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Saturday, May 30, 2015

What Dat Meens, Wide Load?

In just a few weeks, it will be summer! Ahhh, the picnics, the hiking, the swimming. Now is the time we ladies are thinking of hopefully fitting into that swimsuit! I know, I know. The younger ones have already been working on their diets and exercise, but it takes us older ladies a little more time. Not looking for a stud muffin anymore; just want to get into the bathing suit. Which brings me to the topic of this week's blog. Being overweight. No, not you, silly! Your cat.

Cat obesity is very harmful to felines and has serious health consequences. As in humans, if the calories burned up are less than the calories consumed, the result is fat. You can't force your cat to exercise, so overweight and obesity can be hard to fight. Both of my males are neutered. The vet told me that it makes it doubly hard to keep their weight under control. The metabolism of the cat has evolved to run off of the protein and fats of their prey- such as birds and mice. The domestic house-cat eats completely differently and experts argue that this has a negative effect on their metabolism and predisposes obesity. Dry food is higher in carbohydrates than wet food. Mine won't eat wet food, so they have two strikes against them already! Then, of course, there's the matter of aging. As with humans, cats tend to put on a little weight as they get older because they're not as active.

For the cat to be called “obese”, it must carry excess body fat that will compromise its health and well-being. Here are some characteristics to look for to evaluate your cat's weight.

  • Your cat is noticeably sedentary.

  • Has difficulty walking, running, jumping, climbing, and grooming themselves.

  • Most obese cats appear to have excessive appetite
  • When you touch your cat, you cannot feel the individual ribs
  • When you stand over your pet, its waist must be seen and it must have an hourglass figure
Taking your cat to the vet for an exam and blood tests can help determine if your cat being overweight is due to a medical problem. Cats come in all different sizes, so it can be hard to determine the right weight for your cat. Kirby was 24 pounds when I first came back to Wyoming. Dr. Molly said that even though he was part Maine Coon that was still too much. I've managed to get a pound off a year in the last four years, so we're getting there. Losing weight too fast is a sign of a medical condition, so you have to be very careful.

The following is a list of complications caused by obesity in cats:
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Arthritis: Joint and movement problems
  • Skin infection and matted hair due to their inability to groom themselves
  • Shortness of breath which may lead to breathing and respiratory problems
  • Hepatic Lipidosis or fatty liver
  • Bladder infection
  • Kidney and heart disease
It can be very challenging to compel your feline friend to exercise. You must still encourage it by offering toys since it can stimulate their hunting instincts. Putting food in a more remote place will encourage exercise since they have to walk further to get to the food. Of course, consulting with your vet is always wise.

In the end, their attitude about their weight will probably be much different than mine!

Do you have problems keeping your kitty slim and trim? Let us know what you're doing to fight the problem.

Marion Lovato is the author of Sam, the Superkitty.  Her book describes an ordinary cat changing into a superhero to protect his family from things that go bump in the night.  Available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Cats LOVE Water! Oh, Yeah?

That depends on which cat you're talking about! Some cats HATE water; others tolerate it and may even enjoy it. I imagine part of that depends on how soon you introduce them to being around or in the water. I was trying to decided what to talk about in my blog this week, but couldn't come up with anything. Thought about the weather and the fact that it has been raining all day long. A nice warm bath would feel good right about now. Aha! How about giving the cat a bath? That could be VERY interesting! This would probably be Sammy's reaction if I told him he was going to have a bath.

Found a site about how to bathe a kitten so will share some of that information with you. To prepare your kitten for a bath, make sure it is accustomed to your handling it all over the body. They even suggest running your fingers over the teeth and massaging the inside of the mouth. Not sure what mine would do if I tried that! However, I do rub my fingers in their ears, between their toes and legs and rub their tummies.The supplies you need are two bath towels, a washcloth, cat shampoo, and treats. Keep the bathroom door closed and the heater on while you fill the sink or bathtub with an inch or two of warm water.

5 Steps to Successful Kitty Baths

1. Get the feet wet. Just let the kitten stand in the water with all four paws submerged. Do not move on to the next step until it is comfortable with this one.
2. Rain on their parade. Before the washcloth rubdown, pour water from a cup all over the kitten. Gently lift its chin with your finger to keep water from running in the eyes.
2. Time for the rubdown. The next time you repeat step one, wet the washcloth and give kitty a rubdown without using soap. Maintain eye contact while doing this and gently correct it if it tries to get away. Dry thoroughly with one of the bath towels. Wrap in the other towel. If kitty struggles, don’t give treats and try again tomorrow. Do not move on to the next step until this one is successfully completed.
4. Time for soap. Use a small amount of soap (about the size of a dime) to spread around on the fur. Be careful not to get it in the eyes. Use the washcloth to wipe soap off the head. Pour water from the cup to rinse off the rest of the body. Dry thoroughly with one towel and wrap kitty in the other. If it struggles, don’t give treats and try again tomorrow. This is the last step in the process.
5. Final tips for success. Make sure the water is warm. Have all your supplies ready and in place prior to starting the bath. Keep the experience positive. And most of all, bathe your kitten on a regular basis, using soap every other time to avoid drying out the skin.

This poor cat thinks that his twin lives IN the shower! 

 As I said in the beginning, some cats HATE water.

 But let's end on a positive note. Enjoy this video of cats who love the water.

Have you given your cat a bath? What were the results? We would love to hear your stories.

Marion Lovato is the author of Sam, the Superkitty.  Her book describes an ordinary cat changing into a superhero to protect his family from things that go bump in the night.  Available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Massive Catnip Operation

Frank lived in a house close to the woods. Since there was a pet door in the house, he was allowed to go in and out as he pleased. This made Frank very happy!  He enjoyed exploring the woods and finding all kind of things to chase, investigate, or lay on. He wasn't prepared for what he found one day though!

Barely able to contain his excitement, he ran back to the house and started to spread the news to his friends around the neighborhood. They all went with Frank back into the woods and collected as much catnip as they could carry. They were looking forward to having a lot of fun, but there were unexpected consequences also.

Tuffy and Mouser started having hallucinations:

Fluff and Whitney decided that they could form a band:

Frank and George wanted to play war games:

Muffin started hearing voices in his head:

Larry became really worried about his friend, Harry:

Molly's imagination started running wild:

The friends were using so much catnip that some of the owners told them to leave. They just didn't want to deal with all of the side effects. Low-income housing was the only thing the poor cats could afford.

Some of them decided that enough was enough and quit the catnip. Others, however, wouldn't give it up.

Some even got caught.

So, please TALK TO YOUR CATS ABOUT CATNIP! This is NOT a pretty picture.

Marion Lovato is the author of Sam, the Superkitty.  Her book describes an ordinary cat changing into a superhero to protect his family from things that go bump in the night.  Available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Cat Racing is So Boring!

 Time for another original story!

Once upon a time, there were seven cats, two children, and a Mommy and Daddy that lived in the same house. There were quiet times when everyone was busy doing their own thing; other times, it could be very noisy. Kids and cats playing all over the house with each other or on their own. The cats could really entertain themselves with balls, yarn, boxes, or anything else they saw. The children sometimes would play with them too. Everyone had a good time.

One day, Mommy and Daddy started watching horse races on TV. They really enjoyed this. Pretty soon the children were watching with them. Those horses were so beautiful and ran so fast! It was so exciting to pick a certain horse to win and then see them go across the finish line. The children decided that they should have some races too. Since they didn't have horses, they would race the cats!

The next day, everyone was busy planning how they would do the races. They needed a "starting line", a "finish line", and someone to start the race.  They used boxes with numbers on them for the starting line since the cats wouldn't be afraid to go into the boxes. They spread out some yarn for the finish line because cats love to play with yarn. Everything was ready. Who would win? Would it be a tie? The boy yelled, "Go!', and this is what happened.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

YOU Don't Like Cats? Really!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, you tell me that you don't like cats. I find that very strange. Cats are THE THING on the Internet nowadays. You can't get away from the thousands of pictures posted everyday. Cat videos rake in millions of views per year. How could you not fall in love with this?

However, according to an article I just read, there are historic and scientific reasons for your disinterest in all things feline. Just like for all those cilantro haters (um, I'm one of those) out there, sometimes there are reasons beyond your control for hating something everyone else seems to love. (Not that we cat lovers would EVER understand that, but I guess we can try.)

Studies show that some people have a psychological disposition towards cats. It seems that cat lovers are psychologically different than canine lovers. Well, that poses a problem. If I like both, does that mean that part of me is psychologically different than another part? I could end up being very confused! Guess I'll figure that out later. According to the research, "dog people were generally about 15% more extroverted and 13% more agreeable". These figures point to slight differences in personality, giving the cat haters the more outgoing personality. It further distinguishes between the types of people: "Dog people were 11% more conscientious  than cat people. Conscientiousness is a tendency to show self-discipline,  to complete tasks and aim for achievement. The trait shows a preference for planned rather than spontaneous behavior."(This must mean that I'm an outgoing introvert that likes planned spontaneous behavior)???

Yes, cats are more likely to cause allergic reactions than dogs. Some people can't handle that at all, even with medication. I take allergy shots because I'm not about to give up my cats. Cats in the ancient Egyptian culture were treated as demi-gods, but Medieval Europe regarded them as a source of the plague. (You just can't please everyone) They've always been considered predators which is okay as far as rats and mice, but not with birds. Some species have been eliminated entirely because of feral cats.

You may not like cats, you may hate cats, but they really don't care! For example, you have cats with the same attitude as Grumpy Cat.

Okay, Grumpy Cat, that's enough of your negative attitude. That certainly won't change people's minds about liking cats. In the meantime, us cat lovers will enjoy our delightful little creatures and look forward to the time spent with them.

As for people who hate cats:

Marion Lovato is the author of Sam, the Superkitty.  Her book describes an ordinary cat changing into a superhero to protect his family from things that go bump in the night.  Available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition.