The cats wake –up in the morning- do you know why?

May 15, 2009 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Behavior
Do you know dear pal, that the cats are not nocturnal? They sleep at night but wake up early in the morning, before the alarm clock blares. This is frustrating is it not? Because you have the pet cat near your bed like most pet lovers.

Cats are crepuscular i.e. the cats are very active during the dawn and dusk. This is because the cat’s ancestors were using this time for their prey activity. The descendents find it difficult to adjust as the characters are embedded in the genes. The cats can see clearly even in pitch black night. This helps the cat for their crepuscular activity.

The cats become active sooner or later depending on the sunrise. The crepuscular nature and the internal clock of the cat do the trick. In summer the cats are triggered to be active during dawn.  In winter, in places like Antarctica, the cat will certainly sleep till 12 am.  The sunrise time is the main triggering factor for the cats increased activity at dawn and dusk.

Let us considered a situation like this. The cat becomes active during dawn. Your sleep gets disturbed. You get up and play with your cat or you may feed her. You are encouraging this habit. The cats will do the same next day also. You may also pretend to be asleep. You may shout at the cat for disturbing your sleep. These things usually don’t bring desired result.

By the by, you are perturbed by cat’s early morning wake-up, is it so. Here are few suggestions to prevent the same. The cat owner must understand the cat and the reason for this natural behavior. One must have patience as changing this behavior of the cat takes time. Don’t have the night lamp on. Have thick dark curtains in the cat’s sleeping area, so that the place will be dark at dawn.

Try to resist yourself in meeting the cat’s dawn time demand. Alter the feeding schedule in such a way, that the cats don’t get hungry at dawn. Let the cat be physically active whole day as much as possible. Use the toys; engage in playing, do some thing to make her occupied most of the day time.

Let the cat bed fed as late as possible i.e.  Very close top bed time. The cat will sleep well as the blood supply to the stomach will be more thus reducing the supply to the brain, inducing sleep. Try to have another cat for her company. She will get bored in playing with you for long time. Melatonin is a hormone that resets the cat’s internal clock. Give this hormone at night to make the cat sleep whole night comfortably. But the consultation with the veterinarian is must before using this hormone.

One must thoroughly understand the inherent habit of the cat. The habit here we means is its intense activity at dawn and dusk. Don’t get in to the trap by feeding the cat at that time. For example if your cat gets up at 5.30 am and you feed her at that time, then the cat will get up at 5 am, the next morning. If you feed her at 5 am, the next day she will wake you up by 4.30 am. It goes on like this. Soon you will realize that you are feeding the cat at wee hours. Hence please try to resist the cat’s early morning demands as much as possible.

How Your Cat Is Sleeping?

May 11, 2009 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Behavior

The cats are lovely pets to have. You may know the feeding and rearing of cat.  Many don’t know where the cat sleeps?  Many doubts may arise in your mind regarding this. Will she sleep in your antique quilt?  Will she sleep in easy chair? Will she share the pillow of the owner? Let us discuss about the cat’s sleeping requirement here.

The recent survey conducted online revealed certain interesting facts about the cat’s sleeping place. Nearly 96 percent of the cats lovers allow their pet cat sleep in their bed room.  Nearly 50 percent of the cats are allowed to sleep in the pet owner’s bedroom itself. Nearly 38 percent of the cats share the pillow with their owner. The young kittens prefer to sleep in the pillow while the adult and older cats prefer the foot of the bed to sleep. Quite interesting, is it not?

The sleeping time varies from cat to cat. The sleeping time varies depending on the age. But on an average the feline species spend 13 to 16 hours for sleep. The cats require cozy and warmth for sound sleep. The cats search for the place that is comfortable for her sleep. In case the temperature of the surrounding is more, she prefers a shady corner and stretches her body while sleeping. If the temperature is low [winter], the cats search for warm sunshine or heat source, for good sleep. In winter the cat curl their body to reduce the heat loss.

Not all the cat owners prefer to share their bed with their pet cat. Such people will want to provide special sleeping place for the cat. There is nothing to bother much. There are plenty of beds available in the market for cats, which can be purchased. Some may like to make a bed for their lovely cat on their own. They can do so. Here is certain information about the cat bed. 

The cats require something to sleep. That’s all right. Sheet of paper placed on the middle of the garden is also enough for cats. But it is the duty of the pet owner to provide suitable sleeping place for the cat. The bedding material can be folded towel or blanket purchased from pet shop or taken from the house. Let the bed be flat with soft fabric and some stuffing. The bed should be portable and washable.

 In market beds that are electro-statically charged to capture the fallen hair and dander are available. Bed made of sheep skin or fake fur is also available in the market that provides extra warmth. Different size, shape and color beds are available for cats. The price of the bed varies depending of the size and extra features attached with it.

Cats prefers cup -beds, because the circular design suits the curling habit of the cat. Some beds are provided with removable and washable cloth lining for hygiene purpose.  The cats can sleep well in basket or card board box lined with thick soft blanket.

Just providing comfortable bed is not enough for some cats. The cats love to sleep with their best friend in company. Those who like to share their bed with their lovely pet cat should keep in mind the following facts. The cats don’t sleep whole night continuously. They get up around 4 am for food and play. Cats like to catch anything that moves at night. Hence your hand or leg may get a painful catch of the cat, in case you are sleeping with him.

Sarcoptic Mange in Pet Cat

May 09, 2009 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Diseases


Sarcoptic mange
is also called as scabies.  The causative agent is sarcoptic scabies. Sarcoptic scabies is microscopic mite that affects both the humans and animals [cats, dogs etc].  These mites gain entry in to the skin of the lovely pet cat and results in various types of skin problems.

The human beings who are living close by to the affected pet cat are likely to get infected. Scabies is more commonly noticed in young cats, but one needs to be informed that all age groups are equally susceptible. For the survival the mite has to be attached with the host.

Symptoms

The affected cats will have very severe pruritis which will not show any response to the symptomatic treatment. You can notice the constant scratching of the cat. At the beginning one will notice, papules [small bumps that are red in color] at the elbow, ankles, abdomen, chest and margins of the ear. Soon there will be generalized lesion. One can notice crusty scores and hair loss in patches.

In general the symptoms are due to allergic response of the body of the cat to the mite. The incubation period is 2 to 3 weeks. Incubation period is nothing but the time taken for the symptoms to develop from the entry of the organisms.

In case the infection is not treated immediately, there can be thickening of the skin, increased pigmentation, draining tracts and ulceration of the skin.  The secondary bacterial infection is very common due to the constant scratching [self trauma].

Diagnosis

Clinical sign- the onset and spread pattern that is suggestive of scabies infection. Skin scrapping examination- the scrapping collected at the point of lesion will be subjected to microscopically examination to find out the mite presence. Treatment response- if the response to the scabies treatment is good, then that itself is one good indication that the diagnosis is correct.

Treatment

The key in treating the scabies mite is the duration of the treatment. The cats must be treated for 3 weeks as the life cycle of the mite is 3 weeks. The other house holds also needs to be treated simultaneously as a preventive measure to avoid re infection.

Anti parasitic lime sulfur dip- the cats must be subjected to anti parasitic lime sulfur dip every week without fail.

Iver mectin is a very effective anti parasitic drug, which can be administered to the affected cat.  The dosage is as per the vet’s advice. This drug needs to be given 3 times at the interval of 2 weeks. But one should wary of using this treatment option as some breeds likely to have adverse reactions to this drug.

Revolution is a product which can be applied topically. This is very effective for flea control and heart worm eradication, and for the sarcoptic mite treatment. Antibiotic treatment is inevitable in case secondary bacterial infection was noticed

Care at home

Regular vacuuming, cleaning, washing etc of the cat house and its surrounding will help to minimize the parasitic infection such as scabies. 

The cats must be washed at least once in a week time. better to use anti parasitic [lime sulfur ] agents at that time for dipping. One has to very careful while using lime sulfur combination as it will damage the porcelain dishes and jewelry. The hair coat may get yellow tinge due to the action of sulfur. One must use gloves while dipping the cat. The other disadvantage is the offensive odor of the sulfur, which resembles rotten egg smell.

The dip has to be performed out doors, not indoors. The cat must be allowed inside the house only after complete drying. This way the furniture and other items are protected from sulfur.

Pyoderma in Cats

May 07, 2009 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Diseases
Pyoderma – pyo means pus and derma means skin, hence pyoderma is pus in the skin. There are many bacteria that cause pustules in the skin of the cat, thus resulting in pyoderma. 

There are three different types of pyoderma. They are surface pyoderma– here the infection is noticed on the skin surface, superficial pyodetrma–  bacterial infection  noticed within the skin and deep pyoderma- bacterial infection under the skin.

The superficial pyoderma cause very severe itching sensation, hence the cat will be seen scratching the body all the times. Deep pyoderma can lead to spread of the infection to the other parts of the body. All the three forms of pyoderma cause maximum discomfort to the cats.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis is the key in treating any disease condition, which is true in pyoderma too.
Very detailed  medical history , proper examination of the lesions of the body, cytological examination of the pus, culture test, sensitivity test, skin scrapping test, blood test, allergic test etc [any one or more] requires to be performed  for proper diagnosis of pyoderma.
 
Treatment

The effective treatment of pyoderma is combination of elimination of the underlying cause and symptomatic treatment. Surface pyoderma is treated by clipping the wound and applying chemicals to kill the bacteria completely. Parental Antibiotics are not required as the disease causing bacteria are at the outer surface of the skin. If the hot spot or swelling with pus was due to fleas itching, the flea control program is the best in addition to the symptomatic treatment. If pyoderma is noticed at the skin folds, then the hair around that area is removed to pave way for antiseptic agent application. In case of recurrence, the skin fold needs to be removed using surgical procedure.

The best way to treat superficial pyoderma is by using antibiotics that are effective against staphylococcus. Common antibiotics such as tetracycline, amphiciline, penicillin, amoxicillin etc are not effective in treating superficial pyoderma, hence more powerful latest antibiotics needs to be used. In general, the superficial pyoderma treatment requires long time usage of antibiotic. It is better to know the causative agent to go for more specific antibiotic treatment.

In case underlying cause is not determined, antibiotic shampoo can be used which will prevent the recurrence, that is for sure. There are many antibiotic shampoos available in the market that contains chemicals such as ethyl lactate, benzyl peroxide or chlorhexidine. The same chemicals are also available as lotions and creams which can also be used at lesions. Immune modulators such as staphage lysate can be administered through injections, if the root cause of the problem is allergy. 

Deep pyoderma requires aggressive treatment.  The antibiotic culture and sensitivity test needs to be conducted for quicker and effective treatment. In case the underlying cause is immune problem, the same needs to be addressed effectively. Whirl pool bath is the other effective treatment option, but the vet of your locality should have this facility.  It is always better to be in constant touch with the vet till the disease is completely cured.

 

Alopecia in Cats

May 06, 2009 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Diseases

Alopecia is nothing but complete or partial hair loss. Cat Alopecia can be noticed in any part of the body. Like the human being, the alopecia is a trouble in cats too. Alopecia can be due to various reasons. One common factor is self trauma caused by scratching or chewing. Hair follicle disease can also be a reason. In addition to giving unpleasant look to the pet cat, Alopecia can cause damage to the other organs systems, hence can never be ignored.

Reasons

Allergy – the alopecia can be an allergic reaction to the allergens such as molds, pollens, and food allergens. This kind of alopecia can be noticed on feet, ears, face and other parts of the cat.

Flea- the cats that are allergic to fleas can show allergic reactions in the form of alopecia.

Scabies- sarcoptes scabi also known as mange mite can result in itching which in turn results in alopecia.

Parasites-
parasites such as cheyletiella can cause pruritis which can lead to alopecia.

Pyoderma- pyoderma is nothing but infection of skin caused by bacteria. There are so many species of bacteria that cause pustules in cat which results in pyoderma. The pyoderma that affects the hair follicle can lead to alopecia.

Fungi infection-
dermatophyte is a fungus which damages the hair shaft. This can lead to pruritis or non-pruritis alopecia. The fungi that are seen attached with the fallen hair can transmit the infection to other cats.
 
Diagnosis

The best way to treat alopecia is by eliminating the underlying cause. For this diagnosis of the disease is of prime importance. Here are the discussions about few diagnostic tests.

Skin scrapping- the skin is scrapped using blade and the scrapings are examined for the presence of mite or other parasites.

Trichogram- here a skin is examined through microscope to find out whether the skin fell on its own or by plucking.

Fungal culture examination-
this is done to find out the presence of ringworm.

Skin biopsy-
skin biopsy is nothing but a procedure in which a portion of skin is removed for pathological examination to find out the nature of the alopecia, which helps in identifying the cause. 

Home Care

The cats must be free of flea problem.  In case the hair loss is very severe, the pet owner should take care of the cat by providing sweater to the cat to protect it from winter. The casts must be kept in doors in summer as the possibility and severity of sun burn will be more. For flea control it is better to consult the veterinarian at the earliest for effective flea control program.

Treatment

The best way to treat alopecia is by neutralizing the underlying cause and by offering treatment to cure the symptoms. If Alopecia and Pruritis are noticed together, and then symptomatic treatments such as antipruritis shampoo, antihistamines, corticosteroids or fatty acid supplements are effective. If Pyoderma is noticed with alopecia, then antibiotic treatment is the best.

As discussed earlier pyoderma is secondary to many reasons, hence treating the underlying cause is very essential for complete cure. Matted and dead hair needs to be brushed regularly which will minimize the cat alopecia problem.

How To Prevent Feline Bladder Infection?

May 04, 2009 :: Posted by - kittyluver :: Category - Diseases

Have you ever heard the term FLUTD? It is nothing but feline bladder infection. It is also called as cystitis. You can easily identify this disease simply by the way your cat is urinating. Your cat will urinate often outside the litter box and also cries out whenever she tries to urinate. Blood in urine also being noticed.

One step further, if your cat can’t urinate at all, immediately seek an appointment from your vet because there might be blockade in her urinary tract. So your cat requires treatment solely on diagnosis.

The main treatment for this feline bladder infection is prescribing antibiotics. The problem of this disease can easily be ascertained by urinalysis to check for white blood cells and also you ought to perform a urine culture for your cat to identify the bacteria that is causing this dreadful disease. Urine cuture also help us to choose the suitable antibiotic to contain feline bladder infection.

The best treatment option for cystitis in cat includes herbal and natural remedies. The herbs Barberry and Uva Ursi, along with Staphysagris and Cantharis find its role in containing the feline bladder problems.

You can prevent the bladder infection in your cat before start of this disease. Yes… Change your cat’s diet from the present diet to wet canned food. The cats that are fed with dry food are more prone for bladder infection. The best way to prevent cystitis in cats is to allow them to drink lots of clena and pure water. Make sure that the water is free from all kind of contaminants. It is better to provide filtered or distlled water. The best thing to prevent this feline bladdder infection is minimizing your pet’s stress level.