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Archive for July, 2010

What’s the ideal number of cats to own?

Saturday, July 31, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

multiple-catsYou might assume that cats like company. The truth is most cats are perfectly happy being the only cat on your furniture.  Cats, unlike dogs are solitary animals. Trouble can start when there are too many sharing the same household.  The experts suggest that in order to prevent problems, limit the number of cats that you adopt.  For example, two is OK if you want the kittens to play with each other but kitten friends are no guarantee that the two won’t grow up to be enemies. If you own three or more cats, the problems may get worse.  The chance of urine sprays and more aggression dramatically increases with three or more cats.  My two cats do not get along at all. I adopted my older cat Mollie in 1999 when she was only five weeks old. At the time, I had a rabbit. When the rabbit died, I figured that I would adopt another cat. I love cats and figured that the new addition would be a companion for Mollie. I was dead wrong. I adopted Millie in 2005 when she was 12 weeks old. Although Millie would like to be friends with Mollie, Mollie will have none of it and the there’s constant aggression between the two of them. Mollie “hisses” every time Millie walks past her. Mollie will purposely block doorways so Millie could not get through.  Mollie would attack her when she would be in her litter box. You could imagine what that caused. It was a nightmare. Millie decided to make her bathroom under the dining room table. She is now going in her box again but it took lots of patience. I bought Millie a new cat bed and Mollie would not let her sleep in it. Mollie slept in it all the time.  Remember, more cats is not always merrier.

Pets and Poison

Friday, July 30, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

pets-and-poisionWhen your pet swallows poison, you have to decide whether to treat him at home or make a fast trip to the veterinarian.  You shouldn’t make this decision on your own.  If you pet ingests something dangerous, the first thing that you should do is call your vet or the Animal Poison Control center. Tell them what your pet has swallowed, how much and when it happened. They’ll also need to know you pets age, sex and approximate weight. Then follow their instructions to the letter.  There’s a chance that they will ask you to induce vomiting in your pet at home using hydrogen peroxide. They might also tell you to go to the veterinarian immediately.  If so, hurry, but don’t panic. Take a moment to collect a sample of whatever your pet ate.  It may be helpful to the vet.  Do not try to administer any pet medication by yourself. You may cause more harm than good.

Cats and car rides

Thursday, July 29, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

cat-in-carMany cats panic or even vomit during car rides. My younger cat, Millie does not like to be in her cage in the car unless the cage is in the passenger seat next to the driver.  There are some ways to prevent your cat from getting sick.  Try getting her used to the carrier at home where she could sleep and play in it. When you do go for a ride, cover the carrier with a blanket, so your cat feels safe.  Try taking her for some short trial runs before taking her for a long drive.  To prevent vomiting, it’s a good idea to keep your cats stomach empty on the day of travel. Feed her when you get to your destination instead of before you go. These simple steps will help your cat become a better traveler. If everything that you’ve tried, just doesn’t work, ask your vet to get her some pet medication such as tranquilizers to help calm her during the drive.

The Manx Cat

Wednesday, July 28, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

manx-cat1The Manx cat breed originated before the 1700’s on the Isle of Man.  These tailless cats were very common on the island during that time.  Manx cats do not have a tail due to a genetic mutation.

Manx cats are medium sized, plump and muscular. They have a rounded head and prominent cheeks.  Their hind legs are longer than their front legs. Some “seedy” cat dealers have been know to cut off the tails of kittens and sell them as Manx.  There are both short haired Manx and long haired Manx cats.

One legend says that the Manx cat resulted from a litter of a cat and a rabbit because they do not have a tail and they have longer hind lets.

Manx cats make great pets. They are intelligent, active and fun loving.  Get them plenty of cat toys to keep them occupied. They form a strong bond with their owners. They are also fascinated with water.  They are excellent jumpers because of their hind legs and are also superior hunters.

Putting an end to puppy mills

Tuesday, July 27, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

puppy-in-puppy-millDid you know that in most states, puppy mills are legal?  A kennel that is used specifically for breeding can keep hundreds of dogs in cages and in despicable living conditions for their whole lives. The laws are very simple. As long as the dogs are given food, water and shelter makes it “legal” and not an act of cruelty for the animals at these puppy mills.  The Humane Society of the United States assists in shutting down puppy mills when documented cruelty exists.  Because of the fact that most puppy mills are considered, “legal,” help is needed from the public to put an end to these mills.  You can help the Humane Society by getting your next puppy from a local animal shelter, rescue group or a breeder that you have carefully screened in person. Puppies deserve love, lots of pampering, a clean soft dog bed to sleep in and a wonderful caring family. Do your part today.

Which are the best “beach” dogs?

Monday, July 26, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dogs-at-the-beachIf you live near the beach and own a dog, I’m sure that you take your dog to the beach every now and then to exercise him in the early morning or a dusk when everyone’s leaving for the day. There are some dog breeds that have a particular love for surf and sand.

The Springer Spaniel is very loyal and even tempered and they crave regular exercise of any kind but they really love swimming. If you are near the shore that this guy to the shore as often as you can.

Golden Retriever They are on the larger side, easy to train, very faithful and love the water and to fetch. Take him to the beach and bring along lots of  dog toys that float.

Newfoundland This is another large dog but his webbed feet make him very suitable for water. This dog was originally bred in Canada as workers for fisherman. They have a particular love for the water.

Enjoy the rest of the summer at the beach with your “best” friend.

Cats in heat

Sunday, July 25, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

cats-in-heatAll females cats that were not spayed will come in heat at various stages of their lives. It is possible that a cat could come into heat as early as 4 months. Usually cats come in heat in the spring and summer months when the days are longer.  Cats stay in heat from four to six days.  They will come in heat every two to three weeks during this time. The cat will then come out of heat. You may ask when does this all end? It usually ends when the season ends or the cat mates.

Signs that a cat is in heat is rubbing her rear , head and neck on all objects. She will become overly affectionate.  You will then hear a kind of “howl”  which is the sound they make when trying to get the attention of her male callers.

If your cat is an outdoor cat and is in heat, I wouldn’t recommend feeding her outside or leaving her cat treats around outdoors or you may have lots of males coming for dinner!

Choosing a Siamese Cat

Saturday, July 24, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

siamese-catsSiamese cats have been ranked as the most popular cat breed in the United States as referenced by the Cat Fancier’s Association.  These breeds are very easy to recognize because of their striking blue eyes.  These cats used to be companions of the royals in Siam which is now Thailand. They were popular in Europe because of their beauty in the latter part of the 19th century and were introduced in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century.

Siamese cats have a pointed pattern. This is a result of a genetic condition unique only to this breed.  These cats are highly intelligent and very affectionate.  They love to play making them an excellent companion of families with children.  They are also known for the peculiar “meow” These are very vocal animals. If you don’t like cats that meow a lot, they don’t get a Siamese as they are very vocal.

They have short coats and are easy to groom. Make sure that you have lots of cat toys around. Siamese cats love to play and crave attention.

Cats that beg

Friday, July 23, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

cat-on-tableWe spoke about begging dogs. Today we are going to stay on this topic only switch over to a begging cat.  You sit down to dinner and are about to bite into a delicious steak and you hear a loud “MEOW.” You look down and there’s your precious kitty looking up and begging for a taste of a meal. Many cats have developed a bad habit of begging just like dogs.  Some will even try to jump up on the counters or the table to get a bite of that delicious meal.  Don’t allow it because the behavior will continually be repeated. Remember that cats are creatures of habit they will do it everyday if they’re allowed to. Never give your cat food from the table.  Avoid leaving food on the counters and make sure that your cat eats before you do so she’s not smelling the food while she’s  hungry. If your cat insists on begging, you can lock her in another room while you eat or give her a cat toy to play with to distract her.

Dealing with a “begging” dog

Thursday, July 22, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-beggingIf you’re a dog owner, you’ve probably heard that pitiful “whimper” when you are trying to eat dinner.  You’ve seen those big eyes pleading with you to share just one small morsel of your delicious meal.  It’s tempting to oblige but don’t give in with food or attention.  Rewarding this behavior even once could lead to a chronic begging problem.  Eventually, aside from being unhealthy for your pet,  it will get rather irritating.  Always feed dog treats away from the table. If your dog already begs, give him a comfortable dog bed to lie on and a chew toy for him to keep him occupied while you eat.  If that’s not enough to distract him, you may need to confine him to a crate or another room during meal time.  Make sure that you feed him early so he’s not hungry during you dinner.