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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 http://home.att.net/~kathiefreeman/ 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.



temperament of cats
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Also see : At Last! Cat Litter Boxes Don't Have To Be Evil:
There is nothing worse for cat or cat owner than a smelly litter box. For many people, the litter box is the worst of part of owning a cat. Not only is it something people dread to clean but it is also dusty and dirty

Litter Training a Cat
When you come home from being gone, at work all day and find the cat has messed all over, or in one area. You have to go and get it cleaned as the cat sits and stares at you as if they have done nothing wrong. This is right!

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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
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.



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Also see : Cats Can Impact How We Treat Each Other
Are you a cat owner? Was there something about your cat when you picked her out that drew you to her? I own a cat named Pepper that I picked out of a litter when she wasn't even a full day old. I know, what can you tell about a little kitten who doesn't even have her eyes open. I'm not really sure, but whatever it was that made me pick Pepper, it worked correctly.

Also see : "HOW TO ADOPT A SHELTER CAT:
If you are thinking of adding a feline to your family, consider adopting a cat from your local animal shelter or humane society. The animals have been carefully screened for adoptability and have usually been worked with to enhance sociability

What Is The Best Way To Feed Your Cat?
Think that your cat needs a fancy set of dishes to eat from? He doesn't. But, what he does need is something that is sturdy and durable and it needs to be easy for you to clean as well.



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


Also see : A Backward Glance into the History of Cats
According to some sources it is said that Miacis, a weasel-like animal that lived about 40 or 50 million years ago is the cat’s closest ancestor.

Cat keeps his dying owner awake long enough to call 911
Tyson is a Siamese cat who is getting the royal treatment after his licks saved the life of his owner


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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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Cats are basically clean animals. Perhaps you have seen one or two grooming himself or one another, or covering a recent defecated area. Although sometimes, due to medical conditions and stress cats tend to eliminate body wastes anywhere they choose to, so it is a must to potty train them to prevent any inconvenience inappropriate elimination can make. Cat potty training is best started when your pet is still a kitten, just like children it is then when foundations are built.

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When The Indoor Kitty Decides to Escape

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you know where Kitty is and if you can leave your door open, try to position yourself behind Kitty and sort of nudge the cat toward home territory. Again talking softly and no fast or sudden moves as you encourage the cat toward the house.
Continue Reading About When The Indoor Kitty Decides to Escape


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




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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?


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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.

I Am What I Eat - A Love Letter From Your Cat
I need a balanced diet that includes proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water. Proteins supply important elements for energy, growth and body repair. Fats provide a highly digestible, tasty, concentrated source of energy and aid the production of healthy skin and fur. I should drink large quantities of water (about one ounce for each pound of my body weight daily) and I need free access to clean, fresh water throughout the day.

Feline Cancer - Preventing the Spread of Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) In Foster Cat Homes
The feline cancer Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) weakens the immune system, causes anemia and the growth of tumors in cats. The lifespan of a FeLV cat is short as about 85% of infected cats die within 3 1/2 years of infection. If you are a foster cat care giver, there are steps you can take to prevent the spread of the disease to the non-infected cats in your home.

Are These Five Killers Chasing Your Cat?
As a cat owner, your first responsibility is to keep your pet healthy. However, even with balanced nutrition and a good amount of love and attention, cats can still get sick. Learn about the most common ailments that affect cats so you can try to prevent them or cure them quickly with the proper medical care when you first spot the symptoms

Natural Cat Training
Tired of coming home and having puddles all over the house, the cat meowing as if you have left for a weeks on end. All of this is natural to a cat, even as it is annoying to us

New Cat Causing an Odor Problem?
Recently, a friend said she'd gotten a new cat from a male friend and the cat was spraying and urinating outside the litter box



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Worlds First Bio-engineered Pet

GenPet
See The Gen Pets


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.

Meet My Cats

I am a slave to 8 cats

'cat in heat

Rare Picture Of All My Cats



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

'cat stomped to death
Cassidy and Snowflake Same mom different litters - Rescued from a feral colony in San Antonio

'custom road bike stand
Cassidy was born with a club foot and two different color eyes

'cat need a collar
Cassidy runs and plays just like her normal sisters

'introducing two cats
Sarafena - Queen of the Witches

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Cookie Monster came from a local flea market

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

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Starvin Marvin - AKA "Whizzer" - Our only Tom. Marvin Has FHIV but is healthy and living high on the hog.

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Newest Articles

Keeping Your Geriatric Cat Healthy

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

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

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

According to Dr. Byron, geriatric cat owners should also increase their awareness of how their cat is acting and feeling. It is important to be able to recognize what is normal for your cat so that when there is a change you can recognize it. She explains that a trip to the veterinarian is warranted if your cat is displaying any of the following signs or symptoms:
Continue Reading About Keeping Your Geriatric Cat Healthy


Are You Getting Ready To Travel With Your Cat?

Traveling with your cat is sometimes your choice and sometimes a necessity. Lots of decisions and thinking can make it a safe and non freak out event. Cats like a stable and same old routine type of life. When you have to go away, then you have to decide what is best suited to your cats well being. What is easy for you, is not necessarily what is best for your cat.

Have a secure cat carrier, soft or hard. Soft is nice because it offers some give and is easy to hold in your arms, when your cat is frightened. It works very nicely in car travel. Hard is good for commercial travel, because it protects your cat from bumps and rough handling.

With either cat carrier take an old T-shirt that you have worn, that has your bodys scent on it and put it in the carrier. A favorite small blanket or something that will fit in the carrier, is also a good idea. It will help to calm the cat.

Remember that while you know what is going on, your cat is surrounded by new noises, scents, and people it does not know. It will also sense your nervousness of getting there on time and checking in.

Take your cat in for a check up with the vet. Make sure all shots are up to date and that you carry the paper work to prove it, in case there is a problem while traveling.
Continue Reading About Are You Getting Ready To Travel With Your Cat?


Important Cat Litter Box Health Concerns

Cats are the most popular pets in the United States. According to the latest version of the U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook (2002 Edition) there were almost 70 Million pet cats in the United States. Why are cats so popular? There are as many answers to this question as there are cat owners, but the low health risks cats pose to their owners is certainly near the top of this list. Even though the potential health risks cats pose to people are small, it is important that cat owners are aware of these risks and understand how to reduce them.

The majority of all risks stemming from cat ownership are associated with the cat litter box and/or cat feces. There are two categories of risks. The first category contains health risks posed by bacteria and parasites to both cat owners and their cats. The second category contains injuries resulting from an automatic litter box or self cleaning litter box.

Primarily the health problems experienced by cat owners or their cats come from the first category and the most significant of these risks is called Toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a tiny parasite called Toxoplasma gondii which can be found in raw or undercooked meat, unwashed fruits and vegetables, dirty cat litter boxes and outdoor soil where cat feces can be found. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more than 60 million people in the United States may be infected with the Toxoplasma parasite(1). Fortunately, very few people ever experience any symptoms because a healthy person's immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness. However, pregnant women and individuals who have compromised immune systems, such as individuals infected with the HIV virus, are at risk and should take precautions to avoid being infected by the parasite. For people in this group a Toxoplasma infection could cause serious health problems to the individual or to a pregnant woman’s unborn child.

Again, most of the 60 million plus American’s infected with Toxoplasmosis parasite will never experience any symptoms. Most of those who do experience symptoms will simply think they have the Flu as the most common symptoms include swollen glands, fever, headache, muscle pain, or a stiff neck. For those in the high risk group, Toxoplasmosis can cause damage to the brain, eyes and internal organs. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, children born with Toxoplasma gondii can suffer from hearing loss, mental retardation, and blindness with some children developing brain or eye problems years after birth(2). The CDC estimates that 400-4000 fetuses are infected with the Toxoplasma gondii parasite each year and as many as 80 infants die from Toxoplasmosis annually (2).

So how does an individual contract Toxoplasmosis? A Toxoplasmosis infection is caused by ingesting the Toxoplasma gondi parasite. Most cat owners are infected with the parasite by accidentally ingesting infected cat feces. This happens when a person touches their mouth after handling a cat litter box, working in a garden or sand box or touching anything that has come in contact with cat feces
Continue Reading About Important Cat Litter Box Health Concerns


Adopting a Cat from an Animal Shelter

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

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

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

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


I Think My Cat is In Heat, What Do I Do?

Cat's Heat Cycle
If you ahve an un-spayed cat, whether because you haven't gotten around to having her spayed or because you don't believe it spaying female animals or whatever the reason, you should be prepared for the cat to go into heat.

Usually a cat will come into her first season between 4 and 10 months old. That is a pretty lengthy time span, which is why if you don't want to deal with the cat going into heat, you should consider spaying the cat as soon as your vet recommends.

A cat's normal heat cycle lasts between 7 to 10 days, and occurs every 2 to 3 weeks.

If you do not spay your cat and you do not breed her, there is a high risk that the female cat will develop cancer in her reproductive organs or she can develop pyometra, which is a fatal infection in the uterus. So, needless to say if you do not want to breed your cat, then it's highly suggested that you spay the cat by at least 6 months old.

Signs of a Cat in Heat
Any or all of the below signs may indicate that your cat is in heat.
* More affectionate.
* Rolls around on the floor more than usual.
* Carries tail to one side.
* Very vocal, meowing a lot, with a more piercing tone.
* Points bum in the air with head and front half of the body on the ground.
* Licking vulva area.
* Rubs face against you or furniture more than usual.
* If an inside cat, she may try desperately to escape and run outside.
Precautions to Consider When Your Cat is In Heat
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Pet Food Field Trip

I took a pet food field trip to Walmart yesterday. It was a discouraging visit. I won't mention any pet foods by name - but the trip provided me with some valuable pet food sales tricks to share with you.

The number one interesting marketing technique - and I have changed the exact words to protect the identity of this pet food (gotta play nice)...Blazoned across one pet food was Crunchy Beefy Nuggets. Did you catch it? Crunchy Beefy Nuggets is a trademark name (little TM after the Nuggets) - it's a name! It has nothing to do with the pet food - it is literally just a name. Very slick.

The most common sales technique I found was pet foods that are 'flavored'. The actual name of the pet food was 'Steak and Vegetable Flavor' or 'Chicken and Fish Flavor' - one even got very specific with the name mentioning Albacore Tuna and Yellow Fin Tuna FLAVOR. The trick there is the pet food is just FLAVORED with steak and vegetables or Albacore Tuna - that's not really what's in the pet food!!! Again - it's just the flavor. Most people do not get that - they see Albacore Tuna and Yellow Fin Tuna or they see Steak and Vegetable --- they don't see Flavor. Most pet owners just assume that since the front of the pet food bag - in big bold letters says Albacore Tuna on it - it's got Albacore Tuna inside the bag. If the food actually had Steak and Albacore Tuna in it - it wouldn't say 'Flavor' on the front - it would say 'with Steak and Albacore Tuna' and it would cost more than $.50 cents a can or $5.00 a bag (Albacore Tuna does cost more than Albacore Tuna Flavor).

One of the Walmart pet foods stated 'No Fillers' on the front of the bag. However in the ingredient list I found Ground Corn, Chicken by-products, Corn Gluten Meal to be the first three ingredients of the pet food. That reads like fillers to me!
Continue Reading About Pet Food Field Trip


Everything About Cat Airline Travel You Need to Know

For a cat, airline travel is extremely stressful. Prevent anxiety and stress in your cat by following a few simple guidelines. Each airline has specific rules on traveling with your cat, so make sure you know if your cat will be stored in the baggage area or if you can keep your cat and cat carrier with you on the flight. Veterinary Approval Is Usually Required While a cat sits in his cat carrier waiting to be placed in the baggage compartment, he may be exposed to outside elements. Many airlines refuse to take responsibility for a cat becoming chilled or overheated. Therefore, they require pet owners to supply a letter from their veterinarian, called an acclimation certificate, stating the cat is healthy and able to withstand temperature extremes.

Some airlines will request proof of recent vaccinations, including rabies, before boarding your pet. If you are traveling out of the country, make sure you've checked to see if your animal will face a quarantine when you reach your destination. Quarantines are stressful on both pet owners and their cat.

Choosing a Cat Airline Carrier
Airlines all require cat crates for air travel. Your cat carrier should be large enough for a cat to move around. Once you've boarded your cat, airline personnel will not allow you to take the cat from the carrier if the cat is with you. Make sure the cat has room to move and that there is room for a food and water dish. The water dish should be one that is filled from the outside. While the cat is flying, you will not be able to open the cage door.

Other features to watch for:
•Area for writing your name and contact information in case the cat carrier is lost
Continue Reading About Everything About Cat Airline Travel You Need to Know


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.

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
Homemade Kitten Food
Visit the author's website, http://newbornkittens.net to learn more about newborn kittens, as well as their raising and care

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Homemade Kitten Food

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cat allergies

How to Litter Train A Kitten

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cat litter box location strategies

New Kitten Care - How to Kitten-proof Your Home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cat allergies

Kitten Feeding with a Bottle

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cat allergies

Getting Ready for the Newborn Kittens

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cat allergies

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The Sphynx cat is a very unusual and rare breed. They are often referred to as the Canadian Hairless Cat. They have very little fur and lack of whiskers. What fur some Sphynx cats may have will appear as a very fine down. The skin of the Sphynx can exhibit colors and markings and they have sometime been mistaken for Chihuahuas.

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Feline acne is a common problem seen in cats. It is found on the cat's chin & lips. It is generally accepted that this is caused by plastic bowls and for many cats the solution is simply substituting the plastic bowl for a stainless steel bowl or a glass bowl. The problem may be caused by the inability of the cat to clean his chin properly after drinking the milk resulting in a nutrient rich habitat for bacteria. Several factors appear to be associated with its development including stress, a suppressed immune system, poor grooming habits, the presence of other diseases, contact or atopic dermatitis, and skin conditions in which abnormal amounts of oils are produced.

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Exotic - the Facts Every Owner of This Cat Breed Should Know
In the 1960s a Persian was crossed with a Domestic Shorthair in an attempt to create a Persian with only short hair. The result was today's Exotic, a breed that looks strikingly similar to the Persian, but with less maintenance involved, hence the nickname, 'the lazy man's Persian.' There are long- and shorthaired varieties of Exotic. The coat of a Longhaired is very similar to a Persian. It is very thick and dense, and requires daily grooming, along with regular bathing. The Shorthaired Exotic coat is, well, short. However, that does not mean it does not require some maintenance from the owner.

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