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Someone else has probably already mentioned it, but Corbett is very VERY Bengal. He looks just like my Ozzy.


Believe it or not, no one has mentioned it – but I absolutely agree! Bengals really like water, though, don’t they? Corbett hasn’t shown any interest in water… at least, not yet!


Have you or anyone else out there ever used The World’s Best Cat Litter?? Expensive corn based litter…I’m in the process of trying to convert one litter box upstairs in the hopes of cutting down on litter dust. I HATE litter dust.

I have a bag of it, and I use it when I’ve got little ones who have just started (or are about to start) litter box training, since it’s safer for them than the Fresh Step I use for the big cats. Back when I was first considering buying it, a few people told me that they didn’t care for the smell of the litter. The smell isn’t offensive to me – I mean, it’s got a distinct smell that I notice, but it doesn’t bother me. I don’t use it in all the litter boxes because of the cost, and because (in my opinion) it doesn’t clump as hard. Your mileage may vary, of course, but if you’re going to buy some and give it a try, check out this page for links to the rebate page.


Now here’s a question for you! I’ve been reading here for absolutely ages but I can’t for the life of me remember if you’ve already mentioned this. Has Coltrane been “done”? And if he has did he only have one ball?

I’m not being really pervy but my cat Gizmo who looks so similar to Coltrane has a high pitched meow quite like that and he only had one ball… so I wonder if its anything to do with that? Or just cos they are ginger?

We did have Coltrane neutered soon after he first showed up this Spring – as far as I know, he had both of ’em; the vet didn’t say there was only one, and I didn’t think to ask, so I’m guessing both were present. Newt also has that really high-pitched meow, and he’s a similar shade of orange, so maybe it’s a color thing. Or possibly the two of them are related, we’re not sure.

Sugarbutt, our other orange kitty (he’s darker than both Coltrane and Newt) doesn’t have the super high-pitched meow. Sugarbutt always sounds like he’s asking a question when he gets going. That’s another movie I’ll have to try to get!


Susan sent me the link to this article, and I’ve been meaning to post it for ages (it made her think of me because they refer to the cat’s expression as “smug”, which I also do. And I have to agree, that is one smug-looking cat!)

Cat sneaks on to train, gets lost, is reunited with owner via Twitter.


I’d like to ask you about kitten behavior… I have a kitten, maybe 4 or 5 months old, I believe he was taken away from his momma too young as he was miniscule when I adopted him (my local humane society was so over filled they were adopting out cats for $15 for the first one, $5 for each one after. I grabbed two babies, the $15 baby was a very sick kitty and although I tried he didn’t make it). He was barely bigger than my hand and I have tiny hands. He liked to nuzzle my neck and face, which is precious, but he hasn’t grown out of doing that. He does it with such urgency, very important nuzzling, it’s cute and loving, but I have to get some sleep. Yes, he wakes me up to press his cold wet nose into my face and neck. I’m trying to be consistent at stopping him before he starts when I’m awake, but he doesn’t seem to be getting the message.
Any suggestions?

I have no helpful advice on this topic – none of my cats do this. Though now that I think about it, Sugarbutt used to wake me up in the middle of the night every once in a while, kneading on my shoulder and licking my neck. He stopped doing that of his own accord not long after we moved to this house, over three years ago. I don’t know why he stopped, maybe he grew out of the behavior.

Y’all, help me out here – who has helpful suggestions on this topic for Becca?


(Yes, I am wearing boots with shorts. Don’t mock me; Corby’s clearly already doing that.)


I mentioned, perhaps, that Martin helps out during afternoon snack time? After only a few days, he already understands what the sounds of snack time are (me taking plates down out of the cabinet), and he’s with all the big cats, meowing and pawing at my legs.




Loony Jake, hanging out in the foster room.


2009: In other words, I think he’s back to normal.
2008: Death of a watermelon.
2007: They’re awfully sweet and awfully cute.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



9-10-10 — 16 Comments

  1. Great photos as usual, Robyn! For Becca, whenever my cats are doing something I don’t like, I act like a mother cat – ie. hiss or growl or blow air on them (in that order of urgency). It’s a language they understand and it works to teach them your limits.

  2. That pic of Looney Jake has me giggling this morning!! 🙂

    And for Becca:
    My cat Pandora has similar habits (and she’s nearly 12, but a very small 7lbs), and she also was weaned too early. I got her when she was about 6 weeks old, and she was also the runt of the litter. She’s never really grown out of the habits (she likes to put her paws around my neck almost like a hug and then lick my neck or my chin), but she has learned not to do them in the middle of the night. Usually I would detach her and then place her on the floor. As Doodle Bean mentioned, blowing air on her also worked. You may not be able to break your little one of the habit completely, but you should be able to establish some boundaries as to when he can do it. 🙂

  3. A note about WBCL Cat Litter; It is VERY dusty. Also, if you are letting mul;tiple cats use it, the dust will harbor bacteria and may affect sensitive mucous membranes. It led to gingivitis and an infection in my cat who it turns out is allergic to corn. Just some things to consider. If you want a really good litter that doesn’t track too much and isn’t horrifically dusty, I’d ssy go with Dr Elsey’s Precious cat litter. Very little dust, minimal tracking and good odor control as long as you don’t mind lugging 40 pound bags of the stuff.
    Love the pics of kitties, please keep em coming.

  4. My biggest cat, 17+ pound Cocoa, is black and has a tiny little high pitched voice. It’s not so tiny when he’s trying to take me into going into the garage, but it’s still a high pitch as opposed to Scully who sounds like a cranky old lady who smokes.

    The same big cat, Cocoa, came to me when he was about 9 months old. For several months he sucked on his back foot. I’ve been told that’s because he was taken from his mom too soon. He grew out of it on his own after a while. Thankfully he sucked on himself and not me (or any of the other cats!).

  5. We haven’t tried the WBCL but I just heard from a friend that it gets stinky quick – like even if you scoop it holds the smell and it builds up. I had a wheat based litter for the little ones and it was the same way – may be a grain-based litter thing.

    For Becca, well it may depend on the cat if they grow out of it. Barney was a total night snuggler like that and he was about 4 1/2 weeks old when we got him, so definitely weened too early. He did grow out of it, though he will still snuggle, he doesn’t get as needy or get me with that cold nose anymore. But it didn’t start to subside for a while – probably after he was neutered (so actually right around Becca’s kittens age). It will depend on the cat though.

    And voices – my females all have lower voices than the males. Barney and Gus have the highest pitched – though Gus is only 5 1/2 months right now, so he could grow out of it. But Lola is lower than all the others, and Stella is lower than Gus and Barney – and she is also 5 1/2 months. Barney is 1yr 4 months. Virgil is high but not super girly, and Kirzon is pretty manly sounding, well, compared to the others – he is pretty close to as low as Lola. Oh, and our only cat with orange is Gus. Barney is the biggest and has the highest voice of all the cats older than 1 year, and he is not orange at all (he is Martin colored).

    And all the kitties are looking so cute – and that expression on Jake’s face is just so funny! And Martin is still so tiny! They are just all adorable!

  6. Haven’t tried WBCL either. I have used Dr. Elsey’s Sr. Cat litter ever since Winnie had a UTI. No dust, some tracking since it’s sand-like, but zero odor. Folks come to the house and say, “You have (7-12 cats – depends on the foster population)? I can’t smell anything!” A bit pricey but I’ve decided it’s well worth it.

    Aggie was clearly weaned too early would suckle clothing while kneading and, I understand, still hasn’t stopped. She’s about 2 now. I think Doodlebean and Alyssa’s ideas are worth a try.

    And mock you? Never! Giggle maybe, but definitely no mocking. 😉

  7. I prefer “Corporal Cuddling” for those kinds of situations. When he wakes you, grab him, roll him upside down so his feet are in the air, rock him like a baby, talk in annoying baby talk.

    Its annoying enough to discourage the behavior without being as confrontational as hissing/air jets.

    The term comes from the YouTube video “Engineers Guide to Cats” but I have done it for years with a several different cats.

  8. I had a cat that I had to break of the nuzzling habit – I was also going to suggest a stuffed animal. A small one to start, that will fit in the crook of your neck where he likes to nuzzle, and one with very very fluffy fur on it. The body can be rock hard, but the fur should be super extra floppy, to pick up and hold lots and lots of your skin oils and scent. (You can also use a blanket, but I wanted there to be a clear delineation between “something you can chew on and knead and claw to your heart’s content” and “my bedspread.”)

    Tuck it inside your shirt on a weekend and wear it around the house with you for as long as you can manage, ideally on a warmish day so you sweat a little – you won’t be able to smell the “you” on it, but the kitten will. Then, when you go to bed, make it a habit to tuck it under whichever side of your neck he generally goes to first.

    If you’re lucky, he’ll take to it right away – a soft cuddly smells-like-you thing that doesn’t complain when he nuzzles, yay! But you might have to “train” him to it – if he goes around to the other side to find some unobstructed neck, switch the “Baby*” over to that side. If he pushes it away to get to your skin, push it right back into place. When he does nuzzle and knead on the Baby, pet him and coo over him a little to boost the reinforcement. Hold the Baby on your lap during daytime cuddling, and give him a treat when he nuzzles on the Baby.

    In a few days, you should be able to move the Baby to a different spot on the bed so you can sleep without 3000-degrees-Fahrenheit of kitten on your neck. If he keeps coming back to your neck, keep redirecting him to the Baby.

    Depending on the cat and how vigorous he is with his affections, you may eventually need to replace the Baby – I learned the hard way that this is easier if you plan for it than if you notice one day that all the stuffing is falling out and you’d better throw it away before someone gets choked. I had to go through the whole “training” thing all over. The second time, I was prepared – when I first saw signs of wear and tear on the Baby, I bought a bigger stuffed animal and a newborn-size onesie. I safety-pinned the Baby to the new stuffed animal (in a place where the cat couldn’t easily reach), then put the onesie on so that the Baby was partway sticking out. After a day or two of “what the hell is THIS,” she accepted the new, bigger Baby, and I was able to unpin the old Baby and throw it away.

    It was an enormous pain in the butt, but a week or two of annoyance was followed by years of uninterrupted sleep. Worth it. Especially because some cats will grow out of the need-to-nuzzle thing, but some won’t. I’ve had a few cats that missed their mommas until they were a year or two old, but I have also had one (the “she” in the above paragraphs) that lived to age 15 or 16 and NEVER outgrew her need to nuzzle, suckle, and knead. She was about six years old when I introduced The Baby, because as much as I loved her, I was starting to think about finding her a new home so I could get some sleep.

    I have also done this with needy dogs, and it works even better and quicker with dogs.

    *Of course if you have an actual, live, human baby, you should probably call the stuffed-animal-substitute something else.

  9. I’m using WBCL now, I used to use Sweat(wheat based litter). I like both of them because they don’t have perfume in them. I’ve found that the WBCL is less dusty than Sweat and clumps harder.I really dries out the poo fast! Since it clumps tightly I’m using less litter. I’ll give Dr Elseys a try next. Ah the never ending search for the perfect litter:)

  10. You’re right! Corbtt really DOES look like a Bengal! Bengals always look like they’ve been caught licking the cream as they have it all round their chins, and they have black feet too.

    I can’t believe I haven’t spotted it before, although that’s the first pic I’ve noticed that really shows off his beautiful russet colouring.

    I don’t like water though, so it’s not a true bengal trait I guess. Then again, I’m askeered of pretty much everything, even stroking, so the water’s not a good example 🙂

    hugs to the kittens!


  11. Regarding litter, I use Arm & Hammer Essentials. It’s also corn based, smells good when it’s new, is not dusty AT ALL, and clumps as well as the best clay litter I’ve ever used. We go through about two 7 pound bags a month with three cats and scooping every day. One bag to completely replace the litterbox, and the other to keep it full enough throughout the month. The 7 pound bags do the job of 21 pound bags of clay litter, and they’re about 7-8 dollars. There’s absolutely no reason to spend so much on World’s Best… unless, like a friend of mine, you have a cat which refuses to use any other litter.

    I also have an orange boy kitty with a high voice. He doesn’t really meow, though. He chirps and squeaks and does this adorable thing that’s a cross between a purr and a chirp. Occasionally he will do something that looks like a meow, but no sound will come out other than moving air. He had a respiratory infection, amongst other things, when my husband found him, so we wonder if something was damaged that prevents him from making a normal meow.

    As far as the nuzzling, I think Elayne’s idea is excellent. The kitties I’ve had who had that need were always able to find other things to force their affections upon. My cow kitty had a fuzzy black and white blanket, and my torbie still has a fuzzy brown blanket. Neither one of them ever did tear anything up, so I let them nuzzle on their chosen blankets as much as they wanted.

  12. Everyone- thank you all SO much for the advice! I don’t know which to try first, but surely with all these strategies I will be nuzzle free… eventually!

  13. Ok, I use Fresh Step, too, and it is terrific except for the litter dust which is insane. I tried switching to a corn based litter (I think the same one you are talking about). I mixed in 1 cup with the regular litter in their BIG litter box. They refused to use it…..for over a month… still won’t. I figure I am stuck with Fresh Step forever. If your older ones switch, please post how you got them to do it.

  14. Becca – my kitty licks my nose and lips in the middle of the night. I blow a little puff of air when he does it. He stops instantly. Now, he may do it again in a minute or two, but I just blow again and he usually stops then. Be consistant.