Thursday 31 July 2008

Symptoms of Feline Diabetes

This short post is exclusively about Symptoms of Feline Diabetes. There are many sites where the disease is discussed in detail and I have a web page on the condition built around the proposition that a modern cat's diet in the form of dry cat food is at least partly responsible. Read my attempt here: Feline Diabetes.

The four classic and probably most noticeable Symptoms of Feline Diabetes to people who keep cats would be:

---substantially increased appetite accompanied by:-

---weight loss (this would be particularly noticeable in the light of an increased appetite)

---urinating a lot more. This would and should be noticeable to people keeping cats particularly if you are the one who changes the litter tray.

---drinking a lot more. Once again this should be very noticeable if you are the person who feeds your cat. Water bowls will go down much more rapidly.

In addition there may be these additional symptoms:

---vomiting. Although a cat vomiting can be something not to be concerned about. This is for a veterinarian to decide but if our cat is vomiting and the other 4 classic symptoms are present then this would on the face of it be one of the symptoms of Feline Diabetes. Also see below, advanced stage.

---poor coat condition. This cannot, on its own be a symptom of feline diabetes. It is simply another diagnostic factor. For example, old cats can have poor coat condition because of an inability to self groom in inaccessible places. Or a cat may be overweight making it difficult to reach certain areas of the body. Although a cat being overweight with an excessive thirst can be an indicator of diabetes.

---apparently some cats with feline diabetes walk with hocks touching the ground.

---weakness caused by low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can be serious. A cat will be listless.

---dehydration. A symptom of dehydration is when the skin on the scruff of the neck when pulled fails to return to its original position in a normal time. Gums should be moist and tacky. This may indicate an advanced stage.

---muscle wasting (extreme weight loss).

Advanced Symptoms of Feline Diabetes (due to keto-acidosis) are:-

---marked dehydration



---loss of appetite


Symptoms of Feline Diabetes to a Cat Health Problems

  • Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • About
  • Veterinary Notes for Cat Owners by Trevor and Jean Turner.


Photo by xbloodsin Published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License

The RSPCA UK do great work and are I understand pretty darned wealthy to boot (mainly through legacies bequeathed in Wills). They recently issued some new figures on animal abuse in the UK which would be worrying if most of us didn't think that they are really quite predictable. We know youth violence is on the increase so it really is a natural extension of that. Often violence towards inanimate objects, then vulnerable animals smaller than humans and finally other humans is a kind of natural progression in the school of violence.

RSPCA UK say that figures for convictions for animal abuse for 2007 show an increase over the previous year.

RSPCA UK figures showing convictions for animal cruelty in relation to dogs and cats. (source: RSPCA website).

The RSPCA UK say the increase is a reflection of the increase in the "throwaway" culture of modern Britains driven by greater affluence. I think this culture is also driven by cheaper goods and the reason for that is the Chinese manufacturing monster. We really don't need more cheap consumer products. We need a better quality of life, a more truthful and sensible life. I would say that China is indirectly responsible for an increase in the idea of "throwaway" goods. A lot of products are not worth repairing where once they would be.

Anyway, I think the increase in violence against animals goes deeper than the throwaway culture, which is only one factor of many. We all realize that in Britain there is a growing problem with disaffected youths. This is very apparent in London. This can only be caused by family breakdown. When a child is raised properly he/she will be unlikely to be violent to animals or violent at all. But in dysfunctional households, of which there are many, the child will learn bad behavior from the parents and be raised without knowing what is acceptable and not acceptable (boundaries). The child will also not be aware of the consequences of his/her actions (translated into a lack of responsibility). They will be de-sensitized to the consequences of their actions. If one is sensitive to the pain suffered by animals then we won't be violent towards them.

In short it is about education delivered by parents at an early age and beyond. And discipline imposed by fair and balanced parenting. The problem, of course, is perpetuated and expanded by disaffected and violent children passing on what they have learned or not learned to their children. Often, too, people from these backgrounds have more than the average number of children but we are not allowed to say that as it is not politically correct. We also not allowed to say that sloppy distribution of social welfare benefits fosters irresponsible behavior as well.

Of course it is more than education on a fundamental level. People who keep cats should know before adopting a cat the needs and behavior of their cat. Expectations should be realistic (RSPCA UK mention that expectations are often misplaced). We need to respect other animals. People who are violent to animals don't even respect other people. I am also sure that a lot of violence directed at animals happens when inherent anger in the person is allowed to be expressed because they are plain drunk. Alcohol fueled violence is common in Britain.

The good thing from my perspective is that the RSPCA UK report indicates that cats are abused less than dogs. But I can't believe this unless dogs are more normally kept by violent people, which is probably the case as dogs are treated like a weapon and status symbol by some thugs. These people will sometimes turn on their dogs.

RSPCA UK to Home page

RSPCA UK - Photo: this is of an abandoned animal testing laboratory, a form of legalized animal cruelty perpetrated by educated people (for good and justifiable reasons?)

Wednesday 30 July 2008

Exotic Big Cats for Sale

captive big cat
Exotic Big Cats for Sale - Captive big cat - this is what they look like when they are grown up. Photo by huntingdesigns published under creative commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License

Exotic Big Cats for Sale is quite a popular search term (a keyword). Note the adjective, "exotic". People seek the exotic. This suggests that a fair number of people look to buy a big cat (I guess to keep them as some sort of pet). They must be very rich, have masses of land and know a hell of a lot about keeping big cats (including the law) because if they're not they are in for a shock and it will probably, almost certainly, lead to giving up the cat to a rescue center or something worse, euthanasia. And it doesn't stop there. If there is a demand for big cats someone will supply them. Some suppliers will be less than scrupulous. Irresponsible buyers feed the market and are, in part, responsible for the breeding and death, after a short and possibly miserable life, of a fine creature.

Exotic Big Cats for Sale - Background

The person (I believe the founder) who runs and manages Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida has come to understand over time the true and only way to live with big cats and indeed any wild animal. And for me that is to allow them their own space (and wild big cats need a lot of space, far more in fact than we can now give them), their own life, to allow them to exercise their right to share the planet with us and underpinning this is their right to be respected by us and to allow them their dignity. All this can only be achieved through education at both a profound level and a particular level.

At the more profound level we need to educate ourselves about ourselves. There is a high level of arrogance and ignorance. A sense that we are the top primate and we can do as we please. We cannot. We cannot do as we please because we live with other humans. The rules that ensure that we live in reasonable harmony with other people are extensive. There are far fewer rules telling us how to live with wild animals. As a result we are driven by our own self interest and low level motivators. This goes unchecked and the animals suffer. Worse in fact. In parts of the USA sport hunting is actively encouraged, it seems. Human population levels are growing unabated and little is done to address this. Habitat loss is the biggest danger to wild cats and wild animals. The wild Cougar is a classic example including the doomed Florida Cougar (Panther).

People then actively or passively allow the gradual extermination of wild cats leaving people distanced from them and distanced nature generally. This encourages the market in big cats and people looking for exotic big cats for sale. It is very odd and self destructive. We destroy animals we like. We also need to educate ourselves about the lives and deaths of the wild cats. All are endangered, some critically. The image presented by the zoos and conservationists is I believe misleading. We are heading towards the situation where there will no big wild cats, just captive breed "commercial curiosities".

Anyway turning to the subject matter of this post, Exotic Big Cats for Sale. I am sure the advice of the true experts (people who know big cats and care for them at the same time), will effectively say stop looking for Exotic Big Cats for Sale. For my part this should apply to everyone including zoos (looking long term). Many zoos or reserves keep big cats for commercial reasons (i.e. profit). There is little in the way of conservation going on (but some do good work in picking up the pieces). Have a look at the popular White Siberian Tiger for instance. The white coat is due to a recessive mutated gene. To make this gene's presence visible in a white coat, inbreeding has to take place. Inbreeding gives us the white tiger in captivity but a number of tigers are born with genetic defects as a result. We don't see these animals do we? Just the fluffy and the beautiful. What we see is not how it truly is.

Anyway, what I say will be ignored. So what does it cost to buy and keep Exotic Big Cats for Sale? These figures are my summary from the Big Cat Rescue website. They are merely a guideline as much for me as anyone who might visit this page. It is interesting to see what it might cost. Of course these costs relate to money. There will be a massive investment in time and energy in acting as a zoo keeper. Do you want to be a zoo keeper? One of the biggest single factors in keeping big cats or medium sized wild cats is that they spray urine. This is instinctive and domestic cats that aren't neutered or spayed do the same. Are you ready for a smelly home if you keep a relatively small tamed wild cat such as a Serval?

Some of the figures below can be multiplied several times in respect of some of the bigger cats.

captive Bobcat
Captive medium sized cat a Bobcat - Photo by huntingdesigns published under creative commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License

Exotic Big Cats for Sale - The Cost

Estimated amounts based on life of a medium-sized wild cat for 2 years in captivity in USA. The amounts are in $ (USD). The land cost is an estimate.

Purchase of tiger cub................................................2,500
Purchase of Bobcat for comparison..........................500
Purchase of Ocelot for comparison......................15,000
Land requirements (legal obligation) for some States are 5 acres for big cats. This figure is obviously very elastic as it depends how generous you'd like to be on space. The more the better for the cat.......50,000
Cage (medium-small cat)................2,500
Food (frozen needing defrosting) and vitamins (mid sized cat)................1,460
Vaccinations (min).....................260
Worming (DIY).......................70
Flea treatments (DIY).........240
Federal permits (est.), time a trouble in store...............400
Insurance if you can get it.......................2,000
Toys (entertainment a vital ingredient in a captive space) - estimated..............300
Contingencies estimate..................2000


Exotic Big Cats for Sale - Relationships

Can wild cats especially the big cats be genuinely friendly towards humans? The general consensus is it is dangerous to be unprotected in the same environment as a big cat. But (and this is based on a layperson's observations) it would seem that if a big cat is raised by a person the cat will remember that person and remain friendly towards him/her. The smaller cats such as the Cheetah (the biggest small cat) have definitely demonstrated the ability to be sociable with humans. Cheetahs have been tamed and trained to hunt for humans in India for example. And I am thinking of a BBC program about the big cats when one of the presenters became very friendly with a truly wild Cheetah.

I have a gut feeling that it is safe to be with the big cats under certain particular conditions the most important of which is that the cat must be fully socialized to humans during the formative months and weeks.

Exotic Big Cats for Sale - My conclusions

We should positively stop thinking of exotic big cats for sale as something we can "own" and possess. This is totally counter to the very existence of these animals. They are born to be free and to share the world with us. Lets stop trading in big cat parts as well. Chinese Medicine must be changed. We need to focus all our money not on caging and possessing these cats but in working out how we can live them while ensuring they live naturally. That above all means addressing some very fundamental issues such as human population growth and our attitudes towards them. And allowing them the space that they need.

Exotic Big Cats for Sale to Bengal tiger facts

Tuesday 29 July 2008

No kill cat shelters

cat in shelter
Photo by SHamEy jo. Did he survive?

No kill cat shelters do in fact, very often, kill cats, at least, indirectly. If a cat shelter is not one of the "No kill cat shelters" it has to be a cat shelter that openly kills cats in which case it cannot be described properly as a cat shelter. In fact the description "no kill" is probably misleading and so is the description "shelter". It really is not as it seems as far as I can tell.

{note: these are my considered thoughts. I am thinking aloud really and, yes, they are provocative thoughts. They are not the views of anyone else that I know off. They are also views meant to play devils advocate, meaning to raise uncomfortable questions. I think that it is important to do this. It is not enough for a website to duplicate and regurgitate what is already on the internet. It is better to push the boundaries a bit and try and improve things if that is possible. Cat shelters generally provide a fine service and I have a lot of admiration for them but what is happening?}

The only true cat shelters are no kill cat shelters that kill no cats at all and I am not sure that they exist (wrong? please tell me in a comment - see below). Cat shelters that conduct a program of euthanasia (or just plain killing - there is a difference, read this) should be called by some other name such as "cat processing plant", "cat re-homing and re-cycling plant". I know this sounds callous and maybe odd but what happens to the bodies of 2 million plus cats that are euthanized in cat shelters throughout the USA? This is a critical but I hope fair look at no kill cat shelters.

I cannot believe that cats are cremated after being killed as body parts are a valuable commodity in the world of commerce and a cats anatomy is similar to ours. It is why they are used in animal testing and why their bodies will normally be re-cycled into something humankind can use (i.e. in a consumer product). I say that this might be one reason why the feral cat population is not being dealt with as vigorously as it should be. In other words there is a certain amount of background commercial pressure to not eliminate feral cats and abandoned cats. Lets see if we can find something on the internet on the subject of euthanized cats before I talk about no kill cat shelters.

My research tells me the following:

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on a story about a cat they called Phoenix (as he rose from the dead). He was injected with pentobarbital sodium and/or phenytoin sodium. These are standard euthanasia drugs. Euthanasia means being killed painlessly. Not all "kill shelters" use this drug. Some just kill. Anyway he was put into a dumpster with 19 other cats and when the dead cats were being transferred to a "City Disposition" truck it was found that he was breathing. He was successfully recovered and re-homed through Pets Unlimited. The point is this, City Disposition is a local government department (I presume) that reprocesses cat bodies and/or sells or gives them to companies that use the parts in products such as shampoo and soap. So, there is some proof. The journalist was interviewing a Pets Unlimited worker who gets involved with other shelters. The evidence is pretty sound, therefore.

----In another source a truck driver's wife/partner disclosed that her husband took cats and dogs to cat food plants for rendering. (source: So when we feed cat food to our cats they are eating another cat on the basis of this evidence.


cat in a shelter
Photo by SHamEy jo. Did he survive?

I am not going to bother to search more because it is actually obvious that cats killed at cat shelters (other than no kill cat shelters ) are selling or giving away (I'd be surprised if they weren't sold) their dead cats. So the next question is, are the shelters funded by the sale of the dead cats and is this legal? A lot of the cats will belong to someone. Can a shelter kill and sell the cat without permission? Probably yes if a certain time has elapsed.

Turning to no kill cat shelters. They obviously do great work but how do they cope with all the cats that come their way. If cat shelters that kill cats have to kill cats, as there is not enough room to house them, how do the "no kill cat shelters" deal with the numbers? Do they refuse to shelter some cats? Or, do they select the cats that they consider adoptable and pass on the others to kill shelters? I favor the second option. If I am correct then some no kill cat shelters are not exactly what they say they are. But this still makes them better than the ones that kill more freely it seems to me. Perhaps not.

Of course a third option is that they get just the right amount if feral and abandoned cats for re-homing. In other words the input exactly matches the output. Does that seem likely to you? No obviously not.

I have decided that in no kill cat shelters the people who work there will have to put down some cats (euthanize some cats) or pass them on to a "Processing plant" for euthanasia and body part recycle. The selection will have to be made on illness, the mentality and age of the cat, I guess. Kittens come first it would seem. A cat selected for euthanasia is probably too aggressive or ill. But it seems some cats that have treatable illnesses are still killed. And who made the cat aggressive? Probably a nasty human who mistreated the cat over a period of time or it is due to illness. Cats are not inherently aggressive.

On a more optimistic note, it seems, is that the concept of "no kill" with all its flaws may have had a positive impact on the numbers of cats killed each year in "shelters". One problem is getting good and accurate reporting from the cat shelters. We don't really know how many cats are killed but a good estimate is over 2 million currently (in the USA, the biggest domestic cat market). This is a vast number. A similar number of dogs are also deliberately killed.

The truth is the supply of abandoned cats has to dry up as the no kill cat shelters simply treat the symptoms. I would have thought more resources would have been put into slowing supply. But there again maybe big business is having an indirect say in that.

Photos: Both are published under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License

Sources other than stated in the text:

No kill cat shelters to Home page

Microchipping for pets

photo by jshots

Microchipping for pets is a secure (but is it safe?) way of identifying the person who is responsible for the pet - and, from my point of view, the cat. The microchip in this instance is a glass encased implanted radio-frequency (RFID) microchip transponder (see picture below). It sends out a signal that is received outside the body of the cat by a device (a scanner) held by the veterinarian or other person. This produces a registration number from which data can be accessed. In the USA they are FDA authorized. But I guess that is not 100% conclusive as to their safety.

Domestic cats are still talked about as being "owned" by people. I prefer "living with" or "kept" as it fosters are more equal and more healthy relationship, which leads to better cat care. The concept of ownership is promoted by the law which generally treats cats and pets "chattels", that is objects in the possession of people. This I believe should be changed.

Anyway another way to identify the cat's keeper is by the cat wearing a cat collar but this are potentially dangerous. Microchipping for pets is much safer for pets and cats, we are told, and this seems to be the case. But is it?

Some animal research has been done on mice apparently which indicates a 1%-10% incidence (see below for a slightly more accurate figure) of malignant cancers around the microchip. It is worth adding at this point that in the USA there is (or was) a scheme for microchipping humans as a more efficient means of accessing medical records when treatment was required. About 2,000 humans have the microchip. The plan is for many millions. This is a neat idea but there seems to be some controversy about it due to the possibility of malignant cancer being induced by the presence of the microchip.

There have been several reports on the the subject of tumor induced microchipping for pets (at least 11, it seems, over the period 1990-2006). The reports were reviewed by Katherine Albrecht in November 2007. The report is called, "Microchip-Induced Tumors in Laboratory Rodents and Dogs: A Review of the Literature 1990–2006".

In 6 of the 11 projects tumors developed around or close to the site of the implanted microchip in between 0.8% and 10.2% percent of the tested animals. It is thought that the presence of the microchip has a negative impact on the genetic make up of the cells near the microchip. If this is the case the mircochip would be a genotoxic object. A genotoxic substance is one that can cause damage to DNA material. This research is against microchipping for pets.

These tests would appear to have been carried out for the protection of humans in relation to the scheme to microchip people mentioned above. Clearly the research is of interest to cat and pet keepers as well. It would seem though that the jury is out on whether microchipping for pets has an overall benefit.

If cancer research is supported by live case studies over a period of time this will obviously mean a rethink. As millions of cats and dogs have been microchipped with, as far as I can see, no significant reports of cancer it would seem fair to say that microchipping for pets is beneficial overall in that the benefits outweigh the possible detriments.

However, one of the issues always present with consumer objects is that it can be hard to get to the truth as big business tends to muddy the water of any attempts to find the true facts if those facts are against profit.

Microchips can migrate from the back of the neck where they are implanted to the shoulders and sides. The cost of implantation may include lifelong registration (usually does). Petlog a branch of the Kennel Club run a registration service in the UK. If you move you'll need to update the database. This may incur a small charge.

Microchipping for pets - Conclusions

---indications are that the benefits outweigh the possible health issues of microchipping for pets but the jury is still out.
---common sense dictates that if your cat is like mine, a cat that rarely goes further than 15 yards from the patio door, is old and a moggie there is no need realistically to consider microchipping. The same would apply to full-time indoor cats.
---routine inspections (by touch) around area of the implanted microchip and surrounding areas would it seem be advisable.
---on a visit to the veterinarian's surgery it would be sensible to have the microchip scanned to see if it has moved, to see that it still works and also for the vet to check for cancer.

Microchipping for pets to Cat health problems

Photos: both are reproduced under a creative commons license. The header from Flickr and the small image of the microchip from a search conducted from the creative commons website. The picture of the microchip comes from the website: For the Love of the Dog

  2. For the Love of the Dog
  3. Wikipedia (on definition of genotoxic)

Sunday 27 July 2008

Invisible electric cat fences

Do Invisible electric cat fences work? I have fitted a very large one and seen the results. I should know.

A number of years ago I fitted an invisible electric cat fence on my parents property with the help of the supplier of the fence. It took about 3 hours to fit. My mother had recently lost a cat to traffic and was anxious, very anxious about keeping a cat. It affected her badly. Her garden is quite big by UK standards at about half and acre.

Invisible electric cat fences are essentially a fine cable through which an electric current is passed (the current is low and will do no more than give a mild shock). It is buried under the ground near the surface or attached to trees and fences around the perimeter of the property. The cat wears a receiver device which gives an audible warning when near the cable and passes a small electric shock to the cat when the cat is in close proximity to the cable. The cat turns away and stays inside the garden. That is the theory and in practice it works pretty well but, and this is a big and critical but, it is not 100% successful. Cats find ways over and around or they ignore the shock. If you turn up the current the shock is bigger but this still may not work and anyway we don't like giving our cats electric shocks.

As we fit these devices for peace of mind the fact that it is not 100% secure makes it next to useless, I am afraid. In fact it can be worse because some people may be lulled into think it is secure and it isn't and secondly, when the cat gets out it is harder to get back because of the invisible electric cat fence.

So, the end result for my mother was to build a proper cat enclosure in the garden about 12 foot square. This is 100% safe and it gives my mother the required peace of mind she needed and sought. It has been highly successful for cat and mother.

However as a postscript, it occurs to me that invisible electric cat fences could be made more effective if two are fitted one beyond the other. This I think is the answer to the slightly insecure single barrier. I feel fairly confident that a double line of cable a yard apart would present a nearly 100% secure barrier. For example, the first cable could be on the ground and the second on the garden fence.

For me though a well constructed cat enclosure is the ideal compromise for cat and human in a dangerous world for a cat.

Invisible electric cat fences to Home page

How to clean cat pee

photo by ncfc0721

How to clean cat pee is probably one of the single biggest topics of conversation in relation to cats on the internet. The couple of times I have had to clean cat pee the cause was my fault on both occasions. On one occasion I was traveling in the car with my cat between my place and my girlfriend's place. I left my cat in the cat basket as we traveled; it is an open type basket. Because of the stress she peed and some of it got out onto the car seat. The other time she was stressed because she was left alone while I worked. Of course I came back each evening and so on but I had recently moved to a new place and I think this combination caused stress that led to Cystitis which in turn led to peeing small amounts outside the cat litter due the urge to go. Although sometimes she peed in the shower or bath (very thoughtful of her I thought).

How to clean cat pee was something I had to learn because ordinary water and soap etc. is pretty ineffective. I threw everything bar the kitchen sink at the car seat and the odor came back. But a committed approach with the correct chemical cleaner works to get rid of it.

We should not blame a cat for peeing outside the litter. If she/he is doing this it is probably due to an illness, as mentioned above, or lack of training or poor litter management by the person or stress caused by the person's environment etc. There are a host of human reasons for why you may have to learn how to clean cat pee. There is an underlying reason too, which we tend to forget. The domestic cat is a domesticated wildcat in many ways even after thousands of years of domestication. Such animals don't naturally live inside apartments or a house with delicate furniture and carpets. Cats don't place a value on possessions as we do. They have their own ways and reasons. We need to always respect their ways and not impose our ways on them. We simply need to manage the living arrangements if we decide to keep cats.

I have made a longish post on the subject of how to clean cat pee, which explains why it is difficult to clean and why specialist cleaners are effective. The post is called:

Eliminate Cat Urine Odor

The photo is published under a creative commons license. These kittens are cute but to be honest I am not sure that they should have been born. They are not purebred cats and there are already far too many non purebred cats in the world. See feral cats.

Saturday 26 July 2008

Feral cats of Australia

Australian feral cat - Photo by alexanderino

The feral cats of Australia are being inhumanely persecuted and killed on the instigation of the authorities it would seem. If so, they are the innocent victims of errant human behavior. But there are many Australians that are sympathetic towards the feral cat.

The feral cats of Australia are in the news either directly or indirectly. There are apparently 12 million of them. For example, recently there was a lot of talk about the importation of the Savannah cat into Australia by a cat breeder. The Savannah cat is a large domestic cat, a wild cat hybrid (Serval and domestic cat). All the talk was about how this cat could or would kill native wildlife etc. There has been a lot of discussion about banning the importation of this cat. As at August 2008 the latest news is that this cat breed has been banned. Although I understand the concerns, I have my say as to why the Savannah cat ban in Australia is wrong. Scientists often present research papers on how the domestic cat kills wildlife, especially it seems in Australia, no doubt born out of concern for the environment but there are political issues at stake too.

It has been claimed that feral cats kill a substantial amount of native species wildlife. But the big question is, is this true? Are the scientists skewing research against the feral cat for political and/or personal reasons? There would also appear to be a feral cat problem in Australia that is similar to that found in the USA. The climate in Australia is more conducive to the survival of feral cat colonies, I would have thought. Of course the origins of any feral cat problem is in human behavior, irresponsible ownership born out of ignorance often. The answer will always be in dealing with that. Dealing with the cats is dealing with the symptoms only.

The Government's position

The Australian government (at 2004) says that the feral cat is an "invasive species" and that it has caused the extinction of some species on islands (they refer to Macquarie Island) and contributed to the disappearance of some wildlife on the mainland. No hard data is given to support this as there probably is none (if I'm wrong please tell me and point me in the direction of verifiable and reliable data, thanks). This is supported by the fact that they say that are collecting information.

There is no doubt though that feral cats pose a problem but it is a problem that has been caused by us and neglected by us, which has exacerbated it. Domestic cats were deliberately allowed or encouraged to become feral in the 1800s in Australia to help control rabbits, rats and mice. Feral cats live off rabbits mainly so the rabbit population has helped the feral cats of Australia to survive.

It would seem that the Australian government is promoting the view that feral cats are a major hazard to humans and wildlife and need to be killed as quickly as possible with no regard for a humane approach. This flies in the face of their website in which they talk about humane methods. They recommend trapping and shooting the cat in the trap, using
1080 Feral Cat Baits (a poison) and so on. Obviously the situation is bad for cats. This is just so typical of humankind. We really need to look at ourselves very hard and ask are we behaving in a civilized manner? The point is it slaughtering feral cats by the thousands/millions doesn't work - see this post.


The Wikipedia author is I feel biased against the feral cat (other people think the same about this author, I believe). What I am concerned about is that controls will be put in place that are cruel and cause suffering to feral cats in Australia if biased arguments are presented on high profile websites. This would be unjust because as mentioned feral cats are the innocent victims of human behavior. To kill them cruelly would compound our error.

We need to keep a balanced view and think long term. The classic trap, neuter and return (or re-home) will, if carried out on a large scale and in a disciplined manner reduce the population of feral cats of Australia in time. It is something that should be seen as a very long term project. To think short term (a habit we tend to get into) will result in unjustified cruelty. And there are many people who will take the law into their own hands and start (this is probably already taking place) killing feral cats by poisoning and shooting them, as examples, if encouraged indirectly by irresponsible pronouncements of the government and "experts".

I could write more and provide tons of detail but it makes me sick to write about it and take it from me there will be a lot of cruelty perpetrated against the feral cats of Australia who are the innocent victims of human behavior.

Feral cats of Australia to feral cats

  • Australian Govenment
  • Wikipedia
  • Messybeast

Friday 25 July 2008

i hate cats

I hate cats

i hate cats, no i hate f**k**g cats is what some people say when they dislike cats. But they nearly always don't explain why. It appears that they don't understand why. They don't understand how to write good English either as the title to this post indicates. A lot of them use lower case "i" to start a sentence, for example. And their grammar is appalling - lack of education.

Also, they rarely say, I don't like cats because...and then give a good, reasoned argument. They tend to swear and declare to the world how they would like to kill cats in a cruel way. They are probably the kind of people who'd like to hunt cats. They appear to be quite violent and angry people.

i hate cats - the picture above - my response

Before I make my comment about cat hating people's comments, I'd like to refer to the picture above:

"They never look happy". Well, they probably don't when they're around the person who did the drawing! Cats don't smile and laugh (as we do), yes, but neither does any other animal so if this is a reason for hating cats, you'll have to hate all animals and if you do that you are in real trouble because they are a major part of life and the world so you'll simply end up hating the world. Also, humans smile and look happy but the smile is often fake and humans look sad a lot of the time. If we are observant, we can notice that cats do in fact show contentment and sadness on their faces and in their demeanor. So, this statement is incorrect on a number of levels.

"Their claws suck". Well, there are lot of things about humans that "suck". There are a lot of things about humans that are good and beautiful and the same goes for animals. In any event humans are animals (meant in the biological sense). This comment is pointless. Anyway, what sucks more, a cat's claws or a human with a gun? Think about it. A cat's claws are vital to their lives. What particularly sucks is Americans declawing cats in an unnecessary and cruel operation. In 38 countries declawing is outlawed; it would be a crime.

"They will never try to save you". How many people would try to save you and how often do you need saving? How many animals would save you? How many animals have the physical capability to save you. The cat would have difficulty on a physical level. In any event this statement is also incorrect. Cats can, for example, sense the arrival of an earthquake. They will forewarn people of an earthquake. This could save many hundreds of human lives.

"No tricks". This is also incorrect. Cats can be trained and in fact there is an entire circus (The Moscow Cat Theatre - see video below) based on cats doing stunts. Sorry guys you just keep on getting it wrong demonstrating your ignorance. In fact, cats train their owners! And vice versa.

"They make your house f**k**g stink". Well maybe they make the houses of people you know stink but this is because of irresponsible cat keeping. Cats are very clean. If you provide a proper litter tray, they will use it instinctively. They groom themselves fastidiously. People are often dirtier. Litter does not stink if it is maintained correctly. This is about poor human behavior not poor cat behavior. We create the environment in which cats live.

"They kill babies". This is a cruel and a highly ignorant comment. It is completely incorrect. I think the person is referring to toxoplasmosis. You can read about this by clicking on this link. I am afraid that you will need to be educated, which is evidently lacking in the extreme. A note about education. A lot of the people who write "i hate cats" in lousy grammar are uneducated about cats (and a lot of other things, I expect). Combine that ignorance with ill-discipline and plain nastiness and the person is a severe hazard and real danger to cats. Or this is a reference to the old wives tail of cats sucking the breath from babies. That comes from Medieval times! It ain't true.

"Floppy" No idea why he mentioned this. Some cats are longer and therefore floppier but people would normally consider this an attractive quality. Cats are flexible which is why they are such good athletes.

i hate cats - the things these people say

Now I'd like to refer to the kind of comment that people make, the people who say"i hate cats". I can't quote them verbatim because it might be a copyright violation and anyway, they are not worth quoting except as a curiosity, but I can summarize their feelings:

---One person liked squashed cats on the road. He was pleased to say that he had seen one that was completely flat with a paw sticking up and another with just the head in the middle of the road. He seemed to take delight in this. Don't you feel that this person has a problem? He would seem to be very angry and the anger comes out in a hate of vulnerable animals or perhaps objects. He seems to me to be the bullying type.

---Another person said he whacked a cat with a rock at point blank range and the f**k**g stupid animal was to (this should have been "too") stupid to die. He seemed pleased with himself in inflicting an act of cruelty on a animal. This would be a crime in the UK. The way he writes indicates a lot of anger. A lot of criminals have difficulty with anger. In UK prisons criminals have to attend anger management courses which indicates that criminality and anger go hand in hand. The anger probably emanates from a poor childhood that lacked security and there may have been violence in the family. This is very often the case. Violence begets violence. And one way of expressing anger is through violence. It is easier to be violent towards a small animal rather than a big one (e.g. a person bigger than the person who hit the cat with a rock). I'd bet he wouldn't hit a big person with a rock. He is therefore probably a bullying type as well.

---Another person who said he hated cats said that cats are squishy and purple. Not sure about that. I haven't seen any purple cats. Maybe he wrote that while taking recreational drugs.

---Another person said i hate cats because they do nothing, they are stupid and can't be house trained (he refers to litter training), they won't play with you or show affection or emotion, they are unpredictable and will claw and bite you, they are filthy, cats are vermin and should be eradicated. Well I think that this person needs training or educating but I think training is more applicable. Pretty well everything he says about cats is incorrect. Cats love to play and use the litter naturally (99% of cats will and if not it is probably due to stress caused by the human or by illness). The cats that this person meets are probably frightened by him or he treats them badly and that is probably why he gets scratched. Cats are extremely clean animals. I could go on. He has had a bad education regarding cats and probably dislikes lots of animals.

---One agreed with the phrase, i hate cats because she saw a cat hunt and kill a bird on a bird feeder in her garden. She wanted the cat to be killed as a result. I wonder whether she thinks that a few thousand people should be killed for sport hunting wild animals and killing them. Or all the wild cats in Africa should be destroyed for killing wild animals to live. People kill for pleasure in sport hunting and cat kills out of instinct to survive. Which is more deserving of punishment?

---One person ran over a cat at night and it gave him a nice feeling. You are sick.

---One person, though, makes a good point, which should be addressed. He says i hate cats because they foul his garden and he can't do anything about it. He is not protected by the law and nothing really stops them. He refers to cats belonging to neighbors. I can sympathize with this. But we all have to suffer many things that displease us when we live close to each other. Noise is a big problem which is difficult to resolve, for example. When we live near each other we have to tolerate a certain amount of disruption to the way we want our life to be. Sometimes the person doing the disrupting will breaking the law and can be stopped. But if he is within the law the legislators (the people we elect) have decided that the nuisance caused is to be tolerated. As legislators act for the majority people who are upset with neighboring cats fouling their garden are in the minority. It is also worth mentioning that cats most often bury feces and most cats use cat litters in the home so this particular person was unfortunate to live next door to a person who was possibly acting irresponsibly.

Sometimes, however an action can be started in the tort of nuisance but the this is a difficult and off-putting route. Sometimes too the nuisance is minor for some but grave for others. In other words, the person doing the complaining has a problem with the problem and magnifies it. The person who doesn't like cats fouling his garden has a point but he probably doesn't like cats that much either.

i hate cats - Conclusion

I sense that these people have a personal problem - probably anger related. I'd bet my bottom dollar that they are sometimes people who are angry but don't know where the anger comes from. If it is not that it is probably a lack of education that makes them say, i hate cats....There are many stories on the internet where a man who was a cat hater becomes a cat lover because his girlfriend kept a cat and got to know cats. It is more about knowledge and experiences that will draw you to cats. One other thing, as women are more likely to prefer cats over dogs and therefore to keep a cat it is probably sensible for a man to get to like cats as it will improve his prospects of finding a good woman - practical point...

There is nothing in a cat or any animal that can be hated as they all behave naturally. If a person hates cats, he hates a natural animal. He therefore must hate nature and as nature is the fabric of our world, he hates the world but doesn't know it.


Update - 21 January 2021. This is 13 years after the article was written. And still a substantial section of society anywhere in the world hate domestic cats. Perhaps America is best known for this split in society between those who love and those who hate cats. Or perhaps I'm being unfair. Australia is probably where it happens the most. This is because ornithologists i.e. bird lovers hate domestic cats for killing the birds they love. And when the birds are native species, it hurts particularly distressingly for bird lovers. And the problem is not going to go away. In fact, it's going to get worse because there are more cats as there are more people and therefore there will be more bird deaths at the hands of cat predation. You wonder where it will end up.

There is a lot of anger against cats from some people. It can lead them to taking the law into their own hands. These people sometimes shoot feral and stray domestic cats which, although a crime, is hardly ever treated as such because (1) law enforcement is disinterested and (2) people hardly ever see it happen and therefore there is a distinct lack of evidence which is a barrier to a successful prosecution which in turn feeds back to apathy amongst police officers. There is also the view that cats are 'just cats' and the police are too busy dealing with crimes against people. This is the age-old problem of humans being superior to cats and other animals of any species.

Some people ask whether it is normal to hate cats. Obviously, it is normal to hate gets but most people don't hate cats. And if a person hates cats, it is normally for the wrong reasons. It is normally because they don't understand the domestic cat or wild cats. Or it is because they are frightened of them. An extreme, irrational fear of cats is called ailurophobia. You might have heard of it. It is normal for humans to do a lot of strange things. Because humans can be very strange. It is equally normal to love cats. And there are more people who love cats than hate them. Although there are more people who hate cats than hate dogs. That's because cats are more independent than dogs. And dogs look up to their masters, the human as the pack leader. Humans like that. It massages their ego. That is why more people like dogs than like cats in my view.

Photo published under a creative commons license and by PDXdj

i hate cats to home page

Tuesday 22 July 2008

Insurance for Cat Health Problems

Photo by fofurasfelinas


Insurance for Cat Health Problems
is really about risk. I wouldn't automatically think that I have to get insurance for cat health problems immediately upon adopting, buying or acquired a cat. I have never bought insurance for my cat and so far this has worked to my advantage without in any way being detrimental to my cat. The various veterinary associations say that insurance is part of responsible "ownership". They would say that as pet insurance benefits veterinarians as well as the cat. But a person who doesn't take out insurance can be equally responsible provided he/she pays up when it is needed and doesn't shy away from that responsibility.

I've always considered pet insurance from a basic standpoint and for what it is, which is the funding of health care for cats that are more often ill by those people who keep cats that are healthier. In other words the people who keep healthy cats fund the people who keep unhealthy cats to put it a bit bluntly. And I am talking about specific insurance for cat health problems rather than household insurance that may cover some pet health risks.

Everybody pays their premiums (a yearly or monthly subscription for the type of insurance cover selected) but not everybody will benefit from the insurance to the same degree. Those people whose pets require more than average levels of treatment will benefit more from the insurance than those people who keep cats that are in need of treatment less often than average. Of course the cat is the number one recipient of the insurance.

So, it is about risk. When your cat is uninsured you are taking a risk that you will not be paying large veterinarian bills. If you do you would have been better off paying for insurance for cat health problems.

Insurance companies have to work out very careful what the average vet bills are and charge a premium accordingly. Another way I look at insurance for cat health problems is to think that the insurance company has taken a fictional single cat and worked out his/her yearly vet bill. They they then pay that bill and make a profit out of it. And insurance companies are very big business.

Insurance companies themselves take out insurance for unforeseen losses due to larger than normal claims. This form of insurance is called "re-insurance". Some very big companies provide this kind of insurance.

Photo by jim270 (On Vacation)

Types of Insurance for Cat Health Problems

There are basically three different types of pet insurance. Tesco, who provide pet insurance calls them level 1, level 2 and level 3. Other insurers may have different descriptions but they should be similar. As at July 2008 Tesco charges start at £4.50 per month for cats. This gives a clue as to the likely cost. Tesco are probably competitive being a big company. I am not promoting Tesco nor do I get a commission from them!

--Level 1 is "Annual pet insurance cover". Tesco say it is often called a "12 month policy". This is be because the policy will pay out for the treatment of a certain condition (illness) for a limited time, namely 12 months. There is also a ceiling on the amount paid within the year. So the funding is both time and amount limited for each condition covered by the policy. I will presume the policy covers a fairly wide range of illnesses. This form of insurance for cat health problems is unsuited to cats with ongoing long term demands for health care funding. This form of insurance is probably suited to most as it will cover day to day health problems that are usually resolved within the year.

--Level 2 "Per Condition Cover" and is funding that is the same (or similar) to level 1 except that there is no time limit on the funding of treatment for any one illness (the total amount is, however, limited). The premiums will be higher obviously for this kind of insurance.

--Level 3 is "Cover for Life" or "Life time cover". This covers vet's fees generally in any one year for the life of the cat but the amount paid out is capped and the excess (the amount to pay over the amount paid by the insurers, which could be quite a lot) is picked up by the person taking up the insurance. This type is best for ongoing illness.

Insurance does not usually cover routine treatments and preventative treatment such as vaccinations and neutering. It is not intended to cover all the "maintenance" costs of keeping a cat or pet. Premium rates will be "reset" each year. In other words the insurance company will charge more if you make more than the usual number claims. I guess this helps to spread the burden of funding (amongst all those insuring with the company) more fairly.

Insurance for Cat Health Problems - Extras

Extras such as insurance for holidays and missing pets can be bought or may be included. Holiday cover is for traveling cats under the The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS - this is a UK based scheme). PETS allows pets to travel to and from the UK without quarantine provided they follow certain rules. It is operated by Defra. Each country has its own pet entry requirements.

It may also be possible to take out insurance for "complimentary medicine". These are treatments such as physiotherapy and acupuncture.

The level of premium is worked out from information provided by you on the application form. Some cats will on the face of it be more at risk of needing health treatment and the premiums will be higher for them. My research indicates that the insurance companies do not make a distinction between purebred and mixed breed cats (nor rescue cats). It is generally thought that purebred cats are more likely to have genetically based conditions, some of which will be long term. This is due to inbreeding. This should be a factor when deciding insurance for cat health problems.

Photo by WitekKurowski

Insurance for Cat Health Problems - Some other benefits

Insurance brings peace of mind which is valuable. So there are benefits over and beyond simple finance. It will also eliminate that most impossible of decisions as to whether we should have our treasured cat put to sleep if she/he has a very serious illness that will cost the earth to treat.

Also as veterinarian treatments become more advanced and sophisticated the cost of treatment goes up but these new treatments are able to cure and manage illness that were once untreatable. These advances make insurance for cat health problems more attractive.

Insurance also benefits the veterinarian who is providing the treatment. The vet will be free to treat to the highest standards without funding issues to deal with. However this cuts two ways as it may also encourage a vet to charge more than would otherwise be the case. If this happened a lot the premiums would go up making insurance less attractive.

Another hidden benefit for the cat (and the cat keeper and vet) is that a cat insured is more likely to be brought to the vet earlier. This may mean a better resolution to the health problem. Depending on the insurance policy there may be some other nice little benefits such as boarding cattery costs if the person taking out the insurance has to go into hospital. Or if you have to cancel a holiday due to your cats illness; the cancellation costs may be covered.

Insurance for Cat Health Problems - Inherited illnesses

As mentioned some purebred cats and indeed mixed breed cats will have a propensity to suffer (perhaps rarely) from inherited illnesses due to a genetic defect (usually a recessive gene that has mutated and whose presence has become apparent due to the inbreeding necessary to achieve the appearance of purebred cats).

You can see a brief summary by clicking on this link (this is not necessarily a complete list) and then go to the relevant cat breed page of the website to read more about these health issues. Each page describing each cat breed has a section on health issues if there are any to discuss. The links to the individual breeds are in the NAVBAR on this website or in a series of pictures (the best) and listed alphabetically beginning here, or on the home page.

Insurance for Cat Health Problems - Conclusions:

These are the views of a cat lover who has become through no fault of his own a little cynical:

---If you have a purebred cat you can probably afford insurance for cat health problems and as a purebred cats may be a little less healthy than the average Moggie the balance tips in favor of insurance. I'd take insurance and probably the slightly more expensive variety.

---If you have personal health insurance for yourself and family members, in the spirit of equality for all animals, the insurance should extend to the cat(s) of the household.

---If you really like the peace of mind element of cat insurance and can afford it whether you have a purebred cat or not I'd take out insurance.

---If you don't mind taking risks and are genuinely prepared to pay a lot for a serious illness I wouldn't buy cat health insurance.

Insurance for Cat Health Problems to Cat Health Problems

Photos: All are published under a creative commons license that has been complied with and more. Thank you to the photographers (and these are classy photographers) for allowing their photographs to be published. I love your photographs. These cat photos are on this page to entertain. They have nothing to do with health insurance other than that they are cats. They are all mixed breed cats. All cats are equal.

  • Mainly myself
  • Veterinary Notes for Cat Owners
  • Tesco

Cats and Kittens for Free or Sale

Cats and Kittens for free or Sale - Girl cat Vic - photo by by fofurasfelinas

The cat in the photograph above is a "mixed breed rescue cat". She is shy and nervous but a very loving cat. She is beautiful too. Could you ask for more? This cat is the kind of cat that gets euthanized over 2 million times every year in the USA. She was rescued by the photographer. after the first carer wasn't able to help, sadly.

This post is long but meant to be a comprehensive article and a good starting point on this subject with links (leading to lots more links and great photos), plus some thoughts and ideas on the subject of Cats and Kittens for free or Sale. Searching cold on the internet for this search term throws up a disjointed array of Google search items. This page is meant to be a little more coordinated.

Cats and Kittens for Free or Sale - Cat breeders.... will be the prime source for purebred cats or kitten for sale. Most often they sell kittens but sometimes adult cats for a number of reasons but relatively rarely. An example might be a dwarf cat that has all the characteristics of a dwarf cat breed (Bambino, for example) but has normal length legs. This will happen due to the nature of the genetics in the breeding program of dwarf cats. Few people will want a dwarf cat that is not dwarfed so the breeder will sell this kitten at a good rate.

There is no excuse in my book for a kitten from a cat breeder to be anything but in good rude health and well socialized. Yet some aren't (but the majority of breeder catteries will be OK to very good). The health of the kitten is the number one concern, obviously. What I mean is long term health or what might be described as underlying health. A kitten that is healthy or that looks healthy at handover may not be robust or may have a predisposition to a certain illness (see for example genetically linked diseases). A buyer should always go and visit the breeder's premises to check on the basics such as cleanliness, tidiness and general organization. And to ask questions face to face.

Personal recommendation of a breeding cattery is the best way but this may not be possible. Here are some suggestions on finding a good cattery:

---Go to the individual pages of each breed on this site. They contain, at the bottom of the page a list of catteries from a Google search. The best catteries are listed on these pages.

---Your local veterinarian
may be able to assist. Cat breeders need vets and vets will know cat breeders therefore.

---in the UK catteries have to be registered with the local authority. The same probably applies in the States and other countries. They may be able to assist and even give a clue as to the good and bad ones.

---Ringing around after finding some in the local phone book or internet search. A phone call can give some good clues as to the efficiency of a cattery. It's a goos first filter but by far from certain.

---Inspection. I've mentioned this above.

This is just a great picture of two kittens/cats who are close to each other. The photographer has given permission for this to be published under a creative commons license. This is a very popular photo and rightly so. Photo by by Ferran. (this link takes you to the photographers home page at Flickr).

On this website I have built many pages on all the domestic cat breeds and addressed the issue of health on each one (use the navbar links on the left of this post to find the breeds, a lot of them are covered, almost all. You'll see the best pictures of the best cats of that breed). It can be difficult to find information about purebred cat health as breeders will (quite rightly from their perspective) keep health problems private as they are in a business. One commonly recurring issue that affects purebred cat health and which should be in the minds of people considering looking for cats or kittens for free or sale is the relatively high level of inbreeding needed in purebred cat breeding to find, develop and fix the correct appearance of the breed in question . Cat breeders have to inbreed. The question is how much? Too much and you get health issues which plague the breed. Too little and you get cats that look more like mixed breed cats. It's a fine balance.

Breeders are driven firstly by success in the appearance of their cats, in my view. This success comes from success at cat shows, which in turn comes from judges picking their cats above others and declaring them champions. When a judge does that he/she will be comparing the cat's appearance with the breed standard, which is a fairly open ended description of what the cat should look like. He will also check the cat for character.

A win at a cat show sets the cattery apart and makes the business more profitable and it also give great pleasure to the cat breeder. This drive to produce the perfect appearance can in my opinion (but not that often) lead the cat breeder to lose touch with the main objective, to produce healthy kittens. Sometimes early foundation cats can bring a genetic defect to a large part of the entire breeding program. I'd watch for that. You can read the individual pages of each cat breed on the website to look for this. Each page has (or should have!) a health issues section. Some of the most popular breeds like the Siamese (the most popular probably), the Bengal cat, Maine Coons and Persians have certain health issues. These are just example.

A large majority of people agree with me that good health affects them when selecting cats and kittens for free or sale. This is important in a choice of a purebred cat breed (see chart above). And some breeds are more healthy than others. As I have spent so much time digging around looking for health issues why not benefit from that and visit the cat breed pages? You can start here.

Not many people actually buy a purebred cat (at least in comparison to mixed-breed cats). Say about (this is my guess) 10% of the total of all domestic cats living with people are purebred (USA figure). This is because of cost mainly. The differences between a purebred cat and a mixed breed cat are:

---health. Desmond Morris a fine and distinguished zoologist, ethologist, surrealist artist and author says that purebred cats can be less healthy than moggies. My own research in building the website indicates that this is generally true for the reason mentioned above (inbreeding).

---appearance. Purebreds have a distinctive appearance but the appearance is not necessarily any better than that of a moggie mixed breed. Click on the link to take a look at the mixed breed page on my website and you'll see what I mean. Or simply have a look at this short video of mixed breed cats:

Cats and Kittens for free or Sale - These fantastic photos are all by the great cat photographer Helmi Flick. She's the best.

OK time to have a look at some cats. I'd start with the pictures of the cat breeds in a list. I have compiled an alphabetic list of the cat breeds. Click on the link to start at cat breeds A-H.

Cats and Kittens for free or Sale - Purebred rescue centers..... are another surprising source of purebred cats. These cats are not free as rescue centers make a charge but it will be substantially lower than a breeder and be designed to cover costs (in the order of $100 or so).

The rescue of purebred cats is rather "fragmented" meaning not coordinated centrally (which in an ideal world would be a good idea) but there are some great rescue operations out there. But where are they? I'd definitely start by clicking in this link: Purebred Cat Rescue. You'll see that there are several "outlets" or routes to finding purebred cats that have been rescued one of which is through Yahoo Groups. The purebred rescue page takes you to a list of them. This lpage also takes you to bred specific rescue centers.

There are also links to rescue centers on some of the cat breed pages. So it you fancy a specific breed of cat you might see links to rescue on that page. Norwegian Forest cats and Abyssinian cats come readily to mind but there are many others. You can use the links in the Navbar margin on the left for links to all the cat breeds.

If I was intent on adopting a purebred cat I'd start with purebred cat rescue. It would take a bit longer and require more effort (e.g. some centers don't ship so a visit will be needed which is a good idea anyway) but the longterm rewards are higher in my opinion.

Another fine photograph of a "Distrustful cat" - photo by paolocaruso This photo is published with the photographers express permission.

Cats and Kittens for Free or Sale - Family or Private ad hoc another source. Sometimes neighbors keep cats that are not spayed or neutered. This is considered irresponsible today as there are far too many cats killed (euthanized is a kinder word but it may not always be an accurate word - click on this link to see why). But we can step in an adopt one of these kittens that shouldn't really have been born. My first cat was one such cat and she was the most beautiful, loving and athletic cat you could imagine. She died in a car accident (my fault) and I still cry for her. Anyway we can all step in under these circumstances. These cats really are free except for the cost of a lifetime of care but this is repaid plus interest.

Cats and Kittens for Free or Sale - Ordinary rescue centers.....there are many of these, far too many and across the land in the USA about 2,200,000 of rescued cats are euthanized each year (or killed) in rescue centers. The difference between euthanazia and killing is this. When a cat is euthanized it is meant to be a death that is painless and without stress. When a cat is killed the painless and stressless aspect is ignored and the only objective is the death of the cat.

It is easy to find these centers and I have made up a list (yet). It is an old cliché but ordinary rescue cats are the best bet for a number of reasons:

---Many are euthanized as mentioned. We can save a life
---In saving a life the bond will be greater. The bond between cat and humans is the most rewarding part of keeping a cat
---We get used to the looks (the appearance) and even if our cats are not attractive if the bond is good and the cats character reasonably balanced she/he becomes beautiful in our eyes.

Cats and Kittens for Free or Sale to Home page

Cats and Kittens for Free or Sale - Source:
  • Myself

Sunday 20 July 2008

Newborn Kitten Care

SORRY -- This page has been moved to the main website for the purposes of trying to make it more visible as it is a good page which required a considerable time to create:


Thanks for your patience.

Cat Vomiting

cat vomiting
photo by matuzalems

A cat vomiting is not that unusual and if it is a "one off event" it is nothing to be overly concerned about. My cat vomits occasionally and it is usually something she has swallowed such as a piece of grass that is too long or too sharp (see the photo below taken by helixblue and published under a creative commons license). It may be due to hair balls, for example. Yowling may accompany the vomiting of hairballs.

See another page on Cat Vomiting.

This is more likely to occur with long haired cats such as the Persian. Our help in regular grooming will minimize this. Veterinarian approved hair ball medication can assist as well. However, the real problems and our concerns start when cat vomiting is more persistent or even chronic (long term). In other words if our cat is fine and then vomits it is probably OK.
cat vomiting grass
Photo by helixblue

It will be readily apparent that something is wrong and a trip to the vet is a must. Also, if a cat feels sick she will not eat. So, although she may not actually vomit she will be ill. Sometimes drooling accompanies feeling nauseous, as well. And there may also be diarrhea. From a layperson's perspective cat vomiting has got to be caused (on a fundamental level) because something is irritating the stomach and the cat needs to expel that substance or object to remove the source of irritation.

This may be due to food ingredients. Modern cat food can, some vets think, cause inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This can be caused by the "commercial ingredients" (ingredients to make the food easier to manufacture, sell and last longer etc.) in modern cat food. This is more likely to affect an older cat. The cause is a food allergy. The cat vomiting may be accompanied by diarrhea. One way to assess this cause is obviously by changing foods. Feeding more natural cat food and even raw cat food is an option but this needs to be done with caution as supplements will be needed. A vet may recommend a hypoallergenic cat food as a remedy for mild inflammatory bowel disease.

A hunting domestic cat (one that is allowed to roam outside) may eat a "foreign body" (an object that he shouldn't eat but did do so inadvertently), which causes irritation in the stomach. Or he may have eaten a houseplant (more likely if he is an indoor cat) or some other interesting object not suited to his digestive system. A "linear" object (a thread) can be nasty and life threatening. Long threads get stuck at one end while cat vomiting continues. This may cause the small intestines to become squashed, which is very painful. It may be possible to see the thread in the mouth. Surgery is usually necessary, regrettably, following X-rays. The object may obstruct the intestine. An obstruction in the urinary tract can also cause acute cat vomiting. Such a cause will also mean straining to urinate and going in and out of the litter box. This will obviously require a visit to a vet and perhaps emergency treatment. I would have thought, though, that this would be spotted fairly early on to avoid emergency treatment.

Infections (infectious gastroenteritis) can cause cat vomiting (and diarrhea). The infection can be viral (caused by a virus) or bacterial. The viral infections can be serious such as FeLV and FIV (cat AIDS). You'll know something serious is wrong as your cat will be very ill for a considerable time.

If you see long worms in the vomit it is probably roundworms. Your cat may be pot bellied as well as vomiting. A veterinarian will need to confirm this and probably need a fecal sample for testing.

cat vomiting
photo by erloteiel
Although I would have thought rare, cat vomiting could be due to ingesting human medicine if it has been left lying around. This may cause intoxication. The cat may show neurological symptoms, which may give a clue but a vet is a must in this case. Drug ingestion can cause damage to the digestive tract resulting in blood coming up with the sick. Another cause of a cat vomiting blood are gastric ulcers and gastric tumors or ingesting ingesting rat poison.

It the vomiting is progressive and chronic (highly noticeable and very quickly noticeable) it may be due to a cancer in one of the organs of the abdomen or organ failure.

It may be possible for us to deal with cat vomiting if it is a "one off event". I certainly would try but if it concerns a young cat it seems a trip to the vet is probably the only answer as they are more vulnerable.

The recommended self help treatment for a cat vomiting is to restrict intake of food for a full day and limit water intake to small amounts and watch. If she is an outdoor cat, she is best kept in. If she stops vomiting more water can be given and then food that is well tolerated such as boiled skinless chicken and well cooked rice. Or I guess one of her favorite foods that you know she will tolerate well. Things should gradually improve and return to normal and if not the veterinarian is the obvious next step.

New page on Cat Vomiting - some more information

Cat Vomiting to Cat health problems

Top photo - this is Sophia vomiting looking very much like a cat that has just vomited but a one off not a serious vomit I would have thought. Published under creative commons license

  • The Veterinarian's Guide to Your Cat's Symptoms (Garvey, Hohenhaus, Houpt, Pinckney, Wallace, Randolph)
  • Myself
  • Veterinary Notes for Cat Owners - Trevor Turner and Jean Turner

Saturday 19 July 2008

Feeding stray cats

stray cat
Timmy a stray cat sleeping after a big meal.

Feeding stray cats is one of those "things". It is the reaction of a concerned and gentle person for vulnerable fellow creatures that have been left in that state by other human beings who are not so nice nor so concerned. Some who abandon their cats and don't spay or neuter them are downright bad and irresponsible.

The only way to treat stray cats is to neuter them and release them and, yes, maybe then feed them. So, strictly speaking feeding stray cats is not that clever because you support an unsupportable situation really. There are too many stray cats. To feed them simply perpetuates the problem. But what are we to do? Leave them to die, to starve. That is impossible for some people. The problem needs to dealt with at its root; the irresponsible people who acquire a domestic cat and then abandon her/him. All feral cats were once domestic cats. And all domestic cats once lived with someone as this is the definition of a domestic cat.

I am feeding stray cats or actually I am feeding a stray cat. But I did feed and care for a stray cat (an abandoned cat) some 16 years ago. She is still with me. The new stray cat I am feeding is a youngish boy cat, who I have called Timmy (picture above). He is here sometimes and sometimes he is not. He comes and goes. He is always hungry when he is here. He is appreciative. These days he is staying a bit longer than before. I do it because he is a stray cat and needs help. There is really no other reason.

stray cat
Feeding stray cats
photo of stray cat by fofurasfelinas

He is very skinny and very athletic. When he has eaten he sleeps first for several hours. He eats a massive amount, more than the person that I am living with. After he has had a rest (see above top of the page), he leaves. He walks to the bottom of the garden and them jumps a high 7 foot brick wall. He jumps about 6 feet and almost climbs the last foot. It is all so effortless for him. He is very flexible and long legged with a long body. This helps to make him more athletic. He is a tuxedo cat as is my girl cat (mentioned earlier in this post).

This is the point of this post. I have been feeding him for about 5 months. My girlfriend complains about the amount of cat food (and cost) that he gets through. Today for the first time he played. Until then he was defensive and wary. He would flinch when approached and would look scared if you raised your hand in the wrong way.

Today he played. Today he was content. Today he began to live again. This is why I feed a stray cat. This is why there are kind hearted people feeding stray cats.

Update Christmas 2008:

We have a new addition to the household and it is not of my choosing. This is another stray cat. I call her Pippa:

She actually lives in a big house next door with, who I have presumed is, a divorced woman. The house must be worth about £3 million (GPD), even now with the down turn in property prices. There is a big garden yet this cat comes to me for food. (The woman could have built a fine enclosure).

The owner says that this cat is a good hunter. This means, I suppose, that she gets her food through hunting as it seems the owner doesn't feed her!

What can one do? I can't turn her away. And that is the classic cry from people who care about animals. She comes in the cat flap at night and nervously nibbles some cat food and then clears off.

She has become more friendly and yesterday she climbed on my lap. She adores being stroked and head butts like I have never been head butted before. I sense that she lacks affection from her owner. The owner also lets this girl cat wander all over the busy road outside. I confronted the neighbor about this and of course achieved nothing. That was predicable. People will not be criticized these days no matter how nicely one does it. On one occasion I had to hold up traffic in both directions to ensure that Pippa got over the road safely. One day she'll get hit I suspect and it will upset me badly as I can see the road from my kitchen window.

(Further Update: about 9 months ago from today's date, 10th April 2011, Pippa was killed on the road. The "owner" was in a car that was one behind the car that killed her and saw the whole thing. I am sure she felt nothing as she was and is an appallingly bad cat caretaker. So sad. So pointless and sick. I hate irresponsible people.)

I am tired of feeding Timmy - read about it, please.

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