The Good Things Pet Cats Bring As man's best friend except for his dogs, cats have been a part of every family, be it poor, middle class or the super rich. Reasons of having pets such as these domesticated animals and other animals are mainly relative depending on the owner. For some, it is because they are inevitably animal lovers, for others, they feel relaxed. And, for most, these make them happy. Despite the advancement of technology, people will never find an alternative to the joys given to them by their pet cats. There are numerous benefits when one has pet or pets especially when you choose to have cats. More than the activities they could share with you; pet cats are great source of comfort. It was found out in a study that pets like cats would be very helpful for the aged people. Most of them are in the dark age of their lives. All the fears and insecurities are there. At an old age, other people younger than you seem not to pay that much attention. Having a pet would enable you to touch, be touched and feel how it is to pamper somebody is. The activities they could share like walking around or having some jogging would be very healthful too. Animals, especially these cuddly and affectionate cats as pets also keep us feel far from being lonely and bored. We could talk to them and express our deepest emotions, the words we could not tell to our fellow humans. Dogs and cats, also other animals, are now being trained and so they learn to do tricks and to entertain people. They are so playful and they could unravel the child in us. As a form of emotional outlet, they could ease stress and make us feel more relaxed. Every pet could provide you with different positive feelings. Birds and fish are so attention-catching. Looking at them would get you feel at peace without exerting too much effort. Staring at fish in an aquarium or pond gives one the peace of mind and the relaxation against a stressful time. These pets could also help you build the focus or concentration you need to start a task or the like. Humor is the best medicine. Animals are great source of it. Having pets at home gives you free shows. Yes, just looking at them would make you feel fun. Their actions are animated; they act and move so funny without the risk of hurting other emotions unlike people-comedians. It is undeniably true that pets are saviors; they stretch our lips to smile, stretch our patience, stretch our peace of mind... and in the end, stretch the length of our lives. They give people relief and refuge. Having them around would give you a happier life and a happier life would be your ticket to a better self- in and out... a longer life ahead of you. And the meows have it Having a pet could surely help you live a better life. In even the simplest effect, it could not be denied that pets bring this different aura to lives of people and it brightens a home. Any pet may be that secret stepping stone in achieving a certain amusement or comforter but there is something that sets up all these benefits higher, and that is if you choose cats as pets. What is with cats? What makes them so special? Cats would really be great companions and friends. Research shows that having cats as pets could really lighten up a person's physiological, emotional and psychological side. This is very true. These benefits would really heal the wounds of solitude, age, stress and depression. In addition, cats are affectionate but less demanding, low maintenance and it would surely be very suitable for those who have a modern lifestyle. Cats are confidence boosters. It is believed that people who take care of pets are more likely to be caring than those who are not. When old or sick people have pet cats, it would surely give rise to their esteem they will not feel useless or unworthy. When a person feels being needed, it radiates a very optimistic mind. Kids or young people, when being entrusted to do the care for pets, they would feel confident and responsible as well. Another thing is that by taking care of cats and other animals, people learn how to take care of others too. Cats as pets do also relieve you from stress According to Medical studies, sitting on a chair, placing a cat on your lap and stroking its hair would let you feel comfortable and at peace. This would make you feel relaxed and would make you feel relieved from stress caused by whatever endeavor. Cats as health angels According to the Society for Companion Animal Studies, patients recover or live longer through animals. It has been discovered that having pets would definitely ease the cases of physiological or psychological impairment in people. Cats as social catalysts Cats as pets could let you drop your hesitations and shyness. It would tech you what the essence of being with others and exploring the world is. When you go with you cat, people would be interested and as a cat-lover, you would not hesitate to show your pet off. The Proper Care for Cats Just like us, cats have needs and their needs must be provide especially if you have them as pets. Their needs are just normal when it comes to the basic and as well as material. What matters most is the affection and care you share for these animals. When they feel that you are sincerely taking care of them, they would really feel it. What do cats need? The following are the things cats needs for better growth and development: Cat food Cats could be very greedy but you have to watch their diet. There is this right amount of food. When cats are younger than 12 weeks, they need to have 4 small meals but when they grow as old as more than 12 weeks; you could gradually trim down the number of meals to 2. Water must also be provided but milk is not encouraged for it would only cause diarrhea to cats. Feeding them with grass from time to time could also help out in their digestion of food. Cat belongings There are items you need to provide to your cat that would surely make it feel the comfort and in effect these things are sure help for you to have a clean and orderly home. One of the most important things you have to provide is the litter container. Well, cats may be clean animals but just to make sure, you place a litter container for your pet to use. This would let you overcome having a smelly home. A post to scratch is another thing that must be provided by the pet owner. This would let the home furniture stay away from the scratches of cats when they are growing their nails. Cat grooming They also need to look good. Proper grooming must be given to cats. When they feel pampered, they would radiate it and echo it to you. When your cat is long-haired, see to it that you comb the hair daily and give your pet a generous bath from time to time. When your pet is short-haired, just see to it that you get rid of fleas and other parasites. They have to remove as much as possible for they may also go and stay in your belongings at home like carpets and others. Tooth brushing is also very hygienic. These three important points must really be remembered for they would definitely make your cat pets live the best life with your care and your affection that they may also return the kindness back. Benefits of Playing With Your Cat Playing with your cat is the best possible way to build up a bond between the two of you. She will become more attached and you will feel closer to her. The best way to ensure that your cat does not become overweight is by feeding him correctly with a balanced diet, but exercise also plays a part in keeping your kitty healthy. If yours is an indoor cat, then playing with you may be his only opportunity for exertion and staying trim. Playing will help your cat to become confident. Also regular play periods, coupled with petting sessions, will get your cat used to human interaction, he will be less likely to shy away and hide, when visitors call. Playing will help your cat develop his hunting abilities. Hunting is a natural instinct for all cats, a cat confined to indoors usually has little chance to express and develop this instinct. Encourage kitty to chase a toy mouse, allow him to pounce for the 'kill'. This will aid him should he ever get lost and need to find food. Playing will help your cat release aggression. Cats often display aggressive traits through boredom. Tutor your cat not to scratch, bite or attack you with play sessions. Use praise to reward your cat for playing gently, as soon as he shows any sign he is about to use his teeth or claws -- end the play session. This will teach your cat that aggressive cat behavior is best directed to his toys, and not you! Cats need fun in their lives, just like humans need it. Relieve the monotony of eating, snoozing and using the litter box by putting a bit of fun in your cats life. You will have a happier, more confident and less aggressive kitty. Facts about Cats: Do you know this and that? Cats are very interesting members of the animal kingdom. Some of them stay wild in the thick forests while some of them stay tamed in our homes. Wherever they are, cats are very interesting and they possess really exquisite characteristics. How much do you know about cats? Well, we hope top add more information to you: Did you know that cats could see 6 times better than human beings? Yes, according to studies, it is during night time when cats could really see more than we could. Anywhere in the world, cats are existent from steaming Africa to icy cool Greenland; you could surely find them in different corners of the world. They may have varied looks or characteristics by counting in the different factors. Just like dogs, cats could swim it just so happened that they are not into it that much. An eighteen-hour sleep is achievable by cats in hot countries. These areas include desert-like areas and in some angles, the tropics. There are different cats and most of them have rare characters. One of them inspired ancient Egyptians. This is the Sphynx. Actually, it does not have any hair at all. There are cats called Manx which originate from the Isle of Man and that they do not have tails. They just have this so-called stub. Who do not know the fastest animal? The Cheetah is of course another member of the cat family. There are also fishing cats which really show great skills in catching fish. These tidbits are just some of those cool yet factual things about cats. When your aim is to explore more about these animals, you could always use the power of the internet in order to familiarize yourself with the world around you. When you wish to have your own cat, you could also consider those factors that may make or break your choice. There are actually different choices of cats for pets. In general, cats are very good pets for they are very affectionate. According to research owning cats as pets is most beneficial for ill or old patients. It has been found out that animals like cats could reduce their depression and other negative feelings brought by solitude and sickness. Keeping Your Indoor Cat Happy We all know that a cat that spends most of his time indoors is healthier. Studies show that indoor cats live nearly twice as long as outdoor cats. The risk of accidents and disease are reduced, or eliminated. Your cat doesn't know this, however, so how do you keep him happy about staying inside and not roaming the neighborhood. First of all, spending time playing with your cat will make him feel loved. It will give him exercise and help work off any excess energy he may be experiencing. Cats like to eat green things. Plant some cat grass in pots around the house and allow him to nibble from them. This will help take care of his need to eat greenery. Opening a window that has a secure screen will allow your cat to have fresh air. If you hang a bir feeder within sight of this window, you will find your cat staying entertained for hours on end as he watches the birds come and go. If you have a porch, tying your cat out on a leash will allow him to lie in the sunshine and breath fresh air. The leash will keep him safely secure so he does not roam and get lost or hurt. This is one instance when it is important to make sure he is up to date on his shots. This will make sure he does not catch any airborne diseases. Following the above suggestions will help insure your indoor cat stays both happy and healthy--and all those who share their home with a cat know that a happy cat makes for a happy home. Understanding Your Cat Cats are very good at communicating. Taking time to understand exactly what your cat is saying will make your relationship stronger. A bristling tail held straight up, or one that thrashes back and forth are warnings. If a cat is feeling defensive, the tail is usually arched. Hissing and backing away with ears flat against the head are other defensive poses. You can tell a lot about a cat's state of being from its eyes. Wide, dilated eyes communicate anger or fear. A contented cat slowly blinks its eyes, or keeps them half-closed. When it comes to sound, cats say more than meow. Did You know there are at least nineteen different types of "meow"? Their vocalizations fall into three groups, murmurs, open/closed mouth and intensity sounds. Murmured sounds include the low sound cats make when treats are coming, as well as the famous purr. Purring is usually interpreted as a sound of contentment, but it is really more a vocalization of intense emotion. In fact, an injured cat, or one being handled by a stranger -- like a vet -- often purr. Open/closed mouth vocalizations include all the variations and intonations of "meow" that a cat uses to greet you, or ask for food, or otherwise demand attention. Intensity vocalizations are created when the cat holds her mouth open the entire time she is making sound. These are the highly emotional vocalization of fear, anger, and extreme pain. Some cats are more talkative than others. Many owners notice a difference in the types of noises their cats make for them as opposed to strangers or other cats. The more time you spend with your cat, the more she'll communicate with you and the better you will understand what she is saying. It is well worth the time to learn. What to Do With a Finicky Cat There are many reasons your cat may not be eating. If she isn't sick, you must do a little investigating to find the cause. A cat may actually have trouble eating from a bowl that is too small or too light. If the bowl moves too much, your cat may find it not worth the effort. And some cats don't like where their food bowl is placed -- try simply changing its location. If you have other cats or pets, other animals may intimidate your cat. A cat may find it difficult to eat from a bowl placed near a dog's bed, near a noisy appliance or near a busy area of the house. Some cats will wait until a room is completely empty before eating. Many dogs will instinctively try to eat cat food when it is placed down. And consider how long a bowl of cat food has been left out -- food left out overnight or in hot weather may be unappetizing to your cat. And cats -- even indoor cats -- tend to eat less in warm weather. Some cats don't like changing food. If you decide to change your brand of cat food, do so gradually over several days. Mix a little more of the new food into the old food each day until you have completely changed over. If your cat's diet consists of mostly dry cat food, try giving it a treat of canned cat food occasionally, or add a little broth to its food. Some older cats or cats with sore gums or teeth can find dry food difficult to chew. With a little investigation, you will be able to figure out just why your cat isn't eating. An adjustment here or there can turn your finicky cat completely around. Win Over a Nervous Cat When you first got your cat, you probably envisioned a cuddly little ball of fur that was ready and willing to accept affection whenever you chose to give it. There are some cats who are, however, very shy by nature. These ones will hide and act scared of you if you look at them. Below are a couple suggestions to help. It is usual for a cat to be cautious and timid for the first week or so in its new home. The more contact a cat has had with humans, the less timid it will be. Give your cat a little space and don't force the issue. It is very likely he will approach you once he becomes sure of his new surroundings. One way to gradually get a nervous cat used to petting is to gently wrap your pet in a thick towel, to prevent it from scratching you, and gently stroke its head. Talk to your cat softly as you do so. Set aside a time each day to perform this bonding ritual and your shy cat may grow to trust you enough to stroke it without the towel, remember patience pays. Bribery can often work wonders with nervous cats. Try a offering a tempting healthy treat, if your cat is hungry enough to overcome its fear and stay still to eat its treat, stroke it gently, don't make sudden movements! You may have to persevere, but often your pet will eventually accept and enjoy your petting. Never lose patience, and remember that your nervous cat is not rejecting you, it is just an in built protective reaction to something that has given kitty cause to be wary of humans. Love and perseverance will often win the day, and you will be rewarded by your cat's affection. Retirement: Health for your Aging Cat Age is just a number, right? A Human who is 60 years old may act like a young adult, while another human the same age may at like he or she is on a deathbed. Cats are the same way! Your pet may act like a kitten for many years or may be gray and achy quite young. Specific breed, environment, and genetics play a role, but in general, a well-cared for house cat usually lives to be at least 15 years old. Some cats live to be well over 30. There are things you can do, however, to provide your cat with the chance for the longest life possible. For example, have your cat spayed or neutered. Statistics show that fixed cats live longer, because this causes the cat to stay closer to home and be exposed to few dangerous situations and disease. Good nutrition is also important. Make sure that you are buying cat food that is appropriate for your cat's age. As you cat ages, certain medical conditions may cause you to make special considerations for your cat. Examples include reduced tolerance to extreme temperatures, decreased sensory perception, susceptibility to infection, arthritis and joint stiffness, digestion problems, liver and kidney problems, weaker bones, cancer, muscle weakness, slow reaction, memory loss, high blood pressure, and irritability. As you can see, aging cats have many of the same problems as aging humans! Along with a good diet, promote healthy amounts to exercise in your cat. You can do this by allowing your cat to go outside and by playing with your cat every day. Toys and environmental pieces, like scratching posts, are great for encouraging your cat to exercise. Remember, cats may spend a lot of the day sleeping, which is fine. If you are overly concerned, talk to your vet about your cat's sleeping habits. Preventative health care is, of course, important. Make sure that your cat has regular checkups with the vet to make sure everything is in check. You should also brush your cat's teeth daily and have your cat groomed regularly to prevent skin diseases. As cats age, most grow to love grooming. Monitor your cat for diet chances, changing sleep habits, and unsafe water consumption. The key to graceful aging in a cat is and owner who is well involved in his or her life. Make sure that you provide advanced care for your cat as he or she grows, and your pet should be a part of your life for a very long time. Asthma In cats Asthma is not only a human disorder, but is also found in some cats. You should have your cat checked by a vet if you suspect this disorder. Leaving feline asthma untreated can result in permanent damage to your cats lungs and heart. Feline asthma is an immune-mediated disease characterized by symptoms ranging from infrequent, hairball-like coughing, to sudden onsets of respiratory distress (which veterinarians call "acute dyspnea"). Episodes are usually triggered by an allergen or stress, and can be accompanied or followed by vomiting, sneezing, or even wheezing like a human allergy sufferer. Respiratory signs may be slow and deliberate (more abdominal breathing), to fast and labored. True asthma, as opposed to bronchitis, normally responds quickly to a combination of bronchodilators, oxygen therapy, and fast acting steroids. Diagnosis is usually confirmed with an x-ray, and possibly a slide cytology of the airway. Because asthma can mimic other feline diseases (bronchitis, heart disease, pneumonia), a veterinary diagnosis assisted by an x-ray is essential. In many ways, feline asthma is very similar to human asthma, although our understanding of the causes of clinical feline asthma has been growing in recent years. Long-term treatment of asthma usually includes short or long- term use of corticosteroids (such as prednisone), and bronchodilators (such as terbutaline or aminophyline). While severe "episodes" of dyspnea can occur, the long- term prognosis for this disease is generally excellent. If diagnosed early, any structural changes to the lungs and airway are usually reversible, and damage can be minimized. Recent investigation into alternative treatments for asthma include injectable steroids (for that patient that simply can't be pilled), Cyproheptadine (formally used as an appetite stimulant), Cyclosporin A (limited to severe cases), and Anti-Interleukin-5 Antibody (still experimental). Removing allergens from the environment (use of an air purifier, dust free and unscented litter, no odor controlling sprays, etc.) could possibly help to relieve symptoms. Biting the Hand That Pets You Most cats will simply walk away when they have had enough attention from you. Others, however, will nip at your hand. Why do they do this? You aren't hurting him, just stroking, so it can get confusing. Some cats become over stimulated easily. The stroking gets them wound and the bite relieves some of that tension. Others just never learned that biting was inappropriate behavior. There is no consensus on exactly why some cats bite and others don't, but there are some warning signs you can look for that may help you prevent being bit. Watch your cat's tail. If the end begins twitching, this is a sure sign the cat is getting irritated. Unlike dogs, cats do not wag their tails. Another sign to look for is ear movement. Every cat owner is familiar with the flattened ears of an angry cat, but by that time, it is too late and you are nursing a bite. Watch for the ears to start turning to the sides. This is an indication your furry friend is getting agitated. Stop stroking now and you can prevent getting bit. With cats that have a tendency to bite, it is good to follow what has been dubbed the seven-stroke rule. Allow yourself to stroke your cat only seven times to start. Then stop. This is usually short enough not to create agitation. Eventually you can add another stroke and then another, but do it slowly over time. This will give your cat time to build up to being stroked. Just as some people prefer not to be touched, some cats are also this way. Learning to recognize the warning signs will help prevent anger on your part and irritation for your cat. This will make you both happier. When to Call the Vet for Your Cat The most important thing you can do when caring for a vet is make sure that he or she is healthy. When you have a cat, this is very important. Because a cat cannot tell you what is wrong, you must be alert to changes in your cat. Knowing when to call your vet is very important, but it can be hard to know if there's really something wrong or not. Knowing your cat's normal behavior is important. First of all, what are his eating and elimination habits? Some cats eat their meals in one sitting, while others eat bites all day. If your cat has had a chance in appetite, this could indicate a problem. Your cat should also be using the litter box regularly, and diarrhea, constipation, and straining to urinate are all causes for concern. Ever cat is different, so make sure to notice how your cat normally eats and eliminates in order to notice when something is wrong. Your cat's daily activities should also be somewhat regular. If your cat is always playing and then suddenly seems less active, you may have cause for concern. However, slowly becoming less active is a natural part of aging, and some cats are naturally just not as energetic as others. Make sure you note sudden chances and call your vet if you are concerned. Watch for problems with gait as well, as this could indicate arthritis or injury, among other things. Along with activity, watch grooming habits. Cats are very neat and tidy creatures by nature, so your cat should be grooming him- or herself regularly. Over-grooming may also be dangerous to your cat's health. It is also important to know when there is an emergency situation. In general, if there is any doubt in your mind, call your vet or even take your cat straight to the vet's office. For example, if your cat gets hit by a car, but is not bleeding, you should still have him or her examined, as internal problems could be of concern. You should also consider it an emergency if your cat suddenly has an extreme change in health. For example, if your cat suddenly begins vomiting frequently, he or she may have been poisoned, which can be fatal. The important thing is to never take matters into your own hands if you are unsure. A vet can make sure that your cat is healthy and happy. As a guardian for your pet, it is your responsibility to provide this care whenever necessary, and its always best to be safe. Cat Sitter Tips There will be times in your life when you have to leave home, and you can't always take your cat with you, no matter how well behaved he or she may be. If you have to travel out of town, it is important to make sure that your cat's health will be in good hands while you are gone. For this job, you'll need a cat sitter. When hiring a cat sitter, make sure that you leave him or her with good information about your cats so that you can rest assured that they are safe and healthy. In the best-case scenario, your cat sitter will be someone that you already know. Neighborhood teens make good cat sitters, as do relatives. You can also call a pet sitting company if you don't have anyone else in mind. Whoever takes care of your cats, make sure that they are trustworthy and responsible to show up at your house every single day at the correct times. If you have multiple cats or other pets, or if you will be gone for over a week, it may be a good idea to have someone you know house sit and stay overnight in your home. Before you leave, create an easy-to-read sheet of important information. Start by listing your cats--include their names, fur color, special diet and medication, likes and dislikes, and favorite hiding place. You should also include step-by-step detailed instructions for cat care and the number for you and for your vet. Make sure that everything needed to care for your cat is out in the open and easy to use. For example, do forget to leave a can opener for your cat sitter! If any of your cats fall ill or are injured, your cat sitter will need to call a vet and possible even take your act to the vet's office. Have the phone in an easy-to-locate place and leave cat carriers by the door. Also make sure that all cleaning supplies are easy for your cat sitter to find, including litter box materials. If any of your cats need vet care, you will have to pay the vet bills, of course. Leave a $20 bill (or more if you'll be gone longer) for your cat sitter to specifically be used for the cats. Beyond that, call your vet to alert him or her that you will be out of town. Given your vet your credit card number, the phone number where you can be reached, and the name of your cat sitter, with the assertion that he or she will act in your place until you return home. Doing this will help keep your cat safe and healthy even while you are away. Cold and your Cat's Health Although your cat may have a furry coat, cold weather can still be extremely dangerous. Imagine how you feel after being out on a cold day for more than a few minutes--even with your winter coat, you are probably still very cold. Cats are the same way, and if you leave your pet exposed to the cold for too long, he or she may show signs of hypothermia. In a worst-case scenario, hypothermia leads to death. There are many different reasons why your cat could become too cold. If you typically let your cat outdoors, remember that he or she will need to come back inside more quickly during the winter. This is especially true for smaller cats, cats with short hair, or cats recovering from an illness. Also, never let your cat outside if he or she is wet, for whatever reason. In fact, if you bathe your cat or your cat otherwise gets wet, dry him or her immediately if the weather is cold, even if you are indoors. Make sure your cat cannot get outside in any way--your pet may not be able to figure out how to get back inside, and by the time you realize that he or she is missing, hypothermia could have taken hold. Hypothermia is a medical condition when the body temperature drops too low for the organs to function properly. Frostbite often occurs in the extremities, because the body will begin to shut down unnecessary body parts in order to keep the vital organs as warm as possible. If you cat has hypothermia, you'll see your pet shivering, moving slowly, and breathing shallowly. Eventually, your cat will become unresponsive and die. Therefore, it is important to warm up your pet. However, if you warm a pet too quickly, the damage could be even worse. Resist the urge to dunk your pet in warm water! Instead, warm slowly. Bring your animal into a warm room and wrap in warm blankets. You can even throw a towel in the dryer for a few seconds. Or use warm water bottles wrapped in a washcloth. Hairdryers work well, as long as you don't get too close to your cat and keep them on the low settings. Once your cat starts to warm up, a warm bath could be very helpful, although this is not a good idea if you plan to take him or her outside again to go to the vet. Remember, calling your vet is always your best option. Animals simply sometimes get outside accidentally, no matter how caring you may be to your pet. If your cat shows symptoms of being too cold, you can use these warming techniques to save your pet's life, and your vet will be able to get you on the right track to helping your pet recover. Hot Kitty! Cat Safety in Warm Weather If you live in a climate that has sticky, hot, summer days, you may find yourself longing for cooler days. Your cat will definitely agree! In warm weather, it is necessary for you to care for your cat's healthy so that he or she does not become overheated. Remember, a pet is like a newborn baby--your cat cannot tell you that he or she is hot or uncomfortable. You have to notice warning signs and provide a good living environment so that your cat does not get too hot. When you take your pet places during the summer, never ever let your cat inside of a parked car, even for a short time. Cars quickly become ovens in the summertime, even when you park in the shade, or even if you have the windows cracked. Your pet will not be able to alert people in order to get out of your car safely. In as little as ten to fifteen minutes, your pet could die from the heat in a parked car, and parking in the shade does little good to prevent this, since the sun continuously moves and the heat of the air alone will be bad for your pet. If your pet will be going with you, make sure that cats are allowed wherever you will be. When the heat index is high, keep your cats inside. Cats that are not outdoors most of the time won't know where the cooler places to hide are, or they may find these cooler places and not return home. Hot asphalt can also wreak havoc on a cat's health, as it can burn his or her sensitive paw pads. If your cat does not use a litter box and instead goes outside, make sure that he or she is let back inside after only a few minutes on the hottest days of the summer. Basically, if it is recommended that seniors and children stay inside, it is good for pets to stay indoors as well. Keep your cat well groomed during the summer as well. Brushing you cat often will help get rid of the excess hair that has been shed and is weighing down the animal. If your cat has very long hair or is overweight, provide him or her with an air-conditioned room if possible. Preventing overheating is key. As always, make sure your cat has access to clean, fresh water. This can be tap water, but should be cool and changed multiple times a day when it is hot outside. Your furry feline is very important in your life, so make sure that he or she gets proper care when the summer days make your sweat. Taking Kitty to the Dentist It is important for you to go to the dentist at least annually for checkups. This is, however, also important to your cat! Many people never think about it, but good dental health can keep your cat happy and disease-free. Whenever your cat goes to the vet, make sure that dental health is checked and discussed, and if your cat is acting strangely at all, especially with eating habits, make sure that dental health problems are not a concern. Kittens, like baby humans, have fewer teeth than adult cats. Each kitten has 26 temporary teeth, which begin to appear at about three weeks of age. An adult cat will have 30 permanent teeth--16 on the top and 14 on the bottom. A cat usually begins getting his or her permanent teeth when he or she is three of four months old. Some of these teeth have two roots while others have three. The most common dental diseases found in cats are resporption lesions and gum disease (gingivitis). Resorption lesions are also known as cervical line lesions or neck lesions and often result in tooth loss. These lesions are difficult to detect, as they often grow below the gum line. Gum disease is found in over 70% of cats by the age of three. You can tell if your cat has gum disease by looking for yellow and brown tarter build up along the gum line and over the tooth, red inflamed gums, and chronic bad breath. Oral disease is often an indication of other more serious health problems. For example, it is common for a cat with feline leukemia virus (FeLV) to have oral health problems. Dental conditions are also commonly found with feline immunodeficiency virus and feline calicivirus. Therefore, if your pet is have dental problems, you need to see a vet right away about these conditions to make sure they are symptoms of a much more serious disease. Cats can also accidentally break teeth. This can be a result of a fall, a fight with another cat or other animal, or biting into something too hard to chew. Usually, the upper canine tooth will be the tooth fractured. This is the tooth in your cat's mouth that looks like a large fang. If this is fractured, your cat may or may not be in pain. The first symptom of this kind of a fracture is continuous sneezing. Overall, oral health is important in all mammals. Cats are susceptible to a number of dental disease and problems, just like humans. By taking your cat to the vet often and asking about oral health, you can make sure that you are providing the best health care foods and tools for your feline friend. Diabetes: Could it be Affecting your Cat? Cats and humans may not look much alike, but remember, both are mammals. Therefore, there are a number of diseases, disorders, and other medical conditions found in humans that are also found in cats. One such disease is diabetes. If you believe that your cat may have diabetes, it is important to talk to your cat's vet as soon as possible so that your cat can get the right medical treatment needed. There are two types of diabetes in cats, just like in humans. Type 1 diabetes is caused by the insufficient production of insulin in the cat's body. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is when a cat develops intolerance for handling the insulin. In both cases, diabetes can develop in cats of any age, but it is more common for cats that are old, male, or obese. There is what is known as secondary diabetes as well, in which a drug or disease causes diabetes, sometimes forever and sometimes for a certain period of time. When caring for your cat, there are symptoms you can see that point to your cat having diabetes. These symptoms include excess thirst, vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness, loss of weight, breathing abnormalities, and unhealthy skin and coat. Your vet can then test your cat's blood sugar levels and urine sugar levels. Both tests are needed, as temporary blood sugar levels may be high in cats that are stressed or nervous. If your cat is diagnosed with diabetes, lifestyle changes are necessary to make sure that your cat's health is restored as much as possible. Diet is very important. Remember, your cat should only get enough food during a meal as is necessary. Cats typically need food the size of one large mouse to be content--more will cause weight problems. Not only is the amount of food important, but you should also be concerned with your cat's types of foods. Your vet can recommend specific cat food brands that are high in fiber and protein in order to control the diabetes. Insulin, oral mediations, and supplements may also be necessary. Again, your vet can tell you what is needed, as well as show you how to administer treatment to your cat daily. It is important for you to monitor your cat's health to make sure that the diabetes is in control and that he or she is staying happy, healthy, and comfortable. Diabetes is not the end of the world, in either humans or cats. Disease watch and how to get rid of them Cats are also vulnerable to some common sickness. As a cat owner, it is necessary that you observe the health of your pet. It does really matter. Just like us, cats would surely have these phases of their lives when they would get sick or show signs of weak health. When this happens to your pet, you have to be ready and you have to do what is indeed helpful for it. There are different health problems common in cats and they are as follows: Diarrhea When your cat has diarrhea for a consistent number of times, do not be alarmed. The first thing you need to do is change the diet. When you know what your cat likes to eat, you better give it to him or she for it would surely help. When there is still a continuous diarrhea, it would be best to bring your pet to a veterinarian. Diabetes Not only common to people, but also to cats. This occurs when a cat becomes aged. The more it grows old, the more it must stay at home. You have to watch its diet for improper food intake is what the real cause of diabetes is. When you notice signs and symptoms like the cat urinates always. You could obviously notice as well that it gets thirsty so fast. Throwing up This is a very common health phenomenon for cats. When this happens to your pet, you have to check the food you have fed to it. After doing so, it would be better if you try to change the food. As much as possible try a far different one from the food you have observed to cause such vomiting. It has been discovered that the min cause of this is hairballs so as much as you could, brush or comb the hair of your pet. There is also another angle, and that is allergic to food. Meeting your veterinarian is the best move to make. Make sure that you give enough liquid to your pet, throwing up may lead to dehydration. FIV This cat disease has something to do with HIV and the best thing for you to do is to seclude your pet from foreign cats. It would be better if you keep it in your home. You have to protect your pet well. You have to be cautious about these diseases for they would surely be a threat to the life of your pet. When you encounter such health problems, you have to seek the help of the expert, you must not let your insufficient knowledge let you lose your pet. Does Your Cat Have an Allergy? When a cat is allergic to something, common indications will be itchy skin, coughing and/or sneezing, or vomiting or diarrhea in the case of a digestive allergy. Allergies to fleas, foods, things inhaled, or something they have come in contact with are the most likely allergies in cats. Contact allergies generally result in a fairly localized reaction on the skin. The cat may scratch a lot or there may be an indication of irritation at the place of contact. Most common causes of contact allergies in cats would obviously be items with which they come in close contact such as flea collars, bedding, toys, etc. The simplest cure is to remove the contact. Flea allergies are very common in cats. A normal cat may simply bite or scratch for a while and then go on to other things, but a cat with a flea allergy may scratch, chew, and worry at the spot until large amounts of fur are lost. Inhalant types of allergies are probably the most common in cats. Your cat can be allergic to the exact same allergens that you are. Tree pollens, grass pollens, and weed pollens along with the rest of the items we humans fear; mold, mildew, dust mites, and dust itself can all trigger allergic reactions in cats. As in humans, true food allergies in cats can be extremely difficult to pinpoint. One reason is that they commonly demonstrate many of the symptoms of distress seen in the other groups. True food allergies in cats can cause itching and/or respiratory problems. Most food allergies will center around the type of protein common in the cat's diet, such as beef, pork, poultry, or lamb. Simply eliminating that type of protein by changing to another type of food will usually take care of the problem. Feline Leukemia Virus Disease: A Major Threat to your Cat Just like in humans, cats can develop very deadly medical conditions. One of the most common and fatal kinds of disease a cat can contract is feline leukemia virus disease, known as FeLV. Leukemia, which is also found in humans, is a disease of the white blood cells. There are three major types of this leukemia. Today, we can protect our cats for FeLV with a vaccine, so it is important to have your pet up-to-date with medical care at all times. With FeLV, there are three disease categories. The first are the leukemias, which are similar to what leukemia is like in humans. This is cancer of the white blood cells. However, not all FeLV diseases are cancer. Lymphosarcoma is the second category. Also cancerous, this disease begins in the lymphoid tissue around the lymph nodes. It affects the intestinal tract, kidneys, liver, spine, brain, blood, and bone marrow. The third category is the non-cancerous diseases that fall under the umbrella of FeLV and include immune suppression, anemia, and arthritis. Some of these medical conditions may also be fatal. Cats are most commonly exposed to FeLV when they get into fights. FeLV is a virus that is spread mainly through saliva, and the wounds a cat receives from bites during a fight provide an entry point into the body. Cats can also get FeLV from sharing food or water bowls, grooming one another, and transmission from mother to kittens. If your cat contracts FeLV, there may be many possible outcomes. Some forms of the disease cannot be treated, however, so prevention is important. Remember, though, that a cat can live with the disease for many years and so your vet can help you choose the best course of action. Cats infected with FeLV are dangerous to other cats, and so they must live in confined single-cat homes, or you can choose euthanasia. So far, there have been no studies that have found any correlation between this disease in cats and diseases in humans, so your family should be safe. That said, high-risk individuals should avoid contact with a sick animal. This includes newborns, senior citizens, AIDS patients, and chemotherapy patients. Because the virus cannot live for more than a few hours outside of the cat, you are safe in having cats return to your home as soon as two days after the infected cat is gone. Talk to your vet for more details. When Kitty has the Flu There are a number of medical conditions that affect your cat, and so having a vet that you can call for illnesses and injuries is best if you choose to keep a pet. Just like humans, cat can also get the flu. Flu in cats is due to an upper respiratory infection and can affect cats of any age, but is especially found in young or old cats. If you suspect that your cat has the flu, call your vet o get further instructions for nursing your cat back to health. The flu in a cat will look similar to the flu in a human. Depending on what agent is causing the flu, there are a wide range of symptoms and severities. Major signs that your cat has the flu includes inflammation around the eyes and nose, discharge from the nose, a raised temperature, weakness and loss of appetite, sneezing, and coughing. It is important to get treatment for your cat immediately so that your cat is not left with chronic diseases. Your doctor cannot cure the flu, as is also true for humans, but the symptoms of the flu can be treated. It is important for your cat to get plenty of nutrients during his or her illness, so that strength can be regained. Encouraging your cat to eat and drink is helpful, and if your cat is not adverse to water, gentle baths may be relaxing. Talk to your vet about specific treats you can use, like sardines, which will get your cat to eat more even if he or she is ill. If your cat's condition worsens, or is very severe, it is extremely important for you to take your cat to the vet. A vet hospital stay may be necessary to allow re-hydration and feeding. There are certain things you can do to prevent cats from getting the flu. Vaccination for the flu will drastically reduce the severity of the flu if caught. If you have multiple cats in your house, you should also consider isolation if a certain cat has the flu, since this disease spreads quickly. Clean the bowls often and disinfect your hands and clothing after handling the cat. You can also talk to your cat's vet in order to find out other things you can do to help your cat feel better more quickly and to prevent your cat from getting the flu in the first place. Remember, vet care is always the best choice to keep your cat healthy and happy. Giving Your Cat Medication There are times in every cat's life when he will need to take medication of some sort. Cat owners who have been through this know how hard it can be getting the cat to cooperate. Below are a few suggestions that may help in your endeavor. The first choice is to hide medication in some of your cat's favorite food. This may not always be easy, as in the case of capsules or pills. The cat's keen sense of smell will also be a problem, so it is advisable to pick some of the smelliest food you can if you use this method. Liquid medication works well mixed into food, especially salmon. The liquid mixes well with the oils and is almost undetectable by your cat. If at all possible, ask your vet for medication in liquid form. Crushing a pill or emptying a capsule into food is risky. The taste and smell is often bitter and easily detectable by the cat. If you must use this method, make sure whatever you use is sufficiently strong in both smell and taste. It will also be necessary to make sure your cat eats the entire portion in order to get all the medicine into his system. If you must give medication to your cat without the benefit of food, pick him up by the back of his neck like a mother cat. This will render him momentarily unmovable. Gently pry open his mouth and place the medication as far back as possible. Holding his mouth gently closed, stroke his throat. This will cause a reflexive swallowing reaction. Once the medication is down, give him cuddles. If all else fails, you can talk with your vet and have him show you how he suggests administering medication to cats.
Horrible Hairballs Your cat's health is important. Your veterinarian can teach you all about the many health conditions your cat could experience, but it is also important to learn about such things on your own. If you want to be sure that you cat is getting the best care possible, you need to watch for signs that something may be wrong with your pet. One common medical condition that affects many cats is hairballs. While hairballs are normal for a cat to some extent, you should contact you veterinarian immediately if you think the problem is out of control. Cats get hairballs mainly because they spend so much time cleaning themselves. Although cats do not like water, they do like being very clean at all times, and they do so, of course, my licking their fur. You cat probably grooms many times every day. Because cats also shed, they swallow a lot of their own hair. Most of this passes naturally through the cat's system, but occasionally the hair becomes matted and entwined in the stomach, causing a hairball that is too large to pass through the system. When this happens, the cat vomits the hairball. If your cat seems to have an abnormally high amount of hairballs, you should talk to you veterinarian. About a quarter of all digestive blockages in cats come from hairballs that cannot pass or be vomited and this can make you cat very sick. Huge hairballs that size of baseballs have been known to form in a cat's stomach. A hairball of that size can easily kill your cat. There are a number of signs you will see in a cat having a problem with hairballs. If your cat is retching often, has a change in digestion, or has a swollen abdomen, he or she may have a problem with hairballs. Your veterinarian can give you cat flavored medication that your pet will love. Contained inside are non-digestible oil lubricants that will help your cat pass hairballs easier. Taking this medication regularly will prevent your cat from ever forming such hairballs. Another great way to prevent hairballs from forming is a high-fiber diet, possibly including a fiber supplement. Home remedies, on the other hand, are not a good idea, because they could cause other problems with your cat's digestive system. When in doubt, call your cat's veterinarian. Animal doctors are specially trained to help you help your pets. When you report health abnormalities to your veterinarian, you are able to best keep your cat healthy and safe, no matter how many hairballs may form. Helping Your Cat Survive Your Move Moving into a new home is stressful for most of us. Humans understand the reasoning, but cats don't. Changing your cat's environment will need to be done gently and with patience. It is normal for a cat to hide for a few days when moving into a new place. He is nervous and unsure of where he can go and what is going on. He may be worried that you will leave him alone and not return. Some cats will act out aggressively at this point, showing their displeasure in hissing and biting. Be patient, he will adjust. It can help if you confine your cat to only one room when you first move. Make sure he has food and water and his litter box. Provide him with his usual sleeping blanket and some familiar toys. All these will give him comfort and make the new environment more familiar. Having more than one cat at a time like this is ideal. They will stick together and find comfort. You may find two cats who, until now, were barely tolerant of each other will become friendly and form a lasting bond. Going through a confusing situation together will cement that bonding. Make sure you give your cat extra attention during this time. He will sense your mood and the stress you feel at moving may increase his. Try to stay calm when interacting with him. If possible, make the room he is confined to the bedroom. This way, he will have you available at night. In time, your cat will be back to ruling his domain. All it takes is a little time and a lot of patience. Following the above steps may make each of you deal with a move more effectively. The Holidays and Your Cat's Health Keeping your pet safe and health at all times should be one of your major concerns, and this can be even more difficult around the holidays. There are a number of special considerations you must make for your cat around the holidays. Your vet can give you more specific instructions, but here are just a few of the things you need to consider. Holidays are not festive without a little decorating, and this includes, in many cases, the use of flowers. If you have a cat in your house, make sure that flowers are well out of reach if they are toxic, remembering that cats can jump very high. Some of the most popular flowers that are harmful to your pet include bleeding hearts, calla lilies, poinsettias, daffodils, Easter lilies, irises, ivies, tulips (the bulb part), and a number of other plants. Most cats will not go out of their way to eat these things, but to be on the safe side, make sure you use them in a safe way in your home or, better yet, opt for faux versions instead. There are many kinds of plants that can harm your cat, so check with your vet to make sure before bringing new kinds of plants into your house. The holidays also may bring a number of guests into your home for parties and gatherings. This can be very scary for your cat, unless he or she is used to high levels of traffic. It's a good idea to keep your cat in a room away from the party with the door shut. This will prevent your cat from being scared. When people are coming into and out of your house, there's also the potential that your cat could get outside, and there is also the danger that guests will feed your cat unsafe human foods. It is better to keep your cat away from the party. Remember also that alcohol and animals do not mix well. Alcohol, in fact, is deadly to animals. Although you or (more likely) a guest might think it's funny to slip a little vodka into your cat's water bowl, this could prove fatal. When you have guests, put your cat's food and water bowls somewhere safe where no one can tamper with them. Candles and electrical lights could also be unsafe for your pet. Cats are attracted to bright lights, and a candle could not only burn your pet, but you may find that a cat knocking over a candle will start a fire in your house or, at the least, spill wax onto furniture or carpets. Use electrical lights instead, but remember to keep the cords covered and taped down so your pet isn't tempted to play with them. Overall, keep an extra eye on your pet during the holidays to make sure they are staying safe at all times. You can have a good time without compromising your cat's health. Is My Cat's Aggression Normal? Play aggression is defined as the stalking, chasing, pouncing, biting, and scratching behaviors, which normally occur when cats engage in play. Problems occur when these behaviors are directed against instead of with people in the household. Another common cause for play aggression towards humans is when owners leave a single young cat alone for most of the day. Play aggression can also be triggered and reinforced by owners who insist on letting a cat "attack" their hands and feet. Owners must learn to recognize the postures exhibited by cats engaging in problematic, as opposed to acceptable, play aggression. The typical play aggression cat will demonstrate predatory type of behaviors. The cat will stalk the owners and pounce on moving body parts such as hands and feet. Growling and hissing usually does not occur, however, the cat's pupils will be widely dilated. Bites and scratches inflicted during a play aggression attack are usually inhibited and not severe. All of the above types of aggression are normal for a cat. There are, however, a couple circumstances when there may be cause to worry. If a cat hisses and growls while attacking, he is not playing. This type of behavior is intended to inflict pain. It is important to find out what may be causing this behavior. Reacting with physical punishment will only make the cat worse. Try talking quietly and calmly to him until he has settled. Medical causes for aggression should be pursued only if a cat exhibits behavior that is unusual for the particular cat, or behavior accompanied by abnormal clinical signs. If a cat that previously loved to be petted suddenly starts biting when stroked, you should look for a possible source of pain. Knowing what is and is not normal for a cat will help you avoid problems in the long run. Newborn Kitten Health Any pet's health is important, but those who are new to the world may need extra care and attention in order to stay safe and healthy. If your cat has recently had kittens, you are a second mother to these new little additions to the family. It is crucial to make sure that you are providing the best living environment possible for the kittens as they grow during their first few weeks of life. During the first few days of a litter's life, your mother cat will spend most of her time lying with the kittens. This is a natural instinct. You should move the food and water to be very close to where the kittens are so that the mother does not have to move far to find nourishment. Check mom a few times a day to make sure that she is producing milk properly. If the mother does not stay with her kittens, something may be wrong. First-time mothers are especially prone to bouts of anxiousness. When a mother is worried about her kittens, she may move them t hide them form everyone and everything, even you. If she feels very threatened, she may kill her kittens as a form of protecting them. If you see your mother cat exhibiting anxious qualities, monitor her activity with the kittens closely and consider keeping her caged. Kittens need a very warm temperature to survive. If the mother does not stay with the kittens, you may need to supply heat from an outside source, like a heat lamp. Large litters will typically stay warmer, using body heat. Make sure that the box where the newborn kittens are staying is about 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit for at least the first week of life. However, mothers may feel as through their kittens are in danger if there is too much light. You can calm an anxious mother by placing a blanket loosely over the top of the box. Don't be alarmed if the kittens are not moving around much at first. Newborn kittens sleep and eat 90% of the time for the first two weeks of life. Crying is common if the mother leaves for any amount of time, but if the kittens cry excessively, it may signal that they are not getting enough to eat or they are sick. Call your vet if this occurs. You can also call your vet for special instructions if there are more than 5 kittens in the litter, which may mean that the mother cannot supply enough milk. In general, it is simply best to talk to your vet about what to expect with your new kittens. Leash Training Your Cat You can train your cat to walk on a leash with a lot of patience and a few simple rules. A harness is best for a cat. Cat's won't respond well to jerking their collar so a harness is really best and should be loose and comfortable for the cat. First, allow your cat to play with the new items so she gets used to them. Try putting the harness on her and see how she reacts. This step is very important, if you force the cat to wear the harness, they are not going to be happy at all with the harness or with you. Take your time with all the steps. If your cat balks at any step, go back to the previous one. It is a lot harder getting a cat to cooperate than it is for a dog. After the cat is wearing the harness loose, then it is the time to tighten the harness up until it is the right fit for the cat. At this point, you will want to give the cat time to wear the harness. Next attach the leash. Then you will want to start walking the cat inside, until the cat is doing well. Once the cat is comfortable with the leash then it is time to go outside for a walk. When walking with the cat make sure there is not too much loose leash or they will be running in all random directions. There are many distractions for a cat outdoors -- birds, squirrels and the neighbor's pets might cause your cat to want to run around, but you must keep a tight leash so that your cat walks with you and is not dragging you all over the place. You will soon be enjoying your outings. Moving and Cat Concerns Moving can be a difficult situation with which to deal for all member of your family, including your cats. If you will be moving in the near future there are a number of things that you should consider in order to make sure that your cat's health is not compromised. Don't forget to think about your furry friends when moving! First, when you are packing for the move, it might be a good idea to confine your cat to a single room or to have a friend of family member watch your cat for the day. Movers are often caring very heavy items, like sofas and refrigerators, so they shouldn't have to watch where they step. Your curious kitty could also climb into the moving van or boxes and get packed away! If your cat is fully an indoor cat, the open doors while you are loading your belongings are also a worry, since it is easy for a pet to bolt out the door. About a month before you move, have your cat wear his or her collar full-time, even if you do not normally put the collar on your cat. All of his or her information should be updated and the tags should reflect your new address. When cats are confused, they often run, and a lost cat in a new neighborhood may not be able to find his or her way home very easily. If your cat needs certain medication, this can be very dangerous. By having his or her wear a collar at all times, at least until he or she gets used to the new location, you can make sure that your cat is returned home if lost. During the move itself, don't forget to make special accommodations for your cat. A cat carrier that is well ventilated is a necessity, and if the trip will be more than a few hours long, you'll also need to carry food, water, and litter box supplied for your cat. Cats that are not used to riding in cars may get sick, so talk to your vet about ways to prevent this. You can also cover the carrier with blankets to provide a bit of extra security for a stressed-out kitty when you're in heavy, loud traffic or construction areas. Remember, that you'll need to find a new vet in your new neighborhood. This should be a top priority for you if you're moving, and you should talk to your current vet about having your cat's medical records transferred to a new location. If your cat is acting strangely at all, do not hesitate to call your vet to more tips about moving with your cat. The Advantages of Neutering your Male Cat Most male animals that are not used for breeding purposed are castrated, neutered, so that they can no longer impregnate a female. For cats especially, this is crucial, since there are hundreds of kittens every year that go without homes. There are many advantages to neutering your male cat, and the process is quite safe, so you should consider it if your furry feline friend is male and not yet neutered. Male cats that have not yet been neutered are called tomcats. Simply put, it can be difficult to live with a tomcat, no matter how well trained he may be. When your cat is not neutered, he will want to get outside as frequently as possible to mate with female cats in heat. This can be disastrous if you live in a busy street with lots of traffic or if your cat is not used to being outdoors. Tomcats also roam a lot, meaning that they may travel far distances in search of female cats, and it is possible for your cat to roam too far and not know his way home. It is also possible for him simply to resist coming home at all, since he will be shut indoors. To protect your male cat, neutering it the best choice. Tomcats also fight and are generally more aggressive than neutered cats. Because they want sexual dominance in a particular area, they may seek fights with other male cats to drive them away. Cats will fight to the death if they feel threatened, and fights cause not only injuries, but also the spread of diseases like the FeLV virus, which can be fatal. Neutering your cat will not stop an aggressive cat from being less aggressive toward humans, but it will prevent your cat from actively seeking fights with other male cats in the neighborhood. Vasectomies are not done with male cats. Rather, the simple neutering procedure will remove the male reproductive organs, which are easily accessible in most tomcats. In some cases, more extensive surgery has to be done, because they have not developed and descended correctly. The removal of these organs is what causes the changing in male hormones through a cat's body, changing the cat's behavior. Sterilization is not enough, because the cat won't notice the difference and will still seek to fight and mate. Your vet can tell you more about this procedure, but all in all, it is the best choice for any cat, since there are already so many homeless cats in the world. Recognizing and Treating Over-grooming There are a number of medical conditions in cats that may seem like they don't really harm the cat, but in actuality, they can really take a toll on a cat's health. One such disorder is over-grooming, which is a stress-related condition that can be compared to obsessive-compulsive disorders in humans. Over-grooming can be very dangerous, so if you see symptoms of this disorder in your cat, talk to your vet right away to find out what you can do to help. Over-grooming usually starts when there has been a big change in your cat's life, such as a new baby or pet in the house or a move. Cats naturally groom themselves often, and this activity is like a massage that cats love to do. Therefore, if your cat is stressed out about a change in his or her life, your cat may groom as an attempt to remain calm. Over-grooming takes place with the cat excessively licks or pulls out fur, resulting in bald spots. Commonly, the areas affected by over-grooming at the inner thighs and forelegs. If you see bald spots on your cat, your first step is to call your vet and schedule an appointment. There are, in fact, over things that cause balding in a cat, and these other medical conditions can become quickly fatal if left untreated. Thyroid problems, allergies, fleas, mites, ringworm, and bacterial pyoderma can all cause bald patches in the fur, which your vet can examine to diagnose your pet. If your cat is suffering from over-grooming, there are a number of things you can do to her him or her heal. First, identify what has triggered this reaction in your pet and eliminate this if possible. However, this may not help, as the cat's behavior may be a habit by now. Try to take your cat's mind off of grooming by regular play and stimuli. Consider a cat video or a fish tank, which can entertain your cat when you have to leave for more than an hour, and when possible, bring your cat wherever you are going. You vet can also recommend certain medications to help your cat stop over-grooming. Anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medications could do the trick, and your vet can help you learn positive reactions for your cat when you she that he or she is over-grooming. Together, you, your vet, and your cat can put an end to your cat's health problems. Pet cats against AIDS and others With no specific cure for your ailment, no idea if when is the end, not many people who are willing to get close to you, no more time to be guilty then and now... These are just some of the many uncertainties and pain a person with AIDS, HIV or any other STDs (Sexually Transmitted Disease). As a kind of sickness which the society feels less acceptable, any person who has it, no matter how callous he or she may be will really feel lonesome. According to a study published in the April 1999 journal AIDS Care, those who own pets such as cats are also less likely to suffer from depression, even as symptoms from this frightening disease become more severe This feeling of solitude and helplessness will just worsen things. At this point of their lives, they need to be stress-free, guilt-free and so forth. Moreover, they must feel happy, accepted and loved. Being in their situation is difficult. If they do not find means of recreation, they would feel so much depression and anxiety. Thus, health hazards would be so strong to overcome. Companionship and consistency are among the wonderful things pets could give AIDS or HIV patients and victims. These animals provide them pleasure, love, attention emotions which they cannot freely have from others due to the negative social stigma we have around. "The benefits of pet ownership especially these affectionate cats, are real -- physically, mentally and psychosocially," confirms Dr. Daniel Joffe, a Calgary veterinarian who specializes in companion animals. People need companion. If in the absence of a good friend or a loved-one, pets are the purest source of joy. We do not have to insert coins just to be entertained. For animal-assisted therapy patients, they do not have to stay in bed, shedding all those tears at all times. As a medium of social interaction, pets help one patient feel better by easily linking him with other patients. Interacting with one another is not merely a way of meeting somebody who has the same situations like yours. Indeed, it helps you feel that you are not alone and that someone else could understand where you are coming from. A friendship may bloom and few know that friendships provide a lot of remedies to even deep pains beyond the treatment of chemicals. Long time ago, pets such as cats graced our homes and we felt happy. Today, they grace hospitals and asylums: we feel safe and sane. We must consider them as blessings. Thus, encourage the rest of the world to take care of animals. The world needs them. We need them. Coaxing Kitty to Swallow: Administering Pills If your cat s sick, there are many things that you can do to help him or her regain health. A vet will be able to explain to you all of the treatment options available. Sometimes, this means administering medications to your pet, and pills can be especially difficult to get your cat to eat. In fact, many pet owners think that their cat has eaten a pill, but they later find it on the floor or in the food bowl! There are many ways you can ensure that your kitty is swallowing all of the proper medications in order to heal as quickly as possible. Remember, no matter how old your cat gets, you'll never be able to explain to him or her that a pill is the first step to feeling better. Therefore, in order to teach a cat the importance of pets, you must teach a pet to be nonresistant to pills--or things that look like pills! Many cat treats that you purchase are actually in a similar size to pills and can be given to your cat regularly to get him or her used to pills. That way, if your cat ever needs pills, he or she will not resist. When you do this, give your cat the pill, and then immediately give your cat the pill-shaped treat. If your cat has not had pills before, don't worry--you can still get them into your cat's system. Most cats will not resist pills at first if they do not know what they are. Start with the pill-shaped treats--cat chocolate is a good place to start. You can feed the cat a few of these pill-like treats, and then the real pill. Follow up with the treats once again. You can also hide the pill so that the animal swallows it without realizing what he or she is doing. Push your cat's pill into a chocolate treat that is made for cats (never you chocolate made for humans), or talk to your vet about other appropriate ways to cover the pill. Some people coat the pill in butter. Make sure, however, that your cat can have the pill with food. In some cases, your cat needs the medication on an empty stomach. If your cat still won't swallow the pill, you can also push the pill down his or her throat. This may seem a bit cruel, but if your pet needs the medication, it is the best choice. You can purchase pill pushers, but it is usually more convenient and effective if you do it by hand. Your vet can demonstrate how to push up on your pet's mouth to insert the pill without getting bit. Stroke the cat's throat and insert some water into the cat's mouth to make him or her swallow. Pills and medication are very important to your pet, so make sure that your pet is getting them to stay healthy. Household Poisons to your Cat If you seek to provide the best living environment possible for your furry feline friend, it is important to know about the different household items that could poison your cat. Remember, your cat cannot resist tasty-smelling or unusual substances, nor can he or she tell you what was ingested to make him or her feel badly. Therefore, know which items you own could hurt your pet and keep these items securely in cabinets and other places your cat cannot access. If possible, keep these items out of your home altogether. First, many homes have bleach products. You'll find bleach and Clorox mainly in the laundry room or in other cleaning supplies; however, you can also find bleach products in swimming pool supplies. In generally, household bleaches are fairly mild. Although they will make your cat feel ill, most animals are smart enough to not drink enough to kill. Signs that your cat may have drunk a bleach product include excess drooling, vomiting, and abdominal pain. If your cat seems to be in pain, smell his or her fur if possible to detect the scent of the bleach. In general, call you vet and have your cat drink large quantities of milk or water if you possibly can. Monitor your cat for bloody vomit and difficulty breathing, and wash the paws and mouth area thoroughly. Mothballs and other products containing naphthalene and paradichlorobenzene can also make your cat sick. Ingesting this substance can cause live damage and seizures. Symptoms include vomiting, seizures, blue or brown colored gums, increased heart rate, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. If you cat has eaten mothballs or items like toilet bowl cleaner or bathroom deodorizer, call your vet immediately. Citrus oils, which are found in shampoo, insect repellent, fragrances, and insecticide are very harmful to cats as well. Although these items can harm all pets, cats are more sensitive than dogs and if you treat a cat with dog products, the result could kill your pet. Signs that your cat has ingested citrus oils include that common citrus smell, drolling, falling, trembling, and weakness. Eventually, liver damage occurs, and many cats experience liver failure, resulting in death. If your cat is treated, the prognosis is good, but left untreated, this poison could be deadly. Therefore, it is simply important to call your vet if you see anything wrong with your cat at all. Cats are creatures of habit, so if your feline seems to be acting strangely, it is best to schedule an appointment. Do what's best for your pet and try to keep harmful products in places where they can't be reached. When is a Worm not a Worm? Ring Worm and your Cat Ringworm is a typical skin disease that affects many cats. This medical condition is actually not caused by worms at all, but rather by a fungus. The sores on the skin due to ringworm fungi are circular, which led to the belief at once time that a curling worm under the skin caused this disease. However, there are no worms involved. If you believe that you cat may have ringworm, make sure that you have him or her see a vet to clear the problem. Ringworm is also called dermatophytosis. There are four species of fungi that cause ringworm in a cat, and because some of these organisms are so well adapted to a cat's body, about 20% of cats have ringworm and show no outward signs of the disease. Ringworm commonly infected the dead skin, nails, and hair on an organism, using the keratin in the tissue as food. Both genetics and environment influence the development of ringworm in cats. For example, research has shown that certain cat species develop the disease more readily. Ringworm spreads quickly between cats, so those illegally or even legally breeding cats may find this a problem. Ringworm caused the hair to break off at the skin and may be itchy. If your cat has ringworm, there are a lot of ways to treat it. First, medications can be given to clear up the fungi found in the body. These may or may not have side effects, so make sure your vet tells you they are safe for your cat. Anti-fungal shampoo baths may also work. These baths should be given every day regularly and are great for cats that don't mind the water. Lime sulfur dips, done weekly, can also be affective. If you have other pets, they may need to be treated as well to prevent the ringworm from spreading. Vaccines are available to help build an immunization to ringworm. If you cat has extremely long hair, clipping it may be necessary. Remember, ringworm can infect humans as well as cats, especially children. If your cat has ringworm, or if you suspect this is the case, see your vet immediately. He or she can recommend what course of action you should taken in order to help your cat overcome the ringworm as well as to help the fungi from spreading to other animals and people in your house. Seizures and Your Cat There are many reasons why human being experience seizures, which are convulsing fits. However, this medical problem is not subject to affecting only humans. Your cat may also experience seizures. As with any medical condition, you should see your vet is any health problems arise in any of your pets. When you have a cat for a pet, it is important that you are responsible for keeping him or her as healthy and happy as possible. Seizures are not always the same in every cat. They can occur at any time, and often have symptoms like loss of consciousness, contractions of the muscles, involuntary bodily functions, non-responsiveness, hallucinations, running in circles, and viciousness. You cat may or may not recognize you if he of she is going to have a seizure or after the seizure occurs. There are three main phases of seizures. In the pre-ictal phase, the cat may "know" a seizure is going to happen. He or she may appear nervous, hide, or find you and cling to you. Your cat may also be very nervous and tremble. This may last for up to a few hours, but in some cases, only lasts a few seconds. The ictal phase is the actual seizure. In this phase, the cat usually falls to its side and seems paralyzed. The body shakes uncontrollably and the head sometimes draws backwards. You cat may lose control of bodily functions. Usually this phase will not last more than five minutes, and immediately afterward, he or she enters the post-ictal phase. You cat may experience temporary blindness, confusion, nervousness, and disorientation during this period. If your cat has a seizure, do not panic. Unlike humans, cats cannot swallow their tongues, so keep your hands away from his or her mouth at all times. There is nothing you can do to stop the seizure, so simply prevent the cat from falling or otherwise hurting him or herself during the seizure and afterwards. Immediately call your vet. In most cases, seizures are caused by epilepsy, which is treatable and usually not damaging to your cat, but other medical conditions may also occur. Your vet can help your cat by doing a physical examination, studying his or her blood and urine, and doing an electrocardiogram to rule out more serious liver, heart, kidney, and blood disease. Your vet can prescribe medications to help prevent future seizures and talk to you about ways to minimize the harm done to your cat during seizures. Even if he or she has seizures, you cat may be able to live along and healthy life with the proper care. Skin Disorders in Cats Most cats are covered with a thick, protective fur. This makes it extremely difficult to tell if a cat has a skin problem before it becomes extreme. It is important to take time on a regular basis to examine your cat's skin closely for anything that may be wrong. Run your hand gently over his body and explore the skin for any unusual patches. If you find any, part the fur by brushing it slightly, so that you can see beneath the fur and have a better look at the skin. If you do this often enough and understand your cat's body, you should be able to spot any irregularity easily. You will learn to know what looks normal and what doesn't. Cheyletiellosis is a skin disorder in cats icaused by skin mites and is particularly contagious between cats as well as humans. In cats, the symptoms are itching and it usually results in heavy scaling and flaking of the skin, which is why Cheyletiellosis in cats is often known as "walking dandruff". This skin condition is usually not deadly and can be easily treated with the right medication once the condition has been diagnosed and confirm. Alopecia is a skin disorder in cats that will cause hair loss due to endocrine disturbances, localized infections, or generalized illnesses. The condition can also be a result of stress. The symptoms included bald patches on the skin and can be accompanied by reddened or inflamed skin. Not a deadly skin disease, and with proper treatment, the fur would most likely grow back. While most skin conditions are cause by allergies to food and pesticides bite, and can be easily managed and treated, early detection is still important. A few minutes each day could very well prevent days of discomfort later. Stopping Your Cat From Spraying Spraying is a behavior in cats, mainly males, which many owners confuse with urinating outside the litter box. The difference between the two is that a cat will urinate on a flat horizontal surface. Spraying is most often done on a vertical surface. Female cats will spray on horizontal surfaces, but it is rare. The primary reason a cat sprays is because felines are very territorial animals and like to mark their turf by spraying urine to let other cats know who owns that little piece of the world. If you notice things being marked near windows or screen doors where your cat can see outside it's a pretty good chance there is a cat hanging around your house or passing by frequently. Many times a cat will spray because of psychological problems such as anxiety, stress or a feeling of being threatened by something or someone. If personal items are being sprayed it is usually a sign that your cat has some issues with the person. The addition of a new cat or even having too many cats for the size of your house can cause spraying problems. If the cat is put into a stressful situation like someone new moving in (a new baby) or being introduced into a new living environment they might feel the need to spray. By taking time to examine the events going on in your cat's life, you may be able to eliminate this behavior. There are products sold at pet stores that contain odors only your cat can smell. These are designed to comfort your cat. Another thing that often eliminates spraying behavior is to have your cat neutered. In most cases, this is the most effective method as it alleviates the territorial instinct in your cat. This is yet one more argument for neutering. Smooth Sailing Surgeries for your Cat If your cat needs surgery, for whatever reason, there are multiple steps you can take to help your cat with this process. There are three main classifications of surgeries. First, elective surgeries are those that you choose to have done, but that do not have to be done. Spaying and neutering fall into this category. The second kind of surgery is called non-elective, and these are surgeries which have to be done for your cat's survival, but which you schedule. Lastly, there are emergency surgeries, that are done quickly and as your pet needs them, such as if your cat is hit by a car. If your cat is having elective or not elective surgery, there are ways to prepare for this, and if your cat is recovering from any type of surgery, you can do certain things in your home to make this easier. First and foremost, when your cat is going to have surgery, it is usually best for this to happen when your cat has an empty stomach, unless your vet indicates otherwise. The most common response to the anesthetics used is vomiting, so your cat will have fewer problems if his or her stomach has no food in it. If you deny your pet food for about 12 hours before the surgery, most of the food in the stomach will be gone. In most cases, your cat having access to water is fine. If you have other pets in the house, you may need to confine your cat to one room so that he or she doesn't eat from other dishes, or you may need to withhold food from all of your pets. When your kitty goes into surgery, remember that any number of things may go wrong. You'll be responsible for the vet bill, even if it is higher than the estimate. After the surgery, it may take a day or even longer for your cat to be awake and functioning. You may also be looking at a few days--sometimes more--in the vet hospital for recovery. You should visit during the hours allowed, and volunteer to help feed or care for your cat. This will let your cat know that you have not abandoned him or her. When you bring your cat home, follow all instructions completely. Your cat may need multiple medications daily or a special diet. Your cat may also not be allowed outside for a certain amount of time. For cats with any kind of incision, assume this to be at least a week or two, which may be difficult if your cat is used to going outside often. If your cat's fur had to be clipped or shaved, keep in mind that he or she is probably colder than normal, so it may be a good idea to provide extra blankets warmed in the dryer or a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel. Remember, your other cats will need attention too. By making sure that your house is safe and loving, you can keep all of your cats happy after surgery. The Case Against Declawing Your Cat Declawing a cat is a major surgical procedure, performed under general anesthesia. It is actually amputation of the last joint on each toe, not a simple removal of the claw itself as many are led to believe. Cats walk on their toes, unlike most mammals who walk on the soles of their feet. Their musculature, joints, tendons and ligaments are all designed to distribute their body weight to their toes. The claw is not a nail like human fingernails or toenails. It is actually a part of the last bone in a cat's toe. If you were to "declaw" a human in the same way a cat is declawed, you would be amputating all 10 fingers at the last joint! There is a real possibility of complications after any major surgery, and declawing is no exception. There is the possibility of hemorrhage, infection, extreme pain and bone chips. There is also the possibility of nerve damage. The cat can become withdrawn, distant, fearful and/or aggressive, and often start biting, as this is the only means of defense left to them. Occasionally the cat will stop using the litter box because immediately after surgery it was painful to scratch in the litter box, and now they associate that pain with the litter box. Some countries have made declawing cats illegal. They have considered it an abusive practice. Getting a good scratching post for your cat and teaching him to use it will help save furniture. Your cat needs his claws for defense and hunting if he ever gets lost. Look for alternative methods to save things from your cat's claws--just save your cat's claws. He will be happier and healthier from the choice and you will be happier knowing your feline friend has what he needs to survive. The Cat and Child Connection Cats are popular for the relief they could give to their owners or masters. With the numerous benefits cats could give to people, it would be very beneficial for your child if you are a parent to introduce the care of a pet; it would really lead to your child's wellness. Growing up with cats as pets is indeed great for your child. A different experience of learning respect for animals and the importance of affection is also learned. Buying cats as gift-pets would really make your child happy. When you do this, you would be able to give your child something not temporary. When you are looking for tips on how to bring out the best between your child and the pet, this article is so helpful. Show to your child the proper way of handling cats. Kids could be very excited and may be they will not be able to handle the cat well. Your role is to teach him proper way of caring the cat. With this, you would not only teach him or her concern for animals but beyond. Be a guide especially if it is your child's first time to have a pet. Explain to your child why a new pet acts so aloof so that he or she would understand. Tell your child some facts about cats. This way could make your child understand what some important facts about cats are; this would let their care for their pets become well. Do not encourage your child to have rough play with the cats. This would be entailing risk. Cats may find this hostile; it may use its paws and other parts of the body that may hurt your child. Introduce the use of cat toys for they are better than playing roughly with your cat. Let your child understand what the importance of sleeping is and how he could help in giving this to his pet. Remind your child the importance of not letting the cats stay inside homes. To keep their pets safe, it is a must that your child learns how to protect the cat from any untoward incident. These are things you have to remember about building and keeping relationship with a possible source of emotional growth. Urinary Tract Infection in Your Cat Possibly the single biggest cause of cats not using the litter box is a medical condition called Feline Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Your cat often may not display outward symptoms of discomfort and pain early on. It's only after your kitty feels significant pain, time and time again, that she stops using her litter box because she associates her urinary pain with the cat litter box. However, there are a few signs you should be on the lookout for. While none of us really want to watch our kitty use the litter box, it's a good idea to observe her a couple times a week. This way, you can separate normal litter box behavior and habits from those that indicate something is not quite right. First, we are looking to see if our cat cries or howls in obvious pain while she's urinating. If this is the case, run, don't walk to the phone, and call your vet immediately! Next, even if kitty does her business in silence, look at the urine ball (or puddle) before she buries it. If you see any tinge of red or pink -- get your cat to the vet as fast as you can, because she definitely has a UTI in full bloom. After she uses the box and covers her business, if she licks her genitals excessively, and meows, you can be pretty sure she has a feline UTI. Particularly if you see this behavior coupled with "accidents" around the house, you can be pretty certain you are dealing with a UTI. A few minutes now can save both you and your cat discomfort later. By knowing what is normal for her, you will be able to catch any problems early and get the UTI cleared up before it becomes too uncomfortable. What is in a name? Being called by your name is very important and this importance really goes deep down to a person's heart. This is also true for our pets. We give them names and we always see to it that it is dear, remarkable or something unique. What is the name of your pet? If you are still in search for the right name for you pet, we would be glad to share to you some points to remember so that you would be really satisfied with the choice of name for your pet. As you go through this whole process, you would surely be able to realize the importance of giving the right name for your pets. The most basic thing to do is choose a name that would definitely be easy for the animal to remember. This is easy-to-remember. Those names that include only a syllable or two would definitely be memorized by the pet easily. When your aim is to get close with your pet, this is one of the first few means. When you are not in a hurry in choosing a name for your pet, it would really help if you observe it first, you could base the name of your pet to a certain habit or characteristic it has or it shows. In naming your dogs, make sure that you do not pick something that resembles the sound of some of the dog commands like no, go, sit, roll, get and so on. Jut like for example the name of your dog is Moe, so you would say things like, "Go Moe". This may be confusing for your pet. Choose a name for your pet that is less embarrassing and it is fun calling. You could consider your cat's breed heritage in naming names. With their breed heritage are some characteristics special for them. Appropriateness is one of the most important factors to consider in choosing the name. It would definitely a big factor. Though a name may sound beautifully but if it would not sound well for you pet, it would be useless. For example, your pet grows up and the name is Puppy that would sound awkward. Names are fun to think of. It is so funny that some even fight over it just to see to it that she or he gives the name for a family pet. These tips are worth your consideration. Enjoy naming your pet but do not make it in such a way that you would regret it sooner or later. Why walk with your cat outdoors? Our homes have been the homes of our pet cats. This does not mean however that you just have to keep them inside your house. You have to let them feel what is in the world outside. More than the basic needs of our cats, there are things like walking your cat outside that would surely help boost the total development of your cat. When you take your pet for a walk, this would really be great for your cat pet. There are really great benefits from doing this activity. To do so would let your pet and you take a relieving break. Strolling around would entertain your pet and as well as stimulate it. Another good thing about walking with your cat outdoors is that it would be able to overcome the boredom of being constrained inside your home. Just like us, cats also need to take some time and go outdoors. Being constrained may just make your pet depressed. It is really best to pamper your pet in the right way; to pamper your pet is not to keep him secluded from the outdoors. Cats are not that expressive but studies show that behaviors of cats like scratching the furniture and others. This common behavior is one of the signs that may tell us that cats get bored too. One thing more is that it could be the best form of exercise for your cat pet as well. There are cats which stay at home all the time that become overweight and to worse, become obese. We all know that this is not good and it could post a threat to the life of our pet. Walking with your cats outdoors for it does not entail too much hassle, all you have to do is not only for your pet but it would surely entertain you as well. It would let you also spend some time outdoors, free from your busy schedule or the pressures of your tasks. There are really good benefits when you walk your pet outdoors. You have to take time and feel the fun outside the walls of your home. It would definitely be a time to cherish, a time to savor. Why Your Cat Won't Use His Litter box The biggest complaint of cat owners is due to having a cat that suddenly decides he doesn't want to eliminate in his litter box. Besides the smell, there is the added cost of ruined rugs and the embarrassment when visitors stop by. Cats are, however, naturally clean animals and you will need to do some investigating to see what is going on that may have changed this habit. The first reason cats stop using their litter box is cleanliness. How often do you clean the box? While one cat may tolerate once a day, others may insist the box be cleaned each time they use it. In the latter case, it might help if you can invest in a self-cleaning litter box. If cost is an issue, then try cleaning the box more often and see if this helps. Have you recently changed litter brands? Most cats prefer the brand they are used to. This doesn't have to be the most expensive; some actually prefer the cheaper brands. If you find a litter that seems to make your cat happy, stick with it. A more important reason a cat may stop using his litter box is illness. A visit to the vet to have your cat checked for possible urinary track infection could be in order. A cat with this infection may feel pain upon elimination and associate that pain with the litter box. Keeping in mind that most cats will not stop using a litter box once trained should make it easier for you to understand. Find the cause by eliminating things one by one. Both you and your cat will be happier for the effort. He stays out of trouble and you benefit by a cleaner-smelling house and nice carpet. Your Cat's Liver Disorder Liver disease is more common in cats than is commonly realized. It is important to recognize for leaving the disorder untreated will result in the liver shutting down and the cat dying. Literally, your cat will starve to death. One of the earliest symptoms is jaundice, which shows as a yellow coloring of the cat's eye whites. It is hard to identify a cat is suffering from liver disease because the signs and symptoms vary. Some might show decrease in appetite, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, depression and jaundice. Other cats pass off pasty looking stool and display inappropriate urination and defecation behavior. This happen because fatty liver disease causes the liver to be is weighed down by rapid fat accumulation and simply shut down. Immediate medication treatment is necessary for the recovery of liver disease. The treatment would depend on the cause and may include antibiotics, coagulation treatment for bleeding, intravenous fluid therapy, appetite stimulants, anti-emetics and diet management. When preparing a diet plan for a cat with liver disease, note that he needs a high-quality protein diet in moderate amount, with most of the cat's caloric intake coming from non-protein sources. If you are preparing your own food, it is recommended that the diet be based around eggs, cottage cheese, rice and liver. Your cat may also need multivitamin supplement. Small, easily digestible and frequent meals are generally recommended. Many experts also recommend organic foods because they are not exposed to chemicals, artificial colors or preservatives. It may seem like a lot of work, but preparing the special diet necessary is well worth the effort. If you have more than one cat, it will be necessary to keep feeding stations separate so you can watch the cat who is ill. You will need to keep a close eye on his eating habits.
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