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Problems That Aging Cats are Susceptible toIt’s a given that a cat ages more rapidly than what humans do. Some veterinarians will tell you that a one-year old cat is equivalent to a 16-year old child, although I think this is extreme. The different schools of thoughts propounded by vets and feline experts will tell you that the ratio is anywhere from 4 to 7:1 when it comes to comparing the aging process of a feline to that of a human. Despite the difficulty in predicting an exact age, most vets and experts consider a feline to be “geriatric” once it is 10 years old.
Cats are now living longer than ever before with the average age of a house cat that has been well cared for being around 15 years of age. Additionally, cats that have been neutered or spayed tend to live longer than those that have not been. The speculation here is that cats that have not been “fixed” tend to roam around a lot more and are there prone to even fatal injuries. It also holds true that they succumb to diseases and health maladies because of exposure to the outside environment.
Felines are amazing pieces of machinery, so to speak, in that they have the capability of repairing themselves. For instance, despite the fact that they have two kidneys, they only need a part of one of them in order to stay healthy. Eventually, the aging process in cats takes its toll on them, just like it does with us, and therefore they experience those bodily changes that are characteristically associated with getting older.
The bottom line here is that the key elements of exercise, health care, and proper nutrition, combined with the special care they need once they have entered their “golden years,” will affect your cat’s life expectancy positively. The following list, though quite lengthy, are the more common conditions and problems that older cats may eventually face and that you as an owner will have to deal with when they arise:
* Arthritis and stiff joints
* Blood pressure problems
* Bone brittleness and weakness
* Breathing issues resulting from less flexibility of the lung muscles
* Decreased brain cell count
* Decreased control of body temperature
* Decreased functions of the kidneys and liver
* Decreased intestinal and stomach functions which oftentimes lead to impaired digestive processes
* Decreased production of saliva and difficulties in swallowing
* Decreased sensitivity to all the senses excluding touch
* Dehydration resulting from a decreased sensitivity to thirst
* Greater occurrence of infection due to increased susceptibility
* Increased bone brittleness
* Mouth ulcers
* Muscle dysfunction and weakness
* Periodontal conditions and tooth loss
* Shallower sleeping patterns which leads to irritability and temperament issues
* Skin abnormalities such as abnormally brittle or misshaped claws, alopecia, and dullness of the coat
From the time they are kittens, cats need to be provided with four critical elements in order to enter their golden years in the best possible shape – an appropriate amount of regular exercise, good health care, proper nutrition, and a stimulating lifestyle.
About the Author
For more easy, practical tips on taking great care of your cat be sure to visit the author’s feline health site now.
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Feline Life Stage GuidelinesThe American Association of Feline Practitioners and the American Animal Hospital Association released the Feline Life Stage Guidelines, a 12-page document designed to promote important information regarding wellness care for cats. The guidelines have been developed in response to statistics that show that while cats outnumber dogs as pets, they receive significantly less veterinary care. Studies have also shown that many cat owners are unaware of their cats' medical needs, citing an inability to recognize signs of illness or injury.
The guidelines addresses wellness exams, recommending annual visits for healthy cats under 7 years of age, and twice yearly visits for cats 7 or older. They address a lenghty list of items that should be covered in an annual or bi-annual exam, including looking at behavior and environment, medical and surgical history, elimination, nutrition and weight management, dental health, parasite control, diagnostic testing, and vaccinations.
The guidelines also address how to overcome barriers to veterinary visits. Many pet owners perceive cats as being self-sufficient because they hide any discomfort, pain or illness so well.
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Cats Get Heartworm Disease, TooMost dog owners are well aware of the deadly consequences a heartworm infection can have on their pet and strictly adhere to monthly preventatives. However, many cat owners are unaware that their pets are susceptible to these parasites as well, even if their feline friend lives only indoors. Because clinical signs of heartworm disease in cats are sometimes mistaken for other ailments, the disease may go undetected.
"Feline heartworm disease is very difficult to diagnose, but easy to prevent," says Dr. Allan Paul, a veterinary parasitologist at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Because the disease is complex, testing for the parasites in cats can be confusing and, in most cases, more than one test is needed to make an accurate diagnosis.
Signs of heartworm disease in cats are somewhat nonspecific. Years ago the disease would have been diagnosed as feline asthma, but now veterinarians realize that cats can get heartworm disease, too.
Continue Reading About Cats Get Heartworm Disease, Too
Keeping Your Geriatric Cat HealthyCats, like their human counterparts, are prone to the aches, pains, and health issues that seem to come hand in hand with advancing age. Unfortunately, as the average lifespan of our cats increases so does the chance that owners will see age-related issues arise in their senior cats.
As your cat begins to age your veterinarian will likely start to recommend doing some tests to make sure your cat's internal organs are functioning as they should. Cats have evolved to hide signs that they are feeling under the weather and these tests can let your veterinarian know that something is wrong with your cat long before your cat displays outward signs of illness.
"I recommend that owners have yearly blood work done on their pets if the animal is healthy, and increase that frequency if any clinical signs present themselves or if abnormalities are seen in the blood work," says Dr. Julie Byron, a small animal internist at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana.
According to Dr. Byron, geriatric cat owners should also increase their awareness of how their cat is acting and feeling. It is important to be able to recognize what is normal for your cat so that when there is a change you can recognize it. She explains that a trip to the veterinarian is warranted if your cat is displaying any of the following signs or symptoms:
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Helping Feral Cats, Part 1:This is the first in a three-part series on feral cats. In this article, "feral" is defined. In Part 2, I give some pointers on how to socialize a feral or semi-feral cat. In Part 3, I discuss what we can do to help feral colonies and unsocializable ferals.
The domestic cat evolved from the African wild cat, Felis libyca. Feral cats are offspring of stray or abandoned domestic cats that revert to a wild state. Having been raised without any human contact, they have a natural fear of humans. The domestic cat was introduced throughout the world by explorers and scientists, in an effort to control the rodent populations. Being predators and scavengers, feral cats have become successful survivors.
Why Are There Feral Cats?
Feral cats live in streets, alleys, and parks because of human neglect of their unaltered domestic cats, allowing them to roan and reproduce. A California study revealed that about 60 percent of unaltered household cats become feral within three years. Many people abandon or dump unwanted, unaltered cats, and these often end up in feral colonies.
Stray and lost cats congregate near food sources such as garbage dumpsters where rodents collect to feed. The cats start breeding and form colonies. An estimated 60 million feral cats live in the U.S., and worldwide are part of the urban ecology in virtually every city. They live in deserts near human settlements as well as on islands near Antarctica.
Classes of Feral Cats
There are three classes of feral cats. This classification was initiated in an effort to know how to approach these cats and which cats would be the easiest to re-domesticate for companion animals. It has been proven that any feral cat can be re-domesticated, given the right circumstances and enough time.
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How Sensitive Is A Cat's Taste?Since a cat's sense of hearing and smelling is more sensitive than ours is, it's reassuring to discover that in one respect leastways we have got superior sense organs. When it comes to the sense of taste, our tongues are somewhat more adept than theirs. However, just only slightly. Similar to us, cats are responsive to four primary tastes...sour, bitter, salt and sweet. We react to all four in a strong matter, but cats are lacking when it comes to sweet tastes. They don't have our 'sweet tooth'.
Until recently it was believed by many experts that cats were practically the only animal among mammals that wasn't capable of determining sweet tastes. One stated, with no expertise, 'The cat doesn't display any response to sweet tastes'. Another one stated, 'Sweet tastes can't be recognized by the cat'. This age-old belief now needs to be put away. Recent tests have proven clearly that cats can recognize sweet tastes. If milk is watered down to one quarter of its normal strength, and a hungry cat is then offered an option between the watery milk laced with sucrose versus the same milk with no sweetener, they will without fail, choose the sweet dishes.
If this is the case, how come it has been rejected in the past? The answer lies in the fact that in almost all tests cats disregard the sweetness factor when making a choice. It's such a small significance to them they all but ignore it. If, for instance, they're tested with whole or even half and half milk, they express no preference for the more sweetened examples. Their reaction to the milk itself is too strong. Only if the milk factor is considerably diluted does the sweetness factor start to show up. And so, while cats do savor the taste, they do so at a really modest dismantle.
Sour taste is a cat's foremost reaction; followed by bitter, then salt and the last one is sweet. As food touches the tongue it comes in contact with sensory papillae there. These papillae (nubs) are strong, rough and backward pointing and are located in the middle of the tongue. In this area, there's a specialization of the tongue's surface that doesn't have anything to do with taste. So, there aren't any taste buds in this central area. It's a zone related solely with scraping meat from bones or with cleaning fur. The taste buds are limited to the tip, the sides and the back of the tongue only.
Continue Reading About How Sensitive Is A Cat's Taste?
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San Antonio Texas Pet Scene
Add a Shelter Cat to Your Family Today
Stray Cat Adoptions of Texas (SCAT)P.O. Box 700571
San Antonio, Texas 78270
Attn: Denise Duchaine
SCAT runs weekend cat adoption centers at several PetSmart locations in San Antonio.
San Antonio Feral Cat CoalitionSan Antonio Feral Cat Coalition
San Antonio Feral Cat Coalition is organized to promote Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and public education of feral cat issues in the San Antonio area.
South Texas Persian RescueSouth Texas Persian Rescue
We are a rescue specializing in rescuing persians, himalayans, exotic shorthairs, and ragdolls. Most of our rescued cats are pulled from shelters. Some are given up by their owners due to family situations, financial situations, or a behavioral problem the cat is having. All cats are treated for any existing medical condition(s); they are spayed/neutered, FIV/FELV tested, and given all necessary immunizations before adoption; and any behavioral problem(s) the cat may have is addressed and resolved. All of our foster kitties are housed in actual homes with foster parents - so they get used to being in a home environment.
The Humane Society / SPCA of Bexar CountyThe Humane Society / SPCA of Bexar County
The Humane Society/SPCA of Bexar County has served Bexar County and its surrounding areas since 1952.
Animal Defense LeagueAnimal Defense League
The ADL has a nice Cat House and always has cats and kittens for adoption
Become part of the San Antonio Pet SceneEmail me your Pet related announcements and I will post them for free. email@example.com
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Newest Cat and Kitten ArticlesHyperthyroidism Your Adult Cat: Many owners do notice that their cat is not eating, but they think, 'That's all right, Tiger needs to lose a few pounds,' " says Dr. Gelberg. "And then after a week or two of no appetite, they start to get worried and finally bring their animal to the veterinarian.
If they don't bring their pet in and the cat gets hepatic lipidosis, death is likely.
Pet Horoscopes - VIRGO (8/22-9/21):
Virgo cats are wonderful companions. A sixth sense lets them know when you are unhappy or sick, and they are always there to comfort you. They are shy animals, preferring their own company, and are content to play by themselves. They are reserve and won't show their affections easily. Don't expect your Virgo cat to come running to you when you get home. They will gladly spend entire evenings lying at your feet or resting their head on your lap. They are fussy eaters, so once you've found them a good brand of pet food, stick with it.
Discovering Your cat's Inner Soul: If you know your cat's birth date, it may be entertaining as well as helpful to read you cat’s horoscope. Just as people enjoy a bit of fun fortune or predictions and advisement involving our daily lives, current affairs, and those events yet to happen, your cat's behaviors can be predicted too! If you know the birth date of your cat, you can easily look up their horoscope. Many daily pet horoscopes for cats can be found on the internet for free. For detailed information, some will ask for an additional fee. The names and a short description of some well-known online pet horoscope websites include
5 Common Causes of Your Cat Urinating Outside the Litter Box:
Have you ever had this happen? You’re a happy cat owner, your kitty is using the box just fine, but one day…you come home and find a giant urine spot in the living room the bathroom…heaven forbid – on your bed! What happened? What went wrong? It
A Common Cat Litter Box Problem - Feline UTI
Cat litter box problems stem from a variety of sources. One of the most common causes is a feline Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Cats tolerate pain pretty well. As a matter of fact, we can be fooled that kitty is feeling fine because she's eating
Cat Behavior Training:
Learning cat behaviors before you start training them would be an good idea for anyone that is going to train a cat's behavior. A cat can jump and lands on its feet as this are a natural instinct for a cat.
How to Clean Cat Urine:
When cat urine seeps through carpet, into padding and down to the floor beneath, it can give your home an unpleasant aroma (to say the very least!). In almost all cases, cat urine is the worst perpetrator of pet stains and pet odors
So You Want a Cat or Kitten?
As an ardent reader of the Collins Dog Photoguide I came across this article, which I feel, might be of interest to readers.
Shelter Cats Make Great Companions
Other Crazy Stuff
An Engineer's Guide to Cats/www.youtube.com/v/mHXBL6bzAR4&hl=en&fs=1">
Worlds First Bio-engineered Pet
See The Gen Pets
Yemengzhu - The 3 billion dollar rock
Yemengzhu - The 3 Billion Dollar Rock
What weighs 6.2 tons and is worth more then 3.1 billion dollars? Are your guessing a new high tech battleship or maybe a new stealth fighter? Well it's a big ball of glow in the dark fluorite. Thats right a rock!
read more --- Yemengzhus, 亦稱傳奇光亮珍珠在中國, 是罕見的煥發的球在黑暗的熒石。
Red fluorescent cats
Red fluorescent cats: This picture, taken through a special filter in a dark room, shows a cat, left, possessing a red fluorescent protein that makes the animal glow in the dark when exposed to ultraviolet rays, appearing next to a normal cloned cat.
Meet My Cats
I am a slave to 8 cats
Rare Picture Of All My Cats
Trouble, Patches, and Sweetie Pie enjoying a sunny San Antonio Day. (What a life!)
Cassidy and Snowflake Same mom different litters - Rescued from a feral colony in San Antonio
Cassidy was born with a club foot and two different color eyes
Cassidy runs and plays just like her normal sisters
Sarafena - Queen of the Witches
Cookie Monster came from a local flea market
Trouble (Grand Ma) weighs in at 18+ pounds. At 12 years old she still plays with the young cats.
Starvin Marvin - AKA "Whizzer" - Our only Tom. Marvin Has FHIV but is healthy and living high on the hog.
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Cat Adoption from the Animal Defense League of Texas - San Antonio Texas
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Vaccines: What Cat Owners Need to KnowOn my first trip to the veterinarian's office as proud new cat owner I pondered the question that I am sure has crossed the minds of many cat owners at some point. Does my cat really need these vaccines? My kitten, like many of yours, was destined to be an indoor-only cat so why did I need to drag her into the vet clinic every year for vaccines?
According to Dr. Melissa Riensche, a small animal internal medicine resident at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, the answer is actually quite simple. As with human medicine, vaccinations are an important part of the preventative medicine veterinarians practice. The ultimate goal of a vaccination is to eliminate the spread of certain diseases or, if that is not possible, to reduce the disease severity.
The vaccines engineered for your cat are separated into several categories referred to as core, non-core, and those that are generally not recommended. These categories are defined based on factors like: the overall efficacy of the vaccine, your pet's individual risk factors, and the health risks associated with the vaccine. Core vaccines are ones that most animals should receive and in some cases a core vaccine may actually be required by law.
Continue Reading About Vaccines: What Cat Owners Need to Know
Cats & HolidaysWhat are the options of care for my cat when I go on holidays?
There are several options for your cat when you go on holiday. Each option has it's pros & cons & needs to be weighed up carefully. There are many factors involved, including the length of time you are going away, cost, your cat's personality & your own comfort level. Listed below are several options cat owners can investigate.
Pros: You will have a professional to watch your cat while you are away. There are some wonderful boarding catteries available. Some of which start out fairly basic, others are the equivalent of a feline 5 star hotel. Many boarding catteries have an enclosed outdoor play area so your cat can enjoy the sunshine in the safety of an enclosure. As boarding catteries usually have other pets in their care, time in an outdoor play area is usually limited so each of their guests can enjoy time outside.
You will have somebody keeping a watch over your cat's health & well being. As well as providing the basic requirements such as feeding many boarding catteries will spend time playing, grooming & petting your cat.
Cons: Some cats don't take well to being taken outside of the comfort of their home, and will become stressed. The majority of cats will settle in quickly, but some will find it an upsetting experience.
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Potty Training For Your Feline FriendsCats are basically clean animals. Perhaps you have seen one or two grooming himself or one another, or covering a recent defecated area. Although sometimes, due to medical conditions and stress cats tend to eliminate body wastes anywhere they choose to, so it is a must to potty train them to prevent any inconvenience inappropriate elimination can make. Cat potty training is best started when your pet is still a kitten, just like children it is then when foundations are built.
To start potty training the first thing you need is to find a good litter box, one that is made of plastic is preferable since this kind of material is cheaper, easier to clean, and will not let the odor out after usage.
Next, find a good cat litter as there are two kinds of cat litter the clumping and the non-clumping. The clumping kind makes cleaning of the litter box easier, but they are both effective so it's entirely up to you to choose between them. When filling the litter box with cat litter, it is best to fill it up a third of the way full, because cats like to dig on the surface before defecating.
After preparing the materials needed simply follow these cat potty training steps:
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Pros and Cons of Outside CatsIt's your ultimate decision as to whether or not you want your cat to be inside, outside, or a little of both. There are pros and cons associated with each option, but you'll find that more cat owners will prefer to keep their cat(s) inside and solely inside. Again, this is your opinion and choice, unless you live in a country that bans domestic cats from living outside, especially if declawed, as they would not be able to fully defend themselves.
You'll find that there are advantages and disadvantages to everything, to include leaving yoru cat outside. Before you make the decision check out the basic pros and cons of an outdoor cat.
There are very few pros to an outside cat. There were only two that I could accumulate.
Freedom. Many believe that cats are happier outside because they can exhibit their natural predatory skills of chasing bugs, birds, lizards, and other small prey items.
No litter box. For outdoor cats, there is no need for a litter box, as the world is one big litter box. This means that you do not have to fool with cleaning a litter box. You also won't have to worry about your cat having litter box problems, where he doesn't want to use the litter box in the house, resulting in soiled carpets, floors, and furniture.
Continue Reading About The Pros and Cons of Outside Cats
Cat Behavior Facts Few People KnowEpics, novels and movies have always portrayed cats as unpredictable and moody creatures. Many consider cats as mysterious creatures. However, the truth cannot be further from this. A cat is as normal and predictable as any other animals. The only condition is that we need to know what to expect from a cat in terms of normal behavior.
People consider cats as 'cute' little animals only to give them up at the slightest hint of aggression or litter issues. Most people do not do their homework well before keeping a cat. Cats are different than dogs and that's where people greatly misunderstand cats.
Being distant relatives to the much larger cats we see in the wild, (of course our kitty is much smaller), they are able to eat at frequent intervals. COnsuming anywhere from 10 grams to a quarter of a cup at a time.
The reason for this is that it is instinctual to keep their digestive system in optimal condition. In addition to eating frequently these instinctual creature just like their relatives can go a day to two without eating anything, and as long as they don't seem to be sick this is a very normal behavior.
Cats love to sleep! In fact, sleeping is the main activity on their agenda followed by hunting, chasing and eating. At time it may seem like all a cat does is sleep and eat.
Unlike a dog that sleeps with his ears cocked and gets up at the slightest noise, a cat can sleep through anything. So don't be surprised if your cat finds some warm and soft place and disappears for a while for his catnap.
Cats are a clean creature and like to keep things private. They like their litter boxes to be hidden in a private place. In fact after a cat uses the litter box they bury it in litter covering up and hiding their business. This behavior is a learned behavior that they pick up from their mothers at a very young age.
These are just a few cat behaviors cat owners should know. Now, that you know these behaviors it is easier to know when a cat is being normal and when a cat is acting odd.
Continue Reading About Cat Behavior Facts Few People Know
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Free changing picture gallery for your blog or webpageHere is your chance to put a rotating picture gallery of the cats of CatNews.org on your blog or website.
Drop this code into your page and the gallery will function just like the pictures you see on my site, changing each time your visitor refreshes the page. I am always adding pictures to these galleries. They already has quite a few in them.
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Even Healthy Cats Act Sick When Their Routine Is Disrupted A cat regularly vomiting hairballs or refusing to eat probably isn't being finicky or otherwise "cat-like," despite what conventional wisdom might say. There is a good chance that the cat is acting sick because of the stress caused by changes in its environment, new research suggests.
Healthy cats were just as likely as chronically ill cats to refuse food, vomit frequently and leave waste outside their litter box in response to changes in their routine, according to the Ohio State University study. Veterinary clinicians refer to these acts as sickness behaviors. The researchers documented sickness behaviors in healthy cats and in cats with feline interstitial cystitis, a chronic illness characterized by recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder and often both an urgent and frequent need to urinate.
When the cats experienced what were called "unusual external events," such as a change in feeding schedule or caretaker, the healthy cats were just as likely to exhibit sickness behaviors as were the chronically ill cats. The two groups had the same number of sickness behaviors in response to unusual events, and both groups were at more than three times the risk of acting sick when their routines were disrupted.
Previous research has indicated that a diagnosis of interstitial cystitis, known as IC, in cats is strongly associated with a number of other health problems. The fact that healthy cats exhibit some of those same problems in the face of stress suggests that veterinary clinicians should consider cats' environmental conditions during assessments for health problems, researchers say.
"For veterinary clinicians, when you have a cat that's not eating, is not using the litter box or has stuff coming up out of its mouth, the quality of the environment is another cause that needs to be addressed in coming up with a diagnosis," said Tony Buffington, professor of veterinary clinical sciences at Ohio State and senior author of the study.
Continue Reading About Even Healthy Cats Act Sick When Their Routine Is Disrupted
Choosing the Healthiest Cat Food BrandChoosing be best cat food brand for your pet is more important than ever. Recent pet food recall events have alerted cat owners to the dangers posed by many commercial cat food and kitten food brands.
Healthier Cat Foods Have Higher Quality Ingredients
Although most commercial cat foods meet the criteria for "complete and balanced" as determined by AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials), these standards do not assure the safety or quality of the ingredients. All products in the recent cat food recall bore the AAFCO certification.
Better foods will cost more initially, but the lack of fillers and increased bioavailability of quality ingredients will save money over time. Your cat will get more nutrition out of less food and suffer fewer food allergies. Ultimately, the cost savings of inexpensive, poor-quality foods is a false economy.
Foods that contain excess fillers like corn, soy and wheat are like junk food for cats. You cat eats more of these foods to obtain the nutrients she needs, and obesity results. Obesity can cause joint problems, heart failure and metabolic disorders such as diabetes.
Read Labels on Cat Food Brand Recipes
Look passed the enticing design of the bag and read the ingredient labels. As obligate carnivores, cats must have meat in their diet to survive. The better the source of the meat protein, the better.
When reading the label, look at the order of ingredients. They are listed in order of quantity. The first ingredient should be a named meat or fish like "chicken" or "salmon." Avoid foods that say simply "meat" or "meat by-products."
Use caution when choosing food according to the name of the food rather than the ingredients.
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Flea Yard ControlYard flea control is an essential part of controlling flea infestation outside the home. No matter how diligent you are about controlling fleas inside the home, if your cat goes outside, he could pick up fleas in an uncontrolled yard and bring them inside, making indoor flea control difficult if not impossible.
Controlling Fleas by Understanding Their Life Cycle Simply killing adult fleas isn't enough to control flea infestation; flea larvae hatch from eggs and then mature into adults. In order to control flea infestation, you'll need to kill flea eggs and larvae as well as adult fleas. You should be aware that flea control is often an ongoing process; fleas can reappear if you aren't diligent in your control methods.
Preparing Your Lawn for Flea Control Treatment Many cat owners choose to treat their lawns chemically in order to control fleas. Before you consider using a chemical treatment, prepare your lawn to minimize flea hiding places and ensure that chemical treatment has the maximum effect.
The first step in lawn preparation is mowing your lawn. Mowing your lawn regularly can have enormous flea control benefits, as it allows sunlight to penetrate the soil, where flea eggs and larvae live. When sunlight penetrates the flea egg or larval cocoon, it can be harmful or even deadly for them.
Remove any weeds from your lawn, especially those growing around fence lines and in sidewalk cracks. Remove weeds from around play equipment and furnishings.
Take steps to keep unwanted animals out of your lawn. Fill gaps in your fencing and cover trash cans that might tempt wild animals and strays. Stray cats, dogs and even wild animals can bring more fleas into your yard. Because keeping unwanted animals entirely out of your lawn at all times is most likely impossible, you'll need to repeat flea control treatments regularly to prevent re-infestation.
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Cats, Coyotes and Coons!My cat Spike had become uncommonly skittish when he was in his bed in the garage. He has two beds, one in the house and one in the garage. Even if I was outside with him he would nervously keep watch on his surroundings as if expecting something to jump from behind a tree and grab him. If he wanted to go into the garage from the house, he would nervously watch the garage door for any movement from the night. He even had me opening the door and looking outside to see if anything was going on. Spike seemed to be watching for any sign of the raccoons that had camped out in our garage during the summer. When we had chased off all the raccoons except one, we breathed easier, but then Spike almost lost his leg due to a scuffle with the largest raccoon. Spike had gotten between the raccoon and some leftover food in the cat's dish, leaving the cat with a badly mangled left rear foot.
About the same time, the neighbor's two large dogs that were kept in a pen in their back yard began to go nuts each night about two in the morning. They would howl, bark, and lunge at the fence! You could hear the dog's bodies hitting the chain link fence all the way too my house, two doors away! At this point we still didn't know what was causing the commotion each night.
A few weeks went by and now Spike was spending most of his night time in the house, while the dogs continued to bark each evening after dark. Only after we spotted the coyote crossing the road to trot in our direction did we know what was causing the disturbance. That's when we named the Coyote, Ruckus!
Continue Reading About Cats, Coyotes and Coons!
Honoring Our Troops
Homemade Kitten FoodDo you need a cheap, healthy alternative to store bought kitten food to help wean your kittens off their mother's milk and transition them to traditional canned kitten food? More than likely, they have shown little interest in regular canned food, preferring the milk to anything you might put in their bowl. Dry food will also be too hard on their developing teeth. The best option would be to start them on a food that reminds them of what they prefer, but can be mixed with traditional wet food to help transition them over. This recipe is simple to make, and kittens find it delicious.
Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat and mix in one envelope of unflavored gelatin. Be sure to mix thoroughly, and do not boil the gelatin. If the water tastes bad or has a heavy chlorine taste when it comes out of the tap, consider using filtered water instead.
Pour this mixture into a blender along with half of a 12 ounce can of goat's milk. Blend just long enough to combine thoroughly. Do not substitute cow's milk because cats tend to be lactose intolerant. Using cow's milk can lead to discomfort, diarrhea, and worse if fed to kittens.
Add the following ingredients one at a time. After each addition, blend briefly to combine before moving on to the next. You will want to use the lowest setting to avoid overmixing. Add: 3 tbsp full fat yogurt, 3 tbsp real mayonnaise, 3 tsp light corn syrup, and 1 raw egg yolk. Concerning the egg yolk, raw eggs carry a small risk of salmonella poisoning. To eliminate any risk of accidentally passing this on to your kittens, use eggs that have been pasteurized in their shells.
You can serve the completed homemade kitten food the way it is, or you can store it for use later. To store for later usage, cover the mixture tightly in a small container. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to ten days or in your freezer for up to three months.
If you are going to use food that you have prepared in advance, you will want to warm it up before serving, especially if it is coming from the refrigerator or freezer. Cold food causes severe stomach upset in kittens. Warming it up will also make it more aromatic, and thus more appetizing to the kittens.
How to Litter Train A KittenIf the mother cat is still in the home and she is already litter trained, then litter training her kittens is a natural process. Her kittens will simply follow what she does. However, ultimately, each cat should have its own litter tray or else it may create a host of other litter tray problems for you!
For most kitten owners, the mother cat is not in the home if the kitten was orphaned or purchased. But this is not a problem. It is easy to litter train a cat when it's still a little kitten. Cats are creatures of habit and it may not be as easy to litter train once they have become used to their favorite toilet spots.
The key to litter training a kitten is to let it get used to the litter tray as soon as possible. You will need to manually place your kitten onto the tray initially, as it is neither used to it nor is it able to climb over the edge to get in.
Most kittens would defecate soon after waking up and after a meal. You could place your kitten in the litter tray during these times and after a few weeks, your kitten would get used to the routine and it would become a habit.
Just be sure to place the litter tray a reasonable distance away from where the kitten is fed and where it sleeps. Cats and kittens are fastidious creatures and do not like to do their toilet near where they eat and sleep.
When a kitten is still very young, it will not be able to "cover up" very well after its toilet, as most adult cats are capable of. But you don't have to worry about this. Once they are about 1 to 2 months old, they will instinctively know how to cover up their poop.
In the wild or in the garden, cats will scoop soil and earth to cover but in the home, if you provide commercial cat litter, they will naturally scoop the litter to cover up the poop. You will notice, even if you only provide a newspaper for their soiling, your kitten will still scoop at the newspaper in an instinctive act to cover up their poop.
Although you can expect to pick up poop after your kitten in the first few weeks, litter training a kitten is relatively easy and can be 100% trouble-free once it gets used to the routine of using the litter tray.
New Kitten Care - How to Kitten-proof Your HomeA very important aspect of new kitten care is keeping your kitten safe from danger. There are a lot of potential hazards round the home for little kittens. This article lists the most common ones and suggests ways you can minimize risks to your kitten and keep her safe.
Washing machine and tumble dryer:
If you leave the door open and there are clothes inside, there's a good chance your kitten will climb in and go to sleep. Always check your kitten isn't inside these before you use them.
Fridge and freezer:
As soon as you've used these, shut the door.
Hob and oven:
Shut the oven door as soon as you've finished with it. Cover hot hob plates.
Keep it out of reach - it can give your kitten food poisoning.
Put all garbage in a sealed bin that your kitten can't access.
Many plants are poisonous to cats. If you're not sure whether a certain plant is safe for your kitten if she eats it, put it out of her reach.
The oils used to scent this can be poisonous.
Open fires and candles:
Use a guard on the fire. Never leave a kitten in a room alone with lit candles.
If your kitten is a wire chewer, you'll need to put wires out of her reach or buy plastic covers for them.
Curtain tie-backs and cords on window blinds:
Kittens can get caught in these. Either remove them completely or tie them up out of reach.
Filled bathtubs and sinks:
Make sure your kitten doesn't have access to the room when the tub or sink is full.
Try to get into the habit of keeping the lid down when the toilet's not in use.
Keep them in a cupboard that your kitten can't get into.
Kittens can swallow small things like paper clips, rubber bands, staples and needles.
String, wool, fishing line and thread:
Kittens can swallow large quantities of these. For this reason, balls of wool or string and pom-poms aren't good toys for cats.
Most cleaners etc. are highly poisonous to cats and need to be kept somewhere your kitten can't access.
Tobacco, nicotine patches and nicotine gum are all poisonous to cats.
Reclining chairs, futons, folding beds, drawers:
If kittens get caught when this type of furniture is moved, they can get crushed. Make sure your kitten isn't asleep somewhere she could get trapped before you use any of these.
Safety is a major factor for new kitten care. It's fairly easy to keep your kitten safe as long as you anticipate potential dangers and take the necessary steps to prevent them. Putting brightly colored post it notes up around your home is a good way to do this. Stick the notes on or near potential dangers - for example the fridge, washing machine, oven, toilet and futon - and anywhere else that could be a hazard.
Kitten Feeding with a BottleKitten feeding can feel like a difficult process without a mother cat to do it for you. Newborn kittens are so tiny and fragile, and have to operate almost entirely by instinct. It may seem a daunting task at first, but the process of kitten feeding with a bottle is not so much from that of feeding a newborn human. Once they know what to do, they will do it all on their own. All you have to do is show them proper care and follow a few simple guidelines.
Step 1 Make up the bottle of formula. To do this, first sterilize the bottle and nipple in boiling water for several minutes and allow to cool thoroughly before adding the KMR (kitten milk replacement) formula. KMR is specifically formulated for kittens, and cow's milk is not an adequate replacement. To avoid clumping, add just a little bit of water to the powdered mix and stir until thoroughly combined before adding the rest of the hot water. The final temperature of the formula should be about 95 degrees. If the bottle gets cold, just warm it up in a small bowl of very warm water, but always check the temperature before offering it to the kitten.
Step 2 Prepare the kitten. Place a warm, soft towel either on your lap or on the feeding surface, then place the kitten gently on top of it. When feeding newborn kittens, they will need to be lying flat on their stomachs. It is best if you can do this with the kitten gently cuddled against you, because you need to be sure that the kitten is warm before feeding. Cold kittens do not digest their formula well.
Step 3 Feed the kitten. Gently work the nipple against the kitten's mouth. They will get the idea quickly and take it in. If not, very gently stroke the kitten until it gets the idea. You will need to do this six to ten times per day, around the clock, just like a newborn human. Newborn kittens will need a little over one ounce of formula per day, divided between feedings. Be careful to not overfeed them.
Step 4 Clean up and burp the kitten. While the kitten is still on the blanket, gently slip one hand under its belly and hold it while you very lightly pat its upper back. This will stimulate the burp response. Then, using a warm, damp, slightly rough cloth, gently clean its anal and genital area to stimulate urination and defecation.
Step 5 Put the kitten back to bed. It is worn out from its feeding and needs to rest.
Getting Ready for the Newborn KittensCaring for your cat during pregnancy may require a lot of time and effort in your part but it is a very wonderful and rewarding experience. But after the kittens are already born, you will need to do a different task and that is to take care of the newborn kittens. These kittens will need special kind of attention and care and you must make sure that you could provide it to them.
One good way to start is to prepare your home for the arrival of the newborn kittens. Kittens tend to play with, chew, or nibble anything that attracts their interest like plants, cords, and other materials. You should remove the things that could be harmful to the newborn kittens like anything that could poison them or hurt them. Electrical cords must be kept out of reach. Look for anything sharp and pointed and remove them from the area immediately. Deal with anything that could strangle your kitten like ropes, ribbons, and cords to provide a safer place for your kittens.
You might also want to save your curtains and drapes from kitten scratches so it would be advisable to tie them up so your kittens will not be able to reach them. Make sure that the cabinet for your cleaning liquids are out of your kittensâ€™ reach. Most of these cleaning liquids are poisonous and you wouldn't want your kitty to play with them to prevent any kind of accident.
Another good preparation that you should not forget is to shop for things that your kitten will need. You will have to shop for foods that are suitable for newborn kittens. You should opt for foods that could give your kittens the kind of nutrition they need for growth. The food should also be easily digestible by kittens to prevent any troubles with their tummy.
You should also get them the things they need like their own bowls, kitty basket or bed, blanket, litter box, and toys. This is to ensure that your kittens will be comfortable and that they will have a good playing time. You should provide them with warm and comfortable place or area to sleep in. When choosing toys for your little kittens, make sure that they are safe and will not put the safety of your kittens at risk.
Lastly, you must make sure that your kittens are healthy. After birth, you could have a vet take a look at them to check them up for any illness and to give them vaccines that they need. If your vet saw some signs and symptoms that suggest illness, your kitten might be subjected to some tests and examinations. This is to ensure that they will grow healthy and will reduce the risk of getting sick. These things will help prepare you and your home for the arrival of your catâ€™s newborn kittens. You will not have to get worried about their safety inside your home and you can be sure that you will able to provide them with anything they need for them to grow happy and healthy.
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