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Sabtu, 02 Februari 2013

Feral Cats: What Is a Feral Cat?

Feral cats make up approximately half of the population of felines in the United States. Because these felines live on the street they must find food and shelter anywhere that they can, including abandoned buildings, alleyways, and beneath dumpsters. Most people are aware that these homeless cats exist, though many people do not know the true story behind these feral felines.
Feral cats have been living among humans for over 10,000 years. These felines are the offspring of other homeless cats, which is why they spend their lives on the street. Feral cats live in colonies with other homeless cats, and these felines work together to find shelter and food.
Feral felines have never been properly socialized with humans, which causes them to be wary of human contact. Because of this, homeless cats will often run away or act aggressively if a human tries to approach them. Feral cats are different from your pet cat, and without years of work to socialize them they will never be interested in trusting, or even playing with a human.
Feral cats are not spayed or neutered, which is a main reason why the homeless cat population continues to grow. In fact, a pair of breeding cats and their offspring can collectively give birth to 420,000 kittens in only 7 years.

Organizations have been implementing Trap Neuter Return programs to reduce these homeless cat population numbers. Trap Neuter Return is a program where volunteers humanely trap feral cats, take them to a Veterinarian to be spayed or neutered, and then return them back to their home colony. These felines are often given ear tips to make it apparent to other volunteers that a cat has been spayed or neutered. Ear tips are created when a small portion of a cat's ear is surgically removed by a Veterinarian. Learn more about Trap Neuter Return and ear tips in this Alley Cat Allies video.

Although some communities have devoted volunteers and organizations working to help homeless cats, most feral cats have a tough time living on the street. This is due to a lack of food, harsh living conditions, the threat of animal cruelty, and viruses such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Feline Leukemia.
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Jumat, 01 Februari 2013

The Abyssinian Cat

Known for its distinctive fur and its country-wide popularity, the Abyssinian cat has become a happy addition to many homes, and seems to be poised to arrive at many more.
Origins
While rumors of the Abyssinian commonly trace back to Ethiopia, this cat's origins remain unclear. Genetic and DNA testing have traced this popular breed to the Indian Ocean or even Egypt, although its name originates from Ethiopia. Although its origins remain uncertain, the breed was developed over time in Egypt, where it is believed the British colonists purchased the distinct animal from traders. Wild versions of the Abyssinian cat still roam the northern parts of Africa, and this breed is said to date back potentially thousands of years.
Features and Characteristics
The Abyssinian cat is most notable for its coat. This distinctive coat can be traced back to a single mutant gene known as the "ta". To the touch, the hair is dense and extremely silky. Appearance, however, is what set this cat's fur apart from the others. Each hair on their bodies has multicolored bands surrounding it that compliment and accentuate the single base color. There are many different color variations within the Abyssinian community, and Abyssinian kittens usually begin darker at birth before growing into their lighter, final color as they mature.
The Abyssinian is also known for its large and prominent ears, which always seem to be on high alert. The rest of the head is wide and shaped like a wedge. The Abyssinian's tail is longer than most other cat breeds as well, and it tapers to a very narrow point at the end. Abyssinian cats are also surprisingly strong and nimble which takes some owners by surprise since their bone structure appears incredibly fine and dainty. They also commonly have "frown lines" appearing above the bridge of the nose and the eyes which most notably forms a very distinctive "m" shape.
Behavior and Temperament
You couldn't ask for a more intelligent and interactive breed. Abyssinian cats are well-known for their curiosity and their playful spirit, and they're very apt to learn quickly and easily. These cats are not known for serious snuggle time - they're more often than not up and about, constantly exploring their surroundings with a curiosity that is usually breed-wide. Many Abyssinians are even known to play fetch when given the opportunity.
These cats spend so much time interacting and exploring their environment that they often don't receive the affection and attention from their human companions that they need. They can slip into depression when the interaction with humans is limited and they need a lot of positive reinforcement and encouragement to remain happy and stable inside their surroundings.
Health Concerns
Because Abyssinian cats are short-haired cats, they require very little in terms of grooming so they are easily cared for. While they may occasionally require a bath, it is not the norm. Brushing semi-regularly may be advisable, and a regular brushing can accentuate their unusual coats even further. Their teeth, however, need to receive special care and it is highly suggested by veterinarians that they are brushed more regularly than they are bathed. Although rare, Renal Amyloidosis has also been found in certain Abyssinian cats, so having their health (especially their kidney functions) checked regularly is also advisable.
The Abyssinian cat is the perfectly suited cat to practically any environment. By maintaining external stimulation and engaging these intelligent and beautiful cats, you can guarantee a world of entertainment for your cat and for your family.
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