Archive | August 2012

Rough Housed by Your Kitty? Here are some tackle tips…

 

Play aggression in cats/kittens is a very common cat behavior problem. Biting and scratching during play are typical of play aggression, a behavior most commonly observed in young cats and kittens. To read more about why and how of cat behavior problem of aggressive play you can also visit http://www.tailwaggers.in/cat-behavior-problems-play-aggression.html. Meanwhile we give you some easy and helpful tips to tackle your cat’s aggressive behavior problems.

 

English: A Persian kitten play fighting with i...

English: A Persian kitten play fighting with its owner. When separated from mother and siblings, a kitten would engage in active play fighting with humans. Play fighting may involve playful biting, but the bite is generally not serious. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

What can you do to tackle this play aggression?

 

 

 

  • Firstly it is very important that you keep a track on your cat’s behavior to understand the pattern of aggression so that you could detect and rectify this problem in the early stages of cat’s development.
  • Secondly A bell on a breakaway collar around your cat’s neck clues you in to his whereabouts thereafter you could deny him/her his favorite stalking places. This will contribute to discourage the cat from stalking.
  • Usage of noise deterrents like human-generated hiss, a can filled with pennies or a hand clap at the onset of stalking could be very useful and discourage your kitten from being aggressive. Remember, your aim is to startle the cat not scare him.
  • Another cat companion for your lonely cat could help a lot. The new friend will give him an outlet to vent his youthful energies as well as show him the boundaries of playful biting and scratching.
  • Simply walking away and ignoring your kitten is highly effective; it teaches him that the consequence of rough play is no play.
  • Keep all of your play objects at a distance from your hands, so your cat has no opportunity to bite or scratch you. If you can predict when the attacks are likely to happen, toss a toy ahead of you to attract the cat’s attention away from your feet. Avoid rough play with the cat, and make sure all family members comply.
  • Toss moving objects like ping-pong balls, walnuts, or aluminum foil balls for your cat to chase. Provide climbing perches, scratching posts, and ball toys that deliver food when batted about. Buy a fishing pole toy with feathers on the end to dangle in front of your cat. Imitation bugs on wires, feather wands and catnip mice on a string that can be made to bounce erratically work best. (For safety’s sake, keep these toys out of reach when the cat is not supervised.)

 

Always remember never slap/beat your cat. It is not only cruel but also the pain of being struck can lead to more aggressive behavior, and your kitten will learn to fear and avoid you. So good luck and have a blast!!!

 

 

 

 

 

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How to make your cat use the litter box..

The most common of all cat behavior problems is that of elimination outside the litter box. Besides the mess and damage, inappropriate elimination is unsanitary and creates an unpleasant (and often malodorous) atmosphere in the home.

 

Sometimes your kitty suddenly begins eliminating in inappropriate places which could be a sign that she doesn’t feel well. You’ll never make any progress on getting her to use the litter box consistently if there’s a physical cause for the unwanted behavior, so get her to the vet as soon as possible.

 

Apart from physical reasons, it could also be something psychological such as the location of the litter box. Maybe it’s too far out of the way (for example, down in a basement or up in an attic) or too hard to get into or out of for small kittens or elderly cats. Sometimes, air fresheners or other odors in the room will keep the cat away. Pine and citrus, for example, are pleasing smells to us but may be offensive to cats. Also, loud noises, such as a nearby stereo, may disturb your cat when she’s doing her business.

 

Before you try to treat inappropriate elimination as a behavior problem, take your cat to the vet for a thorough exam. If your vet rules out a physical cause, you know it’s probably a straight behavior problem. However, even if there is a physical problem and your vet treats it successfully, your cat still has developed the habit of eliminating someplace other than litter box; you’ll still need to follow the steps for correcting the behavior problem. Here are some helpful tips:

 

Give your kitty a lot of options: Litter boxes and litter should be bought simultaneously with the decision to get a cat. Set them up before the cat sets a single paw in your home. Make sure they are clean, easy to find, and numerous enough as many cats dislike using a box that another cat has recently used (even if that other cat is herself). A litter box in every room could help your cat feel more comfortable. A useful thumb rule to follow is: The number of litter boxes in the house should equal the number of cats in the house plus one. Thus, if you have two cats, you should have at least three litter boxes; even households with just one cat should have at least two boxes.

 

Keep it simple silly: These days a lot ofinteresting options are available in the form of Deodorizing litters, antibacterial litters, high-tech litters etc. There’s nothing wrong with using a litter that makes your job of tending to the litter box a little easier but it is likely that your cat may be put off by the additives, perfumes, and chemical deodorizers used in some of these products. And that means they’ll choose to do their business elsewhere. A plain cat box clumping litter (unscented) usually works fine.

 

Stop the behavior initially: Once a cat starts eliminating outside of the litter box, do not assume she’ll learn to use the box on her own. Cats habitually return to the same places to eliminate, a habit that’s re-enforced by the lingering odor of urine or feces. Since a cat’s sense of smell far superior to ours, cleaning up a litter box accident so that you can no longer detect the odor may not be enough to deter the cat from doing it again. Therefore it is necessary to stop your cat after her first accident itself. You can do some of the following things:

 

  • Block the favorite spots: Deny your cat access to places where she’s eliminated outside the litter box. Physical barriers work well, but if that’s not possible, try covering the spots with tinfoil or double-sided tape. This provides a barrier to the odor and a texture the cat won’t want to walk on. If possible, consider placing a litter box directly on top of the inappropriate spot, and then gradually move the box an inch or so every few days, until it’s where you want it to be.
  • Appropriate restraint and reward always works: When your cat first comes home, keep her in one room with a litter box. Once she’s using that box consistently, give her the run of more rooms. Usually, this is enough to lock in the habit. However, a cat that doesn’t completely get the hang of the litter box — or backslides and starts eliminating in other places — needs some additional training. The best method is to use a large portable dog kennel. Set the cat up in the kennel with litter and water and give her meals in there, too. When you see her use the litter box, let her out for a recess. Keep an eye on her, and return her to her private quarters after an hour or two. The next time you see her use the litter box, let her out again. The idea is she only gets free run of the house when she uses the litter box. This strategy can train (or retrain) a cat to use the litter box in as little as two or three weeks — but longer isn’t uncommon, either.

 

Always remember that Cats have an instinct to dig in loose materials and bury their urine and feces, and many of them adapt this instinct to the litter box with few problems. But it’s still something they have to learn, and they often need help to get the lesson right.

 

 

 

 

 

10 Reasons to Get Your Pet Spayed/Neutered.

Happy Furry Friday, folks!

Happy Furry Friday, folks! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spaying/neutering is an essential part of your responsibilities as a pet owner. However before proceeding you should have a complete knowledge about the basics. Spaying as we say is removing the ovaries and uterus of a female pet and is a veterinary procedure that requires minimal hospitalization and offers lifelong health benefits. Whereas Neutering is removing the testicles of your male dog or cat and is proven to vastly improve your pet’s behavior and keep him close to home. Unlike common misconception, spaying/neutering your pet is not at all harmful. Instead it has added health benefits if done at the right age.

If you are having doubts about your pet’s sterilization then read on as we give you top 10 reasons to spay or neuter your pet!

  1. Give your female pet a longer, healthier life.
    Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.
  2. Provide major health benefits for your male.
    Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer, if done before six months of age.
  3. Say goodbye to your female’s heat woes.
    While cycles can vary, female felines usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they’ll yowl and urinate more frequently—sometimes all over the house! Unlike humans dog/cat females do not have adverse effect if their heat cycles are stopped.
  4. Keep your male dog from wandering away from home or getting lost.
    An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate! That includes digging his way under the fence and making like Houdini to escape from the house. And once he’s free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other males not to mention getting dognapped for illegal dog fights.
  5. Get a better behaved pet in your neutered male.
    Neutered cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families. On the other hand, unneutered dogs and cats may mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house. Many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering.
  6. Spaying or neutering will NOT make your pet fat.
    It is an age old misconception propagated by lazy and irresponsible owners. The truth is that lack of exercise and overfeeding causes your pet to pack on the extra pounds—not neutering. Your pet will remain fit and trim as long as you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake.
  7. Saves you from frequent and costly trips to your vet.
    It is highly cost-effective as the cost of your pet’s spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter. It also beats the cost of treatment when your unneutered male escapes and gets into fights with the neighborhood stray!
  8. Spaying and neutering your pet is good for the community.
    Stray animals pose a real problem in many parts of the country. They can prey on wildlife, cause car accidents, damage the local fauna and frighten children. Spaying and neutering packs a powerful punch and is a totally humane way of reducing the number of animals on the streets. This step not only reduces dog menace but also cruelty on stray animals.
  9. Spaying and neutering helps fight pet overpopulation.
    Every year, millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds end up in shelters and are ultimately euthanized or suffer as strays. These high numbers are the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering. It is highly irresponsible to bring pups/kittens to life when their future is so dark and unreliable.
  10. Abandoning unwanted litter is not a very good life lesson for your children.
    Letting your pet produce offspring you have no intention of keeping is not a good lesson for your children—especially when so many unwanted animals end up in shelters.

What to do if your pet dog gets burned?

 

 

Though there is a lot of awareness about how to treat injuries like fractures or swelling as well as what to do when your dog gets diarrhea or vomits but not many people know how to handle dog burns. A common truth that every pet owner faces is that however careful you may be, sometimes accidents do happen. The majority of burn wounds in dogs occur in the home and are categorized as thermal (heat), chemical and electrical. We strongly advise you to take your dog to the vet immediately when burn accidents happen but in the meantime you should know these handy tips also:

  1. The least dangerous and easily treatable dog burns are superficial thermal burns which can be treated by immersion of the affected skin in cold water or by applying an ice pack. Then you should remove any hair or debris from the burn wound and gently pat dry. Do not use oil-based medications on a burn wound. Prefer medical creams which will help prevent infection and does not interfere with burn wound healing. Ask your vet to suggest such medicines to use just in case. A non-stick telfa pad can then be applied followed by a light bandage to hold it in place. If the burn wound becomes infected or is not healing, veterinary care is needed.
  2. A more serious burn is deep thermal burns which extend below the surface of the skin and require immediate veterinary care. You should place a cloth loosely over the burn area (Do not rinse with water or place any medications on the burn wound) and then head to a veterinarian immediately. Since these burn wounds are serious and very painful hence some dogs may even go into shock.
  3. Then there are Electrical burns which are usually the result of a dog biting into an electrical cord. These burns are seen on the lips and tongue (where the dog bit the cord) but the dog’s entire body received an electrical shock. If you see your dog bite an electrical cord, do not touch the dog or try to pull the cord from its mouth as you may get shocked. First pull the plug from the outlet before doing anything else. If your dog is unconscious then check for breathing and a heartbeat or pulse. If breathing or the heart has stopped you may need to perform CPR. Whenever your dog is a victim of any electrical burn or shock, even if he seems fine, seek immediate veterinary care.
  4. Lastly there are Chemical burns (acid or alkali compounds) which are most common as well. These may occur on the surface of the body or may be ingested. Rinsing the chemical off with water should be done as soon as possible. However, if you know the compound is an acid, you can rinse the area with baking soda dissolved in water. If the compound is alkaline, then vinegar and water may be used. If your dog ingested the compound, check the container to see if there is an antidote and seek veterinary care immediately.

 

Does constipation in your dog onset of Perianal fissures??

One of the lesser known but widely affecting disease in dogs is Perianal fistulas (fissures). These are pus-filled, tunnel-like lesions that can form in the anal cavity and spread to the skin area around the anus in dogs. Perianal fistulas cause severe pain and can greatly reduce the quality of life for your dog. German shepherds are most affected by this disease however it is also seen in other large breeds such as Irish setter. Many of the breeds which suffer from perianal fistulas tend to have a broad sloping tail head which may actually predispose them to the formation of fistulas. Perianal fissures could be extremely painful for your dog and requires immediate treatment hence it is necessary that you understand the symptoms and take your dog immediately to the vet. Some common symptoms of this disease are:

 

  1. Constipation
  2. Excruciating Pain while passing stool (sometimes the dog cries while defecating).
  3. Bloody diarrhea.
  4. Mucous in the stool.
  5. Excessive licking and biting around the tail area.

 

Earlier surgery was used to remove the fistula or the skin covering each tract. Recently immunosuppressive drugs have replaced surgery. Perianal fistulas have a tendency to recur; therefore the pet owners should be extra careful once your dog has been treated. It is highly advisable to get your dog to the vet as soon as you identify these symptoms.

 

 

 

What to do when you find an injured animal.???

Many a times it happens that we come across an injured or ill animal and do not know what to do. Here are few steps so as to organize you and guide you through the rescue:

1.      The most important thing to understand before undertaking any kind of rescue is that all animals are scared of humans. They can neither understand you nor tell you what is wrong with them. This lack of communication results in generating mistrust. Therefore you have to be very careful in approaching the animal because there is a possibility it could harm you or itself out of fear.

2.      First of all it is very important to understand the kind of injury to the animal because when you will call a helpline, the first thing that would be asked is the same.

 

3.      Sometimes in case of dogs the animal gets aggressive if you try to reach out so it is best not to go very near but to gradually gain its trust. The same goes for birds except birds get frightened and in the course could harm themselves further more. The best way to keep birds calm is to keep them in a dark and quiet place for example a large size cardboard box with holes for breathing.

4.      Immediately call for help. You can get all the helpline numbers that you need from  http://www.tailwaggers.in/AnimalHelplines.html.  You can also try to take the animal to the nearest vet or you can wait for the ambulance.

5.      Make sure that you take the token number that the organization providing the ambulance will give you. This will help you to keep a regular tab on the whereabouts of the animal that you rescued.

6.      You can later give the reference of the token number and verify if the rescuing organization has returned the cured and healthy animal to its original area/street.

Hope these points will help you get organized and you will be able to help an animal without getting panicky.