Cat Project Archives for November
27 thru DEcember 1, 2017.
27, 2017: "The trouble with sharing one's bed with
cats is that they'd rather sleep on you than beside you."-
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Wait! There's a WHAT on my head?
Mewvie: "Meowpurrdy". Awesome, but not for
Feline Art: Japanese print.
cat's nose knows.
by Sidney Stevens
There’s no denying dogs have killer noses. But just because they
win the pet olfactory prize doesn’t mean they’re the only
ones with a powerful sense of smell. As cat lovers know, a feline’s
ability to detect scents is nothing to sniff at. In fact, it’s
pretty darn impressive — and far more complex than most of us realize.
Anatomy of smell
A kitty’s nose is more than just a cute boop button. It's also
a precision instrument where some 45 to 80 million microscopic olfactory
receptors recognize and process odors, according to Parade magazine.
That’s not quite up to canine level. Dogs have between 149 million
and 300 million smell receptors. But it’s far more than the 5 million
we humans have — which means a cat’s sense of smell is several
times keener than ours, capable of detecting aromas we can only faintly
whiff or miss altogether.
Cats don’t just have the nose we see. They also smell through their
mouths, thanks to the vomeronasal organ (or Jacobson’s organ),
located in the roof of their mouth just behind the front teeth with ducts
leading into the nasal cavity. You may notice your cat sometimes breathing
through a slightly open mouth wearing an expression that looks like a
smile or grimace. This is called a flehmen response, and it’s how
your cat draws odors into its vomeronasal organ (VNO) for processing.
Interestingly, felines share this smell-tasting ability with many other
creatures that have VNOs, including horses, dogs, big cats, goats and
Why do cats have two sniffing systems? Each one handles different kinds
of scents, and together they make for snout superpowers.
A cat’s visible nose (which, by the way, is unique to each kitty
with its own pattern of ridges and bumps) detects regular smells in the
environment, such as food aromas. Smells hit the olfactory receptors,
which send signals to a cat’s brain for analysis and possible response.
The VNO, on the other hand, picks up pheromones, chemical substances
that communicate social, territorial and sexual information. Each cat
releases its own unique pheromone signature from special glands located
between its eyes, at the corners of its mouth, at the base of its tail,
between the pads on its paws and on other parts of its body. The VNO
captures these chemical communications from other cats and sends signals
to the brain for processing.
Together, these two scent-seeking mechanisms provide cats with a purr-fect
multidimensional picture of the world around them. In fact, felines rely
on these odor maps far more than their eyes to “see” what’s
going on nearby, putting smell among their strongest senses.
Cats use environmental odors and pheromones to navigate their turf and
communicate with other cats. Examples include:
Finding food — A cat’s nose can indicate the presence of
a nearby mouse, prompting an immediate predatory response. Kittens, which
are born with their eyes shut, also identify their mothers and an available
nipple by her pheromone secretions. In fact, the information is so detailed
it allows each litter mate to stick with its own preferred nipple and
cut down on mealtime competition.
Marking territory — Cats delineate their home boundaries with urine
and pheromones, making the rounds periodically to remark areas where
the odor has faded. This can include your furniture and walls — and
even you. Yes, those cheek rubs and gentle head bumps are your fur baby’s
way of claiming you as one of its territorial prizes. It’s not
clear whether cats mark territory to keep other cats away or to feel
at home in their personal space, or some combination of the two.
Social communication — Felines don’t shake hands, give hugs
or exchange phone numbers when they meet, but they do relate to one another
and read tiny social cues via their remarkable sense of smell. They may
rub or bump heads to release pheromones and sniff various anatomical
parts for clues about each other (including the rectum, which also secretes
pheromones). They may also check out each other’s urine and feces.
All that sniffing provides a treasure trove of information, including
whether a new acquaintance is a friend or foe, what they like to eat,
what mood they’re in, how healthy they are and whether they’re
male or female.
Looking for love — Not surprisingly, olfactory cues play a major
role in feline mating. Female cats in heat, or estrus, can lure every
tomcat up to a mile away with her powerful sexual pheromones. Think of
it as a pungent dating profile. Unfortunately, she may also spray streams
of “scentsual” urine around your house (not to mention yowl
incessantly) in an effort to woo potential suitors -- another good reason
to spay or neuter your cats.
28, 2017: "The cat is mighty dignified until the dog
comes by." - Unknown
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Where's fire, Jack?"
Mewvie: Blind raccoon and his kitten bodyguards.
Feline Art: "Daydreamer" by
29, 2017: "Cats may, indeed, be the thinking man's
pet--because living with cats certainly keeps you on your
toes!" - Barbara L. Diamond
Gratuitous Kittiness: The rise of the cute, furry mammals.
Mewvie: Simon's Cat in "Black and White"
Art: Art deco cat bookends.
30, 2017: "If your cat favors the left paw, chances
are good that it possesses psychic ability to some extent." -
Dr. David Greene
Gratuitous Kittiness: Awww, poor Max.
Mewvie: I think the cat's trying to save you from that
Feline Art: "Three Cats"
by Franz Marc.
1, 2017: "One small cat changes coming home to an
empty house to coming home."
- Pam Brown
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: Someone is very proud of their work.
Mewvie: Magic window cat.
Feline Art: Painting
by Michael Parkes.
loses the library (But wins the internet.)
by Edd Dracott
A cat with a penchant for books has gone viral after a sign designed
to keep him out of his local library was shared on Twitter.
Max the cat lives near Macalester College in Minnesota and loves to venture
from home, meeting students and locals along the way.
Unfortunately, he keeps returning to one place he isn’t welcome:
His owner, nurse and health coach Connie Lipton, says Max is a pretty
sociable cat, and does not just stick to the library to find new friends.
She said: “We started letting him out last May and soon after started
receiving calls asking if it was OK that he was out.
“We would regularly get calls so we knew some of what he was up to. He
loves the students and would go over there to see them.
“He would also visit the students in the French, German and Russian language
So why isn’t he allowed in the library? Well, it’s for a
“Someone who works there is highly allergic to cats and they were also
afraid he would be stuck inside and not be able to get out,” said Connie.
That sounds reasonable enough and, to stop students and staff aiding
and abetting the feline, they put up a sign.
A picture of the sign was shared on Twitter by user Erin McGuire on Wednesday.
It now has over 44,000 retweets as people fell in love with the outlaw
Luckily for the library, Max will not be seen outside for a little while,
but do not worry, it’s all to keep him safe.
“Max is grounded right now from going out on his own as they are also starting
a big construction project on campus right across the street from where we live
and they are worried something might happen to him,” said Connie.
“He’s very sad and misses his fans on campus.”
He may not be absent for long though, as Connie is planning to get Max
trained on a lead so he can go out safely. His owners are also considering
getting him trained to be a therapy cat, so he can help others.
Connie called all the online attention “overwhelming”, but
said “if a story about Max can be uplifting in this crazy world
I’m happy he can do it”.
It also looks like Max’s story may no be over just yet. Chris Schommer,
who created the sign and Gamze Genc Celik, who designed the drawing on
the sign are hinting at the release of a book.