April 2009 Archives
Choosing a cat breed can be a bit daunting, especially if you don't know very much about cats! When considering a cat, you must be sure to choose a breed that will best suit your lifestyle. Some breeds require more physical activity than others, and some require much more grooming. Look below to find the top five most popular cat breeds. You will also find a brief description about each breed's grooming requirements and personality type.
The Oriental is one of the most popular cat breeds around. This breed is a very intelligent, loyal companion and tends to bond deeply with its family. It has large, pointed ears, and although its body is very sleek, it is still quite a muscular breed.
The American Short hair is extremely popular with families, as they tend to be very affectionate and friendly. The American short hair originally was a working breed, mostly for mouse hunting, which explains the agile muscular structure and short hair. They do need a little exercise, but most are quite content being a lap cat.
The Birman breed is thought to have originated from Burma. It is perhaps best recognized by its blue eyes, white body, and smoky-brown face, ears, legs, and tail. Birmans possess a long, sturdy body structure with long, mat-resistant hair. They love to play and are quite gentle. They are affectionate without being too needy.
If you're looking for a very affectionate, cuddly cat, then a Sphynx may be the breed for you. Although they look like they have no fur, they actually have a peach-like fuzz all over their body. As they don't have much hair to protect their skin, they should strictly be kept indoors. This breed does require a bit of extra care, particularly with room temperature, as this breed can easily become too cold.
A very mild and gentle cat breed is the Ragdoll, appropriately named such as it can be quite floppy and relaxed when picked up. If you love a cat that accompanies you from room to room, this breed would likely be a wonderful match for you. They are very careful not to use teeth or claws when playing around, so they would also make an excellent cat for children.
Now that you have a better idea about the most popular, yet very different, breeds out there, hopefully you find choosing a cat to be a little less daunting than before. Be sure to remember that lifestyles are important factors to consider; so if you aren't very active, you probably shouldn't choose a cat that requires a lot of activity, and vice versa.
Article by Renee Hillam
This video shows a really loving cat on her human's back while he does pushups. Monkey loves her human! Enjoy!
These are very funny 'ailments' that cats suffer from! See if your cat suffers from any of these. And then read more at Flippy's Cat Pages:
Symptoms: The affected cat places one side of its head on the ground as though cheek-marking the concrete, carpet etc. After several such manoeuvres, the legs on that side of the cat suddenly collapse, leaving the cat waggling its feet in the air.
Treatment: This involves placing the palm of one hand on the exposed belly and rubbing gently. There are side-effects though - some feline sufferers attack the rubbing hand while others recover spontaneously, often after prolonged treatment. This condition is probably incurable and any cat which requires prolonged treatment after an attack will most likely suffer repeated attacks of collapsible legs throughout its lifetime.
Symptoms: The affected cat repeatedly headbutts any available part of a readily available human and turns its head slightly so that the lips and cheek are rubbed against legs, arms, clothing etc. This condition gets its name from a contraction of the phrase "soggy nudging". Snudging may well be a form of excessive scent-marking. A bad attack can result in soggy clothing.
Treatment: Give the sufferer lavish affection. Most attacks subside between 10 minutes to 1 hour after onset of symptoms. You may need to dry off snudged clothing or skin. Attacks recur frequently, usually when the most readily available human is engrossed in a TV program, book or telephone call.
Symptoms: The cat spreads to take up all available free bed space at night. It then expands a bit more until any human occupants occupy the smallest possible area of bed. It may do this on top or underneath the covers or on the pillow. It is highly contagious - any other cats on the bed will also develop symptoms of bed-hogging.
Treatment: The most obvious solution is to evict the cat from the bed. If this is morally unfeasible, train yourself not to give way as the cat expands. Buying a bigger bed is probably pointless as most affected cats can easily expand to fill standard, queen-sized and king-sized beds. Otherwise, simply train yourself to sleep while hanging precariously off the side of the bed. Attacks of bed-hogging have been known to last up to 23 hours (in one case a 3-day attack was noted by a cat-owner who was confined to bed with flu; the cat thoughtfully kept her company during this time).
Red about more ailments at Flippy's Cat Pages.
We have some HUGE news from freekibble!
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The biggest news is that we've reached over 1 MILLION MEALS of kibble generated for shelter dogs and cats! So THANK YOU ALL and on to the next million!
Here's the rest of the Big News:
1. We're super excited to introduce our new Dog Cookies. We worked with Castor & Pollux our kibble kontributer and created our own Freekibble Good Buddy Dog Cookie - I even got to choose the flavor (my favorite, Mac & Cheese). And for every box you buy, we'll donate another meal to shelter dogs and cats! They're really tasty! :-)
3. We have a new site design with some cool new features - including a link to our new page on Facebook.
4. Coming soon will be FKTV with freekibble kartoons, videos, contests and more!
So... Thanks again and please check everything out and let us know what you think! Here's the link, www.freekibble.com, have fun and let's keep on feeding hungry dogs and cats!
Announcement written by Mimi Ausland, founder of FreeKibble.
Erase from your mind the old style cat condos where there was nothing more than a wooden frame with carpeting wrapped around it. Instead, consider a condominium, with its spacious snoozing room, a nice place to scratch and of course, a way to perch on top to see all that is happening around the area. That is the type of toy you can give your pet and they will love you for it.
Why Cat Condos Are So Important
You may be looking for this type of place for your feline so you can retake your favorite pillow (which they have claimed) or you may be looking for a fun toy for your pets. There are many reasons why these condominiums work so well.
*They are stylish and fit into virtually any home's furnishings without being tacky or ugly. Look for those condominiums that are made with a steel framing, to give the best look to the condominium itself. You will not mind having it in your living room!
*Cat condos are a fantastic investment for your pet. Choose those with foam scratching pads. The cat can scratch to his heart's delight on these pads, which keeps them from scratching at your furniture or pulling down the drapes in your living room. Plus, it keeps them busy, which helps to keep them mentally sharp.
*Give your cat a gift that they will love. When you select a strong, well-made design, the cat will be able to use their condo for the long term, enjoying every bit of it. It is their secret hide out. It is a fantastic place to catch an afternoon nap. It can be a good lookout, to keep them apprised of what is happening around them. They can scratch all they would like to without being shooed away.
Giving your pet something like this does a lot for them, but it helps to keep your home your own. Other styles of cat toys and scratching posts are tacky and unattractive in most homes. You will not be embarrassed to keep these in your living room, though. The more modern cat condos are far better made and will last for a long time.
Cat condos are a great investment for your pet. Go ahead and let them enjoy the sunshine by perching on top of their condo. They will even stay off your pillow and out of the dog's way when you invest in these condos.
You can purchase cat condos right online. You do not have to spend a lot of money to get a great looking and durable condo. Best of all, a well-made condo will last and be loved for years to come.
Give your cat the gift of a quality modern cat condo.
Are you in the market for cat condo furniture? If so, you would not be alone. There are more people than ever investing in furniture for their pets. It used to be that a cat owned nothing more than perhaps a heart shaped medallion hanging from its neck. Today, your pet can have far more, even a condo to call his or her own. The good news is that these condos are a great investment not only in your pet's eyes (they will love them) but also in their well-being.
How To Buy The Best
A quick look online will reveal a range of different types of cat condo furniture. While there are many different options to invest in, not every piece of furniture is worth your investment. Here are a few tips to choosing the very best furniture for your pet.
*Choose furniture that is designed to last. If you go with the cheap, plastic cat products on the market, they will last perhaps as long as it takes you to build them. They are easily torn apart by the average cat. Instead, choose cat condo furniture that is strong and durable. Some of the best have steel frames, which not only add to the durability, but also to the stylish look of them.
*Look at the design of the furniture. Is it fitting to your cat's interest? It should have someplace your feline can scratch, such as a foam padding. It should have a nice place for your pet to nap. Cats love dark, small spaces where they can hide out and sleep well. What about a perch, or a way to get up high in the room so that they can look down on their surroundings? When choosing cat condo furniture, choose something that gives your cat plenty to do no matter what type of mood they are in.
*Your home does not have to suffer! When buying this type of furniture, keep in mind that it should become a part of your home. In other words, it has to look great as part of your home's furniture, as well as be a fun place for your pet. You can accomplish this in various ways. Choose cat condo furniture that is stylish, or even that matches your home's décor.
This may sound like a big wish list but the fact is, there are many fantastic options to select from that meet these qualifications. Cat condo furniture should be a process that is much like buying other furniture in your home. What works for your pet's needs? The good news is that it can be a lot of fun to check out the options available. Many pet owners love making these additions to their homes since they are affordable and rewarding to their pet.
The quality modern cat condo is the perfect fit for any homes decor.
Article by Mark Neustedt
No matter how hard you try, it's impossible to fax a cat!...
When choosing a toy for your cat you want one that is both safe and good for giving your cat exercise. You can buy some of these toys in the store and you can make some of them at home.
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Cats love chasing balls. Just about any ball will do. Ping Pong balls are great because of their size. My cat has even played with my kids' balls from their ball pit. Balls are safe because they can not be chewed open or swallowed whole. For added pleasure give your cat a ball with a little bell inside. Then when the cat bats at the ball it will hear the bell. This only works with cats that aren't skittish. A final ball choice is to scrunch up some aluminum foil in to a ball. Most cats like shiny objects.
2. Yarn with a feather attached at the end:
Only use this toy when playing with your cat. Don't leave it out for the cat to play with alone because the yarn can get caught around the cat's neck and suffocate it. Hold the yarn out in front of the cat and slowly pull the yarn away from the cat. The cat will them leap at the feather. This is a hunting reaction that a cat would have in the wild. It will pounce on the feather like it is catching its prey. It is great way to encourage your cat's natural instincts and promote exercise at the same time.
3. Buy a remote controlled mouse:
This is a funny toy to play with and also helps encourage a cat's hunting skills. You can use any remote controlled toy, but a mouse is a more natural choice. Use your remote to move the object around the room. Stop when the cat catches it so the cat can feel a sense of accomplishment. Then start up again. Play as long as the cat is interested. This is a great way to get your cat exercising.
4. Buy a catnip sack or make your own:
Make a pillow out of burlap and fill it with cat nip. Then sew it up. Cats go crazy for cat nip and will want to play with the toy when they get a whiff of the scent. If the cat goes too crazy and tries to rip open the burlap then you are going to have to take the toy away. Most cats should be fine with it, however.
5. Buy or make a climber:
Cats love to climb above all else. That is why so many of them get stuck in trees. A climber is essential if you don't want your cat to start climbing up your drapes. You can buy some that are fairly inexpensive or you can make one yourself out of wood. Just staple carpet on each step of the climber so that the cat doesn't jump up and slide off the smooth wood surface. Make sure the climber is secure and won't tip over when the cat plays on it.Nicholas Hunt writes for a site offering information on pet insurance for cats as well as more obscure kinds of policy such as horse insurance for horse riders and owners.
Eventually, your cat is going to need to take some medication. Cats seem to commonly get certain conditions, like bladder or kidney infections, respiratory problems, or oral inflammations, and these are traditionally treated with antibiotics. Some cats are easier to medicate with liquid preparations, administered with an eye dropper, but sometimes it's necessary to get a pill down them.
It's not always medication, either. You might wish to provide your cat some vitamins, and they may be obtained in pill or capsule form, too.
You can fool a dog by wrapping the pill in a slice of cheese or a wad of hamburger, but cats are more discriminating and not easily fooled. The only way to do this is with the direct approach. The cat must simply learn to accept that you are the boss and this pill thing is going to happen. (Don't shake your head... you can do this!)
Similar to getting a reluctant cat into a pet taxi, a towel may be your best option with this, too. Calmly and gently wrap the cat so you end up with a "papoose," with the mouth exposed at one end. Everything else must be wrapped tightly, or you may get scratched. Or worse, the cat will escape, and you won't be able to catch him again very soon.
Place your "cat-papoose" on a table or counter top, then lean over him lightly with your upper body. Be careful, he still needs to breathe! If you have a pill popper tool, use it. If not, caution here is essential, for even a tame cat may bite as a simple reflex he can't help. With one hand, hold the back of the cat's head by the skin. Pull firmly back. (Yes, this gives them a streamlined look.) Sometimes this opens the mouth. If not, and you have a helper, grasp the chin skin and pull the jaw down.
Insert the pill tool so it is poised at the back of the tongue. Pop the pill into the throat, then quickly close the mouth and stroke the cat's neck to help him swallow. Don't let him open his mouth until you are sure the pill has been consumed.
If you do not have a pilling tool, you might need to have good aim. Toss the pill directly into the throat. If you miss, you may have to put the pill on the back of the tongue and poke it down with your finger. This is a touchy deal. Be very careful, and very fast so you aren't bitten. Once the pill is in, close his mouth and hold it, stroking the throat area to help him swallow it.
If you need some coaching or a good demonstration, ask your veterinarian to show you how to do this.
When done, carefully release the cat... slowly, calmly, and speak reassuringly. You don't want to let him take off like a streak afterward, as this will reinforce the idea that he has escaped from some torture you are administering. As you gently unwrap him, tell him what a great cat he is and what a great job he did. Then calmly set him down on the floor. Cats respond to compliments, so use them copiously. He may run off, but if you act nonchalant, the cat will learn to relax, too.
Dr. Peters has an extensive background in health care and animal care. Visit The Problem Cat for more articles and information about cats.
Most cities and towns have some form of animal control in place, usually as a division of the police department. Thus, an animal control officer's boss is usually the chief of police. But police departments typically have less interest in the welfare of animals than in law enforcement related to the more exciting pursuit of human derelicts and dastards.
One officer smiled at me and said he wasn't able to investigate a cruelty case I reported, as he had more urgent business with a burglary at the moment. That's understandable, but this is usually more of a problem in smaller communities because they have less money and resources to cover all the bases. In fact, most of these smaller, local agencies would rather dispose of animal problems... literally... because the paperwork is cumbersome, and "more important" issues must be handled first.
Understanding the link between animal and human violence
Law enforcement officials in many small towns have not grasped the connection between cruelty to animals and to humans. Thus, they are very unlikely to look into animal problems involving mistreatment of pet cats, and much less to strays.
These agencies often view the problem of overpopulation, especially of cats, as a "vermin" problem, best handled by extermination. Thus, cruelty against strays is typically ignored.
Many communities have utilized proven feral cat strategies, but they are almost always organized and managed by private individuals, and then are scoffed at by city officials.
Until authorities actually wake up and get it, it must remain with us, as caring citizens in any town, to deal with these unfortunate cats. It's possible, but isn't always welcome in our own communities. Those residents who hate cats, for instance, will continue to demand a simple trap-and-kill program, often "contributing" to this strategy in their own cruel ways, by placing poison and leg-hold traps in their yards or other locations.
Trap, Neuter, Release
What they never seem to get is that killing has never worked, and never will. The only program that has ever made a truly significant difference is one known as Trap-Neuter-Release, where strays are captured, altered, vaccinated and treated for any medical problems, then released back to their territories if they are healthy, but not adoptable.
Also known as Trap-Neuter-Return, this is the only effective way to humanely handle the problem, since there are not enough homes for them all, and killing only leaves space for new ones to enter the group.
If you are feeding strays, here are some ways to help them:
Set up feeding stations. Make or find small containers to serve as miniature "dog houses" to provide shelter. Monitor the colony, or group of cats you feed. Don't just toss a bag of food out for them once a week. Keep an eye on them. If you can't trap them, notify someone who can, and get them fixed and "vetted" (treated by a veterinarian).
Find or organize a feral cat club or group so you can help each other to help these poor cats. Collect any kittens you find, as they may be adoptable if young enough to be tamed. Find a local shelter or rescue group to help with this, if possible.
Find a veterinarian who is willing to participate. Not all of them are interested, so you may need to ask around. Look for area spay-neuter clinics that offer discounted surgeries. While shelters and pounds euthanize (kill) between 3 and 4 million cats and dogs every year, no one is counting the number of strays and ferals who are shot, poisoned and starved to death. If we truly have dominion over the animals, people must learn that dominion means responsibility... It's not a license to be cruel.
Dr. Peters has an extensive background in health care, animal care, journalism, computer repair and systems administration. She writes articles over a wide spectrum of topics and has numerous ebooks available on the Internet. Visit her websites, The Problem Cat and HiPlains Animal Welfare Society for more articles and information about pets.
Cat behavior is more difficult for most people to understand than dog behavior, because they communicate so much differently. If you experience behavior problems with your cat, like biting, scratching, excessive meowing or avoiding the litter box, eliminate any physical causes and then patiently retrain your cat, to try to eliminate the undesirable behaviors. Remember, there aren't bad cats, just uninformed cat owners.
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It's best to deal with problem cat behavior one step at a time, lest you frustrate your cat with too many do's and don'ts. That would make it difficult for her to learn just what you want from her. Start with the most serious problems first, like chewing electric cords. Take care of one problem before you start work on another.
If your cat behavior is problematic because she is seeking more attention, you probably are hearing excess vocalization from your feline. She has underlying causes for this behavior, and they may be emotional, physical or both. Make sure she doesn't have some pain issues before you punish her for excessive meowing. She might be in heat, or there might be another physical cause.
If your pet's cat behavior includes being aggressive towards people, this may have been caused by poor training when she was a kitten. Or it could be a fear response, and she may have been mistreated or neglected when she was young. You, as your cat's caregiver, will need to learn what you can do to prevent aggression, how to take care of it when it occurs, and how to slow this behavior down.
Cats are territorial animals, so expect some uproar if you introduce a new cat into your home. Sometimes they will settle down quickly, and sometimes you will need to separate them - as unpleasant as that idea might sound. Usually, after the first few cat-fights, your felines will fall into a pecking order, and the fights should be fewer then.
If you experience cat behavior in the areas of destructive chewing and scratching by kittens and cats, it is a dangerous habit for them and it causes damage to your belongings. Address the causes before you start flinging slippers at your cats - they may be expressing boredom, curiosity or even a deficiency in their nutrient levels. If your cat scratches you or your furniture, check out all your options before considering de-clawing. This is no more humane than removing your own fingernails would be. You can even buy thin plastic claw-covers in bright colors, to keep your cat's scratching from destroying anything else.
Many cat behavior problems are actually related to health issues, or caused by the inadvertent miscues of your cat caregivers. Make sure to give your feline the benefit of the doubt, and work patiently with her when correction needs to be administered.
Article by Jenny Styles
I don't know if you've ever seen a cat like this but I sure haven't. Maru is easily the most awkward and lazy cat I've ever seen. I blogged about him last week but I can't get enough of him. Check it out...
Studies have shown that 30% of cats over 8 years of age, and a stunning 90% of cats over 12 years of age, have arthritis (osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease). These figures should give the veterinary community, which doesn't give nearly as much thought to arthritis in cats as it does to dogs, something to think about. What is generally perceived as "slowing down" or "a little stiff" may be a sign of significant joint deterioration, and probably causes some degree of discomfort in most older cats.
Arthritic cats often gradually stop jumping up as high as they once did, and may be reluctant to use the stairs. (Arthritis can cause litterbox problems if there is not a box on every level of the home.) Providing "steps" (a box or stool, for instance) up to a bed, chair, or other favorite high spots may be greatly appreciated by an older cat.
Cats cannot adequately metabolize many of the arthritis and pain medications commonly given to dogs, such as carprofen (Rimadyl). Moreover, ibuprofen (Advil), naproxyn (Aleve), and acetaminophen (Tylenol) are all highly toxic to both cats and dogs. Meloxicam (Metacam) is a newer NSAID that is commonly used for post-operative pain but only for a short time. Some experts claim it can be given long-term at a very low dose, but others are wary of the significant potential for kidney damage in cats. Aspirin can be used, but the dose and schedule are extremely limited; never give your cat aspirin without your vet's advice.
The good news is that there are simple, inexpensive nutritional supplements that are very effective and, most important, very safe. Supplements for arthritis include: glucosamine sulfate (250 mg per day), and MSM (methyl-sulfonyl-methane) (200-400 mg per day). Both of these supplements have excellent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Glucosamine supplies the basic building blocks of cartilage and helps maintain the fluid that cushions and nourishes the joints, and MSM provides elemental sulfur for the body to make certain amino acids and other compounds. But they are not quick fixes-it may take 3-5 weeks for improvement to be noticeable (MSM may take less or more time), and they must be given daily without fail to prevent return of pain. They may not work in all cats. But many guardians notice significant improvement in their cat's activity and flexibility. Glucosamine is often packaged together with chondroitin, another cartilage compound. However, the evidence is less clear that chondroitin is effective, and it is much more expensive. Plain glucosamine (sulfate only, not hydrochloride) is adequate in most cases.
Another cartilage building block, hyaluronic acid, is also available in oral form. This is the basic ingredient of Adequan, a drug commonly injected directly into affected joints. However, these injections need to repeated regularly and there is always a risk of infection. Hyaluronic acid now comes in oral capsules, but the most effective form appears to be a saline-based liquid called "Hyalun." A cat would need at most a few drops per day, although if you also have dogs (or if you have joint problems yourself!) it is a good way to go.
Some herbs, such as Boswellia (frankincense), appear to be effective anti-inflammatories, but few herbs have been thoroughly studied for safety in cats. Boswellia is traditionally used in combination with other herbs in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. Since some herbs can be extremely toxic to cats, it's best to consult with a veterinarian trained in the use of western or Chinese herbs (see below).
The antioxidant algae blend, BioSuperfood (read more about this in the Little Big Cat Free Article Library) may also minimize the inflammation and pain of arthritic joints.
Omega-3 fatty acids also have excellent anti-inflammatory properties; we recommend Nordic Naturals pet products for their purity and safety.
From a holistic viewpoint, no physical condition is simply physical. In energetic terms, disease, including arthritis, starts on the energetic plane and progresses through the mental and emotional spheres before manifesting itself in the physical body. One way to address this is through the use of flower essences, which can heal the imbalances on the mental and emotional planes. Another way to look at this is that mental "stiffness" ultimately contributes to stiffening of the physical joints. Our sister company, Spirit Essences, has developed an essence remedy called Creak-Away that's designed to keep the animal mentally and emotionally "flexible" and minimize the energetic stresses that contribute to the development of arthritis.
Acupuncture, chiropractic, herbs, homeopathy, specific nutritional strategies and other holistic treatments may also be helpful for arthritic cats. For a practitioner in your area, visit or call the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association at (410) 569-0795.
Dr. Jean Hofve is a retired holistic veterinarian with a special interest in nutrition and behavior. Her informational website, http://www.littlebigcat.com, features an extensive free article library on feline health and pet nutrition, as well as a free e-newsletter. Dr. Hofve founded Spirit Essences Holistic Remedies for Animals (http://www.spiritessence.com) in 1995; and it remains the only line of flower essence formulas designed by a veterinarian. She is a certified Medicine Woman within the Nemenhah Native American Traditional Organization who uses holistic remedies as a part of body-mind-spiritual healing.
This is a really nice video of a cat and a fawn playing and cuddling together. That cat grooms the little deer and they snuggle in the grass to have a nap while a bunny watches near by - too cute!
No matter how you work it, walking a cat on leash is never going to be like walking a dog. That's the main thing we must accept. However, cats can be trained to walk on a leash! It is definitely a learned behavior, as no cat comes by it naturally. But it can work rather well, if you work at it. If you start with a kitten, it is definitely easier to accomplish. But adult cats can learn it, too. It just might take longer, and tax your patience more, but nothing is impossible with determination and perseverance - and most importantly, patience.
Start by getting your cat used to wearing a collar, if she doesn't have one already. Or, better yet, help your cat become accustomed to a harness. While a collar can be left on constantly, it's not recommend to do so with a harness. Most cats seem uncomfortable in a harness, and it could impact their balance and mental well being if they are forced to keep it on all the time. Just put the harness on when it is time to do the leash thing, and they will learn that the harness is equated with taking a walk. If this is the cat's only opportunity to go outdoors, they will come to accept it and even look forward to it.
After they learn that the collar, or the harness, is not going to kill them, attach a short piece of string to it and let them drag it around the house for an hour or so. Some cats will be frightened by this and others will find it amusing and make a game of it. If you have more than one cat, this could definitely become a game they enjoy.
Once they become indifferent to it, attach a real leash and let them drag that around for a while. (Never ever leave anything attached to their collar or harness permanently. And keep an eye on them to prevent getting snagged and hurting themselves.) Soon, you can pick up the leash and handle it, perhaps tugging on it from time to time. This lets them know you have it and can control it. Now lift it up off the floor and follow your cat around, holding the leash up. Don't tug - just follow. Once they become used to that, you can begin making little tugs now and then, just to let them know you're there.
Now you can take this show on the road. Well, the sidewalk, anyway. Or the yard, or the park, or.... where would you like to go? Just be near a place where you can quickly put kitty back inside in case a safety issue arises. That place could be your house, your car, a pet taxi, a friend's house, or a motel room. Many motels now allow pets in the rooms, as more and more people travel with their pets.
The thing is, cats are more likely than dogs to freak out and try to run up a tree or under a car. Or into traffic. If she's on a leash, you can prevent these mishaps, but the collar or harness had better be strong, and you will have to be a pillar of calm and strength for her, sweeping her up if she gets into trouble and putting her immediately into a safe place so she can recuperate. It is amazing sometimes what little things will make a cat spook.
The first few real walks will have to be short, but as she, and you, become used to this new activity, she will want to walk farther each time, and you will be amazed at how well she does on a leash. Just don't expect her to heel. And don't encourage any running, as this will only excite her into a fear mode more easily.
Cats also love to stop and smell the roses, or eat grass. Let them smell, don't let them eat. This leash thing isn't going to evolve into a jogging routine for either of you, so let her smell and investigate things. However, eating grass could be dangerous if you don't know whether it's been sprayed with any chemicals. Keep your walks short and get back inside while everyone is still upbeat so these excursions will always be a positive experience.
Article by Dr. R.J. Peters
Some people say that snoring cats are an indication of a bigger problem. Judging from the video, this is a cat that simply very relaxed and is dreaming cat dreams.
If your cat wheezes a lot or makes consistent loud noises while sleeping, your best bet is to take your cat to a vet. Oh, the video is really cute.
To be honest, I'd love to know how they caught this on video. This was the last thing I expected to walk through that cat door...
Cats are vulnerable to certain common ailments and as a cat owner, it is up to you to keep an eye on the general health and well-being of your feline friend.
Watch for signs of disease, ill health, or injury, by observing how they look, how they eat, sleep, or even walk. Note any changes in behavior or activity and call your vet for advice. If recommended, take the cat in for a professional examination.
Here are some of the most common things to watch for:
1. Diarrhea. Cats have very sensitive digestive systems, so diarrhea is quite common when their diet is changed or if they've gotten into something they shouldn't have, such as table scraps, human snack foods, or even mice (could be dangerous if the rodent has been poisoned). The first thing to do wtih diarrhea, if the cat seems OK in every other way, is to supervise its diet. One way to do this is to remove your cat's food dish for 24 hours. Dehydration is one of the worst side effects of diarrhea, so keep plenty of fresh, clean water available. The next day, feed the cat some cooked hamburger and rice (no spices for flavor!). This is considered a non-allergenic, but temporary, diet for gastro-intestinal cleansing. If the diarrhea stops, resume his normal diet, but with smaller portions for a day or so. If the diarrhea won't stop, it's time for a visit to your vet, who might want to check for intestinal parasites, or a potential disease process.
2. Vomiting. Cats who throw up often might be victims of poor diet, poor grooming, or ingesting something they shouldn't. Vomiting is a sign that the body doesn't like, or can't handle, some things. If your cat is eating cheap dry kibble, such as "grocery store food," most likely the vomiting is due to inadequate nutrition and too many additives. Cheap foods may contain poor ingredients, along with fillers, such as bentonite (a type of clay) and plastic pellets "recycled" into a powder. Who wouldn't vomit on that diet?
Other causes of vomiting can include allergies, hairballs (be sure to groom often so they don't swallow too much fur), and eating plant matter. Also watch that your cat isn't eating any house plants, as some are toxic.
The best remedy to this problem is to provide a good quality, nutritious food. And, as with diarrhea, excessive vomiting can lead to dehydration, too, so provide water at all times.
3. FIV, or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. This disease is similar to the HIV virus in humans, but they are not related to the point that any cross communicability is possible. Thus, a human cannot get AIDS from a cat, nor can the cat get it from a human. However, it can have deadly effects on a cat, just as HIV does for people. That is, the immune deficiency may lead to death from something simple, such as a mild respiratory infection that a healthy individual could fight off.
If you have a cat with FIV, it's not an immediate death sentence, however, and your pet can live a normal life with you. However, the precautions you need to take include seclusion from other cats, never letting the cat outside, a good nutritious diet for maximum health, and keeping his living area clean so he does not succumb to a simple bacterial infection.
4. Diabetes. Cats can have diabetes just as humans can. It most often occurs in older cats, especially those who have had inadequate diets most of their lives. You will need to have your cat checked by a vet if he starts urinating a lot more often than usual and is not able to get to the litter box in time. If he seems more thirsty than usual, this could be a sign, too. You may need to give the cat insulin shots, and change his diet. A diabetic cat, like a human, can live for a very long time, but there is some effort to be made in diet and medication.
Article by Dr. R.J. Peters
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