Archives for May 2012

Two Hydration Tests Your Cat Needs Now

Cats Need Water

Gracey and water fountain

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The Scientific Truth about Cats and Water

Cats are Water Wizards

Water is essential to survival and land animals have evolved to meet their water needs in various ways. Some absorb water

Lions drinking water photo by Greg du Toit

photo courtesy of Greg du Toit, Wildlife Photographer

through the skin, some extract water from the moisture in their food but most animals rely on drinking water to stay hydrated.

At first you might say, well of course animals drink water, but when you start to think about it, the simple act of drinking presents a challenge because fresh water is mostly a horizontal liquid surface in puddles, ponds, lakes and streams so animals must work against gravity to get the water up off the ground and into their mouths. This simple act of survival is actually a remarkable achievement.

It is physically impossible for a cat to suck.

Vertebrates (animals with backbones) use their tongue in two distinctly different ways. Vertebrates with complete cheeks, such as pigs, sheep, and horses, use suction to draw liquid upward and use their tongue to transport it into the mouth. However, vertebrates with incomplete cheeks, including most carnivores (cats are carnivores),  are unable (after weaning) to seal their mouth cavity to create suction and therefore rely on their tongue to move water into the mouth. It is physically impossible for a cat to suck.

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Cat Quilt Handbag Giveaway from The Tiniest Tiger

The Tiniest Tiger Giveaway Winner ImageSuper Hurrah and Congratulations to Cynthia Downer our Winner!

Thank you to everyone that participated.

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Save $10 on Hill’s Science Diet at PetSmart Memorial Weekend

Get $5.00 off with Hill’s Science Diet Coupon and an additional $5.00 off at PetSmart Sale!

Lori from Hill’s Pet Nutrition let me know that they have a special coupon for $5.00 off any bag of Science Diet® dry pet food this Memorial Day weekend. What makes this an even better deal is that PetSmart is running a special for $5.00 off the original price of Science Diet cat food and $2.00 off the original price of Science Diet dog food.  And, these two specials can be combined for a $10 savings.

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Bissell Total Floors Pet Giveaway from Gracey

The Tiniest Tiger Giveaway Winner ImageSuper Hurrah and Congratulations to Sherree, the winner of the Bissell Total Floors Pet!

Thank you everyone for participating.

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Cats Intelligence Superior Claims Scientific Americat

Cats Intelligence Superior

Cats know they are intelligent. They do not need to perform tricks to remind the humans in their lives they are smart. And although treats are nice, it is not worth losing their dignity just to get a snack. Truth is, cats will get treats anyway, simply by making “the eyes”  directing their humans to get them what they desire.

There is lots of chatter lately about dogs being more intelligent than cats. And as we discussed in our Dogs Smarter Than CatsScientific Americat Study Flawed series, the article in New Scientist was biased towards the dog’s willingness to serve humans. Now a study out of the University of Oxford claims that socializing led to bigger brains for some mammals, including dogs.

For the first time researchers attempted to chart the evolutionary history of the brain across different groups of mammals over 60 million years. They discovered that there are huge variations in how the brains of different groups of mammals have evolved over that time. They also suggest that there is a link between the sociality of mammals and the size of their brains relative to body size, according to a study published in the PNAS journal (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America). These researchers claim that dogs have developed bigger brains than cats because highly social species of mammals need more brain power than solitary animals.

The Lazy Leopard Research Institute disagrees and here is why:

1) The average dog brain weighs in at 64 grams and the average domestic cat’s brain weighs 25 grams. This stands to reason as dogs on average are much bigger than the typical house cat.  What is more important than simply brain size, not a reliable measure of intelligence, is to take a look at the brains information processing capacity: the number of neurons in the cortex, known as the executive brain. Cats clearly rule with 300 million neurons compared with a mere 160 million in dogs.  So you see, the house cat is small but mighty!

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Cat of Different Color The Strawberry Leopard

Cat of a Different Color

African leopards normally have tawny colored coats with black spots, but an unusual male leopard, with a coat of a different color, has been sighted in the South Africa Madikwe Game Reserve. This leopard has a pink tone to his coat and has been named the “Strawberry Leopard”.

Strawberry Leopard

"Strawberry" Leopard" Photo courtesy of Deon De Villiers

One of a Kind Cat

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Born To Be Cats! Journey With Me to Discover our One True Nature

Born to be a Cat!

Did you know the house cat is a direct descendant of the African Wildcat?  House cats are in the same family, the Felidae

African Wild Cat and Gracey

Meet our cousin the African Wildcat!

family, as the big cats. The family tree branches out to include the different subfamilies. The Pantherinae subfamily includes the Tiger, (Panthera tigris), the Lion, (Panthera leo), the Jaguar, (Panthera onca) and the Leopard, (Panthera pardus).

House cats belong to the Felinae subfamily.  Within this subfamily is the genus known as Felis. The African Wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica) is the house cats (Felis silvestris catus)  closest relative.  Did you know that our African Wildcat cousins are still living the wild life?

My stunt double Flat Gracey and my mom have just returned from meeting with the Purina One Cat Team in St. Louis where they discussed a new and exciting program to understand the true nature of cats. The Purina One team traveled to South Africa to learn more about our wild cousins, the African Wildcat,  to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a cat. They asked me, Gracey, The Tiniest Tiger and my mom, to join the journey with them.  We will be observing, asking questions and learning together how to better understand the cats in our lives.

As you know, I get into trouble from time to time and I tell you that I just can’t help myself.  Through this discovery journey  I will  show you that it is really true! I can’t help myself because I was born to be a cat.  I think that all of the things that make a cat a cat are all the same  reasons  our human parents love us.

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House Cats Control Humans, Feline Secret Exposed.

The Tiniest Tiger

The Tiniest Tiger getting ready to unleash the manipulative meow.

House Cat Secret Cry Exposed

Human researchers have been trying to gain an understanding of  inter-specific communication, the interactions between individuals of different species, for quite some time. Despite this desire, few studies sought out to understand the interactions between companion animals and the humans that share their habitat.

However, a recent study  exposed  one of the house cats best kept secrets, that cats are able to control their humans by making a subtle change in their purr that exploits the sensory biases of the humans that share their homes. Cats are able to embed a high frequency vocal component within their low frequency purr that triggers a sense of urgency in their humans.

House cats use many different tactics and signals to communicate with their humans. Sometimes if a cat feels a hunger pang and breakfast is not served, the cat might attempt to wake their parent by knocking items off of the night stand or leaping onto their beds and waking them with intense staring or a tap of the paw.  If these efforts fail, the cat will turn to its secret weapon, the solicitation purr also known as the manipulative meow.

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Happy Mother’s Day to Lions, Tigers, House Cats, and Humans

Happy Mother’s Day!

Sometimes it is easy to take for granted all the things that our mother’s do for us. On this day, I thought I would share with you just a few things mothers do for us for which we are grateful whether we are lions, tigers, house cats or humans.

Mothers Guide Us Down the Right Path

Lions on path

Photo courtesy of Bushbaby Travel

There are many paths to choose from while we learn our way in the world.  Mothers do their best to guide us down the right path.  It is up to us to listen.

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