Cat Trivia

[Record Breaking Cats and Other Fun Feline Trivia]

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Written by Ioana Busuioc, September 2018

Cats sleep for 70% of their lives, or approximately 12-16 hours a day, which is something we all might find ourselves wishing for as the days get shorter and the air gets colder! Much like us humans, they also dream and can also snore.

They can’t taste sweetness, but they do have something called “taste-scenting”. Though they have few taste receptors on their tongue, they do have a heightened sense of smell which acts as a stimulant for hunger. As a matter of fact, cats have 200 million scent receptors in their nasal cavity! Another fun nasal fact: cat nose prints are as unique as our thumb prints, as no two cats’ nose prints are the same. In addition to their olfactory quirks and contrary to popular beliefs, most cats are actually lactose intolerant, and milk can actually cause them serious health problems.

When it comes to communication, cats have a natural vocal range that is inaudible to us, but some research shows that they have evolved their communication to certain meows that are only meant for making their feelings and desires known to us humans! Cats are extremely talkative animals and can make over 100 vocal sounds, which is no small feat when considering dogs only make 10! What’s even more impressive? According to a Buzzfeed article, they purr at the same frequency as an idling diesel engine! Cats are also smart enough to know you are calling out to them, but simply choose to ignore you (as a cat owner, I can attest to this).

Some interesting cat-related records? Creme Puff was a domestic cat from Texas who is the oldest cat ever recorded at 3 days past her 38th birthday. Some other super-seniors include Rubble, a 30 year old UK kitty, the late Scooter, another Texan feline, and Tiffany Two, a Californian tortie who lived to be 27. In 2012, an Italian heiress passed away and left her beloved cat Tommaso all $13 million dollars of her fortune, making him the world’s richest cat. Previously, a UK man named Ben Rea left his $12.5 million fortune to Blackie, the last surviving of the 15 cats he shared his mansion with. According to the Guinness World Records book, the heaviest cat title went to an Australian cat named Himmy  who weighed a whopping 46lbs and 15 oz and had to be transported in a wheelbarrow (thankfully this category was discontinued to deter individuals from overfeeding their pets – an overweight cat is NOT a healthy cat!). Whoever said you can’t teach a cat tricks? An Aussie kitty has broken records by performing 24 tricks in one minute. Talk about commitment!

Just for fun – the most expensive wedding for two pets was between Phet and Ploy, two cats that got married in 1996. As per the Guinness World Book of records, Phet, the groom, arrived to the ceremony by helicopter, and Ploy, his bride, arrived by Rolls-Royce.

Some famous individuals who love cats? Ernest Hemingway, who loved polydactyl cats so much so that they are often referred to as “Hemingway cats”. Abraham Lincoln kept four cats in the White House, and when his wife Mary Todd Lincoln was asked if her husband had a hobby, she simply replied with: “Cats”. When the former president found out that the mother of three kittens he found was dead, he made sure they were taken care of and found good homes for them. Isaac Newton famously known for discoveries such as the laws of gravity, calculus and the reflecting telescope, is also responsible for the invention of the cat door. Having noticed that his cats would disrupt his studies by wanting in and out (not much has changed since then!), he decided to cut two holes in the door. Other famous cat lovers include Pablo Picasso, Mark Twain, Florence Nightingale, and Marie Antoinette.

Lastly, to quote Victor Hugo, famous French writer and dramatist who wrote Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, “God made the cat so that man might have the pleasure of caressing the tiger”.

Thank you kindly for reading, I hope this was helpful and informative!

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Genie, our cat of the week! Just look at those eyes! This sweetheart is available for a reduced adoption fee.

Genie, our cat of the week! Just look at those eyes! This sweetheart is available for a reduced adoption fee.

Ioana Busuioc
Blog and Website Content Creator

Got ideas for our next blog? Email me at blog@aarcs.ca!

Rescue Pet Mythbusting(Part 2)

[Rescue Pet Mythbusting Part. 2]

Photo courtesy of Alexei Chernenkoff Photography

Written by Ioana Busuioc, August 2018

Special thanks to our fabulous Animal Behavior Coordinator Natasha Pupulin for her help on behavioral and temperament-related content!

The second part of this three part myth busting series! Read on for some more fast facts and informative debunking!

Myth #4

Adoption fees are too expensive.

Reality: Adoption fees may seem daunting, but keep in mind that shelters provide care and medical assistance for the animals present and these adoption fees, alongside donations, are what help shelters stay afloat and continue caring for thousands of animals each year. AARCS spays and neuters all animals prior to adoptions, and we provide vaccinations for all animals while in our care, this is included in the adoption fee. Adoptive families are however responsible for vaccinations and continued treatments after the adoption process. AARCS’ adoption fees are as follows:

  • $375 for dogs 7 months and older
  • $495 for dogs 6 months and under
  • $200 for senior dogs 8 years and older
  • $150 for cats 7 months and older
  • $225 for two cats 7 months and older (bonded pair)
  • $200 for a single kitten 6 months and under
  • $400 for two kittens 6 months and under
  • $60 for senior cats over 9 years

Myth #5

Knowing the breed or the mix will help you to understand temperament.

Reality: This is incorrect! If we know what a dog’s parental lineage was, such as a german shepard mother and a husky father, there is no way to know which genes have been passed down to the pup. This is especially relevant for temperament, intelligence, social skills, etc. The best way to get a genuine feel for a dog’s temperament is not to go by breed, but by getting to know the individual, read body language daily, and provide training support as needed. This is facilitated through AARCS with the intake assessment and our foster program, which helps us successfully match potential adopters with the right dog, not the right breed.  As a matter of fact, many shelters have moved from a specified breed to a “mixed breed” designation, unless that dog’s lineage is known and many find this helps improve the chances of finding the perfect match – without breed bias.

Myth #6

Getting a puppy is the best option because you know what you’re getting.

Reality: Not necessarily true. There is the appealing prospect of being able to shape the puppy as it grows, however puppies do not reach emotional and behavioural maturity until about 3 years of age. During this time, puppies go through a series of experiences, development stages, and fear imprinting periods that will shape their behaviours into adulthood. Adult dogs older than 3 years old will afford you more reliability in assessing behaviours long term. If there are ever any traits that may seem undesirable to you as a potential pet owner, adult dogs typically already have their own characteristics and behaviours set out, so it is much easier to know what you are getting. Additionally, puppies require A LOT of work, attention, and training, whereas adult dogs may already have some training!

It is fair to state though, that based on experience, any adult, puppy, or adolescent may experience behaviour changes throughout their lifetimes, however the variation is greater in puppies when compared to adults after a period of assessment in foster care or in your home.

Thank you kindly for reading, I hope this was helpful and informative!


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Pandora_9

Photo credits to Alexei Chernenkoff

Ioana Busuioc
Blog and Website Content Creator

Got ideas for our next blog? Email me at blog@aarcs.ca!

August 25, 2018
Unwanted Cat Urination 101

[ Unwanted Cat Urination 101 ]

Aztec

With a look that could only say: “I swear I didn’t pee on your shoes!”

Written by Ioana Busuioc, August 2018

All photos thanks to the very talented Debby Herold at Debby Herold Photography! Special thanks to our kind Cat Program Manager Kelsey Scoular for her help with illnesses that could cause this issue as well as helpful tips and solutions!

A common behavior problem found in cats is inappropriate urination. Because cats cannot communicate with us the same way we do with our human peers, it is important for us to pay attention to other signals that something may be wrong. Sudden or frequent cat urination outside the litter box is not a sign that your cat hates you and wants to ruin your life (and floors or carpets), on the contrary, it means that something is wrong!

Bladder stones or crystals are a very common cause for this sort gof problem in cats, or inflammatory diseases. Unwanted cat urination can be also a sign that something is wrong with a cat’s kidneys, a potential bladder infection, or a diabetes related issue, especially if a cat is also suddenly drinking a lot more water. When it comes to kidney related issues, their kidneys might not be able to properly break down the protein, which can cause a buildup that would ultimately lead to crystals building up in the urethra. Additionally, if there are stones in the bladder, depending on factors such as their size, surgery may be needed. These sorts of illnesses could also make it difficult for a cat to reach its litter box as well, which means that they might be trying to do their business where they should, but simply cannot make it there on time. All in all, these are serious issues that mean your beloved furry friend may be acting out of character and needs medical attention as soon as possible. Keeping in mind that if it is a serious issue that would require surgery, there are options to help ease the financial strain of committing to treatment and potential surgery, such as pet insurance. These are very treatable issues, and even in the case of surgery, cats recover relatively quickly with the help of a special diet post surgery. A sign to watch out for that may indicate a medical concern is if a cat is howling while they try to pee, and if that is happening it is crucial to get the cat to a vet for an assessment as soon as possible, as the discomfort is extremely painful for our feline friends!

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Betsy, a sweet senior lady who is still looking for her forever home! Clicking the photo will take you right to her profile, and maybe to your future best friend!

If the issue is not medical, it could be due to any changes in the house, perhaps even something as simple as furniture being moved around, or maybe a family member moving out/in, and especially moving to a new home altogether. If a cat is peeing on a specific family member’s clothing, keeping those hidden away and out of reach might be the solution. If a cat is peeing in multiple places, considering how many litter boxes there are in the home and where they are located might be the key! When it comes to multiple cats, AARCS Cat Program Manager Kelsey recommends ensuring there are as many litter boxes as there are cats, plus one! So if there are 3 cats, there should be 4 litter boxes in relatively different areas. Cats are resistant to change, and bringing a new feline family member into the house might spark up this resistance as well as territorial issues, which is why it is important to make sure litter boxes are separated. Something Kelsey swears by and that vets use in their own clinics is Feliway, which is a product bought at vet clinics and is a diffuser with synthetic pheromones that humans can’t smell, which is designed to  help cats feel more secure and calm. It gives them the impression that they might have already marked their territory, so that they are less inclined to urinate in unwanted areas. Pet owners should also be aware that sometimes the resolution is as simple as changing the location of they litter box, as it could be in a place in which the cat feels too stressed to do its business (ex. maybe close to a window from which they can hear a lot of car traffic). Cats might have a preference as to the substrate they urinate on as well, with options ranging from clay litter to wood shavings. Another simple solution could be simply cleaning the litter box more.

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Jumping for joy over how easy it is to stop unwanted cat urination! Eclipse, another darling adoptable kitty photographed by Debby Herold for AARCS. Follow the link in the image for his profile!

In my own experience, our cat started doing her business outside of the litter box as she grew older. She started going in the basement quite frequently, but we had noticed that this was more significant when we had guests over. Her litter upstairs is close to the back door, and beside the kitchen area, which is where most house guests would hang out. Since she does not immediately take to strangers, we thought she might be relieving herself in the basement to avoid the commotion upstairs. We ended up leaving her litter there, and putting a tray downstairs with her litter as well, and she immediately took to it. Now she only goes there once or twice a week, so we have to make sure to remember to clean her area there as well, but there are no more issues with her relieving herself where she shouldn’t anymore. What also helped was taking the cover off of her litter box upstairs, when she had a brief stint relieving herself on my father’s shoes! In the end, there was an easy solution that didn’t require a lot of change for anybody, and our cat had the option to go downstairs and relieve herself in peace without the stress of people around her, as well as with us not having to clean up behind her anymore.

Thank you so much for reading, and as always, I hope you found this informative!

Check out more of Debby Herold’s work and all the AARCS animals she photographs at www.debbyherold.com/rescue-me!

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Oliver, one of Debby’s two AARCS kitties, enjoying a cozy cat nap!

Ioana Busuioc
Blog and Website Content Creator

Got ideas for our next blog? Email me at blog@aarcs.ca!

August 1, 2018

“We are so proud of our contribution to their happy-ever-after-life. We’ve met so many amazing volunteers who’ve become friends because of our shared passion for rescuing.”

Kelly A.
Kelly A.

“My heart has grown in ways I didn’t know it could!”

Victoria H.
Victoria H.

“I leave each time happy knowing I made a difference in an animal’s life.”

Janice B.
Janice B.

“Just the knowledge that I have helped a fellow creature live a better life makes me a happier person.”

Tami M.
Tami M.

“Knowing that what I am doing is really making a difference in the lives of so many animals helps me feel good about humanity and the compassion that so many people have and show.”

Annik T.
Annik T.

“I will continue to foster forever. It’s nice to see all the people trying to make the world better for our animals.”

Emily D.
Emily D.

“Volunteering is my therapy from daily life stresses!”

Shelby W.
Shelby W.

“Whether you foster one and decide to adopt, or foster 100 and adopt none, it’s still having a positive impact!.”

Candice B.
Candice B.

“I have learned that it is okay to show our emotions on our sleeves. Volunteering with AARCS has allowed me to grow in so many ways!”

Amber B.
Amber B.

“I am so much happier since starting with AARCS. I have a purpose in my life now other than my day to day tasks like work and home life!”

Erin K.
Erin K.

“AARCS gives these animals a chance at a better life and I am so grateful!”

Brenda B.
Brenda B.

“Volunteering is a great experience, you meet lots of people and you help the animals no matter how much time you give. Even 5 minutes of your time can make a difference!”

Shelia W.
Shelia W.

“I have learned so much about myself through fostering each of the dogs I’ve met. When I foster, it feels like I’m really making a difference for animals and people in our communities.”

Samantha K.
Samantha K.

“I feel revitalized after a shift at Safe Haven!”

Cindy G.
Cindy G.

“The people at AARCS are all amazing and it’s great to work with so many people that share my love of animals. I honestly can’t imagine my life without AARCS!”

Lori U.
Lori U.

“I love how flexible it is and even popping in an hour to help out makes you feel like you’re part of the team and part of a bigger picture.”

Bianca D.
Bianca D.
Ioana Busuioc

Ioana Busuioc

Blog and Website Content Creator

Ioana is a soon-to-be business graduate with a passion for animals and educating the public about their care. Ardent advocate for animals big and small, she can typically be found juggling her academics and work with her love of food, kitty and bearded dragon cuddles, video games, hiking and boxing.