Saturday, June 21, 2014

Intestinal Parasites in Cats - Tapeworms and Stomach Worms

Tapeworms and Stomach worms are internal parasites that feed off your cat in order for them to live and multiply. There are some creatures that live inside your cat without causing harm. However, some parasites, including tapeworms and stomach worms can cause adverse reactions in your cat.

Intestinal Worms in Cats

If you see a worm or something you aren't sure about, put it in a baggie along with a piece of moist paper towel and take it to your vet. Little short white worms around 1/2 inch or 1cm long or less are probably tapeworm segments. The adult tapeworm lives in the small intestine with its head embedded in the mucosa which is moist tissue that lines some organs and body cavities. The body is comprised of a small head connected to a series of segments that are filled with eggs. The older segments of tapeworm containing eggs are shed and attach themselves to the fur around the anus of your cat. They often look like grains of rice.

Tapeworms are usually passed by fleas. Flea larvae eat the secreted eggs. As the flea moves through its life cycle, the eggs reach their infective stage as the flea reaches adulthood. Cats can then inadvertently swallow the flea during grooming which will in turn leads to infection. Fleas and rodents become infected by eating the tapeworm eggs that are in the environment.

Finding tapeworm segments can be quite worrying to cat owners; tapeworm infections only rarely cause significant disease in cats. As eggs are passed within the segments instead of on their own, microscopic examination of faecal samples may not always reveal the presence of tapeworms. It may be necessary for more than one stool to be examined to test for tapeworm.

These days most medications are very successful in treating tapeworm infections. However, re-infection is fairly common. I would suggest a second vaccination two weeks after the first one to control the larvae. Managing or eliminating flea and rodent populations will go a long way towards reducing the risk of tapeworm infection in cats.

Stomach Worms

The main species that inhabit the stomach of your cat are Ollanulus tricuspis and Physaloptera. These are not as common in the United States as other worms with Physaloptera more rare than Ollanulus tricuspis. They are more common in outdoor cats and those housed in multiple-cat facilities. Cats become infected with Ollanulus tricuspis after consuming vomit that contains the parasite. Symptoms include chronic vomiting along with loss of appetite. Due to these, you will see dramatic weight loss and even malnutrition. Diagnosis of Ollanulus can be difficult as it is necessary for the vet to find the larvae in the cat's vomit.

With Physaloptera infections, adult female worms attach to the stomach lining and pass eggs which are then ingested by an appropriate intermediate host, often a cockroach or cricket. The parasite will develop and will then infect other animals such as rodents when they eat the infected insect. Your cat becomes infected when he eats the affected rodent or other animal. Cats infected with Physaloptera may experience similar symptoms to an Ollanulus tricuspis infection such as vomiting and loss of appetite. Diagnosis relies upon microscopic detection of parasite eggs in the stool, or by seeing the parasite in the vomit. See your vet regarding diagnosis and treatment. Wherever possible, keep the rodent population down to prevent the spread of these stomach worms.

Kathy Robinson has been writing articles on cat problems and the care of cats on her website for a number of years. Why not download your free copy of The Joy of Owning and Caring for a Cat when you sign up for her free Cat Care Newsletter at
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Friday, June 20, 2014

Ever Ask Yourself "How Do Cats Age?"

Cats are such majestic and proud creatures, aren't they? Housecats definitely act like their name as it may seem as if they own the house! However, they're also often playful and affectionate companions. When you're considering getting a cat, you've got to take everything into account. Therefore you may be asking an important question: how do cats age?

Just like in humans, there are several stages in a cat's lifespan as it grows and matures. Finding the right cat for you often means deciding what age you'll get your cat at. A young kitten can be a joy but a big responsibility, while an older cat can be less clingy and playful but also more self-sufficient.

From birth to about seven months of age, a cat is called a kitten. Newborn kittens cannot yet walk, but as they feed and grow they become heavier and stronger by the day. Within three or four weeks, kittens are already able to stand. Mother cats need to wean their kittens' new teeth so they can begin to eat solid foods. It takes only a few more weeks for kittens to begin jumping and playing around.

Seeking an answer to the question "how do cats age?" will get a rapid answer as you see your feline pet getting bigger before your eyes. As your cat grows, within its first year it's important to start taking it to the vet to get it properly vaccinated against diseases. With love and care, your kitten will grow up into a full, proud, and playful cat.

If you're wondering about cats aging you're likely already familiar with what a full grown cat is like. A cat's prime years are debated but often said to be from one to three years old all the way up to about eight. During this time, a cat hones its hunting instinct through play and grows confident in its surroundings.

A cat that has not been neutered or spayed, which should be done at an early age, will begin seeking mates. However if your cat is kept alone without other cats, it may not show much of the mating instinct. Cats are usually perfectly accepting to a solitary lifestyle with humans.

A cat past seven or eight years is known as a mature or senior cat. Though your cat may have slowed down from kitten hood to adulthood, senior cats get noticeably less active and feebler as years go down.

This is almost as critical a period for vets as a cat's early years, as older cats run into many medical complications.

The question "how do cats age?" is a tough one to answer. It all boils down to your particular cat and how well you take care of him or her. If you give your cat all the attention it needs, you'll have a pet that age like fine wine: beautiful, robust, and full of enjoyment. Your cat deserves to be pampered and loved so it can get old with a wonderful human friend as you get older with a loving feline pal.
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Sunday, June 8, 2014

How To Identify and Stop Cats From Spraying Urine In The House

Do you feel like correcting this spraying problem is a losing battle? Do you wish you had a bird, dog, or ferret? After going on the internet and trying suggestions do you still have a cat spraying in the house? Don't feel alone because any of us who had a feline spraying has said yes to the above questions. There is no easy or quick remedy for this problem.

Cats Spraying Urine
If the cat has a physiological (organic) problem then the veterinarian can usually take care of this and you are one of the lucky few. The rest of us are dealing with psychological issues which are more complex and difficult to fix. Usually the organic issues are corrected by treating the urinary infections with antibiotics or performing sterilization to stop the problem. On rare occasion, (and I own one), the cat will continue to spray after being fixed.

Here is a list of tips that will help in dealing with a cat that is having psychological problems.

· Spend at least a half hour a day playing, massaging, combing, and petting your cat. If your cat is spraying personal items then it is likely upset with you about something. I like to split up the contact to several times a day but do what you can to have some quality time with your cat.

· If the cat is fixed and is marking randomly on walls, doors, speakers and furniture then it is likely upset about others things. Such as other pets in the house, litter box maintenance, change in routine, change in furniture, changes in access to rooms, and even issues with having company for a week or two. Cats are strange about change, they do not embrace change, and will fight it tooth and claw.

· If the cat is marking windows, glass doors, or screen doors this is likely due to another animal on the property. This is occurs regularly with indoor cats who get excited about other animals potentially invading their territory. An indoor/outdoor cat will likely put up a confrontation first and if they lose, this could create anxiety and they start spraying doors and windows.

· If the cat looks like it is trying to pee in the litter box but nothing happens and shortly later you find a puddle elsewhere this is an organic problem and the veterinarian needs to exam your cat.

Here is a list of tips you need to get started on when you first notice the cat is spraying inside the house.

· Purchase a strong (100 watt or more) portable black light. Ultraviolet light will make urine and most other organic things fluoresce and be visible. The house should be dark for the black light to work. Since the lights are off use coins or painters tape to mark the locations. Go everywhere and in every room including above cabinets and counters and accessible entertainment centers. Don't forget the garage if your cat has access there.

· Pre-rinse all locations with water and a rag. Apply 50/50 water and white vinegar in a spray bottle, (you can use this for pre-rinse as well and wash twice). After drying off you can spray with enzyme active washes such as "Natures Miracle". Try the vinegar first and the enzymes as a last resort. Carpet should be cleaned with the vinegar and add baking soda last to the damp area and let air dry before vacuuming.

The goal is to have a clean house free of cat urine because cats tend to spray areas that are previously marked when the scent starts to fade. So getting your house in clean order is a start.

· This tip I receive the most complaints and arguments about because so far you have cleaned the house. The litter box duty has improved and you are spending quality time with your cat but you still have to show authority to get a behavior change. If kitty is still spraying then you must catch it "in the act" of spraying. This means spending a weekend or so following a cat which is not the most exciting or productive thing to do, but necessary to start a change in behavior. You need to catch the cat in the act of spraying. I like to clap very loud and use a water spray bottle as effective means to change their behavior.

Letting your cat know that you are not pleased with their spraying is a must. What you should be careful of is no physical violence or extreme yelling. The last thing you want to do is create a condition where the cat now has anxiety about you. If possible when you spray the cat with water do quickly hide the bottle so it is not certain that you did it. Often a loud clap works because the cat is not sure what makes that noise.

Most people would abandon or have their cat put down because of emotional spraying. This is not a simple problem to take care of and you need to be very strong and determined to change your cat's behavior. To those brave souls who are willing to take up the challenge I commend you. Most folks don't bother.

I have been a pet owner all of my life and for the last thirty years my wife and I have raised over a dozen cats. My website is your information source for "all about cats" their disposition and health. The blogs cover the basics of making your own cat toys and condos. The website also has many links, books and cat products in the blogs and the store. I also offer a condensed version of the blog posts in a mini e-book that can be found on the offer page at There are two expert interviews in the blog pages that are must reads because they will answer most of your questions and concerns about cat health and diet that is best for your cat. Also please visit me on Facebook and Twitter.
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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Birman Cat Breed

There is no clear record of the breed's origin. They are most often claimed to have originated as the companions of temple priests in Northern Burma in the Mount of Lugh.There are many stories extant of how the cats first came to France, including pairs of cats being given as a reward for helping defend a temple, or being smuggled out of Burma by a Vanderbilt.Another pair of Birmans (or a pregnant female called Poupée de Maldapour) were said to have been stolen and later imported to France by Thadde Haddisch.The first traces of historical Birmans go back to a Mme Leotardi in the city of Nice in France.

Birman Cat
Birmans were almost wiped out as a breed during World War II. Only two cats were alive in Europe at the end of the war, a pair named Orloff and Xenia de Kaabaa, both belonging to Baudoin-Crevoisier. The foundation of the breed in postwar France were offspring of this pair. They had to be heavily outcrossed with long-hair breeds such as Persian and Siamese to rebuild the Birman breed. By the early 1950s, pure Birman litters were once again being produced. The restored breed was recognized in Britain in 1965 and by the CFA in 1966.

The first Birman cats were seal point. The blue point colour was introduced in 1959 using blue Persian lines. New colours were later added by English breeders including chocolate, red, and lynx (tabby) points.Birmans have also been used in the development of new breeds, notably including the Ragdoll.

Birmans have a medium sized, rectangular body with a broad face and distinct Roman nose. Their ears are ideally as wide on the base as they are tall and should be set as much on top of the head as on the side. The eyes are rounded and should be a deep sapphire blue.

The Birman's fur is medium-long and should have a silky texture. Unlike a Persian or Himalayan, they have no undercoat, and are thus much less prone to matting. Coat colour is always pointed, save for the contrasting pure white, symmetrical "gloves" on each paw that are the trademark of the breed. The white must involve all toes and in front must stop at the articulation or at the transition of toes to metacarpals. These gloves should extend noticeably further up the back of the leg (referred to as the "laces"), finishing with an inverted V extended 1/2 to 3/4 up the hock. Any other spot of white on the points is considered a serious fault. The base body colour is white to cream, with a wash of color that corresponds to the points but is much paler.

Recognized point colours are seal, chocolate, blue, lilac (a softer silver-grey), red or cream. Tabby and tortie variations in seal, chocolate, blue or lilac are also allowed; other colours are in development.
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Birman Cat