Why Your Cat Thinks You’re A Huge, Unpredictable Ape?

Leave Fluffy’s tummy alone

Sights and sounds aren’t the only things in your house that assault your cat’s senses. Humans are much more touchy-feely than cats, and we sometimes find their fluffiness irresistible. But cats, like us, want some say in how they’re handled. “Would you appreciate it if someone was always picking you up, hugging you, rubbing you?” Buffington says.

The best bet is to let Fluffy guide the interaction. If she’s rubbing some part of her body against you, she’s given you permission to pet that part of her.

Other feline behaviors are tricky, because they appear to be an invitation for petting. The classic is when Fluffy exposes her belly. When you go in for a rub, she bites and scratches you. “Exposing her belly is not a trap the cat is setting,” Buffington says. “The cat is biting you because they feel violated and afraid.” A cat’s belly is its most vulnerable body part, and exposing it is the cat letting you know she trusts you—not that she wants a belly rub.

That’s not the only place that’s off limits. Have you ever been petting your cat and all of a sudden she slinks off to the other side of the room, cowers behind something, and stares at you?

“If your cat is acting weird, then something probably triggered this behavior,” Buffington says. Perhaps you kept petting the base of her tail, because she kept raising her butt. This area is filled with nerves, and being pet there can be overstimulating, much like being tickled is to us. Also, being cradled is not normal for cats. If your cat is curled up in your lap, it’s not necessarily an invitation to be picked up.

What’s that? Your cat is totally fine with you picking her up, snuggling her, and rubbing her angel-soft belly? That’s fine. Nobody’s jealous. Just stop talking about it.

You want your cats to be friends more than they do

Shingles and I recently moved into a house with two other cats, and my roommate and I have been trying for months to get them to play. It hasn’t been going well. Time and again, we put them in the living room and watch as mild curiosity turns into panic and fighting.

Buffington says we’re doing this all wrong. Start slow, he says, by rubbing each cat in turn with the same dry towel to get them used to each others’ scent. Before introducing them, make sure each cat has eaten, pooped, and received affection from their respective owners. In other words, ensure they are comfortable. Once the cats are together, let your cat know you have its back by giving it lots of affection. Don’t pressure them to mingle, and make sure each has an unimpeded escape route.

And if your cat isn’t feeling the play date and decides to bail, let him go. Buffington says one of our biggest misconceptions is that cats need to be around other cats. In the wild, cats hunt alone, and they don’t share. Other cats aren’t friends; they’re competition.

Your cat cares about you

Your cat is not as indifferent about you as she may seem. She wants to bond, and the best way to do so are with petting, food, and play. If your cat doesn’t like to play, you might be doing it wrong. If you’re using a laser pointer, don’t wave it like you’re at a rave. Move it at natural speeds and let the cat catch it occasionally. The same rule applies with the feather-on-a-string toy.

Shingles used to cry incessantly whenever I left for the day, and I worried that leaving him home alone was making him neurotic. Buffington suggests I create little rituals for coming and going. “Before you leave, you can call to the cat, give him some affection and let him know you are saying good bye,” Buffington says. And he says to have a similar ritual for coming home. “Some married couples survive on less than an hour a day of contact. Your relationship with your cat can survive on 10 minutes a day, as long as it’s really quality,” Buffington says.

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Cancer Health Insurance

When you receive a cancer diagnosis, it can be overwhelming – for you, and your family. Having the right health insurance can help to reduce some of the financial pressures so you can focus on your health and recovery.

If you’re in need of cancer treatment, it’s important you know what’s covered by private health insurance. Every policy is different and every treatment plan is unique; this is one case where the fine print really does matter.

Covering cancer treatment costs – what are the options?

Treating cancer can be more expensive than you might expect. To help cover the costs, some people use the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) alone, and others use a combination of Medicare and their private health insurance.

Here’s what each one offers:

Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme – what’s covered?

Medicare can cover hospital care, diagnostic testing and imaging, GP visits and some of the cost of specialist visits. If chemotherapy, radiotherapy and drugs such as antinauseants and immunostimulants are being used as part of your treatment, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) might reduce or cover the cost of prescribed medications.

With certain medications provided outside of hospitals, there may be a ‘gap’ or an amount you have to cover yourself. Always ask your health provider about these costs ahead of time so that you’re prepared for the bill.

Private health insurance – what’s covered?

Private health insurance generally covers you for part, or all, of the costs of being a private patient receiving treatment in a private or a public hospital, depending on your level of cover. It doesn’t mean your private hospital stays are free, but you can choose your doctor and the hospital you’ll be treated at, and your policy may cover the cost of a single room.

Depending on your level of cover, private health insurance may also cover you for out-of-hospital services. This is called extras or ancillary insurance. For most people, that means physio, optical and the annual dentist visit, but it can also include some of the complementary treatments sometimes used in cancer treatment. This could include things like, home nursing, assistance with travel and accommodation, psychology, occupational therapy, dietician advice, post-operative medical/health aids, assisted living programs.

As a private patient, you may need to pay extra fees including doctors’ charges, hospital accommodation, pharmaceuticals, theatre fees, prostheses and so on. Generally, the higher the premium you pay, the fewer additional costs you’ll have to deal with.

Limiting your health insurance expenses – what should you consider?

Here are some practical things you can do to keep on top of your expenses if you’re using private health insurance:

  • Contact your health fund before you receive treatment to find out exactly what they cover and what you’ll have to pay for yourself, and if there are any associated waiting periods you need to serve.
  • Understand what it means if your insurance policy has restrictions or exclusions. It may mean you’re not covered for things you think are included.
  • Find out if your hospital or specialist has an arrangement with your health insurer so you don’t face avoidable out-of-pocket expenses. You might even decide to change where you go for treatment based on this information.
  • Ask your doctor for a written estimate of costs and find out how long you’ll have to pay the bills.
  • Read any letters or brochures from your health insurer; they can make changes to your policy, so it’s a good idea to stay informed
  • Make any claims with your insurer as soon as possible so there’s no delay on your payments.

Choosing the right level of private health insurance may increase your comfort during treatment and help to lighten your financial load in the long run. It’s important to research your policy options carefully to choose the policy that best suits you.