Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Taking Care of Your Cat

Cats are very popular pet animals; there are approximately eight million cats kept in the UK. There are different breeds and varieties of cat, varying in size, body shape and temperament. The majority of cats owned in the UK are non-pedigrees. Typically, cats live for fourteen years, but many live for much longer. Understanding cats' needs Cats retain much of the biology and behaviour of the wild cats they originated from. This means they have very complex needs so looking after them well can be challenging. Being aware of how wild cats live can help you understand your pet cat’s needs better, Your duty to care Owning and caring for a cat is great fun and very rewarding, but it is also a big responsibility and a long-term commitment in terms of care and finances. If you own or are responsible for a cat, even on a temporary basis, you are required by law to care for it properly. Read more about the Animal Welfare Act and your duty of care to your animals. The five welfare needs There is no one 'perfect' way to care for all cats because every cat and every situation is different. Cats are now increasingly kept as indoor-only pets, whilst many are given access outside or even live outside permanently. It is up to you how you look after your cat, but you must take reasonable steps to ensure that you meet all its needs. Read our expert reviewed pet care information to find out more about the needs of cats: Environment, Diet, Behaviour, Company and Health and welfare. You'll find lots more detailed advice under these main webpages, so do take a look around our cat section for top tips on keeping your cat happy and healthy.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

My Singing Cat

Secrets To Effective Cat Training


Behavioral problems in cats, such as avoiding the litterbox, excessive meowing and other attention-seeking behavior, biting and painful or destructive scratching can be corrected by first eliminating physical causes, then instituting a program of gradual retraining, with the help of these resources. Remember that there are no bad cats, only uninformed cat caregivers.
I would suggest trying to deal with one problem cat behavior at a time. Too many "dos" and "don'ts" will only confuse your cat and frustrate your training attempts. Start with the most potentially hazardous problems first - such as chewing on electrical cords - then move on from there. Here are the most-often reported behavioral problems in cats:
Attention-Seeking Behavior
Attention-seeking behavior and excessive vocalization often go hand-in-hand with cats. Causes for these behaviors can be either physical or emotional, or both. Before punishing your cat for excessive crying and meowing, or other attention seeking behavior, do some homework on possible causes.
See Also: Rippling Skin Disorder
Also called Feline hyperesthesia, one of the symptoms of Rippling Skin Disorder is loud "lost-in-the-night" howling.
Cats' Aggression Toward People
Cats' aggression toward people can be caused by poor training as a kitten (as in play aggression), fear, or other factors. Learn how to prevent a cat's aggression toward people, how to deal with it when it happens, and how to curb a cat's biting and scratching behavior.
Feline Aggression Toward Other Cats
Cats sharing a household will sometimes fight, but when active aggressive behavior between cats rears its ugly head, sometime human intervention is necessary.
Aggression between cats can be fear-based, territorial, or redirected aggression. This article will help the reader deal with aggression between cats in a household.
Destructive and Harmful Chewing by Cats and Kittens
Destructive chewing by cats is undesirable, first, because of the potential of danger to the cat, and second, because of damage to family valuables. Causes of destructive chewing by cats can range from teething in kittens to curiosity, to boredom, and even (surprise!) because of a nutrient deficiency.
Destructive Scratching by Cats
Are you troubled by illegal clawing by your cats? Please don't consider Draconian measures such as declawing a cat. There are a number of ways you can keep your cats' claws happily engaged in legal clawing with these articles and aids, while protecting furniture and carpeting.
Cat Urine Problems 
Inappropriate elimination (litter box avoidance) is the number one reason cats are surrendered to shelters. By eliminating physical causes, such as urinary tract infections, then targeting other common reasons for litterbox avoidance, you can help your cat overcome this undesirable behavior. Remember that cats don't like to use a dirty toilet any more than you would.
Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior in Cats
Cats, like humans, can indulge in obsessive-compulsive behavior. In cats, OCD manifests in activities such as excessive licking, fur-pulling, wool-sucking or feline hyperesthesia. Understanding the causes and eliminating physical problems can often lead to a speedy cure for undesirable behavior.
Shyness and Fear in Cats
Is your kitty a "Scairdycat?" Shyness and fear stem from a number of causes, but can be overcome with gentleness and patience, as these tips explain. It is always important to allow your cat to set his own pace, and to be patient if his pace is slower than you had hoped for.
Stress and Anxiety in Cats
While stress itself is not of behavioral origin, it can lead to a number of problems often considered behavioral, such as litter box avoidance or depression. When behavioral problems suddenly appear, savvy cat owners soon learn to first rule out signs of health problems, and next for stress factors, such as changes in the environment.
Clicker Training for Cats
Anyone involved in clicker training their cats will readily tell you that it is not only fun for cats and their humans, but also important training for safety reasons. Need to get a cat in his carrier quickly? Clicker train him. Does he try to slip out the door? Clicker train him.
Cat Behavior FAQs
A large percentage of questions I receive by email or on the About Cats Forum are those concerning cat behavior. Many so-called "behavioral problems" result from the cat owners simply not understanding what cats are trying to tell us. And often cats' behavioral "quirks" are their most endearing traits.
I hope you and your cat have been able to utilize the lessons given here to develop good habits for your kitty and a better relationship for both of you!

Share your Cat Behavior Success Stories

If you've been particularly successful in correcting one or more of these behavioral problems in your cat, share your experiences here in the attached form. You may very well help another frustrated cat and his frustrated human.

Cat Standing Up Funny

Dancing Cats Compilation


Cat Hiccups and Farts at the Same Time


f you're a first-time cat owner, "How much should I feed my cat?" is likely to be one of your first questions when you bring her home. Even if you've owned cats for years, you may sometimes wonder whether your cats are getting too little food or too much. Feeding your cat isn't rocket science, but it is based on many variables, including the cat's weight and age, whether you're feeding wet or dry food, the cat's activity level, and whether or not she is pregnant or nursing. The brand of food you're feeding also makes a difference. A dense, high quality dry cat food will contain more nutrients by weight than a low-quality food, and thus require smaller portions to deliver the same amount of nutrition. Many cat owners allow their cats free access to dry food, supplemented by canned food once or twice a day. A dry-food-only diet is not necessarily a bad pet diet if you're feeding high quality food, but it does require that you encourage your cat to drink a lot more water to compensate for what she's not getting in canned food. When you bring a new cat home, it's important to continue to feed her the same amount of the same food on the same schedule that's she's been accustomed to, then gradually migrate to your own food and schedule. Cats are very sensitive to change, and a new cat will be dealing with a lot of new-environment stress, so keeping the food and schedule consistent will ease her transition and keep intestinal upset at bay. When you're ready to transition your cat over to your own food and schedule, you'll need to determine what kind of food you'll be feeding her (wet or dry, raw, or a combo), and using the calorie counts in each, determine how much of which kind to feed her. Cat Food Ingredients The foundation of a healthy cat diet is flesh-based protein like meat, fish, or poultry. Dry food should be high in animal proteins, and low in plant proteins (which cats are ill-equipped to digest). Carbohydrates should make up no more than ten percent of the mix of cat food ingredients. Wet foods should consist predominantly of meat with as few by-products and fillers as possible. How Much To Feed Your Cat According to the Animal Medical Center in New York, a healthy, active 8-lb adult cat requires about 30 calories per pound per day. So, the average 8-lb cat requires about 240 calories per day. Typically, dry food contains about 300 calories per cup, and canned food contains about 250 calories in each 6 oz can. (or, 125 per 3 oz. can). Using these counts as a guide, an 8-lb. cat would need 4/5 of a cup of dry food and just under a full 6-oz can (or two 3-oz. cans) of wet food per day. You can adjust the proportions based on whether your cat prefers more or less dry or wet food. If you're free feeding dry food, each day measure out the day's allotment of food into your dry food feeder. This decreases the amount of food that gets stale and needs to be discarded. It will also help you monitor how much your cats are eating. If you have to take a thin cat to the vet, it will help in the diagnosis if you can identify exactly how much she eats per day. Portioning out the food will keep your cats from overeating. Free choice feeding is one of the top contributors to feline obesity. How Often To Feed Your Cat How often to feed a cat depends on what you're feeding her. Most cat owners feed their cats morning and night, and may or may not supplement those feedings with free feeding of dry food throughout the day. Is Your Cat Is Too Fat Or Too Thin? Throughout your cat's life you will need to modify her diet to accommodate changing metabolism and dietary needs. Feel your cat's backbone and ribs. If the ribs and backbone show through her skin, she is too thin. If you can't feel the ribs, your cat is likely overweight. Adjust her portions accordingly. Keeping your cat from becoming obese is much easier than forcing an obese cat to diet. And it will make both you and your cat a lot happier.