Cat Mating Season

Cat Mating Season

There is an unmistakable sound that almost everyone has heard: the loud screech of a cat entering the throes of cat mating season. We tend to associate the warmer months with cats in heat, the wailing acts like a soundtrack to those spring and summer nights. For those who are hearing it for the first time, it can cause alarm.

You may think that something is wrong with the cat or that she’s in pain – but the truth is she’s simply in heat.

Is there such a thing as Cat Mating Season?

Cat mating season is somewhat of a misnomer – cats (much like humans) can and do mate at any time of the year. However, there are some clear cut signs that cats are ready for breeding or mating that will result in litters.

mother cat with kittens, mother cat and kittens, cat in heatFemale cats start relatively young – as soon as the first heat cycle emerges, she is ready to breed. Once she gives birth, it doesn’t take a long time for her to get back into action. Some cats can have up to three litters per year!

Signs Your Cat Is In Heat

The most obvious sign that your cat is in heat is that you hear the calling or loud yowling. It is an unmistakable sound that will travel through your home and haunt you – it may seem like she never stops.

Cat in heat, Cat mating season, heat cycleThere’s a reason for this: your cat wants attention. She doesn’t really want your attention, though that may placate her. If there isn’t a male cat around, she will show increased affection toward people. She will rub against your legs and roll around on the floor in front of you.

If you do go to pet her, a cat in heat may raise her bottom half into the air and start swaying her tail.  In reality, though, she wants the attention of a male cat. If she does this while near a window or outside, it can be heard for great distances and will likely attract some attention from male cats.

Not all signs that your cat is in heat are positive ones. In very rare cases, female cats can also show aggression towards their owners or other cats. More often, you will notice that she is licking her genitals with rapt attention. She may also urinate on walls and other flat surfaces.

One of the more problematic signs that your cat is in heat, is that she will try to escape and go outside in order to find a mate.

One of the other major signs your cat is in heat may not have to do with the cat at all – when the days seem to get longer (in the spring and summer), more cats go into heat. Now, this isn’t a foolproof way to determine whether or not she’s in heat, but it can be an indication that it is coming.

Explaining the Cat Heat Cycle

Russian Blue Cat, domestic cat, purebreed catWhile you most often hear the term “heat cycle,” it can also be called “Oestrus” or “Estrus” in some circles – we will break down those terms in a bit.  In general, a heat cycle is when your cat is ready to breed. Most people who breed cats regularly think of March through September as prime breeding time.

All cats, whether they are purebred or not, are “polyestrous.” This means that their heat cycles are periodic and they will turn on and off  throughout their fertile years. Sometimes, cats will go into their first heat cycle at as young as four months old and it will continue until she has bred or she is spayed.

There are some other factors that may determine when your cat goes into heat, including your cat’s weight (she needs to be 80% of her adult weight to successfully carry kittens), general health, and the specific cat breed.

How long are cats in heat?

There isn’t a set length to a cat’s heat cycle – most go somewhere between a few days to two weeks, but it isn’t unheard of for them to go longer. It repeats every two or three months, which is why it may feel like your cat is always in heat.

The cat heat cycle has four main stages:

Stage 1: Proestrus   

This is when the female cat is prepared for ovulation. You will notice some of the common signs of heat, including vocalizing, affection, and sticking her bottom into the air. This stage can last for a few hours up to a few days. What sets this phase apart is that your cat will not allow a male to mate with her yet.

Stage 2: Estrus 

During this phase, you will see similar behavior to stage one. As this is when ovulation occurs, your cat will allow a male to breed her. This stage lasts about a week.

Stage 3: Interestrus 

If your cat has not mated, she will enter an in-between phase where she waits. Some of the behaviors from Proestrus will continue while others may fade away, only to come back.

Stage 4: Diesterous 

Pregnant cat, cat mating season, cats in heatIf your cat ovulates, she then enters into this phase. Her body prepares for pregnancy and she will stay out of heat for around 30-35 days. While it may appear that she is pregnant, she may not always be at this point.

Once your cat is pregnant, she will be pregnant for somewhere between 64 to 66 days. Once she gives birth and takes care of her kittens, she is ready to begin the process again in about a month.

Do Cats Get Periods?

While breeders might wish for their cats to get a period so they know what is going on inside, however, cats don’t get periods. The vulva may swell a bit, but if there is blood present, it is a sign that something is wrong.

Do Male Cats Go Into Heat?

In their own way, male cats do go into heat. They are able to mate and breed whenever the female allows them to mount. However, males tend to be randy between September and March.

During this time, they tend to misbehave and, if they are around other cats, they will fight them. Males will also mark their territory with urine, known as sexual marking. Most commonly, you will see it on furniture and tall vertical spaces like walls.

How Do Cats Mate?

Cats mating, cat heat cycle, shorthair cats matingCats mating is not what you’d call romantic! Typically, the female cat will try to attract the attention of the males. When a female cat is ovulating (the Estrus phase), she will allow the male cat to mount her. She may yowl during this phase as well, most likely because the male cat tends to bite her neck to keep her from running away – like I said, not romantic!

Now, the female cat doesn’t allow the male cat to stay too long. She will stop him after about 45-60 seconds. Often, she needs to get physical to stop him. However – she isn’t done. After a few minutes of cool down, she is ready to try again. This phase is repeated over and over again until she is finally done. You will know she is done when she either runs and hides or doesn’t allow him to mount her again for about 20 minutes. 

mother cat and kittens, cat's heat cycle, is my cat in heatConclusion

While it may seem difficult to know the signs of female heat and when she’s ready to mate, after a while, you will see patterns and trends. If you are going to breed cats and you want to have a healthy female cat that has strong kittens, you should learn the signs of cat mating season.

How to Find a Lost Cat

How to Find a Lost Cat

As cat owners, we never want to feel the angst of having to do an internet search on ‘how to find a lost cat’! However, regardless of how vigilant we are when trying to keep our Kitty Cats safe, sometimes there’s no stopping a determined cat from escaping your home.

In this article, we will explore how to find a missing cat and some precautions you can take to help keep your feline safe.

What Do You Do When Your Cat Goes Missing?

How to find a lost indoor cat:

If your cat slips past you when you open the door, the first thing you need to do is go after him. However, don’t run or chase after your little escapee, as this will most likely result in the cat running further away. Try not to make any loud noises and always keep an eye on where he goes. If your feline stops and looks at you, you will want to drop to your knees and stretch out your hand. Don’t make eye contact with your feline but rather use a calm voice and call your cat’s name. If there are no distractions, sometimes your cat will come to you without fuss.

The most important thing is to remain calm and composed. Yelling or panicking will reflect in your voice which could keep your cat from wanting to approach you. Most cats like to stick close to home, so remain composed and do your best to keep Kitty in sight because you don’t want to end up with a lost cat.

Do cats come back if they run away?

Cat stuck in a tree, Lost Cat, Missing CatIf you have an outdoor cat, they like to go for a wander around the neighborhood sometimes to investigate any hidey-holes they come across or possibly check to see if a neighbor might give them food, even if they are well fed at home!

Don’t stress about this though because cats tend to resemble homing pigeons in nature, they like to come home after their adventures, so if your cat doesn’t, there is probably a reason.

Missing cat under a house, Missing Cat, Lost Cat

Maybe they’ve been accidentally shut into a garage while exploring, or they’ve climbed up a tree and can’t get back down. Maybe they got a fright and ran under a nearby house to hide – there are a myriad of reasons a cat can go missing. So, if you are really getting worried, check with your neighbors, and while walking around remember to look up, underneath houses and objects as well as around.

Have you and your cat moved house recently?

If you’ve moved house recently, your cat might have “gone home” to your old house, so drop by there and check it out periodically over 2 or 3 days, if necessary.

When I was young and we moved house, one of our pet cats went missing for 3 days, we couldn’t find our precious tabby cat anywhere and had almost given up hope when my dad said we would have one last check at our old home (about 1,000 yards away), and there she was sitting on the fence post waiting for us! We were all so relieved, including our cat.

Tips on How to Find a Lost Cat

What are the chances of finding a lost cat? Statistically speaking, 75% of all lost cats make it back home to their rightful owners. To help increase your odds of finding your missing cat, follow these helpful tips.

  1. Make Missing Cat Posters

The more people that know about your missing cat, the better your chances are of getting her back. To help “alert” the neighborhood, make lost cat flyers and post them at eye level on poles. Include your cat’s name, a recent picture, your telephone number, and any other important information. You may also want to offer a reward as a further incentive.

How to find your lost cat, Lost and Found Shelter, Lost catAs you canvas the area, be sure to ask the neighborhood kids, mail carrier, or delivery person if they have seen your pet cat. Ask your local veterinarian if you can put up a missing cat poster in their reception area, and check your local Lost and Found cat shelters in case they have a missing cat brought into their facilities.

  1. Use Social Media to find your Lost Cat

Social media can be used for more than just posting “selfies” or what you ate for lunch! Using Facebook to alert your friends that your precious pet cat has gone missing, can be an excellent way to spread the word. Also, check to see if your area has a Facebook page for local lost pets so people can share your cat’s picture and information.

  1. Design a Make-Shift Shelter for your Missing Cat

Take a cardboard box, tape the flaps down then cut a cat-sized hole in it. Place a dry towel inside and place it close to your home. This will serve as a make-shift shelter for your lost cat. Place your cat’s food and water near the box to help entice her to stick around until you see her.

  1. Search for your Lost Cat at Night

Cats are more active at night and a missing cat will be less wary of its surroundings when people are tucked in for the night. Take a flashlight, your cat’s favorite treats or canned food, and begin your search – 2 a.m. is the best time. Stand near your home and shake the treats or open the canned food while calling your cat’s name. Sound travels very well in the stillness of the night, so you may be surprised to see Kitty pop up eager and willing to get a meal and see your friendly face.

  1. Keep Active Outdoors while your Cat is Missing

Another way to find a lost indoor cat is to keep yourself busy outdoors where your cat can hear you. Working in the garden or sitting outside talking or singing softly will encourage your missing cat to come near.

If you have a dog, take him for a walk around the neighborhood or the places your cat may have wandered off to – sometimes one pet can draw another one out of hiding.

Precautions to Keeping Your Cat Safe

Before your feline friend makes “a break for it” enlist the help of these precautions. 

Microchip – a rice-sized ID chip that is inexpensive and easily inserted (by a vet) under your cat’s skin. It contains a unique ID code that can then be used to retrieve your information. Be sure to have the chip implanted in your local area, as then you have ensured your vet has the technology (scanner) needed to read the chip. 

Current photograph – keep a current photo of your cat (not just a cute head shot, but a full-body image). This will come in handy when you are making flyers or posting on social media.

Be vigilant – if you know your cat tends to dash for an open door, then be vigilant in ensuring he won’t escape. Ask visitors to not stand with the door open, or put your cat away in another room, when company is coming, so there is no chance he or she can escape.

Indoor cat, Lost Cat, Missing CatKeep cats indoors – exclusively indoor cats are less likely to run away. I have had both indoor cats and those that were let outside, and from my experience, those that were not allowed outside, rarely tried to get outside. The sights, sounds, and “big scary world” beyond their home-base usually kept them wary of venturing past the door frame.

Conclusion

Do cats come back if they run away? The answer to this question will depend on several variables like how far your feline ventures, where it ends up, and how much time and attention you pay to get Kitty back. If your pet cat goes missing, follow our tips on the best way to get him or her back home safely, then follow our precautions to lessen the chances of it happening again.

No one wants to learn how to find a lost cat, but it’s best to have this information on hand just in case you need it.

Where Do Cats Like to Be Pet?

Where Do Cats Like to Be Pet?

The relationship between humans and felines can be a complicated one, so when we ask the question “Where do cats like to be pet?”, it’s not always a straightforward answer.

Some pet parents report their felines are quite content to be scratched and petted wherever their favorite human ventures, while others…well…you may just get a swift swat from Kitty if he or she decides they’ve had enough or don’t want to be petted in a particular area, like their tummy for example.

In this post, we will explore the topic of petting a cat, (where do cats like to be pet the most), how cats purr, and some other fascinating and cool cat petting facts.

Petting a Cat

Cuddling a pet cat, Petting your cat, Where do cats like to be pet?If you have ever wondered ‘Where do cats like to be pet the most?’ without diving in with both hands first, then you may be in for a surprise.

Cats tend to enjoy being petted around their cheeks, under the chin, and behind the ears. These are generally good places to stick to, especially if the feline you are trying to make friends with is not your own. Once the cat becomes more comfortable with you, you may be “allowed” to pet down their back, the tail, the base of the tail, or even the tummy region.

The Cat Belly Rub

Be aware that the cat belly rub can be a tricky area and one that should not be entered into lightly or with a feline you are not familiar with – my female gives very clear indications when it’s safe to proceed with a belly rub (this is usually when she’s sleepy and snuggled on her blanket beside me on the arm of the sofa). However, there is a method that must be followed.

A friend of mine, who has a beautiful cat, must put her face on her cat’s tummy (similar to a nursing kitten) with her arm running along her back (if she just uses her hand, she will usually get a good kick from her cat’s back legs to warn her off). I believe this method (with this particular cat) works because it seems to bring out her maternal instincts. I wouldn’t recommend ever sticking your face onto a cat’s stomach unless the animal is completely comfortable with this action.

Some cats may flip over on their backs and present you with their tummy (almost like an invite) but most often you will get a nip or swat for your attempts. This reaction is likely due to instinct and self-preservation. The feline’s (or any animal’s) underside is very vulnerable and if it were to be viciously attacked, it would certainly mean death, so it only stands to reason that the cat will defend this area.

Scratching a cats neck, Cat Petting, Cat purringThe Neck & Shoulders

Some cats like to be petted along the neck and shoulders with a kneading-like motion – I refer to this action as the “Kitty massage.” My male loves this and will sink on all four paws and purr up a storm while I gently work those little shoulder muscles with gentle pressure.

Some Forbidden Zones

I have rarely come across a cat that enjoys having its paws touched – too bad, as they are so smooshy-cute! This is most likely because the cat’s paw is super-sensitive to pressure, temperature, and pain. Plus, it probably doesn’t help that they may think every time we touch their paw we want to clip those nails.

Another region on the cat that could be persona-non-grata is the tail. I have personally never had a problem touching or petting any of my cat’s tails. However, some felines may experience pain from having their tail stroked or handled too much, such as a Scottish Fold Short Haired Cat. If your cat experiences a similar reaction, then try to avoid this area.

Petting a cats head, Cat petting, Where do cats like to be pet the most?How Cats Purr

Most pet parents know when they have hit those “sweet spots” when petting their cat because we will hear the purr. Interestingly enough, the feline species doesn’t have a special “mechanism” that allows them to produce the purr. This vibration is made through the rapid movement of the larynx in combination with the diaphragm – these muscles can move from 20 to 30 times per second!

Each cat’s purr is unique to them and can range from a low rumble to higher-pitched registers. Some cats purr very quietly, while others can be heard around the home.

Petting a Cat

Studies show that petting a cat can lower stress levels and the amount of anxiety in your life. The comfort factor from a cat can improve a human’s quality of life.

Conclusion

Whether you have a shorthair cat or one with mounds of fur, petting your feline properly will make for an enjoyable (and healthy) experience for you both. For most of the feline species, when you are petting your cat to its heart content, you will hear their signature purr. If not, you may have to redirect your efforts to answer the question of where do cats like to be pet, as each feline has its favorite spots.

Are Cats Color Blind?

Are Cats Color Blind?

To accurately answer the question of ’Are cats color blind?’ we have to look to science. According to research, the biggest difference between the eyes of the feline species and that of a human is found in the retina.

In this post, we will explore the world through the eyes of the cat – this is important and fascinating information for any feline pet parent.

Cats' vision, Photoreceptors, Are Cats color blind?The Cat’s Retina – It’s all about the Rods & Cones.

The retina (in any species) is a layer of tissue found at the back of the eyeball. Here are located cells called photoreceptors, which are responsible for changing rays of light into electrical signals. These are then processed by nerve cells (sent to the brain) where they are translated into images.

There are two types of photoreceptors cells: 

  1. Rods: Responsible for night vision and peripheral vision. They also detect shades of gray and brightness.
  2. Cones: Detect color and day vision.

Cats have a higher concentration of rod receptors over cone receptors. This means they have better night vision and may also lack in the color-detection department.

How Cats See

What cats see is relatively the same as humans, but how cats see it is where the differences lie.

Cats' eyes, Cat vision, Are cats color blind?

Color Perception in Cats

It’s a misconception and, frankly, a disservice to the feline species to think that they can only see shades of gray.

Science has proven that cats are trichromats, the same as humans, meaning we each have three kinds of cones that allow us to see red, blue, and green.

However, even though cats do possess this trichromat quality, their vision is similar to a human with color blindness – they can see green and blue but have difficulty distinguishing between reds and pinks (these may appear greener, or blue, depending on the hue).

The feline species also cannot see the same richness or depth of color as we can.

The Visual Field in Cats

A “visual field” refers to the area the eye can see when focusing on a single point. It includes not only the direct focal point, but also what is above, below, and from side-to-side. As humans, we have a visual field of 180 degrees, while our furry feline counterparts have a 200-degree field of vision. 

The Visual Accuracy in Cats

This is how clear the field of vision is (and how an optometrist helps determine our vision using the eye chart). The average human should have 20/20 vision, whereas a cat will range from 20/100 to 20/200. This means what we see at 100 to 200 feet away, a cat would need to be 20 feet away to see it clearly. The feline species also lack the necessary muscles in their eyes to change the shape of the lenses required to focus on a distant object.

However, even though our furry pals are considered nearsighted, it does make them very adept at hunting and catching up-close prey.

Night Vision in Cats 

It’s not a secret that the feline species can see better at night. This is because of a structure located behind the retina called the tapetum. Cells in the tapetum reflect light (like a mirror) back and forth between the rods and cones to the photoreceptors, where they can pick up any extra available light. This is also what makes the cat’s eyes “glow” that eerie green in the darkness.

How Cats See Humans

Cat eyes, cat looking at their owner, cat visionWe’ve learned how the cat’s eyes work and how they perceive the world around them, but how do cats “see” humans?

Since the feline species is fairly nearsighted and somewhat color “challenged” we are probably viewed as blurry objects (unless we are very close to them – 6 to 20 inches) and if we have bright red hair, that will also not stand out to them.

As far as being seen as “another species,” the behavior of the cat is where the secret may lie. When cats greet each other (in a friendly manner) they rub their bodies and raise their tail, so when your cat displays this action to its pet parent, it can be interpreted as acceptance and even affection.

Another action cats exhibited to their humans is kneading – kittens knead their mothers for milk – so when your kitty cat kneads your lap, she’s treating you as a kitten does its mother.

Cats & Human Facial Recognition 

A study conducted in 2005 to determine if cats (and dogs) could recognize their owners’ faces resulted in cats not doing so well. When shown a picture of their handler and a stranger, the cats only had facial recognition skills of their handlers about half of the time.

However, when the same study used a picture of a familiar cat and a strange one, the feline chose the familiar one 90.7% of the time.

So what does this mean to us devoted feline pet parents?

We know to go into a relationship with a cat that we will be viewed (for the most part) as “servants.” Whether the feline species can recognize us or they choose not to at the moment may have less to do with eyesight and more to do with the whole cat-a-tude persona.

Science has done its best to help us understand the way our pets see their world. Yes, it may be a bit blurry, and not so detailed, but our feline friends manage to navigate through it quite well. So if you have ever wondered ‘Are cats color blind?’ you can rest assured your furry pal is indeed, not.

Which Plants Are Poisonous To Cats?

Which Plants Are Poisonous To Cats?

Plants can be a beautiful addition to your home and garden – they add color, fragrance, and curb appeal. However, they can also potentially be quite dangerous as there are certain plants that are poisonous to cats.

Bengal Cat, Roaming cat, Cat licking plantsWe can’t watch our pet cats all of the time, especially when they are outside, so we don’t really know what they can get up to. I’m sure anybody who has a cat will know that they can be quite sneaky at times and felines are certainly a law unto themselves. Their natural curiosity can sometimes get the better of them. My Bengal cat, Cheetah, is an outdoor cat and when she is outside she likes to roam around the garden, smelling plants, sometimes licking leaves and even eating some on occasion, despite being a carnivore. So it is important, for the safety of your beloved kitty cat, to know which plants are poisonous to cats. There are so many varieties of beautiful plants available that you may as well choose plants which are safe for cats to eat.

Plants To Avoid With Cats

There are many plants to avoid with cats, even plants that you have probably seen in many different homes. Poisonous plants for cats need to be taken seriously as they can cause damage to a cat’s organs, including the heart, brain, and kidney. These damages may be impossible to undo and can therefore have long-lasting implications for your cat.

Poisonous plants for cats

Poisonous plants for cats, Oleander plant poisonous, what can cats eatDon’t be deceived by their beauty, some plants are poisonous. Here are some of the most common poisonous plants for cats:

  • Amaryllis (Amaryllis spp.)
  • Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale)
  • Azaleas and Rhododendrons (Rhododendron spp.)
  • Chrysanthemum, Daisy, Mum (Chrysanthemum spp.)
  • Daffodils, Narcissus (Narcissus spp.)
  • Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia spp.)
  • Hyacinth (Hyacintus orientalis)
  • Lily (Lilium sp.)
  • Oleander poisonous plant, poisonous plants for cats, what cats can't eatLily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis)
  • Marijuana (Cannabis sativa)
  • Oleander (Nerium oleander)
  • Pothos, Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
  • Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)
  • Spanish Thyme (Coleus ampoinicus)
  • Tulip (Tulipa spp.)
  • Yew (Taxus spp.)

This is just a small list of plants that are poisonous to cats – there are many others.  For a more extensive list, click here.

Sometimes, only a small part of the plant will be poisonous and other times, the entire thing is. It is difficult to gauge how much of a plant is toxic because for some of these plants, ingesting even a small amount can be extremely dangerous, while others may have to be consumed in a higher quantity. It doesn’t matter how much or how little your cat consumed – anything is enough to warrant medical attention.

How Do I Know My Cat Ate A Plant He Shouldn’t?

If your cat ate part of a poisonous plant, you may not see symptoms for some time or you may see symptoms right away. It all depends on the amount of the plant that was consumed and the part of the plant consumed. Sometimes, you may notice what looks to be an allergic reaction on the cat – itchiness, swelling, or redness around the eyes, nose, or mouth, but is in fact a reaction to a poison of some sort. Other times, the poison may manifest in your pet cat as irritation or lethargy. In the most extreme cases, violent vomiting and diarrhea are likely.

 What To Do If Your Cat Eats A Poisonous Plant

If you think that your cat might be sick because he has eaten a poisonous plant – do not panic. While you need to act quickly, panicking will not help you. First, try to remove any bits of the plant that may be left on your cat’s face, in his teeth, or by his nose. You want to keep the plant so that you can show the veterinarian if it becomes serious – it is even better if you know what type of plant it is. Make sure to monitor any new symptoms that show up and try to recreate a timeline.

Call Animal Poison Control at the ASPCA on (888) 426-4435, as they can help you with steps to take within your home until you can talk to a veterinarian. Try to keep your cat contained so that he doesn’t go to hide somewhere. If your cat is showing extreme symptoms – head straight to the emergency vet.

Once you get to the vet, he or she will give your cat medications and treatment that will cause your cat to vomit even more. Sometimes, an activated charcoal solution will be given to help absorb the toxins and rid the body of the poisons. In extreme cases, the vet will give your cat something to protect and start healing the damaged areas of the intestinal tract. For extended treatment, your cat may be given intravenous fluids, anti-nausea drugs, pain medications, and anti-inflammatories.

Remember that the longer you wait to get treatment, the more likely it is that the impact will be fatal.

Which Plants Are Safe For Cats?

African Violet, Safe plants for cats, what cats can eatSure you like plants and want them in your yard or home, but it is best to pick plants that aren’t poisonous for cats. These are still beautiful, but you don’t have to put the life of your pet cat in danger. Here are some of the plants to consider when looking to decorate your home:

  • African Violet (Saintpaulia spp)
  • American Rubber Plant (Peperomia obtusifolia)
  • Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila elegans)
  • Bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea)
  • Begonia, Climbing (Cissus dicolor)
  • Canna Lily (Canna generalis)
  • Hen and Chickens Fern (Asplenium bulbiferum)

Once again, this is not an exhaustive list. There are plenty of options out there that will keep your home looking beautiful and safe for your cat. Just be sure to avoid the plants that are poisonous to cats.

What is the Most Intelligent Cat Breed?

What is the Most Intelligent Cat Breed?

Clever cat, smartest cat breed, smart catMany breeds of felines could fall under the banner of “most intelligent cat breed.” Although there is no official cat IQ test, experts have identified that the cerebral cortex in the cat’s brain, (the area responsible for rational decision making, problem-solving, language, and information), has twice as many neurons as their canine counterparts.

Pet parents of a “smarty cat” will never need science to tell them when they have a high-IQ feline on their hands – my cat’s intelligence had us securing all the cupboards with baby locks, which he quickly and proudly figured out within a few hours!

In this post, we will compare three of the most intelligent cat breeds – the Abyssinian, the Siamese, and the Turkish Van to see how they measure up.

Measuring the Cat IQ

There are five main areas science has deemed the best way to determine a cat’s sensibilities. They are;

  • Trainability/Memory – to be considered the most intelligent cat breed, the feline must display trainability and the ability to retain and recall the training.
  • Survival Skills – all cats are instinctive to a point; however those with higher IQs will demonstrate survival skills even when they don’t have to, such as cats which live exclusively indoors and are well-fed.
  • Social – the feline species can be notoriously aloof, however, those that are more intelligent do tend to be more family, children, and stranger-friendly. Cats that greet you at the door or lay on your lap know this is the way to get attention or to be fed.
  • Ability to Display Displeasure – according to studies, a smart cat will let you know when something is upsetting it. This could be articulated through hissing, meowing or caterwauling.
The following three shorthair cat breeds have earned high marks in all these areas of study; see their rating scores (out of a possible 5):

Abyssinian cat, most intelligent cat breed, smart catThe Abyssinian Cat Breed

This long, lean, athletic cat hails from parts of southeast Asia and the coastal regions of the Indian Ocean. It was first imported into the US in the 1900s and has worked its way today, into being one of the most popular shorthair cat breeds.

The average Abyssinian cat weighs from 6 to 10 pounds and can live from 9 to 15 years-old.

Trainability/Memory: 5/5

The Abyssinian is one of the most trainable felines around. It can learn to play fetch, run an agility course, and practice those puzzle toys until he’s mastered the game. Nicknamed “the Aby-Grabber”, this feline’s trainability and ability to recall his lessons will keep pet parents on their toes.

Survival Skills: 5/5

This cat’s intelligence scores are high on survival skills as it is naturally athletic and loves to be up at the highest point available. Whether that be a tall cat tree, the top of the curtains, or supervising the going-on in the kitchen, nothing will escape the notice or attention of this cat breed. The Aby is also very adaptable, so if it finds itself in a jam, it will work until the solution is achieved. 

Social:  4/5

The Aby loves to interact with its family members and will engage its humans in any form of play. However, its busyness doesn’t always translate into cuddly affection. Children are the Aby’s favorite pastime as they have the stamina to keep this kitty engaged all day long. If you have a dog or another cat, the Abyssinian has no problem being best pals with its furry housemates.

Ability to Display Displeasure:  4/5

With the Abyssinian’s propensity to being the center of attention, it will have no issue letting you know when something isn’t right in its world. However, if you’re waiting for loud vocalizations from this cat, you won’t get it – Abys have a soft chirrup over a raucous meow.

The Abyssinian Cat Breed’s Overall Cat IQ: 4.5

 

Siamese cat breed, pedigree cat, low shedding catThe Siamese Cat Breed

This beautiful and elegant feline originated in Thailand (formerly Siam) and was first imported into the US in 1878. This popular shorthair cat breed was first shown at the Crystal Palace Cat Show in London in the nineteenth century. One was even owned by President Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881) and his wife Lucy.

The average Siamese cat weighs from 6 to 14 pounds and can live from 8 to 15 years-old.

Trainability/Memory:  4/5

It’s not that the Siamese isn’t trainable, but rather he may or may not choose to do as you ask or even demand – this cat breed marches to his own beat. The Siamese is an athletic animal that loves to play, explore, and get into anything he deems as exciting or new. For a happy, healthy pet, provide your Siamese with plenty of climbing posts, puzzle toys, and time with his favorite person.

Survival Skills: 4/5

The Siamese cat breed loves to climb and is very adept at doing so. In the wild, the Siamese would have no problem leaping for prey and climbing to the highest point for safety. In your home, don’t be surprised to find your Siamese climbing the drapes or pouncing from sofa to carpet to the chair.

Social:  5/5

This shorthair cat breed lives for spending time with its humans. It loves to be “helpful” and will want to be involved with everything in the home. You might even find your Siamese following you into the shower or sleeping under the blankets with his head beside yours on the pillow. 

Ability to Display Displeasure:  5/5

If the ability to show displeasure were the only category to measure a cat’s intelligence, then the Siamese would win “paws down”, despite the Turkish Van Cat breed scoring the same rating.

This feline has no problem expressing its views in every sound available from grumblings to full-out caterwauling. It will let you know when you have messed up and how to fix it. To say the Siamese are opinionated, leaning towards downright demanding, is an understatement!

Overall Cat IQ:  4.5

Turkish Van Cats, most intelligent cat breeds, smart catThe Turkish Van Cat Breed

This semi long haired cat breed is thought to have originated in the Lake Van area in Turkey. It is a solid cat with a thick coat suited to the rugged terrain and climate of its “birthplace.” It was brought to the US in the 1970s and was officially recognized as a breed by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1988.

The average Turkish Van cat weighs from 10 to 18 pounds and can live from 12 to 17 years-old.

Trainability/Memory:  4/5

The Turkish Van loves to play and can learn tricks and fetch. It is an active feline and remains so, well into its senior years. You may also find your Turkish Van perched high up on a bookshelf or cat tree, but be sure to keep your breakables out of reach – this cat has a sense of humor and may just topple them over to see what happens.

Survival Skills:  4/5

It is an athletic animal; however, graceful is not in its bag of tricks (it can be quite clumsy and may not always land on its feet). The Turkish Van loves the water and likes nothing better than to pass the time puddling in the toilet or figuring out how to turn on the faucet.

Social:  4/5

The Turkish Van lost a star due to its dislike of being held, restrained or cuddled tightly. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t social, you just have to be in this feline’s “inner circle” to receive the attention. The Turkish Van enjoys sitting quietly beside its favorite person or sleeping at the end of the bed. 

Ability to Display Displeasure:  5/5

If you are ever unsure of how your Turkish Van is feeling check out his “vanometer.” If your feline friend is upset, its normally pink nose will start to turn red. When that happens take the warning and back off. The Turkish Van will also let you know when you are petting him wrong.

Overall Cat IQ: 4.25

Siamese kittens, Siamese cats, Siamese cat breed, purebreed cat, pedigree cat, shorthair cat breeds, low shedding catThe Smartest Cat Breed

There is no doubt when it comes to answering the question: ‘Are cats smart?’, science, studies, and pet parents all know that the feline species is intelligent. If you are delighted by the notion of having a smart cat (and think you’re up to the challenge) then choose the Abyssinian, Siamese, or the Turkish Van. These felines have earned their place in the category of the most intelligent cat breed.

Which Cats Can Be Left Alone?

Cat cuddle, independent cats, which cats can be left alone?Would you love to have a cat, but are out all day working, or running around carrying out errands? Wouldn’t it be lovely coming home to a loving but independent cat? Maybe you’re wondering then which cats can be left alone?

 

Most people view cats as independent creatures that don’t necessarily care if their humans are around or not (except at mealtimes, of course!). But as aloof as the species may seem, cats still want (and dare we say) may even crave attention from their human companions.

 

Read on to discover some interesting facts on whether cats get lonely, how long you can leave a cat alone for, and the top 5 shorthair cat breeds that don’t mind the solitude.

Do Cats Get Lonely?

Cats by nature are social beings that will get lonely if left to their own devices for long periods of time. Cats can also become depressed and may suffer from separation anxiety. The problem lies in the fact that cats exhibit separation anxiety with subtle symptoms such as not using the litter box, being more clingy, and with excessive meowing, so once the pet parent notices the negative behaviors, it is usually severe.

How Long Can You Leave a Cat Alone?

All cats are different, so how long your can leave a cat alone for will vary on the animal’s age, health, personality, and its daily habits.

A general “rule-of-paw” is based on age;

  • Under four months – 2 to 4 hours
  • Four to five months – 5 hours
  • Six months – 8 hours
  • Healthy adult cats – 24 to 48 hours.

Cat tree, cat scratching post, cat condo, cat tower, scratching postWhen you are planning to leave your cat alone for any length of time, be sure it has access to fresh water, a safe place to sleep, and toys to help pass the time. If you are leaving for extended periods, then be sure the cat cannot get into poisonous plants, or household products, and there is more than one bowl of water and dry kibble available. It’s also recommended to have a trusted friend or family member stop in to check on your pet. Leaving a radio or television on in the background can also help a cat feel less alone.

 

Which Cats Can Be Left Alone? Top 5 Breeds

 

These top 5 short haired cats aren’t clingy and don’t mind being left alone.

1. The Ocicat

The beautifully spotted coat of the Ocicat is just one of its amazing qualities. This short haired cat is available in 12 colors and patterns and is an athletic, solid, and a well-muscled feline. Although it is devoted to its pet parent, it is not a clingy breed, and is confident enough to amuse itself when you’re away at work or play. However, since the Ocicat is a very social creature, breeders recommend you have another cat or pet to help your Ocicat pass the time.

2. The American Shorthair

This shorthair cat breed was once used to keep vermin away from the food stores and still retains these hunting abilities today. It enjoys learning new tricks and being kept amused with interactive puzzle toys. The American Shorthair is quite independent and does not like being carried around; however, it still enjoys the company of children and cat-friendly dogs.

3. The Russian Blue

 

 

The steel “blue” dense, soft coat of the Russian Blue is so luxurious you will want to bury your face in it every chance you get. Personality-wise, this shorthair cat does love its human companion, but isn’t so clingy that it cannot be left alone. In fact, this breed will seek out a quiet secluded spot to rest in.

 

4. The British Shorthair

 

This short hair cat is an easy-going pet that will follow you around the home, but is not a “me me me” type of animal. The British Shorthair won’t require a warm lap to curl up, but is content to just hang out beside you. The breed is active during kittenhood but turns into more of a couch potato as the years go by. Another nice trait about this breed is it won’t destroy your home, but rather behave with proper manners.

 

5. The Exotic Shorthair

 

This cat breed has a scrunchy face similar to the Persian cat, and may look like its always in a bad mood. However, that trait couldn’t be further from the truth. The Exotic Shorthair loves to play and is very affectionate. If you are away from home, that’s okay, as the Exotic values its independence and “me time” too! 

Conclusion

Now that you know which cats can be left alone, perhaps you would like to discover more about these independent cat breeds (for more detailed cat profiles, click here)? Once you have found the perfect feline for your busy home or work schedule, be sure to research reputable breeders or rescue organizations before you make your final decision.

Top 5 of the Best Cats for Catching Mice

Top 5 of the Best Cats for Catching Mice

Cats have many good attributes, but not all of them are the best cats for catching mice. Some felines are just too lazy, while others don’t possess the “killer instinct.”

If you’re wondering which breeds can get the job done, read on.

Top 5 of the Best Cats for Catching Mice

1. The Burmese Cat

Burmese Cat, cat with short hair, low shedding cat One of the best cats to hunt mice is the muscular and curious Burmese. This feline is often described as a “brick wrapped in silk” (a testament to its super-soft coat and solid build). The breed is highly intelligent, so it will figure out the best way to catch a mouse. The female Burmese will definitely “rule your home with an iron paw,” so she may prove herself to be the best hunting cat for the task.

However, if you’re looking for an outdoor cat to keep your barn pest-free, the Burmese is not your feline. This cat needs to be a part of the family unit and thrives on the love and companionship of its humans.

2. The Siamese Cat 

Siamese cat sitting in grass, siamese cat breed, pedigree cat, purebreed cat, purebred cat, low shedding catThe startling blue eyes and angular body of the Siamese are just a couple of its engaging and tantalizing qualities. This breed is also intelligent, agile, athletic, and loves to play. Whether that be with a fun toy, or chasing vermin around your house, having a Siamese around is one of the best ways to get rid of mice – just know that you may also have to have a lengthy conversation with your Siamese after he drops the “prize” at your feet.

As with the Burmese breed, the Siamese will also not do well kept away from its humans, so indoor-hunting only, please.

 
3. The Chartreux Cat

Chartreux, Chartreux Cat breed, short haired cat breed One of the best mouse hunting cats is the Chartreux. This feline is stealthy and quiet with superb timing and pouncing abilities that are no match for a small rodent. His agility and acrobatic antics will not only be entertaining to watch, but you can rest assured no mouse will even think about entering your home.

Another nice trait about the Chartreux is it’s not an overly-needy feline, so it doesn’t mind spending time alone napping on its favorite scratch post.

 4. The American Shorthair Cat

american-shorthair-cat, cat with short hair, pure breed cat, domestic cat, felineDon’t let the calm demeanor and laid back attitude of the American Shorthair fool you. This cat is smart and enjoys playing with puzzle toys or bringing his game to a whole new level with live prey like the mouse. In fact, the American Shorthair has a history of being one of the best cats to hunt mice (and all vermin). In 1634, a publication credits this solid, hardy-working feline with saving a New England colony’s crops from rodents.

Today, the American Shorthair is happy to bring its mouse-hunting skills into the home, but just know it prefers not to be carried around; however a warm spot beside you on the sofa is perfect.

5. The Manx Cat

Manx Cat standing, Manx cat, shorthair cat, domestic cat, feline, cats Not only is the Manx one of the oldest cat breeds, but this stocky heavily-boned feline is one of the best mouse hunting cats and most do it all with only a stumpy little tail. This breed is very easy-going and loves to be a part of a family unit (no barns for this guy). The Manx has a healthy appetite, so you may want to watch that it doesn’t eat “the kill.”

When this feline isn’t patrolling for vermin, its sweet disposition and loving nature make it an enjoyable companion and housemate.

What Makes a Feline the Best Cat to Hunt Mice?

There are qualities to look for in any cat to see if it has what it takes to hunt mice. The cat should;

  • Have an intense and sustained interest in playing
  • Chase, pounce and bite toys during play sessions
  • Stalk its toys
  • Shake toys vigorously after the “catch.”
  • Have lots of energy
  • Be patient and relentless
Conclusion

If you’re searching for the best cats for catching mice, then look to these top five breeds or mixed breeds with one of these in its genetic makeup. If you prefer to adopt a cat from a shelter, then observe the feline for mouse-hunting skills and traits.

Can Cats Eat Chocolate?

Can Cats Eat Chocolate?

It’s not uncommon to hear stories of dogs getting into chocolate but did you know chocolate can also be potentially fatal to cats as well?

Can cats eat chocolate, can cats have chocolate, cat licked chocolateLet’s get into the details to answer the question; “Can cats eat chocolate?”

Is Chocolate Bad for Cats?

Yes, chocolate can be potentially fatal to a feline! The culprit that makes chocolate dangerous is “theobromine” which comes from the cacao plant. This chemical is present in all types of chocolate; however, the darker the chocolate the more theobromine it contains. 

 

Can cats have chocolate, What do you do if your cat eats chocolate, Cat licked chocolateIf your cat eats enough chocolate, there are four main areas it can potentially affect;

  1. The stomach – your cat’s stomach can become very upset which can lead to vomiting and diarrhea.
  2. The heart: because chocolate also contains high levels of caffeine, it can increase your pet’s heart rate.
  3. The kidneys: both theobromine and caffeine have diuretic properties. This can lead to more than normal amounts of urine being produced, which in turn can lead to dehydration.
  4. The nervous system: the chemical makeup of the chocolate can also have your cat experiencing tremors or even seizures. 
More Symptoms of Theobromine Poisoning 

If your feline has ingested too much chocolate, it could also experience these symptoms;

  • Legarthy
  • Excessive thirst
  • Restlessness/nervousness
  • Twitching
  • Excessive panting
  • Hyperactivity
  • Coma
  • Death
What Do You Do If Your Cat Eats Chocolate?

If your cat ate chocolate, symptoms may appear within a few to 36 hours after ingestion. However, it is never wise to wait. Call the emergency vet and follow their instructions. You may be asked to induce vomiting depending on when your cat ate the chocolate. He or she will want to know what kind of chocolate your cat ingested, so save the wrappers or packaging and bring those with you to the animal clinic. This will help your vet determine the course of action needed. You will also want to know the size and weight of your pet when calling the vet for the initial assessment.

Can cats eat chocolate, Is chocolate bad for cats, what do you do if your cat eats chocolateDepending on how much chocolate your pet consumed, your vet may perform several tests including a full physical, and likely a urine analysis. If the toxicity level is suspected to be high, your vet may also want to conduct an ECG on your cat’s heart to see if any abnormalities are occurring.

It’s important to catch chocolate poisoning in the early stages as once the symptoms have started, there is no cure, only management of the symptoms. It is also very likely that your vet will administer IV fluids to help stabilize your cat, and if the liver has been affected, your cat will be treated for liver disease.

How Much is Too Much?

 This question will all depend on your cat’s general health, age and size, as well as how much, and what type of chocolate it ate. If your cat licked chocolate, there probably won’t be much cause for concern.

A good rule to follow is 20mg of chocolate/theobromine per pound of weight. For example, 1.5 tablespoons of dry cocoa to a ten pound cat can be dangerous and one square of unsweetened baker’s chocolate can be lethal.

A few bits of chocolate will probably not have much of an effect on your cat. However, if your cat exhibits any symptoms of chocolate toxicity, get it to the vet ASAP.

Chocolate & Theobromine

Theobromine is found in all types of chocolate; however, some contain more than others.

  • Can cats have chocolate, What do you do if your cat eats chocolate, Cat licked chocolateWhite Chocolate – trace amounts
  • Milk Chocolate – 1 oz contains 60 mg theobromine
  • Dark Chocolate – 1 oz contains 200 mg theobromine
  • Baker’s Chocolate – ¼ cup shredded contains 428 mg

Remember, the darker the chocolate the more theobromine and caffeine it will contain.

Conclusion

So, in answer to the question: Can cats eat chocolate? The answer is no! Even though most cats will not seek out chocolate to munch on, it’s not worth the risk. Always store chocolate candy and baking supplies out of reach of your curious cat. If your pet does eat chocolate, be sure to contact your vet immediately and keep the wrappers, so he or she can better assess your animal’s predicament.

Top 5 Short Hair Cat Breeds for an Active Family

Top 5 Short Hair Cat Breeds for an Active Family

Every active family looking for a playful cat breed can safely look among the short hair cat breeds as a great starting point.

Cats with short hair, are generally low maintenance which is perfect for a busy, active family looking for a pet to fit in with their lifestyle. Some short haired cats are hardy too and enjoy a bit of rough and tumble with children, and some even resemble a dog in nature and are happy to be walked on a leash! These kinds of qualities in a cat make them the best cat breeds for kids.

Active cats, Cat breeds for active families, cats good with kidsCats are intelligent, and you can teach them a trick or two – some cat breeds will even learn how to play “go and fetch”!

It’s a common assumption that cats steer clear of playing in water, but there are some short hair cat breeds that love to splash around with you in the water.

It is precisely these kinds of cats that make the best pets for kids. Young kids can be boisterous, and a short haired cat that is social, confident, not afraid of loud noises and loves a bit of rough and tumble will be the best cat breeds for kids.

It is certainly worth finding out then the names of these awesome cats for kids – the ones that can slot so easily into your lifestyle.

Top 5 cats for kids:

 

The Abyssinian Cat

Abyssinian cat walking, shorthair cats, pedigree cat, domestic catLithe and muscular, the medium-sized Abyssinian is an alert cat, looking all around him and taking everything in. There’s nothing aloof about this high spirited, low maintenance cat, and he’s affectionate and devoted to his human family.

This cool cat isn’t a lap-cat but loves nothing more than to follow you around and be involved in everything that’s going on. He slots in perfectly to a house full of kids, being playful even as an adult. Kids love the Abyssinian as he can be just as naughty as they can, and his energy allows him to put in long hours of play.

Ocicat

Ocicat cat, shorthair cat, spotty cat, domestic catThe beautiful spotted Ocicat is a mix-breed cat between the Siamese, Abyssinian and American Shorthair. This cat just loves his human family and has some ‘dog-like’ characteristics. He can be taught to sit and fetch, not to mention that he will walk on a leash too. He is active, athletic and talkative, ready to hold a ‘conversation’ with anyone who will listen.

With their mood and actions being similar to that of a dog, don’t be surprised if he also jumps into the pool with you when you take a swim. Sociable and even tempered, this attractive cat makes a great family pet.

The Bombay Cat

Bombay Cat, Bombay cat breed, short hair cat, low shedding cat, domestic cat, purebred cat, felineThis miniature Panther look-alike cat with his copper colored eyes is medium-sized and loves hanging out with his human family. The Bombay cat is intelligent and intuitive, and can sense the mood of all his family members, adapting his behavior to suit each one.

He blends in perfectly with the lifestyle of his home, and the kids are delighted when he learns to open doors and even turn the TV on. He’s such an amicable pet and will be game to join in with the activities the family is busy with, or even simply invent a game for himself.

The Devon Rex Cat

Devon Rex Cat on its rear haunches, Rex Cat, short haired cat, low shedding cat, cat breed, feline, curly hair catInteresting to look at, the independent, pixi-like Devon Rex cat is an awesome feline, drawing attention just by his aura. His large eyes and ears are indicative of alertness and curiosity.

Your Devon Rex is also known as a low shedding cat breed which is another advantage. He is considered a true companion – outgoing and people-centered, full of beans, seeming to never run out of energy. He’ll follow you around but be more than ready to be called outside to get up to mischief with the kids.

The Burmese Cat 

Burmese cat chocolate color shorthair catThe Burmese is a wonderful child-friendly cat, full of playfulness and energy and loves to spend time with his human family. Always entertaining and amusing, they thrive in a busy, active household. They also have some characteristics similar to dogs, learning to walk on a leash and being able to fetch toys.

Best Pets for Kids – Short Hair Cats that Impress

There are a number of factors to consider when thinking of a specific cat for your family, but these short hair cat breeds can be seriously considered. They’re all robust kitty cats that just want to be counted in as one of the family.