9 Interesting Black Cat Facts You Didn’t Know
If you’re a cat person you know that black cats are just as beautiful as any other cats, unfortunately they have had a lot of bad press about being ‘unlucky’. A black cat is a typical domestic cat covered with black fur either of mixed or a specific breed. There are about 22 breeds of cats that come with solid black fur. The black cat is associated with both good and bad lucks by different people all over the world. Here are however 9 Interesting Black Cat Facts You Didn’t Know.
1) Back during the middles ages, the Europeans used to believe that black cats were associated with witchcraft. To an extent, solitary women who kept cats and fed them were called witches while the cats referred as their conspirators.
2) Black cats have also been associated with bad luck. This is evident in some parts of England and Ireland where if a black cat crosses your path, it is a symbol of bad luck coming your way (pretty hard to avoid a black cat crossing your path if you live with them).
3) In some parts of the world (like Russia and Japan) black cats are thought to be extremely lucky. There is a mixed reaction in Germany where you’ve to pay attention whenever it crosses your path from right to left it’s a symbol of good luck while left to right signifies bad luck (confusing, right?).
4) Black cats are likely to have a better immune system. The high content of melanin is believed to increase the immune system in black cats. It increases their resistance to pathogenic infections. The high levels of pigmentation also causes the irises to appear golden.
5) In Scotland, a black cat is a sign of prosperity. Everyone here is expectant to see a stray black cat getting to their home. A strange black cat might make you win the grand prize. In japan they are a source of good luck especially for single women. If a black cat is tamed, it could attract potential partners to their home. In Britain, if a black cat is given to the bride, it is a sign of good luck.
6) If you are a pirate, you probably have a mixed relationship with black cats. If the cat walks towards you it’s a sign of bad luck. However, if it walks away from you that’s good luck. If the cat gets in your ship then it backs off, then you should get off the ship because there are high chances that it will sink.
7) In ancient Egypt, black cats were viewed as sacred animals. They are symbols of the goddess of protection to many. Cats (of all colours) have never forgotten this and remind their human staff of their god-ness in many different ways.
8) Fishermen and their wives take black cats as treasures since they symbolize good luck. Many of these people keep them in their ships and home as pets.
9) Statistics tell us there are more male black cats than females. This can be attributed to the belief that male blacks have higher chances of good luck. Many people therefore prefer keeping the male species. The fur pigmentation is somewhat more dominant in male black cats than in female ones.
Over the ages black cats have a mixed reputation, so next time you want to adopt a cat don’t walk past the little black beauty at the animal shelter. Too often, they are left behind for their lighter coloured cousins.
Meow for now … Kristian Taylor
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Spring with your cat
Spring is the season to come out of hibernation and enjoy the warming weather. Cats, as well as people enjoy the warmth that Spring brings. The bright sunny days fill us and our cats with energy and mischief. During this time we can see more cats playing and frolicking in the sun. Spring with your cat can be full of fun, but can also be full of unseen dangers that cat owners need to look out for. Things like blooming flowers and extra pollens can be a cause for concern and we talk about the dangerous Spring plants more here. Cats can also suffer from allergic reactions and heat strokes during this season, indoor cats are particularly sensitive to the sun and we need to be careful to limit their exposure to the harsh mid-day sun as their noses are extra sensitive and can get sun-burnt.
Spring cleaning and home improvement:
In many households, spring cleaning is a part of the welcoming of Spring tradition. Make sure chemicals, cleaning supplies and home renovation items are stored away from cats. Unlike with children, putting it on a high shelf doesn’t make it safe. Make sure that the lids are always securely on and any excess is wiped up. The paints, mineral spirits and solvents can cause severe irritation and chemical burns. It’s also important to keep power tools and other renovation tools away from your precious furriends so they don’t accidentally knock them over, step on them or injure themselves. Ideally, you should keep your cat in a pet-friendly room throughout the time of the home improvement projects.
Keep cats away from party foods:
With the weather warming up there will be a lot more get togethers and parties. Whilst this is fun for you and the rest of your guests, in all the confusion your cat is more vulnerable. You need to be aware what kinds of human food are unsafe for your cat and make sure your guests do not feed the food to your pet. Your cat should be specially kept away from desserts (chocolate, grapes) and all alcohol. If you are planning to hold a barbeque party, keep your cat protected from the barbeque hazards (gas and fire). Keep an eye out and watch for strange behaviour changes in your cat as this could be a sign of them having eaten something unsafe.
Spring is the time of rebirth and gardening is on everyone’s list of activities during this season. If you have an outdoor cat, make sure that your garden is a safe place for your cat. We often use fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides to keep our plants healthy. If your cat consumes the leaves and flowers of those plants, it might prove to be fatal. Read the labels to know that which one will be harmful for your cat or kitten. Ingredients like cocoa shell mulch which has chocolate content in it must not be used. Watch out for symptoms like drooling, twitching, tremors and seizures. Whenever, you see any such symptom in your cat, rush them to your vet. If they get treated at the right time, they have a much higher chance of surviving and it can even avoid having any long term effect.
In the spring season we love to see several types of flowers in our garden. But, some of the spring flowers like, lilies, azaleas and rhododendron are highly toxic for cats. It your cat consumes any of these flowers, it might turn out to be fatal. So, if you notice any sign of poisoning, like, diarrhea, appearing drunk, excessive salivation, etc. consider contacting the vet immediately. A more comprehensive post on flower safety around cats can be found here (insert link).
Dehydration and heat stroke: During the spring season because of the hot weather, cats also need to consume more water to prevent dehydration. If their water bowl is dirty or not regularly changed, they might suffer from dehydration, which often leads to more severe complications. Overheating in the hot weather or increased activity can result in the excessive loss of fluid in the body. Thus, your cat should get access to fresh water all the time in order to stay hydrated. It is also important to make sure they have access to shade areas to get out of the sun to avoid sunburn or heat stroke.
Spring with your cat can be an enjoyable time for us both, so let’s keep it that way!
Meow for now … Kristian Taylor
How To Create Halloween Cupcakes Celebrating Black Cats
With Halloween coming up just around the corner, poor black cats get a bad reputation for being unlucky. Superstitions around black cats are widespread. In many countries and cultures, black cats are considered unlucky (which isn’t very fair to them). In other countries like the UK and in some Asian countries, black cats are considered lucky, they are only considered unlucky if they cross your path (which can be quite hard to avoid if you have a black cat). Black cats are also considered to be the magical familiars of witches and other magical beings.
Black cats require some extra loving and caring and we talk about the extra safety precautions you may need to take in this post. But for now, let’s take a look at how to create Halloween cupcakes celebrating black cats, themed to counteract some of the negativity around black cats with some fun sugary sweetness.
Fondant Icing is easy enough to make and even easier to use. Using large amounts to ice whole cakes takes a certain level of skill and patience, but on the smaller scale of cupcakes it can be surprisingly easy with some great results!
- Combine gelatin and cold water; let stand until thick, about 3 minutes. Place gelatin mixture in top of double boiler and heat and stir until dissolved. Add glucose, mix well. Stir in shortening; just before completely melted remove from heat. Add glycerin, flavoring and color. Cool until lukewarm.
- In large bowl, place 4 cups confectioners’ sugar; make a well. Pour the lukewarm gelatin mixture into the well and stir with a wooden spoon, mixing in sugar and adding more, a little at a time, until stickiness disappears. Knead in remaining sugar. Knead until the fondant is smooth, pliable and does not stick to your hands. If fondant is too soft, add more sugar; if too stiff, add water (a drop at a time). Use fondant immediately or store in airtight container in a cool, dry place.
- Use fondant immediately or store in airtight container at room temperature until needed. If storing longer than 1 week, refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before kneading.
Bake the cupcakes and let cool completely
Make buttercream icing and cover the top of the cupcake. This creates height (so it looks pretty) and hold the fondant on to the cupcake (so it is practical). You can also just use a thin layer of buttercream so the fondant lays directly onto the cupcake.
Make fondant using above recipe. Choose colouring (for Halloween themed cupcakes I split the fondant recipe into 2 halves and coloured one black and one orange).
Roll out your coloured fondant and cut out circles the same diameter as your cupcakes.
Place circle cut outs on the top of the buttercream iced cupcakes
Use contrasting colours to your circle base to create Halloween patterns and pictures. I used orange (for pumpkins and ghosts) and black (for witches hats and cats).
To create 2D pictures use the point of a sharp knife to cut out designs and transfer them to your cupcake.
To create 3D objects as cupcake toppers use the fondant as modelling clay, using toothpicks to hold parts together and into the cupcake.
Enjoy this trick and treat!
Meow for now … Kristian Taylor
Poisonous Spring Plants That Are Dangerous to Your Cat
With the weather warming up, there are more and more flowers coming into bloom. With the greater variety of flower choice it means that bouquets given as presents or pollens collected on your clothes from the gardens could be harmful to your furry feline friend. Take note of the poisonous plants, flowers, and shrubs that may pose a threat to your best friend. Unlike humans, cats are extra-curious by nature. That is why curiosity killed the proverbial cat. This handy guide will explore the most common poisonous spring plants that are dangerous to your cat and should be kept away from your cat at all times so that their natural curiosity doesn’t hurt them in any way.
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Lilies are one of the most common flowers in bouquets and are also the most dangerous to cats and kittens. A special warning must be made regarding lily toxicity in cats. Lily toxicity is an extremely devastating toxicity which, despite the best treatment from vets, causes many cats to die. Both the flower and the pollen of the lily is dangerous. If eaten or licked, even a small amount can be deadly to your cat. Pollen from the lily can get onto your cat’s coat and if they lick it, it can be deadly. If the pet survives, it can cause severe organ damage that will leave a lifetime scar. The first symptoms likely to occur if ingested are depression, lack of appetite, and sometimes vomiting. Bad breath and diarrhea may result from slow treatment or completely failing to do so. Acute renal failure is the eventual effect. The best thing to do is to throw out any lilies and not keep them in your home.
Other plants that can potentially cause organ damage to your cat are:
a) Azalea (in small amounts)
Plants in this category cause stomach upsets and diarrhea, however they should not be treated lightly as they can have serious and long term impacts. The seeds of this plant can cause hallucinations or diarrhea if ingested by your cat. If it is ingested in large amounts, it can be fatal. Some of the plants which have similar impacts are:
This plant should be totally avoided. If exposed to your cat, it may be fatal. It is a native of tropical America and West Africa. The flowers initially yellow or pink gradually turn to orange and deep red. It contains lantadene (the major toxins involved in poisoning) and other toxins as well. Symptoms which occur after ingestion may include sluggishness, weakness, and sometimes bloody diarrhea. Death may occur in 2 to 4 days, which accurately proves its fatality. Other plants similarly dangerous in this way include:
a) Sago palms
d) Azalea (in large amounts)
You may be worried about the plants growing in your garden. You may also be worrying about the plants your cat comes into contact with in other people’s gardens if they are an outdoor cat. There are a number of strategies that you can take to make your cat safer and let you sleep easily at night. Consider the following precautions:
a) Get rid of unsafe plants
If you have an indoor cat you can move any unsafe plants to the outdoors – making sure that you wash your hands thoroughly after being outdoors to get rid of any pollens you may have collected from gardening. If you have an outdoor cat, get rid of any plants that are unsafe. Alternatively, you can keep them in a part of your garden or house that your cat doesn’t have access to – such as a locked greenhouse or a particular room in your house.
b) Get familiar with cat first aid
Although prevention is doubtless better than cure, you need to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of a poisoned cat. If your cat shows symptoms like excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty in breathing urgently contact a veterinarian. You can also get trained in animal first aid. In Australia, the Animal Welfare League (AWL) has Pet First Aid courses as well as First Aid Kits. More information can be found here.
Taking these tips into consideration will make your Spring and your furry family much safer and happier!
Meow for now …Kristian Taylor
7 Halloween Safety Tips for Cat Owners
These days the biggest danger for children on Halloween is about tooth decay and difficulty calming down from a sugar rush. However, for cats this time of year is fraught with danger. As much fun as it is to dress dear Fluffy up as Catwoman and your gorgeous black furriend would certainly make a great Princess Halloween can be a dangerous times for pets. Certainly, our two muppets hate Halloween because of the extra noise and crowds and we do everything we can to make it a stress free time for them. As a cat owner, keeping your beloved furry family member from harm is easy if you watch out for the following 7 Halloween safety tips.
Why it’s dangerous: Chocolate is more poisonous to pets than any other candy. Chocolate contains methylxanthines, chemicals similar to caffeine that can quickly sicken cats. In general, the darker the chocolate, the more poisonous it is.
What to watch for: Symptoms in cats that have ingested chocolate include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy or agitation, increased thirst, an elevated heart rate, and, in severe cases, seizures.
Pranks against Black Cats
Why it’s dangerous: Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents.
What to do: Keep your outdoor cats inside several days before and several days after Halloween. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution.
Why they’re dangerous: While good-intentioned neighbors may hand out raisins as a healthy alternative to candy, very small amounts of raisins (or grapes) can cause kidney failure in dogs and cats. Some animals develop idiosyncratic reactions at any dose—in other words, ingesting any amount can cause serious damage.
What to watch for: cats that have ingested raisins may show signs like vomiting, nausea, decreased appetite, abdominal pain, and severe kidney failure.
Why they’re dangerous: If they’re lit keep your cat away as they could knock it over and cause a fire. Although non-toxic, if consumed in large amounts they can lead to gastro-intestinal upset
What to do: Keep lit pumpkins away from where your cat will be on the night and keep a watchful eye to make sure they’re not eating parts of the decorations.
Anxiety of large crowds
Why it’s dangerous: Not only will your door be constantly opening and closing on Halloween, but strangers will be dressed in unusual costumes and yelling loudly for their candy. This, of course, is scary for our furry friends.
What to do: Putting your cat in a secure room away from the front door will also prevent them from darting outside into the night … a night when no one wants to be searching for a lost loved one.
Why they’re dangerous: Cats love to chew on things they’re not supposed to, and particularly seem to love these items. Over the past year, 70 percent of Pet Poison Hotline’s calls relating to glow sticks and jewelry involved cats. In addition to the choking hazard, the contents of glow sticks can cause pain and irritation in the mouth.
What to watch for: Keep an eye out for mouth pain, as well as profuse drooling and foaming at the mouth.
Why they’re dangerous: You may love the costume, but does your cat? Some costumes can cause discomfort in cats, and any metallic beads, snaps, or other small pieces (particularly those made of zinc or lead) can result in serious poisoning if ingested. Finally, don’t ever dye or apply coloring to a cat’s fur, even if the dye is labeled non-toxic to humans.
What to watch for: If you are dressing your pets in costumes, make sure it doesn’t impair the cats’ vision, movement, or air intake. If your cat seems distressed, allergic, or show abnormal behavior, consider letting them go in their “birthday suit”. Festive bandanas usually work for party poopers, too. Also, make sure to try on any costumes before the big day.
Leave us a comment and let us know any other Halloween tricks and treats that help your cats.
Meow for now… Kristian Taylor