Archives for : furbaby

Cat Breeds 101: The Russian Blue

The striking golden eyes and silky grey coat of a Russian Blue is striking for any cat lover

The striking golden eyes and silky grey coat of a Russian Blue is striking for any cat lover

The Russian Blue is a delightful cat that is most notable for having a striking dark grey, or blue, coat. Russian Blues are one of the oldest recorded breeds of cats, first making an appearance in the 1860s. They are smart, yet shy, and love to hunt mice and other rodents. Here, we’re going to talk about everything there is to know about this delightful breed.

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The Top 5 Cat Breeds For Kids

cat kitten tabby kids children family friendly

Cats and children can get along famously with the right guidance

When picking out a new furry friend, it is important to make the right choice for your household. For some, the most important thing is choosing a cat that gets along with dogs; for others, a cat that is low maintenance is of utmost importance. However, if you’ve got a household with children in it, you’ll want to bring home a kitty that will do well with your children. Cats can be great companions for children of any age.

Besides their breed, there are certainly other factors that go into a cat’s willingness to tolerate and get along with children. Some of the most important factors of a cat’s behavior include:

Age: A cat’s temperament and behavior changes over time along with their age. A kitten may have no idea how to peacefully interact with adults and children alike. Many kittens can’t distinguish between play and real fighting and can end up biting or scratching harder than they intended to. On the other end, elderly cats often become senile and may behave in a similarly inappropriate manner.
Background history: For any animal, early exposure to humans is key when it comes to socialization. If you are adopting an adult cat, you may be able to get information on their background and be able to select a cat that is notable for getting along with children. Most cats can learn trust and tolerance over time, but the earlier and more exposure that any given cat has had with children, the more likely they’ll be able to get along. If you’re getting a kitten, it is important to socialize them early on and teach them desirable behaviors.
Health: One of the most common symptoms of a cat with a health problem is a change in their behavior; usually negative. If a cat has a health problem that is causing them pain, they will likely have a shorter temper and therefore be less tolerant of children and playtime.

As you can see, many factors go into a cat’s willingness to get along with children, and you can’t bank on one breed being guaranteed to get along with children. However, certain breeds have been known over time to be extra calm, outgoing, and tolerant of children. The following breeds are our suggestions for cat-friendly felines:

Maine Coon: The Maine Coon is the largest housecat in the world. These gentle giants are known to be calm, patient, and easygoing. They’ll still play and entertain your household, but would rather take a nap and hang out than explore most days. Maine Coons have long, fluffy fur and require brushing so that their hair doesn’t become matted, adding a bit more responsibility than a short-haired cat. However, this responsibility could be a great lesson for a child.

American Shorthair: American Shorthairs are the most common kind of cat found in the U.S. These cats’ personalities can vary greatly, but a well-adapted and socialized American Shorthair would be a great cat for a family. They come in every color that a cat can be, giving you lots of options for aesthetics. American Shorthairs are known to be energetic and outgoing,

Ragdoll: Ragdolls are not only adorable, but kind and silly. They get their name from the breed’s peculiar habit of flopping in a ragdoll-like manner when picked up. This is a great trait for a cat to carry, especially in a family with children who will most likely want to pick the cat up. Their ragdoll nature makes them less fussy and less likely to use their claws or teeth to get out of a situation.

Persian: Persian cats like to be the life of the party and the center of attention, which could work out well for a family with playful children. Their squishy faces and fluffy tails are endlessly entertaining to look at, and they only require a medium amount of maintenance depending on the length of their hair. Persians are usually very tolerant in nature, and would be great with kids.

Abyssinian: One reason an Abyssinian would be a great cat for a household with children is their brave nature and outgoing personality. Abyssinians are known to thrive in family situations, as they enjoy the constant energy and stimulation. They may not be lap cats, but they’re great for endless entertainment and lots of playtime.

cat kids children orange tabby

This kitty appears to be very child-friendly!

Regardless of what breed you decide to go with, kids need to know how to interact with a cat if they’re going to try to befriend one. No matter how well-socialized your cat is, or how much they’ve enjoyed kids in the past, it is important to teach your kids how to behave appropriately with a furry friend. Even the nicest cat can snap when being tickled too hard or having their tail pulled. The following are some tips to teach your children in order to keep the peace between them and your cats:

Never pull a cat’s tail, paws, ears, or other extremities: This one may seem obvious, but for a child who isn’t familiar with felines, this is rule number one.
Always let a cat sniff you when first greeting: Whether you’re greeting a cat that you’ve known for years, or meeting a new one, you should always let a cat sniff you upon first greeting. This way, you can get a sense of the cat’s mood and let them set the tone for affection.
If a cat seems agitated or annoyed, don’t push it: Sometimes it is hard to explain to kids why a cat wouldn’t want to play with them, but once they learn to be patient and let the cat come to them, the relationship can begin to form.
Be patient when meeting a new cat: Similar to leaving an agitated cat alone, it’s important to be calm when meeting a new kitty. Some cats are more outgoing than others, and a shy cat needs time to prepare to meet a stranger.
Pet the kitty shoulders to tail: For children (and adults) who aren’t familiar with cats, a simple first reaction would be to pet a cat’s soft underbelly. Unfortunately, this is the easiest way to have a bad interaction with a cat, since 90% of cats will bite or claw when their tummies are touched, even if they’re exposing them. Teaching a child to pet from the cat’s shoulders and along the back to the tail will help them get along better and quicker.
Be careful with picking a cat up: Picking a cat up requires a level of trust that takes time between a cat and a person. Help your child read the body language of your cat and let them know when your cat might let you pick them up, or if your cat is the type that never wants to be handled.

Teaching your child these rules and helping them understand kitty’s body language will result in a more peaceful home, and help protect your child against harmful bites and scratches. Cats are only barely domesticated and will always revert back to their feline ways if they’re pushed too far. When introducing a new cat into your home, you should monitor the cat and small children together at all times for the first few months. Cats can be unpredictable, and it is hard to tell if they’ll get along with children right off the bat.

As long as you keep the peace and monitor your children’s behavior with your cat and your cat’s behavior in general, you can have a happy and harmonious home. Make sure to check out our articles on how to introduce cats to each other, and how to introduce cats and dogs as well.

Do you have a cat and child that get along famously? Leave your story in the comments!

Indoor vs. Outdoor: The Facts

cat tabby folded ears window

Outside or inside?

Many people believe that it is best to allow their cats to live like their ancestors; out in the wild, able to run around and roam freely. Well, many of these owners may think twice when they hear that outdoor cats live on average more than ten years less than their indoor counterparts. Although it may be debated whether cats are domesticated or not, the common housecat will certainly live a longer life if kept indoors. Here, we’re going to talk about all the factors that go into deciding if you want your cat to be indoors or outdoors, and how you can best equip either lifestyle choice.

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Everything You Wanted To Know About Polydactyl Cats

polydactyl cat tabby

As you can see, this polydactyl tabby has a few extra fingers

Polydactyl cats, otherwise known affectionately as Hemingway cats, have been a source of wonder for many cat owners for years now. The term polydactyl comes from the greek words polys, meaning “many”, and daktylos, meaning “finger”. Polydactyl cats can show up in almost any litter and are just as beautiful and agile as their average-number of fingers siblings. Here, we’re going to delve into the truth about polydactyl cats and the wonder of their genetic mutation.

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Cat Breeds 101: The Cornish Rex

Cornish RexCornish Rex hail from Cornwall, Britain, and are an easily recognizable breed of housecat. They are unique for their lack of guard hairs, presenting a fine and short curly coat.
Their coats may be one of the softest of any cat breed. Cornish Rex are built to be indoor cats, especially since their fine coats escape their little bodies very quickly. Here, we’re going to dive into the great breed that is the Cornish Rex and learn all about their history, behavior, looks, and health.

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Cat Breeds 101: The Abyssinian

This Abyssinian has the breed's signature almond-shaped eyes, big pointy ears, and "ticked" coat pattern

This Abyssinian has the breed’s signature almond-shaped eyes, big pointy ears, and “ticked” coat pattern

The Abyssinian is a popular medium-sized breed of house cat that has a striking and unique “ticked” coat that gives them such notoriety in the cat breed world. Each hair on the Abyssinian’s fine coat is banded with different colors, giving them a look that is instantly recognizable and aesthetically pleasing. The Abyssinian breed is an old one, originating near the Egyptian coast over one hundred years ago. The name Abyssinian comes from the cat’s origins hailing from the area now known as Ethiopia.

Where do Abyssinians come from?

The Abyssinian breed is one of the oldest cat breeds in history, first dating back to the late 1800s. The breed was developed in Great Britain, back when British soldiers began to bring the exotic kittens back to the E.U. from North Africa in the late 19th century. Genetic research says that the breed officially originated in Egypt and near the Indian Ocean Coast. Today’s Abyssinians derived from Alexandria, a city in Egypt, by a British soldier in 1868. In the late 1930s, Abyssinians were exported from Great Britain to the U.S. to form the American breeding program.

What do Abyssinians look like?

Notice the slender tail and legs of this purebred Abyssinian

Notice the slender tail and legs of this purebred Abyssinian

The Abyssinian is a slim, medium-sized cat. Their heads are wedge-shaped, with the nose and chin forming a straight line when viewed from the side. Their ears are large and pointy, complimented by their large almond-shaped eyes that come in gold, green, hazel, and copper. Their legs are long and skinny, with small paws and a comparatively long tail that becomes skinnier as it goes on. The Abyssinian should weigh between 6-10lbs.

Abyssinians are born with dark coats that lighten over the first few months of their life. Their coats are short and fine, yet dense and full. One of the most notable traits of the Abyssinian is the pattern of their coat; referred to as “ticked” or “agouti” pattern. This can be described as each hair having bands of color, creating a complex fur pattern. The ridge of their spine, tail, the back of the legs, and paw pads are typically darker in color. You’ll find the typical tabby “M” pattern on their foreheads in many cases.

The standard color of an Abyssinian is a warm red/brown with black ticking. They can also be silver, blue, chocolate, and lilac. This special pattern of their ticked coats is due to a dominant mutated gene called Ta. The genome was first published based on an Abyssinian named Cinnamon. There are other colors that have either been observed or are in development, including a “torbie” pattern; this includes the ticked pattern on the hairs, but possesses the tortoiseshell pattern beneath the fur.

What do Abyssinians act like?

Abyssinians are known to be smart, extroverted in the right settings, and very playful. They are so play-oriented that Abyssinians are known to become depressed without the appropriate amount of attention and care. They are quiet and not huge on meowing, which can be a pleasant attribute for quieter homes.

As shown with these kittens, Abyssinians can come in a variety of colors, even in one litter

As shown with these kittens, Abyssinians can come in a variety of colors, even in one litter

The breed is great with strangers and family in the right setting, but tend to become anxious and uncomfortable outside of their homes. This provides a challenge for breeders wishing to show the cats. They may not be lap cats, but they certainly are loyal and loving. The Abyssinian loves to perch up high, and an extra tall cat tree would be a great addition for any Aby-owner. They are intelligent and energetic and tend to sleep less than your average cat, craving attention and action over a cat nap most days.

What is the Abyssinian’s health like?

The Abyssinian has a few health problems that come up regularly within the breed. One concern is gingivitis. Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease, which can be very serious and costly to fix. Gingivitis refers to the swelling of the gums, and is usually caused by plaque. Having an Abyssinian as a pet will require a bit more maintenance due to this ailment; you’ll need to regularly brush their teeth and take them to the veterinarian for regular oral health checkups.

THe breed is also prone to familial renal amyloidosis, a kidney disorder. They are also prone to blindness and patellar luxation. Progressive retinal atrophy is a gene mutation that causes blindness which comes up often in the Abyssinian breed. Another health problem that often occurs in Abyssinians is Pyruvate Kinase deficiency, which impairs the red blood cells ability to metabolize and can cause anemia or other blood-related problems. This can be tested for, and a responsible breeder will be open and upfront about the prevalence of the disease in their breed line.

Abyssinians are a smart and brave breed, good for homes with children and other pets. Their lack of fearfulness will keep them from hiding, and their curiosity will allow them to bond with the other members of your household. If you are interested in adding an Abyssinian to your family, be prepared for an energetic and lovable sidekick that requires a bit more maintenance than your average feline. You may have to brush your Aby’s teeth and give them baths occasionally, but the benefits certainly outweigh the negatives! Look for a responsible breeder in your area, or keep an eye out at your local animal shelter. You never know; an Abyssinian may just come your way!

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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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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What To Do With Your Cat While You’re Out Of Town

Dark-grey cat is looking at the rain through the windowCats are a low-maintenance pet that requires only a minor amount of responsibilities. The furry creatures can make do on their own for long hours and won’t fault you for it once you finally come home. Many cat owners wonder how long a cat could be by himself, and how to handle going out of town. Depending on the length of your trip, you may need to enlist in some services to make sure that your kitty is well-fed and getting the attention that they crave while you’re away.

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Why Are Cats So Cute?

Cute gray kitten on carpet on floor at homeThe question at hand may sound silly, but there must be a reason why we find cats so dang cute. Why do cats populate such a large percentage of the internet? Why do we take these feral, fur-covered, fang and claw-wielding creatures into our homes? To understand why we find cats so cute, there are a few factors that we must examine.

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