Friday, June 26, 2009

Can cats eat eggs?

Many people all over the world feed their cats eggs. Scrambled eggs, in particular, seem to be the pet favourite. As we know, cats should not be indulging in milk and dairy, so how can you make scrambled eggs safe for cats? And can cats eat eggs in the first place?
- Cats can eat eggs, but they should always be cooked. Raw eggs can lead to salmonella poisoning, and will cause skin and coat problems because it is loaded with a particular enzyme that retards biotin absorption.
- cooked eggs should not be seasoned; do not cook for your own taste buds!
- do not mix your 'scrambled' eggs in with milk: water is a great substitute and will not harm your cat.
- The protein in eggs is really good for your cat's hair and overall coat.
- you can find cat egg recipes quite readily on the Internet, but be wary of these as they can be posted by just anyone - always make sure that there is no dairy involved. If you are unsure, pop down to your local vet and check in if they have any tips. Alternatively, send us an email with your cat's particulars and we'll be able to assist you.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lactose Intolerance

Did you know that your grown cat is actually lactose intolerant? That might seem weird, considering that you always see people leaving out saucers of milk for cats [and Santa!], but it's true. Kittens need their mother's milk when they are first born, but that weaning stage is soon over and your newly adopted kitten should be drinking water. If you are concerned that your kitten or cat does not drink water, or needs more calcium, then you can purchase special cat milk from your local vet or pet store. This is one of the reasons why Garfield should be laying off that lasagna! It would give him terrible stomach aches and diarrhoea!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

That Lovable Garfield

Everyone knows that lovable cat Garfield, created by Jim Davis in 1978. Here are some things you might not have known:
- Garfield, the comic strip, is in the Guiness Book of World Records for being the most syndicated comic strip. That's how popular it is!
- Garfield, the cat, is named after creator Jim Davis's own grandfather in a touching memorial tribute.
- Garfield's favourite food is lasagna, but, contrary to popular belief, cats shouldn't be indulging in human foods. Especially not foods so rich in fats and dairy! Your cat should be eating specialised cat food designed for his or her diet -- Another thing Garfield fans will recognise, as diets are the one thing that he hates more than Mondays!
- Garfield's girlfriend is Arlene, and Nermal is actually a boy.
- According to logic, Garfield has to be at least 31 years old.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Unusual Pets: Hermit Crabs

Did you know that some people keep a hermit crab as a pet? Hermit crabs, by the way, are neither hermits nor crabs. They have a long, soft, spirally coiled abdomen, which ends in a hooked tail. Hermit crabs are nocturnal – so they’re most active at night and least active during the day. Though they don’t bite, they give a nasty pinch and can even draw blood. Around eight hundred species of hermit crab are found the world over. In the pet industry, however, you generally find either the purple claw crab or the Ecuadorian crab. Though they are quite social animals, hermit crabs do show some aggression toward each other. While the Ecuadorian crab has a quite sweet and trusting temperament, the purple claw crab can be quite edgy and pinch you. Just remember that if you plan to get a hermit crab, they need to be bathed every week to remove the sand and dirt from their shell.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Acrobatic Kitty

Cats are so acrobatic. I was gazing outside my window the other day, and I saw my cat literally climb up a very high wall. In essence, she “ran up” the wall and settled on the top, perched like she owned the entire world. Later that day, she came back onto my property from another side and an even higher wall. I was in the garden at the time, and when she saw me she started meowing and walking towards me on the thin ridge of the wall. I was so scared that she’d fall off. This wall is really very high, and I thought there’d be no way that she would chance dropping down from this height. I know there’s the saying that says a cat always lands on its feed, but this wall was seriously high. In one, fluid movement she again “ran down” the wall, reached the ground, and then looked at me as though it were the most natural thing in the world to do. I was amazed!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Girl Power

I find it interesting that cats are so often portrayed as symbols of power. I’m thinking specifically of a character like Cat Woman. In Batman Returns, a now quite old movie, Michelle Pfeiffer plays a very meek secretary who is a doormat for her boss. When her boss (played by Christopher Walken) pushes her out a high story window, she comes back as Cat Woman, with nine lives! This shy, very passive woman now becomes a force to be reckoned with. She is no longer threatened and fearful of men which, paradoxically, is what draws Bruce Wayne (aka Batman) to her in the first place. In case you don’t remember, Cat Women ends up using eight of her nine lives, and the movie ends with her roaming the street looking for something (or someone!) else to hunt.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Picking up your cat

Do you ever wonder why when some people pick up your cat she just stays and purrs in their arms, but when others do this your cat just wants to break free immediately and starts clawing her way free? One of the reasons for this could be the way you’re hold her. When you pick up a cat, the most important thing to remember is to make sure that you’re supporting their back legs in some way. When you support their back legs, a cat naturally feels more secure in your arms, and you make it far more comfortable for your cat to be there. Cats generally don’t like the cradle position (which, as the name suggests, is where you hold that cat like a baby in a cradle), because it doesn’t afford them any control. Try draping the front paws of the cat over your shoulder while supporting their back legs with your other hand.

Unusual pets: stick insects

Have you ever considered buying a stick insect as a pet? Stick insects can hide in plain sight, because their camouflage makes them blend in with almost any surrounding. If you blow on them, they can even swing back and forth on their legs so as to mimic the movement of a twig in the breeze! You get nearly three thousand species of stick insects. The Australian spiny leaf (scientific name, extatosoma tiaratum) can grow to resemble an eight inch long branch with dead leaves for legs. The only stick insect that should be avoided is the American walking stick (scientific name, anisomorpia bupestroides). This insect is characterized by the two stripes you will find on its back. What makes it slightly more dangerous than other stick insects is that it can spray an acidic compound that may cause temporary blindness.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tarantula trouble

I had friend who once had a tarantula for a pet. Although they seem menacing, tarantulas are not usually very dangerous. Their bite is somewhat venomous, but tarantulas will not bite you unless provoked. In fact, their venom is not lethal at all, and is thought of more as a bee sting than an actual bite. Tarantulas overpower their prey through sheer physical size and strength rather than through poison and toxin. Some tarantulas, in fact, can grow to be as big as dinner plates when stretched out. They are truly beastly spiders. The only especially fragile part of them is their abdomen. If you have them as a pet, take care not to drop them from too great a height. This can often happen by accident while handling them. Some tarantulas can live up to twenty years or more in the case of the female. Male tarantulas have a much shorter lifespan: from a few months to two or three years.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Going Barking Mad

We have a street very close to my house, which is not so affectionately called “Bark Lane” We call it this because every single home on this street has a dog, and every dog barks very loudly. When someone unknown or strange or interesting walks down the street, a chain reaction is started. Starting at one end of the street, a cascade a barking ensues, and before long the entire street in one big barking chorus of dogs. There something interesting about how the bark of one dog sets off the bark of another and another etc. Luckily, I don’t actually live on this street. But I can imagine it must be terribly frustrating when you’re trying to sleep or looking for peace and quiet. Dogs are amazing: I love them to bits. But when they start barking like mad it can drive you barking mad.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Caffeine in your cat food?

Returning to the topic of cat food, I heard a disturbing fact the other day. Apparently, what some pet manufacturers have done in the past to increase their sales (and hopefully they do not do this today) is to put trace amounts of caffeine in their food products. So, you start feeding your cat a particular brand of food, and the cat actually becomes slightly addicted to the food. Then, when you try and change the food for whatever reason, the cat refuses to eat anything else, and so the pet food manufacturers have just conned you into staying with their products for life. Next time you’re buying food for your cat, make sure you check the label to confirm that there’s no caffeine in there. Ingredients should be natural, wholesome, and healthy.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Losing a bet

I once lost a bet with some friends over a game of backgammon, the punishment for which was that I had to eat an entire tablespoon of cat food. Just the smell of certain types of cat food is enough to almost make me gag, but now I was required to take a whole tablespoon! My friends decided to film it on camera. Instead eating piece, I put the entire portion in my mouth and once and began chewing. My human taste buds are clearly not accustomed to cat food, because it was absolutely awful. I ended up running to the bathroom and almost retching. So, while I’m not sure what my cat sees in her food every evening, I’m grateful that she enjoys it nonetheless, because it’s something that I never ever could.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Unusual Pets: the piranha

One of the most infamous choices for an unusual pet is surely the piranha. Piranahas can reach about eight to ten inches. They have a silvery and gold colour, a red throat, and their mouth has teeth like razors which are specifically designed for tearing flesh. Piranhas are very aggressive fish. What enhances their aggression is that they live in schools, leading to a kind of feeding frenzy - so much so that their prey can be devoured in a matter of seconds. Piranhas will only eat meat, and they prefer live prey. For those that keep them as pets, Piranhas will often accept certain types of goldfish, earthworms and beef heart. The most important thing for piranha owners to remember is to not feed these fish by hand: they can easily bite you and leave a serious and sore wound.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Animal Fun

Here are two rather cute animal jokes: A lonely frog, desperate for any form of company telephoned the Psychic Hotline to find out what his future has in store. 

His Personal Psychic Advisor advises him, "You are going to meet a beautiful young girl who will want to know everything about you." 

The frog is thrilled and says, "This is great! Where will I meet her, at work, at a party?"

"No" says the psychic, "in a Biology class."

Second joke: A police officer sees a man driving around with a pickup truck full of penguins. He pulls the guy over and says: "You can't drive around with penguins in this town! Take them to the zoo immediately." 

The guy says OK, and drives away.
The next day, the officer sees the guy still driving around with the truck full of penguins, and they're all wearing sun glasses. He pulls the guy over and demands: "I thought I told you to take these penguins to the zoo yesterday?"

The guy replies: "I did . . . today I'm taking them to the beach!"

Monday, June 8, 2009

Combatting obesity in pets

What can you do when your dog or cat is overweight? Because many owners feed their pets “treats” from the table, and often leave out an indiscriminate quantity of dry food for their cat or dog to munch on the whole day, many pets start gaining weight. This can lead to a whole host of problems: sluggishness, arthritis and other joint-related problems, an increased risk of a heart attack and in general a shorter lifespan. One major contributing factor to overweight pets is a lack of activity. Owners can become too busy at work, and fail to prioritize spending time playing with their pet. And sometimes, owners will adopt an enormous dog like a Malamute or a St. Bernard, and keep them fenced in within a tiny, enclosed space with no room to run around. To help your pet lose weight, consider switching him to a reduced calorie diet with the “light” moniker. Then, spend some more time with your pet, throwing a ball, running on the beach, and going for walks. Not only will it benefit your pet, it will probably be a lot of fun for you as well.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Getting to know your Jack Russell

One of my favourite dogs is the Jack Russell Terrier. They have lots of energy and drive, and can tend to be a bit on the hyperactive side sometimes. They epitomize the idea of dynamite coming in small packages, which can sometimes lead to problems with bigger dogs because Jack Russells never seem to register just how small they actually are! Because they come from a large gene pool, Jack Russells tend to live a long time and are mostly very healthy dogs. The typical lifespan of a Jack Russell is between twelve and nineteen years. In 2007, a Jack Russell named George saved five children from an attack by two pit bulls in New Zealand. The Jack Russell charged at the dogs just long enough for the children to escape. The dog was subsequently killed by the pit bulls but was awarding a gold medal for his bravery.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Unusual Pets: the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Sometimes, people adopt the most unusual pets. One of the more popular, but still unusual, pets is the Madagascar hissing cockroach. This cockroach can grow up to three inches long and over an inch wide! But this isn’t an ordinary cockroach. The Madagascar hissing cockroach is clean, odourless, docile and completely harmless. They do not bite, and in fact are commonly mistaken for beetles. Besides being an unusual pet, the Madagascar hissing cockroach makes a quite unusual sound, too. Its hissing noise is aroused during mating rituals and in aggressive fights with other males, though sometimes it will hiss for no obvious reason. Female cockroaches tend to be attracted to the tone and strength of the male’s hissing. The hissing is created by forcing air through a pair of breathing pores, which are found in the abdomen, which stands in contrast to insects like the cricket which create noise by rubbing their legs together.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Unusual Pets: the potbellied pig

On the subject of unusual pets, a popular choice is the potbellied pig. Potbellied pigs are very easily trained, are alert, and high affectionate. They’re considered smarter than some of the smartest dogs. They house-train very quickly are in general clean and odour-free. They don’t bark, they don’t chew and they shed very little. And although their eyesight is not very good, they have a very keen sense of smell. Potbellied pigs can live anywhere from twelve to thirty years. They are, however, not maintenance-free. Their high intelligence level often means that they can work out what’s in the refrigerator, and how to open certain draws, so a certain amount of training is essential. Unfortunately, thousands of these pigs ended up shelters because, although they were trendy at one time, the fad passed and people said they preferred the pig when it was still young and not as an adult.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pet Jokes: dogs or centipedes?

A man goes into a pet shop and tells the owner that he wants to buy a pet that can do everything. The owner says, "How about a dog?" The man replies, "Come on, a dog can't do everything." The owner says "How about a cat?" The man replies, "No way! A cat certainly can't do everything. I want a pet that can do everything!" The owner thinks for a minute. Then says, "I've got it! A centipede!" The man says, "Centipede? I can't imagine a centipede doing everything but, ok ... I'll try a centipede." He gets the centipede home and says to the centipede, "Clean the kitchen." Thirty minutes later, he walks into the kitchen and it's immaculate. All the dishes and silverware have been washed, dried, and put away. The countertops cleaned. The appliances sparkling. The floor waxed. He's absolutely amazed. He says to the centipede, "Go clean the living room." Twenty minutes later, he walks into the living room. The carpet has been vacuumed. The furniture cleaned and dusted. The pillows on the sofa plumped. The plants are watered. The man thinks to himself, "This is the most amazing thing I've ever seen. This is a pet that can really do everything."He says to the centipede, "Run down to the corner and get me a newspaper." The centipede walks out the door. Ten minutes later, no centipede. Twenty minutes later, no centipede. Thirty minutes later, no centipede. The man is wondering what's going on. The centipede should have been back by now. Forty-five minutes later, still no centipede. The man can't imagine what could have happened. Did the centipede run away? Did it get run over by a car? Where was the centipede?
He goes to the front door, opens it, and there's the centipede sitting right outside the door. The man says,"Hey! I sent you 45 minutes ago to run down to the corner and just get me a newspaper. What's the story?"The centipede says, "I'm goin'! I'm goin'! I'm puttin' on my shoes!”

Monday, June 1, 2009

Getting to know the Borzoi

Finally, there is the Russian Wolfhound, also known as the Borzoi. The Borzoi keeps itself very clean by preening itself constantly. It doesn’t really feel the need to please its master in the same way that so many other dogs do. And although this makes it a harder dog to train, the Borzoi compensates for this by being very affectionate and loyal with the people it knows and trusts. Borzois can suffer from certain stomach ailments, which is why their meals should ideally be divided into two or three portions during day, consisting of plenty of meat. The Borzoi may have a magnificent coat, but this coat requires regular and thorough brushings every day. The average lifespan of a Borzoi is between ten and twelve years. Genetically, the Borzoi can suffer from leg fractures and may require calcium supplements given that they grow so quickly into adulthood.