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All About Cats
To begin “All About Cats” I will talk about the many cat breeds and go on to their Halloween connection followed with common burn causes, how to help our feline friends stay happy, and where to go for your best kitty products.
As of 2023 Cat Fanciers Association has a count of 45 standardized cat breeds while International Cat Association’s total extends to 73 types of felines. The wide variation they say is relegated to the non-pedigreed not being included in a registry but only the pedigreed breeds being considered.
Wikipedia has a great list of cat breeds with good identifying pictures included. They actually show about 100 different types of kitties starting with the Abyssinian, which possibly originated in Ethiopia. That is the kitty I would like to have with me. Their list ends with the York Chocolate, originating in the US, New York. This is a cat associated with Halloween.
The Abyssinian is a short haired guy or girl, red in color.
The York Chocolate is pictured above…that particular look is kind of Halloween scary – LOL!
Let’s just stick to the top 15 most famous breeds and their popularity among adults. The YouGov rating site gives us those most famous breeds listed in order below with their fame percentages ranging at 87% at number 1 down to 67 percent at number 15. The popularity percentiles start at 58% and head down to 41 percent in order.
- American Shorthair
- American Bobtail
- British Shorthair
- Maine Coon
- European Shorthair
- Desert Lynx
- American Wirehair
- Russian Blue
- Egyptian Mau
The YouGov site shows pics of each mentioned and more; if you want to take a look, hit the link above. I am surprised to see no Siamese mentioned. Where does your fur bud sit in the list?
A Little Halloween History Horror Story
With Halloween creeping up, along with our famous ‘black cat’ superstitions, it is interesting to note how all the super nonsense began. A black cat has been associated with bad luck, evil, and witches in many countries since medieval times but in other countries like Scotland and Japan they are seen as a symbol of affluence and good luck…go figure.
As the story goes, and as it is told on history.com, all the way back in Greek mythology cats were associated with the moon and witchcraft. In 1233 Pope Gregory IX issued a church document which declared black cats as an ‘incarnation of Satan’. This was the start of the Inquisition and witch hunts in medieval times when it was believed witches could turn themselves into cats.
It is suggested that the witches with their cats were getting too much influence with their dislike of authority and giving the church a run for its money, so to speak. They were making the church ‘authority’ uneasy. The black cat became the main influence with witches supposedly because they are harder to see at night, helping the cats to be better hunters. It was reported that cats were accused of causing the Black Plague and many were killed as a result. The irony was that they controlled the rodent population that actually spread the disease.
When the Puritan colonists came to America they arrived bringing with them the evil black cat, bad luck superstition lore with them – still with us in some respects today.
Turning Bad Luck to Good for our Cats
Tufts Catnip newsletter of Tufts University, one of the top vet colleges in the world, gives some great advice on care tips for cats in keeping your cat safe from burns. They comment on three major burn categories and how to treat them. Their info is summarized below.
Thermal burns are the most common. These result from contact with flames, steam, hot liquids, heating pads, hair dryers, heat lamps, plus. This household accident is one such as scalding from a hot liquid or flying grease.
This type of burn they advise to NOT APPlY COLD WATER OR ICE OR BUTTER OR ANY TYPE OF OINTMENT. They also recommend TO NOT BANDAGE OR TRY TO CLEAN THE WOUND, but to BRING YOUR CAT TO THE VET IMMEDIATELY. It can be worse than it looks and needs professional care.
Second are chemical burns and the second most common burns for house cats. This is when your cat’s skin comes in contact with any caustic substance like turpentine, or a toxic cleaning substance. If your cat tries to sooth her skin with her tongue it can cause more burns inside her mouth. In this case Tufts advises putting your kitty in a towel or blanket and carrier. Then you need to proceed to your closest vet hospital for treatment.
Third most common are electrical burns from biting through an electrical cord or a poorly insulated appliance. This affects the tongue and top of your cat’s mouth. And in this case as in chemical burns, they stress the importance of wrapping your kitty in a towel or blanket and heading to the nearest vet hospital for professional eyes and treatment.
If you would like to read the entire article, just click the link to Tufts Catnip in the first paragraph.
Great Tips for a Contented Cat
Tufts Catnip gives us a list of ways to keep our feline babies happy and content…16, in short form, to be exact.
- Cats, as you know, are quite independent creatures. In this regard they say to let your cat come to you for ‘short bouts of petting’. In other words, let her nudge you if she wants more.
- Your cat does want to interact with you so be sure to take time for some play sessions with toys and training too.
- They advise using an unscented litter that is soft and dust-free to safeguard your cat’s respiratory system.
- Always keep food and water bowls separate, and not in the same space. Change their water often.
- Play soothing music to relax your kitty. As an aside, I even leave music on for my Nerite snail, and did also for my Dwarf African frogs and Betta fish.
- Groom your fur buddy regularly. Brushing helps to keep fur clean and gives you the opportunity to check for any unknown wounds or lumps.
- Make your kitty’s carrier a comfy oasis so that they are happy to use it when needed. And if you leave it available with a nice blanket and a toy or two, your kitty will probably use it as a lounging area.
- Learn how to speak “Cat”. Tufts says that cats blink languidly at us when they are comfortable and relaxed. Try blinking slowly back at them and see if they approach you or give you a ‘nudge’.
- Do not force a pill on them. Try putting it in wet food or an edible pill pocket. Or you might see about having it made into a liquid form and adding a fish flavor to it.
- Training with positive reinforcement like a yummy treat is a great way to get them to scratch on a post instead of your furniture, or to stop meowing, or to teach them to sit. Be sure to give your love bug the treat right after doing what you asked.
- If you want to go all out and have the space, install a catwalk. Install brackets along a wall in your bedroom or family room, den. It needs to be 6 to 12 inches wide and 2 feet below the ceiling. Use perches for your cat’s access. Your fur bud will be in heaven! Another thought in this area would be a deck catico if you have an available area.
- Be sure to read your cat food labels for good nutrition. See my post on reading pet food labels: “Understanding Pet Food Labels”.
- Since our cats like much warmer temperatures than we do, set their bed near a fireplace or heat vent so they can get nice and cozy.
- Don’t let a high price for your pet’s food trick you into thinking it is a better food. As mentioned in number 12 check the labels for AAFCO’s label, the American Association of Feed Control Officials. Or check out my USA-made and all natural choices for both food and treats.
- Treats are good in moderation. As an example, no more than 25 calories a day for a 12 pound cat that needs an average 250 calories each day. Tufts mentions that 25 calories would come to a little less than a quarter can of tuna packed in water. To see a list of inexpensive, natural treats take a look at “Time for Thanks with Natural Pet Food Treats“.
- Tufts lists ASPCA’s (Animal Poison Control Center) toll-free number as 888-426-4435. They have 40 vet pros available day and night. Note that there is a consultation fee charged.
National Cat Day & USA-made Products
And with all those happiness tips for your feline friend, remember that National Cat Day is celebrated every October 29th. You can do just that by using our best USA-made cat products. See my USA-made pet products category for great choices in safe, and nutritious products available for your feline fur bud, linked on my Welcome Page and in my National Cat Day post.
Funny Cat Video
A must-see video from Big Geek Daddy: https://biggeekdad.com/2021/10/bohemian-rhapsody-cats/.
I hope you will take away some of the great tips provided above. Thanks for coming by this week and do come back every week by subscribing to my blog for more free researched pet care articles and product recommendations.