Tag: cat health

Sleep and Your Pet – How Much Is Just Right?

In case you didn’t notice, sleep plays a big role in your pets life! It may seem like your pet just sleeps all day. Do you really know how much your pet needs though? Or how much they are actually getting? It can be hard to tell when they doze in lots of short increments, taking “cat naps” throughout the day.

Just like with humans, sleep is an important time for pets to bodies to replenish themselves. It’s important they get plenty of undisturbed rest. Let’s find out how much and how to ensure it happens!

 

How much sleep does your pet need?

DOGS
Your average pooch will need about twelve to fourteen hours of sleep. Thats about four more hours than us! This amount will vary based on your dogs size, breed, and age too. New born pups will sleep A LOT more than a rambunctious puppy of a couple months old. They can clock in at about twenty hours in one day! Likewise, older dogs will tend to sleep more too. They tire more easily and need more time to replenish their bodies and energy levels.

Fun Fact – Wild dogs and wolves will sleep more than their domesticated counterparts. They expend more energy in the pursuit of food and need more time to rest – especially if food is scarce.

CATS
Cats can actually teach dogs a thing or two about some shut-eye. Your average cat will clock in about twelve to sixteen hours in one day! Now it’s just a shame they can’t get most of that in while we’re trying to sleep too… Just like puppies, new born kittens will spend around twenty hours sleeping.

Many people believe that cats are nocturnal, which isn’t entirely true. They are actually most active at dawn and dusk – when most prey animals are active too. Though, they are more prone to doze away more daytime hours than those during the night.

Make their sleep better

Both cats and dogs do better when they have private places, out the way of your daily life, to catch some zzzz’s. Even if your pet “sleeps” with you at night, make sure they have a place to go during the day too. Cats will also rest better after a feast, so if you’re wanting a quiet night, try feeding your cat at night. This will equate to a “dusk feeding” for them. Both pets will also benefit from lots of options for activity, exercise and playtime. Don’t skimp on it! Consider a dog walker or Pet Nanny if you can’t meet their needs.

For even more amazing helpful tips and fun information about your pets sleep habits check out Tuck!

 

Cat Questions Answered! Why Does….

If you’ve got yourself a cat, chances are you’ve probably asked yourself a dozen times, “Why does my cat ____?” They can certainly be mysteries to us sometimes! Some of this seemingly quirky behavior is just due to their unique personality. Other behaviors are often universal to all cats though. If you’re looking for some answers to better understand your kitty, we’ve found an amazing resource for all things feline related! PawsomeKitty.com has just about everything you could need to know about cat care and behavior. We highly suggest you check them out! In the interim though, here are some top behaviors explained!

Why does my cat ____?

  • …suddenly become playfully aggressive? Does your cat ever latch unto your arm or leg while biting with it’s ears back and a crazy look in it’s eyes after a play session? This is a sign your kitty is over-stimulated. Some cats get overstimulated quickly. Recognize when playful nibbles and paw batting starts to escalate and then give your kitty some time to calm down.
  • …my cat scent me? Does your kitty like to rub their paws on you, or their chins? These are all signs that your cat is scenting you with the scent glands located in these regions. When your cat does this, they are often marking their territory. It may sound domineering (and maybe it is…) but they do this often because you are their “chosen human”. This means they can more easily seek you out from other humans for food or snuggles.
  • …meow loudly at night? We all love our kitty’s voice, but not when we’re trying to get some much needed shut eye. Humans and cats make great companions, but they naturally keep different hours. While cats my lay around most of the day, they frequently will become more active at night when you are trying to sleep. Meowing can often mean there is a need you have failed to meet. Since your feline will be more active at night, try to make sure they have food, water, and a clean kitty box to help minimize demands!

Photo by Vinicius de Moraes on Unsplash

Pet Litter – The Best Types for Your Pet!

If you have a cat, rabbit, or other small critter like a hamster you purchase pet litter regularly. Maybe at the time you got your pet you didn’t look into it that much. Litter is litter, right? Well, sort of. Would you love to improve the process of cleaning up after your pet? Is your litter choice healthy? Read on while we break down the types and help you improve your pets bathroom experience!

Pet Litter – The Cat Edition

Did you know that before WWII people filled their cats litter boxes with sand, dirt, or ashes? Not the cleanest options to be honest. At the time, the military was using absorbent clay to clean up oil spills in factories and a former sailor had an idea – thus pet litter was born!

Clay litter was a big improvement over sand or dirt. It didn’t stick to the cats paws and get tracked around as much. It also helped with odor control. We’ve come a long way since the technology of WWII though! Clumping cat litter was later developed allowing pet owners to simply remove the soiled clay instead of replacing it all.

Now clay pet litters even come in scented varieties. While this may be nice for us, most pets don’t care for it. Be sure to gauge your pets reaction before you stock up on it.

Other natural pet litter options include litter made from recycled paper pellets, pine pulp, and even corn cobs! Many of these options don’t combat odor the way clay does, and will have to be changed more frequently too.

Small Animal Bedding and Litter

While clay based pet litter may be the best option for cats, it’s usually the worst choice for other critters. Many small animals like hamsters or gerbils live and sleep in the same material they use for litter. Wood chips like pine or aspen are most often used for these small creatures, though a paper option like the CareFresh bedding/litter is also a popular, though more expensive choice. These creatures will often have a designated area of their cage where they do most of their bathroom business. Regardless of litter choice, it’s important to regularly refresh this area.

Paper fiber litter is an ideal choice for a rabbits litter box, as it tracks very little and absorbs well. Aspen pellets are a great choice for absorption, though some pets enjoy fluffier material. Aspen chips or fiber over the pellets can be a great combination. Avoid pine chips for rabbit litter however. Pine, when soaked in rabbit urine can create unhealthy fumes for your pet.

Whatever litter choice works best for you and your pet, be sure that you keep their bathroom area clean. Many pets won’t use poorly kept litter boxes!

photo credit: Carly & Art Eco-Bun Henrietta knows a grand way to reuse packing material via photopin (license)

Indoor Cats vs. Outdoor Cats – Which is Right For You?

Do you have a cat or are considering getting one? Cats are unique creatures. They love human time, but mostly they like to spend time alone. They can go both indoors and outdoors, and there are benefits to both. Would you get an indoor cat or a cat that could go both in and outdoors?

Indoor Cats

Indoor cats are easy to care. Cats love lying in the sunlit window sills or curling up on your lap for a spell. Keeping your cat inside has many benefits. It protects them from getting lost or hurt and from inclement weather and fleas and ticks. Many people prefer to have their animal indoors so they don’t have to worry about them or attend to and cuts or mishaps that might happen in the great outdoors. Cats can play inside just as well as they can outside. Do you exercise? Many cats love to watch or “help” their owners during yoga sessions or other physical activity. They may interfere or get in the way, but that is because they are curious by nature and want to see what their human is up to.

Outdoor Cats

Cats can spend hours staring out windows to watch the birds and other wildlife. Many people allow their cats outside. Cats are great hunters; so if your cat is outside, don’t be surprised if they bring you a “trophy” consisting of a bird or mouse. Cats love exploring, and most will return home for food, water, and care. There are potential hazards outdoors such as traffic, other cats and dogs and getting lost. If you have a fenced or walled area, you can let your cat out on a supervised playtime. They can be safe and still enjoy romping around the yard.

Common Cats

Both indoor and outdoor cats require a certain level of care. While they are both independent, they need food, water, shelter, and love from their owner. Care is the best thing you can do for your pet. Both indoor and outdoor cats will enjoy playing with toys and things they may find outside. Both will need regular checkups at the vet and annual vaccinations to keep them healthy and safe. Try purchasing or building an outdoor cat house where they are safely confined to a fence or house but can feel the grass or watch the birds closer.

Both types have many commonalities and benefits, so which cat would you prefer?

photo credit: Robert Couse-Baker twilight zone via photopin (license)

Bio: Sarah is the author of Crazy Pet Guy. She enjoys spending time with her pets and writing about how to take care of them and raise them well.

Diet Changes for Your Cat – What You Need to Add!

Before cats became civilized and domesticated, their primary diet consisted of raw meat. Of course, you aren’t going to let your cat out to grab a bite to eat for dinner every night, so you’ll feed him/her a commercial cat food. But what kinds are the right ones that provide a balanced and nutritious diet that your fur ball will thrive on?

Well, if you understand the 5 ways to improve their diet, you can keep your kitty happy and healthy for life.

Veggies are Good

You may think that as a carnivore, a cat only needs meat to survive. The truth is that even when they were wild they always took in some veggies by eating grass or the digested vegetation in their prey’s stomach. So, giving your kittycat a few veggies is a nice little treat. Familiarize them into your cat’s diet by mixing them into their regular cat food, or if they will have them, giving bits and pieces as treats. Some veggie suggestions are broccoli, green beans, squash, and carrots, but always make sure that meat makes up the bulk of your cat’s diet. However, a few veggies added every once in a while is a good thing.

Always Serve Cooked Meat

Yes, cats ate raw meat in the wild, and they also got parasites like worms too. Meat treats are terrific for your cat, but be safe and make sure they are well cooked.

Eggs Make Great Snacks

Eggs are a wonderful source of protein and B vitamins, and it doesn’t matter if they are sunny side up, over easy or hard boiled. Just make sure they are cooked, and you’ll be good to go.

Add Omega 3’s to Their Diet

Essential fatty acids, like Omega 3’s, are just as good for cats as they are for humans. Cold water fish are loaded with them, they are heart healthy and your cat’s fur will be silkier and shiny. Better still, research shows that they slow the spread of cancer, and if your cat has arthritis, they’ll reduce the inflammation.

… And Probiotics

If your cat has digestive problems, probiotics are the best thing you can do for them. Probiotic supplements are known for creating more effective and efficient digestion while strengthening a cat’s immune system too.

Follow the suggestions as illustrated, and you’ll see for yourself that a healthy diet means a healthy cat.

Thanks Feline Living for the great tips and infographic!

 

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Up-to-Date Food Recalls – Keeping Your Pet Safe

As pet parents, we all try our hardest to keep our fur babies safe and healthy! Sometimes that delicious food or those tasty treats aren’t so safe though… Most of us don’t have a real-time option for pet food recalls. This leaves us relying on social media or the news to find out and by then it could be too late!
Fret no more! Bookmark this page for your #1 resource for current pet food recalls courtesy of PawDiet.com.

Recalls By PawDiet.com

 What causes a food recalls?

Pet food recalls happen when the food company because aware that a batch that has left the factory may have become tainted. Sometimes they are alerted to potential issues internally, other times recalls don’t happen until the company is alerted by a concerned pet owner who has had an issue.

Sometimes these recalls occur due to contaminants – some that could be deadly. Other times because of plastic, metal, or other foreign bits could be contained in it. Sometimes it could be simply that the food was mislabeled.

 

Hairball Prevention – Because No One Wants To Clean Them Up!

Don’t be caught off-guard by an unwanted hairball being coughed up around your house this shedding season! Hairballs are likely just as unpleasant for your cat to hack up as they are for you to find. Hairball prevention day is just around the corner (April 24). Do you both a favor and prevent them before they form!

Hairball Prevention 101

  • Brush, Brush, and Brush – Cats tend to do a pretty good job of grooming themselves. We don’t think much about brushing them. While they’re shedding though a good daily brushing is a must! The more of that fur you remove with a brush, the less they ingest to hack up later! Once you’ve given them a good brushing, wipe them down with a moist cloth to pick up any extra loose fur! Heck, we’ve even used a lint roller before!
  • Medicines & Supplements – If you think your cat may already have a hairball brewing, pick up an over-the-counter “medicine” to help them pass it. These medicines are often mild laxatives and can help hair pass through your cat’s system normally. Adding extra fiber to your pet’s diet, through food or supplement, is a great preventative change you can make too!
  • Add some Olive Oil – Mix a small amount of olive oil in your cat’s food! The oil helps to lubricate their digestive system naturally. Consumption of it can also make their coat shiny! This is a short-term treatment though. Feed olive oil in moderation over short periods of time.

Hairball issues can be normal while shedding, but they shouldn’t be a regular occurrence. If you cat continually suffers from issues associated with vomiting, see your vet. There may be a more serious issue at play. Left untreated and attended too hairballs can form intestinal blockages that are very dangerous for a kitty!

photo credit: vanaddie Cats, 2003 via photopin (license)

Tips Caring For A Pregnant Pet

Congratulations! It’s a boy and a girl and a boy and a girl and… If you’ve got a furry expectant mother on your hands you’re likely to see some different and new behavior. A cat’s gestation period is between 64-67 days, a dog’s is 58-68 days, and a rabbit’s is only 31 days!  You might be wondering what your role is as a standby expectant pet parent? Are there steps you can take to help your pregnant pet? You bet!

Pregnant Pet Tips

  • Lower the Litter Box – If your cat or rabbit is expecting kittens (yup, baby bunnies are called kittens too!) you might need to amend their litter box. High litter boxes can be difficult to get in and out of with a big belly! Consider getting a plastic litter box and cutting one side out of it so they can simply step in and step out. Be sure to place it on a large mat to help with clean-up!
  • Gotta Dog? More Frequent Walks – If you have a dog that you take outside to use the bathroom you may need to make these trips more frequently. Especially if you can’t adapt them to using puppy pads. To maximize your pet’s comfort, you may even need to let them out in the middle of the night too. Unless you want to clean up accidents in the morning!
  • Increased Nutrition – Just like humans, pregnant and nursing pets will have increased nutritional needs. Do your research and talk to your vet about how you may need to change your specific pets food and feeding times to meet their new needs.
  • Provide Nest Material and a Safe Spot – Ultimately your pet will choose where their babies will be born, but you can “offer suggestions” by ensuring they have a comfy out-of-the-way spot with all the things they need to nest.
  • Know Your Pets Behavior – The better you know your pet, the better you’ll be able to address their specific needs and tell when their behavior might be signaling the time is near!

Be sure to find good homes for your new critters and get them fixed as soon as you can! Puppy’s  & kittens can be fixed at about 8 weeks, and rabbits are usually around 6 months.
photo credit: Sukanto Debnath One day old Mongrel pups via photopin (license)

Prep Your Pet – Spring Into Action Now!

That time of year we’ve all been eagerly waiting for – Spring! Throw those windows up and welcome the fresh air! As we roll back into motion after winter there is so much to do. Twice as much if you’re a proud pet parent! In addition to thinking about your tan and planning summer fun, there are important steps you need to take to prep your pet for the return of warm weather!

Spring Pet Prep

  • Vaccinations – Is your pet up to date? Warm weather can bring your pet into contact with risks you need strong vaccinations against. Digging in the dirt? Contact with wildlife? Ask your vet to ensure your pets rabies, parvo, and other vaccinations are all up to date!
  • Collar with Contact Info – Lost pet numbers always rise with the temperatures. Even if your pet is microchipped make sure they have a secure collar with your contact details clearly listed on it!
  • Heartworm Prevention – Prep your pet for the incoming mosquito season before it arrives! Whether you treat with oral medication or a shot, make sure your pet stays healthy by administering their spring dose!
  • Fleas and Ticks – These buggers always make it out earlier than you expect and then before you know it, you’re fighting an infestation instead of doing simple Spring Prep! Many pet owners keep up flea and tick prevention year round, but if you’re a pet parent that lets it lapse over the winter, prep now! If you’ve got a new puppy or kitten check with your vet first to determine dosing for their size and age!

Whew! Now take them for a treat after all those shots and medicine and make sure this spring they hit a few mud puddles with you! Happy Spring!

photo credit: The_Little_GSP 0230 Happy Spring Puppy via photopin (license)

Whiskers – Your Pet’s Sixth Sense in Action!

Whiskers – just about every fuzzy creature around has them. They stick out of cheeks and snouts, hang off chins and even span out like exaggerated eyebrows. They are found in predators and prey alike, and cats even have them on the back of their front legs! What do these peculiar hairs do though and why are they so common? Here are some interesting facts about your pet’s whiskers!

All About Whiskers

  • They are much different from normal pet hair, or human hair! They are embedded much more deeply and send information about an animal’s surroundings straight to their sensory nerves. This helps animals have a clearer sense of their surroundings knowing how and when to react to them.
  • Did you know that whiskers will shed, just like fur? Don’t worry if you find one laying around. It’ll grow back!
  • Not all whiskers are straight! Some breeds of cats can curl!
  • Don’t trim them! Trimming can give an animal a distorted sense of their surrounds. Some critters, like rabbits, can’t see right in front of them and whiskers are pertinent to keep them from bumping into things!
  • They help gauge width. Ever wonder how your cat or rabbit just knows they can fit into a tight spot? Those long hairs help tell them the width of spaces without being able to see them. If the whiskers fit, the body can fit!
  • They are so sensitive, they respond to vibrations in the air!
  • The cat with the longest whiskers lives in Finland and is named “Missi”. In 2005 they were measured at 7.5 inches long!
  • Whisker Stress is a real thing! If your pet eats or drinks out of a narrow food or water dish they can develop this disorder. The constant stimulus every time they eat or drink can become uncomfortable. This may lead to your pet not eating or drinking enough, or attempting to drag their food out of their bowl before consumption.

photo credit: y_egan “Whiskers on kittens…” via photopin (license)

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