Don’t believe the hype: your cat is happy indoors

GA_Excellent Summer picSure we look oh so cool hanging out outside, climbing trees and jumping from rooftops with enviable confidence but know this: that outdoor loving feline runs a lot of risks and has a very short life span. And while some of them prefer it that way, trust me when I say that most of them would love to live in a pampered environment where they can stretch those 9 lives in style – provided of course that it comes equipped with all the necessary gadgets.

This means thinking cat and bringing our outdoor experiences inside. Every cat is different and so are his fun activities. Knowing what your feline likes will make the transition way easier.

The King of the House: Does he like to jump up the kitchen cabinets and watch you cook? He will enjoy having a few boards installed around the house so he can keep an eye on his kingdom from above. This idea also applies to what you call “Cat TV”: a window perch where kitty can sit and watch the outdoor world go by.

Obsessed about her nails: Kitty won’t stop scratching your furniture? Don’t deny her the action. It is an essential part of every cat’s routine. When we scratch a surface we are leaving our scent on it making the area our own. Territorial acquiring is very important to us. Start by adding scratching pads and towers strategically placed in those areas that she prefers to use.

The Hunter: Always on the prowl. No boundaries in his hunting grounds: grabbing your feet when you walk past him, going for your favorite vintage lamp, killing that wind chime you’ve had for 20 years… it all becomes his. To prevent you from losing more valuable items (and saving your feet), you need to provide the hunter with prey. NOT talking about live mice or bugs – although if they’re inside it’s fair game- but by getting toys designed for the action. Hide them around the home to make it more fun.

Oh yes, he is suffering. Indoor life with outdoor views. Pic: Glorimar Anibarro

Oh yes, he is suffering. Indoor life with outdoor views. Pic: Glorimar Anibarro

Wanna go outside: You’ve done your research. Got kitty the perfect toys. Redesigned your home to make it appealing for him. Yet his favorite place is still hanging by the door waiting to bolt out the minute it opens. It’s not your fault. He just wants to feel the grass under his paws. The solution depends on finding out the exact reason for the problem: Continue reading

Wall O Cats: June Edition

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Ending the month on a high note with new additions to our growing community. Got Sicilian cats, drama queens and a for reals CEO of a feral colony. All the way from Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, working 24/7 for Save A Gato, here comes…

GA_WOC. DoritoBut don’t forget:
Save that drama for your mama:

GA_WOC Daisy
Want your kitty to be part of our community? Here is what we need:
• A pic of your cat
• His / Her name
• Info you want to publish
• Send it to my email

EN ESPAÑOL
¿Quieres añadir a tu gatito en nuestra comunidad? ¡Fantástico! Para lograrlo necesitamos:
• Una foto de tu gato
• Su nombre
• La información que quieres publicar
• Envíalo todo a mi email
CTA English 2

Stay hydrated my friends. Water will keep you alive.

GA_Excellent Summer pic

We start our Excellent Summer Series with a very important lesson: Hydration. Our relationship with water is a funky one. While it is totally true that the act of bathing using H2O along with some smelly shampoo can bring out the tiger hidden way inside, when we talk about drinking the liquid the reaction is the complete opposite: we can’t get enough. And that is a good thing. Because we can survive a couple of days without food, but without water it is only a matter of hours (ominous music in the background).

We need as much water as the amount of food we eat. Some felines make the most of their water consumption: drinking from the faucet, testing every glass of water left around the house, even checking the one from that round litter box you guys use so much… anything for a drink. Still, how do you know we are drinking our fill? The answer is in our body language.

Dr. Avocado logoSigns of a dehydrated cat:

  • Kitty is suffering from nausea, vomiting and excessive urination. It is impossible to recuperate the amount of water she is losing.
  • Your spunky cat is now a very lethargic one
  • Loss of appetite: Not even tuna will convince her.
  • The skin test: if you lift the skin from the back of her neck or shoulder blades and the skin doesn’t go back to its natural position.

What to do? TAKE YOUR CAT TO THE VET NOW! Trying to give her water now is not going to help. She has lost a lot of nutrients and needs intravenous fluids STAT!

Now that she is back home, how can you prevent this so it never happens again?

  • Make sure your cat has fresh, clean water available at all times.
  • The water bowl should be clean. Nobody likes to drink from a dirty glass.
  • Your diva won’t drink from a normal bowl: one of those fabulous cat fountains can solve the problem. Only the best for your kitty 😉
  • Sharing is caring: Open the faucet and allow her to drink a little before washing dishes or your face.
  • Diet plays a big part: the amount of water on dry food is only 7%, compared to canned food that goes up to 80%. If changing the kind of food is not an option, you have to step up and add more water to the routine. Try adding tuna or chicken juice to the dry food… and suddenly I am hungry…
Picky cats like fresh flowing water. Pic: Ev Carlin

Picky cats like fresh flowing water. Pic: Ev Carlin

CTA English 2EN ESPAÑOL
Toma agua mi amigo. Te va a mantener vivo.
Nuestra relación con el agua es complicada. Es cierto que cuando se combina con un champú oloroso despierta al tigre que vive dentro de nosotros; pero cuando la usamos para beber la reacción es totalmente la opuesta: no podemos alejarnos de ella. Y es la reacción correcta porque podemos sobrevivir par de días sin comida; pero sin agua el final puede llegar en cuestión de horas (música dramática en el fondo).

Necesitamos consumir la misma cantidad de agua que de comida. Algunos mininos van más allá para disfrutar su agüita fresca: tomando del grifo, probando cada vaso con agua dejado en la casa, hasta chequeando ese arenero redondo que tanto usan ustedes… todo por un trago de agua. Pero la pregunta sigue en pie, ¿cómo sabemos si están tomando suficiente? La respuesta te la da nuestro lenguaje felino.

Señales de un gato deshidratado:

  • La gatita está sufriendo de náuseas, vómitos y orinando en exceso. Es imposible que recupere la cantidad de líquido que ha perdido.
  • Tu gato atrevido es ahora uno demasiado pacífico.
  • Pérdida de apetito: Ni siquiera el atún la convence.
  • Falta de elasticidad en la piel: si levantas la piel entre sus hombros y al soltarla no regresa a su estado natural, está bien deshidratado.

¿Qué hacer? ¡LLEVARLO AL VETERINARIO DE EMERGENCIA! Tratar de darle agua en ese momento no va a ayudar. Ha perdido demasiados nutrientes y necesita tratamiento intravenoso.

CTA Español 2Una vez regresa a casa, ¿cómo prevenir esto para que no vuelva a suceder?

  • El gato debe tener agua limpia disponible en todo momento.
  • El plato de agua debe estar limpio. A nadie le gusta tomar de un vaso sucio.
  • Si tu diva se rehúsa a tomar de un plato normal, considera invertir en una de esas fabulosas fuentes de agua para gatos. Lo mejor para tu gatita 😉
  • Compartir es amar: Abre el grifo un poco para que pueda tomar antes de lavarte la cara o los platos.
  • La dieta tiene mucho que ver: la cantidad de agua en la comida seca es de tan sólo 7%, mientras la mojada tiene un 80%. Si no puedes cambiar la clase de comida, trata de añadir más agua en su rutina. Un truco es mezclar la comida seca con el caldo del atún enlatado o del pollo que cocinas (sin especias por favor)… ¡y de repente se me ha colado un hambre!..

Got a question for Dr. Avocado? Send him an email, add your name to our newsletter list or find me on Twitter or Facebook

¿Tienes una pregunta para el Dr. Avocado? Inscríbete a mi newsletter o escríbeme un email: iamgatoavocado@gmail.com

*ATTENTION: I am not a veterinarian. I am a proud member of the Felis Silvestris Catus family, (translates to “domestic cat” –  an inside joke in the cat community) that kindly shares his knowledge of our species to you. I can’t provide specific treatments for your feline friend. Please refer to your veterinarian. Meow!   /   *ATENCION: No soy veterinario. Soy un orgulloso miembro de la familia Felis Silvestris Catus (que se traduce en “gato domesticado” – chiste interno entre la comunidad gatuna), que con amor comparte su conocimiento de la especie con ustedes. No puedo proveer detalles específicos para tratar a tu amigo felino. Por favor, llévalo al veterinario. ¡Miau!

Are cats social animals?

Does this look like an antisocial behavior? Seems like love to me. Pic by Glorimar Anibarro

Does this look like an antisocial behavior? Seems like love to me.

This week we will answer a few common questions regarding one of the most common feline misconceptions: cats are loners and prefer to live on their own.

Who came up with this idea? Dog-loving people? Sure, dogs live by a hierarchy code where they follow the alpha male everywhere while cats (sorry) don’t do that. But this doesn’t mean that we are antisocial. It means we won’t follow just ’cause you say so.

Dr. Avocado logoWe are socializing since birth. Kitties don’t appear out of the blue; they are born from a loving mama cat and from that moment on we are constantly fighting for food and territory: as kittens for mother’s milk, as adults aggressively conquering territories and mates. But when the fighting is done, we hang out with our pals in the colony.

Maybe the confusion comes from the fact that felines give each other space. There are moments of cute cuddling and play, but also hours of keeping out of each other’s way in order to enjoy some privacy. If you have ever visited the “cat room” in a shelter or adoption center, you have seen this behavior in action. The cats are all there, each in their own private space just chillin’.

FACT: Do you know that cats in the wild don’t meow? They learn to do that to communicate with, drumroll please, YOU. How’s that for antisocial.

Time for our first question: “That’s all fine and dandy Dr. Avocado, but I got a cat at home that never cuddles next to me, preferring to stare at us all day from the top of her cat tree. What is up with that?” Continue reading

Peeing outside the box

Where is it“My cat is peeing outside the litterbox” is a common concern amongst feline guardians – usually new ones. Sometimes it’s a sign of a medical issue, but the majority of the cases are completely human created. They want a cat but hate the idea of a litterbox in the home, disguising them in ways that are so outrageous, even our highly trained noses can’t find.

Felines are majestic creatures that sadly share some un-godly characteristics with every other living beings on the planet; we pee and poop and need a spot to do it in. If it’s not the litterbox, watch out ’cause anything goes! plants, couches, antique rugs, your precious boots…

Sometimes the problem gets so out of hand that the poor kitty ends up at the shelter when a simple solution would’ve solved the case: Get a litterbox. Maybe 2. It is part of the “Living with a Cat” kit.

Continue reading

Get ready for more Wall O’ Cats!

Ending the month of May with these cool felines. Our latest members of the Wall O’ Cats community. ¡Bienvenidos!
GA_WOC.ToñitaGA_WOC.MiloGA_WOC.Marisol

 

Got a feline that wants to be part of our community? Find the details here.

Email Call to Action

Urinary Tract Infections and Cats: pain and misery surround the litterbox

Stress is a big factor in FLUTD. Cat's litterbox area should be a relaxing one. Pic: Glorimar Anibarro

Stress is a big factor in FLUTD. Cat’s litterbox area should be a relaxing one. Pic: Glorimar Anibarro

There are many ailments that can ruin the mood for any cat (fleas, allergies, a bath); but none are as effective in achieving its goal as the pesty Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD).

Yes, it is the “hurts when I pee” disease and it is a serious condition.

You’ve probably met a cat dealing with it:
• goes regularly to the box but nothing comes out
• crying when peeing
• constantly licking the eliminating zone
• will leave a trace before arriving to the litterbox

and the even worse cases where:
• there is blood in the urine
• the feline simply avoids the box – Allow me to defend my peeps here. We really don’t understand what’s happening in our body, we just know it hurts like hell when we visit the box. So naturally we assume the box has something to do with the pain, therefore, it is way better to stay far away from it! 

None of these symptoms are to be taken lightly. Continue reading