The cat with hay fever

A poorly cat who was plagued by hay fever has been given a special inhaler after a rape field was planted next to his home.
Bruno the cat with owner Anna Dickie
Bruno the cat with his special inhaler and owner Anna Dickie
Bruno, who suffers from asthma, nearly died after he succumbed to the wheezing and spluttering that plagues millions of humans during the summer months. Owner Anna Dickie noticed her moggie’s asthma became unbearable when he was exposed to the bright yellow rape crop which popped up near to their home in Cavendish near Sudbury, Suffolk. The worried animal lover took Bruno, an Asian ticked tabby, to specialist vets to try to put an end to his suffering. She said: “It is quite rare but my asthmatic cat is particularly affected by the horrid rape crop. He developed breathing problems and was diagnosed with asthma last year after we took him to specialists in Newmarket. He was close to dying and spent several days in intensive care because of his asthma.” The vets gave the moggy steroids and a puffer but his condition deteriorated when he came into contact with the fields of yellow flowers. Mrs Dickie said: “He was given daily steroids and a puffer which seemed to get it under control but since we had a rape field planted directly adjacent to our home, he has got a lot worse.” The experts suggested Bruno use a specially adapted inhaler – just like human sufferers do – to try to ease his snuffles. Mrs Dickie now has to administer the drugs through the special puffer which fits over her cat’s mouth. Admitting she was sceptical at first, the devoted owner said the inhaler has eased Bruno’s hayfever. She said: “We had to experiment with using the puffer at first although it looks just like a human inhaler. “It has a plastic tube fitted to the mouthpiece which allows the spray to go directly into Bruno. He has breathing problems and gets choked up and starts wheezing. It is not very nice at all. “He wasn’t very keen at first, but he is now very good at taking it.” Although pets are usually blamed for causing allergies with their shedding fur, feline asthma affects one in 200 cats. Symptoms include coughing wheezing and difficulty breathing. Experts now believe human lifestyles, such as smoking, dusty houses, pollen, human dandruff and even some types of cat litter, can contribute to cat asthma. Report in the Daily Mail 9th May 2007

A Purrfect Start for first time cat owners

Just got a new moggy for Christmas? Well then, congratulations on your new companion! This article is for first time cat owners, so if you’re a moggy veteran then you may find you know most of this already. Still I picked up an idea or two? [Ed.] To be at their best, cats have some basic needs; providing for them will help ensure your cats long-term health and welfare. If these needs are not met, your cat may feel stressed, which can affect both his/her health and behaviour.
Growing cats need space, indoors and out.
Cats seem to prefer having their own space, to feel like they are ‘in control’ of their surroundings, and to choose the changes they want to make. To help you ‘get off on the right foot’ with your new cat, we have provided descriptions of what an ‘ideal’ house might include. Your cat might not need all these features to get along, but making your house more cat friendly will ensure that you and your new cat enjoy each other’s company for years to come. Cats can be quite social with other pets and people, just as long as they can control when and where the socializing happens! To understand your home from your new cats point of view, it might help to think of an honored guest arriving from an exotic foreign land. Providing a room or other space she can call her own, complete with food and water, a bed (a cat carrier with a soft pad inside is a good choice), a litter box, a scratching and/or climbing post, a window to look out of, and some toys is ideal. And just as our dining table isn’t near the bathroom or bedroom, the food and water bowls and bed should be placed away from the litter box. Give your cat a few days to get used to these surroundings, and to get the sense that this space is a safe haven. You can spend some time alone with her in the room so you can get to know each other, and so you can provide profuse praise for using the toys, litter box, and scratching post. Your cats basic needs include:
  • 1. Some ‘personal space’.
  • 2. A bed.
  • 3. Food and water bowls.
  • 4. A Litter box.
  • 5. A scratching/climbing post.
  • 6. Toys.

Toys can be as simple as crumpled paper balls, paper bags to explore, cardboard boxes, or a toilet paper tube. Please don’t use string, foil or buttons, as they can present hazards.

If you don’t know already then it would be good to appreciate that cats do not respond to force. Reprimands only work if you catch your cat ‘in the act’. Punishment that follows an action by more than a few seconds won’t stop him from doing it again, and may even cause him to be afraid of you or the surroundings. It may even cause him to try to defend him/her self (those teeth and claws are there for a reason!)

If you do catch you cat making a mistake, it is better for both of you to create a distraction by making a loud noise or throwing something (NOT at the cat!) that will attract its attention, but not toward you. If the cat associates the distraction as coming from you she’ll just learn to do it when you’re not around. As soon as the cat is distracted, you can take her to a location where the behavior is ‘ok’, and praise her for doing it there. As with all honored guests, cats do respond to praise for good ‘actions/deeds’ such as this.
Cute Kittens
Cute Kittens need training
So to state the case: ‘Cats respond to praise/redirection; they DON’T respond to force. Once comfortable with the new space, the cat can be offered the opportunity to introduce herself to the rest of the house and its occupants. Remember, guests often prefer to get acquainted on their terms, so don’t rush this. When ready, they’ll become a part of the household. When this happens, another set of food and water bowls, litter box, and scratching/climbing post can be put elsewhere in the house. If the cat shows a preference for these, the ones in her room can be removed (litter box last!), although her bed should be left there for her continued use as a “retreat”. Place the food and water bowls, and the litter box, in convenient (separate) locations that still give the cat some privacy while eating, drinking or ‘going to the bathroom’. They should be placed away from appliances and air ducts that could come on unexpectedly, and located such that another animal (or human!) cannot sneak up on the cat while she uses them. To keep them appealing to the cat, food and water should be fresh, and the litter box ‘scooped’ every day. If you do want to offer a new type of food or litter, put it in a separate container next to the familiar one so the cat can decide whether or not to change.
You can gently rub the area between the eyes and ears with a cotton ball to capture some of the cat’s scent, and then rub this on places you want to attract the cat to. (a new one on me, [Ed.])
Location matters! Placing your cat’s food, water and litter in convenient, quiet locations will make them more attractive to her! Giving the cat something to scratch will help ensure that she can do her thing without damaging your things. Try to choose something that has a texture and position (flat or upright) similar to the cat’s initial targets. If your cat stretches up to scratch, provide something that is about the same height. Put the object close to where you’ve seen the cat scratch, and be sure it is secure so she won’t be startled by it moving unexpectedly. Just as you’ll expect by now, praising her profusely when you see her use it will let her know that this is hers to use. Providing places to climb and look out of windows are important to keep indoor cats healthy and happy. Putting catnip or the cat’s scent on the scratching/climbing post can also make it more attractive. Be sure to see your veterinarian regularly. In addition to providing preventative health care through regular checkups, they also can help you troubleshoot any ‘issues’ before they become problems. These suggestions are only intended to get you off to a good start. More information is available from your veterinarian, pet food company ‘kitten care’ kits and web sites (such as this one). You also can go to the indoor cat initiative website at https://www.nssvet.org/ici/index.html for more information and links to other aspects of cat care. Suggestions courtesy of The Ohio State University Veterinary Hospital with modifications by the Ed.

Persa

The ‘Persa’ descends from the Turkish Angora. The first specimens were imported into Italy from Persia around 1700; a century later, the breed was taken to France and England, where it was perfected with the addition of blood from Angoras, obtaining a silkier fur and multiplying the coat colors.
Persa
Fully Grown Persa
Photograph: Chosovi

The Head of the Persa is broad, rounded and solid with protruding cheeks. The ears are small and well-spaced with long hair tufts. Jaw is generally thick and nose short. Body is compact, it should be 40 to 50 cm. long, with another 25 to 30 cm. of tail. It will be around 30 cm. high. Robust bone structure. Short, muscular limbs.

The tail is magnificently furry, ending in a tuft which provides weight to keep it hanging down.

The colour of Persian cats: Persians are classified into three groups:
  • solid colour
  • various colours
  • patterned
  • Solid colours: Black, with orange or copper eyes. White, with blue eyes (the only Persians with blue eyes; they are deaf), orange eyes, and mismatched eyes. Blue, with orange or copper eyes. Cream, with orange or copper eyes. Red, very rare; it is hard to get hold of. It should have no stripes, and copper eyes.
  • Several colours: Two-colour, black and white, blue and white, red and white, white and cream. its paws, legs, underside of the body and muzzle are white; upside down V-shaped patch over its eyes, which are copper. Two-colour Van: patches only on its head, legs and tail. Copper eyes. Tortoiseshell, black, red and cream patches on its coat. Orange or copper eyes. Females only, the very rare males of this colour are sterile. Two-colour males are used for mating. Tortoiseshell with white: as above with white. Females only, males sterile. Calico: as the tortoiseshell is black with red and white patches, the calico is white with black and red patches. Copper eyes. Females only. Diluted Calico: white with blue and cream patches. Females only. Blue cream: neither should be predominant. Females only.
  • Patterned The pattern can be of three types: Classic Tabby, Mackerel Tabby, and Patched Tabby. Brown Tabby: sandy coat with black stripes. Silver Tabby: light silver coat with black stripes. Red Tabby: bright red coat with darker stripes. Cameo Tabby: cream coat and red stripes. Blue Tabby: ivory coat with bluish-grey stripes. Brown Patched Tabby: coppery brown coat with black markings and cream patches. Silver Patched Tabby: silver coat with black markings and red or cream patches. Chinchilla: Snow-white caot tipped in black on the back, hips, head, ears and tail. Green eyes. Shaded silver: a dark Chinchilla. Green or orange eyes. Smoke black: black coat silver-shaded on the sides and hips, with white undercoat and black mask and paws. Orange or copper eyes. Smoke blue: the same, with a bluish-grey coat. Copper eyes. Red Cameo: the same, with a red coat. Copper eyes. Smoked tortoiseshell: black with white undercoat with red and cream patches. Copper eyes. Females only.
Persa Kitten
Persa Kitten
The Coat of a Persa is thick and silky, with collar ‘ruff’. The paws are also unusually furry. It is recommended to brush the coat with a strong bristled brush (metal brushes could break the fur) and to comb every day from six weeks of age. The source article recommended every fortnight, administering a malt or paraffin preparation orally to prevent the formation of trichobezoars (hairballs). Please check with your Vet before doing this. The Persa has a peacful and docile temperament. It is an intelligent creature and is not generally of a hunting nature.

Merry Christmas one and all

Merry Christmas to all our readers ~ from Norm and the Gang. Old video now defunct …so here below is ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’ and if it’s late December then we do!
Moggyblog will be one year old on January 1st 2008