Category: Cat (Page 2 of 8)

Why You Should Give Your Cat Treats

Why give your cat treats

Playing with your feline friend and petting her are great ways to show your affection. Another way to share your love is by giving her treats – nutritious treats.

There’s no doubt you feed your cat a well-balanced diet, so you may be wondering why you should add treats as well. Read on for a few reasons why it may help.

Change Things Up
Everyone likes variety in their diet, even cats. Giving your furry friend a treat of a different flavor will change things up and can add a little excitement to the menu.

Keep Teeth Clean
Dental hygiene is as important for cats as it is for dogs, but brushing a cat’s teeth is a greater challenge. Instead of using a toothbrush, give your cat a treat to keep her teeth clean. Dental treats especially offer a firm surface that can help remove tartar and plaque.

Great for Training
Are you trying to teach your cat not to claw on the furniture or not to jump up on the countertops? If so, treats are great tools for positive reinforcement.

Reduce Stress
Has your cat suffered from an illness or an injury? Treats may help in this situation as well. Cats are often reluctant to eat after they’ve been sick or have been injured. Offer her soft, easy-to-chew treats that are packed with flavor and she’ll be more inclined to eat, which will help get her back on her regular diet.

Treats can be beneficial for you cat. Just be mindful of how many treats you give her, as too many can lead to a portly kitty!

Visit your Pet Supermarket store for all you cat care needs.

Kitty Hydration Tips

Is your cat drinking enough water? If she’s a picky kitty, it may be a challenge to keep her hydrated. Cats should be drinking two to four ounces of water a day (depending on her weight and diet).

A few hydration tips:

Sparkling Clean H20

  • Refresh your cat’s water every day to keep it from getting stale or contaminated.
  • If she turns up her nose, try filtered water rather than tap water, which may have an odor from minerals and chlorine.
  • Is she on a dry-food diet? Add a little water to her food, but be sure to dispose of it soon after she eats to prevent spoilage.
  • If your cat is on a wet-food diet, she will need less water, but feel free to add a little to her food bowl.
  • Refill her water to the same level daily. This will make it easier to notice any changes in her water intake.

Water Bowl Protocol

  • Wash her bowls often and rinse all traces of dish soap, which can burn her tongue.
  • Some cats don’t like having their water next to their food, as in a double feeder bowl. Try separate bowls instead.
  • Try a ceramic or stainless steel bowls, as plastic may have an unpleasant taste or odor.
  • Some cats don’t like their whiskers touching the sides of the bowl when they drink. A wide, shallow bowl is best in this case.
  • If your cat prefers to drink running water, get her a water fountain. It can provide a continuous flow of fresh, filtered water. It can also be a source of water play!

Visit your Pet Supermarket store for all you cat care needs.

7 Signs of a Cat Emergency

Breathing 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.

Chronic vomiting: This often occurs after intestinal blockage from a ribbon, rubber band or string and needs immediate attention.

Continuous diarrhea: A variety of causes can lead to diarrhea, including poison, infectious diseases and more. If it continues, it can cause severe dehydration and worsen quickly if not addressed right away.

Pale or discolored gums: Pale gums imply anemia, bluish gums suggest a cardiac or respiratory problem and yellow gums point to liver disease. See a vet immediately for any of these signs.

Enrich Your Cat’s Life with These Activities

She sleeps as long as she wants, is adored and admired by those around her and has a “servant” to attend her needs. Yes, your cat seems to have the life of the rich and famous. But is that the best life for your cat?

Despite what it seems, your indoor cat may be bored. She needs an environment that keeps her healthy, both mentally and physically. Veterinarians call it “environmental enrichment” and it can be as simple as providing the right toys and helping her relieve her stress or aggression.

Enrich your cat’s life with…

A variety of toys
Rotate your cat’s toys into use so they seem new and fresh again. Some fun options that will keep her busy include:

  • Wand toys with danglers – Cats love to pounce on a dangling feather or string.
  • Treat-dispensing toys – Treats in a toy. What could be better from a cat’s point of view?
  • Catnip toys – Most cats say yes to catnip!
  • Interactive toys – Puzzles or toys with moving parts will keep her guessing.

Boxes, bags and other curiosities
Did you get something in the mail? Have extra packaging, bags or boxes? These are often enough to keep your curious cat entertained for a day or two.

Cat furniture and high perches
Cats need to climb and love to sit in high places. Indulge this instinctual behavior with cat trees, cat furniture and cat shelves she can climb.

A window seat or perch
Does your cat like to watch the action outdoors? If you don’t have a window sill or ledge, move a piece of furniture close to a window or install a window perch just for her.

Play time please
It goes without saying that your cat also needs your attention. She won’t admit it and may act aloof, but 15 minutes of play time can go a long way!

Visit your local Pet Supermarket for fun and entertaining toys for you cat.

Helping Your Cat Deal with Allergy Season

Does your cat have allergies?

If she exhibits any of the following symptoms, the answer is likely yes:

  • She sneezes, coughs or wheezes
  • She is constantly scratching her skin when exposed to certain substances
  • She has itchy and runny eyes
  • She exhibits issues with her digestive tract, such as vomiting or diarrhea
  • She has itchy ears or gets ear infections often
  • She snores
  • She chews on her paws or the pads of her paws are inflamed

What Could Cause Your Cat’s Allergy?

Just like in humans, there are a number of things that can cause allergies in cats. Some of the most common allergens for cats include:

  • The pollen from trees, grass and weeds
  • Mold, mildew and dust spores
  • Fleas and the products used to control fleas
  • Prescription medications
  • Food
  • Perfumes or colognes
  • Household cleaning products
  • Cigarette smoke
  • The fibers in certain fabrics
  • Rubber or plastic

How to Handle Allergies in Cats

If you think your cat has allergies, it’s important that you take action to get her the help she needs. If left untreated, allergies will not only make her uncomfortable, they might also be life threatening.

The first step in treatment is to visit the vet. Your veterinarian will do a complete background check, asking you questions concerning her physical environment and the things she is exposed to before her reactions. The vet will also conduct a thorough physical exam. Skin or blood tests may also be ordered.

If your cat does have allergies, your vet will recommend the best treatment plan. Options for treatment include:

  • Preventing exposure to the allergen
  • Topical medications that can be applied to rashes
  • Oral medications
  • Clearing her environment of allergy-causing items. For example, you may need to avoid perfumes or certain household cleaning products.

Visit your local Pet Supermarket for hypoallergenic toys and treats!

Fun Feline Facts

Cat Facts

We’ve long been friends with furry felines—since the days of ancient Egypt in fact. During that time, we’ve learned quite a few things about them.

Here are a few feline facts you might not know…

  • Cats can purr continuously as they inhale and exhale.
  • Cats are one of the few mammals that can’t taste sweetness.
  • Cats do not have sweat glands. They sweat through their paws.
  • Cats can hear high-frequency sounds and have better hearing than dogs.
  • Cats have five toes on each front paw, but only four toes on each back paw.
  • Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.
  • A pack of kittens is called a kindle, while a pack of adult cats is called a clowder.
  • A cat’s tongue is scratchy because it’s lined with papillae—tiny backwards hooks that help hold prey in place.
  • A cat’s nose has ridges in a unique pattern, similar to human fingerprints.
  • An adult cat can run about 12 mph, and can sprint nearly 30 mph.
  • A cat can jump as much as seven times its height.

Visit your local Pet Supermarket for fun toys and tasty treats for amazing feline companion.

How to Give Your Indoor Cat Outdoor Play Time

Does your indoor cat spend any time outdoors? With a little preparation and the right outdoor space, it’s possible to give your cat safe, supervised play time outside. Here are a few tips…

ID and shots are a must
The first vital step is to make sure your cat has a collar with an ID tag. She should also be neutered and up-to-date on vaccinations.

Create a safe outdoor space
Depending on your home and yard, there are a few ways you can create a safe outdoor space for your cat. Options include:

  • Creating a fenced-in area: If it’s high enough, a fence can keep your leaping feline in and others out. Wire mesh or other materials along the top of the fence can help keep her from climbing out. A fenced-in area similar to a dog one will also work for cats.
  • Using a kennel or cage: A large portable kennel or cat playpen can give your cat some outdoor time as well. If you use this option, be sure she has a shaded area to sit in.
  • Cat door: Do you have a screen-in porch or a contained yard that’s safe enough for your cat? Install a cat flap or pet door to let her go out when she prefers.

Ready for a kitty walk?
If your home or yard doesn’t offer enough outdoor space, try walking your cat instead. With a little training, your cat can enjoy outdoor strolls and keep safe while doing it. Here’s how…

  • Kitty on a leash – Walking on a leash is something your cat must be taught. Train her in a quiet area where she won’t run into other pets or people and use a lightweight leash with a collar or harness. With enough training, she might enjoy talking a neighborhood stroll.
  • Cat in a stroller – If your kitty doesn’t like walking on a leash, she may be more comfortable in a pet stroller. Strollers with enclosed mesh screening will keep her safe, while allowing her to enjoy the sights and sounds of the outdoors.

As your cat enjoys her outdoor time, be sure to protect her from lawn chemicals, parasites and other animals. Visit your local Pet Supermarket for leash and outdoor pet products.

All About Cats’ Tails

Your 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.

Overall, your feline’s tail is a delicate instrument that serves a physical purpose and is an emotional barometer. Take care that kids don’t injure her tail by pulling on it. This can stretch or tear the nerves at the end of the spinal cord and can affect her ability to walk and may also cause pain and incontinence.

Different Types of Cat Toys

Is 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…

Balls
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
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.

Toys with Attractive Materials
Certain materials stimulate the senses and attract a curious cat’s attention. Try toys with…

  • Materials that crinkle or jingle
  • Materials that have an added flavoring, like catnip, fish or fowl
  • Wool, faux fur or fleece, which your cat will enjoying feeling
  • Feathery materials or ones with lights and parts that move, which will grab your cat’s eye

Keep your curious cat active with a healthy dose of play!

The Wonders and Dangers of Spring for Cats

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.

Check Your Garden

Cats love to explore and one of their many favorite places is the garden. If you allow your cat to roam the garden, first look it over for any poisonous plants or sharp tools.

Groom Her

Another sign of spring? More hairballs. As a master groomer, she’s likely to take up hair while keeping clean. But serious issues arise from trapped or undigested hairballs. There are hairball remedies and laxatives that can help. To prevent hairballs, it’s best to brush your cat regularly. It’s a good habit to develop and can be enjoyable for kitty as well.

Protect your cat from harm this spring and keep her entertained with toys.

Senior Cat Care Tips

While 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.

Keep a closer eye
Cats are very good at hiding their emotions or pain. If yours is in pain, she isn’t going to come to you and ask for help. It’s up to you to keep an eye on her behavior. If your cat is more reclusive than usual, or if she seems more sedentary, make an appointment with the vet. There’s a good chance she’s feeling uncomfortable and that discomfort could be due to a bigger, underlying issue that may need treatment.

Feed more often
Like human bodies, the bodies of aging cats experience muscle waste. To fight this problem, encourage your cat to eat as much as possible. Instead of giving her just one large meal a day, give her several smaller meals throughout the day. This switch will ensure she’s getting the protein, nutrients and fats she needs to stay healthy.

If your cat is approaching 10 years of age, be aware of the extra care she’ll need. Aging cats, like humans, need extra love and attention to live a comfortable, happy life.

For all you cat’s nutritional needs visit your Pet Supermarket store.

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

Dear 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…
  3. They’re cozy hideaways where I can look down upon my subjects.
    The hiding spot on my climbing tree is the perfect example. It keeps me warm and cozy while I look down and watch the others, like Scruffy, who are tolerated in my domain. Fair warning: do not think of removing this hiding spot if you want to keep your cuddling privileges.

There should be no excuses now. I’ve given you good reasons why hiding places are vital to my calm, stress-free self.

Sincerely,

Your sophisticated, hiding-place loving feline

Bad Cat Habits and How to Correct Them

Learn which plants are poisonous to cats.Cats 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…

Clawing the furniture
Cats use their claws for hunting and need to keep them sharp to catch their prey. Even your house cat has that innate hunting instinct and tries to sharpen her claws. To help her change this behavior, use these tips…

  • Get a scratching post and place it next to the area she normally scratches. Show her how to use it by gently running her paws over it.
  • When she uses the post, reward her with a treat or your attention. This will make her more inclined to scratch on the twine, carpet or fabric of the post.
  • While you’re training her, keep her claws trimmed to minimize damage and cover your furniture, if possible.

Not using the litterbox
There are various reasons why she may be urinating outside of the litterbox. While you can’t offer her an alternative, you can try to determine the cause and try to renew her trust in the litter box. Make sure there isn’t a health problem first, then try the following:

  • Clean the litterbox each day as she might find it too dirty.
  • Is it the size of the litterbox or the type of litter? Get a properly sized box that gives her space. If the size isn’t an issue, try a different type of litter.
  • Place the box in an area that’s easy to reach, but still private enough that she feels safe and won’t be bothered by other pets.

Jumping on the counters or furniture
Cats are innate climbers and your furniture and countertops provide them with great views. However, you probably don’t want cat hair all over the counters and your furniture. To limit the jumping, try the following:

  • Offer a climbing tree or cat furniture that can offer a higher perch from which to view the area.
  • Provide a window perch or area where she can view the outdoors.
  • Reward or praise her for using these items and try to deter her from reverting back to her bad habit.

Praise your feline friend for her good behavior and you may just find that those bad cat habits will disappear.

Enjoying the Holidays with a Curious Cat

If 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.
  • Holiday candles: Fires are caused every year by candles that have been knocked over by pets. Keep lit menorahs and holiday candles out of kitty’s reach.
  • Garland and tinsel: These items are especially attractive to cats, but often cause choking. Avoid using them as decorations altogether as they lead to choking and intestinal blockage.
  • Christmas trees: Beware the hazards of live Christmas trees, including toxic sap, sharp pine needles and harmful preservatives in the tree water. Also, don’t use ribbons on gifts under the tree. They can be harmful if ingested by your kitty.
  • Holiday stress: Don’t let your cat get stressed by the added guests and noise that are part of holiday celebrations. Give her a quiet room or area where she can retreat, get food or water and stay away from the activity.

Tips for Senior Cat Care

As 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.

Pay Attention to Her Behavior
Cats don’t always show obvious signs of pain. Pay close attention to how your feline friend behaves. If she usually loves a good scratch and a cuddle, but is suddenly reclusive, stand-offish or walking differently, take her to the vet. She may need medical attention.

Examine Her Eyesight
While you might not be able to take your cat to an optometrist, you can look out for signs that she is having trouble with her vision as she ages.

Cataracts are not uncommon in cats. Check her eyes for visible signs that cataracts are starting to develop. Also, if it seems she’s walking into things, missing ledges or not moving as smoothly as before, consider taking her to the vet to have her eyes examined.

Be Supportive
Just as an aging relative would require care, so will your cat. Give her extra love and attention as she is looking to you for the support she needs in this time of her life.

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