Archives for July 2012

Cat Tips About the Tail

Cat’s Tail Reveals Their Mood

Cats use their tails as a way to express their moods and as a way to communicate with other cats and humans. If you have been sharing your life with a cat, you may already be aware of the signals that your cat is sending out through her tail.  But just in case you aren’t familiar with your cat’s body language, here are a few tips about tail talk.

Cat Tail Communication chart

A Look at the Tail. Source:PurinaOne

Tips about the Tail

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BarkWorld is for Cats Too!

Even thought the name is BarkWorld……

it doesn’t mean cats aren’t welcome!  In fact cat lovers are encouraged to attend BarkWorld and the 2012 conference will be the cats pajamas!  We are speaking at the 2012 BarkWorld one of   our favorite cat lovers, Miss Moderncat is giving a presentation too. Super Hurrah!


About BarkWorld!

BarkWorld Expo was created by Denise Quashie, Social Media Strategist for Socially Planned.  When Denise’s dog, Frankie Beans began to Twitter she realized there was a big pet loving community using social media. Being an award-winning event & social media producer, Denise decided to create a conference for this community.   BarkWorld Expo has continued to grow since it began in 2009, and has become a  strong online support for the cause of sharing and educating pet lovers within social media.

Stay tuned to learn more about what is being planned for the feline inclined!

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Cats and Whisker Stress Bowl Versus Plate

Cat Whiskers Aid Navigation and Communication

We cats are super curious. We like to investigate and explore unusual places and spaces. Many times cat parents try to restrict the movement of their feline friends but it seems that a cat’s  curiosity only increases when they are denied access. You might have experienced this when a door is closed.  We cats like our options to remain open.

Thankfully nature equipped us with our whiskers as a tool to help keep us safe. Did you know that a cat’s whiskers are the same width as a cat’s body?  When the whiskers brush up against the sides of the entrance to a space, this acts as a warning that the space is too small.  Whiskers also help cats move stealthily in the darkness by preventing us from running into things.  Cat whiskers can detect changes in air currents and wind.

Cat Whiskers are Super Sensitive

A cat’s whiskers are super sensitive.   In fact,  the cat’s whiskers are so superbly programmed that if they move even 1/2000th of the width of a human hair, a signal is triggered and sent to the cat’s brain.  Cat experts think this could be the reason for a domestic cat’s need to always have their chow bowl filled to the top.

When the food level is too low, a cat is forced to put her face down into the bowl  causing her whiskers to brush up against the sides.  This whisker stress  might cause discomfort for your cat and  may explain why she is so adamant to have her bowl always filled.

Gracey in Thundershirt thinking about Whisker Stress

My whiskers will be stressed if I try to nibble my kibble.

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First Video of Snow Leopard Mother and Cubs in Dens

The Snow Leopard is Asia’s Mountain Ghost

Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard

The Snow Leopard’s secretive and elusive nature  combined with the precarious and remote landscape they inhabit have made conservation data collection efforts  difficult and even less is known about  snow leopard cubs survival in the wild. The cat is so evasive it has been given the name “Asia’s Mountain Ghost” by the natives of Mongolia’s Tost Mountains.

Up until now, snow leopard breeding studies were conducted on individuals in a captive zoo environment. Captive snow leopard litters typically consist of one to three cubs but no information is available about litter size in the wild. Wild snow leopard cubs are exposed to not only natural predators and disease but also human threats such as poaching and the illegal wildlife market. The wild snow leopard’s chance of survival to adulthood has only been speculated.

Unprecedented Footage of Snow Leopard Mother and Cubs

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10 Reasons Your Cat Might Be Going Outside the Litter Box

Can We Talk about the Litter box?

Bathroom Chat  Litter Box Tips

Time to Talk About the Box

It is super important to meet your cat’s needs when it comes to the litter box.  In many ways it is similar to what you expect from your own bathroom experience.  Let me first emphasize that if there are changes in your cat’s bowel movements or urination, especially in frequency, or quantity please consult a veterinarian.  If your cat begins to go outside the litter box when there have been no changes made to the box, this is also a time to visit your veterinarian and discuss the change in behavior.  After your cat is given a clean bill of health, it is time to think about the box.

10 Reasons Your Cat Might Be Going Outside the Box

  1. Your cat needs a check up with your veterinarian. After illness is ruled out, check out the other 10 possible causes.
  2. The box smells terrible! Do you know how you feel when you go to a public restroom and it is all pee-yew in there? Get a new  box when the old one gets too smelly.
  3. The box smells like a chemical factory!  You will get an A for effort if you scrub out the litter box to make sure it is clean and tidy, but if you use harsh smelly chemicals your cat won’t want to visit the box.  Remember, we cats have sensitive noses and if it smells like a chemical waste dump, we won’t be depositing there.  Soap and water will work just fine. Avoid the ammonia and citrus smelling cleaners.
  4. The box is too small! I like to be able to move my tail freely around in my boxes.  If it is too small I get claustrophobic.  Make sure your litter box is plenty big enough for your cat to move around in and bury their business.
  5. One Box per Cat Plus One! If you have one cat, you might try to have two boxes. If you have two cats, three boxes. I am one cat and I have two boxes at all times and sometimes a third box when I am testing out a litter or box.
  6. Box is in a bad location! Remember, just like you, we would like a little privacy.  But also remember we need to be able to make a fast getaway too.
  7. You are not a frequent scooper! Do you like to relieve yourself on top of your last elimination?  Do you get my drift? Scoop on schedule. Scoop often.  Scoop every time you pass by the box.  The more the better.
  8. You changed the litter! We cats are creatures of habit.  We understand, well not really, but we tolerate when certain changes must be made.  Please test out a new litter first.  Place a new box with the new litter out along side the older established box.  Let us decide if the new litter is acceptable.
  9. Too much litter in the box! That sinking feeling is not one that we cats like.  You might think the more the better but sometimes less is better.  Most cats prefer litter less than 2 inches deep.  However, see number 10.
  10. Not enough litter in the box! We like to bury our poo to hide our scent from predators. It is a part of our self-protecting instinct from our wild ancestors. Make sure there is enough litter for us to cover up our poo if we so choose.*

*Cats Have a History of Burying Their Waste.

In the wild, the big cats, (Panthera genus), such as lions, tigers , leopards and jaguars  often do not bury their excrement as a way of signaling  they are claiming a certain territory.  Smaller, weaker or more submissive wild cats bury their feces as a way of making sure the bigger cats do not feel challenged.  Wild cats will also hide their waste to avoid attracting unwanted attention from predators to themselves especially when they have young cubs or kittens .

Cat poo may all smell the same to you, but cats can tell their waste apart  due to scent markers called pheromones present in the urine and feces.  Your cat may or may not feel the need to bury their poo within the home.  But remember, cats like to keep their options open, so providing clean litter boxes with the right amount of litter, in the right location will lead to a better box experience for everyone.

The Story of Sikiria The End of a Lion Legend

The Story of Sikiria

Last year we posted a survey about African lions and asked you to tell us which lion caught your eye and why.  For those of you that participated in the survey, you might remember the short story of Sikiria that was part of the survey question.

Here is the excerpt from the survey:

The Lion Guardians have been extraordinarily successful at stopping lion killing. This program is one of the first in East Africa that combines traditional knowledge with modern scientific techniques.

In order to learn more about the African lion, a radio collar is attached to track each lion’s movement. Once a lion is given a collar, the Lion Guardians give the lion a Maasai name.

The names usually reference either a physical characteristic or a behavior unique to that particular lion. For example, one lion was given the name Sikiria, which means “he of the donkey”. This name was given to  him because he liked to eat donkeys. This name and telling of stories about him helps diffuse the anger and retaliation from the Maasai when Sikiria goes looking for a donkey. Now watchful eyes can keep Sikiria out of trouble and the donkeys safe by relaying messages about Sikiria’s location. It is also much easier to forgive behavior when you know the name of the lion and their unique traits.

Sikiria "He of the donkeys"

Sikiria "He of the donkeys" Photo by Philip J. Briggs

The Lion Guardians named him “he of the donkeys”

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Free Tickets to Cats for Cats in LA

Special Offer of FREE Tickets to Cats for Cats

Cats for Cats

Through the generosity of Iams,  The Tiniest Tiger is able to offer a few  friends FREE tickets to a celebrity benefit performance of CATS in LA, CA at the Orpheum Theatre on Saturday, JULY 14. This  offer  lasts only as long as there are tickets available.

This event benefits Kitty Bungalow, a cat charity that runs a Kitty Charm School for wayward cats.
Because Iams was kind enough to offer these tickets and they’re sponsoring the event, please only ask for the tickets if you plan to attend.
To request your tickets, leave a comment on this post, and be sure to enter a valid email address on the comment form.

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Gracey off the Grid. The Loudest Week of My Life!

The Super Storm was one of  the worst in North American history!

Fridays are usually one of my favorite days.  But last Friday changed my opinion of Fridays.  Shortly after my dad came home from work he started watching the weather radar on the television. My mom was watching the updates on her iPad and they both kept discussing that the radar looked much worse than what the weathermen were forecasting.

What started off as a chance of thunderstorms became one of the most destructive and deadly fast-moving bands of severe thunderstorms in North American history. Now known as the June 2012 Mid-Atlantic and Midwest  derecho, the storm ripped over the Columbus Ohio area around 5:00 PM, with winds reported to 82 mph and causing severe damage to the power grid and it was heading our way.

I felt my parents getting nervous.  My mom called my name and then scooped me up in her arms.  She carefully put on my

Gracey in Thundershirt for cats

Me in my Thundershirt.

Thundershirt for cats while my dad went to the basement to make sure everything was in order just in case we needed to bolt.  I saw my carrier placed open and ready for me to be tucked inside.

My dad said that we had until 6:15 before the storm would visit us, so my mom said she was going to work a little longer.  But in only a few minutes she came out of the office and said, I think we should shut everything down. I don’t have a good feeling about this storm.  The last time she said that, a tornado took the roof off of our kitchen!  So then my dad started to pace.  I don’t think he was marking his territory but I am pretty sure he was showing signs of stress.

My mom shut down the computer and unplugged nearly everything in the house. Then she picked me back up and the three of us waited.  The wind came 30 minutes earlier than expected and  tree branches  began to snap off and smack up against the house. Lawn chairs, popup tents, and all sorts of summer backyard items were flying by the windows.  Our neighbors giant maple trees were bent over into an impossible yoga position. The power blinked and passed out.

Generators, Chain Saws, Fans, Power Trucks and Giant Wood Chippers

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Gracey is the Susan Lucci of the Petties! Vote for The Tiniest Tiger

Petties Banner 2012

The Tiniest Tiger is a finalist in the 2012 Petties Best Blog Post Category

I am pleased to tell you that  The Tiniest Tiger’s Conservation Cub Club is a finalist in the 2012 Petties!
Our are up for Best Blog Post for our Cat Obituary, Farewell Eastern Cougar.  We are honored to be nominated again this year in the Petties. I am proud to be a finalist for our post about the Eastern Cougar’s extinction.  I wanted the post to be a voice for our big cat cousins and the trouble they are having surviving in the human dominated landscape.

We have been honored for the past three years, since the first Petties to be nominated for an award. We were a finalist in 2010 for Best Cause Related Blog and in 2011 for Best Cat Blog.  This year we were nominated for Best Facebook Page in the Blogpaws Nose to Nose Awards and now we are a finalist in the Best Blog Post category for the 2012 Petties.

Gracey is the Reigning Susan Lucci of the Pet Blogging Awards.

Susan Lucci and Gracey honored to be nominated

Click here to vote:

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