“Happy Cats are Healthy Cats”

Lynn Baer, DVM, Cat Specialist, shares her top tips for cat owners to ensure well adjusted, happy cats.  Lynn says, “happy cats are healthy cats and happy cats make owners happier and healthier, too”.

  Tip #1) Recognize the fact that indoor only cats have no choices of their own in life

They are completely reliant on what we offer them.  We choose their litter box size, shape, location and litter substrate. We choose where they are fed, what they are fed out of, and what foods they are offered.  We choose their toys, their beds, their bowls, and everything within their lives.  Cats have few choices of their own.   They would be happier given more choices of their own and once owners understand that and begin to expand their options, cats would remain healthier and happier. 

Tip #2) Bring the outdoors in 

Cats are held captive within four walls for their entire lives.  Open the blinds, open the windows, grow grass, bring leaves and branches in for them to smell. Again for owners to be more aware of the fact that their cats have never walked on grass or soil, experienced changes in temperature, smelled different smells, or had the ability to walk around the block to explore new surroundings.  Owners should evaluate every opportunity to enhance their indoors cat’s lives by bringing new things into the home.  Build catios, window units or other alternative opportunities for cats to experience the outdoors.  At a minimum place window seats around the house (off the ground), build vertical spaces for them to climb, train them to walk on leashes, erect cat proof fences, etc.

 Tip #3) Play, play, play and more play

Indoor cats are bored, depressed and inactive.  Owners don’t generally play with their cats daily.  Cats need exercise, mental stimulation and fun.  Having a basket of toys for cats is not enough.  Owners should actively engage with their pets by using wand toys, laser lights, throwing blankets over furniture to create tents, rotating toys daily.  Adding silvervine, catnip, and valerian to their arsenal of toys will give cats new experiences.  Using foraging toys for food rewards, making cats hunt for some of their food all help to stimulate their body and mind.

Tip #4) Lots of scratch posts – both vertical and horizontal for cats to scratch on. 

I am completely opposed to declawing (having never performed one in my entire career).   Scratching is a form of communication and also gives cats the ability to stretch their muscles.  It is important they have great areas and substrates to scratch on.  It makes them happy.

 Tip #5)  Seek out cat only veterinarians

Don’t allow a veterinarian who declaws to treat your cat.  Take your cat to a vet at least once a year for a good physical exam and blood work.  Cats are notorious for hiding pain and illness and if an owner thinks their cat is sick, they are likely very sick.  Pay attention to any changes (no matter how small) and seek veterinary care immediately.  Age is not a disease and many owners ignore signs of illness as due to advanced aging.  That is not in a cat’s best interest.  Owners need to advocate on behalf of their pets and insure good medical care.  Seek second opinions.  Good veterinarians encourage owners to do so and are never offended by it. 

 Tip #6) Cats need wet food more than dry

Wet food is lower in calories and higher in protein and moisture.  It is extremely important to feed cats at least 5-6 times daily.  Don’t feed one brand or diet only.  Variety is the spice of life and cats are used to eating birds, squirrels, rats, mice, chipmunks, bugs, etc.  One diet or one brand is not normal.  Either is feeding once or twice a day.

 Source:  The Purrington Post

Editors Note:  Find many of the toys, scratchers, outdoor enclosures and cat furniture mentioned in this article right here.

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Cats are Natural Yin Yang Creatures

 

Did you ever see cats looking like this?   Cats love living in an ordered world, including how they arrange themselves spacially as they eat, sleep, meditate, and play.   Oftentimes, two of my cats will perch themselves on the same living room window sill, facing each other in an identical pose, looking perfectly content with their arrangement and with the world in general.

We found a purrfect catnip toy for you that reflects your cats’ natural yin yang.  Click here to view and enjoy some savings if you order 3 or more.  Put some yin yang into your cats’ playtime!   01347_yinyangtoyMO

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MyThreeCats.com Cypurr Monday/Favfurrite Holiday Cat Photo Contest is Launched!

My3Cats Cypurrr Monday

 

 

Enter MyThreeCats.com’s Holiday Cat Photo Contest meow!!!!   The most unique holiday cat photos, as judged by our panel of expurrrts, will win wonderful prizes!  One lucky Grand Prize winner will receive a $100.00 gift certificate to shop at MyThreeCats.com, and two runners-up will each receive a $10.00 gift certificate, plus some freshly stuffed holiday catnip toys, ready to be shipped to your cat’s front door!  And, just for entering, receive two FREE fresh catnip stocking toys when you place your order at MyThreeCats.com!  Hurry, contest entries must be submitted by Monday, December 4, 2017.  Click here for a full set of contest rules.   Enter today, and Good luck!!!

 

 

 

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It’s all about Me-owww! Techniques Cats Use To Win Our Attention

It’s 11:00PM.  You’re up against a deadline to finish a report for work.   You’ve just belted down a strong cup of coffee and you’re on the home stretch.   One more section to go and you’re done!  Hmmm, you think to yourself, the cats have been amazingly quiet.

Just as you touch your keypad, something distracts you out of the corner of your eye.  You glance over your shoulder.  There they are – both of them – perched atop your side desk, staring at you.  Their stare isn’t just any casual gaze.  Their eyes are large, round, intense and compelling, their stare unwavering.  You know what they want – your undivided attention!

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What is it about cats that drive you to stop whatever you’re doing, and attend to their every whim?

Cats are intelligent creatures.   Once they figure you out (which doesn’t take very long), you’re putty in their little paws.  They know exactly what to do and they do it.  If you make the fatal mistake of catering to them the first time, they will repeat the process again and again, and you’re hooked.

Here are just a few of the many techniques employed by the cats in my household (or, should I say, theirs).

  • The Stare Down. It works every time.  It elicits a response something like, “Hey cutie, what is it?  What do you want?”  Bingo!
  • The Wait. They wait patiently in the kitchen until they see a human approach.  From that point forward, it’s a steady litany of me-owwws, some extremely lengthy and desperate.  They don’t let up until you put the food bowls down, with their dinner just the way they like it.  Success!
  • The Hit and Run. You’re reading a magazine on the couch, your collection of magazines neatly stacked in front of you on the coffee table.  Out of the blue streaks a wild cat, leaping onto the stack, scattering them halfway across the room.   You slap down the magazine and get up to fix the mess.  The me-owwws start, with longing looks towards the kitchen. Mission accomplished!
  • The Toy Closet Vigil. My cats know where I stash their wand and laser toys.  If I am within an ear shot of “the” closet, they assemble like soldiers in front of it.  If I start to walk past them, they begin lightly scratching on the closet door, elevating to full, obnoxious scratching, however long it takes.  Fifteen minutes later, after a decent play session, they nonchalantly saunter away while I’m still waving the toy, collapse on the floor, and casually survey the room as if to say, “You can put that thing away now…I’ll let you know when I’m ready to play again.”
  • The Heart Stopper. This works something like the Hit and Run, only you’re lucky to survive.  In the middle of the night, you’re experiencing a deep REM sleep.   Your feline 757 lands with a thundering thud on the bed, skipping to the end of the runway, heading directly into your face.   Not only do you wake up with heart palpitations, you wake up to a set of wild, black pupils staring into yours.   After convincing yourself it’s not a nightmare, you desperately try to fall back asleep.  That’s when they repeat.  You get up.  They me-owww, you follow them, tripping down the stairs into the kitchen.  This is a win-win (for the cat, not for the two of you)!

If you haven’t yet experienced any of the above, it’s probably because you have cats that have employed other techniques that have proven successful, or else you’ve just adopted a cat today who hasn’t yet figured you out.  Don’t worry – he’ll have you “trained” by the end of the week, and you won’t even know it!

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How to be the best cat owner you can be

 

Guest Blogger:  Jessica Brody –http://www.ourbestfriends.pet.  Jessica enjoys writing about cats and dogs.  See her blog for additional photos and posts).

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A cat is a great pet who can be just as loving a companion as a dog. It’s important to know, however, that cats are not dogs. They react differently to situations, learn and “train” differently, and require differing approaches to care. Here are some tips for being a great cat owner.

Know how to properly feed your cat

 Cats are carnivores, plain and simple. You can’t feed your cat a vegan diet and expect it to stay healthy.

“Money saved by buying cheap cat food will be spent hundreds of times over on veterinary care. Cats are obligate carnivores and need a good source of meat protein. They do not need large amounts of grain fillers, especially corn, which is a cheap source of protein used by many cat food manufacturer,” notes The Spruce.com.

Check your cat’s stool. If it appears too dry, you might want to switch to a wet food diet for a while or at least alternate between wet and dry food throughout the week.

And remember – don’t feed your cat milk, despite what all of the cartoons say. It can be harmful to them in many cases.

Make sure your cat gets enough exercise

It’s a myth that cats don’t need exercise. Sure, they don’t need as much as a dog – but cats that don’t exercise can develop a bevy of health problems, including heart disease and obesity.

… How do you ensure that your cat is getting enough exercise? The best way is to simply play with them for 15-30 minutes. If you have a fenced-in backyard, let them run around for a while. Make use of laser pointers. Your cat really will chase them for a long time. If your cat is suffering from obesity…talk to your vet about this more extreme exercise plan.

Give them a place to scratch

Cats will scratch. Like death and taxes, it’s a certainty of life. Make sure your cat has plenty of scratching posts to utilize. Never ever consider declawing a cat, even if they live indoors 100% of the time. It’s inhumane.

 Ensure pet family cohesiveness

One of the biggest challenges cat owners face is making sure the cat gets along with the other household pets – usually a dog. It’s important to remember that dogs and cats socialize in different ways, so “training” your cat the same way you trained your dog is not likely to have an effect on their behavior.

What you need to do is be mindful of the energy of the animals in your household. “It’s your responsibility to keep the family balanced by keeping the dog at the highest level of calm-submissive behavior, allowing the cats to become calm-assertive in front of him,” notes famed trainer Cesar Millan.

If your cats are showing aggression toward each other, it’s a different story with a different set of solutions. First, you should never let cats work through their issues with fighting. It just doesn’t work like that for them.

“Never let the cats ‘fight it out.’ Cats don’t resolve their issues through fighting, and the fighting usually just gets worse. Interrupt aggression with a loud clap of your hands or spray from a water gun,” says the ASPCA.

Once you separate your cats just leave them alone. Don’t try to soothe them the way you might try to calm a dog. You can also try to separate your cats’ resources – food, water, and toys.

Do your research on proper cat care. There are a lot of myths out there about cats, and some of them can be harmful.

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

(Editor’s Note:  The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by guest bloggers on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of MyThreeCats.com or its staff.)

 

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