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Cloned-to-Order Cat Sale Generates Ethics Debate

The first cloned-to-order pet sold in the United States is named Little Nicky, a 9-week-old kitten delivered to a Texas woman saddened by the loss of a cat she had owned for 17 years. The kitten cost its owner $50,000 and was created from DNA from her beloved cat, named Nicky, who died last year. "He is identical. His personality is the same," the owner, Julie, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

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Kurilian Bobtail

The Kurilian Bobtail is rather a new and rare breed. It originates from Kuril islands in the Far East of Russia not from Japan. Only in the middle of the 20th century some Kurilians were brought to mainland Russia by the members of the military or scientist missions. Kurilians quickly gained popularity. The Kurilian was first shown in 1991 and then the first breed standard was adopted by Soviet Felenology Federation. The breed was officially recognized by WCF in 1995....

Choosing the Right Cat For Your Family

Before adopting a cat, consider carefully the commitment you are making. Indoor cats generally live to be 15-20 years old. Be honest with yourself. Is your living situation stable enough to accommodate a pet for this period of time? Animal shelters are filled with pets that were surrendered because the owners had to move and couldn't take their pets with them. It's difficult to find good homes for adult cats. There are also financial considerations... it is estimated that the cost of care for one cat for 1 year is $500+. It is unfair to the cat to take it...

Your Cat's Social Life

Friendly, relaxed, confident cats are not necessarily born that way, to a large degree they can be made. Genetics may have some influence on a cat's unique individuality, but we also know that nurturing can often overcome some of nature's flaws. Everyone wants a cat that can be petted by friends, that can be a part of the family life, that likes to play, but not every cat owner knows that there is much that can be done to encourage the development of an out-going, confident personality. Cats that are talked to, cuddled, and played with, are going to be...

Welcome Home

Cats are much more attention-needy than most people think. They can become bored and depressed if they are ignored. Some develop "negative attention syndrome"--they misbehave just to get their owners to notice them. If the only time the owner talks to kitty is when he scratches the sofa or strolls down the kitchen counter, then you can bet that he will perform these feats when the owner is near, but not acknowledging him. (Cats and small children have a lot in common!). When you get home from work, take the first 10 minutes to visit with your cat. Forget about...

When Two is Better Than One

While we may pride ourselves on how we pamper our pets with the best of everything, we may be denying them what they need most--the companionship of one of their own species. Most feline behaviorists agree that cats generally lead healthier, happier lives if there is another feline in the household. Even if the cats never become bosom buddies, just sharing the house with another living creature while you are away helps to break the monotony and loneliness. Of course, if they become playmates, there is the added benefit of exercise and entertainment that is especially needed by kittens and...

Choose the Pet For Your Pet Carefully

If you have an adult female who has been an "only" cat for some time, it is best to get a younger female. Males, even friendly ones, can over-power and frighten females. Male kittens, while more easily dominated by the female, still grow up to be rambunctious teenagers that engage in a style of play that involves pounce and wrestle (not a female's idea of fun). If a young, active male is your family pet, he would really enjoy having a male buddy who shares his enthusiasm for vigorous play. A laid-back, older (neutered) male cat may enjoy "mothering" a...

The Importance of a Good Introduction

Planning to add a cat to your household? The introduction process is all-important. First impressions can be lasting impressions for felines. In the wild cats take great care to prevent chance encounters with other cats through scent-marking behaviors. By "reading" the marked areas, cats can tell who was there last and at what time he visited the spot. The territory can then be used by different cats at different times of the day--the feline version of time-sharing. In order to get your cat used to the idea of sharing the home turf with another feline, a gradual introduction is essential....

The Intelligent Cat

If we define intelligence as "the ability to acquire information, retain it, and utilize it to solve problems," the cat is clearly the winner of all our companion animals. Try putting an adult cat in a room in which he has never been before and watch how every nook and cranny is carefully examined. This need to do "basic research" as one behaviorist puts it provides the cat with valuable, even life-saving, information about his surroundings. Actually, curiosity didn't kill the cat, it gave him a reputation for having 9 lives! We know that the ability of cats to investigate...

Train That Cat

Cats can be trained! Contrary to popular opinion, our feline companions can be taught to perform on cue. All successful training is accomplished through praise and food rewards. While direct correction is employed in canine training, it only confuses, frightens, and alienates felines. (Dogs, being pack animals, are used to being dominated by a higher ranking member of the pack; while cats, being solitary predators, avoid or attack those who show hostility toward them.) The key is to discover the food treat that is most appealing to your cat and to present it to him immediately each time he responds...