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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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Feline Life Stage Guidelines

The American Association of Feline Practitioners and the American Animal Hospital Association released the Feline Life Stage Guidelines, a 12-page document designed to promote important information regarding wellness care for cats. The guidelines have been developed in response to statistics that show that while cats outnumber dogs as pets, they receive significantly less veterinary care. Studies have also shown that many cat owners are unaware of their cats' medical needs, citing an inability to recognize signs of illness or injury.

The guidelines addresses wellness exams, recommending annual visits for healthy cats under 7 years of age, and twice yearly visits for cats 7 or older. They address a lenghty list of items that should be covered in an annual or bi-annual exam, including looking at behavior and environment, medical and surgical history, elimination, nutrition and weight management, dental health, parasite control, diagnostic testing, and vaccinations.

The guidelines also address how to overcome barriers to veterinary visits. Many pet owners perceive cats as being self-sufficient because they hide any discomfort, pain or illness so well.
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Helping You Cat Express Its Creativity Through Scratching

Most cats enjoy scratching, there's no question about it.

And indoor cats are no different. Just because a tree is not available, it does not decrease their desire to "leave a mark on the world" by scratching. From a cat's point of view, chairs, sofas, and even the woodwork can serve as a good substitute. But cat owners often take a different view. They see scratching as a destructive behavior, and seek to redirect or stop it. In many cases, a scratching post can be a good compromise.

But even better, why not help your feline pal create original pieces of art you will be proud to display in your home or office?

Ever since he was a kitten, my cat Henry has always loved to scratch. He soon grew tired of the scratching post I bought him and went on to create interesting textures on the living room sofa and chair. I was determined not to have him declawed. So what was the answer?

I remembered hearing that a friend's cat liked to scratch a piece of carpet she had nailed onto the wall. So I went to the surplus store and bought a few pieces of carpet remnants.

It did not take Henry long to catch on. Almost as soon as I nailed the carpet up on the wall, he discovered that he really enjoyed scratching it. He was very pleased that it didn't turn over with him like his old scratching post sometimes did, and he enjoyed working with the texture.
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How to Make Cat Grooming Easier

Regularly grooming your pet cat help lessen hair ball problems and will make the fur of your cat look more healthy and shinny. Usually, cats love to be groomed but not all cats enjoy it. This article aims to help pet owners to make cat grooming easier. However hesitant your cat maybe to grooming you can still find ways to make it enjoy grooming. One way is to take advantage of upir cat's natural enjoyment of human contact. Even if you have a very aloof cat it also enjoys petting. Read the following pointers that you should remember in order to make grooming session with your cat will be stress free and enjoyable.

Reasons why your cat doesn’t want to be groomed:
•#Your cat has sensitive part of her body
•#Dominant personality

First of all, you need to understand why your pet cat dont want to be groomed. Just like you, pets also has their sensitive parts and this is one of the reasons why your pet dont want to be touched or groomed. Another reason is injury. If your pet has injury or in pain it will most likely run away from you when you try to groom it. That’s why it is advisable to check your pet's body to know which part of his body is sensitive or if your pet has any kind of injury. Once you know those areas then you can avoid it when you try to groom your pet but just make sure that you stop whenever your cat is starting to feel irritated. Thinking of other ways how to groom your cat like what I already mentioned can help your cat think that grooming is also pleasurable for him.

A cat that havent experienced that much grooming before is another tough case to break. You should slowly work your cat to get it used to grooming or even petting or giving it rewards after grooming can be very effective. Cats with dominant personally can also be reluctant to grooming. This kind of cat will usually refuse when someone is petting them or touching their head and other parts of their body which makes it hard to groom.
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How to Clean Cat Urine

When cat urine seeps through carpet, into padding and down to the floor beneath, it can give your home an unpleasant aroma (to say the very least!). In almost all cases, cat urine is the worst perpetrator of pet stains and pet odors. If you own a cat, it's important for you to know how to clean cat urine stains.

The color of cat urine and its staining potential will often depend on dietary habits, age and sex of the cat, whether the cat is on medication, and the health of the cat. Urine can saturate absorbent materials such as carpet and padding, upholstery and mattresses well beyond the surface area that can effectively be cleaned. It is extremely difficult to remove all of the urine from inside of these materials. Even after a thorough cleaning, stains and odors often remain.

Tips on how to clean cat urine from the carpet:

Removing cat urine from your carpet can be one of the most difficult cleaning tasks, since it produce an especially persistent, unpleasant odor and amber-colored stains, so here are a few things you can do to eliminate them, when the "accident" is happens.

First, blot up as much of the urine as possible with a soft, clean white cloth or absorbent paper towel. Press down firmly (do not rub) for 30 seconds. The more fresh urine you can remove before it dries, the simpler it will be to remove the odor. Remove the towel and repeat the process until the area is fully dried. Rinse the "accident zone" thoroughly with clean, cool water. After rinsing, remove as much of the water as possible by blotting it up. Next, you have some options on how to clean cat urine from the carpet:
1. Baking soda works well to eliminate surface (but not deeply penetrated) odors. Dampen the area with clean water and then sprinkle baking soda over it. Rub the baking soda into the soiled area and let dry. Brush or vacuum to remove the dry material.
2. Another option in the how to clean cat urine list is white vinegar. Mix together 1 quart warm water and 1/2 cup white vinegar, and dribble the mixture onto stain. Place dry towels over the stained area and put something heavy over the towels to increase the pressure. After some hours remove the towels and raise the nap of the carpet with a soft-bristled hairbrush. Note: Test the vinegar solution on a piece of fabric that is hidden from view - under the cushion or on the backside of the furniture.
3. To clean old or heavy stains in carpeting, consider renting an extractor or wet-vac from a local hardware store. The extracting/wet-vac machines works like a vacuum cleaner and do the best job of forcing clean water through your carpet and then forcing the dirty water back out again. When you use these machines, you should follow the instructions carefully. Note: Don't use any chemicals with these machines - they work much more effectively with plain water.
4. One of the newest technologies for cleaning cat urine is penetrate the soiled area and deactivate the odor with peroxide or detergents. Simply spray a product that consist a 3% hydrogen peroxide and wait about five minutes. After that use a clean white absorbent cloth, blot the area, pressing down firmly (do not rub) for 30 seconds. Repeat this blotting process until the area is dry. If the stain or odor persists, repeat the process.Once the soiled area is really clean, you should use a high-quality pet odor neutralizer. Test the affected surface for staining first, and read and follow the instructions.
If the area still looks stained after it's completely dry from extracting and neutralizing, apply a specialized stain and odor removing bacteria/enzyme cleaner, such as "Outright Pet Stain Eliminator," "Pet 'Oops' Remover," or "Stain Gobbler". Check out the online merchants and catalogers selling pet supplies.

Tips on how to clean cat urine from your upholstery:
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Even Healthy Cats Act Sick When Their Routine Is Disrupted

A cat regularly vomiting hairballs or refusing to eat probably isn't being finicky or otherwise "cat-like," despite what conventional wisdom might say. There is a good chance that the cat is acting sick because of the stress caused by changes in its environment, new research suggests.

Healthy cats were just as likely as chronically ill cats to refuse food, vomit frequently and leave waste outside their litter box in response to changes in their routine, according to the Ohio State University study. Veterinary clinicians refer to these acts as sickness behaviors. The researchers documented sickness behaviors in healthy cats and in cats with feline interstitial cystitis, a chronic illness characterized by recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder and often both an urgent and frequent need to urinate.

When the cats experienced what were called "unusual external events," such as a change in feeding schedule or caretaker, the healthy cats were just as likely to exhibit sickness behaviors as were the chronically ill cats. The two groups had the same number of sickness behaviors in response to unusual events, and both groups were at more than three times the risk of acting sick when their routines were disrupted.

Previous research has indicated that a diagnosis of interstitial cystitis, known as IC, in cats is strongly associated with a number of other health problems. The fact that healthy cats exhibit some of those same problems in the face of stress suggests that veterinary clinicians should consider cats' environmental conditions during assessments for health problems, researchers say.

"For veterinary clinicians, when you have a cat that's not eating, is not using the litter box or has stuff coming up out of its mouth, the quality of the environment is another cause that needs to be addressed in coming up with a diagnosis," said Tony Buffington, professor of veterinary clinical sciences at Ohio State and senior author of the study.
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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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Everything About Cat Airline Travel You Need to Know

For a cat, airline travel is extremely stressful. Prevent anxiety and stress in your cat by following a few simple guidelines. Each airline has specific rules on traveling with your cat, so make sure you know if your cat will be stored in the baggage area or if you can keep your cat and cat carrier with you on the flight. Veterinary Approval Is Usually Required While a cat sits in his cat carrier waiting to be placed in the baggage compartment, he may be exposed to outside elements. Many airlines refuse to take responsibility for a cat becoming chilled or overheated. Therefore, they require pet owners to supply a letter from their veterinarian, called an acclimation certificate, stating the cat is healthy and able to withstand temperature extremes.

Some airlines will request proof of recent vaccinations, including rabies, before boarding your pet. If you are traveling out of the country, make sure you've checked to see if your animal will face a quarantine when you reach your destination. Quarantines are stressful on both pet owners and their cat.

Choosing a Cat Airline Carrier
Airlines all require cat crates for air travel. Your cat carrier should be large enough for a cat to move around. Once you've boarded your cat, airline personnel will not allow you to take the cat from the carrier if the cat is with you. Make sure the cat has room to move and that there is room for a food and water dish. The water dish should be one that is filled from the outside. While the cat is flying, you will not be able to open the cage door.

Other features to watch for:
•Area for writing your name and contact information in case the cat carrier is lost
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Flea Yard Control

Yard flea control is an essential part of controlling flea infestation outside the home. No matter how diligent you are about controlling fleas inside the home, if your cat goes outside, he could pick up fleas in an uncontrolled yard and bring them inside, making indoor flea control difficult if not impossible.

Controlling Fleas by Understanding Their Life Cycle Simply killing adult fleas isn't enough to control flea infestation; flea larvae hatch from eggs and then mature into adults. In order to control flea infestation, you'll need to kill flea eggs and larvae as well as adult fleas. You should be aware that flea control is often an ongoing process; fleas can reappear if you aren't diligent in your control methods.

Preparing Your Lawn for Flea Control Treatment Many cat owners choose to treat their lawns chemically in order to control fleas. Before you consider using a chemical treatment, prepare your lawn to minimize flea hiding places and ensure that chemical treatment has the maximum effect.

The first step in lawn preparation is mowing your lawn. Mowing your lawn regularly can have enormous flea control benefits, as it allows sunlight to penetrate the soil, where flea eggs and larvae live. When sunlight penetrates the flea egg or larval cocoon, it can be harmful or even deadly for them.

Remove any weeds from your lawn, especially those growing around fence lines and in sidewalk cracks. Remove weeds from around play equipment and furnishings.

Take steps to keep unwanted animals out of your lawn. Fill gaps in your fencing and cover trash cans that might tempt wild animals and strays. Stray cats, dogs and even wild animals can bring more fleas into your yard. Because keeping unwanted animals entirely out of your lawn at all times is most likely impossible, you'll need to repeat flea control treatments regularly to prevent re-infestation.
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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

The California Spangled Cat
A shorthair cat breed, California Spangled originated following a fateful visit by Hollywood script writer and animal lover Paul Casey to Tanzania, Africa, in the early nineteen seventies. Casey was shocked by rampant poaching of leopards there for their skin and after motivation by famed anthropologist Louis Leakey, decided to develop a breed that would resemble the spotted big cats in appearance and generate awareness among people regarding conservation of great cats in the wild. The idea was that if people own a spotted cat of their own, they would desist wearing of furs of other spotted cats. It was not until the mid nineteen eighties that Casey was finally able to develop the breed from a number of different cats including American and British Shorthairs, Abyssinians, Angoras, Manx and Siamese. Though the resulting Spangled cats gained initial popularity, they were not enthusiastically received by many cat fancies who were not so keen in adding another spotted cat to their registry at that time. Today very few of these purebred cats remain.

About The Pixie Bob Cat Breeds
Pixie Bobs may have a wild look to them, but you couldn't ask for a more charming, loving companion. This breed has a reputation for being the Golden Retrievers of the cat world. These cats, first bred in the Pacific Northwestern United States, were thought to be the product of a Bobcat and a feral cat.

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

Does Your Cat Have the Terrible Two's?
Does your cat remind you of the “terrible two’s”? Having a hissy fit, when they don’t get their own way?



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Clumping cat litter - Health Alert
One new development of science that has me concerned is that of the "clumping cat litters". Touted to be easier to clean, non-tracking, and cost-effective, it is often "scented" and "deodorizing". It is chemically altered and I believe harmful to our animals.

Can My Cat Catch a Cold?
If you are like me, you probably have never had a cat with a cold, but cats with colds are fairly common.

Pet Horoscopes - AQUARIUS (1/22-2/19):
They are truly the comedians of the Zodiac. They are gentle and loving with children and will meow just to hear the sound of their own voices. They are extremely intelligent and unbelievably scatterbrained. You need lots of patience when you train them. They do not obey orders easily and the more you push them, the deeper they will put their paws into the ground and refuse to budge. Sometimes these cats don't want to be cuddled or petted, but remain aloof. Aquarius cats are curious and inquisitive and will literally push their noses into everything



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


Raising a Kitten for the First Time
If you have never owned a cat before and are thinking of getting one, you may find yourself with many questions. Hopefully, this article will answer most, if not all of them.

How Long Will My Cat Live?:
The answer to that depends upon several factors. The care that you give your cat, the quality of the food that your cat eats, the kind of lifestyle that your cat lives

How Picky Can Your Cat Really Be?:
Most of pet owners know that their much loved four-legged members of the family come with a lot of personality and unique, sometimes almost human-like behavior. For instance, my cat would act as a peacemaker when she smells the human fight

Signs You Might Be A Cat
You can get cuddles whenever you want them. You yowl loudly if your litter box is not clean. You yowl loudly at the full moon.



temperament of cats
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Some News About Cat, kitten, cat litter, free content,

  • Don't add cat litter to compost

    I would not put cat poop into a compost pile unless I knew that it generated sufficient heat to kill off any potentially harmful bacteria and other organisms in cat feces. It is good that you are using a fragrance-free cat litter. We are all better off ...

  • Website Publishes Review of Top 3 Self Cleaning Litter Boxes for Cats to Help Pet Owners Purchase the Best Product

    There are self-cleaning litter boxes designed to accommodate two cats and are available at reasonable prices. Moreover, there are products with a two-year warranty and also a 90-day free trial offer. A pet owner can prefer to pick a product with a free ...

  • Cats offer comfort to veterans in final moments at VA hospital in Western Massachusetts

    The hospital pays for the cats' food, litter and other expenses through donations ... August 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission for car owners and spectators is free to all but a cash donation to support the therapy cats program at the medical center ...

  • Angels needs foster homes for cats, kittens, dogs

    Angels provides the food, litter and health care for the fostered pets ... “The biggest problem is the free roaming cats,” Less said. Loose kittens and cats tend to be ignored until the population of them gets overwhelming, Less explained.

  • Cats visit veterinarians half as often as dogs

    Most cat owners only see the vet when their cat is sick, and many cats quite literally hide signs of illness in places like the closet and under beds. Many times, people incorrectly think signs of illness, like inappropriate litter habits, are simply a way ...

  • Shelter offers new hope for feral cats

    and have a place the cats can be safe and hide from threats," she said. To apply for the program or to find out more, contact the Weatherford Parker County Animal Shelter at 817-598-4111. Never miss a local story. Sign up today for a free 30 day free trial ...

  • 6 Black Cats Who Revolutionized Feline Entertainment

    So here’s to the rabble mousers, the litter ... cat is treated as a fluffy henchman of a satanist and an overall symbol of evil. While the content of the film isn’t kind to the perception of these kitties, the cat’s acting shows that black cats ...

  • Moving with Cats? Why Moving is a Bogus Reason to Abandon Your Cat

    Research options and pay beforehand so you and your kitties enjoy a stress-free stay. 4. “My cat will be traumatized by living in a new environment.” Many cats need an adjustment ... scratching posts, kitty litter pan, etc. Open the carrier door ...

  • Williamson County animal shelter cats saved

    There were about 30 people in the lobby, she said, looking to help foster or adopt cats. “I saw a young couple that adopted three kittens, because they were all part of one litter,” she said ... While the shelter offers free spay and neuter clinics ...

  • The best cat litter you can buy

    The Precious Cat Ultra-Premium Clumping Litter uses an unscented, dust-free formula that traps liquid and odors to keep your cat happy and your home smelling fresh. Although cats are naturally very clean, the litter box can get messy if you don’t ...



cat urine
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cat urine
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