In-Depth Mojo: Buddha & Dylan – Cat Temples & Territories

It’s all about territory.  It’s one of the basic needs of cats.

In this post, Jackson talks about how the issue of territory came into play with the cases of Buddha and Dylan.

For more, check out this companion post where Jackson lets you in on the holistic remedies that he uses in situations like these.

Buddha - extreme makeover, cat weight loss edition

Buddha – extreme makeover, cat weight loss edition

Buddha – Getting a Cat Temple

Really, even though the “Buddha’s Temple” thing might seem kinda silly, the cool thing about it is that it’s not just a matter of asking your neighbors and your friends to approach Buddha in a different way.  Remember, Buddha had beat up everybody on the block, pretty much.  The way that you really had to push to the other side was not just get them to approach it neutrally, but let’s push it all the way to the other side.  And that is to treat him like some kind of a god.  And we bring humor into it that way, and by bringing humor into it you can sort of diffuse the situation.  Not just for the neighbors and the friends but also for Hector, who was scared of the cat.  This almost pokes fun at the fear itself, even though it was no joke, because as anybody remembers, Buddha put a hurting on me that I will not soon forget, as I honestly didn’t feel my hand for the rest of the day.  But I was one of those people who actually, y’know, wound up putting an offering into the temple.  I mean, for me, it’s never a problem to find that sort of empathetic side of the cat, but for everybody else I thought it worked really well.

Also I thought that Buddha’s episode was really important because it was the first time that we were really able to bring in, in a really profound way, the benefits of a bio-appropriate diet, and to have Rick and Hector embrace that raw food diet, and also, not just having him eat raw, but controlling how he wound snarf his food, changed his life.  I mean that cat’s life changed immediately.  In the course of the six weeks that we worked together, he lost a really nice amount of weight.  I don’t remember how much it was but it was at least a couple of pounds, in a healthy way.  We never starved him, we didn’t used that old model where you feed less, he ate what he wanted to eat but he ate what was right for his body and his body responded and changed in a really great way.

And also, I believe it changed his behavior as well.  The lighter he got the less grumpy he was.  The less grumpy he was, obviously, the less people got bit!

By the time I left Buddha, he was a really comfortable cat.  That was really nice.

Dylan - the amazing furry alarm clock

Dylan – the amazing furry alarm clock

Dylan – Learning Cat Territory

I think for Dylan, one of the things that was really important was the concept of the way we catified the house.  The “open house.”  And again, we used humor with Richard being a realtor and we brought in the “open house” thing just to be a little humorous about it, but the thing about it was we had to increase the ownership of the space.  We’ve done that with many cats this season.   And I can think of a couple off the top of my head: Capri being one of them, and also Tony being another, where we were trying to take the ‘safe space’ and the symbols of that safe territory and spread them throughout the house.

If you make their world “this big,” and when I say “this big,” I mean the size of my hand, well then they’re only going to feel confident in my hand.  If you take those things and spread them throughout the rest of the house, they’ll feel confident in the rest of the house.  And that was something that we learned with Dylan.

Another important thing, and again, we’ve seen it this season: Why is it that the dog always gets a free pass?  Somehow, it’s never the dog’s fault when the cat acts up.  Kiko was another example of a dog that just needed to learn how to not lunge for the cat in order for the cat to feel safe.  Remember, we can show that cat that hey you own this space, but if the dog always goes after the cat, then that’s a check that we can’t cash.  And in order to make that a check we can cash, we have got to train the dog to be able to sit, stay, and be near the cat without lunging.  And somehow, not then blame the cat for all the mayhem that ensues.

It is our obligation to train our dogs.  If we don’t do that,  then we have to realize that the dominoes fall from there, not to there.  The dominoes don’t start falling from the cat to the dog, it rarely happens that way.  We’ve seen it before, but it rarely happens.  It happens more when the dog lunges, eats the cat’s food, sticks their nose in the cat’s litter box, and we saw that again with Dylan and Kiko.  And it was great to see Diane and Richard embrace training.

For more info on the cases on Buddha and Dylan, check out this Spirit Essences Report.

  1. Sheltiew2manx   July 16, 2013 at 11:30 am  

    Both my cats follow raw food diet and are both indoor only cats. What raw diet does Jackson recommend? Is there any recipes he can share through his blog?

    Reply
  2. Rejeanne   July 16, 2013 at 5:30 pm  

    my brother has an all white female cat that cries,hisses,and does try to harm someone. She has been declawed on her front paws. he told my husband today that they are putting the cat to sleep. This cat lived in this house with another cat and was left behind supposely for a short time. When my brother moved into this house with his cat this cat was I would say all ready upset. I don’t know what happen before they moved in. It’s owner left her and her friend the other died and now she is alone with a new cat and two people she did not know. At this point I think she poops on the floor next to her box and I think urinates. They lock her up in a room all day and when they go to bed.

    I not happy with their choice of putting her to sleep. I hope you can help me.

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. dianne   January 13, 2014 at 8:24 am  

      its sad , the cat is acting out because it was left behind and now new people in her life..it takes time for a cat to get used to new people and being locked in a room all day and night .. there is no LOVE being given to her .. they are giving up on her if they take the time to give this cat love things would turn around one day at a time .

      Reply
  3. Rejeanne   July 16, 2013 at 5:31 pm  

    I hope to get a reply from jackson regarding my email

    Reply
    1. Elise   January 13, 2014 at 2:04 pm  

      Hi Rejeanne,

      It sounds like the poor cat had an unhappy life as well as an unhappy ending. There is a great forum out on the net, simply called http://www.catforum.com/
      You will get a very fast response to issues such as the one you presented that are time-sensitive. It sounds like none of the people who dealt with that cat knew the proper course to take with it. Wth such a cat that has little trust for humans due to past offenses, it would take a lot of time, understanding and patience to get a cat like that to trust again-a special kind of person without a doubt.

      I hope if you personally have a cat and need help you will seek your answers at the forum or perhaps if its health-centered, at your vet’s office.

      Good luck,
      Elise

      Reply
  4. Carol Sparks   July 25, 2013 at 10:35 am  

    Please include Richmond California in your tour. Fix Our Ferals, a low-cost spay neuter center for cats in the San Francisco East Bay Area, is having a clinic fundraiser on October 13th, and we would love to have you appear at our event.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Carol Sparks

    Reply
  5. Debbie   August 3, 2013 at 5:41 pm  

    I have 3 inside cats and this year I have been feeding some stray cats . This has got my oldest cat crazy but in all honesty she has never accepted the other 2 cats. I love her dearly and living on a fixed income I have done all I can to try and remedy the problem but it just gets worse every day. She is peeing everywhere. She even pees in their water bowl. By the food bowls, I am at a loss. I came on here tonight to see how to adjust her from inside to outside. I have had her for 7 years, she came to my house as a little stray not even weaned, she can’t even bond with anything. She lets me pet her for a little while, then she tries to scratch me and off she goes. But she sleeps in my back everynight. She is ruining my house tho. I clean after her but you can only do so much with cat urine.

    Reply
    1. Liz   January 12, 2014 at 11:00 pm  

      I’m well aware that this might be a day late and a dollar short however I might have some recommendations for you.

      Your oldest cat is probably stressed out by the strays coming close to the house. You might be able to fix the problem by moving the stray’s feeding dishes farther away from the house. In a place that is easily accessed from a more public place like an alley, or a communal walk way. This should stop the strays or feral cats from invading what she considers her territory.

      Reply
  6. Melanie   August 11, 2013 at 9:55 am  

    Can you please post details on recommended raw food diet – I would like to pursue for my cat as soon as possible.

    Reply
    1. Lisa   July 8, 2014 at 4:54 am  

      Dear Melanie,

      I did all sorts of raw diets for my cats for 15 years. Most of them contained a considerable amount of grain and veggies. This turned out to be a big mistake for their health. It was not till the end of my last cat’s life that I discovered a wonderful forum by a woman who wrote a book on cat care emphasizing that cats are carnivores and many of the raw diets out there have too much else that’s wrong for cats’ bodies. I wish I had discovered this woman and her forum years ago. My cats may have had a few more years to spend with us.

      Her name is Sandy and her website is:
      Holisticat.com

      She also offers personal nutritional or medical counseling for your cat for a reasonable fee if you need this. The forum has a number of helpful individuals as well.

      Reply
  7. Rebecca Grimm   August 13, 2013 at 3:03 am  

    We have a stressful moving situation that we weren’t expecting. Yes, both female cats are fixed, and yes they love each other. We moved from a trailer home that was falling apart to a newer bigger trailer home. The older cat, Sissy, is handling it better than we thought and has actually come out of hiding, and become more social. The younger one, Bella, has been acting crazy even though there is no catnip in the house. She refuses to chase her rubber balls like she used to. I got a plastic spider attached to half a fishing pole by way of fishing line that I use in interaction to play with her every morning to get that hunting need out of her. (The old trailer had plenty of mice to chase.) Bella hides in her cat tower for what I feel is way too long. She used to be my cuddle bug where I could just sit and pet her for hours. Now if I hold her too long she hisses at me. I attempted to approach it differently where I sit next to her instead and pet her and she seems to be responding well. We have plenty of climbing area including a nice bay window with a cedar chest in front to climb on which they love. Does Bella just need more time to adjust? Is it just because she is getting older? Is there anything we can do to make Bella feel more relaxed?

    Reply
  8. Karen   August 20, 2013 at 8:31 am  

    Hello, please help! I need some advice. I am a cat lover. I have a bunch of cats. They are all fixed, but the problem is this one male cat we have. Checkers. He is constantly trying to get into my bedroom where one of my old cat Sadie is. She has to be isolated because he will beat up on her. I don’t know what to do. I thought if I got him fixed he would stop it. All the hollering at hlm and shooing him away won’t stop him till he gets tired and walks away. Ordinarily he is such a loving sweet playful cat, wouldn’t hurt anyone but he won’t stop trying to get to her. My husband and I are at odds with him. I don’t know what to do.

    Reply
    1. MELANIE   August 21, 2013 at 5:42 am  

      Hi Karen, I am just another cat lover as well but have tried a few things that have worked for our family in the past. 1. play time with Checkers – wear him out at least morning and night. 2. switch rooms – let him have access to your room when Sadie is safely somewhere else – I have noticed that some cats gets really upset if they can’t get into a room. 3. Ask vet – if you can have checkers, checked : ) just in case he has a med issue. Just some ideas. Hopefully Jackson will reply and give you more and better advice.

      Reply
  9. Meredith Bowers   October 6, 2013 at 9:07 pm  

    Hello, my name is Meredith. My boyfriend has two cats, one named storm and the other is Chloe. Storm is the youngest and Chloe is the oldest, both are spayed and have all there shots. But what I see as a problem, my boyfriend sees as the cat is just stupid. So for starters storm attacks Chloe all the time. And another fact about the relationship with the cats and my bf is that he over punishes them, and also wants others to do the same. He will throw them across the room, he will beat them, kick them, bite them, throw them into walls and the bathroom, or he will snap his fingers at them. In other words there is no proper punishment and he don’t see any harm in things. Storm and Chloe both are sweet cats, Storm will attack and bite people once in a while for no reason and Chloe pretty much hides all day. I love both cats and want to see them get along with not only themselves but also humans that include me and my bf. I feel there is more to tell, but not sure what. If you could help us in any way, please email me at any time and I would be very thankful. For the love of my bfs cats, I reach to you for help. Hope you have a blessed day.

    Reply
    1. Rose   November 3, 2013 at 2:45 pm  

      Any man who will beat and abuse animals will beat and abuse you! His reason is that they are stupid; unfortunately a person like that will make excuses for their bad behavior and blame others for causing him to act that way, and soon will be calling YOU stupid. If you live with him move out- if you don’t and you have a key to his place, go there when he is not home and physically remove the animals. If you love them as you say, make a safe home for them and yourself. Kiss that idiot goodbye- you’ll be doing yourself and the cats a huge favor.

      Reply
    2. DD   December 18, 2013 at 11:47 pm  

      Cats are highly intelligent animals. Chloe and Storm know your bf is evil and your’re not trusted to protect them from him. Chloe handles it by hiding all day and Storm lashes out by attacking for no reason just like your bf does to him…for no reason.
      Your bf is abusive and you are too for letting it happen. Or do you let it happen because you yourself have been thrown against that same wall so you don’t dare cross bf anymore?

      Reply
    3. Katherine   January 13, 2014 at 6:33 am  

      Uuuummm that’s animal abuse and illegal. They aren’t dogs and do not respond to that sort of thing. They need play time to tire them out. like thirty mins morning and evening hunt, kill, eat, clean, sleep. They need to be tired out and they will quit being “stupid”. If he beats on them he shouldn’t own them. The cats are only being cats and should be treated kindly. I suggest taking the cats from him. Thats horrible to throw an animal into walls and bite them. The cat learns nothing this way.

      Reply
  10. Sara   October 11, 2013 at 6:46 am  

    Dear Mr. Galaxy;

    I rescued a kitten four months ago and it, Fendi, has been very anti-social; she hides all day and night and only comes out to eat, use the litter… I gave her to a friend who has tried everything to get Fendi to be more social. She has a playmate, Oliver, whom she eats with.
    Recently I helped my friend try to capture Fendi and move her to another location for a week and I got badly scratched and bitten to the point where I needed rabies shots.

    She has lots of high places to sit on, a cat couch, a scratching post and treats but refuses to socialise with people. I am afraid we might have to release her into the wild if she continues to reject human contact, but Oliver depends on her company, so we both are stumped. Please let me know what we can do to allow her to trust people more.

    Sara Mahmoud.

    Reply
  11. Scott & Britny   October 26, 2013 at 11:06 am  

    Dear Galaxy,

    My wife and I just recently got 2 news cats along with our 1st cat (3 total). at first our 1st cat(Milo) was ok with it until the 2nd cat(daisy) started hissing and growling first and normally milo hissed and growled back and then just today we got a kitten(zelda) im sure that milo thinks hes losing his territory and im not how to handle it can i get advice? im not sure if time will calm it down but i want to do something before it gets worse

    Reply
  12. Judiann Carver   November 27, 2013 at 2:19 pm  

    Jackson, Where can I get CO2 basic cleaner. I heard you say that it will get rid of cat urine smell. Thanks for your help.

    Judiann

    Reply
  13. Elise   January 13, 2014 at 2:07 pm  

    People…. I’m sure Jackson is extremely busy, and if he does monitor and answer this page, it might not fit the time constraints some of you seem to have.
    There is a great forum http://www.catforum.com/ which you will get lots of responses to all kinds of questions from experienced cat owners and rescuers.

    Reply

We regret that Jackson does not answer questions posted in the comments. This is due to his demanding schedule and the high volume of requests he receives. But most importantly, since he has not met your cat, it would be contrary to his approach for him to give specific personalized advice for your specific situation. That being said, general questions and issues are addressed throughout this blog, in his book Cat Daddy and of course, the show My Cat From Hell.

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