What's New Pussycat?

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by StrangerInAStrangeLand, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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  7. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    Finding a Lost Pet

    It’s every pet parent’s nightmare: Your beloved dog or cat has gotten loose, and you don’t know where he or she is. Don’t panic—there are many steps you can take to locate your little one. Swift action, coupled with major neighborhood networking, will increase the odds of having your furry friend back in your arms! The key is to get the information out to as many people and places as you can, so enlist the help of friends and make sure to involve your entire family in the search effort.

    IDs, Please
    It’s a good idea for all of your animal companions—even indoors-only pets—to always wear a collar with an ID tag. The ID tag should have your name and a current phone number. If you’ve chosen to microchip your pet as a means of permanent identification, keep in mind that microchips are only as good as the information provided to the chip’s company. If you’ve moved or changed your phone number since registering your pet’s chip and forgot to submit an update, please do so as soon as you can.

    Hide and Seek
    As soon as you notice that your pet is missing, talk to your family members or housemates and ask when they last saw your pet. It’s a good idea to search your home carefully—under beds, in closets, dark places, small places, behind bulky furniture—in case your pet may be hiding or sleeping somewhere. Shaking a food dish, treat jar or favorite toy will sometimes lure animals out of a hiding place.

    If you are sure your pet is not in or around the home, take a slow ride or walk around the neighborhood. Ask friends or neighbors if they’ve seen your animal companion; be sure to bring along a recent photo to show them. Check under porches and shrubs, and ask neighbors to check in sheds and garages just in case your pet was accidentally locked in.

    Work the Phones
    Your first calls should be to all the animal control agencies, shelters (both municipal and private) and rescue groups in your area; one of them could have your pet in custody already. Check in with the bigger shelters daily—and pay your visits in person with photos of your pet to distribute, if possible.

    If there are no shelters close to your home, contact the police.

    News Flash
    Your next task? Creating a “lost pet” flyer. We recommend sticking with one design, as repeated viewings of a consistent message are more likely to stick in people’s minds. You’ll need to include a lot of info on your flyer, so use your limited space wisely:
    - Start with a big, bold headline that people can read from a distance: “LOST DOG” or “MISSING CAT” is fine.
    - Under the headline, a photo of your pet would be ideal. Make sure he’s still well-represented after the picture’s been photocopied or printed. List his breed, sex, color, age, weight, distinguishing features, and where and when he was last seen. It is very important that your pet is described accurately.
    - Provide your name and two phone numbers; yours, of course, and a friend or family member’s in case you cannot be reached.

    Blanket the Neighborhood
    With your flyers in hand (and hopefully, a crew of supportive helpers), it’s time to hit the streets. Good places to post your flyers may include:
    - Dog runs and parks
    - Pet supply stores and pet grooming shops
    - Veterinary offices
    - Various commercial establishments, such as grocery and convenience stores, gas stations, Laundromats, bars, cafes and restaurants.
    - Lampposts and trees. Cover extra heavily the areas where you think your pet was lost, as well as busy commercial and pedestrian sections of your town.
    - Around schools, at kids’-eye level. Children can be more observant than adults, especially when it comes to animals.

    Note, be sure to ask permission before posting your flyers!

    Use Email and Social Media
    Send descriptive emails about your lost pet to local friends, colleagues and family members, and ask them to pass on the info to anyone they can. In addition, don’t forget to use social media! Create a digital card with information about your lost pet and share it far and wide across all of your social networks--Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, etc. Don’t forget to ask your friends to share the digital card with their friends as well. Also, most places across the country have local “Lost Pets” Facebook pages where they post information about missing pets, so reach out those page admins and see if they will share information about your pet to their network. You can even create your own Facebook page for your lost pet and share that across all of your social networks.

    Don’t Give Up!
    This one’s important! And remember that many lost animals have found their way back home.

    NEW: Download the ASPCA's missing pets mobile app

    The ASPCA mobile app is a must-have app for pet owners. This free app shows pet parents exactly what to do when a pet goes missing. It also allows pet owners to store vital medical records, and provides information on making life-saving decisions during natural disasters.

    With a few swipes, you can:
    •Access critical advice on what to do with your pet before, during, and after a major storm—even if there’s no data connectivity.
    •Receive a personalized missing pet recovery kit, including step-by-step instructions on how to search for a lost animal in a variety of circumstances.
    •Build a lost pet digital flyer that can be shared instantly on your social media channels.
    •Store and manage your pet’s critical health records.
    •Get the latest and most relevant news about pets and animal welfare.
    •See adorable pet photos from Instagram.

    To download our free app, click on the iPhone or Android buttons below. You can download the app right to your phone, or download it to your desktop and load it onto your phone next time you sync!

  8. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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  13. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    Tortoiseshell cats come in many unique colors and patterns.

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  14. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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  16. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

    General Cat Care

    Cat Care Tips to Print [PDF] - http://www.aspca.org/sites/default/files/cat_edu.pdf

    Cats were domesticated sometime between 4,000 and 8,000 years ago, in Africa and the Middle East. Small wild cats started hanging out where humans stored their grain. When humans saw cats up close and personal, they began to admire felines for their beauty and grace.
    There are many different breeds of cats—from the hairless Sphynx and the fluffy Persian to the silvery spotted Egyptian mau. But the most popular felines of all are non-pedigree—that includes brown tabbies, black-and-orange tortoiseshells, all-black cats with long hair, striped cats with white socks and everything in between.


    When you first get your cat, you’ll need to spend about $25 for a litter box, $10 for a collar, and $30 for a carrier. Food runs about $170 a year, plus $50 annually for toys and treats, $175 annually for litter and an average of $150 for veterinary care every year. The best place to get a cat? Your local shelter! Please visit our shelter directory to find shelters and rescue groups in your area.

    Note: Make sure you have all your supplies (see our checklist) before you bring your new pet home.

    Basic Care


    - An adult cat should be fed one large or two or three smaller meals each day.
    - Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks must eat four times a day.
    - Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day.

    You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes, or keep dry food available at all times. We recommend a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food; avoid generic brands. You will need to provide fresh, clean water at all times, and wash and refill water bowls daily.

    Although cat owners of old were told to give their pets a saucer of milk, cats do not easily digest cow’s milk, which can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Treats are yummy for cats, but don't go overboard. Most packaged treats contain lots of sugar and fat, which can pack on the pounds. Some cats like fresh fruits and vegetables, like broccoli, corn or cantaloupe. You can offer these once in awhile.

    If your kitten is refusing food or isn’t eating enough, try soaking her kitten food in warm water. If that doesn’t work, kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with her regular food.


    Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but you should brush or comb your cat regularly. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat's coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs.


    To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck or by the front legs.


    Your pet should have her own clean, dry place in your home to sleep and rest. Line your cat's bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. Cats who are allowed outdoors can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, or get into fights with other free-roaming cats and dogs. Also, cats may prey on native wildlife.


    If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat must wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. And if your pet is indoors-only, an ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.

    Litter Box

    All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat's box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day.

    Keep in mind that cats won't use a messy, smelly litter box, so scoop solid wastes out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent and refill at least once a week; you can do this less frequently if using clumping litter. Don't use ammonia, deodorants or scents, especially lemon, when cleaning the litter box.

    Behavior Information


    Cats delight in stalking imaginary prey. The best toys are those that can be made to jump and dance around and look alive. Your cat can safely act out her role as a predator by pouncing on toys instead of people's ankles. Please don't use your hands or fingers as play objects with kittens. This type of rough play may cause biting and scratching behaviors to develop as your kitten matures.


    Cats need to scratch! When a cat scratches, the old outer nail sheath is pulled off and the sharp, smooth claws underneath are exposed. Cutting your cat’s nails every two to three weeks will keep them relatively blunt and less likely to harm the arms of both humans and furniture.

    Provide your cat with a sturdy scratching post, at least three feet high, which will allow her to stretch completely when scratching. The post should also be stable enough that it won't wobble during use, and should be covered with rough material such as sisal, burlap or tree bark. Many cats also like scratching pads. A sprinkle of catnip once or twice a month will keep your cat interested in her post or pad.


    Your cat should see the veterinarian at least once a year for an examination and annual shots, and immediately if she is sick or injured.

    Ear Mites

    These tiny parasites are a common problem that can be transmitted from cat to cat. If your cat is constantly scratching at his ears or shaking his head, he may be infested with ear mites. You will need to call your vet, as your cat's ears will need to be thoroughly cleaned before medication is dispensed.

    Feline Urological Syndrome (FUS)

    Both males and females can develop this lower urinary inflammation, also called Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). Signs of FUS include frequent trips to the litter box, blood in the urine and crying out or straining when urinating. If your male cat looks "constipated," he may have a urethral obstruction and can’t urinate. This can be fatal if not treated quickly. Urethral blockages are rare in females. About five percent of cats are affected with FUS. Special diets may help prevent this condition.

    Fleas and Ticks

    Flea infestation should be taken seriously. These tiny parasites feed off of your pet, transmit tapeworms and irritate the skin. Carefully check your cat once a week for fleas and ticks. If there are fleas on your cat, there will be fleas in your house. You may need to use flea bombs or premise-control sprays, and be sure to treat all animals in your house. Take care that any sprays, powders or shampoos you use are safe for cats, and that all products are compatible when used together. Cats die every year from improper treatment with flea and tick control products. Please contact your veterinarian for the most effective flea control program for your pet.

    Medicines and Poisons

    Never give your cat medication that has not been prescribed by a veterinarian. For example, did you know that acetominophin and aspirin can be FATAL to a cat?! Keep rat poison or other rodenticides away from your cat. If you suspect that your animal has ingested a poisonous substance, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for 24-hour animal poison information at (888) 426- 4435.

    Spaying and Neutering

    Female cats should be spayed and male cats neutered by six months of age. Neutering a male (removing the testicles) can prevent urine spraying, decrease the urge to escape outside and look for a mate, and reduce fighting between males. Spaying a female (removing the ovaries and uterus) helps prevent breast cancer, which is usually fatal, and pyometra (uterus infection), a very serious problem in older females that must be treated with surgery and intensive medical care. Since cats can breed up to three times per year, it is vital that your female feline be spayed to prevent her from having unwanted litters.


    * Kittens should be vaccinated with a combination vaccine (called a “3 in 1”) at 2, 3 and 4 months of age, and then annually. This vaccine protects cats from panleukopenia (also called feline distemper), calicivirus and rhinotracheitis. If you have an unvaccinated cat older than four months of age, he will need a series of two vaccinations given 2 to 3 weeks apart, followed by yearly vaccinations.

    * There is a vaccine available for feline leukemia virus (FeLV). This is one of the two immune system viruses (retroviruses) that infect cats. The other is feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). There is no vaccine available for FIV. Cats can be infected with either virus for months, even years, without any indication that they are carrying a fatal virus. All cats should be tested for these viruses.

    FeLV and FIV can be transmitted at birth from the mother or through the bite of an infected cat. Neither virus can infect humans. Many outdoor and stray cats and kittens carry this infection. Because of the fatal nature of these diseases, you should not expose cats already living in your home by taking in untested cats or kittens. To be safe, keep your cat indoors—but if your cat does go outside, he should be vaccinated against the feline leukemia virus. Remember, no vaccine is 100-percent effective.

    Rabies vaccination is required by law in most areas of the country. Ask your veterinarian if you are unsure of the laws in your area.

    Please note, if your companion cat gets sick because he is not properly vaccinated, the vaccinations should be given after your pet has recovered.


    Kittens and cats can be infected with several types of worms. The key to treatment is correct diagnosis. This will ensure that the medication is effective against the parasite your pet has. A dewormer that eliminates roundworms, for example, will not kill tapeworms. Your veterinarian can best determine the culprit—and prescribe the appropriate medication.

    Cat Supply Checklist

    - Premium-brand cat food
    - Food dish
    - Water bowl
    - Interactive toys
    - Brush
    - Comb
    - Safety cat collar with ID tag
    - Scratching post or scratching pad
    - Litter box
    - Litter
    - Cat carrier
    - Cat bed or box with warm blanket or towel - The average cat has a "vocabulary" of more than 16 different sounds, including purring, howling, hissing and happy meowing.

    Fun Facts

    - Crazy kitty! More than 50 percent of felines go wild when they smell catnip.
    - Lickety split: A cat's tongue has lots of tiny spines that help pick up dirt from her fur when grooming.
    - The average lifespan of an indoor cat is 13 to 17 years—and we’ve known lots of kitties who’ve made it to 20-plus!

    The No-No List

    Do not feed your cat the following:

    - Alcoholic beverages
    - Chocolate
    - Coffee
    - Grapes & raisins
    - Moldy or spoiled food
    - Onions, garlic & chives
    - Poultry bones
    - Salt & salty foods
    - Tomato leaves, stems & unripe fruit
    - Yeast dough
  17. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

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