Pet Care Articles

May 13th, 2021
By Barbara J. King

You know your cats' cute habits, their distinct personalities and their likes and dislikes for food, play and affection.

But could you say whether your cats are right-pawed or left-pawed? That is, have you noticed which paw they use first to step over a raised object or to step down the stairs?

According to a new study published in the January issue of Animal Behaviour, cats show a version of handedness, the lateral bias that means 90 percent of us humans prefer using our right hand for tasks.

In the case of cats, or at least of the 44 cats in the study — which was conducted by Louise J. McDowell, Deborah L. Wells and Peter G. Hepper of the Animal Behaviour Centre in the psychology department at Queen's University in Belfast — there's individual preference for using one paw over the other. Unlike in humans, though, there's no overall population preference akin to our species' strong ...   Read more...
February 19th, 2021
By Jane A. Kelley

Cats are instinctively driven to hide suffering, so it can be hard to tell when they're in pain. Be on the lookout for these subtle signs of a sick cat.
Some of the most profoundly heartbreaking moments of my cat-caretaking life revolve around being unable to tell how much pain my beloved friends were suffering. Even though I know cats are very good at disguising their pain, I can’t help but guilt-trip myself sometimes over this health issue, because as a person who’s lived with cats almost all my life, I “should” be able to notice when something’s out of whack. A sick cat will show “symptoms,” although often they’re quite subtle. In hopes of helping you recognize signs of pain that eluded me, here are some tips that could signal a sick cat or a cat in pain.

1. A sick cat may exhibit changes in behavior

If a super-active cat starts spending most of her day sleeping, ...   Read more...
November 12th, 2020
By Jessica Brody

You are a smart and responsible pet owner. If you’ve had an animal for any length of time, you already know that you have to feed them the right food, provide a comfy sleeping spot, and keep them on a leash when you’re in public. But there are many other ways to be the best pet parent possible, and the tools to do it fit in the palm of your hand. We’re talking about apps, which can help you do everything from manage your pet’s health to have a little fun with their photos.

Before you start clicking through the app store, however, you may need to evaluate your technology. Having an internet connection with ultra-fast speeds is a must, especially if you'll be using multiple apps simultaneously. That way, you can stay on top of pet care without any hiccups.

June 1st, 2020
How to Prepare Your Cat for When You Go Back to Work

by Beth Ann Mayer

Right now, staying home is the safest thing we can do for ourselves and our cats. But someday, someway, many will be asked to go back into their offices.

Right now, staying home is the safest thing we can do for ourselves and our cats. But someday, someway, many will be asked to go back into their offices. Though some may be excited to get rid of cabin fever, cats may have gotten used to — and even enjoyed — this version of normal life.

“Our cats have adjusted their rhythm to ours,” says Jackson Galaxy, a cat behavior and wellness expert, host of Animal Planet’s “My Cat From Hell” and NY Times best-selling author. “Now, they are used to getting a certain amount of petting … [and] playing. How do we get them to get back to the reality of work?”

Jackson says parents can prepare their ...  
February 16th, 2020
Elkmont, Alabama -  It's not uncommon to see all different types of people attend a city sponsored event.

Consider a half marathon, for example. Chances are, people of different heights, weights, ages and levels of fitness may participate in the event.

But what about a dog?

That's exactly what happened during the Elkmont Half Marathon in Alabama.

Ludivane, a bloodhound, had been let out by her owner for a stroll in the yard when she wandered away and right onto the path of the half marathon.

Not one to give up a challenge, the tenacious hound trotted alongside other runners and ended up placing an impressive seventh.

At the time, the dog's owner didn't have the slightest idea of her pup’s profound achievements.

She wasn’t made aware until her friends starting seeing pictures of Ludivane at the finish line pop up on Facebook.

“This is Ludivane. ...  
December 12th, 2019
By Esther Inglis-Arkell

or quite some time, scientists had a working theory of why certain piebald (patchy black-and-white) mammals look the way they do. They assumed the colouring is a directed pattern that involves pigmented cells instigating a controlled expansion. Turns out, it's all just random. Scientists at the University of Bath and the University of Edinburgh have been taking a look at developing mice. Specifically, they have been looking at embryos of piebald mice to see the patterns that determine a mouse's final pigmentation. In a paper published in Nature Communications, the researchers just admitted that there don't seem to be any patterns.

This comes as a surprise to many people. Scientists always assumed that piebald animals — especially mice, cats and horses — got their colour patterns in utero. In developed skin, pigment is put out by melanocytes, a specialised skin cell. Embryonic animals have proto-melanocytes, called ...   Read more...
July 26th, 2019
by Hannah Rowland

Anyone who's watched a cat throwing up after munching on grass knows that our feline friends aren't natural plant eaters. So you might be surprised to discover that these carnivorous animals share some important genes that are more typically associated with herbivores. And this might help explain why cats aren't always easy to please when it comes to food.

New research suggests that cats possess the genes that protect vegetarian animals from ingesting poisonous plants by giving them the ability to taste bitter. Animals use their sense of taste to detect whether a potential food is nutritious or harmful. A sweet taste signals the presence of sugars, an important source of energy. A bitter taste, on the other hand, evolved as a defence mechanism against harmful toxins commonly found in plants and unripe fruits.

Evolution has repeatedly tweaked animals' taste buds to suit various dietary needs. Changes in an animal's diet can ...   Read more...