The Kitty Times Newsletter for August, 2006

Hello Cat Lover!

I've collected a whole bunch of tips for this issue.
I hope these help you with your cat.

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FLEA CONTROL
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A while back I asked if anyone knew how to keep fleas
at bay, especially those found outside, because they
tend to hitch rides on the cat whenever she goes out.
This gives them ample opportunity to sneak into our
homes when kitty comes back inside.

Thanks to Judy, who found some great information on
this subject. Following her lead, I was able to find
some web sites with loads of info, after I learned from her
what to look for. (I've listed the URLs in my Web Sites section, below.)

Rather than simply refer you to the usual collection
of flea control products (which are generally pretty toxic),
I prefer to use natural methods, since there is little
or no risk to our precious kitties' health. Feel free to
look into this and let me know if you have tried any of
these methods. I'd like to know how well this works.


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HEALTH TIPS
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Follow these 7 tips to help your cat stay young and enjoy
a longer life:

1. No people food. Well, keep it to a minimum. Some of our
little buddies go nuts for some of the silliest things. I
have one who would kill for pizza crust. So, I give in now
and then. But just a tiny bit of it, and not often. Just
enough to let her know I'm paying attention to her requests.
But most of our human food provides little nutritive value
for cats (for us, either!), and may even be detrimental.

2. Use treats sparingly. Some cats absolutely love those
very tasty treats and may try to convince you to use them
exclusively as their primary food. Don't let kitty talk
you into this. They are usually very high calorie and
could make your little buddy become your large buddy!

3. Keep the overall caloric daily intake to a reasonable
level. Check with your vet to find out what your cat's
requirements are. Like people, cats have individual needs,
too. Also, balance diet with exercise. You can walk with
your cat outdoors with a leash (see tips, below), or if
kept exclusively indoors, be sure to engage in daily play times.

4. Maintain good oral hygiene. If your cat will allow it,
brush her teeth often. If not, check with your vet to find
out how to do it, or to obtain dental treats. Did you know
that gum disease is the greatest source of health problems
in cats? Good dental and gum care will prevent some very
painful problems that can shorten your cat's life.

5. Keep kitty safe indoors. This is probably one of the best
things you can do to lengthen your cat's life. The risks of
being outside include: disease, predators, traffic, poison
(either accidental or otherwise), and other hazards.

6. Indoor cats need more play time than outdoor cats.
This means more attention from you, which is good for
both of you anyway. Be sure kitty's toys are safe. A ball
of yarn is not safe, for example, as a cat could swallow some
and get into trouble with a twisted bowel, requiring surgery.
If you do play with string or yarn, be sure to always be present to
prevent her from swallowing any.

7. Regualr vet visits. Keep kitty's vaccination schedule
up to date, and get your vet's advice on any changes in your
cat's routines to be sure they don't signal illness.


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TIPS OF THE MONTH:
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TO PREVENT SURPRISE ATTACKS:

If your cat seems to go from Cat Jekyll to Kitty Hyde
with no warning, just remember that cats have temperaments,
just as people do. And they have moods, and different
personalities. All just like us. It's best to pay
attention to them so you don't get yourself into any
trouble... like getting scratched or bitten by surprise.

And, if you have a temperamental cat, be sure to supervise
when you have guests over, whether they are small children
or older relatives and friends. You would feel awful if
kitty attacked one of them. Or, just put kitty into her own
private room until company has left.

Watch particularly for signs, such as ears laid back, a lot
of tail swishing, and especially listen for that low growl
in the back of the throat. Cats are very good about warning
others that they have reached their limits. Just be sure to
notice their warnings!


GOING FOR WALKS:

Leash training isn't really that difficult, but you need
to start as early as possible for best results, or at least
be very patient, and consistent, in your sessions.

Start by letting kitty wear a leash in the house for short
periods of time, say, 5 minutes at first, working up to about
20 minutes. Then when you do go outside, try to walk in
quiet areas where other animals aren't likely to show up. If you
do run into one, scoop up your cat firmly but gently, and go
quickly back into the house, acting as if nothing special just
happened. If you get upset, your cat will, too.

Gradually increase your times outdoors if things are
working out well. Never leave her alone, tied up like a dog.
Cats do not tie up well, and can even hurt themselves.

Also, don't expect to strut out like you do with a dog,
either. Cats are more leisurely in their walking.

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WEB SITES OF SPECIAL INTEREST
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Flea Control Sites:

http://www.eartheasy.com/article_natural_flea_control.htm
http://www.goodpet.com/library/pharmacyFiles/fleacontrol.asp
http://www.biconet.com/pets/fleasBGone.html
http://gothere.com/AdamsAve/3817/3817a.htm
http://ipm.ifas.ufl.edu/applying/tactics/biological-control/flea_control_by_nematodes.htm


Kitten Season, video:
https://community.hsus.org/ct/G1qagHS1QRIs/

I just added a new article at my web site:
http://www.theproblemcat.com/cat-declawing.html

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A SMILE FOR YOU
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Toilet Training:
http://www.rainfrog.com/mishacat/toilet.shtml.


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