Cat News: June 2008 Archives

I've been following the growth of the 3 Sumatran Tiger Cubs born at the Auckland Zoo. Yesterday, I posted a video of the cubs at 10 days old. This video is of the cubs at 12 days old by themselves in the den while the mommy, Molek is in another den. They are getting so chubby, their little bellies look very full as they nap and wait for Molek to return.

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Recently, I blogged about the 3 Sumatran Tiger Cubs born at the Auckland Zoo. That video showed the cubs when they were 6 days old. Now they are two weeks old and looking plump and cute. Still no word as to the sex of the cubs. Here is a video of the cubs at 10 days old with their mom, Molek.

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Picture-34.jpgAnother reason to keep your cats indoors! Residents near the Orlando Airport have reported that their cats have gone missing. A mysterious animal caught on tape could be the reason. The animal looks like a coyote or feral dog. Coyotes have been known to hunt down cats for food.

Surprisingly, the resident interviewed by Local 6, Leah Smith said she still leaves her kittens outside even though 24 cats in her area have disappeared. "Our older cats stay indoors now," Smith said. "The kittens don't roam around but we do check everyday to make sure we've got everybody back on the front porch."

What? you check every day? a lot can happen to a kitten in 24 hrs! is she crazy? The last thing I would do if there was a cat eating animal in my neighborhood is leave my cats outside! A kitten is just an appetizer, if the coyote finds more than one in her backyard, well it is just a buffet dinner of furry cuteness! What is she thinking?

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It's a good week for tigers in the news! Yesterday, it was revealed that three Sumatran tiger cubs were born at the Auckland Zoo. Today, the Alaska Zoo announced the arrival of two Amur Tigers. They had three Amur tigers that died of old age and received these two 4 year old brothers Korol and Kunali yesterday. Amur Tigers or Siberian Tigers are one of the 12 endangered big cats.

They were on the "red-eye" from New York to Alaska and arrived in a bit of a grumpy mood as you'll see in the video below. But the zookeepers are confident they will like their new home because it more closely resembles their natural environment of the Russian Far East. Amur or Siberian Tigers are the largest of the wild cats at up to 500 pounds and they live 15 - 20 years. Here's to the long life of Korol and Kunali! Read the full story about Alaska Zoo gets 2 new rare Amur tigers from N.Y.

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You may have heard that the Sumatran Tiger is on the endangered species list and is expected to become extinct by 2020. But thanks to Molek, the female Sumatran tiger at the Auckland Zoo, the Sumatran Tiger Population increased by 3 cubs less than a week ago. The zoo had 2 Sumatran tigers, Molek and a male named Oz who is the father of the cubs. Now they have 5 healthy and happy Sumatran tigers.

The keepers have stayed away from Molek and her cubs for the past week so that they will have a chance to bond. But yesterday, the keepers went inside the tiger enclosure to get the first footage of the tiger cubs. Molek is a very confident and content mom as you can see in this video.

The Auckland Zoo has a Web Camera they call a CubCam so you can watch them grow and interact with each other and their mom. Read more about New Zealand zoo reports birth of 3 rare Sumatran tiger cubs.

flood_victems_rescuedd_cats.jpgIowa is under many feet of water and the Humane Society of the United States together with local shelters has been working to rescue people and their pets. See a slide show of some of the rescued pets and their people.

But there is so much more to be done. The animals need your help. Here is a list of donations as of today. But this list will keep changing. Check Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center for updated lists of needed items.

Donations List: The most urgent need is for large outdoor kennels for dogs, the chain link kind. Please drop kennels off between 12-3 at Barn #1. These don’t have to be new kennels, but in good working condition. Other needs are: medium, large and extra-large dog collars and harnesses; 6 ft. long heavy (1”) nylon dog leashes; cat havens; small (ceramic is best) food and water dishes for inside cat cages; copy paper; photo paper for Kodak Easy-Share camera; hand sanitizer; liquid hand soap; kitchen sponges; towels and sheets to use as bedding/cat cage covers; monetary donations to purchase medications, medical expenses, and care for animals with special needs.rescued_cat.jpg

Donations can be dropped off at the Fairgrounds between 10:00AM and 5:30 PM daily. Donations to the Friends of the Animal Center Foundation for both regular and emergency animal care can be made online or mail to Friends of the Animal Center Foundation at PO Box 1345, Iowa City, IA 52244-1345.

Routine Number: 319-356-5295

Phone Number for Emergency Animal Rescues Only: (612) 219-8510

It is so important to have an evacuation plan ready before these disasters happen. Find out how you can prepare your cat for evacuation.

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tiger_cubs_siegfried_roy.jpg

No animal should be part of a show, I disagree with circuses, and anything where the animal is made to perform unnatural acts for human entertainment. So when Siegfried and Roy stopped performing I thought that was a good thing. And I still do.

But now that they are in the news again, I did a little digging, I thought I would find evidence that Siegfried and Roy abused their cats, but I could not find one bit, even though PETA claims they abused the tiger that attacked Roy. I couldn't find the evidence they refer to.

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Attack, that's an interesting word. I believe that if a tiger really wants to attack, the victim would be dead. Tigers are big, strong and have jaws that can crush bones. If Roy was attacked, he would be dead. I have to side with Siegfried on this one, in a CNN interview, he says the cat was moving him like a mother tiger picks up her cub to protect him. Maybe the tiger sensed he was having a stroke and was trying to protect him, I don't know.

But what I do know is that these guys let tigers walk freely in and out of their homes. Roy kisses these cats on the mouth, cuddles them, rides them, and the cats seem completely fine with it. Apparently, the pregnant tigers let Roy stay with them while they give birth and even drop the cubs in his lap! These cats are so well taken care of that they put some house cat owners to shame. They have a huge yard to play and relax in and they are also welcome inside the home.

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Siegfried and Roy even have their own breeding program so these cats survive extinction. That's why they are in the news again. They've acquired five new cubs that the duo will hand raise to become part of their breeding program. So far they've increased the world wide Royal White Tiger population to 200 and 38 of them live in Las Vegas.

So whatever might be said about Siegfried and Roy, you can't dispute the fact that they are helping to preserve the dwindling wild cat populations of the world. The video is a slide show of their 5 new cubs. So cute.

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Pictures_of_cat_groomed_and_posing.jpg If you've ever thought about traveling with Kitty, but don't want to stay in some of the dumps and dives out there that allow pets, finally, there's an alternative! Hilton Hotels and Resorts are going Pet Friendly this summer. You can plan your trip to include Kitty, rather than leave him at home with a petsitter. If you book you'll have to pay an extra fee, and basically take care of your pet as you normally would at home, feed, clean up, and exercise. It's just that now you get to do it while on vacation.

(I wonder if the Hiltons decided to become pet friendly to set an example for Paris Hilton, "Ok Paris, this is how you are supposed to treat animals..." They should have done this years ago!)

It seems like this service is geared more toward dogs than cats, but cats are invited, I even read the fine print to make sure. It's nice to see that hotels are becoming more open to the idea that people love their cats and want to travel with them.

When I'm away from home, the only thing I really miss is Neo. But I can't imagine what I'd do with him or what he'd be like staying a hotel. Would he like to site-see? He's leash trained so I suppose I could take him for walks, but I imagine I'll end up carrying him most of the way. I guess I could leave him in the hotel room, but then I'd feel guilty that he was there in a strange room all by himself. No, I definitely wouldn't do that, if I was going to leave him alone, I'd leave him at home with a sitter.neo talking.png

This is what I'd do, we'll go to the beach, he'd have a nice fluffy towel to sleep on, under an umbrella, I'd read a book and scratch him under the chin while he slept right beside me. When we get hot, we'll go for a dip, he's pretty good in the water, he doesn't seem to mind getting wet so a beach vacation would be perfect for us. I'll keep him on a leash and let him walk where it is safe or carry him if the area is too crowded. I think he'd be ok as long as I was with him.

But I know a lot of cats that might get too stressed out being in that kind of environment. You'll have to make the decision for yourself, if your cat is way too nervous or unpredictable, it might not be a good idea to take him vacationing. Every cat has a different temperament. My thoughts on the subject are, unless you are willing to spend some serious quality time with your cat while on vacation, it's best to leave him at home. While a resort might allow cats, it may not be the best idea for your cat.

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feral-kitten.jpgWith the steady decline in the economy, more and more people are abandoning their cats. Shelters are overflowing with cats that people can no longer care for. That's why June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month at the ASPCA. I can't imagine having to give up Neo for any reason, but the truth of the matter is that many families are having to give up their pets at a time when they need them the most.

It is in hard times that we turn to others for support, including our furry children. They offer ease from the stresses of life - a purr and a cuddle go a long way to make one feel better - but what if you couldn't afford to pay for your dear little furry friend's food, litter, and vet care? What if you had to take food off of your own plate or the plates of your biological children to feed your cat? What would you do?

Unfortunately, in these difficult economic times, people are faced with those questions and many of them are leaving their cats behind when the bank forecloses on their house, or abandoning them when they have to move into apartments that don't allow pets. Many of these cats starve to death, or forage for food in unfriendly neighborhoods and become wild.

pictures_of_wild_cats_domesicated.jpgBut there is an alternative, many food pantries and food banks are stocked with pet food. There are even pet food banks, ask your local animal shelter about pet food programs in your area. You can still get enough food to feed your cat and continue to enjoy his company a little while longer, maybe even until this crisis is over.

But if you are faced with the horrible decision to have to leave your pet behind, take your cat to your local ASPCA or cat shelter. June is adopt a cat month, so your kitty will surely find a nice home to go to if you are no longer able to care for him. You can rest assured that your cat will not starve to death, nor will it have to scrounge for food, and become a nuisance to the neighbors.

If you are not faced with this dilemma, you have the power to help others who are not as fortunate, who need your help to keep their cats. You can donate money, supplies or your time to shelters in your area. Just go to Shelter Source and see what their wish-lists are and donate what you can.

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Swan_lake_picture_of _feral_kitten.jpgSwan Lake in California is home to hundreds of feral cats. Some have been abandoned by their humans and some are feral and have formed a colony there. But this isn't a sad story about feral cats, this story will have a happy ending because of some wonderful cat lovers who have opened their homes to these cats.

Two teens in California, Elizabeth Lloyd and Devon Powell with the help of their parents and Corona residents Beth Kohler and Ray Deese have taken in dozens of strays and feral cats. They have also paid out of pocket expenses to have the sick ones cared for and all of them spayed or neutered.

Swan_Lake_pictures_of_orphaned_kitten.jpgThe group has worked tirelessly to trap and rehabilitate kittens and older cats. The kittens and the tame adult cats are available for adoption for a fee of $25.00, which will be returned to you once you show proof you've had your adopted kitten neutered.

Visit Teens Helping Adopt Needy KatS to see the cats for adoption, fill out an application form and sign the adoption contract. You can donate money, time or supplies to help these good people and their sweet little feral cats. If you would like to make a donation to help cover the costs of spaying and neutering, contact AAA Animal Hospital in Corona at 951-371-7117 and tell them your donation is for the Swan Lake Account. Every little bit helps so donate whatever you can.

In addition to helping these cats, the group is working with Alley Cat Allies, and the Riverside Department of Animal Services. Their goal is to have a trap neuter, return program for the other wild cats so they will live out their days wild and free at Swan Lake. They are waiting to hear from Swan Lake management - I'm not sure why they didn't already approve. Trap, Neuter, Release programs are the only way to successfully take care of feral cats humanely.

It makes me so happy to see stories like this about good people making an effort to help cats rather than bulldozing right over feral cats or paying residents to kill feral cats when in fact, feral cats exist because of humans. Keep up the good work, Kudos from FaceKitty!

boomer-african-lion-cat-picture-granby-zoo.jpgDennis Day wants to charge the Granby Zoo with theft within ten days according to his statement to the media. "When the 10 Mr. Days is up on this letter, we're going to have them charged with theft," said Dennis Day.

For those of you who missed it, Boomer (an African Lion cub) gained worldwide exposure for getting loose in a small First Nation Reserve called Maniwaki in Quebec. The lion cub was ultimately found but was not returned to Mr. Day. As we blogged about in a previous post, the Quebec Ministry of Natural Resources placed the lion in the Granby Zoo.

According to what I've read, it seems that Mr. Day is threatening legal action against the wrong principal. His beef should probably be taken up with the Quebec government.

Boomer is apparently still in quarantine but is doing very well. It's going to be interesting to see how this domesticated lion will adjust to living with real wild lions. Not sure if he's got a shot there but we'll see...

Just when you thought this story was done, another wrinkle appears. I've contacted the Granby Zoo about possibly getting some pictures and a more recent update on Boomer. Stay tuned!

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