Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is an herb from which a type of volatile oil can be extracted. The oil has a strong scent that diffuses into the surroundings when the leaves are crumpled or chewed. A cat’s extremely sensitive sense of smell can detect catnip oil even in saturation as low as 1 ppb (part per billion).
Catnip oil contains a chemical that can influence the cat’s brain. It has also been shown to exert a sedative-like effect, thus it has been used a natural therapy to calm people and pets.
When a cat inhales the scent of catnip oil, special olfactory organs send messages to the hypothalamus, where one of its important functions is to interpret taste and scent, resulting in manifestation of specific behaviors.
Some cat parents are often clueless on what to do when they notice their cat is pregnant. Understanding the changes that your pet kitty is undergoing should be made so you will be able to meet its needs adequately.
Pregnant cats need to be healthy and comfortable throughout its pregnancy. Usually, a pregnant cat becomes more vocal, always meowing for attention. Divide your cat’s daily ration into several small meals given throughout the day. You will find that she is hungry most of the time, but avoid overfeeding because she can easily pile on the pounds. Excess weight may create pregnancy complications later on.
Cats that are about to give birth become listless and noisy. The nipples may also be swollen, in preparation for lactation. For more information contact your local pet care.
If you have no plans to produce kittens, neutering your male kitten is highly recommended during the early months of life; it is best performed when the male cat is between 3-6 months of age. Neutering is much easier to perform when the kitten is still very young; it is also less complicated. The procedure involves the removal of both testes. It is a minor surgical procedure that involves making an incision over each testicle so they can be removed. It has been shown to significantly lower or altogether prevent an occurrence of testicular cancer, prostate cancer, or an enlarged prostate. Since the male hormone, testosterone, is synthesized in the testes, neutering can eliminate the display of distinct behavior characteristics of male cats like straying, aggressive behavior, or spray marking to claim territory. Don’t hesitate to talk to your veterinarian if you have any questions and/or concerns about neutering and other issues.
Declawing is a permanent surgical procedure to remove the claws of cats. But why do many owners still consider having their cats declawed? These are actually those who think that this is the best way to deal with their cats’ scratching behavior. But scratching is a normal feline instinct, and the best way to protect your valuable thing is to install ‘legitimate’ scratching spots for your kitty. There are so many types of scratching posts and scratching pads that you can choose from. Take note that declawing is a non-reversible procedure. Thus, this procedure should not be taken lightly. Make sure you talk to your veterinarian and discuss other viable options, as well as exhaustively weighed all the pros and cons. Declawing is NOT nail trimming or just the removal of a part of a claw. The procedure involves amputation of the first joint of each of the cat’s toes. And cats that are declawed suffer from extreme pain and discomfort for days and even weeks afterward. They need their claws for protection, climbing, and other natural kitty behavior.
Cats have gained the reputation of being finicky eaters. Even though they are naturally inclined to regulate their food intake, being able to consume just the right amount of calories for weight maintenance, some cats become overweight or obese when they are fed an inappropriate ration. However, if your furball seems to be losing weight for no particular reason, this may be an important sign that something is amiss. If your pet’s weight loss is not a result of a change in his activity level or any other factor that you can identify, you should work with your veterinarian in getting to the root of the problem, and be addressing it before it can become serious and more complicated.
Some important reasons cats lose weight include the following:
- They don’t like the food placed in their food dish
- They hate the smell of their food bowls, especially when these are made of plastic. The material can easily absorb and retain scents.
- A heavy load of intestinal parasites
- Stress – cats are very sensitive to specific stressors in their environment.
- Old age – physical and mental decline associated with aging can cause cats to lose weight and be more picky about their intake.
- Health problems – specific health problems such as diabetes can lead to drastic weight loss and host of other distinct symptoms.
Some experts say that it is fine to “free-feed” young kittens, meaning leaving food out all day long so they can eat anytime they want. However, they should gradually be transitioned to eating at specific times during the day by the time they are 4-6 months old. Free feeding also helps reduce the distention of the kitten’s stomach which can be a consequence of rapid meal eating. It is also a good way to encourage underweight or slow-growing kittens to eat. However, it should not be practiced in overweight or obese kittens. These kittens should be should be given measured portions so you can keep an eye on their caloric intake. You can check the suggested feeding guide on your pet’s food package. Overfeeding can become a big problem even among highly energetic kittens. Thus, portion control is very important around the time of spaying and neutering, where cats are more prone to piling on the pounds. For more advice contact your veterinary clinic.
A live stage-appropriate diet is specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of cats at a specific age or stage in their lives. A nutritionally-balanced diet is very important in keeping the cat’s immune system healthy and strong, helping boosts its function, and maintain its integrity. Kittens and younger cats need a diet that contains essential nutrients that will meet their needs for growth. Their nutritional needs are indeed very different to that of a more mature cat or a senior cat. Diets for kittens contain higher levels of protein and they need more calories to match their growth needs on a daily basis, as well as fuel their physical activities. Failing to give a life stage-appropriate diet to a kitten or young cat can lead to poorly developed bones; it can also have a serious negative impact on their immune system, paving the way for all sorts of health problems to set in. For more information visit your Vet care.