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.
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. Read More »
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. Read More »
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. Read More »
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.
One of the biggest time drains I’m faced with on a daily basis is the trap of looking at cat photos on social media sites. Not surprisingly, most of my connections are animal lovers. They post loads of pictures of their cats being precious and, no matter how many deadlines I have looming, I cannot turn away. It’s like the Siren Song. And yes, I’ll admit it; I’m just as guilty as my friends. If I didn’t exercise some restraint, I’d post multiple pictures of our kitty all throughout the day. I just want everybody to see how darn cute he is when he’s lying on a pile of laundry or hiding in a box or opening a drawer or smoking a catnip cigar or snuggling with our dogs or… oh, sorry. I get carried away.
So, the other day I was sucked into the cat-viewing vortex when I came upon a friend’s photo of a cat she was fostering. This little guy is the weirdest looking cat I’ve ever seen. We tried to identify what breed combination he is but came up short. During this exercise I did learn that there are less than a hundred cat breeds in existence, and the Cat Fanciers’ Association only recognizes 40 breeds officially. Of those 40 different breeds, most of them look fairly similar.
There are a handful of cat breeds, however, that don’t look like other cats. Through genetic mutations and selective breeding, some of these cats have turned out rather odd-looking. Here are three of the most unusual.
Because it’s the giving season, CANIDAE decided to hold a comment-a-thon to benefit PAWS (Pets are Wonderful Support)! I’ll give you all the important details for that below. But first, I want to tell you about a pawsome novel that should be on the bookshelf of every cat lover.
The Dalai Lama’s cat is back, which makes me so happy that I’m purring! Not actually purring, mind you, but metaphorically. I was over the moon when I received my copy of The Dalai Lama’s Cat and the Art of Purring, because it’s a sequel to one of the best books I read in 2013.
In that first book, The Dalai Lama’s Cat, I met and fell in love with a witty, wise and mischievous feline who “had me at hello.” She’s every bit as charming in this delightful new book, which also offers pearls of Buddhist wisdom from a cat’s point of view. The principles are sprinkled so subtly throughout the book that you may not even be consciously aware of them, but they will have a lasting impact nonetheless.
The Dalai Lama’s Cat and the Art of Purring offers gentle but profound lessons about life and most importantly, happiness – where it comes from, how to be joyful not just in the moment but for a lifetime, and how to discover more of the things that make you purr. Although the Dalai Lama’s cat walks on four legs instead of two, the wisdom she uncovers through various events can be applied to all of our lives.
My only disappointment is that the Dalai Lama was absent for most of the book, having left on a trip at the start of the story and returning just a few pages from the end. I do understand the point for his absence – a valuable lesson learned – but I loved the interaction of the Dalai Lama and Little Snow Lion (his affectionate name for the cat) in the first book, and was hoping for more of that.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.