Cat Litter Box

Cat litter box: Primarily the health problems experienced by cat owners or their cats come from the first category and the most significant of these risks is called Toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a tiny parasite called Toxoplasma gondii which can be found in raw or undercooked meat, unwashed fruits and vegetables, dirty cat litter boxes and outdoor soil where cat feces can be found.

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Cat Litter Box Health Concerns You Need To Know


Cats are the most popular pets in the United States. According to the latest version of the U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook (2002 Edition) there were almost 70 Million pet cats in the United States. Why are cats so popular? There are as many answers to this question as there are cat owners, but the low health risks cats pose to their owners is certainly near the top of this list. Even though the potential health risks cats pose to people are small, it is important that cat owners are aware of these risks and understand how to reduce them.

The majority of all risks stemming from cat ownership are associated with the cat litter box and/or cat feces. There are two categories of risks. The first category contains health risks posed by bacteria and parasites to both cat owners and their cats. The second category contains injuries resulting from an automatic litter box or a self cleaning litter box.

Primarily the health problems experienced by cat owners or their cats come from the first category and the most significant of these risks is called Toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a tiny parasite called Toxoplasma gondii which can be found in raw or undercooked meat, unwashed fruits and vegetables, dirty cat litter boxes and outdoor soil where cat feces can be found. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more than 60 million people in the United States may be infected with the Toxoplasma parasite(1). Fortunately, very few people ever experience any symptoms because a healthy person's immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness. However, pregnant women and individuals who have compromised immune systems, such as individuals infected with the HIV virus, are at risk and should take precautions to avoid being infected by the parasite. For people in this group a Toxoplasma infection could cause serious health problems to the individual or to a pregnant woman’s unborn child.

Again, most of the 60 million plus American’s infected with Toxoplasmosis parasite will never experience any symptoms. Most of those who do experience symptoms will simply think they have the Flu as the most common symptoms include swollen glands, fever, headache, muscle pain, or a stiff neck. For those in the high risk group, Toxoplasmosis can cause damage to the brain, eyes and internal organs. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, children born with Toxoplasma gondii can suffer from hearing loss, mental retardation, and blindness with some children developing brain or eye problems years after birth(2). The CDC estimates that 400-4000 fetuses are infected with the Toxoplasma gondii parasite each year and as many as 80 infants die from Toxoplasmosis annually(2).

So how does an individual contract Toxoplasmosis? A Toxoplasmosis infection is caused by ingesting the Toxoplasma gondi parasite. Most cat owners are infected with the parasite by accidentally ingesting infected cat feces. This happens when a person touches their mouth after handling a cat litter box, working in a garden or sand box or touching anything that has come in contact with cat feces(3).

People in the high risk group may wonder whether or not they should give up their cat to avoid infection. According to the CDC, it is not necessary for cat lovers to give up their cats, but it is important for them to protect themselves from infections. The USFDA makes the following recommendations for avoiding infections(2):

1) If possible, have someone else change the litter box. If you have to clean it, wear disposable gloves and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water afterwards.

2) Change the litter box daily. The parasite doesn't become infectious until one to five days after the feces are deposited in the litter box.

3) Wear gloves when gardening in a garden or handling sand from a sandbox because cats may have excreted feces in them. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and warm water afterwards.

4) Cover outdoor sandboxes to prevent cats from using them as litter boxes.

5) Feed your cat commercial dry or canned food. Never feed your cat raw meat because it can be a source of the Toxoplasmosis gondii parasite.

6) Keep indoor cats indoors. Be especially cautious if you bring outdoor cats indoors.

7) Avoid stray cats, especially kittens.

8) Don't get a new cat while you're pregnant.

Safer Child, Inc. makes the following additional recommendations(4):

1) Have your veterinarian test your cat for the Toxoplasmosis parasite. If you cat is infected, you may want to consider having someone else keep your cat during your pregnancy.

2) Keep sandboxes covered to prevent cats from using the sandbox as a litter box.

3) Be aware of neighborhood sandboxes as the parasite can be brought home on shoes, clothing and toys.

Similar to Toxoplasmosis, Escherichia coli (commonly called E. coli) can infect humans thru contact with feline fecal material, although the primary means of infection is thru ingestion or raw or undercooked meats. E. Coli is a bacterium commonly found in the intestinal tract of humans and animals. Almost all strains of the bacteria are harmless. However a few strains can produce powerful toxins and cause severe illness, especially in children under 5 years of age(5). Symptoms usually include diarrhea and abdominal cramps. In children under 5, 2%-7% of E. coli cases can cause kidney failure. Fortunately, E. coli is easy to prevent. Using the preventative measures, outlined above for Toxoplasmosis will greatly reduce the risks of you or your children contracting an E. coli infection.

In addition to these human risks, there are a few health risks cat litter boxes actually pose to cats that cat owners should be aware of. Just as a dirty litter box poses health risks to humans, cats are equally at risk if forced to use a dirty litter box. Since cats stay clean by licking themselves, allowing a cat’s litter box to get too dirty can cause infections when a cat cleans it’s paws after using the dirty litter box. The most common infection is a urinary tract infection, and although this type of infection is rarely fatal it can be very uncomfortable for your cat and will most likely require treatment by your veterinarian.

Finally, a lesser-known health risk to cats is actually caused by cat litter itself. What many cat owners do not realize is that some types of cat litter can be harmful or even fatal to their cat. Both clumping and non-clumping litters pose health problems to cats. Clumping cat litters are probably the most popular type of cat litter because of their convenience, hygienic qualities and the fact that clumping litters are required for use in self-cleaning litter boxes. Unfortunately, some clumping litters can be harmful to cats. Clay based clumping litters can contain the mineral sodium bentonite, which can be harmful or fatal to your cat. It is best to avoid using clay based cat litters, especially with kittens. Wheat or corn based clumping litters such as Swheat Scoop, World’s Best Cat Litter and Littermaid cat litter work very well and are non-toxic(6).

By their very nature, non-clumping litters do not absorb and isolate a cat’s urine or feces like clumping litters do. As a result, it is much harder to keep your cat’s litter box clean when using non-clumping litter. When using non-clumping litter it is important to frequently clean and disinfect the litter box itself to reduce the chance of bacterial buildups that can cause urinary or other infections in your cat.

The second category of health risks covers injuries caused by an automatic litter box or self cleaning litter box. Occurrences of this type of injury are rare, but they can happen. An automatic or self cleaning litter box does just what it’s name implies. Usually between 10-15 minutes after a cat uses the litter box, the litter box automatically cleans itself by “sweeping” or “raking” the cat waste into a sealed compartment or bag. For cat owners, injuries can occur if a small child or toddler plays with the automatic litter box during the cleaning cycle. All major brands of automatic litter boxes contain sensors to prevent the cleaning mechanism from activating when a cat or other foreign object is inside the box. However, children can still be injured if they put their hand inside the cleaning mechanism in such a manner as to avoid the sensors.

Although these types of injuries are very rare it is best to take precautions. Placing the litter box in a location where your cat can get to it but small children can’t is an easy method. This is good advice for any litter box as this is the best way to keep children from contracting one of the illnesses described earlier in this article. If you can’t keep the automatic litter box out of a child’s reach then it is best to put the litter box inside a litter box cover. There are many types of covers and all of them will help prevent a child from reaching the litter box and the cleaning mechanism. A final option is to unplug the litter box or put it into a “manual operation” mode. Both of these options will require the cat owner to start the cleaning cycle whenever necessary. Although this reduces some of the convenience of an automatic litter box it certainly removes the danger to children.

Automatic or self cleaning litter boxes are completely safe for almost all cats. However, most manufacturers recommend that the litter box be used in “manual operation” mode for cats under 5 lbs. Cats under 5 lbs many not be large enough to activate the sensors and the cleaning mechanism could cause injury. Since most adult cats weigh over 5 lbs, it is only necessary to use the “manual operation” mode until kittens grow to 5 lbs.

This article is not intended to dissuade anyone from owning a cat. 70 Million cat owners can’t be wrong; cats make great pets! So, if you already own a cat or are thinking of becoming a cat owner it simply makes good sense to be aware of the health risks associated with cat ownership. Understanding the risks can definately increase the enjoyment of cat ownership.

(1)Toxoplasmosis Fact Sheet; http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/toxoplasmosis/factsht_toxoplasmosis.htm

(2) While You're Pregnant – USFDA
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pregnant/whiltoxo.html

(3) Toxoplasmosis – An important Message for Cat Owners; http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/toxoplasmosis/toxoplasmosis_brochure_8.2004.pdf

(4) Safer Child, Inc.;
http://www.saferchild.org/pets&.htm

(5) Escherichia coli O157:H7 Fact Sheet;
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/escherichiacoli_g.htm

(6) Stanford Cat Network’s – Guide to Caring for Your Adopted Cat or Kitten;
http://www.stanford.edu/group/CATNET/articles/careguide.html#litter


About the Author:

The author is a long time cat lover who currently owns and operates http://LitterBoxesandMore.com; a business specializing in high quality automatic litter boxes or self cleaning litter boxes and other specialty cat products such as pet strollers and indoor cat fences. Come visit us at http://www.litterboxesandmore.com

Source: www.isnare.com



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Problems That Aging Cats are Susceptible to

It’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:

* Anemia
* Arthritis and stiff joints
* Blood pressure problems
* Bone brittleness and weakness
* Breathing issues resulting from less flexibility of the lung muscles
* Cancer
* 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.
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Ensure A Good Relationship Between Your Cat And Your Kids

Many parents know that the best way for children to learn compassion and the importance of keeping commitments is by helping to care for a pet. Children learn from watching the adults in their lives. If a child can learn to treat an animal with respect they can take that lesson into later life. A cat can be a marvellous, loving companion for a child, but it is up to the adults in the family to ensure the cat and the kids live together happily ever after.

When you first bring a cat home, explain to your child that they will need to be patient, quiet and gentle to help the cat feel safe. Sit on the floor with your child and help him practice patience as the cat gets up the courage to come close. Let your child feed the cat a piece of food from his hand. If the cat is reluctant to come close, have your child gently toss a piece of food close to the cat. Once the cat realizes what your child is offering, the ice will melt.

Very young children can easily overwhelm a cat or kitten with their exuberance. Children under the age of five years should always be supervised when playing with or handling a cat. Children over 12 years can usually be trusted to be gentle, but be sure to occasionally check up on kids under 12 years when they spend concentrated time with the family cat.

You should remind children that they should not disturb a sleeping cat, or a cat that is using its litter tray.

Kittens appear to be amazingly flexible, and children often think nothing of draping a weeks-old cat over the crook of the arm and carrying it around like a toy, or picking up a kitten by the scruffof its neck. In this position, it is easy for the kitten to be dropped and seriously injured. Also, being carried like this leaves the cat feeling unsupported with it's hind legs swinging in space.
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Helping You Cat Express Its Creativity Through Scratching

Most cats enjoy scratching, there's no question about it.

And indoor cats are no different. Just because a tree is not available, it does not decrease their desire to "leave a mark on the world" by scratching. From a cat's point of view, chairs, sofas, and even the woodwork can serve as a good substitute. But cat owners often take a different view. They see scratching as a destructive behavior, and seek to redirect or stop it. In many cases, a scratching post can be a good compromise.

But even better, why not help your feline pal create original pieces of art you will be proud to display in your home or office?

Ever since he was a kitten, my cat Henry has always loved to scratch. He soon grew tired of the scratching post I bought him and went on to create interesting textures on the living room sofa and chair. I was determined not to have him declawed. So what was the answer?

I remembered hearing that a friend's cat liked to scratch a piece of carpet she had nailed onto the wall. So I went to the surplus store and bought a few pieces of carpet remnants.

It did not take Henry long to catch on. Almost as soon as I nailed the carpet up on the wall, he discovered that he really enjoyed scratching it. He was very pleased that it didn't turn over with him like his old scratching post sometimes did, and he enjoyed working with the texture.
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How to Make Cat Grooming Easier

Regularly grooming your pet cat help lessen hair ball problems and will make the fur of your cat look more healthy and shinny. Usually, cats love to be groomed but not all cats enjoy it. This article aims to help pet owners to make cat grooming easier. However hesitant your cat maybe to grooming you can still find ways to make it enjoy grooming. One way is to take advantage of upir cat's natural enjoyment of human contact. Even if you have a very aloof cat it also enjoys petting. Read the following pointers that you should remember in order to make grooming session with your cat will be stress free and enjoyable.

Reasons why your cat doesn’t want to be groomed:
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•#Dominant personality

First of all, you need to understand why your pet cat dont want to be groomed. Just like you, pets also has their sensitive parts and this is one of the reasons why your pet dont want to be touched or groomed. Another reason is injury. If your pet has injury or in pain it will most likely run away from you when you try to groom it. That’s why it is advisable to check your pet's body to know which part of his body is sensitive or if your pet has any kind of injury. Once you know those areas then you can avoid it when you try to groom your pet but just make sure that you stop whenever your cat is starting to feel irritated. Thinking of other ways how to groom your cat like what I already mentioned can help your cat think that grooming is also pleasurable for him.

A cat that havent experienced that much grooming before is another tough case to break. You should slowly work your cat to get it used to grooming or even petting or giving it rewards after grooming can be very effective. Cats with dominant personally can also be reluctant to grooming. This kind of cat will usually refuse when someone is petting them or touching their head and other parts of their body which makes it hard to groom.
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Should You Feed Stray Cats?

The answer, of course, is yes, you should feed strays. Since cats became domesticated they are no longer wild animals that can fend for themselves outside. They don't survive very well outdoors on their own without human intervention.

The best that stray cats can usually do is to eat from garbage cans. Every now and then they may find a mouse to eat, but in general most stray cats are starving.

A lot of people are reluctant to feed strays for several different reasons. One of these is the idea that strays will breed out of control if you feed them. The truth is that strays can breed out of control whether or not they are fed. Not feeding stray cats will NOT reduce the stray population. Even very hungry cats can still breed and then they will produce starving and unhappy little kittens.

Also, remember that it isn't the cat's fault that he or she is a stray. Often strays are cats that have been abandoned by their owners for some reason. Other times, the strays are born outdoors to other stray cats. In any case, it isn't the cat's fault that they have no home. Also, cats are intelligent animals with feelings and individual personalities and it is cruel to let them go hungry.

A lot of people don't want to feed strays because they worry that if they feed a stray cat then it will hang around looking for more food.

So what! Cat food is fairly inexpensive and it cost very little to feed a cat, however, it will make a huge difference in the life of the cat you are feeding.

Putting out dry food is best, otherwise you may get all of the neighborhood cats looking for a handout - owned or not. If you put out only dry food you will usually only get really hungry cats. However, if you put out dry cat food you will often attract the other local wildlife, such as possums and skunks, which you don't want.

To prevent this you can put out dry food during the day and pick it up at night, however, shy or feral cats will usually only come to eat at night. Canned cat food doesn't typically draw other wildlife like the dry food does and so unless you have a lot of your neighbors' cats that are coming to eat at your house then you should probably put out a few plates or bowls (depending on how many cats you are feeding) of canned food at night. You should also provide a bowl of fresh water every day and each evening.
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Feline Life Stage Guidelines

The 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.
Continue Reading About Feline Life Stage Guidelines


Important Cat Litter Box Health Concerns

Cats are the most popular pets in the United States. According to the latest version of the U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook (2002 Edition) there were almost 70 Million pet cats in the United States. Why are cats so popular? There are as many answers to this question as there are cat owners, but the low health risks cats pose to their owners is certainly near the top of this list. Even though the potential health risks cats pose to people are small, it is important that cat owners are aware of these risks and understand how to reduce them.

The majority of all risks stemming from cat ownership are associated with the cat litter box and/or cat feces. There are two categories of risks. The first category contains health risks posed by bacteria and parasites to both cat owners and their cats. The second category contains injuries resulting from an automatic litter box or self cleaning litter box.

Primarily the health problems experienced by cat owners or their cats come from the first category and the most significant of these risks is called Toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a tiny parasite called Toxoplasma gondii which can be found in raw or undercooked meat, unwashed fruits and vegetables, dirty cat litter boxes and outdoor soil where cat feces can be found. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more than 60 million people in the United States may be infected with the Toxoplasma parasite(1). Fortunately, very few people ever experience any symptoms because a healthy person's immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness. However, pregnant women and individuals who have compromised immune systems, such as individuals infected with the HIV virus, are at risk and should take precautions to avoid being infected by the parasite. For people in this group a Toxoplasma infection could cause serious health problems to the individual or to a pregnant woman’s unborn child.

Again, most of the 60 million plus American’s infected with Toxoplasmosis parasite will never experience any symptoms. Most of those who do experience symptoms will simply think they have the Flu as the most common symptoms include swollen glands, fever, headache, muscle pain, or a stiff neck. For those in the high risk group, Toxoplasmosis can cause damage to the brain, eyes and internal organs. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, children born with Toxoplasma gondii can suffer from hearing loss, mental retardation, and blindness with some children developing brain or eye problems years after birth(2). The CDC estimates that 400-4000 fetuses are infected with the Toxoplasma gondii parasite each year and as many as 80 infants die from Toxoplasmosis annually (2).

So how does an individual contract Toxoplasmosis? A Toxoplasmosis infection is caused by ingesting the Toxoplasma gondi parasite. Most cat owners are infected with the parasite by accidentally ingesting infected cat feces. This happens when a person touches their mouth after handling a cat litter box, working in a garden or sand box or touching anything that has come in contact with cat feces
Continue Reading About Important Cat Litter Box Health Concerns


How to Make Cat Grooming Easier

Regularly grooming your pet cat help lessen hair ball problems and will make the fur of your cat look more healthy and shinny. Usually, cats love to be groomed but not all cats enjoy it. This article aims to help pet owners to make cat grooming easier. However hesitant your cat maybe to grooming you can still find ways to make it enjoy grooming. One way is to take advantage of upir cat's natural enjoyment of human contact. Even if you have a very aloof cat it also enjoys petting. Read the following pointers that you should remember in order to make grooming session with your cat will be stress free and enjoyable.

Reasons why your cat doesn’t want to be groomed:
•#Your cat has sensitive part of her body
•#Dominant personality

First of all, you need to understand why your pet cat dont want to be groomed. Just like you, pets also has their sensitive parts and this is one of the reasons why your pet dont want to be touched or groomed. Another reason is injury. If your pet has injury or in pain it will most likely run away from you when you try to groom it. That’s why it is advisable to check your pet's body to know which part of his body is sensitive or if your pet has any kind of injury. Once you know those areas then you can avoid it when you try to groom your pet but just make sure that you stop whenever your cat is starting to feel irritated. Thinking of other ways how to groom your cat like what I already mentioned can help your cat think that grooming is also pleasurable for him.

A cat that havent experienced that much grooming before is another tough case to break. You should slowly work your cat to get it used to grooming or even petting or giving it rewards after grooming can be very effective. Cats with dominant personally can also be reluctant to grooming. This kind of cat will usually refuse when someone is petting them or touching their head and other parts of their body which makes it hard to groom.
Continue Reading About How to Make Cat Grooming Easier


Adopting a Cat from an Animal Shelter

When choosing a cat to adopt from an animal shelter, there are several things that must be considered. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that adopting a cat means the furry friend will most likely be around for a long while. In fact, a cat can easily live up to 20 years. Therefore, owning a cat isn't just a small commitment in time. Once the decision is made to adopt a cat, there are four main things to look for to ensure the pet will be healthy and a good match for the family and its lifestyle.

Activity
When visiting a cat shelter to choose a new feline friend, the first thing to do is to simply observe all of the cats and kittens. While observing them, just to get an idea of how active they are and what type of attitude they have. If the cat is hunched in a corner or appears lethargic, it might not be too healthy. The last thing a new pet owner needs is to adopt a sick cat that will rack up the vet's bills. Similarly, a pet owner looking to add a new cat along with the pets he or she already has doesn't want to bring home a sick cat that will spread illness to the other cats.

Observing the cat while it is in its cage is helpful in determining the attitude of the cat. Some pet owners are looking for playful cats that will scamper about the house and chase and play with toys. On the other hand, some pet owners would like a cat that is a little more docile and that will spend hours cuddled up in the owner's lap. Watching the cats in their cages will help determine which type of personality they have. Of course, a cat that is sleeping doesn't provide much information about its personality, because all cats sleep the majority of their day away. For sleeping cats, it will be necessary to rouse them to get an idea of their unique personalities.

Look At The Cat
After the selection of potential adoptees has been narrowed down, the remaining cats should be looked at more closely. To do this, the attendant should be asked to release the cats fro the cage, one at a time.
Continue Reading About Adopting a Cat from an Animal Shelter


When The Indoor Kitty Decides to Escape

I think that the most frightening thing that can happen to an indoor cat owner is to have their dearly beloved cat escape out the door. Whether it is an accident, where the cat broke through a screen, or someone leaving the door ajar and the cat's curiosity got the best of it. It is an experience that can make even the bravest of cat owners fall to their knees.

However, accidents do happen, no matter how careful we are. So what should a cat owner do first? In some instances prepare yourself for a long day or night of endless searching and calling.

Many studies have shown that indoor cats often show certain types of behavior when they find themselves in strange and unknown territory.

Most often they will go into what is called a "shut down mode" which is a type of self-preservation mode due to the fact that they are frightened and overwhelmed.

Most indoor-only cats have never seen the new sights and sounds of the outdoors and the experience is not only over whelming, but also down right scary.

If you are lucky enough to see your cat escape, keep a watchful eye on where it is going if it is at all possible. A frightened cat generally will not come when called, and now that you are outside, you too, are considered a scary person by the cat.

An indoor-only cat's first impulse is to hide somewhere that is why if you can keep your eye on the escapee you have a better chance of catching him/her.

A word of warning here, however, even if you know where Kitty is hiding, the chances of him/her coming into your arms willingly are slim and none.

First try offering food or treats, should you get no response do not be dismayed, as your cat may just be too frightened or distracted and does not realize you are its friend and not an enemy. If you try to grab the cat or make a fast motion toward it, you are only frightening it more. Talking softly and moving slowly will work better; again, keep in mind that Kitty is frightened and when you try to pick him/her up, Kitty may scratch or bite. This is a defense mechanism and has nothing to do with you. Remember how you would react if someone came toward you when you were frightened, how would you react?

If you know where Kitty is and if you can leave your door open, try to position yourself behind Kitty and sort of nudge the cat toward home territory. Again talking softly and no fast or sudden moves as you encourage the cat toward the house.
Continue Reading About When The Indoor Kitty Decides to Escape




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Pet Food Field Trip

I took a pet food field trip to Walmart yesterday. It was a discouraging visit. I won't mention any pet foods by name - but the trip provided me with some valuable pet food sales tricks to share with you.

The number one interesting marketing technique - and I have changed the exact words to protect the identity of this pet food (gotta play nice)...Blazoned across one pet food was Crunchy Beefy Nuggets. Did you catch it? Crunchy Beefy Nuggets is a trademark name (little TM after the Nuggets) - it's a name! It has nothing to do with the pet food - it is literally just a name. Very slick.

The most common sales technique I found was pet foods that are 'flavored'. The actual name of the pet food was 'Steak and Vegetable Flavor' or 'Chicken and Fish Flavor' - one even got very specific with the name mentioning Albacore Tuna and Yellow Fin Tuna FLAVOR. The trick there is the pet food is just FLAVORED with steak and vegetables or Albacore Tuna - that's not really what's in the pet food!!! Again - it's just the flavor. Most people do not get that - they see Albacore Tuna and Yellow Fin Tuna or they see Steak and Vegetable --- they don't see Flavor. Most pet owners just assume that since the front of the pet food bag - in big bold letters says Albacore Tuna on it - it's got Albacore Tuna inside the bag. If the food actually had Steak and Albacore Tuna in it - it wouldn't say 'Flavor' on the front - it would say 'with Steak and Albacore Tuna' and it would cost more than $.50 cents a can or $5.00 a bag (Albacore Tuna does cost more than Albacore Tuna Flavor).

One of the Walmart pet foods stated 'No Fillers' on the front of the bag. However in the ingredient list I found Ground Corn, Chicken by-products, Corn Gluten Meal to be the first three ingredients of the pet food. That reads like fillers to me!
Continue Reading About Pet Food Field Trip


Everything About Cat Airline Travel You Need to Know

For a cat, airline travel is extremely stressful. Prevent anxiety and stress in your cat by following a few simple guidelines. Each airline has specific rules on traveling with your cat, so make sure you know if your cat will be stored in the baggage area or if you can keep your cat and cat carrier with you on the flight. Veterinary Approval Is Usually Required While a cat sits in his cat carrier waiting to be placed in the baggage compartment, he may be exposed to outside elements. Many airlines refuse to take responsibility for a cat becoming chilled or overheated. Therefore, they require pet owners to supply a letter from their veterinarian, called an acclimation certificate, stating the cat is healthy and able to withstand temperature extremes.

Some airlines will request proof of recent vaccinations, including rabies, before boarding your pet. If you are traveling out of the country, make sure you've checked to see if your animal will face a quarantine when you reach your destination. Quarantines are stressful on both pet owners and their cat.

Choosing a Cat Airline Carrier
Airlines all require cat crates for air travel. Your cat carrier should be large enough for a cat to move around. Once you've boarded your cat, airline personnel will not allow you to take the cat from the carrier if the cat is with you. Make sure the cat has room to move and that there is room for a food and water dish. The water dish should be one that is filled from the outside. While the cat is flying, you will not be able to open the cage door.

Other features to watch for:
•Area for writing your name and contact information in case the cat carrier is lost
Continue Reading About Everything About Cat Airline Travel You Need to Know


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!


Problems That Aging Cats are Susceptible to

It’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:

* Anemia
* Arthritis and stiff joints
* Blood pressure problems
* Bone brittleness and weakness
* Breathing issues resulting from less flexibility of the lung muscles
* Cancer
* 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
Problems That Aging Cats are Susceptible to
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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Homemade Kitten Food

Do 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.

Cat allergies

How to Litter Train A Kitten

If 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.

Cat litter box location strategies

New Kitten Care - How to Kitten-proof Your Home

A 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.

Raw meat:
Keep it out of reach - it can give your kitten food poisoning.

Garbage:
Put all garbage in a sealed bin that your kitten can't access.

Plants:
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.

Pot pourri:
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.

Electrical wires:
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.

Open toilet:
Try to get into the habit of keeping the lid down when the toilet's not in use.

Medications:
Keep them in a cupboard that your kitten can't get into.

Small objects:
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.

Household chemicals:
Most cleaners etc. are highly poisonous to cats and need to be kept somewhere your kitten can't access.

Tobacco:
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.

Cat allergies

Kitten Feeding with a Bottle

Kitten 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.

Cat allergies

Getting Ready for the Newborn Kittens

Caring 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 kittens’ 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 cat’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.

Cat allergies

Newest Articles

Cat Urinary Blockage - You Can Stop Recurring Cystitis Episodes in Your Cat
Cats are prone to feline bladder infections brought on by cystitis. Sometimes you hear a cat urinary blockage referred to as Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease or FLUTD. This can be a deadly condition, but it is also preventable. You can take some simple steps to recognize the symptoms of a blockage in cat and prevent the onset of a FLUTD.

How To Go About Choosing A Cat Breed That Suits You
The first consideration when choosing a cat breed is the size of your living area. You may always think of cats as being leisurely lounge lizards, but many breeds spend as much time playing as lounging. Playful cat breeds need plenty of room to play. Also, the larger the play area and the more there is to do, such as another cat to interact with, the less likely the cat is to go mad if it doesn't see you much for a few days.

Is Gourmet Cat Food Really Tastier?
Cats need a different type of diet than humans and dogs. While the latter can eat and digest animal and plant matter fairly easily, cats are considered obligate carnivores. This means they are physically better able to digest meat products than anything else.

The Singapura Cat
A shorthair feline, Singapura is said to have originated from Singapore. It is thought to have lived there for many years with locals reporting their sightings to go back as far as three centuries. However, it is not the commonest cat in the alleys of Singapore, and is often referred to as the drain or river cat owing to its habit of staying around water bodies in summer months. The cat was imported to United States in nineteen seventies and given championship status in early eighties.

Crescia Bread or Italian Cheese Bread
If you don't like locatelli cheese then don't even bother making this bread; this bread has such a great aroma and flavor that you will eat an entire loaf by yourself, it is also perfect for gift giving and the best part is that you can freeze it weeks in advance and everyone will think that you just made it that day.

Cat Health And Cat Metabolism Information For The Best Cat Care
Cat lovers who own cats in their houses usually look after their grooming, feeding, or the training part. However, understanding the metabolism of the cats is equally imperative, because it enables pet owners to know the temperament, nature and the habits of their cats. Metabolism means ongoing of the physical as well as chemical changes, which take place in the cat's body.



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Cat litter box location strategies

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Feline Cancer - Preventing the Spread of Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) In Foster Cat Homes
The feline cancer Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) weakens the immune system, causes anemia and the growth of tumors in cats. The lifespan of a FeLV cat is short as about 85% of infected cats die within 3 1/2 years of infection. If you are a foster cat care giver, there are steps you can take to prevent the spread of the disease to the non-infected cats in your home.

Important nutritional information on cat food
Protein is crucial for your cat's health, and generally comes from fish, meat or poultry. Advertisers will often say their brand is beef, turkey or mackerel flavoured, but it may not actually contain those products

Training a Cat not to Spray
Is Toby the cat spraying everything and everyone in site? Is this resolving in unwanted messes in the house? Is Toby on the way out the door for good?

Training Your Cat for Aggression
The ears flatten backwards, cat is snarling with the sharp teeth exposed as he has his mouth wide open, and the eyes dilated. This is prime example of aggression in a cat.



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A Detailed Guide To Grooming Cats:
If you notice rice-like particles around your cats anus (or in her bed), she probably has worms and needs medication from a veterinarian. The grooming session is a good time to check your cat's ears, eyes, teeth and claws. If your cat is a young kitten, be sure to frequently manipulate these areas to get her used to handling

Introducing a new kitten to your older cat
So, you read somewhere that introducing a new kitten into your home could be great for your existing cat for companionship. And you remember how much fun your cat was when she was a new kitten, and you would love to re-live those

Cat Litter Box Location Strategies:
Just like in real estate where location is crucial, so it is for your cat's litter boxes. Here's some ideas and tips on how to effectively locate them for good cat litter box habits.

Flea Control in dogs and cats:
Flea control can be a very hard thing to do especially if you live in areas where fleas are largely populated. Weather has a lot to do with fleas and trying to keep them outdoors and off of your pets can be very changeling



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  • Cats on the mats

    "It seems to have grown in popularity," she said, adding that last year they had 20 people join them for the free session ... She said she has attended Cats on the Mat all three years. This year, the humane society brought a litter of kittens all named ...

  • Smorgasbord Health 2017 Rewind – Food Safety – Toxoplasma Gondii – Cats and other carriers.

    Cats are predators and they catch and eat infected rodents and birds. The parasite is then carried in the cat’s faeces and out into a litter box or soil ... Keep all your pets as parasite free as possible by using one of the number of natural products ...

  • $6.24 (Reg $15) Litter Genie Cat Litter Disposal System at Target

    (Deal Ends 9/23) Head on over to Target this week where you can score Litter Genie Cat Litter Disposal Pail for only $6.24, regularly $14.99! Right now there’s a high value $5 off one Litter Genie Disposal Pail coupon, stack it with a 25% off Litter ...

  • The Complicated Politics of L.A.’s Feral Cats

    After all, cats are predators, killing birds and small mammals alike. They can also spread diseases that may affect wildlife and humans. Their quality of life can be pretty poor as well. Free-roaming ... Longcore’s photo in a litter box and let her ...

  • 11 Cat Emergencies That Need Immediate Vet Attention

    Remember as well that you are always free to call your cat vet or your local emergency ... Initial symptoms may be subtle: Affected cats may urinate outside the litter box, strain but produce only small quantities of urine, vocalize, or groom their ...

  • Habitat For Cats celebrates 20th anniversary

    It has provided low-cost spay/neuter services and adopted out thousands of beautiful cats and kittens to good homes. Through its Trap-Neuter-Return, or TNR, program, it has humanely trapped and fixed free-roaming ... he had poor litter box habits.

  • Help Aurora Reunite with Her Cats in This Adorable Puzzle Game

    Tablift, the beloved iPad stand for hands-free lounging, is now available in white! Set your iPad up at any angle, in any position, on any surface. Tablift has four flexible legs that provide stability for your iPad on a couch or even in bed, and it works ...

  • Declawing Can Result in Long-Term Problems for Cats

    Many cats who have been declawed refuse to use the litter box over time, because the process is extremely painful. Following surgery, cats are often deterred from the natural process of scratching in the litter box. So, they tend to find soft, less painful ...



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