Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Six Essential Tips to Make Moving With Cats Easier

I've been a hobo for years, moving from place to place around Sydney - many times over. A friend of mine asked me how my cats cope with moving. Cat's establish a territory around their homes and become quite attached to the land that they patrol. That's probably why the become very upset when their human owner decides to up stumps and move to a completely new suburb. Some cats hate the move so much they decide to move back to their old one - without their owner. This article provides you with some essential tips which might help make that stressful event a little easier.

Pheromone Diffuser:

It's critical that the cat becomes comfortable with his or her new environment as quickly as possible. Try to keep things familiar inside the new home, including same couch and coverings. We purchased a synthetic feline facial pheromone diffuser (a plug-in Feliway device) for the bedroom.

Initially Limit Outdoor Playtime:

When Fluffy and Dolly (our previous little fur balls) moved we made absolutely sure that for two weeks they were limited to indoors only. Then gradually over a few more weeks we introduced them to the back garden. Pretty much the only thing you can do is let your cat out in stages, initially for just 30 minutes and increase it every day. They will of course come across other cats as they go about their business. It's just like a schoolyard outside your home - only instead of kids it's cats! With our current little fur balls, Hemi and Lulu, this probably won't be so much of a problem as they are strictly indoor cats only.

Move in Autumn or Winter:

If you can, try to move in autumn or winter because most other cats are snuggled up warm inside their houses at that time of the year. This will give your cat a chance to patrol around the new house and establish his or her territory. Some cats cope better than others when moving home.

I've found that a full cat is a happy cat and they're more likely to want to laze around the house after eating. Keep your cat well fed and watered.

Permanently Keep Indoors:

If you feel like your cat isn't coping, your best bet is to keep them indoors - permanently. The old saying "they wont miss what they don't know" is really true when it comes to cats. Once they get a taste of the pros of outdoor living (irrespective of the cons such as fleas, ticks, feline influenza, cars, cat hating public) they find transitioning back to being indoors cats very difficult.

Keep Vaccinations Up to Date:

One very important thing to check is to absolutely make sure that your cat's vaccinations are up to date before the move. Like the school yard, your cat will get in fights with other cats in the area as they establish control over their new territory. You need to make sure that they are completely protected against infectious diseases they will most certainly contract if not vaccinated.

Relocate Your Cat:

We moved from a big house in Ruse in the outer suburbs of Sydney where we had a huge back yard - to a small two bedroom home not far from the CBD with almost no yard. We decided that the best thing to do with one of our cats Mr Peebles (a stray we adopted and had named after a colorful Sydney magistrate) was send him to our friends farm in North West NSW where he was free to roam as far as he wished. Mr Peebles would have only got into fights with other cats in the CBD. This is probably a last resort option for most, but in some cases it's definitely the best thing for your cat.

Moving can be a very difficult time for cats. A successful move takes time and plenty of patience as kitty re-adjusts to their new environment. Be patient with your cat as it's not something that can be rushed. Hopefully in a short while, they will come around and be happy in their new home.

HemiLuluCatz is a website initially designed to blog about cats and kittens. It features our two best feline friends Hemi and Lulu.

Senior Cats Deserve Homes Too

You can't argue the fact, there isn't anything much cuter than a kitten. It's no wonder the demand for them is high. Walk into any pet store (on second thought, please don't ever buy a pet from one!) or shelter, and most people are looking for the kittens, but senior cats deserve homes too!

They're sought after because they're adorable, but people don't think ahead. If that's the only reason you're getting a kitten, stop right there. Kittens grow up, and if you don't care for grown up cats, then don't get the kitten.

Let's not forget how mischievous kittens are. They're full of energy so they tear around the house, climb up the curtains, claw their way up the front of the couch, and use your screen door as a climbing wall. They also get into a lot of trouble.

Don't kid yourself into thinking this phase passes quickly, because it doesn't. What started out as cute, may quickly become hellish for some.

Now let's consider the advantages of adopting a senior cat.

A senior cat is considered to be 7+, which is still young. Barring serious illness or injury, most can easily live to 16, with some living well into their 20s.

An adult cat's personality is already formed, so you can choose one that will best fit into your life, and lifestyle.

It's hard to say what a kitten will look like when he grows up, but there are no surprises with a grown up one. So if looks are important to you, pick one that catches your eye, but make sure his personality fits as well!

Don't assume cats in shelters are defective. There are many reasons for them being there, and they include: someone wasn't happy their kitten became a cat; outlived their owner and no friend or family member stepped forward; owner moved and couldn't bring the cat; family member had allergies no one knew about, and if you can believe it - they didn't match the carpet or decor (that excuse is a lot more common than you would think).

While there are still many rambunctious and high energy senior cats, many are lower maintenance and less demanding. Again, pick the one with the energy level you can handle.

When you get home after work, it's less likely to have been "redecorated" while you were gone.

An older cat will already be fixed, and litter trained.

If you already have an older cat and you're looking for a companion, a calm older cat may be less stressful for him to adapt to.

An older cat is more likely to just snuggle with you in bed, than use your stomach as a springboard. Having said that, my 14 year old still uses mine to get from the bed to the dresser.

If you have children, an older cat may be best. Kittens can be too delicate for kids' handling, not to mention they dig their claws into bare skin a lot, and could hurt them. You wouldn't want your child to become afraid because of that experience. Find one that is used to being around children, since not all cats like them.

Older cats don't automatically mean lots of vet bills. Young cats can be struck by illness as well.

Adopting an older pet one will teach your kids, and those around you, about compassion, and that no matter what age, life is precious.

For those cats that end up in kill facilities, their chances of remaining alive for long, are not very good. For those lucky enough to find their way into a no kill facility, a cage may be the last home they'll ever know.

When it's time for you to adopt your next, or first cat, please remember that senior cats deserve homes too! You'll be saving a life, and in return you will be adding plenty of love to your life, and life to your home.

I am a Pet Care Consultant, offering help on issues such as: deciding on the best pet to suit your lifestyle, behaviour and training issues, caring for them in their senior years, grief support and everything in between. In addition to the advice you will find on my website, I offer a personalised consultancy service via Skype, email, telephone, or in person if you're in my area. To contact me, or for more helpful tips

5 Easy Tips for Trimming Your Cat's Nails

Aren't cats supposed to keep their claws in shape either playing or using a scratching post? Cats usually give a lot of importance to self grooming and they are one of the cleanest pets around. But if the cat is sick or is getting old, they would need assistance in the entire grooming process. If this is not done there is a danger that the cat might injure itself or you may get injured from the scratching and biting.

So let us help you with 5 easy tips for trimming your cat's nails.

You will need a good quality set of cat claw trimmers and this is possibly the only equipment that you will need. So it is advisable to buy a good set and let them last a lifetime, rather than buying cheap ones that will break and cause injuries to the cat.

Most cats hate their paws been touched. So it is very important that you calm your cat down, play around with it, relax it to the extent that, it will happily let you touch their paws. You can take the assistance of your family or friends to hold the cat gently, while you are trimming its nails. Do not try and cut its nails when it is angry as you get hurt during the process.

You must very gently take the paw between your thumb and finger. Slowly push the fur back to expose the nails. The clippers must be held vertically or else there is a danger of cutting the nails in a splintered manner. This can damage the nail and in some cases cause pain to your pet cat.

You must take care that you are not cutting it too close as it might cause bleeding and stress to the cat. If the cat starts acting too fidgety, you must stop the process immediately and continue it later, when it calms down. If it is hurt, you must attend to its injuries and let it heal before you try cutting the nails again.

Cutting the nails every two weeks is advisable, though it may vary with each individual cat.
You should do it slowly and care must be taken that the cat is not hurt in any way. These 5 easy tips for trimming your cat's nails will help you do the entire procedure efficiently and effortlessly. If your cat gets very nervous, you can do the nail trimming procedure after it sleeps.

How to Lessen Hairballs for Your Cat

Every cat owner is well familiar with the 'horking' sound that their cat makes every week or two that results in a compact hair sausage being deposited on the floor. Owners generally become fairly blasé after cleaning up a few hairballs, but you should also be aware of how they form, how to prevent them from developing as frequently, and the complications that can arise.

Unlike most dogs who will take a lick of two at their paws and consider that they have groomed enough, cats are grooming dynamos. Even tiny kittens will start grooming at a very early age and this continues throughout the life of the cat.

The tongue of a cat is covered with little hooks which easily pick up dead and loose hairs when the cat licks herself. Cats spend a considerable amount of time during the day cleaning, so the opportunity of collecting hair is great. The hair that is taken up by the tongue is inevitably swallowed and enters the digestive system. The greater portion of the swallowed hair passes harmlessly through the stomach and intestines and is deposited in the litter box. However, some always remains and will develop into a hairball in time.

Other than being disgusting, most hairballs cause no problems at all for your cat. Unfortunately, sometimes a hairball blockage can occur in the stomach or intestines - at times a mega-hairball will form in the stomach that takes up the entire space of the organ. There are clues that will tell you that your friend may be having problems with a hairball:

• You cat may become constipated - normal passage of stool will be prevented by the hairballs.
• Conversely, your cat may have diarrhea as the intestinal irritation from the hairballs causes food to pass too quickly through the system.
• Cats with blockage have no energy and will simply lie around.
• If your cat attempts to vomit (dry heaves), but is unable to bring anything up, the hairball may be too large to expel in the normal way.
• Appetite will fall off dramatically when blockage occurs.
• A large hairball can press against the lungs, causing the cat to wheeze and cough.

At this point, you will have to consult your vet to have him or her resolve the hairball problem. The first step will be palpation of the cat's abdomen, followed by an x-ray. If a large hairball is present anywhere in the gastrointestinal system, surgery must be done to remove it. This can be very expensive so owners should make every effort to prevent hairballs from forming in the first place.

It would be completely unrealistic to suppose that you can prevent your cat from swallowing hair at all, but there are some things that you can do to help keep hairball problems at a minimum.

Brush your cat. Not surprisingly, long haired cats are much more likely to develop problem hairballs than short haired ones. However, a daily brushing of your cat will help remove most of the loose hairs before they do begin to form a ball. Starting this when your cat is young is a good idea not only to help prevent hairballs, but also to provide a nice time for you and your cat to interact together. After the brushing session is complete, run a damp cloth over the fur to pick up any stray hairs. Brushing will be very important if your cat undergoes an annual shedding.

Some cats are more dedicated to grooming than others, and these super-groomers are more likely to develop hairball problems. You can help to keep the cat's tongue in his or her mouth by providing a new toy or two and by playing with the cat - both of you will probably have a great time.

Oral lubricants are available at pet supply stores or through your vet. These help keep matter moving through the digestive tract more quickly and getting the hair out of the system will prevent the formation of hairballs.

Fiber rich cat foods have been found to be valuable at preventing hairballs. As with any new food, however, introduce it slowly to prevent any stomach upsets.

Cats can pick up human hair from the floor when they groom, and this can be a problem especially if the humans in the house have long hair - it will go down right along with the cat hair. Regular vacuuming can help keep these hairs out of your cat's insides.

And lastly, don't let your cat become obese; fat cats are more likely to be constipated, which slows down the normal passage of matter through the intestines and contributing to hairball accretion.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cat Facts - Weird Things You Didn't Know About Your Pet

Even if your favorite pet is a dog, you should know that cats are quite appealing creatures. Yet, you are not likely to know how weird cats can be. Here are a few weird facts about cats:

Surely you have known that humans are unable to drink seat water, as it is saline and dehydrates your body. But cats can survive by drinking sea water. Their kidneys are capable of removing the salt from the sea water, enabling them to rehydrate themselves.

We know that cats are gifted with instincts for hunting. In fact, they are so good at it that, in the past, cats that spent most of their time outdoors have been instrumental in the extinction of 33 species of mammals, birds and reptiles. They are rated among the top hundred most invasive species.

An interesting part of their anatomy is the fact that cats don't possess any sweat glands. Well, they use their paws for keeping themselves cool. The sweat glands located in cats' paws exude a scent which helps them mark their territory. In other words, it means that while they are scratching or walking, they are in fact marking their territory.

Cat owners would be aware that their pet loves to laze around in the sun or remain on their couch. It may surprise many to learn that cats spend as much as seventy percent of their life in sleeping. That amounts to sixteen hours per day! The reason for their being so lazy is the fact that they need to work very hard to locate and kill mice, their favorite food. They recoup their energy by sleeping.

Many of the older cats tend to develop something similar to what we know as Alzheimer's disease. Cats over eight years of age keep roaming all over the house and look quite confused or dazed. That is the reason for their constant meowing. In case your cat is showing such symptoms too, the experts would suggest you to comfort it at night by providing it with an additional blanket.

If you thought that the role of whiskers is only to add to the personality of your cat and make it lovable, you are wrong! Cats utilize their whiskers to assess and ascertain if they would be able to pass through small openings. If its whiskers bend, it knows that it can't pass through that little gap.

If you have been watching cats, you would surely know that they invariable land up on their paws. Nature has gifted them with some sense of the law of gravitation. In fact, they are trying to slow down on landing. Moreover, their sense of direction is very strong, telling them which side of their body is up and, accordingly, they adjust their body. However, cat's body takes time to understand that it is falling down and adjusts itself suitably. They are more at ease when coming down from a higher place, as it gives them additional time to land safely on the ground. It is interesting to point here that more cats die on falling from two to six storied structures than from seven to thirty storied buildings.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Interesting Facts That Cats Lovers Should Know

If we are to believe the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association), the US homes hosted approximately 81.721,000 cats in 2007, and only 72,114,000 dogs. Almost 32% of these houses had a cat in their care, and an average cat lover had minimum 2 felines.

Believe it or not, it is possible for dogs and cats to live together without creating a third WW. According to a study published in 2008 by the Applied Animal Behavior Science journal, cats and dogs can live in peace with one condition. The cat has to be under six months, and the dog mustn't be older than 1 year. The reasons that stand behind the clashes between species can result from a miscommunication. For instance, preventing aggression in the eyes of a cat and submission in those of a dog. Those animals who were introduced at an early stage develop a personal communication method.

Watching a cat drinking milk is a sensitive process. They don't scoop water into their delicate mouths like dogs to. Cats touch the liquid with the tip of the tongue and create a bouncing movement. Before having to fight with gravity, the jaws of the cat close and the milk is captured inside.

In spite of their majestic attitude, cats can be dumber when compared to dogs. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal discovered that dogs have experienced a larger growth of their brain in the last 60 million years as compared to their purring 'friends.'

Another article published in 2009 also proved that dogs are smarter than cats. However, it is important to specify that while dogs displayed a certain smartness in a domain, cats were doing the same thing, but in a different domain (expressive vocalization). The decision was taken according to the degree of usefulness displayed by each animal. If we are to think about the fact that the only thing cats can do is catch vermin, while dogs are more flexible in this area (discover drug stashes, diagnose illnesses, rescue lost people), we would be inclined to consider dogs as smarter companions. However, some might say that having a job which requires sitting in the sun and catching mice from time to time is not stupid at all.

Another important thing to take into account is the fact that cats can remember obstacles existent in their surroundings for about 10 minutes. In addition to this, cats also have an improved muscle memory, as compared to the visual one.

According to an interesting experiment, domestic cats that had the front legs clearing a hurdle, but were stopped before lifting the rear legs, had to walk again within ten minutes or else they forgot how to do a high step.

If the cats were distracted in the action of crossing the hurdle, they forgot about its existence in just a couple of seconds.

From the various climactic changes that occur in the world, the following one is the best: the cats' breeding season can be extended by the warm temperatures and the short winters. But taking into account that most of the resulting kittens become strays, I wouldn't say that this is great news!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

5 Important Tips on Selecting Cat Food

You want to have a healthy and happy kitty. For this, you need to ensure that your beloved feline pet enjoys a proper diet. This can only be achieved with the right cat food. With so many options available, you will certainly benefit from some essential advice which will help you with making the best choice.

Get both wet and dry food for your pet.

In general, wet cat food is recommended since it is in the nature of felines to get water with what they eat rather than drink it separately. It is essential for the product to have moisture content of over 70%. Most canned products have moisture content of over 75% or 78%, but you have to check just to be on the safe side. It is best if canned products make up three quarters of the diet of your pet. In this way, it will have lower risk of urinary tract infections and diabetes. The remainder should be made up of dry food, which is good for the teeth. Of course, you have to ensure that your kitty has access to drinkable water as well.

Watch out with the terms on the label.

You will discover that not all products are labeled as "food". The ones which contain a different name such as "formula" or "dinner" usually contain a much lower concentration of the main ingredient. Similarly, if the label says that the product comes with a specific type of ingredient, then this ingredient is found in a smaller amount even though it is in a big print.

Ensure that the nutritional needs of the cat are met.

Protein should take up some 40% of the diet of the cat. Fat should take up around a third of it. That is why you have to ensure that the cat food which you get has a high concentration of protein and sufficient amount of fat. The lower the concentration of carbohydrates is the better. It must not exceed 50%. It is best if it comes from healthy sources such as rice and vegetables and not from corn meal. Felines require vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and taurine which should come from their food as well.

Opt for a good source of protein.

Good sources of protein include chicken, fish and beef. You should watch out with the products which contain more than one source of protein. You need to check what amount of each type of meat is included. Often, manufacturers use proprietary amounts. Hence, if you want to ensure that your pet gets enough fish, you should consider going for a product which contains it as the main ingredient.

Consider food with natural preservatives.

The natural preservatives used in cat food are vitamin C and vitamin E. They are good for felines when they are in optimal concentration in the body. There is no solid scientific evidence that the artificial preservatives are dangerous, but the natural ingredients are always better.

If your feline pet has any medical condition, you should definitely consult your vet before buying any type of cat food.