Cat Care Tips: October 2008 Archives

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Pictures_cats_servel_pumkin.jpgWith all the yummy sugary treats around this time of year, it's easy to want to share with your kitty, especially if he has a bit of a sweet tooth! But please, for your cat's safety, no chocolate or candies or anything that comes in a wrapper.

1. No Chocolate. Chocolate is toxic to cats so it is extremely dangerous to give them any even in small amounts. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures. Taken in large quantities, chocolate can kill your cat.

It contains caffeine, cardiac stimulants and its a diuretic, all of which can seriously harm your cat and the problem is that the symptoms don't show up right away, so by the time your cat starts having seizures, its too late.

If you think your cat has eaten some chocolate, take him to the vet right away and if you can, bring the chocolate and wrapper with you so your vet can see how much and what kind of chocolate it was.

2. No Candies. Cats may want to lick a sweet hard candy or chew on some gummies, but don't let him! The artificial sweetener xylitol can cause stomach upset, problems breathing even coma and possibly death if taken in large quantities. And sugar can cause Kitty to be hyperactive and irritable. Pictures_cats_pumkins.jpg

The artificial sweetener xylitol is actually a sugar alcohol, and cats can't metabolize alcohol so they usually end up with a sudden drop in blood sugar and slip into a coma.

If you think your cat has had something with an artificial sweetener in it, get him to the vet immediately with the candy and the wrapper, if possible.

3. No Candy Wrappers. Those shiny packages are very tempting as they flash in the light. Cats will surely want to play with them, but don't let them. Cats are attracted to the shiny, crunchy foil and plastic wrappers, but if swallowed, your cat can be in grave danger. INtestinal blockage can be fatal if not treated immediately.

If you think your cat has swallowed something like this, don't wait around for him to poop it out, call your vet now, this is not something you can take care of by your self. Your cat might have to have surgery to remove the item. So think twice about letting him play with candy wrappers. Pictures_cats_pumkin.jpg

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Cat_ID_Halloween.jpgIt's not too late to get your cat's ID ready for Halloween night! Protect your cat from becoming a stray cat, or worse. Get him microchipped, or have an easy to read collar and tags in case he sneaks out Halloween night.

You know how it is, little kids are coming to your door and there comes a time, when you get so many kids, you won't be able to close the door for a while, and that is the moment when Kitty decides to take a stroll in the neighborhood.

It couldn't be a worse night to be out, strangers in weird clothes, thinking they are invincible or maybe getting a little too into their character scare away your cat, or do things I can't mention here

The next thing you know, your cat is lost, and you don't know how long he's been gone. This is one time when the cat probably won't come back, unless he has proper ID.

In addition to making sure his ID is up to date, put him in a comfortable room with the door securely closed during peak Halloween Trick Or Treater time. He'll hate it. You'll hate it. But just think, instead of pounding the pavement calling his name with tears streaking down your face, you'll be able to give him lots of love and attention to make up for his confinement.

Keep your cat safe with proper ID and safely tucked indoors on Halloween night.

Click here for our past posts, our archives have hundreds of helpful cat information posts for cat lovers.  Please subscribe to our RSS feed if you're a cat person that likes cat related information, cat care advice and news. 

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Pictures_Cat_first_aid.jpgWhen cats are injured or sick, sometimes people think cats can get better on their own. And cats are very stoic, they rarely show that they are in pain or suffering, which makes it even more difficult to know when to take your cat to the vet. Here are some circumstances that are warning signs of major health issues that only a vet can diagnose properly. So always take your cat to see a vet, even if it has to be an emergency clinic in the middle of the night, if he has any of these symptoms:

1. If your cat has been hit by a car, even if there are no outward signs of injury. My cousin had a kitten who was hit by a car at night, his leg and spine were broken but he walked home! My cousin saw that he was very close to the car that hit him but didn't know the cat was hurt until the next morning, when he was showing signs of shock. When he took him to the vet, he had to put him down.

2. If your cat has been in a cat fight, again, even if there is no sign of injury. There could be subtle injuries that if left untreated could cost you your cat's life. I had a cat, her name was Chloe, she got into a fight, and her tail was bitten. I didn't know to take her in to the vet right away and the bite got infected. She almost lost her tail because of my negligence.

3. If your cat has suffered from trauma of any sort like a fall from someplace high, as a passenger in a car, hit by something, kicked, or abused in anyway. (see my post Driving Miss Kitty for tips on how to keep your cat safe in the car) Internal injuries and shock can have a devastating effect on your cat.stray_cats.jpg

4. If your cat is in shock, even if you don't think anything happened to him, take him to the vet if he shows signs of shock. Watch for weak or rapid pulse, gums start out red or pink then turn grey, dazed or lethargic, shallow breathing, nervousness, difficulty standing, pupils dilating at different rates, or your cat being cold or shivering.

5. If your cat is dehydrated. How can you tell if your cat is dehydrated? pull on the skin on his back, if it kind of stays up in the shape when you pulled it, your cat is dehydrated and needs an immediate IV of fluids. Your cats skin should be elastic and return to its normal shape after it's pulled.

6. If your cat might have ingested something toxic like antifreeze, human medications, or anything that cats aren't supposed to eat, things that may be find for you could be deadly to your cat.

7. If your cat loses consciousness, even for a second or two, is a sign of some sort of brain trauma.

8. If your cat is bleeding and you can't stop it, even when you apply pressure and bandage it.

9. If your cat has bloody urine or diarrhea with blood. Not good, internal injuries, get him to the vet now.

Pictures_of_cats_grooming.jpg10. Obviously, if your cat is having trouble breathing take him in, or if he isn't breathing, start breathing for him by administering CPR and get him to the vet immediately.

If your cat has any of these signs, stay calm and talk to him in a calm voice, wrap him gently in a large towel or blanket and place him in his carrier and get him to the vet immediately.

Click here for our past posts, our archives have hundreds of helpful cat information posts for cat lovers.  Please subscribe to our RSS feed if you're a cat person that likes cat related information, cat care advice and news. 

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Cat_pictures_not_impressed.jpgToday was a very cold day and Neo was not impressed. He wanted to go outside, and I let him out but he didn't want to stay too long. The weather was cold, windy and damp today so Neo was in a bad mood. He went out and came in about three times. One time he stood at the door, I got his harness and leash on, but when I opened the door, he sniffed at the air and then looked up at me and started meowing.

Poor guy, this going outside thing is not working for him today. So I figured instead of shoving him out the door and making him play in the cold, I thought I would really try to make things better for him. After all, Neo is rarely in a bad mood and I thought he must be so disappointed by the weather. He really isn't an outdoor cat so he should start getting used to being indoors again, it's a long cold winter when it gets here.

picture_of_black_cat_peek_a_boo.jpgSo I played with him. He likes to play, but I am not that great at playing - usually, I start to play then lose interest when i start thinking about all the things I have to do. But today, I took out some toys he hasn't played with in a while. He especially likes long strings that you wiggle around. It's fun to watch his eyes dilate while he plays. He still has a very cute kitten appearance that gets magnified when he is chasing after a string. So we played that for about ten minutes, he could have gone longer but...like I said, I lose interest.

So then I brushed him, he needed it, by the way, he had loose fur and bits of dried leaves and stuff in his fur. He loves to be groomed, he tells me where he wants to be combed by lifting that body part toward me. usually he likes his back-end done - remember I was telling you about the spanking? Well he loves his little bum combed too. And he offered his head and neck to me to comb. Now this I get into - I can comb him forever, he loves it too, but he stops after 15 minutes - and today that's exactly how long until he was finished. pictures_of_cats_blow_drying.jpg

Then I gave him some treats and he followed me back to my desk, and he took a nap under the lamp.

Which brings me to the point of what to do to keep your indoor cat happy and amused.

Since cats in the wild spend a lot of time hunting, many experts suggest putting their food in different spots in the house and make your cat "hunt for it" - a good idea in theory, except Neo doesn't eat hard food because of all the diseases that are caused by dry cat food and I am not crazy about the idea of putting soft food all over the house for him. I have, however, tried this with his treats. It seems to work, but the motivation isn't the same as it is when you hide their food.

Another better idea is what I was talking about above, make some time for quality play and grooming time, everyday. He doesn't need hunting lessons, he's just looking for attention and something to do to fill up some time between naps. He'll get the attention he needs, and look good too if you do some play time and grooming time every day. why_do_cats_eat_grass-.jpg

And lastly, open a window so your cat can hear the outdoors and smell the outdoors. Make sure there is a place for him to perch beside it so he can enjoy the view. Put some cat grass beside the window too. This even works for Neo, who is just itching to get outside. Sometimes letting him smell the outdoors and nibble on some grass is all he really wants.

Click here for our past posts, our archives have hundreds of helpful cat information posts for cat lovers.  Please subscribe to our RSS feed if you're a cat person that likes cat related information, cat care advice and news. 

If you're new here, please consider subscribing to my feed. If you love cats, you'll enjoy the posts we place online every day.  Thanks for visiting!

bengal_cat.jpgAs your cat gets older, he may not have the same energy as he had when he was younger. Usually what this means for older cats is that they neglect to groom themselves as well as they used to. Here are a few things that you can do to help your older cat stay well groomed:

  • Daily brushing of your senior cat's teeth is essential. Bacteria from the teeth and gums can enter your cat's blood stream and actually damage vital organs. If you can't brush your cat's teeth every day, a couple of times a week is still better than none. I would strongly urge you to visit your vet and get some ideas on how you can keep your cat's teeth clean.
  • Older cats tend not to scratch their scratching posts as much as they used to. Take the time to clip your cat's nails every week.
  • It's a good idea to brush your older cat's fur at least once a week. This will not only keep your cat looking and feeling better, it will more importantly alert you to any bumps, bare spots or any other general oddities that you may have not noticed before. If you notice something on your cat's scalp that isn't normal, you should take him to the vet as soon as possible.
  • Over the next few days, I'll be posting some other tips for taking care of your older cat. If you have any ideas or recommendations on how to take care of an older cat, feel free to comment below and give us your ideas.

    Click here for our past posts, our archives have hundreds of helpful cat information posts for cat lovers.  Please subscribe to our RSS feed if you're a cat person that likes cat related information, cat care advice and news.

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