These 9 Cats Bring Their Humans Some Unusual Gifts

Cats sometimes bring their humans gifts to show them their love. By gifts, I mean their catches that they are so proud of. But these 9 kitties decided on some unusual gifts that they scoured up for their human companions.

Has your kitty brought you a gift before?

“My cat took this mitten out of the drawer, and brought it to me as a gift!”

Photo: NewSkiland

“Some cats bring home mice or birds, ours brings home sponges…”

cats bring their humans unusual gifts

Photo: Funkmonk_360

He brought his human a gift from the yard.

cats bring their humans unusual gifts

“My cat brought me the gift of moth in a color I’ve never seen in 38 years.”

cats bring their humans unusual gifts

Photo: TheJanks

“My cat brings me socks whenever I don’t pay attention to her to try to win my approval.”

cats bring their humans unusual gifts

Photo: amphachu

“We adopted a stray cat. She brought us a gift!”

cats bring their humans unusual gifts

Photo: mariah_a

“Instead of a dead bird or mouse, my cat decides to bring us gifts of leaves. She’s been doing this for years.”

cats bring their humans unusual gifts

Photo: Lrbroders

“My cat brings me gifts of pants and socks!”

cats bring their humans unusual gifts

Photo: yorkshireweirdo

Gus the blind cat brings his mom gifts!

You’re Not Crazy, Your Cat Is. Here’s Why Kitties Do The Weird Things They Do.

If the Internet has taught us anything, it’s that people love cats. And that cats are weird.

While we may joke by saying that a “domestic cat” is an oxymoron — can you really “own” a cat? — they have been enjoying a symbiotic relationship with humans for centuries. Yet a lot of cat things are still totally baffling to us. Maybe your cat is just an oddball at heart, but here we’ll attempt to explain why.

Why do cats like boxes so much?

For security, mostly. Cats are instinctively drawn toward boxes because they’re protected on three sides and can watch what’s going on around them through the opening. You can’t sneak up and scare your cat when it’s in a box. Or so they think.

Remember that cats are also hunters. So when they’re hiding out in a box and see something interesting go by, they can spring out and take that thing by surprise. Even if it’s much more likely to be your ankle than a potential dinner.

Why do cats purr?

The short answer is that no one’s entirely sure, but we have some theories.

Purring is generally associated with positive experiences, like being fed or petted, so it’s assumed by most people to be a sign of a happy cat. Kittens learn to purr a few days after birth, researchers suggest, as a way to tell Mom “I’m okay.” But cats also purr when they’re frightened or injured, so it’s not always a way to communicate contentment.

A purr happens when the cat’s brain sends messages to its laryngeal muscles — the muscles around its vocal chords — allowing them to twitch 25 to 150 times per second, or 25 to 150 hertz. Some research has suggested that sound frequencies in this range can be therapeutic, strengthening bones and providing pain relief.

Why do they knead you?

Biologist John Bradshaw suggests that cats may see you as a “larger, non-hostile” cat. And their behaviors toward humans are driven mostly by instinct, including kneading, which kittens do to their mother’s stomachs to stimulate milk flow. It’s often thought that adult cats associate the motion with maternal comfort (and food), so they repeat it in adulthood. Not that your cat sees you as its mother, necessarily — more like a roommate who’s super tall for reasons it doesn’t understand.

But since cats are also known to knead pillows and other surfaces, another explanation is that the behavior stems from a time when wild cats would pat down foliage to make a bed. Or, since they have scent glands in their paws, kneading may be a way for cats to mark territory.

What’s up with catnip?

Catnip is a strange drug for cats. After smelling the plant, which is related to mint, they’ll roll around euphorically, chase invisible prey and keep coming back for another hit. It doesn’t have this effect on all cats. About 20 to 30 percent don’t appear to be affected by the stuff.

But for those that are, researchers believe the compound nepetalactone is to blame. The compound binds to the cat’s olfactory receptors — which is why eating catnip doesn’t do much — to mimic a feline pheromone that makes them go nuts.

Why do cats, unlike dogs, all look really similar?

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes — from Irish wolfhound to Chihuahua — while cats, aside from having different colored fur, all look pretty similar to the untrained eye. Of course there are different breeds of cats. We’ve got Siamese, British shorthair, Maine coon, Manx, Persian, Scottish fold and lots more.

But dogs’ genetics are better at mutating, which is how we get so many different types of dogs. Researchers suggest they have what’s called a “slippery genome,” meaning that their genetic makeup will adapt to mutations (that might otherwise have fatal consequences) relatively quickly. Cats (along with humans and the vast majority of other animals), on the other hand, don’t have this ability. So we’re stuck with cat breeds we may or may not be able to tell apart.

Are cats natural born killers?

Yep. In the sense that their DNA doesn’t differ too much from big cats, anyway. A 2013 study in Nature Communications revealed that big cats — lions, tigers, and leopards — share 95.6 percent of their DNA with our fuzzy domestic felines.

According to the study, all cats alive today last shared a common ancestor 11 million years ago. You’d think they would have diverged quite a bit genetically in the ensuing years, but comparing the genome of a Siberian tiger to domestic cats showed few big differences, suggesting cats are all “very well adapted, successful evolutionary machines,” one of the researchers said. Big cats did, however, show several genetic mutations not present in other animals that help them run faster and digest meat better. So in some ways, Fluffy is actually just a harmless — depending on her mood — version of a fearsome predator.

Why do cats hate water when they spend so much time cleaning themselves?

You’d think that a notorious neat-freak of an animal would like being cleaned off in a bath, but that’s not the case with cats. Some love going for a swim, but most others will try their best to claw everything within reach at bath time. There are a few different hypotheses.

One is that a waterlogged coat doesn’t dry quickly and makes cats exceedingly uncomfortable. But it’s also possible that humans have simply always sheltered domesticated cats from the elements, so as a species they aren’t used to getting drenched. It could be that cats associate water with predators — even big cats will sometimes stay on land to avoid river-dwelling crocodiles. Or, since cats are also predators themselves, they may have a strong natural aversion to getting wet because the smell they give off (like a wet dog) after a bath is a dead giveaway to prey.

Or they’re just weird. But we knew that.

Why do cats hate us?

You may have heard that cats aren’t our biggest fans. Unlike dogs, who may wait patiently by the door for their owners to get home, cats tend to show much greater indifference to their human overlords. But also unlike dogs, they’ve not been domesticated to obey humans’ orders.

Humans began to see cats as partners once our ancestors switched to agriculture-based livelihoods, because they were good at catching mice and other vermin. But they were almost never bred for any specific purpose other than hunting or looking pretty. Combine that with the fact that they frequently reproduce with their feral counterparts and you’ve got a domesticated species that is still, essentially, wild. So maybe it’s not that they hate us — they just don’t think they need us.

Why can’t you train a cat?

Oh, but you can! Some people have even successfully potty trained their feline companions à la Mr. Jinx in “Meet The Parents.” There’s even a kitty toilet training seat, dubbed the Litter Kwitter, that helps a cat learn how to do its business with a series of plastic rings covering the toilet bowl. The idea is that over time, the owner will remove each smaller ring in succession, enlarging the opening over the bowl until there’s nothing but a regular toilet seat.

Cats may also learn how to do tricks. But remember, they haven’t been bred to obey human orders like dogs have, so it can be a bit more exasperating. ASPCA suggests the secret is motivation — find a treat your cat goes absolutely nuts for every time — and refraining from any punishment over a misunderstood command. Cats can learn some cool stuff if you’ve got the patience to teach them!

Why do we buy anything for cats?

http://i.imgur.com/iMvx6vG.jpg?1

Total and complete mystery.

Correction: An earlier version of this article suggested that tigers avoid the water due to the threat of predators there when, in fact, they love to swim.

Studying the Bond Between a Cat and Its Human

It took 120 hours of observing 40 cat-human pairs for scientists to conclude that the bond between the two can be similar to other human relationships. And, yes, I know that most of you who have cats—or know someone who has a cat—will not find that surprising, so let’s delve into the details. It turns out that this study isn’t as simple as it appears.

The scientists (whose study appears in the journal Behavioural Processes) sent a team of researchers repeatedly into the homes of cat-human pairs in Vienna, Austria. The team would visit for about 45 minutes around the cat’s feeding time, with one person interacting with the cat and human and the other wielding a video camera. They evaluated the personalities of both the human (with a personality test) and the cat, through both observations (e.g., did the cat accompany the human to the door?) and a series of tests that included the cat’s reaction to being picked up. The video of the cat’s behavior and interactions with the humans in the room was later coded and the researchers analyzed it all with a computer program that looked for patterns in the behaviors of the cats and the humans.

The scientists found some correlations between human personality and the behaviors of the cats—such as that cats with humans classified as “extroverted” or “conscientious” exhibited more complex patters of behaviors—and concluded that “it seems that an important area of negotiation between the owner and the cat is mutual attention and friendly tactile interactions” and that the patterns in the relationships between the cats and humans resemble other long-term and complex relationships, “such as those between humans.”

But then the researchers also went on to claim, in a story published by Discovery News, that their research indicates that women tend to interact more with their cats than men do.

“In response, the cats approach female owners more frequently, and initiate contact more frequently (such as jumping on laps) than they do with male owners,” co-author Manuela Wedl of the University of Vienna told Discovery News, adding that “female owners have more intense relationships with their cats than do male owners.”

While I find the study interesting, I have a few quibbles. First of all, there is little in the study to back up the researcher’s claims about the differences between men and women in their relationships with their cats. Their sample included only 10 male owners, and this hardly seems like an adequate number for making conclusions about all male-cat relationships.

In addition, if I think about the realm of personalities and interactions that exist in just one friend’s cat household (he’s got three), I find it hard to imagine that 40 cat-human pairs would be enough of a sample to adequately analyze the large number of behaviors (162!) and personality traits included in this study.

My other problems with this study stem from my own human-cat relationship. My kitty, Sabrina, is a 13-year-old tortie, and she wouldn’t fit neatly into this study. She is a very different cat with me (friendly and cuddly, though she refused to pose for a photo for this post) versus people she has met before (friendly but often standoffish) versus strangers (where did she go?). And I suspect other cats may be the same. Any study in which you place total strangers into the animal’s home environment is going to produce some abnormal behavior, and judging a cat on that behavior only is probably unfair to the cat.

Furthermore, some of the tests of the cats’ behavior may not have given an accurate accounting of the cats’ personality. For example, they tested the cats’ response to a novel object, a plush owlet left on the floor. Many cats, like Sabrina, ignore most anything simply lying on the floor (perhaps they are used to messy housekeeping) but are happy to pounce on on object suspended just an inch above. And there are some cats, like my own, that do not enjoy the sensation of being picked up (would you?), even by their own human, but are otherwise quite friendly.

If I were to do this study, I would use a much bigger sample size, add more behavioral tests and have the human in each study pair repeat the tests without the researchers present but in front of a camera.

All that said, the researchers deserve some credit for being the first to attempt to tackle the complex personality dynamics within cat-human relationship. Sadly, though, they only scratched the surface of this complex world.

Hemingway’s Six-Toed Cats Ride Out Hurricane Irma in Key West

“When we started to round up the cats to take them inside, some of them actually ran inside knowing it was time to take shelter,” said the curator of the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. Jason Henry for The New York Times

Entire islands have been reduced to rubble, streets have turned to rivers, cranes have buckled and more than 30 people have died. But the six-toed Hemingway cats are fine.

The 54 cats, many of them descendants of a white polydactyl cat owned by Ernest Hemingway, live at the writer’s house in Key West, Fla., which was hit hard by Hurricane Irma.

As the storm approached last week, officials ordered a full evacuation of the Florida Keys. But Jacque Sands, the general manager of the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, refused to leave. She had an obligation, she said, to see the property and the cats through the hurricane.

Animal lovers fretted. One of Hemingway’s granddaughters, the actress Mariel Hemingway, publicly urged Ms. Sands to move to safety. “I think you’re wonderful and an admirable person for trying to stay there and to try to save the cats and the house,” she said in a video posted by TMZ, but “this is frightening. This hurricane is a big deal.”

“Get in the car with the cats and take off,” Ms. Hemingway pleaded.

Ms. Sands did not. The cats, she said, would come inside when the barometric pressure dropped, and they and their human attendants would be safe within the 18-inch-thick limestone walls of the house.

It appears she was right: The house’s curator, Dave Gonzales, confirmed Monday that the cats, many of which have six or seven toes, were unharmed.

It was a welcome piece of good news amid the destruction stretching from Barbuda to Tampa.

Mr. Gonzales told NBC that 10 employees had stayed on site with the cats and had made it through the storm just fine. He said that the limestone had retained the air-conditioning that made the building so comfortable, and that the staff would probably accompany the cats in the house overnight once more.

After that, he said, “hopefully, things will get back to normal in Key West and we’ll enjoy our life in paradise.”

Though she is not involved in the operations of the house, and was not even sure how to get in touch with Ms. Sands as Irma approached, Ms. Hemingway said she had been “horribly nervous for everybody.”

But now that the storm has passed and all the denizens of the house are safe, she said in an interview on Monday, “I think it’s great that they cared enough to try to really protect all things Hemingway.

“I’m just glad it’s over.”

The Spanish Colonial-style building, near the westernmost point of Key West, was built in 1851 and became home to the author and his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, 80 years later. They remodeled the house, which was in a state of disrepair, filled its rooms with European antiques and Hemingway’s big-game hunting trophies, and spent $20,000 building the first in-ground pool in Key West. (Adjusting for inflation, that would be akin to spending $347,000 on a pool today.)

Mr. Gonzales indicated that he, the staff and the cats were not experiencing similar luxury after the storm, as they were without electricity, water and internet service. But he said that power generators had allowed staff members to preserve their food supply and that medical supplies were on hand.

And, in a fulfillment of Ms. Sands’s prediction, he said the cats, which have become as much of a draw for some tourists as the house’s history, had seemed preternaturally attuned to the storm.

“When we started to round up the cats to take them inside, some of them actually ran inside knowing it was time to take shelter,” he said. “Sometimes I think they’re smarter than the human beings.”

Kitty Horoscopes

All credit goes to the hilarious folks of the internet that came up with these. Whoever you are, cheers to your good name!

No kittehs were harmed in the making of these LOLz, to the best of our knowledge. Now enjoy!

Ask a Behaviorist: 7 Ways Cats Show Affection to People

It’s a myth that cats are aloof and unemotional; cats show affection to humans using a combination of body language, postures, and vocalizations.
Cat kisses, grooming, tail fluffs, chirps and mews — these are a few of the sweet ways cats that cats show affection to the people they feel close to.

Because some these signals are subtle, they are often misinterpreted and sometimes overlooked. Typically, kitties do not demonstrate their warm feelings toward people in loud, boisterous ways. They don’t wag their tails or shower their loved ones with sloppy kisses like some dogs do. Instead, they whisper their affections.
Here are some ways cats show their favorite people affection:

1. Cats show affection through their eyes

It is a pretty good indicator that your cat trusts and enjoys your company when she looks at you with half-closed eyes while slowly blinking. These special eye blinks are called cat kisses and are reciprocal. You can tell your cat you love her too by giving her cat kisses. They convey relaxation, contentment, affection, and trust; they help build and strengthen your relationship with her. She may respond with more kitty love blinks.

A brown tabby cat looking very relaxed and content.

2. Cats show affection through their tails

Become a tail watcher. Tails are emotional barometers, accurately conveying emotions through how they are held and positioned, and the degrees of fur puffiness. When combined with body language and other indicators, they communicate a gamut of emotions from fear and aggression to affection and happiness. Whereas most people readily recognize signs of fear and aggression, they are not as aware when tails signal affection and happiness.

Cats often show their emotional attachments through tail placements. Connection is demonstrated by twining tails around the legs and arms of their favored buddies. Sometimes kitties express warm feelings as they relax next to their people while physically touching or resting their tails on them. Although I try not to anthropomorphize, the sweet behavior reminds me of holding hands with a best friend.

In addition to tail wrapping and touching, kitties express happiness and warm feelings by fluffing out the base of their tails while subtly quivering them. Simultaneously they hold their tails upright with a slight curve at the top. This behavior is sometimes called the happy tail dance. Usually it is accompanied by an endearing kitty love blink.

A tabby cat tail in the air.

3. Cats show affection through cheek rubs

One friendly way cats greet those they trust and feel safe with is by rubbing their cheeks on them. Cheek rubs are also invitations for socializing. Kitties have scent glands on their cheeks that produce pheromones. In addition to showing their favorite people trust and affection, felines mark ownership through the behavior and mingle their scents with those they are attached to.

With cats you don’t know, you can encourage socialization by extending your index finger toward the cat at about her nose level. It doesn’t matter whether she is a few feet away or across the street. If she wants to say hello, she’ll approach your finger and touch it with her nose and then turn her head until your finger is on her cheek. If she trusts you, she will rub your hand with her cheek, indicating that she is open to socializing. This may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship!

A brown tabby cat having his cheeks rubbed.

4. Cats show affection through head bunting

Does your cat bop you with her head? She is demonstrating affection while marking you and mingling her scent with yours. This is a social behavior that does double duty. In addition to showing trust and friendship, head bunting proclaims ownership. Scent that is produced from glands located on your kitty’s head is transferred on you when she butts you with her head.

5. Cats show affection through language

Chirrs, chirps, purrs, and mews often communicate endearments and trust. Although mom cats communicate reassurance to their kittens through chirrs and chortles, these sweet sounds are often reserved for special people whom cats feel close to. Endearing emotions are also expressed through other vocalizations such as special meows and mews — some are soft and kitten-like, while others are louder.

Purring can also indicate that your kitty is feeling secure, safe, and reassured around you. Her purrs may show affection, especially when she accompanies them with kitty kisses and other expressive endearments such as touching you with a paw or tail.

A woman sitting on a couch with an orange tabby cat.

6. Cats show affection through grooming

Cats who feel connected and close to each other will mutually groom (allogrooming). The behavior helps them relax, shows trust, and builds a community scent — important for recognizing family members and buddies. People are not exempt — grooming isn’t reserved just for those of the same species. Cats will sometimes lick their human friends, displaying affection while mingling their scents.

An orange and white cat licking the face of a boy with freckles.

7. Cats show affection by hanging out on and around you

Cats like being around those they feel an affinity for. Your special kitty might be relaxing near you or napping on your lap. She might position herself so that she touches you — her back may be against your leg or she reaches out and pats you with a paw. Even if your cat isn’t a lap sitter, she may still demonstrate she feels connected to you by hanging out nearby.

Some kitties follow their people around the house. Food isn’t part of the equation — they trail their humans because they like being with them. Some tag along, following those they feel connected to from room to room.

A cat hanging out asleep by a woman on her laptop.

Cats are very good communicators, using a combination of body language, postures, and vocalizations to express their feelings. Although they’re subtle and at times complex, they have a variety of ways of showing affection and trust to the people they are attached to.

All This 5-Year-Old Wants To Do Is Save Street Cats

On the streets of Philadelphia, two cat lovers are doing everything they can to care for the feral cats that roam the rougher neighborhoods. Kris Papiernik and Kia Griffin are independent cat rescuers and have been for the past 10 years.

And each and every time their 5-year-old nephew, Shon, visits for the weekend, he only wants to do one thing — he wants to take care of the street cats.

little boy helps feed street cats

Papiernik and Griffin care for over 40 street cats that live in various feral colonies around Philidelphia neighborhoods, giving them food, water, and getting them spayed and neutered and adopted when they can. They’ve dubbed the different cat colonies the Kolony Kats, Backyard Boys, Stray Kitty Crew, Meow Squad, Gas Station Kitties and Indoor Kitties.

When Shon first expressed interest in helping out with the cats, Papiernik and Griffin weren’t too sure it was the best idea. “We were a little hesitant at first because they’re feral cats, and we thought they’re going to run from a rambunctious 3-year-old,” Papiernik said.

But according to Papiernik, it was the total opposite. “They just gravitated to him,” she said. “He’d scratch their bellies and scratch their heads. It was amazing to see these cats who wouldn’t even allow us to touch them, but immediately took to him. He must have this magical effect that the cats can pick up.”

Though Shon is just 5 years old, he knows the ins and outs of his cat care routine like a pro. “He knows where the food goes, where the water goes, who gets what, and he never forgets to hand out treats and chin scratches,” Griffin said.

“Sometimes he likes to dress up,” Papiernik said. “He said it makes him feel like a superhero for animals.” They call him Catman (like Batman!)

“We couldn’t get Bug neutered or anything because he wouldn’t come to us, and he wouldn’t come near the trap,” Papiernik said. “But when Shon came around and started feeding him, Bug came immediately to him and, ever since then, Bug has been a friendly cat.”

While the trio of cat lovers try to rescue and rehome as many cats as they can, some are too feral and cannot easily be socialized to life as a “domestic” house cat. For these ferals, the most these two rescuers can do is give them food, water and try to get as many of them spayed and neutered as possible.

Shon loves the cats so much, he hates missing any chance to see them.

“If it’s raining or cold or he can’t go, he gets really upset,” Papiernik said. “He cries, and it really hurts him hard.”

But when Shon does get to spend time with the street cats, he’s in his element — and this makes both Papiernik and Griffin extremely proud.

“We love it,” Papiernik said. “It makes us smile.”

6 Ways to Connect With Your Cat on a Deeper Level

Telling people that you love your cat while showing them an endless stream of camera phone pictures is all well and good, but to what extent have you really bonded with that special feline in your life? And how can you strengthen the connection between you and your cat and take it to the next level?

Here are six top tips to get you strutting down a path to forging a closer and more spiritual connection to your cat.

1. Master the slow blink

CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images

This might sound a little far along the insanity meter at first, but it is said that you can communicate with your cat by blinking at them. This move was brought to the masses by Jackson Galaxy’s My Cat From Hell TV show. The idea is that if you slowly blink while staring at your cat, you’ll communicate loving feelings towards said feline and — if all goes to plan — they’ll blink back.

Having said that, another theory says that if you very slowly blink at your cat and keep your eyes shut momentarily each time, you can induce your cat to take a quick snooze. So you might just be expediting nap time with this one.

2. Talk it up

VLADIMIR SHTANKO/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Keeping on with the concept of building up a bond through communication, try talking back to your cat the next time she meows at you. Mimic what she says and see if you can get some sort of back-and-forth dialogue going. Let’s be honest: It might sound ridiculous, but you’ve had less intelligible conversations on social media

3. Take time to play properly

DEA / D. ROBOTTI/De Agostini/Getty Images

Sometimes at the end of an arduous work day or after a hellish commute home, playing properly with your cat can turn into more of a chore than an enjoyment. After all, the part of a play session that cats enjoy the most is the slow stalking of pretend pray, rather than just bombing about after whatever toy you’ve thrown across the floor for them. (Standard kitten going crazy exception applies.)

So next time you’re getting a little frustrated because your cat doesn’t seem that into your attempts to engage her in a quick play session, step up and slow it down. They’ll thank you later. Possibly by not destroying a roll of toilet paper or knocking tchotchkes off a shelf.

4. Sit close to your cat

ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images

When I adopted Mei, my first cat as an adult, I was told that if she hid under the bed or the couch at first, the best way to coax her out was to simply sit on the floor nearby. So I holed up with my laptop, sitting with my back against the front of the couch, and waited it out. The tactic worked, as Mei ventured out after a few hours.

Take a similar approach next time you spot your cat napping or gazing out of the window and go and settle down close by. You might find it also brings you a few moments of calm contemplation to boot. Or that you actually really enjoy staring at birds outside your window.

5. Pet, don’t pick up

DANIEL PETTY/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Let’s be honest, while it’s fun to pick cats up and walk around with them, most felines don’t exactly enjoy being scooped up in such an unceremonious way. So nix those thoughts of elevating your kitty and instead stick to some good old fashioned, hands-on, conservative petting. Adding that butt scratch thing to the repertoire is a moral choice that you must make for yourself.

6. (Sort of) share your food and drink

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Well, don’t necessarily share everything you eat with your cat — after all, many foodstuffs like garlic, onions and coffee are toxic to cats and should definitely not be on your cat’s menu — but letting her sniff your beer or trying a tiny morsel of salmon while you eat at the dinner table is a way to bring your cohabiting worlds closer together.

Likewise, make a point to feed your cat her evening meal at the same time as you sit down to eat yourself — although don’t be tempted to taste test that premium freeze-dried venison you’ve decided to serve up for the four-legged diner.

Should you take your cat out on a lead?

More pet owners are taking up the trend of going for walkies with their cats, but is it good for the animals’ welfare? The RSPCA is not purr-suaded

Whoever said “curiosity killed the cat” obviously never put their cat on a lead, because these days curious cats with obliging owners and Instagram accounts are going hiking, paddle-boarding and even rock climbing, with leads and harnesses to help keep all nine lives intact.

Now, though, the RSPCA has advised cat owners against walking their pets on a lead, in case it causes them distress. “A sense of control is very important to cats, and being walked on a collar or harness prevents them having control,” the animal welfare organisation warned. “It may be more difficult for them to move away or hide from anything which might scare or worry them.”

Many pet owners have taken up cat-walking in recent years, encouraged by others on social media and by the growing range of outdoorsy cat kit on offer. But for most mogs, the RSPCA suggests, “an indoor environment with plenty of opportunities to be active and mentally stimulated is likely to be more beneficial for the cat’s welfare than walking them on a lead.”

For some cats, however, that’s not enough, says cat behaviourist Anita Kelsey. “If a cat is going mad being kept indoors, they’re crying at the windows all the time, and you’ve done everything you can to bring the outside in, that’s when I help people train the cats to walk on a lead,” she says, adding that letting a cat outside can help to solve some pets’ “destructive behaviour”.

Not every pet has a garden to roam at home, and if a cat lives in high-rise apartment block, for instance, then a walk on a lead might be the only way they’ll feel the breeze on their fur.

Kelsey lives in a London home with no garden and two Norwegian Forest cats, which she has taken walking in the Lake District on leads. “Every cat is different,” she says. “Mine are a breed of cat that really wants to go outside. But nobody can force a cat to go on a lead; you can’t force a cat to do anything if they don’t want to.”

The social media cat-walking trend can be traced to organisations such as Adventure Cat, a website and Instagram account launched by Laura Moss in 2015 and dedicated to intrepid domestic cats enjoying the wild. Given the internet’s fondness for felines, it’s hardly surprising the account has 120,000 followers, and more than 88,000 pictures have been posted with the hashtag #adventurecat.

Dr. Samantha Gaines, head of the RSPCA’s companion animals department, says the organisation is not suggesting a blanket ban on cat leads. “All we want cat owners to consider is that every cat is an individual,” Gaines explains. “For some, walking on a lead may be suitable, but we need to be careful that we’re not just thinking of cats as dogs.”

Man and His Cat Rescued in Stormy Seas [AMAZING VIDEO]

This video shows a French sailor and his cat being rescued in rough seas near Alaska. The man hurled himself from his disabled boat named “La Chimere” to the larger vessel. He had lost his rudder and rigging in the 46 mile per hour winds and called for help. The Coast Guard sent a support vessel called the “Tor Viking” which is featured in this rescue video.

The man told the Coast Guard that he was securing his cat “inside either his sweater or coat” before diving head first over the railing of the Tor Viking and into the arms of safety.

The video is amazing! I can’t believe they made it!

Wag of the tail to Jezebel for reporting!