Tag Archives: Special

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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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.

 

 

Rare Kitten Born With ‘Two Faces’ Grows Up Into The Most Beautiful Cat Ever

Story by Rokas L (Boredpanda)

We usually stay away from two-faced people, but there’s nothing more adorable than a kitty with two-toned fur. Recently, professional animal photographer Jean-Michel Labat shot Narnia, an adorable British Shorthair cat in its home in France, and the pictures are making headlines all over the internet.

Labat has purrfectly captured the unique looks of the feline which probably occurred early in its mother’s womb. Narnia was born on the 28th of March, 2017, and his breeder Stephanie Jimenez instantly fell in love with her blue-eyed sweetie. While the exact cause of this particular pet’s striking appearance is unknown, other cats with this mysterious look are known as chimeras. A feline chimera is a cat whose cells contain two types of DNA, caused when two embryos fuse together.

More info: Chatterie de la Grace

Image credited to Amazingnarnia

This is the most amazing thing to see, i am sure everyone will love this new beauty!  Could not resist posting this.

 

Cats and Babies? What are the benefits?

Many questions arise when it comes to having a new born baby in the home.  What should you do with your cat?  Is it safe for your cat to be around your baby?  Well in this article you will be able to feel a little more at ease to know some of the benefits of having a cat around your new born baby.  Recent studies have shown that cats actually help babies lower their risk of having the cold and sniffles during the first year of the baby’s life.

 

How is this possible?

Researchers have found that cats (pets in general) help boost kids’ immune system.  Yes! Surprisingly all that cat dander and germs you try so aimlessly to get rid of from your cat is actually good for your baby and kids.  All the exposure to these things help to develop your children’s immune systems which will lead to better health.

In a Report in the Journal Paediatrics, a case was done where they found that babies who grew up in a home with a pet were less likely to get sick than children who were in pet-free homes.  Previous research also linked the presence of pets with a lower risk of allergies in babies.

 

Other benefits include:

  1. Cats help kids build friendships. Having a cat will help your child to be kind and loving and will also help them learn to share and give, this in turn will be a trait they will carry with them in building friendships with other children.  It will also make it easier for the shyest of kids to feel more comfortable talking with other children who also own cats.
  2. They help build confidence. Owning a cat will help your child to build the confidence in applying for that position in his/her favorite sport for e.g.  Playing games at home with their cat will show them that there is no need to have any fear and for them to feel more comfortable when it comes to the big game.  Cats do like to play games like football and table tennis by hitting the ball around.
  3. They teach kids Responsibility. Having a cat is a big responsibility and by having your kids help you care for them will actually make them responsible children.  So the next time you have to give your cat a bath, let your kids help.  Other things they can help with are:
  • Feeding
  • Grooming
  • Changing the water in the water bowls and
  • Having the litter box cleaned.

By having them do these things will not only help them to be responsible but will also teach them how to maintain a regular schedule.  Cats are creatures of habit so they will learn the specific times in which they will want to be fed, to play and when they just want to sleep.

  1. More Exercise. Cats and pets on the whole, make kids exercise more and not be a couch potato.  Cats love to jump, climb and run around, playing different games so this will keep your kids busy and they will also learn a few yoga moves by trying to imitate a cat who likes to stretch and put themselves in all sorts of positions.
  2. They can make your child smarter. A study at the University Bristol have found that cats are not only smarter than dogs but also their owners are smarter as well!  Why aren’t we surprised by this, it was always known but now it’s proven.  Your child will be spending a lot of time not only caring for these precious animals but also finding ways to outwit their sly ways, inventing games to keep them occupied and keeping them out of harm’s way and trouble.
  3. Empathy.  Children with cats grow a special bond with them and this bond teaches them how to be caring and loving at an early age.  If a child is kind towards her pet she will automatically practice these feelings in different places like schools, in sports etc. and will most likely grow up to be a very respectable individual.
  4. They help kids read better. Cats are loving, caring felines who are non-judgemental and a good listener.  Kids who spend time reading to their cats aloud feel more comfortable and confident and will make reading a more enjoyable experience especially for the ones who have a harder time at understanding all these letters on a page.

So there you have it! If you already own a cat and have children then you have nothing to worry about, if you have kids and don’t have a pet then I hope that the above mentioned ways will help you realise how good it is to own a cat!

Here are some pretty awesome gift ideas that your kids will love




Why does your cat meow continuously while playing with their toys.

Cats, even though domesticated, still have their wild traits embodied in them and because of this they will show certain behaviours that we may find a bit strange or odd.  Some of us or maybe all of us must have had a cat that carried their favourite toy around in their mouth and meowed continuously.  You would notice that the “meow” sound is a very different sound from her normal “meows” when she is either hungry or wants to play.  This specific type of call is most likely an “attention seeker” call.  Yes, she wants your attention for her prized catch of the day.  In the wild, when cats catch their prey it is normal for them to take it back to their territorial spot to either eat it or hide it for a later time.  This would usually mean hiding the dead prey under dry leaves or soil so that it will become depleted instead of rotting.  Another trait would be to carry kittens around in their mouth from one place to another.

Cats Play to Develop Learning Skills

As part of the inner wildness of your cat, playing also teaches a cat all the different skills of hunting and catching prey.  It provides both mental and physical stimulation in chasing, pouncing, stalking and searching for its prey (in this case, their toys).  It is very important for the well-being of your cat to be able to go through the whole process of the hunting phase and to be able to end with the prize, so toys which can be physically touched are much better than lazer pointers which can never be caught.


Why all the Attention?

When your cat starts to make a big fuss about her toy “prey” this means that she is seeking your attention.  She wants you to see what she has caught and may even want your approval for it.  Showing your approval by rewarding her with a treat or some “petting” will make her feel like she has achieved something.  Mother cats would carry back their catch of the day to their kittens for them to learn how to hunt and practise on. Another way of showing your approval would be to play with your cat and her toy.

 

Finding Cat Toys in the weirdest of places

Your cat may put their toy in all sorts of places such as on their bed, cat perch, on the couch, or even in their food bowls.  This is done because your cat needs a safe place for her toy (her prize).  She will hide it in these places, that she considers her territory for later use, as for the wild, cats would hide their prizes from potential predators.  For cat moms they will usually carry their kittens from one place back to their safe spot.

 

These distinguishable behaviours are all part of what cats are made of, we may never fully understand them but they do have their reasons for what they do.  All we need to do as a cat parent is watch, learn and make them feel safe and as comfortable as we can.

Do Follow:

Cats and Babies? What are the benefits?

 

Allergic to cats?? What can you do…

Allergies can be a real pest especially if it’s to something we love very much.  For those of us who have the normal seasonal allergies being allergic to your cat too is very unfair, but have no despair there are ways we can minimize these symptoms but you have to be willing because it’s going to take some effort and time!

Normally People who don’t want cats are for reasons like they are not fond of them or can’t stand them at all so for the ones who adore and love them don’t let allergies be a reason to not have them around.  Here are some tips on how you can reduce the symptoms of allergies, just remember it’s not going to leave forever, these are just ways to better manage it.

  1. Wash your hands.  This is a general basic rule which one follows to keep the cold and flu away, the same rule applies to keep allergies at bay. Always wash your hands with soap and water after petting or playing with your cat. Avoid touching your nose, face or eyes before washing your hands, if you are not careful this can lead to itchy, watery eyes and sneezing.  Use an anti-bacterial soap for best results.
  2. Keep your cat clean.  Giving your cat a bath at least once a week can reduce the amount of allergens in your cats’ coat but we all know how cats feel about water, the best alternative is to use a well-known product to spray onto your cats’ coat to lessen the amount of allergens in the air.  Recommended product, click image below for more details.


3. Keep cats off the bed and furniture.  As much as we love our cats and want them close to us at all times this has to be stopped or at least keep them away until you get some relief.  Having them on the bed will only make breathing harder rolling around in cat dander! To be safe wash all bedding at least once a month.
4. Keep cats in one area.  Make a special area in your house where your cat can stay at all times.  This will better control and keep allergens confined to one area in the house and will leave cleaning up a lot easier.
5. Clean area often.  Vacuuming should be done at least twice a week to keep cat dander away.  Allergens are very small particles which can be hidden in all the small crevices and corners of your home.  All carpets, rugs, curtains and furniture should be cleaned thoroughly. 

Another effective way to keep your home cat dander free is by using a vapor steamer. This has been proven to kill off any cat protein or dander lodged into your carpets and upholstery. You can also check vacuums for your pet for more options


By following these steps and keeping at it on a routine basis may help to alleviate your symptoms and make it easier being around and keeping your cat. If you don’t own a cat because of allergies now you can go ahead and get one.