All posts by Miriam

Lions

CHARACTERISTICS

Lions are the second largest cat, the largest being the tiger.  The lion is a mammal which belongs to the Felidae Family, they were once found throughout Africa, Asia and Europe but are presently only found in Africa and in the GIR forest in India.  Lions are different than other “Big Cats” in that they are the only cats that live in groups, also known as prides.  A pride usually consists of 15 lions, which include mostly females and their young and about 2 to 3 unrelated males.

Lions are majestically known for their strength and beauty, they are called “The King of the Jungle” but strangely enough they are never known to be in any forested area, they mostly live in grassy plains, savannas and open woodlands.  Male lions have a distinct mane which makes them have an intimidating look, so they appear larger and stronger to their prey.  The thicker and bigger their mane the more attractive they are to the female lions.

Their coats vary in colour but they mainly sport a light yellow-brown coat.  Male lions weigh up to 500 pounds and females range between 260 – 330 pounds.  At the end of their tail is a hairy tuft, lions are the only cats to have this.  The tuft conceals a spine which is about 5 millimetres in length, this spine forms the final sections of the tail bone fused together.  There is no known function of the tuft and spine, these are just distinctive characteristics that lions possess.  The tuft develops at around 5 months old and is easily identifiable at 7 months.

Life span for lions in the wild: 10 to 14 years

In captivity: 20 years and more.

 

DIET

Lions are carnivores so there diet consists of only meat, they hunt mostly wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, buffalos and gazelles.  Occasionally a lion may hunt young elephants, rhinoceros and hippopotamus.

BEHAVIOUR

They are very sociable cats and spend most of their time in groups rubbing their heads together and playing.  They sleep for up to 20 hours a day, reason being to conserve energy, lack of prey or to avoid the heat during the day.   Lions are nocturnal or crepuscular animals meaning they are more active at night or before sunset.  Female lions do all the hunting and they bring back their kill to the pride where the male lion has to eat first.  A prey is killed usually by strangulation or by a deadly swipe of the paw.

REPRODUCTION

Lions breed throughout the year, however, an adult female will not produce her next litter of cubs until her cubs are at least 2 years old.  If for some reason the entire litter doesn’t survive she will mate again soon after.

The gestation period for a female lion is between 100 and 120 days.  A litter of 3-6 cubs is then produced.  Cubs are kept secluded and are only introduced to the pride when they are 4 to 6 weeks old.  Female lions raise their young cubs together and they also suckle cubs other than their own.

Lion infants deaths are at a high, less than 50% of new born cubs will survive the first year of life.  The main cause being starvation due to the fact that the pride may only kill an animal once every 3 to 5 days and in the hierarchy of a lion pride, the male lion feeds first, then the female lion and finally the cubs.  However, it is more likely for a cubs to survive when born into a pride, than to a lioness on her own.

 

African Lions are becoming extinct and it is estimated that there are only 34,000 lions left in Africa, which is half of the amount that existed 30 years ago.  The biggest threat is the loss of habitat and loss of prey due to hunting and meat trade.

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Tigers


TIGERS

Tigers are the largest of the cat species in the cat (felid) family.  They are known for their unique long, thick coats which are reddish to orange in colour and have thin black stripes with a white belly.  They have small rounded ears and a heart-shaped pink nose.  Their eyes are a tad bit yellow to green in colour.  Tigers can reach the length of up to 11 feet and can weigh as much as 700 pounds.  They can reach up to a speed of 40 mph.

There are many subspecies of the tiger some of which are:

  • Bengal
  • Siberian
  • Sumatran
  • Malayan
  • Indo Chinese
  • South Chinese
  • Caspian
  • Javan and
  • Bali

Most of these subspecies are either endangered or already extinct, primarily due to humans hunting and destruction of habitats.

Tigers are mostly nocturnal animals (more active at night) and due to their surroundings which is usually that of tropical forests, swamps, grasslands and woodlands they can easily hunt their prey by camouflaging themselves with the colour of their coats and stripes.  Tigers attack by using their body weight to knock their prey to the ground and strike at the neck for an easy kill. Tiger prints are just like finger prints, no two are identical.  They are also excellent swimmers and can hunt while in water as well, they spend a lot of time cooling off in springs and streams.

Tigers are usually unsociable animals except during mating season and when the females bear young cubs.  This is when they become extremely territorial and mark their surroundings.

Tiger cubs stay with their mothers until the age of 2 and a half years.  The mothers would guard their young ones from wandering males that may kill the cubs to make the females receptive to mating.

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Easter is Here

Easter is just around the corner, how do you plan on spending it with your family cats??

Here you will find some perfect picks that i recommend for your kitties if you plan on dressing them up in cute little outfits to celebrate this occasion.

If you like to decorate your home on this day too, then you can also find some nice things that i recommend as well.

For your kitties:

For your home:

Don’t forget your kids:

Here are some lovely ideas for gift baskets:

Here are some DIY art projects that you can try out as well:

To make this lovely wreath you will need:

SUPPLIES

  • Paper plate
  • Spring and Easter themed color paper
  • Glue
  • Glue dots
  • Ribbon
  • Egg cookie cutter or Oval shaped cutter
  • Scissors

 

DIRECTIONS

Cut the inner portion of the plate to look like this

Use the cookie cutter to trace out the shape onto the printed paper and cut them out

Dab a small amount of glue to the back of each egg shape pattern that was cut out and stick them one by one around the edge of the back of the plate.

Cut a piece of the ribbon, make a bow out of it and dab a dot of glue onto the top of the egg shaped paper and stick the bow on it.

Cut another piece of ribbon, make a loop out of it and stick it to the back of the wreath.

Hang it and enjoy your lovely easter wreath.

Saying Goodbye to your Cat

Having a pet in your home, whether for 10 years and more or for a short time of 2 months, you will feel a sense of loss and grief when they die.  Your pets are part of your family and i believe they should be treated as such when they do cross over that rainbow bridge.

i have lost many cats in my lifetime and each one was very heart-breaking and saddening.  My backyard is like a pet cemetery, because each and every one was buried there.

How to cope with the lost of your cat 

Time
In my experience,  some losses were harder than others, and just like everything else, time heals all wounds.   Take all the time you need to grieve but don’t let the memories die.  Death is inevitable, but accepting it is the hard part.

Acceptance
Change in our lives whether good or bad, is never easy.  It’s in our human nature to have a routine that we follow every day so when there is change we have to find ways to accept and understand those changes.

Support
Having the support of your friends and family  will be needed.  Join a group if you have to.  Simple things like just having a conversation with someone will go a long way.

Keeping the Memories
Keeping the memories of our dear cat will actually help us to be stronger and it will make the acceptance part easier.  There are ways in which we can do this, some of us keep photos or memorabilia of them, like a toy she loved.  One way in which i have found that will be a great way to keep the memory of our cat is a personalized piece of jewelry that we can have close to our heart at all times.   I have found a charm which i think is absolutely perfect.  

Saying Goodbye

The way in which we pay our last respect will also help in the grieving process.  I am very happy to share with you two companies which are making the transition easier and more meaningful:

Paw Pods and Rooted.

Paw Pods

This company has designed an eco-friendly pod for your pet which can be personalized to your liking.  After the owner had a terrible and traumatic experience of receiving his dead dog back from the vets’ in a plastic bag, he was in shock and felt it very disrespectful to bury his dog in such a state.  So he came up with this safe, biodegradable way to bury your pet.

Rooted

Rooted is a company that provides pet aftercare in a very special way, they provide “recomposition” services that allow your pet to give back to the earth naturally through the three elements of Fire, Water and Earth.  They offer services to meet each person’s needs and desires.

 

Millie’s evening

 

 

 

This is the typical way in which Millie spends her evening.  She likes hanging out by herself, taking in the refreshing cool breeze under the shade of the beautifully flowered bougainvillea tree.

She has no worries in life, for now.  She is still a baby, (my baby), all she has to do is eat, sleep and just chill.  Wish i could be like that again.

This is the  way in which i am greeted most evenings when i come home from work. (Lovely isn’t it?)   It’s really a very calming, soothing sight which makes me forget about all the negative things that happened during the day.

I am not sure how long she sits there for because i usually reach home seeing her there and she will remain for about another 30 minutes.    After i arrive home and get out of my car  she will look at me with those big precious emeralds and i know she is happy to see me.  That’s her way and only way of her showing me love.  I respect that from her because i know how reserved she is.

Cats and their unique personalities are the main reasons why i am so deeply passionate about them.  I am also a bit on the reserve side so i don’t like too much clinginess.  My cats know to give me space and they in turn will take their space when they need it.

After Millie spends her time outside she will come inside for dinner, after eating she will play with her toys for a bit until she gets ready for bed by sitting in front of the television until she falls asleep.

How to cope with a grieving cat

In my experience of owning generations and generations of cats, i came to the conclusion that cats have their own way of showing grief if any at all.  Some cats will mourn the loss of their companion who is either a cat, dog or a family member.  Once there was a close bond between the deceased and the cat, the cat will feel the pain and may show it in many ways.  Cats may also grieve for other reasons like being away from their human for a long period of time, maybe they have to be put up for adoption for some reason or moving to a shelter.

How to tell if your cat is grieving

Cats grieve in many ways and you have to pay full attention to their behavior in order to pin point whether or not they are grieving.

  • Not eating
    Your cat may be in so much distress that he may not even want to eat or drink anything.  This can be very harmful for your cat if he stays without food for more than three (3) days.  No food can cause damage to the liver and they can die, so be sure to see your vet if your cat doesn’t eat for 24 hours .
  • Sluggishness and not being as active
    If your cat shows this sign then he may be grieving.  A cat that has lost his companion may not have the urge to want to play or show any kind of interest in any type of physical activity.
  • Changes in their sleep pattern
    You may notice a change in their sleep pattern, they may sleep for longer periods of time or not at all.
  • Stomach upsets
    Your cat may experience vomiting and diarrhea due to depression.

How to help your cat cope

The best way to help your cat is to give them lots and lots of love and attention, even more than what you will usually give.   Losing a loved one is very hard, it’s hard for us to lose someone we love and care for and who is very close and dear to us.  It’s the same for cats, they all have a grieving process to go through which may vary in time from two weeks to six months.  Allow them to go through this process.  If the cat is grieving, then more than likely you will be grieving too so the reaction you give off will have a great impact on your cat as well.  Try not to show too many emotions when you are around your cat.

Cats are animals of habit, they don’t like change.  If it’s possible, it will be best to keep their normal routine in feeding, play time and sleep time.  Once you keep this continuous, your cat will feel less disturbed and disoriented.   If it is not possible because of the situation then try to slowly introduce new changes.

Changes depend on your cat’s behavior, if your cat continuously goes to the room or space where the deceased used to be then leave things as they are.  Don’t try cleaning up the area, the scents of the person or animal that died will eventually fade and the cat will be able to gradually accept the loss.  If on the other hand your cat refuses to step foot in or next to where the person or animal used to be then go right ahead and clean the area.

Adopting a grieving cat

In some cases where cats have lost their human companions and have to be adopted by a new person or family member the cat will take longer to adapt to the changes around him.  If you are in this predicament then the only thing that you can do is be very patient with your new feline friend and give him all the time he needs to accept you as his new owner.  To make this transition a little easier for him, spend a certain amount of time every day with him showing your love and affection by patting him and stroking him.  If the cat refuses to come close to you then just leave him and allow him to get used to you in his own time.  If you can’t touch him then talk to him everyday and reassure him that he is in a place where you will take care of him and love him.

If you have tried all the above and you think the time frame has been very long and your cat is still showing all the signs of grieving, seek medical attention.  Visit your veterinarian to rule out any other problems and maybe they will prescribe medication for your cat to cope with stress and anxiety.

 

 

Introduction

First let me introduce you to my fur babies:

Millie 

 

Millie is a year and a half old, she is very conservative and likes to keep to herself.  she will watch her brother and sister play from a distance but wouldn’t join in the fun.  She will stride pass you and wouldn’t dear give you a second look lol.  But sure enough she will come running at meal time.  She is my doll.

Oreo



 

 

Oreo is my cookie 🙂 she is millie’s sister who is a little more on the social side but will always have this “what do you want” look on her face haha.  She loves to play and run around chasing things.

Ozzy

 

 

Ozzy is Millie and Oreo’s brother, they are all the same age.  He is the most playful of the three and you can always be sure to be entertained by just watching how he moves and plays.

 

Greedy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greedy as her name suggests eats everything in sight and if that’s not enough will always want more and even steal food from the others.  She is about 2 and a half years old now and she looks after Millie, Oreo and Ozzy like if they are hers.  They love spending time together especially Ozzy.  They look like twins and they are inseperable.

Blacky

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blacky is the mother of all cats, she is the eldest, i myself am not even sure how old she is.  She is Greedy’s Mother and Millie, Oreo and Ozzy’s Grandmother.   She is not a stay-at-home cat, she roams and go wherever she pleases but she always know where her home is.

So there you have it, 5 of my lovely beauties who will always be a part of my life.

Millie, Oreo, Ozzy, Greedy and Blacky will be telling their stories and sharing it with you so be sure to keep checking for new posts about them.

Training an outdoor cat to stay indoors

Cats are feral animals so it is in their natural instinct to hunt and roam around.  Being a cat-parent is just like having a child and we would do anything to make sure that our children are safe.  Having a cat indoors only, is the only way we as parents can keep our cats safe from all the harmful things outdoor such as other wildlife, being run over by a car, diseases and parasites and so many more.  Cats on the other hand would like to believe otherwise.  An indoor cat has a longer life expectancy than that of the one who is free to roam.  Kittens are much easier to have and keep indoors because that is basically all they know of and accustomed to, but if you have an older cat who likes to roam outside a lot then it’s a little more work, but fear not it is possible if you just follow these steps:

RECREATE YOUR CAT’S ENVIRONMENT

For this to be successful you need to actually think like a cat, you may want to study your cat for a few weeks to understand what he really does when he is outside.  By recreating your cat’s environment you will actually be transforming your house into a big park or playground where your cat will be safe but also have everything right at his paw-tips so he will not feel the need to go outside.  Some of the things your cat will do when he go outside are:

  • to hunt
  • to climb trees
  • to chase and play with objects such as balls, leaves etc
  • bird watching
  • to find a mate

From the list above you can come up with ways to substitute those things with indoor-friendly activity products.

 

Toys and Puzzle games
 Placing toys and puzzles in different parts of the house, you will have your cat occupied for hours when he finds it and starts playing with it.  He will forget all about going outside.

2.Cat Trees and Furniture
Cats love to climb trees so you will need to place a few of these in your house. It will also help with distracting him from clawing your furniture and will help him to stretch his paws and do exercise. See also: How to stop your cat from clawing the furniture.

3.Bird Watching
In order for your cat to achieve this without actually stepping out, you will have to make sure that there are windows in which your cat can look out at. Having a window perch will be great so that your cat can sit comfortably and look at birds for as long as he likes. Having an enclosed outdoor porch will be a plus for your kitty’s enjoyment.

4.Food and Water
This should always be readily available for whenever your cat has the need to nibble on something or gets hungry. Cat treats are also a great way of letting your cat feel like he has to hunt for food if you place the treats in different hiding places in your house for him to find.

5.Have your cat spayed or neutered

This will help keep your cat indoors and not want to go roaming around looking for a mate! When cats are in “heat” they will do anything to get out and fulfil those hormonal desires which can last up to two weeks (14 days) and if they do not mate within that time they will go back into heat again a few days after.

REINFORCEMENT OF POSITIVE TRAINING

Once your cat is indoors you need to make sure there is at least one door he knows about that he can exit from. Therefore all other doors need to either be blocked or you can use the Cat training system to train your cats to stay away from other doors. Training your cat to come when he is being called will also help for when he do go outside, he will come back when you call him. All family members will have to know once they exit through a door they have to quickly close it behind them before your cat can escape.

Cat training can also be used when you take your cat outside for walks. This will keep him safe and within your own premises and he wouldn’t go roaming into the neighbour’s yard or elsewhere. Remember even if you have an indoor cat, your cat still needs to at least be able to go outside (with your supervision off course) once in a while. Your cat should be on a leash to make it easy for you to be able to control where he goes.

AN INDOOR GARDEN

Making an indoor garden for your cat would be ideal, he would feel as though he is outside with all the outdoor aroma of plants and grass. The best plants to consider when making your cat garden are:

The best time to start training your cat to stay indoors is during winter if you live in an area where this occurs. Cats would love the warmth of a nice soft bed to cuddle up into rather than being out in the cold! Give your cat enough time to accept the changes of this transition and let him adjust by showing a lot of love and attention. There can be a lot of bonding during play time and grooming. See also: Caring for your cats

Knowing when to go Cold Turkey

If your cat refuses to accept the transition and you have given him enough time and privilege of being outside then you may have no choice but to go “cold turkey”. This only means that you will have to show a more stern approach to the training and don’t give into any of your cat’s whining or whimpering ways. Always keep in the back of your head that a safe and happy cat is an indoor cat, this will give you enough motivation to keep doing what you have to do to keep your cat inside.