August 2012

Tips on getting your cat to scratch in the right places

How to keep your cat from scratching up your furniture, drapes, etc.

You love your feline friend. You even love the many quirky things she does. However, you don’t love the way she scratches your furniture. Yet, you are against having her declawed for many reasons. What do you do?

First, you must understand why cats want to scratch the furniture and everywhere else. No, it isn’t just to sharpen their paws or to help them shed that outer nail layer that they have. They want to scratch to leave their mark and to tell other cats that this is their territory.  

Scratching is also an exercise for your cat. It stretches out their shoulder muscles, the tendon of her paws, and the muscles in their forelegs. This is all beneficial to your cat and a reason why she should scratch. However, she needs to learn where to scratch and it is our duty as cat owners to teach her where this place is.

Cleaning cat urine

Find it with a UV light, then hit it with Nature's Miracle

It's a problem that plagues so many cat owners: cat urine in the wrong place. Anywhere but the litter box, and you have a major problem. 

The first thing to do is address the cause of the inappropriate urination, of course. If you have a cat who is suddenly peeing in the wrong spot, the first thing you should do is take your cat to a vet. This is a classic sign of a urinary tract infection, which can be both painful and damaging. Male cats may also suffer from urinary tract crystals which can be excruciating and potentially fatal.
Male cats should always be neutered, and not only to prevent territorial marking (a.k.a. "spraying"). The same goes for female cats, who may otherwise urinate inappropriately as part of their hormonal cycle.
The first step to cleaning up cat urine is to find it. You may be surprised where the urine is, and how much of it there is. Cat urine will fluoresce under black light, and if you have a cat urine issue, I strongly recommend getting (or borrowing, or renting) a black light device for detecting cat urine.

Feline acne: causes and treatment

If your cat has a "dirty chin," read on.

Feline acne is a sadly common problem with young and old cats alike. Most cats will have at least one bout of feline acne during their lifetimes. Feline acne is unsightful, uncomfortable for the cat, and can lead to much more serious problems if it continues to worsen.

Identifying Feline Acne
Feline acne takes the form of blackheads. You might mistake it for coffee grounds, dirt, or flea droppings (a.k.a. "flea dirt") at first. It typically forms along the edges of the lips and chin. If you scratch at it gently, it does not come off. Feline acne is much more visible on cats who have a light colored chin, versus cats with darker coats.
If it persists or gets worse, feline acne can turn into pustules and a chronic facial infection. Thus, it is important to address this problem as soon as you notice it.

KittyCam proves: Your kitty really is a killer

Study illustrates why outdoor cats lead shorter lives

Cats are always trying to convince us that they are ninjas, cold-hearted killers who deserve our respect and awe. Don't tell your cat - their ego doesn't need the boost - but a new study shows that it is probably true.

Dubbed "KittyCam," this project is a collaboration between National Geographic and the University of Georgia. Researchers chose 60 free-roaming outdoor house cats in the town of Athens, Georgia, and fitted them with cameras. They sent the cats out to live their lives, then studied the results.
Bird lovers and ecologists have long known that cats are a major threat to wildlife. Still, many owners are shocked to learn that 44 percent of free roaming cats hunt and kill on a daily basis. On average, these hunters will kill a surprising number of animals - approximately two animals per week. Most of the kills were birds, but the cats also killed a fair number of lizards - facts their owners would never suspect, because the cats invariably left the dead lizards at the kill site, rather than bringing them home.