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What is the ancestor of the cat? Since when has it been domesticated?

If we thought for a long time that the cat had for ancestor the European forest cat (Felis silvestris silvestris), it is not so. This one is only a cousin of the cat which populates our homes. It is still in this world since it is an animal that can still be seen on our national territory, in the wild. But then, who is the real ancestor of our domestic cat?

Ancestor of the cat: a felid from the Middle East

The real ancestor is Felis Silvestris lybica or Gloved Cat. This wild cat appeared during the 13th millennium BC, in the Middle East where it originated. At the time of Homo Sapiens, the cat was not yet domesticated.

How was the domestication of the cat's ancestor born?

Everything changed at the time of the Neolithic revolution and more precisely with the birth of agriculture, 8000 years before our era. As people started to store their stocks of wheat and barley, rodents proliferated in the villages. This was a godsend for the wild Gloved Cats, skilled hunters, who found there something to easily ensure their survival.

But this hunting instinct did not go unnoticed by Man, who wasted no time in looking at these little felines and then, later, in domesticating them, finding in these agile and clever animals an excellent means of fighting against the onslaught of rats, mice and other pests such as poisonous snakes. This first wave of cat domestication dates back to about 5,000 or 6,000 years ago.

How human domestication of the cat has changed its genes?

Scientific studies were conducted following the discovery of a tomb in Cyprus dating from about 7,500 BC, in which were the bones of a child and his cat. These investigations have revealed many characteristics of a cat of that time and have allowed us to see how much the domestication of the cat by Man has modified this animal on many levels: metabolic, physical, behavioral, and reactionary.

The sequencing of the genome of different domestic and wild cats of our time has allowed researchers in paleogenetics - after comparative studies - to know more about the evolution of the cat since it was tamed. Thus, we know that the domestication of this animal has led to countless genetic changes.

Fortunately, the domestic cat of the XXIst century still has an ounce of independence from its ancestor and has not totally lost its hunting instinct, but for how long?

The cat has conquered the planet

The cat was adopted very early by Man and many iconographic representations attest to this. In any case, we can say that the cat's ancestor has ensured its descent! In fact, there are more or less 600 million domestic cats in the world today, all breeds included, including the alley cat. In France alone, there are nearly 13 million individuals.

At present, there are still wild descendants of the ancestor of the domestic cat in Africa, identifiable by their gloved feet, their large paws and their fawn fur. But these are not tamed.

Grey cat: the 6 most beautiful breeds with an all-grey coat

The quality of the coat is an important criterion for assessing whether a cat belongs to a breed. The description concerning the color and the presence or not of spots is often precise. If you are particularly fond of the color gray, here are the 6 most beautiful breeds with a truly and entirely gray coat.

A gray cat or a blue cat?

Each universe has its vocabulary. As far as cats are concerned, specialists use the term "blue" to designate a gray coat. In photos, depending on the lighting, the hair of cats can actually appear blue. But in this article, we use the term "gray" and not "blue".

The Russian Blue

The Russian Blue is a cat with a short, fine and smooth coat, dark gray in color with some silver highlights. To be considered a true Russian Blue, its coat must not show any white streaks.

It is an elegant and muscular cat. He is soft and discreet, meowing very little. It is not adapted to a family made up of children full of energy because it likes the calm and hates the unknown. It can spend entire days posed on its owner.

Like all cats, the Russian Blue washes itself. To maintain a beautiful coat, a weekly brushing will suffice. This will help to avoid intestinal obstructions caused by the hair removed during grooming.

The Korat

The Korat is a cat with a half-short, half-long coat. The official Book of the feline origins (LOOF) specifies that its hair is glossy and satiny, of a beautiful uniform gray color, without stripe or spot. Its coat must be maintained by rubbing with a glove and brushed twice a week. The Korat loses its hairs little, what makes of it a cat adapted to the persons cumulating love of the cats and allergy to the cats.

The Korat draws its name from the eponymous Thai region where it is symbol of abundance and wealth. Like the Russian Blue, it is a homebody, rather intended for calm people because it hates noise.

Its body is all in harmonious curves. Taking weight easily, it is necessary to be careful not to overfeed it.

The Nebelung

The Nebelung, name meaning "creature of the mists", comes from the Russian Blue. Its coat is dark gray. It is a small cat, muscular but with a fine bone structure, characterized by its large green eyes. It is also known for its longevity which can reach 25 years.

Its temperament is the same as that of the Russian Blue: discreet, very cuddly, appreciating calm and hating the unknown. His coat is silky and does not tangle, without exempting him from weekly brushing. In period of moulting, the brushing will be daily.

The Chartreux

The Chartreux is known for its uniform gray coat. Although short, his coat is thick, woolly and waterproof, allowing him to resist to cold and bad weather. A weekly brushing is enough but it is preferable to supervise it in period of moult, because it can risk the intestinal occlusions.

The character of this cat is temperamental: it can be violent if things around it do not go as it has decided. Also children will be able to play with him only if he is used to their contact very young.

The British Shorthair

Cousin of the Chartreux, the British Shorthair is a breed that corresponds to very precise standards. It is a cat of medium to large size, robust and all in roundness. Its eyes are always well opened. Its coat is short and dense and a weekly brushing is sufficient, except during the moulting period when brushing becomes daily.

There are seventeen shades of coat for this breed of cat. In the context of a show, the criteria are strict: in order to belong to the British Shorthair breed known as "blue", the cat must have both a gray coat and eyes between gold and copper. If this is not the case, the cat will only be a gray cat and will not be able to participate in a show.

British Shorthairs are adaptable cats. Even though they are rather quiet, they love to play and will be happy to be around children. As they are sensitive animals, care must be taken to ensure that they are not treated as cuddly toys. Children should not play with them in an inappropriate manner.

The Persian

The Persian is one of the oldest long-haired cat breeds. Its squashed nose gives it an angry or pretentious look, depending on the interpretation. His coat is not only grey but can also be black, red, cream, white... Of medium size, he has small legs but a large chest.

He is calm and gentle and likes routine. This breed of cats has a very fragile health. Because of its crushed nose, the Persian can develop respiratory diseases. Kidney disease is also common. And it can develop many other infections: the list is unfortunately a bit long. The Persian needs daily brushing because its hair tends to get tangled. It is also advisable to check its ears and eyes, which can water. It is therefore necessary to clean its face regularly with a wet cotton.

When to change your cat's litter box? Best practices

Although in principle, the cat's excrement and urine compacted substrate should be removed each time the cat does its business, this is not enough to ensure that the cat's toilet house is impeccable. It is indeed necessary to change very regularly the entire litter so that hygiene reigns supreme in the house. Here's how often you should change the litter box, depending on how many people use it, and how to do it.

Litter change: frequency

The more cats use the same litter box, the more often it should be cleaned. Every day, the soiled granules should be removed with a litter scoop. As for the total replacement of the substrate, it should not be neglected because it allows a complete scouring of the litter box. The recommended frequency is :
  • Once a week if the toilet house is used by only one cat,
  • Every three or four days if the litter box is used by two or three cats,
  • At least every other day if the litter box is used by four or more cats and kittens.
Strictly adhering to these frequencies is as important for the owners as it is for the animals themselves. Cats appreciate not having to use a dirty litter box. But the cleanliness of the litter box must also be impeccable in order to limit the risks of proliferation of bacteria of all kinds and to prevent bad odors from spreading throughout the house. The ideal would be of course not to get your cat used to doing its needs inside...

Complete emptying of the cat's litter box: the method

When it's time to change the cat's litter box completely, proceed as follows:
  • Put on a pair of rubber gloves and a mask, the latter being very useful to avoid breathing the volatile dust of the soiled litter as well as the unpleasant odors,
  • Empty the entire box with a dedicated scoop and discard the litter granules,
  • Wash the litter box with boiling water and a specific disinfectant to eliminate 100% of the bacteria and which must not pose any risk to humans or animals (bleach is a good solution, especially since the cat is attracted by its smell),
  • Dry the litter box with disposable paper towels or, better yet, with a cloth that must be washed each time it is used and used only for this purpose,
  • Replace a layer of new substrate at least 7 or 8 cm thick in the box,
  • Disinfect the used utensils and store them until the next use.
Conventional litter substrates are generally disposed of with the household waste. Only 100% biodegradable litter can be added to the compost, but there is a risk of introducing toxoplasmosis parasites that can survive in this natural environment for up to a year. To avoid making mistakes when disposing of the soiled substrate, always read the instructions on the bag of litter carefully.

Which cat litter and cat toilet should I choose?

When choosing a cat toilet or litter box and the litter to put in it, always think "Hygiene". The closed box (toilet house) is preferable to the litter tray alone because it limits the dispersion of bad smells. In addition, the container must be completely removable and therefore easy to clean from top to bottom, but it must also be made of a material that can withstand disinfectants and boiling water.

As for cat litter, it should be biodegradable. Many stores that dedicate one of their departments to pet supplies sell 100% natural cat litter that has a very limited impact on the environment. This type of product also minimizes the risk of allergies.

Why is my cat shaking?

Cats may shake when they are cold, but that's not the only reason. Shivering is sometimes a sign of strong emotion or a health problem. Let's take a look at all the situations that can make a kitten or an adult cat tremble and which cases require a visit to the vet.

The cat is cold

It's mainly when temperatures are low that cats can shake, especially if they've been outside for a long time. It also happens when the animal has spent time in the rain. It's a good idea to bring your cat home to warm up in the basket or on your lap. Tremors are sometimes less frequent during the off-season than during the rest of the year because the cat is well protected from the cold by its winter coat.

The cat has all its senses on alert

When a cat is very focused, it may snap its teeth and tremble. If she gets that way, she's really on fire! Excitement brings the same result. It may be when he's playing, or it may be when he's on the prowl, absorbed in the prey he's trying to catch. The trembling in this situation is due to the fact that the little hunter is extremely tense. This is normal. The shaking will stop when its muscles are relaxed.

The cat has a strong emotion

Depending on the situation, a cat may be scared, stressed or anxious, and start shaking. In this way, her body is trying to release the excess stress. To soothe your little friend, you should talk to him calmly to reassure him and pet him. This will help relax his muscles and thus, gradually stop the shaking. However, be careful not to get bitten or scratched in moments of intense fear because the cat can overreact without wanting to hurt his master. So, we start by calming it down by talking to it and when it has recovered its senses, we can take it in our arms.

The cat is in REM sleep phase

It is during this phase that the cat makes nightmares or dreams. It can therefore manifest itself unconsciously in different ways while it is in full sleep. He can breathe very hard, meow, moan, twitch or shake. There is no need to wake him up. Shaking during a dream never lasts very long.

The cat has a health problem

Many health problems can cause a cat to shake.

A high fever causes cats to shake: a cat is considered to have a fever when its body temperature rises above 39°C. The animal should be monitored for other symptoms, and if the fever remains high after 48 hours, it's best to consult the veterinarian. Don't forget to encourage the cat to drink if it has a fever.

Pain: Cats can't express their pain with words, but their bodies speak for them. When the animal is in pain, it is usually prostrate, trembling, its eyes are glassy, its gaze is fixed. Depending on the type of pain, it may not be able to hold still. The owner must try to identify the cause of the pain. If he can't, he must go to the veterinarian.

Poisoning: just like intoxication, this causes violent tremors that persist. If at the same time the cat vomits, has hypersalivation, has diarrhea, breathes poorly, coughs and his pupils are dilated, it is necessary to react quickly. Poisoning and intoxication are cases of absolute emergency because the vital prognosis is engaged.

Many pathologies cause trembling: joint problems, neurological dysfunction, hypothyroidism, renal insufficiency, certain congenital diseases... All these pathologies are at the origin of many symptoms including trembling. Depending on the disease from which the animal suffers, its owner can notice for example that its cat seems down, walks with difficulty, does not urinate any more, sulks its food, vomits, has blood in the stools or shows a sudden change of behavior. Whatever the symptoms, it's important to know the reason. The animal may have a serious illness.

If the cat is shaking a little too frequently, don't hesitate to take it to the vet as soon as possible. The owner may rightly suspect a health problem or he may be mistaken. In any case, a visit for nothing is better than consulting too late.

In order for the veterinarian to make a reliable diagnosis, it may be necessary to submit the cat to additional examinations such as a blood test, a urine analysis, an imaging examination (X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan...) or even to perform a biopsy. The earlier a disease is discovered, the better the cat's chances of getting better quickly thanks to an adapted treatment or to a surgical intervention if it is necessary. The role of a master is to be attentive to his little pet and always vigilant.

Milk teeth in cats: explanations and precautions

As with humans, as long as a kitten's only food is its mother's milk, it doesn't need to chew anything, and so it's born without teeth, especially since its mouth isn't big enough to receive permanent teeth.

You probably want to take good care of your cat and wonder if there is anything you can do to ease his pain, just as you do with human babies. Here are some details about baby teeth in kittens and the precautions to take.

Number of baby teeth in a kitten

At three weeks of age, the baby teeth begin to come out, allowing the kitten to gradually consume solid food and learn to use nature's weapons to catch prey.

The incisors come out first, followed by the canines. The premolars do not appear until the fifth week. The kitten will have a total of 26 milk teeth: 12 incisors, 4 canines and 10 premolars (4 on the lower jaw and 6 on the upper jaw). The baby teeth start to fall out during the 11th week of life. But his teeth will not be complete until he is 6 months old. As an adult, the cat has 30 teeth, 4 molars more than the kitten.

What to do when the kitten loses its milk teeth?

As with human babies, in kittens, baby teeth fall out by themselves. But no "tooth fairy" for the kitten because it swallows them most of the time.

During this period, the kitten is embarrassed: it chews and gnaws more. There's no need to scold him. Instead, provide him with objects that he can chew. The object should be designed for this purpose, as it is better to avoid the kitten ingesting pieces that would be indigestible for him. He may also want to pull out his loose baby teeth with his paw and have some blood in his mouth. Finally, she may also have difficulty eating, having to repeat herself several times.

What food should I feed my kitten when she loses her milk teeth?

Oral hygiene is essential for the kitten. It is strongly recommended that kittens be given food that is appropriate for their age and dentition. Veterinarians generally recommend kibble because its crunchy, slightly abrasive texture helps delay the formation of plaque.

If the kitten's behavior suggests that she's in pain when her baby teeth fall out, consider a softer-textured food like kibble. Cats, young or old, will get tired of the same food anyway. It's advisable to vary the diet: kibble for basic nutrition and different types of food to supplement it.

When to consult the veterinarian?

As the loss of milk teeth is a normal and natural event, you should let things happen without any particular intervention. However, you can check from time to time if the baby tooth has fallen out. It can happen that baby teeth persist beyond the sixth month. In this case, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian in order to facilitate the growth of the permanent teeth. This may also be necessary if the new teeth are not well placed and are bothering the cat.

How to feed a diabetic cat?

A diabetic cat must be monitored very regularly by a veterinarian. He is usually given insulin injections and, at the same time, he must be given a diet adapted to his health problem. It is essential that the owner respects the dietary rules set by the veterinarian to avoid the risks of complications related to diabetes. Here's how to feed your diabetic cat so that he'll be as healthy as possible.

Diabetes, an increasingly common disease in cats

It is recognized that many more cats today suffer from diabetes. The main reasons are lack of physical activity and inadequate nutrition. Cats no longer hunt and spend too much time indoors. In addition, cat food may be very tasty, but this little feline doesn't need all those sophisticated industrial dishes. Sedentary lifestyle and inadequate food have finally got the better of the health of these pets, who finally suffer from so-called diseases of civilization.

The first responsible is the man who did not know and still does not know how to satisfy strictly the physiological needs of his little companion, condition sine qua non so that the cat lives in full form.

Diabetic cat nutrition: tailor-made

One of the major challenges of feeding a diabetic cat is to :
  • Either to make the animal lose weight if it is obese,
  • or to encourage the cat to gain weight if it is a lean diabetic.
It is essential to work towards a normal weight thanks to the cat's adapted diet and the maintenance of a physical activity, but without trying to rush things. The diet should be tailored to meet the needs of each individual pet based on its diabetes, but it should not be too restrictive.

Cats need to be properly nourished to maintain their energy. Choosing a balanced diet of high quality food is the best way to help your cat live better despite his disease.

What is a balanced diet for a diabetic cat?

The ideal diet for a cat should consist of healthy proteins, as these provide the animal with most of the energy it needs. The cat should not eat a large amount of carbohydrates, as is currently the case with domestic cats.

It is important to note that the cat's body uses only a very small amount of carbohydrate, so the excess is a health hazard for the cat, whose pancreas is unable to adjust the level of enzymes to digest the excess carbohydrate. If this is extremely detrimental to the healthy cat, it is understandably even worse for the diabetic cat.

The foods that should absolutely be discontinued for a diabetic cat are industrial foods, even if they are made for these particular pets. These are the foods that promote diabetes in small felines.

Instead, you should opt for natural and raw food, that is to say, unprocessed, not elaborated. What's the point of preparing a sauce to accompany offal for your cat? This is totally stupid, the cat is not a human, and this type of food is unbalanced because it is too rich in carbohydrates that can be totally banned from the diet of the diabetic cat.

The best foods for diabetic cats

In order to regulate blood sugar levels in cats with diabetes, it is important to ask the veterinarian for advice on what foods are allowed. After this type of consultation, the owners of a diabetic cat are usually surprised by the simplicity of the diet perfectly adapted to their little feline. It is important to give him :
  • High protein foods such as meat,
  • Foods that are low in or completely free of carbohydrates,
  • Very little vegetable food,
  • Water at will, always clean and fresh.
The cat must eat small quantities at a time, several times a day, in order to better assimilate the nutrients and this is essential for the glycemia to be regulated. As for the rations, they must be perfectly adapted to the cat, so it is a case by case discussion with the veterinarian in order not to make any mistake.

Character of the cat before and after castration: character of the castrated cat!

The castration of a kitty can be done from the age of 5 to 6 months. It has beneficial effects on the cat's health but not only. It also impacts the cat's character. It is therefore a highly recommended veterinary act because it eliminates many inconveniences. It can be reimbursed by a mutual insurance company, which is an additional advantage. There is thus no need to hesitate. Let's take stock of the character of a cat that has been neutered.

When to neuter your cat ?

Ideally, you should have your cat neutered before puberty because at that age - between 5 and 7 months - his testicles are not functional. This means that they do not yet produce the famous testosterone, a hormone that influences the character and/or behavior of the male animal.

Behavior of a whole cat (not neutered)

A whole cat tends to :
  • Urinate all over the place to mark its territory and make it clear to other cats in the neighborhood that it is the only master of the area,
  • Roam to hunt,
  • Run away to join female cats in heat,
  • Meow loudly to attract females,
  • Be aggressive,
  • Fighting with other cats of the same sex, even if it means returning home crippled,
  • Scratch carpets, furniture, wall coverings,
  • Being very (too?) independent, paying attention to his master only to beg for food and eventually to ask to go home to spend a good night in his basket.
It is clear that the life of a tomcat that has not been sterilized is far from being a restful one.

It is proven that the life expectancy of unneutered cats is much shorter than that of neutered cats. They are indeed very exposed to many risks of accidents, injuries due to fights, but also diseases that the cats transmit during virulent fights because of the severe bites and scratches they inflict on each other. Cat AIDS and leukemia are obviously among them.

Are there any disadvantages to neutering a cat?

Contrary to popular belief, neutering does not expose the animal to the risk of stunted growth, nor to the frustration of not being able to cover females.

As for the tendency to obesity that can happen to neutered cats, there is no risk as long as the little feline benefits from a healthy lifestyle, i.e. a balanced diet and daily physical activity. At most, he can suffer from kidney stones, but this can be avoided if he is given a diet rich in water.

Character of the neutered cat

Once neutered, the male cat's behavior changes dramatically. Ideally, to prevent the animal from developing bad habits while it's still quite young, it should be neutered as soon as possible. After undergoing a surgical procedure to sterilize him, the transformation is amazing. Among other things, we notice that after neutering, the cat :
  • Stops marking his territory at every turn,
  • Has less smelly urine,
  • No longer meows in an untimely manner when he feels the proximity of female cats in heat,
  • Is less aggressive in front of another cat,
  • Runs away much less or not at all,
  • Becomes more sedentary since hunting does not really interest him anymore,
  • Enjoys staying in his home,
  • Gives more attention to his master,
  • Is more cuddly.
From a health point of view, the neutered cat is less exposed to the risk of being contaminated by other cats. As a result, it no longer represents a health threat for its fellow cats. Thus protected from the risks of accidents and diseases, and leading a much more serene life, the cat sterilized as soon as possible sees its life expectancy increase considerably. Compared to the life expectancy of a whole cat, it can be in some cases multiplied by two!

The owner of a male cat has nothing to fear and can have his little companion neutered without any second thoughts. This intervention, which has nothing barbaric about it, is performed under anesthesia. It consists of tying up and removing the testicles. It is a very benign operation which is practiced on a cat on an empty stomach, after a preoperative blood test. Since castration is irreversible, the owner of the cat must have thought about it beforehand and be sure that he doesn't want his cat to ensure his offspring.

Ascaris in cats: symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention

Roundworms are intestinal parasites that develop within the cat's body. Without deworming, the very resistant larvae of roundworms migrate to different tissues, which can lead to serious disease. Vigilance is therefore necessary from the first symptoms, whatever the age of the cat, but it is also necessary to prevent the appearance of these intestinal worms, especially since they are very easily transmitted to humans. Zoom on the ascaris of the cat.

Cat infested by roundworms: the revealing symptoms

The roundworm that can affect cats is a nematode worm that is different from the one that only affects humans (called Ascaris lumbricoides). In cats, it is the ascarid Toxocara cati. It is possible for the owner to notice their presence because the little feline may show some of the following symptoms:
  • A pitted and dull coat,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Vomiting,
  • Coughing.
It is important to know that the coughing is a sign that the larvae of the cat's roundworms have already migrated to the trachea and lungs.

In kittens, roundworms can cause the above symptoms but also other signs not to be neglected like
  • A bloated belly,
  • A delay or other problem of growth,
  • An intestinal obstruction, because the worms accumulate and form a blockage. The intestinal transit being completely blocked, if not taken care of, the intestine can end up perforating, leading irreparably to the death of the little cat.
At the slightest doubt, the owner of a kitten or adult cat that presents one or more of these manifestations must consult the veterinarian without delay.

Ascaris in cats: what treatment?

The only possible way to stop the contamination of the cat is to prevent the development of roundworms. To do this, there is only one solution: deworming. This must be done regularly from a young age. It is fundamental so that the cat does not have any more intestinal worms and stops, at the same time, to contaminate its entourage. There are dewormers in medicated form or in oral paste, this last process being rather intended for kittens.

It is essential to ask your veterinarian for advice so that he/she can prescribe the dewormer that best suits the animal and indicate the dosage to be followed as well as the frequency to be respected.

How do roundworms develop in cats?

These round, white and long worms, which look like spaghetti and are about 10 cm long, live in the cat's intestine as adults. They lay innumerable microscopic eggs which are then evacuated via the faeces. The eggs of these ascarids are so strong that they can live outside in any environment for up to 24 months. During this time, a cat can be contaminated by ingesting these eggs either by licking its fur or that of another cat if eggs have stuck to it, or by devouring the prey it has hunted if it is contaminated. Kittens can also be contaminated by their mother's milk during feeding.

Once ingested, the ascarid eggs hatch in the cat's body and the migration of these larvae begins. As a result, they may end up in various organs of their host - including the trachea and lungs - before ending up in the digestive tract. Each larva will then develop into an adult and lay eggs in turn. It is finally an infernal cycle to which it is absolutely necessary to put an end by deworming its cat regularly.

Ascaris in cats: prevention is essential

Preventing the cat's infestation by these intestinal worms is essential to protect its health, but also that of humans, as roundworm eggs can be ingested by humans. Risks do exist, for example, when cleaning the cat's litter box or eating vegetables without having washed them beforehand.

Children are even more at risk when they sleep with their cats, cuddle them, play in the sandbox or dirt and then put their soiled fingers in their mouths. In short, in children as well as adults, there is no shortage of opportunities to be infected. Note that the contamination of a human by ascarids is called toxocariasis.

The prevention of roundworms requires impeccable hygiene on a daily basis. You must wash your hands frequently, especially after emptying the cat's litter box, petting your little feline, and pawing the garden soil or sand. When returning from the vegetable garden, the orchard or the market, it is also essential to wash vegetables and fruits well before eating them raw or cooked.

Burmese or Birman, a calm and gentle cat

Halfway between the Persian and the Siamese, the Burmese is calm and gentle, although a little reserved. It has an indecipherable and complex personality, but generally has a relationship based on loyalty and love towards its masters.

Characteristics of the Sacred Burmese

Of medium size, the Sacred of Burma has a massive body and a heavy skeleton. It has a strong boned head, with round and full cheeks. The animal displays a round, short and busted nose which is not related to the Persian or the Siamese from which it originates. Its immense eyes are oval or round and are also well spaced. They are systematically blue. But when it is still kitten, the sacred of Burma can have dark blue eyes. The color stabilizes after 16 weeks.

The fur is very silky and medium long. However, the length of the hairs is not identical on all the body. On the face, it is initially short, then becomes longer at the level of the cheeks then of the collar. On the back and towards the flanks, it gets even longer.

It should be noted that the coat is only pigmented at certain points or extremities such as the ears, the mask, the tail and the legs. Several colors are noted, in particular the seal point (dark brown), the blue point (blue-grey), the chocolate point, the lilac point (grey, pinkish, steel), the red point or the cream point. One of the particularities of this breed is its white gloved paws.

History of the Sacred Burmese or Birman breed

There are many legends about the Sacred of Burma. One of them tells that this cat then sacred lived in Burma, in the temple of Lao Tsun. It is said that it was stolen by the American billionaire Vanderbilt who then brought it to France. The latter would have succeeded in obtaining a female and a male.

Another story, much more plausible, tells that the Sacred of Burma was born in France in the 1920s. It would be the result of a cross between the Persian and the Siamese, from which it draws certain characteristic genes of this race, like the white gantage on the level of the legs.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Birman

The Burmese is a shy, gentle and affectionate animal. It is also a great player. Unlike the Siamese, it is calm by nature and is perfectly happy within the family. A bit of a glue pot, he loves to stay with his masters who also like to be near him. The cat is also very sensitive to the emotions of its family members and will always respond in case of grief.

The sacred cat can perfectly adapt to apartment life and will also enjoy living in a house with a garden. It cohabits without problem with other animals, especially dogs. It prefers to enjoy the company of other animals rather than being alone. The Sacred Burmese also loves children, making him a perfect pet.

Diet and main health problems of the Sacred Burmese

As the Sacred Burmese is blessed with excellent teeth, it is quite possible to feed it with kibble, although it will not refuse cat food. He is quite selective but not very greedy, so it is advisable to give him good quality food.

Finally, it should be noted that the Birman cat can be subject to some health problems from the age of seven. Digestive and kidney problems as well as overweight are not uncommon, hence the importance of giving him a diet adapted for older cats.

Sleeping with your cat: good or bad idea?

Cats generally love to crawl into their owner's bed. The bed is a warm and cozy place that they appreciate above all else. But should we give in to this whim? If your cat's purring is known for its soothing properties, sleeping with your cat is not the best idea. It's better to make him pass this desire if you want to benefit from a restful sleep and a total intimacy but also to avoid some health problems. Let us make the point.

Sleeping with your cat can disturb your sleep

To be in good shape, it is essential for humans to respect their sleep cycles. However, during the night, the cat does not spend all its time sleeping. He moves, licks himself, plays, climbs on his master, cuddles him and doesn't hesitate to meow to attract his attention if he needs anything. His purrs, soothing for some humans, are sometimes very loud. They can be at least as disturbing to the owner(s) as the unbearable snoring of a spouse.

This is a lot of situations that prevent from sleeping properly. As a result, the master who sleeps with his cat wakes up several times during the night and when it's time to get up, it can be a bit complicated. However, it is scientifically proven that sleeping badly or insufficiently has an impact on health.

Half of the people who sleep with their cat recognize that they rest very badly, do not manage to recover and are very tired during the day. The consequences can, in the medium or long term, be serious.

Sleeping with your cat multiplies the risks of contamination

Spending the night with your cat is a bad idea because it multiplies the risks of contamination by possible parasites. Intestinal worms, fleas are part of the undesirable that we do not necessarily want to catch. However the risk really exists, even if the cat is dewormed or wears a flea collar. It is enough that during a walk it crosses infested cats for all kinds of parasites to end up in the bedding. In addition, many feline diseases are transmitted from cats to humans (tularemia, cat scratch disease, toxoplasmosis and many others).

It is not very healthy for the cat to settle between the sheets, under the comforter or on the pillow. Let's not forget that when he relieves himself, he scratches his litter box or the garden soil to cover his excrements. It's not uncommon for fecal matter to end up on his paw pads, between his claws or on his fur. Even if the cat spends a lot of time grooming, it is not completely sanitized. In the same way, after having licked itself, if it passes its tongue on the face, the hands or the body of its master, it is really very far from being hygienic.

Do not sleep with your cat to preserve your privacy

It seems that many couples are disturbed in their intimacy in the presence of their cat and this is quite understandable. Why then continue to make him sleep in the marital bed? The cat is a domestic animal and in no case should it interfere between two spouses. It can be very embarrassing to frolic tenderly under the insistent gaze of your pet, no matter how much you love it.

The intimacy of its owner(s) must absolutely be preserved and it is anyway a moment of the life that the masters do not have to share with their cat. Therefore, we simply put the kitty outside or at least in another room so that he can take care of his own business without worrying about those of others!

If you want to benefit from restful nights, moreover limit the risks of being contaminated by the parasites of your little feline or any zoonosis, and if you don't want to see your cat's intimacy disturbed, it's better to get your cat used to not sleeping in his master's bed, or even in his room, as soon as he arrives in your home. There are many ways to create a cozy nest for your cat where he will quickly take pleasure in settling when his master leaves him to go to bed. To each his own territory!

This is part of the education to give to his pet and not wishing to spend all his nights with his kitty is not a punishment for him. It is even a way to respect your pet as such. Today, nearly 5 out of 10 cat owners sleep with their little feline. Many of them regret having given in at the beginning because it is difficult once the habit is well established to impose to his cat to sleep somewhere else than in the bed of his master. Finally, it should be noted that the cat allowed to sleep with its owner considers the place as its territory and in cats already aggressive, this can aggravate some behavioral problems.

What are the main cat allergies?

Cats can develop various allergies that are important to identify so that they can be treated. Let's take a look at the most common cat allergies, their causes, symptoms and possible treatments.

Allergy in cats: what is it?

An allergy is the consequence of a hypersensitivity of the organism to different foreign substances, volatile or non-volatile, called allergens, against which the immune system - due to a disturbance - is deprived. As soon as the cat is sensitized to an allergen, symptoms appear.

Allergy in cats: the different types

The main allergies in cats are

  • Dermatitis by Hypersensitivity to Flea Bites (DHPP) or Dermatitis by Allergy to Flea Bites (DAPP).
  • Atopic dermatitis or feline atopy, the cause of which is still difficult to define today.
  • Contact allergy due to certain allergenic substances such as cement, latex, nickel, plastic and rubber.
  • Food allergy involving a food, a family of foods or a food component: in this case, there are many allergens (cereals, fish, eggs, emulsifiers, coloring agents or poor quality food).

Cat allergy: the main symptoms

When allergic, the cat in contact with the allergen generally presents one or more of the following symptoms
  • Sustained scratching due to severe itching,
  • Licking,
  • Skin irritation,
  • Pimples,
  • Scabs,
  • Granular skin,
  • Pruritus,
  • Vomiting,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Dark stools sometimes a little bloody,
  • Conjunctivitis,
  • Otitis,
  • Nasal discharge
  • Asthma.
These symptoms appear because the cat's immune system is over-reactive. It is also sometimes said that its immune system is stressed.

Allergy in cats: management

It is difficult to know the origin of an allergy in cats and therefore to make a precise diagnosis, because the symptoms are sometimes common from one allergy to another. However, this is essential in order to be able to set up a care protocol that must be adapted to each individual case.

In order for the type of allergy to be clearly identified, the veterinarian will ask the owner about the indoor and/or outdoor environment in which the cat lives, its diet, etc. Then he or she scrupulously examines the little feline. He inspects its eyes, ears, nose, examines its coat but also the skin of the cat. He may have to perform a biopsy in order to analyze the samples in the laboratory.

Dermatoses must be treated because scratching leads to superinfections and the allergen must be eliminated once it has been identified. For example, an antiparasitic will eradicate fleas. In the case of a food allergy, it is imperative to opt for the total avoidance of the food or food component in question, which requires the implementation of a drastic diet that may contain hypoallergenic foods. In other cases, treatment of a cat allergy may involve antihistamines, corticosteroids, antibiotics, soothing lotions and shampoos, healing cream.

Treatment of a cat allergy can be long term, even lifelong. An allergic cat must be regularly monitored by the veterinarian and the professional may - if possible - consider desensitization.

Why does my cat lick me?

When a cat licks its owner, it can have several meanings. If it is often a sign of affection, it is sometimes the expression of a feeling of anxiety and can also translate a pathology, in particular a hyperesthesia. It is therefore important to know what is normal and what is not in order to find the right solution. Let's see why a cat licks its owner and in which cases to worry about it.

Licking in cats: a sign of affection

From birth, kittens are licked by their mothers, who instill this social attitude in them. Indeed, licking in cats is first of all a mark of affection from the mother for her kittens. It is also a way to congratulate them when the kittens adopt a good behavior. When it is far from being the case, the mother can on the contrary nibble them in a rather sustained way in order to put them back on the right track and to make them understand the limits not to exceed.

Let's not forget that the cat is an animal that adopts all sorts of tactile attitudes to express itself, in addition to meowing of course. In a group, licking is a social attitude. For example, a cat uses licking to show his fellow cats his appreciation and respect. But a cat may show that it is the dominant one by licking an opponent to deposit its scent on the opponent's fur. This can lead to a few fights when the other little feline has no intention of being dominated.

For a cat, licking its master - and sometimes other humans - is a way of showing affection and licking is often a sign of integration into its group.

A cat licks its owner to clean him

It is common for a cat to pay a lot of attention to licking its owner's hands when it has just touched food, for example. But it can also lick its hair with great care. These are easily impregnated with all kinds of scents so that by licking, the cat tries to identify these different smells. It's also a way for the animal to clean all the hair whose texture is quite different from that of its own fur. In addition to being a mark of attention, this attitude is a way to discover a rather unusual matter for the small feline.

The cat licks his master and bites him: it's aggressiveness

There is nothing wrong with a cat regularly licking his master's hair, feet, hands, face, provided that he does not accompany this ritual with scratches or, worse, bites, which could then be a sign of aggression.

Be careful to distinguish between biting and nipping. In the first case, when the cat bites its owner, it is important to express its disapproval in an authoritative way. On the other hand, biting is in no way a sign of aggressiveness since it is an integral part of the grooming ritual. Punishing your cat or scolding it because it bites its owner gently and licks him risks disturbing the animal who will no longer have any reference points. The cat may not know how to express aggression and affection, which can be very problematic.

The cat licks his master compulsively: a sign of anxiety

Cats are sensitive to stress and anxiety. The slightest change in its habits can lead to disturbances and sometimes behavioral problems. Compulsive licking is one of them. So, if he starts licking his master excessively, you must try to identify the cause, especially if this attitude is quite sudden. Something is probably wrong.

It is advisable to ask the veterinarian for advice without delay. With a little sedative, everything can be back in order quite quickly. For example, you can use pheromone sprays or give your cat a jar of catnip (Nepeta cataria), an aromatic plant better known as catmint or catnip (not to be confused with catnip). These are effective solutions to soothe a cat prone to stress.

At the same time, the owner must ensure that his little companion has the best possible living conditions to be soothed. Play is a good way to calm stressed cats. So don't hesitate to play with your cat every day.

My cat licks me: beware of feline hyperesthesia syndrome!

When licking in cats becomes pathological, you should consult your veterinarian. This is the case when the little feline spends hours licking himself or his master insistently. The licking becomes sickly.

The origin of feline hyperesthesia is not clearly established. Depending on the case, the cause may be neurological, dermatological, musculoskeletal, or behavioral. This syndrome can also be seen in cats that have been poisoned, exposed to toxic fumes, are deficient, or have thyroid dysfunction.

Whatever the cause of feline hyperesthesia syndrome, it always manifests itself as an exacerbation of the sensitivity of the various senses in the cat. This can be described as a sensitivity disorder and requires a visit to the veterinarian. The treatment of hyperesthesia depends on the cause of the pathology and can be long.

Top 5 largest cat breeds

Are you attracted to big cats? Generally well-built and muscular, they give off a presence that distinguishes them from the cats we usually meet. To make your choice, here are some characteristics of the 5 biggest cat breeds.

The Savannah

The Savannah is the breed that holds the record for the tallest domestic cat, with an American individual recorded at 43.43 cm at the withers. In addition to this exceptional size, some Savannahs weigh over 13 kg. The male is larger than the female.

This breed is the result of crossing a Serval, a wild felid common in South Africa that belongs to the cheetah family, with a Bengal cat. The largest individuals are those who have a parent or grandparent of pure Serval breed. For the following generations, already crossed, the size is close to the usual 30-35 cm at the withers. In these conditions, few people are able to breed a Serval with a domestic cat, so first generation hybrids are rare and expensive, costing up to €7,000 per animal.

His slim figure and spotted coat give him a truly wild look. But he is gentle, sociable and friendly. It has a marked penchant for hunting and loves water, being easily tempted to join you in the shower or bath.

The Maine Coon

The Maine Coon is a long cat. Maine Coons can exceed one meter in length (from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail), the record recorded in 2006 by one of them being 1.21 m precisely.

Their musculature is quite impressive, their chest wide. The female is a little more modest in size than the male.

Fortunately for its owners, its character is soft. Little inclined towards action, he prefers caresses and play with children. He also tolerates very well the presence of other cats and other animals. They shed their medium-length hair moderately.

These cats are known to develop more diseases than other breeds such as feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, polycystic kidney disease, hip dysplasia, and spinal muscular atrophy.

The Norwegian

The Norwegian is similar to the Maine Coon but is often a little thinner than the latter. It can reach 40 cm at the withers from the age of 2 or 3 years.

These cats coming from the Norwegian forests are a "natural" breed, not resulting from crossbreeding by man. They do not need any particular care. Little prone to diseases, they seem to be affected by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This breed of cat resists to harsh winters thanks to its waterproof semi-long hair. Most of these cats maintain it naturally, but it can be helped by combing and brushing it once a week.

These cats are considered "gentle giants". Peaceful, they are also very social, willing to share their territory with other cats and animals.

The Ragdoll

The Ragdoll can measure up to 1 meter in length (from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail) and 40 cm in height.

With a massive build, besides its dimensions, it is characterized by a very soft coat which gives it a plush look and which has the quality of not getting tangled. It has large round eyes of a bright blue.

Overall robust, it can however be affected by bladder stones and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

The Highlander

The full name of the breed called Highlander is Highlander Lynx. This name does not mean that this breed is the result of a cross with a lynx, but rather refers to its exceptional appearance, which is reminiscent of a lynx: beautiful build, long hind legs and large footpads, large pointed ears, short tail (between 5 and 15 cm), marbled coat, wide forehead and large flattened oval eyes. Its size can reach 40 cm at the withers. It is an intelligent animal and attached to its master.

The choice of an animal always requires a real reflection upstream to ensure the compatibility of the animal with your daily life and with the environment that you are able to offer him. The aesthetic qualities of an animal are of course important in the choice, but the characteristics of each breed must be well weighed before the purchase. They vary enormously from one breed to another, with character probably being one of the characteristics to be studied most carefully.

Cat pancreatitis: symptoms, causes, treatments and prevention

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that can be acute or chronic. It can affect all cats, male and female, young and old, but it seems to be more common in cats that do not exercise much or go out much. This disease is usually spontaneous and does not always have an identifiable cause. However, it can be favored by different factors that it is useful to know to prevent this inflammation of the pancreas in cats. Let's take a look at pancreatitis, which frequently requires hospitalization of the cat and a life-long treatment.

Pancreatitis in cats: symptoms

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, an organ involved in the production of insulin and digestion. There are several types of pancreatitis:
  • Acute pancreatitis of sudden onset that can be identified by the violence of the symptoms it causes. It can be :
    • PAN, Acute Necrotic Pancreatitis,
    • PAS, Acute Suppurative Pancreatitis.
  • Interstitial pancreatitis, also called chronic pancreatitis, which occurs insidiously and evolves slowly, and whose symptoms are less marked than in the acute forms. Chronic pancreatitis is the most common form of pancreatitis in cats, accounting for 7 to 9 of every 10 cases of feline pancreatitis.
The symptoms suffered by the cat are common to both the acute and chronic forms, but their intensity differs. The sick animal may present with:
  • Anorexia,
  • Apathy (lack of reaction, severe dejection),
  • A thirst more intense than in normal time,
  • Dehydration,
  • Jaundice (jaundice) due to liver damage,
  • Abdominal pain of varying severity,
  • A high temperature (hyperthermia),
  • Dyspnea (breathing problems),
  • Vomiting,
  • Diarrhea.
The cat suffering from pancreatitis can also present :
  • Vascular disorders,
  • An ulcer,
  • Peritonitis,
  • Kidney failure.
Pancreatitis in cats is an inflammation that should not be ignored. The animal must be taken to the veterinarian as soon as possible to be treated.

Factors that promote pancreatitis in cats

The exact cause of feline pancreatitis is not always clear. However, it is possible to clearly identify the factors that may contribute to the occurrence of this inflammation of the pancreas. This is the case for example:

  • Pathologies of the immune system, including FIV (Feline AIDS),
  • Toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii,
  • A viral infection,
  • Of an intoxication, that it is by:
    • Medications,
    • Toxic products,
    • Plants.
  • Of a hepatic problem,
  • An intestinal disorder,
  • A metabolic dysfunction such as hypercalcemia, hyperthyroidism or diabetes,
  • A physical trauma due to an accident, a fall or the mistreatment of the animal (beaten cat).
One can easily realize that the cat is far from being immune to feline pancreatitis. Moreover, as far as its anatomy is concerned, this animal is a bit peculiar. The fact that the biliary trunk is common to the pancreatic trunk - and that there are not two specific trunks in the cat - the risk of reflux of duodenal and/or biliary secretions into the pancreatic ducts is high.

Feline pancreatitis is in any case very often related to diseases such as diabetes, liver disease, intestinal disease and lymphoma, although it cannot be said that these are specific causes.

How is pancreatitis in cats treated?

The diagnosis of pancreatitis in cats is difficult because the symptoms of either form of inflammation are not specific to this disease. In fact, they are found in cats with a variety of conditions unrelated to pancreatitis.

Treatment of feline pancreatitis is tailored to the individual case and may require lifelong administration. It can be based on :
  • Fluid therapy by subcutaneous injection which consists of rehydrating the small feline and increasing its blood flow. Fluid therapy is frequently used in small animals when it is necessary to correct various balances (acid-base, hydroelectrolytic, electrolytic, hydric...).
  • Antibiotic therapy,
  • Corticosteroids,
  • Anti-diarrheal drugs,
  • Anti-vomiting drugs,
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs,
  • Early and progressive refeeding of the cat as part of the protocol,
  • Pain management is also considered in the medium or long term depending on the animal's needs.
Finally, in case of local complications, a surgical intervention is considered.

What are the ways to prevent pancreatitis in cats?

It is important to know the different factors that can lead to pancreatitis in cats so that you can do everything possible to avoid them. It is advisable to keep the cat active throughout its life by playing with it, and to offer it the opportunity to go outside every day, because too much sedentary life and a lack of physical exercise weaken its health. Pancreatitis is more frequent in sedentary cats than in cats that are active enough.

Of course, the animal must be able to benefit from a very good quality and perfectly balanced diet, according to its sex, age and lifestyle. It is also important to give him fresh and clean water at will. It is necessary to make sure that its vaccination is up to date, to use antiparasitics when necessary and to ask the veterinarian's advice if it is judged that the cat needs a supplementation in vitamins and minerals so that its immune system is reinforced.

In any case, it is necessary to take care of the health of your cat throughout its life, not hesitating to consult when the animal seems to be in bad shape or when feline pancreatitis is suspected. If you don't have a lot of money, the best solution is to take out a cat insurance policy with a mutual health insurance company for pets, which can reimburse, partially or totally, the expenses incurred by the owner of the animal at the veterinarian.

Adopting a second cat: what precautions to take?

When you want to adopt a second cat, you have to do everything possible so that the cohabitation between the two little felines goes as well as possible and that they become inseparable playmates, or at least tolerate each other without trying to fight. But before this happens, preparation is necessary because if no precautions are taken, the integration of the second cat can be difficult.

Two cats in the house: anticipating the consequences

It can be a good idea to allow your cat to share his world with a fellow cat. But some cats do not accept this type of situation well and are finally unhappy not to be the only companion of their master. It all depends on the character of the existing animal and that of the newcomer. Let's not forget that a cat does not suffer from loneliness like a dog. It can blossom perfectly when alone.

The introduction of a second cat in its living space requires some precautions to limit the risks of seeing the newcomer - considered as a territory thief - being attacked and to avoid that the cat N°1 starts to urinate everywhere in the house.

Before adopting a second cat, it is necessary to anticipate the possible consequences because it would be a shame that the life of these animals becomes a hell.

How to choose a second cat?

It is generally recommended to choose a sterilized cat or a cat of the opposite sex to the one you already have, knowing that female cats are less willing to share their territory. It is also better to choose a second cat that has a good character and that gets along well with its fellow cats.

The cohabitation is easier if the newcomer is not yet adult because a kitten poses no threat to the cat already in place. In terms of duration of acclimatization, it is evaluated on average:
  • Between 8 and 15 days if the second kitty is a kitten,
  • Between 1 month and 1 ½ months if both cats are adults.
Of course, this period of time can be longer if one of the two felines has difficulty accepting the cohabitation. It can also happen that this one is completely impossible even after several months.

The essential preparations before the arrival of a second cat

It is necessary that the first cat can already get used to the smell of his future roommate even before seeing him. Bringing home a blanket that the second cat has already slept on is an excellent solution. You can place it in plain sight, near the litter box, near the basket or not far from the food bowls and observe the reactions of your little friend.

On the day of the second cat's arrival, it is recommended not to put the two kittens in direct contact to avoid possible sparks. It is preferable to keep the first cat in a closed room for a few hours in order to allow the newcomer to visit the house or the apartment quietly. He will of course spot the smell of his fellow cat and it is a good thing for him to understand that he will not be the only cat in the household.

The ideal is to reserve a room for each cat for a few days and at different times of the day to stroke the two cats alternately so that each can get used to the smell of the other. Gradually the cats will smell each other from afar and recognize each other by their smell. The master must be attentive to the reactions of each one. It is highly preferable that each animal also has its own bowl and a distinctive litter box.

The first cat should feel that his owner is not abandoning him for the other. Therefore, it is necessary to show him attention, cuddle him several times a day, play with him, talk to him so that he is completely reassured. You can give him a few treats to comfort him or buy him a new toy for example. Having to suddenly share his world with another cat can be a frightening situation for a cat, because it is an animal very sensitive to stress. Everything must be done so that he does not feel left out. But the second cat is also entitled to the same attention.

After a few days, if each cat seems to be calm and not at all disturbed by the presence of another kitty, you can start to open the doors and then wait to see how each cat will react. It all depends on the personality of each cat. If one of them wants to attack the other one, it means that the moment of cohabitation has not yet come. Therefore, it is necessary to continue to leave them in their respective rooms for two or three days, sometimes more, and from time to time try a new approach, which should last at first only a few minutes.

When finally the two cats are ready to share the same territory, they can either play together or ignore each other, the main thing being that they accept each other even in the greatest indifference. But sometimes two cats can never live together. There is no need to insist: if nothing is done, you must take the decision to look for another family for one of the two little felines, the goal being that each animal is happy in its home.

The Maine Coon, a cat with an outgoing personality

Considered one of the largest cat breeds known, the Maine Coon stands out for its intelligence, outgoing personality and sociability. It is an excellent pet that thrives in a variety of environments.

Characteristics of the Maine Coon

The Maine Coon's distinctive feature is its imposing body. Belonging to the very closed circle of the largest cats in the world, it has a balanced silhouette with an impressive musculature, a broad chest and a long rectangular body. Some Maine Coon cats have even been entered in the Guinness World Records, such as Leo in 2006 with his 121.9 cm or Stewie. The average weight of this breed of cat ranges from 6 to 9 kg. To reach such a size, it can grow until the age of five years.

Other physical characteristics of the Maine Coon include a more or less square, medium-sized head, oval, uncluttered eyes, prominent cheekbones, and a strong, square muzzle. This cat has medium-length hair with a silky texture. It has a traditional coat in a wide range of colors except for cinnamon, lilac, chocolate and fawn. The brown tabby and the brown marbled are the most appreciated.

History of the Maine Coon breed

There is no shortage of legends about the origins of the Maine Coon. It is known that this breed is one of the oldest North American breeds. It is also said that the Maine Coon is a cross between the racoon and the native American cat. Only the name of the animal will be remembered from this legend with its very local accents.

Another more plausible theory is that the Maine Coon was brought to the coast of Maine by wealthy families from the region who traveled frequently. The breed is believed to be a cross between Angora cats imported from Europe and North American wild cats. Thanks to a presentation at exhibitions in New York and Boston, the Maine Coon gained popularity at the end of the 19th century. However, the appearance of the Siamese and other Persians caused its decline. It is only in the 50s that it regains its letters of nobility.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Maine Coon

Very mischievous, calm and of an undeniable softness, the Maine Coon has a character completely opposite to its imposing size. It is very affectionate and peaceful and can evolve without problem with other pets, even dogs. He is very intelligent and loves to play. He will be happy to go for walks with a leash, accompanied by his masters whom he loves very much, a behavior that some owners could however consider as slightly invasive.

He thrives as much in apartments as in houses with gardens. But if he is left free outside, it is preferable to equip him with a collar with a microchip.

Diet and main health problems of the Maine Coon breed

Since the Maine Coon does not reach its adult size until it is five years old, it needs to be fed kitten food for a longer period of time, which contains more nutrients essential for its growth. The maintenance of its long hair is also done through a good diet composed of many fatty acids and proteins, preferably of animal origin (shellfish, fish or meat).

The Maine Coon being a foundation cat, the consanguinity was important during the development of the breed, leading to the appearance of certain diseases such as polycystic kidney disease, hip dysplasia, spinal muscular atrophy or feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Cat's water needs: tips and best practices

Water is essential to life, and cats are no exception to the rule. It is therefore important to ensure that your cat can drink regularly by leaving a fresh and clean water bowl at his disposal. How much water should a cat drink on a daily basis, knowing that it depends on the age of the animal, its diet and its environment? How much water should be given? How can you make sure your cat drinks enough and what are the tricks to encourage him to stay hydrated? Finally, let's see why it is important to consult if your cat drinks too much or not enough.

Water, essential to a cat's good health

Even if your cat is not a big drinker, he must be able to hydrate himself to meet his body's needs. These needs vary according to :
  • His age,
  • The surrounding temperature,
  • Its activity,
  • His diet, knowing that a cat who eats mainly kibble must drink more than a cat fed with wet food (pâté, etc.) or from home-made meals.
It should also be noted that a nursing female cat must drink more than usual.

On average, the daily water consumption for an adult cat is between 40 and 60 ml per kilo. Thus, a 4 kg cat should drink at least 160 ml of water per day. This amount increases in summer when temperatures are high, but also in winter if the cat lives in an overheated house. In these cases, the little feline can consume well over 200 ml of water in one day.

Be careful not to give milk to your adult cat. The animal is not able to digest lactose. If water is replaced by milk, the cat is at serious risk of diarrhea. The cat must drink water because it is the only way to maintain a sufficient level of body hydration.

What type of water should I give my cat?

By nature, cats tend not to drink much. He needs good quality water with a taste that suits him. If you notice that your cat is not drinking enough, you should start by changing the water. Don't forget that different waters have different tastes. Tap water is perfectly suitable for cats, unless it smells a little too much of chemicals. Likewise, mineral or spring water may be suitable for cats, but beware of those with a strong foamy taste.

You can give your cat any type of water (tap, spring, mineral) except for water that is very rich in mineral salts, as cats are very sensitive to urinary stones.

How to know if a cat is drinking enough water?

A cat's body is made up of nearly 70% water. It is therefore very important to do everything possible to ensure that he drinks enough every day. But cats are not normally very thirsty, so they may not get enough water. It is in the owner's best interest to make sure that his little friend has taken the necessary amount of water. This amount is at least a small glass.

Ideally, the water should be poured into a graduated bowl so that the consumption can be monitored throughout the day.

My cat doesn't drink enough: the signs that should alert me

It's fairly easy for an attentive owner to know if his cat is not getting enough water. The main signs to look for are the following:
  • A dull and/or shaggy coat,
  • A white skin over the eye,
  • A fold on the skin that does not return after pinching.
These are the main signs of dehydration that warrant an emergency visit to the veterinarian.

My cat drinks too much water: a sign of illness

Not drinking enough water is not good for your health. But some cats drink more than 200 ml of water a day, even if it's not particularly hot or if they're not very active. Intense thirst in a small feline may raise the suspicion of an illness that needs immediate attention, such as diabetes, kidney failure or even an endocrine disorder.

At the slightest doubt, talk to your veterinarian.

How to make your cat drink water?

If your kitty is definitely not drinking water, it is essential to find a solution to encourage him to drink enough water every day so that he stays in good health. He is indeed in real danger if he hasn't drunk for two days. For example, you can:
  • Add tuna juice to the water,
  • Provide several accessible, self-serve water sources so that the cat can drink wherever it is,
  • Keep the water bowl away from the food bowl where the cat's food is served, as the cat may not be able to stand the smell of food when drinking,
  • Opt for a wide, shallow container,
  • Avoid plastic pots that give the water an unappealing taste and prefer porcelain or glass containers,
  • Always place the bowls in a place that allows the animal to feel safe.
Some cats don't like to drink from a bowl but love to drink directly from a faucet or fountain. This type of accessory is both practical and original and allows your pet to drink throughout the day and night according to its needs. The water from the fountain is always perfectly aerated and fresh, which is a plus.

Top 9 smallest cat breeds

A kitten is very small and cute. But it doesn't last very long because in the first six months of its life, its growth is very fast. Between 9 and 12 months, most cats have reached their adult size. On average, a cat measures 30 cm at the withers and 45 cm from head to tail. But some breeds keep small or modest proportions in adulthood.

The 3 smallest cat breeds

Only 3 breeds of cats really produce small cats. These are animals with rather short legs compared to the usual proportions.

The Skookum

The Skookum is the smallest of all cats with only 15 cm. It is rare and is not a recognized breed by cat federations except by the Australian Cat Association (WNCA). It was created by an American in the 1990s. It is a short cat on legs with a curly fur. It remains an agile animal. As far as behavior is concerned, it is easy to live with and rather intelligent. As it is rare, it is difficult to know its purchase price.

The Munchkin

The Munchkin does not exceed 23 cm when adult. Its origin dates back to the 1980s. Its legs are particularly short, which is why it is called "basset cat" or "sausage cat". He has large bright eyes. Indoor cat, it does not stay long outside. It seeks comfort, warmth and security. Its purchase price is spread out between 400 and 1000 $.

The Korat

The Korat does not exceed 25 cm. Originating in Thailand, it is little known in France, but it is sought after in the United States and in England. It is intended for people and calm environments. In addition to its small size, it is known for its longevity, which can live up to 25 years. It is a cat exclusively of interior, sensitive of the respiratory tracts. It must therefore avoid draughts and the outdoors in cold periods. Its purchase price ranges between 1300 and 1500 $.

Rather small cats, between 25 and 30 cm at the withers

Some breeds offer adults whose height can be 25 cm, without ever exceeding 30 cm.

The Singapura

The Singapura is one of them. It is particularly attractive to Americans. Its hair is short. It is an intelligent cat, easy to care for and healthy. Unlike the previous breeds, it has an elegant appearance with slender legs. It has large expressive eyes. Its temperament is cuddly. If its calmness makes it a companion of choice for the elderly, it can also integrate well into a large family. He likes the interior as much as the exterior. The purchase price of a Singapura is between 1000 and 1800 $.

The Van Turk

Like the Singapura, the Van Turk can measure less than 30 cm at the withers. It is still rare in Europe. This cat from Turkey, with long to medium hair, is certainly adorable but has a strong character. He is very independent while appreciating all the same the company of his master. He adapts to any type of environment, happy in a house with garden as well as in an apartment. Known for his intelligence and his playfulness, he hates boredom: it will be necessary to provide him with toys, but also a water corner because, curious fact, this cat likes to bathe a lot. The purchase price of a Van Turk is between 800 and 1000 $.

The Chausie

The Chausie is also a rather small cat, with short to medium-length hair. Despite its modest size, its legs are proportionally quite long and powerful. They are gentle and affectionate, and do not like to be rejected. It is thus a soliciting cat, to which its master must grant time. Of a sporting temperament, it is preferable to eliminate the fragile objects of its environment. Note also that this cat does not seem to tolerate industrial food which can cause digestive problems. Its purchase price is between 1200 and 1500 $.

Let us evoke finally the races of cats of modest size...

The Burmese

The Burmese, elegant cat of Zibeline color, which likes hunting and brings back its prey to its master. It likes climbing a lot, it is essential to provide it with accessories.

The Bombay

His cousin the Bombay is a breed created in the United States and whose fur is jet black. His athletic body is known as the "miniature panther". But he lacks distrust outside and it is preferable to take him out on a leash, which he accepts without problem.

The Donskoy

The Donskoy, a cat with short hair that seems to be naked, well known for its lack of aggression. Not supporting loneliness, he can follow his master everywhere he goes, especially since he does not appreciate inactivity either.

The British Shorthair, a cat from Great Britain with a majestic appearance

Its name allows to know its origins and its physical characteristics. The British Shorthair is originally from Great Britain. With a majestic look, it is recognizable by its short hair and looks like a real teddy bear.

Characteristics of the British Shorthair

With a muscular, powerful and robust body, the British Shorthair is also distinguished by its beautiful curves. That's why it's considered the "teddy bear" of the cat breed. With broad shoulders and hips, it also has medium to short legs and a thick tail.

Its head with a rounded skull and black nose reveals powerful jowls, especially in males. One of the particularities of this breed is its short nose with open and curved nostrils. Its very round eyes are generally the same color as its coat, which can be found in 17 shades, although the British Shorthair silver is the most popular. The animal's hair is short, compact and dense. A thick undercoat is found under the fur.

History of the British Shorthair breed

The British Shorthair has had a rather eventful history. Originating in England, it had as ancestors alley cats whose forefathers had themselves a strong Chartreux look. Important crossings were made between the best of the breed so that it could be exhibited in London at the Crystal Palace in 1871. Decimated during the First World War, these cats have been the subject of many crosses over the years to be able to revive.

However, because of these different mixes of breeds, it took several generations before they were recognized as British Shorthair. The same problem appeared during the Second World War which caused the destruction of the breed's breeding. Persian crosses were used to restore all the physical characteristics of the British Shorthair.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the British Shorthair

Like its teddy bear appearance, the British Shorthair develops a balanced and peaceful character. It is not at all invasive and enjoys the company of other cats and dogs. He will enjoy being around children. This great hunter is also a great player. If nobody can play with him, he will be satisfied with a simple object or a toy. Moreover, the British dog does not suffer from loneliness, he can stay alone for a long time in the apartment, an interesting feature for the masters who are often absent.

He can also enjoy gardens and large spaces. The ideal would be to equip him with a bell or a GPS collar connected in Wifi integrating a GSM chip, if he is left in freedom.

Food and main health problems of the British Shorthair

The British Shorthair can easily become overweight if its diet is not properly monitored. This great gourmet must consume food rich in proteins preferably, with a low fat content. To ensure good health, it is also recommended to provide essential vitamins and nutrients.

Because of its origins, this breed of cat is rarely a victim of disease. However, being a descendant of the Persian, it can be affected by particular genetic diseases such as polycystic kidney disease or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Tests are usually performed on the breeders to detect the possible presence of these diseases and to avoid them.

What are the 10 most common diseases in cats?

The cat is very exposed to all kinds of pathologies that can be caused by a virus, a bacterium or a parasite, but for some of them, the origin is still poorly identified today. Here are ten diseases frequently encountered in cats, their particularities and the symptoms that should alert you. To protect the health of your little friend, it is very important to consult a veterinarian, because as we will see, many cat diseases are very contagious and some are fatal.

1 - Coryza

This very contagious disease due to a virus that has nothing to do with the flu is nevertheless commonly called the cat flu. It must be treated as soon as possible because its treatment is long. However, a cat with coryza will carry the virus for the rest of its life. That's why recurrence is not to be excluded. The main symptoms of Coryza are fever, sneezing, eye discharge, worsening of the respiratory tract infection, mouth ulcers and even a lung complication. While the symptoms may initially appear to be a severe cold, the cat's general condition can quickly become debilitated.

All cats should be vaccinated against Coryza.

2 - Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR)

This is a serious disease, sometimes fatal in kittens and the weakest adult cats, but it can also cause abortions in female cats. It is transmitted to the cat by the Feline Herpes Virus 1 or FeHV-1 responsible for the Coryza. The transmission is done by saliva and lacrimal secretions. Cats that sneeze, cough or have conjunctivitis easily infect others. Weight loss, fever, loss of appetite, coughing, conjunctivitis, severe rhinitis and dehydration are the main symptoms of RVF. At the slightest doubt, it is necessary to consult the veterinarian. Vaccination of the cat allows to protect its immune system, and consequently to limit the risks of contamination by this type of virus.

3 - Feline leukemia

Feline leukemia is a viral disease caused by the feline leukemogenic virus. It is an extremely serious disease, especially since the incubation time can reach two years. Even a cat that has no symptoms is contagious throughout its life. Leukemia is transmitted through sexual contact, saliva, blood and during lactation. There is no treatment to cure a cat with feline leukemia which is, unfortunately, a fatal disease.

4 - Feline viral leukemia or FeLV

This infection by retrovirus is among the most serious that we deplore in cats since it can be the cause of cancers, immunodeficiency and leads to various affections called secondary. The diagnosis and management of FeLV is complex. The main symptoms of FeLV are a general droop of the cat, nasal and ocular discharge, an increase in lymph nodes, diarrhea, anorexia, weight loss, fever, anemia, and even neurological disorders.

No treatment is currently available to eradicate feline viral leukemia to the extent that it is fatal in 9 out of 10 cats within 4 years of the first symptoms.

5 - Cat typhus

Also called feline panleukopenia, feline typhus is an infectious viral disease that affects mostly cats living in communities or stray cats. It is caused by a parvovirus, and is very contagious. The symptoms of cat typhus appear after an incubation period of 2 to 5 days. They vary according to the form of the disease (subacute, acute or - the most serious - superacute): loss of appetite, dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea. The superacute form can be fatal to young or fragile animals in just a few hours. There is no treatment for typhus.

The best way to prevent cat typhus is vaccination, which is 100% effective.

6 - Pancreatitis in cats

The origin of this serious disease is still unknown, but it is known that it can be caused by treatment or transmitted to the cat by different viruses and bacteria. It affects both male and female cats, young and old. There are two forms of pancreatitis, chronic and acute, the latter being easier to diagnose than the chronic form because the associated symptoms occur suddenly and are extremely violent. Abdominal pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, even jaundice. It is necessary to react quickly.

7 - Feline acne

This skin condition is common in cats. It is characterized by an inflammation of the sebaceous glands on the chin and lower lip. It can be identified by the presence of blackheads, scabs, and in its severe form, local infections that lead to edema, pimples and fistulas. Feline acne can be treated well, but the risk of recurrence should not be overlooked. As a preventive measure, it is recommended to use ceramic bowls rather than plastic ones, which are not always well tolerated by small felines.

8 - Cat Chlamydia

This feline disease is caused by the bacterium chlamydophila felis and is transmitted by ocular and nasal secretions. It mainly affects small felines that live in communities. It is a complication of Coryza that can be transmitted to humans with weakened immune systems. Symptoms of Chlamydia include conjunctivitis, runny eyes, nasal discharge, sneezing, severely swollen eyelids, and frequent coughing fits. The cat is at risk for respiratory disease and serious pulmonary complications.

The prevention of Chlamydia in cats is through vaccination.

9 - FIV or Cat AIDS

This is one of the most serious contagious viral diseases of cats. The virus involved is a retrovirus similar to that of AIDS in humans, however, F.I.V. in cats is not transmissible to humans. The incubation period can last several years during which the animal contaminates its fellow creatures without showing any symptoms, but the manifestations of the disease eventually appear. These are, for example, the increase in the volume of lymph nodes, weight loss, high fever. Then the cat vomits, has diarrhea and because of its weakened immune system it has numerous oral, nasal, ocular and skin diseases. The death of the cat is inevitable.

10 - Feline Borreliosis

Transmitted by ticks, borreliosis, also called Lyme disease, is less frequent in cats than in dogs. Nevertheless, it represents a danger. It sets in insidiously and the symptoms appear only 60 to 90 days after the bite of a tick. It requires an antibiotic treatment. The cat becomes listless, has a fever and loses its appetite. Sometimes the cat has joint stiffness, and in advanced stages, this inflammation can lead to paralysis. If left untreated, and in the most severe cases, the cat's heart or kidneys can be affected and the prognosis is life-threatening.

Prevention involves inspecting the cat's fur after every walk outside. It is essential to remove ticks as soon as possible with a tick remover.

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