Feral Cats Feral Cats: There is a lot of talk going on about what to do with the issue of feral cat population. Some measures have been proposed which will allow residents to kill what they perceive to be feral cats

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Feral Cats - Society's Problem Children

There is a lot of talk going on about what to do with the issue of feral cat population.

Some measures have been proposed which will allow residents to kill what they perceive to be feral cats on their property. This suggestion has caused a bit of a stir, and amongst cat lovers, it is quite understandable. Cats are natural wanderers and a treasured feline may make a mischievous dash out of its home only to find itself hunted quarry on a neighboring property.

There are more humane solutions being practiced right now which entail trapping feral cats, neutering and then releasing them back to their environment (TNR). Critics of this method maintain that the problem of cat predation on local small animal populations still exists after neutering, and that a continuous supply of stray cats are finding their fertile way into these feral communities every day. Thus, they
maintain, any positive gains realized by the TNR program are being constantly negated by the actions, or inactions, of irresponsible pet owners.

There doesn't appear to be any immediate, cut and dry solution to feral cats at present except to keep employing the TNR program and educating the public about how to be accountable for their cats. Local laws can be enacted to impose fines on owners whose cats are caught wandering on a frequent basis. Social pressure can be fostered in the form of campaigns that suggest it is
absolutely not cool and downright irresponsible to have unneutered or unspayed cats wandering around. This, of course, would not be applied to owners of show and working cats where planned breeding is necessary for their specific breed.

It comes down to the fact that over 64% of U.S. households have pets, and the majority of these pets are considered as family members. Cats are the rebellious, independent members of the family unit. They shouldn't be left to their own devices or discarded like disposable lighters. Similar to any wayward teenager of a family, special measures and tolerances have to be adopted in order to get the loved ones through a difficult time in their lives and
bring them back into the fold of family unity. Cats are a bit different in that they are wayward children for life, however, they can be conditioned to accept a house-bound lifestyle. Having them spayed or neutered (we're talking about cats now - not teenagers) will help temper their wanderlust a little, and there are some great outdoor "playpens" and containment systems designed just for the benefit of felines. Some cats can even be leash trained for nightly walks, however, that may not be particularly healthy for you or the cat if there are too many unleashed dogs in the neighborhood.

Do what you can to help alleviate the problem of cats turning feral. The animal welfare organizations and volunteers are doing what they can to deal with the current populations by using TNR, rescuing and adopting of cats. But the flow of new, fertile domestic cats into the feral communities must be stopped at the family, neighborhood and regional level. This is accomplished through public awareness campaigns, teaching school children about responsible pet ownership, social pressure and individual involvement. It's a long uphill road, yet it can be accomplished, one or two kitties at a time.

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To sign up for the monthly Critterbytes Ezine, go to Pet Shelter Pages and select the State you live in. There you will find listings of local animal welfare organizations and a sign up box for the ezine.


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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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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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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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My Life With My Cats

I love cats! I have had cats my entire life beginning when I was a little girl. I have had every sex and color that you could imagine. When I was 15 years old we had a calico cat named C.C. My Mom named her C.C. which stood for crazy cat. She got her name because our poodle Cheri got into a dog fight one time and C.C. jumped on the other dogs back. It was quite a site. When we went back to the states we had C.C. flown back too. Little did we know C.C arrived in the states in the motherly way and had three kittens shortly there after.

When I was about 23 years old I had a few more cats by the names of Cindy and Melissa. Cindy was black and white and Melissa was a grey tabby cat. They were both very sweet cats. One day I was standing out on my front porch and this lady drives by and says "Hey, that is my cat!". I politely told her that Cindy was my cat. I had cindy from the time she was 6 weeks old and I had her spayed. Would you believe it was shortly thereafter that Cindy disappeared. I imagine that lady stole my cat. Some people have their nerve, don't they?

I had another cat that had a cute little French mustache marking. My boyfriend Jimmy named him Mojay which sounded like a French name and may even had been one. I never took french. One day I found him poisoned in the road behind my house. I can't understand how people can do that to an animal. Some people are just heartless and hateful!

I later moved out into the country and had several more cats. If they wanted to be inside they were inside and if they wanted to be outside they were outside.
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Learn how to film funny cat videos

Pets can be very funny. Watching them at play always makes a good time pass. Their simple antics and confusing behaviour can leave you in splits. Frolicking kittens trying to outdo each other can keep you engaged for hours. If you can capture the fun filled moments on video, you can enjoy them throughout your life. Freeze the moments for those who were not there when it happened.

HOW TO HAVE FUN WITH PETS
The spontaneous reaction of cats to awkward situations always makes great funny cat videos. Throw a crumb of bread before a kitten and watch them fight out. The greedy pull, desperation, impatience, squeaks, grab and run, wild chase, tumble can be the perfect dose for heartfelt laughter.

Give a plastic bottle cap to a kitten. It will go nuts batting it around and carrying it in his mouth. Its busy schedule with the cap is worth filming. Likewise allow cats to play with pull off tabs from milk jugs. The tabs may end up under the furniture but its struggle is a great thing to film.

Try filming two kittens in an empty bath tub playing with a toy like a spark ball. The sloped sides keep the ball rolling and the kittens keep pouncing and strutting on the seemingly live toy. And if you want to make the kittens dance to your tunes, direct a spot of light from a laser pointer at them. In a bid to catch it they fall over each other. Film their wild goose chase frenzy for it surely will be an all time rib tickler.

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Important Cat Litter Box Health Concerns

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

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

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

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

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

P.O. Box 700571
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Attn: Denise Duchaine
SCAT runs weekend cat adoption centers at several PetSmart locations in San Antonio.

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Chewing and Licking Behavior in Cats

Chewing behavior - generalized pica
Q: My 2 1/2 yr. old Maine Coon chews on both soft materials (nylon rug fiber, curtains, tablecloth ends) and hard ones (window screening, radio antennas, hard edges on small appliances). I've heard about some breeds needing to ingest undigestible fiber (like wool). Might it be that? If so, is that dangerous? Or, could it be a teeth-related problem? He gets regular vet check-ups and seems in perfect health. Thanks!
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Cats, Coyotes and Coons!

My cat Spike had become uncommonly skittish when he was in his bed in the garage. He has two beds, one in the house and one in the garage. Even if I was outside with him he would nervously keep watch on his surroundings as if expecting something to jump from behind a tree and grab him. If he wanted to go into the garage from the house, he would nervously watch the garage door for any movement from the night. He even had me opening the door and looking outside to see if anything was going on. Spike seemed to be watching for any sign of the raccoons that had camped out in our garage during the summer. When we had chased off all the raccoons except one, we breathed easier, but then Spike almost lost his leg due to a scuffle with the largest raccoon. Spike had gotten between the raccoon and some leftover food in the cat's dish, leaving the cat with a badly mangled left rear foot.

About the same time, the neighbor's two large dogs that were kept in a pen in their back yard began to go nuts each night about two in the morning. They would howl, bark, and lunge at the fence! You could hear the dog's bodies hitting the chain link fence all the way too my house, two doors away! At this point we still didn't know what was causing the commotion each night.

A few weeks went by and now Spike was spending most of his night time in the house, while the dogs continued to bark each evening after dark. Only after we spotted the coyote crossing the road to trot in our direction did we know what was causing the disturbance. That's when we named the Coyote, Ruckus!
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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
Homemade Kitten Food
Visit the author's website, http://newbornkittens.net to learn more about newborn kittens, as well as their raising and care

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
How to Litter Train A Kitten
For more tips on how to litter train your kitten, visit http://www.My-Pet-Cat.com

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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Keeping Your Geriatric Cat Healthy

Cats, like their human counterparts, are prone to the aches, pains, and health issues that seem to come hand in hand with advancing age. Unfortunately, as the average lifespan of our cats increases so does the chance that owners will see age-related issues arise in their senior cats.

As your cat begins to age your veterinarian will likely start to recommend doing some tests to make sure your cat's internal organs are functioning as they should. Cats have evolved to hide signs that they are feeling under the weather and these tests can let your veterinarian know that something is wrong with your cat long before your cat displays outward signs of illness.

"I recommend that owners have yearly blood work done on their pets if the animal is healthy, and increase that frequency if any clinical signs present themselves or if abnormalities are seen in the blood work," says Dr. Julie Byron, a small animal internist at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana.

According to Dr. Byron, geriatric cat owners should also increase their awareness of how their cat is acting and feeling. It is important to be able to recognize what is normal for your cat so that when there is a change you can recognize it. She explains that a trip to the veterinarian is warranted if your cat is displaying any of the following signs or symptoms:
Continue Reading About Keeping Your Geriatric Cat Healthy


Are You Getting Ready To Travel With Your Cat?

Traveling with your cat is sometimes your choice and sometimes a necessity. Lots of decisions and thinking can make it a safe and non freak out event. Cats like a stable and same old routine type of life. When you have to go away, then you have to decide what is best suited to your cats well being. What is easy for you, is not necessarily what is best for your cat.

Have a secure cat carrier, soft or hard. Soft is nice because it offers some give and is easy to hold in your arms, when your cat is frightened. It works very nicely in car travel. Hard is good for commercial travel, because it protects your cat from bumps and rough handling.

With either cat carrier take an old T-shirt that you have worn, that has your bodys scent on it and put it in the carrier. A favorite small blanket or something that will fit in the carrier, is also a good idea. It will help to calm the cat.

Remember that while you know what is going on, your cat is surrounded by new noises, scents, and people it does not know. It will also sense your nervousness of getting there on time and checking in.

Take your cat in for a check up with the vet. Make sure all shots are up to date and that you carry the paper work to prove it, in case there is a problem while traveling.
Continue Reading About Are You Getting Ready To Travel With Your Cat?


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.
Continue Reading About Bring Your Cats Everywhere


Cats are intrigued by water

Cats: everybody knows how much they dislike getting their fur wet. Yet, many people that own a cat can claim that they have often found their kitty with its paws inside their water bowl or playing with the water dripping from a faucet. As odd as it is, many cats love water, they are attracted to it and many spend hours just playing with it.

Things appear to change though when the cat's fur gets wet. For some reason, cats seem to hate getting their fur wet. Yes, they seem to do very well with licking their fur but water being poured on their precious fur? No way! Just a few drops on their fur will make their skin spasm and they will readily lick it off with their tongues.

Why is that? Why do cats dislike so much getting their fur wet? An explanation may be the fact that cats originated from desert regions where of course, water was a rare event.

There are however, variables between cats and water. Among the feline family, tigers appear to enjoy spending time in the water to cool off whereas panthers and lions try to avoid water as much as possible, unless getting a dip will take them on the other side where there is prey.
Continue Reading About Cats are intrigued by water


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.
Continue Reading About Helping Feral 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.

About the Author
newbornkittens.net
Visit the author's website, http://newbornkittens.net to learn more about newborn kittens, as well as their raising and care

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.

About the Author
Rona Limsy
For more tips on how to litter train your kitten, visit http://www.My-Pet-Cat.com

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.

About the Author
Liz Allan
Liz Allan has 25 years experience of caring for cats. To find out more about new kitten care, visit: http://www.cat-behavior-explained.com/all-about-kittens.html

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

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 http://www.trainingyourcats.com

Cat allergies

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Should Cats Drink Milk
In the movies, cats love a bowl of cold milk. In the real world, giving a cat milk can do more harm than good.

When Your Cat Pants!
As a general rule cats do not pant, as they sweat through their paws. Having had cats most of my life I have never seen one of our cats pant.

Cat Health - Common Problems
The most common cat health problems are colds, bite wounds, digestive problems, urinary problems and diarrhea, and eye problems.

Should You Declawed Your Cats
Cats are born with claws, the same way that humans are born with fingernails and toe nails. Cats need claws in order to mark or scratch a specific place or territory that they have been in.



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Savannah Cat and Kitten Information
The Savannah is a wild looking cat that evidently has a pleasing personality. They are exotic, rare and very pricey. They are a slim breed with a varying coat, depending upon the breed of cat used in the cross. The International Cat Association breed standards has these colors, silver spotted tabby, black, brown spotted tabby and black smoke.

Feral, or wild cats are descended from domesticated pets
When cats are lost or abandoned, they return to a more primitive wild state, know as feral. Although feral cats may live alone, often they join large groups or colonies of other wild cats. Their lives are hard, and their life expectancies are much lower than their domesticated kin

If you're ready to create your own cat disaster preparedness plan
use these resources to create a plan custom-fitted for you. Your local Emergency Response Team can assist you in locating animal-friendly shelters in case of evacuation. They will also be able to provide you with any and all requirements necessary to house animals in such a shelter. (In most cases pets will need to be crated and will need to bring copies of their immunization records).

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

Extreme Cat Urine Problems Are Preventable:
Many times cat owners are at a loss as to why their cat doesn't use their litter box. Here are some great tips that can help you solve the problem



temperament of cats
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How to Treat Feline Urinary Tract Infection Without Putting Your Cat's Health at Risk
By the time you finish reading this, you are going to understand why prevention is the best medicine and why you should only give antibiotics to your cat as a last result. Feline urinary tract infection is not a common problem but 10% of cat visits to the vet involve lower urinary tract disease. Feline lower urinary tract disease is often referred to as a "silent killer" because your cat may not show any obvious symptoms. As a result the infection can eventually travel up to your cat's kidneys and kill him.

Cat Litter Box Strategies for Special Needs Kitties:
You don't often hear about or see information for special needs kitties. These may be blind, very old (with limited mobility), or disabled in some way. Disabled cats may be amputees, or even paralyzed.

No More Stillborn Kittens – Know How To Care For A Pregnant Cat
‘I named all kittens, although they were all stillborn.’ ‘My pregnant cat has a bloody vaginal discharge.’ ‘I had a litter of five, but only one kitten survived.’ These are only a few of the horror stories I received the past weeks.

Pumpkin, The Halloween Cat
The neighbor's car pulled into my driveway. She got out holding a stranger in her arms. "I found this cat in my yard. Is he yours?" "No." "Oh. I thought he was." "Well, he's not."



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    The current round is part of a year-long GiveLitter™ bid that is aiming at donating 90,000 pounds of free litter to shelters across the country. At World's Best Cat Litter™, we love cats as much as we love our customers. That's why we developed the ...

  • Do Female Cats Spray?

    Cats might spray because of underlying medical conditions, litter box issues, or anxiety ... (Spraying) makes cats feel more content.” Investigate what could be the source of your cat’s stress and figure out how to eliminate it, Dr. Cox says.

  • Humane Society offering barn cats for free

    One of the best ways to get a cat for your barn is to contact the Logan County Humane Society, who are giving barn cats away to qualifying farmers for free. The Logan County ... Cats whose litter box habits make them unsuitable for house pets.

  • How to help a cat go back to using the litter box

    I have two litter boxes for them that are changed daily and I have used up two gallons of Natures Miracle to get rid of the smell on the cushions. -- Alexis Thorne, Chicago, IL A: Well, this is not an easy situation to fix. Cats urinate in a litter box ...

  • Ask Renee: Kat's cat litter problem

    Today we’ll learn if we can recycle or compost Kat’s cat litter. There is no common way to recycle or ... newspaper), and is chemical-free, clay-free and fragrance-free.

  • More than 100 cats removed from home in Perry

    "I've never seen that many animals in one spot in my life, not even at the animal shelter, litter boxes full of feces, just horrible. Cats everywhere," Wyrembelsky said. The Shiawassee County Undersheriff says there were between one hundred and one hundred ...

  • Cats on our minds

    I just watched video from the July 26 council meeting where there was much talk about cats. |There are three types of cat populations. Owned cats are family pets, some who spend time outdoors. There are free-roaming ... with the first litter already ...

  • Queen Of The Bottle Babies: One Woman’s “Tail” Of Fostering Kittens

    One of the reasons Cheri was able to act so quickly to rescue little Lily was because it wasn’t the first time she has saved a kitten. In fact, rescuing kittens ... litter has been sent off to find forever homes. The bottle baby room is then free to ...

  • Letters: Trap, neuter, return helps cat population

    We encourage people to not feed cats without getting them fixed. One or two un-fixed cats can quickly turn into 10 or more cats showing up for dinner. Female cats can be nursing a litter and become ... of feral cats is free through the Jefferson SPCA ...



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