Grooming Tips For Your Cat

Image Source: Pixabay.com

While cats are famous for their effective self-grooming practices, domestic cats often do require human supervision and support. Grooming of cats takes planning and practice. Cats are fussy by nature and they require an educated touch. This means that the owner needs to be aware of what the cat is okay with what it is not. While planning to groom your cat, it is always a good idea to start early and develop the habit when they are still young kittens. Gradually the time spent in grooming is increased until the cat is able to accept it as a part of the daily routine. Any kind of restrain or force is to be avoided as any kind of stress associated with this experience will make it even more difficult next time.

There are different grooming techniques and routines for long and short haired cats. For shorthaired cats, grooming only once a week is enough whereas longhaired ones require grooming almost every day. For shorthaired cats a fine-tooth flea or tick comb is used along with a bristle brush, rubber mitten and grooming pad. Before beginning to groom or comb the cat, ensure that it is relaxed and stress free. The flea comb is used on shorthaired cats to check for flea dirt and fingers are used to loosen up dead hair. Once the dead hairs are disengaged, the brush is used to comb the cat from the head to the tail. This removes any remaining dead hair and stimulates the blood circulation in the body.

For longhaired cats, grooming products such as wide toothed comb, detangling sprays, rakes and other kinds of slickers are used. Longhaired cats require grooming almost regularly. The skin of the cats is massaged gently before combing. This is basically a check for flea excreta. A wide toothed comb takes care of the dead hair and is ideal for combing specific locations such as armpits and between the hind legs. A rubber glove or a damp cotton swab is used to collect and remove the dead hair.

Dematting is one of the most important grooming activities as far as cats are concerned. Matts or knots in the fur are extremely uncomfortable for cats. Such knots are difficult to negotiate at home and make it difficult for the cat to move around. The best way to deal with such knots is preventive action. By grooming according to a healthy routine, such knots can be avoided beforehand. Never use scissors to get rid of knots. Try untying them gently from the core causing as little discomfort to the cat as possible. Severe matts are usually shaved off and are typically performed at a vet’s office.

The post Grooming Tips For Your Cat appeared first on PetPlus Blog.

Grooming Tips For Your Cat

Image Source: Pixabay.com

While cats are famous for their effective self-grooming practices, domestic cats often do require human supervision and support. Grooming of cats takes planning and practice. Cats are fussy by nature and they require an educated touch. This means that the owner needs to be aware of what the cat is okay with what it is not. While planning to groom your cat, it is always a good idea to start early and develop the habit when they are still young kittens. Gradually the time spent in grooming is increased until the cat is able to accept it as a part of the daily routine. Any kind of restrain or force is to be avoided as any kind of stress associated with this experience will make it even more difficult next time.

There are different grooming techniques and routines for long and short haired cats. For shorthaired cats, grooming only once a week is enough whereas longhaired ones require grooming almost every day. For shorthaired cats a fine-tooth flea or tick comb is used along with a bristle brush, rubber mitten and grooming pad. Before beginning to groom or comb the cat, ensure that it is relaxed and stress free. The flea comb is used on shorthaired cats to check for flea dirt and fingers are used to loosen up dead hair. Once the dead hairs are disengaged, the brush is used to comb the cat from the head to the tail. This removes any remaining dead hair and stimulates the blood circulation in the body.

For longhaired cats, grooming products such as wide toothed comb, detangling sprays, rakes and other kinds of slickers are used. Longhaired cats require grooming almost regularly. The skin of the cats is massaged gently before combing. This is basically a check for flea excreta. A wide toothed comb takes care of the dead hair and is ideal for combing specific locations such as armpits and between the hind legs. A rubber glove or a damp cotton swab is used to collect and remove the dead hair.

Dematting is one of the most important grooming activities as far as cats are concerned. Matts or knots in the fur are extremely uncomfortable for cats. Such knots are difficult to negotiate at home and make it difficult for the cat to move around. The best way to deal with such knots is preventive action. By grooming according to a healthy routine, such knots can be avoided beforehand. Never use scissors to get rid of knots. Try untying them gently from the core causing as little discomfort to the cat as possible. Severe matts are usually shaved off and are typically performed at a vet’s office.

The post Grooming Tips For Your Cat appeared first on PetPlus Blog.

Do Dogs Recognize Their Own Mirror Reflection?

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Dogs do not utilize mirrors to look back towards themselves. This does not mean mirrors are meaningless to canines. On the contrary, dogs have an interesting relationship with mirrors. For many, the first sight of a dog seeing itself in the mirror makes for much hilarity, as evidenced by numerous videos posted on Social Media.

Reaction on seeing its mirror reflection

When a dog sees its reflection, it reacts as if the image is yet another dog. The first reaction depends on the individual dog and could be a hostile one. The dog could bark, paw, or bow to the reflection. It could also display a number of aggressive postures like unwavering stare or body stiffness. These mannerisms, however, do not last for long. The canine quickly displays a behavioral change. When the dog finds that its attitude does not change anything, the animal completely ignores the mirror. The canine learns one of the most important lessons which could be had in the animal kingdom: habituation. This is the art of not responding to any previously important stimulus. Habituation is important as it helps the animal to save its energy for more important tasks. The art of habituation has helped dogs and other pets to become close to humans. These animals, since they are habituated, can ignore the many disturbing habits of humans.

The habituation rate varies among individual dogs. It could be affected by the quality or stimulus or how the latter affects the life of the pet. The frequency of stimulus is also important. As every human home has a mirror, modern dogs could quickly become habituated to their reflection. The old response, however, could come back if the dog has not seen any mirror for a long time.

Dogs use humans as tools

Dogs regard humans as a sort of tool. This can be puzzling to a human but makes perfect sense to a canine. Doors are opened by humans and we feed our dogs. The animals can even talk to humans in a sort of sign language. To give an example, if a dog loses something but sees it in an area which it cannot access, it will bark at the object and gaze at the nearest human. Repeated actions of this kind will push the human into retrieving the object. This is known as “gaze alteration”.

Studies have proved that dogs do understand the nature of mirrors, albeit in a limited way. A dog is found to find food after seeing its reflection in the mirror. It is clear that mirrors are not completely meaningless for dogs. The animals do not need mirrors to do tasks or in their lives. They need their noses and humans more.

The post Do Dogs Recognize Their Own Mirror Reflection? appeared first on PetPlus Blog.

Do dogs have OCD?

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Dogs do not suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD). They, however, do suffer from compulsive disorders. In dogs, compulsive disorders take the form of exaggeration of standard dog behavior. These happen for longer time periods and get repeated where they should not happen. A dog is said to suffer from a compulsive disorder if they show a trait in situations which is unfit for that kind of behavior. The list of such behavior includes tail chasing, barking, staring into nothing, toy sucking, fly biting, or sucking any part of its body.

Causes

These compulsive disorders happen due to stress, frustration, or conflict. When a dog encounters a stressful event, its body releases neurotransmitters as a part of its stress response. If a dog gets stressed or frustrated, it may do a normal behavior like holding a stick in its mouth to relieve the stress. If this behavior decreases its anxiety, then the dog will repeat this action whenever it gets stressed. The behavior gets ritualized in some canines.

The problem begins with the progression of compulsive behaviors and it gets steadily worse. The canine frequently performs the behavior with any kind of stressful event, and not only with the original trigger situation. This behavior can consume the dog’s normal feeding an sleep habits. These behaviors can result in the dog getting injured as the impulse to repeat hat specific behavior gets stronger with time. To give an example, dogs who suck or bite its tails end up with the appendage being amputated. Skin infections are common in such a scenario.

Attention seeking

In many cases what is believed to be compulsive behavior is, in reality, a kind of attention seeking behavior. Your dog may have noticed that doing one particular activity will be rewarded by close attention. This can include negative attention too. If you find your dog executing a certain action and if you believe that this is being done to get your attention, it is possible to find out whether your doubt is true or not.

Leave a video camera in the room when you leave the house, Observe whether your dog exhibits identical behavior even if you are not at home. If it does not do the action, then your dog simply wants your attention. A few dog breeds like German Shepherds and Bull Terriers are predisposed hereditarily to compulsive behaviors. Labrador Retrievers exhibit a different kind of behavior like picking up objects and trying to eat them.

If you are sure that your dog suffers from compulsive behavior, then take it to the veterinarian as soon as possible. The professional will make sure that the behavior is not due to medical diseases and start treatment for the same.

The post Do dogs have OCD? appeared first on PetPlus Blog.

Can Cats Protect Humans?

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Cats do protect humans. There are a number of instances when a cat has saved its owner from certain death. One cat licked her owner awake when she was unconscious from carbon monoxide poisoning. Cats are extremely protective of people they stay with and there are numerous instances when a cat has warned its owner of a stranger lurking around the house. In many instances, a cat does the job of a watchdog much better than a canine could.

Cats predict the weather

Cats literally have a different worldview compared to humans. They can sense the earth’s electromagnetic field. It helps the felines to track earthquakes, storms, and tornadoes. Felines could accurately predict normal weather too. Cat owners have repeatedly observed their furry balls hiding behind furniture much before a thunderstorm struck the area. Some owners are now so attuned to their cat habits that they automatically close their windows when they see their cat cowering underneath the bed. Cats also have a much better sense of hearing than humans and they warn their owners of someone coming their way. When in times of barometric fluctuation, cats zoom around like toy race cars.

Protecting from snakes

If two mortal enemies exist, then those two are snakes and cats. This animosity is observed from time immemorial. The ancient Egyptians kept cats to protect their grains not only from rodents but also snakes. Cats were so effective that they were given God status in Egyptian lore. When it comes to the real world, a cat can easily overpower small snakes like garters but would have a tougher time with the bigger poisonous ones.

Saving human lives

Cats are found to wrap themselves among babies so that they can keep warm during cold winters. Ambulance workers are known to find cats consoling babies of poor parents who cannot afford to buy expensive clothes to keep their toddler warm. The cat sits snugly with the baby so that the toddler feels less cold.

Cats fight dogs if the latter attacks its owner. It has been repeatedly observed that cats harbor protective instincts about other animals, including humans if they like them. Cats know exactly what to do if their owners get attacked. Felines also know when their owner gets sick. There are instances when a cat nudged its diabetic owner into wakefulness so that the owner can phone a doctor or the healthcare service provider. Cats are somehow good at detecting lung cancer. A cat was found to rub its paw against its owner’s left side. The owner checked with the doctor and discovered that he had lung cancer. If the cat had not done its rubbing, the disease would have gone undetected.

The post Can Cats Protect Humans? appeared first on PetPlus Blog.

6 Things You Do That Your Dog Probably Hates

Image Source: Pixabay.com

As a pet owner, I’m sure you know that you do things that annoy your dog. Sometimes it could be without you knowing it’s irritating your dog and sometimes you know. Luckily, dogs often tolerate human behavior because they are loyal and easygoing. There are, however, some things that you do that your dog hates. You can think of a few things your dog hates because it’s quite obvious. Most people know what their dogs like and don’t like. Sometimes, dogs aren’t shy about expressing their feelings. Other times, dogs hold back, not letting on that anything is wrong.
It’s important to know when you are doing things that your dog likes and what he/she dislikes, or things that could hurt them. Like human beings, dogs deserve respect and comfort. They also have limits. Some things cause them fear, stress, and frustration.

Here are ten things that often annoy dogs and how to avoid doing them.

  1. Your dog may not appreciate a hug.
    Not all dogs are similar, and some dogs will happily bask in any love that comes their way. While others may interpret it as a sign of dominance, or it may make them feel trapped, or restrict their movement. Your dog may not see a hug as a way of you showing love. A lovely belly rub would be a better form of affection. In the end, it depends on their personality.
  2. Pulling them away from something that they are sniffing.
    Our dogs use their olfactory senses to explore and discover the world around them. Pulling them away while they are sniffing around their environment and trying to make sense of the world, can profoundly irritate your dog.
  3. Petting your dog’s face.
    Touching your dog’s face is highly irritating for them. They usually tolerate it but never enjoy it. It is necessary to avoid putting your hands on your dog’s face or towering over your dog. They typically assume that it is a sign of aggression.
  4. Don’t confuse your dog with commands that have too many words.
    Dogs intelligent creatures, known to sense things, but they dislike complex commands. Eliminate any confusion and keep it simple with the directives that you give your dog. Use your tone, and body language to get your message across.
  5. Solitary confinement
    Upon hearing fireworks, dogs usually become intensely stressed. Most people keep their dogs indoors in as quiet a place as possible to keep them calm. But you need to make sure your dog is not alone, to make him/her feel more comfortable during this stressful period.
  6. Yelling at your dog.
    With dogs, the best way to reprimand them or teach them a lesson is by encouraging good behaviors rather than yelling at them when they are ill-behaved. They will become anxious or completely desensitized to yelling.

The post 6 Things You Do That Your Dog Probably Hates appeared first on PetPlus Blog.

Tips on litter training your kitten

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Generally, cats are naturally very clean animals. Chances are, your kitten will already know how to use the litter box. Your kitten’s mom will have begun the litter training process before the kitten started living with you. However, sometimes, orphaned kittens or kittens who were adopted too young have not developed this habit.

Here are some tips to train your kitten on how to use the litter box.

  1. Set the litter box in a quiet secluded location
    Ensure that you place the litter box in a calm area, where your kitten can do its business safely without anything to disturb it.
  2. Make sure you induce the use of a litter box at the right time.
    Newborn kittens do not start using the litter box until they are around three weeks old. Introducing them to the litter box is appropriate after they are three weeks old. Be patient with the kitten and continue to offer treats or rewards until you’re confident that it is using the litter box regularly.
  3. Keep the litter box area clean
    Cats are very particular about their health and cleanliness. Ensure that you place their litter box and their food in two separate areas. It’s also important to clean out the litter box every day, to avoid infections and to regularize cleanliness. A clean box is preferred, and it will keep them coming back to it every time they need to use the bathroom.
  4. Choose the right litter box and litter for your kitten.
    Choose a box that gives your kitten easy access, with a shallow litter box and an open lid. For kittens who are less than eight weeks old, provide a shallow lip for it to walk into the litter box.Kittens have more sensitive skin than adult cats, so make sure that you choose a litter that is not scented and a litter that is dust-free.
  5. Notice when your kitten wants to do its business.
    Train your kitten to use her tray, by providing the tray as soon as you see that your kitten wants to go. You can also make it easier for your kitten by placing it in the tray. If you keep doing this, your kitten can find the litter tray all by itself by smell and location. A cat litter that can absorb odours and nor form clumps is a better option.
  6. Use positive reinforcement and reward successful attempts.
    Kittens respond well to positive reinforcement. When your kitten uses its litter tray correctly, make sure you give your kitten lots of praise and a small treat as a reward. Your kitten will gradually learn how to associate the litter box with good feelings. Encouraging your kitten with words and gifts will ensure that it uses the litter box regularly.

The post Tips on litter training your kitten appeared first on PetPlus Blog.

How to make kittens less afraid of humans

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Hiding, scrambling, freezing in place. If you have a kitten who hides, scrambles or freezes in an area, you know how heart-wrenching it can be. Experiences like abuse and trauma affect the way cats interact with humans, and he or she may be afraid to trust human caretakers.

Here are some of the ways to help your kitten be less afraid of human beings.

  1. Create a personal space for your kitten.
    Leave one room in your house dedicated to your cat alone. It gives your kitten enough room to calm down and feel familiar in one place, which in turn builds his/her sense of security in your house.
  2. Do not coddle your kitten
    Be sensitive to your kitten who is afraid of human beings. Give him/her some time to warm up to you and others slowly. Do not try to run after a scared kitten and respect the distance he/she wants to keep.
  3. Bond with your kitten through play.
    If your kitten has gotten enough confidence to come out of hiding, even if he /she is lurking around the edges of the room, you should start some gentle play. Start the game by calling for his/her attention with a toy and if he/she seems interested, slowly start moving the toy around and make sure that throughout your interactions, be mindful of your body language. Stay low, so you appear less threatening. Petting your kitten during play time and rewarding him/her with a treat after play-time will encourage this behaviour.
  4. Blink slowly at your kitten.
    When you get a kiss from your kitten, you will notice that they kiss you, while slowly blinking which shows that they trust and love you. You can return the feeling and express the same thing. When your kitten looks at you, slowly close your eyes, keep them shut for a second, and slowly open them again. You’ll notice that your kitten is starting to relax a little when he/she returns the gesture.
  5. Keep the door open and provide escape routes.
    When you play with your kitten, make sure that his/her room is open. It ensures that your kitten will feel safer. Your kitten will know that he/she can run into their safe spot if they want to.Give your kitten lots of shelves and other methods of moving all around the house.
  6. Spend some quality time in your kitten’s safe room.
    Read a book, catch up on some paperwork and spend time in your kitten’s room. Talk to your kitten in a soft, soothing tone so that your kitten can get used to your voice.

The post How to make kittens less afraid of humans appeared first on PetPlus Blog.