Walk Through The Web Wednesday – 8/3

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello There Furiends,

Things are finally cooling off in our neck of the woods and some of the local critters are availing themselves of our little pond and waterfall. The Human enjoyed watching a mamma raccoon take her two kids into the water and under the waterfall but said human was so enamored of the view she forgot to get a photo of the furry family so here’s a photo of the pond sans wildlife.

The woodland critters are back mooching, they like the upstairs deck.

Oh uh, hello there. Thanks for the tasty snack and the snack holder.”
“Yo, yeah, you there. The trash pandas have eaten all my bird….err squirrel food again!”

Lily, Oliver and I also enjoy hanging out on the upstairs deck too.

Since we had such a rainy spring and early summer, the plants in the front yard are happy.

Some of our thoughts about the heat and our methods of cooling off.

That ‘s the report from our neck of the woods. Let us know how things are going in yours and enjoy this week’s news stories, there are some fun ones!

New Study Links Cat Hormones and Gut Microbiomes to Their Social Behavior

My readers know that I’m not much of a “sciency” feline but there are scientific issues regarding cats that I do find interesting and this is one. A A new study from researchers at Azabu University in Japan suggests that house cats’ gut microbiomes and hormones like cortisol, oxytocin and testosterone may explain why some felines get along well with each other and others are more aloof. 

Now you humans talk a lot about “gut health” (or at least our Human does) and how important it is and now, it looks like it’s important for cats too.

Researchers split 15 shelter cats into groups, placing five random cats in three 13-by-25-foot rooms for two weeks. Over this time period, they used video cameras to observe the cats’ behavior, and they collected urine and feces to measure hormones and microbial species present. 

They found that cats with higher cortisol and testosterone concentrations exhibited fewer social behaviors like grooming, sharing food or sniffing, while those with lower amounts of cortisol and testosterone were more social. Additionally, cats with similar microbiomes had more frequent contact with each other, and cats with higher testosterone levels were more likely to try to escape, per the study. The results were published in the journal PLOS ONE

Unexpectedly, oxytocin—often called the “love hormone”—was lower in cats exhibiting more social behaviors. 

The scientists did state that because the cats were of different or unknown ages and backgrounds, “we do not consider our results to be applicable to all cat groups,” Future research should look into how factors like spending time together as juveniles and changes in environmental conditions affect social behaviors. And though the study showed correlations between hormones and behaviors, causality is unknown. The authors conclude in the study that research conducted over a longer period of time may be required to provide “more comprehensive information.”

In other words, we’re not to take the study as gospel but still, it’s interesting and I do apurreciate the good folks in Japan for all the cat research they do!

Cat is obsessed with the ocean

Bao Zi was shy and timid and would always hide from everyone, until her humans took her to the ocean and then everything changed . You can follow Bao Zi ‘s aquatic adventures on Instagram. And if this story of a cat cooling themselves off in the water appeals to you check out Captain Ahab the sailor, The paddle boarding Bug and his human, Veterinarian Dr. Kenneth Lambrecht (our Human met Bug and Dr. Ken!) and Yoshi the tubing cat and his beloved human boy companion (see all their photos below). There are a lot more water and outdoor loving felines to get to know at Adventure Cats.

Cat lovers can try cat-food inspired dishes at Fancy Feast’s Italian pop-up

Fancy Feast is expanding into feline-inspired human cuisine, with a New York City Italian restaurant designed to celebrate the company’s new line.

Gatto Bianco, (“white cat,”) is described by Fancy Feast as an “Italian-style trattoria,” and will be open for dinner reservations on August 11-12 only.

The human-friendly dishes were inspired by Fancy Feast’s new “Medleys” cat food line, which feature options like “Beef Ragú Recipe With Tomatoes & Pasta in a Savory Sauce” for the cat with discerning taste. Hmm, our Tribe has discerning taste, we’ll make a note for The Human to add that to the Chewy order!

Only a lucky few will have the opportunity to try the Gatto Bianco pop-up, located between Manhattan’s Far West Village and the Meatpacking District. The experience is limited to a total of 16 guests, who will each enjoy a complimentary tasting menu free of charge. The menu was designed by Fancy Feast’s in-house chef, Amanda Hassner, and New York restaurateur Cesare Casella.

The chef said, “Food has the power to connect us to others in meaningful ways and take us to places we have never been, The same is true for our cats. The dishes at Gatto Bianco are prepared in ways that help cat owners understand how their cats experience food — from flavor, to texture, to form — in a way that only Fancy Feast can.”

This isn’t Fancy Feast’s first foray into human dining. In 2021, the company released a cookbook with recipes cat lovers can make to pair with their cat’s food.

For those who can’t get their paws on a reservation, you can get the recipe book here. If your human tries these recipes, meow about it in the comments and let us know what they thought.

Hot dogs – and cats – get wearable fans to beat Japan’s scorching summer

Once again our furiends in Japan come through for kitties. A Tokyo clothing maker teamed up with veterinarians to create a wearable fan for pets. The device consists of a battery-operated, 80-gramme (3-ounce) fan that is attached to a mesh outfit and blows air around an animal’s body.

Rei Uzawa, president of maternity clothing maker Sweet Mommy, says she was motivated to create it after seeing her own pet chihuahua exhausted every time it was taken out for a walk in the scorching summer heat.

“There was almost no rainy season this year, so the hot days came early, and in that sense, I think we developed a product that is right for the market,” she said.

After the rainy season ended in late June, Tokyo suffered through a heat wave for nine days. This device would be especially nice for all my feline furiends that are adventure cats or who just like to go for a summer stroll, even when it’s hot.

The device debuted in early July and Sweet Mommy has received around 100 orders for the product, Uzawa said. It comes in five different sizes and is priced at 9,900 yen ($74). I sent our Purrsonal Assistant all over the web to find a link to buy these products but it appears you an buy them in every country but the good old US of A. They do have a US Facebook page that hasn’t been updated since January. Looks like you’ll just have to have furiend in Japan buy one for you.

Pedalpalooza Cat Ride brings out feline families and friends

Woo Hoo for the bike riding, cat loving folks in Portland. They donned their whiskers and cat ears and purrticipated in the fourth annual Cat Ride.

The humans didn’t just dress up like cats, some actually rode with their felines. Those folks walking by the Southeast Ankeny greenway might have been confused by all the meows they heard. The ride was put on by Portland Pedalpalooza. Maybe next year they could help their local shelter by “charging” each biker to bring a bag of cat food as their entry fee.  

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 7/21

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Wednesday Furiends!
This is a great Wednesday as we got some rain! Meowza does that make a difference! Aside from the precipitation, there’s not a lot new in our neck of the woods.

I have been taking on a new role (in addition to the many roles I have) as morning advisor to The Human. I have noticed for quite a while that she could use some assistance in getting ready in the morning. This feline has so much on his plate but I am the kind of guy who sees a need and steps in. So far, The Human is not expressing the amount of gratitude for this sacrifice of my time that she should, but I’m sure she will come around soon.

Lily heard there was some rain coming and she insisted on going on the upstairs deck with The Human to watch for the clouds and enjoy that nice “rainy” smell in the air.

“Get ready folks, the rain is coming!”:

The Human purchased a nice floofy bed for us and as soon as it was delivered and she put it on one of the levels of the cat condo, Oliver took it over. I think we can safely say Oliver approves. As for Lily and I, we haven’t been able to get near it yet.

Well, enough about us, let’s check in on other felines in this week’s news report. ‘Hope your week is filled with showers (if you need them) and floofy beds.

The best U.S. cities to be a cat

The #3 city is the closest one to our neck of the woods so con-catulations Salt Lake City! OneVet  rated all these cities on many different things such as the number of veterinarians, pet friendly rentals, number of cat adoptions and more. Who was #1? Miami with Orlando at number 2 (‘seems like Florida really loves felines!)

If your humans are thinking about moving, I’d have them check out this site because not only are there ratings for the best cities for felines, there are ratings for the worst states for felines (New Y ork, I hiss in your direction and my condolences to my feline furiends in the Big Apple) as well as cities with the most cat adoptions, cat café’s and more.

I also found out that the OneVet company is interesting as it offers protection for humans against unexpected vet bills and get this, a single subscription covers up to 6 pets! Meowza, I’m sending The Human over to check it out!

Cats Protection Pawsome Afternoon Teas returns

Siamese Cat and human having a tea party
Photo from our feature, “Navi’s Tea Party”

I love how our furiends across the pond love felines and this event shows their love and support of cats in a very British kind of way with cakes, biscuits and of course, tea as cat lovers across the U.K. host afternoon teas to raise money for Cats Protection.

This year the tea events take place during the month of August and there are many ways to purrticipate such as holding a tea party at home, a bake sale for your office, or an outdoor picnic.

You can find inspurration with the online tutorials Cats Protection has provided for things such as Purrfect Pawprint Cupcakes, Cat Face Biscuits, Cat Face Cupcakes

Cats Protection uses the money from these teas to help so many cats. For instance 20 Pounds (a little over $27.00 U.S.) will feed four cats at a shelter for 25 days and fifty pounds sterling (a little over $68.00 U.S.) will provide eight kittens with milk for 14 days.

I’m encouraging all our British furiends to go online and sign up and America, we need to get something like this going too!

Surfing cat raises awareness for mental health

Now my regular readers shouldn’t be surprised to hear about a surfing cat. I’ve featured all kinds of adventure cats in my Wednesday news features but that doesn’t make Maverick any less cool.

Maverick started his surfing career when his human put him on a surfboard in the pool when he was just a kitten and that’s when his adventures began. Maverick skateboards, paddleboards in addition to surfing.

Maverick has been featured in People and has nearly 50,000 followers on Instagram. Recently, he starred in an episode of “Cat People,” a Netflix series that showcases the unique bonds humans have with their pets.

And if you think Maverick is just a selfish adventure seeker, think again. He works with his humans to spread awareness about mental health.

His humans say, “We’re trying to open up a dialogue and let Maverick be on the forefront and also allow people to realize that having an emotional support animal or therapy animal enhances your life and adds so much.”

Mav’s motto is “trying to smash the perception cats have to stay home.” This feline agrees and I (and the rest of The Tribe) enjoy putting on our harnesses and going for a stroll with our Human.  

Pixel the cat is an online celebrity

Pixel is a l2-year old Cornish Rex with a distinctive grin, slightly protruding eyes and some fancyt fangs that give him a very special look. Pixel’s human, Alyson Kalhagen, says the feline has a goofy personality to go with his funny facial expressions. He loves hanging out with his family and insists on being in on anything that’s going on, whether it’s movie watching or playing fetch.

And lest you think Pixel is reluctant in front of the camera, think again. His human says he loves to model.

And, social media being what it is (full of critics and naysayers), Pixel gets some less than flattering email, some even accuse him of being a demon in a cat’s body. I say some of you humans just need to keep your opinions to yourselves! I think Pixel is the cat’s meow!

Vote for Alberto

Furiends, I am not usually a self-promoter but this time it’s for a good cause.

I just entered the  Second Annual Rescue Brew Beer Spokescat contest. (Oh, they are also having a Spokesdog too but that’s not important). Who can enter? The rules allow rescue cats (and dogs) from all over the country. You enter on the Charleston Animal Societies website. Nominations are July 15-August 15 with a $10.00 entry donation which goes to the Charleston Animal Society.

Voting will be August 16 until September 17. Three finalist cats (and dogs) will be voted on and local celebrity judges will make the final decision with one winning cat (and one dog) appearing on the labels of the 2021 Rescue Brew Beer. The six finalists cats (and dogs) will receive a $100.00 gift certificate for pet supplies from the pet supply store at the Charleston Animal Society and a “Mega Pupcake” from Cupcake DownSouth.

The grand prize winning cat (and dog) will be announced on October 16.

And why is this Northwest feline entering this contest in Charleston, SC?  My human nephew, Burke Fahling, is a member of the Charleston Battery soccer team and, since I’m a fan (note the bandana, although I was forced to sport a dog bandana since the team isn’t enlightened enough to offer cat products). I figured my connection with the team might get all the beer loving soccer fans to vote and that would result in more donations for the shelter.

I’m asking my furiends to mark your calendar for August 16-September 17 and please vote for your furiend Alberto and help the Charleston Animal Society..