Feline Facts-Tips

Feline Facts-Tips

Some specific tips to help minimize the challenges associated with bringing a cat to the clinic are given below.

Reducing the stress of transport

Socialize kittens to the carrier and to traveling:

  • Keep the transport carrier out and accessible in the home.
  • Create and maintain a positive association with the transport carrier by making it a comfortable resting, feeding or play location.
  • When feasible, and if the cat is neutral or favorably inclined to car travel, encourage owners to take the cat on periodic car rides paired with positive experiences.

Withholding food prior to travel may prevent motion sickness; increase interest in treats at the clinic, and is beneficial if blood is to be collected.

  • Apply a calming synthetic pheromone to, and/or place familiar clothing from a favorite person in, the carrier on a routine basis and just prior to transport.
  • Provide cover/hiding options in or over carrier (eg, blanket draped over carrier) during transport.

Supplementary data: An AAFP position statement entitled 'Respectful handling of cats to prevent fear and pain' is available at: www.catvets.com

Fun Feline Facts

A cat's heart normally beats between 120 and 220 times per minute, with a relaxed cat on the lower end of the scale. It's not unusual for a cat's heart rate to be high at the veterinarian's because cats don't like to be away from home, and because they certainly don't like being poked and prodded by strangers.

People crave sweets, but cats couldn't care less because the taste buds of a cat are incapable of detecting, appreciating or triggering a craving for foods we recognize as "sweet." It's unclear whether the ancestors of cats had the Deerfield Beach Animal Clinicability to detect sweet and lost it, or whether cats never developed a "sweet tooth" because, as true carnivores, they didn't need it.

Not all white cats are deaf, but deafness is certainly not uncommon among them. White cats with blue eyes are more likely to be deaf than white cats with eyes of any other color.

The average domestic cat can run at a speed of around 30 mph. To put that in perspective, a thoroughbred racehorse can maintain a speed of 45 mph for more than a mile.Feline Facts Racing greyhounds can hit just under 42 mph for about a third of a mile. But it's a cat who takes the land-speed record: The cheetah can go 70 mph for a couple of hundred yards. Like the cheetah -- albeit not as fast -- domestic cats are built for quick bursts of speed. While you could never outrun a dog over distance, you could outrun a cat. They quickly overheat when running and have to stop after just 30 to 60 seconds to cool down.

The British government for many years kept cats "on the payroll" to help keep buildings free of rodents.

The first Siamese cat in the United States is said to have been a cat named Siam, given in the late 1870s as a gift to Lucy Hayes, the first lady and wife of President Rutherford B. Hayes, by the ambassador of Siam (now known as Thailand). These cats became highly sought-after in the United States and United Kingdom, and they are now among the most recognizable of breeds (even though other breeds also share the distinctive pointed markings, with darker fur on the head, legs and tail).

The common phrase "curiosity killed the cat" has probably been around far longer, but an early version of it is attributed to Shakespeare, who noted that "care killed a cat" in "Much Ado About Nothing." Along the way, "care" became "curiosity," although the meaning is largely the same: Stick your nose where it doesn't belong, and you can get into trouble." The playwright Eugene O'Neill is credited with using the exact phrasing in use today.

While a male cat -- especially an un-neutered one -- is today called a "tom," that wasn't always the case. Up until the late 1700s, male cats were known as "rams" (like sheep) or "boars" (like pigs). A book about cats with a character named Tom became popular in the latter part of the 18th century. After that, male cats started being called "tomcats."

(Excerpted with permission of HCI Publishing. For a free cardstock bookmark autographed by Dr. Marty Becker and Gina Spadafori, send a self-addressed, stamped, legal-sized envelope to Pet Connection, Universal Press Syndicate, 4520 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64111. Please indicate if you'd like a "MeowWow" or "BowWow" bookmark.)

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MVS ANIMAL CLINIC with Mobile Veterinary Services Deborah A. Niedermiller, D.V.M.

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