Ask Oscar


Ask the expert!

Lots of you write to me asking questions. Now I personally find it slightly scary that you think you are likely to get a sensible reply from me but hey – its worth a try! If anyone wants to join in please do – as long as you remember that I am virtually, nearly, always right – no, seriously, I would appreciate any comments. It sometimes gets a bit boring here when the humans are not around to annoy, so if you want to argue with anything I say feel free to do so!

Dear Oscar, can you help me out as my Mum rescued a very beautiful lady cat that she named Mew Mew for me. Mew Mew used to live in a flat with two other cats, I don’t know if she had any access to going outside or not, I think she had a litter tray while living with those people, now she lives with us, she has access to a cat flap, she goes out when she wants into our small garden but still uses the litter tray in the house. I don’t know if she know’s about going to the toilet outdoors or not, I think maybe not. What can I do? I love her very very much. Thanx from Blue

Hiya Blue – sounds like Mew Mew does not know about going to the toilet outside. When I was younger the humans sorted me out by slowly moving the litter tray nearer and nearer to the outside door and then when the weather was fine putting it outside so that I got the idea that I could go outside !!!! Try that and let me know what happens :o)

Hi Oscar, I have a ten year old female cat but over the last couple of years she flicks her tail up in the air and urinates at various spots in the house. We do not see her doing it all the time but find where she has been by the residue and smell. There is an old basket by the fireplace full of logs that she seems to target all the time.I don’t want to keep her outside as she is an old cat and we have a busy road. I am at a loss what to do about it to stop her. I will appreciate any advice. Thank you. Ian.

Hi Ian. Doh – this is a real problem. I would recommend a read of the relevant factsheet here …. good luck!

Hi, I love Oscar’s blog. I have 9 cats myself and what Oscar does (and thinks) is just like my mob. Keep up the good work, can you add a bit about the funniest things cats bring in? Mine have came home with some classic pressies for me (headless squirrel – how they got it through the cat flap defies belief) …. Tanya

Hi Tanya. Thanks for the nice comments! I have personally arrived home with an old sock, an assortment of small animals, a frog (that did not taste good!). I particularly like rubber bands! I have about a legs of lamb being dragged in through a cat flap too ………….. anyone got anything to add to the list?

Hi Oscar, I have a two-year old female cat that never seems to drink water (or at least not from her water bowl). The water is changed daily and I use either previously boiled (but now cooled!) water from the kettle, or water from a filter jug I keep in the fridge. Although I’m out during most of the day, I’m convinced she never touches the stuff!? The only water I have seen her drinking is the murky water from the pond in the garden. Is this okay for her and what can I do to get her to drink the water in her bowl? Many Thanks, Tony

Hiya Tony. I know exactly where your lady cat is coming from! The humans put down water from me but I really don’t like the stuff and only drink it in a crisis. I blame the smell of fluoride. If your cat is getting lots of moist cat food then don’t worry too much as that will keep her hydrated.

The humans have a large barrel in the garden that always has some very murky green looking water in it. I always drink out of that – and despite having to balance on the side of the barrel I have not fallen in yet!! The humans get really annoyed with me but I am in the best of health so I am not sure that it does me any harm – unless anyone can tell me different?

Hello Oscar, I was wondering why cats like to chew on cords? What attracts some to chew on cords and others not to? Erin

Hi Erin. I don’t know about other cats but with me it is the smell that attracts me! I particularly like ‘proper’ rope (the light brown stuff) – I’m not so keen on the plastic stuff.

Okay Oscar, how and where do I find catnip seeds in the UK??? I’d love to be able to grow my own but have not been able to find them anywhere… Thank you! Becky

Hi Becky! No problem ! Try Chiltern Seeds – they have a really informative website.

Food question, what is your favourite dinner and why???? …. Peter

Hi Peter, that’s a good question. I tend to waffle on about tuna a lot but my absolute favourite is smoked salmon but not too much (its a bit rich even for me – as I discovered one Christmas when I pinched a whole plateful … doh!) served with a side order of semi-skimmed milk – not the full fat stuff – I have to watch my waistline! It should be noted that milk does not agree with all cats but personally I am fine with it.

Dear Oscar, I think my cat is insane. Until recently he ignored our catnip, but today he started to EAT the plants! When we moved him he went blitz and tried to kill his catnip mouse! then he licked the ground where we’d rubbed some catnip. WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM?! Anya

Hmmmm … strange. I have always loved catnip – I go really daft (even dafter than usual) when there is any catnip around – I roll around and apparently look really silly. Sounds like your guy has suddenly got a stronger whiff than usual of the scent!

Hi Oscar,. I hope you can help me, I have two young cats and would like to know when do cats stop growing? …..Richard

The common rule of thumb (or should that be paw?) on this one is that a cat should stop growing when it reaches around a year old. I seem have to got wider as I have got older but that is middle age spread! Of course every cat year is the equivalent to four human years …

Sleeping? As we all know, sleeping is one of cat’s very favourite things to do. What I would like to know, Oscar, is what is your favourite sleeping position?My moggy Rufus loves sleeping flat on his back, with his front paws crossed under his chin and his back legs stretched out as far as he can reach! I’ve never seen any other cats sleep like this, and wondered how common it was. And by the way, my Rufus was very very nearly called Oscar – it’s a very good name!! …… Lisa from Yorkshire

Hi Lisa! Rufus sounds an all round good guy. My favourite sleeping position is one that is as uncomfortable as possible for the human I have chosen to go to sleep on – I have to keep them under control ! No, seriously, my favourite position is fully stretched out on my side in the garden, in some nice dappled shade on a warm, sunny day …….. absolute bliss :o)

Hiya Oscar, little does my human know that I can use her laptop let alone send emails! She just thinks that I sit next to her and watches that cursor thingy on the screen whilst using the monitor as a static fur remover (it seems to remove the majority of my loose fur)! I was just wondering, as you can probably understand my sister (Ree) and I have a great liking for tuna which, our owner Helen quite often feeds us. We go absolutely mad for it but is it good for us? We usually eat the tuna in brine variety (dolphin friendly, of course) as the human often seems to be on this thing called a diet (she has used this word as a threat to me at times so it can’t be a good thing!) Is there too much salt in this or would it be better to eat the oily kind (I think I know which one I would prefer). I would be grateful if you could send me an answer when you get the chance, if it is good news then Ree and I can eat more tuna!

Hiya Thistle. Slightly bad news I am afraid. The view from the experts is that too much tuna is a bad thing! The recommended allowance is 2-3 portions a week of the real thing. Among other problems tuna contains a chemical that prevents the cat’s body from absorbing vitamin E. This can cause a painful condition called “yellow fat disease”. A safe option is to stick with manufactured tuna flavoured food which has all the essential vitamins and minerals added.

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