Diabetes is an endocrine disorder in which the pancreas doesn’t make enough (or any) insulin due to the destruction of the pancreatic beta cells (type 1 diabetes) or the cells within the body fail to respond to insulin, known as insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes). Glucose levels build up in the blood, but they cannot enter the cells, where it provides energy.
Most of the complications relate to uncontrolled diabetes, which highlights the importance of careful control and regularly monitoring your cat.
Statistics indicate that the lifespan of an indoor cat is much longer than an outdoor cat. Outdoor cats are at higher risk of disease, car accidents and injury or death from predators.
Indoor cats live on average between 9 – 15 years, which in human terms is between 53 and 77 years of age. However, some cats can live beyond that. Siamese cats, in particular, are known for their longevity, and it is not uncommon for them to live into their 20’s.
The cat’s tail is an extension of the spine and helps the cat balance and communicate. The tail (caudal vertebrae) account for 10% of the bones in the cat’s body. The average number of bones in the tail is between 20 and 23.
Some breeds of cat are known for their short tail or even complete absence of a tail. The Manx cat is probably the most famous cat to come to mind. Their tail or lack of comes in several forms.
Have you noticed how a cat’s hiss sounds very similar to that of a snake? That is intentional; it is hard-wired in almost all creatures to recognise the hiss of a snake as a warning sign. A cat hissing is a form of protective mimicry, a defensive tactic.
Therefore it is in the cat’s best interest to give the impression that it too could be venomous.
A hiss is a warning back off, and most of the time, hissing is accompanied by other body languages. The ears are back, hackles raised, the cat is either be crouched down, as if backed into a corner or standing tall, back arched. He is feeling angry, afraid, hurt but is in fight mode if you cross that boundary any further.
Weight: Males 5 – 6 kg (11– 13.2 lbs), females 4.5 – 5.5 kg (9.9 – 11 lbs)
Colours: All coat colours
The Selkirk Rex is a curly-coated breed of cat, which originated in Sheridan, Montana as a result of a single kitten who was born with a long, curly coat.
The breed is known for its laid-back and calm personality; they are extremely sociable and thrive on human company. The Selkirk Rex makes a great family pet due to their easy nature.
As far as cat breeds go, the Selkirk Rex is a relative newcomer to the cat fancy. The breed originated in Sheridan, Montana. In 1987 a kitten with a curly coat was born to a litter of otherwise normal kittens. The mother, along with her babies, had been taken to an animal shelter in Wyoming.
The kitten was originally named Curly-Q found a home but was returned because she cried too much. This time, Peggy Voorhees of the Bozeman Humane Society in Wyoming took the unusual kitten to a Persian breeder by the name of Jeri Newman. At 14 months, this girl, who was now named Miss De Pesto, was mated to a black Persian called Photo Finish. The resulting litter of six kittens contained three curly-coated kittens and three straight-haired kittens. Of the three curly-coated kittens, one was a black and white male (Noface Oscar Kowalski), one tortoiseshell female and one black female. The following year, Oscar was bred back to his mother, and four kittens were born, three curly-coated, one with straight hair.
Unlike other rex breeds, the gene responsible for the curly coat is dominant. The coat can come in long or short hair. Kittens are born with curls, which disappear around six months and then reappear when the kittens are around ten months old. The whiskers are also curly.
The Selkirk Rex comes in all colours and patterns; there is also a straight-haired variety, which is usually cheaper than the curly-coated cats.
The body is muscular and stocky with heavy bones; the legs are a medium length and paws are round.
The head is large and round with a short muzzle.
The Selkirk Rex is a laid-back breed of cat, similar to that of their Persian and British ancestors. That doesn’t inhibit their playful nature, though. They do love a game but are not highly active like some other breeds can be.
An extremely sociable breed who gets along with everyone, including children and pets, Selkirk Rexes are extremely affectionate and love to sleep on human laps.
Words used to describe the breed include patient, tolerant, affectionate and playful.
Despite the appearance of the coat, it requires little maintenance. A gentle weekly groom should be enough to keep it in good condition.
Most cat owners from one time or another will encounter a cat scratch or two. The majority of these will heal within a few days, and there will be no more thought given to it. But the young daughter of a friend recently spent several days in hospital undergoing a battery of tests; the diagnosis was cat scratch disease.
We have already covered this topic in another article, but I thought it was a good idea to raise the issue of cat scratches and how their treatment.