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Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Cruelty Of Claw Removal

Cats use their claws for various purposes.  The claws are important to cats, as they are an essential part of balancing.  If you’ve ever noticed a cat jumping and latching on to a high object, you’ve probably noticed that he uses his claws to pull himself up.  When climbing trees, cats tend to use their claws to latch onto the bark and climb towards their destination.

Cats also use their claws for stretching, walking, and running as well.  The claws are also a cat’s primary source of defense against other animals and humans as well.  Most cats keep their claws extremely sharp, as their claws and teeth are basically their only weapons.  The claws are also essential for using the bathroom as well, as cats use them to cover up their mess with dirt.

Cats also use their claws to scratch things, which mark their territory.  Their claws have glands, which contain a secretion.  When they leave their mark on something, the secretion is transferred to the area they scratched.  This is detectable to other cats although not to humans.  Sometimes, they will also scratch something to remove the older claw which will fall off and give them a brand new claw that resides underneath.

As sad as it is, a lot of pet owners choose to put their own possessions above their cat, such as their expensive furniture or carpets.  These cat owners are afraid that they cat will ruin their furniture or carpet, and therefore will choose to get their cat de-clawed.  Getting a cat’s claws removed is a surgical procedure, one that can only be performed by a veterinarian.  The owner will need a good reason though, as a vet won’t do the surgery just to keep one’s furniture or carpet protected.

If you’ve been thinking of getting your cat de-clawed, you should know that the process can totally change his personality.  Once the cat is de-clawed, he will be in pain and confused.  He may not be able to jump in the window or on the couch, and he may not be able to play like he once did.  Some cats, after being de-clawed, tend to get aggressive and bite with their teeth.  To make a long story short, the cat will be completely miserable – which is a tough thing to bear for those who love their cats.

Those who decide to own cats should know that a cat can scratch on occasion.  If someone isn’t prepared to deal with that fact, they shouldn’t own a cat in the first place.  Cats are great pets, although they do have claws and they will use them on occasion.  There are plenty of other great pets out there, if you aren’t up for handling a cat.  If you’re just worried about your furniture or carpet, there are ways that you can keep your cat from scratching on your belongings.

The first thing to do is to get your cat a scratching post and let him know where it is and how to use it.  You can also get a rush mat as well, which will help your cat with his instincts to scratch.  You may have to demonstrate how to use the mat or the post at first, although your cat should catch onto it quick.  Once you have shown him the ropes, he will scratch on the post or the mat – and not your furniture or your carpet.

Although many don’t realize it, there are other ways to protect your things other than getting your cat de-clawed.  Getting a cat’s claws removed is very painful and confusing to the cat, and may totally change his outlook on things.  Before you decide to take the inhumane path of getting your cat de-clawed, you should look into your other available options- your cat will like these options much better.

Heartworm Treatment For Cats

As most pet owners already know, heartworm treatment for cats and dogs isn’t the same. Never, under any circumstances, should you give your cat heartworm treatment that is designed for a dog – or vice versa.  Even though you may own both dogs and cats, you should always give them medicine that is designed for their species.

No matter how you look at it, heartworm treatment isn’t easy.  Your goal is to get rid of the heartworms, although there are several factors that you’ll need to consider.  The first thing to do is take your cat to the vet, as he will be able to run tests to determine just how many heartworms your pet has.  He can also find out how the worms are affecting your cat and if your cat can deal with any side effects that the treatment medicine may impose.

Heartworms are a very serious condition, as the worms will feast on the vital areas around your cat’s heart.  Treatment can be serious as well, especially if something goes wrong.  Veterinarians are trained to deal with heartworms though, in both cats and dogs.  Even though you may be able to buy treatment medicine at your local department store, you should always consult with your vet before you give anything to your pet.

Treating your cat for heartworms may indeed be no treatment at all, as cats are extremely difficult to treat.  The dying worms have side effects as well, often times causing more than 1/3 of the treated cats to end up with serious problems.  Dying worms can become lodged in the arteries of the heart, which are already inflamed due to the worms being there.  When a lodged worm starts to decompose, it can lead to very serious problems.  Pets that have a serious infestation with heartworms may need to spend some time at the hospital, to ensure that they are properly treated.

Some cats may not be able to take a certain type of heartworm treatment medicine.  Depending on the side affects and how the medicine affects the cat, some breeds may not be able to take some of the better medicines.  To determine the best treatment options for your cat, your vet will need to run several tests.  Once the tests have concluded, your vet will be able to tell you the best options available for treatment.

With all diseases, prevention is a lot better and safer than treatment.  Be sure to talk to your vet and find out what heartworm prevention medication is the best to use.  Your vet can tell you what you need to get, and how to use it.  This way, you can prevent your pet from getting heartworms – and the serious side effects and life threatening issues that go along with them.

Great Gifts For Cat Lovers

There are a lot of great gifts that you can give to cat lovers, although photo frames are among the most popular.  Photo frames are very affordable, and make a great gift for anyone who owns a cat or other pet.  Those who own more than one cat will truly appreciate photo frames – as it gives them a chance to show off their pet.  Cat lovers can also frame pictures of their pet for memories as well – and keep them forever and ever.

Before you give a cat lover a gift, you should take into consideration what type of cat the person owns.  There are several breeds out there, including tabby, pure breeds, calico, Persian, and of course the infamous Siamese breeds.  Someone may own several cats as well, which is why you should know a little bit about the breed or breeds someone owns before you get them a gift.

You should take into consideration whether or not the cat lover has an outdoor or indoor cat.  Cats, unlike dogs, are more than happy to spend all of their time outdoors.  Outdoor cats can be a lot of fun, especially if the owner spends a lot of time outdoors.  Cats have a natural urge to go outside, even if the owner has an indoor cat.

Cats who reside indoors are less exposed to sicknesses and common health problems that outdoor cats are exposed to.  Indoor cats are almost always trained to use the litter box, which makes them easy to maintain for their owners.  Nearly all gifts that you can get for a cat lover are designed for those who keep their pet indoors.

If you’re looking for a humorous yet exciting gift, you can always give the gift of catnip.  Catnip is one of the most popular treats for cats, as it’s a naturally occurring plant that has a unique affect on a cat.  Catnip gives off aromatic oils that will often make cats appear to be drunk and very hyper – which is always great entertainment for both owners and guests.  Catnip is completely safe for cats to consume, often times being included with gifts such as chew toys and play balls.

Other great gifts for cat lovers include decorative mats with cat pictures, which you can get personalized for the owner if you prefer.  You can also give cat videos, musical cat dolls, cat shaped mail boxes, toys and treats, and various other goodies that are directed towards cat lovers.  If you do your shopping on the Internet, you’ll find that the possibilities are endless.  Cats are very popular pets – meaning that you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect gift for the cat lover in your life.

Giving Your Cat A Pill

Giving a cat a pill can be a nightmare.  No cat wants something shoved down his throat, and he will fight you tooth and nail to prevent it. Although most cats are small in size, you’d be quite amazed with how much power they actually have.  There are ways that you can get your cat to take his pills, which we will cover below.

The easiest way to give a cat pill is to crush the power into a powdery form by putting it between two spoons.  Once the pill is powder, mix it in with some wet cat food.  Cats that are used to eating dry cat food will see the wet food and think of it as a treat.  They will normally eat it up, unaware that they just took their medicine.

If the medicine happens to be in capsule form, all you have to do is pry the capsule apart then sprinkle the medicine on some wet food and serve it to your pet.  If the food also contains the pill or if your pet is sick, chances are he won’t eat it.  In this event, you should look into a pet piller.  You can get these handy devices from your veterinarian.  They are plastic rods that hold the pill until you press a plunger.  When you get one, you should always get a long one with a softer tip.

When you get your gun, your vet should show you how to use it.  The most difficult aspect of using the gun is getting your cat to open his mouth.  The gun will more or less shoot the pill in the cat’s mouth, and down his throat.  You’ll need to hold him tight, to make sure that he doesn’t wiggle his way loose.  Once you have his mouth open, you’ll need to squeeze the trigger and pull the gun away quickly.  After the pill has been inserted, make sure you give your cat a treat.

If you aren’t comfortable using the gun, you can always try giving your cat his pills by hand.  To do it this way, you’ll need to hold your cat still, and open his mouth with your hand.  Once you have his mouth open, you should aim for the back of his throat and throw the pill in.  Once it is in his mouth, you should close his mouth with your hand and hold it shut for a few moments.  This way, your cat will swallow the pill if he hasn’t already.

If you can’t get any of the above techniques to work, you can always go to a local pharmacy and get them to a make flavored gel or liquid using your cats medication.  You should use this as a last resort though, as it can tend to get expensive.

Common Meanings Of Cat Behavior

A lot of people think that cats work on their own agenda, not paying much attention to their owner – provided they have clean litter, food, and water.  Cats can behave in odd manners at times, which can easily confuse their owners and make it really hard to determine what the cat wants.  As much as cat behavior can be confusing, there are some ways that you can solve common cat behavior mysteries.

A common behavior that almost all cats do is push their heads into any type of object that will allow them to do it.  You’ve probably seen your cat do this before, probably against table legs, TV stands, or another object.  This can be noticed more when you have other people who own animals or those with allergies over at your house.  When a cat notices this, he will rub his head against the person.  In doing so, he will put a touch of saliva on the individual.  In a cat’s mind, he owns what he puts his saliva on.

By putting his saliva on something, that object or person will have a familiar scent.  Although this can be very annoying, you have to understand that other people in your home are seen as odd or weird to your cat.  When a cat does this, he is simply trying to make the visitor belong.  When he brushes up against them and puts his saliva on them, he is trying to put his scent on them – which in his mind will mean that they belong in his territory.

Even though marking someone or something with saliva is beneficial to the cat, saliva is one of the most common forms of pet allergies.  When someone wipes the saliva off of them, the scent will be gone and the cat will go back and attempt to do it again.  Even though it may appear that cats target those with allergies, cats are actually just trying to make the visitor belong at the house.  If the guest simply cannot take the saliva, allow the cat to rub himself on their pants leg a few times.  Normally, this is all takes for a cat to leave the person alone.

Those of you who an indoor cat should expect the cat to spend quite a bit of time lying near windows.  During this time, you may hear your cat make very strange noises or weird movements.  You shouldn’t fear though, as he is simply acting out his hunting instincts.  Whether it’s another cat or object outside moving about, the cat will see it and simply go into his native hunting instinct.

As most already know, cats love to play.  They love to played with, especially with toys.  They will pounce on things on occasion, which should always be expected.  If you try to prevent this type of behavior, your cat will take a very negative approach and you’ll end up with a lot of broken things in your home.  You can always play with your cat using a string, as he will love to chase the string around the room.

The longer you own your cat, the more odd behavior you’ll see him exhibit.  Cats behave in strange ways, although they always have a reason for behaving the way they do.  If you can understand why your cat behaves like he does, you’ll have no problems keeping him healthy and happy.  If you simply pay attention to your cat and the way he behaves at times – you’ll be able to understand him better than ever before

Cats And Ring Worm

Ringworm is a very common form of skin disease that is found in both dogs and cats.  Although its name makes you think otherwise, this skin disease isn’t caused by any type of worm.  It’s actually caused by fungi known as Dermatophytes that feed on dead tissues found in the surface of the skin, spreading them around the skin of the animal.

With cats, there is a certain type of fungi known as M Canis that is found with nearly 95% of all ringworm cases.  Normally, cats will get the ringworm disease from contaminated objects like bedding, clippers, or another animal that already has the disease.  If there are animals in your home or around your house that have the ringworm disease, your cat could very easily contract it this way.

If you have kittens or cats that are under a year old in your home, you should always use precaution, as they are more susceptible to ringworm.  Kittens can easily contract the disease, especially if you allow them to go outside.  They can easily come in contact with a contaminated object or another cat that has the disease.  Kittens take a long time to build their immune system up, and in the meantime they are more apt to get common disease such as ringworm.

The most common symptoms of ringworm in cats are rough or broken hairs, or hair loss around the head or the paws.  Ringworm can easily be identified by a patch of scaly skin on the body that appears itchy and inflamed.  There will also be broken hairs around the patch of scaly skin.  This area is very sensitive, and you should never try to touch it, as it will hurt your cat.

If you notice any of the above symptoms with your pet, you should immediately schedule an appointment with your vet.  If the vet diagnosis your cat with ringworm, he may prescribe ointment or tablets.  What he describes however, will determine on how serious the ringworm is.  If he prescribes tablets to your cat, you should give them with meals.  Ointment on the other hand, is normally spread into the coat, topically.  You should always use what your vet prescribes on a daily basis, to ensure that your cat heals.  The healing process will take time, normally around six weeks or more.

Cats that have ringworm should be labeled as infectious.  If you have children in the house, you should keep them away from your pet. Whenever you handle your cat, you should always use gloves.  Ringworms are contagious, and you should always use caution.  Even though it’s a mild disease, ringworm can result in serious problems due to the slow recovery time and fact that it’s contagious.

Cats And Feline Diabetes

Cats are one of the most popular pets in North America.  They are loving pets, capable of providing you years of companionship.  Like other pets, cats can sometimes get sick.  There are several different types of ailments that cats can get, one of which is feline diabetes.  Feline diabetes is a serious disease, although it can be treated by a veterinarian.

Diabetes is more common with humans than with cats or other animals. The cause of diabetes is actually quite simple.  Sugar, or glucose, is found in the blood.  The level of blood sugar in the body or the animal is kept under control by hormone insulin, which the pancreas produces.  When the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, diabetes is to blame.

The symptoms of feline diabetes will vary.  The most common symptoms include an increase in urine and an increase in thirst.  Other symptoms of feline diabetes include a loss of appetite, weight loss, and a poor coat.  An increase in thirst is easy to detect, as you can easily notice the water dish empty throughout the day.

If you don’t get your cat treated for feline diabetes immediately, the cat will eventually become inactive, vomit on a regular basis, and eventually fall into a coma.  On the other hand, if you get the diabetes treated in time, the cat will more than likely lead a normal and healthy life.  Keep in mind that treatment doesn’t happen overnight – it takes time and dedication.

Cats that have feline diabetes will need to be given food at the same time every day. They should be prevented from going outside as well.  If your cat has diabetes, you’ll need to give him insulin shots once or twice or a day.  Once your veterinarian checks your cat, he will tell you how many shots and how much insulin you need to give your cat.

Before you give your cat his insulin shot, you should always make sure that he has some food first.  If he hasn’t eaten and you give him a shot anyway, he could end up with a hypoglycemic shock.  This can also occur from too much insulin as well.  A hypo can be really dangerous, and should be avoided at all costs.  If your cat gets a hypoglycemic shock and you aren’t around, he may end up dying.

If you have to give insulin shots to your cat due to feline diabetes, you should always keep a watchful eye on him after you have administered the shot.  After your cat has been on insulin for a period of time, your vet may reduce the amount of insulin.  Even though he may have to stay on insulin the rest of his life, he will lead an otherwise healthy life.