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Frosty, The Wandering Vagabond Cat


FROSTY, THE WANDERING VAGABOND CAT
Copyright 2004, Michael LaRocca

For a long time, we had a four-pet home. Daisy the border collie mix and Bebe the dachshund/doberman mix. Witchie and Taz, the Siamese couple. Pumpkin wandered into this mess for a disruptive while. What was especially disruptive is that Taz and Pumpkin, two males, became best buddies. Then Pumpkin left us.

Weeks later, Taz was still depressed. No more running up and down the stairs and making weird noises at three in the morning. Always looking out the windows or at the doors as if Pumpkin would show up at any moment. Witchie was happy, damn her, but Taz was miserable.

Finally, we visited the Humane Society to bring home a new little buddy for my son Taz. Once again, things didn't quite work out as I'd planned.

A skinny white male with some black and brown highlights, one year old, told me with his eyes to stop looking at those other cats.

"You know you want me. That's right, me. Over here, you idiot. I'm the cat you want."

Who was I to argue?

It seems that this fellow, Lucas, was adopted from the Humane Society at six weeks of age. A year later, his parents moved into an apartment that didn't allow pets, so he was back.

We changed his name to Frosty. Don't ask me why.

There were two things I didn't realize about Frosty. He was much larger than Taz, and he had never lived with any animals except humans.

He adapted to the dogs quickly. They tried to herd him like Pumpkin, but he simply stood his ground until they rushed past. Sometimes Bebe, being uncoordinated, crashed into him. This became the new ritual, the failed herding of Frosty.

Frosty first walked into my house knowing that he owned it. That was fine with Taz, but not with Witchie. Frosty was a bit taller than the Siamese, and as I fed him he quickly grew larger than they were. He also had youth on his side, since he was one and Witchie was at least seven. She didn't care. She had to teach him his place, and that was that.

The war of wills was fun to watch. He trained Lisa and me quickly enough, and the dogs, but Witchie was untrainable. So was Frosty, it turned out.

Witchie decided that Frosty wasn't allowed on the floor. Whenever he sprang down from a piece of furniture, she charged at him hissing and swatting until he ran for dear life and sprang onto something else. This went on for months.

I think Taz tried to play with him once, but Frosty wasn't interested. Also, given his size and his attitude, he was scary. Taz was torn in his loyalties again, upsetting Witchie. If looks could kill, Witchie would be the world's finest assassin.

In the year that I owned him, Frosty left me one mouse, but that's only because he didn't catch very many. When he hunted, he got fat. When he was fat, he was too slow to catch mice. When he lost enough weight, after failing to catch mice, his speed returned and he caught them again. Lacking Pumpkin's natural camouflage, he didn't catch very many to begin with.

Finally, Witchie accepted him as a King worthy of Her Majesty the Queen. They ruled their domain together, as reluctant equals. I'd have bet real money that such a thing was impossible. Young Taz, meanwhile, accepted his new role as Court Jester.

The rules at feeding time changed when Frosty arrived.

At a certain time of day, usually too dang early, Witchie demanded a can of food. Nobody can demand anything like a loud squawking Siamese, as their owners and neighbors can attest. I fed her and she ate her fill, which wasn't much. If the food didn't meet with her approval, she ate none at all. She resumed demanding food instead, even more insulted than before. What a terrible affront it is to her dignity to feed her inadequate food.

I eventually learned that cats don't eat what they can't smell. As they get older, their sense of smell fades. In other words, stinky food is best.

I always fed Witchie on the counter, for the very obvious reason that the dogs would steal her food otherwise. I also kept the litter box off the floor, because the dogs were obsessed with it as well.

When Witchie finished eating, Taz ate two bites. He preferred crunchy dog food, which was fine with the dogs, but he had to put in a little showing just on general principle. Then Daisy and Bebe fought for the leftovers.

I was able to determine who won those fights. If it was a plastic bowl, Bebe carried it away and ate the food. If it was ceramic, Daisy ate the food. Thus I could regulate their weights, and ensure that they alternated.

When Pumpkin arrived, he ate after Taz was done. He never emptied the bowl, having gorged on mice. Then Daisy and Bebe fought for the leftovers.

With Frosty, everything changed. Witchie still ate first, with Taz sitting guard duty and keeping Frosty away. Then Frosty ate next, at which point Daisy ran to the kitchen and waited. This was because Frosty pushed the bowl all over the counter. Daisy knew it would soon hit the floor, or at least make its way to the edge where she could steal it.

I didn't mind that Frosty didn't eat much, since he was fat. Taz didn't mind not getting any, because there was always a bowl of dog food. Bebe lost weight, which was good because overweight dachshunds wind up with broken backs. Daisy was getting fat, but eventually I worked that out too. It took me two years to do it, though.

When Lisa and I worked out the terms of our divorce, we quickly decided that I'd keep Daisy and Bebe, and she'd keep her horses and her Siamese cats.

Frosty, she decided, would have to go. She would be smuggling her two precious Siamese into a no-pets apartment, but Frosty wouldn't like it at all because he was an outdoorsman and a free spirit.

I was selling the house and moving into an apartment myself, leading to the same problem, but if she couldn't find Frosty a good home I'd find a way to keep him somehow. He deserved the best.

Lisa gave Frosty to Shannon, owner of the boarding stable where the horses were living. We thought he'd be much happier there than with me, since he'd grown so used to the company of other cats, so Frosty moved in with Shannon's barn cats. I figured he'd be ruling the roost before the day was over, and when I visited him a week later, he was.

About a week after that, I was typing at my computer when I heard a familiar noise out on the porch. It was a meow. I recognized the voice, as did Taz and the dogs. Witchie recognized it as well, and she scowled angrily.

He'd lost a bit of weight, yes, but Frosty had returned home. A mile or so down the road, and he'd simply decided he didn't like it there. I assumed I'd be keeping him after all, but he had other plans.

A few days later, one of Lisa's coworkers dropped in because we were selling furniture and such. Frosty, now fat again, decided he would go home with her. He rubbed all over her legs, purring loudly, looking up with lovesick eyes.

"He's free if you want him," said Lisa.

"Oh, he's beautiful, but I can't take him. I already have two cats."

"Frosty won't mind. He lives with two now."

"Oh, but these are males. They'd fight."

"Frosty's big enough to take care of himself."

"My cats are pretty big, too."

This conversation lasted another two or three minutes, during which Frosty continued to woo and charm the lady as only he can. Heck, I didn't realize the old boy had it in him. But he was in love.

Come to think of it, I didn't choose him when I visited the Humane Society. He chose me.

Finally she picked him up. I suspect she already knew what a big mistake that was.

"Well, the other two stay outdoors," she finally said. "Maybe Frosty could be an indoor cat. Do you think he'd be okay indoors?"

"Oh yeah," Lisa lied, "He loves it indoors. He'd be great."

This is the cat who, on his first day in the house, howled and clawed the inside of the door until I let him out. When he was ready to come inside, he leaped onto the window screen behind the TV and yelled. He usually found himself on the wrong side of the door about once every five minutes, as if he'd had a cat door at his previous home. He never stopped doing those things.

But I'm sure Frosty made his own rules, as always, and lived happily with his new love and her two cats. Really, I think Frosty is just one of those who likes to move to a new home every year.

But he has to choose his new home, you see. Shannon -- no. This woman -- yes.

By now he's probably tired of her and moved onto greener pastures yet again. Maybe one day, if you're very lucky, he'll come spend a year with you.


About the Author

Michael publishes a free weekly newsletter, WHO MOVED MY RICE?, which is dedicated to proving that you can't eat grits with chopsticks. http://www.chinarice.org



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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.

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* Cancer
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* 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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Newest Articles

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.
Continue Reading About How To Keep Cats Off Kitchen Benches


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

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

As kittens, cats learn which behaviors are acceptable and which aren't by, simply, getting their fuzzy butts kicked by their litter mates. If they bite one of their siblings too hard and end up getting bitten back, they learn, "Hey, maybe that wasn't such a good idea after all!"
Continue Reading About How Do I Stop My Cat From Biting Me?




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

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

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

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


Cats, Coyotes and Coons!

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

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

A few weeks went by and now Spike was spending most of his night time in the house, while the dogs continued to bark each evening after dark. Only after we spotted the coyote crossing the road to trot in our direction did we know what was causing the disturbance. That's when we named the Coyote, Ruckus!
Continue Reading About Cats, Coyotes and Coons!


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

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
New Kitten Care - How to Kitten-proof Your Home
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

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

Old-fashion Cheeseburger Pie and Show Cake for Dessert
When Bisquick came out with their baking mix, housewives everywhere were happily intrigued. It seemed it was suddenly easier and less time consuming to prepare practically everything. One of the fun things about this new marvel, was the "impossible" recipes. Families were suddenly enjoying all kinds of "impossible" recipes. "Impossible" simply meant that cooks could whip up a mixture, pour it into a pie plate, put it in the oven to bake and pull out a pie in a shell. Wow! Such magic! This worked for dessert pies and meat pies. This "Impossible" Cheeseburger Pie quickly became a family favorite. Pull out your baking mix box today and make this yummy treat for your family. For dessert, give them a treat with "Show" cake.



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catnews.org Kitty Card Shop
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Cat litter box location strategies

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New Article - Taking care of an older cat


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Free Feline Content For Your Cat, Kitten or Pet Site
Looking for quality cat and kitten articles to post on your site? I have done the formatting work for you. I am posting the Article of The Day on this page ready to copy and insert into your site.

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Abyssinian Cat Breeders - Abyssinian Cat Breeders Have A Wild Time
If you hang around Abyssinian cat breeders you will be convinced that must have raised squirrels at some point in their lives. Abyssinian cat breeders and owners say that living with an Abyssinian is like living with squirrels.

Do You Know About The Dangers Of Feline Leukemia?
If you are the proud owner of a kitty, then you should take the time to learn about feline leukemia. Many cats die each year from this dangerous disease, which has been found to be caused by a virus which is highly contagious. To protect your precious cat, you should take the time to learn more about feline leukemia, and what you can do to help protect your cat from it.

Yemengzhu - The 3 Billion Dollar Rock: What weighs 6.2 tons and is worth more then 3.1 billion dollars?
Are your guessing a new high tech battleship or maybe a new stealth fighter? Well it's a big ball of glow in the dark fluorite. Thats right a rock!

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.



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Most cities and towns have some form of animal control in place, usually as a division of the police department. Thus, an animal control officer's boss is usually the chief of police. But police departments typically have less interest in the welfare of animals than in law enforcement related to the more exciting pursuit of human derelicts and dastards.

Heartworm Treatment for Cats and Dogs:
Once your cat has heartworms the treatment is not easy. You want to rid your cat of heartworms but many factors need to be looked at before proceeding.Your veterinarian will have to do many tests to determine how many worms your pet has, how it is affecting your cat and if your cat can handle the side effects of the medication.

Home Care for the Declawed Cat:
Remember, you are now rehabilitating a handicapped indoor animal, so plenty of TLC is necessary, especially for the older cat



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