Toilet Training Your Cat

Toilet training is one of the major areas of worry for new cat owners. However, you need not panic because toilet training your cat isn’t all that difficult. All you have to do is make your cat understand that it can litter only on the litter tray.

There are a few important things that you need to take care of if you want your cat to be properly trained in this aspect.

The first thing is the placement of the litter tray. Keep it somewhere nice and quiet where that cat will not be disturbed. Anyone would hate to litter in front of others and the same goes for your cat. Find a good place and stick to it. Never make the mistake of shifting places of the litter tray as it will perplex your cat to no end!

Another key factor in toilet training is the frequency of cleaning the toilet tray. You have to realize that cats are extremely clean animals. They love to stay clean and fresh and would hate to litter in an already dirty tray. A big mistake that cat owners often make is that they do not clean the litter tray frequently enough and then wonder why the cat has suddenly rejected it. So the next time you see that your cat, who usually uses the litter tray without any fuss, has stopped using it, know that its time to clean your beloved pet’s litter tray.

Once again, different cats will have different notions of cleanliness and so you have to see what suits your cat best. But generally speaking, cleaning the litter tray every alternate day is a good option.

Once again, training your cat about anything involves patience and when you bring a kitten home, you have to take time to help your kitty understand all about toilet training. The kitten that has just been brought home has no clue about toilet training and you have to undertake an effort to help them learn. You have to start understanding the signs. You have to understand when your kitten is about to relieve itself. Generally, they feel nature calling after eating or drinking. A sign that they are about to litter is their sniffing about. When you spot your kitten sniffing around the floor looking for a place, gently place it on the litter tray. Slowly, your cat will understand that the litter tray is the place where they are meant to excrete.

Overall, if you keep repeating this process, then the cat will eventually learn to relieve themselves in their litter tray. Just be patient and persistent and you will be rewarded.

All that giving your cat the proper toilet training requires is patience and understanding. With both these important qualities, you will soon be successful in toilet training your cat.

Pamper your cat with a cat tree

You may have noticed that sometimes your cat starts acting as if its gone mad! It keeps on prancing about the house as if it doesn’t know what to do. Well, so you can see that your cat has loads and loads of reserve energy and it needs proper exercise to channel this energy.

The solution is a cat tree. It is a great toy that makes your cat spend all its energy by playing. A cat tree is an absolute necessity in any home that has a cat. The cat tree, as the name suggests is a kind of a toy tree with many branches. There are numerous varieties of the cat tree available and you can get one that suits you.

If you have a big house with very high ceilings, you can buy the cat tree that is very big and has many levels and in built toys. However, if you have a smaller house, you can buy a smaller cat tree that suits your space.

The cat tree is a great toy that your cat will love playing with. Even you will have a good time minus the mad and energetic sprees of your cat. In case your house really does not have the space required to accommodate even a small cat tree, then you can opt for the scratcher which will also give your cat some much needed exercise.

The cat tree, though a very good toy to invest in, is definitely not the only option when it comes to cat toys. There is a wide range of furniture and toys specifically designed for cats. One of the most important things for your cat would be its bed.

Cats love their little naps and falling asleep is one of their best talents. Remember Garfield? Apart from the bed, there are many other things available for your cat. Like jewelry designed especially for your cat. You could also go for a cute collar, a new water dish and a food dish, great new toys and special litter boxes as well.

There is no dearth of things to buy for your beloved feline friend. In case you are wondering where you will get all this stuff, just do a little search on the internet and you will find endless sites offering you loads of kitty stuff. You can do online shopping and get the things that your pet cat needs.

You will get a lot of variety in the net and you can even compare the stuff different online shops are offering and that too at the click of a mouse. Well, be it the tree house or the scratcher or the new litter box, the mouse surely does a great bit for your beloved kitty!

Home made Cat Food

You can actually make good cat food at home yourself by using some flavoring and ground meat. Make sure you avoid mixing in substances that are harmful for cats or those that are toxic in nature. Here is what you will need:

  • Meat grinder
  • Cat food
  • Diet cat food
  • Internet access
  • Pet vitamins

Here is what you should do:

  1. Remember that certain things are not good for your cat. While making your own cat food avoid things like chocolate, pork and bacon, onions, raw eggs, raw fish, milk and bones. All of these can affect your cat.
  2. Do not give it dog food. Cats need up to five times the amount of protein a dog does. Therefore dog food will just not suffice. For the same reason you should not try and turn your cat into a vegetarian.
  3. Tuna has a high amount of mercury in it so keep a limit on the amount you use.
  4. Do not give it too much Vitamin A. If you are giving your cat Vitamin A supplements then limit the amount of liver or don’t use it at all.
  5. You can use cat food recipes that you get off the internet. Look for those that have high protein content.
  6. Use a small amount of vegetables.
  7. Try making this one: Put 4 oz. meat, two (cooked) eggs, 1 tablespoon each of carrot, cottage cheese and sunflower oil. Remember that the meat should be cooked too.
  8. Add flavorings like kelp powder to the meat you cook for your cat. A small quantity of dairy can be used. Do not put in too much milk or use lactose-free milk if possible.
  9. Use some quantity of dry commercial cat food and mix it with ingredients at home so that your cat can get used to eating home-made cat food.

Notes: Talk to your vet about pet vitamins and diet supplements. Don’t keep cooked cat food for too long in your fridge – about three days are enough.  Steer clear of foods that are toxic.

Cat Worms

In their lives, almost all cat have an experience of at least a single form of worm infection; those of the tapeworm and the roundworm being the most common. Infection by worms is something that can affect any pet including the cat, and not only the dog as is widely believed. Normally the cats who are less than six months of age are most prone to worm infection and thus veterinarians suggest cat owners that they get a monthly vaccination for their cat till the cat attains the age of six months. This is also needed since kittens are born with worms that stay in their body. Merely de-worming just kills the worms that are alive, but not the eggs laid by them which may develop further worms.

There are many reasons behind cats getting worms, and this may not only cause inconvenience to the cat, but is dangerous to the family members as well.

The general worm infection in cats is the tapeworm. Consumption of food items that have been consumed by tapeworm can result in this worm infection. This will make the eggs flow into the cat’s body and develop into worms. Besides imposing a threat to the cat’s life, they, as said, pose a danger to humans living with the cat too. So the usage of medicines that can prevent such kind of an infection (for instance, Advantix) and also having regular check-ups for your cat helps a great deal.

Hookworms and roundworms also infect the cat. The consumption of soil or the transfer of larvae during pregnancy or nursing is the primary cause behind such an infection. Due to the mother’s nature to clean the feces of the children with their mouth, the transfer can easily take place if the mother has unchecked worm infection. Roundworms can be seen by mere inspection of the feces of the cat, but hookworms are not easy to identify by simply having a look at the feces.

The treatment of worm infection is a simple thing. De-worming of the cat is one of the simplest kinds of treatment and the medicines administered accelerate the process of de-worming the cat. Also, hygiene should be maintained at the house to prevent chances of the cat getting worm infection.
1.Facts about tapeworms
All the worms are parasitic in nature, which feed in the cat’s body and can cause sickness to them. Transfer of worms can easily take place from cat to cat, and if you have more cats in your house, it becomes a rather simple thing to transfer infection.
There are many segments in a tapeworm and each of those segments contains eggs that can produce further tapeworms. By the process of excretion, it becomes easier to extract out the infection from the cat’s body.

2.How are cats infected with tapeworm?
The transfer of tapeworm and the eggs from one cat to another is the most common cause of infection to cats by tapeworms. Cat fleas are also the primary source of tapeworm in cats. The fleas consume the eggs of the tapeworms which then pass in the stool of the cat, and if the cat happens to consume the flea then transfer of the eggs is not a matter of time. So in order to keep tapeworm infection at bay, make sure that your cat doesn’t consume flea, which otherwise is a perfect recipe for disaster!

3.Symptoms of tapeworms
The behavior of the cat should be checked constantly. If the cats scratch the lick their anus too often, they probably have got the infection. Irritation and losing the appetite are also good indicators of the disease.

If you have the slightest doubt about the cat being infected by worms, take him to a veterinarian for a check-up. A de-worming medicine prescribed by him will almost surely get the cat out of the infection. Make sure you maintain hygiene in the areas where the cat normally resides. Also, make a proper diet for the cat so that consumption of infected food is an option that is ruled out.

Keep fleas at bay to prevent chances of the cat being infected by tapeworms. As said earlier as well, a de-worming medication prescribed by the pet will keep the worms at a mile’s distance from the cat.

Pampering your cat with a cat house

It is generally seen that houses where there are two pets, that is, a cat and a dog, the god gets the best of things and the cat loses out on many things. Your dog gets the toys and the kennel and walks outside the house regularly. But the cat is deprived of many such things. It reminds one of the uneasy comparisons of favoritism with children. But even the owners are not really to be blamed. Generally people have a notion that cats are solitary creatures that do not need as much attention and pampering as dogs. But that notion is downright wrong.

Your dog has its own little space, his house. So why don’t you start out with giving your cat its own space where it feels happy and safe? However, unlike the dog’s house which has to be outside your house, the cat’s house needs t be kept inside. It is just the cat’s world within your house.

Numerous cat lovers buy the cat houses to make their pet feel special. So get going and choose the cat house you want to get for your pet.

If your cat is one of those active ones that love climbing, try to get a cat house with multi level rooms. The cats get absolutely thrilled with such a house and it is a very good option in case you have more than one cat at home. In these houses, the rooms are at different levels and they are connected to each other by virtue of tunnels that the cats just love crawling in.

To give your cats some more exercise and help them fight boredom in a more effective way, then you can attach the cat’s toys to the ceiling of the house so that they can jump up and retrieve the toys. Another great toy for your cat in its house would be the scratcher.

In case age is taking its toll on your cat or it suffers from a particular illness due to which much exercise is ruled out for it, you can opt for the cat houses that have many rooms side by side. This gives the cat an option and it can choose its favorite room for curling up according to its mood.

The cat house serves as the special space for your cat where it can be by itself and play. Get a water bowl ready for it and some food and your cat will be all thrilled to have a gala time!

Cat Abscess: Causes And Treatments

Cat abscess is a common complaint that can cause a lot of discomfort for a cat. There are two main types, dental cat abscesses which are a lot like the dental abscesses that we humans can get, and general abscesses which will appear as a lump somewhere on the body. The head and tail are common sites for these lumps but they can be found anywhere.

Both types of abscess are caused by infection. Bacteria such as Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, E. coli and others enter the body and cause a mass of pus to develop.

In the case of dental abscesses there may be gum disease or damage to a tooth. The cat will need dental work which may include removing the affected tooth, and the infection will be treated.

The most common cause of cat abscess on the head, tail or body is an infected wound, often a bite from another cat. This may happen frequently to cats that fight. It is hard to prevent this, although having male cats neutered will make them less likely to fight.

Where the abscess has formed on the body, you will probably notice it quickly while petting or grooming your cat. The lump may feel hard to the touch or you may be able to feel the movement of the liquid pus. Be careful when touching the abscess because it is likely to be very sensitive and the cat may bite or scratch.

There may be a discharge of pus from the abscess, which usually smells bad. It may be yellow or colored orange or reddish by blood. In this case it is better if you do not touch it. Wash your hands with anti bacterial soap if you have any accidental contact with the pus.

You should not try to treat a cat abscess yourself but take your pet to the vet’s office. Vets may take a sample of the pus to establish exactly what the infection is. They may also take X rays to check for any foreign bodies in the wound. However, in many cases they will simply lance the abscess and drain off the pus, if it has not already burst. Often this is done under anesthetic to keep the cat still during the procedure, but it is a very simple operation. The cat will then be treated with antibiotics.

The vet may leave a surgical drain in the body but often times the wound is simply left open. This looks unattractive but allows the abscess to drain completely and it will heal much better than if it were sutured. So trust your vet on this one. You may be advised to keep your pet indoors until the cat abscess has healed completely.

Getting to Know Your American Shorthair Cat

The American fancies it to be a member of the family and will be an excellent playmate for any child. The American Shorthair cat is known for its long life, robust good health and its handsome, good looks. The American Shorthair not only gets along well with kids, but also does really well in households with dogs.

american short hair cat

American Shorthairs possess a beauty and loving nature that is hard to resist. They were popular in the pioneer days for their rat-catching skills. The breed used to be known as the Domestic Shorthair but was renamed the “American Shorthair”, in 1966.

There are more than 80 different colors and patterns from brown patched to the blue-eyed white. American shorthair cats can be shaded silver, smokes, cameos or calico.

Kittens receive their vaccinations at twelve weeks of age and have by that time developed the physical and social stability that they need in order to do well in a new environment.

The American Shorthair is considered to be a true working class cat with its stocky body build and powerful muscles. The American Shorthair will tend to want to overeat so pet owners should be careful to monitor food intake in order to keep their cat healthy.

American Shorthairs should be given plenty of opportunity to play and receive adequate amounts of exercise. The silver classic tabby is perhaps the best-known color combination of American Shorthair.

The American Shorthair gets along well with other pets including dogs and has gentle personalities that are perfect for households with kids. They make good indoor or outdoor cats. Males are larger than the females of the breed.

Salem Saberhagen, the cat on the TV series: Sabrina the Teenage Witch is an American Shorthair.

The American Shorthair is also known for its intelligence, quiet disposition and hardy build. The coat of the American Shorthair is short, thick, and has a hard texture to it. The coat has the ability to protect the cat from moisture, cold and any brambles it may encounter while outside.

If kept indoor an American Shorthair can live, on average, to be fifteen or twenty years of age. The healthy American Shorthair is a low maintenance cat.

It is recommended by vets that they be neutered or spayed and that good grooming habits be formed while they are kittens. The American Shorthair sheds its fur.

Grooming the American Shorthair requires the following grooming tools:

  1. Nail clippers
  2. Metal Comb or Rubber Brush
  3. Chamois is used to pull out loose hair and to clean the coat and add luster.

You do not need to bath an American Shorthair unless it is going to be a show cat.

The American Shorthair although loves to receive attention, is perfectly happy entertaining itself.

The American Shorthair loves to climb up high and needs to have a climbing tree, or it will use your counter, or bookcase.

A typical American Shorthair does not speak. It is comical to watch one, walk up to its owner open its mouth and not have any sound come out. The breed is known for its silent meow.

American Shorthairs love to give “love-bites” to demonstrate their sense of humor and playfulness.

The American Shorthair usually travels well and loves to take short trips. Kittens should be allowed to get used to traveling by car and not just to the vets!

Common Cat Ailments

Several things can cause ear Infections in cats: in the external ear canal (outer ear) infections can be caused by bacteria or yeast although it is rare for cats to have these infections. The most common form of cat ear infection is caused by ear mite infestation.
The biggest clue that a cat has an ear infection is that the cat will shake her head in an effort to get the debris and fluid out of the ear. She may also scratch at the ears. The ears will look red and inflamed and will have an offensive odor to them. You may also see a black or yellow discharge coming from the ear.

Ear mites can create different symptoms such as a black discharge, head shaking and scratching at the ears. Kittens usually have ear mites and not older cats usually.

Other causes of ear infection in a cat may be a foreign body in the ear canal, a tumor or a polyp in the ear canal. A vet must know exactly what is causing the ear infection in order to prescribe the correct medication.

An untreated ear infection can lead to a ruptured eardrum and loss of hearing.

A vet will examine the ear canal with an otoscope that will magnify and light up the ear canal so that the vet can get a really good view of what is going on in the ear canal. The vet using the otoscope can tell if the eardrum is intact or not and can see if a tumor or polyp or even a foreign object is present in the ear canal.

Hairballs and cats seem to go together and a cat owner may feel that it is useless to try to separate the two. Fortunately you can help your cat deal with hairballs. You can add a teaspoon of fish oil to the cat’s food once a week. This will help the cat to pass through the digestive system any hair that may have been ingested. You can also feed your cat bran or canned pumpkin once a day. You can also give your cat grass or other plants to chew that will help manage hairballs.

Fleas are another cause of cat ailment. They can cause itching, and spread disease. Some cats can even be allergic to fleas. Other cats can become emotionally or mentally distressed by the presence of fleas.

Regular grooming can control both the hairballs and the flea problems. There are many flea preparations including collars, fur rubs and flea treatments such as dips and baths.

Cats often have a difficult time making adjustments to changes such as a move. Cats become quite attached to their home and may have emotional or mental distress when they are taken from a familiar home environment and put into a new home. A cat faced with an emotional upset like moving may stop eating, hide, or have a change in behavior.

Teacup Kitten Sneezing

If you respond in a timely fashion, a teacup kitten sneezing is not a big health problem in virtually all cases. Here are some of the causes of sneezing and suggested actions to take to help your kitty get better.

  1. Temperature not normal – The cat’s temperature should be about 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.  A temperature over 103 could mean a respiratory infection.   You should see your veterinarian who will most likely give antibiotics.  Also, giving nose drops can ease the discomfort. If the kitty’s nostrils seem red or sore, you can use an eye ointment, as long as it is not aromatic, and clean her nose several times a day with a warm damp soft cloth.
  2. Something inhaled and lodged in airways – the teacup kitten could have inhaled environmental material that has become stuck in the nose or elsewhere.  It should go away once the kitten has sneezed a number of times.  Usually there will be nasal drainage in this case.  Cleaning products, fragrances, excessive dust, can irritate the teacup kitten just as they do human beings. Other factors could be dust in cat litter, insecticides or any aerosol sprays or asbestos – fiberglass. Other offenders are mold or pollen on houseplants or tracked in from the outdoors.
  3. Cat or Kitten Flue – This flue can be a virus, or bacteria.  If it is bacterial, the vet will treat it with antibiotics. It is not cause for alarm.  However, the infection may linger indefinitely.  Your teacup kitten may sneeze a lot and then stop for quite a while, only to start sneezing again much later.
  4. An abscessed tooth – Cats have a tooth that is close to the nasal passages.  If the molar or teeth next to it are infected, that may be the cause of your kitten sneezing.
  5. Breed of kitten with compressed facial characteristics – Persians and some other cat breeds have the flat-faced appearance. It constrains the nasal passages so that it is easier for kittens to get infections, or get irritants lodged in the airway causing them to sneeze.
  6. A reaction to a rhinotracheitis vaccine – after your teacup kitten receives this shot it may cause sneezing and a runny nose, but only for a few days. If it persists, see your vet.
  7. In closing, if your teacup kitten is sneezing hold off on getting any shots, as the shots will lower their ability to fight off illnesses. Your cat may loose weight if she can’t taste or smell. To counteract this, the smellier the food you provide the better, as the odor will prompt her to keep eating. Typically, the lower quality canned cat foods are the smelliest.

    Congestion can be treated with some drugstore or pet store medicines. You can even try Clortrimeton. Use one forth of a pill 2 times a day to break up congestion. If your kitten’s eyes are dripping you can use an ointment called Terramycin.

    It is important to phone your vet and describe symptoms when you notice your teacup kitten sneezing. Many times, they can advise you without an office visit and you can take care of your kitty and get her well again without spending your whole paycheck at the vets.

Teacup Kitten Biting

Are you having difficulties with teacup kitten biting? First of all you need to distinguish between playful biting and excessive aggressiveness. If your cat is really young and just learning to socialize, it is possible that the biting phase is a part of its development.

If you believe that this is not a passing phase and it the teacup kitten biting is part of an overall pattern of aggressive behavior, there are behavioral change techniques that you can adopt and you can also use the help of cat behavioral trainers.

If you are still in the stage of getting a teacup cat it is worth noting that there are some breeds known to be mellow such as the Persian, Ragdoll and Birman whereas the Burmese and Siamese are described often as boisterous. It you feel strongly that you cannot handle rough and tumble play in your house, you should research and choose a breed known to be docile and less aggressive.

Even if you pick a relatively mellow breed be aware that biting comes naturally because the teacup kitten is learning to work with its natural instincts.

In the wild, a cat will have an opportunity to rough house with his family and enjoy some pawing and biting without necessarily causing any harm. When the cat becomes a domestic pet, it may still need an outlet for these instincts and this energy and as a pet owner you need to facilitate this.

You can make time to play with your teacup kitten and give it your undivided attention. If during the course of this play time the teacup cat bites you, you should say a firm ‘no’ and stop the play at that time. The message that some behaviors can cause unattractive results will get through to the teacup kitten much as it does to a child who is taught to play properly with others.

It is important that you stay consistent in the way you handle biting. Sometimes, if the teacup kitten is really tiny, you may think it is cute and then find much later that the same habit in an older cat is painful.

So, from early on express your disapproval of biting and be emphatic about it. You will be playing the role of the teacup kitten’s family in helping it recognize how much playful aggression is acceptable and when it becomes dangerous. While you do not have to yell at your teacup cat, a laughing “no” will not serve the purpose of communicating a serious message.

You can provide toys and a scratching post that will allow your pet to have chances or opportunities to bite and scratch. A teacup kitten biting a chewing toy is very different from it latching on to your arm or leg. The former is a much better way to provide an outlet without your having to worry about injury and blood loss.

Sometimes the problem of biting occurs when a teacup kitten is trying to tell the owner that she finds something unpleasant or unattractive. So, being carried in a particular way or being touched in a specific spot may make the teacup kitten feel vulnerable and prompt a reaction such as biting. In this case, you can respect your cat’s choices and stop holding it in that particular way and stop petting it in any unacceptable way.

There is also the choice that you can exercise which is to train the teacup kitten to accept your handling and your petting. You can take the precaution of wearing thick gloves. By approaching the problem steadily and without an air of confrontation, you can slowly change their attitude.

Introduce the new behavior in short stretches and move on to comfortable items more quickly. By keeping the handling short and by not prolonging the unpleasant situation you are allowing it to become used to the new context slowly. You can also use food treats to let the teacup kitten know that you appreciate the progress that is being made.

If you find that the episodes of teacup kitten biting coincide with other signs of aggress such as a hunting stance, dilated pupils, fixed stare and swishing tail, you may need to consider using a cat trainer to help in training your pet.

The saying “no” technique may not be enough for an animal that is prone to seeing the situation as a fight rather than play. Sometimes, you may be advised to get another cat so that the two animals can engage each other’s aggressive tendencies.

These cases of overall aggression are not common and as a cat owner you will find that most often teacup cat biting can be easily handled if you are firm and consistent.