What's New Pussycat?

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

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  7. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Nail Trimming 101

    Make manicures enjoyable and easy for both you and your cat.

    Does your kitty disappear when the clippers come out? Do you have to wrap her in a towel to give her a manicure? According to our behavior experts, calm, enjoyable nail-trimming sessions are not only possible—that’s how they should always be! Check out the following tips for getting kitty to relax while you trim, turning nail-clipping sessions into enjoyable together time.

    Setting the Mood

    Ideally you should introduce your cat to nail clipping when she’s a kitten. Choose a chair in a quiet room where you can comfortably sit your cat on your lap. Get her when she’s relaxed and even sleepy, like in her groggy, after-meal state. Take care that she isn’t able to spy any birds, wild animals or action outside nearby windows—and make sure no other pets are around.

    Make Friends with the Paw

    Gently take one of your cat’s paws between your fingers and massage for no longer than the count of three. If your cat pulls her paw away, don’t squeeze or pinch, just follow her gesture, keeping in gentle contact. When she’s still again, give her pad a little press so that the nail extends out, then release her paw and immediately give her a treat. Do this every other day on a different toe until you’ve gotten to know all ten.

    Get Acquainted with the Clipper

    Your cat should be at ease with the sound of the clippers before you attempt to trim her nails. Sit her on your lap, put a piece of uncooked spaghetti into the clippers and hold them near your cat. (If she sniffs the clippers, set a treat on top of them for her to eat.) Next, while massaging one of your cat’s toes, gently press her toe pad. When the nail extends, clip the spaghetti with the clippers while still holding your cat’s paw gently. Now release her toe and quickly give her a treat.

    Never Cut to the Quick

    The pink part of a cat’s nail, called the quick, is where the nerves and blood vessels are. Do NOT cut this sensitive area. Snip only the white part of the claw. It’s better to be cautious and cut less of the nail rather than risk cutting this area. If you do accidentally cut the quick, any bleeding can be stopped with a styptic powder or stick. It’s a good idea to keep it nearby while you trim.

    Time to Clip

    With your cat in your lap facing away from you, take one of her toes in your hand, massage and press the pad until the nail extends. Check to see how much of a trim her nails need and notice where the quick begins. Now trim only the sharp tip of one nail, release your cat’s toe and quickly give her a treat. If your cat didn’t notice, clip another nail, but don’t trim more than two claws in one sitting until your cat is comfortable. Be sure to reward her with a special treat afterward. Please note, you may want to do just one paw at a time for the first couple of sessions.

    Clipping Schedule

    A nail-trimming every ten days to two weeks is a nice routine to settle into. If your cat refuses to let you clip her claws, ask your vet or a groomer for help.

    What Not to Do
    •If your cat resists, don’t raise your voice or punish her.
    •Never attempt a clipping when your cat is agitated or you’re upset. And don’t rush—you may cut into the quick.
    •Don’t try to trim all of your cat’s claws at one time.
    •Do NOT declaw. This surgery involves amputating the end of a cat’s toes and is highly discouraged by the ASPCA. Instead, trim regularly, provide your cat with appropriate scratching posts and ask your veterinarian about soft plastic covers for your cat’s claws.
     
  8. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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  10. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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  11. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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  16. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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  19. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Ten Steps to Dental Health

    Even if the only things your cat hunts these days are chicken-flavored kibbles and toy mousies, he still needs clean, sharp teeth and healthy gums. Damage to the tongue, teeth, palate and gums can lead to many health risks for felines, but these can be prevented with regular home check-ups and good old-fashioned tooth brushings.

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    1. The Breath Test

    Go on, take a sniff. It doesn’t have to be a long one—cat breath may not smell like roses, but it shouldn’t be offensive either. If your kitty’s mouth has an abnormally strong odor, he may have digestive problems or a gum condition such as gingivitis, and should be examined by a vet.

    2. Lip Service

    With your cat facing you, gently push back his lips and take a look. The gums should be firm and pink, not white or red, and should show no signs of swelling. The teeth should be clean and free of any brownish tartar, and none should be loose or broken.

    3. A Closer Look

    Watch for any of the following signs that could indicate problems in your cat’s mouth:
    •Dark red line along the gums
    •Red and swollen gums
    •Ulcers on gums or tongue
    •Loose teeth
    •Pus
    •Difficulty chewing food
    •Excessive drooling
    •Excessive pawing at the mouth area

    4. Dangerous Swelling

    At any sign of gum inflammation, you should take your cat in for a veterinary exam. If left untreated, gum disease can develop, possibly leading to tooth loss or inability to eat. Inflammation may also point to an internal problem like kidney disease or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.

    5. The Lowdown on Tooth Decay

    Bacteria and plaque-forming foods can cause a buildup on a cat’s teeth. This can harden into tartar, possibly causing gingivitis, receding gums and tooth loss. The solution? Regular teeth cleanings, of course.

    6. Your Cat’s Tooth-Brushing Kit

    All you’ll need to brush your cat’s teeth are cotton swabs and a small toothbrush and tube of toothpaste formulated for felines. You can also use salt and water. Ask your vet to suggest the brushing supplies that he trusts, and be sure never to use toothpaste designed for people—the ingredients can be unhealthy for your cat.

    7. Brightening the Pearly Whites

    Brush your cat’s teeth at home by following these simple steps:
    •First get your cat used to the idea of having her teeth brushed. Start by gently massaging her gums with your fingers or touching a cotton swab to them.
    •After a few sessions, put a little bit of cat-formulated toothpaste on her lips to get her used to the taste.
    •Next, introduce a toothbrush designed especially for cats—it will be smaller than human toothbrushes and have softer bristles. Toothbrushes that you can wear over your finger are also available and allow you to give a nice massage to your cat’s gums.
    •Finally, apply the toothpaste to her teeth for a gentle brushing.
    •A veterinary exam beforehand may be helpful to find out if your cat’s gums are inflamed. Many cats have mild gingivitis and brushing too hard can hurt their gums.

    8. Chew on This

    Chew toys can satisfy your cat’s natural desire to chomp, while making her teeth strong. Gnawing on a chew toy can also help floss your cat’s teeth, massage her gums and scrape away soft tartar.

    9. Diet for Healthy Teeth

    If your cat has dental troubles, ask your veterinarian to recommend a kibble that keeps feline teeth healthy and helps to remove plaque buildup.

    10. Know Your Mouth Disorders

    If your cat suffers from any of the symptoms mentioned below, please see the vet right away:
    •Gingivitis: This inflammation of the gums is mainly seen in older cats. It may start as a dark red line bordering on the teeth. If left untreated, gums may become sore and ulceration may occur. May be a sign of FIV or other infection.
    •Periodontitis: If gingivitis invades the tooth socket, the tooth may become loose and an abscess may form.
    •Stomatitis: This inflammation of the mouth lining may result from a foreign body in the mouth, a viral disease or dental problems. The cat will have difficulty eating and the inside of the mouth will appear red.
    •Rodent Ulcer: A slowly enlarging sore or swelling on the upper lip.
    •Salivary Cyst: If salivary glands or ducts that carry saliva to the mouth become blocked, a cyst may form under the tongue.
    •Mouth Ulcers: Ulcers on a cat’s tongue and gums are sometimes caused by feline respiratory or kidney disease.
     
  20. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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