Thursday 26 May 2022

Quiz: bottle-feeding a neonatal kitten

Quiz: bottle-feeding a neonatal kitten
Quiz: bottle-feeding a neonatal kitten. Photo: Alley Cat Allies on Twitter.

Here is a nice little quiz: one question, multiple answers, from Alley Cat Allies, about bottle-feeding a neonatal kitten who is less than a week old. The question is how often should she be fed? The three answers are as follows:

A. Every hour

B. Every two hours

C. Every four hours

D. Three times a day

My answer (and I will be happy to be corrected) is C. For larger kittens D is the correct answer.

RELATED: Can cats drink Pedialyte? Yes.

It might be useful to add a little bit of detail to that and so here it is. I'm going to quote pretty much from the paediatric section of the book Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook Third Edition.

"Small, weak kittens at birth are often dehydrated and chilled. Before feeding formula, they should be rehydrated by feeding a warmed glucose and water solution (5% to 10% glucose) or Pedialyte solution at the rate of 4 mL per feeding every 1 to 2 hours until they are warm and well hydrated. Then begin using the calculated formula and feed every four hours. Older, larger kittens can manage on three meals a day. However, if a kitten cannot take the required amount at each feeding, then the number of feedings should be increased so the kitten gets all the recommended calories per day."

Samsung use a cat to promote its new 200MP sensor for Galaxy S23

Galaxy S23
Galaxy S23.

Samsung has developed a 200MP sensor for its new smart phone. This means that the sensor has 200 million pixels. Professional 35mm SLR cameras, even today, have 24MP sensors and therefore Samsung is really pushing the limits. And they chose a cat for their advert. What else? However, increasing the number of pixels does not automatically increase the quality. There are other issues to take into consideration.

The advert shows a photo session of a cat and the resultant huge billboard taken from the photograph. It looks impressive but it seems to me that the sensor is better than the lens and better than the printing process. 

If you're going to achieve fantastic definition and detail, every step in the process has to have equal quality. Another barrier to seeing that quality is that we all look at our pictures nowadays on a computer screen. The computer screen's quality is limited by the number of pixels. Therefore, it is doubtful you will see the improvement in quality.

However, one advantage of such a large sensor is that you can crop out the centre portion which turns the camera into a digital zoom while maintaining decent quality even at very extended zoom ranges.

Nonetheless, I am delighted that they chose a cat as the subject matter for their promotion. It isn't the first time. Back in 2019 another smart phone manufacturer, Xiaomi, included a 108MP sensor in their Mi Note 10 phone. They used a cat as well in their advertising.

Samsung use a new 200-million-megapixel sensor in the new phone camera and use a cat to promote it

There is speculation that the Samsung sensor which is labelled as the ISOCELL HP1, will be in the new Samsung Galaxy S23.

Commercial cat food does not need to be entirely grain-free

For years now there has been an ongoing discussion about the quality of commercially prepared cat food and how it is ostensibly stuffed with grains to pad it out and make it more profitable for the manufacturers. Cat lovers want to see their canned cat food to be 100% meat because domestic cats are 'obligate carnivores'. The phrase 'obligate carnivores' is constantly used and it conjures up an image of flesh-eating. Cats can only eat flesh and nothing else. This is a misconception.

It is a misconception because the paradigm prey animal for the domestic cat is the mouse. The mouse eats 10% of its weight every day and it feeds off grain, seeds and fruit. When a cat eats a mouse, they eat the whole animal in my experience. My cat can eat a mouse in about 60 seconds and he certainly eats the stomach contents. He therefore eats grains. Perhaps commercial cat food should contain 10% grains but no more. Perhaps they put more than 10% in.

It is actually more pronounced than that because in the video on this page, which is a YouTube short, he clearly likes to eat bird seed which is grain. The seed was put into a birdfeeder and chucked onto the grass by the birds. My cat wandered in and decided to eat it. Grain contains nutrients. It is a source of protein and carbohydrates. Perhaps there is roughage in there as well. The point that I am making laboriously is that domestic cats eat grain one way or the other and therefore it is not so bad that it is in commercially prepared cat food. It is normal.

RELATED: Reduce domestic cat hunting by feeding them grain-free food and playing with them.

It is an argument that cat food should not be entirely free of grain as it is part of their natural diet. "YouTube Shorts" are designed to be very short videos made with a smartphone and therefore they are in the vertical format. TikTok works on this format and method. YouTube reformat the embedded video to a horizontal format. I'm not sure why. I think the video makes the point.

I had to make the video because YouTube told me that unless I made some more videos, they would stop monetising them on YouTube. I have not made a video for about 10 years! At one time they were highly successful with one of my videos being viewed 11 million times. They made many thousands of pounds in advertising. Advertising is far more profitable on YouTube videos than it is on websites in my experience.

I do not expect the video to be in any way successful. If it achieves a thousand views over five years I will be delighted!

Friday 20 May 2022

Woman terrified of spiders relies on her cats

Most people, male or female, don't like spiders and some are terrified of them. Cats love 'em! They are prey animals to cats. They instinctively chase and trap spiders. They end up dead due to all the smacking and poking. Although cats can be poisoned by spiders.

RELATED: Cats are not frightened of spiders but humans are. Why?

My theory for spider fear is because spiders move rapidly and can be dangerous because some are poisonous. There seems to be an inherent fear of spiders for this reason. It is almost as if the fear of spiders is inherited in the human psyche. It is handed down in the DNA. 

RELATED: Can cats get bitten by brown recluse spiders?

Weak attempt at catching a large spider
Weak attempt at catching a large spider. She wisely relies on her 2 cats who succeed quickly. Screenshot.

And logically spiders can present a danger in places like Australia (where the video was made) as there are some dangerous arachnids there. The rapid unpredictable movement is a problem too. You don't know where they are going and they could climb up your leg. They never do but the fear is present. Sometimes kids have a traumatic spider experience which affects them for many years resulting in a deeply embedded fear of the creatures. This is probably rare.

Wednesday 18 May 2022

Welsh administration say that a Ukrainian refugee cannot have her cats with her

NEWS AND COMMENT - Montgomery, Powys, Wales: You may have heard about the Homes for Ukrainians programme in the UK in which UK citizens put up Ukrainian refugees in a spare bedroom or a second home that they might have. There have been some wonderful stories such as one family ending up with a billionaire living in a beautiful home next to his mansion! But there have been some bad stories too of breakdowns in relationships between the host and the refugee resulting in the refugee leaving the home and becoming homeless. But by-and-large it is working well it seems to me.

Ukrainian family separated from their pets by Welsh quarantine rules.
Ukrainian family separated from their pets by Welsh quarantine rules.  Family photo.

But in this instance, there has been another breakdown and it concerns domestic cats and a pet squirrel. I have read that half the refugees coming into the UK from Ukraine have a pet of some sort, normally a cat or dog. Therefore, the arrangements as to how to deal with companion animals is vital to the success of the scheme.

As I understand it, the UK rules in general with respect to refugee pets are that the government will pay for any quarantine, vaccination and microchip costs. Once the companion animal has been vaccinated against rabies and had a blood test to confirm that they have developed antibodies they can then be released from quarantine and go into the home where the family is staying. 

This means that they can be reunited at the earliest possible opportunity while protecting the UK from a possible rabies infection. Rabies was eliminated from the UK many, many years ago. But it is fairly prevalent, as I recall, in Ukraine. This is a major problem in respect of importing pets from Ukraine into the UK.

The trouble is that the Welsh administration have devolved powers in this respect and they have decided that even if rabies antibodies have been detected in the companion animal they cannot be reunited with their owner and therefore they remain in a quarantine facility many miles away.

And this is what has happened in this case. A family escaped Ukraine in a Volkswagen Polo. They travelled across Europe with three cats and a pet squirrel. The mother has a daughter who is eight-years-old who is special-needs. There are three other children. They had barely settled into their new home when they considered leaving because their pet cats are being kept in a cattery 170 miles across the border in England.

Lena, 53, the mother is distraught about the Welch rules which bans pets from staying with Ukrainian refugee families. Apparently, she has lost faith in the system and would prefer to go back to Ukraine than be without her pets. Her daughter relies on the animals for her well-being. I guess they are therapy animals for her.

The UK government website does not state that the Welsh have different rules to the English. A spokesperson for the Welsh government said: "We have concerns about how the current home isolation process can be monitored and enforced effectively. It is for this reason that we have taken the decision to uphold quarantine in authorised facilities as the safest option to protect both animal and public health."

On my experience, the Welsh are more cautious than the English which accounts for this more cautious approach. I think it is unfair and unreasonable. I think it is over-cautious and I think they should have discretion as to what to do and make an exception in this case. It is incredibly sad that a woman who has escaped Ukraine is considering going back because of this rule that the Welsh are adamant in keeping.

Lena's husband is in Ukraine fighting to defend his country. She has an app which notifies her every time an air raid siren goes off in her home city. It is heartbreaking for her. The Welsh are intransigent and have prioritised the protection and health and welfare of all animals in Wales by reducing their risk of exposure of rabies over the health and welfare of this family and perhaps other families. It's understandable but I think if the UK generally consider the rules to be acceptable, the Welsh administration should follow them.

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