Cat whisperer will try to tame Lux
The big cat that attacked a baby and trapped an Oregon family in a bedroom touched off an Internet uproar that worries Jackson Galaxy, star of Animal Planet’s My Cat from Hell.
Cats don’t become ferocious felines that attack their families for no reason, says the cat behaviour expert, who is heading to Portland soon to work with the four-year-old part-Himalayan cat named Lux. Galaxy will film the visit for his show’s fifth season, which kicks off April 26.
“Every parental site on the internet blames the cat for this confrontation. Every pet site blames the family,” he said, adding that something is wrong if the cat is acting out. “We need to step back because there is a story behind all this. Don’t assume anything.”
Lux became a worldwide phenomenon after owner Lee Palmer called 911 and said the cat had cornered him, his girlfriend, baby, and the family dog inside a room.
Palmer says his seven-month-old pulled Lux’s tail, and he kicked the animal after it scratched the child. Then, the cat “just went off over the edge,” Palmer told an emergency dispatcher.
“He’s charging us,” Palmer said, as the cat was heard screeching in the background. Officers arrived catching Lux with a dog snare.
Palmer added the cat had a history of violence, the family kept Lux until Monday, when they turned him over to a Portland-area shelter. And the family assured Animal Planet they were going to keep the cat and agreed to therapy with Galaxy.
Advocate for Lux
Galaxy said he was going to Portland to act as Lux’s advocate and find out what’s going on.
“I have no idea what made Lux aggressive,” he said. “It could be a chemical imbalance, a history of stressful environments or because he was kicked.”
“If you want a blanket statement on how to deal with aggression, `Don’t set the cat up for failure,”‘ he said.
The expert, who has worked with tens of thousands of cats, said the thing that bothered him most about Lux was his continued aggression the day Palmer called 911, including the animal’s ongoing assault on the door even though the threat was gone.
But the word “attack” doesn’t sit well with Galaxy because 75 percent of the time, it’s tied to a grouchy mood or a warning, he added.
“If I have a headache, I won’t be the nicest guy in the world. I may snap at you,” he said. “This may have been Lux’s way of snapping. Someone pulling his tail may have been the last straw.”
5 tips for taming aggressive cats
There are many reasons a cat can turn aggressive, and there is no universal way to deal with it, Galaxy said. But the star cat behaviourist provided five ways to tame out-of-control cats:
- Never leave a young child unsupervised with a cat.
- Take it to a vet every year. If a cat is acting suspiciously, the owner needs to pay attention. “Know what suspicious looks like,” Galaxy said. “If they’re not feeling well, cats will socially withdraw themselves, or they will lose weight, or they will gain weight, or they’ll be howling in the middle of the night when they never did before.
- Make sure cats can literally climb out of a situation. Having a space up high, like a cat condo, to get away from children and other pets is crucial, Galaxy said. “Make sure the cat can make the choice to get away from the kid,” he said.
- Timeouts are good things. “We associate timeouts with punishment, but in the cat world, timeout is not a punishment.” They can go to a designated place where they can settle down, come back to a peaceful moment or ground themselves, he said.
- Stop fights between felines with “timeout drills.” With simple pieces of cardboard, left strategically around the house, you can stop a fight between cats. Put the cardboard between them, blocking their vision and providing a moment of disorientation when you can lead them to their timeout spot. It’s especially important to have drills with aggressive cats.
Felines take centre stage at cat show
CORNWALL, Ontario – For the second time the coolest cats around gathered together in the Seaway City to compete for ‘top cat’ status.
Feline fanatics flocked to see a 120 pampered pusses and cuddly kittens from over 25 breeds at the Canadian Cat Association (CCA) Cat Show at the Cornwall Civic Complex on Sunday.
Bob Gleason, CCA president, judged his first show in 1974. Four decades later, he’s still surrounded by the mysterious, and spontaneous creatures.
Gleason judged the event’s all-breed section and he said the quality of pedigreed felines and household cats was great. Usually the event lasts for two days, but the night before the CCA held its AGM.
“One reason we come to Cornwall is it’s a great location,” said Gleason. “The Ontario and Quebec breeders can all meet here without travelling a very long distance. We hope to come back again next year.”
He said that many people are unaware of what a cat show really is.
“We’re judging cats for confirmation, this way the breeders know where they stand against their competition,” said Gleason. “We’re the quality control. We’re picking the cats that we feel are the best of the breed. This pushes the breeder to know which way to go.”
He noted that their judging standards are not to extreme. The CCA is mostly looking for healthy and happy breeding cats that make great pets.
The Cornwall show is part of the ongoing list of CCA events throughout the country, mostly in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. The annual show season starts May 1 and ends April 30 of the following year.
Breeders and their prized felines and pet owners and their furry companions compete for points, which will go towards national wins. Each cat and kitten is judged six times at a show.
Pedigreed cats also compete for titles, grand championships, and of course bragging rights. Even household cats over four-months-old and spayed and neutered cats have a chance to strut their stuff in a special category.
“There’s something for everybody at a cat show,” said Gleason. “Spectators get to see different breeds and speak to the breeders.”
Many of the attendees were competitive breeders, hobbyists with a passion for cats or devoted fans to a breed. Like Julie and David Dewar, who were on the hunt for an Abyssinian.
An Ottawa couple heard that the Cornwall show would have their preferred breed at a similar event they recently attended in Kingston.
“It’s incredible the variety of cats that are here,” said Julie. “We need to make this an annual trip.”
The Dewars agreed it was the rare selection of cats that made them pounce on the opportunity to visit Cornwall for the first time.
Montreal’s Vickie Sauve and cat, Victore, a maine coon, racked up several ribbons. The two are fierce competitors and constantly travel to cat shows to accumulate points for prestigious CCA titles.
“It’s fun and you want to win like any other sport,” she said.
For more information on how cat show’s work or to get your precious pet involved, visit www.cca-afc.com.
Who, What, Why: How dangerous can domestic cats be?
- It’s rare for cats to act aggressively towards humans unless they have gone feral or feel under attack
Grumpy cat NEEDS home!
The internet’s most famous feline Grumpy Cat may have met his match in a Persian stray currently up for adoption at a North Carolina shelter.
The 2-year-old cat’s deep, accented scowl lines and don’t dare-mess-with-me stare practically demand the he be given a monicker.
While Angry Cat seems appropriate, workers at the New Hanover Sheriff’s Office Animal Services Unit contend he’s as loveable as he can be.
‘This intense fellow is looking to find his forever family!’ reads the shelter’s Facebook post.
‘We’re not sure he’s really thrilled with us at the moment because when he came to us he was really matted so we had to shave off his fur. Once his fur grows back, we think he’ll be feeling more like the Persian royalty he knows he is.’
He was immediately called the new Grumpy Cat–a flattering comparison when you think of how hugely popular Phoenix-based Grumpy Cat.
The shelter’s Facebook page immediately lit up with comments.
But the new Grumpy Cat isn’t as warm and fuzzy with other cats as he is with people.
‘Apparently this cat does not do well with other cats,’ writes the shelter. ‘He was exposed to the scent of other cats today & started hissing.’
Britain’s first cat cafe opens in London
Britain’s first ever ‘cat cafe’ where customers can enjoy a cup of coffee in the company of several felines officially opened its doors.
The grand opening of Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium in Bethnal Green, east London, was much anticipated by animal lovers across the capital.
Within hours of its opening date being announced online, the cafe’s website crashed when over 3,000 people attempted to book a table.
No doubt they were hoping to enjoy a selection of sandwiches, cakes, teas and coffees while stroking 11 residents cats and kittens – named Adamska, Artemis, Carbonelle, Donnie, Indiana, Loki, Mue, Petra, Romeo and Wookie.
But this morning Lady Dinah’s looked quiet – with only a handful customers waiting for it to open.
Cat cafes are already hugely popular in Taiwan, China and Japan, with over 100 already established in Tokyo.
The cafe’s website explains the idea: ‘It’s not just about being able to play with the cats.
‘It’s about the whole experience: a small indulgence, a place to forget about your day and unwind.
‘It’s about coming in from the cold to a comfortable chair, a hot cup of tea, a book, and a cat.’
The unusual eatery is owned by 31-year-old Australian Lauren Pears, who is a self confessed ‘crazy cat lady.’
Ms Pears funded Lady Dinah’s through crowdfunding.
After hearing of the runaway success of cat cafes in Asia, she started her campaign to raise over £100,000 on the site on Christmas Eve 2012; a target which was exceeded within two months.
One Russian animal welfare campaigner Anna Kogan, who is now the co-owner of the emporium, invested around £200,000 in the business,enough for Ms Pears to get a visa to stay in the UK.
Speaking earlier this year, Ms Pears said: ‘If something exists you can probably get it in London, but there’s one thing that lots of people living in London can’t have, a kitty.
‘We thought long and hard about who would really benefit from having a cat café in London.
‘I see commuters walking on their way to and from the station stopping to pet the neighbourhood cats, and since I am unable to own a cat myself due to my flat and long hours I understand the desire to have a cat around.’
The cafe is decorated in a Victorian theme.
Customers can also buy a selection of gifts and mementos via the Lady Dinah’s website.
2 Mar, 2014
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