Common Cat Myths Debunked!

Since their emergence around the time of the ancient Egyptians (or maybe earlier, studies suggest), cats and myths have gone hand-in-hand. Indeed, no other pet is as intimately linked with myth, legend, superstition, and folklore as the cat. Perhaps it’s their beautiful and graceful way of moving, or their killer instincts, or the fact that, although they live together with humans, cats have retained most of the genes and mannerisms of their wild cousins.

Whatever the reason, cat myths abound in cultures around the world, and while many of them have a base in reality, most are just plain false. The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center have done our research and are excited to share with you the most common misconceptions about our beautiful feline friends.

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Extra Vigilance for Pets on Halloween? Yes, Especially Black Cats

black catsGazing into the yellow eyes of a black cat can have a hypnotizing, calming effect. While we certainly feel great about these sweet, friendly felines, they haven’t always held the good graces of human care takers like other cats have. The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center are among the throngs of other black cat fanciers around the globe who aim to reverse this unearned reputation. Unfortunately, at Halloween, black cats simply need extra protection.

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What are Cat Whiskers Really For?

Cats are mysterious and seemingly difficult to “de-code,” but there are lots of ways to interpret how they feel. The tail, for instance, can signal a variety of moods and can either warn against contact or invite affection. Also, the eyes and ears have the potential to communicate feline emotions; we just have to be observant of their subtle changes. However, among their many physical characteristics, The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center believe that cat whiskers take the cake when it comes to communication – and much more.

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Long live your feline friend!

Cats are pretty self-sufficient, right?  While this is true, it reality we can do a lot to extend the length and quality of our cat’s life.  Paying attention to the following can really do a lot to add years to your time together:

  • Keep your cat indoors if at all possible.  Disease, parasites, predators, and man-made dangers such as cars lurk outside for even the savviest of kitties.
  • Follow veterinary care recommendations.  Routine examinations, vaccinations, parasite prevention, and dental care are important.  We have your cat’s best interest at heart and knows that including these types of things into your care routine is vital to your cat’s well being.
  • Provide an enriching environment.  Cats are naturally curious, and the indoors can get boring.  Interactive toys and climbing equipment are enjoyed.  Also, dedicated playtime that utilizes your cat’s hunting instincts is important.  Lure toys, laser pointers, and other cat-specific toys are great for this.
  • Emphasize good nutrition.  Provide fresh, clean water and a quality, balanced diet for your cat.  Consult with your veterinarian if you think your cat is under- or over-weight.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment for your cat to be seen, give us call!

 

Litterbox Training Tips

Kitten in LitterboxFortunately for cat owners, most kittens have a natural predilection for using a litter box to eliminate.  As with most things in life, however, there are exceptions.  If you have a stubborn kitten, you may have to backpedal and be sure your feline friend knows what you want it to do.  Here are a few tips to follow:

  • Be sure the litter box is the right size for your kitten!  Young kittens may have a hard time climbing over the side of a full-size box.  You might consider using a cake pan or something similar until he/she gets the hang of it.
  • Make sure the litter boxes are accessible.  Long distances or stairs might be difficult for a little kitty to get there in time.  Make sure there is a box on every floor and in the areas where your kitten spends the most time.
  • Show them the way.  Make a point to periodically place your kitten in the litter box, especially after meals.  Encourage them to dig.
  • Play with the litter.  Some cats prefer a certain type of litter.  Try clumping vs. nonclumping, scented or non-scented, or alternative types such as recycled newspaper or pine.
  • Make sure the box isn’t too scary.  Many times we inadvertently put litter boxes in out-of-the-way areas where scary monsters lurk.  Noisy washing machines, refrigerators, furnaces, nosy dogs, and loud children can all be deterrents for your kitten.

By following these tips, your new kitty should be well on its way to being a litter box pro in no time at all!