Stopping the Early Morning Cat Alarm

Early Morning Cat AlarmMany cat owners surely know that their cats usually already active every morning before even the sun had the nerve to peek over the horizon because they wanted to be fed. While the rest of the household was fast asleep their cat wanted to have some food to suck down their bowls.

Unfortunately for those of us who enjoy sleeping at night this is a natural behavior in cats and while the problem may not happen to every cat owner it happens too many. So what can you do? Even though cats have been domesticated animals for thousands of years now dating back to ancient Egypt, they still have retained most of their wild instincts and this is a cat’s natural instinct; hunt and feed.

Cats are predatory animals, they hunt, and the cat’s natural time to hunt generally falls between dusk and dawn because most of the prey they hunt are nocturnal (rats, mice and other rodents). So, if you can’t or don’t want to let your cat out at night to hunt on her own what should you do?

Fortunately, there is solution to this dilemma. Training your cat to stop this behavior may be fairly easy, but be warned, it will take a little patience on your part but a good night’s sleep may be the reward.

What you need is a cat toy, preferably a mouse or something similar, a piece of string and a stick. Attach the cat toy to a string and the string to the stick. While you are watching your bedtime TV or doing whatever you’re doing before bedtime ritual is take your cat toy and play a hunting game with them.

Cats love to chase things because of their hunting instinct. Play with your cat for about 15 minutes, enough time to tire your cat out and give her the satisfaction of having hunted. During your game create as realistic a hunting scenario as you can, make noises like a mouse (or whatever animal you are emulating) squeaking or scurrying through the brush.

Let your cat catch the toy from time to time so that your cat will feel as if she was involved in a successful (rather than a frustrating) hunt. Towards the end gradually slow down the game drawing your little hunt to a close. Your cat will probably be sufficiently tired by this time. At the end of the game feed your cat something you know they like.

You don’t need to feed her a full sized meal, but feed her an amount sufficient enough to satisfy her hunger. A handful of cat treats or a little piece of left over pork chop may be sufficient. Then go to sleep. In all likelihood your cat will be satisfied and will not continue her ritual of waking you up every morning.

You may need to continue your hunting game with your cat for a week or two before the early morning meowing goes away, and even after it does it’s a good idea to play this game with your cat from time to time in order to keep the behavior from returning and to keep your cat feeling like an accomplished hunter. But if you follow this routine you should be able to satisfy your cat and get a little shut eye at the same time.

Warning Signs of Pet’s Heartworms

Pet’s HeartwormsHas your pet recently been coughing, eating less, or being more lethargic than usual? If so, it is possible that your pet is infected with heartworms disease and will need immediate help and medical attention. The tricky part is, the heartworms disease may infect a host for up to 2 years before any signs or symptoms are visible, and often when they are finally diagnosed it may be too late for some pets.

Heartworms are an infectious parasitic transmitted by mosquitoes that invades major organs in dogs and cats like the lungs, pulmonary arteries and heart. Heartworms grow and multiply within the pet body and can survive for up to 5 years. Heartworms cause damage and block smaller arterial vessels in your pet’s key organs leading to organ damage and a multitude of health complications.

The symptoms of a heartworm infestation are often difficult to recognize or may be overlooked or discounted as merely flu or cough-like symptoms. Coughing, weight loss, lethargy, rapid heartbeat, poor coat condition, diarrhea and loss of appetite are common symptoms.

Treatment to rid a pet of adult heartworms is a costly vet procedure and involves exposing your pet to arsenic poisoning treatments to kill the adult heartworms – a procedure that can be fatal for aged pets or ones in deteriorating physical condition.

The best approach to dealing with the risk of heartworms is through and active prevention program. Prevention is the key to controlling and avoiding the health problems associated with these highly contagious and common parasites.

A simple oral medication administered once a month is all it takes to protect your pets from the damaging effects of heartworm infestation.

Hamsters, Great Choice for Your Child’s First Pet

Hamster For ChildrenSo, you want to give your little boy or girl for a pet? With a household pet come many responsibilities and you as a parent are likely the one to decide who takes those responsibilities initially. Will you refuse your child telling them about the inherent duties of having a pet? Do you point out that having a puppy requires you to pick up after the dog, take it for walks, and feed it twice a day and so on?

This will probably be your initial reaction sure, and the child’s initial reaction will be to assure you that he/she will take care of those duties, they’ll feed it, walk it, play with it, give it all the attention it needs and love it like no puppy or kitty has ever been loved before. Well, you, being a loving parent, can’t keep up that wall of resolution indefinitely, so, whether it is the next day, the next week or the next month, eventually you are going to cave and adopt that pet for your child.

Then you begin to notice a couple weeks have gone by and the amount of care given the pet by your child seems to be waning while you suddenly seem to be doing all those things your diabolically cute offspring promised you to do. You can’t nag the child forever though, or perhaps you can, but in the meantime you’ll have a scrawny little pet two days away from starvation and a backyard lined wall to wall with pet litters.

So now YOU are the primary caregiver and you silently curse the adorable brown eyes of your devil spawned young. So the answer is to not adopt a pet right? No, you can get your child a real life actual pet. And what pet can you get your little bundle of joy? Consider getting him or her a hamster. Why hamsters? Hamsters are a fantastic pet for kids depending on the type you adopt (Chinese Hamsters tend to be jumpy and are thus not a good idea for small children).

Hamsters are small and furry and never lose that degree of cuteness that a child covets, secondly, they are so easy to take care of they are practically automated. Hamsters don’t smell that strongly either, they may smell stronger than a cat, but they aren’t nearly as stinky as a dog can be.

What’s more, they are almost like a toy in that they can be played with and cuddled and handled and then when the child is done with the pet they can be put back in their cage where they can play and entertain themselves. Of course a hamster is not free of responsibilities, the cage needs to be cleaned weekly or it will begin to smell, of course hamsters need to be fed, and they should get adequate attention if you expect them to be friendly and tame to your family and friends.

But the amount of energy and money you and your child MUST expend to take care of a hamster is far smaller than that of a larger animal such as a dog, and they don’t shed like cats, they are quiet (though their exercise wheels may not be), and they are just a joy to handle and have around. So when your little boy or girl comes up to you and begs you for that cute little puppy in the pet shop tell them maybe later, but for now, let’s start a little smaller.

What You Need To Know About Pet Insurance

Pet InsuranceMany pet owners often wonder if it’s worth it to purchase pet insurance. The way I see it, there are two main considerations, your opinion when it comes to risk-taking and the expected health of your pet.

Are you a risk-taker or are you conservative? If you are a risk-taker when it comes to insurance and would be okay covering any health-related costs yourself, you shouldn’t bother getting pet insurance.

Right or wrong, this is what most pet owners do. However, if you are conservative, and want the peace of mind knowing that most major health costs you incur for your pet would be covered, pet insurance might be right for you!

The second consideration is the expected health of your pet. Of course, it’s impossible to predict with any level of precision how healthy your pet will be, but if you have carefully researched the lineage of your puppy, kitten or foal, and have sound information about the health of the lines, then that’s valuable information for you to use when making this decision.

Next, you might be wondering how pet insurance works. It’s pretty simple. You’d pay a monthly insurance premium for your pet, which could be as low as $20 per month (but usually higher, some pet insurance are even can cost the owner more than $100 per month). Some plans cover routine care as well as accidents and illnesses, while others only cover accidents and illnesses (the later would be cheaper).

When your pet receives veterinary care, you’d submit the bill to the insurance company for reimbursement. Based on the plan you purchase, you’d be reimbursed a percentage of the total cost minus any deductible. Not every procedure is covered, so check out your policy carefully.

With the rising costs of pet healthcare and with the extremes that many of us would go to for our pets, pet insurance is becoming very popular with pet owners.