Friday, February 9, 2024

"Having a litter of kittens will settle down a female cat"

Some cat owners think that their female unsterilised cat should have a litter of kittens before they sterilise them because it helps them to settle down and live a more contented life. 

They appear to believe that a female cat should have kittens because it's instinctive to them to have kittens and if you deny them that pleasure it is upsetting to them. 

Until they have kittens they can't settle down and be their normal selves. That is the argument as I understand it but it is entirely false and dangerous thought for the obvious reason that there are already too many unwanted cats in the world and to bring more into the world because of a misconception is irresponsible and ultimately cruel because what happens to the kittens? Can you find a good home for them? Will they be happy? Will they have good lives? Will they be homed with a person who is sensitive to their needs and so on?

It is a myth that having a litter will settle down a female cat. It's a myth that the cat will feel more fulfilled after having kittens.

It might be useful to touch on how female humans feel after having kids. That might provide us with a little insight. Mothers are often harassed and overstretched and pressured on having a young family. They certainly don't feel more settled down.

The veterinarians state that a spayed cat will be more playful, people-orientated and they won't miss what they never had.

Briefly, on an associated topic, there are other reasons why cat owners sometimes want their female cats to have a litter of kittens. It might be because it provides them with enjoyment. They'd like to witness the birth of kittens. They might enjoy raising them and find the whole process rewarding.

They might love the appearance of their female cat and they want to produce offspring to maintain the bloodline. Or they might do it for financial reasons to sell the kittens for whatever they can get for them to make a few pennies on the side. 

If the cat is a purebred then they can sell them for a reasonable sum of money but the amount would be dependent upon whether there was a registered lineage with a cat association.

That said you will find some cat owners advertising on Facebook purebred cats for sale at discount prices. Don't buy these cats and kittens at the prices asked. You are probably not going to buy a genuine purebred cat and I would expect it to be unregistered.

And lastly, some cat owners may have a deep emotional bond with their female cat and want to have the experience of raising a kittens to create a stronger connection with the cat and their offspring.

All these reasons may be good ones from the person's perspective but in the grand scheme of things, I think it would be fair to say that it would not be the best decision to make in terms of general animal welfare for the reason stated above.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Jodie Foster would join social media if it was only about cats and dancing

I really like Jodie Foster. I always have since she became an adult actress. It's difficult to find out exactly whether Jodie Foster does in fact likes cats although I think it's pretty certain she likes dancing because she likes to see dancing on social media, I understand. 

Jodie Foster. Picture: Wikipedia.

But apparently she suffered a traumatic experience with a big cat after, it is reported, a lion mauled her. I don't know the circumstances but she appears to have a fear of big cats but the opposite for domestic cats. How do I make that latter assessment?

Well, there's a headline on the People website which goes like this: "Jodie Foster says she'll use social media 'If it was just dancing and cats: I'd be all for it'".

So she would like to look at dancing or presumably look at anything to do with dancing on social media and domestic cat stuff but other than that social media doesn't interest her. In fact I think she'd have her own channels of social media if it was limited to cats and dance.

The reports are that she is very "normal". On the basis that that is true, it's a fantastic endorsement for her because to be normal is wonderful if you are a top film star. And personally, I love normal by which I mean well balanced and rounded. Although we don't really know what "normal" means but I think you can use your imagination and have a good guess at it.

She is 61 years of age at the moment and says that she would be all for joining social media for the reasons stated.

She's received praise for her show True Detective: Night Country. Fans have responded positively to the series. She is proud of it and she said that she wouldn't like to change anything about it whereas often in the films she's been involved with but not as a director, she would like to change some things.

Perhaps, we might be able to link being normal and not being involved with social media. What I mean is that if you are normal, well-balanced and sensible you should avoid social media!   

It is because it can be quite destructive and an entire waste of time as 90% of social media is waffle, achieving little. Strong words and perhaps I'm being a little bit over-the-top but I do think that a lot of social media is a waste of time and it is known that it can harm young people. I think it's a good part of the Internet if you use it to achieve something rather than allowing it to use you.

Also, there are some great animal rescue channels on Facebook which wouldn't be anywhere near as successful as they are without social media. These are personal views and I totally accept that perhaps the majority of people will disagree with me.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Off the grid van-life woman uses cat litter for herself instead of a toilet

Yes, this brave and enlightened woman uses cat litter, not for her cat as she does not have a cat but for herself because her van (mobile home) does not have a toilet. Vicki Harper is on disability benefits living in the UK and she says that living on the grid - conventionally - is too expensive for her. She decided to use a converted Ford Transit 125 T350 van for her accommodation.

Vicki Harper revealed she has to use cat litter instead of a toilet Credit: CHANNEL 5

The mobile home has a cooker, storage cabinets, fridge, freezer and a nice bed but no bathroom! Hence the cat litter for humans.

Vicki is on television on Channel 5 to tell the world about her lifestyle. It is about people who've taken up living in a mobile home. The 'van life'.

Asked if cat litter works for her she said: 
"Absolutely... where I park and with the way I park, I stay for two or three weeks, there are really no places to be emptying toilets. So I find that using cat litter, I can just get rid of it in a normal bin, so cat litter is the way forward.”
She is very happy not having to worry about how she is going to pay for her outgoings each month.

She said: 
There’s no worrying about what's going to be paid this month or, you know, what's building up in debt etcetera, there’s none of that. It was quite strange when I gave the keys back to my property. It was like this massive weight was lifted off my shoulders, 100 per cent it’s freedom.”
For me, she is the first person who uses cat litter to go to the toilet. She dumps the used cat litter in public waste bins I understand.

We are not told how she keeps herself clean. Perhaps she licks herself all over like a cat 😍. That sounds like I am taking the Mikey out of her. I am not. Just having a bit of fun.

I admire her a lot. Well done Vicki. And good luck.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Cats Protection strongly criticize Claudia Schiffer for carrying a Scottish Fold to a premiere

 You may have seen the photos of the German model Claudia Schiffer on the red carpet at the premiere of the film Argylle in which she and Chip the Scottish Fold appear.

Cats Protection strongly criticize Claudia Schiffer for carrying a Scottish Fold to a premiere
Claudia Schiffer and Chip the Scottish Fold in a glamorous carrier but the model, cat and carrier have all be criticized by Cats Protection.

She attended the event carrying Chip in one of those fancy cat carriers with a big clear perspex window and vent holes. It was all very glamorous but behind the veneer of glamour there is sadness really if you want to stand back and not be taken in - which is what Cats Protection have done.

They see two problems with the photos:

  1. Because of the presence of a mutated gene that causes the Scottish Fold ears to fall into their signature position against the head, osteochondrodysplasia is seen in all cats of this breed to varying degrees. Read about this by clicking on this link: Osteochondrodysplasia is seen in ALL Scottish Fold cats. Claudia (as has Taylor Swift) promotes and glamourises a very unhealthy breed which some would argue should not exist. You would not be able to start the breed nowadays because there is a heightened awareness of cat health.
  2. Chip would have been anxious with nowhere to hide. This is bad cat caretaking for which Schiffer is responsible at that time!

"It's extremely concerning to see a cat exposed to such a stressful environment while contained in an inappropriate carrier."

Claudia's daughter is Chips' caregiver/owner by the way.

Cats Protection's head of clinical services, Alison Richards said:
"Though some cats may appear to tolerate backpacks, the movement on a person's back is unpredictable and most lack adequate ventilation and space for the cat - leaving them cramped or uncomfortable," said the charity's head of clinical services Alison Richards."
"The large window in the bubble backpack featured also means cats don't have the option to hide when they feel anxious, leaving them feeling exposed and vulnerable."

RELATED: Claudia Schiffer took her cat, Chip, to the premiere of Argylle, a film in which he appears

The premiere was in London at the Odeon, Leicester Square.

Update: the headlines a couple of days later are that two more major animal shelters and charities have also criticised the film makers and those involved with this film in employing a Scottish Fold. The correctly say that they are glamorising the breed and making it more desirable when the raw facts should be spelled out: this is a breed should not exist because of the mutated gene that causes the cartilage to be weak.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

University student abandons her young cat on a park bench on Christmas Eve

NEWS AND COMMENT: This is a peculiar story in one way in that the owner of a one-year-old black cat named Mila, said that she loved her cat. But in a note left with Mila who was abandoned in a carrier on a park bench, the woman, who is a university student, said that she had to go back to university and could somebody take her cat and love her as she did.

Image: RSPCA

You wonder whether a person who abandons their cat like this on a park bench genuinely loved their cat. Does it make sense to you? It doesn't to me because the woman jeopardised the life of her cat. She put her cat in harm's way. She could have taken Mila to the RSPCA or to any other animal shelter. Or better than that, she could have used her best efforts to find a new owner.

But it seems to me, and I don't want to be horribly critical, she has been lazy in deciding to carry her cat to the nearest park and dump the animal on a park bench with a note begging people to look after her cat. Not great as far as I am concerned. And the RSPCA would agree with me.

Mila now rescued
Mila - rescued. Image: RSPCA

There are other questions which this story asks the reader. The woman in question says that she is returning to university. This tells us that she is already at university. It also means that she adopted a cat while she was at university knowing that she could not look after the cat when she was in a students' residence at the university. If that's correct and it looks like it is she should not have adopted the cat in the first place.

You don't adopt a companion animal of any sort unless you know with as much certainty as you can that you will have the means both in terms of time and funding to look after that animal for the remainder of their life. That's the ideal. Certainly things can intervene to upset that objective but at least you must start with that firm objective and do your best to stick to it. Yes, I'm being dogmatic perhaps and perhaps I am lecturing but I think this woman needs a bit of a lecture without, as I say, being overly critical.

She did abandon her cat which arguably is a crime in the UK. It is an act, arguably, of animal cruelty or abuse. The cat was rescued fortunately but what if the cat hadn't been rescued? What if the cat had been attacked by a dog inside her carrier? What if some idiotic person had found the cat and abused her. There are many possibilities.

Apparently the RSPCA are investigating the abandonment. That tells us that they see that it as at least potentially a crime under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Animal abandonment per se is animal cruelty. It depends on how it pans out as to whether it is an actually act of cruelty.

Lee Ricketts, an RSPCA investigating animal rescue officer said that Mila was "very likely to be found when she was. It was getting dark and it was unlikely that there would be much footfall in the park for the rest of the evening or on Christmas Day. She could have been attacked by a dog or a fox and the cold weather could have been really dangerous as well as having no food or water in the carrier. She was taken to Finsbury Park animal Hospital for a check up and is now at an RSPCA branch."

Monday, January 1, 2024

Woman watched her neighbor abandon their cat and then gave him a new life until he passed

Woman watched her neighbor abandon their cat and then gave him a new life until he passed
Rolo being abandoned. Screenshot.

The first part of this story is all in the video which I found charming of course. What I really love about this video is this charming woman talking about the cat opposite, over the road who was abandoned by their owner. The cat's name is Rolo. He's quite masculine looking with quite a square face which indicates to me that he was neutered after puberty, relatively late in life. 

He's got that masculine appearance which I like in male cats. Sadly, a lot of male cats have a slightly feminised appearance because of neutering before puberty but that's a personal viewpoint and a different topic.

This woman observed Rolo over the road and saw the moment that he was abandoned, as her neighbours drove away in their car. His former owner even petted Rolo on the head before she disappeared into the sunset never to be seen again. Rolo waited patiently outside the home. He appears to have been and remained a mainly outdoor cat.

His owners never returned and the kindness in the woman who tells the story, was kindled by seeing Rolo alone and abandoned. Like a lot of good people she had to do something which was to firstly gain his trust by feeding him and then gain his trust some more by playing with him and then eventually adopting him, bringing him into her family. 

A family that was going to be better at caregiving than the previous one. She lives with a nice man as well who is good at making toys and is sensitive to her desire to help this cat. It was a good ending.

Rolo landed on his feet and was in a better home; all thanks to her, this charming whose name, I just discovered (at the end of the video) is Maria Montes. And I have searched out her social media channel: TikTok mariamontes862.

Second part of the story

Having found Maria's TikTok channel, I then discovered some shocking news; Rolo had passed away. He must have been fairly elderly when she rescued him from her neighbour's abandonment. I don't know how many years Rolo lived with Maria and her husband but it probably wasn't that long, certainly not a full life. But a great life with her and her husband. She is a cat lover and a gentle, kind woman. The world needs more of them.

"Thank you for the life you’ve given him. You’re an amazing person for helping him live the best life possible. Fly high sweet boy 💕💕💕" - Koda a commenter on the above video.

"Thank you so much!! And thank you for loving our sweet baby rolo ♥️♥️" - Maria

Monday, December 25, 2023

High rise falls by pet cats and health consequences

A study looked at the injuries sustained by domestic cats under what is called 'high-rise syndrome' i.e. falling from an apartment block usually. I don't have the distances fallen but there is an optimum height at which the cat suffers the least injuries because the cat has the time to fan out their limbs flying squirrel style and slow their descent plus stabilise their body and land on their feet.

RELATED: Highest A Cat Has Fallen And Survived.

High rise falls by pet cats and health the consequences
Cat falling as the building was on fire. Image: Screenshot.

Here are the summarised findings:

  • 132 cats were studied over 5 months
  • The average age of the cats was 2.7 years. Comment: young cats which points to reckless behaviour by the cats and perhaps less than optimum concern or concentration by the cat owner.
  • 90% of the cats suffered some type of thoracic trauma (the thorax area of the cat's body: the chest).
  • 68% suffered pulmonary contusions (an injury to the lung parenchyma - portion of the lungs involved in gas exchange - in the absence of laceration to lung tissue or any vascular structures).
  • 63% had pneumothorax (the presence of air or gas in the cavity between the lungs and the chest wall, causing collapse of the lung.)
  • 55% had abnormal breathing.
  • 57% suffered injury to the face (facial trauma).
  • 39% suffered limb fractures.
  • 24% were in shock.
  • 18% had 'traumatic luxations'. I believe this to mean dislocations of joints.
  • 17% suffered hard palate fractures inside the mouth.
  • 17% were hypothermic.
  • 17% had dental fractures (damaged teeth).
  • 37% required emergency vet treatment.
  • 30% need non-urgent treatment.
  • 30% were observed and did not need treatment.
  • 90% of the cats survived
  • 10% died.
The study: Whitney WO, Mehlhaff CJ. High-rise syndrome in cats. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 1987 Dec;191(11):1399-1403. PMID: 3692980.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Cats like to play fetch just like dogs but when it suits them

There have been a number of studies about domestic cats playing fetch. And I know that you will find thousands of cat owners who attest to their cats' ability to play fetch just like a dog. They thoroughly enjoy it. For the cat it is play-hunting repeated. For the dog it is often a functional behaviour for which they been trained.

But for a cat, chasing a ball is like chasing a prey animal. They catch it, grab it in their jaws and then bring it back to their owner because they want to repeat the process. This is not an example of a working cat but a cat simply replicating the hunting process and in their relationship with their human caregiver they have learned that they can ask him or her to do certain things such as feed them, open doors and engage in a game of fetch.

That's my take on cats playing fetch and I'm going to refer to a study recently published online in the journal Scientific Reports.

They concluded that cats like to play fetch when they're in the mood. I would add to that and say that not all cats play fetch to the same level or at all. But it does come naturally to them provided they have the cognizance to bring the ball or object back to their owner to restart. That's the key because all cats will chase something but can they bring it back to their owner who threw it?

The researchers found that cats are more likely than dogs to have a particular item that they will play fetch with. They tend to reject other objects. And some refused to play with anything other than a cotton bud which is clearly an object which is more likely to elicit a game of fetch for a domestic cat.

In the study researchers also found that cats "only play in certain rooms and only fetch for particular people."

The researchers of the University of Sussex worked with 924 cat owners owning 1154 cats. All of these cats enjoyed playing fetch. The objective was to find out if the cat's behaviour was instinctive or whether the animals required training. They also wanted to find out if the cats initiated the game of fetch or it was initiated by the cats.

They concluded that: "For the vast majority, 94.4%, fetching appeared to be an instinctive behaviour in the cats. They also found that most of the cat started fetching as kittens or young cats with 36.7% reported to 1st fetch under the age of seven."

Note: they have appeared to have missed the point that playing fetch for a cat is playing at hunting with a modification: bringing the 'prey animal' back to the owner to restart as mentioned.

The lead researcher, Jemma Forman, of the University of Sussex said: "Our findings show that cats dictate this behaviour to directly influence how their human owners respond."

I would suggest that normally nearly all games of fetch with a domestic cat are instigated by the owner in a desire to please the cat, to exercise their cat and to mentally stimulate them in what might otherwise be a less than optimal environment by which I mean the full-time indoor cat environment. The game is then continued with the input of the cat playing the game.

But the cats participating in this study normal started the fetching play session as they were trained up to do that. That had got used to these play sessions:

"Cats initiated and terminated fetching bouts more often than did their owners. Thus, cats who fetch demonstrate independent and co-ordinated agency in the onset and maintenance of fetching behaviour with their human partners."

My thanks to The Times  - Kaya Burgess

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