Kidney Failure in Cats Kidney Failure in Cats: Your cat has just been diagnosed with kidney problems, and you may be overwhelmed by just what that means and what needs to be done to help him/her cope with the disease.

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Management of Kidney Failure in Cats


Your animal has just been diagnosed with kidney problems, and you may be overwhelmed by just what that means and what needs to be done to help him/her cope with the disease.

TERMINOLOGY

Kidney disease indicates some degree of kidney compromise; that is, the kidneys are not working at 100% capacity. This may be from an infection, from a toxin, from trauma, or from old age. The damage that is done may or may not be reversible.

Kidney failure indicates that the kidneys are in a state of deterioration; this may be mild, moderate or severe. While this is usually a progressive disease, the rate at which the kidneys fail varies greatly with the time at which the disease is diagnosed, how aggressive the treatment is, and how well the animal responds to treatment.

Either of the above can be acute; that is, the animal has normal kidney function one day and then because of a toxin or infection, the kidneys are suddenly compromised. Usually chronic kidney failure is a slow, insidious progression of the kidney's inability to keep up with the body's needs. The latter is more common in cats and dogs.

SIGNS OF KIDNEY DISEASE OR FAILURE

Often animals live with poorly functioning kidneys for some time before they show signs that are noticed by its owner. (NOTE: the signs of increased water consumption and urine output may occur with other diseases like hyperthyroidism and diabetes). Typical signs of the disease:

Drinking a lot of water

This may be just staying at the water bowl longer to drink or seeking new sources of water such as the toilet or a dripping faucet.

Urinating a lot

Despite frequent cleanings, the litter box is always full, or a previously housetrained pet has accidents in the house, or when the dog goes out, it urinates larger volumes.

Decreased appetite

As toxins accumulate in the body, the appetite drops off so the pet becomes more and more finicky.

Weight loss

This is the result of decreased appetite, but is often inappropriately attributed to old age.

Dehydration

Even though the pet is drinking a lot, they urinate dilute urine and become dehydrated.

Constipation

As the body needs more fluid, the colon becomes deprived of it. The stool dries out and the pet becomes constipated.

Bad breath

Bad teeth can also contribute, but as toxins build up in the body, they cause a bad odor from the mouth.

Oral/stomach ulcers

Acids build up in the stomach and irritate the inside lining; this may cause vomiting and/or digested blood to appear in the stool which then takes on a dark color.

DIAGNOSIS

Suspicion of kidney disease is based on the owner's observation and the veterinarian's physical exam findings and tests that can reveal the presence and severity of disease.

Bloodwork

An explanation of what these terms, along with the normal values, is shown below. (These values are based the interpretations of IDEXX, our outside laboratory. Linda Mar Veterinary Hospital's in-house values may be slightly different.)

BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen): one of the kidney enzymes that is increased with kidney problems. This value can also be elevated with dehydration and recent ingestion of a high protein meal. Normal values for dogs are 7-27. Normal values for cats are 17-35.

Creatinine: a more sensitive test of kidney function; commonly increased with kidney problems. Normal values for dogs are 0.4-1.8. Normal values for cats are 0.8-2.3.

Hematocrit (Packed Cell Volume, or PCV): indicative of the amount of red blood cells in the body. These cells are produced by the bone marrow when it is stimulated by a hormone called erythropoietin, made by the kidneys. When the kidneys fail, they stop making this hormone. This results in anemia. Normal values for dogs are 37-55%. Normal values for cats are 24-45%.

Albumin: one type of protein that, with some types of kidney problems, can be lost in the urine (i.e. glomerular disease.) Low blood levels of this is detrimental to the animal. Normal values for dogs are 2.6-4.3. Normal values for cats are 2.4-4.1.

Cholesterol: a type of body fat commonly elevated in animals with kidney problems. Unlike humans, it does not result in hardening of the arteries. Normal values for dogs are 86-328. Normal values for cats are 42-170.

Potassium: low blood levels, especially in cats with kidney problems, are due to the potassium being lost in the urine. Normal values for dogs are 4.0-5.6. Normal values for cats are 3.9-5.3.

Bicarbonate: this is lowered because poorly functioning kidneys create an acidic state called metabolic acidosis. Normal values for dogs are 17-24. Normal values for cats are 17-24.

Phosphorus: this component of the blood is normally eliminated through the urine. Because of poorly functioning kidneys, blood phosphorus levels can become increased and can cause problems with the body's calcium levels. This causes the animal to have a poor appetite. Normal values for dogs are 2.1-6.3. Normal values for cats are 3.3-7.5.

Urinalysis: Analyzing the urine can be helpful to check the specific gravity (the animal's ability to concentrate its urine), the presence of protein (suggestive of glomerular disease), and the presence of infection of the kidneys or the bladder.

Blood Pressure: Animals with kidney failure will commonly have elevated blood pressures. Systemic hypertension affects other organs of the body such as the heart and eyes. With the latter, sudden bleeding into the retina and retinal detachments can occur, resulting in a sudden onset of blindness. Blood pressure can be measured by use of a pressure cuff. If it is increased, medication is started to bring down the blood pressure into a more acceptable range.

TREATMENT

Fluid Replacement

Probably the most important component to treatment of kidney failure, it is important to supplement your pet's fluids even though it appears that your animal is already drinking a lot because the urine they produce is dilute, so they are constantly in a dehydrated state. Additionally, poorly functioning kidneys allow toxins to accumulate in the body. Additional fluids have a flushing action to minimize the toxic levels.

Fluids can be given in 3 ways:

Orally: Making sure that fresh, clean water is always accessible to your pet is paramount. Other types of fluids can also be given, especially to cats that like clam juice, beef or chicken broth, or the water found in canned tuna. Milk is not advised, as it is not well tolerated. Additional water can be added to a pet's regular meal, either canned and/or dry.

Subcutaneously (under the skin, or SQ): fluids are administered by placing a needle connected to an administration set (venoset) to a bag of fluids (usually, a balanced isotonic solution such as lactated ringers, but sometimes saline) and allowing the fluids to slowly enter under the skin, forming a 'hump' that is slowly absorbed by the pet. Fluids usually need to be given every other day to every day.

This can be done in the hospital, or more conveniently at home, especially for animals that need it on an on-going basis, which is the case with pets with kidney failure. Owners can become adept at this after hospital staff demonstrate the technique and instruct the client.

Intravenously (in the vein, or IV): fluids are given directly into the vein after placement of a catheter in the pet's vein, that is then taped in place This can be done only in the hospital with careful monitoring by the staff. Administration of IV fluids may be needed initially if the blood values are elevated and your pet is sick (i.e. not eating; vomiting, dehydrated) or in an animal that has been well maintained in kidney failure and then suddenly decompensates.

Diet

When foods containing meat proteins are ingested, waste products are produced. While this poses no problem for healthy kidneys, ailing kidneys allow toxins to accumulate in the body. Because of this, a low protein diet is often recommended to ease the kidneys' work. For dogs and cats, commercial diets that are low in protein are Hill's Canine K/D and Feline C/D and Purina CNM - NF, respectively. Note - these are prescription foods and thus are only available through your veterinarian.

Not as low in protein, but lower than maintenance foods, are any senior formulation of a commercial brand food. Sometimes, an easily digestible source of protein that produces minimal toxins may be needed (i.e. cottage cheese or cooked egg), especially when protein is being lost in the urine.

Medication - usually in the form of tablets to manage the effects of kidney problems. These medications include:

Blood Pressure Medications: These include enalapril (Vasotec) or amlodipine (Norvasc) or benazapril (Lotensin) to bring down blood pressure. After starting on one of these, it is important to measure the animal's response to the medication to determine if the dosage is adequate. These medications are ongoing.

Renagel: given to bind with the phosphorus that becomes excessively high with the poorly functioning kidneys. This medication may or may not be needed long term.

Antibiotics: these may occasionally be needed for treatment of kidney problems, such as infection of the kidney (pyelonephritis) or of the bladder (cystitis).

Calcitriol (Rocaltrol): this is a vitamin D analogue that helps maintain normal calcium and phosphorus balances in the body. It is often given in the food in small amounts daily. Correct dosage is important as an overdose can be detrimental to your pet. This drug is usually given on an ongoing basis.

Antacids: these act to decrease stomach acidity and decrease the occurrence of ulcers, resulting in bloody vomitus or stool. These over-the-counter drugs, such as cimetidine (Tagamet) or famotidine (Pepcid AC), can be obtained at any drugstore.

Procrit (Epogen): this hormone, normally made by the kidneys, is often lacking in patients with kidney problems. It is given as an injection under the skin, usually by the owners at home after an in-hospital demonstration. It is initially given 3 times a week for 1-2 weeks, then tapered to 2 times a week for 1-2 weeks, then one time a week for maintenance.

The rate at which the frequency is tapered depends on the animal's response, as measured by weekly monitoring of the PCV or packed cell volume. Once the PCV is at the desired level and holding, the PCV should be measured on a regular basis.

It is a safe medication; however, occasionally an animal may form antibodies against the Procrit. The antibodies destroy the animal's own red blood cells, thereby worsening the anemia. Or, in some cases, animals may respond too well and make too many red blood cells. Because of cost, this treatment is usually recommended only for cats or small dogs. This medication can be obtained from your veterinarian.

PROGNOSIS

The outcome of your pet's health depends on a variety of factors, such as what type of disease it has acquired, how severe the disease is, at what stage medical intervention was started, the aggressiveness of the treatment, and how well your pet responds.

As with many diseases, the sooner the illness is detected and steps initiated to reverse the damage or slow down its progression, the better the prognosis. It is important to work closely with your veterinarian to help your pet. Rechecks on a regular basis are important to monitor your pet's health. Its weight, blood and urine values and blood pressure levels are evaluated to determine the need for changes in therapy.

If you have any problems or questions regarding this disease, don't hesitate to ask your veterinarian.

The above is general veterinary information. Do not begin any course of treatment without consulting your regular veterinarian. All animals should be examined at least once every 12 months.

About the author:

Linda Mar Veterinary Hospital and its cat-only affiliate, Coastal Cat Clinic, are small animal practices located in Pacifica, California. To find a veterinarian or to learn more about the vet clinic and our staff, visit:[http://lindamarvet.com/]



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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.

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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.

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On my first trip to the veterinarian's office as proud new cat owner I pondered the question that I am sure has crossed the minds of many cat owners at some point. Does my cat really need these vaccines? My kitten, like many of yours, was destined to be an indoor-only cat so why did I need to drag her into the vet clinic every year for vaccines?

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The vaccines engineered for your cat are separated into several categories referred to as core, non-core, and those that are generally not recommended. These categories are defined based on factors like: the overall efficacy of the vaccine, your pet's individual risk factors, and the health risks associated with the vaccine. Core vaccines are ones that most animals should receive and in some cases a core vaccine may actually be required by law.
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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.
Continue Reading About How to Make Cat Grooming Easier


When The Indoor Kitty Decides to Escape

I think that the most frightening thing that can happen to an indoor cat owner is to have their dearly beloved cat escape out the door. Whether it is an accident, where the cat broke through a screen, or someone leaving the door ajar and the cat's curiosity got the best of it. It is an experience that can make even the bravest of cat owners fall to their knees.

However, accidents do happen, no matter how careful we are. So what should a cat owner do first? In some instances prepare yourself for a long day or night of endless searching and calling.

Many studies have shown that indoor cats often show certain types of behavior when they find themselves in strange and unknown territory.

Most often they will go into what is called a "shut down mode" which is a type of self-preservation mode due to the fact that they are frightened and overwhelmed.

Most indoor-only cats have never seen the new sights and sounds of the outdoors and the experience is not only over whelming, but also down right scary.

If you are lucky enough to see your cat escape, keep a watchful eye on where it is going if it is at all possible. A frightened cat generally will not come when called, and now that you are outside, you too, are considered a scary person by the cat.

An indoor-only cat's first impulse is to hide somewhere that is why if you can keep your eye on the escapee you have a better chance of catching him/her.

A word of warning here, however, even if you know where Kitty is hiding, the chances of him/her coming into your arms willingly are slim and none.

First try offering food or treats, should you get no response do not be dismayed, as your cat may just be too frightened or distracted and does not realize you are its friend and not an enemy. If you try to grab the cat or make a fast motion toward it, you are only frightening it more. Talking softly and moving slowly will work better; again, keep in mind that Kitty is frightened and when you try to pick him/her up, Kitty may scratch or bite. This is a defense mechanism and has nothing to do with you. Remember how you would react if someone came toward you when you were frightened, how would you react?

If you know where Kitty is and if you can leave your door open, try to position yourself behind Kitty and sort of nudge the cat toward home territory. Again talking softly and no fast or sudden moves as you encourage the cat toward the house.
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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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Cats and Babies: 7 Tips for Healthy Coexistence

Cats and babies can coexist, but there are several factors that need to be considered. Cats are known to be very jealous of new babies and new pets, so you need to ensure your baby is safe and the cat is comfortable.

1. Prepare for the Baby’s Arrival
You need to establish some ground rules for the baby’s safety that the cat needs to respect; apply these rules before the arrival of the baby, so that the cat doesn’t associate the baby with the new interdictions.

2. Get a Crib for the Baby
Get a crib for your baby and make sure the cat does not make it his own or sleep in it. Cats and babies are not allowed to sleep together as the baby may suffocate.

Show the cat the crib but train him to know he is not allowed in the crib.

3. Cat Checkup
Cats may transmit a number of diseases to humans and babies are particularly susceptible to catching bacteria, worms and viruses. So you need to make sure your cat is healthy.

Schedule the vet checkup at least 2 months before the arrival of the baby, to make sure the parasites are gone. Fleas are particularly difficult to get rid of and it may take up to 6 weeks to fully eliminate them from the environment. Even if fleas cannot be transmitted to humans, the ingestion of a flea may lead to the formation of a tapeworm in the baby.

4. Gradual Introduction of the Baby
Given that cats may be very protective of their territory and owners, they can be very jealous when a baby appears. This is why the baby needs to be introduced gradually. First, keep the baby isolated and give the cat a blanket or a toy belonging to the baby. The cat will get accustomed to the baby’s scent.

When presenting the baby, one of the owners should offer a lot of affection to the cat.
Continue Reading About Cats and Babies: 7 Tips for Healthy Coexistence


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.
Continue Reading About Flea Yard Control


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.

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

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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
Also known as 'putting to sleep' euthanasia is used to end an animal's life quickly & painlessly. Most often this is due to the animal having a a critical or terminal illness with no chance of recovery.

Singapura Cat and Kitten Information
The Singapura cat is a small, well built cat that can take up to 2 years to reach full maturity. The eyes are characteristically large and are typically yellow, hazel or green in color. The coat of Singapura is short, fine and silky to the touch. Colors can range from light beige to dark brown. Males weigh in at about 6 to 8 pounds and females from 5 to 6 pounds. It can take as long as 2 years for the Singapura to fully mature.

Dental Care - What You Should Really Know About This Common Cat Health Problem
Cats rarely get cavities but they are very susceptible to gum disease. It is important to prevent gum disease because, over the years it can lead to bad breath, painful inflammation, receded gums, loose and infected teeth and eventually loss of teeth. It can even cause serious illness.

Cat Shelter Design to Copy
Have you ever gone to an animal rescue where the cats are treated royally? Me neither. Most shelters have stacks of cat carriers as well as a playroom with cat beds and cat toys. The playrooms are crowded with cats, some of which don't particularly like being with other cats. I thought this was pretty much the norm until I read about the Washington Animal Rescue League.



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CHRONIC RENAL FAILURE
The kidneys of a cat can become diseased in a number of different ways. Cats can be born with congenital kidney disorders or the kidneys can become damaged due to injuries, infections, kidney stones, tumors and toxins (such as antifreeze). While all of these conditions are life threatening they are, luckily, all fairly uncommon. The kidney condition of cats which is very common is a progressive deterioration of the kidneys with no apparent underlying cause that progresses with age. We refer to this as Chronic Renal Failure (CRF). This condition is the most common cause of death in aged cats. When deterioration of the kidneys occurs, they are not able to function normally. The kidneys have several important functions. They help clear toxic waste products from the body, keep several blood chemicals at normal levels, and control fluid balance to maintain normal hydration. They also produce a hormone necessary for the production of red blood cells and are involved in the regulation of calcium and vitamin D

As Old as He Feels – Caring for Your Elderly Cat
They say old age creeps up on a person like a thief in the night. This is especially true of your cat. Cats seemingly race through adolescence and adulthood, and suddenly at around 8 years of age, they are entering their golden years.

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To remove ear mites, mix ½ ounce of almond and vitamin E. Put a dropper or two in each ear and massage it well. Let your pet shake its head and clean out the opening with cotton swabs. The oily mixture smothers the mites and helps healing. Refrigerate the mixture between uses, warming it before use

Four Cat Litter Box Location Sites In Your Home:
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