Category: Blog

Domestic Cat Breeds

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Have you always wanted a cat, but heard some breeds make better pets than others?
Maybe you have always wanted a cat, but do not know anything about them? There are plenty of ways to learn about cats and what breeds fit your personality. The choice can come from having an indoor, outdoor or indoor and outdoor cat. The tough and smart survive in the out of doors. Small cats are often pray for birds and other wildlife and should be kept indoors. Tomcats, a mixed breed, are great at surviving outdoors and mousers. So let us look at a few breeds of cats and then you will be able to choose which one may be right for your lifestyle.

Siamese: The Siamese cat can be a fickle creature. They often require a lot of attention when they determine it is necessary. They tend to meow quite a bit and can tear up a home if left alone for too long. These are the downsides. Siamese can be great pets, especially when raised from infancy. They are often white with brown ears and blue eyes. You may recognize them from Lady and the Tramp? Those two were a little mean and not the typical portrayal of a Siamese. Siamese are generally very affectionate. They are also one of the most intelligent of the cat species. They tend to be very social, which is why they meow or “talk” a lot. A sign for attention is usually a very vocal meow much like a babies cry. Siamese typically bond to one person very strongly and are territorial of that person.

Persian: The Persian cat breed is one of the oldest cats around. They are longhaired cats with beautiful shinny coats. They are very soft and friendly; however, they are prone to health problems such as allergies. The Persian does not always play as much as other breeds, but they do enjoy a bit of fun for exercise especially in a social situation. They love to have other cats around to play with as well as have a lap available when they are in need of a lap. Persians are a variety of colors from solid black, white or a mix of white and browns around the face. A popular Persian is the Himalayan.

Manx: The Manx is known for its stubby tail or having no tail. The downside to Manx cats is the lack of tail. Often a Manx can suffer from worms and other parasites due to improper cleaning and not having the protection of a tail. This does not mean you should discount the Manx as a breed. The Manx breed is extremely intelligent and playful. They are a lot like dogs in the play area because they can fetch when you through toys and bring them back to you. They are very social animals and depend on human care. They don’t like to be left alone for too long, so it is wise to have other cats to play with when you are gone during the day. The best home for a Manx is one filled with children.

These are just three of the more popular breeds of cats. There are over a dozen cat breeds to choose from and finding the one to fit your lifestyle is important. Cats are very social and intelligent, but some breeds can be loners. Most often, a cat chooses when the time is right and what type of attention they want at the time. The phrase “you do not own a cat it owns you” is very true.

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Basic Nutrition For Cats

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Cats are what are known as obligate carnivores. An obligate carnivore is one that
must east meat. You cannot just turn her out to graze in a pasture. The digestive tract of
cats has been shortened and optimized proteins from meat. They simply don’t have the
dental or digestive apparatus to process plant materials. It’s therefore surprising, given
their physical inability to process plants, that you will still find cats nibbling on plants
from time to time. There are many theories for why cats would nibble plants. They may
be trying to balance an upset digestion or add missing vitamins and minerals. Perhaps
they simply like the taste. Maybe it’s a combination of factors. The jury is still out on this
matter.

Fortunately these days, we don’t have to go out and hunt for food to feed our cats.
There are a large number of very good, nutritionally balanced foods available in pet
stores to satisfy any cats’ tastes. Try to feed good quality food. It really does make a
difference in the health and appearance of your pet. Pick one that your cat likes and stick
with it. Cats don’t actually need a lot of variety. Changing their food constantly tends to
just make them picky eaters.

Nutritional requirements for your pet will vary by age and size. What she needs as
a kitten will be very different than what she will need as an adult. Be sure to follow the
instructions on the bag to avoid feeding too much or too little. The average adult cat will
need about one cup of food a day. Cats appreciate consistency in their feeding schedules.
Try to feed them at the same time each day. Also, try to keep their bowls out of high
traffic areas. It’s hard to eat your dinner when people are stepping on you!

Try not to feed your cat people food. Some things, such as chocolate and raw
liver, are actually toxic to cats. Others cause digestive upset. Remove the bones from any
cooked meat you might want to give to your cat. Poultry and pork bones in particular are
given to splintering and can injure your cat.

When you need to switch from one type of food to the other, do so in a gradual
process. Shifting gradually from one to the other over the course of a week will help
prevent digestive upsets. You may need to switch foods because your store may stop
carrying the brand you like or perhaps your kitten has grown old enough to graduate to
adult food. Do the changeover slowly and your cat will thank you for it.

Feeding treats is something for you to decide if you want to do it. Some people
are dead set against them. Others lavish treats on their pets at every opportunity. There
are many good cat treats on the market today. Read their directions carefully. You don’t
want to overindulge your cat and turn her into a furry beach ball with legs. The only other
thing that a cat requires is water. Do your best to keep a nice fresh supply of water
available for your pet. With a little thought and planning you can keep your pet healthy
and happy for a long time to come.

Choosing a Cat Litter For Your Aging Cat


As cats grow older, a host of feline health concerns can arise, including diabetes.

“Diabetes is a common problem in older cats,” said Dr. Kenton Beard, a licensed veterinarian. “They produce a larger volume of urine, and it does tend to have a stronger smell. That’s due to the fact that cats, compared to humans, can’t regulate their glucose levels as well.”

Therefore, senior cats with diabetes need to have their litter box cleaned more frequently. For this reason, some owners of older cats are realizing they need a more effective litter – one that stops the strongest odors, handles a high volume of urine and can be easily scooped and cleaned.

One alternative is a natural cat litter such as Swheat Scoop, a clumping litter that’s made from naturally processed wheat. Through a patented process, its natural enzymes work to eliminate, rather than mask, litter box odors – even the extra offensive odors associated with diabetic cats.

The natural wheat starches in Swheat Scoop form firm clumps to make cleanups easy. And since each granule absorbs liquid like a sponge, the litter stays drier longer.

Because Swheat Scoop is clay-free, the clumps can be easily flushed down the toilet without harming sewer or septic systems, eliminating the unpleasant task of disposing litter waste in the trash daily.

And for older cats who may have more sensitive respiratory systems, it’s also 100 percent fragrance-free and chemical-free.

Simple Dog Training Tips For Any Dog Lover

Training your dog is not a quick process, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult one. Any dog can be trained, and any dog owner can learn to train their dog. Follow the advice in this article for some ways to make the process easier, faster, and more effective.

One tip to keep in mind when training your dog is that there is a difference between discipline and anger. This is important because your dog only understands right or wrong commands. Your anger will only scare and confuse the dog if it isn’t directly related to a behavior you wish to modify.

While training your dog, observe his body language and general behavior closely. Look for signs of enthusiasm. Is his tail wagging? Does he follow you around? This shows he’s ready to learn. If you see your dog is scared, bored or nervous, stop what you are doing and reevaluate.

Generosity towards your dog goes a long way when you are trying to train your pet. Reward your pooch where rewarding is due and don’t be stingy with the doggie treats. You and your pet both deserve a reward for all your hard work and make sure to put enough time aside for your dog’s training.

If your dog is a big bruiser, be easy on your hands and certain of having a good strong leash by using a horse lead rope as a leash. These come in a standard 6′ length in soft cotton or synthetic rope with a very sturdy snap attached. They come in lots of pretty colors and are durable and strong.

Set a routine as much as possible when training your dog. Dogs respond well to regular activities such as exercise or bathroom breaks, so putting them on a routine encourages good behavior. Feed your dog at the same time each day to further establish a routine, and be as consistent as possible.

If your family includes four-legged friends, consider an “invisible fence” pet containment system. These fencing systems place a wire around the perimeter of your property in which you wish to contain your pet. Your dog or cat is then fitted with a small, discrete radio collar. When the animal approaches the perimeter, the collar will emit a warning sound which induces the animal to remain within your yard.

While dog training with a leash, make sure that you are keeping the collar snug, yet a little bit loose. When the collar is too tight, it can actually make the dog want to pull you. A little slack can go a long way when you are dog training with a leash.

Train your dog by reinforcing positive behavior. This does not mean to punish your pet when he does something bad; instead, simply do not reinforce negative behavior. Negative enforcement might just make your dog scared of you. Positive reinforcement will ensure that your dog will want to do good things more often in order to receive treats and praise.

No matter what you do, dog training can be a difficult process. Many dogs are easier to train than others, but all dogs will respond to the same basic techniques. Having read this article, you will now be more prepared to start off making your dog a better canine citizen.

How To Select Cat Toys

Caption: My 15 year old cutie. She was getting in the zen loaf mode by watching the rain. Credit: Snowdustfairy
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In the next few paragraphs, we will explore new ideas and thoughts that may help you achieve your goal and decide what is best for you when choosing toys for your cats.

Toys for girl cats and boys:

When the mouse is away, cats play. And cats have the tendency to both play hard and play soft. Toys are to cats the same as toys are to dogs. It helps fight the boredom experienced by these pets as well as gives our feline friends the opportunity to practice and use their natural inclination to chase and hunt for prey. It also gives the cat owner that great chance to play with their pets, an experience that will aid in bonding their relationship.

But what toys are best for cats? The following are tips and helpful advice to get that perfect toy for the cat owners perfect pets.

Play safe:

The good thing about cats is that they can play ball inside the house and the owners will never know it. Still, there may be things inside the house that cats could find attractive yet might actually endanger their health and safety. Houses must be cat-friendly. As much as possible, take away any string, yarn, needles, rubber bands or other objects that could easily be swallowed by cats. These things could be lethal to cats. Do not let them play with these articles no matter how cute they may appear to be.

Play soft:

Choose soft toys that can easily be machine-washed. It is best that the toys chosen to be played with by cats are also the toys marked as safe to be played with by children below three years old. Toys such as these usually contain fillings that are not hazardous. Also, avoid giving cats toys that are hard and rigid, these types do not appeal to them that much.

Know your cat, know their toy:

It is best that one also familiarize themselves with your cat. Doing so helps in ones selection of the kind of plaything that best serves the size of ones cat – the kind of activity the cat likes and its unique preferences. Know the environment in which the cat likes to spend its time the most.

Choose active toys:

Toys that are great to play with for cats are usually the round plastic ones (such as rings from shower curtains, plastic balls, golf balls, balls used in ping-pong) as these give cats the opportunity to chase and paw around. They could also carry these in their mouths, make sure though that these are big enough they cannot be swallowed but not so large that they cannot carry them in their mouths.

Choose active play:

Balls can be placed inside bath tubs filled with water. Watch as cats frolic and play on and around the toy. It is just as enjoyable to the cat as it is fun for the cat owner. Another added feature that could be placed on balls are bells. One not only sees how cats play, one could also listen and take pleasure in the playful sound
.
Another simple yet effective plaything for cats is a paper bag. Use paper bags that do not have handles. These bags are good for pouncing around. Cats hide in them too. As much as possible, avoid the plastic ones as cats have the tendency to chew these and they may eat the plastic. This is not good.

Toys with tails:

Cats like playing with soft toy animals – specially the ones that have tails. They either bite them, paw them or chase these little stuffed toys around. It is best if these toys are as big or as small as the cats playing them.

Toys with catnip:

Catnip is sometimes used as stuffing for toys that are soft. Putting catnip in such playthings make the toys more enjoyable to carry, kick and throw around. More importantly, it is safe for cats to chew on, roll around in, or eat.
It is okay for owners to place catnip on carpeted floors, or (to make clean-up easy) on towels. There are now catnip oils that can be placed on carpets, and they usually stay there. Cats detect these too. Although small cats, specifically kittens who are younger than six months have shown a certain kind of immunity to catnip.

All in all, it is best that cat owners define what kind of toy should be played by their cats. It is advisable that different kinds of toys be given on certain days, and that displaying all toys simultaneously may not be a good idea. Cats can easily tire of seeing the same fluffy toy animal again and again. Variety always works best. However if cats show a certain liking to a specific toy, let them play with it, or sleep with it – whichever they like. In closing, it will benefit you to seek out other resources on this topic if you feel that you don’t yet have a firm understanding of the subject matter.

Pet Grooming Options for Cats

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When considering pet grooming options, one must decide which pet groomer will be best. There are many dog groomers out there, but very few cat groomers. If you have a cat you should look carefully at what specific facilities offer cat grooming expertise. Cats are finicky animals and they can be very hard to groom, putting the groomer at risk for bites or scratches. Choosing a professional cat groomer is a important decision the pet owner must make to ensure the health and happiness of their cat. As with all animals a bad pet groomer can make mistakes and unintentionally hurt the animal destroying confidence in making the cat emotionally distraught.

Cat pet grooming is a difficult job and not many people are up to the task. Some of the best dog groomers refuse to groom cats due to the fact of the danger to both themselves and the animal. Most cats do not like water and bathing them can be a adventure as both cat and human fight for dominance. Most cats become emotionally distraught when immersed in water, and it takes a experience pet groomer to calm the cat and at the same time protect both parties involved.

Pet grooming techniques have been designed to keep the animal safe and give the animal confidence in the person doing the bathing. A good cat groomer will use the necessary gloves and other equipment to make bathing a more pleasant experience for the feline.

The most difficult job for the cat pet grooming expert is to cut mats off long-haired cats. Breeds such as Persians, and Blue Hairs are notorious for having big mats several inches in diameter which are tightly packed against the skin. Pet grooming with these types of animals needs to be particularly diligent in finding these mats and cut them short enough to brush out without actually shaving the hair off the skin. For long-haired cats to have no hair on their body opens them up for infection and disease. Serious skin infections can result which is constantly in both time and money. As with other animals having the hair shaved completely off and living in an outside environment can lead to skin cancer and other deadly skin diseases.

The choice of a cat pet groomer is a serious one for the pet owner. Sometimes in rural areas a pet grooming expert may be some distance away. The owner must be prepared to drive a cat to the groomer, leave them overnight, and pick them up the next day. Before leaving the groomer, inspect your animal and make sure there are no serious cuts or abrasions. Also run your fingers through the animal’s coat to make sure that all mats are taken off properly.

If you’re happy with the services of the pet grooming experience, it is customary to tip the professional at least 15% of the total charges. To ensure less frequent trips to the grooming expert, it is advisable to brush your cat out daily and avoid the unsightly mats as they appear.

Cat Care Symptoms that You Need to Know

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When we experience pain in our bodies, we can easily tell someone that there is something wrong and that person will be able to bring you to the hospital. Pets cannot do that but watching them can tell you a lot of things which is why owners should practice cat care and be aware of the symptoms.

Here are a few diseases you should watch out for and their symptoms.

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is the most feared disease and in fact is the leading cause of death among cats. It is caused by a coronavirus infection and the worse part is that the symptoms are very common with other ailments so it is really hard to tell.

There is also Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) that is similar to HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). Just like the human version, it is a life long infection that progresses slowly and kills the cat.

Cats can also in infected by Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV). It is a retrovirus that causes fatal cancerous and non-cancerous diseases. Fortunately, it can be treated using some household detergents and bleach as well as warmth and drying. It is transmitted through the saliva, tears, urine and feces of infected cats. Unlike the other two, it cannot survive that long in the environment so it is only contagious when the infected cat stays with another cat for a long period of time.

Worms are also another threat to cats and this is caused by a fungal infection that is spread through the spores. Since it is a self-limiting disease, you don’t to do anything to make it go away. It will eventually clear up but it may just take a few months.

If you cat is overweight, chances are it already has feline diabetes. The symptoms of this disease include excessive urination and thirst as well as weight loss or gain. Vets are not yet sure what causes this but there have been a few research studies that have shown that there is a link between pancreatic disease, hormonal imbalance and certain medications.

The symptoms of most of the diseases mentioned are very similar. These include diarrhea, vomiting, lameness lasting for more than 5 days in one leg, a decrease in vision, excessive panting, a seizure, blood in the stool or urine, hair loss, persistent coughing or gagging and breathing heavily or rapidly at rest. In order to find the answer, your cat will have to undergo some tests.

The vet will take some blood, urine and feces samples. Any input that you have observed and give will also be useful. When the tests come out, only then will the proper treatment be administered to the cat as each case varies so what worked for one cat may not have the same positive effect with yours.

Your cat could still be healthy if you gave it constant attention. This can be done by feeding it high quality food, giving it fresh water, allowing it to exercise, proper grooming, making sure it stays indoors and taking it regularly to the vet.

If you have missed any of these simple steps, something wrong is bound to happen and you will soon notice a change in the behavior of the feline and doing nothing about it just going to make matters worse. So observe proper cat care tips and look out for symptoms.

How Often Will I Need to Take Kitty to the Vet?


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The first visit to your local veterinary’s clinic should be as soon after bringing her home as possible. The vet will be able to assure you that she’s in tip-top condition, advise you on the kind of food and how much she should be having, what shots she should have now, and whether or not she’s currently a home for fleas and worms.

This is a good opportunity for you to see how the vet handles the kitten, and also to ask any questions you may have about your cat’s health in general. Use your time with the veterinary wisely. Whilst the vet examines kitty, ask if there are any kitten care leaflets you could have, or any books she recommends. Ask when the kitten can go outdoors, what’s the best way of litter tray training her, how to stop her from scratching your furniture, does she need any vitamins added to her food, how much milk does she need – any questions, it doesn’t matter how dumb you think they may sound to a professional, you aren’t a professional and you need the answers!

Once the initial examination is complete, the essential question that you should ask the vet is when you should bring the kitten back for her next “check-up”, and write that immediately into your day planner. In kittens, some veterinary clinics may want to check on your kitty every other month or so – or they may recommend a series of weekly shots to boost your kitty’s immune system ready for all those birds and mice she’s going to chase once she’s allowed outside! Once you get through this feline baby stage however, you’ll probably be advised to bring your cat into the clinic once a year for an annual shot and general health check-up.

When Kitty has the Flu

There are a number of medical conditions that affect your cat, and so having a vet that you can call for illnesses and injuries is best if you choose to keep a pet. Just like humans, cat can also get the flu. Flu in cats is due to an upper respiratory infection and can affect cats of any age, but is especially found in young or old cats. If you suspect that your cat has the flu, call your vet o get further instructions for nursing your cat back to health.

The flu in a cat will look similar to the flu in a human. Depending on what agent is causing the flu, there are a wide range of symptoms and severities. Major signs that your cat has the flu includes inflammation around the eyes and nose, discharge from the nose, a raised temperature, weakness and loss of appetite, sneezing, and coughing. It is important to get treatment for your cat immediately so that your cat is not left with chronic diseases.

Your doctor cannot cure the flu, as is also true for humans, but the symptoms of the flu can be treated. It is important for your cat to get plenty of nutrients during his or her illness, so that strength can be regained. Encouraging your cat to eat and drink is helpful, and if your cat is not adverse to water, gentle baths may be relaxing. Talk to your vet about specific treats you can use, like sardines, which will get your cat to eat more even if he or she is ill. If your cat’s condition worsens, or is very severe, it is extremely important for you to take your cat to the vet. A vet hospital stay may be necessary to allow re-hydration and feeding.

There are certain things you can do to prevent cats from getting the flu. Vaccination for the flu will drastically reduce the severity of the flu if caught. If you have multiple cats in your house, you should also consider isolation if a certain cat has the flu, since this disease spreads quickly. Clean the bowls often and disinfect your hands and clothing after handling the cat. You can also talk to your cat’s vet in order to find out other things you can do to help your cat feel better more quickly and to prevent your cat from getting the flu in the first place. Remember, vet care is always the best choice to keep your cat healthy and happy.

Cat Grooming

Caption: Morning floofer Credit: happyglum
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There are many basics that most people know come along with owning a cat. There is the litter box to attend to, and a steady supply of fresh water and food that all pets need. However, depending on the type of cat you have, you may also have to think about cat grooming. Most think of cats as pretty clean animals that take care of their own bathing needs, but there are some breeds that might need a little help in that area. Those breeds that have longer hair will have to have grooming services for cats once in while.

Long haired breeds will need cat grooming to avoid problems. Some owners do this on their own by brushing their cats on occasion, and that can keep their coats looking and feeling good. When a cat has longer hair, they shed like other cats, but the hair can be caught in the fur, and that means that mats can occur anywhere in the fur at any time. Brushing and/or combing can take out that extra hair to lower the chances of that happening. This type of cat grooming can be done at home, but you do have to keep it up to avoid painful problems.

When knots and mats occur in the fur, you may have to take your pet elsewhere for cat grooming services. You can attempt to cut out the mat on your own, but that is never a wise idea. It is just too risky for the average person because it is too easy to cut the skin of the cat along with the fur. Most knots are too close to the skin to get a clean cut. Grooming services for cats are run by those who know what they are doing, and they can take care of the problem with no harm to your pet.

When looking for cat grooming services, you can try your local pet store to see if they have grooming services for cats in-store, or if they can recommend someone to you. You can also find cat grooming services locally by looking for companies in your yellow pages or by looking it up online. You can also find recommendations from other pet owners in your area by looking up reviews on the Internet. You may have to pay for cat and other pet grooming more often than you want, but it is for the health and well-being of your pet.