Showing posts from March, 2014

Domestic Violence Shelters That Take In Companion Animals

There is a need for domestic violence shelters, usually for women, that allow the woman to bring with her, her cat or dog companion. It would seem that a frequently encountered problem for a woman fleeing domestic violence at home is leaving her cat companion behind because the domestic violence shelter that she is going to for sanctuary does not accept companion animals. Copyright protected. Please do not copy. In Britain, there are an estimated 570,000 telephone calls to the police each year from women and occasionally men who are suffering domestic violence. You could probably more than double that figure to well over 1 million because according to the British Crime Survey only 40.2% of actual domestic violence crime is reported to the police. I'm sure the position is very similar in North America and indeed other countries were it may be worse, particularly those countries where the woman is subservient to the man for various reasons including religious reasons. Let&

People Getting TB from Their Cats

The world's first 2 cases of people getting tuberculosis (TB) from their domestic cats have just been recorded in Berks, UK. This is a transmission of bovine TB to a person from their cat who possibly was bitten by a badger or a rat that was infected. This is a bacterial infection. So the way a cat could transmit TB to her human companion would be that the bacteria in the cat is absorbed into the person through a cut on the person. It seems that the cat is an intermediary. Clearly the cat would have to be an outdoor/indoor cat. As it happens, a lot of cats in the UK are indoor/outdoor cats. However, it will be a very rare incident for a cat to inflect his caretaker with TB. It has been known for some time that bovine TB is transmissible from animal to human and from animal species to different animal species. This is called a zoonotic disease. However, an actual case, as far as I'm aware, has never been recorded until now. Apparently, a veterinarian noticed a cluster of ca

What Does a Cat Signal with Its Ears?

A cat's ears are expressive because they are very mobile. They are mobile because there are many muscles to control the earflap. A cat's ears can change direction so the ears can pick up sound from different sources and they can also be placed into different postures. Each posture is a reflection of the emotional state of the cat. There are 5 basic ear signals which are related to the following moods: relaxed, agitated, defensive, alert and aggressive. RELAXED When a cat is relaxed the cat's ears point forward. They also point slightly outward. The cat quietly listens and quickly picks up interesting sounds over a large frequency range. A cat's hearing range is wider than ours and can pick up much higher frequencies . ALERT When a cat picks up an interesting sound, the position of the ears indicate an alert mode. The cat stares at the point of interest and the ears become fully erect. The ears rotate slightly so that they point directly forwards. As long as t

Why Does a Tomcat Spray Urine On the Garden Wall?

Tomcats (this word is usually used to describe a male cat that has not been castrated) mark their territory by squirting a jet of urine backwards onto vertical objects within their environment. They aim their urine at tree stumps, fence posts, bushes and walls which are landmark features within that territories. Sometimes these features are at the borders of their territory and sometimes they might be at a crossroads but they would usually be in some sort of prominent area and possibly on a path or track that is used by the tomcat and other cats in the area. They are particularly keen on places where they have sprayed before and where other cats have sprayed before so that they can add a fresh dose of urine to freshen the smell. We all know that cat urine is very strong smelling and very hard to remove. It is interesting that although cat urine is very strong smelling to a human, another way that a cat marks his territory is by rubbing against objects to leave his scent on the

A Crime? Failing to Take Vet's Advice On Euthanising Your Cat

A woman in the UK was prosecuted for declining to take the advice of a veterinarian who had advised her to euthanise her cat, Ziggy, who was in a poor state because of old age. This was a decision about when to euthanise a cat at the end of his life. This ultimately is a decision for the cat's caretaker on the advice of a vet but the buck stops at the cat owner (the cat's caretaker). A very old cat soon to be euthanised What is shocking about this case is that the RSPCA decided to prosecute this woman simply because she had a different idea about when to euthanise her elderly cat, Ziggy. The woman's name is Ms Julie Nadian. The veterinarian who advised her to put down her cat worked for the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals. Although the prosecution was stopped by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) the lady had all her cats taken from her and they have since been in RSPCA care. She continues to be prosecuted for failing to provide a suitable environment for

Kansas Animal Shelters Looking to Place Cats In Businesses

This is an imaginative new program by the Great Plains SPCA to place shelter cats into businesses such as The Raven Bookstore in Lawrence KS. There are several things that I like about this program. It is imaginative. It seeks new ways to save the lives of shelter cats. It is time to do this sort of thing: to think out of the box. Also,  cats placed in businesses become working cats, really, and I like it when cats become really useful. It creates a pleasant balance between the domestic cat and the person and I think this is a healthy balance because in almost all cases the domestic cat is cared for by a cat guardian. Perhaps cats like to be useful. Another benefit of this program is that, provided the business is enlightened enough, they discover that having a cat around improves work productivity and if the business is a shop or store it improves the ambience in the outlet and customers generally welcome it. The presence of a domestic cat totally changes the feel of a place.

Feral Cats Are Part of the Ecosystem

Yes, we need to remind ourselves that feral cats are part of the ecosystem. They are integrated into the wildlife. They prey on certain wildlife and certain wildlife preys on them and if that is disturbed there may be unforeseen consequences down the food chain. The feral cat primarily feeds on rodents such as mice and rats. It is a myth that feral cats prey on birds in large numbers. Some people want to get rid of the feral cat completely. I don't think they have thought through the consequences of that objective. What would happen to the rat population? Some people like to shoot feral cats and these people would like to see all feral cats eradicated. But we know that as feral cats are part of the ecosystem and they prey on rats they cannot be eradicated without massive unforeseen and possibly disastrous consequences. In which case they should not shoot feral cats at all because they shoot them with intention of the long-term objective of eradicating them which, as I just stated

Why does a cat sleep so much?

The domestic cat sleeps no longer than a teenage person, in my opinion. In other words, the domestic cat sleeps for a total of about 8 hours daily, perhaps a little more and the rest of the time the cat is snoozing and resting. You only have to look at the cat's ears while they are “sleeping" to realise that they are not actually sleeping. The slightest noise or disturbance and the ears of a cat prick up immediately and the cat awakens almost instantly. No one can tell me that a cat is genuinely asleep under those circumstances. F1 Savannah cats snoozing. Photo copyright A1 Savannahs I believe that there is a lot of incorrect information on the Internet with one author copying from another ad infinitum and eventually creating fact out of fiction. As far as I'm aware, there has only been one definitive assessment as to how long a cat sleeps and that was with respect to the lion and the lion slept for about 9 hours daily on average. There is a lot of discussion on

Why does my cat bury his faeces?

When a cat buries her faeces it is not because the cat is being tidy and clean etc. but because she wishes to make sure that the smell of her faeces is not recognised. Cats nearly always use urine as a way to mark territory but sometimes cats use feces to do the same job. A cat lives in the human world: it is a world of giants and although we look after our cats we are very large compared to them and we should recognise that. Although we can be very gentle towards our cats, from their perspective we are dominant and they are subservient and when cat is subservient he or she will display subservient behaviour, an example of which is to bury her feces. You will find that dominant males in feral cat colonies do not bury their faeces because they want to send out a signal that they are the boss and that this is their territory. Accordingly, when a cat buries her faeces she is doing it because she feels subservient and is playing out a subservient role to us, the caretaker. Somet

Why does my cat rub my leg?

Why does my cat rub my leg? This was a very common question about cat behaviour. People may still ask the question and the answer is quite straightforward, so I will keep it short. Cats also rub against objects to leave scent to make the place more friendly. Photo by Drab Makyo When a cat rubs against our legs she transfers some of her scent that is on her to us and some of our scent is transferred to her. This is called “sent exchange". So why do cats do it? Well, cats depend upon their sense of smell far more than we do. If the place smells friendly it is friendly. For us, if the place looks friendly, it is friendly, or it usually is and we use our eyes to ascertain that, whereas the cat uses her nose. Perhaps the cat uses her nose because it is more sensitive than her eyes. The domestic cat's nose is far more sensitive than ours but the domestic cat's eyesight is less good than ours. The cat deposits her scent on us to make the environment in which she lives m