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Pumpkin, The Halloween Cat

PUMPKIN, THE HALLOWEEN CAT
Copyright 2005, Michael LaRocca

The neighbor's car pulled into my driveway. She got out holding a stranger in her arms.

"I found this cat in my yard. Is he yours?"

"No."

"Oh. I thought he was."

"Well, he's not."

"Well, can you hold him until I drive away so he doesn't follow me home?"

Oh yes, we all know how this story ends.

He was a beautiful little fuzzy ball of orange. Quite an affectionate, purring fellow too. And yes, I fed him. Knowing full well where that always leads.

I already had two cats. Witchie and Taz, both Siamese. It had taken quite a bit of time and effort for Witchie to accept Taz. Plus, Taz had been the sole male cat for several years. Another male? Not possible. But, I thought, why not have an indoor male and an outdoor male?

Since the new guy arrived in late October, and since he was orange, we dubbed him Pumpkin. He knew the indoors cats didn't like him, and he was fine with that. Their turf, not his. Besides, he loved it when my dogs, Daisy and Bebe, came outside to visit him, even when they chased him up a tree, which was always. They were just playing. My dogs love all cats, and they licked him when he came down.

One Saturday afternoon, I went outside to play with my chainsaw. On the porch, I found eight dead mice, beside the front door in a very neat row. They were all on their backs, with their heads pointing the same way and their tails neatly aligned. This was obviously a gift from young Pumpkin, a show of his gratitude.

I worked with my chainsaw for a while, then went back to the house for a drink. Now there were only five mice. No doubt my young son had decided that he'd done his part. He'd offered them to me first. If I didn't want them, well, it was a shame to let a good meal go to waste.

Still later, I returned to the house to see only two mice remaining. Still later, half a mouse. Still later, no mice at all. No blood or fur, either. He cleaned up quite thoroughly.

It's obvious how Pumpkin survived before I began feeding him. It's also obvious why he didn't eat very much.

One night, I was typing on the computer when I heard a strange squeaking noise coming from the porch. I finally went outside to see what it was. Pumpkin was standing there, looking every bit the wild-eyed feral hunter, with a live squeaking mouse in his mouth. I just muttered "Good boy" and went back inside. Eventually, the noise stopped.

When the weather turned cold, I let Pumpkin come inside. Yes, it pissed off the Siamese coalition, but I decided I didn't care.

I paused to look at life through the eyes of Witchie and Taz, and here is what I saw:

Every species has its own identifying colors. For example, all dogs are black with brown eyes. All horses are brown with dark brown manes. All people are white-skinned, with brownish hair and blue eyes. And all cats, quite naturally, are blue-eyed shorthaired sealpoint Siamese.

Now they see this longhaired, fuzzy, orange thing with yellow-green eyes. It smells like the woods and it's protected by dogs. Surely it's a tool of the devil and an abomination in the eyes of the cat gods, something that must be destroyed. I resigned myself to the fact that they would always hate Pumpkin, hissing and threatening whenever they saw him. It didn't seem to bother Pumpkin, so it didn't bother me.

In Taz's case, it also happened to be a male thing, and the only evidence he's ever given that he's an adult. He still looks and acts and vocalizes like a kitten, no doubt because his "mother" was a dog.

But Pumpkin never threatened back. He ignored the hissing and moved away from the attacks. Given his lack of aggression, I decided to just let him stay inside, Siamese be damned.

A month or so later, something strange happened. Taz started lying beside Pumpkin instead of lying beside Witchie. Oh, Witchie's face showed her outrage. Taz showed nothing but guilt. After a time, Taz started playing with Pumpkin. They became best buddies. I don't believe Taz was ever forgiven for that. Witchie can hold a grudge for years. She still hasn't forgiven me for bringing home uncivilized Bebe. (Half dachshund, half doberman, all moron.)

Once or twice, Taz and Pumpkin slept side by side on my chest between the two dogs. My sons were the same size, since Taz was the runt of the litter and Pumpkin was probably underfed as a baby. Before learning to hunt, of course.

I didn't show him the litter box, by the way. He found it himself. If he clawed something he wasn't supposed to, I scolded him once, verbally, and he never did it again. Again, the gratitude thing. "Show me the rules and I'll follow them; I'm just happy to be here."

Daddy had a problem with rats in his barn, so I told him he could borrow Pumpkin as long as he didn't shoot him. (Daddy doesn't like cats.) Nobody fed Pumpkin while he lived in the barn, but every time I went to visit, he was lying on the floor with a swollen belly. I took him home a week later, because he was going stir-crazy without human contact. Meanwhile, Daddy had no more rats.

Before I left the barn, I held Pumpkin up to to my horse's face. He sniffed and sniffed, quite fascinated. Then the head moved, and he realized that big thing was alive. It scared the hell out of him. I rushed him home. He always loved riding in the truck. A day with Taz and the dogs, and he was restored to his good old Pumpkin self.

I think I had Pumpkin for a year. In a manner of speaking, as no one truly owns a cat, especially not an independent fellow like Pumpkin.

Pumpkin vanished for a few days, then came home looking skinny and with a stomach swollen as if he'd swallowed a tennis ball. A trip to the vet confirmed the worst -- intestinal blockage -- and I made the hard decision. I borrowed Daddy's rifle and ended his pain myself. It was a sad day.

For several weeks after that, Taz kept looking at the door, waiting for his best friend Pumpkin to come inside. Finally I adopted another male from the Humane Society, but that's another story.


About the Author

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



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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.

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

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

After preparing the materials needed simply follow these cat potty training steps:
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Many cats have chronic problems with conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eye membranes). Often, the problem comes and goes. One or both eyes may be red, swollen, watery, crusty, or goopy. Causes include infection, congenital defects (small or absent tear ducts), facial conformation (Persian features), and scarring from previous infections. However, the most common cause of conjunctivitis in cats is infection with a Herpes virus (but don't worry, your cat can't give it to you or your family!). In cats, Herpes is an upper respiratory virus; it's also called "rhinotracheitis" and is one of the components of the upper respiratory/panleukopenia (feline distemper) vaccine that is given to kittens. The vaccine does not actually prevent Herpes infection; its main function is to reduce the severity of the disease.

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To relieve irritation and wash viral particles from the eye, you can make a homemade saline solution. Use 1/4 teaspoon of table salt to 1 cup of water (room temperature). Three or four times a day, use a cotton ball to drizzle a small amount saline into the cat's eyes. Make the saline fresh each and every time, because bacteria could grow in the solution between treatments.

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Keeping Your Geriatric Cat Healthy

Cats, like their human counterparts, are prone to the aches, pains, and health issues that seem to come hand in hand with advancing age. Unfortunately, as the average lifespan of our cats increases so does the chance that owners will see age-related issues arise in their senior cats.

As your cat begins to age your veterinarian will likely start to recommend doing some tests to make sure your cat's internal organs are functioning as they should. Cats have evolved to hide signs that they are feeling under the weather and these tests can let your veterinarian know that something is wrong with your cat long before your cat displays outward signs of illness.

"I recommend that owners have yearly blood work done on their pets if the animal is healthy, and increase that frequency if any clinical signs present themselves or if abnormalities are seen in the blood work," says Dr. Julie Byron, a small animal internist at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana.

According to Dr. Byron, geriatric cat owners should also increase their awareness of how their cat is acting and feeling. It is important to be able to recognize what is normal for your cat so that when there is a change you can recognize it. She explains that a trip to the veterinarian is warranted if your cat is displaying any of the following signs or symptoms:
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It seems that cats have become a common fixture in our household. Many people own one, and in fact, having cats as pets has been a practice for over thousands of years.

Just like dogs, though not as many, cats also have numerous breeds, but the popular ones are Siamese and Persian. If you plan to get one for a pet, there are factors you have to consider, and among these is the cost.

Just like owning any other pet, it will cost some money to own a cat. Of course, you will need to buy food, medicines, clinic visits, and also a litter. The basic essentials you should have are: food plate, water plate, and a litter box. Additionally, cats love to play so buying toys would be recommended. Other paraphernalia you will need: cat collar, bed, carrier, and scratching post.
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Adopting a Cat from an Animal Shelter

When choosing a cat to adopt from an animal shelter, there are several things that must be considered. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that adopting a cat means the furry friend will most likely be around for a long while. In fact, a cat can easily live up to 20 years. Therefore, owning a cat isn't just a small commitment in time. Once the decision is made to adopt a cat, there are four main things to look for to ensure the pet will be healthy and a good match for the family and its lifestyle.

Activity
When visiting a cat shelter to choose a new feline friend, the first thing to do is to simply observe all of the cats and kittens. While observing them, just to get an idea of how active they are and what type of attitude they have. If the cat is hunched in a corner or appears lethargic, it might not be too healthy. The last thing a new pet owner needs is to adopt a sick cat that will rack up the vet's bills. Similarly, a pet owner looking to add a new cat along with the pets he or she already has doesn't want to bring home a sick cat that will spread illness to the other cats.

Observing the cat while it is in its cage is helpful in determining the attitude of the cat. Some pet owners are looking for playful cats that will scamper about the house and chase and play with toys. On the other hand, some pet owners would like a cat that is a little more docile and that will spend hours cuddled up in the owner's lap. Watching the cats in their cages will help determine which type of personality they have. Of course, a cat that is sleeping doesn't provide much information about its personality, because all cats sleep the majority of their day away. For sleeping cats, it will be necessary to rouse them to get an idea of their unique personalities.

Look At The Cat
After the selection of potential adoptees has been narrowed down, the remaining cats should be looked at more closely. To do this, the attendant should be asked to release the cats fro the cage, one at a time.
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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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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


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


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.

Kitten Feeding with a Bottle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Owning a Cat - How it Benefits Your Child

If your child misses a lot of school due to illness, maybe you should get a cat. Research has shown that children who own pets attend school up to 9 more days a year than their non pet-owning counterparts. The immune function of pet owners is more stable, making them better able to fend off illness. Pet owners visit doctors less.

But what about allergies? Isn't cat hair is a common source of irritation to immune systems? A leading theory under investigation by asthma researchers suggests that the presence of pets in the home from an early age may adapt the immune system so it is less sensitive to allergens later in life. So it may in fact be the lack of pets in a child's life that contributes to asthma sensitivities.

Studies have also connected pet ownership with lower blood pressure and reduced anxiety levels. In fact, a recent long-term study has shown that people who have never owned a cat, face a 40% greater risk of death due to heart attack than current and even previous cat owners. Dog owners did not have the same level of protection against heart disease as cat owners.

State University of New York researchers found that the cat doesn't even have to be present to achieve this. A group of stockbrokers with hypertension who owned pets showed lower blood pressure even when not with their cats.

It is well known that cat owners have lower stress levels overall, so perhaps the health advantages are a result of being more relaxed.

Cat ownership may be a surprising remedy for absenteeism, however, good health and more days at school are just two of the many benefits to children of having a cat in their lives. Studies have associated numerous psychological benefits with pet ownership.

Children who live with cats show more empathy for others and help others more. This translates to being able to understand others and get along better. Children who live with animals develop a better understanding of body language and other non-verbal cues. A study of 455 school children between the ages of 11 and 16 revealed that children with pets had a better ability to understand non-verbal communications. As a result, these children are more popular with classmates than those who don't have pets at home.

Additionally, children who own pets are more likely to be involved in sports, hobbies, clubs and other social activities. Some studies even show that children who own cats have a higher IQ.

Children with pets learn develop an early sense of responsibility. The responsibility of owning a pet can give children the experience of being needed and this may translate into other areas of life. Cats are relatively easy to care for, as they clean themselves and don't need to be walked.

Social skills and responsibility make a great foundation for life. A US study of 394 university students revealed that those who had owned dogs or cats as childhood pets were more self-confident than those who did not. This may be related to other findings that children raised with pets have higher self-esteem, thought to result from the unconditional love a pet provides. No matter what's going on at school, or with friends, pets treat children the same way.

It seems obvious to say then, that pets hold an important place in many children's lives, often on a par with parents, grandparents and siblings. Children often talk to their pets and regard them as an important friends and confidantes. A five-year study of 600 children aged 3-18 years showed that pet-owning children who have challenges such as being slow learners or having divorced parents cope better with life than those who don't have a pet. Again, having a pet that shows unconditional love regardless of what is happening, can cushion other difficulties in life.

It's not surprising that pets have been used successfully in therapy for some time now. They help sick kids relax and take their minds off their illnesses. Some doctors, recognizing the importance of pets in children's lives ensure that pet names are included in their patients' medical records along with other family members. Even in the most depressing clinical environment, talking about a pet can lighten a situation.

If you already have cat members of your family, know that they are doing your children the world of good. If you don't, it's worth serious consideration.

About the Author
Owning a Cat - How it Benefits Your Child
Jenny is a cat lover and webmaster of Pictures of Cats You are welcome to reproduce this article on your pet or family related web site, as long as you reproduce the article in full, including this resource box and link to her website featuring photo and video galleries of beautiful cats.



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Homemade Kitten Food

Do you need a cheap, healthy alternative to store bought kitten food to help wean your kittens off their mother's milk and transition them to traditional canned kitten food? More than likely, they have shown little interest in regular canned food, preferring the milk to anything you might put in their bowl. Dry food will also be too hard on their developing teeth. The best option would be to start them on a food that reminds them of what they prefer, but can be mixed with traditional wet food to help transition them over. This recipe is simple to make, and kittens find it delicious.

Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat and mix in one envelope of unflavored gelatin. Be sure to mix thoroughly, and do not boil the gelatin. If the water tastes bad or has a heavy chlorine taste when it comes out of the tap, consider using filtered water instead.

Pour this mixture into a blender along with half of a 12 ounce can of goat's milk. Blend just long enough to combine thoroughly. Do not substitute cow's milk because cats tend to be lactose intolerant. Using cow's milk can lead to discomfort, diarrhea, and worse if fed to kittens.

Add the following ingredients one at a time. After each addition, blend briefly to combine before moving on to the next. You will want to use the lowest setting to avoid overmixing. Add: 3 tbsp full fat yogurt, 3 tbsp real mayonnaise, 3 tsp light corn syrup, and 1 raw egg yolk. Concerning the egg yolk, raw eggs carry a small risk of salmonella poisoning. To eliminate any risk of accidentally passing this on to your kittens, use eggs that have been pasteurized in their shells.

You can serve the completed homemade kitten food the way it is, or you can store it for use later. To store for later usage, cover the mixture tightly in a small container. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to ten days or in your freezer for up to three months.

If you are going to use food that you have prepared in advance, you will want to warm it up before serving, especially if it is coming from the refrigerator or freezer. Cold food causes severe stomach upset in kittens. Warming it up will also make it more aromatic, and thus more appetizing to the kittens.

Cat allergies

How to Litter Train A Kitten

If the mother cat is still in the home and she is already litter trained, then litter training her kittens is a natural process. Her kittens will simply follow what she does. However, ultimately, each cat should have its own litter tray or else it may create a host of other litter tray problems for you!

For most kitten owners, the mother cat is not in the home if the kitten was orphaned or purchased. But this is not a problem. It is easy to litter train a cat when it's still a little kitten. Cats are creatures of habit and it may not be as easy to litter train once they have become used to their favorite toilet spots.

The key to litter training a kitten is to let it get used to the litter tray as soon as possible. You will need to manually place your kitten onto the tray initially, as it is neither used to it nor is it able to climb over the edge to get in.

Most kittens would defecate soon after waking up and after a meal. You could place your kitten in the litter tray during these times and after a few weeks, your kitten would get used to the routine and it would become a habit.

Just be sure to place the litter tray a reasonable distance away from where the kitten is fed and where it sleeps. Cats and kittens are fastidious creatures and do not like to do their toilet near where they eat and sleep.

When a kitten is still very young, it will not be able to "cover up" very well after its toilet, as most adult cats are capable of. But you don't have to worry about this. Once they are about 1 to 2 months old, they will instinctively know how to cover up their poop.

In the wild or in the garden, cats will scoop soil and earth to cover but in the home, if you provide commercial cat litter, they will naturally scoop the litter to cover up the poop. You will notice, even if you only provide a newspaper for their soiling, your kitten will still scoop at the newspaper in an instinctive act to cover up their poop.

Although you can expect to pick up poop after your kitten in the first few weeks, litter training a kitten is relatively easy and can be 100% trouble-free once it gets used to the routine of using the litter tray.

Cat litter box location strategies

New Kitten Care - How to Kitten-proof Your Home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cat allergies

Kitten Feeding with a Bottle

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cat allergies

Getting Ready for the Newborn Kittens

Caring for your cat during pregnancy may require a lot of time and effort in your part but it is a very wonderful and rewarding experience. But after the kittens are already born, you will need to do a different task and that is to take care of the newborn kittens. These kittens will need special kind of attention and care and you must make sure that you could provide it to them.

One good way to start is to prepare your home for the arrival of the newborn kittens. Kittens tend to play with, chew, or nibble anything that attracts their interest like plants, cords, and other materials. You should remove the things that could be harmful to the newborn kittens like anything that could poison them or hurt them. Electrical cords must be kept out of reach. Look for anything sharp and pointed and remove them from the area immediately. Deal with anything that could strangle your kitten like ropes, ribbons, and cords to provide a safer place for your kittens.

You might also want to save your curtains and drapes from kitten scratches so it would be advisable to tie them up so your kittens will not be able to reach them. Make sure that the cabinet for your cleaning liquids are out of your kittens’ reach. Most of these cleaning liquids are poisonous and you wouldn't want your kitty to play with them to prevent any kind of accident.

Another good preparation that you should not forget is to shop for things that your kitten will need. You will have to shop for foods that are suitable for newborn kittens. You should opt for foods that could give your kittens the kind of nutrition they need for growth. The food should also be easily digestible by kittens to prevent any troubles with their tummy.

You should also get them the things they need like their own bowls, kitty basket or bed, blanket, litter box, and toys. This is to ensure that your kittens will be comfortable and that they will have a good playing time. You should provide them with warm and comfortable place or area to sleep in. When choosing toys for your little kittens, make sure that they are safe and will not put the safety of your kittens at risk.

Lastly, you must make sure that your kittens are healthy. After birth, you could have a vet take a look at them to check them up for any illness and to give them vaccines that they need. If your vet saw some signs and symptoms that suggest illness, your kitten might be subjected to some tests and examinations. This is to ensure that they will grow healthy and will reduce the risk of getting sick. These things will help prepare you and your home for the arrival of your cat’s newborn kittens. You will not have to get worried about their safety inside your home and you can be sure that you will able to provide them with anything they need for them to grow happy and healthy.

Cat allergies

Newest Articles

Keeping Your Cat Fit With a Cat Exercise Wheel
Obesity is a problem with many cats these days. This is especially a problem for cats who stay indoors all the time and don't have a chance to exercise that often. If a cat has the opportunity to eat as much as it wants whenever it wants to this also can add to the problem. The best way to deal with obesity is to prevent it in the first place. One way to do this is to get your cat to exercise more often through the use of cat toys. One cat toy that is particularly useful for this is the cat exercise wheel.

How to Treat Ringworm on Your Cat and What to Look For
Ringworm in the cat appears in the form of little round spots from the size of a ten-cent piece to the size of a quarter-dollar. Sometimes the various spots run into each other and form irregular-shaped spots, the edges of which, however, always assume the rounded form. In these spots the hairs are broken off, leaving little bristling points only protruding from the roots. The surface of the skin itself is covered by a crusty scab, which, if peeled or rubbed off, shows a slight discharge below.

Essential Cat Training Tips
Training your cat on the basics is a very interesting and learning process for you. There are a number of tips and tricks available to tame and train your cat. Training is absolutely essential for your cat as it is a wild animal and can go about ruining many valuables in your house.

Old-fashion Barbecue Short Rib Bake and Potato Salad Meal Using Vintage Recipes
For a tasty old-fashioned meal of comfort foods, give these recipes a try. Barbecue beef short rib bake is always a hit with meat lovers, especially those with a taste for barbecue. And while the ribs are baking, you have a chance to make this old-fashion potato salad. This potato salad is different since it uses Marzetti's slaw dressing. And the Chewy Nut Squares are delicious with their chewy character accented with nuts and coconut.



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Cleaning Cat Urine With A Blacklight: The biggest issue you face in cleaning cat urine is finding the right spots to clean. That is why you need a fluorescent blacklight to show where the stains are.
A blacklight in a darkened room will make any cat urine stains glow brightly so you will know where to apply the cat urine cleaner and you will be able to use the light to check afterwards to make sure you have thoroughly cleaned the urine spot

Cats And Pills - Tablets:
Nearly everything alive becomes ill at some stage in its life, and pets are no exception. I have been very fortunate in that my two cats have been very healthy for most of their lives

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All cats are created equal, right? Wrong. Senior cats have special dietary needs, different from adult cats and kittens. Their bodies require different things. Sometimes, you will have to supplement in order to provide them proper nutrition.

Pet Nutrition Basics for Dogs & Cats
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FELINE AIDS
In 1986 in Northern California a disease that was causing illness and death in cats was found to be caused by a virus similar to HIV, or the AIDS virus found in humans. Since then, much research has been done on this virus and the disease it causes. To date scientists have not been successful in formulating a vaccine to prevent this infection in cats. There has also been little success in finding methods to treat those cats that have the disease, but we DO know enough about the disease to safeguard our pets from this fatal disorder.

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

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