Thursday 31 March 2011

Smallest Wild Cat

Smallest wild cat: rusty-spotted cat from Indian and Sri Lanka

The smallest wild cat is the rusty-spotted cat. According to the renown book on the wildcat species, Wild Cats Of The World the minimum size of this cat is 0.8 kg and the maximum size is 1.6 kg. That is 1.7 lbs to 3.53 lbs.

Even at the maximum size the rusty-spotted cat is the same size as the smallest of the domestic cats, called teacup cats or miniature cats.

Below are the vital statistics taken from another PoC page: Rusty-spotted cat where you can read a lot more about this tiny cat.

Characteristic Measurement
Length of head+body 35-48 centimetres (14-17 inches)
Average weight (approximate) 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs)
Average weight females 1 kg (2.2 lbs)
Average domestic cat weight – for comparison 8-10 lbs
Average weight of miniature domestic cat for comparison 3.5 lbs
Average weight of Black-footed Cat – for comparison 3.5 lb

Its size makes you wonder if it has been domesticated. People like small cats. However, it is not advised to domesticate a genuine wildcat in my opinion. You'll probably have difficulty coping, become disappointed and it will not be fair on the cat either. The rusty-spotted cat is said to be, "not an adaptable species"1. However 100 years ago two naturists kept rusty-spotted cats as pets. They tame easily apparently. They were acquired as kittens, however. They were active pets blessed with great agility and grace they said.

They can live in abandoned houses within their range. They are frequently killed by local people (Indians and Sri Lankans). They are mistaken for baby leopards and killed. I suppose this is to protect farm livestock. Pretty dumb though as the rusty-spotted cat is no threat to farm livestock. Or perhaps they can prey of hens and the like.

Despite their tiny size they are "extremely fierce"1 and it seems fearless.

The smallest wild cat is found in India and Sri Lanka.

For the sake of completeness on wild cat species sizes, here they all are:


1. Wild Cats Of The World - Page 239.

Michael Avatar

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Wednesday 30 March 2011

Why Do Cats Purr?

Here is the definitive answer to the question, "Why do cats purr?" The answer that is usually said to be the obvious one - that the purring cat is showing his or her contentment - is not true.

This is because cats in great pain, those who are injured, in labour and even dying or even sometimes at the vets being euthanised, purr loud and long (or it can last a second3). Kittens purr when they drink mother's milk purr and the mother purrs back. They also purr when being groomed by mother or by siblings. Kittens start purring when a few days old1. All domestic cats purr. Sometimes cats purr when hungry. Body contact between the sender of the purr and the receiver may be an important factor in instigating it3.

Cats purr when contented also but it does not only happen when the cat is content. How do we find a reason for cat purring that encompasses all the circumstances under which it might happen?

Dr Desmond Morris in his famous book, Cat Watching, which is still probably the master work on cat behavior despite being first published in 1986, says the following.

"Purring signals a friendly social mood." It can act as a signal to ask ("the need") for friendship or say thank you for friendship received. Some cat behaviorists believe cat purring is a signal that the cat is not a threat2. I prefer Dr. Desmond Morris's all encompassing explanation. Purring is classified by scientists as a "close-range felid vocalisation". It is used most commonly between mother and kitten3. This, then, is the answer to to, why do cats purr?

When purring is used by a kitten in the first days of his or her life it is a signal to the mother, when suckling, that the kitten is receiving milk. This reassures mother. Her return purr acknowledges the message and tells her kittens that all is well with her too. Kittens and mother usually purr continuously while nursing1. Kittens aid the flow of milk by threading the abdomen (we know this as kneading, which frequently happens if our cat is on our lap). Cats often purr at the same time.

Calico cat - Photo by Crane1989

Purring can take place while the cat is drinking, therefore. It is a two way action - the sound being produced on inhaling and exhaling.

The big wildcats cannot purr. They make a sound similar to the purr but it is a one way (exhalation) process. The four big cats can, however, roar (see tiger roar). The cheetah is not classified as a big cat and it can purr2. Its purr is much louder than the domestic cat but is it as loud as Smokey's purr (see below)? The Eurasian lynx also purrs. It is a vocalisation used by mothers nursing their kittens3.

Purring is classified as a "murmur pattern"1. This is a sound that is produced with the mouth closed. The trill/chirrup is also made with the mouth closed.

Purring is produced in the cat's throat. It is not absolutely clear how it is produced. It is thought to be produced "through (the) alternating activation"1 of the muscles of the larynx and diaphragm. There is a build up of and release of air in the glottis. When we feel the purr by placing our hand gently against the neck we feel the vibrations of the air and muscles. The sound is louder and rougher when produced on breathing in.

Cats purr in the "frequency range of 25 to 150 Hz2. This is a low amplitude murmuring sound3. An interesting theory is that cats might be instinctively trying to heal themselves at the "cellular level". This is because at the frequency range of the purr, sound is thought to be "beneficial to healing"2.

It is said that a cat's purr is unique to the individual cat2. It can usually be heard three meters away. However, one famous cat named "Smokey", who is described as a 12 year old British Shorthair (this means a random bred cat with short hair) has a purr that is so loud it is more noisy than a vacuum cleaner! His owner describes the sound as if "Smokey had a dove caught in her throat". She has had eight different homes. Are the two connected? I think so. The purr has been recorded at 73 decibels (dB). Guinness World Records are considering making it a record but there are no competitors. It would be a new classification.

Read about cat behavior.

Read about cat sounds.


1. The Cat: Its Behavior, Nutrition and Health

2. Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook - page 296 - 297.

3. Wild Cats of the World - pages 10, 422.

Michael Avatar

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Sunday 27 March 2011

Cat Declawing

I want to write about cat declawing but I don't want to alienate people who keep cats and who are good cat caretakers except for the fact that we disagree about declawing cats. As you might know I strongly dislike the operation and its sister operation the cutting of the tendon to the claw (tendonectomy).

I'd like to explain why I dislike declawing. I hope that people with the opposite view or people who are wavering in the middle ground, will listen and present their alternative ideas in comments.

There are numerous reasons why cat declawing is wrong. I'll present just the main ones here. I'll also present the reasons why vets support and encourage (yes, lots do) declawing. Actually there is only one reason that they can come up with. The cat owners who declaw also can only come up with one reason to declaw. Some cat owners may have a misunderstanding about the operation, so I would first like to show you the bits of cat that are cut off after the operation and it is not just removing the claws:

Set of ten toes and claws of declawed cat -
copyright protected. Don't breach copyright, please

I hope you are as shocked as me. As you can see that cat declawing is the removal of the last phalange or phalanx of each of the front toes of the cat. It is usually only done to the front paws as it is these that scratch. They are the primary weapons with the teeth that protect the cat.

Video above: this is me doing a spur of the moment video on cat declawing. See my Flickr photostream.

The first reason why cat declawing is wrong is because it is a major mutilation of the cat that does not benefit the cat's health and welfare - quite the opposite.

Think what we would feel like if the last joint of each of our fingers were amputated for no good reason. We would be massively distressed and physically disabled.

As you might expect ten amputations cause a lot of pain and blood and distress and confusion etc:

As I said, pain, fear and confusion reign after the operation

And all this controlled brutality befalls little kittens in the first months of their lives. Yes, kittens are the primary target for the vets in respect of this operation.

There have been numerous studies as to the effect cat declawing has on the cat, both physical and psychological. If you have declawed your cat you might well, justifiably argue that your cat looks and acts fine after the operation. He might be but he might not. You can't be sure because cats are damn good at hiding pain and discomfort - it is a survival thing and a declawed cat has a massively reduced chance of survival in normal life. They have to be permanent indoor cats for the rest of their lives.That entails greater responsibilities for the cat owner (caretaker is a better word, I think). Here is a story about how two dogs played tug-o-war with a declawed cat. And here are two more stories: Declaw Cats (please scroll down when you get to the page)

There are many potential and actual complications of declawing and many myths and truths. Please click on the two last links. One is the onset of arthritis. Here is an individual example - a semi-domesticated CANADIAN LYNX gets a haircut!

There are also many easy alternatives to declawing so it is not necessary to put a cat through it.

A good scratching post and the right expectations about cat behavior from us will take us 99% of the way to avoiding declawing our cat. Please see this example Free Cat Scratching Post and this advice: Will my cat use a scratching post?

So what reason do the vets give for cat declawing? Answer: It saves lives. They argue time and time again in defence of an operation that is banned in over 30 western countries that the operation saves lives. A new country is about to join them: Banning Declawing in Israel.

They argue that if the cat is not declawed the owner will abandon the cat. This is emotional blackmail isn't it? And it simply misses the real point. That cat owners who need to declaw their cat before acquiring it should not really adopt a cat at all. Or as mentioned they should explore alternatives. The vets also like to muddy the water by introducing distorted so called "facts" about the consequences of cat declawing. Their purpose is to reassure the cat owner. Please be aware of this. And please note that laser declawing is not what it is made out to be by the vets. Vets like to fudge the reality and they even deceive themselves.

Vid above: Vet presenting the usual reassuring blurb to adoring customer! There are actually some vets who never declaw. There are not that many but I have listed them and mapped their location on this page: North American Veterinarians Who Never Declaw - please use them if you can.

People who declaw shamelessly declare that their sofa is more important than the cat and it has to be declawed to protect the sofa. At least that is honest. The vets, I regret to say aren't when in comes to cat declawing.

I don't think a piece of furniture is more important than a living creature. If a person thinks that they can't be the ideal cat caretaker can they?

See over 150 visitor articles on declawing cats.

Michael Avatar

From Cat Declawing to Home Page

Saturday 26 March 2011

F3 Savannah Cat

I have got to show you this photograph of an F3 Savannah cat. The cat's name is "Shine". You can see why - her silver spotted coat shines. The photographer is Kathrin Stucki, the proprietor and manager, with her husband, Martin, of A1 Savannahs, the number one Savannah cat breeder anywhere.

F3 Savannah Cat "Shine" photo: copyright Kathrin Stucki

Shine is a silver Savannah cat. The photograph was taken at Kathrin's own photographic studio on her farm where the breeding cattery is situated.

Savannah cats are not meant to look like Bengals. This is solely my observation but the Savannah cat is, I think it fair to say, more natural looking than the heavily developed (through selective breeding) Bengal cat.

While the Bengal has a variety of coat markings from the classic blotched tabby coat to a rosetted spotted coat, the Savannah has what I would describe as wildcat spots. These are the sort of spots that you see on wildcats not selectively bred domestic cats. I like that, personally as it is more natural. Once again this is my personal view but one reason for this is that the wild cat parent of the Savannah cat is the serval. The serval has a simple, clean high contrast spotted coat against a yellowy background. The Bengal wild cat ancestor is the leopard cat and that wild cat has a coat that is more complex and "fancy" for want of a better word.

The Savannah spotting is similar to the Egyptian Mau's spots, which comes direct it is thought from the African wildcat.

Talking of wildcats, Shine has an awesome wild looking face. It is very purposeful and gentle but with a hint of fierce wildcat lurking underneath. Don't get me wrong, though. All of A1 Savannah cats are highly socialised and make great companions.

Shine is a breeding cat incidentally.

Selected related pages:

F4 Melanistic Savannah Cat

F1 Magic

F1 Focus

F2 Savannah Kittens

Michael Avatar

From F3 Savannah Cat to Home Page

Friday 25 March 2011

DVD For Cats

Chilled out - Photo by abbesses

DVD for cats means music for cats. One fine cat lady who knows a lot about cats says she is very happy with her Amazon purchased cat music. Her name is Elisa Black-Taylor and she refers to cat music in an article that discusses whether cats can tell the time. She doesn't mean reading a clock! Just whether cats get a feel for the time based on sensory markers, routines and the light (dawn, dusk etc.) - Can Cats Tell Time? There is no doubt that cats can tell the time.

This is important when cats are left alone at home for hours on end. What happens? If we live alone with our cats we don't know how they react when we are out. We might be out all day at work. Or we might visit a relative overnight. We provide good food, plenty of fresh water and a nice clean litter box so all is well. But is it?

What about the cat's expectations and emotions. Is she stressed? It is almost impossible to tell except that she will probably be very pleased to see us on our return. That in itself tells us that she might have been stressed. Stress can cause behavioral problems (inappropriate elimination for example) and health problems (cystitis for example).

The idea is that playing a DVD for cats may de-stress our cat. Here are some products to try out:

Michael Avatar

From DVD For Cats to Home Page

Thursday 24 March 2011

Indoor Cat Repellant

No problem. This person has the right attitude. Photo by cseeman

I don't advocate indoor cat repellent or any cat repellent. And I don't think any of them are necessarily that successful. I also reject the idea of cat punishment as a method of training a cat.

That said, people search for the stuff, so what is indoor cat repellent?

It can only be one thing in practice and that is a substance that creates a smell that cats object to, which enables cat owners to keep their cat off counter tops and away from certain areas of the house.

There happens to a number of substances and objects that cats are meant to avoid. I have listed them here:

Smells That Cats Hate

My personal advice in respect of keeping cats away from certain areas (and I understand that this is personal) is to re-evaluate what is really important and why.

What areas are meant to be out of bounds to a cat indoors? I read, as mentioned, that counter tops in the kitchen should be out of bounds. Cats can usually jump up to these counters.

The main reason why kitchen counters are deemed out of bounds by some cat "owners" (cat caretakers) is because of the possibility of contaminating food and Prevention is the best medicine for your pet's health.spreading disease. The other reason is to stop cats potentially hurting themselves on cooker hobs (electric burners) and on sharp objects.

The latter is not really a problem as proper supervision will cover that potentiality. As to disease and hygiene etc. I don't see cats as unhygienic and as germs and disease spreaders! Humans and poor kitchen practices in food handling are far more likely to cause health problems than your cat.

Toxoplasmosis is endlessly talked about but it is drastically over-hyped. Contaminated raw food is more of a risk in this area. See also: Cat Feces and Pregnancy.

Other than tooxoplasmosis there are no other zoonotic diseases that are more likely to be transmitted in the kitchen from a counter top than there are in any where else in the house. And as you can't ban the cat from the entire house the practical and sensible solution is to rejig one's approach to cat caretaking and accept what miniscule risk there is and forget about indoor cat repellent.

If the objective is to keep cats from scratching furniture then the best way forward is to train your cat to scratch a good solid scratching post. This page may assist in that task: Will My Cat Use a Cat Scratching Post? Or if you want to think laterally and out of the box try this: Cat Scratching - New Approach.

The best way forward is to get together in ones head the right expectations and demands in respect of cat caretaking and go from there. It removes all the perceived cat problems at a stroke.

Please see: 15 Ways To Avoid Cat Behavior Problems for more on expectations and problem solving. This link opens a PDF file so it will look different.

Michael Avatar

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Wednesday 23 March 2011

Feral Cat Problem

tamed feral cat
Mr. Tom - tamed feral cat
Photo copyright Elisa

The feral cat problem should read, "the human behavior problem". If there really is a feral cat problem, it is our fault and almost nothing is said or done to tackle the people who are irresponsible in their cat caretaking. Do feral cats serve a useful purpose by the way?

It is interesting to note that we rarely hear from non-western countries about a "feral cat problem". We occasionally hear from Israel who in general mistreat feral cats in my opinion and Greece where they are poisoned out of season. In the holiday season they are an attraction for tourists.

But they are not regarded as a problem in the same way as they are in the United States. In the UK we rarely talk or write about the feral cat. We don't see them. This must be due to one of two reasons (a) the weather is too cold and unpleasant for cats to routinely go AWOL and live feral lives and/or (b) UK cat "owners" (cat caretakers) are more responsible than our counterparts in the United States, which I don't believe is the case.

There is one further possibility, people in the US are more sensitive to the feral cat than we are in the UK. I must add though that I think there are more feral cats in the USA judging from my experiences and the reports coming out of the USA.

Cared for feral cats - it can done - Photo: by Pagani photo

Talking about news reports coming out of the USA...I would like to comment on a typical news story about feral cats. We get these all the time and in commenting on this story, in some ways, I am commenting on all the feral cat stories.

The story comes from the online edition of the White Mountain Independent newspaper. The story is entitled: "Feral cats are becoming serious problem in town"

The Animal Control Officer at Pinetop-Lakeside, Randy Hemmings, says there is a feral cat problem in the area. He gently criticises people who feed the feral cats because, he says, there are "consequences" and the consequences are not good, he goes on to explain.

He also goes on to demonstrate a huge bias against feral cats that is very apparent, in my opinion. This bias really is a human attitude problem which is greater than the so called "feral cat problem". I sense that there is a large body of people who are frightened of the feral cat and cats in general. And they have misconceptions about the cat which feeds the fear.

Mr Hemmings's bias comes through in a number of ways. He says that he gets calls from the public to remove the feral cats. He traps them. He also traps wild animals as a spin off from this. He treats the wild animals and the feral cats completely differently. He admits that the feral cats are killed after being trapped while he gently and with genuine concern releases the wild animals into the wild. He does this out of the goodness of his own heart. He has no obligation to look after the wild animals in this way. He releases them "deep into the forest". The cats are killed, the other wild animals are protected.

Defendex shampooAs to feral cats he says that on one occasion a feral cat got loose and he had to grab it. The cat was scratching and biting. He says this cat "was so wild it had to be put down. There was nothing else we could do with it."

This makes me mad to be honest. It shows ignorance and bias. Feral cats are wild animals and this cat is bound to react as she or he did under these circumstances (in fact a domestic cat could well do the same thing!). It is not something to be criticised. But he justifies the killing of this cat on the basis of this totally normal and predicable behavior. Why can't feral cats be treated the same way as other wild animals? This is a kind of animal racism. I would bet a skunk would wriggle and bite under the same circumstances and it would emit that skunk smell but he doesn't say the skunk should be put down. He couldn't because it is probably protected while the feral cat has no legal protection.

Mr Hemmings justifies the inequality (although he sees no inequality himself; for him it is all normal to kill feral cats in the thousands) by saying that feral cats spread feces, urine (smells) and disease. They are a hazard to vulnerable people such as children, old people and people with a compromised immune system. He says that they breed prolifically and that they kill wildlife such as birds, squirrels and skunks. He refers to the bacteria in the mouth of cats and on the claws that can cause cat scratch fever. This is so lethal it can kill wildlife on its own. In fact it is very rare.

Cared for feral cat, Birmingham, England. It can be dome.

Mr Hemmings never refers to the potential health hazards than can caused by other wildlife. Surely there can be little difference between cats and skunks or squirrels. They are being killed by other animals and they will defecate and urinate and so and so forth. Why differentiate between feral cats and other wildlife? Feral cats are wild cats effectively.

Skunks kill wildlife. They emit a strong smell. They defecate and eat carbage and they breed successfully. Yet Mr Hemmings treats them as precious forms of wildlife to be gently protected while the horrible feral cat has to be exterminated! Come on Mr Hemmings, be fair. As an animal control officer you have a duty to be fair to all animals.

Prevention is the best medicine for your pet's health.Mr Hemmings wheels out the usual arguments about feral cats spreading disease. He refers to cats suffering from feline leukemia (FeLV). He says that he can't release the cats as they carry diseases (cat colony diseases). He then admits that there is no evidence that FeLV is zoonotic (transmittable to people) but...gotta kill 'em nonetheless. How poor is that? FeLV is not zoonotic, period, full stop. He should be pleased that feral cats suffer from these illnesses as it kills them early in life.

Site Build It!He refers to cats carrying rabies but it is extremely rare. Skunks in contrast have a reputation for carrying rabies (21.5% of reported cases of rabies from all species are skunk related). But Mr Hemmings treats them way better than he treats those horrible feral cats. You gotta keep killing those cats...It's almost a national pastime, a way of life. It is thoughtless and degrading.

To compound the unfairness, the director of the local Humane Society agrees with everything he says about the feral cat problem.

There is gross unfairness directed towards the feral cat. There is hardly any emphasis on proactive action - preventing the cat becoming feral through good cat caretaking. The emphasis is on reactive measures and that means one blunt and biased thing -- kill them! Even sheriffs can shoot at them at will. And shelters don't have to kill cats in the numbers that they are according to Nathan Winograd (see Redemption - Amazon ad on this page).

It is high time that local authorities dealt with the feral cat properly and decently and that means one thing: lets look at ourselves in the mirror and admit that we caused it and we have the responsibility to solve the feral cat problem at source with proper domestic cat management. If that has to be forced on people through legislation so be it.

Some related pages:

See visitors' articles

Feral Cats Serve A Useful Purpose

PETA Exterminates Feral Cats

Feral Cats and their Management

How Feral Cats Affect Wildlife

Feral Cats Serve A Useful Purpose

Cat Colony

Update April 1st 2011: Maryann Mott journalist for National Geographic News concludes, as far as I can see, that killing feral cats is not the solution. Maryann refers to an interview with Julie Levy who is a veterinarian and professor at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville.

Levy agrees that the use of a new "sterilisation vaccine" might be an effective solution to the feral cat problem. Levy is involved in a study with male feral cats and "it's looking extremely promising." The idea is to inject cats in the wild. The principle seems to be that a more efficient way of neutering feral cats might over time reduce their population in a humane way. I like this. It is humane and long term and it gets to the root of the problem - almost. The real problem is us. In general, we can't behave responsibly in caring for our domestic cats.

This quick version of TNR should be accompanied by legislation to force people to care for their cats more responsibly. That won't happen because governments know it can't be enforced and their is more important legislation to create.

Michael Avatar

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Monday 21 March 2011

Cat Talk

I 'd like to write about a particular aspect of cat talk and the popular videos that are built on it. I am not talking about us talking to cats in cat language. I am talking about cats talking to cats in cat language.

The particular sound that I would like to write about is the sound that cats make when they confront another cat that has entered their territory or home range and they want to get the intruding cat to leave their territory without a fight.

The language cats use to communicate this message is very particular and of amusement to people. That is why there are a good number of high hitting videos on YouTube that show cats using these sounds. People sometimes add human language to the sound because they are somewhat similar to those that we make as humans. Well not exactly, but they are so different to the usual hiss and meow as to be surprising.

It appears that you could categorize cat sounds into three brackets:
  1. the purr,
  2. the sound that I am writing about in this article and which is almost impossible to describe in words and
  3. the hiss or growl.
The cat talk that I am referring to is an intermediate sound and it accompanies the flattening of the ears. Ears are flattened to protect them from an impending fight. In wildcats the flattening of the ears also shows the ocelli or spot on the back of the ear flat which is a signal to the opposing cat that this cat means business and to clear off (see cat body language).

How far can and do we go when communicating with our cat?

I am yet to see any explanation from scientists on this intermediate sound. The sound could be described as: aohhuu...with long drawn out vowels. Here is the video:

Prevention is the best medicine for your pet's health.The hiss is meant to mimic the snake. The purr is a signal of contentment and more (i.e. not always a sign of contentment). The aohhuu sound is a very clear statement to the other cat to leave the territory without a fight.

The recipient of the aohhuu sound nearly always stands his or her ground for a considerable time and either (a) returns the sound (b) returns the sound but less forcefully or (c) is silent.

After perhaps several minutes the recipient/intruder either backs off slowly - almost in slow motion - or stands and fights. It appears that the usual scenario is that the intruder gets the message and reluctantly goes. When departing they walk in slow motion. This is probably to retain face and status. They don't want to lose face but also don't want to risk injury in a fight. Domestic cats think like wildcats and in the wild an injury might well mean death as hunting prey may become limited leading to starvation.

I have written about cat sounds quite extensively on other pages:

Michael Avatar

From Cat Talk to Home Page

Saturday 19 March 2011

First Time Cat Owner

Some tips for the first time cat owner. Before starting to think about adopting a cat it is wise to get one's expectations right. I call it "expectation management". If we have the correct expectations were are unlikely to be disappointed. If we are not disappointed and do not struggle to care for our cat adequately, we are much less likely to relinquish our cat. This is so important in respect of cat welfare.

People adopting a cat need to know about the realities of cat caretaking. Before I go on it is worth mentioned that I prefer the phrase, "cat companion" and/or cat "caretaking" to "cat owner". I explain why on this page: Should we "own" a cat?

If you are buying a purebred cat this page might help: choosing a cat breed. If things go wrong this page may assist: How to sue on a cat contract.

New Cat - I hope the owner understood cats - Photo by -Qualsiasi

Prevention is the best medicine for your pet's health.Here are some posts that provide tips and guides for the first time cat owner:
I think that covers the important subjects. There are lots more. You can search for more using the search box above right.

Michael Avatar

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Cat Asthma

Cat with asthma using a bronchodilator - Photo: by jivedanson

Cat asthma is feline allergic bronchitis. Bronchitis is the inflammation of the smaller bronchi. Bronchi are the passages of airways in the respiratory tract that conduct air into the lungs"1.

The inflammation is caused by a hypersensitivity to allergens in the environment and sometimes it may be due to heartworm. Causes are not that well known, apparently. Allergens are substances the can cause allergic reactions. Examples are:
  • drugs,
  • pollens,
  • foods,
  • dust,
  • smoke,
  • litter dust,
  • deoderants etc.
Humans are sometimes allergic to a protein in the cat's saliva called Fel D1 which causes itching.

Cat asthma is similar to human asthma. It affects about 1 in 100 cats. It affects a slightly higher percentage of Siamese cats. Siamese cats may have the greatest number of all the cat breeds of genetic diseases - diseases caused by the presence of certain genes - inherited diseases.

This may be due to its long history in the cat fancy resulting in more selective cat breeding in this breed than in most others. I am talking about the modern slender Siamese by the way.

Cat asthma can be seasonal depending on the cause. I am thinking of pollen for example. Human asthma suffers know all about the potential seasonal nature of asthma.

The symptoms are:
  • chronic long term cough
  • chronic wheezing
  • respiratory distress
An asthma attack begins with difficulty in breathing and coughing and wheezing. The muscles of the airways contract and are narrowed.

The cat's mouth may be open as he or she strains to inhale enough air. A lack of air results in a lack of oxygen in the blood leaving a bluish color to the mucous membranes. An example of a mucous membrane is the lining of the mouth that extends to the lips (oral mucosa).

Other diseases that cause similar symptoms are pleural effusion and pulmonary edema.

Chronically asthmatic cats are treated with "maintenance doses" of an oral corticosteroid (a steroid that is a hormone1). These drugs cause side effects or can cause side effects. They don't cure asthma. They simply reduce the symptoms.

You can use cat inhalers these days. A commonly used cat bronchodilator in the USA  is Albuterol (see header picture - not sure if the inhaler in the picture contains this drug however).

Everything to do with this condition should be vet supervised.

Something to consider for the full-time indoor cat is an air filtration device. House plants can also purify air.

Cat Asthma -- Note:

1. Wikipedia authors

Michael Avatar

From Cat Asthma to Home Page

Friday 18 March 2011

Savannah Cat Breeder

You are searching for a Savannah cat breeder? Search no more. There in one that is head and shoulders above all others and that includes all cat breeders. I am not getting a commission for saying this, by the way.

You should contact this cat breeder and go from that starting point. I will guarantee that it is the best way of proceeding if you are looking to buy a Savannah cat from a breeder in the United States. And the USA is the home of the SAVANNAH CAT.

I am talking about A1 Savannahs. They are the premier Savannah cat breeder, worldwide. They do business with royalty in far flung places (e.g. Morocco) and they deal with "ordinary" people in the US, UK and Europe etc.

The following F2 Savannah cat was sold to the King of Morocco:

F2 Savannah cat - Photo copyright Kathrin Stucki

I have visited A1 Savannahs on a couple of occasions.  They have a guest house for visitors who want to stick around for a while and see the cats before buying and going home. Or for people like me who just want to visit and enjoy the A1 Savannah Cats farm, which is a model of harmony in a disharmonious world:

Harmony - A1 Savannahs Farm
Harmony at A1 Savannahs Farm - Photo: Michael @ PoC.

At this stupendous Savannah cat breeder there are Savannah kittens underfoot being socialised. They have fun and they can be noisy:

There is good food for visitors and plenty of fun playing with the cats! Oh, and there is some really nice wine too...uhmm I like that..

You might bump into an F1 Savannah cat like "Focus" and play with him or even, at one time, a cat like the famous "Magic" or if you like to see a bit of wildlife you can see the servals. Morpheus is large and his partner Penelope is a lady but they are wild cats remember..

F1 Savannah Cat FOCUS
F1 Savannah cat "Focus" - Photo by Michael@PoC

I could go on and on but I'll just say that if you are anywhere in the world and are looking for a Savannah cat breeder contact A1 Savannahs who are situated near Ponca City, Oklahoma, United States.

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Their website has all you need for further details: A1 Savannahs.

The map below shows a large number of Savannah cat breeders, but the best is you know who..

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Finally here is Kathrin Stucki who owns and runs A1 Savannahs with her husband Martin:

Remember that Savannah cats are wildcat hybrids that are truly domestic cats. They do have that look of the wild, are probably sharper and quicker than the average domestic cat but they are domesticated. Make sure you know the rules regarding ownership in your country or particularly state in America. Some states have banned the higher fillial Savannah cats and in the UK you might need a license. Just check out the legalities. That is the first thing to do.

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