Thyroid illness in cats Thyroid illness in cats: Common clinical signs of hypothyroidism in cats include weight gain, lethargy, reduced exercise tolerance and poor coat quality. However, the disease affects almost all body systems

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Thyroid illness in cats




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Thyroid illness in cats and dogs



Common clinical signs of hypothyroidism in dogs include weight gain, lethargy, reduced exercise tolerance and poor coat quality. However, the disease affects almost all body systems and as a result a wide variety of signs can potentially be associated with this endocrinopathy.
Diagnosis is complicated by the fact that many non-thyroidal illnesses (NTI) may present with similar features to hypothyroidism and can result in reduced thyroid output. There is no perfect lab test for the diagnosis of hypothyroidism and the available alternatives all have their own strengths and weaknesses that need to be taken into account. Often the best approach is to use multiple tests that complement one another and help to improve diagnostic accuracy.

Where hypothyroidism is a consideration, making the diagnosis requires three distinct steps:

1. Exclude non-thyroidal illness (NTI).

By excluding other disease conditions first the predictive value of the thyroid tests will be significantly increased. In practical terms this phase may include a profile including FBC and smear evaluation and where necessary screening tests for Cushings. The latter can be important as both endocrinopathies can result in alopecia, weight gain and marked reductions in T4.

2. Run a screening test for hypothyroidism.

Basal T4 is sensitive but not specific for hypothyroidism. As a result, a clearly normal T4 reliably excludes hypothyroidism in almost all cases. Basal T4 is included in the CTDS Canine Endocrine Profile. While almost all dogs with hypothyroidism have a reduced basal T4, many dogs with NTI have low T4 also. To help improve the specificity of T4 it is often coupled with TSH assay. T4 with TSH works well as a relatively low cost screening test for hypothyroidism and can be run alongside or following the endocrine profile

Visit www.ctdslab.co.uk for more information

About the Author

Nick graduated from Edinburgh Veterinary School in 1980 with an
Honours degree in Pathological Sciences and in 1982 as a Bachelor
of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery. In 2003 Nick became a diplomate
of the Royal college of Pathologists in veterinary clinical pathology.




temperament of cats
New Article - The Temperament of cats


Also see : Feral, or wild cats are descended from domesticated pets
When cats are lost or abandoned, they return to a more primitive wild state, know as feral. Although feral cats may live alone, often they join large groups or colonies of other wild cats. Their lives are hard, and their life expectancies are much lower than their domesticated kin

Caring for an Older Cat - Cat Health and Cat Care:
Cats are living longer lives thanks to dedicated care from their humans, and advances in veterinary medicine. Most experts consider a cat's "senior years" to begin on her 10th birthday.

Recently added articles

How to Use a Cat to Attract a Woman
Attention to all desperate men out there. Are you having trouble attracting women in your sexual life? Then go buy a cat! Cats are known to be extremely smart animals. They are known to drive all the negative energy away, they are very clean, sensitive, independent and of course they can help you impress most women.

Tips on Getting Your Cat to Eat
Cat owners are very familiar with the "fussy-eater" syndrome that most cats have. Many worry that their cat will become malnourished or just be constantly hungry all the time. There are several reasons why cats will not eat what's put before them. Here are a few tips on how to get your "fussy-eater" to try their food.

Cat History And Cat Classification Of Domestic Cats
Scientists classify living organisms into different kingdoms, family, and orders to study more about them. Although, most people do not get into such details, but certain individuals who love cats, will definitely want to know the scientific classification of cats.

Blindness in Cats - Five Common Causes of Feline Blindness
Cats naturally have superior vision. However, there are various conditions that can cause blindness in cats. Some of these conditions include hypertension, glaucoma, and cancer. Let's take a look at some of these causes of feline blindness.

The Importance of Potassium With Older Felines
As your cat ages, they will encounter numerous changes over time that will eventually lead to a failure of their organs and internal systems – this is a fact of life. However, it is possible to prolong their longevity by paying attention to the special needs that of older felines and by providing your cat with those elements that they will benefit from as they grow older.



temperament of cats
New Article - Abused Cats




temperament of cats
New Article - Floppy Cat


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

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

Also see : Tips on how to keep your pets safe during cold weather:
1. Watch the forecast for sub-25 temperatures. - Don’t allow domestic animals (cats, dogs, rabbits) to be in exposed environments under 25 degrees Fahrenheit. At temperatures above 25, provide them with some sort of shelter. A three-sided shelter is fine as long as the animals can get out of the wind and cold. Insulated shelters are preferred, and the animals should have a bedding liner. For sub-25 weather, try to bring animals to a protected environment, such as a garage or basement.

Leash Training Your Cat
Leash training, like any other training, a cat will require the proper tools, research, patience and good reinforcement. Cats are intelligent and sensitive which you will never want to use force or physical threats on a cat.



temperament of cats
New Article - I'll Take My Cat


Also see : A Potential New Pet Food Scare:The issue this time is jerky treats made in China.
Specifically, veterinarians are reporting an increase in cases of dogs being sick after eating certain jerky treats.The symptoms of the sickness include vomiting, diarrhea and severe lack of energy. Fortunately, no pet deaths have been reported as of yet although veterinarians are only becoming aware of the problem on a large scale now.

When to Vaccinate your Cat or Kitten:
This topic has been discussed so many times by so many different people that it is quite difficult to sort through all the conflicting information. Fortunately, our experts have decided to sort the grain from the chaff and have come up with this article that offers a more objective perspective

.


temperament of cats
Pet Loss: Should You Clone Your Cat?


Also see : Pet Horoscopes - GEMINI (5/21-6/20):
Gemini cats are curious, friendly and loaded with energy. These cats may talk a lot. If possible, get a playmate for these animals as they hate to be alone. They are fast learners and can be trained well. Remember to always keep the door shut, or they will be off in a flash, exploring and looking for new friends. With both people and other animals, Gemini cats rarely have favorites. They just love the company of everyone

Does the world need more cats?:
Aren’t they cute? Yes, they are! A nest of meowing and crawling little kittens leaves only the fiercest cat hater indifferent. But does the world need more cats? A cat is the second most popular pet in the world



Support Your Local Cat Adoption Programs

Behavior Training for your stubborn Cat
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Keep your cat disease free
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Groom your cat to avoid hairballs
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Cat Watching

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
feline health
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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Feline Life Stage Guidelines

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

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

The guidelines also address how to overcome barriers to veterinary visits. Many pet owners perceive cats as being self-sufficient because they hide any discomfort, pain or illness so well.
Continue Reading About Feline Life Stage Guidelines


Spot-On Flea and Tick Treatment Q&A

Due to an increase in adverse reactions to spot-on flea and tick products (treatments placed over the animal' back), the EPA is intensifying its evaluation of these agents. At this time, the agency is said to be investigating all brands and types of spot-on treatments, and they have not specified that any one particular product is of most concern. Both products purchased directly from a veterinarian and those bought over the counter are being evaluated. Although the agency has not released any specific data as to the statistical breakdown of types of adverse reactions, side effects are reported to range from skin irritation, to seizure and death.
Continue Reading About Spot-On Flea and Tick Treatment Q&A


Cat Behavior Facts Few People Know

Epics, novels and movies have always portrayed cats as unpredictable and moody creatures. Many consider cats as mysterious creatures. However, the truth cannot be further from this. A cat is as normal and predictable as any other animals. The only condition is that we need to know what to expect from a cat in terms of normal behavior.

People consider cats as 'cute' little animals only to give them up at the slightest hint of aggression or litter issues. Most people do not do their homework well before keeping a cat. Cats are different than dogs and that's where people greatly misunderstand cats.

Being distant relatives to the much larger cats we see in the wild, (of course our kitty is much smaller), they are able to eat at frequent intervals. COnsuming anywhere from 10 grams to a quarter of a cup at a time.

The reason for this is that it is instinctual to keep their digestive system in optimal condition. In addition to eating frequently these instinctual creature just like their relatives can go a day to two without eating anything, and as long as they don't seem to be sick this is a very normal behavior.

Cats love to sleep! In fact, sleeping is the main activity on their agenda followed by hunting, chasing and eating. At time it may seem like all a cat does is sleep and eat.

Unlike a dog that sleeps with his ears cocked and gets up at the slightest noise, a cat can sleep through anything. So don't be surprised if your cat finds some warm and soft place and disappears for a while for his catnap.

Cats are a clean creature and like to keep things private. They like their litter boxes to be hidden in a private place. In fact after a cat uses the litter box they bury it in litter covering up and hiding their business. This behavior is a learned behavior that they pick up from their mothers at a very young age.

These are just a few cat behaviors cat owners should know. Now, that you know these behaviors it is easier to know when a cat is being normal and when a cat is acting odd.
Continue Reading About Cat Behavior Facts Few People Know


Which vaccines should my cat get?

Cat owners are often a bit confused when upon taking their cat for their yearly physical examination the animal hospital receptionist asks which vaccinations they want to give to their cat. Every thing can however, be much clearer once vaccinations may be divided into two categories; core and non core.

Core vaccinations are generally those that are given to most cats. They are often the standard vaccinations required for a pet upon boarding, being hospitalized or upon traveling. These are the vaccinations all cats should definitelyhave, since they are the basic ones. While non core vaccination ore equally important, they are however given on a case by case basis depending on various factors such as if the cat is indoors or outdoors, if the area is known for the eruption of certain diseases, or other factors such as the cat's age and general health status. Following are listed the core and non core vaccines.

Core Vaccines
Core vaccines consist of the following:
* Rabies
This vaccine is actually mandate by law in just about every where nowadays, because of the seriousness of this disease. It is tranmitted by a bite from an infected animal. The first rabies vaccine is generally given for the first time when the kitten is over 12 weeks old. After ward, the cat will get another booster one year later, and then depending on the area it may be given yearly each time or even every three years.

* Distemper
The distemper vaccine is actually a combination vaccine. It is known as FVRCCP. This acronym is composed by the initials of various diseases this vaccine may cover.: Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Chlamydiosis and Panleukopenia.

Non Core Vaccinations
These are vaccinations given on a case by case basis. They are usually recommended for cats that live outdoors, because they are transmitted by close contact with an infected cat.
* FIP Feline Infectious Peritonitis (transmitted by exposure to infected feces, infected secretions, or in kittens through the placenta)
* FIV Feline Aids (transmitted by puncturing cat bites or in kittens during gestation or from nursing on infected milk)
* FELV Feline Leukemia (transmitted by infected saliva, therefore cat bites, grooming and sharing cat food bowls and water bowls may trigger the disease. Kittens may get the disease in utero or from infected milk.

Kittens unlike cats must undergo a series of vaccinations, with boosters set apart every three- four weeks. Below is an example of a typical kitten vaccination schedule, for both indoor and outdoor cats:

Continue Reading About Which vaccines should my cat get?




cloned cats
New Article - How to Solve Litter box Problems in Multi-cat Homes


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San Antonio Texas Pet Scene

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Add a Shelter Cat to Your Family Today

Stray Cat Adoptions of Texas (SCAT)

P.O. Box 700571
San Antonio, Texas 78270
Attn: Denise Duchaine
SCAT runs weekend cat adoption centers at several PetSmart locations in San Antonio.

San Antonio Feral Cat Coalition

San Antonio Feral Cat Coalition
San Antonio Feral Cat Coalition is organized to promote Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and public education of feral cat issues in the San Antonio area.

South Texas Persian Rescue

South Texas Persian Rescue
We are a rescue specializing in rescuing persians, himalayans, exotic shorthairs, and ragdolls. Most of our rescued cats are pulled from shelters. Some are given up by their owners due to family situations, financial situations, or a behavioral problem the cat is having. All cats are treated for any existing medical condition(s); they are spayed/neutered, FIV/FELV tested, and given all necessary immunizations before adoption; and any behavioral problem(s) the cat may have is addressed and resolved. All of our foster kitties are housed in actual homes with foster parents - so they get used to being in a home environment.

The Humane Society / SPCA of Bexar County

The Humane Society / SPCA of Bexar County
The Humane Society/SPCA of Bexar County has served Bexar County and its surrounding areas since 1952.

Animal Defense League

Animal Defense League
The ADL has a nice Cat House and always has cats and kittens for adoption

Become part of the San Antonio Pet Scene

Email me your Pet related announcements and I will post them for free. clark2368@aol.com

Cat
New Article - Are You Abusing Your Cat?


Newest Cat and Kitten Articles

Teach Your Cat To Retrieve:
You can train your cat to fetch a toy in a half - hour or so, with a little patience and persistence

Chylothorax in cats: There are a few conditions, such as trauma, cancer, or heart disease, that are known to cause chylothorax under some conditions. There are also some cats that get chylothorax for unknown reasons.
"Build-up of fluid around the lungs makes it difficult for the cat to breathe. Signs may include open mouth breathing or increased respiratory rate," notes Dr. Appel.

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

Home remedies for cats & other pets: Skunk Odor
Vinegar and water douche is helpful in covering up the skunk odor. Pour the mixture on your pet and rub. Use rubber gloves to protect yourself from the skunk odor. Do not let your animal get wet soon as the smell will return. Repeat till your pet is skunk odor free

An Overview of Cat Breeds:
Cats were one of the last animals to be domesticated. They were first found in households in Egypt about 5000 years ago. Currently they are the most popular house pets, outnumbering dogs by more than two to one

Feeding Your Elderly Cat:
An elderly cat's metabolism slows down, just as it does in a human. Owners should take this into consideration when feeding their cat. Older pets get less exercise, which means less lean muscle, so their food requirement is reduced

I'll Take My Cat
The battle between cats & dogs has been waged since the dawn of time. Seemingly opposites, cats & dogs can be seen as metaphors for the two sides of our own psyche.
Taking Care of an Older Cat
Cats are not turtles. Okay, I know what you're thinking, people aren't turtles, either. However, when you really think about it, people are a lot closer to turtles than cats in the sense that turtles, as well as people, can live to be 100 years



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Yemengzhu - The 3 billion dollar rock

Yemengzhu
Yemengzhu - The 3 Billion Dollar Rock
What weighs 6.2 tons and is worth more then 3.1 billion dollars? Are your guessing a new high tech battleship or maybe a new stealth fighter? Well it's a big ball of glow in the dark fluorite. Thats right a rock!
read more --- Yemengzhus, 亦稱傳奇光亮珍珠在中國, 是罕見的煥發的球在黑暗的熒石。

Red fluorescent cats

Fluorescent cats


Red fluorescent cats:
This picture, taken through a special filter in a dark room, shows a cat, left, possessing a red fluorescent protein that makes the animal glow in the dark when exposed to ultraviolet rays, appearing next to a normal cloned cat.

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Trouble, Patches, and Sweetie Pie enjoying a sunny San Antonio Day. (What a life!)

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Cassidy and Snowflake Same mom different litters - Rescued from a feral colony in San Antonio

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Cassidy was born with a club foot and two different color eyes

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Cassidy runs and plays just like her normal sisters

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Sarafena - Queen of the Witches

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Cookie Monster came from a local flea market

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Trouble (Grand Ma) weighs in at 18+ pounds. At 12 years old she still plays with the young cats.

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Cats & Holidays

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

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

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

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

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


Helping Feral Cats, Part 1:

This is the first in a three-part series on feral cats. In this article, "feral" is defined. In Part 2, I give some pointers on how to socialize a feral or semi-feral cat. In Part 3, I discuss what we can do to help feral colonies and unsocializable ferals.

History
The domestic cat evolved from the African wild cat, Felis libyca. Feral cats are offspring of stray or abandoned domestic cats that revert to a wild state. Having been raised without any human contact, they have a natural fear of humans. The domestic cat was introduced throughout the world by explorers and scientists, in an effort to control the rodent populations. Being predators and scavengers, feral cats have become successful survivors.

Why Are There Feral Cats?
Feral cats live in streets, alleys, and parks because of human neglect of their unaltered domestic cats, allowing them to roan and reproduce. A California study revealed that about 60 percent of unaltered household cats become feral within three years. Many people abandon or dump unwanted, unaltered cats, and these often end up in feral colonies.

Stray and lost cats congregate near food sources such as garbage dumpsters where rodents collect to feed. The cats start breeding and form colonies. An estimated 60 million feral cats live in the U.S., and worldwide are part of the urban ecology in virtually every city. They live in deserts near human settlements as well as on islands near Antarctica.

Classes of Feral Cats
There are three classes of feral cats. This classification was initiated in an effort to know how to approach these cats and which cats would be the easiest to re-domesticate for companion animals. It has been proven that any feral cat can be re-domesticated, given the right circumstances and enough time.
Continue Reading About Helping Feral Cats




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Enter Amazon here to help save the life of a homeless kitten

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.
Continue Reading About Even Healthy Cats Act Sick When Their Routine Is Disrupted


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


Cats, Coyotes and Coons!

My cat Spike had become uncommonly skittish when he was in his bed in the garage. He has two beds, one in the house and one in the garage. Even if I was outside with him he would nervously keep watch on his surroundings as if expecting something to jump from behind a tree and grab him. If he wanted to go into the garage from the house, he would nervously watch the garage door for any movement from the night. He even had me opening the door and looking outside to see if anything was going on. Spike seemed to be watching for any sign of the raccoons that had camped out in our garage during the summer. When we had chased off all the raccoons except one, we breathed easier, but then Spike almost lost his leg due to a scuffle with the largest raccoon. Spike had gotten between the raccoon and some leftover food in the cat's dish, leaving the cat with a badly mangled left rear foot.

About the same time, the neighbor's two large dogs that were kept in a pen in their back yard began to go nuts each night about two in the morning. They would howl, bark, and lunge at the fence! You could hear the dog's bodies hitting the chain link fence all the way too my house, two doors away! At this point we still didn't know what was causing the commotion each night.

A few weeks went by and now Spike was spending most of his night time in the house, while the dogs continued to bark each evening after dark. Only after we spotted the coyote crossing the road to trot in our direction did we know what was causing the disturbance. That's when we named the Coyote, Ruckus!
Continue Reading About Cats, Coyotes and Coons!


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.

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.

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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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