Pet Care Articles

Welcome to our Award Winning Pet Care Library. Featuring more than 500 pages of essential need-to-knows, in-depth investigations and species/breed databases. Select a topic from the menu or browse this week’s featured articles.

Cats and Babies Can Coexist

Cat shelters often take in cats cast out when the owner is expecting a first baby. Many couples have a cat for many years before starting a family, but reject the cat once a baby is due. You usually prepare for the birth of a baby once the pregnancy is confirmed; you should extend this preparation to your cat.

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Cat Aggression – Where, Why and When?

Imagine, you are deep in the Serengeti jungle, and you come face to face with a lion, here are your choices:

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Are Cats Really Unsociable?

Are cats really as unsociable as we think? Recent studies suggest that cats develop complex and fluid matriarchal hierarchies.

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Do Cats Dream?

Cats can spend up to 23 hours a day snoozing, catnapping, catching forty winks or otherwise dead to the world. They have 2 main mottos – "If in doubt, wash" and "If bored, sleep".

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Do Cats Have Emotions?

"Emotion" is the term we use for feelings, some of which are instinctive and some of which are learned from those around us as we conform to society’s expectations and norms. Human emotions range from "primitive" feelings such as disgust, rage, fear and lust to "complex" emotions compassion and jealousy.

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Can Cats Talk?

Can cats talk? Many cat owners would like to think so and some even claim that their cats speak a number of recognizable words. A Brazilian cat takes claims one step further by apparently being able to sing a number of well known songs while the Fortean Times carried a report of a cat which speaks several words in Turkish and suggested, with tongue firmly in cheek, that the reason many owners cannot understand their cats is because the cats are speaking Turkish. But before cat-owners rush out for phrase books, are these cats really speaking or are their owners just talking turkey?

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Cat Communication and Language

There are at least nineteen different types of "miaow" which differ in pitch, rhythm, volume, tone, pronunciation and the situations in which they are used. The familiar purr is used for contentment and also for self-reassurance.

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Is Cat Coat Color Linked to Temperament?

At the cat shelter where I work we refer to "naughty torties" and "laid back blacks". One of our vets also used the "naughty tortie" epithet and told us it is "well known that tortie cats are temperamental". However, the addition of white has a "calming effect" and tortie-and-whites are "not quite as temperamental as brindled torties. The naughty tortie tag is not applied to dilute torties (blue-creams), possibly because they are less common in the moggy population. Ginger cats are said to be spirited and fiery (and sometimes mean-spirited or sly) – very apt considering their fiery color and there is the epithet "ginger tom" to describe the supposedly typical alley cat. Blotched tabbies are "real homebodies" while their striped cousins are "more independent".

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Little Known Feline Personality Disorders

This tongue-in-cheek article discusses the more light-hearted aspects of our cats’ behavior.

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Cat Spaying and Neutering – the Facts

Imagine my horror, when I was researching into ‘Spaying’. The estimated number of cats and dogs that are brought into shelters throughout the United States is between 8 and 10 million.

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Cat Ultra-Typing – A Breed Too Far?

When Ann Baker’s Ragdoll cats appeared on TV, animal welfare groups were concerned that people would be encouraged to toss cats around like cushions. Her Ragdolls are bred for extreme placidity, a trait not found in the wild where a lack of defensive behavior would be disadvantageous.

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The Pros and Cons of Inbreeding in Cats

Inbreeding is the mating together of closely related cats, for example mother/son, father/daughter, sibling/sibling matings and half-sibling/half-sibling. It is the pairing of animals which are more closely related than the average population. For breeders, it is a useful way of fixing traits in a breed – the pedigrees of some exhibition cats show that many of their forebears are closely related.

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Cats that Kill Kittens

Why do cats, either male or female, sometimes kill kittens – either their own kittens or those belonging to another cat? At present there are several recognized reasons for this, all supported by field observation and by other known feline behaviors.

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Cat Cloning and Other Reproductive Technologies

This article looks at several areas of what is known as ‘reproduction technology’ and how it could affect cat breeders and cat owners. These pros and cons will also apply to other pets. Reproduction technology includes cloning, artificial insemination, egg donation, embryo transfer and IVF. I have basic knowledge and understanding, but do not claim to be an expert in these fields. I have written this so that an owner or breeder with little or no prior knowledge can understand it. I have included general interest comments about some of the wider issues of cloning in species other than cats.

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Twisted Limbs in Kittens

Numerous emails asking me for further information on twisted limb kittens have concerned stray or rescued cats and their kittens. It is easy to assume that the condition is linked to poor nutrition, poor welfare, disease or some genetic factor which has been bred out of purebreds.

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Cat Food Uncovered

The label and the advertising shows us images of plump chicken, juicy steak and fresh caught fish. What is inside the can are the parts of the animal we do not want to eat (and parts we don’t even want to think about). One pet food company advertised its food as better than its competitors’ products because it used poultry meat as their main ingredient while the competitors used feathers.

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Tips and Traps for Feeding Faddy Cats

Cats are naturally careful eaters as their digestive system is not good at breaking down toxins. Because cats are so sensitive to poisons, their senses of taste and smell must prevent them from eating food which could be harmful to them. An excellent sense of smell warns them of stale or contaminated food and if their sense of smell fails, so does their appetite. Unfortunately, the same mechanism which helps cats avoid harmful foods can turn it into a faddy eater.

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Cat Food Around the World

Have you ever wandered round a supermarket or store abroad and found yourself in the cat food aisle wondering what foreign felines eat? I invariably check out the cat foods – or lack of cat foods – available abroad. I soon noticed how closely the flavors mirrored the cultural diet of the country I was visiting.

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Cat Keeping in the US and UK Compared

Britain has an estimated 7 million pet cats, less than 10% being pedigrees. The United States has around 60 million pet cats, 40% being pedigrees. Around a quarter of British households own cats compared to nearly a third of American households. Many American cat lovers prefer to call themselves ‘caregivers’ rather than owners.

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Cat Massage – A Hands-On Experience

One week in spring, during a routine massage session, I discovered a small hard lump on Sappho’s belly close to a nipple. Since Sappho got a weekly massage (and a general belly rub daily if she could persuade me), I knew that the lump was had developed since her previous massage. Using my fingertips, I could feel that the lump was a hard nodule beneath the skin and was not associated with a flea-bite.

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