Tips on litter training your kitten

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Generally, cats are naturally very clean animals. Chances are, your kitten will already know how to use the litter box. Your kitten’s mom will have begun the litter training process before the kitten started living with you. However, sometimes, orphaned kittens or kittens who were adopted too young have not developed this habit.

Here are some tips to train your kitten on how to use the litter box.

  1. Set the litter box in a quiet secluded location
    Ensure that you place the litter box in a calm area, where your kitten can do its business safely without anything to disturb it.
  2. Make sure you induce the use of a litter box at the right time.
    Newborn kittens do not start using the litter box until they are around three weeks old. Introducing them to the litter box is appropriate after they are three weeks old. Be patient with the kitten and continue to offer treats or rewards until you’re confident that it is using the litter box regularly.
  3. Keep the litter box area clean
    Cats are very particular about their health and cleanliness. Ensure that you place their litter box and their food in two separate areas. It’s also important to clean out the litter box every day, to avoid infections and to regularize cleanliness. A clean box is preferred, and it will keep them coming back to it every time they need to use the bathroom.
  4. Choose the right litter box and litter for your kitten.
    Choose a box that gives your kitten easy access, with a shallow litter box and an open lid. For kittens who are less than eight weeks old, provide a shallow lip for it to walk into the litter box.Kittens have more sensitive skin than adult cats, so make sure that you choose a litter that is not scented and a litter that is dust-free.
  5. Notice when your kitten wants to do its business.
    Train your kitten to use her tray, by providing the tray as soon as you see that your kitten wants to go. You can also make it easier for your kitten by placing it in the tray. If you keep doing this, your kitten can find the litter tray all by itself by smell and location. A cat litter that can absorb odours and nor form clumps is a better option.
  6. Use positive reinforcement and reward successful attempts.
    Kittens respond well to positive reinforcement. When your kitten uses its litter tray correctly, make sure you give your kitten lots of praise and a small treat as a reward. Your kitten will gradually learn how to associate the litter box with good feelings. Encouraging your kitten with words and gifts will ensure that it uses the litter box regularly.

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How to make kittens less afraid of humans

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Hiding, scrambling, freezing in place. If you have a kitten who hides, scrambles or freezes in an area, you know how heart-wrenching it can be. Experiences like abuse and trauma affect the way cats interact with humans, and he or she may be afraid to trust human caretakers.

Here are some of the ways to help your kitten be less afraid of human beings.

  1. Create a personal space for your kitten.
    Leave one room in your house dedicated to your cat alone. It gives your kitten enough room to calm down and feel familiar in one place, which in turn builds his/her sense of security in your house.
  2. Do not coddle your kitten
    Be sensitive to your kitten who is afraid of human beings. Give him/her some time to warm up to you and others slowly. Do not try to run after a scared kitten and respect the distance he/she wants to keep.
  3. Bond with your kitten through play.
    If your kitten has gotten enough confidence to come out of hiding, even if he /she is lurking around the edges of the room, you should start some gentle play. Start the game by calling for his/her attention with a toy and if he/she seems interested, slowly start moving the toy around and make sure that throughout your interactions, be mindful of your body language. Stay low, so you appear less threatening. Petting your kitten during play time and rewarding him/her with a treat after play-time will encourage this behaviour.
  4. Blink slowly at your kitten.
    When you get a kiss from your kitten, you will notice that they kiss you, while slowly blinking which shows that they trust and love you. You can return the feeling and express the same thing. When your kitten looks at you, slowly close your eyes, keep them shut for a second, and slowly open them again. You’ll notice that your kitten is starting to relax a little when he/she returns the gesture.
  5. Keep the door open and provide escape routes.
    When you play with your kitten, make sure that his/her room is open. It ensures that your kitten will feel safer. Your kitten will know that he/she can run into their safe spot if they want to.Give your kitten lots of shelves and other methods of moving all around the house.
  6. Spend some quality time in your kitten’s safe room.
    Read a book, catch up on some paperwork and spend time in your kitten’s room. Talk to your kitten in a soft, soothing tone so that your kitten can get used to your voice.

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Will You Use A Laser Pointer For Your Cat?

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A combo of cat and laser point equals immense fun. It is extremely enjoyable to see your furball chasing a small point of light to wherever you point it to. The question is whether laser pointers are safe.

Reason

If you are curious as to why your kitty likes to chase points of light, the answer lies in its predatory nature. As per animal behaviorists, a typical kitty will “hunt” about 10 times every day. The same instincts are present in indoor cats too. The pointer provides such a stimulation. When it comes to safety, buy only pet suitable laser pointers. This will not cause harm even if the laser gets directly pointed to the eyes of your cat. Do remember that the pointer must be pet-friendly. Problems will happen if it is not.

Positive and negative

For a lazy owner, a laser pointer is a boon. There is no need to run around with the cat. However, as with everything else, such a circumstance has both positive and negative effects. The list of positives includes your kitty enjoying excellent physical exercise. This is more true for an indoor cat. While the outdoor cats can climb trees and hunt for food, the most exercise your indoor car gets is locating the best location to sleep. This lifestyle makes the kitty unfit and bored. Cats invariably chase a red dot when they observe one.

For the kitty laser pointers provide excellent mental stimulation too. It is important that the cat does not forget its hunting roots. The laser dot keeps it from getting bored. The pointer also enables it to play. The latter helps the cat to know what is safe and what is dangerous. It teaches kittens the vital skill of hunting, building muscles, and coordination. When it comes to adult cats, the action of playing helps them to polish their prey instincts.

The laser pointer will help to create a bond between you and your pet. You fulfill your cat’s natural wish to stalk its prey. For the owner, purchasing a laser pointer makes sense as you can make your cat active by using the laser pointer.

All these do not mean the laser pointer is a solution to all exercise problems. It is to be remembered that cats are essentially predators. They must hunt and get a reward. Since a laser pointer can never be trapped, it could be frustrating for the kitty. This frustration may lead to the destruction of the carpet and other susceptible property. The owner may also suffer scratches or even bites in hands or other parts of the body. To overcome this, point the laser to any physical object which can actually be caught. The latter could include any hidden treats or a toy. When the animal “captures” these it enjoys a sense of victory.

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How to treat mange in dogs

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Mange is a contagious skin condition caused my mites. It can spread by direct skin-to-skin contact or by indirect contact. While many kinds of mites can cause mange, the symptoms are generally the same. Dry skin, dandruff, lesions, skin irritation, red rash, itching and fur loss are commonly experienced.

If you suspect your dog has mange, rush him for treatment. Untreated mange can become resistant to treatment over time. When mange is severe, it can cause permanent scarring or even thicken the skin. Persistent itching can prevent fur from growing back by damaging hair follicles.

Of course the longer you let mites go untreated, the more you stand a risk of contagion.

Dog Mange Treatments

Most dogs with mange get better by themselves in about 2 months. However, it is best to administer anti-biotic shampoo so your dog doesn’t catch an infection from all that itching.

The only way to treat a dog with stubborn mange is to figure out which kind of mite is causing the mange. A diagnosis is crucial, as a result.

Dog mange is treated with spot-on treatments or insecticide shampoos. Your vet may also prescribe a lime-sulfur treatment or an oral medication called Amitraz.

One must be careful when using Amitraz as it can be toxic to certain dog breeds, pregnant/nursing dogs and pups under 4 months. Lime-sulfur treatment makes for a much better alternative.

Apple Cider Vinegar has antibacterial and antiseptic properties which help heal a dog with mange by creating the necessary pH balance.

Honey can be applied onto the sore spots on your dog’s skin to clean the bacteria from it as also the dirt and grime that comes from mange. Its antioxidant and antiseptic properties builds immunity and helps heal sore and tender skin.

Olive oil is another effective natural remedy. It can soothe tender skin and cleanse the area off mange.

A solution of Borax and hydrogen peroxide can be used to heal skin sores and kill mange.

Apply the natural remedies for mange mentioned above and you will be helping rid your dog of mange. Reapplication on a weekly basis would prevent mange from reoccurring.

Now, mange treatment is long drawn out. It can take weeks before your dog is cured of mange. Even longer, for the fur to grow back. Good hygiene and maintaining cleanliness can help dogs who have a genetic disposition towards developing mange.

Try to keep feeding your dog healthy meals so they can gain immune strength to fight off mange.

Keep their bedding clean so they don’t stand potential risk of catching mange. Mange in dogs is treatable and nothing to worry about. A little time and patience and your dog will be cured in no time.

Read More...

Will You Use A Laser Pointer For Your Cat?

Image Source: Pixabay.com

A combo of cat and laser point equals immense fun. It is extremely enjoyable to see your furball chasing a small point of light to wherever you point it to. The question is whether laser pointers are safe.

Reason

If you are curious as to why your kitty likes to chase points of light, the answer lies in its predatory nature. As per animal behaviorists, a typical kitty will “hunt” about 10 times every day. The same instincts are present in indoor cats too. The pointer provides such a stimulation. When it comes to safety, buy only pet suitable laser pointers. This will not cause harm even if the laser gets directly pointed to the eyes of your cat. Do remember that the pointer must be pet-friendly. Problems will happen if it is not.

Positive and negative

For a lazy owner, a laser pointer is a boon. There is no need to run around with the cat. However, as with everything else, such a circumstance has both positive and negative effects. The list of positives includes your kitty enjoying excellent physical exercise. This is more true for an indoor cat. While the outdoor cats can climb trees and hunt for food, the most exercise your indoor car gets is locating the best location to sleep. This lifestyle makes the kitty unfit and bored. Cats invariably chase a red dot when they observe one.

For the kitty laser pointers provide excellent mental stimulation too. It is important that the cat does not forget its hunting roots. The laser dot keeps it from getting bored. The pointer also enables it to play. The latter helps the cat to know what is safe and what is dangerous. It teaches kittens the vital skill of hunting, building muscles, and coordination. When it comes to adult cats, the action of playing helps them to polish their prey instincts.

The laser pointer will help to create a bond between you and your pet. You fulfill your cat’s natural wish to stalk its prey. For the owner, purchasing a laser pointer makes sense as you can make your cat active by using the laser pointer.

All these do not mean the laser pointer is a solution to all exercise problems. It is to be remembered that cats are essentially predators. They must hunt and get a reward. Since a laser pointer can never be trapped, it could be frustrating for the kitty. This frustration may lead to the destruction of the carpet and other susceptible property. The owner may also suffer scratches or even bites in hands or other parts of the body. To overcome this, point the laser to any physical object which can actually be caught. The latter could include any hidden treats or a toy. When the animal “captures” these it enjoys a sense of victory.

Read More...

How to treat mange in dogs

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Mange is a contagious skin condition caused my mites. It can spread by direct skin-to-skin contact or by indirect contact. While many kinds of mites can cause mange, the symptoms are generally the same. Dry skin, dandruff, lesions, skin irritation, red rash, itching and fur loss are commonly experienced.

If you suspect your dog has mange, rush him for treatment. Untreated mange can become resistant to treatment over time. When mange is severe, it can cause permanent scarring or even thicken the skin. Persistent itching can prevent fur from growing back by damaging hair follicles.

Of course the longer you let mites go untreated, the more you stand a risk of contagion.

Dog Mange Treatments

Most dogs with mange get better by themselves in about 2 months. However, it is best to administer anti-biotic shampoo so your dog doesn’t catch an infection from all that itching.

The only way to treat a dog with stubborn mange is to figure out which kind of mite is causing the mange. A diagnosis is crucial, as a result.

Dog mange is treated with spot-on treatments or insecticide shampoos. Your vet may also prescribe a lime-sulfur treatment or an oral medication called Amitraz.

One must be careful when using Amitraz as it can be toxic to certain dog breeds, pregnant/nursing dogs and pups under 4 months. Lime-sulfur treatment makes for a much better alternative.

Apple Cider Vinegar has antibacterial and antiseptic properties which help heal a dog with mange by creating the necessary pH balance.

Honey can be applied onto the sore spots on your dog’s skin to clean the bacteria from it as also the dirt and grime that comes from mange. Its antioxidant and antiseptic properties builds immunity and helps heal sore and tender skin.

Olive oil is another effective natural remedy. It can soothe tender skin and cleanse the area off mange.

A solution of Borax and hydrogen peroxide can be used to heal skin sores and kill mange.

Apply the natural remedies for mange mentioned above and you will be helping rid your dog of mange. Reapplication on a weekly basis would prevent mange from reoccurring.

Now, mange treatment is long drawn out. It can take weeks before your dog is cured of mange. Even longer, for the fur to grow back. Good hygiene and maintaining cleanliness can help dogs who have a genetic disposition towards developing mange.

Try to keep feeding your dog healthy meals so they can gain immune strength to fight off mange.

Keep their bedding clean so they don’t stand potential risk of catching mange. Mange in dogs is treatable and nothing to worry about. A little time and patience and your dog will be cured in no time.

Read More...

How to have a merry Christmas with pets

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Christmas is that wonderful time of the year when friends and family gather around and share meals over hearty conversation. Despite the all-pervading Christmas cheer, Christmas can be stressful too what with all the additional duties and responsibilities that one takes on. If you have a pet at your home, this is yet another being to look after. A little planning and preparation can go a long way. You want to make your festivities as merry for your pet, as it is for you. Here are a few steps that will help you have a merry Christmas with your pets right beside you –

  • Get them a collection of Christmas treats – When you get them their own Christmas treat, they’ll no longer be interested in stealing scraps off your plate. Infact, a lot of human food can be toxic to cats and dogs. Make sure your pet doesn’t munch on something that could harm their digestive system.
  • Put the decorations out of reach – You don’t want your pet chewing up the fresh bunch of flowers you just arranged or gobbling down the fairy lights you took so much pain to hang over the porch. If you don’t want your pets to involve themselves in such accidents, simply ensure that the decorations are out of reach from them.
  • Spend time playing with them – Take some time out to indulge in playtime with your furbaby. You don’t want your darling pet to feel lonesome and unhappy, do you? You’ll get all the time to spend with your relatives and acquaintances. A couple minutes now and then with your pet won’t hurt.
  • Create a safe space for them – It’s not just humans, pets feel anxious too. If there are a lot of unknown houseguests over suddenly, your pet will need to retreat for a little while and calm himself/herself down if they are feeling overwhelmed. Place their favorite toys and blankets in a quiet room away from the crowd for them to escape to when things get too much.
  • Exercise them – When you exercise your pet, you are not only keeping them content but also tiring them out. So they will be satisfied and less energetic to stir up trouble around the house. You can continue with the Christmas celebrations comfortably without having a bored/disgruntled pet giving you a hard time.
  • Don’t leave them alone – Christmas means a lot of housecalls. Some households may be more pet-friendly than others. Whatever be the case, try not to leave your pet alone and unattended back home for a long time if you were unable to bring them with you.

The abovementioned steps should help you make the most of Christmas with your four-legged friends.

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What You Should Know About Lymphoma in Dogs

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Lymphoma is something that most of us have heard about. It’s a form of cancer that affects many people across the globe. However, it’s not just limited to people. Even dogs can develop lymphoma.

For a dog owner, it can be terrifying to find out that their dog has lymphoma.  However, panic isn’t going to help the situation and neither will pity. If you want to extend his/her life and ensure that he/she enjoys the remainder of her/his days, it is best to get informed about the disease.

Introduction to Lymphoma

Lymphoma is the name given to a collection of blood cell tumors that develop from lymphatic cells. Now, there are 5 kinds of lymphomas that affect dogs, the most common one being multi-centric lymphoma.

This type of lymphoma targets the external lymph nodes and will, typically, spread to other organs thereafter.

Alimentary lymphoma is another type of lymphoma. It accounts for about 10% of all lymphomas that affect dogs. This particular form of lymphoma develops in the gastrointestinal tract and can become fatal if the tumor shows up near the large or small intestine. If it does, it can restrict the bowel.

Like a lot of cancer varieties, there is no exact known cause for lymphoma. There is very little information that we have. All we know is that it affects mostly older dogs and certain breeds are more prone to it, like Basset Hounds, Scottish Terriers, Bull Dogs, and Boxers etc.

Some theories suggest that environmental triggers, such as exposure to industrial areas, chemicals, and herbicides may have a role to play. Other than that, experts have stated that weak immune systems can also lead to lymphoma.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Multi-centric lymphoma, which is the most common, is characterized by the swelling of the lymph nodes, including the liver and spleen. There is very little to minor pain associated with this swelling. Now, not all dogs show explicit signs of such swelling. This is why dog owners need to be watchful. Watch out for signs such as stressed breathing, excessive urination, anemia, fever, sudden weight loss, abnormal thirst etc.

In the case of alimentary lymphoma, diagnosis is more complex. However, keep an eye out for signs such as excessive urination, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss. These are red flags in any case and you need to rush your dog to the vet if he/she is showing these symptoms

To confirm lymphoma, your doctor will carry out a urinalysis and a blood count. The final diagnosis is done via the aspiration of lymph nodes using fine needles. Other tissues may be aspirated as well. An ultrasound scan may be ordered too.

Treatment

There is no cure for lymphoma. However, therapy, via chemotherapy or radiotherapy, can help slow down progress and help your dog live longer. Your veterinarian will help you make the best decision possible. Talk to him/her to know more.

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The most common pet fears and how to help your pet overcome them

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There are many ways in which our pets express certain fears or phobias regarding the different elements of the environment around them. These phobias may be caused due to a variety of different underlying reasons such as any negative past experiences, genetic orientation, lack of proper socialization and so on. Your pet friend might typically exhibit certain behaviours such as aggression, barking, drooling, trembling or cowering when faced with a fearful situation. To help better manage your four-legged friend’s anxiety, we have created a list of the most common pet fears and what you can do about them.

Fear of riding in the car

While in most cases, a dog might have the tendency to get car sick to the point of vomiting, at times your pet might just refuse to accompany you on your car trip because he is simply not used to of the idea. It can be an overwhelming experience for your dog to be seated in a moving car and watch everything outside racing by. You can make your car trips more comfortable for your dog by using treats to appreciate his effort and taking him out for short distances at first.

Fear of thunderstorms

Another very common phobia among dogs is the astraphobia or the fear of thunderstorms that can range from mild to severe in different cases. Your dog might respond to a thunderstorm by tucking his tail between his legs, flattening his ears, trembling or whimpering lightly. In the more severe cases, a pet can end up becoming very destructive or lose control of their bladder during a thunderstorm. The idea here is to desensitize your dog to thunderstorms by training them with recorded lightening sounds and using camera flashes, while keeping the general environment around light-hearted and fun.

Fear of separation

Leaving for office every morning can be a real ordeal with a pet around the house. Most dogs experience a sort of separation anxiety, with the fear that their master will not return. One of the best ways of dealing with this problem is not responding at all to his hyperactive behaviour when you are going out. Acknowledging his antics would only reinforce his fear and do very little to comfort him. Instead, you might want to desensitize your pal to your comings and goings by offering them treats before leaving the home. Doing this, will help your dog associate your leaving with something positive. If this doesn’t help, then you can ask your vet to prescribe some pacifier drugs such as Xanax for controlling your dog’s anxiety.

Helping your dog overcome his fears is imperative for ensuring his physical and emotional health and making the world around a happier and more comfortable place for him to live in.

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How to Help Your Cat Satisfy Its Hunting Instincts

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That cat of yours might be a cute little furball, but hiding inside is a skilled hunter. Cats are, at the end of the day, predators. They are born to hunt, but that might be a problem once you’ve domesticated him/her.

According to veterinary experts, the predatory instinct in cats doesn’t disappear once they’re domesticated. You might be providing them with all the nutrition and comfort possible, but natural instinct is natural instinct.

Therefore, it is necessary to provide your cat with the necessary amount of stimulation and environmental enrichment. Though it’s possible that your cat might not let his/her instincts take over, it is still possible that a threshold may be crossed at some point in the future. The animal in your cat cannot be caged in for long and any forceful attempt to do so will only make him/her more frustrated.

So, the right thing to do is engage your cat’s hunting instinct. Here are a few tips to help you with that.

Let Your Cat Outdoors

Don’t let your cat be indoors all the time. There are ways in which you can bring him/her outside without risking the safety of other animals in the area. For instance, you can set up a cat enclosure with a fine mesh cover.

This will help your cat enjoy the outdoors, while also protecting his/her typical prey from being harmed.

Train Your Cat

You can also try training your cat with a leash and harness. Take him/her for walks like you would do with a dog. However, make sure you’ve got an eye on him/her. You must supervise. Leaving a tied cat unsupervised can lead to several problems.

For starters, your cat might end up becoming prey to a larger animal.

Interactive Tools

Cats are hunters and hunters love to move. So, how do you get your cat to make the most of his/her hunting instincts within a domesticated environment? Well, you can engage in what is called “Interactive Play” using certain toys.

There are remote controlled mice and other unique toys that move. Your cat might find such toys engaging. You can also try hiding such toys and making your cat hunt for it. This can help satiate his/her inner hunter/huntress instinct.

Keep it Natural

Once the above-mentioned steps stop working, you should actually consider setting your cat free to do his/her hunting. It is part of a cat’s natural biological programming and not letting him/her satisfy those killer instincts is actually cruel.

So, let your cat out of the house once in a while for a real hunt. This will help your cat satiate his need to follow the natural script.

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