Is Talking to My Cats Like Talking to Myself?

There are three cats in my family and they are like my children now that everyone else has left. More and more I find myself talking to them as if they understand every word. There are times when it crosses my mind that maybe I am really talking out loud to myself. They seem to understand, however, and their attitude towards me is one of selecting times when they demand cuddles and usually when I settle the three of them settle on top of me.

Help! What is going on here? Has my brain deteriorated down to their level or are they reaching up to mine?

Cats have been a part of my life from a very young age. My gran had one named Sarg and he lived till he was about 20 years of age which was way past when she died. He was probably the first pet in my life and we were all attached to him.

When in my teens I found a little black kitten in the backyard that had obviously crawled out from under dad’s shed. Taking it into the house it was then that the fleas emerged in their hundreds. Wow! None the less we kept him and I called him ‘Fella’. Well he was black and the name suited him. A couple of days later his brother turned up and he was named ‘Find’.

My cousin adopted the last one and the two of them were eventually both mine. Fella had a personality that was so adorable and when I went away the phone would be held to his ear so he could hear my voice. He purred his little heart out when that happened.

Over the years, other cats have come and gone and they have all contributed greatly to my life. For the last 30 or so years I took to breeding kittens and that was a great joy as so many benefited from the little beauties. The mothers are adorable and they are now the 3 that are with me as there are no litters produced now.

One would have to say that the understanding between us is rather great. They know there are times when I need privacy from them and they stick to themselves. When I go out they are always waiting to welcome me home again. While there have always been a dog in the family that is no longer the case and won’t be again because the cats are much better.

Dogs are gorgeous but they smell. You can always tell homes where they reside and they jump around and demand walks and things that frankly I am a little past that. Being a retired person who spends much of the day writing or painting the companionship and love from my cats is enough to satisfy my needs. Probably that’s why they understand when my voice is heard. They don’t need to know what is said only that they hear it, just as Fella did.

Norma Holt has knowledge that enables her to understand many issues. Political, social and behavioural problems are usually on her list for discussion as well as anything to do with the Spirit of the Universe and the environment. She has many web sites for readers to venture onto and is happy to hear from any of her readers.

 

Bringing Home Your New Cat or Kitten

Bring a new cat or kitten into your family can be a very exciting time. You can check out different breeds to find out what traits appeals to your lifestyle. One thing to consider is that most cats have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. If you get a cat for your child, be sure you will be able to take responsibility for it when they go off to college or if they move and are not able to take the cat with them. Animal shelters are a good place to find a new family member and sometimes you can even find a pure bred pet. By adopting from an animal shelter, you are also saving a life as their time there is usually limited.

When you are ready to adopt a new cat or kitten, the important things you will need to have are food and water bowls, a litter box, bed, grooming tools and plenty of toys for them to play with. Scratching posts and cat trees are a great way to train your new family member where they can use their natural instincts like climbing, scratching and jumping. It will also save your furniture.

Another thing to consider when looking for a new pet is to be sure your have the means to care for them. This would include food, litter, a professional pet stylist if you are unable to handle brushing and bathing and the most costly could be veterinarian visits. Veterinarian visits may only be an annual exam or if it is an older cat or has medical issues veterinary visits will be more frequent and costly. One thing that can help with this is pet insurance if you decide to purchase it.

By being a responsible cat owner it is very important to have your cat micro-chipped and spayed or neutered. By doing this, it helps cut down on the number of pet that end up in the shelters. Most shelters and rescue groups include this in the price of adoption so it will be taken care of before you bring your new furry friend home. If you adopt a kitten it is easy to train them to be indoor only but older cats can also be trained, it is just a little harder sometimes. Cats can be sneaky so having a collar with a breakaway buckle and ID is always a good idea.

Cats need to be exercised so having toys to keep them moving and in shape. having laser pointers and feather teasers you will be able to interact with your cat which will strengthen the bond between you.

Cat proofing your home is extremely important to avoid any nasty accidents or worse results.. Electric cords need to be kept out of their reach. All medicines, chemicals and cleaning products need to be kept in a cabinet they cannot open. Sometimes a child proof lock is necessary to ensure their safety. Appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines and clothes dryers should be checked before to ensure your cat has not climbed in to investigate or curl up for a nap.

 

3 Frequent Occurring Health Troubles in Felines

Feline pals suffer with varied form of illnesses. Diseases are something that requires constant attention of the owners and parents to let felines feel their warmth and overcome from their condition as soon as possible. All the cat parents must be well aware of what the common kitty illnesses are. Or what are the diseases cats suffer frequently from in their lifetime?

Let’s directly jump on to the main points of the topic indicating various illness of felines as follows:

  1. Fleas and flea allergies: Fleas are icky external parasites that possess a threat for the feline’s health most of the time of the year especially in hot and humid climate. Fleas not only are a reason of irritation for the cats but also a huge contributor to spreading allergies in them.

Various symptoms showing the presence of fleas and flea infestations in cats are:

  • Excessive scratching and licking
  • Skin infections
  • Red inflamed skin
  • Hair loss in the flea affected area
  • Presence of flea dirt

Noting the symptoms at the earliest and starting with the treatment at the correct time prevents further disruption of the cat’s skin and other health issues. Prevention is ALWAYS better than cure. Since, fleas are kind of common trouble so providing your kitty with prevention every month, all year round will ensure her complete protection. Numerous spot-on and oral treatments are qt high demand in the stores right now. Check out Frontline Plus, Bravecto, Nexgard and many other such medications and treat for feline pal with the best. A vet advice always helps in such situations.

  1. Feline Urinary Tract Disease: Generally, felines who consume more of dry food or are obese or overweight then, these cats are exposed to urinary tract infections. The symptoms for the same are:
  • Dehydration
  • Depression
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Blood in urine
  • Crying while urinating and licking around that area
  • Not urinating in proper places

Feeding the kitty with canned food and special diets that control the urinary pH and balances it, increase the amount of water intake by the cat and provide excellent nutritional supplements that helps in controlling and preventing such urinary diseases. For example, cranberry extract may help in preventing recurring urinary tract infection in cats.

  1. Inflammatory Bowel Disease: IBD in felines are a group of gastrointestinal troubles, which occurs mainly due to inflammation of the cells that have been infiltrated in the intestinal tract. IBD in cats does not depend on the age factor and can affect any cat, but observed in mainly middle-aged and elder cats. The inflammation might have been caused because of bacterial infection or food allergies. The several symptoms indicating to IBD in cats are:
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Appetite change

The symptoms also vary with which area of the digestive tract have been diseased.

To overcome inflammatory bowel disease in cats, feed them with hypoallergenic diet and probiotic nutritional supplements that are a common treatment for inflammatory diseases.

Managing feline’s diet and consulting vet to provide her with the correct treatment at right time gives you the liberty to take care of her at your own convenience. Having prior knowledge to several diseases of cat make you well prepared for the situation and helps you deal with it effortlessly.

 

Why Your Cat Is Even More Interesting Than You Knew

Since cats are so adorable, they can brighten up your day with their funny antics. At times, they do some strange things that only a cat can imagine, and you will never figure out what they are thinking of. If you happen to own a pet cat, you will surely know what I am talking about. However, if you do not have a cat, but are planning to get one, you should realize that it could be a wonderful experience that will always make you smile.

A number of facts that will let you discover new things about cats as well as leave you laughing are as follows:

  • There is a tendency for cats to only meow at people, and very seldom at other felines.
  • Cats are capable of making 100 vocal sounds, whereas dogs are only able to make 10.
  • If you talk to your cat more often, it will do the same.
  • Kittens start to dream when they are more than a week old.
  • Domestic cats sleep for a maximum of 14 hours, allowing them to store energy.
  • Thirty percent (30%) of the time cats are awake are spent in grooming themselves.
  • If you notice that your cat’s tail is quivering while beside you, it is just a way of expressing her love and affection.
  • The eyes of cats are tightly shut whenever they are happy.
  • Do you ever wonder why mouse-flavored cat food is not available? The reason is cats that tried such food did not like the taste.
  • Cats are known to clean themselves right after eating. By instinct, they have to get rid of the scent of food in order for predators to avoid smelling and running after them.
  • Cats have very clear vision at night since their eyes reflect light.
  • You should be proud when your cat licks you a lot because this shows that she feels protected when you are around and considers you as a family member.
  • Man should first be ignored by a cat to fully understand how it feels to be rejected.
  • You can train cats to use the toilet like their litter box, and even flush it once they are finished.
  • If your cat gifts you with dead prey, do not feel disgusted. Instead, thank her since she considers this as her present to you.
  • Most cats approach their owners who talk on the phone, and meow as if they want to join the conversation.
  • Indoor cats have a longer life than outdoor cats.
  • A cat will not use a dirty litter box, and would rather wait until it is cleaned.
  • A cat cannot be forced to do something it does not like to.
  • Cats never stay beside the right side of a closed-door.
  • There are around 30 muscles in every ear of a cat. Each ear can rotate 180 degrees, and requires 12 muscles to be able to move.
  • To display their affection, cats usually wrap the curly tip of their tail around their owner’s arm.
  • When a cat is frightened or angry, it will spread out her tail like a bush to appear larger and threatening.
  • A curious cat will always find a closed-door challenging. That is the reason why your cat likes to accompany you inside your bathroom.

 

Just How Smart Is a Cat?

Of all the pet animals, the cat is perhaps the fastest learner due to its ability to get and retain information to find a solution to problems. When an adult cat is placed in a room which it has never seen before, every corner and nook is inspected with the help of its instincts. According to behaviorists, this necessity to carry out “basic research” gives the cat important, life-surviving information about his environment. So, the saying “curiosity killed the cat” is a misnomer, since it actually gives the cat its reputation for having 9 lives.

The highlight of a cat’s intellect is his ability to utilize the information retained to address problems. Cats have the skill to form “learning sets”, which used to be done only by primates. For instance, when trained cats pulled boxes on wheels, this revealed that they could combine that skill and their insight to solve other problems.

As an example, a cat pulled a box to a certain place, then used it as a stool to get a reward he wants – like food on a string hanging from the ceiling. Though no one knows their range of cognitive capabilities, cats continue to surprise their owners with their remarkable abilities.

Just like humans, cats learn by observing, imitating, trying, as well as committing errors. There are countless stories about cats opening doors by turning doorknobs, ringing doorbells, turning off lights, opening cupboards, plus using the toilet based on their observation of owners doing the same thing. A lot of cat behaviorists and also child psychologists agree that an adult cat’s intelligence is equivalent to that of a toddler who is 2 to 3 years old. At this age, children are very clever and manipulative, so it is not surprising that cats are better trainers than their owners are to them.

Though the cat is considered as the smartest among all domestic animals, cat owners should understand the limitations of their pet’s thought processes, since attributing human motivations to the pet cat can affect the patient, and systematic approach is needed to treat behavioral problems.

For instance, cats cannot remember the past or make future plans. So, it is useless for an owner to scold a pet cat for something it did moments ago or when caught in the act, since the cat cannot make a connection between an action and punishment. Its actions are not influenced by revenge for what an owner said or did in the past. These can be blamed on the stress brought about by its owner’s actions.

The behavioral problems of cats are triggered by humans, and when cats are not provided with the necessary things to naturally behave like a cat, this can have a negative impact on their human owners.

 

Finding the Best Home for a Cat

There are times when cat lovers are faced with the dilemma of finding a home for a poor little cat/kitten. These felines know exactly where cat owners live so it is easy to find them. People with soft hearts cannot just ignore them so they do not know what to do. If they have been a cat lover for the longest time, they probably have their fill of furry family members. Nevertheless, they would still want the best home for their new furry friend, but how could they find one?

Some helpful questions they could ask to know the type of home an interested caller would offer to the cat for adoption are:

  • Did you ever have cats in the past? Where are they now? Their reply to these questions can say a lot about this potential home, and the care they plan to give to their new pet.
  • Do you have your own home or are just renting it? If they reply”rent’ then they should get a written approval from their landlord.
  • Do you have kids, and how old are they? When looking for a home that would be ideal for a young kitten, and an interested family has kids below 5 years old, this may not be the best home. Even some adult cats do not get along with children. A cat should not be just a toy for kids, but should be treated as part of the family, whose welfare will be protected by other family members, especially the adults.
  • Do you plan to have the cat sprayed or neutered? Before looking for a new home, the cat may have to be altered. Otherwise, the answer should be “Yes”. If possible, this should be put in writing.
  • Do you intend to declaw the cat? If the reply is “Yes”, it would be best to look for another home, and let this be an opportunity to educate. Most cat adopters will not do this if they discover the costs involved, as well as the behavioral changes and adverse temperament following such procedure. Whenever possible, the new home should provide a durable, sisal covered scratching post for the cat.
  • Do you plan to let the cat go outdoors? The “right” answer really depends on what would work for the best interest of the cat. It really depends on the nature of the cat and the kind of community where it will live. Majority of animal shelters that let their cats be adopted by people staying in residential areas make sure that their felines go to homes that will let them stay indoors.

While it is important to be friendly and informative to possible adopters, due diligence should also be practiced. Adoptees should ask for their identification – like a driver’s license. They should ask for references, including their veterinarian. They can let them sign an adoption contract – such as the document used by humane societies. However, they should also provide them with a copy that includes their contact details and keep one as well.

After a few days of adoption, they can check on the cat’s condition and how well it is adjusting. Certainly, they can always tell the new owner that the kitten can be taken back in case things do not go well.

 

Cat Separation Anxiety: What Are The Causes, Signs, And Possible Treatment?

While the research into cat separation anxiety is just in the early stages of understanding, many have been noticing the signs. I will retell the story of my two cats, Bubba and Charlie.

Charlie was my future wife’s cat of 4 years. Some 6 years ago, when we moved in together, Charlie was aloof and avoided me, at least at first. Once she realized I was here to stay, she started accepting me. At first, a bit stand-offish, but slowly accepting me to the point that she’d lay on my lap to the dismay of my wife. My work at the time was on the road, with periods of time at home. We soon noticed that when I was away, Charlie would groom herself excessively, to the point of creating a bald spot on her flank. When I was home, the excessive grooming would stop. On my retirement, the only time we were away was every two weeks, my wife had to return to the hospital she worked for to do their payroll. We would be away for 2 -3 days every 2 weeks. On our return, we would find that Charlie had vomited all around the house, and on our bed. The reason we know this, once on arrival at home, we walked in on her vomiting. As soon as we brought out our suitcases to pack for our trip, Charlie would hide away, under the bed, the sofa, or under the dining table to avoid us.

Bubba, on the other hand, was a stray that I adopted about a year after I had moved in, my best guess was that he was about a year old. It took a while but Charlie and Bubba became good buddies. The only sign with him was on our return he would not let us out of sight. If you went to the bathroom, he had to also be there. He would walk with me, rubbing up against me, to the extent as to almost trip me.

In doing research, these are all signs of separation anxiety in cats. Speculation of the cause range from genetic to environmental factors being involved. Some say being orphaned or being weaned early may predispose the development of separation anxiety. As this subject gets more study, there might be more information garnered.

Things to do are subjective. The first thing would be to have the veterinarian do a complete physical to make sure the behavior is not caused by some underlying physical problem. This will maybe involve blood work, urinalysis, thyroid testing, or a blood pressure check.

Some other suggestions include making the time of departure less stressful by making changes in the normal routine. Some experts suggest that for 15 minutes prior to leaving and upon return home, the owner should ignore the cat. Leaving a distracting toy can be helpful. Someone suggested hiding tasty treats in various places in the house. Making the environment more stimulating may help. A cat tower with toys attached near a window could help. Sometimes they just enjoy seeing what’s going on outside.

Some experts have stated that in some situations the short-term use of anti-anxiety medications may be needed. You must be aware that these are not labeled specifically for use in cats and should / must be prescribed and monitored by your veterinarian.

In the future research should be able to give us more information about the cause and treatment of separation anxiety in cats and make life better for our little feline friends.

 

How to Train a Cat to Use a Scratching Post: Useful Tips

If you happen to be a cat owner, then you would notice that your precious pet loves scratching stuff. Much to your horror, cats love to scratch the furniture! This may seem like a big problem, but it can be easily resolved. The key is to learn how to train a cat to use a scratching post. There are many ways for you to deal with this problem.

First of all, it is important to understand why cats scratch their paws. Cats spread their scent by scratching their paws which means they are marking their territory.

It helps them to feel secure and to identify their enclave. Shedding claws is another reason for scratching. Scratching also helps them stretch their muscles. See that there are many advantages to cats scratching their paws except that it wreaks havoc on your furniture.

On the other hand, you can trim your cat’s nails to help them ease the scratching. This method is not recommended as they lose their defense mechanism. So we compiled some tips and tricks to follow to aid in your dilemma.

Useful Tips on How to Train a Cat to Use a Scratching Post

Now that you know the common reasons why cats are scratching their paws, we can move on to some useful things that you can do to help them learn to use a scratching post instead of your furniture.

Start early

If you have your pets as kittens, then you can start training them while they are young. This way, the action will be ingrained in them. However, if you already have an adult cat, they can still be trained but might need more persistence and perseverance.

Find a scratching post that your cat will love

Sometimes, it is all about finding the right kind of scratching post that will appeal to your cat. You can find the right post for your cat usually through trial and error. You may need to experiment and see which one works. For example, some would prefer a vertical post as opposed to a horizontal surface. The important thing is to be able to find the right one that will appeal to your cat’s preferences.

Determine the best place to put your scratching post

Other times, it is not the quality of the scratching post that is important but the location. You should keep in mind that you should place your post where it will be accessible to your cat.

One pro tip: cats usually do their scratching before they take a nap. The ideal place to put your scratching post is where your cat usually naps. If you have the capacity, it is also great to put several posts in different parts of the house. Place it on your pet’s usual spots, and it will surely get to maximize its use.

Now, if you happen to have a piece of furniture that your cat is very much attached to, then you can try placing a scratching post near it. This is an excellent way to divert its attention and focus the scratching on the post and not on your furniture.

Use Rewards and Affirmations

As with all great training, you can use rewards and affirmations to your pet. This simply means that whenever your pet uses the scratch post, it will get a reward. On the other hand, if they still play with your beloved furniture, then you need to be firm and let your pet know that is wrong.

To further entice your cat to use the scratching post, you can put catnip on and around the post or hang a toy for them to be able to play with. Eventually, they will get the hang of it and start using the post regularly.

Do not tolerate

If your cat is persistent, then it is time to use your voice to let your pet know its actions are incorrect. When you hear your cat scratching the furniture, say stop in a loud voice. Your pet will be startled and over time will understand that what it is doing is inappropriate. You may also spritz some water on your cat whenever it starts scratching the future. These are just some ways to dissuade your pet.

Other Remedies

Now, if the tips mentioned above do not work at all, then you can go a different route. One thing that you could do is to make your furniture unappealing to your pet. You can do this by covering your cat’s favorite furniture with foil or tape. Cats do not like these textures and can dissuade them from further scratching. It may seem like a hideous look for your furniture, but it is only temporary. You can remove them when your cat already loses its interest.

When all else fail, you can try changing your furniture. Consider furniture that is made from microfiber. It can tolerate scratching, but at the same time, there are also different designs available that will suit your home.

Conclusion

Cats are adorable and fun-loving. Just remember that cat scratching is a natural phenomenon. It may seem horrible, but if you train them early, then you will be able to surpass this ordeal. As mentioned before, cats scratch as their way of marking territory and shedding claws. It is easier to train cats when you understand the reason behind their behavior.

 

Feral Cats – What to Do If They Live Near You

Chances are if you live in a rural or even suburban environment, you live close to feral cats – skittish, roughened wild cats that may look like they need some human help, only to run away when approached. These cats aren’t tame and in no way willing to be a house cat and are perfectly capable of living outside on their own, whether it damages some of the ecosystems or not.

If you find yourself surrounded by these untamed creatures, you have several options. One, you could leave them be and claim they are simply not your problem. This is a favored option for many but by no means a good one. There are over 70 million feral cats in the U.S.A. alone and scientists rightly blame the extinction of thirty-three species of bird on that huge number of cats: cats that hunt, kill and eat all sorts of birds, reptiles and rodents. This overpopulation could quickly lead to the extinction of other birds and maybe even some prey mammals. Plus, who wants the reek of a feral cat spraying its territory underneath and around their carport? Yuck.

The second option would be to start feeding them. This is a better choice, but still not ideal as your third option, which we’ll discuss in a moment. Feeding these cats at set times during the mornings or evenings and putting out a homemade shelter for them is a good idea – cats that aren’t hungry will pounce half-heartedly and are far more likely to end up empty-pawed after the hunt. But this also leads to several other problems: spreading diseases and overpopulation. Diseases like toxoplasmosis, parasites, and rabies can spread through a bite or scratch when a neighborhood pet mingles with a feral. In turn, diseases can be spread to the unsuspecting owners when they’re animal interacts with them. The illnesses can cause death in some occasions, and grief follows after an animal’s death due to the sicknesses. This means that the disease could be spread to your outdoor cats and possibly to you and your family!

Along with this, cats are like rabbits when it comes to reproducing and if none of the cats are sterilized, there will be kittens. This adds to the population, increasing the risk factor of all the previously mentioned points. As the cats’ caretaker, you’d also have to increase the food you put out for the animals daily because of the extra mouths to feed. You’d also be given the task of taming and adopting out the kittens – and only given a certain window of time to do this.

The last option of Trap-Neuter-Return (T-N-R). This involved trapping the cats using humane, catch-and-release traps before getting them sterilized and releasing them again. This eliminates almost all of the issues with having feral cats around your yard. Now that there are neutered, they won’t be having any more kittens, they’ll be vaccinated and dewormed so they won’t spread parasites or diseases, and they won’t feel the urge to spray their territory as much.

Don’t be afraid to get your local shelter or the community involved! They can do most, if not all, of the trapping and neutering for a very low price or even for free, depending on where you live. They will also ear-tip (remove the top bit of the ear) the cat so that they won’t be caught and trapped again by other well-meaning people and rescue groups.

Now for the final issue: What about the birds? That’s where you start feeding the cats. Keeping them fed once or twice a day ensures that they are well-fed. This boosts their immune system as well, making them less likely to contract possible sicknesses that aren’t eliminated by vaccines or deworming. And now that they are feeding daily, they are less likely to bother so much with hunting.

 

Get Some Excellent and Quality Cat Beds for Your Meowing Friend

Your kitty must be sweet and endearing to convince you to get her an excellent and quality cat bed. To resolve your worries on what specific bed to get for your cat, go for online shopping, here you can choose from varieties of bed collections.

These days online shops are evolving into the first choice for almost all shoppers. Because of their multiple benefits and huge options, more people are logging on instead of heading out.

Adore Your Meowing Friend with the Best Cat Supplies

Cats are the great pet and kept as an essential part of the family. You like to adore your meowing friend, buy her accessories and best cat food. To create a magnificent effect one can select the best kind of thing which will undoubtedly create a paradise and change the overall decoration differently.

If you are looking for some quality cat beds online, then start your online shopping. Choose the best piece with the new and attractive look. Do not forget about colors and patterns that play a significant role in creating a fantastic decor for your meowing companion.

Get Quality Beds from Trusted Leaders Online

Get high-quality beds and create some admiring effect on the surrounding for your best friend. It is better not to buy sleeping beds for a cat right away; first of all, you need to evaluate the sleeping habits of your meowing companion.

For example, if your kitty sleeps with her head propped up, then you need to buy beds for her with bolsters or sides. In case, you have a cat that likes to stretch out, then buy her with a beautiful rectangular pillow or designed in platform fork. Observe certain things before you pick any item. Get quality beds from trusted leaders.

Heated Beds and Pads are Available Especially for Cats

The one thing cats like more than sleeping is to sleep in the sunlight. You can give your cat with a warm place to relax even when the sun is not out with heated beds and pads specially made for pet cats.

The best thing is that these products are available in different size, shape and designs; you can purchase any of them that suited your furry friend best.

Provide a Place of Safety, Security and Comfort

If you want to pamper your lovely kitty and let her get a good night’s rest she wishes, then you better find the perfect and comfortable bed for her.

A good foundation provides her with a place of safety, comfort and security. Buy cat bed, making sure that it has a surface which can be cleaned easily.

Put Icing on the Cake with the Excellent Cat Products

When, you bring any cat into your home, at first try to create a special bond with your kitty. Once you have acquired this relation, put the icing on the cake with excellent cat products for your feline friend. Owning cat beds and innovative cat toys will work like a jumpstart your cat’s sense of importance to you.

I wish you would have liked my article. Being a long-time cat owner, I am passionate about supporting cat health and well-being. The motto to write this article is to let you know more, how you can make your cat’s living more comfortable and relaxing. In coming days, I will try to bring more informative content on making cat parenting easier and better.