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Survey Reveals Our Cats Help Us Cope With Lockdown Loneliness & Mental Health Struggles

Being alone can be hard. Especially when we’re forced into solitude at the threat of an illness so new to the world.

The fear and anxiety unleashed by the stress of the 2020 global Covid-19 outbreak have been almost too much to bear at certain moments. But, as cat parents, we know we can make it through anything thanks to our feline family.

And a recent survey conducted about the coronavirus lockdown has shown this to be true!

The University of York and the University of Lincoln surveyed 6,000 United Kingdom residents about their time in Covid-19 lockdown during the months of March through June. And one fact that proved almost universally true?

Animal companions helped their people get through the lockdown.

Cuddling our Companions Made It All a Little Easier

Of the six thousand participants surveyed, 90% reported having companion animals at home. That same percentage said, “their pet helped them cope emotionally with the lockdown”.

Daniel Mills, a professor with the School of Life Sciences at the University of Lincoln and co-author of the study, explained, “This work is particularly important at the current time as it indicates how having a companion animal in your home can buffer against some of the psychological stress associated with lockdown.”

But as cat parents are wont to do, they still worried about their furry darlings. In fact, 68% of participants worried over what would become of their animals if they contracted Covid-19. People also expressed concern over getting their pet medical attention if the need arose.

Though respondents held these worries, they still felt far better having their furry companion at their side. Because as we already know, when we have our cats with us, we’re never truly alone. Their love encourages us to be the best versions of ourselves because if we aren’t doing alright, how will they be okay?

The Love of Any Animal, Furred, Feather, or Scaled, Makes the World Brighter

The survey also revealed it didn’t seem to matter whether an animal companion was feline, canine, feathered, or scaled. The emotional connection was there all the same.

Lead author, Dr. Elena Ratschen with the Department of Health Sciences University of York said, “We also discovered that in this study, the strength of the emotional bond with pets did not statistically differ by animal species, meaning that people in our sample felt on average as emotionally close to, for example, their guinea pig as they felt to their dog.”

No surprise there! All animals are great!

While the information was assimilated with the recent lockdown in mind, the implications of the survey appear promising when looking at mental health and animal companionship all the way around. “Findings from this study also demonstrated potential links between people’s mental health and the emotional bonds they form with their pets,” according to Dr. Ratschen.

But this survey’s results weren’t meant to create definitive answers about mental health and animals. But at least it has us talking about the correlation.

As cat lovers, we’ve long known one key to a happier and more productive life is giving love and being loved by a cat. We’re happy the rest of the world realizes this fact too!

H/T: www.york.ac.uk

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Teddy Bear Kitten Grows Into Cuddly Big Bear Cat

Is Molle a chocolate kitty or a teddy bear?

Let’s see…he’s fluffy and has the cutest little whiskers ever, so Molle is definitely a cat. But he’s so soft and snuggly, he must be a teddy bear too!

Kitty cat or teddy bear, Molle is so cute we just want to cuddle him. According to his parents, this adorable chocolate cat will cuddle you right back! And his favorite snuggle bud is his big brother cat, Ralf.


@mollethechocolate/Instagram

Brotherly Love

When Molle first met his new parents, he was a shy kitten who’d just come from a bad situation. As he was loaded into the car for his ride home, the scared baby cried and cried. But once the carrier door was opened, Molle’s dad, Jakob, told Love Meow, “He went straight to mom’s shoulder and slept through the entire way. He finally felt so calm and safe.”

All through Molle’s first night at home, his parents stayed with the curious boy as he explored his new surroundings. Anytime they tried to give him some alone time, he would meow until they came back!


@mollethechocolate/Instagram

And when Molle met his new big brother for the first time, he knew he found his forever snuggle buddy, whether Ralf the cat knew it or not.

“It was love at first sight, at least for Molle,” shared Jakob. “He never really seemed scared of Ralf’s hissing or growling. He even climbed over things just to meet him.”

In his big brother’s stripey arms, Molle purred himself into the comfiest moment he’d ever known!


@mollethechocolate/Instagram

From then on, Ralf taught Molle how to cat. Their dad reported, “He loves to follow Ralf, copy what he does and cuddle with him.”

Clingy Kitten

The clingy kitty was something to get used to though, but Ralf was the most tolerant sibling a kitten could ask for. “Ralf likes to be alone and not to get disturbed, but they play together, on Ralf’s terms.”


@mollethechocolate/Instagram

Ralf isn’t the only one in the family who’s used to having Molle constantly nearby. “He loves to lay on our feet when we sit down or lay in bed, and he likes to stand in the middle of the doorway, always in the way.”

But when a kitty is this cuddly cute, it’s pretty great to have him underfoot.


@mollethechocolate/Instagram

“He loves that we pay attention to him, and he likes to be combed. When he gets his manicure/pedicure, he purrs and sleeps like a little baby.”

From Baby Bear to Big Fluff

And though the “little bear” has grown into an adult cat, he’s still a chocolate floof who loves to snuggle!


@mollethechocolate/Instagram


@mollethechocolate/Instagram

H/T: www.lovemeow.com
Feature Image: @mollethechocolate/Instagram

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Kettleman Supercharger Cats Getting Spayed And Neutered Thanks To Tesla Drivers

When Tesla constructed the Kettleman City Supercharger station in California, their purpose was charging electric cars. But cats, being the ever-clever creatures they are, have found a good use for the charging station too.

There are currently 60 cats calling the Kettleman City Supercharger station home. While charging their cars, Tesla owners can grab a coffee and watch the kitties.

Tesla owner Eddie Serrano told Fox News 26, “It’s always a great excuse to come check out some kitties, charge up the car. I just got two kittens myself, so I was like, you know, I felt like a cat Dad. I wanted to see the little kitties.”


Help for Kettleman City Tesla Supercharger cats/GoFundMe

But there’s something they’ve noticed about the feral colony lately.

The Supercharger cat population is on the rise.

The community cats that call the Supercharger station home mostly rely on themselves to live. But that means medical issues can ravage the group and get them stuck in the breeding cycle. More kittens mean more hungry mouths and chances for devastating illness.

All those cats need some TNR love.

Hearts Charged for Giving

But trapping, neutering, and returning feral cats can be an expensive process. Friends of Kings County Animal Services reports the cost is roughly $60 per cat for spay/neuter surgery. With 60 cats and growing, good care gets expensive.


Help for Kettleman City Tesla Supercharger cats/GoFundMe

The Tesla owners who’ve taken notice of these cats and enjoyed watching them wanted to do something to help them live life as a healthy colony. So, organizers set up a GoFundMe page with the hopes of raising $3,600 dollars for the purpose of having the Kettleman cats spayed and neutered.

Tesla drivers across the country came big, pouring over $5,500 into the fund so far!

Wendi Weidner, one of the organizers, shared, “I am so overwhelmed with gratitude to all of you that stepped in to help these 60 cats living at the Kettleman superchargers. I cannot thank you enough, and I am blown away by your generosity!”

“Every cat at that site now has hope. They will be vetted, spayed, neutered and given medical treatment.”

Hopefully, some of these cats will go onto find forever homes, but those too wild for the indoors can at least live a life outside the kitten breeding cycle.


Help for Kettleman City Tesla Supercharger cats/GoFundMe

Forever Homes Around the Corner?

Stopping in for a charge and a visit with some of the cats, Danielle Fouty told Fox 26 she hopes the felines on site can find homes. And she believes they can after an experience with a kitten at Kettleman was a positive and friendly one.

“The kitten was all over me it was like climbing up me,” she shared, happy the baby had already learned to enjoy human company.


@lovemesomemusk/Twitter

That some of the cats and kittens are so friendly means forever homes could be just around the corner. But for those Kettleman cats just a little too wild for human hands, now they’ll be happy and cared for thanks to concerned Telsa owners and the dedicated rescuers of Friends of Kings County Animal Services.


Help for Kettleman City Tesla Supercharger cats/GoFundMe

H/T: www.techtimes.com
Feature Image: Help for Kettleman City Tesla Supercharger cats/GoFundMe

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CattyCorner: The Haunting Of Forrest Wisewhiskers

Ghoulish greetings my pawsome minions and cat cohorts.

The season of the witch and her feline familiar is upon us!

Cats, rejoice in your spooky ways!

But, a reminder to my cat brethren for this spookiest of seasons. While it’s our time to shine, we have to remember safety. Kitties, stay in on Halloween. Snuggle your pawrents while they watch a scary movie.

You hear that cat minions, keep your cats inside or in a secure location on Halloween. Kitties may complain, but it’s for their safety.

halloween cats
@blackcat_zeus/Instagram

In celebration of these haunted evenings, let me tell you my horrifying tale. It will make the fur stand up on your spine!

The Haunting of Forrest Wisewhiskers

The night rang with thunder and the hard downpour of rain. You know, the perfect scary story kind of set-up. And the hour was late, even spookier right?

My parents had been sleeping for hours when I woke from my snooze, whiskers tingling against the midnight air.

Wind whipped the windows, throwing the rain into the glass. My ears could hear only the storm and the voice that whispered inside its violence.

“Forrest,” sighed the wind. “Who’s in the kitchen?”


@snerlcat/Instagram

Now I’m no scaredy cat, but my paws just wouldn’t leave the couch as I realized the wind had spoken true. I wasn’t alone in my waking, someone else was nearby. But both mom and dad were still in their room. It was me and some other who didn’t belong.

Though the storm screamed outside, the silence inside the house was thick and easily broken by a crunch from the kitchen. The sound of teeth obliterating some hard thing and reducing it to a pile of dust.

At this, I leapt from the couch, something close to fear riding beneath my blasted curiosity.

Slowly, on quiet paws, I approached, the awful gnashing growing louder and more frantic.

Crunch, crunch, smack, smack.

Crunch, crunch, smack, smack.

Over and over, the noise grated my nerves as my feet treaded to its sick rhythm. Until, finally, I put toes to tile floor.

And found nothing!

The kitchen was empty.

halloween safety cats
@oscar_andmaggie/Instagram

As the dread that had bespelled me washed away, I was left standing in the dark kitchen, my eyes focused on the scariest sight of all.

The food bowl I’d left half full of kibble was empty!

halloween cat
@moustafa_blackcat/Instagram

I’ve still not recovered from my fright, nor have I figured out who the phantom eater might have been. Oh, but you can believe, I’ve been keeping a close eye on the bowl to be sure this terror does not come to pass ever again. So far so good, but I want your cat to never know such horror, so a reminder for you humans

Don’t forget to feed the cat.

Featured Image: @moustafa_blackcat/Instagram

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Catspotting Facebook Group Delights With Snaps of Cats In Unexpected Places

Cat lovers look for felines wherever they go and a Facebook group is celebrating the sightings with posts of cats from anywhere and everywhere.

The Facebook group Catspotting unites cat lovers by allowing them a place to post pictures of felines they meet during chance encounters.

Started in 2014 for some fun between friends, Catspotting has grown to an amazing following of 180,000 members who post feline encounters every day, proving cats are made of some special magic that keeps people hanging on their every move.

Ruby Black, the founder of the group, told Bored Panda, “Cats are elusive and have lots of attitudes, so the scenarios you’ll find them in are always really interesting.”


Catspotting/Facebook 

When it comes to posting pictures, Ruby shared, “We encourage members to share a bit of the story with their spot, like the circumstances surrounding how, when, and where.”

Cat lovers want to know every detail about the cat encounter because we hope if we happen to visit that very spot, maybe we will be honored with a feline visit too. Plus, as Ruby said, “We’ve had heaps of members say that seeing fun spots brightens their day. I love the group a lot.”

Check out some of the spots people have spotted cats…

Cats Spotted

“I found this cutie in my backyard. He proceeded to attack my shoes with those murder mittens and then pull down my too big sweatpants trying to climb up my leg for more pets. Would totally pet again with pants that can’t fall down. 10/10”


Catspotting/Facebook 

“This stray mama has come around for a few weeks looking for food. She finally brought her baby around and I cannot handle the politeness”


Catspotting/Facebook

“The last thing I expected to spot in the Sahara Desert was a Tuxedo kitty. The Berber people in our tent told me he visits sometimes to chase away the scorpions”


Catspotting/Facebook

“I was watching TV in my living room, only to realize I too, was being watched.”


Catspotting/Facebook

“*my Bathroom, not my cat* We left the garden door open and Juno (a neighbour cat) snuck in and made herself at home – who could be mad at that face!!?”


Catspotting/Facebook

“The cutest staff in our local supermarket”


Catspotting/Facebook

“The smoke has cleared up a little bit here in the Bay Area, so I went out for a walk and spotted these two buddies enjoying the night air together.”


Catspotting/Facebook

“Spotted: Ginger soil, super rare Swedish phenomenon. A little reluctant to pets, but overally 11/10”


Catspotting/Facebook

You can also catch featured Catspotting pictures on Instagram too. Here are a few of the fav feline sightings.

“Greek farm cat raced up to greet me and demanded immediate scritches. LOUDEST PURR EVER! Gah! I love her SOOOO much”


@officialcatspotting/Instagram

“So the white little devil has just appeared and managed to smuggle himself inside the office. After taking him outside this guy was like “I haz to see whatz inside! Pliiz mister can I?”


@officialcatspotting/Instagram

“Spotted on the doormat of my country house. Adorable!”


@officialcatspotting/Instagram

“Caught these 2 honeymooners watching the sunset in Naxos Greece”


@officialcatspotting/Instagram

Join Catspotting on Facebook or Instagram to catch all the unexpected cat sightings!

H/T: www.boredpanda.com 
Feature Image: @officialcatspotting/Instagram

The post Catspotting Facebook Group Delights With Snaps of Cats In Unexpected Places appeared first on iHeartCats.com.

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Study Proves What Cat Lovers Already Know About Slow Blinks & We Can’t Help Smiling

As cat parents, we work hard to learn the language of the feline so we might better communicate with our kitty darlings.

And one of the favorite ways we speak with our cats is the slow blink! Cat lovers know that luxuriously long blink is a sign of a happy, friendly feline. But now, research is putting fact behind what our hearts tell us.

Animal behavior scientist Karen McComb with the University of Sussex in the UK worked as part of the study on slow blinks. As a cat mom herself, she’s delighted about the findings, explaining, “It’s something that many cat owners had already suspected, so it’s exciting to have found evidence for it.”


@jake_n_elwood_/Instagram

The Slow Blink Study

To study the slow blink, which can be equated to a friendly smile, researchers set up two different versions of the experiment.

In the first round, 21 cats from 14 homes served as slow blink subjects. The cats were studied in their own homes, which kept the kitties nice and calm as they were in their familiar surroundings. Researchers instructed the cat parent to sit one meter, or roughly 3 feet, from their cat and give their cat a slow blink.

The outcome of round one?

When given a slow blink from their parents, cats would often return the friendly gesture. If their parents didn’t initiate the blink though, some of the cats would still slow blink at their human, but not nearly as often.


@huglikecattoanddoggo/Instagram

Round two saw a similar setup with 24 cats at home in 8 different households. What differed was who interacted with the cats. This time the researchers blinked at the cats. But, before the blinking began, a control interaction where the researcher stared with a neutral expression served as the baseline for this portion of the study.

Once the slow blinking began though, most of the cats returned the communication, essentially smiling at the kind stranger who smiled first. And when the researchers offered a hand for inspection, the cats would often follow-up the slow blink by coming in for a visit.

This changes the perception that cats aren’t friendly, more so illustrating that humans haven’t yet quite figured out the nuances of feline speak. But we are learning!


@loveyouhp/Instagram

Try it at Home

Professor McComb recommends trying the slow blink with your cats or even cats you’re just meeting. “It’s a great way of enhancing the bond you have with cats. Try narrowing your eyes at them as you would in a relaxed smile, followed by closing your eyes for a couple of seconds. You’ll find they respond in the same way themselves and you can start a sort of conversation.”

And who better to have a friendly chat with other than your cat!


@teddy_and_yoshi_/Instagram

The Why Behind the Blink

But why is slow blinking considered a friendly gesture in cat world?

We haven’t really figured that out yet, but there are thoughts on the matter. Cats, like many predators, consider unblinking, long stares a threat. So, it stands to reason, by adding long, dramatic blinks to a stare is a way of indicating everything is chill.

So, have a look at your kitty and give them a long, slow blink. Bet you get the blinky ‘smile’ right back!


@tibbles_world/Instagram

H/T: www.sciencealert.com
Feature Image: @tibbles_world/Instagram & @jake_n_elwood_/Instagram

The post Study Proves What Cat Lovers Already Know About Slow Blinks & We Can’t Help Smiling appeared first on iHeartCats.com.

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Unflattering Cat Photo Challenge Proves Even The Worst Picture Of A Cat Is Still Pretty Great

We think cats are pretty much adorable no matter what they’re doing. Even when the camera snaps them at a most unflattering moment, cat lovers still think those crazy snaps are the cutest thing ever!

A recent Twitter challenge is celebrating those bad cat pics with the #UnflatteringCatPhotoChallege. The posts are just as hilarious as you’d expect them to be!

Get ready to laugh at these stunningly unflattering photos of cats…

Unflattering Cat Photo Challenge

oops! you caught me!


@Titmousie/Twitter

I’ve been prepping for this moment my entire life.


@velociraptisart/Twitter

I like to call this her “awkward school photo smile” face.


@nattydelightful/Twitter

She’s not a cute eater…


@BerBerGal1/Twitter

“No caption” needed for this clowder of the unflattered…


@Titmousie/Twitter

My Willie’s submission for her #unflatteringcatphotochallenge.


@HollidaysStache/Twitter

Meowsers’ Tinder profile picture…


@kittysmith_/Twitter

Ok this #unflatteringcatphotochallenge is absolutely hysterical, but I have yet to see anything that holds a candle to the fact that my cat basically evolves into a snake when he yawns…


@genevievemitch/Twitter

I mean, I’d love to join the #unflatteringcatphotochallenge but there’s never been a picture of me where I’m not dignified and handsome.


Royal Society for the Petting of Good Boys/Twitter

It’s #unflatteringcatphotochallenge day and my human had the NERVE to post this picture. It looks like I’m so chonky that I can’t get up!!!! Oh, he’s gonna pay for this.


@Scout0416/Twitter

There’s no such thing as an unflattering cat pic!!! And, Frankie wins…


@TheHardyBoyCats/Twitter

Sometimes even the cool cat lacks the moves.


@fictionforreal/Instagram

Mr Snow has many to contribute to the #unflatteringcatphotochallenge


@IntegresS_250/Twitter

Freyja desperately trying to get a moth flying above!


@VikingJen/Twitter

Both Instagram and Facebook users have gotten in on the unflattering fun too!

Still one of my favourite pictures of FurrElise. Usually she’s very photogenic. Not this time. One day we will print it out and frame it.


@rexdarr/Instagram

Sometimes you have to be one with the fud…


Young Williams Animal Center/Facebook

Badrock wins this whole challenge hands down lmao


Apollo Scott/Facebook

“Whipped cream feels” = unflattering cat photo that’s still too cute! 

@adventures_of_memaw_kitty/Instagram

My baby Gizmo giving me material every second of every day. He is truly grëmlin.


Courtney Diggins/Facebook

Mommy says that I’m a very cute girl no matter what!


@muffin_the_calico_cat/Instagram

While normally a cutie pie, Alfie can snore up a storm.


@carryinfitness/Instagram

Little bit, doing a sits.


Allison Proctor/Facebook

These cats may be caught in unflattering angles, but we know the truth of their cuteness. Even at their silliest, cats are adorable!

 

H/T: www.popsugar.com
Feature Image: @IntegresS_250/Twitter & @HollidaysStache/Twitter

The post Unflattering Cat Photo Challenge Proves Even The Worst Picture Of A Cat Is Still Pretty Great appeared first on iHeartCats.com.