Grand Theft Gato? Games for your cat will totally not ruin your iPad screen…

Like many cat owners, I opt to keep my fluffy friend an indoors-only kitty. I live in an apartment complex near a busy road, but even if I didn’t, he would still be an indoor cat. The average life expectancy for an indoor cat is 12-15 years, while the average life expectancy of an outdoor cat is only 2-5 years. This is due in part to the typical dangers of not living a cozy, sheltered life, as well as a much higher risk of deadly diseases, such as feline leukemia.

Although I know I have his best interests at heart, I do admit to having mixed feelings about keeping my cat cooped up indoors, away from the world at all times. A cat is meant to be a cat! They are hunters and full of energy! You can see it in the way their ears perk up when they hear a bird, their eyes fixate on the smallest of movements, and in their notorious daily episodes of running around the house like a mad animal for no particular reason. However, this is the Digital Age. If we can’t have something in reality, we’ll simulate it! Thankfully for indoor kitties everywhere, Hiccup has done just that.

Whoever said video games are only for humans is obviously not up with the times. 2 years ago this month, Game for Cats debuted on the Apple iPad, and it’s exactly what it sounds like: a game for cats. Originally an imitation of a laser pointer, today’s most recent update of Game for Cats also simulates mice to play on cats’ predatory instincts. Although it is only a myth that cats can see in the dark, they do have superior motion-detecting vision, which explains how their eyes can dart around a room countless times within a split second when trying to catch a string – or in this case, a mouse on an iPad screen.

If you’re like me, and often deal with the split dilemma of keeping your kitty safe while wanting him to play to his predatory heart’s content, feast your eyes on Game for Cats. Of course, it does require you to have an iPad, but never fear about leaving your fuzzy friends to their own devices with such an expensive toy; many tests have ensured that sharp kitty claws will not pierce the iPad’s durable screen.


Rochester Science

Dog days of.. spring? Rochester’s pets bombarded with fleas and ticks.

Most would say that the unseasonably warm weather that citizens of upstate New York have been experiencing this year has been unexpected but lovely. However ask your dog or cat and they wouldn’t think that this weather has brought loveliness. Instead for dogs and cats the unseasonably warm weather has brought the rapid arrival of cats and dogs nemesis, fleas and ticks.

Fleas are small, dark reddish-brown blood sucking insects, they are small but you will know you are looking at one when you see it. Their bodies are flattened on the sides so that they can get through the hair on the animal’s body. Their mouths are made especially for sucking blood.

Ticks are small, dark brown with eight legs but are not insects. They are closely related to spiders. All ticks are parasites. Cats rarely get ticks, they seem to prefer dogs. Humans can also get ticks but ticks don’t prefer humans.

According to the University of Florida’s electronic information data source, there are over 2,000 described species of fleas in the world. The most common domestic flea is the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis felis). The dog flea (Ctenocephalides canis) appears similar to the cat flea, but is rare in the United States. Cat flea adults, unlike many other fleas, remain on their host. Females require a fresh blood meal in order to produce eggs, and they can lay up to 1 per hour! Adult fleas live anywhere from four to 25 days.

Katie Morrison, animal care assistant at the Irondequoit Animal Hospital has seen a drastic increase of fleas and ticks during these “winter” months.

“There has been a huge increase with ticks this year, and a lot of dogs are testing positive for heart worm,” said Morrison.

Common health issues that the Irondequoit Animal hospital has seen this year is secondary skin infects, allergies and parasites such as tapeworm causes by fleas.

Lime disease is caused by ticks and unlike fleas ticks along with their parasites can affect humans.

Morrison suggests to her patients to make it a priority to use monthly flea and tick preventatives along with heartworm preventatives.

“A lot of people think that flea and tick medication doesn’t need to be used during the winter months but the fact is preventatives should be used year round especially if the weather is warmer than 40 degrees,” said Morrison.

Not only should these medications be given to dogs and cats but also avoid at all costs wooded areas and tall grass.

Keep in mind that fleas and ticks can cause serious illnesses to dogs and cats and any and all precautions should be taken to ensure the healthy and happy life of your pet.


The science behind the cutest cat video you’ll see all day

Yes, this is in fact the cutest video you’re likely to see all day. This unfortunate feline wants to drink out of the kitchen sink faucet, but clearly, has developed a somewhat unorthodox method of doing so. Basically, dunk your head and lick the water off your chops:

But funny as this video is by itself, we here at DFE would be remiss if we simply posted a link to the video without an explanation. Yes, as you probably already guessed, there is in fact a reason for this cat’s strange behavior. And it has to do with the way that cats drink water normally.

We see a cat licking at a water bowl and most of us think we know what’s happening: the cat is dipping its tongue into the water and grabbing a little drop’s worth into its mouth. But that is in fact not at all what is happening. What is actually happening is a bit of tricky physics.

The cat in fact flicks its tongue in and out of the water to create a column of water that extends from the bowl to its mouth. This is in part because, unlike humans, cats mouths cannot produce suction. Instead, creating this column of water moving towards their mouths pits the inertia of the water heading towards them against gravity, which is pulling the water back down. As long as the cat is able to move their tongue faster than the gravitational pull wants to pull the water down, they’re able to drink. Thus cats achieve the same basic results as we do when using a straw, but without any surrounding vessel to provide lift.

So now, you can start your weekend.