Jul 09

Tips for New Pet Owners

It’s almost time to bring your new family member home. You’ve scouted a walking trail to explore, purchased chew toys and picked out the perfect collar and leash.

Owning a dog for the first time is an exciting milestone, but it doesn’t come without its share of challenges. The Ontario Veterinary Medical Association recommends some simple tips to help you navigate this new chapter.

Money matters.

Pets can be expensive. You are introducing a new member of your family that requires food, regular check-ups, grooming and toys. Budget out the costs so you know exactly how much you will need for important things like quality food, veterinary visits and any unexpected medical costs.

Protect your possessions.

When dogs are being housetrained, they can wreak havoc on your belongings and some of these may pose a choking risk for your pet. Be sure to keep things like shoes and cords out of reach.

Get physical.

Puppies can have endless energy. Regular exercise, like walks or a run at your local dog park, will help keep them active and healthy. Be sure to let your new pet get the rest it needs after an exciting day — lots of growing means lots of sleeping.

Dogs rule. 

Dogs like routine and stable habits. Make sure you gently teach your dog acceptable behaviour with clear and consistent expectations.

Family unity. 

Remember that adopting a pet is a big financial, emotional and time commitment that all members of your family should be on board with.

Find more information at www.ovma.org.

www.newscanada.com

Jul 09

4 Tips for Helping Pets in Need

For pet owners, their dogs, cats and other pets play an important role in bringing added happiness to their lives. As not every dog and cat is as fortunate to be with their forever families, you may be looking for ways to give back and help pets in need.

As many as 117,000 cats and dogs enter shelters every year across Canada, according to The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies. There are numerous ways you can help homeless pets and give back, starting with these tips.

Volunteer at your local animal welfare organization.

Almost every community has at least one animal shelter or rescue group that needs help. A simple internet search is a good place to start, or ask your veterinarian for recommendations on local organizations that assist pets in need. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities at shelters and rescue organizations, from office duties and community outreach and education to training, feeding and socializing, so people with every skillset are often able to lend a hand.

Donate supplies.

Items such as food, cat litter, cleaning supplies and blankets are almost always in demand at animal shelters and rescues. While pets await adoption, they need access to food, making pet food a significant operating expense for animal welfare organizations. Through PetSmart’s Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program, for every bag of dog or cat food purchased online and at its stores across North America through the end of the year, the leading pet specialty retailer will donate a meal to a pet in need served by animal welfare organizations and food banks.

Foster or adopt a pet.

As many animal welfare organizations have dogs or cats not suited for living in a shelter atmosphere, fostering a pet in your home is a simple way to give back without the long-term commitment of pet ownership. These pets may be older and in need of a quiet environment or a space to recover from a recent surgery. Of course, if you’re ready for a new pet, your local shelter or rescue organization may have the perfect one waiting for you. Adopting from a rescue or shelter can not only save that pet, but also open a spot in the facility and potentially save another animal.

Take care of pets at home.

One of the most important things you can do for pets in need is simply not become part of the problem. Be ready for the responsibility before adopting a pet and know that having one requires a long-term commitment. Be sure to keep pets fed, watered, groomed and vaccinated, and have your pet spayed or neutered to help avoid pet overpopulation.

Find more ways to get involved at your local shelter or rescue group, and learn more about the Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program at Petsmart.ca/giveameal.

www.newscanada.com

Jan 01

Taking Your Dog to a Dog Park

Taking Your Dog to a Dog Park (What Is Important to Know and Take With You)

You’ve decided you want to take your dog to a dog park. You’ve never done this before. What do you need to know to make it a good experience and to keep you and your dog safe? Let’s discuss three main points to consider before you and your pooch head out for the afternoon: your behavior, your dog’s behavior and what to bring and not to bring with you to the dog park.

Your Behavior

Your behavior sets the stage for either a good experience or one that is less than pleasant. You should be focused on your dog and not distracted. Think of it as taking your toddler to the playground and either not paying any attention at all to what is happening to her or giving her your undivided attention. Keep control of your dog. Always keep a leash with you, and especially the first time at the park, you may want to keep your dog on a leash (a least on a long one). This will give you a bit more control over the situation should a problem or challenge arise. Don’t take small children with you. You will be distracted, and a small child may be perceived as prey for a larger dog at the park. That wouldn’t end well, and we’re gearing up for a pleasant and successful time for all.

Your Dog’s Behavior

Your dog’s behavior – It’s very important for your dog to be good on recall. Personally, my adopted dog Chloe was never good on recall. Whatever her experience with her first family was, “come ” meant run as far as you can as fast as you can. Needless to say, she was not a good candidate for a dog park, and definitely not an off-lead park. We never went. Your dog should also not be allowed to charge up to strange dogs no matter how friendly or good-intentioned he may be. Another more timid dog may perceive this as aggressive behavior. I’m sure you can connect the dots on that one. Do I need to say that dogs who are aggressive towards other dogs and people should not go to dog parks? Yes, I probably do need to say that.

What To Take With You

What should and shouldn’t you take with you to the dog park. Bring a lead. A long lead is a good idea especially for the first visit or two. Bring a bowl or collapsible water dish and some water. Don’t bring rawhide or food related treats; these can start trouble especially with dogs who lean toward food aggression. You may decide to bring small training treats to reward your dog for good behavior. (Side note: don’t give treats to another dog without that dog guardian’s permission. Dogs can have allergies to ingredients like wheat, soy, chicken, etc. so make sure you ask before giving another dog a treat.) Make sure your dog has his collar and id/rabies tags on it. And… for goodness sake, bring poo-poo bags, and clean up after your dog!

As you can see, there are some important things to consider when planning a trip to your local dog park. Most of them are basic and not rocket science, but being sure to adhere to them can make your trip to the dog park a great experience for you and your pooch… an experience that you will want to enjoy again and again!

 

Cheryl Major is a long-time volunteer and advocate for animal health and has worked to pass animal protection legislation in her home state of Massachusetts. She publishes an active blog: http://healthydogsworld.com. Get free access to tips and reports on keeping your dog healthy and strong at any age. Your Free Report on How Chiropractic Care Can Turn Back the Clock for Your Dog is there waiting for you! http://healthydogsworld.com.

Dec 23

Caring For Your Persian Cat’s Fur in Winter

Being a pet owner comes with a great deal of responsibility, and that takes on all new levels of car when the pet that you choose is one that requires a lot of attention. When it comes to felines, there may be no other breed that will require more of your time and pampering than the Persian cat. They are beautiful animals, but their fur needs constant attention if it is to maintain its everyday luxurious appearance.

Grooming Your Persian

The best way to groom Persian kittens and cats is to use a wide, metal comb, as that is the most effective at keeping the fur separated, and free from loose, shedding hair. It’s especially important to make sure that you thoroughly comb behind the ears, as well as in the armpits, as this is where most cases of matting tends to begin. As you comb, you should closely inspect the coat for dirt, as the thickness of the fur can hide any signs of dirt that may have accumulated.

Bathing Your Persian

Most cats hate being bathed, but given that caring for your Persian is a daily chore, it might be a good idea to try to get your Persian kitten used to being bathed every two to six weeks, which is generally all they will need as they get older. The care of the fur really gets important to increase the number of times you brush, come winter time when your Persian will start to shed profusely. This may mean several sessions of brushing per day, to help them effectively get rid of that excess fur, and to prevent the possibility of matting.

When it does become necessary to give your Persian cat a bath, you should do so in a room that is warm and dry. Fill the tub with a couple of inches of warm water, and then slowly lower your cat into the tub, petting him as you do so. It’s a good idea to keep them calm and relaxed during the process, which is why it’s important to start getting them used to bathing when they are kittens, usually starting when they are around 3 months old. Once they are comfortable, you should then use a small cup to pour the water over their fur, making sure to keep it away from the eyes and ears. Next up is the shampoo, being sure to use one that is appropriate for Persians, rinse him off, and then repeat, making sue to get the belly and paws cleaned when you do so.

Many people buy Persian cats in order to take them onto the show circuit, but even if you only want one as a loving home companion, you have to realize that this is a cat that requires a lot of grooming and maintenance in order to keep its beautiful appearance.

 

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Oct 05

Discover Fun Ways to Keep Your Pet Active This Fall

active-petsGetting outside with your pet in the hot summer for lots of activity isn’t always easy, but fall is the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors together. Here are some great ideas for you and your furry friends to enjoy this colorful and crisp season:

1. Visit a pumpkin patch. Grab the leash and bring your pup to visit a pumpkin patch or apple orchard. Before you head out, make sure to check that the place is pet-friendly. Remember there are often other animals on site, so keep in mind the larger animals may make your pet nervous.

2. Multitask outside: Dogs spend lots of time outdoors, but fall is a great time to bring your cat outside to enjoy the last days of warmer weather. While you’re in the yard prepping the garden for frost, take your cat and their favorite toy outside with you to explore under your supervision.

3. Check out a fall parade. Parades are a great way to get your dog moving and meeting people and dogs in your community. However, keep in mind there will be large crowds and loud noises, so make sure to bring a blanket to mark your territory and ensure your dog has enough space.

4. Take a hike. There’s no better way to enjoy the fall foliage than a walk or hike through a forest. Make sure to check local travel websites to find some great trails in your area that matches both your and your pet’s ability levels.

5. Eat a meal out together. After all this activity, it’s easy to forget to keep your pet hydrated. Enjoy a snack and some refreshments in your garden or balcony. Wet pet food is a tasty way to keep your little critter hydrated. Find more information on the benefits of feeding your pet a mixed diet online at petmixedfeeding.ca.

www.newscanada.com

Aug 27

All About Siamese Cats

Siamese Cat

Siamese Cat

Siamese cats are one of the most beloved breeds amongst cat lovers, and understandably so. There are many reasons to love a Siamese cat from their blue eyes peering through the dark patch on their face to their high level of intelligence and energy. From their history to their personality, Siamese cats are a very unique breed.

Breed History
Siamese cats originated in Thailand in the 14th century. At that time, they were reserved for the royal families who would then bestow them on visiting dignitaries. They first showed up in the United States some time in the late 1800’s. The first documented Siamese feline to show up in the United States was a gift to First Lady Lucy Hayes. In present-day, Siamese cats rank fifth in popularity in the United States according to the Cat Fancier’s Association.

Basic Breed Information
Female Siamese cats usually end up weighing between six to ten pounds with a height of twenty-one inches, while males usually weigh between nine and fourteen pounds and grow to a height of twenty-three inches. Their trademark look includes a wedge-shaped head with deep blue eyes, sleek body, and large pointed ears. Their coat is also a trademark feature with a cream-colored torso and dark areas on the face, ears, and feet. This is caused by a mutated enzyme in the pigment. There are four official colors of the Siamese breed of cat as recognized by the Cat Fancier’s Association. These colors include seal, chocolate, blue, and lilac. Blue and lilac are simply diluted versions of the seal and chocolate colors.

Siamese Cat Personality and Temperament
Although very social cats, they are not necessarily the best choice for a household with children. They are generally very dedicated and loyal to their owners and love to talk. Many cat owners say their Siamese will always tell them what is on their minds and are not shy about making their demands known.

Always playful and loving, the Siamese breed does not entail the normal aloof feline attitude. They are known as the eternal kitten; the cat that never grows up. They display a more social personality than other breeds, even in the presence of other domestic animals.

They are a joy to own and even more fun to watch as they play amongst themselves or with the other cat and dog residents with whom they live. Their high level of intelligence is one of their signature characteristics. Many Siamese cat owners report their cats are able to be trained to perform tricks and learn their names very quickly.

Common Medical Problems
Unfortunately, just like with all breeds of cats and dogs, the Siamese cat also has certain medical conditions to which it is genetically predisposed. Many people know about the cross-eyed and kink-tailed abnormalities inherent in the Siamese breed, but these problems have been all but completely eliminated through careful breeding. There are two problems, however, that are still present in the genetic code of this breed. These two problems are gingivitis and a liver-destroying disease called amyloidosis.

While gingivitis can be prevented through proper dental care, amyloidosis is a much more serious illness caused by abnormally high levels of amyloid deposited in the liver. Amyloid is a fibrous protein and when high levels are present in the liver, it can cause hemorrhaging and renal failure. Symptoms include yellowing of the skin or eyes, vomiting, lack of energy, enlarged abdomen, anorexia, and excessive thirst in the presence of excessive urination.

Siamese Cat Rescue
After hearing about all the wonderful characteristics inherent in the Siamese breed of cat, chances are you are wondering where you can get one of your own. There are rescue coalitions that specialize in the rescue, care, and adoption of Siamese cats. One such organization is called Texas Siamese Rescue and is based out of Dallas, Texas.

To adopt a Siamese cat through this organization a fee of between $100 and $175 will be charged to partially cover the plethora of veterinarian services and tests this particular adoption center requires for each feline that moves through their facility. To check into this adoption service, simply visit their website at http://tx.siameserescue.org/

The Siamese is by far one of the most intelligent and fun-loving cat breeds around. It is no wonder they are favorites among cat lovers.

 

Velita Livingston is the founder of the Cat Lover’s Diary blob which provides rich content with great advice on cat care tips and cat training, teaching pet owners how to protect, pamper and live peacefully with their pets. Visit the http://www.catloversdiary.com to watch the Cat Lover’s Diary Movie, it contains breathtaking images and heartwarming quotes… It will uplift and inspire you! You can also visit the Cat Lover’s Diary on Facebook and Twitter.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 27

Plants That Are Toxic To Cats

cat sitting in the windowIn most cases, people who love their animals also love their houseplants. Houseplants breathe life into a home just like owning a cat does. It seems both pets and houseplants go hand-in-hand, but in reality they can be a deadly combination if the owner is not aware of which plants are toxic to their furry friends.

Any cat owner who also dabbles in gardening or owns houseplants should familiarize themselves with the list below. It’s a surprising list to say the least. Many very common and useful plants are on this list. Even the aloe vera plant, known for its medicinal value as a topical treatment for cuts and burns, is poisonous to cats. Even more surprising is that tomato and pea plants are toxic to cats as well. It’s a scary feeling to read this list and count the number of common plants lying around the house just waiting to poison the beloved feline of the home.

House Plants Toxic to Cats:

1. Aloe Vera – Symptoms: Vomiting, tremors, diarrhea, anorexia, depression, and a change in the color of urine.

2. Asparagus Fern – Symptoms: Allergic dermatitis, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

3. Baby’s Breath – Symptoms: Vomiting and diarrhea.

4. Begonia – Symptoms: Irritation and burning of the oral cavity, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

5. Bird of Paradise Flower – Symptoms: Mild nausea, vomiting, and drowsiness.

6. Caladium (also known as Elephant Ears or Taro) – Symptoms: Irritation and burning of the oral cavity, excessive drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.

7. Cardboard Palm – Symptoms: Liver failure, excessive thirst, bruising, melena, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, vomiting, pathy, liver damage, liver failure and death.

8. Carnation – Symptoms: Mild gastrointestinal signs and mild dermatitis.

9. Ceriman – Symptoms: Irritation and burning of the oral cavity, vomiting, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

10. Charming Dieffenbachia – Symptoms: Irritation and burning of the oral cavity, vomiting, excessive drooling, and difficulty swallowing.

11. Chinese Jade – Symptoms: Nausea and retching.

12. Chrysanthemum – Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, hyper-salivation, in-coordination, and dermatitis.

13. Coleus – Symptoms: Vomiting blood, bloody diarrhea, depression, and anorexia.

14. Corn Plant – Symptoms: Vomiting blood, depression, anorexia, hyper-salivation, and dilated pupils.

15. Cyclamen – Symptoms: Salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, cardiac arrhythmia, seizure, and death.

16. Daffodil (also known as narcissus) – Symptoms: Vomiting, excessive salivation, diarrhea, convulsions, low blood pressure, tremors, and cardiac arrhythmia.

17. Dahlia – Symptoms: Mild gastrointestinal signs and mild dermatitis.

18. Dieffenbachia – Symptoms: Irritation and burning of the oral cavity, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

19. Everlasting Pea (also known as Sweet Pea) – Symptoms: Weakness, lethargy, pacing, head pressing, tremors, seizures, and possibly death.

20. Fig (also known as Indian Rubber Plant) – Symptoms: Dermatitis, oral irritation, excessive salivation, and vomiting.

21. Flamingo Flower – Symptoms: Irritation and burning of the oral cavity, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

22. Florida Beauty – Symptoms: Dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, increased heart-rate, abdominal pain, vomiting, depression, in-coordination, weakness, and drooling.

23. Hyacinth, both Garden Hyacinth and Water Hyacinth are toxic to dogs and cats. Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, dermatitis, and allergic reactions.

24. Gladiola – Symptoms: Vomiting, drooling, lethargy, diarrhea.

25. Hellebore – Symptoms: Drooling, abdominal pain, diarrhea, colic, and depression.

26. Hosta – Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, depression.

27. Ivy is yet another botanical genre that should be avoided by pet owners. Many different species of ivy are toxic to both dogs and cats. The variations to especially watch for are the Branching Ivy, English ivy, Devil’s Ivy (also known as Golden Pothos), and Sweetheart Ivy – Symptoms: Irritation and burning of the oral cavity, excessive drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.

28. Jade Plant (also known as Chinese or Japanese Rubber Plant) – Symptoms: Vomiting, depression, ataxia, and slow heart rate.

29. Kiss-me-quick – Symptoms: Tremors, seizures (for several days), diarrhea, vomiting, excessive salivation, lethargy, in-coordination, and coughing.

30. Lacy Tree Philodendron – Symptoms: Irritation and burning of the oral cavity, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

31. Lily Family – Nearly all lilies are toxic to both dogs and cats. The variations to especially watch for are Amaryllis, Arum Lily, Asian Lily, Stargazer Lily, Barbados Lily, Clivia Lily, Desert Azalea, Easter Lily, Giant Dracaena (also known as the Palm Lily), Lily-Of-The-Valley, Orange Day Lily, Tiger Lily, Trumpet Lily, and Wood Lily. With so many different species of lilies that are toxic to cats and dogs alike, it’s best for pet owners to simply avoid lilies altogether. Symptoms: Diarrhea, depression, vomiting, abdominal pain, hyper-salivation, anorexia, tremors, excessive drooling, irritation to oral cavity, difficulty swallowing, cardiac arrhythmia, convulsions, kidney failure, and death.

32. Mistletoe – Symptoms: Gastrointestinal problems, cardiovascular collapse, difficulty breathing, slow heart rate, odd behavior that would point to signs of hallucinations, vomiting, and diarrhea.

33. Nephthytis – Symptoms: Irritation and burning of the oral cavity, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

34. Orange – Symptoms: Vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and sometimes photo-sensitivity.

35. Pencil Cactus – Symptoms: Irritation of the oral cavity and vomiting.

36. Poinsettia – Symptoms: Irritation of the oral cavity and vomiting.

37. Primrose – Symptoms: Mild vomiting.

38. Spring Parsley – Symptoms: Photo-sensitivity, ulcerative dermatitis, exudative dermatitis, and ocular toxicity.

39. Tomato Plant – Symptoms: Excessive drooling, loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, drowsiness, depression, confusion, bradycardia (slow heart rate), dilated pupils, weakness, and change in behavior.

40. Tulip – Symptoms: Vomiting, depression, diarrhea, and excessive drooling.

41. Yucca – Symptoms: Vomiting and diarrhea.

It should be noted that many of these plants are popular flowers used in arrangements. Even though a cat owner has taken great care to ensure their home and yard is free from these toxic plants, any flower arrangements brought into the home should also be kept out of reach of your cat.

It should never be assumed that a cat will instinctively leave a toxic plant alone. Thousands of cats are taken to the veterinarian each year on an emergency basis due to ingestion of a toxic houseplant. By becoming familiar with this list, a cat owner can rest assured their home is a safe environment for their beloved feline.

 

Velita Livingston is the founder of the Cat Lover’s Diary blob which provides rich content with great advice on cat care tips and cat training, teaching pet owners how to protect, pamper and live peacefully with their pets. Visit the http://www.catloversdiary.com to watch the Cat Lover’s Diary Movie, it contains breathtaking images and heartwarming quotes… It will uplift and inspire you! You can also visit the Cat Lover’s Diary on Facebook and Twitter.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 27

About Persian Cats

Persian Cat

Persian Cat

Of all the cat breeds in the world, none is more distinctive or highly recognized than the Persian. Their look is almost stately, conjuring images of riches and opulence, especially white Persian cats, but this breed brings to the table more than simply good looks. Their calm and loving temperament makes them a joy to have around the house and a wonderful, loyal companion.

History
Persians have a lengthy and interesting history. They were first thought to have originated in Iran, which is where Persia once existed. Although this may be true, the modern Persian breed has lost its genetic signature. The modern breed we see today is felt to have, for the most part, developed in Western Europe, specifically Britain. It was not until after World War II that American breeders recognized the inherent beauty of the Persian and began breeding them. Now, the Persian is the most popular breed in the United States.

Characteristics
Persians are set apart from other breeds by their extremely thick coat, wide head, large eyes, and shortened muzzle. In the United States, a movement began in the 1950′s to produce an exaggeratedly flat face, known as peke-faced, but this gave way to health problems. While the peke-faced look is still very popular, the health problems associated with it caused many breeders in the mid-1990′s to abandon selective breeding practices to produce that characteristic. The traditional look of the Persian includes a more elongated muzzle than what we see today and many are now selectively breeding to produce the more traditional looking version of the breed.

Temperament
Dignified, calm, and gentle are three words that come to mind when describing the personality of the Persian. They are very quiet and affectionate, making them a favorite for apartment dwellers. They are content in nearly any environment so long as they are afforded enough attention. Although they do well around other pets, Persians need human companionship and should not be left alone for long periods of time.

Grooming
It should be noted that while most cats are able to groom themselves, the extra dense coat of the Persian prevents it from being able to do so. Regular bathing and brushing of the coat is necessary to keep the coat from matting. Additionally, the large eyes of the Persian can cause excessive tears that run down the face of the cat. Any ocular discharge and crusting should be cleaned each day to prevent staining of the fur around the eyes.

Variations
Persian cats have such a long and extensive history and have been popular for so long that there are many variations of the breed, some of which have given birth to other popular breeds. Himalayans are, in fact, a result of cross breeding Persians with Siamese cats. Exotic short-hair versions of the Persian breed were a result of crossing Persians with American Short-Hair cats. In South Africa, breeders were successful at selectively breeding specific characteristics to produce what is now known as the Chinchilla Longhair breed, featuring a longer muzzle and translucent hair with dark tips.

Health Concerns
The distinctive facial features of the Persian, especially in the peke-faced variations, can cause breathing and eye difficulties. Excessive tearing and corneal damage due to eyelashes rubbing against the eye are also two common problems with this breed. Aside from this, birthing problems are also common in this breed and the rate of stillbirths is much higher in Persians than other breeds at between 16% and 22%. Other health problems that may be seen in Persian cats are polycystic kidney disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and progressive retinal atrophy.

Persian Cat Rescue
It’s hard to believe, but there are Persians out there who do not have a loving home. Even this beautiful, distinctive cat sometimes finds itself in need of adoption for one reason or another and there are rescue centers scattered throughout the country that have Persians available for adoption.

One such rescue center is www.persiancats.org. It should be noted that this website does not ship cats due to the stress it causes the animal and the number of cats that are in need of good homes everywhere. They recommend searching local shelters and rescue centers first. Any individual visiting the website above should be forewarned that the sweet, beautiful faces they are about to see will indeed pull on the heartstrings and they just might find themselves on the phone shortly searching local shelters for a Persian of their own.

 

Velita Livingston is the founder of the Cat Lover’s Diary blob which provides rich content with great advice on cat care tips and cat training, teaching pet owners how to protect, pamper and live peacefully with their pets. Visit the http://www.catloversdiary.com to watch the Cat Lover’s Diary Movie, it contains breathtaking images and heartwarming quotes… It will uplift and inspire you! You can also visit the Cat Lover’s Diary on Facebook and Twitter.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 26

Bathing A Cat: 10 Survival Tips

Cute little kitten on towelAll cat owners dread bath time, just like parents with toddlers do. Bathing a cat can be a traumatic and life-endangering prospect for you and your beloved pet. While Fluffy may seem sweet and demure 99% of the time, all bets go out the window when you hold them in your arms and approach a tub, a sink or other body of water. The unfortunate reality for pets and owners alike is that your cat will occasionally need to be bathed in order to maximize health and reduce the likelihood for potential problems. While it may not be an idea that you enjoy, it’s one that will eventually need to be done.

In order to minimize harm to you and your animal, the following tips and suggestions are helpful to make bath time a success – if not a pleasure for all parties involved.

1. Trim nails prior to bathing
Cat claws can be deadly weapons. If you’ve ever held your loving pet in your arms and then dumped out a glass of water or turned on a faucet, you’re probably aware of the dangers. It behooves you to trim your cats nails (all of them, not just the front ones) prior to addressing the issue of a bath. Not only can you avoid having your arms ripped to pieces, you can calm your cat as well. Don’t go straight from the nail-trimming to the bathtub, either. Let your cat relax before showering water over them. Some cats respond to nail-clipping calmly, and others see it as an act of war.

2. Plan your bath time accordingly
Bath time should not immediately follow playtime. If your cat is calm, they’re likely to respond to the prospect of bathing better than if they’re hyped up on catnip or have just played run and dash with their siblings.

3. Start with a calm brushing
Chances are you don’t want a huge mess of hair all over your sink or tub. Before approaching the bath, make sure to remove any loose fur. Brushing a cat also calms them and makes them feel safe and loved – and they’re much more likely to approach the situation calmly.

4. Give them a leg to stand on
Wet surfaces can easily become slippery, and if your cat doesn’t have something steady to stand on, they can become even more freaked out by the process. Put a slip-proof mat or cloth in the bathtub or the sink to allow them the ability to feel secure in a situation that they definitely don’t like.

5. Avoid sensitive areas
You probably wouldn’t want someone to just dump a cup of water over your head, carelessly ignoring the fact that water and soap in the eyes is unpleasant. When initially moistening your pet, take care to avoid getting water directly in their eyes, ears or nose. They will appreciate your sensitivity and will become less likely to try to bite or claw their way free – especially since you’ve already trimmed their nails (right?).

6. Use the correct products
When bathing a cat, don’t make the assumption that your shampoo will work just as well as shampoo especially designed for cats. Human shampoo can dry out your cat’s skin and make it more sensitive, and you wouldn’t want to use a product that could potentially harm them. Make sure to follow the directions for the shampoo that you’re using as well – most cat shampoos require dilution prior to use. Using a solution that is too highly concentrated could have potentially harmful effects.

7. Thoroughly clean the face
Instead of dousing your cats’ face with lukewarm (never hot) water, use a washcloth to gently clean the area. If your cat’s face is particularly dirty, you may have to use shampoo that is even more diluted, but generally regular water works just fine.

8. Rinse thoroughly
You’ll want to make sure that you get all of the shampoo off of your pet before you can call your bath a success. A good rule of thumb is to rinse twice as long as you have shampooed. If shampoo is left on the skin or fur to dry, it attracts dirt and dust and makes the entire point of the bath a failure. Dried shampoo can also hurt and dry your cat’s skin and make it uncomfortable for them – and you definitely don’t want them to ingest it unintentionally as they try to lick the remnants of the bath (and the memory of it) away for good.

9. Dry down
Don’t allow your cat to run away as soon as the water part is over. If they’re left sopping wet in an area that is cold or drafty, it’s easy for them to get sick. Wrap them in a clean towel and remove as much of the excess water as possible. This is also a good time for you to hold them close and reassure them that the hard part is over.

10. Reward for a job well done
If you’ve successfully completed the process, you may be ready for a strong drink – but your cat deserves a reward too. While they may never associate a bath with fun, make sure that they’re aware of how appreciative you are to still be (mostly) intact. Speak calmly to them, reassure them – and as soon as they trust you enough to be within arms’ reach of you again, give them a lot of reassuring petting as well. Leave a treat for them in their bowl or near you and let them know that they did a good job.

 

Velita Livingston is the founder of the Cat Lover’s Diary blob which provides rich content with great advice on cat care tips and cat training, teaching pet owners how to protect, pamper and live peacefully with their pets. Visit the http://www.catloversdiary.com to watch the Cat Lover’s Diary Movie, it contains breathtaking images and heartwarming quotes… It will uplift and inspire you! You can also visit the Cat Lover’s Diary on Facebook and Twitter.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Aug 25

The Norwegian Forest Cat

Norwegian Forest Cat

Norwegian Forest Cat

The Norwegian Forest cat is a brilliant Feline species native to Northern Europe. They are well-suited to their environment and thrive in cooler temperatures and have an ancient lineage that can be traced back to the Vikings (and beyond). This strong, sturdy and intelligent breed is similar to the Northern American Maine Coon. They are bigger than the average house cat and are built for endurance in often-harsh climates. The breed is said to trace its roots back to the Vikings around 1000 AD. They also may have ties to Crusaders returning from Jerusalem. As the breed interbred with feral cats, they morphed into the Norwegian Forest cat primarily seen today. It’s possible that these remarkable animals served on Viking war ships hunting mice and keeping often deadly diseases away from the crew. They have an amazing hunting ability, and served on farms for hunting rodents as well. The breed suffered near extinction due to the incursions of World War II but has flourished ever since an official breeding program was started in 1938. This cat was only known in Norway until mid-1970 when it gained official recognition. Norwegian Forest cats are now flourishing in Europe and North America, and in a typical year over 400 births to the breed are celebrated.

Physical Characteristics
The Norwegian Forest cat does not contain a lot of the sleek and smaller characteristics that are commonly found in domesticated housecats. They’re built a lot sturdier and have incredibly thick, water repellant coats that allow them to survive in incredibly cold climates. They also have characteristically bushy tails. The body is longer than the typical house-cat, and they have markedly long legs as well that contribute to their out-of-the-ordinary climbing ability. They have a remarkably long head/face shape that is often compared to a triangle. The ears have a noted tuft at the tip and are wide at the base. They are fabled to be able to climb cliffs by the strength of their claws alone, and many legends have been built upon this cat’s ability to climb impossible seeming surfaces. They are even able to scale rocks that normal cats would not be able to conquer.

Behavior and Temperament
Norwegian Forest cats are incredibly compatible with human companionship. Usually soft-spoken, they may become more vocal when sharing a house with a dog. They are extremely intelligent and love to play and demonstrate their hunting abilities. While these cats are usually found outdoors, they can adapt to a primarily indoor life, given the correct amount of attention, affection and enrichment. Expect to feed a Norwegian Forest cat more than the average breed. Their larger bone structure and musculature requires more nutrition than the average cat, and this need for nourishment can cause an unexpected strain on the owner’s finances if it comes as a surprise. This is a breed that is full of notable energy. They also require a lot of attention in order to be considered stable, healthy and happy.

Health Concerns
Norwegian Forest cats have a moderate but average lifespan and typically live to be between 14-16 years when properly cared for. They are notorious for certain genetic dispositions such as kidney and/or heart disease due to certain genetic markers within the breed. Norwegian Forest cats are also genetically predisposed to Glycogen Storage Disease type IV, which can be fatal if not treated properly. This disease can be detected in DNA testing – and a lot of reputable breeders require DNA testing before an animal is free to breed. Due to their large bone structure, they may also be susceptible to hip dysplasia. Reputable breeders will check for these genetic dispositions prior to breeding and will often test the litter for health issues prior to their release for sale or adoption.

The Norwegian Forest cat is a companionable and intelligent breed. By giving them the proper amount of attention and affection these beautiful cats can be guaranteed to enjoy a long and happy life.

 

Velita Livingston is the founder of the Cat Lover’s Diary blog which provides rich content with great advice on cat care tips and cat training, teaching pet owners how to protect, pamper and live peacefully with their pets. Visit the http://www.catloversdiary.com to watch the Cat Lover’s Diary Movie, it contains breathtaking images and heartwarming quotes… It will uplift and inspire you! You can also visit the Cat Lover’s Diary on Facebook and Twitter.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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