Pet Cat: 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 US

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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(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;

(2) While You're Pregnant – USFDA

(3) Toxoplasmosis – An important Message for Cat Owners;

(4) Safer Child, Inc.;

(5) Escherichia coli O157:H7 Fact Sheet;

(6) Stanford Cat Network’s – Guide to Caring for Your Adopted Cat or Kitten;

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About The Author

Rob Wellborn is a long time cat lover who currently owns and operates; a business specializing in high quality automatic litter boxes or self cleaning litter boxes. also offers other specialty cat products such as pet strollers and indoor cat fences. Come visit us at

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Toxoplasmosis (commonly called toxo) is a disease caused by a microscopic protozoan called Toxoplasma gondii. You may have heard about this infection because of the danger to newborn children if a woman becomes infected while pregnant. Another reason cat owners should be aware of toxo is that the cat is considered the "definitive host" of the toxoplasma organism, meaning it is the only animal that sheds infectious toxo in its feces.

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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. About the Author
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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.

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Finding house plants safe for cats is not always the easiest thing to do. However, responsible pet owners search through the listings of poisonous and not poisonous plants put out by the ASPCA for appropriate plants. Then they decorate their homes with the plants that are safe for their precious cats.

Sometimes, you get a cat after you have already decorated your home. In this case, you bring your brand new kitty home and you do not give a second thought to your house plants. You go about your daily life never even thinking that those plants could be poisonous to your new edition.

Then one day, you come home from what is usually an otherwise normal day at work to find your cat a little ill. You have no idea what is wrong. This scenario goes on for a few days before you take your precious kitty to the vet and find your feline has been nibbling on a house plant. This is when you find out that the English ivy that you have had for years is actually poisonous to your kitty cat. Lucky for you, your cat did not ingest enough to be fatal but did ingest enough to get ill.

You quickly rush home and check the ASPCA's website and throw out all the potentially harmful house plants before something serious happens to your cat.
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Bring Your Cats Everywhere

When you decide to add a new cat to your home, it's typically more exiting for you and your family than it is for the cat you already own. Although most cats are lone by type, most will also come to accept or eventually tolerate any additions. Cats can be very territorial, which is why you should forever be sensitive when you host a new cat to your recent cat.

If you are introducing kittens to each other, the whole introduction process can be dumpy, lasting as little as 10 - 15 time. Introducing cats to one another all depends on their temperament and their personality. When you begin a new cat to your flow cat, you should always make solid that you give your tide cat abundance of affection and mind. This way, your cat will feel secure and know that he isn't in competition with your new cat for affection.

When you beget your new cat home, you should let him halt in a secure span pending you have perfect introducing the cats. Your nontoxic extent could be any small extent in your home, such as a bathroom or sparse bedroom. The key here is to use an area that your existing cat doesn't go in. In the area, you should dump your new cat a scratching declare, bed, water dish, litter box, and food dish.

At first, your current cat may weep and shush when he stands at the door, wearisome to tell the other cat that he doesn't belong. When this happens you should discount it, as punishing your cat for his behavior will only escort to more harms. After a while, the first cat will inception to act calm when he is near the new cat's door. As he starts to act calm, you should pet him and give him praise.
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How Do I Stop My Cat From Biting Me?

Sometimes, you end up with a cat that is a bit too aggressive for its own good. If you've felt the nipping of tiny teeth on your fingertips, you know that biting cats aren't fun to have. Good thing is that it's an easy behavior to stop.

Kittens instinctively nip and bite each other as they grow up. If you have a kitten and it's biting you, it's even easier to stop than in a fully grown cat.

As kittens, cats learn which behaviors are acceptable and which aren't by, simply, getting their fuzzy butts kicked by their litter mates. If they bite one of their siblings too hard and end up getting bitten back, they learn, "Hey, maybe that wasn't such a good idea after all!"
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Which vaccines should my cat get?

Cat owners are often a bit confused when upon taking their cat for their yearly physical examination the animal hospital receptionist asks which vaccinations they want to give to their cat. Every thing can however, be much clearer once vaccinations may be divided into two categories; core and non core.

Core vaccinations are generally those that are given to most cats. They are often the standard vaccinations required for a pet upon boarding, being hospitalized or upon traveling. These are the vaccinations all cats should definitelyhave, since they are the basic ones. While non core vaccination ore equally important, they are however given on a case by case basis depending on various factors such as if the cat is indoors or outdoors, if the area is known for the eruption of certain diseases, or other factors such as the cat's age and general health status. Following are listed the core and non core vaccines.

Core Vaccines
Core vaccines consist of the following:
* Rabies
This vaccine is actually mandate by law in just about every where nowadays, because of the seriousness of this disease. It is tranmitted by a bite from an infected animal. The first rabies vaccine is generally given for the first time when the kitten is over 12 weeks old. After ward, the cat will get another booster one year later, and then depending on the area it may be given yearly each time or even every three years.

* Distemper
The distemper vaccine is actually a combination vaccine. It is known as FVRCCP. This acronym is composed by the initials of various diseases this vaccine may cover.: Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Chlamydiosis and Panleukopenia.

Non Core Vaccinations
These are vaccinations given on a case by case basis. They are usually recommended for cats that live outdoors, because they are transmitted by close contact with an infected cat.
* FIP Feline Infectious Peritonitis (transmitted by exposure to infected feces, infected secretions, or in kittens through the placenta)
* FIV Feline Aids (transmitted by puncturing cat bites or in kittens during gestation or from nursing on infected milk)
* FELV Feline Leukemia (transmitted by infected saliva, therefore cat bites, grooming and sharing cat food bowls and water bowls may trigger the disease. Kittens may get the disease in utero or from infected milk.

Kittens unlike cats must undergo a series of vaccinations, with boosters set apart every three- four weeks. Below is an example of a typical kitten vaccination schedule, for both indoor and outdoor cats:

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Cats Get Heartworm Disease, Too

Most 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.
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How To Keep Cats Off Kitchen Benches

This is a common question asked of cat owners. Most people assume that a stern "off" will stop your cat jumping onto kitchen benches. What is likely to happen by doing this is that your cat will learn not to jump up when you are around, but may continue with this behaviour when you're not home.

Many cat owners are happy for their cat to jump onto kitchen benches, but there are good reasons why this practice shouldn't be allowed.

* Safety: There is the chance that your cat could jump onto the hot stove top either burning itself by direct contact with the hotplates or knocking over a pan with boiling liquids. It may ingest cleaning products you have used in the kitchen such as bleach in the sink.
* Hygiene: Tiny particles of cat urine & faeces will be on the paws from using the litter tray. These will be transferred to the counter top. This may cause no illness in humans but why take the chance? What if your cat has been infected with toxoplasmosis or has a parasitic infection which you are not aware of?
* Food: Another safety concern is if your cat eats food from the bench which is dangerous, for example cooked chicken bones. Do you really want your feline tucking into Sunday's roast which is thawing?

There are several methods which can be used to discourage this behaviour using what is known as "remote punishment". This means the environment is responsible for creating a deterrent to jumping onto the benches, and not you. The focus is to make countertops an unattractive area to cats.
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Potty Training For Your Feline Friends

Cats 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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Do cats know and express love?

Most of us are incurable romantics. We think that feelings and expressions of love exist only within our species. But what about cats and other animals? Does anything akin to love exist in their world? The answer may surprise you, as it turns the love mirror back on us, revealing mysteries about our own struggles with l'amour.

Love Redefined
Until recently, poets, musicians and other creative individuals mostly defined love for us, coming up with traditions like Cupid and his arrow or St. Valentine's Day celebrations. But a slew of recent scientific studies put the focus on love's source of origin -- the brain.

Love turns out to be a valuable brain-initiated mechanism for species survival. It permits alliances between individuals, such as males and females, or parents and children, in order to facilitate breeding and infant care. Neuroscientists, such as Andreas Bartels of University College London, have determined that the brain-produced hormones oxytocin and vasopressin are real-life Love Potion No. 9s, leading to bonds between certain individuals.

Lions and Romantic Love
The feeling of "falling in love" is very specific, brain-imaging studies show. In humans, this can last for up to a few years, leading some people to constantly fall in and out of love or become addicted to that intense sense of attraction to another.

Domestic housecats have no need for extended male-female love in regards to reproduction. Lust, which appears in a different part of the brain, draws Toms and females together, but they then go their separate ways fairly quickly after mating, with mothers handling all parental duties. Lions are the one exception among cats, according to Jonathan Balcombe, author of the best-selling book "Pleasurable Kingdom: Animals and the Nature of Feeling Good" (MacMillan 2006). "Male lions will care for their cubs," he explains.

Motherly Love
Romance isn't the end all to love. "Emotions comparable to caring and romantic love are, without a doubt, expressed between a mother and her kittens," explains Dr. Balcombe, who is also an animal behavior research scientist for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. A vivid example is the story of Scarlett, a calico cat who pulled her five kittens, one by one, from a burning building in New York in 1996. Her actions, which left Scarlett with lifelong debilitating injuries, were documented by Animal Planet, but Dr. Balcombe says such stories are not uncommon.
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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.

About the Author
Visit the author's website, to learn more about newborn kittens, as well as their raising and care

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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.

About the Author
Rona Limsy
For more tips on how to litter train your kitten, visit

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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.

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.

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.

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, 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.

About the Author
Liz Allan
Liz Allan has 25 years experience of caring for cats. To find out more about new kitten care, visit:

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.

About the Author
Learn more about newborn kittens and other aspects of kitten care by visiting the author's website at

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.

About the Author
Shaun Bradley
My name is Shaun Bradley and I am an avid Cat Lover/Owner. I have had cats ever since I can remember. Now I have just two cats named Sylvia and Goldie. They are great pets and fairly simple to take care of as long as you know some easy cat training tips. Visit my website for more information

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Newest Articles

Dental Care - What You Should Really Know About This Common Cat Health Problem
Cats rarely get cavities but they are very susceptible to gum disease. It is important to prevent gum disease because, over the years it can lead to bad breath, painful inflammation, receded gums, loose and infected teeth and eventually loss of teeth. It can even cause serious illness.

Teacup Kittens - The World's Smallest Kitten
Not all cats advertised as miniature are teacup kittens. Be aware that the standard size female cat will weight about 11 to 14 pounds. The standard size male cat will weight about 12 to 17 pounds. A teacup size female cat will weight about 3 to 6.5 pounds and the teacup size male will weight about 3 to 7.5 pounds. This is a good rule-of-thumb to keep in mind when shopping for a teacup. Some unscrupulous breeders will try to sell you a cat under ten pounds as a teacup when that weight falls within the normal weight range for a standard cat. When shopping for a teacup do not be fooled by a breeder that will try to sell you a runt or tell you that any cat less than ten pounds is a miniature.

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.

Are Feral Cats Reducing Your Property Values?
Feral cats can drive property values down in several ways. Urine marking by an unneutered male cat leaves a lingering stench that is extremely unpleasant. Cats like soft soil to deposit feces, making gardens and children's sandboxes at risk for disease transmission. Feral cats are not usually vaccinated and therefore are the first point of contact for disease to infiltrate to pets and people. The noise made by fighting or mating cats is annoying. Cats are extremely efficient predators that can severely impact wild species.

Lets Look at the Cat Whisperer
A cat whisper is somewhat similar to a dog or horse whisperer, although cat whisperers relate quite well with cats. These types of people are unusually lucky and very successfully with cats. In most cases, a cat will be abandoned or just show up at someone's door. In this event, the cat will adopt this individual as the cat whisperer.

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Whisker Pain - What You Should Know About This Common Cat Health Problem
Cats do not have whiskers just for looks. Whiskers are very important to your cat. He may use them as feelers to avoid bumping into things in the dark, to measure the width of a space to ensure that he will fit through, and when he is hunting.

The Scottish Fold Cat
The first Scottish Fold cat came from a farm in Pearthshire, Scotland, England in, 1961. The cat was discovered by a local shepherd who noticed the strange folded ears

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Dealing with Pet Loss - By a 17 Year Old
Losing a pet is like losing a family member; it is very hard to deal with especially if they have been a part of your life for a long time. There are no real set ways to deal with this loss. Losing your pet it is heart wrenching, sad, depressing and deeply hurtful. It takes a long time to mourn. Everyone needs to find their own way to cope with these feelings.

Good Things To Know About Russian Blue Cats:
The Russian Blue cats are very intelligent, as their most important characteristic is that they always look carefully before leaping. Apart from the fact that the Russian Blue will have gained a large amount of play time from you at your first meeting

How to Train Kittens to Use the Cat Litter Box:
There are several things you need to do to help the mama cat train her kitties to develop good cat litter box habits

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