For Mammal Monday, let's look at cats:
Cat's Teeth Are Not Made for Chewing Dry Food.
"As is typical of carnivores, the teeth of the cat are appropriately modified for grasping, puncturing, and tearing (cutting), rather than for true mastication. With the exception of "crunching" dry food, cats do little, if any, actual chewing. The hinging of the lower jaw can only be moved up and down and possesses no ability for a lateral chewing motion.
The cat has no first premolars and no lower (inferior) first or second premolars; the molars consist of a single upper and lower tooth on each side. When the mouth is closed, the upper sectorial tooth (P4) slides across the vestibular surface of the lower sectorial tooth (Ml), producing an effective scissor-like cutting action, rather than a chewing action.
Thus the dental benefits of feeding dry food are grossly overrated. The arrangement and spacing of the cat's teeth will more likely trap small, saliva-moistened pieces of dry food. Carbohydrate based dry cat foods also leaves a starchy coating which promotes plaque. Nothing replaces professional dental care."
Getting Your Cat Used to Tooth BrushingOne of the Most Important Things You Can Do to Keep Your Cat Healthy
Weight Loss for Fat Cats.
Dr. Karen Becker, one of Chicago's top 10 veterinarians, gives valuable tips to help your obese cat lose weight and how to feed them properly.
Cats being obligate carnivores, their natural history is to hunt a mouse maybe twice a day. They may catch a mouse, two mice a night, or maybe if they’re lucky, phenomenal hunters, a mouse or three mice or if they’re older and not so active, a mouse a day. But cats are not grazing animals. They are not like a horse or a cow that requires food coming in through their digestive tract on every 15 to 20-minute basis.
Cats, oftentimes, are set up as kittens to want to eat all the time. We feed them like a grazing animal when we leave the food out and cats are allowed to munch throughout the day. That sets the grazing cycle that’s not necessarily healthy for your cat and needless to say, cats will consume too many calories if they’re allowed to graze.
Ingredients: What’s really in that food you’re feeding?Your cat is an obligate, or true, carnivore. Felines are designed by nature to eat meat and lack the ability to efficiently digest grains and grasses.
In order to be optimally healthy and maintain a good weight, your kitty requires a species-appropriate diet that is:
- high in protein
- high in moisture
More at: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2010/03/03/weight-loss-for-fat-cats.aspx
Have You Ever Seen a Cat Parade?"As all of you with kitties know, it can be difficult to motivate a feline to exercise if he’s not in the mood. Older cats like to eat, sleep, look out the window – and that’s about it.
I play a slightly manipulative trick on the cats at my house to encourage them to move their furry little bodies more.
My cats are fed twice a day in the morning and evening. When they see their food dishes come out, they get excited and follow me around as I prepare their meal.
Instead of putting the dishes down for them right away, I walk around the house instead and the kitties follow right along behind me.
After about five minutes of this little kitty parade through the house, I begin to give them small lures of raw food from the dishes as we continue our march. I’m able to keep my cats moving for 20 minutes this way because they think they’re being fed, when in fact they’re being lured into movement instead. The treats along the way are their reward for following me through the house.
After about 20 minutes, I put their food dishes down and let them eat the rest of their meal.
This mildly scheming behavior on my part has the benefit of getting the kitties moving, which improves their cardiovascular fitness, muscle tone, range of motion and circulation in their joints.
Cats can be difficult to exercise, but physical activity is as important for them as it is for their canine counterparts."
More at: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2010/09/16/fun-pet-exercise-for-cats-and-dogs.aspx
Trimming your cat's nails
In this short video, Dr. Karen Becker discusses tips and tricks for trimming your cat's nails and demonstrates the proper clipping technique.
Cats have retractable claws, for one, and they don't always appreciate someone applying a bit of gentle pressure to their toes to expose the claws.
Also, cats are very sensitive to the energy around them, and if there's tension or nervousness in the air, their first instinct is to bolt. If a cat who wants to bolt is being held, he may try to claw his way free. Some very determined kitties can be nearly impossible to restrain, in fact." By Dr. Becker. More at: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/09/27/trimming-cats-nails.aspx
From Me: All my cats are accustomed to having their claws trimmed. But I don't molly coddle them, like Dr. Becker does, or have a helper.
If they start using their scratching posts, I know that their nails are too long for comfort and they are trying to get that dead end off. I just get the cat and cut it's nails, as if it is an everyday event, and make no fuss about it! They seem to be grateful, as it is easier for them to walk.
I cut them with people toe nail clippers, even though I have animal ones, being very careful not to cut the part that is pink.
Don’t Believe It! Exposing 10 Common Myths about Cats
A lot of ancient "wisdom" about felines isn't so wise after all. Some of it is just plain silly – and some is downright dangerous.
Sources: Shine from Yahoo.com, June 22, 2010
Dr. Becker's Comments:
The following are ten urban legends about our kitty companions that deserve debunking:
- Myth: Cats always land on their feet. Fact: Cats don't have collarbones, their backbones are very flexible, and they are extremely graceful animals. This may have led to the old wives tale that they always land on their feet. However, the way your kitty is constructed is no guarantee he won't be harmed in a fall.
- Myth: You should give your cat cow's milk. Fact: Adults of any species typically have trouble digesting the milk of another species – and that includes cats. Like humans, many cats are also lactose intolerant, and cow's milk offers no nutritional value to your kitty.
- Myth: All cats hate water. Fact: Many cats are intensely curious about the wet stuff and love moving water – a sink faucet, a water fountain for drinking, a running shower, even a flushing toilet.
- Myth: Dry cat food (kibble) is best for cats because it helps clean their teeth. Fact: Crunchy food isn't any better at brushing and flossing your kitty's teeth than it is yours. From a nutritional standpoint, dry food is the worst thing you can feed your cat – it is devoid of both the healthful, unadulterated protein and moisture cats need in order to stay healthy.
- Myth: Cats that live indoors don't get sick or need to see the veterinarian regularly. Fact: While it's true indoor living is much safer and healthier for domesticated kitties, they still need regular wellness visits to a holistic or integrative veterinarian. And no matter where your cat spends her time, if she's not eating a species-appropriate, nutritionally balanced diet, she's at risk for poor health. An annual physical examination and bloodwork to detect early organ dysfunction is priceless, in terms of being a proactive pet owner.
- Myth: If you have a cat at home with an infant, the cat will be attracted to the scent of milk and can suck the air from the baby's mouth, suffocating it. Fact: There is absolutely no evidence cats are attracted to an infant's breath, nor has there ever been a case where a cat has suffocated an infant in this manner. If you find your cat snoozing with your baby, it's because kitties like to snuggle up against warm bodies, especially in quiet, darkened rooms – which nurseries often are. Sometimes fat cats are bigger than tiny infants, hence the recommendation to keep the cat out of the nursery.
- Myth: Declawing is just a permanent nail trim. Fact: Declawing is the surgical amputation of the first joint of each of a cat's toes, and is increasingly viewed as inhumane and a form of mutilation.
- Myth: Cats thrive on a vegetarian diet. Fact: Cats are obligate carnivores, designed by nature to require animal protein. In fact, human-grade, unprocessed protein and moisture (water) should make up the bulk of your kitty's diet. Regardless of your own feelings about eating meat, please don't compromise your cat's health by feeding him a vegan or vegetarian diet.
- Myth: Cats are cold and aloof. If you want a loving, loyal pet, get a dog. Fact: Many cats are very loving. Cats are not dogs, so other than having four legs, a tail and fur like their canine counterparts, they are very different animals and comparisons don't make much sense. Dogs are by nature pack animals, while kitties are more independent. But cats that enjoy the same status in the family as dogs are often just as loving, attentive and present as their canine buddies.
- Myth: Cats have nine lives. Fact: Utter nonsense! Cats are smart, so it may appear they are "luckier" than dogs."
Feline Leukemia. (FeLV):
"Dear Dr. Shawn:
"My friend’s cat was just diagnosed with feline leukemia virus infection. What can you tell me about this disease? Can it be prevented or treated?"
”Feline leukemia virus infection is a viral infection that is spread between cats by prolonged contact with saliva or nasal secretions. Infection most commonly occurs in outdoor male cats between 1-6 years of age due to their roaming, fighting, and breeding habits. Approximately 30% of cats that are exposed to the virus are persistently infected and remain infected, 30% are transiently infected with the virus and then cure themselves of the infection, and the remaining 40% of cats are latently infected and test negative on blood testing (the infection resides somewhere in the body such as the spleen, lymph nodes, or bone marrow but not blood; at any time, these cats can become ill from the virus.)
More at: http://www.petcarenaturally.com/ask-dr-shawn/feline-leukemia-virus-felv.php
Prevention of Feline Leukemia
"The best way to prevent feline leukemia in your cat is to make sure he isn't exposed to any other kitty with the virus.
Keep him indoors. If you want to let him outside, either provide non-stop supervision or confine him so that no other cat can scratch or bite him.
Don't allow him to interact with FeLV positive cats, or cats of unknown health status.
If you have FeLV positive cats in your care, make sure they are housed separately from uninfected kitties."
________________Sometimes animals get a better chance in life:
Uploaded by hsus on Aug 30, 2011
"In June, The Humane Society of the United States assisted in the rescue of 700 cats from a hoarding situation in Alachua County. This weekend, after overseeing the cats' care for nearly three months, we held a large-scale adoption event."
Video of cat playing with dolphins: http://www.wimp.com/catdolphins/
OK, I have been 'catty' enough!
Misty and I went to get Jay to get a few more jobs done on the cargo trailer. She had a good walk-about with me steering her away from their garden sprinklers. It has been more humid in the last few days, but they still spend over $100 a month keeping that grass green.
We stopped at Jim's, and he didn't believe me about the crooked bumper, but said he would come and look.
First, Jay 'buttered' the edges of the bed's plywood edges, and the strips of Formica with contact cement.
While we were waiting for that to dry so that it could be stuck together, we worked on a shelf to go over the left hand side of the kitchen counter. The shelf in the front has already been installed, but the light hasn't.
Jay had wanted to mount the light on the wall above the left side window, but to me, that wouldn't make a very good task light. Anyway, the other lights are mounted under shelves, in case the buyer is height challenged, like me
Jim arrived and looked at the bumper, and agreed that it is not level, he was pretty stressed about having so many jobs to do, so we are going to wait until later in the week. After all, it isn't very long since he had his second knee replacement.
Jay and I each measured, re-measured and arrived at the right length for the shelf, and cut the little front trim during a slight drizzle. We kept on working as it seemed that is was going to be just one of those 5-minute tease drizzles. We were hoping that it would be more than that, and kept on working anyway. Then we cut a stick for the wall mount, like the other ones in the pictures. Then the rain stopped.
As the surface-mounted medicine cabinet is to the left of that window making the supporting bracket was difficult as it needed to go into a stud for structural integrity. That stud runs behind the medicine cabinet.
But this support would have to be mounted upside down above the shelf, and behind the cabinet, so that it wouldn't be in the way of the medicine cabinet or the egress window. To make it match the other shelves with the rounded end stops, we made a template out of a piece of paneling. Up and down the trailer steps, trying it with each cut, snipping and sawing to make it just right, while the rain had really started up again.
We had moved the bed plywood into the workshop, stuck and rolled the Formica edge on it, but as it was still raining we will wait until a dry day to router it outside.
Everything was getting wet, our clothes, hair, feet, power tools and lumber. So we dried off the tools, put the lumber in the workshop on it's side so it wouldn't warp, and called it quits.
The rain was welcome as we are 24" behind in rainfall for the year, but we only had 1.07" of rain yesterday.