Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Moggy Mythology

I have just read a really interesting article in The Cat Magazine which is all about the Mythology of Moggys.  There are so many superstitions and fables in different countries around the world, I thought I would share some with you.

Holland - The fable goes that you should make sure your cat is not in the room if you are having a private conversation because the cat would spread your secrets throughout the town.  Mind you, MellyBoy has been privvy to many private conversations and has never given away my secrets - as far as I know!

Norway - The Norwegian Forest Cat was often called "the fairy cat" because it was said that if you looked deep into it's eyes, you would see visions of the fairy world.

Scotland - Folklore used to say that if a stray tortoiseshell cat chose to stay with you, you would be sure to have good luck.  I know a few of our tortoiseshell adopters would agree with this one!

China - One Chinese belief is that the older and uglier a cat is, the luckier it is!  I love this one!

Abyssinia - Girls who had a cat in the home were considered wealthy and so found themselves much sought after by suitors.  This one particularly interested me as so often, woman joke about being left on the shelf and living as a spinster with a cat, which really irritates me, so I will start sharing this little nugget next time I hear a comment like that!

Olde Worlde Britain - In rural areas, it was thought that kittens born at the end of blackberry season would be particularly mischievous.  The reasoning was the belief that Satan was thrown out of heaven at this time of year and landed in the brambles!  MellyBoy was a rescue cat so I don't know his date of birth but I would bet good money that he is a blackberry kitten!

Russia - In Russian mythology, the cat was seen as a house guardian, protecting the home and bringing good luck into it.  I think this is very true!

So you see, there are many fables that relate to our feline friends and I am sure there are many many more out there, I would love to hear if you know of any others!

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Poisons in the home

We want to do everything we can for our cats but sometimes we might be harming them without realising it. There are poisons in our homes that could make our furry friends sick and, even kill them in the worst cases.
Human foods
As most of us know, chocolate can actually be lethal to cats (and dogs). The caffeine and theobromine found in chocolate cause the damage in cats. Milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate and baking chocolate can be especially dangerous.
And other foods, which seem harmless can be very harmful. For example, if a cat were to eat garlic or onions it can destroy red blood cells and cause a form of anaemia.  Sultanas are another seemingly harmless food that is in fact a poison.
The best way to avoid the danger from foods is to keep cats away from any food you are preparing, and ensure nothing is left out for your cats to nibble on, even if it is just for a short while. Keep all food covered or in the fridge.
Plants and flowers
We see a lot of publicity about lilies being toxic to cats, but remember this isn’t just if they eat the flower directly, a cat might brush past the flower get pollen on their coat and eat the pollen when they groom themselves later. This poisoning can cause renal failure, which is a serious condition.
But lilies are not the only flowers that can trigger illness in our cats – aloe vera, avocado, daffodils and eucalyptus are all toxic. You can find a full list of harmful plants here.
Ensure you keep all household plants up high and out of reach of cats, and tidy up any fallen leaves. Outside of the house, ensure there are no poisonous plants within the areas of access to cats and keep any plants away from the cat’s drinking water.
Cleaning products
Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of household cleaning products that are dangerous to cats. Phenol is a chemical commonly found in cleaning products which is dangerous to the health of cats. For this reason, all cleaning products should be kept in a cupboard away from cats. Substances such as concentrated washing liquids can burn the paws and skin if cats walk through them, and even beauty products such as nail polish and suntan lotion can cause harm.
But it is possible to buy cat-friendly cleaning products from pet stores and some of the big cleaning brands such as Mr Muscle now sell a pet friendly range.
Other toxins
Other poisons include human medicine (such as paracetamol), antifreeze and dog flea treatment.
Symptoms your cat has been poisoned
  • Confused/uncoordinated movements
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting/diarrhoea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fitting/seizures
  • Swollen paws or face
  • Depression
If you think your cat has been poisoned
  • Stay calm – remove your cat from the source of the poison
  • If the poison is on the cat’s fur prevent your cat from grooming himself and try and wash the poison off with shampoo
  • Call your vet immediately
If you want to know more, here are some useful sources on the subject: