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.
In appearance, Cornish Rex cats are a study in curves starting most noticeably with their coat which ideally falls in washboard waves. The coat is very short, lies close to the body and is incredibly soft to the touch, prompting comparisons to cut velvet, karakul lamb, rabbit fur or silk. In fact, it feels like a Cornish Rex coat and nothing else is the same.
Their bodies resemble Greyhounds, with a naturally arched back, large thigh muscles which gives them the opportunity to launch themselves at a moments notice. Their heads are smallish and egg shaped. They possess huge, luminous eyes. No cat has ears like the Cornish Rex and the bigger the better, as long as they are set high on the head.
In personality, the Cornish Rex is extremely affectionate and people-oriented. They are also active cats whose kitten-like antics last for their lifetime and who can be very inventive in their play. Favorite Cornish Rex games are fetch, catch and even “discus”, in which the cat uses its hand-like paw to pick up and toss a small object. In spite of their sophisticated, elegant appearance, Cornish Rex cats are anything but cool, aloof or dignified. They are perfect pets for the owner who wants active cats to participate in family life.
Learn more about the Cornish Rex…
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:
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.
The Colorpoint Shorthair is a medium sized, svelte, refined cat with long tapering lines, very lithe, but muscular. The ideal is a cat with type identical to the Siamese, but with its own distinct and unique colors. While the color differences set it apart as a unique breed, the purpose of the hybridization was to establish cats identical in type to the Siamese but with separate colors.
Like the Siamese, they should have long, smooth heads resembling a fine wedge and large, wide placed ears that flow into the top of the wedge created by the head. From the side, the profile should be straight from the tip of the nose to the forehead. The graceful body starts with a long, slender neck connected to a tubular, muscled body. Not skinny, the body should be the same width and depth from the shoulders to the hips when viewed from any angle. Completing this elegant body is a long whippy tail which, when viewed overall, is the single element with the most point color on the body of the Colorpoint Shorthair.
Extremely inquisitive, this breed will get into almost anything at least once at any level, a testament to their athleticism and highly developed intelligence.
A joy to watch and an even greater joy to have in one’s life, the graceful and playful Colorpoint Shorthair is an endearing variation of the renowned Siamese.
Learn more about the Colorpoint Shorthair…
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.
Old 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 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…
In 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…
Just 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/
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
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.