Sabtu, 5 April 2014

Urine Marking and Spraying Behavior in Cats

What is Spraying?
In general, the term urine spraying means when a cat "marks" his environment. When a cat sprays he will back up to a vertical surface (such as a wall) hold his tail high while rapidly twitching it and emits a forcible spray of urine on the surface. Often his back feet are treading while spraying.
What is Marking?
Marking is the general term meaning both the standard urine spraying while standing and urine marking while squatting.
Why Do Cats Spray?
Spraying is a form of communication in felines. Spraying and marking are a normal communication tool and is most often seen in intact male cats. However, intact females may spray. A cat sprays the urine and, later, another cat may happen on the mark, sniff it and receive the message contained in that urine (i.e., the female is in heat). There is belief the urine spray contains various information including reproductive status, individual identity, and when that cat was there. Many owners believe that when a cat sprays it is upset, angry or spiteful. Felines do spray when they are upset, so getting to the root of the problem is the best way to remove it.
Sometimes spraying may be a sign of lower urinary tract disease. Any time your cat urinates in an inappropriate location you should consult your veterinarian.
Do Females Spray?
Intact females can and do spray, especially when in heat. Spaying (removal of the reproductive organs) reduces the likelihood of urine spraying and is an effective way to stop spraying. Estimates as high as 90% of males will stop spraying when neutered (castrated). Unfortunately, this leaves 10% of neutered males that may still display spraying behavior and there are estimates that 5% of spayed females will still engage in this behavior.
Always consult your veterinarian any time your cat starts urinating in inappropriate places to:
  1. Rule out a health issue, and
  2. Find out what course of action to take to stop it from spraying.
If your veterinarian rules out any health issue, and it is altered, there are a few things that you can do to stop spraying. Alternatives include:
  • environmental management,
  • behavioral modification,
  • pheromone therapy,
  • drug therapy.
Environmental Management:
  • Add more litter boxes to the household. In general rule, there should be one litter box per cat in the house, plus one (i.e., if there are 2 cats, there should be 3 litter boxes available).
  • Every day, scoop the litter boxes. Wash the litter boxes weekly and put new litter in the clean, dry litter box.
  • Use an enzymatic cleaner on the place the cat has sprayed.
  • Create an environment of "plenty" in the house by adding multiple feeding spots, different litter box locations, and resting perches spread throughout the home.
Behavioral Modification:
  • Identify and resolve conflicts the cat has with other pets.
  • Make sure it is not reacting to what it feels is an "unpleasant" change making the cat angry with you.
  • Identify and limit exposure to any triggers for spraying.
  • Provide indoor social activities: more attention, play, treasure hunts for food, etc.
Never punish a cat for spraying.
Pheromone Therapy:
Contact your veterinarian about the use of pheromone therapy in your home. Feliway® is a synthetic copy of a cat's facial pheromone. Felines use their facial pheromone to mark their territory as safe and secure. Pheromones comfort and reassure it while it copes with challenges (i.e., changes in the household, a new cat, etc.) and/or help prevent or reduce the stress caused during that change.
Drug Therapy:
Contact your veterinarian regarding the use of serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (i.e., fluoxetine) to treat spraying.
Susan MacArthur
Visit our website and/or blog for more information about cats.
Pelaqita Persians - http://www.pelaqitapersians.com
Cat Mews Blog - http://www.cat-mews.com/wordpress/

Ten Benefits of Living With a Cat

Living with a cat comes with several perks. Many are cuddle bugs and curl up beside you while watching TV. Cats seek out warm places to sleep and may spend time underneath the bed covers and you benefit from having feet warmers during cold winter nights. What cat owner has not noticed the endless entertaining antics of their feline (chasing the invisibles)? Having a cat simply means better living.
Many pet owners are either dog people or cat people. The next time one of your dog loving friends starts in on dog ownership over cats, let them know that many studies have found cat owners reap several benefits. They provide owners with a sympathetic ear, great listening skills and boundless affection as well as other great benefits. Here are ten reasons that your kitty may be improving your health and life:
1. Companionship
Dogs are more loving than cats is just a stereotype. A 2003 Swiss study found that having a cat is the emotional equivalent of having a romantic relationship. Felines provide constant, loving support and will remember kindness and return the favor later. A British poll reports that 82% of women found men more attractive if they liked animals. And 90% of women believe men who own cats are "nicer" than non-cat owners.
After thousands of years of domestication, cats have learned to make a purr/howl noise that sounds much like a human baby's cry. Our genetic makeup is to respond to the sound of a child's cry, making it difficult to ignore a cat making this noise.
2. Intelligence
According to a study of British pet owners, cat owners were more intelligent (in both IQ and education) than their dog-loving counterparts. The researchers conducting the study did not believe cats were making their owners smarter. Rather, people with a higher education work longer hours and since cats need less attention than dogs, they are a better choice for busy people.
3. Cardiovascular disease
A University of Minnesota study, conducted over a ten-year period, found 30 - 40% of non-cat owners were more likely to die of heart attack or stroke than people owning cats.
4. Allergies & Asthma
Some studies suggest that newborns living in households with cats and dogs are more likely not to develop allergies, have fewer ear infections and respiratory problems. Early exposure to cats and dogs trigger immunity. Evidence suggests that children living with a cat helps in preventing asthma. Early and regular contact between young children and cats may help children avoid several respiratory problems.
5. Reduced Blood Pressure
According to a State University of New York at Buffalo study, people who have pets have lower blood pressure than non-pet owners.
6. Cholesterol and Triglycerides
A 2006 Canadian study found owning a cat was more effective in lowering cholesterol than cholesterol reducing medications. Also, cat owners have lower triglycerides, which boosts their health.
7. Depression and Mood
In general, owning and interacting with a cat can improve mood and help in easing depression. While cats do not cure depression, they can take your mind off your problems and focus on something else. Feline owners recover from loss more quickly and show fewer physical symptoms of pain, like crying.
8. Overall Health
Cat owners make fewer visits to health care providers, doctors and hospitals. Nursing homes studies found that allowing felines as a patient therapy program have lower medication costs than places that do not allow cats.
9. Environmentally-Friendly
If preserving our environment and being eco-friendly is for you, then get a cat. A 2009 study, found the resources needed to feed a dog over its lifetime has the same eco-footprint as a Hummer. Conversely, cats have a footprint comparable to a Volkswagen Golf.
10. Personality
Most dog owners are extroverts and the life of the party. Cat owners are quieter, less outgoing, less manipulative and more modest.
Susan MacArthur
Cat Fancier
Visit our website or blog to read more interesting things about cats

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8297732

4 Tips to Train a Kitten to Use a Litter Box

You can have your furry friend litter box trained in no time at all. This way you can be on top of having to clean up too many go-potty accidents because you train your kitten properly, but the key is to begin early. So, try the following cat care tips for training your cat.
Tip #1: Establish the Proper Behavior
Kittens are naturally very curious because they have just come into the world with all its exciting and available things to get into or onto. They also have a natural instinct to relieve themselves at will whenever the urge should strike them. However, just because this is a cat's nature, you do not want that nature on your carpet or furniture. This is why you want to establish the proper behavior early-on with your kitten on being trained to use its box. This is done by making your kitten aware of the box the minute it comes into your home. This is really easy. Simply pick the kitten up and set him or her down in the litter box. This should be done repeatedly throughout the day.
Tip #2: Reinforce the Desired Behavior
This is a crucial point. There will be times when you may observe your cat getting into position to relieve himself or herself some other place than the litter box. If this happens, tell the kitten "no" in a firm voice and pick it up and go place it in the litter box. Many times this is all it would take to train your little friend, but some kittens may need a little bit more time to make the association between relieving themselves and the box.
Tip #3: Litter Box Accessibility
Training the kitten to use the litter box means you must be consistent. It is not a good idea to move the box to some other location once you have shown the kitten where it is and it has actually began using it. Think about that. If you train a kitten to go to a certain spot to relieve itself, then it will continue to go to that spot and urinate and defecate. You certainly don't want that. Also, be sure to keep the litter box where the kitten can easily reach it at any time. Do not have it in a room with a closed door or have any other obstacle present that will hinder the cat from using it.
Tip #4: Clean the Box Regularly
Cats are finicky creatures and some of them will actually refuse to use an unclean litter box. If you don't know this or know anyone else who has experienced this, you can best believe it is true. If this happens, then they will just go somewhere else in the house and relieve themselves or possibly relieve themselves somewhere on the floor close to the box. Keeping a clean litter box will result in the kitten returning to it when it has to go. A good rule of thumb on cleaning is to scoop the box out every day and change it out completely every 7-10 days. Also, wash the litter box out with soap and hot water monthly. These kitten training tips are some of many must-know cat care tips available.
Cat Lovers click HERE for more important tips, facts and information on caring for your cat

What Is The Best Cat Food For Optimum Health?

What is the best cat food? This is a common question from people who are searching for solutions to ill health, who want the best for a new addition to the family, or who are on a health quest themselves.
Diet is the cornerstone of health. No-one will ever fare well on a species-inappropriate diet. This is a fact that is universal. It will never change. It is eternal.
That today is riddled with corporations convincing you of untruths simply to turn a profit will not overturn this fact. You may believe them, but your health, or that of your cat, will prove otherwise.
Many people are convinced their cat is doing just fine on dried or canned food. What they really mean is that their cat has not yet succumbed to a serious illness.
The reason for this is because everyone's body will do everything in its power to remain healthy even when their diet is wrong or deficient in nutrients. This means, ill health takes time to appear. Chronic diseases 'brew' for a long time before they are evident. And cats are very good at hiding their illnesses in the early stages.
Everyone was fine before their tumour appeared or their kidney failed or their liver gave out or they had a stroke.
So what is so wrong with commercial cat food?
  1. Dried cat food is (obviously) low in water content. Much too low for cats.
  2. Commercial cat food is too high in carbohydrates.
  3. Commercial cat food is not high enough in quality animal based protein.
So let's look at each of these aspects in turn.
1 Cats' prey have all the liquid content a cat needs to stay healthy. This means cats don't drink much, naturally. Even cats who drink more with a dried food diet will rarely drink enough,perhaps half what they need. This means they are far more susceptible to kidney and bladder problems. Since cats are more prone to renal problems than any other, this alone shows you how unhealthy dried food is.
For inside cats, you can use the litter box as a guide. A properly hydrated cat will urinate more than a dehydrated cat. They are flushing their system out regularly.
2 Cats are carnivores. True carnivores. They are not omnivores or herbivores. They have evolved to consume meat, not carbohydrates. They may consume small amounts of carbohydrates, from the prey's stomach. But this will make up perhaps 1% of the diet. Not the 50 - 70% so common with commercial cat food.
Cats cannot assimilate such large amounts of carbohydrates that are found in commercial cat food. Their systems have not evolved to do so. A diet high in carbohydrates is one of the leading causes of diabetes in cats.
What is the best cat food for cats with diabetes? Can prescription diets help?
Bearing in mind the commercial cat food caused the disease, how likely is it that another similar diet will help them? The food will still contain a high carbohydrate content. It may still be dried. It is unlikely to contain quality animal protein, as that all goes to the more lucrative human market.
3 The meat that is contained in commercial cat food is either of poor quality (by-products such as hooves, intestines, heads or fat), or is out of natural balance. Muscle meat should make up a much higher proportion to organ meat, but as muscle meat commands a higher price in the human market, this doesn't happen.
Problems cats face when fed diets high in carbohydrates and low in animal protein (in terms of quality or balance) are problems in the renal, bowel, liver and respiratory systems as well as obesity, cancer, leukemia, etc.
So what is the best cat food for cats who now suffer with chronic disease? It's the same one that will prevent such diseases. It's the one they evolved on. Naturally healthy cats, fed a species-specific diet, are far more resistant to chronic disease than those who are fed commercial cat food. They are also able to return to good health, to recover from a serious chronic disease.
For more information on natural cat health, see Three Natural and Economical Feline Treatments

Benefits of a Good Homemade Cat Food Recipe

Making your own homemade cat food can actually save you a lot of money in the long run. Many people seem to think that making your own food involves a lot of money and time. The truth is a really simple, yet effective recipe won't take a lot of time away from you. You can make a bulk supply of the food and store it properly, that way you will not have to spend time every day making it. The ingredients in homemade food allow the cat to get much needed nutrients while eating less and feeling more active.
When you feed your cat homemade food, you will notice that over time the cat eats less and less of it, while feeling full. This is because the homemade food is full of real, fresh ingredients. The cat will get the nutrition it needs while eating less of it. In fact, a good recipe will have the cat eating less of the food while getting a lot of energy. So the cat is more active meanwhile it is eating less.
Cats usually have to eat a lot of commercial canned food because the ingredients are not ideal. Some brands have plant sources as the main protein source; others have a lot of grains. These sources do nothing for the cat. So the cat has to eat a lot of it in order to feel full. This feeling of fullness doesn't last very long, and the cat is hungry again. This can cost a lot of money over time, because you are constantly buying cat food.
Meanwhile, all you really have to do is put money toward the initial ingredients of a homemade cat food recipe and watch yourself save. Making bulk food is an ideal way of saving both time and money. Once you create your bulk cat food and store it properly, it could last you a while. The cat will not have to eat a lot of it in order to get the nutrients it needs, therefore the food will last you longer than commercial food.
The best aspect of all this is that it isn't hard to find a great homemade cat food recipe. There are a lot of sources located in several types of medium. Just find a recipe that works for you in terms of the ingredients listed and the amount you can make, and you are already more than halfway there for saving money on cat food.