ARTICLES & ADVICE
FAMILY HISTORY & GENEALOGY
Cat and Kitten Information
- ALL kittens have blue eyes until they
- The reason cat's eyes "glow" is because
licidum) coats the eyes and acts as a reflector of light.
- Eating a steady diet of dog food can
your cat to go
blind. Dog food lacks taurine, an essential nutrient for cats that
helps maintain their vision.
- Cats have excellent hearing and can
footsteps from hundreds of feet away.
- Cats are so stealthy because they walk
their toes, not
whole foot. This helps them sneak up on their prey.
- Cats bring you dead mice and other
a teaching aid,
not a gift. Your cat is trying to teach you how to hunt. Often the
first mouse they bring will be dead. Mouse number two will be injured
so your cat can show you how to kill it. Mouse three is alive so you
can learn how to hunt and kill it.
- In one year, the average cat will eat 20
- When cats drink, their tongues scoop the
liquid up backwards.
- Cats were first tamed by the ancient
- Cats were first introduced to North
- When naming your cat, remember they
best to names
that end in an "ee" sound.
- In the United States, cat owners spend,
billion on cat food and $295 million on cat litter.
- Cats have 236 bones. Humans have 206.
- Cats "imprint" shapes in their mouth to
them know what
to eat. That's why most cat food has points: triangles, diamonds,
Cat and Kitten Information
Congratulations! You have decided to welcome a kitten into your
The first thing you should do is get a cat carrier so the trip home in
the family truckster is safe and comfortable. Once you get your new
home, establish a quiet, secure area as "home base" for your new
This area should have an appropriate sized litter box, food and water
and a comfortable resting place. Make sure any dangerous items are
and look around for small areas that might look like a great place to
With supervision, your kitten can be allowed to explore the new
environment. Be aware that in a large area your kitten may not be able
to return to the litter box in time to avoid an "accident." There
should also be times where the kitten is isolated in the safe harbor
room to use the litter box in
peace. When you are not at home, your kitten can remain in the home
area for safety and easy access to the litter box.
Basic Kitten Training
Appropriate human-kitten interactions and bonding should be encouraged
and supported right from the start. This can and should include rewards
from coming when called, attention for calm, quiet behavior and
to the kitten's name. Owners should also be encouraged to reward good
box usage and keep the litter box clean and in a private area. There
some really neat disguises for litter boxes now, so even if your space
limited there should be a private location for the litter box. Handle
kitten so it gets acclimated to having all parts of the body touched,
and held. You can teach the kitten to accept all types of handling by
tasty food treats as rewards. The food treats can also help the kitten
to accept things from your hands in case you need to give medicine at a
point. Finally, remember to introduce your kitten to new or unusual
in a calm, non threatening manner and always remember to reward for
If you use appropriate training and supervision, the need to reprimand
your kitten will be minimal. The use of physical reprimands can cause
defensive aggression and owner avoidance, all of which do not promote a
bonding experience for you and your kitten. When kittens behave
loud noises can be used to startle them away from the location. If the
is directed at you, "hissing" sounds work pretty well to deter the
behaviors. If your kitten becomes overly agitated, the best response is
to take the kitten to the safe harbor and let them spend some quiet
Common Behavior Problems
Marking and Scratching with Claws
Using the claws to leave a visual mark is a normal and natural feline
behavior. Cats will pick a prominent location and prefer material that
shred and tear. Cats will often engage in marking/scratching behaviors
waking up from a nap and when they are mildly excited. This is where
become a behavioral expert. Get a scratching post or scratching box and
it near where the cat naps and plays. This will encourage your kitten
use an appropriate outlet rather than your expensive furniture. The
on your scratching fixture should tear, shred and rip. It should be
so it doesn't fall over and scare or hurt your kitten, and it should be
long enough for your adult cat to get in a good stretch. You can entice
kitten to use the post by giving food rewards for scratching the
place and eventually you can add catnip to entice your cat to continue
the post or box as an outlet.
Play is an key element in a kitten's behavior, and sometimes it can get
out of hand. To prevent playful aggression, you should play with your
kitten using appropriate toys. You also need to provide opportunities
kitten to play on your terms. You can schedule playtimes to be certain
kitten gets plenty of aerobic exercise. Your playtimes should include
that are light and moveable, but not too small that your kitten can
ingest them. For some kittens it helps to rotate toys, boxes and bags
few days to keep things fun and entertaining.
Another kitten favorite entails hiding under a bed or around a corner
and then leaping out and attacking people as they walk past. The
to overcome this kitten game is to know where your kitten is hiding.
you know the ambush locations, you can carry toys to toss out and
your kitten's bad behavior to an appropriate toy. You can also place a
(quick release or elastic are best) with a bell on your kitten. The
will alert you to where your kitten is lurking and should help
the attacks. This is a good place for noise deterrents too if the
doesn't want to move to an appropriate toy.
Cats and Kittens
Most cats are not finicky eaters, they just have their own
standards of feline palatability.
Temperature: Cats prefer foods served at room temperature.
that is too cold or hot is often ignored and may appear later --
regurgitated on your expensive oriental rugs! Thinking about cats
you know, do any of them really like the canned food when it comes out
of the refrigerator?
Smell: Cats have an excellent sense of smell which
their appetite. This is why liver and fish, which are quite
odoriferous, are widely used ingredients in cat foods.
Moisture: Odor release is directly related to moisture.
moisture in the food, the more fragrant the food will be. Canned food
has an average water content of 72-78%, that is the amount found
naturally in the ingredients, plus the moisture needed for processing.
Semi-moist foods contain 25-34%
water and dry foods a mere 8-10%. That is why most cats prefer canned
Fat: Fat content is another measure of palatability. The
fat, the tastier the food. Again, many canned foods rate high because
they contain high quantities of meat. Dry foods contain about 8-22%
fat, and semi-moist foods have a fat content from 5-10%. The down
side to fat is that it can break down and turn rancid.
Freshness: Cats are very particular about freshness, and
usually won't eat spoiled food. Both the dry and semi-moist foods are
preserved to prevent spoiling resulting from exposure to oxygen in the
air. Canned foods do not require preservatives as they are vacuum
sealed. If left unopened, canned food keeps almost indefinitely. Opened
cans allowed to stand for more than a few hours at room temperature
will spoil and should be disposed.
Texture: Cats are particular about texture. Some prefer
crunchy feel of dry food to the chewiness of semi-moist food or the
softness of canned foods, and vice versa. Many cats "imprint" a texture
or shape to their palate and will only eat similar forms. This is why
most dry cat foods come in
shapes with pointy edges like "x's" and triangles.
Super Premiums: Super premium foods are the highest in
palatability and cats eat less of these foods than their grocery
counterparts. When reading a Super Premium or Premium label, make sure
they contain a higher percentage of meat than regular cat foods. Remind
your cat clients to measure out portions for free-feeding so their pets
don't get obese from consuming too many calories.
Most people know that a cat's whiskers are as wide as their body so
they can judge whether or not they will fit through a space. Cats can
also tell you how they are feeling emotionally through their whisker
- Straight out to the side. This is
content and happy cat.
- Spread out and angled. This cat
probably angry and
ready to bite. Be careful of this cat.
- Flattened against the face. This
fear signal and the
cat is acting defensively. Be careful here too.
Cat Show Terminology
- Benching. This is the arrangement of the
cages in rows so
the judges can identify individual cats and call them to the ring.
- Show curtains. Every cage had a curtain
both privacy and
health reasons. You will notice at a cat chow that most of the cages
will be decorated beyond the basic curtain. Some cages will even have
furniture and multiple levels.
- Cat hoisting. Lifting the cat in the air
in the ring to
get a better idea of the cat's proportion and structure. Judges will
stretch a cat to its full length for the same reason.
- Breed standards. Developed by committees
within the various
cat associations, these are used as the ideals to judge each cat
- HHP. Household pets are often welcome to
the show. They
are judged on personality, aesthetics and good health. (Check with your
local cat club to learn more about entering and showing your cat.)
It is estimated that up to 40% of all cats are overweight. As we know
with people, slimmer and fitter are healthier and the same is true of
companions. Health complications can be severe in cats that are 15% or
Some factors that contribute to obesity:
Some of the dangers of obesity in cats
Obese cats are not as healthy as cats of ideal weight and are less
to disease and more susceptible to health problems.
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