Diabetes Mellitus in Cats Diabetes Mellitus in Cats : Cats who do not have insulin have a disease called diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is and extremely common disease in cats

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Diabetes Mellitus in Dogs and Cats

All consumed food is eventually converted to sugar, the energy source for every organ in the body and for every cell in every organ. If too much food is consumed, the extra calories can be stored by the body for later conversion to sugar. Sugar is carried in the blood to all areas of the body, and any cell that is in need of sugar simply uses the sugar present in the blood. How do cells move sugar into their interior from the bloodstream? A substance called insulin, produced by an organ located in the abdomen (the pancreas), is the key that allows cells to obtain sugar from the bloodstream. Insulin is necessary for life.

People, dogs, and cats who do not have insulin have a disease called diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is and extremely common disease in people, dogs, and cats. There are two common forms of diabetes. The form in which an individual has absolutely no insulin has several names: insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), type I diabetes, and juvenile-type diabetes.

The other form occurs when an individual has insulin but either does not have enough or has a condition that interferes with insulin function. It has several names: non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), type II diabetes, adult-onset diabetes.

Approximately 10 per cent of people with diabetes mellitus have type I disease and 90 per cent have type II. Approximately 60 per cent of diabetic cats have type I and 40 per cent type II. Virtually 100 per cent of dogs with diabetes mellitus have type I disease.

What happens when an individual has diabetes mellitus? Without sugar constantly being removed from the blood by cells everywhere in the body, the diabetic person, dog, or cat has more and more sugar accumulates that it begins to "spill over" into the urine through the kidneys along with water. Therefore, diabetics urinate large volumes. In dogs and cats, sometimes the first thing that an owner observes is that the pet is no longer "housebroken" or the pet cat begins urinating outside the litter box. Because the volume of fluid lost into the urine of diabetics is excessive, they make up for these losses by drinking more and more water.

Because cells throughout the body have lost their access to sugar, they begin to "starve." Individual cells do not see the lack of insulin, they see only a lack of energy (sugar). Therefore, messages are sent out for energy (sugar) and the diabetic begins to eat more and more. Cells still have no access to the sugar, so additional messages for energy are sent out and the body begins to break down fat and muscle for energy (the components of fat and muscle can be converted to sugar by the liver). Although it makes sense to create more energy, the body still cannot use the sugar resulting from this process. The symptoms common to all diabetics now become obvious: they drink excessively, urinate excessively, eat excessively, and lose weight.

When a dog or cat is brought to a veterinarian for any or all of the symptoms known to be associated with diabetes, the diagnosis is quite easily made. Testing is necessary, however, because there are other diseases that cause all or some of the same symptoms. However, once the diagnosis is made, the real problems begin. Treating diabetes mellitus is not easy. It takes skill by the veterinarian, commitment by the owner, and some luck.

The cornerstones of treating type II diabetic people include weight loss, exercise, and changes in diet to increase fiber content and to decrease simple sugars. If these factors do not help enough, pills can be given. Use of all these treatments rarely helps type I diabetic people. Type I diabetic people, like 100 per cent of diabetic dogs and 80 to 90 per cent of diabetic cats, require insulin by injection to live. All diabetic dogs and cats do best with good commercial pet food given in two equal-sized meals (cats that tend to "graze" all day should be allowed to continue feeding that way). High-fiber foods may be of benefit but are not critical.

Unfortunately, although insulin has been available to treat diabetics for more that 70 years, it must still be given by injection. Your veterinarian will teach you how to give injections to your pet. It is understood that this can be quite intimidating for owners and that your pet will feel the needles. However, once you have done this for a few weeks, you will become quite competent and your pet will accept the tiny pinpricks. Don't give up! Your pet can live an extremely healthy life despite requiring insulin.

There are several different kinds of insulin. Regular (R; crystalline) insulin is the most potent and the shortest acting; Ultralente (U) is the least potent and the longest acting; protamine zinc insulin (PZI) is similar to Ultralente; neutral protamine Hagedorn (NPH;N) insulin is less potent and longer acting than regular but more potent and shorter acting that Ultralente; and Lente (L) is 30 per cent regular and 70 per cent Ultralente and has effects similar to those of NPH.

One insulin may not work satisfactorily in your pet but another may work well. It takes time to determine which insulin and which insulin dose are best for an individual cat or dog. Whereas most cats and dogs respond best to insulin given twice daily (do not try to give the insulin exactly every 12 hours; it is not necessary), some do well with only one injection per day.

Remember the most important goal in treating a diabetic dog or cat: we want the pet to be happy and stable. No diabetic pet becomes absolutely normal.

Finally, regardless of treatment, virtually 100 per cent of diabetic dogs (not cats) develop cataracts and become blind within the first 6 to 24 months; this is inevitable and not a reflection of the job you have done in treating your pet.

The above is general veterinary information. Do not begin any course of treatment without consulting your regular veterinarian. All animals should be examined at least once every 12 months.

About the author: From the Textbook of Veterinary Internal Information: Client Information Series. Copyright 2000 by W.B. Saunders Company. All rights reserved.

Linda Mar Veterinary Hospital and its cat-only affiliate, Coastal Cat Clinic, are small animal practices located in Pacifica, California. To find a veterinarian or to learn more about the vet clinic and our staff, visit:[http://lindamarvet.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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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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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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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.
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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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If your cat is significantly overweight, it is a good idea to help him slim down. There are many causes of excess weight in cats. Factors like his breed, genes, age, and whether or not he is spayed or neutered may all play a role. Though less common, a fat cat may sometimes have low thyroid function. Though it may seem obvious, the most common reason for feline obesity is because of overindulgence in too many high calorie treats from doting cat owners.

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Tips on Managing Cat Allergies

In the United States, half the number of households owns either a cat or a dog as pets. However, it is just a little unfortunate that many people are allergic to cats, which discourages them from owning one, despite their fondness for these loving domestic animals. In fact, there are about 10 million Americans who have shown allergic tendencies to cats.

To help manage cat allergies, let us focus on the specific forms of cat allergies. The first one would be dander, which is dust coming from the cat’s body. Dander is a term used to refer to old skin that is shed off from the cat’s body in the forms of minute flakes.

Aside from causing skin irritation, dander also penetrates the immune system, which consequently causes allergic reactions. Once it enters the immune system, it becomes a problem, and although it is not a disease-producing element, it can certainly cause problems with people prone to allergies.

Cats spread allergens in many ways- blood, saliva, and urine. Even after the cat has left the area, his excretions can still bring about problems. You will find these things all around the house as the cat’s daily routine such as licking, scratching, and rubbing, makes it possible to do so.
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Helping Feral Cats, Part 1:

This is the first in a three-part series on feral cats. In this article, "feral" is defined. In Part 2, I give some pointers on how to socialize a feral or semi-feral cat. In Part 3, I discuss what we can do to help feral colonies and unsocializable ferals.

History
The domestic cat evolved from the African wild cat, Felis libyca. Feral cats are offspring of stray or abandoned domestic cats that revert to a wild state. Having been raised without any human contact, they have a natural fear of humans. The domestic cat was introduced throughout the world by explorers and scientists, in an effort to control the rodent populations. Being predators and scavengers, feral cats have become successful survivors.

Why Are There Feral Cats?
Feral cats live in streets, alleys, and parks because of human neglect of their unaltered domestic cats, allowing them to roan and reproduce. A California study revealed that about 60 percent of unaltered household cats become feral within three years. Many people abandon or dump unwanted, unaltered cats, and these often end up in feral colonies.

Stray and lost cats congregate near food sources such as garbage dumpsters where rodents collect to feed. The cats start breeding and form colonies. An estimated 60 million feral cats live in the U.S., and worldwide are part of the urban ecology in virtually every city. They live in deserts near human settlements as well as on islands near Antarctica.

Classes of Feral Cats
There are three classes of feral cats. This classification was initiated in an effort to know how to approach these cats and which cats would be the easiest to re-domesticate for companion animals. It has been proven that any feral cat can be re-domesticated, given the right circumstances and enough time.
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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


How to Treat Cat Eye Infections - Secrets From a Holistic Veterinarian

Many cats have chronic problems with conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eye membranes). Often, the problem comes and goes. One or both eyes may be red, swollen, watery, crusty, or goopy. Causes include infection, congenital defects (small or absent tear ducts), facial conformation (Persian features), and scarring from previous infections. However, the most common cause of conjunctivitis in cats is infection with a Herpes virus (but don't worry, your cat can't give it to you or your family!). In cats, Herpes is an upper respiratory virus; it's also called "rhinotracheitis" and is one of the components of the upper respiratory/panleukopenia (feline distemper) vaccine that is given to kittens. The vaccine does not actually prevent Herpes infection; its main function is to reduce the severity of the disease.

Virtually all cats are exposed to Herpesvirus as kittens. For most cats, no further problems occur. However, Herpes is a sneaky virus, and it likes to lie dormant until it gets a chance to get one up on the immune system. Because stress suppresses the immune system, cats under stress are particularly susceptible to recurrent Herpes flare-ups. Herpes is irritating and painful, and usually causes quite a bit of redness, puffiness, and a watery discharge or brownish crusty matter at the corners of the eyes. It often attacks only one eye, producing a lopsided squint. Often the cat will squint against bright light, or try to avoid it altogether.

There are several holistic treatment options for Herpes. One of the simplest is l-lysine, an amino acid that is inexpensive and readily available at the health food store. It comes in capsules or tablets, usually 500 mg. Capsules are much easier to work with, if you can get them. The dose is 500 mg twice a day for 5 days (total 1,000 mg/day). Lysine has a slightly salty taste, and is easily disguised by mixing with canned cat food or baby food. That seems like a lot--but that's what it takes to work. Once the acute episode is under control, a maintenance dose of 250 mg per day can be given indefinitely.

To relieve irritation and wash viral particles from the eye, you can make a homemade saline solution. Use 1/4 teaspoon of table salt to 1 cup of water (room temperature). Three or four times a day, use a cotton ball to drizzle a small amount saline into the cat's eyes. Make the saline fresh each and every time, because bacteria could grow in the solution between treatments.

There is a human homeopathic formula that works very well, and very quickly, for cats. It's called "The Herpes Formula" by Aeura. Dissolve one tablet in a 1-ounce dropper bottle filled with a mixture of 80% water and 20% vodka (as a preservative), shake well, and give about half a dropperful by mouth once or twice a day. (Do NOT put it in the eyes!) If you make up a 1-ounce batch, it will last several weeks. It may seem a bit expensive up front, but one bottle of The Herpes Formula will provide years of treatment.
Continue Reading About How to Treat Cat Eye Infections




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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


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
Kitten Feeding with a Bottle
Learn more about newborn kittens and other aspects of kitten care by visiting the author's website at http://newbornkittens.net.

Owning a Cat - How it Benefits Your Child

If your child misses a lot of school due to illness, maybe you should get a cat. Research has shown that children who own pets attend school up to 9 more days a year than their non pet-owning counterparts. The immune function of pet owners is more stable, making them better able to fend off illness. Pet owners visit doctors less.

But what about allergies? Isn't cat hair is a common source of irritation to immune systems? A leading theory under investigation by asthma researchers suggests that the presence of pets in the home from an early age may adapt the immune system so it is less sensitive to allergens later in life. So it may in fact be the lack of pets in a child's life that contributes to asthma sensitivities.

Studies have also connected pet ownership with lower blood pressure and reduced anxiety levels. In fact, a recent long-term study has shown that people who have never owned a cat, face a 40% greater risk of death due to heart attack than current and even previous cat owners. Dog owners did not have the same level of protection against heart disease as cat owners.

State University of New York researchers found that the cat doesn't even have to be present to achieve this. A group of stockbrokers with hypertension who owned pets showed lower blood pressure even when not with their cats.

It is well known that cat owners have lower stress levels overall, so perhaps the health advantages are a result of being more relaxed.

Cat ownership may be a surprising remedy for absenteeism, however, good health and more days at school are just two of the many benefits to children of having a cat in their lives. Studies have associated numerous psychological benefits with pet ownership.

Children who live with cats show more empathy for others and help others more. This translates to being able to understand others and get along better. Children who live with animals develop a better understanding of body language and other non-verbal cues. A study of 455 school children between the ages of 11 and 16 revealed that children with pets had a better ability to understand non-verbal communications. As a result, these children are more popular with classmates than those who don't have pets at home.

Additionally, children who own pets are more likely to be involved in sports, hobbies, clubs and other social activities. Some studies even show that children who own cats have a higher IQ.

Children with pets learn develop an early sense of responsibility. The responsibility of owning a pet can give children the experience of being needed and this may translate into other areas of life. Cats are relatively easy to care for, as they clean themselves and don't need to be walked.

Social skills and responsibility make a great foundation for life. A US study of 394 university students revealed that those who had owned dogs or cats as childhood pets were more self-confident than those who did not. This may be related to other findings that children raised with pets have higher self-esteem, thought to result from the unconditional love a pet provides. No matter what's going on at school, or with friends, pets treat children the same way.

It seems obvious to say then, that pets hold an important place in many children's lives, often on a par with parents, grandparents and siblings. Children often talk to their pets and regard them as an important friends and confidantes. A five-year study of 600 children aged 3-18 years showed that pet-owning children who have challenges such as being slow learners or having divorced parents cope better with life than those who don't have a pet. Again, having a pet that shows unconditional love regardless of what is happening, can cushion other difficulties in life.

It's not surprising that pets have been used successfully in therapy for some time now. They help sick kids relax and take their minds off their illnesses. Some doctors, recognizing the importance of pets in children's lives ensure that pet names are included in their patients' medical records along with other family members. Even in the most depressing clinical environment, talking about a pet can lighten a situation.

If you already have cat members of your family, know that they are doing your children the world of good. If you don't, it's worth serious consideration.

About the Author
Owning a Cat - How it Benefits Your Child
Jenny is a cat lover and webmaster of Pictures of Cats You are welcome to reproduce this article on your pet or family related web site, as long as you reproduce the article in full, including this resource box and link to her website featuring photo and video galleries of beautiful cats.



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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

Guide to Owning a Ragdoll Cat: Colors & Patterns
In this article, I will discuss the different types of Ragdoll Cats. Although Ragdoll Cats are a unique breed in themselves, they can be further divided into groups based on the colors and patterns of their fur. The combination of color and pattern can then be used when describing a Ragdoll.

The Aegean Cat
Aegean is a natural breed of cats. It is the only feline breed native to Greece. It is said to have originated from Greek Cycladic Islands located in the Aegean Sea. Formal development was initiated in the last decade of twentieth century by Cat Fancy breeders of Greece. As such it is one of the newer cat breeds and often mistakenly thought by some to be somewhat rare, even as the Aegean Cat itself is widespread throughout Greece.

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 Historic Cat: Cherished and Honored for 9,500 Years
Cherished as our companions, worshiped as idols, and used for pest control and good luck, cats are more than 9,500 years old. It's been estimated that there are more than 90 million domestic cats in the U.S.

10 Cat Care Guidelines
There area many common sense rules to follow when caring for your cat. These rules are simple and will ensure your cat will be healthy and happy.

Physical Therapy for Cats
Few people think of physical therapy as a viable option for rehabilitating injured cats. It is usually assumed that cats will not cooperate, but contrary to popular belief, most do not resist treatment. Physical therapy can benefit most cats that have undergone surgery. It is helpful for cats with chronic disease or injury that causes pain, which may be displayed as limping, stiffness, aggression or social withdrawal.



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Recently Added Cat, kitten, cat litter, free content, Articles


Here's A Quick Check for Feline Urinary Tract Infection
There's a couple different ways you can tell if your cat has a Feline Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). The most obvious way is if she cries while urinating, you see blood in her urine, and/or she won't use the cat litter box to urinate.

How To Stop Your Cat Scratching - Get Rid Of Those Fleas:
You know how annoying it can be when you have an itch, but you can't reach it to give it a scratch? Well, when your cat has fleas it's like your problem, just multiplied a hundred times.

The Temperament Of Cats
Perhaps you imagined yourself as a sleek young woman like Selena Kyle. But is a cat the right pet for you? To decide, you must have an idea what to expect from a cat. You must be familiar about the temperament of cats.

Your Cat's First Vet Visit
So you've got a new cat, and she needs a checkup. On your first vet visit, your vet will take the lead and give you some basic information, and probably will go through a fairly standard routine.



temperament of cats
New Article - Declawing - What You Should Know About


Gastrointestinal Changes in Cats - What You Should Know About It
With age comes change. Some changes will occur gradually and will cause you and your cat few if any problems such as graying hair, less activity, and so forth. Other changes, especially those related to acute or chronic illness, may affect your cat's health or behavior in more distressing ways.

Consider Shelter Adoption for Kittens
When it comes to kitten adoption, nowhere can offer you more choice than your local animal shelter. At certain times of the year (usually mid-spring through early fall)shelters often have more kittens than they have homes for them.

Tips on how to keep your pets safe during cold weather:
1. Watch the forecast for sub-25 temperatures. - Don’t allow domestic animals (cats, dogs, rabbits) to be in exposed environments under 25 degrees Fahrenheit. At temperatures above 25, provide them with some sort of shelter. A three-sided shelter is fine as long as the animals can get out of the wind and cold. Insulated shelters are preferred, and the animals should have a bedding liner. For sub-25 weather, try to bring animals to a protected environment, such as a garage or basement.

Train Your Cat for Vacations
When you are going on a vacation or taking your cat out for a length of time you will want to have the cat trained to ride in a car or vehicle so that the cat is not jumping all over and over the seats.



temperament of cats
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