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Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
The Gentle Art of Bathing a Cat
written by Marty Rudolph
The cat should witness no frightening preparations and he is in and out-- so soon being hugged in generous wrappings of dry towels and placed on the floor in a closed room; soon to begin grooming himself. This results in far less mess, less cleanup and a happier cat, I promise you. I hope you will use this with your fine research.
Here are the IMPORTANT KEYS :
- The room is quiet. Running water need not be turned on causing a struggle.
- The water is body temp and the animal isn't startled.
- Use only diluted soap for efficient faster bathing and thorough rinsing!!!
- Have many clean dry towels or blankets unfolded within reach to wrap around the dripping cat immediately upon rinsing, and to continue drying again and again. Don't skimp here--use your good towels and lots of them.
- Purchase a nylon mesh laundry bag with a drawstring top about 20" x 30" in size, to use to contain the cat. He is far safer and not terrified as when he could thrash around. Insert the animal into the bag firmly and carefully, tightening the drawstring above the cat's shoulders only enough to prevent his front legs from getting out. NOTE: become familiar with how to slide the top open and closed, thereby avoiding an undue struggle to remove cat from a wet bag as soon as he is wrapped in drying towels. This entire procedure can be done alone, but an assistant standing by who is not unknown to cat and speaks little, could be a fine help!
- Find big jugs to hold water for rinsing. They must have handles and large openings. Save the ones from bird seed or kitty litter perhaps.
- Don't wash cat's head until he is out of tub, and then use warm washcloths.
1. Secure cat alone in nearby pleasant room.
2. Place a container or waste basket, just large enough to dip the cat into, in one end of the bathtub and fill it deep with tepid water. Stir into the water approximately 1/4 cup of baby-type (no tears) shampoo, mixing well. Fill the remaining bathtub with about 12" of tepid water. Place two 2-gallon big-mouth jugs, or 4 gallon milk type jugs full of tepid water within arms' reach.
3. Stack by bathtub, many unfolded absorbent towels, (use flannel sheets, cotton rug, bathrobe. Have 2-3 washcloths within hands' reach for covering eyes, drying eyes and face washing.
4. When bath is prepared, join cat in the holding room and swiftly and purposely place mesh laundry bag (folded bag back on itself) over bottom half of cat and pull bag up to his shoulders. Carefully tighten drawstring just so feet cannot escape. Your manner and soothing sounds will reassure throughout. Hug cat gently, and proceed to bathroom, closing the room.
5. Holding cat with your two hands on his mid-section, gently lower the bagged cat into soapy water up to neck. Massage smoothly squeezing his entire body to clean rapidly for a minute or so. Lift from soapy water, squeezing water off a bit, and lower into clean water in main body of bathtub. Holding firmly, pull cat gently through water; rinsing cat by massaging all the while. (You may release drain in tub now.) Holding cat under front legs with one hand while letting him "stand" in water, begin to pour jugs of clean water over him getting thoroughly clean and rinsed. When all clean water is poured, grab an extra large towel and while holding cat over tub, wrap cat in it fast. Now you are done and can remove cat from bag while wrapping and drying him with one towel after another. Listen! He will be purring before you expect to hear it.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Basil's Baby" watercolor © Drew Strouble
Cat House - Your Ticket
To A Good Night's Sleep
It happens every night, you are woken up by your cat climbing up on your bed and nine, times out of ten, he crawls right up next to you and falls asleep. Sometimes this is okay with you, but most of the time you can't sleep with him there and thus begins another night of tossing and turning. This doesn't have to be you and in fact, there is a pretty simple solution to the problem, just purchase a cat house for your cat.
What is a cat house you're wondering? Well, it is a cylindrical unit with enclosed compartments made out of wood and carpeting. It is designed to provide your cat with a cozy, safe place to take a snooze, which would be a great alternative to your bed. This fixture can be just one level with one compartment if you just have one cat or you can get one that has two, even three or four levels and compartments, providing all the cats in your family with their very own place to get away from it all.
Another multiple cat house option in addition to the one that is tall and has different compartments is one that actually has those different compartments, but sits flat on the floor. So, if you have a lot of cats and they have a hard time jumping, they can just walk right into it without much trouble. This is a nice choice for getting for elderly cats.
If you don't have the room for a cat house in your home, yet still want to give your pet a personal spot to take a snooze, don't worry, you can just purchase him a nice cat bed. Much like a dog bed, it will be made out of some sort of plush padding that is covered in a soft fabric. There are many different versions available from ones that have bumper sides, to others that lie flat on the floor, and you can even get one that looks just like real furniture, but is just scaled down to match your cat's size.
Feel like a cat house or a cat bed might be a good sleeping option for your furry companion? If so, a great way to shop for one is by hitting the Internet, which is just like having a pet store at your finger tips. You can just click through all the sleeping options that you want for your pet in a matter of minutes. Plus, it is also a great way to look into other things for your cat too like cat supplies, food, toys, and other cat furniture like kitty gyms, cat trees, steps, and scratching posts. After you make your purchase, it will be shipped right to you, something that is pretty convenient if you lead a busy life and don't have time drive anywhere.
Okay, now what are you waiting for? Purchase a cat house today so you can enjoy a good night's sleep tomorrow, and the next night, and that night after that, and well, you get the point.
Jennifer Akre, owner of numerous online specialty shops, shares her insight on how to create more pet friendly space in your home by using decorative cat furniture, cozy cat houses and fun cat trees.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jennifer_Akre
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Give Your Cat A Longer
And Healthier Life
It does not matter what kind of cat you own, there is a few things you should be aware of to better the quality of life for your cat. You need to understand that your cats everyday lifestyle is directly related to his/her overall happiness, behavior and vitality.
Many people (I didn't say you) see cats as the perfect 'low maintenance' companion. Just refill that bowl of kittle, and clean a litter box once a week... done. What many people don't realize is even though their cat can get used to a life of free feeding and couch sitting all day, that lifestyle is opposite what nature intended for this creature.
For that reason it is no surprise most indoor cats in the U.S are overweight and have health problems when they get old. We all usually rather not think of the far future, but if you really care about your pet don't you want it to live long and strong?
In nature, a cat eats mostly protein in the form of meat, a bit of fat and almost no carbohydrates. Imagine for a minute of your cat having to survive in the wild, how active it would be, protecting itself and finding prey. I'm not saying you need to simulate a tigers life for your indoor cat, but just open your eyes to the natural needs of your cat.
To keep your cat healthy and fit for a longer life your cat needs less dry food, less boredom and sitting around, more meat, more action, interaction and attention from their owner. I know not everyone has enough time to play with the cat all day, but just a few minutes a day can make the difference.
For example, make the decision to stop filling up the bowl of dry food and try to have meal times. It's OK if your cats bowl is empty, your cat doesn't NEED to be fed every time it feels like it. You might think your cat knows how much it needs to eat for its own good, but it is just a fact that your cat will eat from boredom just like you!
Once you decide to have meal times for your cat/s, you can easily fit that schedule to yours. For example, give out a meal in the morning before going to work and then again during your own dinner time. It might take a little while for you and your cat to adjust, but doing this will benefit your cat in the following ways:
Your cat will appreciate, anticipate and enjoy the meals more than ever, because it will actually be HUNGRY for it.
Since you are the one giving those meals, your cat will love you more.
Your cat will lose weight and reach old age happier and healthier.
You'll end up spending less money on food (oh, that's your benefit).
These benefits will become the foundation of your cats better life, better health and better relationship with you , IF you go a step further and give the right food during those meal times. This is not hard, just read labels and give your cat more protein. Instead of only dry food, focus more on what kind of meat your cat likes. Find that type of meat product for cats, with minimal moisture and rich in protein. Mix it up for your cat with a bit of kittle or none at all.
Other than meal schedules, interaction with your cat is very important. If you're not home a lot, leave your cat with toys and things to explore. This is a challenge, especially for city apartment cats but why not make your cat happier if you could easily do so. Of course a happier cat means much less behavior problems that usually arouse from boredom and lack of attention.
Something fairly new that I'm doing for interaction time with my cats is clicker training. I know it sounds a bit crazy, like you could train a cat... You'll be surprised! I've already taught both of them to do a few tricks. Anyone could do this, with the right instructions, and this type of interaction really transforms your relationship with your cat.
Cat clicker training is based only on positive reinforcements, so it's pretty much a game for the cat and you'll be amazed how smart your cat really is. Opening up this channel of communication is not hard and could help you build good behavior patterns. After only two weeks of cat clicker training, I noticed both of my cats are much happier. I really feel they are thanking me... it's weird, but amazing.
Come learn more about that and everything else with Sammi and Isla at cat-love-story.com
Thanks for reading,
Sammi and Isla
http://www.cat-love-story.com/ or more on health
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Eyal_Barta
Friday, February 15, 2008
Cat Resource Corner
Obesity in cats is a growing concern. In fact, 25 to 30 percent of pet cats seen by veterinarians these days are overweight. The condition seems to be more prevalent today than it was 20 years ago, primarily because of differences in lifestyle and feeding. A large number of cats are exclusively indoor pets who are rarely called upon to defend their territory, stalk their prey or do little more than beg for their next meal.Boredom is also a culprit, and good-tasting cat food is a never-ending temptation to a cat with little else to do. And the higher the fat and calorie content of the food, the greater the risk for obesity.All cats have the potential to become overweight, but the problem appears to be more prevalent in mixed-breed cats. The highest incidence appears in neutered, middle-aged, six-to-eleven-year-old male cats.There are a number of theories why neutered cats are more prone to obesity than intact ones. The removal of reproductive organs alters the hormonal balance and causes metabolic changes. Also, cats are usually neutered in late kittenhood or early adulthooda time when energy requirements are declining but owners may fail to make appropriate dietary adjustments. Finally, neutering tends to curb certain cat behaviors, such as roaming and fighting, resulting in yet another decline in activity. In fact, surveys of overweight cats show they tend to be very inactive and sleep up to 18 hours a day.What are the dangers of obesity? Preliminary studies indicate that overweight cats are more likely to develop diabetes mellitus, skin problems, lameness due to arthritis and feline hepatic lipidosis (an accumulation of fat cells that impairs liver function).How do I diagnose an obese cat?Obesity is typically defined as 20 to 25 percent over the cats ideal body weight (for example, an extra 2.5 pounds may not sound like much, but it can be an enormous burden to a cat whose ideal weight is 10 pounds). To determine whether your cat is obese, you first have to determine your cats ideal body condition. The best method is to look at his profile and feel his body.Overfed: Ribs are difficult to feel. Waist and abdominal tuck is absent or barely visible.Underfed: Ribs are easily felt and pelvic bones may be prominent. Obvious waist and abdominal tuck.Ideal: You should be able to feel your cats ribs, but not see them. The view from above should reveal an hourglass figure. The cat has a slight indentation at the waist beginning at the back of the ribs to just before the hips. In profile, the cat should have a slight tummy tuck beginning just behind the last ribs and going up into the hind legs.What you can do about feline obesityAlways consult your veterinarian before placing your cat on a diet. Weight loss should be done slowly and with great care, or you could be putting your cats health in jeopardy.Try eliminating treats and slightly reducing the amount of your cats regular food. Then, divide his new, reduced daily food allotment into four or five small meals to keep him from feeling deprived. Multiple small meals also tend to increase his metabolic rate, which can help your tubby tabby slim down. Switching your cat to a lower-calorie, lower-fat diet is another option.If you want to add this cat article to your website, you must include the following author information with the cat article - including the links:
Article Proposed by... Pictures-of-Cats...Lovers
Saturday, January 26, 2008
7 Easy Home Pet Remedies
Anyone Can Do For A Dog Or Cat
Submitted By: Keisha Seaton
This article will help you to find simple home pet remedies. These home pet remedies can be used either for dogs or cats, unless otherwise stated.
Anemia: To help get rid of anemia in your pet increase the amount of iron, and vitamin B intake. A recommended serving of liver in the amounts of an ounce for cats, two ounces for small dogs, three ounces for medium dogs, and four ounces for larger dogs.
Arthritis: First things first, if your pet is overweight, then you will need to get him/her on a weight loss plan. Loosing weight will take the pressure off of those painful joints. Several 20 minute walks a day can be very helpful as well. Avoid having your pet sleep outside when it is cold. The cold air is not helping as it inflames the joints, and triggers the arthritis. Finally a moist heating pad around the joints can be applied for about 20 minutes twice a day.
Bad Breath: If your pet has bad breath it is sign of plaque. Simply brushing your pets' teeth will help reduce the bad breath odor, and help to eliminate the plaque. Raw carrots have been known to help with the cause of bad breaths in pets as well. To prevent bad breath try giving them a rope to play with, don't feed can foods, and as bad as it is try not to give them table scraps.
Diarrhea: One of the easiest home pet remedies for diarrhea is to make sure that your pet is well hydrated. Adding Gatorade to their water will also help the diarrhea. The Gatorade will help them to stay hydrated, and retain some electrolytes. It is best to stop regular routine feedings, when you are aware of this problem. If the diarrhea does not stop with this basic home remedy please seek professional advice from your veterinarian, as it could be a more serious problem.
Fever: Warning - If your pet has had a fever more than 24 hours please consult your veterinarian. A fever that cannot be broken is a sign that something is severely wrong with your pet. If you have just discovered that your beloved pet has a fever, then use a cool compress on their belly. If that is not possible, a cool bath will also help. Normal temperatures for dogs and cats run usually from 1000.5 to 102.5 anything over that is considered a fever.
Fleas: One of the best home pet remedies for fleas is to mix in some Brewer's Yeast. In addition to the yeast adding about 3 cloves of garlic cut up will keep the fleas away from your pet.
Smelly Kitty Litter: To keep your kitty litter smelling nice, and fresh, use about 2 parts baby powder to one part baking soda in your kitty litter.
Hope you have enjoyed this article about home pet remedies. Please note that these home pet remedies are not professional veterinarian advice. If serious problems persist with your pet please seek the care of a trusted veterinarian.
About the Author:
If you enjoyed this home pet remedy article please do not leave until you have claimed your free ecourse "7 Secrets To Healing Your Pet" & FREE e-book, "Healing Your Pets At Home"
For more free-reprint articles by Keisha Seaton please visit:
Friday, January 25, 2008
Make your Home Cat Friendly
10 Things to do to make your home cat friendly
Written by Dr.Laxmi Iyer
No smoking!Make your home a no smoking zone. This is vital for you and your cat's health. Recent research indicates that your pets are like canaries in a coal mine. When they fall ill with cancer, then it's a warning sign to tell you that your home environment is not right.
Cigarette smoke is a big killer. Watch out! A simple thing as making sure that no one in the family smokes can do wonders to your cat's health and of course to the health of your family too. There are more than 3000 cancer causing chemicals in cigarette smoke! Be careful!
Fix the windows and the upholsteryMake sure that there are no broken window panes, broken grills, sharp edges and sharp nails on the window panes etc. and other parts of the house. That can hurt your cats. When your cats rush in and out through the windows, the chances of them injuring themselves is very high.Worn out upholstery can be very dangerous if your cats are still in their kitten days. Kittens until the age of up to 2-3 months have the habit of experimenting with non food materials. They may swallow sand, paper, strings, beads etc. Take care!
Litter box care The litter box should be placed in a quiet, well ventilated private place of the home. It should be kept clean and emptied frequently. Try to make sure that you have at least one litter box more than the number of cats in your home.
Stay cool! Get some sun!Sunshine warms, comforts and heals. Of course, sunshine does not mean leaving your cats out in the terrace in the blazing hot, afternoon sun. It means letting the sun rays warm up your room, not heat it up like a geyser. You do know how much cats love basking in the sun. Make sure you create a special corner for yourself and your cat in the sunniest part of your house.
In case, you live in a place where there's not too much sun, then there's still a way to go about having something like the feel of the sun. Have central heating, a good fireplace and a huge glass windows all over the house to let some light and warmth inside.
Do a quick check on your plant list for safetyMake sure that you have no plants that are poisonous for your cats. Many cats love chewing grass and get a high with catnip. They are often adventurous and love trying out the taste of new plants. Take care to make sure that you don't buy ornamental plants which can be toxic to your cat if eaten.
Insecticides hurt cats too! Don't use organo-chlorine insecticides. That means avoid using any compounds which have active ingredients written like lindane, gamma BHC etc. These compounds are especially dangerous as they are easily absorbed and stored in the body of both animals and humans for decades.An effective way to keep insects away is to use dried tobacco leaves, neem oil and powder and boric acid. Growing plants like chrysanthemum can also help! Having wire gauze on all the windows of the home is another way to keep the home insect free.
Watch out for Peeled off Plaster and PaintMake sure that the plaster is not peeling off in any part of your house. Peeling plaster, paint and wall paper may mean an open invitation to your cat to try out the taste!Cats are naturally curious creatures. And if your cat happens to be a chronic woolsucker then you need to be doubly careful, because all that peeling paint, crumbs of wall paper and plaster are going to be swallowed.
Avoid using room freshenersRoom fresheners may be a great way to get the room freshened up but it can also cause your cat to have a runny nose, wheezing, cough and a bad bout of asthma. Cats are very sensitive to fragrances. Not everything used in conventional room fresheners are all that safe. In susceptible cats - allergies and respiratory infections may come as a free gift!A safe way to freshen up the room is to use a pot-pourri of dried orange peel, rose petals, dried flowers and sandalwood.
Use cat friendly doorsCat friendly doors are those that have been designed to let your cat enter and leave rooms easily. Use your imagination and check out with some good architects and interior designers on how to go about getting those doors, hinges and door knobs in place.
Keep your house cleanIt is essential to vacuum the interiors regularly. A simple thing...but needs to be done regularly. It's amazing what a difference regular cleaning can do to the dust quotient in the home.
Source: Pure Cat Articles
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Is Your Cat TOO Fat?
Tips to Help You Know!
They phrase "fat cat" has been around for as long as there have been cats. Generally it means wealthy and living the high life. However if your cat is fat, that wealthy life may be shortened. Being a fat cat is not a good thing!Diet and nutritional status are crucial to your cat's general health. Unfortunately, many pets are overweight - much like their owners. And - like their owners - pets are not as healthy when they are carrying too much weight. Chubby kitties often suffer from arthritis, heart disease and liver problems. If you are concerned that your pet is overweight we have listed some ways that you can evaluate your pet's body condition.* Body fat. Stand behind your cat and place your thumbs on the spine midway down the back. Fan out your fingers and spread them over the ribs. With your thumbs lightly pressing on the spine and fingers on the ribs, slide your hands gently up and down.For normal cats, you should feel a thin layer of fat. You should feel the ribs, although you won't readily see them. If your cat is overweight, you will not be able to feel the ribs, and the tissue over the ribs may feel smooth and wavy.* Appearance. Normal cats have an hourglass appearance. Fat cats have an abdomen protruding from the sides and a noticeable paunch. There may be enlarged fatty areas on either side of the tail base and over the hips. There may also be a fatty area on the neck and front of the chest. When obese cats walk, they usually have a classic waddle.If you feel that your cat is overweight, contact your veterinarian. Tests may need to be performed to eliminate underlying disease as a cause of the obesity. In addition, your veterinarian can help you improve your cat's body condition and overall health.Until next time...
Source: Pet Place
Monday, October 8, 2007
The most common signs of arthritis and joint disease in cats include stiffness, limping, or favoring a limb --particularly after sleep or resting, reluctance to jump or even climb stairs, and noticeable pain.
As in dogs, there are many causes of arthritis and joint disease in cats. These include trauma, infections, immune system disorders and developmental disorders such as hip dysplasia (yes, cats can get hip dysplasia).
In the following article we will discuss some of these causes or conditions which are more common or unique to cats. Before you read on, you may want to check out the articles Joint Anatomy and Veterinary Procedures Used to Diagnose Joint Disease for some background information. Information on how to manage cats with arthritis and other joint problems, including the use of Glucosamine and Chondroitin is discussed in Treatment of Osteoarthritis in Cats.
Feline progressive polyarthritis, as the name suggests, affects multiple joints in a cat and worsens over time. There are generally two types of this disease.
In the first type of progressive polyarthritis, the cartilage is eroded from the ends of the bones making up the joint and bony spurs and bone thickening occur in bone adjacent to the joint. These kinds of changes are similar to those seen in hip dysplasia and other degenerative joint disease. The most commonly affected joints are those of the feet, the carpus (wrist) and hock.
In the second type of progressive polyarthritis, the erosion of the cartilage is severe such that the bone under the cartilage is exposed which causes severe pain. This is similar to rheumatoid arthritis in dogs and people.
Regardless of type, progressive polyarthritis in cats generally affects young and middle-aged male cats (neutering appears to make no difference). The cats show a reluctance to walk, the joints are swollen, the range of motion is reduced, and in some cases the cats experience recurring episodes of fever, loss of appetite and swollen lymph nodes.
Even with strong combinations of pain relievers, anti-inflammatories such as prednisone, and more potent medications, there is no cure for either type of progressive polyarthritis.
Arthritis caused by calicivirus infection
Calicivirus is a virus that is most well-known for the respiratory disease (usually runny eyes and nose) it causes. Calicivirus is often included in the distemper-rhinotracheitis-chlamydia vaccine which is given to kittens and cats.
In addition to respiratory disease, calicivirus can cause inflammation in the joints which results in lameness. This condition has been associated with both the field strain (the strain which generally causes disease) and, rarely, the vaccine strain. Respiratory symptoms may or may not be present along with the lameness. The cats with calicivirus-associated lameness often develop a fever and may be reluctant to eat.
It is generally a self-limiting disease, which means it usually resolves on its own. Supportive therapy such as pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medication is sometimes given. The vast majority of cats fully recover.
Rarely, cats with diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes) develop an unusual gait in which the hocks touch the ground when the cat walks. This is thought to be related to a disorder of the nerves, but can be mistaken for a joint problem.
In cats, joints most often become infected as a result of bite wounds. The joint becomes swollen, painful, warm to the touch, and the cat will often not want to bear any weight on the affected leg. The cat often has a fever and will not eat. At times the infection can spread from the joint to the bone (bone infection is termed "osteomyelitis").
Treatment involves draining the infected joint fluid from the joint, flushing the joint, and placing the cat on antibiotics. Because bacterial infections of the joint can rapidly produce permanent injury to the joint, infectious arthritis must be treated as soon as it is detected.
Other joint diseases
Several other joint conditions which are more common in dogs do occur rarely in cats. These include degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis), ruptured anterior cruciate ligament , luxating patella, hip dysplasia, (intervertebral) disc disease, and hyperparathyroidism.Article courtesy of Drs. Foster & Smith's
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Cats As Individuals
Written by Anne Moss
In an interview to a local newspaper, I was once asked what was the one thing I would define cat behavior by. My reply was "individuality". Each cat has his or her own particular characteristics and peculiarities.
As a cat behaviorist, the issue of cat individuality was always prominent in my mind. Whatever the "rules" for cats are, there will always be the odd cat that will break the rules and display a different behavior pattern. That said, when discussing feline individuality, it is also crucial to avoid thinking of cats as "little humans". They are certainly not that. They are cats, with their own unique abilities and limitations. The individuality comes across in a multitude of characteristics that are all cat.
Taking into account the amazing diversity of behavioural patterns in cats, researching and classifying them into various types is a monumental task. Scientists are trying to do just that, by observing feline behavior and looking into parameters such as activity levels, playfulness, hostility towards people, aggressive behavior in general, levels of vocalization and sociability. Researchers use observations done in behavioral laboratories and feral cat colonies. Some researchers even turn to cat owners, collecting data using questionnaires and interviews.
One question that researchers have been wondering about is to what extent personality types are genetically inherited. In fact, with separate lines of purebred cats, and well documented ones at that, researching separate genetic groups is relatively easy. So far, findings do support the notion that purebred cats tend to display certain behavioral traits more than others. Persian cats have been shown to be more docile, while Siamese are more active. While individuality still rules, and you can certainly find active Persian cats and sleepy Siamese, researchers do believe that genetics plays a strong roll in the shaping of the individual cat's personality.
So, how does this discussion help us as cat owners? Hopefully, the understanding that our cat truly is a unique individual in its own right. It should also help us accept our cat as it is and not try to fight its innate behavioral tendencies.
We tend to expect things from our cats, hoping that they will conform to some kind of cat image that we have in our minds. But it doesn't always happen this way. You may have been dreaming of an active, playful feline rascal, but your cat may turn out to be a couch potato; or, perhaps, you were hoping for a very friendly kitty, the kind that is always rubbing against your legs, but instead your cat is aloof and solitary by nature.
You need to accept your cat for what she or he is. Trying to fix behavior problems is one thing. Trying to make a cat change its nature to suit our own expectations, is a totally different thing that will stress your cat and could, in itself, lead to behavioral problems.
Source: The Cat Site
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Friday, October 5, 2007
Do you have a healthy cat?
Are you sure? What do you look for to be certain that your cat is as healthy as he can be? A healthy cat can be described as having bright shiny eyes, a healthy shiny hair coat, good appetite, is able to maintain an ideal body weight, is playful and generally seems "happy".However, cats can acquire a variety of diseases and conditions and the symptoms may not be extremely obvious. Cats are very good at hiding their illness just by their nature of survival. They want to appear healthy so they are less vulnerable to predators. So take a look at our list of signs to look out for in your cat. This way you can be certain that your cat is healthy!Common signs of illness include:* Lack of appetite* Less active* Weakness* Lethargy* Weight loss* Increased water consumption* Not grooming* Bad breath* Inappropriate elimination* Sleeping more* Less involved in social interaction with you or your other cats* Drooling* Vomiting* Difficulty breathing* Diarrhea* Coughing* Bloody urineA healthy cat has a good appetite and normal urinations and normal soft form bowel movements. When you run your hand across her or his body, you should feel muscles and healthy skin - not boney protuberances.Is your cat healthy? If you are not sure or you cat has some of the above symptoms, play it safe and have him or her checked out by your veterinarian.
Source: The Pet Place
Thursday, October 4, 2007
10 Signs that Your Cat is Sick
Your cat cannot explain his symptoms, so it's the responsibility of you and your veterinarian to keep him healthy. Cats are very good at hiding their illness so it is up to you to observe your cat for abnormalities. If you know your cat very well and also understand what to look for, recognizing illness early might save her life.Nobody wants to run to the vet over every little thing, but if you have some idea what symptoms might mean trouble, you'll know when to take your cat in just to be sure.Common indications of a "sick pet" include: lethargy, disorientation, weakness, weight loss, seizure, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, unproductive retching, straining to urinate, bloody urine, difficulty or inability to walk, bleeding, pale mucous membranes, difficulty breathing and persistent cough. You know your pet best and can often notice subtle early warning signs that someone else may not detect. If you observe any of the mentioned symptoms or other signs that concern you, call your veterinary hospital. The safest approach would be to have your pet examined.Once your pet is at the hospital, your veterinarian may ask additional questions to help localize or diagnose the problem.
Source: Pet Place
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Breaking up Cat Fights
Written by Mary Anne Miller
In a mulit-cat household, skirmishes tend to erupt. One cat establishes himself as the Alpha cat. The Alpha cat is the cat that automatically seeks the highest spot in the house, demands to be fed first and will at times spray his mark (urine) on the home.
As the other cats grow and mature, their own alpha tendencies come into play. Gradually they challenge the alpha attempting to take over. The Alpha cat will engage any other cat that challenges even kittens. Kittens learn early from mom cat and littermates how to wrestle and roll together, rabbit -kicking each other as instinct kicks into gear and the survival mode engages.
You should never step in between two cats that are fighting. They are not focused on you. Their stress pheromones are at maximum level. You stand a good chance of getting scratched or bit. Even after the cats separate, you should leave them alone for a few hours. Never pick up a cat that has been fighting!
Use a broom to guide one cat into a room, and shut the door. Go in later; ignoring the cat leaving food, water and litter pan. Then leave, because your cat is still in the moment of the battle fully aroused and angry. You will know it is safe to approach your cat once he begins to start grooming or eating.
Here are some tips to stop cat fights:
Spay and neuter! Spaying and neutering goes a long way to stopping aggression.
Keep claws trimmed.
Don’t have to many cats. Cats need their individual space. If you have multiple cats, be sure you have places where these cats can get away from the others.
Startle them out of their behavior by taking a heavy blanket and tossing it over them.
Use a wooden kitchen chair and gently set it between the two cats without hurting the cats. This takes patience and a gentle touch. But it will startle the two cats and they will back away. Use a broom to guide one cat into another room for a break. Remember to close the door, isolating the cat temporarily.
Turn on the vacuum cleaner.
Spray bottles do not work to stop fighting cats. The cats are so engrossed in their battle, that a tiny stream of water will not even bother them.
Yelling and screaming to break up a cat fight is not recommended. Cats react to our stress level. If you are upset and anxious, making a lot of noise, look for the cat fight to accelerate not diminish. Staying calm tends to work the best.
That can of compressed air by your computer? Spray it near the fighting cats, but NOT at them.
Most battles between cats are mock battles. You can tell the mock battles from the real conflicts by learning about the body language of cats. Your key points to watch are the tail, the ears and the eyes and where the body is in relation to the ground. Understanding the true body language of cats goes a long way toward knowing when cats are playing and when they are fighting.
Source: The Cat Site
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
How to Discourage Your Cat
from Jumping on Counters
Written by Anne Moss
If you have been reading a bit about feline behavior, then you should know by now that cats and discipline don't mix; in other words, you should never punish your cat. Cats are not dogs and you simply can't take your cat to obedience class… That said, sometimes you need to lay down some rules in the house and get an educational point across to your cat. While I still hold that punishment, in the human ethical and moral sense of the word, does not work with cats, I wish to show you how to employ behavioral techniques based on negative reinforcement to teach your cat to stay away from certain places. This article will teach you how to discourage your cat from jumping on kitchen counters and any other high surfaces.
Before you even begin teaching your cat to stay away from certain places, let's look at the causes for this type of behavior. Cats require a sufficient amount of living space, including enough vertical space. Before restricting your cat from accessing some areas, make sure that your kitty has plenty of roaming and climbing space within your home. Invest in cat trees, cat gyms and designated cat shelves. This stage is crucial! Not allowing your cat almost any climbing space will result in a stressed and frustrated kitty and even more behavioral issues down the road.
Once you've made sure that your cat has enough space (vertical space included), it's time to learn how to teach your cat right from wrong and "explain" to her which surfaces are off-limits. Since we are trying to prevent a certain type of behavior, rather than encourage one, we'll have to use Negative Reinforcement. We are trying to create a certain connection in the cat's mind, associating the type of behavior which we're trying to prevent with a negative outcome. Before I review the various methods for achieving this, there are three principles to keep in mind whenever attempting any kind of negative reinforcement with your cat –
Keep the human out of the loop - We want to make sure that the cat associates the negative result directly with the action we want to prevent – never with you, the cat owner.
Keep the reinforcement consistent – This is true of any behavioral learning process and is crucial when it comes to negative reinforcement. It means the cat has to receive a negative reaction every single time it attempts the behavior which we wish to discourage.
Keep stress levels down – Remember that cats are individuals and may have different reactions to sudden sounds, or any other type of sensory stimulation you may opt to use. You aim at making the unwanted behavior result in something unpleasant, but make sure it's not too frightening and doesn't cause your cat unnecessary stress.
So, now that we know our principles, let's review the commonly used negative reinforcement techniques and see which ones are best suitable for you and your cat.
The Water Squirter/Can Shaking
This is probably one of the best-known techniques of negative reinforcement. The idea here is for the cat owner to always be on guard, ready with a squirt bottle, an empty soda can with some coins in it, or even a compressed air can. As soon as the cat performs the forbidden act, you're supposed to apply the instrument of choice and either spray the cat with some water (never directly on its face), or simply "blow the horn" and create some loud sudden noise, hopefully without kitty seeing it was you who operated the nasty thing.
While this method can be very effective with some cats, I usually don't recommend using it, for several reasons. First, it could possibly associate you, the cat owner, with the punishment. Ideally, anyone using this method should try to attract as little attention to herself or himself as possible, and make the squirt bottle or "noise can" as disassociated from themselves as possible. In reality, this is extremely difficult to achieve, as most owners project their own nervousness and agitation into the process. Secondly, in terms of consistency, this method is far from perfect. It's difficult to be on the alert at all times, or even to be around at all times, and you end up with having a non-consistent pattern. Thirdly, and not less important, the water spray and loud noises can be too stressful for some cats.
Source: TheCat Site
Monday, October 1, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Purrs, chirps, hisses and snarls…
What exactly is your cat trying to tell you?
A stray tabby gives birth to a litter of three kittens under the lilac bush in a backyard. As she nurses them, she purrs; as they suckle, the kittens purr, too. When the queen shifts her weight to try to find a more comfortable nursing position, one of the kittens lets out a distress call, indicating he's trapped under his mother's weight. She readjusts herself, and the purring party continues. One morning, the mother cat decides to move her litter to a safer spot. She deposits the first one inside the garden shed, and goes to retrieve the next one. Detecting the absence of his mother via his sense of smell, the kitten in the shed lets out a loud distress call, distinctly meant to reunite mothers and wayward kittens.As the kittens mature, the queen spends more time away from the nest, hunting for prey to ensure enough milk for her growing crew. Each time she returns, she gives out a "burp" to her kittens. When the kittens enter the weaning stage, the queen brings prey home to them, calling them over to it with a chirp. The kittens also begin to make chirping noises in anticipation for what they are about to receive. However, one night's dinner is interrupted when Mom lets out a long, low-pitched grow. The kittens scatter and retreat to safety inside the shed before the owl overhead can snatch one for his own evening meal.
As independent hunters, cats have limited need for an extensive vocal repertory. Cat-to-cat vocalizations are generally limited to communicating with one's kittens, one's sexual partners and one's potential enemies. There is also an array of vocalizations used by our furry friends when they attempt to communicate with us.
By changing volume, intensity and number of repetitions of the vocalizations and backing them up with expressive body language and olfactory signaling, cats ensure their messages are received and that their needs are met.
Purring 101The purr is the most common sound issued by cats—and yet one of the least understood. Kittens just a few hours old begin purring as they knead their mother’s chest and nurse. The purr sound is made both on the inhale and the exhale, with an instantaneous break between breaths. Built-up pressure created by the opening and closing of the glottis results in a sudden separation of the vocal folds, creating the purr. While purring is often heard when the cat seems content, those familiar with handling cats in pain or near death know that they also purr when under duress, the reason for which is yet unknown.
The Meaning of MeowThe second most common vocalization is the meow. Rarely heard between cats, this vocalization seems tailor-made for communication between cats and humans. Early on, cats notice that meowing brings attention, contact, food and play from their human companions. Some behaviorists suggest that certain cats seem to alter their meows to suit different purposes, and that some guardians can differentiate between, say, the “I’m Hungry!” meow” from the "Let Me Out!" meow.
The meow is the most often used of the vowel patterns—vocalizations produced with the mouth first open and then gradually closing. - The sound cats make when highly aroused by the sight of prey is called chirping. - When a cat is frustrated (such as when an indoor cat finds he is unable to get to the birds at the feeder), you may hear him chatter. - When a neonate kitten is cold, isolated from his mother or trapped, he issues a distress call—also sometimes called an anger wail. As the kitten matures, the distress call is used when play is too rough or the cat finds something else to protest.
A Hiss Is Just a Hiss?All threat vocalizations are produced with the mouth held open. These sounds mirror the cat's intense emotional state. A hiss is uttered when a cat is surprised by an enemy. A high-pitched shriek or scream is expressed when the cat is in pain or fearful and aggressive. Snarling is often heard when two toms are in the midst of a fight over territory or female attention. And a long, low-pitched growl warns of danger.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Q: What is Feline Panleukopenia?A: Feline Panleukopenia (FP) is a highly contagious viral disease of cats caused by the feline parvovirus. Over the years FP has been known by a variety of names including feline distemper, infectious enteritis, cat fever and cat typhoid. Feline distemper should not be confused with canine distemper. Though sharing the same name, they are different diseases caused by different viruses; neither of the viruses is transmissible to man. FP virus kills rapidly dividing body cells. This cell loss makes the cat more susceptible to other complications and bacterial infections.Q: How Can You Tell if a Cat Has FP?A: The signs of FP are variable and can mimic other disorders. Many owners may even believe that their cat has been poisoned or has swallowed a foreign object.The first signs an owner might notice are generalized depression, loss of appetite, high fever, lethargy, vomiting, severe diarrhea, dehydration or hanging over the water dish. Normally, the sickness may go on for three or four days after the first elevation of body temperature. Fever will fluctuate during the illness in some cats and abruptly fall to subnormal levels shortly before death.Q: How Do Cats Become Infected With The FP Virus?A: Infection occurs when cats come in contact with the blood, urine, fecal material, nasal secretions, and even fleas of infected cats. Pregnant females that contract the disease, even in its mildest form, may give birth to kittens with severe brain damage. In most cases, recovered cats do not transmit the infection.A cat can become infected without ever coming in direct contact with an infected cat. Bedding, cages, food dishes and the hands or clothing of handlers may harbor and transmit the virus.The FP virus is very stable and resistant to many disinfectants. It may remain infectious at room temperature for as long as one year.Q: Which Cats Are Susceptible to The Virus?A: While cats of any age may be infected, young kittens, sick cats and indoor cats that have not been vaccinated are most susceptible. Young cats are much more likely than adults to become ill when infected with FP virus. Kittens less than 16 weeks of age may die at a rate of about 75%, whereas adult cats may show no signs of disease at all. In the past, FP was a leading cause of death in cats. Today, FP is an uncommon disease in large part to the use of highly effective vaccines.Urban areas are most likely to see outbreaks of FP during the warmer months. The virus has appeared in all parts of the United States and most countries of the world. Kennels, pet shops, humane shelters, and other areas where groups of cats are quartered appear to be the main reservoirs of FP today.Q:How is FP Treated?A: The prognosis for infected kittens less than eight weeks old is poor. Older cats have a greater chance of survival if adequate treatment is provided early in the course of the disease. Treatment is limited to supportive therapy to help the patient gain and retain sufficient strength to combat the virus with its own immune system. There are no medications capable of killing the virus; strict isolation is essential. The veterinarian will attempt to combat dehydration, provide nutrients, and prevent secondary infection with antibiotics. If the cat survives for 48 hours, its chances for recovery are much better. The area where the cat is kept should be warm, free of drafts, and very clean. Plenty of "tender loving care" is very important. Cats may lose the will to live, so frequent petting, hand feeding, and good nursing care by the owner are essential.Other cats that may have been in close association with the infected animal should be carefully examined.Q: What About Prevention & Protection?A: FP is controlled in several ways. Cats that survive a natural infection develop sufficient active immunity to protect them for the rest of their lives. Mild cases may go unnoticed and also produce immunity. It is also possible for kittens to receive immunity through the transfer of antibody via the colostrum, the first milk produced by the mother. This passive immunity is temporary; its duration of effect varies in proportion to the level of antibody in the mother's body. Rarely is it effective in kittens older than 12 weeks.Vaccines offer the safest protection. Most vaccines are made from live viruses treated to destroy their ability to cause disease. They stimulate the cat's body to produce protective antibodies to prevent infection by natural disease-causing viruses. The vaccines are effective but are preventive, not curative. They must be administered before the cat is exposed and infected. Most young kittens receive their first vaccination between six and eight weeks of age and with follow-up vaccines given until the kitten is more than 12 weeks of age. Specific vaccination schedules vary dependent on many factors, such as the disease incidence in the area, age and health of cat. The pet owner should consult a veterinarian for advice on the correct schedule for each cat.And Now A Note On Your Pet's General Good HealthA healthy pet is a happy companion. Your pet's daily well being requires regular care and close attention to any hint of ill health. The American Veterinary Medical Association suggests that you consult your veterinarian if your pet shows any of the following signs:Abnormal discharges from the nose, eyes or other body openings.Abnormal behavior, such as sudden viciousness or excessive sleepiness.Abnormal lumps, limping or difficulty getting up or lying down.Loss of appetite, marked weight loss or gain or excessive water consumption.Difficult, abnormal or uncontrolled waste elimination.Excessive head shaking, scratching, and licking or biting any part of the body.Dandruff, loss of hair, open sores or a ragged or dull coat.Foul breath or excessive tartar deposits on teeth.
Source: The American Veterinary Medical Association
Friday, September 28, 2007
Owners of new kittens can be easily identified all too often – all you have to do is look at their hands. Kittens are notorious for attacking hands during playtime, and those tiny teeth and claws can and do leave marks on delicate human skin.
Some owners take pleasure in this form of play, at least while the kitten is young and the game is still relatively painless. As kitty grows, in a matter of weeks, many owners find that the cute game is becoming too painful. It's time to teach the kitten to stop…
It should be stated at this point, that as with any behavior trait, consistency is the key. Therefore, you would be advised to avoid any aggressive interaction between your hands and your kitten, as young as she may be. It may look cute now, but soon enough it will get nasty and you'll have a bad habit to deal with.
The Reasons for Feline Playtime Aggression
Your kitten is not being "bad". When playing, all young mammals imitate some form of adult behavior that will be useful for them as they grow up. With kittens it is either hunting or fighting. Watch a litter of kittens tumble around on the rug and you will see the same type of playful aggression displayed between them. It is their way to practice hunting and fighting routines which nature intended them to use as adult cats.
Clearly, there is nothing wrong with aggressive play itself. The problem begins when the target is delicate human hands. The solution lies with redirecting the aggression to more suitable targets.
Adding a Playmate for Your Kitten
Another kitten can make the perfect target, or rather partner, for aggressive play. Protected by their furry coat, kittens seem to know their own boundaries and thresholds and there is usually no need to intervene in their aggressive play.
Obviously, the decision to take in a second kitten is more complex than that. You are not getting a toy for your kitten, but rather committing yourself to taking care of another feline, for decades to come. However, if you can provide a home for another kitten, remember that in terms of kitten behavior, raising two kittens is actually easier than raising one. They keep each other occupied and make the best playmates for any kind of kitty play, aggressive types included.
Redirecting Playtime Aggression to a Toy
A cat toy makes a perfect outlet for all that pent-up playful aggression. Use fish-rod like toys to initiate interactive play sessions with your kitten. This is a great way to interact with your cat while keeping your hands out of reach.
Use a variety of toys, whether bought or homemade, but make sure that they create enough distance between kitty and your hands. Rotate the toys and keep them out of reach when you are not playing with your kitten. This will keep them fresh and enticing when you do bring them out (and it may prevent your kitten from getting entangled in any strings while you're away).
How to Release Your Hands
Your fingers are indeed tempting. With a vibrant kitten, or even a cat, it's sometimes too easy to find your hand held tight by teeth and claws. Often, they will not be penetrating the skin, but painfully close to that point. Your cat is likely to be extremely excited at this point and hold tight, not letting go of his coveted prize.
Here's what you should NOT do:
Do not try to pull your hand away by force. When prey tries to escape, a feline's instinctive response is to tighten its hold. You could end up with painful scratches and even bites.
Do not shout or yell at your cat. They are not thinking clearly at this point, and you may aggravate the situation and turn this into fear induced aggressive behavior.
Never ever hit your cat. Not in this situation or any other. If you do, you will end up with an even more aggressive cat, and a stressful episode for both cat and owner. Next time, your cat is even more likely to bite and scratch - this time out of fear as well.
Here's what you should do. Relax the hand that is held by the cat's teeth and claws. Stay calm and avoid direct eye contact with your cat. With your other hand try to grab a toy or some other object and distract your cat's attention with it. If possible, make some playing moves with it, in an attempt to make the cat let go of your hand and move on to chase its "new prey".
If you are unable to reach any suitable object, use your free hand to create a diversion. Tap on something, or make some scratching noises on some fabric. Make the cat lose interest in its "current prey" (your caught up hand) and focus on the new attraction.
Wait for your cat to at least loosen its grip on your hand, preferably let go of it entirely. Once you are sure you can remove your hand, move it out of reach in a swift movement.
Break away from your cat at this point and allow for some cooling off time before you engage in any form of play again.
Do not allow playful aggression in any form. Whenever your kitten directs her aggression towards you, be it your hands, ankles, or any other body part, use the method described above to break away. Do not allow aggression play when your hands or feet are under the covers either.
Remember to provide your kitten with alternatives – either by bringing in a second cat into your home, or by using cat toys. Keep in mind that this is natural behavior for kittens and young cats. They are more than likely to outgrow this phase at some point. Handle this correctly, without ever shouting at or punishing your cat and you should be able to make it across kittenhood with your skin intact.
Source: The Cat Site
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Pet Insurance Helps Misty Live a Longer Life
As your cat gets older, you may worry more about her health. Maybe you've had more than a dozen wonderful years with her, but you really hope to share your life with her for as long as possible. Getting the best possible care for her can help.I often recommend that people look into pet insurance early on in their cat's lives. It might not seem like that big of a deal while your cat is young and healthy, but having pet insurance before any illnesses arise that can be considered pre-existing can really make a difference. Pet insurance could help your best feline pal stay in the family for years to come, without you ever having to worry about the money it might cost you to go to the vet.I just read a story from Julie Marshall in Wilmington, Delaware about her cat Mitsy and how glad she was to have pet insurance. Mitsy had lived fourteen years without any major health problems, but Julie had always had a pet insurance policy on her. Mitsy still seemed in great health, every now and then getting a burst of energy and tearing through the house like a kitten. Julie did notice that she seemed to be losing a little bit of weight, but thought that losing a pound or so wouldn't hurt her. She seemed to be eating and drinking just fine.However, Mitsy seemed to keep losing weight and Julie became a little worried. So she took her to the vet. During the evaluation, Julie was shocked to discover that Mitsy who had weighed 16 pounds, now only weighed 10. Something was definitely wrong. Her vet did a battery of tests and diagnosed Mitsy with hyperthyroidism.The thyroid gland acts as the thermostat for the metabolic rate of the body, controlling how fast or slow the body functions. So Mitsy's body was burning up food too quickly. Mitsy is not treated with Tapazole, a drug that interferes with the production of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland. She has to remain on the drug indefinitely, but is sure to live a longer life for it. Julie is just happy that Mitsy is going to be fine and that she has pet insurance to help her pay for the expense. Julie hopes that everyone will consider getting pet insurance for their beloved kitties as well!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
How to Give Your Cat a Pill
Your Veterinarian as
prescribed pills for your cat and it's your job to see that your cat takes them. What now? Here's how to get the job done without turning your cat into a hissing, spitting pill-hating nightmare:
First, trying hiding the pill in food such as tuna, peanut butter or cream cheese – provided that your veterinarian has said that the medication can be given with food. But watch to be sure that your cat actually takes the pill. Some cats will eat the food and spit out the medicine.
If hiding the pill in food doesn't work, you are going to have to administer it physically. Unless you have a wonderfully accommodating cat, start by having a friend hold your cat's front legs and chest to keep her still. You can also try wrapping her snugly in a blanket or towel.
Firmly grasp your cat's head. If you are right-handed use your left hand; if you are a lefty, use your right hand.Put your thumb on one side of your cat's face and your fingers on the other. Avoid holding the lower jaw and make sure you don't squeeze the throat. Otherwise, you'll choke the cat.Once your cat's head is held in place, raise her nose to point toward the ceiling. Her mouth should start to open. Place the pill between the thumb and forefingers of your other hand. Use your little finger, ring finger or middle finger to open your cat's mouth further by applying pressure on her lower front teeth. After the mouth is fully open, place the pill as far back in the mouth as possible. Avoid placing your hand too far into your cat's mouth or she might gag. If this happens she may spit the pill back out. Close your cat's mouth and hold it closed. Gently and briefly rub your cat's nose, or blow on it. This should stimulate her to lick her nose, causing her to swallow. You can also try to stimulate swallowing by rubbing your cat's throat. If none of that works, tilt your cat's head back a little and try again. Always remember to praise your cat and maybe give her a treat. This will make future medicine times less traumatic.Final tip, if your vet approves, it may be a good idea to try this process after yourcat has eaten. She may well be calmer and more receptive then.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
From Stray to Pet
How do you help a cat move from stray to pet?
Cats that had previously been pets make the transition most easily. Once a cat has indicated her willingness to interact with people, a little food and a lot of patience can induce all but the most wary to become friends and, even better, grateful and loving owned pets. Stories abound of cats marching into a home they have chosen, and announcing by their actions that they are there to stay.Common sense dictates that both the cat and the neighborhood benefit from a trip to the veterinarian. The cat should be neutered or spayed quickly in order to avoid unwanted litters. In the case of a male cat, neutering will discourage him from participating in the noisy nocturnal battles under your bedroom window and from sharing his "eau de tom cat" – a pungent spray of urine. Before you do anything else, do a little investigative work to make sure that the cat does not belong to neighbors. If the cat has been taking regular meals at your house, chances are good that no other owner will be found. Once that hurdle is cleared, a telephone call to a local humane organization or to the community's animal control department should help locate a low-cost or free neuter/spay and vaccination clinic. If you intend to accept the wandering vagrant into your household, your own veterinarian should be the one to establish a health file and perform the initial work. In either event, make an appointment, and inform the clinic that they might be seeing a somewhat difficult patient.VaccinationsObtaining vaccinations – particularly against rabies – will protect the health of the neighborhood and your own family and other pets. Resident pet cats should be protected from possible transmission of viral diseases fatal to cats, such as the feline leukemia virus (FeLV). There are blood tests to screen for the presence of these viruses in seemingly healthy cats, and vaccinations to provide some level of protection for FeLV. There is no vaccination for feline immunodeficiency virus, also called feline AIDS.Transporting the CatYou'll need some kind of carrier to transport a panic-stricken cat to the veterinarian's office. Even a cat that will readily approach people for stroking could well panic if confined. A frightened cat, trying to escape, can distract a driver or inflict serious wounds with claws or teeth.If the cat has been accustomed to handling, a regular cat carrier can be purchased inexpensively from any pet supply store and even many grocery stores. A second choice would be a pillowcase, which is more difficult for the cat to escape than a cardboard box.If you're using a carrier, place some food into it for several days. Then, when the cat is accustomed to entering it, take the next step of latching the door. And finally, spend a little time accustoming the cat to being carried in it.If the cat resists all efforts to accustom her to your form of transport, then a trap obtained on loan (usually at no cost) from a humane organization or Animal Control, is easier on all involved. These traps are made of wire, so the cat's resistance to entering an enclosed container is lessened. Once trapped, a blanket can be put over the wire, and the cat can be transported without removing it.After the visit to the veterinarian, the cat needs a quiet place to recover, particularly if the cat is female. The spaying surgery is more invasive than neutering a male, and a longer recovery time is needed. Once accomplished, this veterinary visit will provide peace of mind that family and pets are protected from disease, and that the cat is protected not only from disease but from the reproductive drives that people find so annoying. You will have provided the cat with a giant step in the transition from panhandler to pet. And likely, without your even realizing it, the cat will have well and surely adopted you.
Source: Pet Place