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Infinite Cat Project Archives for January 22-26, 2018.

Mewsings, January 22, 2018: "Cats too, with what silent stealthiness, with what light steps do they creep up to a bird!" - Pliny the Elder

nine kittens from one litter

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: She had nine kittens. NINE!

Cat Mewvie: Cats make life.... interesting.

cat allergy comic

Today's Kitty Komic

tabby farm cat painting art

Feline Art: "Farm Cat" by Debbie Cook.

cat news

Offer your cat some grass. Cat grass.
by Tom Atwell

Many gardeners who love houseplants also have cats that they love.

The two don’t always mix. Cats have been known to eat anything that is green – from expensive prized orchids to the seedlings of hard-to-find heirloom tomatoes and peppers you are sprouting for spring planting.

Use a heavy, shallow container for the cat grass so your pets don't topple it over while they munch.

Why cats gobble greenery is not well understood. Not all cats do it, so it is clearly not a species-wide need. Some experts say cats need chlorophyll. Others say the greenery cures upset stomachs, allowing cats to cough up hairballs.

But the reason doesn’t really matter to a gardener. If your cat is eating prized plants in your house, provide an alternative: cat grass.

Need it immediately? Many garden centers sell growing cat grass at this time of year. You can also grow your own – although the leftover seed you have for fixing bare spots on your lawn may not be the best-suited (even so, some cats probably would eat it). Instead, try a pet supply store or a seed seller. They offer cat-grass mixes, including cereal grains like wheat, oats, barley and rye. Since cats are often picky eaters, they may have preferences, so you may have to experiment.

Get a heavy, shallow container – so cats won’t knock it over when they snack. Fill it about three-quarters full with whatever potting mixture you use for seedlings, moistening it before adding it to the container. Spread the seeds thickly and evenly on top, and then cover them with about a 1/4-inch more of soil.

Cover the pot loosely with clear plastic, move it away from direct light and keep the soil moist but not soggy. The seeds should sprout in about a week, at which point move the tray to a sunny spot.

Offer your kitty a snack when the grass is 3 to 4 inches tall, which could take a few weeks. Repeat the process when the grass begins to look ratty.

Mewsings, January 23, 2018: "Dogs eat. Cats dine. - Ann Taylor

cat being cool

Gratuitous Kittiness: "Hey. How YOU doin'?"

Cat Mewvie: The cats had a crow for lunch... in a nice way.

lazy cat comic

Today's Kitty Komic

sleping cat oil painting

Feline Art: "Sleeper" by Marcia Baldwin.

Mewsings, January 24, 2018: "A cat can maintain a position of curled up somnolence on your knee until you are nearly upright. To the last minute she hopes your conscience will get the better of you and you will settle down again."- Pam Brown

white cat in bathroom sink

Gratuitous Kittiness: "You missed a spot."

Cat Mewvie: I guess you have to say that evil is afoot.

stray cat comic

Today's Kitty Komic

cat in quilt painting

Feline Art: "Quilt Kitty" by Nicola Bayley.

Mewsings, January 25, 2018: "Cats do care. For example, they know instinctively what time we have to be at work in the morning; and they wake us up twenty minutes before the alarm goes off." - Michael Nelson

startled tuxedo cat

Gratuitous Kittiness: "That's a weird place for a tattoo."

Cat Mewvie: Riding, and crashing, your bicycle in your dreams.

cat on lap comic

Today's Kitty Komic

yelow cat in red chair comic

Feline Art: "Nice Day" by Rahmet Redzepov.

Mewsings, January 26, 2018: "If the claws didn't retract, cats would be like Velcro." - Dr. Bruce Fogle

kitten in bass fiddle strings

Gratuitous Kittiness: Tappin' some fat bass.

Cat Mewvie: Playtime is hard work.

cats are horrible comic

Today's Kitty Komic

gray cat on rug painting

Feline Art: "Reflective Moment" by Elena Sue Wall.

cat news

American fat cats need this diet.
by Brandon Spector

Fat cats may make the internet a merrier place, but it comes at the expense of their own health.
Nearly 60 percent of American cats may be overweight or obese, according to a 2016 survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, and this excess weight can lead to a number of health problems (including diabetes, skeletal stress and reduced life expectancy) that are reversible with weight loss.

But if you've tried to get your house cat to shed a few pounds, you'll know how challenging it can be. [10 Weird Cat Behaviors Explained By Science]

Indeed, one common feline health challenge is that house cats don't get much exercise, and a one-time reduction to kitty's daily diet might not go far enough to improve its health, according to a new study published in the February 2018 edition of the American Journal of Veterinary Research.

In the study, researchers from the University of Illinois tested a new feline diet that reduced the body weight of eight overweight cats to healthy levels over the course of 18 weeks by gradually reducing each cat's food intake for eight consecutive weeks.

" The intent with this diet was a healthy weight loss: getting rid of fat while maintaining lean mass," study author Kelly Swanson, a professor of animal and nutritional sciencesat the University of Illinois, said in a statement. "The risk with rapid weight loss, especially in a cat, is hepatic lipidosis. The body releases too much fat, and the liver gets bogged down… We targeted a 1.5 percent body weight loss per week, which falls in line with the range (0.5-2 percent per week) suggested by the American Animal Hospital Association."

The eight participating cats — all neutered males — lived together in a large room for the duration of the study, only returning to their individual cages at feeding time. Researchers monitored each cat's health closely. They looked specifically at body weight, physical activity, gut bacteria, blood biochemistry and "body condition score" (BCS), which was measured on a 9-point scale. An animal with a high BCS of 8 or 9 might look "like a little blimp," Swanson said, and animals with a low BCS could be emaciated and malnourished. The cats began the study with an average BCS of 7.5 (ranging from 6 to 9), which researchers aimed to bring down to an "ideal" BCS of 5.

" Each unit increase in BCS above [5] represents approximately 10 percent to 15 percent over ideal body weight," the study said. A cat that weighs more than 20 percent over its ideal body weight is considered obese, the researchers added.

After four weeks of eating a high-fiber, moderate-protein baseline diet, the cats' first calorie cut kicked in. In week one of the 18-week dieting period, the cats had their food intake cut by 20 percent — the maximum amount recommended for weight loss by the American Animal Hospital Association, the study said. Each cat's food intake was reduced further at the beginning of weeks two through eight, and then remained unchanged for the remaining 10 weeks. This persistent food reduction, Swanson said, was the key to meeting each week's weight loss goals.

" When we go on a diet ourselves, we might lose a lot of weight in the first few weeks and then hit a road block," Swanson said. "Same with these animals. We had to keep going down, but it can be hard to convince a pet owner to do that. You might get owners to reduce intake from 60 to 50 grams per day, but we're telling them they might have to go to 45 or 40 grams. We got really low, but we were monitoring them so they were healthy."

By the end of the study, the cats had registered a significant decrease in body weight, BCS score (down to a median score of 6), body fat percentage (down from a mean of 41 percent to 31 percent) and concentration of triglycerides — a type of fat that can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. There was no significant change in the cats' activity levels, the study noted, perhaps as a reminder that cats will be cats no matter what they eat.


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