Our Cat's Place – Living With Cats

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

  • 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

    new-natural-cat“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.

    The Natural Cat: The Comprehensive Guide to Optimum Care

  • Jul 5

    Cats often fight with each other if they feel their territory is being invaded. This happens most often with outdoor cats, who may compete with neighboring cats or local feral cats. However, even indoor cats who share the same home can get into nasty, violent fights that are potentially dangerous to their health and life.

    If your cat gets involved in a fight, you will want to do everything you can to break it up right away. Your cat could risk injury or illness. Cuts, scratches, and torn ears can be very painful. Abscesses resulting from cat fights can pose serious health risks and are expensive to treat. A cat can become infected with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) when it is bitten – such as in a cat fight. FIV however, will be transmitted only if the biting animal is carrying the virus. If your cat is fighting with a feral cat they are especially at risk.

    Here are some ways to break things up.

    1. The quickest way to break up a cat fight is loud hissing, spitting, and a
    glass of water appropriately applied (aim for the face).

    2. Be sure you are not touching the cats or getting your hands anywhere near their
    mouths. Hitting could cause the fight to get much worse, and could even make the cats redirect their attack toward you.

    3. Use a hose to spray water on the attacking cat (or on both of them if you can’t tell who started it!) Again, this is most effective if you aim for the cats’ face.

    4. Force the cats apart by holding a stick or broom between them.

    5. Make lots of noise with something loud like a horn or whistle. Be ready to move away from the cats quickly, and protect yourself from any possible attack.

    6. If the cats are not yet fighting, but they are frozen in position starting at each other, here is something you can do to prevent the battle from starting. Put a magazine or a newspaper between the two cats to block their view of each other. This allows the frightened cat to run away (if it can) and you can pick up the dominant one if it is tame. It is very important to stop the cats from looking at each other before you try to pick one up. Without blocking the sight of the other cat, picking up or even touching the aggressive cat can make the attack start. Usually the frightened cat is cornered and can’t get away, so your only option may be to move the aggressor after blocking it’s view.

    Hope that helps,

    Beth

    P.S. 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!
    *****************************************************

  • Jun 6

    When it comes to illness, cats are masters of disguise. Think about this – in nature, if a cat allows himself to look or act sick, larger animals will see him as weaker and will be more likely to attack. So it is in a cat’s own best interest to keep any illness or pain he feels well hidden. It is up to us as cat owners to be aware of some of the more subtle signs of illness in our cats, so that they can be addressed quickly, with the least possible impact to our cat’s health.

    For instance, if your cat suddenly refuses to use the litter box and is urinating other places, a medical issue may be causing this, especially if it is happening along with any of the other symptoms listed below. Watch your cat for other changes in behavior, such as disinterest in eating, lack of or change in grooming, and vomiting. If your cat appears to be struggling to pee, or unable to control his peeing, these can also be symptoms of illness. Inappropriate urination issues can often be corrected by addressing these symptoms with your vet.

    Here is a list of Cat Illness Symptoms that may be serious. You should schedule a visit with the veterinarian if your cat shows any of these:

    – Inappropriate Urination, especially if it happens suddenly, for no obvious reason
    – Urine or excrement contains blood
    – Loss of appetite
    – Disinterest in grooming
    – Suddenly gaining or losing a great deal of weight
    – Runny nose
    – Prolonged bouts of sneezing
    – Drinking much more or much less water
    – Peeing more or less frequently
    – Coat appears messy or loses its shine
    – Lack of energy
    – Inability to control urination
    – Apparent distress during urination
    – Excessive vomiting

    For ourselves, we often will give it a few days when we begin to feel ill, assuming that our bodies will heal naturally without seeing the doctor. But with a cat, because they keep their illness so secret, we may not even be aware that our cat is sick until it becomes much worse. A cat who is sick can appear to have a sudden onset of a serious disease, but chances are the symptoms have been there some time and they are just now becoming apparent to humans. Once a cat is obviously sick, his health may be threatened, and a trip to the vet may be very time critical. Even though it may seem expensive, it will be less expensive if done in the beginning; the vet may be able to begin treatment right away and you may be able to ward off more serious issues.

    So for the sake of your beloved cat’s health, learn to watch for these cat illness symptoms, and be ready to act quickly with a trip to the vet.

    from one cat lover to another,

    Beth
    ****************************************

  • May 14
    Panther, a cat using toilet, photographed in S...

    Image via Wikipedia

    For many owners, daily litter box duties are one of the less pleasant aspects of caring for a cat.  Some cats love to dig and scratch in the litter, and can fling it outside the box and onto to the floor.  And it’s very easy for the cat to get litter stuck in his paws and track it all over the house.  Then, there’s the scooping and cleaning….

    So for some people who have the time and patience to put into it, toilet training cats is an ideal solution.  Be aware from the start that this won’t happen right away, and that you will need to be watchful and diligent as you go through the process.  But in the end, won’t it be wonderful to have a cat who willingly uses the toilet?  No more litter boxes, no more cleaning, no more litter tracked all over the floor.  Sound great?  Read on!

    If at all possible, have the family use a separate bathroom while you are training your cat.  This may not be an option for you, but if it is, it will make things that much easier.

    The first step will be to move your cat’s litter box into the bathroom and next to the toilet.  It will be important for all family members to be sure that they always leave the toilet seat down and the lid up, so that your cat will become accustomed to being next to the open toilet.  Next, begin slowly raising the litter box up to the level of the toilet by placing newspapers or other flat and stable items underneath.  Be sure not to use anything slippery, as this could scare your cat and defeat all your good efforts!  Do this gradually over a period of many days.  At first your cat will climb into the box, but as it gets higher up, he will probably jump onto the toilet seat before stepping into the box.  When this happens you are on your way!

    Once the litter box has been raised to the level of the toilet seat, the real work begins.  At this point, get a metal bowl that fits inside the toilet bowl and under the seat.  Make sure it doesn’t slide around when your cat jumps up on the seat.  You can use tape or another method to get it to stay if necessary.  Fill the bowl halfway with litter, so that it is similar to the litter box.  Remove the actual litter box from the bathroom at this point.  When your cat jumps up on the toilet bowl, he will see the litter in the bowl and should begin to use it for elimination.  Now, gradually reduce the amount of litter in the bowl (warning – this is the most unpleasant part of the process of toilet training cats – it will get VERY smelly for a while, hang in there!).  Encourage your cat to stand on the toilet seat instead of in the bowl, by gently moving his paws onto the seat.  Be sure the seat isn’t too slippery for him to stand on.  A cushioned toilet seat may be a good investment at this point!

    Finally, when you have reduced the amount of litter in the bowl to nothing, start putting in water, little by little so your cat can get used to it gradually.  Once you are filling the bowl part way with water, remove the bowl from the toilet altogether so that your cat stands on the seat and does his business directly into the toilet.

    Hopefully this will be a smooth process for you, but there are lots of things that can go wrong and your cat may refuse to cooperate.  There are some very useful resources on toilet training cats that you may want to refer to in this case.  One good one can be found in Mike Whyte’s book “Thinking Outside the Box”, a book on litter box issues with cats, that includes a chapter on toilet training along with how to deal with some of the potential pitfalls.  The techniques for toilet training cats are wonderful, and if you are having any other litter box issues with your cat, this guide is indispensible!

    all the best to you and your feline friends,

    Beth

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  • Apr 3

    If you are a cat lover like me, you do your best to understand your cats, and to make their home and their life with you as pleasant and carefree as possible. But because we are different creatures after all, sometimes conflicts and unpleasant problems occur that can interfere with your enjoyment of your feline friends. One of the most frustrating cat behavior problems is when your cat suddenly (or maybe not so suddenly) refuses to use his litter box, and instead pees all over the house. It can make your entire life miserable, and you feel you would do anything to make the problem go away. I am here to let you know about a wonderful and effective solution that helped me, and I’m sure it can work for you and your cat too.

    In our home, we had two neutered male cats, Eric and Felix, who we absolutely adored. Both were friendly and affectionate, well behaved cats. Then, not so long ago, my husband was asked to be out of town for work for an extended period. Although this did cause some stress in our house, it was not an insurmountable problem. I now had sole responsibility for taking care of my daughter and the two cats for the duration of his trip, along with my ongoing responsibilities in my own full time job. It wasn’t always easy. Of course my daughter and I missed my husband very much and lived in anticipation of the few occasions when we were able to get together for a visit.

    Thank goodness we had our two sweet cats to help us get through this time! Eric, being the dominant cat, took on my husband’s role as “man of the house”. He would make his rounds each day and night, making sure that we were all OK, and that nothing was amiss inside our home. At night he would curl up on my husband’s side of the bed, and often he would even snore! Felix, being the softer and gentler one, seemed to take it all in stride, although he did seek even more attention than normal, which we were only too happy to provide.

    The real cat behavior problems started when my husband finally returned home permanently. Eric had grown to see himself as the “alpha male”, and was now being threatened by the returning human. He began spraying and peeing outside the litter box, and at times he would even attack Felix and provoke fights. It didn’t take long before Felix was peeing on the floor and the furniture too. Our home had become a battleground, and our life inside it a constant struggle. Based on what I already knew about cats, I could tell that some kind of territorial issue was happening, but I had no idea how to deal with it or make it stop. We tried being extra affectionate with both cats, we tried punishing them when we caught them peeing inappropriately, but it didn’t make any difference. We found ourselves in a constant mode of cleaning up stains, yelling at the cats, yelling at each other. Our bills for having the furniture and rugs constantly cleaned were getting out of hand, and we couldn’t get the smell of cat pee out of the house. We were too embarrassed to have friends over, or to entertain the way we liked to do. Life had become unbearable, and I was desperate for any solution.

    It was while I was doing some research on the Web that I found Mike Whyte’s book “Thinking Outside The Box” (How to Stop Your Cat Peeing Outside The Litter Box). Mike also had gone through some very painful and expensive issues with inappropriate urination by his own cat, and it seemed like he really understood how desperate this kind of situation could be. Because he offered a 100% money back guarantee, I thought I had nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying his system myself. So I downloaded the book and bonuses and read them cover-to-cover. I was able to gain a great deal of insight into what was causing our cat behavior problems and how to deal with it. Then, by putting into practice just a few of the tips that Mike offered, we were able to start turning our situation around almost immediately. One thing we did was to get a second litter box, which allowed each of our cats to have his own space. We also started using the cat pheromone “Feliway” strategically. Within just a few days, our cats had stopped using the floor and furniture to pee, and were using the litter boxes just as they should. The few occasional slips were now easy to deal with, and before long they ended altogether. We were finally able to get the house clean, keep it clean, and restore order to our lives.

    In our case, it was the territorial issues, changes in our household and the competition that Eric felt with my husband that were the main problem. But in “Thinking Outside The Box”, Mike Whyte also goes into great detail about many other possible causes of inappropriate urination, including medical problems, issues with the litter or the box itself, placement of the litter box, multiple cat issues, and issues unique to outdoor cats. He even provides a section on how to toilet train your cat, if you feel that would be a good alternative to litter.

    After seeing how well Mike’s tips worked for us, I honestly can’t recommend this book highly enough. I strongly urge everyone who is struggling with cat behavior problems like having their cat peeing outside the litter box to pick up a copy now!

    Here’s wishing all the best to you and your feline friends,

    Beth

  • 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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  • Jun 12

    — by Ariane Franke

    My cat Misty is getting on a bit and has started to pick up digestive and urinary problems that many cats tend to have when they get older. She is 15 years old now and might only three or four years left in her. She has had a good life though and I expect she’s had many adventures with other cats in our area as we live in quite a cat friendly neighbourhood. When I started noticing that Misty was finding it harder to digest her food the first thing I did was to change her usual cat food.

    I’m not a cat expert when it comes to the science-side of things and I kind of took what my vet told me and researched it a little bit more on the Internet. From what I can gather the main problem is that Misty has difficulty with bladder stones, which basically unbalances her urine and pH level causing digestion problems and pain. Following what information can be found on the Internet and advice from my vet I decided to go for Royal Canin Urinary SO that I could buy from the online pet shop Nutrecare. The reason why I chose this and you’ll have to bear with me because as I said I’m not too great on the science-side of things, but a lot of treatments out there tend to focus on only one type of urinary problem, which can actually increase the risk of contracting another type of infection!

    According to the information I have read from the Royal Canin Urinary SO packaging, this product actually tackles the two types of bladder infections that cats usually tend to get. Since I started treating Misty with this solution I have noticed a huge difference in her and she seems to be passing urine a lot easier than before. I have also noticed that she is a bit livelier so that seems to be a definite positive result. I will still be keeping an eye on the situation and ensure that she gets a regular dosage of this urine treatment.

  • 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

  • Feb 3

    February 3, 2011 is Chinese New Year. In China it may be the year of the rabbit, but in Vietnam it’s the Year of the Cat!

    Here at Our Cat’s Place, we think it’s the year of the cat every year, but this is a great opportunity to shout out our love of all things feline.

    Care For Cats is sponsoring a series of events across Canada related to sharing information about cats and helping to promote adoption, spaying, and good health care for our beloved felines.

    Check it out at the Care For Cats website!

    all the best,

    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
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  • Dec 5

    As the companion of a cat who is living with feline kidney disease, there are many small things that you can do on a daily basis, that will help your furry friend feel better, and be more comfortable.  This can do a great deal to improve his overall quality of life, and help extend your time together. 

    Environment

    – Try to protect your cat from stressful situations, and give him a calm and warm place to stay.  Provide him with blankets and a warm sofa or bed to lie on.  If you have a fireplace, he will most likely gravitate to it when you light a fire.  Make sure that he doesn’t get too cold, and please keep him safely inside the house!

    – Handle your cat gently.  Cats with chronic kidney disease tend to feel nauseous, so soft and light hugs and strokes that won’t jar his stomach are best.

    – A cat who is not feeling his best may not groom as much as he should.  You can help by brushing and combing him regularly, but always remember to be gentle, especially if he is receiving any injections or subcutaneous fluids.

    Food and Water

    – Watch how much your cat eats and drinks each day.  This will be useful for your vet to know at your next appointment.

    – If your cat doesn’t’ seem to be eating enough, it may help to place his food in a part of the house that is quiet and peaceful, so that he can relax while he eats.

    –  Canned food will be more appealing to your cat if you warm it up a little in the microwave before serving, especially if it has been stored in the refrigerator.

    –  If your cat is older, he may have problems chewing his food.  You can help by shaping his food into more of a mound, rather then leaving it flat in his dish.  This makes the food easier for your cat to access.

    –  Clean the food dishes well each day.  The smell of stale food can be very unpleasant, especially to a cat that is not feeling well.

    –  Since drinking enough water is crucial for the health of a cat with kidney disease, you can help by having two or more bowls of fresh water in different part of the house.  Make sure that the bowls are cleaned and refilled every day, since water can collect dust, bacteria, and dead insects if it is left standing for too long.   Depending on the quality of the water in your area, you might consider giving your cat bottled water instead, since it won’t have as much of the chemicals that are often found in tap water.

    – Cats often prefer to drink running water.   He may be attracted to the sink or toilet bowl.  If this is the case, please make sure that these are kept spotlessly clean.  Also, do not use chemical cleaners or deodorizers that can poison your cat.  You may want to get an automatic water dispenser that delivers a steady stream of flowing water.  Some cats seem to prefer these, and it can encourage them to drink more.  If your cat has an upset stomach from the kidney disease, serve the water at room temperature rather than cold.

    Mobility

    – As feline kidney disease progresses, your cat’s potassium level might become low.  This can make it difficult for him to jump into his favorite places, or even to climb stairs easily.

    – You can help by placing small boxes, ramps, or “pet stairs” next to the sofa, bed, or windowsill, so that your cat can still access his special spots.

    –  If your cat has difficulty climbing into his litter box, look for a new one with lower sides, so that he can continue his regular routine more easily.

    –  Encourage your cat to play if he is still able, but keep in mind that he probably gets tired faster.  Play with him as much as he is able, but be careful not to overdo it!

    And mostly, give your cat plenty of affection and love.  Just be there for him when he needs you, and let him know that you care.  Value every precious minute that you can spend together!

    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

    Treating a Cat With Kidney Disease Using Subcutaneous Fluids

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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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