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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.

Source: ASPCA

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Feline panleukopenia

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

Playtime Aggression

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
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.
Be Consistent
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!

Source: PetPlace

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.
Source: PetPlace

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

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Huge Amount of Cat Care

Articles on this Blog...

Cat Bad Breath

Cat bad breath is not so different from human bad breath: it tends to be caused by the activities of bacteria in the mouth that break down proteins and release sulfur compounds into the air. Sulfur smells bad, so breath that contains sulfur compounds smells bad also. In cats, the bacteria that cause the problem tend to be associated with a buildup of tartar on the teeth. Tartar is a coating composed of food particles, bacteria, and minerals.
To cure cat bad breath, it's helpful to try to remove the tartar that has built up on the cat's teeth. Some pet foods are formulated to help reduce tartar by producing mechanical friction that scrapes tartar off, or by including an enzyme that helps to dissolve it. Pet treats are also commonly marketed as tartar fighters in one way or another. If the buildup of tartar on the cat's teeth is extensive, it might be necessary to pay to have a professional cleaning. When the tartar is removed, the cat bad breath should go away.
Some people are able to clean their cat's teeth at home. Animal toothpastes are available in meat flavors - the mechanical brushing is important for removing tartar, but some of these toothpastes also contain enzymes that dissolve the tartar, so just getting it on the teeth regularly will help a bit to cure cat bad breath. Toothbrushes and tooth scrapers are also available. It is a fortunate cat owner whose cat will tolerate this kind of attention: start early with your cat to prevent the buildup of tartar in the first place, and avoid cat bad breath later.
Another approach is to try to decrease the number of bacteria in the cat's mouth that are producing the bad smell. Just as chlorhexidine and other antibacterials are helpful for humans, these substances can be added to a pet's water or sprayed directly on the teeth to combat cat bad breath. Alternative products are also available that treat the problem by fighting the bacteria. These remedies don't remove the tartar however, so they won't permanently cure cat bad breath - a combination of a bacteria-fighting product, with a mechanical means of tartar removal might be the best approach.
Keep in mind that, like people, cats sometimes have an odor in the mouth that is not coming from the mouth: kidney and liver disease are two things that cause cat bad breath. Take you cat to your veterinarian if your cat has a consistent problem, so that a complete examination can be done. Even if the problem does originate in the mouth, treatment under the watchful eye of a veterinarian is important because problems in the mouth can lead to other serious health problems later. If you cure cat bad breath now, you may avoid trouble in the future.
R. Drysdale is a freelance writer with more than 25 years experience as a health care professional. She is a contributing editor to
Bad Breath Cure, a blog dedicated to the treatment of bad breath.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=R._Drysdale

Friday, September 14, 2007

Plenty of Cat Care Tips + ... Below !

-- Cat Arthritis ?

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.
Progressive polyarthritis
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.
Diabetes mellitus
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.
Bacterial arthritis
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

SOURCE. PetEducation.com


Thursday, September 13, 2007

* Cat Care Tips ...Go to SideBar

Dealing With Cat ...

Internal Parasites ??

Be alert to the hidden health threat. Most internal parasites, commonly called worms, live in a cats intestines where they feed and reproduce. All kittens should be examined by a veterinarian for internal parasites. Your veterinarian can detect the presence of most worms by examining your kittens feces.
Some parasites, such as hookworms and roundworms, can be transmitted from the mother to her kittens before birth or during nursing. Hookworms are among the most dangerous of all internal parasites, especially in kittens who can be infected from their mother during nursing. Hookworms attach themselves to the intestinal wall and suck blood, causing severe anemia which can be fatal. Kittens with a heavy hookworm infection can die from blood loss within a few weeks. Their presence is less severe in older cats, but may lead to chronic anemia. Regular fecal examinations for the presence of hookworms minimizes the risk of infection.
Roundworms are a common parasite among young kittens. They are infected by way of the placenta during birth. After birth, kittens can become infected by larvae in the mothers milk. In the small intestine, roundworms compete with the kitten for nutrients, resulting in stunted growth and poor health. Roundworms often make a kitten look potbellied. Other signs include
diarrhea, poor coat, listlessness and poor growth.Whipworms are passed in the feces and are difficult to eliminate. Generalized symptoms include weight loss, nervousness, diarrhea with blood and mucus, and dehydration. Treatment with anti-whipworm medication must be repeated at regular intervals until the cat is completely cleared of whipworms.
Tapeworms can be contracted by a kittens or cats swallowing tapeworm-carrying fleas, or by eating an infested rodent or raw fish or meat. The most common symptom is a ravenous appetite with no weight gain and, possibly, weight loss. Tapeworms are treated by medicine prescribed by a veterinarian.
Coccidia is a common parasite of cats, especially kittens. Eggs passed in the feces of infected animals become infective to other animals within one to several days, depending upon the temperature. The most common symptoms include diarrhea,
abdominal pain, dehydration, weight and appetite loss. However, coccidia may present no symptoms. Veterinary diagnosis is made by examining the feces. Several effective medications are available, but the general health of the cat and the function of its immune system appear to be very important in preventing and treating coccidia.
Giardia is one of the most common parasites infecting cats. Young cats are more likely to have severe infections. Infections can be acquired by direct contact with fecal matter containing the parasites as well as from contaminated food and water. Symptoms can be intermittent or continuous and include foul-smelling feces which may contain mucus, loss of appetite and weight loss. Your veterinarian must perform fecal examinations by procedures designed to reveal this type of parasite. Once the diagnosis is established, specific treatment is available.
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
Cat Article courtesy of AwesomeCats.com

Cat Care Resources

*Cat Care Tips ...Go to SideBar

All About Traveling ...

With Cats !

If you are planning to travel with your cat, first ask yourself these questions: Are cats allowed at my destination? If so, will my cat adjust to conforming to regulations concerning pets and really be happy away from home? Cats tend to be creatures of habit and it is important that your cat can adapt to change.
The pets who travel best are those who have been trained to ride in a car. If you would like to include your cat in your travel plans, accustom it to riding in the car. Ideally this training begins in kittenhood and it should be a happy experience for the kitten. Dont make the kittens first car ride a
trip to the veterinarian. Begin by allowing the kitten to sit in the car to become familiar with the surroundings. Then take it for a short drive each day, even if it is only around the block.
If your cat seems unable to adjust to travel, you may decide that you and your cat will be happier if it stays home. Search out a responsible sitter or a boarding facility. If you choose to board your cat, make reservations well in advance of the trip, particularly during summer months and around major holidays.
The policy regarding cats varies with motels and
hotels. Contact the reservations department in advance of your trip to determine if your cat will be welcome. Do not leave a cat unattended in a room. If a maid were to enter, the cat could become frightened and might run from the room. If, for any reason, you must leave the cat alone in the room for a short period of time, place it in its carrier or post a do not disturb sign on the door. If your cat is not in a carrier or in a secure location at your travel destination, keeping it on a leash is recommended.
When you travel with a cat, a change in its environment and routine may be a jolt to its feeling of security. Your love and understanding are needed to reassure your cat and to help it become a good travel companion.
Preparing for the Trip: If you plan to take your cat with you, be certain its vaccination shots are up-to-date. Your
veterinarian will also issue health and rabies certificates which may be needed if you fly and will certainly be needed if you cross international borders. Carrying these certificate with you is a good idea. If you should have to board your cat during the trip, the kennel may require proof of immunization.
Your cat will also need its grooming equipment and its regular grooming schedule should be maintained. This is particularly true for longhaired cats to avoid tangled and matted hair which can lead to skin infections.
Do not feed your cat for at least three hours before leaving on a trip. Feed it shortly after arriving at your destination unless the trip is a long one. In that case, provide a snack and water during the trip. If the cats usual diet is not available at your destination, take a supply with you so no digestive upsets will be caused by a sudden diet change.
If your cat is accustomed to wearing a collar (a stretch collar designed for cats) be certain an identification tag is attached to the collar. The ID tag should give the cats name, your name, home address and telephone number including the area code, and, if possible, your
vacation address and telephone number. Take pictures of your cat and write a description of your cat, including its height, weight, color, and any distinguishing marks to take with you. If your cat should become lost, these identification aids could make the difference in finding it.
Traveling By Air With Your Cat: If you are traveling by air with your cat, ask about what health certificates are needed. They vary with airline and your destination. There are usually two basic options for
air travel. Some airlines allow cats to travel (generally for a fee) with their owners if a carry-on carrier fits under the passenger seat. The other option is to rent or purchase a flight crate which meets airline regulations and the cat is transported in the crate in the baggage compartment.
Because some airlines have limited space to accommodate pets, always make reservation well in advance.
On the day of the
flight bring a cushion or blanket to put on the crate floor. Check to see if the water cup is attached to the crate door. The cup should be deep and not too full of water to avoid spilling. On a short flight, you may wish to detach the cup and store it with your luggage and provide water for drinking at the end of the flight.
To reduce the risk of air travel for your cat, try to avoid peak travel periods when delays and stopovers are longer. Traveling in extreme cold or hot weather could be dangerous if your cat must wait very long before loading and unloading. Plan the trip with as few stops and transfers as possible. Pets in transit tend to sleep the hours away, but during stops and transfers they may become frightened. Airport facilities vary and, as a result, pets may be left in the sun or rain without adequate protection or inadequate food or water during long waits between flights. At the end of your trip, pick up your cat promptly.
Plane travel is the fastest way to reach your destination, but some risk is involved for kittens, older cats or cats with health problems. If you have doubts, consult your veterinarian.
International Travel: If you are planning on international travel or relocation or a trip to Hawaii, keep in mind that certain countries require a quarantine at the owner’s expense. When you return, a quarantine office at customs will check documents and inspect your pet. The official may require confinement of any pet you have purchased abroad. Normally this is in your home rather than in official quarantine. Pets purchased abroad all require proof of immunization, certificates of good health, and payment of import duty.
Traveling By Car With Your Cat: If you are traveling by car, a carrier is a must. It should be strong, well-ventilated and one the cat cannot escape from. Before traveling, place the carrier where the cat can become acquainted with it. Placing a favorite toy or blanket in the carrier may help accustom the cat to the carrier. Take the cat for several rides around town in the carrier before attempting a longer trip.
While you are driving, always keep the cat confined in the carrier. This ensures safe, comfortable driving for you and your cat. Place a soft mat or cushion on the carrier
floor. During hot weather never put the carrier on the sunny side of the car where it will become overheated.
One of the greatest dangers to a cat is leaving it in a closed car, even for a few minutes during hot weather. Cars heat quickly and leaving windows open a few inches does not always provide sufficient circulating air to keep you cat cool and comfortable. Insufficient air can lead to heat stress, suffocation and death.
If it is necessary to leave your cat in the car for a short period of time, choose a shaded area. Leave the windows open as far as safely possible to provide air circulation. Keep the cat in the carrier. Check the car frequently and never leave your cat for an extended time. Motion sickness may be a problem with your cat. If this occurs and if taking your cat with you is essential, discuss preventive measures with your veterinarian.
If the drive is eight hours or longer, give the cat an opportunity to use a litter pan every three or four hours. If the cat is inclined to have accidents along the way, put newspapers on the bottom of the carrier and sprinkle cat litter on them. The newspaper and soiled litter can be removed as needed.
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:

Cat Article courtesy of AwesomeCats.com


Plenty of Cat Care Tips on Toll Bar !

--- What To Do About Underweight Cats ? ?

Some older cats may be at risk for becoming underweight. In fact, a greater proportion of older cats is underweight than for any other age group. Older cats may eat less because they lack the desire to eat or because of a decrease in their sense of smell or taste. Dental problems or chronic disease conditions also may contribute. Some older cats may consume the same amount of food but are less efficient at digesting or absorbing nutrients, perhaps due to disease. If poor appetite is a problem, intake may be encouraged by:choosing a palatable super-premium
diet;moistening dry food; warming food to body temperature; offering fresh food frequently; encouraging the cat during feeding; minimizing noise and stress during feeding.

Another cause for weight loss could be a change to a lower-calorie diet recommended for older cats. If an individual cat is not inactive, consumption of a lower-calorie diet may lead to inappropriate weight loss. For underweight cats, it is important to be sure they receive adequate calories to support their
nutritional needs. If weight loss is not attributed to a specific diagnosis, a high-calorie, nutrient-dense food should be recommended. Most geriatric diets are designed for low-calorie density and are not appropriate for these cats.
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:
Cat Article courtesy of AwesomeCats.com

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Cats Home Alone...Sept.12---2007

Cats Home Alone

By: Dr. Nicholas Dodman

Americans have grown much closer to their pets in the last 20 years or so, coming to regard them more as fellow family members rather than simply keeping them for some utilitarian function (such as rodent control). As part of this “warming” trend, cats now tend to be kept indoors to keep them safe from the risks of outdoor living. An indoor-outdoor cat has hazards of traffic, dogs, other cats and wild animals with which to contend. If an outdoor cat is not killed or injured on the roads, shaken to death by a neighborhood dog, or injured by another cat or wild animal, there is still the risk of contracting some debilitating disease. Basically, it's not a safe existence out there and most owners now know that. But indoor life can be tedious for some cats. They lack the all-important aspects of daily life in the wild, including the freedom to hunt, mark, protect and defend, and to interact with others of the same species.

It is our duty as cat owners to enrich our cats' indoor lives to make good some of these deficiencies. Without gainful employment cats merely exist within boring but luxurious homes. Also, without some species-specific entertainment, they may get into trouble, psychologically or physically, leading owners to seek behavioral modification advice … or not. Below is a list of suggested means by which a cat's environment may be made more user friendly. The underlying principal is “think cat.” If you do this you may even be able to add a few conceptions of your own.The Big E's (Environmental and Managemental Enrichment)
Climbing Frames. Cats really appreciate a three-dimensional environment, as evidenced by their constant attempts to climb up on top of things. To facilitate this innate compulsion, provide climbing frames in strategic locations so that your cat can elevate his position with ease and obtain a panoramic view of the outside world. This is the closet thing to a cat newspaper. From their perch they can survey their immediate environment in safety and catch up on the latest comings and goings.
Bird Feeders. The instinct to watch and stalk birds still courses through cats' veins even though it may have been generations since they relied on catching prey for a living. The provision of window feeders for birds can provide cats with a lot of viewing opportunities at no risk to the birds.
Fish Tanks. For similar reasons, a fish tank (with its lid firmly attached) can be another great pleasure for cats. Even though they never catch the fish, that failure does not detract from the thrill of “fishing.”
Food puzzles. In nature, cats had to work for their food. Hunting consumed a great deal of their time and energies. Yet we simply put their food down and leave them to scoff in as little as 5 minutes. What do they do then – sleep? If you get creative regarding your cat's feeding opportunities you can spin out those meals and make the process of eating more entertaining. Ideas include: 1. Putting your cat's kibble inside a Buster Cube, a plastic cube with various compartments for food that falls out as the cat bats it. 2. Feeding kibble via a toilet roll tube, with the ends taped over and holes drilled in the sides to release kibble intermittently. (The tube rolls around and is fun to chase.)3. Ping-pong balls with a hole drilled in the side to allow you to put a single piece of kibble inside.
Non-toxic grasses. Some cats respond well to fresh catnip or cat grass grown especially for them. Along the same theme, some cats also enjoy lettuce or green beans. Other cats can be redirected onto pieces of thin rawhide coated lightly with fish oil or cheese spread. Owners should offer the rawhide chews only when they will be directly supervising their cat.
Predatory games. It is almost mandatory to have various feather wands or fishing poles with string attached to entertain your cat. You should probably put aside several minutes a day for this activity. This will exercise and mentally stimulate the cat, and help to dissipate otherwise undirected predatory tendencies. Some predatory toys are automatic and allow activation by the cat even in your absence. For those of you who don't want to spend much cash there's always the old milk-bottle-seal-on-a-string trick or a bunch of table tennis balls that you leave around on a smooth floor. Laser mice are at the high tech end of the spectrum of toys and there are new electronic toys in the pipeline.

Sourcer: PetPlace

Cats Living with Dogs Sept 12---2007

Cats Living with Dogs

By: Dr. Nicholas Dodman

A lot of people ask, if I get another pet will it get along with my cat? The corollary to this question, if I get a cat will it get along with my existing pets, is also of interest to some folk. There is no simple answer to these two questions, but there are some facts to consider that might help forecast the results of such interspecies interactions:
The species of the housemate you intend for your cat (or proposed cat)
The temperaments of the individuals to be mixed
The early and later experiences of the individuals to be mixed
Which species is incumbent
Our own ability to monitor and manage the situation
The environmental setupWhile there can be some very harmonious marriages of species, sometimes the result of the mix can be damaging – or even lethal – to one or both animals.

Dogs and CatsPresident Clinton found out that bringing a dog (Buddy) into the White House where there was already a cat (Socks) was not as easy as balancing the U.S. budget. The two fought like, well, dog and cat. But do all dogs and cats hate each other? The answer is no. The relationship between these traditionally acrimonious species can range from good friends, to indifferent, to positively hostile. Dogs, by nature, are predators. Predators tend to chase rapidly moving and furry things smaller than they are, which is the job description of a cat. So, potentially there is a problem. But, dogs and cats, like humans, are not driven by nature alone. There is also a learned component to what they do. For a dog and cat, the most important time for learning who your friends are is the so-called sensitive period that spans the first two to three months of life. A puppy that is raised with cats during this time, and experiences no adverse consequences of the interaction, will likely grow up to regard cats as benevolent domestic fixtures. The reverse is also true. It may be slightly easier to introduce a new kitten to a resident dog than to introduce new puppies to a resident cat because of the highly territorial and antisocial nature of some cats. But you can also have your work cut out introducing kittens to a highly predatory species of dog. Both situations can sometimes be managed by proper chaperoning and protection of the most vulnerable species, and time can lead to mutual tolerance if not mutual admiration. If puppies and kittens are raised together, neither party should present a problem when integrating with the opposite species unless the incumbent is particularly mean. Cats should not be introduced to a home with dogs that have chased and tried to kill cats. These dogs will probably find it difficult to see cats as anything other than prey, and even if they do not actually manage to catch the cat they can make his life pretty miserable. Likewise, a puppy may have to be protected from a territorial bully of a cat that has, by virtue of his prior experiences, a lifelong hatred of dogs. Sometimes a dog in such a situation will learn to avoid a dangerous, unequable cat. In other instances, the cat may spend his life in trepidation of the dog. Neither of these situations is desirable or reasonable and they should, if possible, be avoided by prevention or rehoming of one or other of the feuding parties. That's what happened to Socks.If you are thinking of mixing species, ask whether they are predatory, aggressive, territorial, solitary, or gregarious. That will give you the genetic drift on what to expect. Then ask, how the species was raised, with whom, by whom, where, and when. Next you should probe for any information about prior interspecies interactions of the species in question (if that's not already moot). Finally, if you are still up for it, insist on a trial marriage before you commit to the newcomer. Not every creature gets along but then again, some do. Sometimes you just have to try putting future housemates together to find out how they interact together. But be safe. Their lives are in your hands. With the correct early socialization some seemingly miraculous unions can be achieved, like cats that allow birds to perch on their heads, cats that allow mice to run all over their bodies, even when they're nursing (there's another generation of mouse friendly cats in the making!), and cats who allow themselves to be groomed by non-human primates. It takes all kinds to make a world, and all kinds of (sometimes unlikely) unions to make it a happy place.

Source: PetPlace

Free E-Book

( -- FIRST AID CARE for Your CAT -- )

Table of Contents

What is First Aid? ....................................................
Bandaging .................................................................
Bee Stings / Insect Bites.......................................
Bleeding .....................................................................
Bloat ..........................................................................
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) ..............
Chemical Injuries ....................................................
Diarrhea and Vomiting...........................................
Difficult Birth............................................................
Electrocution ...........................................................
Eye Injuries .............................................................
Fainting/Dizziness (Syncope) .............................
First Aid for Choking ............................................
First Aid for Poisoning...........................................
Fractures / Injuries................................................
How to Move the Injured Pet...............................
Hyperthermia (Heat Stroke, Heat Prostration)
Impalement Injuries ..............................................
Near Drowing..........................................................
Poisoning ..................................................................
Preventing a Health and Safety Crisis .............
Shock ........................................................................
Straining ..................................................................
Sunburn ..................................................................
When Your Pet Cannot Breathe..........................
Wounds ...................................................................

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Nocturnal Cat Activity

Cats may be known for their propensity to sleep away a good portion of their lives but when they are awake, cats can be very active. These periods of activity often happen during the night. The cat may want to play, eat, or simply want company. Young cats in particular can drive their owners crazy from sleep deprivation!
Your cat’s ancestor, the African wildcat, is predominantly nocturnal. Domestication has shifted the cat’s activity patterns to be more diurnal (awake during the day), but they still tend to wake at least twice during the night. The good news is that your can retrain your cat to let you sleep in peace.
IMPORTANT: If you own a cat who has traditionally not bothered you, but is now restlessly wandering about the house and crying during the night, there may be an underlying medical problem. If your cat is also eating noticeably more, she may have an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), which can be easily controlled with medication. To be on the safe side, have the cat checked by your veterinarian.
WHAT TO DO: - Schedule a few play sessions with your cat during the evening. Interactive play is best, using toys that mimic the movement of mice and birds, such as cat dancers and kitty teasers. Games with Ping-Pong balls, soft balls, and furry “mice” toys are great for kitties who like to fetch. Try to play until the cat is tired. - Feed the cat a main meal just before your bedtime. Cats tend to sleep after a big meal. If your cat continues to wake you during the night for food, obtain a timed feeder that you can set to open once or twice, with fresh food, during the night. The cat will learn to wait by the feeder rather than bother you. Make sure you adjust meal sizes so your cat doesn’t gain weight. - Incorporate a variety of enrichment activities to keep your cat busy during the day. The more active your cat is during the day, the more likely she will sleep at night. See our
information on enrichment for helpful tips. - If your cat is social with other cats, consider adding a second cat to your family. If the cats are compatible, they will play with each other and be more likely to leave you alone. But be forewarned—conversely, they may both decide to play during the night! - If your cat tries to play with you or wake you while you’re sleeping, you may need to banish the cat from your bedroom. Playful cats have been known to unintentionally injure their sleeping owners—for instance, the cat may notice your eyes moving under your lids and swat at your face in play. If your cat cries and scratches at the door, you can discourage her by placing something she dislikes in front of the door, such as vinyl carpet-runner (placed upside-down to expose the knobby feet), double-sided sticky tape, foil, or a Scat Mat™. Alternatively, you can set up a “booby trap” outside your door. For example, mount your blow dryer or place your vacuum cleaner by the door and plug it into a remote switch, which you can find at Radio Shack. When your cat wakes you, you can hit a button on the remote to turn on the appliance. The startled cat will be unlikely to return to your door after that!
WHAT NOT TO DO: - Do not get up and attend to the cat—unless, of course, you suspect something is wrong. If you rise and feed the cat, play with her, or even interact with her for a few minutes, you are reinforcing the cat for waking you up. She will likely become more persistent each subsequent night. Even scolding the cat is unlikely to work, because negative attention is better than no attention at all for some cats.

Source: SPCA

House Soiling by Your Cat

At least ten percent of all cats develop an elimination problem. Some cats stop using the box altogether, while some only use the box for urination, and some cats go both in and out of the box. Most litter box problems stem from a change in the cat’s preferred substrate or location of the box, or when the cat develops an aversion to the box or the area around the box. Sometimes an elimination problem will develop as a result of conflict between cats in the home.
What cats want The majority of cats prefer: - a large box that is easy to enter, with a low to moderate level of litter;- an uncovered box;- either the type of litter on which they were trained on or clumping litter;- unscented litter;- a box that is located in a quiet but not “cornered” location—i.e., the cat likes to be able to see if someone is approaching, and they like to have more than one exit;- above all, cats want a CLEAN box.
WHAT TO DO:1. It is imperative to evaluate and rule out a medical cause for the problem. Have your cat checked thoroughly by your veterinarian first.2. Remove covers from litter boxes.3. Give the cat a choice of litter types. Cats generally prefer unscented clumping litter with a medium to fine texture. 4. Scoop at least once a day. Once a week, clean the entire box with warm water (no soap) and completely replace litter.5. Clean “accidents” thoroughly with an enzymatic cleanser designed to neutralize the odor.6. If the cat is soiling around just a few spots in the home, place litter boxes there. If it is not possible put a box in one of these spots, place the cat’s food bowl, water bowl, bed, and/or toys in the area to discourage elimination.7. Offer different types of litter in boxes placed side-by-side to allow the cat to demonstrate his preferences for litter type.
WHAT NOT TO DO: - Do not rub the cat’s nose in his elimination.- Do not scold the cat and carry or drag him to the litter box.- Do not use an ammonia-based cleanser. Urine contains ammonia, and cleaning with an ammonia-based formula could attract the cat back to the same spot to urinate again.
Special Tips for Multi-Cat HouseholdsAs a general rule, the number of boxes available should be at least one more than the number of cats in the home (i.e. 3 cats = 4 boxes).
Sometimes an elimination problem develops as a result of conflict between cats in the home. If you have multiple cats and aren’t sure which cat is soiling, speak with your veterinarian about administering fluorescein, a harmless dye, to the cat (either by injection, Fluorescite injection 10 percent, 0.3 ml subcutaneously, or orally, 0.5 mL of the same solution). The dye does not stain carpeting, but causes the urine to fluoresce blue for 24 hours under an ultraviolet light. Alternatively, cats can be confined, one at a time, to determine which cat is soiling.

Source: SPCA

General Cat Care

What you’ll need to know to keep your companion feline happy and healthy.
BackgroundCats were domesticated sometime between 4,000 and 8,000 years ago, in Africa and the Middle East. Small wild cats started hanging out where humans stored their grain. When humans saw cats up close and personal, they began to admire felines for their beauty and grace.There are many different breeds of cats--from the hairless Sphynx and the fluffy Persian to the silvery spotted Egyptian mau. But the most popular felines of all are non-pedigree—that includes brown tabbies, black-and-orange tortoiseshells, all-black cats with long hair, striped cats with white socks and everything in between.
CostWhen you first get your cat, you’ll need to spend about $25 for a litter box, $10 for a collar, and $30 for a carrier. Food runs about $170 a year, plus $50 annually for toys and treats, $175 annually for litter and an average of $150 for veterinary care every year. The best place to get a cat? Your local shelter! Please visit our
shelter directory to find shelters and rescue groups in your area.
Note: Make sure you have all your supplies (see our checklist) before you bring your new pet home.
Basic Care
Feeding - An adult cat should be fed one large or two or three smaller meals each day. - Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks must eat four times a day. - Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day.
You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes, or keep dry food available at all times. We recommend a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food; avoid generic brands. You will need to provide fresh, clean water at all times, and wash and refill water bowls daily.
Although cat owners of old were told to give their pets a saucer of milk, cats do not easily digest cow’s milk, which can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Treats are yummy for cats, but don't go overboard. Most packaged treats contain lots of sugar and fat, which can pack on the pounds. Some cats like fresh fruits and vegetables, like broccoli, corn or cantaloupe. You can offer these once in awhile.
If your kitten is refusing food or isn’t eating enough, try soaking her kitten food in warm water. If that doesn’t work, kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with her regular food.
GroomingMost cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but you should brush or comb your cat regularly. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat's coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs.
HandlingTo pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck or by the front legs.
HousingYour pet should have her own clean, dry place in your home to sleep and rest. Line your cat's bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. Cats who are allowed outdoors can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, or get into fights with other free-roaming cats and dogs. Also, cats may prey on native wildlife.
IdentificationIf allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat must wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. And if your pet is indoors-only, an ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.
Litter BoxAll indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat's box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day.
Keep in mind that cats won't use a messy, smelly litter box, so scoop solid wastes out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent and refill at least once a week; you can do this less frequently if using clumping litter. Don't use ammonia, deodorants or scents, especially lemon, when cleaning the litter box.
Behavior InformationPlayCats delight in stalking imaginary prey. The best toys are those that can be made to jump and dance around and look alive. Your cat can safely act out her role as a predator by pouncing on toys instead of people's ankles. Please don't use your hands or fingers as play objects with kittens. This type of rough play may cause biting and scratching behaviors to develop as your kitten matures.
ScratchingCats need to scratch! When a cat scratches, the old outer nail sheath is pulled off and the sharp, smooth claws underneath are exposed. Cutting your cat’s nails every two to three weeks will keep them relatively blunt and less likely to harm the arms of both humans and furniture.
Provide your cat with a sturdy scratching post, at least three feet high, which will allow her to stretch completely when scratching. The post should also be stable enough that it won't wobble during use, and should be covered with rough material such as sisal, burlap or tree bark. Many cats also like scratching pads. A sprinkle of catnip once or twice a month will keep your cat interested in her post or pad.
HealthYour cat should see the veterinarian at least once a year for an examination and annual shots, and immediately if she is sick or injured.
Ear MitesThese tiny parasites are a common problem that can be transmitted from cat to cat. If your cat is constantly scratching at his ears or shaking his head, he may be infested with ear mites. You will need to call your vet, as your cat's ears will need to be thoroughly cleaned before medication is dispensed.
Feline Urological Syndrome (FUS)Both males and females can develop this lower urinary inflammation, also called Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). Signs of FUS include frequent trips to the litter box, blood in the urine and crying out or straining when urinating. If your male cat looks "constipated," he may have a urethral obstruction and can’t urinate. This can be fatal if not treated quickly. Urethral blockages are rare in females. About five percent of cats are affected with FUS. Special diets may help prevent this condition.
Fleas and TicksFlea infestation should be taken seriously. These tiny parasites feed off of your pet, transmit tapeworms and irritate the skin. Carefully check your cat once a week for fleas and ticks. If there are fleas on your cat, there will be fleas in your house. You may need to use flea bombs or premise-control sprays, and be sure to treat all animals in your house. Take care that any sprays, powders or shampoos you use are safe for cats, and that all products are compatible when used together. Cats die every year from improper treatment with flea and tick control products. Please contact your veterinarian for the most effective flea control program for your pet.
Medicines and PoisonsNever give your cat medication that has not been prescribed by a veterinarian. For example, did you know that acetominophin and aspirin can be FATAL to a cat?! Keep rat poison or other rodenticides away from your cat. If you suspect that your animal has ingested a poisonous substance, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for 24-hour animal poison information at (888) 426- 4435.
Spaying and NeuteringFemale cats should be spayed and male cats neutered by six months of age. Neutering a male (removing the testicles) can prevent urine spraying, decrease the urge to escape outside and look for a mate, and reduce fighting between males. Spaying a female (removing the ovaries and uterus) helps prevent breast cancer, which is usually fatal, and pyometra (uterus infection), a very serious problem in older females that must be treated with surgery and intensive medical care. Since cats can breed up to three times per year, it is vital that your female feline be spayed to prevent her from having unwanted litters.
Vaccinations* Kittens should be vaccinated with a combination vaccine (called a “3 in 1”) at 2, 3 and 4 months of age, and then annually. This vaccine protects cats from panleukopenia (also called feline distemper), calicivirus and rhinotracheitis. If you have an unvaccinated cat older than four months of age, he will need a series of two vaccinations given 2 to 3 weeks apart, followed by yearly vaccinations.
* There is a vaccine available for feline leukemia virus (FeLV). This is one of the two immune system viruses (retroviruses) that infect cats. The other is feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). There is no vaccine available for FIV. Cats can be infected with either virus for months, even years, without any indication that they are carrying a fatal virus. All cats should be tested for these viruses.
FeLV and FIV can be transmitted at birth from the mother or through the bite of an infected cat. Neither virus can infect humans. Many outdoor and stray cats and kittens carry this infection. Because of the fatal nature of these diseases, you should not expose cats already living in your home by taking in untested cats or kittens. To be safe, keep your cat indoors—but if your cat does go outside, he should be vaccinated against the feline leukemia virus. Remember, no vaccine is 100-percent effective.Rabies vaccination is required by law in most areas of the country. Ask your veterinarian if you are unsure of the laws in your area.
Please note, if your companion cat gets sick because he is not properly vaccinated, the vaccinations should be given after your pet has recovered.
WormsKittens and cats can be infected with several types of worms. The key to treatment is correct diagnosis. This will ensure that the medication is effective against the parasite your pet has. A dewormer that eliminates roundworms, for example, will not kill tapeworms. Your veterinarian can best determine the culprit—and prescribe the appropriate medication.
Cat Supply Checklist - Premium-brand cat food- Food dish- Water bowl- Interactive toys- Brush- Comb- Safety cat collar with ID tag- Scratching post or scratching pad- Litter box- Litter- Cat carrier - Cat bed or box with warm blanket or towel

Source: SPCA