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.
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.