Q: I have been fostering kittens for a local cat rescue organization for many years. I noticed that even if I raise multiple kittens at the same time, and all kittens receive the same food and handling, some kittens are particularly friendly, while others are indifferent.
I know that early treatment will make kittens more friendly. Are there other factors that affect the cat’s personality development?
Answer: Heredity and environment have an influence on cat's character. The most important factor is the gene of the male cat, which determines how friendly the kitten is to humans and how it responds to treatment. This factor is called the "friendly male cat" effect, because a friendly male cat will produce a friendly kitten, and an indifferent father will produce indifferent offspring.
Remember, it is common for multiple male cats to breed females when the females are in heat. Because their fathers are different, the kittens in the resulting litters may have very different temperaments.
Another factor that affects a kitten’s character is the environment, whether in the womb or in the first few months of life. These environmental factors include the female cat’s nutritional and stress levels during pregnancy, litter size, and how efficiently each kitten competes for food and warmth.
In addition, kittens that are well-socialized between 2 weeks and 12 weeks of age are more friendly to familiar and unfamiliar people than kittens that do not have early socialization.
In an experiment, veterinary behaviorists studied 13 litters of kittens raised by multiple male cats, changing the care of kittens, such as whether they were raised individually or together, the age at which they were weaned, and what they were treated with. frequency.
In each kitten's life, the researchers repeatedly tested its friendliness to humans and its response to physical restraint. They found that the most important determinant is not the care of the kitten, but which male cat gave birth to the litter.
Question: While hunting, I accidentally shot my dog Buck with a lead cat. He seems to be fine, but I am worried that he might die from lead poisoning. I am ashamed to take him to the vet, so I appreciate your advice.
A: Take Buck to see his veterinarian. His veterinarian has undoubtedly seen dogs and cats that have suffered similar injuries. At least, Buck may be in pain, as if you were shot, so he needs immediate treatment.
Your veterinarian can recommend X-rays, sometimes called X-rays, to find any lens in his body.
If lead ammunition is embedded in the muscle, it is unlikely to cause harm. However, if it ends up in a humid or acidic environment, such as the stomach, joints or inflamed areas, it does cause problems.
When it is broken down, lead is absorbed into the blood and transported throughout the body, causing gastrointestinal and nervous system toxicity. In addition, lead can damage red blood cells that carry oxygen.
Lead can also harm other species. People who eat prey killed by lead ammunition have a lead content of 50% higher in blood than normal people. This happens because lead bullets and shotgun projectiles rupture on impact, spreading lead fragments and fragments throughout the body of the prey.
Songbirds, ducks and geese often ingest scattered lead bullets and bullet fragments in their food. The animals that prey on them and the dogs, cats and wild animals that ingested ammunition while removing the remains of hunters were also poisoned.
After taking Buck to the vet, consider going to a hunting store to buy lead-free ammunition.
VMD's Lee Pickett is engaged in companion animal medicine in North Carolina. Contact her
Print title: Kitten-friendly partly attributed to tomcat father
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