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Showing posts from June, 2022

UK cost of living crisis pushes up cat and dog abandonment sometimes callously and cruelly

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The newspapers are reporting on an aspect of the cost of living crisis in the UK which is troubling to me and other animal advocates. People are giving up cats and dogs in greater numbers than normal and the RSPCA as a shelter and sanctuary is running out of space. They are going on waiting lists. I suspect that this problem is compounded by the end of Covid during which people adopted more cats and dogs than usual to keep themselves company. These were arguably irresponsible adoptions without concern for the long-term consequences and responsibilities. One of 11 puppies thrown away like rubbish in Norfolk, UK. Photo: RSPCA. See story below . And on their Facebook page, the RSPCA illustrate the callousness with which some British citizens throw away their pets. They don't bother to contact the RSPCA or any other shelter to offer them their companion animal but they simply put them in plastic bags and leave them next to the rubbish. July 25, 2022 The RSPCA have an appeal for informa

Picture of cat tattoo discussion

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Here is a nice TikTok video of a charming young woman telling us why she wanted a cat tattoo but not of her cat. She was correctly anxious about the tattoo not being a decent likeness of her cat. That would have been too difficult to bear. So, she took a picture from Messrs Google. This makes a lot of sense to me. I am sure that it is impossible for a tattoo artist to accurately replicate the appearance of your cat. It is always going to be a failure. To play the video please click on the center play button and then the play button lower left! 😎. Yes, I know it is a very high-tech website. I wrote the section below in 2008, 14 years ago! The bit above has been added on June 27th 2022. I felt that the page needed to be refreshed. Part 2 Something completely different for me - picture of a cat tattoo . Cat tattoos are popular it seems. As my site is called "Pictures of Cats" it means any pictures of cats and not just photographs of cats. There is the interesting dimension of w

Murderous moggies: should we be locking up our cats at night?

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From time to time, on a regular basis, there are calls to restrict the movements of domestic cats in order to protect wildlife specifically birds and in this instance bats. So, the call is for a night-time curfew for domestic cats. The first point to make is that we don't know how many bats are killed by domestic cats at night. I strongly suspect that it is very few indeed. But it might depend where the cat lives. In the UK we just don't see bats flying around at night but perhaps I'm being too casual about it. On a more important point, bats are more likely to be carriers of rabies in the US, for example. This is not an issue in the UK. However, this must be a factor for keeping cats inside at night.  Where a cat wants to be at night despite the rain. Image in the public domain. And with respect to birds, I recently wrote about an RSPB statement that there is no scientific support that domestic cats threaten bird populations in the UK and I would suspect the same applies

Why are a cat's eyes always dilated?

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The first important point to note is that the question asks why a cat's eyes are ALWAYS dilated. In other words, this is a permanent state of affairs. In this state of affairs, the irises do not contract to a narrow pupil but there are always wide open with a big circular black orb for the eye and almost no visible iris. Dilated pupils of a cat. The second point to note is that the muscles of the iris contract to allow much less light through the pupil on a bright day. And they relax to let in more light when the conditions are dark. There is a 135 times difference in the amount of light that the iris allows to pass into the eye between wide open and closed to a slit. The nerves of the retina send a signal to the brain which sends another signal to the irises to relax or contract depending upon the light conditions. If the retina is malfunctioning and not able to convert light into an image the brain receives a signal that the light conditions are dim and then directs the iris to o

Girls are like cats and boys are like dogs!

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What do you think? Are these the wise words of a young man on TikTok or just a nice, convenient analogy? I don't think it is as straightforward as he makes out. It get the message but you can't pigeon hole all females in the same group in terms of their attitude towards dating and the same goes for males.  It is all depends on many things. Today in particular with the woke movement, you cannot pigeonhole all females and all males as separate groups. There is an entirely fluid group in the middle made up of members of the LGBTQIA+ community and so on.  The sexual preferences and gender of all humanity is a spectrum. You cannot compartmentalise it in the little boxes. It is far better to visualise it as a continuous spectrum. Nonetheless, I quite like this bloke's analogy which he delivers with confidence and clearly with first hand experience. Note: to run this video, click on the center play button followed by the play button bottom-left 😎. High tech. Although there is ano

Ukrainian mother refugee in UK misses her cat in Ukraine and will return

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Olga Pavolvska and her daughter, Masha are refugees from Ukraine who were welcomed in the UK as a consequence of Putin's invasion of their country. They are among more than 82,000 others from Ukraine in the UK. Olga found settling in the UK difficult. Her daughter, Masha, has found it easier because her English is better and being younger she is arguably more adaptable. She has made friends. Masha and her mother Olga. She will remain in the UK while her mother will return to Ukraine. Photo: Vicki Couchman. While her mother will return to Ukraine shortly, Masha, 15, will stay and has been offered a free place at a private school in September. She plans to go to university in the UK afterwards. Of course she misses her home in Ukraine and her friends the but it appears that she is settling well in the UK. In an interview with The Sunday Times newspaper, Olga said: "It has been difficult and sad. I miss my dog Bekky, my cat Dafne my home and all my plants." And of course she

Holding your cat to kill a mosquito is not a good idea

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There is a video called: "Cats go bug-hunting after spotting mosquito in the house". The description is misleading. The owner is holding up his cat above his head in the hope and expectation that the cat catches a mosquito. It seems horribly contrived and it looks like they decided to make a funny video but actually it's very boring. cat held up to catch a mosquito. Silly idea and it might cause a health problem for the cat. Screenshot from video, It happened in the UK. One of the cats is a Siamese called Pixie and the other cat is a tabby called Wrex. Not only is the video badly contrived, I do not think that it is a good idea either. It seems possible to me that a mosquito could bite the inside of a cat's mouth if they are held up to a mosquito like this. Or they might bite the ear flaps where the fur and skin is thin. Although the possibility of disease transmission from mosquito the cat is slight, it must exist. In the UK I would have thought there is little risk

Sofia from Bucha, Ukraine lost her arm, her mother and her cat.

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Sofia from Bucha, Ukraine lost her arm, her mother and her cat. Sofia from #Bucha lost her arm, her mother and her cat. Now she is in safe, but thousands of Ukrainian children continue to suffer because of russian aggression. #ArmUkraine now to save human lives and stop the killer state! Photo by alenglish_ Sofia’s sister. pic.twitter.com/MMvEm3w1p3 — Defence of Ukraine (@DefenceU) June 24, 2022 Note : This is an embedded tweet. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it. Please don't forget Ukraine. Don't let the war tire you to the point where you forget about it. All of us in the free West should support Ukraine's defence against the tyrant Putin until Ukraine pushes the invading hordes out of their country. Then we should force Russia to pay hundreds of billions of dollars to rebuild Ukraine while bankrupting bloody Russia. This is part of the price Putin must pay for his

Improving the olfactory and visual environment of full-time indoor cats

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I have just bumped into something that I think is interesting and which is particularly pertinent today with so many full-time indoor cats. I believe that often these cats are under-stimulated. I'm not apportioning blame. I just think that you can't bring cats in from the outside and confine them to the inside and leave it at that. The human caregiver has more to do and here are two examples. RELATED:  The big flaw that is never admitted in keeping cats indoors full-time . Olfactory This tip applies more to shelter cats than to full-time indoor domestic cats in homes but I think it is relevant. It is called "olfactory enrichment". The experts believe that it is relatively underused in animal housing perhaps because humans have a relatively poor sense of smell compared to cats and other animals. Catnip gives your cat pleasure. Image: Johnsons veterinary products. We know that you can buy catnip spray. I think that if you use catnip spray from time to time to spray into

Cats prefer to go under rather than over obstacles when possible!

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Domestic cats prefer to go under than over obstacles. Screenshot. If this white traditional Persian (much better than the 'ultra-Persian') is typical of all domestic cats, and I believe that she probably is, domestic cats prefer to go under rather than over obstacles because it requires less effort. This can only be the logical reason. And what is extraordinary if the tiny space that adult cats can squeeze through. Domestic cats really do have very squidgy bodies. Perhaps one reason is the floating clavicle (collar bone). The video is by mmeowmmia - Mia & Jerrie on TikTok.     You might have thought that as cats are such good jumpers they'd jump over as a choice when the space to crawl through is tiny. But no. I believe that this about conserving energy. Conserving energy aids in survival as less calories are bunt. That might be important if food was scarce. Just a guess.

Polio is back in the UK but it cannot be transmitted to animals

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Polio is not zoonotic meaning that it cannot be transmitted from person to animal and vice versa. However, that a report today in the online news media saying that polio is back in the UK and it has been declared a national incident because it is the first time it has been found to exist in the UK for nearly 40 years.  Girl has polio. Photo: Courtesy of the Boston Children's Hospital They believe that the poliovirus came from a live vaccine given to a person living abroad. They came to this country and the poliovirus was in their faeces. This latest virus apparently has mutated over time and is now classified as a "vaccine-derived" poliovirus type II which behaves more like a wild polio.  They picked up the virus in sewage I understand. Most people in the UK are vaccinated against polio as I understand it. I certainly am out but I am 73 years old. On the rare occasions that it can infect the spinal cord and the base of the brain it causes paralysis, normally in the legs,

Why do up to 10x more cats die under or after a general anesthetic than humans?

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Feline anaesthetic deaths in veterinary practice are at approximately 0.11% (1 in 895 anaesthetics) of healthy cats. A study reports that this is more than twice as frequent as has been recently reported in dogs. And for humans it is 1-4 deaths per 10,000 anaesthesias. Let's just recap that. One death per 10,000 is 0.01% which is about 10 times less than for cats. 4 deaths per 10,000 is going to be half the rate of cats or even better. There is no way to avoid the conclusion that between double to 10 times the number of cats die under general anaesthetic compared to humans. We need to know why, don't we? So far, I have not found an answer. Can somebody out there who reads this article tell me the reason why? Is it because veterinarians don't have the same standard of equipment that hospital doctors have? His female cat went in for a standard spaying operation and came out severely injured. It makes me sick and mad to be honest. Is it because veterinarians have to be doctors

Indoor cats stop fighting to watch a bird outside the window

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This video on Instagram has caught the eye of many people. They are amused by the fact that this couple of domestic cats suddenly stop fighting when they hear a bird outside the window. They have a common enemy which stops them being enemies. That is the argument. However, it is a false one because these two cats are buddies. They are friends. And in any case a bird is not the enemy of a cat. They are a 'prey item'. Cats stop fighting to watch a bird. They are not fighting with animosity. They are play-fighting which comes entirely naturally for domestic cats. They are playing like kittens because - and I have said this before - they are kept in a mental state which is similar to that of a kitten. This is because they are looked after by a human. They have a permanent mother and therefore they do not need to grow up and become truly independent. That said, clearly their predatory instincts are immediately aroused and take instant priority over their play-fighting. And this is t

Are these cats playing or fighting?

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A Reddit.com user asks whether, what appears to be siblings, are playing or fighting. My response is that they are doing both. When young cats play together, the basis of their play is fighting. It can get quite rough but the 'victim' at any one time tells the other when it has become too rough by screaming at them.  Screenshot from video below. This helps to keep the "violence" down to a reasonable level. But you see slapping, biting and kicking with hind legs et cetera and it's all roughhousing play. One might invite the other to attack by laying down belly up. Note : This is an embedded video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source or the video is turned into a link which would stop it working here. I have no control over this. I guess it is all preparation for independence when, if they lived in the wild, they would have to leave the natal home range and set up their own home range and defend it against incoming intruders with whom they woul

Covid may close a Rhode Island no-kill shelter founded in 1968

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Pet Refuge is a North Kingsdown, Rhode Island, no-kill cat shelter which is in financial trouble due to their inability to carry out fundraising and raise donations to support the charity during 2 years of lockdown and social distancing. They do not receive any taxpayers among; everything they do is about fundraising and donations. The secretary for the North Kingsdown-Exeter Animal Protection League which runs the shelter said: "Everything we do is fundraising and donations. We weren't able to do any fundraising. We lost a lot of money." Pet Refuge is a North Kingsdown, Rhode Island. Picture: the refuge on Facebook Pet Refuge is one of the largest shelters for cat in Rhode Island and they accept cats from all over the state. They do not euthanise animals because they have a lack of space or because they suffer from certain medical conditions. They only euthanise if a cat has a fatal disease or is in severe pain. As a consequence, the facility has around 30 resident cats.

Are feral cats clean?

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Are feral cats clean? It's quite a good question and I feel that I need to try and answer it. Without reference to any books or the Internet, my personal viewpoint is that feral cats will maintain their typical cat cleanliness - the type of cleanliness that we see in domestic cats - if they are in good health, well fed and perhaps cared for by a feral cat colony volunteer working under the TNR umbrella. Handsome Greek feral cat. Photo: Image by user32212 from Pixabay  However, the big problem is this: feral cats have greatly shortened lives because survival is much harder. Food is harder to come by. The kind of food they can get at is often unhealthy. They may hunt whenever they can but the nutrition is much less good than it is for a domestic cat. In addition, they have no veterinary care and therefore when they get ill, they stay ill. When a cat becomes ill, they lose motivation to self-groom (autogroom). Many illnesses cause a lack of appetite (anorexia). Many illnesses cause le

Mumbai: medical student beaten up by a group of thugs for feeding cats

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NEWS AND COMMENT - MUMBAI, INDIA: A 25-year-old animal-loving medical student, Moin Asif   Darvesh, agreed with his father's request to feed stray cats outside of Sir Elly Kadoorie school at 7:30 PM in the evening. It was something that they did regularly and have done for 7 years. Unbeknownst to the 25-year-old, his father had been threatened 4 days earlier by a few people who objected to him feeding the cats. It appears at the same people approached Moin and insisted that he stopped feeding the cats with chicken. There appears to have been a short discussion at the end of which Moin refused to comply with their demands. Medical student Moin Asif Darvesh. Image: Mid-day.com Four more people approached him and allegedly started to kick and punch him. The attack continued for 15 minutes. Onlookers gathered to watch. Police on patrol rescued him. He sustained injuries to his face, elbows and forearms. He was taken to a local hospital and treated. He later attended the police station

Extraordinary but sad picture of 47 cats inside a car

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NEWS AND COMMENT-MINNESOTA: This is a story about a person who must have been made homeless. We should always be sympathetic towards homeless people even if they are homeless because of what they've done. And in the photograph, you can see there are 47 cats inside a car in which he was living.  Or in which the cats were living because there was no space for a person to live with them. And if you look carefully you will see that they are all ginger tabby cats. There is no doubt in my mind that this person allowed his cats to breed to the point where the whole situation became completely unmanageable. He may have been evicted by his landlord.  47 cats before rescue. Note: ginger tabbies all. Image in public domain. Clearly, he must have been desperate to put 47 cats in a car to try and continue to care for them. And sadly, this photograph was taken on a day when the temperature outside was 32°C (90°F). The temperature inside the car would have been higher. And this is why he apparent

You're in the top 1% of the population if you can spot two cats in this picture

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Somebody on TikTok said that if you can spot two cats in this picture, you are in the top 1% of the general population. I don't think it is that difficult and I don't regard myself as massively observant. I saw where they were even before I opened the page because I saw the image on the Bing news listings. I think this is easy unless I am fooling myself! Can you spot to catch in this picture? If you can you are said to be in the top 1% of the general population. I have decided to tell you where I think the cats are because, why not? This at least gives you the opportunity to criticise me and tell me that I am wrong if you disagree with me. Please leave a comment if you do.

The key to losing weight both for owner and cat!

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Important note: this is not a lecture. I have no right to lecture anybody. I'm just passing on what I believe as it may help somebody. If it helps one person so much the better. If it helps one cat the same benefit applies. Everyone should have the courage to pass on what they learn if they believe that it is useful to others. Note 2: It is very satisfying to lose weight and maintain a correct BMI. That's a motivator and you'll feel better and good about yourself. After years of managing and stabilising my weight as an old man (going on 74) and avoiding a pot belly, I think, this morning, that I have figured out the key in one sentence to losing weight and stabilising it. And this key must also be applicable to the domestic cats that we look after them.  It is as simple is this: you have to feel hungry and you have to feel that hunger for an hour or two a day daily before you eat . And that should apply to every meal you eat. If you use that trick - and it requires self-dis