Wednesday, July 31, 2013

7 Cool Facts about Your Cat's Whiskers!

Your cat’s whiskers don’t just look cool -- they’re the Swiss Army knife of her sensory and communications tool kit. Not only do they help her figure out where she’s going, they also tell her whether she’ll fit through openings, and they serve as an obvious demonstration of her mood. Here are seven interesting facts about cat whiskers.

1. Whiskers are exquisitely sensitive

Your cat’s whiskers are rooted much more deeply in her skin than her ordinary fur, and the area around them has a very generous supply of nerves and blood. This makes the whisker tips so sensitive that they can detect even the slightest change in the direction of a breeze. Because of that sensitivity, it can actually cause your cat pain if you mess with her whiskers. Eating out of a bowl that presses on your cat’s whiskers can also be disturbing, so consider feeding your cat on a plate or buying her a wide, flat feeding bowl.

2. They’re not just on the nose

In addition to the eight to 12 whiskers your cat has on either side of her nose, she also has shorter whiskers above her eyes, on her chin, and on the backs of her lower front legs.

This cat's whiskers are probably telling him he's not going to fit through that hole. Orange cat peeking through hole in door by Shutterstock

3. They help her figure out where she’ll fit

The whiskers on your cat’s nose are generally about as long as your cat is wide, so they help her to figure out how wide an opening is and whether she’ll fit through it. Some people say that if cats gain weight, their whiskers get longer; I haven’t seen enough evidence to know whether this is true.

4. They help her position her prey

Cats are farsighted -- they can’t see well up close -- so when they catch their prey, whether that prey is a mouse or their favorite feather toy, they need some way to sense that their prey is in the proper position for the fatal bite. The whiskers on the back of your cat’s forelegs, and to a lesser extent, those on her chin and the sides of her nose, are crucial for that purpose.

5. They’re an emotional barometer

The position of your cat’s whiskers can be an indicator of her mood. If her whiskers are relaxed and sticking out sideways, she’s calm. If they’re pushed forward, that means she’s excited and alert. If they're flattened against her cheeks, she’s angry or scared. Of course, you’ll need to check her “whiskergram” against her other body language, such as the position of her ears and tail, to confirm what the whiskers are telling you.

The same mutation that gave Devon Rex cats their curly hair gave them short, curly and brittle whiskers.Calico Devon Rex cat by Shutterstock

6. They should never be cut

Although your cat does shed a couple of whiskers from time to time, you should never trim your cat’s whiskers. She’ll become disoriented and may begin acting dizzy and confused because she’s no longer receiving those vital navigation signals. Imagine if somebody grabbed you and put a blindfold on you and you couldn’t take it off for a few weeks -- that’s about what it’s like for a cat whose whiskers get cut off.

7. They can change color

Don’t be surprised if you find a white whisker growing in your pure black cat’s fur as she ages: Cats do start going gray with age, but it’s not noticeable unless your cat’s fur is a dark, solid color.
Do you know any other facts about cat whiskers? Do you have any questions about cat whiskers? Share them in the comments!

***See the entire article here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cats with Facebook Pages???

I thought it was cute when my cats approached me,
wanting to have their own facebook page.
"Sure," I said.
"See if you can score an income with all that cuteness you exude...
help offset some of the litter costs."


So, off they went to build their Facebook page.
Within no time, they had 100 friends.
I mean, they are adorable and all,
but I began to feel like they were more popular than me
(mind you, I have over 300 friends-let's be clear on that!).

They sent a friend invite to a kitty in Dubai.
How they found this kitty, I am not quite sure.
But that's cool.
Creating world peace, one click of the mouse at a time.

But then Facebook took over.
Facebook started suggesting other cats
that my kitties might want to friend.
Do you have ANY idea how many cats
have their own Facebook pages?!?!?!?!?
My cats have friended about 23 new cats in the past 24 hours!
Again, let the power of the internet
and the bond over cat treats bring us closer together,
but who are all these people that,
dare I say, might have cats as pretentious and cyber-savvy as mine?

Being the responsible cat parent that I am,
I decided I needed to sit down with them,
ensuring we're not sending/accepting friend requests
from just ANY cat.
You just never know, right?
The list is endless.
My heart is warmed by such a strong feline presence.
Surely this subtle cat takeover of social media
can only bring good to our society.
Headbonks, purrs, rubby bubbies, birdy cackles...


What about your cats?  Do they have a Facebook page?
If they do, what kind of posts do they enjoy?
Do they like to post a lot of pictures of themselves?

Oh, and if they need any more Facebook friends,
have them search for 
Moe Jake Katie Smudge-Bean
(shameless promotion, I know).

Are you looking for a new kitty-
perhaps one that would be perfect for a Facebook page?
Check out King Street cats'
cyber kitties looking for their furrever home here!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Record-Setting Kitty!

Cat behavior can be pretty extreme, and cats are diligent creatures. 
What sort of world records would Kitty win? 

1. Most consecutive days completely ignoring fresh water in a clean bowl

Jasmine water in bowl by Shutterstock.
Due to a mishap with our water fountain, my cat now has to deal with water that just sits there quietly in a bowl. It doesn't gurgle or babble. It doesn't need a power source. It doesn't play out the hydrologic cycle in miniature, and it doesn't cost $49.99. It's just a little water in a small bowl -- but clean water, changed daily. Or it used to be, until I realized that she is psychically incapable of even looking at the thing without gagging and throwing up in the closet.  

2. Most meows while standing on the counter of the guest bathroom, with one foot in the sink 

Cat drinking water by Shutterstock.
Once I started counting, I counted 23, and then I stopped counting and said something about it being 3 a.m. very harshly, before getting up and turning on the faucet. Being a world champion means you crap on other people. I have to remember that. 

3. Most victories in ad hoc staring contests

Cornish Rex by Shutterstock.
You know when you sometimes walk into a room and surprise your cat and suddenly the two of you are engaged in the most awesome staring contest? My cat wins every one. She never flinches. She stares like a judge sentencing Lindsay Lohan. I lower my eyes and cede to her honor. 

4. Most consecutive days on that disgusting cat bed

Cat resting on bed by Shutterstock.
It wasn't always disgusting, but when a cat sleeps, grooms, and even vomits up hairballs on the same thing she's been lying on for more than 20 hours a day for God knows how many days, things get disgusting. The cat bed is disgusting. The cat bed could use a good wash, but then the cat would avoid it like the plague for approximately six to seven months, and it would sit there, forlorn, an unused cat bed in your living room. There's nothing sadder than that. 

5. Most consecutive days making me feel horrible about the dry food I'm trying to feed her

Cat eating food by
I have a bag of healthy food my cat hates in the back of the cabinet. It's a perfectly fine bag of food. She used to love this food. Then she stopped. She switched brands after some freakin' cat sitter brought over some flavor-spiked supermarket kibble. Now, whenever I run out of the new stuff, I wait until she's good and hungry and meowing like crazy and then I drop a bowl of the old brand on the floor with a lot of fanfare. I make a big production out of it. She looks at the food for whatever is less than a picosecond, immediately turns around, and walks out of the room. Just ... out. It's brutal. 
What weird world records would your cat win? Let us know in the comments!
Looking for an award-winning,
cat of your own?
Check out some of
King Street Cats'
overachievers here!

Full article can be found here.