There they go again! BooBoo is chasing Miss Gigi around the house. Gigi is yelling at him and hissing as she runs, with BooBoo close behind. When he finally catches up with her — and he always does — BooBoo stands over Gigi, who by now has flipped over onto her back with her four paws in
the air, claws extended, warning him not to make another move. And he doesn’t. He’s
accomplished what he set out to do and has moved on to his next adventure.
A NEW CATTITUDE
Mind & Body
By rita reimers
Later that same day, i’m on the
phone with a new client, when in saunters BooBoo. After he unsuccessfully
tries to hang up the phone and pull the
receiver from my ear, BooBoo quietly
walks over to the corner of my office
and stands there, waiting until i glance
over. Then, slowly, his tail goes up, he
looks me directly in the eye and ... yes.
Later that night when we’re in bed,
BooBoo decides he wants to lie on top
of my head. i attempt to move him off
and over to my side. BooBoo has excep-
tionally strong paws, and he uses them
like hands to grab and firmly hold what-
ever he wants. BooBoo grabs my hand
between his paws, forcefully pulls my
fingers to his mouth and bites.
i know, i know. Reading this, you’re
probably amazed that such things
occur in my household. But being a cat
behaviorist doesn’t mean i never have a
problem with my own cats. These things
don’t happen with BooBoo anymore —
at least, not with regularity. But i had to
take the time to understand just what
was going on here.
At first glance, it makes sense to conclude that BooBoo is just an aggressive
cat. He is, in fact, not aggressive at all. if
he were, he and Gigi would have fought
tooth and nail. What BooBoo really is is
a brat cat!
So what’s the difference between an
aggressive cat and a cat who’s just a brat?
With a little observation, this is how i
make that determination:
is the cat friendly to people?
is the cat friendly with other cats
and/or dogs in the household?
Has the cat attacked a person,
another cat, dog or other household
When he’s chasing another cat or
nipping a person’s fingers, does he hiss
and growl and lash out with anger?
in BooBoo’s case, the answers to these
questions were: yes, yes, no and no.
BooBoo is always eager to meet
human visitors and loves to be the
center of attention for head rubs and
playtime. As for the other cats in our
household, BooBoo loves them. When
we took in “The Quads” at 7 weeks of
age a few years back, BooBoo (remem-
ber, he’s a boy!) “nursed” them, cuddled
them and gave them all baths, just like
he was their momma.
BooBoo generally pals around with
all the cats, but he’s also our alpha
cat, so every now and then he feels
the need to remind them. i believe
this is what makes him chase mild-mannered little Gigi; he knows she’ll
run, so not only is it a sport for him,
but it lets the others see who’s the
boss! He has never bitten, scratched,
hissed or growled at another cat or
human. Therefore, i conclude that he’s
Cat — or Just a
continued on page 79
Rita Reimers’ Cat Behavior
Coaching has helped
many cat owners better
understand their feline
friends. Visit RitaReimers.
com to read her cat
behavior blog or to book a cat behavior
coaching session. Rita is also CEo/owner
of JustForCatsPetSitting.com. Connect with
her on Facebook and on Twitter at @the