Frankly Freddie – Why you can’t herd cats

Dear Humans,

I continue to struggle with the fact that canines have been relegated to a lessor position than felines on this blog.  In an effort to educate Peggy and Judy I submit this article which I’ve:

  • edited for precious blog space
  • emphasized (in black) the scientific proof and
  • pointed out the obvious (in blue) 

How hard can it really be to herd cats?

“Ask Daniel Mills, professor of veterinary behavioural medicine at the University of Lincoln, UK. In a recent study, Mills and his colleague Alice Potter demonstrated that cats are more autonomous and solitary than dogs. Carrying out the research for the project was as difficult as the cat’s reputation might suggest.”

“They are challenging if you want them to do certain things in a certain way,” says Mills. “They tend to do their own thing.”

“Cat owners (with the exception perhaps of Peggy) everywhere will sympathise. But why exactly are cats so reluctant to cooperate, either with each other or with a human? Or to flip the question around, why are so many other animals – wild and domestic – willing team players?”

1. It’s a well known that cats are greedy and don’t share.  That’s not nice.

” . . . domestic cats . . .  hunt small animals. “You don’t want to be around somebody else when they’ve just caught a mouse, because they’re going to eat it whole,” Packer says. “It’s gone. There is not enough food to share.” 

Proof by Peggy

2.  Cats are gate-crashers which is rude.

“All domesticated cats are descended from Middle Eastern wildcats (Felis silvestris), the “cat of the woods”. Humans did not coax those early cats out of the woods; the cats invited themselves into our grain storehouses, where an abundance of mice fed unchecked. Gate-crashing this mouse party marked the start of a truly symbiotic relationship. The cats loved the well-stocked storehouses, and the people appreciated the pest control.”

3.  Cats are stubborn at best and unsociable at worst.

“They retain a large degree of independence and approach, or stay close to us, only when they want to,” says Dennis Turner, a cat expert and animal behaviourist at the Institute for Applied Ethology and Animal Psychology in Horgen, Switzerland.”

“Cats have evolved lots of mechanisms to keep themselves apart, which aren’t exactly conducive to herding,” says Mills. Cats spray their territory to help avoid awkward meetings with each other. If they do accidentally come face to face, the hackles rise and the claws come out.”  I mark my territory to leave a friendly calling-card.

More Proof by Peggy

“In some circumstances it can appear that domestic cats have embraced group living; for instance, a colony living in a barn. But do not be fooled . . . “

“They’re very loose aggregations and they don’t have any real group identity,” he says. “They just have a common place they come to keep their kittens.”

“In keeping with their solitary, uncooperative reputation, cats turned out to be neurotic, impulsive and resistant to being ordered around.”  I didn’t say that the SCIENTISTS did.

4.  Cats are uncooperative which creates unnecessary tension in an already tense world.

“In fact, even in the face of extreme danger, which often brings animals together to form a defensive unit, it is unlikely cats would cooperate. “It’s just not something that they typically do when they’re threatened,” says Monique Udell, a biologist at Oregon State University. Cats just do not believe in strength in numbers.”

“A study published in 2014 in the Journal of Comparative Psychology saw scientists probe the personality traits of domestic cats. In keeping with their solitary, uncooperative reputation, cats turned out to be neurotic, impulsive and resistant to being ordered around.”  SCIENTISTS know.

Lions live together, unlike other cats (Credit: Images of Africa Photobank/Alamy)

Lions live together, unlike other cats (Credit: Images of Africa Photobank/Alamy)

I rest my case.  Please let Peggy and Judy know you want this blog to, at the VERY LEAST, give equal voice to cuddly canines not just to those who raise their hackles and have claws.

Frankly,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CCT, RET

If you don’t believe me here’s the full article: It is Almost Impossible to Herd Cats Thanks to Evolution

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8 thoughts on “Frankly Freddie – Why you can’t herd cats

  1. Everyone knows that dogs are really tops, but graciously allow cats to think they are – you know, power holding back power because they can.

    However, I don’t think anyone can herd dogs either – just saying.

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  2. Freddie, I totally agree with you about what you said about cats. I doubt if Peggy and Judy will give equal voice to canines. This blog is called catnip not dog bone. Thus, no “equal opportunity”. 🙁 I love you, Freddie.

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    • Dear Linda T., Human-being,

      Alas, I fear you are right. I have to wait until Peggy and Judy are either not feeling well or feeling guilty about relegating canines to a lessor station on this blog to get my voice heard. I don’t like it when they are not feeling well (even tho I take advantage of their absence) and much prefer to induce guilt (It’s all in the tilt of my head and look in my eye which I’m perfecting). I love you too, Linda my human-being par excellence.

      Frankly,
      Freddie Parker Westerfield, SC, MEHE
      Senior correspondent and managing editor of human emotion

      Like

    • Dear Gidgett, Canine Dog & Mom, Human-being,
      Cats have their place in the world . . . they make humans more aware of how friendly, cuddly, not to mention cute we canines are. I wouldn’t mind having a cat for a pet so I could train it to be like a dog.

      Frankly,
      Freddie Parker Westerfield,
      Senior correspondant and roving reporter

      Liked by 1 person

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