Daily Cat Fact

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PetHostAT2

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Mar 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/17/96
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Sun Bathers

Cats in sunlight groom more. Part of the reason is the lack of sweat
glands, so depositing saliva helps somewhat to reduce heat by evaporation.
Another crucial element is that sunlight on fur produces Vitamin D, an
important addition to their diet.

Pet Shrink

Monika Tindorf

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Mar 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/19/96
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"sunlight on fur produces Vitamin D"?

I find that very hard to believe, because as far as I know hair is
dead.(that is why it doesn't hurt when it is cut)

I DO know that _skin_ on humans absorbs vitamin D from sunlight.

PetHostAT2

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Mar 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/19/96
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Hey! Why are They Called "Cats" Anyway?

In almost all languages, the word for cat is very similar. For example,
the Spanish word for cat is "gato," Italian - gatto, French - chat, German
- katze, Norweigan and Swedish - katt, Dutch - kat, Polish - kot, Greek -
gata. The root for this word is clearly very old, and probably
accompanied the introduction of domestic cats from a single source.
Linguists believe that the word derives from Arabic, quttah.

Pet Shrink

PetHostAT2

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Mar 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/19/96
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In Message-ID: <4ilccv$i...@atlas.uniserve.com>
Monika Tindorf <mtin...@uniserve.com> wrote:

>> "sunlight on fur produces Vitamin D"?
>>
>> I find that very hard to believe, because as far as I know hair is
>> dead.(that is why it doesn't hurt when it is cut)
>>
>> I DO know that _skin_ on humans absorbs vitamin D from sunlight.

I'm sorry. If you'd like, please change the sentence to ...

"Sunlight that hits the fur, and has the UV penetrating ability to reach
through to the skin produces Vitamin D, but please make sure you don't
assume that every bit of sunlight on the fur produces Vitamin D because
some of it can be blocked."

Pet Shrink

Miss dusty

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Mar 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/20/96
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Hmmm ..

In Turkish the word is kedi ...

PetHostAT2

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Mar 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/20/96
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Why would my cat rather drink from a mud puddle than his own water dish?

I recently received this question and did a little poking about. Some
people think their cat's tongue must be on the firtz, but the real reason
is probably just the opposite.

When we give our cats fresh water out of the tap, we forget that it has
been heavily treated with chemicals, particularly chlorine. We then put
this water in a dish we cleaned with more chemicals, in our detergents.
The cat's sensitive palate has an ability to taste water which we cannot,
and may prefer the puddle water because at least it tastes natural!

Pet Shrink


gl...@ov.com

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Mar 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/20/96
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In article d...@newsbf02.news.aol.com, petho...@aol.com (PetHostAT2) writes:
>Sun Bathers
>
>Cats in sunlight groom more. Part of the reason is the lack of sweat
>glands, so depositing saliva helps somewhat to reduce heat by evaporation.
> Another crucial element is that sunlight on fur produces Vitamin D, an
>important addition to their diet.
>
>Pet Shrink


Since any fur above the skin is dead by definition, I challenge the
assertion that sunlight on fur produces vitamin D. Sunlight works for
humans because the sunlight produces vitamin D below the skin where
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
circulation puts the vitamin D to use. How could a cat possibly get any
benefit from the dead cells of the fur? Are you saying that dead fur
cells are converted by sunlight into vitamin D? Interesting...

Fletche...@ov.com

Cat-rina: "NF" Bd+W G+Y 7 X W+ C-- I++ T+ V+ F- P+ B- PA- PL-
Tabby-tha: "MC" (B+G)t+W H+Y 2 X C+ I+++ T+/--- A+ E+ S+ V++ Q+ B- PA+ PL++

PetHostAT2

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Mar 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/22/96
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Clowders and Kindles

A group of cats is known as a "clowder," based on an old dialect word for
clutter.

A group of kittens is a "kyndyll" or "kindle." This word comes from the
word which meant to bring forth, or to bear. This makes sense for a group
of cats who had recently been brought into the world.

Pet Shrink

PetHostAT2

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Mar 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/22/96
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More on Sweetness

Until very recently, most cat experts declared that although cat's have a
far superior sense of taste to humans, they can't detect sweets. Recent
tests have shown this isn't true. When milk is diluted to one fourth it's
concentration in water, and you offer two bowls of it, (one laced with
sucrose) to hungry cats, cats always prefer the sweetened dish.

Why the confusion for so long? The answer is that cats overlook
sweetness. Even in half-strength milk, their other taste buds are so
stimulated that the presence of sugar isn't a deciding factor, and they
drink equallyfrom either bowl.

Pet Shrink

PS -- Still no hard scientific data on those "Twinkies" yet!

PetHostAT2

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Mar 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/23/96
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Allergic Reactions

There are two main types of allergic reations in cats. Cats may exhibit a
hypersensitivity to things such as pollen, wool, and even house dust. The
symptoms include sneezing, coughing, tearing, and sometimes hair loss or
sores from scratching, or diarrhea. Cats may also develop food allergies,
with syptoms that mirror skin diorders, such as lesions, itchiness, and
redness.

In either case, consult your veterinarian to determine the exact cause of
the distress.

Pet Shrink

PetHostAT2

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Mar 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/24/96
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Cats and Booze

Most cats will ignore alcohol, but some will drink it if it is mixed in
with a more palatable substance by a well-meaning (or not so well-meaning)
party-goer.

Alcohol is much harder on cats than it is on people (or dogs, for that
matter). Humans are omniverous, and these eating habits have been aided
by a digestive system that can break down and detoxify a lot of different
ingested substances. Cats aren't nearly as good at it, and alcohol may
cause them to vomit, collapse, or go into a coma.

Pet Shrink

PetHostAT2

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Mar 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/25/96
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Hear, Hear!

The cat's ambush hunting method has been augmented by evolution of
sensitive hearing. Humans can hear noises up to 20,000 cycles/second,
dogs 35,000 - 40,000/second. Cats can detect sounds as high as 100,000
cycles/second, corresponding to the high pitch sounds of mice.

Cats are excellent at detecting precise direction. At six feet they can
discriminate between two sounds only eighteen inches apart!

Pet Shrink

PetHostAT2

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Mar 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/26/96
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Third Eyelid

The cat's third eyelid, or nictitating membrane to be more precise, can be
found in the corner of his eye. When in use, it slides sideways across
the eye for protection and to lubricate the corneal surface more evenly
with tears.

Pet Shrink

PetHostAT2

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Mar 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/27/96
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Cats and HIV

People with HIV need not always give up their pets. Most animal diseases
are not zoonotic - that is, transferable to humans. The ones that are can
often have their risk minimized by good pet ownership and proper
veterinary care. HIV-infected people contract zoonotic infections much
more frequently from contaminated food, water, soil, or other people than
from their pets. Pets have also been shown to be therapeutic, to some
degree, so the small risks may be outweighed by the benefit.

Of course, HIV can't be spread to your pet - it only affects humans and
primates.

Pet Shrink

PetHostAT2

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Mar 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/28/96
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Cold Points

Most people understand that pigmentation is hereditary, but in some cats,
like Siamese, it is also temperature dependent! Siamese kittens are born
all white - warm from their mother's womb. As they get older, they
develop dark pigments on the tips of their noses, their ears, tip of their
tails, and their feet - extremities that get coldest.

Interestingly, Siamese kittens reared in very cold environments grow dark
all over. Kittens raised in very warm areas often grow into an adult cat
that is pale all over - with no points at all. Diseases that raise
temperature, and bandaging can also cause this paling.

Pet Shrink

gl...@ov.com

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Mar 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/29/96
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As an addendum: People that have had HIV turn into full blown AIDS should
consider their pet's future and arrange for a home for their pet in the
event that they should die from the all too likely complications of the
latter stages of the disease. Nothing is sadder than a pet that is suddenly
rendered homeless when their caretaker has died :-(.

PetHostAT2

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Mar 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/29/96
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In Article <4jh8k6$d...@spanky.pls.ov.com>
gl...@ov.com (Fletche...@ov.com) writes:

>> As an addendum: People that have had HIV turn into full blown AIDS
should
>> consider their pet's future and arrange for a home for their pet in the
>> event that they should die from the all too likely complications of the
>>latter stages of the disease. Nothing is sadder than a pet that is
suddenly
>>rendered homeless when their caretaker has died :-(.

Excellent point - and one that should be extended to other foreseeable
events. Thanks for helping out when I get forgetful.

Pet Shrink

PetHostAT2

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Mar 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/29/96
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Phone Cats

Does your cat mug you when you start talking on the phone?

Close investigation will demonstrate that cats do not try to do this with
every phone call. If there is another person in the room, most cats are
less likely to interfere with you. Even when you are alone, if the person
on the other end of the phone is a salesman, your cat is not likely to
respond.

The key here is that your cat is very sensitive to soft, warm tones. If
you use the same loving tones on the phone that you use to greet your cat,
your cat will try to "greet you back!"

Pet Shrink

PetHostAT2

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Mar 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/30/96
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How Long Can Cats Breed?

Tomcats have been known to reproduce at age 16, and females can produce
kittens even when twelve years old! Granted, some of the reporductive
hardware breaks down, resulting in smaller, less viable litters,
(particularly in purebreds), but this is roughly the human equivalent of a
60 year old mother and a father in his late seventies!

Pet Shrink

PetHostAT2

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Mar 31, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/31/96
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Good Listeners?

A recent survey states that only 95% of cat owners talk to their pet.

Pet Shrink

Antti Matikka

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Apr 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/1/96
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petho...@aol.com (PetHostAT2) wrote:
>A recent survey states that only 95% of cat owners talk to their pet.

Ban 'em 5%!

Andy, meowing

PetHostAT2

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Apr 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/1/96
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Living Longer

The average life expectancy for exclusively indoor cats has doubled since
1930 -- from eight years to sixteen. Credit advances in vet care,
nutrition, and the personal education of cat owners.

(( Death to cat old wive's tales!! ))

Pet Shrink

John

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Apr 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/1/96
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In article <4jmuob$5...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>,
petho...@aol.com (PetHostAT2) wrote:
>Good Listeners?

>
>A recent survey states that only 95% of cat owners talk to their pet.

You mean 5% of cat owners don't!?!?! Wonder if this would be due to some
handicap on the part of the person?

John

PetHostAT2

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Apr 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/2/96
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Friday Brides

In the Nordic countries, women once took it as good luck to be married on
Freya's day (Friday). Freya is closely associated with cats, even
arriving in a chariot pulled by two cats (must be strong cats). If the
Friday was sunny, then everyone knew that the young bride would take good
care of the family cats, and that Freya would bless the marriage.

Pet Shrink

tdh...@enh.nist.gov

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Apr 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/2/96
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Thank you for these words of wisdom.
I really enjoy them.
Terry D. Hahn

Garry Boyd

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Apr 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/3/96
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John <jwa...@globalvision.net> writes:

>You mean 5% of cat owners don't!?!?! Wonder if this would be due to some
>handicap on the part of the person?

They could all be deaf persons who don't know how to talk. That's the only
reasonable explanation.

PetHostAT2

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Apr 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/3/96
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Cat OP

Hopefully, everyone has heard the startling breeding rates that cause so
much cat overpopulation and needless death. A single breeding pair,
allowing for fourteen kittens in each three litter year, would produce
65,536 cats in five years! To me, fourteen seems like a rather high
number, but some mother cats have produced up to nineteen kittens/litter.
The record for most kittens produced in a lifetime is 420.

Pet Shrink

John

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Apr 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/3/96
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In article <5RIKOWL.r...@delphi.com>,

Well I hadn't considered that, I was thinking 5% of those surveyed were liars
<g>.

John

dgabriel

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Apr 4, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/4/96
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Garry Boyd (rexdw...@delphi.com) wrote:
: John <jwa...@globalvision.net> writes:
:
: >You mean 5% of cat owners don't!?!?! Wonder if this would be due to some
: >handicap on the part of the person?
:
: They could all be deaf persons who don't know how to talk. That's the only
: reasonable explanation.

I met many deaf and deaf-blind people because I completed sign-language
interpreter training; the people I know who communicate primarily via
signing all sign to their pets.

Incidentally, there's one sign which, in the right context, can mean, "Get
off that table": I point to the tabletop, then sharply point to the floor.
When I use it, my two cats know *exactly* what it means. They jump right
down. :)

Donna, Melody, and Harmony

PetHostAT2

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Apr 4, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/4/96
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Old Cats and Hearing

Those great cat ears don't last very long. Cats begin to lose their
hearing when they are only five. As they become elderly, many become
completely deaf. This could account for the high number of older cats
that are killed by cars -- it isn't that they aren't fast enough to get
out of the way, it's that they don't hear them coming.

Pet Shrink

gl...@ov.com

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Apr 4, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/4/96
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Are you sure that these mammals are cats?? Or... should the statement
be: "They jump right down (if they feel like it)."?

cper...@kean.ucs.mun.ca

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Apr 4, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/4/96
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I suspect the latter. I speak (verbally, not by sign) to my cats; they obey
when they feel like it. I suspect the same is true of people who
communicate with their cats by sign, not verbally.

`Down, Mandy!! Down!! (Mandy looks at me, visibly decides whether or not
she wants to get down, and does just what she wants.) I suspect she'd do
the same if I used signs.

Cheryl

tdh...@enh.nist.gov

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Apr 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/5/96
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Dear Pet Shrink,
I suppose that this is why we should think about neutering programs.


exit
quit

PetHostAT2

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Apr 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/5/96
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HarmoniCats

Are you like me, in that if you start singing (off-key, of course), your
cat often meows for you to stop, or just leaves the room? Some scientists
theorize that cats are sensitize to harmonics. They have noticed that
mice exhibit a two-octave range (higher than our ears can detect) with
different tempos of between two to six notes per second. A few scientists
believe cats are particularly attracted to the mice that sing off-key.

As an aside, several composers attribute their success to their cat's
early critiques of their works, so this theory may have some
corroboration.

Pet Shrink

PetHostAT2

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Apr 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/6/96
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Hair

There are four types of hair on cats, that vary greatly depending on
breed. Down hairs (or underfur) are the short, thin, soft hairs next to
the skin that help conserve heat. Awn hairs make up the bristly middle
coat. The long, thick, straight hairs that help keep the cat dry are the
protective topcoat guard hairs. Finally, the fourth type of hairs are
vibrissae, such as whiskers, that provide tactile information.

On the average cat (I have yet to see an "average" cat, though), for every
1000 down hairs, there are about 300 awn and 20 guard hairs. Pedigreed
cats have much different ratios, and the character of each type of hair
may be radically different.

Pet Shrink

John

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Apr 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/6/96
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In article <4k0vna$j...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>,

Any ideas or information on the cuases of this deafness, and more important is
there anything we as cat people can do to help our kitty(s) avoid this?

John

PetHostAT2

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Apr 7, 1996, 4:00:00 AM4/7/96
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E-collars

Elizabethan collars are the large vinyl cone-like neckware you see on some
dogs and cats that have just visited the veterinarian. They are very
useful in preventing the cat from licking or chewing on a wound or
stitches, and can help keep your cat from scratching an ear wound. They
can be easily made at home out of plastic or cardboard, and should be kept
in mind to prevent the reinjuring of minor scratches or cuts.

Pet Shrink

PetHostAT2

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Apr 7, 1996, 4:00:00 AM4/7/96
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I checked one of my favorite resources, the American Animal Hospital
Association Encyclopedia of Cat Health and Care (that's a mouthful!) and
found little good advice for preventing age-related deafness. It does
help to keep your cat's ears clean, to prevent wax build-up on the ear
drum. Ear mites can also lead to ear canal inflammation, and some
deafness is caused by inner ear infections. Finally, check inside your
cat's ears regularly. Just like toddlers, cats can get foreign objects
lodged inside.

Pet Shrink

Robert H Ruskin

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Apr 7, 1996, 4:00:00 AM4/7/96
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I suggest you forget the cardboard if you have a smart cat. My cat did not
want the collar on her, but I did. She finally figuared out that if she
went over to her water dish and dunked the collar in the dish, the collar
became a saturated mess... and I would be forced to take it off her. If I
drained her water dish you would search out any body of water.
--

PetHostAT2

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Apr 8, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/8/96
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All Black Cats

Finding a black cat is rare these days. Almost all will have a few white
hairs, or perhaps a white whisker. Why would this be, when nighttime
hunting would favor cats that were completely black?

The reason is humans. Black cats were very common until medieval times,
when they were associated with evil and black magic. Many people believed
that if a cat had a touch of white, it was not consigned to the devil.
Cat-killing rituals became horribly common, and provided a tremendous
selective pressure against all black cats -- one that we still see in the
cat gene pool today.

Pet Shrink

Robert H Ruskin

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Apr 9, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/9/96
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The Bombay is THE ultimate BLACK CAT!!!
--

PetHostAT2

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Apr 9, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/9/96
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Prenatal Nutrition

Make sure your pregnant cat gets the proper nutrition. Tests have shown
that undernourished mothers produce kittens that have poorer learning
ability, are more antisocial to other cats, and have higher levels of fear
and aggression. These kittens are slower to learn to crawl and walk, and
often have worse balance. Strangely, the offspring of these kittens often
demonstrate similar problems, even when the mother and her kittens are fed
well.

Pet Shrink

SHERRIE PALTRINERI

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Apr 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/10/96
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I consider myself very lucky to have the black cat that I do. He is a beautiful
perfectly black cat that we found abandoned last summer. He is the most loving
cat I have ever had and all the kids that came to our house for Halloween
thought that it was so cool to have a "halloween"cat. I didn't realize that
they were rare - I guess having him is a lucky sign...
Sherrie and her "halloween"cat Bledsoe

PetHostAT2

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Apr 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/10/96
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Induced Ovulators

One characteristic that helps cats be so (too?) successful at having
kittens is that they are induced ovulators. Unlike most other female
mammals that will release an egg at a specific time during their estrus
cycle, female cats release their eggs only when they are physically
mating. This way they have less wasted eggs.

Pet Shrink

PetHostAT2

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Apr 11, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/11/96
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Signs of Illness

I recently got a request to point out some of the signs of a sick cat.
She said "... my husband is very good at telling me about every ache and
pain, but how does my cat?" < g >

A sick cat will generally have a hunched over appearance and keep his tail
low. His face will "look sick," as many people say, with a depressed
expression and perhaps dull eyes.

Behaviorally, you will see the cat act outside his normal routine. He
usually will not eat, or clean himself. Litterbox problems are another
good clue, as are changes in his sociability with us and other cats.

Pet Shrink

cper...@kean.ucs.mun.ca

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Apr 11, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/11/96
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So any intact female cat who encounters a male cat is likely to have
kittens.

That's why I had my cats spayed.


Cheryl

PetHostAT2

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Apr 12, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/12/96
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More on Sweets

I posted earlier that cats cannot detect sweets, although there seem to be
a few with a sweet tooth. Cats are true carnivores, and have no need for
taste buds that detect sweet, as opposed to more omniverous creatures such
as dogs and humans. Anatomically, there are still a few ancestoral units
in the cerebellum that can detect sweets, but the necessary connections
for sweet in the glossopharyngeal nerve from the tongue aren't complete.
Scientists still do not have a good explanation for sweet-tooth cats.

Pet Shrink

dgabriel

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Apr 12, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/12/96
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Robert H Ruskin (rus...@aruba.ccit.arizona.edu) wrote:
: The Bombay is THE ultimate BLACK CAT!!!

I thought that my two pampered felines, Melody and Harmony, were the
ultimate Black Cats! ;) Just ask them; they'll purr in agreement!

Donna and the "Rorshach Test" kitties ("Oh, look - two ink blots in the
shape of cats!"), Melody and Harmony

sham...@inferno.com

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Apr 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/13/96
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PE>More on Sweets

PE>I posted earlier that cats cannot detect sweets, although there seem to be
PE>a few with a sweet tooth. Cats are true carnivores, and have no need for
PE>taste buds that detect sweet, as opposed to more omniverous creatures such
PE>as dogs and humans. Anatomically, there are still a few ancestoral units
PE>in the cerebellum that can detect sweets, but the necessary connections
PE>for sweet in the glossopharyngeal nerve from the tongue aren't complete.
PE>Scientists still do not have a good explanation for sweet-tooth cats.

PE>Pet Shrink

I have never known a cat that didn't like something sweet. I guess I
don't need science to confirm what I see with my own eyes. :) Kate


sham...@inferno.com

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Apr 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/13/96
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DG>Robert H Ruskin (rus...@aruba.ccit.arizona.edu) wrote:
DG>: The Bombay is THE ultimate BLACK CAT!!!

DG>I thought that my two pampered felines, Melody and Harmony, were the
DG>ultimate Black Cats! ;) Just ask them; they'll purr in agreement!

DG>Donna and the "Rorshach Test" kitties ("Oh, look - two ink blots in the
DG>shape of cats!"), Melody and Harmony

I do not give tests do I? Iffen I do I will take nip, fud or toys to
ensure you pass. Rors


PetHostAT2

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Apr 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/14/96
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Kitten's Nose

How sensitive is a kitten's nose? So sensitive that at only a few days
old, they can recognize their own personal nipple on mom by subtle
differences in its smell!

Pet Shrink

PetHostAT2

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Apr 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/14/96
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Tail Wagging

Have I mentioned that tail wagging does not necessarily mean your cat is
aggressive? It is a displacement acitivity, where an animal doesn't know
whether to approach or avoid, and so that extra energy goes off in another
direction. Side-to-side motions (not necessarily the tail) are very
common in most animals -- even that happy dog who still has a bit of fear
over our dominant position.

So why the tail, and not some other part wagging, shaking or quivering?
It may have originally had something to do with balance, but the current
tail wag is far too fast for this function. It is probably also helped
along by the very visible cues it gives to other animals in a social
context.

Pet Shrink

PetHostAT2

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Apr 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/16/96