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Infinite Cat Project Archives for October 29 - November 2, 2018.

Mewsings, October 29, 2018: "Owning a cat is like choosing to be the dog of the human-pet relationship. You constantly beg for attention and show too much enthusiasm." - imp3order

black cat with dead mouse

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Awww. How adora-- NO, KITTY! NOOOOOO!"

Cat Mewvie: Catwalk kitty.


national cat day comic

Today's Kitty Komic

cat paws jaws poster

Feline Art: Random cat poster, author unknown.

cat sees rat

Celebrate! It's National Cat Day!
by Brock Madsen

In the United States it is National Cat Day and in honor of this day, BMC Psychology is showcasing a recently published study which gathered empirical data on how humans conceptualize animal companions. Understanding how we conceptualize cats and dogs furthers our understanding of how they affect people and in turn their overall value to us as a species.

Inter-species companionship, such as keeping pets, is an ancient practice for humans indicating a significant value obtained from the relationship. Historically, humans demonstrated this value by sharing resources such as food and shelter with their animal companions. Today, value is reflected monetarily. One worldwide 2017 study estimate suggested that humans spent $109 billion on pet care goods and services. Although we can track the economic value of our animal companions, how people mentally conceptualize their animal companions remains ambiguous.

To better understand how we conceptualize popular pets such as cats and dogs, Hoffman and colleagues’ recent article in BMC Psychology reports findings from a survey aimed at determining how we conceptualize these animal companions.Hoffman and colleagues’ online survey, utilized open ended questions with a free-elicitation methodology to capture respondents’ most salient concepts (i.e. characteristics and emotions) when asked what they think about cats and dogs. The free-elicitation method allows respondents to answer with any words or phrases that come to mind when asked the open-ended question: “Which aspects come to mind when you think of cats?”.

Researchers regarded the most salient concepts to be the ones most frequently associated with the overall conceptualization of the animals and therefore more important.

This pattern differed in cats in that independent of ownership or planned ownership the highest reported attributes only included “personality” and “love”.

The multitude of unique responses were then categorized for analysis. Synonymous words (e.g. “friendly”, “kind”, and “warm-hearted”) used in responses were grouped together. Groups of words with similar conceptual meaning were further categorized. For example, “stubborn”, “proud,” and “integrity” were grouped under the personality/mentality category. Respondents were also grouped depending on whether they owned pets, and if they did not, whether they were thinking about owning.

When conceptualizing dogs, respondents – independent of ownership or planned ownership – all responded with the same top attributes, namely: “friendship”, “love”, “companionship”, “joy”, and “loyalty.” This pattern differed in cats in that independent of ownership or planned ownership the highest reported attributes only included “personality” and “love”.

Interestingly, individuals who did not plan on owning a dog or cat ranked the attribute of “nuisance” higher than owners and potential owners. The results of this research not only demonstrate that people conceptualize cats and dogs in different ways, but that our conceptualizations can transcend the type of relationship a person has with a pet. People associate dogs with attributes related to “friendship”, love”, “companionship”, “joy”, and “loyalty” while they associate cats with attributes related to “personality” and “love”.

The ways in which people conceptualize cats is particularly interesting. The top two attributes of “love” and “personality” were at least 30% more likely to be considered important than the attribute ranked third (companionship). Furthermore, “social interaction” was one of the least important attributes. These findings reflect a seemingly conflicting view of the relationship between cats and humans in that concepts of love can be independent of concepts such as companionship and social interaction.

The one top value that both cats and dogs shared was “love”. Perhaps this is the greatest rationalization for the exorbitant value we place on our two most popular animal companions. The economic expenses we devote to them seems to be justified by the reciprocated emotional value obtained from these companion animals.

So, for this year’s National Cat Day think about the ancient Egyptians, Japanese culture, and the entire world’s obsession with cat videos. Cats have been adored and viewed sacred for centuries and they have provided us with the most valuable gifts of all: love.

Mewsings, October 30, 2018: "Of all God's creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat." - Mark Twain

cat with lion mane

Gratuitous Kittiness: "I just can't wait to be king.... of Halloween!"

Cat Mewvie: How to paint a cat.


dracula's cat comic

Today's Kitty Komic

cats pumkins witch art

Feline Art: "Give me your soul, little one" by Brandi Milne.

Mewsings, October 31, 2018: "No matter how much cats fight, there always seems to be plenty of kittens."
- Abraham Lincoln

unhappy cat in witches hat

Gratuitous Kittiness: Happy fucking Halloween.

Cat Mewvie: Halloween isn't for everybody.


cat halloween comic

Today's Kitty Komic

cat in donut art

Feline Art: Cat tchotchke by Johanna Parker.

Mewsings, November 1, 2018: "But buds will be roses, and kittens, cats, - more's the pity."
- Louisa May Alcot

black cat in the sun

Gratuitous Kittiness: Sunny day, chasing the clouds away.

Cat Mewvie: One last bit of Halloween video.


cats are cute comic

Today's Kitty Komic

kitty skull art

Feline Art: One last great bit of Halloween art, by Tracy Butler.

Mewsings, November 2, 2018: "Cats are a mysterious kind of folk- there is more passing in their minds than we are aware of." - Sir Walter Scott

cheetah and kittens

Gratuitous Kittiness: "Well, sure, I love 'em all. But it's a BITCH finding a sitter."

Cat Mewvie: Kittens and voting.


real cat comic

Today's Kitty Komic

static cat art

Feline Art: "Staticat" by Casey Weldon.

cat eating from bowl

How to REALLY feed your cat.

The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) today released the AAFP Consensus Statement, "Feline Feeding Programs: Addressing Behavioral Needs to Improve Feline Health and Wellbeing" and accompanying client brochure to the veterinary community. The Consensus Statement, published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, explores the medical, social, and emotional problems that can result from the manner in which most cats are currently fed. This statement focuses on "how to feed" because an often-overlooked aspect of feline health is how cats are fed.

This Consensus Statement identifies normal feeding behaviors in cats. It provides strategies to allow these normal feline feeding behaviors, such as hunting and foraging, and eating frequent small meals in a solitary fashion, to occur in the home environment -- even in a multi-pet home. Allowing cats to exhibit these normal feeding behaviors regularly, can help alleviate or prevent stress-related issues such as cystitis, and/or obesity-related problems such as inactivity and overeating. Reducing stress with appropriate feeding programs can also help anxious cats, who in an attempt to avoid other pets in the household, may not access the food frequently enough and lose weight.

"Currently, most pet cats are fed in one location ad libitum, or receive one or two large and usually quite palatable meals daily. In addition, many indoor cats have little environmental stimulation, and eating can become an activity in and of itself," says the Consensus Statement's chair, Tammy Sadek, DVM, DABVP (Feline). "This current type of feeding process does not address the behavioral needs of cats. Appropriate feeding programs need to be customized for each household, and should incorporate the needs of all cats for play, predation, and a location to eat and drink where they feel safe."

The Consensus Statement and accompanying client brochure offer useful strategies for cat caregivers to understand feeding preferences and provide the proper environment for feeding that makes cats happier and helps them avoid overfeeding or underfeeding. The Consensus Statement also highlights the importance of feeding programs, which should be designed to consider whether they are indoor-only or have outdoor access, live in multi-pet households, or are aged or debilitated. These feeding programs in many cases include offering frequent small meals using appropriate puzzle feeders, forage feeding (putting food in different locations), multiple food and water stations, and in some instances, automatic feeders. Veterinary professionals and clients need to work together to develop and implement a safe, effective feeding program that optimizes each cat's physical and emotional health and wellbeing.

Cat caregivers concerned with their cat's weight and health, have multiple cats in the home, or are concerned with overfeeding/underfeeding, are encouraged to seek guidance from their veterinarian. Additionally, appropriate nutrition and feeding programs should be discussed during the cat's routine check-up.


The Infinite Cat Project
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Illustration, Flash Animation, Web Design

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