Cat Project Archives for February 20-24,
20, 2017 - "Two cats can live as cheaply as one, and
their owner has twice as much fun." - Lloyd Alexander
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Yeah, I'm hot."
Mewvie: The Simon's Cat Guide to Love.
Feline Art: "Hello
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
21, 2017 - "The cat is mighty dignified until the
dog comes by." - Unknown
22, 2017 - "A cat is a tiger that is fed by hand." -
Gratuitous Kittiness: Waiting for Spring.
Mewvie: How to make a (glass) cat.
Art: Mola cat textile art by the Kuna people of Panama.
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
"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."
23, 2017 - "You may own a cat, but cannot govern one." -
Gratuitous Kittiness: Fireside floof.
Mewvie: Don't try this at home.
Feline Art: Cat coin purses, totally NOT made of cats.
24, 2017 - "By associating with the cat, one only
risks becoming richer." - Colette
Gratuitous Kittiness: "They call me Mr. Crinkle-Whiskers."
Mewvie: Keeping up with the Kattarshians
Feline Art: "Cat in cartwheel ruff" by Shauna Finn.
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.”
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
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.”