What do cats and onions have in common?

Answer:  Skin that tears like paper. 

If you use scissors to cut out mats, think “onion” as you snip. Don’t think “orange” or even “pear”, because those fruits have thicker skins than your cat. 


The skin is the largest organ in the body.  Feline skin thickness ranges from 0.02″ to 0.14″.

Cats see the world in soft focus

My 14 year old cat’s eyes

The cat’s world is seen in soft focus, however; it cannot resolve detail sharply because the lens in its eye is large to gather as much light as possible.

The New Encyclopedia of the Cat by Dr. Bruce Fogle DVM

This type of eyesight must make it impossible to make out the details of a claw trimmer or even a comb.  Cat groomers need tuna-scented trimmers!




Cat are low-maintenance . . . Not!

Humans like to think of cats as low-maintenance pets. After all, you don’t need to walk them. 

In reality, as opposed to our human-oriented fantasy, cats are not at all low-maintenance.

Like dogs, many cats crave attention. They want to be petted. They want to sleep with you. 

Like dogs, many cats want active play-time. They want to chase fake birds, leap in the air to capture strings, and jump around on scratching posts.

Like dogs, many cats need to be groomed at least every three months. Their claws grow so long that they can get snagged on furniture or on you. Their fur gets matted and just plain dirty. The dead coat that they’ve shedded turns into a heavy blanket. 

What’s tricky about cats is that you can live with them for years and still not know ANY of this. The dirty, dead fur clumps onto the other fur. Over time the coat may look duller, but who really notices that? You start to think that having shedding fur all over the house is natural. You stop expecting your cat to smell good.

You think that your cat is relaxed. After all, she sleeps all day. That’s not just relaxation. That’s a boredom coma. Remember going to class after lunch, listening to a dull teacher drone on and on? That’s how your cat feels. BORED.

When you come home after a 12-hour day, your cat no longer greets you. Ah, you think, she is in her favorite hiding place. In fact, she’s most likely given up on you.  After years of no toys, no scratching post, no brushing, why on earth should she leap to attention when you come home?

Cats are more like dogs than we think.





Canine influenza can be transmitted to cats

File under “things I did not know.”
(That would be a bulging file weighing 5 gazillion pounds.)

Research from the wonderful Winn Feline Foundation

Canine influenza can be transmitted to cats
Jeoung HY, Lim SI, Shin BH, et al. A novel canine influenza H3N2 virus isolated from cats in an animal shelter. Vet Microbiol 2013;165:281-286.

Influenza viruses infect many species of animals, and are noted for their ability to cross species lines. A type of avian influenza virus known as H3N2 jumped to dogs, causing illness in 2007 in Korea. This report describes the isolation of this same canine influenza (H3N2) from an outbreak of respiratory disease in a Korean animal shelter.

An outbreak of respiratory disease occurred in the dog and cat populations at a shelter in Korea with a significant mortality rate. An influenza virus was isolated from this outbreak, including from cats at the shelter. Genetic analysis of the virus isolate found it to be very similar to the H3N2 isolated from dogs in 2007. The investigators speculate that the virus originated from the dog population at the shelter and spread to the cats housed in the same building. This demonstrates once again the ability of influenza viruses to transmit across species lines, and indicate that cats may play a role in the epidemiology of influenza viruses. [MK]

Love and dried-out cat food

I’ve noticed that some of the cat owners I talk to are confused. These are the owners who have one scratching post (purchased in 2003 and left in a corner, festooned with the original catnip from 2003), wet food turning to concrete on a plate, and a litter box that is best left undescribed. The last time they played with, or brushed, their cat was when the cat was a cute little kitten. Now their cat is ten years old, fat, and bored stiff.
Yet the owners rhapsodize about their love for their cat and express horror when I suggest bathing the cat.
If a child were dirty, fed dried out food, and given no stimulation of any kind, would you think that child was loved? A cat is not a child, and a child is not a cat, but still . . . some basic level of care is a good idea.