It’s a balmy 64 degrees and the sun is shining, whoopee! I hope the weather in your neck of the woods is nice too although I know some of you are dealing with extreme heat and others with flooding. Meowza, the weather can be crazy sometimes!
The Human is still playing around with the camera on her new phone and since I laid myself across her with all my 22 pounds crushing her and there was nothing she could do but grab her camera and take some photos. Even Oliver got into the act after he saw me pinning The Human down and demanded a photo as well. Lily was not interested in any photo sessions.
The Human told me to tell you she took these photos with an iPhone 13 and most of the shots were done in “portrait” using stage light, studio light and natural light. Now on with this week’s feline news!
Just when you thought you knew everything about catnip now it’s a bug deterrant!
New research, published this week in iScience, suggests that when we play with (and damage) either catnip or silver vine, the plants’ leaves actually emit higher levels of chemical compounds that repel mosquitoes. Both plants can act as a sort of natural bug spray, and when we chew up the leaves. This research was done over a number of years at the University of Iwate in Japan.
Masao Miyazaki, an animal behaviorist at Iwate University and an author on the study, explained that cats engage in four main behaviors with either catnip or silver vine: licking, chewing, rubbing and rolling. In an earlier study, Miyazaki says they found that rubbing and rolling are very important to transfer iridoids—the chemicals that trigger the cat’s endorphine rush—to cat fur and that repels mosquitoes. If rubbing and rolling in silver vine leaves is a cat’s way of applying bug spray, this still did not explain why, other than getting high, cats lick and chew the leaves as well.
In the new study, the researchers looked more closely at what happens on a chemical level when the leaves get damaged by cats. They first collected intact silver vine leaves as well as leaves that had been chewed on by cats and leaves that they crumpled up by hand. A chemical analysis showed that damage inflicted by both cats and humans caused the leaves to increase their emissions of various iridoids. The chemical cocktail in the damaged leaves was also less dominated by a single chemical, and instead had a more even balance of five different chemicals.
The researchers then tested out these different chemical cocktails to see how cats and mosquitoes each responded to them. When given trays with intact and damaged silver vine leaves, cats spent more time licking and rolling around on the damaged leaves. And when researchers synthesized the chemical cocktails found in these leaves, the cats again spent more time with the damaged-leaf cocktail.
And what we felines purrfur, the damaged leaves, was most repellant to those pesky mosquitoes.
“I just find it so interesting how cats have developed this innate behavior of defending themselves this way,” says Nadia Melo, a chemical ecologist at Lund University who was not involved in the study. She points out that other mammals face similar disease risks from insects, “but you don’t see this in dogs, which are obviously also affected by mosquitoes.”
The chemicals from catnip and silver vine could prove useful for developing safer and more effective insect repellants for human use. They just might have the side-effect of attracting cats as well. “If someone does not like cats or have allergy to cats,” writes Miyazaki in an email, “they should not use iridoids as repellents!” MOL!
Some of you humans wish we felines would stay kittens forever. While this isn’t possible there are some felines who will remain smaller and not blossom into a 22 pound beast like myself.
Here are the 10 breeds with links to more information about them.
The Burmese cat is very outgoing and extremely patient with youngsters. This small cat is great for families with children. Even though I look like this breed I am clearly not a purebred Burmese!
These guys have tiny little legs, but a full size kitty body. Their legs may be short but the can fun fast. What they don’t usually do is jump on top of high places.
Siamese are really more average in size but they are considered one of the most lightweight breeds
4. Devon Rex
The Devon Rex has a cute little face and are highly social but they don’t like being left alone too long.
5. American Curl
This is of the newer breeds of cat, and originated in the 1980s. Their ear shape is distinct and they tend to be small.
This was a new breed to me! Grown up Toyobs are often mistaken as kittens. They have short tails and a loving nature and are devoted lap sitters.
7. Turkish Angora
This is a rare breed and remain fairly small as well. They have stunning eyes.
Their big curly coats give them the appearance of a perfectly groomed kitty cat, though they are not as high maintenance as you would think. LaPerm cats a very loving and perfect little friends to have around.
Want a small cat that has large energy? Then the Somali breed is perfect for you. They love a hunt and a play and can even be taught tricks.
The smallest breed of cat in the world is the Singapura, which is just half the size of an average cat. Friendly, active and loving, this cat doesn’t like to be left alone.
Curly haired cats are becoming very popular. I mentioned a few in my news article above. People are going crazy for these very distinct felines and this feline has to admit, they are quite fancy. They are even swaying dog lovers to change their species. Here are the four curly haired cat breeds.
La Perm, curly haired cat
Selkirk Rex curly haired cat
Cornish Rex curly haired cat
Devon Rex curly haired cat.
Bravo to Sidney for r her “Acatemy Award” performance, after appearing to dramatically pretend to faint on camera, leaving the internet in stitches.
In a video shared on Reddit by the cat’s owner, who goes by the username C47L1K3, the cat, a small Norwegian forest cat called Sidney, can be seen performing her outstanding act, pretending to pass out in her garden.
Sidney’s performance was so credible that further down in the comments, her owner reassured some worried users she was fine, and went back to grooming herself after the Oscar-worthy performance.
The post, which has so far reached about 15,500 upvotes and over 100 comments since Sunday, also featured a caption that says: “My cat died a Hollywood death.”
Norwegian forest cats are very playful and intelligent creatures, according to data by website Dailypaws. They are very active, sociable and affectionate, and this makes them really good with children, seniors, dogs, other cats and families.
They are very easy to train and behave very friendly with other pets and humans, even with strangers. They love company and tolerate being picked up, unlike many other cats.
Royal Mail has released eight new stamps celebrating our feline friends, showcasing them in all their glory.
The stamps picture cats looking cute, stretching, stalking and snoozing.
The most popular domestic cats in the UK, from pedigree breeds to moggies, were selected for the new special designs.
Cats that feature are a Siamese, tabby, ginger cat, British Shorthair, Maine Coon, a black and white cat, a Bengal and a tabby and white – highlighting just how diverse some of the 10 million cats in the UK look.
David Gold at Royal Mail, said: ‘These beautiful stamps showing cats being cats, show why as a nation, we are besotted with them.
‘Their enchanting, independent and quirky ways are perfectly captured in these images that all animal lovers will adore.’
As well as appreciating their cuteness, the Post Office has treasured cats for their ability to chase away mice – as between 1868 and 1984 several cats were formally employeed to do this.
Now today, roughly one in four UK households own a cat, so Royal Mail expects this collection to melt the hearts of many.
The special series was created alongside animal expert, Tamsin Pickeral, for an expert eye.
The new stamps can now be bought from the Royal Mail website, and prices range from £12.96 for a presentation pack to £15.15 for a souvenir cover.
All I have to say is, “U.S. Postal Service, when will we have cat stamps?!”