Don’t Forget to Include Your Cat in Your New Year’s Resolution

The New Year is approaching and with it are the many resolutions that people try to follow. Whether it’s about eating healthier foods, being in the gym more, or lessening some of those spending sprees, individuals come up with something they’d want to improve about themselves. But what about our cats? What about our bundles of fluffy joy? Do we leave them out the fun?

There are a lot of things that you can help your cat do differently for next year! You can spice up your cat’s environment with toys that help enrich their living experience, schedule regular vet visits, and more. So strap yourselves in and be prepared to have a better 2019 with your furry loved ones!

Getting a Move On

Fitness goals are one of the most common New Year’s resolution. A lot of us would want to look better by exercising, to be more active, and to be healthier, instead of just laying on bed all day once we get our day offs. Our cats need some exercise too, so for 2019, we should all aim to spend more time to play with them, and to get them running. Not only will this help improve their health, but it will also help us bond with them, ultimately strengthening the relationship.

Teach them a Neat Trick

People say that cats are a thing of their own. They don’t like to be bossed around, or to be told what to do, which would mean that training them is extremely difficult, if not impossible. However, cats can be trained and you can train your beloved cat too! Attend a class, watch a video, or get a cat specialist to help you train them. It’ll take some time, but you’ll be able to impress yourself (and a lot of people) once you get even one trick done.

Eating Better with the New Year

Help your cats improve their health by making sure that they’re eating better and getting all the necessary nutrition. Have a chat with your vet, and ask whether you’re giving them the right kind and right amount of food. You might also want to talk to them on how to successfully transition food types (from kitten to adult food or from adult food to senior formula) efficiently.

Get Groomed

We all know how long you’ve been stalling that visit to the groomer’s, but it’s now high time to get your pet cat groomed. Although your cat can pretty much groom themselves, a visit to the groomer is important as well. The groomer would be able to shampoo, nail clip, and trim your cat’s fur, giving them the equivalent of having a refreshing day at a beauty salon.

Although we all like familiarity, New Year is an opportunity for us to do something new and better. But we don’t have to do it alone. It’s important for us to include our feline companions in the fun of New Year’s resolutions too. There’s so much new things to do and to learn, so take your cat along the ride!

Why Milk is Unsafe for Cats

Thanks to cartoons, movies, and iconic photos found everywhere, a lot of us grew up thinking that aside from boxes, mice, and yarn balls, cats love milk but did you know that cow’s milk is actually dangerous for our feline friends?

In reality, most cats are actually lactose intolerant which means that their bodies don’t have the necessary enzymes to digest the lactose found in milk. Since they are lactose intolerant, many experience painful side effects which include stomach cramps and diarrhea. In severe cases, undigested lactose found in milk stays in the intestines for a long time which ferments overtime and can eventually lead to stomach problems that develop later on in life.

Can Kittens Drink Milk?

Surprisingly enough, kittens can digest milk although they eventually lose the enzyme that digests cow’s milk around 8 weeks. While cow’s milk may be deemed “safer” for them at an early age, the best way to avoid future stomach issues is to avoid cow’s milk all together.

Are There Other Alternatives?

The best nutritional source for newborn kittens is their mother’s milk. However, if you happen to stumble on an abandoned kitten, it’s best to prepare the materials necessary for bottle feeding before taking them off the street. Visit your nearest pet store or veterinary clinic and look for milk replacement formulas. Many experts suggest getting the powdered version so owners can measure and prepare the kitten’s milk accurately. Milk replacement formulas also contain the right amount of nutrients for newborn kittens. For kittens who are less than a week old, bottle feedings should be done every three hours (a total of 8 feedings a day!) because of their vulnerable state. It is also important that newfound owners do not skip or overfeed their kittens since both instances can cause diarrhea.

For older cats who don’t necessarily need round-the-clock feedings and can now digest solid foods, the best alternative to milk is simply water! If you’re the type of owner who wants to make things more fun for your cat, you can purchase water fountains online or at specialty stores. Cat fountains are also a great way to entertain cats who are fascinated with sinks and moving water. For owners who want to give their furbabies extra treats, you can also shop for lactose-free milk which is safe for both cats and humans.

What about Bone Broth?

Another popular drink/meal for cats is bone broth so the next time you have roasted meat for dinner, remember to keep the bones and leftovers for your cats! Bone broth is made from animal bones and connective tissue, which are typically derived from cow, chicken, or fish. Bone broth involves boiling these ingredients and then slow simmered for 10 or more hours with herbs and vegetables. Bone broth shouldn’t be confused with regular broth and stock since both do not follow the long simmer time that bone broth does. They also do not contain the much needed nutrients that our cats deserve.

Keeping Cats Comfortable During Christmas Gatherings

Christmas season is getting closer and the same goes for family gatherings. For some cat owners, however, this can be a difficult time. Having scores of relatives coming over could mean a lot of noise, loss of space and pinchy nephews and nieces. That is a lot to process for a cat who is generally used to having fewer people around the house.

After all, cats are cautious and shy by nature. So if you want to make sure kitty is calm and comfortable during the big Christmas dinner, here are some solid tips.

1. Check how sociable your cat is.

Some cats are shyer than others and that can mean the difference between being able to bring them out a bit during the party or giving a whole room to themselves until there are fewer guests.

If your cat is already familiar with a lot of the faces at the gathering (such as your immediate family), then there’s less to worry about. For particularly large parties, however, it is more advisable to isolate your cat. (You can always designate another room for anyone who really wants to meet your feline friend.)

2. Make sure your cat has stress-free access to food and litter.

Naturally, you’d want to keep the litter box fresh and clean while also away from the dinner table and other areas where most of the guests will be gathering. If you decided to give your cat a secure space, then the box should be there too.

The same goes for food and some toys. No matter how social a cat can be, it can get anxious when there are too many people getting between it and its necessities.

3. Keep a strict, closed-doors policy.

If you don’t want your cat to accidentally run out of the house, then make sure that the party has all doors and windows secured. Even if your cat is an outdoor one, they still need supervision (which you can’t really afford to give during a large gathering).

A similar policy can be in place when giving a cat its own room for the rest of the party. Make sure guests understand that the cat’s room is off limits until they ask permission. Make regular checkups on your cat too and keep it calm.

4. Implement noise control.

Whether it is soundproofing the room your cat will be in or telling guests to keep a certain volume, minimizing noise can help an anxious cat.

Cats are very sensitive to not just the sight of new people but also unfamiliar noises. This triggers their own fight-or-flight response. But unmanaged, this can lead to unhealthy anxiety.

So, no matter how big the party, always look for ways to keep the noise from startling your kitty.

5. Consider improving their social skills.

Lastly, you might want to also consider training your cat to be more open to unfamiliar faces. Make a habit of carefully introducing your cat to people at home. In fact, this is highly advisable when cats are still kittens.

The more exposure they have to people in their lifetime, the less anxious they will be. Even if you have to ultimately still keep your cat isolated during parties, frequent exposure will reduce your need to do so in the future.

Christmas gatherings can be stressful enough on yourself but make sure kitty doesn’t end up taking additional stress on its own! Be mindful of its behaviour towards people and make sure its Christmas is as comfortable as your guests.

Six Steps to Countering Cat Allergies

Allergies are said to be the bane of all cat-owner relationships. It is notoriously genetic and once someone in your household says they have it, it is like all chances of a pet are instantly tossed out of the window.

 

Still, it is not as insurmountable as it sounds. Yes, allergies are genetic but they can also range from fairly mild to severe. If you are at least the former, there is still a way to overcome them and enjoy a lifetime companionship with a feline friend. Here are six, tried-and-true steps to tackling the infamous allergy problem.

Step 1. Consult your doctor

This goes without saying. If you want an honest assessment of your allergy, go see a certified allergist. Pet allergies are actually one of the most common ones out there and the experts know a number of ways they can be suppressed, medicated and even eliminated.

Ask the good doctor about how severe an allergy really is. Some people tend to exaggerate their symptoms simply because it gives them a convenient reason to not like cats. Better to get the real facts straight before making any final decision on house pet policy.

Step 2. Allergy shots or antihistamines

A common treatment that doctors prescribe would be medication such as antihistamines or allergy shots. You might also want to consider a change in your own diet, and start eating healthier foods that boost your immune system against allergens.

Regarding allergy shots though, these are not overnight solutions. Treatment can go for as long as 3-5 years before your body has fully built resistance. But if it is your cat’s sake, why not? The earlier you start, the better!

Step 3. Isolate bedroom

You might want to keep your bedroom free from any pets to minimize the presence of hair. The bedroom is where you sleep and sleep will most likely what your body needs if it is constantly battling an allergic reaction.

The thing about allergies is that it is not merely hair you are reacting to but certain proteins that come from anywhere in your cat’s body. That includes skin flakes and even the air in its litter box could be clouded with allergens. Until your body is completely immune, its best to have one space isolated from your cat’s presence.

Step 4. Maintain a high cleaning regimen

When cat allergens can be all the way up in the air, cleanliness can really be close to godliness. Make a habit to start sweeping around kitty’s litter box with a mask and use pet hair removal tools in your vacuum cleaner.

Make sure to also frequently wash your hand and start laundering any cloth items your cat uses, such as towels and even beds. The more sources of allergens you can clean up, the less you will have stifling your nose.

Step 5. Install a HEPA filter

Another way you can further reduce the cat dander in the air is a well-functioning HEPA filter. It might be able to catch the tiniest allergen protein but it certainly works well enough with a vigilant cleaning regimen and other anti-allergy measures.

Consider putting some place close to the area where your cat isn’t allowed. That way, in the event that allergies start to trigger, you can be doubly sure the air in the filter’s space is a lot safer to go through.

Step 6. Consider more regular bathing

Lastly, it also in your best interest to bathe your cat more often. Now, we know this can be a bit of a downer since cat’s are known for being low-maintenance. But if you want less shedding and therefore, less allergens flying around, weekly bathing also reduces them.

As a side note, you might also want to consider improving your cat’s diet and give it items that give it healthier skin and hair.

With all these measures, a pet allergy isn’t as impossible a difficulty as others make it out to be. There are ways to get around it and (are certainly worth the effort when you love cats so much).

Tips Before Bringing Your Cat Home

So you decided to get a pet cat (a great decision by the way!) and you’re nervous because you never had one before. Well look further, here are some tips for first-time cat owners need to remember before bringing their cat home:

Consider Your Situation

Assess your situation first before getting a cat. For instance, are you currently living alone or are you living with family? Are you staying in a house or are you currently renting an apartment? Are you away from your home a lot? Do you have young children around? The list goes on. While cats are fairly independent creatures, they still require attention and affection which is why we need to consider how they would fit in our daily lifestyle.

Cat-Proof Your Home

Once you are certain that you are bringing a cat home, make sure to cat-proof your home. This includes keeping counters and other surfaces clean and free from sharp objects that could potentially harm your cat. Make sure you’re not keeping any dangerous plants around and put away your valuable items or at least at a place where your cat can’t reach them.

Invest In Essential Items

Some essential items include cat food, food bowls, collars, a cat carrier, name tags, a personal litter box, kitty litter, a scratching post, a cat bed, shampoo, a brush, and toys. For future cat owners who are on a budget, you can make your very own DIY cat toys to entertain your feline friends.

Get Them Vaccinated

If you’re adopting a cat from a shelter, remember to ask the stuff whether your cat is vaccinated and whether they give out regular vaccinations. For kittens who are not from shelters (i.e. bought from pet shops or if you have taken in a stray), consider putting aside a budget so you can get them vaccinated at a clinic. Some essential kitten vaccinations include prevention from feline rhinotracheitis, feline panleukopenia (FVRCP), and feline calicivirus. For adult cats, make sure to consult with your veterinarian on the proper vaccination schedule for your pet.

Once your house is ready for your feline friend, make sure to watch them over with patience and understanding. For cats, living in a new environment can be a stressful situation which is why it is important to provide a safe haven for them.

Upon arriving home, try to set up a small room that will serve as their “first” territory. This can be any small, quiet room like a small bedroom, a small corner at the living room, or a walk-in closet. Keep your cat in the carrier while you set up their safe space and allow them to get used to their surroundings. Remember to put everything the cat needs within their space like their litter box, food, and water, toys, scratching post, bed, and other essentials. Once you are done preparing their room/spot, open the carrier and let your cat decide whether they should explore or not. Remember not to force them to do something they aren’t prepared to do since cats usually have an adjustment period of a few days or more. Once they are used to their room or “spot”, open some doors to let them explore other places in your home.

Taking care of a cat is a big responsibility although the rewards are great! Once you are able to introduce your pet into your new home, you’ll find that it’s relatively easy to become a cat parent. Always remember to search for additional cat care tips and take time a veterinarian or a cat behaviour expert for additional tips.

Aoshima – a Paradise for Cat Lovers Everywhere

Aoshima – a Paradise for Cat Lovers Everywhere

As you may or may not know, there is a special haven for cats and cat lovers in Japan that lets you enjoy both felines and serenity. It almost sounds like heaven – blue skies, the lapping shores, a kazillion cats, and a peaceful life. This special place is called Aoshima, also best known as Cat Island for those who heard of it. If you dream to be surrounded by cats, then this place exists for you.

 

If you want to know why it’s called Cat Island, it has more cat residents than humans in the entire vicinity of the island. This fishing village only has a hundred residents and almost six times more cats lazing around the harbour and even on the rooftops. Expect them to welcome you as soon as you arrive by lazing on the wooden boards of the pier.

 

Before, this small fishing village rarely gets visitors, but as time passed and technology progressed, the word spreads like wildfire and eventually grabs attention worldwide and gets the love it deserves. This island now open its doors to cat lovers around the world and let them play with the healthy strays around them. While it may only be allowed for just a day trip, it is still a place you need to visit if you ever dreamed of petting an entire army of cats.

 

Before you get concerned about their living conditions, you should know that they are well taken care of by the residents, specifically the kind village nurse Atsuko Ogata. She makes sure that the cats are fed and taken care of. These cats may look like they dislike the affection and cuddles, but they demand your pats and kisses as well. If you happen to carry snacks with you, expect a pounce from them in a playful manner.

 

With just 15 people as permanent residents, these cats make streets feel less lonely and living there feel more like a bliss. There are no really strict rules during your visit, provided you be on your best behaviour and never harm any of the residents – cats and humans alike. Like your average cats, they love playing and getting affection from people.

 

While there is no clear declaration in terms of adopting a cat from the island, you can spend a day with them by playing, cuddling, or feeding them. They are used to people despite the small population of people they are used to. They can be extremely friendly and might even leap on your lap while you relax in parks and such. So if you ever find yourself in Japan, make sure you drop by this place and enjoy the company of these friendly felines!

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