HELPFUL TIPS ABOUT CATS
Most of these come from members of the Cat Writers' Organization
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NEVER give a cat any of the following foods: chocolate, alcohol, chicken bones, coffee, caffeinated teas, raw egg whites, onions, chives, garlic, grapes, raisins, mushrooms, salt, xylitol (an artificial sweetener).
If you want to raise a cat and a dog together, adopt the kitten first, then the puppy. We know a family where they did this, and the puppy never had to be paper-trained, because the cat taught him to use the litter box!
Many cat owners recommend a product called Rescue Remedy, a plant extract which is available at health-food stores. This has a calming effect, and the best way to use it, according to Marilyn Krieger, Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (www.thecatcoach.com) is to rub it on the inside and outside of the tips of the ears and the bottom of the paw pads.
A kitten grows five times faster than a human baby. By one year of age a cat is equivalent to a human teen-ager. It's important to feed quality food designed especially for kittens for the first 12 months. Mixing two different brands is a good way to ensure the kitten has sufficient variety, and most experts recommend some canned food as well as some dry. Keep treats to a minimum until the kitten is as least six months old.
According to Whiskas (www.whiskas.com), by 8 weeks a kitten is ready for adoption. He or she should have a full set of teeth, and it's important to teach the kitten not to bite. Allow him or her to teethe on safe toys, not your fingers or objects you don't want destroyed.
Betsy Stowe, author of Calico Tales and Others (Infinity Publishing, available at www.Amazon.com) suggests a method for getting a reluctant or frightened cat into a carrier: "Rub her head with your left hand while the right hand comes around her side and picks her up under her front legs. Pull her to your chest with your left forearm pinning her back legs, if possible. Talk to her sweetly, reassuring her, and kiss her on the head if she likes that. Then, slide your right hand down her front legs and hold them together in your right hand, not allowing her to flail. After you have her front legs held firmly, let your left hand slide down her back legs and hold them together, letting her bum rest in the crook of your right arm. Keep cooing and kissing. If you want to put her in the carrier at this point, I always just shove and close the door. Ours NEVER want to get in! But once they're in, they're fine."
Read the award-winning article, Training A Cat Like a Dog, by Barbara Florio Graham, for an easy, step-by-step method for teaching your cat to behave.
To keep your home eco-friendly, and reduce your cats' exposure to harmful chemicals, try these tips (from an article by Linda Beltz Glaser in Cat Watch. She suggests using white distilled vinegar to kill bacteria and mold. Use it to clean the toilet, pouring it in (undiluted) and leaving overnight to remove stains and mineral build-up. She also suggests using vinegar to clean the litter box when you change the litter completely, then coating the box with cooking oil before adding clean litter. That helps prevent soiled litter from clinging to the surface of the box. You can also spread a thin layer of baking soda under the litter, ad that reduces odor considerably.
Here's a clever, adorable video supporting the
spaying and neutering of cats:
Myths about cats are exposed in this article in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Read about things that are toxic to cats HERE.
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