About Feline Opines

Writer, entrepreneur and lover of felines (and all furry creatures). You can learn more about me and my connection with felines in my story, All My Children Wear Fur Coats, In the 2016) issuer of Chicken Soup For the Cat Lover's Soul, My Very Good, Very Bad Cat. Feline Opines was awarded a Muse Medallion in 2018 from The Cat Writer's Association. The Felines have a book called "Felines Opine on God" available at Amazon & Barnes and Noble and a cozy mystery will be released soon.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday – 1/18

Happy Wednesday Furiends!

I hope that things in your neck of the woods are going well. We had a bit of a mishap here when The Human received our kibble order (weight management, salmon flavor, 10 pounds for $57.00) -yes we know it’s expensive but we’re worth it! Anyway, as we danced around the empty kibble bowls we quickly realized that the company had made some changes to our food…AND THEY DIDN’T ADVISE US IN ADVANCE! Oliver and I were horrified and showed our disdain for this different tasting food by scratching next to the bowl and walking away. Can you believe The Human did not replace this food and keeps pouring it in our bowls every morning? The nerve! This is my expression of disapproval.

Oliver figured he’d look for something else to eat and decided to bug The Human as she ate her “keto” ice cream. Little did Oliver know that she wasn’t eating some sugary, creamy rich dessert. Good grief Human, why bother??

Lily was feeling a bit dramatic and asked The Human to take some photos of her with a little drama. We all decided The Human needs to spring for a purrfessional as her photography skills are wanting.

I hope your eating and photography endeavors were more successful than ours! And now it’s time for the best of the feline news on the web!

Look inside the strange and wonderful “Mewseum” of cats within this fellow’s home

Shawn Redner from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin scours second-hand and antique shops for cat statues. Now he and his wife have thousands of  cat figurines. So many in fact, that they’re now on display at their Rescued Cat Figurine Mewseum where people can visit. They ask for donations and 100% of those donations are given to feline rescues. So far they’ve been able to donate $3,000.00.

Paws up to this couple who turned a hobby into a good deed and head bonks to them for having 10 adopted felines in their home.

Vietnam goes feline for the Year of the Cat

2023 is the Year of The Cat and, if you want to be somewhere where they really celebrate, we recommend Vietnam. There are cat statues going up all over the country and most of them are HUGE!

Meowza, make sure you click on the link and see all the amazing kitty statues!

Cats’ ability to land on their feet could help humans walk better after spinal cord injuries

We talented felines contribute so much to society and here’s just one more thing. The University of Sherbrooke has been conducting studies on our ability to turn in mid air and land on our feet to see if there are hints as to how to help humans steady themselves.

Professor Alain Frigon and his colleague conducted research to see if there was something they could learn to help seniors whose sense of balance is becoming more precarious.

Frigon said that although humans “have a much more sensitive, much more important control of balance” than quadrupeds, the circuitry as such” remains the same.

“It’s just that there are additional mechanisms” in humans, said Frigon, whose laboratory is interested in gait control and the basic principles of gait recovery after spinal cord injuries, among other things, by trying to unlock the secrets of the central nervous system.

In collaboration with researchers from the American universities Georgia Tech and Drexel, Frigon wanted to better understand how somatosensory feedback allows the cat to coordinate the movement of its four legs.

Such work could one day lead, to the development of electrical stimulation of the spinal cord to facilitate somatosensory feedback, and, thus, walking.

Meowza, how cool is it that by studying the agility of felines science could help humans walk better?

Man Lures Cats Into Photoshoots Using Catnip and the Results Are ‘Genius

A photographer has been hailed as a “genius” online by cat lovers who are impressed with his tactics for capturing images.

Nils Jacobi sprayed catnip all over his glass dining-room table before getting underneath with his camera to snap the cats in action. Fritz, 14, Kleine, 10, Frederic, and Lissy, both 4, can be seen rolling all over the glass and pulling funny facial expressions.

Jacobi, from Langenfeld, Germany, takes photos of cats for a living, He told Newsweek: “I love their independence and their curiosity. From a photographic point of view, I am fascinated by cat tongues in particular.”

Jacobi shared a video of the photoshoot to his TikTok account @furryfritz and it has more than 21 million views.

Too bad we don’t have a glass table so The Human could get some new, interesting photos of us.

Cat sneaks into Victoria police officer’s cruiser

A Victoria police officer returning to his cruiser after an impaired driver stop found an unlikely surprise waiting for him inside his vehicle. The unauthorized entry was caught on video. Way to go Officer Kitty!

Walk Through The Web Wednesday – 1/11

Hello Furiends,
Oliver, LIly and I are working on our mewsings on 2022 which we hope to have finished by the end of the week. It’s still winter in our neck of the woods although the temperatures are pretty warm for this area at this time of year (35 degrees F today). The good news is that the days are getting a little longer (translation, it doesn’t get dark at 3:30pm any more).

The Human got us a nice bed which Oliver immediately took over so she ordered another one. It’s the BEST kitty bed ever and now I get to enjoy it too. Lily isn’t sold yet.

This is Lily who is currently contemplating her life and what she will reflect on for 2022.

This is me, contemplating my life and and what I will reflect on for 2022.

And now, here’s the feline news I gathered for you this week.

AIM protein-enriched cat food aims to help cats live longer

Siamese cat on fur throw
Our beloved Angel Jasmine.

This news item was exciting for us as our Angel Jasmine suffered from kidney disease for a number of years and it is an issue that many felines deal with later in life.

An Osaka-based company, Marukan Co., Ltd., is the maker of a new range of nutritional cat food with AIM protein said to prevent kidney disease. The company says they want to help extend the lives of cats to 30 years.

This is the result of extensive research by AIM protein specialist Dr. Toru Miyazaki; the AIM30 brand of cat kibble contains the amino acid A-30 to help the AIM do the kidney cleanup.

AIM is a protein in the blood that supports kidney health by removing the waste that accumulates in the body. There is more “sciency” information in the article from article and you can click on the heading to go to the original news story.

Marukan did what you humans call a “soft launch” in March of 2022 with a mostly chicken flavor line of food. The food is now being delivered to stores all over Japan. There are six types of foods in the original AIM30 kidney healthcare series which include a food for indoor cats at least 11 years old and for indoor cats at least 15 years old, for indoor cats around 20 years old,

The company took into consideration feline lower urinary health with lower magnesium and calcium levels. Dietary fiber from soy pulp is included to reduce fur balls,  lactobacilli to support stomach and gut, agaricus (a genus of mushroom) and sesamin fiber compounds to boost immunity, and roasted linseeds with omega-3 fatty acids for skin and coat support are also included. This feline has no idea about these extra ingredients and I will have to send our Purrsonal Assistant to the Google to find out what she can about them.

AIM30, Marukan stressed, is not a therapeutic pet food but a comprehensive maintenance nutritional food for cats. People with cats on therapeutic food diets should consult a veterinarian before taking AIM30.

Having gone through the loss of one of our tribe members from kidney disease, I say “BRAVO” that humans are looking to deal with this disease and we’re purraying that it works.

Army Corps of Engineers created the must-have calendar for 2023 featuring giant cats

Pardon me for sounding a bit cynical but never in my wildest dreams did I expect a government agency to take something boring like engineering and make it fun with felines, but that’s exactly what the Portland District of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers did when it created it’s 2023 calendar.

The photoshopped giant cats were photoshopped into photos of the Corps best achievements and the calendars are hot commodities.

And guess what, the downloadable 2023 calendar is now available!

The history of USACE Portland on social media gives a hint of the creavity from public affairs specialist Chris Gaylord.

Gaylord said that engineering isn’t that exciting and believes that a little bit of humor goes a long way to generate interest in their work. MOL, I say Chris Gaylord is right!

People Are Sharing Photos Of Their Best ‘My House, Not My Cat’ Encounters

We have seen numerous photos you humans post on social media that say, “this is my house but this isn’t my cat.” This feline finds it hard to believe that people have random felines showing up inside their living quarters but I have to admit the pictures are funny.

There is a Facebook group called “My house, not my cat.” You’ll find funny and heartwarming photos and stories there.

And, if you join the group you can share your own photos of random cat visits.

35 Pictures Capturing The Amazing Transformations That Cats Go Through Before And After Adoption

As former shelter cats, our tribe is adamant about the adopt don’t shop idea. Giving a cat a forever home not only changes it’s life but often changes it’s appearance. We love “before and after” adoption photos and if you do too, you’ll want to see this collection of pre and post adoption photos.

Petnow Unveils the World’s First ID App for Cats

The Petnow app: the first app to identify dogs and cats with simple scans on your mobile phone.

Petnow Inc, a company from Seoul, South Korea,  announced that it is presenting the world’s first cat biometric recognition service. The AI-driven app for canines automatically scans unique identifiers of dogs called “nose prints” and has been honored with the Best of Innovation prize at CES 2022, given the company global recognition and features on  BBC and CBS.

Dr. Jesse Joonho Lim, the founder of Petnow Inc. said, “The company is adding cat biometric recognition to the current app.” The Petnow app can solve the problems of the existing pet identification methods such as microchips, tags, and collars that are prone to damage or loss, and will enter the U.S. market at CES 2023.”

Dr. Ken Daehyun Pak, the co-founder of Petnow said, “We have been hearing from customers domestically and internationally to add a cat identification function, and we are proud to announce the cat biometric recognition with 99% accuracy. We have cooperated with the largest Korean mobile carrier, SK Telecom, to introduce the dog version of ‘Amber Alert’ in South Korea, and we hope that we will provide more use cases for users.”

The U.S. version of the Petnow app is free of charge. The Human checked in the Apple App store and found it there but she hasn’t had a chance to check it out.

The company says Petnow app is provided for free of charge, and pet households with house cats and/or dogs can try the pain-free microchip alternative right now. The Human has downloaded the app from the Apple app store but she hasn’t figured out yet how they can offer the app free (she’s a suspicious sort). She can’t move forward in the app until she scans one of our faces. If any of you folks download the app an d try it, meow about it in the comments and let us know what you think.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday – 1/4

Happy 2023 Furiends!
We decided to freshen up our logo, hope you like it. We’re not going to include much news about us as Oliver, Lily and I are working on our “2022” reflections which we’ll publish later in the week so, in the meantime, here is some of the best feline news I found on the web this week.

We are also working on our merch store and will have some fun news about that soon.

Frontier Airlines giving free flights in exchange for adopting cats

You know how much I love creative cat adoption ideas and this one is very creative.

Frontier Airlines will provide free flight vouchers to whoever adopts one of three kittens, who are recent arrivals at The Animal Foundation in Las Vegas.

An airline spokespurrson said  “We’d love to donate two flight vouchers each to the people who adopt @Delta and @Spirit; and four vouchers to the person who adopts Frontier,” .

The vouchers have been delivered to the shelter, but won’t be distributed until the kittens are ready for adoption in about a month as the kittens are too young to be adopted yet.

One of the kitties was supposed to be called Southwest, the Animal Foundation said on Twitter — until the airline’s cancellation crisis last week.

Cat Loves to Hop in Shower with Mom

I love to get in the shower AFTER The Human is done. I also jump on the bathroom sink and scream until The Human turns the faucet on but I have never had the desire to get in the shower like this cat on The Dodo does. You can follow Peanut  on TikTok: https://thedo.do/is038.

Genius cat learns how to alert motion detector doorbell camera so owner can let him in

I reported about a lost cat who was found when his family’s door camera captured him on the porch. This cat however was not lost but was smart enough to figure out how to let his humans know when he wanted to come inside.  He now scales the fence and activates the motion detector doorbell to make his needs known.

The first time it happened, his human, Amanda was surprised to receive a notification that someone was at her door and then discovered it was her cat Izzy , who is now adept at letting folks know when he wants in.

Izzy doesn’t just make the doorbell ring, he is quite talkative and likes to “speak” to his human’s through the voice activation feature on the doorbell. MOL!

Cats train themselves to use treadmill

If  you ask The Human she’ll tell  you that we could care less about her treadmill, especially when it’s on but these felines decided took it upon themselves to figure out they  could get a little exercise. Nagi and Poki are getting adept on the treadmill, but Haku is a chill boy who does not care for speed. You can follow more of these feline’s antics on their YouTube channel.

How To Track Your Cat’s Whereabouts

Do you ever wonder what your felines are up to at home when you’re away at work? If the answer is yes, you’re not  the only one and the antics of cats with devices like Apple‘s AirTag are becoming Tik Tok sensations.  

Watching your cats movement patterns in the house  isn’t only for fun. If they are ill, if they escape or become lost, the right device can prove to be very useful (unless your feline teaches themselves how to use  the ring doorbell).

If you are interest in cat tracking devices, here are a few to check out.

1. AirTag

Cat collars with Apple’s AirTag device, which works with the company’s Find My app, has been a popular favorite among TikTokers. One example is user @quingable, who said: “I don’t really love the AirTag but here’s why I keep both on my cat’s collar,” in a viral video post, which had 86,000 views and 12,400 likes at the time of writing. The user added: “And by the way, none of this [the device plug] is sponsored.” This woman’s account documents her van life with two cats.

The TikToker explained: “The one really great thing about having an AirTag is that it pings off other people’s iPhone. That way, you are able to find your pet.”

According to Apple, there are “hundreds of millions” of iPhone, iPad and Mac devices around the world within the Find My network that can help you track down your pet through the AirTag.

2. Tractive

Tractive is also popular with cat owners. . In addition to your cat’s location, the device can also monitor your cat’s sleep patterns and wellbeing,  and also  “set up virtual fences to alert you if your kitty is too far away.”

Tractive offers quite a bit of information about your feline friend and has an unlimited range ability, operating in over 175 different countries.

The company says that no matter how far your cat goes, Tractive will be able to locate them on your device if you’re connected to a mobile network. In addition, it’s offered at an affordable price.

3. Samsung Galaxy SmartTag

For Android phones, the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag could be a good option to attach on to a cat collar.

If your pet wanders out of range, even when offline, the Galaxy Find Network can use scanned data to find your cat privately, according to Samsung.

Tile Sticker

Comparable to the AirTag and SmartTag, the Tile tracking device was also praised in the aforementioned viral post by TikToker @quingable for being “really, really lightweight” (always an issue when hanging something from a cat’s collar) and because “it actually works when you’re not in service.”

Compatible with iPhones and Androids, the water-resistant Tile Sticker “has a bigger range, louder ring and longer lasting battery,” the company said.

It comes with an adhesive back, making it easy to attach to the tag of your cat’s collar, a 3-year non-replaceable battery and Bluetooth works up to a 250-feet range.

When outside of your range, pet owners can use the Tile app to view your pet’s most recent location on a map.

5. Cube

The Cube tracker’s key features are a rechargeable battery (which can last from around 10 to 60 days, depending on the model) and the ability to set up “virtual geo-fence zones” using its accompanying app to get real-time alerts when your cat wanders beyond these zones.

Pet owners can also track the “trips, stops, and speed of travel” of the device using the app’s location history feature, according to Cube.

Now if you’re thinking, “My cat is an indoor cat so tracking him really isn’t an issue” don’t be too complacent.  Our very own Lily escaped through the front door and spent an extremely cold night outside. She’ll be sharing that story in her New Year’s reflection.

Happy New Year!

To all of our furiends, thank you for supporting us and engaging with us in our blog. Oliver, Lily and I will be opining about this past year and we’ll also have a fun announcement!

Sending you Purrs & Head Bonks for 2023

Alberto, Oliver, Lily & Anita (The Human)

Walk Through The Web Wednesday – 12/28

Hello Furiends,
It’s been crazy in our neck of the woods – below zero temps and nasty wind chill and then 38 degrees and rain. The Human has been doing a lot of grumbling, especially when the snow plow leaves a big icy wall at the end of the driveway so she can’t get out. I don’t know how you humans do it but at least we felines are sitting by the window and snoopervising.

I hope the weather is better in your neck of the woods but I know some of our furiends in the east are dealing with snowmageddon too. Here’s to a safe, happy week and we’ll be popping in again before the New Year with a feline take of 2022.

A “talking cat” is giving scientists insight into how felines think

Well, if the truth be told, Billi, the 13-year old Floridian feline doesn’t really talk but she does make her thoughts known by pressing buttons. I did a report on cats and these devices several months ago and found there has been progress made since then.

When Billi presses a button twice that says “dog” her human asks her if there is a dog outside. A few minutes later Billi then presses the button for “tummy” twice.

Many cats and dogs have been featured in the news using an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device — essentially, a sound board made up of buttons with a different word vocally recorded on each — to “talk” to their humans. Billi’s human was inspired to try the device after she saw a dog using it.

Due to the lockdown Billi’s human had a lot of time on her hand so she began to work with Billi.

“At that point Billi was the first cat that I knew of to try it,” Baker said. “I hadn’t seen any cats do it.”

She was concerned because the buttons were very large for little kitty feet to manipulate. She started Billi with the word “food” because Billi is food motivated.

Billi was quite capable of pushing the buttons and quick to pick up on the fact that the food button made food appear.

Today Billi has 50 words on her board, and  is part of the ongoing research project called TheyCanTalk, whose goal is to understand if animals can communicate with humans through AAC devices. While the study is mostly made up of dogs, about 5 percent of the animals using AAC devices are now felines. It turns out that many cats have been successful at using the device.

Leo Trottier, cognitive scientist and founder of How.TheyCanTalk Research and developer of the FluentPet system Billi uses, admitted to Salon Magazine he was “pessimistic” about cats using the buttons, but was pleasantly surprised when they started to see felines catch on. Now, he’s intrigued by the ways in which cats appear to use the buttons differently from dogs.

What’s interesting is that cats tend to do more single button presses than multi buttons. He said that you need to find what the cats really want in order to get the cat to work with the buttons.

Billi’s human observes that Billi strings words together less frequently than dogs. Baker has a theory on why cats, like Billi, might be more prone to pressing one button to communicate.

“She does string words together, but it is much less frequent than what I see some of the dogs doing, and I don’t know exactly why that is but I will say she’s more deliberate in her button presses,” Baker said. “Billi is very, very deliberate when she presses a button and knows exactly which one she’s looking for, she takes her time . . . and if she is going to string a sentence together, she’ll take a thinking loop and then she’ll come back — very rarely does she go from one directly to another.

Could it be that in observing cats use the AAC device, humans are finding out that the stereotypical differences between cats and dogs are actually true? Perhaps, but researchers have been very cautious to jump to any conclusions about these “talking” animals yet. In fact, it’s up for debate if these animals are, scientifically speaking, speaking — or if they’ve simply been trained to use specific buttons to conjure specific things. Whether or not their communications are spontaneous has yet to be concluded.

“I’m very intrigued by the cats that are using the boards, because there’s really a dearth in cat cognition studies, particularly those that happen in the home,” Gabriella Smith, a cognitive science researcher at CleverPet noted. “Cats are really kind of overlooked in the companion animal cognition world. I’ve been a big fan of Billi, and my animal cognition scientist brain just lights up because I see these behaviors that I know from my own cat — but now I’m able to look at it from a cognition lens.”

Smith added that having cats as part of the TheyCanTalk study is a great way to study their cognition — and also, perhaps, dispel myths about cats.

“They have this reputation of just doing what they want and not really caring what the humans are doing, and I think this is a great opportunity to see that they actually are paying attention,” Smith said. “Seeing that they can be engaged, that they’re not just cat automatons, that aren’t driven by instinct 24/7 can function a great deal positively for their role in other studies.”

Regardless of what these studies ultimately tell us about cat cognition, Billi’s owner has observed a noticeable shift in Billi’s happiness since introducing the buttons to the talkative kitty.

“I really believe that the majority of house cats are bored and depressed,” Baker said. “We don’t give them any stimulation so you know, anything that we can do for them that gives them a better life, I’m for it.”

Cats in the Middle Ages

We felines had a bad reputation in the middle ages. Humans linked us with paganism and witchcraft which meant we were often treated with suspicion. Still, if you pursue medieval manuscripts you’ll be surprised at the playful images you see. Oliver wrote about a poem The Human saw in Dublin about Panger Ban, the meschevious cat owned by a monk.

From these (often very funny) portrayals, we can learn a lot about medieval attitudes towards cats—not least that they were a central fixture of daily medieval life.

In the middle ages, men and women were often identified by the animals they kept. Pet monkeys, for example, were considered exotic and a sign that the owner was wealthy, because they had been imported from distant lands. Pets became part of the personal identity of the nobility. Keeping an animal that was lavished with attention, affection and high-quality food in return for no functional purpose—other than companionship—signified high status.

It was not unusual for high-status men and women in the middle ages to have their portrait completed in the company of a pet, most commonly cats and dogs, to signify their elevated status.

It is commonplace to see images of cats in iconography of feasts and other domestic spaces, which appears to reflect their status as a pet in the medieval household.

In Pietro Lorenzetti’s Last Supper, a cat sits by the fire while a small dog licks a plate of leftovers on the ground. The cat and dog play no narrative role in the scene, but instead signal to the viewer that this is a domestic space.

Similarly, in the miniature of a Dutch Book of Hours (a common type of prayer book in the middle ages that marked the divisions of the day with specific prayers), a man and woman feature in a cozy household scene while a well looked-after cat gazes on from the bottom left-hand corner. Again, the cat is not the center of the image nor the focus of the composition, but it is accepted in this medieval domestic space.

Just like today, medieval families gave their cats names. A 13th-century cat in Beaulieu Abbey, for example, was called “Mite” according to the green ink lettering that appears above a doodle of said cat in the margins of a medieval manuscript.

Royal treatment

Cats were well cared for in the medieval household. In the early 13th century, there is mention in the accounts for the manor at Cuxham (Oxfordshire) of cheese being bought for a cat, which suggests that they were not left to fend for themselves.

In fact, the 14th-century queen of France, Isabeau of Bavaria, spent excessive amounts of money on accessories for her pets. In 1387, she commissioned a collar embroidered with pearls and fastened by a gold buckle for her pet squirrel. In 1406, bright green cloth was bought to make a special cover for her cat.

Cats were also common companions for scholars, and eulogies about cats were not uncommon in the 16th century. In one poem, a cat is described as a scholar’s light and dearest companion. Eulogies such as this suggest a strong emotional attachment to pet cats, and show how cats not only cheered up their masters but provided welcome distractions from the hard mental craft of reading and writing.

Cats in the cloisters

Cats are found in abundance as a status symbol in medieval religious spaces. There are lots of medieval manuscripts that feature, for example, illuminations (small images) of nuns with cats, and cats frequently appear as doodles in the margins of Books of Hours.

But there is also much criticism about the keeping of cats in medieval sermon literature. The 14th-century English preacher John Bromyard considered them useless and overfed accessories of the rich that benefited while the poor went hungry.

Cats are also recorded as being associated with the devil. Their stealth and cunning when hunting for mice was admired—but this did not always translate into qualities desirable for companionship. These associations led to the killing of some cats, which had detrimental effects during the Black Death and other middle age plagues, when more cats may have reduced flea-infested rat populations.

Because of these associations, many thought that cats had no place in the sacred spaces of religious orders. There do not seem to have been any formal rules, however, stating that members of religious communities were not allowed to keep cats—and the constant criticism of the practice perhaps suggests that pet cats were common.

Even if they were not always considered as socially acceptable in religious communities, cats were still clearly well looked after. This is evident in the playful images we see of them in monasteries.

For the most part, cats were quite at home in the medieval household. And as their playful depiction in many medieval manuscripts and artwork makes clear, our medieval ancestors’ relationships with these animals were not too different from our own. Humans have always loved us!

Study FindsCats recognize the names of feline furiends who share the same household.

“Hey Al, The Human is calling for you.”

Cats can remember each other’s names when living in the same household, according to a new study.

The research, conducted by Kyoto University and published in Scientific Reports, found cats could identify other felines by their names and faces.

The scientists showed pet cats living in homes and felines living in “cat cafés” photos of cats they resided with to determine their reactions. The cats were then played an audio recording of their owners, or a researcher, calling out a name — either the name of the familiar cat in the photo or a fake name.

California Woman Accidentally Takes in Baby Fox After Mistaking Wild Animal for a Lost Kitten

Researchers discovered that pet cats spent more time looking at the image when the audio incorrectly identified a familiar cat than when the correct name was said. The study’s authors concluded this behavior may have occurred due to the cat expecting the correct name and being confused when it is not stated.

Additionally, the study found that cats who have lived with a family for a more extended time were more likely to stare at a photo of a misidentified cat for longer. However, cats who lived in cafés did not exhibit the same behavior.

“Whereas house cats probably learn by observing the reaction of the specific cat whose name was called, café cats are more likely to hear different names called by different guests, making such learning more difficult,” the authors wrote.

Feline who hates cat carrier purfurrs baby car seat

Fitzwilliam Darcy, a Flame Point Siamese cat from Edmonton, Canada, got to experience what it’s like to travel as a mini human (without the actual car ride).

Posting to the THIS CAT IS C H O N K Y group (a group I might add that Oliver and I are proud members of) on December 13, owner Natalie Ehrenholz shared two snaps of Fitz—who only goes by his full name when he’s in trouble—in her daughter’s car seat.

Captioned “safety furst,” the adorable photos have received almost 4,000 likes from fellow cat lovers..”

Walk Through The Web Wednesday – 12/21

Well wouldn’t you know it-The Human forgot to set our post for publishing yesterday so the feline staff had to take matters into our own paws.

Now, not to be too hard on her, she’s still recovering from her “flu-ey” state and not operating at 100%, not to mention it has been C-O-L-D in our neck of the woods! The sun is shining today and this is the current temperature according to Weather Kitty.

Here’s an early morning photo of our lake.

We are sending you all Christmas Greetings and purraying you are all staying safe and warm.

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.”

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

What medication flavors do cats prefer? Science says none.

The Human is quite familiar with the finicky reactions we felines have toward medicine. She has become fast furiends with our local compounding pharmacist and has spent much money looking for a medicine taste we would say “yes” to.

Amy Nichelason, a board-certified canine and feline practitioner and assistant clinical professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine says that pills, forced into our mouths can negatively affect the human-animal bond, increase inflammation of the esophagus and make us  more apprehensive about future treatment. Liquid forms of medication are typically easier to administer to cats, but acceptance of the medication hinges a lot on the taste.

Nichelason and colleagues recently studied ways to increase medicine acceptance among cats by comparing flavor acceptance in liquid medications. They published their findings in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

If your human doesn’t know about compounding, its where the formulation of a prescription drug is changed to make the cat accept it.

In the study, healthy pet cats received a variety of flavorings, like chicken, beef and fish, in unmedicated oil- and water-based formulas. Owners gave the cats different flavors at home and observed which their cats ate. However, no flavor stuck out as the favorite.

One interesting finding was that cats don’t like sweet flavors in water-based formulations. This surprised Nichelason and her peers because cats can’t taste sweetness.

“They lack the gene to taste sweetness, so it’s interesting that they actively disliked the sweet flavor,” she notes.

Another standout finding was that owners struggled to accurately guess which compounding flavor their cat would like. Owners’ perceptions of their cats’ preferences in the study were only moderately associated with flavor acceptance.

“They’d say, ‘oh, my cat will like chicken,’ and then the cat preferred fish,” Nichelason says. MOL, you humans should know better than making blanket statements like this.

Although no individual flavor stuck out as a winner overall, cats favored oil-based flavorings over water-based flavorings. There were some trends toward preferences within the oil-based flavorings (specifically, chicken and fish), but these findings were not statistically significant.

In other words, all those trials and tests proved what everyone who knows cats already understands, we’re finicky.

“The moral of the story is to try something that has the best odds of working,” Nichelason says. “What I took home from this as a veterinarian is that I should avoid sweet flavors and use oil-based flavorings when possible.”

Nichelason offers a few general recommendations for lessening the stress of giving your cat medication: Try different formulations – chews, liquid or tablets – based on what your cat likes. If you aren’t sure of their preference, many compounding pharmacies have unmedicated samples owners can try giving their cats before adding the medication.

Additionally, rewarding your cat after any medication with a treat or extra affection can reinforce a positive outcome. But being honest with your veterinarian is most important.

“If the formulation isn’t working and it is creating stress, let us know so we can work together to create a better medication plan,” Nichelason advises.

FDA approves oral treatment for cats with diabetes

And while we’re talking about medication, the Food and Drug Administration announced Dec. 8 that the agency has approved the first oral animal drug to improve glycemic control in otherwise healthy cats with diabetes mellitus not previously treated with insulin.

Bexacat is an inhibitor of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2, the first SGLT2 inhibitor approved by the FDA for any nonhuman animal species. Bexagliflozin, the active ingredient in Bexacat, prevents a cat’s kidneys from reabsorbing glucose into the blood, causing excess glucose to be passed out in the urine and resulting in lowered blood glucose. Bexacat is given to cats orally once daily via a flavored tablet. he Food and Drug Administration announced Dec. 8 that the agency has approved the first oral animal drug to improve glycemic control in otherwise healthy cats with diabetes mellitus not previously treated with insulin.

An SGLT2 inhibitor is not insulin and is not for use in cats with diabetes mellitus that requires insulin treatment. The labeling for Bexacat includes a boxed warning regarding the need for appropriate patient selection and the potential for certain severe adverse reactions.

Although there are notable safety concerns with the use of Bexacat, according to the FDA, they can be mitigated by carefully screening cats before starting the drug, continued diligent monitoring regardless of the duration of or response to treatment, and knowing how to promptly recognize and appropriately treat serious and life-threatening adverse reactions.

The data from two six-month field studies and an extended-use field study demonstrated that Bexacat was over 80% effective in improving glycemic control in cats with diabetes mellitus.

If you are going to talk to your vet about this t4e3atment, be sure and read the client information sheet (PDF) from Elanco informing them of the potential risks associated with Bexacat treatment, signs to watch for, and what to do if their cat becomes symptomatic.

There are always risks with medication but we’re purraying that this treatment will be a breakthrough for our diabetic furiends.

Southend lotto winners credit their good luck to stray black cat

Tony Pearce, 71, and his wife Deb Pearce, 63, from Southend, England started to feed a stray cat they named Billy when they were in financial difficulty. They were facing perhaps losing their home but they refused to turn their backs on a needy kitty.

Six months later, they won £1m on the National Lottery in 2017 and put the change in their fortunes down to Billy, the black cat.

“People say black cats are unlucky, I’d say nothing could be further from the truth” Mrs Pearce said.

Billy lives his best life with the couple and even goes on holiday with them to their second home in Norfolk.

“When Billy appeared we were close to selling our beloved home and becoming strays ourselves. “Tony had stopped working due to ill health and we were in serious debt.

“It looked like our only option was to go into rented accommodation then, six months after Billy arrived, lady luck struck and our lives changed for good.

Billy is firmly part of the family and the couple have spared no expense in looking after him, paying for twice-daily insulin injections after he was diagnosed with diabetes, and placing him on a tailored hypoallergenic diet.

“Aside from having us on call for his twice-daily injections, we also jump through hoops for his catering whims,” said Mrs Pearce.

“If he has more than three days on the same flavour he turns up his nose and while he enjoys the chicken and vegetable meal, Billy doesn’t like the peas.

“I find myself rooting through his food, picking out the peas and wondering who is the National Lottery millionaire around here?”

Mr Pearce said: “When I find myself paying the bill for vet care or Billy’s specialist diet – that comes in at more than our annual trip to The Savoy – I can’t help thinking that it might be Billy who is also lucky.”

I wonder if they’ll check out the new oral medication for Billy’s diabetes. If this isn’t a purrfect Christmas story, I don’t know what is!

Someone Photoshops Cat Faces Onto Animals And Things, And The Results Are Disturbingly Amusing

As our readers know, at Feline Opines believe that the world is better from a feline point of view and this article from Bored Panda shows us why the world is better when everything has a cat face.

This scenario is made real by this fluffy Instagram account known as “Koty Vezde” (“Cats Are Everywhere”). The page run by Galina Bugaevskaya is dedicated to sharing the most amusing photo manipulations of random animals and things with furry feline faces.

Whatever creature  you can think of shows up with a kitty face and the feline faces are not just put on other animals, but food as well.

How did cats become domesticated?

After studying the DNA of about 350 mummified cats, scientists believe they have the definitive answer as to how we felines were domesticated.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday -on Thursday- 12/15

Hello Furiends,
The Human asked us to express her thanks for all your kind wishes. She is getting better and we are quite relieved to have the level of service at our house beginning to return to normal. Now, let’s get to the most important part of the business of today and that’s announcing our book winners! We have so many wonderful furiends that we told The Human we wanted to send a book to everyone who purrticipated. The Human started meowing about how we can’t afford to do that, as much as she’d like to and we told her it was only little green pieces of paper, she was not swayed or amused. So, here goes….

Brian from Brian’s Home Blog
Christine Carroll
Teddy from One Spoiled Cat

Concatulations to you all. Please send our Purrsonal Assistant an email with your mailing address to FelineOpines@gmail.com and she will get the books out to you right away.
And thank you to everyone who purrticipated!

And now, on to the news stories.

Utah couple buys new house, get the seller’s cat, too

If any of you humans are in real estate, you might want to play attention to this new house contract concept.

Most people will ask for money, appliances, or fixtures during the seller concession phase of buying a home but this home sale concession was based on a relationship-with a cat in residence.

Tori Taillac, and her fiancé, Alex Kravets, fell in love with, as Tori describes him, “the grumpiest-looking but sweetest cat I have ever met.”  And Loki the cat, who originally wasn’t part of the sale become the thing that sweetened the deal.

After making an offer that the seller accepted, it was hard for Taillac to focus on the walk through because she was spending so much time with Loki.

 “I made a joke when he mentioned that he was going to leave us an air purifier. I said, ‘You can leave us a cat, too. I love your cat.’”

The owner’s ears perked up because he said he’d been worried about moving his young cat Loki to a smaller home after the cat was used to having more space. He felt that Loki would be happier staying in this house and continuing his inside, outside life.

On the seller’s counter offer to he couple, he dropped the price down, but said that he’d include the cat and the air purifiers.  ”

The couple’s realtor, Crystal Richardson of Chapman Richards and Associates of Salt Lake City, said she has never had a cat listed as part of a real estate addendum before.

“I’ve been doing this for 34 years,” Richardson told Fox News Digital. “I’ve had people ask for a lot of strange things — but never a cat.”

Loki is already making friends with the couple’s seven-year-old dog, Marcus — an active half Shiba-half mini Australian shepherd. 

As is usual in social media, there were a lot of negative comments about the cat being given up, especially on TikTok.

Since The Human is a cat behaviorist, we asked her what she thought and she said that sometimes, the best decision is the hardest. Loki’s human was worried about how Loki would transition to a new, smaller inside life and, when he saw how much this couple loved Loki, he felt this would be the right thing for the cat. And from what she saw on Instagram and TikTok, she could see that Loki is very happy in his old house with his new family.   

How Cinnamon the Cat went from feral feline to therapy cat at Collierville Animal Services

Cinnamon, a formal feral cat has been working for the Collierville Animal Services for 15 years. Meowza, that’s a long time! Her life began as a feral, living in the shelter parking lot and today, she’s the beloved chief of cat socialization at the shelter.

Nina Wingfield ,the Director of Collierville Animal Services. said, Cinnamon was trapped and spayed in 2007 and she eventually found a place in Wingfield’s office. 

“She’s like our therapy cat,” Animal Care Technician and Animal Control Officer Sandy Kraemer said. “She takes care of all our young kittens that we get in. She corrects them. She makes them behave themselves.”

Cinnamon is also the shelter’s best interrogator for new staff interviews and will let the powers that be know if they get a paws up or paws down.

Cinnamon’s services extend to staff morale as well. When staff is having a bad day, they come in the office, sit on the couch and Cinnamon will crawl in their lap and offer some purr therapy.

Ever since Cinnamon was brought inside the shelter, she’s never had any desire to leave and continues to thrive as a very important member of the team.  

An Exhibition of Cat Art Worthy of a Meowseum

Cats have descended upon Maspeth, Queens, where Mrs. gallery is featuring the work of 39 artists focused on a single theme: furry felines. Cats have been an art historical focus for thousands of years, and the gallery’s latest exhibition, titled Even a Cat Can Look at the Queen, celebrates this.

From Cait Porter’s loving rendering of a fuzzy tabby’s paw to a Philip Hinge chair sculpture made out of scratching posts, the exhibition includes works by longtime artists of Mrs.’s program as well as some who have never before shown with the gallery.

Almost all of the works are by living artists, with a few exceptions, including an Andy Warhol print that presents perhaps the exhibition’s most straightforward depiction of a cat. A painting by Renate Druks — movie star, director, and avid painter of cats — titled “Male Cat Club” (1980).

Other works in the show are decidedly more modern, such as Sophie Vallance’s “Tiger Diner” (2022), which features the checkerboard pattern and rounded aesthetic that has become popularized on social media over the last few years. But like Druks, Vallance places cats in a surprising setting; namely, sitting in a diner.

The exhibit will be at the Mrs. Museum, 60 – 40 56th Drive in Maspeth, NY until January 7th.

England players adopt stray Qatar cat after World Cup exit

England’s hopes of lifting the World Cup might have been dashed but Manchester City duo Kyle Walker and John Stones did not want to leave Qatar completely empty handed . They will return home with a stray cat that cat befriended by the team at their training base.

The cat, who Stones named Dave, will have to spend four months in quarantine before he can be reunited with the City duo.

“He was just there one day, so we’ve just adopted him, me and Stonesy,” Walker told the Football Association’s official media channel.

“First day we got there … Dave pops out,” Stones added. “Every night he sat there waiting for his food.”

 It looks like Dave made the right choice and we look forward to hearing about his new life in the UK after his quarantine is over.

Cat Loves Riding Around London With Her Dad

This is an update on Travis Nelson, an American living in London and his cat Sigrid. I had reported that due to visa issues the human and his feline and a lot of free time so they explored the city via bicycle.  “Since Sigrid was already accustomed to going for walks on a lead, there was no transition needed at all.

Now their journeys have been turned into a book and, If you visit their Instagram page, you can see videos that make you feel as though you’re on the bike with them. Also, Oliver was quite excited to see that Sigrid has the same red bandana halter he has!

We interrupt this blog…

Dear Furiends,

We have been on duty providing care and purr therapy for The Human since Saturday. She calls it “the crud” but we purrfer to call it by it’s medical name, the flu.

The good news is we have selected the three book winners and we’ll announce them tomorrow on our day late blog.

And The Human has turned the corner due to our diligent purrfessional care.

Purrs & Head Bonks,

The Feline Opines Medical Staff