Category Archives: cats

Cats Deserve Praise, Too!

cats praise onesharpBy Julia Williams

A few weeks ago, Laurie wrote a very touching post, “In Praise of Dogs.” In it, she discussed various reasons why dogs deserve our admiration. It was a lovely tribute to dogs, and as I read it, I agreed with all of it. Dogs are definitely praiseworthy, no argument there. Then, being the cat lover I am, I said to myself “But cats are praiseworthy, too!” I knew that cats deserved admiration just as much as dogs, so this post is my way of making things even, if you will.

You see, I have noticed that all too often cats get the short end of the stick. Cats – and the people who love them – are frequently discriminated against, as though there is some kind of “pet hierarchy” that places dogs at the top, with cats being inferior; a second-class pet.

I’ll give you just a few examples. Of the three independent pet stores in my area, two make it clear they are “dog stores.” In addition to dog-related store names, 85% of their shelf space is dedicated to dog products. There’s a teeny tiny corner with cat stuff, and it feels like an afterthought.

I’m on the email lists for these pet stores, and they rarely market to cat owners. I’ve lost count of the number of “great sale for your dog” emails I’ve received from them (nope, don’t have a dog.) I do, however, distinctly remember that one lone “cat” email, simply because it was as rare as a two-headed albino alligator. One store recently had a grand re-opening, and there wasn’t a single sentence in their email notice to indicate they even carried cat products.
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What Determines a Cat’s Eye Color?

cat eye dawnBy Langley Cornwell

How many of us have stared into our cat’s eyes trying to read their minds, attempting to understand their innermost thoughts or simply appreciating their catness? You know I have! And as my cat and I are making earnest eye contact, I always marvel at the gorgeous color of his eyes. They are a deep, rich emerald green.

Cat eyes can be a number of colors including light brown, yellow, orange, green and blue. And each of these colors comes in a variety of intensities and hues. This is why it appears that there are so many different feline eye colors. To further complicate the matter, some cats even have odd colored eyes.

A feline’s eye color is determined by many factors, and it’s not always related to the animal’s coat color. In fact, the major contributors to the ultimate color of a cat’s eyes are blue refraction, iris pigmentation and breeding.
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White Cats and Deafness – What’s the Connection?

white cat warrenBy Langley Cornwell

You may have heard that most white cats are deaf, and for the most part, that’s true. This blanket statement gets thrown around a lot, but there’s an important caveat – there are varying degrees of what is actually considered a white cat in the first place. With that in mind, it’s important to note that a white cat is NOT an albino cat. And to make things even more confusing, albino cats aren’t usually deaf. Are you with me so far?

White or Albino?

Saying that a white cat and an albino cat are the same thing is like saying a fair skinned, blonde haired child is albino. Light skin and hair does not make a living thing an albino; it’s the complete absence of pigmentation that makes a living thing an albino. To learn if a feline is albino or white, one simply has to look at the cat’s eyes. A lack of pigmentation in the eyes causes them to be a pink color, and makes the cat sensitive to light.

White Masking

As far as what causes deafness in white cats, in some cases cats actually have colors in their genetic makeup, but they also have a gene that causes something called white masking. This masking covers all other colors and prevents melanin from developing. Because melanin has an impact on the ionic balance in the cochlea, the cochlea degenerates shortly after birth and the cat is permanently deaf.
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Why Do Cats Hoard Useless Items & Bring Us Gifts?

cats hoard david blackwellBy Langley Cornwell

Most cat owners have seen evidence that their feline friend is a hoarder in one way or another. They might find a stash of trinkets near the cat’s food dish, or a collection of toys where the cat spends the most time relaxing. Whatever tactics cats employ, they do it in plentiful numbers and leave their owners baffled. There are some opposing theories as to why a cat’s hoarding behavior occurs in the first place.

Developing Hunting Skills

Just as all animals have natural instincts and practice using them when they are young, so goes the life of a cat. They are hunters and they have to teach their children, or kittens, to appreciate their prey. They might bring dead prey to their young kittens in order to start feeding them solid food. Eventually, they will also bring live food to the young ones so that they too can practice the art of the kill.

Some speculators believe that a cat’s hoarding behavior is simulating bringing the prey back to the home base. This is why cats often bring it to their food dish. Even finding the item in the first place may be part of the skill of the hunt. You can see this behavior demonstrated when cats practice stalking behavior on things they aren’t going to kill, or can’t kill. It’s just part of their developmental process.
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6 Things Kids Need to Know About Living with Cats

kids and cats TinaBy Julia Williams

Children can form a loving relationship with the family cat that will enrich their lives in so many ways. A close bond between cat and child won’t happen by accident though. As the parent and responsible pet owner, you need to do your part to make sure your children know what to expect when living with a cat. You also need to be sure that the home environment is both kid-safe and cat-safe. Here are six important things children need to know about living with cats.

Cats are Not Toys

In a child’s eyes, a cute, fluffy cat may resemble that stuffed animal she plays with and takes to bed at night. They need to be taught that cats are not inanimate toys but living beings with daily needs that need to be met, including food, water, grooming and cleaning up after them. Children also need to understand that animals experience pain, fear, love and many other emotions, and need to be treated kindly at all times. Your kids might think it’s fun to put doll clothes on the cat and lug her around like a baby, but not all cats will like this. Forcing a cat to do things it finds frightening or objectionable will hinder bonding and may even lead to your cat avoiding the child at all costs.

Learn to Read the Cat’s Body Language

Understanding what the cat is trying to convey through body language is such an important thing for children to learn. As individual beings, cats have different likes and dislikes, and varying degrees of tolerance. What all cats have in common, however, is that they will give off warning signals before resorting to biting or scratching to get away when they’ve had enough petting or don’t want further interaction with you. Kids – and parents – just need to know what that tail, eyes, ears, whiskers and legs are “saying.” My article, How to Read the Body Language of Cats, will give you detailed information.
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You Know You’re an Animal Lover If…

animal lover marcBy Linda Cole

Are you more apt to notice a dog or cat walking along the street, but totally miss seeing a human standing on the sidewalk? Do you get all misty eyed as a brave firefighter scrambles down a tree clutching a frightened kitty close to his chest, or do you even see the firefighter because your focus is on the meowing cat? Does finding a human hair in your food gross you out, but you have no problem finding a dog or cat hair?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you’re a bona fide animal lover! Read on for more humorous examples of “You know you’re an animal lover if…”

*Your pet’s Facebook page has way more “friends” than your own page.

*You have so many pictures of your pet on your phone that photos of your human family members are relegated to a miscellaneous file. More embarrassing is discovering you don’t have a single photo of your human family on your phone.

*You wear animal themed jewelry, slippers or T-Shirts, and canine or feline paintings and knick-knacks are proudly displayed around the house. Your favorite coffee cup is an animal themed “treasure” you picked up while on vacation – with matching teapot.

*Vacations are planned around pet-friendly hotels, campsites or parks.

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