How to Keep Hairballs from Creating Hairy Situations

How to Keep Hairballs from Creating Hairy Situations

Hairballs are definitely one of the less glamorous sides of owning a cat. There is also a bit of irony to it as well. Cats are naturally built to self-groom, therefore reducing the need to give them frequently baths. However, it is because they know how to lick themselves clean that the dead hair their tongues catch on is swallowed and leads to the creation of the nasty hairball in their digestive system.

Hairballs are definitely one of the less glamorous sides of owning a cat. There is also a bit of irony to it as well. Cats are naturally built to self-groom, therefore reducing the need to give them frequently baths. However, it is because they know how to lick themselves clean that the dead hair their tongues catch on is swallowed and leads to the creation of the nasty hairball in their digestive system.

What is even more vexing for some cat owners is that there it is really a natural part of owning a cat. It is not something that can be ‘cured’ (especially if you own, nay, adore fluffy breeds like Persians). The only thing you can do is accept it as part of your responsibility as a good owner and know the best ways to handle these little accidents.

1. Use hairball formula cat food.

If you want something easy to start with, you can’t go wrong with cat food specially made to help your cat’s digestive systems. These are common enough across all brands but a few noteworthy benefits that you might want to look for are those that have high fiber and can also improve the health of your cat’s fur (thereby minimizing the shedding or at least making the hair more digestible).

2. Make a habit to sweep.

There is no predicting when the next time your cat is going to cough out its last grooming session. You will more likely just stumble upon a nasty pile in the corners here and there. Hence, it is best to just have a regular cleaning regimen and become accustomed to sweeping up hairballs as part of the routine.

3. Groom your cat more frequently.

Remember, there is nothing wrong with also having a personal hand in your cat’s hygiene. Start bathing them more frequently and set aside some time every day to brush your cat. Remember, the worst hairballs tend to form because there is only so much hair that can pass through your cat’s digestive tract. Even a little bit of grooming can go a long way to reducing that amount!

4. Avoid panicking or when a cat starts to cough out.

Hearing a cat retch while on the couch is certainly a bit frightening (and catastrophic as far as the clean up goes). However, the last thing you should do is panic and give your cat even more undue stress. Remember, hairballs are still quite natural and it is important for cat owners to become a bit more used to the times when their cat spits one out. And if you don’t want any landing higher than the floor, then at least make sure to pick up your cat gently and carefully set them down until the hairball’s finally out.

On a final note, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian either if you think your cat’s hairball situation is a bit more serious. But in all cases, it’s best to accept that hairballs are just part of life with a cat and not tear your own hair out because of them!

What You Can Expect When You Live with a Cat

What You Can Expect When You Live with a Cat

Have you adopted a fur baby just now? Adopting a cat is an extraordinary experience – it becomes your confidante, your ‘practice baby’, and your best friend! It’s not only a moving experience for you, but for the cat as well. It’s as overjoyed as you to finally have a home to live in and a family that will love it.

Cats can be mysterious – they can either be playful or suddenly reclusive and hide under furniture from you. But they are not a puzzle that you need to solve, they can take a while to understand before you get to be close and personal with them. Don’t lose hope! They will soon be with you 24/7 and will always crave for your attention.

But first, what do you need to know when you live with a cat?

  • On the first days after the adoption, while your cat is grateful, they are territorial. A new home means new dangers for them and it makes them uneasy and paranoid. Since there are different furniture around the house, they will probably be too scared to approach it and make contact with it. That’s why some cats are always on edge when they’re somewhere new. For the first few days, dedicate a corner for your cat and fill it with feline amenities – litter box, water, food, and a soft cat blanket.
  • Place the litter box where the cat can do its business privately. No one wants to be disturbed when they’re doing their business, and it’s the same for your cats too. Make sure you fill up the litter box up to 2 inches and keep it clean as well.
  • Dedicate a space for eating and drinking for your cat and place it away from the litter box. Since cats can be messy – either on purpose or by accident – it pays to put a placemat underneath the bowls for easy clean up. Make sure the food you get for your cat is age appropriate and don’t make them drink cow’s milk! There’s a special formula for them to enjoy and get benefits from.
  • Cats love to hide, and they do this whenever they feel threatened. Make them a small cat house in the corner and pad it up with cushion to make it cozy. It can be made with boxes or you can buy one from the pet store. Position it to make it face the door in the room so it won’t get too startled.
  • Felines always have the desire to scratch on something to wear out their claws. Get your cat a scratching post so they won’t consider clawing your furniture and walls. There are different kinds of scratching gadgets that can help them wear out their claws for a bit – it can be directly installed on the floor, a post itself, and maybe get a cat tree. If they are too iffy to approach it, you can sprinkle some dried catnip on it to entice them to use the post.
  • Cats are explorers and hunters, so they like to pounce and hide around the house. If you have high display shelves and dangling display, expect them to climb on it and possibly break your displays! Since you really can’t make the cat stop doing this, it’s easier to keep these displays in cabinets and away from cat’s reach. It’s the same for holes – there are holes that cats would love to explore and it might injure them or destroy something in the house. Patch it up to make sure that they won’t explore the space between walls.
  • Cats are always on alert and nervous when they’re with new people. Don’t force them to interact with new people at once since they will get defensive and might claw your guest or even you! Give them time and space and soon enough – with enough respected interaction – they will approach you or them instead.

How to Care for Your Cat with Cancer

Having a pet is a joyful experience – you have someone to welcome you home, cuddle you when you feel lonely, and play with you when you’re happy. They’re soft and gentle creatures, and sympathize with you whenever you feel down and depressed. They are intelligent as well – they know when you need their attention and will run to your side when needed.

However, owning a pet is not always rainbows and butterflies, they sometimes come with physical defects and diseases. The most terrible thing of them all – cancer – can possibly be suffered by your cat. Although it’s not rampant, there are cats with cancer out there that needs proper care and whole-hearted love and affection. Don’t give up on them yet! There are a lot of effective treatments out there to help your cat survive the disease.

Cancer Treatments for Your Cat:

  • Tumor removal through surgery. It means that your cat will undergo a surgery to tediously remove the tumors in their body. They are put under anaesthesia and will require you to not feed your cat before the surgery. These tumors are collected as specimen for biopsy, eventually your cat will have to go for chemotherapy as per doctor’s suggestion. Since cats will be frail and lethargic after surgery, they are suggested to stay there overnight.
  • Chemotherapy. It usually lasts for a couple of weeks to months and are done through pills and injections. It will make your cat feel more lethargic and won’t have any appetite. It doesn’t give your cat hair loss as they only receive smaller doses compared to humans.
  • Radiotherapy. This kind of therapy requires radiation that targets tumors through x-ray. It will require longer periods and usually combined with chemotherapy.

These are the treatments available for your cancer-stricken cat, but there are other believed holistic alternative treatments that can make their condition better. But these three are usually the common treatments needed to make the cat handle the cancer. There’s also Cryotherapy and Immunotherapy for your cat that are considered safe and better for your cat’s health. Make sure that the medicine given will be strictly adhered to schedule.

How to Care for the Sick Cat:

  • Nutrition. This is usually advised by the vet since each cat is unique and will need an abundance of vitamins and minerals in their diet. They will be tougher to feed since they will associate it with nausea and medicine, and they will be tougher to convince to drink water. The way to handle this is to avoid combining pill time and meal time together and to stop forcing them to eat or drink when they have nausea.
  • Environment. Make sure you shower your cat with love and affection during this tough times. You can make a corner specifically for your cat and move all its necessities nearby as they usually lack the energy to walk to their litter box or their feeding bowls. You have to adjust to them and maybe even have to settle beside them when they can’t climb.
  • Hygiene. You will have to be extra careful when handling them and have to be more attentive for matted hair and trim their nails. You may have to wash them often than usual and make sure to be gentle in rubbing them dry and combing them.  For cleaning their litter boxes, you have to wear gloves to protect yourself and proceed to clean their items.

What to Do When You Rescued an Orphaned Kitten

There are a lot of strays in the city, and as much as you want to give them a home – you simply can’t. But with their number, there are also unfortunate circumstances that orphans a kitten – even from birth. These kittens are weak and it’s prone for bullying, abuse, and even killed fending for itself. If you manage to rescue one, it’s a blessing for both of you! But what do you do when you get your hands on a stray orphaned kitten? But first, understand why kittens are usually orphaned since birth.

Why some kittens get orphaned

Aside from the sad possibility that the mother feline got killed, it might also due to a condition called agalactia – she cannot produce milk to take care of her kittens or maybe there’s an abnormality in her psychological qualities that makes her unable to care for her young. It can happen as early as the kitten is only a few days or weeks old and it’s usually in harmful and dangerous places.

How to Care for Orphaned Kittens

Kittens by nature needs a lot of care and affection, and it should also be a detailed schedule wherein there’s a time for feeding, playing, and sleeping to help them grow into healthy cats. It might be a time consuming and tiring task, but at the end of the day, it’s a beautiful experience. You get rewarded with its loyalty and you get yourself your new best friend! Here are helpful things you should keep in mind when you care for these babies:

  • Nutrition and Weaning. Since the mother is not around, you need to tube feed the kitten with milk and supplements. It should be done slowly and with care – if you push too much, some of the food will actually enter the lungs and make the kitten choke. If you’re not confident about this, you can use a nursing bottle to regulate the flow of the food. But if the kittens are weak and can’t feed, you may need to visit your nearest vet to take care of this. Make the kitten lie on its belly when it’s being fed. The kind of milk you can use can be found in almost all pet stores – opt for one specifically for kittens. But do not let the cat drink cow or goat’s milk since they lack the needed vitamins for the kitten’s growth.
  • Ensuring Bowel Movement. Unlike a human baby, kittens do not have the necessary muscle control to defecate and even urinate. The grooming and the licking by the mother is the stimulation that ensures the bowel movements – and this should be done every after feeding. You can use a cotton ball or a microfibre towel and wet it with warm water to wipe the genitals and the anal. It will help them do their business with ease.
  • Regulate Temperature for them. A proper room temperature is needed when you need to care for the kittens. They can’t store and even create body heat by themselves yet, so you have to go for artificial warming pads or a DIY incubator. If the weather is too hot, make sure they get enough cool air that their body can handle – if you adopted a litter, you need to spread them out to maintain temperature. Ideally, you can store these babies in a nice blanket and make them cozy and warm. If you have other pets, make sure they don’t touch the kittens too much – or keep them out of reach.
  • Immunise. Like human babies, they are too weak to battle against the germs and disease-carrying bacteria, so it’s important to get their vaccinations and maybe supplements as prescribed by vets.
  • Attention and Social. They also need your love and attention! Don’t bother them too much, but gentle cuddles and pets will be a good way to start a relationship with your cat. If they’re alone, you can put some soft and small stuffed animals in the blanket with the baby to make sure it doesn’t feel lonely – everyone loves cuddles! Shower them with love whenever you can.

Safety and Care: How Long can an Owner Safely Leave a Cat Alone

There’s a common misconception about cats that’s been going around for quite some time now. The misconception goes a little something like this: “Cats are definitely aloof and/or independent. They basically want to be left alone!”  However, this couldn’t be any farther from the truth, because although cats don’t need to be walked on a daily basis like dogs, their owner’s presence matters a lot to them.

Like any other pet, cats still require the supervision and care of the owners. They still need to be bathed, fed, and taken to the vet if necessary. However, being with our cats all the time is pretty unrealistic because we do have work and other stuff to tend to. But, there are factors that we should take into consideration before we leave our cats alone, and we need to ask ourselves specifically, how long can we safely leave our feline fur balls alone?

Think about Your Cat’s Age

Age should be the first thing that people should think about when they plan on leaving their cats alone. As a general rule, kittens below 4 months old shouldn’t be left alone for up to 4 hours and more. If your cat is older than 4 months, then they should be able to handle 5 or 6 hours of being alone. Once your cat reaches 6 months old, they can go on without company for a full eight hours.

Consider the Weather

Before you leave your cat alone, whether you’re going to work or to the grocery store, considering the weather is a very important step to making sure they’ll be safe. During the summer and hotter climates, are more prone to overheating and being in danger. It’s best to leave the air conditioner turned on, so your feline companion could keep cool.

Leave them a Lot of Water

Now, older cats can handle eight hours of being left alone, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be leaving them to fend and care for themselves. Although you’re going to have to leave them for work, you can always prepare what they need beforehand. Water is very important for any living being in this planet (you and your pets included), so make sure to leave them plenty of water to drink while you’re away.

Get Two Litter Boxes

You never know when you might have to leave your cats for more than eight hours. Instead of settling with only one litter, opt to get two or more (depending on how many cats you have). By doing this, the litter boxes won’t fill up faster and provide your furry friend another litter box that they might find more comfortable relieving themselves in. This will lessen the chances of you stumbling upon unauthorized deposits, if you get our drift.

Although cats are more silent and relaxed compared to dogs, they still need love and attention. Be sure to spend time with them, prepared what they need, and don’t leave them alone for too long. Always rush back home as soon as you can because they’ll be eagerly waiting for your return.

Three Messy Mistakes to Avoid When Removing a Mass of Matted Fur

Three Messy Mistakes to Avoid When Removing a Mass of Matted Fur

All right, so life has been rather busy for you and you haven’t exactly had the time to properly brush and bathe your feline companion. In fact, you might be going through a tough stage in your life when cuddling your little kitty is all you can do to cope.

All right, so life has been rather busy for you and you haven’t exactly had the time to properly brush and bathe your feline companion. In fact, you might be going through a tough stage in your life when cuddling your little kitty is all you can do to cope.

Then, one day, you realize your error in the form of a massive wad of matted fur that has grown due to the neglect. You feel bad but even worse, you hate knowing that your cat is also suffering because of it. In fact, you can feel so guilty that you seek out desperate measures to eliminate this matted menace from kitty’s precious fur.

That said, you have to be careful if you are starting to feel this desperate. A lot of proper solutions for dealing with matted fur often require even more patience that you may no longer have. You might be tempted to take risky shortcuts. Here is a quick list of mistakes to avoid when dealing with a really nasty mop of matted cat hair.

#1. Cutting carelessly

Unless you want to completely shave your cat (a very bad idea, by the way), do not cut unless you are disciplined and trained enough to do it properly. Mats can be dangerously close to the skin of your cat and if you are not careful, you can inflict a serious injury.

When cutting off mats, you have to be very precise and try to keep whatever blades you are using from contacting your cat’s skin even as you are digging it into that big clump. Keep a very close eye on what you are doing and snip in small, careful amounts. Sometimes it’s best to not cut it off completely and leave just enough that you can go back to using a brush to remove it.

#2. Splashing and spraying

If you think a good bath is all your cat needs, think again. Mats can actually get worse when wet as the moisture makes it easier for them to tangle up even more!

You should also think twice about applying any hair product you think can be used to untangle mats. Don’t forget that cats have a different reaction to some substances than us humans. (After all, this is why you should be using pet-specific shampoo and soap.)

Always check the ingredients of any product you will use to untangle your cat’s hair. Consult the list of its known allergies and really do your homework when you are shopping for a mat remover at your local stores.

#3. Continuing to neglect regular brushing and bathing

Lastly, you should really understand that prevention will always be better than cure. Even after the nasty mess of matted fur has been removed, take a moment to really commit in giving your cat even just a weekly brushing sesion.

On the bright side, it is rather convenient that mats don’t develop overnight. By keeping your cat moderately groomed and even just a monthly bath, you can greatly reduce the factors that lead to the development of mats.

It also helps to clean your house regularly as matted fur can be the result of dust and other particles getting caught in your cat’s hair.

On a final note, an ordeal of matted fur should be seen as a lesson on taking a cat’s self-grooming habit for granted. No matter how busy or stressed out you are, take a moment to at least help your little kitty out with your own brushing habit so that you will never have to deal with that mess of hair again!


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