Saturday, October 29, 2011

Beauty Queen Ragdoll Cat

Beauty queen by fofurasfelinas
Beauty queen, a photo by fofurasfelinas on Flickr.
A beautiful Ragdoll cat born and raised in Brazil at Blumenkatzen cattery.

Is this a lynx pointed Ragdoll? Is there such a type of Ragdoll? All Ragdoll cats are pointed by pointing these days is sometimes very subtle. I have just checked and the CFA allow a wide range of lynx pointing for Ragdoll cats.

Her name is Colbye and she has an amazing ruff (collar of fur around the head).

The photographer is Giane Portal. She is the best cat photographer in Brazil and quite famous.

This the link to Blumenkatzen's website.
The photo on this page is protected by copyright ©. Violations of copyright are reported to (DMCA).

Saturday, October 22, 2011

What wild cats are in Australia?

There are no wild cat species in Australia. Surprising isn't it? There are ten wild cat species in nearby Southeast Asia.

There are many feral cats in Australia. The Australian authorities don't like feral cats, which could qualify as wildcats. The local governments think that the feral cat damages native species. They are allowed to shoot them in some states.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Genetically engineered hypoallergenic cat

Ashera GD - F1 or F2 Savannah cat?
Photo copyright Lifestyle Pets
There is no such cat as the genetically engineered hypoallergenic cat. It is simpler than that. Some individual cats are hypoallergenic meaning less likely to cause an allergic reaction in a person who is allergic to cats.

Lifestyle Pets (Allerca) who sell hypoallergenic cats have used genetic testing techniques to isolate those cats that are hypoallergenic. They started with a desirable cat that was already somewhat hypoallergenic, the Savannah cat. Using DNA testing they bred from individual cats that were the best from a hypoallergenic standpoint. That is how I understand what is going on. In other words these cats are naturally hypoallergenic not engineered to be that way.

They don't just sell F1 and F2 Savannah cats which is the Ashera GD. They also sell standard moggie cats that are supposed to be hypoallergenic such as the Chakan GD which is a pointed cat. I suspect that they simply found cats that produced less of the Fel D1 protein that causes the allergic reaction bred from that.

This is all on the basis that we believe that their cats are actually hypoallergenic, which by the way does not mean totally non-allergy producing but less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Agouti gene - what is it?

The agouti gene is probably the best known of the genes in the cat breeding world (the cat fancy). It is one of genes that is responsible for the tabby cat. If a cat has banded or ticked hair strands the cat carries the dominant agouti gene symbolized by the letter A. This gene signals the creation of the dark and light agouti banding on each hair. Alternately the non-agouti gene (a/a) signals the creation of solid colored hairs.

The agouti gene signals the on-off creation of eumelanin a pigment produced in a cell called a melanocyte. Eumelanin is black-brown in color. When the agouti gene has not signalled the creation of eumelanin a pigment called phaeomelanin is produced in the melanocyte. Phaeomelanin is red-yellow in color. The melanocyte feeds the pigment into the hair follicle.
Tabby cat hair strand showing banding of pigmentation

The message (signal) to create these two different types of pigment is effected by the action of a protein molecule called the agouti peptide and a hormone called the Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone (MSH).

The tabby gene dictates how the hairs are positioned throughout the body so it dictates how the tabby pattern appears. It works in conjunction with the agouti gene to create the well known tabby cat of which there are three types: classic blotched, spotted and mackerel or striped.

Behaviors of dying cat

I know a bit about the behavior of a dying cat because my cat is dying at the moment. The title is what people search for. It is not good English. My lady cat is about 19 years old. I don't know here actual age because I found her on the street in London, UK. It was not far from the place where the film Notting Hill was made.

So, what is her behavior like? She is very frail. She is bony. She eats well but does not put on weight. She has a tumor on her right kidney. She has an infection. She has a heart murmur too and she is anemic.

She sleeps all the time, 24/7, except to eat and go to the toilet. She spends all her time outside in a garden; day and night. She sleeps in the middle of the garden and it is a communal garden.

I have difficulty waking her sometimes. She seems dead sometimes but she is not. She drinks a lot probably because she has kidney failure.

She also has dementia. She recognises me but is not the same cat that I knew. I love her the same though.
Binnie. I love you.

I wonder why she stays out all the time. I think she is going back to her roots, to nature to die.

One day I will wake up and she will be dead. The weather is getting cold at night but I can't keep her in because she tries to get out and gets stressed.

The best thing for her and me is that she does die on that lawn one night. I have made contact with a cremation service that is not too far away. Her ashes will be placed in an urn that contains the ashes of my previous lady cat, Missie. I loved Missie dearly. When I die my ashes will be placed with the ashes of all my cats, mixed together and I haven't decided what will happen to those ashes.

My lady cat is called Binnie. I give her antibiotics every day, twice a day. She is used to it now. I use a pill gun.

Here is a picture of her taken about a week ago (top right). Update: Binnie died 23rd November 2011. She was euthanised. I had to do it as she was seriously, terminally ill on multiple levels and had stopped eating. I had brought her inside and took her out on a lead occasionally. I had her cremated individually so that I know for sure I have her ashes, which are placed with the ashes of my previous cat in a casket....

I loved her unconditionally.

See also: When to euthanise a cat.

Cat Heaven

Cat Heaven by Caza_No_7
Cat Heaven, a photo by Caza_No_7 on Flickr.
Here is a cat in cat heaven; in front of a warm fire on a nice carpet in a nice home, well fed and cared for.

What would consider to be cat heaven? It has to be good food first. Nice calm non-hostile environment with plenty of opportunity to behave normally and express normal desires etc.

Cat heaven above all should be safe from danger such as cars and predators and disease.

Cat heaven must be a place where you get medical treatment when required.

Lastly there is plenty of love and interaction between cat and human. The human in cat heaven loves cats and understands cats.

The human in cat heaven knows that you can't force a cat to do something and that punishment is not a good idea but positive reinforcement is much better.

Lastly cat heaven is a place where the cat gets to keep his claws.

Feral Egyptian Mau in Kuwait

cat-on-rocks-2 by octal
cat-on-rocks-2, a photo by octal on Flickr.
Is this an Egyptian Mau stray cat at a Kuwaiti dock?

This cat looks very like the feral Egyptian Maus that you you in Egypt on the streets. There they are persecuted but in the USA they are selectively breed to look amazing.

This cat has a distinct wild cat appearance with the prominent spots and leg banding. It reminds me of the African wild cat actually. The cat is rangy, slender etc.

It seems to be quite plausible that there are domestic and feral cats in the Middle East that are descendants of the African wild cat.

One well known informal purebred wild cat hybrid is the Bahraini Dilmun.

Via Flickr:
Cat walking across rocks on kuwaiti marina

Is a cat a mammal?

Yes, a cat is a mammal. It is classified as being in the class mammalia and in the order of carnivora.

This is the full classification:

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Felis
Species: F. catus

Mammals are classified as mammals because they are a group of animals that breath air, have backbones, possess hair and have mammary glands for feeding young.

Associated: How do you pronounce "Felidae".

Video on declawing cats

This is me talking about declawing cats. I hate it. It is cruel and horrible as far as I am concerned and I guess you can see that from the video.

It is slightly weird video. I made it using my Apple Mac Photo Booth software so I am speaking to the computer. The software allows you add some visual effects.

I added the text later using Sony Vegas Platinum video creation software. I live in England so that is why I find declawing shocking. We just don't do it over here. It is part of the American culture though. It is hard to shake off that kind of thing.

8 cities in Calif have banned declawing so there is a body of people in America that dislike it but California is not representative of the USA I am told. I don't expect other states to follow suit. California as a state refused to pass a statewide ban. The governor vetoed the bill (2010).

Are cats ticklish?

I don't know if cats are ticklish. I don't think they are because wherever I tickle her she does not laugh or giggle! She does not respond to tickling on the stomach. On the hind paws she pulls her legs away sometimes. This is typical of domestic cats it appears. I don't think that necessarily qualifies her as being ticklish but maybe you disagree with that.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Who is the tallest cat in the world?

Her name is Magic or Scarlet's Magic. She a first filial Savannah cat and she is an outstanding cat with massive presence but a gentle domestic cat character. Can't beat it. The measurement is from ground to shoulder (17.1 inches or 43.43 centimeters) and she is a Guinness World Record holder at the date of this post. Here she is:

Magic was born and raised at A1 Savannahs near Ponca City in Oklahoma, USA. Her father was a serval wildcat and her mother a domestic cat, probably a Savannah cat. Another very tall and impressive F1 Savannah cat is Titan.

Who is the cat chasing tweety?

The cat who chases Tweety is Sylvester. The bird is called Tweety Bird and the cartoon cat is usually referred to as Sylvester the Cat. They fought it out over 44 cartoon episodes.

Sylvester is one of the best known cartoon cat characters.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Where do cats hide?

The domestic cat will hide under any available object. Cats like to place something over them when hiding. This seems to be more important than placing a barrier in front of them or behind them when hiding.

This may be because they frequently hide from people and people are very tall in relation to the domestic cat. The cat therefore sees the danger as coming from above and seeks protection from a threat above them.

A cat will hide for self protection when under threat of intimidation, aggression and/or violence against him or her.

It need not be an actual threat but one that the cat thinks is a threat. Accordingly, if the cat has been moved to new surroundings he will probably hide under something as he is unsure of the surroundings and what threats might be there. It is a precautionary measure by the cat. Over time the cat will be reassured that all is well and come out.

A cat sleeping in a quiet, out of the way, corner of the house is not a cat that is hiding. This cat has simply found a nice quiet spot for undisturbed and safe sleep.

Cats are very adept at hiding. Even in small places such as a home it can be very difficult sometimes to find a cat. You can be within a few feet of a cat and still not see her if she is hiding in a garden.

If looking for a cat that is hiding, look under objects. But this is not a guarantee of finding your cat as their behavior will vary from cat to cat and from circumstance to circumstance.

Is declawing a cat cruel?

Some people think declawing is cruel and some people don't.  The thing is this: the declawing of cats only happens in one region, North America - the USA and Canada. Many countries would consider it animal cruelty under their animal cruelty laws. I am referring to European countries.

In the UK if a veterinarian declawed a cat for the convenience of the cat's owner the vet could be prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 for animal cruelty (section 4 Unnecessary suffering would be applicable amongst other sections I suspect). It just does not happen in the UK. No one considers it as an option. It is not in the mind. Most people have not heard of it, probably.

On that basis alone we have to conclude that declawing cats is cruel. How do you define cruelty? The dictionary definition is: "causing pain or suffering".

On that simple definition cat declawing is cruel because it is a very painful operation despite painkillers which are given these days. In the past pain killers were not given sometimes as I recall reading somewhere. The idea was to make sure the cat did not put pressure on her paws to prevent re-opening the wound. Now that really is very cruel.

It is not just the physical pain associated with amputating the last joint of the ten toes of the forepaws (sometimes all for paws are declawed though). There is good evidence that some cats suffer psychological pain too. Unfortunately it is hard to obtain solid scientific information on this sort of subject.

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