Our Cats Shop

Cat Chat
By Chris Stalker V.N.

More…Maneki Neko (Japanese Lucky Cats)
Doreen and Bob Nall sent me this lovely photo of their collection of Japanese cats. Doreen explains, “The small one with the fish is one of twelve representing the months of the year.

The first one on the left of the picture was an extra Christmas present to Bob who lived in Japan for a year, in the 1950’s. Like Topsy, our collection is growing!”

Any more cat collections among OUR CATS readers? Please get in touch with me and share them here!

Liz and Cats have moved again!
Lix Mills asks her friends and supporters to note that from Thursday 26 October 2006, their new address will be:

Liz Mills, CLOUDFALL, 50 Stephen Road, PRESTATYN, Denbighshire LL19 7EH
Remaining the same: Tel: 01745 856448 / Mobile: 07769862357
Email: lizinwales@tesco.net

Illegal Cat Aid
A group trying to keep feral cats from multiplying is technically breaking the law. Feline Friendz catches and sterilizes cats. Then, volunteers put the cats back on the streets so animal lovers can keep a watchful eye over them.

Feline Friendz has the approval of the Nebraska Humane Society, and takes calls from dozens of residents who ask for help to control the numbers of stray cats around their homes. However, the way Omaha animal laws are written, Feline Friendz’s activities are illegal in town.

The Nebraska Humane Society said that feeding cats on a property constitutes ownership, and any one resident can’t own more than five cats at a time. Feline Friendz is now pushing to make their activities legal within city limits.

Hypoallergenic Cats
Recent news reports about the development of hypoallergenic cats, available from the USA firm, Allerca, have led to a debate among the Cat Fancy…

“Siberian breeders have already bred a hypoallergenic cat, but people tend not to believe breeders,” says cat geneticist, Dr Leslie Lyons, of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. “And now here comes a company that says the same thing. It all comes down to marketing.”

San Diego-based Allerca has been on a quest to produce cats with modified levels of Fel d 1, a glycoprotein found in saliva and skin, that is a major allergy trigger. Two years ago, the company announced it would use “gene silencing” technology to disable the protein-producing gene.

Jay Collins of Transsiberie Siberians in Portland, Ore., says, “My experience has been that 50 percent of allergic people are OK with them, and 50 percent are not”, adding that he wonders how much of the hypoallergenic effect is psychosomatic. “What I can kind of say is that I think it’s diminished - there’s not as much allergic reaction as it would be with a regular cat, but some people still react.” To make sure, he suggests buyers spend time at a breeder’s home or cattery to see if the cats elicit any reaction.

Pam DelaBar, president of the Cat Fanciers’ Association and a breeder of Maine Coons, notes that hypoallergenic cats, like antibacterial soap, may lead to a slippery path, as studies show that exposing children to cats and dogs - and their attendant dander - during their first year of life makes them less susceptible to a wide spectrum of allergens.

Plus, she adds, there are already two other “fairly hypoallergenic” breeds: the Cornish rex and Devon rex. “Why go out and spend $4,000 on an unknown?” she asks. Unlike purebred cats, whose breeders know the ins and outs of their pedigrees, Allerca cats “don’t have a history.”

The Supreme Cat Club Show
Have you tried the Supreme Quiz? See www.supremecatshow.org and have some fun! This year sees the 30th Supreme Cat Show at the NEC on 25 November and the theme for the decorated pens this year is “30 Years of Progress?”

FAB Annual Conference
As I write this column, I am looking forward to attending the Feline Advisory Bureau’s Annual conference on the 28 October. I hope to give you a précis of the event, in a forthcoming issue of OUR CATS.

Topics include, Heart Disease in the Older Cat, Seizuring Cats, Systemic diseases, Behavioural Problems, Strokes, hyperadrenocorticism and Orofacial Pain Syndrome.