Showing posts from November, 2020

Cat in mountains on leash. Bad or good cat caretaking?

This tweet shows a beautiful grey cat on a leash high up in the mountains on a rocky ledge overlooking a beautiful lake. It's a great picture and for me it is the best sort of cat caretaking you can do. Do you think it is good or bad cat caretaking? If it's done properly with care and responsibility and with a healthy dose of common sense that it must be good for a domestic cat to do this.  Video screenshot It gives the domestic cat, who is perhaps confined to a home, the chance to smell the mountain air, feel the dirt and grass under their paws, and pretend for a while that they are just like their wild cat ancestor. If you can give a domestic cat the chance to behave safely as their wild cat ancestor did you have done them a good service.  You've injected some mojo back into their lives. They really do need this and if you think I'm wrong I'm sorry because there is no doubt that I'm correct. I'm not saying people should take their cat to the mountains like

American Veterinary Medical Association 'condemns' declawing of wild cats but 'discourages' it for domestic cats

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) take different positions with respect to the declawing of wild cats and domestic cats. This point has been highlighted by The Paw Project in a tweet on Twitter. You can see it below. They ask why there's a difference in policy. They don't explain therefore I will provide my reasons. Is a cat a cat? Why do you think the American Veterinary Medical Association CONDEMNS the declawing of wild and exotic cats and yet CONDONES declawing domestic cats? — The Paw Project (@pawproject) November 25, 2020 Declawing of domestic cats The AVMA wants their member veterinarians to be allowed to declaw domestic cats because it provides a very good income for them. In order to not rub their members up the wrong way they argue that their veterinarians should have the option to declaw based upon their discretion in conjunction with a consultation with the client.  The problem is that often American veterinarians quie

Domestic cats follow our energy levels

This is a short note, no more, about something which occurred to me the other day. Domestic cats do follow our energy levels. It is not a direct formula but in general if a cat owner is moderately active their cat will also be more active than they would otherwise be if their owner is very passive. Photo in public domain. It can be more precise than that. If, as I do, you do some exercises at home on the floor (due to coronavirus lockdowns), this in my experience stimulates a cat companion to participate. Conversely, if a person spends a lot of time in bed or sitting down it encourages their cat to either sit on their lap to join them or curl up somewhere else and be passive. If they are allowed outside they may go outside at that time to find their own activities. So what's the point of the article? It is healthier for a cat to be active at least a part of the day. My argument is that if a cat owner is highly inactive perhaps because they are elderly and infirm it is far from a

Covid-19: potential human-cat-human transmission chain

Research needs to be carried out to look at in detail the potential for a human-cat-human transmission chain with respect to Covid-19. This is because recent research studies published from Kansas State University has confirmed that domestic cats can be asymptomatic carriers of the virus. We actually know this already but as I understand that this is more recent research. Cats and people wear facemasks in 1918 during Spanish Flu pandemic. Picture: Dan Eskenazi. LINK TO STORY BEHIND IMAGE ABOVE . The researchers say that Covid-19 is being transmitted, and can be transmitted, from human patients to cats both domestic and captive large cats such as lions and tigers. Because of the obvious close association between humans and companion cats there is a question to be answered about whether cats can transmit the disease to people. Logic dictates that it does happen. This is been a question, actually, for quite a long time and until now and even today nobody can answer that question with

Why cat hiccups dilates the eye's pupil

Cats' eyes dilate when they hiccup. — Science is Amazing (@AMAZlNGSCIENCE) November 19, 2020 This is an embedded video and sometimes they stop working overtime. If that has happened I apologise but I have no control over it. This is an interesting little video which repeats itself. I am sure that it has been all over the Internet. However, I have just spotted it. The cat hiccups and immediately afterwards the pupil of the cat's eye opens slightly because the muscles of the iris relax. That is my theory. The pupil of the cat's eye is made smaller when the muscles of the iris are contracted. It requires muscular effort for the pupil to be in a contracted state. When the cat hiccups the purposefulness of that process of contracting the muscles of the iris is temporarily stopped as the hiccups distract the brain. Therefore the pupil enlarges and the eye becomes more dilated. That of course is a personal theory which I simply worked out bec

Weird Scottish Fold Pic

 If you'd like to read some articles about the Scottish Fold please click this link . Photo: Twitter. This is a gray Scottish Fold.

Mouse eye view of being chased by a cat

TikTok video screenshot. This is what it looks like from mouse to be chased by a cat down your burrow 😏 @jackthecat1 Jackie😹🙀 ##cats ♬ original sound - Jack

More domestic cats jumping into vans and being lost during Covid lockdowns

NEWS and VIEWS: The Edinburgh Evening News reports that, in Scotland, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of domestic cats being carried away from their home by delivery vans or removal lorries. This is because during lockdown many more people have taken to ordering products online which of course necessitates the arrival of a delivery van. The driver darts up to the front door leaving the van doors open. At that particular moment the family cat is wandering around the front of the house and being as inquisitive as ever jumps into the van and is driven away. Photo by Dids from Pexels Fortunately it appears that the majority of cats lost this way are microchipped but there are calls for delivery van drivers to check their vans before driving off which won't happen because they are so pressed for time. They barely have time to wait for the owner of the house to come to the front door. In fact nowadays they simply bang on the front door, leave the package by the door and

13.5% of domestic cats suffer from separation anxiety problems

The figure seems a little low to me but I'm going to rely upon a questionnaire survey sent to 130 owners of adult cats living in the city of Juiz de Fora in Minas Gerais, Brazil. There were 223 questions for each cat. The research is published in the journal PLOS ONE and it was published on April 15, 2020. Photo: Pixabay Information collected showed that 13.5% of the sampled cats i.e. 30 out of 223, had at least one symptom of separation anxiety or a separation problem such as destructive behaviour (which was the most frequently reported behavioural symptoms), excessive vocalisation, inappropriate urination, depression-apathy, aggression, agitation-anxiety and inappropriate defecation. Inappropriate defecation was the least encountered behavioural problem at seven of the cats while inappropriate urination occurred with 18 of the cats surveyed.  The cats lived in households whose owners varied in age between 18-35 years and in homes where there are no female residents or tw

Domestic cats like to touch their friends which includes humans

From @littlemunchiepooky: “Will you hold my paw while I sleep please? ❤️🐾” #catsofinstagram — Cats of Instagram (@catsofinstagram) November 12, 2020 You must have experienced this as well: your cat likes to touch you. Your cat might stretch out their foreleg to touch your hand. Or, alternatively, your cat might simply touch your hand with their paw. In this instance the man has offered the palm of his hand and his contented and relaxed cat placed his 'hand' into the hand of his owner. I described the cat's paw as a hand which is not strictly correct (!) but for the sake of argument I have chosen that description. The point to make though is that it is very typical of domestic cats to do this sort of thing. They really like contact. My cat will make direct contact paw-to-hand all the time. He takes pleasure in it and I'm sure that it reassures him. Reassuring our cat is something we should always try and achieve because anxiety is not far f

Declawing cats is not a last resort for almost all US vets

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, declawing is supposed to be a "last resort" after all humane alternatives have been exhausted. How can declawing be a "last resort" when 76% of declaw surgeries are performed on kittens fewer than 8 months old? — The Paw Project (@pawproject) November 9, 2020 According to the AVMA, declawing of cats in the USA is meant to be a last resort after a thorough consultation between veterinarian and the cat's owner. This can't be the case because a lot of the animals declawed are young kittens. How can they be a problem to anybody? It's a good argument but you don't need that argument because everybody knows that the declawing of cats is not a last resort for the vast majority if not all veterinarians who carry it out. It's a first port of call. It's an option which they grab with both hands. They convince the client, the cat's owner, to have it done because s

Indoor cat loves the smells of the outdoors

From @henrythecoloradodog: “Sometimes I swear B is actually a dog.” #catsofinstagram — Cats of Instagram (@catsofinstagram) November 12, 2020 I've taken the liberty of deciding that this cat, who is so enjoying a car ride, lives inside their owner's home all the time. When they're taken outside in a car ride and the window is wound down all the smells of the exterior come to her. You can see she's taking it all in. She loves the breeze and the gentle smells of the countryside. Her dog companion is enjoying the journey as much. I could be wrong about the cat being full-time indoors. But you can see the owner has brought her cat on a lead which is sensible as the cat is allowed to perch at an open car window while the car is travelling but this looks like a trip that the owners have taken for both their pets to give them a bit of fun and stimulation and also make a neat little 10 second video.

Toothbrush makes newborn kitten purr

From @kellyfosterkittens: “Goooood morning! ❤️ A toothbrush feels like a mother cat’s tongue, providing comfort and cleaning them! Can you tell by the purrs that Luna is enjoying this? 🥰” #catsofinstagram — Cats of Instagram (@catsofinstagram) November 12, 2020 This tiny kitten thinks the toothbrush is her mother's tongue so she enjoys being "licked" by her mother. She starts to purr and offers up her chin for a wash. I think it is the first time that I've heard such a young kitten purring and you can see her left arm juddering slightly in pleasure. That is my reading of her behaviour. It is a form of feline allogrooming only the human is using a toothbrush very gently to simulate an adult cat's tongue.

Example of domestic cat copying a human

This is a nice little video (terrible image quality) on of a young cat who copies his human companion's hand movement. It is very interesting to see as it confirms that our savvy cat companions observe us and sometimes copy us. In fact they do it all the time which is why you see cats opening doors to rooms and fridges and turning on bathroom taps etc.. The embedded video does not work so I'll provide a link instead. It may disappear and if so I apologise but I can't control it.

It looks likely that lynx will be re-introduced to England

The Eurasian lynx was exterminated from the UK in the Middle Ages about 1300 years ago. It was over-hunted to extinction. We have a moral duty to right that wrong although farmers do not want to see the lynx reintroduced into England or Scotland, for that matter, because they think this handsome wild cat will attack and eat their sheep. Despite the resistance from farmers, there is talk, again, of wolves and lynx being reintroduced into the UK because the project is being backed by the new head of Natural England, Tony Juniper.  He became chairman of the organisation last year and is much more of a supporter of rewilding than his predecessor. Between wolves and lynx, he said that it is more likely that the lynx will be reintroduced into England at Thetford Forest which straddles the Norfolk-Suffolk border. Mr Juniper said that he wanted to build on the success of the reintroduction of beavers in Devon and white-tailed Eagles on the Isle of Wight. In November 2018 Michael Gove the th

Tasmanian farmers believe that cat excrement makes their ewes lose their lambs

I have to be brutally frank and state that Tasmanian farmers are behaving in a pretty crude way. I'm told that some of them believe that the excrement from feral cats makes their ewes lose their lambs. This must come from the belief that toxoplasma gondii oocysts in the faeces of cats are ingested by the sheep which causes them to abort. Science proves that this happens but surely there is a less cruel way of dealing with the matter? It looks like ignorant behaviour to me. What I mean is ignorance of decency. I have learned that there is an effective vaccine against toxo. Why can't they use it? They have a problem with toxoplasmosis although they probably don't realise that cats only shed toxoplasma gondii oocysts for a very short period of time and not all cats carry the disease (but apparently more than half do) but they kill them brutally nonetheless. The problem is that the oocysts are hardy and present a health problem. I can't show a picture of feral cats strung u

Don't do anything bad which your cat will remember

In my experience, domestic cats have a very good memory for bad experiences. Something you may have done which frightened him or her will stick in their minds for a very long time. In fact they may never forget it. You might, for example, accidentally walk on your cat's paw because he's right behind you. Or you might lose your temper one day and shout at your cat. It is likely that your cat will remember these events. It may alter his behaviour. It may create a bit of doubt in his mind. It certainly won't help the relationship.  Zen cat. Photo: nosenekoshiro (Instagram). The worst thing you can do is to aggressively slap your cat or shout at him because he's annoyed you. I can understand the desire to do this if you're stressed for whatever reason, and at the moment there are good reasons to be stressed with the coronavirus crisis. It's a particular moment when cats might be the victim of domestic violence. It only takes a moment when tempers are lost and t