Walk Through The Web Wednesday 4/14

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Wednesday Furiends,
I hope you all had a great week filled with all the kibble you want. The D-I-E-T thing is going better for some of us than for others.

“Alberto, I am so weak I can hardly get up.” “Ollie, it’s not that bad, just stop eating your daily ration of kibble in one sitting!”

In The Human’s defense, she is trying to offer us new forms of entertainment to attempt to take our minds off our growling tummies and she plays with us to make sure we get some exercise. Oliver is having none of it and has taken to whacking his pottery kibble bowl down the hallway at 3:00am.

Lily isn’t bothered, she has never eaten that much and quite likes the fact that the snow is now gone and she can look down into the forest to keep track of our resident deer.

“Hey Human, the deer is back!”

As for me, I have really been enjoying my kitty TV experiences. Sadly, there was an unfortunate incident with the living room TV so my viewing has now been restricted to the small screen.

Of the three of us, Oliver is the most dramatic and fighting the new food regime. Lily and I (and The Human) do not pay attention to his histrionics and we are all hoping he will adjust soon.

“Somebody help me, I’m too weak to sit up.”

It’s time to leave the diet drama behind and see what feline stories were on the web this week.

Sensitive to Cat Allergens? Take The LiveClear Challenge with Purina Pro Plan and Mayim Bialik

I reported on this new food from Purina several months ago and it’s a game changer for people who love cats but are allergic to them. Now, Purina Pro Plan has partnered with actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik to kick-off The LiveClear Challenge. This challenge encourages cat owners with cat allergen sensitivities to discover the life-changing power of Pro Plan LiveClear. LiveClear is the first and only cat food that reduces the major allergen in cat hair and dander.

When you sign up for the challenge,  Pro Plan will donate $5 to the Petfinder Foundation, (up to $25,000) to fund a cat retention grant program that helps keep cats in happy homes – regardless of allergen sensitivities. These donations will be made throughout the rest of this year.

It’s been reported that 1 in 5 adults are sensitive to cat allergens. While many people think cat hair is the problem, it’s actually what’s on it—a protein called Fel d 1 that cats produce in their saliva. When cats groom, Fel d 1 gets on their hair and skin through the saliva, then into the environment when they shed.

When cats eat Pro Plan LiveClear, the key ingredient – a specific protein sourced from eggs – binds to Fel d 1 and safely neutralizes it in the cats’ mouth. By reducing the active allergen in saliva, it reduces the allergen transferred to the hair and dander when grooming, ultimately reducing the allergen in the environment.

“As a neuroscientist and all-around science ‘nerd’ myself, I appreciate the decade of research that went into developing Pro Plan LiveClear and what it means for cat-lovers like me,” said Bialik. “Several people close to me are sensitive to cat allergens, including my boyfriend, and while I take many steps already to manage allergens in my home, it’s often not enough. I’m taking The LiveClear Challenge with my three cats so that hopefully those I love can feel more comfortable being in my home and getting closer to my cats.”

While not intended to replace other methods for managing allergens, Pro Plan LiveClear can add another measure to help reduce the allergen burden in cat-owning households.

Find out more about Pro Plan LiveClear or sign up for the challenge (and save $8.00 on a bag of food), click here.

The pussycat went to sea: How cats were used to predict the weather

Unsinkable Sam

It has been understood over the ages that cats (and other animals) can predict the weather. One woman’s cat would always sit with it’s back to the fireplace when a storm was coming. For many centuries sailors, who were known to be superstitious and who were always looking for ways to predict the weather, believed that feline’s sensitivity to weather changes made them valuable crew members.

Cats were also considered to bring good luck to the ships they were on. They were valued members of the crew and treated as such. The crew would get to know their cat’s  behavior very well, so that if they started acting out of character, they would take it very seriously indeed. If a cat tried to leap overboard, or repeatedly pawed at its face,-p they knew bad weather was approaching and could therefore take preparatory action. If they were in dock and a nursing cat began to carry her kittens ashore, that was a very bad omen, and some seamen would refuse to sail at all.

Many centuries ago, there was the belief that a cat had magic powers, and could cause a storm by twitching its tail, but later sailors realized that the tail twitching was not causing the bad weather but rather was a sign that it was on the way.

Today, we know is that cats are sensitive to changes in air pressure, so when warm and cool air collide, which is how a storm develops, the moist warm air is forced upwards, while the cooler less dense air is forced down towards the earth’s surface. As a cat senses these pressure changes, it will often try to look for somewhere to hide, a natural survival tactic. It can also be seen repeatedly cleaning its face and ears with its paws, which eases the discomfort it feels due to these changes, and its general apprehension is evident in a constantly twitching tail.

Cats were carried on ships until relatively recently, the tradition ending only in 1975 when they were banned by the Royal Navy for health and safety reasons. I wrote about one of the most famous nautical felines, Unsinkable Sam, in my March 24, Web Wednesday feature.  According to the tale, he started out as mascot for the German battleship Bismarck, but after it was sunk in May 1941, he was rescued from the sea by the crew of the British destroyer HMS Cossack. The crew named the black and white cat Oscar from the letter O in the International Code of Signals, which means “man overboard”.

He sailed with HMS Cossack for the next few months until the boat, which was escorting a convoy from Gibraltar to Great Britain, was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine in October 1941. The cat was rescued alongside the surviving crew by HMS Ark Royal, and it was then that he was given the nickname Unsinkable Sam. But his time aboard the Ark Royal was short, as it too was torpedoed by a German U-boat the following month. Attempts were made to tow it to Gibraltar, but it was taking on to much water and eventually sank 30 miles from the shore.

Sam was found unharmed and clinging to a plank, and ultimately taken back to land. After surviving the destruction of three ships, the Navy decided to retire him from ocean-going service, and he served in the Governor of Gibraltar’s office for a time, before being taken back to the Belfast Home for Sailors where he saw out the remainder of his days.

He died in 1955 and his portrait can be seen in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England.

Houseplant Cat Club: PSPCA helps shy cats flourish with time, patience, and plenty of sun

What a meowvelous idea the Pennsylvania SPCA came up with in this program!  When the good folks at the shelter read about how humans, stuck in their houses, were learning container gardening to pass the time in quarantine. an idea was born.

 “Over the course of the last year, pandemic plants have become very popular with individuals wanting to care for living objects while creating tranquil indoor sanctuaries during these uncertain and stressful times,” shelter officials said in a press release. ”The PSPCA is hoping these very same people will open their hearts and homes to cats who are in search of tranquility, hope and a new beginning.”

The matchmaking effort comes in the form of a new initiative: the Houseplant Cat Club.

Specifically, the nonprofit seeks to showcase cats whose social skills leave something to be desired.

To encourage new cat families to “grow together,” the PSPCA is teaming up with Urban Jungle Philly. Under the program, adoption fees will be waived for these shy felines, and each adopter will receive a $25 gift certificate to pick up a houseplant from Urban Jungle. Adoptable cats will be featured on the garden center’s social media and on posters in store.

More than a dozen felines are currently designated as potential “houseplant cats,” but the shelter has no shortage of shy kitties, Maddie Bernstein, PSPCA’s manager of lifesaving, told WHYY News.

Paws Up award by FelineOpines.net for humans who do amazing things for cats

Shy and timid kitties don’t always get the attention they deserve when potential adopters visit shelters and hopefully this program will give them the attention they deserve and help them find furever homes. Paws up to the PSPCA and the Urban Jungle!

Take meow-t to the ball game: The scoop on the cats of Coors Field

Last Friday night, a bold feline dared to go where few of its comrades have trod before — and made himself famous in the process as he shot across a Major League Baseball field mid-game and captured the hearts of feline lovers across the country.

This cat is one of many who are called “the cats of Coors Field” and who keep the mice at bay. These cats have quite a few fans and have their own paparazzi. This colony has lived here for decades before the filed was ever built. They are shy and don’t like to mingle with the humans who come to watch the games.

The employees at Coors Field are as reticent about their feline residents as the felines are shy. There is one cat who does make frequent appearances and he’s been dubbed the Coors Field Cat (he isn’t the feline who disrupted the Friday game).  He is spotted often enough to earn himself his own Twitter account.

Now that the cats have become so famous, a local TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) program is preparing to trap as many of the felines they can to neuter or spay them and then return them to their purrsonal baseball field.

A Connecticut drive in is inviting felines (and canines) to take in a movie with their humans

As you all know by now, I am living feline proof that cats can enjoy movies. And there are some enlightened folks at the Mansfield Drive In who understand this too. For the first time since the mid-1990s, the three-screen drive-in complex is letting people bring their furry family members with them.

The drive-in owners said that well-behaved dogs and cats, with well-behaved owners, are welcome at movie screenings.  Animals must be kept in cars or on leashes in their owner’s parking spots and owners must clean up after their pets. (Now that’s just too bad, I would love to run up and swat a gigantic bird on the big screen!)

Dogs were allowed at the drive-in in the ’90s but that was discontinued largely because people failed to clean up after their dogs. Hmph, it’s always the barkies that ruin a good thing.

Pet owners will be given a pet treat and a waste bag upon entering the drive-in. Extra waste bags can be found free at the snack bar or delivered to cars with a snack bar delivery order, which can be done through the app Noble Bar.

Now if they restricted their furry clientele to felines only, they wouldn’t have to spend all that money on waste bags since our staff can just bring our litter box along.

Animal admission is free with human admission. The owners are designating a local shelter every week to receive donations and they are hoping people will give a donation

This weekend’s movies are “Godzilla vs. Kong,”  “Joker” and “Sonic the Hedgehog” . I think I’d pick the hedgehog one and would also suggest Stuart Little, an American Tail and Ratatouille.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 1/20

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello There Furiends,
I hope you have been enjoying yourself this week. This week, Lily and I made some progress in our relationship. Oliver and I are trying not to chase her off the bed and all around the house. While Lily and were waiting for breakfast to be served, we discussed the state of our relationship.

So Lily, what do you think we try to be better furiends? I know you miss your cuddle buddy Tucker.
So Al, were you serious about that furiendship thing or are you going to chase me off the bed?
Wow, who would have believed it, a cuddle!!

The Human hasn’t caught us in another cuddle but she’s hopeful. Lily and Oliver are still mulling the situation over.

Well, that cuddle was nice. Maybe it will happen again.
I’m not ready to make any promises. Lily and Alberto can sing kumbaya all they want.

Well, here’s hoping Oliver will get on board the furiendship train. And here are our feline news items for the week.

Gee, I wonder if I’m an outgoing Oliver

What kind of personality does your cat have?

Professor Peter Neville has worked alongside specialists at eco-cat litter company Natusan to identify five unique personality types that can help cat caretakers tailor their approach to their pet.

Working with date from 3,700 cat parents, experts have found five common personalities in cats and labeled them Nervous Nala, Outgoing Oliver, Bossy Bella, Spontaneous Simba and Agreeable Alfie.  

They found that even in the same household, and from the same litter, we felines can be very different in our behaviors and preferences.

The professor says that, “Like humans, the more we appreciate what makes them tick, the more we can fine tune our interactions, and create environments that encourage them to thrive by accommodating their social and emotional needs.

Outgoing Olivers are usually more vocal and extroverted

Nervous Nalas have delicate dispositions and are often more highly strung than other cats. They can be shy around other cats.

Bossy Bellas are very assertive and often the top cats in multi cat households.

Spontaneous Simbas are the most impulsive and have a lot of energy (the kind of felines that love midnight zoomies).

Agreeable Alfies are the epitome of a cool cat. They are calm and sociable often as a result of proper socialization as kittens.

I don’t know what you think about all this my furiends. As for me, I’m not so sure all felines fit into one category.

Cats can drift too!

Our Human has relatives who like different forms of car racing and introduced her into the car sport of “drifting” which is a driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, loses traction but still maintains control of the vehicle. Imagine my surprise when I found out that cats can drift too.

Gee, I wonder, am I considered a second class citizen?

Are felines sometimes treated as second class? Some cat owners say yes

Pet Product News recently noted that dog owners do seem to get all the attention, especially when it comes to marketing and production for pet food, pet products and pet services according to a new survey.

In Packaged Facts’ Survey of Pet Owners, cat owners were asked whether they perceive that cats are “sometimes treated as second class” compared to dogs by various types of players in the pet industry. Across the board to varying degrees, the answer was “yes,” including for general merchandise stores that sell pet products (with 51 percent of cat owners agreeing strongly or somewhat that cats sometimes get second-class treatment), companies that make pet food/treats (45 percent), companies that make non-food products (45 percent), pet specialty stores (44 percent) and veterinarians (41 percent).

The good news my feline furiends, is that this does seem to be changing.  Last year, many of the new products introduced at Global Pet Expo 2020 were cat-focused, including New Product Showcase winners Moody Pet’s Fling-Ama-String and Four Paws’ Kitty Kat Circus, and during 2020 Petco unleashed a slew of promotional emails with feline-focused headlines including ‘You had me at Meow,’ ‘Kitty 101’ and ‘Kitty’s first shopping list .

These marketing folks are finally getting the idea that cats rock and cat parents like to lavish us with all sorts of goodies.

8 Hypoallergenic Cats for People with Allergies


This feline was dismayed to learn that more people are allergic to cats than any other animal. About one in five people in the world have allergy symptons such as sneezing, itchy eyes, coughing, wheezing and even the hives if exposed to cats. What a bummer!

But don’t lose hope my allergic feline loving furiends! Studies have found that it is’t t he amount of fur a cat has and that some of the most “hypoallergenic “ cats have very full, long coats.

Allergic reactions to felines come from reactions to a protein called Fel d 1, which is a protein that is present in our skin, saliva, and urine. When we lick our fur, this Fel d 1 dries into tiny particles that are carried through the air and then land on the hair, clothing, furniture and other stuff belonging to humans. These particles can hang around for months!  

So, the bad news is that there are no felines that are 100% hypoallergenic but some of us produce much less of Fel d 1.

Scientists say that normally,  female cats produce less of the protein than male cats, and neutered males produce less than those who haven’t been fixed. And now, you don’t have to adopt a hairless cat to stay away from allergens (although there is nothing wrong with my hairless feline furiends). You can also look into the breeds shown below. I would love to see everyone who hasn’t given a cat a furever home because of allergies be able to be a kitty parent!


Moscow’s renegade cat activists bending the law to save felines from the frozen winter

A Russian man named Ramil is a volunteer who works to help free cats trapped in basements of Soviet-era buildings, places that are often the only shelter stray cats can find. He is the hero of many Russians and of felines as well!

Russians are cat lovers, a 2016 poll indicated that 57% of Russian households had at least one cat.

The stray cat problem is only recently being addressed in Russia. Those poor kitties need shelter badly as temperatures normally stay below zero most of the winter. Boy am I glad I’m a pampered indoor kitty!

Moscow’s parliament passed a decree this fall that all apartment buildings provide access to basement vents for “small pets”.  Ramil and his cat loving furiends are expanding their cat saving work to the suburbs (areas which are not under the same decree).

The Russians don’t take to animal cruelty. One political hopeful was photographed allegedly kicking a cat and his political career ended immediately. Businesses in Russia catering to cats and their humans are thriving, even cat cafes.

We say two paws up for the cat loving Russians who are working to help the street kitties of Moscow and other areas.