Cat Care Tips: December 2008 Archives

pictures_cat_snow.jpegWinter is hard on people and even harder on animals. Each year, 100's of cats die simply because their owners get too busy at this time of year to remember to take a few precautions. Here are 10 ways to keep your cat safe this holiday season.

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!

1. Make sure your outdoor cat is wearing ID tags. I know I've said this before...once or twice... but I can't stress enough how important this is. Your cat can become disoriented or frightened and end up far from home. Without ID tags his chances of getting home again are slim.

2. Make sure your cats are visible at night. If you must send your cat out in the dark, make sure his collar is reflective or shiny so that others can see him and you can find him if he gets lost or scared.pictures_cats_Santa_hat.jpeg

3. Limit the time your cat spends outside, their little ears can freeze and fall off - I've seen it, it's painful and very sad to see a cat missing his ears because he was out in the cold too long. Not to mention they can freeze their paws and tail too... then hypothermia sets in and then it's a sad day for everyone after that. I suggest no longer than 15 - 20 minutes at a time, even if your cat has a thick coat.

4. If you have to go out of town, make sure your pet sitter knows when and how much to feed your cat, where you'll be if they need to reach you and if your cat has any special medical needs.

5. Watch what your cat is eating, chocolate is poisonous to cats and pastries or other candies can be very dangerous. Neo loves crackers, so I have to be careful to keep them out of his reach so he doesn't eat too many. He doesn't throw up, but they make him constipated so the day or two after eats crackers are rather unpleasant for him and for me because he gets bad, smelly farts and rubs his bottom on the floor to clean it off.

pictures_cats_christmas_tree.jpeg6. It's nice to start a fire, or light some candles, but so many cats are intrigued by the flames and get too close, burning their whiskers, fur and skin. I had a cat named Chloe who loved candles but she got too close to the flame and singed off her whiskers - they took months to grow back, as a matter of fact they never really grew back properly at all.

7. Holiday decorations, bells, balls, plants and garland all pose threats to your cats health. Small parts can be ingested and cause choking, or a bowel obstruction leading to painful and expensive surgery. But of the utmost importance is do not use tinsel or poinsettias - tinsel is a choking hazard and can actually cut your cat's throat and stomach with it's sharp edges and poinsettias are poisonous to cats.

8. Make sure you instruct your house guests to be mindful of your cat. Tell them the outdoor schedule so they don't unknowingly freeze your cat. Make sure they keep their toiletries and medicines carefully closed and out of reach. Neo loves my vitamins, they roll around and he thinks it's fun to play with them, but they are dangerous for him so since I realized that he likes them I keep them away from him.

Pictures_cats_holiday_lights.jpeg9. Another thing about house guests, is to make sure that children and people who are not familiar with cats are supervised when playing with your cat. Your cat could be injured by rambunctious children or by toys that are not suitable for cats.

10. Keep winter chemicals away from your cat. Antifreeze kills cats with even a small amount. Salt for icy streets is poisonous if they ingest it, and they will ingest it when they lick it off their paws. Switch to environmentally friendly choices like antifreeze-coolant made with propylene glycol or natural de-icers that are safe for pets and children.

Comment below if you have other ways to keep your cat safe this holiday.

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.

 

Pictures_cats_clean_ears.jpgCheck your cat's ears for wax build up and for ear mites. Clean ears mean a healthy cat and you can save money on vet bills if you check and clean your cat's ears.

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!

How do you know if your cat has ear mites?

Usually, there are several signs to tell you your cat has ear mites. If your cat frequently scratches his ears, shakes his head and if his ears look dirty inside, chances are she has ear mites. Don't treat ear mites at home. Your cat could lose his hearing or get an infection. The ear drops your vet will prescribe are not expensive and give your cat the relief he needs.

Pictures_cats_cleaning_ears.jpgYou'll prbably need a second pair of hands to give him the drops. but it's possible to do it by yourself. When I have to give Neo medication or when I brush his teeth I sit down on the floor with my legs pressed against my chest with Neo held securely between my legs and my chest. This gives me two hands to do what I have to do. In this case, one hand to hold his head and the other hand to administer the drops.

Before he shakes his head, you have to massage the ear. Never put your fingers into the cat's ear, just hold his ear at the base and gently squeeze and rub. Then stand back as he shakes his head - some of the drops will come flying out!

How do you clean your cat's ears?

pictures_cats_big_ears.jpgNever use cotton swabs or Q-tips - they are very dangerous and you can end up seriously hurting your cat or can make him lose his hearing. Instead, use those big fluffy cotton balls. Hold your cat on your lap like I mentioned above or get some help to hold him and then gently wipe away any visible debris with the cotton ball. If it's not coming out, slightly moisten the cloth with warm water - careful not to get water in the cat's ears, just use enough water to make the cotton ball slightly wet, but not soaking wet and wipe gently.

Don't stick your fingers inside the cat's ear and don't be rough. Your cat has 32 muscles in his ear and many delicate intricate parts that clumsy human fingers can easily damage.

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.

 

Other posts I think you might like:

First Aid For Cats

Cats will scratch, pick a scratching post that works

What ingredients to look for in cat food

Latest Pictures

Cat Wallpapers