Posted by & filed under Cat Care.

Spaying or neutering your pet is an important decision for pet owners. As animal lovers who value our pets, it is important to understand the impact of this decision.
It happens everywhere

 

In every community, in every state, there are homeless animals. In the U.S. as a whole, there are an estimated 6-8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year. About half of these animals are adopted, and tragically, the other half are euthanized. These are healthy, sweet pets who would have made great companions.

 

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Yes, your pet’s offsping could be shelter animals

 

Many people believe that their pet’s puppies or kittens would never become homeless shelter animals. But the reality is that every time the dog finds his way under the fence to visit the neighbor’s female dog, or the indoor/outdoor cat comes back home pregnant again, the result is a litter of dogs or cats. Even if they are placed into homes, it is still possible for them to end up in shelters once they become “hard to handle,” or for them to reproduce further and for the next generation of puppies or kittens to wind up homeless.

 

Many people are surprised to learn that nationwide more than 3 million cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters. Spay/neuter is the only permanent, 100-percent effective method of birth control for dogs and cats.

 

Article Source: www.islandrescue.net

Posted by & filed under Cat Care.

VACCINATIONS

 

How often?

 

Consult with your veterinarian to determine which vaccinations your cat should receive, and how often.

 

You may have heard about the current controversies regarding vaccinating cats. Some researchers believe we do not need to vaccinate annually for most diseases. But how often we should vaccinate for each specific disease in adult animals has not yet been determined. We do not know how long the protection from a vaccine lasts. It may be 5 years for one disease and 3 years for another, and less than 2 years for another.

 

Almost all researchers agree that for kittens we need to continue to give at least three combination vaccinations and repeat these at one year of age. They also agree that rabies vaccinations must continue to be given according to local ordinances.
Against what diseases?

 

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Experts generally agree on what vaccines are ‘core’ vaccines, i.e., what vaccines should be given to every cat, and what vaccines are given only to certain cats (noncore). Whether to vaccinate with noncore vaccines depends upon a number of things including the age, breed, and health status of the cat, the potential exposure of the cat to an animal that has the disease, the type of vaccine, and how common the disease is in the geographical area where the cat lives or may visit.

 

In cats, the suggested core vaccines are feline panleukopenia (distemper), feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calici virus, and rabies.

 

The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) recommends vaccinating against feline panleukopenia (distemper), feline viral rhinotracheitis, and feline calici virus every three years. But they also suggest that cats at a high risk of exposure to these diseases may benefit from more frequent vaccinations. Since vaccinating every three years does not agree with the current manufacturers’ directions of vaccinating annually, when to vaccinate, and with what, the decision must be a personal (and informed) choice for each cat owner. Consult with your veterinarian to determine what is best for your cat.

 

The noncore vaccines include feline leukemia (FeLV), feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), ringworm, and chlamydia. The AAFP recommends AGAINST FeLV vaccinations in adult totally indoor cats who have no exposure to other cats. It is suggested that all kittens, because they are most susceptible and their lifestyles may change, should receive an initial FeLV vaccination series. FIP and ringworm vaccinations are not recommended. The choice to use a chlamydia vaccine is based upon the prevalence of the disease and husbandry conditions.

 

If you have any questions about vaccinating your cat, the annual exam is a good time to ask your veterinarian.

Article Source: www.islandrescue.net/cats

Posted by & filed under Cat Care.

We all know that preventing disease or catching it in its early stages is far better than treating it once it has had time to progress to a more severe stage. Preventive health care on a regular basis will help you do just that, and save you and your pet from needless suffering and a larger financial burden. This article explains what preventive measures you can take to keep your cat healthy.
ANNUAL PHYSICAL EXAM

 

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Just as annual physical exams are recommended for humans, they are recommended for our pets as well. If your cat is older or has medical problems, he may need even more frequent examinations. A year is a long time in a cat’s life. Assuming our cats will live to their early or middle teens, receiving a yearly exam means they will only have about thirteen exams in a lifetime. That is not very many when you think about it.

 

During your cat’s annual physical exam you should review these aspects of your cat’s health with your veterinarian:

 

  • Vaccination status and potential for exposure to disease (i.e., indoor or outdoor cat)
  • Parasite control for intestinal parasites, fleas, ticks, mites, and heart worms
  • Dental health – care you give at home; any mouth odors, pain, or other signs of disease you may have observed
  • Nutrition – including what your cat eats, how often, what supplements and treats are given, and changes in water consumption, weight or appetite
  • Exercise – how much exercise your cat receives including how often and what kind; and any changes in your cat’s ability to exercise
  • Ears and Eyes – any discharge, redness, or itching
  • Stomach and intestines – any vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, gas, belching, or abnormal stools
  • Breathing – any coughing, shortness of breath, sneezing, or nasal discharge
  • Behavior – any behavior problems such as inappropriate elimination, aggression, or changes in temperament
  • Feet and legs – any limping, weakness, toenail problems
  • Coat and skin – any hair loss, pigment changes, lumps, itchy spots, shedding, mats, or anal sac problems
  • Urogenital – any discharges, heats, changes in mammary glands, urination difficulties or changes, neutering if it has not already been performed
  • Blood tests – especially for geriatric cats, those with medical problems, and those who are receiving medications

 

Article Source: www.islandrescue.net/cats

Posted by & filed under Cute Cat Videos, Cute Cats, Orange Cat Videos.

My Cute Kitten just found a video of the cutest orange cat on youtube. Check out this really super cute kitty :)

 

 

Posted by & filed under Cat Care, Cat Food.

You are what you eat, and this is equally true for the cats that depend on us for “room and board.” Indeed, cat food is one of the most important expenses of feline guardianship, next to veterinary care. It is important also to note that proper diet can eliminate or delay veterinary expense for a number of serious medical conditions.

 

The ultimate purpose of this series is to help you learn how to read cat food labels to make your decision process easier in choosing the best foods for your cat, but first we need to cover some of the basics.

 

Cats’ Basic Nutritional Needs

 

• Protein from a named meat, fish, or poultry source

• Taurine, an essential amino acid

• Certain other vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and fatty acids

• Water

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Cute Gray Tabby Cat Eating Canned Food

 

That’s it, basically. Cats do not need carbohydrates, although corn, wheat, and/or rice are used as fillers for both canned and dry cat foods. Other ingredients, such as binders, flavoring, and coloring, are added by cat food manufacturers to satisfy the aesthetic wants of the consumer. Although preservatives are necessary, to keep foods fresh for our cats, canned food should not be allowed to remain out for any length of time, in any case.

 

Canned food or Kibble?

 

Many nutritionists agree that cats should get a variety of food, both dry and canned, for several reasons:

 

• While dry food is convenient, and can be left out for “free feeding,”

• Canned food contains water, and many cats do not drink water regularly

• To ensure that your cat gets the right amount of nutrients. That “near-perfect” food you’ve selected might be adding too little (or too much) of certain minerals and/or vitamins.

• Cats may actually become bored with the same food day in and day out, and simply quit eating. Face it, would you enjoy pizza morning, noon, and night, for years? You not only would become bored with your diet, but your health would suffer too.

• To head off possible allergies to certain ingredients. Cats (like humans) develop allergies over a period of time. Although the incidence of food allergies in cats is rare, cat owners might want to err on the side of caution, particularly if their cats have shown evidence of allergies in the past.

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Cute Orange & White Cat Eating Food

• To prevent “food addictions.” The Whole Cat Journal, in its October, 2001 issue, cites the case of a cat that was addicted to a particular flavor of a particular brand of cat food, right down to a specific factory and lot number! This kind of addiction can be difficult to deal with when that last can is gone, but can be easily avoided by feeding a variety of foods from the start.

 

 

This doesn’t mean that Fred should get a different food every day, but a variety of high-quality canned foods, supplemented with dry food for cats left alone all day, will add spice to his diet and keep him from becoming “Finicky Fred.”

 

Cheaper Brands are False Economy

 

Many first-time cat owners, in an attempt to hold down expenses, buy the cheapest foods they can find for their cats. This is false economy for a couple of reasons. First, studies have shown that cats eat as much as they need to get the nutrients they require. Therefore, they might eat twice as much of that generously-carbohydrate-filled store brand to get the nutrients they need in a normal feeding of premium food. Second, the continued feeding of substandard foods over a period of years will heavily contribute to, or even cause, serious medical conditions that will require expensive veterinary care.

 

For these reasons, the old maxim, “You get what you pay for,” is particularly true where it comes to cat food.

 

Article Source: Franny Syufy @cats.about.com

Posted by & filed under Cat Care, Cat Food.

Let’s face it: some cats are inveterate “bums” and will beg and plead most appealingly while you try to eat. While I will (rarely) give a cat a tidbit of chicken or turkey from my plate, it’s a practice I don’t encourage as a regular habit for a few reasons. First, because cats need the nutrients specifically provided for them in good, premium cat foods, and any “extras” that they consume will take away their appetites for their regular meals. A sliver of turkey or chicken from your dinner plate certainly won’t kill a cat, but you’re helping him develop bad habits. What happens when Aunt Phoebe comes for dinner and Simon jumps on her lap to scarf up her meal?

 

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Cute Little Orange Kitten

However, the main reason I’d discourage feeding cats “people food” is that there are a number of foods that are toxic to cats. You may have forgotten that the gravy slathered over your Thanksgiving turkey used broth that was flavored with onion, among other things. While it is tasty and harmless to humans, onions are very toxic to cats. The following is a list of foods that cats should never eat:

 

Onions, Garlic, & Related Root Vegetables

 

Onions contain a substance (N-propyl disulphide) which destroys red blood cells in the cat, causing a form of anemia called Heinz body anemia. Garlic contains a similar substance in a lesser amount.

 

Green Tomatoes, Green (raw Potatoes)

 

These foods are members of the Solanaceae family of plants, which includes the Deadly Nightshade, and contain a bitter, poisonous alkaloid called Glycoalkaloid Solanine, which can cause violent lower gastrointestinal symptoms. The leaves and stems are particularly toxic. (Tomatoes in pet foods are ripe, and should cause no concern because they appear in relatively small amounts)

 

Chocolate

 

It’s becoming more widely known that chocolate is very toxic to both cats and dogs. Theobromine is the offending substance here. Janet Tobiassen Crosby, D.V.M. has an excellent article on the symptoms, effects, and treatment of chocolate toxicity.

 

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Gray Tabby Cat Eatings Cat Food

 

These foods’ toxicity has mainly been found in dogs, in quantities of varying amounts. The ASPCA advises: “As there are still many unknowns with the toxic potential of grapes and raisins, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center advises not giving grapes or raisins to pets in any amount.” That’s good enough for me.

 

Milk

 

Although milk is not toxic to cats, it may have adverse effects. Simply put, adult cats fed a nutritious diet don’t need milk, and many cats are lactose-intolerant, which means that the lactose in milk and milk products produces stomach upset, cramps, and gassiness. If your cat loves milk, and begs for it, a small amount of cream may be okay, two or three times a week. (The more fat in the milk, the less lactose.) Another compromise is CatSip, a product made from skim milk with an enzyme added that helps the digestion of lactose. Catsip is available in supermarkets such as Safeway, Albertson’s and A&P, as well as pet products chains, such as PetSmart and Petco.

 

These are the most commonly seen “people foods” that are potentially harmful to cats. The bottom line is to feed your cat nutritious food developed with his needs in mind and choose treats designed for cats instead of table scraps.

 

Article Source: Franny Syufy @cats.about.com