Every cat's nose pad is unique, and no two nose prints are
Cat in a Tree:
Cats will more than likely come down on their
own. Leave them alone to make their way down. Give them an entire day to do so. Tempt them with their favorite strong-smelling
food. If the cat is injured, wearing a leash that could choke them, or hasn't come down in a day, you need to
climb up and get them, whether up the tree itself, or with a ladder. Grab them by the skin on the back of the neck and
make your first attempt at reaching them a good
one - they may flee further up the tree. The Humane Society may
be able to assist you if you are not able to reach the cat yourself.
A cat's hearing capability is five times greater than that of a human. However, at about 5
years of age, this capability lessens somewhat. A cat can rotate its ears 180 degrees and can locate the source
of a sound ten times faster than the most capable watchdog.
A cat can not see directly under its
nose. This is why it sometimes can not quickly find treats thrown on the floor.
If a cat is frightened,
its hair stands up evenly all over the body; when the cat is ready to attack, the hair stands up only along the spine and
Even without making a sound, a cat can announce her emotional
state in no uncertain terms. Your pet's entire body tells you how she's feeling and how you should react. Here's how cats
express some common emotions -- from head to tail.
Happy and Relaxed
- Pointing forward and slightly outward
Eyes - Open or half closed (sleepy), with pupils
normal size, showing contentment with long, slow blinks
Tail - Curved down, then up at the tip
- Standing straight up and pointing forward
Eyes - Wide open and sparkling
- Standing straight up or raised slightly and curved
Anxious or Agitated
Eyes - Wide open, with enlarged pupils
Tail - Held
low, possibly between hind legs, or with tip shaking
On the Offensive (Beware!)
- Held flat back against the head
Eyes - Pupils fully dilated, making eyes look totally black
Back - Arched, with fur like a porcupine
Tail - Swishing from
side to side, arched, or standing straight up with fur puffed out
Here's the purr-fect picture of
a comfy and secure cat
When your cat gets to know you and feel secure in your care,
she will show some unmistakable
signs of comfort and trust.
These are general behaviors that cats in the wild exhibit either only among their own kind
or when they feel safe from predators or other threats. So take them as a compliment. Your pet is saying, "I know I don't
have to worry when you're around."
You'll know your cat loves and trusts you when she:
"Does the two
step" on your lap. This is the same motion they used when nursing as kittens.
Greets you with her tail
held high and straight, as if to say, "I'm so happy To see you!"
Rolls over to expose her belly, not always to invite
you to scratch it, but to show she trusts you enough to assume this vulnerable position.
Facts about why cats groom
--So, why do cats groom themselves, anyway?
Cats are fastidious creatures, who seem to take a lot of "pride" in their appearance and will
spend a lot of time maintaining their coat in good condition. Of course
the primary aim is to keep the coat in good order. Cats have a routine that enables them to get at
almost every part of their body with the tongue, which is equipped with comb-like spines
to help in the process.
The few spots around the head and ears they can't reach with the tongue are cleaned with the
inner "dew claw," which is licked and then rubbed on the coat.
Besides removing dead hairs and sloughed skins cells,
the tongue stimulates skin glands to produce a light
film of oil which in effect, waterproofs the skin.
Grooming has two other important functions. First,
because a cat does not sweat from most of its body
surface, the evaporation of saliva from the coat acts
to keep kitty cool in hot weather.
Also, when two or more cats share a home, mutual
grooming plays an important role in bonding, especially between a female and her young.
(This can also help to get to those hard to reach spots!)
--And - what does it mean when your cat stops grooming?
If your cat stops her regular grooming routine, you
will notice it immediately, as her coat will lose its luster and become dull and matted.
Why does she stop grooming?
Usually it means that she is feeling generally ill, but
it could also mean that she is suffering from a specific
problem that makes the grooming motions painful. For example, she could have sore gums,
an ulcer on the tongue, or even arthritis in the vertebrae of the neck - all things that
would definitely make grooming quite uncomfortable, to say the least. (This may be a signal that a
trip to vet is in order to check for a possible worsening or more serious condition, so
keep a close eye on her.)
Once a sick cat starts to groom herself again, you know that this is a sure sign things are
improving and the little "patient" has started to regain her normal interest in life.
According to The Humane Society of The United States:
number of animal shelters in the United
States - between 4,000 and 6,000.
--The number of cats and dogs entering
each year - 8 to 12 million.
--The number of cats and dogs euthanized by
shelters each year - 4 TO
--Number of cats and dogs adopted from shelters
each year - 3 to 5 million
--Number of cats
and dogs reclaimed by owners
from shelters each year - between 600,000 and
750,000 (15% of animals entering shelters)
--The average number of litters a fertile cat
can produce in one year - 3
--The average number of kittens
in an average
feline litter - 4 to 6
--In seven years, the number of cats one female
and her offspring can
theoretically produce -
--FALLING FELINE FACTOID:
We've all heard amazing stories
of how cats have fallen from heights of 120 feet and much more and have lived to meow about it. Yet on the other hand, we
hear stories of how cats have fallen only one or two stories and have not survived the landing. Why is that?
probably has something to do with what the cats are able to do as they are falling. First of all, they have to use their sense
of balance and vision to twist their heads into the proper alignment so they can right themselves. When that's done they can
get the spine into the normal position and straighten the hind legs. Cats also need enough time to free fall while spreading
out the legs and relaxing. If there is not enough time to accomplish this important step, then the chances for a very serious
or even fatal injury are much more likely. So then, having a greater distance to fall would allow the time needed to get everything
"done" before meeting the ground.
(This does not mean that they won't escape any kind
of injury, however.) Hopefully
the only thing wounded would be their pride!
* THE FIRST CAT SHOW WAS ON BROADWAY:
The first cat show
in America took place on
March 6, 1881 at a museum on Broadway in New
York City. According to published reports of
the time, the cats in the show were not very
happy about being put on display. It seems
there was a whole lot
of hissing, scratching,
and clawing going on during the judging.
--CAT Quiz: FACT OR FICTION:
Are the following statements
about your kitties based
in reality or myth? See how you do...
--1. Cats can see in the dark.
naturally kill mice and rats.
--3. Cats rub their paws against you (kneading) because
they think you are their
--4. Cats can always see better than humans.
--5. Cats and dogs can't get along.
are fine in hot and cold outdoor weather.
--7. All Persians look pretty much the same.
--Answers to Cat
Quiz: FACT OR FICTION:
--1. Cats can see in the dark.
FALSE. There has to be some light for a
cat to see.
They use their sensitive noses,
ears, and whiskers to navigate, but they cannot
see in total darkness.
Cats naturally kill mice and rats.
FALSE. No, they naturally CHASE them. They have
to learn from their mothers when
they are kittens
to kill and eat what they've captured. Some turn
rodents into toys; other into meals.
Cats rub their paws against you (kneading) because
they think you are their mother.
TRUE. Kittens stimulate the flow
of milk by kneading
against their mother. They've transferred this
caring motion to you, their surrogate mothers.
--4. Cats can always see better than humans.
FALSE. During the day, humans can see better.
Cats and dogs can't get along. FALSE
If they are raised together, they can get along
are fine in hot and cold outdoor weather.
FALSE. Actually, their fur coats aren't that
All Persians look pretty much the same.
FALSE. For starters, there are more than 50
different colors of Persian cats.
--WE LOVE LEFTIES: YOU PUT YOUR LEFT PAW IN...
have a tendency to be southpaws, or lefties, leading more often with the left paw than with the right. This fact was discovered
after patient observation by Professor J. Cole of Oxford University
--SOME REAL "CAT"CHY EXPRESSIONS: WHERE DID THEY COME FROM?
Our language today is full of descriptive phrases that refer to cats. We use them frequently without realizing the
rich and colorful history that lies behind them.
Here's a few of the most common ones you probably use quite frequently:
--CAT GOT YOUR TONGUE?:
This refers to asking why someone is so quiet or why they are not talking. The phrase
originated hundreds of years ago in the Middle East. When people were caught lying, their punishment was to have their tongues
ripped or cut out and fed to the king's cats.
--LIKE A CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF:
This phrase refers to someone
who is jumpy and nervous. This is the title of A Tennessee Williams' play. The characters behave like cats would if they were
literally up on a hot tin roof of a house.
Going further back in time, there was an English expression, "Nimble as
a cat on a hot bake stone."
A bake stone was a large flat stone that was heated and used to bake bread. If a cat were
to walk on it when it was heated, he would certainly be in a hurry to get away from it.
--IT'S RAINING CATS AND DOGS!
This means a very hard downpour of rain. One explanation of this phrase goes back to the 1500's when houses had thatched
roofs made of thick straw piled up high without wood support underneath. Since the roof was the warmest spot in the house,
the household's cats and dogs, (along with mice, rats, and bugs,) would all nestle in the roof. However, when it rained, the
roof became very slippery and the animals would slip and fall off to the ground below.
These are the
boos the audience gives to the performers for bad acting in the theater. Back in the time of Shakespeare, people would demonstrate
their dislike for the stage actors' performances by making noises that sounded like an alley full of howling cats.
THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG:
This phrase means to disclose a secret. In Medieval England, piglets were sold at the market in
bags for ease in transporting by the buyer. Dishonest sellers often tried to trick buyers by putting a cat in the bag. If
a careful buyer inspected the bag and found a cat, then he would literally "let the cat out of the bag," exposing the fraud.
So the next time you hear one of these "cat-chy" phrases or use one yourself, you'll be able to tell people all the
fascinating history behind it!
--Cats shed more in the light. It seems that even the
from a TV can cause more cat hair to fall out.
--Cats groom more in sunlight. It could be that they
need to deposit
more saliva to keep them cool.
--Cats in colder climates tend to be larger so that they
can hold body heat.
eat more in cold weather and less when it's hot.
--TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT? - THAT'S
THE KITTY'S QUESTION:
Can you name 20 people foods your little feline should
not eat? How about 10? Okay,
5? Let me help you with
--NOT TO EAT:
--Uncooked bread dough:
This causes gastric
problems and intoxication from the
fermentation. Get to the vet ASAP if you cat eats any.
has low nutritional value for cats and has onion
powder that causes anemia in cats.
good to cats, but is toxic because it has a
a chemical that harms red blood cells and (leads to
goldfish (?): Well, this may not qualify as
people food unless you're a show-off college student.
Haha! It bears mentioning
here because cats are often
depicted as hovering over the goldfish bowl looking
for a quick snack. The goldfish contains
that destroys vitamin B, but if your cat should eat
one, she's not in any danger.
These can cause vitamin deficiencies if eaten in large
Give this to your
cat only occasionally because,
unfortunately, there are too many pollutants in our
fish these days.
Tuna can make cats sick if fed regularly because it lacks
the nutrients cats need. It also has too much fat
salt. (Buy only high quality cat tuna.)
--Milk or cream:
This is dangerous even in small quantities
because a cat
cannot digest the lactose in them - and this causes severe
diarrhea. You can give them an occasion treat
It contains too much fat, and like milk, causes diarrhea.
or undercooked eggs:
These are not good for people, either! This can cause
a salmonella infection. Raw egg whites
can destroy certain
vitamins, leading to skin problems. (Scrambled eggs are
okay, if well cooked.)
Rare or partly raw liver can lead to hypervitaminosis,
which doesn't sound good at all! Well cooked liver is
as an occasional treat. Liver flavoring is okay.
These are more dangerous than any other kind
--Turkey and chicken bones:
Avoid these as well, unless you've cooked them in a
and they are very soft, not brittle.
In this case, they are good for your cat, especially
Avoid feeding your cat from the table. For one
thing, it makes them finicky!
Always avoid feeding these to your cat. Try to cut
down on them yourself, especially the salty stuff!
--Fats, salt, and sugars - you know - the "good" stuff:
These are all the fatty, greasy, salty, and sweet
that we shouldn't eat either, but they give us so much
comfort, don't they! (There's noting like a nice hot
dog or a couple of strips of bacon!) They cause obesity,
tooth decay and digestive problems in cats (yes, and
--A totally vegetarian diet:
We've talked about this in the past - Cats are carnivores
need their meat and fish! Vegetarian diets, though
good for humans, can be lethal to your cat.
Sugar can cause obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.
The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more
deadly it is for your cat. 16 ounces of chocolate is
a fatal amount. (This also includes cocoa.)
Do not feed your cat coffee, colas, tea, or any other
I know, this
is not a people food (well, at least for
nobody I know personally), but it deserves a mention
here. If you have a
dog in the household and think that
it's a good idea to feed the cat its food, too - think
again! Dog food causes
blindness in cats because it
is deficient in taurine, which is an essential nutrient
for felines. Also, a dog food
diet for a cat can cause
I know, you've probably heard stories from others who
their cats some or most of the above, and they
are doing just fine! I guess there are exceptions to
every rule. It
seems to be the same with people, too.
--Most cats eat what they need and then stop. But both
male and female tend to eat more than they need.
As a result, they can become a little "portly" and develop
unsightly sagging belly. Just look at poor Marlee...
--Most white, blue-eyed cats are deaf. White cats with
one blue eye may be deaf only in the ear on the
same side as the blue eye. White cats with orange eyes
have this disability.
--If you give your cat tap water, it is best to let it
sit for about 24 hours before
serving. The chlorine in
fresh tap water will irritate the sensitive parts of
most cats' noses.
been said, "You can take a cat out of the wild,
but you can?ake the wild out of the cat." A kitten
hand raised inside
still retains her hunting abilities.
--FELINE FIRST AID:
Cats do have accidents; they
may be hit by a car,
fall from a considerable height, get burned, bitten,
or become wounded in any number of ways.
So as a
responsible cat owner, you should know a couple of
basics about handling an emergency.
first aid to a cat is, without a doubt,
a challenge for the average non-veterinarian cat owner.
But being able to
give some kind immediate attention
to an injury could mean the difference between life
and death for your precious
feline companion. It's
certainly not the time to be faint of heart! So it
is important that you know what to do in
Your best bet is to call your vet immediately, or
better yet, have someone else call
the vet while you
attend to your cat. Keep the phone number of your vet
and the location of the 24 hour animal hospital
place near the phone, (or entered into your cell phone).
Here are just a few of the basics:
to do if your cat has stopped breathing:
Open the cat's mouth, check for obstacles to breathing,
and remove with your
fingers to remove anything you see
that is blocking the airway. You could even try swinging
your cat by the hind legs.
--What to do if your cat gets burned:
Apply cold water or ice to the injured area. If you
know that chemicals
are involved, wash the site thoroughly,
using large amounts of water.
--What to do if your cat is bleeding:
Try to stop the flow by applying pressure to the area.
Cover the wound with a gauze pad soaked in cold water
as cold water compress) and then apply pressure.
--What to do if your cat has suffered a blow and is
or very weak:
Keep your cat in a horizontal position. Do not lift
her head, as blood, vomit, or saliva could flow
and block her airway. Your first priority is to move
her out of harm's way, using a blanket as a stretcher.
to do if your cat has ingested poison:
If your cat has ingested poison, she will probably
collapse. The proper response
depends on the particular
type of poison. Some types will require an emetic,
while others will not. Try to keep a
sample of whatever
your cat has consumed, so that the vet can determine
the exact nature of the poison.
your cat has consumed poison by licking fur, then
prevent her from additional licking by wrapping her in
leaving only her head sticking out.
If your cat is in shock, she will feel cold and will
have a rapid pulse.
Keep her warm by wrapping her in
All first aid is an interim to veterinary attention.
vet will give you further instructions over the
phone about what to do immediately in each given
situation. Try to
keep your head and stay calm so
you can follow directions correctly. Your kitty will
be counting on you!
ALL ABOUT FELINE SENSES
highly developed senses that to make them
expert better predators. Cats are exciting to watch
whether they are on
the prowl, playing or stalking a
potential snack. These are the most important feline
Cats can detect higher frequencies of sound than many other
mammals including dogs. Their hearing is so developed
cats can determine the direction of a noise or sound with
no more than a 5 degree error. This sense of hearing
them to be very effective predators.
Although the cats visual ability is about 10 times
that of humans, they possess a retina whose structure provides
them with "movement detectors" to help them
prey. Cats also have excellent night vision and are able to
track their prey in dark environments.
The cat's sense of smell is its primary resource for identifying
things in its environment. Cats
are capable of sensing 200
million odors and they live in a sensory world completely apart
from ours. A cat?ense of
smell is very important and may
even result in some puzzling and disturbing behavior.
whisker is an intricate receptor designed allow the cat
to sense the smallest changes in the environment such as tiny
movements, air currents, or changes in air pressure, temperature
or wind direction. Whiskers help a cat navigate at
help it determine if it can fit through small spaces. Cats
can even change the position of their whiskers
in order to collect information about their prey. We may think
that whiskers are just a cute feature
of our pet cat, but they
really play a vital role in its survival.
Cats enjoy being touched by
both cats and humans. From early
infancy the mother cat grooms her kittens to demonstrate her
affection. You should
also provide your cat with lots of
gentle handling on a daily basis when it is young if you
want it to develop into
the kind of cat that likes to be held
--About 10 percent of a cat's bones is in its tail. The
body contains 245 bones. But as they age some of
the bones fuse together and the number of bones decreases.
average life expectancy of a cat is between 15 to
18 years. The oldest cat on record lived to be 36 years
that's way off the age comparison chart!)
--The normal body temperature of a cat is 102 degrees.
better to women than men. A possible reason
is that since women have higher pitched voices, it reminds
cats of a mother
cat calling her kittens. (So they say!)
--Don't feed your cat raw egg whites because they
contain an enzyme that
breaks down the vitamin biotin,
which is essential to your cat's health.
--Cats with white fur and skin on their
ears are very
prone to sunburn. Frequent sunburns can lead to skin
cancer. Many white cats need surgery to remove
part of a cancerous ear. Preventive measures include
sunscreen, or better, keeping the cat indoors.
How to determine a kitty's age
How old is your kitty in human years?
first year in life is equal to about 16 human
years. By the end of the second year she is about 21
human years. Then
for each additional year she will age
about four human years. Got that? (That's about four
parties a year!)
a chart to help you keep it all straight so you can
plan the celebrations accordingly:
--FROM THE CAT'S CONSTITUTION: THE FELINE'S BILL OF RIGHTS:
Just like humans, cats are part of the family and have the
--1. The right to be full members of your family.
on social interaction, praise, and love.
--2. The right to stimulation. They need new games, new toys, new
experiences, and new smells to be happy.
--3. The right to regular exercise. Without it, they could become
hyper, sluggish...or fat.
--4. The right to have fun. They enjoy acting like clowns now and
then; but don't expect them to be predictable all the time.
--5. The right to quality health care. Please stay good friends
with the vet!
--6. The right to a good diet. Like some people, they don't know
what's best for them. They depend on you.
--7. The right not to be rejected because of expectations that they
must be great show cats, or watch cats, etc.
--8. The right to receive proper training. Otherwise, their good
relationship could be marred by confusion and strife and they could become dangerous to them- selves and others.
--9. The right to guidance and correction based on under- standing
and compassion, rather than abuse.
--10. The right to live with dignity...and to die with dignity when
the time comes.
(From Bob L.)
COMMON DISEASES OF FELINE SENIOR CITIZENS
Here are some signs and symptoms of some of the common diseases
found in our older cats:
--Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
--Sores that do not heal
--Loss of appetite
--Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
--Difficulty eating or swallowing
--Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
--Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating
--Difficulty eating or swallowing
--Food dropping from mouth when eating
--Increased thirst and urination
--Labored or increased rate of respiration
--Increased heart rate (pulse)
--Increased urination and thirst
--Loss of appetite
--Depression and lethargy
--Blood in vomit or black, tarry stool
--Bad breath and oral ulcers
--Inflammatory bowel disease Diarrhea
--Mucous or blood in stool
--Increased frequency of defecation
--Defecating outside of litter box
--Increased thirst and urination
--Weight loss or weight gain
--Decreased activity, weakness
--Change in appetite
--Walk on their hocks
--OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY:
--Unkempt hair coat, especially in anal area
--FELINE HEPATIC LIPIDOSIS:
--Obese cat with sudden loss of appetite
--Subsequent weight loss
--Very light colored gums
--Labored and increased rate of breathing
--Paralysis of rear legs
--Loss of appetite
--Yellow or pale gums
--Urinating outside the litter box
--Blood in the urine
--Arthritis Difficulty jumping and with stairs
--Behavior change - irritable, reclusive
--Urinating or defecating outside of litter box
If you observe any of these symptoms in between regular
check ups, take your cat to your vet right away.
(Taken from an article by Holly R. Frisby, DVM)
Cats get their sense of security from your voice.
Talk to your
cats! And be mindful of your tone of voice. Cats know when
you're yelling at them (though they may not
The more cats are spoken to, the more they will speak to you.
A group of cats is called a clowder of
The richest cat in the Guinness Book of World Records is a pair
of cats who inherited $415,000 in the
early '60s. The richest
single cat is a white alley cat who inherited $250,000. (Now
that will buy a lot of catnip!)
Giraffe, Camel and Cat are the only animals that walk by
moving both their left feet, then both their right feet, when
This method of walking ensures speed, agility and
A fifteen year old cat has probably spent ten years of
Don't put your cat on an all-vegetarian diet. Cats
Catnip can affect lions and tigers as well as house cats
Never feed your cat dog
food. Cats need five times more
protein than dogs do.
"Pair bonds" can develop between two cats who live
between a cat and a person.
A cat that bites you after you have rubbed his stomach, is
biting out of pleasure, not anger.
An adult cat has 32 teeth.
Never leave your cat in a vehicle alone. On summer
temperatures in an automobile can reach 160 degrees in just
minutes, even with the windows cracked.
to myth, a cat sleeping with all four paws tucked
under means cold weather is coming.
Each year Americans spend
four billion dollars on cat food.
That's one billion dollars more than they spend on baby food!
Expect to spend
an average of $80 per year on vet bills, for the
lifetime of each cat you own.
It costs $7000 to care for one household
cat over its lifetime.
This covers only the necessities; the pampered pet will carry a
In an average
year, American cat owners spend $2.15 billion on
cat food and $295 million on kitty litter.