Archives for : September2015

Cat Breeds 101: The Savannah Cat

Savannah_Cat_portraitThe Savannah cat is a Serval and domestic hybrid, and one of the largest house cats, if you can call it that. Many people adopt Savannah cats for their large size, their exotic looks, and their dog-like temperament. The serval is a medium-sized african cat hailing from sub-saharan Africa, and mates with a domestic cat to produce the Savannah cat. The Savannah cat is revelled for having a temperament closer to that of a domestic cat but boasting the looks of the exotic serval.

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Dear Green Gato #16 – Kitty Dreams

What do kitties dream about when they take a little kitty snooze?

What do kitties dream about when they take a little kitty snooze?

Dear Green Gato,

I have a big boy tabby cat named Louis. Louis is huge on naps, just like most cats are. He naps in the morning, in the evening, and anytime in between. I’ve noticed that while he’s napping, he sometimes makes odd movements and twitches. His eyes will bat, his feet will twitch, and he will have little spasms all over his body. Sometimes his tongue ends up sticking out. Why does my cat twitch while he’s asleep? Is he dreaming? Is he okay?

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Calculating Your Cat’s Age

Portrait of bengal cat close-upMany people wonder how to tell a cat’s age, and since a cat can’t just up and tell you their birthday, this feat becomes a guessing game for many cat owners. Many times, veterinarians are able to take an educated guess at the age of a cat, but this isn’t necessarily always right. There are a few ways to predict the age of your cat, whether they’re a young kitten or an older cat. Here, we’re going to give you some tips and tricks to figure out the age of your cat, and understanding what you can expect from that age.

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5 Fun Ways To Exercise Your Cat

Having a cat as a pet is a low-maintenance job, only requiring a few routine practices to keep your furbaby happy and healthy. Between feeding, grooming, taking care of the litter box, and other small tasks that are required of a cat owner, many cat owners forget one of the most important things that they need to do; exercise their kitty! Cats are very close to their wild ancestors, and are therefore built to run, leap, and stalk every day. Did you know that the biggest health problem for domestic cats is obesity? Here, we’re going to discuss some easy and hassle-free ways to introduce more exercise into your feline’s day.

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Cat Breeds 101: The Persian

Young Persian cat sitting in front of white backgroundAh, the recognizable Persian cat; with their squishy faces, round heads, and fluffy bodies, the Persian is one of the most well-known cat breeds around. This cat is one of the most worldly breeds, with its popularity spanning from America to Eastern Asia. With any squish-faced animal, the Persian faces some serious health risks that go along with their specific facial structure. The term “Persian” actually refers to a group of breeds. Here, we’re going to learn all about Persian cats; from their history, to their breed profile, to their temperament, and more.

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Cat Breeds 101: The Sphynx

Sphynx kitten, 4 months old, portrait in front of white backgrouThe Sphynx cat is hard to miss- between their big eyes, their long tails, and “hairless” bodies, Sphynx cats can tend to create quite a stir. The Sphynx cat is a relatively newer breed that has exploded in popularity in the last fifty years. Their docile and silly nature will surely convince anyone put off by their odd looks that the Sphynx cat is one special breed. Here, we’re going to talk all about the wondrous Sphynx cat and all of their delightful qualities.

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Feeding Your Cat: The Basics

Cat With FoodThe appetite of a cat ranges greatly from feline-to-feline; you may have a voracious eater, or a picky kitty. Some cat owners feed their furbabies regularly throughout the day, while others only feed their cats when they ask for a meal. Some cats eat whatever’s placed in front of them, while others can leave food mountain and only eat what they need. Regardless of your cat’s appetite, it is important to feed them right. Here, we’re going to talk about what a proper diet looks like for a cat and how you can give your kitty the best diet possible.

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Dear Green Gato #15 – The Elusive Male Calico

Beautiful calico cat sitting in grass next to wild blackberriesDear Green Gato,

I have a question for you regarding the color of my cat. I have a calico named Porky. Porky is male, and I’ve been told that it is really rare to have a male calico. He is only a few months old, and I haven’t had him neutered yet. I’ve heard that male calicos could make a lot of money as a breeder cat. I know that there are many homeless cats out there and I would never want to contribute to that, but I also have heard that there are responsible breeders out there. Would breeding Porky be a good or profitable idea? How rare is it that he is a male calico?

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Dear Green Gato #14 – Baby Mama Drama

Cat nursing her kittensDear Green Gato,

Hello! I’m coming to you with an odd question. I just adopted a beautiful calico cat named Grenda from our local animal shelter a few weeks ago. I was told that Grenda was spayed, and allowed her to go outdoors once we got back to the house. Well, turns out that she hadn’t been spayed, as she came home pregnant within the first two weeks of being a member of our household. We live in the country, and have many friends who can always use a good barn cat, so we decided that it would be fine if she had the babies. The surprise, and the purpose of my writing to you, has to do with the appearance of Grenda’s five babies.

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Cat Breeds 101: The Ragdoll

Purebred Ragdoll CatIf you’ve ever met a Ragdoll cat or kitten, you’ll likely have noticed their adorable markings, their cute and playful temperament, and their patient way with people. Ragdolls are popular throughout the United Kingdom and the United States and are regularly shown in cat shows, in commercials, and on television. After learning all about the Ragdoll, you might just find yourself wanting to add one to your family!

Where do Ragdolls come from?

Ragdolls originated in the U.S. in the early 1960s. A white domestic longhaired Persian cat named Josephine mated with a male Birman cat, producing a kitten with point coloration. This was the first known kitten to have the Ragdoll look of a fluffy cat with blue eyes and dark spots on their ears, muzzle, and paws.

Ann Baker, an American breeder, purchased kittens from one of Josephine’s next litters, in the hopes that she would produce a new breed of cats. She began to breed these self-named “Ragdoll” kittens, trademarked the name, and set up her own registry called the International Ragdoll Cat Association. The breed was eventually accepted by most major U.S. cat registries, and stuck to its strict breed standards until 2005, when the trademark “Ragdoll” wasn’t renewed. To this day, around 45% of the genes in the ragdoll breed come from the original pair produced by Ann Baker, which is why so many are prone to genetic health problems.

What do they look like?

The look of a Ragdoll is very distinct. These cats are large and sturdy, as opposed to being slender and sleek. Adult females will range between 8-15lbs, while males weigh between 12-20lbs. The most noticeable trait that overcomes all Ragdolls is their striking blue eyes. These blue eyes come along with the breed’s point coloration. Point coloration refers to animals that have a light-colored torso with darker extremities. This means that the color comes in on the cat’s tail, ears, face, and paws.

Closeup Kitten FaceThe reason that these areas are darker-colored than the rest of the cat has to do with temperature. Point coloration is a form of albinism, meaning that the cat’s melanin production is different than that of most cats. The dark colors are the result of cooler areas on the cat. On that note, it is worthwhile to point out all the color variations that Ragdolls come in. They can be red, seal, chocolate, blue, lilac, cream, and tortoiseshell. The most recognizable colors of a ragdoll are white with dark brown color points.

What do they act like?

These cats aren’t called Ragdolls for nothing. They have a tendency to go limp when picked up, much like a ragdoll or a baby. Their docile-ness has been a key trait of the breed, going so far as to have certain breeders question whether or not the trait helps or harms the breed. They are so snuggly and trusting that some breeders fear that they may have lost the ability to detect danger or pain. However, as long as a Ragdoll is in good hands, there is simply no reason to stray away from this sweet breed.

If you have a Ragdoll, or more than one, you’ll notice that they will infamously flop all over what is around them. This could mean sleeping right on top of each other, or in other silly locations. This flopping puts them up at the top of the list to be a lap cat. They are intelligent and relaxed and ready to hang out in a calm environment. They enjoy playing and being playful, but their most famous personality traits are their dog-like loyalty and calmness.

What is their general health like?

Unfortunately, Ragdolls aren’t known for being the healthiest cat breed. This is due to inbreeding as an attempt to keep the breed going. Since the breed is relatively new and has so many distinct aspects to the look and behavior, as many as 40% of Ragdolls are inbred. This means that their parents were very close in relation; either stemming from the same litter or parents.

It is estimated that only 63% of Ragdolls live past the age of 10, which is a high early mortality rate for a cat. They are prone to Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, a painful heart disease that shows up in many felines. It is important for breeders to only breed parents that lack the gene so common in Ragdolls in order to ensure that it is not passed on.