Mindful Monday – Where Does My Cat Come From?

All domestic cats are descendants of a species called Felis Silvestris, which is made up of three distinct groups of cats—the African wildcat, European wildcat, and Steppe wildcat. These original ancestors to our lap cats weigh in the range of 11 to 18 pounds. You may wonder why our domestic cats come in so many shapes and sizes—well, that’s partly because their original ancestors do too. The European wildcat has longer fur and a bushy tail. The African wildcat has short fur and faint stripes and the Asiatic wildcat is spotted.

How could those who first domesticated these cats possibly know that we’d come up with more than 3,000 types of domestic cats from the DNA of these three. And would you believe that only 8% of those are pedigree cats.

If you’d like to know more about your formerly feral or stray cat or one that you purchased from a breeder, you might consider sending for a DNA kit. You may need to send a little fur, maybe a swab from inside your cat’s cheek, and a check for anywhere from $44 to $125 and then wait six to eight weeks to learn some interesting tidbits about your cat. Here’s a site ranking some of the DNA test labs.


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Frivolous Friday – Don’t Feed That to Your Cat

We talk to our cats like we do small children. We sleep with them, watch TV with them, play with them. Some people even travel with their cats. And we sometimes share our food with them.

But is that a good idea? Sure, if you dine on boiled chicken with no seasoning or fresh-caught fish, again, cooked and without seasoning. But much of what we eat is not good for a cat. And some of the foods a cat adores and begs for should not be fed to her. Here are a few that might surprise you:

Most cats cannot properly digest milk or cheese. Too much dairy can cause a tummy upset and diarrhea. A cat can develop mercury poisoning and even become malnourished from a steady diet of tuna. A little bite of tuna or cheese once in a while—I mean small—might be okay for most cats.

Do not feed your cat alcohol, grapes or raisins (these fruits can cause kidney failure). Don’t give her anything with caffeine in it, in particular dark chocolate. Raw eggs are a no-no as are raw meat or fish.

A steady diet of dog food can be dangerous for a cat. Dog food is formulated for a dog and does not have the nutrients and other things a cat needs.

Did you know that feeding a cat too much liver can cause a vitamin A toxicity?

Feeding a cat, just like feeding a child and planning your own diet, takes planning and care. If you want to treat your cat or share food with her, cook chicken without seasoning or buy healthy treats for her and offer a little at your mealtime. I can tell you from experience, however, it’s best not to get your cat involved in your lunch because you’ll never have a peaceful meal at home again.


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Thoughts for Thursday – Is Your Cat Drinking Enough?

Yesterday we talked about cats in water. Today our topic is cats drinking water. Yes, we visit this subject every once in a while. Why? Because it’s important. Cats don’t typically drink a lot of water because in the wilds—in their genes—they dine on live prey and tend to get the hydration they need. In captivity, however, we feed them kibbles, so they need more fresh water. What if your cat isn’t inclined to drink much water?

It’s difficult to determine how much a cat is drinking when there are more than one cat around. If your cat isn’t drinking much or if you don’t know how much water he is lapping, try these enticements. Most cats love running water for a couple of reasons. It’s fresh and tastes better than water that’s been sitting around in a bowl on the floor for a couple of days (or longer), and the stream of water is fun to watch and play in.

If your cat can be a water-waster—wants the tap water running all the time, invest in a fountain made specifically for cats. There are a wide variety of fountains for cats being manufactured now. Here’s a site offering reviews to help you choose which one to buy for your cat. I can tell you that Lily sure loves hers. The pump is electric so we unplug it when we leave the house and when we have a pet sitter (just so they don’t forget to fill it.) We don’t want it to run out of water and start smoldering or something. There are battery operated fountains, however. Lily’s fountain is getting pretty old. We may opt for the battery operated one next, if the reviews on them are good. Visit this site and do additional research and surprise your kitty with a water fountain. Let me know how it goes.



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Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – Cats in Water and How to Create an Audio Book From Kindle

Do you think cats and water don’t mix? Well, some cats beg to differ. There are cats that actually like going for a swim once in a while—or often. And some cats are just curious and fascinated about water. Here’s a fun video showing cats in water. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP5RYYK3LaY

While any cat can develop a liking for water, some breeds are more inclined to go for a swim. That would be the Abyssinian, American Bobtail, Manx, Bengal, Maine coon, Norwegian forest cat, Turkish Angora, and Turkish Van.

Here are more swimmingly adorable cats swimming. https://theverybesttop10.com/cats-swimming/

Have you ever wished you could close your eyes and listen to one of my books, as opposed to reading it on your Kindle or as a print book? I heard from a fan yesterday who says she listens to the Klepto Cat Mysteries on her Kindle Fire. I was fascinated by this bit of news and did some research—when it went nowhere, I contacted my amazing web-master/Kindle formatter/trouble shooter and very good friend and she gave me this link to what’s called text-to-speech. Check it out! https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201730270

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Newsday Tuesday – Just a Man and His Cat

I love this story of a man who decided to travel the globe on his bicycle…alone. By chance, he meets a stray kitten and his plans change. Now he’s riding tandem with, perhaps, the world’s sweetest travel companion ever. See photos and read the story here: https://www.boredpanda.com/man-travels-the-world-with-stray-cat-dean-nicholson/?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic

Here’s a YouTube video that seems to have gone viral. I think you’ll agree that this is a companionship made in cat heaven. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3S4aejX0cY

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Mindful Monday – What’s Your Cat’s Purr-sonality Type?

If you have more than one cat or if you’ve had many cats over the years, you know that cats come in many different sizes, shapes, styles, and purrsonalities. One Australian study has revealed five distinct personality types for cats. Let me know if you agree or disagree. After reading this article, I have to say that I’ve known cats with more than one of these traits, cats that changed their color (from skittish to friendly, for example), and cats outside of these distinct personalities.

Here are the five that researchers have listed:

The skittish cat has a lot of fear. He hides from the things that he doesn’t understand, and he may not cope well in general. Sometimes this cat can overcome with help. This cat does best in a quiet home without small children. Be patient. Once he feels safe, he will generally relax a bit, but it can take some cats years to come around.

The dominant cat is pretty much a bully. He might push the other cats (and even dogs) around and keep them from access to the food bowls and the litter box. The best way to handle this situation is to provide multiple feeding stations and litter boxes. However an obsessed dominant might terrorize the other cats in the household by patrolling all of the food and litter boxes all the time. If there’s a skittish cat in the mix, she might begin to lose weight and avoid using the litter boxes. Maybe this isn’t a safe and sane match for your household.

The spontaneous cat, according to the researchers, might be a real puzzle for its humans—you never know which cat will emerge in any given situation. She might react one way on one day to a lizard in the house, for example, and completely differently the next time she sees a lizard. She’s unpredictable and confused. I had a horse like that once. We called her Lightening. She might shy away from the white line in the street and walk right past a garbage truck without flinching.

An outgoing cat is a joy if you like a lot of cat attention and entertainment. This cat is curious, not afraid to explore new territory, and sometimes gets himself into trouble. He needs a lot of stimulation because he has a lot of energy.

The friendly cat is everyone’s dream. These cats were probably socialized properly as kittens. They’re calm and relaxed and don’t harbor fears. Smokey (my mother’s cat) could be considered a friendly cat. He always showed up when company came—loved being admired and petted by any and all humans. His biggest fear was missing a meal or the opportunity for a treat or a vigorous petting.


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Frivolous Friday – Cats the Movie

You may have read my posts expressing my excitement about the movie Cats, which will be released later this year. The target date is December 20. Staring will be some familiar names, but you probably won’t recognize the actors as they’ll be costumed to look like cats. Judi Dench is in this production as is Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, Ian McKellon and others.

Here’s an interesting tidbit about this flick. The cats in the movie will be cat-size. How can that be? Evidently they’ll create everything around the cat actors large, so the cats appear to be your typical eight-pound (or so) cats.

Have you seen the play? Have you heard the music from the production? Do you plan to see the movie? I’m certainly going to get in line for a ticket. I might even wear my cat ears.

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Thoughts for Thursday – National Pet Day

Today is National Pet Day, a day set aside to bring awareness to how special our pets are to us and how many more animals need our help.

This is also Animal Therapy Appreciation Day and this week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week and Animal Care and Appreciation Week. Whew, there’s a lot going on, isn’t there?

How can you celebrate National Pet Day? Here’s a link with some good ideas.



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Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – How Do You Get Your Cat’s Attention

There’s a new study out saying that cats recognize their own name. Really? I mean why did they need to conduct a scientific study in Japan to determine something all cat owners already know?

When we call Lily’s name, she perks up. She’ll usually come from wherever she is to see what we have for her. If we call Sophie’s name, Lily pays little attention, but Sophie turns to look at us or she’ll make her way into the room where we are.

I sometimes wonder if it’s the tone of our voice or the actual words that cats understand. Do they know what “treat” means or “suppertime”? Does “Kitty-kitty,” mean anything as a term or is it the tone that gets the cat’s attention?

Sometimes we use sounds instead of words to entice a cat—tsk tsk sounds, a tongue clicking, clapping, or a whistle, maybe. The rattle of a treat packet is an enticement for some cats. I think it’s called conditioning. There seems to be a difference between a cat understanding a human cue and being conditioned to respond to it.

Does your cat recognize her name or is it the tone you use and the gestures that gets her attention? Our cats certainly respond to tone. A sharp “no” often sends them scurrying. A soft, melodic “Hi, precious. How’s my sweet baby?” results in affectionate head-butts and purring.

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Newsday Tuesday – Whew! Cats Are Getting a Break and Celebrate Your Tabby

Did you know that the USDA has been using cats and kittens in testing the effects of toxins in food? Wow! We’ve been fighting against using animals to test cosmetics, who knew such major agencies were using cats in a similar way—only most of the cats, it seems would get extremely ill and probably die in the process. Well, the USDA has announced that they are ending this practice. That is good news for the cat population.

But what about the notion of shooting cats in order to save the world’s bird population? Yes, it is being discussed more and more. Yet there is the opposing side to this awful idea—let’s hope a solution to protect both the cats and the birds is agreed upon.

Today is National Tabby Day celebrating, as they say, cats of all stripes. This includes cats with stripes, swirls, dots, lines in interesting patterns and most of them have a distinctive M on their foreheads. Why? Here’s a delightful collection of charming stories that explain why. The author says that she believes the M indicates that the cat is the master of the universe. https://www.catster.com/lifestyle/tabby-tuesday-hot-the-tabby-got-the-m

Look at the perfect M on this sweet tabby.

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