Charlie ShortTail sitting up

Charlie and the awful tar episode

Charlie ShortTail

Tar on my cat paws

I came home today with tar on my paws. Mama panicked in case they were burnt too.

It was thick, black, sticky, stinky and matted into my fur. Mama held me and dipped my paws into vegetable oil right away as this is supposed to soften the tar.

She was able to get a big lump of it off, but holding me in one arm and trying to clean me wiv the other hand was proving too difficult, if not impossible.

Help from Nan.

So, Mama phoned the Nan (not on da banana fone). Mama wrapped me in a blanket and Nan soaked my paws in oil and used a Qtip to get in between my pads.

I was very good (mostly). After they cleaned what they could, the next stage was to cut off the fur that was really caked in the awful tar.

Nan was worried about which was fur and which was paw, so I shut my eyes and hoped for the best. It was okay she didn’t hurt me at all.

The final clean up

After all this they scrubbed my paws with washing up liquid and then rinsed with lots and lots of warm water.

Mama was much calmer at this point as she could see I had not burnt or hurt my paws.

I was a bit of a mess though! I had streaks of oil in my fur and loads of wet patches. I looked a bit pitiful Mama thought.

The reward

Because I was so good and let mama hold me in the blanket, and let the Nan clean me up without biting or scratching I got a big bowl of tuna.

What happens next?

I’m grounded because no-one knows where the tar was from. Mama says tar is really toxic for cats and we mustn’t be allowed to lick it.

If it hadn’t of come off Mama would have had to cover my paws with something. That would have been trouble so we are all glad it got sorted out.

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Why do cats like sitting in boxes of all sizes and even bags, drawers and bowls?

Charlie ShortTail

Why does your cat like boxes?

Holly O Purr relaxes in her box.

Understanding why your cat like sitting in a box, bag or drawer.

Charlie ShortTail says : Cats like boxes because:

Cats enjoy a feeling of safety and security when sitting or sleeping in a box.

A box can be lovely and warm –the cardboard provides insulation and cats love warmth.

The ideal temperature for a cat is somewhere around 86-97 degrees or 30-36 oC – our homes are generally cooler than this.

 

Play – cats enjoy hiding and then pouncing on unsuspecting prey or toys, and even other pets or family.

A box provides a good place to watch and observe.

A cardboard box is great to scratch and bite.

Lando sat in this little box to play and also hid his favourite mouse toy in the box.

 

Do not disturb – your cat can sleep or rest and not be bothered by you or others.

Cats sleep for around 18-20 hours per day.

A box can provide stress relief – a sort of getting away from it all.

Research by some scientists seems to show that rescue cats given boxes are able to cope better and adjust to new surroundings quicker.

 

Cats are difficult to study and we still do not know all the reasons why cats love boxes, large, small, tiny and of course drawers, suitcases, handbags, bowls and even shoes.

Leo loves to hide away in a bag.

Holly O Purr sitting pretty in the drawer.

Sources and more detailed information on why cats love boxes.

According to the metro.co.uk

‘Studies collated by Bryan Gardiner at Wired.com have revealed the main reasons behind your cats affinity with boxes.

Firstly, they’re a source of stress-relief. Gardiner cites a recent study by veterinarian Claudia Vinke of Utrecht University in the Netherlands who monitored the stress levels in shelter cats.

After providing hiding boxes for a group of newly arrived domestic cats while depriving another group of them completely, she found a dramatic difference in stress levels between the two groups.

In a nutshell – cats with boxes became accustomed to their new surroundings faster, seemed less stressed faster and sought human company sooner.

Secondly, your cat prefers to flee, rather than fight and a box might represents the perfect shelter from conflict, or just too much attention.’

The ‘Metro’ also refers to ‘The Domestic Cat: The Biology of its Behaviour’ : ‘Cats do not appear to develop conflict resolution strategies to the extent that more gregarious species do, so they may attempt to circumvent agonistic encounters by avoiding others or decreasing their activity.’

An article in Cathealth.com refers to a recent study in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science found that boxes can actually help reduce a cat’s stress levels.

Reducing stress for new cats  or for shelter cats

A group of new shelter cats were randomly assigned to either receive a box or not. After just a few days, researchers reported that the cats that were given boxes recovered faster and adapted to their environment more quickly than the cats without boxes.

The dailymail.co.uk also states that according to a report by Bryan Gardiner in Wired.com veterinarian Claudia Vinke of Utrecht University in the Netherlands recently studied stress levels in shelter cats. She discovered that cats who had boxes got used to their new surroundings faster than those who didn’t because the boxes acted as a coping mechanism.

Care2.com refers to an article by Steven B Williams /February 9, 2015

Steve writes that: ‘This box-loving aspect of a cat’s personality has long puzzled their human carers, and it’s also caught the attention of scientists. Researchers, who published their findings in Applied Animal Behaviour, investigated whether hiding in boxes might reduce stress for cats in animal shelters.

While most species of dog can adapt to shelter environments relatively quickly, cats often experience high levels of stress. Previous studies have shown that cats prefer areas where they have the ability to hide, but until now scientists have not studied whether so-called “hiding enrichment” might benefit a cat’s sense of well-being and specifically if providing boxes for cats to hide in might help to ease those turbulent first few weeks in a new shelter.

To investigate this, researchers took 19 newly arrived cats in a Dutch animal shelter and randomly split them into two groups, one where the cats would be given access to hiding boxes, and one group who wouldn’t have access. The researchers then observed the cats for 14 days, and they used a scale known as the Kessler and Turner Cat-Stress-Score to estimate, based on visual clues and habits like grooming and eating, how stressed the cats were during this initial settling-in time.

The researchers found that by day three and four there were significant differences in the stress levels exhibited by cats without boxes to those who had boxes, with the cats who had hiding boxes showing a total average stress score lower than their non-box counterparts. An interesting note is that box-access seemed to reduce stress no matter the breed of cat, suggesting that this isn’t just a preference for some but a much more firmly ingrained cat trait.’

Charlie says that a box can be a nice place to relax away from stress and all cats like to feel secure and safe. 

Providing a box or hide-away container can help nervous, new or cats that are in new and strange surroundings.

Charlie would like to thank his furriends Holly, Jo, Lando and Gertie for their gorgeous pictures.

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cat holds front paw in high-five

Do cats have arms or legs?

Charlie ShortTail

Why do cats have legs and not arms?

Cats generally get around on all four limbs, that is they are quadripeds.

They walk on four limbs or legs. They may be able to walk on two legs, but not as a preference.

Cats have legs; front and hind legs.

Legs are weight bearing limbs for locomotion.

Cats are ‘digitigrades’ that is they walk on their toes (dogs do as well).

The word “arm” refers to a limb that has a hand on the end of it, not a foot. Therefore, again cats have legs not arms.

Do cats have knees?

Cats have knee and elbow joints but not wrists or ankles.

Cats have knees on their back legs and have elbows on their front legs.

Cats have patellas, or kneecaps, on their back legs but not on their front legs, this means two knees and two elbows per cat.

Cats use each leg as if it has both a knee and an elbow though.

Cats do have knees.

black and white cat laying on the ground

Why do cats have paws and not hands or feet?

A paw is defined as something that belongs to an animal not a human.

A paw is the foot of an animal; this can be a fore or hind-foot.

Paws are usually furry and roundish with claws.

Feet are mostly hairless, longish in shape and have nails.

Only people, primates and a minority of creatures have appendages that can be called “hands”.

Cats have paws.

 

 

tabby cat crosses front paws

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Charlie’s furriends and Pawtraits – introducing Mz. Chaos

Charlie ShortTail

Charlie’s furriends and pawtraits

Introducing Mz. Chaos

Chaos is a little tortoiseshell cat. She is gentle and loving and likes nothing better than a big cuddle up with her small human brother.

Mz. Chaos has to have a special diet because she is allergic to many things and her Mama spent a lot of time researching and reading up on how to help with her problems.

She cannot eat foods with grains in, and she is also allergic to flea bites (flea allergy dermatitis), so she becomes itchy and scratches a lot.

When she is bad she can have loss of fur and many lumps.

She left her old home because she was unhappy and adopted her new Mama and brother.

She is now much loved and cared for and her allergies are under control.

Her only bad habits are sneaking inside beds and drooling!

Do I look grumpy?
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Why do female cats screech after mating and attack the male?

Charlie ShortTail

Why do female cats screech during mating?

It is well observed that the female cat will scream, screech or become very aggressive during or just after mating with the tom cat.

The reason for this aggressive behaviour is that the tom cat’s penis has little barbs or spines on it.

When the penis is inserted the spines lay flat, but when withdrawing the penis, the spines cause a raking action on the female’s cat’s vagina, causing pain, and so the female reacts by attacking the male.

Why does the tom cat’s penis have spines?

Female (virgin) cats who have not mated do not ovulate. The pain caused the first time the female cat mates causes shock, initiating the ovulation cycle (this will take a little over 24 hours to actually begin).

The female is then ‘on intense heat’ for around 3 days. A queen may mate as quickly as 30 minutes after the first copulation.

This all explains why the female cat is so angry and tries to swipe the male, and also why the male has to be very careful not to get injured -hence why he holds the female by the neck.

cat with kittens feeding

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Tiny ginger kitten

Images and photos of beautiful cats

Charlie ShortTail


Charlie and cats

Images of beautiful cats:

 

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Abyssinian cat

Abyssinian Cats – all about this beautiful and intelligent breed.

Charlie ShortTail


Origins of the Abyssinian Cat – breed history

Abyssinian cats are thought to have been the direct descendants of the scared Temple cats of ancient Egypt.

Modern cats have been compared to the mummified remains of cats from the tombs and also to the painted frescoes in the tombs and the evidence seems to support this belief.

Soldiers are said to have brought over the cats to Great Britain in the 1860’s on returning from Abyssinia; the popularity of the breed grew quickly.

During the two world wars lack of suitable food and feline leukaemia reduced the numbers severely in the UK.

Abyssinian cats are particularly popular in the United States.

Characteristics of the Abyssinian cat

abyssinian cat sitting up

Abyssinian cats have a long, lithe and slender and natural cat body shape.

They have large, very beautiful eyes which are almond-shaped, in a clear deep shade of amber, green or hazel.

The ears are prominent, erect and set wide apart, well cupped, and furry on their inner edges; ear tufts are desirable.

The tail is long and tapered and the paws are egg-shaped, the head is rounded with medium sized nose. Abyssinans are beautiful and regal cats.

The cats have a rich, golden brown coat (known as ‘usuals’) with a dark brown or black ticking; the tip of the tail is also dark brown or black, the hind legs also being darker, the paw pads are black.

Abyssinians may also have a ruddy, red or blue tinged coat.

In more recent years many other new colours have been introduced to the breed.  These include fawn, chocolate, lilac, sex-linked red and cream, many new silver combinations, and even torties, although at present most of these do not have Championship status.

Common faults in the breed include: stocky body, spots and markings on the body and white upon the neck.

Personality of Abyssinian cats

Intelligent, gentle, inquisitive, very active and agile these cats make lovely companions.

Abyssinians often attach themselves to one member of the family and may take more time than some cats to form bonds with people.

They need a lot of stimulation and benefit from daily play and access to the outdoors. The cats love to climb and need to be able to jump and play; they need attention and may become sullen if they feel neglected.

abyssinian cat face

Care of Abyssinian cats

Daily grooming i.e. rubbing the coat with a gloved hand should be sufficeint.

Pregnant females may need additional care as they remain very active; a litter of three to four kittens is usual. The kittens start life with darker markings which disappear after a few months.

 

abyssinian-cat-lying

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