How To Prevent and Remove Cat Ticks?

April 29, 2009 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Diseases

The ticks, is the tiny arthropods that bothers the cats very much by preying on the. Ticks are not insects, and are acarina order members. These ticks not only prey on cat but also indulge in disease transmission.  The vets as well as the pet owners have been fighting against these tiny arthropods for years and the fight still continues.

These tiny arthropods trace the potential prey by heat sensors. They get attached to the prey firmly. Thus once reaching the cat the ticks slowly makes its move and reach a part where there is less concentration of the hair such as ear or lips. Then, by inserting its mouthpiece the ticks starts feeding on the cat.

The Tick Removal Process

There are many methods available for the tick removal. Some of the methods such as applying extinguished match or fingernail polish are not full proof as these two only causes the mouth part loosen and don’t trigger of the fall of the tick from the cat.

The other effective way is use of tick removal devices such as tweezers. One should wear gloves while using these devices to pull out the ticks. This is because the ticks may harbor disease transmitting organisms. At times the head of the tick may remains in the skin. In such case nothing to bother much as it won’t harm any more. At times bit of skin too may come off with tick, while pulling, just don’t worry. In general the cat’s immune system will take care of these minor damages. In case you are convinced, the vet’s help can be solicited.

Prevention and Control of Cat Ticks

The control and the prevention of tick is must to keep the pet away from diseases that are transmitted through the ticks. Besides trying to remove the ticks as and when spotted, we should care for not allowing the pet cat to get the tick. The cat house and environment must be free from ticks.  The tall grass or the small bushes needs to removed or at least sprayed for ticks.

Special care needs to be taken while traveling through the tick prone areas with the pet cat.  The market is filled with various procedures such as bathing, dipping, spraying, or powdering to eliminate or kill the ticks. Even topical medications are available for the same purpose. Any one of the above mentioned procedure can be followed for tick elimination as preventive procedure. Tick colors also are very effective in detaching the tick as well as preventing the attachment, which can be tried as and when required.   

It is always advisable to consult the veterinarian before deciding on the medication for tick complaint for cat, because some have the habit of buying counter medication just to save money   or time of visiting a vet. He may suggest spot on products which can be applied on the pet cat as advised by the vet once in a month or as directed by the vet. The vet may advise the use of systemic topical products like fipronil methopre or without it. One should remember that the tick medications of the dog should never be used on cats.

Cats do spray, do you know why?

April 27, 2009 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Behavior

The cat goes near a vertical structure, the tail is being lifted vertically and a small amount of urine is being sprayed from just beneath the tails of the cat. This is a very common scene for pet owners. The sprayed urine hits the ground surface firmly. One can notice very intense quivering movement of the tail [the tip] of the cat at that time. The cat will show intense concentration on its face.

If you consider this as litter box problem, then you are absolutely wrong. It is a kind of communication, [nonverbal nature] of this cat with the other fellow cats. The meaning of this act is that this area is mine. It is like ear marking its area, there by informing the other cats not to enter his domain.

The spray of the cat contains a substance called pheromone. These chemical substances are produced in the cat’s body for this kind of nonverbal communication. In cat’s body, different types of pheromones are produced by different parts. The pheromones are used for attracting mate, defining their boundary, expressing the well being etc. The pheromone combinations are unique for a cat and the combination is not the same in other cat. Just as the finger prints differ from individual to individual, the pheromone combination too differs from cat to cat.

The cats use different ways to mark their boundary. Some cats scratch the substance or surface, some cats leave their faces in a place uncovered, and some cats rub against a particular thing at the boundary. but spraying is the most common method. Males especially, the intact ones are aggressive in spraying. This can’t rule out the possibility of spraying in castrated males, as they too spray if aroused. Female do indulge in spaying practice, but they do so in squatting position.

In general the urine marking can be done either by standing or squating position by the cat.  The volume of the fluid that comes out may be small or can match the regular outflow. The vertical structures are the prime targets. Some cats exhibit virtual marking behavior. Here there is no urine passed and this act is also called as phantom spraying.

Things to do if the spraying is noticed

The vet needs to be consulted to rule out the medical problem possibility.

Neutering the cat is a good idea as this can solve the spraying problem the area needs to be cleaned completely using product that contains deodouriser. Better to avoid ammonia mixed or based products as the smell of ammonia may induce the cat to spray again.

If the pet cat is under any kind of stress, please try to avoid the stress which may be the triggering spraying. Commercial pheromone products can be used to discourage the cat from spraying.

HOW THE LOVELY PET CAT PLAY?

April 24, 2009 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Behavior

Like all the mammals the cats too love to play. Not only the young cats, the grown-up cats too love and enjoy playing. The play not only makes the cat physically active but the mental acumen too gets sharpened. The play is very fun to the cat, which is why even the adult cats involve in it. Watching the cat’s play is good entertainment for the pet owner. Play of course is bit complex activity.  There are three different forms of cat’s play. It is not easy for any individual to separate these three different forms.

The social play

Here the kittens play with their mother, father, litter mates, the pet owner and also with the other pet animals like dog. During this form of play the cats; especially the small ones understand the world and their place in the world. The very personality trait of the kittens has direct impact of their playful activities which continues till their adulthood. As the kittens grow, they stop playing with the littermate and start playing with the pet owner or care takers. At this stage the pet owner can very well confirm that the cat had adapted in to the family.

The object play

Here the kids start playing with the objects. The kittens learn to bat, poke and toss around the objects. The same play tactic is used to deal with the prey. During this crucial learning period, the cats develop their skills to fight and defend themselves from the predators. The pet owner can observe that the cats will almost fight with the toy or object by flipping and encircling the object as if it is her prey. This crucial play period, the cat understands the difference between the animate and in animate things. One can notice the cat jumping out of the toys, run away from it and the cat’s delight of discovering that it is harmless.

The locomotors play

The locomotors play such as running and jumping helps the cat to improve its coordination, strength and flexibility. This locomotor play keeps the cat to remain fit physically and also increases the appetite. Besides this the locomotor play chases away the boredom. It is better to allow the cat to have good locomotor play session at night. This immensely helps the cat to have good night sleep thus helping the owner to have a peaceful sleep without worrying about the nocturnal habit of the cat. In addition to the physical improvement, the cats do improve their emotional aspects during locomotor play.

During the first month of the life the cats will like to see and hear more, than to play. Because nursing and sleeping will tale quite a lot of time during their periods. At that period jingling or crinkly will have very less effect on the kittens. The kittens can’t focus on the object that is moving. They can’t even chase a moving object for want of strength and required coordination.

The second month of the life is the suitable time to engage the cats in play. At 7 weeks the cats will be extremely active. The same intensity level will be maintained till 14 weeks of age. The kittens will start playing without any stimulation but the adults require encouragement to start playing. By making the adult cat play, the pet owner will understand more about his pet thus chasing away the possibility of any behavioral disorder of the pet.

Understanding Separation Anxiety in House Cats

April 20, 2009 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Behavior

Separation anxiety is a problem of children, we all know. The same can affect the cats too. This psychological problem of cat bothers the pet owners most. The separation anxiety in cats is expressed differently, unlike dogs. The cats don’t bay and howl like dogs. They don’t dash and bite the door or even the window sills of the house. They don’t make any attempt to escape from the new environment. They suffer in silence and only the pet owner could understand the uneasiness of the cat.

Separation anxiety, we all know stems from the animal’s low confidence level and the dependency on others like pet owners, fellow kitten or mother cat. Though the expression of separation anxiety is due to environmental factors the susceptibility increases due to genetic factor. e.g.  Breeds like mainecoons are less susceptible whereas the breeds like Burmese and Siamese are highly prone for separation anxiety.    

Separation Anxiety -Signs

There are few signs which can be observed to understand the cat’s separation anxiety. Here they are.   The cat will follow the owner, where ever he moves about in the house.

The cat may express signs of depression when the owner prepares to move out either for work or any other purpose. The cat will start mewing, hiding, slinking away, sulking etc. the cat will start crying, and meowing or moaning once the owner left the scene. This can be observed by the household of the owner.

The cat will not eat in the absence of owner. In some cases the cat will urinate or defecate on the owner’s cloth or property or on the door through which the owner left. At times the cat may indulge in excessive self grooming or destructive behavior or may vomit. 

Treatment- Behavioral

The separation anxiety in dogs can be corrected to some extend by proper training, but in cat the training is tricky and bit difficult too. Teaching "home alone environment "and by training the cat to sleep in the cat bed while the owners is not in the house will help to great extend. We can also make the cat to have a full view of the surrounding by taking her to up-stars. Positioning the windowpane bird feeders strategically   and providing mobile toys helps to some extend to overcome the separation anxiety. The radio can be put on even when the owner is away.

Treatment -medical

Incase the behavioral treatment is not providing the necessary result one can opt for medical therapy. There are many anti anxiety medications available in the market which can be used after the consultation with vet. Medication like clomipramine [primarily dog use], fluoxetine, and buspirone serves the purpose.

Conclusion

The separation anxiety in cat is not major problem as it is in cats, hence same can be ignored. Those who are having the genetically susceptible breeds like Burmese can take extra precaution. The behavioral therapy is best recommended as it has no side effects like the medications.

You see cat arching their back, do you know why?

April 19, 2009 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Behavior, Diseases

 Cats are lovely pet animals. Can you imagine that they can look scary at times? Just imagine "Halloween "cat.  If this cat is looked from the side, the back is arched. The fur of the cat stands on the end.  The ears are flat against back of the head.  The teeth are bare and the corners of the mouth are pulled back.  The nose is wrinkled. The whiskers are rigid and drawn towards the side of the cats head. Looks really scary to imagine is it not?   

If any one sees any cat in this above mentioned state or posture, he can understand that the cat is frightened. The cat in fact is making to look bigger in order to intimidate the perceived opponent.  If the cat is turned to sideways and if the back is arched that gives the largest view of the cat’s body.  The hairs will be standing on its end. The erection of the hair is called piloerection; [ pil in Latin is nothing but hair]. This is similar to the goose bumps that the human being experience. Piloerection is due to the constriction tiny muscles that are present at the base of the hair. Piloerection makes the cat look larger than its original size.

The arching of the back is possible by the cat for the reason that it has 60 numbers of vertebrae which is twice as much as human’s vertebrae. Human beings have 30 vertebrae. The cats have highly flexible body. Their lifestyle which has plenty of relaxing and stretching requires this kind of flexibility.

In cat’s daily routine complex flexing exercise is must. As soon the cat gets up, you can see it stretching the paws in front. You can also see the cat elongating the body and its tail. Then the cat will form an arch by pulling its back. We can’t assume that the cat is frightened, but he practices this shape, so that he can get to the same position if required.

Please be informed that cat is not the only animal that has these unique features to threaten the predators. So many animals have different postures for the same purpose. The cobras form a hood, lizards to look big hold the inhaled air inside the body, the fishes change their color shade and extend their fins and the dogs raise their fur. All these postures are the gift of the nature to these animals in order to protect them from their potential predators.

Painful Defecation in Cats – Dyschezia

April 16, 2009 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Diseases
Dyschezia is nothing but the technical term used to describe painful or difficult defecation. In some cats the dyschezia is temporary, where as in others the same can assume more severe form. Hence ignoring painful defecation that persists for long time is harmful.

In general the dyschezia is due to some kind of disorder of the rectum or colon. The same can also be due to the impediment either in the anus or perineum. Perineum is the part that seen around the anus of the cat under the tail region. The dislocation or the fractures of the pelvic bone too can result in painful defecation called dyschezia . One may wonder why? The reason is that the colon passes through the canal which runs through the pelvic bones.

The cats are more prone to urinary tract infection [especially lower urinary tract]. This result in difficulty in passing the urine called as stranguria or dysuria [denotes painful urination]. Many pet owners are likely to confuse dyschezia with either dysuria or stranguria. Hence veterinarian consultation is the best way out to diagnose the dyschezia.

Causes

The possible causes are many. Here some of theme. Severe constipation, inflammation of the colon or rectum,  cancerous growth or polyps in the rectum or anus, presence of foreign objects in rectum or colon, , narrowing of the rectum or colon or anus, infection of the anal sac,  matted hair presence around the anus, injuries, and fractures of the pelvic bone as discussed earlier.

The thing one need to look for diagnosis.

The cats will any one or more of the things mentioned below which suggests that it has dyschezia problem.  Reluctance for defecation, blood  presence in stool, loss of weight, poor appetite,  straining while defecating, vocalization at the time of attempting defecation or distress expressed and diarrhea. 

Diagnosis

Though the symptoms suggest and indicate the problem to some extent, for confirming the diagnosis, the vet requires conducting few tests. Here they are. Complete blood count, urine analysis, examination of the faces, flexible scope examination of the rectum and colon, biochemical profile of blood and urine, palpation of the rectum, anus, and abdomen.

Treatment

There are many ways to treat the dyschezia symptomatically, but more opt treatment will depend on the diagnosis of the underlying cause. Clipping of the hair around the anus helps in some cases. Washing the perianal area helps in other. Enemas, use of stool softeners and fluid therapy can be attempted in some cases, especially in constipation or obstruction.

In case of dyschezia arising due to colitis or proctitis high fiber diet offers beneficial results. Stool softeners are beneficial for stricture management and to heal the fractures of pelvis. Incase the infection is the root cause of the problem; antibiotic therapy is the best option. Strictures, tumors, or presence of foreign bodies warrant surgical intervention.

 

Effective Heartworm Medication For Cat

April 15, 2009 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Diseases

Heartworm medication is in general referred as HWP by most of the veterinarians in the abbreviated form. The same can also be termed as heartworm prevention. The consultation with the experienced vet is the best way to counter heartworm infection.

Heartworm infection of your lovely pet cat depends on lifestyle of the pet as well as the region in which they are domesticated. The above mentioned factors and the general health and immune level of the cat will be considered by the vet in prescribing the product selection to counter and treat the infection

There are many safe and best medications are available in plenty in the vet medication market. The selection of medicine is of course the sole discretion of the vet. There are certain features that need to be considered while prescribing the heartworm medication of the cat.

The vet will consider the following points before prescribing the same:

Whether the medication is approved by the BVM or not?  The size of the dog, the dosage of the medicine, the effects and the side effects of the medicine, the presentation of the drug, the ingredients, the price of the medicine, the guarantee and the administration route and the duration of the drug.

In principle, the medicine selected by the vet should be effective, easy to administer, less frequent administration and should have less side effects.

Most of all, the medicine must cost effective. The dosage will be of course decided by the vet depending on the size, more appropriately the weight of the pet.  Using the drug that performs more that one function, such as preventing the worms as well as removing the root cause of the problem by killing the fleas from which the worms originate.

Likewise some pet owner may prefer pills instead of topical applications and vice versa. The owner has the liberty to express his liking in selecting the route of drug administration.  

The pet owners do need to buy the medication recommended by the vet. In case of non-availablity, the vet needs to be consulted for alternate medicine instead of making his own choice or leaving it to the drug shop employee’s whims and fancies. The dosage and the duration should be in line with the vet’s advice without any deviation.

Understanding Cat Breeds

April 12, 2009 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Breeds

Cat breeding have been performed by themselves for the last thousands of years. Our ancestors used the cat breeds for only one purpose- killing and hunting rodents. Now days we began to breed cats according to our desire. At present, there are numerous breeds of cats – which you can assess if you have taken a close look.   

In the cat registries there are 70 distinct cat breeds. But some of the cat registries register only 40 breeds or so, as they didn’t include the more wild breeds such as tigers. 

Some cat breeds have a deep history. Say, Japanese Bobtail, a Japanese breed is having a good old history of 1000 years. These cats were very well known and common throughout Medieval Japan. 

The common cat breeds, which are abundant in North America, include the Persian cat, longhaired cat and alley cat. Although Siamese cats are known for their foul temper and destructive behavior, it is having their own pet owners through out this world. 

If you want a loving companion, then you can prefer to rear Persian cats. Persian cats are really popular cat breed among the pet owners although it is more expensive. The cost of a Persian kitten depends on the factors- what type of Persian cat it is and where you get it. 

In North America, the next best cat breed is Alley cats. Although there are several different breeds of alley cats, most of us call to them as alley cats. This cat is really a GOOD pet. As we know cats are prolific breeders, the Alley cats outnumbered any other breeds in North America, as there are hundreds of them in the streets of North America. 

You can easily find out the breed of the cat by means of its appearance. Some people classify the cat breeds on color. But identifying a cat based on the color is not an easy task except Siamese cat. Most of the Siamese cats are almost black. You can easily identify a Persian cat by their hair and body type. 

Do you know cats were the first pets of the human race? Although there are different breeds of cats are in existence, only few breeds got good patronage among the cat owners. No matter what breed you’re having – you’re sure to have a pet that brings a great joy for years and years to come.

How To Stop Cat Spraying?

April 08, 2009 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Behavior
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You will be in real problem once your cat starts to release urine on the door or other objects in your home. This is called spraying. This problem is mostly noticed among the cats kept indoors. Do you know there is perfect solution for this annoying problem? 

Most of the cat owners think that spraying is a behavioral problem. No… This is a natural phenomenon of a cat family. They do so because they mark their territory. Cat urine is highly enriched with phermones. Phermones are being used for communicating between cats. These are much like fingerprints with humans, which help to identify the presence of cat family in an area. 

As we discussed already, spraying urine is marking his territory. If you become angry and getting mad on your cat will not help you to solve this problem. Instead, the cat may spray more urine in more places.
 

The cats will spray urine when they are in heat (ready for mating). In this time, the spraying is considered as an invite for love. You should also know that the cats not only spray during the heat, but also spray when they feel stress and during encounters with other cats. 

Even though the spraying is a means of communication of cats, the smell of urine is really unbearable. In general most of the house cats will do their majority of their spraying outdoors. But in case of indoors cats, which never have an opportunity to expose outdoor will have this problem. Once you have smelled the urine in your home, this is the high time to take action against this problem. 

How To Stop Cat Spraying? 

The easiest and effective way to stop spraying is neutering or spaying your cat immediately. There is evidence that the male cat neutered stopped spraying the same day they have the surgery. If you want to breed your cat, then this method of controlling spraying is not advisable. 

The other best option is have a talk with your vet because this condition may be due to medical problem also! Your vet will be able to provide you valuable advice to stop spraying. Nowadays there are many modern types of equipment to prevent cat spraying. Browse the net to find recent equipment that helps you to find perfect solution for this problem. In nutshell, you should do something about spraying once you have noticed this condition- simply because the urine of cat not only leave stains all over your home but also stinks.