What happens when dogs eat sand?

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Dogs tend to swallow trace amounts of sand regularly when they roll around on the ground or lick their paws clean. Trace amounts of sand are usually not harmful at all and pass out of their system along with their stools. However, there are scenarios when your fur baby may end up swallowing a lot more sand resulting in severe consequences.

What could cause your pup to swallow a lot of sand?

Sometimes, dogs, when suffering from a gastrointestinal problem begin to eat objects such as grass, wood, metal, etc. Sand is one such object that they might end up eating. Dogs sometimes also ingest a lot of sanding accidentally when playing. While scooping up their toys from the ground or from under the water, they may swallow a lot of sand.

What happens if your pup swallows a lot of sand

A large amount of sand tends to sit heavily in your dog’s stomach and intestine causing the entire passage to block. They might start coughing very roughly, choking, and vomiting. This is also accompanied by heavy pain, causing your pup to whimper and be extremely uncomfortable. The scenario eventually becomes lethal and, in severe cases, may result in the death of your pup.

While the best cure is prevention, which you can do by keeping your pup away from the sand, sometimes it is simply not possible. In cases that they end up ingesting a lot of sand, you need to take steps immediately. Here are a few things for you to look at to make sure that all the sand comes out of your pup’s body, and your pup is out of pain and discomfort.

  • Take your pup to the vet immediately.
  • Make sure that scans such as X-rays are done so that the amount of sand ingested can be looked at.
  • Your dog will be put on fluids, oils, and synthetic sugars to loosen the sand and help them pass it through bowel movements.
  • Since passing the large quantity of sand is extremely painful and uncomfortable, your pup will be given painkillers to tackle it.
  • If the sand is too much and passing it naturally is taking too long, your dog will be prepared for surgery to speed up the process.

Help your dog stay brave and strong

This scenario is extremely unfortunate, and your pup will be very scared due to the host of new medical professionals around him or her and the pain that they are going through. There is a chance that your pup will get hyper and aggressive due to new people touching him or her. To make sure that you relieve some of your pup’s discomfort and make them comfortable and treat them with love and care. Stay near them as often as you can and pet them frequently to let them know that you haven’t left them alone. This will help your pup stay strong.

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Everything You Want to Know About Caring for An Abused Cat

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Cat abuse is an unfortunate reality in the real world. Physical abuse, social isolation, premature weaning, starvation, and neglect are all abusive acts.

A cat that exhibits fear, anxiety, chronic physical inactivity, unwillingness to play and explore its environment, and social withdrawal, is most likely to have undergone abuse. He loses his ability to trust and may never learn to trust again.

If you have a cat that has suffered abuse, then you can help him overcome his suffering and lead a more stress-free life:

Give him Unconditional Love

Accept the fact that your abused cat may never ever trust a human in his lifetime. Accept that your cat may not turn all cuddly and shower love on you. He may not allow you even to touch him.

You should be able to love and care for him, knowing that he may never return all that love.

Learn to take their mistrust and aggression in your stride. Abusive cats tend to show aggression when humans come close to them – another sign of their mistrust. Vow never to get angry with their behavior. Never hit or shout at abused cats.

Ensure He is Physically Well

Physical health is basic to mental healing. With good physical health, your cat will be free of hunger pangs and pain.

Medical care should be the top priority. Consult with your vet regularly to understand the physical health of your cat.

To ensure good physical health, put your cat on a nutritious diet. It can take several weeks of good food and sleep for a starved and malnourished cat to recover.

Once your cat recovers physically, you can start working on his mental state.

Familiarize Him to His Environment Slowly

Even a mentally healthy cat takes several weeks to get familiar with his new environment and other pets (if already present). So, it can take more time for an abused cat to get used to his home.

Start by giving your cat his own space. Give him a safe room to live. Do not be in a rush to introduce him to other pets. Once he starts moving freely in the safe room and starts showing curiosity to explore other areas in the home, familiarize him with other elements. Take every step slowly.

Make your Cat Comfortable around You

One way to make your cat comfortable around you is by avoiding direct eye contact with him. Direct eye contact tends to frighten abused cats as they see the contact as a form of aggression. They usually respond by shrinking back. Communication with squinting and half-shut eyes makes them more comfortable around you.

Another way to make him comfortable is by moving lightly around him. Avoid making sudden sounds when around him.

Do not Touch your Cat

Start by offering your hand to your cat. Once he learns to trust you enough to take your hand, encourage him to rub it, only if he is willing.

Other forms of petting, such as lifting, rubbing, or holding him, will take a long time. Allow the cat to take his own time for this development. Patience is key when dealing with cats with a history of abuse. Do not rush the recovery process. Do not expect too much from yourself or the cat. Let your cat take his own time.

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How to take care of a pet with spinal damage?

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Spinal damage causes paralysis in pets and is not uncommon at all. You need to be a responsible pet parent and pay extra attention. If your pet is suffering from paralysis and you are looking for tips on how to relieve some of their problems, here are ten important care strategies you need to look into.

Give their hygiene top priority

Since your pets cannot lick themselves clean with ease when paralyzed, you must use special pet wipes and give your pet regular baths as it is appropriate to keep skin problems and fleas at bay.

Prevent bedsores

Due to restrictions on movement, your pet will end up lying in one position for a long time, causing them to get sore and atrophying. Make sure to give them regular massages.

Exercise with a harness or wheelchair

To help their movements, get your pet a harness or a wheelchair that they can use to move around easily. This will make sure that they are not putting too much strain on themselves.

Do not drag your pet

The worst thing you could do for your pet with paralysis is dragging them around for any reason whatsoever. Do not do this in any scenario and make sure they are comfortable in every movement they attempt to do.

Give them a balanced diet

To avoid your pet gaining weight, make sure to give them a balanced diet. This will help them get all the nutrition they need to stay healthy and keep their metabolism up.

Pay special attention to their skin

Since it is difficult to carry your pet out every time they need to pass urine or stools, get them diapers so that they do not soil themselves. Whenever they go out, remove the diapers so that they can breathe well through their skin.

Keep their bladder healthy and clean

Reduced mobility can cause them to get infections and their bladder to develop stones or other irregularities. Thus, you should visit the vet regularly and get their bladder checked.

Moisturize their paws and nose

When it comes to keeping their paws and nose wet and moisturized, you need to be handy with paw butter to do so. Since they cannot do this for themselves, make sure that they are well moisturized appropriately.

Clean out their bed regularly

Make sure that the area your pet spends most of their time, including sleeping, is regularly cleaned out. Unhygienic bedding can cause skin problems causing your pet to become increasingly uncomfortable.

Take them for physical therapy

They must get the medical help they need regularly. To keep their muscles from atrophying, take them to physical therapy sessions regularly so that they can get the exercise and physical therapy that they need.

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Tips To Bring Up a Cat and Dog Together

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We have all heard the phrase: ‘fighting like cats and dogs’. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It is perfectly possible to raise cats and dogs in the same household and not have them treat each other as mortal enemies.

Here are some tips on how to bring up a cat and dog together.

An Early Start

Both cats and dogs are protective of their space and are territorial by nature. So, it’s best to adopt them while they are still young. Puppies and kittens are less likely to be aggressive and territorial, and you will have an easier time raising them when they are little than when one or both the animals in question are adults.

Gradual Introduction

When introducing your cat and dog to each other, keep the interactions short and stress-free. A typical interaction should not last more than 10-15 minutes. As they get used to each other’s presence and convey their mutual comfort and tolerance, you can let them spend more time with one another. During the initial meetings, keep the animals separate by using a pet gate or a kitty crate. Do not let them physically interact. Let them first become acquainted with each other’s scent and understand that they do not pose a threat.

Safe Space

Give your cat an escape route and a safe space by having shelves and other tall perches in your house. Keep the dog and cat beds separate, preferably in different rooms. Your cat should be able to easily and quickly remove itself from the dog’s vicinity, should it ever feel the need to do so.

Also, make sure that the cat’s litterbox is out of your dog’s reach. For one, your cat will have trouble relieving itself in the litterbox if it doesn’t feel safe. For another, dogs have a nasty habit of ingesting feces which can make them susceptible to gastrointestinal viruses and other ailments.

Separate Playthings and Feeding Stations

Buy different toys for your dog and cat, and do not let them get mixed up. Fights can break out over toys. So keep an eye out.

Feed your dogs and cats separately. The feeding bowls should be kept in different rooms or at different elevations. Do not let them get into each other’s food as that can spell disaster.

Training, Monitoring, and Supervision

Train your dog to obey commands like ‘stay’, ‘stop’ and ‘no’, so that, if they are aggressive towards your cat, you can order them to back off. Also, train your dog not to chase cats and other small creatures. This is especially important if you have a kitten.

When the animals are just getting to know each other, it’s better to have your dog on the leash. Always monitor and supervise their interactions. This will help you nip aggressive or threatening behaviors in the bud. Never leave them together unsupervised. When you have to leave them alone at the house, keep the animals in separate rooms or enclosures, and make sure they are well-provided for.

Breeds and Personalities

When deciding to raise a cat and dog together, take the dog’s breed and size, and both the animals’ personality and temperament into account. Ensuring that their energy levels match and that they are not too aggressive or jumpy, will make your job that much easier. If you are both a cat and a dog lover, you shouldn’t have to choose between them. And now, by following these simple tips, you won’t have to.

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Cat grooming 101

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A cat, if you know, grooms itself throughout the day. It’s grooming habits are immaculate, and you may think that you do not need to make any additions to that. However, a kitty parent will tell you how you can keep your little feline friend looking the best.

The process of grooming your cat is not tedious, and in most cases, can even be enjoyable. You will love spending all that time with your furry ball.

Here are cat grooming tips that will help your cat shine like never before!

  • Brushing

We love brushing our hair to keep it tamed and well-groomed. Similarly, the first step to a well-groomed kitty is brushing its fur. Brush once a week during the non-shedding season if you have a cat with short hair. For cats with long hair, you must brush two to three times a week.

When brushing, start by removing old fur. If your cat has long hairs, you must first part its fur from the middle.

Be careful when brushing your friend’s belly and chest; these are sensitive areas that can hurt your furball if you are not too careful.

You must know the needs of your cat; long-haired cats may need more frequent brushing. You may need to brush it once every day, and you may also have to focus on the de-matting of its fur.

  • Nail clipping

Nails are probably the best weapon of a cat. In the wild, long talons can mean safety from predators and help in catching the prey. However, for a domesticated cat, long nails can mean distress for the owner. Cat’s spend a lot of time sharpening their nails, which can lead to scratches on your furniture and short life for your sofas and cushions.

Declawing your cats is not an option you should go for, for it will leave them defenseless when they go out. Opt for nail trimming, which will keep your house safe.

The first step to nail trimming is getting your cat used to someone touching its paws. Be slow and gradual with the process so as not to start a panic attack. Giving food treats while using the clippers also help make the process smooth.

When trimming, apply gentle pressure to each pad under her toe; doing this protrudes the nails. Use high-quality cat nail-trimmers to increase efficiency. Do not go close to the pink or darker part of the nail as it may hurt your cat.

  • Baths

You do not need to bathe your kitty too often. However, every once in a while, a shampoo is required. Your kitty is bound to get dirty sometimes, and bathing is an essential part of grooming.

  • Fill the tub with 3-4 inches of water. Excess water can agitate your cat.
  • Do not sprinkle the water directly into its ears, eyes, or nose.
  • Lather the shampoo gently.

Rinse thoroughly so that no shampoo is left behind on its fur.

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Miniature Dogs You Can Consider If You Have Living Space Restrictions

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In today’s world, space is an increasingly precious commodity. With rising real estate prices and increasing costs of living, not all of us can afford a house with a front or back yard for our dogs to roam around in. But restricted living space does not necessarily have to mean a dog-free space.

If you have living space restrictions, then you can consider adopting one of these ten miniature dogs:

1. Chihuahua

This Mexican breed, considered to be the smallest dog breed, is spunky, loyal, and vocal. Most Chihuahuas range between 6-10 inches in height and 4-6 pounds in weight. These tiny pups give truth to the adage—‘good things come in small packages’.

2. Miniature Dachshund

Literally meaning the ‘badger hound’, this German breed is easily recognizable with its long, tubular body shape and stubby legs. Miniature Dachshunds weigh around 8-12 pounds and are about 5-7 inches tall. They are playful, intelligent, and affectionate, and make good watchdogs.

3. Maltese

Generally believed to have originated from Malta, Maltese are small dogs with silky white coats. They weigh between 6-9 pounds and are around 8-10 inches tall. They are known for their gentle and playful nature. However, they can get testy if kids are rambunctious.

4. Pomeranian

Originating in the Pomerania region of Poland, these dogs are fluff balls but with a strong personality. They come in a variety of hues (brown, black, white, orange, etc.), and weigh around 3-7 pounds and are about 7-12 inches tall. They are a friendly yet feisty breed.

5. Pug

With its squished up face and wrinkly body, the pug is an iconic dog from China. A pug’s ideal weight is around 14-18 pounds and is around 10-12 inches tall. They are playful and incredibly devoted and make great pets for kids.

6. Shih Tzu

Another breed from China, the Shih Tzu is known for its soft, smooth coat, and droopy ears. They can grow up to be around 9-16 pounds in weight and 8-11 inches in height. By temperament, Shih Tzus are, typically, alert, loving, and loyal.

7. Yorkshire Terrier

Simply known as the Yorkie, this English breed is a popular choice among pet owners. They weigh around 4-6 pounds and are around 8-9 inches tall. Yorkies are curious, attention-loving, and fiercely devoted to their owner.

8. French Bulldog

A hybrid resulting from crossing toy bulldogs from England and ratters from France, the Frenchies are distinguished by their relatively large head size, short muzzle, and erect ears. They can weigh around 16-28 pounds and are about a foot tall. They are quiet and patient dogs who crave companionship and love. They are temperature sensitive, and owners should take care to regulate their environment.

9. Bichon Frise

Originally from Spain, they were bred as lapdogs by the French. They are small, white dogs with a rounded head and curly coat. They typically weigh around 7-12 pounds and are 9-11 inches tall. They are friendly, mischievous, and energetic, and make ideal companions for children.

10. Miniature Poodle

With disputed French and German ancestry, poodles are renowned for their thick, curly fur. Miniature Poodles can weigh up to 15 pounds and are around 10-15 inches tall. Poodles make shy, sweet and loving pets.

Because of the size disadvantage, small or miniature dogs tend to be wary of strangers, and they might also be prone to barking. If you have kids at home, teach them to be gentle and careful while handling miniature dogs. Overall, it would help if you tried adopting a dog with a personality and temperament that complements and works well within your living space. By choosing wisely, you can also be a proud and happy parent to an adorable little pup.

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Chocolate colored dogs

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An incredibly warm and cozy fur color, chocolate is a popular color for pups. Almost all sizes of dogs- small, medium, and large – can be found in a chocolate-colored fur coat. If you are looking to adopt a chocolate-colored furry friend, here is a list of pups that have a beautiful chocolate-colored coat and more details about them.

Labrador Retriever

While labrador retrievers can be found in numerous colored coats such as white, black, light brown, golden, etc, they are also found in a chocolate-colored coat. The labrador retriever is a very famous breed in North America and is incredibly friendly. Very easy to groom, labrador retrievers are highly active and are very family and kid friendly.

Irish Setter

Coming from the hunting dog breed, Irish Setters are large-sized beautiful chocolate-colored dogs. Their chocolate-colored coat gives off shades of a dark rusty red color. Irish setters are high on energy and are thus very active and enthusiastic. These chocolate-colored beauties are very fun-loving, family-friendly, and kid-friendly.

Bullboxer Pit

With a marvelous chocolate-colored fur coat, the bull boxer pits are high on energy and work as incredible guard dogs. They are easy to train and needs loads of exercise. They weigh anywhere between 50 to 80 pounds and are good for busy owners. All they need is a good exercise daily to keep their hyperactive nature at bay. While they are not very family-friendly, their guard dog abilities make them a great dog.

Afghan Hound

Spectacular chocolate-colored beauties, the Afghan Hounds are also found in numerous other fur coat colors. They are incredibly family friendly and kid friendly. While they tend to shed a lot of fur, they are highly intelligent and very playful. Afghan hounds have high energy levels and are very easy to train. They need regular exercise and can do well as guard dogs as well.

Dachshund

A small breed hound dog, dachshunds are brave and intelligent chocolate-colored pups. They are easy to groom and train as well. They are incredibly playful and can be kept in apartments as well. Highly intelligent and low maintenance, dachshunds are good for novice dog owners who have never taken care of a puppy before. Dachshunds need regular exercise since they are very high on energy.

English Springer Spaniel

The English springer spaniel is an agile, active, and athletic dog breed that is highly intelligent. Very easy to train and incredibly family and kid-friendly, they are very good for novice dog owners. Their general health is very good however, since they tend to shed quite a lot, they need regular grooming. They are also very friendly with strangers because of which they do not do well as guard dogs.

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Dog Litter Separation – The Right Way & The Wrong Way

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When a litter of puppies is born, potential pet owners are only too eager to bring one of them home. Mother dogs often don’t get to raise their puppies because breeders and pet owners usually sell or donate their puppies. Although it’s tempting to want to give the puppies away to loving families, it is crucial that dog litter separation occurs during the most appropriate time.

This crucial time period occurs from the moment the puppies are born to the day when they’re old enough to separate from their mom. It’s necessary for the puppies to spend a certain amount of time with their siblings and mother, prior to separation. If this special time is not given, the puppy may develop various physical and psychological problems later on. The same effects can occur in the mother dog as well.

When Is The Right Time To Separate A Puppy From The Litter?

Just like a human baby, puppies are entirely dependent on their mother for nourishment and physical contact. This dependency lasts for a couple of weeks. It is during this time that the puppy will learn valuable social skills from his siblings and mother. These skills are necessary for good social development. For instance, a puppy will learn by playing with his/her sisters and brothers. It will learn things like when playtime is too rough or when biting is not good.

It is also during this time that pet breeders and dog owners should interact with these newly born puppies. It will help get familiar with human contact. Each puppy should get quality individual attention on a regular basis. Engage in an interaction like cuddling, playing, petting, etc. This positive interaction will enable them to interact with their potential owners.

Therefore, the best age for separating a puppy from its mother and siblings is between 6 to 8 weeks after its birth. This time frame is also on par with the mother’s supplemental feeding; a time when the puppies start to wean off their mother’s milk supply. To improve weaning, you can supplement the puppy’s diet and reduce the frequency of nursing by introducing food. This helps the mother’s milk supply dry up naturally during the 6 to 8 week time period.

When Is The Wrong Time To Separate A Puppy From Its Mother & Litter?

When a puppy is weaned abruptly from its mother’s milk supply, it will lead to congestion of the mother’s mammary glands. This is a very painful condition that can lead to mastitis or inflammatory mammary glands.

Other behavioral and health problems that might occur in later life include:

– The puppy may have reduced learning ability.

– The dog may develop nervousness from the trauma of early separation.

– The puppy may become vulnerable to disease due to a lack of nourishment from absent mother’s milk.

– The puppy may also inherit poor health. When you bring your puppy home at the right time, he or she will have an easier time adjusting to your family.

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How to Get Your Cat Ready For Bath Time?

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A cat has meticulous cleaning habits, which means that it can keep its fur cleaned. However, your cat can get dirty and messy. Dirt, food, and other things can add a nasty odor to your otherwise clean and pruned kitty. It is during these times that a cat needs its caregivers to give it an enjoyable bath.

Read on to find tips that can help get your cat ready for bath time.

Get all equipment ready!

Before you get your kitty in the sink or tub with water, make sure you have all the equipment ready. Having all items at hand ensures that you can go with the bathing process with ease.

Make sure you have the following items at hand:

  • Tearless Cat Shampoo
  • Towels
  • Brush
  • Nail clippers

Apart from these items, it will be helpful to have someone else help you with bathing your cat.

Tips to make your kitty ready!

  • Know when to initiate a bathing session

When your kitty is the happiest is the best time to start the bathing process. A play session before bath can tire out even the most playful of kitties.

  • Nail clipping

For your safety and protection, trim your kitty’s nails before bathing it. Sharp nails can hurt you during the bathing process.

  • Brush

Brush your furball’s hair before starting to bathe it. Doing this removes any loose or old hair, and helps you to de-mat the fur.

  • Cotton in the ear

Use cotton to plug your kitty’s ears. The cotton keeps the water out of the ears when bathing. The ears are sensitive, and your cat will not like water or shampoo entering them.

  • Make it firm

Use a rubber bath mat in the sink or tub to prevent slipping. Make sure your cat does not slip. Use three to four inches of lukewarm water in the sink or tub.

  • Use a spray

Use a hand-held spray hose to wet your cat. Do not spray directly in the sensitive areas of eyes, nose, and ears. If you do not have a spray hose, use a plastic cup or a jug to wet your kitty.

  • Lather up

Use one part cat shampoo and five parts water to massage your cat. Do not use human shampoo as it can dry out your kitty’s skin. When lathering up the shampoo, move from the head to the tail. Again, avoid the sensitive areas of ears, eyes, and nose.

  • Clear and dry

Finally, rinse your kitty thoroughly and ensure that no shampoo stays on its body. Wrap a large towel and dry your cat in a warm place. You can also use a blow dryer if your cat does not mind the noise.

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Signs Your Cat Needs the Company of Another Cat!

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Are you a proud owner of a kitty? In that case, there is a chance you have considered getting a second feline friend. However, when planning to get a second cat, you need to consider the cat you already have. So, before you start planning the introduction of a new pet, look for these signs. The signs that your cat showcases let you know whether it needs the company of another cat.

  • Change in her grooming habits

One of the signs of loneliness is a change in your cat’s grooming habits. A cat is a meticulous animal. If you see that your cat is suddenly not caring about grooming itself, and has started staying unkempt and unclean, it may be a sign that your cat is feeling lonely. Or, if your cat overgrooms itself, this may be a sign that it is soothing itself.

  • Change in her eating habits

Humans, when lonely or sad, either eat too much or too little. The same is true for your kitty. If you see your cat munching more than usual, it is a sign that your cat is doing so to keep boredom away. Similarly, if your cat is eating more, he or she is probably depressed.

  • Change in her sleeping habits

If your feline friend’s sleeping habit changes suddenly, it may mean loneliness. Cats are usually playful and love engaging. Any change in that behavior indicates either loneliness or depression due to a lack of companionship.

  • Pestiferous behavior

If you come back home to find a room with things knocked over, cushions torn, tables scratched, and other damaging behavior, it might be your cat’s way of telling you that it gets boring. The destructive behavior indicates a need for another companion.

  • Clinging behavior

To see if your cat needs more social interaction, check its behavior. If you see your kitty being more clingy than usual, it may intimate a need for interplay with another companion. Look for signs such as excessive meowing, following you around, and not letting you be alone even for a moment.

  • Change in litter box habits

If you never had any problems with your kitty using the litter box, but are suddenly facing this issue, it may mean loneliness and boredom. Check whether your kitty has started using different places in your home to do its business.

Introducing a new cat

The process of introducing a new companion to your cat should be gradual. Cats are territorial and may initially not approve of a new companion, no matter how social it otherwise is. To begin with, keep the new cat in a second room and slowly introduce it.

Before you jump into conclusions about getting a new kitty, however, check with the vet first to see if there is no underlying medical condition behind these signs.

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