Category Archives: Cat

7 Signs of a Cat Emergency

Dec_2013_3Breathing problems, drooling, diarrhea… when do you know if it’s a cat emergency? If you notice the following signs, it’s time to visit the vet stat.

Abnormal urination: This is a very severe condition that can be fatal. It’s caused by a urethral obstruction and happens most often in male cats. Cats with this condition suffer pain and can experience kidney failure, bladder rupture and/or cardiac arrest. The first signs include urinating outside the litter box, straining for small quantities of urine and grooming genitals excessively. Cats with irregular urinary habits should see a vet immediately.

Difficulty breathing or choking: Fluid in the lungs or the chest cavity can cause breathing problems. If it goes untreated, cats might even go into respiratory or cardiac arrest.

Unconsciousness: Poisoning or airway obstruction are a few reasons why your cat could lose consciousness. If you get no response when you call or touch your cat, check her breathing and take her to the vet immediately.

Excessive drooling: While it may be normal for a dog to drool heavily, cats don’t drool this much unless there’s an issue. Mouth burns from electrical cords, contact with poisons and nausea from other illnesses can cause this.

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All About Cats’ Tails

Mar_2014_2Your feline can be aloof and mysterious, but there’s one way to decipher her mood… by watching her tail. Your cat’s tail has both physical and emotional uses. It’s up to you to learn how to read the signals.

Your cat’s tail is used for…
Balance – Like a counterweight, her tail helps her balance when she walks, jumps or sits, especially in tight spots like window ledges. It also helps her make sharp turns when she’s running.

Communication – One of the best ways to judge your cat’s mood is to watch her tail. Here are a few signals your cat may give you with her tail:

  • A tail held straight up in the air shows confidence, excitement or contentment.
  • If your cat holds her tail high with a rounded hook at the end, she’s likely feeling friendly or playful.
  • Your cat is focused and getting ready to pounce if she slowly swishes her tail back and forth.
  • If her tail whips side to side quickly, however, she is likely annoyed or fearful and may get aggressive.
  • When your cat assumes the classic Halloween pose—an arched back and a spiky or fluffed up tail—she’s facing a perceived threat.
  • A tail tucked under her body shows fear or submission.

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Different Types of Cat Toys

Dec_2013_3Is your bored cat getting into mischief? Like people, cats need to stay active both physically and mentally. Various toys will encourage your cat to use her natural instincts, like stalking and chasing prey.

Here are a few toys that will get her moving…

While “fetch” is not in your cat’s vocabulary, a ball is sure to be one of her toy favorites. A rolling ball looks too much like a running rodent. How can she resist chasing it? To make it even more fun, buy balls stuffed with catnip or other enticing aromas, balls with bells inside or balls that light up.

Wands are one of the simplest cat toys, yet one that promotes the most activity. A wand is a stick with a piece of fabric, ribbon, yarn or even feathers hanging from it. To encourage your cat, wave, flutter, twitch and circle the wand around her. She will instinctively want to pounce on what looks like a bird or insect.

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The Wonders and Dangers of Spring for Cats

Mar_2014_2  The warm weather and longer days of spring are around the corner. It’s time to take some precautions to ensure your cat avoids spring dangers, even if she doesn’t venture outdoors.

Check for Antifreeze

Even a small amount of antifreeze can endanger your cat. Make sure that all traces of antifreeze are put away and inaccessible. Common places to check include in and around your garage and near your driveway.

Spay or Neuter

With spring comes mating season and if your cat isn’t fixed, it could lead to some mischief. Help control the cat population and be sure to have your kitty spayed or neutered.

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Senior Cat Care Tips

Mar_2014_2While we may wish our cats had nine lives, they only have one. But you can do all you can to make your cat’s single life the best possible. When your feline reaches 10 years of age, she’s considered an ‘elderly’ cat. To ensure she’s comfortable, you may want to make a few changes in the care you give her.

Here are some tips to keep your senior cat comfortable and healthy.
Plenty of water
Water is the key to preventing kidney issues, which are common in elderly cats. Always have fresh water available and pair her food with water.

Trim nails
Keep your aging cat’s nails neat and trim. Nails become more brittle as cats age and they can crack, chip and cause pain. To keep your cat comfortable, check her nails regularly and clip them when they’re getting long.

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A Message From Your Cat: Why I Need My Hiding Places

Mar_2014_2Dear Keeper of the Food:

It’s me again, your fantastic feline, with a little message about the importance of preserving my hiding places. Remember the fun box you got rid of the other day? I know the box was looking a little worn from my attention, but it provided much fun and was a fabulous hiding place.

I need my hiding places, because…

1. I may want to hide, of course.
That friend you brought over last week with the sticky child did not understand that only a select few can play with my fabulous self (unless treats are involved).

2. They’re secure places for me to relax and de-stress.
After spying on the neighbors from the window, playing with my toys, I need secure places to unwind from the stress of it all. I guess I could do the same under the bed or in the closet, but I’m also happy in a box or at an elevation (or better yet, both). Speaking of elevations…

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Bad Cat Habits and How to Correct Them

Mar_2014_2Cats are famous for doing what that they want, when they want. They scratch at walls, jump on furniture and spray areas they shouldn’t, among other things. You might think your feline companion is being stubborn or willful, but the truth is your cat is just being, well, a cat.

With diligence and some helpful tips, you can turn your cat’s bad habits around.

When combating any bad habit, keep these essential steps in mind…

Try to figure out why she does it or what she gets out of that behavior

Offer a substitute that will give her the same result or better

Reward her for using the alternative

Here are some examples…

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Enjoying the Holidays with a Curious Cat

Mar_2014_2If you have a cat, you’re sure to have a curious cat. While your feline may love the holiday decorations and blinking lights, help her keep out of mischief by keeping certain dangers away.

Use these tips for a cat-friendly holiday.

Holiday plants: You may love kissing under the mistletoe, but chewing on it can cause an upset stomach for your cat. Keep mistletoe, holly and other holiday plants at a safe distance or better yet, use artificial varieties.

Holiday leftovers: Holiday food is too fatty and spicy for your kitty and may affect her diet. We suggest a special cat treat instead.

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Tips for Senior Cat Care

Mar_2014_2As your feline companion gets older, she will need extra TLC to stay healthy, comfortable and happy. To keep her feeling young at heart, adjust the way you care for your senior cat and tend to her special needs.

Here are some tips that will help you keep your kitty healthy once she reaches her golden years:

Switch from Dry to Wet
If you’ve been feeding your cat dry food, make the switch to canned or wet food as she gets older. Kidney problems are not uncommon in senior cats and increasing her water intake may help avoid these issues while easing digestion.

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Tips for Keeping the Peace in a Home with Multiple Cats

Mar_2014_2Do you love the idea of multiple kitty companions? While it may double your cuddle time, keep in mind you’ll be taking on the role of cat referee as well.

Cats naturally try to assert their dominance, which often makes it tough for them to get along. Cat fights are not unheard of in homes with multiple cats; in fact, they’re pretty common. If you want to avoid stress, follow these tips for keeping the peace.
Take Introductions Slowly
It’s very likely your cats won’t get along well at first. In fact, if a new cat is suddenly introduced into your home, your current cat will likely get defensive and try to mark her territory. The new cat will want to make her mark as well.

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