Cat Info Titbits 2

There are 100 unpublished draft articles in PoC archives. Some are years old. They remained unpublished for all kinds of reasons such as they were duplicated articles, incomplete, deemed uninteresting or perhaps inaccurate or too controversial and so on. Yet when I skim through a random selection of some of them they don’t look that bad in retrospect. Some are probably worth an airing. I have not checked them so there may be some typos in them. I have published a string of five below chosen at random:

USA: If Your Cat Bites You Do You Tell the Authorities or Go to Hospital Where They Tell the Authorities?

Note: this formerly unpublished article may be inherently inaccurate.

I’m referring to the United States of America and to rabies. In the UK there is no rabies but in America, in some jurisdictions, if your cat bites you for whatever reason then you may have an obligation to tell the authorities in order to protect the community against a possible rabies infection in a cat.

If you go to hospital after being bitten by your cat or someone elses then in some jurisdictions the hospital may telephone the authorities. If that happens the authorities will take your cat away from you and put your cat into isolation for 10 days to cover the 3 to 7 day window when animals can shed the rabies virus and die from it.

It made me think. If you know that where you live your cat could be put into quarantine for a potential rabies infection then I am not sure that you would tell anybody if your cat bit you unless of course you actually think that your cat has rabies in which case you would definitely take immediate and dramatic action.

However, a lot of people probably suffer some sort of incidental bite which breaks the skin but don’t tell anybody. They simply treat their own wound.

This may be one reason why there are far less reported cat bites in Longmont, Boulder than dog bites. In that area, Longmont animal control have responded to 33 reported cat bites. This figure pales in comparison to the number of dog bites in Longmont which was 179.

Another obvious reason would be that dogs bite more frequently than cats and that is probably the main reason.

I would not like my cat to be placed into quarantine at a Humane Society or at a veterinarian’s office or in any remote place for that matter just because of some incidental bite. For example, one gentleman intervened between his two cats who were fighting. The cats were wound up. One of his cats bit him and the bite was quite deep and nasty. He learned his lesson but it would seem that his cat had to be quarantined.

Longmont animal control officer Robin Breffle has issued only two tickets for aggressive cats in 27 years as an animal control officer. Cats bite less than dogs it appears but the argument is that the cat bite is more dangerous than a dog bite in terms of the bacteria deposited under the skin but I’m not sure that that is the case.

What Causes a Cat To Shed?

Note: this article remained unpublished until now because it is a duplication. But some visitors won’t have read the earlier post!

What causes a cat to shed his fur? People want to know. Some people believe it is caused by seasonal temperature changes. I think temperature has an effect. Common sense dictates that it does. However shedding is influenced more by changes in ambient light. When the cat is exposed to more ambient light the cat will shed more fur. Both neutered and unneutered cats are affected. More light and warmth go together anyway.

Ragdoll groomed during shedding season
Ragdoll groomed during shedding season
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment written by visitors. It is a way visitors can contribute to animal welfare without much effort and no financial cost. Please comment. It helps this website too which at heart is about cat welfare.

This leads to the conclusion that cats who are allowed outside during seasons when there are longer hours of sunlight will shed hair and it may last for weeks. For outdoor cats this will start in late spring. For indoor/outdoor cats it may start in summer. They shed and grow a new coat.

The coat will start to thicken when the days start to become shorter in the fall and winter. Indoor cats who are not exposed to sunlight my shed fur lightly and grow a new coat year-round.

Indoor/outdoor cats with double coats shed their undercoat in a patchy way. Apparently, this does not happen with full-time indoor cats. Cat owners should remove dead fur with a comb to prevent irritation.

Conditions and Diseases Linked to Indoor and Outdoor Cats

Note: This is unfinished and incomplete.

The reason why cats are kept indoors is because people believe that they will be healthier and live longer as they are protected from hazards outside. There are however hazards inside the home as well. Below is a list of conditions and diseases which may be linked to both cats who live indoors and those that are allowed access to the outdoors.

Cats confined indoors

  • Feline urologic syndrome – disease associated with the lower urinary tract of the cat
  • Odontoclastic resorptive lesions – the loss of part of the tooth
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Obesity
  • Household hazards
  • Behavioural problems such as inappropriate elimination
  • Boredom
  • Inactivity

Cats allowed access to the outside

  • Infectious diseases such as parasitic and viral diseases
  • Road traffic accidents
  • Other accidents such as falling from a tree
  • Fights with other cats
  • Attacks by humans, dogs and other animals
  • Poisoning
  • Theft
  • Going astray

Where do cats like to be stroked?

Note: Duplication

The title could also read: Where do cats like to be pet or petted?

We all have our personal experiences. I will deal with those at the end of the article. Firstly, I’ll mention a couple of studies.

In 2002 scientists Soennichsen and Chamove tested nice cats for body-area petting preferences using a controlled method. Members of a families are asked to pet their cats for five minutes at one of four body sites. Three of the sites concerned gland areas (see a page on cat glands for reference) – the temporal gland between the eye and ear, the perioral gland on the chin and lips and the caudal gland and one non-gland place on the cat’s body.

The temporal gland had the “greatest number of positive responses from the cats. The caudal gland had the least positive response.

Bernstein conducted a similar test in which produced the following results:

  • 48% of cats preferred petting in the head area
  • 27% of cats liked the cheeks, nose and eye area or under the chin
  • 21% on the ears and in front of the ears (this is the temporal area) or behind the ears
  • 8% preferred to be petted on the stomach or the base of the tail or the tail itself.

On a personal level, I always tend to focus on and around the head. I comb my cat (with a fine flea comb) on the forehead and down the back of the head. Then I comb his cheeks and down the sides of his head below the ears. I also comb down the spine and at the base of the tail. My cat loves being combed around the head including under the chin. I think it massages and stimulates the skin. I also do under the chin gently and the other areas a bit harder bit not hard. Always be gentle.

He loves this form of petting. This reinforces the findings of the Bernstein study. What do you know about your cat’s likes and dislikes regarding being petted (stroked)?

There has not been many studies on the benefits of human/cat interaction regarding petting cats. What studies we do have indicate that “petting cats seems to have little effect on the mood overall and does not seem to predictably put owners into good moods as petting of dogs seems to, but does seem to help decrease negative mood.”

Bernstein (the scientist mentioned above) found that “patterns of interaction that suggest shared ritual, that is, agreed-upon rules for social interaction and shared routines.”

What this is saying is that cat owners learn what their cat likes best and do it to please their cat. Owners learn the areas where their cat like to be petted. How do cats tell their human caretaker what areas they like to be stroked? Well, they stay still, or closing their eyes, or moving their head or body in such a way as to encourage rubbing of specific sites. Also cats “train” owners to pet in a certain sequence. Cats can also ask for petting (initiate it). They can do this by for example, leaping onto the person’s lap, rubbing against the person’s leg or flop down in front of the person.

Sometimes cats prefer to be petted in certain places in the home.

Ignorant Tourists and Their Damn selfies Are Killing Animals

Note: Too provocative?

My God, there are some ignorant, stupid and vapid tourists in the world who show the world how callous and ignorant they are when taking a selfie with an animal they may have seen. There is almost a manic desire to take an interesting selfie and they will do whatever it takes to get it even if it means the animal is killed in the process, which has happened recently with respect to a swan and in the past other animals which are mentioned below.

Recently, it has been reported in the press that a swan died after a tourist drive the animal from a lake so that you take a selfie with it. The incident was witnessed and photographed. One photo is reproduced below.

The tourist was believed to be part of a group from Bulgaria. They were visiting Lake Ohrid Macedonia. Witnesses said that the swan do not run away when the woman approached it and after the photograph was taken the swan remain motionless on the shore of the lake. Presuming the swan had died of shock.

In earlier reports, tourist pulled a dolphin from the sea in Argentina to take photographs with it. The dolphin was a Franciscana dolphin which was handed from person to person and prayed around the beach by holidaymakers.

In China it has been reported that Peacock died after it was manhandled by tourists trying to get a selfie with it. More ignorance.

The animal rights organisation, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has lambasted these ignorant, vapid tourists who are using animals as props in their tourism treats.

A spokesperson said:

“How many more examples of animal suffering do we need before ignorant gawkers understand that animals are not playthings for them to use and abuse? If they want to risk their own vapid lives grabbing a novelty “selfie”, that’s one thing, but to grab and scare animal to death is quite another.”

You may remember that there was a craze quite recently and it may be still happening in which tourists wanted to be photographed with a tiger or a lion which is not some is dangerous for the animal but for the human for obvious reasons.

Once again the human is demonstrating his attitude that animals are there to entertain us and on occasions they will achieve that goal at any cost even the death of the animal who has been selected to entertain the person in one of these damned, stupid selfies.

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