Caring for your cat’s teeth

Caring for your cats teeth

 

Have you ever taken much thought to your cats teeth, and how best to care for all 30 of them? The inside of our pets mouths are usually quite a mystery to us owners, but it is important that we keep up to date with their dental situations. Keep reading to learn a little bit more about your felines fangs.

Did you know that human and cat teeth have some similarities? We know that they look just a touch (well, maybe a bit more) different to our pearly whites, but cats share a similar dental trait of having two sets of teeth just like us! Called successive sets (just like our baby teeth and adult teeth), the first set falls out when they are very young and then the permanent set comes in!

When cared for properly, the adult permanent set of teeth should last into their elderly years. But how do you care for your cat’s teeth? It doesn’t seem like an easy task, getting into your feline friends sharp mouth but we have some tips, which may help you.

  1. Brush your cats teeth

I know this one may seem pretty self explanatory, possibly even a bit scary. Although this is the most effective way to decrease the plaque and tartar build up on your cats teeth. Tips to make this a little easier are positive reinforcement, praise and treats as well as using a tooth brush that is small and comfortable for your cats mouth. As well as a toothpaste made specifically for cats. Try this once or twice a week and your cat will be sporting a sparkling smile in no time! Most importantly; be patient, it may take some time to get your cat used to it!

  1. Regular dental checks

Most of us see dentist at least once a year, so why would we treat our cats any different? Proper dental check ups are available at your local vet and are important in ensuring your cats mouth is healthy, and they can even offer a professional cleaning service! If you notice your cats gums are red, swollen or bleeding make sure you visit your local vet immediately.

  1. Specially formulated dental food and treats

Yes they exist! These treats can easily be found in your local pet store or online and can be used on a regular basis to help scrub the plaque and tarter off your cats teeth. If you do choose this option, it is still important your vet checks inside your cats mouth regularly.

  1. Chew toys for cats

Similar to specially formulated dental chews, they are abrasive and can help scrub off plaque and massage gums, they are generally filled with catnip to encourage your cat to nibble on them as well!


Unique Cat names

Unique Cat Names

What’s in a name as it is said and or asked ? Well everyone has a name, and some are not that complementary, most people have a vague idea what their own name actually means, but few people give their names much thought. The study of names is called onomastics, a field which involves various subjects and areas of study such as linguistics, history, anthropology, psychology, sociology, philology and much more.

When people refer to the “meaning of a name”, they are usually speaking about the original literal meaning or etymology of the name…

Are you thinking about adopting a cat or perhaps you’re wondering what your cats name means? Below are some of the quirkiest cat names that we have heard and which type of cat we believe they are best suited to.

For a black cat:

  • Onyx
  • Obsidian
  • Panther
  • Gypsy
  • Pepper
  • Salem
  • Jester
  • Cola
  • Vader
  • Ebony
  • Morticia
  • Layla
  • Spook

For the well-travelled owner:

  • Atlas
  • Aurora
  • Florence
  • Asia
  • Denver
  • Milan
  • Rocky
  • Rio
  • Berkeley
  • Kobe

For a ginger cat:

  • Marmalade
  • Apricot
  • Autumn
  • Cheddar
  • Aslan
  • Dorito
  • Pumpkin
  • Peaches
  • Marigold
  • Sahara
  • Cairo
  • Carnelian
  • Nemo
  • Gingham

For the sophisticated cat:

  • Winston
  • Sockington
  • Admiral
  • Espresso
  • Archibald
  • Bentley
  • Abraham
  • Adeline
  • Antoinette
  • Agatha
  • Clarence
  • Chantilly
  • Duchess
  • Isadora

For an artist’s cat:

  • Monroe
  • Macbeth
  • Shakespeare
  • Gatsby
  • Monet
  • Dickens
  • Picasso
  • Frida
  • Salvador
  • Mona
  • Sienna
  • Indigo
  • Edgar
  • Austen
  • Seuss
  • Aristotle
  • Atticus
  • Artemis
  • Leonardo
  • Hermione
  • Darcy
  • Desdemona
  • Othello

 

For a funny cat:

  • Cameow
  • Cat-man-du
  • Your Highness
  • Your Majesty
  • Caterpillar
  • Galacticat
  • KitKat
  • Octopuss
  • Empurress
  • Pawlina

Well there we have it folks some stunning names and I suppose that although the title states these names are quite unique you may have heard some of them, and us publishing them here takes away their uniqueness.

Here are some quotes on names and what they are all about…

“It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.”
― WC Fields

“Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names”  – John F Kennedy

“Its the great deception in modern culture, bad things call for noble names to cloak their evil outcomes” – Greg Gutfeld

“I carry in my wallet a list of the names of people whose opinions of me matter. To be on that list you have to love me for my strengths and struggles” – Brene Brown

“The names are bigger, the show is worldwide, but I get a royal pass into life, in the broad casting business” – Larry King

“First you forget names then you forget faces then you forget to pull your zipper up, and then you forget to pull it down” – George Burns

And we finish off with probably one of the greatest quotes….

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.” ― William Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet


Common Cat Emergencies that need immediate attention

This article is a little bit more gloomy than usual, although it may help you to understand some of the most common dire situations and there need for immediate medical attention. Cats are known to not let humans know when they’re in pain, usually they just purr away! So if you do notice any of these symptoms it is pertinent that you seek urgent medical attention.
1. Refusal to drink
If you have noticed your cat has had nothing to drink in the last 24 hours, despite having access to clean drinking water you should call the vet immediately. If your cat refuses to drink water over a sustained period of time it can be fatal, and could be associated with many common cat ailments.
2. Trouble going to the toilet
If your cat is noticeably troubled when passing urine, this could be due to a urinary infection or a more serious blockage, both of these can be fatal when not treated early!
3. Difficulty breathing
This is probably one of the most urgent medical difficulties (be it human, dog or cat) as death can occur after just 3 minutes without air! It is sometime hard to notice breathing difficulties in cats however symptoms include: breathing with the mouth open, abnormal noise when breathing, and heaving sides.
4. Non-productive retching/gagging
In other words, trying to vomit but bringing nothing up. This could be a fatal sign of splenic or gastric torsion (a syndrome when a cats air filled stomach expands and twists on itself).
5. Blood from extremities
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but if you do notice blood in your cats vomit, faeces/urine, ears, eyes or mouth it’s very important that you find out why. Blood should never be taken lightly, seek emergency care if you notice blood coming from your feline as there could be unseen internal injuries.


What Makes Cats Happy

Have you ever wondered what it really takes to make your furry friend truly happy? Cats typically will alert you when there is something wrong, but how do we know when they are content with their lives? It’s as simple as learning to pay attention to the unique behaviours of these animals.

Cute kitten
1. Talking to your cat (seriously!)
I know this one may seem a little strange, but the general consensus around cat owners is that frequent ‘conversations’ with their cats seems to make them more responsive and loving thus creating a cat who is happier and feels like it fits in with its environment. So start practicing your best meow!
2. A safe home environment
This one is pretty relatable, as who would want to spend their whole life in an environment that they didn’t feel safe in? Since your cat probably spends majority of its time at home it’s crucial that it has access to clean water, food and a quiet and cosy place to sleep, as don’t forget cats average 15 hours of sleep a day! It is also important that any other animals in the house your cat doesn’t particularly get along with are separated allowing for a stress free and safe environment.
3. A stimulating environment
Do you have anything to keep your cat occupied while you’re out of the house? Boredom is an easy fix by adding a few things to your home that your cat may enjoy. Sometimes it can be as simple as keeping the curtain open so your cat can watch the cars go past, or leaving a few cat friendly toys lying around within easy reach. There are also specified cat boredom crushers out there if you really want to keep your cat occupied, try online or your local pet shop.
4. Praise your cat!
It makes us happy if we praise our cats so really it’s a win-win situation! If were happy, these good vibes will rub off on our cats so why not share the love! And what better way to have some bonding time with your kitty.


5 reasons why cats may portray aggressive behaviour

Aggressive cats and 5 reasons why this can happen

I must say having grown up watching some of the kungfu movies in the eighties and particularly some classics like Bruce Lee, I was reminded of cat aggression, with the cat sounds and movements of many of the kungfu masters.

Has your cat ever had a sudden outburst of aggression, and you’ve not been able to find the cause? Believe me when I say this is a very common behavior, and can range from simple boredom to something more serious such as being in pain. Here are a few of the most common reasons for these outbursts and the explanations.

As we know Cats are very territorial creatures so we’ll start with this one and unpack it further:

  1. Territorial aggression

This is quite common in instances where your cat feels like another cat or even people and other animals are invading their territory. This is also often very common when introducing a new kitten or sometimes even a new person to the house.

  1. Boredom aggression

Think of it like this, your cat has a natural hunting instinct so since he or she is being fed and cared for he or she doesn’t ever get to exercise this instinct. Sometimes these outbursts can be a simple act of frustration and boredom. This can easily be resolved by a daily play session involving a teaser toy, allowing your cat to have a few swipes and get this frustration out!

  1. Fear aggression

This is usually triggered by a cat who senses a potential threat and feels like she can’t escape, this can be based on past experience and is quite common to be unsure exactly what your cat is scared of.

  1. Pain induced aggression

A cat that is in pain will generally use aggression to keep you or other cats from touching the affected area. If your cat snaps at you when you touch an area generally not sensitive to your cat, then take this as a sign they may be experiencing pain.

  1. Petting induced aggression

Ever been petting your cat and all of a sudden for no reason they change their mind and decide they don’t want to be pet? Usually the way they let us know is through some sort of aggressive behavior for example, a swipe at your hand or even sometimes a hiss. Veterinary professionals believe that the repetitive motion over time turns from pleasing to irritating.

 

 


Six Everyday household items hazardous to cat health

6 everyday household things which are hazardous to cats

Did you know that your house is home to many hazards? Well at least for your furry friend. Your everyday objects that you leave lying around could very well be one of them! Keep reading to find out some of the most common and dangerous items.

  1. People food

Yes you read that right! Whilst I’m sure most of us know not to feed our feline friend (and our canine ones for that matter) chocolate, there are a couple less known ones that can be equally as dangerous such as grapes, sultanas, avocado and things that include xylitol (like chewing gum) can have  adverse effects if ingested.  Read more about this here.

  1. Dental floss, cotton threads, tinsel

Basically anything that remotely resembles ‘string’ is a hazard to your cat. We know from the movies and pop culture that cats are often associated with playing with balls of wool, the same goes for any other string type object they can get their paws on and the terrible news is that this deadly habit can result in severe intestinal damage if ingested and can cost thousands of dollars in expensive surgery to remove.

  1. Plastic bags

We all know cats love a good hiding place; plastic bags among other non-breathable bags can cause suffocation and are best kept out of reach.

  1. Human medications

Next time you nonchalantly put your painkiller packet down on the kitchen bench make sure you think twice about it! Cats love anything small and light weight, so a pill packet is a great thing to swipe and chew on. Ingestion can cause adverse side effects and even death.

  1. Household cleaners

We all know that household cleaners are toxic to humans and children and people sometimes forget that they are even more toxic to animals. It is more often or not a common occurrence at the vet where a cat has walked across a freshly mopped floor, only to lick their paws later on and ingest a toxic chemical. The same goes for bleach, detergent and disinfectant which even a slight sniff can be fatal.

  1. Toilet water

I know this one sounds a bit strange, but we are specifically talking about the toilets that have an automatic cleanser cake in them. If your cat drinks water with cleaner or a cleanser cake in it, it can be lethal so make sure to always keep that toilet lid closed!

 


Cat’s rubbing against objects

What’s with cats rubbing against things?

Have you ever stopped to think why your cat likes to rub his body against the wall as he walks past, maybe he brushes against your legs as he walks between them or likes to rub his face up again random objects?  There are a few simple explanations for this behaviour, keep reading to find out more on this common happening.

Leaving their scent – pheromones

Your cat rubbing its face on things has a name and it’s called “bunting”, it means he is leaving his scent behind.  This is due to the fact that cats have multiple scent glands on their head; these are located around their mouths, chin, and sides of face, neck and on their ears and they transfer feel good pheromones which produces a sense of calm in the cat. The same goes for scratching (which we humans hate) as it releases a similar pheromone, which marks their territory. This phenomenon is more common in male cats and they will often “bunt” over other cats scent marks.

Picking up your scent

Rubbing against inanimate objects can also be a way for your cat to pick your scent up, so they are essentially wearing a ‘you’ perfume!

It’s mating season

Rubbing against objects and people could be a tactic to provide cues to other cats or for a male cat, to find the scent of a female wanting to mate.

Communication

If your cat is rubbing against you, he might be making sure you don’t forget to feed him, change his litter or let you know he wants to go outside. If he rubs against another cat, this could be a sign he wants to be groomed. The same way he may rub against your when he wants a scratch behind the ears.


Everything you need to know about feline diabetes

Feline diabetes? Yes it’s a thing. And something even more shocking is how common it is. Maybe you already have a cat with this problem, maybe you’re suspecting your cat might have it OR maybe you’re just finding out that it exists. Whatever one of these applies to you, keep reading and you might find the answers you are looking for.

Veterinary professionals say that 1 in every 230 cats are affected by this condition, which is quite a lot considering there are an estimated 600 MILLION cats in the world. Although this sounds scary, it’s okay because it is a treatable and manageable disorder. It all starts with sugar, everybody needs a certain amount of sugar to produce enough energy which then in turn keeps us alive. The same goes for cats! When a diabetic cat consumes glucose, and cannot process it properly it can lead to a build-up of sugars in the blood stream which can result in a life threatening condition if it begins to spill into the cats urine.

What causes it?

Diabetes can occur in cats of any age though it is most commonly seen to appear in cats over the age of 6.  Some of the more common causes can include obesity, pancreatitis, genetic predisposition or Cushings Syndrome (elevated blood sugar levels). Like human diabetes, some cats may need insulin (insulin dependent) and some may be non-insulin dependent and potentially only need insulin when stressed.

So what are the symptoms?

The most common signs of diabetes in cats are increased thirst and increased urination as well as an increase in appetite and sometimes weight loss.

Less common but equally as serious symptoms can include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dull coat
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Fruity smell on the breath
  • Straining to urinate.

These symptoms can come on rapidly and appear suddenly so it is best to seek urgent medical treatment when noticed, and the diagnoses are normally based on elevated blood sugar levels.

So what if your cat has feline diabetes and what are some of the treatment options available? Common treatment options can include a modification to their diet, increasing exercise and the addition of specific medications which aid in reducing glucose levels or the administration of insulin if insulin dependent.


Cats and Hairballs

Everything you need to know about hairballs

Cats and hairballs, whenever I see a cat coughing up a hairball, it reminds me of the animated Puss in Boots movie, where our hero seems to have quite a problem with hairballs, and often has to stop the action in order to deal with his hairball problem.

Is your cat coughing up hair balls? The occasional hairball is no cause for alarm, but if it’s a regular occurrence for your cat there could be more to it.  Keep reading for more information on hairballs

Ever wondered why your cat coughs up hairballs? Well it all starts with your cats grooming routine; cats being quite interested in how they appear to the rest of creation, one may even say rather vain,  are always making sure their coat is in tip top shape. As cats groom themselves they pull out the dead hairs and most of it passes through the digestive tract with no problems, however sometimes some of the hair will stay in the stomach and form a hairball.

This is not a pleasant occurrence for your cat, as they vomit it up, and it can be quite a painful experience; thus it is important to seek medical attention if this is a regular occurrence in your home.  If you notice any of the following hairball symptoms be sure to contact your vet as these could be an indication of a potentially life threatening blockage:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Ongoing vomiting, retching or gagging without producing a hairball
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation

There are some helpful preventative tips that you can put in place to try avoid these situations as best as possible including:

  1. Feeding your cat food with added fibre

Feeding your cat a diet rich in fibre will help bind the hair and stimulate the intestine to aid in hairball reduction.

  1. Groom your cat regularly

Grooming your cat on a regular basis will help to remove the excess fur which will equal less fur ending up in their stomach when they do their own grooming. A simple comb or brush each day should suffice and can also provide a fun way to spend some time with your cat!

  1. Use a special hairball product or laxative

 A vet can recommend a suitable laxative or hairball product which can help the hairball to pass through the digestive track.

  1. Small servings of coconut oil, has also been reported to assist with digestive tract issues, including those related to hairballs

Why has my cat stopped using the litter box ?

The 5 Most Common Reasons Your Cat Has Stopped Using His Litterbox

Has your cat stopped using the litter box and started using something else (like your favourite rug in the living room or even on the floor beside the box).  Sometimes the reason could be a simple fix although it could also mean something a little more important so keep reading for the five most common reasons your cat won’t use it’s litter box

  • It’s dirty!

Cats are just like humans in that we won’t use a toilet if it’s grubby or hasn’t been cleaned. Cats have an extremely sensitive sense of smell, so if you can smell it, imagine it being 200 times worse for your cat! If you notice your cat has been doing its business elsewhere, maybe it’s a sign that you need to up the frequency in which you refresh its litter box.

  • Litter box location.

Location, location, location! It is really important, especially if it has to do with where your cat does its business. Maybe you’ve placed your kitties litter box in an area that is too out in the open, or too frequented by humans and loud noises. Don’t forget your cat likes privacy too!

  • New litter

Have you recently switched litters? Maybe your cat isn’t using the litter box because it is unsure about the new litter you’ve put in it. Cats are very much used to routine and when things change in their environment it can affect them drastically. So consider changing back to their old litter or mixing 50/50 with the new litter for a more gradual change.

  • Medical problems

If you’ve noticed your cat has begun to urinate more frequently and more often in places other than the litter box then this could be a sign of a urinary tract infection (quite common in cats).  This is a good sign that your cat needs to see a vet!

  • Territory marking

How many cats do you have in the house? If your answer is more than 1 than this could be part of the problem.  Some cats will mark their territory in the litter box, especially if it is a shared one.  If one of your cats has stopped using the litter box, a suggestion would be to get a second box (in a second location) to see if this solves the problem.

This can be a major issue for so called indoor cats that spend most of their time indoors, so it will need to be attended to in a hurry, remember if you try most of the above advice, and find that nothing works you will need to ensure that kitty gets to see the vet.