September 2011

The Scottish Kitty

A cat of Scottish Fold breed is most distinguishable by their flat, folded ears, but there is more to this type of kitty than just this feature.

Most people who pick up a cat don’t really stop to think of what breed it is. Most people know their dog’s breed but when it comes to the question “what kind of cat do you have?” most people answer with their cat’s color or gender. This is probably because many cat breeds and mixes appear indistinguishable to the untrained eye. However, almost everyone will be able to tell a Scottish Fold breed cat just by looking at one. There most distinguishing feature is their ears which begin to fold forward and eventually lie flat forwards when they are about three weeks old. Scottish Fold cats can achieve different levels of “fold”. A single fold features ears just slightly bent forward about midway down the ear while a triple fold lies so flat to the head you can hardly see their ears at all.

The “Scottish” part of the breed’s name comes from the fact the breed was discovered in Scotland in 1961. Scottish Folds are typically 9 to 13 pounds for males and 6 to 9 pounds for females. They appear (and are) very soft and round with thick short hair. They are also known for being very kind, sweet and caring cats who enjoy being around their owners and participate in a medium level of activity provided their owner or a sibling cat or dog start the play. For cat ladies who want a unique cat a Scottish Fold is a wonderful option. They are also often used as show cats.

Tabby Color Schemes

One of the most recognizable cat coat patterns is the tabby. Even so, tabby coats come in a surprising variety of colors and patterns. The rich swirls of color in a tabby cat's coat are what give us the English name for the pattern, which was derived from the French term "tabis." Tabis was a kind of watered silk fabric, which came in vibrant colors marked by swirls and wavy patterns.
The tabby coat is so ubiquitous, even in feral and wild cats, that most experts believe it is one of the original colors of the house cat's direct ancestor.

Plants + House Cats: Choosing Wisely

What is it about cats and house plants? No one really understands why cats want to eat grass, although there are many theories. This urge to eat green leafy grass is certainly part of a cat's attraction to our house plants, but "sheer cussedness" seems to be the major factor. Why else will a cat ignore a particular plant for years, only to one afternoon up and decide to knock the whole thing over, eat half of it, and roll around grinding the soil into your carpet?
Unfortunately, many common house plants are quite toxic. I learned this lesson the hard way years ago when I came home to find my cat Frankie lying flat out on the floor, lethargic and drooling, with an alarming wheeze. A quick glance around the room showed that he had eaten half of the Peace lily (Spathiphyllum) which had been quietly growing on my windowsill unmolested for months.