Congratulations – you just brought a new kitten home! Now the fun can really begin!
Of course there will be fun times, and lots of them, but first it’ll be important to bond with your new kitten so that you build up a trusting relationship to last for years to come. “Sharing your home with a kitten can be quiet different than living with an adult cat,” says Katie Watts, Senior Feline Behavior Counselor at the ASPCA Adoption Center. “All cats and kittens are individuals, but it’s important to consider if you’re ready for the higher activity level and mischief that most kittens are all about.”
For starters, your kitten will need a great deal of interactive playtime with appropriate cat toys – like dancers and feather wands – so be prepared to devote at least 15 minutes, three times a day to those activities. “They also like to explore and get into everything, so make sure to kitten proof well, securing any valuables or anything that could pose a hazard to the kitten if knocked over. If you work full-time or you’re away for most of the day, consider getting a pair of kittens so they have a playmate when you’re away.”
After you know you’ve prepared your home for a new kitten, it’s actually quite easy (and fun!) to go about bonding with him yourself. “Interactive playtime is a great way to form a bond with your new kitten,” says Watts. “Be sure to use appropriate toys like feather wands or cat dancers, and not hands. Most find these toys irresistible. If your kitten is a little nervous or unsure of people, hand-feeding them treats or a bit of their food is a great way to build trust.”
If your kitten is actually well socialized, then doting on him with a lot of cuddles and pats is a great way to build a bond. “Once they’re comfortable in their new home, invite a friend over to interact with your kitten as well,” suggests Watts. “Exposure to multiple people is a great way to ensure they grow up to become social adults.”
Keep in mind a couple of no nos when it comes to bonding with your kitten. “It’s cute when they’re young, but encouraging your kitten to play with hands or feet is a huge no no,” says Watts. “This shows them that biting and scratching is an appropriate form of play, and they will grow up with this as a habit. Once they have adult-sized teeth and claws, this can become dangerous, and can become a habit that’s hard to change.”
You’ll also need to pay attention to your kitten’s reactions, and learn to recognize when she is uncomfortable. “If she’s clearly uncomfortable, don’t force her into that situation,” says Watts. “Work on getting her used to certain things gradually. For instance, if your kitten is very scared of visitors, don’t have a party and force your kitten to be the center of attention. Gradually expose her to one person at first, and work up from there. Treats and toys are great for coaxing nervous kittens into new experiences, too.
Article by Cheryl Lock
Dog vomiting is a somewhat common occurrence, but it becomes a true health concern when a dog is throwing upbile. If your dog throws up yellow foam, or a yellow-green foam, it’s probably bile, and you should take your pup to the vet right away to determine the cause. Bile is produced in the liver, stored in the gall bladder and released into the small intestine to help break food down. This helps the body digest and utilize the food properly. If your dog is throwing up bile, these are the five most common reasons.
Article by PetMD
Cats sleep an average of fifteen hours a day, and some can sleep up to twenty hours in a twenty-four hour period. Which raises the question: Why do cats sleep so much?
The first thing you should realize is that cats are most active between dusk and dawn, which means that they sleep mostly during the day and become active around twilight. This can come as quite a shock if you're bringing a new kitty home for the first time. Your cat will waste no time investigating and getting into trouble -- usually while you’re fast asleep! But as soon your cat is done with breakfast, as the rest of the world winds up for action, you'll find him winding down for a long day of slumber.
Cats have the physiology of a predator, meaning that they’re hardwired to give chase and hunt -- mainly at night. Large cats such as lions have a similar pattern of sleeping during the day and hunting at night. Although they have been domesticated for the most part, housecats still retain that wild streak. Even cats at play will display the feline primal instincts of creeping about in the shadows and, without a whisper of warning, pouncing on their target prey.
And hunting prey takes an amazing amount of energy. Whether your kitty is hunting for outdoor prey or tackling a catnip toy, all that sleep he gets is reserve energy for running, pouncing, climbing and stalking.
Like people, cats either doze in a light sleep or sleep very deeply. When your cat dozes (which lasts about fifteen minutes to a half hour), he will position his body so that he can spring up and into action at a moment’s notice.
During deep sleep, cats experience rapid (or quick) brain movement. Deep sleep tends to last about five minutes, after which the cat goes back to dozing. This dozing-deep sleep pattern goes on until the cat wakes up.
Kittens and older cats tend to sleep more than the average-aged adult cat.
It should come as no surprise that felines are affected by the weather, just like us. Cat behavior can vary greatly, depending on their breed, age, temperament and overall health. But, whatever your kitty’s usual disposition, it has been observed that cats sleep more when the weather calls for it. Yes, even if your kitty is an exclusive indoor-dweller, a rainy or cold day will have him (and probably you) yawning and looking for some shut-eye.
Cats are crepuscular -- which means that they are most active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk. They tend to lay low in the darker night-time and day-time hours, when other predators may be hanging about. Some cats may be active at night as well, especially when they’re kittens. But, cats are also sociable and highly adaptable. This means that a cat is apt to adjust his sleeping habits so he can spend more time with his loved ones -- meaning you. Cats will also adjust their sleep patterns to their feeding schedules, which is why an indoor cat sleeps more than a cat that roams outdoors.
Whether your cat is a spry kitten or a mature feline, his level of interaction and activity depends a lot on whether he's constantly recharging his kitty battery.
Cats may sleep a lot, but when they’re awake, they sure make the most of their time!
by Yahaira Cespedes
Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that can produce a life-threatening illness. The virus attacks rapidly dividing cells in a dog’s body, most severely affecting the intestinal tract. Parvovirus also attacks the white blood cells, and when young animals are infected, the virus can damage the heart muscle and cause lifelong cardiac problem
The general symptoms of parvovirus are lethargy, severe vomiting, loss of appetite and bloody, foul-smelling diarrhea that can lead to life-threatening dehydration.
Parvovirus is extremely contagious and can be transmitted by any person, animal or object that comes in contact with an infected dog's feces. Highly resistant, the virus can live in the environment for months, and may survive on inanimate objects such as food bowls, shoes, clothes, carpet and floors. It is common for an unvaccinated dog to contract parvovirus from the streets, especially in urban areas where there are many dogs.
Veterinarians diagnose parvovirus on the basis of clinical signs and laboratory testing. The Enzyme Linked Immuno Sorbant Assay (ELISA) test has become a common test for parvovirus. The ELISA test kit is used to detect parvovirus in a dog’s stools, and is performed in the vet’s office in about 15 minutes. Because this test is not 100% sensitive or specific, your veterinarian may recommend additional tests and bloodwork.
Puppies, adolescent dogs and canines who are not vaccinated are most susceptible to the virus. The canine parvovirus affects most members of the dog family (wolves, coyotes, foxes, etc.). Breeds at a higher risk are Rottweilers, Doberman pinschers, Labrador retrievers, American Staffordshire terriers and German shepherds.
You can protect your dog from this potential killer by making sure he’s up-to-date on his vaccinations. Parvovirus should be considered a core vaccine for all puppies and adult dogs. It is usually recommended that puppies be vaccinated with combination vaccines that take into account the risk factors for exposure to various diseases. One common vaccine, called a “5-in-1,” protects the puppy from distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis parvovirus and parainfluenza.