Do you treat your cat like a dog?

You are probably thinking, of course not. I can’t expect the same reaction from my cat as I get from my dog. Recent research from Britain sheds (no pun intended) light on this subject. Dogs tend to be sociable animals that are happy to be petted and hang out with other dogs. Cats are the opposite. They generally don’t enjoy fellow feline company and hate sharing space.

I love the lengths that researchers go to prove a point, and the group in this study outdid themselves. According to The Week, they installed infrared cameras in homes to observe cats’ nocturnal activities. What they found astonished the cats’ owners who believed that all their animals got along. The videos showed the reality; cats angrily hissing at each other and fighting for the warmest spot on the bed.

The study also pointed out that two common feline conditions, dermatitis and cystitis, “have a strong psychological component” and are often induced by stress. Unlike dogs, cats are still halfway between a domestic and a wild animal. That certainly explains why my cats never come when I call.

I observed cat dominance when I introduced Baby, a yellow Lab puppy, to Trout, my cat-in-residence. She immediately hissed and chased the puppy around the laundry basket. Silly me, I thought they would get used to each other and make friends. That never happened. Baby was willing but Trout seemed to have a chip on her shoulder.

Now I understand that I was treating my cat like a dog. Trout knew her place and had her space.

I had assumed she would make friends with Baby, but I guess the best scenario for cats is to be the only pet.

I do know animals care about other animals because when Trout died at the age of 23, Baby actually mourned. She mopped around the house and searched for Trout.

In other cat news the first American cat cafe has opened in Oakland, Calif. The Cat Town Cafe concept is borrowed from Japan where it has been popular for years. In Japan customers can pick up and pet any of about a dozen kitties while they enjoy sipping coffee or tea.

American health codes prohibit animals in food areas. The Cat Town Cafe has two separate areas, one for the cats and the other for coffee. The cafe is operated as an extension of Oakland Animal Services. In the Cat Zone part of the cafe, adoptable cats are free to roam and customers are encouraged to interact with them.

Two cat cafes opened recently in Montreal. It was noted by Christopher Muther of The Boston Globe that the customers weren’t glued to their laptops. They had befriended the on-site pets and were chatting about their own. People were communicating and showing each other pictures. Perhaps having a warm, purring cat in your lap doesn’t allow you to become catatonic with your laptop. I am anxious to visit a cat cafe, because I’m sure it will be the cat’s meow.

CAPS News and Events:

Flower Tree Nursery is raffling a 20-gallon Colorado blue spruce for the holidays. Raffle tickets are available at Flower Tree, and they are $1 for one ticket and $5 for six tickets. Be sure to get your tickets soon.

The 2015 CAPS calendars are finished and ready to be purchased. Be sure to get one for all of your pet-loving friends. Pick up your copy for only $10 at Mutts Etc., Uncommon Thread, Flower Tree, or 3-Dimension Shipping.

On Nov. 15 CAPS will be at Walmart. You can see Ki at the Kissin’ Booth. He is the “King of Pucker.”Ki is always ready to greet old friends and made new friends. Become part of Ki’s fan club. Also, please visit the CAPS website ( and Facebook page (Churchill Animal Protection Society). Be sure to “Like” CAPS on Facebook because we are really likable.

Do you have questions, comments or a great story? Please contact me at

This week’s article was contributed by Kathleen Williams-Miller, a CAPS volunteer.


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