Tuesday 6 December 2022

90% of bald cat bellies are caused by this

 This about the reason for a healthy cat having a bald belly. It is common sense really.

Classic example of a bald belly caused by overgrooming
Classic example of a bald belly caused by overgrooming. Image: Reddit user: u/Kimimyu
90% of cases of baldness on the belly are due to overgrooming by the cat themselves. It is called 'barbering' as it is as if the cat has gone to the barbers for a No. 1. Self-grooming is a pleasant experience for a domestic cat and the belly is easily accessible. 

It helps to counteract the negative emotions caused by stress. Therefore, the cause is stress. What has caused the stress? It is down to the owner to understand how and when cats can be stressed and eliminate those causes. The link below goes to pages on how stress can be caused:

Cat stress

That is about it. Or at least that is the first thing that the cat's owner should do to stop barbering. If there is no apparent stress, I'd watch the cat and look for overgrooming. No overgrooming? Look for ill health. But this cat looks healthy, and the owner does not report signs of ill-health.

If in doubt, see a vet. The usual common-sense mantra.

How do I know the 90% figure? Dr Bruce Fogle told me. He is the best-known vet in the UK and a brilliant author as well. I highly recommend his book Complete Cat Care available on Amazon.

Some causes of stress

Some more to fill out the page.  There are many causes of stress in a household in which there are domestic cats. One of them is problems within the multi-cat household. Don't think that if you adopt a new cat to be a friend of a resident cat that it will automatically work out well. In fact, it is more likely that it won't.

The problem is this: domestic cats in following their wild cat ancestor, are territorial. They want a home range and for cats living indoors full-time, that home range is much, much smaller than it would normally be if they were living outside.

Domestic cats protect their home range from invading cats. Both these factors contribute to the potential for arguments between a resident cat who settled in their home range and the invading cat i.e., the newly adopted cat entering their home range without the resident cat's consent!

And don't forget that resident cats will look upon their home range as a place where there are resources. Resources such as food, comfort, protection, warmth and security.

Anything or anybody which jeopardises or threatens those resources causes stress.

A new baby coming into the home can also be a source of stress and the same goes for a stranger coming to live in the home.

But of all these possibilities, which by the way would include moving home, an incoming new cat is the greatest source of stress to a resident cat.

A problem here is that cats are inscrutable. They have limited facial expressions. They don't give much away in the look in their eyes. They will convey their feelings through their actions such as increased marking of their territory which as you know mean spraying urine normally and scratching furniture. 

They might leave faeces unburied and, as mentioned in the article above, they might overgroom to relieve stress. Perhaps over-grooming is the best giveaway that a domestic cat is stressed.

Other signs of stress would be excessive vocalising, eating too much, not eating enough and possibly idiopathic cystitis which is a bladder infection which occurs without any obvious reason.

The cure for domestic cat's stress is to look for the underlying cause through analysis of their behaviour and of their environment and then eliminating it.


People like Jackson Guy, rightly state that if you adopt two siblings, that get on well from a rescue centre, it is better than adopting a single individual cat. However, siblings don't always get along. They might be very friendly when they are kittens, but their relationship may cool, and brothers and sisters may end up hating living with each other. More potential stress.

Picture of a full-bellied lion cub after feeding


Full-bellied lion cub
Full bellied lion cub. Image: Reddit user u/asilvertintedrose on Reddit. I don't expect that this person is the photographer, however.

This lion cub looks zonked out after feeding to the maximum on raw flesh judging by the blood on his forelegs and on his muzzle and on chin. And of course, we can't forget the belly, which is completely full, but you can't blame a lion cub for eating to the maximum because they are never quite sure when the next meal is going to arrive.

I think that it is a great picture. It is almost too good to be true and looks as though that it might have been set up but then again, the blood looks very real.

The distended belly is enormous I wonder whether he has overdone the feeding. I have never seen a lion cub with such a full belly. I think that he has eaten enough to keep him alive for a week ✔️😊.

It is a convenient moment to talk about feeding. You might know that in general, lions eat enormous amounts of meat (flesh) at a sitting. One male was recorded eating 33 kg of meat during a night.

In a pride of lions, as expected, the strongest male lion will eat first followed by other members of the pride. Lionesses will feed before cubs and cubs get the scraps.

Arguably, by human standards, a lion pride is a misogynistic society because although females conduct most of the hunts the top male lion feeds first followed by the other males. As mentioned, the females feed secondly and then the cubs who have a hierarchy of their own.

Sometimes male lions tolerate showing their food with cubs.

The point being made is that as cubs get the scraps, it is unsurprising that you will see a cub as you see in the photograph on this page, fully sated after overeating because he or she has probably struggled hard to get what was available and therefore they ate the whole lot just in case there'd be a long break before the next meal.

Allegations against Elon Musk's Neuralink business of animal abuse

It appears that some staff at Elon Musk's Neuralink business have acted as whistle-blowers (or the information has leaked out) in saying that because Musk is driving his staff very hard, they are taking shortcuts in animal testing which is resulting in at least potential animal welfare violations and possibly unnecessary deaths because mistakes are being made.

"Elon Musk’s Neuralink, is under federal investigation for potential animal welfare violations." - Metro.co.uk
Allegations of rushed animal testing experiments at Neuralink facility leading to unnecessary deaths
Allegations of rushed animal testing experiments at Neuralink facility leading to unnecessary deaths. Image: MikeB based on images in the public domain.

Musk's Neuralink business has the intention of being able to place brain implants into paralysed people to enable them to walk again. And he hopes that his technology will cure other neurological health problems in people.

In order to achieve his goal, he has to do animal testing which he reportedly dislikes but he makes sure that they are "the happiest animals" while they are alive. Sadly, they end up dead after the testing.

There is no way around the fact that animal testing is cruel, and many people believe that it is unnecessary because you can create artificial models which substitute animal testing.

Perhaps this isn't applicable in this instance, and Mr Musk is reliant upon the testing of animals including pigs. He said at the time of the launch of Neuralink that they had three pigs with coin-sized implants in each of them and they were "healthy, happy and indistinguishable from a normal pig".

And as you might know, animals under testing procedures normally end up being euthanised because the testing on them makes it unviable for them to live afterwards. So, the basic concept of animal testing is immoral.

Sky News reports that there have been internal complaints by Neuralink staffers that animal testing is being rushed leading to "needless suffering and deaths" (initially reported by Reuters).

Allegedly, 280 sheep, pigs and monkeys have died following experiments since 2018.

And further, allegedly, 25 pigs were reportedly implanted with devices that were the wrong size. The error occurred it is said because the experiment was carried out without sufficient preparation.

And allegedly the cause of that error was that they were being rushed by Alan Musk applying too much pressure on staff.

Although, it has to be made clear that there are no records of violations against regulations taking place at the facility. At this stage, I stress, these are allegations. I don't want to be sued by Musk thank you very much. 😒😊😢

Neuralink has sought approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. Scientists are developing tiny implants with more than 3000 electrodes. There are attached to flexible threads which are incredibly thin about 1/10 of the diameter of a human hair which are capable of monitoring about 1000 neurons according to the report that I have seen.

Other employees interviewed by Reuters say that Neuralink treats animals quite well compared to other research facilities. The animals have been given freedom to roam and the facility has been likened to a "monkey Disneyland".

Monday 5 December 2022

Abandoned INBRED cats due to Covid and cost-of-living crisis

NEWS AND OPINION: This story tells us how market forces due to the Covid pandemic and now the cost-of-living crisis has shaped what goes on in animal rescue and before that in animal breeding and purchase. Adopting kittens and puppies should never be impacted by market forces.

The story about this form of animal abuse comes from the St Francis Animal Welfare Re-homing shelter in the UK. It is located at Sunnyside Cottage, Mortimer's Lane, Fair Oak, Eastleigh in Hampshire. I know this is a well-reported issue, but it needs to be stressed. Covid has highlighted a poor attitude by many UK citizens to pet ownership.

Boxes of cats and kittens dumped outside the shelter
Boxes of cats and kittens dumped outside the shelter. Image: the shelter.

They say that in the summer of 2022 seven "very neglected and inbred" cats arrived from a kitten mill breeder. These cats had numerous health issues according to the rescue. And cats and kittens have been dumped anonymously outside the shelter as you can see in the photograph supplied by the shelter.

Boxes of cats were found outside the shelter. Three of the cats passed away. Two were kept by the shelter but they had severe heart murmurs.

Surge in demand during Covid leading to kitten mills

The information here then is that during Covid-19 there was a surge in demand for kittens and puppies because people were stuck at home on furlough doing nothing.

This surge in demand resulted in a surge in backstreet breeders in the UK producing kittens or the importation from Eastern Europe of puppies from puppy mills. And now, post-Covid, we have the cost-of-living crisis due to high inflation which in turn is mainly due to Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

Surge in abandonment of kittens and puppies post-Covid and due to high inflation

The cost-of-living crisis has resulted in people giving up their cats and dogs because they can't afford to keep them.

And so, there is a surge in abandoned cats and dogs some of whom find their way to the St Francis Animal Welfare shelter. And they, as you can see, report on inbred kittens which clearly indicates very poor breeding practices with mothers mating with offspring for example and this happening numerous times in uncontrolled breeding or forced breeding with no concern for health.

The manager at the shelter, Helen Shaw, said that they've seen "some of the worst cases of inbreeding". And they've got 40 cats waiting to come into the rescue which is four times the normal number.

Helen rightly says that the Covid-19 pandemic is a major factor in the breeding of the kittens. And the abandonment of kittens and cats is due to the cost-of-living crisis.

Both the adoption and the abandonment are due to impulsive purchasing and impulsive throwing away of sentient creatures due to market forces created by these big events.

Bad breeders and equally bad customers

It's all down to unscrupulous breeders taking advantage of market forces and silly customers buying unhealthy kittens and cats during the Covid lockdowns then deciding to give them up when they return to work, and they can't find the time to look after them. And/or the cost-of-living crisis means they have to give them up because they can't afford to look after them. One of the first things to go is the impulsively purchased cat not the smartphone contract costing £50 per month.

The point of this discussion is that people should not be driven by market forces when adopting cats. They should not make impulsive decisions about the adoption of a cat or dog. This is a considered decision to adopt a companion animal for the life of a companion animal. There are no other considerations. This should not be an impulsive, self-indulgent decision. 

It is a long-term decision and financial provision should be made. People need to research the cost and ensure that they have the money and will do going forward. If not don't adopt.

Rescues pick up the pieces

As usual, it is the rescue centres dotted around the country which pick up the pieces. They are the ones cleaning up the mess caused by the problems created by ill informed, ill-educated frankly silly people who just think they can adopt an animal like they can buy a new television.

It is no wonder that we have animal welfare issues in this country and other countries. The attitude towards sentient creatures is simply not good enough.

My thanks to the Southern Daily Echo.

Sunday 4 December 2022

Alonso High School janitor admits shooting at cats with pellet gun and faces the sack and immigration issues

The report is contained in the video. The story is a bit strange for the reason that this man appears to have jeopardized his right to remain in the USA (immigration detention hold) and will acquire a criminal conviction all because he does not like cats and likes to shoot a rifle. One word comes to mind: pathetic. He has been charged with a felony: aggravated cruelty to animals.

A TNR volunteer woman features in the video and she's great. I love her. She was very relieved that the cat shooter has been found and arrested. 

For TNR volunteers it is the worst kind of nightmare. She said that her job is to keep the stray cat population down and the stray cats come from people leaving them behind when they move on.  And this seemed feasible because this is a mobile home park.

Although, I thought they were static mobile homes. Perhaps they are or perhaps they are truly mobile. Or perhaps the kind of people living in the mobile homes at this park are transient. They move around a lot and adopt a cat while they are at the park and leave them behind when they move on.

The exact cause of the stray cat population is not stated but it comes down to cat abandonment and the TNR lady is picking up the pieces.

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