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More Cat Advice for Humans — Mine Is the Best Out There

I answer questions about cat recreation, cat food, relationships, and Sphynx creepiness.

Mina the Cat  |  Feb 12th 2013

Usually I use this space for whatever topic I happen to be discussing with Daddy, but a week ago I answered some old reader questions about cats and how we live. Since then messages and comments have been just pouring in. My mailbox was full of messages from companies such as Dealfind — and from members of Nigerian Royalty. As a result of this popular outcry, I again address your comments, concerns, and questions.

Dear Mina,

My cat Keiko seemingly hates my cat Tasha. Out of nowhere he’ll rush up to napping Tasha, growl, and swing his paw at her head a few times before hissing and running away. He never makes contact, though, and I’m pretty sure his claws are retracted.

When I am not around they get along well, and I catch them napping next to each other all the time. BTW, Tasha is half Keiko’s size and loves to chase him around the house (as he hisses). This has been going on for years. What is going on between these two?

Keiko’s Human

Dear KH,

As I addressed in my column before, cats are apex predators. We’re not pack hunters, like dogs are. This means that we can be territorial as well as hierarchical. As a result, when there are two of us in the same place and we don’t share any similar genetic markers, we sometimes struggle over dominance.

Ziggy and I have a similar relationship. It’s why I practice Mina-style kung fu on him, but I also help him groom his hard-to-reach back areas, and we sometimes share the guest bed or even the Mommy-and-Daddy bed.

Generally, the signs that cats have stopped playing is that our claws are out and we pull our ears back to a position Mommy calls "airplane ears." As long as neither of those things are happening, presume we’re doing just fine, and that’s how cats relate to each other.

I realize our means of playing might seem strange and unusual to you humans, but imagine what it looks like when you play cribbage, because that’s wholly alien to our world view.

Dear Mina,

Our Maine Coon cat is 17 years old. He’s healthy, but for the past few weeks, his appetite seems to be decreasing. Of course, he is very picky about his food. Is there a supplement for aging cats to help with their appetite?

Poor Hungry Feline

Dear PHF,

I’m not a vet. But I can tell you that Mommy and Daddy have found a great supplement when I’m feeling picky. We call it gravy. My favorite gravy is the kind on the chicken feast variant of a cat food called "I luv my cat." On the label, “luv” is replaced with a picture of a delicious chicken heart. Mommy and Daddy buy that brand of food at a place called "CostCo," and it’s as much like ripping apart a real chicken as food gets.

It also has high protein content and low fat content, but these factors aside, I find that cats are drawn to strong smells of deliciousness, and that one has strong smells of deliciousness.

Dear Mina,

I really want a naked cat (Sphynx) but my boyfriend thinks they’re creepy. We live together, so I’m kind of strapped to his opinion. How do I get him to change his mind?

I Need Dating-related Interspecies Advice, Now.


When Mommy and Daddy were getting serious, Daddy said to Mommy, "I’ll never ask you if you love your cat more than me, because I know the answer is, ‘yes.’" That was the point when I started thinking that maybe I was okay with Daddy sticking around.

The reality here is more complicated, because hairless cats are creepy. Cats should have thick lush orange fur. Every step you take away from that optimal coloration and fur content makes the cat less successful as a cat. However, it is important that your boyfriend understand that cats are more important than he is, even if they are creepy.

The easiest way to do this is to simply get the cat without telling him, and make him cope or move out, but I understand that apartment rents can be expensive and you might not want to just kick him to the curb.

The other two options are: Try to get him to change his mind, or force him to accept your way of doing things regardless of his opinions to the contrary. I prefer the latter, but some humans like the former. The latter is generally more efficient by denying your boyfriend things he wants until he does what you want.

The former probably requires a friend with a hairless cat, or a cute hairless cat at a shelter. You just need to expose your boyfriend to said hairless cat until he comes around.

You could also change your mind, and just get a cute furry cat like me.

I recommend orange tabbies, because we’re the cutest.