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CatBlog: Ouch Stop Biting My Hand!

Why Does My Cat Bite My Hand?

If your cat grabs and bites your hands when all you want to do is pet your cat, maybe you aren’t giving your cat what he or she wants…

By Julie Mignery

why-cat-bite-hand
My cat Mr. Whiskers wants attention but then scratches or bites. Why? –Betsy Lawrence

I think the problem is that while you’ve determined that Mr. Whiskers wants your attention you haven’t yet figured out exactly how to give it to him. I absolutely understand how you could be misinterpreting his demands. When my cat meows at me while I’m busy working and looks at me with her big green eyes I always want to pick her up and make her sit on my lap all day. I’ve learned, however, that after a dozen or so ears-to-tail pets she’d rather relax on the couch, on the fluffy gray rug in the bedroom or in whatever spot is currently catching the most sun rays. Sometimes she gives in and sits on my lap for a few minutes while I type, but most of the time she doesn’t. Next time your cat asks for attention:

•    Give it to him, but scale it back. Use a lighter touch when you pet him or scratch his head just once instead of the multiple times you might want to.
•    Watch his reaction. Does he try to scratch or bite only when you pet a particular part of him? Maybe he likes back scratches but would prefer you leave his tail or ears alone. Stop giving him attention the moment he reacts negatively. Get up and walk away. Maybe make a loud noise to let him know aggression is not allowed.
•    Consider that you might be interpreting his attention demands all wrong. Maybe he’s nudging your hand with his head NOT because he wants you to scratch him but because he’d like you to throw him a catnip toy. Maybe he’s meowing NOT because he wants you to pick him up but because he wants more food.
•    Trim his nails to limit the damage.

PetBlog: Benefits of adopting senior pets

Benefits of adopting senior pets

Your new best friend might be anyone but new; he or she just might be a senior pet. November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month and a time worth considering the many benefits of senior pet adoption.

Old black lab

Mature dogs and cats have many advantages when compared to their younger counterparts, yet are often the first to face death or permanent homelessness as adopters overlook them in favor of puppies and kittens.

How older pets end up in shelters in the first place

While senior pets are in shelters for many of the same reasons as younger animals, they are often surrendered or abandoned simply as a function of their age. Their previous pet parents may be ill or elderly themselves, and no longer able to care for them physically or financially. Some mature pets are given up by their families as they age, and become sick, incapacitated or simply unable to participate in activities they enjoyed as younger animals.

Still others are cast aside when their guardians tire of caring for them, or become intolerant of the inevitable infirmities of an aging pet.

Animal welfare organizations – shelters, rescues, SPCAs, humane societies and municipal animal controls – have many animals in desperate need of adoption, including older dogs and cats, who face the highest rates of euthanasia. It is a tragic end for a dog or cat who became homeless through no fault of her own, and was likely at one time a beloved member of someone’s family. In many cases, these animals are surrendered or abandoned by the only families they have ever known.

Why senior pets make great pets

1. What you see is what you get

An older animal has an established temperament, unlike a puppy or kitten that will go through many developmental changes. This helps ensure your lifestyle with a certain dog or cat will be the right match. And because a senior pet is already fully grown, there is no mystery about whether the animal’s size will be compatible with your home environment, whether the animal will grow to be too big for you to manage or whether your new pet’s personality will be a good fit with you. old cat closeup

2. Know their manners

Most senior pets are already house- or litter box-trained, and in the case of dogs know basic leash manners. Their history prior to adoption – including any potential abuse or mistreatment – will shape how quickly they adapt to their new home, human family and routines. Bear in mind that when you adopt, you are to some degree adopting the house rules of the pet’s previous guardian, but even senior pets can adapt when given love, time and positive training.

3. Less demanding

Older animals already have their routines and while they still love to play, they love to relax, cuddle and nap as well. They are emotionally mature and more mellow than younger pets, and although they require exercise like any pet, it does not need to be as frequent or vigorous as with a younger animal. As a result, older dogs and cats tend to fit more easily into your daily routines.

4. Old enough to know better, young enough to learn

A senior animal may already know some basic commands, and they will be responsive to learning more. They have more focus and attention than puppies or kittens and may have undergone obedience training with their previous owners or shelter staff. They may already be create or leash trained, have experience with routine grooming and know basic house manners. At the same time, companion pets are wired to please their human guardians, and typically are fast learners – especially when it benefits them to learn something new.

5. Great for any age

Senior pets’ more relaxed temperaments makes them excellent companions for the young and elderly alike.  More mature people benefit from a four-legged companion who is more aligned with their energy level and lifestyle, while children can benefit from an animal who is more tolerant and who may already been well socialized with the younger set.

6. Just add love

Older animals will adapt to a new family given love and time. While you might not be your senior dog’s or cat’s first family (or even his second or third), once you adopt and shower your pet with love you will be his only family.

Bunny

7. They know they have been given a second chance at life

Ask anyone who has adopted a more mature dog or cat and they will tell you that they are convinced their pets know they have been saved. Just one look in their eyes and you can see they are saying, “Thank you for saving my life.”

At Pets for Patriots, we encourage people to Be A Pet’s HeroTM. When you save the life of a pet who faces near certain death or who may languish for months or years if not adopted, your life will change for the better!

Learn more about the types of pets saved through our companion pet adoption program for veterans, including senior pets.

Looking To Adopt A Pet In Rochester? Here Are Some Great Groups >Link<

CatBlog: Nutrients your cat needs!

Nutrients are substances obtained from food and used by an animal as a source of energy and as part of the metabolic machinery necessary for maintenance and growth. Barring any special needs, illness-related deficiencies or instructions from your vet, your pets should be able to get all the nutrients they need from high-quality food from PetSaver Superstore, which are often formulated with these special standards in mind. If you would like to learn about what your pet’s body needs, and why, here are the six essential classes of nutrients fundamental for healthy living:

  1. Water is the most important nutrient. Essential to life, water accounts for between 60 to 70 percent of an adult pet’s body weight. While food may help meet some of your pet’s water needs (dry food has up to 10 percent moisture, while canned food has up to 78 percent moisture), pets need to have fresh clean water available to them at all times. A deficiency of water may have serious repercussions for pets: a 10-percent decrease in body water can cause serious illness, while a 15-percent loss can result in death.
  2. Proteins are the basic building blocks for cells, tissues, organs, enzymes, hormones and antibodies, and are essential for growth, maintenance, reproduction and repair. Proteins can be obtained from a number of sources. Animal-based proteins such as chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, fish and egg have complete amino acid profiles. (Please note: Do not give your pet raw eggs. Raw egg white contains avidin, an anti-vitamin that interferes with the metabolism of fats, glucose, amino acids and energy.) Protein is also found in vegetables, cereals and soy, but these are considered incomplete proteins.Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and are divided into essential and non-essential amino acids:
    – Essential amino acids cannot be synthesized by the animal in sufficient quantities and MUST be supplied in the diet. Essential amino acids include arginine, methionine, histidine, phenylalanine, isoleucine, threonine, leucine, tryptophan, lysine, valine and taurine*.
    – Non-essential amino acids can be synthesized by your pet and are not needed in the diet.*The essential amino acid taurine is required for companion cats. Unlike dogs, cats cannot synthesize enough taurine to meet their needs. Taurine is required for the prevention of eye and heart disease, as well as reproduction, fetal growth and survival. This essential amino acid is only found in foods of animal origin, such as meat, eggs and fish.
  3. Fats are the most concentrated form of food energy, providing your pet with more than twice the energy of proteins or carbohydrates. Fats are essential in the structure of cells and are needed for the production of some hormones. They are required for absorption and utilization of fat-soluble vitamins. Fats provide the body insulation and protection for internal organs. Essential fatty acids must be provided in a pet’s diet because they cannot be synthesized by a cat in sufficient amounts. A deficiency of essential fatty acids may result in reduced growth or increased skin problems. Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid for cats. Arachidonic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, is also essential for cats for the maintenance of the skin and coat, for kidney function and for reproduction.
    Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in healing inflammation. Replacing some omega-6 with omega-3 fatty acids can lessen an inflammatory reaction—whether it is in the skin (due to allergies), the joints (from arthritis), the intestines (from inflammatory bowel disease) or even in the kidneys (from progressive renal failure).Please note: It is impossible to accurately determine the fatty acid ratio of a diet if the owner prepares home-cooked foods.
  4. Carbohydrates provide energy for the body’s tissues, play a vital role in the health of the intestine, and are likely to be important for reproduction. While there is no minimum carbohydrate requirement, there is a minimum glucose requirement necessary to supply energy to critical organs (i.e. the brain). Fibers are kinds of carbohydrates that modify the mix of the bacterial population in the small intestine, which can help manage chronic diarrhea. For cats to obtain the most benefit from fiber, the fiber source must be moderately fermentable. Fiber sources that have low fermentability (e.g. cellulose) result in poor development and less surface area of the intestinal mucosa. Highly fermentable fibers can produce gases and by-products that can lead to flatulence and excess mucus. Moderately fermentable fibers—including beet pulp, which is commonly used in cat foods—are best, as they promote a healthy gut while avoiding the undesirable side effects. Other examples of moderately fermentable fibers include brans (corn, rice and wheat) and wheat middlings. Foods that are high in fiber are not good for cats with high energy requirements, such as those who are young and growing.
  5. Vitamins are catalysts for enzyme reactions. Tiny amounts of vitamins are essential to cats for normal metabolic functioning. Most vitamins cannot be synthesized in the body, and therefore are essential in the diet.
    -When feeding a complete and balanced diet, it is unnecessary to give a vitamin supplement unless a specific vitamin deficiency is diagnosed by a veterinarian. Due to the practice of over supplementation, hypervitaminosis—poisoning due to excess vitamins—is more common these days than hypovitaminosis, or vitamin deficiency! Excess vitamin A may result in bone and joint pain, brittle bones and dry skin. Excess vitamin D may result in very dense bones, soft tissue calcification and joint calcification.
  6. Minerals are inorganic compounds that are not metabolized and yield no energy. These nutrients cannot be synthesized by animals and must be provided in the diet. In general, minerals are most important as structural constituents of bones and teeth, for maintaining fluid balance and for their involvement in many metabolic reactions.