General Articles

How to Choose a Kitten As a Family Pet

How to Choose a Kitten As a Family Pet

A kitten will grow into a cat that can live up to 20 years. Choosing a kitten should not be a quick decision, take time to consider your options carefully. Do not rush to pick the cutest kitten you see or in fact the first kitten you see. Try to use your head rather than your heart.

It is best to see where the kitten has been raised. If at all possible see how it interacts with the mother and the rest of the litter before making your selection.

You need to consider two main areas when selecting a kitten, these are its health and it’s personality. Not all kittens from the one litter will be the same.


It is important to select the healthiest kitten from the litter. Do not feel obliged to select a kitten from the first litter that you see, have a look at several litters if you possibly can before making your selection. It is possible to get a vet to thoroughly check a kitten, but they will charge to do this and you may not want to pay for this several times over for several different kittens. You should be able to make a healthy selection if you consider the following pointers to good health –

Active, lively, inquisitive and alert

Feeding well with shiny coat and clear eyes with no discharge

Clean ears

No sneezing or coughing

Clean rear end

Straight legs and steady on its feet


It is easier to judge this if the kitten is still with the litter. The main things to think about are as follows.

Make sure the kitten is not wary or cowering, this means it has had little human contact and can be hard to establish a connection with. You may need to put in a lot of work to overcome this behaviour.

The kitten who comes to you first may be dominant and may be aggressive and harder to control.

A sensitive kitten may appear cute but it may not enjoy the company of small children and may not mix well will any other animals in the family.


You must never make a decision by just looking at a litter of kittens; this process can not be rushed. You must spend time handling the kittens to assess both their health and personality. This is a new member of your family and needs to fit into your family dynamic so make sure you afford the time to consider a decision which you may have to live with for many years to come.…

General Articles

A Story of a Cat Which Has a Weight Loss Problem

A Story of a Cat Which Has a Weight Loss Problem

Smiles, laughs, a round of cocktails go around, loud murmurs; a sophisticated and sleek sexual energy vibrates from the crowd. Women dressed in tight fitted, short styled pieces of fabric disguised as dresses. That is just another typical night for the connected, young and rich community in the South Beach area. If animals were able to use money, would they flaunt it upon their person and equate their social worth from it? The true reality is that animals have no use for money but perhaps food is the animal’s sinful indulgence.

Across the way the alley corridors are dark, gloomy and fashionably dingy. The clammy, humid air carries a stench of last night’s vodka and French fries. A huge roach scurries rapidly under a random door. Emerging from under large garbage dumpsters, located in the back of a local restaurant, glares a back alley black fat cat. The cat’s body was massive, his teeth healthy and sharp, his eyes strong and eerie, his belly full and fat. He slyly moves along in a matrix motion. He joins the ranks of a community of cats that seemingly mirror the human population in size.

Most residents of South Florida would venture to say that Miami Beach must be the leading city in having the fattest cats in America. Their diets consist of an array of ethnic cuisine from the most loved local restaurants on South Beach. The fat cats in South Beach are a local attraction for the tourist as well as acknowledged and respected by the natives and business owners of South Beach. People love to feed the cats on South Beach just as well as the cats seem to love to entertain the masses for a treat. As we slowly poison and endanger a worthy treasure for the South Beach community by feeding our resident cats to death, a city wide cat weight loss program is desperately needed. Even if you do your part as a concerned resident you will not be able to save every cat on the streets of South Beach. What you can do is practice healthy habits the next time your path crosses with a fat street cat.

If possible provide fresh drinking water for a needy cat. Water is essential for a healthy digestive system for a cat. If you ever offer food dry food is not recommended. Dry food rarely provides all the nutrients a cat needs and is loaded with carbohydrates and sugars. A creative option to feeding your local stray cat is diet food. Check with a local veterinarian about the differences in brands. Remember cats need meat protein and are designed to get water from their food. Donate a cat toy at your local pet shelter. Cats need an active physical regimen to alleviate their natural instincts of displaying aggression. A healthy amount of physical activity that a cat can receive from several segments of play time is the best combatant against cat obesity.…

Pet Adoption

Feline Liver Disease And Feline Diarrhoea Treatment

The Webinar Vet has had a great experience in our first feline series which we held in conjunction with Hills. This was a 200 series of veterinary webinars which thanks to the kind sponsorship of Hills was free to all delegates.

There were several hundred attendees at each webinar. Many different nations were represented on this free online veterinary CPD.

Our first veterinary webinar was with Professor Danielle Gunn-Moore and was concerning feline liver disease. This was a fantastic veterinary webinar which used case material to discuss her approach to the liver patient. Danielle??s enthusiasm is so infectious and we had so many positive comments from the attendees.

The next two veterinary webinars were given by Martha Cannon, a feline specialist based in Oxford. Martha always gives very practical veterinary CPD and these two talks were excellent. In the veterinary webinar on renal disease she discussed the value of diet as well as other treatments. Cats on specialist renal diets will often live twice as long as those fed ordinary diets after diagnosis of chronic renal disease.

In the second veterinary webinar, Martha discussed feline diarrhoea using clinical cases to discuss possible approaches and then in the third veterinary webinar discussed the thorny issue of kidney disease, such a scourge in the cat. The Hills diet k/d is a very important part of treatment in cats suffering from kidney disease as it protects the cat??s kidney and slows progress of the disease. Indeed cats fed on specialist kidney diets will live twice as long as those who are fed ordinary commercial diets.

Norman Johnstone is one of the most famous veterinary dentists in the world. We were honoured to have him on the fourth veterinary webinar in our five veterinary webinar series, free online vet CPD kindly provided by Hills Pet Nutrition. He talked about feline stomatitis and gave some fascinating insights into the treatment of this nasty condition. Interferon seems to be the drug of choice

Finally Duncan Lascelles from North Carolina State University gave an excellent veterinary webinar on feline osteoarthritis. In one study 95%of cats showed radiological signs of osteoarthritis in one or more joints. Cats suffering from osteoarthritis often had a stiff gait and had difficulty jumping. Duncan discussed the various treatments that are available in cats. Often this disease is missed by owners and vats and hence no treatment is prescribed.

This whole series of veterinary webinars, including a bonus talk on feline diabetes is available at and will contribute 6 hours of veterinary CPD to the 35 hours yearly target that all MRCVSs must accomplish to satisfy The Royal College.

This brilliant series of veterinary webinars was brought to you by Hills and The Webinar Vet, a fantastic online resource for vet CPD.…

Rescue Dogs

Remove Cat Urine Smell And Stains From Your Carpet Quickly And Inexpensively

It can be stressful and time intensive looking for ways on how to get cat urine smell out of carpet. The odor in some homes I’ve been in have literally brought tears to my eyes! Not to mention leaving an ugly stain.

Plus it can be a really big pain requiring you to spend money and buy different cleaning products you do not have any idea if it will work.

After learning what works and what doesn’t from working in my own pet service business for many years, here’s what I do to inexpensively, but successfully, to get rid of cat urine smell plus spots from my personal clients carpet.

It’s so simple and easy and requires just two or three actions to accomplish.

Cleaning Up New Cat Urine Stains Out Of Carpet

Step 1 – For any new stains on your carpet, you first need to absorb as much of the urine as you possibly can using newspapers or paper towels. Press straight down on them to get rid of as much fluid as is possible.

Make sure you position the paper towel or newspaper below the carpeting in the event the urine has soaked into the carpet padding.

Use as much newspapers or paper towels as required so that the stain is hardly damp.

Step 2 – Begin using fresh water to clean the spot. Perform the procedure again till the stains have disappeared. Quick and easy!

Step 3 – (You can use this final step if you would like to be certain all traces of cat urine is gone) – Use an enzyme cleaning agent, which is a product that will literally eat all odor producing bacteria, on the area. This will make certain any cat urine residue still left in the spot is eliminated. In addition, the smell is going to be removed by using this process. You can find and buy an enzyme cleaner at most local stores or on the internet.

Clean-up Those Dried Cat Urine Marks Within Your Carpeting

It will require a bit more work to successfully eliminate older marks which sometimes have set in. You most likely need to get all of them out because your pet companion possess a remarkable sense of smell and might want to go to the bathroom on the same place repeatedly if it can smell its urine there.

Step 1 – Utilizing a carpet cleaning machine, remove any chemical products in addition to cleaners you may have used to remove the stains before on the carpet.

Just use clean water inside the carpet cleaning machine because of the fact that any kind of chemical products can reduce the ability of the enzymatic cleaner (which you’ll use next) at getting rid of the stain.

Avoid the use of too much water on the stain, simply because you do not want to increase the risk of the stain going into the padding beneath the carpeting!

Step 2 – Clean the stain by using an enzymatic product until the stain is no longer visible.

Step 3 – Once the cat urine stains has been visibly removed, utilize a black light flashlight in order to guarantee every last bit of cat urine is fully gone. The black light makes all indications of urine glow a purple color. It’s amazing what this little device can show you that your naked eye cannot see!

If you do discover some traces of urine still left, re-apply the cleaning solution to remove it.

By getting rid of every single cat urine spot, and above all the smells out of the carpet, you’ll considerably lessen the possibility of your cat urinating directly on those same spots for a second time.…

General Articles

Cat Behavior – Body Language

Cat Behavior – Body Language

Cat behavior has been over-simplified with time. Purring is commonly thought to be a sign of contentment in cat behavior- and most times it is. However cats that are dying or in labor can also purr so this is why it is important to understand the body language – audio signals are not reliable.

Just like us humans, animals have a silent body language that speaks volumes if you know how to read it. Looking at cats, specifically, you can quickly learn here the types of emotional states your kitten or cat is in at any moment.

Sometimes we get in the habit of assuming our cats are happy if they are not meowing incessantly or hissing at the dog. Those are vocal expressions and generally are the end result of a language that your cat has been communicating in its cat behavior up until that point.

By simply observing your cat for a little while, you can determine if it is happy, distressed, upset, threatened or content. The entire cats body is pretty much a map of indicators – the ears, the whiskers, the tail, the eyes and the entire body what are the prime indicators of the cats mood?

Happiness and Contentment:

Half mast eyes – slightly closed

Tail curled comfortably with small movements

Tail straight up in the air when it sees you or is walking by

Ears sitting at a 45 degree angle from the face

Whiskers straight

Distressed, Threatened and Upset

Tail flicking fast

Tail bushed up

Ears pinning back

Eye pupils dilated

Whiskers pulled back

Head down and shoulders up in a hunch

A distressed or upset cat is an aggressive cat and if you are noticing aggression then it would be wise to seek the cause. Watch the cat carefully and see if it shows any indicators described for stress. In feline distress, we work on the three F principle

Freeze – This is the time when the cat literally freezes and is assessing the situation

Flight – Kitty will be bolting for any open door or window

Fight – The cat will fight the dog, another cat or you and stand its ground

Watch for any of the three F’s and connect that situation with its stress and you may have found out why your cat is aggressive or upset. If the cat is doing any of the three F’s when a machine or appliance is switched on, the dog walks by, your music is blasting away – whatever it is, this would be a cue as to what is upsetting your cat.

With cat body language it is important to remember that it is a language and a language cannot be communicated with one word – it is a series of words put together – stated in another way; one indicator may mean nothing but a series of indicators will tell the story. Watch your feline for a few moments a day and be aware of the signs.

Remember too, that distress is not always about a perceived threat – it could be that the cat is ill or in pain. Certainly, understanding your cats silent language will go a long way to reading its needs and addressing any poor cat behavior.…

General Articles

Kitten Care – Feeding Tips

Kitten Care – Feeding Tips

Considering a cats life span can easily reach 15+ years, it’s extremely important that you set your kitten up from the start. Obviously your kitten will have been started on her mother’s milk. This is a special condensed milk called colostrums. It contains antibodies to help fight disease and is also very high in essential proteins.

What Exactly is Colostrum?

The colostrum, also known colloquially as “the first milk”, is a type of milk produced by the mammary glands of all mammals in the last period of pregnancy and the first 48 hours after giving birth. The 87 growth and 97 immune factors of colostrum have enormous curative capacities in: fighting viruses, bacteria mycosis, parasites, protecting the digestive system.

Also, the colostrum restores all the body tissues and muscles, stimulates the nerve cells and brain activity, regulates the blood sugar and cholesterol. Colostrum heals the heart and brain’s lesions and has a role in detoxifying and protecting the cardio-vascular system.

All these amazing effects of this “miraculous milk” are essential to any new-born mammal in the first hours of life.

So, just as you would make sure you feed your newborn baby with all the nutrients it needs, the same goes for your new kitten. Whether you’ve bought your kitten from a breeder or a rescue centre, make sure you check with the seller exactly what your kitten has been raised on so far, and stick with it.

Don’t buy cheap kitten food or milk, you want to have the best start for your new addition and she’ll need all the nutrients she can get, as she’ll be 75% grown when she reaches 6 months.

It’s advisable for your kitten to stay on kitten food until they are 12 months old, then, gradually move them onto adult brands by mixing small amounts in with the old kitten food. Also make sure you feed your kitten little and often, their stomachs at 8 weeks old will only be the size of a walnut.

After weaning, your kitten should be having four small meals a day. Eventually this should be reduced to two meals a day by the age of six months.


Varied Diet – Good Idea or Not?

We all know how fussy cats can be, so introducing your kitten to tiny amounts of wet food and dry strips of meat will help get your kitty used to the idea of variety in her diet. It will also help with hydration and teeth cleaning. However stay away from giving her raw meat as food poisoning and tummy bugs are very serious problems for a young cat. Always cook the meat right through and again, keep the amounts very small.

Once she has reached 6 weeks old she will no longer need kitten milk.

Water should always be readily available and DON’T feed your kitten cows milk. It’s for calves not cats!

Cows milk has high quantities of lactose.

Your Kitten may love the taste but it will cause digestive problems and feline diarrhoea.

Dry or Wet Food?

Just like us, cats are all very different in their characters and tastes.

You may find as your kitten grows she has a preference for wet or dry food.

Be careful though as kittens eyes are usually bigger than their stomachs.

So follow the instructions on the pack for dry food, as they have a habit of over eating.

Both have nutritional value and you will come to know which suits you and your kitten through trial and error.

A good tip is to find out which food your kittens mother was eating whilst she was nursing them.

Dry food will help with, dental health, stools with less odour. (Always keep water available with dry food).

Wet food, on the other hand is closer to a cats original diet and usually contains 80% water.

If in any doubt make sure you consult your vet.…

Dog Shelters Near Me

Why Your Cat Loves to Bring You a Gift

Cats love to catch mice; they are natural hunters. However some of our domesticated cats are not so eager to go outdoors. The reason is they know that a meal is given to them on a daily basis.

Cats are natural hunters and enjoy the thrill of stalking their prey. It may not be that your pet is hungry; he or she will be following a natural instinct similar to the larger cats that live in the wild.

Some cat owners prefer to alert birds and mice out in the field by fitting a cat collar with an attached bell. However, a cat that is running and jumping about is less likely to be overweight.

Most cats that are natural hunters will bring home their prey as a present for their owner, a gift to say thank you for looking after them. Of course you might not enjoy looking at your gift but praise is required.

Remember to wear a pair of rubber gloves to remove your ‘gift’, dispose them carefully or your pet will think you are collecting his trophies and will bring you some more.

Cats should be out doors. Some cats do not hunt for food, but running and climbing trees is good exercise, and in the warmer weather seeing a cat sunbathing is a wonderful sight.

A young kitten tends to grow quickly, so essential amino acids are needed with a degree of good fats and plenty of vitamins to support his immune system are essential to complement his exercise.

Adult cats will also need a quality diet of the best ingredients with different proportions of vitamins and minerals, and portions sizes to be adjusted accordingly.

At Hills Pets we have our Science Plan pet food available for cats, and each of our products have guidelines on the portions size for your pet which are aimed at keeping your pet in good health.…

Rescue Dogs

How To Effectively Treat Mange In Dogs

Dog mange is a condition caused by the Demodex mite that causes irritation to the skin and hair loss. Most cases of mange appear in young dogs. Demodectic mange or Demodicosis is caused by the Demodex mite. The mite can be found in hair follicles. The Demodex mite, in small numbers is normal to be present on the skin of pet. Only when the mite begins to reproduce rapidly it causes the demodectic mange disease also called mange.

Treatment of canine mange

If the disease is temperate usually it heals spontaneously. Statistics show that 90% of demodectic mange cases are localized and can be treated locally. As a local treatment can be diluted Amitraz (3ml to 30 ml of mineral oil), or 1% rotenone ointment (Goodwinol ointment) and applied on the skin daily. In some cases these wounds will heal on their own but they may get worse before they improve. The numbers of mites should be reduced after only four weeks of treatment.

If the number of mites hasn?t reduced, the disease probably should be treated as a generalized form. If a dog develops generalized demodicosis, more aggressive treatment is usually needed. Although treatment is recommended, studies show that 30% to 50 % of generalized cases of mange heal will recover on their own without any treatment.

As a first step in treating the generalized form of mange you should start the treatment with a prescription product called Amitraz (Mitaban-Upjohn). Amitraz dips must be applied every two weeks. Before starting the treatment it is recommended that medium-length and longhaired dogs breeds to be clipped short, so that the solution can get into contact with the skin. First you have to wash the dog entirely with an antibacterial shampoo, like benzoyl peroxide shampoos, and carefully towel dry the dog. Before washing you dog with benzoyl peroxide shampoo you should apply a protective ophthalmic ointment to the eyes of the pet. After drying the dog, apply the Amitraz. Don?t forget to wear protective gloves when applying the Amitraz. Let your pet air-dry after the Amitraz dips. You might also want to administer an antibiotic to control secondary skin infections. This treatment require between 4 and 14 dips given at 2 week intervals. Skin scrapings should be tested for mites after every 4 dips. The treatment should continue until no mites will be found after two consecutive treatments. Dogs with generalized mange can be considered cured only after one year from the last treatment, if no mites we?re found during this period. As side effects to the Amitraz dips, some dogs may feel sedation or nausea.

Some dogs may not respond to this treatment. Although Ivemectin is not licensed for the treatment of demodectic mange, this is used by some veterinarians as treatment for this disease. In some cases, this drug offered good results. Large daily doses of liquid ivermectin must be administered so that the active ingredient should be effective against the Demodex mite. This should only be administered under close veterinary supervision. A second option if Amitraz dips did not work for your dog is Interceptor or Moxidectin. This is may be more effective than Ivemectin. No matter the treatment you choose to treat your dog for mange, you should first speak with a veterinarian.…