From a nervous parrot to a disappearing cat – your pet queries answered

HE is on a mission to help our pets. . . and here to answer YOUR question.

Sean, chief veterinarian at the right pet food company, has been helping owner queries for ten years. He said: “If your pet is acting funny or being weather, or you want to know about nutrition or exercise, just ask. I can help keep pets happy and healthy.”

This week Sean helps readers rescue the shy parrot


This week Sean helps readers rescue the shy parrotCredit: Getty
Sean McCormack, lead vet at, promises he can'keep pets happy and healthy'


Sean McCormack, lead vet at, promises he can ‘keep pets happy and healthy’Credit: Provided

Q) My Rescue Parrot The Captain is very worried. Any tips to make him less shy?

I’m trying not to push him too much, but I really want to give him confidence.

David Sharp, Exeter

Sean says: This is really simple and just takes time and patience.

Depending on the Captain’s history, you can only progress so far, especially if he’s emotionally hurt from past experiences.

Some people might laugh at it but parrots probably have the emotional intelligence of a toddler, so they’re complex creatures.

Take it slow, make friends, and don’t overwhelm him when he wants to back off.

Oh, and bribes with favorite treats work very well.

You want him to think you’re the most interesting thing in the room, so find things he loves and use them sparingly.

Q) OUR cat Snowy keeps disappearing for days, then comes back, eats something, takes a nap and disappears again.

I was really annoyed because someone was clearly feeding him.

How can I stop Snowy from being unfaithful to me?

Ben Black, Regate, Surrey

Sean says: The hard truth is you probably can’t, I’m afraid.

The only way is to turn Snowy into an indoor cat and not allow her to go outdoors.

You can try to ask whoever is feeding him not to do so, by attaching a note to his collar saying you would appreciate it if he wasn’t fed by anyone else because he is on a special diet for his specific medical needs.

This is a common problem and sometimes that approach works, sometimes it doesn’t.

But it just shows you – dogs have owners and cats have servants, eh!

Q) My Plumpy guinea pig thinks it’s some kind of shark – it’s very agile.

What can I do to prevent it from biting? I’m thinking about renaming him Chunk.

Sarah Edwards, Leeds

Sean says: Does he have a friend? Maybe he’s a little cranky if he’s lonely or frustrated.

Was he scared too? Who handles him? Perhaps a child is not as gentle as an adult?

Lots of questions and very few solutions here, I realize.

You just need to renegotiate your relationship with him – feed him lots of his favorite foods, don’t hold him, and allow him to approach on his own terms.

And he’s sure to have more guinea pigs if he doesn’t already have one.

Q) ONE of my neighborhood cats is tormenting my five-year-old Heathcliffe.

He looked at Heathcliffe through the window and, if my cat went out, the others would attack.

While my neighbor sympathized, he ended up saying that he couldn’t stop his cat from doing what he wanted. Any suggestions?

Pat Rock, Edinburgh

Sean says: Is there a way to exclude this neighbor’s cat from your garden and keep Heathcliffe in your garden?

If you have a fence or wall around you, you can install cat-exclusion barriers on top to create overhangs to prevent cats from entering or leaving, or both.

It will certainly be a bit of work and expense, but it may be the only solution to this cat confrontation, which will be very stressful for poor Heathcliffe.

Star of the week

Silver fox Jasper has learned to trust again after being rescued from the fur trade


Silver fox Jasper has learned to trust again after being rescued from the fur tradeCredit: Provided

JASPER the silver fox was rescued from the fur trade and has learned to trust again – thanks to dog muffins.

He now lives in a special fox palace at the Bucks Goat Center in Stoke Mandeville.

Jasper has struggled to settle down, but his owners convinced him with The Barking Bakery’s dog muffins – and now he’s the star of the center’s little experience center, where visitors feed animals.

Owner Ruth Higgins said: ‘It shows that a small gift can go a long way in winning the trust of animals.

“Jasper is finally in the right environment and we can’t wait to see him develop further.”

WIN: £50 B&M voucher

WE’ve teamed up with B&M to give five lucky readers the chance to win a £50 voucher to spend in-store.

This summer, B&M has everything Sun readers need for their dogs to wag their tails and cats to purr – from cooling products to treats and food for some delicious dinners.

To participate, send an email subject to B&M to by 23 July. See T&C applies.


50% of cat owners say their cats keep them company during the workday – but more than half of them are secret saboteurs.

A survey from cat care company Tippaws found that 55% of cats roam the home office, sitting on their owners’ laps or beside them.

A survey found that 37% of owners said their cats often get in the way of work


A survey found that 37% of owners said their cats often get in the way of workCredit: Getty

A whopping 82% of owners also revealed that their co-workers know their cat’s name.

But 37% said their cats often get in the way of work, by interfering with their laptop or phone.

An additional 22% admitted they had to mute, pause or leave a Zoom call because their pet was demanding attention or making a loud noise.

Eight in ten admit they also stop working for a quick chat or play with their cat.

A Tippaws spokesperson said: “Kittens have a therapeutic role. Nearly all (96%) of respondents acknowledged the role cats play in improving their overall mental health.

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“Cat co-workers also help their WFH owners draw a line during their hard day at the home office by snuggling up against the sofa (25%) or trying to have fun. , with 16% of cats following their owners around the house wanting to play.”

Learn about your cat’s workplace personality at

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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