Posts Tagged ‘Cats’

Pets Can Improve Your Health and Aid in Recovery

June 19, 2008

There is now evidence showing that domestic animals not only provide great companionship, but they can also help prevent illness. A recent study conducted by the University of Minnesota has highlighted the importance of regular contact with pets. The study showed that having a cat for a pet can reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke by just under 50 percent.

The study included 4,500 adults between the ages of 30 and 75 years. The study participants were followed for 10 years. The conclusion was that cat owners had a 40 percent lower risk of a fatal heart attack.

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Pair are beary good friends

June 17, 2008

This Asian black bear and pretty puss are still FURRY friends seven years after they became chums.

The odd friendship began in 2001 after Muschi the cat didn’t even paws for thought before trotting into Mausi the bear’s enclosure.

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Cats trap endangered snake, local man warns neighbors

June 12, 2008

Charlie Stephens said his three cats surprised an eastern massasauga rattlesnake at his Port Huron residence on Monday.

“I happened to step out to get the mail and I noticed three of my cats were sitting in a triangle looking at the ground,” he said. “I thought at first they were watching some bird that they had found.

“I walked over to them and they were looking at this snake that was crawling through my front yard in the grass.”

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Help scaredy cats (and dogs) cope with fireworks this summer

June 12, 2008

Shawn O’Dierno’s rescued Doberman was a certified therapy dog who could help soothe patients and tolerated the sounds of dropped hospital equipment, loud arguments or crying visitors. But while Reid coped with the stress of a hospital room, he couldn’t handle fireworks.

“We were staying at a place by a beach where the fireworks were going on,” said O’Dierno, of Portland, Ore. “He went nuts and hid behind chairs.”

The situation repeated itself at other celebrations until O’Dierno realized her dog had a fireworks phobia: “His eyes would pop open, and you could see the fear when the fireworks go off.”

Experts haven’t figured out why some pets are extremely sensitive to fireworks, but some believe the smell of gunpowder may add to jitters caused by loud explosions.

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Unravelling The Mystery Of The Kitty Litter Parasite In Marine Mammals

June 9, 2008

Researchers at California Polytechnic State University have discovered what may be a clue to the mystery of why marine mammals around the world are succumbing to a parasite that is typically only associated with cats. The key may just be the lowly anchovy, according to research presented today at the 108th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Boston.

Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite which causes toxoplasmosis, considered to be the third leading cause of death attributed to foodborne illness in the United States. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over 20% of the U.S. population carries the parasite, the only known reservoir of the infectious form of the parasite (the oocyst) are cats.

Over the past decade, toxoplasma infection has appeared in a variety of sea mammals including beluga whales, dolphins, sea lions and seals. It has also become a major cause of death in sea otters living off the coast of California. It is estimated that approximately 17% of sea otter deaths can be attributed to toxoplasma. While many believe fresh water runoff contaminated with cat feces is to blame, there is no definitive science on the source of infection.

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New Zealand Bird Outwits Alien Predators

June 8, 2008

New research led by Dr Melanie Massaro and Dr Jim Briskie at the University of Canterbury, which found that the New Zealand bellbird is capable of changing its nesting behaviour to protect itself from predators, could be good news for island birds around the world at risk of extinction.

The introduction of predatory mammals such as rats, cats and stoats to oceanic islands has led to the extinction of many endemic island birds, and exotic predators continue to threaten the survival of 25 percent of all endangered bird species worldwide

[…] But their study on the bellbird, an endemic New Zealand bird, has identified the ability of a previously naïve island bird to change its nesting behaviour in response to the introduction of a large suite of exotic mammalian predators by humans.

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Can animal whisperers help you communicate with your pets?

June 6, 2008

Ears twitching wildly, Nikki and Lucy hovered near the telephone, aroused by the caller on the other end. He was their “whisperer,” and the girls had something to tell me: “Their food tastes like sawdust.”

Nikki and Lucy are my 10-year-old cats. They were nice to each other up until a year or so. That’s when the hissing started, and the bullying, and the sporadic indifference.

That’s also when Nikki, shy and small-boned, began packing on the pounds and chronically licking her tummy until the fur was gone, opening up sore spots that compounded the problem.

Was it middle age? Our five-room apartment closing in? I decided to consult an animal communicator, aka whisperer, to get an alternative read on their well-being and their relationship.

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Families who lost pets in food recall near settlement

June 6, 2008

Washington families who lost companions after last year’s major pet food recall are close to a settlement — and, finally, closure to a tragedy that killed more than 1,500 pets.

A judge granted initial approval Friday to a $24 million deal reached last month in which companies that made or sold contaminated food will pay pet owners for all costs related to the death or illness of their pets.

“We are kind of waiting for this to wrap up and for there to be closure,” said Cecily Mitchell, a Seattle resident involved in a class-action lawsuit against pet food manufacturer Menu Foods.

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Demand spikes at pet food pantries as downturn hurts pets

June 4, 2008

Diana Bardsley wiped tears from her eyes as she recalled taking food off her plate to feed her spaniel Hunter and two Siamese cats.

Her greatest fear: that she could be forced to surrender the animals as she struggled to stretch her food stamps and Social Security income to meet the cost of living.

Some hope was restored after she visited a food pantry, which has started offering free pet food.

“I know a lot of people will probably say, well, if you don’t have enough money to be able to feed your animals, that you shouldn’t have pets,” said Bardsley, 53. But “just because financially you may go downhill a little or a lot doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up the part of your family that you love.”

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Japanese Railway Turns To Feline ‘Stationmaster’ For Help

May 27, 2008

Tama is the stationmaster of Kishi station in Kinokawa in western Japan. She also happens to be a cat.

The tortoiseshell coloured feline, born and raised at Kishi Station on the provincial Kishigawa Line, wears a formal uniform cap of Wakayama Electric Railway and calmly watches passing passengers who greet her.

There are 10 train stations on the 14.3-kilometre (8.9-mile) line.

“Tama is the only stationmaster as we have to reduce personnel costs. You say you could ask for the cat’s help, but she is actually bringing luck to us,” Wakayama Electric spokeswoman Keiko Yamaki said.

The company feeds her in lieu of salary.

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When pets occupy a spiritual space

May 22, 2008

Anyone who has ever cared for a pet dog, neighbourhood cow, kitchen cat or horse at the riding club will verify French writer Anatole France’s statement that “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened”.

The emotional bond between humans and animals is easily accepted. With its uncomplicated nature and unconditional love, an animal can expand the boundaries of the human heart. But are animals also deeply connected to the human soul? Like many philosophical systems, Hinduism gives animals prime of place.

One of its chief gods is elephant-headed and another is a monkey. Shiva and Vishnu have several animal incarnations. Anthropologically, animals were useful to humans; they were likely given the status of gods to impress their importance upon the general people. Moreover, since all creatures are considered manifestations of the same paramatma, animals necessarily gain a position of equality with human beings.

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Meetings with a Mutt? More Pets Share Office Space

May 21, 2008

Dogs and cats and fish, oh my! More than 63 percent of American households own a pet today, which equates to 71.1 million homes and a whopping 382.2 million pets, according to a recent American Pet Products Manufacturers Association survey of pet owners. So are Fluffy and Fido just hanging out at home, or are they going to work with their human companions?

Pets, it seems, are showing up in the workplace more than ever, with 30 percent of employers allowing workers to bring pets to the office, according to a recent consumer survey commissioned by The HON company, a leading designer and manufacturer of office furniture. Of those who actually bring their pets to work, the majority of Americans bring dogs (24 percent), followed by fish (12 percent) and cats (8 percent).

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Pets shouldn’t roam where coyotes do

May 19, 2008

Our 5-year-old cat, Sully, had survived two years in the near-wilds of Montana, where mountain lions also roam, but he couldn’t make it six months in the northwest Denver suburbs. This fat feline disappeared one night in early December, and we knew he was a goner.

Two weeks after his disappearance, we learned that a neighbor had seen three coyotes supping on our Sully one snowy evening. So fat that people always asked if he was pregnant, Sully didn’t have a chance against three lean, ravenous coyotes.

Sadly, family pets frequently disappear from back yards. It’s not just coyotes stalking them: Foxes, mountain lions, wolves, bears, hawks and alligators also make a dent in the pet population. But few predators are as ubiquitous as the coyote. And hawks and foxes can’t carry off a 30-pound dog.

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VIDEO: Cats on a treadmill!

May 13, 2008

PHOTO: I found a cat! Oh, wait…

May 12, 2008

The Cat Masseur

May 9, 2008

Protecting You and Your Pets From Ticks

May 9, 2008

Whether you are hiking up Mount Rainier or camping in the woods this season, it is important to protect yourself from ticks.

One thing you can do is use tick repellent that contains DEET. For your pets, there are commercially available products that are safe to use.

If you are going into heavily wooded areas, wear long sleeves and pants even if it’s hot. As you leave the woods, use the buddy system to check your friends for ticks. The key areas to check are: in hair, around the ears, under the arm, and behind the knee.

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PHOTOS: When kitty and rat become friends

May 8, 2008

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Heal, boy: How pets can keep you healthy

May 6, 2008

As she makes her way through the hospital wards, Billie-Jean keeps up an impressive pace. She has to if she is going to see all the patients who are waiting for her. Wearing her official uniform, she looks neat and trim, and despite how busy she is, she always has time to stop if someone wants to say hello or slip her a Bonio. You see, Billie-Jean isn’t a ward sister doing the rounds or a doctor bringing vital medicine, she’s an Irish terrier. But despite the fact she’s a canine, not human, carer, her medical value is second-to-none because she is a Pets As Therapy dog.

Pets As Therapy is a charity that takes pet dogs and cats to hospitals, hospices, residential care homes, day centres and special-needs schools. It was formed in 1983, explains chief executive Maureen Hennis, by a group of pet owners who were convinced that their animals could help other people. “At that time, people were moving into residential accommodation and nursing homes, and they had to give up their own pets,” she says. “This wasn’t only making them sad and depressed, sometimes it was actually making them ill.”

The importance of regular contact with domestic animals has been highlighted by recent research conducted by the University of Minnesota. According to the study, having a cat around the house can cut the risk of having a heart attack or a stroke by almost half. After studying nearly 4,500 adults aged between 30 and 75 for 10 years, it was found that cat owners had a 40 per cent lower risk of suffering a fatal heart attack.

Click here for the full article.

VIDEO: The Territorial Tortoise

May 6, 2008