meowWOW!: Curiously Compelling Facts, True Tales, and Trivia Even Your Cat Won't Know

meowWOW!: Curiously Compelling Facts, True Tales, and Trivia Even Your Cat Won't Know


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780757306228
Publisher: Health Communications, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/01/2007
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Marty Becker, D.V.M., (Bonners Ferry, ID) is the regularly featured vet on ABC-TV's Good Morning America; he hosts a nationally syndicated radio program, Top Vets Talk Pets, and is the host of the PBS series The Pet Doctor with Marty Becker, which airs in hundreds of markets.

Gina Spadafori (Sacramento, CA) is the author of an award-winning weekly column on pets and their care, which is syndicated through Universal Press Syndicate. She is the author of several bestselling books about pets, including Dogs For Dummies, Cats For Dummies and Birds For Dummies. Combined, her books have sold more than 375,000 copies and been translated into many languages.

Molly Pearce (Los Angeles, CA) is a prolific illustrator. She has illustrated Becoming Your Dog's Best Friend and The Little Gearhead Series, which won a design award from the Rocky Mountain Booksellers. She does graphic design and illustrations for a variety of clients, including pet-related and veterinary greeting cards for Sole Source.

Read an Excerpt

There's nothing like a catnap

Domestic cats spend about 70 percent of their lives asleep. As you've probably guessed, most of those hours are spent in short snatches of sleep—catnaps, of course. That works out to be about sixteen to eighteen hours a day, or about the same as a newborn human baby.

Feline vitals

A cat's heart normally beats between 140 and 220 times per minute, with a relaxed cat on the lower end of the scale. It's not unusual for the cat's heart rate to be high at the veterinarian's, because cats don't like being away from home, and they certainly don't like being poked and prodded by strangers.

You can take your cat's pulse at home, by the way. You need a watch that clicks the seconds off and . . . your cat! Put your hand over your cat's left side, behind the front leg. You'll feel the heart pulsing beneath your fingers. (If you can't, you might want to talk to your veterinarian about getting some of the fat off your cat!) Count the beats while fifteen seconds click off your watch; multiply by four to get the BPM, or beats per minute.

While you're at it, you might as well check out your cat's respiration rate. Step back and watch your cat when he's relaxed and standing. Count the number of times the abdomen and chest wall move in sixty seconds. A normal cat takes fifteen to twenty-five breaths per minute.

Normal feline body temperature is between 100 and 102.5 degrees, read from a thermometer inserted where the sun doesn't shine.

The mystery of the purr

It's not a mystery that caressing a purring cat is a pleasurable experience—it'll even lower your blood pressure. But what is a mystery, strangely enough, are the mechanics of purring itself.

In short, no one really, truly knows exactly how a cat purrs.
The most common explanation is that a purr originates in the voice box, with what are called the 'vestibular folds,' or false vocal cords. The passing of air across these structures is thought to get the engine running.

More interesting purr facts:

Purring is more than a sound of contentment. Cats also purr if they're injured, while giving birth—even when dying. British zoologist Desmond Morris has observed in his masterwork Catworld: A Feline Encyclopedia (Penguin USA) that purring is 'a sign of friendship—either when [the cat] is contented with a friend or when it is in need of friendship—as with a cat in trouble.'

Purring starts early. Kittens start purring even before they open their eyes, rumbling while nursing in what must be a reassuring sound to their mother—who's likely purring herself.

Little cats purr, but big cats can't. Your cat has one up on the lion: cats purr, but lions can't. (On the flip side, lions roar, but cats can't.) No big cat can get his motor running the way our household kitties can, purring constantly as effortlessly as breathing, both in and out.

Tigers can rumble a tiger-sized purr-like sound, but on the exhale only.

Cats can't taste the sweet stuff

People crave sweets: cakes, candies, cookies, and sodas galore. But cats couldn't care less because the taste buds of a cat are incapable of detecting, appreciating, or triggering a craving for the foods we recognize as 'sweet.'

As 'obligate carnivores'—meaning they need meat protein to survive—cats don't need to have much to do with sweets. It's unclear whether the ancestors of cats had the ability to detect sweetness and lost it, or whether cats never developed a 'sweet tooth' because they didn't need it.

People eat a much more varied diet, and our taste buds reflect that—we have nearly ten thousand taste buds on our tongues. No such variety for cats, who'd be happy to stick with small prey animals and need fewer than five hundred taste buds to figure what's good on the menu.

No doubt their limited abilities in this regard contribute to the well-known finicky nature of some cats.

Cats eat grass because . . . they like to

Most people believe that when a cat chews on grass it's because of an upset tummy. While that may factor into the urge to graze on some occasions, it's more likely cats eat grass simply because they like to. And the fiber probably helps with digestion.

It's not just grass, though. Plenty of other plants bring delight to cats. Many cats also appreciate alfalfa, rye, and wheat grass seedlings. You can keep your stem-chewing kitty happy by sowing seeds in a low, wide container and always having tender, young plants for nibbling on. Many cats also like parsley.

And don't forget catnip! Most people know about the amazing effect of catnip on many cats, but not many people know that valerian (Valeriana officinalis) also tickles a cat's fancy. Plant both of these in cat-proof areas or your pet may pull the seedlings out by the root! After the plant is large enough to withstand it, trim some of it and offer it to your pet.

Catnip makes some cats go crazy and mellows others out. But many cats aren't at all capable of enjoying the buzz—about half of all cats are genetically incapable of tapping into the joyful experience of meowie-wowie. And all kittens are immune to the 'nip,' with the ability to experience the catnip high showing up in susceptible cats around the age of four months.

©2008.Marty Becker, D.V.M., Gina Spadafori. All rights reserved. Reprinted from meowWOW!. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street , Deerfield Beach , FL 33442.

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meowWOW!: Curiously Compelling Facts, True Tales, and Trivia Even Your Cat Won't Know 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
timspno on LibraryThing 5 months ago
A really funny and well-illustrated book that tells all about books in a funny, detailed expression of words.
sweetiegherkin on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This book was an interesting read. It lives up to the trivia part of its name well, making it less of a book to read about how to care for your cat and more of a book about interesting cat facts, some of which may be help for pet caring and most of which may be help for playing Trivial Pursuit. It is put together in short little snippets, which makes it the perfect book to read if you only have a few minutes to spare at a time. There doesn't seem to be any particular organizational scheme to these snippets (at least not that I can tell) but there is an index at the back that is helpful if you want to jump to one particular subject or go back to re-read something of interest. The illustrations are great and pretty funny most of the time. Overall, I would recommend it, unless of course you are first-time cat owner (like me!) and are looking for a book to answer questions about the daily care of your cat.
the1butterfly on LibraryThing 5 months ago
It's not easy to find a book that a true ailurophile (cat lover) such as myself can learn lots of cat trivia from. This is one book that taught me plenty. The trivia focus primarily on biological things about cats- for example, cats think everything should smell like them, so they rub their faces, wash, and even spray not just to mark territory, but to fix things so they smell right.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Each Clan must find 3 allies to create a Pact group. Each group will have 4 Clans. Your group members are your ONLY allies. I advise that we have 7 groups MAXIMUM. Evil Clans will not have these groups, only good Clans do. <p> ~ Redd and Co.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Moonfur! Do u scent other cats that arent iceclan?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hope this book is worth the money i <3 cats!!:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wrote that one below. My name is Jazz.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mud streak where im massachusets do u live i live in peabody. Seabreeze u should talk to him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What clan are you in or r u even in a clan. I need advice. So here it goes. I am in 8 th grade for starters. When i was in 7 th grade this boy, his name is tyler,liked me. And i liked him back. He is short, has brown hair, and he is smart. I am short, i have long brown hair and i am smart. We are not geeks though. Also we both have freckals. I am not sure if he still likes me but i definetly like him. What shuold i do should i talk to him get his friend to ask him get my friend to asj him WHAT???????? PLEASE HELP ME oh post here the answer
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Smiles and looks around
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Snowflake: so whats up? Puffball: *he starts to go to the food, but his sister stops him*
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