Our Cat's Place – Living With Cats

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

  • Aug 28

    Having moved a few times with a few different cats, both within the same neighborhood and to a new country, I have taken advice from a variety of sources, and have seen what works. I’d like to share some tips and tricks here that can help to make moving with your cat a smoother and more pleasant experience. Since this is a lot of information, I’ve split this into three parts: Preparing for the Move, During the Move, and Settling In to Your New Home.

    Part 1 – Preparing For The Move

    If you are moving to an entirely new area, or especially to a new country, there are a few “official” things that you will need to take care of before you move, in order to ensure that your cat is able to come easily to your new home without the inconvenience of delay or quarantine.

    First, check with the new area to see if there are any documentation requirements for getting in. In our case, when we moved with our cats Felix and Eric from the United States to Canada, we found out that we would need certificates of health as well as documentation of rabies vaccines for our cats. This was easily taken care of with a quick trip to our vet, but if we had not known about these requirements, we could have ended up spending time at the border making phone calls or even needing to leave our cats behind while we sorted things out. This may also be the case if you are moving within the US to a different state.

    Also, find out if your new area has any licensing requirements. A city government office or web site should be able to help you with any of these questions. For us, when we lived in California, cat licenses were not needed. However, once we arrived in Toronto we discovered that they were.

    If you are moving to a different area and will need to go to a new veterinarian, be sure to obtain copies of your pet’s medical records for your new vet. You could also check with your current vet to see if they could fax your pet’s records once you have arrived in your new home. Most veterinarian offices use faxes, and this was what we were able to do. This will save you from having to carry and keep track of your cat’s records during the move.

    If it will be a long trip and your cat tends to be a nervous traveler, ask your vet about possible solutions. S/he may want to prescribe medication for him, but in most cases this should only be used if really necessary, and there are some excellent natural alternatives available. My favorite is “Rescue Remedy”, by Bach Flower Essences. Just a drop or two rubbed on the inside of your cat’s ear or sprinkled into her water dish will have a calming, relaxing effect (you can even use it yourself if you want!). It may be a good idea to try this out ahead of time to be sure that it works for your cat. In our case, Rescue Remedy worked beautifully for Eric, but seemed to have no effect at all on Felix. So just to be prepared, our vet prescribed Felix a small quantity of tranquilizers, which turned out to be a tremendous help later during our trip.

    If you are traveling by car, and the trip will take more than one day, make your overnight arrangements ahead of time and make sure that any hotels you stay at allow cats. It’s a good idea to call the hotel to make the reservations yourself, rather than relying on a Website. Our drive from San Francisco to Toronto took six days, and although most of my chosen accommodations worked out perfectly, there was one place that told us after we arrived, that although their entry on the web said “Pets Allowed”, what they really meant was “dogs only”. We were not allowed to stay there with our cat, and they did not give us a refund. I had to call half a dozen other hotels in the area to find one that did let us stay there, felines and all. I also suggested to the first place that they might want to update their listing!

    If you will be traveling to your new home by air, make arrangements ahead of time if your cat will be going along. Many airlines allow only one pet in the cabin per flight; so if you are traveling with more than one cat, check around to make sure you can be accommodated. Also, check with the airlines to see what the size constraints are for your carrier. When I flew with Eric I got a smaller, airline approved pet carrier for him that met my chosen airline’s requirement.

    Keep very close watch over your cat while you are packing and preparing to move out of your current home. If possible, even see if you can arrange to have your cat stay with a friend while you are packing. It is very upsetting for a cat to watch while his/her entire domain is being taken apart, and this can cause a great deal of stress. Many cats have run away while their humans were preparing for a move, which is what happened to us.

    While packing up the kitchen, my husband inadvertently left the door to the deck open, and Eric slipped out while his back was turned. This was late at night, three days before we left, and all our searching proved to be fruitless. We were extremely fortunate to have dedicated neighbors who staked out the hill behind our house until Eric was found seven weeks later. Many people are not so lucky, please don’t take any chances!

    Likewise, be sure that your cat is well secured while your movers are working. If you do not have a place for her to stay, please have her stay in a secure room that she cannot get out of. Also make sure that the movers know she is in there and that they do not open the door. Put a note on the door as a reminder.

    If your cat is not microchipped yet, this is a great time to get it done, and be sure to register him with the microchip company. If your cat does happen to get away before or during the move, this will be one good way to advertise that he is missing, and many cats are found every year through their microchips.

    Even if you are just moving down the street, keeping a strict watch over your cat before and during the move will help everything go more smoothly and will help to prevent him from getting lost.

    See Part 2 of this Series: During The Move

    See Part 3 of this Series: Settling In to your New Home

    See my Squidoo Lens: How to Move House With Your Cat

  • Jan 18

    Cat Meowing – Understanding Your Cat’s Behavior

    By Uzair M Sardar

    When you see your cats meowing a lot and the pitch is high, it doesn’t mean that it is hungry and it doesn’t mean you have to get up and feed it. This will not only ruin your cat’s manners but it will also make a cat think that by meowing my human will feed me. This will just make your cat obese and will disrupt its feeding hours.

    Cats meowing means a lot of things apart from food demands. Your cat might meow due to a number reasons, for instance, they might have some problem, they might be complaining of some pain, they might need medical attention, they might need to go to their litter boxes, they might be warning you or they might be just wanting to talk to you or to grab your attention.

    Let me give you an example here. In February 2011, late after 11pm, I returned home after a one hour visit to my aunt. When I returned, my male blue Persian cat was very hyperactive, he was running here and there and was meowing in a heavy voice. My first thought was maybe he’s getting excited to see me after I was away for an hour or maybe he needs food. I went into the kitchen and gave him his food in his bowl and returned to my bedroom and got busy with my computer. The meowing continued and this time my cat kept on pulling my shirt and literally dragged me towards my entrance door. However again I ignored him and took him to his food bowl where I saw that his food was untouched. I, then, reached into my cabinet and grabbed a pouch of his favorite cat food. He even resisted that. After 2 minutes my cat just ran and went under my bed and that was the time I felt strong tremors of an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the recto scale. I grabbed my footwear my cat and ran downstairs. That was the time I got to know that my cat’s meowing was actually a warning for me to get out of the house and find a safe place so that I can be saved. However no harm was caused in my city.

    After this incident, I figured out that cat’s meowing means a lot apart from showing hunger or food demands. If one is sick and tired of useless meowing and is annoyed of this habit, then your cat can be trained well. When your cat is meowing, ignore them. Once they are silent and settled in feed them with a treat. You need to make a schedule of your life in which you can assign a specific time period in which you can play with your cat and spend quality time with it. Ignorance can also lead into excessive meowing. If you notice your cat is meowing and not purring, it means there’s some trouble with your cat or there is a warning.

    http://WWW.PURRSNGRRS.COM is a web portal. specially designed for pet lovers. This portal has complete information about pets, along with location of different vets and animal shelters present in your area.

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Uzair_M_Sardar
    http://EzineArticles.com/?Cat-Meowing—Understanding-Your-Cats-Behavior&id=7683581

     

  • May 7

    jumping-cute-playing-animals

    From the time a kitten is born, their instinct for play is very strong. At first, baby kittens play with the others in their litter as a way to learn about cat social structure. After a few months, they start to play with the things around them. A young cat loves to play with just about anything! This is how they develop their ability to stalk, pounce, kick, and wrestle, which are all important motor skills involved in hunting.

    In fact, for cats in nature, playing is actually how they learn hunting skills. But even a domestic indoor cat has the built-in instinct and need for play; it is part of the feline nature. As cat owners, we need to understand this in order to raise a happy and healthy cat.

    Young kittens will learn that it is not OK to scratch or bite humans, as long as they have a toy mouse or bird to play with. Kittens have almost unbelievable stores of energy that can be redirected to chasing a cat toy. Some of my cat’s favorites have included small cardboard “sticks” attached to the end of a long wire, and feathers on a string attached to a long stick. They love to chase these around and will do so for long periods until they finally get worn out! For the cat, this play exercises their hunting and “prey” drive, while for the cat owners, it helps us bond with our cats, and can also help save the furniture from being scratched or climbed!

    Grown cats still have the need to play. Playing provides good exercise for your cat, benefiting his overall health and fitness. It also allows them to use their mental abilities associated with stalking and hunting prey. I often play with my cat before feeding him. If he successfully catches his toy mouse on a string a few times, he might feel more like he has “earned” his dinner, and we both enjoy the bonding time together.

    In fact, play has been found to be a successful method of therapy for cats that have been misbehaving. If this is done correctly and consistently over time, play can help a cat be less aggressive, more accepting of new pets or humans in the household, adapting to a new home, and even to stop urinating outside the litter box.

    What are the best toys for cats? Well, this really depends on the cat and his environment.
    Young kittens often like to have a stuffed animal to cuddle with, the way young human children do. And even adult cats can enjoy these! Another type of toy is the kind that encourages the cat to figure out a problem or puzzle. This would include the toys where the cat must figure out how to get a small ball or toy out of a box full of holes, or a treat out of a dispenser. These can keep your cat entertained for quite some time, and might be a good toy to have if you are away from the house a lot.

    But the overall favorite cat toys are those that allow the cat to play at hunting prey. Something that moves, whether on it’s own or with help from you, is best. The mouse or bird on a stick, as mentioned above, is great, but also try one of those laser pointers that you can run around on the floor or up and down a wall. Many cats go absolutely nuts playing with these (mine does!), and they can provide loads of fun for both you and your cat. Try running a toy or a light beam around through a cardboard box or cat-climbing tree for extra excitement. Your cat will feel like a mighty hunter indeed when he catches one of these!

    Before you give your cat a toy to play with, make sure it’s safe for him. Don’t give your cat a toy with very small parts that he might bite off and choke on. Also avoid anything with ribbons or small pieces of plastic that could get stuck in your cat’s stomach if he swallowed them. Cats always enjoy new things to play with, so it’s a good idea to remove some of his toys and “rotate” them so that he always has something different. If you run out of ideas, just put some empty cardboard boxes or paper bags on the floor and watch your cat go! It doesn’t matter so much what they toy is, more that your cat has something to play with and on. Cats simply need and love to play!

    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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  • 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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  • 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

  • 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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  • 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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  • Feb 6

    The hosts at Vienna’s Café Neko don’t expect tips, nor will they engage in small talk with customers.

    They might, however, rub up against your leg.

    Five cats, Sonja, Thomas, Moritz, Luca and Momo, interact with customers at the 50-seat coffee house. All rescued from an animal shelter, they freely roam throughout the café.

    It’s the first cat café in Austria, an endeavour that took three years to have approved — hygiene issues were the city officials’ reasonable concerns.

    “Neko” means “cat” in Japanese. Cafe Neko’s owner, Alexander Thuer and his Japanese-born wife Takako Ishimitsu, claim their inspiration “to combine coffee with cats” came from Ishimitsu’s background, Associated Press reports. Cat-friendly establishments, while rare in Europse, are quite common in Asia.

    “Showing unknown Japanese concepts is good for Austria. I had various ideas, and the cat café project was the least difficult to realize. And at the same time, I can do something good for the Vienna animal shelter which I have been supporting for years,” Ishimitsu says.

    In Japan most apartments ban pets, so individuals seeking animal companionship often head to cat cafés, many of which even specialize in specific breeds of cats.

    “Surprisingly, more than 99 per cent the reactions are positive. One of our goals is to provide some happiness to people who cannot have cats on their own, because of their jobs or family members suffering from allergies,” Ishimitsu tells The Telegraph.

    Dogs are required to stay outside. The cats might roam free at Vienna’s Café Neko, but the canines can sip dog-friendly meat-flavoured beer at a pub in Newcastle. It’s a good year to be a four-legged furry friend.

    Watch the news video below reporting on the unusual and fun establishment:

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  • Jan 13

    Happy New Year from Our Cat’s Place!

    One of my resolutions this year is to be more like my cats. They always seems to be happy and on top of things. Here’s some food for thought….

    1. Life is hard, then you nap.

    2. Curiosity never killed anything except maybe a few hours.

    3. When in doubt, cop an attitude.

    4. Variety is the spice of life: one day ignore people, the next day annoy them.

    5. Climb your way to the top–that’s why drapes are there.

    6. Never sleep alone when you can sleep on someone’s face.

    7. Find your place in the sun–especially if it happens to be on that nice pile of warm, clean laundry.

    8. Make your mark in the world–or at least spray in each corner.

    9. When eating out think nothing of sending back your meal twenty or thirty times

    10. If you’re not receiving enough attention, try knocking over several expensive antique lamps.

    11. Always give generously–a small bird or rodent left on the bed tells them, “I care.”

    12. When you go out into the world, remember: being placed on a pedestal is a right, not a privilege.

    Cheers,

    Beth

  • Dec 14

    By Tom Woodcock

    Christmas tree

    How your cat sees the Christmas tree

    Christmas is a beautiful time of year, but it can be a dangerous time for cats. As you decorate, their environment changes, posing new objects to be explored and new risks to be assessed. Is that flashing Santa ornament friend or foe?  Where does that big tree lead? Do those boxes make a good new scratching post? It is important to understand how your cat will view the changes at Christmas time, so that you can anticipate and not punish his natural curiosity. It is also important to be aware of any dangers that could be introduced to your cat at this time of year.

    The number one source of curiosity and amusement for your cat, of course, will likely be the Christmas tree. If your cat loves to climbs trees out of doors, then you can bet he is going to try scaling any tree that you bring into your house. Most cats won’t get very far, but it is not uncommon for them to topple the tree with their energetic scrambling. If this happens, you risk not just injury to your cat but also damage to any nearby furniture and gifts. Make sure that your Christmas Tree is well supported and on a flat, stable surface.

    Pine needles from natural Christmas Trees are another health hazard for your cat. Fallen needles are sharp, and can easily embed themselves in your cat’s paws. Sweep up fallen needles on a regular basis.

    In addition to the Christmas Tree, there are many other plants that pose a risk to your cat’s health. Some plants are toxic to animals, and many of these are unfortunately often brought into the home at Christmas time. These include Mistletoe, Holly and Lillies.

    When decorating your house for Christmas, remember that cats are highly sensitive to changes in their environment, and will be both naturally cautious and curious.

    Dangling baubles and ornaments may seem like the ideal entertainment for a playful cat… the way they move and catch the light will draw fun loving kitties like a moth to a flame. However, cheap glass baubles can break easily, and the shards of glass can cause a great deal of harm to your cat. Avoid hanging ornaments from the lowest branches of the tree where they are most likely to catch your cat’s eye and skip any ornaments that are extremely fragile.

    Other decorations may not seem so appealing to your cat. For example, flashing lights or musical ornaments may frighten your cat, especially if they stop and start suddenly. If your cat seems frightened, begins to hide, starts urinating outside of the litter tray or displays any other symptoms of stress, remove the offending decorations immediately. While we are on the topic of things that might frighten your cat, consider how the noise level of your house changes at Christmas time. Just as is the case on bonfire night, your cat may be frightened of sudden loud noises often heard at Christmas such as crackers, poppers or bottle of Champagne being opened. Loud music or singing may also make them nervous so you might want to monitor the volume of Slade and SingStar if your cat is used to napping in a quiet house.

    While humans may be able to deal with over indulging in sweets and treats at Christmas with the help of some indigestion medicine, the consequences to your cat from eating the wrong kinds of foods can be more severe. Don’t leave food or snacks lying around where your cat can get to them (and that’s just about anywhere!) and clean up leftovers immediately. Foods such as chocolate, coffee and chicken bones are all particularly dangerous to cats, while snacks covered in salt can leave your cat dehydrated. You should also take care to not allow your cat to indulge in an alcoholic tipple from any glasses left out. And although it may be tempting to treat your cat to his own Christmas dinner, serve him a gourmet cat food choice rather than a portion of human food as any rich food that he is not accustomed to can cause vomiting or diarrhea.

    During the festivities of the season, pay particular attention to clearing up any discarded wrapping paper, ribbon or other small objects that might get lodged in your cat’s throat. Christmas cracker toys and foil sweet wrappers are particularly tempting to cats, but pose a choking hazard due to their size. Tossing around a crumpled up ball of wrapping paper can be a fun way to play with your cat, but never let them play with it unattended, and take it away if you see him start to chew on it.

    Keep a close eye on your cat during the Christmas season, to make sure he stays out of trouble and always ensure that he always has a quiet, cosy place to retreat to if all that partying gets a bit much for him.

    If you want more great tips, advice or Free Cat information the visit The Cat Pet Shop’s Blog If you need a Cat Tree for you cat to climb and play on there are some great deals at The Cat Pet Shop.

    Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tom_Woodcock
    http://EzineArticles.com/?Cat-Proof-Your-House-This-Christmas&id=3296337
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  • Nov 28

    If your cat has been diagnosed with CRF (Chronic Renal Failure), he or she may at some point need to receive subcutaneous fluids in order to fight dehydration.  Listen carefully to your veterinarian’s recommendations on this!  It will depend on how fast your cat’s condition progresses, but a cat with kidney disease can easily become dehydrated and lose enormous amounts of weight, and Sub-Q fluids can be an excellent way to help your cat feel better and to give him a higher quality of life for his remaining time.

    Many cat owners get nervous at the thought of doing this at home.  However, this is usually the most convenient way to do it, since the fluids are often needed every day.  Be sure to get instruction from your vet on how to administer the fluid.  Most veterinarian offices will demonstrate the process step by step, and help you through the first couple of times so that you can become familiar with the process and it will not seem as strange or frightening.

    When our cat Felix reached the stage in his disease when subcutaneous fluids became necessary, both my husband and I attended a training and demo session at our vet’s office, along with Felix.  We were instructed in how to prepare the bag of fluid properly, so that the fluid would run through the tubes freely.  We were able to practice holding Felix the right way and inserting the needle correctly so that the fluid ran under his skin, as it should.  This was the most difficult part for me.  Because Felix’s skin had become dried out, it was very easy for the needle to slip under his skin and out again, with the fluid running out over his fur.  It took some practice, and some patience from both Felix and us, but after a few tries it got much easier.  Having the technician there to instruct us was critical.

    At home things were a little trickier.  Whereas at the vet’s office we had the nice high examination table to put Felix on, at home we used a desk.  And instead of hanging the bag of fluid on the special rack at the vet’s office, we used a hanger, which worked just fine once we did it a couple of times.  It was harder at first to get Felix to sit still while we set up the bag and tubes, and inserted the needle under his skin (my husband turned out be much better at this part than I was!)   Felix would struggle to get away, sometimes causing the needle to fall out, and then we would have to start all over.  But after a few days the whole process because pretty routine.  In fact, Felix seemed to realize that the fluids were making him feel better.  He would stand eagerly awaiting treatment as we set everything up, and he would even purr while the fluid ran through the needle and under his skin!

    It was easy to see that the subcutaneous fluids were really helping our beloved cat feel better, and this alone made it worth the effort.  Many cats have lived for months and even years on fluid therapy, and it remains an excellent treatment for a cat with kidney disease.  With a little practice, this is a convenient treatment that can greatly improve your cat’s quality of life, and help to extend your precious time with him.

    to the health of your cats,

    Beth

    Related Posts:

    Feline Kidney Disease – Common Causes and Symptoms

    What You Need to Know About Cat Food For Kidney Disease

    How to Get a Cat to Eat when he has Kidney Disease

    Living Day to Day With Feline Kidney Disease

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