The Wet Nose Press Pet Blog

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September 1, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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Explaining Nocturnal Behavior in Cats

Image: Pixabay.com/

Cats are naturally nocturnal creatures. If they had their way, they would sleep all day and play all night. The only problem is from the owner’s perspective as they have to deal with their cats running around all night and jumping up on things. Thankfully, this behavior can be changed through some training. If your cat’s keeping you up at night, here are few tips to train them to fit your schedule:

Play with it during the day

Changing your cat’s sleep schedule can be fun for both parties. All you have to do is wake him up early in the morning and tempt him with his favorite toys. Do this again after you get home from work. Stop your cat from snoozing throughout the day and evening, he will eventually have to change his schedule due to sleep deprivation. Experts suggest that the behavior will change in 10 days or 2 weeks max and everyone gets a good night’s sleep.

Eating schedule

The same goes for eating. When owners first get a cat, they are cajoled into waking up at night and feeding their cats because it’s hungry. While your pets needs are important, this encourages the wrong behavior. Set regular feeding times for your at during the day and your cat will eventually understand that 3 am is not feeding time.

Playing when you aren’t around

Since quitting your job to play with your cat is not acceptable, you kitty will need to be stimulated when you aren’t around. Otherwise, it will fall asleep and all your hard work will be ruined. To entertain your cat when you aren’t around, leave a bunch of toys around the house that the cat can play with. You can also buy a fun food dispenser that gives out treats when your cat plays with it.

Sneak up on it

Now that you have changed it’s sleeping schedule, your cat has to understand that sneaking up on you is not okay. The best way to teach it, is to spray it with water or make loud noises. When your cat jumps on you at night, spray it with water and go back to sleep. If you’ve successfully managed to lock your cat outside your bedroom door but it’s still jumping around outside, open the door quickly, spray it and shut the door immediately. Your cat will get with the program after a few sprays and you can sleep in peace.

Never be aggressive

It is understandable that you want to yell at your cat sometimes but when your training, never be aggressive. No hitting , yelling or harmful behavior as they tend to develop hostility between cats and owners. The aim is to change your cat’s behavior through positive reinforcement and sometimes, mild negative reinforcement. Don’t be outwardly aggressive.

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August 31, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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Seizures in Cats

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For any pet owner out there, seeing your beloved cat going through a seizure can be a horrifying experience. Seizures usually last for a maximum of 5 minutes and your cat will be unconscious throughout. In this article, we will discover the causes and treatments for seizures and cautions to take in the future.

Causes

In cats, seizures are a result of abnormal electrochemical activity in the brain. Typically, seizures are seen as a result of epilepsy, either primary or idiopathic. There are many other causes for seizures including previous brain damage, congenital disorders, kidney and liver disorders, tumors, infections, poor blood flow and more.

What happens during a seizure?

Minutes before a seizure occurs, cats show restlessness and pace around or are scared and try to hide. Vomiting is also a pre-seizure symptom. These behaviors occur minutes before a seizure and are hard to notice as some of this behavior is common.

Cats usually collapse sideways during a seizure and start convulsing uncontrollably. The cat is completely unconscious during this time and is not in control of it’s muscle movements. These movements include moving of the paws and jaw snapping. Your cat might also urinate or defecate during a seizure. Thankfully, seizures last only for a minute or two. If the seizure does not stop then please take your cat to the vet immediately.

Once the seizure has ended, your cat may be disoriented and shows signs of temporary blindness. Added to this, some cats may experience temporary paralysis in their legs. Overall, your cat will need several days to get back to normal.

What can I do during a seizure?

Since your cat is completely unconscious, it does not feel any pain. Owners have to remain calm and try moving your cat into a safe place that is away from furniture and stairs. Remember that your cat cannot control it’s movements and be careful to avoid getting scratched/bitten. All the other house pets need to be kept away as they may get upset or scared and try to attack the cat. After a seizure, your cat may not recognize you as it is disoriented. This might lead it to attack you or run away.

Treatment

Veterinarians usually prescribe phenobarbital to stop seizures. If the seizure lasts for lesser than 5 minutes and is determined to be epilepsy then all the vet will do is stop the seizure. If the seizures occur very frequently (less than 2 months apart) then the vet prescribes medication that needs to be given for the rest of the cat’s life. This includes phenobarbital, diazepam or gabapentin.

After the seizure

A cat that has had a seizure is likely to experience one again in it’s lifetime. If the seizures are more than 2 months apart then doctors tend not to prescribe long-term medication as it can have an impact on the liver. Cats that need long-term medication however, need to be taken to the vet for regular testing.

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August 30, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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Five Surprising Cat Facts

Image source: Wikimedia

Ever looked at your cat and wondered if there’s more to him/her? Well, there is. Actually, there is a lot more to our furry little friends that we just don’t know about yet.

Here’s a list of 5 things that you probably didn’t about your cat or cats in general.

They have a unique way of drinking water

Have you ever looked at your cat drink water? It might appear that he/she is just lapping it all up. Actually, the process is a bit more complicated than just that. A slow-motion video captured by an engineer from MIT shows a cat’s tongue breaking the water surface and pushing up some water into the mouth. This water then is caught by the cat’s tongue before it can fall down. The process is so fast that the human eye usually misses it. The unique process is now being studied to understand its implications in designing robots.

They have more bones than humans in a section of their spine

A cat’s spine comes with a particular section that is known to have more bones than what the same section in a human spine does. The bones are known as thoracic and lumbar vertebrae and a cat has 20 of them, while humans have just 17 of them.

Why is this so special? Well, these extra set of bones are exactly what allow cats to be more flexible and capable in terms of leaping and acceleration. In case you didn’t know, cats can travel at speeds of 30kmph while running short distances. Of course, we all know how high they can jump. All this, thanks to those extra set of vertebrae.

There are male calico cats

Calico cats are particolored and due to the fact that coat colour determination is associated with the X chromosome, most of them tend to be female. This has led to the belief that all calico cats are female, which is true to a certain extent. However, there are exceptions. Due to a genetic oddity called “Klinefelter Syndrome”, where a male animal has an extra X chromosome, there is a 1 in 3000 chance that a calico cat can be born a male. The extra X chromosome plays a role in creating the signature calico coat pattern.

Sex is painful for cats

Because of male cats having barbed penises, sex isn’t a pleasurable thing for female cats. It’s also the same reason why male cats often get swiped by the females. In a way, they both experience some level of pain trying to mate. The pain helps the female cat release a hormone that helps with the ripening process of her eggs. The scenario is the same for the entire feline species.

Kittens have blue eyes

Eye colour is determined by a substance known as melanin and kittens usually don’t have proper melanin production. Till the melanin production reaches normal levels, the eye colour in kittens remains a light blue.

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August 29, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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Has Your Cat Become a Part Of Your Family?

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There is a myth among pet owners that cats look at them as nothing more than a means of obtaining food. While this is exaggerated, many owners truly believe that cats are independent and do not love you as much as their canine counterparts. Here are some signs that indicate your cat loves you and has become a part of the family:

  • Constant contact is one of the first signs that your cat loves you. It might just be nudging you with their heads, rubbing against your leg or simply jumping into your lap when you sit down. All of these means that your cat trusts you and owners of course love a little cuddle time with their cats.
  • Kneading is another major sign that your cat loves you. Kittens usually do it to their mothers and doing it to you or your family members show that it cares about you. Kneading is a sign that your cat is content and relaxed.
  • Purring is another sign that your cat is relaxed and is ready to be cuddled by you. It is instinctive and shows trust in you and other members of your family.
  • Much like humans, cats show their appreciation by giving gifts. Unlike humans however, cats tend to bring small dead animals, birds and other random objects from outside. These are meant as gifts and are a sign that your cat is trying to pamper you.
  • Seeking attention is another sign. Cats that interrupt your urgent work by standing on your laptop or crawling on you are trying to get you to play with them or cuddle them. Like toddlers, this is a base need and showcasing it means that your cat looks at you as a parent.
  • Cats make eye contact only with the people they like, It might be a little unsettling and even creepy sometimes but it’s a way for you cat to watch over you or admire you.
  • Following you around the house, no matter where you try to go is a sign of cat love. Since cats are independent creatures, them following you around on their own is a big deal.
  • If your cat lies down on it’s back and exposes it belly to you, it is the ultimate show of trust. It proves that your cat is willing to expose its weakest parts to you. It might just be asking for a belly rub but it’s still a sign of love.
  • It is officially a part of the family when either your or cat starts changing your schedules to suit the needs of the other. Many cats learn when their owners get home from work and wait by the door for them.
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August 26, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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Most Common Household Cat Hazards

Image credits – Pixabay

Have you ever heard of the saying “Curiosity Kills the Cat”? Well, we’re going to assume you have. There’s a lot of truth behind this adage. Cats are curious by nature. This might be one of their cuter attributes. However, it can also get them into a ton of trouble.

So, if you want your cats to be safe, make sure you eliminate these household hazards. If you don’t, you might be forced to deal with a dangerous situation involving your cat.

Medication

The ASPCA ranks human medication as one of the most significant hazards for household pets, including cats. In 2009, the ASPAC responded to over 40, 000 calls involving pets and human medication relayed issues. It’s common for pets, especially cats to play with prescription pill bottles or consume pills fallen on the floor.

So, make sure your medications are kept out of reach of your cat. Also, check your floor for fallen pills as often as possible.

Human food

In case you didn’t know, some human foods can be dangerous for cats. Foods such as chewing gum, raisins, grapes, avocado and anything containing xylitol can cause poisoning in your furry little friend. In the year 2009, there were over 17000 reported cases of food related poisoning.

The most common food hazard for cats and even dogs is chocolate. Chocolate contains high doses of methylxanthines. This chemical can cause serious problems for your cat including diarrhea, vomiting, hyperactivity, excessive thirst and urination, seizures, tremors, and disturbed heart rhythm.

Insecticides

Insecticides, as we all know, are toxic in general. Not only should you be careful with insecticides, even your pet cat needs to be kept away. The APCC, in 22009, responded to over 25,000 calls involving insecticide related poisoning among pets.

Tick and flea products are some of the most significant risks. In most cases, these products were used on the wrong species, which often results in adverse scenarios. So, make sure all these items are kept out of reach. Also, talk to our veterinarian before starting any kind of treatment.

Plants

Cats can be sensitive to certain plants as well. In 2009, the APCC responded to over 7000 cases involving plant and pet related issues. Certain varieties of plants such as lilies, sago palm, azalea, kalanchoe, rhododendron, and schefflera are common across most households. Unfortunately, they can be very toxic for your cat.

For example, lilies can cause kidney failure among cats.

Veterinary drugs

The last thing you would expect to be dangerous for your cat is veterinary medication. However, each medication has a specific purpose and when used outside of that purpose, they can be toxic. For example, if your cat ingests a topical agent, you could be looking at serious trouble.

So, make sure even veterinary meds are kept under lock and key.