Showing posts from December, 2008

Cat Dominance Hierarchy

There is a cat dominance hierarchy developing or developed in my home. It's the first time that I've seen it happen because it is the first time I have kept more than one cat. There are three. Well, I'm not exactly keeping three in the normal sense. One I am keeping. She is an old girl (about 16 years old), overweight, shy, quiet and a bit nervous (see picture middle right). The other two are strays. First there is Timmy. He is an athletic boy cat, youngish, great jumper, eats like a horse and sleeps like a log. He turned up several months ago and he pops in every day for food and a snooze. I don't think he considers this place home though, more a motel (he's top left on this page sleeping while being in control). Then thirdly we have Pippa, a small, mentally sharp, nervous, loving and totally black female cat who lives next door and obviously doesn't feel that happy about it because she comes to visit without any prompting whatsoever. Quite the contrary in fact

Cats have a Sagittal Crest

My cat has a sagittal crest , has yours? Some (all?) cats have a sagittal crest. When I feel the top of her skull, which she likes me to do by the way, I can feel a ridge along the middle of the skull running from the front to the back. It is quite noticeable. I rub her head a lot as she likes it but just thought that her skull was a little uneven! [note: the cat in the photo is not my cat. This cat chewing grass lives with Flickr photographer ex.libris and the photograph is by her published under a creative commons license] You can read more on this by clicking on this link Well now I know different. The sagittal crest is commonly found among adult male gorillas. These animals have a very strong bite due to strong jaw muscles, which attach to the sagittal crest. The main chewing muscle is the temporalis muscle. This ridge of bone develops on animals who use their teeth when hunting and killing prey. It can be present on dogs and cats of all types. The wildcat hybrids su

Cat Lovers of India

It is time that the cat lovers of India got together and formed a group. They would be the first cat fancy group in India, as I see it. I think it is time to do this, as according to Alexa, a web information company owned by Amazon, about 9% of the people who visit my website, live in India. Fantastic, and yet it seems that proportionally very few people live with domestic cats. Why then start a cat fancy association. It might be called "Cat Association of India" (CAI) by the way. The reasons are these. I bumped into a the Blue Cross of India website. A distinguished Indian women, Dr. Nanditha Krishna, has written an article that is posted on the site, called, "Are We Civilized?" It is an article on animal welfare in India or the lack of it. Well, not the lack of it exactly, but the need to improve it substantially. Through this article I discover that Dr. Nanditha Krishna is Honorary Director of the C P Ramaswami Aiyar

Cat Illness Prevention

Gaia - to illustrate this page nicely - photo by fofurasfelinas Cat illness prevention is possible with certain diseases. What about some of the most common and expensive (in respect of veterinarian bills) diseases - can they be prevented? One classic, common and potentially expensive to cure illness is caused by foreign bodies trapped in the intestine . Cats like to play and chew on things and that is good as it provides exercise provided the objects with which our cat is playing are the right ones, things he/she can't swallow like thread. Bits of thread can be very damaging if swallowed and may need an expensive trip to the veterinarian and at this time of economic woe that is not a good scenario, nor is it good for the cat as it is life threatening. I guess the moral is to keep items that can be ingested by our cat out of reach. That is quite a big call as there are so many possibles but a quick look-see might at least get rid of the worst offenders. Bengal cats have a partic

To Get Rid of Stray Cats

OPINION: Is it right to get rid of stray cats ? Do we have a collective responsibility to deal with stray cats in a humane way and not simply to get rid of them? Stray cat outside my patio door, wanting food. Do I feed her, or get rid of her? See this post to find out: Feeding stray cats . Sure, not everyone likes cats and some people hate cats but God knows why. If a person hates cats they hate the world too; that's what I say. But looking at it from a practical point of view, some people dislike cats and therefore if there are stray cats (plural) around they might like to get rid of them. That I can understand. There are a lot of stray, semi-stray, becoming stray and plain feral cats about. All are the result of irresponsible people or at least their predicament can be traced back to the irresponsibility of a person or persons. Domestic cats should have a home. That is their raison d'etre. Anyway, I've banged on about this before and it gets boring. Because someone else

Top Cat Cartoon

Here's some more on the Top Cat Cartoon . This is an expansion of the Cartoon Cats page on the main website. The Inspiration You can tell that this cartoon cat was inspired by Phil Silvers playing Sergeant Bilko by Top Cat's voice. It is very reminiscent of Sergeant Bilko. He is pretty bossy too. In fact in the UK (when shown for the first time in 1962) he was called Boss Cat because the name Top Cat was the name of a brand of cat food. The Creato rs The Top Cat cartoon was created by that talented duo of cartoonists, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, or do we call them animators; I am not sure. Together they worked as Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc., and Hanna-Barbera Enterprises, Inc. They won many awards and created other well known cartoon characters. When Hanna and Barbera formed the company in 1944 they were working as animation directors at MGM. The Characters Top Cat is a bicolor cat technically, at least. He is white and yellow. I don't know of any y

Is Christmas Bad for Cats?

This sounds like Scrooge talking but is Christmas bad for cats ? Seeing that I am like Scrooge, I'll say, "Yes". But it's not all bad. First there's the food. We tend to give our cat bits of Christmas food; heavens there is usually too much of it and lots can go to waste, so why not give it to our cat? This is probably not a good idea unless it is in small doses. It is giving our cat an unbalanced diet for a start. Although a bit of turkey surely wouldn't go amiss. Then there is the noise. Cats have great hearing, much better than ours. The extra noise generated can be very disturbing. Then there are the visitors. A lot of cats don't like strangers (to them). They tend to go and hide. That is the downside. Is there is any upside? Well cats don't recognize Christmas so for them it is just a little more disturbance to their precious routine and they like routine particularly when they get older. But some disturbance is welcome and some presents are welco

Ground Shooting of Feral Cats

"Ground Shooting of Feral Cats" is recommended in New South Wales, Australia. I was told by the "experts" that this sort of thing did not happen in Australia. Well it does. There is a "How To" set of rules on making the process as efficient as possible. The rules have been prepared by Trudy Sharp & Glen Saunders, NSW Department of Primary Industries. The PDF file containing this information has been deleted or removed from the Internet (it seems) but the html version is still in cache. It makes for brutal reading. Australians really do have a problem with their feral cats because they see no way of dealing with them other than outright killing any way possible. The thing is this: killing feral cats leaves a vacuum . This vacuum is filled by more feral cats. You guys have created a problem, now you're going to have to put some resources towards solving it and in a humane way, not the brutal and ultimately ineffective (and certainly financially

Viverral Cat

The Viverral cat is very rare and there is not much information on this cat breed, so this is a short post. Another rare cat breed that has a very similar parentage is the Bagral cat or Machbagral cat. Both are wildcat/domestic cat hybrids. The Machagral is a Fishing cat crossed with a black tabby cat (faint tabby markings). The Viverral cat is also a Fishing cat hybrid, but this time crossed with an F1 -- F3 Bengal cat . This cat breed is accepted by the Rare and Exotic Feline Registry and were first bred in 1995. The Fishing Cat is a typical looking small wildcat, stocky, muscular and what cat fanciers might call "unrefined".  So, the Viverral is bound to be muscular and have, what cat breeders might call, a substantial body type ( see body types ). Asian Fishing Cat - the wildcat half of the Viverral cat - photo by The Brit_2 This Viverral has a wide nose, smallish head (like the Bengal), strong muzzle, small ears relative the head size, and a thick me

Homemade Cat Food.

Hey...what do you call that? - Photo by Nimir-Ra Learn how to make homemade cat food here. There is, though, no single formula. People (including the experts) have slightly differing opinions. Personally, I have gradually been drifting towards making it for some time now (some people spell this " home made " by the way). This gradual change of opinion comes about because of researching, looking at, and thinking about regular cat food. Regular cat food, the kind we buy in the supermarket in the UK is not that good; some is downright bad, to be honest (and compared to the USA it is not that cheap either). And to be fair the top end products are quite good but expensive. There is not much grain free cat food about. And an exclusively dry cat food recipe is arguably not wise. What's ash in we cat food ? It just doesn't instill confidence. In the United States, where there is a far wider range of foods either for people or companion animals, it seems that one can

Ussuri Cat

The Ussuri cat is described as "experimental". I have taken an almost desperate measure in reproducing the adjacent photograph without the author's permission. I have provided a link, however. It came from this web page: NUTRO.RU There is no substitute for a photograph. Although I do not know how representative of the breed this cat is. If the author wants me to remove the photo, I will, of course. This rare cat breed is listed on a website of wild cat hybrid cat breeds. It is listed under "Rare and Experimental"on that site. That implies that this cat breed is being deliberately bred. This seems to be the case. It also implies that the breed may have some sort of recognition with a cat registry somewhere. The Ussuri cat is not registered with the Rare and Exotic Feline Registry and they deal with all manner of rare cat breeds. I list this cat breed on my page on Wildcat hybrids . Anyway, this cat breed is meant to be a naturally occurring wildcat/domestic c

Pet Care Costs

Cat Rescue - a different type of cat rescue - photo by -murilo- Pet Care Costs are causing people to abandon their pets in the recession. Some people consider cats a luxury. It seems to be a basic case of survival for humans if they are giving up their cat or dog. But is it? It might be a case of using the recession and financially difficult times as an excuse to abandon a cat or dog. After all when we choose to adopt a cat we should always ask ourselves if we can do it for the life of the animal, no matter what. In the West it is highly unusual if a person is so destitute that he/she cannot look after a cat, dog or other companion animal. Sometimes people will keep the car and get rid of the cat. Often the poorest have the most pets. I am not sure therefore if the recession is truly having an impact but some rescue centers are filling up to capacity. To compound the problem the centers are getting less money in charitable donations. This is a potentially grave situation for abandoned

Ragdoll Cats Can Inherit Mucopolysaccharidosis MPS1 (Lysosomal Storage Disease)

Ragdoll Cats can inherit Mucopolysaccharidosis MPS1 (Lysosomal Storage Disease) and the other variety of this disease: Mucopolysaccharidosis MPSM (Lysosomal Storage Disease). It may also affect Maine Coon Cats to a lesser degree. I simply passing on what I see on the internet. Each individual person, breeder or owner, will obviously check themselves and do what they think is right to investigate further. OK, what happened and what is the disease? At the moment there is nothing that I can find out about how this happened or which breeding lines are involved. There seems to be an Australian connection (a breeder or breeders there may have cats that are passing this defective gene on). The gene is autosomal recessive as far as I am aware. It would seem (but to be confirmed) that the older Ragdoll lines from the UK and Australia are OK. USA imported Ragdolls into Australia may be at risk as are Ragdoll cats that have been bred from outcrosses other than domestics. I presume this to me

Cat Clicker Training

Cat clicker training may be the only way to keep your highly active Bengal cat off your computer key board - if you really want that to happen. Clicker training is normally associated with dogs but can be used for cats. The big issue with cat training is do we want to bother? Do we have the time and energy? This might sound a bit negative but I sense it is a fair question. If the answer is yes then proper cat clicker training will prove effective. However, some conventional ways to keep Mr. Bengal cat of the computer might be a to put something that cats don't like (in terms of smell) next to the computer. This might be a bowl of oranges or hot pepper flakes perhaps. Maybe suck-and-see testing is required. Another possible alternative is a product called a Scat Mat. They release a static charge when touched. They're about $70 (USA) or £45 (UK). A computer is probably attractive because it is where we are or have been and it is warm. If the attractiveness is neutralized it may

Three Types of Cat People

There are three types of cat people . The first is those that care for animals and cats. These are people who are sensitive to the feelings of cats and lets remind ourselves that cats have emotions . These people pick up the mess caused by the people who are insensitive to the emotions, welfare (call it what you like) of cats and all animals. These people are irresponsible and self centred and have an outdated, outmoded and limited perception of life and the suffering, feelings of other living creatures including cats. Then there are the ones in the grey area in between. In terms of animal and cat welfare, the ones in between are almost as bad as the worst group because they are passive, inactive and apathetic to the plight of many animals. Some people in the first group don't set out to help cats but the task is thrust upon them. One such person is Melinda Beit of New London County, Connecticut, USA. She traps, neuters and releases feral cats. She feeds feral cats. She cares for f

Tortoiseshell Cats

Tortoiseshell cats - Tortie Ultra (Contemporary) Persian Cat She is called "Princess". Photograph is copyright Helmi Flick - please respect copyright.  Torties have a very distinct appearance. It is an impressive appearance, an almost chaotic appearance and a strange one. Sometimes the change in fur color dissects the nose as with the cat below right ( this is a Flickr photograph published under a creative commons license - Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic - it is by kangster ). This is called a "blaze" by cat breeders as I understand it. The lighter color on the nose of this cat is caused by the pigment called phaeomelanin (red/yellow pigment). It is an appearance that I personally like very much. But do we see this cat coat at cat shows and on show cats? We do, but not as commonly, in my opinion, as many other types of coat. All the photos and on this page are protected by copyright © including the photos in the video. Violations of

Cats are being Dumped

Because of the economic crisis, more cats are being dumped . The law treats cats as chattels (objects). The law is outdated, old fashioned or so I thought. The law is not outdated, now I know. Some people treat cats as chattels.  Photo in public domain. Words added. There are reports on the internet and in the papers of rescue centres being fuller than ever of rescued, dumped or abandoned cats. It doesn't matter how one describes these animals. They have no human companion and they are meant to be domestic cats. These cats shouldn't be born. How do I know? Because all we can do, nearly all the time, is destroy them, put them in a freezer and then what? Where do they go after that? I don't know. Sometimes the bodies are used commercially, in my view. And that just compounds the wrong. We allow cats to breed when we shouldn't. And we then kill them and use the carcass.  Man, it makes some of us sick. Here are some cat rescue centres reporting higher numbers and more e

Human Nature to Breed Extreme Looking Cats and Dogs

It is human nature to breed extreme looking cats and dogs. What do I mean? Well, the BBC has recently decided to stop showing the very popular Crufts Dog Show. This really is a big show here in the UK. The audience is very large and the BBC have taken a very brave and correct stance on this. And it isn't just me who agrees with the BBC. A poll run by the Los Angeles Times indicates that 65% of the readers agree with the BBC. The Kennel Club supported overbreeding of dogs for decades and are now backtracking, having been forced to change their stance by supporting breeding for health and not simply appearance at the expense of health. Their earlier position in supporting extreme breeding of certain dog breeds for so long indicates that it is human nature to breed extreme looking cats and dogs. It happens a lot more in the dog world than the cat world, it seems to me. But why does it happen at all? Breeders profess to care for their animals. They are tender towards their animals or s

China Animal Welfare

Sleeping cat in China -- what are the prospects for this cat? -- Photo by : f o r r e s t : Is China Animal Welfare on the up and up? It's got a long way to go, so it should be. I was surprised and delighted to read that an International Fund for Animal Welfare (Ifaw) poll indicated that 90% of people in China, South Korea and Vietnam are concerned about animal welfare; specifically "we have a moral duty to minimise suffering." The percentage of people in Britain who have the same sentiments is 91% and we are considered to be a nation of animal lovers. So the vast majority of Chinese people are essentially animal lovers, according to this poll. The Chinese government is yet to enact animal welfare laws in respect of domestic animals. There are wildlife protection laws but I am not sure how effectively they are enforced. I hope against hope that China will enact and enforce animal welfare laws asap. And get rid of the horrible habit in some southern areas of half killing

Taking in a Stray Cat

Stray cat - photo copyright MAR Taking in a stray cat can bring all sorts of problems even if one is compelled to do it. What else can one do sometimes? I don't know what it is, but stray cats seem to find their way to my home. They just turn up, very furtively. They slink in, look around and head for the food. So, what do I do? I let 'em eat it. Then what happens? Before long I have turned my home into a cat's version of a soup kitchen for down and outs. And then not long after that you've got the question as to whether they can start living with you because that point will certainly arrive. Timmy is one such case. He is an unneutered boy. Well he looks unneutered. He has jowls (chunky cheeks). He also has a mighty appetite. He'll eat four to five portions at one sitting. This is more, lots more, than my girlfriend eats at one sitting and about the same as I eat, perhaps a bit less. He actually eats more, generally, than my girlfriend! His stomach bulges and he th Diary

This is an entry in the Diary . I thought I'd start to diarise the building and maintenance of the website. For all budding website builders this might have some value. I've been building for about 18 months now. I work on the site each day and try and build at least one page a day. With the Blogger site I can build more quickly so it works about at nearer 2-3 sometimes. Some of the major pages can take several days to build. What is the overriding sentiment that I have after working on the website for 18 months? This is it: it is hard, very hard to increase the number of visitors. The site is doing well. It get more traffic (per Alexa) than the Cat Fanciers Association website, for example. It gets more than, for example. There are a few (perhaps 2 or 3) cat websites that get more traffic in the world, yet I would like more and this is proving a challenge. At a certain point attracting mo