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Dealing With Cat Anxiety


Some stressful situations that can cause cat anxiety for your cat are: being alone in the house, or when visitors to the home, another new pet or family member, moving to a new home, visits to the veterinarian, adjusting to a new environment, and multiple cat households. Unfortunately, when cats suffer from stress and anxiety, they generally communicate it in a very clear way that can really turn humans upside down. One of the real signs that usually tell us is that they are not using the cat litter box.

Cats with separation anxiety don’t howl and bay like dogs and theydon’tchew on doors and windowsills in frantic attempts to escape. Their misery is far less obvious and it sometimes takes a sleuth of an owner to appreciate what is going on. Separation anxiety in cats is a less common phenomenon and typically gives rise to behaviors that are not as destructive as those of a dog suffering from separation anxiety. It is so uncommon in cats that it was not till recently that the disorder was considered to be absent in the feline species.

Separation anxiety is a very distressing condition for pets and their owners. Although it is difficult to treat, the long term benefits of having a happier and healthier pet are well worth the time spent training your pet. Separation anxiety: canine and feline and human beings alike, are all prone to and suffer from active bouts of stress due to environmental, emotional, and physical factors. Such stressful times can not only be harmful to your pet, but also to you as a pet owner.

Cats normally are fastidious groomers and as much as 30 - 50% of their time awake is spent performing some type of grooming behavior. One uncommon sign of cat anxiety may be excessive grooming, to the point of creating a bald spot on one or two areas of the body. Cats may show their distress in other, less obvious ways such as becoming too anxious to eat when left alone; or vomiting only when the owner is not there.

Cats find consistent routines and predictable environments very comforting, so try to keep your cat’s activities on a schedule. Playtimes, mealtimes, and bedtimes should occur at approximately the same time every day. Cats with anxiety related elimination problems also may spray, but do so for other than hormonal reasons. Instead, something in their environment causes them to become anxious. Cats commonly start to manifest their stress or anxiety by what is politely called inappropriate toiletary behavior.

Cats are very sensitive to their owner’s emotions, so if you’re nervous during thunderstorms, your cat probably will be, too. Learning to calm yourself will help both of you. Cats who display this type of behavior generally follow their owners around everywhere, rather than explore the outside world. They may even continue the suckling behavior and chew and suck on their owner’s cloths and even hand.

Cats can be very social animals and they can experience anxiety when they are separated from their owners. Cats like to know when their big cat mom and/or dad are coming and going, so they can adjust their schedules accordingly. If you or your partner takes a new job that drastically changes your household routine and lifestyle, your cat may get seperation anxiety

Aggressive behavior can be sign of stress anxiety. Owners who claim that cat play fighting did not present a problem until the cat was six or seven years old are ignoring one vital fact. Up until that age (middle age in cats) he will have taken his fights elsewhere. When the behavior is exhibited in the owner’s presence, attention can be withdrawn by turning or walking away, or some form of remote indirect punishment not associated with the owner could be used.

Owners should never physically punish their cat; even a harmless tap on the nose may be viewed as a challenge and the cat may become even more aggressive. The most effective reaction to status-induced aggression is to ignore the cat completely.

Ask your veterinarian about giving a tranquilizer to the cat to reduce cat anxiety and possibly help reduce destructive behavior. A comprehensive dietary supplement designed for animals exhibiting nervousness, hyperactivity, anxiety or responding to environmentally induced stress is also available from your veterinarian.

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Pet Adoption After Losing a Pet


If your family has experienced the loss of a pet, or if your pet is getting older, one thing that often comes to mind is whether or not you are ready for another pet. Should we wait or get a new pet right away? Should we wait until the older pet dies and first have a pet memorial for the kids? Would getting a new dog traumatize the older pet? Should we buy or adopt a pet?

The most important thing to do is to access your situation. Often times, when one pet is getting old, it’s a good idea to go ahead and introduce a new pet. It may even help the older pet live longer.

It is often easier to introduce two pets when they are young, but with a little know-how, it is possible to introduce a new pet to your old one. If you have plenty of love for both of them and a lot of patience, you can do it.

You must first be sure that your new pet is disease-free and up-to-date on its shots because you don’t want your older pet to get sick. Make sure both pets are neutered, and that you’ll be able to afford your new pet. Here’s a chart for the average first year of expenses for pets:

A small dog is $780; a large dog is $1,500; a cat is $640, a rabbit is $885 and a small bird is around $185.

Adopting a pet is the best thing people can do nowadays, because there are so many. There is a viral email petition going around concerning the Obama family dog, asking Senator Obama and his family to adopt their first dog. He promised children they could get a dog no matter whether he wins the election or not.

Over four million unwanted pets are in the United States, many of which are up for adoption. Sadly, seven million dogs and cats are killed each year due to overpopulation. Did you know that 20 to 30 percent of the dogs up for adoption in shelters are purebreds? The other 70 to 75 percent are most often mixed breed animals.

In order to adopt a pet, you might want to start by visiting www.petfinder.com, a site that lists many shelters across the US. You can also search for specific breeds or breed mixes. Also just be aware that if all dogs on a particular shelter’s website are described the same way (sweet, loving, friendly, etc.) then that shelter probably doesn’t know the individual dogs’ personalities so you may want to avoid the shelter.

Be sure to contact the shelters in your area and ask about their return policy. Good shelters will accept any dog or cat they have adopted out in the past as a return during any time in his life. Check out the adoption procedures, so you can visit with your new pet outside of the shelter kennel. Good shelters also don’t promote dogs who have a prior history of bad tempers.

Always avoid any preconceptions about what kind of pet including its age, breed, color, sex or size - and be prepared to have an open mind.

Once you have chosen your new pet, the best way to introduce new pets in your family is to put the new pet in his or her own room for a week before allowing the younger pet to be around it. Spend plenty of time with each pet. Let the new pet out of its room, and let the older pet goes in the room where the new pet was staying, so it can get used to the new pet’s smell without being intimidated.

Be very loving to both pets and always respect them. Then let them see one another but do not allow any physical contact. Or you could separate the animals with a child gate. If you hear some hissing or growling, know that this is normal. Once they seem to be used to seeing one another, let them get together, but make sure that someone supervises them. Provide treats to each animal and feed them in separate bowls at opposite sides of the room so they won’t fight for the food. This should be done at the same time every day until the animals become used to the routine. Over time, move the dishes closer together - slowly. If either animal shows signs of aggression, move their dishes back to the original starting point. Wait a few more days and move the pans closer once again.

Never let your animals be together unsupervised until they are completely comfortable with one another, to avoid fights. This process may take anywhere from one to six weeks. However if done right, in the end, you will have a calm family and happy pets.

And as sad as it may be, when an older pet dies, make sure that you have planned for a pet memorial. Let your children help choose a pet urn for cremation, or a pet casket for their pet’s burial, along with a memorial keepsake box for photos. This along with adopting another pet, can help children through sad times.[ad#ad-1]

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What Happens at a Cat Show


For those people who have never experienced a cat show before, the first thing you visualize is a kind of feline “Crufts”. And for obvious it is nothing like Crufts. Cats are not as stupid as dogs and so therefore cannot be trained to heel, jump through hoops and generally be a slave to their owners. This kind of show would totally be at odds with the spirituality, personality and character of the cat.

A cat show is in its essence a beauty competition. The cats are judged how close each comes to the accepted traits of its pedigree. i.e. width of face; coat markings; body stance and character.) There are many different cat shows around the country the dates of which can be found on our show page. However their structure and process of entry is uniform and controlled by the GCFC. Each event is usually managed by different cat clubs and these cat clubs are often centred around one breed (i.e. Somali; Burmese; Persian etc) or Categories (Short-hairs; Foreign; or Oriental perhaps). Some shows may bring together all cats in one area such as the Maidstone and Medway Cat Club.

The bigger shows are in London (this is nationwide) and the Supreme Cat show (held in the Midlands is for the elite. (i.e. the Grand Champions and the Imperials) See Prizes at cat shows. Owners presenting their cats will arrive early in the morning (usually between 8:00 and 10:00 am.). The cat will have a brief once over by the resident Vet to ensure the cat is safe and likely to be spreading disease. He will also check to make sure the appropriate vaccinations are up to date. The owner is then given the number of the cage in which their cat will be in. All the cages are set out on tables and in rows in a big hall. So depending on the size of the show there could be up to 500 cats together in one room! The owner then settles the cat and gives her the final grooming. At about 10:00am the owners withdraw and for approximately the next two hours the judges (usually two together with a judging table) travel between the cages. They will take the cats out, pick them up and hold them in order to award their points.

Around 12:00 the owners are allowed back in and also the general public to view the exhibitions. If a cat has done well within any section (1st, 2nd or 3rd) they will receive a rosette. However cats will not get first place by default if she is the only cat in the individual competition. If the judge does not feel she reaches the acceptable standard required, she could be put down as second!! The worst nightmare!

At the end of the day, the best from each section is chosen and from these the best in show.

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Preparing for a Cat Show


The obvious essential is to ensure your cat is looking in tip-top condition. This means grooming; cutting nails and even maybe bathing (ouch!) Make sure you can transport safely. One product we have found very useful, if your cat does not enjoy travelling, is Feliway Pheromones spray. This has proved to be very effective in calming Louie (our red Somali) and his nerves. It is sprayed in the car and also in the cat box. Another useful tip is to take tha cats favourite toy cushion or blanket for the car.

As your cat will be at the show all day you will need a provision of food, litter and water. Dustbins are plentiful at the show to get rid of any waste.

Keeping your cat safe

It is useful to have signs on your cats cage such as “Do not feed” or “Do not touch”. Quite easy to make up they can also usually be bought at the show. It is also worth thinking about whether your cat would be happier in a single cage or a double cage. Double cages are double the size of a single (and so cost more) and are usually used for special exhibits. But if your cat is likely to find a small area difficult to deal with for a whole day (if so should you be there at all?) would a double cage make things easier?

Any color, so long as its white…

There are strict rules about what can actually be placed in the cage. In short, every thing must be WHITE. This is so the judges cannot recognise any of the entrants from known toys or special dishes etc and so impartiality is ensured. You therefore need to acquire these white items: a food bowl; a water bowl; a litter tray; and white floor covering (usually a blanket). Anything (including food) other than these items must be taken out of the cage before the judging begins. The white items are again usually available in the stalls at the show but for safety sake it is a good idea to buy beforehand in rediness.

What will the judges do?

The judges will handle the cats in order to make their decisions. They are always gentle and skilled but it will be probably different to what your cat has experienced. So to prepare your cat it is a good idea to get him used to being handled. Before the show make sure you are picking him up every day. Some people have found wearing a white coat (as the judges do) is also useful to help him get used to the experience. When we showed Louie for the first time we were lucky enough to know a judges assistant who gave us an idea of how the judge is likely to hold the cat. They may pick him up and hold him long-wise under the belly, look into his face to distinguish face marking; pick up his paws to check feet etc.

A visit to the vets just before the show is also imperative. It will ensure he is well enough to be seen and not a danger to other cats. Vaccinations can be brought up to date. Your Vaccination history card must be taken to the show. With all the things that need to be taken it is a good idea to pack a bag the night before rather than rushing around frantically in the morning.

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