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Infinite Cat Project Archives for November 28 through December 2, 2016.

Mewsings: November 28, 2016 - "Most cats are not shy about letting their people know what they want." - Karen Duprey

before and after kitty

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: Same pose, different years.

Cat Mewvie: "Okay, I'm coming!"

people love the kitties cartoon

Today's Kitty Komic

cat by Yuko Higuchi

Feline Art: "Cat and Pear", artist unknown.

cat news

Cats and the hunting instinct.
by Ron Mergl

My 17-year-old cat, Oreo, is pretty sedate these days, but just recently I spotted him peering behind the couch in a crouched hunting position. Inching forward, he suddenly pounced and outran one of the younger cats: the chase was on!

Is this predatory behaviour or just innocent play? All cats have a desire for stalking and hunting. This is usually played out with other cats in the household or with toys. But a toy just lying on the floor is just dead prey and will not fulfil the stalking and hunting drive. Engagement from the cat’s human is necessary to move the toy to mimic the movements of natural prey.

Dogs like toys thrown to them but cats like to chase after a toy that is thrown away from their sight line. Using obstacles to allow your cat to use their hunting instincts also adds to the overall playtime.

Predatory behaviour is not aggressive behaviour. Stalking, pouncing and chasing is part of being a cat, and when these desires are unfulfilled, it can lead to aggression — both to the other cats and to the humans in the household.

Cats are very subtle at first with their aggressive signal and the change in body position can go unnoticed. Once the aggression mounts, the ears go back flat against the head and the cat will start to growl. Aggression can be the result of frustration in the household and lack of an opportunity to stalk and hunt. Other causes include sensing a threat, territorial reasons and redirected aggression.

Threats can be perceived by your cat from the presence of a new person or animal in the home. Most cats will usually run and hide from a perceived threat, but some react with fear aggression and can actually lash out and attack with their nails and teeth. Leaving the cat alone until it calms down is the best advice in this situation. Obviously, avoiding repeating these situations if possible makes sense, as it can lead to further development of aggression.

Cats are territorial and will rub their faces and chins on household objects to mark their territory. They will also patrol their area, and rarely urinate to mark their space (un-neutered cats do this more commonly). A cat owner must be aware of their own cat’s personality and desire for territory when it comes to the decision of adding another cat to the household.

Redirected aggression is expressed when a cat cannot reach the cause of the agitation, and will inadvertently attack a human or an innocent pet. Seeing another cat outside, hearing high pitched noises, smelling other cats’ scents on the clothes of a household member, or having made a trip outside the home are all examples of potential redirected aggression. In my household, redirected aggression is often turned on Minnow, my black lab. She, of course, does not understand this feline quirk and turns the other cheek.

Cat bites and scratches to humans can be a health risk, especially for immunocompromised people. Deep puncture wounds from a bite can cause the development of cellulitis, a bacterial infection that can extend deep into the muscles. Cat scratch fever is also a very rare possibility. All wounds should immediately be scrubbed and washed out with soapy water and then given medical attention. Often antibiotics are required to treat the infection.

Understanding your cat’s psyche and the need for a different type of play than dogs will help keep your cat healthy and avoid aggression. However, if aggression develops, you should always seek out veterinary care. There are medical conditions that can cause aggression and these need to be differentiated from the external environmental causes of aggression.

Although our cats have been domesticated for thousands of years, they still retain their hunting instincts. Take time to observe your cat’s behaviours and enrich their lives with the playtime that they enjoy.

Mewsings: November 29, 2016 - "Cats are kindly masters, just so long as you remember your place."
- Paul Gray

cat in suitcase

Gratuitous Kittiness: "Mind if I come with?"

Cat Mewvie: "Love that iPad!"

cat and robat

Today's Kitty Komic

sculpture by Fernando Botero

Feline Art: "Cat" by Fernando Botero

Mewsings: November 30, 2016 - "Some people say that cats are sneaky, evil, and cruel. True, and they have many other fine qualities as well." - Missy Dizick

cat sneaking up on pigeon

Gratuitous Kittiness: "Closer... closer..."

Cat Mewvie: "Hey! Kool-Aid!"

doom cat

Today's Kitty Komic

cat themed bento box

Feline Art: Cat-themed bento box.

cat wearing mortarboard

Sixteen facts about cats.
Written for the BBC

1. When night falls in the Disneyland theme park, 200 cats are released to catch all the mice.

2. A group of cats is called a clowder.

3. Cats sweat through their paws.

4. Cats will normally eat something confidently on the fourth go after tasting it uncertainly three times. So stick the antibiotic in the fourth bit of ham…

5. Cat nap. On average, cats sleep for 70% of the day.

6. Unbelievably their urine glows in the dark.

7. Every single domesticated cat can be traced back to one of five African wild cats.

8. Cats can't taste sweet things.

9. Female cats are more likely to be right-pawed, and male cats left.

10. A cat has no collarbone.

11. Isaac Newton invented the cat flap.

12. The technical name for a hairball is a bezoar.

13. A female cat is called a molly or a queen.

14. Cats can drink sea water. Their kidneys do something complicated to filter out the salt.

15. In the Dutch embassy in Moscow, the embassy’s cats kept clawing at the walls. Investigation revealed microphones hidden by spies.

16. Cats are responsible for the extinction of 33 different species, including mammals and birds. They are listed among the top 100 most invasive species.

Basically, we’re living with a bunch of super intelligent aliens who could wipe us off the face of the earth with one swipe of a paw. If they could be bothered. Which thankfully, they can’t.

Mewsings: December 1, 2016 - "One is never sure, watching two cats washing each other, whether it's affection, the taste or a trial run for the jugular."- Helen Thomson

baby and cat

Gratuitous Kittiness: "Copy-cat!"

Cat Mewvie: The bold, bouldering kitty.

cat licking ass cartoon

Today's Kitty Komic

lego cat

Feline Art: Lego cat.

Mewsings: December 2, 2016 - "If cats could talk, they wouldn't." - Nan Porter

smiling cat

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "It's Friday."

Cat Mewvie: A new "Simon's Cat".

cats love boxes

Today's Kitty Komic

julie manet by renoir

Feline Art: "Julie Manet " by Pierre Renoir, 1887.

cat cemetary

A 2000 year old cat cemetary.
by Sarah Laskow

In ancient Egypt, where cats were first domesticated, they were often buried in a ritual, religious fashion. The cat burials found on the site of Berenike, an Egyptian town on the Red Sea that thrived 2,000 years ago, were different, though.

As IBTimes reports, these cats were not mummified or buried with much adornment—only a handful had a trinket found in their graves. Nor were there any signs that the cats had been killed, as in some religious burials. These looked like domestic cats who had died natural deaths.

Writing in the journal Antiquity, the archaeologist Marta Osypin´ska suggests that these features mean that these cats were not buried as part of “sacred or magical rites.” Instead, she writes, this site should be considered “a cemetery of house pets.”

For millennia, cats were worshipped in Egypt, one of the earliest places where they were domesticated. But by the beginning of the first millennia A.D., the cult of the cat was falling out of favor. The cat skeletons in Berenike that were found buried with items had either iron collars or ostrich shell beads by their necks. In this one area, 86 cat skeletons were found, and most of them were single burials. The ones that were paired were an adult and a juvenile skeleton, suggesting that they were buried together on purpose.

The other skeletons—nine dogs and four monkeys—discovered in this spot also suggest that it was used as a burial ground for beloved animals.


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