Sunday 14 July 2013

Your Cat Was Bitten Outside?

Raccoon taking oral rabies vaccination

America from Texas, to Maryland, to California - RABIES - seems to be in the news at the moment - early July 2013. Any cat that is bitten by an animal must be assumed to have been exposed to rabies unless the animal that bit your cat is known with complete certainty to be rabies free. The most common carriers of rabies are: skunks, raccoons, bats and foxes.

The procedure to follow is:
  • Thoroughly and vigorously wash the site of the bite wound and/or scratches urgently with soap and water and the fur around the bite to remove any saliva. You should wear gloves. This reduces the chance of the cat getting rabies.
  • The bite wound should not be stitched up.
  • Revaccinate your cat as a matter of urgency even if already vaccinated. Your cat should be confined to indoors and observed for 45 days.
  • If your cat has not been vaccinated, he should be put to sleep by your vet or he should be confined without direct human contact or contact with other animals for 6 months (strict quarantine). After five months he should be rabies vaccinated. Check the state's rules on vaccinations and quarantine regarding cats exposed to rabies.
Source: Book I listed on this page.

Friday 12 July 2013

Unwanted Cats - America Culture Wars

July 11th 2013 - America - THE CULTURE WARS - Like any country America has it cultural divisions and they run deep. I am not writing about different ethnic groups but different ideas and concepts as to how to deal with fundamental life problems and find a better way of life.

Cutlure Wars America

Take abortion: this is a classic. It is about life, human life, which is more valuable than a cat's life as far most people are concerned.

The anti-abortion lobby is having success in America in conservative states. Texas is trying to tighten the law on abortion and is having a rocky ride.

Set that against Obama's progressive national legislation on matters such as gay marriage and you can sense the cultural battleground.

The same sort of cultural war is taking place in the world of cats. Do you regulate cat ownership? Or is that the nanny state gone mad? Do you ban declawing? Yes, but it won't happen nationwide because of a deep rooted culture of treating the cat as an animal that people can do as they like with. There is a growing mass of people who want change on declawing. They say they are more enlightened. The battleground, here, is humane behaviour regarding our cats.

What about the feral cat? The stray cat? Wandering, breeding cats? There are too many, people say. There are too many unwanted cats yet pet stores still sell kittens supplied by kitten factories. Not much is being done to quell the supply chain. There are many liberal minded people who hate to see cats being sold in stores yet business refuses to stop doing it and will challenge any attempt to ban it. Another cultural war. The battleground is the high street.

There are those that want to keep killing unwanted cats at shelters. Keep the status quo. The shelters would be out of business if there were no unwanted cats. On the other side there are those who want to see a complete rethink on how to balance the demand for cats with the supply of cats and in the meantime to stop killing the unwanted cats en masse.

The current battleground of the unwanted cat war is the cat shelters. It is time for some harmony and consensus thinking.

What about cats versus birds? Bird conservationists versus cat lovers is a classic cultural war. There are others such as scientists who dislike cats and laypeople, ordinary people, who see through their bias.

Thursday 11 July 2013

Kiwi: more important than the cat (and other animals)

Setting traps that kill cats
Setting traps that kill cats. Photo: Jo Parker

New Zealand 10th July 2013: To the British, antipodeans are the inhabitants of Australia and New Zealand. All the signs are that antipodeans prefer birds to cats. Or they prefer species of animal that have been on their islands longer than other species. This is speciesism.

Bob Francis, the Chairman of the Pukaha-Mt Bruce wildlife reserve says:
"But the birds here are so, so special ... and with these predators you can never relax."
The earliest evidence of the Kiwi in New Zealand is 1 million years old (a fossilized leg bone)1. The KĊkako is endemic to New Zealand. "Endemic" means: belonging or native to a particular country. The New Zealand Kaka is a medium sized parrot. These are three endangered native birds of New Zealand.

These birds are protected in the Pukaha-Mt Bruce wildlife reserve, New Zealand by traps that kill the following animals that wander into the reserve:
  • cats - any type, domestic, stray or feral. There is a focus at the reserve on trapping cats at the moment. If a domestic cat wanders into this reserve and is killed in a trap, it is the cat owner's problem, they say. At least 40 have been killed in killing traps and some are domestic cats belonging to someone. They are family members. Isn't it a crime to kill them like this? The local SPCA (Society for the Protection of Animals) say they will prosecute people who dump their cat in the area! Who is doing that and what are the SPCA doing? They are meant to preserve animal life. Why aren't they in discussion with the people who manage this reserve? They must be biased against the cat, rabbits, rats, stout, ferrets and hedgehogs too.
  • rabbits - (61 killed) -- I didn't know they were predators of birds ;)
  • hedgehogs (400 killed)
  • rats (748 killed)
  • ferrets (18 killed)
  • stouts (55 killed)
So, the New Zealanders don't only prefer birds to cats they prefer birds to cats, stouts, ferrets, hedgehogs and rabbits.

Just so we know. What right do people have to decide which animal is more important than another?


Wednesday 10 July 2013

Chinese Cat Show of Sorts

Bengal cat at a cat show Harbin China
Bengal cat at a cat show Harbin China - Photo: NEWS.CN

9th July 2013: CHINA - Good news from China (as far as I am concerned). I sense a shift of attitude towards animals. Without wishing to be harsh there seems to be a tendency to treat animals as creatures to use rather than enjoy as companions, in parts of China. That is the impression I get from my travels throughout the internet. I have also been to China. Beijing, the capital of China has a poor history of treating stray animals. The cats of Beijing are sad.

However, following in the footsteps of India's first cat show, the cat lovers of China have arranged the national cat tour competition. One of the events takes place in Harbin. Harbin is the capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.

The cat tour competition was organised by the Association of Small Animal Protection in China's capital Beijing. This has all the signs and sounds of a cat show run by a cat association and it looks like it to but the organizers are not a cat club or association, in name at least. They might be something better, a group of people who are concerned with small animal protection. They seem to be promoting their worthy and much needed cause through a cat show. There are almost no laws in China that protects animals never mind companion animals.

The Harbin event is one of many similar regional cat show events. There will be a final competition in December 2013. Cat shows and competitions can do good. They can raise awareness of the beauty of the cat and companion animals generally. They can get people to relate to cats and small animals in a different and more sensitive way. This must be a big plus for animal welfare. Perhaps the cat will lead the way to changes in animal welfare in China?

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Cat Sunburn

CAT SUNBURN -- News 8th July 2013: Murray has won Wimbledon under hot sunny conditions than extend across the UK. The forecast is for more sun and heat. Great but strange ;). Cats can get sunburned, even in Scotland! This is what happened to Luna. Scotland is not known for its hot weather but it does have its moments. Ruth aka Kattaddorra, a regular and valued visitor to PoC recently wrote about cats in hot weather. There are things we should be aware of and should do.

White cats are particularly vulnerable to sunburn because their fur has no pigmentation (melanin) which is why it is white. The lack of pigmentation reduces the protective properties of the fur. The parts of the cat's anatomy where the fur is particularly thin are the ear flaps. They are also in the direct glare of the sun at a 90° angle to it. This ensures the sun's rays have maximum burning effect.

Cats are not aware that their ears are getting sunburned. The problem can become very severe to the point where the only option is for the ears to be amputated. Removal of badly sunburned ears removes the risk of skin cancer. Cats Protection in North Ayrshire is now looking after her. She looks a bit odd. I like that. It makes her special. She deserves a nice home and some shaded resting places.

Monday 8 July 2013

Groundswell of feeling against cops' attitude towards animals

Latest news 7th July 2013: I am impressed by the groundswell of feeling and passion by the American people generated by the unnecessary and callous shooting of Max the rottweiler dog that belonged to a bystander who was videoing the police doing their work. The police took exception to him, arrested him and in the melee, his dog was shot as he approached the police.

protests against police shooting of Max a dog
Protests against police shooting of Max a dog

This has stirred up feelings about the police and their handling of companion animals. The Causes website has gathered almost 90,000 signatures in its petition to fire the officer who shot Max. Their target is 100,000. An impressive figure indicating that a lot of people have strong feelings about how individual policemen can sometimes overreact and treat companions animals in an unsympathetic way. Enough is enough. There are quite a few cases of dogs being hurt by police. Elisa regularly writes about them. Cats are abused by police too on occasion.

I hope the police take note of public opinion. I guess they won't. I don't believe online petitions achieve much but they do indicate a depth of opinion and this shooting shines a light on the feelings of American citizens about the less than satisfactory attitude of some police officers towards dogs and cats, in my opinion.

There are many other options when dealing with cats and dogs other than simply and crudely shooting them, which is often in truth a crime. Not that the police ever get prosecuted for criminal behavior.

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