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               The Newsletter for Cats                  


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Pet Health Insurance

Click and Treat Training - for Cats

The Catnip Chronicles
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NEW PRODUCTS:

For Cats & Dogs: Technology Research Corporation (TRC) has just marketed an extension cord that is safe for dogs and cats. This xtension cord monitors the flow of electricity and will instantly disconnect power when a dangerous condition is detected. This includes the penetration of the cord by dog and cat teeth. This cord will also prevent fires that result from electrical cords. The cord costs about $10.00. You can find out more about it from TRC at fax: 727-530-7375, email: productinfo@trci.net or www.trci.net. This also sounds like a good product for people who have small children.



Pluskat
(A Gray Tabby)

The Holidays: This is a time of the year that you must be more concerned about your pet's safety. As families celebrate the holiday season sometimes there are more goodies left in places where pets can get them. A dog or cat can eat chocolate left on a coffee table or the floor. Pets can chew and eat the ribbon from packages, the paper, packing "peanuts," cellophane and decorations. Often these items have the scent of food on them and will tempt a pet who otherwise would not pay attention to these things. A dog or cat can get their head stuck in a plastic bag and die.

Be sure to watch your pet carefully during this time of the year. If you pet seems to be "out of sorts" or otherwise sick, do not hesitate to have them looked at by your veterinarian. If your pet shows any sign that it has an upset stomach, trouble eliminating, vomiting, lethargic, or gagging, a trip to the veterinarian is in order. You must be extra careful after the holidays are over and presents, decorations and food are forgotten but still around. If you have children in your home or neighborhood, watch that your pet does not chew and swallow toys or parts of toys and games that a child might leave on the floor or ground.

Do not give your pet too many treats, just because it is the holiday season. If you want to give your pet some leftover's, be sure to watch for bones. As you discard the carcass of roasts, be sure to put the bones outside in a trash can that has a solid, secure lid on it. Sometimes the smell of a whole turkey carcass in the kitchen garbage may be too much for even the most well trained pet to ignore.If your dog or cat should eat a bone, call your veterinarian right away. If you cannot get a vet, the main thing to do is encase the bone in a protective mass of food. The best thing to feed your pet is bread and water or if you have it natural psyllium fiber. This creates bulk in the pet's system and will help to prevent the bone from puncturing the animal's intestines. You should still contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.If you buy your pet toys, be careful that they cannot be chewed into small pieces, swallowed or that they are toxic. If you have more than one pet, make sure that the toys are safe for all of them. A dog will take a cat's toy and chew it. I personally do not like to give a dog toys that are edible, such as rawhide, pig ears, cow hooves, etc. Be extra careful with extension cords, decorated trees and window lights. If your dog or cat is used to jumping up on the window ledge to look out, they will not stop doing it because you have put a light in the window. You pet can chew the cord or get tangled in it.

With a little bit of care, you and your pet can have a safe, happy, holiday season.


Pluskat Opening Gifts

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Pet Health Insurance: Although this is not a new concept, health insurance for pets seems to be getting popular. With today's technology and high priced treatments for pets, it makes more sense to consider it then in years past. Also, the policies are more friendly than they used to be. According to an article in PET AGE, May 1999 a number of dog food companies and big chain pet stores are looking into ways to offer pet health insurance for pet owners. The Pet Age article offers these contacts for pet health insurance. Pet Assure, 888-789-7387; Pet Care Plus+, 800-645-2939; Pet Product Inc., 941-403-4100; Petshealth Insurance Agency, Inc., 330-492-3948; Veterinary Centers of America, Inc., 310-392-9599; Veterinary Pet Insurance, 800-872-7387. One word of caution when considering a health care policy for your pet. Read the policy carefully. See exactly what it covers and what it does not cover. Does it cover wellness care? That would include shots and annual visits. How does it handle other visits? What does it offer for elective surgery which could include, spay, neuter, dew claw removal and declawing, docking and cropping? How does it handle illness and major surgery. Does the coverage decrease as the age of the dog increases? Does it terminate after the dog reaches a certain age? How does it handle euthanasia? Is there a discount for a multiple pet household?


Scout and Mitzi as Young Playmates

Home Treatment with Natural Products: While natural products are a great way to go, you should not try to vet your pets yourself. Diagnosing the problem is very important and if you are not a veterinarian you could do more harm than good. However, using many of the natural products that are on the market for your pet's care and maintenance is a good thing to do. Products such as natural treats, shampoos, conditioners, etc. can make a difference in your pet's life.Some neat links are:
Natural Cat: http://www.naturalcat.com
The Holistic Pet Center: www.holisticpetcenter.com


Cat Health: Many cat owners do not realize that cats can benefit from many of the same health aides as dogs and other animals. First and foremost, you should feed your cat a high quality cat food. The food that I like the best is Wysong send email to wysong@tm.net and California Natural. There is also much to be said about a raw diet for your cat. An increasing number of veterinarians support a raw diet for both dogs and cats. One of the advantages to a raw diet is that the dog or cat will have healthier gums and teeth. For an interesting link check out: www.naturalcat.com . Another often overlooked treatment for cats is acupuncture and chiropractic care. Cats do benefit from this type of treatment and I can personally attest that acupuncture and chiropractic care works in animals.


Pluskat Lounging in the Garden


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Cat Toys: Cats seem to enjoy a variety of toys. I have found that most cats love to chase squiggly things. They love strings, small ropes or cords, and things that dangle. They love to bat around fuzzy things and some cats love squeaky things. At least two of my cats loved this simple toy, a tissue wrapped into a tight ball and tied together with a rubber band. It bounced just enough, was small enough to bat around and they loved to pick it up and carry it. I have also found that they love the fuzz balls you can buy in a craft store. These are the things that crafters use to make bugs and other characters. My cat loved to bat this high into the air and chase it all over the house. One thing that I have noticed over the years is that cats love it when you play with them. Playing with your cat insures that you cat gets exercise, bonds with you and as an added bonus, lowers your blood pressure. So get down on the floor and play with your cat
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Bonnie - A Turkish Angora


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The Puppy Mill Issue, Again - and This Affects Cats, too! In an article in Pet Age, July 1999 the author talks about the different ways a pet shop can overcome the bad press pet shops have received about purchasing puppy mill dogs (this includes cats too, yes, there are cat mills). The article states that some pet shop owners will only buy dogs from local breeders that they can inspect. The pet shop will offer support, make sure the puppies are kept clean. One store owner gives his cell phone number for his customers to call him to all puppies he sells within two weeks of a holiday. Some owners only select puppies from dealers who they felt met their standards. As a result one store in a mall, sells about 800 puppies a year. But never forget that the bottom line is that ethical breeders will not allow their stock to go to a pet shop. Good breeders want to interview the purchaser to insure that it is a correct match. This means that the breeder will want to be sure that their breed is suitable for the purchaser and that the individual dog is the right one for the purchaser. No matter what a pet shop tells you, keep in mind that the dog or cat came from a commercial facility whose main job is to produce livestock for resale. Also, never forget that the pet shop will sell any pet to anybody and the bottom line is that in my experience, most problems develop because people purchased the wrong type of dog or cat for their lifestyle. So no matter what sales pitch you get, a pet shop is not the place to buy a pet!

Click and Treat Training - Not Just for Dogs! Many of you know that I highly recommend training all animals with the click and treat method of training. This is a positive method of training that allows you to capitalize on behaviors that you might otherwise miss. For example, one of my dogs likes to sneeze when she is happy. By clicking on the sneeze I was able to teach her to sneeze on command. Clicker trained animals thoroughly enjoy the process. This method also encourages your pet to think on his own. I have seen dogs and cats become very happy and excited about learning when taught with this method. The method can be used with any thinking animal. Just to name a few, it has been successfully used with dogs, cats, horses, and birds. For more information about clicker training check out www.karenpryor.com


Pluskat on Fleece


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Feline Bladder Stones: According to an article in Pet Age, Sept 2000 (pg. 80), a study led by Dr. Joseph W. Bartges of the Univ. of Tennessee's College of Veterinary Medicine, excess amounts of vitamins D or C, a deficiency of vitamin B-6, and high sodium levels with low fiber can cause calcium oxalate bladder stones in cats. This finding is in addition to the earlier evidence that magnesium and phosphorus contribute to bladder stones in cats. The research continues to try and determine if a dietary change would help cats with this problem.
Feline Hip Dysplasia: It may come as a surprise to many cat owners that cats as well as dogs suffer from Hip Dysplasia. According to an article in The Whole Cat Journal, June 2000 (pg. 17-20) by Kathy D. Joiner, all breeds and mixed breed cats as well as all body types can suffer from this disease. Some of the signs to look for are clicking and popping sounds coming from the hips, stiffness, inability to jump, and sensitivity to being touched in the hip area.If you suspect that your cat may have this problem consult your veterinarian. For more information check out the Feline Hip Displasia Awareness site at: http://www.FHDA.com or email at FHDA@FHDA.com


Bonnie on Top of the World

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Copyright © 2001 Susan Bulanda. All Rights Reserved.

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