Friday 30 June 2023

Domestic cat's vomeronasal organ acts like a gas chromatograph!

The domestic cat's vomeronasal organ is also called Jacobson's organ. It is in the roof of the mouth. It allows a domestic cat to detect in a very precise way the odours in the air and which enter the mouth when the cat breaths in. You can see that the cat is checking the odours in the air because their mouth is slightly open and the cat is static as if concentrating. This behavior is called the Flehmen Response.

Snow leopard Flehmen response. The cat has his/her mouth open. Photo is a still from the video below.

A recent study did some work on how the vomeronasal organ works and they likened it to the sophisticated human parallel coiled gas chromatograph! In the scientific world, the gas chromatograph is a sophisticated device which is used to separate and identify components in a volatile sample. It measures the various components in the sample.

RELATED: Snow Leopard’s Flehmen Response on Camera Trap Video.

In this study, a computer simulation of the interior of the domestic cat's nose complex consists of convoluted nasal structures to efficiently analyse the chemical make-up of substances.

They simulated the air and odour flow through a "virtual nose" on their computer. The vomeronasal organ contains complex channels making it a hundred times more efficient than a single straight tube which is what amphibians have.

They found that the air inhaled is separated into two streams. One stream of air is cleansed and humidified and the other is delivered to the vomeronasal organ. They decided that the cat's nose is as complex as the dog's. It is more complex than a rodent's.

The airflow which is driven into the olfactory region is then recirculated in parallel channels. Within these channels will be highly sensitive nerve endings designed to detect scent. They send a signal to the brain.

I have mentioned the domestic cat but, of course, all cats whether they are one of the wild species or stray and feral cats as well as domestic gas have the same vomeronasal organ.

I have a picture and video of a snow leopard using this highly sophisticated item of anatomy high on a mountainside which may interest you and which is above.

Effect of stress on cats with feline idiopathic cystitis and healthy cats

Feline idiopathic cystitis is linked to stress and it is very painful for domestic cats to suffer from this disease. A study evaluated the behaviour and physiological responses of cats with feline idiopathic cystitis and cats that were healthy.

The way they achieved this was to look after the cats in a controlled environment for about a year. They had the same people looking after the cats and everything was stable. And then suddenly they destabilised the situation by feeding the cats at different times by different people. The whole husbandry of the participating cats was messed up with the deliberate purpose of stressing the cats concerned.

And when they did this there was a clear indication that there were specific sickness behaviours as a result such as vomiting, diarrhoea, anorexia or decrease food and water intake. There was also lethargy, fever, somnolence and enhanced pain-like behaviours. There was decreased general activity and the cats cared for themselves less actively and to the same standard. They socially interacted less often. In short, there are many signs of unhappy stressed cats in their health and in their behaviour.

They concluded that stresses which are short-term can lead to a significant increase in "sickness behaviours" both in cats with feline idiopathic cystitis and those cats that are healthy.

They further concluded that humans can assess stress responses and overall welfare of cats through monitoring of their sickness behaviours.

In detail - this is provided by Chat GPT

The purpose of the study was to investigate the behavioral and physiological responses of healthy cats and cats diagnosed with feline interstitial cystitis (FIC) when exposed to a five-day stressor. The researchers conducted the study at The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center (OSUVMC) vivarium, where ten healthy cats and 18 cats with FIC were housed. 

All cats had been living in enriched cages for at least one year before the experiment, receiving daily playtime, socialization outside of the cage, food treats, and auditory enrichment. The cats were cared for by two familiar caretakers, following a consistent daily schedule. During the test days, the cats were subjected to multiple unpredictable stressors. These stressors included exposure to unfamiliar caretakers, an inconsistent husbandry schedule, and discontinuation of playtime, socialization, food treats, and auditory enrichment. 

The researchers monitored the cats for sickness behaviors (SB), which included vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia or decreased food and water intake, fever, lethargy, somnolence, enhanced pain-like behaviors, decreased general activity, body care activities (grooming), and social interactions. SB occurrences were recorded daily. In addition to monitoring the behavioral responses, the researchers also collected blood samples from the cats before and after the stress period to measure various physiological parameters.

These included serum cortisol concentration, leukocytes (white blood cells), lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell), neutrophils (another type of white blood cell), neutrophil-to-lymphocyte (N:L) ratio, and mRNA levels of the cytokines interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). The results of the study showed that both healthy cats and cats with FIC exhibited a significant increase in sickness behaviors when exposed to the short-term stressors. 

However, specific physiological changes, such as lymphopenia (reduced lymphocyte count) and alterations in the N:L ratio, were observed only in the cats with FIC. The researchers concluded that monitoring cats for sickness behaviors can be a noninvasive and reliable method to assess their stress responses and overall welfare, especially when they are housed in cages. By studying the behavioral and physiological responses to stressors, the study provides insights into the impact of stress on cats with FIC and highlights the importance of managing stress in these animals for their well-being. Regenerate response

How to minimise your cat wandering too far from the cat-flap

Wandering cat
Wandering cat. Image: SVEN HERSELMAN.

I can think of two ways to minimise the distance that your domestic cat companion travels away from your home if they are indoor/outdoor cats. These are my tips:

  1. Feed your cat well with high quality wet cat food and some dry cat food for grazing at night. It has been found and indeed suggested by a very well-known cat behaviourist, Dr. Jon Bradshaw, that when domestic cats are fed well and regularly, they have less inclination to patrol over large areas. Domestic cat will inherently patrol their territory if they are allowed outside because this is instinctive wild cat behaviour. But when well fed it dampens that desire. It shrinks their home range because one reason for having a home range is to have a territory within which they can hunt. The hunting desire is somewhat dampened when well fed although not eliminated because the desire to hunt is not directly linked to feeling hungry. This is also inherited from the wildcat ancestor.
  2. Secondly, among the wild cat species of all kinds, you will find that the female's home range is considerably smaller than the male's. In fact, for the tiger, female home ranges are often encompassed by a single male home range. It's a kind of male harem. But the point is this: adopting a female cat should mean that they travel less distance from the cat flap.
RELATED: The misogynistic world of tiger property rights!

The above two points have, clearly, distinct advantages to the cat caregiver such as:

  • Less desire to hunt native species which should please conservationists and indeed the owner.
  • Less desire to roam widely. They might roam no more than 50 yards from the cat flap or even stay within the back yard.
  • Improved relationships with neighbours potentially because there will be less desire to roam onto neighbours' backyards or back gardens.
  • Less risk of injury through wandering onto roads and being hit by vehicles.
  • Less risk of injury generally as there is less opportunity to encounter hazards.
  • Less risk of being lost.

Thursday 29 June 2023

Shed a tear watching reunion of lost cat and caregiver who were deeply connected

The power of the emotion in this video is the deep emotional bond the woman has for her cat companion and I'd say vice versa. It shattered her when her cat failed to return. As you might have guessed he is now supervised all the time and is leash trained. Viola. And the world is so pleased that you are back together with your darling cat.

Wednesday 28 June 2023

Animal advocates say school kids swung around dead cats (they'd shot) in front of them saying "meat, meat, meat"

NEWS AND VIEWS - NORTH CANTERBURY, NEW ZELAND: Animal advocates were present at the North Canterbury Hunting Competition in Wellington, New Zealand. You may have read about this competition in which adults and schoolchildren under the age of 14 go out and shoot wild animals including feral cats. The kids were offered a £100 cash prize for the most cats shot dead! Great.

There was uproar about schoolchildren shooting feral cats. The first problem is that it indoctrinates the children into believing that shooting animals for fun is a good thing. Secondly, you can never be sure that you are shooting a feral cat or a domestic cat; someone's pet.

Animal advocates say schoolkids swung around dead cats they'd shot in front of them saying "meat, meat, meat"
Animal advocates say schoolkids swung around dead cats they'd shot in front of them saying "meat, meat, meat". Image: NZ Herald.

Because of the uproar, 'on the ground' and online, the people who made the rules about the competition said that children under 14 couldn't shoot feral cats in order, I guess, to appease the animal advocates who were protesting.

But the adult version of the events still took place. Adults still shoot feral cats and perhaps occasionally someone's domestic cat companion. There is a photograph online of what appears to be hundreds of animals piled up as the end result of this shooting competition. To an animal advocate it looks disgusting.

But the point of the article is that a group of six protesters at the event were taunted by children who began repeatedly chanting the word "meat" while swinging around dead cats presumably by the tail. Charming.

It's reported that before they did this the children told the animal advocates to go and eat carrots and grass. They added that the protesters were going to die from a lack of protein and iron.

One animal advocate, Sarah Jackson, said, "The first thing we saw when we arrived was children having relay races with the deceased bodies of animals. These included baby pigs, rabbits and possums."

The organisers of the fundraising event said that the protesters had provoked the children. And they justify the shooting of feral cats because of the devastating impact that they have on native species. Comment: that does not address the problem of indoctrinating children into accepting what most people regard as unethical and immoral behaviour. And it does not address the problem about shooting domestic cats by accident.

So, the conclusion from this story is that the children concerned are beyond redemption. The world has lost them to animal cruelty. They will be cruel to animals all their lives and people are going to have to accept it. They've been taught that by their parents and by the hunters and shooters of New Zealand who see nothing wrong with destroying sentient creatures to protect native mammals and marsupials.

There must be a better way. I'm sympathetic about protecting native species but to do it this way is very crude and cruel. And it doesn't really work except to entertain the people doing the shooting. You can't simply eradicate all the feral cats in New Zealand or in a certain area of New Zealand by shooting them. They come back; they breed. 

There has to be a far more sensible, efficient, practical and long-lasting solution and of course one which is humane and decent.

Blind cat charges down gangplank and falls into the sea

I have only just discovered that this cat is blind. His name is 'Bear'. He is a bit overweight too. At first, I thought that the cat was uncoordinated because they walked off the edge of the gangplank. But no, he is blind which explains things.

The big question is why Bear was allowed to charge down the gangplank without being on a lead and harness to keep them safe. The owner is very laid back when her cat dives into the water. Not sure I'd be that laid back. The woman thinks that 'he's gonna make it'. He didn't! There could have been something sharp down there on the water which would have hurt him.

He gets out okay by himself but moans bitterly. He has a raucous, loud complaining voice which is not particularly feline. He obviously hates water like the majority of domestic cats (but not all cats as some actively enjoy messing around in bathtubs).

Working out the age of South Korean kids isn't easy and the same goes for cats!

If you think that you can simply multiply the age of your cat by 7 to obtain the equivalent age in human terms, you are wrong. It is more complicated than that. The relationship between cat and human age is not linear to put it more scientifically. Anyway, this short article is not about cat age but about working out the age of South Korean children.

Working out the age of South Korean kids isn't easy and the same goes for cats!
Working out the age of South Korean kids isn't easy and the same goes for cats! Image: MikeB

Up until now South Koreans had a very peculiar (by Western standards) system which caused confusion. It goes like this. I will quote The Times verbatim just to make sure that I get it right!
By tradition, a Korean baby, however, is one year old at the moment of birth and gains another year every New Year's Day. [Using this system] in an extreme case, a baby born in the last minute of December 31 would turn two at the stroke of midnight, in the second minute of their life. The following New Year's Day they would be three, despite being only 366 days old.
The country has introduced a new system under a "legal revision". It comes into force today. South Korea is adopting the "international age". This means that children are born at age zero and you add a year on every birthday! That sounds logical. That sounds normal; the way it should be by Western and international standards.

Apparently, the president promised to make the change in order to "relieve social and administrative confusion and conflict". The country's minister for government legislation said:
"The unified age-counting system will greatly reduce social costs that were incurred due to using multiple age-counting systems."
Yes, it's being simplified. The old system, the traditional system, is based upon a belief that the months in the womb are also part of life. And The Times tells me that in South Korea forms of address between people change when speaking to an older person. This tradition is very strong apparently and older people are addressed more politely.

Now, some South Koreans are confused about how they should address someone who is a few months older because under the new (for South Korea) international system "they will be older in given age for part of the year and then become the same age after the younger person catches up on their birthday". It certainly is confusing in South Korea on something which shouldn't be confusing.

Humans coexisted with dinosaurs for a short time

A new study has decided that the ancestors of today's humans coexisted with dinosaurs for a short time. A discussion about this topic has been ongoing for a long time. The argument was that the mass extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs took place before humans evolved but that assessment appears to have been overridden by this new study.

Humans coexisted with dinosaurs for a short time
Image: MikeB

A team of palaeobiologists employed statistical analysis of fossil records to conclude that placental mammals originated before the mass extinction event which was the impact of a large asteroid into the earth in the area of the Gulf of Mexico as I recall.

It's believed that after the asteroid impact placental mammals diversified and evolved rapidly perhaps facilitated by the loss of competition from dinosaurs.

The lead author is Emily Carlisle of Bristol's School of Earth Sciences who said:

'We pulled together thousands of fossils of placental mammals and were able to see the patterns of origination and extinction of the different groups. Based on this, we could estimate when placental mammals evolved. Unfortunately, we don't know what our placental mammal ancestors would have looked like back then. Many of the earliest fossils of placental mammals are quite small creatures such as Purgatorius – an early ancestor of primates – which was a small burrowing creature a bit like a tree shrew. 'So, it's likely that many of our ancestors were small and squirrely."

The study's co-author, Daniele Silvestro, of the University of Fribourg, added:

"The model we used estimates origination ages based on when lineages first appear in the fossil record and the pattern of species diversity through time for the lineage."

Up until the research fossils of placental mammals had only been found in rocks longer than 66 million years old which is when the asteroid hit the planet.

Comment: the research conjures up imagery of early humans fighting with dinosaurs. My mind goes to the Jurassic Park films. It appears that something similar may actually have happened.

Note: the first true cat species first evolved around 25 million years ago which was well after the dinosaurs had become extinct.

Tuesday 27 June 2023

In San Francisco it is NOT cats who are defecating in public places but PEOPLE!

Decayed San Francisco
Decayed San Francisco. Image: DALLE-E

Ron DeSantis, the presidential candidate, recently threw his hat into the ring on the discussion about the new woke culture. It's said that he made a bizarre speech. He was speaking to the Conservative group's Road to Majority conference and was discussing wokeness. And he made this comment about it:

"When woke overtakes our criminal justice system — like it has in San Francisco, like it has in Los Angeles — the average person becomes less safe in their communities as a result.” He vowed to leave “woke ideology in the dustbin of history.”

“Don’t tell me it doesn’t affect people’s lives. I was just in San Francisco. I saw — in 20 minutes on the ground — people defecating on the sidewalk. I saw people using fentanyl. I saw people smoking crack right there in the open, right there on the street. It was a civilization in decay.”

Yes, he is saying that he saw the gross degeneration of society's values to the point where adult humans were defecating on the sidewalk and getting high on fentanyl and so and so forth. And he put it all down to wokery; the new woke culture.

It's quite nice in a way to see humans being criticised for defecating in public (if it is true) because so often we see criticism of feral and domestic cats who are pooping in a neighbour neighbour's garden for instance or in a public place which neighbours don't like. The feral and outdoor domestic cats get a very bad rap in the news media concerning going to the toilet in the wrong places.

You might be wondering what the word "woke" means. 

Well, as I understand it, it means that the people who have adopted the woke movement are enlightened enough to see the truth in society. To be ENLIGHTENED and to act fairly towards everybody even if their attitudes and standards are different. And this applies a lot to the binary and non-binary discussion about people's gender.

The woke culture would argue that there are a spectrum of genders or sexes whereas the non-woke person might argue that gender is binary, either you are female or male based upon your biology/anatomy.


When I was in Afghanistan in the 1970s it was common practice for the citizens of Kabul, the capital, to defecate down a side alley. The trousers had a sort of vent in them to allow them to shit without pulling them down! True.

San Francisco

Note: San Francisco is said to have gone downhill massively because of slack and soft administration resulting in a crime wave and people moving out of the city in droves.

Nobody wants to adopt a purebred Bengal cat whose been at a rescue center for 12 months

NEWS AND COMMENT - SOUTHAMPTON, UK: This is a very strange situation. A male Bengal cat, a genuine purebred Bengal cat by the way, who is four years old and whose name is Louie, has been at the St Francis Animal Welfare Shelter Fair Oak, Southampton, UK for 12 months because nobody wants to adopt him.

Nobody wants to adopt a purebred Bengal cat whose been at a rescue center for 12 months
Nobody wants to adopt a purebred Bengal cat whose been at a rescue center for 12 months. This is Louie and it is a mystery why no one wants to adopt him. Image: the rescue center.

As a purebred Bengal cat, a popular cat breed, you would have thought that people would want to adopt him as quickly as possible. It is hard to imagine that a purebred cat can be so unwanted when people buy Bengal cats for £1,500! I am sure that the adoption fee at the shelter is a tiny fraction of that perhaps in the order of £100.

So, what is going on? I have no idea. All I know is that he was a full-time indoor care, in an apartment and is therefore a little nervous which is to be expected. They recommend that he is rehomed into a family where there are no other cats, dogs or children. But that requirement is not particularly exceptional either.

Perhaps people are cautious about adopting a wild cat hybrid because of their reputation as being a bit challenging but Louie looks like 5th generation and he'll be more or less like a regular domestic cat.

If you are interested then please contact the shelter. Their phone number is (023) 8069 3282. The address as per Google Maps is Sunnyside cottage, Mortimers lame, fair Oak, Eastleigh SO50 7EA.

Monday 26 June 2023

Donald Trump likens himself to Jesus Christ!

Recently, Donald Trump gave a speech to religious conservatives as part of his campaign to take back the White House. He was delivering his speech to a conference full of evangelists in Washington. He sneaked in a subtle biblical reference reflecting his ego which is a big as the White House.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump. Image: Bing.

In reference to the two criminal indictments against him; one for criminal charges over a hush money payment to conceal an alleged affair with a porn star and the other an indictment concerning the classified documents seized at his Florida home, the former president Donald Trump declared:

"I'm being indicted for you".

This has hints and the tone of John 3:17 which says:
“God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” 
The belief is that by sacrificing himself for us on the cross, he took the punishment for all of our sins at once.

Trump seems to be saying that he is - metaphorically speaking - being nailed to the cross to save Americans from the dastardly Democrats!

Donald Trump says that he has sacrificed himself for the benefit of his followers. That is what I take from that very strange statement.

What is highly ironic is that Trump played by James Austin Johnson likened himself to Jesus on Saturday Night Live. He is portrayed as Jesus at the Last Supper talking to his disciples. The argument is that he was arrested for no reason. 

That he has been persecuted by the authorities just as Jesus was. But this show, as I understand it, took place before Trump himself made the statement above and therefore perhaps he took the idea from the show. I don't know. 

But clearly, it is not only me who sees the parallel between Jesus Christ's persecution and the way that Donald Trump is selling to his followers his persecution by the evil authorities. It is a typical Trump manipulation of the masses to further his own ends.

His 'numbers' went up after his was indicted.

Suicidal social media influencer quits after death threats because she killed two cats as a child

You may remember this story. It is rather disturbing in several ways. The woman concerned is Emma Claiir. Her name is spelled correctly. The headline is: "Social media influencer quits and says that she was left suicidal after receiving death threats because of her admission that she killed two cats as a child."

She is an Australian. In April, she admitted to her 105,000 followers that she killed two cats when she was a child. Her admission occurred on an episode of her pod cast, Simply Chaotic. 

Suicidal social media influencer quits after death threats because she killed two cats as a child
Emma Claiir. Image: Instagram.

It was a bizarre confession. Her co-host, Christy Jean, on the pod cast was stunned by it. She said that she didn't mean to kill the cats but that she was a child.

She said: "I was swinging my cat around. Like, I was thinking it was a stuffed toy. And I accidental let go of it."

She believes that the cat died from fright rather than because of injuries suffered as it was hurled across the room. During her confession, she giggled and explained that "this happened years and years and years [ago]". And she went on to explain that she also killed her best friend's cat by accident.

Her honest confession shattered her life. She received widespread criticism and she was dropped by makeup company MCoBeauty not long afterwards. Three more brands then cut ties with her. One of them is a vegan make up company that promotes how it does not test its products on animals. You can understand why they cut ties.

Social media influencers depend upon these sorts of arrangements to generate an income stream. So, she lost a lot of income. We don't know the precise amounts but it may be that she decided that it was no longer worth it being a social media influencer.

But it goes deeper and wider than that. She says that the story got taken out of proportion and that people started to witch-hunt her. She felt that they wanted to destroy her.

She said:

"I lost my job; my mental health was impacted massively and people were just having a laugh about it. I realised it was taking me away from my son and making me not present with him so I took a small break."

She added:

"Since my return after that people decided it was okay to spread cheating rumours, make up lies and try to continue to ruin the life of a new mother who was already pretty open about her mental health struggles in life. Not only did I have haters trying to ruin my life and spread hate and rumours but I also had close friends doing the same. Friends who I thought were there for me, friends who I trusted and friends who I thought would never stab me in the back."

She reached breaking point. She felt unsafe in her own bubble. She started to feel unsafe in her home. Her anxiety increased when she went out into public places. She felt violated. There were death threats. The lies and rumours mounted and became louder and oppressive.

She considered ending her life. Eventually her mental health "finally crumbled. I entered a very dark space that was extremely scary and unfamiliar".

She told herself that the only way to make the nightmare go away was to take her own life. She said:

"The only way to make the haters happy was if I disappeared for good and officially left this world. Maybe my son and my husband really would be better off without me and I should just let them go, maybe my friends and family will also be better off without me, so I should just let them go. These are thoughts no new mother should be having."

She left a very long post on social media in which she signed off from the role of social media influencer. It concludes like this:

"Now to end. I have and always will be a mental health advocate. It is something that is so close to my heart and something I witness every day in myself and my family. Working online I always wanted to be open about my struggles and help those who needed it, help those who needed to feel less alone or those who needed that little push to get the help they needed. I never would have gotten through what I went through if it wasn't for seeking help from professionals and those around me. Check in with your family, your friends and most importantly yourself. Take a step back and ask yourself if your actions could be damaging and dangerous to someone's mental health. And lastly always remember that the online space can be horrible, fake and harmful whether you have a following or not, so it's okay, strong and powerful to walk away when needed. With love, Emma Claiir."

Comment: I really, really think that she's much better off quitting being a social media influencer. That kind of role is indeed potentially and often actually very toxic. She made a mistake and she's paid the price. But I think there is a silver lining for her; to live a more normal life not a fake life on social media pretending to be somebody she probably isn't.

About Choupette, a Birman cat loved by Karl Lagerfeld

People ask: 'What breed of cat is Choupette?' As far as I know Choupette is still alive and the recipient of a $1.5 million legacy from her adoring caregiver Karl Lagerfeld who passed away in 2019 aged 85. News media reports that the cat is now looked after by Lagerfeld's housekeeper Francoise Cacote, in Paris, France. I expect she uses the money to look after darling Choupette in the manner to which she is familiar with a lot left over to spend on herself but we don't know!

The name "Choupette" is a cute version of the French word for 'cabbage' namely 'chou', which is a term of endearment between French people. French people sometimes give their opposite number a nickname such as "my little cabbage". The name Choupette is derived from that cultural habit.

Choupette is a Birman purebred cat. They are a majestic longhaired particolor, pointed cat. They have striking blue eyes and white laces and gloves on their feet. That all sounds a little bit complicated so I'll try and explain it.

RELATED: Famous felines: the stories of history’s most notable cats.

The word "particolor" means more than one colour. So, this cat breed is a pointed cat like the Siamese cat which means that the extremities are darker than the middle portions but, in this instance, the dark extremities are not a single colour but a mix of colours. 

And in the case of Choupette, in my opinion, the pointing is dilute tortoiseshell which is orange and black with tabby markings. It's rather complicated. And to go a bit further, I would also state that Choupette's pointing is diluted. Therefore, this cat carries the dilution gene.

Choupette. Image: Instagram.

If you look at the photograph above carefully, you will see that the pointing looks like a diluted red or orange. But if you look to the left of her left eye, you will see some darker-coloured fur. This is in my opinion a dilute black and the two colours together indicate to me that this is a tortoiseshell mix of colours on the extremities. It is manifested in terms of a red pointing colour on the tail.

RELATED: Karl Lagerfeld is wrong about animal fur.

Choupette has 'gloving' on her feet (white fur). The gloving on her left foreleg is not perfect and breeders of Birman cats expend a lot of effort in trying to get that perfect white paw with a clear demarcation between the darker area of the paw and the remainder of the foot.

The white gloves and "laces" on the feet are created by the piebald gene a.k.a. white spotting gene together with a pattern gene for the placement of the white in that particular area.

If the white fur runs up the leg the breeders call this "runners". This means that the white fur has run up the leg metaphorically speaking. It's taken many years of breeding Birman to Birman with the desired white-spotting pattern to achieve the perfect gloving on the feet. They have achieved this through careful selective breeding (artificial selection) to weed out the undesirable patterns and to fix the desirable patterns in their breeding lines.

The eyes should be blue, sparkling against the darker pointing of the face. Birman cats are said to be healthy and intelligent. They are relaxed and easy-going with their human family members. They have a tolerant personality and a peaceful nature. Choupette does have this aura of calm and sweetness about which she probably has. This is why, I presume, Karl Lagerfeld adored her so much.

Choupette entered the life of Karl Lagerfeld in 2011 when he adopted her from a model who, I presume, was modelling his clothes. The model's name was Baptiste Giabicone. They went on holiday and left Choupette with the staff at Lagerfeld's home. That was the beginning of the relationship. In short, Choupette was given to Lagerfeld as a gift during Christmas 2011.

Humankind is doomed as the world can't kick its fossil fuel habit!

You can discuss cat behaviour and wildcat conservation all you want but at the end of the day it might be pointless because the world struggles to kick its addiction to fossil fuels. It isn't just the fact that the development of renewable energy is not proceeding fast enough and it isn't the fact that oil, gas and coal together accounted for almost 82% of global primary energy consumption last year, it is also the fact that the EV market (electric vehicles) is stalling in the UK because of various factors and also the vegan food marketplace is being consistently damaged by the manufacturers who insist on adding salt and other unhealthy ingredients to make it more palatable. Humankind is also addicted to salt and processed foods.

Humankind is doomed as the world struggles to kick fossil fuel habit!
Image: DALLE-E.

Veganism is one route to put a break on climate change because it means we less meat and meat comes from cows and cows produce methane and methane warms up the atmosphere. The EV marketplace is stalling because the infrastructure is not being built fast enough and the government in the UK is not encouraging the purchase of EVs with tax breaks et cetera. Also, the battery market is volatile. Lithium-ion batteries are being supplanted by more efficient batteries. The tech is fast moving.

And the UK government is going to have to tax owners of electric vehicles by charging them by the mile. This is to make up for the reduction in the tax that they obtain through VAT on petrol (gas in the USA).

I am painting a very bleak picture and I'll continue. As mentioned above fossil fuel energy sources accounted for 82% of primary energy consumption which was barely any less from the previous year.

And solar energy accounted for a mere 2.1% and wind 2.3% of total global energy usage. This includes not only power generation but also energy used in transport, heating and other applications.

The Energy Institute's Statistical Review of World Energy tells us that renewables including hydro accounted for about 14% of global energy consumption.

They present a bleak picture of progress towards renewable energy which is too slow. The decarbonisation of global energy is too slow. We are not meeting the Paris climate warming goals.

Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions achieved a new peak in 2022. This is because output from coal and gas-fired power plants hit record highs. While consumption continued to rebound to near pre-Covid levels. The demand for power grew by a little over 2% to a new high. The vast majority of that growth being met by renewables, however.

Record amounts of solar and wind projects started producing electricity during 2022.

However, this still resulted in solar accounting for only 4.5% of global power generation. Wind accounted for 7.2% of global power generation.

Nick Wayth, the Institute's chief executive said:

"At a global scale, renewables are not yet eating into coal and gas-fired generation and in fact both coal and gas recorded record highs in terms of generation in 2022."

Nuclear power output fell by 4%.

Wyath said that the global primary energy mix has shown very little change over the year. Coal remained at 27% of consumption for the sixth consecutive year. Oil increased slightly to 32%. The gas market share fell slightly because of lower use for heating and transport.

So, the conclusion is that despite some growth in renewables the share of world energy is still coming from fossil fuels and that percentage is stuck at 82%. This is after many years of talking at heads of state conferences about pledges and about their commitment to take real action to tackle global warming when actually it's all talk and no action. Well, there has been some action but it is nowhere near enough. 

The promises made by our leaders are hollow. Many people believe that humankind is sleepwalking into a major catastrophe. We just can't kick the habit of burning fossil fuels. We will have to see it much worse than it is before we change our ways. There are still very many people who don't believe that climate change is real.

Juliet Davenport, president of the Institute, said:

"Overall global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions increased again. We are still heading in the opposite direction to that required by the Paris agreement."

As I said at the beginning unless humankind does more and commits to changing their deeply ingrained habits using fossil fuels, we are heading into a hostile world which will be uninhabitable over large areas. It will massively increase migration from equatorial countries to the north.

These are much bigger issues, to be frank, than discussing feline behaviour and whether a certain cat breed is more friendly than another which is a rather pointless discussion in any case.

The protesters in the UK who disrupt people's lives such as the campaign group Just Stop Oil, are, in my opinion, courageous although they are vilified by many news media outlets and millions of people. They do what is necessary to try and force people to change their ways. Humankind needs them in my view. We shouldn't be vilifying them. It is the mainstream right wingers who do this in their blind addiction to fossil fuels.

Source: The Times and myself.

Saturday 24 June 2023

Kids pretending to be cats are taking over the classroom in wokery nonsense but there are serious undertones

 The argument from the right-wing is that pupils pretending to be cats are taking over the classroom and undermining the teacher who's probably too sensitive to the woke movement. They've allowed kids to become furries and in doing so undermined their authority. It's worse. One teacher admonished another for refusing to accept the concept of gender spectrum (non-binary). This is a merging of two wokery movements. 

Note: there is a wide spectrum of sexuality to which we must be enlightened and sensitive but I believe - without being disrespectful - that there are two sexes. Sex is biological. All the rest is in the head.

This is impossible and it must be stopped with firm leadership and guidance from parents initially and supported by teachers. Image: DALLE-E.

One girl self-identifies as a male cat and insisted on being addressed as 'kit'. The girl had merged the furries movement with the trans gender movement. Highly complicated and confusing. The culture becomes very fraught.

It disrupts the classroom and the education process. The UK education secretary, Gillian Keegan, has said that it is silly for pupils to self-identify as an animal. She takes the common-sense viewpoint. I feel sure that most Brits would agree with her. But is it just silliness? It may be a symptom of much more troubling mental processes in pupils and girls in particular. Too many are suicidal.

In Britain the classroom is becoming an impossible place for teachers which is why huge numbers are thinking of quitting.  It is a disturbingly high percentage. According to the BBC four out of ten teachers are planning to leave the profession! It is a catastrophe. The British education system is in a silent crisis and it is deteriorating. You can add inflation into the mix. Teachers have been striking for a huge pay increase. This is partly due to the difficulties of the job. Who'd be a teacher in Britain?

It will need a much firmer approach from heads and teachers. I'll be sexist and state that there needs to be more men in teaching. There are far less nowadays than in the past. In 2021/22, 75.5% of school teachers were women. Women have moved into teaching believing that it will suit them but no clearly not for a huge percentage.

They can be too gentle. Perhaps they sometimes lack sufficient confidence to stamp their authority over the classroom. That said the teachers are asking for guidance from the Dept. of Education on how to deal with this problem. Keegan will provide it, she says.

To be fair, it is very difficult for a teacher to deal with a child who wants to identify as a cat because of the modern snowflake culture. If teachers are too firm with pupils they can get into trouble when the child complains to their parents who then complain to the head teacher. It is toxic.

Teachers are having to be surrogate parents as parents abdicate their duties. Too many are capitulating to their children's fads to be trans or cats!! There is a merging of these movements as mentioned. Is this all about confused kids bossing around parents and teachers because they are too frightened to be firm and provide old-fashioned guidance?

Kids are also in crisis with an astonishingly high percentage of girls self-harming or having suicidal thoughts (30%!!). This can't go on. To me it is clear that there is a link between the high level of suicidal thoughts and wanting to opt-out by self-identifying as a cat.

Thursday 22 June 2023

Assistance dog allowed on labour ward to assist anxious mom to be

PHOTO BY JANE RUSSELL/SWNS. Amee Tomkin, Belle and baby.

NEWS AND VIEWS - MILTON KEYNES, UK: Amee Tomkin has been diagnosed with autism, anxiety and OCD. It is tough for her. She lives with a female Staffie-type dog companion called Belle. Tomkin said:

"Without her I am too anxious to leave the house."

Her anxiety is that serious which is why she was delighted that the was allowed to have Belle beside her in the maternity ward at Milton Keynes University Hospital throughout labour and delivery.

Belle is the first dog allowed on the labour ward. The first woman in Britain to have her dog beside her during birth as a medical aid was Charlotte Beard in 2021.

Tomkin was allowed to have Belle on her bed before she went into theatre and Belle was the first to meet Tomkin's son after Olly after Tomin had her caesarian.

Tomkin said:

"My midwife at the hospital was fabulous but having Belle with me is like having another midwife there all the time, to keep me calm and check on myself and Olly."

She added:

"After 12 years, I thought I'd never concede. When I did it was a very complicated pregnancy and there were times when we feared the worst. It's a miracle I'm still here and safe and my baby too. The doctors and nurses were brilliant and we have Belle to thank too."

It's beyond doubt that Belle did wonders in being beside her master and caregiver during pregnancy and delivery in the labour ward at this Hertfordshire hospital.

Wednesday 21 June 2023

Rescued, starving feral cat has come a long way and is now a therapy cat at San Francisco Airport

His name now is the elaborate 'Duke Ellington Morris'. He used to be a starving and ill feral cat back in 2010 when he was rescued from a colony. He spent some time at the SPCA before being adopted by a mother and daughter.

Duke Ellington Morris an airport therapy cat who was a starving feral cat until rescued
Duke Ellington Morris an airport therapy cat who was a starving feral cat until rescued. Image: Instagram.

They discovered that he had the character to be a therapy cat and became one. At that time San Francisco Airport used dogs as companion animals to calm anxious travellers. Airports are places where travellers can become anxious so it is a nice idea to use domestic animals to calm them.

The airport used dogs and has now expanded their little group of therapy animals ('the Wag Brigade') to include Duke Ellington Morris, who has his own Instagram account and a rabbit called Alex and LilLou the pig.

They are all certified by the San Francisco SPCA as therapy animals and have graduated from therapy animal school with a certificate to say that they have been passed the Animal Assisted Therapy Program.

Duke appears to have always demonstrated a temperament ideally suited to therapy animal work.

His is a regular male tuxedo cat; a black-and-white cat. He looks nice in his therapy cat uniform. As mentioned, he was rescued as a starving feral cat. He is 'paying it forward' as they say in the United States (respond to a person's kindness to oneself by being kind to someone else).

Furbo 360° Dog Camera is potentially a failure for this reason

There's a new dog device on the block and it is called the Furbo 360° Dog Camera. It's being promoted as a way to keep your dog happy when you are away from your home. Where's the cat equivalent by the way?

It contains a rotating camera which allows you to glimpse of your pet pooch when they are at home alone. The camera has a smart sensor to track your dog when they move and when they bark.

You can speak to your dog through a real-time two-way radio. This allows you to soothe them while they are alone and becoming stressed.

It is said that the Furbo 360 "gives you peace of mind when you’re away from your pooches" (Picture: Furbo).  Yes, and in doing so it encourages us to leave them alone for longer. It can be a counterproductive device.

It has another interesting function. You can command the device to release a treat to your dog at the touch of a button or the swipe of a screen. Metaphorically speaking the device throws a bone at your dog. You control the device through an app on your phone. You swipe the screen to release the treat.

Promotional articles obviously state that it is a wonderful device but perhaps typically of me, I see it differently.

It may be good in some instances but knowing human nature as I do it may be a device which encourages people to leave their dog home alone more often and for longer. They might see this device as a means to assuage their guilt. To get around the problem that they have of not being able to be with their dog daily for long periods.

Of course, we all know that nowadays many more people work from home at least part of the week thanks to the extraordinary Covid-19 lockdowns which changed the way the world works forever. This is potentially good for dogs.

It is said, by the experts, that a dog should not be left alone in their home for more than four hours at a stretch. That's quite a tight time limit. I wonder whether people realise this. I doubt it.

The manufacturers of this device obviously saw a window of opportunity. A niche market as they say in business.

But I would argue that it is exploitative of a weakness in the human-to-dog relationship. Dogs need their humans around. Ideally at all times. The human is the pack leader; the alpha dog.

Among the gray wolf packs in the wild, the alpha leader is always there; leading, guiding and educating.

The human-to-dog relationship is a week reflection of the original wild dog relationship and we like to devise devices to make up for our weaknesses. That is the way I see it; slightly negatively admittedly but perhaps also realistically.

Separately, but incidentally, people also have a misconception about domestic cats being independent and therefore being able to accept being alone all day. This is a complete fallacy. You leave a cat alone all day, every working day, and you will have a stressed cat liable to mark territory with urine and liable to stress-related illnesses.

How long can I leave my cat ‘home alone’?

In respect of the need of a cat to be with their caregiver, they are little different to dogs despite the fact that the domestic cat's wildcat ancestors is solitary. This change in character of the domestic cat has occurred over 10,000 years of domestication. They've become sociable and connected to their caregiver. It is to be expected.

Cat and dog health costs are rising steeply in the UK and it undermines the human-pet relationship

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) tells us that in 2022 insurers paid out over £1 billion. It is the highest on record reported by members of the ABI. It's a substantial increase and they say that it reflects the high cost of veterinary treatment, which results in more expensive claims on pet health insurance policies.

Cat and dog health costs are rising steeply in the UK and it undermines the human-pet relationship
Cat and dog health costs are rising steeply in the UK and it undermines the human-pet relationship. Image: MikeB.

Pet owners are taking out more at health insurance policies in the UK in order to cover these increased investment costs. And, arguably, the increased veterinary costs are driven by the fact that people are taking out more health insurance policies. 

Inflationary upward spiral

It is a self-serving upward spiral. It is inflationary. And it is not good for the human-to-pet relationship as it simply means that it becomes more expensive to look after a cat or dog.

This is because if insurers are paying out more money to clients to cover inflated veterinary bills, they're going to put up the insurance premiums. Pet owners will be paying out more on a monthly basis year-on-year than they were in the past. 

The whole process is inflationary. Underpinning this is pet health insurance plus the fact that independent veterinary clinics are being brought up rapidly by big business to be run as commercial enterprises primarily rather than the focus being on providing excellent veterinary care which is what happens when veterinarians form a partnership which owns the business.

In terms of veterinary treatment, in the UK, the country is moving in the wrong direction. Once big business gets hold of the veterinary marketplace it damages it. That's my personal opinion.

In fact, big business tends to damage everything decent ultimately because their priority is making a profit and they often go too far. The ABI tells us that for 2022, there was a 28% increase in pet health insurance claims from 2021.

Three quarters of the claims concerned dogs while 20% concerned cats with the remainder concerning other companion animals.

For dogs, the number of claims jumped by 35% compared to 2021, to 1 million claims. Payouts increased by 23% to £800 million. Claims concerning cats rose by 20% with payouts up 22% to £184 million.

The average pet insurance claim was for £327 which was marginally up by 1% from the year before. The ABI states that for spinal surgery the cost will be in the order of £8000-£10,000. 

Modern dachshund is too low to the ground

My mind turns to the dachshund which is known to have spinal problems because, through selective breeding, the dog is unnaturally elongated with short legs due to the presence of dwarfism. 

The ABI don't provide me with a breakdown of claims concerning spinal problems but I suspect a number of them concern the dachshund. In which case, we can point to extreme selective breeding as the cause.

Tuesday 20 June 2023

Dogs can be better cat rescuers than humans sometimes

This is a little story from social media which tells us that dogs can sometimes be better cat rescuers than humans (or sort of). But they always need human help.

I think the story is told by a woman but I am unsure. She was walking with her dog who became interested in something under a bush. She pushed him to come with her but "he continued going back to that bush and looking under it".

Dogs can be better cat rescuers than humans sometimes
Dogs can be better cat rescuers than humans sometimes. The bonded pair. Image: the story's narrator who is anonymous.

She went to look under the bush too and saw a young kitten in a desperate state. She was dying, covered in fleas and skin and bone.

The woman took the kitten home and cared for her.

"We took it home. Took care of it and the kitten would not leave my dog out of sight. Since then, they sleep together. She adores her rescuer."

But for her dog the kitten would be dead. This kitten was saved by the dog but she needed human help to do some of the caring.

Monday 19 June 2023

Ciprofloxacin is a potentially dangerous antibiotic which might cause suicidal thoughts

This is not directly to do with cats but I feel that I must flag it up. The story surprised me. This is not simply a factual reporting of that story but I would like to provide my opinion as well, where appropriate. The Telegraph reported in the drug about 7 hours ago.

It concerns a retired cardiologist with no history of mental health problems; no history of depression. His name was Robert Stevenson. He was respected.

He was prescribed the antibiotic ciprofloxacin. This is a general-purpose antibiotic which can be prescribed for a wide range of bacterial infections including urinary tract infections, chest infections and for example sexually transmitted disease infections. It is also prescribed for infections such as conjunctivitis.

Just over a week after commencing the course of this antibiotic he left a note for his wife on Facebook telling her that he had left a written note under his pillow at home. The note apparently was uncharacteristically confused and illogical.

He was found hanged in a nearby wood.

Clearly, in the face of it, ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic which can alter brain chemistry causing the patient to become suicidally depressed. That is the logical conclusion from the story and it is the implied conclusion from the story as reported by the press.

As I mentioned, it needs to be flagged because my guess is that 99.9% of the population of any country are going to be ignorant of this apparently dangerous antibiotic. People consider antibiotics to be safe and nearly always without serious side effects or side effects at all.

Concerningly, ciprofloxacin is sometimes prescribed for reducing inflammation in the prostate in order to investigate possible prostate cancer. A lot of old man might well be going through this process. Or it might she scheduled.

The story should concern elderly man. Some of them will live with a domestic cat like me. I will take note of this story.

Ciprofloxacin appears to be widely available antibiotic. It is certainly available in the UK and the USA.

Australian journalists massively exaggerate the number of native animals killed by roaming domestic cats

By a factor of more than 10, Australian journalists and the authorities in Australia exaggerate the number of native animals killed by roaming domestic cats. I mean that they multiple by more than 10 the true number. 

Domestic cat predation in Australia is hugely exaggerated
Domestic cat predation in Australia is hugely exaggerated. Image in the public domain.

How can I make that bold statement? Well, perhaps one of the oldest if not the oldest study about the predation of animals by roaming domestic cats was published in 1987. The scientists found that each domestic cat in a village killed 14 animals in one year.

"A total of 1090 prey items (535 mammals, 297 birds and 258 unidentified animals) were taken, an average of about 14 per cat per year." - Predation by domestic cats in an English village. Link:
There was a factor of 14 between animal killed and domestic cats. There are 3.8 million domestic cats in Australia according to Wikipedia. But only 2.9 million are allowed outside according to the journalist I mention below. Multiply 2,900,000 x 14 and you get 40.6 million.

That means domestic cats that are allowed to go outside in Australia kill 40.6 million animals per year in Australia as a rough number.

Laura Chung writing for The Sunday Morning Herald opens her article (link) with the statement, "the Biodiversity Council, Invasive Species Council and Birdlife Australia found that roaming pet cats kill 546 million animals a year in Australia, 323 million of which are native animals".

This is more than 10 times than that which was revealed by the study I mention which is a very distinguished and recognised study.

And, I think we can use our personal experience on the subject. My cat who is a great hunter and who is allowed outside in a productive urban environment in terms of access to wildlife, perhaps kills around 10 animals per year maximum.

Laura Chung is stating that each pre-roaming domestic cat in Australia is killing 188 animals per year! Does that sound right to you? Can you believe it? I can't. It seems fanciful. It looks like fiction to me. It means that each domestic cat is killing an animal every 2 days. It's just unbelievable.

It is another example of how journalists in Australia and the authorities on that continent exaggerate the predation of domestic and feral cats on their native species in order to push forward and campaign for domestic cat confinement around the clock. This is the goal of the authorities in Australia.

The ones who don't know better have been indoctrinated by the news media and by the authorities to believe what Laura Chung states in her article. It's a gradual training of the mind of Australian citizens to believe what I think is a fiction. It is wrong.

I could go to any other study actually and come up with a similar result. In a counterargument, you might state that free-roaming domestic cats in Australia have a much greater opportunity to kill prey animals because there are more prey animals to kill. I don't believe it. If you want to state that you're going to have to produce evidence to back it up.

Sunday 18 June 2023

Is cat litter hazardous to toddlers?

Some people ask whether it is safe to put a cat litter tray in a child's bedroom? Other people might ask whether it is safe for a child to play around with cat litter. They might do that if they are curious. And sometimes toddlers might put cat litter in their mouth. Would that harm the child?

Is cat litter safe with toddlers around?
Image: MikeB

Chemically-speaking, cat litter is pretty inert and therefore I think you will find the general consensus is that cat litter is not toxic for children in general terms.

Tidy Cats

But there may well be problems. Although litter is not poisonous as such, some litter such as Tidy Cats Lightweight is extremely dusty. I have written about it and it is a popular page because a lot of people report catastrophic cat health problems after using this litter.

As it is so dusty it could harm a child if they are rummaging around in it, kicking up the dust. The dust particles would get in the eyes, mouth and ears. My advice then is to keep children away from this particular brand of litter.

All clumping litter is dusty to a certain extent which should be noted. It is big weakness in the efficacy and safety of this product.


And clumping cat litter may be dangerous for a child because it is highly absorbent. That is the reason why the material has been selected to be cat litter. It is sodium bentonite. It is mined from clay mines.

Is bentonite cat litter safe?

If a child wanted to eat a bit of cat litter it might do some damage because it would potentially expand in the throat or stomach having absorbed the liquid in those areas of the child's anatomy, possibly causing a blockage.


We can't ignore the fact that there is likely to be domestic cat faeces and urine in a cat litter tray. It would be highly unwise for a child to dive into a recently used cat litter tray. Although faeces per se are not particularly toxic, if the domestic cat concerned carried Toxoplasma gondii oocysts they may be in their faeces. If they were ingested by a child, he or she would contract toxoplasmosis.

A lot of people in many parts of the world have contracted toxoplasmosis and it is usually asymptomatic. But the domestic cat is often vilified for being the primary vector of this normally benign disease which can rarely be quite serious and cause blindness.

The important thing to note by the way about toxoplasmosis and its transmission from cats with an active toxoplasmosis infection is that they are only capable of passing it on for 7 to 10 days of their entire life when they are suffering from an acute infection. So please don't become overly nervous about it.

There's lots of talk about pregnant mothers getting rid of the domestic cat for this reason. My advice is don't get rid of the cat but take sensible precautions such as using gloves when cleaning the litter or ask somebody else to do it for you.

Cat owners can help themselves with respect to this disease by keeping their cat from roaming and hunting. That's because they get the disease from the prey animals that they kill. Faeces from the litter box should be disposed of carefully to avoid other people coming into contact with it. Litter boxes should be cleaned and disinfected often using boiling water and diluted bleach solution. 

Although it is unwise to overdo this because the litter box then loses its natural feline fragrance which is an attractant to a domestic cat. It makes them want to use that litter box again and again.

Please note that the biggest risk by a wide margin for contracting toxoplasmosis is not domestic cat faeces but eating raw and/or undercooked meat particularly lamb or pork.


The bottom line about kids being around cat litter trays is that it is unwise not because cat litter is chemically toxic because there may be some physical negative consequences as described and a single disease, toxoplasmosis, which is well-discussed on the internet.

One cat needs 4 covered beds in different places as they like to rotate them

This is a really quick note. I was prompted to write it because I was looking for my cat this morning. He had been out and active all night. This is usual for him. He goes to bed at about 11 AM and stays there until the mid or late afternoon. And he likes to rotate the places where he sleeps, which is why it can be tricky to find him sometimes. 

My experience tells me that four different hiding places that are covered and in different locations around the home is about ideal. What are your ideals?

And he particularly likes places in which to sleep that are covered. In fact, he almost insists upon it. The reason is obvious: he feels more secure. Even better for him is when there are four walls and a roof with an entry point in one of the walls as you can see in the photograph.

Domestic cat's sleeping place is covered and enclosed for a sense of security
Domestic cat's sleeping place is covered and enclosed for a sense of security. Image: MikeB

Note about the picture above. You see that well-worn scratching post? That's good as it is infused with his scent due to long usage which will encourage him to continue to use it and avoid the couch or armchair!

It's all about feeling secure and secondly, it's all about having options for a domestic cat to choose from because they like variation. They like variety. They can get bored like people. And they are particularly prone to boredom when they are cosseted and provided for all their lives as they are when living in good homes. 

They can often lack challenges. Domestic cats actually need challenges. They need them to be mentally stimulated.

Domestic cat's sleeping place is covered and enclosed for a sense of security
Domestic cat's sleeping place is covered and enclosed for a sense of security. This is an expensive one at £200! Too expensive but pretty. Image: MikeB

And it's ideal if those little hiding places are off the ground and it doesn't matter if they are high off the ground. It might even be better for some cats. Although of course for older cats they need to be easy to get into because they might suffer from arthritis which makes it very difficult due to pain to climb and jump.

That is the point of the article. Try and provide a variety of little protective hiding places around the home where your cat can sleep. And there might be one or two outside the home if you live in a part of the world where the climate is very amenable for a cat who wants to sleep outside at night. 

Sometimes it's cooler for a cat to sleep outside at night and therefore a similar-type enclosed "bedroom" could be constructed outside as well.

16 most affectionate cat breeds who love a good cuddle

I'll say it strongly: the title is pure mumbo-jumbo and it comes direct from Pets Radar, a cynical website in my opinion where they regularly employ clickbait with a complete disregard for factual truth. They are cynically misleading the general public and those who want to adopt a cat for the first time. In fact, they are taking the piss out of people. That's what they are doing. They are playing with the internet. Don't listen to their advice. I'll tell you the truth.

The truth is far less prosaic. It is far less interesting. I know that people who want to adopt a cat from a cat breeder like clarity in terms of the cat's character. They want to know what they are buying. They want certainties. That's why Pets Radar provides it. But it is false.

16 most affectionate cat breeds who love a good cuddle
16 most affectionate cat breeds who love a good cuddle. A random bred cat being affectionate. The nose-to-nose cat greeting occurs frequently. It is a friendly greeting and pleasant for both parties. I think the human likes it more and feels blessed to be treated as a genuine friend by their cat. Image in the public domain.

All the individual cats of each cat breed are going to be bred to be friendly and affectionate. Above all else, domestic cats who are part of a cat breed are just like any other domestic cat.

In fact, you might find some individual cats described as moggies i.e. non-purebred cats who are friendlier than any individual cat from any cat breed. It often boils down to the nature of the individual cat.

It is disingenuous to presume that all the individual cat of one particular cat breed all have the same character in terms of their level of affection. It isn't logical. It isn't common sense.

Breeders focus on the appearance of the cat primarily. The character comes from the foundation cats and obviously they want their cats to have good, friendly and affectionate characters. They want their cats to be confident and outgoing. They do work on this but it is not a science. And of course, there is nature/nurture. The cat's experiences later on in life and in the early years of development affect their personality.

So, you can't provide a clear answer as Pets Radar think you can do. Well, they don't actually think that. As mentioned, they are cynical. They just feed information that they think people want to hear. Their objective is to get as many readers as they can and they don't care whether the information that they provide is correct or not.

I'm being harsh but rightly so in my view. It isn't just Pets Radar who do this. The newspaper The Scotsman has done it frequently as well. It's all click bait. It's all very wrong and I don't want to see people adopting cats to be so misled.

If you want to adopt - as everybody does - an affectionate purebred cat which you will have to buy at over £1000 normally, you really should visit the breeder that you have selected, talk to him or her and meet the cats. Ask some pertinent questions. Challenge the breeder. Discuss the matter in depth and then adopt the kitten that comes to you if that happens.

But you're not going to know for sure whether the cat you adopt is going to be super-affectionate or more affectionate than any other domestic cat. Just presume that your selected cat will be affectionate provided that you are affectionate towards him or her.

And that's the last point I want to make. The level of affection that a cat delivers to their caregiver is largely dependent upon the level of affection that their caregiver delivers to them. It is reciprocated. Affection is an emotion. And the emotions of a cat and how anxious or calm they feel is dependent upon the environment in which they are placed and that environment is dependent upon the work and efforts of the caregiver.

16 most affectionate cat breeds who love a good cuddle
16 most affectionate cat breeds who love a good cuddle. All domestic cats enjoy a cuddle at some time or other. It just needs to be done on their terms. Image: public domain.

In the interactions between caregiver and cat are so important. They should be gentle, calm and friendly. Owners should never yell at their cat. They should never be aggressive towards their cat. They should not be irritated by their cat if their cat behaves in a way that displeases them. And this comes down to expectation management as well.

People need to remember that the domestic cat is a domesticated wildcat. They have inherited the wild cat behaviours but of course they've adapted to the human environment. They are domesticated. But expect a domestic cat to have wildcat traits which occasionally emerge.

Be realistic, please. Don't believe everything you read on the Internet because a lot of it is tailored to please the readers rather than, like this article, tailored to be entirely factual true. The raw truth counts in my view. And in that way, we can expect better animal welfare as well because people's expectations are accurate.

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