Archive for June, 2010
Clumping cat litter has enjoyed a long run as one of the most popular types of cat litter. However, it seems that recently cat litter that clumps has come under fire from some quarters, with claims that the litter can present a health risk to not only your pet but also to everyone in your household. Here are some of the things you should know about cat litter of this type and your health.
One of the purported dangers of cat litter that clumps has to do with the chemicals that are used to give the litter its clumping ability. Most brands contain sodium bentonite and quartz silica. Sodium bentonite is an absorbent material that can swell up to eighteen times its original size. The idea is that a cat may very well carry a small piece of this agent away from the box and then ingest this fragment of litter while going about the routine grooming that cats like to do every day. The swelling properties could then create an internal health risk for the cat. In the case of sodium bentonite, it has been proven to be a cause of several types of cancer in humans, if contact is prolonged and consistent.
A second attribute of clumping cat litter also presents a potential problem. The compounds tend to be dusty. This means that when your cat does his or her scratching in the litter box, it sends out dust particles into the air, with some also settling into your cat’s fur. As your cat roams the house and most particularly on those occasions when your cat jumps into your lap and demands some attention, sodium bentonite particles can then be transferred to you and create respiratory problems. Also, the transference of the silica quartz by way of the dust particles is a relatively easy way to introduce the cancer causing agents into your system as well.
Just how serious and what amount of exposure is actually needed to put pets and humans at risk is still being determined, so there is no immediate need of dumping any litter you may have into the garbage just yet. At the same time, with so many other forms of cat litter on the market, perhaps it would be a good idea to try something other than clumping cat litter for your pet’s litter box. In the long run, you and your cat may benefit from the change.
When silica cat litter first came on the market, many cat owners were a little dubious that the product would really be much of an improvement over clay and other types. However, silica brands of cat litter has made a number of converts since it was first introduced. Here are a couple of advantages to using this type of cat litter that may be of interest to you.
One of the most attractive things about silica in general is that it is a porous material. What this means is that the silica will quickly absorb all liquids that come in contact with the substance. From the perspective of being used as a form of cat litter, the silica crystals will easily absorb the cat urine as well as the liquid contained in the solid waste. What this means for you and your home is that the strong ammonia scent of cat urine is banished from your space, and the smell of cat waste is also neutralized once the liquid is absorbed. Your home will smell fresh and clean because it is in fact fresh and clean. For your cat, this also means that the litter box will appear fresh and more inviting to your pet as well.
Silica cat litter is also the litter of choice with automatic cat litter boxes. Because those automatic boxes rely on a comb that moves across the tray to move solid waste into a holding compartment, any type of clumping cat litter will just defeat the purpose. The silica does not cling to waste, making it possible for you to use an automatic litter box and thus only have to tend to the cleaning process once a week or so. Less time cleaning the litter box means more time to spend with your pet.
Silica litter can be purchased at most supermarkets, as well as national pet shop chains. From the perspective of cost, you will not find the price to be very different from that of most national brands of litter. This means you can get a higher quality litter and still not pay any more for the product.
While silica cat may cost a little more, the price is more than offset by not having to buy so many air fresheners and deodorizers in order to mask the cat litter box scents. Plus, your cat will be happier with the hygiene of the litter box itself. Why not pick up one of the silica blends of cat litter today and give it a try?
The inside lining of the ear is normally smooth with a small amount of wax buildup. Many problems can cause the ears to be irritated, inflamed and/or infected. Any of these causes left untreated can lead to more complicated problems, including middle and inner ear damage and hearing loss. Most cats let you know that their ears are uncomfortable by scratching, shaking and/or tilting their heads.
Ear mites are most common in ear problems adult cats and puppies. These microscopic mites have hairs on their body that irritate the ears. They are also responsible for the itching and the dark brown, coffee-like residue. Mites live primarily within the ear canal. They can also live outside of the ear and on other parts of the cats body, they do not infest your home.
* Trauma to the ear from foreign materials like plant seeds or over-aggressive cleaning can also cause pain and inflammation of the ears.
* Flea allergies can occasionally involve the ears.
* Allergic reactions to pollen, mold, and dust are not common in ears. Ear infections associated with allergies often recur until the underlying cause of the allergy is determined and treated.
* Scratch ears often.
* Shake or tilt head.
* Odor and/or discharge from ears.
WHAT YOUR VET CAN DO
* Diagnosis involves examining a sample of the ear discharge under the microscope. This is called a Cytology and will identify the problem. The most effective treatment will be determined according to whether mites, yeast or bacteria are present.
* Ear mites can also live outside of the ear, on other parts of your cat’s body. Flea control products can help to manage this problem.
* Instead of using eardrops to treat mite infections, you can now purchase a new topical treatment called Revolution (selamectin), applied onto the skin at 30 day intervals, which controls fleas, ticks, heartworms, intestinal worms and ear mites for cats and dogs.
* To prevent ear problems, check your cat’s ears regularly. Only use products recommended by your vet to clean your cat’s ears, and never clean any deeper than you can see.
* Long-term and/or recurrent ear infections may require a culture to pinpoint the exact agent responsible and the medication best suited to eliminate the infection.
NOTE: An otoscope is designed and illuminated to allow complete visualization of the ear canal
HEMATOMA (BLOODCLOT) OF THE EAR
* Hematomas usually occur as a result of self-inflicted trauma to the ear. Many cats vigorously Itch their ears because of a persistent underlying ear mite problem. A blood vessel in the earflap ruptures which causes bleeding into the earflap tissue. Treatment usually requires surgical
removal of blood clots and drainage of blood under anesthesia. Hematomas tend to recur until the underlying problem is eliminated because the cats continue to traumatize their ears by itching. Many ears scar down into an abnormal appearance.
Milbemycin, is the active ingredient in Sentinel, a tablet given monthly to prevent heartworms, fleas, intestinal worms, and ear mites in cats. Selamectin is the active ingredient in Revolution, approved in cats, a monthly product that kills ear mites and walking dandruff mites, and prevents heartworms and fleas. New monthly flea preventative products have replaced ear drops to treat ear mites.
COMPLEMENTARY EAR TREATMENTS
Yeast Infections: Mixing equal parts of white vinegar and water (50:50) makes a good ear cleaning solution for yeast.
Bacterial Ear Infections: Garlic can be added to the diet only occasionally, continual high doses can cause anemia:
* Garlic has antibacterial and antifungal effects.
* Mullein (Verbascom thapsus)
* Mucilage or Sapenins have a demilucent effect.
* Use topically for bacterial ear infections.
* Calendula makes an effective ear cleaning solution: Mix one teaspoon of Calendula with a teaspoon sea salt and one cup of water.
* Calendula Oil is soothing to red inflamed ears. Apply two drops into ears once daily.
* To eliminate ear mites, Yellow Duck (Rumex crispus) two drops every 3rd day for three to six weeks.
HOMEOPATHIC EAR REMEDIES
For red, irritated ears try Pulsatilla (6c Windflower) one pellet every third day for two weeks. Withhold food ten minutes before and after treatment. Sepia officinalis (30C) two whole or three crushed pellets by mouth twice a day for three days then once a week, until the ears are healed. Helpful with itching and head shaking.
VESTIBULAR (MIDDLE EAR) DISEASE
Long-term and/or recurrent ear infections can spread to involve the middle ear. The middle ear houses nerves, called Vestibular nerves, which are responsible for balance and equilibrium. If these nerves are irritated, cats can lose their balance, tilt their heads, stagger and often fall over. This is called Vestibular Disease. Some cases are associated with ear infections and rarely brain tumors are responsible but the cause in most cases is unknown or idiopathic. The term Idiopathic Vestibular Disease is used in these cases.
X-rays are initially used to evaluate the middle ear. The bone housing the middle ear is called the Tympanic bulla and is located within the brain. The series of x-rays taken in this case, is respectively called a “Bulla Series”. A CAT scan or MRI are more sensitive imaging techniques that may be necessary to allow visualization of this area of the brain if the x-rays are inconclusive.
Typically, most cases of Idiopathic Vestibular Syndrome occur for some as of yet unknown reason in the spring and fall. Cats suddenly tilt their heads and begin staggering, for no apparent reason. Cats generally improve within 72 hours and symptoms usually resolve in a couple weeks. Occasionally the head tilt persists.
Copyright 2007 Dr. Carol Osborne
Visit Dr. Carol’s blog at http://CarolonPets.com/blog/
Buy PAAWS and VitaLife dog and cat vitamin supplements and other pet health products at http://DrCarol.com/
Choosing a suitable breed of cat as a pet can be quite a dilemma to many people. There are many breed to choose from and all of them look so cute and adorable when they are still at the kitten age. In order to have a harmonious relationship with your cat from the onset, it’s important to take note of your lifestyle and personality before making a decision. It will also be good if you can seek the opinion of your family before making a firm decision.
If you looking at buying a purebred, mark out those breeds that interest you and do an extensive research on them first to find one that match your own lifestyle and personality. It pays to do your own research to prevent unhappiness and regrets in the future.
Certain breeds are renowned for particular behavior traits. Take for example the Persian cats which are reserved and laid back, while the Siamese cats are known for being vocal and active. So would you prefer the cool, passive personality of the Persian or would you go for the more bubbly and lively Siamese as your household companion?
Chances are an if you have a household full of children, the reserved and passive Persian would be easily frighten by the noisy antics of your children. Likewise, the bubbly and lively Siamese would probably be bored to tears by a quiet elderly owner, but would otherwise thrive in the company of a household full of noisy and active children.
If you decide on buying a purebred, get it from a reputable breeder. When you buy from a reputable breeder, many concerns are automatically taken care of. A responsible breeder will usually provide clients with a health guarantee and will have already begun a cat’s necessary vaccinations. Buying from a reputable breeder also increased the likelihood that the cat was raised in a good environment wit ha clean sociable atmosphere. Check with the breeder first if they allow their kittens to access their homes because this helps them to get acclimatize to people and household settings well before they are sold.
Before you bring home a cat, please go through the list of factors below and consider them carefully first:
1) Do you have the financial and legal responsibilities to become a cat owner?
2) Should you adopt or buy a cat?
3) Are you able to make some sort of adjustment to your living and working arrangements when you bring home a cat?
4) Are you able to commit to long term care of a cat?
5) Are you or any of your family members allergic to cats?
6) Do you have other pets?
Once you have addressed these factors, you can then make a final decision. There are many other factors to consider too, but the few above should be enough to deter you if you are one of those people who just want to get a cat because they look cute without consideration on the responsibilities of being a cat owner.
Albert recently developed a eCourse for looking after your cat’s mental and physical needs. If you are interest in learning more about this free eCourse and taking good care of your cat, please go to http://catcentral.justastore.com or you can send an email to email@example.com to request for your free eCourse.
Thought to date back to the time of the Vikings, the Norwegian Forest Cat is an old breed. References to this type of cat can be found in Norse mythology and Norwegian fairytales, but the true origins of his breed are unknown. Domestic breeding of the Norwegian Forest Cat, known as ‘skogkatt’ in Scandinavia, began in the 1930 by farmers, but it was not recognized as a breed until the 1970s, when breeding of ‘Wegies’ (a nickname derived from the word ‘Norwegian’) became popular.
Norwegian Forest Cats lived in a harsh and cold climate for most of the year, so their coats are adapted to this environment. It is long and thick to protect them from the hash winters and virtually waterproof. They get a summer coat in spring, resulting in shedding that needs to be attended to. Some say that grooming so not necessary, regular grooming of a Norwegian Forest Cat is a useful tool in combating shedding, though they shed far less than other longhairs. They require regular brushing to help deal with tangles and matting and may require a bath at times if they get too oily (the oil is what makes the coat water resistant). The coats themselves appear in many colors and patterns.
Adult male Norwegian Forest Cats will reach an average weight of thirteen to twenty-two pounds and females will be about half that size. They will live anywhere from fifteen to twenty years. Norwegian Forest Cats are intelligent, kind, and patient, making them a good family pet for those with children. They are also friendly and gentle, so they get along well with other family pets. This breed loves to climb, so a cat condo is a must.
If a Norwegian Forest Cat is not allowed to climb on a regular basis, he may become irritable or bored, which can result in destructive behaviors to alleviate the boredom. The meow of a Norwegian Forest Cat is described as not a meow, but as singing a soft melody. This is a hearty breed, though some may be prone to glycogen storage disease.
There is a website that has great information on Norwegian Forest Cats and most other breeds of cats. It has details that pertain to a cat breeds health, grooming, living conditions, best food choices and more, the website is called: Dog And Cat Facts, and can be found at this url:
By Robert W. Benjamin
Copyright © 2007
You may publish this article in your ezine, newsletter, or on your web site as long as it is reprinted in its entirety and without modification except for formatting needs or grammar corrections.
Robert W. Benjamin has been in the software business on the internet for over 5 years, and has been producing low-cost software for the past 25+ years. He first released products on the AMIGA and C64 computer systems in the late 1970′s-80′s.
End Times Prophecy News
Food for cats is of course one of the most important needs of cats and it has to be provided by the owner. I think everyone agrees that this is the number one need of animals like cats and the kind of food you feed them would also reflect the nutritional contents of the food intake.
We have to feed our pets with the most nutritious food so that they would be able to grow well and be free from possible sickness. There are guidelines to remember like giving a balanced-diet to your cat and as much as possible do not run out of drinking water. What then are those other reminders? Those tips that would let us overcome wrong feeding of cats?
- Avoid giving to cats meals that include By-products,” “meat and/or bone meal,” “animal digest,” most other descriptions including “digest” or “meal,” and added sugars. These won’t be good for them and would be of no use for them too.
- Do not give food that includes corn meal as filler.
- Avoid giving meals that conation like almost 50 percent of carbohydrates fillers.
- Food with too much preservative is highly-discouraged.
These tips must be noted for if one does not know what to buy for his cat, he would surely end up giving the wrong food.
What then could be good for cats?
Always bear in mind the basic nutritional needs of your cats. This includes Protein from a meat, fish, or poultry source, Taurine, an essential amino acid, certain other vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and fatty acids and of course Water.
Do cats need carbohydrates?
Well, they do not need such as much as we do. We could not get away from those carbohydrates fillers especially in canned cat food but it has to be ensued that it does not reach or exceed 50 percent of fillers. One big tip is feed your cat varied food from time to time; cats could get easily bored if you feed them with the same food all the time. It would plunge down appetite and of course, the total nutrition of the animal.
We hope that with these bits and pieces you are able to take note of the important tips you need to do which would deal with the right food for your cats.
Enjoy growing pets.
Amelia Wilson is a featured writer for AnyPetStore.com, a comprehensive directory of pet shops, pet supplies and veterinarians all across the United States.