Ways to ease car trips for your cat

A cat’s feelings of contentment are based on familiarity, security and experience of repeated positive events. If feeding happens at the same time every day, the pet cat will not lunge at the plate and wolf down the food like a feral cat. Knowing the food isn’t a furtive bite of garbage in some alley needed to survive, the pet cat will eat slowly and experience good digestion and better health.

The same applies when it is necessary to take your cat for a car ride. Have you ever seen the TV scenes where a cat, complete with goggles, sits calmly on the back seat of a fast-moving motorcycle? That didn’t just happen. The owner had to acclimate the cat by stages, first just putting the animal on the seat of a stationary motorcycle, and getting it to stay there, usually with a few treats as rewards. Then, after several sitting sessions, the owner moved the motorcycle around gently. Eventually, the cat became the willing and photogenic backseat companion on the road.

You should try the same technique before your cat must ride in your car, whether it is just a short trip to the vet or a long family road excursion. Put the cat on the front or back seat, leave the door open, and give the cat a treat. Praise the cat and repeat the process several times, then do it with the door closed.

Drive around on trips of just a minute or two, continuing the treat and praise routines. Because of shedding and for the convenience of human passengers, you may want to put the traveling cat in a low-cut box or basket. Line it with some cloth that the cat has used in its home sleeping area.

With all that said, some owners can never train the cat to cooperate. The animal may go into a panic when in a moving vehicle, possibly resulting in injury to the cat and humans in the car. If that’s your situation, don’t keep forcing the issue. Get a cage large enough for the cat to stand up and move around, add comfortable and familiar cloth and padding to the inside bottom. Just before the car trip begins, put the cat in and keep it there until the trip is over.

It may be possible to reduce the uncooperative cat’s panic. Before the car trip, set the cage near her usual sleeping place at home for several days. Keep the cage door open, and put some treats inside. If you’re lucky, the cat will walk in and out several times, resulting in less nervousness when it’s time to cage the cat for the trip.

One more warning concerning the long, long car trip with your cat. Whenever your cat is out of the car in unfamiliar surroundings, be sure it is on a leash. Most cats hate leashes, but it is necessary for those times. As with other aspects of car trips, you should acclimate the cat to the leash by training sessions before your trip.

Do children need pets? – Part 1

Well this is my first article, so I thought that I would start of kind of easy. As a pet owner since birth basically, I absolutely believe that children need pets. I may be bias but I feel that dogs are the best pets to have, I have 3 of them and if allowed I would have more. As a small child I had a dog, a golden retriever, and he was fun to play with and he was a protector. It was a good feeling knowing that I had a dog that would be there for me no matter what, a dogs love is unconditional. As a baby I was told that should anyone he didn’t know come near me or my crib he let them know it was not OK. No biting, as he was taught not to, but a little growling until he received an OK from my parents. I was able to always play with him and there was never an issue if I was too rough, he was still as gentle as could be. As I got older this particular dog passed away. Having this happen was a way for me to start learning about death. It was not long after that we got another golden retriever who was there well through my teen years and into my 20’s. This was yet another dog that I could depend on. I had a job at a local convenience store and some times I had to open and other times I had to close the store. My town was pretty safe as it was small, but I still did not like to be out alone when it was dark. No matter which shift I worked my dog was there with me. He would walk me to work for the opening shift and stay there until all the lights were on and people started coming. If I worked at night he would be there just before close as we were cleaning up, of course to get the scraps and to walk me home. This helped me learn a sense of self security and trust. Eventually if he wasn’t there I was able to walk by myself and feel OK. Growing up I also had other animals for pets, cats, rabbits, hamsters, you name it I most likely owned it. Granted I don’t look at those animals the same as my dogs, but having each one also taught me a sense of responsibility. I had to care for each one in a different way and each one required different maintenance. Responsibility is something that every child should learn from a young age so they know it and carry it with them through every year of their life. Now that I am an adult, as stated before, I have three dogs of my own. I have two Maltese and one Golden Retriever. My male Maltese has been with me through boyfriends, marriage, divorce different jobs and moving around. He has been there with me through

Websites every pet owner should know about

The Best Online Sites for Pet Owners

Pet ownership in the United States is at an all-time high. According to the American Pet Products Association, there are 88.3 million pet cats in the U.S. and 74.8 million pet dogs. That’s a lot of pets! And it doesn’t include other pets such as hamsters, birds and fish. We’re very devoted to our animals.

We also live in a time when information is easily available on the Internet. There are some great Web sites that can help you, as a pet owner, take the best possible care of your friend. Whether you’re trying to find a dog or cat or you’re looking for a vet or special pet food, the Internet can help you find what you’re seeking.

If you’re considering adopting a cat or dog the best place online to begin your search is at PetFinder.com. Pet Finder has been in operation for several years and they work closely with rescue organizations and animal shelters all over the country. They post photos of cats and dogs which are hoping to be adopted. You can find all kinds of pets on PetFinder, from puppies and kittens to senior pets. There are a few purebreds and many mixed breeds. PetFinder and the people caring for the animals post the location and information known about the animals and you can contact them for more details. Adoption fees are usually reasonable. PetFinder is also an important site to visit if you have a lost pet as many people will turn in found animals to shelters and their photo will be posted here.

If you are interested in a purebred cat or dog the best place to begin your search is at the “Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), “The International Cat Association, (TICA), or the American Kennel Club (AKC). All of these organizations have very informative Web sites. They can direct you to specific breed information and put you in contact with national or local clubs to help you in your search for a pet. These groups also feature contacts for purebred rescue on their Web sites if you are more interested in a purebred rescue cat or dog.

Once you have found the ideal cat or dog for your home you may begin thinking your pet needs some training. Whether it’s basic obedience training or a behavior problem like help with housebreaking, there are many good dog training Web sites online. One of the best, which teaches you to train your dog through positive reinforcement, can be found at the Web site of the “San Francisco SPCA.

Cat names: What makes a good cat name?

You might ask “Cats don’t come when you call them anyhow so what is the point of giving it a name?”.

Well, in fact all my cats do come when I call them, and some even know their names. The key is to give your cat a name that sounds distinct, especially if you have more than one cat. As such some of my cats have short one syllable names, while the others have two syllable names. Yes, I have six cats, but don’t worry all are spayed or neutered.

In my years of working at an animal shelter I noticed that people seemed to respond to different names differently when choosing a pet for adoption. One poor kitten had been named “Thunder”, he never did get a home. Perhaps the name made him sound too destructive. Sometimes even in human psychology people tend to live up to the name they are given, either good or bad. So people put expectations on pets to live up to a name in an odd sort of way.

If a pet has a name of a human, it may be judged subconciously positively or negatively depending on if a person knows somebody in real life with that name. I personally am not fond of giving pets human names, particularly not common human first names, but other people find this perferable.

I tend to try to name the cat something unsual, but not silly. I prefer to name a cat something that plays on its color or breed. One of the cleverest names I ever heard were the names for my Aunts Himalayan cats, one was Annapurna, the other was Khatmandu, you can google those names if you don’t get the pun.

A good name is one you can say in a way that is distinct and recognizable by your pet. As well it needs to be a name you like and enjoy. If you allow your children to name the pet, chances are they will pick a name that you might not be comfortable with calling your pet three or four years from now. So remember you are the adult, if you want a unique and interesting name, do not give your kids the chance to name it. Naming your pet after characters in Disney movies might seem cute at the time, but you will soon find that the name is not unique or clever.

I find an easy thing is to look at the pet and run through the alphabet. Some letters might seem to fit your pet more than others, now flip through a dictionary and look for a name that fits. In this way you might come up with some unique names. Aspen, Baker, Cameo, and so on.

How to protect your cat from cat diseases

There are many things that cat owners can do to prevent their cat from becoming sick with disease. Depending on the disorder, an owner can make or break the life span of their pet. For years, vets have been educating their patients on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. One of the most important things that a cat owner can do for their pet is to purchase a pet insurance plan. The most popular pet insurance company is VPI Pet Insurance. Pet insurance won’t protect your cat from diseases, but it can prolong your cat’s life by aiding in financial recovery for extensive procedures.

Cats are notorious for urinary tract infections. This particular disorder has been recognized as one of the most common ailments in cats. There is now cat litter available that will alert cat owners to a urinary tract infection by changing the color of the urine to a different color in response to the chemicals being produced. One way of protecting your cat from a urinary tract infection is to watch for frequent urination. If this occurs, the vet can give your cat antibiotics for the infection, and advise a cat food that is specifically designed for cats that are susceptible to this disorder. The specially designed cat food can help in protecting against further outbreaks.

Another common disease in cats is ear infections. This can be avoided by washing the cat’s ears frequently, and watching for ear mites, and other infectious problems. Diabetes is becoming more common as well due to the lifestyle of the indoor cat. The more a cat eats without exercise, the more a cat gains weight. This weight gain can cause an imbalance in blood sugar levels in the cat and begins the process of discarding excess fluids into the kidneys, causing the need for insulin shots. To protect your cat from diabetes, make sure they have plenty of room to exercise, and if they start to gain weight, have them checked by a vet for a diet plan.

One disease that can’t be prevented is arthritis, but with a comprehensive pet insurance plan, the costs for treatment are minimal. For example, on a VPI Superior Plan, you can add an option that covers everything from hospitalizations, x-rays, and prescriptions to cancer treatments. This can make a huge difference in the life of your pet. One annual fee covers everything, and for most people, that is more affordable than having to pay a huge amount in the event of illness.

The most important thing to remember when preventing disease in your cat is to watch for unusual changes in your cat’s behavior, eating habits, or sleeping routines. This should alert you to call your vet and make an appointment for a check-up.

What you need to consider before getting a pet – Part 6

The first and foremost thing you need to consider before getting a pet is are you ready for it and why are you getting it. Many people get pets on a sudden thought “ah it would be nice to have a pet”, some people get pets because their kids want one, yet other people get pets because their friend has one so it will be cool for me to have one too. But getting a pet is a huge responsibility and a lot of thought has to go into it before getting one as it is a commitment for the animal’s entire lifetime and also having a pet means making changes to ones lifestyle as well.

Getting a pet because the kids want one usually ends up in you eventually having to look after it as more often than not the thought of getting a pet to a kid will initially have a very positive response “I will look after it, etc”. But after a while they can tire of the routine of caring for the pet.

Having a pet means additional expenditure can you afford to have one. It would involve money for food, toys, collars, leashes, for veterinarian visits for sickness, accidents, and various inoculations.

How will it affect your lifestyle We travel whenever we get the opportunity usually for about 3 4 days. So when I decided to adopt “Ginger” a female cat I was specifically told by my husband. It is true you want to adopt a cat but please make certain that our lives will not revolve around the cat. For my luck I have found a person who comes and feeds Ginger when we are away .

Do you have the time, energy and patience to commit to looking after your pet – Different pets require different amounts of your time. For instance a dog would require more of your time than a cat would. Therefore getting a pet if you are working would be a tremendous strain on you. Pets require their daily food, water, exercise, play, care and also your companionship. Do not get a pet if you do not have the time for them. Many pets end up in shelters because their owners did not realize how much time and effort having a pet would involve.

Do not get a cat if you plan to move house unless you have an immense amount of patience and time. I had to move with “Ginger” a female cat – from my previous rented house to my own house and believe me it was a very tiring experience. We had to move in to an incomplete house as the landlord wanted his house, as a result I decided to leave Ginger behind and bring her later on when the house was completed and their were no workmen around. I used to travel everyday

Which makes a better pet: A dog or a cat? – Part 29

To determine whether a dog or a cat makes a better pet you need to weigh up the benefits and costs of having a pet. Personally I believe that a cat makes a better pet and I will present this point of view in this article.

First up you need to look at what care the pet you choose requires. A dog needs to be regularly walked or ran or it needs a large back yard to run around in. There is a general trend these days towards people being less active, walking less and therefore not walking with their dog which is important to the dog’s health. On the other hand a cat doesn’t need to be walked, they naturally get the exercise they need chasing birds and controlling their territory. A cat requires less attention than a dog.

Cats and dogs both need somewhere to sleep. Cats will generally sleep where required; dogs however usually need a kennel. Cats require little food compared to dogs and are clever enough to find their own water.

It is much easier for a cat to find shelter and to provide shelter for a cat. For a dog, sufficient shade is required if you live in a hot climate and cool water needs to be available for the dog. Cats can clean themselves, whereas dogs require baths. Cats will also conveniently control pests like mice and insects.

Cats are less likely to attack people and if they do injuries are usually minor. Conversely dogs require fences, they often require obedience lessons and if they do attack people they can cause serious injuries. Cats will control pests like mice and insects.

Maybe some of this is a little biased, but a cat can be as much of a companion as a dog. Cats generally require less care and cost less to care for. I’m not saying don’t get a dog but if you can’t look after a pet properly then it’s not worth getting a pet.

Protect Your Pets By Preventing Flea And Tick Infestation

If you have a pet, no doubt you are concerned about its welfare. One major topic that many pet owners and pet lovers are concerned with is controlling the infestation of pests like fleas and ticks. Fleas and ticks can be a bothersome nuisance to both you and your pet dog or pet cat, and in turn this can negatively affect you and your family also.


Fleas are an irritant because their bites form itchy and irritating sores on humans. Fleas are blood-sucking insects that bite both humans and animals and. They can jump lengths of over a foot, and have a lifespan as long as several months. If you have children, especially babies, this can be an even bigger concern as the rashes and sores developed from flea bites can potentially be harmful and affect their health adversely.


Ticks can be harmful to humans as they can potentially transmit the very serious disease called Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that may very well prove to be fatal if not treated properly and in time.

Although you may love your pet cats and/or dogs, the welfare of yourself and your family should be of the utmost priority. How can you prevent and remedy the infestation of fleas and ticks on your most loves pets? Well, there are many medications and solutions that are created for pet dogs and cats and designed especially for this purpose.

Flea and Tick Control Medication

There are special pet medications to control the infestation of flea and ticks on your beloved pet. These remedies are often made and formulated for cats and dogs of all sizes.

One such pet medication called Frontline even makes special formulas for cats and dogs of all sizes, and they also formulate their remedies for baby cats and baby dogs. This means that puppies and kittens that are at least 8 weeks, or 2 months old, are able to be given Frontline flea and tick control.

Frontline is not the only company that makes these pet medications. There are several companies that produce these types of pet meds. Another such brand of pest control medication for your pet is K9 Advantix. This specific brand protects against fleas, ticks, and also misquitoes. However, like the name of the medication kind of tells you, these formulas are made for dogs only.

You do not have to seek the advice of a trained professional or get a prescription from a veterinarian in order to obtain most flea and tick control pet meds. However, this is recommended as veterinarians are very well-equipped to answer any questions you might have as to if this is a suitable treatment for your pet, if there are any side effects for both pet and humans.

Whatever method and route of flea and tick control you choose to go, it is always best to be safe than sorry. Although a consultation with a veterinarian is not required, it is often strongly recommended.

Hypoallergenic cats: How to find a hypoallergenic cat

HYPOALLERGENIC CATS: Lessening the Risk of Allergic Reactions

One of the most common human allergies in medical history are attributed to cats and their fur. This allergy is due to the human histamine reaction to feline allergens, the most common of which is the cat glycoprotein called Fel D1. Usually, an average cat produces 2-7 g of Fel D1 per day, which is enough to produce these reactions. The symptoms of this allergy are varied but can be one or more of the following:

* itchy nose which usually leads to sneezing

* mild to severe eye irritation

* wheezing/coughing fits

* sore throat

* Dyspnea (difficulty in breathing)

* itchy skin

As seen above, this allergic reaction may lead to serious health problems. There is a way, however, to own a pet cat and still minimize the risk of getting these allergic reactions. This is possible by owning specific breeds of cats that fall under the category of hypoallergenic cats.

The Science Behind Hypoallergenic Cats

Hypoallergenic cats are different from normal cats because they are less likely to provoke allergic reactions in people. The reason behind this is the reduced levels of the Fel D1 allergen in these cats as compared to the ordinary house cats. There are even cases where the presence of the said allergen in some of these hypoallergenic cats is completely absent. Over the years, more and more biotechnology companies are finding ways to breed these hypoallergenic cats. In a way, they are trying to make cats even more accessible to sensitive people. Truly this is wonderful news to cat lovers worldwide.

Common Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds

There are several cat breeds which are known to be hypoallergenic, most of which are commonly found in your average pet shop. Nowadays, it is even possible to ask pet shop owners if a certain cat breed is hypoallergenic or not. Some of the known hypoallergenic cat breeds are as follows:

1. Siberian cats – this semi longhair breed of cats is known to be hypoallergenic. Cat owners and breeders alike testify to this cat breed’s hypoallergenic reputation. There are comparative studies that prove Siberian cats produce less fel D1 allergen in general compared to other cat breeds.

2. Russian Blue cats – this breed is known for their unique silver-blue coat. Like the Siberian breed, studies have shown that this breed also produces less fel D1 glycoproteins which cause allergic reactions.

3. Devon Rex cats – widely known as “pixie cats” or “alien cats” due to their unique appearance, this cat breed is also hypoallergenic.

4. Cornish Rex cats – because this breed has fine, light fur and reduced shedding, they are categorized as hypoallergenic as well.

5. LaPerm cats – the LaPerm breed stands out among other cat breeds with their curly coat and their affectionate nature. They are also found to be hypoallergenic cats.

6. Sphynx cats – these cats are widely known because they are of the hairless breed. Due to this characteristic, this breed is also reputed to be hypoallergenic.

NOTE: A word of advice to those who are interested in buying these hypoallergenic cats. Although these breeds are known to have a lesser tendency to provoke allergic reactions in humans, there is a small chance that they may still provoke such reactions. This is because the fel D1 glycoprotein is found in dander, a material shed from the body of animals, and not on the cat fur itself.

Help at last for feral cats

You see cats wandering around your yard and neighborhood. Is it somebody’s pet just out for a stroll, a stray, or a wild cat? How can you know the difference between a stray and a wild or feral cat? There are several physical and behavioral signs to look for.

Feral cats often walk around silently not vocalizing and not interacting with humans. As a means of protecting themselves feral cats will normally only be out between dusk and dawn unless they are extremely hungry. These cats will not approach food that is left out for them until the care taker is out of sight.

Feral cats look surprisingly well groomed. Most feral cats have lived their entire lives in the “wild” without human contact. They become accustomed to the living conditions and will most likely have the same life span as a pet cat.

Stray cats, on the other hand, are cats that have become separated from their families by accident or change of circumstances. Some cats become lost and others are just left behind when their owners move. Strays do not fair as well in the wild, therefore, they may appear ungroomed and scruffy. They will still remember their former bond with humans but will not trust the strangers that try to approach them.

Stray cats are often very vocal and may be seen at any time during the day or night. They will approach humans as food is put out for them but will keep enough distance to remain safe.

What should you do if you continue to see the same cats roaming around your neighborhood? If possible, try to determine if the cats are tame or feral. If you think the cat is tame, try to take a picture and make a “found cat” poster. Post the fliers around your neighborhood. You should also place an ad in your local newspaper giving a brief description and the area where the cat has been seen. Many shelters also keep logs of lost and found animals in case the owner calls looking for their pet.

If you cannot find the owner and are unable to keep the cat yourself, try to find somebody that is willing and able to take the cat on a permanent basis. As a last resort, you can take the cat to your local animal shelter.

If you determine the cat is feral, there are most likely other cats in the area. Feral cats live in groups or colonies located close to food sources and will most likely stay in the same are for their entire lives. Colonies of cats cannot be moved. It is also very difficult and expensive to destroy all of the cats in a colony because of

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