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The first step in stopping the behavior is to remove as much of the smells as possible. Black lights will illuminate any invisible areas. Use the black light at night and turn off all the lights. Use a piece of chalk to outline the area. Once the areas have been identified...use an enzymatic cleaner to remove the stains. Enzymatic cleaners contain natural enzymes that eat and breakdown the stain and smell. There are lots of products that can be found at your local pet store. The most popular product is called Nature's Miracle.
Do not forget the most important step which is retraining....without retraining, your pet will continue it's behavior.
Important - if this is a new behavior, please make sure there is not a medical reason for the behavior such as a blocked urinary tract or bladder infection.
Soft Paws - Invented by a vet and designed to keep cat and dog nails from destroying your home...Soft Paws are plastic nail caps that are simply glued over the nail. A great alternative to declawing! Check with you local vet for purchase or check out the website below for more information:
Sticky Paws - A great new humane product to stop your cat from destroying your furniture, speakers, and curtains! Sticky Paws have earned the "Best New Product" award from CatFancy Magazine. Sticky paws are clear strips of double sided adhesive that can easily be applied to any surface. Cats (and dogs) do not like the stickiness and steer clear. You can find more information on Sticky Paws by visiting their website below or asking for the product at your local pet store.
Pet Breath - Have you ever thought...my pet's breath could be used as a national defense system? Bad breath in dogs and cats, as in humans, is caused by the build-up of plaque and bacteria. The best solution is to have your pet's teeth cleaned on a regular basis. The first line of defense is a toothbrush, doggie tooth paste, and a weekly cleaning. You can also schedule regular dental visits to your vet to remove the built-up plaque. Other lines of defense include dog and breath mints and odor absorbers. When purchasing breath mints, look for products that contain mint, parsley seed oil, and chlorophyll, all of which are effective in reducing bad breath. Odor absorbers are used to absorb odors from the digestive tract. Look for products that include charcoal such as charcoal biscuit treats. Wild dogs and cats chew on bones to help keep their teeth clean. With this thought in mind, try giving your dog a natural bone treat found at your local pet store. Since cats are not quite so easy, you could provide hard kibble treats that promote dental health. Another preventative, is a proper diet. A pet feed canned food all his life will have many more dental problems and can live a shorter life. Dry kibble helps to keep a pet's teeth healthy.
If bad breath is new to your pet or the smell has become worse this can be an indication of illness or serious dental problems. Please check with your vet to be sure your pet is healthy.
Catnip Bubbles - Looking for a new toy product for the kitty who has everything? New Catnip Bubbles have hit the market. This new product takes a biodegradable and non-toxic bubble solution and infuses it with organic catnip. We think this may be a hit! Look for the product at your local pet store.
Grass eating is a very common and normal behavior in dogs and cats. It is believed to be associated with an upset stomach. Have you noticed that your dog has diarrhea? This can also be an indication of an upset stomach. Most dogs and cats that eat grass immediately throw-up after eating the grass. It is believed that this is the way they relieve gas pressure and other stomach upsets.
Try feeding your dog smaller meals at regular intervals (not large meals once per day) and try feeding an allergy diet like lamb and rice or fish and potatoes (stay away from wheat products). Try feeding mostly kibble that is eaten more slowly rather than soft food which is gobbled down and can cause stomach upset. Most dogs that experience stomach upsets may have some type of food allergy. It also doesn't hurt to supplement any diet with a daily multi-vitamin.
Cats also use this as a type of gas pressure release. Have you ever heard your cat burp? Cats are considered grazers and should have access to food all day like dry kibble. Try to stay away from feeding cans of soft cat food once per day that are gobbled down which can cause stomach upset of gas pressure. You can also provide your cat an in-house greenery. Most pet stores now carry cat grass that can be grown right in your windowsill.
If this is a change in the normal behavior for your dog or cat, this can be an indication of illness. Any change in eating habits or behavior can be the first sign of illness and should be checked by your veterinarian.
Below is a link that has more information on grass eating:
Odor/Flea Control - Farnam Pet Products has introduced a new product called Fresh & Free that controls pet odors while, at the same time, controlling fleas. Use this product on pet beds, carpets, and furniture. This unique product contains Nylar which stops fleas from developing into egg laying adults. Please be sure to read their product instructions and precautionary statements before using the product. Ask for this product at your local pet store. To receive a discount coupon and find out more information, please visit the Farnam's website below:
Preparing Pets For Your New Baby - Cat or Dog: Obviously a new baby in the family brings changes for everyone. Sometimes we forget that it also means changes in our pet's lives. They have the same feelings of being left-out, abandonment and confusion. The best way to reduce the amount of stress on your pet is to start socialization with other children and retraining prior to the new arrival. The first step is socialization and involves introducing, playing and handling by children. If your pet is nervous, try having the child give treats to your pet and praising your pet when he takes the treats. (Do not let a child handle a pet that is in any way aggressive!). Progress slowly always reinforcing good behavior with treats. The second step is to retrain your pet as to who is the boss and retrain the simplest commands. By establishing dominance you set the rules on how your pet should act around the new arrival. Dominance training includes making him sit prior to feeding, not letting him on the couch unless invited (this is your territory not his), no lap sitting unless invited, not letting him sleep in your bed (especially if you plan to have the baby sleep in your bed), keeping him off the counters, and keeping toys in a box until time to play (this is helpful when little hands start playing with dog toys). Last but not least, give them as much extra attention and love as you can!!
Litter Pearls Cat Litter - Have you discovered this new cat litter yet? If you haven't we highly recommend litter pearls. Most major brands are introducing their own version of litter pearls. We have tested Harvest Ventures Litter Pearls and love it. At the Super Zoo Pet Show we tested the product by spraying liquid on the pearls over and over and then handling the pearls. They were completely dry to the touch. After testing them on a two cat household, we found a definite reduction in odor. The only thing we had to scoop out were the "poops". Some people have said they did not like the pearls turning yellow from the urine, but remember, they are still dry to the touch and odorless. Your cats will love it. Try mixing the new litter pearls with the old litter first and add more until the old is gone. The litter pearls bag suggests completely replacing the pearls once per month. You will need to judge this on how your cats use their litter box. They are more costly, but we found them worth the expense. Below is a link to the company for frequently asked questions:
Litter Pearls® technology is very unique. It makes Litter Pearls® super absorbent, locks odors inside the pearl, and allows the liquid moisture to evaporate out so that it can absorb again over and over during the month. There are special porous channels in side Litter Pearls® that grab the odor particles and lock them tightly inside its core.
Plant Eater - Anyone who has a plant eater knows how frustrating a habit this is to break. We suggest that you try a squirt or two of diluted lemon juice. In a water spritzer that has only had water, put in half lemon juice and half water. Spray your plants thouroughly. The lemon juice will not hurt your plant or your pet and has a sour taste. If it does not deter your plant eater, try making a stronger solution with more lemon juice.
- Persian? - Do you own a Persian cat? Are you aware that your Persian may require a special shaped diet due to the "squished" features of their face? Persians are specifically bred for their "squished" face features prized by owners. Unfortunately, this can lead to eating problems as well as breathing and sinus problems. Help is on the way!!! Cat food manufacturers are now selling food that is made specifically for Persians. This food is almond shaped and has a texture that is easier for Persians to eat. Royal Canin is one of these manufacturers. Look for and request these special diets at your local pet store.
Abscesses - This is a common problem in unneutered males and outdoor cats. Abscesses are basically an infection that is caused from another cat bite, or injury. They are most commonly seen on the head and neck area. They are characterized by a build-up of pus under the skin. Your cat will also show signs of a fever, be lethargic and have loss of appetite. This can develop into a life threatening infection if not treated by a Veterinarian. If you suspect your cat has an abscess, take him immediately to the vet. Common treatments include lancing the abscess and antibiotics.
Dental Care - Tooth and gum disease is a major contributor to feline health as your cat ages. Most cat owners are unaware that for their cats health, it is a good idea to get a yearly dental cleaning. As your cat ages, they become susceptible to gum disease including swollen gums, bad breath, drooling, and loss of appetite. Just like in humans, plaque builds up on the teeth and needs to be removed. If left untreated, your cat may lose their teeth at an early age. To prevent plaque build-up and gum disease, the first step is to feed a dry kibble that helps break-up the plaque and give weekly teeth cleanings with a cat toothbrush and cat toothpaste (human toothpaste can cause stomach upset). Check with your veterinarian if you think your cat may suffer from a dental problem.
Hairballs - What are they and how do I keep my cat from throwing them up? Hairballs are one of the most common complaints for cat owners. Hairballs are basically balled-up hair that your cat has ingested while cleaning itself. The hair is not digestible and collects in your cats digestive tract. There are two ways for your cat to get rid of the hair; 1. Throw the hairball up along with food material, or 2. Loosen and breakdown the hairball until it passes out in the feces. Symptoms or hairballs are vomiting and gagging directly after eating, coughing and gagging until the hairball comes out (it may take several trys for it to come out). To ease your cats symptoms and the mess it can make, there are several products and tips we recommend below:
If your cat is vomiting continuously for more than a day, this could be a sign of a serious illness. Please take your cat to the vet if vomiting continues for more than a day.
Third Eyelid - Have you noticed your cat has a strange skin flap that is covering the inside corner of his eye? This is called the third eyelid and is used as a protective lid and to produce moisture for the eyes. However, it is not normal for the third eyelid to be always showing or covering the eye. This can be a sign of illness such as an upper respiratory infection or a foreign body in the eye. If you notice the third eyelid suddenly showing, please contact your veterinarian for a thorough examination.
Ear Mites - Cats are notorious for getting ear mites. These little mites are easily picked up when your cat is on an outside adventure. They quickly multiply in the warm and humid recesses of your cats' ear. They cause excessive itching and, in extreme cases, sores. Most cats have an occasional itch in their ear. However, there is a definite difference because with ear mites you will notice that if you rub your cats' ears, he will start scratching with his foot immediately and urging you to continue to rub his ear. Your cat may also shake his head vigorously. In extreme cases there is pain associated with the mites. You may also notice a brownish/black wax build-up in the ear. This is the excrement from the mites and blood. Your local pet store has an over-the-counter medication to treat ear mites. Follow the directions carefully and complete the medication to make sure all ear mites are gone.
Senior Cats - When our pets get older it is important to maintain their health for their quality of life. Here are some tips that we recommend to help your pet live longer, happier and healthier.
Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Viruses (FIV) - These are serious diseases in cats and are transmitted by contact with other infected cats. Outdoor cats are the most susceptible because of their contact with other cats. A mother cat can transmit the virus to her kittens. If you have a new cat, it is important to have a blood test done to determine if it has either of these viruses to prevent it spreading to other cats. If your new cat is going to be an outside cat or come into contact with any other cats, it should be vaccinated against FeLV. FeLV is a treatable virus with a series of three vaccinations. However, there are no vaccinations available to prevent the FIV virus. Because both of these viruses attack the immune system, there can be a variety of different symptoms. The most common symptoms are a constant runny nose, sneezing and runny eyes. They can also make your cat more susceptible to other problems such as anemia, upper respiratory diseases and even cancer. If you suspect your cat has these viruses, please contact your veterinarian immediately.
Urinary Tract Health – Neutered male cats can get life threatening blocked urinary tracts. It was thought that a diet low in ash would help urinary tract problems in males. It is now considered better to have a diet that is low in pH and low in sodium magnesium. If your cat is prone to this problem, there are cat foods on the market that are specifically designed to help alleviate urinary tract blockages. These blockages are caused by a build-up of crystals that eventually can totally block the urine path and can be fatal if not treated. Signs of a urinary tract blockage can include; lethargy, not eating, urinating frequently but nothing coming out, and blood in the urine. If this is happening, take your cat immediately to your veterinarian.
3/20/01 - Flea Season Remedies - Ahh Spring! This is the start of the annual fight against fleas and ticks. Getting a head start before you see fleas is the key! We have put together a schedule below for flea control as well as natural alternative ways to control fleas. To control your flea and tick problem, it is important to know that you must treat not only your pet but their environment as well. It is recommended that you incorporate several types of flea and tick control for the best results. This involves shampoos, powders, flea collars, bug bombs (foggers), and yard spray. Shampoos and powders only work for a couple of days and need to be reapplied. Collars work for longer periods but only work around the upper body area. Foggers and yard sprays last for about 3 weeks. Most products do not kill the eggs of the fleas and ticks. Therefore, you will need to treat the fleas and ticks in stages as the new eggs are hatched about every 2-3 weeks. The following is a recommended schedule to follow:
Please check with your veterinarian and doctor prior to using any of these treatments around children or when treating young animals and cats. Be sure to also check for compatible chemicals.
· Week 1 – Shampoo, powder, and flea collar your pet. Use a fogger for the inside of the house making sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Spray the outside yard with a flea and tick insecticide.
· Week 2 – Shampoo and powder your pet.
· Week 3 – Shampoo and powder your pet.
· Week 4 – Shampoo and powder your pet. Use a fogger again for the inside of the house making sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Spray the outside yard with a flea and tick insecticide. Replace flea collar.
· You may need to follow this treatment for another four weeks.
Other alternatives for Flea Control: Products such as Program, Advantage and Frontline can be more costly but are very effective and eliminate the need for frequent chemical baths, dustings, etc. These products work by virtually eliminating the fleas from reproducing. These products are generally applied to the skin or given orally once per month.
Holistic Flea Control: Below are links to sites that have information on holistic flea control. They use natural alternatives in place of chemicals. Some of these alternatives include; Diatomaceous Earth, Pyrethrum Dust, Borax, Herbal Sprays, and Herbal Oils. Another natural alternative for your yard are Beneficial Nematodes. These Nematodes are non-segmented worms which occur naturally in the soil. They eat ants, flea larvae, ticks and other garden pests. They do not harm "good" garden bugs. They can be purchased at any local garden center. Nematodes work by seeking out host insects and entering their prey through body openings and emit an endo-toxin that results in death for the host insect within 48 hours. The nematodes reproduce in the dead host and then their offspring feed on the dead host. The offspring then emerge to seek out new hosts.
http://www.altvetmed.com/fleas.html - Alternative Flea Control Article
http://www.healthypetnet.com/pamzuppo/ - Holistic Products
Declawing – If you are contemplating getting a cat and considering declawing, a cat is not for you! Declawing is a very controversial topic among cat owners some seeing it as very cruel while others seeing it as a last resort solution. While we do not promote or believe in declawing, we do feel it can be performed as a last resort if all other alternatives have failed. Other alternatives include behavior modification, nail caps, pheramone sprays, and sticky tapes. Many cats are dumped at shelters to be euthanized because their owner couldn't control their scratching. We feel declawing can be an alternative to abandoned or euthanized cats. Below are some alternatives and our thoughts on declawing:
If you are having a problem with your cat scratching the furniture, there are now products on the market which are great alternatives to declawing:
www.stickypaws.com is a double-sided tape that can be applied to furniture to repel your cat.
www.softpaws.com nail caps
http://www.catscratching.com/ behavior modification
http://www.feliway.com/html2/shop.php3/index.html pheramone spray
Heartworms – Although no as common in cats as in dogs, they are on the rise in cats. Signs common with heartworms are coughing, vomiting, lethargy, and breathing difficulties. The mosquito transmits heartworms. The mosquito deposits the heartworm larva into the skin through the transfer of blood and from there the larvae migrates to the heart and develops into an adult heartworm. Heartworms can be very long and usually do their damage by blocking the flow of blood through the animals’ heart. Heartworms are generally more prevalent in the warmer and moister climates such as the southern states where you find lots of mosquitoes. However, they can be found throughout the United States. The good news is that heartworms are totally preventable by taking a simple pill or liquid once per month. Check with your veterinarian to see if you live in an area that is susceptible to heartworms.
Lifecycle of the Tapeworm – Believe it or not but tapeworms are transferred to your pet most commonly by the flea! Tapeworms look like “rice” usually found in the feces or around the bottom area. Animals that are infected with tapeworms can have symptoms ranging from lethargy and malnutrition to vomiting in severe cases. Once your pet is infected, the only way to get rid of the tapeworm is by going to your veterinarian for treatment. The good news is you can control the tapeworms by knowing the lifecycle of a tapeworm.
· The first stage is the egg. When the tapeworm is outside the host it dries and breaks open releasing eggs into the environment.
· The second stage is the intermediate host. The intermediate host is the flea. The fleas are busy looking for food and ingest the eggs. The eggs then hatch inside the flea and form tapeworm larvae.
· The third stage is the final host, your pet. This is where you pet ingests the flea in the grooming process. The larvae in the flea then turn into the adult tapeworms and migrate through your pet’s digestive tract. From here, the adult tapeworm is again deposited out of the final host and back into the environment through their feces.
By controlling your flea problem in your pet, you will be able to virtually eliminate any tapeworms.