Monthly Archives: March 2017

Fat Cats Are Getting Even Fatter

Obese Orange Cat
© katrinaelena – Fotolia.com

Veterinary
Pet Insurance has some disturbing news for cat caretakers. For the
fourth year in a row, claims for obesity-related illnesses have gone up. VPI policyholders filed for more than $52 million
in claims for conditions and diseases that can be related to obesity in
both cats and dogs, up 7.3 percent from the previous year.

These were the top 10 obesity-related illnesses in cats.

  1. Bladder/urinary tract disease
  2. Chronic kidney disease
  3. Diabetes
  4. Liver disease
  5. Asthma
  6. Arthritis
  7. High blood pressure
  8.  Heart failure
  9. Gall bladder disorder
  10. Immobility of the spine.

Why
are our cats getting so fat? Their sedentary, strictly-indoor lifestyle
is partly to blame. But the main culprit is those high-carb,
all-dry-food diets.

If your cat needs to shed a few pounds, read up on the Catkins Diet. And if you want to help him kick the dry food habit, these suggestions should help.

Do Cat Colors Dictate Personality? Maybe…

Tortie cat © Eric Isselée - Fotolia.com

Are you thinking your tortie gives new meaning to the word “catitude?”
Is your calico a bit feisty when things aren’t going exactly her way? A
study by UC Davis veterinarian Elizabeth Stelow proves what a lot of us
have suspected all along. Torties and calicoes tend to be diva cats and
can be more than a little challenging to their human companions.

Stelow
and her research team surveyed 1200 cat parents online. They found that
calico and tortoiseshell cats are more likely to “hiss, chase, bite,
swat or scratch during interactions with humans.” Gray and white and
black and white cats seem to have an abundance of catitude, too, and are
likely to be a bit more aggressive than cats with other coat patterns.

The sweetest cats? An earlier study suggests those would be the orange males.

That
study, done by researchers at California State University and the New
College of Florida, set out to discover humans’ biases based on cat
colors. The online survey of nearly 200 people asked participants to
associate 10 personality traits (active, aloof, bold, calm, friendly,
intolerant, shy, stubborn, tolerant and trainable) with five cat colors
(orange, tricolored, white, black and bicolored).

Most of the
people surveyed thought torties and calicoes were aloof and intolerant.
White cats, too, were seen as aloof and shy but calm. Like orange cats,
bicolored cats ranked high for being friendly. And black cats?
Unfortunately, no trends emerged, although most people who know them
would say they’re affectionate and friendly.

Of course, the
caveat to all this research is that every cat is different. One of the
torties I live with can be a hissing, growling spitfire. The other is a
gentle soul who licks my hand at night until I fall asleep.

Stelow agrees you can’t judge a cat by its color.

“We
thought the findings were very interesting, and we would love other
researchers to take the baton and run with it, to look at the genetics
of why this may be happening,” she told the Seattle Times. “We’re not
suggesting that anyone avoid having these cats in their homes. Most of
them make lovely pets. It’s just information to help you understand what
you might be up against.” Maybe. But nothing could have prepared me for
what I was up against when I met my cute little spitfire, Ginger!