USA: Upcoming Improved Airline Reporting of Pet Travel Incidents

The United States Transportation Department announced on Wednesday last that improved reporting processes will be put in place starting January 1 2015 with respect to pet transportations by airlines. As I understand it, more airlines will be obliged to report and the reporting data will include the number of flights that transport pets as well as the number of incidents thereby allowing people to assess the safety record more accurately. Airlines will have to report the transportation of cats shipped by breeders (commercial shipments) in addition to what happens now, which is pets being shipped by owners. Apparently more airlines are brought into the regulations because smaller airlines will be involved. The new rule places an obligation upon airlines to report on animals that are injured, lost or killed during transportation .  The number of carriers obliged to report has been expanded from 14 to 27. Between May 2000 May 8, 2010 government statistics indicate that 122 dogs died w

Pallas cat - Otocolobus manul (cute video)

This is a neat little high-quality video of a Pallas cat inspecting the camera that is videoing him as he emerges from his little cave/den. Probably, the more accurate name for this cat is “manul" (this is derived from the Mongolian). You try and check that with the spellchecker and it always comes up "manual".  If you try and dictate it using dictation software you'll never get it right!  Another version is Pallas's cat; perhaps a more popular version. It can be confusing sometimes. This is a cute looking, stocky, almost fat or rotund fluffy looking cat which you'd think would make a good domestic cat; but no, this is a genuine wild cat species with all the usual wild cat behavioural traits.  Don't think you can ever own a domesticated version of this cat. In addition to the interesting overall appearance of this cat, another interesting physical characteristic is that the irises of the eyes do not form a slit as is normal in the domestic cat but

Australians Can't Bring Home Their Trophies From Canned Hunts

This is a nice story in one way and the foul story in another way.  You may have heard about canned hunts. They take place quite commonly in South Africa.   What they do is they breed lions for sample and put them in an enclosure which severely restricts their movements making it very easy for a high fee paying individual to shoot the animal with a weapon of his choice. It sounds completely mad to me but obviously they enjoy it. I suppose they want to take the trophy home to show it off to their friends and family as some sort of pseudo-macho statement. Well, now they can't, not in Australia in any case. Australians who go on canned hunting trips will be banned from bringing their trophies home. Greg Hunt, Australia's environment minister, recently announced that he would ban imports of all lion body parts and rhino body parts into Australia. Gradually, it appears to have dawned upon the Australian government that it is immoral to participate in canned hunts and this dir

Thailand Don't Give a Damn about Wildlife

Thailand has been implicated in driving the endangered African elephant towards extinction by abjectly and callously failing to clamp down on illegal ivory sales.  The information comes from a report based upon monitoring by international wildlife specialists. Research by Traffic, a conservation group, informs us that the number of carved ivory products on sale in Bangkok has almost tripled in the past 18 months.  This has happened despite promises by Thailand's former Prime Minister.  He said that the country would ban the ivory trade.  More hollow words from allegedly corrupt and irresponsible politicians. Bangkok in Thailand is now confirmed as the capital of the Asian ivory trade and this despicable trade is driven by demand from China.  China has a lot of explaining to do because not only do they drive the trade in illegal ivory they also drive the trade in illegal tiger body parts and there is very little difference between the two because the outcome is the gradual extin

Boston USA: Cats Required To Kill Rats

According to a recent Animal Planet article, Boston, USA has a huge rat population and is ranked runner-up to New York as the world's worst city for a rats. The rats have suddenly become visible. In one area, they have become noticed because of a certain ginger tabby cat called Linus who has been killing dozens of rats of late.  His human companion is Peggy Flattery.  And they live near the corner of Everett and Adamson Streets, which seems to be the hunting ground of Linus and he's having a field day. There seems to be a need for more cats on the streets catching rats because the current rat problem has been tied to recent the development of vacant lots which appears to disturb the rat into making themselves visible causing concern amongst the authorities. John Meany, the director of environmental services at the Inspectional Services informs us that the rat problem is a priority for the mayor.  He is concerned that property developers are not acting responsibly in ensurin

The Domestic Cat As An Entertainer

The Internet cat video, of which there are copious quantities, indicates to me that our relationship with the domestic cat is one of entertainer and entertained.  The cat is the entertainer and people wish to be entertained by the domestic cat. Before the cat video nobody would have envisaged the success that they have enjoyed.  It's an Internet video phenomenon and it is hard to understand because the relationship that we have with the domestic cat through the video is very different to the relationship that we have in reality, on the ground. The former is about entertainment and nothing else, while on the ground the reality is much harsher but it seems that the underlying reason why people keep a domestic cat is to be entertained.  This is a variation on the accepted, main reason why people live with a domestic cat, which is for companionship.  Companionship and entertainment go hand-in-hand. So perhaps our relationship with a domestic cat is not quite what we think it is

Daniel "DQ" Quagliozzi Cat Behaviorist

Daniel "DQ" Quagliozzi is a cat behaviorist who didn't always like cats. He was one of those people who squirted water at cats to shoo them away. He learned that from its parents I suppose but then he learned something different from a huge black cat who wouldn't go away; in fact he came back every day despite what Daniel was doing and thereby he gained Daniel's respect which turned to love. A nice story for a cat behaviourist . Daniel ended up working in cat rescue (SPCA) and it seems he learned a lot about cat behaviour there but he wanted to go into people's houses and deal with specific so-called "cat behaviour problems" in a hands-on practical way rather than simply discussing the matter at a theoretical level. He appears to have wanted to make a change, make a difference and he probably learnt quite quickly that in order to make a difference almost every time he has to change the attitudes and behaviour of the cat's owner not the

Cute and Scared Himalayan Kitten on Moving Carpet

You can't beat a cute kitten for entertainment. This is the first time I have seen a kitten reacting like this because the ground under her is moving. I have guessed the kitten's gender. The kitten is a pointed Persian ( Himalayan ) and her name Mushu from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. That is a genuine Persian rug! Nice to see a Persian cat in the Middle East. The breed is meant to come from the Middle East .

Prey of Domestic Cats (average frequency of mammals, birds, reptiles)

Average frequency of occurrence of mammals, birds and reptiles in the diet of the domestic cat based on gut or scat (feces) analysis in relation to cats in the northern hemisphere, meaning Europe and N.America combined, and on islands with and without seabirds. Here is a spreadsheet with the data: This is important information because there is often a lot of discussion about the domestic cat preying on wildlife. These figures are based on a large number of studies. "What is observed locally is not necessarily representative on a wider scale" "estimates of total predation....are meaningless from an ecological point of view unless put into relation to the entire population of that prey species and its annual production rate" "Careful studies are still needed before 'condemning' all cats to an indoor life, or even forbidding them as pets." (quotes from the book referred to as the source for the figures).

Basic Data on Reproduction of the Domestic Cat

A spreadsheet showing some basic facts which some people might find useful from time to time. Domestic cats mating

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