Walking cats outside in summer

Cats can feel heat on their paw pads, though from what I’ve read, they feel it less than we feel heat.  Some cats have heat-blocking fur on their paw pads, but many don’t. If you’re walking your cat on a hot day, try to walk on grass or dirt, or try to walk in early morning or early evening.  Cats are most active during early morning and early evening, so your cat might have more fun then.

The commoditization of stress-free handling

Stress-free cuddling?
Kevin Richardson demonstrates stress-free lion cuddling with his good friend.

Stress-free handling is all the rage on veterinary websites. Stress-free handling is old-fashioned in that it requires a return to craftsmanship, specialization and intimacy.  I predict that the concept of stress-free handling will become more and more well-known, but that actual stress-free handling will remain as rare as a vegetarian at a barbecue joint.

These techniques take time and patience, both of which are rarities in urban life. Every time I visit a cat, I attempt to provide stress-free handling. Occasionally I succeed.  Sometimes the cat’s stress level is so high before I even start that all I can do is work quickly.  For a quivering cat, the greatest kindness may be speedy efficiency.

Like the term “holistic”, stress-free handling will become no more than a label developed to appeal to the tender-hearted, progressive city-dweller.  All the same, a few advances in our treatment of pets may occur along the way, just as the craze for organic food did bring more fresh fruits and vegetables into the market.


Cat runs away when I wear certain scents. Don’t wear perfume when grooming a new cat.

I applied some “Sweet Melon” hand cream a few minutes ago. My cat Emma, who had been comfortably lounging on the table in front of me, jumped up and walked away. I’d never seen such a strong reaction to a scent!  I put my hands close to her to see if it was indeed the scent that was pushing her away. She moved away from my hands.

Scents can make a big impression on cats. I don’t wear scents when I groom.

It makes sense to me that cats might hate some scents. People hate some scents. Cats have noses. People have noses.

Fun treat for cats. Tiny piece of bread soaked in tuna juice.

I buy Bumble Bee tuna in oil. My cat, Emma, loves it when I take a minuscule piece of bread, far smaller than a pea, and dip it in the tuna oil. I’ve also dipped a tiny piece of brown paper from a paper bag into the tuna oil.  The idea is to give her a little stimulation, something to make her day at home more interesting. That’s why the pieces of bread and of paper are so small. I’m not trying to feed her, just entertain her with a scent she finds fascinating. She carefully carries the piece of paper away to be enjoyed in privacy. She eats the tuna-oil soaked bread. She’s a “cheap date” ha ha. Doesn’t take much to make her happy.