Current Cats News and Events

Current Cats News and Events, Cats News Articles.
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To help keep cats from killing wildlife, add more meat and play to their day
Domestic cats are a major threat to wild species, including birds and small mammals. But researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on February 11, 2021 now have evidence that some simple strategies can help to reduce cats' environmental impact without restricting their freedom. Their studies show that domestic cats hunt less when owners feed them a diet including plenty of meat proteins. Equally, it helps to play with them each day in ways that allow cats to mimic hunting. (2021-02-11)

Play and meaty food reduce hunting by cats
Domestic cats hunt wildlife less if owners play with them daily and feed them a meat-rich food, new research shows. (2021-02-11)

Desexing cats before 4 months old can reduce the number of unwanted kittens
Big-data research led by an expert on veterinary medicine and infectious diseases at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has found that although more than 80% of cats in Australia were desexed, only a fraction have had surgery before reaching puberty, thus creating a 'pregnancy gap'. To close this gap and prevent unwanted litters, it is recommended that the age of desexing is before four months. (2021-02-09)

AI researchers ask: What's going on inside the black box?
Brain-like artificial networks are often referred to as a ''black box'' because researchers do not know how they learn and make predictions. Researchers at CSHL reported a way to peek inside the box and identify key features on which the computer relies, particularly when trying to identify complex DNA sequences. (2021-02-08)

Energy spent avoiding humans associated with smaller home ranges for male pumas
New research shows that fear of humans causes mountain lions to increase their energy expenditures as they move through the landscape, and this can ultimately limit the size of the home ranges they're able to maintain. (2021-01-25)

Cats love silver vine and catnip for a more practical reason than developing euphoria
Catnip and silver vine have been known as cat attractant plants. Cat lovers use dry leaves of these plants and toys stuffed with the leaves to give joy to their pet cats. But how does this work? What is the biological significance of the responsive behavior? A research group at Iwate University, Nagoya University, Kyoto University, and University of Liverpool found that the behavior had more practical reasons than getting euphoria. (2021-01-20)

Intoxicating chemicals in catnip and silver vine protect felines from mosquito bites
Rubbing against catnip and silver vine transfers plant chemicals that researchers have now shown protect cats from mosquitoes. The results also demonstrate that engaging with nepetalactol, which the study identified as the most potent of many intoxicating iridoid compounds found in silver vine, activates the opioid reward system in both domesticated felines (2021-01-20)

A biological strategy reveals how efficient brain circuitry develops spontaneously
Researchers have explained how the regularly structured topographic maps in the visual cortex of the brain could arise spontaneously to efficiently process visual information. This research provides a new framework for understanding functional architectures in the visual cortex during early developmental stages. (2021-01-19)

Cats may help increase empathy, decrease anxiety for kids with autism
While there is plenty of existing research emphasizing the benefits of dogs for children with autism, Carlisle's newest study has found cats may help increase empathy while decreasing separation anxiety for children with autism. (2021-01-12)

New discovery sheds light on the mysterious family life of notorious sabre-toothed tiger
New research indicates adolescent offspring of the menacing sabre-toothed predator, Smilodon fatalis, were more momma's cubs than independent warriors. (2021-01-07)

Genetic engineering without unwanted side effects helps fight parasites
Modified CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing scissors are enabling researchers at UZH to make alterations to the genetic material of single-cell organisms that are indistinguishable from natural mutations. This method is making it possible to develop a (harmless) experimental live vaccine for the widespread parasite Toxoplasma gondii. (2020-12-23)

Ferrets, cats and civets most susceptible to coronavirus infection after humans
Humans, followed by ferrets and to a lesser extent cats, civets and dogs are the most susceptible animals to SARS-CoV-2 infection. The researchers calculated this by i) assessing the viral spike protein's affinity with variants of the ACE2 cell receptor across species and ii) analysing how efficient the coronavirus is at commandeering a cell's machinery once it has entered the cell. (2020-12-10)

Diabetes in dogs may indicate elevated risk of type 2 diabetes in their owners
Owners of a dog with diabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than owners of a dog without diabetes. No shared risk of diabetes could be detected for cat owners and their cats. These novel findings, from a register-based study conducted at Uppsala University in collaboration with three other universities, have now been published in The BMJ. (2020-12-10)

Understanding COVID-19 infection and possible mutations
The binding of a SARS-CoV-2 virus surface protein spike -- a projection from the spherical virus particle -- to the human cell surface protein ACE2 is the first step to infection that may lead to COVID-19 disease. Penn State researchers computationally assessed how changes to the virus spike makeup can affect binding with ACE2 and compared results to those of the original SARS-CoV virus (SARS). (2020-12-08)

What makes certain groups more vulnerable to COVID-19?
What makes the elderly and people with underlying conditions more vulnerable to COVID-19? According to a new study led by McGill University researchers, clues can be found in the proteins involved in initiating infection, as the virus binds to host cells of different animals. Greater cellular oxidation with aging and sickness may explain why seniors and people with chronic illness get infected more often and more severely. (2020-12-03)

Pets, touch and COVID-19: why our furry friends are lifesavers
A new study published by University of South Australia researchers points to the lifesaving role that pets have played in 2020 and why governments need to sit up and take notice. (2020-12-01)

Rare species of small cats inadequately protected
The Indian subcontinent is a hotspot for wild felines. A new study headed by Uppsala University now shows that only 6-11 per cent of the areas where three rare cat species have their habitat are protected. Lack of knowledge about these species has been an obstacle to understanding their needs for reserves. The research is presented in the journal Scientific Reports. (2020-11-20)

Two K-State studies focus on SARS-CoV-2 transmission in domestic cats, pigs
Two recently published studies from Kansas State University researchers and collaborators include important findings related to SARS-CoV-2 transmission and the COVID-19 pandemic. (2020-11-18)

Parasite infection discovery could assist mental health treatments
New research into how a common parasite infection alters human behaviour could help development of treatments for schizophrenia and other neurological disorders. T. gondii currently infects 2.5 billion people worldwide and causes the disease Toxoplasmosis. (2020-11-16)

Pesticides commonly used as flea treatments for pets are contaminating English rivers
Researchers at the University of Sussex have found widespread contamination of English rivers with two neurotoxic pesticides commonly used in veterinary flea products: fipronil and the neonicotinoid imidacloprid. (2020-11-16)

New research reports discovery of 5-million-year-old honey badger-like animal
Five million years ago, dangerous carnivores - such as giant wolverines and otters, bears, sabertooth cats, and large hyaenids - prowled the West Coast of South Africa. Today we can confirm that, among them, fearlessly roamed a smaller relative of the living honey badger. (2020-11-02)

Surprised researchers: Number of leopards in northern China on the rise
Most of the world's leopards are endangered and generally, the number of these shy and stunning cats is decreasing. However, according to a recent study by a researcher from University of Copenhagen and colleagues from China, leopard populations in northern China are on the mend. Discover why below. (2020-10-26)

Why cats have 9 lives - high-quality cat genome helps identify novel cause of dwarfism
A new and improved cat genome developed by the feline research teams at the University of Missouri and Texas A&M University has already proven to be a valuable tool for feline biomedical research by helping to confirm existing gene variants and new candidate genes underlying diseases in cats. The new findings are published October 22nd in PLOS Genetics. (2020-10-22)

A deadly long-distance hunter: DNA study reveals insights about the scimitar-toothed cat
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have mapped the entire nuclear genome of a sabre-toothed cat. The genetic study reveals new insights about a socially intelligent pack animal, specialized in endurance-based hunting over long distances. (2020-10-15)

Fossil footprints tell story of prehistoric parent's journey
Hungry giant predators, treacherous mud and a tired, probably cranky toddler -- more than 10,000 years ago, that was the stuff of every parent's nightmare. Evidence of that type of frightening trek was recently uncovered, and at nearly a mile it is the longest known trackway of early-human footprints ever found. (2020-10-14)

Feline friendly? How to build rap-paw with your cat - new psychology study
A team of psychologists at the Universities of Sussex and Portsmouth have discovered a way for humans to bond with cats. (2020-10-07)

Disproportionate extinction of South American mammals when Americas collided evident today
North American mammals were the winners when the North and South American continents collided millions of years ago. New research shows that South American mammals went extinct at a disproportionately high rate once the Panama Isthmus connected the continents, allowing migration in either direction. (2020-10-05)

Wildcats threatened by their domestic cousins
European wildcats, thought to be extinct 50 years ago in the Jura mountains, have since recolonised part of their former territory. This resurgence in an area occupied by domestic cats has gone hand-in-hand with genetic crosses between the two species. A team of biologists from the University of Geneva modelled the interactions between the two species and predict that hybridisation will entail the irreversible genetic replacement of wildcats. (2020-09-30)

Pets linked to maintaining better mental health and reducing loneliness during lockdown, new research shows
Sharing a home with a pet appeared to act as a buffer against psychological stress during lockdown, a new survey shows. (2020-09-25)

Feeding indoor cats just once a day could improve health
New University of Guelph research has found that feeding cats one large meal a day may help control hunger better than feeding them several times a day. (2020-09-23)

Wild birds as offerings to the Egyptian gods
Millions of mummified ibis and birds of prey, sacrificed to the Egyptian gods Horus, Ra or Thoth, have been discovered in the necropolises of the Nile Valley. Such a quantity of mummified birds raises the question of their origin: were they bred, like cats, or were they hunted? According to a team of scientists that carried out extensive geochemical analyses on mummies, they were wild birds. (2020-09-22)

Scientists reveal details about the first cat infected with SARS-CoV-2 in Spain
The IRTA-CReSA coronavirus research team, alongside researchers from IrsiCaixa, the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) and veterinarians from a veterinary hospital near Barcelona publish in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) the results of postoperative analyzes of COVID-19 positive cat necropsy. The study confirms that cats can become infected with SARS-CoV-2 without it affecting their health because they generate an effective immune response against the virus and cannot transmit it to humans. (2020-09-21)

The brain's memory abilities inspire AI experts in making neural networks less 'forgetful'
Artificial intelligence (AI) experts at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Baylor College of Medicine report that they have successfully addressed what they call a ''major, long-standing obstacle to increasing AI capabilities'' by drawing inspiration from a human brain memory mechanism known as ''replay.'' (2020-09-17)

Study shows SARS-CoV-2 jumped between people and mink, providing strong evidence of zoonotic transmission
A study investigating SARS-CoV-2 infections across 16 mink farms in the Netherlands, being presented at the ESCMID Conference on Coronavirus Disease (ECCVID, held online from 23-25 September) shows that the virus likely jumped between people and mink and back, providing strong evidence that animal to human (zoonotic) transmission is possible. (2020-09-17)

Study suggests substantial proportion of pet cats and dogs are infected with SARS-CoV-2 by their owners, due to presence of antibodies in their blood
A small study by Canadian veterinary science experts being presented at this ESCMID Conference on Coronavirus Disease (ECCVID, held online from 23-25 September) suggests that a substantial proportion of pet cats and dogs can be infected by SARS-CoV-2 by their owners. Furthermore, in several cases pets found to be infected had COVID-19-like respiratory symptoms at the time their owner had COVID-19. (2020-09-17)

Project Phoenix: DNA unlocks a new understanding of coral
A new study challenges more than 200 years of coral classification. Researchers say the 'traditional' method does not accurately capture the differences between species or their evolutionary relationships. They developed a new genetic tool to help better understand and ultimately work to save coral reefs. (2020-09-14)

Feline leukaemia virus infection: A clinical and epidemiological enigma
Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) is a gammaretrovirus that occurs worldwide in domestic cats, as well as small wild cats. It is associated with various serious, and sometimes fatal, diseases including anaemia, immunosuppression and certain cancers. (2020-09-09)

More cats might be COVID-19 positive than first believed, study suggests
A newly published study looking at cats in Wuhan, where the first known outbreak of COVID-19 began, shows more cats might be contracting the disease than first believed. (2020-09-09)

Researchers identify five types of cat owner
Cat owners fall into five categories in terms of their attitudes to their pets' roaming and hunting, according to a new study. (2020-09-02)

American Animal Hospital Association and American Association of Feline Practitioners release new Feline Vaccination Guidelines
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) convened a panel of experts to update the 2013 AAFP Feline Vaccination Advisory Panel Report. The release of the 2020 AAHA/AAFP Feline Vaccination Guidelines provides updated recommendations and the most current information for feline vaccinations. (2020-09-01)

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