corner of my eye: an amorphous and suspiciously calico-colored shape squeezed through the crack and bolted for the food bowl at breakneck speed. The cat proceeded to wolf down an entire Friskies filet as though the poor thing hadn't eaten in weeks, while Meesh looked on in horror. After Alice had licked the bowl completely clean, she planted herself under the couch and refused to leave until one solid hour of coaxing later.

    It sounds like the stuff of doomed cat relationships, but that day marked a turning point. Maybe it was fate or a sense of karmic reciprocity, or just the simple fact that Alice is nearly twice his size, but in the days since, she's been the closest thing to a friend that Meesh has ever had. I don't know if I'd call them besties exactly, but I'll take it.

  • Is Your Cat Sexist?



    Is your cat sexist? I’m wondering if anyone else notices differences in the way their cats react to men and women.

Our cat, Calvin, is an easygoing guy, but he has a very different relationship with me than he does with my husband, Jeff. He’d rather play with Jeff. He’s been as blatant as ignoring a toy mouse that I throw, only to chase it when my husband gives it a toss. But when he’s ready to cuddle, he seeks me out. 

    With my previous cat, Sally, the cuddle situation was reversed: Once she warmed up to Jeff, she decided that his lap had mine beat. 

    Did my cats choose their favorite cuddle buddies based on gender? Or do other factors explain their preferences? Maybe Calvin is more affectionate with me because I’m squishier than my husband is and I wear a fuzzy bathrobe — all the better for “biscuit making.” And maybe Sally preferred Jeff because she was petite and skittish and he is tall and calm. 

    As for playing differences, Calvin was close to his feline foster brother, who taught him how to play. And he had a cool human foster uncle. 

    None of this is a huge deal, of course. But I admit that I feel a little flattered when I flick the fishing pole toy the right way and capture Calvin’s imagination, and I think my husband is touched when Calvin gives him a cuddle. Even if he is a tad sexist, the most important thing to us is that we have a happy, healthy pet who makes us happy in return. 

    Photo credit: The Rambling Man via

  • 5 Things Owners of Black Cats Know


    1.  They always look chic and put-together, which will put you to shame on your more disheveled days.


    2.  It's easy to buy all sorts of merchandise that looks like your cat.


    3.  Those moments when you realize the cat has been RIGHT THERE the whole time on your dark-colored couch or bed and you didn't know it? He's totally laughing at you.


    4.  They're collectible.

    5.  Above all, they are wonderful pets who don't deserve to be overlooked at shelters.


    Photo credit: Instagram users Mari_Batt, nightandastra, thelifeofwaltandsi. Black cat teapot by

  • Cute Cat Pinterest Boards to Follow


    I love sharing my favorite finds (and, OK, occasionally wasting time) on Pinterest. But not long ago I realized that I needed some more sources of kitty-cat cuteness, and I decided to find some new cat-centric boards to follow. 

    Now I'm pretty picky about my cat pics. Not just any board was going to make the cut. But I found a few that meet my standards. 


    I love Pinner Ayaka Isoyama’s eye for artistic, distinctive cat pictures. 



    For kitten pictures, I’m liking the Pinner who just goes by I Am … 



    Another vast resource for cute kitten pics is Pinner Bobby Schaefer. With thousands of kitten pictures, there’s enough sweetness on this Pinterest board to brighten even your worst day. 



    Black cats hold a special place in my heart, as that’s the fur color of my own little dude, Calvin. Pinner Alexandra May’s images of black cats are high-quality and varied. 



    Of course, you can also follow on Pinterest. On my personal Pinterest account, I pin lots of cats and other aww-inspiring animals (but, really, mostly cats) on my Cute board.


    If you haven't tried out Pinterest yet and are looking for a guide to start pinning kitty pictures and other awesome stuff, here’s how to get started.

  • The Guys' Guide to Liking Cats



    When my husband, Jeff, and I started dating, he was neutral on cats. He didn’t have one, but he wasn’t anti-cat. His last pet had been a friendly black Lab, the polar opposite of my skittish cat Sally. 

    Yet as our relationship progressed and Sally became our cat and not just mine, the two of them developed a strong friendship. And it wasn’t a fluke. Our current cat, Calvin, is also crazy about Jeff. And Jeff is quite fond of Calvin — the fact that he will move Calvin’s favorite blanket from room to room for his lounging needs is a pretty good sign of that. 

    His care for Sally and Calvin is one of the many things I appreciate about Jeff. I brought cats into our relationship, and he opened his heart to them, too. 

    I asked him the other night what advice he would give to guys who are now in the situation he was when we started dating: You like her; she has a beloved cat; you’re not too sure what to make of the cat because you’re a dog guy. 

    He must have given this topic some good thought over the years, because he had immediate ideas 


    • You can’t press the issue with cats. If a cat doesn’t want to be picked up, you’re not going to win her over if you keep trying. Give her some space and see what she initiates.

    • On the other hand, if you’ve found something that works with the cat, keep doing it. Cats like routines. If the kitty decides you’re the go-to guy for behind-the-ear scratches or for a treat when you get home from work, you’re on your way developing a relationship.

    • Cats have a reputation for being aloof. But just because they don’t act exactly like dogs do, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to play, have fun and be affectionate with you. You just have to put a little more work into figuring out what works for that particular cat. Does he want you to play with the fishing pole toy or the laser pointer? Does affection mean petting or just sitting by you on the couch?

    • Jeff’s theory is that most guys have a mental image of themselves as a big dog. Imagining yourself as a big cat instead can help you relate to any kitties in your life. 


Jeff did not mention working on household projects together as a method of dude-cat bonding, but you can tell from the photo that's been successful in our house!

    What advice about getting to know and appreciate cats would you give to guys (or ladies!) who have never had a feline friend? Let us know in the comments section.

  • The Art of Cat Names



    How did your cat get his or her name? 

    Generally, I’m a fan of the “Well, he just seemed like a …” approach. 

    We had long thought we would name our next cat Edward R. Meow, after a cat puppet from a memorable scene on “The Office.” But when we met our now-cat, it was clear he wasn’t an Edward or even an Eddie. He was a Calvin. It’s hard to imagine him being named anything else. 

    I also like human names for cats, especially those you don’t seem to hear all the time for pets. Laurie Cinotto, who has shared stories of her many, many foster kittens at the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee website, has such a marvelous knack for names: from Augie to Cecily, Kenneth to Norma. 

    Another strategy I like is giving cats first and last names or titles. While researching a trip to L.A. once, I randomly ran across a cat named John Meow, a lovely, dignified name. And, of course, there was another member of the Meow family with a memorable name, the recently departed and very much missed Colonel Meow. 

    Share your cat-naming stories with us in the comments. And it’s OK to admit: You probably have a list of great cat names you haven’t had a chance to use yet. I do. Share those, too.


    Photo credit: Theopolisme via

  • A Valentine's Message from a Single Cat


    Hi, everyone. I'm Calvin. Yes, I know Valentine’s Day is coming, and I am a single cat, but that is no reason to be bummed. Let me show you what I mean! 


    There are so many ways to meet that special someone now. Like online dating. Hmmm. I’m having trouble typing my profile without opposable thumbs, though. Could someone help? 


    I’m a big believer in the power of positive thinking. When I hang out in the sink, I visualize cuddling there with my special lady. Which I guess means she would have to fit in the sink. Sorry, human ladies. 


    But even though I love to cuddle, I still enjoy my independence, and I am not clingy. OK, yes, my humans claim I can be a little clingy. But I ask you, could a clingy cat spend time alone in his man cave like this? 


    So, until I meet Ms. Right, I’ll just be spending my time on top of my cat tree looking handsome. Ladies, maybe you’d like to make this picture your phone background … you know, to remind you to call me.