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Posts Tagged ‘kitten’

Yes Cats And Dogs Can Play Nice

Despite the saying “fighting like cats and dogs” it is possible to have a cat and a dog that are best of friends.  It helps if they are raised together, but it is not essential.  Dogs generally take their code of conduct from humans, so if you like cats there is a good chance your dog can be educated to like them as well.

One of the problems to overcome between cats and dogs is the different language or cultural norm that exists in the different animal kingdoms.  When a dog wags it’s tail it is indicating that it is happy and inviting a play, but the instincts of a cat suggest that a wagging tail signals anger or a ready to pounce attitude.

If a cat raises its paw it is time back off or be swatted, but to a dog that means play time.  Equally, when a cat lays on its back it is in attack mode, where as to a dog this is a submissive pose.  These differences can be overcome as they learn each others language, but can cause initial surprise reactions.  And guidance is required during this time of getting acquainted.

Never leave your kitten alone with a dog unsupervised.  Even with friendly play accidents can happen.  Initially you will want to keep any dog on a leash when it is being introduced to your cat.  It is best if the dog has had some obedience training and will respond to your commands.  Always keep other safety measures, such as a water supply, on hand to distract an enthusiastic dog.

Where possible introduce dogs to cats as puppies.  There is less risk of the cat being overpowered by a puppy and a puppy hasn’t yet learnt to chase cats.  It is a good idea to introduce them with a barrier like a child’s gate, or fence between the two for the first meeting. A certain amount of freedom for self education would be preferable to the owner hovering ready to pounce at the slightest spit, as long as they both have an escape route.

It shouldn’t be long before they become friends and may even share a bed.

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Pictures, descriptions, and symptoms of some of the most common worms your cat or dog is likely to have.

Roundworms

Roundworms affect nearly all puppies and kittens.  The worms are passed to the young animals through the mothers milk.  Cats and Dogs pick up the worms by ingesting contaminated soil, insects, or infected animals.

round worm

If your kitten or puppy has a severe case of Roundworms they may have appear pot-bellied and have a dull coat. They may also have diarrhoea,  they may cough and lose their appetite.  It is also possible to see mucus in their stool, or even worms in the stool or vomit.

It is normally recommended that all kittens and puppies are given a worm dose.

Tapeworms

Probably the most common of worms found in cats or dogs is the Tapeworm. Especially in areas where there is a high flea population.

The Tapeworm requires the flea as an intermediate host.  Cats and dogs ingest infected fleas while grooming giving the worm a free ride into its primary host.

Tapeworms are made up of a chain of small segments, each containing hundreds of eggs.  These segments break away when mature and are passed out of the host in stools.

The Tapeworm itself can grow up to a foot in length and can be detected when the segments are found in a litter box, in the fur around your pets anal area, or in their bed.  The segments look like dried rice.  Large infestations cause diarrhoea, possibly blood, and cause a partial blockage.  If you are treating your pet for fleas it is best to also treat for Tapeworm.

Hookworms

The Hookworm is a more serious case.  A Hookworm infection can cause severe anaemia.  Look for signs such as diarrhoea, weight loss, vomiting, unrest, and a lack of energy.  In very young kittens the worms can cause a sudden collapse and death.

The tiny worms are not visible in the stool and can only be identified by a microscopic examination.  The animals are infected by consuming  eggs found in faeces or by the worm larvae penetrating the skin.  They can be treated as with the other worms.

Heartworms

Heatworms are a blood parasite transmitted by mosquitoes. The mosquitoes transfer baby worms when they bite. (picture of worms to ugly to include- click the mosquito to see heartworms)

More common in dogs but heartwoms also infect cats.  Called heartworms because they travel through the body until they reach the heart where they mature and shed microfilaria into the blood stream.

A severely infected animal will suffer from reduced blood circulation and heart function. Cats will often show little sign (any sign is likely to be intermittent vomiting) until they collapse and die.

For cats to become infected they must live in an area where there are microfilariae infected dogs, and mosquitoes that have a taste for both dogs and cats.  Heartworms will require a specific treatment.

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Fencing Your Cat In

Cats get up to a lot of mischief so it is a good idea to check their surroundings to see that they will be safe at all times.

It’s a lot easier to do if the cat lives inside most of the time, but it will be necessary for it to get out in the fresh air and sunshine to remain healthy.

If you’re living in an apartment then a balcony can be sufficient but you need to make sure that it won’t be able to fall off the balcony as sometimes when cats go into a deep sleep, lying in the sun, they can move without thinking and fall off the things they are resting on.

Having a yard fenced with a cat proof fence will give you peace of mind knowing that your cat can’t get out and other animals such as dogs won’t be able to get in an attack your pet.  And your neighbors will appreciate not having your cat roaming their yards!

You need to consider the fact that cats are very good climbers and will find it relatively easy to get over most fences so some form of barrier might need to be placed on top of the fence to stop this from happening.

If you do have a fenced property, then a cat door will give your cat the freedom to go in and out of the house and not feel like it is trapped inside all the time.

To keep your cat occupied, whether it is living inside or out, always have things that will give it an opportunity to climb and have secure lookouts over the property or house.

The happier your cat is with its environment the less likely it is to stray.
Having said that, a happy cat will wander off to other properties, as cats are very inquisitive and like to go searching for adventure.

Getting a collar, or tattoo might be necessary (some cities may require an ID chip) if your cat tends to wander as this will help people to return it to its rightful home if it goes missing.

In the words of Robert Frost – Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Mending Wall

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
‘Stay where you are until our backs are turned!’
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors’.
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
‘Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it
Where there are cows?
But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.’ I could say ‘Elves’ to him,
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me~
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbors.”

Robert Frost.

NamaraPets

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Cats are very territorial and often introducing another cat into the household can cause problems.
It is always a lot easier, if you prefer to have two cats, to get them both at the same time as they’re likely to get on a lot better if they are introduced to the house at the same time rather than one having the run of the house first and then having to share it with another later.

After the initial few fights that the young cats might have, they should tend to get along well with each other and enjoy each other’s company in play and relaxation.

When a kitten is introduced to the house of an older cat you need to make a determined effort not to neglect the older cat.
This is very easy to forget when you’ve got a new kitten as people tend to fuss over kitten a lot more than older cats and it is not uncommon for the older cat to become jealous and start fighting with the new member of the family.

This can lead to other cat behavior problems where a house trained cat might decide to start urinating in the house where it wouldn’t have done so in the past, or it might go off its food and stop eating and get sick.

By considering the feelings of the older cat, not neglecting it, giving it sufficient time and letting it know that it is still special, there is more chance that the new kitten will be accepted better by the established cat.

It is made more difficult when the cats are in confined living conditions, and where possible, if there is conflict try to keep the cats apart for a while until they become used to one another.

You can put their litter boxes in different areas of the house, and also keep the food dishes apart.
Any time that one shows aggression to the other, calmly step in between and stop it going any further.

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Forget Mr Ed.

Cats are particularly good at communicating with one another and humans.
They have a considerably larger vocabulary than dogs, with most cats being able to make over 100 different sounds.
These sounds can range from purring, to hissing and growling, spitting, wailing and howling, and many different combinations in between.

They certainly do have the ability to get most of what they want from their owners, and that is why it is often said that the cat rules the house and the humans are the servants.

Yes we certainly do seem to do all the running about, yet when we call the cat it is just as likely to turn around with its tail in the air and wander off.

It is this independent nature that appeals so much to so many people and that’s why cats are one of the most loved pets in the world.

Cats are also extremely good at communicating with one another and once again with humans, by their body language.
Cat owners who are tuned in to their cat’s behavior can communicate extremely well, and this also makes it a lot easier for the owner to train a cat to do particular things or to behave better.

It also allows the opportunity to become a lot more aware of when the cat is not feeling well and when a trip to the vet might be necessary.
Fortunately that is not too often if the cat has been well cared for and given good nutrition because they are extremely resilient and even the process of purring can help to stimulate healing properties within the cat.

If your cat is making a sound and it is directed towards you then you know it is trying to communicate with you and usually it is not too hard to work out what it wants.

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Stopping your dog from chewing everything in sight.

It is only natural for dogs to want to chew.
It is a natural instinct, but they need to be trained what they can and can’t chew without causing problems.
While they might feel the need to sharpen their teeth you certainly don’t want them to be doing that on your furniture.

It is a lot cheaper to invest some money in suitable toys that the dog can chew or get their teeth cleaned professionally than to replace expensive household items.

The simplest method of training a dog not to chew everything in sight is to confine it to a small area where only those things that it should be allowed to chew are present.

The dog will then become accustomed to the smell of those things that it is allowed to chew and then when it is allowed out into the household where other items are present you can teach it not to chew items such as furniture, shoes, clothing, etc.

It is also possible to teach an old dog not to chew items by using the same techniques although it is harder if it has been doing this for many years of its life.

It is always preferable to teach your dog the lessons they need to know as soon as possible as training gets harder with the age of the dog.

If the dog is going to be left inside for extended periods while you’re not around it is wise to remove any items that you don’t want it to chew until it is fully trained.
Until that time, the dog should be content with suitable chewing toys.

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Getting a Second Cat

Cats are very territorial and often introducing another cat into the household can cause problems.
It is always a lot easier, if you prefer to have two cats, to get them both at the same time as they’re likely to get on a lot better if they are introduced to the house at the same time rather than one having the run of the house first and then having to share it with another later.

After the initial few fights that the young cats might have, they should tend to get along well with each other and enjoy each other’s company in play and relaxation.

When a kitten is introduced to the house of an older cat you need to make a determined effort not to neglect the older cat.
This is very easy to forget when you’ve got a new kitten as people tend to fuss over kitten a lot more than older cats and it is not uncommon for the older cat to become jealous and start fighting with the new member of the family.

This can lead to other cat behavior problems where a house trained cat might decide to start urinating in the house where it wouldn’t have done so in the past, or it might go off its food and stop eating and get sick.

By considering the feelings of the older cat, not neglecting it, giving it sufficient time and letting it know that it is still special, there is more chance that the new kitten will be accepted better by the established cat.

It is made more difficult when the cats are in confined living conditions, and where possible, if there is conflict try to keep the cats apart for a while until they become used to one another.

You can put their litter boxes in different areas of the house, and also keep the food dishes apart.
Any time that one shows aggression to the other, calmly step in between and stop it going any further.

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Making a Kitten Feel at Home

There are several things that you should do to make a new kitten feel at home.

First of all they need a good place to sleep that is private and they can feel safe.
Fortunately there are many different types of beds and baskets that are available.
The area that the kitten will be sleeping needs to be free from drafts and as warm and comfortable as possible.

It will need a litter box initially as it will have to stay inside until it becomes accustomed to its surroundings.
The litter box can have shredded newspaper for a cheap alternative but the best content for a litter box is commercial cat litter as it will absorb urine better and won’t smell as newspaper will tend to do.
This needs to be cleaned out regularly to ensure that it is always clean.

Put the litter box in a quiet corner where the kitten can be private and don’t have it where the kitten will be eating its food.

Cleanliness is another important factor with kittens and any utensils, or feeding dishes that are used with its food need to be thoroughly cleaned after every meal.
There are also a wide range of suitable products on the market to make feeding a kitten or cat more convenient.

Grooming is very important with cats and even cats in the wild spend much of their time grooming.
You can assist by getting a good double-sided body brush for grooming to make sure that the fur doesn’t become knotted and any lose fur is brushed away to reduce the chance of fur balls causing problems.

Grooming will keep the fur clean from dirt and other problems such as fleas.
Kittens and cats with longer fur will need more time spent on them than short haired cats as they will lose more fur and this will get swallowed if they are left to do all their own grooming.

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