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Infinite Cat Project Archives for February 20-24, 2017.


Mewsings: February 20, 2017 - "Two cats can live as cheaply as one, and their owner has twice as much fun." - Lloyd Alexander


handsome cat

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Yeah, I'm hot."




Cat Mewvie: The Simon's Cat Guide to Love.
 

comic lions drinking and smoking

Today's Kitty Komic


cat painting by qinni

Feline Art: "Hello There" by Qinni.

cat eating huge steak

What, and how much, should cats eat?
by Elen Whyte

Cat dietary needs aren’t complicated but they need some planning.

First, cats are a special kind of meat-eater called an obligate carnivore. As cats evolved, their ancestors ate a meat-only diet. As a result, their bodies adapted in various ways.

Mostly, cats have difficulty processing and breaking down certain kinds of food. For example, whereas humans and dogs can make vitamin A from beta-carotene, cats can’t. Cats also need lots of taurine and arginine, which you get in meat but almost nowhere else.

As such, cats need meat or they die. Cats will eat rice and leftover veggies for fun or if they’re starving, but they need meat to survive.

Cat biscuits are easy, but there are concerns using these exclusively. Many cats don’t like biscuits and digestibility can also be a factor. Also, cats who don’t lap water very well can become dehydrated.

Wet food is messier because it has lots of water. This is great for kitties because they need the liquid. Also, cats tend to prefer wet food because it tastes great and comes in many flavours.
I think it’s best for cats to have both. Even if biscuits could do the job, I don’t want to live on boring dehydrated pellets all my life, and I can’t imagine a cat liking it either. Wet food is delicious and cats deserve to have a good life.

Adult cats typically need two meals a day, while kittens and elderly cats need three. The amount is tricky. All cat foods have different nutritional values. You can read the label but do remember that these are average guidelines. Active cats need to eat more than lazy cats. Personal metabolism is also a factor.

Generally speaking, a big issue is that it’s hard to guesstimate portions. To prevent over-feeding, measure daily requirements until you get an idea of what recommended servings look like.
The bottom line? Be sensible, and you’re probably doing fine. If not, keep a cat food diary and then go and talk to your vet to get some advice.








Mewsings: February 21, 2017 - "The cat is mighty dignified until the dog comes by." - Unknown


distorted image of cat

Gratuitous Kittiness: "Like, squaresville, daddy-o."






Cat Mewvie: Ask your doctor about cats.
 

sally forth cat comic

Today's Kitty Komic


cat painting by frederick dielman

Feline Art: "The Widow" by Frederick Dielman.



Mewsings: February 22, 2017 - "A cat is a tiger that is fed by hand." - Vakaoka Genrinn


cats contemplating snow

Gratuitous Kittiness: Waiting for Spring.





Cat Mewvie: How to make a (glass) cat.
 

cats discussing mothers

Today's Kitty Komic


kuna mola cat

Feline Art: Mola cat textile art by the Kuna people of Panama.


close up face of brown tabby

Cats, after all, not linked to mental health problems

New UCL research has found no link between cat ownership and psychotic symptoms, casting doubt on previous suggestions that people who grew up with cats are at higher risk of mental illness.

Recent research has suggested that cat ownership might contribute to some mental disorders, because cats are the primary host of the common parasite Toxoplasma Gondii (T. Gondii), itself linked to mental health problems such as schizophrenia. However, the new study, published in Psychological Medicine, suggests that cat ownership in pregnancy and childhood does not play a role in developing psychotic symptoms during adolescence. The study looked at nearly 5000 people born in 1991 or 1992 who were followed-up until the age of 18. The researchers had data on whether the household had cats while the mother was pregnant and when the children were growing up.

"The message for cat owners is clear: there is no evidence that cats pose a risk to children's mental health," says lead author Dr Francesca Solmi (UCL Psychiatry). "In our study, initial unadjusted analyses suggested a small link between cat ownership and psychotic symptoms at age 13, but this turned out to be due to other factors. Once we controlled for factors such as household over-crowding and socioeconomic status, the data showed that cats were not to blame. Previous studies reporting links between cat ownership and psychosis simply failed to adequately control for other possible explanations."

The new study was significantly more reliable than previous research in this area since the team looked at families who were followed up regularly for almost 20 years. This is much more reliable than methods used in previous studies, which asked people with and without mental health problems to remember details about their childhood. Such accounts are more vulnerable to errors in recall which can lead to spurious findings.

Previous studies were also relatively small and had significant gaps in the data, whereas the new study looked at a large population and was able to account for missing data. The new study was not able to measure T. Gondii exposure directly, but the results suggest that if the parasite does cause psychiatric problems then cat ownership does not significantly increase exposure.

"Our study suggests that cat ownership during pregnancy or in early childhood does not pose a direct risk for later psychotic symptoms," explains senior author Dr James Kirkbride (UCL Psychiatry).

"However, there is good evidence that T. Gondii exposure during pregnancy can lead to serious birth defects and other health problems in children. As such, we recommend that pregnant women should continue to follow advice not to handle soiled cat litter in case it contains T. Gondii."






Mewsings: February 23, 2017 - "You may own a cat, but cannot govern one." - Kate Sanborn


fluffy cat by the fireside

Gratuitous Kittiness: Fireside floof.





Cat Mewvie: Don't try this at home.
 

comic about cats doing cute things

Today's Kitty Komic


cat coin purses

Feline Art: Cat coin purses, totally NOT made of cats.



Mewsings: February 24, 2017 - "By associating with the cat, one only risks becoming richer." - Colette


cat with crinkly whiskers

Gratuitous Kittiness: "They call me Mr. Crinkle-Whiskers."






Cat Mewvie: Keeping up with the Kattarshians
 

lost cat comic

Today's Kitty Komic


cat in cartwheel ruff by shauna finn

Feline Art: "Cat in cartwheel ruff" by Shauna Finn.

lying cat

Meet Lying Cat
by Charles Pulliam-Moore

Last year, as everything seemed to catch on fire all around us, it was clear that K.C. Green’s iconic “This is fine” dog was the animal totem of 2016. Now, we are already in desperate need of a new icon that can help us navigate the swift-moving, danger-filled reality of 2017, and I know what it is: Lying Cat.

For those who might not know Lying Cat is a creation of Bryan K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, creators of the epic sci-fantasy comic Saga. She’s a tiger-sized, hairless blue Sphynx cat, and partner of the intergalactic bounty hunter called The Will, but that’s beside the point. What’s important is that if you tell a lie in front of her, she will instantly pipe up and say “LYING.”

See?

Last week, President Donald Trump, Trump Administration counselor Kellyanne Conway, and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn have all been caught flat-out lying outright to the public. There have been at least as many lies of omission—especially regarding the communications between Trump’s camp and Russian officials about rolling back the country’s sanctions—caught only by journalists who were able to confirm the story with multiple anonymous leakers from within the White House. It’s clear 2017 is going to be a year marked by lies and willful deception, so Lying Cat clearly needs to be its official mascot.

I was actually able to run this idea by Vaughan himself, who recalled actually seeing a picture of home made Lying Cat protest sign being waved around at a protest somewhere in Australia. Vaughan admitted Lying Cat would be the perfect journalistic companion, but he doubted that the government would ever actually be anything but hostile towards her.

“Lying Cat would never be allowed within 100 feet of the White House, regardless of who’s in office,” Vaughan said. “On Landfall, a planet in our story that shares some passing similarities with the U.S., politicians long ago outlawed the entire Lying Cat species from ever even approaching them.”

Then Vaughan made a rather interesting observation. “I think it’s telling that, here in the States, many government employees are forced to take polygraph tests, but our presidential candidates have somehow escaped that job requirement.”

The reason so many people seem to be glomming onto the idea of Lying Cat speaking truth to power, Vaughan mused, is that at the end of the day, she doesn’t really have an agenda aside from exposing dishonesty.

“Maybe it’s because Lying Cat can never become a tool of any one group or ideology,” Vaughan said. “Her only allegiance is to viciously calling out bullshit, wherever she finds it.”





 




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