Monday 3 September 2018

Should cat rescue centre staff wear plastic gloves, aprons, foot covers and arm protectors?

Should cat rescue centre staff wear plastic gloves, aprons, foot covers and arm protectors and throw them away each time they leave one of the cat's pens?

The intention must be to reduce the transmission of contagious diseases from cat to cat via humans but the downside is (a) expense and (b) more plastic to be thrown away and is it recycled?

Evesham Cats Protection
Cats Protection in Wickhamford near Evesham have introduced this new anti-contagion regime and the staff are up in arms against it. They say the cat charity has 'lost sight of its main purpose' and is wasting donated money.

I'd imagine that is is very expensive to throw away these plastic items every time a staff member moves from one pen to another and it must slow down the work at hand too.

Cats Protection defend the method by saying that they adhere to strict disease control measures. They say that the prevention of disease is a way of reducing environmental hazards. They said this because they realise that producing piles of plastic waste achieves the opposite.

Source: Worcester News.

Hitting a cat on the road is upsetting to the car driver

There are three aspects to a cat being hit by a car on the road, (a) the owner has arguably been irresponsible in letting their cat wander onto roads and (b) the cat is badly injured or killed and suffering great pain and (c) the driver of the vehicle is or should be upset and there is a moral burden on the driver to stop and help. This moral burden might become a legal one in the UK.

Cat on side of road.

The last item is rarely discussed. Hitting a cat on the road is very upsetting to a large section of society. Not everyone will care but millions will and through no fault of their own they find themselves in a very difficult position.

The driver is morally obliged to stop the car, check the cat, take the cat to the nearest veterinarian as a matter of urgency, make sure the cat is scanned for a microchip and make sure the vet contacts the cat's owner if she has one. If not there is the added complication of what to do next. Who pays the vet's bills? Do you authorise euthanasia and so on.

And in Britain 99% of cat owners allow this possibility to come about. They don't seem to recognise the dangers and the burden that it might place on a car driver.

I am not saying that letting a cat wander outside is automatically a bad decision because sometimes the outside is safe for a cat but oftentimes it is not because of heavy road traffic nearby.

Cat owners need to think of others, especially drivers of vehicles, as well as the safety of their cat when they let their cat wander freely outside.

Novel way around having a cat while being allergic to them

Belle likes the outdoors and lives in an outbuilding in the grounds of the cat owner.

This is an audio recording in which I discuss a solution to an allergy to cats. In this example the mother is allergic to cats while her son is not. He wanted a cat. She could not comply with the request. Cats Protection advised a novel way of dealing with this. Please listen to the file. Thanks. It's a bit raw but I hope the message is conveyed. Reload the page if the player does not start. Thanks.

Sunday 2 September 2018

Audio record of a British couple's thoughts on domestic cat ownership

This is a very informal interview by me of a British couple on the subject of cat ownership. They own a tortoiseshell cat. The objective is to see if visitors can obtain some insights into cat ownership and to give a feel for how the Brits look after their cats. It is a bit different to Americans. The citizens of each country have their own ways on cat ownership.

Kammy and Barry

The audio player is loading......

The couple are Barry and Kammy (who is a Thai). Their cat is Piedie and she is about 7 years old. They live in the suburbs of Kingston Upon Thames in Surrey, England. Their house is situated in a cul de sac (a dead end road) and they have a large garden by British standards. I won't write anymore as it is all on the audio file except to say that part of the discussion is on indoor/outdoor cats.

Ninety-nine percent of Brits allow their cat to roam freely outside. It's the culture. Nearly all UK citizens don't think about keeping cats inside but I do and so does my neighbour. Also declawing cats is unheard of in the UK. Most cat owners have never heard of it.

Cat Shaking Back Legs When Walking

"Cat shaking back legs when walking" is a cat behaviour trait which I have seen in one of my cats (now deceased). However, before I say why my cat did it you'll have to think of health issues because 'cat shaking back legs' can mean a lot of things. The description does not say for how long the cat shakes her back legs or how vigorously.

I don't want to be facetious but I think this topic concerns a behavioural trait signifying mild irritation and not a health issue

It could be a nervous system health problem for instance. I am not qualified to provide advice of feline health matters so it's up to your veterinarian to clear up any possible health issues but I mention a couple of possibilities below.

Having got that out of the way my experience tells me that when a cat shakes her back legs, or more accurately shakes one of her back legs while walking, she'll do it very briefly and it is a deliberate act. Moreover, the action of shaking a back leg is one of short sharp flicking movements as if she is throwing something off her paw such as water. This is the kind of action that I am referring to.

It's similar to back twitching which signified irritation. Hind leg shaking indicates irritation too in my opinion. It means something wider than that actually. It's a body language which means, 'I have had enough of that' and she walks away from what is irritating her.

I wonder whether back twitching and leg shaking have similar mental origins. I don't know but it is entirely possible. My former female cat did it when she had had enough of the food that I had given her. She'd walk away and shake one of her back legs. So, I am describing a feline behaviour trait.

On a medical note, insecticides in flea treatments can cause paw flicking apparently. I have not seen it in my cats. Maybe a cat reacts badly to one of the spot-on flea treatments and as it affects her nervous system, she involuntary shakes one of her hind legs. Flea treatments are essentially poisonous to cats as they contain insecticides.

Leg tremors can be caused by an injury. However, I don't want to go down the medical route and, in any case, I think that cat owners are referring to a non-medical cause which for me points to mild irritation being the cause.

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