Cat Owners, Beware: A Parasite Might Be Controlling Your Behavior

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Cat Owners, Beware: A Parasite Might Be Controlling Your Behavior

We're sorry to break the news, but the same fur baby you've been cuddling with might literally be altering in your brain. You see, your cat could be the proud owner of a lovely little mind-altering parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, which can affect virtually any mammal on earth. Including you.

Why Calico Cats Are Almost Always Female

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Why Calico Cats Are Almost Always Female

Chances are that any cat you've ever seen with more than one color (not counting white -- we'll explain later) was female. Female cats, like female humans, are born with two X chromosomes (one apiece from the mother and father) whereas males are born with one X chromosome from the mother and one Y chromosome from the father. A cat's fur color is decided by the X chromosome. That makes things simple in a male cat: whatever fur color the mother's X chromosome determines is the color the male cat will be. But this is a bit more complex when it comes to female cats. If both X chromosomes call for one color of fur, the cat will be all one color. But if the X chromosomes call for different colors, they'll take turns: one clump of cells will use information from the mother's X chromosome and another clump will use information from the father's, resulting in tortoiseshell or calico markings. White fur, however, happens through a process unrelated to X and Y chromosomes, which is why male cats can be white and black but hardly ever orange and black. Because a cat needs two X chromosomes to be calico, there's only one way a male cat can have those markings: by inheriting an extra X chromosome, making his genetic makeup XXY instead of XY. This occurs in only 1 of every 3,000 male cats.

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Key Facts to Know

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    The X chromosome from a male cat's mother determines his fur color, but in females, the X chromosomes from both parents take turns determining fur color. 0:50

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    The tri-colored calico coloring with white happens due to a gene unrelated to the X and Y chromosomes. 2:09

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    A male calico cat can have tri-colored fur if he inherits an extra X chromosome, making his genetic makeup XXY. In humans, this condition is known as Klinefelter Syndrome. 2:26

Think Twice Before Declawing Your Cat

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Think Twice Before Declawing Your Cat

It may sound nice to have a pet who doesn't tear up your couches, but while declawing a cat may be convenient for you, it certainly isn't for the cat. Declawing is more than just removing a cat's claws -- the procedure involves the amputation of the first row of its knuckles and also removes tendons. Experts say that declawing a cat leads to health complications later in the animal's life, as well as secondary symptoms like litter box trouble and increased biting. Although dozens of countries around the world have made declawing cats illegal, roughly 25% of all cats in the U.S. have gone through the procedure.

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Key Facts to Know

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    About 25% of all cats in the U.S. have been declawed. 0:17

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    Declawing is actually the amputation of the first joint of every knuckle on a cat's paws. 0:47

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    Cats are digitigrade mammals, which means they walk on their toes. 1:58

What's The Real Difference Between Dog And Cat Lovers?

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What's The Real Difference Between Dog And Cat Lovers?

The stereotype that dog people are more outgoing than cat people has been around for a long time. But is there any truth to it? According to 2014 research from Carroll University, dog lovers tend to be more energetic and well-behaved, while cat people tend to be more sensitive and open-minded. The study also found that cat people scored higher in regards to overall intelligence. This could be due to the fact that people who are in school or have full-time jobs just don't have to time to own a dog. We've collected some awesome videos on this topic. Watch them now to learn more.

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from Animalist

Key Facts to Know

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    Researchers at Carroll University found that dog lovers are more energetic and cat people are more open-minded, according to their study. 0:20

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    Cat owners tend to have a higher IQ and education level than dog owners. 0:38

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    People say that you may gravitate toward pets that exhibit characteristics close to your own. 0:54

Cats And Dogs Drink Very Differently

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Cats And Dogs Drink Very Differently

The most popular pets in the world might both drink from water bowls, but the ways in which they drink are quite different. In a general sense, dogs tend to be messier: they plunge their tongues past the surface of the water and curve them backwards into a scoop-shape, creating five times the acceleration of gravity as they pull them back into their mouths. This process creates a column of water that the dog catches and swallows. Cats, on the other hand, are a bit daintier. They don't go past the surface of the water with their tongues, preferring to lap without causing a splash. They pull up a smaller column of water, then close their mouths over it.

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Key Facts to Know

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    Cats have spikes of keratin on their tongues called filiform papillae. 0:16

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    Watch a cat drink in slow motion: 0:46

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    Watch a dog drink in slow motion: 2:17