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Showing posts from December, 2007

Cat and Dog Pictures Blog

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This is not a Cat and Dog Pictures Blog but I love to see cats with other animals. Dogs are a lot bigger than cats normally so to see a cat relaxed with a dog indicates a lot of trust. We normally associate dogs chasing cats. This has been reinforced through cartoons and films. But this need not be the case. In fact cats can form relationships with just about any animal. You may have seem pictures of cats and horses as an example on the internet. How can this come about? Apparently a cat's fear of other species (meaning species that are naturally able to cause injury) doesn't develop until the kitten is 7 weeks of age. If during the first 6 weeks of life the kitten is introduced to other animals then a lifelong bond can form. If the kitten is able to play with another animal, and I guess this is more likely to happen with a more naturally gentle animal such a Labrador dog, accompanied by lots of head and body rubbing (the transmission of the cats scent to the other animal) then

Cat Eating Grass

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Why? Looks strange. Maybe cats just like it. I always wondered why my cat likes to pop out and almost one of the first things she does is to chew on grass. Sometimes (thankfully rarely, it seems) a cat will chew on the next available thing, a house plant, and some of them are poisonous. You can see a list here. I actually thought it was something to do with the digestive system of cat and a means to improve it - a bit like eating roughage for humans! Some experts though it was a means to making themselves sick to throw up hairballs. It seems that the jury is still out on this but the likely explanation is that the cat is chewing on (normally long grass) to extract the sap or juice in the grass as it contains a substance that is not normally obtainable in her diet and which is vital to her. The chemical that the cat needs is folic acid, a substance that aids the body's production of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a substance in the red blood cells of the body that contains iron and whi

CHAKAN GD

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The Chakan GD is a cat that is bred by LifeStyle Pets (the parent company of Allerca). She is one a trio of cats, the others being the Allerca GD and the Ashera GD (there is also a non-hypoallergenic Ashera - the GD indicates that she is hypoallergenic). The Chakan is a cross between the Allerca GD (the original hypoallergenic cat) and a Traditional Siamese (I have guessed this as the appearance of the Chakan is not extreme and Modern Siamese are extreme in appearance). The Chakan has a pretty classic Siamese appearance, with blue eyes and points. The company says that her character is similar to the Siamese. Her size though is smaller than the average Siamese. The Siamese has an average weight, while this cat weighs on average 6-8 pounds (2.5-3.5 kg), which would put her towards the small end of the cat weight/size spectrum. Lifestyle Pets are confident that their cats are truly hypoallergenic as they provide a guarantee as far as I remember and there are testimoni als. Also, in my l

Traditional Cat Breeds

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There is a gradual and perhaps growing movement towards a return to a more sensible approach to cat breeding and registration of breeds A number of recognized cat breeds are, it could be argued, created artificially or have evolved through modern (and I think misdirected) breeding practices. The underlying reason for this is always commerce. I know this sounds cynical but it must be the reason. Commerce is not a bad thing obviously. But in relation to living creatures it can be and usually is. There are two outstanding examples that come to mind, the Modern Siamese and the Persian cat.   Classic and Modern Siamese The original Siamese is the one I used to know, a standard looking cat with color points, you know, the classic looking Siamese cat. This cat was until recently no longer rec ognized by the major cat registers as the breed had evolved into the Modern Siamese a rather fragile unhealthy looking cat with a tiny head. Strange and interesting looking - yes, but normal lo

Cats Animal Testing

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This is a follow up on the other 2 posts on animal testing that I have made. It is so easy to forget about the cruelty of animal testing as it is out of sight ("out of sight out of mind"). The concept of out of sight out of mind pervades all we do. For example, we can't see pollution from second hand cigarette smoke. Sure you see it being released from the cigarette, but at low levels when it is gradually released from objects where it has been sitting for along time, it is impossible to see it. If we can't see it, it doesn't exist, almost. Research indicates a lot of damage done to passive smokers. 30,00o people in the UK die of passive smoking every year. Think what it is like in the poorer countries being targeted by the cynical cigarette manufacturers. So if we can't see cats being used in animal testing experiments, we forget about it. That's why I am posting some photographs with the permission of the person who has copyright. All the photos are copy

Cat Bravery

Animal (and for me cat) bravery is very touching. In the UK there is a medal called the Dickin Medal which is awarded to animals for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty while serving for the armed forces. It is the animals' Vitoria Cross. The Victoria Cross is the highest award for gallantry in the UK. The award is very rarely made. There are some incredible stories of gallantry so you can image that the animals awarded the Dickin Medal have been outstanding in carrying out their duties in war. 60 Dickin Medals have been awarded since its inception in 1943 by Maria Dickin CBE who founded the PDSA a large animal charity employing about 1500 people. Of these 60 there is only one cat, Simon who has been awarded the medal. Simon served on HMS Amethyst a ship of the size of a frigate as a rat catcher. He found his way on board when a member of the crew spotted him in Hong Kong. At the time he was smuggled on board he was sickly. He endeared himself to the crew and kept the rat

Cat Trespassing

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Cat trespassing can be irritating or worse for some people. I used to live in a bungalow with a garden and my darling Missie who was killed on the road outside the bungalow used to go next door. The next door neighbours didn't like it and I can understand that as he was a keen gardener. Cats can make a bit (but only a bit) of a mess in a garden sometimes. He simply made some noise and she came back. What if he had put in place deterrents that caused injury to my cat? In the UK there are one or two things that can be done although the law is a bit of a mess on this. It is also untested. The Occupiers Liability Act is designed to protect anyone who is injured as a result of the negligence of the occupier of the building or land. So for example, if I visited a persons house at Christmas and his staircase collapsed and caused injury, the person who occupied the house could be liable in negligence (the tort of negligence) and be required to pay compensation. The liability extends

Cat Fur

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Allegedly cat fur is being produced in Belgium under the noses of MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) while the MEPs proudly declare that there will be a ban on the importation (mainly from China) of cat and dog fur into Europe generally starting 2009. Several countries in the EU already ban the importation. Although how effective it is, is another business. The UK can't even control immigration so how will it control the importation of fur that is misleadingly labeled? The alleged farming of cat and dog fur in Belgium (Brussels) is not news (it was announced over a year ago) but it needs to be pushed out over and over again if things are to change. The apathy of the European Parliament in banning cat and dog fur is highlighted by the fact that the US banned it in 2000. And to allow the fur trade to thrive on the doorstep of the European Parliament is an insult (the preparatory meetings and complementary, non-plenary sessions of the Parliament take place in Brussels) to us a

Cats and Creationism

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"In my humble opinion, non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good" - Gandi Evil means: Morally bad or wrong; wicked; Causing ruin, injury, or pain; harmful. Evil is normally accompanied by intention to do wrong or a disregard for doing wrong. I think that it is inherently wrong (perhaps evil) to conduct experiments on animals and for me, most particularly on cats, although I treat all animals the same. Cats apparently are used for neurological research. More then 25,000 were used in the USA in year 2000. More than 50% suffered pain and or distress. I refer to animal testing on Safari cats (a tamed wild cat of great distinction and presence) in my website Pictures of Cats on this page . These wonderful cats were "tested to destruction" (as are cars in their manufacture). I believe that we should do our best to improve the amount of contentment in the world. That means for ourselves as that imp

Cats in Animal Testing

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"Latest figures show Animal Testing is up overall by 3.2% to 12.1 million in 2005. This includes 3,600 Cats . This is despite European Commission and member state's individual promises to reduce and replace the use of animals in experiments." This comes from an email circulated amongst a Yahoo Group. I am not sure if this relates to Europe or worldwide. Either way it's a large figure. Animal testing has to be fundamentally wrong. I know it can be argued that for certain kinds of research it could be justified. Research into life saving drugs being an example. However, even for this kind of research it presupposes that we (as human animals) are more important and more valuable than other animals, which justifies killing other animals to save the lives of human animals. That just doesn't sound correct to me. But it does sound correct to many people. The world is still pretty basic in its thinking. In 1000 years we will look back at 2007 and think that we were barbar

Cat Gum Disease

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Gum disease is periodontal disease to use long words. "Periodontal" means relating to the gums and bone supporting and surrounding the teeth. I've seen this a lot in cats. My cat, Binnie has really good teeth and gums, however, for a cat of her age (about 14+ years). This is probably due to her having a diet of biscuits, fish and good wet cat food and being a true blue Moggie (extremely hardy stock). Every time she yawns I look inside mouth :). She looks fine at the moment. A lot of modern cat food does not replicate the kind of teeth cleaning properties of food caught in the wild. Gum disease is the most common form of dental disease affecting 80-90% of the feline population. Of course humans have exactly the same problem. The disease is caused by the build up of plaque around the tooth. Plaque is a mixture of food debris, salivary proteins and bacteria. The way it is controlled in humans is to either or both: use a mouth wash or go to a dental hygienist who scra

A Cat's Common Cold

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Cats get colds just like us only for a cat we call it Infectious Rhinitis (the same term is used for humans too). Vets seem to call cat colds "cat flu". However, the word "flu" is short for influenza and this is a much more severe illness than the common cold and caused by a different virus. It can lead to pneumonia. "Rhinitis" is a term describing irritation to the nose. "Infectious" refers to the infection of a virus. For a cat the virus concerned is feline herpesvirus (FHV) and feline calicivirus (FCV). 80% of cat flu is due to these viruses. These are conditions that are very important to cat breeders as they must be controlled and absolutely minimized. They are most common in cats under 6 months of age. Also the infection (understandably) in most likely to take hold in an environment where there are several or more cats as in a cattery. I have read some unfortunate stories about cats being bought that have these symptoms, which have been hi

Cat Intelligence

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We are the most intelligent animals in the world, we think. Each day we learn more about the different forms of intelligence of our fellow animals. Yes, we are animals and so are the other creatures on this planet. There are apparently 9 types of intelligence. In some forms the " others " beat us. Here very briefly are some examples how our humble moggie beats us hands down. Kinesthetic Int elligence This relates to the ability to use a range of physical skills and "manipulate" objects. I presume this means to handle objects deftly. It is also reflected in great timing and co-ordination. "Timing" refers to the sequence of events in a certain action (such as jumping) that maximizes the use of the effort put in). Think of all our best sports people and dancers for example. Now think of the cat. The WOW factor. The sheer ease with which a cat jumps up and lands on a flat surface with dead weight. When I see a cat jump to the kitchen counter he uses the exa

Giving Cat Medicine

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Giving cat medicine can be a pain in the ***. Cats can be very difficult when you want to get a pill down or give her some liquid medicine. It's a huge put off and you are liable to not give all the medicine prescribed. Of course you must do as your vet ordered :) Vets will prescribe pills or liquid medicine. Pills The classic way to deliver these is to firstly hold your cat's head firmly. I think that you have to demonstrate to your cat that you are the boss and that must come across in a firm hold but obviously not too firm. It will help is you have someone to assist to keep her still and further send the message that you both mean business and that it is better to submit. That should make the process easier. But always act with caution and sensitivity to the cat's feelings. With the head held firmly, you pry (gently but firmly force open the mouth) with a finger of the other hand. Speed is important too. The faster the easier. If you take too long the moment is pass

Sphynx Cat Breeders

Sphynx cat breeders are best found, at least initially, on the internet. Let's say that today (2011) searching for a breeder probably starts on the internet. A search can be made more efficient by checking the breeder's website with a critical eye as you can learn quite a lot from a website about the kind of people that you are going to deal with when you come to adopt a cat. However, I agree with a comment to this post, that a breeder does not have to have a website at all to be a good breeder. It is just that an excellent website gives a good impression. However, there is no substitute for visiting the breeding cattery and asking questions. Helmi Flick says it is a must in fact. It is common sense really. First and foremost and more important than the way the site looks, it has to be functional. That means readability, excellent content and good navigation. Some noticeable inbound links to the site in question would indicate that people want to link to the site. This indic

Sphynx Cat Picture

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A Sphynx cat picture is rather hard to get hold of as this breed is rare. However, I've just been to the National Cat Club Show 2007 in London and got one or two pictures. Also, Helmi Flick has photographed on or two Sphynxs in her time and (yes there are more), one of the Flickr photographers has taken some great pictures of Sphynxs. Perhaps the best thing to do is to provide some links to places on the net where you can see the very best Sphynx cat pictures (actually photographs) both amateur and professional. Here are the links: On this blogger go here On the internet go here On the internet try this An finally here is one more link The photoraph on this page is by Helmi Flick and her copyright

Cat Allergies and Realities

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The reality is that if you think that you have a cat allergy you may not. If you have an allergy it may not be the cat. If you love your cat and she loves you it would be a hell of a shame (for the cat :)) to part company on a mistake. Or, if you do have an allergy to cats you may have allergies to more than just a cat allergen so kissing your cat goodbye won't help. First things first, find out what your allergic to. This can be done through a blood test I believe. Try and convince your doctor to do a thorough check of all the possible irritants - get the figures, the data before taking big steps. Timmy the stray boy cat who has set up home here is the first cat to whom I am slightly allergic. I'm a bit shocked in fact. He makes me itch as if I've got dermatitis. But it won't stop me seeing him and I think it's starting to ease a bit. Perhaps I am adjusting to the allergen in his saliva. If the tests establish that you are allergic to cats, the tests may also sh

Cats communicating with scent

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Cats communicating with scent is possible because they have a fine sense of smell, much better than ours. It so good that they have developed a vocabulary around it. This vocabulary is as good as the written word filed away in the filing cabinet or posted on a banner over the shop front. It is also as precise as the written word and much more precise than some of the stuff written by some humans :) Fair enough, we also use scent to certain extent to send signals usually to the opposite sex, with perfume for example. Strange though that we have to cover up our own smell with something artificial? It must mean we don't like our own smell. Cats don't have that low self-esteem so they're better than us in that area too. How do cats make transmittable odors? Feces, urine and scent glands. I know it sounds a bit gruesome for humans but we are really too sensitive about these things. I've talked about Timmy a boy cat who has entered our lives here in London (he's just walk

The National Cat Club Show 2007 Part 2

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Here's some more photographs from the 2007 National Cat Club Show. The club is the oldest in the world. Click on the "Cat Show" label in the left margin for more on this show. This charming little cat was on her Mom's shoulder while she chatted to someone. Humbug Holly a non-pedigree cat looking like one. He is a kitten (you wouldn't believe it) and he posed calmly and with purpose for the camera. This is Dillon an Exotic Shorthair (a mix of Persian - the Ultra Face - and British Shorthair). He looks regal and the boss. This is Casper a Sphynx kitten of 16 weeks looking a bit agitated but he was a great boy. It is pretty stressful potentially for some of the cats, while they wait to be judged in their cages. Some hide under a comfort blanket, some sleep in the cat litter and some go half way and make a little nest with the help of their mistress in the blanket. This is an example.

Women Prefer Cats to Men

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I receive a newsletter from Dr. Jon who runs a website called PetPlace. They asked their readers some questions about cats and men - "54.1% preferred the company of cats to men" and only a miserly 5.6% preferred the company of men. OK, so women prefer cats. Not a bad decision really. I prefer cats too :) What do men refer? I am not sure why the survey didn't put the same question to men about women and cats. Maybe they did but we haven't heard the result yet. Maybe 55% of men prefer cats to women but I think that highly unlikely. Why? Because if men are to prefer another animal to women, the animal would be a dog. In another posting I discussed why women prefer cats to dogs and why men prefer dogs to cats. That is at least a partial answer as to why women prefer cats to men. By the way women still need men and that must be why they stick around. Why do they need men? Because we run the world. Back to cats.. The reason why women prefer cats to dogs is because they a

The National Cat Club Show 2007

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Well, I'm back from The National Cat Club Show 2007 at London Olympia. This is an old venue for exhibiting and it looks it but is a nice space. I think it is just the right size for this show. I found the GCCF show at the NEC a little to "extended" as the venue may have been a tiny bit too spacious. I'm a little surprised at how fast the judging takes place. Also at this show there were no rings. "Rings" are areas to which cats are moved from "holding cages" to be judged. At this show the judges go around with a steward (to help handle the cat) and a table on wheels where the cat is judged. They go to the cat in her holding cage as opposed to the cat being taken to the judge. I changed my mind about Sphynx cats. I had thought them a little unnatural and frankly not that attractive, but I meet a really nice little fella called Casper, a 16 week old Sphynx who was just at an age when he could be shown and get some merit points. He had an elder br

The National Cat Club Show 2007

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The National Cat Club is having it's annual show at Olympia, London today 8th December. As I live about 3 miles away in Barnes I'm going with the camera. Barnes is just over the river Thames from the Fulham area where the Olympia exhibition halls are situated. The National Cat Club is the oldest in world so they claim and it can be believed as it was founded in 1887. The club was the Governing Body of the Cat Fancy until 1910 when the GCCF took over. If you read about cat shows it seems to me that all the early major shows were held at Crystal Palace. The first as far as I am aware was held there in 1871 and this was the National Cat Club Show. When researching the history of cat breeds Crystal Palace comes up time and again. I am currently working on the Abyssinian Cat. This breed was imported into England in about 1874 from Abyssinia by a soldier, who it is presumed was in Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) as part of the military forces there in the lead up to the Abyssinian

Your cat wants you to breast feed her.

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Humans often succumb to infantile behavior. Your cat has her moments too. And there are lots of them for a domestic cat. As humans we keep our cats in a perpetual state of kitten hood, until they wander out at night (if you allow that) and instantly become wild cats stalking prey. There is no need to stalk prey indoors though. If your cat is a lap cat you've probably felt your cat's claws on your legs. When you sit down you are giving a signal that you are a mummy cat ready to breast feed your cat. Your cat jumps up and being reduced to infantile pleasure kneads your legs/knee in simulating what she would do if she were at the breast of a real mother cat. In kneading your knee she is stimulating the production of milk. The trouble is it's your knee so not much milk is going to be produced. Still acting on instinct she presses on and may even salivate all over you in anticipation of the meal to come. It is your beholden and avowed duty to play along. You should not move or b

Cat Swaying and Jumping

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My little and now old girl cat, Binnie, can still jump, when she puts her mind to it. However, it's not that far. She has lost a lot of her jumping power and walks a little stiffly - all to be expected as she is about 14 years old. As jumping is more difficult for her she has to think about a jump more. She also has to concentrate more and this shows. She sways her head from side to side a lot and for longer before making a jump. She moves her head from side to side to use her binocular vision to maximum effect in judging the distance accurately. When the head is moved the eyes see the target object from a different angle allowing the brain to better compute the distance and the force required to jump to the exact spot. For a predator inch perfect precision in required as she is in fact pouncing on prey. The African Serval is particularly adept at this as she leaps into the air and drops onto small prey such as rodents, stunning them on impact with her front paws. For Binnie, life

Cat's Laser Eyes

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There are masses of photographs on the internet of cats that have been taken with flash on the camera. When the flash is on the camera the light from the flash reflects off objects at an angle which results in the reflected light returning close to or at the position on the camera lens. If you are photographing a cat this way you often get a picture of a cat with laser eyes and a funny cheeseburger caption. You get "red eye" when the same thing happens to a person. Why are cat's eye reflections brighter? This phenomenon has been known for decades hence the term "cats eyes" when referring to the center lines on roads (there are much fewer than years ago). The reason is bound up with the cat's ability to see better in the dark than humans. Behind the retina of the cat's eyes is a reflective material which is designed to boost the image received by the eye. In modern parlance it is an image intensifier. Human eyes reflect red (the color of blood, which fe

Japanese Bobtail

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I have just been working on building a page about the Japanese Bobtail. This cat is steeped in history going back it is said 1000 years or so when the breed was supposedly imported into Japan from China or Korea. The fact is that nearly all cat breed histories are vague except those that have been deliberately created by man's intervention (by cross breeding). Although some cats have been fairly recently discovered such as the Muchkin dwarf cat. The point is that a number of new breeds recently discovered have probably been around for some time in parts of the world where there is no cat fancy (cat lover associations). People in some countries would not be at all interested in a slightly strange looking cat. Mutations that cause hairlessness, for example, have been around all over the world for many years, but it is in places like the USA where people take action on discoveries as there is ultimately a commercial gain and perhaps status to be had. Mutations occur natu

Is Domestication bad for a cat?

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The answer is a qualified "no". Life for a domestic cat is easier. Domestic cats live an average of 10-12 years or more and about 3 years or so when feral. Although this is probably a distorted statistic as feral cats are in, my opinion, living in an unnatural way. They are living in suburban areas still relying to a certain extent on humans. But everything that is more comfortable for us is not necessarily good for us. An animal (and I include human animals) need challenge, some stress, a target, a motivation etc to live in balance. When it's too easy (think of rich kids) things can go wrong - drugs, drink, bad behavior due in part to boredom and lack of direction. The same is surely true of cats or indeed any animal that has an unnaturally restricted or limited life. In domesticating herself the cat has sought and found an easier life, this was done instinctively some 9,500 years ago. But she also lost some essential challenges in her life. Our instincts don't alwa