Agney, my eight-year-old female cat, finds a great place to sleep – pet bed, closet, blanket – and sleeps there for two to six months, then finds a new spot and never returns to the old. The deserted spots aren’t soiled. Why, besides because she’s a cat, does she do that?
While some cat behaviours defy explanation, this one has a few. Changing sleeping locations is a cat’s natural instinct, and reminds us that cats might be domesticated, but they are just one catnip-stuffed mouse away from being wild.
Eons ago, cats developed the practice of changing their sleeping locations for their own protection. Cats’ sleeping spots soon acquire their scent, allowing predators to track them to their lairs. So they moved around a lot.
Today’s house cat has retained that trait, even though most homes don’t have predators stalking our felines. Your cat is just doing what comes naturally.
Cats also will change their preferred sleeping spot depending on the temperature. When it’s colder, they like a warm, cosy spot. On hot days, they might pick the bathroom sink as their primary place or favourite napping spot. This doesn’t sound like the case with your cat, but pain can cause more frequent or constant switches in sleeping places.
Cats employ vertical thinking. If they sleep in this corner and they have pain, they blame the bed and try another spot. This behaviour is more common in older cats that have arthritis. In multiple cat homes, hierarchy influences where a cat sleeps. The dominant cat will choose its sleeping spot and any other cats have to defer.
Please help me identify this bug! Nobody at the pool stores I have contacted have been able to help me figure it out. I have an above-ground pool and I get tons of these small black insects diving in my pool and stinging me. I assume it is some sort of a bee, and I just don’t know how to get rid of them. Why are they only attacking me in the pool?
I checked with my favourite insect identifier, Steve Schutz, scientific programmes manager for the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District, and he believes your unwelcome pest is a sweat bee. They generally don’t sting you, he says, unless you swat at them or press them against your skin. However, they sometimes nip people – a bite that feels like a pinch.
Sweat bees are attracted to the salt in our sweat, and I’m guessing that while you’re in your pool, the combination of the heat and the water is causing you to become a sweat bee magnet. It can definitely be annoying, but the sweat bees are beneficial insects that pollinate a lot of native plants. It’s possible they are being attracted by flowers in the yard, or there could be nests in the soil somewhere nearby.
Putting dryer sheets inside pots and setting them around the pool purportedly helps deter bees. You also can provide an alternate source of water for them – away from the pool and you. – Tribune News Service/The Mercury News