Common Cat Behavioral Problems

April 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Catch All, Pet Cats

Common Cat Behavioral Problems

Cats are quite self-sufficient. They do love their owners but can get a little out of hand when they want something. Keep reading to find out some common reasons why Fluffy might be going off the rails and how to deal with cat behavioral problems.

Cats are very intelligent animals. They are also capable of great affection and great standoffish attitudes. It doesn’t bother some owners when they do what they want but certain behaviors can become problematic for the cat’s family. It is best to discourage all undesired actions as soon as possible.

Common Cat DON’TS

If any of the following sounds like your cat, there is hope. Find out how to discourage the problem here as well.

1. Scratching
– That is what those claws are for, but not to do it on your fine furniture and rugs. Since cats need to scratch why not indulge them with a variety of scratching media? Try different shapes and textures of scratching posts. Place them strategically around the house in areas your cat will frequent.

2. Nipping – It can be quite painful to have your cat nip at your legs or fingers. Often this is a problem when fingers and extremities are used as play toys when your cat is a kitten. As they age, they will continue this behavior. Use cat toys instead of your body as play things. Give them a firm command and also use a spray bottle with water to discourage further nips. Aim for the cat’s nose. You need to catch them in the act so they associate the erroneous behavior and the scolding.

3. Urinating – Animals often urinate to plant their scent when they are looking for a mating partner. Spaying or neutering can curb the inclination to “mark” territories. Cats may urinate if they are nervous. Has your schedule changed or is there a new pet in the house? Both can cause this problem.

4. Not using the litter box – Cats are very clean animals. They expect that the place where they do their business is clean as well. If your pet refuses to use the litter box, it could need a more regular cleaning. Try scoopable litter to remove large clumps each day between regular cleaning. Also, scented litter may bother them. Try unscented. Location could be problematic for your cat as well. Litter boxes are best situated away from high traffic areas.

5. Erratic behavior – Your cat is sitting quietly in your arms and then they get up and run wildly around the house. He could be letting off steam or be a little nervous. Talk to your veterinarian. Another option would be to tire your cat out just like you would do a child. Play with them and even feed them later so they can wind down and sleep peacefully at night.

You love your cat but it is likely they have some of the listed cat behavioral problems. Those listed above are some of the more common ones.

Animal-World’s Featured Pet of the Week: The Scottish Fold Cat!

April 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Catch All, Featured Pets, Pet Cats

The Scottish Fold Cat

Animal-World’s Featured Pet for this week is: The Scottish Fold Cat!

I thought that because there have been a couple recent cat posts I would write about an interesting cat breed this week. The Scottish Fold Cat! Has anyone ever owned one of these? They are not as popular as regular pet cats, but they are definitely popular as show cats! Of course, these cats are known by their peculiar ears. They have very small ears which fold forward and down. These ears are caused by a genetic mutation, making Scottish Fold Cats a Mutation Cat Breed. The ears are also a reason many people love this personable cat!

The Scottish Fold Cat actually has a reputation for being a great pet! Other than their intriguing appearance, they are also very friendly, adaptable cats. They get along well with most people and other pets, and can be kept as either indoors or outdoors cats. Generally being calm cats, they enjoy attention and affection, but they also love their fair share of playing and hunting. This makes them great for both families in huge houses and lots of kids, and for quiet apartments with only their owner. And of course, they make awesome show cats because of their unique appearance!

Here is the interesting history on the Scottish Fold Cat. The very first one recognized was born in Perthshire, Scotland on a farm in 1961. The cat was named Susie and and she later had a folded ear kitten named Snooks. Snooks then had a kitten named Snowdrift. Snowdrift was used by a breeder in London to earnestly try and continue the folded ear trait. That breeder was named Pat Turner. This cat was recognized as a new breed, although there were people who did not agree with it. This is mostly because they claimed the folded ears could become infected more readily and were hard to clean. However the Cat Association in England accepted the Scottish Fold Cat breed in 1983. The United States recognized the breed even earlier in 1973. By the 1990′s The Scottish Fold Cat was in the top ten popular pedigree breeds! Other cats with folded ears include the American Curl Cat, whose ears fold backwards rather than forwards. Another interesting tidbit is that the very first cat with folded ears to ever be recorded was in the 1880′s! This cat seems to have been brought by ship to Europe from China, but it is unknown whether any more folded ear cats came from that one.

The care and maintenance of the Scottish Fold Cat is that of most other typical cats. These cats are regular sized, weighing 6 to 13 pounds. They live a typical cat lifespan of 10 to 15 years. Grooming them once a week will keep their hair free of mats and keep them looking their best. There are long-hair varieties which may require more grooming, especially if you are showing them. As I mentioned earlier, these guys are quite adaptable and can live in most human environments! From huge farms to small apartments. And they most often get along with other cats and other pets (including dogs!).

For those of you interested in breeding Scottish Fold Cats, there are some things that you need to know. First, you should never breed a Scottish Fold Cat with another Scottish Fold Cat. This is because 25% of the kittens will have grave abnormalities which result in a lower quality of life and a shortened lifespan. You should always breed your Scottish Fold Cat with a non-Scottish Fold Cat. In this scenario, 50% of the kittens will have the folded ear trait. The other 50% will look typical, but none of them will come up with life-threatening abnormalities.

Usually health problems arise when two Scottish Fold Cats are bred together. Some of the kittens can have abnormalities which include stiffened and shortened legs and tails. This is because of some of the vertebrae being fused together. Nothing can be done to help these cats, other than give them medication to help with pain. They don’t live very long or very happy lives. Quite sad. Other than this situation, Scottish Fold Cats are usually quite healthy when taken care of!

Is your curiosity piqued? If you are interested in Scottish Fold Cats, breeders can be found across the United States. Prices are anywhere from $300 to $750 depending on age and traits. Kittens are more expensive than adults because that is their prime showing age.

Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.

The Benefits of a Feral Cat Program

April 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Catch All, Pet Cats

Feral Cat Program

Feral cats have never learned to socialize with humans and often cause problems for people. Some animal groups are working to help these cats to live a healthier and friendlier existence by working with Feral Cat Programs.

Feral or Lost?

Feral cats are wild cats. They have either been abandoned by owners at an early age or have been gone from a home so long that they have learned to live in a feral group on the streets. Because these cats are not spayed or neutered, even more feral cats are born into this type of society.

On the other hand, a lost cat knows people and seeks their companionship. They are not used to fending for themselves and won’t survive long on the street without them. Often lost cats hang around suburban areas trying to get food and warmth from homes and businesses.

How to Solve the Problem

People are concerned about the increasing epidemic of feral cats on the streets. Because they are wild and untamed, these cats have been known to urinate everywhere (marking their territory), make noisy fights with other cats, spread infection, and upset trash cans looking for food.

Often they live in community groups called “colonies.” These cats usually live together in areas that are known to be kind to them. It could be the back yard of a person who is willing to feed them or outside a business where they throw out scraps to keep them fed.

The ASPCA and the Humane Society has come up with some Feral Cat Programs to help these cats. One program is the Trap-Neuter-Spay-Return program. Much like the catch-and-release program utilized by fishermen, feral cats are carefully rounded up. They are then taken to a facility where they are sterilized. Then, they are released back into their community environment.

Much like this program is the Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return program. The animals are sterilized, but animal professionals also take it upon themselves to look the cats over and vaccinate them properly against common diseases they may encounter on the street.

These feral cat programs are further enhanced by volunteers who are committed to monitoring and taking care of these cat colonies. The benefits are:

- Longer life span for feral cats

- Fewer disruptions in society

- Fewer unwanted cats on the streets

These cats also make great mousers to keep down the rodent population. Some have proposed eradicating feral cats but that won’t solve the problem in the end. For one, new cats will come along to fill the void left by the ones taken. Secondly, it is easier to get volunteers to care for the existence of these animals then to round them up for euthanization.

Feral cats are not able to be tamed but they can be given a chance at a healthy existence through friendly feral cat programs. These programs really do help cats in wild situations.

Adopting a Kitten

March 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Catch All, Pet Cats

Adopting a Kitten

Adopting a Kitten: The Basics

Are you in need of a new companion for your home? Maybe a pet will help to bring new purpose into your life. If you are looking to adopt a kitten, here are some basics you might want to know first.

The Benefit of Pets

Pets are loving and kind. They do need training in socializing with their new family, but they give back so much in return. If you are a cat person, then you might want to think about adopting a kitten. That cute little ball of fur can capture your heart just there.

Beyond the cuteness, pets are beneficial in the health department for owners. Pets are sensitive to the feelings and moods of their owners. They will also provide comfort when you feel down. Research shows that pets can help lower blood pressure, lift your mood, and boost immunity. We could all use that.

But, just like any other change in your life, it is best to make an informed decision. Keep reading to find some basic information on adopting a kitten and welcoming them into your home.

Kitten Basics

1. Research the breeds – Different cat breeds have different characteristics. If you like to snuggle with your pet, choose a cat that loves to lavish affection and be cuddled as well. Also check with health issues. You will be responsible for the pet for their lifetime so know what you are getting into upfront.

2. Check with local shelters – There are many homeless pets who need a good home. Before going online, check locally for a kitten that might meet your needs. Places like PetSmart also offer adoption services. If you have experience with cats, consider a rescue group. Try them on for size. Hold a few to see how you feel with each of the kittens.

3. Prepare your home – Your kitten will need several things: food bowls, carrier, toys, litter box, food and a bed for a start. Do as much preparation as you can for your new arrival.

4. Ask questions
– Check to see that immunizations have been done. Also decide if you want to spay or neuter your pet or if it has already been done. What about grooming? Trim claws. How about litter box training? Has it been done or do you need to accomplish it?

5. Visit the doctor – Find a veterinarian in your area that you like. Interview a few to find one who is sensitive to your needs. Make a visit soon after you bring your kitten home.

6. Make time – Your new kitten needs as much attention as a baby. They need to be litter trained, played with, and taught how to act. Account for these needs in your daily schedule for at least several months.

A kitten is a precious gift of companionship for any family. Learn the basics of what to do when adopting a kitten.

Cat Care – How to Take Care of a Cat

May 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Catch All, Pet Cats

Cat CareCat Care

"Having a cat in your family can be a great experience for years!"

Giving your cat proper care will result in a wonderful pet with a happy and long life!

Cats are great pets. They provide friendship, love and joy. Feline companions have been involved with thousands of deep and powerful cat-human bonds – one that you can be a part of with your cat! They are beautiful, graceful, and elegant animals, which can make for a delightful companion and pet! Read More

More about Cat Care!