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.

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