Britain’s Cleverest Cats

Since the book titled ‘Test Your Cat: The Cat I.Q Test’ by E.M Bard became a bestseller on Amazon many cat owners have been eager to find out how intelligent their cat as are. Below are four examples of intelligent cats.

Pinky can open a can of treats

Carol Hack and her husband Dave live in Middleton, Cumbria with their moggie named Pinky. According to Carol, just a few weeks after receiving Pinky; two years ago, when she was just a kitten she realized that Pinky was unique. Carol has owned Somali cats for about 15 years and at one time she had eight of them simultaneously and so far she says Pinky is the smartest of them all.

Pinky uses her intelligence to get treats for herself. According to Carol, the first time she realized this was at night and the cat had managed to climb onto a 5ft high cabinet to get a can that contained treats. Upon reaching the can, the cat used its nose to pop open the lid.

Carol then decided to place some boxes on the can to see what would happen. Upon realizing there were boxes on the can, Pinky seemed to be thinking of how to go about the new challenge. After a few moments, she used her paws and nose to push the boxes aside then proceeded to pop open the can lid with her nose.

Carol then decided to get a new container which had a seal around the neck. This time around Pinky knocked over the can then used her nose and paws to knock it against the wall until the can opened. Carol has attested to carrying out some tests from the book by E.M. Bard titled ‘Test Your Cat: The Cat I.Q Test’ and Pinky passed with flying colours.

Honey plays hide and seek

Another unusual cat is Honey, who lives with Sophie Fletcher, her husband Mike and their two children Gabriel, 9, and Oliver, 7. Honey is Maine Coon, which is a breed known for being friendly as well as curious.

According to Sophie, Honey seems has always seemed intelligent, and she favour her right paw; a sign that she is aware of her body. Honey also likes to ‘miaow’ along when music is playing as well as pouncing on anything that moves. Sophie also says Honey likes playing games. The first game they played was ‘fetch’, however, the game somehow evolved into ‘hide and seek’.

When someone hides or conceals themselves behind a door, curtain or under the bed then call out “Honey…hide and seek!” the cat instantly understands the game is on. Honey then proceeds to search every room in the house to find them. Once she finds them, she pauses for a moment before jumping in the air and running off to find her hiding spot for the second leg of the game.

As a result, Gabriel and Oliver’s friends are impressed by Honey to the point they realize they have never met such a cat before.

Kuffa knows how to knock on a door

Hayley Toyne and her husband Andy live in Lincoln with their two daughters Poppy and Scarlet as well as their 10-year-old moggie Kuffa. According to Hayley, Kuffa has to be fed on the porch because their dog, Eddie has a tendency of stealing her food. The moment Kuffa is done feeding she knocks on the door almost as well as human. She does so by standing on her hind legs and using the metallic-door-knocker to indicate she wants to come back inside.

Hayley says when there are visitors over, she asks them to open the door and to their surprise they find Kuffa standing there. Kuffa is also time conscious. She knows she is fed three times a day at 8:00 am, 5:00 pm and 10:00 pm. When Hayley gets up at feeding times, the cat follows her expectantly into the kitchen. However, if the time isn’t a feeding time the Kuffa barely moves a muscle.

Milly Moos does schools runs every day

Victoria Dutton and her husband Simon live in Sandy, Bedfordshire, with their two children William and Amber as well as a tortoiseshell and Persian cat crossbreed moggie named Milly Moos.

Milly is eight years old and according to Victoria, the cat used to keep herself until the moment Victoria was pregnant with William. During the time, the cat used to sleep net to her with her paws on her baby bump. When William was born the cat became more attached to him as she would sneak in his Moses-basket and nap next to him.

On Williams first day of school, Milly was intently watching him as he got prepared. As Victoria and William left for school, Milly followed them for half a mile to William’s new school. According to Victoria, Milly had never followed them before anywhere.

Thinking it was a one-time occurrence when it was time to pick William from school at midday, Milly followed Victoria all the way to school. Since then; eighteen months ago, the cat has made went to and from the school run every single day without missing.

Meet the cat enthusiast with over 1,000 cats!

Lynea Lattanzio sold her car and her wedding ring to look after feral cats, of which she has a thousand of them. Currently she is living in a trailer on the grounds of her property simply to lend her cats some more space- the five bedroom house she owns is actually for the cats to roam about. She has got a six acre property and a 4200 square foot house to allow those cats to run freely. The Cat house on the Kings, which she calls it now, is one of the California’s largest no-cage and no-kill sanctuary for the abandoned, untamed and homeless cats.

She started the process of fostering cats back in 1992 and had 96 six cats by the end of the same year. Her love and care for those cats helped her re-home and resettle all of them successfully. After her decision to continue to foster cats and look after them, she went a step ahead and became a veterinary technician herself, which not only helped her to look after them in a more befitting manner but also reduced the medical cost for the treatment of the cats. The number of fostered cats kept growing as her fascination with them was multiplied over some period of time. She is sixty seven years old now and has lived with over 28, 000 cats over the period of 24 years and happily calls herself the most eccentric cat-lady that has ever existed.

When she bought that 4200 square foot house a few years back she was single and had no kids, but, perhaps, she knew the way she was going to use the house: to turn it into a heaven for abandoned, stray cats. When she started taking in cats, her intention, she said, was not to take more than a thousand cats in her home, but with the passage of times things happened and she just kept on stretching the limit and the number is well over a thousand now. And even in her trailer, which she swore will not have any cats, there are 20 kittens and four puppies now. Her justification for altering and, according to her, improving her decision was: “You can take the woman out of the shelter but you can’t take the shelter out of the woman.”

Well, it took Lynea some great sacrifice and passion to turn her home into a cat-sanctuary. When she started the process of transformation she had barely any external financial aid, and in times of crisis, had to sell her car and wedding ring as well. For nearly seven years she kept the endeavor alive by selling out such precious things, whenever needed. Now, Lynea and her team of volunteers she deservedly attracted, take care of 800 adult cats and 300 small kittens. Not only the cats get food and shelter, they are also provided with medical care in case of serious illness. The sanctuary has got an ICU of itself and there is a vet who makes weekly visits and examines the cats for any signs of illness etc.

Her love for cats however, does not make her too possessive about them, she has launched an adoption procedure for those cats and does not intend to keep them in the sanctuary forever. At the moment she has got 500 cats which are prepared and ready for adoption and anyone who is interested in adopting them can go Lynea’s website and fill the form for adoption. She says that she loves cats because they are beautiful and graceful but she does not want to keep them bound to her sanctuary. The only purpose of her sanctuary is to take care of those cats which are left unattended and homeless and help them resettle. Whoever thinks they can adopt some cats has to follow a simple procedure of adoption in order to own one of these cats

Do cats like music?

If you are a pet owner, the chances are good that, at some point or another, you have played music around your animal. Although it is quite obvious when a dog likes or dislikes something, the cat is a much more subtle animal, capable of expressing its emotional framework with an array of behaviours and mannerisms that are infinitely more nuanced that dogs. With that in mind, it is, perhaps, more difficult to understand when your actions are either pleasing or displeasing the animal in your life.

Interest in the types of music that animals prefer has been steadily growing over the past few years, thanks in large part to the efforts of inquisitive pioneers such as David Teie, a classically trained musician who has begun to seek out supporters for his newest initiative, a recording project designed exclusively for cats.

Given the fact that cats devote 25% of their brains to auditory sensations, Teie believes it is definitely worth the effort to provide cats with tunes that they will enjoy. The project began when, in 2008, an article published by the Washington Post caught his attention. In it, a reporter had stated that researchers had used two songs recorded by Teie as part of a study in which they were played for cats. According to the results obtained by the scientists, 77% of the cats who were exposed to Teie’s music reacted in a positive manner.

Although it might simply be flattering enough for an individual to know that animals enjoy their music, Teie sought to understand exactly why this reaction may have occurred. Following his research, he concluded that, much like humans, animals respond later in life to many of the sounds they hear while in the womb. Given the fact that monkeys often hear high pitched voices while in the womb, Teie hypothesised that they would enjoy music which figure vocal-like, high-pitched lines. His hypothesis was proven correct.

With cats, Teie observed that some of the earliest sounds these animals are exposed to is the sound of birds chirping and their mothers purring. Because of this, Teie sought to create music that had a natural, relaxing atmosphere. If this was the environmental ambience that cats were exposed to prior to birth, Teie postulated, than this must also be the sound world they experience during listening in order to ensure maximum enjoyment. In order to ensure that the sounds are as accurate as possible, Teie has had to stretch his creative imagination. In order to mimic the sound of a cat purring, for example, Teie wrote harmonically dense lines for harp which create audible sonic vibrations, much like the physical feeling of a cat purring.

With this idea in mind, the idea of writing music for animals may not seem so far fetched after all. If we operate under the assumption that scientific research can help shed light on even the strangest questions we may ask ourselves, then it should come as no surprise that Teie has been able to more accurately understand exactly what kind of music his cat, as well as other cats at large, may enjoy. Therefore, an album devoted to music written specifically for cats isn’t such a radical idea. In fact, it seems reasonable to assume that Teie could devote his entire artistic career to developing albums for any number of animals, assuming he has the ability to properly research their earliest sonic experiences.

According to Teie, the album devoted specifically to pets will likely be made available at some point this year. Those who are interested in learning more about the project and possible contributing financially to the endeavour can do so at Teie’s website. Stay tuned for more updates on this altogether fascinating musical endeavour

Why do cats need scratching posts?

07-220ASLGShredded carpet, scratch marks on the leather sofa, claw marks down the wallpaper. As a cat owner, the chances are you have encountered at least one of these situations in the past. Whilst this probably drives you crazy, the last thing you want to do is to deter your cat from scratching. The important thing is to understand  why your cat scratches and what you can do to encourage them to use an appropriate scratching outlet such as a scratching post.

Scratching is second nature to cats and is an essential part of everyday life. It serves a number of purposes that we as humans may not be aware of. Primarily, cats scratch to condition their claws. Scratching helps remove the outer sheath of the claw to expose the new sharper claw. In addition to this cats also scratch as a form of exercise, stress relief and as a way of marking out their territory.

Now you have a brief insight into why cats scratch, what can you do to make sure they don’t scratch your furniture? The simple solution is to get a scratching post or a similar scratching product. When choosing a scratching post make sure it is tall enough and strong enough for your cat to be able to stretch out and have a good scratch without it toppling over. This is where cat towers and climbers become very useful! If your cat has a particular liking for carpet or wallpaper then a scratch pad maybe the solution for you as they can be placed on the floor or securely attached to a wall.

Colorado
If you purchase a scratching post make sure you think carefully about where you put it. Keep the post in an area where your cat spends a lot of time as when they feel like a scratch they usually head for the nearest object. If they prefer to scratch a particular item of furniture or a certain area of wallpaper, then place the post in this area. It is advisable to buy multiple posts if your cat has several preferred scratching locations.
If your cat seems disinterested then try and encourage them to check it out by using catnip or by placing treats nearby.

What exactly is catnip?

If you are a cat owner, you know well enough the unique effect this particular product has on your animals. Catnip has proven to be an alluring, near irresistible attractor for cats, and yet pet owners often have no idea what this mysterious, potent concoction actually is! On an equally important note, the question must also be asked: why do cats enjoy catnip as much as they do? Here are a few interesting research notes which may be prove to be helpful in this investigation.

The first inquiries into the quasi-magical powers of catnip began with the Etruscans, who noticed that a particular weed, Nepeta Cataria, was capable of a number of surprising results, including the treatment of various skin ailments, colds and fevers. Soon enough, individuals began to notice that Nepeta Cataria also stimulated their domestic cats in a very unique fashion.

Nepeta Cataria, also known as catnip, can be found across southern and eastern Europe, as well as the Middle East, central Asia, and certain locations in China. Its relative abundance have allowed this product to be market across the world at large. On a fundamental level, the chief explanation as to why catnip serves as such a powerful stimulant for cats is due to the fact that the weed emits a strong scent that closely mirrors that of cat’s sex pheromones Because of this, cats who come across catnip are often completely overtaken by its presence. Pet owners who provide their cats with catnip should not be surprised if their pets suddenly seem overtly ‘physical’ with the item in question. Common behaviours including rubbing against the catnip-laden item or licking/chewing it. The effects of catnip often last for approximately 20 minutes. Therefore, catnip is often considered to have a ‘short-term’ effect on animals that have been exposed to it.

Although Nepeta Cataria is now commonly referred to as “Catnip”, at one time this weed was also labelled “Cat mint” due in large part to the fact that many individuals consider the smell of this plant a close match to mint.

Pet owners should take note, however, that catnip can be used in excess. Cats who have been exposed to excessive levels of catnip may appear confused, groggy or begin uncontrollably drooling. Although these effects are largely temporary, those who do notice these behaviours in their animals are advised to reduce the presence of catnip in their residence in order to ensure that their animals behaves normally in the future.

Catnip has not always been solely a luxury for animals. In fact, it was not uncommon for catnip to be incorporated into various condiments throughout European kitchens many years ago. Humans, too, enjoyed the unique aroma of this weed. Catnip has also been found to be a natural repellant against various common pests, including mosquitos, termites, fleas and cockroaches, among others.

Ultimately, catnip should be considered a fun diversion for your pets. There is little to no harm that this weed can cause your animals, and should therefore be used at the discretion of the pet owner. Those who may be tempted to worry that their cat has been overexposed to catnip can take comfort in the fact that no lasting health effects have been observed in animals that have been repeatedly exposed to catnip.

As an interesting side note, it is also worth mentioning that catnip is considering an excellent bee-foraging plant and is, therefore, often incorporated into public gardens and other large open spaces. With all of these ideas in mind, it seems reasonable to declare that the benefits of catnip far outweigh any critiques some may have of this naturally occurring “guilty pleasure” for cats. We hope your pets enjoy it!

Sleep, sleep and more sleep!

Cats sleep on average 16 hours a day!
Cats sleep on average 16 hours a day!

Cat owners will not be surprised to hear that cats enjoy a good sleep but did you realise that on average cats sleep a staggering 16 hours a day? That equates to spending two thirds of their lifetime asleep! The question is why do they sleep for so long?

One of the main reasons is to conserve energy. It is sometimes easy to forget that cats are essentially predators and therefore their natural instinct is to go out hunting. This usually takes place around dusk and dawn when their prey is likely to be most active. The hunting process requires a lot of energy, which explains why cats spend a lot of their day sleeping before coming alive at night.

It will also come as no surprise to hear that like us humans, cats do not appreciate cold or wet weather. For this reason, they may often retreat inside for a nap when adverse weather arrives.

On the whole cats are very sociable animals and appreciate company, so when this is not available, such as during the day when you’re at work, they often get bored and pass the time by having a snooze. Cats are also more likely to have a nap after a meal, after exercise or if they find a nice warm spot to curl up in, such as our laps!

As designers of cat beds we take great interest in where cats sleep. The truth is, cats very rarely stick to one sleeping spot, and wherever they choose it may not always be the lovely new bed that you have recently purchased for them!! They are often just as happy sleeping on the sofa, the radiator, your bed, your lap or even in a cardboard box!

 

Cat facts!

The world of cats is full of fascinating facts and here are just a few to amaze you!

Did you know……

  1. When cats grimace, they are usually “taste-scenting.” They have an extra organ that, with some breathing control, allows the cats to taste-sense the air.
  2. The world’s largest cat measured 48.5 inches long.
  3. A cat’s purr may be a form of self-healing, as it can be a sign of nervousness as well as contentment.
  4. The world’s richest cat is worth $13 million after his human passed away and left her fortune to him.
  5. Cats are often lactose intolerant.
  6. A cat’s brain is 90% similar to a human’s , which is more similar than to a dog’s.
  7. Cats have a longer-term memory than dogs, especially when they learn by actually doing rather than simply seeing.
  8. Cats have 1,000 times more data storage than an iPad.
  9. Cats only sweat through their foot pads.
  10. Cats have over 20 muscles that control their ears.

Can cats live without humans?

With the bond between cats and humans lasting through thousands of years, it is no wonder that our furry feline friends have become the most popular pet throughout Europe and the US. However, recent studies have shown that unlike dogs, cats do not actually need humans to feel safe or even to survive. Even domesticated cats which live with us from birth and have no experience in the wild feel very independent in life and can look after themselves without looking to their human companions for help.

Self-Reliance in Cats

Unlike dogs that are pack animals, studies have shown that cats do not pine for their owners or suffer from anxiety when left alone. Naturally living alone, cats are not used to depending on anyone else. A study by animal behaviour experts at the University of Lincoln shows that cats prefer to look after themselves and will feel safe and secure even when separated from their owner. This however does not mean that cats do not love their owners, as many have the freedom to leave whenever they want. The simple fact that they stay in your home at all is a choice because they want to, even though they are independent animals.

Cats have become the most popular pet mostly due to their independence. For people that work long hours or travel often, they are the ideal pet as they do not need constant care and attention. Cats do recognise their owners with feelings for them and a strong bond, but the studies have shown that cats do not need their owners to feel secure, unlike dogs that need their owners to feel safe. A cat will attach itself to a home and owners, but will not rely on them completely.

Behaviour with Humans

In other studies, animal behaviour specialists have concluded that cats react very differently with humans compared to the way dogs do. When playing or interacting with humans, dogs change their attitudes and behaviours compared to when they are playing with other dogs. Cats however, act very much the same. Although they know we are different, and certainly much larger, they do not act any different as they would when socialising with another cat. Examples of this are rubbing their bodies against us, keeping their tail in the air, kneading their feet and grooming next to us. This proves that cats do not see us particularly dissimilar to other cats. Even in a wild environment cats do not look to others for help or protection, they are generally lone animals, so humans are therefore no different.

When feeling anxious, a cat will find a safer place such as under the bed or on top of a tree to hide, rather than looking for their owner for protection. There is no dependence on the owner so cats just feel like they need to look out for themselves. Stray cats all over the world live in a range of environments and manage to live just fine. The domesticated cats of today could still have this freedom if they wanted it, but they prefer to stay in a comfortable, happy home as they have a bond with their owner and life is much easier in a warm, safe place with constant food and cuddles.

If it came down to the question of whether cats actually need their owners to survive, the answer would most probably be no. Cats have before and do now, live without humans. Even the most spoiled felines could still live without us. They have much stronger souls than dogs and can carry on living life alone or alongside humans. Obviously life with humans is much easier and more enjoyable for them, but if they had to survive without us they could. Cats do not need stroking all day, bowls of milk, constant food and brushing; it is just a luxury that they have become accustomed to. In reality, who would say no to that.

What are the struggles that cat owners face?

Cats are wonderful pets however they are known for making their owners life difficult at times!

One of the many things that cat owners often struggle with is not being able to find the cat in the house because it has found another hidden spot to sleep at. This is actually from personal experience, as I can recall having to search for the cat for over half an hour after realising it has found its way inside a cupboard shelf and was sleeping between a two layers of clothes!

Another feature of cats is their attraction to small objects. They tend to find pieces of paper, screws, decorations, rubbers and other suitable-sized items which they like carrying around the house and sometimes stopping to play with it a bit, leaving a range of unwanted things lying around the house.

Then there is the well-being of your sofa….. You can buy various accessories for the cat to scratch, but it will completely ignore those and go for the precious furniture and clothes to ruin. This leads to the idea that cats basically love replacing the things that are theirs with those they are banned from. Slightly human-like to say the least.

And that’s not all. A cat is one of the hardest animals to give water to. You can buy loads of expensive bowls for the cat to drink from, but it will completely ignore those and drink from places like taps, aquariums, dog bowls, vases and the toilet of course.

If you own a cat you soon begin to realise that it is not the owner who tells the cat what to do, but it is the cat that gets in charge. You can sit at your desk doing some work, but if your cat gets bored of it, it might even decide to take a nap on the book or laptop in front of you. Plastic bags are basically adored by cats in any shape and form. They play inside them, poke them around, get stuck in the handle and of course make beloved holes on them with their claws.

Beyond all these lovely features of cats, they are very sweet animals that make our lives better and eventually we realise that all these irritating habits are actually cute and acceptable. At the end of the day life wouldn’t be the same without a cat!