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September 2014
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28 Aug

Fear of Strange People – Part 3

Author: Tammy Wolfe 0 comments

The final stage of treatment is to dispense with the cage and restrain the cat on a harness or collar and lead when guests arrive.  Ask the guest to offer food as before, then hold the cat firmly but gently and take him towards a single known and accepted visitor.  This should be done slowly so that the cat doesn’t panic.  The advance should be slowed down further or halted if the cat starts to look alarmed or struggles.  Once beside him, guests can start to gradually stroke him.  During all contact, guests’ hands should initially either approach unseen from the side of the cat or very slowly from directly in front of the cat so that they can be seen and accepted.  Since the cat may regard the advancing hand as very much like a threatening paw, it should be offered very gently.  The process is complete when you yourself have stopped petting him and he is being stroked only by the guest.  It may even be a good idea for the visitor to approach the cat at cat level rather than intimidating him unnecessarily by bending over him.

A cat hideout is basically a cat condo.  The condo has a closed in space for the cat to sleep, and usually has a perch or area on top of the closed in space for the cat to lounge a little higher.

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27 Aug

Fear of Strange People – Part 2

Author: Tammy Wolfe 0 comments

The next stage of treatment is a little more invasive.  Now guests are asked to sit progressively closer to the cat’s cage to habituate him further to their presence.  This stage can only proceed as fast as the cat can tolerate and guests should certainly not attempt to touch him or even talk to him until he seems confident about their presence.  Then the issue can be forced a little.  Though it sounds a little unfair, the cat should be starved for up to twelve hours so that he is hungry when pressed into sharing space with his next visitor.  The visitor, sitting close by his cage rather than bending down over it which would alarm him, gently proffers a small tidbit or tasty portion of a favorite food through the bars of the cage.   Food cements relations far quicker than gentle voices, though the visitor and owner should encourage proceedings by talking gently to the cat while offering food.  After that, the cat should be fed frequent short meals for the length of the visitor’s stay (or patience) and as many guests as possible, as well as the family, should take part in the process.   This steadily brings an increase in the cat’s confidence and helps him view all guests as potential providers of food and later, affection.

**Cat furniture can be a cat tree, cat condo, or bench.

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26 Aug

Fear of Strange People – Part 1

Author: Tammy Wolfe 0 comments

Xenophobia is the fear of strange people.  Some cats which are otherwise untroubled by changes within the house are thrown into turmoil by the arrival of visitors.  The problem could have been caused by a lack of interaction with visitors in their kitten days, or it could also be brought about by a single unfortunate experience with a particularly noisy, frightening or unkind guest who unwittingly taught the cat to aviod all risk of repetition in the future by running away early.  Wolfman is afraid of visitors, and won’t come down until they are gone – unless the visitors are grandchildren.

The first aim of treatment is to block the cat’s attempts to escape or avoid exposure to the challenge.  This is required if you hope to get the cat to be around anyone other than yourselves.  The cat is denied the opportunity to avoid visitors either by being restrained on a leash, if he is comfortable wearing a collar or harness, or by being kept in a traveling cat carrier for short periods when he is to receive guests.  The basket should be placed in the area where guests are invited to relax – usually the living room – before they arrive.  The cat should first receive ‘guests’ that he knows, such as members of the family.  They ring the doorbell instead of using the key.  The cat’s first reaction is the usual one of alarm and an attempt to escape, but this is prevented by the carrier.  Then the ‘guest’ enters and the cat, seeing that it is a member of the family, quickly calms down.  Repetition should help the cat to begin to associate the doorbell with non-threatening arrivals.

**Get a cat flap pet door so your cat can go outside when he or she wants.  You could also install one in the bathroom door to the litter box to keep the door shut.

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23 Aug

Wild Cats & Taming Feral Cats

Author: Tammy Wolfe 0 comments

There are so many wild or feral cats in this world.  Wolfman was born to a feral cat and was also feral…but he was six weeks old when we got him.  He didn’t know anything about being feral except to hide, which he came out of rather quickly because we handled him nonstop.  We were constantly touching and petting his face, paws, tail and body.  All of him.  He has grown to be a wonderful tom with quite an affection to my husband.  He will come to me to be petted, but will not sit or lay in my lap.  But he is constantly laying and sleeping on my husband at night or whenever he is home.  Go figure.  Here are some facts about wild or feral cats.

Many people are usually involved in feral cats welfare by feeding them in large groups or even one on one.  Sometimes a feral cat is one who was an inside cat but someone dumped them because they couldn’t take them with them when they moved and are forced to live on their own.  While a cat that has recently become a stray because it has been dumped or lost from its former home will re-assimilate into a new home fairly easily, a wild-born feral will not.  A cat needs to be handled by man before it is seven or eight weeks old in order for it to recognize humans as acceptable friends.  If not, the cat is unlikely to relax or respond to humans, let alone be able to settle down in a normal home environment.  While it is possible to tame an eight-week old feral kitten with patience and care, ‘domesticating’ an adult feral cat is usually a hopeless task.  The cat would need to be housed in a pen and quietly and gently introduced to everyday human goings on.  Kittens will usually respond and the younger they are, the sooner they become relaxed and friendly.  Older cats may simply be overwhelmed by the cage and any attempt by humans to get close.  They crouch motionless or hide in a corner and if approached may become fearful and aggressive.

So if you’re thinking of taking on a feral kitten and giving it a loving home, try to be sure that it’s under eight weeks old and that you will have the time to be patient with it.  Taking on an older feral cat may end in distress for all involved and it may be best to neuter the adult and return it to a managed colony where it can live out its wild life under the watchful eye of regular feeders.

**A cat condo is perfect for your cat.  It provides the height they long for, perching shelves and a scratching surface for their claws.  It’s a kitty dream.


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22 Aug

Vegeterian Cats???

Author: Tammy Wolfe 0 comments

Some ardent vegetarians impose their dietary convictions on to their pets which, if the pet in question is a dog, is not a problem.  However cats must have meat because their bodies cannot manufacture certai9 essential chemicals such as taurine, from vegetable matter the way both humans and dogs can.  Cats have evolved as hunters and meat catchers so successfully that they have never had to make the essential nutrients from lower-quality materials such as vegetation, and they eat them in the ‘purer forms’ in meat.  So cats cannot be vegetarians, whatever the morals of beliefs of their owners.

**A bungalow cat furniture tree condo will give your cat or kitten plenty of room to roam, play, scratch and snooze.  It is great activity for your cats and provides heights which cats like.  They will spend almost all day on it!

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21 Aug

Urine Spraying – Part 2

Author: Tammy Wolfe 0 comments

Sprayed areas should be cleaned thoroughly with a warm solution of a biological washing powder or liquid followed by a light scrubbing with an alcohol to remove fatty deposits.  The area should be allowed to dry completely and the cat only allowed back to it initially under supervision.

If you have a cat flap for outdoor cats, this should be locked shut and the cat let in and out by the owners.  A magnetic cat flap should replace the previous one which is much more convenient.  To operate this type of cat door, the cat wears a collar equipped with an electronic or magnetic key which releases the flap lock and allows access only for the wearer.

Confining the cat in an indoor pen or one small room for short periods when unsupervised in the home will afford a more predictable area and help the cat feel more secure.  A warm covered bed should be provided. The cat will be unwilling to spray near its bed, as keeping the sleeping area clean and dry is a principle firmly established at only a few weeks of age. A litter tray should also be provided. If the cat stops spraying, you can allow access to the rest of the house one room at a time, but be sure to supervise these first ventures.   The aim is for the cat steadily and increasingly to perceive the house as a safe zone shared with protective owners.

**An automatic cat feeder will provide your cat with food should you be away from home for an extended period of time.


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20 Aug

Urine Spraying – Part 1

Author: Tammy Wolfe 0 comments

Spraying is a normal act for most cats, whether they be male or female, neutered or unneutered.  It is a territory marking behavior andn is usually performed against vertical objects such as fence posts and bushes which rival cats may encounter.  It is normally restricted to the outdoors because of competition with local pets.  Cats rarely spray indoors because the home is usually secure from rivals and needs no further identification.

If you have a cat that sprays indoors, they are usually feeling insecure or threatened and is trying to boost his or her own presence.  Redecorating, moving furniture and changes in the household brought about by taking in a lodger, bringing home a new baby, or the death of a family member for example, may all cause a cat to start spraying.  The more cats that share a house, the more likely you are to  having one spray indoors to clarify their security.  However, because owners provide security, spraying is rarely witnessed.  The wet smelly deposits are usually discovered some time later.  A cat should NEVER be punished for spraying, even if caught in the act, as this will only make it more insecure and spraying more likely.  When spraying, the cat stands with tail upright and quivering at the tip,which motion is often accompanied by a stepping movement with the back legs, and the spray is directed backwards.

**Airline approved pet carriers The Petego A.U.T.O. Pet Carrier has a durable molded plastic frame has a steel door that can be secured shut with the turn of a knob. It has an easy grip, soft to the touch handle and four large knobs that give the look of a real automobile! It’s belt inserts can be used to secure the carrier as a car seat while driving and it’s bright colors are sure to stand out in a crowd.  Approved by the airline industry.

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17 Aug

Microchip your Cat

Author: Tammy Wolfe 0 comments

A microchip is a tiny piece of technology inserted just underneath the cat’s skin, and is fast becoming a permanent way to identify your cat.  Microchips are just one of several ways to identify your cat; collars are good in addition to microchips as collars usually have identification tags on them as well as rabies information.  But collars can come off, get lost, or just downright not tolerated.  If the collar comes off, your cat has no identity.  Which means you could lose them for good.

If a pet is lost and taken to a vet clinic, humane society, or shelter, the first thing they usually do is look for a microchip. This is generally considered the best guarantee that a lost pet will be reunited with their owner.

Microchips are small, compact and easily inserted under the skin. They are increasingly affordable and take only seconds to insert via a needle similar to those used for vaccinations.

Even more importantly, make sure the chip is registered to you. Call the chip company to verify this information or check the microchip’s registration online. Ensure that all contact information is up-to-date. You’d be surprised how often we find a cat with a chip and call the company and get the owner’s number, only to find that the number is no longer in service.

**The Petsafe Indoor Wireless Cat Fence, or Indoor Cat Barrier, you can keep your pet off the counter, furniture or even out of an entire room.

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13 Aug

Toilet Problems – Part 3

Author: Tammy Wolfe 0 comments

4.  The litter box or tray should not be allowed to get too dirty as it will discourage most cats — nor should it be kept squeaky clean. Once a day is fine for single cat households, while more often for multi-cat households as the cat’s own presence of smell on the liter will help him to recognize that the tray is his toilet.

5.  Experimentation with different types of cat litter such as Fuller’s earth granule types, wood-chip pellets, and very fine grain litters. If the cat is to be allowed outdoors,. the litter should be mixed with up to 50 percent soil from the garden in order to help the complete transfer of toilet behavior to the outdoors later.

6.  The cat flap should be closed at appropriate times to help redefine the significance of ‘indoor secure/clean zone’ as compared with the ‘outdoor jungle/toilet zone’.  It may be wise to put the cat out after eating as they often evacuate their bowels soon after.

7.  Food should never  be placed near the litter tray as this deters cats from using the tray and is often the reason behind their selecting other areas in the home for toilet purposes.

8.  Cats which toilet indoors should NEVER be punished.  Instead, and only if caught in the act, they should be picked up and placed in the litter tray, stroked and calmed.  When they do user the litter tray they should be rewarded with praise and perhaps a treat.

**A sisal cat scratch is effective in removing dead sheaths from the cat’s nails.  Make sure you have one that is tall and the cat can stretch against because otherwise they will attack your furniture or carpet.

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12 Aug

Toilet Problems – Part 2

Author: Tammy Wolfe 0 comments

This set of generalized principals should be used when toilet training (or retraining) your cat:

  1. Choose a suitable small room and confine the cat in a pen with only enough space for his bed and a litter box.  The desire to avoid soiling the bed is an early-established one and the cat should move far away from the bed as possible to urinate.  Within 7-14 days an attachment to cat litter and the tray as a toilet should be established.  When the owner is unable to supervise the cat, it should be put in the cage at all unsupervised times.  After 7-14 days of good aiming, the cat can be allowed out of the cage, but only into the room where is has been kept, and the litter tray moved progressively further from the bed.  Access can then be allowed to the house one room at a time,. and only under supervision, for initial introduction to each room.
  2. Before allowing access to a room, all soiled areas should be thoroughly cleaned using a warm solution of a biological washing powder or liquid followed by a light scrubbing with an alcohol such as surgical spirit. The area should be left to dry before the cat is allowed supervised access.
  3. A cover on the litter tray provides extra security.

**A Scatmat keeps your cat off of objects you don’t want them on.  It is a training mechanism.

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