Join Us and Royal Canin: National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day

August 22 has been set aside as a date to remind cat owners everywhere to take their #cats to the Vet. CFA has joined with Royal Canin with this promotion.

According to a release from Royal Canin, did you know that while 92 percent of cat owners agree that their cat’s health is important to them, only 41 percent take their cat to the vet for regular checkups, according to a new survey from Royal Canin, a pet nutrition company? In fact, only one cat is seen by a veterinarian for every five dogs, despite the fact that 10 million more cats are owned in the United States.

“Our goal with this year’s program is to rally cat owners, veterinarians, industry partners and even celebrities together to shine the spotlight on the importance of veterinary care for cats,” explained Kamie Eckert, president of Royal Canin USA. “While the gap in preventive veterinary care between dogs and cats in the U.S. continues to be a concern, the great news is that it can be addressed.”

For more information and tips on stress-free vet visits for cat owners and cats or to learn more about Royal Canin visit www.royalcanin.com/Cat2VetDay. You can also join the conversation on social media by using hashtag #Cat2VetDay.

TYCTTVD2

Those “Kinky” Cats!

Editor’s note:  With all the emphasis being placed on felines with curly coats, we thought we’d share this article:

Those Kinky Cats
by Tracy Petty

Mutations can cause all sorts of changes in cats, just like in other animals. When someone with some knowledge of genetics spots a mutation that they think is interesting, they might develop it, test that it is not harmful, and eventually, that mutation may become the basis for a new breed.

That’s what happened to create six varieties of “kinky cats.” Each of these breeds were developed from separate gene mutations which affected the coat of the offspring. None of these breeds have any known relation to one another; they are all separate mutations occurring at different times and places, but each was carefully bred to make these wonderful and interesting breeds.

Cornish Rex

First found in 1950 in Cornwall, England, the Cornish Rex coat is short, soft, and wavy. While most cats have three layers to their coat, Cornish Rex have only the very shortest “down” layer. For most cats, this layer is hidden amongst the longer layers of hair as an insulating layer. Without guard hairs, the Cornish Rex coat is extremely soft and warm to the touch. The curly coat should lay down in waves, resembling the old-time Marcel wave hairstyles. Cornish Rex are very athletic cats, with long legs and sleek, muscular bodies. They are very active and extremely friendly, and can jump quite high — especially for toys!

Devon Rexdevon rex

Also discovered in England less than a decade later, the Devon Rex mutation was originally thought to be the same as the Cornish Rex, but test breedings quickly proved that this was a different mutation entirely. The Devon Rex coat is also soft and curly, but includes the “awn”, or second layer of coat. The awn hair is only slightly longer than the down hair, but often does not lay in waves close to thebody. Rather, it can form loose Marcel waves or be more free-form waves all over the cat. The head of the Devon Rex has a pixie-like appearance with high cheek bones and very large, wide-set ears. They are extremely loving, people-oriented cats and like the Cornish Rex, their short coats mean minimal shedding and very little coat maintenance.

American Wirehairwirehair

First discovered in the mid-1960s, the American Wirehair is very unique and distinct from any of the Rex breeds. Unlike the Cornish and Devon Rex, the American Wirehair’s curl is in the guard hairs, the longest, outer layer of coat. This is the layer that is meant to protect cats from the elements more than insulate, so it has a harder feel, and thus a completely different texture to the curl. As the name Wirehair implies, this is a coarser, tightly curled coat and it does not lay down in waves, but forms a plush layer of hair around the entire cat. Following a body style similar to the American Shorthair, they don’t have the other-worldly look of the Cornish and Devon Rex, and have a quieter, more reserved demeanor, while still being very affectionate and playful.

Selkirk RexSelkirk Rex

Another American mutation first found in 1987 in Montana is the Selkirk Rex. Like the American Wirehair, the Selkirk curl is in the outer guard hairs, but the coat is soft rather than wired. The curls tend to be large and loosely organized, sometimes gathering in “ringlets” in both the long haired and short haired variety of Selkirk. Several heavy-boned breeds were used to develop the Selkirk Rex breed, so this is a broad, substantial cat with a round head and large, expressive eyes. It is a gentle, patient, and loving breed which requires minimal grooming, as excessive brushing or bathing may relax the curl.

LaPermLaPerm

While a completely separate mutation from other other curly breeds, the LaPerm has taken bits and pieces from the others and formed a unique look and feel. The first LaPerms were found in Oregon in the early ’80s, but were not developed into a breed for nearly a decade after that. Like the Selkirk Rex, LaPerms can be either long haired or short haired, and have a coat texture that is not as soft as the Rex breeds but not as coarse as a Wirehair. It has a more rippled texture, sometimes laying in waves, or ringlets, or even corkscrew curls. They have a moderate body style and medium boning, and unlike the other curly breeds, the LaPerm has long flexible whiskers that don’t break off. These are gentle, affectionate cats that are quick to purr and are always ready to be the perfect lap cat whenever a lap should appear.

Sphynxsphinx

While not technically a kinky-coated cat, the Sphynx is certainly the most risqué breed, daring to go bare! The Sphynx mutation causes hairlessness, or near hairlessness, as most will have a bit of very short hair on the face, ears, feet or tail, and may have a very short, fine “peach fuzz” over the body. Their skin is wrinkled, especially on the legs, head and neck area, and while the body may appear smooth, they can suddenly move and send wrinkles cascading down the body. Sphynx have a full midsection as if they’ve perpetually just finished a good meal, and they love to be the center of attention and will do what they have to do to get and hold your attention. Although they require a bit of upkeep and cleaning to remove body oils that would usually be absorbed by a coat, shedding and dander are minimal and so Sphynx are sometimes tolerated by people who are otherwise sensitive to cats.

Celebrating Pets Isn’t Limited to the Month of May

This month marks the start of National Pet Month. But as cat owner, we celebrate our pets all year long. For many of us, the road to our heart is paved with paw prints.

CFA recently posed the question on Facebook: How old were you when you got your first cat?

Alice shared that her parents presented her with her first cat before the age of 2. She’s had many more since then, telling us each one was cherished throughout the years.

Shannon posted that when her mom brought her home from the hospital, her father brought home a litter of kittens he found while on patrol.

Annie related that she asked for her first kitten when she was just a three-year-old. She recalls that she asked for a kitten after watching Pinocchio. She adopted a gold eyed white DSH with a grey patched head…and of course named him Figaro. Annie says he was her best friend.

Betsy tells us that she has a picture of herself at five years holding a kitten. She says at the young age of 79 she continues to care for cats.

Lana’s short-hair, pure white Snowball girl lived to be 18.

So as we celebrate National Pet Month, it is certainly clear that sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in our hearts.Friendship week3

The Dangers of Easter Lilies

Although beautiful, Easter lilies are a real health threat to your cat. Just one bite of a petal, leaves, the stem, or even the pollen of an Easter lily can cause problems with the digestive system, and can even lead to kidney failure and death.

Early signs (approximately 2-4 hours after ingestion) of lily poisoning
in your cat include:

Vomiting
Lethargy
Lack of appetite

Later signs (approximately 24-72 hours after ingestion) include:

Initially, increased thirst and urination. Then, decreased urination if the kidneys fail.

You may not actually see you kitty ingest the lily, but if you see suspicious symptoms and there are lilies around, seek out a veterinarian.  When it comes to treatment, time is of the essence! If treatment is administered within the first few hours, chances are good that your kitty will survive. After 18-24 hours, however, the prognosis is not as hopeful, even for cats who receive treatment.

The best way to keep your cat safe is to make sure your cat doesn’t have Easter lily access to begin with. Instead, choose one of the other beautiful Easter flowers that are safer for your cat, for instance: Easter orchids, violets, or Easter Cactus.
Easter Lily Danger

Use a Harness on Your Cat for Safety, Exercise and Fun!

This is the time of year when your cat may be interested in going outside. Believe it or not, your cat can adapt to using a harness and leash. It just takes some time, patience and practice. You can teach your cat how to use a harness or leash and take your cat for a walk!

Cat trainer and breeder, Lisa Maria Padilla demonstrates how to harness your cat with a Sturdi Harness.

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Photo: Larry Johnson

Be sure to discuss with your vet ahead of time your intention and ask how to properly protect your cat from fleas and ticks.

Below are some tips for you to consider in using a harness and leash:

1. Purchase a harness like the Sturdi harness that is made specially for cats.

2. Leave the harness laying around so that your cat gets used to it and let your cat sniff the harness and get used to it.

3. Use treats to encourage your cat the entire time you are trying the harness on your cat. If your cat objects, don’t get discouraged, just take the harness off and try again another day. Be sure you have two fingers between the harness and your cat’s body.

4. If your cat is agreeable to the harness, let him sit with the harness on wait a bit before you use the leash. Observe your cat to see how relaxed he is and that should give you a guide as to how to proceed.

5. When you attach the leash, follow the same procedure and monitor your cat’s comfort level. You can let the leash drag on the floor until you see that your cat is comfortable. Practice using the harness and leash indoors until you and your cat are comfortable. Keep the leash loose to give your cat room to move, speak in a soothing voice and give him treats to let him know he is doing a good job.

6. Apply gentle but firm pressure. Be sure not to jerk or drag the leash.

7. Once you decide to venture outdoors, take your cat to a quiet spot and sit with him while your cat roams around with you holding the leash.

8. Repeat this process until you and your cat are comfortable. Allow him to explore his surroundings with you following behind with the leash. You will get an idea as to when a good time is to venture further with your cat.

For some inspiration, check out the adventures of “Fish and Chips”, 2 kitties who LOVE going on outdoor trips with their humans!

Nursing Home Companion

In one of the sweetest stories of the week, we learn about Oreo.

Oreo was a black & white stray kitty, living near St. Augustine Health Ministries in Cleveland, OH.

She kept returning to the nursing home, and pretty soon had worked her way into being part of the “staff”.  :-)  Now she spends her days bringing joy to residents and staff.

Read more….

Meet the Chartreux

Chatreux-1Old as antiquity, the robust and muscular French Chartreux (pronounced: shar trew) is built for survival. Its physical appearance still reflects its ancient origin in the harsh arid cold of mountainous Asia Minor. Its large body mass conserves heat, aided by a dense woolly coat that repels dew and seasonal weather. Small, fur-covered appendages-ears, legs, and tail-prevent heat loss and resist frostbite.

 

The Chartreux is a study in contrasts. Often described as a “potato on toothpicks,” the Chartreux has a robust body, broad shoulders and a deep chest, all complemented by medium short, finely boned legs. The Chartreux is also known for its smile. The rounded head with its softly contoured forehead tapers to a narrowed muzzle. This gives the Chartreux an image of smiling.

Chartreux-2

 

Chartreux are highly communicative. Very active tails, ear movements, ever-changing facial expressions, and a vast repertoire of trills, chirps, and coos speak volumes to the observant owner.

 

Chartreux are named according to the French convention of using the letter of the alphabet assigned to a given year. For example, kittens born during calendar year 2005 have names beginning with the letter A; 2006, B; 2007, C; and so on. The letters K, Q, W, X, Y, Z are not used, so letters repeat every 20 years. As a result, fanciers can tell the age of a Chartreux simply by knowing its name.

 

Learn more about the Chartreux…

 

Family Pets Aid Child Development

Kids-And-PetsIn a newly published study, the University of Liverpool examined the benefits to children growing up with pets.

The study concluded that youngsters with pets tend to have greater self-esteem, less loneliness, and enhanced social skills –  research that adds strength to claims that household pets can help support healthy child development.

“The patterns among sub-populations and age groups suggests that companion animals have the potential to promote healthy child and adolescent development,” says WALTHAM researcher Nancy Gee, a co-author of the study. “This is an exciting field of study and there is still much to learn about the processes through which pet ownership may impact healthy child development.”

I don’t think the conclusion of this study is any surprise to those of us who have grown up with pets…  :-)

New Film Opens: Kedi

KediJust opening recently is the new film Kedi – the Turkish word for “cat”.

The filmmaker takes us to Istanbul, and provides us a cats-eye view of the city.

“Hundreds of thousands of cats have roamed the metropolis of Istanbul freely for thousands of years, wandering in and out of people’s lives, impacting them in ways only an animal who lives between the worlds of the wild and the tamed can. Cats and their kittens bring joy and purpose to those they choose, giving people an opportunity to reflect on life and their place in it. In Istanbul, cats are the mirrors to ourselves.”

Find a local screening here:  https://www.kedifilm.com/