Well, I think this might be brief tonight, we have been packing for days and moving all weekend, and finally are all moved in. We started pretty early this morning, and now I am sitting here waiting for my daughter to get home from working. I have a feeling that tonight is not going to be my night. Not to mention, today we celebrate my youngest sonâ€™s 5th birthday. Where did the months go??? Anyway here I go. In case I havenâ€™t said it lately, thanks Lee, once again for all youâ€™ve done for this contest, I hope youâ€™re not sick of us yet!.
1. How do you feel about spaying and neutering cats? What about your cats? What if they are indoor-only cats?
I think itâ€™s probably not a surprise that I am definitely pro-spay and neuter. I think more than half the members here on TCS are for spaying and neutering; for obvious reasons. One, there is already an overpopulation of unwanted cats in rescue and in shelters, not to mention the strays and abandoned cats on the streets or being put to sleep at the Humane Society. The feral community alone is horrible. Two, having your pet altered is healthier for them, it is well known to prevent cancer and it stops them from having an urge to mate, and reduces the urge to escape from the house preventing undue harm outside. I know dogs especially are good for putting themselves in harms way just to get the chance to breed. Plus, altering your cats (males especially) lessens the likelihood of them spraying your house and marking it with their urine.
Our cats arenâ€™t allowed outdoors, but I still had them spayed and neutered, again to deter anyone from trying to spray, especially my male, but also to stop the female from crying to go out when she is in heat. Also because it is for their health to have them fixed. It is dangerous for an unaltered queen to cycle in and out of season so often, they are prone to quite a few different problems.
I think a lot of people would probably go to the veterinarian and have the surgery for their pet if cost wasnâ€™t an issue. Itâ€™s not like we put things like that in our budget, although I know some people do designate a specific amount for pet care in general. But what are you going to say, â€œOops, sorry Fluffy, no food this month, we have to save for your spay!â€?
I know there are reduced-price vets available, but arenâ€™t even in everyoneâ€™s area. I know there arenâ€™t any in mine, but we use an old country vet. A neighbor of mine checked into their clinic and since the bulk of their living is made off of larger farm animals, the cost of their domestic pet surgeries are lower.
Now I know there are breeders that might not be for fixing their stock, but I know they are still very much for altering pets. The best breeders will convince the adoptive family the benefits they might have for their cat and someday they will live better lives because of it.
Besides did I mention the overpopulation? Of course everyone loves babies, but when fertile Muffy turns up pregnant on their doorstep because no one was bothering to get her fixed itâ€™s always another story. Lets not even think about when she gives birthâ€¦
|2. Are your cats IDâ€™d in some way such as micro chipped or wearing a color with an ID tab? Again, what if they are indoor-only cats?
I had a dog that was micro-chipped, but none of my cats have ever had an implant chip put in place. The microchip in our dog was very reassuring but only if the place that would find them has the technology to scan or read it, luckily we never had to test it out or use it! My cats all have collars with detailed ID tags, but they never wear them. Well, maybe for a couple hours before they wrestle themselves free. Mostly I just carry their rabies tag and identification on my keychain (so if I ever get lost they will know where to return me
) and I have given up trying to snazzy them up with the sparkly collars, although I dread the idea of them getting lost! I wish they would keep them on, but all my efforts are in vain. Cats are incredibly agile when it comes to things like that! Any ideas for keeping them on are welcome. They are all indoor, but there is still always the possibility and risk of them getting out in the yard and roaming the streets, especially with the kids. So far so goodâ€¦
|3. Do you provide any kind of fresh, growing greens for your cats to nibble on during the day? Are you sure of which greens are safe?
Well, Iâ€™ve kind of answered this question in past KatKweries before. I used to grow (or try to grow fresh catnip and cat grass, I have bought them already growing and have grown them from seed (which seems to take forever), but we are not aloud to have plants in the house with Joshuaâ€™s compromised immunity, due to mold hazards, so I donâ€™t have any houseplants right now. I used to have a pot out on my back deck that I was always bringing indoors and would let the cats nibble on it every now and again, but Iâ€™m afraid I am always disappointed as I donâ€™t have a very good green thumb. Also it has been my experience that I seemed to attract neighborhood cats. Not that I minded, but hubby hates that. As for knowing which plants are safe. I remember either the KatKwiz or KatKwery that tested this subject well. Of course there were all kinds of plants, it was extensive, so Iâ€™m not able to remember name every plant that was on the list, but I can remember some of the more popular ones, and the ones that shocked me to learn about, like apples and onions.
Once I read a piece about cat nip oil being a natural repellent for mosquitoes [it actually had lists of other things on there as well); I was half tempted to plant a whole field of it in my backyard.
|4. As far as your catsâ€™ environment is concerned â€“ what have you personally done to make your home safe (also your garden if an outside cat)?
I think a lot of laymen would be surprised that people actually kitty-proof, their homes, or they are not aware of the dangers lurking everywhere. I have small kids, so I think my house is by default safer just from child-proofing for the kids. HOWEVER; the kids alone add to their dangerâ€¦ the popped balloon, the chocolate candy left laying around, not to mention the boys who start playing too rough with them. <sigh> always have to be on the lookout!
When decorating the house, I am subconscious about what I place where. It might be one of the hardest parts. The other day I had a beautiful vase of flowers and I was afraid to place in on the table in fear of it falling or them tipping it or trying to eat them. Also I am careful of where I put picture frames or ceramic knick knacks that I donâ€™t want broken or knocked down.
Electrical cords, phone cords and computer wires just impose more risks to cats. Just the fact that they dangle, and sway; calling out to the oh-so-curious creatureâ€¦ I have the cords behind my computer taped up to not only prevent them from getting tangled, but to stop the cats and kittens from biting them and electrocuting themselves.
Which reminds me, always tie up the cords on the blinds to prevent the cat from strangling herself. The cords attached to the blinds are pretty tempting to a cat in all their wiggliness, itâ€™s best to just hide it from their view and away from their access and keep it hidden.
Oh, Iâ€™m also reminded of Christmas. The other day a friend an I were trading cat storied and she was saying how they never put tinsel on a tree for decorations anymore since the day they found their cat walking around with an extra silver tail
Poor cat! I can just envision it! Sorry to laugh at someone elseâ€™s expense, but it was hilarious. I donâ€™t know why cats enjoy ingesting string. I crochet, and I donâ€™t know how many times Iâ€™ve been chugging along only to find they have attacked the yarn and chewed through my strings.
|5. Right now, can you say for certain whether your toilet seat(s) are up or down? Do you know why it matters?
Right now, I can say with almost 100% certainty that my toilet seats are down. The boys are still in training yet, but they are pretty darn close. Iâ€™m always reminding them. A long time ago we got I was made to get in the habit of putting the top lid down, I lived with my grandmother for a short time and she was petrified of something coming up through the sewage system if left open.
Anyway, so it became a habit to keep it up. Once though, I remember when I was younger, we had a cat that LOVED to drink from the faucet. Anytime he would hear the water running, he would make a bee-line up the steps, jump off the toilet seat and head into the sink. One day someone left the seat up <gasp> and the dern cat fell right in. Thatâ€™s how used to he was of the seat always being down. Oops. Anyway, he fell in with such a gusto, that the lid fell and he was trapped inside, only someone was standing right there to let her out, of course since they were brushing their teeth.
Of course the dangers are mostly common sense. Besides the obvious of drowning, itâ€™s not exactly the most sanitary water to choose, but there could also be harmful chemicals in your tank, like a cleaner of some sorts that you use for cleaning and there lies another threat.
|6. What kind of special scratching devices do you have in your home other than your finest leather chair and Belgian lace curtains?
We offer several different choices for the cats to scratch on â€“ from cardboard scratching boxes, to sisal rope posts. We had a thick carpeted post, but they didnâ€™t seem as impressed with it. They have a tall cat tree that I ordered on eBay, my daughter likes in her bedroom. Iâ€™ve seen a kitty condo around on the forums that many members have, and I have found some on the internet, I think the cats would really enjoy it, but donâ€™t know if I have enough room for one. Thankfully, the cats have little problem with clawing my furniture or woodwork, but I do on occasion catch Roly at the back door sometimes â€œstretchingâ€ and making his attempts. Heâ€™s about the only one that does this, and itâ€™s always in the same place. I donâ€™t know what causes him to perform this behavior, but it seems to be a monthly thing at least that comes as his mood changes. Of course I do not know what they do when weâ€™re away.
Iâ€™ve read that you should offer your cats a vertical perch for climbing on in every room, thatâ€™s a lot of cat toys, but if you count the arms of the couches, window sills and the kitchen counters they arenâ€™t supposed to be onâ€¦ I bet weâ€™re pretty close.
|7. Are you aware that Halloween poses special problems for your cats? What do you plan on doing about protecting your cats this Halloween?
No, I never really thought about it until you pointed it out to us. Naturally, I had to go look at the topic in the Cat Care section. I knew about the black cat thing, and I seem to remember I seen that some people wont sell or give away a kitten on Halloween, but I never gave a thought to some of the other parts. I guess as an animal lover it was natural that I know to keep chocolate out of the reach of others as it can be poisonous to them. And Iâ€™m sure I always avoided plastic bags on the floor because I know they are unsafe even though cats have a fascination for them from some reason and weâ€™re always afraid they will suffocate. I donâ€™t know why they love them so much, I suppose itâ€™s the noise the bag makes while they are playing with those things. I guess some of the tips in the article are pretty obvious with a little logic to a cat lover. I am not really home much for the trick-or-treaters because I still have small children, but the few times I have been I trap the cats in a room so they wonâ€™t sneak out. One year we took the kids out for treats and my daughter got bit by a dog at someoneâ€™s home! I understand the dog was probably nervous and annoyed with all these kids coming and going and I donâ€™t know if the dog ever displayed aggression before, but I think the owner should have known better than having these large dogs at the door with her. The bite was pretty bad and you could say I was more than annoyed. Everyone said that I should have sued the people, but I was never one to jump on the prosecution bandwagon.
|8. Do your cats ever get hairballs? Do you take any special steps in an attempt to prevent hairballs?
Before yesterday I wouldâ€™ve said no to this question, but my husband watched Roly cough up a hairball in my office just last night. So yes, my cats do get hairballs, I guess Iâ€™m just not as astute as others. Now Iâ€™ll have to watch of it myself
Since Roly has longer hair, I realize it is natural for him to swallow more amounts of fur during his grooming sessions, but after reading the article, I wondered if he had a true hairballâ€¦ He did the coughing thing, but he didnâ€™t vomit and I never found any mess that I know of. All the same, I was interested in ways to help with the digestion and passing of those types of things. I have heard about special formula foods you can feed them that helps aid the digestive system.
I donâ€™t take our cats to the groomer, but I do brush and groom them myself when theyâ€™ll let me. I brushed them really so it gets rid of some of their fur around the house and to stop the flying hair when we pet them, but itâ€™s nice to know it also prevents the catsâ€™ hairballs.
|9. Including baths, how much time do you spend on caring for your catsâ€™ beautiful coats of fur? Do you have longhaired, shorthaired, or a combination of cats?
Oh yeah right, we havenâ€™t given the cats baths much. We do bathe them when they get into something undesirable and are covered in something, but unless itâ€™s anything they cant get out of its coat, then they are on their own. Itâ€™s funny too, because we do wash and clean the foster kittens regularly (probably weekly) just to get them used to water. I think itâ€™s important to train them while I can, but my own catsâ€¦ Well, who knows, at least they are ready to accept baths by their new owners just in case.
Whenever we do give them baths, itâ€™s usually a two-man job. We lock up the mom cat behind closed doors in a separate room, and take each kitten one at a time into the bathroom. One person washes and the next dries and soothes
When weâ€™re done we return it to its mom and start doing it all over again. Wash, rinse, repeat
As far as brushing them goes: like I said earlier I have medium hair cats, and my fosters are mostly shorthairs, I might brush them one a week between all of them. The short haired cats seem to enjoy it for the simple pleasure of it, but my resident cats really do need it more often, which is funny because they are more resistant to the brushes.
Aside from that, what else is there to do? I know certain breeds come with their own recommended guidelines, if not from their breeders, but just in general. I guess the Sphynx tends to have more oily skin and needs to be sponged down more often. But on the other spectrum, the Persian needs to be brushed more often to prevent matting.
Other than that, I imagine their diet plays a part in their coat quality. A cat eating a poor diet, probably wont be as soft and silky as a cat eating a high-quality one. I know there are different foods for different cats, foods for indoor cats, foods for male cats, foods for older cats, etc, etc, but I have to tell ya, unless the bag is specifically telling me I am pretty clueless as what to look for â€“ with the exception of glucosamine...
|10. How many of you actually brush your catsâ€™ teeth? Please describe the experience. Is it fun for you and the cat?
I donâ€™t know about funâ€¦ I have never brushed my catsâ€™ teeth!
I have known people who brush their dogsâ€™ teeth but even that is above me. Maybe some people need their pets breath to smell better? Too much work for me, Iâ€™m lucky if I brush my own teeth
I just fed my dog garlic pills when I thought he stunk, which I think is ironic since garlic in people is known for bad breath! For dogs though, getting their teeth clear can be as easy as giving them a dental bone to chew on, but really, you wont find a cat stooping to chewing on a bone
I know my daughter has tried to brush our dogs teeth before, I donâ€™t even want to know whoâ€™s toothbrush she was using
I never asked her how it went, I told her she was nuts though, I couldnâ€™t even imagine trying it on a smaller mouth.Well, it seems as though my response wasnâ€™t so brief after allâ€¦ Do me a favor, nobody listen to the first paragraph. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtainâ€¦ I belong in a looney bin. Such behaviors. Just get to the point will ya?