Our Cat's Place – Living With Cats

thoughts, articles, & information on cats, their behavior, and their relationships with us.

  • Dec 14

    Cats can be elusive creatures, and sometimes the task of getting them to come when called can seem daunting. However, if you approach this in the right way and with the right attitude, it can be much easier than you think! These are the steps that can be taken.

    • Step 1: Begin by making it a habit to talk to your cat often, and create a strong bond with her through petting, brushing, and spending time together. Take every opportunity to give her your love and attention. Having a good relationship with your cat is very important.
    • Step 2: Find a special dry treat that she really loves. This should be something that she doesn’t have very often, and it will only be used for this purpose. While you are training her to come when called, make sure you don’t give her this particular treat at any other time. Please choose something small and nutritious. A snack that is good for your cat’s teeth would be ideal.
    • Step 3: Find a special word that will be used for training her to come. This will become a word that she associates only with this special treat, so think of something that she won’t often hear at other times.
    • Step 4: The next time you give your cat a snack, use the special word. Put one treat in her empty food bowl while speaking the word out loud.
    • Step 5: Say the word again after she eats the treat. Then give her another of the same treat, and use the word again in the same way.
    • Step 6: Step away from your cat now. If she protests that she is “starving” you can say the word again and give her one more piece. Then leave the room.
    • Step 7: About 4 minutes later, repeat the entire process again. Your cat will begin to learn to associate the special word with her special treat.
    • Step 8: Continue doing this a few times a day for the next several days. Eventually, your cat will learn to come to you when you say the special word.
    • Step 9: When your cat starts coming to you every time you say the special word, start giving her the treat only once in a while. The rest of the time, give her lots of attention (petting, scratches, playing with a toy, whatever she likes) for a few minutes. Then let her go. Repeat this process a few minutes later.
    • Step 10: If you have created a strong bond with your cat, and if you have followed the above procedures correctly, your cat will now associate your special word with the extra attention and loves she gets from you. She should now be coming to you when she hears you say the word.

    Please remember, the treat must be a small and nutritious snack, not something large, or a whole bowl of food. She will be eating a fair number of these during training, and we don’t want her to gain extra weight!

    Make sure that you use the special word every day, just so that she will come to you for affection and hugs. If you use it only when it is time to take her to the vet or give her a bath, she will learn to associate the word with unpleasant times and it can undermine the effects of your training. When these types of occasions do come up, give your cat the treat and then wait a little bit before following through with your “hidden motive”.

    So why does this technique work so well?

    What this all boils down to is conditioning your cat to associate your special word with getting attention from you. The word becomes the trigger, to which she responds in order to get something she wants. Once this happens, any time you say the special word your cat comes because she knows she will be rewarded.

    As you can see, the bond you form with your cat is the most important aspect of getting her to come when you call. When your cat knows that she will get love and affection from being close to you, then she will WANT to come to you any time she can.

    I learned these tips and many others from Mary Matthews’ book “Ultimate Cat Secrets”. If you would like to enjoy a loving relationship with a perfectly well behaved cat, this is well worth a read!

    all the best to you and your feline friends,

    Beth

  • Nov 2
    Flowers & Trees

    Cat IN Autumn Tree

     

    Seven Things You May Not Know About Your Own Cat
    By Robert Seigal

    Longevity – It is said, give a cat three years for every human year and you have an idea of how old he is compared to us. Not so. A cat at one year old is capable of reproduction and fully able to take care of himself. A three year old human is helpless. Such mathematical formulas for understanding the ‘real’ age of an animal don’t work because their internal, and external developments vary and do not correspond to human development.

    But did you know that the life span of cats seems to be increasing, from around twelve years or so several decades ago to eighteen or more and it seems now not uncommon for cats to live into their twenties? Not only advances in cat medicine but apparently in genetic changes as well are contributing to longer life and some cats live to be much older indeed. Several cats in Southern California have been reported to live as long as thirty and thirty four years.

    Independent & Loners – Cats are thought to be solitary creatures by many, but anyone who has visited a farm where there are cats will find they congregate in colonies, sometimes nearing twenty in number and seem even to hunt together. There is little fighting because there is always one dominant cat which the others all accept, the rest being equal. At least until a new cat arrives and dominance must be re-established.

    If you have an indoor/outdoor cat, as do I, you no doubt find him asking to be let out, even though he has his cat doors. Mine does daily, usually at night. I go to the door, open it and he eagerly runs into he mudroom, awaiting the opening of the next door, though both are equipped with cat doors. If I actually go out into the back patio with him he seems delighted, rolling around on the stones, watching me. I suspect he would love a hunting companion. (Preferably, I expect, one a bit quieter and more stealthy than myself.)

    Cats can’t be trained – Training is entirely possible and we have probably all seen on television performance cats trained to walk a rope, roll a ball and even swim underwater. We attribute this to some sort of showmanship business and think our own cats are not trainable. Depending on the breed and the particular cat, they are probably all trainable to some degree and they are certainly able to train us!

    Particia Moyes, in her book How To Talk To Your Cat, relates how one of her cats and she have a game, the object of which is to remove from some precarious perch – the top of a chair, say, an object, without disturbing anything around and without knocking the item to the floor. The one cat does this with care and great attention, and success. Her other cat, she tells us, takes the game simply to mean, ‘get the thing regardless’ and will also retrieve the item but in the clumsiest fashion, knocking it to the floor.

    Ms. Moyes speaks of two other game she and her cats have; fetch and carry and hide and seek. In the first, the person throws a ball of tinfoil (or what-have-you) and the cat returns it, dropping it at the person’s feet. The second she says her cat invented. She (the cat) will bring the ball of tinfoil, drop it, then leave the room. Ms. Moyes will hide it, then call her cat who will begin excitedly exploring all the hiding places, find it, drop it and leave the room again. Keep in mind that Ms. Moyes creates and maintains an unusual and unusually close and respectful attitude towards her cats. Very likely, and many pet owners, indeed, parents, have discovered that, the more you anticipate your pet (or child) to be capable, the more capable your pet or child becomes.

    My own cat offers a less dramatic, but useful example. A stray taken in at about 8 months he at first caused some alarm with his tendency to ‘do his nails’ on the furniture. I would bang my foot on the floor and tell him no and he’d stop. Now I just tell him, in no uncertain terms, to stop and he does. He only does this when he wants something and I’m not paying attention.

    In fact, this is one way a cat has to get your attention and let you know he needs something – he does what he knows he is not supposed to do. My cat knows he’s not allowed on the kitchen table, for example, but if his food bowl stays empty too long, onto the table he leaps and I know right away he wants feeding.

    There is an ancient Egyptian papyrus of the twentieth dynasty showing a dog walking on his hind legs, carrying a staff, herding goats. In the same picture there is a cat, walking on his hind legs, carrying a staff, herding ducks. The picture depicts the dog and cat on their hind legs carrying staffs, no doubt, to indicate that they are in control. Were they shown on their fours, one, they could not be shown carrying a staff and two, they would seem to be on the same level as the goats and ducks, not in charge of them. My guess is that one time, before the dark days of cat extermination, cats were trained and used and I expect they themselves were very responsive to this arrangement.

    Aloof – When one considers the terrible history the family of cats has endured at the hands of man, repeatedly throughout Europe and even in America, it is no wonder the cat keeps himself aloof. Associated with witches, Satan and evil, as a race, cats have been betrayed, condemned, tortured and exterminated, many times, by the thousands and tens of thousands. Those which survived the pogroms passed on their genes to progeny, along with the survival sense to be wary of man. Yet every cat owner knows how truly attached a cat can become and how genuinely grateful they are for the affection and care given them.

    Cats & Music Start playing an instrument, even something gentle, such as folk music on a guitar, and a dog is likely to leave the room. A cat, on the other hand is likely to come near, lay by you, roll around, purr and seem to enjoy the sounds immensely. My previous cat used to be my biggest fan, particularly of my fairly elaborate finger picking.

    My current cat loves to hear the guitar but the obvious deep pleasure he gets from that doesn’t even compare to when I pick up the Celtic Harp and play on its strings. I can only describe his state as ecstatic, as if each tiny individual sound washes him with almost unendurable pleasure. Many composers throughout history relate the same story.

    The famous harpist, Mlle Dubuy, noticed that her cat purred pleasantly when she played a piece on her harp well but cried when she played less so. She used this phenomena to improve her skill. Recognizing how much she owed her success as a harpist to her discerning cat she left him her substantial inheritance and endowed loyal friends likewise to ensure her cat was well cared for.

    There is a video on YouTube of a cat playing the piano. She is quite intentionally sounding the notes, utterly absorbed in the phenomena. When his mistress plays Bach on another piano the cat stops and listens with obvious appreciation. It is quite as if this cat, and in fact, all cats, truly do appreciate beautiful music and the one in this particular YouTube video, aspires to musicianship.

    Movement – We all know how agile and flexible cats are – owing to a variety of factors. Unlike man, in whom the vertebrae of the spinal column are held together by ligaments, in cat they are bound by muscle, giving the cat great range of movement. Because of the construction of his shoulder joint he can turn his foreleg in almost any direction.

    But have you noticed, probably without thinking about it, that there is something funny, something odd in the way a cat runs?

    Unlike almost all other mammals who advance by moving the front leg of one side of the body and the back of the opposite, the cat moves front and back legs of the same side. So it’s, front, left, let’s say, slight pause, back left, right front, pause, right back. The only other mammals said to do this are the camel and the giraffe – and they both have funny gaits too.

    Food, water and health – Cats can live just fine on dry food. This is a dubious statement many authorities state as being downright false. Cats need meat. They have not the biological capability of taking various elements from a variety of non-meat foods and constructing the needed proteins, which man and dogs can do. And much of the content of dry food, i.e. Carbohydrates, not only are not natural foods for cats, they are said to be wholly unnecessary and can be harmful. Meat in some form, usually canned food, is a necessity for cats, not only for the proteins but as well for the water.

    Cats do not have, as every cat owner has probably verified, a strong drive to drink. Their normal prey is their primary source of water. Deprived of that and not given sufficient wet food a cat can easily, and all too often does develop kidney disease from dehydration.

    Regardless of whether your cat eats wet or dry food or both, fresh water should always be available to her. Many cat owners have observed that cats are more likely to drink if their water bowl is not located next to their food bowl, which makes sense, as in nature, animals go in search of water independently of their search for food. Also, being clean animals, it may not ‘feel’ as hygienic to have food and food smells next to their water source.

    It is also advised to avoid plastic dishes for both food and water. Plastic tends to getting scratched and in those nicks and scratches harmful bacteria can grow. Also, some cats are allergic to plastic and develop skin conditions on their chins when fed and watered from plastic bowls.

    Still water may run deep – but it still doesn’t suit a cat. Almost every cat owner has noticed that their cats love to put their tongues under the tap or even raise their mouths to falling rain. My cat used to put his head under a drip in the bathtub and let the water run to his tongue until we had it fixed – the tub, that is. Many cats will drink from any form of water other than still water.

    Some people, including some vets think there is some molecular difference in moving water. Some think it is the sight of the movement of the water, or the sound. Whatever the reason, (and considering what a big subject this is if posts on the internet are any measure it is a bit surprising that the motivations for this are not better known), cats prefer moving water.

    This fact has spawned an entire industry of cat fountains, almost all plastic, though there are several sources for ceramic cat fountains and cat bowls. Whether it is one of the plastic fountains or a ceramic cat fountain or cat bowl, all need the same care, which is simply to keep it filled and give it a thorough cleaning regularly. Some sources for pet fountains are listed at the end of this article and if you go to http://www.etsy.com and type in ceramic cat fountains you can find others.

    Recommended reading: How to Talk To Your Cat by Particia Moyes The Life History and Magic of THE CAT by Fernand Mery

    Web sources –

    http://www.ceramiccatbowls.com/

    http://www.artfire.com/users/indoorfountains

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Robert_Seigal

    http://EzineArticles.com/?Seven-Things-You-May-Not-Know-About-Your-Own-Cat&id=3385892

     

     

  • Oct 3

    Holiday & Celebrations

    Most cat lovers know that black cats should be kept strictly in the house during the times just before and after Halloween. But there are dangers to all cats during this holiday season, both outside and in. Here are eight things every cat owner should be aware of:

    1. Chocolate can be toxic to cats. Because there is so much candy available around Halloween, it is very important to keep it out of your cat’s way. If kitty does happen to eat some chocolate, please contact your veterinarian right away for advice. The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is.

    2. Curious cats can get burned easily. Think twice about having any lit candles around the house. Although candles can lend a lot of atmosphere to a darkened house, it can be very easy for a cat to get into them, which could be disastrous. If you must have candles, keep them in a room where your cat will not be going.

    3. Carved pumpkins start to go bad quickly. Don’t let your cat get too close to a pumpkin that has been carved and sitting out for a while. The smell and taste might be very tempting for him, but a raw carved pumpkin can start to grow mold and bacteria within a few hours, which could give your cat stomach problems or diarrhea.

    4. Decorations should be kept out of reach. Please keep your Halloween decorations to areas where your cat cannot reach them. Foil, plastic, batteries, electric cords, fake hair and “spider webs” and other typical decorative items may look like cat toys to your cat, but they were not meant to be chewed on and could harm your cat if he tries to bite or swallow them.

    5. Keep your cat inside on the big night. Halloween activities are disruptive, and can be loud and scary for a cat, even one who normally goes outside. Many cats run away on Halloween. Please don’t let yours be one of them!

    6. Your cat may prefer a nice, quiet hiding place away from the noise. If you are expecting a lot of “trick or treaters” at your house, consider letting your cat stay in a quiet bedroom or den, where she won’t get frightened by the noise and all the strange people coming in and out. Cats who are scared can tend to bolt away, and you do not want to risk losing your cat in the crowds at night.

    7. Watch out for candy wrappers! If you or your kids are munching on wrapped candy, please keep the wrappers away from your cat. Kitty will find the look and feel very exciting, but if they eat one it could cause serious damage to his internal organs.

    8. Don’t force your cat to wear a costume. Cats look adorable in Halloween costumes, but not every cat enjoys wearing them. If your cat is one of these, then please let him go without it, he will be much happier and more comfortable. If your cat does seem to like his costume, make sure that he can get around easily and his movement is not restricted.

    These are just a few things you can do to help ensure that you and your cat have a happy and healthy Halloween.

    Find many more great tips on cat behavior and caring for cats in Mary Matthew’s book “Ultimate Cat Secrets“.

    All the best to you and your feline friends,
    Beth

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  • Aug 27
    Cat Conspiracy

    Cat Conspiracy (Photo credit: Tjflex2)

    By John W Dowdell

    So you’ve got a cat or cats. Congratulations. Having a cat or cats can be hugely rewarding. Not only do you have a companion to share your daily life with, but they can keep you entertained for hours, comfort you whenever you aren’t feeling well, inspire you when you can’t seem to get it together, and generally they seem to conspire to make it easier to keep your feet on the ground.  That is – if you have a well behaved and well balanced cat.

    Exactly what is a well behaved cat? Well everyone knows that cats possess a mind of their own, and no matter how much we endeavour to exert control over them, they’ll always manage to please themselves. Of course, that’s in the nature of a cat, and it doesn’t mean they’re misbehaving, just doing what cats do.

    A well behaved cat is one who is: calm, fit and healthy, eats well, toilets suitably, and interacts with all the fellow members in the household (both human and feline) appropriately. A miss-behaving cat can totally disrupt a household (human and feline) to the point of you considering removing the culprit. Commonly there are reasons for the cat misbehaving, sometimes we find it is due to some change in their surroundings, New members moving into the household (human or feline) can have a serious impact.. Some of the more noticeable inappropriate behaviours are, spraying in-side the house, biting, scratching, attacking other cats they usually get on with, ripping up your carpets and rugs, furniture, wallpaper, curtains etc,. Refusing to eat, exhibiting stress and anxiety, fearfulness.

    Health

    This is a no brainer. If your cat is not well it will probably behave differently, in some cases disruptively. Your cat needs to be physically healthy to be a relaxed well balanced member of your household. It’s important you feed your cat(s) a proper diet that’s age appropriate, a good clean supply of drinking water and proper housing. A regular checkup at the vets is advisable.

    Know who’s the boss

    Cats are not a pack animal, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t a pecking order. There will almost always be one particular cat which will be at the top of the tree, and the rest will fall into line. If one of your cats tries to move into another ones space, trouble can follow. By a cats space, I mean it’s preferred spot on the patio, it’s preferred sleeping spot, or where it normally hangs out or toilets. The response may be out and out aggression, but sometimes it’s quite the contrary. The cat feeling crowded may become withdrawn and stressed. It’s important to keep close track of who’s the dominate one and ensure all of your cats have sufficient space where they can just be themselves without any interference from others. A cat’s emotional wellbeing is just as important as its physical wellbeing.

    Regular feeding

    Cats are notorious for being fussy eaters, but they will unquestionably benefit from a high quality diet and regular feeding times. Clean drinking water is vital for a healthy cat; they’re well-known for failing to take in enough water. In the wild, cats take in the majority of their water requirements through the prey they feed on, so if you feed them dry food, they need to supplement their intake of water. Yes I know they prefer to go outside and drink the dirtiest water they can find, rather than clean water you take so much care to put out for them. Go figure.

    Suitable toilet spaces

    Cats very much like a non-public quiet spot to perform the necessary. Preferably a place where they’re not likely to be surprised. This is true whether your cat is an inside or outdoors cat. Either way, they need somewhere suitable and secure. If at all possible, somewhere you have access to, not an issue for an inside cat that uses a litter box, but can be challenging for outside cats. Not being funny, but keeping track of your cat’s toilet habits can frequently help pre-empt health problems.

    No favouritism.

    Be fair All cats are different and they will all have varying emotional needs. Some will love lots of pats and cuddles, others prefer a quick hello, a pat and then move on, some will spend hours in your lap, while others may only come inside for feeding and need only a quick acknowledgment of their presence. It’s important to know your cat and to provide them with the appropriate level of attention.

    This all helps to maintain balance in the household. This is by no means an exhaustive list of what it takes for a well balanced cat, but if you follow the above suggestions your cat will be well on the way.

    John Dowdell is a cat owner from a Town called Tokoroa in New Zealand. He owns five cats with which he shares his daily life.
    http://worldofcatz.com

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_W_Dowdell
    http://EzineArticles.com/?Five-Tips-for-a-Well-Balanced-Cat&id=7156144

     

     

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  • May 3
    Winterkost

    Image via Wikipedia

    Cats, unlike dogs, are obligate carnivores, which means that they must eat animal protein in order to survive and thrive. In addition, a lot of the diseases that cats frequently suffer can be caused by mistakenly feeding cats the same way as dogs. Until recently, even veterinary science treated cats, nutritionally at least, as if they simply another type of small dog.

    The majority of cat owners feed their cats:

    – dry cat food
    – cat food with too much carbohydrate content
    – the wrong kind of protein, and/or not enough of it

    Cats are their own creatures, and deserve to be treated as the unique animals they are!

    So what exactly does it mean when we say that a cat is an “obligate carnivore”?

    Felines in their various forms and species have been around for millions of years, and as hunters of live prey, their bodies have developed specialized ways to digest and use the food they eat. Imagine what the nutritional content of the cat’s natural diet would consist of. There would be lots of animal protein, and a fair amount of fat. Also, there would be a certain amount of carbohydrate (consider the grainy contents of a mouse’s stomach!), but carbohydrate would be a relatively small part of the cat’s natural diet. Thinking about what a cat would eat in nature gives us lots of great clues to feline nutritional needs.

    Cats who are domesticated and living with humans depend upon us to feed them and to supply them with the nutritional elements they need. Many packaged cat foods are inadequate nutritionally, and in some cases even harmful. Also, until recently, most cats lived on the prey they caught. So because animal flesh is moist, cats did not drink much water. Cats who are fed only dry food must be sure to drink adequate water as well, which may not always come naturally to them.

    Many commercial pet foods contain primarily grain and fat, which do not provide many of the vitamins and minerals that a cat needs for good health. Grain filler is often used in order to lower the cost of manufacturing (animal protein is much more expensive). Also, grains help to bind the various ingredients of the food together, so it becomes easier to make the dry kibble.

    Luckily, pet food companies are becoming more familiar with the issues common to commercial cat food, and there are now a number of very high quality cat foods on the market. Be sure to check the ingredients carefully when you are buying food for your cat, or even consider making your own! You may also want to consult with your veterinarian about using a nutritional supplement formulated especially for cats.

    ’til next time,
    Beth

    P.S. To learn more about feline nutritional needs, and how a cat’s diet can affect his health, be sure to download your copy of this free, complete veterinarian’s report on cat nutrition by Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM.

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  • Mar 18
    A cat at the Seattle Animal Shelter

    Image via Wikipedia

    As someone who once lost a cat, only days before we moved out of town, I absolutely understand the fear and even panic that can grip a cat lover when his cat is nowhere to be found. We were very lucky, our cat Eric finally returned unharmed. I would like to see every lost cat come back to his loving owner and home. Here are some tips that can help.

    1. If your cat just ran out the door and you can’t see him, leave the door open. There is a good chance he will find his way back. We also left a bowl of food just outside the door.

    2. If your cat is microchipped, report his disappearance immediately. The sooner you get the word out, the more likely your cat will be found quickly.

    3. Call your cat’s name as you wander slowly around the area. Your cat is probably very scared, and is unlikely to come out. However, he may meow or cry for help and then you would be able to tell where he is hiding.

    4. Try shaking a bag of your cat’s food (if dry), or opening a can with a can opener (if moist). If he hears the familiar sounds of food being prepared, that alone may bring him running back.

    5. Leave a cardboard box in your yard, some distance from your house. Put familiar smelling things in it, like a worn and unwashed T-shirt of yours. Your cat will be attracted to the scent and if he is close by, is likely to curl up in the box to feel safe. Check the box at night and first thing in the morning.

    6. Search around your neighborhood late at night. You should also ask your neighbors to keep an eye out for him. This was actually how we got our cat back, by enlisting willing neighbors to help. If any of your neighbors have outdoor cats that they leave food for outside, this is another excellent place to look.

    7. If there are woods around your home check there as well. Your cat may have gone there in search of small prey.

    8. If you have moved recently, go back to your old neighborhood and look around there. Cats will often return to their previous home if they have lived in the new one for less than a month.

    9. Don’t be afraid to put up posters all over the place. Hand them out to people in the area. Be sure to make small tear off tabs at the bottom with the cat’s name and description, any identifying marks, your name and your phone number. This gave us the results we needed when some people who were just out for a walk saw our poster, saw Eric, and called right away (we are still grateful to them!).

    10. If there is an animal shelter or animal control agency in the area that brings in lost cats, check with them every day. It would also be a good idea to provide them with one of your posters. You must check with them each day, because chances are they do not have enough people on staff to check in with you.

    If your cat is currently lost, don’t give up, and don’t lose hope. It took seven weeks before Eric was found. And even then, apart from a broken tooth, he was fine. My sister also found a lost cat of hers after three weeks. Keep your thoughts positive!

    Beth

    P.S. If your cat is not microchipped, and he is not currently lost, do it NOW! If he is lost, do it as soon as he returns. A microchip is an identification device inserted beneath your cat’s skin. All humane societies and agencies have scanners to read the chip. I highly recommend their use.

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  • Jan 16
    filipCats are curious by nature, and they often gather information by smelling or tasting the objects around them. Electrical cords present a serious potential danger to cats. If they manage to bite through the cord with their sharp teeth, they may be burned or shocked, causing issues with breathing or even stopping their heart. Kittens who are teething are especially at risk because they seek out tough things to chew on. Let’s talk about a few ways to prevent your kitten or cat from being hurt by chewing on an electrical cord.

    1. Keep the cords neatly taped to the wall if possible. This will not only keep your cat from chewing on them, it will also prevent humans from tripping!

    2. Make sure that any excess cord is out of sight to your cat. If a cord is hanging off a table, your cat is likely to play with it, thinking it’s a toy.

    3. Wrap tin foil around the cords. This will make them less attractive to your cat, and even if he does happen to bite it, the tin foil will taste unpleasant to him and he will stop right away.

    4. Put sticky paper or two-way tape around the cords. This will keep your cat from getting too close to the cords, as the stickiness feels unpleasant to a cat.

    5. Try putting bad tasting liquids or sprays on the cords, so that you cat will not want to chew on them. Some of the best things to use are bitter apple spray, toothpaste, lemon juice, and mouthwash. And something that has always worked for me is rubbing the cords with a bar of moist bath soap (I don’t like the taste of that either!)

    6. Keep your cat’s favorite toys near the cords, so that they will chew on those instead of the cords.

    7. If all else fails, keep your cat out of the room where the cords are until they either grow out of kittenhood or just lose interest in chewing them.

    By keeping your kittens and cats from chewing on electrical cords, you will eliminate one serious risk, and will greatly help to keep your feline companions safe and happy.

    Many great cat tips can be found in Mary Matthew’s book “Ultimate Cat Secrets”. Check it now to learn more about dealing with cats behavior.

    all the best to you and your feline friends,

    Beth
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  • Nov 13

    Cat Close-Up - HD Desktop/photosFrom: Dr Andrew Jones, DVM

    No one knows for sure why a domestic cat purrs, but many people interpret the sound as one of contentment. Our understanding of how a domestic cat purrs is becoming more complete; most scientists agree that the larynx (voice box), laryngeal muscles, and a neural oscillator are involved.

    Kittens learn how to purr when they are a couple of days old. Veterinarians suggest that this purring tells ‘Mom’ that “I am okay” and that “I am here.” It also indicates a bonding mechanism between kitten and mother.

    As the kitten grows into adulthood, purring continues. Many suggest a cat purrs from contentment and pleasure. But a cat also purrs when it is injured and in pain. Dr. Elizabeth Von Muggenthaler has suggested that the purr, with its low frequency vibrations, is a “natural healing mechanism.” Purring may be linked to the strengthening and repairing of bones, relief of pain, and wound healing

    This is a link to that paper:

    http://www.animalvoice.com/catpur.htm

    Purring is a unique vocal feature in the domestic cat. However, other species in the Felidae family also purr: Bobcat, Cheetah, Eurasian Lynx, Puma, and Wild Cat (Complete list in Peters, 2002). Although some big cats like lions exhibit a purr-like sound, studies show that the Patherinae subfamily: Lion, Leopard, Jaguar, Tiger, Snow Leopard, and Clouded Leopard do not exhibit true purring (Peters, 2002).”

    What makes the purr distinctive from other cat vocalizations is that it is produced during the entire respiratory cycle (inhaling and exhaling). Other vocalizations such as the “meow” are limited to the expiration of the breath.

    It was once thought that the purr was produced from blood surging through the inferior vena cava, but as research continues it seems that the intrinsic (internal) laryngeal muscles are the likely source for the purr. Moreover, there is an absence of purring in a cat with laryngeal paralysis. The laryngeal muscles are responsible for the opening and closing of the glottis (space between the vocal chords), which results in a separation of the vocal chords, and thus the purr sound. Studies have shown, that the movement of the laryngeal muscles is signaled from a unique “neural oscillator” (Frazer-Sisson, Rice, and Peters, 1991 & Remmers and Gautier, 1972) in the cat’s brain.

    Source: Library of Congress

  • Oct 3

    My family always loves this time of year. We get all excited about Halloween coming, planning our costumes and our daughter making trick or treating plans with her friends. She’s going to be the Easter Bunny this year. My husband is thinking Santa Claus. I don’t know, maybe we just don’t have a very good grasp on the holiday calendar (lol). As for me, well, I was thinking about dusting off my old Catwoman costume – what else? (Never mind that I wore it two years in a row already. It’s a totally cool costume and I look great in it!)

    Now, what about Eric? Our big orange tabby cat? Just went browsing around the web and found this picture of a swashbuckling cutie on Amazon. I wonder if Eric has ever had Three Musketeers fantasies? Puss in Boots anyone? Well, it’s a thought anyway. Only two weeks to go, and counting!

    Have Fun!

    Beth
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  • Jun 8
    Indoor Cat in the Outside World
    Image by DWRose via Flickr

    With the improvements in veterinary technology in recent years, it isn’t unusual at all for a cat to live to be well over 18 years of age. As cat owners, there are many things we can do to help ensure that our cats live long and healthy lives. Here are a few of them.

    1. Every year, take your cat to the veterinarian for a full checkup exam. If your vet has some recommendations for you, please take the advice you are given. Your vet is a trained professional who has your cat’s best interest at heart. Giving your cat everything he needs for optimum health and prevention of disease is the first and most critical thing you can do for him.

    2. Cats who are neutered or spayed tend to live longer and with less stress than those who are not. For a male cat, neutering will reduce the tendency to wander and fight. For a female cat, giving birth repeatedly to litters of kittens can cause premature aging and stress.

    3. Experts have seen that indoor cats live far longer than cats who spend most of their time outside. Keeping your cat in helps to mitigate the risk of picking up diseases from other cats, getting into accidents or fights, being hit by a car, or “catnapped”.

    4. Cats have their own specific nutritional needs, different from humans or even dogs. Provide your cat with food that is nutritious and high in quality, and that contains the elements that cats specifically require for maintaining their health.

    5. Help your cat avoid becoming obese. In addition to good nutrition, give him exercise each day by playing with him and providing him with good scratching posts and climbing trees. An overweight cat is far more prone to diabetes and other feline diseases.

    6. Ask your veterinarian about supplements for your cat. Additional vitamins, minerals, and fiber added to your cat’s diet can also be very helpful for disease prevention.

    7. During each annual checkup with the vet, be sure that they check your cat’s teeth. If they recommend a professional cleaning, please do it. Keeping your cat’s teeth clean can help prevent kidney problems, one leading cause of sickness and early death for cats.

    8. Get into the habit of brushing and combing your cat every day. While you are grooming him, check for anything unusual in his body or skin. See your vet right away if you find anything that seems suspicious.

    9. Check the cleaners you use around the house for any dangerous chemicals or pesticides. Even a little bit on your cat’s fur or feet can cause serious effects for your cat if they are licked and swallowed. If at all possible, use only non-toxic cleaning supplies around your home. Also, check your house for any poisonous plants like poinsettias, and keep your cat away from them.

    10. Give your cat a quiet place to rest and relax, and to be away from anything in your home that might cause stress for him. This could include other animals, small children, or loud noises.

    11. If your cat is getting older, he will appreciate warmth and heat. Try a heating pad on a lower setting, or a sunny spot in a quite room. My 15-year-old cat loves to stretch out in our sunroom on a bright afternoon. You may see quite a change in his behavior.

    12. Give your cat lots of attention and affection every day. Even though cats can act very independent, they do love getting attention from the humans they love. When a cat knows that he is loved and well cared for, his emotional and physical health both benefit.

    all the best to you and your feline friends,

    Beth

    P.S. You can ind many more great tips on cat behavior and caring for cats in Mary Matthew’s book “Ultimate Cat Secrets”.

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  • May 1
    cat communication

    Image by PJAR72 via Flickr

    As a fellow cat lover, I know how much you love your cat. And I’m sure you do everything you can to show her. I’m sure she knows how much you love her too! But wouldn’t it be great if you could say “I Love You” to your cat in actual cat language?

    Believe it or not, there are ways that you can communicate with your cat using the same signals that the cat would use to talk to you. By observing cats behavior and paying close attention to how they communicate with you, it isn’t too hard to pick up a few things. Here’s one that I have learned from my cats over the years.

    Have you ever noticed your cat looking at you with his eyes narrowed, almost squinting? That’s his way of “flirting” with you! Or maybe he looks at you and slowly closes his eyes, then just as slowly opens them again? That’s your cat’s way of saying “I Love You”. You can send him the same message, the same way. First, look at your cat directly in the eyes, but be careful not to stare, let your eyes go a little unfocused.

    Slowly close your eyes, while continuing to gaze at him, then as soon as your eyes are shut, slowly open them again. Be sure you don’t shut your eyes tightly, or keep them closed. Just use a very slow, soft close and then open, as if you were blinking in slow motion. Send him the thought “I Love You” at the same time to reinforce the message.

    Won’t your cat be surprised? It is likely that she will return the same gesture to you right away, my cat often does! It’s a very simple and charming bit of cats behavior to learn. This is something I try to say frequently to my cat, even just in passing. It doesn’t take long, it isn’t difficult, but your cat does understand. It’s a loving expression to receive from your cat, and just as loving to give.

    Try this with your cat today!

    Beth
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  • Apr 4

    By Pat Lemmons

    catpkI love the notion that “cats are like potato chips, you can’t have just one.” From the playful kitten, which is the epitome of “cute”, to the adult cat, that is the ultimate in beauty, prowess and “cool”. How many you should have depends on several factors.

    1. How many can you afford to feed?

    You need to provide well rounded nutrition for proper development of your cats growth. This usually includes a canned food at least once a day, which also provides moisture. This is especially important if your cat does not drink a substantial amount of water each day. For your own convenience, you might want to make dry food available for when you can’t be there to provide a regular feeding. Don’t forget the cat treats, for good behavior rewards, which will surely endear your cat to you! Make sure your budget can withstand the cost.

    2. How many can you provide good medical care?

    Hopefully, you won’t have any extraordinary medical bills due to injury or illness, although this cannot be guaranteed. However, there will be an annual expense of vaccinations to keep your kitty healthy. These are normally in the range of $100 per cat, depending on the type your veterinarian recommends.

    3. How many can comfortably fit in your home size?

    I have read estimates of 1000 square feet per cat, although I don’t believe that is necessarily required. More important is how well your cats get along. Two could be too many in a large house if they don’t like each other. While five could fit well into a smaller home if all were good natured or at least not antagonistic toward each other. The more room the better for those who like to roughhouse. Better yet, provide them with an outdoor enclosure to give them a space of their own and some fresh air.

    4. How many can you provide with toys, cat trees, litter boxes, etc?

    A litter box is required! I have seen different opinions of how many you should have with multiple cats. One opinion was one per cat, plus one. Another was one for every two cats. It’s difficult to keep up with all of them and their bathroom habits.

    I, personally, subscribe to the latter and find an automatic litter box works best in a multiple cat household. These generally cost in the neighborhood of $100 each but can run much higher.

    All cats need places to climb and one cat tree, strategically placed by a window will bring great satisfaction to one cat or maybe two. If you have multiple cats, you might want to consider two cat condos/trees to provide them plenty of room to nap and play and a view of the outside world for all of them. These can cost, depending on size, quality, etc, anywhere from $50 to $1,000. I really don’t think the cats care how much it cost, as long as it is theirs. Now having it fit in with your home décor is another consideration, entirely. There are some very colorful ones in the marketplace and surely one will look nice in your home. Other toys to keep them occupied are relatively inexpensive and should include things they can slap around and chase, like catnip scented play mice, small balls and anything with bells.

    5.How many can you guarantee safety and shelter?

    Safety would entail keeping them inside, away from the dangers of cars, poisons, the cruelty of others and keeping them safe by training young children in the proper way to handle them.

    6. How many do you have “Time” for?

    Just like children, cats need attention. You need to play with each one, either separately or together, each and everyday. A wand toy with a feather for them to swat, a lazer light beam for them to chase, or just sitting in the floor & playing with them. Attention is important to them and keeps them from becoming bored. Boredom can breed depression in a cat. It can also bring on behavior problems which can become destructive.

    You have to gauge the size of your home, the size of your wallet, but most important, the size of your heart. Then, you’re good to go and take it from someone who knows, the more the merrier!

    The author, Pat Lemmons aka Miss Kitty is a 67 year old woman who has owned cats for 12 years, knows cats and operates a retail web site for cat products. The product prices are discounted for maximum savings and monthly donations are made to two animal shelters from sales on the site. The site features the latest technological products such as unique automatic litter boxes, the best quality cat & kitty beds, pet doors, litter box furniture covers, pet carriers, crates and containment, unique artist t-shirts, sweatshirts & nightshirts, and a large selection of kitty condos, trees, scratching posts, outdoor cat kennels and houses, cat toys and treats. Nothing but the best for the pampered feline. http://www.kittystoreonline.com

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Pat_Lemmons

    http://EzineArticles.com/?How-Many-Cats-is-Too-Many?&id=3275421

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  • Feb 13
    Popis = 3 mačiatka na škrabadle, Zdroj = vlast...

    Image via Wikipedia

    Cats, by nature need to scratch. Not only does it help the cat keep his claws cleaned and sharpened, but scratching is also a very important part of a cat’s daily exercise. The motions he uses while scratching a tall cat scratching post or cat tree use all of the muscles in his front and back legs, shoulders, and back. Besides this, stretching just plain feels good! A cat often likes to wake up after a nap with a good scratch, which also allows him to stretch and flex. If your cat is not able to scratch and exercise his muscles in this way, he can become weak, and his muscles get flabby.

    Many people worry that their cat may ruin their furniture by using it as a scratching post, but this can be avoided by simply providing your cat with a better alternative! In fact, most furniture is not of the texture that cats prefer for scratching. In nature, wild cats prefer the rough bark of trees for scratching. If you can give your cat a rough, sturdy post or cat tree to scratch, then your soft upholstered furniture just won’t measure up, and you shouldn’t need to worry.

    The best material for an indoor cat to scratch is sisal, which is a strong, rough fiber made from hemp. I know of one excellent source where you can get a sisal cat scratching post for a reasonable price. This is the Felix Katnip Tree Company, and many pet supply stores carry them. They have both medium and large size scratching posts, along with a smaller scratching board and a floor-to-ceiling climber. All products are made from wood and covered in sisal fiber, and as an added treat, the posts are covered with catnip. My cats love the large scratching post, made in a very simple design that fits into any room.

    If you are the “do it yourself” type and would like a very economical way to provide your cat with a high quality cat tree, then consider building one yourself! The Best Cat Trees Company will provide you with plans and step-by-step instructions to make eleven different cat trees in a variety of sizes and designs. Not only can you save a bundle of money on those very expensive, big cat trees, but with the guidance you get from the company, you can be sure that your tree is made in the best way, and with the optimum materials for your cat.

    You can get more information about the Felix cat scratching post at their website, Felix Katnip Tree Company. And to learn how to build your own high quality cat trees, see the official web site of The Best Cat Trees Company. Either way, your cat will have a high quality scratching area that will help him stay in top shape, while also saving your furniture!

    All the best to you and your cats,

    Beth
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  • Jan 9

    Many cat owners dread trimming their cat’s nails. And frankly if this is done wrong it can be very difficult and painful for both you and the cat! I’d like to share a process that works for me in trimming my own cat’s nails. This is an important part of caring for cats that if done properly can actually be very easy.

    Keep in mind that if you don’t trim your cat’s nails, they will figure out other ways of keeping them shortened, like scratching your furniture for instance? This is one more reason to have a good cat scratching post available, as well as keeping their nails trimmed! Here are some steps that work well:

    Step One: From the time you bring your cat home, you should practice holding and handling his paws, so that he gets used to the feeling. When you are cuddling and bonding with your cat, just hold and rub each paw a little bit.

    Step Two: When you are ready to trim your cat’s nails, be sure there is good, strong light in the room. This will help you be able to see better, and to make sure that you aren’t cutting too close to your cat’s blood vessels.

    Step Three: Get your cat grooming tools together before you call your cat. She won’t like it if she has to wait for you to gather things!

    Step Four: Hold your cat closely next to you, holding the first paw in your hand. I usually put my cat on my left side and start with his left paw, but I am right handed. You can do these in whichever order works best for you. If you wish you can wrap your cat in a soft towel, which helps him sit still while you are trimming.

    Step Five: Hold each toe between your thumb and pointer finger, and press softly together. This will cause the cat’s nail to emerge, and it will be easy to see where to cut. The nail will stay out until you let go.

    Step Six: Cut each nail at the point where it begins to curve. It is best to use trimmers that were especially designed for cats. I personally use the “guillotine” style, but you may want to try different styles to find one that works well for you. Some people prefer a regular human nail clipper.

    Step Seven: When you first start trimming your cat’s nails, try doing just a few at each sitting. This may help her get used to it faster. Be sure to give your cat lots of pets as you are trimming, and wait a moment in between each nail, to make the experience as pleasant as you can.

    Step Eight: If you do accidentally cut into the quick of your cat’s nail and it begins to bleed, press on the tip of her nail with styptic powder (if you have it available), or talcum powder.

    Step Nine: Eventually you will be able to clip all of your cat’s nails at one time. Be sure to reward him for good behavior with lots of affection or maybe a little treat.

    Lots of great tips about communicating with and caring for cats can be found in Mary Matthew’s book “Ultimate Cat Secrets”. I have been using this as a resource for many occasions and always find it very helpful. You can learn more about Mary Matthew’s book by visiting her official web site, at Ultimate Cat Secrets.

    Wishing all the best to you and your cats!

    Beth
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  • Sep 6

    The Natural Cat: The Comprehensive Guide to Optimum Care“The Natural Cat”, by Anitra Frazier with Norma Eckroate, does cats and their humans a big service by providing this comprehensive encyclopedia of all things related to caring for cats the holistic way. I first purchased the previous version of this book in 1995 just after I brought my two cats home to live, and I have been using it ever since as a source of information and understanding. Surely this information packed resource should be an important part of every cat care library!

    Anitra Frazier understands so many things about cat behavior and how to communicate with your cats, from the slow blink that says “I Love You” in cat language, to what cats really need in their diet, exercise and grooming, the right kind of scratching post to use, and just generally how to make your life with your cats the best it can be. Her love for cats and genuine concern for their well-being shines through in every page, and her knowledge amassed over years of caring for cats is apparent. I have given this book as a gift to many friends who have just adopted a cat, and each time they have commented on how much they have learned and how often they refer back to the book when they have a question. Anyone who has a cat or loves cats will want to read this book. It is especially a must for those who are living with a cat for the first time.

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Quote of the Week

“I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
Death thought about it.
CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.”
― Terry Pratchett, Sourcery