Flying with a Bengal cat

Ivana Franco says she and Dexter are off to Texas soon. It will be Dexter’s first flight, so Ivana said she read the post how to fly with a cat and got some helpful information.

Dexter, Ivana Franco's cat

Dexter, Ivana Franco’s cat







She wants to make sure Dexter is comfortable and won’t freak out!
So Ivana emailed my kitty care with questions about flying with a Bengal cat – here’s part of my kitty care’s response

It does seem better to use the soft “Sherpa” style cat carrier when your cat travels under your seat, as apposed to a hard cage, which you’d need for cargo (TO BE AVOIDED!) and like The Scratching Post recommends: bring a tape measure. As for wheeled carriers, that has not been investigated. We thought about placing the carrier on a portable two wheeled cart, but we believe walking around the airport, or sitting holding the carrier so that your cat can see and feel you helps keep them calm. Another tip is if you have room in the carrier, a small towel inside it so that your cat an bury themselves and feel safe may help. Thanks for asking about wheeled carriers, though, we will investigate and a post about that will be published at some point.

Good luck Dexter and Ivana, and safe travels. My kitty care looks forward to hearing how you both do with your flight.

Dexter,  Ivana Franco's cat

Smiling Dexter, Ivana Franco’s cat

Dexter! You must be smiling because you live with Ivana who loves you so much.

thanks Ivana

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Cat marker

This cat marker is where we buried our sweet cat Little Bear’s ashes today.

pet marker

photo by shari smith dunaif

Although it was February when we made the gut wrenching decision that after 14 months of illness, her time had come – we still cried, and I held onto the purple tin that held her ashes
thanks to Regency Forest Pet Memorial Park
Tel: (631)345-0600
Fax: (631)345-2859
They offer private cremation. Why does this matter? Jo Ann Davis, founder of Cherished Pets (she was featured in the video Love Your Cat Tica Cat Show: chapter 4) specializes in pet bereavement. Ms. Davis discussed the common practice of group cremation, as opposed to single cremation. The only way to guarantee that the ashes you receive are your beloved pet, is by using a respectable crematorium that promises individual cremation. As unpleasant as this topic is, it was important to us to know that the purple tin I was clutching before saying my final goodbye to Little Bear, was really her ashes I hugged.

Our pet marker for Little Bear was made by Rock it Creations. They make all kinds of engraved stones for a multitude of uses, including pet markers. They were great to deal with and helpful.

miss you Bear.

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Baby clouded leopard

Have you ever seen a clouded leopard? They are reclusive and endangered. So The Lowry Park Zoo was thrilled when a baby clouded leopard became their newest addition, this March, 2015.

Baby leopard in hand

photo Lowry Park Zoo

The zoo is in Tampa, Florida but the clouded leopard is native to the forests and rainforests of Southeast Asia, from the Himalayan foothills in Nepal and India to Myanmar, Bhutan, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Indochina, and in China south of the Yangtze River. Some are found in the mixed-evergreen forests of the northeastern and southeastern parts of Bangladesh.

feeding baby leopard

photo Lowry Park Zoo

clouded leopard

photo Feline Conservation Center, Rosamond, CA

The young are blind and helpless, much like the young of many other cats, and weigh from 4.9 – 9.9 oz (140 to 280 g). Young baby clouded leopards can see within about 10 days of birth, are active within five weeks, and are fully weaned at around three months of age. The kittens’ have spots that are “solid” (completely dark) rather than the dark rings adults develop. They attain the adult coat pattern at around six months, and probably become independent after around 10 months. Females are able to bear one litter each year. The mother is believed to hide her kittens in dense vegetation while she goes to hunt, though little concrete evidence supports this theory, since their lifestyle is so secretive.

Clouded leopard  eyes

photo The Feline Conservation Center, Rosamond, CA

baby leopard spots

photo The Lowry Park Zoo

Their irises are usually either greyish-green or brownish-yellow in color. Their legs are short and stout, with broad paws. They have rather short limbs compared to the other big cats, but their hind limbs are longer than their front limbs to allow for increased jumping and leaping capabilities.
In captivity, they have an average lifespan of 11 years. One individual has lived to be almost 17 years.

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Cats in Japanese art

Cats in Japanese art, for all cat (and art) lovers: visit The hiraki-ukiyo-e collection, currently at the Japan Society in New York City in an exhibition titled Life of Cats.
The Japan Society
“Life of Cats: Selections from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Collection illustrates the depth of this mutual attraction by mining the wealth of bravura depictions of cats to be found in ukiyo-e woodblock prints of the Edo Period (1615-1867). The exhibition is divided into five sections: Cats and People, Cats as People, Cats versus People, Cats Transformed and Cats and Play. 90 ukiyo-e prints in the exhibition are on loan from the esteemed Hiraki Ukiyo-e Foundation whose holdings are revered in Japan.”            –  From the Japan Society exhibit synopsis.



The exhibit runs thru June 7, 2015. For admission information, museum hours, etc. click on Japan Society information

My Kitty Care is exited about attending – watch for post!

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wearable cat head

Students of Japan School of Wool Art (nihonyoumoua-togakuen) learning the art of needle felting in Japan have created this wearable cat head that’s so realistic, these photos look like they’ve been Photoshopped. It’s incredibly impressive, but there’s just something about the realism combined with its huge size that makes it undeniably disconcerting.

felt cat head

Japan School of Wool Art (nihonyoumoua-togakuen)

The cat head was made from sheep’s wool felt by teacher Housetu Sato and his students of the Japan School of Wool Art (nihonyoumoua-togakuen). It’s the only school in the world to offer a special cat-making course where students learn the art of creating  “needle felted cats”.These cat heads are realistic and wearable – meow!

cat head at desk

Japan School of Wool Art (nihonyoumoua-togakuen)

Sato-sensei is an expert in this niche field and has even published a series of books on how to make realistic felt animals. He instructs students from complete beginners to advanced in this unique art.

crouching cat head

Japan School of Wool Art (nihonyoumoua-togakuen)

Sato-sensei’s felting art has already received attention for his reproductions of manga artist Fujio Akatsuka’s characters as cat dolls at the “Akatsuka Fujio Tribute Exhibition” held in Tokyo in November 2014. Now the head will be on display along with students’ other works at the Tokyo Museum of Art’s “Heisenkai Choice Exhibition” from Saturday April 18 where you’ll be able to try it on for yourself!

dancing cat head

Japan School of Wool Art (nihonyoumoua-togakuen)

Tokyo anyone?

Source: Twitter via Kai-You
Images: TwitterCat Doll Blog

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Bobcat and shark in Florida

Florida has wildlife more varied than alligators. In addition to an amazing array of birds and reptiles, it is also home to the rather elusive bobcat.
Sebastian Beach is in Central Florida, on the east coast. It’s a famous surf break. But like much of Florida’s east coast, it’s also an area known for sharks.
On Monday evening, Floridian photographer John Bailey was walking along Vero Beach in Sebastian Inlet State Park when he caught sight of this bobcat eying a shark (possibly an adult Atlantic Sharpnose Shark). The shark was busy dining on smaller fish in the shallows when the bobcat pounced, emerging from the salty ocean with it’s prey: the shark – which was almost as big as the bobcat itself.

bobcat catches shark

Photo by John Bailey

We know cats are feisty, like batting and chasing bigger dogs. Now we know just how tough Bobcats are – going INTO the water to pursue a shark!
from The Scuttlefish, submitted by Pete Harwood

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How to fly with a cat

How to fly with a cat – on a commercial flight it requires some preparation. Here are some practical tips to help you and your cat fly safer and more comfortably. My Kitty Care followed Toby who takes his first ride on an airplane. For domestic flights, proof of shots from your vet is not necessary, but for international, you must have papers from your vet validating your cat’s shots, but this depends on the airline and destination, so be sure to research this. For Toby, this was a  domestic flight from New York to Florida (USA) which lasted about three hours, but of course the actual time Toby spent in his carrier was much longer.

Toby in carrier at airport

cat in carrier at airport – photo by shari smith dunaif 2015

So the first thing to consider is total time: leaving your house, getting to the airport, then there’s waiting for departure at the airport (hope there are no delays), flight time, possibly picking up checked baggage, car rental, anything like that which adds the time your cat is kept inside his/her carrier. If your cat has done little or no traveling, try driving around with your cat in the carrier. Start with a short jaunt, then try a longer one. Also, keep the carrier visible and accessible in your house, so that your cat gets use to it.

vents on cat carrier bag

cat carrier – photo by shari smith dunaif 2015

• Here are a few more tips to prepare your cat and you for the trip.
You need a harness  – check out buying a harness for your cat, or at least get a collar.It’s important because you can attach an ID tag, and a leash, and you’ll want to have both. The tag you should keep on your cat from the moment you walk out your door, until you arrive at your destination. The leash is because going thru TSA, you must take your cat out of her/his carrier – and your cat may FREAK. According to a TSA agent who I spoke to, cats have been known to jump out of their owner’s arms: at best, after you retrieve your cat, you are both very upset, but still make your flight. Or the worst case scenario: your cat isn’t found till two weeks later, dehydrated, REALLY FREAKED and your cat may become too terrified to ever try to travel again.

Next, buying a cat carrier is an important preparation. The cat carrier must have proper ventilation, and be big enough for your cat to turn around while inside it.

cat carrier bag 17" L

cat carrier size – photo by shari smith dunaif 2015

Also,  you must get a carrier with specific dimensions, according to the airline you’re traveling on – which means check your airline. You might even want to bring a tape measure to the pet store, just to make sure.  Here’s a few examples:
Jetblue has maximum dimensions of 17″ L x 12.5″ W x 8.5″ H, and total weight of your cat and carrier not to exceed 20lbs.

whereas US Airways has maximum dimensions (a soft carrier) of 17″ L x 16″ W x 10″ H

Southwest maximum is: 18.5 L x 13.5 W x 8.5″ H

cat carrier under sea

cat carrier under airplane seat – photo by shari smith dunaif 2015

these sizes are to fit under the seat in front of you (hmmm, kind of suggests which airline has a little more space)

Pet ticket CU

pet airplane ticket – photo by shari smith dunaif 2015

Although your cat is considered carry on (meaning you’ve used your allowed carry on) the airlines somehow also get to charge you for your pet, from $95 – $125 one way. Plus, most airlines require booking your cat’s “ticket” in advance.

Another suggestion is to use a wee wee pad -

photo by shari smith dunaif 2015

cat carrier – photo by shari smith dunaif 2015

and keep a spare in the carrier pocket. Treats are always appreciated too – right Toby?

wee wee pad and treats for flying with cats

ca t treats – photo by shari smith dunaif 2015

Toby did quite well.

cat carrier on airplane

flying cat in carrier – photo by shari smith dunaif 2015

Cats can travel on commercial flights, providing you and your cat take the time to prepare for your flight.

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Cat Island, Aoshima, Japan

People first migrated to the 11 acre island of Aoshima 380 years ago and established a fishing village, bringing cats to deal with mice that plagued fishermen’s boats.

The main part of the fishing village on Aoshima Island, photographed on February 25, 2015.    Thomas Peter/Reuters

The main part of the fishing village on Aoshima Island, photographed on February 25, 2015. Thomas Peter/Reuters

The island, a 30-minute ferry ride off the coast of Ehime prefecture, was home to 900 people in 1945. Now, more than 120 cats swarm the island with fewer than 20 humans, all pensioners aged between 50 and 80. As the human population decreased, the cat breeding went unchecked. According to Japan Daily Press, islanders said cat numbers began to shoot up about a decade ago.

Cats hanging out in Aoshima

Cats hanging out at the harbour on Aoshima Island in the Ehime prefecture in southern Japan. Reuters: Thomas Peter

Residents of the tiny island say they do not mind the intrusion of gawking tourists, as long as they are left in peace.

Aoshima Island has become a tourist hotspot, with hundreds of catlovers making trips daily.    Reuters: Thomas Peter

Aoshima Island has become a tourist hotspot, with hundreds of catlovers making trips daily. Reuters: Thomas Peter

The allure of cats is not surprising in a country that gave the world Hello Kitty, and cat cafes that have long been popular in Tokyo, catering to fans who can’t keep the animals at home because of strict housing regulations that often forbid pets.

Cats greet tourists as they get off a boat at the harbour on Aoshima Island, known to locals as 'Cat Island'.    Reuters: Thomas Peter

I Cats greet tourists as they get off a boat at the harbour on Aoshima Island, known to locals as ‘Cat Island’. Reuters: Thomas Peter

Now, boatloads of tourists from the mainland descend daily on Aoshima, visiting what is locally known as Cat Island. The cats of Aoshima are not too picky, surviving on the rice balls, energy bars or potatoes they get from tourists. “There is a ton of cats here, then there was this sort of cat witch who came out to feed the cats which was quite fun,” said 27-year-old Makiko Yamasaki. “I’d want to come again.”

Village nurse and Ozu city official Atsuko Ogata carries a bag of cat food to the designated feeding place on Aoshima Island.

Village nurse and Ozu city official Atsuko Ogata carries a bag of cat food to the designated feeding place on Aoshima Island.

“If people coming to the island find the cats healing, then I think it’s a good thing,” said 65-year-old Hidenori Kamimoto, who makes a living as a fisherman.

ABC Australia, March 2015

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Hello Kitty gift

Hello Kitty!
Tsyumi, friend of My Kitty Care, just returned from Japan. She is a thoughtful, considerate person – she is a cat lover, after all. And she brought a Hello Kitty gift –

Hello Kitty gift bag

Hello Kitty gift bag

Inside the Hello Kitty gift bag was this cute tea towel.Hello Kitty tea towel













Thanks Tsyumi.

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current World’s Oldest Cat

The main indicator of whether a cat will live long or not, is if the cat lives indoors or outdoors.

“Indoor cats generally live from 12 – 18 years of age. Many may live to be in their early 20s. The oldest reported cat was 28 years old at the time of death.

“Outdoor cats generally live to be around four to five years of age. Their deaths are typically due to traumas such as being hit by a car or dog attacks. Outdoor cats are also more susceptible to several deadly viruses that are spread by fighting or prolonged intimate contact with an infected cat.”

Tiffany Two is celebrating her birthday today, according to Guinness World Records. Turning 27 years young today, Friday the 13th, Tiffany’s birthday comes just a month after Guinness announced that Tiffany claimed the official title of Oldest Cat Living February 6. Another cat-human duo dispute the title, according to the Telegraph.

Tiffany Two and her human companion, Sharron Voorhees, are thrilled to celebrate the special day together in their San Diego, CA, home.

According to Guinness, Tiffany Two was born on this date in 1988, which makes her 27 in cat years and 125 in “human years.” Tiffany was born with the black and orange fur combination known as tortoiseshell, and her colorization is reminiscent of Halloween.

Six weeks after her birth, Voorhees bought Tiffany for $10 from a San Diego pet shop and gave her the name “as something of a tribute” to a cat she owned previously with similar markings.

Described as a “feisty” cat that’s “had many boyfriends over the years” by her human companion, Tiffany Two and Voorhees have spent every moment together ever since, according to ABC News.

“Tiffy’s just so devoted to me, she doesn’t want to leave me.” Voorhees, 73, said to ABC News. “But I think it could also have to do with her size. She’s only six pounds, and I know smaller dogs live longer than older dogs.”

Voorhees believes that the reason Tiffany has lived so long is because of her small size, and because of the devotion she feels for her feline friend.
Voorhees may be right about Tiffany not wanting to leave her. According Richard Goldstein, DVM, in an interview with the Cornell Feline Health Center, older cats “need more emotional support as they age.” Dr. Goldstein is an assistant professor of small animal medicine at Corbell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

“They [older cats] may become more dependent on relationships and require more attention. It may be harder for them to deal with changes,” according to Dr. Goldstein.

Voorhees mentioned that Tiffany Two lives inside, but that she goes outside when she feels like it, according to ABC News. She also says that Tiffany is, “not feeble and still able to go up and down stairs.”

While Tiffany Two is celebrating her birthday as the official “Oldest Cat Living,” another cat companion duo say they should hold the title instead, according to the Telegraph.

Asa Wickberg says she found her feline companion, Missan, in 1985, which would make her at least 29 – and older than Tiffany Two.


The Swedish duo live together in Karlskoga and while Missan suffered from recent illness, Wickberg believes she will easily reach the ripe old age of 30, according to the Telegraph.

Wickberg and some media outlets routinely dub Missan as the “Unofficial Oldest Cat” even though Guinness World Records doesn’t recognize the feline as such. To date, neither Missan’s human companion Wickberg, nor the media have followed up on whether the duo has been able to prove Missan’s age or not.

Both Tiffany Two and Missan are certainly long-lived, but neither cat comes close to the world record for Oldest Cat that ever lived.

That honor goes to Creme Puff, according to Guinness.

Creme Puff, who lived with her companion, Jake Perry, in Austin, TX, passed away at 38-years-and-three-days-old, claimed the Oldest Cat Living title while alive, and after her passing claimed Oldest Cat that ever lived.

Guinness crowned Tiffany Two as the official Oldest Cat Living upon Creme Puff’s passing.

[Photo Credit: ABC News via YouTube]

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