Friday 30 December 2016

What is a complementary treatment for cats?

Complementary treatments for cats are a form of treatment that is outside mainstream medicine and which can be carried out at home by the cat's owner with the advice of their veterinarian or under their supervision and perhaps rarely without this advice provided the cat's owner is knowledgeable.

All home treatments should be carried out with care and thoughtfulness. Cat owners should not assume that information on the internet on this topic is always accurate or correct.

Complimentary treatments don't necessarily cure but are additional to and supportive of mainstream treatments.

For example, for feline cancer complimentary treatments might include: nutrition (low carbohydrate, high protein and fats), vitamins, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, herbalism, homeopathy and Bach flower remedies.

Mainstream treatments for feline cancer include: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, cryotherapy (freezing cancer cells), hyperthermy (heat probes or radiation), diet and immunotherapy.

Friday 23 December 2016

Seraquin for cat arthritis

Seraquin is a cat treat containing glucosamine and some potent anti-oxidants called curcuminoids which have proved successful to a very credible associate of mine, Ruth aka Kattaddorra, in treating one of her cats, Walter. You can buy them online and there are no side effects as far as I am aware.

Ruth's Walter loves 'em. And the positive effect has been very noticeable. This is a cross-post so I won't go on about this joint supplement but refer you to the page on the main website: What medicine is good for cats with arthritis. Try Seraquin.

Wednesday 14 December 2016

Why are cats so cute?

Why are cats so cute? Answer: because they look like babies. They have large eyes and in general round heads. The cutest cat is probably the Scottish Fold Munchkin - flat ears so the head is even rounder than normal combined with short legs.

Scottish Fold Munchkin - super cute.
The behaviour of kittens and young adults is also cute because they tend to be foolish and get into trouble. Just like kids. I don't find kids cute by the way. Quite the opposite.

People consider babies cute. Once again, I don't. But the general opinion is that they are cute because adults need to be drawn to them to nurture them. Cuteness is an attractant. That's my theory anyway.

Can cats eat cheese?

People ask Google: can cats eat cheese? Most people by now know the answer which, in short, is YES in small amounts because (a) cats like it for the fat content so it can be a treat and (b) in general, and to varying degrees, cats are lactose intolerant. Eating cheese or drinking milk can cause diarrhoea.

I use lactose free milk for my breakfast. I give my cat some. I suppose if there is lactose free cheese it should solve the problem mentioned above at (b).

All cat treats of human food are generally okay in small doses but check foodstuffs that are toxic to cats.

Friday 9 December 2016

The law should protect wild and domestic animals equally

The law should protect wild and domestic animals equally and by-and-large it does in the UK under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

I think that a lot of people might see wild animals are deserving less protection and less respect than pets for instance. This is not the case and it should not be the case.

Of course it depends on where you live and the biggest factor which undermines equality between wild and domestic animals (other than livestock) is hunting. Even in the UK people are allowed to hunt certain species under certain restrictions and conditions. Hunting, almost automatically causes uneccessary suffering to the animal. The sport is an anomaly in the 21st century, I submit.

But the primary law which protects animals, the Animal Welfare Act 2006, does not distinguish between wild and domestic. Two cases highlight this.

In one case a man drowned a neighbour's cat who came onto his property. He caught the cat and put him into a plastic bag with a stone and then threw the bag into a river. He was convicted of causing an animal uneccessary suffering and his punishment included an eight week jail term.

As for wild animals, a couple of brothers kicked a hedgehog like a football and killed him. They were convicted and punished under the same clause of the same UK statute. They had tortured the wee animal before he died. Their punishment included six weeks in jail. They were also fined.

We should regard all animals as equal in the eyes of the law. Some animals are described as "pests". Sometimes this label is, perhaps, justified (rats for example). On other ocassions it is not. Foxes and pigeons are seen as pests by many or as vermin. This makes killing them legitimate. Personally I regard this as wrong. Humans can often be pests if one steps back and honestly observes their behavior.

Tuesday 22 November 2016

What are Bodega Cats?

Bodega cats are store cats. They live in and around a corner store or deli or Hispanic/Spanish/Latin mini-mart in New York. They will normally be rescue cats; either rescued from the street where the store is or from a rescue centre. The term "bodega" appears to be exclusively used in New York City.

These are typical corner stores. Run independently and selling all manner of products from wine to delicatessen products. These are the sorts of shops we see all over the world. Not all of them have a live-in cat. That's obvious. The bodega cat is a very nice addition to the store. They go together nicely. It looks natural to me. And they serve a function beyond keeping the shop owner company. They keep the mice away.

In less well developed countries you could argue that the default situation regarding the domestic cat is the store cat or community cat. This is closer to the original relationship between man and cat: the barn cat keeping down rodents.

The term "bodega" comes from Spanish to mean a wine shop. The meaning has been expanded to include a mini-mart although in these stores wine, beers and spirits are an important part of the stock.

The cat in the picture is Snowball. A beautiful white bodega cat in NYC.

Saturday 19 November 2016

Delivery driver runs over kitten in driveway of property. Who is at fault?

A woman is in the process of receiving a delivery of groceries having ordered them online. The supermarket vehicle is parked up in the driveway and the goods are being offloaded. The woman lets her cats go outside. This is the UK. One of her cats is a 7-month-old kitten. She does not know where he is.

As she knows he could be outside she asks the delivery driver to move off slowly after the delivery has been fully offloaded. The idea is to give the kitten warning that the vehicle is moving. The driver does not carry out her instructions and drives off quickly. The kitten is crushed by one of the wheels. The kitten must have been very near the wheel when the vehicle moved off.

The woman is naturally distraught. The supermarket apologised, gave her flowers and £100. The woman is still upset and feels aggrieved. She is complaining to the company.

Who is at fault? It is not all on one side. I'd say the woman is equally at fault as the driver. She may have to bear the burden of most of the fault in my view. She knew the van was there. She knew her kitten could have been there. A tragic accident was forseable. She did not do enough to prevent it. The better solution would have been to either keep her cats inside when the delivery was being made or to inspect under the vehicle before it was driven off.

How do cats know when we are coming home?

This page has been moved and added to because I believe that Google will end Blogger in the not too distant future.


Wednesday 28 September 2016

Employees at Mars Petcare kibble manufacturing facility exposed to pesticides on pet food ingredients?

This is an extraordinary story. A group of employees at a Mars Petcare kibble manufacturing facility are suing the company in negligence in exposing them to pesticides and other toxins in the preparation of pet food.

How can employees of a company manufacturing dry pet food (kibble) be exposed to pesticides and other toxins? Well, what they're saying is that the raw materials coming into the factory from which the dry cat food was made had been fumigated. But the raw material was not listed as having been fumigated. It went straight into making the pet food.

The word “fumigated" in this instance refers to being treated with phosphine gas. Phosphine is a pesticide.

So pesticides were being introduced into the facility. There are monitors in the factory to detect these pesticides. This by the way proves that it is commonplace to have carcasses treated with pesticides.

The employees claim that the monitoring of the presence of pesticides was illegally or fraudulently tampered with to hide the high levels of phosphine. The records were incomplete.

In addition some records indicate levels of phosphine at 30 times the safe upper limit at 5.85 parts per million.

Further there appears to have been high levels of mould.

One Facebook visitor commented that the factory had killed his/her father.

“I always said that placed killed my dad…”

There appears to have been quite a lot of chat surrounding the hazardous nature of working at this facility.

The hazards were reported to the authorities and no action taken.

There was also a hole in the roof. I am guessing but this is also claimed to be a source of contamination.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture says the plant is now closed.

The law suit is in court on January 2nd 2017.

Clearly interested parties to this legal action are concerned about the rights and welfare of the factory workers. However, all cat and dog owners are also concerned at the claim that pesticides went straight into dry pet food. An astonishing claim.

Not only were the employees in danger of being poisoned so are pets in the long term.

The case may blow the lid on the opaque practices of the pet food industry. It may shed some light on the murky methods employed by the big pet food manufacturers.

We know that animal welfare is not their first concern. It may be worse than that.

This is a heavily summarised post. The source is the Truth About Pet Food.

Monday 19 September 2016

Two photos of Palmerston the house cat at the UK's Foreign Office

They are not great photos; more snapshots. But it was all I could get on a recent visit to this vast, ornate building near the Palace of Westminster. Palmerston is named after a former Prime Minister. His job is to keep down rodents. He has caught 22 mice since being hired not long ago.

He wanted some peace a quiet so slopped off to a quiet corner where the public could not go. He is very laid back. As you can see he is a random bred black-and-white; a tuxedo cat.

Were recent terrorist bombs in America organised by Russia's foreign military intelligence agency?

There has been a spate of terrorist activity in America, most recently the pressure cooker bomb exploding in New York City's Chelsea district wounding 29 people.

Law enforcement is trying to find out who is behind it and the reason for it. It occurred to me that the reason for it could be to ensure that Donald Trump becomes the next president of the United States of America. If that is the reason and it might sound far-fetched then the organisation behind these bombs could be Russian intelligence as directed by Vladimir Putin. This is because Putin believes that if Donald Trump becomes president there will be a rapprochement between the two nations which will lead to the lifting of financial sanctions against Russia.

Sorry for temporarily putting on hold posts about cats. I only do this very rarely.

Russia is in dire need of financial assistance. They are burning through their reserves very quickly. There is no likelihood of a price rise in oil in the near or medium-term future. Russia is dependent upon all revenues for its balance of payments. There is increased poverty in Russia. Putin remains popular but his popularity is waning due to the financial crisis.

Donald Trump has made it known to the world that he admires Putin. They could readily enter into a dialogue on the lifting of sanctions and even the acceptance by America of Russia's invasion of Crimea.

The Russian state has a history of criminal activity including assassinations and murders in other countries and in Russia. Dissidents who emigrate from Russia and settle in other countries such the UK sometimes end up dead at the hands of highly skilled assassins employed by Russia's foreign military intelligence main agency which is commonly called the GRU.

I'm simply putting out this suggestion as an idea because law enforcement in America is struggling to find the reason for the recent bombings. The likely suspect would be Muslim extremists inspired by ISIS but bearing in mind the imminent election of the new president of the USA in 49 days it is timely to create chaos with terrorism in order to make Donald Trump more popular and therefore more likely to win because he has consistently presented to his supporters a hard line towards law and order, immigration and terrorism.

Only recently, in fact shortly after the New York pressure cooker bomb, he said that terrorism must stop giving a clear signal that if he became president he would do all could to heighten and make more rigourous the fight against terrorism in United States of America.

Terrorism now will make it more likely that Donald Trump makes it to the White House and Putin wants him there.

Friday 19 August 2016

Why Do Cats Rule the Internet?

Why do cats rule the Internet? It is a peculiar phenomenon. However, it is not that peculiar when you analyse it. The short answer as to why cat videos and funny cat pictures have been so popular on the Internet is because they make people feel happier, less anxious and less sad.

It is about as simple as that as far as I can tell. The result of a study at Indiana University lead by Asst Prof Jessica Myrick came to the above conclusion. There asked 7000 people how they felt before and after watching cat videos.

I suppose when you think about it the fact that cat videos make is happy has to be the right answer. Perhaps it could be said that cat videos make us the happiest amongst all the videos which are intended to make us happy.

The cat video which has been viewed the most is called “Nyan Cat". It's a rather peculiar video in my opinion - designed to be viewed by younger people who are the most likely to visit YouTube.

It is short and you can see it below. It has being viewed 137,492,886 times at the time of dictating this post. Extraordinary. The name Nyan originates from the Japanese sound "nya" which is their version of the meow in English. It is considered cute. I think the Japanese like cuteness as far as I remember.

In addition to videos there are funny cat pictures. These are also enormously popular. In 2007 a couple of people, Eric Nakagawa and Kari Unebasami (Japanese I presume) started a website on which people could share their funny cat pictures. The site became very popular very quickly and people started to add words to the pictures (LOL cats). Currently it has over 100,000,000 views per month and it created a new sort of Internet language.

Funny cat pictures and funny cat videos spawned the celebrity cat which we now know very well. Top celebrity cats make a lot of money for their owners. It has been reported that Grumpy Cat has made over $100,000,000 for her owner. Lil Bub has earned, we are told, around £130,000 for charity (pets with special needs).

You Tube videos of cats had been viewed around 26,000,000,000 times making them the most popular single category on that website.

Monday 15 August 2016

Cat Trivia: Domestic Cat Milk Contains Eight Times More Protein Than Human Milk

Domestic cat milk contains eight times more protein than human milk and three times as much fat. Did you know that? I think is an interesting bit of domestic cat trivia as I've called it. I also think it's pretty impressive.

Kittens grow rapidly (hardly surprising feeding on that kind of milk) as their mother uses her body reserves to produce milk. In one study it was found that mothers lost about 5.7 g per day when lactating. Kittens from larger litters are smaller and put on weight more slowly than kittens from smaller litters.

Female cat can give birth to between one and ten kittens. The average litter is about four or five kittens.

The largest litter ever recorded was 13 kittens. Each kitten weighs about 3% of their mother's body weight at birth or around 90 to 110 grams.

Source: Wild Cats of the World pages 108 and 109. Get this book.

Friday 12 August 2016

Are cats more intelligent than dogs?

I would like to take a different angle on the question in the title. I think it's a silly debate. I think it's pointless to ask this sort of question for various reasons. Firstly it is very difficult to measure intelligence of humans because there are various types of intelligence and therefore it is next to impossible to reliably measure the intelligence of companion animals. The test that have been devised generally, as I recall, favoured dogs as being slightly more intelligent than cats but as mentioned there are different types of intelligence and how good are these tests? How reliable are these tests? I suspect they're not very reliable.

I don't think we need to know whether a cat or a dog is more intelligent than the other. We know they are of similar intelligence; let's just say that and focus on more important things which are to do with us not cats and dogs. We should ask questions as to how we can improve animal welfare. We should ask questions as to how we can improve the attitude of a minority of cat owners who are irresponsible. These are far more important question. They are questions which are not being asked sufficiently often.

I don't really wish to say much more than that.....perhaps one or two things...Dogs have bigger brains than cats but that doesn't mean that they're more intelligent. You see what I mean? It's all a little bit silly. I don't think I've read any study about cat and dog intelligence which really stacks up and is rigorously scientific. They are more about entertaining humans than pure science.

In any event it doesn't make any difference how intelligent a cat or dog is really. The most important thing is how good a companion they are and how good we are at bringing the best out of dog and cat companions.

Saturday 30 July 2016

Why Are Cats...?

 If you search in Google for “why are cats" every result on page one completes the sentence like this:

"Why are cats frightened of cucumbers...!?

I find that surprising in many ways, but unsurprising in one way.  This is because there are a lot of videos on the Internet of cats being terrified at the sight of a cucumber.  There's been a lot of debate about why cats are terrified of cucumbers.

The answer must be the logical one and the straightforward one which is that the cucumber is a foreign and strange looking object to the domestic cat and when it is placed on the floor behind a domestic cat without the cat's knowledge then the cat will be frightened when he suddenly sees it.

This is because in that instant the cat does not know whether the object is alive or dead, inanimate or living, and therefore the cat's immediate reaction is defensive and to get out of the way as quickly as possible.

That is it and it's rather bizarre in some ways that a very general part-question such as “why are cats..."  is completed with a question about cucumbers!  There are so many other ways to complete this sentence and all the other ways will be far more profound and important than the ones provided by Google in their search results.  It's a reflection on how people use the Internet and what interests people about cats.

Sunday 24 July 2016

How do margays get their food?

The question in the title asks how do margays hunt prey and then catch prey. This is my interpretation of the question in the title. It needs to be said right away that the margay is an incredibly agile small wild cat species which has physical adaptations allowing the cat to climb trees with great agility. You can read more about that on this page.

There's not been much research and very few observations of the hunting behaviour of wild margays. The limited research and information indicates that this cat species does much of its hunting above the ground.

In Guyana it was reported that the margay feeds on large arboreal mammals such as porcupines and capuchin monkeys. Although this report is unreliable. Recent analysis of the stomach contents and faeces of the margay indicates that they feed mainly on small rodents, insects, fruit and birds.

Most of the margay's prey are arboreal (living in trees) and nocturnal (active by night). However, this cat species also hunts on the ground.

One scientist radio collared a margay travelling from one hunting area to another on the ground. They probably kill whatever suitable terrestrial prey they encounter while moving between hunting areas.

In Brazil another scientists watched the margay spent 20 minutes trying to catch a bird. The bird was 6 meters up in a bamboo club. The cat was in the bamboo clump himself and when the bird flew off the cat came to the ground. The same scientists recorded a margay eating an amphibian beneath the tree.

In Venezuelan, the stomach contents of 2 margays contained the remains of three spiny pocket mice, a cane rat and a squirrel. Of these three items of prey, the squirrel was the only one which is arboreal.

In Chiapas, Mexico it has been reported that the margay preyed on field mice, rabbits and young pacas and agoutis. These are all ground dwelling animals.

In Panama, a margay's stomach contents contained the remains of a common opossum.

In Brazil the stomach contents of another margay contained the remains of a guinea pig, the fur and bones of a water rat and the feathers of a tinamou.

In Belize it was found that the climbing rat was the most common element of the margay's diet. It occurred in almost half of the 27 faeces collected.

Fruit occurred in 14% of the samples of faeces taken from margays in Belize. Insects were found in the third of the faeces (scats).

As to the actual method of hunting and killing prey this would be very similar to the domestic cat's methods which means stalking, pouncing and then killing often by a bite to the nape of the neck to sever the spinal cord.

I hope that answers the question in the title.

Source: Myself and Wild Cats Of The World by the Sunquists.

What wild cats live in Georgia?

In my honest opinion, only one wild cat species lives in Georgia, officially, and that is the American bobcat. You may see the odd Puma but they are not meant to be there. That is what the experts say. Perhaps a Florida panther might wander into Georgia but I would doubt it. If someone knows better they can leave a comment, please. If you want to know what wild cats live in America, please click on this link, which tells you which wildcat species live in which country across the planet.

What wild cats live in England?

The short answer is that no wild cats live in England. Just north of the border in Scotland there are some Scottish wild cats. They are part of the wildcat species. At one time it was thought there were about 400 of them. Now people believe there may not even be any genuine, purebred Scottish wildcats in Scotland. This is because they have crossbred with domestic cats to become hybrids.

This cat used to live in England but was extirpated and became extinct in England, as I recall, in 1835. This was because it was sport hunted to extinction. That's it. There is nothing more to say to answer the question in the title. It's a sad answer.

Thursday 21 July 2016

Can you break the window of a car if there's a pet inside in very hot weather?

In hot weather sometimes a person will see a dog or even a cat inside a car with the windows fully up and it may occur to that person whether they are entitled to break a window of the car to allow air into it thereby quite possibly saving the life of the dog inside.

And it can be a matter of life and death. Even under moderately warm weather it can become unbearably hot for a dog inside a car as the heat builds up.

Whether a person can break the window of a car firstly must depend upon the law in the country where that person lives. I would suspect that the law is similar across many countries in the West and even in other parts of the world.

Technically, breaking the window of a car is criminal damage. It is a crime. The person doing it could be prosecuted and the sentence would be a fine.

However, the person has a defence. He could say that he believed that he would have the consent of the dog's owner under the particular circumstances under which he broke the window. This would be a reasonable assessment provided the dog was in great distress.

If the dog was not in great distress it might be considered unreasonable to break the window. In addition it would be safer and more sensible if the person telephoned the police first as an emergency and then the RSPCA or any other animal welfare organisation which is appropriate in the country concerned.

If the person believes that in calling the police they would take too long to get to the car to release the dog then it could be successfully argued that he had to break the window based on the defense, as mentioned above, that the dog's owner would have given consent.

As you can see is not black and white. There has to be some sensible considerations before breaking the window. If police were involved they would no doubt gain access to the car as would a burglar by releasing the locking mechanism using certain tools. Although on occasions police may well break the window.

Many people would readily break the window of the car and take the risk of prosecution. They would do this because of great concern for the pet's welfare inside the car.

In addition, even if the person breaking the window did so without taking the precautions referred to above, it would be unusual for the car's owner to seek a prosecution in my opinion. Perhaps the worst case scenario might be that you would have to pay for repair of the car although that would be unlikely considering the dog's life might well have been saved.

You can't bring back a dog killed through heat exhaustion in the back of red-hot car but you can replace a car window.

Monday 11 July 2016

How much are cat vaccinations UK and USA?

Cat vaccinations are cheap when you think about the health benefits they bring provided you consider the risk factors in respect of boosters. There is a lot of chatter about how necessary booster vaccinations are. In the past vets have tended to overdo them for commercial reasons.

The prices are naturally date sensitive. In ten years these prices will seem very cheap! The cost for a first vaccination in the UK is around £30-£41 and in the USA the cost is around $45-$85 depending on the vaccination. The higher figure may relate to rabies. Boosters are cheaper. You'll probably find that you may be able to get them done cheaper under certain circumstances. Rescue cats adopted from shelters are pre-vaccinated. You'll need to get a booster once you adopt the cat. In the USA, Vetco charge $55 for a double vaccination and a deworm (see above). This was chosen by me at random but it is not that easy to find prices listed on the internet, surprisingly.

Sunday 10 July 2016

How many cat colors are there?

Cat colors nearly always relate to cat breeds as opposed to species. If the question means "How many cat colors and pattern combinations are there for the cat breeds" (which is what I think the question means) the answer, per Gloria Stephens in her excellent book: legacy of the cat (lower case title) is....144...Hope this helps :)

If the question is purely about cat breed coat colors I don't know the answer because the question might be too tricky to answer bearing in mind that color types are dictated by the cat associations of which there are several. They can have different ideas. Comments welcomed ;)

Sorry for the weak answer. I am watching the men's final at Wimbledon 2016 while writing this... :)

How many cat species are there?

Depending on whose version of taxonomy that you rely on there are between 36-41 species of cat. The variation is because some scientists treat subspecies as species and vice versa. If you treat a species as a subspecies it reduces the number of species. If you treat a subspecies as a species then the number rises. This latter scenario is more common and why Wikipedia list 41 or 40 species of cat.

Personally I rely on the famous book: Wild Cats Of The World by Mel and Fiona Sunquist who list 36 species. On my website (PoC) I list 37. The reason given is stated on this page which is the first of two pages on all the wild cat species.

Note: "species" is not "breed". Species is a scientific term within the science of taxonomy while "breed" is a cat breeder's term. All breeds are one species felis silvestris catus.

You can see a full page written in straightforward English on the wild cat species by clicking this link. Hope this helps.

Monday 20 June 2016

Cats Are Jerks. Discuss

Cats are jerks that's what some people say. They compiled a list of cats being jerks on a major website and every occasion can be explained in terms of natural cat behaviour on the one hand and the human's rather peculiar desire to be amused by the domestic cat on the other hand.

Name me an occasion when a cat is being jerk and I will name you the reason why the cat is not being a jerk. And the person who described the cat as being a jerk is really the jerk.

There are countless examples. To name a couple. Your cat is lying on your computer keyboard. He is in the way. He's a jerk. No he's not. He just wants to be near you. Or the keyboard may be warm because it has been used a lot. He likes the warmth. He does not know that he is on a computer keyboard. I guess that is obvious even to the biggest human jerk.

Recently, or not so long ago, there were a whole range of videos about cats being scared of cucumbers. Some people might say the cat is behaving like a jerk but I'd say the cat was simply temporarily scared of a strange object put down behind him. This is normal. The person who put the cucumber on the ground behind the cat knowing that the cat would be frightened is the jerk because he did it for his amusement at the expense of making his cat frightened.

It all depends how you look at it. A lot of people, most of them are probably non-cat owning people, turn to the domestic cat as a source of entertainment on YouTube. They're looking for cats behaving as jerks which they find entertaining. It's all a question of perception. Some people will find some aspects of the cat's behaviour as strange and as a consequence they describe the cat as being a jerk.

I see cat behavior as cause-and-effect; as natural behaviour caused by any form of stimulus or circumstance. All of it can be explained as natural behaviour quite obviously. You can't describe natural animal behaviour as bizarre because it is normal. If it is natural it must be normal and if people see normal behaviour as bizarre and jerk-like then there is something wrong with them in my opinion.

I hate to say it but it's human behavior which can be unnatural and deviant. People who behave like this are the jerks.

Sunday 19 June 2016

How can cats see in the dark?

How can cats see in the dark? The answer is that they have a reflective layer behind the retina of the eyes which bounces back light into the eye, onto the retina, boosting the reception of the light. You can see this reflective layer on occasions when a light is shone into the eyes of a cat. It is noticeable at night when driving, if and when you see a cat looking towards you. The car lights are reflected in the eyes of the cat and you see this green, sharp glow-"cat's eyes". Cats have developed this in order to hunt more effectively at dawn and at dusk or during the night. It is an evolved anatomical development of the eye to improve survival. It is Darwin's survival of the fittest in action. This evolutionary development took place in the North African wild cat, the ancient wild ancestor of our beloved domestic cat.

How much are cats at petco?

How much are cats at Petco? People ask this question on the Internet. It is a bad question1. People should be asking, "what's the best place to adopt a cat from?" And the answer will always be a rescue centre. That is the only place one needs to go to to adopt a cat and you will feel better about it because not only will you have adopted a cat for yourself but you will have probably saved the life of a cat. It's a win-win situation and when you adopt a cat from a rescue centre you do more than adopt a companion animal for your benefit, you will have benefited in a small way the entire population of unwanted domestic cats on the planet. It will have been a gift to the world. You'll feel better, so it will be a gift to you as well.

Note 1 - if Petco only have rescue cats then I am wrong ;)

Sunday 24 April 2016

Donating to Some UK Medical Charities Can Mean That You Support Experiments on Animals

I'm sure that most people are unaware of this. Many people donate money to some of the UK's leading medical charities such as Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation. Both of the charities mentioned fund experiments on animals. There are others.

The Victims of Charity website helps us understand and empowers people to challenge recent examples of charity-supported experiments on animals.

I've mentioned the British Heart Foundation. This charity has supported a catalogue of repulsive experiments including dogs and pigs being deliberately given heart attacks, pregnant sheep being surgically mutilated and partially suffocated, and rats being deprived of oxygen for two weeks.

The Cure Parkinson's Trust has co-funded an experiment in which marmoset monkeys were brain-damaged by a toxic chemical overdosed with a Parkinson's disease bug to induce debilitating side-effects. They were also given ecstasy or a derivative of it.

The Alzheimer's Society has co-funded research in which mice were genetically altered to suffer from a crude version of Alzheimer's disease and they were subjected to highly stressful behavioural tests such as being forced to swim around in a pool of water looking for an escape route.

The Cancer Research UK charity has co-funded experiments in which genetically modified mice without fur were injected with human cancer cells and forced to endure the growth of a tumour inside them for three weeks before some of them were treated. Other rodents were poisoned for around six months with an industrial chemical to induce the development of cancer.

People should be aware of of the above information. When people give to charity a lot of them would be horrified to know that they are funding cruel animal experiments.

There are many organisations that only fund non-animal human-relevant research. To find out the names of these charities and to find out about the policies of charities on vivisection you can go to the website and I also urge you to visit the website.

In writing this short article I have quoted sometimes verbatim from a pamphlet given to me by a representative of the victims for charity and animal aid websites. I do so in order to pass on the message. The pamphlet certainly enlightened me. I hope this helps.

Do Cat Owners Feel Guilty When Their Cat Is Abused?

I'm sure that you probably think that a cat owner will feel guilty if their cat is abused by somebody. The point is this. It depends on who did the abusing. If a neighbour or somebody the cat owner does not know at all or not very well abuses their cat in some way shape or form then a study has revealed that the cat owner will not feel guilty because they feel that they could not have foreseen the abuse.

They feel this despite the fact that they may have let their cat go outside unsupervised. To some people it would seem that the owner is partly to blame for the abuse under the circumstances. However, the owner appears to accept that all the blame is placed upon the abuser and that they are not culpable.

However, the position is quite different if a cat owner's partner or live-in lover or anybody else's living with them and with whom they are intimate, hurts their cat. Under these circumstances the cat owner does feel guilty.

The reason for this guilt is because the owner feels that they could have avoided the abuse if they'd done something about the presence of the person with whom they were being intimate: for example getting rid of them.

Another reason would be that the cat owner feels that the person doing the abusing wants to hurt them (emotionally) and that their cat is a vehicle for this purpose. Therefore they feel some blame because if they were not the object of the abusers actions their cat would not be abused. The cat is an innocent party in an abusive, difficult relationship. Under the circumstances the cat's owner has a responsibility to sort the matter out to ensure that their cat is safe. If the person doesn't do this she feels guilty.

Women who live in abusive situations appear to be more concerned about the welfare of their cat than themselves. Some women protect their cat or find ways to protect their cat from an abusive partner. They understand that their partner is abusive. They understand that he is no good and that their cat may be in danger. But they are unable to dissociate themselves from this person. Therefore they may take steps to protect their cat but they do not, on occasions, take the ultimate step of getting rid of the person.

There are no doubt many instances of men who batter their female partner who do so because they are alcoholics or are troubled in some shape or form. Sometimes there is co-dependency with respect to the female partner. Under these circumstances the cat owner, the female partner, will almost certainly feel guilty having placed a cat in these difficult and hazardous circumstances.

To recap: when a cat owner is in an intimate relationship with an animal abuser, the owner feels guilt if the abuser hurts her cat. Where the owner has a distant connection with the abuser then she does not feel guilt or does not normally feel guilt if a cat is abused by that person.

These findings come from a study which probably requires verification but it concerned interviewing a number of people, cat and dog owners, who had suffered anguish because of the abuse of their cat or dog.

The owner of a cat or dog should sit down and think how they would feel if there companion animal was abused by somebody; either killed or injured. They should then ask themselves whether they would feel guilty and bad about that. If they answer, YES, then they should take proactive steps to protect their cat from hazardous circumstances under which the abuse may take place. Only then will they protect themselves as well from the emotional anguish that long-term guilt will bring them.

You can read an alternative version of this topic here.

Monday 18 April 2016

Can cats get colds?

Yes, cats can get colds. The symptoms are like ours but the viruses causing the cold are different; herpesvirus and calicivirus. The cause upper respiratory infections which people refer to as URIs.

That's it really in terms of answering the question in the title. You can read about feline viruses on this page.

The best disinfectant is bleach. However there is a link between bleach and infections in kids.

Some breeders use L-lysine to help manage persistent herpes virus infections (read more).

The feline herpes virus is a bit of a monster in causing a lot of ill-health. There are many pages on it.

Thursday 21 January 2016

What is Good Photography?

Good photography is not just recording what is in front you. It is seeing merit in what is front of you and then transforming that into an image which speaks to all about life so that it touches the emotions of viewers.

My Cat

To see merit in the subject is itself a skill. To then enhance and transform the record/image to something which powerfully speaks to viewers is creating art (sometimes). Not many people can do this. Those who can are good photographers.

Photography is about communication. It is about touching the sensibility of viewers whereby they learn more about themselves and the world they live in.

In creating "art" there is usually a lot of thought. It does not come easy.

Note: the photo is by me of my cat. I don't profess to say that it is good photography. Just fun.

Thursday 7 January 2016

Photo Websites Are Spoilt by "Gaming the System"

I realise that this is not directly about cats but I want to get it off my chest. There are many photo websites where genuinely good photographers can publish their photographs.

One of the sites is the well-known Flickr. The trouble with Flickr is this: the most viewed photographs are not always the best ones. The photographs which are viewed the most are the ones which are heavily publicised the most.

The way photographers publicise their photographs is to "game the system" which means they join hundreds of groups and promote their photographs there or they follow thousands of other photographers and in doing so the photographer who they follow feels an obligation to return the favour and/or they favourite lots of other photographs so once again that photographer often returns the favour.

Tree Hugger

You can see, therefore, that photographers game the system and in effect through their efforts "buy" views and favourites and suchlike. On these photo website you can't just put your photograph up on the site no matter how good it is and expect it to receive lots of views unless a Flickr editor picks it whereby it is then promoted by Flickr itself. But that is relatively rare and they don't always pick the best photographs.

500px is a more professional photo website with a higher standard than Flickr and there is less gaming the system in order to obtain views on this website but it still exists to a certain extent. I would expect that all photo websites to have this deep flaw, which is disappointing because only the best photographs should receive the most views and that certainly isn't the case.

For the record this is not a personal moan because my photographs have been picked by editors before and they have received thousands of views. I'm just making the point that I don't think these photo sites should allow users to game the system so flagrantly and so frequently as it undermines the integrity of the website and the quality of the photographs presented to the public.

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