Training Your Kitten to Enjoy her Carrier

Cat in Soft CarrierMost cats learn to hate carriers because they associate the carrier with a bad experience – it comes out once a year or so, and means a trip to the vet’s office!

But a carrier is an important part of life for our feline friends, so here are some tips for helping your cat learn to like the carrier:

 

  1. Start by just leaving your carrier out in the house, so your cat can get used to it. Open it up, and block the door, so that your cat can investigate if they want to.
  2. Cat in Hard CarrierMake the carrier attractive to your cat – add some comfy bedding, and then a favorite toy or some catnip.
  3. Once your cat is feeling comfortable with the carrier, try closing the door for a few minutes while she is inside – leave the room, and come back and give her a treat when you open it back up.
  4. Once she is feeling comfortable with that process, try walking around the house for a few minutes once you have closed the door. Then, set it down, and give her a treat again when you open it back up.
  5. When that part is going well, try taking for her a short drive – even just around the block – and reward her again with a treat once you’re back inside. Your cat will learn that the carrier and the car don’t always mean a trip to the scary vet.

 

Kitten Proofing Your House

Devon Rex Kittens in WindowBefore you get kitten home, there are a few things you will want to do to make sure your home is safe and secure for your new addition.

  1. Close off all areas that a kitten can get into. Many kittens have been lost for a time because they are afraid in their new surroundings.
  2. Designate one room where your kitten can stay to get acquainted with her new surroundings. Make it a fun place with new toys, a new bed and litter box so that he understands that this is his room. Once acquainted, usually after a week, let your kitten begin to explore other areas with your supervision.  If there are other pets, gradually introduce them to your new kitten.  Wait a few weeks so that your kitten gets confident and comfortable in his new surroundings.
  3. Get your kitten on a schedule as soon as possible. Regular feeding, grooming and play time gives your kitten a sense of order and security.  Refrain from over-handling.
  4. Be sure to kitten-proof other areas. Just like babies, they love putting things in their mouth.  Make sure that electric cords are unplugged and that there are no other hazards in the vicinity. You may have to get on the floor to “see” what your kitten sees.  Having plenty of appropriate toys around will focus your kitten on the right things.
    Persian Kitten with Flowers

Have fun as you introduce your kitten to his new surroundings and he will soon realize that this is his forever home where he can grow and have comfort and support for a lifetime

Things to Consider Before Bringing a Kitten Home

Sunday, March 20 was the first official day of Spring 2016 and a perfect time to bring a new kitten home.  Here are five things to consider when you are considering a kitten for your forever home.

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  1. Make sure that your kitten is at least three months of age. By then, mom has socialized and weaned the kitten so that it can survive.
  2. A healthy kitten has a muscular body, firm to the touch, clear eyes and will move with confidence and strength.
  3. Whether buying from a breeder or whether you get your cat from your local rescue, be sure to find out all you can about the kitten. For a pedigreed cat, talk with your breeder so that you can understand the temperament and pedigree behind the kitten.  For a rescue kitten, be sure to get as much information about the conditions which the kitten was found.
  4. Choose your vet in advance and talk to her about how to keep your kitten happy and healthy. Your vet is the best expert to guide you about proper nutrition and care.
  5. Have fun bonding with your new kitten that will build over time and so that you can become pals for years to come.
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Easter Hazards

Photo: bob in swamp / Foter.com / CC BY

Photo: bob in swamp / Foter.com / CC BY

It’s that time again when Spring is upon us and we look forward with great anticipation to the upcoming Easter holiday and nice, long days of summer ahead.   With 10 to 12 million lily plants produced annually, the lily is a very popular plant to receive as a gift, especially during this time of year.

Cat owners must be aware when bringing lilies into their homes. The following species are known toxins to cats: The Easter lily, Tiger lily, Day Lily, Rubrum lily, Japanese Show Lily, as well as other members of the Liliaceae family can all cause kidney failure in cats. In most plants, the leaves are known toxins along with the stems and flowers in certain species. With some species, cats can eat as little as two or three leaves which can result in liver failure and, if left untreated, can cause death if not caught in time.

Photo: flores do meu jardim / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo: flores do meu jardim / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

If you catch your cat eating a lily plant, contact your veterinarian immediately. Should your cat ingest lily plant material, he may vomit, have diarrhea, became dehydrated and lethargic and develop a lack of appetite. As internal damage progresses, symptoms can become more intense without prompt, appropriate treatment by your veterinarian. Take the plant along when you take your cat to the veterinarian to make it easier for your veterinarian to prescribe the proper care and treatment.

If you receive a lily plant, take extra caution to make sure that the plant is out of reach and kept away from your cat, especially if he likes to nibble on things. Rather than struggle with the problem of where to put the plant, you may decide that cats are more fun and more decorative than a plant and just ban them from your home.

Training Your Kitten to Enjoy the Grooming Routine

3-7 cat with brushRegular brushing and combing are important to make sure that your cat has less hair balls and will leave less hair around the house. For long-haired cats, daily grooming is essential.

The best conditions for training your kitten to get used to the grooming sessions is to gently comb or brush him when he is relaxed or sleepy. Using a gentle approach, don’t insist that grooming take place when the cat is nervous or wanting to play.

Grooming is done the right way of the fur, with the exception of the neck area. Position the comb in a slanted position, and make sure that the teeth are not too sharp. You may take several tries to find your cat’s favorite grooming place. There are plenty of combs on the market, find one that is recommended for your cat’s fur length and texture.

3-7 Robert Groppi1Also, during the grooming process, be sure not to overstimulate your cat so that he becomes rambunctious and aggressive. You want to associate the grooming routine for your cat is time for the two of you to bond and relax.

For some cats, daily grooming may take place several times per day or on a regular basis. Take notice of any “sensitive” areas on your cat and try to avoid those areas. One of my cats does not like having his stomach combed more than a few times.

Grooming is not only essential, but can be an enjoyable activity that you and your cat can share for his entire life.

CFA’s Most Popular Breeds

Feb 22

The Exotic is CFA’s Most Popular Breed for the second year in a row.  The top ten CFA breeds are:

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  1. Exotic
  2. Persian
  3. Maine Coon Cat
  4. Ragdoll
  5. British Shorthair
  6. American Shorthair
  7. Scottish Fold
  8. Abyssinian
  9. Sphynx
  10. Oriental

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Rankings are based on registration 2015 figures.  While not a breed, this is also the first year the household pets are able to compete for regional wins.  Household pet recordings increased by 300% in 2015.  To learn more about cat shows, go to http://www.cfa.org/Shows/AboutCFAShows.aspx

 

How to Get Taurine in Your Cat’s Diet

What Is Taurine?
Taurine is an amino acid which ensures the functioning of the nervous system and muscles; helps a reproductive system function and if there is a deficiency, poor fetal development and stillbirths can occur. Without taurine the walls of the heart can become thin and not allow the proper blood flow to the heart as well as cause blindness.

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Photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/shimgray/2955240349/”>generalising</a> via <a href=”http://foter.com/”>Foter.com</a> / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>CC BY-SA</a>

Where Does My Cat Get Taurine?
Taurine is found in raw, whole meat diets. Today, domestic cats should get enough taurine in their diets if they are eating on canned and dry commercial foods. Manufacturers are required to supplement their products with the recommended amounts of taurine. If your cat is fed a home-prepared diet, be sure to discuss ways with your veterinarian so that you can easily supplement his diet with taurine.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) sets the appropriate amounts for a cat’s diet at various life stages. If a diet meets AAFCO standards, it will be noted on the label of the manufacturer.

Five Reasons Why I Love My Cat

It’s Valentine’s Day this coming week and a time to show our love and appreciation for the ones we share our lives with and that must include our cats! I am sure like me, you are grateful for the chance to share your life with four crazy cats. They always make us feel better if I am sad and give me something to laugh about each day.

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Photo: Krysia Reed

The five best things about having a cat are:
1. When you wake up they are happy to see you. Even if they are standing above you on your pillow waiting to eat.
2. They want to be near you when you are working at your computer. I won’t even discuss the amount of hair in my computer!
3. They make me laugh when they are in their crazy moods, racing through the house and playing, just because.
4. They remind me to be curious about everything and that curiosity is good for anyone at any age.
5. They give me peace. Peace of mind and soul.

Carol Real
Photo: Carol Real

As pet parents, what more can we ask for? Hug Your Cat this Valentine’s Day and don’t forget to show them your love and appreciation.

Don’t Forget to Watch Kitten Bowl 3 on Hallmark Channel February 7

It’s that time of year again! Watch feline fun with the kittens of Kitten Bowl 3 on Super Bowl Sunday, February 7, 2016.

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The event will be hosted once again by Beth Stern television personality and spokesperson for the North Shore Animal League America.
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North Shore Animal League America supplied nearly 100 rescue kittens to fill up Hallmark’s bite-size football field. The field was decked out with scratchy goalposts and plenty of cat toys to keep the action moving when the event was taped back in October.

I great addition this year—Snaps teamed up with Hallmark Channel’s Kitten Bowl to launch its very own kitten emoji keyboard.

The keyboard is available today on iOS and Google Play, and can be downloaded here.

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”Sometimes we get into an issue or two. They tend to like to really delve into the catnip, and that type of thing sometimes gets a little out of control,” said Boomer Esiason, the Feline Football League commissioner for the Super Bowl Sunday event. ”The kitten players,” Esiason offered, ”are so much easier to deal with than human players.”

Shelter Cats Walk the Red Carpet at Catdance Film Festival

Catdance is back and furrier than ever!

On Saturday, Jan. 23, “New Girl” actress and cat lover Hannah Simone will host the fourth annual Catdance Film Festival presented by new Fresh Step® with the Power of Febreze™ in Park City. Shelter kittens will take center stage – from the red carpet to the films. Fresh Step presents Catdance as part of its Million Meow Mission, campaign to help shelter cats find forever homes.

cat tv

Photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/cloudzilla/50257242/”>cloudzilla</a> via <a href=”http://foter.com/”>Foter.com</a> / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>CC BY</a>

The Catdance film winner  will receive a $25,000 “kitty” (cash prize) and Golden Litter Scoop.

Guests will don cat ears and virtual reality goggles to experience for the first time ever what it’s like to be a cat being adopted, from the tearful moment they’re overlooked to joyful union with its new family. If the world could see how much adoption means from a cat’s point of view, shelters would be empty.

In the meantime, you can get ready for Catdance with this just-released film, “The Purrfect Match”, a love story of a man and his shelter cat Tonto.

Stay tuned for the winner!  Good luck to all of the participants!