Cats

Cat snuggle party disrupted by police

"Come out with your paws up!"

Iceland can get pretty chilly this time of year. What's a stray neighborhood cat to do but throw a snuggle party in an unoccupied home? Unfortunately, the home's human neighbors noticed "several cats" moving in and out of the house via an open window. They contacted police for assistance, and when the officers arrived on the scene they found several cats (two or three; their report was unclear) which were "snuggling on a couch that had been left behind by the previous residents."

The snuggling cat party was broken up, the aforementioned snugglers were evicted, and police officers secured the property. One wonders, when will the next cat snuggle party spring up? And where?
 
This is not the first time police have been called out to deal with a cat problem. Although typically these calls involve cats being mistaken for a cougar or an escaped circus lion.
 
If the problem of cat snuggle parties becomes a serious problem in Iceland, perhaps police officers would do well to consider bringing the cats onto the force, in the same way that a criminal can become a valuable information resource. The Los Angeles Police Department has adopted several colonies of feral cats and put them to work in their stations and parking garages. 

The TRUE life of a barn cat

The sole survivor of someone's "happily ever after" fantasy

A few weeks ago, people started saying they'd seen a kitten at the barn where I board my horses.  I didn't think much of it until about a week later, when I found a kitten in bad shape in a horse's stall.  It was mewing frantically as I rounded the corner, and when I spotted it, it was struggling to get up.  The horse's hind foot was hardly an inch in front of the kitten's body.

I ran into the stall to rescue the kitten, but soon after I picked it up, it went into a nearly comatose state.  It was barely breathing, its eyes were crossed and unresponsive, and the only sign that it was still alive was the feeble protest it sometimes made by opening and closing its mouth when I moved it around.  It was pretty clear the poor thing had been stepped on -- and only just before I arrived on the scene, too, if the frantic cries that drew me were any indication.

Tuxedo Stan is running for mayor

This candiate is promoting a local spay/neuter program.

Right on the heels of learning about Stubbs, the Cat Mayor of Talkeetna, now comes this story from the chilly depths of Canada. Tuxedo Stan is a 3-year-old long haired tuxedo cat who is running for Mayor of Halifax on the Tuxedo Party platform. Tuxedo Stan, a former stray himself, is hoping to "raise awareness about the stray cat problem in Halifax."

Tuxedo Stan's campaign is advocating a city-sponsored spay, neuter, and adoption program. Unfortunately, the city of Halifax is facing a huge issue with stray cats numbering in the thousands living on the streets. 
 
Municipal law actually bans animals from running for office, which means that Tuxedo Stan is a long shot candidate indeed. He is a true maverick, campaigning tirelessly in the hopes of catching the attention and imagination of Halifax residents. And once he has their attention, Tuxedo Stan hopes to convince them to spay or neuter their pets.

Beware of cats and open windows

Yes, cats can fall out of open windows.

Yes, cats enjoy open windows. They love to lay on a perch by a window. They love fresh air like we do. However, if your windows are up high, your cat can fall and get hurt if she is lying in front of an open window.  Don’t take open windows lightly and don’t depend on her nine lives saving her. Each year, cats fall out of windows. They get hurt and they die.

Cats aren’t invincible. They can stumble and fall just as we can. Their claws can’t always save them, either. It is us humans who must take the steps to protect them.  Here is how we can.

Help your cat avoid Halloween stress

Tips to keep your cat calm during Halloween

Yes, Halloween can be a fun Halloween. First, there is the spooky decorating. Then we get to come up with fun and crazy costumes to wear. Finally, nobody would ever forget the candy. In fact, this is a huge event for many humans. However, this holiday can be a stressful time for our feline friends.

First, most cats will tell you, if they could speak, that they do not like change. Decorating to them is change. Yes, those dangly spiders may be fun for them to play with on a short basis. But when you start changing every little item in the room, they realize something is up and they don’t like that.

Next, there are the costumes that you love. The masks hide your face. The long dresses and capes make them wonder what is wrong with you. The excessive makeup has weird smells. The wild hair keeps them from getting as close to you as they live. They just don’t like the costumes, even if you are trying to dress up as a human version of them.

Cat behavior decoded

How cat's ears reveal their mood.

Cats are mysterious animals, but ones which people tend to love. Since they are so mysterious, though, a person may want to learn more about what cat's movements means. When people know this, it is easier for him or her to know what their animals are thinking at any given time. However, the main focal point for this will be their ears, as they can give you quite a bit of information. This is mainly based off of my experience with my cats. 

Normal position for the cats ears are up and perky. This generally means the cat is very happy and not thinking about doing anything naughty. However, a person may also notice when the ears are up like this that the animal is sucking in noise and the ears will turn like a little radar dish toward a sound if they do not want to move their head. 

Tips on getting your cat to scratch in the right places

How to keep your cat from scratching up your furniture, drapes, etc.

You love your feline friend. You even love the many quirky things she does. However, you don’t love the way she scratches your furniture. Yet, you are against having her declawed for many reasons. What do you do?

First, you must understand why cats want to scratch the furniture and everywhere else. No, it isn’t just to sharpen their paws or to help them shed that outer nail layer that they have. They want to scratch to leave their mark and to tell other cats that this is their territory.  

Scratching is also an exercise for your cat. It stretches out their shoulder muscles, the tendon of her paws, and the muscles in their forelegs. This is all beneficial to your cat and a reason why she should scratch. However, she needs to learn where to scratch and it is our duty as cat owners to teach her where this place is.

Cleaning cat urine

Find it with a UV light, then hit it with Nature's Miracle

It's a problem that plagues so many cat owners: cat urine in the wrong place. Anywhere but the litter box, and you have a major problem. 

The first thing to do is address the cause of the inappropriate urination, of course. If you have a cat who is suddenly peeing in the wrong spot, the first thing you should do is take your cat to a vet. This is a classic sign of a urinary tract infection, which can be both painful and damaging. Male cats may also suffer from urinary tract crystals which can be excruciating and potentially fatal.
 
Male cats should always be neutered, and not only to prevent territorial marking (a.k.a. "spraying"). The same goes for female cats, who may otherwise urinate inappropriately as part of their hormonal cycle.
 
The first step to cleaning up cat urine is to find it. You may be surprised where the urine is, and how much of it there is. Cat urine will fluoresce under black light, and if you have a cat urine issue, I strongly recommend getting (or borrowing, or renting) a black light device for detecting cat urine.

Feline acne: causes and treatment

If your cat has a "dirty chin," read on.

Feline acne is a sadly common problem with young and old cats alike. Most cats will have at least one bout of feline acne during their lifetimes. Feline acne is unsightful, uncomfortable for the cat, and can lead to much more serious problems if it continues to worsen.

Identifying Feline Acne
Feline acne takes the form of blackheads. You might mistake it for coffee grounds, dirt, or flea droppings (a.k.a. "flea dirt") at first. It typically forms along the edges of the lips and chin. If you scratch at it gently, it does not come off. Feline acne is much more visible on cats who have a light colored chin, versus cats with darker coats.
 
If it persists or gets worse, feline acne can turn into pustules and a chronic facial infection. Thus, it is important to address this problem as soon as you notice it.

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