Right inside our very homes lurk items that pose serious risks to our feline pets. These items might look harmless, sometimes beautiful, and hidden in plain sight but they are dangerous to cats.
It is, then, the cat owners responsibility to take precautions to make a house cat-safe. It is the cat owners tasks to do research and take steps to ensure these little love balls are free from threat brought about by everyday household items.
We have compiled a list of common household items that pose serious risks to our beloved furry friend:
Junk Food Packets
Be careful with just leaving around opened junk food packets. These pose a fatal choking hazard. The food contents of remnants make the packet all the more enticing to check out. There have been many reports of pets dying of suffocation because of these food packets. Other items that pose serious choking hazards are strings, bones, toys and other small items. Just like when a house has a kid, having a pet in a house means that the homeowners must always be on the lookout for possible deadly items in plain sight because there are a lot of them.
Bleach, detergent, shampoo, and other nifty cleaning materials are very useful in the house. However, it must be noted that these almost always contain chemicals that are harmful when ingested. Some cleaning solutions are especially toxic, like muriatic acid, that even just skin exposure or inhalation already inflicts damage. Make sure that these items are stored in a cabinet with a lock to keep away from the curious hands of pets and children.
Caffeine affects pets in a similar way it affects humans. Since it is a stimulant, it causes raised heartbeats, restlessness, hyperactivity and the like. It worse cases, it causes vomiting and seizures. Because pets weigh significantly less than humans, they experience adverse effects quickly and gravely. Pets must not consume any caffeine. Keeps, coffee, soda, and teas away from your pets.
Similarly, although a depressant, alcohol poses a similar threat and must be off-limits all the time.
Evolution has rendered cats unable to digest plants. Hence, cats are strict carnivores. This is why doughs with yeast or any mixture with a rising agent must not be consumed by cats. The warmth of the cat’s stomach will cause the dough to rise and expand and cause a myriad of intestinal problems. The yeast will also be absorbed are alcohol and cause alcohol poisoning.
These may look beautiful inside your homes but if you have a pet, you have to be conscious about your choice of indoor plants. Aloe vera and lilies are toxic for cats. Aloe Vera cause stomach upset and vomiting. Lilies are toxic for cats and will cause kidney damage. It is imperative to not have these plants when you have a cat. There are also other plants that are equally as harmful. Do your thorough research before buying a plant when you have pets at home.
Having a pet brings so many forms of joy. Having a pet also brings responsibility for the entire lifetime of your pet. Cat owners must take care of their cat holistically. Cat owners must eradicate every form of danger so that your cat can live a long, happy and safe life. Simply, cat owners must be on top of everything. There’s a reason they call it “cat parents”.
Nowadays, there’s a wide array of choices when it comes to the food we serve our feline pets. And, since diet is a very important component of a healthy life, choosing the right cat food might be a daunting experience.
The best thing one can do as a loving pet owner is to make informed food choices. Do your research, consult your veterinarian and check the label of the food you serve.
Here are the important things to review about your cat’s food:
Find cat food with a reasonable amount of calories per serving. Otherwise, you are setting your cat up for weight gain and the many health problems that obesity ensues. About 300 calories per cup of dry food and 250 calories per cup of wet food. So if you are feeding your cat 2 times a day, ⅖ of a cup per feeding should suffice.
Fiber helps with satiety, the propagation of good bacteria in the gut and the decrease of bad bacteria. Thus it is great for maintaining weight. Fiber also has anti-inflammatory and immune system-boosting properties.
Amino acids are important for cats. To illustrate, a deficiency in the amino acid, Taurine, will lead to problems with digestion, muscle function and development, and even vision. Amino acids also aid the immune system. Taurine is also especially important for gestating cats.
Cats need this macronutrient to maintain their lean and agile physique. Protein is also a source of energy for cats. As the obligate carnivores that they are, cats need a protein-based diet although little amounts of carbohydrates are tolerated.
Vitamins are important for proper bodily functions. Vitamin A and E are needed for skin rejuvenation and repair. Vitamin B2 is important for protein metabolism. Its vision, growth, and health need vitamins to stay healthy. Vitamins are also imperative to fight off common diseases and viruses by boosting the immune system.
99 percent of the calcium that your cat consumes goes to its teeth and bones. Hence, strong cats and bones are dependent on the amount of this mineral on its diet.
Essential fatty acids
Essential fatty acids like Omega-3 are usually found in animal fat like fish oil and lard. Vegetable oil is also a good source. These fatty acids are important for a healthy and beautiful coat and skin which translates to shine and minimize shedding. Further, the cat’s metabolism and reproductive well being are also dependent on these essential fatty acids. In addition, the transportation of vitamins D, K, E and A are also assisted by essential fatty acids.
Important bodily functions like muscle contraction, nutrient absorption, oxygen transportation and many more are assisted by essential minerals like magnesium, potassium, zinc, sodium, copper and many more. Do your research and consult your veterinarian to be able to provide the complete range of minerals your feline friend needs.
Aside from making their food more palatable, fat can also be a source of energy for cats. Fats are not readily converted to energy however, so moderate amount is best to avoid weight gain.
Your cat can definitely eat its way to a healthy and happy life. We, as cat owners, just need to take the first step— an informed choice on cat food. So do your due diligence and express your love for your cat one serving at a time.
W.H. Auden once declared that thousands have lived without love but not one without water. This is true because, without blue, there can be no green.
Water is especially important for cats because they are made up of about 67 percent water. So, a good way to keep your cat healthy and happy is to keep them hydrated.
But how much water do cats need? Well, for every 2.2 kilograms of weight, 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of agua is needed. For instance, if your cat is about 4.5 kilograms, it should be drinking around 7-9 ounces or about half a regular water bottle.
If you feel like your cat is not drinking enough agua, here are a few tips on how to get your cat to drink water:
Feed your cat wet food.
Try feeding your cat wet food like canned cat food. You may also just add water to your cats dry food. If your cat rejects the watered-down dry food, try to add the water in single tablespoon increments daily until you reach a wet but not soupy consistency. If at some point, the cat refuses to eat the cat food, observe the water-to-cat food ratio that your cat tolerates and follow that.
Feed your cat many small meals throughout the day.
In the same way, eating triggers thirst in humans, your cat also gets thirsty after they enjoy a meal. You can serve your cat many small meals throughout the day to trigger the sensation of thirst more often.
Spike the water with tuna juice.
Your cat might be more inclined to drink water if it smells like their favorite food. Try to add a few tablespoons of canned tuna juice or meat broth to your cat’s water.
Train your cat to drink water.
Just like how you can train a cat to perform tricks using a clicker, some treats and a lot of patience, you can also use the same technique to encourage your cat to drink water.
Increase the number of water bowls throughout the house.
Remember the saying, “Away from sight, away from mind.”? Well, you can apply the exact opposite concept to getting your cat to get more hydrated. By increasing the visibility of water bowls, your cat gets more reminders to drink water.
Be conscious of the water bowl placement in the house.
Cats are very neat and tidy creatures. The reason they are not drinking water might be because the water bowls are near toilets or their litter boxes. Their instinct could be dictating them to associate certain, smells and locations with water unfit for drinking.
Offer fresh water.
In the eyes of animals, stagnant water might be a health hazard. It could be just a primal survival instinct. Always wash your pet’s bowl with soap and water. Also, ensure freshwater at least once a day.
Run the faucet.
Your cat might get fascinated with moving water and might even drink from it. Try to see if this catches your kitty’s fancy.
Consider buying a cat fountain.
Your cat might have an attraction for moving water. A cat fountain then could be a good way to entertain them while keeping them hydrated.
Experiment with different temperatures.
Explore the option of giving your cat agua of different temperatures. Adding in a few ice cubes or heating up the water tepid might just be the way to keep your cat happy and hydrated. Be careful to not offer water that might burn your cat’s mouth or give it a brain freeze.
If everything is unsuccessful, call your veterinarian. It is good to try to encourage your cat yourself. However, if you sense that something is off, visit a professional. Your cat’s refusal to drink water might be a sign of an underlying health problem. Consult your veterinarian once you notice your cat is drinking too little water.
Licking is a major part of the lives of cats. Even from their early life, licking already takes a huge chunk of their waking hours. Starting from mother cats licking and grooming their kittens, to adult cats licking each other, this form of grooming is definitely a social message as well. They use it to express social ties and belongingness. In fact, they help each other in grooming hard to reach areas like the back of the head and the inner ear. Cats also render their cooperation when other cats lick them by tilting their heads to make it easier to reach.
Hence, If they lick you, it as a sign that they feel safe with you and that you are a bonafide member of their pack. It is your cat communicating their affection for you.
Many cat owners fancy that they can reciprocate this affection through a cat toy, a little petting, and some food. Others, however, like to go the extra mile and desire to express affection the same way their cat expresses— by licking,
Luckily, there’s now a product that allows you to lick your cat without actually liking it.
The LICKI brush, by entrepreneurs Tara and Jason O’meara, is a silicon device that cat enthusiasts can bite into to mount it on their mouths. The device then acts as the “tongue” that the owner can lick their cats with.
It is rated four stars on Amazon and is marketed as soothing and relaxing for both the owner and the kitty. It supposedly bonds the two using the language of the cat.
This product, as straight forward as it is, definitely serves its niche. Although It is highly divisive and polarizing, it definitely is fun. Some people find it bizarre, some people find it the device that their cat lives have been missing.
Spayed or neutered cats often live longer and healthier lives. The procedure reduces the chance of getting highly fatal diseases like uterine infections, breast cancer, and testicular cancer. This is mainly the reason why, aside from deterring unwanted pregnancies, spaying and neutering is a procedure undergone by many domestic cats.
Spaying and neutering are also proven to alter cat behavior. Cats are less likely to leave home. Mating behavior is also lessened, if not totally eradicated. This is important because the mating urge of cats often put them in danger like when they become aggressive towards other male cats.
It is also a better and effective way to control the feline population and, consequently, reduce the number of euthanasia for cats in shelters. Hence, governments often have spaying and neutering programs.
With its many benefits, spaying and neutering is still an invasive surgery. This means that there are risks including death. Ensure that you are having the procedure at a reputable veterinary clinic. Explore your options and examine if your cat is in the right shape for the procedure with a veterinarian.
Here are important things to remember in caring for a cat after spaying or neutering:
Spaying or neutering care starts even before the surgery begins. There are actually a few important steps that must be taken to ensure the safety of the procedure. This is what we call preoperative and postoperative care.
A safe and secure enclosure during transport is necessary. Appropriate temperature, air conditioning, and ventilation must always be considered in transporting animals. Lastly, consistently monitor the cat during transportation to ensure that they are okay.
It was stipulated in the published Article, “Veterinary Medical Care Guidelines for Spay and Neuter Programs” by the journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association that food should be withheld prior to surgery. However, water is not to be withheld. The time frame would vary with each cat and with each age group so consult your veterinarian to get the appropriate time frame.
If after the surgery, the veterinarian suggests that the cat stay confined at the clinic, follow the advice. The reason for this is that there are cats that need monitoring to make sure that everything goes well. Cats also get high on the anesthesia and might do things that damage their wounds.
Vigorous activity is discouraged while the cat is healing to avoid damage to the suture or wound. If they are especially active, try to put them in a crate. It is also a good idea to put them in a room that is isolated from other cats.
Do not let cats lick their wound. They might be tempted to lick or mind their wounds. For instances like this, an Elizabethan collar may be employed to prevent them from reversing a healing surgical wound.
Don’t bathe your pet for ten days after the surgery. This is to keep the wound clean and dry while it is healing. If a doctor instructs you to apply topical medication, follow the prescription religiously. If the wound gets dirty, try to clean it with a saline solution or whatever the veterinarian advised you to use. It is important to regularly check on the wound to see if there is any unusual bruising or infection. Your vet will describe to you what’s normal and what is a cause of concern. If you see anything that’s out of the normal, make sure to bring your pet to the veterinary right away.
If you are given a medical prescription for the cat, usually in the form of tablets or syrup, religiously follow the dose and the schedule of medication.
After the wound has completely healed, schedule a check-up to make sure that everything is how they are supposed to be and that there are no medical problems that an untrained eye would miss.
Having your cat spayed or neutered is a major step for your pet. It is good for them and their health in the long term. For a short while, however, it might be uncomfortable for them. It is then your job, as the owner to be more supportive of your cat during this time.
Cat owners often find themselves asking, “Should I feed my cat vegetables?”. When our cats are starting to get obese, or simply because we think it might benefit them nutritionally, cat owners consider feeding their cats vegetables. After all, vegetables are healthy for humans. Then, it must be healthy for cats as well.
This notion could not be farther from the truth. Cats and humans have very different digestive features and very different nutritional needs. Cats have evolved to solely eat meats. Because of this, they do not have the necessary enzymes to digest and benefit from vegetables. Hence, they are a testament to the saying: “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” Needless to say, cats are strict carnivores and the introduction of vegetables to their diet does not benefit them. In fact, it often proves to be detrimental when fed significant and frequent bouts.
From an upset stomach to organ deceases, problems that arise from felines ingesting significant amounts of vegetables are well documented.
As the simple and direct answer to the question, “Should cat parents feed their pets vegetables?” would be no.
Stick to feeding your cat meat and animal-based cat food for maximum health. This kind of food is best suited for them. Animal protein, unlike plant-based proteins, have the complete amino acid and Taurine that cats have the ability to easy process and benefit from. The absence of these vital substances would lead to a multitude of deceases like blindness and heart problems and, as documented in the ’80s, be fatal.
Further, there are vegetables that are especially toxic to cats.
Although traces for onions in dishes and sauces would most likely not cause health problems, eating even a slice of onion would cause digestive problems for cats. Frequent and significant occurrences would lead to anemia and open more health problems.
Garlic is considered poisonous for cats because they cause the blood cells to erupt and, consequently, cause anemia. Garlic is even more potent than onions so care must be exercised not to feed your cats this pungent vegetable.
Cats’ tongues do not have the ability to enjoy the sensation of sweetness. In addition to the fact that peanuts do not have minerals and vitamins that cats can benefit from, they do not really have the ability to palatally enjoy it. Further, the thick and sticky consistency of peanut butter is also a choking hazard and might leave your cat’s throat irritated. There really is no logical reason to feed cats peanut butter.
Cats must live as close to their natural inclinations as possible. This also means that they get fed food that will nourish their bodies and make them more healthy. The bottom line would be to get your cats away from vegetables and invest in high-quality animal-protein based cat food for your furry babies.
As a parting note, I’ll leave you with: Never make your cats vegan.