Wet or dry food? Straight from the supermarket shelves, or special-order? How about treats? Do my cats need milk? When it comes to cat food there are lots of options, and choosing the correct ones can go a long way toward ensuring a long, happy, healthy life for your feline friends.Good Choices
Most experts agree that a mix of canned and dry foods is healthiest for the majority of cats. Canned foods are moist and contain a lot of water (water is necessary for cats, who don’t generally seem to have a huge thirst drive). However, a diet of canned food alone can lead to tartar build-up on the teeth.
Dry cat food can help with this – crunching the dry food removes some of the tartar. A combination of both canned and dry foods not only supplies a wider range of essential nutrients, it also provides the cat with variety.
Major-brand commercial cat foods are formulated with either natural ingredients like meat byproducts or are supplemented with the required nutrients to make them balanced diets for cats.
Premium cat foods are generally a bit more expensive than “grocery store” brands, but may be better for your feline friends. Premium foods tend to be low-bulk, which means the cat digests more of the food and eliminates less. They also contain fewer dyes and chemical enhancements.
…And not-so-good choices
People food: it can be hard to resist that adorable begging, but generally speaking it’s not a good idea to make “people food” a major component in your cat’s diet. Most ordinary human table food falls far short of meeting a cat’s nutritional needs and in some cases could even prove harmful or at least uncomfortable to the cat in the long run. In addition, even small amounts of human food can easily add far too many calories to the cat’s diet and lead to obesity, with all its attendant problems.
Milk: A cat enjoying a bowl of milk is a classic picture, but unfortunately it’s not always a good one. Many adult cats are lactose intolerant and will develop diarrhoea from drinking milk. If you cat really enjoys milk but has the diarrhoea side effect, try replacing the milk with a smaller amount of cream. The butterfat in cream is actually good for cats and most cats not only thoroughly enjoy it, but tolerate it very well.
Dog food: It’s not a good idea to feed cats dog food, since it’s not formulated to meet their nutritional needs.
There are two types of inappropriate urination in cats that you may come across. There is house soiling and urine spraying. Today I am going to cover House Soiling.
Part one - House Soiling
House Soiling is when your cat will urinate on your floors or furniture by squatting as he would if he was using a litter box. If you have eliminated any underlying health problems, by visiting your vet, that may be causing your cat to act this way then you should start your investigation at the litter box. There are a number of factors that can cause a cat to stop using his litter box.
Think about when your cats inappropriate urination problem began. Did you change something? Perhaps you bought a new litter box for him to use or perhaps you changed the brand of litter. If you have changed either of these things then perhaps that is the simple answer. You may need to experiment with different types until you find one that he likes.
If this is not the problem then maybe the litter box is not clean enough for his liking. Cats are very fastidious animals and don’t like to use a dirty and smelly litter box. Much the same as we don’t like to use a dirty and smelly toilet.
The litter box should be cleaned regularly, preferably every day, but if not at least every couple of days. The litter box should be washed out completely with hot soapy water at least once a week and make sure that you rinse thoroughly to remove all trace of the cleaning product. If you have more than one cat in your household then you should have one litter box for each cat plus one extra litter box. Give some thought to the type of litter box you are going to buy for your cat. Most cats seem to like large, open topped litter boxes that are easy to get in and out of.
If you eliminate all of the above as the problem then it seems likely there could be another type of issue, some stress effecting your cat or in another more general way, anxiety problems for cats. What causes a stress problem in your cat? Well, it could be as simple as getting new carpet or furnishings. Then there are more stressful situations like moving house, which is a very stressful event for us humans so why wouldn’t it be stressful for our furry friends? Other factors that may cause stress for your cat is the arrival of a new child into the family, or even the addition of a new cat/kitten. Perhaps there is some competition happening between the cats of the household. Observe your cats to see if the one with the urinating problem is being bullied by one of the other cats. Maybe your cat just doesn’t like being separated from you when you go out. These are just a few examples, you will need to do your own investigating by observing how your cats act.
The best way of treating this problem, if it is possible, is to remove the anxiety inducing factor from your cats life. If you can’t eliminate it from your cats life you will perhaps need to try behavior modification therapy.
You could try using Feliway which is a product that is a synthetic equivalent of the feline facial pheromones which induces a feeling of calmness and well being in cats. This method has proved to be efficient in decreasing or eliminating inappropriate urination in 30 to 60% of cases.
If these measures don’t help there is, as a very last resort, medication to help but if you are seriously considering this route please keep in mind the potential dangerous side effects of these drugs. This is an extreme answer to the problem and should only be used when the cat has failed to respond to behavior modification techniques or environmental strategies.
First-time cat owners are often puzzled and even alarmed by the fact that kitty seems to do a lot of sleeping. But it’s perfectly normal – cats are absolute masters when it comes to getting plenty of rest.Pet experts estimate that most healthy adult cats spend more time asleep than they do awake, dozing up to 16 hours a day or more. Some say cats sleep all day because they’re nocturnal and prefer to be awake at night, but this isn’t technically true.
Cats are diurnal, but in the wild most of their hunting activity takes place at dawn and dusk. Domestic cats spread their sleep-wake cycles though the entire 24-hour period, but if you tend to be asleep at night, so will they.
Like us, cats have varying sleep cycles, but they spend less of their total sleep time in deep sleep than we do.
Light sleep cycles: they don’t call them “cat naps” for nothing
Cats have some very distinct sleep patterns that are particularly feline. A great deal of cat sleep time – up to 75%, in fact – is very light sleep, from which a cat can awaken very quickly. This sleep pattern probably evolved as a mechanism for getting plenty of rest while still being alert to both predators and potential prey.
A cat in a light sleep cycle may look more like it’s in a trance than in a sleep state. Their ears will twitch and rotate toward noises, and their eyes may even be lightly open. Cats can (and often do) slip into a light sleep cycle when sitting upright.
Deep sleep cycles
Cats also have a deep sleep cycle, which makes up the remaining 25% of their considerable sleep time. A cat in a deep sleep cycle will generally be reclining or curled up, have eyes closed, and may even use the tail as a “lightshield”, holding it over their eyes much as we would draw the blinds or turn off the lamps in a room when we want deep sleep.
Cats dream during their deep sleep cycles, and you may observe twitching paws and whiskers. Some cats also make small noises during deep sleep. Some cats sleep very deeply and simply don’t hear noises that would ordinarily make them keenly alert (like the sound of their owner calling them to come eat).
In sleep, as in all things, cats are highly individual. Some cats sleep less than 16 hours a day and some sleep more; some spend as much as thirty or forty percent of their sleep time in a deep sleep cycle (this is particularly true of older cats). What’s important is to get a good idea of what’s normal for each cat, and to notice if her regular sleep pattern seems to have changed markedly. This can be a sign of illness or anxiety.