Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How old is your cat really? and is she/he trying to kill you?

Since I've had more time on my hands lately, I've been thinking about getting a dotcom address for my blog, and having other neat stuff to do while on my site than to just read my seems alright but then I started thinking about what a couple of my friends call me. The crazy cat lady. or something to that effect sounds cool, but I don't post about my cats enough for that, do I? Anyways while I was on that thought train I decided to make another post about my only house pets and companions.

Also see my post: Things Worth Knowing About Your Cat

How to Calculate A Cat's Age in Cat Years

A popular misconception is that cats age seven years (in human years) for each calendar year. In fact, feline aging is much more rapid during the first two years of life. A cat reaches the approximate human age of 15 during its first year, then 24 at age 2. Each year thereafter, it ages approximately four "cat years" for every calendar year. Thus, a 5-year-old feline would be approximately 36 in cat years. It should be remembered that a cat who lives outdoors ages far more quickly, perhaps even twice as fast, than an indoor cat.


A Cat's Life Span

Felines are generally quite long-lived, though mileage varies depending on owner maintenance and genetic predisposition. In a handful of documented cases, cats have exceeded 30 years in age. Typically, indoor cats may live 12 to 18 years, with many surviving into their 20s. Outdoor cats face greater threat of accident and/or illness, and average roughly 10 years.
Indicators of a Cat's Age

If you've taken in a stray or adopted a cat whose age is unknown, there are some ways to determine her age. Here are some things vets check to get a general sense of how old a cat is:

The Teeth: Teeth are a great indicator of age. Older cats tend to have more staining than younger cats, assuming the previous owner was negligent in brushing the cat's teeth. And a kitten's teeth first come in between two to four weeks; their more permanent set appears at around four months of age. So if you open a cat's mouth and find permanent, white teeth, the feline is likely to be around a year old. Some yellowing might place the cat between 1 and 2, and tartar build-up on all the teeth indicates that the cat could be between 3 and 5. Missing teeth may mean you have a senior cat on your hands.

Muscle Tone: Younger cats are more likely to have some muscle definition from their higher activity level. Older cats are usually a bit bonier and may have some extra skin hanging or protruding shoulder blades.

The Coat: A younger cat usually has a soft, fine coat, whereas an older cat tends to have thicker, coarser fur. A senior cat may display grays or patches of white.

The Eyes: Bright, clear eyes without tearing or discharge are common in younger cats. A cat with some cloudiness in their eyes is likely to be 12 years old or so. While inspecting the lens, also examine the iris of the eye. Young cats have smooth irises, while the iris of an old cat can sometimes appear somewhat jagged.

My (almost) 5 year old cat Rage.
(Short for Rage Against the Machine)
He's the one I worry about the most. Shy and evil I tell you.

But looks can be deceiving.

My  2 year old cat Tool
He's so friendly, cute and adorable. Maybe I should worry about him more.

Signs Your Cat May Be Trying To Kill You


1. Seems mighty chummy with the dog all of a sudden.
2. He actually *does* have your tongue.
3. You find a stash of "Feline of Fortune" magazines behind the couch.
4. Cyanide paw prints all over the house.
5. You wake up to find a bird's head in your bed.
6. As the wind blows over the grassy knoll in downtown Dallas, you get a faint whiff of catnip.
7. Droppings in litter box spell out "REDRUM."
8. Catch him with a new mohawk looking in the mirror saying, "Mew looking at me? Mew looking at me?"
9. Takes attentive notes every time "Itchy and Scratchy" are on.
10. You find blueprints for a Rube Goldberg device that starts with a mouse chased into a hole and ends with flaming oil dumped on your bed.
11. Has taken a sudden interest in the wood chipper.
12. Instead of dead birds, leaves cartons of Marlboros on your doorstep.
13. Ball of yarn playfully tied into a hangman's noose.
14. You find a piece of paper labelled "MY WIL" which says "LEEV AWL 2 KAT."
15. Now sharpens claws on your car's brake lines. 


Is your cat plotting to kill you? Quiz -


Evil Cat

I'm watching you.

The cat code


Do not allow closed doors in any room. To get door opened, stand on hind legs and hammer with forepaws. Once door is opened, it is not necessary to use it. After you have ordered an "outside" door opened, stand halfway in and out and think about several things. This is particularly important during very cold weather, rain, snow, or mosquito season. Swinging doors are to be avoided at all costs.

Chairs and Rugs:
If you have to throw up, get to a chair quickly. If you cannot manage in time, get to an Oriental rug. If there is no Oriental rug, shag is good. When throwing up on the carpet, make sure you back up so that it is as long as the humans bare foot.

Always accompany guests to the bathroom. It is not necessary to do anything . . . just sit and stare.

When the human is using his/her computer it is absolutely essential that you jump up onto the desk and walk across the keyboard just as they are completing a particularly long and complicated online task such as filling in a job application or filing a tax return. The human will appreciate your assistance and show their gratitude by leaping from the chair, throwing their hands in the air and shrieking like a maniac whilst running from the room.


If one of your humans is engaged in some close activity and the other is idle, stay with the busy one. This is called "helping", otherwise known as "hampering." Following are the rules for "hampering":

1.When supervising cooking, sit just behind the left heel of the cook. You cannot be seen and thereby stand a better chance of being stepped on and then picked up and comforted.

2.For book readers, get in close under the chin, between eyes and book, unless you can lie across the book itself.

3.For knitting projects or paperwork, lie on the work in the most appropriate manner so as to obscure as much of the work or at least the most important part. Pretend to doze, but every so often reach out and slap the pencil or knitting needles. The worker may try to distract you; ignore it. Remember, the aim is to hamper work. Embroidery and needlepoint projects make great hammocks in spite of what the humans may tell you.

4.For people paying bills (monthly activity) or working on income taxes or Christmas cards (annual activity), keep in mind the aim-to hamper! First, sit on the paper being worked on. When dislodged, watch sadly from the side of the table. When activity proceeds nicely, roll around on the papers, scattering them to the best of your ability. After being removed for the second time, push pens, pencils, and erasers off the table, one at a time. When a human is holding the newspaper in front of him/her, be sure to jump on the back of the paper. They love to jump.

As often as possible, dart quickly and as close as possible in front of the human, especially on stairs, when they have something in their arms, in the dark, and when they first get up in the morning. This will help their coordination skills.

Always sleep on the human at night so s/he cannot move around.

This is an important part of your life. Get enough sleep in the daytime so you are fresh for your nocturnal games. Below are listed several favorite cat games that you can play. It is important, though, to maintain one's dignity at all times. If you should have an accident during play, such as falling off a chair, immediately wash a part of your body as if to say "I meant to do that!" It fools those humans every time.

Cat Games:

1.Catch Mouse:
The humans would have you believe that those lumps under the covers are their feet and hands. They are lying. They are actually Bed Mice, rumored to be the most delicious of all the mice in the world, though no cat has ever been able to catch one. Rumor also has it that only the most ferocious attack can stun them long enough for you to dive under the covers to get them. Maybe YOU can be the first to taste the Bed Mouse!

2.King of the Hill:
This game must be played with at least one other cat. The more, the merrier! One or both of the sleeping humans is Hill 303 which must be defended at all costs from the other cat(s). Anything goes. This game allows for the development of unusual tactics as one must take the unstable playing theater into account.

Any small item is a potential toy. If a human tries to confiscate it, this means that it is a good toy. Run with it under the bed. Look suitably outraged when the human grabs you and takes it away. Always watch where it is put so you can steal it later. Two reliable sources of toys are dresser tops and wastebaskets. There are several types of cat toys.

1.Bright shiny things like keys, brooches, or coins should be hidden so that the other cat(s) or humans can't play with them. They are generally good for playing hockey with on uncarpeted floors.

2.Dangly and/or string-like things such as shoelaces, cords, gold chains, and dental floss (& Q-tips) also make excellent toys. They are favorites of humans who like to drag them across the floor for us to pounce on.

3.When a string is dragged under a newspaper or throw rug, it magically becomes the Paper/Rug Mouse and should be killed at all costs. Take care, though. Humans are sneaky and will try to make you lose your dignity.

Paper Bags:
Within paper bags dwell the bag mice. They are small and camouflaged to be the same color as the bag, so they are hard to see. But you can easily hear the crinkling noises they make as they scurry around the bag. Anything, up to and including shredding the bag, can be done to kill them. Note: any other cat you may find in a bag hunting for bag mice is fair game for a sneak attack, which will usually result in a great Tagmatch.

In order to get the energy to sleep, play, and hamper, a cat must eat. Eating, however, is only half the fun. The other half is getting the food. Cats have two ways to obtain food: convincing a human you are starving to death and must be fed now; and hunting for it oneself. The following are guidelines for getting fed.

1.When the humans are eating, make sure you leave the tip of your tail in their dishes when they are not looking.

2.Never eat food from your own bowl if you can steal some from the table. Never drink from your own water bowl if a human's glass is full enough to drink from.

3.Should you catch something of your own outside, it is only polite to attempt to get to know it. Be insistent. Your food will usually not be so polite and try to leave.

4.Table scraps are delicacies with which the humans are unfortunately unwilling to readily part. It is beneath the dignity of a cat to beg outright for food as lower forms of life such as dogs will, but several techniques exist for ensuring that the humans don't forget you exist. These include, but are not limited to: jumping onto the lap of the "softest" human and purring loudly; lying down in the doorway between the dining room and the kitchen, the "direct stare", and twining around people's legs as they sit and eat while meowing plaintively.

As mentioned above, in order to have enough energy for playing, a cat must get plenty of sleep. It is generally not difficult to find a comfortable place to curl up. Any place a human likes to sit is good, especially if it contrasts with your fur color. If it's in a sunbeam or near a heating duct or radiator, so much the better. Of course, good places also exist outdoors, but have the disadvantages of being seasonal and dependent on current and previous weather conditions such as rain. Open windows are a good compromise.

Scratching Posts:
It is advised that cats use any scratching post the humans may provide. They are very protective of what they think is their property and will object strongly if they catch you sharpening your claws on it. Being sneaky and doing it when they aren't around won't help, as they are very observant. If you are an outdoor kitty, trees are good. Sharpening your claws on a human is not recommended.

Humans have three primary functions: to feed us, to play with and give attention to us, and to clean the litter box. It is important to maintain one's Dignity when around humans so that they will not forget who is the master of the house. Humans need to know basic rules. They can be taught if you start early and are consistent.

Cat Speak:
Humans will sometimes try to speak in cat language, attempting to 'meow' at you while having no real idea what they're saying! Cats can either meow back and try and fool the human into thinking that there is a real connection going on, or they can stare at the human with a puzzled look on their face...after all, the human just told you that your mother was the ***** of every tomcat in town! Did they mean that or did they simply not understand the implications of their attempting to meow? It's hard to say, as the level of human advancement in this area is very limited...about the only 'catspeak' they actually understand is "I'm starving" and "Let me out...NOW!" If they have truly insulted you or your family, feel free to either tell them how stupid they are in cat language or walk away indignantly.


The following is a small section from 277 Secrets Your Cat Wants You To Know
by Paulette Cooper & Paul Noble. (Ten Speed Press;$8.95)
Should your cat become part of the Prozac Nation? "I give cats Prozac for a number of reasons," says Dr. Steven Melman, sometimes jocularly called "The Pied Piper of Prozac for Pets."
He explained that cats are most often given Prozac for "obsessive-compulsive disorders, like when they pull their hair out for non- allergy reasons. With Prozac they often get better," says this veterinary dermatologist/behaviorist.
Cats, like people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, may have a need to do something several times in a row or in a certain way. But unlike people, they can't check a door five times after they go out to see if it's locked.
But Prozac {fluoxetine} has been known to help cats' obsessive-compulsive behavior, such as biting themselves repeatedly in one spot, or related nipple, flank, or paw sucking.
Prozac also works for certain types of aggression as well as depression. "Cats become upset for various reasons. Say their families are breaking up, or their owner has a new boyfriend or girlfriend, is moving or whatever," says Melman, of the Animal Dermatology and Behavior Clinic in Maryland.
Since a cat can't directly tell you he's upset over these things, he may inappropriately urinate, defecate, or howl. "And Prozac may help with all of these," Dr. Melman stated.
Incidentally, if your cat is displaying these symptoms, and you're on Prozac, don't give your cat your medicine because the dosages are different. And if you're having a Prozac moment, don't take your cat's pill for the same reason.
Read more secrets here:

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