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Posts Tagged ‘cats’

Are Raw Diets Good for your Pets?

My Valentino has a very sensitive stomach, and a couple of years ago, he had chronic diarrhea for over a a year- poor thing! During that time, I tried every food (meaning all healthy kibbles), vet RX food, just about everything, and nothing worked until I found raw. At first, I’ll admit, I wasn’t a fan because its expensive, its gross and it requires more work than just dumping some kibble in his bowl. But, as anyone who knows me, knows I would do anything for my dog, so I tried it – and his chronic diarrhea went away, his itchiness went away, his coat is always shinny, and people cant believe he’ll be 7 years old because he’s in such amazing shape!

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Feeding a whole, raw food diet has been associated with:

Increased energy
Healthier skin and the elimination of itchy skin conditions
Shinier fur with less shedding
Healthier teeth, gums, and better breath
Firmer muscle tone with increased strength and mobility
Healthy digestion and smaller, firmer stools
Stronger immune system
Better weight management

Raw food is also believed to help mitigate and prevent:

Cancer
Diabetes
Kidney and liver disease
Heart disease
Pancreatic disease
Autoimmune disease

Cats and dogs are natural carnivores. They have long, sharp teeth designed for meat eating, and their digestive tract is much shorter and secretes enzymes that enable them to safely consume raw meat. Their stomach acids are so much stronger than ours that they tend to kill off almost all pathogenic bacteria anyway. Raw food is high in protein and the natural nutrients that your pet needs.

Most processed kibble and canned pet foods are the equivalent of junk food for your pet. The intensive manufacturing processes create an inferior and biologically inappropriate product that is low in nutritional value and lacks vital food enzymes. Feeding these foods can lead to a negative effect on our pet’s health. Raw, whole ingredients will support and optimize a healthy immune system and wellness.

If you do the switch, don’t be alarmed when your dog poops a lot less, and it’s much smaller in size- this is supposed to happen because the food he is eating is high quality and its being used instead of excreted.

Why not give it a try! There’s plenty of brands out there to make it easier than figuring it out on your own, and in the long run, you will save money on your pet’s medical bills, good luck!

Battle Cabin Fever!

Pets can get the winter blues too!  Even if you live in a warmer state, the change of season affects pets too!  Pet owners who ignore their pet’s needs for winter stimulation will find their companions gaining weight, becoming irritable, and sleeping too much.  However, here are some steps that will make you and your pet happier during the long colder months!

(1) Brighten the Lights: Pets respond to illumination like we do- they get peppier when the lights are brighter !

(2) Encourage Play Time: Just because its cold outside, doesn’t mean you can’t have some indoor stimulation!  Put your timer on, and play with your pet for that whole time period.

(3) Recalculate Food Quantities: If a dog or cat is not outdoors as much, you may want to lower their food intake, so they don’t gain winter weight!

(4) Enhance Scents Around the House: Scented goodies can keep dogs busy as they try to find the course of the smell.  Cats like toys with catnip and/or scratching posts.

(5) Go Outside: Bundle up (and bundle up your dog too) and do get that outdoor time every day!

 

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Winter Tips for Your Kitty

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With the cold temperatures, we need to make sure your kitties stay warm and safe!

1) If your cat is outdoor/indoor, make sure he or she is acclimated and doesn’t stay out too long, especially when it’s below freezing.

2) Watch for signs of frostbite- ears, tails, footpads and look for pale, glossy or white skin.

3) Cats like to curl up in warm places. Prevent potential burns and fires by protecting your cat from open fireplaces, wood stoves and space heaters. Warm engines are also a favorite place for outdoor cats, and feral cats too, so honk the horn or bang on the hood before starting the car.

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4) Antifreeze has a sweet taste cats like but it’s toxic enough to cause serious illness and even death. Make sure your car isn’t leaking any fluids and keep containers safely locked away.

5) Feed your kitty a nutritionally complete food and always have water out for him or her. Nutrition and water are important because a well-nourished pet is better equipped to cope with harsh weather.

6) Give your cat a cozy place to sleep by offering some bedding in a warm place, free from drafts. You can raise your bed off the floor, too, cats love that jungle lair feeling.

7) Contact your vet immediately if you notice changes in your cat’s behavior, such as energy-level or appetite-decrease.

8 Reasons Why I’m Truly Thankful for My Pets!

November is the month we take time to express gratitude and celebrate all that we are thankful for.  I am blessed and thankful to be able to make a living doing something that I’m tremendously passionate about – working with animals.  Let’s all take a moment to reflect on why we opened up our hearts and homes to our pets, and what makes them so special to our lives!

I can say my life is better and I am a better person because of my animals and my love for them, and all animals in that case.

I can probably name a million things I’m grateful for when it comes to my pets, but here are just a few!  I’m sure you can all relate to most if not all on this list!

(1) Every time I come in my apartment, my dog Valentino is super happy to see me, showing it by either with a tail wag, or a full face cleaning!

(2) Making the bed every morning, and playing with my cat Leo in the sheets, helps me start my day off with a smile.

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(3) I love that Valentino has endless amounts of energy, and makes me want to be more active!

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(4) But I’m also grateful that he loves sleeping just as much as me,especially on those lazy Sunday mornings.

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(5) My other cat Mya reminds me that pets feed off of our energy, so around her I’m reminded to calm my energy and relax more, which is hard for me sometimes.  Just petting her takes my anxiety about the day to day things away.


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(6) I love when Leo snuggles with me at night, and kneads my neck, and rubs up against my face (even though this usually happens after midnight!)

(7) All of my pets, and my clients’ pets as well, have helped me put life into prospective. I don’t worry about the small things anymore such as my favorite sweater was ruined, or the cat threw up in my bed. Possessions are just that, and our love for our animals is so much greater!

(8) My pets teach me a lot of things, and most of all they teach me to appreciate the simple things in life, and find joy in them.

I have a true love for all animals, and I’v always had a connection to them, even horses!

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I am grateful for this love of animals.  I am and will always be a pet person, and will always rescue pets and fill my home with their love!

Help! My Cat is like Jekyll and Hyde!

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Help! Why is my cat biting and scratching me for no reason!

As a cat owner myself, I know how frustrating it is when all you want to do is love and cuddle your cat(s), but sometimes they just want to bite you back! Don’t take it too personal; it’s probably not you! Read these reasons for why your cat might be aggressive, and some tips for dealing with it (from the Humane Society).

PLAY AGGRESSION

Cats love to play, and stalk prey. They pounce and attack! As kittens it might be cute, because their teeth and claws are still tiny, but when they are adults, it becomes a nuisance, and can be a hazard if you have young children around. My advice is to NEVER play with your cats with just your hands, meaning don’t use your hands as pretend “prey;” always use a toy so you aren’t teaching them that attacking your hands is OK. A great toy is a long fishing pole type with a toy at the end, so you can keep your distance. If your cat happens to bite or scratch you, say “UH-UH” and immediately stop playing. Never yell or hit your cat.

PETTING AGGRESSION

Sometimes when you are innocently and lovingly petting your cat, he might take a nip at you out of the blue. Experts aren’t really sure of the reasons why, but most think it’s because some cats are sensitive on certain areas of their bodies, or just have a limited tolerance for being touched. My cats only want to be pet on their own terms! I would stay away from touching their tails, ears and paws. When they start twitching, moving their tail, turning back their ears, grumbling, or even putting their teeth lightly on your skin, etc, walk away. Going forward, I would stop petting them before you notice any of these signs. Another thing you can do is reward your cat with treats. Pet him for a little while, then treat him. He will soon associate petting with food- yum!

REDIRECTED AGGRESSION

This occurs when a cat is aroused (in a bad way) by an animal or person, but has no outlet for his naturally aggressive feelings. Maybe your cat is gazing out of the window and sees another cat or animal outside, and he then gets territorial. Since he cannot get to that cat, he attacks the first thing that crosses his path. What you should do is observe your cat- is he staring intently out the window that he doesn’t notice you, is he not responding when you call, or is he growling or hissing- then don’t mess with him! Clap your hands loudly to break his fixation, or just walk away. If you ever have to break up two cats fighting, just use a squirt bottle filled with water.

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TERRITORIAL AGGRESSION

Cats are naturally very territorial. Most of the time they are only territorial with other cats, but sometimes you will meet an extremely dominate cat who thinks he owns the house (like my cat LEO!)! Some very aggressive cats can prevent you from entering or leaving a room even. We had a cat client once, who has since moved, that was extremely dominant. Every sitter I introduced him too, was terrified of him, and most would refuse to watch this cat. I had to fill in on multiple occasions because I am not afraid of cats myself, but I definitely understood their fears! If you live with an alpha cat, you can use the squirt bottle to assert your dominance to let him know who is the boss. I would also redirect a territorial cat’s aggression to a plat toy, preferably one with a long pole, so you don’t have to get too close.

OTHER REASONS

If your cat’s behavior has suddenly changed, there could be a potential medical issue. Take him to the vet for a check up. If he is fine, then he might just need behavior modification. Maybe he is just stressed out at home (too much noise, too many people or other pets around). Consider confining him to one room, that is quiet and less stressful and see if this works. You can also always contact an animal behaviorist.

GOOD LUCK!

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Are You Keeping Your Pet Healthy!!??

Many people don’t realize how important it is for your pet to get plenty of clean, fresh water.  Studies have shown that getting your pet to drink more water is one of the easiest ways to maintain good health.  However, many animals, do not drink enough water.

Do you ever notice your cat likes to drink from the faucet, or your dog likes to drink out of the toilet bowl?  There is a reason behind this strange behavior!

In nature, moving water is cleaner.  It has less bacteria than stagnant water.  In addition, moving water is more aerated, so it tastes better, and makes the water more appealing to drink.  Running water also is naturally filtered.  So for these reasons, pets may seek running water or water that is constantly refreshed (like the toilet bowl) over water sitting in a bowl.

My cats LOVE drinking out of my bathtub.  So I leave the water on a trickle for them multiple times a day.  I have also heard that cats like when their water source is separate from their food source, so you can try moving their water bowl, or leaving another bowl of water out for them in a different place.  Other people love water fountains for their cats and/or dogs.  I am personally not a fan.  I have tried many, and I always end up returning them.  But to each their own!

For my dog, I just use a water bowl, and refresh it multiple times a day.  Also make sure you actually wash and scrub out your pet’s water bowls with soap once a day.  People frequently tend to forget to do this.  Even water bowls can get bacteria growth.

Whatever you choose, just make sure your pet has access to clean, fresh water, and he or she will be healthier!

Looking for a Kitten or Cat to Join your Family?! (Part 1)

As some of you may know I have 2 Ragdoll cats, Mya and Leo.  They are wonderful cats! They have a loving nature, and as their name suggests, they have a tendency to go limp when picked up (not all of them do though believe it or not!)  They tend to be on the bigger size, with the males averaging around 15 pounds.  Leo, my male is about 12/13 pounds, while my female Mya is a lot smaller, around 8 or 9 pounds.  Before them, I had a crazy Calico named Kali, who I adopted from the Brooklyn AC&C, who had a dual personality, but loved her just the same!  And before her, I had a DSH cat named Penny, who was found on the street, but the sweetest cat you would ever meet.  And of course, I can’t forget my little sunshine, Valentino, my rescue pup from Louie’s Legacy (www.louieslegacy.org), who just turned 2, and who gets tormented by my cat Leo!  :)

Even though a majority of my animals have been rescued, I am ashamed to admit that my Ragdolls were purchased from a breeder in upstate NY.  I researched the breed, and really wanted to have that particular breed.  I didn’t know at the time (about 5-6 years ago) that I could find a purebred or a close mix from a shelter or rescue agency.  I definitely would have adopted if I had known this fact.  I wanted to share this with my readers because its so important to support your local shelters, and help homeless animals find a forever home.

Below, meet one kind of the adoptable “purebred” cats.  These stories were provide by Adopt-A-Pet.  On Adopt-A-Pet’s website, you can search for your next feline family member by breed, gender, color, coat length, age and more.

Persians Cats – Fluffy

Persians are known for their round faces and short, stubby muzzles. They always have long and thick coats, short little legs, and a wide head. The breed’s fur is so long and dense, actually, that they have to have a groomer take professional care of it every six to eight weeks! Persians are usually quiet, laid-back, and lazy – they do great in apartment environments.

If you’re looking for a fluffy, flat-faced Persian to bring home for a companion, check out this lovely kitty!

This is Fluffy, named because she’s just so fluffy! Fluffy is a tortoiseshell kitty that loves to snuggle when you come home from a long day at work. She is declawed in the front, but she will still try to knead you to show how much she loves you. Even though she is almost an old lady at nine years of age, you’d never know it – she’s playful, loves children, and adores her best friend Charlie.

Fluffy the Cat for Adoption

Find a Persian cat/kitten Near You Now at Adopt-a-Pet.com http://www.adoptapet.com/s/persian-cats-for-adoption

Look out for tomorrows post for more cats!

Also, speaking of searching particular colors, breeds etc., check out this orange kitty from Louie’s Legacy Animal Rescue that needs a home!  I know some people have a thing for orange cats- like my business partner Nicole!

http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/22649835

Lil Girl

See you tomorrow!

Is Your Cat Afraid of Visitors?

One of my cats runs at the sound of a pin drop, and the other thinks he is a dog!  So my mission has been to get my shy kitty, to become more gregarious of course.  When I have visitors come over, I want to show off my pets because they are like children to me.  If you have this problem as well, here are some tips!

Begin by having someone come over and sit on the floor without making eye contact with your cat.  The visitor should engage in quiet conversation with you, and not directed at the cat. Never hold your cat or encourage or make him to go up to the visitor.  Cats always feel less threatened when they have some degree of  control (this is why your cat always goes up to your visitors that are afraid of them and ignore them at first!).  Engage the cat in their favorite activity like an interactive play session with a fishing pole toy or offer treats while in the presence of the visitor. If things go well you can have the visitor begin gently tossing treats to the cat while keeping their distance.  If your kitty isn’t ready for this step then work up to that in later sessions. The point of this is to have the cat associate something positive with the presence of the visitor.

Good luck!