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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Obese Cat? What Should You Do?


Just as with people, feline obesity is often linked with too much food or not enough exercise.  Attempts to just cut back on the calorie intake may not be successful and lead to other problems, such as liver problems.  The University of Illinois conducted some experiments on a previously suggested claim that increased meal frequency could improve overall physical activity.


Cats were fed up to four times a day with limited human interaction.  It was found that when a cat could anticipate a meal, they were more active.  Even more activity was found after the meal was eaten.  Their conclusion: when cats are allowed to eat freely, it's difficult to prevent obesity.  It's important to identify the right diet.  Cat food is supplied to thousands of cats with different metabolisms, etc., so it can be very tricky to determine the right amount. Most foods are easily digestible and nutrient intense, so owners tend to overfeed.

Adding water to dry food or alternating dry food and wet food can help in maintaining a healthy weight.  If you only put food out once a day try feeding your cats twice a day to increase their activity.

Dogs don't let us forget when they need exercise, but cats are like the average person this way. If they don't have a specific motivation, they're perfectly happy to chill. But we can't eat Cheetos while having a Netflix marathon every day, and neither can our cats. It's our job to fight their flab! Exercising your cat daily will help maintain a healthy weight. No one is saying your cats aren't precious pounds of roly poly cuteness, but obesity puts a cat at risk for a variety of health problems, such as cardiac disease, arthritis, and diabetes.

Although cats aren't always that easy to connect with, playing with them can boost that bond that you have.  It seems that playing or "exercising" often has a positive effect on their behavior because of the attention they are receiving.

Finding ways to exercise your cat is certainly not all that complicated, and most cat owners already know a variety of ways. However, one of the most important things is to keep things fresh! Just like we might get bored with the same workout again and again, so do cats. Switch up the rooms, the toys, and your methods.

Three tried and true "toys" are
1. String
2. Crinkly mouse/squirrel/bird/unknown animal
3. Brown paper shopping bag

After all of this good advice, I'll still probably find the cats that are "different".  Like mine!











And finally, there is always this cat "logic"!



Do you have any problems with an overweight cat?  Would love to hear about your experiences.  So far, in the last three years, I've gotten Kirby down 2 pounds.  Slow, but steady.  Two more to go.  :>)  Will close with this darling, short video from Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yvette.arby/posts/696479250398249

Marion Lovato is the author of Sam, the Superkitty, which is available on Amazon.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1604588667

Saturday, March 22, 2014

My Other Cat, Sammy

As I said last week, I would introduce you to Kirby's brother this time.  Sammy is part Tabby and part Siamese.  You can tell the Siamese part right away because this cat likes to talk, and talk, and talk.  Sometimes, if I imitate him, he really gets on a roll.  We have a good conversation, but I have no idea what we're saying.  Ha, ha.  Sammy was a feral cat at one time until we trapped him and brought him inside.  It's taken the first four years of his life to get him to "trust" us.  I really don't think that he ever will completely, but he's come a long way.





He has beautiful markings, doesn't he?  He even has a number 1 on his back!  I never noticed it until my mother saw him for the first time.  She noticed it right away.  Of course, that goes along with his personality because he thinks he runs the house.  You can see the number more clearly in this picture.



He hates the camera, so I'm very fortunate whenever I can sneak up on him and get a picture.  Doesn't happen very often.





As you can see, I have to do some crawling around to get it done.  But, once in a while, I get lucky.

To share some of his moods with you, I'll use the following cats.  You'll get the general idea.  :>)










But, in spite of the mood, this is what it boils down to.




He definitely has me wrapped around his paw, even to the point that I wrote a children's book about him entitled Sam, the Superkitty.  It is available on Amazon.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

This Is Actually MY Cat

Have not included much about my own cats on my blog except at the beginning since I had so many pictures and stories to share.  Still have a lot, but I want to reacquaint you with my furry boys.  I would be lost without them.  They don't ask for much except food, water, and some loving along the way.  The contentment and companionship are certainly an excellent exchange!

Kirby is the older cat by one year.  He was a stray dumped off on the playground at the school where I taught in Las Vegas.  (That subject is one we won't get into now because I'm not going to get on my soapbox)  My husband at that time and I had two females already.  He had mentioned one day that if we ever added to the "family", it would be a male.

Two teachers out on duty spied Kirby first and brought him in.  They fixed a box and found some water so he could drink.  Don't know what food they gave him unless one of them brought something from home that her cats ate.  He was in the building for several days before I saw him.  One day walking down the hall, I met the two teachers taking care of him; one of them was holding him.  This is NOT Kirby, but the sentiment is the same:




When it was time to go home for the day, I called my husband and told him to stand outside on the back porch.  He wanted to know why, of course, but I didn't tell him.  He was there when I drove in the driveway.  About the time he approached the car, Kirby popped up out of my lap and put his front paws on the window.  My husband goes, "Awwwwwww!"  Yup, Kirby had grabbed his heart too.  :>)

As to his name, that took a little while.  We tried various names, but nothing seemed to stick.  One day, I told my husband while I watched Kirby eat, "My God, he's like a vacuum cleaner.  He just sucks up his food!"  Boing!  The light bulb went on, and I knew what to name him.  He looked at me as if to say, "Well, it's about time you got it right!".

Now, you know the rest of the story as Paul Harvey used to say.  The cat in the following pictures IS Kirby.  He is part Maine Coon and part Tabby.  He's a lover, not a fighter.  He is a big cat and weighs in at 22 pounds.  Thank goodness, he isn't a full Maine Coon.  They can be 48 inches from their nose to the tip of their tail and weigh 35 pounds.  I'd never be able to pick him up and take him to the vet at that rate.  Would have to just put a leash on him and walk him in.  :>)

Sitting in Grandma's chair:



Sitting in my chair:



Wondering if Grandma will buy him some treats:



Hanging out with his brother:



Next week I'll give you the background information on my other cat, Sammy.

And remember, whatever life throws your way:




Come back next week and learn about Sammy!  Have a great week, everybody!



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Cat Facts or Cat Myths?

Found some interesting information on the website And My Cat the other day to share with you.  They explored two myths about cats.  I didn't know about the first one, but I had been told about the second one.



1.  Are Calicos always female?

The key word here is "always".  The short answer to the question is no. But let's be precise: just one out of every 3,000 calico kitties born is a male, reports the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri. Why is the beautiful calico color pattern so prevalent among female felines? It's all in the genetics.

The calico pattern includes three colors: black, orange and white, usually in large blocks. A cat's coat color is a sex-linked trait. That means this aspect of your cat's physical appearance is linked to his/her gender.

Think back to your high school science class: males possess XY sex chromosomes, while females have XX. The genetic coding for displaying black or orange color is found on the X chromosome, explains Janet Tobiassen, DMV. For this reason, female cats can display black AND orange, while males, with their single X chromosone, usually display one or the other. The genetic coding for white is a completely separate gene!
So if boys have just one X chromosone, how is it possible for them to ever turn up with a calico pattern? That one cat in 3,000 is what scientists call a Klinefelter male, named after the doctor who discovered this condition, which isn't limited to the cat population. Klinefelter males have three sex chromosomes: XXY. With the extra X chromosome, they have a shot at displaying white, black and orange. If you have a male calico, treasure him! They are rare indeed, and are usually sterile and thus unable to pass down their unusual genetic coding, explains Marty Becker, DVM.

2. Do cats eat grass when they are sick?




This cat myth is mostly false. Typically, a kitty who's dining on grass is feeling perfectly fine. Eating grass is completely harmless for felines, as long as it's not been exposed to pesticides, herbicides, or any other lawn chemicals. In fact, grass consumption can actually be beneficial for cats, explains petMD. Grass contains properties that assist with digestion, and it's rich in certain nutrients, which may be why this myth took hold to begin with.

Grass contains folic acid, just like a mama cat's milk. When your cat consumes grass, the folic acid can help essential bodily functions and assists in hemoglobin production, which promotes oxygen movement in the blood.

Eating a bit of grass can help your kitty clear out her digestive system, so it's possible that her "gut" instinct draws her toward it when she needs a cleanse. Or it may just be pure coincidence! Either way, cats tend to regurgitate grass after they've eaten it because they lack the natural enzymes to break down vegetable matter, explains petMD. This is nothing to worry about-- just a natural response. But it can be helpful for kitties who need to clean out their digestive tracts. It's also a sort of natural laxative and can help break down fur balls in your cat's digestive system.

So if your cat enjoys feasting on the lawn every now and then, you can feel confident she's probably perfectly healthy! As mentioned earlier, just be sure the grass she munches on has not been treated by any chemicals. If you'd like to give your kitty a safe & delicious treat, consider growing cat grass in your home instead.

To eat or not to eat!  That is the question.




Saturday, March 1, 2014

Computer Trouble? Our IT Department Can Help Its Purrformance!

Here's a secret for you!  Cats are far more intelligent than you think.  Comes as no surprise to cat owners, but what we didn't realize was how much we didn't know.  We thought that they just played cards on the computer like we do.


However, we always suspected there might be some things going on that we didn't know about and couldn't prove.
But, what I'm about to show you now is beyond belief!  They must go to school at night to learn this!




Don't know how it came about, but here are 10 in-house tickets that our IT experts are working on.





It's kind of unnerving when you hear them say something like this!
But, they try to be as professional and courteous as possible.

Business is booming, so if you call in a problem, please be patient until we can get to you.  We are working as fast as we can.  Thanks for your understanding.