Category: Cat care

Does your pet chew their paws? Why?

crossed paws

Do you ever have to tell your pet to stop chewing on their paws? The chewing could be their way to relieve pain and discomfort.

  1. Get a wet washcloth and quickly soak each paw. If your animals don’t mind their paws being touched you can do a more thorough job. The water can soften anything that might have become embedded or dilute anything they might have stepped into that could be burning their pads.
  2. Examine the paws. You are looking for anything from a stray unpopped popcorn kernel that’s gotten wedged to broken glass. If you see blisters it’s time to call the vet for a visit and a topical treatment.
  3. Bug bites. Mosquitoes, ants, and spiders may have bitten the pads of your pet’s paws, maybe while he or she was playing with it.
  4. Long or ingrown nails
chewing
Pets can rest easy when their paws aren’t bothering them.

If your pet is an indoor cat, consider what chemicals you might have had around. If a cat (or dog) steps into something and it burns they will chew on the affected paw and could ingest some of the chemical. Outdoor cats have the opportunity for a greater number of foreign objects that can affected them.

I heard of one cat when after his owner checked his paws, found what looked like mosquito bites. An inside cat in Boston, except for lounging on the balcony, can get bug bites too.

If your pet is chewing on its paws, or anywhere, it is time to find out why. It is important to address the chewing quickly so bad habits aren’t formed.

 

Getting rid of ants without hurting your pets

 

UPDATE: It’s been three days since I tried this. I still haven’t seen any “trails” of ants. They seem fewer but we could be in between hatching cycles. I did add some of the mixture in a line from the outside of an ant hole in the walkway outside to the grass and that colony doesn’t seem to be active any longer. If anyone has a method that works inside – please share.

Origninal post

We have had a very rainy spring and summer. I have also had work done on the house, resulting in doors open, saw dust, etc. So which is responsible for the ants?

I don’t know and don’t care, just want to get them out.  I think the rain has a lot to do with it, as I have heard from others having the same problem.

My ants have wings, but they aren’t termites thankfully. I double checked with a photo of both on the internet. My ants have segmented bodies and are built differently. So that’s the good news.

After turning on the light in the front room last night, and finding at least 20 of these unwanted visitors.

I resorted to clicking onto Lowes to find out if there is a fogger I could use. There is but I would have to take the two dogs, cat and bird out of the house for up to four hours. Not convenient and not really the method I prefer to use.

When possible I go as natural as possible. Any method will require you to keep an eye on your pets.

After much research I have combined what I was comfortable with and come up with this method. Let me know what you think. I have just put out the traps and will have to wait a few days to see.

What you will need:

20 Mule Team Borax

Sugar

Cotton balls

Plastic containers with lids (if you have some of the thinner ones that lunch meat comes in perfect!)

knife and scissors

Preparation:Ants 4

Cut slits along the bottom of the plastic container. I used a knife and squared it off a bit with scissors. Put these close to the bottom and make the slits small. You don’t want dog or cat tongues trying to lick the sugar out.

Remember you want the ants to be able to get out to take the mixture back to the queen. If you find too many still in the container you are only killing those. You want the entire colony. It’s going to be difficult, but for the next day or so I need to not squish the ants so they can make their return to the colony with the “treats.”

The method I decided was a mixture of borax and sugar. I didn’t measure, about half and half. You want it watery but with some solid pieces.

Roll cotton balls into the mixture and place three or four in the plastic tub. Snap on lid.

Ants 3

Place in strategic places. You may have to move the baits around. Everything I read said follow the trail of ants but I haven’t seen a “trail of ants” and my house is pretty tightly sealed.

I put one outside under a bush to see if I can lure some before they come into the house.

Ants 1

I choose to use the containers with lids rather than just the lids themselves. This is for my pets sake. Of course as soon as I put the container in the front room, Kodi the corgi’s nose was right there, checking  it out.

This is an experiment for me. I am really hoping it works and will post updates.

Wish me luck!

A missing pet

samantha-window
Window sills are one of Samantha’s favorite spots.

Even the most diligent of pet owners has lost a pet, if only for a few minutes. No matter how long they are gone the feeling is not a good one.
I had that feeling today. We are having work done on the house and the door from the kitchen into the garage was being replaced. I came home from work about 3 p.m. to find my contractors busy at work, my husband in his office, and Kodi and Buddy in their crates.

“Where’s Samantha?”

Samantha is our cat (or rather, my cat who sits on my husband’s  lap while we watch T.V.) The answer, “I don’t know,” wasn’t what I wanted to hear.

The search began. I was pretty sure my indoor kitty wouldn’t have willingly headed into all of the noise of saws, hammers and strangers going on in my garage that day, but I really needed to see she was safe for my own peace of mind.

So we searched all of her favorite spots, window sills, behind furniture, under blankets — she was nowhere to be found. I even looked in the garage – nothing.

I had to leave for a meeting so after about 15 minutes of searching I called a former co-worker at our local humane society to make a lost pet report. Samantha is chipped and that is generally the first thing any humane society or veterinarian scan for.  While I was on the phone, my husband called out that he had found her in a back bedroom.

She had found her place to sit out the ruckus in the open area between the wall and the storage/headboard in the guest room we have been sleeping in while we wait for our room to be carpeted. After my husband spotted her, she dashed under a sofa futon in the same room.

Sure I could believe him, but I needed to see her for myself. So down on the floor I went, peering under the futon, and looking back at me was Samantha.

This was a reminder that when workmen or guests are in your house, find accommodations for your cat, especially if doors are going to be opened.

The furthest Samantha usually ventures it out onto the pool deck and she is very easy to capture. If her heart was in it, she’d be much harder to bring back in.

This also demonstrates why even indoor cats (and I personally think they all should be indoor cats) should have identification. Collars can get caught or removed. Micro chips are the best chance you have of getting your feline back.

Cat in a hat

This sweet 10 year old would love a home to call her own. Her former owners were moving and could not take her with them. She has some small medical issues that are resolving but don’t let that distract from her awesome personality. She is very lad back and would just love a lap to sit on. Come and meet this sweetie today!

cat-hat

Is your shelter expecting?

It’s the first day of March, and in Florida and other southern climates, that means Kitten and Puppy season is about to begin. Our northern neighbors may have a couple more months, but not us.

I received this poster in my email from a local shelter and it reminded me that while they certainly need loving homes to adopt the incoming litters of kittens and puppies, they also need help with supplies.

kittens

So , throw a baby shower for your shelter. New items, gently used, I guarantee they won’t care. Towels, wet kitten food, and litter. Stop by your shelter today. They will be glad to see you.

Is your shelter having an event to raise funds or supplies? Send me their poster.

Hide and seek, kitty cat style, or 5 reasons you can’t find your cat

pet-chat-cat-hiding

Five reasons your cat may hide from you:

I walked into the bedroom yesterday to find our cat Samantha rolled up in a section of an afghan that was cascading from the mattress onto the floor. I wasn’t concerned. She looked quite comfortable, and to be honest, I experienced a smidge of envy.

It’s chilly and she looked quite snug. So I grabbed the camera off my desk, snapped her photo, and left her to her retreat.

There are times our cats, and even the dogs, may want to curl up somewhere away from the action. Don’t we all?robby-legs

Robby, our daughter’s cat, needs to work on his “hiding” skills. We were house guests which took time for him to adjust to.

Just think the word “vet” and your cat will escape to another dimension of your home you didn’t know existed. We have all searched for the feline veterinary patient convinced we will have to cancel the appointment because, “I can’t find the cat in my one-bedroom apartment.”

If your cat hides on a regular basis there may be cause for concern.

5 reasons your cat might hide:

  1. Car ride – cats that don’t like car rides, i.e. vet trips
  2. Medical issues – Behavior changes are often the first indication you might need to call the vet.
  3. Pain – Several causes of pain. A broken nail, a reaction to a small child pulling their tail, or dietary and intestinal pain. Again, time for the vet.
  4. Fear – New visitors in the house, especially if the cat is not accustomed to children. Activity around the house or even your neighbor’s house. Workmen for example.
  5. Stress – Adding a new pet, having house guests, even changing furniture, can cause stress in felines. Keeping their possessions like the litter box, food bowls and toys in the same place may help alleviate some of this.

samantha-windowWindow sills are one of Samantha’s favorite spots.

Shelter from the storm

Dogs, but generally not cats, often have a fear of storms, making States like Florida a tough place to live.

EESamantha's things 2

Our household is hoping for a quiet hurricane season. On June 6, Tropical Storm Colin rolled through our section of the state with some wind and rain. Certainly no Hurricane Frances or Charley – thank goodness.

The Estes dogs were not impressed with Tropical Storm Colin. This is especially true for Buddy, the Jack Russell.

Buddy was adopted in Orlando but was moved to Arizona almost immediately. Arizona doesn’t have hurricanes, and not that many thunderstorms . 

He came home with us last December because he was not adapting well to our granddaughters’ new found mobility. He liked her fine – if she stayed in one place.

So to keep the peace, and the dog, good old mom and dad brought him back to Florida. A place where there are thunderstorms, tropical storms and hurricanes.

As the bands of rain from Colin passed through the area, both dogs were quite upset, even while wearing their ThunderShirts. Buddy curled up on the bed, curtains drawn, and Kodi went to a favorite spot by the couch. They are where they feel safe, and that’s all that matters.hurricane

Tropical Storm Colin was a weather nudge. We are into hurricane season, and we need to be prepared.

If you live in an area where you might have to evacuate; this include wildfires, hurricanes, or even into your own tornado shelter, your emergency preparations need to inlcude your pets. Preparing an evacuation bag now for your pets will only take a bit of your time. It will be time well spent.

The kit isn’t just for those who live in evacuation areas. It’s for those inland, who may lose power, or be unable to get out for a couple of days.

Here are a few items to gather for your pet: Veterinary records for proof of vaccinations (put these in a zip lock bag. Tags are not recognized as proof of vaccination); pet medication; two, 2-liter plastic soda bottles for water; zip lock bags of dry food or extra cans of pet food; plastic food and water dishes; cat litter and disposable pan; crates for each pet and blankets; extra leash; doggie bags; one or two favorite toys (these can be tossed in at the last minute); ThunderShirts (if your dog uses them).

If you need to evacuate, or if you are sheltering in place, fill up the 2-liter bottles when you fill up your family’s water needs – before the storm.

Microchip 1
The dog is scanned for a micro chip. Like most dogs that come into shelters. this one did not have a micro chip.

Now is also the time to verify that your pet’s ID is up to date on their collar or their microchip.

The best crates I have found are the open wire style. These allow for more ventiation than the hard side, airline-style crates. Select one that is large enough for your dog too stand and turn around in. Too big is not better. When scared, most dogs prefer a smaller “cave.”

This is also a good time to find out where the emergency shelters that are pet-friendly are, in your area. These are last resort, for survival, shelters. They are not like sleeping in a hotel far away from the disaster or hunkering down in your, or a friend’s, home.

Please don’t feed your cat these 10 things

In an effort to feed your cat a diet that you find more exciting, you coud actually harm your feline friend.cat 6

It’s tough to say no, but there are foods you kitty should never be allowed to eat.  Just as you shouldn’t be eating cat food, they shouldn’t be eating human food.

You might be tempted to substitute human food, like tuna fish, when you realize you forgot to pick up more of your cat’s cuisine at the store. Instead, put a coat over your pjs and go to the store, or call a neighbor and borrow a cup of kitty kibble.

These are not the only items that are harmful to your cat. Please, before you feed, research online.

Here are 10 items that should never find their way into you cat’s dinner dish:

  1. Tuna fish- a small bite isn’t probably going to hurt your cat, but don’t replace their regular meal with the same amout of tuna fish. A steady dose of tuna can actually result in malnutrition because it doesn’t offer enough nutrition.
  2. Fruit – especially those with pits and seeds, like apricots, cherry, and apples.
  3. Avocado – Depending on who you ask, avacados are either really healthy, or toxic for you cat. Small dose might be OK, before I feed my Samantha avacado I am going to check with her veterinarian.
  4. Chocolate
  5. Coffee or tea – If your cat is prone to taking a lap or two out of your drinks, don’t leave coffee unattended
  6. Alcohol – Not funny, definitely unhealthy
  7. Cow milk / cream – Oh sure, the cute picture has always been a cat lapping up a bowl of cream, but did you know that most cats are lactose intolerant? This results in upset tummies and diaharea.
  8. Macadamia nuts
  9. Liver – Small amounts of liver probably won’t hurt your cat, but eating too much can result in a vitamin A toxicity. This is a serious condition that can affect your cat’s bones.
  10. Onion in all forms can break down a cat’s red blood cells and lead to anemia.

When should you see a vet?

If you suspect your cat ate something he shouldn’t have, try to determine how much she ate.

Call your veterinarian’s office, they know your pet, his meds, and whether there is going to be a problem that needs to be addressed.

If your veterinarian is unavailable or unequipped to handle the situation, call the nearest animal hospital or the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-855-213-6680. This is especially important if your cat is displaying symptoms such as muscle tremors or repeated vomiting.