Cat’s Body Language

Cat’s Body LanguageCats communicate in a very distinct way. Did you know that every twitch, every purr, every motion actually means something, at least to your cat! The key to building a devoted and caring relationship between you and your cat understands how cats communicate.

Let’s discuss the primary mechanisms a cat uses to communicate.

Eyes

The eyes truly are the windows to the soul… even when you consider the souls of cats. Cats use their eyes to tell you what they want.

For example, if a cat gazes at something for a few minutes, but then turns away, it is usually an indication that he recognizes the object or person, but chooses not to communicate with them for the time being.

If however, a cat stares at something and holds its gaze for some time (and also twitches his tail and perhaps raises its fur) that is a clear indication that he feels threatened.

At times the cat will also make an aggressive meow to indicate they are ready for combat if necessary.

Tail

Reading a cats tail movements is not only fun its useful. A cat’s tail tells a lot of things about what’s on their minds. One of the uses a cat has for its tail is to demonstrate self-confidence and pride. Cats may walk with their tails sticking straight up in the air, indicating they are having a very proud and boastful moment.

If on the other hand a cat’s tail suddenly puffs out and looks bushy, and starts shaking it is usually a sign that something has frightened the cat. When given this sign, though your urge may be to pick up your cat, avoid doing so immediately. You might startle the cat and end up with a harsh scratch.

Small twitches of a cat’s tail can also indicate that your cat is irritated at something. This can be for a variety of reasons, including a dirty litter box or lack of food. Be sure to check out your kitty’s supplies to make sure there isn’t some small problem you can remedy quickly.

Purring

Purring is usually the universal body language sign cats give off. For the most part cats purr when they are happy, content and satisfied.

Thus, the more your kitty purrs the happier he is. Cats love to purr when you hold them, stroke them and even brush their fur.

Learning to understand your cat’s signals can help you build a long lasting and happy relationship together. If you take the time to pay attention to your cat, you’ll start picking up on his unique signals quickly and swiftly.

If you’re still worried, here are a few pointers that will ensure you bond with your cat right off the bat:

Trampling paws – sign of affection or need for attention.

Dilated pupils – indicates fear or threat. Stay back initially and try to determine cause of fear.

Arched back – Cat is attacking, feels threatened.

Ears folded forward – Cat is exploring. Slow Tail Flapping Indicates Satisfaction and Joy.

Tarantula, a Low-Maintenance Pet

Tarantula as petContrary to popular belief, tarantulas are really not deadly; in fact, there are no known instances of anyone dying from a tarantula bite. In addition, most of the pet store specimens that you’ll encounter are exceedingly docile, and will generally not bite unless they are severely provoked.

The most common variety available is the Chilean rose hair tarantula (Grammastola rosea), which is notoriously gentle and easy to handle. It is also known to have fairly mild venom, and almost never bites. Other docile and readily available species include the Honduran curly hair tarantula (Brachypelma albopilosum) and the Guyana pinktoe tarantula (Avicularia avicularia).

Unlike a dog or a cat, these animals do not require much care. They can go for weeks without food or water, although regular care is still recommended. They do not generate much waste either, and so cleaning their cages is easy as well.

Some species do have rather specific humidity requirements, but the most common pet store varieties are not so demanding. They also require very little space, and most of them can be kept in plastic shoebox-sized containers. Make sure that their lids fit tightly though, since these animals can be quite good at escaping.

Beware of its bite!

I do recommend reading up on tarantula care, so as to learn the proper care requirements for the specimen that you choose. Be aware that some species can be quite aggressive, and are not recommended for beginners. These species are less commonly available though, and are generally obtained via mail order. If in doubt, start with a Chilean rose hair, as this is an excellent beginner species.

Owners should be aware that even within docile species, there can be some individuals that are more aggressive than others. In addition, there is always the possibility of an allergic reaction if you are bitten.

In theory, this could result in a potentially fatal anaphylactic shock, although I am not aware of any circumstances in which this has actually happened. For these reasons, new owners should learn how to read a tarantula’s body language, and should stay away from species that have a reputation for biting without provocation.

Also, do remember that you never have to actually hold the tarantulas–just as you never have to actually hold your aquarium fish. I recommend reading up on handling techniques, so that you can move the animals around without having to touch them. This can be helpful for those who are squeamish, or who simply wish to be cautious. When in doubt, err on the side of safety.

If you’re not intimidated by the prospect of keeping one of these wondrous creatures, then I recommend them highly. They can be quite addictive, and they never fail to entertain.

Protecting Your Pet from Mosquitoes

Protecting Your Pet from MosquitoesThe same thing that protects you against mosquito diseases also protects your pets. Prevention!

Keep your home and yard mosquito free by being sure that mosquitoes don’t have places to breed. Avoid allowing any water to stand in containers, like buckets, birdbaths, pet bowls, gutters, storm drains, and plant saucers. Many mosquitoes need only ¼ cup of water to breed.

The FDA has traditionally advised keeping your pet indoors around dawn and dusk, because that is when many mosquito species feed. That advice is no longer enough to protect your pet. The Asian tiger mosquito is an aggressive day biter. It was imported to the United States in 1985 and is now found in 30 states. It carries both West Nile virus and heartworm parasites.

Instead, get rid of any possible breeding sites and also get a good pet insect repellant. Mosquito repellants made for humans are not to be used on pets. Never put any repellant on pets that is not DEET free.

Instead get a repellant that is made for veterinary use and apply only according to directions. With your pets, you have to assume they may lick treated areas and you can’t afford to take a chance that the repellant may be toxic to them.

For example, tea tree oil is a good natural mosquito repellent for humans, but it has proved fatal to some cats that have licked it off of their fur.

And, consider getting a propane powered mosquito trap to reduce mosquito populations in your yard. They are very effective, although expensive, but actually kill hundreds of mosquitoes if used according to the manufacturer’s directions. Over time these devices can actually decrease mosquito populations.

Mosquitoes are here to stay. Our best defense for our pets is to know how to avoid them, and how to keep our pets safe using the latest scientific advances. And, many of the things we do to protect our pets from mosquito borne diseases are good for us too.

Reptile Cages Materials II

Reptile Cages MaterialsHere are other material that can be used for reptile cages;

Pine or Cedar: Neither of these timbers should be used to construct a cage. Making the whole reptile cage from the pine or cedar has potential health problems for the animals. These woods emit aromatic hydrocarbons that can damage the health of the animals and cause various symptoms. There is probably little issue using as the woods in framing, as the wood has often dried out a lot and released much of the volatile material, or at the very least, the rate at which it is released is very slow.

It also is recommended that you do not use pine or cedar as a substrate. Pine and cedar wood shavings used as substrates have a very high surface area and so the hydrocarbons are released much more readily, making them potentially toxic, especially as the animals like to burrow and immerse themselves in their substrate material.

PVC Tubing & Mesh or Plexiglas: These materials make excellent larger cages for animals such as monitors, larger snakes, chameleons and iguanas. They do tend to lose a bit of heat but any large enclosure will require some effort to maintain a higher temperature. Lighting at the top and some at the sides (if needed) will create a sufficient heat gradient. Short of building a large frame with glass and a large door, this is the most economical way to make a larger enclosure if you do not have woodworking tools.

Overall, if you want to construct your own cages for most reptiles, you are probably better off using plywood, melamine and MDF types of materials for most of the cage. There does not at this stage seem to be any identifiable health issues caused by these materials.

Another benefit with these materials is their insulating properties. Glass is not a good material for most reptile cages (except aquatic species) as it loses heat rapidly. Many glass terrariums have an open top with no seal and this also causes a high heat loss. This means the glass cages are more expensive to heat if you use certain types of heat sources.

The front of the cage can be sliding glass, Plexiglas or a constructed glass door. A pine, oak or similar timber frame at the front will give the cage a more professional and decorative appearance.

If you paint your cage, remember to let it dry out for a minimum of 2-3 days to release as much of the volatile material from the paints. 5-7 days would be even better.

It is a good idea to make the base of a wooden reptile cage from melamine and use Silicon to seal around the edges, to prevent moisture penetrating the melamine or plywood sheeting.

A base of vinyl flooring can also be used if you are concerned about water penetration into the timbers. Be sure to seal it with Silicon and seal the holes where temperature probes are passed through.

You can also coat the MDF or plywood interiors of the cage with ‘Contact’, a plastic sheeting with an adhesive backing, in any colors you like, before you assemble the cage. This will remove the need to paint the cage inside, reducing fumes, and also provide a water proof seal for the MDF or plywood. Contact comes in a range of colors and is very easy to apply cut and apply.

There is much to be gained from building your own reptile cage. It is good fun and will give you, as a reptile owner, a great deal of personal satisfaction. Before you do go out and purchase a reptile, take some time to research what is the best sort of cage for your pet.

You should be aware that many reptiles will grow considerably over time and you may have to build a number of cages. So, good luck and enjoy.