August 8th, 2010

Our-Cats.Com Weekly Magazine
Thunderstorms Phobia in Cats – Cats and Thunderstorms
By Cato on August 8th, 2010

Published by: technama

One of the other ways that you can use is to divert the cat’s attention during a storm. You can play with your cat or try to train your cat using your cat’s favourite food! Good food does just as well with cats as it does with humans. This way your cat will associate thunderstorms with good things instead of fear. While training, don’t be too demanding of your cat or it will get tired and irritated which will make the food less appealing. Counterconditioning is the best way in which your cat can be trained to be less fearful of thunderstorms. Desensitization: This is not always successful and very onerous but worth a try. You can expose your cat to the recordings of thunderstorms coupled with counterconditioning (discussed above). This will train the cat to cope with actual thunderstorms. Medication: You can also use certain medicines to soothe your cat’s nerves but this must only be after the advice of your veterinarian. Whenever you find your cat under the bed, nervously grooming itself, during a thunderstorm, it means that the cat is fearful. However, this in no way can be labelled as phobia. Help must be sought in either way to make it easy on your cat. Related posts: 1. Cats Aggression towards People – Reasons and Tips for Treatment You must have noticed that your cat often gets
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Thunderstorm phobia in cats is not very common as cats seem to cope with thunderstorms well. This does not mean that they do not fear it. But there is a difference between ‘fear’ and ‘phobia.’ While fear is a mild state of uneasiness with a particular situation, phobia is extreme and brings about an unreasonable and exaggerated show of fear. Phobia comes in when animals or humans are afraid to the extent that they might avoid open spaces and even harm themselves. Normally, cats would go hide under the bed or in cupboards which is out of fear. It also reduces the chances of getting hurt to a greater extent. Cats also have a thin coat which makes them less vulnerable to thunderstorms. Although it is closer to never that a cat has thunderstorm phobia, unusual experiences such as receiving an electric shock during a storm, may induce in them such a phobia. Signs of Thunderstorm Phobia in Cats If the cat is only fearful and is mildly affected by the thunderstorm, the symptoms would be limited to large pupils and a general desire not to socialize and stay hidden somewhere. However, when it comes to extreme phobia, along with the above symptoms, the cats coat hair is raised and their tail becomes bushy. Other than that, their body exhibits nervousness and they hiss and spit a lot. Their defense response also becomes more active than usual. How to Overcome the Fear of Thunderstorms in Cats Although leaving the cat alone is the best solution, there are many ways in which the cat’s fear can be eliminated or at least assuaged to a greater extent. One of these is to guide the cat to the basement or a room which is sound- and light-proof. When the cat will get the normal environment, it will automatically go back to its normal behavior in a while. Counter conditioning:

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3. Cat Scratching Furniture – Tips for Prevention You must
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August 8th, 2010

Published by: technama

Lungworms in Cats – Symptoms Diagnosis and Treatment
By Cato on August 8th, 2010

however, coughing can be caused by a number of other ailments. Thus, to make sure, other tests are carried out. These tests include thoracic radiograph, bronchoscopy, complete blood count (CBC), respiratory secretions’ examination and heartworm test. Treatment of Lungworms The treatment carried out after the diagnosis will be determined by the veterinarian which will most probably be an anti-parasite drug. Normally hospitalization is not needed and if it is, it will be for a very brief period. In cases of extreme infection, anti-inflammatory medicine may also be prescribed for a period of 3 to 10 days. This will increase the thirst, appetite and also urination of your cat. Home Care for Lungworms The only way you can keep your cat safe and away from such worms is to monitor and control their whereabouts if they are allowed to go outdoors. However, during treatment they must be kept indoors and in a hygenic environment. Follow up is also needed to make sure that the parasite has been completely eliminated. This includes a chest X-ray and fecal examination after 2 to 4 weeks of treatment. In case, the ailment has been ignored, it may result in permanent lung scar tissues. If these scars have changed the lung tissues to a greater extent, then, residual cough will be noticed. Related posts: 1. Tapeworms in Cats – Appearance Symptoms and Treatment Tapeworms in Cats are also known as Cestodes,
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Lungworm is a type of parasite that affects a cat’s respiratory tracts. It afflicts the cat when the cat eats an insect or rodent carrying it or afflicted with it or drinks water contaminated by its larvae. It is more common in younger cats that get seriously infected. The most common kinds of lungworms afflicting cats are Capillaria aerophila & Aelurostrongylus abstrusus. There is another type of lungworm known as lung fluke or Paragominus which is found near lakes and infest crayfish, snails, etc., or the rodents that eat them. How Cats Become Infected with Lungworms Both types of lungworm affecting the cats are transmitted in different ways. Capillaria aerophila infests the cats directly when they eat an insect or rodent infected with the larvae of lungworm. Drinking contaminated water can also infest the cat with this parasite. Aelurostrongylus abstrusus affects the cats indirectly with the help of an intermediate host. This intermediate host may be snails or paratenics such as birds and rodents. The larvae can grow and reproduce only asexually on the intermediate hosts. It is only in the final host (i.e. your cat) that the parasite can reproduce by exchanging genetic materials. Once the cat is ingested by this lungworm’s larvae, it finds home in the walls of the intestine from where it reaches the lungs. Once in the lungs, it grows, reproduces and lays eggs. These eggs are then swallowed and passed out via the feces or coughed up. These parasites affect the cat by injuring the airways and lung tissues by inflamating them. Symptoms of Lungworms in Cats The symptoms of lungworm depends on the type of parasite that ails the cats as well as the intesity of infestation. If the cat has a mild infection, it is likely that it might not show any symptoms at all. However, in case of a severe infection, the cat will be spotted coughing, shortness of breath and being very lazy. In addition, it will also lose weight and exhibit an intolerant behaviour. In case of complications, it could even result in interstitial emphysema, pulmonary edema and secondary bacterial pneumonia. Diagnosis of Lungworms While diagnosing lungworms medically, a few tests need to be carried out. The veterinarian will need the medical history of the cat and perform a complete medical check up which will include lung auscultation. Normally the fecal examination is the main diagnosing test which finds larvae of lungworms in the feces. The main symptom of lungworm is coughing,

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August 8th, 2010

Published by: technama

Cat Scratching Furniture – Tips for Prevention
By Cato on August 8th, 2010

There will also be a change in the behaviour of your cat. If you have an aggressive cat as your pet, then it might even bite its claws! Thus, it is preferred that you train your cat to use scratch posts and spare her the pain and the horror. Other Options of Preventing Cats from Scratching Furniture (except for Declawing) There are other alternatives to the declawing surgery mentioned above! These alternatives have been discussed below: Scratching Posts: When buying scratching posts for your cat, keep a few things in mind. Always buy an extra post (for example if you have 2 cats, then buy 3). Make sure that the post is tall enough that the cat can stretch easily to its complete length. Thus, the post must be no less than 3 feet at least. The post must also be stable so that when your cat tries to scratch, it doesn’t fall over or tilt. Always use material that can easily be scratched and leaves a mark since that is the objective! Cloth or other material that will not scratch is of no use. Burlap is an ideal material for the job! When choosing a place to keep the scratch post, do not hide it. Initially keep it at a place where your cat mostly likes to scratch. Once its association with the scratch post has been developed, you can keep it in a place that is not that central but easily accessed by the cat. Deterrents: First in the line are physical deterrents such as heavy guage plastic sheets. You can cover the legs of your table or sofa or any other piece of furniture with these sheet when starting with the training. This will inculcate the idea that this furniture is not to be scratched. Chemical deterrents come in all forms. You can use moth repellent aerosols containing naphthol or other sprays containing pheromones which will keep your cat away from the furniture. Environmental Measures: If you live in a place where your cat is frequently threatened by other cats or cat fights are a norm, you need to settle such insecurities that surround your cat and encourage it to pursue the habit of scratching. Nail Covers: The excellent innovation of plastic nail covers has to a greater extent solved the problem of scratching. These plastic nails can be glued to properly trimmed cat’s nails. In this way, your cat can scratch as much as it want with almost no damage to your furniture! These nail covers, however, need to be replaced monthly. You can save your time by gradually replacing only those nails that come off on their own. Nail Trims: If none of the above methods suit you, you can reduce risking your furniture by regularly getting your kitty’s nails trimmed. You can also learn how to trim your cat’s nails by a veterinarian. Make sure you use nail clipper especially made for cats and not the ones that are used by humans. When cutting your cat’s nails, square all the pointed edges and be
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You must get annoyed at your cat scratching the legs of your expensive furniture and no matter how much dismay you express, there is nothing that can stop it. But there’s a solution for everything and there’s a solution for this too! To find solutions, the first step is to figure out the reason why your cat acts this way. Cats are very possessive about their territory in their natural environment as well as their home in case of domestic cats and thus, if they fear the presence of another one of their species, they will scratch on a tree or your favourite table to send the message that the territory is taken. Now the scratches send the message in ways: visial and olfactory. The message is delivered when the other cat sees the marks and is known as visual. The cats while scratching release certain pheromones from their superficial glands in the skin of the paw. Other cats who see the scratches also smell these pheromones and get the cue that this place is taken. However, scratching doesn’t necessarily only relate to the above. It also helps your cat to exercise and flex the muscles and tendons of its paws. It also aids in removing old nail husks. The Domestic Picture Domestic cats have a tendency to leave markings most preferably on the furniture at home to that they leave a clear message to any cat that trespasses. Although there is a solution for it which is a declawing surgery, it is greatly discouraged on humanitarian grounds. Some veterinarian, however, still perform it saying it is totally harmless. The declawing surgery involves the removal of the nail along with the nail bed and sometimes even a part or all of the finger bone. It is extremely painful with the pain normally lasting for around 24 to 36 hours after the surgery. The gait of the cat during this time will reflect the pain that it feels. Sometimes, if there are complications in the surgery, the pain might last for a longer period of time. There are even instances where cats hobble for years to come but those are rare. Once your cat has been de-clawed, you have to be careful of your cat’s litterbox usage. It is recommended that you put some torn newspapers in the litterbox so that the little particles don’t find their way to the wounds. The inclusion of newspaper might lead to a general dislike towards the litterbox and result in undesirable excretory instances.

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August 8th, 2010

Published by: technama

careful that you do not cut the vascular and sensitive part of its nail. If you like this post, show your appreciation by becoming a fan of our We actively discuss different issues relating to our feline friends on the Facebook page as well as in our comments section. Related posts: 1. Tips for Cat Bathing Feeding and Grooming Cats are the
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Giardia in Cats Giardia is another parasite that affects the small intestine of cats. Its symptoms are usually watery diarrhea, dehydration and weight loss in young cats. Adult cats can normally overcome the ailment via their natural immune system. Cats get this disease by drinking contaminated water. Although it can be treated successfully, it is a serious ailment and must not be taken lightly. Special care must be taken when giving your cat water and food so that it isn’t contaminated. Ear Mites in Cats Ear mites are another type of parasites that live in the ear canals of the cat causing excessive itching and frequent ear scratching by your cat. You will also notice your cat vigorously shaking its head. To make sure that it is ear mites that afflict your cat, take a closer look at your cat’s ears and see if you spot dark flecks (ear mites’ droppings). If all the above symptoms are visible then get your cat checked by a veterinarian. Cats can easily transfer these mites from one another so if you have more than 1 cat, be sure to keep the infected cat away from the others. Ear mites cannot be transmitted to humans. Ringworms in Cats Ringworms are basically not parasites but a type of fungus. They as such do not cause any substantial harm but are extremely contagious to not only other cats but also humans. This fungus can cause athlete’s foot in humans and in cats it can weaken the immune system if it is not treated in time. Fleas in Cats Fleas are perhaps the most notorious parasites known to catowners. They suck blood out of cats and can cause anemia in older cats and even death in the younger ones. They also aide in transmitting tapeworms. The infestation can get even worse if your cat is allergic to flea bites. Thus, it is very important that you take care of your cat and try not to create an environment that fosters these fleas.

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Common Parasites Affecting Cats
By Cato on August 8th, 2010

Parasites are organisms that get their food by attaching themselves to other organisms. Parasites related to cats feed on the cat’s blood and are normally found on the skin of the cat. Examples include fleas and ear mites. While the external termites can be detected by taking a thorough look at your cat, internal termites are harder to detect. Some of the common parasites that afflict cats have been discussed below. Coccidia in Cats Coccidia is a type of microscopic parasites that finds its abode in the cells of the lining of the cat’s intestine. It is caused by eating infected fecal material or a rodent affected by coccidia. Normally, coccidia is eliminated by the immune system. But if it gets severe, it results in diarrhea. The cat becomes weak and dehydrated if it is not treated immediately. The medicines that are used to cure the disease only hinder the reproduction of these parasites. The complete destruction of these is very slow. It is also recommended that you keep the environment clean. Cryptosporidia is another coccidia which when afflicts, is incurable. However, normally this can also normally be combated by the immune system until or unless the cat has immuno-deficiency disorders.

You should regularly brush your cat’s coat with a comb dipped in soapy water. This will kill any flea that might have attached to the cat. You should also consult your veterinarian if you find your cat infested with flea. The medications are not harmful for the cat but will cease reproduction among the fleas. In case your cat was infested with fleas, there is a very good chance that there are flea eggs and larvae in the carpet and other such materials. Visit your veterinarian who will recommend a “flea bomb.” This will kill all generations of flea and prevent any future infestation effectively. Related posts: 1. Flea Allergy in Cats Flea allergy dermatitis (flea bite
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August 8th, 2010

Published by: technama

5. Cats and Snake Bites While cats are active hunters by nature,
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your mouth! Cutting the bite or using a torniquet are also not recommended. However, when it comes to using ice and washing the wound, there is a debate so it is advised that you consult your veterinarian before doing either. How to Keep Snakes Out of Your Garden Keeping a snake-free garden would mean creating a rodentand clutter-free environment. This can be done by regularly mowing your garden and not letting the grass grow too tall. Also never leave water containers outside unattended for too long. Also do not use your garden as a make-shift junk yard. Always pick any fruit that falls from the trees as this will attract rodents and subsequently, attract snakes. Woodpiles are also a kind of haven for snakes so avoid then especially in summers. However, if you have to keep them, then, keep them somewhere far from the house that is not accessed by children or pets. Avoiding any rock decorations in the garden will also help keep snakes away! Related posts: 1. 40 Household Items Poisonous for Cats One of my friends
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Cats and Snake Bites
By Cato on August 8th, 2010

While cats are active hunters by nature, they can also fall prey to other hunters. Snakes are one of such hunters that may bite a cat especially in the head, neck and legs. However, bites on other parts of the body are considered more serious. A snake bite may be poisonous, hence, fatal at times, or not poisonous depending on the type of snake. Even if the snakes aren’t poisonous, their bites inflict pain and can also cause infection. Symptoms of Snake Bites If your cat has been bitten by a snake, it will demonstrate the following symptoms: dilated pupils, weakening muscles, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, rapid pulse, labored breathing and possibly even a coma. The bite of non poisonous snake is generally in horse shoe shape as they do not contain the fangs, however, we strongly advise that you go to veterinary doctor and do not take any risk Instructions The moment you identify that your cat has been bitten by a snake, try to recognize the snake if it is somewhere near. Make an oral note of how it looks like, the pattern, length, etc. However, do not under any circumstances try to approach the snake, even if it is dead! Do not waste time on finding the snake and immediately take your cat to a veterinarian. While on the way to the vet, keep your cat in a position so that its heart is on a higher position than the area bitten by the snake. Also, open the cat collar and keep the cat calm and collected. Excitement, struggle and exercise all these increases the absorption of the venom.

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Try to put a pressure bandage between the heart and the bitten area so that the venom is unable to travel towards the heart. In case you’re unable to feel the heart beat, administer CPR. Warning DO NOT let your cat walk once it has been afflicted with a snake bite. Also, NEVER try to draw the venom out by
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