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Can My Houseplants Or Landscaping Poison My Puppy Or Kitten?

| November 2, 2013
Some signs of animal poisoning are diarrhea, vomiting, abnormal urine, salivation, difficulty breathing, weakness, and dizziness.

Some signs of animal poisoning are diarrhea, vomiting, abnormal urine, salivation, difficulty breathing, weakness, and dizziness.

The answer to this question is an emphatic yes, many plants can sicken or even kill your pets. I sincerely feel that stores and nurseries that sell plants should abide by some kind of national label system to identify potentially poisonous plants. For example, deer ate and killed one of my landscaping plants last year and we replaced the plant with a beautiful rhododendron this spring, purchased from a very reputable and knowledgeable nursery. We made sure that we planted our rhododendron where it has the proper amount of light and shade, we used a whole bag of the correct acid fertilized soil and we have been making sure it is properly watered. The plant is doing great. Now that we have a new puppy that chews on everything including tasting all landscaping plants, I come to find out that this plant is very toxic to dogs. What the heck, I feel that we should have been warned.

Some signs of animal poisoning are diarrhea, vomiting, abnormal urine, salivation, difficulty breathing, weakness, and dizziness. If you think that your pet has been poisoned contact your veterinarian immediately. If he is unavailable, you might want to contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. The Animal Poison Control Center is a valuable resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, make the call that can make all the difference. (888) 426-4435. A $55 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.

If you can figure out which plant your pet ate, which part of the plant he ate and how much he may have eaten, that will help your veterinarian. If you have the time, take a sample of the plant with you to the veterinarian for identification. This might be very helpful.

I include a list of toxic plants. Not all plants will kill. Some pets will completely ignore plants, others will chew on plants every chance they get. The degree of toxicity of plants also depends up the season, the part of the plant eaten and the size of the pet and quantity eaten. Also different pet species and even different pet breeds may be affected differently. There are a lot of variables. It may be about impossible to fully protect your pet but as you buy new plants and add them to the backyard or house, you should have access to enough knowledge to avoid future potential problems. You may also want to give away some of the more dangerous houseplants to friends without pets.

One thing to keep in mind is that even if a plant if toxic, it is not necessarily fatal. Other symptoms can be much less severe. Some toxic plants can cause rash and irritation, some can make your pets lips and tongue sore, some may produce abdominal pair and diarrhea, some vomiting, and cramps, others hallucinations, tumors, heart and respiratory problems and kidney problems. The following lists are not complete by any means.

POTENTIALLY TOXIC HOUSEPLANTS
Aloe Vera, Burn Plant
Amaryllis
Flamingo Lily
Angels Wings
Chrysanthemums, Mums
Kaffir Lily
Croton
Cyclamen
Angels Trumpet
Dumb Cane
Crown-Of-Thorns
Poinsettia
English Ivy
Hydrangea
Devils Backbone
Ceriman,
Philodendron
Azalea
Jerusalem Cherry

POTENTIALLY POISONOUS OUTDOOR PLANTS
Apricot
Azalea
Baneberry
Buchberry
Buckeye
Castor Bean
Choke Cherry
Daffodil
Daphne
Foxflove
Hemlock
Hens-and-Chicks
Hyacinth
Hydrangea
Jerusalem Cherry
Jimson Weed
Jonquil
Lily-of-the-Valley
Mandrake
Mistletoe
Morning Glory
Nightshade
Oleander
Poinsetta
Pokeweed
Red Sage
Rhododendron
Rhubara
Sweet Pea
Tulip
Wisteria
Yew

Copyright & Credit:
About the Author: Mitch Endick is a short article writer, editor and website developer for the popular pet site petpages.com. www.petpages.com  is a pet information site with free pet ads, dog classifieds, and puppy for sale info Petpages.com also offers information on cats, fish, reptiles, birds, ferrets, rabbits, mice and even pet bugs.

Photo copyright and courtesy: Red~Star

Can You Clicker Train Your Cat?

| December 27, 2011
Can You Clicker Train Your Cat

Clicker training is a reinforcement or reward for a cat when training them. Clickers are use most often for support when training a cat for a reward. Cats associate the clicker with a good behavior they will use for a long time.

Clicker training is a reinforcement or reward for a cat when training them. Clickers are use most often for support when training a cat for a reward. Cats associate the clicker with a good behavior they will use for a long time. Clicker training is associated with classical condition were they associate the sound with food. and operant conditioning (cat will do certain movement to receive food).

Why use a clicker and not tell a cat or make a sound to get your cat to do a trick? A clicker has a sound a cat can hear and associate good behavior. With words, our tones in our voice can change from time to time, which a cat can become confused with the training. With talking for the commands, a cat could mistake the commands. With using a clicker, it is more of a training tool to get the behavior started with the cat. Then you can put the clicker away for that behavior or trick once a cat has learned the behavior

When taking the cat out for a walk or on a trip, the clicker is a good item to carry along with you. Cats can get distracted with other people, or animals in the area. With using the clicker, it will reinforce the behavior that you have taught them. In addition, a clicker can help you with having your cat walk with you instead of wondering around.

With the clicker, a cat can be trained using three easy steps: Get a behavior, mark a behavior, and reinforce the behavior. Get a behavior is the first step. A good example would be for the cat to jump a hoop. The cat will have to know that when you click that they get a treat. Start with very small treats in your pocket. Clicks, Treat, Click Treat do this for a few times until you see the cat coming for the treat on the click.

Next marking the behavior: You will have to show the cat the hoop. Once the cat touches the hoop, click, treat. Then show the cat to go though the hoop once it does click, treat. Continue to do this until the cat goes though the hoop on its own or your command. Reinforce the behavior Remember to have snacks handy so when you do see your cat go though the hoop a snack is available.

Training a cat with a clicker can be fun for both you and the cat. Taking steps in training will be rewarding to you and the cat. Try not to rush a cat in training, as they can become confused especially if they did not get the step before down. The training will take time and steps to achieve this behavior. Patience, love, and rewards will be the key factor in training your cat.

The clicker is a good exercises tool for a cat. 10 to 15 minutes a day you should get your cat to exercises. For exercising, you can have the cat use a hoop, play with a toy, and climb on the scratching post or something that focus on the cat getting exercise. Exercises will help the cat to stay healthy and help to keep it out of mischief.

Clickers can come with books to help you train, treats, and a clicker. Clickers come in many different size shapes, and color. You will want to research the clickers out. Check out a pet store, Internet sites give lots of information on training and using a clicker. Check out companies that make the clicker by using Internet to see what kind they offer and any additional information that you might need to get the process of training done. Check out articles about the clicker. Talk to someone that has used one. Talk to your area veterinary about training with a Clicker

Once you have used a clicker, the cat will get good exercise and be a healthy cat. The cat will be happier and you will be happier with the new behaviors that you have taught your cat.

To sum up training your cat, important things to remember is have patience, love and the use of the clicker.

NOTE: This article is for information only. See your veterinarian for medical advice.

Copyright & Credit:
Article Source: www.animalpetsandfriends.com | We plan to post articles that are informative and helpful to other cat lovers. Having been “owned” by cat for years, we know they can be demanding, but also be very entertaining and fun. Please visit our site for a wide array of products that will make “His Majesty” very happy – Best House Cat Care, or our blog for more information – Best House Cat Care.
Photo copyright and courtesy: Arne Larsen

Cat Care 101: Keeping Your Home Clean and Your Cat Healthy

| December 27, 2011
Keeping Your Home Clean and Your Cat Healthy

Our cats are full-fledged family members - there's no doubt about it. Their loyalty, their love, and their ability to comfort us are unparalleled. Sometimes, though, their hair or odors can leave an unwelcome footprint in our homes.

 

Our cats are full-fledged family members – there’s no doubt about it. Their loyalty, their love, and their ability to comfort us are unparalleled. Sometimes, though, their hair or odors can leave an unwelcome footprint in our homes. Just as we clean up the spills made by our kids (or our spouses!), it’s up to us to clean up after our cats. Luck ily, there are any number of products that make pet care a breeze.

Cat Litter Boxes

Cats are generally low maintenance pets, but their litter boxes often contribute little to you home decor, and can become a smelly nuisance. Today’s litter boxes, though, can bring a touch of whimsy to your interior design, while their functionality can put an end to messes and odours.

One line of litter boxes comes in an assortment of patterns and colors, from solid silver and solid black, to polka dot, leopard print and wood grain. The litter tray door pulls out, and a metal sifter rake pulls and lifts litter out of the tray for easy cleaning. Another ingenious design has a triangular shape so that you can easily place it otherwise used corner space.

If you want to make cat care even easier, self-cleaning litter boxes are the answer. One style has an internal grill that traps used litter. You simply roll the enclosed litter box on its side and remove the waste tray. Another type takes self-cleaning to the next level by having a slowly but rotating system that quietly but continuously scoops used cat litter into a receptacle. The ultimate litter box is one that automatically flushes cat waste down your toilet. Instead of cat litter, this box uses permanent granules that are washable. After your cat uses the box, the granules are automatically washed, disinfected, and dried. Liquid and any solid waste are flushed down the toilet with fresh water.

Kitty Litter

When it comes to kitty litter, many cats have a preference for one brand over another. But if you start with the right litter or are persistent, you can find kitty litter that can help eliminate odors while keep your cat healthy. One brand of kitty litter on the market not only neutralizes litter box odors, but also changes color if your cat has a urinary tract infection. Given that urinary tract infections can quickly become life threatening, early detection is key. It’s also helpful to have information about a potential infection to give to your veterinarian.

Shedding Tools

Many people who love cats are troubled by allergies, or by the cat hair that clings to furniture and clothes. Products that help with shedding take one of two approaches: either they work at the source of the problem (your furry feline) or they make it a snap to clean up hair off of furniture.

Cats typically shed their undercoat (rather than the hair you see), so a product that helps you remove hair from your pet – a “furminator” of sorts – means you’ll never see it on your couch. These products brush out the dead hair from the undercoat (but don’t cut it), while bringing your cat’s natural oils to the surface. Because this type of product also helps stops over zealous self-cleaning, your cat may be less likely to be bothered by hairballs.

Cat care isn’t difficult, and the great litter boxes, kitty litter, and shedding tools make it even easier!

Copyright & Credit:
About the Author:  Linda Cain at Rain Shadow LLC and Rain Shadow Gardens. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2007 | Article Source: http://www.freearticles.co.za

Photo copyright and courtesy: viv choi photography’s

 

Cat Care Tips – 10 Things Your Cat Wants You To Know

| December 26, 2011
Cat Care Tips

Given the differences between humans and felines, it's amazing that we get along the way we do. These cat care tips deal with subjects such as preventing litter box problems and letting your cat act on her instincts.

Given the differences between humans and felines, it’s amazing that we get along the way we do. These cat care tips deal with subjects such as preventing litter box problems and letting your cat act on her instincts. Following these tips will help you and your kitty to better bond and enjoy your lives together.

1. Lay your hands on your cat often – some cats just don’t like to be picked up no matter what. But, if you can start handling your cat often when she’s a kitten, chances are good she’ll better accept it later in life. She’ll also do better when it comes time to get checked by the vet or have her claws trimmed.

2. Check your cat for health problems – use weekly (or more often) grooming sessions to examine your cat for common health problems. Check your cat’s teeth, gums, eyes, ears, skin, and limbs for obvious problems. Check for fleas, ear mites, and signs of pain, swelling, or injury.

3. Let your cat sunbathe – cats love heat. In fact, domestic cats love warmth so much that they’ve been known to singe their fur on a hot stove. Cats love to sunbathe, so provide a bed for your cat by a window so she can have her place in the sun.

4. Keep your cat indoors – every major cat care organization recommends keeping your cat indoors for safety, better health, and a longer life. Cats can live out a healthy life indoors, get the exercise they need, and survey their territory from a nice spot in front of the window.

5. Your cat wants to hunt, so let her – no, I’m not saying to let your cat hunt rats. Instead, bring out the hunting instincts in your cat by spreading some treats around the house. This will make feeding time a bit more fun. One of my cats likes it when you toss dry food bits and let her chase them down. Try it.

6. Provide enough litter boxes – follow the one plus one rule – one box for each cat in the house plus one more. This ensures that there’s a fresh, available box to use at any given time. Some cats don’t like using a box that was recently used, even if they were the one to use it.

7. Clean the cat litter box twice a day – clean the box twice a day and change the litter every few weeks, thoroughly scrubbing the box and disinfecting with bleach when you do. Keeping the box spotless will help prevent any possible cat litter box problems that might arise.

8. Set aside playtime for you and your cat – play fetch with your cat, or dangle toys on a string for her. Play a game of tag and take turns chasing each other around the house whenever you can. Increase your cat’s exercise level daily and you’ll help lower risks of heart disease, diabetes and other diseases.

9. Must have cat toys – cat toys can be fun for both of you. Rotate your cat’s toys in and out of circulation so that you keep it interesting. Always, however, leave your cat’s favorites accessible. Heed warning labels, though, and do not leave your cat unsupervised as injury can occur. Also, a belt or a shoe lace, if used safely, can make a great interactive toy and provide exercise for your cat.

10. Get your cat a housemate – two cats are more than twice the fun of one. Plus, your cats will be able to give each other attention when you can’t. A second cat around the house will offer comfort, reduce boredom, and encourage exercise. This will help prevent possible behavior problems as well, as bored kitties are more likely to get into trouble.

Keeping your cat indoors will help keep her safe, and ensuring she exercises will keep her healthy. Nurturing your cat’s instincts, and paying more attention to her will make your kitty a better adjusted family member. The cat care tips concerning the litter box may prevent future headaches, and the health check is just a good habit for the two of you.

 

Copyright & Credit: About the Author: For at least 15 more practical tips on cat care see Kurt Schmitt’s online resource for cat lovers. Title: Cat Care Tips – 10 Things Your Cat Wants You To Know Article Distribution and Free Web Content by www.reprint-content.com

Photo copyright and courtesy: Michelangelo Di Schiena

Cat Claw Survival Solutions To The Rescue!

| December 20, 2011
Cat Claw Survival Solutions To The Rescue

Cats can have a temper and mean on their worst days, but even the most annoying problems have a remedy somewhere.

Cats can have a temper and mean on their worst days, but even the most annoying problems have a remedy somewhere. If your kitty is tearing up your furniture, your carpet, and your legs with the same ferocity, understanding the how and why behind your cats behavior can help you redirect your feline friend’s clawing instinct to be expressed in less destructive ways.  So why is your cat clawing everything in sight you ask?

Here’s the jawdropper: a kitty’s claws will never stop growing. Let me say that again , They never stop growing.That being said, When I found that out, a light went off in my head. Just like a pet hamster that constantly needs to knaw on wood to keep their teeth from growing too long, what cats are actually doing when they sharpen their claws is removing the outermost layer of their claws. O.K. My furry little Kitty Cat, Ibeleive that I finally get it!

So what to do? What to do? The first thought that comes to mind is to scoop kitty up for a little declawing action at the nearest vet’s office. But before you take such a drastic step, keep in mind that once those claws are gone, they’re gone for good. Take away those claws, and you’re taking away your pet’s primary form of defense. Even if you have an indoor cat like I do, chances are, sooner or later, a window of opportunity is going to open up just long enough for your cat to slip outside and be vulnerable to attacks from other animals and people.

So now you know why your cat is actually using you as a scratching post. I don’t think the term using your leg as a post is a great term as well. In a way, it’s kind of flattering. but it doesn’t make it hurt any less. Let’s get your cat to branch out. It’s time to get a REAL scratching post, so that your pet can get into the habit of using it instead of YOU, whenever those claw sharpening impulses may strike.

So how do we get kitty to break her bad habits and start to use the proper place where she can scratch to her heart’s content?

The answer lies with you.That is of course, if you are your cat’s favorite person in the family.If you are, then try hanging an article of clothing that belongs to you on your virgin scratching post. The idea is to make the area smell familiar. After a few days it should be enough for your cat to become accustomed to its’new scratching outlet.

So you say no way is that cat tearing up my cloths.Don’t want to part with something from your wardrobe? Well then it is time to get a little sneakier then. Catnip can be your secret weapon. Sprinkle catnip over the scratching post and watch what happens. Note: This one may even be even worth a U-Tube ,break out the video camera for this one for sure!

This next option sounds a little bit crazy, but believe me, it works! Try sprinkling the post area with powdered chicken bouillon. The idea is to get the cat to feel friendly enough toward the scratching post to attack it.While your cat is making the transition to a designated area for scratching, there are several ways to change your cat’s favorite scratching areas,by making them a lot less attractive. This will help ease the transition from the old spots to the new.

You can use fresh lemon juice over them. Cover or wrap the areas in aluminum foil or wax paper. Remember what it felt like when your fingernails went down the chalkboard? That will bring the hair on the back of your neck? Cats will experience the same thing and be deterred from using the areas. Finally, clean the areas well to remove any cat odor. This will go a long way toward removing the area of familiarity that creates the habit of using the space. Also,if possible just keep the doors closed to make those places inaccessible to the cat.

Now that you know more about the how and why of your cat’s clawing instinct and behavior, take these simple steps and you’ll soon see a answer to the cat clawing issues in your household. With a little time and patience, your cat’s claw sharpening activities should be limited to its’favorite spot: the scratching post!

NOTE: This article is for information only. See your veterinarian for medical advice.

Copyright & Credit:

Article Source:

Cat Lady: We plan to post articles that are informative and helpful to other cat lovers. Having been “owned” by cat for years, we know they can be demanding, but also be very entertaining and fun. Please visit our site for a wide array of products that will make “His Majesty” very happy – Best House Cat Care, or our blog for more information – Best House Cat Care. – Visit Animal Pets & Friends for more pet and animal articles.

Photo copyright and courtesy: Ilker – stock.xchng

Cat Dandruff – 4 Steps To Get Rid of Cat Dandruff For Good

| October 27, 2010
If your cat has a lot of loose dead skin cell flakes caught in his fur, you may be dealing with cat dandruff. Its not unusual for dogs and cats to experience a bit of dry skin during their lifetime, but its important to identify the underlying cause of the problem

If your cat has a lot of loose dead skin cell flakes caught in his fur, you may be dealing with cat dandruff. Its not unusual for dogs and cats to experience a bit of dry skin during their lifetime, but its important to identify the underlying cause of the problem

If your cat has a lot of loose dead skin cell flakes caught in his fur, you may be dealing with cat dandruff. Its not unusual for dogs and cats to experience a bit of dry skin during their lifetime, but its important to identify the underlying cause of the problem. Common causes include allergies, diabetes, poor diet, fur mites, and even sun burn. Here’s some tips on identifying the root cause of cat dandruff and how to deal with the problem for good.

Dandruff is loose dead skin cells from the outer layer of your cat’s skin usually visible in his fur. He may even scratch himself bloody resulting in missing patches of fur.

The most common causes of cat dandruff are:

  • Feline diabetes;
  • Fungal infection;
  • Environmental allergy;
  • Food allergy;
  • Poor diet;
  • Parasites including fleas, mites and especially the Cheyletiella mite;
  • Low humidity environments;
  • Sunburn

Four steps to get rid of cat dandruff for good:

Step 1: Take a trip to the vet to rule out a serious medical conditions. You are going to need your vet to help you diagnose feline diabetes, a skin fungus or to pinpoint a food or airborne allergy.

Step 2: Get your cat on a proper high meat protein diet. You may think your cat is eating high quality cat food, however, commercial pet food companies are good at advertising poor quality cat food as a high-end product. Commercial cat food is packed with vegetable proteins, not meat proteins. Vegetable proteins don’t help you cat one bit. Read the ingredients. If corn or soy grains are listed first on the list of ingredients you are feeding you cat vegetable proteins. You want a cat food product, preferably canned, that contains a meat protein as the first ingredient.

Step 3: Remove complications caused by a dry climate and sunburns. In a dry climate, your cat’s skin (your skin too) benefits by adding a humidifier to your home space. If you have a fair skinned cat, typically white fur feline, give her plenty of places to get in the shade when she is outside.

Step 4: Now for the parasites. If you ever hear someone talking about ‘walking dandruff’ they are talking about the Chyletiella mite. These cat parasites are large enough to see with the naked eye. They are often the cause of skin problems and cat dandruff.

You can treat skin parasites fairly easily, but you are going to have to treat all the animals in your household, the carpeting, the bedding and maybe even your family members. Use hot water and Oxyfresh or your favorite detergent to wash cat bedding, sheets, blankets and anything that you cat likes to lie on. Get out the vacuum and go over the carpet 2 or 3 times a week.

Finally, get rid of the Cheyletiella mite once and for all using a flea and mite prevention program like Revolution, Frontline or Advantage. You will need a vet’s prescription for these products but they are highly effective at controlling fleas and mites.

You can help your cat’s skin heal naturally using a homeopathic remedy such as Equisetum arvense and Taraxacum officinalis. The herbs are known for their ability to soothe your cat’s skin sores and keep his skin hydrated. Fucus vesiculosis is a sea vegetable used in natural remedies to support the thyroid. The thyroid is key to producing hormones that are necessary for maintaining skin and coat. You can even add a tablespoon of olive oil to your cat’s food once or twice a week to stimulate natural oil production.

So there you have it, how to get rid of cat dandruff for good by ruling out serious medical conditions like feline diabetes, making sure your cat is eating a high meat protein diet, adding moisture to your home environment with a humidifier and eliminating fleas, mites and especially the Cheyletiella mite.

Your vet will need to help you to diagnose physical problems and to provide a prescription for flea products like Revolution. However, you can include natural cat skin care products to help your cat heal and provide long term relief from cat dandruff and other feline skin problems – no prescription required.

Copyright & Credit:
Kate Rieger is partnered with the Kentucky SNIP clinic and together they show pet owners how using natural alternatives for pet care can reduce vet bills and keep pets out of the sick room. Visit Kate’s site today to find more options for treating pet ailments and help for a cat dandruff problem at http://www.Coolest-Cat-Care.com/cat-dandruff.

Photo copyright and courtesy: Gayle Lindgren– stock.xchng

Cat Litter Box Problem? A Look At Behavioral Issues

| June 10, 2018

Cat Litter Box Problem
There may be more than one cause of a cat litter box problem, but they come from one of two categories. If you’ve read my article on the physical causes of this dilemma, then you already know that this problem is either physical, or behavioral.

Since your cat can’t tell you what’s going on, you have to rule out each possible cause, until you are left with the most logical answer. This is known as a diagnosis of exclusion.

The first step here is to have a consultation with your vet. Always assume that your cat has a physical problem as the cause, unless your vet says otherwise.

If your vet has given the all clear, then you’re going to have to assume, for the moment, that your litter box problems are behavioral. Let’s try to understand our cat’s point of view and see if we can think of some behavioral reasons for not using the litter box.

1. Dirty Box – some cats will use a dirty box without complaining, but others are fussy. In any case, clean your litter box at least once per day. You should change your litter at least every few weeks, unless it gets too dirty more quickly than that. Whenever you change the litter, wash and dry the litter box thoroughly. If you have a hooded box, be sure to wash the lid also.

2. Box Odor – some cats will refuse to use a litter box if it doesn’t smell right. Remember, that means smell right to the cat, not to you. You might be thinking that your clean box smells just fine. This is not always the case.

If you didn’t clean it well enough, your cat will know. If you used a scented cleaner, or didn’t rinse it well enough, it may not smell right to your cat. It’s recommended that you use a solution of one part bleach to 30 parts water to help prevent the spread of parasites and recurring infections. Rinse well and dry thoroughly! When you’re finished, the box should not smell like cat waste, soap, or bleach.

3. Litter Box Odor – some cats simply prefer the odor of one brand or type of litter over another. Even unscented litters have an odor your cat can detect and may not like. Be prepared to try different types and brands until you find the right one for your cat.

4. Type of Litter – your cat may not like the type of cat litter you use. When you switch litters, do it slowly. Try adding 20 percent new litter to 80 percent old, and then increasing the amount of new litter over several days until you’re only using the new litter.

5. Litter Box Type – the shape, size, and type of box does matter. For example, some cats may like a hooded box, while others prefer the open kind. Perhaps your cat would like higher walls, or a larger box. If you’ve recently changed litter boxes, this could be causing a problem.

6. Number of Boxes – in multi-cat households, territory is at a premium. Use the one plus one rule when selecting how many boxes you’ll need in order to prevent traffic jams. That means one box for each cat, plus one extra so that there is always a free box available. Having more boxes also keeps each box a little cleaner, which makes the scooping chore a bit easier on you.

7. Location Choice – in some cases, you just can’t find a good spot for the box, and you’ll have to do your best. If your cat is not pleased with the location of the box, she may stop using it. Always try to keep the box in a low noise and low traffic area. Busy areas like laundry rooms and kitchens are usually not good places.

8. Territorial Issues – territorial arguments are common in multi-cat households. Some cats like to sneak up on others when they’re using the box and pounce. If your cat is attacked every time he’s in the box, he may grow to hate the box. This is where the one plus one rule for multi-cat households is most important.

9. Stress – if your cat is stressed by a recent move, a new addition to the household, or perhaps simply a behavior shift on the part of a family member, this may be at the root of the box issue. Try to think about what might have changed recently in your cat’s life, and then try to ease whatever stress she’s under.

Cat litter box problems can usually be solved, once you know the cause. The solution doesn’t have to mean getting rid of the cat. Your veterinarian needs to first rule out physical causes so you can tackle the behavior side of things. Think like a cat, and you’ll be able to solve your box problems.

Copyright & Credit:

Article Source: http://www.a1-optimization.com/articles Kurt Schmitt is an experienced cat owner and offers advice on cat litter box problems and many other cat care subjects at Cat Lovers Only Feel free to grab a unique version of this article from the cat litter box problem Articles Submissions Service

Photo copyright and courtesy: Lena Povrzenic – stock.xchng

Cat Obesity: Causes, Prevention and Treatment

| December 30, 2014

 

Jordan Walker loves cats and confesses that he could look at their pictures all day long. He writes informational stuff about these furry friends at Coops And Cages and in websites like this one. In this article, he talks about cat obesity.

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Many would say they love their pets. But if there was a pet health meter that could prove this, how many do you think would be able to pass this test?

According to the statistics provided by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), 57.6% of cats in the United States are obese. The same trend can also be seen in pet dogs. What does this mean for pet cats?

Cat obesity awareness is promulgated because this is tied to many health risks. Just like humans can suffer from health diseases such as diabetes, poor skin condition, fatty liver, reproductive problems, and lowered immune system due to obesity, cats could experience this too. You say you really love you pet cat? Is it obese? Then read the rest of this article.

Diagnosing Cat Obesity

There are several signs that your pet cat is already obese. Some of these are listed below:

  • Obvious weight gain
  • Body fat
  • Tiredness
  • Unwillingness to move or exercise

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As you can see, the symptoms are similar to that of humans who are considered obese. Take note that a huge cat is not always a sign of pet obesity. It may be that your cat’s breed belongs to the larger type. If you want to know how your pet scores on the weighing scale, all you have to do is visit your veterinarian. Diagnosing cat obesity requires body condition assessment that includes comparison with a standard sized cat that matches your cat’s breed.

Possible Causes

Cat obesity can be attributed to varying conditions. Some are medical in nature, while others are due to feeding and exercise inadequacies.

  1. Feeding on high-carb diet. Ideally, cats should eat a high-protein diet. Experts claim that if humans were to eat like cats do, they would easily suffer from heart problems. In reverse, when a cat is fed the ideal diet of humans, they suffer from a similar consequence. When cats eat a lot of protein, this is converted to energy. When carbohydrates are tossed into their plate, this on the other hand is synthesized as fat.
  2. Lack of exercise. As a cat owner, you may have been advised to keep your pet inside the premises of your house. Yes, it’s true. Cats outside can easily fall victim to road accidents, mischief with other pets, and even theft. But although you keep it from the dangers that could stem from being outside, being inside the house on the other hand poses a threat to its health in the form of obesity because of inactivity.
  3. Owner is considered an obese. Having a pet cat is like transferring your genes to your own son or daughter. But instead of your physical traits, they acquire your eating habits. If you eat more than five times a day, and eat plentiful at that too, your pet cat may have been eating with you this whole time.
  4. Hypothyroidism. This condition is characterized by the cat producing lesser amounts of thyroid hormone. When this happens, your pet’s metabolic function is compromised. Even if you feed your pet cat its ideal normal food portion, this will still suffer from weight problems due to its lowered metabolic rate.
  5. Its age. Just as hypothyroidism could affect your pet’s metabolic rate, age also plays an important role. Older cats no longer synthesize energy as effectively as before. Moreover, playfulness decreases as a pet cat gets older, which could mean lessened physical activity for pet cat.

How to Reverse Cat Obesity

Luckily for some of the obese cats out there, their condition could still be reversed or improved depending on what’s causing it. Here are some suggestions on how to get this done:

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  1. Pay attention to its diet. Ditch the carbohydrates for high-protein foods. If you can, buy fresh lean mean instead of feeding your pet cat with cat foods that are laden with preservatives and low quality ingredients.
  2. See to it that cat gets enough exercise. Provide recreational activities indoors. If you can’t play with your cat on a daily basis, then at least give it some toys such as a ball or fishing pole that it could play on its own.
  3. Take care of your own health. See to it that you are eating well yourself. Don’t let your pet cat see you munching on a bowl of fries when you are depressed. Remember, eating plus misery loves company. With your cat close by, this will likely take on that role anytime.
  4. Work with your vet. If cat obesity is caused by an underlying medical condition, you will need to get this treated properly in order to see your pet lose the excess weight.

Final Thoughts

If you really love your pet cat, then its health should be your number one priority. A fat cat is not a happy cat. It can’t breathe nor move freely with ease. If your pet cat shows any of the signs mentioned above, then it’s an indication that it needs your care the most- it needs you to implement actions that could help it lose the extra pounds.
Author: Jordan Walker

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Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops And Cages as well as a couple of other pet related blogs. His passion for animals is only matched by his love for ‘attempting’ to play the guitar. If you would like to catch him, you can via Google+ or Twitter: @CoopsAndCages

 

Cat Toys And How To Use Them

| December 26, 2011
Cat Toys And How To Use Them

Rotate your cat's toys weekly by making only four or five toys available at a time.


“Safe” Toys

There are many factors that contribute to the safety or danger of a toy. Many of those factors, however, are completely dependent upon your cat’s size, activity level and personal preference. Another factor to be considered is the environment in which your cat spends her time. Although we can’t guarantee your cat’s enthusiasm or her safety with any specific toy, we can offer the following guidelines.

Be Cautious
The things that are usually the most attractive to cats are often the very things that are the most dangerous. Cat-proof your home by checking for: string, ribbon, yarn, rubber bands, plastic milk jug rings, paper clips, pins, needles, and anything else that could be ingested. All of these items are dangerous, no matter how cute your cat may look when she’s playing with them.

Avoid or alter any toys that aren’t “cat-proof” by removing ribbons, feathers, strings, eyes, or other small parts that could be chewed and/or ingested.

Soft toys should be machine washable. Check labels for child safety, as a stuffed toy that’s labeled as safe for children under three years old, doesn’t contain dangerous fillings. Problem fillings include things like nutshells and polystyrene beads. Also, rigid toys are not as attractive to cats.

Toys We Recommend

Active Toys:

  • Round plastic shower curtain rings are fun either as a single ring to bat around, hide or carry, or when linked together and hung in an enticing spot.

  • Plastic rolling balls, with or without bells inside.

  • Ping-Pong balls and plastic practice golf balls with holes, to help cats carry them. Try putting one in a dry bathtub, as the captive ball is much more fun than one that escapes under the sofa. You’ll probably want to remove the balls from the bathtub before bedtime, unless you can’t hear the action from your bedroom. Two o’clock in the morning seems to be a prime time for this game.

  • Paper bags with any handles removed. Paper bags are good for pouncing, hiding and interactive play. They’re also a great distraction if you need your cat to pay less attention to what you’re trying to accomplish. Plastic bags are not a good idea, as many cats like to chew and ingest the plastic.

  • Sisal-wrapped toys are very attractive to cats that tend to ignore soft toys.

  • Empty cardboard rolls from toilet paper and paper towels are ideal cat toys, especially if you “unwind” a little cardboard to get them started.

Catnip:

  • Catnip-filled soft toys are fun to kick, carry and rub.

  • Plain catnip can be crushed and sprinkled on the carpet, or on a towel placed on the floor if you want to be able to remove all traces. The catnip oils will stay in the carpet, and although they’re not visible to us, your cat will still be able to smell them.

  • Catnip sprays rarely have enough power to be attractive to cats.

  • Not all cats are attracted to catnip. Some cats may become over-stimulated to the point of aggressive play and others may be slightly sedated.

  • Kittens under six months old seem to be immune to catnip.

  • Catnip is not addictive and is perfectly safe for cats to roll in, rub in or eat.

Comfort Toys

  • Soft stuffed animals are good for several purposes. For some cats, the stuffed animal should be small enough to carry around. For cats that want to “kill” the toy, the stuffed animal should be about the same size as the cat. Toys with legs and a tail seem to be even more attractive to cats.

  • Cardboard boxes, especially those a tiny bit too small for your cat to really fit into.

Get The Most Out Of Toys!

Rotate your cat’s toys weekly by making only four or five toys available at a time. Keep a variety of types easily accessible. If your cat has a huge favorite, like a soft “baby” that she loves to cuddle with, you should probably leave that one out all the time, or risk the wrath of your cat! Provide toys that offer a variety of uses – at least one toy to carry, one to “kill,” one to roll and one to “baby.”

“Hide and Seek” is a fun game for cats to play. “Found” toys are often much more attractive than a toy which is blatantly introduced.

Copyright & Credit:
Source: Paws – www.paws.org

Photo copyright and courtesy: Red~Star

Cat Training With A Clicker

| December 26, 2011
Cat Training With A Clicker

Clicker training is a reinforcement or reward for a cat when training them. Clickers are use most often for support when training a cat for a reward. Cats associate the clicker with a good behavior they will use for a long time.

Clicker training is a reinforcement or reward for a cat when training them. Clickers are use most often for support when training a cat for a reward. Cats associate the clicker with a good behavior they will use for a long time. Clicker training is associated with classical condition (they associate the sound with food.) and operant conditioning (cat performs movement to receive food).

Why use a clicker and not tell a cat or make a sound to get your cat to do a trick? A clicker has a sound a cat can hear and associate good behavior. With words, our tones in our voice can change from time to time, which a cat can become confused with the training. With talking for the commands, a cat could mistake the commands. With using a clicker, it is more of a training tool to get the behavior started with the cat. Then you can put the clicker away for that behavior or trick once a cat has learned the behavior

When taking the cat out for a walk or on a trip, the clicker is a good item to carry along with you. Cats can get distracted with other people, or animals in the area. With using the clicker, it will reinforce the behavior that you have taught them. In addition, a clicker can help you with having your cat walk with you instead of wondering around.

With the clicker, a cat can be trained using three easy steps: Get a behavior, mark a behavior, and reinforce the behavior. Get a behavior is the first step. A good example would be for the cat to jump a hoop. The cat will have to know that when you click that they get a treat. Start with very small treats in your pocket. Clicks, Treat, Click Treat do this for a few times until you see the cat coming for the treat on the click. Next marking the behavior: You will have to show the cat the hoop. Once the cat touches the hoop, click, treat. Then show the cat to go though the hoop once it does click, treat. Continue to do this until the cat goes though the hoop on its own or your command. Reinforce the behavior Remember to have snacks handy so when you do see your cat go though the hoop a snack is available.

Training a cat with a clicker can be fun for both you and the cat. Taking steps in training will be rewarding to you and the cat. Try not to rush a cat in training, as they can become confused especially if they did not get the step before down. The training will take time and steps to achieve this behavior. Patience, love, and rewards will be the key factor in training your cat.

The clicker is a good exercises tool for a cat. 10 to 15 mins a day you should get your cat to exercises. For exercising, you can have the cat use a hoop, play with a toy, and climb on the scratching post or something that focus on the cat getting exercise. Exercises will help the cat to stay healthy and help to keep it out of mischief.

Clickers can come with books to help you train, treats, and a clicker. Clickers come in many different size shapes, and color. You will want to research the clickers out. Check out a pet store, Internet sites give lots of information on training and using a clicker. Check out companies that make the clicker by using Internet to see what kind they offer and any additional information that you might need to get the process of training done. Check out articles about the clicker. Talk to someone that has used one. Talk to your area veterinary about training with a Clicker

Once you have used a clicker, the cat will get good exercise and be a healthy cat. The cat will be happier and you will be happier with the new behaviors that you have taught your cat.

To sum up training your cat, important things to remember is have patience, love and the clicker.

Copyright & Credit:
Source: www.articlecat.com | Burt Cotton www.catcarenews.org

Photo copyright and courtesy:  Niklas Pivic

 

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