Cat Project Archives for October 29 - November 2,
29, 2018: "Owning a cat is like choosing to be the
dog of the human-pet relationship. You constantly beg for
attention and show too much enthusiasm." - imp3order
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Awww. How adora-- NO, KITTY! NOOOOOO!"
Cat Mewvie: Catwalk kitty.
Feline Art: Random cat poster,
It's National Cat Day!
by Brock Madsen
In the United States it is National Cat Day and in honor of this day,
BMC Psychology is showcasing a recently published study which gathered
empirical data on how humans conceptualize animal companions. Understanding
how we conceptualize cats and dogs furthers our understanding of how
they affect people and in turn their overall value to us as a species.
Inter-species companionship, such as keeping pets, is an ancient practice
for humans indicating a significant value obtained from the relationship.
Historically, humans demonstrated this value by sharing resources such
as food and shelter with their animal companions. Today, value is reflected
monetarily. One worldwide 2017 study estimate suggested that humans spent
$109 billion on pet care goods and services. Although we can track the
economic value of our animal companions, how people mentally conceptualize
their animal companions remains ambiguous.
To better understand how we conceptualize popular pets such as cats and
dogs, Hoffman and colleagues’ recent article in BMC Psychology
reports findings from a survey aimed at determining how we conceptualize
these animal companions.Hoffman and colleagues’ online survey,
utilized open ended questions with a free-elicitation methodology to
capture respondents’ most salient concepts (i.e. characteristics
and emotions) when asked what they think about cats and dogs. The free-elicitation
method allows respondents to answer with any words or phrases that come
to mind when asked the open-ended question: “Which aspects come
to mind when you think of cats?”.
Researchers regarded the most salient concepts to be the ones most frequently
associated with the overall conceptualization of the animals and therefore
This pattern differed in cats in that independent of ownership or planned
ownership the highest reported attributes only included “personality” and “love”.
The multitude of unique responses were then categorized for analysis.
Synonymous words (e.g. “friendly”, “kind”, and “warm-hearted”)
used in responses were grouped together. Groups of words with similar
conceptual meaning were further categorized. For example, “stubborn”, “proud,” and “integrity” were
grouped under the personality/mentality category. Respondents were also
grouped depending on whether they owned pets, and if they did not, whether
they were thinking about owning.
When conceptualizing dogs, respondents – independent of ownership
or planned ownership – all responded with the same top attributes,
namely: “friendship”, “love”, “companionship”, “joy”,
and “loyalty.” This pattern differed in cats in that independent
of ownership or planned ownership the highest reported attributes only
included “personality” and “love”.
Interestingly, individuals who did not plan on owning a dog or cat ranked
the attribute of “nuisance” higher than owners and potential
owners. The results of this research not only demonstrate that people
conceptualize cats and dogs in different ways, but that our conceptualizations
can transcend the type of relationship a person has with a pet. People
associate dogs with attributes related to “friendship”, love”, “companionship”, “joy”,
and “loyalty” while they associate cats with attributes related
to “personality” and “love”.
The ways in which people conceptualize cats is particularly interesting.
The top two attributes of “love” and “personality” were
at least 30% more likely to be considered important than the attribute
ranked third (companionship). Furthermore, “social interaction” was
one of the least important attributes. These findings reflect a seemingly
conflicting view of the relationship between cats and humans in that
concepts of love can be independent of concepts such as companionship
and social interaction.
The one top value that both cats and dogs shared was “love”.
Perhaps this is the greatest rationalization for the exorbitant value
we place on our two most popular animal companions. The economic expenses
we devote to them seems to be justified by the reciprocated emotional
value obtained from these companion animals.
So, for this year’s National Cat Day think about the ancient Egyptians,
Japanese culture, and the entire world’s obsession with cat videos.
Cats have been adored and viewed sacred for centuries and they have provided
us with the most valuable gifts of all: love.
30, 2018: "Of all God's creatures, there is only one
that cannot be made slave of the lash. That one is the
cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve
the man, but it would deteriorate the cat." - Mark
Gratuitous Kittiness: "I just can't wait to be king.... of Halloween!"
Cat Mewvie: How to paint a cat.
Feline Art: "Give
me your soul, little one" by
31, 2018: "No matter how much cats fight, there always
seems to be plenty of kittens."
- Abraham Lincoln
Gratuitous Kittiness: Happy fucking Halloween.
Cat Mewvie: Halloween isn't for
Art: Cat tchotchke by Johanna Parker.
1, 2018: "But buds will be roses, and kittens, cats,
- more's the pity."
- Louisa May Alcot
Gratuitous Kittiness: Sunny day, chasing the clouds away.
Cat Mewvie: One last bit of Halloween
Feline Art: One last
great bit of Halloween art, by Tracy Butler.
2, 2018: "Cats are a mysterious kind of folk- there
is more passing in their minds than we are aware of." -
Sir Walter Scott
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Well, sure, I love 'em all. But it's
a BITCH finding a sitter."
Cat Mewvie: Kittens and voting.
Feline Art: "Staticat"
by Casey Weldon.
to REALLY feed your cat.
The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) today released
the AAFP Consensus Statement, "Feline Feeding Programs: Addressing
Behavioral Needs to Improve Feline Health and Wellbeing" and accompanying
client brochure to the veterinary community. The Consensus Statement,
published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, explores the
medical, social, and emotional problems that can result from the manner
in which most cats are currently fed. This statement focuses on "how
to feed" because an often-overlooked aspect of feline health is
how cats are fed.
This Consensus Statement identifies normal feeding behaviors in cats.
It provides strategies to allow these normal feline feeding behaviors,
such as hunting and foraging, and eating frequent small meals in a solitary
fashion, to occur in the home environment -- even in a multi-pet home.
Allowing cats to exhibit these normal feeding behaviors regularly, can
help alleviate or prevent stress-related issues such as cystitis, and/or
obesity-related problems such as inactivity and overeating. Reducing
stress with appropriate feeding programs can also help anxious cats,
who in an attempt to avoid other pets in the household, may not access
the food frequently enough and lose weight.
"Currently, most pet cats are fed in one location ad libitum, or receive
one or two large and usually quite palatable meals daily. In addition, many indoor
cats have little environmental stimulation, and eating can become an activity
in and of itself," says the Consensus Statement's chair, Tammy Sadek, DVM,
DABVP (Feline). "This current type of feeding process does not address the
behavioral needs of cats. Appropriate feeding programs need to be customized
for each household, and should incorporate the needs of all cats for play, predation,
and a location to eat and drink where they feel safe."
The Consensus Statement and accompanying client brochure offer useful
strategies for cat caregivers to understand feeding preferences and provide
the proper environment for feeding that makes cats happier and helps
them avoid overfeeding or underfeeding. The Consensus Statement also
highlights the importance of feeding programs, which should be designed
to consider whether they are indoor-only or have outdoor access, live
in multi-pet households, or are aged or debilitated. These feeding programs
in many cases include offering frequent small meals using appropriate
puzzle feeders, forage feeding (putting food in different locations),
multiple food and water stations, and in some instances, automatic feeders.
Veterinary professionals and clients need to work together to develop
and implement a safe, effective feeding program that optimizes each cat's
physical and emotional health and wellbeing.
Cat caregivers concerned with their cat's weight and health, have multiple
cats in the home, or are concerned with overfeeding/underfeeding, are
encouraged to seek guidance from their veterinarian. Additionally, appropriate
nutrition and feeding programs should be discussed during the cat's routine