How To Keep Your Cat Safe On July 4th
As July 4th rolls round, you will no doubt be eagerly planning your celebrations. Perhaps a big get together with friends and family is in order? And, of course, then there are the fireworks. Famously, cats and fireworks do not mix. And, though cats can always surprise us (we know at least one kitty who rushes straight to the window whenever the firework display begins and cranes towards the glass to take in the view!), it is true as a general statement that our feline friends can find the loud bangs and even the flashing lights associated with fireworks pretty scary.
Add to that the hubbub of a dozen strange people entering the house (which, of course, you kitty understands to be their personal kingdom) and you potentially have a recipe for an anxious little feline! Rest assured, though, that with a little preparation, everyone can enjoy the 4th of July celebrations! So, just follow our four simple tips below to keep your cat safe during 4th July celebrations.
Tip 1: Keep your cat indoors.
This is a must for all indoor cats, and a good idea for cats that spend part of their time indoors and outdoors too. The sound of fireworks can spook cats, and if they are outside when they hear them, they can run far away from your home and get lost.
The same goes for any BBQs you may be holding in the garden – if you think your kitty will get anxious around all those people, it may be best to keep them indoors, so they do not get stressed out and run away.
If your cats are steadfast outdoor creatures, though, do make sure that they have someplace safe and secure to go if they want to: someplace that is already within their territory of course (a garden shed or outhouse is perfect), so that they do not feel the need to seek shelter four blocks away!
Tip 2: Find the quietest room in the house for your cats.
And make it quieter. Use thick curtains to muffle any sound, close the doors and windows (a room with double glazed windows is perfect) and generally soundproof it as much as you can. Then, throw a few toys in for your kitties to play with and a litter box for them to use: feline heaven! In fact, you may find it hard to get your cats to leave this relaxing, sleep-inducing little penthouse. Do not leave them in there alone all the time (as this could stress them out) but go in to check on them every now and again, and pet them and speak to them soothingly to ensure that they stay nice and calm.
Tip 3: Never force a cat to socialize.
If you cannot create a designated ‘quiet room’ (perhaps you simply have too many guests, or not enough rooms, to do so), let your cats leave any social situations if they want to. It may be tempting to want to show off your cute new kitten to your July 4th guests, however, your cat needs to be able to leave the room whenever they desire and run someplace quieter.
So, keep them indoors, but let them move freely to quieter, more private spots if they decide they need some ‘time out’. Forcing a cat to stay in a room with lots of strange people when it is feeling a little on edge thanks to the big booms in the sky above is one of the quickest and surest ways to make them totally stressed!
Tip 4: Educate your guests.
Educate your guests about celebrating around cats. Remind them to approach your cats gently and calmly, and not to force cats to play or socialize if they would rather nap or hang out in a quiet room. Tell guests to keep their voices down around timid cats and remind them not to feed them hot food off the BBQ if you do not want to get your kitty into the habit of gobbling up scraps from the table.
One thing you can do, though, to reward your cat for letting you invite people over into their little kingdom, and to make them part of the celebrations, is to give them a culinary treat in the form of a plate of leftover meat (as long as it isn’t covered in spicy marinades or anything like that) at their usual dinner time!
Hope you have a great 4th July everyone!
Meow for now… Kristian
5 Skin Disease Problems Common in Cats
Much the same as people, your valuable kitty is likewise inclined to a few skin illnesses. Masses, sores on ears or face, hair loss, allergies and flaky skin/dull coat are 5 skin disease problems common in cats. Although appropriate grooming is the best strategy to keep these skin issues from happening in first place, you must be additional mindful if your cat has been as of now influenced by any of these infirmities. Here are some broad realities that will offer you some assistance with keeping these skin issues under control.
33% of all the skin cases that veterinarians encounter are skin swelling. Masses and swellings are famously difficult to analyze without indicative tests, for example, suctions and biopsies; however it’s essential so as to know the cause. Regardless of the consistent trepidation of cat malignancy, the most usually analyzed reason for skin swelling in cats is abscesses.
A little bump or sore on the outside can veil a huge pocket of discharge and debris under the skin. This can bring about an unbalanced measure of agony contrasted with what resembles a little wound. If your cat is all of a sudden stowing away, opposing your touch, or has any abnormal conduct changes, he might be in torment. Have your veterinarian look at any weird irregularities and bumps.
Wounds on Face or Ears
Minimal red sores might seem harmless in the first place, yet any sore that is persistent and doesn’t resolve all alone ought to be assessed by your veterinarian. Injuries on the upper lip might be what’s known as a rat ulcer, an ulcerative skin sickness regularly connected with sensitivities.
There are numerous different reasons for relentless injuries, and all require medical attention. A few samples are diseases that are infectious, for example, viruses, bacteria, or fungus; immune system sickness, or much tumor. Be particularly cautious if you have a white cat; these cats have a higher occurrence than others of squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin disease in cats, regularly noted on the tips of the ears, nose, and eyelids.
Sudden hair loss in a cat can be emotional and disquieting to proprietors. Ectoparasites, for example, bugs are a standout among the most widely recognized reasons for cat hair loss, as are hypersensitivities. Hair loss in cat can likewise be brought on by diseases, for example, ringworm or stress.
In more old cats, hair loss might likewise be connected with a systemic sickness, for example, adrenal malady or pancreatic tumors. As it can be extremely difficult to differentiate one cause from another without veterinary skill, cats with hair loss ought to be assessed expeditiously by your veterinarian.
Generally as in dogs, cats regularly experience the ill effects of three sorts of hypersensitivities: allergy from fleas, ecological allergy, and food hypersensitivity. Ecological and flea sensitivities are more common than food hypersensitivities in cats; however some cats might encounter more than one kind of hypersensitivity simultaneously.
Food sensitivities happen when a cat has an extreme touchiness response to a protein, regularly from a meat or plant source in the food. It’s vital to recognize sustenance prejudice, which normally manifests in gastrointestinal signs, for example, diarrhea or spewing, from a genuine food sensitivity, which for the most part manifests in the catlike as a skin condition. Food sensitivities can be completely diagnosed just through a strict disposal diet. If you think your cat has sensitivities, your vet can help you through the procedure of determination.
Flaky Skin/Dull Coat
In some cases a cat who is generally acting typical develops a coat that is not that perfect: dull, or oily, or flaky. If the cat is overweight, in some cases they build up a patch of dull coat along their back since they’re not able reach it to groom. Diminished grooming might likewise be an early indicator that a cat is feeling unwell from another cause.
Skin and coat can likewise be influenced by eating regimen. Omega-3 unsaturated fats, regularly got from fish sources, assume a key part in directing aggravation. Omega-6 unsaturated fats, frequently got from plant sources, are fundamental for keeping up the respectability of the cell layers involving the skin. Linoleic acid and arachidonic acid are both omega-6 essential unsaturated fats, which means the fat can’t be synthesized by the cat and in this way should be available in the eating regimen.
The best and most straightforward approach to prevent any skin condition in your cat is to begin with a decent eating routine and an environment that is clean with low-stress.
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Meow for now… Kristian
#Sunday Selfie – Love to Cuddle
In Australia, Winter has well and truly arrived. It is something that we forget about every year, and it seems to take us by surprise each time the weather becomes cooler and we need to bring out a warm blanket or coat.
The same happens for the cats and kittens that enter our lives.
Since the five foster kittens have gone back for their surgery and to find their forever homes, we have had a short term foster with us. Her name is Frankie. She is a darling little girl and so very good at keeping herself entertained.
She’s also been the first of the foster kittens to win over the two big cats — Shadow and Frosty. So far, Shadow and Frosty have not always been happy with the revolving door of kittens that our house has had over the past year. But Frankie has changed all that.
Shadow and Frankie happily chase each other and play together, and at night they even sleep in the same tent to keep each other warm and comforted.
During the day she will climb into human dads pouch jumper and stay in there for as long as he lets her. She even likes to sit inside human mum’s jumper… That way she can travel in style while human mum is cooking dinner and get all those great smells.
Even Frosty, who is a somewhat grumpy cat has enjoyed playing with Frankie. Miracles do happen.
We hope you’ve enjoyed Frankie’s #SundaySelfie and come visit us on Facebook to check out our every day pictures and videos of life as a foster family.
Meow for now… Kristian
How To Make Neko Atsume Cookies With Pictures
I have been absolutely addicted to the cutest cat game Neko Atsume for months now. Every day, I wake up and feed my cats. I save up my gold fish to be able to buy them the special treats that they deserve and finally, after months of game play I have collected all the cats! I have them all… Lady Meow Meow? Check. Ms Fortune? Check. Joe DeMeowGio? Check!
I have seen some posts about making Neko Atsume cookies out there on the internet, but honestly, considering the amount of followers this game has I am surprised that there were not more Neko Atsume baked goods out there.
Luckily, I have a trusty cookie and royal icing recipe that I use for everything. The best thing to do is to use a sugar cookie recipe that you like and you know. A no-spread recipe is best because you want nice clean edges. If you are lucky enough to be planning ahead (unlike me) you will want to invest in a cat face cookie cutter. I did not and cut everything out by hand using a paper template. This is important because the Neko Atusme cats have a more oval face (rather than round) and the ears sit off the side rather than the top of the head. I have seen some Neko Atsume cookies on the internet and the faces were just the wrong shape which I didn’t like.
1 cup softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp salt
3 cups plain flour
- Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add egg, salt and extracts. Mix well.
- Add flour 1 cup at a time. Mix until it has all been incorporated. Dough shouldn’t be greasy to the touch.
- Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness (in between to pieces of greaseproof paper) and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Cut out your shapes and bake at 190°C for 7 minutes.
- Cool completely before icing.
There are many royal icing recipes out there and not all recipes are created equal. I have previously posted about my favourite recipe which is the one from Sweetopia. This time, I didn’t have all the ingredients and was feeling lazy. I made a very simple recipe using egg whites, icing sugar and some water.
1 egg white, 250g icing sugar and 1-2 tsp water.
Mix the icing sugar and the egg white. Add a tsp of water and mix thoroughly.
You will need to portion out the icing to colour for the Neko Atsume cookies. I had the following colours:
- white (flooding consistency)
- black (thicker consistency)
- light grey
- light brown
- dark orange/brown
Decorating Your Cookies
You want to have your templates near you so that you can see how you are decorating your cookies. Choose which cats you want to copy. I did Snowball, Spots, Sunny, Pumpkin, Marshmallow, Misty and, of course Tubbs.
Snowball seems to be one of the easier cats to decorate. She is plain white.
- Outline the cookie with black icing.
- Flood with white icing, make sure there are no bubbles. Shake gently to evenly spread the icing.
- Once it has set, use a toothpick or tool to do dots for the eyes and the nose. This sits quite high up on the face. If you visually divide the cookie into thirds, the eyes are in the top third and the nose sits close to the middle.
Marshmallow uses a light grey and white icing.
- Start by outlining the cookie in black icing (thicker than flood consistency).
- Use the light grey to do Marshmallows markings. The grey nose is circular and only sits on the bottom third. Fill the ears with the grey as well.
- Use the white icing to flood the remaining cookie. Shake gently to fill any gaps and make sure there are no bubbles.
- Use the same dimensions for the eyes as you did for Snowball.
Tubbs has a unique shape, I printed out his picture from online and used that as a template for cutting out my Tubbs shaped cookie.
For Tubbs, I flooded his body with white icing first and then, once that had set outlined it with the black icing. I think this worked better because it allowed me to outline some of the details such as the hands and creases on his body.
If you like these cookies, check out some of our other DIY and Baking projects. Or, just sign up and get them delivered to your email weekly!
Meow for now… Yulia
Vegetarian Cat Food and Why It’s Bad For Your Cat
You may have heard that there are brands of vegetarian food for dogs – but what about cats? Well, though dogs may get on just fine with vegetarian, or even vegan, food as long as you go for regular checkups with the veterinary practice and are careful to give them all of the nutrients that they need, cats are a little different. Here, we explain all that you need to know about vegetarian cat food and why it’s bad for your cat.
It all comes down to one substance: taurine.
What is taurine?
Well, it is an amino acid, and it is especially important when it comes to metabolizing fats. Taurine is essential for keeping the feline body running healthily. Unfortunately, cats cannot create taurine themselves, and so they need to ingest it. In short: cats need to get taurine through their diet.
Where does taurine come from?
The only natural dietary source of taurine comes from meat. Eating a meaty cat food will give cats all of the taurine that they need to stay healthy. Look out for cat foods that are labeled ‘complete’, as these will have everything that you kitty needs in terms of nutrition: all of those vital vitamins and minerals – and, of course, taurine!
Because taurine is found naturally only in meat, feeding your cat vegetarian or vegan cat food is a big health risk.
What happens if my cat does not get enough taurine?
One of the key symptoms of taurine deficiency is a weakening in the muscles of the heart – this can lead to heart and respiratory problems. Taurine deficiency has also been linked to digestive disturbances in cats.
But, can I get synthetic taurine?
Taurine has been made synthetically (i.e. produced in the lab rather than being derived from animals), and some vegetarians and vegans often think about turning to synthetic sources of taurine. They seem them as a way of giving their feline friends all of the taurine that they need, without feeding them meat. However, the long-term effects of synthetic taurine supplements are not known, and moreover they are very, very expensive.
If you can afford these highly specialist vegan and vegetarian cat foods, then why not give it a go? But, be warned: you will need to do a lot of research and be very suspicious of any food that claims to offer your cat a complete nutritional package without using meat.
On the other hand, consensus has it that feeding your kitty even one of the cheapest meat-based foods is perfectly fine for their health
Is vegetarian and vegan cat food associated with any other health risks?
Actually, yes. One of the other main health risks that veggie and vegan cat food has often been associated with is urinary problems. This is because the acidity levels in vegan and vegetarian cat foods are very different to those in classic meat based foods.
Urinary Tract Infections (which cat owners often refer to simply as ‘UTI’s) are more common in male cats than in female cats. These infections can result in the urethra being blocked, and this can be fatal if left unchecked.
For information on your cat’s diet, simply book an appointment with your veterinarian!
Do you have any experience with vegetarian or vegan cat food? Leave us a comment and let us know.
Meow for now… Kristian