Raw Cat Food – Why It’s the Best Diet For Your Cat, and What Are the Trade-offs For You?

The biggest myth surrounding cat ownership is that cats are worry free, self-contained and self-providing pets that require little or no maintenance. Cats are so good at giving people the impression of independence and self-reliance that people believe they don’t have to provide the highly focused attention to cats that, say, dogs require. The fact of the matter is that cats do require the same attention to detail that any dog does, and maybe even a little more, in some cases. This is especially true when it comes to probing the controversy regarding whether raw cat food is better that canned cat food or kibbles for your feline ward.

It’s a sad thing to look around our country these days and see so many people who have allowed themselves to become overweight and then have to deal with the consequential suffering and ill-health effects of obesity. Diabetes, shortness of breath, constant exhaustion from lugging around so many extra pounds and lowered self-esteem. Of course, the garment industry is singing happy tunes with all the extra thread they have to put together. There’s no shortage of explanations for why this situation has come about, but I think when it comes down to it we can only blame ourselves at the individual level for allowing such a condition to take root. After all, how many pounds overweight does one have to get before they realize that something’s not right and becoming a problem? 10, 20… 50 lbs? And how long does it take to realize that the magic pills, diets, elixirs and effortless, lose-weight-with-no-work-out machines are products being marketed to your ego, to separate you from your bank account, and not to solve your problem? No… the only way to find an ideal normality is with thorough research, discovery and a lot of hard work accompanied with a healthy life style change. But, enough sermonizing about the human condition. This is about cats, their eating habits and raw cat food.

One thing needs to come along with this discussion from the previous paragraph. Most people are not experts in animal nutrition and rely on others to lead them in the right direction. The source for most ‘experts’ available to a person for their daily decision making and selection of choices usually comes to us through the traditional media of radio, newspapers, television and now, the internet. Media offers two kinds of resources. Investigative reporting which is presented in newscasts or opinion pieces, and secondly, the marketing hype that provides commercial broadcast funding. The former is reliable enough to put credence into and might call for further research on your part if it interests you. The latter really only wants you to spend your money with them. That’s not necessarily bad… it does ultimately put people to work and provides many with an adequate, and even comfortable living. Unfortunately, the bottom line is… corporations only have one objective in the end. That is to feed their bottom line. Now recent events have caused many to reconsider the morality behind a corporations goals. But, as long as this market structure is the paradigm for our economy, the ultimate goal for big business will always be to maximize their profit-loss statements towards the profit end of the spectrum, any way they can get away with, and at your expense… literally.

So, what does this have to do with cats and if raw cat food is what you should be feeding them? Simply put, most people rely on the marketing hype to base their decisions regarding the food they feed their pets. Which is exactly the wrong source for basing such a critical decision. Take the cat for example. It’s not only a scientific fact, but a cultural one also, that the cat is described as an obligate carnivore. This defines cats as creatures who derive most of their food nutrients from the animals they hunt and consume (raw cat food). When a cat devours it’s prey, she will eat everything including not only muscle meat, but the brains, organ meat and the stomach and its contents which may consist of grasses and grains. One thing she doesn’t do is fire up a stove and saute or bake her dinner, or prepare a nice sauce to go with it. She eats it raw. Cultural purists use this description as an argument that feeding cats store bought, mass produced canned or dry cat food is doing your cat a disservice by depriving her of the natural nutrients she would normally get in the raw cat food she captures in the wild, and for which she was biologically designed.

Pottenger’s cats
Francis M. Pottenger, Jr. (1901 – 1967) was the son of Francis M. Pottenger, Sr., the physician who co-founded the Pottenger Sanatorium for treatment of tuberculosis in Monrovia, California. Between 1932 and 1942 he conducted what is know as the Pottenger Cat Study. One part of this study was what effect heat had on the nutrient value of raw food. In other words, what happens to food when you cook it.

“Pottenger used donated laboratory cats to test the potency of the adrenal extract hormones he was making. The adrenal glands of these cats were removed for the experiments and Pottenger noted that most of the cats died during or following the operation. He was feeding the cats a supposedly nutritive diet consisting of raw milk, cod liver oil and cooked meat scraps of liver, tripe, sweetbread, brains, heart and muscle.

When the number of donated cats exceeded the supply of food available, Pottenger began ordering raw meat scraps from a local meat packing plant, including organs, meat, and bone; and fed a separate group of cats from this supply. Within months this separate group appeared in better health than the cooked meat group. Their kittens were more energetic and, most interestingly, their post-operative death rate was lower.

At a certain point, he decided to begin a controlled scientific exploration. Pottenger conducted studies involving approximately 900 cats over a period of ten years, with three generations of cats being studied.

Meat study:

In one study, one group of cats was fed a diet of:

  • Two-thirds raw meat, one-third raw milk, and cod-liver oil
  • A second group was fed a diet of two-thirds cooked meat, one-third raw milk, and cod-liver oil.

The cats fed the all-raw diet were healthy while the cats fed the cooked meat diet developed various health problems:

  • By the end of the first generation the cats started to develop degenerative diseases and became quite lazy.
  • By the end of the second generation, the cats had developed degenerative diseases by mid-life and started losing their coordination.
  • By the end of the third generation the cats had developed degenerative diseases very early in life and some were born blind and weak and had a much shorter life span. Many of the third generation cats couldn’t even produce offspring. There was an abundance of parasites and vermin while skin diseases and allergies increased from an incidence of five percent in normal cats to over 90 percent in the third generation of deficient cats. Kittens of the third generation did not survive six months. Bones became soft and pliable and the cats suffered from adverse personality changes. Males became docile while females became more aggressive.
  • The cats suffered from most of the degenerative diseases encountered in human medicine and died out totally by the fourth generation.

At the time of Pottenger’s Study the amino acid taurine had been discovered but had not yet been identified as an essential amino acid for Cats. Today many cats thrive on a cooked meat diet where taurine has been added after cooking. The deficient diets lacked sufficient taurine to allow the cat’s to properly form protein structures and resulted in the health effects observed. Pottenger himself concluded that there was likely an “as yet unknown” protein factor (taurine) that may have been heat sensitive.

Milk Study:

In another study, dubbed the “Milk Study,”, the cats were fed 2/3 milk and 1/3 meat. All groups were fed raw meat with different groups getting raw, pasteurized, evaporated, sweetened condensed or raw metabolized vitamin D milk. The cats on raw milk were the healthiest while the rest exhibited varying degrees of health problems similar to the previous cooked meat study.

This particular Pottenger cat study has been cited by advocates of raw milk as evidence that it is likely healthier for humans than pasteurized milk.” +

Though Pottenger’s experiments don’t conclusively verify that raw cat food diets are better for sustaining a healthy support for the physiological needs of cats than cooked (canned) or dry kibbles, (because he didn’t use canned cat food or kibbles in the experiments) certain conclusions can be drawn.

  • Cooking meat can destroy certain food nutrients, namely amino acids (proteins)
  • Cats thrive more healthily on raw meat rather than cooked meat with less degenerative results
  • Cooking meat for your cat requires the replacement of the essential amino acid taurine, and possibly other nutrients destroyed in the cooking process

Pet food marketing hype says that “XYZ” cat food products are healthy for your pet because it adds “ABC” nutrients, vitamins and minerals to their product which safeguards your cat’s health. Fortunately, marketing laws require that the ingredients in any given product be listed on the packaging of your cat’s food. Ultimately, it is left up to you to make the decision about which is the best shelf product for your cat.

For a discussion that details interpreting cat food labels CLICK HERE

Today’s problem plagued market place has left many in doubt as to whether the corporate entities that supply the bulk of our aggregate necessities can continue to be worthy of our trust. Arrogance and greed have always gone head to head with social morality and it’s usually the end user that ends up paying with unnecessary suffering. Many pet owners have now taken matters into their own hands and are resorting to providing from raw ingredients meals made with their own hands for their pets. It’s not a bad step but certain measures, which include a life-style change, need to be taken when preparing your pet’s meals to keep her safe from bacterial infection and insure that her nutritional needs are met.

Here’s an example of a raw cat food meal preparation from scratch:

    • 2 kg [4.4 pounds] raw muscle meat with bones (chicken necks are mostly cartilage, are easy to chop and easy for the cat to digest) thighs and drumsticks or, better, a whole carcass of rabbit or chicken amounting to 2 kg; if you don’t use a whole carcass, opt for dark meat like thighs and drumsticks from chicken or turkey)
    • 400 grams [14 oz] raw heart, ideally from the same animal (if no heart is available, substitute with 4000 mg Taurine)
    • 200 grams [7 oz] raw liver, ideally from the same animal (if you can’t find appropriate liver, you can substitute 40,000 IU of Vitamin A and 1600 IU of Vitamin D–but try to use real liver instead of substitutes).
      • NOTE: If you cannot find the heart or liver and decide to substitute with the Taurine/Vitamin A and D, then remember to replace the missing amount of organ meat with the equivalent amount of muscle meat. In other words, if you cannot find heart, you add another 400 grams of the meat/bones. If you can’t find the liver, add another 200 grams of meat/bones.
    • 16 oz [2 cups] water
    • 4 raw egg yolks (use eggs from free-range, antibiotic-free chickens if you can)
    • 4 capsules raw glandular supplement (such as, for example, “Raw Multiple Glandular” from Premier Labs)
    • 4000 mg salmon oil
    • 200 mg Vitamin B complex
    • 800 IU Vitamin E (“dry E” works well) Buy Vitamin E in dry powder form. It’s much easier to deal with than those little oil-filled capsules.
    • OPTIONAL: 1/4 teaspoon of kelp and 1/4 teaspoon of dulse (1/2 teaspoon total) Try and get dulse and kelp in powder form that you can easily measure with a teaspoon rather than in capsule form. Taking apart those capsules is time consuming. If you can only find kelp in caplet form, you’ll need to spend time crushing the caplets with a mortar and pestle.
    • OPTIONAL: 4 teaspoons psyllium husk powder (8 teaspoons if using whole psyllium husks) ?

It looks like this recipe will produce about 5- 6 lbs of finished raw cat food product which would feed a single cat for several weeks. That means most of it would have to be frozen in individual air tight containers and thawed as needed.

The digestive system of a cat is designed to handle things human systems can’t. Their stomachs have a highly acidic environment, which is an excellent deterrent to ingested bacteria such as e coli and salmonella. In the wild, cats sometimes eat some pretty iffy stuff with no ill effects. Wild cats die more often from infection due to injuries than from food poisoning. However, there are steps you can take if you have concerns about raw cat food bourn bacteria.

  • Avoid packaged supermarket ground beef using whole chunks of meat instead
  • Buy “free-range” meat and poultry as fresh as possible
  • Add priobiotics (which help maintain intestinal health) to your raw food preparation
  • Proper handling of raw cat food is essential since some raw cat food may contain bacteria that could cause illness to you or your pets. Be sure to keep raw cat food meat and poultry separate from other foods. Wash hands prior to, and after handling raw cat food. Wash working surfaces, bowls, and utensils that come in contact with raw meat with hot, soapy water. Always wash your hands after cleaning your cat’s waste; this includes litter boxes.
  • Pick up and dispose of uneaten raw cat food within 30 minutes of feeding your cat

Preparing raw cat food meals from scratch for your cat is a labor of love indulged in by purists. Most people don’t have the time, and maybe lack the talent to take on such a task. If you count yourself among this latter group, rest easy. Ready-made products are finding their way to the market place. There are complete raw cat food meals which are shipped frozen and there are mixes which all you have to do is add the meat. Just remember that if you are going with the mix, be certain that the essential amino acids such as taurine are included. If not then be sure to add the heart (a source for taurine) and other organ meat from the same animal if possible, with the raw cat food meal so that your cat won’t be deprived of these critical ingredients.

So, what are the trade-offs you ask?

Well, for one thing you will have to forego the convenience of one-stop-shopping in the supermarket pet food aisles. Orders for raw cat food meals or mixes are mostly made on-line so you will have to deal with credit or debit cards. Pre-planning will have to be regular routine so that you don’t run out of raw cat food before the next shipment arrives. If a shipment thaws, you will have to return it because you won’t want to take any chances with bacterial infection. Most companies will honor returns due to thawing. And, if you prepare raw cat food meals completely from scratch, be prepared to spend a couple of hours in the kitchen with this task.

The real trade-off is with the quality of cat food you will be providing. The store bought ‘meal’ based cereal foods will be replaced with the high quality fresh foods that cat’s were designed for. Some cats may balk at the transition at first because they weren’t socialized with raw cat food as kittens. But, their health will show marked improvement, you will probably be surprised by the results which can be compared to how your cat behaved before being fed a fresh, high quality raw cat food diet that meets their needs nutritionally, plus their immune systems will be stronger giving your cat a chance for a longer, healthier life.

Ask any monk or even the ordinary, next-door-neighbor contemplative type, and they’ll tell you that life is not easy; suffering is the characteristic that describes much of the existence in this corner of the Universe, and that the punishment for ignoring this fact is to bear more suffering. Yet this suffering can be relieved with even a little knowledge and understanding of why and how things can operate to ease your burden. It does take a willingness on your part to change and accept new habits to accommodate a changed life-style. But, knowledge and understanding cannot be acquired through osmosis. It takes a lot of work to comprehend even a small amount of the sense that holds life together. One can’t depend on epiphanies either. Like magic and miracles, instant knowledge occurs only rarely… and you can grow old waiting for it while your cat pines for a raw cat food meal. It’d be like huffing and puffing along wondering why you’re carrying around all that extra baggage.

+ – Thanks to Wikipedia for this excerpt
? – Thanks to Wikihow

Robert J Gallegos is the author of [http://www.catlover-giftsworld.com] a web site dedicated to proper cat care with quality cat lover gifts based on an understanding of cat behavior, instincts and the unique requirements for healthy cats as pets. Cats are the newest of animals to be domesticated and still have one paw in the wild. It’s a major reason why they’re so mysterious and resistant to human expectations.

Robert is a life long lover of cats. He is dedicated to sharing his understanding of the cat experience, reducing the epidemic feral cat situation, and helping cat lovers to provide the best care for their cats.

Cat Training to Make Your Life Easier

When you bring home your new kitten you are excited and proud that you now have a pet in your home. However, you can be challenged as your kitten grows into an adult cat. This is where cat training to make your life easier comes into play. If you do not train your cat, you will notice over time that it will begin to own your home.

Cat owners need to begin to train their kittens as soon as you bring them home. The earlier you begin to train your pet the better it will be for your household. This article will provide some tips to make your life easier in the following ways:

  • Reduce your fear of cat preying on other pets
  • Increase your pleasure by showing off your pets tricks
  • Remove need to get rid of your houseplants
  • Prevent scratches on your lovely furniture
  • Prevent embarrassment of smelly carpet from pet urination
  • Increase petting pleasure
  • Decrease need to listen to cat’s meow

Reduce Your Fear of Cat Preying on Other Pets

Generally speaking, all cats have natural instincts for prey such as birds, small rodents, or small dogs. If you have some of these pets in your home and your cat seeks to prey or brother them, you can do something about it.

Here is how you can begin.

  • Teach your cat to stay out of the room where these pets are by using commands or rules. Modify the room arrangement to keep pets apart
  • Use a baby gate to separate cat and dog
  • Do not place conflicting pets food and water next to each other
  • Spray cold water on her face when you notice your cat is taking action to prey. Cold water is unpleasant and will help her to shape up.

Increase Your Pleasure By Showing Off Your Pet’s Tricks

Every cat owner wants to think their pet is the most intelligent and find pleasure is showing off what their cat can do.

Here is how to begin.

  • Set aside a lot of time for training.
  • Be patient. Learning doesn’t happen over night.
  • Set up a training schedule. Consistency is important.
  • Have your cat’s favorite treat handy to reward progress. Use soft moist cat food or dry food as a treat. Training treats should not be more than 10% of your pet’s total diet for the day.
  • Start with one on trick at a time until your pet has mastered it. When your cat has mastered one, go on to the next. As you are teaching your cat new commands, be sure to work at her speed. Each cat is different.

Remove need to get rid of your houseplants

Dirt is a natural material for your cat to use when she does her duty. How can you stop this? Here are some tips you can do so that you do not have to get rid of your household plants.

  • Provide a clean litter box. Cats don’t like a dirty litter box.
  • Re-pot the plant urinated in. Your cat will smell where she did her duty before and return to use the same plant again.
  • Put some type of pet repellant on the plant. Such repellant is available in a pet store.

Following these tips should help you preserve your household plants.

Prevent Scratches On Your Lovely Furniture

Cats by nature have a natural instinct to scratch. This natural behavior allows them to clean, sharpen claws, and establish turf by leaving a scent and mark. They like to scratch because it is good for their back and shoulder muscles. You cannot prevent your cat from scratching. The trick is to have your cat scratch where you want her too. To prevent your pet from scratching your furniture consider the following:

· Have your pet’s claws trimmed. Cats can become tolerant of getting their nails trimmed on a regular basis, especially if you are careful, gentle and reward her after each trimming session with a treat and verbal praise. If you do not like the job, have the veterinarian do it.
· Provide your pet with a scratching post or pad. ·

As a last resort, you can remove your cat’s claws.

Prevent Embarrassment of Smelly Carpet From Pet Urination

Every now and then, your cat will have an accident. So how are you going to get rid of the stain and odor? There are many ways to remove the stain; however, here is a quick, easy and inexpensive one.

  • Pour a straight solution of white vinegar onto the soiled areas, saturating the carpet enough to go through to the padding. Allow it to dry. Clean the carpet with a mixture of a carpet cleaner with enzymes and pour in some baking soda and a very small amount of bleach. This should remove the stain and odor.

Every now and then, your cat will have an accident. So how are you going to get rid of the stain and odor? There are many ways to remove the stain; however, here is a quick, easy and inexpensive one you can use.

Pour a straight solution of white vinegar onto the soiled areas, saturating the carpet enough to go through to the padding. Allow it to dry. Clean the carpet with a mixture of a carpet cleaner with enzymes and pour in some baking soda and a very small amount of bleach. This should remove the stain and odor.

Increasing Petting Pleasure

When a new kitten is around the house and you have children, the first instinct of the child is to pet the cat. As an owner of a cat, it us embarrassing and disappointing when children want to pet your cat and it bites or hisses at them. Here is the process of how you can increase everyone’s cat petting pleasure.

  • First, let the cat sniff the person wanting to pet her. Ask the individual to extend a hand or finder allowing the cat a chance to touch its nose to the individual’s hand or fingers. If your cat shows no interest, ask the individual to try again later. However, if the cat should sniff the individual’s hand or finger and rub its chin or the side of its head against it, your cat is open to the one petting it.
  • Next, have the individual pet the cat’s head lightly with their fingers. Have them focus on the area behind its ears. When petting, go from front to back.
  • Third, ask the individual to run the palm of their hand smoothly from the neck and along the back, all the way until the tail is reached. Have the individual apply gentle pressure and make a continuous slow motion. Ask them not to touch your cat’s tail and to not change petting direction.
  • Lastly, ask the individual to stay away from the tummy. When cats are relaxed they roll over on their back. This is not an invitation from your cat to start rubbing its tummy. Most cats do not like this, however if they do, they will be ready to play vigorously and your cat may bite or scratch.

Decrease Need to Listen To a Cats Meow

Cats will do whatever it takes to get attention. This will include meowing, purring or running around in circles. Sometimes cats will use these tactics to manipulate their owner.

Generally, when your cat meows she is expressing affection. Female cats use it to call their young. Male cats use it when approaching a female in heat. And, some cats use it to call their masters when they are lonely. If your cat should meow, he/she just may want some companionship. Give it to them.

By following just some of the above tips, your life with your cat should be easier and more enjoyable. Remember, training your cat must start when she is a new kitten.

Information on Extreme Cat Urine Cleaners, Removers and How to Clean Cat Urine

Cat toilet training in easy steps:

Toilet training your cat is an easier task than you might think. Several techniques can be used for training your cat to use the toilet, and you can even buy products that will assist you in toilet training a cat.

The advantages of cat toilet training:

Teaching your cat to use the toilet can hold several advantages for any cat owner. The biggest advantage of having your cat use a toilet is that eliminates most of the disadvantages that using cat litter holds. Cat litter is expensive. After toilet training your cat, you won’t ever need to buy cat litter again. Cat litter boxes needs to be cleaned regularly or they will become smelly. With cat toilet training, the water in the toilet masks most of the offending smell and all you need to do is flush regularly – much simpler and easier than cleaning a litter box. Going away for weekends or holidays also becomes easier for your neighbor – instead of asking someone to clean out the litter box, all they need to do is flush your toilet once in a while (when they come around to water your plants and feed your cat).

How to toilet train a cat (do it yourself):

Toilet training your cat depends entirely on the cat’s personality. Toilet training sociable cats that love being praised make the training task much easier. You might want to adapt the toilet training technique described below to fit your cat’s personality. Training your cat to use the toilet can take anything between 2 weeks up to 3 months, depending on the individual cat’s personality.

Cat toilet training basically consists of a simple procedure: gradually moving your cat’s litter box closer and closer to the toilet, finally placing a bowl with cat litter inside the toilet, and removing it altogether when your cat is comfortable and used to it. Toilet training a cat is a gradual, step-by-step process, consisting of making small changes to the location of the litter box and only continuing to the next step when your cat is entirely comfortable with its current situation. You might have to wait anything between 2 days or 3 weeks before moving on a next step in cat toilet training. You might even have to go back a step once or twice when it turns out that your cat wasn’t ready to move on to the next toilet training step. Beware – cat toilet training takes a lot of patience!

Cat toilet training steps:

1. Start gradually moving your cat’s litter box nearer to the toilet until finally it should be next to the toilet. Ensure that your cat is always comfortable and sure of its litter box’s location.

2. Now start elevating the cat’s litter box. Put something non-slippery like newspapers or cardboard underneath the litter box. A normal rate to increase the height of the litter box would be about 5cm a day, but be very attentive to signs that your cat is not comfortable with the current height, and adjust the pace of raising the litter box accordingly. The cat litter box should be raised until it is at a level height with the toilet bowl. Throughout this process it is very important to keep the toilet lid open and the seat down, because your cat will get used to it and might even start climbing on the toilet seat in order to reach its litter box.

3. Move the litter box to rest on the open toilet seat. Keep it there until your cat seems comfortable with this arrangement.

4. Buy a metal bowl or tray that will fit snugly inside the toilet bowl. It would be advisable for the metal bowl to have small draining holes. Fill the bowl with cat litter (preferably the flushable type). Now remove your cat’s litter box entirely. If you have reached this step successfully you are very close to having a toilet trained cat!

5. While your cat is using the metal bowl inside the toilet, be attentive to where its paws are. The goal is teaching him to squat with all four paws on the toilet seat rim. You can move the cat while it is using the toilet and praise it (or reward it) when it is sitting in the correct position. Normally the cat will first sit entirely inside the metal bowl, then with front paws on the toilet seat, and finally it should sit with all four paws on the toilet.

6. Start using less and less cat litter. This can get smelly, so be sure to clean the bowl after every time your cat uses it. Cats scratch in sand or cat litter to cover up the smell (this is out of instinct), so if the bowl becomes too smelly your cat won’t be comfortable using it (and you probably wouldn’t be comfortable with using your toilet either). Using flushable cat litter makes cleaning the bowl very easy – just throw out the contents in the toilet and flush down, rinse out the bowl, refill with correct amount of cat litter and replace. A handy tip is to place newspaper on the floor around the toilet to help keep the room clean should your cat scratch in the cat litter. Decrease the amount of cat litter in a pace that your cat feels comfortable with.

7. When you basically don’t use any cat litter inside the bowl anymore, start gradually filling the bowl with water. The water will also help mask the smell so your cat will be more comfortable using the toilet. Be attentive to your cat’s behavior through this whole process – if your cat stops using the bowl inside the toilet, you may be moving on too fast and might need to go back a couple of steps.

8. When the water level in the bowl has reached about 4cm and your cat has no problem using it, it is time to remove the bowl entirely. Your cat should now be toilet trained. Remember to always leave the toilet seat up and flush regularly!

Products to assist you in toilet training your cat:

There are several cat toilet training kits available on the market. They basically consist of a tray that fits inside the toilet, and with a hole in the middle that you can gradually make bigger. When choosing a cat toilet training kit, ensure that you buy quality. The cat training kit should not be flimsy and should be able to support your cat’s weight even when the hole becomes large. Be aware of cheap, flimsy products you buy at toy stores or pet stores, because if your cat falls in, it might loose interest in toilet training completely.

The disadvantages in toilet training your cat:

Not everyone agrees that cat toilet training is such a great idea. They argue that it is unnatural for a cat to use a toilet, as it goes against their natural instincts to cover up their smell. Toilet seats can also be slippery and there might be the risk of your cat injuring itself. Even if your cat doesn’t fall in at all, he may become anxious whenever he uses the toilet and going to the toilet can become an unpleasant task.

A litter box also has the health benefit in that you can easier monitor your cat’s urine for signs of infections or sickness.

Moving locations will also be harder for the cat, because a litter box can be moved easily but the cat will first need to get used to using the new toilet. With some cats this is no problem and they can become comfortable with the new toilet very fast, while other cats might be less adaptable.

Things to remember when toilet training a cat:

The most important thing to remember is that the toilet training should be done gradually. Be very patient and never rush to the next step until you are sure that you cat is completely comfortable with the current setup.
Make using the toilet as easy as you can for the cat. Always remember to keep the toilet seat up and the bathroom door open. When you have guests, ensure that they also know about considering your cat. Flush the toilet regularly as cats do not like using smelly toilets.

Why Is Your Cat Overweight?

Food

Dry food has been a recommended staple diet for cats by many experts for a number of years. It is an easy option to leave a bowl of dry food out constantly; something that cannot be done with tinned food. Unfortunately though, it’s not a natural food source and has been developed by humans using many additives and un-natural products. Cats, like humans, will eat until they fill themselves up. However, dry food has many more calories and carbohydrates than a natural food source, which leads to the cat taking in far more than necessary just to feel full-up. Many owners assume that their cat is just greedy, but in many cases it is not the quantity of food being eaten, it is the quality.

Naturally, cats are obligate carnivores; meaning they only feed on other animals. The cats prey however, are generally herbivorous and have various vegetable and plant matter in their guts. All of which, will be consumed by the cat. Domestic cats have been shown to have longer intestines than wild cats; proving they have evolved over hundreds of years to cope with more plant and vegetable matter (carbohydrates). Still, this is no excuse to turn a carnivore into an omnivore. Rather, supplementing the diet with small amounts of carbohydrates is acceptable.

Many consumers believe that dried food is actually better for cats. The manufacturers have implemented the belief that all these additives such as corn and grains are an important part of a cat’s diet, implying ‘the more the better’ approach. Although very small quantities of these may benefit the cat, too much will be detrimental to their health.

Kidney disease is one of, if not the biggest killer in cats. Kidney disease is usually a result of lack of water and unfortunately, cats have a very low thirst drive. Although they may drink when eating dry food, they will generally only take in half of the liquid necessary for their health. A cat’s prey item consists of around 75% water, canned and raw foods have a similar amount. Dry foods on the other hand usually have a maximum of 10% water content. It is obvious therefore, that canned or raw foods are an absolute must to maintain a healthy cat.

Cats need a high level of protein in their diet which must come from animals. Plant protein differs from meat protein, and should not be substituted. When protein is calculated in canned food, the moisture content must be subtracted from 100 and the protein percentage worked out from the result. For instance, a canned food with 8% protein and 75% water means that the true protein value should be worked out like so:

Non-Moisture Content = 25% so: 8 ÷ 25 x 100 = 32

Therefore: True Protein Value = 32% which is ideal.

The amino acid ‘taurine’ is also an essential part of a cat’s diet, and can only be found in meat products. It is recommended that a quantity of 2000mg/kg or 0.2% should be available in canned food. Other vitamins and minerals should also be included. Preservatives, colouring and added flavours are used more for the customers benefit rather than the cats. If it looks and smells nice to a human, there is a higher chance of them buying it.

There are very few foods on the market which actually have an ideal amount of everything included. Many diets have concentrated on having high a protein and moisture diet with low carbohydrates, but lack in having enough taurine or vitamin B. If this is the case, offering other canned foods on occasion that are better in these areas should be considered. This will also help stop the cat becoming addicted to any 1 food type. Inter-changing the various meats such as beef, chicken and fish will also benefit by offering varying amounts of vitamins, minerals and oils.

Buy quality, not quantity. Most cheap cat foods are cheap for a reason. Avoid buying canned foods that say ‘meat’, ‘by-products’, ‘bone meal’ or ‘animal digest’. Chemical preservatives such as ‘BHA’, ‘BHT’, ‘ethoxyquin’ and ‘propyl gallate’ have been seriously questioned as being detrimental to the health of cats, and should also be avoided. Canned foods are a must for adding much needed calcium into the diet, which is essential for building healthy bones and teeth.

High energy food has been designed for cats with high energy levels. This food will not benefit a cat which sits around all day, in fact in will make the situation worse. High energy foods will not make a less active cat become energetic.

There is a common misconception that canned food is bad for your cat’s teeth, and dry food is good. Unfortunately neither statement is completely true. Neither food types are actually good for the health of teeth. Dry food is hard and crunchy, completely the opposite of what a cat’s teeth are designed to do, which is tear away at meat. I recommend you brush and rinse your cat’s teeth on a regular occasion.

There are two methods to feeding a cat. The first is to leave a bowl of food out all the time. This is obviously done with dry food and not meat. Since we recommend feeding a diet of canned or raw meat, this method is not acceptable and you should opt for the second method. This is to have a feeding regime of 2 to 4 times per day. Feeding this way allows a more controlled amount of food being eaten. You need to decide how many times per day you will feed your cat. The more often the better, but if you are an owner which is out during the day several times a week, it may be better to opt for a twice a day routine. Alternatively, cat feeding dishes which are set on a timer can be purchased and are a good option if you only go out on occasions.

The total amount of canned food your cat should is listed below. It is important to divide this total amount of food up equally among all of its feeds. The chart below is appropriate to cats that are getting their appropriate amount of calorie intake per day, which is approximately 25 calories per pound in weight. This chart is for healthy adult cats weighing approximately 8-10lbs. Not overweight or obese cats.

Type / Age of Cat Weight of Canned Food

2 – 10 Years 200g

Geriatric (10 Years +) 160g

Neutered or Spayed 160g

Inactive or Indoor 160g

Treats

Treats are given to cats for different reasons depending on the owner. Surveys have shown that overweight humans are more likely to have overweight pets. They show that overweight people are unable to control their own weight properly due to lack of will power. They have the same lack of will power when their pets are ‘begging’ for treats.

Treats are often given because it is a way of making the pet feel more welcome. If the owner is out of the house all day, they often make up for it by giving treats. This is the easy way of doing things and totally unhealthy. Rather, making up for it by spending just 5 quality minutes with the pet is far more rewarding. You may decide to simply brush the cat, or you could play with it by throwing a small toy mouse or ball around. Either way, the cat will enjoy being with you more than it will eating a treat, and exercise will aid its health.

Some owners offer treats because they think the cat doesn’t eat enough dinner. The treats are designed and flavoured to be ‘irresistible’ to the cat, and they will eat it whether they are hungry or not. Treats should not be offered for this reason. Providing your cat looks healthy and is the appropriate weight, it will be feeding just fine. If your cat is a poor feeder, they should be tempted by other feeding methods, not with treats.

Higher Risk Cats

Neutered or Spayed

I would like to point out before anything, that the act of neutering or spaying your cat will not make it overweight. Rather, it is how you care for it afterwards that will affect its weight.

A neutered cat loses its desire to ‘roam’ like an ‘intact’ cat would do. They are not as inquisitive and generally get less exercise than intact cats. Because of this, their metabolism is slower than normal by around 20-25%. With a slower metabolism, comes a lower need for calories. A neutered or spayed cat should intake approximately 20% less calories.

Breed

Some breeds of cat are naturally slimmer than other breeds; such as the Siamese and Ornamental Short Hair. These breeds are far better at maintaining a good body condition than larger breeds. Pedigree cats are also generally fitter than non-pedigree individuals.

Age

Cats are most likely to become overweight from about 2 to 12 years of age. Younger cats have a much higher metabolism and are more energetic than older individuals. Older cats often eat far less, and it is more common for geriatric cats to become skinnier rather than heavier.

Indoor Cats

Indoor cats have many factors weighing them down. To start with, the most obvious factor is being indoors all the time. There is little stimulation inside, and they will not get the exercise that an outdoor cat will be able to. Many static toys that are offered to indoor cats become boring. They will soon lose interest in scratching posts and similar toys. Repetitive electronic toys can also become predictable and boring. The most enjoyable form of playing for the cat is to interact with the owner. Waving string around or rolling a small ball around will keep the cat amused for far longer.

Being inside all the time also means more contact with the owner is likely. This usually means more treats are given.

The temperature is an important factor too. An outdoor cat will use more energy and have a higher metabolism simply to maintain its body temperature. Cats living in centrally heated houses don’t have to use much energy to get their body temperature controlled.

Social Environment

This is an area where you just can’t win. There are advantages and disadvantages of having one cat or having multiple cats.

Only cats do not have the same competition for food that a multi-cat household may have. Therefore they may not be as eager to eat as much food and as quickly as a cat in competition with other cats will do. However, only cats are more likely to become bored and have less stimulation around them compared to a cat living with others. Cats have been known to take on habits like humans, such as eating when bored like an only cat may do. They may also eat more when they are stressed, like a cat living in a multi-cat household may do.

A household with more humans is far more likely to inflict extra weight onto a cat. It means more people offering treats, and more people to feed the cat dinner. It is common for many households to become confused as to whether or not the cat has been fed, and if in doubt they will feed it again.

Disabilities

This applies to humans and pets alike. Humans with physical disabilities are less likely to play and exercise their pets. The situation becomes worse if the cat is an indoor cat.

Disabled cats are often ‘over-protected’ by their owners. Most are automatically turned into indoor cats if they get a disability, and become an excuse for more treats to be offered. Most cats can still exercise and have their mind stimulated with various disabilities. In fact many cats with disabilities will deteriorate quicker if they are not exercised and the mind stimulated properly.

Neighbours

Do you have cat friendly neighbours? Do you know if your cat has gone into other people’s houses before? It is common for other cat lovers to feed a cat that has wondered into their house.

If you think this happens, place a tag onto the cat which is clearly visible and ask politely not to feed the cat. Some people will ignore this, thinking it will not do any harm. To get around this, state that you cat has ‘Special Dietary Needs’. They are more likely to pay attention when they think feeding them the wrong food could potentially harm them.

Pet Porte Microchip Cat Flap – A Doorman For Your Cats

Do you love cats? If so how many cats do you have? Is your cat well behaved?

How many times do you consider your cat’s safety? Does your cat return home safely at nights, without any rashes or bruises that are indeed created by other cats?

How certain are you that only your cat eats the food that you give them and they are not being joined by other cats when you are out? Most of the cat lovers would be finding it difficult to answer these questions.

Indeed these are the daily problems faced by cat lovers. These questions make the cat lovers feel worried about their dearest pets.

Most cat owners know how worrying it is when their cat goes missing for a day or more. Is there a remedy for all these hard moments? If at all there is a solution, will it guarantee on the safety and security of the pet? What can be done to stop these kind of problems for good?

Can your cat be safe from being bullied by other stray cats? Can your cat be safe in indoor without escaping, if the weather outside is very terrible and violent? The good news is that there is a very easy answer to all these questions. And of course that answer is Yes!

The antidote for all these physical and environmental threats that are literally experienced by the owner and the pet has now come to light. It comes in the form of a special cat flap called the Pet Porte Smart Flap.

The Pet Porte microchip cat flap is the first cat flap that effectively keeps other cats out. It provides an enhanced level of security that makes cats lives and the owners lives much better.

This is a Collarless technology, which indeed keeps the pet away from hard and rough collars which leaves a mark on the neck of the pet.

The Pet Porte microchip cat flap was invented and patented by David Chamberlain, one of Guernsey’s leading vets, which is the first in a series of inventions that will be coming onto the market intended to make your life, and your cat’s life, more enjoyable.

Pet Porte is the world’s first cat flap to stop other cats from entering your home and it recognises your cat without the need for electronic or magnetic cat collar attachments, heavy collar tags, restrictive collars or infra red.

The technology is completely safe and cats will not even notice that they are being scanned when they approach the door.

Cats love to use the Pet Porte microchip cat flap and it keeps them safe. The Pet Porte microchip cat flap is easy to use, and it’s simple to program your cats in, most probably the user of this Pet Porte product will not require you to constantly refer to the manual, because everything is operated from just two buttons, one red and one green.

One the cats that you program in are allowed entry. You can program in up to 32 cats. The door is extra strong and cannot be bashed open..

In the Pet Porte microchip cat flap there are two distinct modes worth mentioning.

Two of the most popular modes are the VET MODE and the NIGHT MODE:

You can use the VET MODE whenever you want to keep your cats indoors. When you activate the NIGHT MODE your cats can always come back inside but they will not be able to get out when it is dark, they will be kept in until it is light again in the morning. These two modes make the Pet Porte microchip cat flap unique to all other cat flaps on the market.

The Pet Porte Smart Flap is very easy to install and operate.

Programming the Pet Porte is again a very short and simple process, as there are no complex steps involved, indeed the whole installation is only a single step process.

Simply hold down the green button for ten seconds and release. The lights start to flash. Then hold your cat under the outside sensor. It beeps three times. That is all the owner has to do, in order to finish with the programming process, in this same method an average of 32 different cats (approx) can be programmed.

There may be a question arising among the users that what actually happens when the pet is made to pass through the Pet Porte. When the cat is approaches the Pet Porte the intelligent sensors present in the sensor porch of the cat flap recognizes the existing microchip ID implants, the door unlocks only for your cats. Stray cats or neighbours cats, even those with microchips, are not allowed access because they are not programmed in.

This adorable product uses an adapter that is fixed directly to the power supply, rather than using batteries which may run out frequently or unexpectedly. The current is safe because it is low voltage, and its not at all harmful for the cat by any means, so there is no chance of short circuits, even if the cat chews or pounces on the lead, as the voltage is very low. Even if the cat flap is disconnected from the power it will always remember your cat’s microchip numbers.

The major characteristics of the magic door that is used in the Pet Porte is that its highly tensile and strong as it has the capacity to withstand the pouncing/attacks,even if it is created by the toughest cat around on the streets.

Because the cat flap is powered by AC adaptor, the magic door unlocks at the blink of an eye, i.e. in just few microseconds, so that you’re lovable cat can enjoy its play with the Pet Porte, even if she/he loves to dash in and out at speed.

The Pet Porte is friendly device to your pet, and it is designed in such a way that, there will not be any possibilities in which the tail or the paws of the pet getting stuck. Eventually there are no possibilities for other stray cats to enter, thus making your cat feel free and relaxed at all times.

The Pet Porte microchip cat flap has many clever features which makes it unique and reliable when compared to all the other cat doors. In fact the other cat doors on the market such as traditional, magnetic and infrared flaps all have their own disadvantages at different situations.

With traditional cat doors the result is that within one night the owner can see his house ruined i.e. his curtains torn, urine all over the wall, the cat food missing from its tray, the pet left with the marks of being bullied-all these are the problems created by none others than the neighbours cats. Thus these are the adverse effects caused when traditional type flaps are used.

Secondly, comes the magnetic cat flaps, all the cats with magnetic collars can gain access through the door, this is a major drawback. And the other issue is that, magnetic collars are heavily and tight, that makes the pet feel uncomfortable.

Thirdly comes the infrared cat flaps, these have sensors both at the transmitting and receiving ends and the door opens only if the sensor in the collar points directly to the sensor on the door. These Infrared cat flaps are expensive too.

Finally all these disadvantages experienced when using other cat flaps are in turn changed into an merit when the Pet Porte microchip cat flap is installed.

ADVANTAGES OF THE PET PORTE MICROCHIP CAT FLAP

The Pet Porte microchip cat flap was designed to be the best cat flap in the world. The irritation caused by the collar on a cat can be avoided by the use of the cats existing microchip. With the help of the locking mechanism, stray cats can be kept out.

The pains of calling your cat in at night is no longer an issue because the cat flap can detect the light level automatically and help to keep your cats in at night.

With the presence of the Pet Porte microchip cat flap, you will be able to know, if your cat inside the house or elsewhere, the beeping system of the Pet Porte will make you aware of the presence of your cat inside the house. You can easily switch the beep off if it makes your cats nervous.

The presence of a magnetic latch in the Pet Porte keeps the flap intact when the wind blows therefore protecting the cats from getting hurt.

The simple two button operation mechanism gives a full control over your cats world.

The microchip cat flap allows you to program up to 32 cats of your liking and only the cats which are programmed in are allowed access.

The programmable memory within the Pet Porte prevents the loss of information about your cats if the power is disconnected.

All of this comes under low voltage intake with no batteries to replace so your cat will never get locked outside.

This product is cat friendly and makes it virtually impossible for your cat to get its paws stuck in the door. Hence the Pet Porte microchip cat flap is a divine product that has been launched to quench the thirst of concerned cat lovers, and it is now available to cat lovers worldwide.

Many customers say that it makes them feel comfortable and relaxed at nights rather than worrying about their pets, since there is a friend there at the door step providing the most sophisticated level of security to the lovable kitties.

Seven Things You May Not Know About Your Own Cat

Longevity – It is said, give a cat three years for every human year and you have an idea of how old he is compared to us. Not so. A cat at one year old is capable of reproduction and fully able to take care of himself. A three year old human is helpless. Such mathematical formulas for understanding the ‘real’ age of an animal don’t work because their internal, and external developments vary and do not correspond to human development.

But did you know that the life span of cats seems to be increasing, from around twelve years or so several decades ago to eighteen or more and it seems now not uncommon for cats to live into their twenties? Not only advances in cat medicine but apparently in genetic changes as well are contributing to longer life and some cats live to be much older indeed. Several cats in Southern California have been reported to live as long as thirty and thirty four years.

Independent & Loners – Cats are thought to be solitary creatures by many, but anyone who has visited a farm where there are cats will find they congregate in colonies, sometimes nearing twenty in number and seem even to hunt together. There is little fighting because there is always one dominant cat which the others all accept, the rest being equal. At least until a new cat arrives and dominance must be re-established.

If you have an indoor/outdoor cat, as do I, you no doubt find him asking to be let out, even though he has his cat doors. Mine does daily, usually at night. I go to the door, open it and he eagerly runs into he mudroom, awaiting the opening of the next door, though both are equipped with cat doors. If I actually go out into the back patio with him he seems delighted, rolling around on the stones, watching me. I suspect he would love a hunting companion. (Preferably, I expect, one a bit quieter and more stealthy than myself.)

Cats can’t be trained – Training is entirely possible and we have probably all seen on television performance cats trained to walk a rope, roll a ball and even swim underwater. We attribute this to some sort of showmanship business and think our own cats are not trainable. Depending on the breed and the particular cat, they are probably all trainable to some degree and they are certainly able to train us!

Particia Moyes, in her book How To Talk To Your Cat, relates how one of her cats and she have a game, the object of which is to remove from some precarious perch – the top of a chair, say, an object, without disturbing anything around and without knocking the item to the floor. The one cat does this with care and great attention, and success. Her other cat, she tells us, takes the game simply to mean, ‘get the thing regardless’ and will also retrieve the item but in the clumsiest fashion, knocking it to the floor.

Ms. Moyes speaks of two other game she and her cats have; fetch and carry and hide and seek. In the first, the person throws a ball of tinfoil (or what-have-you) and the cat returns it, dropping it at the person’s feet. The second she says her cat invented. She (the cat) will bring the ball of tinfoil, drop it, then leave the room. Ms. Moyes will hide it, then call her cat who will begin excitedly exploring all the hiding places, find it, drop it and leave the room again. Keep in mind that Ms. Moyes creates and maintains an unusual and unusually close and respectful attitude towards her cats. Very likely, and many pet owners, indeed, parents, have discovered that, the more you anticipate your pet (or child) to be capable, the more capable your pet or child becomes.

My own cat offers a less dramatic, but useful example. A stray taken in at about 8 months he at first caused some alarm with his tendency to ‘do his nails’ on the furniture. I would bang my foot on the floor and tell him no and he’d stop. Now I just tell him, in no uncertain terms, to stop and he does. He only does this when he wants something and I’m not paying attention.

In fact, this is one way a cat has to get your attention and let you know he needs something – he does what he knows he is not supposed to do. My cat knows he’s not allowed on the kitchen table, for example, but if his food bowl stays empty too long, onto the table he leaps and I know right away he wants feeding.

There is an ancient Egyptian papyrus of the twentieth dynasty showing a dog walking on his hind legs, carrying a staff, herding goats. In the same picture there is a cat, walking on his hind legs, carrying a staff, herding ducks. The picture depicts the dog and cat on their hind legs carrying staffs, no doubt, to indicate that they are in control. Were they shown on their fours, one, they could not be shown carrying a staff and two, they would seem to be on the same level as the goats and ducks, not in charge of them. My guess is that one time, before the dark days of cat extermination, cats were trained and used and I expect they themselves were very responsive to this arrangement.

Aloof – When one considers the terrible history the family of cats has endured at the hands of man, repeatedly throughout Europe and even in America, it is no wonder the cat keeps himself aloof. Associated with witches, Satan and evil, as a race, cats have been betrayed, condemned, tortured and exterminated, many times, by the thousands and tens of thousands. Those which survived the pogroms passed on their genes to progeny, along with the survival sense to be wary of man. Yet every cat owner knows how truly attached a cat can become and how genuinely grateful they are for the affection and care given them.

Cats & Music Start playing an instrument, even something gentle, such as folk music on a guitar, and a dog is likely to leave the room. A cat, on the other hand is likely to come near, lay by you, roll around, purr and seem to enjoy the sounds immensely. My previous cat used to be my biggest fan, particularly of my fairly elaborate finger picking.

My current cat loves to hear the guitar but the obvious deep pleasure he gets from that doesn’t even compare to when I pick up the Celtic Harp and play on its strings. I can only describe his state as ecstatic, as if each tiny individual sound washes him with almost unendurable pleasure. Many composers throughout history relate the same story.

The famous harpist, Mlle Dubuy, noticed that her cat purred pleasantly when she played a piece on her harp well but cried when she played less so. She used this phenomena to improve her skill. Recognizing how much she owed her success as a harpist to her discerning cat she left him her substantial inheritance and endowed loyal friends likewise to ensure her cat was well cared for.

There is a video on YouTube of a cat playing the piano. She is quite intentionally sounding the notes, utterly absorbed in the phenomena. When his mistress plays Bach on another piano the cat stops and listens with obvious appreciation. It is quite as if this cat, and in fact, all cats, truly do appreciate beautiful music and the one in this particular YouTube video, aspires to musicianship.

Movement – We all know how agile and flexible cats are – owing to a variety of factors. Unlike man, in whom the vertebrae of the spinal column are held together by ligaments, in cat they are bound by muscle, giving the cat great range of movement. Because of the construction of his shoulder joint he can turn his foreleg in almost any direction.

But have you noticed, probably without thinking about it, that there is something funny, something odd in the way a cat runs?

Unlike almost all other mammals who advance by moving the front leg of one side of the body and the back of the opposite, the cat moves front and back legs of the same side. So it’s, front, left, let’s say, slight pause, back left, right front, pause, right back. The only other mammals said to do this are the camel and the giraffe – and they both have funny gaits too.

Food, water and health – Cats can live just fine on dry food. This is a dubious statement many authorities state as being downright false. Cats need meat. They have not the biological capability of taking various elements from a variety of non-meat foods and constructing the needed proteins, which man and dogs can do. And much of the content of dry food, i.e. Carbohydrates, not only are not natural foods for cats, they are said to be wholly unnecessary and can be harmful. Meat in some form, usually canned food, is a necessity for cats, not only for the proteins but as well for the water.

Cats do not have, as every cat owner has probably verified, a strong drive to drink. Their normal prey is their primary source of water. Deprived of that and not given sufficient wet food a cat can easily, and all too often does develop kidney disease from dehydration.

Regardless of whether your cat eats wet or dry food or both, fresh water should always be available to her. Many cat owners have observed that cats are more likely to drink if their water bowl is not located next to their food bowl, which makes sense, as in nature, animals go in search of water independently of their search for food. Also, being clean animals, it may not ‘feel’ as hygienic to have food and food smells next to their water source.

It is also advised to avoid plastic dishes for both food and water. Plastic tends to getting scratched and in those nicks and scratches harmful bacteria can grow. Also, some cats are allergic to plastic and develop skin conditions on their chins when fed and watered from plastic bowls.

Still water may run deep – but it still doesn’t suit a cat. Almost every cat owner has noticed that their cats love to put their tongues under the tap or even raise their mouths to falling rain. My cat used to put his head under a drip in the bathtub and let the water run to his tongue until we had it fixed – the tub, that is. Many cats will drink from any form of water other than still water.

Some people, including some vets think there is some molecular difference in moving water. Some think it is the sight of the movement of the water, or the sound. Whatever the reason, (and considering what a big subject this is if posts on the internet are any measure it is a bit surprising that the motivations for this are not better known), cats prefer moving water.

This fact has spawned an entire industry of cat fountains, almost all plastic, though there are several sources for ceramic cat fountains and cat bowls. Whether it is one of the plastic fountains or a ceramic cat fountain or cat bowl, all need the same care, which is simply to keep it filled and give it a thorough cleaning regularly. Some sources for pet fountains are listed at the end of this article and if you go to http://www.etsy.com and type in ceramic cat fountains you can find others.

There Are No Bad Cats! (Behavior Problems and How to Solve Them)

Believe it or not, there are no bad cats. Cats are just unique. They live in a cat world and do what cats do, no matter what you try to say or do to convince them to adjust to your world. The most important thing for you as a cat parent is to understand why your cat does what it does. Cats do not go to obedience school. If they had their way, you as a pet parent would go to obedience school to learn how to deal with your pet.

A cat is not a dog; a cat does not act like a dog, think like a dog or behave like a dog. If you want a pet that behaves as a dog, get a dog not a cat. That said, let’s get to the point of understanding cat behavior. Punishing a cat for wrong behavior is like trying to empty the ocean one-cup at a time. Try as you may, you will never empty the ocean or get your cat to understand why you are punishing him/her.

Punishment will never cure bad behavior; it will only make your cat frightened and leery of you. Cats are smart enough to know that once punished for a misdeed they will not do it again, in front of you. They will wait until your back is turned or you are out the door. Though you may believe your cat understands what you are saying, or rather yelling about, it will pay you no heed except to run away, ignore you or wait to do it again later.

A perfect example is our male cat Smokey, he dislikes our female cat Tiger and every chance he gets he will chase her. However, if he starts out to chase her and then sees me he stops, looks at me and then will turn away as if he was just out taking a walk. He knows I will say “No” quite loudly and scold him. Of course, it doesn’t do any good to scold him, but it makes me feel better.

There are several good reasons why your cat does what it does to annoy you. First of all, cats really don’t have a good grasp of the English language; they are not furry little people. However, they do understand positive and negative responses to their actions. Cats love praise, pets and treats and this is our secret weapon. Screaming, yelling, spanking or throwing (heaven forbid) will only traumatize your cat and make it fearful of you.

Stop for a moment and think about the life your cat is leading (okay, you wish you could lead that life) take into consideration its day. You are at work all day and may get home late and tired. Your fur ball has been sleeping all day and wants to play.

You want to sit, eat and watch TV. You give your cat a few pets and while you are doing that he/she gives you a little nip on your hand. You react by jumping up and possibly yelling and chasing him/her. Hey, this is fun your cat got your attention and you are “playing.” We humans sometimes reward our cats for their bad behavior by giving them the attention they want.

In our house I am the perfect example of what not to do. Our Smokey is a night eater. Why? Cause he sleeps all day while I am at work. He started at a young age to come into our bedroom and nudge me with his head when he wanted to be fed, even though I would feed him before I went to sleep. Knowing what he wanted I would get up and feed him. This would happen several times a night and I would get up (truthfully this has been going on for years.)

However, since I started doing research for this book I suddenly came to realize that this is silly, the cat is not starving and I do not have to get up at all hours. I gradually started to push him away (nicely) whenever he nudged me and quietly said “No” as a result he moved over to the nightstand where he likes to sleep and laid down. It has been several weeks and he will once in a while nudge me and I say “no” and he goes away and waits until he sees me stir. Most cats when they are doing “wrong behavior” are really doing exactly what a cat should be doing.

Cats need to scratch and stretch their claws. It is a natural thing to do and it feels good. It is up to you as the pet parent to provide scratching material, whether it is the couch or a scratching post, it is immaterial to the cat. Cats learn by experience, if they do something and it turns out to be a good experience in their eyes, they will do it again, a bad experience may eliminate, the behavior or they just might try it again to see if something good happens.

One important thing to remember, if your cat suddenly starts doing things that he/she never attempted before and the behavior is not to your liking, observe the current situation in your household. Have there been sudden and unusual changes in the household routine, new furniture, new people or a new pet? Has there been a change in your cat’s bathroom routine; is kitty eating, do you notice any changes in your cat’s grooming habits?

It does not take much to disturb the serenity of a cat’s world as cats like routine and changes can cause reactions, which are not always to their liking. Also, consider medical problems, your cat may not feeling well and this too can cause behavioral problems. Since cats cannot talk they may misbehave in order to show their concern or displeasure to the changes that have occurred.

Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind while you are trying to reform kitty.

First of all stop all reprimands and punishment– they seldom do any good anyway. Make life with your cat fun and rewarding. Create an environment for yourself and your cat that satisfies you both. Remember a cat does not read minds and has little knowledge of English.

Help your cat understand what you want it to do by making the “yes” experiences rewarding and finding ways to eliminate most of the “no” experiences. We are going to list below some typical behavioral problems and possible solutions. It is important should you have any questions about your cat’s behavior that you consult your vet to discuss it.

Aggressive behavior: Can be caused by fear, being disturbed when napping, injury or sickness, or being in a bad mood.

Solution: Should the cat nip or scratch you while petting, say NO and stop petting. Do not play rough with your cat as it does not know nice from not nice. Were you petting or scratching in
a sensitive area of the cat’s body? If your cat hisses or its ears are flattened back, leave the cat alone. Check for injury.

Begging: Can be caused by the cat being hungry or just wanting attention.

Solution: Feed the cat just before your sit down to eat or if the begging is for attention take a minute or two to pet and talk to your cat a little quality attention will go a long ways.

Constant meowing: Females that are not spayed will meow constantly while looking for a “fellow.” Or your cat may need some quality time with you, remember just a few minute of undivided attention will do wonders. Another thought is your cat may be ill or hurt.

Solution: Spay or neuter your cat (really should anyway), give your cat some quality time, cats need to know that they are loved, or your cat maybe sick or hurt, especially if the crying occurs when kitty is trying to go to the bathroom. If so, take a quick trip to the vet or call for advice.

Jumping on the counters and/or furniture: Cats love high places and cats are generally nosey, exploring is part of a cat’s nature.

Solution: When it comes to the counters, stove and the dining table in our house, a consistent NO and placing the cat on the floor worked fine. It took several tries at this, but it worked. Another solution is put double sticky tape on the counter for a day or two, the cat will walk on it and get stuck, not a good experience and will stop, as it is no fun. Also keep food and other attractive smells off the counter or table. Things that make noise and may fall off the counter also work, as it will scare the cat. Cats do not like to be scared.

If your cat is getting on the furniture and you do not want that, provide a comfortable nesting place high up if possible. There are window seats that you can fasten to a window sill. We have a small bed on top of a section of our entertainment center where our female can escape.

If you have a particular piece of furniture you do not want the cat on, put foil, plastic or some inexpensive netting that you can buy at a fabric store over it when you are not at home. Cats do not like the feel of that and will stay off it and soon will ignore it. There are also things called “scat mats” which can be purchased on the Internet or at major pet stores.

Fighting with other cats: Cats are inclined to protect their habitat, they might be looking to mate, and some cats just want to show who is boss.

Solution: First of all spay or neuter your cat as they make much better pets and are less inclined to fight. Never break up a cat fight with your hands. Use a hose to spray them, throw a towel on them or make a loud noise to scare them. If your resident cats are having a dispute, separate them by putting them in separate rooms for a while. Usually they will simmer down and become tolerant of each other again.

In our household a sharp “No” works for a while with our male and female. Be certain to give each one plenty of affection, out of sight of each other. Some cats are like people and they just don’t like each other no matter what you try to do.

In our household our female is wise enough to stay out of Smokey’s reach. Smokey doesn’t want to fight with her, he just wants to chase her.

Spraying: A cat operates on smell and spraying is a natural way to mark its territory. Also a cat will spray if it feels threatened, stressed or anxious.

Solution: Spay or neuter your pet to decrease the need to be overly territorial. Give your pet a lot of pets and attention, as it may feel stressed and/or unloved.

Provide a safe haven preferably high up (off the ground) if you pet feels threatened by another household pet.

If your cat is spraying near or on a window your pet may be marking its territory because of an outside cat. Keep curtains or drapes closed.

Do not punish your cat for spraying as it may increase his/her anxiety. Using a citrus-based cleaner will remove the scent and keep kitty hopefully from doing it again. We have found that the male cats usually do spraying, we have not seen our females do it, though they might. Interestingly, when our one male cat sprayed there was no odor after we had him neutered. However, the spraying left an oily substance that had to be cleaned up. There is a spray you can buy that has a calming effect on cats and has helped in stopping the spraying it is called “Feliway” and it can be purchased at major pet stores and on the Internet.

Scratching and tearing furniture: Scratching is a natural instinct of a cat. Boredom or a lack of a scratching post can cause the problem.

Solution: Scratching is part of a cat’s life it provides exercise, an opportunity to stretch, relieves stress and allows them to shed their claws. If your cat is a house cat and does not have the opportunity to find a tree or post to scratch, it is up to you the pet parent to provide one. Cats are not overly particular about what they scratch as long as it fulfills its criteria.

Couches and stereo speakers fit the bill nicely. Providing a good scratching post (actually several are better) is a great alternative to your couch. You can make your own with a little effort or buy one at your favorite pet store. A good scratching post should be at least 2 1/2 to 3 feet tall, be sturdy enough so it won’t fall over and scare the cat and be covered with either hemp rope or the reverse side of some leftover carpet.

Do not use the right side of the carpet for a post; use the backside as it provides the proper grabbing material. Actually you can make a post that lies on the floor, as long as it is long enough for the cat to stretch out on. There are some inexpensive ones made of cardboard that have a catnip scent that cats enjoy.

When teaching your cat to use the post it is a good idea to rub some catnip on it to attract the kitty. Whenever you see your cat using its post, praise the cat and give it a small treat, this conditions the cat into thinking this is a great thing to do. If you cat is scratching the furniture punishing will not help the matter. Remember that a cat knows better than to do something it has been reprimanded for in front of you.

If kitty is still going back to his/her old tricks the solution is to make the article of choice unacceptable. Cover it with a piece of plastic, foil, double-sided sticky tape or netting you can buy at a fabric store when you are not home. Continue to show kitty the scratching post, give praise and treats for using it, persistence pays on your part and soon kitty will leave your stuff alone.

Some people resort to having their pets declawed. We have a chapter on Declawing in this book. We do not recommend doing that, as there are other alternatives such as clipping your cat’s nails or using the nail covers that are sold in pet stores and glue on the claws.

There are also spray repellents sold in pet stores to use on furniture that make the furniture unattractive to your cat. Scat mats are also available at major pet stores and on the Internet, they give a “static” type shock to the pet that climbs on it (it is not harmful, just annoying.) We have covered what we feel are the most common bad habits of cats in this chapter.

Cats really do not have any bad habits; the things they do are the things that, as one of nature’s critters are natural to them. Climbing, hunting, spraying, biting, fighting, and clawing are all things the natural cat does. We have brought this magnificent creature in from the wild, domesticated it and demanded that it live by our rules. “We’ll see,” says the kitty as it settles down for a nap.

All You Need To Know About CATS

INTRODUCTION

The question of whether or not a cat’s love is real might seem ridiculous to those who do not own cats. Dogs might claim the title of man’s best friend, but everyone who has lived with cats knows they’re simply too awesome to want to be friends with. Some might argue, however, that those who own cats apply human characteristics to non-human entities. Well, those who argue that all animals take care of their young ones just because of instinct have obviously not spent time with a cat. This article has helpful information about cats, together with just about everything you might want to know to help you and your precious cat in living together.

BASIC INFO

Communication

Cat communication has many varieties of vocalizations. They consist of mewing, purring, hissing, growling, trilling and grunting. Cats have cat pheromones and a number of specific body languages as well.

Adaptability

Like other felids, cats have a similar anatomy. They are very strong with quick reflexes, flexible bodies, sharp retractable claws, and very sharp teeth that are adapted to killing small prey like mice.

Senses

  • Hearing

Cats are known for having astounding senses. A cat’s outer ear flap takes in sound from every direction, which then goes down their ear canals to the eardrum. After the sound vibrates on the eardrum, the middle ear changes the vibration to sound waves and sends them to the cat’s cochlea and finally the brain. A cat can hear from twenty hertz up to approximately 65,000 hertz. Since a cat responds more readily to a high pitch than a low pitch, this might be the reason a cat seems to like a woman better with a high-pitched voice. The ears are also assist cats in balance. This is the main reason why cats normally land on their feet when falling.

  • Seeing

The feline eye structure has the cornea, the lens, the retina, the iris, and the tapetum lucidum. The tapetum lucidum is a layer of mirror-like cells that reflect small amount of light, helping a cat to see. This is why a cat only needs 1/6 of the light that a person needs so as to see clearly. Nonetheless, cats cannot see in total darkness. They also have a third eyelid known as the haw to protect their eyes. A cat’s pupil is elliptical to help control the quantity of light that enters. In semi-darkness, their pupils dilate and become almost flawlessly round. A cat’s pupil can dilate 3 times more than that of a human being.

  • Smelling

A cat relies on its sense of smell to establish its territory, and to know if food’s safe to eat. A cat’s nose has almost 200 million nerve cells, making its sense of smell fourteen times more sensitive than that of a human. Astonishingly, a cat can remember a certain smell for the rest of its life.

  • Tasting

Although a cat only has 475 taste buds, while humans have 9,000, it has unique papillae to make up for it. Its tongue is covered with numerous small projections that hook downwards, giving it a rough, sand-papery feel. The papilla helps them scrape meat off bones and hold their prey. Cats also have problems tasting salty and sweet food since their taste receptors favor high-fat and high-protein tastes.

  • Feeling

Cats have an average of twenty four whiskers on their face; these hairs very thick and are rooted three times deeper. Whiskers are very sensitive to detect slightest changes in air current. They are also used to see if a cat can fit through a gap. Not only are the whiskers all over a cat’s face, but they are also on the back of its front legs. Whiskers are replaced whenever they fall off. A cat’s fur has unique sensitive nerve ending that detect a slight touch. Their paws are also very sensitive to touch.

Behavior

Free-ranging cats are lively both day and night, though they tend to be more active at night. The timing of a cats’ movement is quite flexible, meaning that house cats can be more active early in the morning and late in the evening (crepuscular behavior). This is due to greater human activity that occurs at these times.

Breeding

Under controlled breeding, cats are easily bred and shown as registered pets, a hobby called cat fancy. Failure to control their breeding by neutering has led to large numbers of feral cats. This has led to extinction of countless bird species.

POPULAR NAMES

Every cat loving person would want to give his/her cat the best name. If you take a look at a number of the most popular cat names, the lists will almost at all times have similar names on them. Nonetheless, the reputation of cat names differs from one nation to another. The ranking of most admired cat names can be easily assessed, from pet insurance registrations to breed registries. The United States’ biggest pet insurer, (VPI), releases yearly rankings of their most popular cat names

Top cat names seem to be Max, Tiger, Princess, Shadow and Ginger. These cat names seemed to be constant over the years; they are still on most lists of popular cat names. Shadow, Tiger and Ginger are no brainers; it is pretty self explanatory why somebody would choose these names. Abby and Max, however, are a little less understandable.

Either way, there’re quite a few names that will keep resurfacing on the top lists every now and then. Some of the most common cat names recently are Lulu, Misty, Charlie, Dexter, Ma, and Oliver. Perhaps the oldest and the traditional favorite is the name Mitten that’s still used today. Today’s popular cat names seem to come from culture movies such as Disney films, for instance, Nala, Simba, and Tinkerbell. Some fashionable and fitting cat names are related to their fur coloring like Midnight, Java, Crow, Shadow, Cinder and Ebony for black cats. No matter where the muse comes from, sometimes the names just come to us as if by celestial intervention.

Top 5 Names:

  1. Max
  2. Bella
  3. Whiskers
  4. Chloe
  5. Kitty

BEDS

On average, a cat spends 2/3 of the day sleeping. Every cat considers its routine nap a must when it comes to its daily duties. As the individual requirements for each playful feline are different, so are their cat bed preferences.

Whether your cat prefers to nestle in a warm corner or under the sun, nearly all cats prefer warm and comfy places to sleep. From chic luxury cat beds to pyramid-shaped cat beds and pads, there’s a large variety of styles obtainable to suit your cat’s preference.

When browsing through different styles of cat beds, whether you consider covered beds, heated cat beds or luxury cat beds, remember that your main aim is to choose the type that will offer your cat the comfort and warmth that is just right for it.

CARRIERS AND CRATES

Cat containment and travel is made comfortable, easy, and convenient with the correct cat carriers and crates. There’s no doubt that dogs and cats differ from one another in many ways. As every cat fanatic knows, cats just do not seem to share the pleasure their canine counterparts get from vehicle rides, regardless of duration or distance.

Cat carriers are intended to make vehicle rides more bearable for your playful felines, ensuring their comfort and safety. There’re also a variety of moveable cat carriers that are obtainable in both soft and high-impact materials.

You should choose one that is easy to clean to help contain yours cats together with their good health during the drive. Offer your cats with safe and moderately trouble-free travel as well as a pleasant travel experience with convenient cat carriers and Crates.

GAMES

Domestic cats, particularly young kittens, are well known for their love of games. Cats engage in play fighting, with one other and with humans as well. This behavior imitates hunting and is important in helping young kittens learn to stalk, capture, and kill their prey. Many games have also been invented for cats.

Top Games

  • The Crazy Cat

This is one of the best games for cats on the Android market. The game is specifically written for you and your cat! CrazyCat HD will certainly amuse both you and your fuzzy friend with pretty animated critters that you control with your phone while your cat runs around your tablet screen.

  • Friskies Cat

Friskies is one of the companies that are excited to feed cats’ senses with playful games. The movement, colors, and game-play have been examined and tested for utmost feline fun.

  • Cat Fishing

Cat Fishing is an all-new cat game that’s designed particularly for cats. Tap “start” and begin watching your cat play. The more your cat catches, the more difficult the game gets.

  • Catnip mouse

This is a common game among cats. Skillful hunters, Munchkins love this game, but after they finish playing, they desire a warm lap to burrow into and strokes from a tender hand.

TOYS

Most housecats, although they are much safer inside, tend to be underactive and overweight. Cats, like dogs and human beings, benefit from exercises and being active, both mentally & physically. So, you need to get our cat up and moving, and there is no better way to persuade out their natural instinct to stalk and hound prey than charming them with cat toys.

Top Toys

  • Pounce

Pounce is an innovative cat toy that provides the final in interactive play for your cat. It is an electronic mouse that acts like a prey but never stops running.

  • Dart

The dart toy is designed to engage your feline companion in enthusiastic play. It consists of rotating circular laser patterns that your cat stalks and chases for hours.

  • Twitch

Be prepared for pouncing, jumping, chasing, and maybe even the sporadic half-twist somersault. The Twitch is an amazing bouncing feather teaser toy that constantly plays with your cat even if you are away.

  • Bolt

The bolt is an interactive cat toy that plays with your cat, instead of the other way round. It is an automatic laser toy that will have your cat bouncing off the wall.

Why Buy Cat Toys?

  1. They help you build a close relationship with your cat
  2. It helps relieve a cat’s boredom and stress
  3. It is a good way of exercising your cat
  4. Cat toys help improve your cat’s blood circulation
  5. They build muscle tone and prevent/reduce behavioral problems

WHAT MAKES THEM SO AFFECTIONATE?

  • Socialization

The first few days of a kitten’s life are vital in helping it feel safe and contented around the people caring for him. Regular handling and comforting words at the kitten’s early stage increases the chances of it becoming a loving, well-balanced cat. This is also the perfect time to make sure that it does not associate human hands with play toys. Let it play with toys and set aside your hands for holding.

  • Genetic Factors

Breeding and genetics play a role in your cat’s temperament. Of course, your cat does not have to be a pure-bred to be an aristocrat in its manners. A good disposition is not elite to pedigrees, as all loving owners of friendly cross-breeds know. Conversely, some cat breeds are more known for their friendly temperaments. The Bombay cat, for instance, is noted for its affectionate, playful nature on the Cat fanciers’ website.

  • One-On-One

It is a case of sticking to the golden rule, catlike style, by treating the cat how you would like to be taken care of if you were them. Study conducted by the University of Vienna reveals that the more attention you allocate to your pet, the more affectionate it will be in return. Of course you already know that by now! The research, based on in-depth interpretation of how owners interact with their revealed that if individuals spend extra time interacting with their pet, it is more likely to remember the compassion and return the favor.

  • Mother Love

Your little cat needs you for warmth, food and shelter and when it curls up on your lap, it’s showing its appreciation, mainly after dinner! Food’s often used as a token of friendliness, and the way that a cat and a human being relates to food are the same in nature to the interaction seen between human care-givers and pre-verbal infants.

FACTS

Below are amazing facts about cats that you probably never knew;

  • Can rehydrate by drinking sea water
  • A cat sweats through its paws
  • Produce a similar brain wave pattern like in humans. This means that they can dream
  • Have led to the extinction of several species
  • Ancient Egyptians killed anyone who killed a cat
  • Switzerland legalized eating of cats
  • An infected cat can cause Toxoplasmosis
  • A cat’s nose is different from another, just like we humans have different fingerprints
  • The Japanese consider black cats as a sign for good luck
  • Ancient Egyptians used to shave their eyebrows when a cat died
  • An Italian tycoon left over $ 13 million to a cat
  • Recent study shows that owning a cat reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack
  • An adult cat only meows to communicate with humans
  • Korea and Japan have cat cafes for you and your cat to hang out
  • The CIA spent over $ 20 in the 1960s training cats to spy
  • Can die from eating chocolate
  • Every year, almost four million cats are eaten in China as a delicacy
  • Are America’s best pets
  • Can swallow their food without chewing
  • Make almost 100 different sounds while dogs can only make 10.
  • Have thirty two muscles controlling their outer ear
  • Cannot taste sweetness
  • Sleep for approximately 70 percent of their lives
  • The longest cat that was ever measured was 1.23 m when fully stretched

How to Handle Common Cat Behavior Issues

There are some cat behavior issues that seem to be common to most cats. Here is a list of just some of these behaviors and what you can do about correcting them.

Not Using The Litter Box

Unfortunately this ‘bad behavior’ is the most often used excuse for taking cats to shelters. I believe that it is up to the owners to train their cat to use the litter box and if there is a problem, they need to find out what is causing it. Cats will continue to use an area where they can smell their own urine. A cat breeder friend told me that the first time the kitten uses the floor to pee on, get some tissues to mop it up and take the tissues and kitten to the litter box. The kitten will then associate the smell with the litter box. Do the same thing with adult cats. However if an adult cat is continually eliminating inappropriately, you need to check for a possible underlying medical or emotional problem.

Hissing At People

Cats and kittens hiss when they are frightened or defending their territory from another cat. They will also hiss when they have had enough petting as a way of telling us to stop. If a cat has been teased or ill treated, it might hiss at strangers as it feels threatened by them. Hissing is generally a warning to ‘back away, I’m angry’ action. Even if the cat is frightened, it will try to bluff its way out of the situation by trying to appear aggressive. As responsible cat owners, be aware of your cat’s body language so you know what the hiss means. And if you have children, I’d strongly suggest you teach them how to understand what the cat is doing when it hisses at them and more importantly, what they need to do when confronted with a hissing cat.

Spraying On Walls Or Doors

If your cat is spraying on vertical surfaces, it is marking its territory. This will happen more in multi-cat households. To get rid of this horrible and smelly behavior, have your cat neutered or spayed. Cats will also spray to attract a cat of the opposite sex for mating. Removing the urge to mate will greatly reduce the need to spray urine on your kitchen door or lounge furniture when you have guests!

Scratching Your Furniture And Carpets

Cats love to stretch and sharpen their claws. Unfortunately many of them do it on our furniture, carpets or curtains. Your cat needs a scratching post and you need to train it to use it. It is easiest if you can start this training while your cat is still a kitten. However, you can still train an adult cat, it will just take a little longer. I suggest purchasing some sturdy cat tree furniture with ledges at varying heights. If possible, buy something modular that you can add to over time. Make sure the base and trunk are covered by something hard-wearing such as sisal. Each time your cat starts scratching the furniture, you need to tell it ‘no’ in a firm voice, pick it up and take it to the scratching pole and physically put its claws on the pole if necessary. Try rubbing some catnip on the trunk to entice your cat to use it. With adult cats, patience is the key for this one.

Jumping On The Counter Or Desk

This is one of those annoying cat behavior problems that I blame on my children. My cats have never been allowed on the counters in the kitchen and they have never tried to jump up there. However my daughter liked having her cat on the desk with her while she was working on the computer. And I think the cat loved it too – it was the perfect place for extra strokes and petting and it was nice and warm with the computer or laptop working. It was left to me to change this once my daughter left home for work. It is not something that will take long to change – each time the cat jumps up you say ‘no’ in a firm voice and put the cat down on the floor again. If you notice her about to jump back up, put your hand out and say ‘no’ again. It only took a few days of doing this for her to stop jumping up and once I’d vacuumed the cat hair out of the keyboard, everything worked well again.

Kittens Or Cats Chewing Electrical Cords

This seems to be a popular past-time of kittens. They are extremely curious about their new environment and as they grow, they venture further into new areas. Electrical cords seem to be just the right size for the kittens to sharpen those baby teeth on. To save your kitten from a nasty shock, and your electrical equipment from being damaged, you need to protect them by wrapping them into a bundle with some packing tape or similar. You can also try putting them behind equipment but kittens in particular are very good at squeezing into small spaces. You could put some adhesive paper sticky side up or some alfoil in front of the cords as kittens and cats don’t like walking on them or even sprinkle some pepper on the floor to deter them from venturing too close.

This is not an exhaustive list of how to handle common cat behavior issues, there are many more that will be applicable to your cat. Never punish your cat for these behaviors. All you will do is to teach your cat to fear you. By using patience and rewards, you will soon find the bad behavior issues disappearing. Then there are those other cat behavior issues that we love, the cat rubbing against our leg or curling up in a lap or on our beds at night. Those are the sort of common cat behaviors we enjoy having.

Dogs and Cats Living Together

Dogs and cats are supposedly life-long enemies. Hence the phrase, “fighting like cats and dogs.” Having always owned both cats and dogs, I find the phrase and the premise to be far more inaccurate than accurate. Of course, we all know that there are those dogs that will simply chase every cat they see and those cats that will never tolerate a dog. However, it has been my experience that handled correctly, the vast majority of dogs and cats can live together. They may not learn to love each other; but they certainly can learn to tolerate each other’s presence. Dogs and cats that are raised with each other typically do fine their entire lives. They may actually accept an animal of another species more easily than one of their own, in that there are fewer fights over dominance and territory.

There are some dogs that should not be kept with cats. Dogs with a strong hunting heritage may always view cats as prey and may never be able to be trusted with any small animals. In addition to hunting dogs, terriers such as Jack Russells and pitbulls are often poor companions for cats. These dogs have an incredibly strong predatory instinct; they chase and attack moving objects without thinking about whom or what the object may be. Cats and other small pets are just too much of a temptation for these dogs.

Other dogs respond less to the animal than the situation and will leave alone a cat that sits still, but chase and attack one that moves. This is especially true of dogs that are kept outside. There is something about being out of the house that really pushes the hunting instinct into overdrive and will often result in even the most docile indoor dog attempting to chase cats once outside. So, one would not want to make the assumption that a cat and dog who tolerate each other indoors will do the same outside. The dog may decide to attack the cat. Finally, dogs that have a history of attacking cats are likely to do so again and should not be trusted with cats. If you are planning on rescuing a previously-owned dog, it is a good idea to get a history of the dog’s attitudes and behaviors around cats before bringing it into a house with cats. Many shelters will allow you to ‘test’ the dog by introducing it to a cat before completing the adoption.

Most cats, if they have had positive experiences with dogs, will tolerate canines in the house. Those that will not typically have had some prior negative interaction that is firmly embedded in their memories. Because most cats, even those that hate dogs, do not attack without provocation, these cats may be able to live with a dog. However, they probably will never bond with the dog, will avoid the dog at all costs, and will be pretty miserable. It is kinder to leave these cats in a feline-only household. Again, it is often possible to find out the history of a cat before adopting it, or to test the cat’s reactions to dogs in an adoption situation.

So which cats and dog can get along? The answer is just about all of the rest of them. In the best of circumstances, cats and dogs really become friends, playing and sleeping together. In other situations, cats and dogs may never be overly friendly, but they can learn to tolerate and behave themselves with other members of the family, including those of other species. As long as you are willing to work out a positive introduction and protect the animals from physical harm, these species usually get along. The process may take up to six or eight weeks, or even longer, but can be successfully accomplished.

If you are thinking of bringing a cat into a dog household, or vice-versa, there are steps that you can take to ensure the success of the relationship. First, because a dog can kill a cat, safety is your first concern. The dog needs to be able to be kept separated from the cat. This can be accomplished with a crate, or a separate room. The dog should have a refresher obedience course, so that it will sit, stay, and come to you when told, and leave the cat alone if ordered to. The dog needs to remember that the people, not the dog, rule the house. This way you can ‘explain’ to the dog, if necessary, that the cat is yours and needs to be treated with respect. In addition, the cat needs to have a safe haven. This means that the cat’s food and litter boxes need to be inaccessible to the dog and that the cat has places to run and hide. For example, leave a few bookcase shelves empty so the cat can climb to them, put a cat door into a closed bedroom, or use baby gates to separate the dog from the cat’s own room.

I keep my cats’ litter boxes, toys, scratching posts, water, and food in an extra bedroom. I use a baby gate to keep the dogs out of the room. I have cut a small cat-size opening into the closed mesh of the gate so that the cats can dash through it if necessary and not have to leap the gate. My dogs respect the gate, but if you have dogs that leap over it, you may need to cut the cat door into the room door or install a screen door with an opening large enough for the cats.

The initial meeting and first few weeks are critical times to set the tone for the future, so it is important to make all introductions go as smoothly as possible. The key is to remember that these animals will be together for a lifetime; there is no reason to rush their meetings. If bringing a cat into the house, provide the cat with its own bedroom for the first few weeks or longer. The litter box and food should be placed in this room. The dog in the house can smell the cat under the door, but has no real need to meet the new member of the family until the cat is comfortable and bored with its personal space. If this is a young kitten, they may end up living in this room for several more weeks. Once the cat is doing well in its own room, you can let the cat explore the house, undisturbed by the dog. You can actually put the dog in the cat’s room while the cat is out, so that the dog really gets to experience the cat’s scent without bothering the cat. You can also get the pets used to each other’s scents by swapping toys, towels, or other items between them.

The initial face to face meeting should be done after the new cat is familiar with the entire house. Make sure that the dog is on a leash and under control. Have another person near the cat to provide help, if needed. Keep the meeting short and positive. Praise the dog for being wonderful around the cat. Use food rewards if appropriate and make sure that the dog understands that good things happen when the cat is present. After a few, short positive meetings, it is time to let the cat explore for longer periods, with the dog present and on the leash. If this step proceeds calmly, let the dog off the leash and watch the interactions. Make sure you are always there to stop any problems before they can accelerate. Do not allow the dog to be aggressive in any way to the cat, and lavishly praise the dog for good behavior. Be certain that the cat has access to hiding places. If aggression occurs at any stage of the introductions, return to the previous stage and slow down. Even if all looks great, do not leave the cat alone with the dog until you are truly positive that everything is running smoothly. This means that if they cannot be supervised, the cat should be left in its bedroom or the dog kept crated.

Bringing a dog into a cat household is relatively easy. The dog should be kept on a leash for the initial introductions and never left unsupervised. Make sure that all animals are praised for their wonderful behavior when they are together. As previously discussed, the dog can be crated or the cat left in a bedroom when they cannot be watched. Since the cat is already familiar with its territory and the dog is a newcomer, the dynamics of the relationship often turn in the cat’s favor, making the transition relatively easy.

Puppies and kittens do present unique challenges. Kittens must be protected from dogs at all times simply because any dog is big enough to badly hurt or kill a young kitten. A kitten must always be closely supervised even around the best behaved of dogs. Provide the kitten with appropriate toys of its own. Do not let the kitten ‘play attack’ the dog or chase it. This can rapidly escalate into a dangerous situation. For the same reason, do not let the dog ‘play’ with the kitten. The kitten must be kept in a safe room when an adult it not home. My kittens stayed in their own room when I was not at home and at bedtime until they were approximately six months old.

Rambunctious puppies may also be a problem. Without meaning to, an energetic puppy can harm a kitten or even an adult cat. It is up to you to make sure that their interactions are monitored so that no one gets hurt. It is also really important to exercise and play with the puppy routinely. Make sure the puppy has its own toys and uses them. A tired puppy is less likely to bother the cat and less likely to be a behavior problem in the house.

It takes work, patience, and time to introduce cats and dogs to each other. However, the positive outcome is well worth the work. My cats and dogs play, eat, relax, and sleep together. I get tremendous pleasure watching them. You will be pleasantly surprised how much positive energy is brought into your home by having both cats and dogs living there.