HAZARDS AT HOME
HOW TO AVOID UNNECESSARY VET BILLS
Copyright The Animal Network of Orange County 2001
CATS AND KITTENS
Dangers may lurk inside your home for your cat or kitten. People often say to play with cats or kittens with string or ribbon… nothing could be more dangerous and costly if they swallow it. If you animal ingests the string or ribbon it could pass through without harm. But, often we see the string or ribbon hanging out of the rectum and pull creating the problem by severing the intestine, or it could cause a blockage and your animal would not be able to excrete.
The safest and wisest thing to do, is not to allow your animal to play with anything string-like.
Open doors slowly and shuffle your feet when you have a kitten in the house. See our rescue kitten “Buttlercup” that had a fractured pelvis and a compressed lumbar vertebrae from her foster daddy opening the bathroom door too fast. Buttercups intensive care giver was the founder of the organization. She can walk now but not without constant 24 hour round the clock care. Most people would not have been able to give the time, or would be willing to get up in the night every two to three hours. So, safety and prevention is a better way to yield caution.
MAKING YOUR NEW CAT FEEL SAFE AT HOME
FEELING SAFE – How To Make Your New Cat Feel At Home
The new cat needs to feel “safe”. Do not introduce household pets at this time.
Use an occupied bedroom. This room is called the “safe” room. You and your family are the “Safe-Keppers. C.A.N. does “not” suggest using the bathroom as it is cold and removed from the warmth of the family) Expect that your new cat may hide. Keep the bedroom door closed. Food, water and a litter is placed within easy reach of the hiding place. (Your new pet may not eat or come out for a few days.
Your new pet will come out when it feels safe. Give it time and lots of love and talk to your new animal. A good way to encourage your new pet to bond with you is to give it tasty canned food. (Just a teaspoon full) as a treat and encourage interactive play with a flashlight or laser pen both are exciting.
INTRODUCING The “NEW PET” To Other FAMILY PETS
Cats live in colonies in the wild and do get along with each other. Face to face meetings however only heighten anxiety, raise hair and encourage hisses and if too close howling growls and a swats. DO NOT INTRODUCE TOO SOON! Animals get to know each other by smell. The best introductions fall after the new animal has “YOUR” smell! And the smell of your house.
In all of nature there is dominant and subordinate behavior. If dominant subordinate behaviors (one picking on the other) begin in your home they are very difficult to break.
A well planned introduction allows your new cat to feel at home, discourages dominant behavior. A happy home with multiple pets should be harmonious and everyone should be happy. The “feeling” of being safe is a very important to all animals’ happiness. DO NOT INTRODUCE TOO SOON!
We suggest the “new” cat sleep in a family members room, not in a laundry room or spare room and not have the full run of the house. Since each household is different with activity and each animal takes it own time to feel comfortable, choosing the right time to introduce will be up to you and your instincts. But remember a week or more is not too long to be comfortable.
Step 1. Keep all animals separated. The two cats will be able to smell each other from under the door. More playful animals may in fact want to interact and will stick their paws under the door. (A great sign). If your original pet is growling and has a hissy attitude when walking by the door it is not time to introduce. Step 2. When you think the time is right, put the new pet in a bathroom and let your original cat sniff the surroundings of the new animal. Later, do the same thing with the new one. (Let it sniff the other’s quarters) Still, no-nose-to-nose contact.
Step 3. Keep the new cat inside a carrier and let it be in the living areas with you to safeguard it and allow it to feel safe in an unfamiliar area. The animals may his or growl. If your original cat acts aggressive it is not the right time yet. The better your sense of timing and the less confrontational experiences the better for the introduction.
Step 4. NEVER ANY NOSE TO NOSE MEETINGS! After an adjustment period both cats should feel safe in each others presence if done properly with their feeling in mind. Have a spray water bottle and rolled up newspaper ready TO BREAK UP ANY SCUFFLES. Remember, feeling safe is key to all animal interaction and will build good relationship.
DO NOT INTRODUCE TOO SOON! A WEEK OR MORE IS NOT TOO LONG TO BE SEPARATED!
© 2002 – Introduction Procedure Developed By DiAnna Pfaff-Martin Founder Community Animal Network
LITTER BOX AND LITTER RECOMMENDATIONS
AVOID LITTER BOX ISSUES
Avoid covered litter boxes For the first week, purchase one with high sides that is roomy. Avoid shallow pans as the animal can kick out a mess on your floor. At a hardware store, buy plastic carpet runner by the foot and place under the cat box (79 cents a foot, used in model homes to protect your carpet/floor and easy and easy quick roll up to clean). This will lessen need for sweeping or vacuuming.
NATURAL LITTER WE RECOMMEND
BEST Litter “SWHEAT SCOOP”, Natural Clumping Litter, Made Of Wheat! Clumps Naturally! No Odor! No Dust! Flushable! Septic Tank Safe! Buy 40lbs for Best Value at PetSmart. The crew is pleased to help, lift and help out. Just Ask.
GOOD, But Expensive! “WORLD’S BEST CAT LITTER” Natural Clumping Litter, Made of Corn!
BEST VALUE! “EXQUISITE CAT” PINE LITTER 20 lbs ONLY $8.49 At PetSmart *Your Cat Could Wee-Wee somewhere Else If You Don’t Read The Directions
READ DIRECTIONS ON BACK OF THE PACKAGE BEFORE USE!
Feline Pine· Natural Litter – Best Price Petsmart 20lbs for $ 9.99.
*READ DIRECTIONS ON BACK OF THE PACKAGE BEFORE USE! Use only one inch of Feline Pine on the bottom of the litter pan and then To begin use cover lightly with sand litter/ let cats mix it up with use and then put less sand litter with each cleaning. Feline Pine is long lasting and has less odor. Turns to sawdust when used up. First time Users, follow the directions, we found not all cats will use it without some sand on top.
* PINE LITTER You Must Slowly get The Cat Used To it! Or It May Wee-Wee Somewhere Else!
FANCY PET FOOD DISHES
The “Network” founder’s cats eat from a silver-plated raised chafing dish with the Pyrex liner that was a fourth place golf trophy from the Los Angeles Country Club. Be creative to find a suitable vessel for your home. · Cats like running water, why not try a decorative waterfall?
FOR LITTER BOX ODOR CONTROL
Odors Away – Is not a mask, it actually eats the molecule odors. Available in liquid drops or spray) eats odor molecules. “The Network” likes the liquid drops. Available at Crown Ace Hardware. “The Network” places Odors Away in a ramekin (like what salsa is served in at a Mexican restaurant). We then place the ramekin inside a decorative pitcher or vase in the room where the litter box is so your animals can not drink it.
A SHOPPING LIST FOR CAT OWNERS
BUY AND USE PREMIUM PET FOODS (No, Whiskas, Nine Lives, Meow Mix)
We Recommend Pro-Plan Kitten and Cat Food (Highest Grade Of Purina with “More” Protein). For better brands purchase your pet food at a pet supply, not the grocery. Other good choices: Max Cat or Kitten, Science Diet, Iams, Nutro, Eukanuba. If you must shop at the market avoid purchasing pet food that you see advertised on television. Most have high fat content and fillers, it’s like feeding “Big Mac’s and French Fries” everyday! A better choice at the market level would be Iams.
AVOID MARKET BRANDS – use a lot of corn meal which is cheaper and may make animals skin itch and you think they have fleas OR your animal may develop a food allergy.
PURCHASE BEEF, CHICKEN, TURKEY & LIVER: AVOID SEAFOOD FLAVORS! Seafood is responsible for increased incidents of urinary infections in cats. These infections can be deadly in male cats! Research it! Absolutely NO Tuna!
CAT SCRATCHER- Buy 2 for either side of the litter box to cut down tracking!!!
Best For Size and Value – Pressed Cardboard Cat Scratcher …Saves Your Furniture. Comes with organic catnip. (Unobtrusive 18″ long X 2 ” high) could be just what you are looking for! BEST VALUE… Trader Joe’s
“Soft Paws” Brand name – Claw Covers that come in Red, Blue, Yellow and Pink that you can learn to put on. When your cat wears “Soft Paws” people think you painted their nails, but in fact they help protect your funriture and are ‘”fashionable”, too. “Sticky Paws” Brand Name – Covers your furniture with clear plastic that adheres to edges where cats like the most. Use “Sticky Paws” while you are training your cat. Always have the pressed cardboard scratcher nearby to support and encourage positive behavior.
Microchips save lives. Protect your pet nation-wide from a life of uncertainty in the United States shelter system. Animal control officers scan for microchips when impounding all dogs and cats in the United States. A worthwhile investment. Our rescue animals are implanted with the Avid microchip and the registration is included with your adoption service fee. ($50.00 – $75.00 at most veterinarians).
COLLARS- Break Away Collar or Safe Cat (brand name)
Furry mice – Cats love them and lose them under the fridge and sofa -Get lots of them.
“Cat Circle” hours of entertainment, a ball circles in donut shape plastic runner. No need to spend on the fancy ones. The one with the mouse inside breaks easily and the one with the scratching carpet in the middle most cats don’t use. If you purchase the large size the cats lay in the middle and bat around, Too cute! Flashlight or Laser pen– Tire your animals out before bedtime!
© 2006 The Animal Network
SAVING MONEY ON BOOSTER SHOTS
“FIP” or “Rabies” vaccines are not recommended for indoor cats as it is unlikely they will be exposed to these. Unless your kitten is sick, there is really no need to see a veterinarian when you get booster shots for your kitten. Many vets offer vaccine clinics, which offer the shots at a significantly lower rate – so don’t forget to ask.
CANNED PUMPKIN IS NATURAL HAIRBALL REMEDY
A simple holistic remedy for constipation that we like to recommend be used to flush the body of hairballs and stomach acid is canned pumpkin. Mix pumpkin with equal parts of “canned” kitten, or cat food once a week as a hairball remedy. Pumpkin may be used after adoption to rid your new pet of stomach acid from the stress of adoption day, a new environment, or a diet change.
Other reasons for diarrhea that require treatment are worms, or a bacterial infection. Your kitten has been wormed for roundworms, tapeworms and hookworms. However, veterinarians recommend a second treatment.
Purchase plain canned pumpkin (not the pie mix). To freeze for easy weekly distribution in 2-teaspoon portions: Disperse 2 teaspoons of canned pumpkin onto strips of saran wrap and twist them closed. (like wrapping candy) Place the dollops of saran wrapped pumpkin in a large baggy and store in the freezer. Each week remove one dollop of saran wrapped pumpkin, thaw and mix it with canned food for a morning and night feeding once a week.
FELINE VACCINE GUIDELINES
The American Association of Feline Practitioners has created guidelines for vaccinating cats. A vaccine protocol should be based on your cat’s individual risks of exposure, and every cat does not need every vaccine every year. Vaccines can cause adverse reactions in certain animals and a very small percentage of cats develop tumors at sites of vaccines, so discuss your cat’s needs with your veterinarian. Even if your cat does not need a vaccine every year, an annual physical exam is needed to monitor the pet’s health and provide you with an opportunity to discuss any problems.
Elaine Wexler-Mitchell, DVM of The Cat Care Clinic in Orange and author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to a Healthy Cat”and Guide To A Healthy Cat, Howell Book House © 2004 recommends initial vaccines for kittens at 6-8 weeks of age. Kitten vaccines are repeated every 21-30 days until the kitten is at least 12 weeks old. (See your newly adopted kitten’s health record for scheduling.) Your kitten will not be fully vaccinated until your series is completed.
This vaccine prevents Panleukopenia (kitty distemper, also know as kitty parvo) and lessens the severity of the cold viruses: rhinotraceitis (feline herpes) and calici virus. Dr. Wexler-Mitchell recommends the FRCP booster vaccine be given to both indoor and outdoor adult cats one year after finishing their kitten series and then once every three years. Protection provided by this vaccine has been shown to last at least three years.
(Feline Leukemia Virus Vaccine)
Feline specialist, Elaine Wexler-Mitchell, DVM recommends blood testing all cats for FeLV and if negative, vaccinating kittens at 9-12 weeks, then one month later. Vaccination can be discontinued if the cat remains strictly indoors in the future.
The FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) intranasal vaccine is not recommended routinely for any cats.
The rabies vaccine is recommended for any kittens or cats that go outdoors, where they could be exposed to wild animals carrying the virus) or have a tendency to bite humans. Rabies vaccination is currently not required by law for cats in Orange County .
Community Animal Network rescue cats and kittens have been blood tested for Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Viruses by a laboratory. If a cat could have had a recent exposure to either virus, a repeat test is recommended 4-6 weeks afterwards. (False negatives with the veterinary in-house testing almost never happen, but false positives can occur more frequently and should be confirmed with a laboratory test.)
However rare, they do occur. Symptoms can last 24 up to 48 hours. Mild reactions of lethargy and loss of appetite and tenderness at the injection site are the most common. More serious reaction symptoms could be vomiting, diarrhea, trembling, difficulty breathing and should be seen by a veterinarian.
Compliments Of : Community Animal Network & Cat Care Clinic Of Orange
Best Diagnostic Veterinarian In O.C.: Dr. Elaine Wexler-Mitchell : (714) 282-2287
The Author Of: Guide To A Healthy Cat
Howell Book House © 2004 available on www.amazon.com