wendell: November 2008 Archives

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cat_allergy_allergies.jpgIt's possible that you might be allergic to your own cat. If you're in the cat purchase mode, you might want to check online or with your vet to confirm if the breed is considered to be a cat associated with high allergies. The last thing you want to do is bring a cat home and then realize you can't keep her. I would strongly suggest that you spend a couple of hours with your prospective cat and confirm that there are no adverse effects from spending lots of time with her.

If you fall into the category of being an owner of a cat that you are allergic to, there are ways to reduce the effects:

  • Visit an allergist and discuss your options with regards to medication or monthly shots that you can take.
  • Shave your cat down to its skin. Bad joke. Seriously though, consider bathing your cat more often to reduce the dander in their coat. You also may be allergic to your cat's saliva. Check with your vet to find out how often you can bathe your cat. This point is important, you don't want to over bathe the cat, that may make the situation worse.
  • Invest in leather furniture if it's really bad. If leather is your style, this is a positive. Fabric covered furniture tends to hold more cat dander.
  • Vacuum a lot. Not your cat, your residence.
  • Get rid of the carpet in your house and replace it with tile, hardwood or anything else that won't trap cat dander.
  • Keep your cat out of rooms that you may sleep in or work in.
  • Get a good air purifier and try to keep the windows open whenever the temperature allows for it.
  • Your vet may be able to recommend some treatments or sprays for your cat that might reduce his dander.
  • If you have a cat that is causing you some discomfort due to allergies, look for alternatives that can help to fix the situation. I've listed a few above but your vet may have other options.

    If you have any advice or information, share below. What's worked for you?

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    I saw this video on YouTube the other day. To be honest, I'm not sure how the owner got their cat to do this. I'm still looking into this so stay tuned. Very funny video otherwise.

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    two-cats.jpgOne of the questions we get asked a lot around here is, "should I get two cats?" or "should I get another cat to keep my current cat company?" I'd say yes on both fronts.

    Domestic cats are very social animals and it's been documented many times in the past that single cats can become depressed and even cause damage to your house due to being bored. Obviously I'm generalizing but I do speak from experience.

    When two cats are together, they keep each other company and often play together. The positive for the cats is that they are never alone and the positive for you is you get to observe years of fun loving play between nature's most lovable animals.

    If you're planning on getting two cats, take the time to bond with each cat or do what me and my wife did; claim one cat for yourself. I'm not sure if we claimed the cats or if they claimed us.

    It's really important that your cat understands his or her place within the household. If one of your cats feels excluded because you've spent more time with the other cat, take the time to play with the excluded cat and make them feel more welcome. Go to extremes if you have to, if the excluded cat isolates herself, make an effort to get her and place her in the room where you are. Literally pick her up and place her with you if you have to.

    Sounds crazy eh? All of this for a cat? Well if you're here and reading this, I don't have to tell you how sensitive and how incredibly intelligent these animals are.

    I'd love to hear your stories on having two cats in the house. Feel free to share below.

    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_training.jpgCats unlike dogs are highly individual animals and as a consequence, they can't be trained like dogs. When a dog does something wrong, raising your voice at the dog usually sends him the message that he's done something wrong. This tactic is generally a short term solution with no lasting effects for your cat.

    According to my vet, one of the best ways to train your cat is by using a positive reinforcement model. When your cat does something wrong, instead of yelling at him, show him what he should be doing and where he should be doing it and praise him while he's doing the right thing. I've found that this strategy works great with my cat Maddy. If I get angry at my cat for being on the kitchen table, it can be confusing to Maddy (my cat) if an hour later, my daughter pets her on the table.

    The best advice my vet gave me is consistency. You don't need tricks or gadgets to train your cat, what you need is a consistent message that will allow your cat to understand exactly what you want. It's been my experience that my cat can get very confused about disciplinary issues when I'm not consistent in my message.

    I've pasted a video below from YouTube that demonstrates a very popular trend in cat training; it's called clicker training. Writing about clicker training is probably a subject for another day but the essence is that you have a clicker in your hand that you use to tell your cat when she's done something right.

    I'm always looking for new training ideas. Got an idea? Share it below.

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    They say cats are obsessed with cleanliness, this video reinforces that stereotype. The video shows a cat that is so obsessed with the house being clean that he/she actually gets on top of the vacuum cleaner to supervise the process. Hilarious!

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    sand_cat.jpgI saw the Sand at online for the first time the other day. I asked Melanie about this cat and she told me she discovered it online this year for the first time as well. You can read her post about the Sand Cat here. Considering that we are both big time cat lovers, it's really interesting that both of us had never heard of this cat before.

    The Sand Cat as mentioned is a fairly rare cat. This species of cats avoids water holes (due to the fact it gets its water from its prey) and only congregates with others for mating. Needless to say, they're kind of loners in the cat world.

    What is known about them is that their fur has a sand like color and their heads tend to be very broad. This cat is about two feet long and only weighs around six pounds.

    This beautiful cat can be found in the deserts of Iran and Pakistan and have special long hairs on their paws to protect them from the hot sand. According to what I have learned about Sand Cats, they can survive extreme temperature variances that typically occur in a desert. Considering their small sizes, I would say that these cats are real troopers. There's not much difference between these cats and a typical domestic cat. Speaking of domestic cats, considering that they average around six pounds, I can see an exotic market for these cats.

    According to my research, the Sand Cat was born in captivity for the first time last year at the Al Ain Zoo in the United Arab Emirates.

    I couldn't find much information on this cat, if you have extra information, share below! Take care.

    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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    Happy Saturday!

    I thought I would do a post on the special Pallas cat . The breed is around the same size as a domestic house cat. They have short legs and a really thick coat. They kind of look like small sheep from behind.

    These cats can be found in the Asian steppes and they can be found up to 13000 feet above sea level. They're beautiful and unique cats. I'm not sure if they can be domesticated but if they can, I'd like one.

    I found it really challenging finding any information on this cat online. I did find a website called the Pallas Cat Project. This not for profit organization is focused on researching these little known animals and helping to understand why this breed has a very high infant mortality rate. They are accepting donations so if you're interested, check their website out.

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    cats-heart-disease-attack.jpgWe spoke a little about what you should be looking for in a good vet yesterday. Today we're going to talk about the typical procedures that are performed on your cat during a typical visit to the vet. According to my vet, the typical procedures for my cat's visit are as follows:

    Checks my cat's ears for infections and other problems such as ear mites.

  • They perform standard blood work on my cat.
  • My vet usually asks me for a fecal sample, they use this to find intestinal parasites.
  • They check my cat's weight.
  • According to my vet, most vets will check your cat's respiration and heart rate.
  • He always checks my cat's teeth and gums. Healthy teeth and gums are crucial to a healthy cat.
  • My vet usually completes a "once over" of my cat's fur and scalp.
  • They will check my cat's eyes for pupil response.
  • After my cat has left claw marks all over my vet's hands, she usually gets a treat. If your cat is like mine, she probably won't like going to the vet. A good vet makes your cat comfortable and more importantly, answers your questions about the procedures she's performing.

    If you've had an experience that you would like to share about your vet, please share below.

    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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    images.jpegNo disrespect to dogs but finding a good vet for your cat is more challenging than finding one for a dog. Depending on who you speak to, some unqualified vets will treat your cat like a smaller dog. Somewhere out there is the world's worst veterinary for cats, make sure he/she isn't who you depend on to treat your cat.

    Here's a few tips that will help you find the best vet for your cat:

  • Much like you would interview a new employee or house keeper, make sure you set up some "face time" to get acquainted with your vet. If you get a bad vibe, move on.
  • Work by referral whenever possible. If you're getting your cat from a breeder or cat rescue program, ask them who the best veterinary is in your area. There are literally thousands of cat clubs in the world, get a hold of an administrator and get their advice on where you should be taking your cat. Most of these clubs are just a click away so it shouldn't be hard to Google them.
  • Consider the services that are important to you. Is it important that you are able to drop your cat off? Do you require weekend appointments and are they available to accept you based upon your work hours? This is a biggy. Are they available for emergency services? The last thing you want to do is to be flipping through the yellow pages in the event of an emergency.
  • Kind of an expansion of the last point but does your vet offer grooming services? This may be important to you depending on the breed of your cat.
  • Make sure you are comfortable with their billing policies and rates. There's no point in visiting a vet if they're charging three times the regular rate for the same service.
  • Tomorrow, we'll talk about what is typically performed at a regular visit to the veterinary.

    If you've had some bad experiences with vets or can offer more information on this subject, comment away below!

    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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    Truly this cat looks pissed off but it still had me laughing. I wonder if he talks when he's not angry?

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    Some would say that this is an interesting video because we get a first hand account of a wild boar pushing a full grown lioness around on the savana. My explanation is pretty simple, the lion wasn't hungry for bacon that day. It seems like the lioness is irritated by the seemingly stupid wild boar. I mean really, what chance does a wild boar have against a hungry lion?!

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    I've never seen anything like this before. This cat opens a jar of peanuts and actually manages to get one out. Check it out...



    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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    asiatic-lion.jpgOur friend Kishore Kotecha from the Wildlife Conservation Trust has contributed a post about the horrible circumstances facing the endangered Asiatic Lions. At the rate these beautiful animals are dying, we may not be able to see them in their natural habitat in the not so distant future.

    CALL OF THE KING: The Importance of Asiatic Lions

    The Gir forest, located in Gujarat (India), is the last home of rarest species of Asiatic Lion. It is classified as “Critically Endangered” by the IUCN. In the beginning of 19th century when there were about 20 lions in the wild, efforts made by the Nawab (King) of Gir saved them from extinction. Today, in spite of vigorous conservation efforts of the Gujarat Forest Department, the lion population is only at 359. Do we want our children to see these beautiful cats only in a Museum or Zoo?

    Asiatic Lion face many threats like congestion, roads & religious places inside the forest, loss of habitat, man-animal conflict, genetic bottle-neck and poaching. But man made open-wells is the most severe threat that the species faces today. It is unbelievable but true that from 2001 until May 2008, 53 Open Well incidences were recorded in which 28 lions died! That number represents almost 10% of total population!

    Open wells are deep pits; 60 to 100 feet deep, without parapets or boundary walls. They are dug by farmers as a source of water for irrigation and livestock. Most of the farmers in Gir are poor with very small land holdings. Hence most of them cannot afford to barricade their wells.asiatic_lion_open_well.jpg

    Why do the Animals fall into Open Wells? Lions and other wild animals regularly stray outside the forest due to over-crowding and are in regular search of food. There are more than 9000 open-wells in 6km periphery surrounding the Gir Forest. Most of these wells are hidden in the thick vegetation. These wells also become slippery on the edge because of soil erosion. Wild animals like Lions, Leopards, Crocodiles, Pythons and Deer accidentally fall into such open-wells and die due to drowning. Apart from wild animals even domestic cattle and sometimes small children of the poor laborers fall into Open Wells.

    Rescue Operations

    The Gir Forest is a big area with poor internal roads. Thus, it is not always possible to reach the incidence spot and successfully rescue the animal. Rescued animals are seriously injured and sometimes permanently disabled. In some cases, they are not fit to be released back into the wild. One such rescued lion lost its vision and spent the rest of its natural life in a zoo in blindness.

    What needs to be done?

    The time has come to act fast. We need to barricade all the Open Wells as soon as possible. With a small donation of money per well, you can prevent the needless death and injury of these highly endangered animals.

    An Appeal

    asiatic_lion_open_well2.jpgThe time has come for us to help these precious animals. Let us leave no stone unturned in our commitment to save the last surviving Asiatic Lions in the world. I heartily appeal to everyone to generously help us in our endeavour.

    Please download full presentation from www.asiaticlion.org/openwell.pps. For further information and help please contact: Kishore Kotecha, Wildlife Conservation Trust, Mob: +91 98240 62062 info@asiaticlion.org

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