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Weaning a kitten too early: what are the consequences?

You should never wean a kitten too early because this exposes the animal to serious consequences that will impact its life as an adult cat. Numerous health problems but also behavioral problems can result from this. To respect the order of things, weaning a kitten should not start before it is at least 1 month old and should be continued for several weeks. Let's take stock of the harmful consequences of early weaning and see how to respect this important step.

Kitten weaning: why should the procedure be respected?

The kitten can start to be weaned at the age of 4 weeks, and this is precisely the moment when he starts to have small teeth. Earlier is really too early and will only have negative effects for the little animal. This is really a fundamental step in his life, so it is strongly recommended not to take it lightly.

Weaning consists of the kitten switching from liquid to solid food. At the very beginning of its life, the young animal can be fed by its mother or by bottle with formula. This does not change the procedure for weaning.

It should be noted that for the nursing cat, this transition period is also important because to stop feeding her kittens little by little allows her to preserve herself. Moreover, as soon as her kittens reach the age of 4 weeks, her production of maternal milk starts to decrease and then gradually dries up. It is thus at 1 month that the preweaning of the young begins.

The weaning of the kitten must be done without haste and must last at least 4 weeks. During this month of capital importance, the period known as vicariance takes place: the food is modified in order to better meet the animal's needs. He drinks less and less milk and starts to taste water but also the kibbles intended for his mother. This is why the mother must receive kibble for kittens, particularly rich in nutrients.

Weaning the kitten too early: the risks

It's during the weaning phase that the kitten builds up. When weaning is done naturally, the animal can easily achieve psychological stability and be less vulnerable in terms of physical health.

Weaning the kitten too early leads to bad behaviors in the adult cat such as:
  • The inability to groom,
  • The inability to cover its droppings,
  • The lack of knowledge of certain limits so that the cat scratches or bites,
  • Lack of socialization with other cats,
  • Difficulties in adapting,
  • Hyperactivity,
  • Aggressiveness,
  • Fear,
  • Hyper-emotivity,
  • An inordinate attachment to his master...
Of course, some kittens that were weaned a little too early or too quickly may not show any behavioral problems. This is especially the case for small cats that are used to living outdoors and those raised with other cats.

It is strictly forbidden to sell or adopt kittens that have not yet reached the age of 8 weeks simply because they should not be weaned too early. Thanks to the article L. 214-8 of the Rural Code, the legislation protects these small pets. Unfortunately, this law is still violated by many breeders and individuals. It is up to everyone to be responsible by not adopting or buying kittens that have been weaned too early and/or have not reached the age of 2 months at least.

Should I neuter my cat? Advantages, disadvantages

Castration of a cat is a widespread and convenient operation, usually performed when the animal is pubescent. However, it should be noted that it is by no means mandatory. When is it necessary? What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a practice? Is it reimbursed by the mutual insurance company? Discover the answers to your questions in this file.

What is the castration of a cat ?

Spaying and neutering are two procedures whose objective is to avoid reproduction. We generally speak of spaying for a male cat and neutering for a female cat because these are the operations that are performed in the vast majority of cases. However, it is possible to perform each of them, regardless of the sex.
  • Spaying consists of removing the cat's sex glands, i.e. the testicles in males and the ovaries in females, in order to eliminate all hormone production.
  • Sterilization consists in cutting the internal element that allows fertilization, namely the vas deferens in the male and the fallopian tubes in the female. The production of hormones is not prevented.
The operation is ideally performed when the animal reaches puberty, i.e. at the age of 6 to 7 months. Of course, it is possible to perform the operation later. It is performed under general anesthesia, on an animal that is fasting and most often in good health.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of castration?

Is it systematically necessary to have your cat castrated? Indeed, if this operation is often recommended by veterinarians and by insurance companies, it is not mandatory and it is important to know that it has advantages, but also disadvantages.

The advantages of castration

  • A better health: having your cat neutered is an undeniable advantage for his health. Indeed, the operation reduces the risk of many contagious diseases such as cat AIDS or leukemia, as well as certain forms of cancer, especially tumors that affect the genital and reproductive systems and the udders of cats and bitches.
  • A cat that is less prone to behavioral problems: a neutered cat is less disturbed by its hormones and will therefore be less likely to fight other animals or its rivals. In addition, the animal will be less tempted to run away and will therefore be less exposed to the dangers of such adventures. On average, it is estimated that the life expectancy of an unneutered cat is twice as short as that of a neutered cat.
  • A calmer animal: A neutered cat is calmer and less likely to mark its territory by scratching and biting furniture and fabrics. Also, males no longer mark their territory with their urine.
  • A better controlled reproduction: a neutered animal can no longer reproduce, which avoids having to manage the possible litters of a cat or the incessant exits of a cat in search of gallant company. A litter can give birth to six kittens, sometimes more. So you have to take care of all these little people! Furthermore, neutering reduces the number of births and therefore avoids clogging the shelters with abandoned kittens. Indeed, nearly 600,000 kittens are born each year in France and unfortunately not all of them can be adopted.

The disadvantages of neutering

  • The cost: the castration of a cat is a relatively expensive operation since it is necessary to count an average of 80 euros for a male and 150 euros for a female. Moreover, most of the time, the operation is performed on a young animal that has been previously identified and/or vaccinated, which imposes high expenses in the near future. Each practitioner is free to apply the rates of his choice, which is why it is possible and legitimate to compare the clinics between them. If you live near a veterinary school, you can try to have your pet operated on at a lower cost. It is also possible to opt for a health insurance that covers this type of operation, but you should know that these formulas are the most expensive.
  • Weight gain: Spaying tends to increase a cat's appetite, although this is not a hard and fast rule. In general, neutered cats do gain weight, so their diet should be monitored. Allowing them to exercise at the same time is often essential to their well-being.
  • An adapted diet: in addition to being overweight, neutered cats present an increased risk of urinary fragility. It is therefore essential to opt for a suitable diet.

Is it covered by the cat insurance?

There is a wide range of mutual insurance plans for cats, from the most basic to the most high-end. Not all of them offer coverage for neutering, but it is possible to do so.

Castration is a preventive act that is not mandatory. As such, it is not usually included in basic plans. Most insurance companies only offer this coverage in their premium packages, which are much more expensive, averaging between 200 and 600 euros per year.

However, there are exceptions, especially when castration must be performed to preserve the animal's health. This is for example the case in the presence of a tumor. In this case, it is no longer an act of convenience, but a surgical necessity. The coverage is therefore possible, at the rate defined when the contract is signed.

The Savannah, a cat with a Serval look

Those who have always wanted to domesticate a Serval can now realize their dream. This wild cat of the African savannah has been crossed with domestic cats to give birth to the Savannah. A relatively new breed appreciated for its adaptability and sociability.

Characteristics of the Savannah

The very athletic aspect of the Savannah is the first detail that attracts attention. It has a beautiful and harmonious musculature which it owes of course to the Serval. It measures up to 40 cm and weighs between 7 and 9 kg, which makes it one of the biggest cats known, just like the Maine coon. The head is rather small compared to the body. It is long and quite triangular. The ears are large and are located high on the head with rounded tips. The almond-shaped eyes display a golden or green shade, beautiful. The nose for its part is long.

The Savannah's particularity is also based on its short or medium coat decorated with spotted tabby patterns which must always be black. These spots are oval, round or elongated. The coat can have a color going from golden to fawn with a white belly very often.

History of the Savannah breed

The Savannah is a relatively recent breed. We owe it to Judee Frank, a breeder of American origin who proceeded to the hybridization of a cat of Bengal with the Serval, a feline of the family of the cheetahs, resulting from South Africa. A wild cat lover, Patrice Kelly, took the initiative to develop the breed in 1989. It is only thirteen years later that the breed is recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA) but only the third generation or F3.

The first two generations are considered too wild to be admitted. In 2007, following the endorsement of the LOOF (Livre Officiel des Origines Félines), the breed participated for the first time in an exhibition in the category "New breeds and colors". It took five years before the Savannah could be officially presented in competitions.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Savannah

Although it is a direct descendant of a wild cat, the Savannah is a very sociable and gentle animal. It is also curious, clever and intelligent. It is not uncommon to see him doing some feats like opening taps for example.

His vivacity and great energy are his other particularities that he certainly takes from his ancestors. He needs to do activities like games or walks on a leash to feel good. It should also be noted that the Savannah, unlike its congeners, enjoys swimming. He will not be reluctant to take a bath.

Food and main health problems of the Savannah

Up to now, the veterinary literature has not identified any specific health problem for the Savannah. Moreover, this breed is distinguished by its longevity since it can live between 13 and 20 years.

As for its nutrition, it must be quite caloric because of the overflowing energy of the animal. Its beautiful musculature and its slender silhouette are to be maintained thanks to a good fat and protein intake. Its soft coat will be better preserved if its diet contains enough fatty acids.

5 easy homemade recipes for your cat

Quick and convenient, canned food tends to appeal to cat owners. However, to keep your cat healthy and avoid deficiencies, a balanced diet requires combining homemade meals once or twice a week with his kibble or food. Here are 5 homemade recipes with nutritional values adapted to his needs.

1 - Beef recipe for cats

Ingredients: 50g of ground meat; 20g of spinach; 20g of pasta; 1 teaspoon of wheat germ oil.

Preparation: Fry the minced meat in a pan and then mash it with a fork. Boil the spinach quickly so that it doesn't lose its properties, then drain. Chop it roughly. In a pot of boiling water, cook the pasta for 15 minutes, drain and let cool.

Presentation: Put the pasta mixed with the meat on a plate and cover with the spinach pieces. Pour in the wheat germ oil. Rich in vitamin E, it is a treat for the cat.

The +: Beef is an interesting source of iron and contains twelve essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc and B vitamins. It contains many proteins and its average lipid content varies from 2% for lean cuts to 17% for fatty cuts.

2 - Chicken recipe for cats

Ingredients: 50g of chicken breast; 3 slices of peeled tomatoes; 3 slices of peeled zucchini; 1 tablespoon of grated carrots; 1 dash of olive oil.

Preparation: In a frying pan, put a little olive oil and brown the chicken breast previously sliced. Put water to boil in a saucepan and precook the cubed zucchini and grated carrots. Drain them. Before removing the chicken, add the three vegetables to the pan and mix the preparation.

The + : Chicken provides phosphorus, zinc, selenium, vitamins B3 and B6, the nine essential amino acids and other nutrients in smaller quantities but beneficial to the cat's health. In addition, vegetables contribute to a varied and balanced diet.

3 - Recipe for cats with poultry livers

Ingredients: 50g of chicken livers (when cooking chicken, keep the liver for the cat); 20g of green beans; 20g of rice; 5g of butter.

Preparation: In a pot of boiling water, cook the rice with the washed and stemmed green beans. Let cook for 15 minutes and then drain. In a hot frying pan, put the butter and then the chicken livers. Cook for 5 minutes, turning regularly. Cut the livers into pieces and reserve the cooking juices.

Presentation: In a plate, spread the rice and the green beans then arrange the pieces of liver sprinkled with their juice.

The + : In addition to being very tasty, poultry liver is rich in protein (especially chicken liver), vitamin B9, iron and zinc. This food is also low in fat.

4 - Tuna recipe for cats

Ingredients: a 250g can of tuna; ½ cup of rice; 1 carrot; 1 handful of cooked peas; a sprig of parsley.

Preparation: Cook the rice without adding anything. Drain the tuna (crumbled tuna saves time, but you can also serve whole tuna and cut it into small pieces); The carrots can be boiled to make a puree or cooked medium to keep all their flavor. Mix with tuna.

Presentation: Place tuna and carrot mixture on plate. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve with slightly warmed peas.

The plus: The smell of tuna drives cats crazy. Moreover, this food is a source of vitamins A and D, and vitamins of the B group. It contains minerals, trace elements (selenium, phosphorus) and omega-3. Its consumption helps prevent the risk of cardiovascular disease.

5 - Sardine recipe for cats

Ingredients: 2 sardines in olive oil (canned); 1 bunch of asparagus; 1/2 cup of oats; 1 sprig of coriander.

Preparation: Plunge the asparagus into a pot of boiling salted water. Cook for about 10 minutes and then drain. Cook the oats in water for 5 to 6 minutes. Cut the sardines into several pieces.

Presentation: In the plate, cut the asparagus heads in small pieces and arrange them on the oats. Thin out the leaves and sprinkle with coriander.

The + : The sardine is a fatty fish rich in omega-3 and omega-6, beneficial in particular for the immune and cardiovascular system. It also contains calcium, which contributes to healthy bones and teeth and plays a major role in blood clotting. Asparagus is rich in vitamins and is an excellent antioxidant.

Hyperthyroidism in cats: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention

Hyperthyroidism is an endocrine disease that causes certain metabolic disturbances. It is relatively common in cats. The symptoms of hyperthyroidism should not be overlooked and warrant a prompt consultation so that the veterinarian can diagnose this condition as soon as possible as it requires treatment. Let's take a look at feline hyperthyroidism that cannot be prevented.

Hyperthyroidism in cats: symptoms

This pathology affects more particularly cats older than 8 years. The main symptoms are :
  • A dulling of the hair,
  • Hairballs or prickly hairs,
  • Skin problems,
  • Polyuro-polydipsia, which is increased urination and water consumption,
  • Polyphagia or increased appetite,
  • Vomiting,
  • Chronic diarrhea.
Sometimes we can see:
  • Behavioral changes such as aggression or irritability,
  • Neurological problems such as sudden paralysis of the limbs and balance problems, sometimes even hypovigilance,
  • Sudden loss of vision,
  • Loss of appetite if the cat has renal failure,
  • Syncope.
At the same time, hyperthyroidism in cats can lead to high blood pressure with the following complications
  • Ocular hematoma,
  • A sudden loss of vision,
  • A renal insufficiency,
  • Cerebral hypertension,
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, that is to say an increase in the volume of the cardiac muscle, which favors the formation of blood clots, a disorder of the cardiac rhythm and can lead to heart failure,
  • Stroke.
Some of the symptoms described above may also raise the suspicion of hyperthyroidism in a young cat, although cases are less common than in older cats.

Hyperthyroidism in cats: diagnosis

Hyperthyroidism is not easily detected because the symptoms of this condition vary so widely. That's why, as soon as the first symptoms appear, the owner should not hesitate to consult the veterinarian. After an auscultation of the cat, additional examinations are necessary to confirm the diagnosis of hyperthyroidism. The veterinarian proceeds in several steps:
  • A blood test to obtain a precise hormonal dosage,
  • The search for potential or proven complications (urinalysis, thoracic X-ray, ultrasound, MRI or CT scan of the brain and abdominal area, blood pressure measurement...),
  • A scan and a CT scan to locate the tumor, which can be a benign tumor (adenoma) or a malignant tumor.
After which a care protocol is set up.

Hyperthyroidism in cats: treatment

The treatment of feline hyperthyroidism is complex and is adapted to each individual case, taking into account any concomitant diseases. The veterinarian must indeed treat this pathology in the first place and then, in the second place, take care of the complications that it may have caused. The treatment consists, among other things, in inhibiting the production of thyroid hormones since the gland produces them in excess. This can be done with tablets or a liquid medication and in some cases, the medication must be given for life.

To destroy the thyroid tumor, it is possible to opt for iodine therapy. This is a radioactive iodine-based treatment. In some cases, a surgical intervention can be decided in order to remove this tumor (exeresis). Finally, the cat must follow a specific diet with low iodine content and strictly indicated by the veterinarian.

The sense of sight in cats: explanations

The cat is endowed with a particular sense of sight since it is as deficient as it is excellent. Let's take a look at the cat's ability to see or not and how the fascinating eyes of this nyctalope animal perceive the world around it.

The cat is nocturnal: a question of anatomy

At the back of the cat's retina are reflective cells called the glowing carpet (Tapetum lucidum) or more commonly the light carpet. This is the reason why we have a very poor night vision, unlike the cat which is nyctalopic. Nyctalopia designates this twilight vision which allows to distinguish not the color of objects but only their shape, and this capacity is made possible by "difference of luminosity". This night vision allows the cat to be a good night hunter.

In the cat, when the retina captures a certain amount of light, it increases by reflection through the Tapetum lucidum. As a result, this shiny carpet amplifies the sensitivity of the cat's eye to light. This is how our little companions have an improved vision when the luminosity is extremely low. However, they are not able to see in the dark, i.e. in the total absence of a light source.

It is worth noting that when a cat is photographed by activating the flash, a photo is obtained that reveals surprisingly bright eyes and their color can be pink, green, blue or yellow. For your information, the Tapetum in other animals can be fibrosum, choroidal, retinal or cellulosum. In all these cases, thanks to the principle of interference, we manage to see their eyes shine at night. Scientists use this feature to perform a counting of animals that is also called the night count.

Daytime vision of the cat

During the day, the cat's vision is not so good because objects located more than 80 to 100 cm away start to appear blurred and become more so as the distance increases. His day vision is satisfactory (without more) only at a distance between 10 cm and 80 cm. This phenomenon is due to the various photosensitive cells contained in its retina, namely:
  • The rod cells (or rods) for the vision under weak luminosity which one names the scotopic vision.
  • The cones for the colors.
The rods are photoreceptors or receptor cells which function when the luminosity is very weak. As for the cones, they are photoreceptors which function when the luminosity is intense. They ensure the conversion of light into colors. In humans, there are three types of cones allowing the perception of red, blue and green while in the cat, the red cones are completely absent.

This animal can not perceive the red nor its variations (orange, pink, purple ...). But blue, yellow and green appear much blander than they are in reality. Finally, during the day, the cat sees life in pastel and the night in monochrome gray.but if it is so skillful to hunt, it is because it perceives better the objects in movement than when they are motionless even more if they are far away.

Cat: a wider field of vision

Finally, it should be noted that the cat's field of vision is greater than that of humans, since the kitty sees at 260°. But if its peripheral vision is enviable, its near vision is not really at its best and its distance vision is blurred.

Researchers have studied the vision of cats. But the investigations are far from being completed. Moreover, some scientists have conducted studies that allow them to think that, depending on the environment in which it lives, a cat may have a different sense of sight than another cat, simply because the vision adapts. It's a pity that our little companions can't tell us more about this, because we would know for sure how a stray cat and an apartment cat see the world around them.

Top 10 most represented cat breeds in the world

A Japanese island, Tashiro-jima, literally "the island of cats", has about 150 cats for only 70 inhabitants. In Ukraine, the feline population includes many stray cats to the point that the country is pointed out by animal protection associations. The German government deplores the dramatic increase in the number of stray cats in the streets of the country. The popularity of cats is not always beneficial to them. But beyond these negative political aspects, what are the 10 most represented cat breeds in the world?

1- European Shorthair

European Shorthair is the name given to the European cat breed since 2007. This breed is very present in the world, but more particularly in Scandinavian countries, and it is naturally in these last countries that the majority of the breeders of this breed are located.

It is difficult to differentiate a European ShortHair from an alley cat. They are large cats. Their coat is very varied. They are energetic cats and need stimulation and space.

2- The Maine Coon

The Maine Coon is one of the favorite cats of the French. It is also very common among Americans, perhaps because in this vast country that sees everything in XL, this cat breed, known to be the largest in the world, has its place. The breed represents 34% of the pedigrees registered at the LOOF (Livre Officiel des Origines Félines) in 2019. The Maine Coon adapts to all types of life, especially since it is not very athletic, it is very sociable, with humans but also other animals.

3- The Siamese

It is from the 1950s that the Siamese becomes very popular in Europe and the United States. He has a temperament inclined towards jealousy: his family and his master must show him affection. He can't stand to be left alone, which is not very serious as long as you take him with you, which he does very well. It is even possible to walk him on a leash if he has been raised this way from a young age.

4- The Abyssinian

The Abyssinian seems to have a destiny closely related to Egypt and cats of this breed would have inspired the appearance of the goddess Bastet. An epidemic of feline leukosis between 1960 and 1970 almost made them disappear. But today, the Abyssinian is enjoying a resurgence in popularity, making it one of the top ten favorite cat breeds in the United States.

These cats are characterized by their very elegant appearance, with a slightly arched neck and back, and brown skin with black spots, covered by an apricot-colored coat. Thanks to their slender, muscular bodies, they are exceptionally adept at hunting. They are among the most intelligent cats.

5- The Ragdoll

The Ragdoll is a breed created from Persian cats. It was first in the United States where the breed was very popular. Then it spread to England, Scandinavia and a large part of Europe.

It is a cat known to relax completely when you carry it, hence its name "ragdoll". It is thanks to this particular flexibility that he often takes all sorts of incongruous postures and contortions. It is of an extremely soft temperament, calm and docile.

6- The Sacred of Burma

The Sacred of Burma is a cat of French origin, resulting from a cross between a Persian and a Siamese. It is a different breed from the Burmese. Between 1950 and 1960, it was introduced in the United States, then from 1965 in England. It is a calm cat, which meows little and prefers peace and quiet. Once he has chosen the special person to whom he will be attached, he can become clingy, especially since he does not like to live alone.

7- The Somali

The Somali is the semi-longhaired variant of the Abyssinian. The Somali breed has only been officially recognized in Europe since 1982. It is a medium sized cat, high on legs. The cats of this breed are very curious about everything, following the people around them. They are indeed very attached to their master of whom they always want more compliments and caresses, to the point that they are nicknamed "dog-cat". These cats will not hesitate to use their charms to get what they want.

8- The Norwegian

Along with the Maine Coon, the Norwegian cat breed is the other very large cat breed. It is the result of a natural selection and not of human selection work. It has only been officially recognized since 1977. Obviously, it is the favorite cat of Scandinavians, having even been chosen to appear on a Norwegian postage stamp. Its popularity is probably due to its very robust health, as this breed does not have any major health problems, but also to its very sweet, cuddly, even clingy temperament.

9- The American ShortHair

Just like the European Shorthair, the American Shorthair is a descendant of the alley cats. Officially created in 1966, this American breed is one of the most popular in the United States, but we won't meet him much in France.

He loves to play and can, when he feels like it, bring a toy to his master. But he can also play alone. It will be a good companion for lonely people. It is a powerful animal whose diet should be monitored, while giving him his dose of exercise, so that he does not gain too much weight.

10 - The Sphynx

The Sphynx has become more and more popular in recent years. It is a cat apart by its appearance. The skin of the Sphynx is not naked but covered with down which gives it a soft touch like a peach.

Contrary to what is regularly said, this breed is not hypoallergenic because the saliva of these cats contains the Fel d1 protein which is a major allergen. The diet of cats of this breed is consequent, to allow these animals to compensate for the calorific loss related to their lack of hair. They must also expend a lot of energy to maintain an adequate body temperature. Their sebum not being absorbed by their hair, it is necessary to regularly remove the excess of fat and the deposits left by their sweat.

10 tips to remove the smell of cat urine

After urinating, cats often leave behind a strong and unpleasant odor. Moreover, the smell remains for a long time and is difficult to remove. Since the smell is very uncomfortable for the inhabitants of the house, here are 10 tips to get rid of the smell of cat pee.


Effective as a natural cleaning product, it also removes the smell of cat urine. Rub a slice of lemon or half a lemon on the stain and rinse with warm water afterwards. If the odor persists, repeat the action until the odor disappears completely. Nevertheless, be careful not to attack the surface to be cleaned.

White vinegar

Without additives, use vinegar to rub the stain. Leave it on for a few minutes and there is no need to rinse, as the vinegar will evaporate.

Odor absorber

This product has the advantage of being environmentally friendly and you can buy it online on some shopping sites. Simply remove the lid of the jar and place it next to the cat's urine. You can also put it near the litter box, the product works for 4 to 6 weeks.

Baking soda spray

Mix 30 ml of baking soda, 30 ml of dish soap, 30 ml of hydrogen peroxide and 1 cup of warm water. Put in a bottle and spray the area. Let the mixture work for about ten minutes and rinse with warm water. 100% natural, you can repeat this mixture and spray regularly until the smell disappears completely.

The essential oil

Pour a few drops of lemon and eucalyptus essential oil into warm water. Spray the area where there is urine and let it work.


Soak a cloth with oil and clean the area, letting the oil soak in. Leave it on until the smell disappears. Then rinse with soapy water and a few drops of lemon or baking soda.

Household alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is especially effective in removing cat urine odors from tiles. Simply wipe the tiles with a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol and let it work.

Soda crystals

If your cat has urinated on your sheets, first soak them in 1 liter of water with soda crystals. Scrub the stains and put them in the washing machine on a normal program.

Bicarbonate, essential oil, water and lemon

To remain ecological, make a 100% natural mixture with baking soda, essential oil, lemon and water. To make it, you need a spray bottle in which you put ½ liter of hot water. Then add a tablespoon of bicarbonate and shake vigorously. After that, pour 3 drops of lemon essential oil and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Mix well and spray the area. This product works well on carpets or other floor coverings and in addition to removing the smell of cat pee, it also acts as a disinfectant.

Baking soda and white vinegar

First, clean the area where your cat has urinated and then spray it with this mixture. To do this, take a trip to your kitchen and make up the mixture with baking soda and white vinegar. Pour 1 glass of white vinegar and add 2 teaspoons of baking soda. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray the area.

These tips are all equally effective, but don't forget to air the room. That's the first thing you should do and then proceed to use these tips. To prevent the cat from urinating in the same place after cleaning, use repellents such as black pepper, newspaper or aluminum foil.

The Ragdoll, an affectionate cat with blue eyes

The ragdoll is an affectionate feline that is a real live stuffed animal that likes to spend time being petted. They are known for their sociability, which sets them apart from other feline breeds. He is very attached to his masters and perfectly appreciates family life. A cat that will make the happiness of the children because of its tranquility.

Characteristics of the Ragdoll

The ragdoll is a cat of imposing size which, in adulthood, can weigh up to 9 kg in the males and on average 4 to 6 kg in the females. The cat has a long, rectangular body. Although it is heavy, it should not be overweight. Only one belly pocket is allowed in this breed.

The head forms a slight triangle with large oval eyes, always blue in color, a medium-sized muzzle and triangular ears located at the ends of the head triangle. Like the Sacred Burmese, the ragdoll has a basic colorpoint coat. The mitted (with white gloves on the legs), bicolor or van (only colored ears and tail) are tolerated.

History of the Ragdoll breed

The ragdoll is a recent cat breed. Appeared in the United States in 1963, it was born under the impulse of a Californian breeder of Persians, Ann Baker, who realized a crossing between a Burmese sacred and a Persian angora. This hybridization was done by chance and gave birth to relaxed, calm and sociable cats. This breed is very popular in the United States and has also conquered Scandinavia as well as England and many other countries in Europe. On the other hand, it succeeded with difficulty to win the heart of the French, very attached to the sacred of Burma.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Ragdoll

The ragdoll shows a very great calm and a legendary sweetness. It is also a balanced and very affectionate cat. It is not the kind of cat that wants to attract attention all the time and knows how to be discreet, even when it meows. As it is also very patient, it is the ideal pet for children. Despite all its qualities, this cat does not like to be left alone, so it is important to avoid leaving it at home for too long.

The ragdoll is also perfect for families that move often. It acclimates easily to each new environment. However, as it is an indoor cat, it is not recommended to let it go outside to avoid endangering it.

Diet and main health problems of the Ragdoll

Like the Persian, the Ragdoll can be subject to a substantial weight gain. It is therefore important to watch his diet. The ideal is to give him adapted croquettes of good quality that you will find proposed on specialized websites or in pet shops. If it is a question of home-made food, meals that are too salty and too fatty should be avoided.

A healthy diet will preserve him from possible health problems which are not rare in ragdolls. Feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which causes an enlargement of the heart, can occur. Similarly, kidney problems are not uncommon in some of these felines.

Cushing's syndrome in cats: symptoms, causes, treatments and prevention

Spontaneous onset Cushing's syndrome (CS) is more rare in cats than in dogs. However, when Cushing's syndrome is due to the use of corticosteroids, the number of cases is slightly higher. This is called iatrogenic Cushing's syndrome. But it can also be Cushing's disease when the problem is due to a pituitary adenoma. Let's take stock of the different forms of hyperadrenocorticism, the symptoms and the treatments that can be considered, knowing that the prognosis is not always very reassuring.

Cushing's disease and syndrome, the different forms of hyperadrenocorticism

There are several forms of hyperadrenocorticism, namely :
  • Cushing's disease, the cause of which is a pituitary micro-adenoma generating a production of corticotropic hormone (or ACTH for Adreno CorticoTropic Hormone) much higher than the norm. This leads to a stimulation of cortisol production by an adrenal gland.
  • Cushing's syndrome which is due to :
    • Either an adenoma or carcinoma on an adrenal gland,
    • Or to an overdose of corticoids leading to a decrease in the activity of the adrenal glands. In this case, we speak of iatrogenic Cushing's syndrome.
The iatrogenic form is more common in cats than the spontaneous form, but because these manifestations are fairly commonplace, it is greatly underestimated. In any case, regarding the spontaneous form of SC, the excess of cortisol leads to hormonal disorders and these disorders are the cause of symptoms that do not go unnoticed, more or less frequent, namely:
  • Insulin-resistant diabetes mellitus.
  • Diabetes-related polyuria-polydipsia or PUPD, which is manifested by intense thirst (and therefore increased fluid intake) and excessive urine secretion.
  • Weight loss.
  • Immune deficiency.
  • Vomiting.
  • Decreased grooming frequency or no grooming at all.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Skin fragility leading to tears.
  • Hair loss not followed by regrowth.
  • An increase in deep sleep time (lethargy).
  • A saddlebag belly (pendulous abdomen).
  • Lameness.
The first two symptoms on this list are by far the most common.

All breeds of cats, without any particular distinction, can be affected, and these pathologies affect females as much as males.

Cushing's syndrome in cats: diagnosis

Various tests are required to diagnose Cushing's syndrome or Cushing's disease. After a clinical examination of the cat, the veterinarian may wish to perform a cortisol inhibition test, a blood test, adrenal stimulation tests, a CT scan or an ultrasound and of course a blood glucose test. The veterinarian must always identify the cause of the CS with certainty in order to opt for the appropriate treatment.

Cushing's syndrome in cats: treatment

Cushing's syndrome or disease in cats is quite difficult to treat and the prognosis is poor in many cases due to the resulting skin fragility, diabetes and immune deficiency. The choice of treatment is made on a case-by-case basis, but this type of pathology generally requires a rather heavy protocol. And let's face it, the consequences of hyperadrenocorticism in cats are severe.

When an adrenal gland is involved

When a benign tumor is found on an adrenal gland, the veterinarian recommends surgery to remove the offending gland. The cat has two adrenal glands, each small organ is located just above a kidney. This operation is called unilateral adrenalectomy. Symptomatic treatment of the tumor (adenoma) is possible if surgery is not possible. In this case, a prescription of trilostane or equivalent (mitotane) may be decided. This is a steroidogenesis inhibitor, i.e. it intervenes in the synthesis of steroid hormones. The treatment can also be limited to :
  • An inhibitor of cortisol synthesis, but the risks are adrenal hypertrophy which can be very serious. This is due to a so-called reactive increase in the production of ACTH (corticotropic hormone) by the pituitary gland. It should be noted that the pituitary gland (small pituitary gland located in the sella turcica) is a real conductor of the orchestra.
  • An inhibitor of progesterone synthesis.
  • When the pituitary is involved
In the case of pituitary-induced SC, treatment with trilostane is possible, but the veterinarian may also decide to perform a bilateral adrenalectomy, which means removing both adrenal glands from the cat. This is often the chosen solution. It should be noted, however, that neurological signs may occur with expansion of the pituitary adenoma.

Cushing's syndrome in cats must be treated as soon as possible because the prognosis depends on it. Unfortunately, it is very common for the veterinarian to euthanize the cat within 30 days of diagnosis.

Although rarer in cats than in dogs, the various forms of hyperadrenocorticism seem to be affecting more and more small felines in recent years, and this propensity concerns all adrenal gland disorders in these pets. However, for this species in particular, these diseases are still not well known and their prognosis remains delicate.

It is not possible to prevent these diseases. It is always necessary to monitor the health of your cat and to react to the slightest symptom that could give rise to concern. A cat treated very early can live several years, and if the disease is caught a little late, what counts is to relieve his animal so that his end of life goes as well as possible.

What is a feral cat?

Many people have gotten into the habit of lumping all types of cats into one category. This is a mistake because there are clear differences between the domestic cat, the wild cat also called forest cat and the feral cat. Who is this last one, also called stray cat or feral cat? What is its impact on biodiversity and can it be domesticated again?

The feral cat: back to the wild

The feral cat is a cat that has been domesticated for part of its life and then returned to the wild. It belongs to the subspecies Felis silvestris catus. The reasons for his return to the wild are varied. It can be, for example, a runaway following which the animal has definitely lost its way or even the pure and simple abandonment by its masters, or even the deliberate escape of the animal to finally escape from acts of mistreatment that it has endured for too long. We will see later that the cat has also been put back into the wild by Man in order to fight against pests.

Whatever the reason for this return to its roots, from then on the cat undergoes an at least partial evolution that is called marronnage, and that is why we speak in this case of a "brown cat". The other term dedicated to this category of small felines is feral cat. Note that the term feral is used to designate any animal that has returned to the wild after being domesticated and it can be a non-carnivorous species such as some pigeons, horses or goats. The term feral, on the other hand, can only be used for the cat, according to the rejection of the appeal in cassation against the decision of the Court of Appeal of Poitiers of February 28, 1989 "for acts of cruelty towards a domestic animal (...)", where it is specified that "the feral cat is the one that has returned to the wild state and lives on game".

Feral cats: a scourge for many animal species

In Australia, the feral cat, having no direct competitor, has been a predator of choice to protect populations against invasions of rats and rabbits. It is for this reason that British settlers released domestic cats into the wild in the 19th century.

But in this region of the world, as in others, feral cats are a major problem because of their propensity to multiply, which has led to eradication plans. These plans were put in place to control the threat that the overpopulation of feral cats poses to biodiversity. The feral cats are indeed at the origin of perfectly identified problems such as
  • The transmission of extremely varied pathologies, whether to their feral congeners, to wild cats or to domestic cats, but also to many other animal species without any link with felids, and sometimes even to humans.
  • The predation of very diverse animal species since these small felines back to the wild or semi-wild state feed mainly on the prey they hunt.
  • Cross-breeding (or hybridization) between stray and feral cats.
Thus, in 2017, a massive slaughter of feral cats was decided by the Australian government in order to eliminate at least 2 million individuals out of more than 6 million identified. In other countries, the regulation of the brown cat is debated and in France, it is up to each municipality to decide its fate, since the animal is no longer part of the huntable species, having been removed from the list of pests.

Nevertheless, the feral cat represents today - in the four corners of the planet - a threat for many animal species in danger of extinction such as the Gallicolumba, the Barau's Petrel or the Lesser Antillean Iguana. As for the Guam Rail - of which there are no longer any individuals in the wild - it could not be reintroduced on the eponymous island because of the presence of too many feral cats. It is indeed necessary to realize that the increase in the number of feral cats leads to impacts of extreme gravity and even more when they invade islets and islands.

Can a feral cat be tamed?

Experts have studied this question and concluded that, with rare exceptions, it is almost impossible to tame a feral cat once it is more than 5 weeks old. Domestication involves capturing the animal before it is one month old and then socializing it. But there is no guarantee that its behavior as an adult will be in line with what is expected of a pet that must share the daily life of a family. There are so many perfectly socialized domestic cats waiting for a loving home...

The sense of touch in cats: explanations

Touch is one of the most developed senses in cats. It must be said that the kitty is well endowed with receptors located on different areas of its body and head. Pads, skin muscles, vibrissae... let's discover why the cat is so receptive to the slightest differences in pressure, temperature and to his environment.

The vibrissae: precious sensory organs

The vibrissae are crucial in a cat's life. They are among the most highly developed sensory organs and are embedded in the skin much deeper than the cat's hair. Their roots are highly innervated. They are commonly called whiskers. But if some are placed on each side of the kitty's nose - between 8 and 12 on the right and as many on the left - others are located under its chin, above its eyebrows and even on the back of its paws. They are longer and stiffer than hairs but they are also made of keratin. Each vibrissa falls out and then grows back. However, they should never be cut because they are essential for the cat to find its way in space.

The vibrissae act as a kind of radar because where they pass, the cat passes... Without vibrissae, it cannot always detect certain obstacles, in particular at night when the small feline leaves to hunt. Thanks to its whiskers, the cat can sneak to a point that sometimes seems improbable and perceive the obstacles on its trajectory because they are atmospheric receptors allowing the small feline to feel the variations of the air and to apprehend the wind speed. It is thus thanks to them that it can at the last moment change tack when it runs away for example because the vibrissae send directly the information to the brain and allow the small feline to evaluate the distances.

The animal also uses its vibrissae to communicate with its fellow cats thanks to codes. The vibrissae, which are pressed backwards, express fear or anxiety. When they are stretched forward, it can mean an aggressive mood or on the contrary a great curiosity towards another cat for example.

The cat's paw pads: amazing receptors

The pads that cats have under their feet also contribute to their sense of touch. We know that they allow the animal to make velvet paws, that is to say to move without making noise, but they also regulate the body temperature of the small feline which sweats little. Moreover, they are real shock absorbers and one of them acts as a brake and an anti-slide organ. What is less known is that the pads are extremely sensitive sensory organs so that the cat perceives through them the nature of an object, of a support. It can be informed precisely the nature of a prey, its temperature, its size, and can even of its behavior or its position. The paw pads are therefore fundamental "sensory tools" that allow the cat to spot a danger.

The paw pads are essential for the cat when hunting, but also when playing or even when gripping an object. They are also vibration sensors. Its nose and upper lip are very sensitive to touch, as is its skin, thanks to its skin muscles.

The Munchkin, a cat breed with very short legs

Many of us dream of having a kitten that never grows and stays small and cute all its life. Thanks to the work of American breeders, the dream is now coming true with the Munchkin, a breed of cat with very short legs also called "basset cat" or "miniature cat".

Characteristics of the Munchkin

One can only be moved in front of this so touching ball. The Munchkin draws all its particularities from its small size. Its morphology is balanced, its musculature and its bone structure are well developed. It has a broad and bulging chest and a muscular neck, more or less thick. The Munchkin has a head in the shape of a softened triangle, with a rounded skull and forehead. There is no stop at the nose. The eyes are very expressive and are rounded. The ears as for them are spread out one from the other and have a rounded end. At the level of the coat, it can be short or half-long according to the cases. The various dresses are admitted except for the amber color.

History of the Munchkin breed

This breed is modern. It appeared for the first time in the United States in 1983. Sandra Hochenedel, a breeder from Louisiana, discovered a cat with very short legs. This very particular mutation will appear even in the kittens of this cat named BlackBerry. From there begins the development of the breed. The first specimen will be presented in New York during an exhibition in 1991.

Note that in England in the 30s and in Russia in the 50s, cats with similar characteristics were discovered. Except that at that time, nobody had considered developing the breed.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Munchkin

It's hard to resist frequent cuddling sessions when you have a Munchkin in your home. Fortunately, the Munchkin is affectionate and docile. They enjoy company, are sociable and will adapt to the presence of other animals. Despite its small size, the Munchkin remains very dynamic and likes to hunt, jump and run around. That's why it's important to offer him a cat tree if he lives in an apartment.

In addition, the Munchkin is more or less easy to train. You can teach him to obey orders and to bring back objects for example.

Nutrition and main health problems of the Munchkin

For its health and growth, the Munchkin must receive 41 nutrients through its food. But the quantity of these nutrients depends on the health of the animal, its lifestyle and especially its age.

As far as health problems are concerned, the breed is so new that no particular pathology has been brought to light yet. However, its very short legs due to a genetic malformation related to spinal and bone problems could lead to arthritis. A regular follow-up with the veterinarian will allow early detection of this pathology. It is also a good precaution to make sure that the breeding stock is disease free when choosing your cat.

The Chartreux, a cat with a mischievous and golden look

Mischievous look, refined and full of grace, the Chartreux has everything to seduce. In spite of its independent character, this cat is very attached to its masters whom it never leaves its eyes. He will be perfectly happy in a family with children.

Characteristics of the Chartreux

Reputed to be majestic, the Chartreux has a robust and muscular body of the medium line type, which does not prevent it from being agile and very flexible. Its neck is short, thick and muscular. The Chartreux has a straight back, a deep chest and broad shoulders. The muzzle is narrow and the cheeks are round. The ears sit on top of the head in a slightly rounded fashion. There are two elements that make the chartreux so special: first, its large, round and very expressive eyes of copper or pale gold color, and second, its coat ranging from light blue-gray to dark blue-gray. It is important that the color of the coat is uniform on the whole body.

History of the Chartreux breed

The Chartreux has the chance to be part of the very closed circle of the oldest natural breeds of cats in the world. It would have been brought back from Turkey and Iran by the commercial ships during the crusades between the East and the West. Moreover, it is because of its origins that this breed has such a woolly coat because it allowed it to resist to the harshest climates. In the XXth century, the breed landed in Normandy and in the Morbihan region of Belle-île-en-mer. Its development is carried out thanks to the work of the Léger sisters in the 30s. It should be noted that today, the Chartreux is one of the favorite breeds of the French.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Chartreux

Calm and loving, the Chartreux also has a temperament and remains a reserved and independent animal like many felines. Even if it appreciates cuddles, it does not support to be treated like a plush. Physical constraints can even make him aggressive. The cuddles, it is thus only when it decides it. Very playful, the chartreux is even considered as a cat-dog since it is also very faithful to its masters. In spite of its nature a little solitary, it appreciates to evolve within a family with which it will communicate in a very particular way, by moving the tail for example. It should be noted that this cat rarely meows.

Food and main health problems of the Chartreux

There is no particular disease that is attributed to the Chartreux. On the other hand, during the moulting period, it is very important to brush its fur regularly because it starts to lick it very often which leads to the accumulation of hair in the stomach and thus digestive problems.

As for the diet, it should be monitored to avoid being overweight. Exercise is quickly recommended as soon as he starts to gain weight. During his meals, it is recommended to give him kibbles or to concoct home-made meals based on rice, vegetables and meat.

The Norwegian Forest Cat

Also known as the Norwegian Forest Cat, the Norwegian Cat is distinguished by its abundant fur. This inveterate hunter does not lack dynamism. Beware of your valuables that may not survive the passage of this hairball.

Characteristics of the Norwegian cat

Of long type, the Norwegian cat has an imposing musculature which gives him power and robustness. Its legs are neither too high nor too short but those in front are shorter than those in the back. The tail is bushy, long and carried high. The head resembles an equilateral triangle. Without stop, the profile remains straight. The Norwegian cat has large ears whose tips are sometimes provided with bushy hair. The eyes are oblique and almond-shaped.

This breed also has an opulent and uniform coat that thickens more at the neck. As for colors, they are all tolerated except for lilac, chocolate, fawn and cinnamon.

History of the Norwegian breed

Contrary to many breeds, the Norwegian cat is the result of a natural evolution and not of crossbreeding and selections. It would have landed in Southern Europe and would have been one of the pets of the Vikings. The selection of the breed was therefore done naturally. Only the most resistant cats survived the very difficult climatic conditions of Norway.

The birth of the first cat club in the country and the presentation of the Norwegian cat in an exhibition took place the same year, in 1938. It is from there that the breeding of this breed began. The introduction in countries like Germany, the United States, France or Great Britain was done in the late 70s and early 80s.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Norwegian cat

Very active and alert, the Norwegian cat is an excellent climber. He will climb everywhere in the house, even if it means doing a little damage. Hence the importance of instilling in him a good education from an early age and offer him, why not, a cat tree for lack of a large garden with trees on which he can climb.

Very calm and self-confident, the Norwegian develops excellent relationships with his master provided that the latter respects the independent character of his cat. Note that this breed is not recommended for calm and sedentary people.

Diet and main health problems of the Norwegian

Vegetables, meats, fish... these are the basic foods to offer to the Norwegian cat if you want to ensure a balanced diet. Its meals should also be rich in vitamins, trace elements and animal proteins.

Appreciated for its robustness, this breed nevertheless develops a particular hereditary disease, namely glycogenosis type IV, which can cause death at a very young age of the animal. The breeders do their best to control the reproduction and thus avoid this disease. Apart from this disease, the Norwegian does not develop other specific pathologies.

Jacobson's organ, the cat's second sense of smell

With more than 67 million cells, the olfactory system of the cat is far superior to that of humans, although it also possesses this famous Jacobson's organ which was used much more by Homo sapiens than by the man of the XXIst century. Let's discover what this vomeronasal organ is, which allows animals to detect, among other things, the pheromones that regulate some of their behaviors and trigger very specific reactions in pussies.

Jacobson's organ: what is it?

Jacobson's organ is the name given to the vomeronasal organ - discovered by Ludvig Lewin Jacobson, a Danish surgeon (1783 - 1843) - that mammals possess and it is much more developed in some of them as for example in the cat and the horse.

The Jacobson's organ is located between the septum of the nose and the palate of the cat. It opens into the naso-palatine canal. The animal can of course perceive odors, but it is through this organ that it perceives pheromones. Its olfactory system is quite astonishing if compared to that of many other animals because the kitty is equipped with an impressive number of receptors. We classify it among the macrosmatic animals, term designating a very powerful sense of smell (Man is microsmatic...). For example, in the cat, the olfactory mucosa represents 20.8 cm² against only 4 cm² in his master.

Jacobson's organ: how does it work?

The mode of perception of pheromones in mammals varies according to the position of the vomeronasal organ and the area in which its opening is located. For example, in all the felines, this opening being in the naso-palatine canal, we can see the cat adopting a characteristic attitude, the flehmen (German term). It rolls up its lips, opens its mouth. In French, we also say that it muse.

But it is the same with the horse, the zebra, the tapir or even the goat and the ox who roll up their upper lip and suck air through their mouth. This is how the pheromones reach the Jacobson's organ which contains sensory neurons. These have a double role since they detect the stimulating molecules and transmit the nervous information to the brain.

For information, the flehmen does not occur in all animals since it depends on their anatomy. Thus, when the opening of the Jacobson's organ is located in the nasal cavity as is the case in rodents for example, the animal inhales through the nose to perceive the pheromones suspended in the air.

Two distinct olfactory organs to perceive odors and pheromones

It is essential to distinguish odors from pheromones. The latter are not odors in the literal sense of the term. They are not perceived by the olfactory organ but by the Jacobson's organ, which is an accessory olfactory organ. It is thanks to it that the mammals, and thus the cat since it is the subject which occupies us here, perceive innate signals, true regulators of the behaviors of aggression, sexual, parental, of defense, etc. Thus, the Jacobson's organ is a second sense of smell.

The Persian, a long-haired cat with a majestic beauty

The Persian is a long-haired cat breed that stands out for its majestic beauty and tranquility. A great sleeper, it will not miss an opportunity to take a nap. It is also very affectionate and attached to its owners.

Characteristics of the Persian cat

Of medium to large size, the Persian is a feline all in roundness having a muscular body and short legs, which do not prevent it from having an imposing carrure. The detail making all the particularity of the animal concerns its head. Massive and round, it is made up of a skull in the shape of dome and a round muzzle with the accentuated stop. The Persian has a flattened face which gives him a little grumpy air especially when he frowns. The ears, rather small, have a rounded tip and are well spread.

The particularly silky coat is uniform, dense and long. The length of the hair can easily reach 10 cm. On some cats, it is possible to see a kind of ruff that extends on the belly and between the legs. All colors are accepted. The Persian comes in nearly 150 recognized varieties. The golden, the chinchilla (grey), the tortoiseshell, the tabby point, the colorpoint, the bicolor or the smoke are all accepted colors.

History of the Persian breed

The Persian belongs to the very closed circle of the oldest cat breeds. It would be a descendant of the Turkish angora, a race coming from Persia and to which it owes its sublime long coat and its name. The legend tells that the Persian would also be descended from a cat breed from Khorasan because of its color. The introduction in Europe is made in the XVIth century by Pietro della Valle who brings it from Persia to Italy. After an important reproduction within the peninsula, the cat is brought back in France and will arouse the keen infatuation of the high bourgeoisie. Among the characters who contributed to the success in Europe of the long-haired cats and, in this case, of the Persian, is Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Persian cat

Under its airs a bit grumpy, the Persian is in fact a very affectionate cat and especially calm. Its kindness makes it a perfect companion for children. On the other hand, it is not necessary that these last ones show violent nor aggressive, with the risk of disturbing the animal enormously. Gentle gestures are recommended and above all, the most peaceful environment possible. The Persian is not really aggressive. He will express himself more through his eyes than with meows.

He appreciates the presence of his masters but is not afraid of solitude either. Life in an apartment suits him as well as a more spacious environment with the presence of a garden that will allow him to spend time. Although it is discreet and easy to live with, this cat does not appreciate staying in someone's arms for too long. Those who are looking for a pet that is not afraid to cuddle may be a little disappointed.

Diet and main health problems of the Persian cat

The Persian cat has a life expectancy of 15 to 18 years. However, its health can quickly deteriorate if it does not benefit from the necessary care and adapted maintenance. There are many diseases related to this breed, including breathing problems caused by the shape of the flattened face. Skin and kidney diseases are not uncommon either. The Persian cat is also subject to frequent fertility problems.

In order to ensure a long life, it is important to take care of his diet. There are some brands that have developed kibbles especially for this breed. These foods have been formulated to increase resistance against possible kidney problems and to reinforce the softness of the hair.

The sense of smell in cats: explanations

The olfactory system of the cat is very powerful so that the animal is able to perceive odors to which humans are totally insensitive. Moreover, this ultra-developed sense is fundamental for the survival of the little feline. Let's discover precisely the sense of smell in the cat, the smells it prefers and those that make it flee.

Constitution of the olfactory system in the cat

The cat, like all vertebrates, has a tubular organ located in the immediate vicinity of the naso-palatine canal, in its nasal cavity, and more precisely in the vomer bone. This vomeronasal organ, called Jacobson's organ, is made up of two small sacs through which air circulates. It is thanks to it that the cat can interact with its environment because the Jacobson's organ allows the detection of chemical compounds of an odor.

Man also has this sensory tool but his sense of smell is much less developed than that of the cat. The animal perceives pheromones and can even decode them thanks to the Jacobson's organ. For example, for the kitty, detecting that a cat is in heat just by sniffing her urine is innate. But how does it work?

A funny mimic to sniff a smell: the flehmen reflex

If you observe your cat, you can see it roll up its lips, raise its head, wrinkle its nose and open its mouth. This very particular mimic takes place when the small feline sniffs. In fact, this is called the flehmen reflex. When the cat is in a position to sniff a scent, its airways close so that the air can pass through the small sacs of its Jacobson's organ. The particles in the air are retained by receptors on the animal's tongue, and by a simple pressure of the tongue on the palate, these particles pass through the vomeronasal organ.

In the cat, smell and taste are two senses that are intimately linked. This is why it is often said that the cat "tastes" the odors it perceives.

The smells are then directed to certain areas of the brain, but also to the amygdala and the hypothalamus, which help trigger emotional reactions in the animal. This results in all sorts of behaviors - depending on the scent - whether social, sexual or feeding. The cat can also, following the perception of an odor, adopt a defense behavior.

The cat's preferences in terms of odors

Cats are very sensitive to all kinds of scents, both their favorites and their dislikes. They influence his behavior. The ones he prefers stimulate or calm him, for example, while the ones he doesn't like at all can attack him.

So if you want to stimulate your cat, you can preferably make him sniff catnip, whose effect on the animal is euphoric. He also likes the scent of an olive tree, a mint plant grown in the herb garden or even the small jar of nutmeg that is stored in the kitchen. Other smells that he likes just as much have a calming effect on the cat, such as vanilla and lavender.

Although he doesn't hate them, the scent of rosemary and thyme leaves will encourage him to mark his territory.

In any case, the cat is a real nose and if it had the ability to speak, it could give us a complete assessment of the most complex chemical mixtures! Be careful, because his sense of smell is so sharp that the cat is very sensitive to the smell of essential oils. It is therefore better to avoid making him sniff the EO of orange and more widely of citrus fruits of all kinds. Moreover, if one uses these essential oils as perfume of environment, one is likely not to see his cat of soon in the house.

The sense of taste in cats: explanations

Taste is not the most developed sense in cats. However, the animal perceives different flavors, but their intensity is less important in cats than in humans. Certainly, the sense of taste gains in finesse during the development of the animal, from its birth to adulthood. Let's take a closer look.

Few taste buds in cats

The taste of food is much less pronounced in cats than in humans. This is quite normal because the little feline has only 473 specific sensory receptors against more than 9,000 in his master.

These sensory receptors are called taste buds. They are located in the oral cavity of the animal. The largest number of these sensors is located on its tongue, and more precisely, inside the eminences called papillae. These are the ones that give the rough aspect to the lingual mucosa of the animal. However, only the filiform papillae do not contain taste buds. As for the other buds, they are found in lesser quantities on the glottis, the palate, the inner face of the cheeks and the pharynx.

In cats, each taste bud measures about 30 μm and contains about 50 epithelial cells.

Therefore, the differences in flavor between two foods are less distinct in cats. However, depending on the type of flavor, taste perception varies. Thus the cat is much more sensitive to bitterness than to sweetness, which it perceives very little. It is also quite sensitive to acidity and saltiness.

Can we develop our cat's sense of taste?

The development of taste begins during the gestation period. However, the sense of taste in cats is directly linked to their sense of smell, so it is - from birth - completed by olfaction. The sense of smell is much more developed in this small feline which, therefore, can perceive the taste of a food without tasting it. It owes this ability to the presence of a vomeronasal organ or VNO also called Jacobson's organ.

Anyway, taste education is possible as soon as you allow your cat to discover new flavors. This is often done as soon as the kitten is weaned, since this is the moment when it starts eating from its mother's bowl. If the owner takes care to offer him small meatballs, kibbles and fish food for example, the young cat will not only discover other flavors but also new textures, he who until now was only fed with maternal milk.

It is even possible - and advisable - to start this taste education as soon as the kitten is 3 months old, but only in very small quantities and on the condition that you select foods that are not dangerous for him. Let's not forget that many ingredients are known to be toxic for this little feline. So don't take any risks with a bite of fish (without bones), chicken or beef. We take advantage of these little educational sessions to teach the kitten, from 3 months of age, to also discover water which - after its weaning - will remain its exclusive drink. However, the mother's milk should still be the kitten's main food at this age.

It is very important to teach your cat little by little to eat - and to appreciate - raw food rather than giving him only industrial food, especially rich in sauce. This way, he will have a real portion of fish or meat, and the food will have been processed as little as possible if it is the master who prepares his cat's meals according to the rules. This is a good resolution. Let's not forget that if a cat has been fed exclusively on kibble for years, it may be more difficult for him to switch to another type of food.

But to make sure you don't make any mistakes, it's essential to seek veterinary advice. Giving your cat homemade meals is economical and easy because, contrary to popular belief, it is better not to vary his food too much. On the other hand, it is absolutely essential to balance his diet so that he does not suffer from any deficiency.

What is alopecia in cats? What can be done about it?

"Alopecia is a term derived from the Greek word alôpekía, which means "hair loss".

In cats, alopecia refers to excessive and accelerated hair loss, resulting in the depilation of large areas of the body. This differs from periodic shedding in cats because the loss is more dramatic and drastic.

The way to remedy alopecia will depend on the cause.

Diagnosing alopecia

Because of the many causes, a veterinarian should be consulted. What is causing the cat's intense hair loss is not always obvious; the veterinarian may fumble, but this is not a sign of incompetence.

The blood test is a first routine examination that will guide the diagnosis by providing some answers. Depending on the results, the veterinarian may also suggest additional X-ray and ultrasound examinations, especially to rule out cancer or an abnormality of the adrenal glands.

Alopecia can be spectacular and distressing for its owner because, in some cases, the cat is capable of pulling out entire clumps of hair, even creating an open wound. The animal then prevents the wound from healing or the hair from growing back. This type of alopecia is a first step towards depression: a simple stress turns into a deeper anguish, which degenerates into depression. The cat then lets itself die.

Different causes of alopecia in cats

It seems that some breeds of cats are more susceptible to alopecia than others. This is the case with Abyssinians, Burmese, Siamese and Himalayans.

Caused by Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD), atopic dermatitis or dermatophytosis, alopecia is accompanied by pruritus.

Without pruritus, alopecia can be caused by anxiety. Alopecia is then said to be "psychogenic" and finds its source in the cat's childhood (anxious alopecia) or in the cat's environment (psychosocial alopecia). If the cat is reputed to soothe the human, this animal can indeed be a victim of psychological disorders. In these cases, it is boredom and/or stress that cause hair loss.

Hormonal imbalances, related to thyroid or steroid levels, can also cause excessive hair loss.

In rare cases, alopecia reflects an immune system problem.


In the case of alopecia caused by disturbances in the body's functioning (allergy, illness, etc.), local treatments and medication are prescribed. This can range from shampoo, antiseptic and cream applied locally, to antibiotics and anti-parasite treatments.

If the hair loss is psychological in origin, the action is quite different. Alopecia is like a cry for help from the animal. Putting the animal on antidepressants can calm it down for a while, but once the treatment is over, the attacks can resume, even more intensely. As long as the cause is not identified and resolved, any relapse is possible.

The veterinarian can then refer you to a behaviorist and cat educator. The recommendations of this specialist must be followed to the letter. Once the protocol has been followed and the animal has recovered, the cat must be monitored for life: a new source of stress can trigger a new crisis, even several years later.

Proprioception in cats, or the cat's sense of balance

Proprioception is one of the seven senses that cats have. This term refers to the animal's perception of its body, both on a conscious and unconscious level. Let's discover in details the proprioceptive perception thanks to which the cat has this incredible sense of balance that his master envies him so much. Let's also take a look at the health problems in cats that can lead to a proprioceptive deficit.

Proprioception in cats: what is it?

Cats have the particularity of being able to walk without wobbling on an extremely narrow support. This sense of balance is made possible thanks to its inner ear equipped with sensors. The animal can, thanks to them, be partly aware of the degree of tension of its skin, its tissues, its tendons, its muscles, but also of the position in space of its head and its body. This proprioceptive perception is both conscious and unconscious, but it is permanent.

Proprioception in the cat is therefore a deep sensitivity, acquired thanks to the nervous information that the receptors of the animal's inner ear transmit to the brain. As a result, the cat can continuously control its posture as well as the movements of its body and head in order to keep the most perfect balance.

This sense with which the cat is endowed finally gives the animal the possibility to optimize its behavior in order not to fall, either voluntarily or instinctively. It is commonly said that the cat always lands on its feet. However, this is not entirely accurate, as the animal can fall severely and even kill itself when it falls. It all depends on the position of the body when it loses its balance, some positions being more difficult to recover than others. So the danger does not always depend on the height at which the cat is standing.

Even though cats are endowed with this sense of proprioceptive perception, their owners must always take certain precautions to avoid accidents, especially when they live on an upper floor. It's best to secure the balcony.

Can the cat lose its sense of proprioception?

When a cat gets older, this sense diminishes. It's a bit like visual acuity in humans, which declines over time. But some pathologies can impact proprioception, leading to a loss of balance in the cat. This is called proprioceptive deficit. It is for example the case of :
  • The medullary ataxia of which there are several forms. An ataxia can follow a lesion of the spinal cord of traumatic origin (accident), of tumoral origin, of infectious origin. It can also be due to a problem affecting the inner ear or the cerebellum.
  • Cryptococcosis: this fungal disease is due to an infection by a fungus (Cryptococcus gattii) whose spores are inhaled by the cat. It is a zoonosis (i.e. it is transmissible to humans).
The cat's spinal cord and peripheral nerves must be in perfect condition for the sensory system involved in proprioception to function. Any dysfunction can therefore lead to minor or major loss of balance depending on the degree of damage.

Many health problems can therefore be the cause of a disturbance in proprioception. If you notice that your cat does not seem as agile as he used to be, if he seems less sure of himself to make certain movements in scary situations, it is strongly recommended to consult the veterinarian. This may hide an underlying disease. Investigations are necessary to identify the origin of the problem. Once the diagnosis has been made, a treatment can then be put in place.

How many senses does the cat have? The 7 senses of the cat against the 5 of the humans

The cat has two more modes of perception than humans. It has seven while we have only five. Some are very developed, others are less so. To understand how the cat perceives its environment, let's discover what differentiates this little feline from its master.

What are the 7 senses of the cat?

The cat has 5 senses in common with his master, namely :

The sight

This sense is more developed in cats than in humans. His binocular vision allows him to distinguish the reliefs and to evaluate distances. And the slightest ray of light makes night vision possible. A light source is however essential for the cat to see in the dark. However, the perception of colors is limited in the cat since it distinguishes only the green, the blue, the black and the white as well as some of their declensions.


The cat is able to perceive sounds of very low intensity but also to localize them because, contrary to the Man, it has the possibility of directing its ears as it wishes, and independently one of the other.

The sense of smell

Cats have a sense of smell that is one hundred times more developed than that of humans, thanks to their numerous olfactory terminals. There are 200 million of them. They are very useful for him to locate his territory and to differentiate several thousands of odors.

The touch

The cat has a much more developed sense of touch than ours, whether in terms of pressure or temperature, on its vibrissae, its muzzle, its genital and anal areas, and of course its paw pads.


This sense is not very developed in cats, so only very strong flavors can be differentiated from each other.

The 2 additional senses of the cat are :

Jacobson's organ

Located on the palate, this organ allows the cat to create the Flehmen reaction by rolling up its lips. Note that the Germanic term flehmen means to roll up the upper lip. In this way, the cat analyzes an odor with its nose as well as with its mouth cavity because it "swallows" the odors. This could be loosely compared to retro-olfaction, an art practiced by oenologists during wine tasting, which consists in searching for the aromas in the mouth through the retronasal route. Although humans do not have Jacobson's organ, during this type of tasting they use the area between their palate and their nasal cavity.


This sense is also called deep sensitivity. Thanks to sensors placed in the cat's inner ear, it perceives the position in space of its head and of the different parts of its body. In the animal, this perception is not conscious, but it is in any case permanent. It owes its astonishing sense of balance to this faculty, and it is for this reason that the kitty sometimes finds itself in more than critical situations, because - contrary to popular belief - a cat does not always land on its feet.

The Bengal, a cat with a wild look

Those who have always dreamed of adopting a pet with the look of a real fawn will be fulfilled with the Bengal. Curious and affectionate, this cat is a pleasant companion for children as well as for other animals.

Characteristics of the Bengal

The Bengal has a powerful and athletic body with a very graceful look. Its robust and muscular legs are of medium length. The same goes for the tail which is thick at the base then becomes thinner towards the end. The head is quite long but small compared to the rest of the body.

The requirements of the breed make that the head must resemble more that of its wild ancestor rather than that of a domestic cat. The eyes are round and set wide apart. The ears are short and small. With a short, soft and silky coat, the bengal owes its particularity to its dress strewn with two patterns potted and marbled. The coat can be of snow, blue or brown tabby color.

History of the Bengal breed

The Bengal was born from a cross between a domestic cat and a typical wild cat from Bengal called leopard cat, an animal that is distinguished by its spotted coat. The first crossbreeding was done in 1963 under the initiative of the American geneticist Jean S. Mill who created the first hybrid cat by mating a female leopard cat with an American shorthair.

Since then, a lot of work has been done to make sure that the bengal can look like a leopard cat while remaining a domestic animal. Jean S. Mill collaborated with the Californian university of Davis to make a success of its crossings. The first exhibition of the bengal was held in 1985. One year later, the breed was officially recognized by the TICA (The International Cat Association).

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Bengal

Affectionate, intelligent, lively, the Bengal has many qualities that make it a perfect pet, especially since it enjoys being around children or other animals. With a very gentle and calm temperament, this breed is not intrusive or pushy. If you teach him to know the requirements of his masters, the Bengal will be respectful. For his well-being, it is preferable to offer him a spacious environment with many distractions. This great player always on the alert is also a hunter at heart. Beware of runaways: the ideal would be to equip him with a microchip to avoid losing him.

Food and main problems of the Bengal

As the Bengal is very active and burns a lot of calories, it must have a diet that perfectly covers its energy needs. This one must be rich in proteins, lipids, minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates. In order to preserve the softness and lushness of its fur, the cat must also consume a lot of unsaturated fatty acids. A good diet will help prevent health problems, which are not uncommon in this breed. In fact, the most common are nervous system disorders and hip dysplasia. Despite these hereditary diseases, they sometimes disappear on their own as the cat grows.

How to teach your child to respect the cat?

Children love animals and dream of being able to share time with a little companion. The cat is no exception to the rule, especially since it is the character of many cartoons, animated films and others that little men like to see again and again without limit. But the cat is not a toy, and parents must assume their role as educators so that the cohabitation between their child and the little feline goes well. The first absolute principle to inculcate in them is to respect the cat. The child must therefore know how his cat lives, what he likes, what he does not like, and what are the living conditions that can make him happy.

Never allow the child to punish the cat

It's well known that children tend to imitate adults' attitudes and therefore, to show authority towards their cat... unfortunately in a rather clumsy way, by dint of reprimands and sometimes even by being violent. It is therefore necessary to teach your child that physical and verbal violence is a form of disrespect, towards a person but also towards an animal.

Teach the child that a cat is not a toy

The child must know as soon as possible that one does not act with a kitten or an adult cat as one does with a stuffed animal. The rules to be taught to the child as soon as the kitten arrives at home are the following
  • Don't pick him up at any time,
  • Be careful not to hold him too tightly,
  • Never grab the cat by a paw, but always take care to grab the cat by putting your hands under the front paws,
  • Put it down if the cat clearly shows that it does not want to stay in your arms,
  • Never pull its tail, hair or ears,
  • Do not cut its vibrissae (and take the opportunity to explain their role to the child),
  • Never lock the cat in a toy box or closet.

Respect the cat's needs

The little kitty is not at the disposal of his masters, nor of the children of the family. Therefore, it is important to be consistent when teaching your toddlers how to behave with an animal. To make it clear, children need to know that a cat has needs and that it is essential to respect them in order to keep it happy. It absolutely needs that we respect its tranquility. We take this opportunity to explain to our children that this animal is very sensitive to stress, and that stress can make it sick. Thus, a little one can completely understand that it is necessary :
  • Avoid disturbing the cat when it is eating or drinking,
  • Leave the cat alone when it sleeps, grooms itself or goes to the litter box,
  • Accept that the animal does not want to be held or to play,
  • Stay away when the cat is looking for prey in the garden.
The child should know quite quickly that pestering a cat can lead to anger in the animal and that the sweetest kitty in the world can scratch or bite when exasperated.

The right attitudes to adopt with a cat

The cat should be stroked with one hand only, and this hand should remain open so that it doesn't feel trapped. We avoid that the baby of only a few months caresses his cat without being guided because he doesn't know yet how to control his gestures.

Finally, a basic principle must be respected: it is the parents who remain responsible for the necessary care of their pet. They are also entirely responsible for their children's attitude towards the cat. If everyone respects his role, the cohabitation should go well.

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