What is the Carpal Pad?

The carpal pad is a paw pad that is located rear of the cat’s forelimbs where the wrists (carpus) is located. Unlike the other paw pads, the carpal pad doesn’t make contact with the ground. Its purpose is to provide traction when the cat comes to a sudden stop or descending a steep slope such as a tree or a fence. Think of it as an anti-skid mechanism.

Read more

Ginger and White Cats

A ginger and white cat is a type of coat colour and pattern commonly found in mixed breed as well as purebred cats. It consists of a red tabby colour intermingled with white.

The orange (O) gene is dominant, which means if the cat inherits one copy of the O gene from a parent, it will override any other colours, however, this is where it becomes a bit confusing. The O gene is located on the X chromosome, the female has two X chromosomes (XX), while the male has one X and one Y (XY). As the female has two X chromosomes, if she inherits the O gene from one parent and the o (non-orange) gene from the other parent, she will be a mixture of orange and non-orange (usually black or brown). The reason for the patchwork effect in female cats heterozygous for the O gene (Oo) is X chromosome inactivation – one of the X chromosome in every cell in the embryo is randomly inactivated, and the gene on the other X chromosome is expressed.

Read more

Can Cats Taste Sweet?

Can cats taste sweet? Cats can’t taste sweet as they lack the necessary sweet receptor necessary to detect sweet, which is referred to as sweet blindness. The sense of taste is perceived via the tastebuds which are located on the tongue. Tastebuds contain receptor cells, which have taste receptors in their membrane. When the cat … Read more

What is a Non-Pedigree Cat Called?

What is a non-pedigree cat called? 

There are several terms used to describe a non-pedigree cat:

  • Moggy
  • Moggie
  • Mixed breed
  • Domestic
  • Domestic shorthair (DSH)
  • Domestic medium hair (DMH)
  • Domestic longhair (DLH)
  • Random bred

Sometimes, a cat’s coat colour and pattern are used to describe a cat, the most common examples of this are the tuxedo and calico cats. Somebody might say ‘I have a two-year-old calico’, or ‘I have a tuxedo‘. These colours and markings are often confused as a breed, but while they are not a specific cat breed, they are descriptive terms to describe the cat.

Read more

Rare Cat Colours

Rare cat colours at a glance

  • Russet
  • Cinnamon
  • Amber
  • Albino
  • Calico or tortoiseshell (male)
  • Charcoal
  • Melanistic


Cats come in a huge range of cat colours and patterns, which is controlled by genes, gene modifiers, gender and even temperature in pointed cats.

Cats have 19 pairs of chromosomes, which are inherited from the mother and father. Each chromosome DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), which contains the instructions an organism needs to develop, live and reproduce. Genes come in pairs, one from the mother and one from the father and can be dominant or recessive. A dominant gene overrides a recessive gene, and two copies of a recessive gene must be present for that trait to develop.

There are only two true colours in cats, black and red. Every other coat colour is a deviation of those two colours. Black and red are dominant, and therefore only one copy of the gene is needed for the cat to show these colours.

Read more

Is Foxglove (Digitalis)Toxic to Cats

Is foxglove (digitalis) toxic to cats? Foxglove is toxic to cats, the toxic principle is cardiac glycosides, including digoxin and digitoxin which cause cardiac arrhythmias, vomiting, diarrhea, heart failure and death. Glycosides are a group of naturally occurring molecules with a sugar portion that consists of one or more sugars bonded to a non-sugar substance. … Read more

Is Dettol Toxic to Cats?

Is Dettol toxic to cats? 

Dettol is toxic to cats, the active ingredient is chloroxylenol, a phenol that is a common ingredient in antiseptics, creosote, germicides, cleaners, and disinfectants. Phenols are locally corrosive and cause necrosis of the skin, mucous membranes and esophagus, central nervous system stimulant and depressant, kidney and liver damage.

The major sites of metabolism are the gastrointestinal tract, lungs, liver and kidneys. Unfortunately, cats lack UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) enzymes, including UGT1A6 and UGT1A9 necessary to metabolise phenols. Their accumulation in the liver and kidneys results in liver damage and renal tubular necrosis.

Read more

Why Cats Love Catnip and Silver Vine

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) and silver vine (Actinidia polygama) are well known for their effects on cats. New research has found a link between these plants and a protective effect on these plants. Led by Masao Miyazaki, a biochemist and veterinary scientist at Japan’s Iwate University, researchers extracted the chemical responsible for the high in silver … Read more