Heartworm in Cats: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Among the many domesticated animals out there, one of the more popular choices is the feline species. This is so because cats are low maintenance and are easy to take care of. However, to the experienced cat owner, he knows that to ensure that his feline friend stays in shape is to keep him free from the causes of any known diseases.

One of these diseases is heartworms. Heartworms are parasitic roundworms which greatly affects the heart and the blood vessels in the lungs. These infect cats using being bitten by mosquitos carrying heartworm larvae. Although heartworm in cats has a shorter life span than those found in dogs, it is still best to know its symptoms, and how it can be treated.

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Visible symptoms of heartworm in cats include coughing, raspy breathing, and vomiting. But since these symptoms may also be associated with milder diseases, newbie owners often tend to dismiss it as a minor issue. Take note that chronic heartworm infection, if not treated properly, may even lead to respiratory problems and complications. That is why there is a need to take the cat to the nearest pet clinic to have him diagnosed professionally.

However, there are no prescribed means to diagnose heartworm in cats. Common tests employed include heartworm antigen and antibody tests, and urine analysis. Some owners may opt to have their pets x-rayed since doing so reveals if the heartworm resulted in enlarged arteries and veins. On the other hand, there are also some owners who would go to the extremes and have their cats subjected to an electrocardiograph or ECG. Although it may come at a price, an ECG is the most effective means to determine whether the heart is being infested, and may even detect other heart ailments which may have resulted to such infestation.

The more extreme cases of heartworm in cats, more often than not, require surgical intervention. Milder cases, on the other hand, cure spontaneously since heartworm in cats often has short lifespans. However, medication is necessary to resist further infestation and help strengthen his immune system.

It is also important to have regular visits to the vet while the cat is being treated. This helps determine if the treatment is effective, and to determine if there had been side effects to the medication.

Being infected with heartworms, whether it be in cats or dogs, may be easily prevented. The owner must always make sure that his pets are properly taken care of, and are living in a healthy and safe environment. This includes regular visits to the vet and providing pets with nutritious meals, which is often supplemented by vitamins recommended by the vet. It also means cleaning their beds as often as required to make sure it is free from dangerous viruses and bacteria.

Keeping a pet healthy must always be a pet owner’s number one priority. It may take much of his time, effort, and money. However, like what has often been said, prevention is always better than cure.

Selecting the Best Pet Friendly Hotels

    Pets are great stress relievers. Their innocence and adorable antics simply makes the owner forget about all the stressful scenarios within the day. A lot of these owners even consider their pets as family, and offer them the royal treatment that they deserve.

    However, there can be times when one has to go on vacation and must either leave the pet with a relative, or have them stay in pet hotels in the city. And although these pet hotels are known to treat these furry babies with utmost care – some even offering training and exercise routines – the vacation would truly be a memorable experience if that special family member can tag along.

    With this situation in mind, more and more pet-friendly hotels are open for business. Hotel owners are becoming aware of the inexplicable joy that these adorable creatures bring to their customers, so they have developed ways to make sure that they not only enjoy their stay at the hotel but get to share the experience with their beloved pets as well.

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    Due to the increasing popularity of these pet-friendly hotels, it is always possible to find several in popular cities and tourist hotspots. Of course, all these pet-friendly hotels will provide their guests with beds, bowls, and toys. However, like the uniqueness of an individual, each hotel also caters different amenities that would suit the lifestyle of their targeted guests.

    For those who prefer to have themselves pampered, there are hotels which offer manicure and pedicure services to both their guests and their furry companion. Some hotels even have full-blown pet salons which offer complete grooming packages for pets of different shapes and sizes. This assures the owner that their little friends will be given the VIP treatment.

    There are also pet friendly hotels suited for those with more active lifestyles. These hotels have professional animal caretakers who offer training activities and daily walking services.

    And, if in case of an important business meeting and one’s pet has to stay in, some hotels have a pet day care center. In these centers, pets are allowed to play and mingle with other pets, being fed, and are given toys to take their minds off the temporary boredom.

    Some pet friendly hotels also offer restaurants, which has a wide range of dishes to choose from – both for the guest and for their little companion. There are also those which has an in-house veterinarian and clinic, in case of any unwanted emergencies.

    Since these pet-friendly hotels are a fairly new concept, there is the common notion that staying in these would cost a fortune. On the contrary, some hotels offer these services at no charge, as long as the staff is informed that the guest will be bringing a pet with them.

    So whether a person owns a handy Chihuahua, a dominant German shepherd, or an overly chatty parakeet, there is certainly a hotel that is willing to accommodate him. All it takes is a good amount of research and preparation to find the perfect hotel for an unforgettable holiday.

How to Train Your Cat

Cats are among the more popular animals that people have as pets. Along with its ticklish whiskers, cute face, soothing meows and fluffy fur, cats are one of the easiest animals to live with because they are naturally affectionate, quiet, clean, and largely self-sufficient which makes them as good as a family member.

One common problem that arises when having cats as pets is its ability to be trained. Is it possible to train a cat? Well, unlike dogs that are widely known as one of the easiest animals to train, cats are more difficult to train because of its unpredictable and aggressive behavior. They sometimes have the tendency to damage and destroy several things in your home by chewing or clawing them. They can also pee on fabrics covering them with hard-to-remove urine stain. Worse, they can express their violent nature to their owners and starts biting and clawing them.

However, these ‘unpredictable’ cat behaviors are treatable. Behaviors like these are natural to cats because it makes complete sense to them. Sometimes, these behaviours are just coping mechanisms for them to deal with boredom, illness or stress. The only way to treat these problems is to understand problem behaviour. It can be difficult at first but cat owners will suddenly get the hang of it in one point or another.

So to answer the question ‘Is it possible to train a cat?’, the answer is ‘Yes. Definitely.’ The primary step cat owners must do in order to train their cats is to understand and be aware of their cat’s behavior. Owners must be able to understand that even though cats may not be as kind and trainable as dogs, they also need love, understanding and affection. When cat owners already understand these behaviors, it will be easier for them to know if their cat has problems so it can be fixed easily.

Training cats offers many benefits which are not only good for the cat but also for the owner. By training them, their mind and body becomes more active. Moreover, it also serves as a great bonding time between the cat and its owner and so their relationship is strengthened. More importantly, training cats to do useful behaviors is very beneficial to owners since they won’t have to deal with messes in their homes anymore.

Here are some tricks you can do to train your cat:

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  1. Place the litter box in a quiet and easy-to-reach location.
  • Cats prefer to litter in quiet places away from loud and distracting noises. To train your cats to litter only on litter boxes, place the litter box in a quiet location and avoid noisy or high-traffic places such as crowded hallways or beside washing machines. Moreover, cats like to have their litter boxes on places that they can easily get to. Thus, avoid putting litter boxes on high shelves or any other hard to reach areas. Try to give them positive reinforcements and rewards immediately after they finish littering in the litter box. By doing this, cats will think that what they are doing is right and they are being appreciated for it.

    2. Disengage immediately when the cat starts too aggressive when playing.

  • When the cat starts to use its teeth or nails while playing, disengage immediately from the activity. This can be done either by playing dead, ignoring them or sitting still. Depriving them with movement and interactions will make them think that what they are doing is starting to get wrong so they will stop doing it. Moreover, try to provide them with toys that they can flick or outlets where they can release their predatory instincts such as catnips.

    3. Other tips to train a cat to do tricks:

a. Use tasty treats as reward for doing a good job. Cats are harder to please than dogs so try to give them high-quality treats that they would want such as chicken, tuna or other good quality fish, or a delicious baby food.

b. Use a clicker. Cats respond to sounds as well so whenever they do a good job on their training, click the clicker then reward them with food and give them positive reinforcements.

c. Do not punish them. Cats respond poorly to punishments. Whenever they are punished, they have the tendency to either become violent or to be more passive which will make training time more difficult.

d. Keep training time short. Cats have a tendency to tire out easily so just have your training and play session short for only about 15 minutes, once or twice a day.

How to Get Your Cat to Use a Litter Box

It is a known fact that cat poop contains harmful parasites that are detrimental to human health. Based on the research conducted around the United States, feline feces may contain parasites that are dangerous particularly to pregnant women. Feline population grows intensely every year, and this is a major threat to public health.

This study was verified and confirmed by Robert H. Yolken of John Hopkins School of Medicine and E. Fuller Torrey of Stanley Medical Research Institute. Cats and other feline animals are the most definitive host of a parasite named Toxoplasma gondii. This parasite is said to be very harmful to pregnant women. When women get infected during pregnancy, the fetus will be greatly affected too.

Everyone is at risk of acquiring such parasite because it can also cause major brain infection to those who are already diagnosed with conditions affecting the immune system like AIDS. The Memory and other cognitive functions may be impaired when healthy individuals get infected.

The government is already finding ways to control the feline population. As citizens, it is your duty to learn how to get your cat to use a litter box in order to maintain a healthy environment for your pets and your family.

Stray Kittens

Training stray kittens to use a litter box may not be that challenging. About three to four weeks of age, kittens get an idea about where to poop. Through the example of their mothers, they are already oriented to the location where mother cats leave their excrement. Each day, kittens become familiar with the texture, scent, surface, and the setting where mother cats defecate. In this case, it important to experiment with the materials you put in the litter box.

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What to put in litter boxes?

In case of rescued feral cats, you can’t fully simulate the area where their mothers defecate. It is safe to stuff your litter box with soft garden soil and leaves as stray kittens get a mental imprint of the location where they take a dump.

Grained sand-type litter is more effective compared to gravel-textured clay. Because feral cats are more accustomed to the outdoors, and they used to eliminate their vowels on dirt, the sand makes litter boxes a bit homely.

Where to place your litter boxes?

Litter boxes must be accessible and free from noises that may scare kittens away. It must be strategically placed in areas where kittens spend most of their time. Keep it in a cool private place and should be anywhere near their food bowl.

When to litter train kittens?

You may bring them in the litter boxes as soon as you have them. After every meal, place the kitten in the litter box. This can also be done after waking up and after play. Actively training your cats yield positive results afterward. So, just be persistent in litter training them. If you notice, they are typically squatting, place them in the litter box immediately.

How to clean litter boxes?

Clean litter boxes daily. First, remove old litters by scooping feces and urine deposits. Place it inside a thick garbage bag. Tie it tightly to avoid leaking of bacteria and foul smell. Place it inside another bag and tie tightly. Throw in a garbage container with a lid.

Second, Wash the box thoroughly and keep it dry. Dirty boxes will drive kittens away. They will tend to use dry and clean spots nearby.

Third, change old litters with fresh ones. How to get your cat to use a litter box depends on how clean your litters are.

How to deal with accidents?cute cats

Cats tend to pooh by accident from time to time even when they’re used to excrete vowels in litter boxes. The best way to deal with these mishaps is to stay cool and never act aggressively. Hitting or punishing the cat after an accident is discouraged. Stomping or raising your voice will only delay the process of litter training.

Clean the spot where your cat accidentally left some excretions. Apply some enzyme based cleaner that is specially formulated to remove stains as well as the source of the odor. Use them when necessary. Make sure that you follow instructions per package to avoid contamination and damage to property affected.

Conclusion

Cleanliness in the household translates to a healthy environment. If you love your cats, you should not limit your responsibility to just feeding them regularly. You must also accept the fact that cats will defecate, and you must be prepared for that.

Nobody wants parasites like Toxoplasma gondii around the house. The infective form of such parasite deposited in a single cat amounts to millions and it only takes one count to infect an individual.

Cleaning the feces of your feral cat could be tedious but always keep in mind the risk that can affect your entire family if you don’t. The abovementioned techniques on how to get your cat to use a litter box may help you and your pet get accustomed to the routine. As a result of your persistence, you and your cats can live harmoniously in a healthy home.

Why Do Cats Purr?

A cat is perhaps one of the most favorite domesticated pets in a household. Like dogs, cats have been living harmoniously with humans. These felines are known for distinct features. One of these features is the unique purring sound that they produce. Why do cats purr?

Throughout the course of evolution, purring has provided cats some selective advantage. Cats are considered to be an evolutionary work of art as they have evolved in such a way that most of their characteristics and behaviors become multifunctional to help increase their odds of survival. One good example would be the cat’s natural scratching habits. Scratching helps cars market their territories, serves as a form of self-defense mechanism and as a way to maintain nail health. Whiskers, on the other hand, help cats feel the direction of the wind, broadcast their moods and navigate the environment. Purring is another feline behavior that serves different functions. It helps newborns survive, promotes healing and as a major tool for communication.

Cats and Purring

Most felid species are known to produce a purring sound. Domestic cats purr when they are nursing their kittens or social contact through feeding, petting or stroking. Although there are some good guesses, no one is certain why cats produce purr sounds that are unique to their species. One of the most obvious instances where cats purr is when they are pleased and feeling good. However, that is not always the case as cats also tend to purr when they are frightened, hungry or injured.

It is also important to note that cats are not the only ones in the Felidae family and the entire animal kingdom that can purr. For example, lion and leopards belong to the Felidae family but they do not purr as they produce a much louder sound known as a roar. Some of the well-known members of the Felidae family that purr are the cheetahs and cougars.

How Cats Purr

According to several scientific studies, cats can purr through intermittent signaling of the diaphragmatic and laryngeal muscles. The purr sounds are produced when a cat inhales and exhales in a consistent pattern. There is also another theory stating that cats can purr through the help of a small hyoid bone located between the larynx and the skull. Various scientific studies have revealed that sound frequencies in this range can improve bone density and facilitate healing.

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Why Cats Purr

A cat’s purr serves a variety of functions. Primarily, it communicates varied emotional states. One of the most obvious reasons why cats purr is that they feel happy and contented. However, a purring cat does not mean happiness and contentment in most cases. There are also cases where cats purr in an attempt to prevent a potential opponent from attacking especially if they have no chances of survival. Cats also purr when they feel scared, injured, sick or hungry.

According to research conducted at the University of Sussex in the UK, cats have developed a specialized purr that enable them to increase the frequency of their purrs to get the attention of their human family members. This specialized purr is referred to as a “soliciting purr” and is meant to attract the attention of their human companions to feed them.

Conclusion

Cats can be compared to humans. Although humans are more gifted physically and mentally, cats also have their own fair share of characteristics and behaviors that they can use to their advantage. Until today, more studies are being conducted to fully understand the purrs and other behaviors of cats as well as to answer the question “why do cats purr?”