Curious Cats In The News!
Earth Cadets Education News!
3rd Edition August 2019
Welcome to the third edition of Earth Cadets Education Monthly Animals in the News.
Please Note: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links at the bottom of the page.
The cat sits on the number 2 spot for the most popular UK pet, being ousted from the top position by their arch enemy the dog! Although London goes against the trend as this region prefers cats to dogs.
The most popular USA pet does not go to the feline companion either, but rather freshwater fish ousts the cat off the top spot!
Also you’ll discover lots of cat facts and world records while you complete an awesome cat quiz. There’s also a cat word search and word scramble to enjoy, as well as two cat drawing tutorials.
Its International Cat Day on 8th August, 2019.
So this is a great time to get to know cats better!
International Cat Day was founded in 2002 by the International Fund For Animal Welfare (IFAW).
David Teie is a musician with America’s National Symphony Orchestra, and he has created an album of music specially designed for cats aptly named Music for Cats!
You can listen to some of the tunes here on YouTube.
If you don’t have a cat or access to a family members cat, then maybe you could donate some cat food or treats to a local cat shelter?
Alternatively, just have fun learning about the amazing antics of the cat!
A Month Of Cats!
August the 8th is also Scottish Wildcat Day!
Check out this clip of two adorable Scottish WIldcats born in Scotland at Aigas Field centre, last month.
Another cat day this month is on the 22nd August and it is Take Your Cat To The Vet Day!
August is also Catfish Month but I think I’m going to leave it there, or I’ll be here forever going of on tangents!
Please note: There are YouTube video links below and not all but some may contain ads, depending on your child’s age,you may wish to view the video before your child does. Thanks!
How Cats Became Domesticated
DNA evidence has shown that cats most likely domesticated themselves from two lineages of wildcat populations.
The first line originated around 8000 years ago in the Middle East. Farming was starting to take off and wild cats were attracted to the mice and rats that fed off the crops. Farmers were likely happy for this alliance to carry on and at some point cats and humans must have developed a stronger bond.
By the 18th century, the Tabby cat was a common pet with its distinctive stripes, dots,and swirled marked fur. The Tabby cat also has a pattern on its head that looks like an M.
Cat breeders began to selectively breed domestic cats. The International Cat Association TICA currently has 71 cat breeds listed on its registry.
However, a discovery in 2004, of cat and human remains buried within a tomb in Cyprus points to evidence that cats and humans shared a close bond predating Ancient Egypt.
Domestic cats are still genetically very close to wild cats. Which might explain their aloof and independent manner! But most domesticated cats despite their solitary nature still love lots of attention,love and cuddles.
Big Cats And Lesser Cats Explained
Big cats refers to the group of cats known as tigers, lions, leopards, snow leopard, clouded leopards, Bornean clouded leopards and jaguars. These big cats share the genus Panthera.
The cheetah does not belong to the big cat group. This is because it does not have a Hyoid bone in its neck, which is a requirement to be considered a big cat! Also cheetahs claws are not retractable which leads scientists to place these cats into their own genus Acinonyx.
Instead the cheetah is known as a lesser cat.
Other members of the lesser cat group include the lynx, bobcat, ocelot, caracal, margay, serval, Scottish wildcats and mountain lions.
Lesser cats belong to the felidae family.
The domestic cat is also part of this family. Check out this site for more information and a table illustrating the evolution of felidae.
To learn more about wild cats both big and lesser, check out my Homeschool occupation Takeover post where you can transform into a Zoologist for a day or two, and get to know much more about your favourite cat species or other animal.
Curious Cats In The News!
Watch this interesting video to discover the similarities between domestic cats and big/wild cats. There isn’t that much difference!
Top Six Domestic Cat Care Tips!
It is essential that cats eat food which contains the animal based amino acid Taurine. Amino Acids are what proteins are made up from. Taurine helps cats enjoy healthy teeth and gums, digestion, heart functions,vision,pregnancies, and kitten development. Specially designed cat food has the correct level of taurine added. Cat food can include tinned food, dried biscuits, semi-moist preparations, and cat treats. Some owners feed their cat cooked fresh fish, chicken or other meat. Cats can’t thrive on dog food as dogs don’t need the same level of taurine in their diets. Other foods that may be safe for cats include eggs, cheese, and small amounts of vegetables including cucumber, broccoli,carrots,peas and green beans. Check out this site to discover what human food cats should not not consume.
It’s better if that object is not you! Scratching helps a cat keep its nails healthy by shedding its old nail sheaths. If a cat couldn’t scratch then its nails would curl into little hooks that jab into its paws. Ouch! Pet shops sell scratching posts and pads for cats. But you don’t need to spend lots of money. This YouTube tutorial shows you how to make a cat scratch post for free using mainly cardboard.
Grooming helps keep their coat clean, soft and healthy. A cat’s favorite times for grooming include after eating, before sleeping and waking up. Cats love to keep their coats shiny and free from ouse and dirt so additional bathing by their human companions is usually not necessary. But sometimes for medical reasons a cat may need a bath with water and medicated shampoo. So it’s good to prepare your cat for this possibility. A cat could be bathed once or twice a year by its human companion, without upsetting the natural oils within their fur.
Check out the Purina site for a guide on giving a cat a bath. Cats adore grooming so much that they will welcome you joining in their grooming sessions. Pet shops have specially designed cat brushes and combs. By grooming your cat you can remove excess hair and reduce the amount of hairballs the cat swallows! Yuck!
Cats are certainly more independent compared to dogs. Dogs are eager to please and will try their best to learn what trick we teach them, in exchange for a nice word or yummy treat. Cats on the other hand are more fussy about treats, and appear indifferent as to whether they please their owner or not. Many cats have the option of leaving the house through the cat flap once your company has bored them! Dogs want to remain by your side forever! However, just because cats are so self-contained doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy learning a trick or two. Make it exciting, provide awesome treats and keep training session short, then cats can wow us with their impressive learning. Check out this YouTube video from 2018 America’s Got Talent, which features an awesome cat act. Find tips for training cats here
Domestic cats can sleep for up to 16 hours each day. Older and younger cats spend even more time in the land of nod. That might seem like a lot of shuteye, but cats being predators naturally conserve their energy for major bursts of hunting action. Cats don’t spend a long time in deep sleep but rather much of their sleep is just snoozing. Meaning that cats can spring into action at the drop of a hat! When cats are awake they love to pounce, prance, stalk, chase, throw toys around, scratch, jump,hunt,leap and literally swing from the curtains. Just like most wild cats, domestic cats are crepuscular meaning they are most active from dusk till dawn. Which explains why your cat wants to go on the prowl outside while your sound asleep.
Cats are mainly solitary by nature. Though some cat species live in groups such as the lion pride. Also, domestic cats can live quite happily with other cats and different species. Cats get lots of stimulation by going outside and exploring, but some people are unable to let their cats go outside if they live in a busy city. Indoor cats can get lonely while their owners are away from home so it’s important to provide lots of stimulating toys and objects for cats to explore. Though most likely your cat will sleep most of the day and then burst into action when you return home. Toys can be easily made from everyday objects. Check out these ideas from YouTube and find out how to make DIY cat toys from everyday objects. There’s even cat TV that many cats love! Check out a cat TV video on YouTube
Ten Curious Cats In The News Needing Rescued!
There is a saying that curiosity killed the cat. But this does not hold true for these lucky moggies! Perhaps there is something in the old saying that a cat has 9 lives! Thousands of animals are rescued by the fire brigade and animal rescue services each year in the UK. With cats being one of the most commonly rescued animals, finding themselves stuck in the most unlikely of places!
1.Droptop The War Bunker Cat!
Last month, June 2019, Droptop the cat from Suffolk managed to squish himself into a concrete world war 2 bunker and was stuck for 3 days! Local residents were unable to rescue Droptop. So Warrior Fire and Rescue Service were called.Armed with drills to break the concrete blocks, the rescue took 3 hours. Poor Droptop emerged confused and thirsty but quickly recovered. Droptop is now back to being a contented, happy cat! For photos and the full story read the article on the BBC news website here
2.The Car Engine Cat!
A cat climbed into a car engine in Wales last February, 2019. Unfortunately the cat became trapped. Luckily it was discovered before the car was turned on!The fire brigade was called and took apart the car engine to rescue the poor feline. For a photo, go to the article on the BBC news website here
3.The Bathroom Wall Cat!
In Cambridgeshire last December, 2018, a cat accompanied its human companion up into the loft and fell down a vent, landing upside down behind the bathroom wall! The fire brigade had to be called and the fortunate cat was rescued unharmed. To see a photo go to the article on the BBC news website here
4.Crockett the Charity Shop Sofa Cat!
In 2014, Crockett’s owners donated 2 sofas to their local charity shop. After five days one of the sofas was sold to a couple, and delivered to their home. The next day the unsuspecting couple heard a meow and saw claws popping out of the sofa! The sofa material had to be pulled apart to allow Crockett to escape. Crockett was returned to his happy and relieved owners minus their old sofa! For photos go to the article on the BBC news website here
5.Snitch the Chimney Pot Cat!
During 2016, in Worcestershire, a cat fell down a chimney pot and became stuck behind the chimney for a few days. Luckily Snitches owner eventually heard his cat meowing behind the bricks. Firefighters had to drill holes through the chimney bricks to create a gap for Snitch to get through. Snitch recovered and is now purrfectly happy! For photos and a video of the rescue go to the Guardian news website here
In 2017, at a house in Hartford, two cats were luckily rescued by the fire brigade from a house fire. Their owner had forgotten to turn on the cooker and a fire was sparked. The cats were ill with smoke inhalation, but amazingly they were revived by the use of Smoky Paws oxygen masks. This type of oxygen mask are specially designed with animal snouts in mind! As a result the Smoky Paws masks are saving many lives! Find out more Here on the Smoky Paws website and see a photo of the two lucky cats here
Cookie, a cat from Bedford, tumbled off a bridge and landed with a splash in the river Great Ouse! Cookie clawed herself onto a bridge support but was unable to go any further. Firefighters rescued Cookie by paddling on a raft and lifting her to safety. Luckily, Cookie was microchipped so was returned to her happy owners, who said that she had been gone for five days! Check out the bbc website to view some photos of the rescue and Cookie.
8.’Fat boy’ The Tightrope cat!
Fatboy the cat spent nine days stuck up a telegraph pole, clutching onto the small wooden top. This cat must have had an amazing balancing act! Check out the video of the rescue here on the BBC US and Canada website
Clive has got to be the cleverest cat needing rescued ever! Though whether Clive was in need of rescue is under debate especially from Clive! Clive went missing from his Nottinghamshire home in 2014, and wasn’t discovered till more than a year later living within a pet food warehouse, two miles from his human family. Clive had put on quite a bit of weight, likely a result of all the cat food Clive had his pick of. Workers at the warehouse had not noticed Clive stalking the cat food supplies, but had heard alarms go off each night triggered by Clive’s evening hunting of cat kibble. Check out some photos of clever Clive here on the BBC website
A suspected feral cat was rescued from a Pembrokeshire rooftop, in 2015, sporting a crisp packet wedged on its head! The ginger cat was rescued by the RSPCA and was soaked through due to heavy rain, but was otherwise fine. Check out a photo here on the BBC website
It’s your turn! Compose your own cat rescue newspaper report. What unbelievable situation can your imagination think up for a cat needing rescued?Be as crazy as you like! As long as the news story has a happy ending of course!
Mysterious Cats In Folklore!
- During the Middle Ages cats were believed to be linked to the devil. People thought the devil could manifest as a black cat and that witches could also morph into a cat. A woman with a cat would be viewed with suspicion and likely to be accused of witchcraft. Even though cats were useful as they kept mice and rats at bay, people still saw evil in this occupation. The cat is swift and easily catches unsuspecting mice, which the people argued was how the devil collects souls.
- Cats are often believed to have 9 lives! This saying originated from an ancient English proverb that reads ‘ cats have 9 lives, for 3 he plays, for 3 he strays, and for 3 he stays’. Cats don’t really have 9 lives but it may seem like they do as they frequently escape from their curious explorations. Also, cats always seem to land on their feet when they fall out of trees. Myths are a way of providing explanations for things that are hard to understand. Check out Purina ‘s article that offers a scientific explanation for the cats ability to land on their feet.
- Historically cats have been used for weather forecasting! A cat grooming its ears or sneezing was believed to predict rainfall. A cat snoring was thought to forebode a thunder storm. To discover the direction the wind is blowing, then look at the direction a cat’s tail is pointing. Cats tails were believed to be magic and even to have the power to control the weather! These old wives tales may seem silly but animals have been found to display weather predicting behaviour. Check out this scientific explanation about how cats and dogs predict earthquakes from farmers almanac
- During the Elizabethan Era, it was believed that rubbing a cat’s tail on an eye infected with a stye would cure it! Clergyman James Woodforde tried many cures to eliminate his stye but had no luck. He knew about the cats tail remedy so he rubbed his black cats tail on his affected eyelid. Surprising it worked! For a few days at least as James stye returned! Luckily James kept a lifelong diary of his thoughts and experiences. Historical diaries are a brilliant glimpse into life in different eras.
- I believe that when a black cat crosses your path then it is good luck! It seems this could be a British belief. As many countries believe the opposite. A black cat crossing your path in Germany would be a harbinger of bad luck if it crossed from right to left! Crossing the other direction is good luck. Other countries have their own take on this superstition. I prefer to believe that all cats are good luck!
- Cats on ships is another superstition that varies. Historically, some fishermen would not consider sailing without their black cat on the ship. Black cats were believed to be good luck charms and provided protection from the dangers of being at sea. Cats hunted the ships rats and mice that would otherwise have chewed ropes and eaten the sailors food. Other seamen believed their sailing would be doomed if a cat boarded and then disembarked their ship! If a cat fell overboard sailors thought the cat would curse them with bad weather using their magic tails!
Draw Crafty Cats Tutorials!
A fun crafty cat tutorial:
This tutorial is a bit more difficult but is explained really well!
I would love to see your cat artwork. Send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org and with your permission I will add it to the Earth. Cadets.Education gallery on this website! Also, feel free to post it up on the Earth.Cadets.Education FaceBook page.
- Find out the world’s longest domestic cat?
- Find out the world’s smallest domestic cat?
- Find out which domestic cat has the record the longest tail?
- Find out the world’s tallest domestic cat?
- Find out which domestic cat holds the record for the longest fur?
- Find out which domestic cat holds the record for completing the most tricks in a minute?
- Find out which domestic cat holds the record for the longest jump?
- Find out which domestic cat holds the record for the loudest purr? And what decibels its purr was recorded as?
- Find out which domestic cat holds the record for the longest cat whiskers?
- Find out how much in total, domestic cats sleep each day?
- Find out which domestic cat is the oldest on record? What age did this cat reach?
- Find out why a cat purrs?
- Find out which domestic cat breed is the most popular?
- Find out the word meaning a group of kittens? (Hint: Reading tablet!)
- Find out which is the rarest big cat?
- Find out which big cat is the largest ever? (hint it may be a hybrid)
- Find out which big cat is the smallest?
- Find out which big cat is the most endangered?
- Find out which big cat is the fastest? What speed does this cat reach?
- Find out which big cat is the most sociable?
- Find out which big cat cannot roar?
- Find out the names of 5 small wild cats?
- Find out which small wild cat is the smallest?
- Find out which small wild cat is the largest?
- Find out which cat was the mayor of an Alaskan town?
- Find out how much cash the richest cat in the world possessed?
- Find out which famous scientist is thought to have invented the cat flap/door?
- Which big wild cat are domestic cats more genetically related to?
- Find out about 3 historical figures who had pet cats?
- Find out about the calico cat?Are they male or female cats?
- Find out which cat was the first to be launched into space?
- Find out the difference between a feral and a stray cat?
- Find out which 1960s cartoon alley cat wore a top hat?
- What was the smiling cat called in Alice and Wonderland?
- Find out how many teeth a cat has?
- Find out how many whiskers a cat has?
- Find out which cat does not have a tail?
- Find out which cat has no hair? And why it has no hair?
- Find out the average lifespan of a domestic cat?
- Find out what cats use their tails for?
- Find out about all the different vocalizations cats make and their meanings?
Why not pick a topic from this quiz and prepare a slideshow of awesome pictures and information? Treat your family to an interesting presentation!
If you enjoyed this quiz, you could take the National Geographic domestic cat quiz.
Fun Cat Activity Sheets!
For the pdfs click on the links beside the image.
Find the cat related words within the word search
Click for the Pdf:wordsearch-k9Tvof5qzb
The Big Cat Tangle Word Scramble!
Have fun unscrambling the cat names for domestic cat breeds, big cats and lesser cat types.
If your stuck these websites may help:https://themysteriousworld.com/little-known-wild-cats/
Click for the Pdf:scramble-2mwO3GI83R
Cats In The News!
What did the cat say when it open its birthday present?
What ice cream do cats love?
What cats enjoy going bowling?
What is a cats favourite snack?
What is a cats favourite board game?
Why did the cat not climb the tree?
Why do cats not play competitive sports?
Because of the cheetahs!
What breakfast cereal should you feed cats?
Why is Twitter a cats favourite social media?
Because of all the tweets! (by Me!)
What is a cats favourite type of pie?
Tweety-pie! (by Me!)
Cats In The News!
Finally, get comfy and listen to these awesome cat picture books.
I am a firm believer that picture books are not just for younger kids! Older kids and teenagers can get a lot out of really good picture books. I for one still love them. Many picture books are brilliant examples of well written english. Look at the books use of rhyme, rhythm, structure, syntax, choice of words, repetition, layout, illustrations etc.
I am definitely not an english teacher, merely a homeschooling mum who appreciates good books!
T.S Eliot wrote Macavity: The Mystery Cat and this is the book that inspired the famous musical ‘Cats’ by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Macavity stars as the villain in the Cats musical. The history goes even further back, as Sherlock Holmes fans will be interested to know that T.S Eliot was inspired to create the character Macavity after Sherlock’s arch enemy Moriarty!
I absolutely love Six Dinner Sid by Inga Moore. Probably because I have fond memories of reading it to all my kids more than a thousand times each! It was their favourite picture book. Picture books are made to be read lots of times. Check out this article which explains why picture books are so important for child development. And this is a link to an insightful article which explains why picture books can be beneficial for teens.
It’s your turn! Compose a poem or story/or both with a wild or domesticated feline as the star. It could be a mystery, comedy,thriller,sci-fi, or magical story. Or just an ordinary one about a cats ordinary day, living with an ordinary family, eating ordinary food, and so on!
I would really love to know what you think of these Animals in the News series of posts. Do you and your kids enjoy them and find them useful? Be honest! Feedback will help me decide what topics to include for future posts. Would your child like to see a certain animal featured? Thanks!
Cats In The News!
If any of the links above or below do not work, please let me know in the comments or email: email@example.com and I will see what I can do. Thanks!
10 Cats famous in History:https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/articles/zrfy2sg
cbeebies Andy’s Animal Rap, Andy sings a fun,educational cat song!https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06cxjxg
Meet 10 famous internet cats here:https://petset.com/top-10-most-famous-internet-cats/
Guinness world records cat entries: https://guinnessworldrecords.com/records/showcase/animals/cats
Cat poem read aloud for younger kids:https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/btl10.ela.early.poemcats/poem-cats/
A free interactive cat guide to download from BBC ebooks:https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4Hbdn6T21hKDH6bfVBkj4Wm/a-guide-to-your-cat-interactive-ebook
Cat crafts and baking:https://education.cats.org.uk/for-kids/make-and-do/
Cat lesson plans:https://education.cats.org.uk/for-teachers/
Cat vs Dogs learning video on PBS by Nature:https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/vtl07.la.rv.text.cats/cats/
These link is a ‘form an opinion’ lessons to use with the above video:https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/vtl07.la.rv.text.lpcatop/form-an-opinion-cats/
For younger kids: Nature Cat videos::https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/nature-cat/
See if you can tell the difference between a wild cat and a domestic cat:http://www.bbc.co.uk/earth/story/20160830-can-you-tell-a-wild-cat-from-a-pet-moggy
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