Starring The King of The Jungle
Nature intended for most animals to shed in the Spring, but for indoor pets that spend their lives under artificial light in climate controlled homes, shedding is a year-round occurrence. Frequent brushing has many benefits for both you and your cat. For you: The more hair that ends up in a brush, the less hair there will be around the house, on your clothing, and in your tuna sandwich.
For your cat: Brushing stimulates oils in the cat's skin, which creates a healthier skin and coat. Brushing also helps to prevent matting. In addition, it helps to prevent skin disorders by reducing irritation caused by loose hairs rubbing against the skin. It will also greatly cut down on the ingestion of hair which causes hair balls. More importantly, it will give you the chance to feel for lumps or anything unusual on the cat's body.
Begin by gently back-combing the cat's coat with a pet comb to remove loose hair brushing in the direction that the hair grows. If matting is evident, use a matt-buster. For stubborn matts, you may want to apply a pet dematting liquid prior to combing. If your cat won't tolerate combing and brushing and has short hair, a grooming glove can be used instead. A grooming glove is a glove with small protruding "fingers" that catches hairs. Long-haired cats should be combed/brushed daily.
The cat's nails are layered like an onion with the oldest tissue on the outside. If the old layers are not removed they will build up. When kitty claws a scratching post, or your couch, he/she is trying to shed the old layers. In addition to getting rid of old layers, nail clipping is necessary because left unattended, the nails can curl around into the footpad causing infections or painful abscesses.
Many pet owners are afraid to clip their cat's nails for fear they will cut the sensitive quick, the pink tissue area in the nail center containing nerves and blood vessels. Once you learn where to cut, clipping your cat's nails will be easy. Place your cat on a tabletop in a well lit area. Standing behind the cat, hold the paw firmly and push the bottom of the pad to expose the nail. Clip only the hooked portion of the nail in front of the pink quick, cutting on a 45 degree angle. If you are unsure of where to cut, it is better to trim only the very points of the nails.
Use a pet nail trimmer. A regular nail clipper or scissors is not strong enough and can badly splinter the nail. Some cats, including mine, dislike having their nails clipped. If this is the case with yours, clip one or 2 nails per session. Your cat will usually stay still long enough for you to accomplish that much.
Many soaps and shampoos contain chemicals that can be harmful to a cat's eyes. If it becomes necessary to bathe your cat, use a pet shampoo. It is important to keep the area surrounding the eyes clear of mucus and debris. Infections of the eyes are often caused by bacteria that grow on mucus.
Use a pet eyewash or warm water on a sterile pad to wipe away mucus and debris surrounding the eyes. Some cats have clogged tear ducts. This condition causes tears to spill out onto the hair and oxidize, which sometimes causes discoloration of the hair on light haired cats. There are pet products on the market that are specifically designed to remove tear stains while eliminating bacteria. Never put anything directly into your cat's eyes unless you are instructed to do so by your vet. If you suspect any type of eye problem or irritation, please contact your vet immediately.
You can prevent ear infections and at the same time check for ear mites by including ear cleaning in your grooming sessions. Ear washes are available in the form of solutions, creams and treated pads which help to wipe away dirt, wax and germs. The ears can also be cleaned using a gauze pad dampened with warm water. If q-tips are used, be sure not to probe into the ear canal.
If your cat exhibits ear shaking, or scratching of the ears, or rubs its ears against objects, check for ear mites. Ear mites make themselves evident by producing a very dark brown waxy substance that looks like coffee grinds. Pet shops carry Pyrethin formulas and miticides which help to eliminate ear mites. However, it is best to see your vet who can confirm whether what you are seeing is actually ear mites.
Well, there really aren't any mouthwashes on the market for cats, but there are breath sprays, fish flavored toothpastes, and dental pads treated with solutions to cut down on plaque and bad breath. Do not use products intended for humans. Many of these products contain alcohol and other chemicals which can be potentially dangerous to cats.
Most cats want nothing to do with having their teeth brushed, fish flavored toothpaste or not, and will glare at you with killer eyes, daring you to come closer for the final attack. Getting a cat used to oral hygiene at an early age may be the answer.
Gently rubbing the cat's teeth and gums with a damp washcloth, wrapped around your finger, is better than taking no action at all. A finger "toothbrush" for pets is available, which makes the job easier. Red, puffy gums combined with bad breath is a sign of plaque and tartar which can only be removed by a vet. As your cat gets older it is important to have its teeth checked by a vet regularly. Cats usually will not display signs of pain but we all know how much a toothache hurts. If pain due to dental problems get severe the cat will stop eating. Don't let it come to that.
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|The cat was to rid the forest of the evil crow but somehow he...
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|When she learned why King Kat wore that crown she fainted!
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