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I'm Allergic To My Cat!

Having a cat allergy came as something of a surprise to me. Growing up, I had many pets - cats, dogs and birds. My family were animal lovers and pets abounded, so being in contact with animals was a daily occurance. No one ever seemed to suffer from a cat allergy or any kind of animal allergy for that matter.

After my teens and my last pet had died, I wasn't in a position to take on another pet for many years. Then, eleven years ago, a friend of a cousin was looking for a home for their last remaining kitten. And so it was that Kira came into my life. This was a cat with attitude (and still is!) and we bonded pretty much immediately. While she was still a kitten, I'd put her in the kitchen overnight with a little cat bed to sleep in and the litter box close by.

As she grew older, I started letting her sleep in the bedroom. It's surprising how relaxing a cat's purring can be in wee small hours.

A little over a year later, when down with the vet getting some supplies, I heard that there was a kitten that needed a home or it would have to be put to sleep. And so, Fritz came home with me that day.

Unfortuately, Kira was less than impressed with this interloper and I had to keep the two separated for several days before an uneasy truce ensued.

They're an odd pair - Kira has attitude, Fritz is much more companionable; what you'd call a "gentle soul". She's still the Queen around the house and occasionally puts Fritz in his place with a right-hook to the face when she feels the need to assert her authority.

As Fritz matured, he also was allowed into the bedroom. Both he and Kira would sleep there during the day and night, as was their want.

We all know that cats are the greatest creature-comfort-seeking animals on the planet and a comfy place to catnap is one of their major concerns. But the place your cat chooses to snooze may not be your first choice. While I didn't mind the cats sleeping on the bed, I did take exception to Fritz's tendency to charge in from the garden and sleep in a basket of warm, freshly dried laundry straight from the dryer.

The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine recently conducted a poll of pet-owners on the sleeping habits of their pets and found that 60% of them sleep in bed with one of the family. Where cats are concerned, there are two potential problems here: one is that, somehow, they manage to take up 90% of the bed and the other has to do with allergies.

I found I had a mild cat allergy when I started producing weird wheezing noises any time I was doing something strenuous. Coughing eased it for a few minutes but it would always return. I figured Iíd developed a mild form of asthma, probably due to bad air quality and pollution, so I went to the doctor to have it checked out. After listening to my lungs he asked me one question: "Do you have a cat?"

Well, yes, I did. Two in fact.

"Youíre allergic to your cats", he intoned.

Then he asked if the cats slept in the bedroom. Of course they did.

"Thereís your real problem", he said. "What youíre allergic to is the dander produced by your cats. When a cat sleeps on your bed, the dander ends up in the sheets and the duvet and you breathe it in deeply at night when youíre asleep. Not good. Thatís what causes your wheeziness. Stop the cats sleeping in your bedroom for two or three weeks and see if that eases your symptoms. If not, youíll probably need to use an inhaler for the rest of your life."

Ok, that last sentence kinda hit me between the eyes. Much as I love my two furballs, I didnít want to suffer a long-lasting health problem that could possibly be avoided.

So why is dander such a problem? It's the layer of dead skin that's rich in animal protein, which is continuously shed by animals. Sebaceous (oil producing) glands in the skin also produce these protein allergens. Male cats have, on average, greater amounts of sebaceous secretions and therefore are more allergenic than female or neutered male cats. This is a result of testosterone hormone effects on sebaceous glands.

So, with that information and the prospect of an enduring health problem, I banned my cats from the bedroom, threw out the duvet (on the advice of the doctor), bought a new one and changed everything on the bed (including getting new pillows). I didnít get too much sleep the first few nights with the cats meowing and scratching on the door to get in but they got used to the idea, finally. After three weeks in a cat free bedroom, my wheeziness had all but disappeared. The cats havenít been allowed back in since.

Should you find yourself with a similar cat allergy problem, banning the cat from your bedroom is one possible course of action. Alternatively, you can get your cat his own cat bed and put that somewhere out of harm's way (yours and the cat's).

Since finding out I was mildly allergic to my cats, I've spoken to other cat owners about it and quite a number also suffer some mild form of allergic reaction - sneezing, wheezing, watering eyes, blocked sinuses and so on. Owners appear to become at least somewhat immune to their own cats insofar as the symptoms are not as pronounced as they become when they're around other people's cats.

But, having said that, none of us would ever part with our feline companions and would exhort others to adopt a cat as a pet, as the benefits far outweigh any minor inconveniences.

Animal dander allergy can significantly contribute to respiratory problems involving the sinuses, nasal passages, and eyes, as well as causing upper respiratory tract problems that can result in asthma (as in my case). These problems can significantly diminish your quality of life despite various medical treatments. For some people, it can be even more serious, leading to recurrent acute asthmatic attacks that can be life threatening, requiring emergency room visits and hospitalizations. The good news is that most people who are allergic to their pets can keep their symptoms under control if they know the facts.

About the Author

Gary Nugent has been a life-long animal lover, especially of cats and is the webmaster of http://www.just-pet-cats.com - a site that helps you make the best choices to keep your cat healthy, happy and long-lived. Information about cats in general, health issues, behavior patterns and their history. And, not to forget about you...there are a few things on the site to keep cat owners amused as well.


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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.

Felines are amazing pieces of machinery, so to speak, in that they have the capability of repairing themselves. For instance, despite the fact that they have two kidneys, they only need a part of one of them in order to stay healthy. Eventually, the aging process in cats takes its toll on them, just like it does with us, and therefore they experience those bodily changes that are characteristically associated with getting older.

The bottom line here is that the key elements of exercise, health care, and proper nutrition, combined with the special care they need once they have entered their “golden years,” will affect your cat’s life expectancy positively. The following list, though quite lengthy, are the more common conditions and problems that older cats may eventually face and that you as an owner will have to deal with when they arise:

* Anemia
* Arthritis and stiff joints
* Blood pressure problems
* Bone brittleness and weakness
* Breathing issues resulting from less flexibility of the lung muscles
* Cancer
* Decreased brain cell count
* Decreased control of body temperature
* Decreased functions of the kidneys and liver
* Decreased intestinal and stomach functions which oftentimes lead to impaired digestive processes
* Decreased production of saliva and difficulties in swallowing
* Decreased sensitivity to all the senses excluding touch
* Dehydration resulting from a decreased sensitivity to thirst
* Greater occurrence of infection due to increased susceptibility
* Increased bone brittleness
* Mouth ulcers
* Muscle dysfunction and weakness
* Periodontal conditions and tooth loss
* Shallower sleeping patterns which leads to irritability and temperament issues
* Skin abnormalities such as abnormally brittle or misshaped claws, alopecia, and dullness of the coat

From the time they are kittens, cats need to be provided with four critical elements in order to enter their golden years in the best possible shape – an appropriate amount of regular exercise, good health care, proper nutrition, and a stimulating lifestyle.
About the Author
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For more easy, practical tips on taking great care of your cat be sure to visit the author’s feline health site now.

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No Sugar for Your "Sweetie" if it has Diabetes

It's a habit that almost all pet owners fall into. We tend to equate human diseases with veterinary ones. Sometimes certain human diseases are just like certain animal illnesses, but diabetes is not one of them.

"Diabetes in humans is not exactly the same disease that we see in dogs and cats," says Dr. Olivier Dossin, an assistant professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, "you can't do a direct transposition between the two." While people may look at their pet's diabetes and try to put it into the framework of either the more commonly-known type 1 or type 2 in humans, that's not really the way the disease is approached by a veterinarian. However, feline diabetes associated with obesity is close to the human type 2 diabetes.

Fortunately, diabetes in our pets is fairly easy to diagnose. Owners usually complain that their pet is drinking and urinating more frequently. They may also eat more than usual despite weight loss. It's also important to note that, "diabetes can be a life threatening disease," notes Dr. Dossin. This is because it can cause a condition known as ketoacidosis, which may cause the animal to fall unconscious.

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I Think My Cat is In Heat, What Do I Do?

Cat's Heat Cycle
If you ahve an un-spayed cat, whether because you haven't gotten around to having her spayed or because you don't believe it spaying female animals or whatever the reason, you should be prepared for the cat to go into heat.

Usually a cat will come into her first season between 4 and 10 months old. That is a pretty lengthy time span, which is why if you don't want to deal with the cat going into heat, you should consider spaying the cat as soon as your vet recommends.

A cat's normal heat cycle lasts between 7 to 10 days, and occurs every 2 to 3 weeks.

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* Licking vulva area.
* Rubs face against you or furniture more than usual.
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Should Your Cat Go To the Dentist?

Should your cat visit the dentist? Many experts say so. Many cat dentists advertise online, offering services such as cleaning, polishing, check-ups, X-rays and tiny cat braces. How many times has your cat greeted you when you get home from work; you pick her up and she meows in your face. Her breath reeks and her teeth are crooked. You say to her "You need to go to the dentist, cat."

Sedation dentistry has become popular in the cat dentist industry. The cute little kitty gets a whiff of gas to calm her while the cat dental technician cleans and examines her mouth. Be sure to ask your veterinarian about sedation options when you make your kitty's appointment.

If you have more than one cat, ask about multiple cat discounts. Many cat dentists offer reduced rates if you bring all of them into the office at the same time. Bundle them all into your cat carrier, make the short drive to the office, and get it over with in one trip. The hassle level increases by a factor of 2.61, but the satisfaction factor outweighs. Should Your Cat Go to The Dentist for Braces?

Some cat dentists are trained in the application of cat braces. Commonly called cat orthodontists, they can provide diagnostic services to help you decide what specific needs your cats have. At an additional expense you may elect to install invisible braces instead of the metallic silver-colored units that tend to be uncomfortable. Some cats find themselves shunned from polite cat society once they get traditional braces. If you only have two cats in your house, being shunned can be a devastating experience for the newly braced kitty. Something about a mouth full of metal becomes extremely annoying to nearby cats; ask your cat dentist about tips for gradually introducing Little Snowball back into the cat herd after she gets her braces. Benefits of Visiting the Cat Dentist for Braces

Your cat should go to the dentist for braces if she plans to participate in cat shows or cat cotillions. Her first formal cat gathering will be a tremendous culture shock if she's not properly pampered and prepared. Straight clean teeth are a basic requirement for competing in the cutthroat social climbing environment of kitties. Obviously your showy cat needs a healthy lean diet to promote shiny fur and a healthy physique. It's all good until she opens her mouth to meow to the judge; if her teeth aren't straight, she can't possibly get a cat medal or cat trophy.

None of us want our kitties hiding under the sofa all day. Some breeds are genuinely shy, but certainly some individuals become self-conscious of their unsightly teeth and bad breath. We can't feed them (hopefully sugar-free) mints all day; something more permanent has to be done. Preparing for a Trip to the Cat Dentist
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How Do I Stop My Cat From Biting Me?

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!"
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How Sensitive Is A Cat's Taste?

Since a cat's sense of hearing and smelling is more sensitive than ours is, it's reassuring to discover that in one respect leastways we have got superior sense organs. When it comes to the sense of taste, our tongues are somewhat more adept than theirs. However, just only slightly. Similar to us, cats are responsive to four primary tastes...sour, bitter, salt and sweet. We react to all four in a strong matter, but cats are lacking when it comes to sweet tastes. They don't have our 'sweet tooth'.

Until recently it was believed by many experts that cats were practically the only animal among mammals that wasn't capable of determining sweet tastes. One stated, with no expertise, 'The cat doesn't display any response to sweet tastes'. Another one stated, 'Sweet tastes can't be recognized by the cat'. This age-old belief now needs to be put away. Recent tests have proven clearly that cats can recognize sweet tastes. If milk is watered down to one quarter of its normal strength, and a hungry cat is then offered an option between the watery milk laced with sucrose versus the same milk with no sweetener, they will without fail, choose the sweet dishes.

If this is the case, how come it has been rejected in the past? The answer lies in the fact that in almost all tests cats disregard the sweetness factor when making a choice. It's such a small significance to them they all but ignore it. If, for instance, they're tested with whole or even half and half milk, they express no preference for the more sweetened examples. Their reaction to the milk itself is too strong. Only if the milk factor is considerably diluted does the sweetness factor start to show up. And so, while cats do savor the taste, they do so at a really modest dismantle.

Sour taste is a cat's foremost reaction; followed by bitter, then salt and the last one is sweet. As food touches the tongue it comes in contact with sensory papillae there. These papillae (nubs) are strong, rough and backward pointing and are located in the middle of the tongue. In this area, there's a specialization of the tongue's surface that doesn't have anything to do with taste. So, there aren't any taste buds in this central area. It's a zone related solely with scraping meat from bones or with cleaning fur. The taste buds are limited to the tip, the sides and the back of the tongue only.
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Add a Shelter Cat to Your Family Today

Stray Cat Adoptions of Texas (SCAT)

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

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Cats Get Heartworm Disease, Too

Most dog owners are well aware of the deadly consequences a heartworm infection can have on their pet and strictly adhere to monthly preventatives. However, many cat owners are unaware that their pets are susceptible to these parasites as well, even if their feline friend lives only indoors. Because clinical signs of heartworm disease in cats are sometimes mistaken for other ailments, the disease may go undetected.

"Feline heartworm disease is very difficult to diagnose, but easy to prevent," says Dr. Allan Paul, a veterinary parasitologist at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Because the disease is complex, testing for the parasites in cats can be confusing and, in most cases, more than one test is needed to make an accurate diagnosis.

Signs of heartworm disease in cats are somewhat nonspecific. Years ago the disease would have been diagnosed as feline asthma, but now veterinarians realize that cats can get heartworm disease, too.
Continue Reading About Cats Get Heartworm Disease, Too


Introducing A New Cat At Home

When you decide to add a new cat to your home, it's normally more exiting for you and your family than it is for the cat you already own. Although most cats are solitary by nature, most will also come to accept or eventually tolerate any additions. Cats can be very territorial, which is why you should always be careful when you introduce a new cat to your current cat.

If you are introducing kittens to one another, the entire introduction process can be short, lasting as little as 10 - 15 days. Introducing cats to each other all depends on their temperament and their personality. When you introduce a new cat to your current cat, you should always make sure that you give your current cat plenty of love and attention. This way, your cat will feel secure and know that he isn't in competition with your new cat for affection.

When you bring your new cat home, you should let him stay in a safe room until you have finished introducing the cats. Your safe room can be any small room in your home, such as a bathroom or spare bedroom. The key here is to use a room that your current cat doesn't go in. In the room, you should leave your new cat a scratching post, bed, water dish, litter box, and food dish.
Continue Reading About Introducing A New Cat At Home


10 Questions to Ask When Adopting a Kitten or Cat

Each year in the United States millions of unwanted cats and kittens are euthanized because there are simply not enough homes for them all. This is a very sad but true fact. If you are planning on adding a new furry friend to your family, won't you please consider adoption first? If you want a purebred cat, such as a Maine Coon or a Siamese, no need to worry, there are many cat rescues in the United States that specialize in the adoption of specific breeds. The Siamese Rescue Organization, for example, has saved over 15,000 cats nationwide. They are truly dedicated to finding homes for misplaced, abused and abandoned Siamese. They have rescue centers located in California and Texas as well as in the Pacific and Rocky Mountain regions of the country.

If you are interested in adopting a kitten, spring time is the best time! Though shelters receive kittens all year long, they are usually over-run with kittens in the spring. Though kittens are adorable, please don't forget about the wonderful, older felines that need homes too. Older cats are often harder to place and, therefore, at greater risk of euthanasia. If you are interested in adopting a solid black cat, be aware that most shelters and rescue organizations do not allow the adoption of black cats around the Halloween season. Unfortunately, there are people in the world that do not treat our furry, black, four-legged friends very nicely, especially around this haunted holiday.

Once you have decided that adoption is the best option for you, it is a good idea to have a list of questions prepared before you walk into the rescue shelter. Knowledge is power, the more you know about the cat or kitten you are about to adopt, the better!

Questions to ask when adopting a cat:
Continue Reading About 10 Questions to Ask When Adopting a Kitten or Cat


Cats & Holidays

What are the options of care for my cat when I go on holidays?

There are several options for your cat when you go on holiday. Each option has it's pros & cons & needs to be weighed up carefully. There are many factors involved, including the length of time you are going away, cost, your cat's personality & your own comfort level. Listed below are several options cat owners can investigate.

Boarding Cattery:
Pros: You will have a professional to watch your cat while you are away. There are some wonderful boarding catteries available. Some of which start out fairly basic, others are the equivalent of a feline 5 star hotel. Many boarding catteries have an enclosed outdoor play area so your cat can enjoy the sunshine in the safety of an enclosure. As boarding catteries usually have other pets in their care, time in an outdoor play area is usually limited so each of their guests can enjoy time outside.

You will have somebody keeping a watch over your cat's health & well being. As well as providing the basic requirements such as feeding many boarding catteries will spend time playing, grooming & petting your cat.

Cons: Some cats don't take well to being taken outside of the comfort of their home, and will become stressed. The majority of cats will settle in quickly, but some will find it an upsetting experience.
Continue Reading About Cats & Holidays


Potty Training For Your Feline Friends

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

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

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

After preparing the materials needed simply follow these cat potty training steps:
Continue Reading About Potty Training For Your Feline Friends




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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


Problems That Aging Cats are Susceptible to

It’s a given that a cat ages more rapidly than what humans do. Some veterinarians will tell you that a one-year old cat is equivalent to a 16-year old child, although I think this is extreme. The different schools of thoughts propounded by vets and feline experts will tell you that the ratio is anywhere from 4 to 7:1 when it comes to comparing the aging process of a feline to that of a human. Despite the difficulty in predicting an exact age, most vets and experts consider a feline to be “geriatric” once it is 10 years old.

Cats are now living longer than ever before with the average age of a house cat that has been well cared for being around 15 years of age. Additionally, cats that have been neutered or spayed tend to live longer than those that have not been. The speculation here is that cats that have not been “fixed” tend to roam around a lot more and are there prone to even fatal injuries. It also holds true that they succumb to diseases and health maladies because of exposure to the outside environment.

Felines are amazing pieces of machinery, so to speak, in that they have the capability of repairing themselves. For instance, despite the fact that they have two kidneys, they only need a part of one of them in order to stay healthy. Eventually, the aging process in cats takes its toll on them, just like it does with us, and therefore they experience those bodily changes that are characteristically associated with getting older.

The bottom line here is that the key elements of exercise, health care, and proper nutrition, combined with the special care they need once they have entered their “golden years,” will affect your cat’s life expectancy positively. The following list, though quite lengthy, are the more common conditions and problems that older cats may eventually face and that you as an owner will have to deal with when they arise:

* Anemia
* Arthritis and stiff joints
* Blood pressure problems
* Bone brittleness and weakness
* Breathing issues resulting from less flexibility of the lung muscles
* Cancer
* Decreased brain cell count
* Decreased control of body temperature
* Decreased functions of the kidneys and liver
* Decreased intestinal and stomach functions which oftentimes lead to impaired digestive processes
* Decreased production of saliva and difficulties in swallowing
* Decreased sensitivity to all the senses excluding touch
* Dehydration resulting from a decreased sensitivity to thirst
* Greater occurrence of infection due to increased susceptibility
* Increased bone brittleness
* Mouth ulcers
* Muscle dysfunction and weakness
* Periodontal conditions and tooth loss
* Shallower sleeping patterns which leads to irritability and temperament issues
* Skin abnormalities such as abnormally brittle or misshaped claws, alopecia, and dullness of the coat

From the time they are kittens, cats need to be provided with four critical elements in order to enter their golden years in the best possible shape – an appropriate amount of regular exercise, good health care, proper nutrition, and a stimulating lifestyle. About the Author
Problems That Aging Cats are Susceptible to
For more easy, practical tips on taking great care of your cat be sure to visit the author’s feline health site now.

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

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Euthanasia in Cats
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Recipes for Pago Pago (shrimp) Pasta Salad and Cloverleaf Potato Rolls
Pago Pago pasta salad is a shrimp-pasta salad that is perfect for lunch or a light dinner. Add this old-fashion recipe for cloverleaf potato rolls for a delightful touch.



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


What Is Feline Infectious Peritonitis?
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is a virus which is a variant of the Corona virus. Unfortunately there is no proven effective vaccine to immunize cats from its deadly outbreak. This virus is so elusive that the only way to accurately diagnose the disease is after the cat's death. Sadly, there also is no cure for this disease.

7 Secrets to Successful Cat Toilet Training
My family never thought of cat toilet training, but like to rear cats at home. I do not really mind them around, but the problem of dealing with their wastes poses some challenges to me.

Mammary Cancer In Cats: Any adult female cat can develop mammary cancer, but the average age is usually 10-14 years of age.
Siamese cats appear to have a genetic predisposition for developing mammary cancer and are twice as likely to develop it as other breeds. Unspayed females are at a much greater risk of developing mammary cancer. Female cats that were spayed after having one to several heat cycles, with or without having kittens, are also at a greater risk than a cat that was spayed before her first heat cycle.

Does your Cat Have Lower Urinary Tract Disease?:
Has your cat ever suffered from a disorder of the lower urinary tract? Cats occasionally develop such problems, and the signs include frequent urination, straining to urinate, bloody urine, and at times inability to urinate

Litter Box Strategies For Disabled Cats
Cats that are blind, partially paralyzed, have a missing limb, or very old can develop litter box problems that affect you as well as them. Owning one of these special kitties is challenging, but you can develop solutions to work around cat litter



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


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.

How to Control the Smell From the Litter Box
You want it somewhere that the kitten can easily get to. If you make in hard to access the kitten will find places that are easier for them to get to, when they need to relieve themselves. Another mistake in litter box placement that most new owners tend to make, is trying to hide the litter box away in a small room. This will actually make the smell worse. Smaller rooms in houses tend to be less ventilated, when there is no air flow it is harder for any of the smell to escape.

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.

Wisconsin Cat Hunt
A friend of mine in Minnesota asked me recently about the feral cat hunting proposal in Wisconsin and whether feral cats were such a problem here that we needed a special law about it.



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

  • Ontario SPCA reducing adoption fees for all cats and kittens to $25 from Black Friday to Giving Tuesday

    Plus, anyone who adopts a cat or kitten from an Ontario SPCA Animal Centre in November will receive a box of Arm & Hammer SLIDE clumping cat litter, while supplies last ... at iAdopt.ca for your chance to WIN free pet food for a year from Royal Canin.

  • Newspaper Cat Litter, Soybean Meal Soil Conditioner, and Other Country Lore

    Newspaper cat litter is safer, recyclable, and free. Most cat litter is made from dried clay, which is rough on the pads of cats' paws, can cause pain and lead to infection. Clay litter can also be tracked through the house, spreading germs and mess.

  • Free to a Loving home two Cats/Kittens a little over a year old .

    Looking for their Forever home a Brother and sister Cat/kittens only a little over 1 year old , very quiet & Loving , neutered and spayed , declawed , cat tower , litter box , food & water trays , 2 travel cages , food , litter . All they need is a safe ...

  • Ask the Cat Behaviorist: Mikel Delgado Answers Questions About Cats Who Wake Up their Guardians, Aggressive Cats, Cats Who Bury Their Food, and More

    Do you use a soft, clumping, unscented litter? Do you clean them regularly? The third step is making sure your cat is living a relatively stress-free, enriched life. Play, routine and other forms of environmental stimulation are important to cats.

  • Ontario SPCA lowering cat adoption fees for Black Friday

    The OSPCA says all cats are spayed or neutered, microchipped, come with a gift of six weeks of pet insurance and are up to date with their vaccines. Plus, anyone who adopts a cat or kitten from an OSPCA animal centre in November will get a free litter box.

  • 20 cat-approved gifts for your fancy feline

    It's tall enough that most cats should be able to stretch and scratch to their heart's content. You can also check out our guide ... The ceramic PetSafe Drinkwell Pagoda Fountain has dual free-flowing streams to keep water fresh and bacteria-free.

  • 5 Cutest Cat Care Games for Android

    But, the cats are still cute, even though they aren't kawaii. The best thing about the games on this list is that they're all free-to-play, so you can download all five games, and everything will still be cheaper than taking care of a real cat. Of course ...

  • Feline Fresh Natural Pine Cat Litter

    Feline Fresh natural pine cat litter outperforms ... have multiple cats or litter boxes. Premium Pine Pellets Feline Fresh starts with 100% pure kiln-dried pine that is then processed into pellets. These premium pellets are sterile and free from any ...

  • Free cats - help curb the metro's litter problem

    The NHS is waiving adoption fees again on Monday, July 3rd. They're featuring fee-waived adoptions for all cats, 1-year-old and up. The NHS is hoping to encourage adoptions in an effort to free-up space at the shelter. There's a bit of a bump-to-bumper cat ...

  • Total Cat Mojo

    Cat Mojo is the confidence that cats exhibit when they are at ease in their environment and in touch with their natural instincts‚ÄĒto hunt, catch, kill, eat, groom, and sleep. Problems such as litter box ... or stress-free trips to the vet.



cat urine
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cat urine
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