Thursday 30 June 2011

Copyright Laws -- Internet

Copyright laws on the internet are like any other. Works are protected in the same way they are protected in books or any other medium. OK, some people seem to think that anything goes. It is a kind of anarchy on the internet sometimes although it is gradually getting better. The internet is still growing up.

Please presume that everything you see on the internet is protected by copyright unless something or someone says otherwise. The best route is to ask for permission. Sometimes you get that permission up front without asking.

For example, Wikipedia allow you to copy their work under a Wikipedia commons license. This applies to images and text but please read the terms and conditions.

I know you are in a hurry and it it a bore but there is no other way. Creative commons is one way to use text and images. Some work can be used if the author provides users with a license either under creative commons or a license of their own making. These licenses are are often forms of the creative commons license. If a license to use is granted the terms and conditions must be complied with. The barest minimum will be providing the author with a credit and perhaps a link back to the original work. The later is both polite and possibly a legal requirement.

I discuss free public domain photos in more detail.

Copyright is easy to breach on the internet because everything tends to be immediate and instantaneous and it is almost impossible to enforce copyright laws considering the enormous amount of new material uploaded to the internet daily. Google, though, is beginning to take it seriously and the time will come when breaches will be prevented electronically, I predict. This would be proactive rather than the current cumbersome reactive measures.

The single most pervasive and important copyright law regarding the internet and any other medium is the Berne Convention, an agreement between 164 countries at the date of this post, under which they enforce copyright under the same rules. I mention this in the video above but you can read more on Wikipedia.

Copyright laws are complicated if studied in detail. I think it best to take an overview, understand the basics and play safe. This is legal and polite. One problem is that the internet is an international medium and laws change country to country. The Berne Convention is an umbrella agreement that provides minimum copyright protection. Some countries may have tougher legislation.

Michael Avatar

From Copyright Laws Internet to Home Page

Should a parent encourage their son to prefer dogs to cats?

Some people think that if a boy is seen playing with a cat or stroking a cat etc. the boy is gay! True. It is such reactionary behavior and stereotypical behavior.

But it got me thinking. Should parents make a deliberate effort to encourage their young son to prefer dogs if they demonstrate a likeness for a family companion animal?

Personally, I think it is wrong to do that. Each individual should be given the freedom to make his or her own choice.

But a young person can be molded and I wonder if people think that a boy who likes cats should be molded into liking dogs instead as it is seen by some people as being more "manly" I guess.

I don't really get that. But the male human does prefer dogs as men are pack animals as are dogs.

Michael Avatar

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Wednesday 29 June 2011

Siamese Pedigree Cat Breed Profile

I would recommend two places to read about the Siamese pedigree cat breed profile. My site on these pages: Siamese cat discussion, Modern Siamese, Traditional Siamese, and the Thai cat (classic Siamese) or go to the breed standards of The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) or the standard of the International Cat Association.

Stuffed Siamese Cat Toys

Amazon do a nice range of stuffed Siamese cat toys. Here are my picks from that serves the North American market:

Lynx Point Siamese Cats

Lynx point Siamese cats have also been described as tabby Siamese cats but not by people who breed and show cats, I suspect.

The point is that cat breeders on both sides of the Atlantic were not satisfied with breeding the standard Siamese cat. Breeders like to expand the range and push the boundaries of cat breeding.

In respect of the Siamese cat this meant selective breeding to change the pointing to a whole new range of colors and even patterns. Original Siamese cat pointing is of a solid color: dark brown (seal), blue, lilac and chocolate colors. That should have been enough but no..

Selectively breeding in the tabby and agouti gene resulted in broken pointing; pointing with mackerel strips (mackerel tabby). See tabby cats.

Breeders call these cats Lynx Point Siamese. The word "lynx" is simply a fancy word to make the cat more interesting. There is no connection with lynx wild cats except they too are tabby cats as are many (all?) wildcats.

OK that's enough words. Here is a picture of a lynx point Siamese cat.

lynx point Siamese cat
Traditional Lynx Point Siamese Cat
Photo by gsloan
This cat is a traditional Siamese cat. Some cat associations would not describe this cat as a Siamese. I wouldn't either. The CFA calls this cat a Lynx Colorpoint Shorthair.

Flame Point Siamese Cat

As I already have a page on the flame point Siamese cat I won't duplicate the work here particularly as the illustrated flame point Siamese is gorgeous on that page:

Please click on this link to go to a page on the flame point Siamese.

Here is another picture of a different flame pointed Siamese cat! The cat is a traditional Siamese. I presume she is purebred but I have no evidence.

flame point Siamese Cat
Flame point Siamese - Photo by Greencolander

Flame means red or orange. Red coloring is caused by the presence of the O gene, which converts the production of black pigment (eumelanin) to orange (phaeomelanin).

Grey Siamese Cats

Grey Siamese cats are better described as blue point Siamese cats. Blue is a dilute coloring. Blue is dilute black. Here is a "grey Siamese cat":

grey Siamese cat
Grey (blue) Siamese cat - Photo by Duncan~

See Blue point Siamese cat

Siamese Cat Coloring

We all know the classic Siamese cat coloring. The one we know best is the seal point; dark brown extremities and off-white/cream body.

You probably know that the creation of the pigment in hairs is heat sensitive. The pigment is produced at cooler areas of the skin due to melanin (a pigment) production in those areas which in turn is due to the workings of the enzyme tyrosinase which does not work at normal body temperature.

Siamese cat breeders have expanded on the classic seal point coloring. There is now a wide range allowed by most cat associations except the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) that sticks (correctly in my opinion) to four: seal, chocolate, lilac and blue. Blue is a dilution of seal.

Other allowed Siamese cat colorings (only in respect of the pointing) by other associations are as follows:

Seal Tortie Lynx Point
Chocolate Tortie Lynx Point
Blue Tortie Lynx Point:
Lilac Tortie Lynx Point
Seal Tortie Point
Chocolate Tortie Point
Blue Tortie Point
Lilac Tortie Point
Cream Lynx Point
Red Lynx Point
Seal Lynx Point
Chocolate Lynx Point
Blue Lynx Point
Lilac Lynx Point
Cream Point
Red Point

blue lynx point Siamese cat
Blue lynx point Siamese - photo by monkeywing

These are listed by the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA). Lynx = tabby pointing (broken pointing). Tortie = tortoiseshell pointing also broken pointing. In my opinion these cats don't really look like Siamese cats particularly as the broken pointing affects the legs as well and encroaches to the body.

See Lynx point Siamese Cat.

Siamese are oriental cats

Yes, Siamese are oriental cats, in two senses actually. To be more accurate some types of Siamese are oriental in two senses. Please let me explain.  There is more than one type of Siamese cat.

The modern, super slender Siamese cat is described in the cat fancy - the group of people engaged in cat breeding and showing - as "oriental". This word describes thin cats to put it bluntly - see cat body types for the full range.

In addition Thailand (once Siam), the place where Siamese cats come from, is in the orient. Orient means "the East." And the east looking at the world map (i.e. looking to the right part of the map!).

There you have it. Traditional Siamese do not have oriental body shapes (per the cat fancy) but do come from the orient.

Here is the twist. The modern "oriental" Siamese does not come from the orient at all but from the catteries of breeders in the West!

Siamese Cat Food

Come on Royal Canin!! Your motto is "knowledge and respect" promote the idea that you can design cat food for a certain breed of cat when you know that you really can't do this with any certainty. It is wrong in my opinion

All domestic cats have the same requirements in respect of diet. What is galling for me is that this particular cat food - Royal Canin Siamese 38™ - is a kibble. It is dry cat food and dry cat food as an only diet is not satisfactory for two main reasons: it is dry containing about 12% water and it is sugary with a high carbohydrate content that cats can't taste but which is needed in the manufacturing process. It is usually grain that is added but sometimes potato or peas etc. Cats require a diet that contains about 60-70% water (the water content of the typical mouse!). (Note: some dry cat foods do not contain excessive carbohydrate levels. I don't know the carb. level of Siamese 38™but presume it is standard kibble).

Cats don't compensate with drinking more water when they eat dry cat food and so become permanently slightly dehydrated and diabetic (perhaps or probably).

So I think that Siamese cat food does not exist and that this is a ploy to make more sales as it is one more product and the Siamese is a very popular cat - in the top three most popular cat breed.

Beware cat keepers there is no such food, in my opinion. The argument that Royal Canin put out is that the Siamese cat has a sensitive stomach and their food helps to make the stomach less sensitive by improving stomach bacteria. They also say that "Omega 6 fatty acids" improves coat contrast. I don't believe it.

Just feed a balanced diet:

Australia leads way in dealing with stray cats

In the past I have been very critical of Australia in their attitude towards feral and stray cats. In some parts of Australia they shoot feral cats and they wantonly and recklessly blame the feral cat for wiping out native wildlife without taking responsibility for the accepted fact that people cause by far the most environmental damage and loss of native wildlife or people create the most imbalance in the natural order of things.

However, credit must be given where it is due and Australia has local legislators that are far more enlightened in their policies concerning how to reduce the numbers of cats killed in rescue centers etc. than those in other parts of the world.

They are doing the obvious, really and tackling the problem at source, namely irresponsible cat ownership.

One example is the City of Swan, which is "a Local Government Area of Western Australia. It is located in Perth's north-eastern metropolitan region and the Swan Valley..." (Wikipedia). In short it is near Perth or a part of Perth, a major city on the west coast of Australia.

The lawmakers of this region of Australia are taking the only steps possible to bring under control the excess of domestic cats in the region. This excess is not due to the cats but due to people failing to exercise sufficient control of what they do in relation to their cat caretaking and management.

The legislators of the City of Swan have prepared draft legislation (a bill) - Cat Bill 2011 - that makes it obligatory for cat caretakers to register, spay (females) and neuter (males) and as I understand it microchip their cats (identification).

The big issues, and I am sure they have considered this carefully, is how to effectively enforce the law. It will place an extra burden on local government employees and there will be a cost. Perhaps the cost can be passed on in part to cat "owners".

If the bill is made into law it will be introduced slowly which is sensible and not come into effect until 2013.

There should be plenty of patience as this is a fundamental change in people's habits. People are used to absolute freedoms in relation to cat caretaking the world over. Unfortunately it is time to exercise some regulation because a significant minority of cat caretakers have demonstrated that they cannot meet the requirements necessary for the well being of cats and community alike.

Source: Cat-free zones to go if new law passed

Michael Avatar

From Australia leads way in dealing with stray cats to Home Page

Tuesday 28 June 2011

Siamese Cat Photos

Arguably the best Siamese cat photos come from Helmi Flick, the well known American cat photographer. She attends TICA cat shows and photographs at her studio as well and probably elsewhere.

Her photographs are nothing short of outstanding. They not only show off the cat but show the cat in a way that satisfies the cat breeder. This means that they have to been clean and clear not just aesthetically pleasing.

I am going to show you three great Siamese cat photos from Helmi and one from a talented Flickr photographer who lives in San Paulo Brazil.

Thai cat or a classic Siamese cat
Photo copyright Helmi Flick
The above photo is of a Thai cat. These are, in my opinion, really classic Siamese cats meaning a cat body type that is in between the traditional (semi-cobby) and the modern Siamese that is oriental (slender) in shape.

Traditional Siamese - Photo copyright Helmi Flick

The above is a traditional or Applehead Siamese. This is the original Siamese cat appearance. This cat is a seal point.

All the photos and text on this page are protected by copyright © except where indicated. Violations of copyright are reported to (DMCA).

The next photo is of a modern or oriental shaped Siamese cat:

Modern Siamese Cat - Photo copyright Helmi Flick

You can see how these three types developed on this page and through studying Siamese cat history.

Saphire eyes
Traditional Siamese - Brazil
Photo copyright Giane Portal
By fofurasfelinas

Siamese Cat T-shirt

Amazon sell the Siamese cat t-shirt and I think they are pretty damn nice. Here is a selection from Amazon - just hover over and then click on the image:

CafePress is a website where you will see a lot of this sort of product. And if you can make a Siamese cat t-shirt with a picture of your Siamese cat that would be neat. I think you can do that on CafePress.

Breed of cat that is white

There is no breed of cat that is white, meaning that the cat has to be white and no other colour. Nearly all the cat breeds are allowed to be in a variety of colors by the various cat associations so you will find some cat breeds in pure white.

The list is too long to set out here. If you are looking for a purebred cat that is all white you should decide first what type of cat breed you prefer - this page may help - and then check with the breed standard if it can white. You can check breed standards at the major cat associations websites.

Some cat breeds are preferred or better known as white cats. The Turkish Angora comes to mind immediately. The Turkish Angora that the Turkish people like the best is the all white odd eyed cat. The gene that affects the pigment in the fur also affects the pigment in the eye.

Here is an all white Turkish Angora living in Turkey. These cats are different in body shape to the American bred Turkish Angoras.

The Maine Coon can have a myriad of colours and patterns and a fabulous looking white and deaf Maine Coo can be seen below:

Photo copyright Helmi Flick

Deafness often accompanies all white cats incidentally.

The cat associations allow the Norwegian Forest Cat to be all white too:

White Norwegian Forest Cat
photograph copyright noeoracio.

I have shown you three cat breeds that can be all white and which are simply stunning in white. What do you think? See cat coats white for information about the white cat. See also Grey Cat Breeds.

Michael Avatar

From Breed of cat that is white to Home Page

Monday 27 June 2011

Ragdoll Siamese Cat

I am not sure what people are looking for when they search for "Ragdoll Siamese Cat". It is probably information about Siamese cats and Ragdoll cats. Both are pointed cats. That is the point I think - excuse the pun.

You don't cross bred the Ragdoll with the Siamese as it is not allowed under the CFA breed standard, for instance.

Seal point Ragdoll cat - Photo by KRO-Media

The Ragdoll does look a bit like a Siamese cat but the hair is longer and the cat is bigger and more cobby. The body shape is completely different. The Ragdoll is one of the largest purebred cats second to the Maine Coon as the largest all domestic purebred cat (i.e. excluding wildcat hybrids).

Ragdolls also have a mitted coat sometimes (white on the extremities).

You can compare the two cats by going to these pages:
  1. Ragdoll cats
  2. Siamese cats

Siamese Mix Cat Pictures

Siamese Mix - Photo by Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue

If you want to see a lot of Siamese mix cat pictures I think the best way to do this is to go to and search for Siamese cats. A lot of the cats, probably the vast majority, are Siamese mix.

What you will find is that employees at rescue centers tend to describe all cats that are pointed as Siamese mix. This can apply to cats that are clearly not purebred and strictly speaking the description "Siamese Cat" should only apply to a purebred cat.

Please go to this page to see Siamese cat mixes and to search Petfinder for Siamese cats.

You can see Siamese mix on Flickr too, a great photo site. The header picture to this blog is a Siamese mix. You can see that the cat has medium long hair but is not a traditional Balinese (long haired Siamese).

Some rescue centers show their cats on Flickr. The link below the heading picture takes you to one such organisation.

The Siamese mix cat picture below is also from the same rescue organization:

Siamese mix - photo by Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue

Siamese Cats Rescue

Purebred cats compared to non-purebred cats are rare. You do find some purebred cats at rescue organisations though. And there are other avenues to purebred cat rescue that I usually discuss. As it happens I have a page on Siamese cats rescue!

Please click on this link to go to the page.

Sunday 26 June 2011

The Lifespan of a Website

What is the lifespan of a website? There is nothing as far as I know on the internet about this of any use.

The point is that the lifespan is short unless the website is constantly renewed. By short I mean 2 to three years or so. I don't mean that it will die at three years of age but it will begin to fade. It is almost as of Google insists that it fades at three years of age. Google demands change and unless you can deliver your site will most likely fade.

Also competition will catch up with you and that will impact the popularity of your website.

Some sites are much less likely to fade because the internet depends on them such as search engines. The news sites are more or less fireproof because they have thousands of people feeding them, constantly rebuilding them in effect.

The term "website maintenance" is not the kind of maintenance that we are familiar with. It means rebuilding and renewing on an ongoing basis. This effectively makes a new site, so the lifespan is constantly restarted.

People starting a website should be aware that it is not built and left to earn money. The process of building is never ending unless you don't mind if the website ends in a relatively short time!

Creating the nuts and bolts of a website these days is very easy. The hard part is writing good content then getting it noticed, visited and maintaining it. The last element is the hardest of all in the long term.

See how to publicize your blog.

Michael Avatar

From The Lifespan of a Website to Home Page

Bengal Cat Siamese (cat)

If you are searching for "bengal cat siamese" I have two points to make. The Bengal cat is not crossed with the Siamese cat in the breeding program as far as I am aware. And if you are looking for the best info. on Bengal cats and Siamese cats please click on these links: Bengal Cat + Siamese Cat.

Siamese Cat -- Asthma

Some people search for "Siamese cat asthma". Clearly these people (it is you if you are reading this!) have heard somewhere that Siamese purebred cats might have a predisposition to asthma.

Well you are correct. Check out this page: Genetic Diseases in Purebred Cats and then go to this page: Feline Asthma.

You might wish to go a step further and study Siamese cat health.

Cute Siamese

This is a very nice photo of a cute Siamese cat. She has a lovely expression and two gorgeous canine teeth on the lower jaw.

She is a seal point Siamese. I don't know if she is a purebred Siamese. Possibly not as she is a rescue cat, I think! The tags on Flickr include "rescue".

Siamese Cat Behavior

Is the behavior of a German man different to the behavior of an English man? Yes, slightly. But there will be enormous similarities because both are humans. The differences in the individual characters of the English person and the German person will always be greater than the differences that are found in relation their nationality.

The same principle applies to cat breeds. There are cat breeds that are at the extremes of cat personality and there are cat breeds that are somewhere in the middle. People who describe the personality of the various cat breeds tend to exaggerate the differences to try and distinguish one breed from the other but this is rather artificial to be honest.

At one extreme of character of the cat breeds we have the active intelligent cats and at the other end we have the more passive more stupid cat breeds. But this does not mean that all cats of one breed will follow the trend for that breed in respect of character and personality.

Character dictates behavior and the Siamese has a character that shows itself in a well known high degree of vocal communication that can be loud. They are also quite active. They are at the upper end of the cat intelligence scale provided breeding is of a high standard.

Siamese cat behavior includes:
  • sleeping on your lap
  • sleeping on or in your bed
  • sharing your pillow when in bed
  • being close to you
  • an inquisitiveness born out of intelligence
  • a nosiness that is also part of its intelligence
  • being demanding to a certain extent.
You will need to interact with, stroke and be close to satisfy your Siamese cat.  See Cat Behavior for a full discourse of cat behavior.

Cat show judges support the observation that Siamese cats vocalise more in making demands on people and are more likely to be sociable. Vets say they (and Oriental Shorthairs) are more "destructive" in the clinic.  This probably means more actively disobedient!

Siamese Cat Names -- Female

Looking for female Siamese cat names? Well, to be honest, I would name your cat from his or her character not appearance and the name should come from the heart and your feelings about your cat.

That said early on I did build a page about Siamese cat names - male and female - that are based on names for Siamese people. The names lend themselves to adjustment and modification or shortening.

Siam, the place of origin of the Siamese cat, is now Thailand. An example of a name for a Thai girl is "Buppha" which means flower. You can see a list of names for people on this page which you can perhaps modify to suit a cat!

Snowshoe Siamese Cats

Snowshoe Siamese cats are in fact Snowshoe cats. This is just an alternative non-technical name.

Snowshoe cat
Photo copyright Helmi Flick

I have a nice page on Snowshoe cats so I won't go over the same ground her save to provide and overview and something on the genetics.

All the photos and text on this page are protected by copyright ©. Violations of copyright are reported to (DMCA).

The Seychellois is a similar looking but rarer cat breed by the way:

Seychellois cat photo © Gunnel Hedberg

The Snowshoe is a pointed blue eyed cat with feet that appear they have been dipped in white paint ("gloves"). There is great contrast between the dark points and white fur on the limbs and face. The greatest contrast is between seal points and the white.

This is a Siamese hybrid: a cross between the Siamese and bicolor (two colors) American Shorthair. It dates back to 1960.

Selective breeding resulted in the familiar and interesting V shape of the white fur against the dark points on the face. This is not always present and is not obligatory. I am sure it is very difficult to produce in breeding. The ears should not have any white.

The body shape is not as slender as the modern Siamese and is described as "semi-foreign-type". The coat is short.

The "gloves" are produced by the "heterzygous expression of the white spotting also called the piebald gene S". Ss produces white toes and "small streaks on the face and stomach".

Long Haired Siamese Cats

Long haired Siamese cats are sometimes referred to as Balinese cats. They have a fantastic plumed tail and close lying smooth long hair. These long haired cats bear no resemblance to the classic long haired cats such as the Persian or medium long haired Maine Coon. The Maine Coon has shaggy hair in complete contrast to the Balinese.

Balinese cat
Balinese Cat - Lynx pointing
Photo copyright Helmi Flick

Read more on the Balinese cat breed with more pictures and an article on the history of the Balinese cat.

Types of Siamese Cats

Although cat breeders probably won't like to admit it or discuss it, there are many types of Siamese cats in terms of body shape and many types of Siamese cat in terms of pointing color and pattern. Yes, the points (the dark extremities) can be patterned - tabby and tortoiseshell for instance. Once upon a time there was probably one color for the pointing - dark brown/black called "seal" pointing. Perhaps chocolate was also an early color for pointing. Would this be diluted seal?

The original Siamese cat from Siam was a normal shaped cat. Over 100 years and more of selective cat breeding in the West (UK and USA) there are three main types of Siamese cat and they are: the original or traditional Siamese cat (think normal looking cat body shape), the classic Siamese cat which is also said by some breeders to be a new breed called the Thai cat and the modern Siamese cat (think skinny cat that is called "oriental" in cat fancy language). The Thai cat or classic Siamese is in between the traditional and modern in body shape. There are gradations of cat body shape in between these three standards.

Back to pointing. The more traditional cat associations including the Cat Fanciers' Association only recognize: blue, lilac, seal and chocolate coloured pointing while the more adventurous cat associations such as TICA accept a wider range - All pointed colors. This included lynx pointing (pointing broken up by the tabby gene) and tortie points etc.

When the Siamese has lynx pointing the cat hardly looks like a Siamese as the tabby coat encroaches onto the body breaking up what should be a smooth coat.

The long haired Siamese is called a Balinese. The Oriental Shorthair is a sort of multi-coated modern Siamese - same body type but a very wide range of coat colours and patterns.These are not strictly speaking types of Siamese cats because they are not Siamese cats but some associations treat them as Siamese cats.

Origin of Siamese Cats

early Siamese cat
Drawing of Siamese Cat
from and old Siamese book

Well as it happens I have a video on this (see below) but I will add some brief words here. The origin of Siamese cats starts in Siam now Thailand. Thailand is in the Far East. This cat was and still is an oriental cat - it is now oriental in shape using cat fancy language. At one stage this cat was not a breed at all. In fact before the late 1800s it was not a cat breed but probably a purebred cat without a pedigree living in Siam with perhaps better off people in that country. The King kept Siamese cats. This gives a clue to us as to how special they were. I am talking about thousands if not many hundreds of years ago in Siam. Let's not forget that wildcats were first domesticated about 9,000 years ago.

So for thousands of years in Siam there were pointed cats. There were also cats that were not pointed. These were random breed cats such as you see now the world over. A genetic mutation probably resulted in the coats of some cats becoming pointed. Pointed cats are born all white and the pointing develops after birth as the production of pigment in the hair strands is heat sensitive. The skin is cooler at the extremities.

The pointed cats stood out and were seen as special in Siam. That is why the richer people kept them.

This cat breed's history in the West started when Siamese cats were first imported from Siam to England, UK. This was in the late 1800s. They were considered exotic then - less so now. Now wildcat hybrids are considered exotic cats. The first imported Siamese was a present to a British diplomat by the King of Siam, a cat lover I suspect. The cat(s) would have endured a long journey by ship to England.

Note: their evidence in a letter that the first Siamese in the West was a cat called "Siam" shipped in a crate to the First Lady in 1878! An ambassador based in Bangkok organized it. The cat died a year later. In fact the first Siamese cats imported were pretty unhealthy it seems to me. Hardly surprising if we are honest.

Siamese cats were shown at cat shows in England during the early years of the cat fancy and then exported to the USA where further selective breeding produced the slender (rather unnaturally slender) modern Siamese cat. This is the Siamese cat to many people but the traditionalists prefer the original more natural shaped cat called the Applehead Siamese a term probably made up by the modern Siamese cat breeders as it is so horrible.

Here is a video and you can read and see much more on this page about Siamese cat history.

Saturday 25 June 2011

Feline Diabetes Dietary Solutions

As at the date of this post the newspapers contain an interesting article about type 2 diabetes in people. Type 2 diabetes is also referred to late onset adult diabetes. The blood is high in blood glucose "in the context of insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency" (Wikipedia authors). Inadequate levels of insulin is produced in the pancreas (beta cells).

The news story describes research at Newcastle University, UK. People with type 2 diabetes were put on 600 calorie per day diets with no starchy foods. Within one week the blood sugar levels of the patients were normalised and after eight weeks the body started to produce insulin normally - their diabetes was cured. The study strongly emphasized that diet was the cause of type diabetes in people.

One reason might be that the low calorie diet caused the pancreas to lose "build up fat" that restricted its normal function. Once this fat was removed the pancreas produced insulin normally again.

What has this got to do with cats? Well, I immediately remembered a book by Dr Elizabeth M. Hodgkins DVM called Your Cat. Chapter 21 of this well received book (see Amazon advert on this page) is entitled, "Feline Diabetes - Man-made Killer" with a picture of a bag of dry cat food. That immediately tells you what Dr, Hodgkins thinks is the cause of feline diabetes in a large number of cases.

The authors of Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook (best cat health book) say, at page 291, that sugar diabetes develops in 1 in 400 cats. Dr. Hodgkins DVM says that the number of cases of feline diabetes have "grown tremendously". In her personal experience as a vet she sees about 2.5% of patients with feline diabetes (2.5 in 100 - higher than the above estimate). If her figure is correct for the general population of cats in the USA, 1.5 million cats are diabetic, she says. Diabetes is often fatal emphasizes.

She goes on to say that at one time it was thought that "overweight actually caused diabetes". However, she believes that overweight and diabetes are symptoms of the same cause, which is the high sugar content in dry cat food. She says she has never seen a cat that only eats canned cat food develop diabetes.

So, you can see the connection with the research on humans referred to above and the assessment by Dr. Hodgkins. Her book was first published in 2007.

When a cat constantly eats a high carbohydrate diet it becomes a "carbohydrate cripple" she says. Liver and pancreas function become abnormal. Most cats can be cured of diabetes by dietary change away from dry cat food. This is a very similar conclusion to that of the Newcastle research study.

I just feel that this point needs to be hammered home. Dry cat food is OK for occasional grazing (perhaps!) but as a constant sole feed it is not OK unless it is low in carbohydrates. Some dry cat food does not use carbohydrates as a necessity in its manufacture. See Best Dry Cat Food for a discussion on that and more.

It is surprising to me that so many people just feed their cat dry cat food that is high in carbohydrates. The reason is no doubt convenience coupled with the incessant promotion of the dry cat food by the manufacturers. Dry cat food is convenient for customers and manufacturers too and no doubt produces good profit margins and easy storage etc.

It appears that profit trumps cat health. Even dry cat food that is promoted as having medicinal uses from Hill's promotes this underlying ill health. People should be alert to this. A balanced diet of wet food is the best practical solution and well prepared and properly stored raw food diet is the perfect diet. Few have the time, confidence and skill to make a raw diet for their cat however. Vets recommend that we don't try and prepare our own cat food because of the risks and there are preparation problems (bacteria etc.).

Michael Avatar

From Feline Diabetes Dietary Solutions to Home Page

Friday 24 June 2011

Cat Throwing Up

Cat throwing up is layperson's language for cat vomiting or feline vomiting and this page provides links to comprehensive pages on cat vomiting.

There are two pages on this website about cat vomiting:
  1. Cat Vomiting 1
  2. Cat Vomiting 2
The type of cat vomiting - length and material vomited gives a good clue as to the underlying cause. The first of the above links deals with aspect.

Vomiting is a symptom of an illness and not an illness in itself.

Michael Avatar

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Cats Preying on Birds

This is a video of me talking about information that is available on the internet that concerns cats preying on birds. From my perspective there is a lot of dubious information disseminated on the internet.

It is often based on weak assumptions and lacks scientific rigour.

I am not defending cats just the truth and fairness. OK I am defending cats as well but the first call is truth.

Michael Avatar

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Thursday 23 June 2011

Feral Cat Problem Video

Here is a feral cat problem video that will no doubt prove to be controversial but for the life of me I can't see why it should. It is based on common sense and not an emotional desire to go out and eradicate feral cats because they are slaughtering precious native wildlife.

There is a feral cat problem in the USA, it appears, because there are too many feral cats. However, it is not all downside. Feral cats also do a service in keeping down the rodent population in the urban environment.

Michael Avatar

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Wednesday 22 June 2011

Veterinarian Advice Online

Veterinarian advice online usually if not always takes the form of articles written by a veterinarian or answers to questions that are in the form of an archive. The question and answers may suit your predicament but they may not. Anyway you need a diagnosis first.

What I mean is there are few if any websites where you can telephone a veterinarian or interact with a veterinarian by word, during which the veterinarian provides an answer that is exactly specific to and tailored for your animal's health.

The reason for this is obvious. Firstly there is the issue of paying the veterinarian. This creates a few complications because the veterinarian will not know for sure what to charge as he or she needs to see, touch, listen to and perhaps test the cat or dog to properly diagnose the illness if the animal is ill.

The best that a vet can do is provide general and qualified advice. By qualified I mean he or she will say "subject to a proper in person diagnosis" or something like that.

I would favour a site that I have just bumped into today despite it being around for four years. It tells us how large the internet is these days. It is called vetfone. They are based in the UK.

You can telephone a veterinary nurse anytime day or night 24/7. They provide a fixed fee service for £9.50 or a charge by the minute at £1.53 per minute. Very reasonable charges.

I like this service because veterinary nurses will have a good grasp of the kind of information that you are likely to be able to communicate over the telephone. As I said there is a limit to what you can do over the phone in the way of veterinarian advice so there is little point paying a veterinarian for qualified and limited information.

It makes good sense to call a vet and get some information that can carry you and your animal forward until a proper and full diagnosis can be made, if required.

This is their website.

Michael Avatar

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Tuesday 21 June 2011

Mackerel Tabby Pattern

Show cat with mackerel tabby coat
Photo copyright Helmi Flick

Here is a rescue cat that has a really nice mackerel tabby pattern. A nice visitor to my site submitted the article that I reproduce below:

"I have this "different" kind of kitty and her teenage kitten. When we got her she was all alone.

Her momma and her were wild. She still is kinda. My 8 year old son found and saved her from people trying to catch (kill) / get rid of her.

mackerel tabby cat
Twi a grey mackerel tabby cat

You see her mother was run over by a car and she didn't know where to go or what to do, other than hide under the house where the momma died.

The people that were renting the place didn't appreciate her crying for her mom all day and night. So they tried many different ways of capturing her and didn't care how. They just wanted her away!

My son (Zen) was watching as they were trying to catch her one day. He didn't like how they were trying to get her. So he asked if "he was able to get her, would they mind if he took her home?" They were thrilled to hear him ask that so they let him do what Zen does best..'talks' to them (animals). And I'm not even sure how he did it but he did, like he always does!

He got her in his arms and in the car. And so we took her home. He named her 'Twilight'. Don't ask why. I'm not even real sure why. My son is a breed of his own;~).

"Twi" as I call her is still wild in her own way. She never wants to go outside but when she does she takes her time coming back. The first time she did go she was gone for 4 days (broke my son's heart as he says "she just warms my heart". But she did return... and pregnant!!

I helped deliver her 5 kittens, all looking like her but one black one. We had gotten rid of them faster than I thought we would but they were sooo cute. No one could resist.

Well we did keep one. He is cute and funny. He will stand on his back hind legs and try catching bee's and flies with both front paws, like a child catching a ball - so cute.

Twi and kinky have a strong bond as mother and baby. See, he has this kink in his tail, kinda like it's broken, but that's why I call him 'kinky'. I knew that Twi was a different kind of breed but wasn't sure what kind.


A friend told me to look up "California Spangled Cat" on this site. Sure enough there is no doubt in my mind that they could be anything else but the beautiful and unique California Spangled Cat! (editor's comment: this is a gorgeous mackerel tabby random bred cat but not a California Spangled cat - don't be upset, Twi is a fine cat equally as good as a purebred cat).

I added a picture of 'Twi' and her babies. 'Twi' is the gray one and 'kinky' the darker one. If you would like to see more pictures of the two as I like to call them 'The unique-kies kikies'. OK after owning these loves, I haven't been the same...=\'' - ''/= ) but if you would like to see more of them don't hesitate to ask. They like their pictures being taken... and i don't mind showing them off!! So go ahead and ask!

mackerel tabby cat
Twi's kittens showing great mackerel tabby coat.

But as for now, Twi is wanting attention. So here you go. Here are the pictures of the "rare" but yet still living California Spangled Cat's."

By by T. (Longview,WA.)

Hi I say Twi is not a California Spangled cat as she is not purebred but she is a great cat with a fine mackerel tabby pattern. Tabby cats are not necessarily purebred cats. And I published this article because I like your son. Nurture him as he is a great kid.

Please look after Twi. Make sure she is neutered and ideally build an enclosure so she can get out but safely. I am thinking about both your son and Twi. Your son loves Twi and he would be desperately upset if he lost her to a road accident or some other horrible fate.

Michael Avatar

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Monday 20 June 2011

Big Cat Toys

The interesting thing about searching on the internet for "big cat toys" is that it can mean two things. Either people search for toys for the big cats: jaguar, leopard, tiger and lion or they want to buy toys that are based on the four big cats, such as plush toys.

Big Cat Plush Toys

Here is a carousel of big cat plush toys and big cat toys from Amazon:

There are many more. These are for the North American market place.

Here's a picture of a large big cat plush toy:

big cat toys
Big cat (tiger) plush toy - photo Melissa and Doug

Large toys for large cats!

These must be a specialist kind of toys unless I am mistaken and I probably am. Judging by this great video from Big Cat Rescue the big cat toys are not really specialist but simply big lumps of durable plastic shapes. These cats love them. This must be good for the health of the cats as it will help to keep them mentally and physically active in captivity.

Michael Avatar

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Tiger Blood

Well tiger blood is tiger blood and I wish people had a concern for the real thing as it is inside the body of a magnificent wild animal that is gradually becoming extinct in the wild.

However, sadly the press and blogs chew over the tiger blood that Charlie Sheen says courses through his veins or the tiger blood that he drinks or the tiger blood that another manufacturer makes on the back of Charlie's statement.

Yep, Charlie Sheen says he has tiger blood inside him. People have discussed what this means. I guess it just means he is a bit wild and reckless because he doesn't care about the consequences. He is as wild and as disregarding of accepted standards as a wild tiger. Fine - I think it as simple as that.

Charlie Sheen then took to drinking a blood red drink that is meant to be good for your health. It bloody well should be at $44 per bootle.

The other drink is in a container that looks like a blood transfusion bag and the drink contains caffeine. A pick me up kind of drink obviously.

That is it really. I think it is all a load of madness. In a more sensible society we would be discussing how to save the tiger from persecution for its body parts and from habitat loss due to human population growth. We hardly ever discuss the latter because it is taboo.

The obsession with Charlie Sheen is a reflection of the obsession with celebrity. It is a very sad society.

Michael Avatar

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Cat food for a sensitive stomach

Cat food for a sensitive stomach should be a form of prescription diet.

Some cats are intolerant to certain types of food. If your cat vomits about two hours after eating it might indicate a food intolerance or hypersensitivity to that type or brand of food.

Apparently grains (wheat and corn) in cat food are the common cause. Cats, apparently, can also be intolerant to protein such as chicken and/or fish.

The obvious choice of cat food in this instance is grain free cat food. There are also cat foods that contain reduced protein. The Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook recommend (in the USA) Eukanuba Response LB Feline, Royal Canin Hypoallergenic HP Feline, Royal Canin Neutral Formula Feline, Royal Canin's Limited Ingredients with duck, lamb, rabbit or venison, Science Diet Feline d/d with duck, rabbit or venison and Science Diet z/d ULTRA Allergen Free Feline.

See also hypoallergenic cat food.

Michael Avatar

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F1 Chausie

Helmi and Ken Flick once kept and cared for an F1 Chausie. His name was Wildkatz Bwana Bushwah. You may well have heard of this beautiful wildcat hybrid. Apparently he was pretty wild! I mean this is in a nice and respectful way. I guess you would expect that from a first generation wildcat hybrid - jungle cat (F. chaus) to domestic cat mating.

Here he is playing in water. The wildcats often live and hunt by water as it is a source of prey. The wildcat hybrids love showering with you....!

F1 Chausie
F1 Chausie at play! Photo copyright Helmi Flick

You can read more about him and see more photos on this page. When F1 wildcat hybrids head butt they do it hard so says Helmi. And I have seen this in video material provided by Kathrin Stucki. You can see Titan head butting in the video below. Titan is an F1 Savannah cat (serval x domestic cat).

Michael Avatar

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Sunday 19 June 2011

Most Beautiful Orange Cat

CATILLACK by David McCudden
CATILLACK, a photo by David McCudden on Flickr. 
Photo is copyright David McCudden

This is a truly beautiful orange cat. I think she is the most beautiful cat I have seen bar one or two others and I have seen a large number of cats as you might expect. Actually she is orange and white. She is a tabby cat. You can see the classic "M" mark on the forehead. Even the mark is beautiful. And she looks very female, sexy almost. Uhmm I have not heard someone call a cat "sexy" before but I have now!

If she was a person she would be walking down a red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival. She would be a film star. Her name is Catillack and she is a Maine Coon, wrong, she looks like a Maine Coon (except for the lack of ear tufts and long ear hair) and looks classy enough to be purebred Maine Coon but is, in fact, a moggie born in a shed I am told. She is definitely the most beautiful moggie I have seen. The photograph is by her human companion, David McCudden. Who takes  a bloody good photograph by the way.

The gene that makes her orange is sex-linked. More sex...The gene is carried on one of the sex chromosomes. The symbol for the gene is O. This gene removes "all the eumelanin pigment from the hair fibres.." Eumelanin produces black, blue and chocolate colours etc.. An alternate pigment is produced called "phaeomelanin".  The pigment granule is lighter and it reflects light differently.

I have quoted Robinsons' Genetics (briefly) and the book says that the tortoiseshell cat is "the heterozygous female" (Oo).

Some people call orange cats "yellow cats". Why not! Yellow tabby cats are one of my favorites.  Martha Kane in Malta cares for an orange tabby amongst the many more she rescues and she says they are more likely to be the boss in a group but in a benevolent way. The orange traditional Persian is also very handsome.

The orange cat varies in the colour/density of the orange. I must say that CATILLACK is the most beautifully deep orange I have seen on a cat. Maybe it is David's photography and the low evening light that enhances the orange and gives it that deep luster. I don't care, she's a very sexy cat.

Grain Free Cat Food

You search on the internet for "grain free cat food". You want to find good grain free cat food. Do you know why you want that kind of food for your cat and why cat food that contains grain exists? You probably do but this page sets out my spin on this huge issue.

Dry cat food emerged onto the pet products market about fifty years ago. Before that canned cat food was around for up to one hundred years or so, I am advised.

Dry cat food (and dog food) is a relatively recent innovation. It's creation is born out of the need for convenience and I am not talking about the convenience of our cat, but of us.

The pet food manufacturers have two customers, us and our cat. They have an obligation to provide palatable and nutritional food for our cat and to provide inexpensive and easily handled food for us. These are competing goals. As we buy the food for our cat, our actions take priority and so the pet food manufacturers found a great market in dry cat food.

Dry cat food is highly convenient for the cat caretaker and can be left for feeding all day  - free cat feeding. Ideal for the busy cat caretaker. Whereas wet cat food goes off rapidly and smells quite quickly (a sign of poor quality?)

In order to make the pellets or kibble (so called in the USA) carbohydrates are required as this binds the rendered dry material together. Grains are a cheap source of carbohydrates. If grains such as wheat are not used potato, for example might be. Apparently, peas are also used.

Cats don't have a taste for sweet foods - they can't taste it so the only advantage to a cat of the carbohydrates is as a source of energy. But a cat is not designed to digest carbohydrates.

This can lead to the cat developing illnesses such as feline diabetes. The 12% water content leaves the cat in a permanent state of mild dehydration as cats don't fully compensate by drinking more water. The classic prey for a cat and ideal balanced diet is the mouse that contains about 60+% water and 3% carbohydrates. Dry cat food has 20-50% carbohydrates.

Some enlightened pet food manufacturers have created grain free dry cat food. The material is not bound together by carbs. One such dry cat food is Wysong Epigen Starch-Free Dry Dog & Cat Food (so claimed). The binding is carried out by "nutrient-rich protein sources" the manufacturers say. If this is possible why don't they all do it?

The obvious answer is cost. There are two criteria for promoting sales to people: cost and convenience. Some people simply are not aware of the dangers to health of permanently and solely feeding their cat dry cat food and so buy the cheapest while ignoring the high grain content.

Indeed, my vet some years ago recommended that I bought the dry cat food he was selling and to feed my cat permanently with it. He got his commission of course. It was Hills and Hills have a close relationship with vets promoting their food as the veterinarian's choice.

In the USA the best example of grain free cat food that is dry is Innova Dry Cat Food as it has received the most positive reviews over many sites. Another is Wellness Core. Another is Wysong as mentioned above. And yet another is Canyon River Feline Formula. Some will replace grain with some other source of carbohydrates as stated. Is that any better? Well I say it is not. The problem is not getting rid of the grain but the carbohydrates.

In the UK an example of grain free cat food that is dry is Arden Grange Sensitive - Ocean White Fish and Potato. I would check if there is a substitute for carbohydrates. In this case potatoes are used. And they announce that openly. Not sure about that. It seems like a trick to me  - reverse psychology.

Here is a little fun video I made about trying to obtain a balanced cat diet:

I wrote an earlier post about this subject, which covers slightly different ground.

Wet can food might also contain carbohydrates but premium brands contain little or not carbohydrates in the USA.

Incidentally one of the main causes of pet food recalls is due to the poor quality of the grain. This is an added benefit of buying grain free.

Michael Avatar

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Saturday 18 June 2011

Why the Siamese cat is pointed

The Siamese kitten is born without pigmentation (color). Within a short time - a few days - the coat forms pigmentation on the nose and ears.

Robinson's Genetics calls this typical of what it describes as "Himalayan albinism".

The production of pigmentation is dependent on ambient temperature. The temperature in the area of the fur is dictated by the body temperature of the cat and before being born the temperature in the womb.

The womb is at body temperature and it is this relatively high temperature that keeps the new born kitten white.

Once born, thrust into environment, the extremities become cooler than the center of the cat's body. The causes the production of pigmentation. The central area of the body of the cat is warmer causing the production of pigmentation be be restricted.

The body temperature is too high for "full pigment to be produced". This results in the coat varying from "pale to medium sepia".

The density of the color of the coat and points is dependent on the genes of each individual cat.

Apparently older cats tend to become darker in the body and for that reason only younger Siamese cats are show cats. Below is an older Siamese looking very dark:

Harlee looking vary dark in the body - Photo by cliff1066™

Siamese Cat Video

Here is a video of me rambling on about the Siamese cat:

Siamese Cat from Michael Broad on Vimeo.


Siamese Tabby Cat

The Siamese tabby cat is not tabby cat all over the body but just on the points - the extremities of the cat. What I mean is that the tabby coat only affects the points. Well that is not exactly true because I suspect the objective is to have the tabby gene only affect the points but it does affect to a certain extent other parts of the body.

lynx point Siamese Siamese tabby cat
Lynx point Siamese - Photo by ♥ellie♥

This creates a cat that in my opinion no longer looks like a Siamese cat but each to their own taste. You will see the classic "M" mark on the forehead or a vestige of it and banding on the legs and some lines on and around the face.

When the pointing is broken by the tabby gene it is less distinct. Tabby pointed Siamese cats are called Lynx point Siamese cats.

lynx point Siamese Siamese tabby cat
Lynx point Siamese cat - by AlishaV
Siamese tabby cats can be sliver tabby (silver lynx points) and tortie points. Although tortie or tortoiseshell points are not tabby points but the broken pointing looks similar.

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