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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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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Helping Feral Cats, Part 1:

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

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

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

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

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Potty Training For Your Feline Friends

Cats are basically clean animals. Perhaps you have seen one or two grooming himself or one another, or covering a recent defecated area. Although sometimes, due to medical conditions and stress cats tend to eliminate body wastes anywhere they choose to, so it is a must to potty train them to prevent any inconvenience inappropriate elimination can make. Cat potty training is best started when your pet is still a kitten, just like children it is then when foundations are built.

To start potty training the first thing you need is to find a good litter box, one that is made of plastic is preferable since this kind of material is cheaper, easier to clean, and will not let the odor out after usage.

Next, find a good cat litter as there are two kinds of cat litter the clumping and the non-clumping. The clumping kind makes cleaning of the litter box easier, but they are both effective so it's entirely up to you to choose between them. When filling the litter box with cat litter, it is best to fill it up a third of the way full, because cats like to dig on the surface before defecating.

After preparing the materials needed simply follow these cat potty training steps:
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Pros and Cons of Outside Cats

It's your ultimate decision as to whether or not you want your cat to be inside, outside, or a little of both. There are pros and cons associated with each option, but you'll find that more cat owners will prefer to keep their cat(s) inside and solely inside. Again, this is your opinion and choice, unless you live in a country that bans domestic cats from living outside, especially if declawed, as they would not be able to fully defend themselves.

You'll find that there are advantages and disadvantages to everything, to include leaving yoru cat outside. Before you make the decision check out the basic pros and cons of an outdoor cat.

There are very few pros to an outside cat. There were only two that I could accumulate.

Freedom. Many believe that cats are happier outside because they can exhibit their natural predatory skills of chasing bugs, birds, lizards, and other small prey items.

No litter box. For outdoor cats, there is no need for a litter box, as the world is one big litter box. This means that you do not have to fool with cleaning a litter box. You also won't have to worry about your cat having litter box problems, where he doesn't want to use the litter box in the house, resulting in soiled carpets, floors, and furniture.
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How To Find a Lost Cat

Cats can occasionally wander off, and this can be a very scary time for pet owners. Most cats are found quickly, but it can take some effort for this to happen. If you are trying to find a lost cat, here are the steps you should take:

1. Confirm that the cat is actually lost. Cats are known for being excellent at hiding, and may simply be taking a nap somewhere. Search your home thoroughly, and your yard if your cat is allowed outdoors. Confirming that you cannot find the cat is the first step of the search. Listen carefully for your cat’s meows; it is possible that your cat has wandered into somewhere where they have gotten stuck.

2. Try to entice the cat back home. Even if your indoor-only cat has escaped the home, they are often able to be lured back with food. Set a bowl of food outside and see if the cat comes wandering back. Tuna fish or soft cat food often works best for this, because their smell is easier to detect for a cat than that of dry cat food. However, watch out for other animals who may also be attracted by the scent.

3. Look around the neighborhood. Check all of the streets of your neighborhood. If your neighbors are outside, ask them if they have seen your cats. They may have seen your cat wandering around the neighborhood before you realized that he was lost. Call your cat’s name while searching the neighborhood, and your cat may come running. Make any other noise that your pet is familiar with, like the sound of a treat box being shaken or his favorite squeaky toy.

4. Put up signs. Place signs up around your neighborhood on mailboxes and posts. Your poster should say “LOST CAT” and include the cat’s color and a description as well as your contact info. Include a photo of your cat, if you have one. A color photo is best. These should be distributed up to a one mile radius from where your pet went missing.
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Cat Behavior Facts Few People Know

Epics, novels and movies have always portrayed cats as unpredictable and moody creatures. Many consider cats as mysterious creatures. However, the truth cannot be further from this. A cat is as normal and predictable as any other animals. The only condition is that we need to know what to expect from a cat in terms of normal behavior.

People consider cats as 'cute' little animals only to give them up at the slightest hint of aggression or litter issues. Most people do not do their homework well before keeping a cat. Cats are different than dogs and that's where people greatly misunderstand cats.

Being distant relatives to the much larger cats we see in the wild, (of course our kitty is much smaller), they are able to eat at frequent intervals. COnsuming anywhere from 10 grams to a quarter of a cup at a time.

The reason for this is that it is instinctual to keep their digestive system in optimal condition. In addition to eating frequently these instinctual creature just like their relatives can go a day to two without eating anything, and as long as they don't seem to be sick this is a very normal behavior.

Cats love to sleep! In fact, sleeping is the main activity on their agenda followed by hunting, chasing and eating. At time it may seem like all a cat does is sleep and eat.

Unlike a dog that sleeps with his ears cocked and gets up at the slightest noise, a cat can sleep through anything. So don't be surprised if your cat finds some warm and soft place and disappears for a while for his catnap.

Cats are a clean creature and like to keep things private. They like their litter boxes to be hidden in a private place. In fact after a cat uses the litter box they bury it in litter covering up and hiding their business. This behavior is a learned behavior that they pick up from their mothers at a very young age.

These are just a few cat behaviors cat owners should know. Now, that you know these behaviors it is easier to know when a cat is being normal and when a cat is acting odd.
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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.

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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

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New Kitten Care - How to Kitten-proof Your Home

A very important aspect of new kitten care is keeping your kitten safe from danger. There are a lot of potential hazards round the home for little kittens. This article lists the most common ones and suggests ways you can minimize risks to your kitten and keep her safe.

Washing machine and tumble dryer:
If you leave the door open and there are clothes inside, there's a good chance your kitten will climb in and go to sleep. Always check your kitten isn't inside these before you use them.

Fridge and freezer:
As soon as you've used these, shut the door.

Hob and oven:
Shut the oven door as soon as you've finished with it. Cover hot hob plates.

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

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

Many plants are poisonous to cats. If you're not sure whether a certain plant is safe for your kitten if she eats it, put it out of her reach.

Pot pourri:
The oils used to scent this can be poisonous.

Open fires and candles:
Use a guard on the fire. Never leave a kitten in a room alone with lit candles.

Electrical wires:
If your kitten is a wire chewer, you'll need to put wires out of her reach or buy plastic covers for them.

Curtain tie-backs and cords on window blinds:
Kittens can get caught in these. Either remove them completely or tie them up out of reach.

Filled bathtubs and sinks:
Make sure your kitten doesn't have access to the room when the tub or sink is full.

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

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

Small objects:
Kittens can swallow small things like paper clips, rubber bands, staples and needles.

String, wool, fishing line and thread:
Kittens can swallow large quantities of these. For this reason, balls of wool or string and pom-poms aren't good toys for cats.

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

Tobacco, nicotine patches and nicotine gum are all poisonous to cats.

Reclining chairs, futons, folding beds, drawers:
If kittens get caught when this type of furniture is moved, they can get crushed. Make sure your kitten isn't asleep somewhere she could get trapped before you use any of these.

Safety is a major factor for new kitten care. It's fairly easy to keep your kitten safe as long as you anticipate potential dangers and take the necessary steps to prevent them. Putting brightly colored post it notes up around your home is a good way to do this. Stick the notes on or near potential dangers - for example the fridge, washing machine, oven, toilet and futon - and anywhere else that could be a hazard.

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

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Kitten Feeding with a Bottle

Kitten feeding can feel like a difficult process without a mother cat to do it for you. Newborn kittens are so tiny and fragile, and have to operate almost entirely by instinct. It may seem a daunting task at first, but the process of kitten feeding with a bottle is not so much from that of feeding a newborn human. Once they know what to do, they will do it all on their own. All you have to do is show them proper care and follow a few simple guidelines.

Step 1 Make up the bottle of formula. To do this, first sterilize the bottle and nipple in boiling water for several minutes and allow to cool thoroughly before adding the KMR (kitten milk replacement) formula. KMR is specifically formulated for kittens, and cow's milk is not an adequate replacement. To avoid clumping, add just a little bit of water to the powdered mix and stir until thoroughly combined before adding the rest of the hot water. The final temperature of the formula should be about 95 degrees. If the bottle gets cold, just warm it up in a small bowl of very warm water, but always check the temperature before offering it to the kitten.

Step 2 Prepare the kitten. Place a warm, soft towel either on your lap or on the feeding surface, then place the kitten gently on top of it. When feeding newborn kittens, they will need to be lying flat on their stomachs. It is best if you can do this with the kitten gently cuddled against you, because you need to be sure that the kitten is warm before feeding. Cold kittens do not digest their formula well.

Step 3 Feed the kitten. Gently work the nipple against the kitten's mouth. They will get the idea quickly and take it in. If not, very gently stroke the kitten until it gets the idea. You will need to do this six to ten times per day, around the clock, just like a newborn human. Newborn kittens will need a little over one ounce of formula per day, divided between feedings. Be careful to not overfeed them.

Step 4 Clean up and burp the kitten. While the kitten is still on the blanket, gently slip one hand under its belly and hold it while you very lightly pat its upper back. This will stimulate the burp response. Then, using a warm, damp, slightly rough cloth, gently clean its anal and genital area to stimulate urination and defecation.

Step 5 Put the kitten back to bed. It is worn out from its feeding and needs to rest.

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

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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

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