New Bill of Rights for Pets Introduced

CA is paving the way for more animal protection

Do you feel that dogs and cats should have a right to freedom from abuse and neglect? What about healthcare, exercise and nutritious food? If so, you might support the new Dog and Cat Bill of Rights being introduced in California. Animal rights advocates think the bill, which would implement fines to animal rescue and other animal organizations for not posting it in public spaces, would be helpful in protecting pets from abuse and neglect.

Others argue that humans don't even get a bill of rights to healthcare, and penalizing rescue operations for not having a sign up doesn't seem to be as effective a strategy. Perhaps ensuring pet owners have good-paying jobs, free healthcare themselves, and less stress from their own government might help them be better pet owners. Tidying up laws on puppy mills and breeders and investing in spaying and neutering catch and release programs is another good way to prevent abuse and neglect.

What do you think about this Bill of Rights? Will it be helpful to pets overall? Share your own thoughts about the bill in the chat.

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More Folks Are Cloning Their Cats

What do you think of this practice?

The trend of cloning pets is still going on, and now those pets are becoming Instagram famous. ViaGen, the company that cloned Barbara Streisand’s dog, Sammie, is charging people an incredible amount of money to clone their furry best friends--$35,000 for cats and $50,000 for a dog.

Folks who are cloning their pets say it's their money and they should get to do whatever they want with it, but is that really true, especially if it's ethically wrong to not only bring back a dead being--something that even Disney knows is a no-no; just ask Genie--but to spend tens of thousands of dollars on it while there are 3.9 million dogs and 3.4 million cats without homes right now?

That doesn't even go into how much good a supposed animal lover could do with that much money--how many pets could be spayed or neutered, or how many shelters could have plenty of food and supplies. And of course it doesn't even touch the people suffering who could use some help. It's absolutely mind-boggling to not see how terrible this is. 

My best friend, a cat, died several years ago. Her paw print is by my bed. I look at it and think of her every day. I would never think she'd want to be cloned if she knew what that meant, and I made sure to adopt her spayed so we didn't contribute to more overpopulation. It's a clear cut answer for me.

What about you? If you could clone your best friend, would you, and why? Do you think this is an ethical practice? Share your thoughts in the chat. 

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Valentines for Your Cat

Do you get anything for your fur babies?

If your cats are anything like mine, they'd be super happy with an empty cardboard box for Valentine's Day. You could make it extra special with some catnip! But some folks really enjoy spoiling their fur babies with lots of little themed gifts and goodies, and can you really blame them? They're so cute, and if it brings you joy, then why not? Here are a few ideas for cat Valentines this year.

Small, locally-owned pet treat bake shops are popping up everywhere, and they are SO fun to visit. You'll find all kinds of handmade treats, toys and goodies, and that's the first place I'd look for a great cat surprise. For the ultimate celebration, there's this box packed with goodies on Chewy. PetSmart's smaller kitty Bento Box is SO cute, too. You could also try a new kind of cat toy, like this cool corrugated ball

What fun finds have you run across to give to your cat this year? Do you make any special homemade treats, give your cat some special wet food or otherwise celebrate together? Share what you do for your cat on Valentine's Day in the chat.

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Lynxes Are Being Trapped in MN

Help share their plight and take action

The Center for Biological Diversity is fighting for the Lynx's life. In Minnesota, there are only around 50 of the wild cats left after the feds have weakened their protections to the bare minimum, allowing them to continually be trapped and now a 528-acre open-pit mine is further threatening the Lynxes. While this mining is not legal in the Superior National Forest, the Forest Service is violating the endangered species act to allow it and the death of more wildlife.

This is completely unacceptable and unethical. This area is made up of 4,000 acres of forest and wetlands where so many species live--and the mining will cause lasting, likely permanent, damage. The Center for Biological Diversity is asking for donations to help them fight the Forest Service in stopping the project and protecting wildlife, so please give and share if you can. Be sure to share this information with everyone you know as well.

Do you know of any other ways to help or advocate for cats--wild or domestic--this week? Do you have any actions or news items to share? Post them in the chat so we can act together. 

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Traveling with Cats

Yay or nay?

Traveling around the country from an RV or school bus transformed into a home and working from the road has always sounded so enticing to me. I blame my Sagittarius rising. My many pets, particularly of the feline variety, have largely kept me home, among other things, but lately I've been seeing more and more cats join their humans on not just road trips but in living on the road.

Picturing how much my cats love to sunbathe, lounge around, stare out the windows at birds and live their best lives, I have a hard time seeing them enjoying life on the road and I don't think it would be fair to them. The travel would surely stress them out. While I'm sure they could get used to it, I think my own worry about them wouldn't be worth the travel, either. 

Have you lived on the road or traveled with cats before? How did it work out for you? Share your experiences in the chat. 

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Maine Coon is Larger Than Toddler

This hefty cat looks like a great cuddler!

Maine Coons are often enormous cats. Many people long for one of these big companions to snuggle and Yulia Minina of eastern Russia has one. The cat, Kefir, is only two years old and thought to be the largest kitten in the world. Kefir weights just under 28 pounds and is larger than many toddlers.

Photos of this magnificent cat can be found here, but if you look up Maine Coon cats in general you'll be treated to some of the most majestic photos of cats you'll ever see. Yes, some photo editing can be deceptive, but in general these cats are large, fluffy and gorgeous. As the owner of a half-Maine Coon, I can also attest to their their gentleness and great cuddling skills.

Have you ever had a Maine Coon or another large breed of cat? What did you think about owning one? What were your favorite things about it and what tips do you suggest for people looking for one?

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Canada Still Allows the Import of Domestic Cat Fur

Cat and Dog Fur is Sold Next to Seal Skin in the Country

It's horrifying to think of someone wearing cat or dog fur or using it for products, but there are countries all over the world who do it--Canada included. The nation allows the import of both domestic cat and dog fur, and for the fur to be sold as pelts alongside those of seals. The Canadian government heavily relies on the sale of baby seal fur, and they don't want anything to jeopardize that--including restrictions on dog and cat fur.

Not selling the fur of our pets seems like an obvious choice for compassion. Even the United States and European Union have signed on to ban the practice due to its cruelty--and likely the fact that pet owners could never imagine their companions being killed for their fur.

If you'd like to tell the Canadian Prime Minister to stop the import and sale of domestic cat and dog fur, please click here and sign the petition. Have any other actions to take for cats and dogs this week? Share them in the chat. 

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Cats Are Little Furry Arsonists

Another great reason to keep them off the stove

Cat owners are constantly trying to keep their cats off tables, countertops and stoves. Why would anyone want feet that have been digging through a litter box where they cook and eat, after all? It turns out there's another reason why we need to make this our goal: cats start a lot of fires. According to officials in South Korea, cats have caused over 100 house fires there alone.

This makes a lot of sense. My cats will play with or get into anything, and if there's a knob that looks interesting, they would definitely fiddle with it. I've had cats play with answering machines many years ago only to delete messages. It's really dangerous, when you think about it. 

If you're trying to keep cats off your counters and stovetops, you can try what we do with this plastic spike material. It's not harmful to the cats but it will keep them down as long as you make sure they can't jump in front of it or behind it. We've had to play with ours (and even trim it) to make it work but it does help quite a bit! It's made for outside but we use it inside. It's SUCH a hassle to have out all the time, but it beats cats eating plants, walking on counters and spreading germs.

Looking at my stove, I would assume my knobs are too hard for them to move; I have to work to click them myself. So hopefully that's not a concern for my household. What about yours? Can your cats move your stove knobs? How do you keep them away from the stove?

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Minneapolis Cat Cafe to Expand

Which cat cafes have you visited?

Cafe Meow is such a hit in Minneapolis that the cafe is expanding with a bigger cafe in New Hope this spring. Cafe Meow has been in operation since 2018 and its model of a coffee shop adjacent to a cat adoption center is working out splendidly. Folks love to come get a drink or bite and visit the cats next door, and cats get adopted from loving coffee and tea lovers in the process.

Some cat cafes have cats roaming around to be pet, but they also have rules about not picking up the cats and letting the felines come to the patrons if they want to do so. Many also have resident cats who are not up for adoption. At Cafe Meow, people can pay a small fee and set up a time to come cuddle the cats just for snuggles, and they may decide to adopt a kitty during the process.

Are there cat cafes near you? What are they like? Share your experiences in cat cafes and locations where cat lovers might find them in the chat. 

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Cats are Fuzzy Murder Muffins

Would yours take you out if they could?

More and more studies are leaning toward the fact that cats are little psychopaths who would love nothing better than to trip their owners while going down the stairs. But is this true? We've talked a lot about it here at Cat Talk, and while I like to defend them, scientists are now saying that domestic cats are absolutely little psychopaths

The evidence is compelling. From their complete lack of guilt or remorse to their lack of facial muscles, the way they always trip us and the way they've invaded our brains to make us like them better than we might not otherwise... it makes absolute sense that cats might just be small ferocious beasts who'd otherwise take us out in our sleep if they were only a bit bigger. 

But what about cheetahs who grow up with dogs as their best friends? What about how my cats soothe me when I'm crying (maybe they just find me annoying and want me to shut up!) or the fact that cats might even enjoy interacting with us more than they like eating? Well, cats do enjoy playing with their food...! 

Do you think the science is there and that cats really are psychopathic? Psychopaths can love, after all, especially if they are lower on the scale than, say, serial killers. What do you think? Share your thoughts in the chat. 

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