Cat Care Tips: August 2008 Archives

Picture_of_cat_reunited.jpgThanks to the North Devon Animal Ambulance in the UK, Mousie has gone home to Ira Bauert in Germany. Ira was on vacation in the UK when Mousie went missing and Ms Lewis from the North Devon Animal Ambulance discovered the cat's microchip.

I can't think of a better reason to microchip your cat! I've blogged about taking your cat on vacation with you, how to choose a good petsitter and I've talked about what to do to prevent your cat from getting lost, but this is a story about a cat getting lost on vacation. Luckily this owner did the right thing and had Mousie microchipped. I know it took a year and a year is a long, long time to a cat and a cat lover, but it is better to wait a year than to never see your cat again! This was a happy reunion, but so many cats never find there way home.

Read more about Missing cat reunited after a year.

Other posts I think you might like:

The true story of Christian the lion...

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

The European Cave Lion was the largest cat that ever lived...

A cat's daily diary vs a dog's daily diary...

cat-napped_pictures_of_cats.jpgThe number of cats stolen is on the rise, maybe with hard economic times, people are turning to cat-napping to make a few bucks, but when your precious feline is taken, what do you do to get him back?

People steal cats because it's a cheap way to acquire a pet and it is a quick way to make some cash. Selling a pure bred cat online is common and both the buyer and the seller benefit. Most of the time, the cat can be sold at a reduced rate because there are no papers, and the buyer sees that there are no papers but wants the cat so they agree on a price that is usually about half of what it would be through breeder and everyone wins, except the person who's cat was stolen and the cat himself.

Your best bet for getting your cat back is to make it impossible to sell your cat, get pictures out as soon as possible. Get posters up at Vet clinics, shelters, pet stores, online message boards, and enlist the help of your local teenagers to put posters up at malls, coffee shops and parks.

And of course, keeping your cat indoors will also keep him safe.

Other posts I think you might like:

The true story of Christian the lion...

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

The European Cave Lion was the largest cat that ever lived...

A cat's daily diary vs a dog's daily diary...

cloned_cats_glow_in_the_dark.jpgThere are a number of reasons why you should restrain your cats while driving, for your safety and your cat's safety. I know, I've been guilty of it too, you think that because cats are uncomfortable with driving that letting them look out the window is good for them and helps calm them down. But really think about it, trees and houses, passing by the car window at an alarming speed can't be calming for your cat! Cats are used to running maybe 5 MPH max and here you are cruising along at 35 MPH. That's gotta make your cat a little queasy.

Or you like to pet your cat and have him sit on your lap while you drive. Hmmm, another idea that is not so good, if you are petting your cat, whose hands are on the wheel? Yeah, and then you glance down and look adoring at him and the next thing you know, the guy in front of you has slammed on his breaks and you ram into him. That's going to be a bit of a problem for your cat and you!

If you are seriously hurt, your cat could run away out of fear or worse be thrown from the car and you won't be able to go get him. Other cars may not see him and he could be in the middle of the road, dodging traffic.

And what if he is in the back seat? His body becomes a projectile that can seriously injure you, not to mention that if his body hits any part of the car hard enough, your precious kitty is dead or seriously injured, which means, in most people's cases that you'll have to put him to sleep.

rescued_feral_flea_anemia_kitten.jpgSo think about it and safe yourself some heartache if you are in an accident. Keep your cat in a carrier, no matter how loud he howls, it is safer for him and for you. And if you're really cautious, like me, put the seatbelt through the handle at the top of the carrier and snap it securely. If there is an accident or a sudden stop, the carrier will not go flying or sliding off the seat. Some people I know put their cat's carriers on the floor behind the front passengers seat. That is safe too, but I prefer to have Neo in his carrier right beside me - securely fastened to the front passenger's seat where I can see how he is doing throughout the drive.

Other posts I think you might like:

The true story of Christian the lion...

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

The European Cave Lion was the largest cat that ever lived...

A cat's daily diary vs a dog's daily diary...

neo talking.pngI happened to see it come out. He was in the garden outside on his harness and his back was facing me. All I saw was him squatting with his tail up and out of the way and out dropped a red uninflated balloon. It was very funny and shocking at first!

Yes, I know, compared to other topics I've blogged about before, the contents of Neo's poop doesn't seem that important. But when you think about it, a balloon coming out of your cat means at some point he ate it, which I think is very news worthy.

Because of their playful nature, cats can get themselves into some trouble, every cat owner can relate to this. But that makes it even more important to take stock of the things in your house that might be a potential danger.pictures_of_cats_tongues_papillae.jpg

We had a birthday party here about a month ago and I thought we had rounded up and accounted for every balloon, but I was wrong. There must have been one under the sofa or in some small space that only Neo knows about.

Balloons, string, small toys, elastic bands, thread, long hair are all potential hazards for cats and here's why. Cats have barbed tongues and the barbs are called papillae. Papillae are little curved hooks aligned in such a way to pull things into a cat's mouth. It's a very clever design for cats in the wild, because they need those papillae to bring water into their mouths to drink or to clean off bones and drink blood of their prey.

But in a house, those papillae just pull unwanted things into your cat's body. Balloons, string, small toys, elastic bands, thread, long hair are all things your cat can't spit out.

pictures_of-cats_tongues.jpgSo take a look at your house from your cat's perspective. Really get down on your knees and look into every crevice and hiding spot and see if there is anything that would be dangerous for your cat if he swallowed it. Even some cat toys are dangerous so be very cautious. I was lucky that the balloon simply came out the other end, but it could have been a lot worse. It could have stuck in his digestive track and caused him to vomit or have a bloody stool.

Other posts I think you might like:

The true story of Christian the lion...

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

The European Cave Lion was the largest cat that ever lived...

A cat's daily diary vs a dog's daily diary...

Pictures_of-Kittens_cats.jpgI blogged about keeping your cats indoors while you celebrate, and about cats being terrorized by a coyote in Orlando, and also about how outdoor cats die young, but I just wanted to bring it up one more time in light of the fact that several outdoor cats have been shot in Pittsburgh lately.

Even if shooting cats isn't an issue in your neighborhood, you might want to consider keeping your cat indoors. I let Neo out on a harness and long leash whenever I go outside or if I can't go out with him I stay beside an open window so I can see and hear him while he plays outside. He has been on the leash since I brought him home as a kitten and he is used to it. Of course he doesn't like it so when I am outside and he is just lounging in the grass, I take it off of him and let him roll around, but he never roams freely. american_bobtail_breeds_of_cats.jpg

There is a lot of construction going on and the last thing I want is for him to fall into a water filled pit that will become someone's basement and drown or not be able to get out so he starves to death while he hears my calls. I shudder to think about it. So besides construction and shooting here are 7 more reasons to keep your cat indoors:

1. Car accidents - I do not want Neo becoming road kill. Cars are big, fast and usually driven by people who are in a rush or not paying attention. They may be upset if they hit your cat, but they aren't going to care about your cat the way you do.

2. Cats are prey for larger animals like Coyotes and wolves and foxes. Most urban cats don't have to worry about these larger animals, or do they? In Orlando, that's what they used to think until a coyote cleaned out the cat population in their urban community.pictures_of_stray_cats_lost.jpg

3. Cats get lost or carried away. My childhood cat, Jungle cat, fell asleep in the neighbor's car while they were packing it up for a road trip, when they got to their destination they heard him meowing. They were kind enough to drive him all the way back and then start their road trip again. But not everyone will do that. Trust me, these are particularly nice people. Most people will let the cat go to find his way home. The best you can hope for is they take care of the cat and bring him home with them. But you can't depend on that. Or your cat could wander off, get chased into unfamiliar territory, picked up by animal control and destroyed, all before you are even aware he was gone!

4. Cats kill millions of birds every year and the sad part is, they don't always kill the birds they just maim them and they certainly don't eat them. So the bird is left to die a slow painful death. If the bird happens to have a nest full of eggs, they die too.

5. Toxins - antifreeze, fertilizers, pesticides and even some plants are poisonous to cats. The allure is that all things things taste good to cats, so they eat or drink it and then come home. You don't know what they've been eating so you go to bed or go to work thinking everything is fine, but suddenly, your cat is lethargic, vomiting, or dead. Not exactly what cat owners want.

6. Infectious diseases such as panleukopenia and rabies. Both diseases cause irreparable damage to your cat, vaccines help, but still it is always best to limit your cat's exposure to such dangerous diseases.

7. Fleas and Ticks. People are surprised when I tell them that fleas can kill so avoiding a flea infestation is the best way to keep your cat safe. Kitten+Fight.jpg

Bonus reason: Injury. There are other cats they can get into a fight with and get seriously hurt. A cat I knew had to have her tail amputated because of a bite that got infected.

Just think about it, your cat may not like it, but he'll certainly be safer indoors with only brief stints outside.

Other posts I think you might like:

The true story of Christian the lion...

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

The European Cave Lion was the largest cat that ever lived...

A cat's daily diary vs a dog's daily diary...

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