10 Rules of Making Friends With a Cat When Meeting for the First Time

10 Rules of Making Friends With a Cat When Meeting for the First Time

Don’t you just hate it when you “meow” at a cat and they don’t “meow” back? To be honest, it’s not their fault. Cat Whisperer, Jackson Galaxy, explains that meowing is the cat’s way of trying to communicate with us in our own language but it’s not their natural method. We’ve been trying to introduce ourselves wrong the whole time! Here are the 10 cat introduction etiquette rules:

1. Bond while they’re young.

The cat is capable of social interactions and forming relationships as early as 2 weeks of age. Let the cat feel safe and loved. Avoid letting them feel any negativity and protect them from painful situations.

 

2. Observe the cat’s body language.

Tail up means they feel like socializing while tail down means they’re disinterested or in hunting mode. If they stare it at you, they’re uncomfortable while blinking indicates the opposite.

 

3. Make yourself small.

Cats are very sensitive to the body language of humans and other animals. They observe even the smallest shifts. Allowing yourself to seem smaller makes you less intimidating to them. Experts like Dr. Marci Koski, Ph.D., crouch when meeting a cat for the first time.

 

4. No direct eye contact.

This can come as intimidating to a cat or even aggressive. You can look at it briefly but then pretend to turn your attention elsewhere. Keep eye contact to glancing. Staring is even worse. It’s considered a threat among felines. Blink a few times when they make eye contact with you before looking away.

 

5. Don’t pay attention to the cat.

When it wants to bond, it’ll approach you and try to get your attention. Sit or lay down on the floor to make yourself seem less daunting. The cat will become more relaxed and will consider you less of a danger.

 

6. Let the cat sniff or lick you.

Sniffing is how cats say hi for the first time. They have special glands and acute sense of smell that allows them to identify people as well as other animals by their scent. A cat would also lick you as a way of getting to know you.

 

7. Give treats/food.

Place them on the ground between the two of you until they’re comfortable enough to take it from your hand. Opt for those that emit strong smells of fish, catnip, and other feline favourites.

 

8. Offer toys.

Playtime is a great way to bond but remember cats like their space. Don’t force them to play if they don’t want to and keep it short.

 

9. Pet only when they let you.

If they lay on their side or stretch in front of you, it means they’re comfortable enough that they can relax and let you touch them. They can also try to get your attention by lightly holding you with their claws. Avoid trying to pet a cat that’s scared. You’ll know when they lie with their ears back and stiff. Any attempt of physical contact would invite aggression from the cat.

 

10. ve them their space.

Cats are very independent and like doing things at their own pace. It needs a place where it feels safe, an area they can escape to when they start to become overwhelmed. When approaching the space, never make the cat feel cornered.

 

Meow for now… Kristian

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The Polydactyl

The Polydactyl

Nope, not the dinosaur with wings. What we’re talking about is Polydactyl. These are cats that have more toes than usual. The average cats have 18 toes – five on each of the front paws and four on both of the back ones. But some have more than these, they are what we call polydactyl cats.

At first glance, it may just seem extra toes or to some, it may not be that interesting, but there definitely is more to these than meets the eye. Here are 11 things that most people are not familiar with polydactyl cats.

  1. Mutant

They aren’t members of the X Men or something like that. It’s just that being polydactyl for cats is a genetic mutation. It is passed down through a dominant gene. Depending on the parents of these kitties, if one is polydactyl, there is a huge chance that one of their kittens will be polydactyl as well.

  1. Harmless

Some might be alarmed of this as it is not usual for cats to have extra toes, but worry not, it is usually harmless, although, it might give you a bit of trouble when it comes to trimming their nails. Just be wary about their forelegs, as in rare cases, being polydactyl can lead to twisted or underdeveloped forelegs.

  1. Mittens

Ever seen a cat with thumbs? There are cases where the extra toes of polydactyl cats are positioned in a way that they would look like thumbs, commonly known as, “Mitten paws”. But they’re not opposable, so it wouldn’t be able to function like our human thumbs.

  1. Bigfoot

For kitties that don’t have thumbs or “Mitten paws”, they get the nicknames “Bigfoot” or “pancake feet” because it generally makes their feet look bigger.

  1. Asset

Admit it, kitties with huge paws are cute. With polydactyl cats, it just makes them a little cuter than they already are. Now that’s an asset.

  1. Rare for others, common for some

It may not be seen that much in each of our regions, but there are countries where polydactyl cats are quite common. These are; England, Wales, and the eastern parts of USA and Canada.

  1. Good Luck!

Sailors used to believe that these kinds of cats are good luck. They were given the title of “Gypsy cats”. Because of their large feet, they were thought to make them better at catching mice and have better balance.

  1. Polydactyl Breeds

American polydactyl and Maine Coon Polydactyl are considered polydactyl breeds. But some don’t consider them as legit breeds.

  1. Maine Coon

40 percent of Maine Coons once had extra toes. Since Maine is a state that gets more than a hundred inches of snow annually, the large paws turn into feline snowshoes.

  1. Twenty – Eight

28, that’s the Guinness’ World Record for the cat with the most number of toes. It was given to a Canadian cat named Jake.

  1. Hemingway Cats

Stanley Dexter, a captain in 1930 gives a polydactyl cat to Ernest Hemingway. He named it Snow White and that gave a start to many more polydactyl kittens. Today, 40 to 50 polydactyl cats, some of which are Snow White’s descendants, are considered as a historical treasure at Hemingway’s Key West, Florida, the home of Ernest Hemingway.

So, there you have it! Now that you know more about polydactyl cats, you may want to look into your kitty’s paws. You never know, maybe your precious feline companion is a descendant of Hemingway’s Snow White.

 

Meow for now… Kristian

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Will for your Pet

Will for your Pet

Life is as fickle as the weather. It is unpredictable and we never know what will happen next. Have you ever thought of what would happen to your kitty if something should happen to you? When you get sick and would need to be hospitalized, you have doctors and nurses to take care of you, but what about your kitty? Is someone watching over them to make sure that they have something to eat? Each year, there are a lot of people that gets sick or even die, leaving millions of pets at home without anyone taking good care of them.

But you can help ensure that this does not happen to your kitty. You can have your pet looked after by including him or her in your will, power of attorney documents, and by ordering a free pet emergency card.\

Pet Emergency Card

In times where you are not able to get back home because of an emergency, the pet emergency card can be easily seen in your wallet, alerting your responders that you have a valued pet at home waiting for you that needs to be taken care of. The back of the card lets you write the name of your pet and who to contact for care as well.

You can order a pet emergency card by sending an email to [email protected].

Power of Attorney and Guardian

If something unexpected happens, your Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship documents can be of big use for your kitty.

Your attorney can decide on the money that needs to be invested for the care of your kitty and he or she is also allowed to enter your house to check on your feline friend in times that you are not able to do so.

The enduring guardian, or the person designated on your will to look after your kitty will be able to make decisions on the services and accommodation that your kitty will need when your presence is not available.

Your Will

If we get the chance before we die, most of us would take the time to think about the things that we leave behind on earth and to whom we should leave it to. Your kitty should not be an exception to this. You can ensure that someone is looking after your feline companion through your will. You can state specifically as to who will take care of your cat when you pass, leave some money for your kitty as well, or you can donate some money to an animal charity with a request to look after your kitty. It’s all about setting up a trust for your kitty’s care.

When you set up a trust for your kitty, think about these points;

  • A dependable trustee who will uphold the terms of the trust
  • A reliable caretaker or guardian that can look after your kitty
  • Written details about your kitty and veterinary documents as records for the one to care for your kitty to know about your kitty’s history.
  • Leaving funds for the trust to ensure that your kitty is taken care of for the rest of its lifetime.

Never forget about your kitty or pets in general, because even if you are no longer with them, they most certainly will not forget about you. Take the time to make the necessary arrangements to ensure your kitty’s lifetime.

 

Meow for now… Kristian

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To Neuter or Not to Neuter?

To Neuter or Not to Neuter?

To neuter or not to neuter? That is the question for today cat lovers. One of the decisions that we go through as a cat owner is whether to have our kitties neutered. A lot of us may have second thoughts about this especially since it would mean our precious pet would need to go through a surgery. But worry not; you came to the right place to help you make a decision on whether or not to neuter your kitty.

Why Neuter?

We all have our reasons in considering neutering our feline friends. We may find too many kitties too much to handle, or perhaps there are a lot of stray tom cats around your neighborhood. Though different reasons, what these point towards are whether it is safe for our best friends? Or what are the effects of this on my cat?

Pawsitive Effects of Neutering

See what I did there? You read that right! Let us first look into the “pawsitive” effects of neutering your kitty. Below are the significant positive changes that a feline goes through after neutering:

  • A home kitty. After neutering kitties, especially with the male kitties, they are less inclined to roam around the neighborhood in search of females “on heat” as their sexual urges are also removed from the equation.
  • A calm kitty. Once they have been neutered, our feline companions tend to be more affectionate and less aggressive compared to when not neutered.
  • A cancer-free kitty. That’s right; there are also certain kinds of cancer that threatens our beloved pets. But with neutering, it reduces the risk of your kitty having certain kinds of cancer especially in the reproductive system.
  • A healthy kitty. Neutering reduces and controls the risk of your companion getting certain diseases especially the ones related to the reproductive organs such as prostatic disease and hormonal diseases.
  • A chaste kitty. We all know that with neutering, our kitty would no longer be able to create a litter. This also removes the risk of your kitty looking for a mate.
  • A submissive kitty. This often helps control dominating behaviors of kitties as they are less aggressive towards other cats or animals in general.
  • “Pawpulation” control. Less kitties equals less parenting.

The Opawsing effects

I did it again! The “opawsing” or negative effects of neutering our cats are as follows:

  • The last of its kind. Neutering means that our beloved kitty can no longer bare an offspring, thus, no kitten to further bring their genes or breed further.
  • Surgery. Who isn’t scared of having a vet do an operation on our beloved pet? Though it is a routine procedure, it cannot be denied that with any kind of surgery, it comes with risks.
  • Lowered metabolism. It’s a misunderstanding that people consider neutering to be the reason for their feline pet to become obese. Definitely not. With certain organs and hormones being removed from their system, our kitties would have lower metabolism. It’s up to the parent (us, cat owners), to properly manage our kitties diet.
  • Money. Neutering is a surgery, and just like any surgery, it can be costly, however, there are low –costs spay or neuter programs and clinics depending on your region or country.
  • A kitten forever. With the necessary hormones essential for maturity being taken out of the equation, our kitties tend to retain immature and kitten like behavior. But with the right kind of supervision and parenting, any kitty can be our best friend.

When to Neuter?

Now that we’ve discussed the “pawsible” effects of neutering, we should also know when to have our kitties neutered. There are three options available for this topic. Early or pediatric spay/neuter is done at six to eight weeks of age. Standard spay and neuter at five to six months. Finally, waiting until after the first heat which is somewhere between eight to twelve months of age.

These are the important considerations that every cat owner/lover needs to think about when talking about neutering. There are many “pawsibilities” for us out there, however, there are a lot of kitties outside, looking for a home. Why breed some more? How about we start adopting those who are in need of a good home than contributing to the “pawpulation”? If you neuter your cat now, not only will this benefit you, it will also increase the chances of every kitty having a safe and good home.

 

Meow for now… Kristian

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Cats That Drink Tea

Cats That Drink Tea

Are you a cat owner? Or do you simply just love cats? If so, I’m sure you have noticed that your feline pet has the tendency to smell, lick, or even dip its head into your food or drink. Cats are known to have these intimate tendencies towards their owners to the extent of dipping their heads into their owner’s meal or drink, which is rather cute. However, if you are fond of drinking caffeinated drinks like coffee, energy drinks, and especially tea, then better read through this article as this may give your kitty more than just nine lives.


Why do cats like tea?

With its natural and soothing scent, tea, of all caffeinated drinks, attracts your feline companions. Though a nice cup of earl grey or chamomile would be good for our afternoons, it is potentially life threatening for our beloved kitties. Cats are naturally carnivores and require meat. They occasionally go for some aromatic herbs such as oregano. But most of the time, they are only attracted to the scent of herbs and would end up just playing with those leaves and throw them away.

What are the symptoms you should look out for?

Although there are some teas that are naturally herbal based, teas with high caffeine content may harm our cats if they ingest large quantities. The toxins present in caffeine are too much for kitties to handle, and these toxins may poison them. However, we all know that there are times that we just cannot keep our eye on our pet, so these things can happen; and with that, there are a few symptoms that you can check to know if your cat has been poisoned or has taken too much caffeine. Below are the symptoms:

  • Restlessness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Rapid Breathing
  • Muscle Tremors
  • Fits
  • Allergies

If you notice any of these symptoms on your cat, consult a vet right away; or better yet, take your cat to a veterinary clinic as soon as possible so that appropriate treatment can be given immediately. The life of your kitty depends on how quick you act. The longer these symptoms are present with your cat, the more dangerous it can be for them. Most of these symptoms may lead to other complications such as dehydration, seizures, coma, or worse, death.

Are there cats that can drink tea?

There are certain cats that are just fond of drinking tea though. These breeds are found to have more tolerance for caffeine. What’s common among these cats is that they were domesticated and brought up ever since they were born with tea as part of their diet. Though with study and observation, the scientific explanation to these kinds of cats is that the tea that was given to them was purely herbal thus, free from the toxins and with less to no caffeine content.

Still, it would be best to keep your tea out of reach from your cute and loving kitties so they can spend maybe more than just their nine lives with you

 

Meow for now… Kristian

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Don’t Feed Your Kitty Milk Yet

Don’t Feed Your Kitty Milk Yet

Cats are often fed with milk as we see on television. Tom, from the famous TV show Tom and Jerry, loves his milk so much that he doesn’t want anyone messing with him while drinking it. “Cats love milk,” they say. It may be true to most, but not to all. This is because cats can also have this condition called lactose intolerance.

In fact, adult cats don’t need milk at all. Research shows that milk only brings more potential harm than good to cats.  Kittens, on the other hand, can tolerate milk like water due to the bounty of lactase they have acquired during birth.

Like humans, cats also have lactase (a stomach enzyme in charge of digesting lactose found in dairy products, mostly milk). Lactose intolerance happens when the lactase is unable to break lactose (the sugar from milk) which results to a digestive disorder. It also means that they can be allergic to dairy – milk. It may be an uncommon case, but you may be feeding your cat milk and experience funny behaviors from them.

What to Observe

Lactose intolerance in cats is caused by their inability to tolerate lactose and casein, or protein from milk. When you think your cat’s health has been compromised, you can check how he acts and behaves. Has your cat experienced some of the following:

  • excessive gas
  • excessive scratching and licking
  • frequent shedding of hair
  • lack of appetite
  • weight loss
  • bloating of the abdomen
  • irritation of the abdomen
  • diarrhea

These symptoms may occur one at a time or all at the same time. If you see any or all of these symptoms from your pet cat, set an appointment with the vet immediately. Prolonging the cat’s unhealthy state may only lead to further complications.

Having a cat is a huge responsibility. It is important to pay attention to tiny details or mannerisms your kittens have acquired every week so that you can notice whether there are changes that need your attention.

The Alternative

Most likely, when the vet declares your cat is allergic to dairy or lactose intolerant, dairy should be completely cut from his diet.  However, some kitties will still crave for milk; and thus, as the pet owner, it is your responsibility to gradually wean them from milk. How? You need to find an alternative.

You can start by giving a milk substitute. Nowadays, there are types of milk that have been modified to reduce the amount of casein and protein. This way, cats can still enjoy the taste of milk with a lesser probability of having an allergic reaction. Same goes with kittens who still need their mother’s milk.

In a scenario where your cat has developed an inexplicable love for a specific type of milk, you can offer small amounts as a treat while gradually increasing the time interval and switch to the substitute enough for your kitty to not notice.

Before It’s Too Late

While circumstances dictate that the occurrence of lactose intolerance to cats are rare, it is never wise to not test the waters before taking a dip. If you decide to add milk in the diet plan of your cat, you can start by feeding him tablespoonfuls of milk. It gives you time to slowly observe if allergic reactions occur, and withdraw it immediately from the diet.

 

Meow for now… Kristian

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