Cat's First Vet Visit

Cat's First Vet Visit: So you've got a new cat, and she needs a checkup. On your first vet visit, your vet will take the lead and give you some basic information, and probably will go through a fairly standard routine.

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Kitten's First Vet Visit

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Kitten's First Vet Visit

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Your Cat's First Vet Visit



So you've got a new cat, and she needs a checkup. On your first vet visit, your vet will take the lead and give you some basic information, and probably will go through a fairly standard routine.

Upwards of 90% of the information you need, however, will be based on the questions that you ask your vet. Somewhere, typically towards the end of the checkup, your vet will ask you if you have any questions.

Usually, by that time, your adrenaline has been pumping, and you've been overloaded. Your cat has been stressed and so have you.... you are both ready to leave. Do not let this opportunity pass you by.

Take this time to take the lead, and ask your questions. What questions? Well, the ones that you'll forget if you don't already have them written down. Yes, write them down now.

Much of the information being distributed today on feline diet, health, and cat care in general is either fear based (e.g. raw meat diets, vaccination scares), or profit based (i.e. advertising). It's important, therefore, to get your vet's take on some of these issues.

Here is a list of issues that you can use to formulate your questions. This is by no means all inclusive, and you'll probably have some specific ones of your own.

The important thing is that this will spark a dialogue between you and your vet that will help both of you to better care for your cat.

Here are some subjects to create your questions around...

Vaccination options: there are options for both type and schedule, and there are risks, so be sure to find out what your vet recommends for your cat.

Diet and nutrition: ask about commercial cat foods and brands as they are not all the same. What about alternatives like home made cat food, raw meat diets, and feeding table scraps?

Common cat owner mistakes: ask your vet which common mistakes to avoid.

Emergency procedures: find out what emergency procedures your vet has now, should you need it later.

Indoor or Outdoor: this is a big subject as it greatly affects your life, and the life span of your cat.

Cat litter and litter boxes: many choices can be narrowed to only a few by asking your vet for advice.

Common diseases and their signs: understanding what the common signs of disease are will help you detect problems in your cat early, and may save her life one day.

Use the above list to get started. As you write your questions, more will come to you. Write them down, even if the answers appear obvious. There is no question too small to ask your vet about the health of your cat.
About the Author

Kurt Schmitt is an experienced cat owner and the author of "7 Questions to Ask Your Vet... A Guide for Cat Lovers." For the answers to all your cat care questions, visit "The Website for Cat Lovers."


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

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

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

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

Cons: Some cats don't take well to being taken outside of the comfort of their home, and will become stressed. The majority of cats will settle in quickly, but some will find it an upsetting experience.
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How To Keep Cats Off Kitchen Benches

This is a common question asked of cat owners. Most people assume that a stern "off" will stop your cat jumping onto kitchen benches. What is likely to happen by doing this is that your cat will learn not to jump up when you are around, but may continue with this behaviour when you're not home.

Many cat owners are happy for their cat to jump onto kitchen benches, but there are good reasons why this practice shouldn't be allowed.

* Safety: There is the chance that your cat could jump onto the hot stove top either burning itself by direct contact with the hotplates or knocking over a pan with boiling liquids. It may ingest cleaning products you have used in the kitchen such as bleach in the sink.
* Hygiene: Tiny particles of cat urine & faeces will be on the paws from using the litter tray. These will be transferred to the counter top. This may cause no illness in humans but why take the chance? What if your cat has been infected with toxoplasmosis or has a parasitic infection which you are not aware of?
* Food: Another safety concern is if your cat eats food from the bench which is dangerous, for example cooked chicken bones. Do you really want your feline tucking into Sunday's roast which is thawing?

There are several methods which can be used to discourage this behaviour using what is known as "remote punishment". This means the environment is responsible for creating a deterrent to jumping onto the benches, and not you. The focus is to make countertops an unattractive area to cats.
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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.
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How To Find a Lost Cat

Cats can occasionally wander off, and this can be a very scary time for pet owners. Most cats are found quickly, but it can take some effort for this to happen. If you are trying to find a lost cat, here are the steps you should take:

1. Confirm that the cat is actually lost. Cats are known for being excellent at hiding, and may simply be taking a nap somewhere. Search your home thoroughly, and your yard if your cat is allowed outdoors. Confirming that you cannot find the cat is the first step of the search. Listen carefully for your cat’s meows; it is possible that your cat has wandered into somewhere where they have gotten stuck.

2. Try to entice the cat back home. Even if your indoor-only cat has escaped the home, they are often able to be lured back with food. Set a bowl of food outside and see if the cat comes wandering back. Tuna fish or soft cat food often works best for this, because their smell is easier to detect for a cat than that of dry cat food. However, watch out for other animals who may also be attracted by the scent.

3. Look around the neighborhood. Check all of the streets of your neighborhood. If your neighbors are outside, ask them if they have seen your cats. They may have seen your cat wandering around the neighborhood before you realized that he was lost. Call your cat’s name while searching the neighborhood, and your cat may come running. Make any other noise that your pet is familiar with, like the sound of a treat box being shaken or his favorite squeaky toy.

4. Put up signs. Place signs up around your neighborhood on mailboxes and posts. Your poster should say “LOST CAT” and include the cat’s color and a description as well as your contact info. Include a photo of your cat, if you have one. A color photo is best. These should be distributed up to a one mile radius from where your pet went missing.
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How to Treat Cat Eye Infections - Secrets From a Holistic Veterinarian

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

Virtually all cats are exposed to Herpesvirus as kittens. For most cats, no further problems occur. However, Herpes is a sneaky virus, and it likes to lie dormant until it gets a chance to get one up on the immune system. Because stress suppresses the immune system, cats under stress are particularly susceptible to recurrent Herpes flare-ups. Herpes is irritating and painful, and usually causes quite a bit of redness, puffiness, and a watery discharge or brownish crusty matter at the corners of the eyes. It often attacks only one eye, producing a lopsided squint. Often the cat will squint against bright light, or try to avoid it altogether.

There are several holistic treatment options for Herpes. One of the simplest is l-lysine, an amino acid that is inexpensive and readily available at the health food store. It comes in capsules or tablets, usually 500 mg. Capsules are much easier to work with, if you can get them. The dose is 500 mg twice a day for 5 days (total 1,000 mg/day). Lysine has a slightly salty taste, and is easily disguised by mixing with canned cat food or baby food. That seems like a lot--but that's what it takes to work. Once the acute episode is under control, a maintenance dose of 250 mg per day can be given indefinitely.

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

There is a human homeopathic formula that works very well, and very quickly, for cats. It's called "The Herpes Formula" by Aeura. Dissolve one tablet in a 1-ounce dropper bottle filled with a mixture of 80% water and 20% vodka (as a preservative), shake well, and give about half a dropperful by mouth once or twice a day. (Do NOT put it in the eyes!) If you make up a 1-ounce batch, it will last several weeks. It may seem a bit expensive up front, but one bottle of The Herpes Formula will provide years of treatment.
Continue Reading About How to Treat Cat Eye Infections




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Homemade Kitten 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
newbornkittens.net
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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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 http://www.My-Pet-Cat.com

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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.

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.

About the Author
Liz Allan
Liz Allan has 25 years experience of caring for cats. To find out more about new kitten care, visit: http://www.cat-behavior-explained.com/all-about-kittens.html

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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
newbornkittens.net.
Learn more about newborn kittens and other aspects of kitten care by visiting the author's website at http://newbornkittens.net.

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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 http://www.trainingyourcats.com

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