Feline Lifestyle

The Night Before Catmas 2018

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Clement Clarke Moore’s poem The Night Before Christmas has long been a favorite of mine. There are a number of cat versions of the poem out there, but none better than the one dictated to Harry Shubin by the Ghost of Catmas Future on a dark winter night.Continue Reading

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Freddie Mercury Was the Ultimate Cat Guy

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I confess, ever since seeing Bohemian Rhapsody (three times!), I’ve become obsessed with Freddie Mercury. The movie was everything I had hoped for and then some. I loved everything about it: the wonderful portrayal of Freddie Mercury, even if it strayed quite a bit from the truth for dramatic effect, the perfect casting and phenomenal acting, and of course, the music. And I loved how the cats were represented in the movie. I knew Freddie Mercury was a cat lover, but I had no idea just how much he loved cats. Continue Reading

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A Visual Guide to Identifying Cats

Could you describe your cat to someone else so they would be able to identify him or her without any doubt? As cat parents, we’re always going to be able to recognize our own cats, but being able to describe your cat accurately to others could be important. Perhaps you have two cats who look so similar that your friends are always wondering how you can tell them apart. How would your cat sitter know who is who? And in a worst case scenario, if your cat ever got lost, being able to provide an accurate description to area shelters could be crucial to getting her back home.Continue Reading

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Why Do Cats Like Catnip?

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Catnip is a member of the mint family. Scientists are not sure how or why catnip affects cats the way it does, but they have identified the part of the plant that causes the euphoric reaction. The substance is a non-poisonous chemical called nepetalactone, an aromatic oil found in the stem and leaves of the plant. Researchers believe that cats react to the smell of the leaves rather than the taste.

Varied reactions to catnip

Reactions from cats will vary based on the strength and quality of the product. Cats who do respond to catnip will typically roll around in it, jump and run around, rub their faces in it, drool, and purr. Typically, a catnip “high” last about ten or fifteen minutes. Once the energy dissipates, most cats will be very relaxed and ready for a nap.

Not all cats react to catnip

Only about 50% of cats are affected by catnip, and not all cats react the same. Whether or not cats respond to catnip appears to be genetically determined. Kittens are not affected until they’re about two months old (if they fall into the category of cats that do respond). If a kitten hasn’t shown a reaction to catnip by the time she’s six month’s old, she falls into the non-responsive category.

Catnip can be used to train cats

For cats who do respond, you can take advantage of their reaction to catnip and use it for training purposes. Sprinkle catnip on scratching posts to attract them to use the post, or on cat beds or mats where you want your cat to sleep. If your cat reacts by becoming relaxed and mellow after use, use it before car rides, trips to the vet, or other stressful situations.

Some cats react with aggression

Some cats become so stimulated by the herb that they may release their excess energy by picking fights with other cats in the household, or by attacking their humans.

You can freshen up old catnip toys by dampening them with water. This will release a new wave of catnip scent.

Quality of catnip

When buying catnip, take a close look at the packaging. You’re going to want brands that use only leaves and blossoms rather than stems. Organic cat nip is best, especially if your cat is going to ingest it. Catnip is easily grown, but use caution: unless you want every cat in your neighborhood to visit your yard, you may want to grow it indoors.

If your cat initially doesn’t react to catnip, try a couple of different brands. Your cat may not react because the quality of the catnip is not very good.

Catnip comes in a variety of forms, including as a fresh or dried herb, liquid, spray, and, of course, in catnip filled toys.

The euphoric reaction to catnip is perfectly safe for cats, and cats won’t become addicted to it.

This article was previously published on Answers.com and is republished with permission.

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Tiffanie McCullough: Passionate About Cats, TNR, Feline Nutrition, and Busting Stereotypes

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I first met Tiffany McCullough at Cat Camp NYC earlier this year, but didn’t have much of a chance to chat with her until we saw each other again at CatCon. We only talked for a few minutes amid the (wonderful) craziness that is CatCon, but I knew right then and there that I had met a kindred spirit, and that I wanted to introduce you to this amazing woman.Continue Reading

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Who Rescued Whom? Tortie Adopts Senior Woman

Last summer, my friend Bernadette lost her beloved cat Diz only three days before his 18th birthday. A few days after Diz passed away, a little tortoiseshell cat started showing up outside Bernadette’s home. We joked that Diz must have sent her. Continue Reading

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Cat Photography Q&A With Andrew Marttila

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Andrew Marttila is one of the most talented cat photographers I know. His images feature celebrity cats, shelter cats, and house cats with a level of detail that captures each cat’s essence. Andrew graduated with a degree in neuroscience, but he took a different career path when his social media took off while he was finishing school.

Since then, his photos have been seen by millions. He has been featured in hundreds of publications, articles, and galleries. Andrew was the photographer for the book Shop Cats of New York, which was released in November 2016. Andrew used to be terribly allergic to cats, but now lives with girlfriend Hannah Shaw, aka The Kitten Lady, their three cats, and a constantly rotating cast of foster kittens outside of Washington, D.C.Continue Reading

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Trap King Sterling Davis: Helping Cats, and Busting Stereotypes

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I first met Sterling Davis, the Trap King, at CatCamp NYC in May, and I was impressed with his passion for cats and for creating change in the world. Sterling is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever encountered, and I’m excited to introduce this multifaceted cat rescuer to you today.

Sterling’s mission is to change the stereotypes of not only men in cat rescue, but also bridge the gap in communication between black communities and animal rescue and local shelters.Continue Reading

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7 Simple House Cleaning Tips for Cat Parents

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Guest post by James Hall

Studies have shown that sharing life with a cat reduces stress, strengthens the immune system and lowers the risk of stroke. For most of us, these benefits more than make up for the extra housework cats may cause us. The fact is that cats have a seemingly endless supply of hair to spread around furniture, carpets and beds. And of course, there’s the litter box. Keeping a home clean and odor-free may sometimes seem like an impossible task.

It doesn’t need to be this way though! The seven tips below can make cleaning a home with a cat faster, easier and more efficient.Continue Reading

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Polydactyl Cats: Why Do Some Cats Have Extra Toes?

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Cats have a total of 18 toes: five on each front paw, and four on each back paw. But some cats boast extra toes, usually on their front paws. These cats are called “polydactyl.” The word polydactyl has a greek root, “poly” meaning multi, and “dactyl” meaning “digit” or “toe.” Polydactyly, as this condition is called, is most commonly found on the front paws only, it is rare for a cat to have polydactyl hind paws only, and polydactyly of all four paws is even less common.Continue Reading

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King of Mice Studios: The Art of Carolee Clark

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On March 17, which is the Feast of St. Gertrude of Nivelles, the patron saint of cats, I came across this beautiful painting on Facebook. The painting had gone viral, and I wanted to learn more about the artist, Carolee Clark. I’m delighted that she agreed to answer a few questions and share some of her beautiful cat paintings with us.Continue Reading

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