The Infinite Cats cat comics cat tales cat games cat health menu Infinite Cat Project RSS feed Infinite Contact

Infinite Cat Project Archives for November 27 thru DEcember 1, 2017.

Mewsings, November 27, 2017: "The trouble with sharing one's bed with cats is that they'd rather sleep on you than beside you."- Pam Brown

cat on dog's head

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Wait! There's a WHAT on my head?

Cat Mewvie: "Meowpurrdy". Awesome, but not for the squeamish.

cat obituary comic

Today's Kitty Komic

japanese cat print

Feline Art: Japanese print. Artist unknown.

cat news

The 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 snakes.

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.

Mewsings, November 28, 2017: "The cat is mighty dignified until the dog comes by." - Unknown

cat jack-o-lantern

Gratuitous Kittiness: "Where's fire, Jack?"

Cat Mewvie: Blind raccoon and his kitten bodyguards.

cat dreams comic

Today's Kitty Komic

cat oil painting

Feline Art: "Daydreamer" by Kim Roberti.

Mewsings, November 29, 2017: "Cats may, indeed, be the thinking man's pet--because living with cats certainly keeps you on your toes!" - Barbara L. Diamond

cat on unicorn

Gratuitous Kittiness: The rise of the cute, furry mammals.

Cat Mewvie: Simon's Cat in "Black and White"

cat scarface comic

Today's Kitty Komic

art deco cat bookends

Feline Art: Art deco cat bookends.

Mewsings, November 30, 2017: "If your cat favors the left paw, chances are good that it possesses psychic ability to some extent." - Dr. David Greene

max the library cat

Gratuitous Kittiness: Awww, poor Max.

Cat Mewvie: I think the cat's trying to save you from that burger, buddy.

cat dreaming of mice comic

Today's Kitty Komic

cat painting by franz marc

Feline Art: "Three Cats" by Franz Marc.

Mewsings, December 1, 2017: "One small cat changes coming home to an empty house to coming home."
- Pam Brown

cat destroys xmas tree

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: Someone is very proud of their work.

Cat Mewvie: Magic window cat.

superhero cat comic

Today's Kitty Komic

elizabethan cat art

Feline Art: Painting by Michael Parkes.

cat news

Max 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: the library.

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 houses.”

So why isn’t he allowed in the library? Well, it’s for a good reason.

“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 cat.

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.


The Infinite Cat Project
Presented by Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
Illustration, Flash Animation, Web Design

©Mike Stanfill