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Vaccines: What Cat Owners Need to KnowOn 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?
According to Dr. Melissa Riensche, a small animal internal medicine resident at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, the answer is actually quite simple. As with human medicine, vaccinations are an important part of the preventative medicine veterinarians practice. The ultimate goal of a vaccination is to eliminate the spread of certain diseases or, if that is not possible, to reduce the disease severity.
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.
Continue Reading About Vaccines: What Cat Owners Need to Know
Important Cat Litter Box Health ConcernsCats are the most popular pets in the United States. According to the latest version of the U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook (2002 Edition) there were almost 70 Million pet cats in the United States. Why are cats so popular? There are as many answers to this question as there are cat owners, but the low health risks cats pose to their owners is certainly near the top of this list. Even though the potential health risks cats pose to people are small, it is important that cat owners are aware of these risks and understand how to reduce them.
The majority of all risks stemming from cat ownership are associated with the cat litter box and/or cat feces. There are two categories of risks. The first category contains health risks posed by bacteria and parasites to both cat owners and their cats. The second category contains injuries resulting from an automatic litter box or self cleaning litter box.
Primarily the health problems experienced by cat owners or their cats come from the first category and the most significant of these risks is called Toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a tiny parasite called Toxoplasma gondii which can be found in raw or undercooked meat, unwashed fruits and vegetables, dirty cat litter boxes and outdoor soil where cat feces can be found. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more than 60 million people in the United States may be infected with the Toxoplasma parasite(1). Fortunately, very few people ever experience any symptoms because a healthy person's immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness. However, pregnant women and individuals who have compromised immune systems, such as individuals infected with the HIV virus, are at risk and should take precautions to avoid being infected by the parasite. For people in this group a Toxoplasma infection could cause serious health problems to the individual or to a pregnant woman’s unborn child.
Again, most of the 60 million plus American’s infected with Toxoplasmosis parasite will never experience any symptoms. Most of those who do experience symptoms will simply think they have the Flu as the most common symptoms include swollen glands, fever, headache, muscle pain, or a stiff neck. For those in the high risk group, Toxoplasmosis can cause damage to the brain, eyes and internal organs. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, children born with Toxoplasma gondii can suffer from hearing loss, mental retardation, and blindness with some children developing brain or eye problems years after birth(2). The CDC estimates that 400-4000 fetuses are infected with the Toxoplasma gondii parasite each year and as many as 80 infants die from Toxoplasmosis annually (2).
So how does an individual contract Toxoplasmosis? A Toxoplasmosis infection is caused by ingesting the Toxoplasma gondi parasite. Most cat owners are infected with the parasite by accidentally ingesting infected cat feces. This happens when a person touches their mouth after handling a cat litter box, working in a garden or sand box or touching anything that has come in contact with cat feces
Continue Reading About Important Cat Litter Box Health Concerns
Cats are intrigued by waterCats: everybody knows how much they dislike getting their fur wet. Yet, many people that own a cat can claim that they have often found their kitty with its paws inside their water bowl or playing with the water dripping from a faucet. As odd as it is, many cats love water, they are attracted to it and many spend hours just playing with it.
Things appear to change though when the cat's fur gets wet. For some reason, cats seem to hate getting their fur wet. Yes, they seem to do very well with licking their fur but water being poured on their precious fur? No way! Just a few drops on their fur will make their skin spasm and they will readily lick it off with their tongues.
Why is that? Why do cats dislike so much getting their fur wet? An explanation may be the fact that cats originated from desert regions where of course, water was a rare event.
There are however, variables between cats and water. Among the feline family, tigers appear to enjoy spending time in the water to cool off whereas panthers and lions try to avoid water as much as possible, unless getting a dip will take them on the other side where there is prey.
Continue Reading About Cats are intrigued by water
How to Treat Cat Eye Infections - Secrets From a Holistic VeterinarianMany 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.
Virtually all cats are exposed to Herpesvirus as kittens. For most cats, no further problems occur. However, Herpes is a sneaky virus, and it likes to lie dormant until it gets a chance to get one up on the immune system. Because stress suppresses the immune system, cats under stress are particularly susceptible to recurrent Herpes flare-ups. Herpes is irritating and painful, and usually causes quite a bit of redness, puffiness, and a watery discharge or brownish crusty matter at the corners of the eyes. It often attacks only one eye, producing a lopsided squint. Often the cat will squint against bright light, or try to avoid it altogether.
There are several holistic treatment options for Herpes. One of the simplest is l-lysine, an amino acid that is inexpensive and readily available at the health food store. It comes in capsules or tablets, usually 500 mg. Capsules are much easier to work with, if you can get them. The dose is 500 mg twice a day for 5 days (total 1,000 mg/day). Lysine has a slightly salty taste, and is easily disguised by mixing with canned cat food or baby food. That seems like a lot--but that's what it takes to work. Once the acute episode is under control, a maintenance dose of 250 mg per day can be given indefinitely.
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.
There is a human homeopathic formula that works very well, and very quickly, for cats. It's called "The Herpes Formula" by Aeura. Dissolve one tablet in a 1-ounce dropper bottle filled with a mixture of 80% water and 20% vodka (as a preservative), shake well, and give about half a dropperful by mouth once or twice a day. (Do NOT put it in the eyes!) If you make up a 1-ounce batch, it will last several weeks. It may seem a bit expensive up front, but one bottle of The Herpes Formula will provide years of treatment.
Continue Reading About How to Treat Cat Eye Infections
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Homemade Kitten FoodDo you need a cheap, healthy alternative to store bought kitten food to help wean your kittens off their mother's milk and transition them to traditional canned kitten food? More than likely, they have shown little interest in regular canned food, preferring the milk to anything you might put in their bowl. Dry food will also be too hard on their developing teeth. The best option would be to start them on a food that reminds them of what they prefer, but can be mixed with traditional wet food to help transition them over. This recipe is simple to make, and kittens find it delicious.
Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat and mix in one envelope of unflavored gelatin. Be sure to mix thoroughly, and do not boil the gelatin. If the water tastes bad or has a heavy chlorine taste when it comes out of the tap, consider using filtered water instead.
Pour this mixture into a blender along with half of a 12 ounce can of goat's milk. Blend just long enough to combine thoroughly. Do not substitute cow's milk because cats tend to be lactose intolerant. Using cow's milk can lead to discomfort, diarrhea, and worse if fed to kittens.
Add the following ingredients one at a time. After each addition, blend briefly to combine before moving on to the next. You will want to use the lowest setting to avoid overmixing. Add: 3 tbsp full fat yogurt, 3 tbsp real mayonnaise, 3 tsp light corn syrup, and 1 raw egg yolk. Concerning the egg yolk, raw eggs carry a small risk of salmonella poisoning. To eliminate any risk of accidentally passing this on to your kittens, use eggs that have been pasteurized in their shells.
You can serve the completed homemade kitten food the way it is, or you can store it for use later. To store for later usage, cover the mixture tightly in a small container. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to ten days or in your freezer for up to three months.
If you are going to use food that you have prepared in advance, you will want to warm it up before serving, especially if it is coming from the refrigerator or freezer. Cold food causes severe stomach upset in kittens. Warming it up will also make it more aromatic, and thus more appetizing to the kittens.
About the Author
Visit the author's website, http://newbornkittens.net to learn more about newborn kittens, as well as their raising and care
How to Litter Train A KittenIf 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.
About the Author
For more tips on how to litter train your kitten, visit http://www.My-Pet-Cat.com
New Kitten Care - How to Kitten-proof Your HomeA 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.
Keep it out of reach - it can give your kitten food poisoning.
Put all garbage in a sealed bin that your kitten can't access.
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.
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.
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.
Try to get into the habit of keeping the lid down when the toilet's not in use.
Keep them in a cupboard that your kitten can't get into.
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.
Most cleaners etc. are highly poisonous to cats and need to be kept somewhere your kitten can't access.
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
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
Kitten Feeding with a BottleKitten 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
Learn more about newborn kittens and other aspects of kitten care by visiting the author's website at http://newbornkittens.net.
Getting Ready for the Newborn KittensCaring 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 kittensâ€™ 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 catâ€™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.
About the Author
My name is Shaun Bradley and I am an avid Cat Lover/Owner. I have had cats ever since I can remember. Now I have just two cats named Sylvia and Goldie. They are great pets and fairly simple to take care of as long as you know some easy cat training tips. Visit my website for more information http://www.trainingyourcats.com
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Cat Acne: an Insight to your Suffering Kitty
Acne sufferers will know that acne can be a nuisance and it is difficult to get rid of if not treated quickly. Like you your pet cat could also be affected by it. This condition if called feline acne or more commonly kitty acne. The major cause of this problem is unknown but there are certain things that point towards a possibility of being the cause of acne.
What Are the Top 10 Most Popular Pedigreed Cat Breeds?
Pedigreed cats are a source of joy and pride for their owners. Besides their gorgeous coats, beautiful lines, and great disposition, these animals offer companionship and entertainment to those who love them. Choosing a pedigreed cat is not easy, but knowing the most popular breeds of pedigreed cats may help.
How to Make your Cat Urinate in the Litter Box
CAT URINE AND FECES PREVENTION TIPS One of the worse offenses that a cat can commit at home is to urinate outside of the litter box. Nobody will be happy with this kind of behavior
Homemade Bread Batter for White, Whole-wheat, Rye, and Herb Breads
Now you can make your own breads just like you remember grandma doing. Here is a white bread batter recipe with modifications to make whole-wheat, rye, and herb breads. Give your family a taste of homemade bread!
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If you have a cat who doesn't use her cat litter box, it might be the type of cat litter you buy for her. Cats are fussy about a lot of things, and the cat litter brand you think she'll likes might end up offending her for a number of reasons
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