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.
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.
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 🙂
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:
video removed 🙁
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 🙁
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cats are carnivores, not omnivores like people and dogs. They require two to three times the protein that omnivores require. There is much debate over wet or dry cat food. Both can be fine for cats. Wet food can help reduce some urinary problems that some cats have. Many vets suggest low-carb diets for cats (Atkins diets :-).
It is good to leave cats fresh water at all times. But leaving out cat food all day can led to overweight cats (especially if they don’t get much exercise).
Kittens have different nutritional needs from adult cats so feed kittens, food that is specifically made for them and adult cats food that is made for them.
Labeling requirements in the USA require that something labeled “cat food” must be 95% of more of the named ingredients: so Tuna cat food must be 95% tuna. “Diner” means it can contain 25%-95%. Cat food “with” something only needs to contain 3% of the with item, so cat food with fish can be as little as 3% fish.
Many cats will drink milk but it isn’t healthy for most of them. Most cats don’t have the enzyme lactase which is needed to digest cows milk. Some cats can tolerate milk.
This webcast provides information on training kittens to avoid using teeth and claws aggressively with our skin. Dr. Miller explains that it is important to help kittens learn to play gently with people and reserve their aggressive play for toys.