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Problems That Aging Cats are Susceptible toIt’s a given that a cat ages more rapidly than what humans do. Some veterinarians will tell you that a one-year old cat is equivalent to a 16-year old child, although I think this is extreme. The different schools of thoughts propounded by vets and feline experts will tell you that the ratio is anywhere from 4 to 7:1 when it comes to comparing the aging process of a feline to that of a human. Despite the difficulty in predicting an exact age, most vets and experts consider a feline to be “geriatric” once it is 10 years old.
Cats are now living longer than ever before with the average age of a house cat that has been well cared for being around 15 years of age. Additionally, cats that have been neutered or spayed tend to live longer than those that have not been. The speculation here is that cats that have not been “fixed” tend to roam around a lot more and are there prone to even fatal injuries. It also holds true that they succumb to diseases and health maladies because of exposure to the outside environment.
Felines are amazing pieces of machinery, so to speak, in that they have the capability of repairing themselves. For instance, despite the fact that they have two kidneys, they only need a part of one of them in order to stay healthy. Eventually, the aging process in cats takes its toll on them, just like it does with us, and therefore they experience those bodily changes that are characteristically associated with getting older.
The bottom line here is that the key elements of exercise, health care, and proper nutrition, combined with the special care they need once they have entered their “golden years,” will affect your cat’s life expectancy positively. The following list, though quite lengthy, are the more common conditions and problems that older cats may eventually face and that you as an owner will have to deal with when they arise:
* Arthritis and stiff joints
* Blood pressure problems
* Bone brittleness and weakness
* Breathing issues resulting from less flexibility of the lung muscles
* Decreased brain cell count
* Decreased control of body temperature
* Decreased functions of the kidneys and liver
* Decreased intestinal and stomach functions which oftentimes lead to impaired digestive processes
* Decreased production of saliva and difficulties in swallowing
* Decreased sensitivity to all the senses excluding touch
* Dehydration resulting from a decreased sensitivity to thirst
* Greater occurrence of infection due to increased susceptibility
* Increased bone brittleness
* Mouth ulcers
* Muscle dysfunction and weakness
* Periodontal conditions and tooth loss
* Shallower sleeping patterns which leads to irritability and temperament issues
* Skin abnormalities such as abnormally brittle or misshaped claws, alopecia, and dullness of the coat
From the time they are kittens, cats need to be provided with four critical elements in order to enter their golden years in the best possible shape – an appropriate amount of regular exercise, good health care, proper nutrition, and a stimulating lifestyle.
About the Author
For more easy, practical tips on taking great care of your cat be sure to visit the author’s feline health site now.
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Why Your Cat Won't Eat
If your cat won't eat, keep in mind that stress can be a large cause of a cat's loss of appetite. Just as stress in humans can lead to loss of appetite, the same can happen in cats. Felines can be very sensitive animals and your cat may be under more stress than you are aware of. Your cat can become stressed for a wide variety of reasons, most usually reasons involving some sort of change.
Feline Anxiety Causes Cat Litter Box Problems:
Cats experience anxiety and get stressed out just like us human staffers. Unlike people, cats don't have a lot of creative ways to express their feelings
Home Care for the Declawed Cat:
Remember, you are now rehabilitating a handicapped indoor animal, so plenty of TLC is necessary, especially for the older cat
Why Should You Collect Cat Collectibles?
Let the cat out of the bag! True, you will know various cat collectibles in here. No secret will be hidden, and no cat collectibles you wouldn’t know.
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Cats & HolidaysWhat are the options of care for my cat when I go on holidays?
There are several options for your cat when you go on holiday. Each option has it's pros & cons & needs to be weighed up carefully. There are many factors involved, including the length of time you are going away, cost, your cat's personality & your own comfort level. Listed below are several options cat owners can investigate.
Pros: You will have a professional to watch your cat while you are away. There are some wonderful boarding catteries available. Some of which start out fairly basic, others are the equivalent of a feline 5 star hotel. Many boarding catteries have an enclosed outdoor play area so your cat can enjoy the sunshine in the safety of an enclosure. As boarding catteries usually have other pets in their care, time in an outdoor play area is usually limited so each of their guests can enjoy time outside.
You will have somebody keeping a watch over your cat's health & well being. As well as providing the basic requirements such as feeding many boarding catteries will spend time playing, grooming & petting your cat.
Cons: Some cats don't take well to being taken outside of the comfort of their home, and will become stressed. The majority of cats will settle in quickly, but some will find it an upsetting experience.
Continue Reading About Cats & Holidays
Euthanasia in CatsAlso known as 'putting to sleep' euthanasia is used to end an animal's life quickly & painlessly. Most often this is due to the animal having a a critical or terminal illness with no chance of recovery.
Euthanasia is something almost all pet owners are going to have to face at one point or another. Bringing a pet into our life is an exciting & rewarding time, but sadly their lifespan is shorter than ours & therefore it is highly likely that we will eventually have to make the decision to euthanise them in order to end their suffering.
Why euthanise my cat?
There are many reasons why euthanasia is performed. This article will cover medical reasons only.
Continue Reading About Euthanasia in Cats
How to Clean Cat UrineWhen cat urine seeps through carpet, into padding and down to the floor beneath, it can give your home an unpleasant aroma (to say the very least!). In almost all cases, cat urine is the worst perpetrator of pet stains and pet odors. If you own a cat, it's important for you to know how to clean cat urine stains.
The color of cat urine and its staining potential will often depend on dietary habits, age and sex of the cat, whether the cat is on medication, and the health of the cat. Urine can saturate absorbent materials such as carpet and padding, upholstery and mattresses well beyond the surface area that can effectively be cleaned. It is extremely difficult to remove all of the urine from inside of these materials. Even after a thorough cleaning, stains and odors often remain.
Tips on how to clean cat urine from the carpet:
Removing cat urine from your carpet can be one of the most difficult cleaning tasks, since it produce an especially persistent, unpleasant odor and amber-colored stains, so here are a few things you can do to eliminate them, when the "accident" is happens.
First, blot up as much of the urine as possible with a soft, clean white cloth or absorbent paper towel. Press down firmly (do not rub) for 30 seconds. The more fresh urine you can remove before it dries, the simpler it will be to remove the odor. Remove the towel and repeat the process until the area is fully dried. Rinse the "accident zone" thoroughly with clean, cool water. After rinsing, remove as much of the water as possible by blotting it up. Next, you have some options on how to clean cat urine from the carpet:
1. Baking soda works well to eliminate surface (but not deeply penetrated) odors. Dampen the area with clean water and then sprinkle baking soda over it. Rub the baking soda into the soiled area and let dry. Brush or vacuum to remove the dry material.
2. Another option in the how to clean cat urine list is white vinegar. Mix together 1 quart warm water and 1/2 cup white vinegar, and dribble the mixture onto stain. Place dry towels over the stained area and put something heavy over the towels to increase the pressure. After some hours remove the towels and raise the nap of the carpet with a soft-bristled hairbrush. Note: Test the vinegar solution on a piece of fabric that is hidden from view - under the cushion or on the backside of the furniture.
3. To clean old or heavy stains in carpeting, consider renting an extractor or wet-vac from a local hardware store. The extracting/wet-vac machines works like a vacuum cleaner and do the best job of forcing clean water through your carpet and then forcing the dirty water back out again. When you use these machines, you should follow the instructions carefully. Note: Don't use any chemicals with these machines - they work much more effectively with plain water.
4. One of the newest technologies for cleaning cat urine is penetrate the soiled area and deactivate the odor with peroxide or detergents. Simply spray a product that consist a 3% hydrogen peroxide and wait about five minutes. After that use a clean white absorbent cloth, blot the area, pressing down firmly (do not rub) for 30 seconds. Repeat this blotting process until the area is dry. If the stain or odor persists, repeat the process.Once the soiled area is really clean, you should use a high-quality pet odor neutralizer. Test the affected surface for staining first, and read and follow the instructions.
If the area still looks stained after it's completely dry from extracting and neutralizing, apply a specialized stain and odor removing bacteria/enzyme cleaner, such as "Outright Pet Stain Eliminator," "Pet 'Oops' Remover," or "Stain Gobbler". Check out the online merchants and catalogers selling pet supplies.
Tips on how to clean cat urine from your upholstery:
Continue Reading About How to Clean Cat Urine
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San Antonio Texas Pet Scene
Add a Shelter Cat to Your Family Today
Stray Cat Adoptions of Texas (SCAT)P.O. Box 700571
San Antonio, Texas 78270
Attn: Denise Duchaine
SCAT runs weekend cat adoption centers at several PetSmart locations in San Antonio.
San Antonio Feral Cat CoalitionSan Antonio Feral Cat Coalition
San Antonio Feral Cat Coalition is organized to promote Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and public education of feral cat issues in the San Antonio area.
South Texas Persian RescueSouth Texas Persian Rescue
We are a rescue specializing in rescuing persians, himalayans, exotic shorthairs, and ragdolls. Most of our rescued cats are pulled from shelters. Some are given up by their owners due to family situations, financial situations, or a behavioral problem the cat is having. All cats are treated for any existing medical condition(s); they are spayed/neutered, FIV/FELV tested, and given all necessary immunizations before adoption; and any behavioral problem(s) the cat may have is addressed and resolved. All of our foster kitties are housed in actual homes with foster parents - so they get used to being in a home environment.
The Humane Society / SPCA of Bexar CountyThe Humane Society / SPCA of Bexar County
The Humane Society/SPCA of Bexar County has served Bexar County and its surrounding areas since 1952.
Animal Defense LeagueAnimal Defense League
The ADL has a nice Cat House and always has cats and kittens for adoption
Become part of the San Antonio Pet SceneEmail me your Pet related announcements and I will post them for free. email@example.com
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Newest Cat and Kitten ArticlesExotic - the Facts Every Owner of This Cat Breed Should Know
In the 1960s a Persian was crossed with a Domestic Shorthair in an attempt to create a Persian with only short hair. The result was today's Exotic, a breed that looks strikingly similar to the Persian, but with less maintenance involved, hence the nickname, 'the lazy man's Persian.' There are long- and shorthaired varieties of Exotic. The coat of a Longhaired is very similar to a Persian. It is very thick and dense, and requires daily grooming, along with regular bathing. The Shorthaired Exotic coat is, well, short. However, that does not mean it does not require some maintenance from the owner.
Persian - the Facts Every Owner of This Cat Breed Should Know
The origins of the Persian cat are murky, at best. Some claim that the Persian is descended from the Sand cat, but this cannot be proven. It is also thought that somehow Angoras were crossbred with Chinese longhairs or Russian Longhairs, but again, this is uncertain. There is also the suggestion that longhairs came to China as a gift from the king of Persian but there is no proof of this. What is known is that Perisans were recognized as their own distinct breed by the 19th century and came to America at around the same time. This longhaired cat comes in a wide variety of colors that is very thick, making it prone to matting.
Tips on how to keep your pets safe during cold weather:
1. Watch the forecast for sub-25 temperatures. - Don’t allow domestic animals (cats, dogs, rabbits) to be in exposed environments under 25 degrees Fahrenheit. At temperatures above 25, provide them with some sort of shelter. A three-sided shelter is fine as long as the animals can get out of the wind and cold. Insulated shelters are preferred, and the animals should have a bedding liner. For sub-25 weather, try to bring animals to a protected environment, such as a garage or basement.
Litter box article index: Cat peeing outside the litter box? Find help to combat cat urine order, cat urinary infections and cat spraying.
Litter box training and cat urine odor - Urinating outside the litter box - Cat litter box health concerns - Cat litter box retraining - Teach your cat to use a litter box - Plus many more articles
Pet Horoscopes - CANCER (6/21-7/21):
These little cats are very sensitive creatures and hate to be upset. They do not like loud noise or yelling. They are easily irritated by others and thrive on a calm, stable environment. Any change in their routine, or if a stranger is in the house, can cause them to retreat and be gone for hours and even days. Cancer cats are cautious about meeting new people. Once they trust you, though, you've made a friend for life. They do not like sharing the home with any other animals, as they want your undivided attention. They do not like to be left alone, and can tend to become a bit destructive if left alone too long
Train Your Cat to be Groomed
Grooming for a cat should be done on a daily basis for proper care of your cat. In addition, with the proper care, your cat will stay healthy.
What type of cat is trainable?
Not all cats are trainable and some of them are not easy to train. Take a look at the different, easy to train cats and some that are not easy to train.
Shelter Cats Make Great Companions
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An Engineer's Guide to Cats/www.youtube.com/v/mHXBL6bzAR4&hl=en&fs=1">
Worlds First Bio-engineered Pet
See The Gen Pets
Yemengzhu - The 3 billion dollar rock
Yemengzhu - The 3 Billion Dollar Rock
What weighs 6.2 tons and is worth more then 3.1 billion dollars? Are your guessing a new high tech battleship or maybe a new stealth fighter? Well it's a big ball of glow in the dark fluorite. Thats right a rock!
read more --- Yemengzhus, 亦稱傳奇光亮珍珠在中國, 是罕見的煥發的球在黑暗的熒石。
Red fluorescent cats
Red fluorescent cats: This picture, taken through a special filter in a dark room, shows a cat, left, possessing a red fluorescent protein that makes the animal glow in the dark when exposed to ultraviolet rays, appearing next to a normal cloned cat.
Meet My Cats
I am a slave to 8 cats
Rare Picture Of All My Cats
Trouble, Patches, and Sweetie Pie enjoying a sunny San Antonio Day. (What a life!)
Cassidy and Snowflake Same mom different litters - Rescued from a feral colony in San Antonio
Cassidy was born with a club foot and two different color eyes
Cassidy runs and plays just like her normal sisters
Sarafena - Queen of the Witches
Cookie Monster came from a local flea market
Trouble (Grand Ma) weighs in at 18+ pounds. At 12 years old she still plays with the young cats.
Starvin Marvin - AKA "Whizzer" - Our only Tom. Marvin Has FHIV but is healthy and living high on the hog.
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Cat Adoption from the Animal Defense League of Texas - San Antonio Texas
Marijuana / Pot / Cannabis candy chocolate bar mold - Medical Marijuana THC safety symbol (Bar mold)
Marijuana / Pot / Cannabis candy chocolate wafer mold - Medical Marijuana THC safety symbol (wafer mold)
Pot for Pets: How Medical Marijuana Can Help Your Cat
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Do cats know and express love?Most of us are incurable romantics. We think that feelings and expressions of love exist only within our species. But what about cats and other animals? Does anything akin to love exist in their world? The answer may surprise you, as it turns the love mirror back on us, revealing mysteries about our own struggles with l'amour.
Until recently, poets, musicians and other creative individuals mostly defined love for us, coming up with traditions like Cupid and his arrow or St. Valentine's Day celebrations. But a slew of recent scientific studies put the focus on love's source of origin -- the brain.
Love turns out to be a valuable brain-initiated mechanism for species survival. It permits alliances between individuals, such as males and females, or parents and children, in order to facilitate breeding and infant care. Neuroscientists, such as Andreas Bartels of University College London, have determined that the brain-produced hormones oxytocin and vasopressin are real-life Love Potion No. 9s, leading to bonds between certain individuals.
Lions and Romantic Love
The feeling of "falling in love" is very specific, brain-imaging studies show. In humans, this can last for up to a few years, leading some people to constantly fall in and out of love or become addicted to that intense sense of attraction to another.
Domestic housecats have no need for extended male-female love in regards to reproduction. Lust, which appears in a different part of the brain, draws Toms and females together, but they then go their separate ways fairly quickly after mating, with mothers handling all parental duties. Lions are the one exception among cats, according to Jonathan Balcombe, author of the best-selling book "Pleasurable Kingdom: Animals and the Nature of Feeling Good" (MacMillan 2006). "Male lions will care for their cubs," he explains.
Romance isn't the end all to love. "Emotions comparable to caring and romantic love are, without a doubt, expressed between a mother and her kittens," explains Dr. Balcombe, who is also an animal behavior research scientist for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. A vivid example is the story of Scarlett, a calico cat who pulled her five kittens, one by one, from a burning building in New York in 1996. Her actions, which left Scarlett with lifelong debilitating injuries, were documented by Animal Planet, but Dr. Balcombe says such stories are not uncommon.
Continue Reading About Do cats know and express love?
When Cats Are AggressiveCats are usually viewed as relatively peaceful creatures. Most people assume that if a cat is given food, water, and a suitable place to rest then it will remain docile and loving toward its owners while also displaying the usual feline independence.
Not all cats are wired this way. Individual cats have varying personalities, just like people do. While one cat might be cuddly and laid back, another cat might be so high strung that the owners miss out on sleep at night because the cat is constantly bouncing off the walls. As long as the personality quirks of each cat are acceptable to the owners, there isn't a problem about differing personalities among cats.
The one personality trait that does not go over very well is when the cat has aggressive tendencies. With dogs it can be more acceptable since dogs have the reputation of protection, but an aggressive cat is not something most people are looking for.
Aggressive cats can inflict a lot of damage. While a cat can't compare to the damage that can be done by a large dog, their speed and agility can cause some great pain. Aggressive cats should never be around young children with supervision.
Continue Reading About When Cats Are Aggressive
Cats are intrigued by waterCats: everybody knows how much they dislike getting their fur wet. Yet, many people that own a cat can claim that they have often found their kitty with its paws inside their water bowl or playing with the water dripping from a faucet. As odd as it is, many cats love water, they are attracted to it and many spend hours just playing with it.
Things appear to change though when the cat's fur gets wet. For some reason, cats seem to hate getting their fur wet. Yes, they seem to do very well with licking their fur but water being poured on their precious fur? No way! Just a few drops on their fur will make their skin spasm and they will readily lick it off with their tongues.
Why is that? Why do cats dislike so much getting their fur wet? An explanation may be the fact that cats originated from desert regions where of course, water was a rare event.
There are however, variables between cats and water. Among the feline family, tigers appear to enjoy spending time in the water to cool off whereas panthers and lions try to avoid water as much as possible, unless getting a dip will take them on the other side where there is prey.
Continue Reading About Cats are intrigued by water
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Free changing picture gallery for your blog or webpageHere is your chance to put a rotating picture gallery of the cats of CatNews.org on your blog or website.
Drop this code into your page and the gallery will function just like the pictures you see on my site, changing each time your visitor refreshes the page. I am always adding pictures to these galleries. They already has quite a few in them.
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Even Healthy Cats Act Sick When Their Routine Is DisruptedA cat regularly vomiting hairballs or refusing to eat probably isn't being finicky or otherwise "cat-like," despite what conventional wisdom might say. There is a good chance that the cat is acting sick because of the stress caused by changes in its environment, new research suggests.
Healthy cats were just as likely as chronically ill cats to refuse food, vomit frequently and leave waste outside their litter box in response to changes in their routine, according to the Ohio State University study. Veterinary clinicians refer to these acts as sickness behaviors. The researchers documented sickness behaviors in healthy cats and in cats with feline interstitial cystitis, a chronic illness characterized by recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder and often both an urgent and frequent need to urinate.
When the cats experienced what were called "unusual external events," such as a change in feeding schedule or caretaker, the healthy cats were just as likely to exhibit sickness behaviors as were the chronically ill cats. The two groups had the same number of sickness behaviors in response to unusual events, and both groups were at more than three times the risk of acting sick when their routines were disrupted.
Previous research has indicated that a diagnosis of interstitial cystitis, known as IC, in cats is strongly associated with a number of other health problems. The fact that healthy cats exhibit some of those same problems in the face of stress suggests that veterinary clinicians should consider cats' environmental conditions during assessments for health problems, researchers say.
"For veterinary clinicians, when you have a cat that's not eating, is not using the litter box or has stuff coming up out of its mouth, the quality of the environment is another cause that needs to be addressed in coming up with a diagnosis," said Tony Buffington, professor of veterinary clinical sciences at Ohio State and senior author of the study.
Continue Reading About Even Healthy Cats Act Sick When Their Routine Is Disrupted
Pet Food Field TripI took a pet food field trip to Walmart yesterday. It was a discouraging visit. I won't mention any pet foods by name - but the trip provided me with some valuable pet food sales tricks to share with you.
The number one interesting marketing technique - and I have changed the exact words to protect the identity of this pet food (gotta play nice)...Blazoned across one pet food was Crunchy Beefy Nuggets. Did you catch it? Crunchy Beefy Nuggets is a trademark name (little TM after the Nuggets) - it's a name! It has nothing to do with the pet food - it is literally just a name. Very slick.
The most common sales technique I found was pet foods that are 'flavored'. The actual name of the pet food was 'Steak and Vegetable Flavor' or 'Chicken and Fish Flavor' - one even got very specific with the name mentioning Albacore Tuna and Yellow Fin Tuna FLAVOR. The trick there is the pet food is just FLAVORED with steak and vegetables or Albacore Tuna - that's not really what's in the pet food!!! Again - it's just the flavor. Most people do not get that - they see Albacore Tuna and Yellow Fin Tuna or they see Steak and Vegetable --- they don't see Flavor. Most pet owners just assume that since the front of the pet food bag - in big bold letters says Albacore Tuna on it - it's got Albacore Tuna inside the bag. If the food actually had Steak and Albacore Tuna in it - it wouldn't say 'Flavor' on the front - it would say 'with Steak and Albacore Tuna' and it would cost more than $.50 cents a can or $5.00 a bag (Albacore Tuna does cost more than Albacore Tuna Flavor).
One of the Walmart pet foods stated 'No Fillers' on the front of the bag. However in the ingredient list I found Ground Corn, Chicken by-products, Corn Gluten Meal to be the first three ingredients of the pet food. That reads like fillers to me!
Continue Reading About Pet Food Field Trip
American BobtailThe American Bobtail has grown in popularity in recent years. Originally bred in the 1960s, John and Brenda Sanders found a male brown tabby cat with a bobbed tail while vacationing in Arizona and bred it with a Siamese female. The resulting litter was born with bobtails, but this feral looking cat is most likely not part Bobtail. American Bobtails are medium to large cats that have a naturally short tail (hence the name 'Bobtail') that is usually straight. The American Bobtail's hind legs are slightly longer than the front legs. Females will reach and average weight of seven to twelve pounds and males can average over fifteen pounds.
American Bobtails are not considered fully matured until they are about three years old and will live an average of twelve to twenty-one years. Originally only a longhaired breed, American Bobtails are now both long and short haired. The longhaired Bobtails have slightly shaggy medium-long hair that does not mat. Shorthaired Bobtails have a medium length, semi-dense double coat that is also mat resistant.
American Bobtail coats come in all colors, though white and brown is the most popular color. Many allergy suffers find themselves more comfortable around American Bobtails, they are not considered hypoallergenic. This breed of cat makes an excellent family pet and does very well with children and other household pets. They do not mind much of the rough and tumble play children are fond of. American Bobtails are described as friendly, talkative and social. They enjoy climbing so an indoor cat tree or cat condo is a must.
Continue Reading About The American Bobtail
Owning a Cat - How it Benefits Your ChildIf your child misses a lot of school due to illness, maybe you should get a cat. Research has shown that children who own pets attend school up to 9 more days a year than their non pet-owning counterparts. The immune function of pet owners is more stable, making them better able to fend off illness. Pet owners visit doctors less.
But what about allergies? Isn't cat hair is a common source of irritation to immune systems? A leading theory under investigation by asthma researchers suggests that the presence of pets in the home from an early age may adapt the immune system so it is less sensitive to allergens later in life. So it may in fact be the lack of pets in a child's life that contributes to asthma sensitivities.
Studies have also connected pet ownership with lower blood pressure and reduced anxiety levels. In fact, a recent long-term study has shown that people who have never owned a cat, face a 40% greater risk of death due to heart attack than current and even previous cat owners. Dog owners did not have the same level of protection against heart disease as cat owners.
State University of New York researchers found that the cat doesn't even have to be present to achieve this. A group of stockbrokers with hypertension who owned pets showed lower blood pressure even when not with their cats.
It is well known that cat owners have lower stress levels overall, so perhaps the health advantages are a result of being more relaxed.
Cat ownership may be a surprising remedy for absenteeism, however, good health and more days at school are just two of the many benefits to children of having a cat in their lives. Studies have associated numerous psychological benefits with pet ownership.
Children who live with cats show more empathy for others and help others more. This translates to being able to understand others and get along better. Children who live with animals develop a better understanding of body language and other non-verbal cues. A study of 455 school children between the ages of 11 and 16 revealed that children with pets had a better ability to understand non-verbal communications. As a result, these children are more popular with classmates than those who don't have pets at home.
Additionally, children who own pets are more likely to be involved in sports, hobbies, clubs and other social activities. Some studies even show that children who own cats have a higher IQ.
Children with pets learn develop an early sense of responsibility. The responsibility of owning a pet can give children the experience of being needed and this may translate into other areas of life. Cats are relatively easy to care for, as they clean themselves and don't need to be walked.
Social skills and responsibility make a great foundation for life. A US study of 394 university students revealed that those who had owned dogs or cats as childhood pets were more self-confident than those who did not. This may be related to other findings that children raised with pets have higher self-esteem, thought to result from the unconditional love a pet provides. No matter what's going on at school, or with friends, pets treat children the same way.
It seems obvious to say then, that pets hold an important place in many children's lives, often on a par with parents, grandparents and siblings. Children often talk to their pets and regard them as an important friends and confidantes. A five-year study of 600 children aged 3-18 years showed that pet-owning children who have challenges such as being slow learners or having divorced parents cope better with life than those who don't have a pet. Again, having a pet that shows unconditional love regardless of what is happening, can cushion other difficulties in life.
It's not surprising that pets have been used successfully in therapy for some time now. They help sick kids relax and take their minds off their illnesses. Some doctors, recognizing the importance of pets in children's lives ensure that pet names are included in their patients' medical records along with other family members. Even in the most depressing clinical environment, talking about a pet can lighten a situation.
If you already have cat members of your family, know that they are doing your children the world of good. If you don't, it's worth serious consideration.
About the Author
Owning a Cat - How it Benefits Your Child
Jenny is a cat lover and webmaster of Pictures of Cats You are welcome to reproduce this article on your pet or family related web site, as long as you reproduce the article in full, including this resource box and link to her website featuring photo and video galleries of beautiful cats.
Honoring Our Troops
Homemade Kitten FoodDo you need a cheap, healthy alternative to store bought kitten food to help wean your kittens off their mother's milk and transition them to traditional canned kitten food? More than likely, they have shown little interest in regular canned food, preferring the milk to anything you might put in their bowl. Dry food will also be too hard on their developing teeth. The best option would be to start them on a food that reminds them of what they prefer, but can be mixed with traditional wet food to help transition them over. This recipe is simple to make, and kittens find it delicious.
Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat and mix in one envelope of unflavored gelatin. Be sure to mix thoroughly, and do not boil the gelatin. If the water tastes bad or has a heavy chlorine taste when it comes out of the tap, consider using filtered water instead.
Pour this mixture into a blender along with half of a 12 ounce can of goat's milk. Blend just long enough to combine thoroughly. Do not substitute cow's milk because cats tend to be lactose intolerant. Using cow's milk can lead to discomfort, diarrhea, and worse if fed to kittens.
Add the following ingredients one at a time. After each addition, blend briefly to combine before moving on to the next. You will want to use the lowest setting to avoid overmixing. Add: 3 tbsp full fat yogurt, 3 tbsp real mayonnaise, 3 tsp light corn syrup, and 1 raw egg yolk. Concerning the egg yolk, raw eggs carry a small risk of salmonella poisoning. To eliminate any risk of accidentally passing this on to your kittens, use eggs that have been pasteurized in their shells.
You can serve the completed homemade kitten food the way it is, or you can store it for use later. To store for later usage, cover the mixture tightly in a small container. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to ten days or in your freezer for up to three months.
If you are going to use food that you have prepared in advance, you will want to warm it up before serving, especially if it is coming from the refrigerator or freezer. Cold food causes severe stomach upset in kittens. Warming it up will also make it more aromatic, and thus more appetizing to the kittens.
How to Litter Train A KittenIf the mother cat is still in the home and she is already litter trained, then litter training her kittens is a natural process. Her kittens will simply follow what she does. However, ultimately, each cat should have its own litter tray or else it may create a host of other litter tray problems for you!
For most kitten owners, the mother cat is not in the home if the kitten was orphaned or purchased. But this is not a problem. It is easy to litter train a cat when it's still a little kitten. Cats are creatures of habit and it may not be as easy to litter train once they have become used to their favorite toilet spots.
The key to litter training a kitten is to let it get used to the litter tray as soon as possible. You will need to manually place your kitten onto the tray initially, as it is neither used to it nor is it able to climb over the edge to get in.
Most kittens would defecate soon after waking up and after a meal. You could place your kitten in the litter tray during these times and after a few weeks, your kitten would get used to the routine and it would become a habit.
Just be sure to place the litter tray a reasonable distance away from where the kitten is fed and where it sleeps. Cats and kittens are fastidious creatures and do not like to do their toilet near where they eat and sleep.
When a kitten is still very young, it will not be able to "cover up" very well after its toilet, as most adult cats are capable of. But you don't have to worry about this. Once they are about 1 to 2 months old, they will instinctively know how to cover up their poop.
In the wild or in the garden, cats will scoop soil and earth to cover but in the home, if you provide commercial cat litter, they will naturally scoop the litter to cover up the poop. You will notice, even if you only provide a newspaper for their soiling, your kitten will still scoop at the newspaper in an instinctive act to cover up their poop.
Although you can expect to pick up poop after your kitten in the first few weeks, litter training a kitten is relatively easy and can be 100% trouble-free once it gets used to the routine of using the litter tray.
New Kitten Care - How to Kitten-proof Your HomeA very important aspect of new kitten care is keeping your kitten safe from danger. There are a lot of potential hazards round the home for little kittens. This article lists the most common ones and suggests ways you can minimize risks to your kitten and keep her safe.
Washing machine and tumble dryer:
If you leave the door open and there are clothes inside, there's a good chance your kitten will climb in and go to sleep. Always check your kitten isn't inside these before you use them.
Fridge and freezer:
As soon as you've used these, shut the door.
Hob and oven:
Shut the oven door as soon as you've finished with it. Cover hot hob plates.
Keep it out of reach - it can give your kitten food poisoning.
Put all garbage in a sealed bin that your kitten can't access.
Many plants are poisonous to cats. If you're not sure whether a certain plant is safe for your kitten if she eats it, put it out of her reach.
The oils used to scent this can be poisonous.
Open fires and candles:
Use a guard on the fire. Never leave a kitten in a room alone with lit candles.
If your kitten is a wire chewer, you'll need to put wires out of her reach or buy plastic covers for them.
Curtain tie-backs and cords on window blinds:
Kittens can get caught in these. Either remove them completely or tie them up out of reach.
Filled bathtubs and sinks:
Make sure your kitten doesn't have access to the room when the tub or sink is full.
Try to get into the habit of keeping the lid down when the toilet's not in use.
Keep them in a cupboard that your kitten can't get into.
Kittens can swallow small things like paper clips, rubber bands, staples and needles.
String, wool, fishing line and thread:
Kittens can swallow large quantities of these. For this reason, balls of wool or string and pom-poms aren't good toys for cats.
Most cleaners etc. are highly poisonous to cats and need to be kept somewhere your kitten can't access.
Tobacco, nicotine patches and nicotine gum are all poisonous to cats.
Reclining chairs, futons, folding beds, drawers:
If kittens get caught when this type of furniture is moved, they can get crushed. Make sure your kitten isn't asleep somewhere she could get trapped before you use any of these.
Safety is a major factor for new kitten care. It's fairly easy to keep your kitten safe as long as you anticipate potential dangers and take the necessary steps to prevent them. Putting brightly colored post it notes up around your home is a good way to do this. Stick the notes on or near potential dangers - for example the fridge, washing machine, oven, toilet and futon - and anywhere else that could be a hazard.
Kitten Feeding with a BottleKitten feeding can feel like a difficult process without a mother cat to do it for you. Newborn kittens are so tiny and fragile, and have to operate almost entirely by instinct. It may seem a daunting task at first, but the process of kitten feeding with a bottle is not so much from that of feeding a newborn human. Once they know what to do, they will do it all on their own. All you have to do is show them proper care and follow a few simple guidelines.
Step 1 Make up the bottle of formula. To do this, first sterilize the bottle and nipple in boiling water for several minutes and allow to cool thoroughly before adding the KMR (kitten milk replacement) formula. KMR is specifically formulated for kittens, and cow's milk is not an adequate replacement. To avoid clumping, add just a little bit of water to the powdered mix and stir until thoroughly combined before adding the rest of the hot water. The final temperature of the formula should be about 95 degrees. If the bottle gets cold, just warm it up in a small bowl of very warm water, but always check the temperature before offering it to the kitten.
Step 2 Prepare the kitten. Place a warm, soft towel either on your lap or on the feeding surface, then place the kitten gently on top of it. When feeding newborn kittens, they will need to be lying flat on their stomachs. It is best if you can do this with the kitten gently cuddled against you, because you need to be sure that the kitten is warm before feeding. Cold kittens do not digest their formula well.
Step 3 Feed the kitten. Gently work the nipple against the kitten's mouth. They will get the idea quickly and take it in. If not, very gently stroke the kitten until it gets the idea. You will need to do this six to ten times per day, around the clock, just like a newborn human. Newborn kittens will need a little over one ounce of formula per day, divided between feedings. Be careful to not overfeed them.
Step 4 Clean up and burp the kitten. While the kitten is still on the blanket, gently slip one hand under its belly and hold it while you very lightly pat its upper back. This will stimulate the burp response. Then, using a warm, damp, slightly rough cloth, gently clean its anal and genital area to stimulate urination and defecation.
Step 5 Put the kitten back to bed. It is worn out from its feeding and needs to rest.
Getting Ready for the Newborn KittensCaring for your cat during pregnancy may require a lot of time and effort in your part but it is a very wonderful and rewarding experience. But after the kittens are already born, you will need to do a different task and that is to take care of the newborn kittens. These kittens will need special kind of attention and care and you must make sure that you could provide it to them.
One good way to start is to prepare your home for the arrival of the newborn kittens. Kittens tend to play with, chew, or nibble anything that attracts their interest like plants, cords, and other materials. You should remove the things that could be harmful to the newborn kittens like anything that could poison them or hurt them. Electrical cords must be kept out of reach. Look for anything sharp and pointed and remove them from the area immediately. Deal with anything that could strangle your kitten like ropes, ribbons, and cords to provide a safer place for your kittens.
You might also want to save your curtains and drapes from kitten scratches so it would be advisable to tie them up so your kittens will not be able to reach them. Make sure that the cabinet for your cleaning liquids are out of your kittensâ€™ reach. Most of these cleaning liquids are poisonous and you wouldn't want your kitty to play with them to prevent any kind of accident.
Another good preparation that you should not forget is to shop for things that your kitten will need. You will have to shop for foods that are suitable for newborn kittens. You should opt for foods that could give your kittens the kind of nutrition they need for growth. The food should also be easily digestible by kittens to prevent any troubles with their tummy.
You should also get them the things they need like their own bowls, kitty basket or bed, blanket, litter box, and toys. This is to ensure that your kittens will be comfortable and that they will have a good playing time. You should provide them with warm and comfortable place or area to sleep in. When choosing toys for your little kittens, make sure that they are safe and will not put the safety of your kittens at risk.
Lastly, you must make sure that your kittens are healthy. After birth, you could have a vet take a look at them to check them up for any illness and to give them vaccines that they need. If your vet saw some signs and symptoms that suggest illness, your kitten might be subjected to some tests and examinations. This is to ensure that they will grow healthy and will reduce the risk of getting sick. These things will help prepare you and your home for the arrival of your catâ€™s newborn kittens. You will not have to get worried about their safety inside your home and you can be sure that you will able to provide them with anything they need for them to grow happy and healthy.
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