Showing posts from July, 2022

Some American communities place over 95% of rescue animals in new homes

In an email to me, Nathan Winograd, "The voice of America's displaced pets and the conscience of the animal sheltering industry" tells me that in a number of American communities they place over 95%, and as high as 99%, of rescue animals in their care at shelters. He says that they are following his no-kill policies and he has consistently said that it is possible to genuinely place far more animals than is currently the case in many shelters through good management and a progressive and imaginative approach to saving lives through increasing adoptions. This is my interpretation. Shelter cats needing a quality home. Image in public domain. He quotes three successful communities: • Gunnison County, CO, reported a 99% placement rate for dogs, 98% for cats, and 100% for other small animals. • Flat Rock, MI, reported a 97% placement rate for dogs and 99% for cats. • Shiawassee County, MI, reported a 97% placement rate for dogs, 99% for cats, and 100% for other animals H

Perfect kitty camouflage - 'almost died when my towel blinked at me'

  Only one thing to say: cats love airing cupboards and bathrooms because that is where there is often some warmth and the scent of their human caregiver. Certainly, used towels are a favorite. I have a picture of my own which is below. It is sort of dark and moody. I wanted that look. The towel was damp as I had just used it. He loved it. He wanted to revel in it and transfer his scent onto it and take my scent from it: scent exchange it is called. Actually, I can think of a second thing to say! The camouflage of the domestic cat's ancestor is designed to protect them in the wild as their coat is a brown tabby. The coat of the domestic cat has evolved over 10,000 years of domestication to fit in with the human environment. Although, ironically, my cat is pretty much a lookalike of a wild cat.

To declare the domestic cat an "invasive species" is stupid

You may have heard that Poland's scientific community (Polish Academy of Sciences) has declared the domestic cat in their country an invasive species. They are technically correct but they are stupid. The domestic cat is, indeed, an invasive species in Poland and in all other countries where the domestic cat did not originate. That's most of the world's countries.  The domestic cat is a domesticated North African wildcat and it is believed that the first N. African wildcats were domesticated in the Fertile Crescent which is now Syria and the area around Syria including the North of Egypt and the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea. From there these early domestic cats were exported to other places with commercial travellers. RELATED:  Poland puts domestic cat on invasive species database . The Maine Coon cat originates from barn cats from the middle of the 1800s and those cats originate from cats imported into America with the first settlers who came from Europe around 400

Ginger tabby in Turkey nurses parentless bunny

Osmaniye, Turkey :  A domestic cat named 'Sarikiz' is seen nursing an abandoned bunny. A lone rabbit was found in a field by Sarikiz's owner and brought home and they began feeding it. The ginger tabby domestic cat, Sarikiz, which had recently given birth to kittens welcomed the abandoned bunny and decided to breast-feed the little creature along with her litter.  Ginger tabby cat nurses bunny in Turkey. Image video on Weibo. Ginger tabby mothers a parentless bunny. Image: Weibo video screenshot. It is not uncommon for a mother cat to breast feed another species of animal. It is cute though. It is generous and kind. You wonder what goes through the mind of cats when they do this. Do they know that they are being kind and generous? Is it merely an instinctive act as if she is programmed to let a bunny suckle at her breast?  She must recognise that the bunny is not a kitten. It seems that there is altruism in the animal world.

Air Canada flies man's cats to California without him

Abbas Zoeb, a software engineer, has two cats, Mimi and Bubba. They are young siblings, brother and sister from the same litter, 19 months of age. He was flying to San Francisco, USA from Toronto, Canada on Air Canada as he was relocating for a new job. Before he embarked on the aircraft, he was questioned about the start date on his visa. The questioning went on for a long time causing him to miss his 8 AM flight. His baggage was offloaded from the plane but Mimi and Bubba were not taken off and they were flown to San Francisco without him. Abbas Zoeb’s cats, Mimi and Bubba. Photo by Abbas Zoeb. After the questioning about his visa he spent hours looking for his cats. He was very worried. He thought he had lost them. Cats travelling by air are sometimes lost at airports and it can take a long time to find them. RELATED:  How long can it take to find a lost cat at an airport ? Air Canada called him in the afternoon to tell him that they Mimi and Bubba had been flown to San Francisco an

British police officer wanted to Taser a cat and dog

A group of three British Metropolitan Police officers, PC Jonathan Cobban, 35, PC William Neville, 34, and Joel Borders, 45, who has left the force, were recently in Westminster magistrates' court accused of sending "grossly racist, sexist, misogynistic" messages sometimes when on duty.  The court was told that they indulged in rape fantasies of colleagues and vulnerable girls. PC Cobban, responded to Borders claim that he wanted to get "on guns so I can shoot some c***in the face!" by saying: "Me to. I want to Taser a cat and a dog to see which reacts better. Same with children. Zap zap you little f***ers." Met police. Image: Pixabay. People with Down's Syndrome were described as potential "target practice". There were separate homophobic slurs. They had these conversations on WhatsApp and part of that group was PC Wayne Couzens who is notorious for his abduction, rape and murder of Everard, 33, in March 2020 which led to his conviction

Punishing a cat versus deterring a cat humanely

Punishing a domestic cat and deterring a domestic cat can be one and the same thing but they can also be entirely different. I attempt to explain the difference here. This topic is about the difference between punishment and what Dr. Bruce Fogle DVM calls "divine intervention". It's about deterring your cat from doing something without the cat associating the deterrence with their caregiver. We know that punishing a cat is pointless because a cat does not have the mental capacity to understand the whole concept of punishment; a human process. For them, it is being harmed or made anxious because they are behaving normally. If you punish your cat by yelling at them or, God forbid, hitting them after they've done something that you don't like they will simply see you as a person to be avoided thereby breaking the bond which is so essential to a good relationship and which is the reason why you adopted a cat in the first place. RELATED:  Do ultrasonic cat deterrents w

Animal shelter volunteer says that they have never been so busy on intakes

NEWS AND COMMENT: An animal shelter in Omagh, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, has never been busier. They are experiencing their highest ever demand to rehome cats and dogs in receiving 55 calls to taking unwanted companion animals in just one day. One volunteer, Janice Porter, said that the Grove Hill Animal Trust has never seen it so bad in terms of intakes and she's been volunteering there for 20 years. By 11 AM on Monday she had received 20 calls to take in cats. Janice Porter a volunteer at Grove Hill Animal Trust, a N. Ireland animal shelter. Photo: Belfast Live What's behind this? She thinks there are two reasons (1) people who acquired cats during the Covid lockdown failed to spay and neuter them due to inexperience and (2) the cost-of-living crisis is making it harder for owners to fund the keeping of a companion animal. It appears that people are cutting their living expenses and one of the things to go is their pet. There is a third reason: people returning to the o

Irresponsible cat owners TAKE ADVANTAGE of rescue centres

NEWS AND COMMENT-EVANSVILLE, INDIANA, USA: This is not an untypical story of the dumping of nearly two dozen cats at the Vanderburgh Humane Society shelter in Evansville, Indiana, USA. Clearly, the "owner" decided to get rid of all their cats in one fell swoop so they drove them down to the shelter, when I guess no one was there, in cardboard boxes and left them outside the building. Actually, it was on their back porch. Nearly 24 cats dumped at humane soc. This is taking advantage of a rescue facility, The shelter facility has no space. The Humane Society has "been keeping our heads above water lately thanks to our awesome community. But this has put us over the edge today and it's time to sound the alarm." They are happy that the cats are in good hands i.e. their hands, but they say that "dumping animals off to them was not the right decision." The shelter has done their best to manage unwanted cats which are currently at a level beyond their capaci

Good man turns on public water fountain for thirsty cat

This is Israel and it must be damned hot in Israel in this year of more clear signs of global warming and extreme temperatures. Although the video was made about five years ago. But the message is there: the summers are getting hotter and the record temperatures higher. The high temperature in the UK today was a record for the country at 40.3 Celsius. The previous record was 38.7 Celsius. That's a 1.6 increase. Wildfires broke out in East London in a field which spread to 7 houses and burnt them to the ground. In the UK we see pictures of California's wildfires and think never here. We think that it is something that never happens in Britain but now it does. To play the video you may have to click the play button twice! Good fun. High tech. I am going to guess and say that the cat was stretched out on the water fountain to keep cool. It is made of a large slab of stone which is going to feel cool as it was probably cooled down by the water flowing over it when along came a good

I can tell when my cat is genuinely hungry by his weight

It sounds improbable but I can tell when my cat is genuinely hungry by his weight when I pick him up. I can feel the differences in his weight. I believe that cat caregivers need to fully understand when their cat is genuinely hungry and will eat the food that is put down before them as opposed to those times when domestic cats sometimes are seeking what I will call "food therapy". Too much wet cat food is wasted. Think how many millions of tons of cat food is waster annually. My cat has a 'primordial pouch'! Not call domestic cats have them. As you can see he has a perfect body weight or BMI! That's because he is active and eats well.    Sometimes domestic cats eat out of boredom I believe or because it is just there and instinctively, they eat some of it. But I know my cat's weight or the feel of his weight by picking him up. And I can tell the difference between when he has lost some weight and when he has gained a little bit of weight. The difference is su

3 kinds of animal shelter in the USA (according to Nathan Winograd)

I receive a newsletter from Nathan Winograd for which I am very grateful because he is an incredibly knowledgeable man about the animal rescue network in the US and he is, I believe, instrumental in instigating and driving forward the concept of no-kill animal shelters. His basic attitude is that with effort and imagination and with the right attitude managers of animal shelters in America can rehome all their animals except those that are genuinely unsuited for rehoming. And therefore, he has saved millions of lives. RELATED:  Only remaining cat at a shelter is finally adopted through a novel veterinary program . Animal shelter. Image by Daga_Roszkowska from Pixabay  So, what he says goes and he divides up animal shelters into these three categories and I will use his words verbatim for the sake of clarity and certainty: 'Those that embrace the No Kill Equation achieving placement rates of 99%'. Comment : these shelters rehome almost 100% of the animals that are in their care.

How long can it take to find a lost cat at an airport?

Sometimes 2 months or never based on research. Obviously, it depends on many factors and you might be lucky but it seems to me that it can take a very long time indeed to find your cat if he or she has escaped their carrier at an airport. And in that time, your cat may become very unwell and injured. Here are some examples. Rowdy was finally caught after spending three weeks on the run at Boston's Logan International Airport. The report says that she escaped from his cage in pursuit of some birds. I think that is a ridiculous comment because it can't be true. She escaped her carrier because the carrier was defective or it had somehow opened perhaps through rough handling. Rowdy. Photo: AP. Rowdy was in a normal hard carrier and travelled in the cargo hold. The family was flying with the German airline Lufthansa. The airline told them that their cat had escaped her carrier while cargo was being unloaded. After three weeks it is believed that she became hungry enough and perhaps

Ginger tabby kitten asks for another kiss. Do cats understand kisses?

A super cute video. It seems to all the world that this little fella (ginger tabbies are nearly always males) wants another gentle kiss from his female caregiver and why not? Good idea. The way she delivers it is like the classic, friendly feline nose greeting. So perhaps her kitten interprets the kiss as that. Cats don't understand human kisses! Sorry but that is true. But they understand friendliness, warmth and affection from humans and respond positively to it as we see in the video. Ginger tabby kitten asks for another kiss. Screenshot. This is a TikTok video. They allow downloads and uploads. So, this is not my video. Update: I have delete it because Vimeo don't allow it. It is a very successful one because of the behavior of the charming kitten. It reminds me of another post I wrote not long ago in which I said that cat caregivers should try and find out what their cat particularly likes and give it to them as much as possible and I am not talking about food! I mean, giv

Tip to check your cat's teeth

Here is a useful tip to check your cat's teeth and gums. In fact, it checks on oral health which is important as feline oral health is a major health issue in domestic cats. It is a hidden problem as it is hard to check your cat's gums. This is the tip! You buy some cotton buds and use one to run it around the gum line. Your cat should accept this 😎 if done quickly and at an opportune moment. I would hold my cat by the scruff of the neck (not too hard) which would 'deactivate' him for a few moments and long enough to employ this technique. Image by  Pitsch  from  Pixabay . If there is blood on the cotton bud and/or your cat shows signs of pain, you can assume that there is a problem and your vet should be booked to take a proper look. Gums should be uniformly pink. If they are blue your cat is anemic. Ideally you do not want to get this far because, as you might know, if teeth need to be removed your cat will need to be anaesthetised. There is a risk to a cat's hea

Home owner loves to feed birds but their neighbour's cats attack the birds

There is an interesting post on the website which in a way encapsulates the "war" between bird lovers and cat lovers. It seems that it is impractical for people with these diverging views to live close to each other in suburbia. An ultrasonic cat deterrent recommended by the RSPB. Image from the RSPB. They are moderately successful. Click this link for more .  In this instance, the bird lover who has "tons of feeders, lots of activity" in respect of birds coming to their property, is complaining vociferously on the website because one of their neighbours (and this is in America) "has a couple of free-range cats". These cats are indoor/outdoor cats which is fairly typical although there is a drift towards keeping cats indoors which is exactly what this person wants their neighbour to do. They're complaining because despite their efforts he blames one or both of the cats for killing a phoebe nest with three little eggs which were &q

Toronto council wants to introduce cat leash laws but there are better things to do

NEWS AND COMMENT: Toronto city council (the economic and community development committee) has voted by a show of hands to support a motion for a bylaw change to make it obligatory for outdoor cats to be on a lead.  It's not yet received final approval. The council is scheduled to debate the issue in two weeks. The reason? The usual ones. To protect cats and protect wildlife. It is just another story among many of methods to confine cats when they are outside. There is a world trend in the West i.e. developed countries, for this alteration in the human-to-cat relationship. Beautiful Toronto. Photo: Image by  Miguel Barrera  from  Pixabay. However, the best article on the topic comes from Mike Strobel writing for the TORONTO SUN. He lives with a Norwegian Forest cat and he does not like this proposed bylaw. His reason is that there are better things to be doing.  He complains that in Toronto there's a lot of pressing problems that need to be fixed including gridlock on the roads,

'Staggering' disease in cats - cause

In Europe there has been a mysterious staggering disease killing cats. The news has kept a rather low profile so you might not have heard of it. Apparently, it's been known to science for around 50 years but it became a concern in 2020 when it killed a tree kangaroo, donkey and a capybara in Germany. It is linked to encephalitis in a wide range of animals. Recently the disease has been contracted by domestic cats. The symptoms include loss of ability to retract their claws seizures, loss of control of limbs and tremors. The cats stagger as if they are drunk hence the name of the disease. The disease progresses over about two weeks and there is no cure. Sadly, there is also very little in the way of treatment. The experts aren't sure how long it takes to kill domestic cats because not all of those who get the disease are euthanised. Very recently, the scientists have discovered what they believe is the cause. They collected the brains of 29 euthanised cats from different places

Woman's new home came with two stray cats and they changed her life

Julia Davis, 24, begins the story of her relationship with 2 stray cats that she met at her new home by saying: "The new house that I'm moving into literally came with a cat". She subsequently found another! So, her new home came with two cats, one white and one black, and they changed her life. Davis, Coop and in the background the chicken coop where he was found. Image: Julia Davis. She already had a TikTok page and decided to document the story of her new cat companion who with the help of TikTok visitors decided to call him 'Cooper' because he was found in a chicken coop at the back of the house (is it a chicken coop?). I guess he had used it for cover and as a home. As she approached the construction, she saw the fluffy, white stray cat. The video explains what happened.  @julia_adavis Drop name suggestions in the comments! Bonus-I really like names that are nouns or names that have shorter nicknames that end in the “e” sound #names #cat ♬ original sound

Volunteers sitting with the animals during 4th July firework celebrations

All that I have of this story is this photograph and it is a great photograph of volunteers sitting with the rescue animals at an unknown shelter in the US on July 4 to comfort them when the fireworks start to go off. It is a heartwarming photograph. A photograph to soften the hardened heart. A heart hardened by the usual hassles of living on this planet which for most of us isn't that easy at least some of the time. There are good people out there and they volunteer their time. Volunteers sitting with the animals during 4th July firework celebrations. Photo: Facebook page of 'Artistic Freedom'. I guess, too, that the people benefit because they are able to mix with like-minded people so it is a great way to socialise. And of course, they know that they are doing something good in helping animals who are already stressed by being confined to small cages in a noisy shelter with strange people wandering by from time to time. I am sure that stress is the biggest psychological

Animals need jabs against zoonotic diseases to prevent pandemics

Zoonotic diseases are those which can transfer from animals to people. The classic case is the Covid pandemic. Prof Dame Sarah Gilbert, the creator of the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid which proved so successful and which saved millions of lives, has stated that vaccines and new treatment should be developed to protect animals against diseases that can prove deadly when they jump to humans. Vaccines against these zoonotic diseases could play a major role in avoiding the next pandemic. Minds are focused on the next pandemic. The monkeypox virus which is currently an issue in the UK is a good example although that will not create a pandemic. However, it's a virus that has been a threat for a long time and it has changed its nature. And it is zoonotic. Gilbert said that influenza A was around in wild birds for a long time and it started to infect poultry flocks and so I could still spill over into humans. She believes that there is a lot that can be done to protect domestic animal

Early "domestic cats" were actually tamed wildcats

It is said, with confidence nowadays, that the first domestic cats on the planet existed about 9500 years ago. It all started in an area that we know now as Syria and spread out from there. The skeleton of a wildcat and a man were unearthed on the island of Cyprus. The remains were dated at 9500 years ago. It is entirely plausible that cats were domesticated before that date perhaps as long ago was 14,000 years in the past. The wild cat on Cyprus had been imported onto that island from Syria by its owner. This man had a pet cat. But his pet cat was a tame North African wildcat. It's a bit like today when people sometimes like to live with a tame serval. These are not truly domesticated cats. They are simply conditioned to behave in a fairly calm way around people. They are conditioned to live with people in the human environment. But they don't cope very well and they are quite challenging. This very early 'domestic cat' was in fact a tamed wildcat from north Africa. Pi

Baby squeals in delight at the arrival of the family cat

A charming little video and a cat lover in the making, very definitely. This sweet baby squeals in delight at the arrival of the family cat to her cot and her mother lets their cat walk around the cot under supervision. I like that. Very controlled but beneficial to cat and baby, I'd say. A lot of stuff has been written about cats and babies and whether cats are beneficial or detrimental to babies' health. In the old days they superstitiously believed that cats sucked the breath out of babies . They considered cats to be dangerous to babies. That was hundreds of years ago. RELATED:  Cat snuggles up to baby: beautiful and mutually beneficial (supported by science) . And then the early part of the 21st-century doctors thought that there were dangers in putting cats with babies because of transmission of disease and parasites et cetera but more recently, perhaps over the past 5-10 years, paediatricians believe that placing domestic cats near to babies and even in contact with them

Tip of cat tail bone exposed. Cause?

Here is a link to a slightly disturbing picture of the degloving of the tip of a cat's tail. I am linking to the picture in case it upsets some advertisers. It is not that bad though. It just depends how sensitive you are. The bone at the tip of the tail is exposed. The fur and skin are missing.   It is the sort of injury that could lead to an infection and, yes, the cause is probably an injury because the tail was trapped in a door and the cat moved forward at the same time causing the skin to tear off. It is unusual to see bare bone like this. Click to see injured tail tip   Although trapped tails are probably not that unusual as they trail behind a cat. And cats linger around the feet of their owner. How it happens: the owner fails to see their cat at their feet and closes the patio door at the moment he/she is coming inside the home. Bingo, the tail is trapped and the skin torn off.  The moral (one I have learned after stepping on my cat) is to always check you feet when clo

Animal rights activists in China fighting against the cat and dog meat trade

This is a good news story for animal advocates among the depressing stuff from China. The world is aware of the barbaric and brutal cat and dog meat trade in China. It truly is the worst of human behaviour resulting in catastrophic cruelty to, often, domestic animals.  Yes, a recent story on the Independent newspaper states that 126 animals were saved from a slaughterhouse. These dogs were destined for a brutal death but were plucked to safety from an illegal operation. Many of these animals had collars. These are domestic companion animals. They are stolen from the streets and from houses et cetera to fuel this disgusting trade. If the authorities were doing their job this trade wouldn't happen. If China had animal welfare laws it wouldn't happen. If they had animal welfare laws that were enforced it wouldn't happen. This trade is entirely due to ridiculous, out of date and ancient superstitions in combination with local government and national government which is entirely

Message to Facebook fans and my friends on Facebook about scams

Initial notice : I am not criticising Facebook. I hope that I am helping to protect some users on Facebook and therefore I am helping Facebook. The second point is that Facebook is doing something about the problem that I describe below. So they are active in this area and doing their best to rectify any problems. Facebook and Instagram blamed for a surge in scams The Times reports that Facebook (FB) and Instagram have been blamed for a surge in scams as one of Britain's biggest banks has revealed that these Meta's owned sites are the source of the vast majority of their fraud cases. The bank is TSB and they are the only bank in Britain to guarantee a refund for all scam victims. Their audit revealed that adverts posted on Meta-owned websites i.e. Facebook and Instagram, accounted for 81.1% of all online investment fraud causes experienced by their customers. This is between January 1 and June 21 of this year. Of these 55.7% advertise on Instagram while 25.4% advertise on Faceb