Sunday 31 March 2024

Vegan pet foods are as palatable to dogs and cats as conventional meat or raw meat diets

Vegan pet foods are generally at least as palatable to dogs and cats as conventional meat or raw meat diets according to a study. Here are some details.

Plant-based diet for dogs and cats would be transformative for the world. 

In the study titled “Vegan versus meat-based pet foods: Owner-reported palatability behaviours and implications for canine and feline welfare,” researchers investigated the palatability of vegan pet foods compared to conventional meat-based or raw meat diets for dogs and cats. Here are the key findings:

  1. Importance of Palatability:

    • Palatability was considered an important factor by pet guardians when choosing diets for their animals.
    • Among respondents who fed conventional or raw meat diets, palatability ranked as one of the desired attributes.
  2. Behavioural Indicators:

    • For dogs on a raw meat diet, there were increased reports of appetitive behavior during meal times compared to dogs on a conventional diet.
    • However, there was no consistent evidence of a difference in palatability between vegan diets and either conventional or raw meat diets.
  3. Cat Behavior:

    • Diet made little difference to food-oriented behavior in cats.
  4. Overall Conclusion:

    • Based on owner-reported behaviors, vegan pet foods are generally at least as palatable to dogs and cats as conventional meat or raw meat diets.
    • Importantly, this palatability did not compromise their welfare, provided other welfare determinants (such as nutritional requirements) were adequately met.

In summary, vegan pet foods can be a viable option for pet owners, as long as they meet the necessary nutritional needs of their furry companions. You can find the full study here.

In another study the same lead scientist states that there would be great benefits for the planet if dogs and cats were fed on a balanced vegan diet. This is possible when carefully formulated even for cats. It is question of ensuring that all the nutrients are include. Plant protein is generally as good as animal protein as pet food and much better in terms of protecting the planet and curbing global warming.

Click on the link below to read an important study which affects us all.

Eureka! Vegan pet food saves planet Earth


What are the nutritional considerations for vegan pet foods?


When it comes to vegan pet foods, there are several important nutritional considerations to keep in mind to ensure the health and well-being of our furry friends:
  1. Protein Sources:

    • Dogs: High-quality plant-based protein sources such as soy, lentils, peas, and quinoa can be used. However, it’s essential to ensure that the protein content meets their requirements.
    • Cats: Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they require specific amino acids found primarily in animal-based proteins. Vegan diets for cats must be carefully formulated to provide essential nutrients like taurine, arachidonic acid, and vitamin B12.
  2. Amino Acids:

    • Taurine: Cats cannot synthesize taurine from plant-based sources. Taurine supplementation is crucial for their heart health.
    • Lysine: Essential for both dogs and cats, lysine is important for growth, immune function, and tissue repair.
  3. Vitamins and Minerals:

    • Vitamin B12: Vital for energy production and overall health. Vegan pet foods should be fortified with B12.
    • Calcium and Phosphorus: Proper balance is essential for bone health.
    • Iron: Plant-based iron sources (non-heme iron) are less readily absorbed. Ensuring adequate iron intake is crucial.
    • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Essential for skin, coat, and overall health. Algal oil (derived from algae) is a vegan source of DHA and EPA.
  4. Fiber Content:

    • Vegan diets tend to be higher in fiber. While this can benefit some dogs (e.g., those with weight management issues), it may not suit all cats.
  5. Digestibility:

    • Plant-based proteins may have lower digestibility compared to animal-based proteins. Ensuring proper nutrient absorption is essential.
  6. Consult a Veterinarian:

    • Before transitioning to a vegan diet, consult a veterinarian. They can guide you on formulating a balanced diet and monitor your pet’s health.

Remember that each pet is unique, and their nutritional needs can vary. If you choose a vegan diet for your pet, work closely with a veterinarian to create a well-balanced and nutritionally complete meal plan. ๐Ÿพ๐ŸŒฑ

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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

If cats are lactose-intolerant, how did we come to believe that giving cats milk is good?

"Kittens produce this enzyme in smaller amounts as they develop, and by six months of age, most kittens have adult levels of lactase. These adult levels are insufficient to digest milk and their bodies can no longer tolerate it. Basically, like some humans, most cats become lactose intolerant." - Hastings Veterinary Hospital
"Kittens ingest digestible carbohydrates (i.e., lactose or milk sugar) before weaning. Adult cats must rely primarily on gluco-neogenesis from glucogenic amino acids (ketoacids), lactic acid and glycerol for maintenance of blood glucose concentration". - Introduction to feeding normal cats
The answer to the questions is this: kittens eagerly drink their mother's milk - colostrum. Observers would understand that adult cats also drink milk. But in the early days of cat domestication there was less knowledge and they didn't realise that at 6 months of age young cats do not have sufficient lactase (lactase deficiency) to digest lactose and become intolerant of it.


Nowadays, things have changed thanks to the huge amount of education provided by the internet on millions of cat websites!

But there are still people in developing countries and even developed countries where they believe that cats should be fed milk as a treat.

When they do this their cat enjoys drinking the milk because it is fatty. Cats like fatty foods. But it would seem that the adult cat does not understand that they are lactose intolerant.

But they don't need to realise it because they have inherited their wild cat ancestor's character and that wildcat never has the opportunity as an adult to drink milk.

It is only in the human environment as domesticated wildcats that they encounter a bowl of cow's milk containing lactose which they cannot digest but which tastes good normally. Not all domestic cats take to drinking it.

What is lactose?


Lactose, or milk sugar, is a disaccharide sugar composed of galactose and glucose subunits and has the molecular formula C₁₂H₂₂O₁₁.
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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Woman with MS changed her life after leash training her cat

Painting of a man leash walking his cat in the British countryside at sunset. 

MS is multiple sclerosis. This is a story which provokes me into carrying on with leash training my cat. It's a great little story about Jade de Monyรฉ's decision to leash train her cat, Figaro. She says that her walks with her cat have "changed her life".

She says that Figaro loves to go for walks on a leash with her. She never forces him to do anything. He leads the way in effect. She said that, "I'll open the car door with his lead on and it's up to him if he wants to get out. I never push him into anything." Before she felt like staying at home which did not help her mood. It is much better now.

Jade and Figaro. Picture by Jade.

She says the obvious that it is not like walking a dog because cats tend to do what they want to do but I think you can actually go a step further and get a cat to behave somewhat like a dog. For her, she allows Figaro to go where he wants to go but he does like to sit "a lot at the water's edge and just watch all the birds. You can't 100% train a cat, it's just a lot harder".

Agreed. It is limited compared to dog training but it is possible to do it to a sufficient standard to very much enjoy going for walks with your cat in a very safe way for him or her. That's the big advantage. You could almost claim that it should be obligatory for a cat caregiver to leash train their full-time indoor cat. It is the only true way to allow a full-time indoor cat to enjoy the outdoors fully and safely.

That's her story and it's wonderful. I'm going to train my cat on a leash. I started do it many years ago and I'm going to pick up the training programme again and see whether I can get him out into the local park. I think you need a method to deal with dogs that you might encounter on your walks. That's the worry I have.

I think you need to train your cat to jump into your arms or get into a backpack cat carrier if you can foresee a troublesome encounter coming up with a dog. Other than that I think it should be workable in a park, particularly a park which is very large and where there are not many people as is the case me in Richmond Park which is quite near where I live.

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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Saturday 30 March 2024

Mystery of the two dead Sphynx cats on the side of a road

NEWS AND COMMENT - UK: News media are reporting on a sad and mysterious discovery of two dead Sphynx cats, one male and one female, in a field not far from a road. On the other side of the road there was a red cat carrier in which there were cat faeces. The cats were micro-chipped but there were no details except that they were of Romanian origin. It appears to me that the details were erased.

The cats were found by a dog walker who reported the discovery to the RSPCA who are mystified as to what happened

There was no sign of trauma so the cats were not killed by being hit by something. We have to speculate and I sometimes like to speculate.

This is a fictional image of male and female SPHYNX cats. I can't publish the picture of the dead cats on this website as it might breach Google Adsense's policy rules.

Abandonment


To me, this would point to an informal Romanian cat breeder breeding hairless cats namely the Sphynx cat in their home in the UK because they are valuable and you can make quite a lot of money selling Sphynx cats.

I would further speculate that the breeding wasn't working out very well. Perhaps the cats became ill. The female cat had bad teeth but it wasn't possible to determine her age.

I would suggest that they were abandoned by this breeder and the microchip details erased as a consequence. They would appear to have been alive when they were abandoned but that might not be the case. They might have died at the breeder's home and put in a cat carrier that already had faeces in it.

Either that or they were alive in a cat carrier and trapped in it for a while and died when they escaped from the carrier. They were not attacked by a predator. They appear not to have been hit by a vehicle. They might have died of exposure as they are hairless after all with no protection from their coat and it's been pretty wintry, very wet and cold.

They were found on Saturday, March 16 in Cambridgeshire, UK. The bodies were near the road between Balsham to Hildersham High Street in the area of Samworth Close.

The bottom line is that they must've been abandoned

And they must have died within the ownership of an individual or perhaps sometime after they were abandoned. That I think is the logical assessment but I would welcome somebody else's views on this.

It is the first time I have read a cat new story of this nature. It is incredibly sad. It's in fact rather horrific to be honest.

Photo


I can't show the photograph of the bodies because I have a feeling that advertisers on this website won't like them and they would object to it. Google AdSense would also object to it possibly and notify me of a breach of their policy which I don't like to hear about.

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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

All this took was for one raccoon to say to another, "I know a guy"

I am a retired RCMP Officer living in a rural setting in Nova Scotia, Canada. I spend my time enjoying nature and feeding my furry friends, the raccoons. I also feed the deer in the winter months and many varieties of birds.
All this took was for one raccoon to say to another, "I know a guy".
Mobbed by raccoons looking for their share of freebies.

This is about a middle-aged man who loves animals. He feeds them and cares for them and he feeds raccoons and the news got around among the raccoon population where he lives that there is a man in a red waterproof jacket who feeds them so they can get nice and plump before the winter months. They turn up in their droves. 

He estimates that there are 30 raccoons around him in this video. Amazingly the raccoons are behaving relatively politely. You might say that they are polite and in some respects queueing up for their delight. Not sure what he's feeding them. One commenter says that it is hot dogs. Whatever it is they love it and they take their turn in getting one.


Can raccoons be aggressive towards people and bite them?


Raccoons, those masked bandits of the animal kingdom, often evoke curiosity and a touch of wariness. Let’s delve into their behavior and see if they’re likely to engage in a showdown with humans:

  1. Aggression and Attacks:

    • Raccoons do have the capacity to attack humans, but it’s rare. Their aggression typically arises under specific circumstances.
    • Provoked Aggression:
      • When provoked, raccoons may become aggressive. For instance:
        • Threatened Young: Female raccoons, especially protective mothers, can get feisty if they perceive a threat to their offspring. They’ll arch their backs, growl, and even lunge defensively.
        • Scavenging Mode: If a raccoon is in extreme scavenging mode or feels threatened, it may exhibit defensive postures.
    • Unprovoked Aggression:
      • Some raccoons, particularly those that are ill or disoriented, might engage in unprovoked aggression.
      • Rabies Risk: About 30.3% of raccoons are carriers of the rabies virus, making incidental bites a potential health concern for humans.
  2. General Behaviour:

    • Flee, Not Fight: Humans are too large to be considered prey, so raccoons usually flee rather than attack.
    • Self-Defence: When they do attack, it’s usually out of self-defence.
    • Temperament: Raccoons don’t actively seek out biting incidents; they’ll only do so if they feel threatened or if their den or young ones are at risk.

In summary, while raccoons can be aggressive, they’re not inherently dangerous unless provoked or ill. So, if you encounter one, maintain a respectful distance and let them go about their masked business! ๐Ÿฆ

Sources: Various and many! Including: Ranger Planet, Wildlife Start, Animal Wised.

RELATED: Domestic cat is dominant among foxes, raccoons and stone martens (Germany)

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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Cat domestication is a failure in the United States

The statement in the title seems to be exaggerated and plain wrong. It seems to be too negative and unhelpful. It can't be true can it? There are millions of domestic cats in nice homes in America. They are well cared for. They are happy. They live good lives and their human caregivers are nice people. This is all positive. It indicates that cat domestication in America is successful from both the cat and the human's perspective.

But I cannot agree for this reason. And below my reason there some detail on this thanks to Bing's co-pilot who did some research for me.

Cat domestication is a failure in the United States
If you weigh the unhappiness experienced by feral and stray cats and compared it to the happiness experienced by domestic cats in good homes, which is the greater? See below for more on this.

I'm told that the recent figures from the United States estimate that there are 82 million pet cats living happily in people's homes throughout the country. I'm also told that the population of stray and feral cats in the United States is estimated to be between 60 and 100 million. Some estimates are more conservative ranging from 30 to 80 million. Notwithstanding the difference in these estimates, you can see that there is a very similar number of feral and stray cats to the number of domestic cats.

A stray or feral cat lives a very tough and harsh life in both the urban and semi urban environment in the United States. It's hard for them. PETA, the animal advocacy charity consistently state that feral cats are miserable. They argue or have argued that it is more humane to euthanise feral cats rather than operate TNR programs for them. They want to pull them out of their measurable existences and send them to heaven.

A lot of people disagree with that including Nathan Winograd but they make a point. It is difficult to arrive at a conclusion other than that feral and stray cats are likely to be unhappy or indeed miserable, living relatively short lives compared to their domestic cat cousins. 

They are preyed upon by coyotes and other predators, they are shot at by miscreant and unpleasant cat hating people. They are poisoned by similar people. They are denigrated by others who don't want them in the neighbourhood. They are euthanised at cat shelters because they don't want feral cats. There are people who say they should be put back where they came from and left to die.

All in all a bad picture for the millions of feral and stray cat in the United States. If you are going to work out the success of cat domestication you have to weigh up the pros and cons. You have to carry out a balancing act between the good and bad.

Negative spin-off


Stray and feral cats are a negative spin-off, a bad consequence of cat domestication. They are there thanks to the carelessness of humankind. They are a failure in cat domestication. They should not exist at all. Every feral cat is a symptom of failure in the human-to-cat relationship. This was not the end game envisaged by humans when cat domestication first started.

Wildlife


And think of the wildlife that feral and stray cats kill. A lot of people don't like that. This is another aspect of failure in the cat domestication process.

'Weighing' the good and bad in cat domestication


Now let's imagine we add up all the pain and misery suffered by stray and feral cats in the United States. Let's put that pain and misery on a scale and call it negatives. Now let's add up all the happiness and contentment enjoyed by domestic cats in nice homes. Let's call that the positives.

My argument is that the negatives are the same "weight" as the positives" and therefore he cannot say that cat domestication in the United States is successful.

I can add a further factor here. Of the approximate 82 million domestic cats in America at this time, not all of them will be happy. There must be a reasonable percentage who are unhappy because their caregiver simply don't do a good job. I'm going to guess and say that about 10%-15% of human caregivers of domestic cats are underperforming and the cats are unhappy. This further adds to the equation I mention above and it tips it in favour of cat domestication failure. What do you think?

Number of stray and feral cats in the USA - 2024


In the United States, the population of stray and feral cats is estimated to be between 60 and 100 million. These cats, once they leave the comfort of our homes, become one of America’s most impactful invasive species. They pose ecological, economic, and ethical challenges for animal welfare groups. The issue of unowned cats has long been a community concern.

Here are some key points about stray and feral cats:

  1. Origins of Stray and Feral Cats:
    • The general understanding among experts is that the homeless cat population is growing and currently sits at around 60–100 million cats. Some estimates are more conservative, ranging from 30–80 million.
    • Only 85% of pet cats are spayed or neutered. Spaying or neutering pets is crucial for controlling stray and feral cat populations. When pets escape or roam outside, they can mate with neighborhood cats, perpetuating the problem. The closer we get to 100% pet neutering, the more we reduce the strain on welfare groups and the current homeless cats in our communities.
    • Roughly 15% of cat owners lose their pets at some point during a 5-year period. Cats and dogs tend to roam when the front door swings open. However, only 75% of lost cats are recovered, compared to a 93% return rate for dogs. Over a five-year period, this translates to over 3 million cats becoming lost and never returning home.

The challenge of managing stray and feral cat populations requires a collective effort from pet owners, animal shelters, and governments to address this complex issue.

Number of domestic cats in the US - 2024

In the United States, cats are the most popular house pet, with approximately 90 million domesticated cats residing in around 34% of U.S. homes. That’s quite a feline presence across the nation!

To break it down further:

  • The average number of cats per household is 1.78.
  • There are approximately 123.6 million households in the U.S. according to the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau data.
  • Roughly 26% of households have at least one cat.

So, if we do the math, we get approximately 82 million pet cats living happily in people’s homes throughout the country. That’s a whole lot of purring companions! ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿฑ


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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Friday 29 March 2024

Arguments for curbing cats' right to roam and counterarguments

Overview: this is an argument between allowing domestic cats to express their natural desires such as being crepuscular hunters and keeping them much safer indoors, away from road traffic, predators and poisons but unable to behave naturally. 

Which argument wins? Safety versus natural behaviour?

Let’s explore the arguments for curbing domestic cats’ right to roam:

  1. Safety Concerns:

    • Cats who have unrestricted outdoor access are at higher risk of road traffic accidents, injuries, and predation by other animals.
    • Exposure to outdoor hazards such as disease, parasites, and toxins can compromise their well-being .
  2. Wildlife Impact:

    • Free-roaming cats are natural hunters, and their instinct to catch small animals and birds can have a significant impact on local wildlife populations.
    • They contribute to the decline of songbirds and other small mammals, which is a concern for conservation efforts.
  3. Public Health and Disease Transmission:

    • Cats allowed to roam freely can spread diseases to both humans and wildlife. This includes diseases like toxoplasmosis.
    • Their interactions with wildlife can create a pathway for disease transmission.
  4. Cat Overpopulation and Abandonment:

    • The lack of control over outdoor cats has led to an ongoing “cat crisis” in many countries, including the UK.
    • Thousands of lost, abandoned, and unwanted cats contribute to the excess cat population.
    • Charities spend significant resources trying to repatriate them and combat indiscriminate breeding.
  5. Perceived Nuisance:

    • Cats’ natural behaviors, such as scratching, toileting habits, and hunting instincts, can be perceived as a nuisance by some people.
    • Their reputation as pests often leads to negative sentiments toward them.
  6. Ethical Considerations:

    • While some cat owners feel that restricting their cats’ movements is unnatural, there is a need to balance their freedom with responsible ownership.
    • Restricting outdoor access may be necessary to protect both cats and wildlife .

In summary, while cats’ right to roam is legally protected in many places, it’s essential to consider the impact on safety, wildlife, public health, and responsible pet ownership. Finding a balance that ensures cat welfare while minimizing negative consequences is crucial. ๐Ÿพ

Counterarguments

Let’s explore the arguments for preserving domestic cats’ right to roam:

  1. Legal Status and Freedom:

    • Unlike most other captive animals, domestic cats have the wonderful status under the laws of many countries, including the UK, of the “right to roam.”
    • In the UK, cats do not have to be securely confined and can roam without fear of legal repercussions for their actions.
    • They cannot trespass, so neither the cats nor their owners are liable for any damage, soiling, or nuisance caused by their roaming.
  2. Safety and Well-Being:

    • While indoor cats tend to live longer (often 15+ years), indoor/outdoor cats probably have a lifespan that is a little shorter due to various threats such as road accidents, killed by predators and poisoning by criminals.
    • Allowing cats to roam freely satisfies their natural instincts and contributes to their overall well-being.
  3. Less Likely to Cause Harm:

    • The law recognizes that cats are less likely to cause injury to people or damage property compared to some other animals e.g. dogs. 
    • This distinction justifies their right to roam without strict confinement.
  4. Enhancing Reputation and Well-Being:

    • Some cat owners feel that restricting their cats’ movements is unnatural. There is a need to let the domestic cat express its hunting desires. These are at the core of feline behaviour.
    • However, they are generally in favour of restricting their right to reproduce, which can help manage the cat population.
  5. Balancing Freedom and Responsibility:

    • While preserving cats’ freedom is essential, responsible ownership involves finding a balance.
    • Encouraging neutering, vaccination, and responsible breeding practices can address the drawbacks associated with unrestricted roaming.

In summary, the debate around cats’ right to roam involves weighing their natural instincts, safety, and impact on the environment. Finding a middle ground that protects both cats and their surroundings is crucial. ๐Ÿพ

Sources: various including: The Conversation, Psyhology Today and Cats.org.uk.

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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Free micro-chipping by Blue Cross across the UK

In preparation for a new UK law which makes micro-chipping compulsory on June 10, 2024, the well-known charity, Blue Cross has decided to offer free micro-chipping across the UK after trialling an event at their Stratford House Centre in Marsh Barton.

Blue Cross microchipping a tabby cat
Blue Cross microchipping a tabby cat.

If cat owners fail to microchip their cats by June 10 they may have to pay a £500 fine. Of course, they would have to be found out in order to be successfully prosecuted to pay that fine which I think is unlikely but the law is the law.

This is a first apparently for Blue Cross. They are offering the free service because they are aware of the cost of living crisis in the UK. This problem may have been heightened by the recent extensive news media coverage of rapidly increasing veterinarian prices because veterinary practices have been bought up by conglomerates whose priority would appear to be to increase profits rather than provide an excellent service.

After the trial Blue Cross hope to run the same free micro-chipping service across the UK. Alison Thomas, a veterinarian and head of veterinary standards at Blue Cross said: "As a charity, we are very aware of the impact of the cost of living on pet owners and that is why we are running this event. We aim to run these events over the country if this is successful and we have the resources to do so."

It's almost bound to be successful because the public will be very happy to receive free micro-chipping. Micro-chipping has been a successful process in many countries in many ways.

It allows cats to be reunited with their owners when they are lost. It allows veterinarians to assess who owns a lost cat or a stray cat. It can also help the authorities to assess whether a cat caregiver is providing satisfactory conditions for their cats. What I mean is you can trace the owner of an abused cat and successfully prosecute them if the authorities deem it fit to do so.

It should be noted, however, that a microchip is not complete and total evidence that the details on the microchip is the owner of the cat concerned. It is good evidence that those details provide the name of the owner but it is not conclusive evidence if there is other evidence which overrides it. This is because cats sometimes choose their own "owner" when they migrate from one home to another!

And if there are laws which make it obligatory to keep a cat indoors (this would be very rare but I believe there are certain jurisdictions in Australia where it occurs) you can then make it easier to enforce that law if the cats are micro-chipped. As I said there are benefits for micro-chipping beyond simply finding a lost cat and reuniting them.

Normally the cost of micro-chipping varies between about £10 and £30 in the UK but I'm sure the lower figure is out of date. I would expect it to cost more than that in some veterinary clinics today bearing in mind, as mentioned, the increased charges.

Blue Cross


Blue Cross is a registered animal welfare charity in the United Kingdom, founded in 1897. Their mission is to encourage kindness to animals, protect them, and educate the public about responsible pet ownership. Here are some key aspects of their work:

  1. Veterinary Care: Blue Cross provides veterinary care for pets in need. Their hospitals and clinics offer essential medical services to animals.

  2. Rehoming Services: The charity actively finds loving new homes for homeless pets. They work tirelessly to match pets with caring families.

  3. Behavioural Help: Blue Cross offers expert behavioural advice to pet owners. Whether it’s training, socialization, or addressing behavioral issues, they assist in creating positive relationships between pets and their humans.

  4. Pet Bereavement Support: Coping with the loss of a beloved pet can be incredibly challenging. Blue Cross provides a pet bereavement service to support those grieving the loss of their furry companions.

  5. Education: The charity focuses on educating future generations about responsible pet ownership. By spreading awareness and knowledge, they aim to create a compassionate and informed community.

Through their efforts, Blue Cross helps thousands of pets and people every year. Whether it’s finding homes for animals, providing veterinary care, or offering emotional support during difficult times, they play a vital role in improving the lives of pets across the UK.

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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Thursday 28 March 2024

3 things to avoid to protect against dementia!

What has this got to do with cats!? Answer: if you have dementia you can't look after a cat properly. Right, that's that out of the way. So, what are the three things that help prevent dementia?

Here they are courtesy a study published in the journal Nature Communications and led by Professor Gwenaรซlle Douaud.


"We have now found that of all common modifiable risk factors for dementia, the most harmful to this weak spot [fragile regions of the brain] are diabetes, traffic-related pollution and alcohol consumption."
A recent study published in the journal Nature Communications sheds light on three modifiable risk factors that can help protect the brain from dementia. Let’s delve into the findings:
  1. Diabetes: Managing diabetes effectively is crucial. The study highlights that this condition significantly impacts a vulnerable brain region associated with dementia risk.

  2. Traffic-Related Pollution: Exposure to air pollution from busy roads can be detrimental to brain health. Taking steps to minimize exposure may help protect against dementia.

  3. Alcohol Consumption: Reducing alcohol intake is essential. The study indicates that excessive alcohol consumption affects the same vulnerable brain area.

Researchers at the University of Oxford examined brain scans of over 40,000 people aged 45 and older to identify these risk factors. By understanding and addressing these modifiable factors, we can potentially reduce the risk of dementia and safeguard brain health.

Remember, while genetics play a role, lifestyle choices also significantly impact our brain health. Prioritizing sleep, maintaining a healthy weight, and staying socially active are additional steps we can take to promote cognitive well-being.

Stay informed and take care of your brain—it’s a precious asset! ๐Ÿง ๐Ÿ’™

My thanks to Bing copilot for summarising the study.

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Jilted senior councillor threatened to kill ex-lover's cats

NEWS AND VIEWS: Here is the summary of this news story in which unsurprisingly the woman's cats play a part. Cats are not infrequently used as tools by men to leverage desired human behaviour sometimes in an obnoxious way. The humble domestic cat is vulnerable to being used in this way as women (and men) normally have a close emotional bond with their cat. Threaten to harm the cat and you emotionally harm the owner and force them to behave in a way which is against their wishes.

Jilted senior councillor threatened to kill ex-lover's cats
Salisbury City Councillor Mark Mewse outside Salisbury Magistrates Court (Image: Ollie Thompson/Solent News)

In a rather bizarre and unsettling turn of events, Mark Mewse, a Tory councillor, embarked on a peculiar campaign to win back his ex-lover, Sarah Houchin. Let’s delve into the details:

  1. Lovebombing with Presents:

    • Mark Mewse, besotted and determined, showered Sarah with gifts. Not just any gifts, mind you, but specifically for her feline companions. Yes, he bought presents for her cats in a desperate bid to rekindle their romance.
    • The court heard that he left flowers on her car bonnet, sent her cards, and even gifted her and her cats a bag of goodies for Christmas. It’s like a feline-themed love story gone awry.
  2. Persistent Pursuit:

    • Undeterred by Sarah’s clear rejection, Mewse continued his relentless pursuit. He bombarded her with a constant barrage of messages, hoping to melt her heart.
    • CCTV footage revealed him waving and blowing kisses at her as she drove around Salisbury, Wiltshire. He even followed her into her workplace, leaving her feeling anxious and nervous.
  3. Threats to the Furry Companions:

    • But here’s where it takes a dark turn. When Sarah firmly declined his advances, Mewse allegedly threatened to kill her cats. Yes, you read that right. The same cats he had gifted presents to earlier.
    • It’s a chilling twist that involves both love and feline lives hanging in the balance.
  4. The Court Drama:

    • The case unfolded at Salisbury Magistrates’ Court, where Mewse faced charges of harassment.
    • Sarah, in her early 50s, stood her ground, making it unequivocally clear that she wanted no part in a relationship with the defendant.
    • Mewse, the Chair of the Personnel Committee at Salisbury City Council, denied the charges, but the evidence against him paints a vivid picture of obsession and misguided affection.

In summary, this tale combines romance, cat presents, and a dash of menace—a script that even Hollywood might find intriguing. ๐Ÿฑ❤️๐ŸŒน

Source: Daily Mail Online



P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Wednesday 27 March 2024

Comparing Norwegian Forest Cat and Siberian cat in a table

Comparing Norwegian Forest Cat and Siberian in a table
Fictional Siberian cat! Beautiful right?! Image: MikeB

Here’s a table comparing the Norwegian Forest cat and the Siberian cat based on set criteria I gave Bing Co-pilot:

BIG APOLOGY: THIS TABLE DOES NOT RESPOND TO PHONE SIZE. IT IS TOO WIDE FOR THE PHONE SO YOU WILL HAVE TO TURN THE PHONE SIDEWAYS! HECK. NOT GREAT. ๐Ÿคข๐Ÿค”

FeatureNorwegian Forest CatSiberian Cat
Country of OriginNorwayRussia
Established as a BreedRecognized in the 1930sRecognized in the 1990s
Breed StandardsLarge size, strong, muscular body, double coat of furMedium to large size, sturdy, muscular build, triple coat
Size and WeightMales: 12-20 pounds, Females: 9-18 poundsMales: 8-17 pounds, Females: less than males
Price from Breeders$800 - $4,000$1,000 - $2,000
Cat Associations RecognitionFIFe, CFA, TICATICA, CFA
PersonalityPlayful, sweet, family-oriented, affectionateEnergetic, friendly, playful, affectionate
Vocal and Lap catsLess vocal, not typical lap catsModerately vocal, social but not necessarily lap cats

Norwegian Forest cats and Siberian cats share some similarities, such as their affectionate nature and thick coats suited for cold climates. However, they differ in their vocalization tendencies and whether they are considered lap cats. Norwegian Forest cats are generally quieter and less likely to be lap cats, while Siberians are moderately vocal and social but not necessarily lap cats. The prices for these breeds can vary significantly based on lineage and other factors. Both breeds are recognized by major cat associations and have established breed standards that reflect their origins and historical roles.

This page was created by Bing Co-pilot. See errors? Please report them in a comment. The image is not meant to be an exact representation of the Siberian cat.

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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Persian cat survives 60 days alone on 7th floor of bombed building

NEWS AND VIEWS - I ALWAYS COMMENT AS THERE IS NOT POINT JUST RECITING THE NEWS: The video says it all but I can add a bit more. The rescuers did not know that they rescued an elderly, ginger, flat-faced Persian cat! These cats are not known for their hardy constitution. But I guess all domestic cats are great survivors hence they have nine lives.

Persian cat survives 60 days alone on 7th floor of bombed building
Rescue from the 7th floor by the firefighters.

Remarkably this Persian cat survived 60 days stuck on a small ledge 7 floors up of this destroyed building; bombed to smithereens by Putin. The question is how did the cat survive as apparently there was no water or food up there. Perhaps there was. I think that there must have been because I can't see a cat surviving that long without any sustenance. I think the cat was able to move around on the 7th floor to find some scraps.

Persian cat survives 60 days alone on 7th floor of bombed building
After the rescue and being cleaned and hydrated by rescue team.

A beautiful aspect of the story is that despite the fact that thousands of Ukrainian civilians are being murdered by Putin in drone and shelling strikes, the fire and rescue service (ZooPatrol) took the time and effort to save the life of this cat and the reason is that they treat all lives the same whether they are humans or animals.
 
How about that! That's the kind of thing I love to hear. An equality between animals and humans is the Holy Grail for animal advocates and we see it here in this remarkable cat rescue.

I hope this embedded video works okay. Sometimes they stop working.

 


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Here are some more pictures from the video.

Persian cat survives 60 days alone on 7th floor of bombed building
Cleaned up. Screenshot.

All cats are great survivors; purebred or moggie.

Tuesday 26 March 2024

Why does the world put up with Putin?

OPINION: President Putin is, according to me, a bit like a cancerous growth inside someone's body. He is a cancer on the planet. When there is cancer inside the body a surgeon cuts it out. The same sort of thing should happen to Putin. We need to take proactive steps to stop this man.

Everything we do is reactive. We allow him to perpetrate his crimes against humanity. We allow him to kill tens of thousands of people in Ukraine, innocent people, hundreds of thousands of animals and a thousand children. We allow it. This can't be right.

Note: this post is not politically correct (PC).  It is direct. To the point. It needs to be said but PC stuff prevents it. You know AI will not create an image of Putin as the devil incarnate. Refused to do it. AI is too PC.



Putin is an inveterate liar. He is a sociopathic liar. He knows that he is lying but he sees it as normal behaviour. This assessment has been reinforced by his reaction to the recent terrorist attack on the Crocus City Hall concert.

Immediately after the attack, he blamed Ukrainian terrorists. He said that they were seen trying to go across the border into Ukraine. He knew very well that this was all mumbo-jumbo and lies. He wants to find a reason to escalate the bombing of Ukraine.

Now that it's quite clear that it was Islamic terrorists who carried out the attack he has changed his lies.

Apparently, America had intelligence to say that it was going to happen and I believe they warned the Kremlin about this foreseeable Islamic terrorist attack. And since the attack, the Islamic State has stated that they carried out.

Belarus' strongman dictator Alexander Lukashenko said that the terrorists tried to cross into Belarus undermining Putin's earlier statement.

And I'm sure in the videos of the attack made by TikTok influencers who stayed within the auditorium in order to get their video material (quite mad) the terrorist can be seen to be from the Islamic race of people. They look like Pakistanis or people from the East, not Ukrainians.

And immediately Putin changes his lies as mentioned. He has just stated that "This atrocity may be only [another] link in a whole series of attempts by those who have been fighting our country since 2014 through the hands of the neo-Nazi Kiev regime. We know who carried out the attack. We want to know who the mastermind was."

Putin is saying indirectly that the West is to blame for this terror attack. He is always finding reasons to blame the West. He is paranoid about the West wishing to destroy Russia. He firmly believes that he has enemies all around him trying to steal his lands and destroy Russia. Paranoia comes to mind.

If Putin lived in the West, he would be treated for mental illness. It be under the doctor with medication to alter his mental state. He is paranoid as mentioned. He is irrational. He lies sociopathically. He doesn't feel the consequences of his lying and murderous behaviour. These are the marks of a sociopath or psychopath.

He needs to be stopped. I'm not advocating assassination. I'm advocating some way to actually stop him; to take proactive steps because he is destroying the world. He is poisoning the world. Why do we accept it?

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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Monday 25 March 2024

Somebody TOSSED two cats in a box into an animal shelter lobby and RAN

This is another example of how some people surrender their cats and obviously it isn't the best way. Sometimes people surreptitiously arrive at the doors of an animal shelter and leave two or three cats in a cardboard box outside to be collected the next morning which is dangerous for the cat if it's in the middle of winter.

Other times they give up their cats in cruel ways but on this occasion the Brother Wolf Animal Rescue center in Asheville, North Carolina, United States Of America, reported that, "Somebody tossed two cat in our lobby. They opened the door, tossed a box in, sliding it across the floor, then ran out to a car waiting in the road that sped away."



Guilt?


How does that look to you as an outside observer? I'll tell you how it looks to me. It looks like they feel very guilty about what they're doing and they don't want to confront the shelter staff and explain to them why they are surrendering their cats. 

But this is stupid behaviour. No one is going to judge them. No one is going to criticise them. Shelter staff will, I am sure, accept cats surrendered even if the reasons are poor. That's because their primary objective is to care for unwanted cats and find a new home with them.

So it is very stupid to abandon cats in this way. Far better to face up to it and admit that you can no longer care for your cats and hand them over. You don't even have to explain why you are surrendering the cats. You just surrender them. You don't have to justify it.


It does indicate a cowardice on behalf of the people who tossed this box into the shelter lobby but I don't want to be too critical because we are all human and we are all, in some way, vulnerable and have our own weaknesses.

Still high numbers of cats given up


The cats' names are Juniper and Theodore. They were written on the box. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reports that annually in America, 6.3 million pets are surrendered which equates to 17,260 per day. Obviously, I'm sure that 99% of them are super surrendered across the counter in the animal shelter and not in the way described.

Stressful experience


We all need to be reminded sometimes that animal shelters are stressful places for cats and dogs to be rehomed. They are strange places. They are noisy places with strange people and strange goings-on. They are confined to cages and it's very difficult for them to behave normally and in an attractive way to do their best to find an adopter.

One caption on the video of the above-mentioned surrender said, "We always try to give people the benefit of the doubt. Not make quick judgments. Check our biases. Not to shame them for needing help. Some days, it is really hard to do that. Today is one of those days."

The video is on Instagram from the above-mentioned shelter. Sometimes these embedded videos stop working so if it has stopped I apologise but I don't control it.


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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Sunday 24 March 2024

Are men more likely to be allergic to cats than women?

No, would appear to be the answer based on my research (see below) but a survey in Australia found that about twice as many men compared to women attended hospital for an allergy to the feline allergen Fel D1.
In 2021–22, open wounds were the most common type of injury, accounting for 13,420 (57%) cases, followed by fractures (15%), toxic effects (10%), and superficial (5%) and soft tissue injury (4.5%). The upper limbs (46%) and head and neck (14%) were the body parts most likely to be injured. Allergic reactions to animals sent 1,180 cases to hospital, the majority being males who were twice as likely as females to be hospitalized for this reason (5.9 and 3.2 per 100,000 respectively).

 But my assistant Bing Copilot reports this on whether there is a difference:

The likelihood of cat allergies does not appear to be significantly different between men and women. However, it’s interesting to note that non-neutered male cats produce more Fel d1, which is the protein that causes allergic reactions, compared to other cats. This means that male cats might pose a higher risk of triggering allergies, but this does not necessarily correlate with the gender of the human being allergic.

In general, pet allergies, including those to cats, affect a substantial portion of the population, with estimates suggesting that between 10% and 20% of people globally may suffer from some form of pet allergy. The development of allergies is complex and can be influenced by various factors, including genetics, environment, and early exposure to pets.

Sources: Many including: Springer, Sage and An Allergy.

What is Fel d 1?

Fel d 1 is a protein complex primarily found in cat saliva and sebaceous glands. It’s encoded by the CH1 and CH2 genes in cats and is the major allergen responsible for allergic reactions in humans sensitive to cats. The protein’s function in cats is not fully understood, but in humans, it can trigger an allergic or asthmatic response. Interestingly, Fel d 1 levels vary among cats, with non-neutered male cats producing more of this allergen.

Sources: Four including Allergy UK and Wikipedia.

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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Werewolf cat looking for a new home March 2024

This is from the Warrington branch of Cats Protection. News media tells me that they have a Lykoi cat aka werewolf cat for adoption as their caregiver went into a residential care home. This is a very rare cat breed so I am sure someone will snap him/her up. They'd make a great TikTok star attraction ๐Ÿ˜Ž. I have checked their website without success. Perhaps they are preparing the cat for adoption.


Here is the story in summary as provided by Bing Copilot:

Here’s the latest update on the ‘werewolf’ cat:

Fern, an extremely rare Lykoi cat, is looking for a new home after her previous owner had to go into care. This breed, also known colloquially as ‘werewolf cats’, is believed to be one of only between 100 to 200 left in the world. Fern was taken to Cats Protection in Warrington, Cheshire1.

The Lykoi is known for its distinctive appearance, being a hybrid between hairless and haired cats. Fern is described as a sweet cat who has come out of her shell while staying with a fosterer. She is looking for a quiet home without other pets or children, where she can receive the attention and calm environment she needs1.

Fern had been treated for an ear infection which has since cleared up, and she also has a small cyst on her head that is not a concern according to the vet. The adoption centre is hopeful that Fern will find a loving companion who appreciates her unique qualities.

For those interested in adopting Fern or learning more about her, they can get in touch with Cats Protection in Warrington.

Werewolf cat looking for a new home
8 month old male Lykoi. This is not the cat in the story. Image credit: Wikipedia.

How can I adopt a cat from Cats Protection in Warrington?

To adopt a cat from Cats Protection in Warrington, you can follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Website: Check out the Cats Protection Warrington Adoption Centre website to view cats available for adoption.
  2. Choose a Cat: Select a cat you are interested in and read about their personality and needs.
  3. Express Interest: Enquire via the cat’s listing on the website or contact the centre directly.
  4. Visit the Centre: Arrange a visit to meet the cat at the centre located at 14 Elizabeth Drive, Padgate, Warrington WA1 4JQ.
  5. Adoption Process: Discuss with the staff to ensure a good match and understand the cat’s history and health.
  6. Home Visit: In some cases, a home visit might be arranged to ensure your home is suitable for the cat.
  7. Complete the Adoption: If all goes well, you can complete the adoption process, which includes paying an adoption fee. The fee for adult cats is £85, and for kittens (8 weeks - 6 months), it’s £105.
  8. Aftercare: The centre will provide aftercare advice and support as you welcome your new pet into your home.

For any general enquiries about your suitability or the adoption process, you can call the centre on 0300 012 0612 during their open hours: Monday to Sunday, 11:00 - 15:00.

It’s wonderful that you’re considering adopting a cat. Wishing you the best in finding a new furry companion! ๐Ÿพ

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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Will they change three lions on England badge to three domestic cats!?

There is a bit (big ๐Ÿ™„) of a furore about the Football Association (FA) deciding to alter the flag of England which is the St George's Cross by changing the red cross against a white background to a purple and blue cross against a dark blue background on the back of the collar of the new football shirt for England players.

High profile football professionals have criticised the move. A former British goalkeeper, the very well known David Seaman, asks "will they change three lions to three cats?" See below for the story behind the three lions on the badge.

Furore over change to St George's Cross on football shirts. Image: Nike/X.

He is very critical of the change to the England flag albeit for a bit of fun. It seems to be a reflection of woke Britain because the colours appear to be the usual colours of the LBGT movement.

The reference to the three lions being changed to three cats is a way of sarcastically belittling the change in the colours of the cross.

It's been revealed that Nike altered the St George's Cross using purple and blue horizontal stripes in a playful update to the shirt ahead of Euro 2024.

A lot of people don't see it as playful but as disrespectful. I don't think you would see Nike changing the American flag which is afforded a lot of respect in the United States for playful fun reasons. 

We should have the same respect for the England flag in England. It's a very well-known flag which goes back probably thousands of years.

England fans have decided to boycott Nike. And another thing: the shirt costs a rip-off £125! For a polyester shirt for Christ's sake. The fans are consistently ripped off in the UK where prices are known to be too high. We are sick of being ripped off by big business. And often it is foreign countries which think the UK is 'Treasure Island'! ๐Ÿ˜’

Below is a section about England's three lions and how they became part of the badge worn by sportsmen and sportswomen playing for England.


Keir Starmer, the opposition leader, said the same thing by the way. That's the mood in the country.

The Three Lions

The three lions on the England badge have a historical significance that dates back almost a thousand years. The symbol originated with King Henry I, known as the Lion of England, who had a lion on his coat of arms. When he married Adeliza of Louvain, he added a second lion to honor her father, Godfrey I, Count of Louvain. The third lion was added by Henry II after marrying Eleanor of Aquitaine, as her family also had a lion on their crest.

3 lions England badge
Image in public domain.

The three lions became associated with the English monarchy and were later adopted by the Football Association when it was formed in 1863. The badge has been a symbol of the national side ever since and is even referenced in the famous song by Baddiel, Skinner, and the Lightning Seeds.

Additionally, the England badge features ten roses, which are Tudor roses representing the traditional floral heraldic emblem of England. These were introduced to the badge in 1948-49 to represent the ten divisions of Football Association members at the time


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P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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