Common Misconceptions about Cats

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Cats are very interesting pets in that they are quite hard to read. They are rather mysterious and communication with cats can be very confusing. This is why it is very easy to form misconceptions about cats. Owners have a hard time figuring out whether their cats are happy or sad, healthy, or if they are in pain or discomfort.

It is important to realize most of the common beliefs about cats are not exactly valid and cat owners need to be aware of the truth behind such misconceptions so that they can ensure that their cats are in the best shape.

Here are some common misconceptions about cats and the truth behind them.

Cats, unlike dogs do not need your undivided attention

This is not true. Sure, they are not as expressive as dogs, but it does not mean that they are not social. Cats are capable of forming very strong emotional bonds with their owners and just like a dog, a cat experiences loneliness and anxiety if separated from their owners for too long.

So, if you think that your cat prefers being alone, then it’s time to rethink. Make sure that your cat gets enough attention from you.

Cats land on their feet when they fall

This is far from true. Cats are definitely more agile than most pets but it does not mean that they fall on their feet every time. If cats fall the wrong way or from heights, they will injure themselves and are prone to sprains and fractures. You need to make sure that the windows at your home are properly closed and sealed. Make sure that your cat does not have any wiggle room near these windows, especially if you are planning to leave them alone at home.

Female cats need to give birth before being spayed

The truth is that female cats do not need to give birth before spaying because getting pregnant and giving birth is more stressful for a cat than being spayed. Cats that are spayed are less likely to develop ovarian cancers and mammary cysts.

Pregnancy can take a toll on your cat’s body and it is better to avoid it from the start.

Cats cannot be trained like dogs

Definitely you cannot expect your feline friend to fetch and jump through hoops but cats can be trained in very subtle ways. Many cat owners train their cats using clickers and treats. Just like in the case of dogs, cats tend to pick up tricks faster if they are trained at a young age. Remember, it requires a lot of patience and time, but in due course, your cat will become capable of performin a few nifty tricks.

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What You Need To Know About Mating In Cats

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The cat mating process is similar to other mammals. Breeding happens in three stages: conception, gestation period and the last is delivery. You must care for your cat if she is pregnant. The to-be mother cat needs adequate nutrition, and after birth, the kittens as well. As a cat owner, it is your responsibility to find a loving home for the kittens.

In heat

Heat cycle is the first step in the mating process. A cat in heat is ready to mate. It will allow a male cat to come closer. These cycles start when the cat reaches six months’ age. The heat cycle gets repeated approximately every two weeks until mating. You will know your cat is ready to mate when she turns extremely affectionate. The cat in heat will make more sounds than usual. A female on heat generally raises her rump on patting or stroking her back. She will also twitch her tail after raising her rump. The female cat through these actions signals her readiness to begin the mating process.

Once you are confirmed that your female cat is in heat, do find a right male cat for her. Check the male cat’s health and if it is of the ideal age. You must make sure the female has reached her complete adult size before you permit her to mate. This is important as the cat must put all energy to not only feed her kittens but nurse them as well. Ensure your cat is at least two years old at the time of mating. If your cat is male, he must be minimum 18 months old.

Check your cat for genetic conditions like hip dysplasia and polycystic kidney disease. The prevalence of heart disease signs must also be checked. Personality tests could be done to estimate the personality of the future puppies. Grumpy cat father may result in grumpy children and happy cats usually give birth to playful kittens.

Gestation and labor

After mating, the probability of whether conception has happened or not can be understood after a period of four weeks. The gestation period approximates 65 days. Your female cat could turn shy and prefers not to be touched. It is perfectly fine for the cat to be a little weird at this time. You can help her by building a safe spot in the secluded corner of your home. Ensure she gets enough nutrition and adequate quantities of water. The cat will give birth around the 60th day of gestation. Delivery before or after 10 days within this period is normal.

Labor may last from a minimum of 20 minutes to several hours. Do keep the vet’s number on speed dial. You may have to rush your cat to the clinic if such a need arise. You can feed her between contractions. Note down the sex, color, and the weight of the kittens as they pop out. Your cat will lick her kittens clean after she gives birth. Assist her by cleaning the birthplace thoroughly. Be aware of placentas. You cat may gobble them up as they are nutritious. Do not panic if you see your cat eating them.

Your cat will prefer to rest a few days after giving birth. Allow her to rest until she recovers enough to resume her old, playful self. Once you see her playing with her babies, that will be the time you should search for a new home for the kittens. If you prefer to keep them, you will have a dirty but a home full of love.

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Are you Ready to be a Pet Parent?

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Are you thinking of bringing a cat or a dog home because you want to enrich your life with the experience of having a pet? Your life takes a turn for the better because you get a friend who brings endless companionship and joy into your life.

However, how do you know if you have what it takes to be a pet parent? To give a complete picture, here are some questions you need to answer before you make the jump and get a pet home:

Are you living in a property which is pet-friendly?

There are a lot of condominiums and apartments where the associations have strict rules about having pets. Some of them place restrictions on the size of the pet, while others don’t allow them at all. As you are planning to get a pet, you should find out about the terms and conditions of the place you reside. If the rules don’t allow you to bring a pet home, you might have to consider moving to a new locality, which gives you more freedom.

Do you have the necessary finances to support your pet?

Although you don’t require tremendous amounts of money to take care of your pet, it will still put a strain on your budget. Every month, you have to spend on purchasing the necessary supplies, such as food, toys, and cleaning products. You have to make at least two to three trips to the vet every year, to get the necessary vaccinations, health checkups, and grooming.

Is your work schedule hectic every day?

When you get a pet, you need to spend quality time with it every day, to keep it and yourself happy. You have to spend time with the pet, to teach it the rules of your house. Also, if you adopt a dog, you need to take it for walks as soon as you wake up, in the evening, and before you hit the sack. Even if you get a cat, you have to spend time with it, as it needs your company.

Is your house close to a highway or intersection?

If your house is near an intersection or highway, then you need to take the necessary steps to keep your pet safe from traffic. If you get a dog, you need to have a fence in your yard to prevent your canine from escaping. Cats should only be allowed to go outside with a safety harness.

What is your game plan if you find out that you or a family member is allergic to the pet?

It is quite common for owners to find out that they are allergic to pets only after they bring them home. What is your plan of action if you find yourself in this situation? Are you going to give away your pet or will you find an alternative to keep your friend?

By answering these questions, you will get to know if you are ready to be a pet parent. Do you have any questions about this subject? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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The Pros and Cons of Neutering a Pet

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The thought of spaying/neutering your pet may fill you with guilt. But many vets, rescue operation workers and shelter operators will urge you forward in your decision. In fact, you may prolong your cat/dog’s life by having it spayed and neutered. However, a case can be made for the opposite too. Let’s weigh in the advantages and disadvantages of both below:

Pros – 

  • Stops overpopulation of cats and dogs. Thousand of pets are euthanize in shelters every year because there is a lack of space and resources to accommodate them.
  • Neutered male cats are more docile and less likely to escape the house and wander around or get into fights. They are at a lesser chance of contracting FIV or feline AIDS.
  • Neutered dogs are similarly less likely to get into street fights or indulge in unwanted behavior like leg-humping. They almost never get testicular cancer and their risk of developing a sexually transmitted disease is also slim.
  • Ensures a longer and healthier life for your pets – Uterine infection risk and breast and testicular cancer chances are decreased by a sizable margin for neutered dogs and cats.
  • Makes for a more relaxed environment – When your pet is in heat, their only mission in life is to find a mate and multiply. A spayed and neutered cat will not only be less stressed out themselves but take away their owner’s worries too.

Cons –

  • Neutering/Spaying your pet can result in hormonal imbalances – Female dogs who have been neutered before their first heat have often reported Hyperthyroidism.
  • Obesity – Pets begin to gain a considerable amount of weight after they have been neutered. However, this can be controlled with proper diet and exercise.
  • Pain from castration – Pets suffer a certain amount of pain from castration and may even be at a slight risk of anesthesia related complications.
  • Behavioral changes – Neutered dogs may exhibit changes in behavior.

Conclusion

The decision of whether to have your pet neutered/spayed rests solely upon you, the pet owner. While many argue vociferously for the pros of having a pet neutered. There is another party that believes a pet can lead a healthy life without having undergone surgery. Breeding a pet is not easy and not many may be comfortable with the prospect of their cat/dog giving birth. Spaying/neutering proves to be a wise choice in such cases. Waiting can be an option for pet owners who do not want to see their pet go through the pain of neutering.

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How to Care For a Sick Dog

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No dog-owner likes to see their pet friend feel under the weather and act unlike themselves. If your dog is sick, sometimes he can benefit from the love and care offered at home. At other times, his condition may warrant a consultation with the vet. It is important to be able to tell the difference between each. If the illness affecting your dog is serious, it could result in a life or death decision.

Measures to Take

  • Familiarize yourself with your dog’s daily routine. By doing this, you will be alerted if he shows any abnormal pattern of behavior. Knowing when to call the vet is half the struggle.
  • Do not feed him if he shows signs of vomiting or diarrhea. Not even treats or raw-hides should be allowed.
  • Keep ready access of water for your dog to avail whenever he feels thirsty.
  • Gradually introduce a diet of bland food to your dog after the period of starvation. The diet should include 1/3 easily digested protein and 2/3 easily digested starch.
  • Don’t allow your dog to exhaust himself by playing or exercising excessively. Playtime should be restricted for a dog that is feeling unwell.
  • Keep a close watch on its urine and stool output. Additionally, always keep an eye on him for symptoms. If you have to step out, appoint a person to look after your dog while you are away. Don’t leave him alone while he is sick.
  • Set up your dog’s bed in an area where you can monitor it. Add blankets that exude your scent to keep him comforted.
  • Ensure minimum light and noise where the dog is resting. It will allow him to have uninterrupted naps.
  • Don’t let him near your other dogs, if any. You could risk transmission of the disease.
  • Clean his bathroom area more frequently to keep away potential health risks that may result in further chances of infections/illness.
  • Keep him from scavenging by securing your garbage.
  • Dogs that show a lack of appetite need to be tempted into eating. The dog parent may heat the dog’s meal to make it more aromatic which will draw the dog’s interest towards it.
  • Hide his medication in his meals, this will make the process of administering medication much easier.

Conclusion

If a dog is not severely unwell, he can be easily treated at home with some patience and kindness. Overseeing your dog’s condition, feeding him on time and cleaning after him are all that is required. However, if the dog begins to show symptoms that refuse to go away with time, it is wise to involve a vet.

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How to Handle Your Dog if it is a Picky Eater?

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As a dog owner, you know that canines love to eat food all the time, as they believe their stomach has unlimited storage capacity. Even if dogs had their meal just five minutes ago, they are always ready to eat again.

What if your dog is different from other canines as it is a picky eater? The first thing you need to do is, ensure there are no health problems with your dog. For example, stomach problems, allergies, and sore gums and teeth prevent your canine from enjoying its meal.

Reasons why your dog is a picky eater
Although there are several reasons, let’s take a look at the two most common causes which makes your dog a picky eater:

Boredom
How long can you eat the same type of food for the rest of your life? Even if it is the most delicious meal in the world, you will feel the need to eat something else, as you are tired of eating the same dish every day. Similarly, your four-legged furry friend feels the same, as its food is no longer exciting.

Excessive consumption of treats
Every dog owner treats their pet as a member of their family. Due to this reason, it is quite common for owners to feed their dogs with the food they eat in every meal. Over time, the canines lose interest in their food, as it is not as delicious or aromatic as what their owners eat, which leads to picky eating. If you have been feeding your dog with scraps from your meals, your canine will exhibit this behavior.

How to eliminate picky eating in your dog?

Change things up regularly
If you are giving your canine commercial dog food, then you can liven things up with change. For example, you can mix the dog food with beef or chicken broth, as they enhance its flavor significantly. You can also add canned food, as it increases the variety. Also, you can microwave the food for at least 15 seconds, so that it releases aroma, which increases your canine’s interest.

Limit the number of treats
One of the main things you need to do is reduce the number of treats your canine gets in a day. Your canine understands that if it doesn’t eat its regular food, you will cave in and give it treats. Instead, you should reduce the number of treats, while providing it with a balanced, and high-quality diet.
By going through this simple guide, you can handle your dog, even though it is a picky eater. Do you have anything to add to this subject? If yes, let us know by leaving a comment below!

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Introducing A Kitten To An Older Cat – 4 Steps To Make Them Friends

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As cats are solitary by nature, they are not happy when they have to share their space. Due to this reason, getting a new kitten into your house can be challenging, when you already have an older cat. Even though the kitten wants to make new friends, your older feline friend may not feel the same.

Create a safe room
You can’t just bring the new kitten and older cat face-to-face immediately and hope things will be okay. Instead, you should create a safe room, so that your kitten can understand the smells and sounds of your house. The best place for a safe room is a bedroom, as it has sufficient space for the kitten to explore. Make sure that all necessities are available such as food, litter box, bed, and toys.

Your kitten should stay within the boundaries of the safe room for at least a week or two so that it starts smelling like your house. Due to this reason, your kitten will seem less of a threat to the older cat, allowing them to bond at a faster rate.

Collect and exchange their scents
For your cats to start getting comfortable with one another, it is important for them to be familiar with their scents. Use a cloth and wipe around your kitten’s ears, chin, and face, as these are the locations of your scent glands. Do the same with your older cat to collect its scent.

Exchange the towels and give them to the kitten and your older cat. The next step is to remove the kitten from the safe room and allow your resident feline to explore this space. Allow the feline to spend at least an hour in this space so that it becomes familiar with the kitten’s scent.

Let them meet each other, face-to-face
Set up a baby gate at the entrance of the safe room, so that you can start the introduction process. As cats like to do things at their pace, never try to introduce them by force. Allow the cats to approach and sniff each other. They may moan or hiss, as this is their first meeting. If the cats start showing signs of aggression, separate them and try again the next day. Only proceed to the next step, if they don’t mind each other’s presence.

Allow the kitten and older cat to spend time under supervision
The last step is to allow the kitten and the older cat to spend time, under your supervision. At first, the cats should bond over short sessions. Slowly, you can increase the length of the bonding time, till they are at peace with one another.

These are the four steps which will help you introduce a kitten to your older cat, which allows them to become good friends. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below!

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