Sunday 24 July 2016

What wild cats live in England?

The short answer is that no wild cats live in England. Just north of the border in Scotland there are some Scottish wild cats. They are part of the wildcat species. At one time it was thought there were about 400 of them. Now people believe there may not even be any genuine, purebred Scottish wildcats in Scotland. This is because they have crossbred with domestic cats to become hybrids.

This cat used to live in England but was extirpated and became extinct in England, as I recall, in 1835. This was because it was sport hunted to extinction. That's it. There is nothing more to say to answer the question in the title. It's a sad answer.

Thursday 21 July 2016

Can you break the window of a car if there's a pet inside in very hot weather?

In hot weather sometimes a person will see a dog or even a cat inside a car with the windows fully up and it may occur to that person whether they are entitled to break a window of the car to allow air into it thereby quite possibly saving the life of the dog inside.

And it can be a matter of life and death. Even under moderately warm weather it can become unbearably hot for a dog inside a car as the heat builds up.

Whether a person can break the window of a car firstly must depend upon the law in the country where that person lives. I would suspect that the law is similar across many countries in the West and even in other parts of the world.

Technically, breaking the window of a car is criminal damage. It is a crime. The person doing it could be prosecuted and the sentence would be a fine.

However, the person has a defence. He could say that he believed that he would have the consent of the dog's owner under the particular circumstances under which he broke the window. This would be a reasonable assessment provided the dog was in great distress.

If the dog was not in great distress it might be considered unreasonable to break the window. In addition it would be safer and more sensible if the person telephoned the police first as an emergency and then the RSPCA or any other animal welfare organisation which is appropriate in the country concerned.

If the person believes that in calling the police they would take too long to get to the car to release the dog then it could be successfully argued that he had to break the window based on the defense, as mentioned above, that the dog's owner would have given consent.

As you can see is not black and white. There has to be some sensible considerations before breaking the window. If police were involved they would no doubt gain access to the car as would a burglar by releasing the locking mechanism using certain tools. Although on occasions police may well break the window.

Many people would readily break the window of the car and take the risk of prosecution. They would do this because of great concern for the pet's welfare inside the car.

In addition, even if the person breaking the window did so without taking the precautions referred to above, it would be unusual for the car's owner to seek a prosecution in my opinion. Perhaps the worst case scenario might be that you would have to pay for repair of the car although that would be unlikely considering the dog's life might well have been saved.

You can't bring back a dog killed through heat exhaustion in the back of red-hot car but you can replace a car window.

Monday 11 July 2016

How much are cat vaccinations UK and USA?

Cat vaccinations are cheap when you think about the health benefits they bring provided you consider the risk factors in respect of boosters. There is a lot of chatter about how necessary booster vaccinations are. In the past vets have tended to overdo them for commercial reasons.

The prices are naturally date sensitive. In ten years these prices will seem very cheap! The cost for a first vaccination in the UK is around £30-£41 and in the USA the cost is around $45-$85 depending on the vaccination. The higher figure may relate to rabies. Boosters are cheaper. You'll probably find that you may be able to get them done cheaper under certain circumstances. Rescue cats adopted from shelters are pre-vaccinated. You'll need to get a booster once you adopt the cat. In the USA, Vetco charge $55 for a double vaccination and a deworm (see above). This was chosen by me at random but it is not that easy to find prices listed on the internet, surprisingly.

Sunday 10 July 2016

How many cat colors are there?

Cat colors nearly always relate to cat breeds as opposed to species. If the question means "How many cat colors and pattern combinations are there for the cat breeds" (which is what I think the question means) the answer, per Gloria Stephens in her excellent book: legacy of the cat (lower case title) is....144...Hope this helps :)

If the question is purely about cat breed coat colors I don't know the answer because the question might be too tricky to answer bearing in mind that color types are dictated by the cat associations of which there are several. They can have different ideas. Comments welcomed ;)

Sorry for the weak answer. I am watching the men's final at Wimbledon 2016 while writing this... :)

How many cat species are there?

Depending on whose version of taxonomy that you rely on there are between 36-41 species of cat. The variation is because some scientists treat subspecies as species and vice versa. If you treat a species as a subspecies it reduces the number of species. If you treat a subspecies as a species then the number rises. This latter scenario is more common and why Wikipedia list 41 or 40 species of cat.

Personally I rely on the famous book: Wild Cats Of The World by Mel and Fiona Sunquist who list 36 species. On my website (PoC) I list 37. The reason given is stated on this page which is the first of two pages on all the wild cat species.

Note: "species" is not "breed". Species is a scientific term within the science of taxonomy while "breed" is a cat breeder's term. All breeds are one species felis silvestris catus.

You can see a full page written in straightforward English on the wild cat species by clicking this link. Hope this helps.

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