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You CAN Have Your Cats and Your Furniture Too

No one wants to invest hundreds or even thousands of dollars in furnishings only to see them ripped to shreds by an overzealous pet, however beloved. To many people the obvious answer is to have their cats declawed, but it this really a reasonable alternative?

Its proponents depict it as a simple and painless operation, but it is neither simple or painless. Most people aren't aware that it's not just the claws that are removed. Declawing involves the amputation of the first joint of each toe, and as any amputee can tell you, the pain persists for months if not years. The only difference is your cat can't tell you it still hurts.

This doesn't mean you have to put up with shredded furniture and drapes, or snagged carpets. I have four cats of my own, none of then declawed, and my upholstery and curtains are intact and my rugs unsnagged. There are a number of steps you can take to minimize or eliminate the damage.

1. Give them what they want.

Scratching is not just a means of sharpening claws, it's a vital form of exercise that tones and strengthens the muscles. Even declawed cats go through the motions. It's instinctive. Birds gotta swim, fish gotta fly, cats gotta scratch. Whatever. So give them something suitable to scratch on, preferably not one of those pint-sized carpet-covered pet department abominations. That only confuses them.

If that's what you already have, at least pull off the carpeting and wrap it with good quality jute or sisal rope, half-inch in diameter, wound tightly and secured with glue. If you sew, you might try making a slip cover you can easily remove and replace as necessary. Burlap is good for this, but almost any fabric with a heavy weave or a textured surface will work. My own cats are partial to upholstery velvet and corduroy. Ideally the post should be at least two inches higher than the cat can reach.

Many cats prefer a horizontal surface to scratch on, and take well to a commercial scratching pad made from corrugated cardboard.

Whatever you decide to use, spray it lightly with catnip extract (not synthetic - they WILL know the difference) and place it near your cat's favorite scratching spot. Once he or she becomes accustomed to the new surface, gradually move it to a more convenient location. These materials tend to be messy, so choose a spot where you can easily sweep or vacuum around it.

2. Use your good judgement when choosing fabrics and rugs.

Pass up all those lovely but delicate satin and damask weaves or the aforementioned textured surfaces. These are cat magnets. Knits and other stretchy fabrics are an open invitation to snags. Leather and faux leathers are also major no-no's. Sheer panels at the windows? Forget it!

Look for strong fabrics with a tight weave such as sailcloth or canvas. Most denims hold up well, also. For curtains, go with something like percale or chintz. Most of the curtains at my house are made from bedsheets, and are not only attractive but virtually indestructible. For carpeting, a medium or low plush is preferable to a berber or a sculptured pile. Remember, minimum texture is the key.

As long as we're on the subject, think brown. That way when your cat upchucks on it, and it will, it won't be such a disaster. If your cat is still drawn to the furniture, a number of companies sell clear plastic corner protectors that self-adhere to most fabrics.

3. Trim the claws.

It's not as difficult as it might seem, especially if you start them as kittens. Use a specifically designed animal nail trimmer and start out slow. Begin by just handling the paws, and practice extending the claws without trying to trim. The cat will become accustomed to being handled and will be less likely to react violently to the actual trimming. After a few days of this, try trimming, just one or two nails at a time, and only take off the very tips. If you still find it troublesome, most professional groomers will do it for a minimal fee.

4. Claw caps.

These are soft plastic covers that are glued onto the claws and last for up to 4-6 weeks. I've never tried them myself, but many people report good results.

Cats and people have shared living quarters for thousand of years, and with a little forethought and cooperation we should be able to maintain a harmonious relationship between ourselves, our pets, and our furniture.

copyright 2005

Kathie Freeman is the author of Catwalk, a Feline Odyssey. For more of her articles and short stories visit Kathie's Stories and Tails at This article is free to use as long as the byline and this source information is included.

About the Author

Kathie Freeman is a life-long cat person who along with her husband has been owned by as many as 13 cats at once. They currently share their California home with four cats and a dog. She is the author of "Catwalk, a Feline Odyssey", the captivating story of a wandering tabby cat and the people she meets on her journey of adventure and discovery.

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Also see : Ensure A Good Relationship Between Your Cat And Your Kids
Very young children can easily overwhelm a cat or kitten with their exuberance. Children under the age of five years should always be supervised when playing with or handling a cat. Children over 12 years can usually be trusted to be gentle, but be sure to occasionally check up on kids under 12 years when they spend concentrated time with the family cat.

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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
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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.

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Feral cats can drive property values down in several ways. Urine marking by an unneutered male cat leaves a lingering stench that is extremely unpleasant. Cats like soft soil to deposit feces, making gardens and children's sandboxes at risk for disease transmission. Feral cats are not usually vaccinated and therefore are the first point of contact for disease to infiltrate to pets and people. The noise made by fighting or mating cats is annoying. Cats are extremely efficient predators that can severely impact wild species.

Training a Cat to Have Likeable Behaviors
Cats can be very finicky at times. When you are trying to change bad behaviors, this can be hard. Cats will not always do what you want them to. When you are trying to change a bad behavior you need to introduce one good behavior.

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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.

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

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

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

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Vaccines: What Cat Owners Need to Know

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

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.
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Ensure A Good Relationship Between Your Cat And Your Kids

Many parents know that the best way for children to learn compassion and the importance of keeping commitments is by helping to care for a pet. Children learn from watching the adults in their lives. If a child can learn to treat an animal with respect they can take that lesson into later life. A cat can be a marvellous, loving companion for a child, but it is up to the adults in the family to ensure the cat and the kids live together happily ever after.

When you first bring a cat home, explain to your child that they will need to be patient, quiet and gentle to help the cat feel safe. Sit on the floor with your child and help him practice patience as the cat gets up the courage to come close. Let your child feed the cat a piece of food from his hand. If the cat is reluctant to come close, have your child gently toss a piece of food close to the cat. Once the cat realizes what your child is offering, the ice will melt.

Very young children can easily overwhelm a cat or kitten with their exuberance. Children under the age of five years should always be supervised when playing with or handling a cat. Children over 12 years can usually be trusted to be gentle, but be sure to occasionally check up on kids under 12 years when they spend concentrated time with the family cat.

You should remind children that they should not disturb a sleeping cat, or a cat that is using its litter tray.

Kittens appear to be amazingly flexible, and children often think nothing of draping a weeks-old cat over the crook of the arm and carrying it around like a toy, or picking up a kitten by the scruffof its neck. In this position, it is easy for the kitten to be dropped and seriously injured. Also, being carried like this leaves the cat feeling unsupported with it's hind legs swinging in space.
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Pros and Cons of Outside Cats

It's your ultimate decision as to whether or not you want your cat to be inside, outside, or a little of both. There are pros and cons associated with each option, but you'll find that more cat owners will prefer to keep their cat(s) inside and solely inside. Again, this is your opinion and choice, unless you live in a country that bans domestic cats from living outside, especially if declawed, as they would not be able to fully defend themselves.

You'll find that there are advantages and disadvantages to everything, to include leaving yoru cat outside. Before you make the decision check out the basic pros and cons of an outdoor cat.

There are very few pros to an outside cat. There were only two that I could accumulate.

Freedom. Many believe that cats are happier outside because they can exhibit their natural predatory skills of chasing bugs, birds, lizards, and other small prey items.

No litter box. For outdoor cats, there is no need for a litter box, as the world is one big litter box. This means that you do not have to fool with cleaning a litter box. You also won't have to worry about your cat having litter box problems, where he doesn't want to use the litter box in the house, resulting in soiled carpets, floors, and furniture.
Continue Reading About The Pros and Cons of Outside Cats

How Do I Stop My Cat From Biting Me?

Sometimes, you end up with a cat that is a bit too aggressive for its own good. If you've felt the nipping of tiny teeth on your fingertips, you know that biting cats aren't fun to have. Good thing is that it's an easy behavior to stop.

Kittens instinctively nip and bite each other as they grow up. If you have a kitten and it's biting you, it's even easier to stop than in a fully grown cat.

As kittens, cats learn which behaviors are acceptable and which aren't by, simply, getting their fuzzy butts kicked by their litter mates. If they bite one of their siblings too hard and end up getting bitten back, they learn, "Hey, maybe that wasn't such a good idea after all!"
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How Sensitive Is A Cat's Taste?

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

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

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

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

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

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New Article - Are You Abusing Your Cat?

Newest Cat and Kitten Articles

Several Classic Cat Health Warning Signs
As a cat owner, cat health problems are at the top of my list of concerns. The various illnesses your cat may face are many and varied, and your cat can't tell you how she's feeling, at least not in words. Feline illness symptoms, like that in humans, often overlap.

Contact Lens Wearing Cat
The Isle of Wight recently accomplished something that's never been done before. A 15 year old cat named Ernest received a set of contact lenses to correct a vision problem. Ernest, a popular resident at the RSPCA, had problems with the lids of its eyes being turned inside. This caused scratching on his eye balls that effectively hurt his vision.

Cat Leukemia - Keep Your Kitty Safe!
It doesn't matter where you are, your cat can be infected with this disease. The best prevention is to keep your cat healthy by maintaining its diet and seeing the vet regularly for any and all shots.

Things To Prepare Before Bringing Your Pet Cat Home:
Bringing a new cat home is exciting and it can be very rewarding also. However, you really do need to take certain precautions if you already have other pets. If you follow the instructions above, you should be able to introduce your new pet into your home without much hassle. It just takes time and patience but you will get there if you persevere!

Home remedies for cats & other pets: Stickers
Use a stainless steel comb with wide teeth to pull out stickers from the fur before matting begins. Or else you can use your fingers to pull them out. If you find the sticker deep inside the ear making it difficult to remove, put some warm vegetable or mineral oil in the ear to soften it and take your pet to the vet

A Pregnant Stray Cat Adopted You – And Now What?:
It happens all too often. A family or cat friend gets adopted by a stray cat. And after a few weeks it turns out she’s pregnant. In the US alone there must be millions of sweet but homeless cats. And many of them get pregnant several times a year

Cat Owners' Cat Training Books:
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The Right Cat Litter Box For Your Cat
Your cat will develop and keep good cat litter box habits with the right cat litter box. Here are your choices for different cat litter boxes, and how you can determine which ones are right for your cat.

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An Engineer's Guide to Cats

Worlds First Bio-engineered Pet

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Yemengzhu - The 3 billion dollar rock

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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Newest Articles

Cats Get Heartworm Disease, Too

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

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

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

Do cats know and express love?

Most of us are incurable romantics. We think that feelings and expressions of love exist only within our species. But what about cats and other animals? Does anything akin to love exist in their world? The answer may surprise you, as it turns the love mirror back on us, revealing mysteries about our own struggles with l'amour.

Love Redefined
Until recently, poets, musicians and other creative individuals mostly defined love for us, coming up with traditions like Cupid and his arrow or St. Valentine's Day celebrations. But a slew of recent scientific studies put the focus on love's source of origin -- the brain.

Love turns out to be a valuable brain-initiated mechanism for species survival. It permits alliances between individuals, such as males and females, or parents and children, in order to facilitate breeding and infant care. Neuroscientists, such as Andreas Bartels of University College London, have determined that the brain-produced hormones oxytocin and vasopressin are real-life Love Potion No. 9s, leading to bonds between certain individuals.

Lions and Romantic Love
The feeling of "falling in love" is very specific, brain-imaging studies show. In humans, this can last for up to a few years, leading some people to constantly fall in and out of love or become addicted to that intense sense of attraction to another.

Domestic housecats have no need for extended male-female love in regards to reproduction. Lust, which appears in a different part of the brain, draws Toms and females together, but they then go their separate ways fairly quickly after mating, with mothers handling all parental duties. Lions are the one exception among cats, according to Jonathan Balcombe, author of the best-selling book "Pleasurable Kingdom: Animals and the Nature of Feeling Good" (MacMillan 2006). "Male lions will care for their cubs," he explains.

Motherly Love
Romance isn't the end all to love. "Emotions comparable to caring and romantic love are, without a doubt, expressed between a mother and her kittens," explains Dr. Balcombe, who is also an animal behavior research scientist for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. A vivid example is the story of Scarlett, a calico cat who pulled her five kittens, one by one, from a burning building in New York in 1996. Her actions, which left Scarlett with lifelong debilitating injuries, were documented by Animal Planet, but Dr. Balcombe says such stories are not uncommon.
Continue Reading About Do cats know and express love?

Helping You Cat Express Its Creativity Through Scratching

Most cats enjoy scratching, there's no question about it.

And indoor cats are no different. Just because a tree is not available, it does not decrease their desire to "leave a mark on the world" by scratching. From a cat's point of view, chairs, sofas, and even the woodwork can serve as a good substitute. But cat owners often take a different view. They see scratching as a destructive behavior, and seek to redirect or stop it. In many cases, a scratching post can be a good compromise.

But even better, why not help your feline pal create original pieces of art you will be proud to display in your home or office?

Ever since he was a kitten, my cat Henry has always loved to scratch. He soon grew tired of the scratching post I bought him and went on to create interesting textures on the living room sofa and chair. I was determined not to have him declawed. So what was the answer?

I remembered hearing that a friend's cat liked to scratch a piece of carpet she had nailed onto the wall. So I went to the surplus store and bought a few pieces of carpet remnants.

It did not take Henry long to catch on. Almost as soon as I nailed the carpet up on the wall, he discovered that he really enjoyed scratching it. He was very pleased that it didn't turn over with him like his old scratching post sometimes did, and he enjoyed working with the texture.
Continue Reading About Helping You Cat Express Its Creativity Through Scratching

How to Make Cat Grooming Easier

Regularly grooming your pet cat help lessen hair ball problems and will make the fur of your cat look more healthy and shinny. Usually, cats love to be groomed but not all cats enjoy it. This article aims to help pet owners to make cat grooming easier. However hesitant your cat maybe to grooming you can still find ways to make it enjoy grooming. One way is to take advantage of upir cat's natural enjoyment of human contact. Even if you have a very aloof cat it also enjoys petting. Read the following pointers that you should remember in order to make grooming session with your cat will be stress free and enjoyable.

Reasons why your cat doesn’t want to be groomed:
•#Your cat has sensitive part of her body
•#Dominant personality

First of all, you need to understand why your pet cat dont want to be groomed. Just like you, pets also has their sensitive parts and this is one of the reasons why your pet dont want to be touched or groomed. Another reason is injury. If your pet has injury or in pain it will most likely run away from you when you try to groom it. That’s why it is advisable to check your pet's body to know which part of his body is sensitive or if your pet has any kind of injury. Once you know those areas then you can avoid it when you try to groom your pet but just make sure that you stop whenever your cat is starting to feel irritated. Thinking of other ways how to groom your cat like what I already mentioned can help your cat think that grooming is also pleasurable for him.

A cat that havent experienced that much grooming before is another tough case to break. You should slowly work your cat to get it used to grooming or even petting or giving it rewards after grooming can be very effective. Cats with dominant personally can also be reluctant to grooming. This kind of cat will usually refuse when someone is petting them or touching their head and other parts of their body which makes it hard to groom.
Continue Reading About How to Make Cat Grooming Easier

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.

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.
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How To Clean Cat Vomit Off of Your Carpet

We all love and care for our cats despite their annoying penchant for vomiting on a regular basis. As with most things in modern society, spew removal is not as simple as one might first suspect. The results of my personal research indicate that there are three broad categories of spew that you, as a cat owner, ultimately will have to contend with:

* the traditional hairball
* the near-instantaneous upchuck of kibble just eaten (this will be designated a "kibble ball")
* the ever-disgusting, viscous mixture of partially digested food and digestive juices that comes up several hours after a hearty meal.

Each of these spew-types represents a different level of challenge in the attempt to destroy all evidence of the incident. We shall start with the easiest, the common hairball.

A hairball can be easily distinguished from other forms of spew. It is a compact, moist but not sloppy, torpedo-shaped object that closely mirrors the color of your cat's fur. Due to their benign composition, hairballs can be dealt with immediately (preferable) or at a later date (non-optimum) with little risk of damage to the defiled object (which for this article we will assume is your carpet).

Hairballs can be dealt with using a simple two-step process:

1. Remove the hairball gently from the scene of the vomit Hairballs can be plucked, scooped or even rolled effectively from the rug using a variety of techniques and then disposed of. I prefer plastic spoons and knives that I get from fast food restaurants gratis. It is best to plan ahead and acquire these in anticipation of the need. The utensils can then be disposed of or recycled, in line with one's environmental beliefs. Stiff paper (higher quality junk mail) or cardboard (cereal box tops) are perfectly good alternatives. The primary goal in hairball removal is to not exert any downward force on the hairball, thereby driving any moist content further into the rug. Never attempt to run your vacuum over a hairball for this reason

2. Perform a simple dabbing-type cleanup of the area with a clean damp cloth or sponge. Using only water is the best approach. Avoid foot traffic until dry. Hairballs generally leave little trace on your rug once removed. A simple water clean up with a damp rag or sponge should suffice. Soap and water or a commercial rug cleaner can be used if necessary but these tend to attract dirt later on. Try to get away with just water if you can. I have used Resolve and Folex with good results when a stronger cleaner was needed. Read and follow the instructions on the bottles as these may lead to worse staining than the original cat spew.

Kibbleballs are somewhat more troublesome to deal with. The kibbleball results when a cat meal is injested and then, in short order, "degested" into a pile on the floor. Depending upon your cat's peculiarities, there may well be multiple (though rarely more than three) piles to contend with.

Many of the removal techniques that work on a hairball work just as well on a kibble ball as the true kibble ball is only slightly moist and has good shape retention characteristics.
Continue Reading About How To Clean Cat Vomit Off of Your Carpet



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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.

About the Author
Visit the author's website, to learn more about newborn kittens, as well as their raising and care

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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.

About the Author
Rona Limsy
For more tips on how to litter train your kitten, visit

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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.

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.

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.

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, 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
Liz Allan has 25 years experience of caring for cats. To find out more about new kitten care, visit:

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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
Learn more about newborn kittens and other aspects of kitten care by visiting the author's website at

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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.

About the Author
Shaun Bradley
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

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Newest Articles

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.

Helpful Tips Before Getting A Cat
Before you look for a new cat, know what you are getting into. Despite their reputation for being aloof, cats are not animals that you can ignore. Unless your are prepared to spend time with them, do not get one. If you have never owned cats, you may not realize that they do certain cat things and need certain cat things. New and unsuspecting cat owners may be surprised when they find their cats regularly do the following:

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How to Treat Feline Urinary Tract Infection Without Putting Your Cat's Health at Risk
By the time you finish reading this, you are going to understand why prevention is the best medicine and why you should only give antibiotics to your cat as a last result. Feline urinary tract infection is not a common problem but 10% of cat visits to the vet involve lower urinary tract disease. Feline lower urinary tract disease is often referred to as a "silent killer" because your cat may not show any obvious symptoms. As a result the infection can eventually travel up to your cat's kidneys and kill him.

Pet Horoscopes - SCORPIO (10/22-11/21):
Scorpio cats are extremely loyal. Kindness shown to these animals at an early age will come back to you for the rest of their pet life. If they are mistreated early in life, gaining their trust back will be along and involved process. They tend to snap or nip if they have been mistreated. Scorpio cats are intimidating to other animals. Rarely will they back down from a confrontation. They are full of pent up energy and need to run around a lot to release it. Keep a close watch on them, however, as they are possessive and have a tendency to fight. (Watch them closely with mail men or delivery people

Cat Litter Brands Determine Good Cat Litter Box Habits:
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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Cat Care During Cold Weather
In spite of the fact that a cat has an external covering of fur coat which is supposed to keep it warm, the fur coat may provides little protection during the cold winter. Have you ever experienced the coldness during very cold weather even with your winter coat on? If yes, you should be able to understand how freezing cold your cat could feel if you leave it unprotected for some time. This is not something that can be taken lightly as the coldness may leads to hypothermia, and when such medical condition get worst, it can be life threatening.

Maine Coon - the Facts Every Owner of This Cat Breed Should Know
Like many older breeds, the origin of the Maine Coon is unclear and steeped in rumor. Some believe Maine Coons, also known as American Longhair, American Shag, American Forest Cat, American Snughead and Maine Trick Cat, are a cross between semi-domestic wild cats and raccoons (doubtful if not impossible). Others believe that Marie Antoinette sent her beloved Angoras to America for safety. They escaped and inbred with wild cats. Still others believe a cat was brought to Maine by Captain Coon and the cat escaped to live in the wilds of Maine.

Your Cats Health
Cats need only be provided with decent shelter, food and water and they will be quite healthy most of the time. Like any other living thing, however, they can get sick and can come down with anything from a minor cold to a major ailment.

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