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Showing posts from May, 2014

Rare Cat Breeds

Rare Cat Breeds If you click on the link immediately above you will be taken to a comprehensive page about rare cat breeds.  The assessment of what is and what isn't a rare cat breed is based upon common sense principles.  I have focused on all the mainstream cat breeds and more besides.  However, it is impossible to include every single cat breed on the page in question because over the years you find out more about cat breeds and that means updating the original page which you don't do and so on and so forth. There are, on my assessment about 104 breeds of cat .  You often see people quoting a much lower figure but actually the figure is probably higher than my estimation.  There are, though, only about 40 or so mainstream cat breeds and these are recognised by the Cat Fanciers' Association. Many cat breeds are never developed to full fruition.  They simply stayed at the early developmental stage and then fizzled out.  It could be said that these are the rarest cat

The Elusive Caucasian Leopard

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Other names for this subspecies of leopard are: Central Asian leopard, North Persian leopard, Persian leopard and West Asian leopard.  Quite an array of names and talking about names, the scientific name of this species of wild cat is in a confused state apparently but this is what it is currently listed as: Panthera pardus ssp. saxicolor . This subspecies is the largest of all the leopards. The IUCN Red List states that the total population across all countries where it exists is an estimated 871-1290.  Let's remind ourselves that these are estimates and I'm surprised that the figures have not been rounded up or down. Caucasian Leopard in Armenia. Camera trap video screenshot I was reading an article in The Times newspaper today about the Caucasian leopard.  It is written by Simon Barnes. He went to Armenia to investigate the state of play of this elusive large wild cat subspecies in Armenia, which is one of the countries within its distribution.  The other countri

Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter: Reports It Is Dangerous

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There are reports that Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter is dangerous to cats.  It just needs to be flagged up at this stage. There are countless other alternatives so if there is even a small chance that it is dangerous I believe that people should stop using it until we have conclusive evidence one way or the other. On Facebook, there is a page about this cat litter.   Kelly Sanford , says she tried this litter recently. She says it is extremely dusty and is so light it clings to her cat's fur because of static electricity on the fur attracting the tiny particles of cat litter.  Then of course it can be licked off and ingested. She says that at the moment there has been no response to these allegations about the litter from the manufacturers. Nina Minster states quite categorically that people should not use this cat litter. She says people should stop using it immediately and throw it away. Nina belongs to a group of cat lovers with 450 members and she has learned through her

Buildings Second To Free Ranging Cats For Bird Mortality

The experts have spoken.  They say that buildings, particularly glass in buildings, are ranked second to free ranging pet cats as the cause of bird mortality in the USA. It's all based on estimates, however.  There is no solid scientific study about the mortality rate of birds hitting buildings particularly windows.  But the estimates for the number of birds killed in America by buildings is from 100,000,000 to 1,000,000,000.  Let me repeat there is no solid scientific basis on which to base these figures and therefore they are estimates. Estimates should not be converted to "facts". They are often wildly out. "there currently exist no U.S. estimates of building-collision mortality that are based on systematic analysis of multiple data sources." As for cats the experts say that the free ranging pet cat kill about 4 times that number, which is quite a shocking figure but we really have to remind ourselves that, as yet, there is no nationwide, conclusive stud

Domestic Cats Eat 15% Less During Summer

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I don't think that this is startling news but nonetheless it is interesting that a formal study confirms what is perhaps common sense knowledge. Cat in Winter. Eats more. Photo Charlotte Claeson . A study reported on the PLOS ONE website assesses differences in food intake in 38 adult colony cats of various ages and genders.  Food intake was recorded on a daily basis and the mean daily intake for each calendar month was worked out.  The study took place in the South of France. There were in fact 3 periods of different levels of food intake.  Food intake was at its lowest for the cats during the summer months e.g. June to August and food intake was the greatest during the months of late autumn and winter e.g. October to February. An intermediate level of intake took place in the spring e.g. March to May and early autumn, September. Peaks and troughs in both the temperature and daylight length coincided with food intake peaks and troughs. The study concluded that food

Serval, Lynx, Bobcat And Asian Leopard Cat As Pets

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Here are some quick notes from a very good book called “Legacy of the Cat" edited by Gloria Stephens about wild cats as pets Servals may be kept as pets she says but only if they have been raised as cubs.  I disagree with her but that isn't the point.  I would like to add that you have to expect a high energy cat and a serval might get into situations which harms himself.  They will almost certainly spray around your home causing mayhem.  The household should be made cat proof and any toxic chemicals removed.  This includes pesticides of course which are inherently toxic.  Gloria advocates declawing of servals.  I confess I despise that advice.  Sorry Gloria you are wrong but people always declaw their serval pets.  Gloria says: If they have not been declawed, the claws can destroy your furniture or, worse yet, hurt a human while the cat is “at play" Yes, I agree with the damage because this is quite a big cat but I disagree with the declawing and in which case it i

Accept and Accommodate Normal Feline Behaviour for Successful Cat Ownership

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Normal Feline Behaviour – Our Response As regards cat ownership - which is better described as cat guardianship or cat caretaking - perhaps the most important thing a person can do is to understand what normal feline behaviour is and then accept it and furthermore accommodate it, by which I mean ensure that the cat can express normal feline behaviour within the environment provided by the owner. It is pretty much as simple and as straightforward as that. It all starts with understanding the fundamentals of cat behaviour and respecting the domestic cat.  A person respects the domestic cat by letting the cat behave normally.  It's common sense because if any sentient being including human beings are prevented from expressing their natural desires, motivations and behaviours this will inevitably lead to stresses and abnormal behaviour together with possible health problems. If you click on the link above you will see that I have referred to two central aspects of normal cat be

Cat Hair: White Is the Absence Of Pigment

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For a cat and perhaps for other creatures white is the absence of pigmentation in the hair strands. The hair is not white because there is white pigmentation in the hair.  There is no pigmentation in the hair strands.  In short, white is the absence of colour in this instance whereas in an absolute sense white is the merging of all the colours of the visible spectrum. I think that's quite a nice contrast. Natalie - a non-pedigree show cat. Photo copyright Helmi Flick. You would have thought that if there is no pigmentation in each hair strand, each strand of hair would be transparent but clearly not.  Therefore, the un-pigmented hair strand must be white or opaque to a certain extent and very light in colour. The reason why there is no pigment in the hair of white cats is because cells which are created very early on during the develop of the foetus inside the womb called melanoblasts - which turn into melanocytes (which are pigment producing cells) - do not migrate from

Cat Associations Have a Household Pet Class

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So-called ordinary cats, random bred cats, moggies, the sort of cat that you and I look after can be shown at cat shows.  With respect to The International Cat Association, the Household Pet Class is for cats that are not registered in the Championship Class. Calico cat (Tortie and white) random bred show cat. Photo copyright Helmi Flick See CURTIS a champion Household Pet  - a tabby cat . This class is open to any cat that is registered as a Household Pet and which is altered meaning spayed or neutered. It seems to me that this class of show cats are treated slightly differently because the rules are probably a little bit more relaxed.  It is almost as if they are amateurs while pedigree purebred cats are the professionals.  I may be wrong in making that analogy but that is the way it seems to me. These cats may be of any colour and pattern and there is no particular appearance.  It is wide open which makes it interesting. It should be said, however, that there are some

Fat Cat Art

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Fat Cat Art is the creation of Russian artist Svetlana Petrova who inherited her mother's spoilt, overweight, ginger, tabby cat when she died in 2008. The cat's name is Zarathustra. Svetlana was grief stricken on her mother's death but after 2 years she decided to be creative again and in doing so decided to use digital photography and Photoshop to embed photographs of her fat, ginger cat within well-known paintings by the masters such as Marc Chagall, Titian and Leonardo da Vinci: I'm not sure I can make much in the way of comment about this.  It is what it is. It may be popular but it is the first time I have seen it as far as I can recall and I've been surfing the Internet searching from cat information and cat images for about 7 years, so I don't think it is that well publicised or known. I don't think it is that good either to be perfectly honest.  It doesn't do anything to me.  It doesn't get my juices flowing or rock my boat. The on

BBC News: “steep rise in the UK dog population over the past two years”

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BBC News: “canines now exceeding cats for the first time in 21 years” The BBC tells us that there has been a steep rise in the number of dogs in the UK over the past 2 years. The Dog Trust informs us that this may be due to the number of celebrities who keep fancy dogs and which are, presumably, publicised on television etc. or in newspapers.  In order to meet demand there appears to be an increase in the number of imported dogs into the UK perhaps from Europe, mainly. Oscar on a walk . Photo by Mark Cartwright The area in the UK where there are the greatest number of households which have a dog is the north-east of England.  Second, based on this criteria, is Wales.  In Wales 35% of households have a dog. In the UK, generally, 25% of households have a dog and for the cats the figure is 19%.  There is an even number of cats and dogs in the UK overall at 8,500,000 each. So the BBC tells us that there is, at the moment, a rise in the number of dogs in the UK.  What might that t

Are You Unable To Prevent Your Cat Becoming Overweight?

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You might find it extremely difficult to prevent your cat becoming overweight. It can be difficult because we try and please our cat.  It makes us happy.  We don't want to upset our cat and cats can be very demanding about food.  You get into a cycle of overfeeding because it's easier and more convenient and it keeps your cat quiet! Chunky -- Photo by Cats Protection A lot of people overfeed their cat. I could do it myself but I consistently remind myself to not allow it to happen. However, the owners of a cat called Chunky admitted that they were unable to help their cat lose weight.  In effect, they admitted that they were unable to control their cat's weight and keep it down.  That is quite an admission because it is an admission of serious failure in cat caretaking from a health point of view. Chunky is of a suitable name for this ginger tabby cat.  He weighs 22 pounds (10 kg).  He is about twice the weight that he should be. Chunky is currently being cared fo

Tackling The Top 3 Domestic Cat Problems

Tackling The Top 3 Domestic Cat Problems In this instance, I have taken the 3 top domestic cat problems as those problems which caused the most relinquishments of domestic cats from homes in the USA.  In other words the following three domestic cat problems caused the greatest number of cats to be given up to shelters.  The shortlist will surprise you because these are not problems at all really. Too many cats at home owner allergies  moving Every one of them can be resolved fairly easily.  Certainly the most common cat problem causing abandonment - too many cats at home - can be resolved by simply not allowing cats to reproduce or not adopting too many cats.  It is a simple and straightforward as that. Up to about 10% of the population is allergic to cats to varying degrees and many of these people love cats or would love to look after cats so there is a terrible dilemma for many people.   There are things that a person can do to minimise the impact of an allergy to the dome

Andean Mountain Cat: Radio Telemetry

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The Andean Cat Alliance are involved in trapping expeditions in north-west Argentina.  These expeditions started in 2011 (September).  The trapping campaigns have allowed this organisation, who are concerned with the conservation of this rare cat, to radio tag four Andean Mountain Cats and four Pampas cats. These cats live in the same area. Despite the fact that there were technical difficulties, information from the radio collars is being collected providing details of the cats' movements and habitat use. Initial information indicates that both these species of wild cat spend a lot of time in rocky outcrops but also much more time than was expected in open scrublands.

Man Flies From Taiwan To S. Korea With His Black Cat Locked In His Main Luggage

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Yes, this guy locked his living black cat into his main luggage which goes into the hold of the aircraft and then flew from Taiwan to Seoul, S. Korea. He got the cat to South Korea and then airport staff (customs?) discovered the cat in the luggage via x-ray whereupon the cat was sent back to Taiwan and placed into quarantine for 180 days. The man was fined. The cat was probably lucky to survive because there must have been a lack of oxygen problem. The cat could well have suffocated.  Cats are good survivors. We know that. It makes me wonder why this person put this cat through the ordeal.  We don't know whether the cat belonged to him or not.  Once again we could make a fair presumption that the cat does belong to him.  In which case he must be the stupidest cat owner in the history of cat ownership.  Perhaps not. A lot of people do very odd things but you would have thought that he would have considered the dangers of locking his cat into a suitcase on a 2+ hour fligh

Are You Considered By Some to Be a Crazy Cat Lover or Animal Hugger?

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Jackson Galaxy Considered by Some to be a Crazy Animal Hugger If you are a young man and you love cats and perhaps you love all animals then you might be considered to be a crazy cat lover or crazy animal hugger by some people.  Jackson Galaxy says that he is considered to be a crazy animal hugger by some people in the USA (click on the link above to read more about that).  He is not your archetypal cat lover based on appearance which is why he breaks down barriers. He breaks down the stereotypical image of a person who likes animals and cats. This is his great asset I think. Cat lovers are creative people. Poster by Ruth aka Kattaddorra What I mean is his appearance is his great asset because when you combine his appearance with the fact that he is a well-known cat behaviourist and “animal hugger" then you have a potent mix which is highly effective and which draws people in who would otherwise not necessary be that interested in animal welfare. The stereotype is that o

Cat's Cradle - why "cat" is in it!

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Cat's Cradle is a game played by two people with string.  In the UK in the mid-1800s it was played by children. It was called cat's, catch or scratch cradle. Figures are created through the way the string shapes up in the hands of the players.  I have never played the game.  I don't see the shapes of figures in the pictures that I've seen but perhaps I'm not using my imagination enough! It seems peculiar that the word "cat" is in the title to this game. The word "cat" may be a corruption of the word "cratch" from the phrase"cratch cradle", which is also called "manger cradle", in which the infant Saviour was laid.  If this is correct is a clear case of a word being corrupted during use but I see no connection between the word "cat" and this game based on this corruption neither do I see a connection with manger cradle except in the general shape formed. Some of the figures formed by the string may r

Shakespeare Writes About Cats

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Is this the only time Shakespeare mentions the cat in his works? Quite possibly, but I don't believe so...more to follow perhaps. The Rape of Lucrece (1594) is a poem by William Shakespeare about Lucretia. This is a quote from two lines in this narrative poem: Yet, foul night-working cat, he doth but dally, While in his hold-fast foot the weak mouse panteth: He portrays the domestic and stray cat as a tormentor. He seems to dislike the domestic cat because he uses the word "foul". He portrays the cat as a night stalking, sinister creature although I presume the lines are referring to a person. That is my impression. We read a lot about the possibility that Shakespeare is not the true author of works attributed to him. So perhaps Shakespeare liked cats! On this account he did not. In the days of the late 1500s the domestic cat was less domestic and more a community cat. There were probably many sick stray cats on the streets looking mangy. Sad days for the cat.

Internet Writers Waffle For SEO Reasons

It can be difficult to write a concise compact article for a website because it might be too short for search engine optimisation (SEO) reasons.  Sometimes a writer might simply wish to answer a question in an article.  The answer to the question may take one line of text.  That would not be enough for search engine optimisation reasons. Sometimes the nub of a news story can be stated in a couple of lines or in a paragraph of text.  But a paragraph of text amounts to about 50 or so words and that is not enough for search engine optimisation reasons. Classically, the average Internet article may be something between 300 to 1,500 words averaging about 500 to 700 words, perhaps. Writers feel compelled, or are told by their editors, to write articles of around 500+ words. If the topic that they're writing about really demands far less words then a lot of what they write will be padding --- what I refer to as waffle. A lot of Internet readers want to find the answer to a questio

What percentage of orange tabby cats are female?

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What percentage of orange tabby cats are female? Is seems that the answer is 25% although the sources of this information, two websites - Yahoo and the other Catster - are not the greatest sources for what I would call scientific information.  We really need hard science on this subject. Sasha - flame pointed Birman? See tabby M mark on forehead Photo by Alan However, there is very little information about the prevalence of any type of domestic cat coat.   You will see searches on the Internet for percentages of black cats and white cats for example but no real answers from scientists.  I guess the scientists aren't interested in the same sort of things that people are interested in! If you click on the link above you will be able to read a bit more about this subject.

Egyptian Mau Outcrossed To Feral Middle Eastern Cats

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We are told by the secretary to a Cat Fanciers' Association sanctioned show (Golden Triangle Cat Fanciers all breed cat show) in Canada that the Egyptian Mau cat was so rare 20 years ago that problems developed in the breed because the gene pool was too narrow. What the person is referring to, I believe, is that if the foundation cats are few and all future cats of the same breed are bred from these few foundation cats you can get inbreeding and with inbreeding you can get health problems because recessive genes that have health consequences come to the fore. The Bengal cat has few foundation cats causing health problems in the breed such as HCM and Bengal Nose (I would argue that but many will disagree with me). Egyptian Mau at a cat show  - not the cat show referred to in this post. When inbreeding becomes a problem breeders have to outcross to a totally fresh cat or cats that are not part of the breeding lines to introduce fresh genes into the breeding programmes. The

Russia: Woman took a nine-month lioness on a train as a domestic cat.

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Young lioness Imagine a train trundling through the Ural Mountains in the middle of Russia and on this train is a woman who had brought along with her her pet lioness. She had treated her 9-month-old lioness as a domestic cat and brought her along into a train compartment believing that she could cope with everything as normal.  She couldn't manage - but it surprises me that she actually got this far in the first place.  Why didn't someone stop her and ask a few questions? Anyway she couldn't cope because the lioness became too playful!  I wonder what the other passengers thought? The lioness weighs 50 kg and the transport police say that the cat was not muzzled.  It is the first time that I have heard of a lioness being muzzled and treated as a domestic cat on a train. The Transport Department of the Interior Ministry sedated the lion and the lion was handed over to an experienced person to look after her. I'm not sure how the whole bizarre episode panned o

Ringworm At Animal Shelter

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Ringworm in cats is a bit of a nightmare to be honest. I know a bit about it myself because I got it from my cat. He keeps giving it to me when he rubs my legs before I feed him in the morning. He appears not to have ringworm himself but he must have it somewhere. His veterinarian did not diagnose ringworm in my cat but I think he's got it although you can't see it. Perhaps he has not got it and I got it from somewhere else but it is very transmittable from domestic cat to cat owner. Photo by Christine Myaskovsky What got me thinking about the difficulty of dealing with ringworm (and it can be hard to get rid of) is a recent story in the Essex Chronicle in which they report a ringworm outbreak in an RSPCA animal shelter. The shelter is near Braintree. This had to close the shelter down and treat every animal in the shelter causing massive disruption. As mentioned, perhaps the greatest difficulty in dealing with ringworm is that it is highly contagious. You may

Merge All Your Credit Cards Into One

This is a mobile phone (cell phone) App which merges all your credit cards into one card and when you pay you can select the card you want to pay with.  And if you lose your card you can track it using your iPhone as long as you are within Bluetooth wireless range (as I understand it). I think it's going to make a big difference to the way people use their debit and credit cards.  It will probably lead to other things and the gradual disappearance of debit and credit cards altogether so you pay with your iPhone. You can see a gradual shift away from cash, cards (plastic) and any other tangible money object that you can hold, towards totally electronic transactions using a mobile phone. That is the way I see things going and it may happen in the not too distant future.  The Bitcoin is based on a similar concept where there is no actual tangible money. The problem with all this new technology based upon iPhones is all-important security.  How secure are these transactions?

Cat's Canine Teeth

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As the cat has a shortened face there is also a shortened jaw with less space for teeth and as a consequence cats have fewer teeth than other carnivores; usually 28 or 30 compared with 42 for dogs and bears. A cat's teeth are specialised for different tasks.  There are the incisors which are the small teeth at the front of the mouth, used for holding and nibbling (you will see a cat nibbling his fur when grooming). Cat's canine teeth. See note at base of page There are the rear molars which move against each other like the blades of scissors for slicing and cutting.  Then there are the large strong and somewhat flattened canines (the fangs you see on either side of the front of the upper jaw) which are used for stabbing and delivering the killing bite usually to the nape of the neck of small prey if we are talking about the domestic cat. It is said that the cat's canine teeth fit between the neck vertebrae of prey like a "key in a lock" (Paul Leyhausen).

Burmilla (notes on the breed)

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The Burmilla  was created by crossing the Chinchilla Persian and the foreign Burmese.  Apparently, it is not recognised in North America (this may have changed).  Various international cat registries use the name for the shaded Asians. The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) consider the breed as part of the Asian cat family . Angelina. This type of tabby M mark is typical of the Burmilla. I don't have the photographer's name - sorry. Please come forward. The Burmilla has the medium-foreign body type of the Burmese and the colour of the chinchilla silver Persian.  The cat comes in either the shaded or chinchilla pattern, in 4 colours: black, blue, chocolate and lilac. The Burmilla is a shorthaired cat with a short, dense coat that feels like “raw silk at the tips".  There are markings around the lips, the green eyes, and the brick-red nose.  There is a distinct tabby “M" mark on the forehead.  Although this mark does take various forms in tabby cats.

How Healthy Is That Kitten or Puppy On the Website?

How Healthy Is That Kitten or Puppy On the Website? I'm referring to individual people who want to relinquish their cat.  I'm referring to people who have a cat or who have let their cat breed and therefore have kittens as well and they want to offload the kittens.  These people sometimes advertise their cats and kittens on websites which carry adverts for all sorts of things.  They advertise "free to a good home". That sort of ad is to be avoided. We have to be careful if we wish to adopt a kitten using an advert on one of these websites because we have no idea what sort of cat owner we are dealing with.  If they are a good cat owner then the cat that they wish to get rid of is going to be quite possibly in good health and vaccinated etc but if not you may be adopting a cat which is unhealthy and which will give you a lot of upset and possibly high expense with vet bills. Sometimes shelters advertise their cats and dogs online from their own website.  That is a

Tara, Heroine Cat Who Saved Boy Opens Baseball Game

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Tara, Heroine Cat Who Saved Boy Opens Baseball Game I am not the only person who thinks it is not right to turn Tara into another celebrity cat, which is what appears to be happening here as she is brought out onto a baseball field to throw the first pitch. Tara is the cat who pushed a viscous biting dog of her human companion (a four-year-old boy) by charging at the dog and chasing him off . Without wanting to be a kill-joy I think the best way to care for Tara now is to let her behave normally and not to carry her out to the middle of a noisy stadium which will probably scare her and then pretend that she throws the first pitch. Most domestic cats don't like this sort of thing. Anything different from the normal routine, especially something noisy with lots of people, is normally not good for a domestic cat. What kind of reward is this for her great behaviour? I suppose money was involved. Celebrity cats don't do anything until the owner receives a payment in com

Horizontal Transmission of Feline Diseases

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Horizontal transmission means that a disease is transferred from one individual cat to another or others as opposed to vertical transmission when the disease is transferred from a mother to her offspring. Infection can be transmitted both when a cat is going through the acute phase of a disease and is ill or during the incubation period before the cat becomes ill.  In addition, recovered cats can be carriers.  They are healthy but spread infection. Horizontal transmission can be by direct cat-to-cat contact or via an inanimate objects or through the air. In direct contact a part of an animal makes contact with the part of another animal such as when one cat grooms another with his tongue.   Fighting is another example .  Disease can be transmitted through sexual intercourse in cats. This is not a "significant route of infection in the UK" 1 . Contact via a cat fight. Photo by ilovebutter In indirect contact two or more animals come into contact with the same inte

Definition of Feral Cat

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Definition of Feral Cat This is a definition by a lady, Dee, who lives in America and who knows a lot about feral cats because for many years she has cared for them. Here definition is practical and pragmatic. What I would call semi-feral cats. A TRUE FERAL is completely unapproachable. Except for the dominant male of the colony, the remainder will retreat until a caretaker steps “out of bounds”. A FERAL is unapproachable also, but will remain in the open unless threatened. A SEMI-FERAL will allow a certain amount of close distance but can be easily spooked. These are very workable and the ones that I most bring home and work hardest with. The STRAYS IN THE WILD are those that were domesticated at one time but have been out long enough that they have become skittish. They’re a piece of cake to turn back around. The DOMESTICATED speaks for itself. Below is a definition by a scientist, Mr Slater who writes in a superb book about the domestic and feral cat which is entitl

Young Deer Forms Instant Friendship with Kitten

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Injured Recovering Deer Meets Kitten and Washes Her If, like me, you are one of those people who likes to see interspecies companionship, then you will like this video. There are actually many videos like this one so in that way it is not special but for me this sort of instant, interspecies friendship is special because it highlights the difficulties that people have in their relationship with people of different cultures and people from different countries. It appears that the deer is recovering from injury and is being cared for by the person who owns the house where the deer is.  You can see that there is an injury to the deer's leg. It also appears that the kitten wandered up to the bath and in no time at all the deer's mothering instincts took over and she started to wash the little kitten.  Initially the kitten is unsure but quickly begins to like it, presenting her head to be washed. A friendship has been created.

Cats Are Aliens

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You can see an alien cat entering a flying saucer floating around the hallway of a home on earth. It's really exciting. It's dramatic. It's really weird but it all makes sense because cats are aliens.  We don't understand them. To a lot of people cats are indeed aliens.  To a lot of other people they are best friends.  Some people fully understand the mind of a domestic cat while others, well....they just don't have a clue and often people who don't understand the domestic cat also dislike the domestic cat. In general, what people don't understand they can be frightened of, and what people are frightened of they want to kill - to get rid of it so that they are no longer frightened. You could argue that a lot of people who like to shoot at cats are frightened of cats.  Perhaps the cure for these cat shooters to get them to understand cats. It is actually quite easy to learn to understand the domestic cat.  You just have to respect the cat , provide

Cats Taken to a Veterinarian Less Often Than Dogs

This is quite a well-known statistic and a rather worrying one, actually.  In America cat owners take their cats to the veterinarian much less than dog owners take their dogs to the veterinarian which on a crude interpretation means that dog owners care for their dogs more than cat owners care for their cats! I don't think it is as simple as that however.  It may be about the fact that dogs are more in your face and more needy and possibly more immediately connected to their “masters", while cats are more independent and possibly hide discomfort more than dogs. As at 2001 more domestic cats were kept as pets than domestic dogs but despite that statistic dog owners made over 117,000,000 visits to the veterinarian, while cat owners made 70,000,000 visits to a veterinarian.  Quite a disparity. However, the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association in 2004 reported that cat owners increased the number of visits to the vet from 1.6 in 2000 to 2.3 visits in 2002.  This m

Swedish Insure Their Pets While Americans Don't

This is a very short post just to mention that in Sweden 57% of pet owners ensure their pets while in England 15% do it but in America about 1% of cat owners and 2% of dog owners, or 3% in total, had health insurance for their pets. The source is the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association 2004. What do you make of that?  Insurance is about risk.  People who are more cautious take out more insurance.  People who are prepared to take more risks don't take out insurance unless it is obligatory.  Some people figure out that paying for pet insurance works are more expensive than simply paying as you go when you visit a veterinarian.  Of course, it depends on your cat and how healthy he or she is and there is the risk element. As Americans are a nation where there are more purebred pedigree cats than anywhere else and as pedigreed cats are possibly more likely to need to see a vet than random bred cats, you would have thought that Americans would ensure their cats more often

Do Cats Sulk?

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Do Cats Sulk? No, cats don't sulk.  I don't believe they do.  I don't believe that cats have these sorts of emotions. Sulking requires resentment and a simmering protest at being wronged or scolded, or punished.  Cats don't harbour resentment or go on protest marches or become surly and difficult as a way of protesting against the treatment meted out to them by their human caretaker.  You never see that sort of behaviour from a cat. Photo by Nick Hewson What you will see in response to scolding or punishment is possibly some confusion, some nervousness and anxiety. A cat may go off to a quiet corner after being scalded but that is not an indication that the cat is sulking but more an indication that the cat is getting out of the way and possibly hiding. Increased or heightened forms of punishment will end up with the cat becoming defensively aggressive. Once again the domestic cat is not responding with sulking but in an entirely different manner, the manner o

Rock Climbing Cat. Good or Bad?

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Rock Climbing Cat. Good or Bad? A man in America likes rock climbing and trekking.  He's a good guy.  He adopted a rescue cat: a little black kitten that was about to be euthanised at a rescue centre.  The little black kitten came over to him and picked out Craig.  Craig adopted her and called her Millie.  Now they appear to be inseparable because Millie follows her rock climbing guardian onto the rock face; she climbs rock faces with him. Millie rock climbing - I have taken the liberty of publishing this photo here. If there is a problem with that please leave a comment and I’ll respond promptly. This is charming and it is interesting but it also looks dangerous to me.  I don't know how dangerous it is.  Craig says that Millie has sometimes fallen but he has caught her.  He also says that Millie sometimes wanders off and does silly things.  Perhaps Craig is doing silly things in taking her up the rock face with him. But perhaps Craig is not taking Millie up the rock

Father Shoots Dog And Himself At Son’s Graveside

Father Shoots Dog And Himself At Son’s Graveside If  you want to kill yourself then just stick to yourself and don't take any of your pets or children or anything else with you.  Keep it simple.  Killing yourself is a very personal decision!  It is the most personal decision anyone can make.  It is also a terminal decision.  It is the last decision you will make. A person who wishes to commit suicide does not have the right to shoot his dog before he shoots himself to satisfy a belief that both will be transported to the other side, the afterlife. In this instance a distraught Mr Hinchcliffe, aged 52, wanted to be with his son again.  His son died in a car accident 8 months ago.  They were inseparable.  He couldn't bear to live without his son.  They did lots of things together with their dog, Jake.  They were threesome, a trio.  There were always together and they were great companions. So when one of them died, one of the remaining wanted to join him in death.  That I c