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Infinite Cat Project Archives for February 5-9, 2018.

Mewsings, February 5, 2018: "A cat is a puzzle for which there is no solution." - Hazel Nicholson

3 cats sleeping nose to tail

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: The Feline Centipede.

Cat Mewvie: The Infinite Dog Project looms.

introvert cat lover comic

Today's Kitty Komic

tabby cat on bookshelf art

Feline Art: "Old Blue Eyes" by Denise Laurent.

aggressive cat

Aggressive 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 behaviorist.

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.

Mewsings, February 6, 2018: "Cats conspire to keep us at arm's length." - Frank Perkins

cat with green abd blue eyes

Gratuitous Kittiness: Old blue... uhh, old green... uhh, nice eyes you got there.

Cat Mewvie: Snow tiger.

blade runner quoting cats

Today's Kitty Komic

purple cat face close up art

Feline Art: "Deep Orange" by Braldt Bralds.

Mewsings, February 7, 2018: "If a cat spoke, it would say things like, 'Hey, I don't see the problem here'."
- Roy Blount, Jr.

cat sitting on broken roof

Gratuitous Kittiness: "I have big bones, okay!"

Cat Mewvie: Den of kittens.

pet apologies comic

Today's Kitty Komic

calico cat in bushes painting

Feline Art: "I Spy" by Laurie Simpson.

Mewsings, February 8, 2018: "Who hath a better friend than a cat?" - William Hardwin

cat and torn mail

Gratuitous Kittiness: "No one here but us owls."

Cat Mewvie: "While you're down there, how about a quick skritch?"

hospital cat comic

Today's Kitty Komic

fluffy cat on back art

Feline Art: "Fuzzy boy" by Dusya Bazanova.

Mewsings, February 9, 2018: "Which is more beautiful--feline movement or feline stillness?"
- Elizabeth Hamilton

sphinx cat in dryer

Gratuitous Kittiness: "Hello, sailor."

Cat Mewvie: "I got no hair. Of COURSE I want in there!"

cats and boyfriends are cute comic

Today's Kitty Komic

gray cat on rug painting

Feline Art: "Moj Kot" by Natalya Trubina.

cat news

The 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 every corner.

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 food.

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.”


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