Sunday, October 31, 2010

Why cats use a litterbox?

Small feral cats bury their feces to hide their trails from larger cats and other predators. Because it is easier to bury excrement in soft dirt, cats naturally seek out a sandy area to defecate. Burying feces may also be a sign of submission by smaller cats to larger cats in the wild. Most indoor cats bury their waste, possibly to display subordination to their humans.
Sometimes in multi-cat households, however, the dominant cat will leave waste uncovered to indicate his status.

Kitty Litter Cake!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The mysterious cat whiskers

  • Whiskers, like hair and nailsdo fall out and are replaced.
  • Whiskers are two to three times thicker than the cat's hair.
  • Whiskers are rooted very deep in the cat's face, in an area rich in nerves and blood vessels.
  • Whiskers are roughly as wide the cat's body.
  • An average cat has about 12 whiskers on each side of the nose, which are arranged in four horizontal rows, a few on each cheek, tufts over the eyes and bristles on the chin. Whiskers may also be found on the cat's "elbows".
  • Whisker tips are sensitive to pressure.
  • Whiskers help the cat feel his way around.
  • Whiskers are so sensitive that they can detect the slightest directional change in a breeze.
  • Whiskers are also an indication of the cat's attitude. Whiskers point forward when a cat is inquisitive and friendly, and lie flat on the face when the cat is being defensive or aggressive.
  • Whisker help a cat judge whether or not he'll fit through an opening.
  • The longest whiskers belong to a female Maine Coon called Mingo, owned by Marina Merne of Turku, Finland. In July 2004, one of Mingo's whiskers measured 6.8 inches (17.4 cm)!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cat body language - The ears

Cats may or may not vocalize much, although they have a wide vocabulary of sounds. Their main communication is through body language. Besides using their tails as a communication tool (see Tales of the cat tail), ears, legs, posture and eyes are all talking, giving us and other members of the animal kingdom clear messages.
  • The Flat Ears: These are seen on the defensive cat. They flatten them to protect them from the impending fight.
  • The Rotated Ears: A cat who is aggressive and hostile will flatten her ears slightly and rotate them forward to show the backs of the ear as near as possible. The ears are in a position where they can be flattened quickly. The cat is ready to fight.
  • The Agitated Ears: The ears may twitch when the cat is in an agitated or anxious state. The signal given off by this action is magnified if there are ear tufts.
  • The Alert Ears: The cat's eyes and pricked ears point forward towards the source of the sound. If there is another sound to one side the ear nearest will swivel to point in the direction of the source of the sound.
  • The Relaxed Ears: They point forward and outward slightly. Our cat listens passively.
  • Ears swiveled sideways like a swing-wing fighter – on the offensive
  • Ears pressed backward onto the head giving the appearance of a snake – extreme defense (ears folded back to protect them from harm)
  • One ear forward and one back – ambivalence
  • Ears rotating like radar dishes – listening carefully in an attempt to find the source of the sound.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Is your cat fat or skinny?

Keeping fat to a minimum is crucial to expanding your cat's life span, so it is important to visually and physically examine your cat. A cat's normal, healthy weight will vary depending on the breed, gender, and spay or neuter status. So here are some guidelines to determine if your cat's weight is normal.
  • Feel the cat's ribs. Ideally, there should be easily felt but not visibly sticking out. The ribs should be covered with a layer of fat, but not to an extent that would make it difficult to feel them. If you can see the ribs, the cat is too thin. If you can not feel them at all, the cat is very overweight.
  • Feel other bony prominences on the pet's body such as the the base of the tail, spine, shoulders, and hips. Anything more than light fleshiness indicates that your pet is above normal weight.
  • Look at the cat from above. The shoulders should be more broad and noticeable than the waist. The hindquarters should be broader than the waist. If the waist is significantly larger or very well rounded in comparison with the shoulders and hindquarters, the cat is overweight.
  • Look at the cat from the side. If the belly of a cat protrudes, the cat may be overweight. The area behind the ribs should be smaller in diameter than the chest.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Why does a cat go to the visitor who doesn't like cats?

When one cat is threatening another, it stares and frequently moves in toward the other cat. So staring and moving toward a cat is a way of displaying aggression. Ignoring a cat is the opposite of aggressive behavior, so the cat sees this as "cat-friendly" and inviting.
Usually, the person - your visitor - who doesn’t like cats, won’t be doing this. Instead he'll sit quitly, without looking or talking to the cat, hoping to be ignored by the cat. The cat, therefore, sees the person's behavior as "cat-friendly" and practically inviting.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Are all orange cats male?

Many of us have noticed that he majority of orange cats are male, but why? Well, the gene for the orange color is on the X chromosome. Since males have only one X, so will either be orange or not. Females have two X chromosomes, so can have another color on one of the X's, winding up with a non solid orange female cat. In other words, an orange female cat must have both an orange father and either an orange or calico mother, whereas an orange male only needs one parent to be orange or calico.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Why do cats rub against things and people?

Cats engage in various rubbing behaviours as a form of communication, to mark territory and reinforce group identity.
Cats have scent glands along the tail, on each side of their head, on their lips, base of their tail, chin, near their sex organs, and between their front paws. They use these glands to scent mark their territory. When the cat rubs you, he is marking you with his scent, claiming you as “his.” Also, he is picking up your scent. Many cats will hiss at a well-known human who has recently stroked a cat that is not part of the home group because they feel threatened by the other cat’s scent.
Cats often rub the sides of their faces on things, like furniture or doorways, an activity called “chinning.” They do this because they have scent glands on their chins and lips, and they use these to override the scents left by other animals. Often, when a cat encounters a residual scent left by another animal, he will engage in a prolonged episode of chinning until he is sure that he has claimed the spot for himself.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Famous cat lovers

Many famous people including inventors, scientists, artists, musicians, writers, political and military leaders, and humanitarians have been cat lovers. The following are just a few of them.
  • Ernest Hemingway, author, owned 30 Cats. His most unusual cat was a six-toed cat given to him by a ship's captain.
  • Sir Winston Churchill: Prime Minister of England [1874 - 1965], owned an orange tabby cat named Jock. He commissioned a painting of Jock, who slept in his bed every night and was even taken to all the wartime cabinet meetings.
  • Nostradamus: Seer and Prophet [1503 - 1566]. The French Astrologer had a cat named Grimalkin.
  • Abraham Lincoln: American President [1809], came into presidential office accompanied by Tabby, his son's cat. Tabby was the first of several White House cats.
  • Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) Scientist and philosopher, invented the cat-flap, likely so he wouldn't be disturbed by his cats' comings and goings!
  • Charles Dickens (1812-1870) Author. His cat, Willamena, produced a litter of kittens in his study. Dickens was determined not to keep the kittens, but he fell in love with one female kitten who was known as "Master's Cat". She kept him company in his study as he wrote, and when she wanted his attention she was known to snuff out his reading candle.
  • Albert Einstein (1879-1955) Physicist. Fond of animals, Einstein kept a tomcat named Tiger who tended to get depressed whenever it rained. One acquaintance recalled him saying to the melancholy cat: "I know what's wrong, dear fellow, but I don't know how to turn it off." Einstein was also quoted as saying, "A man has to work so hard so that something of his personality stays alive. A tomcat has it so easy, he has only to spray and his presence is there for years on rainy days."
... to be continued

Monday, September 20, 2010

Millionaire cats

Some of the felines seem to be much more fortunate than the others! Well that's life.
  • A millionaire lawyer has left £25,000 for his beloved cats. Andrew Nimmo-Smith had around 30 cats when he died aged 85. And he has ensured their care with a donation from his £4.8million estate!
  • A Canadian man has left a fortune to his beloved cat in his will. 79-year-old Batchelor David Harper made his fortune by working hard and living frugally. In his will Mr Harper has made Red, the 3 year old tabby cat, the sole beneficiary of the $1.1million estate so that Red will be cared for for the rest of his 9 lives!
  • When British recluse Ben Rea died, he left $15 million to various cat charities, and to his cat Blackie!
  • Tinker was a stray, regularly visiting Margaret Layne, an old widow. In return for Tinker's loyalty, he was awarded a fortune. There is a $226,000 trust fund for Tinker, as well as a new home - worth about $800,000. Tinker has been joined by two lovely female cats, Lucky and Stardust!
  • Beryl Reid was an actress. She had a lovely $1.8 million cottage. She was also famous for her love of cats. So, when she died, her cats Hamish, Boon, Eileen, Coco and Tuffnel inherited. A friend was commissioned to look after them as they lived in their house!
  • Mary Burton was a church organist in Great Paxton, Cambridgeshire, Enlgand. She left her entire estate to the Wood Green Animal Shelter, provided her cat - a ginger tom - was well cared for. Fluffy, the ginger tom, received $60,000, plus the ability to live in the house and be well cared for. His diet was even specified: steamed cod, lean roast beef, milk, frexh pilchards and vegetables. Fluffy also requires plenty of sun and relaxation!
  • Brownie and Hellcat: These felines each received $415,000 in the 1960s when their owner, Dr. William Grier, died. Charlie Chan, another cat beneficiary of Grier, received $250,000!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cat Heroes

Yes, there are plenty of feline heroes out there. Cats have saved humans in various ways. Below are some of their amazing stories.

Hero cat saves 97-year-old owner from pit-bull attack!
Hero Cat Roused Sleeping Owner as Carbon Monoxide Filled Family's Home
Hero cat up for a cong
Hero cat apparently dials 911 to help owner!

and the list goes on and on ...

Cat heroes
When cats save your life

What about your cat? I'm sure all of our cats have their heroic moments!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cat jokes

  • A tom cat hijacked a plane, stuck a pistol into the pilot's ribs and demanded: 'Take me to the Canaries'.
  • What is a cat's favourite subject in school? HISStory.
  • What is a cat's favourite colour? Purrrple!
  • What is a cat's favourite car? The Catillac.
  • Where did the kittens go on their class trip? To a mewseum.
  • What does a cat like to eat on a hot day? A mice cream.
  • How do cats end a fight? They hiss and make up.
  • How do you know when your cat has been using your computer? When your mouse has teeth marks on it!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Famous/ celebrity cats - Orangey

Orangey the Cat - an orange tabby - is the only feline double-winner of the Patsy Award, the animal kingdom's equivalent of the Oscar. Orangey won his first Patsy for his cinema debut in Rhubarb (1951), playing the eponymous baseball team-owning cat in the 1951 film. Ten years later, he won his second Patsy, playing "Cat" in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), a homeless feline described as a "poor slob without a name" by Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn), whom he visits. Other films that Orangey the Cat appeared in during his 15 year career, include The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), Gigot (1962), and Village of the Giants (1965). Orangey's longest gig was a recurring role as Minerva the Cat in the TV series "Our Miss Brooks" (1952) from 1952 through 1958.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Famous/ celebrity cats - Morris

The most famous cat in America, was a fourteen pound orange tabby charmer who was rescued from a Chicago animal shelter, by Bob Martwick, a professional animal trainer. Morris became spokes-cat for Purina’s 9 Lives cat food in 1969, and eventually became honorary director of Star-Kist Foods, with veto power over any cat food flavor he didn’t like. President Nixon invited Morris to co-sign (with a paw-print) the National Animal Protection Bill. Up until the time he died in 1978, Morris lived with Bob in a Chicago dog kennel where there was never any question who was top cat.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Interesting cat trivia

  • Researchers claim that the domestic cat has a vocal range of as many as sixty notes, from a gentle purr to growls of varying intensity
  • Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten
  • Just like fingerprints, every cats nose pad is different
  • Cats are the only four-footed animal, with the exception of camels and giraffes, that walk by moving their front and hind legs first on one side and then the other
  • With powerful leg muscles, especially in their hind legs, the domestic cat has been known to reach running speeds of up to twenty-five miles an hour
  • The top two rows of a cat's whiskers can move independently of the lower two rows. This allows maximum perception of the cat's immediate surroundings
  • A cat uses whiskers to determine if a space is too small to squeeze through. The whiskers act as antennae, helping the animal to judge the precise width of any passage
  • The lightness of a feline's tread can be attributed to the fact that they walk on their toes - the soles of their feet rarely touch the ground. The pillow-like balls of their paws allow them to prowl noiselessly in the wild

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer cats

Summer and cats, my two favorites! Well it's the last day of the summer ... but thankfully we still have the cats!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Cat proverbs from around the world

  • When the cat is away the mice will play. - Anonymous proverb, Idiom
  • It is better to feed one cat than many mice. - Norwegian
  • The cat always leaves a mark on his friend. - Spanish
  • It is better to be a mouse in a cat's mouth than a man in a lawyer's hands. - Spanish
  • The cat who frightens the mice away is as good as the cat who eats them - German
  • A cat is a lion to a mouse. - Albanian
  • The dog may be wonderful prose, but only the cat is poetry. - French
  • Handsome cats and fat dungheaps are the sign of a good farmer - French
  • The cat is nature's Beauty. - French
  • Happy is the home with at least one cat - Italian
  • Those who dislike cats will be carried to the cemetery in the rain. - Dutch
  • The cat has nine lives - three for playing, three for straying, and three for staying. - English
  • If you stared deep into a cat's eyes, you would be able to see into the world of spirits. - English
  • In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats. - English
  • A cat in grass is a tiger in the jungle. - English
  • Curiosity killed the cat, Satisfaction brought it back! - English
  • Beware of people who dislike cats. - Irish
  • Happy owner, happy cat. Indifferent owner, reclusive cat. - Chinese
  • All cats love fish but fear to wet their paws. - Chinese
  • I gave an order to a cat, and the cat gave it to its tail - Chinese
  • When rats infest the Palace a lame cat is better than the swiftest horse. - Chinese
  • He is as quiet as a cat. - Japanese
  • A cat is a lion in a jungle of small bushes. - Indian
  • That cat that has its mouth burned by drinking hot milk will not drink even buttermilk without first blowing upon it. - Indian
  • You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats. - American
  • After dark all cats are leopards. - American
  • If stretching were wealth, the cat would be rich. - African
  • A cat bitten once by a snake dreads even rope. - Arabian
  • An overdressed woman is like a cat dressed in saffron. - Egyptian
  • An old cat will not learn how to dance. - Moroccan
  • A cat may go to a monastery, but she still remains a cat - Ethiopian


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cat..oholic anonymous

Now let's see what anonymous people have said about cats. Enjoy!
  • There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast.
  • I got rid of my husband. The cat was allergic.
  • Never feed your cat anything that doesn't match the carpet.
  • Dogs have owners, cats have staff.
  • Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this.
  • There are many intelligent species in the universe. They are all owned by cats.
  • If you want to know the character of a man, find out what his cat thinks of him.
  • Every life should have nine cats.
  • It's very hard to be polite if you're a cat.
  • My husband said it was him or the cat...I miss him sometimes.
  • It's really the cat's house--we just pay the mortgage.
  • Beware of those who dislike cats.
  • The purity of a person's heart can be quickly measured by how they regard cats.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Famous cat quotes

Many famous people of all times are among cat lovers. Some of their sayings about our adorable little friends are:
  • "One cat justs leads to another." - Ernest Hemingway
  • "A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not." - Ernest Hemingway
  • "No matter how much cats fight, there always seems to be plenty of kittens." - Abraham Lincoln
  • "If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat." - Mark Twain
  • "If animals could speak the dog would be a a blundering outspoken fellow, but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much." - Mark Twain
  • "Dogs come when they're called; cats take a message and get back to you later." - Mary Bly
  • "There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats." - Albert Schweitzer
  • "If you are worthy of its affection, a cat will be your friend, but never your slave."- Theophile Gautier
  • "What greater gift than the love of a cat?" - Charles Dickens
  • "I am as vigilant as a cat to steal cream." - William Shakespeare, Henry IV
  • "I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat." - Edgar Allan Poe
  • "To respect the cat is the beginning of the aesthetic sense." - Erasmus Darwin
  • "A man has to work so hard so that something of his personality stays alive. A tomcat has it so easy, he has only to spray and his presence is there for years on rainy days." - Albert Einstein
  • "Those who’ll play with cats must expect to be scratched." - Miguel de Cervantes

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Famous fictional cat characters

Well the list is pretty much endless ... Cats have many admirers, and they are a constant inspiration with their unique personalities. So we have cats in fairy tails like Puss in Boots, in literature, in theater, in film of any kind (my personal favorite is "That Darn Cat"), on television, in song, in radio, in video games, and last but by no means least in comics and animation. Some of the most famous worldwide of the latest are Sylvester, Tom Cat, Felix the Cat, Garfield, Pete, Hello Kitty, Simon's Cat ...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cat - a great hunter

Through evolution cats have become strong and precise hunters, with fierce night vision. Hunting is in their core being, and cat hunting skills have never really been lost throughout the whole process of cat domestication. But why would well fed domestic cats need to hunt? This is a puzzle to most people as they can’t understand why cats continue to hunt, even though we provide plentiful food and water for them.
Here are some theories about it:
  • We humans are useless hunters our cats are teaching us to hunt.
  • Our cats are offering us gifts because they appreciate us.
  • Cats bring home their pray to show us that they are capable of hunting; they are showing of their skills and talents and want to be praised.
When domestic cats hunt and catch prey they often seem to play with it. There are two possible reasons why a cat does this.
Firstly, the domestic cat is rarely given the opportunity to indulge in what comes instinctively to her, hunting. So when the chance does present itself she maximizes the enjoyment and plays out the game as long as possible.
Secondly, she may just be a little fearful of getting a bite from the prey so she plays safe. She does this by battering the animal with her front paws.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Cat - a "self cleaning" animal

So why cats clean themselves so often? They really love to keep their bodies clean. Cleaning is instinctive behavior, and cats have been washing themselves with their tongues for as long as they've been around. After they eat, before they sleep, after you touch them ...
Well there are reasons for them to clean themselves.
After they eat, they want to remove all scent of food from their bodies. In the wild, cats are small enough to become a meal for a larger animal. They want to remove all traces of food so that a larger predator doesn’t sniff them out and mistake kitty for a tasty treat. They also decrease their chances of being infested with parasites by cleaning their fur after a meal.
Before they sleep, they think they are safer from larger predators if they remove any scent of what they ate, where they’ve been, who they met up with, etc.
After you pet them, well, figure this out!
There are more benefits from this grooming process:
  • It keeps a cat's fur clean and smooth.
  • It removes dead hair and skin, tones up the muscles and stimulates blood circulation.
  • It cools a cat off in hot weather.
  • It helps a cat's fur stay waterproof.
  • It fluffs up a cat's fur which keeps cats warm in the cold weather.
  • If a cat hurts himself, licking the cut or scratch cleans it and helps it feel better.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Some interesting cat facts

Did you know that ...
  • The nose pad of a cat is ridged in a pattern that is unique, just like the fingerprint of a human.
  • The domestic cat is the only cat species able to hold its tail vertically while walking. All wild cats hold their tails horizontally or tucked between their legs while walking.
  • There are three body types for a cat.
    • Cobby type is a compact body, deep chest, short legs and broad head. The eyes are large and round.
    • Muscular type is a sturdy body and round, full-cheeked head.
    • Foreign type is a slender body, with long legs and a long tail. The head is wedge-shaped, with tall ears and slanting eyes.
  • A cat will amost never "meow" at another cat. This sound is reserved for humans.
  • The Giraffe, Camel and Cat are the only animals that walk by moving both their left feet, then both their right feet, when walking. This method of walking ensures speed, agility and silence.
  • Cats rub up against other cats, and people, in an attempt to "mark" them with their scent glands. They most often use the scent glands between their eye and ear (near the temple area) or their scent glands near the base of their tail.
  • Backward-pointing spikes on a cat's tongue aid in their grooming.
  • Cats love high places. They share this love with leopards and jaguars, who sleep in trees.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Cat fights

Two different type of cat fights. The first can easily be cat "flirting" process.

The second, well, some top class boxing there!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cats ... in figures

Some interesting facts and figures about cats!
  • A cat's heart beats twice as fast as a human heart, at 110 to 140 beats per minute.
  • An average cat has 1-8 kittens per litter, and 2-3 litters per year.
  • During her productive life, one female cat could have more than 100 kittens.
  • A single pair of cats and their kittens can produce as many as 420,000 kittens in just 7 years.
  • Cats have 290 bones in their bodies, and 517 muscles.
  • The average age for an indoor cat is 15 years, while the average age for an outdoor cat is only 3 to 5 years.
  • A cat's normal body temperature is 101.5 degrees.
  • A cat's ear pivots 180 degrees. They have 30 muscles in each ear, and use twelve or more muscles to control their ear movement.
  • Cats are the sleepiest of all mammals. They spend 16 hours of each day sleeping. With that in mind, a seven year old cat has only been awake for two years of its life!
  • Cats spend 30% of their waking hours grooming themselves.
  • An adult cat has 32 teeth.

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    Do cats always land on their feet?

    Whether or not a cat lands on her feet depends on several factors, including the distance she falls and the surface on which she falls.
    Cats have exceptional coordination and balance and a flexible musculoskeletal system. A falling cat will instinctively try to right herself from head to tail, first rotating the head into the proper position, and then sequentially spiraling the rest of the body so all the feet are oriented to the ground. As the body gains the right position, the cat will spread her legs and relax her muscles in anticipation of landing. Their feet and legs can cushion the impact.
    Cats have the tendency of being better able to survive falls from greater heights than lower ones. The most dangerous falls are from between two and six stories. Even though they can right themselves, their legs and feet can no longer absorb all of the shock. Above this height, there is a theory that the number of injuries decline, because cats reached a terminal velocity, they relax and spread themselves out like flying squirrels, minimizing injuries.
    So, your cat may be able to survive a fall – but, then again, she might not. You never know ... and prevention is always better than a visit to the vet's.

    Monday, June 21, 2010

    Getting a second cat, heaven or hell?

    Cats are considered lonely and independent creatures. Sometimes they do enjoy the company of another cat, other times the cats keep fighting and never really accept one another. It may or may not work - depends upon the personality of the cats.
    Many people believe they should get a 'companion' for their cat because they feel guilty when they are away all day. The fact is that most adult cats sleep most of the day and could care less about a companion as cats are basically solitary animals. While some cats thrive in the company of another cat, other cats get upset about having an intruder in their domain.
    If your cat is comfortable in his home she probably won't appreciate a new cat coming into her territory. It can be hard work introducing a new cat into a home with a cat already there. They will probably fight for dominance and hate each other. However they would eventually get used to each other and probably be civil with the occasional smack every now and again. Some cats don't mind and get on well straight away, but there's normally more fighting than fun!
    An important thing is that the new and existing cat are introduced slowly and carefully. The new cat has to be given time to get used to you and the new environment. The existing cat has to get used to the smell of the new cat.

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