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  • Hi, my name is Dr. Uri Burstyn

  • I'm a veterinarian in Vancouver, B.C. and I'd like to welcome you to my series of practical skills for pet owners

  • I'm here with Mr.Pirate to talk about a question that I got asked quite a few times

  • uh, after publishing my squish the cat video and that is: 'why I can't touch my cat?'

  • Some people are feeding cats outside and really are wondering why these cats are very standoffish

  • Other people have house cats and they're just not that cuddly

  • So, I'm making this video to kind of help you understand a little bit as to why that might be

  • So, the way I think about it, there's two reasons

  • why a cat may not be super cuddly

  • behavioral and medical

  • So let's talk about behavioral causes of why a cat may not be that cuddly

  • The thing we need to understand is that cats were never domesticated

  • They co-evolved to live with humans, but they're vicious wild predators that choose to live with us

  • Not animals that were selected for wanting to live with us.

  • Now this little predator right here, obviously

  • falls on one end of the spectrum where he has pretty strong human affinity. He loves being around people.

  • Um, other cats fall on the other end of the spectrum

  • where they're essentially a wild animal, where they just don't care for humans at all

  • And, that's just the way they're born

  • You know, I think there's a rough estimate that 10 to 20 percent of kittens will never make a terrifically

  • cuddly, close, house pet

  • because they just don't care to be around people; they kinda want to be doing their own thing in the wild

  • And, and that's just a fact of life

  • So, you know, if a cat doesn't want to be cuddled by you, maybe they're just not a cuddly cat

  • Having said that, cats do acquire a lot of learned behaviors from their mother.

  • So, again, if you have a kitten that

  • has been brought up by a cat who's afraid of humans, such as a feral cat,

  • Uh, that kitten may learn to be human averse and they may also unlearn it

  • So, I'm not gonna tell you to give up on every feral cat or 'every cat's not cuddly'

  • Sometimes with some patience and love and a careful attention

  • You *can* make a cat who's afraid of humans quite fond of hanging out with you

  • But, you may run into an issue or you just have a cat who's just not that into people and that's okay

  • that's just the way they are. You may get into

  • a scenario where you have a cat that, whose mother just didn't teach it to be into people and now,

  • Again may be a little standoffish, but they might eventually warm up to you

  • Come on, little guy

  • So, Mr. Pirate here is obviously very into people

  • Hey *cat kiss*

  • But again, I raised him, so I'm basically his mother

  • I raised him from when he was a week old, bottle fed him, um

  • so, not only does he have a high affinity for humans, but he also learned that people are kind of okay

  • So, behavioral issues, just intrinsic personality may be one reason why your cat's not super cuddly

  • another reason that I come across

  • very often as a veterinarian is chronic pain and

  • pain in cats can be really really subtle, it is incredibly difficult to diagnose.

  • People often say to me: 'Well, you know, he's not whining or anything'

  • 'I don't know if he's in pain or not' and they're right. You know, dogs are social animals

  • they display pain, they display signs of discomfort

  • Cats are not. Signs of discomfort in cats can be really subtle

  • uh, an increased aggression is one of them

  • Hah, sweetheart, you want to be on the shoulder? Hang out on the table a little longer? Okay?

  • So, aggression is a really common sign of pain and chronic pain can lead to chronic aggression

  • Um, other signs are hiding, eating less, really subtle stuff! sleeping more in some cases

  • Um, but let's talk about aggression. A cat who's in pain will snap and react

  • even Mr. Pirate, you know, when he's, if he's sore and I poked him in the sore spot

  • He might turn around and hiss at me or swipe at me or snap at me because that's just how he communicates

  • Right now he's communicating he wants to be up on my shoulder

  • but you know, natural way that cats are communicating is: bite, swat, hiss - and people get put off by that

  • Cats in chronic pain is a little bit trickier. When you have a cat that's in chronic pain

  • They may be completely untouchable

  • but if you remove that source of chronic pain then they become a sweetheart, or at least reasonably cuddly at home and

  • The most common sources of chronic pain in cats, *the* most common one is a sore tooth

  • Dental disease. Resorptive lesions. We see this all the time

  • We see cats who cannot be touched; you look in their mouth, you diagnose the problem, you

  • do a dental cleaning, you pull the sore tooth

  • and the cat becomes a sweetheart! Owners are calling me a week later saying that 'I can't believe how sweet and cuddly'

  • 'this cat has become, we thought he was just a jerk.' Whereas in fact

  • he just had a sore tooth, potentially for years - cats get these things called resorptive lesions

  • They're very similar to cavities in humans

  • It can be very hard to diagnose, even the cat might have nice-looking teeth

  • But it's just a little red spot there that's sensitive

  • But these are incredibly painful, even under anesthesia if you touch them the jaw chatters, so even under general anaesthetic

  • It'll cause a noxious(?) pain response in the cat

  • So, dental pain is probably our number one cause of chronic pain in cats that is

  • completely preventable and treatable and, again, we do this all the time

  • we see this regularly: cats who are just jerks, you pull a tooth and they become sweethearts

  • Uh, as I demonstrated with Sesame

  • Something as subtle and seemingly, like,

  • Something that's not very obvious like skin... like hair mats

  • can cause severe discomfort for a cat and leave them to be completely untouchable, really aggressive animal, whereas in reality

  • They're just uncomfortable

  • another common cause is

  • The neck and back pain, arthritis, and I'm gonna do a whole video on that later

  • But arthritis pain can be really subtle, real hard to diagnose

  • But it can make a cat cranky and really not wanting to be touched and again, that's something that's manageable

  • you get them on some painkillers, you make them lose weight

  • You help those cats and they become cuddly and sweet again.

  • So, the message I would like you guys to take away from this video is that

  • Not all cats are gonna be human-centric or really cuddly

  • But not all angry, dangerous, aggressive cats have to be that way

  • You have to look for a source of chronic pain

  • Find them, treat them. And then at the end of all that, you can have a much nicer cat

  • to work with, someone who's relaxed

  • much more easy to get along with, can be cuddled, can be patted, will hang out with you

  • and it's all about just addressing those sources of chronic pain.

  • So that's part one of my video on 'why you can't touch that cat'

  • please stay tuned for part two, when we'll discuss some medical reasons

  • why certain cats may not want to be patted or picked up

  • Please click like and subscribe. Feel free to share this video with your friends

  • And if you want to support our good work, please check out our web store

  • We have some adorable squish the cat merchandise there for you

  • Please give it a look and once more, thank you very much for watching my videos

Hi, my name is Dr. Uri Burstyn

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B1 US cuddly pain chronic pain chronic diagnose aggression

Why I Can't Touch This Cat? - Part 1

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    yooooooooooooooo posted on 2020/09/09
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