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Showing posts from April, 2012

Cat Snake Bites

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Poisonous and non-poisonous snakes are found throughout the United States. In Britain there is just the adder and that is very scarce. Motzie, a very famous F2 Savannah cat once caught a snake and his human companion wrote about it: Savannah cat Motzie Caught a Snake . That is a flimsy excuse for showing this radiograph (X-ray) of a snake that I post-edited a bit. Snake radiograph (colored by me) - Photo Nottingham Vet School. I don't know...I just liked it. The original was in B&W but I added a bit of color and the words. That's it. Poisonous snakes can be a hazard to domestic cats in the USA. See this visitor's post for an example: My Cat was Bitten by a Snake . Apparently 90% of snakes bites on cats are on the head or legs. Poisonous snake bites to the cat's body are most often lethal. Poisonous snakes in the USA are: Cottonmouths - pit viper Rattlesnakes - pit viper Copperheads - pit viper Coral snakes All four snakes are large (4-8 feet in

Does dry cat food clean cats' teeth?

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No, not really. The idea behind the belief that dry cat food can clean a cat's teeth is that being dry it has an abrasive quality that cleans the teeth like a toothbrush. The mechanical abrasion theory is based on the shape, texture and fiber alignment of the dry kibble. Apparently dry cat food does reduce the build up of plaque and calculus but in a limited way. The action is limited because the kibble is normally broken by the tip of the tooth and so does not have any abrasive action at the place where periodontal disease takes place: the line where the gums surround the teeth (gingival margin). Periodontal disease ( gum disease in layperson's terms) in cats and dogs is one the most common health problems for these companion animals. Also dry cat food is high in carbohydrates. That surely is not good for teeth health. Plaque : soft and colorless. A mixture of food particles, organic and inorganic material and bacteria. Calculus : also called tartar. Hardened pla

Pedigree Cats are Better Companions?

Are there any differences in the way people interact with the domestic cat when the cat is a pedigree cat or a non-pedigree cat. This is an interesting thought. Most cats are non-pedigree. There are a higher percentage of pedigree cats in the United States than elsewhere, as I understand it. All purebred cats have a pedigree. These are the cat breeds that you read about on the internet. A study by Turner in 2000, albeit somewhat limited, was carried out into this subject. The objective of the study was to look at the differences in cat to human interactions when the cat was: Persian , Siamese and non-pedigree . Persians and Siamese are considered to be somewhat at the opposite end of the spectrum in behavior and character and both are what might be termed original cat breeds that started at the instigation of the cat fancy - well established cat breeds. The human companions of Persian and Siamese cats where asked to rank their cat's "behavior traits" against a sca

Ramirez vs Gonzalez

Ramirez had a cat. He let the cat go outside. Gonzalez had a dog. She let the dog out in the yard and he escaped. The dog, a pit bull, grabbed the cat in its mouth and shook it until it died. Ramirez heard his cat scream. He grabbed his 9mm hand gun and shot the dog between the shoulder blades behind the head - dead. The police took no action. Ramirez and Gonzalez were left to sort it out amongst themselves. A slice of cat, dog and human life. What does it tell us if anything? I'll leave you to sort that one out. One thing for sure: it is about human behavior that has cost the lives of two companion animals.

Cult of the Funny Internet Cat

The cult of the funny internet cat is fading. You know what humans are like. I use the word "human" rather than "people" because I write about cats so much I have got used to differentiating between the two that way. Humans follow fads and trends or in this case a kind of cult. The cult of the funny cat on the internet. The internet is still relatively young. Google is only 14 years as I recall. A lot of websites are less than 5 years old. The internet is a very transient and fluid place in which to set up business. I sometimes think that Google considers 4-5 year old sites as in their dottage; time to euthanise them in the words of cat shelters. The internet to date has worked both for and against the domestic cat. The great cult of funny cat pictures put the domestic cat on the map. But the endless funny videos are really quite tiresome now. On the upside the domestic cat got a lot of publicity. On the downside, was it the right kind of publicity? The cult o

Mutual Benefit of Cat Human Relationship

The domestic cat to human relationship is of mutual benefit. That is why the relationship exists. There was a moment thousands of years ago when the cat went from being a utilitarian animal (in killing rodents to protect grain), to becoming a companion animal and then a member of the family who sometimes takes precedence over other humans. Human Benefits Physiological - control over blood pressure, relaxation, decrease in anxiety, improved survival, longer lifespan after heart attacks. Psychological - decreased depression, improvement in mood. Practical - animal-assisted therapy, alerts to oncoming medical problems (anecdotal), focal point for conversation and action. Communal cooperation, common goal - e.g. assisting in trap-neuter-return programmes, assisting in reducing cat abuse including eliminating declawing , devocalisation operations,  or being part of a team of foster carers for cats that need rehoming. Cat Benefits Reliable food source/supply. Medical care .

Animal Care Depends On Money

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It nearly always comes down money in the end. This is being dramatically highlighted in Great Britain. Apparently, the country is not so great in respect of animal care when things get a tougher, financially. The RSPCA say they are at breaking point. I suppose this means in terms of funding and facility space (shelters) to house abused and abandoned animals. There was a step rise last year (2011) in the number of prosecutions as a result of animal cruelty cases dealt with through the courts by the RSPCA - almost 25% - up a quarter. The spokesman says that it is due to the financial recession which encourages people to abandon animals, particularly those that are expensive to keep, such as horses. I don't believe that it is the recession that is causing increased animal cruelty and abandonments. It is a bl**dy poor attitude by some people who decided to adopt an animal but who failed to commit to the process and make proper provision for it, through thick and thin. It is par

Stressed Rescued Cats

Studies indicate that cats are stressed when moved to rescue centers . This confirms what we know through the application of common sense. Cat caretakers know that when you move to a new place it may take you and your cat up to 6 months or more to settle in. Initially, your cat will be quite anxious and hide. We have all seen that. It took Charlie, my cat, about 2 weeks to simply calm down a bit! He hid under a desk or anywhere he could find for the first couple of days. Shelter cats show signs of acute stress over the initial period of being at a new shelter. The time taken to adapt depends on the individual cat. That is common sense too. However, the time taken to adapt will be several days to several weeks. Stress is caused by being in a strange place, strange routine, strange smells, people they don't know, close proximity to other cats, strange smells and importantly for shelter cats there is no where to hide. I ask therefore how can shelter employees assess a cat's

Earthquakes and Microchips

Here are two bits of interesting news (21st April 2012) about cats, even though the first story concerns dogs: Eminent scientist says his cats predict earthquakes Japan, as most of know, is a country that is more than many others subject to earthquakes as it is situated near a fault line in the earth's crust.  There is a great need in that country to predict the onset of earthquakes. There is a widely held view that animals are sensitive to seismic activity. Cats are cited in this regard. Associate professor Naoki Yada at the Kanagawa Institute of Technology has decided to run a study with the aid of schools to test the animal sensitivity theories. He says that his cats predict earthquakes by showing increased levels of activity about 70% of the time. An American lady, Kathy, would confirm that . Rather than use cats he is using catfish! Catfish are prominent is respect of earthquakes in Japan because there is a myth that earthquakes in Japan are caused by a giant sleepin

Social Situation - Domestic vs Feral Cats

The feral cat environment is a more natural environment for the cat than the domestic environment. OK, the feral cat environment is harsher and the life shorter but in a strict sense it is more natural. Feral cats are essentially domestic cats turned wild. Domestic cats have developed the ability to live in groups. The difference between the more natural outdoor environment and the artificial household environment plays a part in the creation of stress in multi-cat households. Feral Cat Environment In the feral cat, farm environment, groups of cats are usually made up of related cats that get on as a group. The group has evolved naturally. The food source dictates the size of the group. Individual cats in the group do their own hunting. These factors result in no or less competition for resources, which in turn restricts the need for a hierarchical system ( dominant and submissive cats ) and leads to reduced stress. Domestic Cat Environment In the domestic environment whe

Cats Are Not Territorial Animals

The title of this post is a verbatim transcript from an excellent book on The Welfare of Cats edited by Irene Rochlitz. The author who makes this statement in the section of the book on olfactory communication, S.L.Crowell-Davis, does not differentiate between wild, feral or domestic cats although the book is mainly about the domestic cat. I think you will find the statement controversial especially amongst the wild cat experts. Crowell-Davies goes on to say that urine spraying as a form of olfactory communication is not to mark territory - i.e. to make the statement that the cat 'owns' this plot of land and to stay out. The author says that spraying urine horizontally onto objects in small quantities has multiple meanings that depend on the circumstances at the time and on what is in the urine. The implication is that a cat can control what scent the urine has at any given time. The purpose of spraying urine is to leave a message ("identifying information") abo

Cat Health Problems Not Eating

Cat health problems, cat not eating? In other words loss of appetite. You can't simply list out the reasons for a loss of appetite because it is such a general cat illness symptom. When you feel ill you lose your appetite. So the cause of not eating is being ill! Great, not very helpful. However, I have written several pages on the subject of cats not eating, partly because visitors to the site ask about this and I respond as best I can. Also, I have written about it without being prompted by visitors' submissions. Here are some pages on cat health problems not eating: My cat won't eat Cat losing weight My Cat Has Lost Appetite and Weight with Labored Breathing Why is my cat not eating? What is Hills a/d pet food? Cat Drooling If you would like to see lots more pages you can use the search box at the top of the home page .

Google Change Policy Because They Are Scared

Facebook founder, Sergey Brin says, "I am more worried than I have been in the past. It's scary". Google are spooked by the erosion of the early principles of the internet, the most important of which was openness. Rules stifle innovation.  He says that Google would not have been a success if he had started the business today. Google likes the laissez-faire attitude of the internet. It is like a parallel universe because anything goes, or at least it did. On the ground, in the tangible world, behavior is regulated. It is regulated because on-the-ground-society is more advanced. The internet is still young, undeveloped and it is bound to become more regulated because you can't go on in a semi-anarchic manner and get away with it for ever. I understand the attraction of openness but people will and do abuse it. Think gross violations of copyright as one example. For many years Google ignored this and in doing so supported it as they found, through their search engin

Ancient Egyptians Abused Cats

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The internet is full of articles about how the ancient Egyptians loved nay.. worshiped cats . The great cat god Bastet is always referred to. It was the golden era for the domestic cat, we are told. I've always been skeptical about this myth. It is just not true. There has been a lot of glossing up and repetition on the internet. Isn't there always? Mummified 4-5 month old kitten. X-ray image credit: Giacomo Gnudi et al A recent research paper into a mummified kitten has reinforced my views. The document states that from about 300 years before Christ to 30 years BC in Egypt, cats were bred for the specific purpose to kill them (euphemistically referred to as "euthanase" meaning euthanize) when they were young kittens of 3-5 months of age so that they could be mummified and sold to a customer who wanted to offer it up to Bastet . I presume as a means to try and improve the person's life. This happened in "huge numbers" according to the authors of

More Kittens Due to Global Warming?

Already, we have enough unwanted kittens being born outside of a loving human home. But we are to get more if there is global warming, which seems likely to be the case. Global warming brings warmer winters and longer summers. We are seeing a change in weather patterns in the UK. I am not sure about the USA but when I was there it was damn hot! Pets Across America, a large and well established pet adoption organisation in the United States said that there was a 30 percent increase in their intake of cats and kittens over the 2005-6 period, which they put down to the longer and earlier spring season - the breeding season for cats - due in turn to the warmer weather and reduced winters. There is no doubt that weather plays a major role in the number of unwanted cats. In colder climates such as in the UK you don't have a " feral cat problem" to the extent that appears to be the case in mid-America. And from the warmer Mediterranean countries such as Greece you hear of s

Millionaire Employees of Apple

Apple employees, under the Apple Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP) would be millionaires today (April 2012) if they had contributed to a maximum of $25,000 per year over a preceding seven year period. In fact they would have an investment worth $1,628,481 on share price of $589.58, which is already outdated and too low! The current share price is $628 (April 11th 2012). It is like printing money for the Apple employees. They are making tens of thousands of US dollars every week - on paper...that is the key. When do you convert that to cash? And what are the rules on selling shares as an employee, at Apple. There will be rules, otherwise employees could depress the share value on a mass sell off. An Apple document in relation to the Employee Stock Purchase Plan states: The Company has a shareholder approved employee stock purchase plan (the “Purchase Plan”), under which substantially all employees may purchase common stock through payroll deductions at a price equal to 85% of the

Devocalising Dogs is Cruel

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Here is a video about the cruel surgery of devocalising dogs. I know this is not about cats but let's not worry about that because it is an important subject and people should be forbidden from doing it. It should be banned and it is close to being banned in certain parts of the USA as I understand it. How it can be allowed to happen is beyond my comprehension. It is similar to declawing in its cruelty and the unethical nature of the operation. The same mentality is behind it: " I want a pet but not exactly what is on offer so I'll just modify it.... " Stop it... It is a failure of the human that he thinks he can modify his companion animals to suit his preferences. Dogs are not products to be bought over the counter. You don't modify dogs like you customise a car or a computer. They are living creatures the way God created them. Let's enjoy that and stop being silly and ignorant. And a further point: cats are also devocalised. Can you imagin

Responsible Cat Breeding

The European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals (signed:1987) - "the Convention" - has a bit so say about the breeding of animals. I am sure very few people know about this convention let alone cat breeders. Yet all breeders anywhere in the world, particularly those countries where they like to breed to extremes, would do well to read it. I'll just summarize certain aspects of it on this page. An international "convention" is no more than an agreement. There is no real enforcement as I understand it. There would be embarrassment if there were flagrant breaches of it. If North American countries were signatories to the Convention there would be embarrassment in some quarters. If you want to sum up the Convention in respect of cat breeding it states that breeders should not breed to extreme where the cat's health and welfare is put at risk. Article 5 refers to breeding: Article 5 – Breeding Any person who selects a pet animal for breeding

My cat sounds like Frog Cat

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My cat sounds quite a lot like the frog cat. The frog cat is a large frog that screams like some cats might scream (but not many!). He is on YouTube. You can see the frog cat at the beginning of this video. I "borrowed" that bit of the video - sorry. The sort of cat that screams like this frog is a Siamese . They have loud voices and very particular sounding voices. They like to demand attention using their voices. Well, my three-legged cat has some Siamese in him even though he is all black! Perhaps Siamese are black cats except for the middle bit! He has a long face in between the Modern Siamese and Traditional Siamese. You could say he has an oriental appearance (in cat fancy language) except he is a bit fat ! It is a pretty basic video and Charlie is quite dark in this video. There is a simple explanation. He was hungry at about 5:30 in the morning. When he is hungry he tends to scream at me. It was dark outside or there was a dawn light. I was lucky to get th

Prevalence of FeLV and FIV

Here is some data on the prevalence of two well known diseases in cats that were domestic and feral : FeLV ( Feline leukemia virus) and FIV (Feline immunodeficiency virus).  There is a comparison in some rows between domestic and feral cats in the table. Place FeLV FIV Animal shelter, Birmingham, England - 1997 2% feral cats and 3.6% tame cats 20.4% feral cats and 9.4% tame cats Vets - Istanbul, Turkey 6% outdoor cats and 5% for indoor cats 22% for both indoor cats and outdoor/feral cats Texas University, USA 5% of cats trapped 6% of cats trapped Florida University, USA 7% of cats 7% of cats North Carolina Uni 4% of cats 4% of cats Prince Edward Island, Canada 5% of trapped cats 6% of trapped cats Some added information: In Istanbul, FIV was more common in male cats probably because they

Educated Middle-aged Women Care for Feral Cats

The title is perhaps not a surprise to people who know the world of cats. In two studies that have come to my notice the conclusions as to the type of person who is more likely to care for feral cats are: Female, middle-aged, married and well-educated. They kept companion animals themselves and were employed full-time (Zasloff & Hart 1998 as referred to in The Welfare of Cats ISBN 978-1-4020-6143-1 - 'the book'). This was a study of 75 cat colonies in Hawaii, USA. These ladies spent a good deal of time and money caring for feral cats, which must have placed time pressures on them as they worked full-time as well and were married. Helping feral cats enhanced their self-esteem. That is an interesting discovery, I feel. Female with an average age of 45 (84% were women). Almost 90% cared for their own companion animals as well, of which 66% kept a cat or cats. More than 50% of the ladies were married. The ladies did it because of (a) ethical concerns (b) sympathy for the c

Is CFA doing enough to regulate its breeders?

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The Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) is said to the world's biggest.  It is probably the best known. They do have some peculiar and distorted views on cat welfare, however, that I find disturbing. I refer to the breed standards of several cat breeds . I question whether the CFA needs to spend more time and effort on cat welfare. It seems to be a low priority to the senior people at the CFA. I feel that the CFA have a bunker mentality. What I mean is that they close their mind to wrong doing and possibly lack the moral fiber to make important changes in the interests of the cats that their members breed and breed from. It seems that the CFA assumes that their cat breeder members will conduct themselves in a responsible manner. Do the CFA inspect the catteries of their members? I don't think they do. How can they when many of them appear to end up in jail for animal cruelty ! I know it sounds astonishing but it is true. Maybe it does not sound astonishing! CFA booth at

The Effect of Cats on Wildlife

The domestic cat is considered an "introduced species" or " invasive species ". It is a carnivorous predator. If left to roam or become feral, it can have a negative effect on local species through (a) competition - competing and succeeding in preying on wildlife that is a common prey (b) predation - preying on other species (c) interbreeding - cross breeding with wild cats diluting the wild cat purebred stock - example: Scottish Wildcat (d) disease  - transmitting disease to other wild species of animal. The cat has been accused of the extinction of native species. Australia is the place where the feral and domestic cat is most commonly attacked in the media for the above reasons. Australians prefer pets other than cats . However despite the continued debate and publicity "the role of feral cats in the decline and extinction of Australian mammalian species remains unclear".(Burbridge & Manly 2002 as referred to in The Welfare of Cats ISBN 978-1-40

Why We Overfeed Our Cats

Not all of us overfeed our cat but a lot of people do. The PDSA, the UK's leading veterinary charity, tells us that in April of 2012, 3 million UK cats are obese ! That is shocking information. The PDSA say that this represents about 25% of the cat population in the UK, which makes the population at 12 million cats. If this figure is true it means that there has been an increase in the cat population in the UK since 2006 of almost 2 million (see Ownership of Cats in the UK ). This, in my opinion, might be incorrect. I really think the PDSA have the figures wrong here as there are not 12 million cats in the UK to the best of my knowledge. The figure is probably nearer 10 million. The truth is we don't know. But, it seems that there are too many overweight cats. We know that obesity can cause health problems and shorten life. There are two reasons why cats become overweight. The input of energy in the form of food is too high and the output of energy in the form of exercise is to

Monitoring The Internet And Avoiding It

There is a lot of discussion in the UK on the matter of governmental monitoring of the internet. By monitoring it is meant that the government impose legal obligations on website owners to store certain information about the activity of its visitors and members which can subsequently be accessed by government agencies, without a court order,  to better manage and suppress terrorists and any other undesirable activity in the national interest. Because of long term and continued Islamic terrorism the world has changed. Major western nations are prioritizing national security over individual human rights. The balance has swung away from individual human rights. Islamic terrorism is religious terrorism committed by fundamentalist Muslims for the purpose of achieving political/religious ends. It is an abuse of their religion. Their activities have changed the world for the worst. The big hurdle is, therefore, human rights. Privacy is being compromised. It really does alter the dynamics

Controlling the Source of Feral Cats

Responsible pet ownership should be encouraged and fostered so that it happens voluntarily. Irresponsible pet ownership should be frowned up by the community and arguably punished in the courts. An irresponsible attitude towards keeping a domestic cat results in (a) health and welfare issues regarding the cat and (b) quality of life issues (and rarely health issues) regarding the community. Controlling the source of feral cats comes down to responsible pet ownership.  I prefer the phrases, "responsible cat caretaking" or " responsible cat guardianship " as they foster a better attitude towards the cat companion and therefore a more responsible approach towards their welfare. Responsible cat caretaking is reflected in a cat's needs as summarised in a piece of excellent legislation from Great Britain: Para 2 of section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 . To this section of legislation I think we can add that cat caretakers today (2012) should be required to mi

World Popularity of Trap Neuter Return

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The map below shows the attitudes of different countries towards using trap-neuter-return (TNR) to control feral cat populations. It is based on my feelings acquired from reading a good amount on the subject. Blue =poor/not considered TNR, Red =Good TNR, Orange =Average/Poor TNR, Pastel Blue =Poor TNR This is not a map based on hard science. It can't be because there is not enough hard science on TNR yet. Also it is very generalised. It is probably slightly controversial. TNR is still a developing method of controlling feral cat populations. In some countries there is a blurring of the demarcation between domestic, stray and feral cats. The feral cat is accepted in some countries. TNR is therefore not considered because the need to control feral cat populations is not considered. These countries have not developed to the point where TNR is referred to. Also in cooler European countries the feral cat is hardly visible (England, Germany). Therefore there is not a pressi

The Lucky Feral Cats of Holland

Holland has an advanced, humane and sensible approach to animal welfare. It must be one of the best countries in respect of animal welfare. They have a very long standing animal welfare organisation, The Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals (DSPA) that was founded in 1864. It has 200,000 volunteers! The DSPA has had some landmark successes in influencing the creation of national animal welfare legislation and their influence in this regard goes back to the late 1800s. The society influenced the basic methodology of the drafting of the Animal and Welfare Act in 1992. On the society's recommendation, the Act is based on the "no-unless" principle. The fundamental premise of this principle is that there should be no practices that hurt animals unless it is provided for in legislation. It puts the onus on those who might hurt animals for the sake of commerce to argue that it is justified. It is the animal that takes priority over the person. Excellent concept. Th

Google Should Open A Shop

Perhaps Google should open a shop to provide them with another outlet for their energies and ambitions. On the ground, high street shops, would also provide an interface for true, in the flesh, meetings with website entrepreneurs and internet users, Joe Public. In addition to a shop being a meeting place it could also serve as a training establishment on such diverse matters as maximizing revenue from Adsense and the use of Adwords. They could also promote website building in seminars. And utilize the seminars as brainstorming sessions. Google needs feedback from users. One to one, or one to several, group meetings might have the benefit of broadening what might have become slightly introverted, stagnated thinking by Google. Google is also becoming a bit bloated. They have a lot of clever employees fine tuning great products and making them worse (potentially) in doing so. New products are created but not presented to the word as efficiently as they might be. Come and join us, the

Feral Cats Of Israel

The feral cats of Israel are very visible. When I was there about 12 years ago I immediately noticed them scuttling around the alleyways. It was sad to see. You don't see feral cats in the UK. They are there but you don't see them. There must be more of them in Israel because of the warmer weather. There are four major players in the feral cat story of Israel. They are pulling in different directions. Although things are changing. The Public : The cat as a companion animal is not highly valued we are told. The cat is not kept as a companion animal to the same levels that you find in the UK and USA or Europe. On the basis that that is correct it informs us about the underlying, general attitude of the Israelis towards the domestic and feral cat. For decades feral cats were simply rounded up and killed because they were considered to be a health hazard (rabies) and a nuisance. This did not resolve the feral cat problem. The feral cat population remained stable ( moral : kil

Bright Eyed Melanistic Savannah Cat

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Melanistic Savannah Cat , a photo by broadsurf on Flickr. This is a high hitting Flickr photograph of a melanistic Savannah cat that I created a couple of years ago now. I think she was female. She is a breeding cat and her mate was a conventional coated cat (spotted tabby as I recall). She was living in an inside/outside enclosure. She would not have had much interaction with people and it showed. She wanted interaction with people because when I entered the enclosure quietly and sat down and did nothing to allow her time to adjust she looked quite startled. She soon got accustomed to my presence. I had put my glasses high up on the cage and she immediately climbed up to check them out. She then gradually approached and then began to lick me. She licked me so much I became wet with her saliva. She was very cute. Her appearance had a wild quality. I felt that she was semi-wild. Her eyes are startlingly beautiful set against the rich melanistic coat . When the sunlight shone through

Need To Measure The Success Of Trap Neuter Return

It is time to accurately measure the success of trap-neuter-return programs on a large scale. The studies should be long term and scientific in manner. In order to shut out counter arguments, there should be no weaknesses in the studies in respect of methodology. The need arises because it is time to demonstrate to people who can fund TNR programs (e.g governmental agencies) that it works in the long term. Well documented success stories would also counter the arguments of the bird lobbyists and others who want to see the feral cat exterminated. They say that TNR fails and feral cats are a hazard to native wildlife. Apparently, TNR as a means to manage feral cat numbers was devised in South Africa and Denmark fairly recently in the 1970s. The method was exported to England and thence to the United States, Canada and many other countries. There are a great number of feral cat TNR programs in the United States, Canada and Europe. There have been a good number of studies as well o

Google Search Slowing Down?

1st April 2012 : Slow Google.com start up? Not an April Fools' prank! Are you getting stalling problems at the beginning of a search when you try and type in what you are searching for? I am and it seems to be do with the Google page syncing up to something on Google Plus or some other add on nuisance. In other words what was once a very simple super fast loading Google search page (Google Classic) is now slow and this slows down my search while I wait for Google.com/ig (iGoogle) to load. iGoogle is the Google home page that contains lots of extras. It syncs up to things. And it appears to be syncing up to too many addons. Whereas at one time iGoogle was slower than Classic Google it is now almost unusable for me. It may be the fact that I have recently opened a Google +1 home page "thing" (no idea what it does, already bored with it). I was encouraged to do it by Google. Google desperately wants us to use Google +1 and constantly searches for ways to get us to use it

Criticising The Cat Fanciers' Association

The Cat Fanciers' Association needs to be criticised. I don't want to do it. In the interests of Persian cats in the USA and elsewhere I will do it on this page. I am speaking on behalf of the contemporary Persian purebred cat with the brachycephalic short head. Other cat breeds that follow the CFA breed standard that requires a cat that suffers from flat head syndrome, brachycephaly, are the shorthaired Persian known as the Exotic Shorthair and the pointed Persian, called the Himalayan. The Burmese in American also has head shape problems that can affect health in a serious manner. The breed characteristics or phenotype of the contemporary Persian , Exotic SH and Himalayan demand a brachycephalia short head that is big and round with a short, broad nose. The elements of the face should be in vertical alignment. I'll quote the CFA breed standard just so you know exactly what I mean: "HEAD: round and massive, with great breadth of skull. Round face with round un

Four ways to reduce the high feral cat population

If we agree that the high feral cat population is a problem then here are four pointers to reducing it. They are actually common sense, well know ideas but I think it helps to restate them. Firstly, it is worth making the point that cats are good rodent catchers. It is the reason why wild cat domestication took place about 9,500 years ago. I think we forget that. Might it be that feral cats provide a useful service in keeping the rodent population down and that we don't realise it? We might discover that this is happening if we got rid of the feral cat. Four points to reduce the feral cat: Increase trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs. Make them more widespread. This will need government funding. When conducted in a coordinated and widespread way it can be successful but the TNR process is open to criticism if conducted piecemeal . I have a lot of admiration for the volunteers involved in TNR programs. All domestic cats should be identifiable so that if they become strays they