Sunday, July 5, 2020

Is Your CAT BEHAVING Badly?

A young European cat. Porto Covo, Portugal.
A young European cat. Porto Covo, Portugal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If your cat is anything like mine then he or she loves to scratch at all kinds of things, things that you really do not want to see scratched up. Cats are one of the most amazing and wonderful pets to own but they can wreak havoc if you let them. You need to learn some techniques to keep the cats from their bad behavior.

Male cats tend to be the most troublesome of the species because they are the ones that are prone to spray. Spraying is one of the most terrible of all cat behaviors. This is a process of literally peeing on anything and everything. They spew urine out behind them in order to mark what they feel is their territory. The best way to treat this behavior is before it starts. The younger that you get your cat neutered the less likely he is to spray as he gets older. People are getting their cats fixed as early as 12 weeks.

If you are worried about getting your cat fixed this young talk to your vet and do some good research online. This is the age that the SPCA is getting this done on the cats that have taken in. This is the best way to nip bad cat behavior in the bud, especially spraying.



Of course, the most common cat problem of all is scratching. If your cat is scratching the furniture and you, and you have tried just about everything else you should give nail caps a try. These are little tiny caps that go over the end of the nails. They glue on like Press on Nails and they do not hurt your cat in any way. They do not even interfere with the claws' ability to withdraw into the paw. They are the perfect and painless way to keep your cat from doing any damage with his or her claws. Of course, these are only for indoor cats.




Sunday, June 28, 2020

How Much FOOD Does a Normal CAT Eat Per Day?

English: cat and dry food
Cat and dry food
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Different cats will eat different amounts of food during a day. Much will depend on the age and breed of the cat, as well as its metabolism. Some cats are finicky eaters and pick at their meals, and some will keep asking for more. Rather like humans, I guess.

A good rule of thumb for feeding a healthy adult cat weighing around 5.5lb or2.5kg is 1.7oz (50g) red meat, 0.7oz (20g) cooked rice and the same for green vegetables, plus 0.3oz (10g) of dry yeast, oil or vitamin/mineral compound per day. This is if you are cooking your own cat food. Increase these amounts proportionately for cats weighing more. This can be split into two meals, morning and night.

For tinned foods, the cat food packaging states that a cat weighing the same would need 4.5oz (130g), and dry food of 1.7oz (50g) per day.

You will need to weigh your cat by holding it while you are on the scales. Then put the cat down and weigh yourself again. The difference is the cat's weight.

When feeding my own cat, I give her half of a 100g sachet of 'wet food' each night. She also has access to dry biscuits all day as well as freshwater. However, the packet states that I should be feeding her (at a 5.5-6lb, 2 -3kg weight) 1-2 pouches per day plus a quarter to a third cup of dry food per day. They qualify this by saying 'depending on the age and activity level of your cat'. I have experimented with my cat and fed her more along the lines of what is suggested on the packaging. I found that she wasn't eating that much and I had to throw it out. She is as active as most other cats I've seen over the years and is in excellent condition for her age. I'm not suggesting that the cat food company is trying to have you overfeed your cat to sell more products. But I do suggest you experiment with your own cat and see just how much is eaten.

Of course, if your cat has special needs such as pregnancy, diabetes or other conditions, you would feed her what is required for that condition. Pregnant cats need considerably more food than a cat that is not pregnant. Young and very active cats will probably eat more than a sedentary 9-year-old cat.

It is very important that your cat receives the correct nutrients in its food. You need to check the food labels to make sure they are using meat, cereals, vegetables as well as essential vitamins and minerals. Stay clear of foods that include 'meat products' on the label as these can mean they have included bone, lungs, beaks, claws, hooves, muscles, arteries etc to bulk up the food. They can claim a high percentage of 'meat products' on the label but don't define what those products are.

Good cat food must include the right balance of protein, essential fats, minerals, vitamins and fibre to keep your cat in top condition. It is worth paying that little bit extra for a 'name' food as they have a reputation to protect.

So back to the original question of how much food does a normal cat eat per day? It varies depending on the age and condition of your cat. If you have always fed your cat a lot of food, this is what it will expect as the stomach is used to this amount. If your cat doesn't get much exercise, you can cut down on the food but do it slowly so the stomach and body get used to it. Why not do as I have done - give 1.7oz (50g) wet food plus access to dry biscuits and fresh water and see how your cat goes. Buying the 24 sachet box will save you money and you may be able to increase the quality of your cat's food.



Sunday, June 21, 2020

When Kitty has the FLU

A six-week old kitten.
A six-week-old kitten. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are a number of medical conditions that affect your cat, and so having a vet that you can call for illnesses and injuries is best if you choose to keep a pet. Just like humans, a cat can also get the flu. Flu in cats is due to an upper respiratory infection and can affect cats of any age, but is especially found in young or old cats. If you suspect that your cat has the flu, call your vet to get further instructions for nursing your cat back to health.

The flu in a cat will look similar to the flu in a human. Depending on what agent is causing the flu, there are a wide range of symptoms and severities. Major signs that your cat has the flu include inflammation around the eyes and nose, discharge from the nose, a raised temperature, weakness and loss of appetite, sneezing, and coughing. It is important to get treatment for your cat immediately so that your cat is not left with chronic diseases.

Your doctor cannot cure the flu, as is also true for humans, but the symptoms of the flu can be treated. It is important for your cat to get plenty of nutrients during his or her illness, so that strength can be regained. Encouraging your cat to eat and drink is helpful, and if your cat is not averse to water, gentle baths may be relaxing. Talk to your vet about specific treats you can use, like sardines, which will get your cat to eat more even if he or she is ill. If your cat's condition worsens or is very severe, it is extremely important for you to take your cat to the vet. A vet hospital stay may be necessary to allow re-hydration and feeding.



There are certain things you can do to prevent cats from getting the flu. Vaccination for the flu will drastically reduce the severity of the flu if caught. If you have multiple cats in your house, you should also consider isolation if a certain cat has the flu, since this disease spreads quickly. Clean the bowls often and disinfect your hands and clothing after handling the cat. You can also talk to your cat's vet in order to find out other things you can do to help your cat feel better more quickly and to prevent your cat from getting the flu in the first place. Remember, vet care is always the best choice to keep your cat healthy and happy.


Sunday, June 14, 2020

Fact Sheet: BLOODHOUND - St. Hubert Hound

(Original title: Bloodhound Dog Breed Profile)

Bloodhound
Bloodhound (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Description:
The Bloodhound is considered to be a large type of hound. The dog will weigh between 90 and 110 pounds and the bitch 80 to 100 pounds. The height at the withers will be 25 to 27 inches for the dog and 23 to 25 inches for the bitch. The Bloodhound is recognizable for its wrinkled head, long ears, and soulful expression. The coat of the Bloodhound is short and has a hard texture and is predominantly liver and tan, black and tan, or red. The Bloodhound has a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years. This dog is also known as the Flemish Hound, the St. Hubert Hound, and the Chien de Saint-Hubert.

History: 
The Bloodhound is an ancient breed, dating back over 1,000 years. The Bloodhound probably originated in France but was perfected by the Monks of St. Hubert in Belgium. The name Bloodhound refers to the purity of its blood, not to any vicious qualities. The Bloodhound was taken to England during the Norman Conquest and was a favorite breed with the royal house for years thereafter. The Bloodhound was used primarily as a hunting dog for stags. Gifts of Bloodhounds were given to the Kings of France by the monks from Monastery of St. Hubert. Later, the exceptional nose of the Bloodhound was used in tracking criminals and lost children.

Temperament: 
Despite popular literature, the Bloodhound is one of the sweetest natured dogs. This dog is calm and gentle and can be trusted with children. Actually, the Bloodhound will sometimes have to be protected from children that want to play too vigorously with it, as it will not protest against harsh treatment. The Bloodhound loves to be in the midst of its family, interacting with them, and receiving attention. It is a loyal and devoted dog that is mild and patient.

Health Issues: 
The Bloodhound is a dog that is quite susceptible to bloat and care should be taken to do everything possible to prevent this condition. Feed the dog 2 or 3 small meals a day, rather than one large one, and keep the dog inactive for an hour after eating. If your Bloodhound does develop bloat, take it to the veterinarian immediately. Bloat is a life-threatening condition. The Bloodhound can suffer from hip dysplasia. Eye problems can also surface, especially entropion.





Grooming: 

As the Bloodhound has a short coat, a good brushing once a week will serve to keep it in good condition. As the Bloodhound has a rather strong 'doggy odor', the owner might like to give it a dry shampooing once in a while. The ears of the Bloodhound should be checked daily to make sure they are clean and dry. The pendulous ears make it easy for infections to begin.

Living Conditions: 
The Bloodhound is an affectionate dog and will do best in the house with its family, even though it is able to live outside. This dog is capable of living in an apartment if it is given sufficient exercise. The Bloodhound is a dog that loves to follow a scent and should be allowed to work off some energy in a daily walk.



Sunday, June 7, 2020

GREYHOUNDS - A Brief Review

Greyhound, Giandomenico Tiepolo
Greyhound, Giandomenico Tiepolo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All About Greyhounds
The greyhound is a pure breed of dog that is sleek; an elite breed of dog that was generally bred for hunting game. Throughout the years, this dog breed has become more known for its racing capabilities and companionship. Greyhounds are the fastest dog on the planet; the only other land animal that is faster is the cheetah. They can reach the speed of 45 mph in as little as 1.5 seconds. It's a thing of beauty - if you've never seen a greyhound run, you are missing a very special sight.

With a Greyhound, you get a regal and valuable dog that has proven to have excellence in their profession - whether that is racing, hunting, or being a loyal friend and companion.

Did you know that there is a famous Greyhound on TV? He is featured on the popular show, The Simpsons. Santa's Little Helper is very much like a real greyhound - lean, affectionate, gentle, and loves other animals.

A Greyhound's History
Greyhound's date as far back as 4000 B.C. where images have been found in Egyptian tombs. Historically, Greyhounds were mainly used as hunting animals because of their keen eyesight - they are able to spot prey quickly. They were only introduced to England sometime during the fifth or sixth century.

During the early 1920s, which was a time of great wealth, fashion, and excess, modern Greyhound racing became a popular sport in the United States. By 1926 it was becoming fashionable in England as well.

Greyhound dog
Photo by daveynin
The Physical Appearance of the Greyhound
Males are generally 28 to 30 inches in height and their weight range is 70 to 100 pounds.
Females are smaller, usually 27 or 28 inches high at the shoulder, and weigh between 60 and 75 pounds.

They are short-haired which comes in many different colors - white, black, fawn, red, brindle, and even blue (which is actually gray); or you can find them in a combination of any of these colors. Although many people may think that they are called Greyhounds because of the blue/gray fur but that is not correct. Actually, finding a "blue" greyhound is very difficult as that is the rarest of all the colors.

As they have short fur, no undercoat, and no fat on their body, they can be very susceptible to weather extremes. They are not outdoor dogs, they need shelter from harsh weather as well as companionship.

Their long legs and aerodynamic body shape is what makes them such great and fast runners - making them perfect for racing. And they love to race and run almost as much as they love to lounge around and sleep.

The Temperament and Behavior
Although greyhounds are extremely fast dogs, and the second-fastest land animals on the planet, they are not high-energy dogs. Greyhounds are sprinters, not marathon runners. Even though they love to run they do not require frequent exercise. They enjoy walks and a run around the yard which gets rid of the occasional bout of excess energy, but the walks and runs are not a necessity. When they do run, it is a very fast run over a short distance then they are "spent" for the rest of the day.

Most Greyhounds are content to sleep the day away. If you like to take daily walks, they'll enjoy them too but they aren't necessary. Whatever your schedule, they'll adapt to it.

99% of Greyhounds are quiet and exceedingly gentle. They are commonly referred to as "forty-five miles per hour couch potatoes".

While sleeping, many Greyhounds prefer to lie on their back with their four legs sticking straight up in the air; this position is known as "cockroaching"(or more commonly, a roach).

The Greyhound Health
Greyhounds are not prone to many of the hereditary diseases and illnesses of other large breeds of dog. One disease that they are prone to is cancer like most other dog breeds.

The average lifespan is 10 to 13 years.

Because they are very lean -- with little to no fat on their bodies, it is understandable that they don't like to lay on hard surfaces. They are most comfortable on nice cushy dog beds.



The physiology and anatomy of Greyhounds are very unique. For this reason, Greyhound owners need to be aware of and take care of medications and anesthesia. They are not able to metabolize barbiturate-based anesthesia.

Keeping a Greyhounds as a Pet
Greyhounds are very gentle and have a mild temperament. They make fantastic pets.
If you adopt a retired racing Greyhound, you'll see that they make an exceptional pet, and the bonus is that they are already house-trained with the exception of knowing how to do stairs. But they learn quickly.

They are pack-oriented dogs, which means that they will quickly adopt a human master into their life and obey dutifully.

With their gentle nature, they generally get along very well with other animals in the household and all family members. Having said that, if you have small children or small animals such as a cat, it is important that you adopt one that is not high-prey. Some Greyhounds have a very high prey drive which would make it unsafe for small animals and if the prey-drive is severe, there is no way that you will be able to train the dog otherwise. In a few cases, a greyhound (like any other dog,) does not tolerate young children very well. This must be evaluated before bringing your dog home as well. Your adoption group will be able to help you with this.

It is extremely rare to find a Greyhound that is aggressive.

A common misconception is that Greyhounds need a lot of exercises. They tend more towards being very lazy than energetic - far from hyperactive. Because they don't need a lot of exercise or room to run, they make great pets for everyone whether you live in the city or the country.

Regardless of your location, they must always be on a leash unless they are in a completely fenced-in area. Chasing animals has been bred into them for centuries and they will take off after another animal that they spot outdoors. When they are in "hunting" mode, they have no recall and will be out of sight within seconds.

They are very trusting and friendly to just about everyone they meet.