Some people think cats are only happy if they have a wide and varied outdoor territory to patrol. If you live in a city, or have no garden, this may dishearten you, but cheer up! It isn’t true! Simply playing regularly with your kitty will fulfill most of her exercise and hunting instincts! Here are my top tips based on 5 years of looking after Oakley

1) It’s best to start when your pet is just a kitten. If they grow up indoors, they may never particularly want to venture out.

2) If possible, providing even a tiny bit of outdoor space (a small terrace, a screened balcony etc) may be enough. Just make sure your cat can’t climb out and possibly fall, or otherwise come to harm. Because animals may try to come IN to the space, you should always be there when your pet is ‘outside’. This is the favorite resource for Oakley, who enjoys nothing more than 30 minutes in the sun on a hot day. Beware of toxic plants, escape routes, or other dangerous things that could harm your kitten.

3) try taking your cat out on a leash. If the area is quiet, you cat may enjoy this. Just remember that if you come across any dogs, you are likely to become a ‘human tree’ for your cat to run up! As a rule, cats don’t like leashes, but if you start early enough, they can be trained to it.

4) Treat your cat to a ‘cat tree’. Cats love to climb (Oakley does!) and it’s great exercise for them.

5) Be sure to play with your cat every day. The best ‘lures’ are always the home made variety. You cat will much prefer to chase an old bit of cloth on a string that YOU have made for her, rather than an expensive shop-bought mouse or some such. This is just a way for your cat to show affection too – they really do value your efforts to entertain and exercise them!

6) A single cat is never as happy as a cat with company. Even on a tight budget, 2 cats cost little more than 1 to keep, and they will both be happier as a result!

7) Hygiene – clean the litter tray and food bowls every day – cats are fastidious, and after all, how would YOU like to eat from a plate that hadn’t been washed up, or use a toilet that hadn’t been flushed?!

8) Don’t forget collars. If your cat should get out, a collar is the surest method of getting her back. Oakley likes to ‘shed’ her collar regularly – never give a cat a hard time about this – it’s just a little game they enjoy. If you can afford it, get your cat ‘chipped’. This makes it much easier to reunite you in extremis.

That’s about it for now! If you have enjoyed these tips, or they are useful to you, please feel free to vote for Oakly – http://www.petmillions.com/vote.asp?vote=1054 is the link. It doesn’t cost anything, and you will be supporting animal charities including my favorite cat charity too!

About The Author

Mary Dwightman has 4 cats, aged between 2 and 5. The oldest, ‘Oakley’, is entered in the http://petmillions.com Grand Prize 2007, and you can vote for her here http://www.petmillions.com/vote.asp?vote=1054.

If you own a cat, you already know how hard it is to get the little beggar to do anything he or she doesn’t want to, and that includes taking medicine! Pills and capsules are a particular problem – it’s almost impossible to get a cat to swallow a pill, so your only option is to crush it to powder and hide it in the cat’s food. Cats have a good sense of smell, so you may have to hide it in a stinky treat, like salmon, for example.

If your cat is too smart for you, you could try getting your vet to prepare the medicine in a liquid form that the cat can’t detect. Never forget that you can never count on a cat getting hungry – most cats have several houses in the street to ‘stock up on’ if the main home food dispensary starts playing up! Why only the other day, Woohoo brought home this fine cat – how could I possibly not feed him too?!

I’m against the use of plastic tubes to force the medicine down your cat’s throat. You can traumatize the little fella if you do this – he almost certainly won’t want to be your friend for days afterwards! No matter how sophisticated the tube (and some have ‘launch mechanisms’ etc), your cat will struggle, and this won’t be fun.

In an absolute emergency (for example, when you know your cat has eaten something poisonous, and there is no time to call the vet) there is one guaranteed technique that could save your cat’s life. I repeat, NEVER use this technique except in dire emergencies. Pick your cat up by the scruff of the neck and angle the cat’s head backwards making his mouth face upwards. This is how mummy cats pick up kittens, and they have a reflex to temporary immobility in this position. You can then drop the medication straight down the cat’s throat. The cat’s usual reaction will be to swallow, although watch out for the cat breathing in – you don’t want to pour it down his airways! Once swallowed, you can gently let the cat down. Remember to give her lots of strokes and treats after this kind of thing, because it is kind of traumatic for the cat (and the owner!).

If you have enjoyed this article, why not sign up for http://www.petmillions.com ? You can support your favorite cat charity, and get a chance to win a million! You can even vote for Woohoo while you are there! vote for Woohoo! . Just enter his pet id (3151) and away you go! Ta! Jules.

About The Author

Mr. Jules Henderson is the owner of several animals including Woohoo, a tabby cat with a real hatred of medicine! Woohoo is entered in the http://www.petmillions.com contest – please vote for him!

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