Cat Proofing Your House

February 13, 2012 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Cats

Cat Proofing Your House

Cats are curious creatures. They are quite self-sufficient and loving as companions. But, bringing one home may mean some changes around the house to keep them safe. Here are a few guidelines for cat proofing your home.

Cats don’t require much but what they do need is some discipline. They can get into everything when you are not home if a few measures are not taken. Most of these are safety measures since you don’t want your new companion to hurt themselves. Some are for cosmetic reasons so your furniture doesn’t look like it has been through a shredder.

Many pet owners are stressed about the amount of money they have to put into repairs around their home but it can be avoided. Try these tips and tricks to keep a safe and happy cat home.

Finding a Happy Medium for you and your Cat

1. Discipline from the beginning – Kittens are cute but if you don’t teach them how to behave at this stage you could have a real problem when they grow into adult cats. The most effective way to teach is with a firm command word and/or a spray bottle. The spray bottle seems cruel but it is a tool that will get their attention when they persist in being disobedient.

2. Hiding cords – Cats like to bite and gnaw on things. If they have taken a shine to your electrical cords nip that behavior in the bud right away. You don’t want them to suffer the same fate as the cat in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation do you? Use empty paper towel or toilet paper rolls to cover cords and keep them together so that they are not easy prey for your cat. Cover them with contact paper or paint them so they blend in better with your room décor.

3. Blind cat – Curtains offer a great place for cats to hang and scratch. Avoid shredded draperies and instead use vertical blinds. Cats like to sit in windows and this way they can move between them without doing damage. Cut looped strings so your cat won’t get hung in them.

4. Bitter plants – Cats love to eat plants and spill the dirt everywhere. First of all many plants are toxic to cats if they chew on them. Know this list to avoid any plant that could be a danger. With other plants, apply a spray called bitter apple. It is non-toxic to the plant and cats don’t like the taste. You can also buy them some catnip plants that they can chew with delight if they want.

5. No dirt – To avoid dirt all over the floor, apply a mesh covering over the top of the plant to keep dirt from getting kicked out. You can still water and feed the plant as normal.

6. Scratching post – Cats like to scratch. Having a scratching post in the home can avoid them using your furniture. Try a post that uses a different texture material than your furniture. Posts can be vertical or horizontal.

Welcome your cat home and keep them welcome with a few tricks to keep them safe and your home in tiptop shape!

Exotic Cats as Pets

February 11, 2012 by  
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Exotic CatsExotic Cats
“Exotic Pet Wildcats are not just “pet cats”… they are extraordinary pet cats!”

Exotic Cats evolved completely on their own with no human help – that is what makes

them exotic pet cats!

Exotic cats are typically cat species that are wild but that are occasionally kept in a domestic setting as pets. They are definitely extravagant looking and “unique” compared to what are usually kept as pets! Exotic cats included here are all species of wild cats – from small bobcats to lions and tigers to all endangered cats.

Wild cats are most often seen and experienced by normal people in photographs and in zoos or wildlife reserves. Because these cats are not encountered on a regular basis it is natural to want to see and touch them. These cats have both differences and similarities to typical house cats. They can be loving and affectionate to their owners just like a “normal” cat. However, they require much more in terms of care. Their housing, diets, and temperaments can all differ dramatically from a typical house cat. There also variations among the different species and it generally costs much more to keep an exotic cat. An owner of a an exotic cat must be dedicated and responsible when it comes to caring for an exotic cat… Read More

More on the Exotic Cats!

Cat Breeds: The Russian Blue Cat

December 9, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Cats

Russian Blue Cat

Want a cat that will hold you in its gaze? You might want to take a look at the Russian Blue Cat. As its name implies, it has traveled across the seas. Keep reading to find out more information about this mysterious feline.

History

It is said that the Russian Blue arrived in England in the late 1800s on a merchant ship that hailed from Russia. Some believe that the cat originated in the Archangel Isles of northern Russia. There is no definite proof. Some believe that the cat originated in Sweden. Not much is known except that the breed made its way to England and Europe and eventually the United States.

Temperament

This cat’s popularity has fallen off in recent years because of the rumor that they were difficult to handle. Breeders continue to work to change that temperament.

Russian Blue cats are cautious and somewhat aloof. They work best in homes where the occupant lives a quiet and settled lifestyle. These cats do not take kindly to noise, surprises, lots of changes to their routine, or confusion.

They are not cuddlers nor do they give their affection easily. It takes them a while to get to know and trust their owners. Once they do, they will be a devoted friend for life. In a household with more than one person, the Russian Blue will choose who they feel is most worthy and shower affection on that person. They are truly “one-person” cats.

Care

The Russian Blue comes in, well, blue as far as its coat color. It often has a frosted sheen to it. The coat is of medium length. The hairs stand on end, giving it a fuller look. Brushing once a week will keep the shedding to a minimum.

This breed is athletic and moves gracefully. The head is often angular in shape with a fine bone structure. The eyes are wide set and green. The color forms a striking contrast against the blue fur.

There are no particular diseases that this breed is prone to. Maintaining good health is the goal of all cat owners so that they can enjoy a long life with their companion. It does bear mentioning that the Russian Blue does like to eat. Obesity can become a problem if you are not careful. So, keep an eye on their food intake and exercise them regularly.

Training

Like we said earlier, the Russian Blue is quite cautious. The name of the game with this cat and anything you do with it is patience. They are calm cats so you may not have to deal with much in the way of discipline issues.

If you are looking for a companion who likes a quiet life as much as you do, then the Russian Blue Cat is worth examining.

Hybrid Cat Breeds

November 5, 2011 by  
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Hybrid Cat BreedsHybrid Cat Breeds
"A little of this, a little of that… And what you get is an awesome cat!"

Hybrid Cat Breeds can make quite spunky companions, whether they are small or large!

Hybrid breed cats are cats that are bred from two or more other breeds (or species) of cats. This can include both domestic and wild cats. Hybrid cat breeds are usually quite distinct in their appearance, with attractive patterns and colors on their coats. They also have a lot of energy, and are very curious. Because of the way these cats are bred they can be either small or very large. They are relatively recent in comparison to many other domestic cat breeds. Many of these hybrid cat breeds are not yet recognized by cat registries, however several of them are… Read More

More about Hybrid Cat Breeds!

Cat Breeds: The Persian

November 4, 2011 by  
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Persian Cat

If you like lots of loving fluff then a Persian cat may be just what you are looking for. Like its name implies, it is regal, ready to be pampered, and worthy of your praise.

History

Have you ever watched the movie Stuart Little? Snowball is the quintessential Persian cat. This breed is said to have originated in Iran (hence the name Persian). It was introduced to Europe by an Italian man in the 16th century.

According to literature, the original Persian from Iran didn’t have the longhair of the British version we see today. But, over time, many cat breeds (Persian being one of the oldest) were subject to interbreeding for specific traits. It is believed to have been interbred with Angoras or even Pallas cats.

What makes this cat beautiful is its longhair coat. It is believed that this is a recessive trait that spontaneously appeared over the centuries in the breed. They come in a variety of colors including brown, black, tabby, tortoiseshell, silver, golden and white.

Temperament

The Persian is as regal as its area of origin. This cat is great with families with children. They love to play with their human family. This breed of cat has an easygoing personality but they aren’t the most athletic.

Frankly, a Persian loves to be loved by others. If you have kids who like to pet their animals then this is the cat for you. When they are not being fussed over they like to lounge lavishly in a place where they can continue to be admired by their family.

This cat is not a dunderhead though. They are highly intelligent and learn quickly. Don’t let the large body and long fur fool you.

Care

The Persian has enough grooming needs for a hundred cats. Because their hair is quite long, they require daily grooming to remove matted hair and to cut down on hair balls. Bathe them regularly as well to prevent fecal buildup on the fur. Although cats are typically self-groomers, clean this breed’s ears and eyes each day to avoid any problems due to the long hair.

Because of the traits that have been bred into and out of this type of cat, many have developed extremely flat faces. Thought to be a plus for show cats, it can also pose many health problems for your Persian. Many Persians have sinus and respiratory issues. They are also genetically predisposed to kidney disease and kidney failure.

Training

You shouldn’t have much trouble with this cat. They love attention but will not hound their humans for petting and affection. They withhold their love until they learn to trust you. There are very few discipline issues owing to their quiet temperament.

Are you ready to shower your love on a pet? Then, you may be the right owner for a Persian! Read more on Animal-World’s Persian Cat page!

Cat Breeds: The American Shorthair

October 29, 2011 by  
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American Shorthair Cat

Have you looked at your cat lately? If he doesn’t look like any of the more unusual cats with long foreign-sounding names, then he just might be an American Shorthair.

History

The story of this cat is one for the history books. We often think of dogs as work animals, assisting their human masters on the farm and in the home. If that is so then this cat would be the feline counterpart.

He came over on the Mayflower, circa 1620. The American Shorthair is known as a working class cat often doing daily labor alongside the Pilgrims. Over the years, this strong English breed’s bloodline was diluted. In the early 1900’s those who loved the loyalty, feistiness and work ethic of the original shorthair tried to breed out the other traits and return this beautiful cat to its origins.

Have you seen one lately? Of course you have. They come in a variety of colors including: black, white, reds, grays, browns, creams, silver and tabby mixes. Usually their eyes, foot pads and their noses will match their coloring in some way. Their coloring runs the gamut and results in some beautiful combinations.

They have strong legs and paws. Their muzzle is short and they have thick fur that is close to the skin. In the winter it is thicker than in the summer so that it protects them from injury and the elements.

Temperament

You won’t find a better or more amiable cat. He is quite athletic and loves to run, jump and play. Originally brought on the Atlantic crossing to protect the food stores from mice, this cat has excellent hunting instincts.

On the other hand, he gets along well with dogs and children. He likes to be petted and played with but isn’t necessarily a lap cat. This breed is also highly intelligent.

Care

Care of cats is usually not a big issue since they are used to self grooming. With this variety, it gets even easier than that. They shed more in the spring than in the winter but even then the hairs are minimal.

In order to keep him looking fresh and groomed, regular brushing is all you need. Occasionally wiping his coat with a chamois will keep it shiny and vibrant. This can also help cut down on hairballs.

The American Shorthair tends to become overweight rather easily. For this reason it is recommended that you don’t give them too many treats and provide lots of exercise. With proper care they can live for 15 or 20 years.

Training

These cats really aren’t much of a discipline problem. When they are kittens, train them not to bite and scratch and they will learn to be well-behaved cats.

One of the most likeable cat breeds among Americans is the Shorthair. They are cute, easy to groom and good in family settings. For more information on American Shorthair Cats as pets, visit Animal-World’s American Shorthair page!

Mutation Cat Breeds

October 22, 2011 by  
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Mutation Cat BreedsMutation Cat Breeds
"There’s always an odd-ball in every family,… but when what’s "odd" is so darn cute, it becomes a whole new super cat!"

Breeds of cats that feature mutations are some of most interesting breeds!

Cat breeds that feature mutations have been developed specifically for those mutations. These include, short legs, folded ears, and sometimes extra toes! These mutations all occur naturally and are then bred by humans to keep those mutations and enhance them. Most of these breeds are recognized by cat associations only fairly recently. This is in comparison to natural cat breeds which have been recognized for a much longer time… Read more

More about Mutation Cat Breeds!

Cat Breeds: The Siamese Cat

October 16, 2011 by  
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Siamese Cat

This cat even looks important. For an interesting looking cat in your home, a Siamese may be what you are looking for.

History

The Siamese was founded in Asia about half a century ago. Like the name says, it is from Siam (modern day Thailand). They are believed to have descended from sacred temple cats here. They have long lithe bodies with thin legs and large heads. Early on, having crossed eyes was a popular trait. So, also, was having a kinked tail. Both have since been bred out of the species.

Temperament

Siamese cats are quite gentle, demanding and precocious. They make welcome additions to the home. They get along with humans, other cats and even dogs. Being curious, they are always nosing around and desire to be an integral part of your daily life. Also, Siamese cats are one of the most vocal breeds of cats, even being called “chatty.”

For someone who likes constant companionship, they can do the job. This cat is not afraid of cuddling. In fact, they often encourage it.

Care

Their coat is short with close lying hairs. This makes for easier grooming by them and occasional cleaning by you. Constant brushing and stroking can eliminate many of the shedding hairs and keeps them off your couch. Their hair is usually white or fawn colored with different point patterns such as brown, blue, lilac and seal colors. They have also been known to have red, cream and tabby colored points.

Siamese cats are also quite sexual. If you don’t want more kittens, having them spayed or neutered at an early age will help. They have been known to become sexual as early as five months of age.

Selective breeding has weeded out many of the traits that were first common in this cat. There are also some health conditions that are common to Siamese cats. One is heart disease. They can suffer from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This can be detected on a physical exam at the vet’s office. Treatment is usually with diuretics and/or antioxidant supplements.

These cats are also prone to psychogenic alopecia due to stress. They may begin to groom themselves bald in places. Another component of stress is sensitive skin that leads to other skin disorders. Once the stress is cleared up then the accompanying health conditions do as well.

Siamese cats can also suffer from vestibular disease. This is a condition of the inner ear that results in a loss of balance, dizziness, head tilting and falling. Consult your vet if you notice your cat acting in this way.

Training

As kittens, training cats to behave in the home is easier than trying to correct the problem later. This includes gentle but firm discipline for scratching furniture, biting people and scratching people. The main goal is to instruct, not to scare or traumatize your cat.

Siamese cats are sleek, muscular animals that love to talk. If this fits with your personality, he may become your new companion. To read more on Siamese Cats as pets, check out Animal-World’s Siamese Cat page!

Keeping Serval Cats as Pets!

September 20, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Pet Cats

Serval Cats as PetsServal Cats as Pets
"So… you think you want a wild cat as a pet? Well a Serval is one of the best, so here’s all the in’s and out’s – what it takes and what you need to know!"

Servals can live long lives if taken care of properly, and make amazing pets!

The Serval Cat, or African Serval is actually known to make a very affectionate pet, and can turn into a wonderful experience for dedicated cat keepers. However, these cats have particular care requirements above and beyond normal domestic cat care and an owner must be prepared for that.

Serval kittens are quite adorable and if you purchase one, it will one day think of you as their owner and companion. To begin your life with a Serval Cat, you will want to understand everything you can about the breed, “African Serval”… Read More

More about Serval Cats as Pets!

Cat Breeds: The Abyssinian

September 17, 2011 by  
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Abyssinian Cat

Are you a cat person? If so, there are several breeds to choose from that may fit your lifestyle and temperament. One such breed is the Abyssinian cat.

History

The name sounds exotic and this cat is. The modern Abyssinian domesticated cat is believed to have hailed from Egypt, where the cat is revered in ancient statuary and hieroglyphics. A cat named Zula was taken back to England by a British soldier who bred it with an English tabby cat.

Modern “Abbys” as they are called, have sleek ticked coats of a tawny color with tabby cat markings. Their color can also range between ruddy, red and blue. They have large pointed ears and large almond eyes of green or gold.

Temperament

Cats always seem to look at you like they are hiding something, but this cat is an open book. They are warm and friendly to their owners and others in the family. They are social cats that love companionship and play time with the family. Lack of affection can lead to depression.

They are active. Abyssinian cats love to explore and play. Instead of the lap, they are most usually seen riding on their master’s shoulders, which may be a throwback from their royal days in Egypt. They do get along with other cats or animals in the house.

Care

The coat of this cat is short and close fitting. This is conducive to very little shedding and not many hairballs. A light brushing when they need it is ideal. An occasional bath is okay too. But, like most other cats, the majority of the grooming is done by them. Like other cats, keep claws trimmed, for their protection and yours.

Cats are also prone to stress in their lives and can be affected by stress in the home. They can develop psychogenic alopecia (hair loss due to stress) from excessive grooming. Be sure, however, that the hair loss is not due to a parasite, worm or bacteria they have picked up.

Other tips: Routine dental care is also recommended because they are prone to gingivitis. Some are prone to a congenital form of retinal atrophy.

Training

For cats, usually they are doing the training. With Abyssinians, they may teach their owners how to play fetch with them. As a kitten, prevent nipping, biting and scratching by using a spray water bottle. It seems cruel, but a spray to the nose (avoid the eyes) when biting occurs will discourage the behavior. This includes scratching on the furniture as well.

Abyssinian cats are great for those who don’t want a lot of pet hair but want a pet that won’t mind being a constant companion. Whether in an apartment or a single family home, this cat will fit in nicely.

More about Abyssinian Cats!

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