Tag Archives: toxoplasmosis

Your cat's sniffer is better than you thought

A recent paper by Kristen Shreve and Monique Udell reviews the importance of olfaction to cats, and how understanding this importance may help us better support feline welfare. In this interview, Shreve incorporates her recent work on training cats to suggest...perhaps a future role for cats as detection animals...search and rescue cats anyone?

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Can we put the toxoplasmosis question to bed now?

I've written before about my irritation with the assumption that because cats are carriers of toxoplasmosis (a parasite linked with several health problems, including mental health issues), that living with a cat somehow means you are "crazy."

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Well, a new longitudinal study followed children from birth until their teenage years and found no relationship between growing up with a cat and early signs of mental illness as a teenager. So if you have kids, or are thinking of having kids, don't let that stop you from adopting several adorable cats. You can read Karin Brulliard's WaPo report on the study here.

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Could bumblebees use a soda machine? May-bee

Researchers in the UK wanted to see if bees could learn to use a "vending machine" - essentially, to learn that an item without any intrinsic rewards (such as a token) could be exchanged form something very rewarding (like nectar). To modify this task, they used a ball that could be rolled (because bees don't have pockets for coins). Bees learned the task, and learned even faster if they could watch a puppet bee perform the task first, and learned even faster than that if they could watch a real bee first. Read more here!

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Our pet cats need enrichment, activities and things to do! But do these things only exist out of doors? No! While there are certainly problems that can arise from keeping a cat indoors under insufficiently stimulating conditions, it doesn't have to be that way. Also note there are safe ways to give your cat a taste of the outdoors, such as via a catio/enclosure, cat fence, or harness training!

Those are all topics that could each take up a whole blog post! Today, just some quick food for thought on why you should consider keeping your cat indoors...

1. This won't happen to your cat

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...continue reading