Monday 28 July 2014

Can you overdose a cat on flea medication?

Can you overdose a cat on flea medication? Yes, is the short answer. Flea meds are poisonous. We are told to handle them with care yet we put it on our cat's skin. Does that strike you as strange?

It is also dangerous to interchange flea medication for cats and dogs. Never do it. It can kill the cat as can too much cat flea meds on a cat.

This page explains:
  1. Flea treatments can kill
  2. Dog flea treatments kill cats

A Week in the Life of Wanderers' Rest Animal Shelter, Canastota NY

It has been one of those weeks at the Wanderers' Rest animal shelter. It probably isn't all that different from normal though.

Firstly, a lady saw someone throw a garbage bag from the window of a moving car. You can guess what was inside the back, can't you? Yes, you're right, the bag contained 12 kittens and cats, of which 2 had died.  The lady who watched this despicable act recovered the bag and found homes for 5 of the cats. She gave the remaining 5 to the shelter. We read quite a few stories about kittens and cats being thrown out of the window of moving cars. It is totally beyond my comprehension how anybody can do it. The people must be totally desensitised to any form of decent behaviour.

On the same day a woman who appears to be a serial cat hoarder received a visit from animal control who remove 15 cats from her home. The year before 20 cats were removed from her home.  Eight cats remained. No doubt something similar will transpire in another 12 months. The humane educator at the shelter says something that we probably already know, namely that cat hoarding is a mental illness so there is not much point being very critical of the cat hoarding lady. She needs treatment rather than punishment.

In the same week on July 18 a dog control officer discovered a cage in bushes outside his home. Inside the cage were 12 cats. Somebody appears to have abandoned the 12 cats in a rather peculiar way but in an equally abusive and callous way.

The week appears to have been a bit unusual due to the nature of the abandonments but I suspect not that unusual because the shelter housed almost 1000 cats over the past year and about 600 dogs. They are stretched to capacity and make the usual plea, “We need foster homes desperately".

Source story.

Sunday 27 July 2014

Florida cat dials 911 and gets adopted

By Elisa

This is the story of Zeke, an office cat at Cat Depot, which is a rescue and adoption facility on 17th Street in Sarasota, Florida.
Tina and Zoe adopted Zeke

Zeke was hanging out in the office this past Monday when he decided to be proactive about finding a forever family. So the 3-year-old did what he's known for-playing with gadgets in the Cat Depot office. Unfortunately, the phone is no exception.

Here's a short clip of what happened

Sarasota dispatch picked when Zeke placed the call, and were concerned when no one said anything. Fearing an emergency of some kind at the rescue facility, dispatch called the front desk at Cat Depot. A volunteer stated she had no idea who had placed the call. They found Zeke snoozing away, stretched out across the phone, which was off the hook.

Lynn Rasys with Cat Depot says this incident ranks right up there with one of the craziest things to ever happen there. She also confirmed Zeke had been known to call outside numbers on his own, as well as hang up on callers while Lynn was still holding a conversation.

Tina and Zoe, a nice couple who heard Zeke wanted a home badly enough to start calling around on his own, adopted the sweet cat.


Saturday 26 July 2014

Money Stolen from Clarksburg Cat Shelter

The Clarksburg Cat Shelter rely on volunteers to run the shelter and their store. They rely on donations from the public to care for the 60 or more cats in their care. It is all for the good.

Yet, someone, totally devoid of scruples decided to steal the donation box on their counter.

From now on they bolt down the donation box. Good isn't it? Modern life I guess.

Siamese Miniature Cat

The Toybob is a Siamese miniature cat with a short tail. The short tail for a cat is called a "bobtail". This very rare cat breed originates in Russia. Miniature cats are rare anyway so is particularly rare to see a Siamese cat with a bobtail which is also a very small cat. This cat breed ranges in weight from 2-5 pounds fully grown.

Annie - photo by Giselle who lives with Annie.
 Annie the cat in the photograph is about 4 pounds in weight.  This qualifies Annie as a miniature cat.

You can read more about this cat breed on this page.

Siamese Cat Cartoon

Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese cat is a Canadian-American animated television series.   It is also educational.  It aired with PBS Kids.  In this television series the action is set in about 1840 during the Quing Dynasty.   The series is about family obligations and loyalty.

Sagwa lives in the palace of a magistrate in Hong Kong before it was colonised.  Sagwa is part of a colony of cats living in the Palace who have the ability to write with their tails.

The Siamese cats are involved in adventures incorporating moral lessons to educate children which is typical of children's shows.  Chinese culture is also on display which helps to raise awareness of an alternative culture.

See cartoon cats for stuff.

Choupette Lagerfeld's Cat is Not a Siamese

Choupette is described as a Siamese cat.  She is arguably the most spoilt cat in the world. Apparently, her blue eyes inspired Karl Lagerfeld (her owner) to use sapphire blue in his collections for Chanel.  The blue eyes of a Siamese cat should be sapphire blue.

However, the coat of the Siamese cat is described by the breed standard as as short, fine textured, glossy.  Lying close to body (Cat Fanciers' Association - CFA).

It is clear from the photographs of this darling flame pointed cat that her coat is too long and too dense and in fact too upright to be the coat of the Siamese cat. Her coat is more that of a Balinese cat which is the long-haired version of the Siamese cat.

The picture on this page clearly indicates the type of coat that this cat has and it is completely different to what the breed standard states. The Siamese cat coat is very silky and close lying to the body. This is noticeable and quite a feature of this popular cat breed.

Friday 25 July 2014

What An Animal Gas Chamber Looks Like

What An Animal Gas Chamber Looks Like

This is a cross-post to an article I wrote a while ago but Google is not picking it up.
"..During this process the animals are put into a small box with many other animals (sometimes up to 30. The gas is turned on they are scared and cramped as this gas fills their lungs it starts burning their insides and eyes. They then begin to panic and cry for help as they bleed from their cavities, vomit and defecate all over (literally) and finally after enduring this for several minutes they take their last breath... As all of this is going on they are usually fully conscious." (Olga's email to me - thank you Olga)

To think that animal shelter volunteers and staff deliberately place dogs and cats into these horror machines to kill them in a way that is for me reminiscent of the Holocaust.

Sorry to mention that but it has the same flavour about it and I don't see why we can't mention it in relation to animals as well as people. I don't know how widespread gas chambers are at shelters today in 2014 but at one time they were not that uncommon in the USA.

There has been a cutback in their numbers towards more humane methods but very late in the day because after all gas chambers are cheaper. You just stuff the animals into the chamber, let them writhe around in fear and terror in their own vomit and faeces and when it is all over you drag out the corpses and stick them in a bin and hose down the gas chamber, I guess.

That's the human race and their relationship with domestic animals at the dirty end, the end you don't want to see and don't get told about -- the end of the operation that is brushed under the carpet and conveniently forgotten.

Fish Pets Cat Health Care Tips

If you are one of many thousands of people who has typed the above words into a Google search, I presume that you are looking for tips about general pet healthcare while focusing on fish and cats.  I don't know much about fish but I do know a lot about cats.

I also know that the most important aspect of pet healthcare and looking after a companion animal is the preparation that a person does before making the adoption.

The preparation is about ensuring that the person has sufficient knowledge about the companion animal they wish to adopt and, as importantly, sufficient funding to care for the companion animal throughout the life of the animal.  Abandonments should be ruled out.  Abandoning a companion animal to a shelter for example is obviously very bad for the health and welfare of that animal on a number of levels. Giving up on a pet through abandonment or relinquishment can end up with the death of that pet which is the worst kind of animal welfare.

I don't think enough people research what looking after cat entails before making the adoption.  The casual adoption of a domestic cat is the one which most often leads to a casual abandonment.  The committed and careful adopter is far more likely to look after their pet throughout the life of the pet.

If you want to find out about cats who can go to the main website.  It is full of pages about cat welfare.  Please consider things carefully.  There is a page on cat health facts which is written in a simplified style targeted at children but adults can read it to and I think it explains the point that I wish to make.

One of the greatest issues is the cost of looking after a pet.  It may surprise people to read that it can cost around $15,000 (USD) over the lifetime of a cat to look after her properly.  Do you have the projected funds to support that expense?

People who do not work out the cost before adopting are often the people most likely to resist taking their cat to a veterinarian.  This is counter to good cat welfare.  It is the exact opposite.  It causes a lot of suffering in a cat at least potentially.  A lot of cat owners spend a lot of time searching the Internet for answers about cat health.  Looking for a free service when to be honest the only way to ensure a cat is healthy is through good observation backed up by some cat health knowledge together with a willingness to take your cat to the veterinarian promptly when required.

What about fish?  Those who know, say that the most important thing to do before setting up your aquarium is to make sure that you are prepared.  Once again this is about ensuring that you have at least some sound, basic knowledge about caring for fish in an aquarium before embarking on the project.  It means making sure that you have all the equipment and the tools you need to set up the tank.  There are many websites which can assist a person.

One interesting aspect of this search term is that fish and cats are in the same term.  It may be inappropriate to keep both fish and cats as pets because for the obvious reason that fish are prey to a cat or a least potentially they are prey.

Even if the cat cannot get at the finish you are not sure whether the fish are going to feel anxious about the presence of a cat.  That may sound absurd to some people but scientists are gradually learning that fish have a higher intelligence than once thought.  They have decent memories for example.  How do you know they don't have emotions?  They may become stressed and anxious.  I would certainly research that subject.  Stress in any animal can seriously affect health.

Laser Declawing (the truth)

By Kirsten Doub, DVM State Director of the Paw Project-Utah.

Paw Project-Utah has been doing paw surgery on cats with fragments. Clearly these cats with “pebbles in their shoes”, fragments of a mutilated bone that they have to walk on, and nails regrowing under the skin are in pain. The P3 fragments are left behind when the declaw is performed with a pair of unsterile Resco nail trimmers. A very imprecise, quick and dirty way to do 8 amputations in a few minutes. Proponents of declawing tout the laser declaw as a humane alternative. We are here today to show you why the laser is just as bad. It may not leave behind P3 fragments in as high numbers as the Rescos but it can cause thermal injury to P2 and set up these cats for painful osteomyelitis.

What is osteomyelitis?

Osteomyelitis is inflammation and destruction of bone caused by bacteria, mycobacteria, or fungi. Common symptoms are localized bone pain and tenderness with constitutional symptoms (in acute osteomyelitis) or without constitutional symptoms (in chronic osteomyelitis). Diagnosis is by imaging studies and cultures. Treatment is with antibiotics and sometimes surgery. Osteomyelitis is caused by:
  • Contiguous spread from infected tissue or an infected/non sterile instrument.
  • Bloodborne organisms (hematogenous osteomyelitis)-not common with declaw unless cutting instrument is dirty. 
  • Open wounds (from contaminated open fractures or bone surgery).

This is what declawing is all about! Declawing is an amputation; a bone is being removed. Most declaw surgery sites are not sutured shut. They are just glued shut with non sterile surgical glue. Trauma, ischemia, and foreign bodies predispose the paw to osteomyelitis. Osteomyelitis may also form under deep pressure ulcers. This is how it works:
  • Declawing = Osteomyelitis waiting to happen.
  • Trauma = The amputation, trauma to the P2/P3 joint space
  • Ischemia = A restriction in blood supply to tissues, causing a shortage of oxygen and glucose needed for cellular metabolism (to keep tissue alive). Ischemia is generally caused by problems with blood vessels, with resultant damage to or dysfunction of tissue. Proponents of the laser declaw technique talk about how it is more humane because there is less bleeding post op. With the laser declaw the tissue is burned and cauterized making it less likely to become inflamed and bleed. Any good surgeon knows that blood supply is essential to wound healing. So without that blood supply, ischemia can easily result.
  • Foreign bodies = The GLUE that they use during the amputation does not belong in a cat paw. It is a foreign body. It isn't sterile and can migrate from the incision site and attach to the surface of P2 or into the joint space where it can incite a foreign body response.
  • Pressure ulcers = Those paw pad abscesses and callouses we are always talking about! P2 is not a bone designed to bear weight. The paw pad if cut during the declaw will not be able to function as a perfect cushion for P2. Even if not cut, the paw pad over time can callous and abscess from having to cushion a pointy bone (P2) instead of a flat one (P3).


Osteomyelitis tends to occlude local blood vessels, which causes bone necrosis and local spread of infection. Infection may expand through the bone cortex and spread under the periosteum, with formation of subcutaneous abscesses that may drain spontaneously through the skin. If treatment of acute osteomyelitis is only partially successful, low-grade chronic osteomyelitis develops. It is common for most cats to go home post declaw without pain meds, let alone antibiotics. When a joint space has been compromised, as it is in EVERY declaw, antibiotics are warranted to prevent osteomyelitis. Additionally, a one time injectable antibiotic is not acceptable to treat infections in the joint space. Bone infections require aggressive antibiotics that are administered until the infection has cleared.

How do I know if my cat has osteomyelitis?

Patients with acute osteomyelitis of peripheral bones usually experience:
  • Weight loss.
  • Fatigue fever
  • Localized warmth, swelling, erythema, and tenderness.
Radiographs of the declawed paws are the only way to definitively diagnose osteomyelitis. Reminder: declawing is not a nail trim! It is an amputation!!! Declawing ALWAYS involves trauma to the joint space, no matter the surgical technique used.

So what does this mean for a declawed cat?

Well, we aren't talking about pressures sustained for 3-4 hours. We are talking about pressures sustained for the ENTIRE CATS LIFE! Additionally, when we show images of paw pads that are abscessing or callousing that look painful, that is only the beginning of the damage that is going on below the surface of the skin. The deeper tissues surrounding P2 are also like it's inflamed and infected as well as the periosteum of P2. Thus, we can assume that any declawed cat with a paw pad callous or abscess is likely to get osteomyelitis from the deep pressure sore as some point if that pressure is not relieved.

How can we relieve the pressure?

Rochelle - declawed cat
We can’t put P3 back! So we have to treat these cats medically.....and some of these cats may need treatment for life. Which brings us to the PPU cat we want to highlight this week:

Meet Rochelle. She is a victim of declaw surgery. She doesn't have bone fragments, but she has painful osteomyelitis. For her to live as pain free and comfortable as possible, this is her medical plan:
  • Royal Canin Mobility support diet.
  • Therapeutic Laser once a week. This deep penetrating infrared laser addresses bacteria, inflammation, and infection deep in the tissues.
  • Cosequin on food once a day. This supplement helps in maintaining the joint health in the paws.
  • Clindamycin by mouth twice a day for 20 days minimum (needs to be continuous), then recheck x-rays. This is an antibiotic that will help clear up the infection in her paws.
  • Torb/Val syrup and gabapentin regimen for pain. The torb/val syrup is an opioid painkiller. The gabapentin is a prescription pain medication that helps with extremity pain. Give both as needed.
  • TriCOX UC II joint supplement soft chews, 1/2 a chew a day.

Thursday 24 July 2014

Tame Fox Loves Her Caretaker

A lot of people dislike foxes. In fact a lot of people hate foxes. They think they spread disease and are pests. Personally, I love them. I think they're great and they survive against all the odds in the human world.

The fox in the video, Dawn, was raised as a young cub and lives in a sanctuary in the UK (Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary). There are 5 other foxes at the sanctuary.

 My Charlie has frequently bumped into a fox when he is outside in the evening but nothing happens. The fox more or less ignores him and Charlie hisses at the fox. On one occasion Charlie was aggressive towards the fox, who I was feeding.

What To Feed Feral Cats

Although dry cat food is not as good as wet (high in carbs and too dry), it is more practical for feeding feral cats because it can be left and it won't go off. Any brand of dry cat food would do; the best quality affordable.

Update: Experienced feral cat caretaker writes this:
No, no, no to an absolute dry kibble diet for ferals. That's a lazy mans' way. It's time consuming, but what I do is prepare my feeders as much as I can ahead of time. All feeders have wet food layering the bottom and then covered with dry. They don't get any less than what I give to the darlings inside my home. I don't see them as "less than". They are equals. I make no less than 4 visits to my colonies per day. Early morns are the big feed fest, late morn is checking water supply and taking up leftover food, early afternoon is "snack" feeders put down, and late afternoon is taking up feeders and replenishing water. Because it's scorching hot in summer here, fresh water is a must. I'm especially vigilent during these months.

If the person can supervise the feeding then wet could be put down but it needs to be taken up quite soon afterwards depending on the ambient temperature. It goes off rapidly in warm weather in my experience. I can remember Martha Kane's husband, Richard Vella, feeding feral cat colonies in Malta with dry cat food. Here is the video:

When feeding with dry food, fresh water should also be put down. There should always be a supply of fresh water  - common sense.

Feeding early in the morning would seem to make sense. Feral cats feed throughout the day. Evening and morning are probably favorite times as they coincide with their hunting activities.

One cup of dry cat food per cat per day would appear to be sufficient. If there is food left over it is probably too much and vice versa.

Dee an experienced cat lover may like to add to this in a comment. 

Cat Eye Color Change

A cat eye color change will take place at about 7-9 weeks of age in the life of a kitten. Until then the eye color is created by light refraction. Thereafter the formation of pigment in the iris of the cat's eyes creates the color. The change in eye color is due to a delayed creation of pigmentation in the iris of the young cat.

Below are pictures which show (a) the difference between the iris and pupil and (b) why kittens without pigmentation in the pupil always have blue eyes:

Blue Cat Eyes

These images illustrate this page which explains things.

Blue Cat Eyes

Pallas Cat Domestic Ownership California

The title is a rather clumsy phrase used by people searching for information about keeping the Pallas cat in California as a pet.  That is my reading of the search term.

Without going into lots of detail as to why it is inappropriate to keep a Pallas Cat as a pet in California, suffice to say that the keeping of a wild animal by individual person is banned in California.

There is one qualification.  If the person owned the animal in question before in 1992 they are allowed to keep the animal until I presume the animal dies.  In 2014 that would not be applicable to any wild cat species because none of them live beyond an absolute maximum of around 20 years.

Most often small wild cat species in captivity die relatively young because they are unsuited to that sort of lifestyle. Private zoos and public zoos have great difficulty in maintaining their stock for this reason.

The Pallas Cat is very cute looking and quite a few people think about having one of them as a pet but it won't work and it is not good for the cat. Even wild cat species known to be quite amenable to being domesticated are a handful and will challenge even the most dedicated exotic pet owner.

Below is a map from the excellent Born Free USA website which provided information about the banning or otherwise of exotic pets on a state-by-state basis:

Do Companion Animals Exhibit Jealous Behaviour?

Dogs Engage in Jealous Behaviours 

The answer to the question in the title is probably, Yes.  But the underlying reason for jealousy is probably not what you think it is.  We think of jealousy as losing a girlfriend or boyfriend. We think of jealousy in terms of human behaviour and at a rather superficial level.

It is believed by some scientists that jealousy originates in siblings fighting over family resources.  In short, it is more about survival than being jealous over a potential interloper into your love life.

In respect of domestic dogs, a study conducted by the University of California indicates that dogs exhibit behaviour which is consistent with what we describe as "jealousy".

36 dogs were involved in the study.  The owners were asked to pay attention to objects other than their dogs and the attention that they paid to these objects was the same as if they were paying attention to their dogs.

The objects were a pop-up book, a plush dog toy and a bucket.  As you can see, one of these objects is very similar to a living domestic dog and the test was to see whether a dog responded more actively when the person was petting and stroking the plush toy compared to engaging in similar behaviour with the other objects.

As it transpired, the dogs were twice as likely to try and gain attention of the owner when he or she was petting and interacting with the plush dog toy when compared to the bucket. Dogs were 4 times as likely to intervene when the person was engaged with the plush toy compared to being engaged with the book.

A clear indication is that the dogs perceived the plush toy as an interloper into their relationship and the situation needed to be stopped through the dog's intervention.

This was perceived as jealous behaviours by the scientist but they appear to recognise that the underlying purpose of these behaviours was probably more to do with survival than as we perceive the meaning of the word “jealousy". How cat I stop my cat's jealous behavior? (note: the article linked to was written some time ago and what is written may clash with this page).

Once again, a study has indicated that dogs are able to experience an emotion which human regard as a secondary emotion and beyond their capabilities. Humans are rather egocentric and find it difficult to believe that other species of animal are able to feel what they feel and are driven by the same sorts of motivators that humans are.

My wish is that these sorts of studies educate people to respect the domestic cat and domestic dog more and learn to treat them as an equal in value to themselves.  This should help to reduce the number of unnecessary acts of companion animal euthanasia across the countries where companion animals are kept by people.

Notes: this is a cross post from the main website to increase exposure. The study referred to is published on the Plus One website. Associated post: Attention seeking behavior in cats. Dogs participated in the study for the convenience of the researchers, I suspect. My feeling is that cats display similar behaviors.

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Cat Ears Warm to Touch

The reason why the ears of a cat are warm to the touch is because the blood vessels are very near the surface.  The blood circulates around the body. The body temperature of a domestic cat is 100 to 103°F.  This is 37.7°C to 39.4°C.  

This is quite a warm temperature and when you touch the earflaps of a cat you more or less feel this temperature less a certain amount because you are not in direct contact with the blood and the blood will cool temporarily as it passes through the flap.

Cat ears

The fact that the ear flap (pinna) is so fragile and thin and that the blood vessels run near the surface within the flap, provides an opportunity for a veterinarian and a cat owner to administer medication via the ear flap.

Certain medications placed against the ear flap are absorbed into the bloodstream. One such medication is transdermal Methimazole.

Transdermal means through or across the skin. You can see a video on this page about the application of this medication which is for feline hyperthyroidism.

Feral vs Indoor Cat Lifespan

I have seen a lot of variation in the estimated lifespan of feral cats compared to indoor cats. In general people say that about 3-5 years is the lifespan of a feral cat and 14 years is the average lifespan of a domestic (not specifying whether the cat is a full-time indoor cat or not).

The truth is no one has been analysing cat lifespans. These are estimates or to be more generous "guesstimates" based on a reasonably assessment.

Another point to make is that a full-time indoor cat might not, on average, live longer than an indoor/outdoor cat.

ASPCA says that the average lifespan of an indoor cat is 13-17 years with some living to 20 plus but that is not an average is it? That is a very generous spread based on informed guesswork.

My late lady cat aged about 16 years of age at the time. I had just wiped her coat
which is why it looks a bit wet. She lived four more years.

Petco says that an indoor cat has an average lifespan of 12-20 years (even more of a spread and not an average in my view). They also say that outdoor cats (cats kept outdoors full-time I presume) live for 1-5 years. This is highly simplified. No one keeps a domestic cat full-time outdoors - well, very few people do. I suppose they are referring to feral cats but don't say that. This is neither scientific nor accurate information.

Wikipedia confidently state 12-15 years as an average "life expectancy of a cat". They must mean the domestic cat as opposed to the feral cat.

Wikipedia quote a study as assessing the feral cat lifespan at 4.7 years. The links to the study are broken so I could not read it.

Indoor cats need more play to make them active. People in general don't play enough with their cats. An indoor cat arguably is more likely to become obese and obesity is the cause of many serious illnesses which can be life threatening. Outdoor cats within a secure enclosure will get exercise safely. This is rare however. People aren't bothered to build decent enclosures to be honest.

We know that outdoor cats, meaning stray cats and feral cats, live shorter lives than well cared for domestic cats who live mostly inside the family home. We can probably rely on 14 years as being a reasonable guess at the domestic cat lifespan. I'd favour a bit longer say 15 years. Like people cats are living longer but also like people dementia is more commonplace. Are cats living too long sometimes?

Feral cats will be lucky to live beyond five years on average but many may live to a not dissimilar age as domestic cats if cared for by a feral colony carer i.e. a person who feeds and TNRs the cats as part of a program. Many feral cat carers provide winter housing as well as feeding. There are many factors so averages don't really help. It is about individual cats.

Can I Get Toxoplasmosis From Kissing My Cat?

Can I Get Toxoplasmosis From Kissing My Cat?

The simple answer is that technically a person can get toxoplasmosis if they have a habit of kissing their cat on the lips or near the mouth.  The reason is this: a cat washes her bottom with her tongue. Somewhere near half of cats have been exposed to toxoplasmosis at some time and many of them have it but without symptoms. However, and this is the important bit, only for a period of about 10 days in the life of the cat can there be toxoplasmosis eggs in the cat's faeces which can be transferred to the person.

You can tell, therefore, that the chances of getting toxoplasmosis from kissing your cat is extremely rare to the point where, my opinion, it could be ignored.

It should also be recognised that worldwide about 50% of people have been exposed to toxoplasmosis. This is a similar number to the percentage of cats, interestingly. Note: in America the figure is about 30%.

Another interesting point is that by far the most common cause of getting toxoplasmosis is through handling raw meat inappropriately. Clearly vulnerable people such as people with very weak immune systems and pregnant women should take particular precautions but there is never a need to get rid of your cat because you are frightened of getting toxoplasmosis in anyway from your cat including by kissing him or her.

In short, the answer to the question is "yes you can" but don't stop kissing your cat if you want to. There is a tendency amongst the news media to hype up cat stories particularly about toxoplasmosis which can mislead people and make them frightened. The reality is quite different.

If you click on the link following this sentence you will can read three articles in PDF format on the subject of people and toxoplasmosis which I hope will alleviate any fears that a reader of this article might have.

Info about Toxo

One final point, very few people actually kissed their cat on the lips. Most people kiss their cat on the forehead or above the eyes ,for example. That is another reason why the question in the title is rather pointless but it is the title to this article because it is what is called a "keyword" -- people internet search using the words in the title.

Crystal Meth And Cats!

On Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at about 3 am in the morning a call out was made to the police on US 395, north of Conway Summit.  This, by the way, is in Arizona, USA.

By the time the police got to the car there was a passenger in the backseat,  a 33-year-old woman, but no one in the driver's seat. The driver had run off because both the passenger and the driver had been taking drugs and in the car was paraphernalia concening the use of crystal methamphetamine.

The passenger was under the influence of this drug. There was a second passenger, a cat hiding under the passenger seat. The policeman decided the cat should be taken under the care and control of Mono County County Animal Control until the lady was able to care for her cat herself.

A gentle wrestling match ensued as the police officer extracted the cat from the car. There was the usual hissing, scratching and “feline defensive mechanisms".

It seems that the policeman did a good job. The only worry I have is whether the cat is safe under the care of animal control, in a shelter.  Without wishing to be overly critical, these are potentially dangerous places for cats.

Let's just hope that the lady in the back seat of the car genuinely cares for her cat. Or perhaps the cat belongs to the driver who ran-off. Not a good endorsement for for her commitment to cat ownership if she is the owner.

The whole episode begs the question whether a person who uses crystal meth is able to care for a cat to a satisfactory level. I think the answer depends on the person. If the person is a genuinely good cat caretaker then he or she will probably be able to work around the addiction, if it is an addiction.

However, if the person is an average or what I call an ambivalent cat owner then when you add drug taking to that mix you end up with inadequate cat caretaking.

Your Online Pictures of Cats May Tell Us Where You Are

Your Online Cat Photos Tell Others Where You Are | PoC

These days pictures of cats taken with smart phones and modern digital cameras contain metadata which is information about the photograph such as the shutter speed, whether flash was used, the aperture and also where the photograph was taken using a built-in global satellite system (GPS).

When you upload the photograph to a Instagram or Flickr or any one of the large photo hosting websites the metadata goes with the picture and in the case of Flickr, for example, the information is set out on the page where the photograph is.

There are millions of photographs with this data attached to them and an entrepreneurial professor, Owen Mundy, at the University of Florida has extracted the GPS metadata and built a website around it which uses Google mapping to show the location of the photographs on a map. Very often the pictures of cats are taken by the cat's owner and also very often the cat's owner is in the photograph with the cat either because it's a selfie or her spouse took the photograph.

As a result, pictures of cats uploaded to the Internet can tell others where you are, where you live etc.. It could be argued that this is a an invasion of privacy. It is another example of Big Brother looking down upon you and every move you make. Most of us won't care about it but some will, particular the rich I suspect as it weakens there security.

You can actually remove the metadata online using using Yahoo™.

It works well and it works quickly and you can then upload the photograph to your chosen photo hosting website afterwards.

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Cruel Way To Kill Birds By U.S. Department of Agriculture

Who said cats are big killers of wild bird species? The ornithologists and Woody ;) LOL. People who know better realise that people are the biggest killers by far either by direct of indirect means.

The method employed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, Texas, USA is particular nasty and quite shocking to some people.

Rather than take humane proactive measures (deterrents) the authorities have put down a poison, Avitrol®, mixed with corn kernels. This has resulted in birds species such as grackles and pigeons writhing in their death throes for upwards of an hour having fallen from the sky. Some of this was filmed. Avitrol is a particularly nasty poison as it causes the birds to writhe and convulse which is intended as it frightens the living birds to stay away. Charming human behavior, isn't it? At least cats kill birds to eat. But let's remember birds are down the list of prey for the cat.

Of course passenger safety at airports is of paramount concern and bird strikes can, very rarely, bring an aircraft down. However, as mentioned, one wonders whether there are better more humane ways. The most humane methods should be used.

The Wildlife Services department of the USDA kills 3-5 million birds annually we are told. My personal view is that the USDA and perhaps all government departments are unsympathetic to wildlife if it gets in the way of commerce and "growth" meaning economic growth. And as there always has to be ecomonic growth, the only model capitalism understands, there is likely to be more birds killed in the future.

Source story.

Monday 21 July 2014

Cat Saves Boy From Bullies

You may remember the famous cat saves boy story in the USA. A dog attacked a boy and mauled his leg. It was a deliberate attack on a boy as if the boy were prey and the family's tabby cat charged out of the home to the rescue and flew at the dog pushing him of the boy. The boy and cat were close and it showed.

This is a UK version; not quite so dramatic. I wonder whether the news media were just looking for the UK version; jealousy I say! 

In the UK version a group of bullies were....well, bullying a boy who just happened to have a close feline companion. The bullied boy is 5-year-old Ethan and his cat defender is Smudge (see above) another tabby cat.

Smudge brave cat stop bullies

Smudge sprang (literally) into action and pounced onto the chest of one the bigger bullies. Ethan's mother says:

".....they shouted him again and then one of the boys got in Ethan's face and said, 'Oi! Why are you ignoring me?' and pushed him over.

"That's when I rushed outside and saw Smudge fly out from under our car and jump on the boys chest.

"I think it was shock more than anything but the boy stumbled backwards, burst into tears and then ran off.

The shock! The typical behavior of a bully exposed by a tabby cat.

Cats Protection run a National Cat of the Year award and Smudge has been nominated. Fame at last. Yawn...cats don't seek fame. 

UK Version of Jackson Galaxy

In the UK, according to the Daily Star, we have an unknown cat expert who wants to become an recognised feline behaviourist with his own television show just like Jackson Galaxy in the USA. His name is Louis Denver, 29, and I have a feeling he has been watching Jackson Galaxy in action on his website.

Louis denver 1

He calls himself a “cat man" and says that he has built up his skills as a cat psychologist over time.  He lives in the north of the country in Lytham St Anne's, Lancashire.

Regrettably, he says things which tell me that he does not know enough about cats to be the UK's version of Jackson Galaxy.

Louis says the main problems facing cat owners are inappropriate elimination, loud meowing at night and spraying around the house. These are not the main problems.  Very few domestic cats spray around the house because spraying, as I'm sure Louis knows, is a form of territorial marking but although some rarely do this, 95% of domestic cats don't, especially if they are neutered.

Also, meowing at night is not in my mind a major problem.  You can see a list of the reasons for cat relinquishment on this page and they tell us what the major reasons are for a breakdown in the relationship between person and cat.

Louis says if a domestic cat misses the litter tray it is because the cat is territorially insecure and keen to mark his territory. Marking territory through spraying horizontally is not the same as peeing into a litter tray. The reasons behind both actions are completely different and unrelated.  You can read about how to stop peeing outside the box on this page.

Louis also states that cats try to be naughty. I would certainly dispute that especially as he implies that it is the reason for not using the litter tray which is completely incorrect in my opinion.

Louis claims to have learned everything he knows about cats from TV programmes and online tutorials. With respect to Louis, you cannot substitute actual cat caretaking over a long period of time with YouTube videos. To learn about cat behaviour solely from the Internet from words written and videos made is not enough.

He does have a good point when he says that cat caretakers need to play with their cats more often. And he doesn't like the mistreatment of cats which obviously tells us that his heart is in the right place.

I am not sure that the actually cares for a cat. That has not been stated in the article in the Daily Star.

The truth about treating cat ear mites

The truth about treating cat ear mites | PoC

If you click on the link above you will be taken to what I believe is a good page on this subject but it is not getting enough exposure from Google search and therefore I'm cross posting the page (in summary) on this website.  I apologise for duplication in what I'm saying about this but it needs to be done.

cat ear mite

Essentially what I say is that a lot of people look for either a homeopathic home cure for cat ear mites or some sort of quick fix at home to avoid a trip to the vet. They are looking for ways to clean their cat's ears and kill the ear mites.

It is possible to clean the inside of the ear flap but only the part that you see. What about the beginning of the ear canal that goes to the eardrum?  Ear mites are going to be in that area and when you try and clean that area you are quite likely to do damage to the ear canal and even the eardrum unless you are extremely careful.

As cat ear mites are very irritating to the cat and as they also infest the cat outside of the ear plus bearing in mind what I have written about, I think that the best course of action is to take your cat to the vet and bite the bullet on the cost and trouble.

There is no sure way of fixing the problem at home and you can make things worse.  Do you want your cat to be in extreme discomfort for a very long time simply for the cost of a veterinarian visit?  The cost should not be that high because for a veterinarian treating cat ear mites should be straightforward but importantly effective with no risk to the cat.

Websites providing instructions on homeopathic cures for feline ear mites are fine but should be treated with caution and some skepticism.

Sunday 20 July 2014

Is the tuxedo cat a breed or not?

I'm sure that most people know the answer this question because cats have been discussed on the Internet for about 10 years now.  The tuxedo cat is not a breed of cat.

This is a certain type of cat coat that is black-and-white with not much white so that the cat has the appearance of wearing a tuxedo which is formal dress wear the men: the penguin suit.

The classic pattern gives the cat a button of white on the chest but as shown in the photo the area of white can be more extensive.

A lot of the breed standards for a wide variety of cat breeds allow their cats to be black-and-white and some of these cats will be tuxedo cats.

It all depends on the breed standard as to what is allowed regarding the coat of the cat with respect to a particular cat breed.

History of Cat Food

History of Cat Food | PoC

The history of cat food as shown in the spreadsheet above tells us that just after the Second World War things started to take off. It was during the Second World War that the concept of dry cat food was first tried. It was successful because it was convenient and then during the era 1950 to 1970 and beyond there was a proliferation of pet food lines and products. The manufacturers of human food jumped onto the bandwagon.

A major development was to create extruded dry cat food which although first developed in the 1950s is still the same today. The great deficiency in this process, which makes attractive looking albeit inappropriate cat food, is that it requires carbohydrates to work. The high level of carbohydrates in dry cat food is not there by choice but by necessity and only because the process demands it. That is not a good reason why dry cat food is high in carbohydrates.

Domestic cats cannot taste sweetness and therefore they have no concept of the sugary taste. The domestic cat is unaware that the dry cat food that they may be fed full-time is not a replica in terms of constituents and ingredients of what they would be eating if they were preying on mice.

Not only is the high carbohydrate level potentially damaging to the cat's health, so is the lack of water which can leave a cat in a state of permanent mild dehydration.

The natural food of the domestic cat is as stated: the mouse and the mouse contains 70% water whereas dry cat food contains, as I recall, something in the order of 10%. It is known, these days, that the domestic cat does not compensate for this lack of water in his food by drinking more. No doubt the domestic cat drinks more than normal but not enough to completely compensate.

Although I am going on a bit about dry cat food, after all these decades of manufacturing it you would have thought that the manufacturers would have placed more concern upon the appropriateness of the food rather than focusing on the method of manufacture.

The 1950s was a time in America when there were the greatest number of new cat breeds. It also seems that this time, let's say about 10 years after the Second World War, when the domestic cat became more popular and an the cat fancy was at its height in the twentieth century. Just after this period the wild cat hybrids were first developed indicating an active cat fancy in their desire to expand the number of cat breeds.

An interesting development was the idea of marketing dry cat food as a food that can improve health with respect to certain illnesses. You will see from the spreadsheet that pet food to ameliorate health problems occurred for the first time in the 1930s. This was canned wet food for dogs.

Ultimately for cats this concept evolved into primarily Hills dry cat food for a range medicinal purposes.

It is interesting because, as mentioned, dry food is not particular healthy so the motivation in part to create this food appears to have been a desire to mask that fact.

Fewer Approved Drugs and Medications for Cats than for Dogs

Fewer Approved Drugs and Medications for Cats than for Dogs | PoC

This appears to be another example of discrimination against a domestic cat!  Apparently, there are more FDA (the regulatory body in America) approved drugs and medications for cats than for dogs. Vets use non-approved medications for cats in substitution.

The reason is that it is not commercially viable for the manufacturers to turn out drugs and medications for cats, requiring obtaining FDA approval, which I presume costs a fair bit of money.

I also presume that the reason for this is that the manufacturers do not think there will be a sufficiently large market for the drug that they had considered to produce because cat owners do not take their cats to the veterinarian anywhere near as often as dog owners take their dogs to the vet.

I'm guessing that that is the reason.  I have almost certainly simplified things but it is remarkable that there is a disparity in the number of available medicines between dogs and cats.  It can't be the case that dogs are less healthy than cats and therefore require more available treatments.  The only reason can be that the market for drugs for cats is smaller than that for dogs which leads me to the conclusion about. If I am incorrect then someone please tell me.

In the opening paragraph I state that there is discrimination against the cat.  This conclusion comes from the fact that if a person abuses a dog they are more heavily punished in the USA than would be the case if they had abused a cat.

Also, more unwanted cats are killed in the USA than dogs.  This happens at shelters.  My reading of the situation is that at animal shelters in the USA a higher percentage of cats are killed - because of inability to find an adopter - than dogs.

Although there is no hard evidence to support this, I have a feeling that the domestic cat is less valued as a sentient being then dogs.  Another reason might be the fact that the cat is more independent and therefore potentially less connected to human society.  There may also be more cat haters than dog haters for the same or similar reason.  The independence of the cat also encourages the lack of knowledge of the cat and ignorance breeds hatred.  What a person doesn't understand they fear and what they fear they kill.  That is an old native Indian saying, apparently.

Friday 18 July 2014

VE Kitty Tubs Help Cat Parents Transition to RAW Meat Diet

GREEN BAY, Wis. (July 18, 2014) (PetPR News Distribution) – Vital Essentials® has launched VE Kitty Tubs Frozen RAW Entrees with a “Take the 5-Day RAW Challenge” campaign. The promotion has been created to help pet store retailers educate cat parents about the “essential” benefits of RAW cat food and to provide helpful tips on transitioning kitties to RAW meat diets within 5 days.

VE Kitty Tub Frozen RAW Entrée line began shipping in late Spring 2014. VE Kitty Tubs offer complete RAW-meat meals with essential nutrients that cats instinctively crave. Each Kitty Tub Entrée is “Purely RAW” – made with only fresh, whole, single-sourced USDA animal protein and is Grain Free, Gluten Free, and Guilt Free. Varieties include – Chicken & Liver, Classic Chicken, Cold Water Catch, Duck, Turkey, and Duck & Rabbit.

The “5-Day RAW Challenge” brochure is available to cat-parents through pet store retailers that offer VE Kitty Tub Entrées. This brochure provides the essential reasons for switching to RAW including:

Absence of “Junk Food” Ingredients – As carnivores, cats are not designed to handle a steady diet of carbohydrates like corn, rice and potatoes.

Instinctively Healthier – “A RAW meat diet is exactly what nature designed the cat to thrive on.” – Dr. Richard Patton, pet nutrition expert and author of Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack (the paradox of pet nutrition).

Vital Nutrients from the Whole Animal – Cats get essential nutrients from all parts of their prey – meat, organs and bones. It’s important that a RAW diet provides whole animal nutrition.
Every cat has their own personality. Despite being an obligate carnivore by nature, most cats in America have been trained and are accustomed to eating kibble or canned food. While some cats may take to RAW meat quickly, others may require more persistence and patience.

The best transition strategy is to remain flexible, pay attention to your kitty’s responses and adjust according to your kitty’s needs. Never starve your kitty into accepting the new diet as denying food for more than a day may be unhealthy. The “5-Day RAW Challenge” brochure includes some useful tips for helping kitties switch to RAW.

About Vital Essentials®
Vital Essentials, maker of the ALPHA Prey-model diet, is the most tenured RAW pet food producer in the nation, providing RAW pet nutrition since 1968. The family owned company operates facilities in Green Bay, WI, where they manufacture high quality RAW frozen and freeze-dried pet food, snacks and treats. Sourced, made and packaged in the USA, every Vital Essentials product stands up to the same promise – Purely RAW, Instinctively Healthy.

  • Learn more about Vital Essentials at
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This information is distributed by PetPR News Distribution communications

When the news is so bad how do you write about cats?

When people are behaving so badly, it is harder to write about cats. This is because we have to behave well if we are to improve the life of cats. The worse we behave between ourselves the more the welfare of the domestic cat becomes less of a priority.

The recent Malaysia Airlines MH17 disaster puts me off writing about cats. This is an extraordinarily crazy example of careless and callous human behavior which has resulted in the deaths of 298 innocent people, 80 of which are children.

If the world is so crazy that people can fire a surface to air missiles which can travel to 72,000 feet, in a place that is considered to be Europe, to shoot down an aircraft that looks like a troop transport aircraft but which is a commercial airliner, then we are all lost.

If people can't even behave half decently then what chance have we got? We don't know for sure what happened in the MH17 airline disaster but the current general consensus is that a sophisticated Russian manufactured surface to air missile (SA-11 or BUK) was fired from the pro-Russian area of Eastern Ukraine in an attempt to shoot down what was thought to be a Ukrainian government troop carrier.

If this allegation is true the missile must have been supplied by Russia. Russia is behaving in a defensive manner trying to muddy the waters and hide evidence (I believe). This indicates guilt.

The missile referred to carries 75kg of explosives and explodes just before impacting the aircraft to cause maximum damage. MH17 was blown up in the air and rained down over 10 miles! The air accident investigators are allowed limited access by the pro-Russian rebels. What does that tell you? How good will the investigation be? No chance it will be good and true.

Ukrainians saw bodies falling from the sky. The black box is missing we are told? I don't know if that is true.

The Lack of a Sweet Tooth in Cats

Domestic cats are neither attracted to nor avoid the taste of sweet carbohydrates. In an extreme adaptation to a carnivorous diet, the domestic cat has taste buds which are very responsive to amino acids but unresponsive to many mono and disaccharides (carbohydrates).

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By contrast, many dogs have a sweet tooth and prefer natural sugars, for example: sucrose, fructose, glucose and lactose but not maltose.

Cats and dogs respond very differently to stimuli which is sweet tasting although both as we know our carnivores.  The dog is, it seems, a borderline omnivore. Domestic cats find bitter tastes objectionable. Dogs should not eat cat food and vice versa.

The sweet receptor or taste buds that can taste sweetness are made up of two “coupled proteins" which are generated by two separate genes.

The domestic cat, and in fact all cats, lack the amino acid that make up the DNA of one of these genes.

Cats are the only mammals lacking what is called the “sweet gene".  Despite this well-known fact major pet food manufacturers use corn (24% carbohydrates) and other grains in their food. It has been postulated that this is a reason why an ever-increasing number of domestic cats are becoming diabetic.

Modern dry cat food today has around 30% carbohydrates and cats can't handle it which when we think about it is a bit shocking.  I wonder whether millions of cat owners realise that.

Cats cannot taste the sugars in dry cat food but they are doing the cat harm.

Investment in TNR In Yonkers, NY After Animal Cruelty

After what has been described as the worst case of animal cruelty in the history of Westchester when the dead bodies of 25 cats and kittens were found in black plastic bags hanging from a tree in a wood, the city of Yonkers has acted constructively and proactively in allocating $15,000 towards trap-neuter-release programs to help reduce the number of homeless cats which are ultimately potential victims of the nasty people who like to abuse animals.

The city of Yonkers deserves to be applauded because this is a very constructive and an enlightened decision.  It also promotes the concept of TNR as a means of controlling stray and feral cat populations humanely.

An organisation called Animal Defenders of Westchester are delighted because the decision sends the right message about dealing with community chats: humanely and compassionately.  It sends the message that the city of Yonkers, New York cares about the vulnerability of community cats and wishes to do the right thing for them.

There is, I believe, a very gradual acceptance that TNR is the way to go in the long-term to control homeless cat populations but it will not work on its own. There needs to be a parallel changing of behaviour by the less responsible cat owners to slow the creation of unwanted cats.

One last point: I don't believe $15,000 is enough but we can't be critical.



Thursday 17 July 2014

This Englishman has absolutely no regard for any animals

His name is Joshua Varey, 24, from Colne, Lancashire. UK. Take a good look at him. It is the face of an ignorant b*st*rd who has no regard whatsoever for animals. I won't tell you what I'd like to do to him.

See the video to read the story. In summary, Varey was the ringleader of two others (also convicted) who tried to shake a cat out of a tree to allow their dogs to attack and kill him/her.

The Malaysian Airlines MH17 Shot Down Story

I am sure that you are as shocked as I am about the Malaysian airline aircraft being shot down over Ukraine by his alleged pro-Russian rebels using a ground to air missile. The aircraft was shot down over the area occupied by the rebels and the Ukrainian government has denied using these missiles as I understand it. The plane broke up in the air and hit the ground over a 9 square mile area indicating a explosion in the air.

If the allegation is correct that this civilian airliner has probably been shot down accidentally by a missile fired by pro-Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine then it creates despair amongst all people on the planet because it just reinforces our thoughts that these ridiculous conflicts end up hurting everybody.

"We warned you not to fly in our sky" - a Russian separatist boasted they had just downed Ukrainian transport plane, minutes before news of crash emerged indicating they thought they had shot down a Ukrainian forces plane and not the Malaysian Airliner carring 295 passengers and crew.

If these stupid conflicts hurt - in all ways, physically, emionally and economically - people who are not involved in them then they hurt cats as well. Everything that we do which is destructive damages the life of the domestic cat either indirectly or directly one way or the other because their lives are our lives.

It is impossible to believe that pro-Russian rebels shot down the aircraft deliberately.  Perhaps they fired a missile from the ground at an aircraft belonging to Ukrainian government forces and missed and the missile carried on and impacted with the commercial airliner or as mentioned believed the aircraft was Government transporter.

The question is why was the airliner flying over a pro-Russian held area of the Ukraine? I don't know whether that is a legitimate thing to do or whether the airlines were advised not to fly over Ukraine. I would very much doubt that the pilot made an error in flying over the Ukraine. In which case any aircraft flying in the area would be susceptible to being shut down by a stray missile fired from the ground.

Update: it is not as yet a no-fly zone (it will be though today). The aircraft was flying at 33,000 feet. The pilot was saving time and thought the plane was safe due to the height it is believed. However, the missile (Russian made BUK) has a range of 31 miles.

It is highly distressing to everybody to read this story because it is so destructive and so pointless. The death of the passengers is utterly pointless. It is a stupid accident perpetrated by stupid people fighting over a stupid cause. Russia is to blame. Russia wants the eastern Ukraine to be part of Russia and they don't give a damn about the consequences. Russia is run by Vladimir Putin. We have to blame Mr Putin the president of Russia for this loss of life and destruction if the allegations are proved correct.

Lilica a tender and kind dog feeds her animal buddies

Humans barely share things. This dog travels four miles daily to collect food from a really nice lady to take back to her junkyard animal chums including a cat! I had weave a cat into the story. But this is about a dog who shows tenderness and kindness that teaches us a lesson.

Lilica was a homeless dog but made a home for herself in a junkyard in Brazil. In her search for food she bumped into Lucia Helena de Souza who lives four miles away. Lucia is an animal lover and she feed Lilica. Then one day the dog grabbed the bag in her teeth and took it away. The bag was open so the food was spilled. The next time Lucia made sure the bag was closed and eventually Lucia decided she had to find out where Lilica was taking the food because this routine had been doing this for a long time.

She discovered Lilica travelled the four miles back to the junkyard four miles away along an unlit and dangerous road where Lilica shares her food with the other junkyard animals including a cat as I understand it.

How about that? Shouldn't we learn from that? A lot credit must also go to Lucia who feeds Lilica and as you can see waits for her to turn up daily. This is a very tender-hearted woman who has taken on the responsibility of caring for Lilica and her junkyard buddies at a distance.

Paw Project-Utah Reconstructive Paw Surgery Demystified

By Kirsten Doub - Paw Project-Utah

The Paw Project-Utah reconstructive paw surgery demystified!! There have been questions as to what exactly we do for these cats. This should answer all your questions! Truth be told: Medicine is an art!

The goal of Paw Project-Utah surgery, under the care of Dr Kirsten Doub, DVM and several DACVSs who she consults with, is to help shelter declawed cats achieve an improved quality of life, so that they can live pain free lives and use their declawed paws for ambulation.

This is in the hopes of finding PAWMAZING permanent homes who will keep them and love them FOREVER. PPU’s study data has shown that 70% of declawed cats in Utah shelters have P3 fragments left over from a botched declaw. Most of these cats have fragments which are >5mm and include the ungual crest; because the ungual crest was not removed during the initial declaw, these cats have pieces of nail regrowing under the skin, abscesses on many toes, and deformed painful toes. The majority of these cats have a monocytosis on lab work. They also have toes that are painful on palpation; because of this pain, some of these cats do not want to move or play, are aggressive, or do not want to use their litter box.

PPU takes a very holistic approach to these cats.... and we aren’t talking about shaking the shaman stick here! We are talking about evaluating the WHOLE cat. Before surgery is even considered, we run a comprehensive lab panel on each cat, including a 5 way differential CBC with reticulocyte count, full chemistry panel, T4, urinalysis, feline leukemia test, FIV test, and stool analysis with giardia.

We look at the declawed paws and examine the paw pads for callouses, abscesses, swelling, and difficulty moving toes. We observe these cats ambulating to see how they use their paws. We evaluate for referred nerve pain in the lumbar spine. We also radiograph all declawed paws and non declawed paws with 2 orthogonal views. With this information, we come up with an individualized detailed plan to fix the cat 100%, in order to make them an amazing pet!

A PPU reconstructive surgery candidate is a cat who is metabolically stable, and who has P3 fragments which are causing a stress to the animal, either psychologically or physically. These cats have moveable toes (albeit some are not 100%), but have toes that are misshapen and infected from surgery that was performed so haphazardly that extensive damage was done to the remaining anatomy.

Dr. Doub likes to call this reconstructive surgery, because we are reconstructing these cat’s lives. We are taking mutilated shelter cats with little hope of escaping the UT shelter system alive, and transforming their lives in a very progressive loving way.

PPU finds loving foster homes for these cats BEFORE we start the surgery process. These cats learn to receive affection and learn to become well-loved family members, so that they are emotionally ready to start their paw rehabilitation. Foster parents are counselled extensively on the issues each cat faces overall and with paw health. Foster parents administer daily medication to improve joint health and improve post-operative success rates.

Surgery for these cats is “reconstructive” in that it involves taking someone else’s “bomb field” of a declaw surgery site, which in no way resembles a paw, and removing all the “shrapnel” left behind (P3 fragments, hematomas, bacterial contamination, necrosis surrounding glue, and abscesses), also debriding the dead and diseased tissue, to leave a declawed paw that is bacteria and scar tissue free. An infected, painful, scarred, and misshapen toe is reconstructed into a healthy one that is missing P3. Dr. Doub also will reposition all the paw pads permanently, so that it will cushion P2 and prevent paw pad abscesses and callouses for the remainder of the cat’s life. While it is impossible to reconstruct a half mutilated P3, surgery with PPU will reconstruct the cat’s declawed paw so that it is as functional as possible given that P3 is no longer part of the toe.

What about tendon contracture? Based on a study by Cooper, Laverty, and Soiderer: “Bilateral flexor tendon contracture following onychectomy in 2 cats, it is hypothesized that the etiology of the flexor tendon contracture was postoperative inflammation. Suboptimal surgical technique when performing onychectomy may result in excessive tissue trauma. Errors in surgical technique may include excessive or rough tissue manipulation, use of a dull scalpel blade, improper use of tissue adhesives, or poor aseptic technique. The combination of bacterial contamination and tissue trauma may then incite an intense inflammatory response. This may result in flexor tendonitis, fibrosis, adhesion formation, and flexor tendon contracture.

Tendonitis results in fibrosis, vascular hyperplasia, and infiltration of inflammatory cells around the tendon and tendon sheath. Other less commonly observed histopathological findings include ischemic necrosis, edema, cartilaginous or osseous metaplasia, and vascular dilation. Histopathologic examination of the deep digital flexor tendon from the 2nd case was consistent with granulation tissue, explaining the adhesions seen intraoperatively.” Surgery with PPU does address this possible, but very rare tendon contracture, by removing the inflamed tissue and breaking down adhesions around the tendons and carefully examining the entire remainder of the paw for any other pathology.

PPU has no need to cut tendons like some other salvage declaw surgeons advocate, because we have a fancy laser. Not the laser you think of when you hear about laser declaw. This is a therapeutic laser, and this is the face of cutting edge human orthopedic and sports medicine programs applied to veterinary medicine. This deep penetrating infrared laser addresses bacteria, inflammation, and infection deep in the tissues. Over time, with frequent laser therapy, we can see contracted tendons begin to relax so there is no need to drastically change anatomy by cutting tendons. You might remember PPU cat Angel? Her toes were so contracted initially that her wrists were completely curled in to compensate….she was walking on the tops of her knuckles with the few steps that she would walk. Angel had big P3 fragments and very abscessed toes, but was a poor surgery candidate due to failing kidneys due to lymphoma. After 3 laser treatments and aggressive oral joint support, Angel was able to extend and contract her toes to make little muffins. Angels little muffins were her gift to Dr. Doub one week before lymphoma claimed her life.

We hope this will give our followers a better understanding about what we do for our PPU cats! If you still have questions, you are welcome to message us, and we will be more than happy to clarify anything for you.

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Attention Seeking Behaviour in Cats

Attention Seeking Behaviour in Cats

I might be out on a limb but I don't think that cats, through certain types of behaviour, seek attention from their human caretaker. I think we are anthropomorphising cats when we say that our cat is seeking attention through vocalisations or being naughty or touching us with their paw etc..

You see, my theory is that the act of seeking attention is a human behaviour. It is the behaviour of a child perhaps who might feel vulnerable and needy and also perhaps excitable for whatever reason. The reason will often be down to how the child has been raised but attention seeking behaviour is about needy and vulnerable people who need other people to pay attention to themselves. Once people pay attention to them they are satisfied but they are not seeking something other than that.

By contrast, the domestic cat who vocalises a lot, directed at the human caretaker or the domestic cat who is, in human jargon, misbehaving, is seeking something which is not attention to himself per se but is seeking food or play or to go outside through a locked door etc.. There are an endless number of possibilities but the cat will be seeking something tangible from his human caretaker which goes well beyond simply paying attention to him.

The purpose of a cat's behavior described as an attention seeking behavior is to receive something which furthers his cause and meets his objectives but the cat is not seeking reassurances as is the case with a human who is involved in attention seeking behaviour.

If I am correct attention seeking behavior in cats is anthropomorphising the cat; treating the cat as a human family member, usually a child. People generally relate to their cat as a mother relates to a young child.

Note: this is a personal view. Many people have different views which I accept.

Tuesday 15 July 2014

Photographs of Japanese Cats in Japan by Japanese photographers

I think that photographs of Japanese cats by Japanese photographers have a certain quality about them. There are a lot of good Japanese photographers and the street cats are distinguishable from the stray cats of other countries. Here is a small selection. If you click on the photographs you are linked back to the photographer's photostream on Flickr.  These are all Flickr photographs.

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The photographer says the following about the above photograph:

Get along very good two cats living in the cabin of the field work of Tomei Yokohama Aoba Inter nearby. Tiger cat big male, Goriza. Tortoiseshell cat small female, Holmes. Goriza in contact gently to Holmes, Holmes is a yearning Goriza.

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This cat seems to be polydactyl looking at the left forepaw.

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Below is an extraordinary looking cat - big boss cat:

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A visitor comments: WOW! Is this perhaps a man in a catsuit? The color balance is wrong but as is on Flickr. I altered it here.

Cyprus: Hotel Employees Chuck Dog Into Rubbish Crusher

This is a gross example of animal cruelty admitted by the hotel management. Richard Chadwick who commented on this story on Facebook says the following about the owner of the hotel:

She is the owner of the Anastasia Hotel in Southern Cyprus. It is her, and her alone no matter how much she wants to blame the staff, who is responsible for the horrible treatment of a puppy.

This is a photograph of who he was referring to:

Owner of hotel that crushed a dog x

In response Penny Smith says:

This was on FB a couple of weeks ago. The owner of the hotel issued a statement saying she had asked two of her employees to take it to a local vet as it was sick. Instead they threw it into a crusher. To give her her due, she did make sure the puppy was being cared for at the vets, sadly too late, and claimed to have sacked the two emplyees. Maybe someone should establish the exact facts before we blame the wrong person.

It appears that a 7 month old stray, sick poodle was wandering around the hotel irritating hotel management and the hotel manager asked an employee to take the dog to the vet. That is the official story but what happened is that two employees threw the dog into a hotel rubbish compacter. The dog suffered a broken back, broken bones, brain damage and an inability to breathe and later died despite imaginary intervention.

Dog crushed in hotel compacter in Cyprus x

The bin that they threw the dog into was fitted with an electrically powered motor that I presume compacted (crushed) hotel rubbish.

The dog was found by holidaymakers at the bottom of the machine, barely alive.  Tourists called the local veterinary clinic but as mentioned the dog died eventually within days.

The veterinary clinic called out was MedVets. A spokesman for the surgery said that:

When we went to the hotel, he was already in a coma. We were shocked and it was even more of a shock when we were told he was put into this bin.

There's been a mass protest by British tourists and expat British outside the Anastasia hotel. The Brits are very angry and there appears to be a difference in the relationship between British people and Cypriot people towards their companion animals. I say that without being in any way overly critical of Cypriots.

The general mood amongst expats and tourists is that a country which is part of the Eurozone and the European Union should have standards of animal care equal to other members of the union. They state that this is not the case and they are shocked and disgusted by the incident.

It is interesting to note that the president of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, condemns what has happened and says the incident is a disgrace for his country.

The incident is horrible and very distressing but I agree with the tourist who says that there is a huge discrepancy with respect to animal welfare laws and the relationship between people and animals across the European Union. In Eastern and Southern Europe there is more animal cruelty than in northern Europe

In Eastern European countries, often the laws are badly formulated and hardly enforced.  In Greece the stray cats are used as tourist attractions but once the tourists season is over they are killed with poison, we are told.

It is a disgrace that the institutions of the European Union allowed these countries to join the EU without first ensuring that they met the standards for becoming members. There has been an overeagerness of the European commission to expand the European Union.  The Eurozone financial crisis is another example of how it can go wrong when you allow countries to join which are not ready.


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