What's New Pussycat?

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by StrangerInAStrangeLand, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Finding the Right Vet

    One of the most important decisions you’ll make as a pet parent is finding a quality health care provider for your furry friend. Selecting the right veterinarian is a personal decision, but you’ll want to choose a practice that offers the highest available standard of care.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    When Should I Look for a Vet?

    Guardians seek out new vets for a variety of reasons, including a recent adoption or move, concerns about a current vet’s quality of care or treatment for a pet’s specific health problem.

    How Do I Find a Vet?

    The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) evaluates veterinary practices on the quality of their facilities, staff, equipment and patient care. Search the organization’s website at www.healthypet.com for a list of accredited vets in your area.

    It’s also a good idea to ask for recommendations from friends, family and trusted neighbors—especially those who take a keen interest in their cats’ health and well-being.

    How Do I Decide Which Vet is Right for My Cat?

    Here are some things to consider when selecting a vet:
    •Arrange for a first appointment without your cat to speak with a veterinarian and get an overall feel of the facilities.
    •During your appointment, look around and consider whether the space is clean, modern and well-organized.
    •Inquire about the number of vets on staff. In many practices, vets may share responsibility for patients and cover for each other during vacations or other absences.
    •Do you have good rapport with the vet? Effective communication is essential to any health care relationship.
    •Ask questions! Don’t be shy; most vets appreciate it when their clients take an interest in their pets’ care.

    What Questions Should I Ask When I’m Selecting a Vet?

    Although your questions may vary depending on the reason for your visit, you can use the following list as a guide:
    •Is the practice AAHA-accredited?
    •How are overnight patients monitored?
    •What sort of equipment does the practice use?
    •Does the vet refer patients to specialists?
    •How are patients evaluated before anesthesia and surgery?
    •Does the practice have licensed veterinary technicians on staff?
    •What is the protocol for pain management?

    What If I Have Problems with My Vet? Can I Switch?

    Don’t worry about leaving your current vet if you have concerns about the quality of care. Most veterinary practices, like all businesses, expect clients to come and go. Before you leave, remember to ask for a complete copy of your cat’s health records to be mailed or faxed to you or your new vet.

    From: Vet Confidential: An Insider's Guide to Protecting Your Pet's Health
    By Louise Murray, DVM
  2. Guest Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Facts about cats. Pictures of cats. Cat news. Stories about cats. Your cats, any cats.

    Cat Litter

    What to choose when cat litter is on your shopping list

    Your new cat is coming home from the animal shelter tomorrow. Busily you shop, checking off the items on your list, including cat food, toys, a scratching post and myriad other goodies.

    And at the very top of the list are litterbox necessities. You head to the nearest pet supply superstore, and are faced with row after row of “all things litter.” Pastel-colored clumping litter, good old clay litter, some that’s made from pine and some that’s made from newspaper…What to choose, what to choose? Whether you are an experienced owner or a novice, the multitude of choices could prove daunting. But this was not always the case.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Pay Dirt

    Prior to World War II, most cats lived indoor/outdoor lives and their toileting areas were neighborhood backyards and gardens. For indoor needs, some families kept boxes of sand or ashes from the furnace for their cat’s use in the cellar. Housewives of the 1940s were none too enamored with cats tracking ashes or sand through their homes. So an ex-sailor named Ed Lowe suggested that his neighbor try absorbent clay, which was a popular product for cleaning up industrial spills in wartime factories and happened to be made by his father’s firm. Kitty Litter was born.

    Granulated clay litter offered improved odor control over ashes or sand by siphoning urine to the bottom of the pan and controlling ammonia smells until the litter reached a saturation point—usually within a week in a box used by a single cat. Today, most folks either scoop solids daily and completely replace the litter once a week, or use less litter in the box and dump and clean daily. The granules of traditional litter are fairly large and do not tend to cling to a cat’s paws, so there is little tracking of litter outside the box.

    To Clump or Not to Clump

    Granulated clay litters remained unchallenged for nearly 40 years, with little change or refinement until Thomas Nelson, Ph.D., needed a way to supplement his income while in graduate school. The biochemist began to raise Persian cats, and ended up developing clumping litter. Quoted in an October 1996 article in Cat Fancy magazine, Dr. Nelson explains, “I hunted around and found clays that were dried but not baked. They were very absorbent and would form a clump when the cat urinated on them. The clump could then be removed, thereby getting rid of the urine. I had a box of litter I did not change in 10 years—I just added more—and it had absolutely no odor at all.”

    The removal of almost all urine and feces does produce a better-smelling box area for weeks at a time without completely throwing out the old litter and starting from scratch. But we should point out that if more than one cat uses the box, there is usually a fairly pronounced odor in 4 to 6 weeks, even with scooping and litter replacement. It is necessary to replace the approximate amount scooped out with fresh clumping litter, for if it is allowed to go below a certain volume, urine will tend to pool and cake in corners and odors will arise.

    The variety of clumping litters offers several options beyond the traditional scented and non-scented choices found with most granulated litters. Most cats prefer non-scented litter, an especially important point for owners who plan to use covered litter boxes. There are multi-cat formulas that form more cement-like clumps that will keep their form even when tread on by extra cat traffic; these are definitely not flushable! There are also less-tracking formulas, which offer slightly larger granules that are more likely to fall off of the cat’s paws before he leaves the box. And there are clumping litters developed especially for flushability, a quality most clumping litters don’t have due to their expansive properties. Each year the list of varieties grows.

    A few years after clumping litter first came out, an article in the now-defunct holistic cat magazine Tiger Tribe questioned the safety of clumping litter if ingested, especially for neonate kittens who often eat litter when it is introduced to them during the weaning stage. While there has been no proof to claims of problems in scientific literature, caretakers may wish to delay introducing kittens to clumping litter until 3 to 4 months of age. Any cat older than that detected eating litter should be taken to a veterinarian, since this behavior often indicates anemia or other dietary deficiencies.

    Scoopable cat litter continues to be a hot topic on the Internet, with some claiming that it is toxic and causes respiratory illness in cats. Many scoopable cat litters contain bentonite clay, a naturally occurring clay mineral that is considered to be biologically inert when ingested, and/or silica. Silica is also a physically and chemically inert substance, and is a major component found in ordinary sand. Silica is also used as a moisture-absorbing agent in the little packets found in shoe boxes, medications and some foods. According to our experts at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, pets ingesting small amounts of silica gel may develop only mild gastrointestinal upset, if any signs develop at all.

    Cats may ingest small amounts of litter when grooming themselves after using the litter box, and these amounts pass through the digestive tract easily without problems. However, if an animal consumes a very large amount of litter (as can happen when a dog "cleans out" the litter box), gastrointestinal upset, constipation or, in rare cases, intestinal obstruction could potentially occur.


    The field of cat litter doesn’t end at granulated vs. clumping clay. The shelves at local pet supply emporia also hold an array of litters made from eco-friendly materials, including recycled newspaper, corn cobs, peanut shell meal, processed orange peel, wheat, pine sawdust and shavings, and hardwood and cedar chips. All promise to be superior odor controllers, long lasting and earth-friendly. What to choose, what to choose…?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    In 1990, Dr. Peter Borchelt, an applied animal behaviorist, ran three 10-day tests to determine feline litter preference using a comparison of 14 types of commercial litter as well as topsoil mixed with clay litter and playbox sand. Each cat had 6 boxes to choose from; midway through the testing, the boxes were moved to prevent placement preference from overriding litter type preference. In test after test, fine-grained clumping litter was used more than twice as often as its nearest competitor, with boxes of wood chips, grain litter and recycled paper litter going completely unused. Borchelt concludes, “These data support the clinical observation that an important factor in cats’ preference for litter material is its texture, granularity or coarseness. Everclean, a finely textured clay, was preferred to clay with larger particle sizes. But playbox sand, which is also finely textured, was not preferred much more than coarse clay, perhaps because of the weight of the particles.”

    What to choose? You control the purse strings, but the ultimate choice is up to your feline friend. For if he does not like the smell and feel of the litter, he will take his business elsewhere.

    Did You Know?

    Many scoopable cat litters are processed in such a way to remove as much of the fine dust as possible. If you find that you or your cat is particularly sensitive to airborne dust particles, you may wish to consider using an alternate form of litter.

    Lapsed Users

    One in every 10 cats will have a litterbox lapse in his or her lifetime. The 20 most common reasons are:
    1.The cat is suffering from a medical problem involving the urinary tract.
    2.The cat experiences a bout of geriatric constipation.
    3.The caretaker does not keep the box as clean as the cat wants it to be.
    4.The owner changes the brand or type of litter.
    5.The owner changes the location of the litterbox.
    6.The owner switches to deodorized or perfumed litter.
    7.The owner buys a new box and throws out the old one.
    8.The owner cleans the litterbox with too harsh a cleaning product.
    9.The location of the litterbox is too busy or not private enough for the cat.
    10.The home is too large for just one litterbox.
    11.The cat inadvertently gets locked out of reach of the litterbox.
    12.The cat is kept from using the litterbox by another animal in the house.
    13.There are too many cats and not enough litterboxes.
    14.There are too many cats and not enough territory.
    15.Stray cats can be seen/smelled near the cat’s territory.
    16.The unneutered male cat has come of age and is marking his territory.
    17.The unspayed female is in heat and advertising for suitors.
    18.Over time, the cat has developed an aversion to the texture of the litter.
    19.The cat was never properly trained to use the litterbox in the first place.
    20.The cat is stressed by a change in routine or environment, including a new baby, new furniture, work schedule changes, vacations, overnight guests or a move.
  4. Guest Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    Here's looking at you...

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  6. Guest Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    That's great! Hope it doesn't disappear like several others in this thread. Any idea what the problem may be?
  8. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    I'm not quite sure but some images may have a copyright protection code built into them which does not allow a direct link, is my best guess. If one takes the time to save them to an album and then link back to the saved image, one can usually avoid this problem. Sometimes I am in a hurry and do not have time to go through the longer process. I avoid most wallpaper sites unless I have time for those are notorious for disappearing. I will see about retrieving any that are not showing on my computer. Here is a new image in the interim.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  9. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    I'm not sure if the first one is visible. It was not showing for me earlier but now it is after I saved the image to my computer. The second one is not visible to me so I'm guessing no one else can view it.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  10. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    I think this one is exceptionally nice. Black and white is such an interesting medium.
  11. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Me too. I love color, black&white, sepia & others. I do most of my photography in color but I definitely would not want to be without black&white or sepia.

    I didn't mean to put you to work. I liked the pics & was curious. Thanks tho.
  12. Enmos Valued Senior Member

    Mod note:

    Posts #62-64 (posted by Arne Saknussemm and Fraggle Rocker and previously situated between current posts #61 and #62) have been split off to a new thread called "Dogs".
  13. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Cat Vocalizations

    Meow More Than Ever!

    Purrs, chirps, hisses and snarls…What exactly is your cat trying to tell you?

    A stray tabby gives birth to a litter of three kittens under the lilac bush in a backyard. As she nurses them, she purrs; as they suckle, the kittens purr, too. When the queen shifts her weight to try to find a more comfortable nursing position, one of the kittens lets out a distress call, indicating he's trapped under his mother's weight. She readjusts herself, and the purring party continues.

    One morning, the mother cat decides to move her litter to a safer spot. She deposits
    the first one inside the garden shed, and goes to retrieve the next one. Detecting the absence of his mother via his sense of smell, the kitten in the shed lets out a loud distress call, distinctly meant to reunite mothers and wayward kittens.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    As the kittens mature, the queen spends more time away from the nest, hunting for prey to ensure enough milk for her growing crew. Each time she returns, she gives out a "brrp" to her kittens.

    When the kittens enter the weaning stage, the queen brings prey home to them, calling them over to it with a chirp. The kittens also begin to make chirping noises in anticipation for what they are about to receive. However, one night's dinner is interrupted when Mom lets out a long, low-pitched growl. The kittens scatter and retreat to safety inside the shed before the owl overhead can snatch one for his own evening meal.

    As independent hunters, cats have limited need for an extensive vocal repertory. Cat-to-cat vocalizations are generally limited to communicating with one's kittens, one's sexual partners and one's potential enemies. There is also an array of vocalizations used by our furry friends when they attempt to communicate with us.

    By changing volume, intensity and number of repetitions of the vocalizations and backing them up with expressive body language and olfactory signaling, cats ensure their messages are received and that their needs are met.

    Purring 101

    The purr is the most common sound issued by cats—and yet one of the least understood. Kittens just a few hours old begin purring as they knead their mother's chest and nurse. The purr sound is made both on the inhale and the exhale, with an instantaneous break between breaths. Built-up pressure created by the opening and closing of the glottis results in a sudden separation of the vocal folds, creating the purr. While purring is often heard when the cat seems content, those familiar with handling cats in pain or near death know that they also purr when under duress, the reason for which is yet unknown.

    The Meaning of Meow

    The second most common vocalization is the meow. Rarely heard between cats, this vocalization seems tailor-made for communication between cats and humans. Early on, cats notice that meowing brings attention, contact, food and play from their human companions. Some behaviorists suggest that certain cats seem to alter their meows to suit different purposes, and that some guardians can differentiate between, say, the "I'm Hungry!" meow from the "Let Me Out!" meow.

    The meow is the most often used of the vowel patterns—vocalizations produced with the mouth first open and then gradually closing.
    - The sound cats make when highly aroused by the sight of prey is called chirping.
    - When a cat is frustrated (such as when an indoor cat finds he is unable to get to the birds at the feeder), you may hear him chatter.
    - When a neonate kitten is cold, isolated from his mother or trapped, he issues a distress call—also sometimes called an anger wail. As the kitten matures, the distress call is used when play is too rough or the cat finds something else to protest.

    A Hiss Is Just a Hiss?

    All threat vocalizations are produced with the mouth held open. These sounds mirror the cat's intense emotional state. A hiss is uttered when a cat is surprised by an enemy. A high-pitched shriek or scream is expressed when the cat is in pain or fearful and aggressive. Snarling is often heard when two toms are in the midst of a fight over territory or female attention. And a long, low-pitched growl warns of danger.
  14. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    No biggie. You are welcome.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  15. Arne Saknussemm trying to figure it all out Valued Senior Member


    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  16. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

  17. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    View: Don't ignore animal cruelty

    Kiley Blackman 12:06 a.m. EDT May 31, 2014

    The worst animal cruelty disaster in Westchester's history was discovered in April. Studies link animal cruelty and violence against humans. Please speak up if you see animal abuse.

    Re "Investigator: Cats found hanging from tree were beaten to death," April 26 article:

    We are still reeling from the worst animal cruelty disaster in Westchester's history, when 25 bludgeoned cats were found hanging from trees in Yonkers in April. Our hearts broke to think of the suffering these innocents went through, some just tiny kittens, only seeking shelter and a bit of food. They did not deserve such a miserable, cruel fate. There is a $25,000 reward for anyone with information leading to an arrest. We urge anyone who has information about this atrocity to come forward; those who feel free to hurt helpless victims must be brought to justice.

    Several studies have found a clear link between animal cruelty and violence against humans. Please speak up — you might be saving someone's child from a terrible fate: Ten years after the animal abuser tortured and burned the cat for whom Buster's Law was named, he was arrested for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl. Numerous other violent criminals had a history of abusing animals, including the Columbine school shooters, the Boston Strangler, Jeffrey Dahmer and one of the Jonesboro school shooters. Seven of the school shootings that took place between 1997 and 2001 in the United States involved boys who had previously committed acts of animal cruelty.

    Changing perceptions

    It has been mandatory in New York state since 1976 that humane education be taught in grade school, but it is not being done. Humane education promotes environmental conservation and the development of empathy toward all living beings. Teaching kindness and compassion to children might go a long way in stopping the current bullying epidemic in the schools, as well as helping animals — why are schools allowed to ignore this mandate?

    Bags of dead cats found hanging from trees off of Overlook Terrace in Yonkers on April 24, 2014. (Video by Hoa Nguyen/The Journal News)

    Law enforcement, too, must be sensitized. A recent case of horrific animal abuse in Chicago was not reported by the responding officer, who stated, "It's just an animal." Seminars are being conducted all over the country to educate police departments on the handling of animal abuse cases; there are laws on the books deeming deliberate or negligent harming of an animal to be a criminal act. A crime is a crime, against a human or non-human animal, and must be treated as such.

    Perceptions are changing: People now realize we have no inherent right to harm animals. Indeed, when it comes to the most vulnerable members of society — children, the elderly, animals — we must speak up for them. All deserve kindness, respect and compassion. If you see them in trouble, don't turn away.

    The writer is founder of Animal Defenders of Westchester.


    If you have information about the Yonkers cat torture case, call:

    • SPCA Humane Law Enforcement Hotline, 914-941-7797.

    • Yonkers Police Department, 914-377-7724 or 914-377-7725.

    TNR expands

    The Westchester County Executive's office has been working with Animal Defenders of Westchester to create a county-assisted Trap/Neuter/Release program. This program helps reduce the size of resident cat colonies, while providing medical care and vaccinations to these vulnerable members of our community. Alley Cat Allies, a national cat advocacy organization, has been kind enough to contribute funding to this new program as well. Animal Defenders of Westchester has also been working with Yonkers Mayor Michael Spano about implementing a formal, city-assisted TNR program, as has been done successfully in Putnam, Yorktown and Dobbs Ferry, as well as in other areas around the country.
  18. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Facebook helps track down man who kicked cat on video

    Matt Payton Wednesday 7 May 2014

    A man videoed kicking a cat has been arrested after an internet campaign on social media helped police find him.

    Andre Robinson lured the friendly feline with a stroke of the head before telling friends: ‘Watch this.’

    Mr Robinson then kicked the unsuspecting animal and, according to the police report, the cat flew around 20 feet.

    Veterinarians had expressed concern due to the likelihood of serious injury to the animal and, although it has been suggested the same cat was later found safe and well, police officers have stated they are still looking for it.

    Mr Robinson has been arrested by New York Police Department for aggravated criminal assault, after the video was shared thousands of times on social media.

    This led to members of the public on Facebook and Twitter recognising the exact location of the vicious attack and, later, the perpetrator himself.

    Warning- video contains footage some viewers may find disturbing

    Helpless stray cat goes flying after being kicked by heartless creep in Brooklyn

    Andre Robinson, 21, is seen laughing as he lures the unsuspecting kitty toward him before he kicks it with full force, sending it flying 20 feet through the air. Video of the vicious May 2 act was posted on Facebook and circulated for several days before cops arrested Robinson on Monday. He has eight prior arrests, including one for knifepoint robbery.
  19. Enmos Valued Senior Member

    Build a machine strong enough to kick him 20 feet. See how he likes it.
  20. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    When he is sober or high on drugs?
  21. Enmos Valued Senior Member

    Depends, if he's gonna live I won't object to him being high on drugs.
  22. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Cats and Babies

    Today, shelters are still visited by tearful mothers-to-be with cats in tow, having made their appointments after well-meaning relatives or old-school obstetricians have convinced them that keeping a cat risks the health and well-being of their unborn child. Don't succumb to these old wives' tales. Knowing the facts will help provide ways to safeguard both fetus and feline.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Before . . .

    The parasitic infection toxoplasmosis is perhaps a pregnant catkeeper's greatest fear. It can result in miscarriage, stillbirth or such birth defects as blindness, deafness, hydrocephalus or epilepsy. Since cats can become infected with the parasite by eating small mammals or birds, it is best to keep your cat indoors. Now is not a good time to befriend strays, as they may already be infected.

    Toxoplasmosis cysts are shed in the feces of infected animals. Since cats often use gardens as litter boxes, wear gloves when gardening and when you are washing raw vegetables and fruits, handling raw meat or scrubbing food prep surfaces. You should also avoid rubbing your eyes until your hands have been washed. And do not eat or feed your cat raw or undercooked meat. To prevent any cysts that are passed in the feces from becoming infectious, scoop fecal matter at least twice a day. Better yet, use your "delicate condition" to get your mate to handle the dirt detail.

    Some cats resemble little old maids who cannot tolerate change. These are the cats most likely to be affected by a new baby, so use the entire pregnancy to slowly prepare them. Play tapes of baby noises to acclimate your cat to the new sounds he's about to hear, or rub baby lotion on your hands before engaging in a pleasant activity with him to create positive associations with baby odors. Set up nursery furniture as soon as possible, and allow him several weeks to investigate before you select surfaces to declare off limits—such as the changing table and crib—so that he can see there's nothing scary here. However, don't make it so comfortable that he'll want to nap on them. Then, at least one month before the baby arrives, make the surfaces unwelcoming. Cut sheets of cardboard to the size of the furniture surfaces and cover one side with double-sided adhesive/masking tape. Cats tend to avoid sticky surfaces, and by the end of the month, he should steer clear of these sites.

    If the litter box has been kept in the soon-to-be nursery, begin several months ahead of time to move it a few inches a day to its new location. If the transition is made too quickly, your cat may return to soil in his old spot. Covering that area with a solid object like a diaper pail or dresser may deter him.

    Finally, any cat care routines that will be shifted from new mother to mate after the baby arrives should actually be switched one to two months before the birth. These might include feedings, grooming, play sessions and sleep partners/locations. If these were always shared activities, the change will make little difference to the cat. If not, the cat will need time to adjust to the style and skills of the new caregiver.

    . . . And After Birth

    When you first arrive home from the hospital, peacefully greet your cat in a quiet room without interruption. Once you've had a few minutes to reconnect, let in everyone else—mate, baby, grandparents, baby nurse and assorted well-wishers. Unless your cat is extremely social, he will flee the hoopla and go into hiding. Once things settle down, he will come tiptoeing back.

    Place a used receiving blanket or piece of infantwear in a quiet area where the cat can investigate it. When nursing, allow the cat to approach and check things out. If he follows you into the nursery at naptime, make sure he doesn't jump into the crib. While there's certainly no truth to the myth that cats suck the air out of babies' lungs, a newborn does not have the capacity to turn over or even move her head at first. A heat-seeking cat who chooses to cuddle up close to the baby's face could make it difficult for the child to breathe. Close the door to the nursery when the baby is napping. If there is no door to close, either install a temporary screen door or place a crib tent over the crib to keep the cat out. These precautions also prevent the cat from urinating in the crib, something he may try if extremely stressed.

    With the baby safely at rest, now's the perfect time to grab a catnap with your favorite feline.
  23. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member


    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


Share This Page