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Odd topic: fur length and raw

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Lowell

Regional Winner!
 
 
Purred: Mon Feb 21, '11 1:36am PST 
The thread title says it all, and I suspect there's no connection, but this is related to something the cat photographer Chanan said to me at a cat show yesterday. He's got nine cats, and when a bunny hopped into their yard the other day, the shorthaired cats immediately went into attack mode, while the longhaired cats went over in a friendly way, as if to say, "Hi, buddy!" (his words). (In the end, his wife made him rescue the rabbit.) I know that shorthairs tend to be more vocal and active than longhairs (at least in my experience, living with both, and seeing different breeds at cat shows), but to cut to the chase, do shorthaired cats take to raw more readily than longhaired cats? It certainly wouldn't seem logical, since Maine Coons, for example, were always prized for their mousing skills (as well as their ability to withstand New England winters). I'm not sure if what kinds of cats he has, moggies or purebreds or both, but I was wondering if shorthaired cats might be more aggressive and enthusiastic than longhairs when it comes to introducing them to a raw diet. I do know that shorthairs tend to come into heat considerably earlier than longhairs, and that their heats are much noisier; the males also enter puberty and start spraying earlier than their longhaired cousins, at least in my experience, so there are some basic biological differences between the two.

My vet once told me that females make better mousers than males--because they have keener hunting instincts, as they must consume enough nutrients to raise their kittens, and then teach the kittens how to hunt. This may very well be an old wives' tale, but at cat shows, you'll notice that (again, it depends on the cat and the breed), the females tend to be much more aware of their surroundings--they show their feline instincts in a big way (usually by going into heat immediately at the smell of intact males, or becoming nervous). So, a related question is, do female cats take to raw faster than males?

Yes, these are odd questions (as the thread title says), but what Chanan said piqued my curiosity regarding how breed or gender could affect response to a raw diet. Or, perhaps the underlying question would be, how much relation is there between a cat's hunting instinct and its preference for a raw diet? Among my cats, for example, Lowell lives for toys; any kind of toy lasts only a few hours once he gets hold of it, and I'm positive that he'd be a star mouser in the wild. Harvey, on the other hand, has a personality like that of a burned-out hippy; he looks at toys and then looks away without the slightest interest. I wonder if he would respond at all if a live critter crossed his line of vision, and whether any of this would be connected to the ease with which a cat takes to a raw diet.

Sorry to babble. I'm just curious. Anybody have any ideas?
thinking
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Penn & Teller

Masters of The- Multiverse
 
 
Purred: Mon Feb 21, '11 7:12am PST 
Teller is my "kill chicken wing kill" insaneo kitten. He took to it quickly. His coat is very short; both body line and coat are sleek like a Siamese. Penn has been slower. His coat is more plush but still considered shorthair. These two also seemed to enter their terrible teens at different times with Penn being later than Teller. It's more psychological though since they are neutered.
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BooBoo

headed for the- light.
 
 
Purred: Mon Feb 21, '11 7:27am PST 
Should have known it was you laugh out loud
I suspect that it may be that the cats selected for breeding certain lines of LH purebreds might have 'just so happened' to not have the best hunting genes, if what you say is true. I do know my sister was given a purebred Persian with not only a smooshy face, but declawed; (Imagine a white cheerleader pompom tossing a rat in the air...) we were renting a rickety old house together at the time, and Mitty Mat could kill mice with the best of them! I also don't recall any particular hair length being good or bad mousers when I had horses and there were always whole bunches of cats and kittens around the barn. I DID know for sure the females were generally speaking better mousers, especially when they had kittens. And certain of the females were better than others, and produced better hunters. I only recall a couple of kitties whom I never saw killing anything, and most were yellow toms. (30 years ago, almost no cats were altered, at least around here) I don't know how much of that was due to the mama cats teaching, which they certainly do. I suspect any cat raised where there are good mousers would be better at it than ones raised where nothing ever gets in the house or whatever the cat's area is. And cats where there is competition for food be it cat food or mice might also have more predatory instincts.

Talk about making a short story long...without actual study of unrelated cats in unrelated homes, who knows? laugh out loud although I'm firmly convinced the females have more skills regardless of hair length. I'm not sure being fixed matters either--it didn't change me (Meowma here, not BooBoo)

Edited by author Mon Feb 21, '11 7:30am PST

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Penn & Teller

Masters of The- Multiverse
 
 
Purred: Mon Feb 21, '11 9:33am PST 
That's a shame Chanan's wife made him rescue the rabbit. It would have been quite a show. I'm not sure how many are going to flip when I say this but there's something that makes your pride swell seeing your beloved little pet lose his "tame" for a while and within moments just become yours once again. It's amazing self control.
Think I'm gonna go buy a rabbit...
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Shade

My name is not- Kittyfloss!
 
 
Purred: Mon Feb 21, '11 12:54pm PST 
I adopted Shade and Smudge at the same time, they are only 1 week apart in age, and they were introduced to raw by me at the same time. Shade is the DLH and Smudge in the DSH and both took to raw immediately, neither seemed to be more eager than the other except for the fact that Smudge has a black hole for a stomache.

Both cats hunt the occasional mouse that gets into our house. I know for a fact that Shade has killed them and probably eaten them too. I see Smudge chase them, but I've never seen him in possession of a dead one, but that doesn't mean that he hasn't killed and eaten them too.

I walk them both outside on their harnesses. Shade, while on his harness, has caught a chipmunk, various snakes, and inumerable insects. He's come within inches of squirrels and mice. He also likes to escape out our back door and again has gone straight for anything living. He actually just brushed a squirrel with his paw before it got up a tree.

When I walk Smudge, he's moslty all about crouching and inching along the ground after birds. He likes to work his way slowly toward the bird feeder. He does leap up in the air if one gets too close though; he also does this with butterflies. He does have his momments though of dashing after mice and chipmunks. He's only ever caught a toad though, which I made him drop immediately.

So, I would say that hair length makes no difference in the acceptance of a raw diet and I would give my long haired cat the edge in the hunting departement.

Purrs,
Shade
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Harvey

Has been COTD!
 
 
Purred: Mon Feb 21, '11 2:10pm PST 
BooBoo--your Meowma hunts and kills mice? And eats them? That I gotta see!

Hmph, I never would have guessed that a smushy faced Persian could hunt kill and eat. They have such tiny mouths...
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BooBoo

headed for the- light.
 
 
Purred: Mon Feb 21, '11 4:20pm PST 
Oh Harvey, it only looks that way! We know this for an absolute fact now--Meowma went to the shelter the other week, and some $%#*& baccer-spitting country boy came in with a PB Himmy, smooshy face and all, that he was forcing his girlfriend to give up. Probably better for the kitty anyway, as it had obviously been stuck outside and not been cared for properly in a while. Meowma felt so awful when the shelter person stuck it in a cage that she begged to groom it--the poor kitty's eyes were crusted over, it was matted and skinny, and nobody had time to fool with it. So she takes it in the 'bonding room" and goes to grooming; with the mats and all that meant rolling the kitty in a towel and doing one piece at a time. Well about the time she got half the tummy done she quit paying attention, and WHAM!!! Cobra Kitty! Meowma got nailed to the bone on her thumb, and a huge, nasty bite on the inside of her forearm that left four big punctures about 2 inches apart--one pierced a vein and there was blood going everywhere, icluding on the cat. Meowma tied her arm up in her jacket and cleaned the kitty as much as possible. She didn't want the shelter workers to see, bucause they would put the kitty down right then for biting. But really, what would you do if you were scared in a strange place nd someone was trying to remove dreadlocked hair that was so bad it was causing the skin to stretch tight? Needless to say, a trip to the urgent care, shots, etc were next. And there was about a four inch long huge purple hematoma as well. NEVER believe that stuff about Persians being unable to eat, bite, or whatever!

To get back on topic--this proves that long hied cats will eat raw and can be just as predatory as SH ones. Meowma almost became a meal!

Edited by author Mon Feb 21, '11 4:21pm PST

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Harvard

Regional Winner!
 
 
Purred: Mon Feb 21, '11 11:05pm PST 
Hmm...that would make a good murder mystery. Kill your spouse, cut him/her up into cat-sized pieces, put them in one of those big coffin-sized American freezers, and you've got enough raw (meat, organs, bones and all!) to keep Fluffy happy for a looong time. If the police don't catch on, you may even get away with the crime (no corpus delicti,just corpus delicious). Don't worry, I'm harmless, no spouse and no freezer.

Too bad that BooBoo's Meowma became the innocent victim of a scared little Himmy. Hope the kitty finds a good home. I suspect that a lot of longhaired cats in shelters end up there because their owners can't keep up with the grooming. (Purebred cats in shelters, it turns out, are almost always owner-relinquished.) Lowell gave me a couple of good bites in the hand when I was grooming him for this past show. Presently, I'm observing the wounds to see if the hand needs medical attention. I could get antibiotics at my orthopedist's, but he's just going to tell me to lose weight and get rid of the cats (the bacteria in the bites can attach themselves to your hip implants). Lowell will put up with grooming up to a point, and then it's attack mode. Well, he's only going to be in a few more shows, and one of the judges commented that he seems to be loosing fur at an alarming rate (not going bald, just losing fluffy stuff that he doesn't really need but looks good on a Maine Coon), so he won't have to worry too much about grooming any more. Next it's Harvard's turn to make his Show Biz comeback. He's a biter, too. Oh, heck, maybe I should throw them some chicken wings or a f/t mouse or something else to take a nibble on instead of me.
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BooBoo

headed for the- light.
 
 
Purred: Wed Feb 23, '11 1:27pm PST 
They do make cat muzzles, maybe you should get one. And a cat bag for washing...
P&T., it's unusual for even the most feral cat top try to kill anything as big as an adult rabbit. I only recall our baddest hunbter ever getting one rabbit, and it was about half-size. I'm having to assume that you didn't grow up with indoor/otdoor or all-outdoor, or barn kitties, or you would be sort of ho-hum about all of this. Something about a parade of little headless gifts that goes on for years can take the new off of it for sure, when you have to dispose of them. Although I have to admit when I had my horses, if I saw a mouse in the feed room, it was kind of entertaining to say "Kitty" loudly and see just how many would come running. And the barn cats NEVER left 'gifts'. The mice lasted for only a few seconds unless a momcat had kittens that needed teaching.
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Lowell

Regional Winner!
 
 
Purred: Wed Feb 23, '11 4:16pm PST 
"The mice lasted for only a few seconds unless a momcat had kittens that needed teaching." MOL!
big laugh

BooBoo--thanks for the muzzle hint. Never heard of one, but it looks like it would work. Right now I put Lowell in an enormous plastic carrier, put a hair dryer on a stand by the opening, and just leave him that way for around 3 hours. It does get him dry, but a hair dryer would add more volume and fluffiness. I still don't know why Harvey took to the hair dryer when he was first introduced to it at more than one year of age, and yet Lowell and all the other kittens get all homicidal if they so much as see the stupid thing when it's unplugged. The bath bag doesn't work. One session using it left the bag in tatters, both of my hands and arms so messed up that I needed an immediate IV of antibiotics, and Lowell was still wet.

Yes, cats can and do kill cute little bunnies. Photographic evidence of this can be found at: http://www.whatjeffkilled.com/112006.html

"What Jeff Killed" is one of my favorite cat sites. It may not be for everyone, but the photos are gorgeous (if gory), the writing is literate, and better than any post in the raw column I've ever seen (no offense meant), it shows how cats choose to feed themselves if left to their own devices. Jeff is, like all cats, a killing machine in a pretty kitty suit. Apparently he's big for a cat, but I'm just glad that he's smaller than I am.
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