Friday, December 23, 2011

Understanding Why Cats Fight

If you have a household with multiple cats, you know that cat fights do happen. Even if you cats generally get along, at times, they can still fight. While humans may not completely understand why their kitties are fighting, cats have their reasons for fighting. Some of these reasons are similar to the reasons that humans have disputes. Cats express their discontent with other cats by picking fights. The reasons why cats fight can help you determine how to prevent your cats from fighting in the future.

Fighting for their territory: Many cats fight because of their territory. One of the reasons that cats fight is because they feel like an unwanted cat has invaded their territory, even if it is a cat that has lived with them for a long time. Cats are much more territorial than dogs and the gender of the cat has very little to do with it. Contrary to what many people believe, female cats are sometimes just as territorial as their male counterparts are. If you have two cats in your home, you might notice that one cat hisses and swats at the other whenever he feels his territory has been invaded. This can also happen if you bring a new cat into the home. They are simply defending their territory.

Social ranking: Either male cats frequently threaten and fight with each other for social ranking or despite what you may think; even neutered males may do this. If you have multiple cats, especially more than one male cat, one cat is usually considered the “alpha male” and will be at the top of the cat hierarchy. Two cats might posture their bodies, then begin howling and screaming at one another. If one of the cats walks away or backs down, then the catfight is usually avoided. However, if neither one wants to throw in the towel and surrender, then one cat will attack the other by jumping forward and attempting to bite the neck. The other cat will fall on his back and tries to bite or scratch the attacker with its hind legs. The two cats might go through this several times before walking away. There are usually no injuries sustained in these kinds of fights. You may even notice that kittens or young cats play with one another this way. Most of the time, you will not need to interfere.

Aggression: Cats also fight as a result of some kind of redirected aggression and this is quite common, especially with indoor cats. Your cat might be looking outside the window at another cat or dog crossing the yard. Your cat begins to feel territorial and aggressive at this cat, but since this other cat cannot be reached, he may instead attack the other family cat. Another example is if you are giving your cats treats. One cat may reach the treat first and begin eating. The other one wants a bite, but the cat that is eating may become aggressive over the treat and begin to swipe or yowl and the other cat.

If you find your cats fighting occasionally, you should know that this is common and quite typical of cats. Most of the time, you will be able to tell whether or not your cats are fighting for “blood” or just playing around. The time to stop a fight is when it gets nasty otherwise; allow your cats to work it out themselves. If you feel the need to stop a catfight, then you should do it carefully. Even the most loving cat can bite or scratch you in aggressive passion. To stop a fight, you should make some kind of loud noise, such as a handclap. Since cats are startled by loud noises, they will both stop to see what is making the noise. You can also spray water on them to interfere with the aggressive behavior..

When you find your cats fighting, it is best not to punish the cats for their fight. Cats do not understand punishment and fighting is a natural instinct in cats. The best thing to do is only interfere when necessary. If you find your cats are fighting more than they should, it is time that you find out why. Do they fight over a litter box, a food bowl or a prime window location? Make sure each kitty has his or her own “things” and a place to retreat when they feel overwhelmed by other pets in the house. This will go a long way in preventing real catfights.

What To Do About Litter Box Accidents

There is probably nothing more frustrating to a cat owner than litter box accidents. In fact, habitual litter box accidents are the number one reason why cat owners give their cats up to animal shelters. When your cat refuses to use the litter box, there is usually an underlying reason. Before you become exasperated by your cat's inability to make it to the litter box, here are some common causes for this problem.

Litter Box Woes
One of the main reasons why a cat begins to refuse to use the litter box is because their own litter box is dirty. Many cats are extremely fussy about the condition of their litter box, while others will use it no matter how full it looks. If your cat has a litter box accident, the first place you should check is the litter box. Some pets prefer that their litter box cleaned out after each use. While this is time consuming for you, it may be a simple fix to this problem. You should start a daily routine of cleaning out your cat box and you may find that this solves your problem.

Another common problem related to the litter box is there are not enough litter boxes for the number of cats you have. For example, if you have four cats in your home, and you should have at least one litter box per cat. Cats like to have their own space, and this is especially true when it comes to their litter box. In fact, many veterinarians recommend that even if you have only one cat, you should have at least two litter boxes.

In addition, when it comes to litter box accidents, look at the type of litter you are using and the size and shape of the litter box. If you have a tray litter box without a lid, maybe your cat would feel more secure in a closed box. If you have an older cat, or a young kitten, you cat may have a difficult time getting in and out of a closed top box. Watch your cat carefully when he or she uses the litter box. If you find that, they are having a difficult time getting in and out of the litter box and consider getting a different box. Also, look at the type of litter you use. Your cat may be extremely fussy about the smell or texture of the litter. Many people preferred using the scoop away litter; however, many cats will not use this type of litter, because it sticks in the paws. You may also find that the litter you use causes a lot of dust that is disagreeable to your cat.

Health Issues
Your cat may be refusing to use the litter box, because of health related issues. If you have tried all the above tips and nothing seems to be working, then it is time to visit your veterinarian. Cats that have bladder problems, urinary tract infections, kidney failure and diabetes are more prone to litter box accidents than healthy cats. You need to take your cat to the vet and have a thorough health exam performed to find out if your cat is suffering around an ailment. If this is the case, your veterinarian can prescribe medication to help your cat.

Habit and Your Cat’s Territory
If your cat has been ill or have stopped using the litter box for any of reason, you may find that your cat returns to their old ways out of habit. It is extremely important that when your cat has a litter box accident, that you clean the area thoroughly to get rid of any odors that may remain. In addition, your cat may have not stopped using the litter box at all but instead, your cat is marking his or her territory. This is especially common in multi-cat households or when you bring in new pet into the home. This is also more common in males than females. Even male cats that are neutered can mark their territory by spraying urine.

When you determine why your cat is having litter box accidents, you can find a solution. It takes time and patience; however, this is much more preferable than getting rid of your cat.

Caring For Your Diabetic Cat

If your cat has just been diagnosed with diabetes, you might be afraid of what the future holds for your beloved pet. The good news is that cats can live long, healthy lives after being diagnosed with diabetes. The trick is that you, as a pet owner, must be dedicated to care for your cat during his or her illness. Diabetes is not a death sentence for pets. Here is some information to help you understand what you need to do to help your diabetic cat.

Regular Medical Care: After your cat has been diagnosed with diabetes, it is imperative that you visit your veterinarian on a regular basis. Your cat will need regular checkups to check the blood sugar levels and to make sure that he or she is receiving the right amount of insulin. When your cat goes in for a check up, the vet will ask that you do not feed your cat twelve hours part to the checkup. While your cat is at the check up, your veterinarian will draw blood and check blood sugar levels. People that have diabetes are able to check their blood sugar at home. However, this is not possible with cats unless you buy a glucose monitoring system. Your will probably ask that you bring your cat in every three months for this type of checkup.

Getting your Cat Insulin: When your cat has diabetes, it is your responsibility to make sure that your cat receives the proper dose of insulin twice a day. The amount of insulin that your cat will need will vary according to your cat's individual condition. Most cats will receive between three and five units of insulin to times per day. It is important that you establish a routine for your cat. Your cat needs to receive insulin 12 hours apart. Most people that have diabetic cats will give their cat and insulin shot at the same time every morning and at the same time every evening.

It is not difficult to learn to give your cat insulin injections. Your veterinarian will walk you through the process, and then you can repeat this at home. Usually your veterinarian will recommend that you give your cat injections between the shoulder blades in the scruff of the neck. With patience and practice, your cat will barely feel the injections. In fact, most diabetic cats know when it is time to get their injection and they may actually remind you by meowing.

Stocking the Right Supplies: It is important that you have the right supplies on hand to help treat your diabetic cat. You will need a vial of insulin as prescribed by your veterinarian, syringes and alcohol swabs. It is always a good idea to order your insulin when you are about halfway empty. It may take a couple days for your veterinarian to order your insulin. Your veterinarian might also recommend getting your diabetic cat vitamin supplements and seating him or a special prescription diet such as Science Diet W/D. You must be able to see your cat immediately after he or she receives their injection. It is also a good idea to have some numbers to your veterinarian into at least two 24-hour emergency vet clinics available with you at all times just in case your cat needs help.

Many people who owned diabetic cats worried about the costs that this condition incurs. It certainly does cost money to take care of a diabetic cat. A vial of insulin will cost you approximately $85 and will last you about two months. A box of 100 Syringes will cost about $30 and will last you 50 days, as you should use a new syringe for each injection. Prescription food will cost you about $40 for a 20-pound bag. However, it is important to remember that your cat is a part of your family. Most pet owners do not hesitate spending this kind of money on their pets.

Patience and Love: Above of all when you have a diabetic cat, you need a lot of patience and a lot of love. It is not always easy to care for sick and ailing cat. However, with the right care, you can expect your diabetic cat to have many more years of happy life.

Choosing The Right Pet For You

Most individuals have an idea just what type of pet they want; however, the maintenance of a pet can cause some concern. Knowing how to choose the correct pet for you may be easy. You may have had several pets as a child and know you need a companion for your own home or you may have always wanted a pet but been told you could not have one. Whatever the case you may need to take into consideration some key points to pet care when deciding what pet is right for you.

First some pets take more care than others. Dogs are very needy animals. They are very sensitive towards their owners. I am sure most of you have heard of dogs tearing up a house when left along all day. Dogs can get bored even when they have other dog companions and toys. They need the human interaction. Most dog owners take their dogs out for a walk before work and after work for the exercise and play time. Other owners who work outside will often let their dogs come to work with them to keep them out of trouble. Cats on the other hand can amuse themselves and as long as you put your valuables on a shelf, they cannot reach and keep a clean house they will sleep, look out windows, and play with toys while you are away. Fish are another type of pet that is typically low maintenance except for cleaning the fish tank.

Pet care is very important when you own a pet. They need attention from their owners, positive reinforcement, training, and love. Fish are usually excluded from this statement, as they just need food, proper tank maintenance, and a few plants to sustain life, however the point is proper pet care is required when you own any pet. The decision will be yours to make in choosing what the right pet is for you. Above I mentioned three types of pets and little about their care, now I am going to look at it a little more.

While dogs are high maintenance and require the most training they are also one of the best pets to own. They can alert you to danger, alert you to someone at the door, and give unconditional love back. A dog only asks in return for proper care and a great deal of attention. If you cannot be home all the time, you will want to make sure the dog has a roof over their heads in case of inclement weather, and a huge yard to play in. Some dogs can jump fences so it may be best to have a dog run in the yard so they can move about, but not escape.

Cats on the other hand can be high or low maintenance depending on breed as well as personality. Some cats require hours of people attention while others shirk attention. Some cats belong to a one pet household. They do not like to share their owner’s affections and will become upset if not mean towards the infiltrator. Others need the playmate’s attention to live happily. It will be hard to determine just which type of cat you own when you first buy them as kittens as their personalities are just developing.

Pet care is the most important factor when you are deciding which pet is right for you and your home. You will want to consider all the pet care needs of the animals you are looking at as well as the breed you are looking at to determine if they will have a happy place in your home.

Dangerous Dog Treats: What To Know Before You Treat Your Pup

What pooch does not love getting a treat or two now and then. Dog owners also love giving their dog’s treats. If you have a dog, then you have a good idea of what your dog likes to nibble on. There are so many treats available these days and they all come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and consistencies. For every great dog treat, there are those on the market that are not so good. These treats can harm your pet by being lodged in your dog’s throat or intestines. This can cause choking or worse. If you love treating your canine friend, then you will want to be aware of those treats that can be potentially harmful. Even with treats that are not usually dangerous, you need to supervise your dog when they eat.

Greenies: Most dogs really enjoy these treats. They are advertised as a treats that help clean your dog’s teeth. However, you need to be aware that “greenies” can cause choking. This is because dogs eat these very quickly causes large chunks to lodge in the throat. Young puppies should not eat this treat and dogs that are prone to “scarfing” food. If your dog eats these treats, be aware of potential vomiting, bloody stools, and difficulty breathing. If you notice any of these symptoms after your dog has eaten this treat, seek medical attention.

Rawhide Chews: What dog does not love snacking on these chewy treats? Rawhides are good because it cleans your dog’s teeth and keeps your dog occupied. However, rawhides are dangerous, as well. Some rawhides that originate outside of the United States may actually be preserved with arsenic-based chemicals that will be ingested by your doggie when he or she chews. For this reason, make certain that any rawhide treat you purchase is processed in the United States where this preservative is forbidden. If you cannot tell where a treat originated do not buy it! In addition, you still need to watch your dog when he her she is munching on rawhides to help prevent choking. Make sure you buy rawhides that are the right size for your dog, too. A small dog needs the smaller sized rawhide treats.

Chocolate: Chocolate is a terrible thing to allow dogs to eat. Of course, sometimes dogs get into candy and cake without your knowledge. Chocolate is toxic to both dogs and cats, so you need to be aware of your dog sneaking chocolate nibbles, especially around the holidays. Chocolate contains an ingredient called theobromine. This acts in the canine about the same way caffeine acts in the human. A little will make the doggie hyperactive, but a huge dose may be fatal. If your dog has gotten into chocolate, you need to look for vomiting, shallow breathing, and irregular heartbeat. A visit to the emergency vet unusually results.

Bones: It seems that it is the right of every dog to be able to crunch on a real bone from time to time. Dogs love bones of all types. However, some bones can be dangerous. Both chicken and turkey bones are especially dangerous because they are brittle. When your dog chews on the, they can easily splinter and cause choking. Some pork and beef bones can also cause the same problem. Veterinarians agree that the one of the safest bones you can give your dog is a shinbone. If you must give your dog a bone, make sure you supervise your pooch and if he or she shows signs of bleeding, then you should call your vet immediately for some advice.

This is not to say that you cannot give your dog an occasional treat. That is one of the fun parts of owning a dog. You do need to watch your dog and make sure that your dog is safe when snacking. Always pay attention to what kind of treat you give your dog in case of a recall.

Domestic Cat Breeds

Have you always wanted a cat, but heard some breeds make better pets than others? Maybe you have always wanted a cat, but do not know anything about them? There are plenty of ways to learn about cats and what breeds fit your personality. The choice can come from having an indoor, outdoor or indoor and outdoor cat. The tough and smart survive in the out of doors. Small cats are often pray for birds and other wildlife and should be kept indoors. Tomcats, a mixed breed, are great at surviving outdoors and mousers. So let us look at a few breeds of cats and then you will be able to choose which one may be right for your lifestyle.

Siamese: The Siamese cat can be a fickle creature. They often require a lot of attention when they determine it is necessary. They tend to meow quite a bit and can tear up a home if left alone for too long. These are the downsides. Siamese can be great pets, especially when raised from infancy. They are often white with brown ears and blue eyes. You may recognize them from Lady and the Tramp? Those two were a little mean and not the typical portrayal of a Siamese. Siamese are generally very affectionate. They are also one of the most intelligent of the cat species. They tend to be very social, which is why they meow or “talk” a lot. A sign for attention is usually a very vocal meow much like a babies cry. Siamese typically bond to one person very strongly and are territorial of that person.

Persian: The Persian cat breed is one of the oldest cats around. They are longhaired cats with beautiful shinny coats. They are very soft and friendly; however, they are prone to health problems such as allergies. The Persian does not always play as much as other breeds, but they do enjoy a bit of fun for exercise especially in a social situation. They love to have other cats around to play with as well as have a lap available when they are in need of a lap. Persians are a variety of colors from solid black, white or a mix of white and browns around the face. A popular Persian is the Himalayan.

Manx: The Manx is known for its stubby tail or having no tail. The downside to Manx cats is the lack of tail. Often a Manx can suffer from worms and other parasites due to improper cleaning and not having the protection of a tail. This does not mean you should discount the Manx as a breed. The Manx breed is extremely intelligent and playful. They are a lot like dogs in the play area because they can fetch when you through toys and bring them back to you. They are very social animals and depend on human care. They don’t like to be left alone for too long, so it is wise to have other cats to play with when you are gone during the day. The best home for a Manx is one filled with children.

These are just three of the more popular breeds of cats. There are over a dozen cat breeds to choose from and finding the one to fit your lifestyle is important. Cats are very social and intelligent, but some breeds can be loners. Most often, a cat chooses when the time is right and what type of attention they want at the time. The phrase “you do not own a cat it owns you” is very true.

Picking The Right Food For Your Pet

Pets are wonderful creatures to share our lives with, and they need just as much care as humans. All pets need to be fed properly, though we always have the question of what that might be. There are individuals who give their pet’s human food, while others strictly give pet food. We will concentrate on dogs, cats, and rabbits for proper feeding.

Rabbits

How many times have you heard that rabbits like their vegetables? This is true. Most rabbits need a steady diet of rabbit food that includes lettuce and carrots. Most of the time we raise our rabbits on pellets, however, this may not be fibrous enough and can cause obesity. A steady diet of hay, vegetables, and pellets will lead to a healthy rabbit.

Dogs

Is it wise to feed your dog human food? Most dogs are related to the wolf family a very carnivorous bunch, which means they need to have meat in their diet. This does not mean human food is the correct food for them. It is best to find a dog food product where the first ingredient is meat. Make sure it is real meat and not some processed substitute. Feeding your dog human food is a bad idea because it can be too greasy for them and block their arteries. Dogs have very sensitive digestive tracks so they are susceptible to diarrhea and upset stomachs if you change their food. It is best to find a dog food you prefer and that is healthy for them. You also want to keep them on the same food. Changing food can cause problems. If you feel you need to change food, you should slowly integrate the new food with the old until you have fully replaced the old. This should take two weeks or a little more. Dogs when full grown should be fed once a day at the same time.

Cats

Cats are great hunters if you let them explore the outdoor world. They will often find mice, birds, and other animals to gain protein. Like a dog, your cat needs a consistent diet. You should find a cat food that has the proper amounts of protein. Cats can also have a very sensitive digestive system. Finding the right food may be difficult and take a few tries. If they have a smelly litter box, you will need to change their food. This is a sure sign they are not receiving a proper diet. When you change their food you will want to integrate it slowly over two weeks. Cats also need the vitamins from milk, though our processed milk can be too rich for them, they do sell milk for cats in the pet stores. Another idea is occasionally giving them a small piece of cheese to help with their dietary needs, however you should try and find pet food that fits all of their needs. Grass is also available for indoor cats and may be a needed to get rid of hairballs. Cats eat grass when they have an upset stomach. The grass will allow the cats to rid themselves of the problem and can help them cough up hairballs.

Picking the right food for your pet will often mean not feeding them human food, but checking the ingredients of pet food found in the stores. You want to keep you pet just as healthy as you would want to keep yourself. Proper nutrition for any animal is important to having your pet around for many years. Some types of pets are more susceptible to disease, like dogs with heart problems, but they can be monitored through proper care.