A very interesting study was published the Sept 2016 issue of Feline Medicine and Surgery. The study examined the use of
food puzzles as a way to provide environmental enrichment for our cats.
Food puzzles are a relatively new area of study, and take advantage of cats’ natural instinct to hunt and work for their food – the benefits it provides are mental stimulation, as well as increased physical activity. There are a variety of styles available, and options for both purchasing and DIY.
The article covers some tips on how to introduce food puzzles to your cat, as well as a chart to help you determine the best starter puzzle. There are also tips for troubleshooting potential challenges, such as owner concerns about night-time noise or having food scattered around the home.
Given time, patience and appropriate introduction, most, if not all, cats can adjust to food puzzles.
Read the full article
We are all used to making regular visits to the dentist, doctor and optician for our own health, but many cat owners forget to do the same for their feline family!
A routine annual visit can help identify problems with your furry friend early, and help keep them in tip-top shape.
Royal Canin has issued a special challenge today – pledge to take your cat to the vet, and they will donate a bowl of food to a shelter cat in need. Simply visit their link below to take the pledge, as well as read some great articles.
Originally known as the Domestic Shorthair, this breed was renamed “American Shorthair” in 1966 to better represent its “All American” character and to differentiate it from any other shorthaired breed. The name “American Shorthair” also reinforces the idea that our native North American shorthaired cat is distinctly different from what may be found in streets, neighborhoods and barnyards.
American Shorthairs are low-maintenance cats. These beautiful cats are not only lovely to look at, but healthy, easy-going and affectionate. Males are significantly larger than females, weighing eleven to fifteen pounds when fully grown. Mature females weigh eight to twelve pounds when they achieve full growth at three to four years of age.
Known as a cat of many colors, the American Shorthair has more than eighty different colors and patterns. Ranging from handsome brown tabby to glistening blue-eyed white, shimmering shaded cameo to flashy calico, striking tabby and white to subtle dilute, and many colors in between, the American has made its mark in the cat fancy. The most widely recognized American Shorthair color and pattern is the silver classic tabby with dense black markings on a sparkling silver background. Consistently in the top ten most popular breeds of cat, the American Shorthair has truly come into its own.
Although the breed is very affectionate, they do not require constant attention. They are very adept at entertaining themselves. An American frequently finds imaginary friends with whom to play.
Learn more about the American Shorthair…
Tune in to the Hallmark Channel for the Kitten Summer Games – Friday, August 5, 2016
The event will be hosted by Beth Stern, television personality and spokesperson for the North Shore Animal League America. Announcers will by Mary Carillo and David Frei, of Westminster Dog Show Fame
The Kitten Bowl and this year’s Summer Kitten Games espouse goals of animal adoption and shelter awareness.
All 90 of the participating “cat-thletes” in August’s event, which was produced in partnership with the North Shore Animal League America, have been adopted—and 1,000 cat adoptions have resulted from additional drives connected to the event.
Shorthair American Curl
The distinctive feature of the American Curl is their attractive, uniquely curled-back ears.
The original American Curl, a longhaired female named Shulamith, was first noted in Southern California in 1981. Selective breeding began in 1983. Curls are elegant, well balanced, moderately muscled, slender rather than massive in build.
When Curls are born, their ears are straight. In three to five days they start to curl back staying in a tight rosebud position, unfurling gradually until permanently set at around sixteen weeks. Although the distinctive feature of the American Curl is their uniquely curled ears, the medium-sized rectangular body, silky flat-lying coat, and expressive walnut-shaped eyes are equally indicative of the breed.
Longhair American Curl
Due to their diverse domestic ancestry, Curls are available in both coat lengths, and can be any color or coat pattern, including the rare colorpoint.
American Curls are very people-oriented, faithful, affectionate soulmates adjusting remarkably fast to other pets, children, and new situations. People say they are very dog-like in their attentiveness to their owners, following them around so not to miss anything.
When introduced into a new home, Curl’s seem to have an inherent respect for the current pet occupants, giving them plenty of room to adjust to the new kid on the block. Not overly talkative, the Curl’s curiosity and intelligence is expressed through little trill-like cooing sounds. Because they retain their kitten-like personality well throughout adulthood, they are referred to as the Peter Pan of felines.
Learn more about the American Curl…
In honor of Pet Fire Safety Day, coming on July 15th, here are some tips to help you prepare::
Microchip / photo: fdecomite via Foter / CC BY
Nobody likes to think of worst-case scenarios…. But waiting until something happens is too late!
Even with indoor-only animals, your pets may unexpectedly end up outside – whether they dash for the door when friends come for a visit, run away from a pet sitter, or are frightened by fireworks and escape, a microchip can be a lifesaver.
The Cat Fanciers’ Association statement on microchips is:
“Even if a cat never goes outside there is need for individual identification in case of accidental escape, disaster, theft, pedigree match, absence of the owner or other occurrences. The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) considers microchipping to be the optimum identification method currently available for protecting pet cats when it is linked to a comprehensive system involving voluntary enrollment, safe and private data keeping, advanced scanning device technology and reliable recovery services.”
Microchipping your pet is a very simple procedure, done at the vet’s office. They will take a small chip – about the size of a grain of rice – and insert it under the skin, using a needle. The chip contains a unique identifier, which you then register with the microchip company – if your pet is later found, the chip can be scanned, and the microchip company can reunite you with your pet.
This recent news story highlights just how important a microchip truly can be!
Shorthair American Bobtail
The American Bobtail is a medium to large, naturally occurring, bobtailed cat. It is a noticeably athletic animal, well muscled, with the look and feel of power. It possesses a unique natural hunting gaze that combines with the breed’s body type and natural bobtail to give the American Bobtail a distinctive wild appearance. The breeds expression is one of intelligence and alertness.
In this breed no two tails are exactly the same. The average length of the tail is one to four inches, however this is an average, and some tails may be shorter or longer.
The American Bobtail possesses a strong, broad modified wedge-shaped head, with a distinctive brow above large almost almond shaped eyes giving it a natural hunting gaze. The expression is one of intelligence and alertness. Ear furnishings and Lynx ear tipping are highly desirable features in this breed. Its unique coat comes in a shorthair variety with medium semi-dense hair and in a longhair variety with semi-longhair that is shaggy. The coat is resilient and resistant to water. The topcoat is hard with a downy undercoat that insulates the cat from extreme weather.
Longhair American Bobtail
This is a slow maturing breed taking two to three years to reach full adult type.
American Bobtails are a loving, kind and incredibly intelligent cat. They are noted for their dog like personalities and their devotion to their owners. They easily adapt to a busy or quiet environment. American Bobtails bond with their family. They get along well with most dogs and have a welcome spot in their hearts for newcomers, whether they are two- or four-legged.
We all love to take photos of our fur-kids! In this article, noted feline photographer Larry Johnson shares his top tips for taking the perfect photo:
Tips for Purrfect Cat Photos
It’s summer, school is out, and a lot of us are planning vacations. But what about our furry family members?? What are the options for them??
- Hire a pet sitter, and leave your cat at home. Many cats are far more comfortable staying in the environment they know at home, rather than going to a boarding facility. Having a pet sitter come to the house once or twice a day, to feed and water, clean litter boxes, and possibly play or cuddle can be a perfect option. Look for pet sitters on these sites:
- National Association of Professional Pet Sitters
- Pet Sitters International
- If driving somewhere by car, you may consider taking your cat with you. Plan for a large carrier for the car, where you can provide them with a small litter box, and look for hotels along your route that are pet friendly. The chains below can be found across the US, are pet friendly, and have discounts with CFA:
- La Quinta (Code CATFAN9)
- Motel 6 (Code 542766)
- Red Roof (VP# 526223)
- If you’re flying, you can bring your cat in cabin with you. Check with your individual airline for their rules and fees – most have a limited number they allow in cabin, and you will need to make a reservation, and may need to visit your vet just before the trip for a health certificate. This article contains some great tip for getting your cat adjusted to flying.