Caturday felid trifecta: Training your cat, wine for moggies, London cats

We have two optimistic articles about how you can train your cat to do nearly anything. The upshot: see what the cat likes to do, and then reward it for that! The first article, by Julie Hecht in Scientific American, is called “Cats would like you to know they are open to training.” The second, a post by Cari Romm in New York Magazine, is über-optimistically titled “You can train your cat to do your bidding.” It gives you some tips about training your moggie, and ends like this:

[And stay] patient. Animal trainer Samantha Martin, who runs the circus-cat act in the video [below] (it’s called Amazing Acro-Cats), has called cat training “a negotiation,” explaining: “Dogs are true professionals, but cats are more like employees who you would fire if they were people.” If you’re not going to fire ‘em, though, you might as well try and get them to do your bidding. Or something like it, anyway.

Here’s the video referred to, from National Geographic. Click on the screenshot to see The Amazing Acro-Cats, who do tricks on command (sort of. . . ). If you have trained your cat, please describe it in the comments.

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Wine for cats? Wine not? They already have drugs (catnip), and in fact that’s the basis for this new cat beverage:

A company in Denver has produced a new brand of “wine” for cats, expertly marketed it at those of us who are suckers for both.

That’s right: You and your seven cats (I’m not insulting you; that’s how many I’m currently parenting) can now relax together with a little vino.

Apollo Peak all-natural cat wine may have started as a joke—at least according to its creator, Brandon Zavala—but it’s now retailing at a serious-enough $14.95 purr bottle. It’s important to note that it contains no alcohol—but it can still get your cat fucked up, since it contains kitty-drug-of-choice catnip, as well as the beets that make it red. Two formulations are currently available: the Pinot Meow and the MosCato.

You can buy the stuff here, and I’d love to see how cats react to this drink:



I know we have a fair number of readers who live in London, so for them—and the rest of us—I point you to the article on “London cats” from Little House of Cats. Two days ago I showed some pictures of the Art Deco building guarded by two cat statues, the Carreras Cigarette Factory in Camden Town, London, and here are a few more (go to the article for other felinia from London):

Hodge was one of the cats of author Dr Samuel Johnson (1709–1784). A bronze statue of Hodge by Jon Buckley stands in the courtyard outside Dr Johnson’s House (now a museum) at 17 Gough Square. Hodge is depicted sitting atop a copy of Johnson’s famous dictionary with a pair of oyster shells at his feet, and an inscription underneath which reads “a very fine cat indeed”.


The statue of Dick Whittington’s cat can be found surrounded by protective railings at the foot of Highgate Hill. Dick Whitting and his cat is an English folk tale of a poor boy in the 14th century who becomes a wealthy merchant and eventually the Lord Mayor of London because of the ratting abilities of his cat, Tommy.


Sam the cat is a playful statue at Queen Anne Square in Bloomsbury Square Gardens, depicting the feline about to jump off a wall onto the ground. It was donated by the local community in memory of nurse Patricia Penn (1914–1992), cat lover and champion of local causes. In the 1970s, Ms Penn campaigned to protect the area from developers and preserve historic buildings.


The Soho Hotel cat is a 3m (10ft) bronze sculpture by Colombian artist Fernando Botero that dominates the lobby of the upscale hotel, in the heart of London’s entertainment district. The rotund feline demonstrates the artist’s trademark style of corpulent figures. As Botero explains: “An artist is attracted to certain kinds of form without knowing why. You adopt a position intuitively; only later do you attempt to rationalize or even justify it.” The Soho cat is one of several the artist has done: other Botero cat sculptures are in Medellín, Colombia; Singapore; Barcelona; Yerevan, Armenia; and New York.


The Smithfield cat can be found on a column in the Priory Church of St Bartholemew the Great in West Smithfield. St Bartholomew’s was founded as an Augustinian priory in 1123. The Smithfield cat is located inside the south transept, just above and across from the bookstall. Much of St. Bartholomew’s interior predates the tradition of corbel heads on arches and pillars, so the cat is an unusual and unexplained ornament.


And a street piece by Banksy!

Ratapult is a street art piece on Whitecross Street in Islington by elusive Bristol artist Banksy. It shows a rat being catapulted into the air by a cat. The rat wears a cape (or has it sprouted wings?) to cleverly elude capture. The inspiration for this piece comes from a black-and-white photo of a cat and rat (though the rat in the photo is cape-less / wingless).


The photo:


  1. Frank Bath
    Posted June 25, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    There is another fine London cat that is part of a four piece sculpture at Thames Wall, Bermondsey – Dr Salter’s Dream. The cat is crouching on the wall above the river.

  2. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted June 25, 2016 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Wine for cats? Wine not? They already have drugs (catnip), and in fact that’s the basis

    Whatever makes your feline good.

  3. Mary Sheumaker
    Posted June 25, 2016 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of trained cats- there is a street performer in Key West with trained cats:

    • Mary Sheumaker
      Posted June 25, 2016 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      sorry about the embedding!

  4. Larry Smith
    Posted June 25, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    I once took a picture of our cat Kaz next to a bottle of her favorite wine. What was it? Why, a muscadet, of course, for that’s what she was: a mouse cadet.

  5. eric
    Posted June 25, 2016 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Re: training cats. I was talking with my parents this weekend, and they reminded me that the cat we had when I was six liked to play fetch. He would do the full on retriever routine of bringing what you asked for (‘mouse’, ‘ball’), dropping it at your feet, you’d throw it, he’d run and get it and bring it back to drop at your feet for another throw. I still can’t remember it, but I believe them.

  6. Lauren
    Posted June 26, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    I have trained my cat to use the toilet rather than a letter box. My 4-year-old grey tabby, Virgil, spent his first 3.5 years on our ranch as an outdoor cat. After moving to the city, I began his toilet training program, which took about 60 days to complete.

    Gradually raised the litter box to toiley height, then used special insert with special, very expensive “flushable” litter to get him using the litter box on the toilet (Citty Kitty, I believe, from Amazon). Gradually increasing the hole size until insert was no more.

    I gave him a special food after every deposit. He eventually pretended to use the toilet and then would go to his feed bowl and yowl for food. Had to be careful only to feed him after he really went to the toilet. I had read years ago that food treats aren’t that effective for a cat, but Virgil at least made the association although I would not characterize him as “working” for treats.

    We both live happily now with no litter and no cat box odor. I still give Virgil his favorite food each time he uses the toilet, often almost immediately upon completion, and he occasionally just climbs on the toilet while I’m watching and then goes to his cat bowl. Sometimes I fear he is suspect of my intelligence….but at least I’m not cleaning a litter box!

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