Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts

Monday 27 March 2023

Amory, Mississippi after tornado: cat found sitting in middle of destroyed resident's home

This is the tweet accompanying the picture below:
"Mason lost everything in the tornado we go back to dig through the rubble and there was his cat setting on the pile that use to be his house waiting on him" 
Another amazing story of cat survival. Everything destroyed and Mason's cat is sat there in the middle of the destruction. Mason is thrilled and very emotional:

Amory, Mississippi after tornado: cat found sitting in middle of destroyed home resident
Amory, Mississippi after tornado: cat found sitting in middle of destroyed home resident. Image: Twitter.

And this is the weatherman who predicted the tornado would pass through Amory. He too was very emotional and he prayed for the residents which I think is a first for a weatherman on television.

There is a tornado alley in the USA and Amory is in it as far as I can remember. So sad to see so many homes destroyed. 

A lot of homes in the US seem to be built with wood. In the UK it is always brick. That said the kind of tornado hitting Amory would destroy brick homes too I'd expect but perhaps less so. Some of these homes were reduced to a pile of matchsticks.

Let's hope there were no cat and dog casualties. 

Thursday 28 October 2021

2.3m unowned cats in the UK and 70m in the USA

If anybody is interested, there are 2.3 million unowned (stray and feral) cats in the UK. The figure was worked out by Cats Protection. Is it accurate? They decided that there were 9.3 unowned cats per square kilometre in the UK. As the UK is 248,532 km² there are 9.3×248,532 unowned cats which makes 2.3m.

2.3 million unowned cats in the UK and 70m in the USA.
2.3 million unowned cats in the UK and 70m in the USA. Stray, scavenging cat. Photo in public domain.

However, they also said that there are about a quarter of a million stray cats living in UK cities or urban areas. That would mean there are around 2 million unowned cats living away from urban areas, in the countryside. I don't think their calculations are correct, I have got to say. I don't think there are about 2 million unowned cat wandering around the British countryside. There might be but I would doubt it.

My distinct impression is that nearly all feral cats in the UK are in urban areas. They used a computer model I think to work out an average of 9.3 unowned cats per square kilometre in the UK. They also admit that this figure varies from 1.9-57 dependent upon the location.

USA comparison

On a like-for-like human population basis with America, the figures don't really add up because the experts say that there are about 70 million feral cats in America. The human population of America is currently 330 million which is about five times that of the UK. If we take the human population as a guide as to the number of feral cats in the US there should be around 11 million feral cats in America i.e. 2.3×5 which is around 11 million. This is about one seventh of the estimated figure.

It is hard to know what is going on. Perhaps the problem is that both the estimated number of feral cats in America and the calculations of Cat Protection are simply not that precise and therefore you can't really make a comparison between the countries on this matter. 

USA - overestimation of feral cat numbers?

Perhaps Americans have overestimated the number of feral cats in the USA? It is possible. A lot of the information about feral cats concerns predation on wildlife and this comes from ornithologists who want the numbers to be high as it fits their agenda of keeping cats inside.

Thursday 21 October 2021

Michigan, USA has its first domestic cat testing positive for Covid

NEWS AND COMMENT: This is not really news but it is all over Bing News. I think I need to report on it and comment. The press is saying that a domestic shorthair cat living in Ingham County, Michigan, USA has tested positive for Covid which makes the cat the first pet to test positive for the disease in that state. And as expected, the cat got the disease from his or her owners because they both had the disease a week before their cat became ill according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Michigan, USA has its first domestic cat testing positive for Covid
Michigan, USA has its first domestic cat testing positive for Covid. Image: MikeB

ASSOCIATED: Scientists should positively state that pets can't spread coronavirus through a new study

The symptoms for a cat when they get the disease are often quite mild and including fever, sneezing, coughing and nasal and eye discharge. In previous reports I have read that domestic cats resolve the disease themselves quite quickly. It appears that their immune systems are superior to those of humans certainly in respect of this disease. Concerning zoo animals, when they get Covid, sometimes they are treated but once again it seems that the big cats have good immune systems with respect to Covid-19.

The experts say that people should not be worried about catching Covid from their pets. My reading of the situation is that in all the cases I have read there has been transmission from people to pets rather than in the opposite direction. This is why the authorities say that people who have Covid should take precautions which I doubt happens.

It is fairly clear that the pets who catch Covid have been in general contact with their owner or caretaker. Ideally people who have contracted the disease should isolate themselves from their companion cat in the home. This would seem to be a very difficult task but at least they should avoid kissing and snuggling with their cat or allowing them to sleep on the bed while they are infected with the disease. My guess is that cat owners are unlikely to take effective steps to protect their pet.

News media reports that Michigan State officials said that as at Monday there have been 257 confirmed cases of Covid in animals throughout the US including 99 domestic cats since the start of the pandemic which is now around 19 months ago.

The report comes from USA Today.

Sunday 8 August 2021

In the USA, keeping cats indoors full-time opens the door to declawing

Although there is a huge cultural difference between British and American cat owners with respect to declawing, a major cat caretaking difference is the fact that many more Americans keep their cats indoors full-time than Brits. The reason primarily is that there are more predators of domestic cats in America than there in Britain. In fact, there are none in the UK other than dogs and perhaps the odd fox who is ambitious enough to try and attack a cat.

Poster by Kattaddorra (Ruth).

Another reason why there is a growing number of full-time indoor in America is because there are more urban dwellers in America as the human population grows. Outdoor cats have ample opportunities to scratch on objects such as fences and trees. The same cannot be said about indoor cats. Therefore, they carry out their claw-servicing routines on their owner's furniture which irritates and which leads to the convenience of the declawing operation. But that is where the culture difference comes in because when a cat scratches furniture it does not mean that you should remove their claws. You find humane alternatives.

The culture that supports declawing is hard to shift. It is deep-seated. Declawing started in the 1950s. A single veterinarian had the profitable idea possibly inspired by the declawing of cats used as bait to train fighting dogs. It grew from there.

Part of this culture difference is possibly because Americans are more demanding of their freedoms under their constitution. They love their freedoms and do not want the interference of others and the law to curtail them. They want the right to make decisions about how to raise their cat including removing the claws.

To that starting point you have to throw into the mix the attitude of many veterinarians in America. They facilitate the attitude of the cat owners who want their cats declawed. They sometimes offer discount service and fail to explain the operation. Many Americans are misinformed by their vets as to the nature of the operation: a partial amputation and not the simple removal of the claw. This is the exact opposite to what they should be doing because to facilitate it for their owner's convenience is to totally ignore their code of ethics as stated in their oath

I'm sure that Americans hate a Brit writing about declawing which I've done hundreds of times because they probably feel they are being preached to by somebody outside their jurisdiction who has no right to do it. I understand that feeling but in the modern age anybody can comment on anything because the Internet rubs out all the boundaries on the planet.

I've yet to see an accurate, definitive figure as to the number of indoor cats in America. Or the percentage of cat owners who keep their cats indoors full-time. It's strange that. You'd think there'd be some definitive answer but there isn't based on my research. I've seen a figure around 50% or higher. The number is increasing.

If somebody knows a good, accurate figure then please tell me a comment. But what we do know is, as mentioned, there are more full-time indoor cats in the US than there are in the UK. It's ironic, too, that the reason why Brits allow their cats outside is for welfare issues. They believe that the cat has to behave normally and naturally and they can only do that if they have access to the outside. Of course, the outside is dangerous in terms of traffic but they weigh up those risks and decide that overall, the benefits outweigh the risks of injury or death. One of the most common causes of death for domestic cats in the UK is the road traffic accident.

But perhaps it might be fair to say that Americans have a more 'human rights are superior to animal rights' stance. It is their right to elect the declaw operation out of convenience. This may be influenced by the fact that in America they have a written constitution which is often quoted whereas in the UK we don't. The constitution states in writing the right of the citizens of the USA. Maybe it means that those rights are fixed more firmly in the heads of Americans than they are in the British.

Americans are also more religious than Brits. Religion is dying in the UK. The population of the American bible belt is large. The bible encourages declawing as it preaches the dominion of humans over animals.

Although keeping cats indoors protects wildlife from feline predation, this is not the primary reason for keeping them inside. The reason is more human-centric, inward looking.

The conclusion is that there is a link between keeping cats indoors full-time and declawing but it is underpinned by a culture difference.

A cat loving former US diplomat who lives in the UK, Judd Birdsall said:
"When you go around a village in the UK you see lots of cats outside. I can't ever remember seeing a cat outside in the US. For Americans, it's a matter of freedom and convenience - the right to the freedom to make decisions in terms of how you raise your cat, and convenience, because once you remove the claws, you don't ever have to worry about you or the furniture getting scratched. By contrast, in the UK, any concerns for freedom and convenience are vastly dwarfed by concern to the welfare of the cat - it's unthinkable to declaw cats in Europe."

Monday 28 June 2021

Ragdoll Kittens are available again from 'American Ragdoll Kitten'

I wouldn't normally do this and in fact this is perhaps the first time that I have done it but I'm going to promote an American Ragdoll breeder - American Ragdoll Kitten - because they emailed me. They saw the potential for emailing me which tickled my fancy! I don't know how good or bad they are but they look good. Their website looks good. You can click on the link below to go to their website. As they say, Ragdoll kittens are available again. It is that time of year for them.

Ragdoll Kittens are available again from 'American Ragdoll Kittens'
Ragdoll Kittens are available again from 'American Ragdoll Kittens'. Photo: the cattery from their website. These are satisfied customers with their gorgeous Ragdoll cats.

When I think of the Ragdoll cat, I think of a cat which is probably the best suited to modern life. They are perhaps the only purebred cat where the breeder is concerned about both appearance and a specific character. Normally the appearance is 90% of the task for a breeder but in respect of the Ragdoll it is a 50-50 situation. 

The Ragdoll is built around their laid-back character. They pretty well have to have this character to be described as a Ragdoll. Which is why I think they should be suited to living full-time in the home which is a growing trend for various reasons, one of which is because more people live in the urban environment.

Although Covid has changed that, certainly in the UK where a lot of people have moved out of the country to work from home on a permanent or semipermanent basis. This may also be relationship between human and cat for the better it should be said.

The Ragdoll is in the top 5 most popular cat breeds and is gaining in popularity. It is a better cat than the flat-faced Persian which topped the popularity charts for years. Click the link below to read much more:

American Ragdoll Kitten say this about themselves:

We are a CATTERY of Excellence and Distinction with TICA and CFA. American Ragdoll Kittens located in USA, serving all round the States and the international community!
They ship internationally which should interest the citizens of countries other than the US.

Thursday 17 June 2021

May 2021: spike in bobcat fever in middle Georgia, USA

Five counties of Georgia in particular have seen a significant increase in cases of cystauxzoonis a.k.a. bobcat fever which is caused by a protozoan and not bacteria. A bacterial infection can be cured with antibiotics but this disease is deadly to cats with more than 70% of infected domestic cat dying unless they receive urgent veterinary care. The disease results in protozoal sepsis. There is a systemic inflammatory response and the symptoms are: difficulty breathing, jaundice, anaemia, fever, lack of appetite and lethargy. The report is from the Uni of Georgia.

The lone star tick which carries the parasite from bobcat to domestic cat which kills the domestic cat very quickly.
The lone star tick which carries the parasite from bobcat to domestic cat which kills the domestic cat very quickly. Image in public domain.

Death can occur in less than three days without prompt veterinary treatment. Prevention is the key. The five counties concerned are: Baldwin, Greene, Hancock, Jones and Putnam. They are considered to be ground zero for this disease at this time. It's essential for cat owners to be proactive and the primary way to do this is to keep cats safe by keeping them indoors and away from ticks. The experts strongly recommend that cats remain indoors under the circumstances.

Lone Star ticks pick up the disease by feeding on bobcats and then pass it on to domestic cats when they feed on them. The bobcats are unaffected. If it is impossible to keep a domestic cat indoors 24/7 cat owners can use "an effective acaricidal product" but it must be used according to the instructions. It is critical not to overdose because it can kill your cat. An alternative would be to think in the long term of building a cat enclosure or catio as a good compromise between safety and environmental stimulation.


Humans and dogs are not susceptible to bobcat fever. A domestic cat contracting the disease can pass it on to other cats in a multi-cat household. If cats are allowed outside it's important that the cat owner carries out a daily tick check. You can do this by running your fingers through the cat's coat checking particularly carefully around the head and neck and at joints. You can click this link by looking at how to remove ticks. It is very important to not leave part of the tick inside the skin because it can cause irritation and as I recall an infection. Removed ticks should be refrigerated and dated for a month to allow them to be tested if the animal falls ill.

Cat owners should not underestimate the disease as it is described as "a nasty disease. Protection is necessary and early treatment is crucial"- Nancy Hinkle, UGA Extension veterinary entomologist.

Saturday 12 June 2021

More cat bites in the USA per human population than there are in Kerala, India

In a single month, January, the State Health Directorate of India tells us that there were at least 28,186 cat bites in the state of Kerala, India. In that same month there were 20,875 dog bites. Going back further, in 2016, there were 160,534 cat bites for which people sought treatment. In 2017 it was a very similar number and in 2020, 216,551 people sought treatment for cat bites. There has been a 128% increase in the number of people who've sought treatment for cat bites over the six years since 2014. The number of dog bites is less at 160,483 in 2020 as per government figures (source: The Hindu).

Stock image of a stray kitten. 

So, there are more cat bites in the Indian state of Kerala than there are dog bites. And the numbers seem extraordinarily high, but are they? There are about 34.6 million people in this state which about half the population of the UK. Normally there are far more dog than cat bites, such as in the UK. When a person goes into A&E in the UK for an animal bite, about 85% are dog bites according to my research. About a quarter of a million people attend A&E annually for a dog bite in the UK.

In the USA, which has a human population of 326 million (2020) there were an estimated 400,000 cat bites annually (source: This is 1.2% of the human population. For Kerala this figure is 0.64%. So, there are more cat bites in the USA per human population than there are in Kerala, India. What do you make of that? It surprised me. Perhaps the basic stats are wrong?


Sunday 9 May 2021

33 cats dumped on the roadside with food then 15 of them shot dead

DUNN COUNTY, WISCONSIN, USA - NEWS AND COMMENT: In a heinous crime of great brutality perpetrated by a person or persons, 33 cats appear to have been abandoned on the roadside with a pile of cat food. Then somebody shot at them killing 15.

33 cats dumped on the roadside with food then 15 of them shot dead
 33 cats dumped on the roadside with food then 15 of them shot dead. Photo: Humane Soc.

Jamie Wagner, Kennel Manager at the Dunn County Humane Society attended the scene which she said has left her haunted. She said: "I was not prepared for what I saw. I have been working here 15 years, I have seen a lot of things. It was very horrific."

She said that it appeared that somebody had abandoned 33 cats and 15 had been shot. They don't know the circumstances as to why someone would do this. Comment: I know the reason why they did it. It is because they are cat-hating, nasty, insensitive, psychopathic individuals who think they can treat cats as inanimate objects without any consequences for what they're doing.

UPDATE 4/30/21: The reward for information leading to the person/people responsible for this act has been raised to...

Posted by Dunn County Humane Society on Wednesday, April 28, 2021

In a Facebook post from the Dunn County Humane Society they provided an update on April 30 telling us: "The reward for information leading to the person/people responsible for this act has been raised to $5000. Please report any tips directly to the Dunn County Sheriff's Department!"

They follow it by stating: "This is not the type of post we enjoy putting up, but this is such an act of cruelty that we need to do everything we can to find the person/people responsible. Any information regarding this incident would be greatly appreciated."

The details to contact these people are as follows:

  • Dunn County Humane Society (715) 232-9790
  • Dunn County Sheriff’s Office (715) 232-1348

Comment: I have been reading news media stories about this sort of cat abuse/cruelty in America and in other countries, let's be clear, for 14 years. To me, it is not surprising or shocking. I have seen similar acts of cruelty reported in news media before. This story stands out somewhat because of the numbers involved. And it is the first time I have read of cats being abandoned on the roadside and then shot at. 

It takes a particular kind of individual to do it. It seems that a person abandon the cats then stepped back and shot at them but it is entirely possible that there were two or more perpetrators namely the person who abandon the cats and then another person came along, saw them, and decided to shoot at them. Therefore the police may be searching for two or more people as the Facebook post indicates.

God willing they'll be caught. But don't hold your breath because there is invariably a lack of evidence. This probably occurred in a remote place. No cameras. No evidence.

Note: The embedded FB post may stop working. If that has happened I apologise but I have no control over it.

Monday 3 May 2021

Argument over trapping and killing vs trapping, neutering and releasing

There is an argument going on in Brooklyn, Parma Heights, Cleveland, Ohio, USA about how to manage the feral cats in their community and it is an argument that you see all over the USA, all the time. And the parties who are arguing are usually the same as well. On the one hand, the authorities prefer to trap and euthanise, as they call it, but which is better described as trapping and killing. On the other hand, many residents, but not all, prefer TNR, a well-known programme which is conducted all across America.

In this instance, it seems without notification, Brooklyn and Parma Heights Animal Control published a Facebook post about its policy to trap and euthanise feral cats. It was published last Tuesday apparently and then deleted. I believe that it was deleted because of the comments underneath the post by the citizens of that community.

Essentially the Facebook post said that the authority's policy was to trap and humanely euthanised all intact feral cats (see below). They also said that they "will attempt to relocate ear-tipped cats". What that means is that those cats which have been part of TNR programs and therefore have been ear-tipped will be treated differently and that there will be an attempt to relocate them.

If that attempt failed they would be euthanised. The primary focus is on killing the cats and the reason for this is, they argue, that they get requests from the public to get rid of them. There is obviously a segment of the public (and this is quite typical) who want the feral cats gone in the neighbourhood and they don't mind how it happens.

Brooklyn and Parma Hts Animal Control policy on feral cats introduced without consultation
Facebook post on Brooklyn and Parma Hts Animal Control policy on feral cats introduced without consultation. Screenshot.

I think that you can guess what they said. One veterinarian in the area said that it seemed as if the clock was being turned back. Her name is Danya Linehan and she said, "I felt like I'd been thrown back about 30 years. It's been a very long time since I've seen anyone propose a solution of rounding up and killing cats to the overpopulation problem since we've been so successful with what we call TNR."

Another, Michelle Pierce, the owner of a Cleveland-based TNR rescue, said that trapping and killing is not a permanent solution and in any case other cats come into the area after the original ones have been killed. It is no solution at all whereas TNR stabilises the colony and stops them reproducing. It also stops nuisance behaviours and gradually the population dies out.

The problem with TNR for many residents is that it is too slow a solution. And that's why the local authority steps in to try and produce an instant solution and that can only be killing.

Another obvious problem which constantly returns is that it is almost impossible to be absolutely certain that you are trapping a feral cat and not someone's pet. When you trap a domesticated cat they sometimes behave like feral cats which means that under the policy proposed by Animal Control they end up being killed which is the crimes of criminal damage and theft under the law of America if you wanted to pursue that course of action. You may struggle to get the local police to act upon that and you may struggle to get the authorities to prosecute themselves on that but it would be a crime nonetheless.

The article on the Cleveland news website 5 ABC NEWS 5 CLEVELAND has been updated to tell us that on Thursday, Brooklyn and Parma Heights Animal Control said that they have suspended trapping feral cats "momentarily". Clearly they have observed and understood the reaction their policy. I hope that they take stock and try the more common sense route which can only be TNR.

I said at the beginning that they did not consult with residents. Any authority wishing to trap and kill feral cats as a solution would be wise to consult with the community first because you need their approval and their involvement because, as mentioned above, there will be outdoor domestic cats. They need to be inside if the authority is trapping outside. More important than that is that you have to seek the agreement of residents that feral cats can be killed and many of them will disagree.

The argument outlined above is one which recurs constantly in America. It is a problem based upon patience. TNR requires patience while killing is near instanteous. The former is a long-term solution. The latter is a quick but flawed fix which does not last.

Monday 22 February 2021

Bomb squad called out to deal with bag full of newborn kittens abandoned in freezing snow

There are two key aspects to this story from Ohio, USA about cat abandonment and subsequent rescue. Last Thursday a bag full of six newborn kittens and their mom were left outside the main entrance of a church in New Miami, Butler County, Ohion, USA. They had been abandoned in freezing weather. It genuinely was freezing as there are icicles hanging from the church's guttering.

Six newborn kittens and their mom abandoned outside church in freezing conditions in Ohio
Six newborn kittens and their mom abandoned outside church in freezing conditions in Ohio. Photo: Butler County police.

That's the first point to make. Who in their right mind would do this? Newborn kittens must be kept very warm, almost hot by human standards to avoid them becoming chilled and dying. There was a real risk that the person who did this was passing a death sentence on these kittens. She or he got lucky.

The second point is that the bag looked suspicious. The bomb squad were called out. They must have been surprised when then discovered the kittens. But there was danger there too wasn't there? The bomb squad sometimes defuse suspicious bags by destroying the bag. That would have killed the kittens and their mom. Fortunately it worked out okay.

Six kittens recovering after being abandoned in a bag outside a church in Ohio in freezing conditions
Six kittens recovering after being abandoned in a bag outside a church in Ohio in freezing conditions. Photo: Animal Friends Humane Society.

The person who abandoned them left a note saying that the mother cat who's named Sprinkles went into labour on 17 Feb at 2pm. That is a strange note if that is all it said. It implies that the person abandoned the cats while the mother was in labour and that the mother gave birth in the bag! 

Anyway they are safe and being looked after by Animal Friends Humane Society. They confirmed that all was well at the shelter. Sprinkles was vaccinated and blood tested and her kittens have been gently bathed. The mother is nursing her kittens well. End of bulletin! 

A strange cat rescue story though. Sad too. If people want help with unwanted kittens they should contact a shelter and talk through it. In non-Covid times you could walk into the local shelter and explain things. No shame. No guilt. It is okay.

Wednesday 10 February 2021

Picture of scraggy calico kitten with long pink human nails

I find the human nails ghastly. God, I hate women's nails that are as long as this especially when they are varnished in bright pink and pointed - sharpened up, looking like cat claws. The nails belong to a young woman who is a cat foster carer living in Florida, USA. She does great work and takes some nice photos as you can see on this page.  But please cut your nails and stop varnishing them just for me!

Picture of scraggy calico kitten with long pink human nails
Picture of scraggy calico kitten with long pink human nails. Picture: Instagram.

The picture is good for me because it shows how vulnerable these little newborn kittens are. And look at those nails! Yes, I am on about nails again. I like the nails of cats but not long human nails. Cats are born with decent nails (claws to you and me) but no teeth (rarely they might have some). 

To think that some cat owners ask a veterinarian to remove the claws of their kitten. At such a tender age to put them through 10 brutal amputations. The trauma. The pain. It is quite disgusting to think about it. These people should be ashamed of themselves. 

Because I am on the subject of nails I'll add some more info. You know that cats are digitigrades don't you? They walk on their toes. That part of the anatomy that looks like it is part of the leg leading to their feet (the bit below the hock) is actually their feet. They have very long feet. It helps give them lots of leverage to jump so effectively.

They are built for hunting and speed. There are five phalanges on each forepaw. Four are fully functional and one is vestigial (no longer particularly useful). Each phalange has three parts (bones) called phalanxes. The claw is attached to the distal (farthest) phalanx. They are protractile. So when the vet removes the nail they are actually removing the distal phalanx to which the nail is connected. Yes, it is an amputation, not the removal of only the claw.

You can see the calico pattern on the head. Calico is tortoiseshell-and-white. This kitten has just been fed some milk replacement formula by the look of it as it is still on his face.  Full belly. Happy bunny. Leave his bloody claws alone please. I hope that the foster carer or the cat rescue organisation for which she works have a clause in their contract making it mandatory that there is no declawing. Never declaw please. It is totally immoral.

Friday 25 September 2020

Thirty pound tabby cat abandoned by her owner

There is a report today (20 Sept 2020) that a Philadelphia tabby cat weighing 29.5 pounds was abandoned (and fortunately rehomed). We have to presume that her owner abandoned her. If that is the case, and of course I am speculating, then the owner is the person who made her obese. He or she then decided that having done that to their cat they didn't like it so they got rid of her. They didn't even have the decency to take her to a rescue centre. They probably avoided a rescue centre because they were embarrassed by what they had created.

Obese cat Lasagna was abandoned in Philly, USA. Photo: ACCT Philly

The cat's first name is Lasagna which is appropriate considering her weight. She was found abandoned in a dog crate overnight in Hunting Park by ACCT Philly shelter workers last Sunday (20 September).

Having posted her picture online they have been inundated with offers by people who fell in love with her. They like a chunky frame. She was quickly adopted by the Hammer family who live in Vineland, New Jersey. She is very sociable and friendly and likes her belly to be rubbed. They're going to work, I hope, with their local veterinarian to help Lasagna lose weight. We know all about feline obesity and how it can cause health problems such as bad joints, heart problems, diabetes, thyroid issues and others! She already suffers from stiff joints and cannot groom myself.

She still quite young at five years of age and therefore there is time to get her on a good diet and to gradually lose weight. The point of the article is the oddity about Lasagna being abandoned by her owner. If the owner did abandon her then it is a double whammy of irresponsible cat ownership.

Sunday 5 January 2020

Two new Illinois animal laws for 2020

There are 2 new animal laws for Illinois for 2020. One was introduced by state senator Jill Tracy. Cats four months and older must get a rabies shot. This does not include feral cats. Also, dog and cat kennels must now be equipped with a fire sprinkler or alarm system if the facility is not staffed 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

This is a very brief notice primarily directed at Illinois' boarding catteries.

Monday 23 November 2015

1,500 Kittens Graduate from ASPCA Kitten Nursery

Because Of the influx of kittens during the summer breeding season, we know that animal shelters throughout the USA are inundated with young and newborn cats who are effectively homeless. Because of this perennial problem the ASPCA opened a new facility in 2014 to deal with the regular influx. The facility is dedicated to the treatment of newborn cats. These cats are too young to survive on their own and they need specialist care which is resource-intensive. The facility provides a service to the Animal Care Centres of New York City in 5 boroughs. The facility has 200 adjustable cages which can accommodate either a nursing mother or orphaned kittens. In all, the facility can accommodate 2,000 kittens during the breeding season which is between April to the end of September.

The ASPCA are proud to announce that between the date that the facility opened in May to November 10, 2015, 1,500 kittens have passed through the facility. The staff decided to celebrate the moment and their achievement. They had a “pomp and circumstance" ceremony. Two dozen kitten nursery staffers attended wearing suitable T-shirts and even mortarboards as if it were real graduation ceremony. The kittens are then moved on to the next phase in their life which is to seek an adopter.

The level of care provided at this kitten nursery is awesome. During the 6 months it was open to the 10th November more than 50 ASPCA workers worked 24 hours per day in up to nine-hour shifts to provide top quality care. I don't think you could do more than that. The Nursery's Medical Manager, Sabrina Velasquez said that the experience has been extremely positive.

The last stage for the kittens before adoption is to pass through the spaying and neutering process. The Medical Administrative Assistant, Chrissy Martinez-Munoz, works out the schedule for the operations. She said: “I'm the last stage before they go to adoptions, so by the time they reach me, they're halfway home..."

One of the staffers, Teandra Hendry said: “It's rewarding to see them go from not wanting to eat, to putting on weight, then developing personalities and becoming ready for adoption."

This is a fantastic facility and they deserve to celebrate their success. I'm pleased to write about it. It is always a pleasure to write about successful cat rescue particularly when it concerns the most vulnerable.

Thursday 18 June 2015

Dogs Allowed in Outdoor Dining Areas in New York but Not Cats

I suppose it goes without saying that when a new law is being debated in the New York Senate concerning whether they should allow dogs to accompany their masters into outdoor areas in restaurants in the state of New York, cats are bound to be omitted from the discussion because cats don't do well on leashes, do they?  Well, a lot of cats do just fine on a leash although it does take longer to train them.  It's a great shame that cats are difficult to train to accept a leash and also that they are essentially solitary creatures and not pack animals because it makes them unsuited to accompany their owner to a restaurant or so the legislators believe.

In May 14, 2015 it was reported that the legislature of New York state were debating the right of dog owners to take their dogs to outside areas of restaurants.  The impression was that the bill would be passed.  Provided the dog is accompanied by the diner they will be allowed into outdoor eating areas.

Under the new law (not yet enacted) dogs will have to be kept on leashes.  Dogs cannot set foot inside the restaurant and they will enter through an alternative entrance.  Dogs will not be allowed into any outdoor areas where food is prepared.

It does seem very natural to allow a dog to eat with his owner because I'm sure that this happens a lot at home.  As mentioned, the bill makes no mention of cats being allowed in outdoor areas of restaurants.  Is the bill discriminating against cat owners? I wonder why they couldn't include cats into the legislation because there are cats around, as mentioned, who act rather like dogs and who are comfortable on a lead.  Provided they complied with all the rules are set out under the new legislation, I cannot see any reason why they should not be allowed to do what dogs can do.

Ah, I have just thought of a reason: the dogs will chase the cats! Therefore this is discrimination. Another form of discrimination is that cats are taken to the vet less than dogs.

The bill and the discussion indicates that people think that companion animals are inherently a health hazard to people otherwise the legislators would have allowed cats and dogs to company people to restaurants in the past.

As an aside, I consistently read that people who look after companion animals are some of the most prolific lobbyists of legislators in the USA.  They write the most e-mails and make more calls to politicians than other people.  This indicates a passion which we know that cat and dog owners have.

At the moment, as far as I know, California is the only state allowing dogs in outside areas of restaurants.

Eastern Cougar To Be Removed from the Endangered Species List

Camera trap photograph of cougar

The Fish and Wildlife Service propose removing the Eastern Cougar from the Endangered Species List because they say that it is “likely" to be extinct.  Therefore they are not completely sure.  The reason why they're not completely sure is because there are still cougar sightings in the east of the United States.  There are often seen in North Carolina for instance.  The Fish and Wildlife Service would say that these odd mountain lion sightings are cats that have wandered in from the west or escaped captive cougars.  They might also be from Florida where there is a small population of cougars and finally they may be incorrect sightings.

I have noticed that way back in 2011 the Fish and Wildlife Service made a similar pronouncement that the cougar was extinct in the East.  The difference this time is that they are proposing removing the species from the Endangered Species List.  Obviously if an animal is extinct there is no point in listing it as endangered.

Most cougars disappeared in the nineteenth century as they were killed by European immigrants or due to loss of their habitat when forests were cleared.  In addition, the cougar's main prey, white-tailed deer, was hunted by humans and almost became extinct in North America.

One formally reported sighting of a male cougar in the east of the USA was in 2011 when a solitary young male travelled 2000 miles from South Dakota through Minnesota, Wisconsin and New York.  It was killed on the highway in Connecticut. A motor vehicle killed this cougar.  In Florida, as I understand it, the Florida panther is most often killed by motor vehicles as highways criss-cross the state.  Highways also present natural barriers to wild cougars.

I wonder how may people consider this to be a sad day to declare the eastern cougar extinct.  There is one question mark for me and that is whether the eastern cougar is a distinct subspecies.

Tuesday 1 July 2014

Copycat Plastic Bag Cat Killing in West Knoxsville

Someone is copying the nasty NY cat killer who killed cats with a blunt instrument and put the bodies in black plastic bags strung along the branch of a tree. Sociopathic behavior. Well, I reckon someone living in Knoxville has read the news about the plastic bag cat killer and copied him. A red tabby cat, Mango, is one example. She was found in woods....
"She was in a plastic bag with blue ties."
Sound like the NY cat killing monster? I think so.
"I loved Mango. She was so sweet. When we figured out what happened to her it was surreal." says Brookie Smothers

The residents believe someone is trapping the cats and killing them. There is a war in America between people who hate cats, domestic, stray or feral, it does not matter what, and people who are more sensitive towards animals and cats in particular.

The war is played out in communities anywhere and sometimes in innocuous woods - somewhere quiet and isolated - where nasty things happen to cats.

The area appears to be the Northshore community.

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