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csziggy's Journal
csziggy's Journal
March 14, 2021

Meatier meals and more playtime might reduce cats' toll on wildlife

Meatier meals and more playtime might reduce cats’ toll on wildlife
Simple steps to keep felines happy can also keep more wild birds and mammals alive

By Jonathan Lambert
February 11, 2021 at 11:00 am

Surprisingly simple measures might keep domestic cats from killing a lot of wildlife.


Owners then implemented one of a handful of interventions for six weeks: switching to a grain-free, high-meat commercially available food; playing for five to 10 minutes each day; putting their cat’s normal food in a puzzle feeder; and existing methods like bells or Birdsbesafe collars. Some owners didn’t change anything, but continued tracking their cats.

Cats fed the meat-rich diet brought home 36 percent less prey, on average, than they did before the diet change, the team calculated. For instance, a cat that normally brings home a daily catch would instead return about 20 critters a month. “This might not seem like very much,” McDonald says of the drop. But “a very large cat population means that if this average were applied across the board, it would result in very many millions fewer deaths.”

Felines treated to playtime, which consisted of owners getting their cats to stalk, chase and pounce on a feather toy and then giving cats a mouse toy to bite, returned 25 percent less prey, though that drop came mostly from mammals, not birds. Cats that started using puzzle feeders actually brought home more wildlife. Bells had no discernible effect, while cats fitted with Birdsbesafe collars brought home 42 percent fewer birds, but roughly the same number of mammals, which aligns with previous research.

More: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/cat-meat-meals-diet-playtime-wildlife-birds

Given that the study shows that cats fed meatier diets hunted less, perhaps the standard cat fare is not rich enough in nutrients. That, and boredom by cats that don't get enough stimulation, could be the major reason cats that are allowed to run free hunt birds and small mammals.

My three are indoor only cats, but they certainly enjoy watching the birds and squirrels outside - and at least one of them would be very happy to chase them, though that could be that he spent over a month outside when he got loose and returned to his old home and got used to hunting for his food.
March 7, 2021

Finally finished a needlework project

It's been in the works since fall of 2011 when I took this class in Naples, Florida at the Embroiderer's Guild of American National Seminar. The design and class were by Marsha Papay-Gomola.

Technically, this is called "stumpwork" and involves padding some parts and making detached elements, some with wire inside so they can be adjusted and shaped. All the macaws and some of the leaves are padded, some leaves and the butterfly are soft detached elements, most leaves are wired.

The bright birds make me happy!

March 4, 2021

Cat on a fast train roof holds up London to Manchester service

You hear about delays from leaves on the line, maybe even the occasional swan, but on Tuesday evening a cat was discovered on a train roof at London Euston station – a whisker away from hitching a 125mph ride up north.

The tabby was spotted curled up on top of an Avanti West Coast train about half an hour before it was due to depart for Manchester at 9pm and refused to move.

Passengers were transferred to a replacement train with only a slight delay and the train was taken out of service so staff could coax the cat down from its precarious perch, where it was perilously close to the 25,000 volt overhead lines.
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After a two and a half hours, the standoff came to an end when a bin was pulled up beside the carriage, giving the animal a platform on which to disembark.

More: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/mar/04/cat-on-a-fast-train-roof-holds-up-london-to-manchester-service

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Hometown: Leon County, Florida
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