Kitten Care: Kitten-Proofing Your Home

Kitten-Proofing Your Home

Getting a new kitten is a joyful experience.  Having a new kitten bouncing and playing around your home can be so much fun.  Caring for a new kitten can help your children learn responsibility and respect for other creatures.  

However, you want to make sure that your new kitten will have a safe experience in your home — remember they are just little babies.  They are also full of curiosity and an amazing ability to get into things you never thought they could. 

Here are a few videos about kittens:

First is about kitten-proofing your home.  It is a short video but it is full of very good advice — things that we might never think about, but will need to with a new kitten coming into our house.

The second video is just a sweet little video about having kittens in your house.  Like little baby people, little baby cats need a lot of sleep and some of them just don’t want to admit they they need to go to bed.  Watching this one little kitten struggle to stay up while his brothers and sisters play around him is a treat I wanted to share.  This was obviously made by a very loving kitty mama:

 

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Cat Diseases: Cat Scratch Fever

Cat Scratch Fever

I didn’t know if cat scratch fever was a real disease that people got from being scratched by a cat, whether it was a disease cats got by being scratched by other cats, or if it was just a song by Ted Nugent, so I decided to look it up, having been scratched by my cat plenty of times while playing with her in the 9 years I’ve owned her.

Yes, there really is a disease called cat scratch fever, and you can get it by being bitten or scratched by a cat.  Apparently, about 40% of cats carry the bacteria that causes it, Bartonella bacteria.  You can be infected if an infected cat scratches or bites you, or even if you just pet an infected cat and then rub your eye!  Kittens are more prone to have it than older cats, but infected cats don’t show any symptoms.

You can even get it if a cat licks an open wound on your skin, so be careful about those kitty kisses, too!

What are the symptoms:

  • The first symptoms may show up in a week after infection or even 2 months later.  At first you will get a bump or blister at the site of the injury.
    Fatigue
    Fever (in some patients)
    Headache
    Lymph node swelling around the site or in your neck (like mumps) or in your armpits.
    Overall discomfort

Other symptoms that may develop may include loss of appetite, sore throat, weight loss, and then the list gets even worse.

If you have been bitten or scratched by a cat or are just around a cat and start to develop these symptoms, go to a doctor.  Cat scratch fever can be hard to diagnose, because it is not really seen that often, but an IFA test can detect the Bartonella bacteria.

Cat scratch fever is not usually a serious disease.  Most healthy children will recover without treatment.  Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic, such as azithromycin.

If you have a compromised immune system, it can develop serious consequences, so be sure to see a doctor.

I know I always wash my hands after cleaning out the litter box (naturally), but I never knew it was a good idea to wash my hands after petting my cat or letting my cat lick my skin.

My friend told me a joke once:  “Cats aren’t clean, they’re covered with kitty spit!”  I laughed at the time.  I’ve been scratched by more than one cat and lived to tell the tale, and I’ve never felt it necessary to wash my hands after petting my cat, although if I do get scratched, I will wash the scratch thoroughly with soap and water and put on an antibacterial ointment just in case.

Anyway, here’s a quick video about cat scratch fever.  I found it very educational.  I still refuse to get scared of playing or petting my cat, though.

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Cat Product Reviews: Pagoda Cat Houses

Cat Product Reviews:  Pagoda Cat Houses

A lot of cat furniture looks the same, but there is some designer cat furniture out there that is so cute that it adds to the decor of your home for you as much as it adds to your cat’s pleasure. 

There is a line of Pagoda Cat houses, from single story small cat houses to big tall trees with Pagoda Cat houses on top with Pagoda Cat Condos in between.  You can check them all out here:

Pagoda Cat Houses

http://www.catscatseverywhere.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=Pagoda&x=72&y=29

 

Pagoda-style Cat House

Single-Story Pagoda Cat House

Check out the single-story Pagoda Cat House.

It is small enough to put in a corner or even up on a shelf.  Your cat will love having its own house, and it is so cute!

If you don’t have a lot of room, the Pagoda Cat House will fit easily into any corner, and your cat can climb, lounge in or on, and scratch all over it!

 

Cat Condo Zen Pagoda Cat House Style

Zen Pagoda Cat Condo

What if you want something a little bigger in the same style?  How about a Zen Pagoda Cat Condo?

With sisal rope on the 2 side posts, you have a cat condo and cat scratching posts all in one.

Wouldn’t this look adorable in your house?

I know cats love this style, because they can lounge up on the pagoda-style roof as well as in the condo.

Large Pagoda Cat house and cat tree

Large Pagoda Cat Tree

Of if you are looking for something big, there is always the big Pagoda Cat Tree.

 

This big cat tree has TWO Pagoda-style cat houses, one on the ground level and one on the top with a ledge in between and a detachable ladder for easy access.

 

If you want something that is different in the way of cat furniture, then check out the Pagoda styles.  They come from small, to medium, to large, but still have that designer furniture look.

These are all hand-made in America with wood and plush carpeting, using no toxic glues or chemicals.

There are other sizes to check out, so you can find the one that is just right for you.  They also come in your choice of color carpeting.

A lot of cat furniture looks the same.  If you are looking for cat furniture with something special about it, this selection of Pagoda style cat houses, condos, and trees can be just what you want.

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Cat Health: Feline Diarrhea

Cat Health:  Diarrhea

Okay, I know, diarrhea is not a subject we want to talk or think about, but when your cat gets diarrhea, like mine has, it can become a problem, maybe a very bad problem, within a few days, so it is something we cat owners need to pay attention to.
Early last year, my cat got very, very sick. Mostly, she was throwing up, and I took her to the vet. She ended up having to go to a specialist vet, who thought it might be pancreatitis, even maybe cancer. It turned out she had developed a sensitivity to her food (she had been eating a name-brand chicken-flavored food all of her life).  The doctor had me switch her to a limited ingredient food that was NOT chicken, and she got all better quite quickly.

Now, we have moved to the Southwest, and she no longer has the green grass around her to chew on. Plus, the move was very stressful. So, now, she has developed loose stools. Is it something that I should take her to the vet for (with the cost involved) or just watch. I checked with Yahoo Answers about this, and here was the best chosen answer:

Question:   It seems that our cat has diarrhea. Should I take it to the vet?

Answer:  Diarrhea in cats can cause severe dehydration if it goes on more than a couple days. It be caused by multiple things:

Diary products: cats do not have the proper enzymes to properly break down the sugar in milk which is called ‘lactose.’ You may have heard of people who are lactose-intolerant (I am — I am so glad they invented LactAid, so that I can have cafe mocha in the morning). They are also missing these digestive enzymes. If the proper enzymes are not present, the lactose remains undigested and tends to ferment in the intestine and cause diarrhea.
For More on Milk and cats:   http://www.cat-world.com.au/can-cats-drink-milk

The other culprit that could contribute to the diarrhoea may be various parasites/worms (coccidia, giardia, roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, etc). There are different types of dewormers for each of the types of parasites. Therefore consider a vet visit to have her dewormed since some of the over the counter treatments do not eliminate all the types of parasites. For more on feline parasites.

For more on causes of Feline Diarrhea

Contrary to what people believe canned food is helpful for cats with diarrhea as this is a symptomatic of dehydration. Canned diets can supplement the intake of moisture so having both dry and canned are helpful. Any vet can confirm this fact.

Canned pumpkin (without spices) will also help firm up the loose stool symptoms.

Please keep in mind that also sudden changes in food brands, types will also contribute to diarrhea symptoms as well. So as soon as your new kitty starts on the cat food she may have lingering symptoms.  Again any vet can confirm this fact. Switching foods should be done gradually over a course of several weeks. For example the first week would consist of 3/4 of old food mixed to 1/4 of new food then the next week 1/2 to 1/2 then the following week at 1/4 old to 3/4 new before completing the switch.

The above are just only a few causes as there are many more that can also cause diarrhea such as diseases, illnesses, etc. Therefore, it is always recommended to consider contacting a vet and discussing if a visit is necessary for treatment.

Source(s):

Animal Trainer to domestic and exotic cats
27 year friendship with a veterinarian

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Cat Product Reviews: Litter Box Furniture

Litter Box Furniture

If, like me, you wonder where is the best place to put the litter box, there is a solution — you can put the litter box anywhere in your house, even your bedroom or living room — if you have the right furniture.

There is a whole line of litter box furniture especially designed for hiding the litter box. You can start with a 26″ high cabinet and move on up to a two-section cabinet with stained glass doors, if you want to.

These litter box cabinets are specially designed not only to look GORGEOUS, but are also designed to be the best litter box “hiders” around. Inside, where you hide the litter box, they have 2 cat flap openings on each side. That way, your cat will be glad to jump in and out and not feel trapped like litter boxes covers that only have one opening.

Also, on the inside of the door you can hang special ZEOLITE bags which will suck up all odor and dampness so that there is no “cat box smell.” This bag of ZEOLITE contains a volcanic mineral which absorbs smells and dampness. Then, after 8 months, you just wash it down with cold water, let it dry in the sun, and hang it back up. Once you have bought it, it is yours for life!

With the litter box hidden and no “cat box odor”, these beautiful cabinets can go anywhere in your house. Check them out in the video below and find just what you need. No more having to step over the litter box or get kitty litter on your bare feet in the bathroom. Now, your home can look like it is full of designer furniture and no one will know where the cat box went!

 

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