Friday, October 31, 2008

Have a Purrfectly Wonderful Halloween!

Yup, it's me...your favorite cat fanatic...Keep safe tonight and have a wonderful Halloween!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Spooky eyes,
Long green hair,
Witches and wizards everywhere.
Kitty cats,
A ghost or two,
Candy corn for me and you.
Silly clowns,
Kings and Queens,
So many things you can be!
Pointy teeth,
Knock knock,
who’s there-Trick or Treat!

by ANC Staff and ASPCA

The ASPCA this week issued a set of essential safety tips for ‘pet parents’ to keep furry family members safe and sound during the upcoming Halloween period:

**All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room during peak trick-or-treat visiting hours. Too many strangers in unusual garb can be scary and stressful for pets.

**When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that Max or Mittens doesn’t dart outside. Make sure all your pets are wearing current identification, just in case.

**No tricks or treats: Keep all Halloween candy out of your pet’s reach. Chocolate can be poisonous to animals, and tinfoil and cellophane candy wrappers can be hazardous if swallowed.

**It’s not a bright idea to keep lit pumpkins around companion animals. Pets can knock them over, and curious kittens especially run the risk of being burned.

**Don’t leave your pet in the yard on Halloween. There have been reports of vicious pranksters who have teased, injured, stolen and even killed pets on this night.

**Although the ASPCA recommends that cats remain indoors at all times, it is especially important to keep your feline inside for several days before and after Halloween. Black cats in particular may be at risk from children’s pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. As a safety precaution, many shelters will not adopt out black cats around Halloween.

**Don’t dress up your dog or cat unless you know he or she loves it. If you decide to do so, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe, and doesn’t restrict her movement, vision, hearing or ability to breathe or bark. Avoid costumes with small or dangling accessories that she could chew off and possibly choke on. Make sure an adult supervises pets in costume at all times.

© 2003 Animal News Center, Inc.

By Animal News
Published: 10/30/2003

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Cat Collars & Leads

Most people will happily walk their dog, fewer people walk their cats. You may not be aware that cats can learn to walk on a lead. There are harnesses, and leads designed just for cats. Some cat owners have taken to walking their cats to avoid disputes with neighbours or where road traffic is heavy.

Cat collars are not normally designed to be used with a cat lead. The shape of a cat's head makes it too easy for a collar attached to a lead to pop right off. Instead, collars are used for other reasons. They place jeweled or patterned collars on their cats simply because they like the way these collars look. Other people use cat collars to hold I.D. tags, so that their cat more easily identified as their cats found. Of course, a common reason for putting a collar on a cat is to warn birds of his approach. Collars with bells on them may be a low tech alarm system, but they work. Finally some owners use a flea collar to ward off fleas.

Whatever an owners reason for investing in a collar I would recommend that a snag proof version is used. These are designed to let a cat escape if the collar becomes entangled. Every year many cats are strangled unnecessarily when their collars are caught in hanging articles such the branches of a tree.

Cat harnesses are specially designed to stay securely on a cat, even when the cat is on a lead. You can buy a simple nylon harness for your cat or you can find more deluxe models that look more like padded vests. As long as the harness is completely adjustable, it should work well.

Cat leads can be standard leads or retractable models. Whichever type of lead you choose be sure that it is lightweight enough to allow your cat to move easily under its weight. Retractable leads are ideal for people who want to allow their cats to explore their surroundings in a park or other traffic safe area, but want to keep the cats close by when they are walking to and from their homes.

To train your cat to walking on a lead, you should use a variation of techniques to used to train dogs. Cats like Dogs respond well to praise, the difference is Cats do not respond well to negative correction; so giving a quick tug on the lead when they do not stay at your side will not teach a cat to heel. Instead, praise your cat when he does what you want and ignore him when he does the wrong thing. Be realistic, although you can teach your cat to tolerate a lead, don't expect cats to consistently heel on command.

Like most animals even humans the best results can be achieved when starting training early. The easiest way to teach your cat is to use a lead is to start when it is a young kitten of eight to ten weeks old. Place the harness on your cat and allow it to walk about completely unrestrained. After a few days, add the lead. Be sure that you do not apply any pressure. Once your cat is used to the lead, you can pick it up and teach it that it is ok for you to be on the other end of the lead. Gently apply pressure to the lead and call your cat to you. Praise the cat softly when it responds. Eventually, he will become used to following you when he is on his lead.

About The Author: Terry King runs Parcel Pets - - a leading UK pet supplies web site and has had pets all his life. He lives with his wife Louise, dog Sam, Cat Sabrina and 5 fish!

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

How Safe Is Your Flea and Tick Killer?


Laboratory studies of ingredients in seven popular flea and tick control products reveal adverse health effects in all animals tested. The effects of these well known and aggressively marketed products range from convulsions, body tremors and labored breathing to thyroid cancer, brain lesions, and liver and lung tumors. Yet TV commercials with trusty looking veterinarians pitch only the happy side of these products.

Which flea and tick pesticide are you using on your dog and/or cat? If your favorite treatment contains the active ingredient Fipronil, Imidacloprid, Methoprene, Permethrin, Pyriproxyfen or the inert ingredient Butyldydroxytoluene, Butylhydroxanisole, Carbitol, Ethanol, or Polyvinlpyrrplidone, you need to know about the not-so-happy side of these products as well.

If you think your veterinarian or local pet store would never sell you such a sinister poison, think again.

Advantage (Bayer

Corporation), Adams Spot-On Flea & Tick Control (Farnam Pet Products), BioSpot Flea & Tick Control (Farnam Pet Products), Defend EXspot Treatment (Schering-Plough Animal Health), Frontline Top Spot (Merial Limited), Frontline Plus (Merial Limited), and Zodiac FleaTrol Spot On (Wellmark International) - all contain one or more of the aforementioned active or inert ingredients.
Toxicology and morbidity findings from these pesticide products were gathered over a decade of laboratory testing by the United States Environmental Protection Agency; Occupational Safety & Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor; Extension Toxicology Network; Journal of Pesticide Reform; Pesticide Action Network North America and other sources, with additional information supplied by Material Safety Data Sheets.

Most testing was performed for the benefit of new product manufacturers in order to qualify for

EPA registration. Scientists overdose laboratory animals to determine how much of the product will kill 50% of the test population. Information is then extrapolated and assumptions made that may apply to domestic animals and human beings.
According to laboratory tests, Fipronil (Frontline Top Spot and Frontline Plus) is a neurotoxin and suspected human cancer agent. Fipronil can cause liver toxicity, thyroid cancer, kidney damage, raised cholesterol, lack of coordination, labored breathing, miscarriages and stunted offspring.

Laboratory testing of Imidacloprid (Advantage) on mice, dogs and rats shows this insecticide to be neurotoxic to laboratory animals, also causing a breakdown of coordination, labored breathing, lesions of the thyroid, reduced birth weight, and increased birth defects.

The synthetic broad spectrum pyrethroid insecticide Permethrin (Adams Spot-on Flea & Tick Control; BioSpot Flea & Tick Control; and Defend EXspot Treatment) shows indications of being an endocrine disrupter and the cause of lung cancer and liver tumors in laboratory animals.

Methoprene and Pyriproxyfen (Zodiac FleaTrol Spot On; and BioSpot Flea & Tick Control) are known as insect growth regulators (IGR), both of which restrict the growth of fleas to the juvenile stage where reproduction is not possible. Laboratory testing reveals that Methoprene causes enlarged livers and degeneration of the kidneys.

Unfortunately, few people actually read EPA test results. Fewer still want to hear about the many laboratory test subjects (unwanted dogs and cats) killed during and after the studies in order to determine damage to specific systems and organs. But it only takes a few people with straightforward thinking to bring about change. Are you ready to stop this insanity? There are effective alternatives, as you know.

Today there are totally
natural flea and tick remedies - completely harmless to kids, pets and the environment - made from pure botanical essential oils. Some natural products work fairly well, some don't, and some work much better than the toxic stuff!

The mode of action - the way these natural remedies kill fleas and ticks - is to disrupt the insect's ability to function by blocking a substance called octopamine. In nature, certain plants have developed a natural defense against bugs. These "octopamine blockers" in plants are extracted as oils and used as active ingredients. Octopamine is to an insect what adrenalin is to a human. When blocked from the system, the insect quickly dies. No muss, no fuss. Nobody gets hurt but the bug.

Please begin today to stop supporting the heartless laboratory testing of innocent animals, the insidious cover-up and rush to market of big business, and the unwitting harm we may be doing to our children, our pets, and our planet. - Gary Le Mon's day job is in the insured financial services industry, but his evenings and weekends are spent crusading for animal rights, contributing to dog and cat rescue efforts, and making the Earth a greener, friendlier place to live.


A very scary account of what happened to the cat in the above picture:

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Feeding Cats: Seven Ways To Get A Fussy Cat To Eat

Many cat owners become worried that their fussy-eater will go hungry or will become malnourished. There are many reasons why cats refuse to eat. Here are some tips on how you can encourage your fussy eater to dig in.

If your cat has just recently become fussy about their food, or their appetite has suddenly changed, this could be a sign of illness and you should get him/her checked by your vet.
Here are some tips to entice a healthy cat to eat:

1. Warm the food to body temperature. This will make the food smellier and make it more appetizing. Warm dry food for a few minutes on low heat in an oven or warm wet food in a microwave for ten seconds.

2. Mix a tasty canned food with your cat's usual food to induce your cat to eat. Alternatively, if you open a can of tuna, salmon or sardines for yourself, you can mix some of it in with the cat's food.

3. Don't give your cat more than 10 minutes to eat what is in the bowl. If the food is still there, take the bowl away. Your cat is more likely to eat food that is in short supply and only available briefly.

4. Your cat's nose may not be smelling the food very well. It may be helpful to clean your cat's nose to improve it's smelling ability. This strategy may seem strange but is recommended by a vet.

5. Start the meal by feeding your cat from your hand. Once eating, they will usually continue voluntarily.

6. Place the food in a quiet, traffic-free area of the house or yard. There may be too many distractions or things to upset a nervous cat.

7. Feed your cat a few times a day, in smaller quantities, when your cat asks for it. For most cats a small amount of food at a time is enough. This helps to avoid overfeeding and should stop your cat from looking for food elsewhere.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Why Does My Cat Pee Everywhere?

Whether your cat is old or young, male or female, anxious or mellow, he or she can get the idea that peeing anywhere but the litterbox is a good thing. Many frustrated humans in the past and present have tried nearly everything to figure out why the cat does this - and, of course, to solve the problem.

Here are the first things that you should do when your cat insists on stinking up your house. You'll have to be patient while you work your way through this list, but soon your kitty will be back to doing his or her business in an appropriate place.

  • Your cat needs a full health checkup. In many cases, cats pee right in front of you when they're sick. A urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common health problems, which your vet can treat. Even if that's not what's wrong with your kitty, your vet can track down, and solve, the problem.

  • Cats who are older or who have health problems (joint pains, for example), can't get in and out of the litterbox like they could when they were younger. Make the litterbox more accessible so that your kitty can get in and out.
  • The litterbox itself might be a problem. If you have more than one cat, you might need to put out additional litterboxes. The type of litter and how much of it you use can be problems. You should also change the cat litter and thoroughly scrub the litterbox. The plastic tends to absorb urine smells, which can turn off housecats.

  • Sometimes cats will act out by peeing all over your favorite things. This can be a sign that they're unhappy about something. Try giving your cat more (positive) attention. Extra playtime with his favorite toy can cure the behavioral issue. You can also ask your vet about a product that will help soothe your kitty: Feliway is one example.
  • Tomcats often spray anything that they wish to mark as their own territory. Sterilization can improve this problem.
  • Elderly kitties can suffer from feline dementia. They honestly don't realize that they're doing something wrong when they pee all over your clean laundry. Buy housebreaking pads - the disposable kind that people use with puppies - and put them down where your kitty pees the most often. This won't convince her to use the litterbox, but cleanup will be much easier compared to what you're doing now.
You should do a few things when your kitty decides to mark something in your house.

  • Never hit the cat or rub her nose in the mess. Cats aren't like human children: they don't understand that what they do is wrong. You can deter behavior as the cat is doing it, but trying to teach the cat after the fact doesn't work very well. Instead of scolding kitty afterward, catch her in the act and spritz her with tap water from a spray bottle.
  • Completely clean the marked territory. Even if you can't smell the cat pee, the cat will. That's her sign to continue peeing there. Visit the pet store for a product that removes all of the pet odors.
  • Give your cat plenty of positive attention. Despite the stereotypes that surround felines, cats do bond with their humans. They want our attention and will go to great lengths to get it from us.
Don't worry: you'll track down and solve the problem soon enough. In the meantime, be as patient as possible. Your solution will come and you can resume the carefree relationship

Copyright © 2008, Ian White

Author Ian White is founder of housecarers Housesitting directory

Cats are happier in their own environment. Pet friendly alternative to catteries or cat boarding.

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