05/23/17

Cat Litter Box

Any one graced with the privilege of owning a cat knows the joy of having a furry friend by your side. With their curious and playful habits, these little animals are the most popular pets in America, even more so than dogs! With the joy of owning a kitty comes responsibility. Like all creatures, cats need toilets too. Try as we may, we can’t teach them how to flush.

The only sensible course of action is to get a litter box. A litter box ensures that your little friend will always have a place to potty. Modern technology has raised the ordinary litter box to new dimensions, with automated raking and emptying functions. If you’re undecided about which of these super litter boxes to buy, you can try the old-fashioned plastic litter box in the meantime.

If you’re serious about being a good pet parent, you must have not only a litter box, but one that’s clean and odor free. There are several tried and true methods to keep that ammonia smell out of your house. To begin with, choose a good location for the box.

Bathrooms make the most sense for location. Most cat owners don’t want the litter box sitting in the corner of their bedroom! In the case of a litter box, prevention of offensive odors is paramount. Here are a few tips on choosing and maintaining the “manual” cat litter box.

Choose the right size for your cat household. If you have two cats, you’ll need a larger box, to accommodate two cats at once. Choose a box of durable plastic with a little flexibility. Hard plastic tends to crack more easily. Make sure the box is at least six inches deep, to prevent litter flying out of the box.

Put a plastic liner in the cat box. This makes it easy to dispose of when it’s time for a complete change of the litter. Sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda on top of the liner. Baking soda neutralizes ammonia odors.

Pour about three inches of kitty litter into the pan. Don’t put more than three inches, so the litter stays in the box. Avoid spilling litter on the floor. If you do, a cat will see the litter on the floor, and think that that is the toilet! No kidding!

Many pet owners use a litter grate to make sure litter isn’t tracked through the house. This is a plastic or metal grate that goes directly in front of the box. When the cat walks over it, any loose debris falls through the grate. Animals need to wipe their hands too!

Make sure you keep a pooper scooper near the litter box and clean it daily. Never dispose of the litter in your toilet, because this can plug up a septic system.

The “manual” cat litter box method works. Over time, you may find one of those automated boxes a tempting purchase!

01/30/17

Choosing a Cat Breed

If you have decided to get a cat for the family pet, then there are several considerations that should go into selecting which one to own. You want to make sure that when choosing a cat breed to get the best breed for you and your family. Whether you go with a mixed breed that you can get quite easily, or the pure bred that you need to buy at a specific breeder, there are questions you need to ask yourself.

First before getting any cat make sure you are prepared to deal with the litter box. This will have to be cleaned and the litter changed on a regular basis. It is a task that is not always enjoyable for people. So understand this about the task before deciding on a cat.

Now do you want a cat that is easy to groom or do you have the time to groom the more high maintenance breeds. Short-hair breeds are much lower maintenance grooming wise than the longer-hair varieties are. Also shedding on the furniture will be a bit less with the short-haired cats.

Another consideration when choosing a cat breed is whether you want a kitten to raise and litter train, or whether you would rather start off with an adult cat. You can get many adult cats through shelters. People have to get rid of cats for various reasons and you could give one of these cats a good home.

Kittens can be bought a variety of ways some good and some not so good. Pet shops are not always recommended these days, because some can buy their animals through breeders who are less than reputable. This means you could be buying a very unhealthy cat if you aren’t careful. If you are searching a cat that is a pure bred then look for a breeder with a good background. Make sure this breeder can tell you the heritage of the kitten you are interested in. This will tell you what personality and health you can expect from the kitten.

If you know someone whose cats just had kittens than you need to know the health history of their cat. Kittens are oh so cute that it is easy to say you will take one, and forget about the problems you may have if the cat has poor health who had the kittens. Also do they know who the father is, is another question to ask.

Animal shelters and some veterinary clinics also have kittens along with adult cats. It will be harder to know the background of these kittens and cats, but you could be saving their lives by adopting them. Many of these are left every year at shelters so you may find quite a few to choose from.

You also may want to consider personality while choosing a cat breed. Do you want a breed known for being outgoing, or is a more docile cat more your style. Even if you get a mixed , and know their mix you can look into the various breeds, to know what the personality is going to be like. The Cat Fancier’s Association offers descriptions on breed on their website. Through this you can choose which breed suits your needs the best.

Could you live with a Sphynx cat?

sphynx cat

Sphynx Cat

Or would you be more happy with a simple domestic cat?

domestic cat

Domestic Cat

10/30/16

Heart Disease in Cats

Heart disease in cats occurs in more commonly than most think. It is sometimes hard to diagnose the earliest stages because there are not always symptoms that are obvious. Heart disease in cats can strike any breed or age of cat, the risk is the same for all cats. Let’s look closer at the most common forms of heart disease for cats.

For cats, there exist three primary kinds of heart disease. The cat could get restrictive, feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (FHCM), or dilative heart disease. The restrictive kind is the rarest of the three and happens as the wall of the heart are replaced repeatedly with scar tissue. With the FHCM, the walls get firmer and thicker. The heart’s muscular walls weaken and get thinner in the dilative kind of heart disease.

Heart disease in cats can turn serious and even fatal quickly because symptoms do not appear that early in the disease. As the symptoms do show they are often hard to see. The most usual symptoms are vomiting, a hard time breathing, little or no appetite, or opening the mouth to breathe. When the disease progresses the symptoms could be fainting, paralysis, and dying suddenly.

It takes an exam by a vet to usually find a problem with the cat’s heart. The vet could hear a heart murmur, which could be a sign that the cat is having a heart problem. A battery of test can be done that could include echocardiograms, chest x-rays, and electrocardiograms. The vets usually find that the electrocardiograms give them the most useful results.

If the heart problem is caught in time, treatment can be successful. In the event the heart of the cat is not yet failing their condition could be brought under control. Diuretics are sometimes prescribed to get rid of excess fluid and make it easier for the heart to work. In the event that the cat is suffering from the feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the vet will prescribe calcium channel blockers for making the walls of the heart less stiff.

Vasodilators are used to get the cat’s blood pressure lower. These can also lessen the heart’s workload, which is vital with any heart problem. The cat could need aspirin and betablockers as well when fighting this condition.

Heart disease can also be split into two classifications as far as congenital meaning that the cat is born with the problem, and acquired which means the cat develops later on in its life.

When the heart won’t work right, there can be a few things that might be the cause. The heart’s valves, the duties of which are to regulate the blood flow in the heart’s chambers could leak or not be able to open all the way. The muscle walls can have holes, which can even affect the major vessels and the chambers. These walls can also change or get damaged for a variety of reasons. All of this can make more or less blood be circulated through the heart and into the body, and if the problem gets bad enough the symptoms will start showing up, as in the problems breathing or even the cat fainting.

So if you suspect that you cat is having problems consult a vet immediately, because time is valuable in treating the problem of heart disease in cats.

04/14/16

Kennel Advice of Puppies Eating Poop

Why do puppies eat their poop? What should I do?

Dog Boarding Kennel

Dog Boarding Kennel

Sometimes, our little cute pets do things that are so unmentionable, that we would rather pretend the problem didn’t exist. We see it all the time at the Mt Pleasant dog boarding kennel and have heard about it from http://www.akc.org/. But what on earth do you do when you go to the pet store and you’re confronted with a bag of new puppy treats that are guaranteed to make your puppy training sessions a lot easier because they are designed to taste and smell like something your puppy will find irresistible – poop? It can be hard to ignore this side to your little puppy’s behavior when it’s obviously well-recognized and even encouraged by the pet products makers. As unpleasant as it is though, puppies eating their poop is just routine animal behavior. There are lots of other animals to do the same thing – horses, birds and cats, for instance. Let us try to get a little bit of a handle on the subject.

It is conjectured by scientists that dogs were never “domesticated“  like horses or cows were. Dogs are wolves that evolved specifically to give up the wild and live around people for the scavenging and begging opportunities inevitably to be found around human habitations. And guess what source of nutrition it has historically been easiest for them to find? Dogs have evolved to be able to take advantage of the nutritional value that poop – their own or that of their human masters – could present. And here we are, shopping at the premium section at the pet supplies stores, for premium chicken dinners and great recipes made out of brown rice, duck liver and cottage cheese.

While puppies eating their poop can seem disgusting enough, they often go and specifically look for the excrement other animals – humans included. Cat excrement, for instance, has a lot of protein and fat content that could attract dogs and puppies. But sometimes, puppies eating their poop can be a sign of illness.  Diseases such as malabsorption syndrome affect many dogs. This is a disease where the dog’s digestive system is unable to absorb all the nutrition in any food eaten. Dogs may try to recover any wasted nutrition in their poop by trying to give the same food a second go. There are some research reports that suggest that dogs do this when they have nutritional problems in general. If you could get more nutritious pet food, this might stop.

Often it can just be possible to get your puppy to behave by making access to poop difficult like Pet keepers kennel does. You can make sure that you clean anything left over in your garden as soon as it gets there. You can also keep litter boxes out of reach. The bottom line is, that if you do enough things to discourage your puppy right at the start, it won’t develop into a lifelong habit.

 

01/14/16

Health Insurance for Dogs

To people who love their dog, pet ownership isn’t about having a little fun with a cute little puppy for as long as it holds your interest and then forgetting about it. As it becomes evident to anyone who polls dog owners for the bond they enjoy with their pet, dogs really do become a member of the family. And most people would rather deprive their children healthcare before they deprived their dogs of it.  Such dedicated dog owners don’t just take their dog to some general-purpose vet when he falls ill. They take them to specialists – orthopedic Mt Pleasant veterinarians, cardiac veterinarians or ophthalmologist veterinarians. The bills usually run into the thousands. If you can afford to pay for the treatment, specialist veterinarians can pull off near-human feats for your dog. Basically, it comes down to being able to afford it. So does health insurance for dogs make sense? Do you pay for it and then rest easy like you do with for your family?

To a dog owner the idea of being unable to pay for a health care procedure for their dog is the stuff of nightmares. So they should get the health insurance for dogs that comes specially designed for dogs’ needs, shouldn’t they? Well, it depends on how much they are willing to pay; it depends on whether they can get the right kind policy.

Sometimes, when veterinarians have to put a dog down because the owner can’t afford the $4000 bill for a spinal disc problem or $2000 for a fracture, they tell the owner that if only they had thought to buy the health insurance for dogs that’s available, their dog would completely have been covered.

But as consumer groups will tell you, health insurance for dogs isn’t that simple. Good policies cost about $300 a year. If a dog lives for 15 years, that’s thousand dollars. Who can afford that? In general, lifetime healthcare bills for your average healthy dog comes in at about $6000. That’s a lot less than you would pay for health insurance every month and then pay for whatever the health insurance doesn’t end up covering. If your pet comes down with a disease that requires long-term care, it could double your insurance bills. For your average dog that lives a healthy life, insurance doesn’t save you any money at all. You should just save up every month whatever you would pay in premiums.

Of course, insurance companies have a different argument. They feel that the “average bill for a healthy animal over its lifetime” argument hardly make sense. Who is to know what dog will be healthy and what won’t? If you do decide that you will go with insurance, you should probably make sure you shop around and ask questions of Shuler Veterinary Clinic. You want a policy where prescription drugs are covered; you want one that asks for the smallest co-pay possible and has no cap how much is paid out. You want to know also if long-term chronic problems are covered.

09/28/15

Mt Pleasant Kennel Cat Acne

If you thought that you had the worst of it when you got a rash of acne at 16, you’ll certainly understand how your cute little Mt Pleasant kennel cat might feel. Except of course, your cat won’t have his friends making fun of him (hopefully). Cat acne around the Mount Pleasant, SC area comes up in cats for different reasons.  No matter what causes it, it almost always appears as bumps around the mouth or the chin. It is a good thing that acne in cat isn’t usually painful or anything, and that there are lots of simple home remedies that you could tap to help your little furry friend. More info at: http://pets.webmd.com/cats/

What does cat acne actually look like? Usually, you’ll notice what looks like whiteheads or delicate-looking pimples around the lower part of your cat’s face. The worse the attack is, the more pimples you’ll see. Sometimes, in a severe attack of acne, your cat’s pimples may begin to ooze, swell, or crust over. The worst part of it is, that your cat will begin to scratch itself around those pimples, and get it all raw and prone to infection. In such a case, you’ll probably need to seek help from the veterinarian for quick relief. You don’t want to wait for slow home remedies to work when your cat’s problem seems to be a bit severe. Also, to the lay pet owner, there is no real way to tell acne apart from an infection or a rash. Before you actually apply any of these home remedies below, you’ll probably want to take your cat to the veterinarian  for a positive diagnosis.

So how you take care of cat acne at home? To begin with, just as with people, you want to make sure that your Mt Pleasant cat’s face is all clean. Once a day, make sure that you wipe your cat’s face down with a clean washcloth dipped in warm water. A clean face helps with a cat acne breakout. If you want to use soap washing the cat’s face, make sure that you use pet-safe soap that you can get with your veterinarian. While you wash your cat’s face, holding a warm towel to the critter’s face for a while helps unclog itspores. It helps the skin lose its bacteria a bit more efficiently.

Sometimes, cats in the Mount Pleasant, SC area get their attack of acne through unclean food- or water-bowls. You need to be sure that your cat’s dishes are completely and thoroughly washed with soap and water everyday. And while you’re at it, be sure to get china or metal cat dishes. They are far better staying bacteria-free than plastic is. And finally, you don’t want to be using your own acne cream to help your cat. Cats have smaller and more delicate bodies. Human-strength medicines simply won’t be safe for such a little animal. And whatever you do, make sure you don’t squeeze any pimple. It will only drive the infection in deeper.

05/28/15

Cat Scratching Posts in Mount Pleasant

If you’ve ever lived with Mt Pleasant, SC cats, then you’re very familiar with how much they like to scratch. Unfortunately, our beds, sofas and leather chairs can become victims to this instinctive predilection. As much as we love our cats, we do love our furniture too and would like to see it last at least a couple of years. Furniture can be quite expensive to replace, and it can really bring down the house in a bad way if it looks worn out and shabby. So what kind of solution can we work out so that we, our cats and our furniture can coexist in harmony?

cat scratching post

cat scratching post

The answer is to get the cats in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina some furniture of their own. A cat scratching post is a great way to allow our cats to indulge their need to scratch, but in a more positive way through which our furniture doesn’t have to suffer. A good cat scratching post will take the brunt of the damage and provide cats with substantial stimulation and entertainment. Once you successfully get them onto the scratching post, your cats are bound to get bored with the boring old sofa and thankfully leave it alone.

Shopping for a new cat scratching post can be just as elaborate as shopping for a new furniture piece for yourself. There is a huge variety of scratching posts out there in terms of shape, size, material, cost, aesthetics and special features. Many cat scratching posts for our Mt Pleasant feline friends consist of a platform they stand on, and the cat is meant to sit on the platform and scratch the post. Others are very tall and curved, designed so that the cat can stretch its body and extend its claws to the fullest. Some are simply made of wood that will help file down the cat’s claws, while other are covered with carpet for a more comfortable, cushy feel. Others have extra toys hanging off of them that cats can play around with as they scratch. Out of all of these selections, you are bound to find a scratching post that your cats will be satisfied with.

When you bring your new cat scratching post home, don’t be discouraged if your cats don’t warm up to it immediately. Cats by nature are wary of changes in their environment, so they may take their time in approaching their new furniture. You may sprinkle some catnip on the post to encourage your cats to scratch on it. Give it some time and your cats will grow to love their new scratching target, and you and your furniture will finally be able to have some relief.

09/28/14

Mt Pleasant Vet Clinic Cat Food Debate

The debate at dog boarding kennels and other veterinarians and cat owners in general over what kind of food to feed cats is just as heated as the long standing debate over whether cats should be raised indoors or outdoors. It’s generally agreed that cats are carnivores and that they should be fed some sort of meat product, but the form that that meat takes is hotly contested. This is why there are all sorts of cat food products on the market and sitting on the shelves of your local pet store. There are different factors that contribute to the type of cat food that cat owners ultimately buy for their pets.

cat foodSome cat owners don’t even shop at the pet store or their favorite boarding kennel. They are convinced that cats should be fed raw meat only. It’s argued that this is the natural order and that cats should eat the raw flesh of prey as they would in the wild. The advantage to feeding your cat raw meat is that it is the most “natural” product you can feed your cat, but the downside is that this is very expensive. Imagine stopping by the meat aisle to pick up steak for the family dinner, and then an additional steak for the cat. After a while, those pounds and dollars are going to add up and put a damper on your funds.

Other cat owners opt for canned wet cat food. This is a cheaper alternative to raw meat and it manages to provide sustenance that is as close to its natural form as you can get at a more convenient price and packaging. It’s a lower grade quality than meat sold for human consumption, but suitable for cats to eat. Wet cat food is a solid middle option, and it is a popular choice.

Finally, there are cat owners who feed their cats dry cat food. This is the cheapest means of feeding your cat, and it is also the cleanest. Dry food leaves less mess than wet food and raw meat, and also gives off less of an odor. Dry cat food is also a very popular choice of cat food on par with wet cat food. There are some cat owners who believe that dry cat food is detrimental because it’s the furthest from what they are used to eating in nature. Dry cat food sometimes contains grains that are not originally part of the feline diet. Still, it is much cheaper than wet food or cat food, and most cats do fine on a dry food diet. Many animal shelters feed their cats with dry food.

In the end, which cat food you choose to buy depends on your beliefs and how much you have available to spend on your feline friend. As long as you feed your cat regularly with products on the market deemed suitable for cats to consume, the choice shouldn’t matter too much. Whether you choose to feed your cat with raw meat, wet food or dry food, your cat will be happy as long as its bowl is filled.