back to article True fact: Your CAT wees ... like a racehorse

Racehorses have long been noted for the prodigious length of their - wait for it - toilet breaks. Yet boffins have claimed that all animals actually wee for the same amount of time, demolishing equines' much-vaunted status as the greatest urinators on Planet Earth. Researchers measured dozens of species to find that all …

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Anonymous Coward

What really worries me is that this toilet breaking research (couldn't call it ground breaking could I?) is funded by taxpayers money...

Maybe to further his research interest we should send Mr Hu to clean the stalls in a pig farm for a while? He would then have an overflow of porcine data to complete his studies AND (drum roll) actually perform something useful at the same time?

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What really worries me is that this toilet breaking research (couldn't call it ground breaking could I?) is funded by taxpayers money...

Hay where else are you gonna learn about "Flatulating Bovine" blowing a massive hole in the Ozone, if not by some outfit (presumably with some "agenda" or other), that wasn't raking off Cash from the Government.

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Unhappy

thats a bit closed minded !!

What is the problem with adding something to our knowledge.

It may not be of any interest to yourself but could help further down the line. With this knowledge it could be possible to diagnose any potential medical issues, breeding issues etc etc ...

I dont see you working for free.

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Re: thats a bit closed minded !!

If this is in anyway "relevant" then it should be done either in a privately funded institution, or barring that in a public university. Where normal people need not front this type of uselessness. The US is in enough debt as it is with out having to shell out for crap like this over on top of everything else.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: thats a bit closed minded !!

The US is not in debt because of people doing a bit of off-mainstream basic research; it's in debt partly because it has a government that tends to ignore science, economics, and history when it has agenda to pursue, elected by people a majority of whom think evolution isn't "settled science".

The US pissed between $1 and $2 trillion up the wall over Iraq. Perhaps you should start looking for waste there first.

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Re: thats a bit closed minded !!

Yep. With this kind of basic biological research you have to be committed. Either urine or you're out.

I'm out, ta for my coat.

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Re: Either urine or you're out

Urine trouble now.

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Re: thats a bit closed minded !! - "I dont see you working for free."

So who funded Newton or Einstein when they produced their major game changers? They did it on their own time if I remember correctly. Not that I have anything against research grants, just saying.

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Perhaps Predictable

Most animals are vulnerable while engaged in the activity so there is probably an optimum time one can be distracted before leaving the scene, (I was tempted to say something about peeing off).

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Re: Perhaps Predictable

So you are saying that peetime is limited to enable flight.

The obvious thing to do next is time apex predators to see if they are more leisurely in their micturation given that they have less to worry about.

How do you get a Tiger to pee in a bottle?

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Re: Perhaps Predictable

i have no idea. I'm certainly willing to watch you try.

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Holmes

Re: Perhaps Predictable

How do you get a Tiger to pee in a bottle?

Put the tiger into the bottle(*) and don't let him out before he's done.

(*) or your tank

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Trollface

Re: Perhaps Predictable

Put the tiger into the bottle(*) and don't let him out before he's done.

Well, there's always an easy way and a hard way. In particular, a topologists would have no problem pointing out that given a closed bottle, the "inside" and "outside" distinctions are arbitrary therefore you only need to climb into a suitable one to have not one, but all the tigers in the world pee "in" a bottle. Involve a Klein bottle and things get even easier...

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Re: Perhaps Predictable

"How do you get a Tiger to pee in a bottle?"

Simples, the tiger is a cat, ergo, you make it clear that it can urinate anywhere *except* in the bottle.

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Re: Perhaps Predictable

You're attempting to get a Tiger to pee in a bottle?! You've got bottle!

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Not something I wanted to read eating breakfast this morning

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Devil

Mogpiss Monday Blues

'True fact: Your CAT wees for as long as you do'

Except when it's a neighbour's cat and it's pissing all over my garden (and don't even get me started on cat's crapping everywhere).

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Re: Mogpiss Monday Blues

Ah ah, actually, it's probably, from the study, still the same duration, except this very male cat is coming EACH TIME at your place for it, part of its territory domination game ...

Quite a pain in the a*** I reckon, but could be worse (like in your boots) ...

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Happy

Re: Mogpiss Monday Blues

At least it's the neighbour's cat pissing in your garden, and not their pet elephant...

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Re: Mogpiss Monday Blues

Fact is, Ketlan, the moggie knows you hate cats ... and is carefully returning the favo(u)r. Do you, perchance, have a rodent problem? I wonder why.

(And don't even get me started on "cat's crapping everywhere" ... )

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Re: Mogpiss Monday Blues

But the elephant would have more problems getting over the garden wall!

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Re: Mogpiss Monday Blues

Elephants don't go over walls, they go through them.

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Happy

Re: Mogpiss Monday Blues

But the elephant would have more problems getting over the garden wall!

tony2heads,

Q. What time is it when an elephant sits on your fence?

A. Time to get a new fence.

Ah. Haven't told that 'joke' since I was about 6. From my brother's Bumper Book of Childrens Jokes.

But it's rather like the question where do you park a 60 tonne tank? Wherever the hell you like. The same applies to elephants. According to Spike Milligan you just put an elephant flap in the back door and it can wander in-and-out as it likes.

"Min, have you put the elephant out?"

"No. Was it on fire?"

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Re: Mogpiss Monday Blues

"Except when it's a neighbour's cat and it's pissing all over my garden (and don't even get me started on cat's crapping everywhere)."

Just get yourself a pet snake.

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Re: Mogpiss Monday Blues

@I ain't Spartacus - have an upvote for making me smile (although the "jokes" are pretty bad)

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Re: Mogpiss Monday Blues

I used to have a rodent problem. My stupid cat used to bring them into the house all the time. I'd never seen a mouse in the house until I foolishly acceded to my children's wishes to get a couple of cats. Fortunately, they both got run over (the cats, not the children). Now I'm back to seeing no mice at all as opposed to at least one or two a day in the spring and summer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Mogpiss Monday Blues

If there was any Karma the snake would have toyed with the cat for an hour or so before getting bored and killing it.

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Go

Reptiles anyone?

I would say this only works for mammals. Reptiles have a very different metabolism and construction of their drainage parts. In particular they have a cloaca.

I would propose continued research on crocodiles, komodo dragons and poisonous snakes, using the same method.

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Re: Reptiles anyone? Or Birds

as they too have only one exit orifice and their wee and poo is mixed into one.

A 21 second dump. Imagine the tears that could bring to your eyes...

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Re: Reptiles anyone? Or Birds

Some mammals also have only the one pipe. Monotremes, named because of this quirk.

Does the 21 second rule hold true for Monotremata or just for Marsupials and Placental mammals?

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Flame

Re: Reptiles anyone? Or Birds

"A 21 second dump. Imagine the tears that could bring to your eyes..."

You've obviously never had an endoscope up your arse yet. The "prep" is neither fun nor as short as "just" 21 seconds.

See suitable icon ------------>

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"... a long and wider urethra results in faster flow ..."

I don't understand why a longer urethra would result in a faster flow. Wider, yes, that seems obvious. Can anyone explain?

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Re: "... a long and wider urethra results in faster flow ..."

Maybe you can preload it.

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Re: "... a long and wider urethra results in faster flow ..."

The body uses peristalsis, it pushes things along tubes by wobbling the sides. So because it's the whole tube that's doing the pushing, unlike most pumps where you do everything in one series of impellers, the longer the tube the more pressure you'll build up.

You can get peristaltic pumps that mimic the biological method, and they're good for relatively high pressure / low flow-rate applications (labs / test equipment etc). But they just use a flexible tube and a couple of rollers - although I suppose you could get the same effect by putting a bunch of them in series.

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Re: "... a long and wider urethra results in faster flow ..."

laminar flow?

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Pint

Re: "... a long and wider urethra results in faster flow ..."

It's a bit confusing in the paper - they are taking the length of the urethra to represent the "drop" i.e. pressure difference due to gravity between the header tank (bladder) and outlet, so the longer it is the faster the water comes out at the tap. Of course this neglects the angle of the pipe. They do mention that in analysing the difference between male & female, but it's not clear whether their urethral length data is also gender corrected...

I'm no expert on fluid mechanics, but from the one old textbook I have and a bit of algebra, I come up with a similar 1/6 power law for emptying a volume from a tank with a hole in the side if you scale the lengths/areas/volumes dimensionally according to mass, so I think the rest is more about coming up with an decent estimate for the time, which they get within an order of magnitude.

I take my hat off to them though, from downloading videos of animals pissing off YouTube and holding sawn-off coke bottles under pooches at the local dog park, they managed to get a PNAS paper. Most people would just have ended up in the local paper.

Beer, because I bet that's where it all started.

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Re: "... a long and wider urethra results in faster flow ..."

I suspect someone has misunderstood the physics of flow. While it is true that an elephant has a longer schlonger than a wombat's willy, increasing the length of a tube always increases resistance and therefore decreases flow. I'd say that the increased flow rate in larger animals is due to a combination of wider* tube and stronger bladder muscles.

p.s. there is no peristalsis in a urethra.

*resistance is inversely proportional to the radius to the fourth power, which means even a slight increase in tube width results in greatly reduced resistance.

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Anonymous Coward

Do you have exceptionally large mice in the El Reg offices?

The article clearer refers to "all animals above 3kg" and then you compared an elephant and a mouse: "but if you consider that an elephant's bladder is 3,600 times larger than that of a mouse"

What size are these mice? I think I might give your offices a miss.

PS..... and how many olympic size swimming pools will they fill?

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Devil

Re: Do you have exceptionally large mice in the El Reg offices?

You asked for it:

take it with a (giant rat sized) grain of salt, considering the source. Oh, and don't read it before going to bed...

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Re: What size are these mice?

Perhaps they've been to the fire swamp and found some R.O.U.S.s?

(Rodents Of Unusual Size).

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"Everything else we tried failed"

Uh ... perhaps try asking a Veterinarian how to collect urine samples?

That said, I drink a lot of water when it's hot and I'm doing "dumb heavy work". This leads to more piss-breaks than normal, and more time in the pissing. Same for the horses and dawgs. The sheep, goats & hogs pretty much urinate a little bit, at will, whenever. Rodents seem to pee at random, all over everything. The cats pee at the outer corners of the property. Gut feeling is that the dawgs and I are pretty much even in the duration department, but the horses can easily double our time.

It's supposed to be near 100F here in Sonoma, CA tomorrow, and we have work to do ... I'll collect the kids and have them put a stopwatch on the dusk peeing (not mine, mind, I'll record that myself ;-). I doubt any of them will be able to catch a cat peeing, alas ...

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Boffin

Re: "Everything else we tried failed"

"Urine sample" .nes. "Taking the piss volume".

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"More research is needed."

Sadly the link is only to the Abstract of the paper, so we cannot see whether this compulsory final sentence was included.

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Re: "More research is needed."

Not far off:

"Additional mathematical techniques as well as accurate urethral measurements

are needed to increase correspondence with experiments."

I guess MRI would be an ideal method for this. Doubtless the authors are preparing a grant application for an elephant-size MRI and a supercomputer.

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Joke

More data required

How about if another cat is standing next to it, whistling?

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Re: More data required

Or trying to strike up a conversation.

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Re: More data required

Or if there is a queue of female cats waiting to use the lavatories

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Impossible, I say

After having downed any more than 5 pints of Guinness ( replace with your favorite beverage), which my cat does not do or at least I am not aware of, I am almost sure that I spend longer than 21 seconds sprinkling that porcelain edifice.....

I am not sure that I really want to bring out a stopwatch in a pub toilet in order to verifiy the fact though....

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Happy

Re: Impossible, I say

I don't believe you. Given that Guinness is basically soup, and can be eaten with a fork, I think you're just imagining going to the loo...

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