Cat Project Archives for February 5-9,
5, 2018: "A cat is a puzzle for which there is no
solution." - Hazel Nicholson
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: The Feline Centipede.
Mewvie: The Infinite Dog Project looms.
Feline Art: "Old Blue
by Denise Laurent.
cat? There may be a reason.
by Devlyn D'Alfonzo
Did you know that more cats than dogs are relinquished to shelters and
euthanized every year? This is unfortunately true, and behavioral problems
at home are a significant contributor to this sad situation. Aggression
and house soiling are the primary issues. Fortunately, these problems
often can be remedied with assistance from your veterinarian or a veterinary
Aggression, both between cats and, less commonly, toward owners, is the
more serious behavioral issue. If you are dealing with aggression in
your cats at home, please first consult your veterinarian to rule out
a medical problem. Discomfort and chronic disease are common triggers
for cats suddenly becoming aggressive. Once medical issues and pain are
ruled out, your veterinarian will guide you in seeking a solution.
Aggression is complicated in cats, due to their unique social structure
and territorial needs. In a natural environment, cats are fairly solitary
and may have a home range of up to 1.5 miles. Indoor cats see this territory
reduced to a few rooms. Multi-cat households present a special challenge,
as cats compete for territory in a small space.
Conflict can be minimized by establishing stable territories for all
the cats in the household. A happy cat environment is one that provides
plenty of separate places for cats to nap, eat or play without crowding
from other kitties. Group interactive play (such as with a feather toy)
can help promote positive interactions between cats, but they still will
require alone time. Happy cats mark their territory with a whisker gland
pheromone, rubbing corners to send signals designed to establish and
reinforce their space. Synthetic pheromone diffusers are available that
can help settle a stressed household.
Aggression toward owners is less common, but potentially more serious.
Here again, stress often plays a role, so make sure your cat has plenty
of outlets for natural behavior. Window seats, bird feeders and access
to a variety of toys can all be helpful.
Cats occasionally demonstrate referred aggression. This happens when
a cat, frustrated by a situation that he cannot control (such as seeing
a cat or dog outside his window), lashes out at something or someone
nearby. Investigating possible sources of tension is essential in these
cases. Finally, medications or sometimes herbal supplements can reduce
anxiety-related aggression. Occasionally, owners consider declawing an
aggressive cat, but this actually can increase aggression and biting
behavior, thanks to the discomfort and stress associated with the surgery.
House soiling is the other major issue resulting in the surrender of
cats to shelters. As with aggression, consult your veterinarian to rule
out a medical issue before assuming that the problem is behavioral. (In
fact, a medical problem such as a urinary tract infection can lead to
behavioral house soiling if unaddressed.) Here, too, there are numerous
factors to consider in seeking a solution to inappropriate elimination.
Outdoor and wild cats spray urine to mark territory. Stressed indoor
cats will resort to this as well. Crowding in multi-cat households or
changes to the home environment, such as new carpeting or furniture,
or even roaming stray cats outside the house can trigger territorial
spraying. Moving or other changes in family situations can be extremely
stressful for cats. Minimizing changes to your kitties’ routines
and using pheromone diffusers can help to re-establish a feeling of safe
territory after disruptions.
Litter box aversion is another primary cause for urinating or defecating
in abnormal areas. In some cases, less confident cats are threatened
or attacked by more aggressive cats while going to the litter box. Make
sure litter box areas have two exits and ideally there should be several
litter box areas in multi-cat homes. (Rule of thumb is one more litter
box than cats.) Litter box aversion is also commonly related to preferences
for type of litter or box. Many cats prefer an unscented, relatively
fine-grain litter in an uncovered litter box. Older cats or cats with
mobility issues may require a litter box with lower sides.
If you think you are having behavioral issues with your feline friend,
please consult with your veterinarian. In most cases, cats and humans
cohabitate quite happily; if they don’t, there are resources and
people out there to help.
6, 2018: "Cats conspire to keep us at arm's length." -
Gratuitous Kittiness: Old blue... uhh, old green... uhh, nice eyes
you got there.
Mewvie: Snow tiger.
Feline Art: "Deep
by Braldt Bralds.
7, 2018: "If a cat spoke, it would say things like,
'Hey, I don't see the problem here'."
- Roy Blount, Jr.
Gratuitous Kittiness: "I have big bones, okay!"
Mewvie: Den of kittens.
Art: "I Spy" by Laurie Simpson.
8, 2018: "Who hath a better friend than a cat?" -
Gratuitous Kittiness: "No one here but us owls."
Mewvie: "While you're down there, how about a quick
Feline Art: "Fuzzy
9, 2018: "Which is more beautiful--feline movement
or feline stillness?"
- Elizabeth Hamilton
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Hello, sailor."
Mewvie: "I got no hair. Of COURSE I want in there!"
Feline Art: "Moj
cats of Istanbul
by Goran Tomasevic
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - In Istanbul’s narrow backstreets, cats perch
on rooftops and window sills, crouch on doorsteps and rest on nearly
A cat stands after being fed by a local resident in Istanbul, Turkey,
January 11, 2018. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
Whether lounging in sunlight, grooming themselves or scampering into
shops in search of food, cats have become an inseparable part of neighborhood
life in Europe’s biggest city.
They are so ubiquitous that no one bats an eye at a cat padding across
the lobby of a high-rise office building, or when one curls up to sleep
on a nearby barstool. Shop owners and locals often know their neighborhood
cats by name and will tell tales about them, as if chatting about a friend.
Some cat-loving Istanbulites buy little feline houses to keep their furry
neighbors warm on cold nights, taking advantage of the discount on cat
supplies at pet stores during the winter months. Some even bring cats
home on the coldest nights.
“Money is not an issue to some people when it comes to cats,” said
Ozan, a pet shop employee.
“They take in cats with broken legs, blind ones or ones with stomach problems
and bring them to the clinic. When they see that they are healed, they let them
live on the street again.”
In the hip district of Cihangir, where the streets are lined with such
little cat shelters, it is not uncommon for felines to take the last
available seats in crowded bars, leaving adoring customers to stand by,
petting them, as they awake from yet another nap.
Hairdresser Esra sits outside the salon where she works, tending to two
cats in her free time. She said that looking after local animals at a
nearby park helped her through tough times.
“I started petting dogs and cats there and buying food and feeding them,” she
said. “Then I saw it really helped me.”
Nor is it unusual to see cats hopping into the laps of restaurant patrons,
hoping for a comfortable spot to rest - and a chance to nab a scrap of
Necati, who makes his living collecting paper for recycling, steams chicken
every morning that he hangs from the side of his cart. As he wends his
way through Istanbul, he feeds strays.
Cats are sacred, he said, telling the story of a cat who protected the
Prophet Muhammad from a deadly snake while he was praying. “One
should love cats, not people,” he said. “People are ungrateful.”