Why Do Cats Knead Us?

This webcast provides an explanation of why cats knead us.

Related: Teaching a Kitten How to Play Nice with PeopleLearn more about feeding your catGetting Your Kitten Started Toward Good Behavior

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How attached cats are to their owners?

Daniel Mills, professor of Veterinary Behavioural Medicine at the University of Lincoln carried out experiments to study the emotional attachments of cats to their owner in comparison to humans and dogs.

Related: Getting Your Kitten Started Toward Good BehaviorGiving Your Cat Fresh Water from a Fountain

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Overweight Cats

Obesity in pets is a common problem. With ready food, if they don’t have an easy way (and sometimes even if they do) to burn off the calories they will gain weight. Cats will have many of the same problems overweight people have with their health: diabetes, joint pain…

Cats are a bit less likely to suffer from this problem (cats regulate eating better than dogs do, in general). In some cases cats can get significant extra food by hunting when you let them out to play.

ASPSA advice

Is your cat too fat? As a subjective assessment of body condition, you should be able to feel the backbone and palpate the ribs in an animal of healthy weight. If you cannot feel your pet’s ribs without pressing, there is too much fat.

Also, you should see a noticeable “waist” between the back of the rib cage and the hips when looking at your pet from above. Viewed from the side, there should be a “tuck” in the tummy—the abdomen should go up from the bottom of the rib cage to inside the thighs. Cats who fail these simple tests may be overweight.

How to get overweight or obese cats back in shape from Web MD

An estimated 57% of U.S. cats are overweight or obese, according to a 2008 study by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.

An indoor cat needs planned exercise. The best exercise is object play – playing with your cat with toys. That’s the answer to exercise problems.

Cats are predators, and the way to get them to play is to let them use their hunting talents. Buy toys and then use them to mimic the actions of the animals a cat would normally hunt – a mouse, bird, lizard, rabbit or bug.

Cat owners know they have distinct personalities so you need to discover what works for you and your cat. Passive toys don’t work nearly as well as one you animate for them or self propelled toys, like: . Maybe if you are lucky your cat will use your treadmill :-)

Related: Feeding Your CatSphero, the Robotic Ball You Control with Your Smart PhoneCat Running in Circles

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Getting Your Kitten Started Toward Good Behavior

Kittens are wonderfully curious and playful: occasionally this also includes annoying and even dangerous. Here are some tips to help get your kitten started off right:

Make sure you provide plenty of health outlets for their boundless curiosity (by the way what kind of crazy language drops the second u in curious when writing curiosity? English). I personally have found great success engaging with kittens and they then seem to want to make you happy as cats, though they still decide to hunt me every once and awhile and jump onto my legs with claws out :-(

Related: Teaching a Kitten How to Play Nice with PeopleTrain Your Cat to Use Your Toilet

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Cat Allergy Vaccine Created

McMaster University researchers have developed a vaccine which successfully treats people with an allergy to cats. Traditionally, frequent allergy shots have been considered the most effective way to bring relief — other than getting rid of the family pet — for the 8 to 10% of the population allergic to cats.

Both options, may now be avoided thanks to the work of immunologist Mark Larché, professor at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and Canada Research Chair in Allergy & Immune Tolerance.

Building on research he’s conducted for the past 10 years in Canada and Britain, Larché and his research team have developed a vaccine which is effective and safe with almost no side effects. The research is published in a the January 2011 issue of the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, a leading journal in the allergy field.

The researchers took one protein (molecule) that cats secrete on their fur which causes the majority of allergic problems. Using blood samples from 100 patient volunteers allergic to cats, they deconstructed the molecule and identified short regions within the protein which activate T-cells (helper cells that fight infection) in the immune system.

Known as “peptide immunotherapy,” a low dose of the vaccine is given into the skin. Initially, four to eight doses a year may be required, but the side effects of the traditional allergy shots do not arise, Larché said. The optimal dose will be determined in phase three clinical trials which are getting underway with a much larger group of cat allergy sufferers.

The vaccine will not be available until the phase 3 trial is completed successfully.

Related: 10 Questions to Ask Your Vet About Cat MedicationsHow to Give Your Cat a Pill

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10 Questions to Ask Your Vet About Cat Medications

The US Food and Drug Administration recommends asking your veterinarian these 10 questions about medication prescriptions for your pet.

  1. Why has my cat been prescribed this medication and how long do I need to give it?
  2. How do I give the medication to my cat? Should it be given with food?
  3. How often should the medication be given and how much should I give each time? If it is a liquid, should I shake it first?
  4. How do I store the medication? Do I need to refrigerate it?
  5. What should I do if my cat vomits or spits out the medication?
  6. If I forget to give the medication, should I give it as soon as I remember or wait until the next scheduled dose? What if I accidentally give too much?
  7. Should I finish giving all of the medication, even if my cat seems to be back to normal?
  8. Could this medication interact with other medications my pet is taking?
  9. What reactions should I watch for, and what should I do if I see any side effects?

  10. When should I bring my pet back for a recheck? Will you be calling me to check on my pet’s progress, or should I call you?

Related: How to Give Your Cat a Pill

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How to Give Your Cat a Pill

Keeping your cat healthy is important. Occasionally that may mean having to give your cat pills.

For some cats it is helpful to wrap them in a blanket to keep them from being able to get escape from your grasp or to scratch you.

Some cats will be fine with taking pills but some won’t like it at all. If you cat is very difficult you can trying putting the pill in food. Put it in some soft treat you occasionally give them and they will often take it without any problems but be careful to make sure they eat the pill.

If that won’t work, ask your veterinarian, if it is ok to crush the pill and put it in wet cat food. Some pills can’t be safely taken this way so check with a vet first.

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Giving Your Cat Fresh Water from a Fountain

Drinking enough water is important for cats to remain healthy. Cats are prone to urinary track illnesses that can be exacerbated by not drinking enough water. And some cats will drink less if the water isn’t fresh. The Drinkwell water fountain can help by providing water the cat is more willing to drink (the fountain process and filter keep the water from seeming stale). You will need to add water every few days but you can add it less often than if you just put it in a bowl.

And your cat might find adventurous ways to drink, like the cat in the video above.

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Train Your Cat to Use Your Toilet

This is not a quick, process it can take months but how great would it be to eventually get rid of your litter box. The video provides some great advice on slowly getting your cat used to the toilet. Make sure at all times during the training the litter box is very stable. If they are uncomfortable it can easily set back your training progress. This process is best done with a dedicated toilet for months of training that is setup just for your cat.

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Cat ID Collar

If you let your cat outside you make sure they have a safe collar with contact information including: your name, address, email address and telephone number. A break-away collar will allow your cat to break out of the collar if it gets tangled on something. Be sure to check that the contact information remains readable over time. If it is unreadable it won’t help. Engraved pet tags are good for making sure they remain readable.

Bells on the cat collars are a good idea that helps prey notice the cat and escape. Still cats can catch prey, but the bells can make it more difficult.

One great option is the Vedante super reflective break-away cat collar with glow in the dark tag.

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