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Infinite Cat Project Archives for April 3-7, 2017.

Mewsings: April 3, 2017 - "The cat has been described as the most perfect animal, the acme of muscular perfection and the supreme example in the animal kingdom of the coordination of mind and muscle."
- Roseanne Ambrose Brown

gang of four cats

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Everything in its place."

Cat Mewvie: Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding!

cats in tiny boxes cat

Today's Kitty Komic

epic cat by ionic apex

Feline Art: "Epic Cat" by Ionix Apex.

cat saved by vodka

Cat saved by vodka.
by Ben Hooper

Veterinarians in London said a cat that accidentally poisoned herself with brake fluid was saved by an unusual antidote: vodka.

The Blue Cross animal hospital in London said 7-year-old cat Princess was brought in by her owner, Teresa Correira Maria, after the feline was found covered in spilled brake fluid in a garden shed.

Veterinarians said Princess quickly became ill after attempting to clean the chemicals off her fur with her tongue.

The hospital said veterinarians rushed to the nearest liquor store to buy a bottle of high alcohol content vodka, which they said can counteract the effects of ethylene glycol, the poisonous chemical in brake fluid, if given to a pet quickly after ingestion.

The vodka was administered to Princess via an IV drip.

"Princess was in a really bad way and it was really touch and go," veterinarian Heather Loh said. "Household products containing this type of chemical are very dangerous to pets and Princess needed 24-hour intensive care."

"Pets should never be given alcohol but this was the only solution to prevent the poison from taking over and killing her," Loh said. "She was a bit worse the wear for several days afterwards but we were relieved blood tests showed the effects of the drip were working and the poison would no longer be fatal."

Maria said Princess has since been able to come home and is recovering from her ordeal.

"I was so worried about her but now relieved and happy she is making a full recovery and was well enough to come home," she said. "The treatment did sound unusual when vets explained what was happening, but I just wanted Princess to survive. I will make sure there is no way she can get into this kind of trouble again."

Mewsings: April 4, 2017 - "An ordinary kitten will ask more questions than any five-year-old boy."
- Carl Van Vechten

close up of cat face sleeping

Gratuitous Kittiness: "Juss anothuh fiffe minutessssss..."


quick clump cat littler comic

Today's Kitty Komic

cat art by matataku

Feline Art: "Muscle Man with Cats" by Matataku.

Mewsings: April 5, 2017 - "He lives in the halflights in secret places, free and alone - this mysterious little great being whom his mistress calls 'My cat.'" - Margaret Benson

sad cat

Gratuitous Kittiness: "Leaving again? Already?"

Cat Mewvie: Maru is stylin'!

comic cats vs. dogs

Today's Kitty Komic

day of the dead cat

Feline Art: "Feliz Dia de los Muertos". Artist unknown.

scrappy, the vitiligo cat

R.I.P. Scrappy.

Scrappy, the famous vitiligo cat, has died at the ripe old age of 19.

The Infinite Cat Project offers our sincerest condolences.

Mewsings: April 6, 2017 - "A cat doesn't 'roll' well with a change of someone else's making."
- Carole Wilbourn

sleeping kitten

Gratuitous Kittiness: Kitten bliss.

Cat Mewvie: In Istanbul, the cat is king.

how  cat see me comic

Today's Kitty Komic

cosmic cat by julie beloussow

Feline Art: "Cosmic Cat" by Julie Beloussow.

Mewsings: April 7, 2017 - "Some people own cats and go on to lead normal lives." - Unknown

cat sleeping on its back

Gratuitous Kittiness: The King of All Napping.

Cat Mewvie: "I WANT MY TOYYYYY!"

cat stuck on top of refrigerator

Today's Kitty Komic

banksy cat with string

Feline Art: "Cat With Yarn" by Banksy.

sad cat

What is "Whisker Fatigue"?
by Carol McCarthy

While “whisker fatigue” might sound like something you get from kissing an unshaven man, it is actually a condition that can affect cats, causing them a good deal of stress. Learn more about whisker fatigue, and how amazing your cat’s whiskers are, below.

Why Do Cats Have Whiskers?

“Cat whiskers are extraordinary sensing hairs that give them almost extrasensory powers,” says Dr. Neil Marrinan of the Old Lyme Veterinary Hospital in Connecticut. Despite their evolution, whiskers (which scientists call tactile hairs or vibrissae), have remained as features on most mammals in some basic form.

For cats, whiskers are much more than facial adornments that add to their cuteness, Marrinan says. They act as high-powered antennae that pull signals into their brain and nervous system. The ultra-sensitive sensory organs at the base of the whiskers, called proprioceptors, tell your cat a lot about her world. They provide your cat with information regarding her own orientation in space and the what and where of her environment. In these ways, he says, whiskers help your cat move around furniture in a dark room, hunt fast-moving prey (by sensing changes in air currents) and help to determine if she can squeeze into that incredibly tight spot between the bookcase and the wall.

What is Whisker Fatigue?

While cats can voluntarily “turn on” the sensory focus of their whiskers exactly where they want, Marrinan says, whisker receptors mostly respond to a cat’s autonomic system — the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves that respond to the internal and external environment without conscious control (pupils constricting in response to bright light, for example).

You can think of whisker fatigue as an information overload that stresses out your cat. Because whisker hairs are so sensitive, every time your cat comes into contact with an object or detects movement, even a small change in air current or a slight brush against her face, messages are transmitted from those sensory organs at the base of her whiskers to her brain, Marrinan says. That barrage of “messages” could stress out your cat, eventually causing what some people call whisker fatigue.

However, Marrinan suggests that “fatigue” may not be the best description of the condition, since what your cat is feeling is probably more like distaste or aversion than soreness or actual fatigue. In fact, whisker stress is another term some people use for the condition.

Not all feline vets think whisker fatigue is a real condition or cause for concern. Dr. Cathy Lund of City Kitty, a feline-only veterinary practice in Providence, R.I, questions the validity of whisker fatigue. While a cat’s whiskers do serve as very sensitive tactile sensors, she does not believe contact between whiskers and objects causes stress in cats. That said, stress, for whatever reason, is a real issue of concern for cat owners and vets, Lund says.

What Causes Whisker Fatigue?

While your cat relies on her fetching facial antennae to navigate the world, she can’t tune out unnecessary messages the way we filter out background noise, Marrinan says. She inadvertently finds stimulation in the most common and ever-present situations, like at her food or water bowl. If her whiskers touch the sides of the bowl every time she dips her head to sip or eat, this can cause whisker fatigue, the theory suggests.

Your cat’s behavior at her food and water bowl will tip you off that she is stressed, Marrinan says. Some signs to watch for include pacing in front of the bowls, being reluctant to eat but appearing to be hungry, pawing at food and knocking it to the floor before eating or acting aggressive toward other animals around food. Of course these behaviors can also be related to potentially serious health conditions like dental disease, oral tumors, gastrointestinal diseases, behavioral problems and more, so if you have any concerns about your cat’s well-being, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Marrinan says many vets, regardless of their opinions on whisker fatigue, agree that cats often find eating out of a bowl unappealing in general and providing a flat surface for meals is preferable.

Whisker fatigue is not a disease (and is not caused by or related to any type of illness) and appears to manifest primarily with the repeated daily contact with food and water bowls, Marrinan says. However, a cat who is stressed is not happy, and if she avoids eating and drinking, she might become malnourished and/or dehydrated.

How Can Whisker Fatigue Be Prevented?

Luckily, preventing or stopping stress related to whisker fatigue at feeding time is as easy as replacing your cat’s food and water bowls. At meal time, provide a flat surface or a wide-enough bowl for food so that her whiskers don't touch the sides of the bowl, Marrinan says. In a pinch, a paper plate can serve as a suitable food dish, he adds.

Most cats prefer a lip-less, large flowing water source, for drinking, he says. Ideally, cat parents should provide an automatic, fresh water source, which cats prefer “to an icky, stale bowl of water that might as well be from an old tire.”

Some cat parents believe another solution is to trim their cats’ whiskers, but this is a no-no. “Trimming whiskers mutes their expression, dims their perceptions, and in general, discombobulates cats and annoys them,” Marrinan says. “I do not recommend trimming cat whiskers.”


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