Thursday 1 July 2010

Litter Box Aversion

Litter box aversion is a favorite topic on the internet. Piles of words have been written on it. Here are some more!

Litter box aversion is not spraying for territorial marking. It is when the cat simply stops using the litter box for urination and defecation. The cat will do it elsewhere on horizontal surfaces as opposed to vertical surfaces for spraying.

For example, the cat might try to use the litter box, half in and half out, without touching the litter itself and dig outside the box.

Two common reasons for litter box aversion are:

  1. a dislike of the litter (technical term: "substrate") - heavily scented litter although marketed as beneficial for the human might not work out that way if the cat dislikes it and pees on the carpet! Apparently finer clumping litters are preferred by cats over the coarse clay litters.
  2. less commonly - a dislike of the location of the litter box

A dislike of the substrate could be because of its feel and smell. A change in the litter might provoke an aversion and the cure is therefore obvious.

Another reason why a cat might not like the litter is because it is not clean. Some cats are fussy or more fussy than others.

Another entirely separate cause of litter aversion is because another cat is using it. Or the use by another cat might exacerbate the problem. The presence of another cat would also alter the status of the existing cat, which might also exacerbate an aversion.

The initial diagnosis is to assess whether there is a medical condition such as cystitis that drives the cat to urinate frequently and outside the litter box. This is one example. Once medical issues have been successful dealt with or eliminated the other reasons can be ticked off.

Moving the box and employing more than one box in a multiple cat household might do the trick. Then the litter type can be changed and the litter kept spotlessly clean - twice a day should be OK.

Punishment is a definite no no as it does not work and makes the cat fearful. It will damage the human caretakers relationship.

Confining the cat to a small area with the litter without carrying out tests on the preferred litter type and without ensuring the litter box is clean may work within the confined space but not when the old routines are recommenced.

Cats who stop using the litter box for whatever reason may develop a certain area in the house as a substitute and as this area then smells like a cat toilet is will be reused. The area must be thoroughly cleaned with an enzyme odour eater that are available on the internet to remove all traces of the smell. Conventional cleaning won't work.

The cat should then be prevented from returning to the area while being retrained to use the litter box. The key to solving litter box aversion is to discover the underlying cause and remove it, whilst remaining patient and constructive in re-habituating the cat to use the litter.



From to Litter Box Aversion Home Page

Photo by Wunderkrafts (Flickr)

Monday 21 June 2010

Some Strange Weird or Sick Cat Stuff

The first bit of strange cat stuff is a weird picture of a….well it is obviously not real. There are a lot of sites peddling a wide range of sensationalist images and videos of any subject.

It is all circulating around the internet.

Here is this weird photoshopped image:

photoshopped cat

Despite being a bit disturbing it is well done.

Next comes a video. This is a nice video but the title is…Little lion survived in Siberia due to “adoptive dogmother” . This gives the impression that the lion cub was in the wild in Siberia. As there are no lions in Siberia the cub must have been born in captivity in Siberia.

The strange bit is not the dog nursing a lion but the title.

Next comes “Cat Missile”

cat missile

This must also be a clever piece of photo editing using Photoshop or some other similar software.

Next one…You have to figure out what the image is..can you see the girl?

Strange image of a tiger

Next some images that I find disturbing:

cat-trapped-up-power-cables

Picture above: He was up there for 18 hours! These are power cables!

cat-covered-in-tape

Not a clue how this cat ended up like this. Someone must have put this tape on. Although the caption on the original says that the cat achieved this all on his or her own. Possible? Not sure.

cat shot by crossbow

This last picture makes me feel ill. A tabby cat shot by a crossbow for fun no doubt. He survived. He wandered around like this for a week before making it home. That is the story. I have one slight doubt. Is this a genuine photograph. It almost looks like the arrow is resting underneath the cat and not piercing it. I hope that is the case. If I am right then it is sad that people publish this kind of thing.

This is the real world of the internet where people crave weird and strange images and videos for instant gratification. It is a sad reflection on us.

All the images are in the public domain.

Some Strange Weird and Sick Cat Stuff to PoC Forum

Wednesday 16 June 2010

Witchcraft banned cats from the bible

Witchcraft banned cats from the bible. Crazy? Absurd? No not really. Here is my argument. The bible contains no reference to the domestic cat whatsoever. The domestic dog is mentioned but not that frequently. Lions and leopards are referred to rarely.

At the time of Christ the cat had, by mutual consent, been domesticated for more than 6,000 years. In Egypt the African wildcat had been well and truly domesticated also by consent with the cat. In other words the cat and humans gained from the relationship.

For a while, the domestic cat in Egypt before the time of Christ (a cat that is the Eyptian Mau even today), was revered and worshiped. We know about that. As a result, a lot of potential existed for a least a mention in the bible. But nothing. Zilch. Rien. Porquoi?

It may simply be that the authors of the bible found nothing in the domestic cat that related to their stories. That seems a fair assumption as the bible is about people. And the bible was written second hand many, sometimes hundreds of years after the event. It is not necessarily an accurate account of events.

And then we have the translation. Lost in translation might apply to the bible. Did the 47 Church of England scholars who translated the Greek text of the bible into the King James Version do it objectively, accurately? Or were they tempted (as I would be) to put in a bit that I thought is more important and which would guide readers in the direction that the Church of England wanted them to go?

At the time (early 1600s) cat familiars (black cats that lived with so called witches) were thought of as real. People believed in them. Might it have been very easy to erase the few references to the domestic cat that might have been in the original text to "clean it up" for modern England? What I mean is modern in relation to the origins of the bible.

Three Legged Black Cat
Black Cat - Charlie

You know, translating text from one language to another, particularly an old language allows for a good amount of artistic enterprise. The translator is looking for the true meaning of the text as they understand it. It is objectivity built upon subjectivity - a dangerous concept.

So, if as I say witchcraft and cat familiars were part of the national consciousness in the days when the bible was translated into the most widely used languages, it is not beyond the bounds of reasonable thought to suggest that the cat was removed from the text. After all, witches familiars revealed the devil to the witch. It was possessed by the witch. How could an author put a cat in the bible on that basis?

My conclusion as to why there is no reference to domestic cats in the bible is:
  • They were not that relevant to the stories in the bible
  • Cats were seen as evil and possessed of the devil at the time translations of the bible were being carried out
  • The bible was written 50 to hundreds of years after the events. The stories are second had and somewhat historical. Under these circumstances only the broader issues where referred to. Detail mentioning the cat were irrelevant to the stories as mentioned.
The Islam faith has a more practical and open culture and teaching regarding the domestic cat because Mohammed kept a cat as far as I remember. A great start for a domestic cat. I don't know what the modern Muslim feels about the domestic cat but if they read the books they will be tender and compassionate because that is what is taught.

Michael Avatar

From witchcraft banned cats from the bible to Home Page

Monday 14 June 2010

Wildlife Conservationists Can't Do It Alone

It is perhaps obvious but little discussed. Wildlife conservationists can't preserve wildlife on their own. They can't work in isolation, which sometimes seems to be the case.

There are two "ends" to the wildlife conservation problem and it is a problem as wildlife is being hounded off the planet by increased human activity.

At one end is the conservationists, the people who wrestle with symptoms of ever increasing human activity that destroys habitat and destroys wildlife directly as it frankly gets in the way of human activity. Most human activity is commercial activity.

The conservationists are the equivalent of the veterinarians, they try and cure the illness. But despite huge efforts they are weak compared to the "illness" and, in fact, effectively powerless. They certainly are not curing the problem, just sticking a plaster over it.

This is because the illness is not being tackled at source by the other party to wildlife conservation; the businesses.

Some businesses are concerned with wildlife and help to conserve it but generally wildlife and wildlife habitat just gets in the way and it is an overhead to business that is best cleared out of the way.

So the other end of the problem is business, human activity. This is far bigger than conservationism. Nothing is being done about human population growth. Little if anything is being done about world pollution damaging the planet and wildlife habitats.

Forests are continually chopped down for pristine white paper - it is madness of course but nothing changes because the model of "economic growth" remains supreme and unchallenged.

We need to think again about the ideal model upon which we are to govern activity on this planet. Economic growth cannot go on increasing without massive investment in protecting the planet. Better still it must slow and cease. We must get used to zero economic growth and find a way to make that work.

Then we must shrink the world population and rejig everything. Then and only then will the tiger and all the animals below it be safe.

Michael Avatar

From to Home Page

Sunday 13 June 2010

Male Serval Morpheus

This is a picture of male serval Morpheus looking inquisitively at me. The picture is in fact a bit misleading as he was probably figuring out how he was going to spray urine all over me. This he did not long after this photograph was taken.

Male serval Morpheus

As mentioned, his name is Morpheus and despite looking rather sweet in this photograph, when I was with him in his enclosure I cannot say that he behaved in a particularly sweet way.

That is not to criticise him. He behaved exactly as I would expect a wildcat to behave towards a human who he is unfamiliar with. He was a bit hostile and wanted to make me smell more like him! And it was pretty well impossible to avoid his spraying particularly as I was fully occupied trying to tease him into position and photograph him at the same time.

Decent compositions and interesting expressions were extremely fleeting. On one occasion I placed by cat tease (a feather attached to the end of a flexible stick) to close to him and he caught me with his front claws. I felt that.

Morpheus lives in an enclosure with his girlfriend or spouse. They are breeding serval cats. There is a market for servals in the United States, which is where Morpheus lives.

Breeders want to buy servals for breeding and individuals want to keep them as domestic cats.

Servals, however, are not great domestic cats in my opinion. They are too large and too wild no matter how well domesticated they might be. They also spray as I have mentioned.

I don't see the point of keeping a serval as a pet. Many people in America will disagree with me, which is fine. Although I was relaxed and got on well with Morpheus in his enclosure, he was a bit intimidating. If that is the normal feeling one gets when close to a serval I don't see how a relationship with one can be ideal.

Hope you like the picture. Here is another:

Male serval Morpheus hissing

Michael Avatar

From Male Serval Morpheus to Home Page

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