Understanding Your Cat’s 5 Senses

Understanding Your Cat’s 5 Senses

Are you a cat owner who is curious about your cat and how they function on a daily basis? Of course, you cat likely cannot comfortably survive without the food and shelter you provide him or her with, but you may be curious about their senses. Do you ever find yourself wondering how well your pet can see or what their tastes are like? If so, please continue reading on.

As for your cat’s hearing, have you ever heard that your cat’s ears are similar to a satellite dish? There are many pet owner and veterinarians who make this comparison. What does this mean? It means that your cat does have a relatively good sense of hearing. You may notice your cat turn their head and move their ears when you start talking or when they hear a noise outside. This provides cats with the ability to hunt mice and other small, quite rodents.

As for your cat’s sense of touch, all pets are just like humans. They have a fine sense of touch. Whether you touch your cat’s whiskers, her paws, or her tail, it is a movement that she can notice right away. The most sensitive part of your cat’s body is their whiskers. As a cat owner, you should already know how important a full set of whiskers are to a cat. Your cat’s paws are also a sensitive area on their body.

As for your cat’s sight, he or she has good vision. It has been claimed that cats see at 1/5th the intensity of humans. Although cats cannot see perfectly in the dark, they are still able to make out distinctive shapes and movements. Cats are also able to see movement quicker than humans are. A movement that may appear as nothing to us, is a movement that a cat can notice. However, during daylight humans do have a better sense of sight.

Depending on your cat and his or her eating habits, you may assume that cats have a sensitive sense of taste. After all, many cat owners report their pets as being picky eaters. Although it may appear as if your cat is a picky eater, they logically aren’t, at least for taste reasons. In fact, cats are more likely to pick and choose their food based on smell, rather than taste.

Speaking of smell, this is the most heightened out of the five senses for your cat. Cats have a much better sense of smell than humans do. In fact, did you know that cats have about 200 million cells in and on their noses that are odor sensitive? They do. This is much more than us, humans, have. In addition to using smell as a way to decide which food to eat, cats can also use smell to determine if an environment is safe to enter. Smelling is also a method of communication for felines. It has been said that cats can smell odors that humans can’t even detect.

Now that you know how your cat’s five main senses are, you may be able to better understand the behavior that your cat displays and the habits that they develop. With that said, also be sure to use your best judgment. If your cat is refusing to eat their food, it may be something more serious than them just not liking the smell of their cat food. If your cat appears to lose or have problems with the above mentioned senses, you should consider scheduling an appointment with your veterinarian.

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Noninfectious Reasons to get Health Insurance for the Family Cat

Most people do not to think about purchasing pet health insurance for the family cat simply because it seems as if cats never get sick. The veterinary concern most cat owners worry about is what will happen if their family cat gets run over by a passing car. Cat owners who keep their cats in the house don’t even worry about that. The truth is that there are many health problems that can cause the family cat to need to visit the family veterinarian and most of them are expensive. On the rare occasions cat owners find themselves facing an emergency vet bill they wish they had purchased a pet health care policy for their cat.

When humans think about cat allergies they automatically assume you are talking about humans who are allergic to cat hair what they don’t realize is that cats can have allergies all of their own that can plague them for the rest of their lives. Some cats suffer from inhalant allergies, these are allergies caused by inhalant allergens with are airborne particles that irritate the respiratory system. Inhalant allergies often make themselves apparent in asthma like symptoms. Some cats who suffer from inhalant allergies will also have skin lesions and experience hair loss. Dusty kitty litters, pollen, perfumes, cleaning sprays, deodorizers, dust, and smoke are all things your family cat might be allergic to.

A second type of allergy cats suffer from are called contact allergies with are allergies that are caused be physical contact with a substance that causes a physical reaction (often hives, swelling, and/or hair loss). Contact allergens a house cat might be exposed to are plants, carpet fresheners/cleaners, household cleaners, dust, synthetic fibers, wool fibers, some medicated skin crams, and ink.

If your cat has any type of allergies do not treat it with an over-the-counter anti-allergy medication without your veterinarian’s advice. Some cats require veterinary care for anal gland problems. Anal glands are glands are small glands in the anal sphincter muscle. Sometimes these glands become, impacted, injured, or infected and require veterinary care.

Veterinarians say that most cat constipation is caused by a hairball that is plugging up the cat’s system. If the hairball is extremely large your veterinarian may have to perform immediate surgery to remove it. Like their human owners some cats suffer from liver and kidney disease. Liver and kidney disease is most commonly seen in older cats although some younger cats will suffer liver disease that can be caused by parasites, medications, infections, cancers, and toxins. Blood tests are normally needed to accurately diagnosis kidney or liver disease.

A potentially lethal inflammation of the pancreas is called panaceatitis. Pancreatitis can be caused by infections, shock, infections, trauma, and/or metabolic disorders. Cats that have pancreatitis typically have abdominal pain, fever, elevated heart rate. If you suspect your cat is suffering from pancreatitis you can try with holding food and pushing water spiked with electrolytes. Your vet should be consulted immediately.
Pancreatitis is often associated with diabetes.

Health Care for Older Cats

Caption: Acting out the death scene in Star Trek II. We argued about who gets to play Spock. I lost. Again. Credit: BowTieVetGuy
Source: Flickr


It may be hard for a pet owner to notice a pet cat getting older.
Outside, pet cats may show the same things- playing with toys around the home, taking naps sprawled on a favorite spot inside the home, snuggle up with you on the sofa. But inside, it might be a whole different thing. And health care for cats as they get old may change a little bit.

When caring your an aging cat, there are some things that a concerned pet owner should know about. When a cat approaches somewhere between the ages of eight or twelve years, this is the equivalent of a human being approaching middle age. This will be the time that your pet cat may be needing a bit of extra attention.

Most veterinarian generally estimate that cats start their geriatric years when they reach twelve years. This will be the time that caring for your pet cat would have to change to accommodate the needs that aging brings.

A major part of caring for older pet cats involve feeding them. As cats get older, their digestive systems do not function as efficiently as before. Aging cats may need to eat smaller and easily digestible meals in a day rather than just two square meals. Try also to make sure that you give your cat a variety of food to eat to ensure that it gets a well balanced diet.

There are also a number of cat food now available as food for the different life stages of your pet cat. There is cat food that is specially formulated for older cats as well as for the less active ones. The best advice in feeding your aging pet cat would be to ask your vet about the nutritional needs of your cat.

When cats age, they also start to lead a less active lifestyle. Whereas cats enjoy playing around and hunting during their younger years, older cats seem to prefer spending more time quietly around the home. This would be a benefit for some pet owners since they no longer have to worry about their once playful cat overturning and breaking things around the house. But this sedentary lifestyle would not be good for the cat.

Even though your pet cat would you may still need to keep them active since the exercise would help keep them healthy. Try to have them active as often as possible to keep them active. As they age, cats may also need to have their vaccinations up to date. Older cats have a less efficient immune system and may need vaccinations to keep them protected from diseases.

Dental problems may also become a concern for old cats when they become prone to having loose teeth, tartar buildup, and sore gums. This can have a big effect on your pet cat’s well-being. Dental problems may be the reason why they are not eating well. A regular dental check up might be needed as part of health care for old cats.

Understanding Why Cats Fight

If you have a household with multiple cats, you know that cat fights do happen. Even if you cats generally get along, at times, they can still fight. While humans may not completely understand why their kitties are fighting, cats have their reasons for fighting. Some of these reasons are similar to the reasons that humans have disputes. Cats express their discontent with other cats by picking fights. The reasons why cats fight can help you determine how to prevent your cats from fighting in the future.

Fighting for their territory: Many cats fight because of their territory. One of the reasons that cats fight is because they feel like an unwanted cat has invaded their territory, even if it is a cat that has lived with them for a long time. Cats are much more territorial than dogs and the gender of the cat has very little to do with it. Contrary to what many people believe, female cats are sometimes just as territorial as their male counterparts are. If you have two cats in your home, you might notice that one cat hisses and swats at the other whenever he feels his territory has been invaded. This can also happen if you bring a new cat into the home. They are simply defending their territory.

Social ranking: Either male cats frequently threaten and fight with each other for social ranking or despite what you may think; even neutered males may do this. If you have multiple cats, especially more than one male cat, one cat is usually considered the “alpha male” and will be at the top of the cat hierarchy. Two cats might posture their bodies, then begin howling and screaming at one another. If one of the cats walks away or backs down, then the catfight is usually avoided. However, if neither one wants to throw in the towel and surrender, then one cat will attack the other by jumping forward and attempting to bite the neck. The other cat will fall on his back and tries to bite or scratch the attacker with its hind legs. The two cats might go through this several times before walking away. There are usually no injuries sustained in these kinds of fights. You may even notice that kittens or young cats play with one another this way. Most of the time, you will not need to interfere.

Aggression: Cats also fight as a result of some kind of redirected aggression and this is quite common, especially with indoor cats. Your cat might be looking outside the window at another cat or dog crossing the yard. Your cat begins to feel territorial and aggressive at this cat, but since this other cat cannot be reached, he may instead attack the other family cat. Another example is if you are giving your cats treats. One cat may reach the treat first and begin eating. The other one wants a bite, but the cat that is eating may become aggressive over the treat and begin to swipe or yowl and the other cat.

If you find your cats fighting occasionally, you should know that this is common and quite typical of cats. Most of the time, you will be able to tell whether or not your cats are fighting for “blood” or just playing around. The time to stop a fight is when it gets nasty otherwise; allow your cats to work it out themselves. If you feel the need to stop a catfight, then you should do it carefully. Even the most loving cat can bite or scratch you in aggressive passion. To stop a fight, you should make some kind of loud noise, such as a handclap. Since cats are startled by loud noises, they will both stop to see what is making the noise. You can also spray water on them to interfere with the aggressive behavior..

When you find your cats fighting, it is best not to punish the cats for their fight. Cats do not understand punishment and fighting is a natural instinct in cats. The best thing to do is only interfere when necessary. If you find your cats are fighting more than they should, it is time that you find out why. Do they fight over a litter box, a food bowl or a prime window location? Make sure each kitty has his or her own “things” and a place to retreat when they feel overwhelmed by other pets in the house. This will go a long way in preventing real catfights.

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Part 2: Discover The Russian Blue Cats And Other Different Cat Breeds

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As you will recall from Part 1 of this article the first question asked was; “Are Russian Blue Cats smarter than the other different cat breeds? The truth is many of their breeders and owners believe they are. However, their belief comes from the respect and love they have for their own personal pet . The following information will give you more information, so you can determine if the Russian Blue feline is smarter or not.

Most of the breeders and owners have no scientific data to back up their opinion. They tend to base this opinion on the fact of how loyal the animal is to them. Also it’s amazing ability to attune itself to their adopted families moods at a moments notice. Thus leading them to think the animal can read their minds.

In addition the Russian Blue Cats have been known to learn how to open things such as windows and doors. They have also been known to play hide and seek, fetch and other parlor tricks. Again this is a learned behavior on the part of the Archangel Blue. Many of the owners and breeders feel that only this breed is capable of such behavior. Not so!

Frankly, that is a false assumption on their part. A great percentage of the other different cat breeds are intelligent enough to be trained to do the same thing. It all comes down to the patience of the trainer and the willingness of the feline to learn the tricks.

But there is one thing which should be noted about the Russian Blue; it is extremely loyal to its owner and will go to great lengths to please them. As you know cats can be very independent and act just the opposite from what the Archangel Blue does. However, one of the breeds which are very similar to the Russian Blue Cats is the Javanese.

This particular breed is considered to be extremely intelligent and extremely loyal to its master. The Javanese will respond to the mood of their master, by even attempting to communicate with different sounds. Many of the owners and breeders say this form of “talking” is distinctive to what is taking place at the time.

They seem to have the capability to communicate:
• Pain
• Contentment
• Pleasure
• Anger
• Fear
• To get attention
• and others

As far as intelligence they also are quick learners and have been known to fetch, hide and seek, find hidden objects and other learned behavior.

Now let’s compare the Russian Blue with more different cat breeds. How about the American Bobtail for instance?

If you were walking along side a country road and you spied an American Bobtail, your first thought would be; you’re looking at a real bobcat. Their most distinguishing characteristic is of course the all natural bob tail. The bob tail, along with the muscular body and haunting eyes of a wild creature, has fooled more than one person.

However, you will find this beautiful creature ready to open its heart to you and your family. This feline loves to ride on your shoulders or catch a cat nap in your lap. One of the things which will blow your mind about the American Bobtail is a wonderful personality and it’s adaptability to change.

Even though they look like a cat from the wilds they interact extremely well with children and believe it or not dogs. You will spend many hours watching this little clown like creature entertain you with his antics. Often times this playful little cut up will instigate a game and will continue to pester you until you play along. Because of its high degree of intelligence they are very easy to leash train and teach other tricks.

As you can see the Russian Blue Cats and other different cat breeds have much in common. Each cats owner and breeder say they are the best and the most intelligent. Actually you will find out that the cats have conspired together to keep their loved ones on their toes. Until next time! ~The Cats

Common Health Problems Of Cats

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If you are new to owning a cat, you may be surprised to find that health problems are a common thing. No matter what breed of cat you own, health problems are to be expected. Some may be hereditary, while others can easily be prevented.

Worms
No matter what breed of cat it may be, worms are a very common and recurring problem. Tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms are among the most common that infect cats. Cats who have problems gaining weight, problems with fleas, or if you find white specks in his stool, you should have your vet test him for worms. Although they can be treated with medicine, worms can prove to be fatal if they are left untreated.

Hairball
Hairballs are the most common health problem for cats. All cats groom themselves on a daily basis, normally swallowing the loose hair that comes from their coats. On occasion, this loose hair will gather into a ball and become lodged in the digestive tract instead of passing through in your cat’s stool. When your cat starts to cough and hack, he is normally coughing up a hairball. Although it can be rather disgusting in the end, most cats can dislodge hairballs without any problems.

In rare cases, a hairball can pass through to a cat’s intestine, creating a blockage. Blockages are very serious problems, and can be life threatening if they aren’t treated. If your cat becomes constipated, isn’t eating properly, or has a very dull coat, he could have a blockage. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should take him to the vet immediately. You can prevent hairballs and blockages by brushing your cat 2 – 3 times a week to remove loose hair. You can also feed him food that is designed to control hairballs as well.

Urinary tract infection
Urinary tract infection is also a common health problem with cats. Urinary tract infection is more common with male cats that haven’t been neutered, although females can suffer from this problem as well. When a cat suddenly stops going to his litter box, this problem is normally the cause. Another symptom is when the cat’s urine starts to smell really strong. If you suspect that your cat has a urinary tract infection, you should take him to the vet. Your vet can treat the problem with medicine, and make recommendations to help avoid this problem in the future.

Feline leukemia
In the past, feline leukemia was the biggest cause of death in cats. These days however, there are vaccines available that can treat the disease. To treat the disease, your cat will need to be given the shot before he or she is exposed. Even though death doesn’t happen immediately, cats that are exposed to feline leukemia normally don’t have a long life span. If you know your cat has feline leukemia, you should never allow other cats around him, as the virus is highly contagious.

To protect your cat, you should always make sure that you take him to the vet for his regular check ups. If you keep him up to date on his vaccinations, he should lead a healthy and productive life. Although some health problems can’t be avoided, most of them can. You can also keep your cat indoors as well, which will protect him from a majority of health problems. If your cat is an outdoor cat, regular visits to the vet will keep him healthy. As long as you take your cat to the vet and keep him healthy – he will be your companion for years to come.

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Benefits of Playing With Your Cat

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Playing with your cat is the best possible way to build up a bond between the two of you.
She will become more attached and you will feel closer to her.

The best way to ensure that your cat does not become overweight is by feeding him correctly with a balanced diet, but exercise also plays a part in keeping your kitty healthy. If yours is an indoor cat, then playing with you may be his only opportunity for exertion and staying trim.

Playing will help your cat to become confident. Also regular play periods, coupled with petting sessions, will get your cat used to human interaction, he will be less likely to shy away and hide, when visitors call.

Playing will help your cat develop his hunting abilities. Hunting is a natural instinct for all cats, a cat confined to indoors usually has little chance to express and develop this instinct. Encourage kitty to chase a toy mouse, allow him to pounce for the ‘kill’. This will aid him should he ever get lost and need to find food.

Playing will help your cat release aggression. Cats often display aggressive traits through boredom. Tutor your cat not to scratch, bite or attack you with play sessions. Use praise to reward your cat for playing gently, as soon as he shows any sign he is about to use his teeth or claws – end the play session. This will teach your cat that aggressive cat behavior is best directed to his toys, and not you!

Cats need fun in their lives, just like humans need it. Relieve the monotony of eating, snoozing and using the litter box by putting a bit of fun in your cats life. You will have a happier, more confident and less aggressive kitty.

Biting the Hand That Pets You

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Most cats will simply walk away when they have had enough attention from you. Others, however, will nip at your hand. Why do they do this? You aren’t hurting him, just stroking, so it can get confusing.

Some cats become over stimulated easily. The stroking gets them wound and the bite relieves some of that tension. Others just never learned that biting was inappropriate behavior. There is no consensus on exactly why some cats bite and others don’t, but there are some warning signs you can look for that may help you prevent being bit.

Watch your cat’s tail. If the end begins twitching, this is a sure sign the cat is getting irritated. Unlike dogs, cats do not wag their tails. Another sign to look for is ear movement. Every cat owner is familiar with the flattened ears of an angry cat, but by that time, it is too late and you are nursing a bite. Watch for the ears to start turning to the sides. This is an indication your furry friend is getting agitated. Stop stroking now and you can prevent getting bit.

With cats that have a tendency to bite, it is good to follow what has been dubbed the seven-stroke rule. Allow yourself to stroke your cat only seven times to start. Then stop. This is usually short enough not to create agitation. Eventually you can add another stroke and then another, but do it slowly over time. This will give your cat time to build up to being stroked.

Just as some people prefer not to be touched, some cats are also this way. Learning to recognize the warning signs will help prevent anger on your part and irritation for your cat. This will make you both happier.

Reasons to Purchase Pet Health Insurance for Your Cat

Caption: My gangsta floof Credit: zuumbii
Source: Flickr

Cats are funny creatures. One minute they want to be petted and stroked, the next they are taking a swipe at your hand and acting like you are public enemy number one. Some people love the conundrum of pet cats and other people hate them.

Love them or hate them they are a still a common pet and have a whole host of potential health issues that will require veterinary care and might have their owners considering the pros and cons of pet health insurance. When cat owners first bring their brand new kitten to the vet they should have the kitten vaccinated for distemper.

Cat owners who have a cat that is entering into the golden years of its life should know that kidney failure is the most common problem senior cats have to deal with. Hairballs are often the very first thing cat owners think about when they stop to consider possible threats to their cat’s health. Hairballs are clumps of hair that can be found in the cat’s digestive system. Cat owners can purchase food additives that will help eliminate hairball. In extreme cases the cat will have to undergo surgery to have a hairball removed.

Just like their owners cats can develop urinary tract infections. Cats who have a urinary tract infection generally cry when they are using their litter box. If a cat is suddenly “missing” the litter box and having accidents around the house it could be a sign of a urinary tract infection. Treating the urinary tract infection generally depends on the type of infection. After doing tests to determine the origin of the infection vets will normally put the cat on a round of antibiotics. If the infection has spread to the kidneys or caused a blockage immediate veterinary action is needed.

Cats kept indoors do not usually develop upper respiratory problems. Cats that have a respiratory illness often cough, sneeze, have runny noses, discharge from the eyes, and are listless. Some cats will run a fever. Just like humans cats that have an upper respiratory illness are contagious and should be kept separate from other cats. Cats with upper respiratory problems should be encouraged to drink lots of fluids. If your cat develops a fever take him to the veterinarian for a round of antibiotics. High fevers, if left untreated, can lead to brain damage and death.

Some cats are prone to getting abscesses. Abscesses are wounds, sometimes small, that heal over, trapping infection under the skin. As the pus gathers a bump will appear on the cat’s skin. Cats with abscesses could be taken to the veterinarian’s office to have the abscess lanced (cut open), drained, and an antibiotic cream applied. Depending on the abscess veterinarians might attach a tube to the animal to let the pus drain. When the abscess has been drained, cleaned, and dressed the veterinarian will probably prescribe a round of antibiotics. Some cats that have abscesses will run a fever.

Lots of pet cats develop diabetes. Many pet health insurance plans will help offset the cost of vet bills.

The Advantages of Neutering your Male Cat

Caption: Floof princess take a power nape. Credit: Shinchanneeraj
Source: Flickr

Most male animals that are not used for breeding purposed are castrated, neutered, so that they can no longer impregnate a female. For cats especially, this is crucial, since there are hundreds of kittens every year that go without homes. There are many advantages to neutering your male cat, and the process is quite safe, so you should consider it if your furry feline friend is male and not yet neutered.

Male cats that have not yet been neutered are called tomcats. Simply put, it can be difficult to live with a tomcat, no matter how well trained he may be. When your cat is not neutered, he will want to get outside as frequently as possible to mate with female cats in heat. This can be disastrous if you live in a busy street with lots of traffic or if your cat is not used to being outdoors. Tomcats also roam a lot, meaning that they may travel far distances in search of female cats, and it is possible for your cat to roam too far and not know his way home. It is also possible for him simply to resist coming home at all, since he will be shut indoors. To protect your male cat, neutering it the best choice.

Tomcats also fight and are generally more aggressive than neutered cats. Because they want sexual dominance in a particular area, they may seek fights with other male cats to drive them away. Cats will fight to the death if they feel threatened, and fights cause not only injuries, but also the spread of diseases like the FeLV virus, which can be fatal. Neutering your cat will not stop an aggressive cat from being less aggressive toward humans, but it will prevent your cat from actively seeking fights with other male cats in the neighborhood.

Vasectomies are not done with male cats. Rather, the simple neutering procedure will remove the male reproductive organs, which are easily accessible in most tomcats. In some cases, more extensive surgery has to be done, because they have not developed and descended correctly. The removal of these organs is what causes the changing in male hormones through a cat’s body, changing the cat’s behavior. Sterilization is not enough, because the cat won’t notice the difference and will still seek to fight and mate. Your vet can tell you more about this procedure, but all in all, it is the best choice for any cat, since there are already so many homeless cats in the world.