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Showing posts from January, 2008

Anatomy of a cat

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I have good hearing . The world sounds noisy to me. I like some quiet. Think how noisy the world is to a cat. The anatomy of a cat is specialized for hunting. Her senses are special. Her hearing is remarkable. Often we don't seem to appreciate this and I put myself in the category of people who sometimes forget how sensitive to sound cats are. Cat senses are attuned to efficient hunting. We have a similar hearing ability to cats at the lower end of the scale. However cats hear higher pitched sounds that we can't. They can hear sounds 1.6 octaves above the highest pitch that we can hear. One octave higher as I understand it is a frequency twice as high as the octave lower in the scale (if I'm wrong please tell me). Cats can also distinguish the pitch of a sound better than us. They are also able to locate the source of sound far better than us. This is probably because of the directional nature of the ear flap (the bit of the ear we can see called "Pinnae"). Appar

Cat Licking Behavior

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Is your cat licking behavior normal? We know a cat licks herself to keep clean. Licking fur also helps to smooth it, making it a better insulating layer. Licking fur also helps to keep your cat cool. The saliva evaporates cooling her down in the same way perspiration cools humans down (physics: latent heat of evaporation). Your cat will lick her fur after you have handled her. This is to put her scent back on the spot where your scent has been left. She needs this to feel OK. A cat's world is a world of smells, ours is more visually orientated. She also licks off some of your scent to taste it (a form of communication). If she licks your hand she is tasting you, getting signals from you and grooming you as an act of friendship (as cats groom each other). If a cat licks too much (abnormal cat licking behavior) it may be due to stress or ill health. Obviously a vet is required. One reason could be the food creating an allergic reaction. Dry cat food contains grain (frankly an unnat

Talking To Your Cat

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You don't need to research talking to your cat. If you have lived harmoniously with a cat or cats for a long time and you think about how you have communicated with them the answers are there. It seems to me that the communication from my cat to me is different from me to my cat. There is a difference too between human/cat communication and cat/cat communication. Human to Cat The obvious way is through one's voice. When I call my cat by her informal name, "Binnie" she recognizes it. She looks up. She looks at me intently. She doesn't always look up and pay attention though, but neither does my partner . Sometimes her response will be her ear twisting towards me (quite a subtle movement). Sometimes the tip of her tail will twitch but nothing else moves. She recognises her name though. One reason and perhaps the main (maybe the only reason) that she responds to the call of her name is that it is usual to call her when I feed her. Also she recognises the sound

Cat Eating Dog Food

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Why is a cat eating dog food a bad thing for a cat? At a fundamental level they are different animals when it comes to diet. Although both are carnivores and classified under the Order "Carnivora", there is an argument that dogs could be classified as omnivores (an animal that eats plants and animals as its main source of food). Whereas a dog is not dependent on a meat diet a cat is an "obligate" carnivore (must eat animals to thrive). A dog can eat a large amount vegetables and grain and can it seems live on a carefully controlled vegetarian diet. That said a lot of cat food is even advertised as containing vegetables. I've got some in the kitchen and it says things like "Chicken and carrots"! In my opinion, this is because cats in the wild eat the contents of the prey's gut and that might contain digested vegetation. Cat food should mirror the diet of the wildcat because they have the same physiology. I have discussed cat food quite a lot

Low Magnesium Cat Food

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I refer in this short article to two sources, Elizabeth Hodgkin's book "Your Cat" and an About.com article. Elizabeth says that the increase in urinary tract disease and the increase in use of dry cat food are linked (she calls dry cat food "dry kibble" as it is based on starch to make the manufacturing process work). I have written on this already. The manufacturers came to realize that there was a problem and took steps. I think we are talking about the late 1990s here but could be wrong. The steps they took according to Elizabeth were incorrect. Anyway, they concluded from their research that the levels in magnesium in commercial cat foods was a contributing cause of UTI (urinary tract infection). They figured this out on the basis that the crystals (urine crystals forming in the urinary tract) were made up of a magnesium salt. The argument was that high levels of magnesium resulted in the magnesium crystallizing in the tract. The answer then was to manufactu

Ragdoll Google Slide Show

I am building a page on the main website with this slide show and I wondered what it would look like here. The photographers are both the best. Dani Rozeboom runs a cattery in the Netherlands and is a web site designer and photographer as well. She has a fabulous family of gorgeous long haired cats. They are all right out of the top draw in terms of appearance. And she photographs them so beautifully. Helmi is famous as probably the best professional cat photographer in the world. This then is a special slide show. There is also a photo or two by other photographer one being Tom Poes who lives with Ragdoll cats and takes fine photographs of them. Enjoy this Ragdoll Google Slide Show, which updates as new photographs are added. Ragdoll Google Slide Show to Ragdoll cats

Urinary Tract Cat Food

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Urinary tract cat food is cat food which helps to keep the urinary tract healthy. I have personal experience in resourcing this sort of food as my cat has suffered from urinary tract infections. Bladder disease is apparently the most common problem that is caused by nutrition in adult cats after obesity. Bladder disease is called urinary tract inflammation (UTI) or cystitis by the veterinarian profession. In my cat, cystitis caused her to urinate a lot more than usual and in very small amounts; always with either blood or very concentrated. She would urinate outside the cat litter due to the speed of onset of the urge to go to the toilet. She often got as far as the shower or bath but sometimes in the corner of rooms. She is an excellent litter user so I knew she was ill and I also knew that it was cystitis. For my cat the cause, I discovered was stress and food. She is a very nervous girl. I am not sure why she was stressed at that time, but I was away all day so that may have been

Cat and Dog Parasite Pictures

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Something gross - Cat and Dog Parasite Pictures. You can't have pictures of cats without pictures of the parasites that feed on them. There is a peculiar natural balance to life when you have an extremely ugly parasite that is almost invisible (if it's the flea) feeding on the back of a beautiful cat. That said there is a serious side to looking at cat parasite pictures. As a concerned cat companion one needs to know a bit about cat parasites as they are not uncommon. The most common parasite is the common (oh so common and a pain in the .....) cat flea . A lot of cats get fleas at some stage particularly if they go outside. They are about 2-4mm in length. The photo above is larger than life size. They are an ectoparasite (parasite that on the outside surfaces of their host). I kill them by crushing them with my thumb nail and they go "pop" as the body is shattered.  Be extremely cautious with flea treatments. Read the instructions. Read the label word for word.

Picture of Sleeping Cat

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Here is a picture of a sleeping cat (actually there's 2) and two more great cat pictures. Some of the Flickr photographers are just plain talented and some have cats so when these two factors come together you get some great cat photographs. One such person has the Flickr name fofurasfelinas Here are just 4 of his/her photos that I have selected. They are reproduced under Creative Commons licence and are the copyright of forfurasfelinas : The cats from top: Ravena, Estelar, Celeste, the Babies . There are many more. I simply selected, almost, at random as all the photographs from this fine photographer are of a high standard. A picture of a sleeping cat is not hard to find, because there are many sleeping cats and many digital cameras. But there aren't that many high quality pictures. I'll be publishing lots more. Cats sleep for long periods whether they are wildcats or domestic cats because they are very efficient hunters. This allows for long periods in betw

Purina Pet Cat Food

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Purina Pet Cat Food is manufactured by NestlĂ© Purina®/Friskies a company that, according to the website Uncaged.co.uk is involved in animal testing. I know this is an unfashionable subject but I am resolved to do my bit in changing people's habits. Uncaged.co.uk is a fine website with real information in an area where it is hard to find clean information. But the site has an Alexa ranking of 1,178,000. Alexa is a website business that tells you how much traffic you are getting to your website. It does this by collecting data from people who have installed the Alexa toolbar on their computers. The data is reasonably accurate for sites that have high levels of traffic. The number 1,178,000 means that Uncaged is ranked 1.1m amongst all the websites of which there are countless millions (not sure how many but there were about 57m websites until the explosion in Blogs of which there are now about 100m, total 157m perhaps). Anyway at 1.1m, Uncaged, in my experience, get about 25 visito

Ashera GD

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Ashera GD copyright Life Style Pets The Ashera GD is in the Dutch News . On 22nd Jan they reported that a "giant cat" was being held at Schipol airport while customs carried out checks. They may have mistaken the cat for a wild cat as the Ashera GD is a very large domestic cat resembling an F1 or F2 Savannah. The Savannah is a cross between the Serval (a wild cat) and a domestic cat (including the Bengal cat). The Ashera GD is a very impressive cat and said to be hypoallergenic. Life Style Pets are the business who breed the cat. She may be a cross between the Serval as above, the Asian Leopard Cat and a domestic cat. Otherwise she is a cross between the Serval and a domestic cat such as the Bengal (in other words a Savannah with another name). If that was the case she'd be a first generation cat from that mating. This sounds vague but the truth is LifeStyle Pets don't fully disclose their breeding programme unlike normal catteries that breed registered cats in wh

Inactive Cat Food

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There is no such thing as inactive cat food . In the same way that there is no such thing as "senior cat" formula food. Even though the cat food manufacturers think that there is. How can I be so sure about this not while not being a vet? The answer must lie in the behavior of wild cats. We have all seen wild cats on television. They are carnivores and they don't change their diet according to their age or whether they are active or inactive. The cat food manufacturers produce a range of food types to extend their range of products. In other words it's simply a matter or profit for the cat food manufacturer. An irritating point is that the cat food manufacturers state on the packet that a cat is a "Senior" cat when she is beyond the age of 7 or 8. This seems remarkably young to me. This may be to get more cats on the senior diet as it may be cheaper to produce (I'm probably being too cynical). I am used to cats living to late teens. Some of the modern ca

Cat Behavior and Separation Anxiety

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Cat behavior and separation anxiety is almost certainly a growing issue. I have first hand experience of it. I don't know if I am being over sensitive or over protective but I think that if we agreed to live with our cat (and she agreed to live with us) we have created a situation where our cat adapts to us being around. We provide the food and warmth, that's agreed. And she provides her presence and companionship. It is our presence that becomes a part of our cat's life. I can see this in my cat. When I was working I was away all day and she would wait in the house at the front door for hours on end. She was delighted to see me on my return, that was obvious. Was she delighted to see me because I was going to give her some prawns? Or was is because she likes me to be around? Of course the two are linked. Recently I have been at home a lot more and she sleeps next to me while I am at the computer. So she likes to be near me. When I go into a different room and watch TV she

Cosmetics Animal Testing

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Cosmetics Animal Testing is on the way out and about time. It is obviously completely immoral to hurt our fellow creatures in the name of making people look more attractive. This behavior is indicative of the morality of some businesses, where profit is the only guide to behavior. About 38,000 animals (at 2005 - update 23-1-08: I think this figure is wrong and too low as 2.8 million animals in the UK alone suffer from animal testing) are used in Europe every year to test cosmetics. The gradual change in attitude by some companies is due at least in part to all the peaceful activists who have actually done something. There are a lot of people who don't like animal testing to improve cosmetics and that includes a massive majority of women who use cosmetics but only a tiny handful of people actually do something. I am ashamed to say that up until now I have done very little. We can't talk about beautiful cats without doing our bit to help the "ordinary" cats who are

Animal Free Testing of Baby Products

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99% of the time I don't think about animal free testing of baby products or any products for that matter and I am ashamed of it. I care deeply about the welfare of cats and animals but don't do enough (although I am building this website :). The root cause of the problem is, "Out of Sight out of Mind", apathy, and I'm too busy. All bad reasons if I am honest. Amongst other animals, cats are used in animal testing . I find it difficult to allow myself to talk about cats and present the most wonderful pictures of the wonderful looking cats without addressing what is hidden behind that pretty veneer. The issue of animal testing is very problematic and there are very strongly held polarized viewpoints on the subject. Even I sometimes think that animal testing is a necessary evil if it genuinely improves the lives of people. This though would not and can never include using animal testing to improve cosmetics and baby products. Animal free testing of baby products ha

Cat Peeing Behavior

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Cats demonstrate different cat peeing behavior. Some cats, particularly Bengal cats may pee in the water bowl or some other place where there is water. Bengal cats are essentially a wild cat/domestic cat hybrid (although breeding is now Bengal to Bengal). The wild ancestor is the Asian Leopard Cat. This wild cat likes to live near water and can fish like other wild cats. Water provides a greater chance of finding wildlife, small animals, to hunt and feed on. It seems possible that the Asian Leopard Cat also, on occasions, pees in the water. I have not read this anywhere, but it seems possible and indeed likely as it would be a natural way of covering the odor, which is something that cats do when they are being subservient. Of course wild cats need not necessarily be subservient. Some feral cats don't cover their urine as they want it to be a marker of their superiority. If they do pee in the water it could also be simply a matter of convenience or that the running water creates th

Cat Chit Chat - informal discussions about cats

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Cat Chit Chat is new. It is an integrated Google Blogger website. Its purpose is to chat about things in the cat world that concerns us all. It is meant to be less formal, more on the edge to allow me and others to express themselves. Freddie Admin (Freddie is a username) Photo copyright and by fofurasfelinas