Monday, 10 December 2018

How Tell If Your Cat Is Cross With You



Some cats are grumpier than others but even the most laid back kitty occasionally has a grouchy moment.

So if you want to avoid the sideswipe or the horrible hiss learn how to tell if your cat is mad at you.

1. They Give You The Cold Shoulder
If your cat's mad, they might leave the area you're in, avoid getting near you, and simply watch your movements from afar. Cats just like to have some space if there's something bothering them or stressing them out, or if their routine gets messed up.

2. They Swish That Tail
A cat's tail will show you how they're feeling, and if your cat is mad, it's going to show. "A tail that’s flickering back and forth quickly or held low can indicate an irritated cat," explained iHeartCats. "The hair may also stand up on an angry cat’s tail." Look out for a tail that's lowered instead of standing up tall, and swishing back and forth, as this shows kitty is annoyed — and if their tail starts thumping, their mood has probably escalated from annoyed to angry, and they could become aggressive. This is usually a clear indication that kitty isn't happy with you or the current sitch, so steer clear.



3. They Signal With Their Ears
Cats use their ears to express emotions. If your kitties' ears lower down or flatten out against their head, it could mean they're in a mood. A bad one. Steer clear of heavy pets until they've perked up again.


4. They Exhibit Fur-ious Fur
The fur all over their body seems to stand up straight, totally puffed up, and they may even arch their back to appear even larger. Fluffy and adorable as they may look, this is a clear indication that they're angry or in fight mode. Conversely, they may instead try to make themselves look smaller by crouching their body low to the ground and hunching their shoulders. If you notice either of these body movements, it's good to make sure there are no other factors around that could be triggering this response, such as another animal outside the window or another animal in the household who may be antagonizing them.

5. They Growl And Hiss
If your cat is growling or hissing at you, they're probably unhappy with you or what you're doing. A low growling sound (or a deep, guttural vocalization that is different than a meow) is usually a clear indication that your kitty is cross with you or the situation. Same goes with hissing: It's basically a cat's way of saying "lay off," so listen to them. Once a cat starts making these vocalizations, stop whatever you're doing — petting, playing, etc. — and give the cat some space.



6. The Paw Swipe
Almost every cat person has experienced a paw swipe while petting their beloved kitty. Whether it's a gentle bat of the paw or a claws-out, blood-drawing scratch depends on the cat and how angry they are, but in either case, it could indicate that your kitty wants you to step off and give them some space.

7. They Give You The Evil Eye
Cat faces can be expressive too. Does your cat ever just give a look and you know what it means? Sometimes you can tell your kitty is angry with you because they're watching you and giving you that subtle but identifiable angry eye. Another indication that they could be angry is that their pupils dilate — although this could happen for a wide variety of reasons, so look for other factors in conjunction with that before you assume your cat's mad at you based on pupil size alone.

Here are some really angry cats for you to take a look at. Be afraid, be very afraid!





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Monday, 3 December 2018

The Purrfect Christmas Tree




If your Christmas tree ends up like the one in the picture - thanks to your 'helpful' kitty - one British firm has come up with a solution.

Argos are targeting people with naughty cats with an artificial tree that should prevent them from messing with decorations or, at worst, pulling the whole thing down.

That's because the tree, while still standing at 6 feet, is only a half parasol, meaning there isn't as much tree for cats to get their paws on and it could also be a preventative measure for any over excited little toddlers too!

The Argos tree.
The Home 6ft Half Parasol Christmas Tree's online product description reads "Keep your perfectly placed baubles, bows and bells out of reach of curious, crawling kids or your cats' playful paws with this 6ft parasol tree.

"If Santa's been extra generous, there's plenty of room to stack pressies underneath rather than scattering them around it. It's also a great alternative to the traditional tree if you're a tad tight for space."

Sounds like a good idea to me!


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Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Keep Fit Kitty

You know how it is with cats. They like to keep fit. This fluffy feline was filmed doing her daily dozen under a car in China!

Well, you have to look your best at all times, especially if you want to be first in the queue when fishy treats are being handed out. So let's get those sit-ups going: one, two, three, four....




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Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Cats On The Page

 

Who can resist all those wonderful classic books featuring cats?

Now The British Library in London is putting on an exhibition called Cats On The Page which celebrates famous fictional cats in literature.

The free exhibition has been timed to coincide with the 80th anniversary of T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats which famously served as the inspiration for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats.

Items on display will include Quentin Blake illustration for Beatrix Potter’s Kitty in Boots,  drawings of Mog by Judith Kerr, and illustrations by Axel Scheffer for T.S. Eliot’s legendary feline-friendly poetry anthology.



Cats and their capers are celebrated in rhymes and stories familiar to us from childhood. Whether raising a smile, solving a crime, wreaking magical havoc or even performing in theatre, cats take centre stage.

They can be exuberant and playful or mysterious and threating.  Cats come to life in books, manuscripts and artwork to captivate and inspire. 

As they prowl the pages, these feline characters are sure to delight all ages – and especially anyone who loves cats! Visitors can take a look at original manuscripts by Eliot and The Owl And The Pussy-Cat poet Edward Lear. An 1879 letter by Lear featuring hand-drawn doodles of his cat Foss will be included, as well as a copy of Lewis Carroll’s Through The Looking Glass and what Alice found there. The edition was owned by the author and includes his disgruntled notes about the illustration of Alice’s kitten!

The exhibition also features a reading corner complete with books, a family trail and sound recordings.

  • The Cats On The Page exhibition runs from Friday, November 23 2018 to Sunday, March 17 2019. 



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Friday, 19 October 2018

Does Your Cat Love You?



Not all cats are overtly affectionate, some are more withdrawn than others. But there are ways to tell whether your feline friends like you.

1. They headbutt you: Headbutting identifies you as one of their friends. They also use head butting to mark their territory as they have scent glands on their chins, cheeks, forehead and lips. You have been marked as part of the clan!

2. They roll over and show you their tummy: Their stomach is a vulnerable part of their body so if they roll over they are demonstrating that they love you. Warning: Cats may also expose their tummies as a submissive or defensive act when they feel cornered. If you don't know the cat well beware of rubbing their tummy, they may take a swipe at you.

3. They purr when they're with you: Cats reserve their purrs exclusively for the humans they love. They don't purr for other cats, except their own kittens. Warning: Purring can occasionally be a sign of pain. If they seem upset or distressed while purring,  check them over.

An affectionate head-butt.


4. Their tail twitches or curls around you: A cat reveals its mood with its tail. An erect and swishy tail shows its happy in your presence. A tail curled around your leg or arm is also a sign of friendship and affection. Warning: An erect tail combined with upright fur and an arched back means they feel threatened.

5. Your cat brings you presents: It might not be a present you actually want e.g. a mouse,  bird or frog, but it's the thought that counts! Actually, I don't want to disappoint anyone but it's not really a gift for you, cats bring items into a home they feel secure in.

6. Your cat nibbles you: A nibble rather than a full-on bite is a sign they like you.

7. They talk to you! Cat owners will be aware of the strange high-pitched gurgling sound. It means they're feeling friendly and sociable.

8. They follow you around: Some cat owners can't even go to the bathroom without an audience! They want to be with  you.

I love you enough to show  you my tummy.

9. They lick your hair or ears: They  are grooming you and grooming is a sign of care and affection in cats.

10. They knead you with their paws: Kittens knead their mother to stimulate milk flow, but adult cats use kneading as a way to say, "I trust you."

11. They blink slowly at you:  This is sometimes referred to as a "kitty kiss". It's a sign of love. Blink slowly back!


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Monday, 15 October 2018

Baby Tiger Finds A Home



Who could resist this adorable little face?

It seems quite a few people could. The kitten was lying on a Malaysian street barely able to move with an injured leg and too weak to make a sound. Mother cat was nowhere to be found and pedestrians were passing her by.

Then Jieyan Ow came along. Jieyan had little experience of cats at but knew she couldn't leave the kitten to die in the street. She scooped her up and took her home.



The kitten was only about three weeks old and weighed just 260g (9oz). Jieyan took a crash course in caring for kittens, looking for advice on the internet. She tried to begin a regime of round-the-clock feeding but at first the little bundle was too scared to drink milk.

Soon, though, the kitten - which Jieyan named Baby Tiger - started to perk up and tucked in to some food. Soon she was purring for the first time.


The vet treated her leg which healed well.

Now Baby Tiger is part of the family. Jieyan said: "She has big round eyes, purrs a lot and demands attention all the time. She needs to be cuddled to sleep every day."

Here's a video of Baby Tiger. I hope you love it as much as I did.





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Monday, 8 October 2018

Obsessed By Cats?



Obsessed by cats? Me? No, of course not. True I spend far too much time on the internet reading cat stories, looking at cat pictures, and laughing at cat videos. I'm always sharing pictures of my cat baby on Instagram and tweeting about her on Twitter. My cat Toffee even has her own Facebook page (here) and Twitter account (here) but that's normal, right?

At least I've discovered that I'm not alone when it comes to feline fandom. A survey tracking cat owners' behaviour, conducted by OnePoll, shows that of 1,000 cat owners on social media, the average cat owner "likes" 398 cat-related posts and looks at 725 cat pictures and videos in a year. The study also found that 47 percent of cat owners who were surveyed reported often taking pics of their pets and say it takes an average of three tries to get the perfect shot.



Then there are the accoutrements of being a cat owner. The poll reports that 44 per cent  have a framed photo of their cat, 43 per cent own a cat stuffed animal, and 38 per cent of owners own a cat calendar. Guilty, guilty and guilty.

The poll also found that out of 365 days, the owners surveyed spend a total of eight days talking to their cat and 20 days cuddling with their cat. That seems a conservative estimate to me!

The bonding time actually proves to be super beneficial: 60 percent of the cat owners surveyed said their cat has aided in combating loneliness, and 54 percent explain their pet is something of a support system during stressful times.



The survey showed that owners were most concerned about their cats' eating habits and amount eaten, quality of their coat, energy levels, moods and engagement levels, and, of course, their cats’ overall happiness.

Sooo, you see I'm not obsessed, I'm perfectly normal!


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Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Jeffyne's Idyllic Job



A few weeks ago I posted a story about a job looking after up to 70 cats at a rescue centre on the idyllic Greek island of Syros (read it here).

Centre owners Richard and Joan Bowell were offering the successful applicant a wage with a lovely house near the beach to live in and a car.

The story went viral and within six weeks there were nearly 40,000 applicants. Joan kept updating the Facebook post, emphasising that the job was indeed real, and clarifying that the tiny house provided to the manager would not accommodate families or pets brought from home, and that it was a job that entailed scooping poop, cleaning vomit and making "heartbreaking" decisions about gravely wounded or sick cats.

Even so, the applications kept pouring in. Now the Bowells have made their decision and given the job to 62-year-old Californian Jeffyne Telson, whose husband sent her the link to the job ad in August.

"He said, 'Jeffyne, this job has you written all over it. Are you going to wait until you're too old to try to access your dream?'"

For 21 years, Jeffyne has run RESQCATS in Santa Barbara, California, which takes only strays - the cats found roaming alleys, the kittens located behind the shed. The cats like those on Greek islands, which Jeffyne has visited three times.

"I didn't do all the tourist stuff on the Greek islands. I separated myself from the tourists and walked up and down the streets looking for the kitties," Jeffyne said. "I thought, 'There's just so much to be done here.' "

So Jeffyne sent a letter to the Bowells, explaining that she'd placed 3,000 cats and kittens in homes over the decades. Those too sick or antisocial to be adopted stay at her sanctuary; currently, it has 15 residents, including four feline leukaemia patients in their own isolated area.

"I believe that every life is precious and worth saving,she wrote in her application.

Richard said her application stood out immediately. The Bowells travelled to Santa Barbara to meet Jeffyne in mid-September, and he said that "there was an instant connection between Joan and Jeffyne - and the other way around." Jeffyne, like Joan Bowell, is an artist. She, too, has never had children.

Jeffyne said she would leave her rescue centre in the care of volunteers this winter, when it shuts down for the season, and spend several months in Syros.


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Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Salem, Sabrina The The Teenage Witch's Cat




I was reading Birgit's blog and she mentioned Sabrina The Teenage Witch. I must confess I was probably a little too old to appreciate it fully when it was on TV but I did remember the wonderfully sassy cat Salem.

It seems I'm not the only one to be a fan of the smart-aleck cat. Lara, from the UK, loved the show when she was teenager.

Her husband Sam said: "My wife Lara had always wanted a black cat. This came from her childhood love of witches. Her favourite TV show growing up was Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and the witch had a talking black cat as a pet.

"We could not believe it when Cats Protection told us that many of the cats in their care are actually black, because many people simply don’t want them. This made Lara really sad."

I wrote about the unpopularity of black cats in my post Black Cats Rule

Sam and Lara were introduced to Coco at their Cats Protection and fell in love with her straight away.

Speaking as part of Purina and Cats Protection's Unadoptables campaign - which celebrates the fact no cat is unadoptable - Sam said: "Sadly, many of the cats in care are black. Where it was once superstition and the fear of bad luck, a growing trend to why black cats are often overlooked is because apparently, they don’t photograph well for people’s social feeds."

Sam and Lara originally looked into adopting a black kitten for their little girls - but they were just as thrilled when the family found a cat who was a little older. Sam said: "The girls weren’t at all sad that she’s not a kitten, they absolutely love her.

"The first day we took her home, she vanished. We looked everywhere. I couldn’t believe it when we found her in our girls’ room as they are so noisy and manic. In the drawers under their bed, I could just see a little bit of fur snuggled amongst the fancy dress."

If you can't remember much about Salem, here's a little video for  you.




And finally... you can't keep a good cat down! This Youtube video (nothing at all to do with the story above) made me laugh.




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Tuesday, 4 September 2018

What's In A (Cat's) Name?

You talking to me?

Take care when naming your cat. According to a veterinarian, if you want puss to take any  notice of you, you should pick a name that sounds high-pitched.



Canadian veterinarian Dr Uri Burstyn says cats' ears are finely attuned to higher noises.  Ideally, you want your cat’s name to end in a high frequency, since that’s the kind of sound cats hear best and naturally pay attention to. After all, mice squeak and birds chirp. They have more trouble hearing low-frequency sounds. So Felix or Garfield aren't ideal names but Fluffy is fine.

And that's why "kitty kitty" works pretty well to get a cat to listen to you. It's a squeaky sound.

Below Dr. Uri, helped by his friend Lancelot, shows how the right name can get your cat's attention.








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