Banner

Leave this field empty

 Members Login | Members Signup | Shopping Trolley 

Ph: (07) 3341 9153

Shopping Trolley

Your Trolley is Empty

Recent Blog Comments

Tag Search: play

Page 1   2  

Cat Attacks

Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 10:46:32 AM EST by Cam Day

Cat Attacks - Play or Prey Behaviour?

The behaviour of cats is sometimes a wonder. Why would a peaceful, purring puss suddenly turn on its owner, biting, clawing and raking the very hand that pats it?
Aggro_Cat_Grey_200-smlContented one moment - demented the next is a good description of such behaviours. Jekyll and Hydecats is another descriptive term given to the cats that employ this deviant 'good guy-bad guy' routine. If your cat attacks you in this manner, solving the behaviour calls for a bit of cunning.


Take a close look at your cat the next time this happens. While patting him or her, watch the eyes and ears and the tail. Usually a dilation of the pupils or a 'black eyed' look heralds the change in mood when aggression is on the way.

The ears will sometimes flatten onto the back of its head, although not always, and the telltale tail will usually start swishing. You may not see all of these signs. Chances are they will happen so quickly that you're more intent on removing the embedded claws and teeth from your flesh than worrying about a detailed analysis of the cat's stereotypic communication cues!

However, if you do see these behaviours, move away from your cat or tip it off your lap if you can.


When a cat attacks when you are cuddling it, it will often wrap its front feet around your forearm, and then embed its claws and its teeth into your flesh. It may then rKIttens Playing_200Smlake your skin with its back claws, thus causing quite an injury.

While this attack may appear vicious and may be damaging, I am not convinced that this behaviour is always an aggressive behaviour. I believe that it is often an aberrant form of play behaviour as it closely resembles the way in which kittens play with each other. You will often see this 'wrap and rake' technique when kittens play, but it is not so common when adult cats attack each other.

For these Jekyll and Hyde behaviours, I usually advise my clients to use a program of  'progressive patting'. Your aim when using this therapy is to reinforce the cats friendly behaviour and to not allow the aggressive behaviour to develop.

Before we go any further, consider that aggression is damaging and dangerous. If you are unsure of your cat's behaviour then take no risks and seek professional advice first.

READ MORE HERE

Lions and tigers and panthers... oh my!

Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012 at 5:25:19 PM EST by Cam Day

The Family Cat

cat-playing200

Many of us share our lives with teeth-endowed, flesh-eating, nocturnal, carnivorous predators and think nothing of it. These lethal killing machines prowl through our suburbs, steal through our houses after dark and, aghast, all too regularly launch ferociously onto our beds at night. There they snuggle under the sheets and purr contentedly.

The family cat is our domesticated member of the Cat Family and Tiddles is closely related to tigers, lions, jaguars, leopards and many other fascinating felines such as the lesser-known kodkod and the margay cat. 

So what's the difference between these species?  Do you know the difference between a leopard, a panther and a jaguar for instance? 

Australasia and Antarctica are the only continents that do not have a natural population of cats in some form. This is a shame. I would love to have a black panther patrolling my backyard.

Those animals we commonly refer to as the 'big cats' are the tiger, lion, jaguar, and leopard.

Do you know the difference between a leopard, a panther and a jaguar?

The tiger, with its striking tricolour coat of chestnut, black and white is the largest of the big cats A Siberian tiger  is the largest representative of the cat family and can weigh more than 300kg with the Indian tiger being smaller but about the same size as a big lion at 250kg.  The Siberian tiger has been hunted to near extinction as, in the past, its body parts were used for medicinal purposes and for cooking.  

ocelot200

Tigers are solitary hunters but they are not very efficient with only ten percent of their rushes resulting in a kill. They should learn from one of my big cats - 100% of his rushes to the food bowl are effective. 

The lion, also referred to as the king of the beasts, was once found in Africa, Europe Iran and India, but is now almost exclusively limited to Africa due to the movement of humans into savannah lands. Lions weigh up to 250kg and are unusual in the cat family as they exist in groups (prides) containing up to thirty members.  Most cats lead a more solitary existence. The characteristic mane of an adult lion is well known and many modern domestic cats have been bred with manes to mimic the lion. One of our cats has a very attractive ruff or mane and a lion's demeanour to go with it!! 

The jaguar and the leopard are closely related and look quite similar but they live in different parts of the world. Both species evolved from a common ancestor but the jaguar (Panthera onca) is now only found in the American continent and the leopard (Panthera pardus) is found throughout Africa, India, and southern Asia .  

The jaguar, weighing up to a maximum of 150kg, is somewhat larger than the leopard that weighs up to 90 kg but their size depends on the habitat they are occupying.

Their coats show subtle differences. The coats of both are well known for their attractive 'spots' or rosettes but the jaguar's rosettes are larger and have a black central spot that is not present in the leopard. Jaguars are also stockier with shorter legs.

The term black panther generally refers to a leopard that is black in colour.  In a litter of leopards, some will be of normal appearance but occasionally some are black. Colouring of this type is called melanism and it does occur in jaguars, but less commonly.  Black jaguars are also referred to as black panthers but further confusion occurs because the puma is also sometimes called a panther. There is something magical and mysterious about the black panther that appeals to many folk and is the reason that black cats are so popular as pets and are the subjects of much mystique.  

Bengal_Green_eyes-200w-SMLThe leopard has occasionally earned a fearsome reputation as a man-eater. There is a famous portrayal by author Jim Corbett of an infamous man-eating Indian leopard. He describes his campaign to hunt the fearsome Rudraprayag leopard of northwest India that acquired a taste for human flesh, even killing a man in his own house and carrying him four miles through dense scrub. This leopard killed 125 humans from 1918 to 1926 before Corbett finally hunted him down. 

The Cheetah is generally similar in coat appearance to the leopard and jaguar but is a lot smaller, weighing up to 60 kg. It is easy to recognise due to its long legs and black 'tear tracks' below its eyes. The tear tracks are sad metaphors because the cheetah has the lowest genetic diversity of any mammal and is thus endangered. If given a tissue graft, the graft is usually universally accepted without rejection because of the similarity of genetic material.  This lack of genetic diversity makes the remaining cheetah population extremely vulnerable to disease and environmental changes. 

Cheetahs are renown for their speed and, at 110km/hr are the fastest of land animals. 

Some cats are rarely heard of. The kodkod is a small South American cat that weighs from two to three kilograms, about the size of a small pet cat. It has a coat that resembles a spotted tabby but has disproportionately long claws. Little else is know about this cat.  

Another rare puss-cat is the margay cat. This striking-looking cat, weighing three to five kilograms, is the same size as an average house cat. It resembles a small ocelot and has large, attractive spots with pale interiors and black edges. Its attractive coat has caused its demise as it was favoured by furriers of the past. It is a tree-dwelling cat and has the agility of a monkey and is unique in that it can rotate its back feet through an angle of 180 degrees and can even run underneath branches.  

Cats are fascinating creatures and wonderful pets - but I still want a black panther in my back yard.

Fun Fact about Cats

Posted: Saturday, February 8, 2014 at 5:00:45 PM EST by Cam Day

Ten Fun Facts about Cats

bigstockphoto_group_of__cats_in_a_row__nor_5081821
  1. A group of cats is called a 'clowder'.
    (Ed.  I am sure that's a condensation of 'crowd', 'clawed' and 'louder'  - which fully describes the turmoils of owning a group of cats.

    A cat vet friend says 'Owning more than 4 cats means you have a mental disorder'!  We have 4 cats - am I on the edge of insanity?
    )
     
  2. In Ancient Egypt, cats were worshipped as Gods, and punishment was severe for injuring a cat in any way.
    (Ed. OK so I live in Egypt because our cats are worshipped as gods. And my cats punish me if I hurt them in any way.)
     
  3. Cats' paw pads are as remarkable as their coats: the same pigments that determine the colour of a cat's coat also determines the colour of their paw pads. 
    (Ed. Really? Where did that come from? Must look at the colour of my cat's paws when I get home. So, do tortoiseshell cats have multi-coloured paws? Cat owners - inspect your cat's paws and leave a note in the Comments. I want to know if this is true!)
     Bengal_Green_eyes-200w-SML
  4. Domestic cats aren't the only purring felines. Cheetahs, Pumas, Ocelots and even Tigers purr. Lions, Panthers, Jaguars and Leopards do not purr.
    (Ed. Yeh ok. But why doesn't my cat purr when I want to hug him? Oh - of course he's a Panther, Jaguar or Leopard. Now I'm worried!)

  5. Ever notice your cat pull its lips back (without hissing) and opens its mouth slightly? That's called the 'Flehmen Response' and happens when your cat wants to examine a scent more closely.
    (This is often seen in non-desexed cats when detecting the scent of a mate. Occurs in many other animals including the Giraffe and Rhino. Occur with my cat when he is going to bite me.)
     
  6. When a cat rubs against you, it is marking you. A cat has scent glands either side of its face - the cat uses these glands to mark its territory.
    (There are several pheromones in a cat's facial rubbings. One is the main ingredient of Feliway.)
     
  7. Whiskers are very important for cats that hunt. Whiskers allow the cat to identify precisely where their prey is so they can attack more efficiently.
    (Ed. So Desmond, my Rag Devil, uses his whiskers to determine where I am so he can attack me with more precision - is that's what's happening?)
     
  8. A mother cat commonly chews her kittens' whiskers off.
    (Ed.  Who says so?  Never heard of that!  Cat breeders please advise - or is that the cat version of the 'hair of the dog that bit you'?)
     
  9. Kittens generally have 26 teeth while adult cats have 30.
    (Ed. Simple science!  Adult cats need more teeth to bite their owners. Thus it's evolution at its best. )
     
  10. A cat has between 230 - 250 bones in its body, compared to the 206 bones a human has.
    (Ed. So where are the extra 40 or so bones?  Are you sure the researcher didn't measure a cat that had just eaten a mouse?)
 

Santa Claws is Coming!

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 12:45:38 PM EST by Cam Day

Santa Claws Applause

If you need a Christmas gift for your favourite pet lover, or even for your favourite pet, the choice this Christmas is bigger that it's ever been. Use this list to get your Santa's sack bulging.

Groomed for Success

Woman and catAs pet owners, we love the look and feel of our pets. So, why not give your favourite pet person a real treat and have their pet professionally groomed? See your local grooming parlour for a gift voucher. Picture this! You could go a step further and have the pet's portrait taken and present the framed photo to the owner for Christmas.

Health Enhancers

Without doubt, one of the best things you can do for a pet-lover is to ensure their pet is healthy and happy. The pet's vet is sure to have a gift voucher that would, for instance, cover the cost of having the pet's teeth cleaned or having the pet vaccinated and while you're at it, ask the vet to add a Once-A-Year heartworm injection into the gift.

Hamper the Pet's Health

A Christmas hamper for the pampered pet is a wonderful idea and the local pet shop or veterinary surgery will help you to select the right goodies.

Consider a flea preventative such as Frontline Plus or Advantage and a good quality hypo-allergenic shampoo. For itchy pets, try an oatmeal shampoo. Add some pet toothpaste and a toothbrush, and a new lead and collar with a whiz-bang, engraved name tag and then throw in a bag of liver treats and you will be forever popular - the pet will like you too!

Better to be Better Behaved

When a pet misbehaves, the turmoil caused by that behaviour is a constant worry for any pet owner.

So, solving that behaviour means a better lifestyle for the pet AND the owner.

Now, you can give your relative or friend the gift of a well-behaved pet! (Or be selfish - give yourself the gift - just don't let anyone else know!)

If your mum or dad or your daughter or son has a problem pet, the best thing you can do is to get personal assistance from Dr Cam to have that problem zapped away.

Leading the Way

If your pet-person has a pooch that is impossible to walk on the lead because the pooch pulls too much, then ask Santa to give the pooch's owner a certificate for an obedience course. A little training goes a long way!

When its being walked, perhaps your friend's dog resembles a cross between as runaway freight train and a turbo-charged yo-yo after a caffeine hit. Well, lead them to success by giving a Gentle Leader as a present. These devices are like a head-halter used on horses. Attach a lead to the Gentle Leader and it operates on the principle that where the head goes, the body must follow. No more freight-train Fido foibles!

We all know dogs are not allowed to exercise off lead in public but an extendable lead is a good alternative. Extendable leads are similar to a builder's tape measure. The lead is housed in a canister from which it extends when applicable or springs back if the dog needs to be short-leashed when passing pedestrians or other dogs.

Tons of Toys

Honey sitting with the Wobbler

There is no end to the range of toys you can buy for pets. For puss cats, there are motorised toys a plenty that will keep a cat

 

 

amused, including the Cat and Mouse. This is a motorised plush mouse that scampers inside a circular maze.

There are many versions of cat teasers that resemble fishing rods with feathers or plush toys attached to the end of a string, or you can make your own from a bamboo garden stake, piece of cotton and a cork with two feathers attached.

If you haven't yet caught up with the rang of self-feeding dog toys such as the Kong Toy, the Giggle Ball or the Buster Cube then you are really behind the times. Most dogs delight in the puzzle that such toys provide and they are great brain fodder for bored dogs that are left alone during the day.

If you prefer to make your own dog and cat toys, then search for information on my No Bored Dogs and Cats routine on www.pethealth.com.au.

Lightening Lightning Fear

If your favourite pet person has a dog with noise fears, I have just the present. My Frightful Noises Audio CD and its sister the Frightful Noises E-book. These resources will make light work of thunder, lightning and fireworks fears.

The audio CD contains more than one hour of sound advice on solving noise fears with dogs. The Brain-E-book has over 50 pages of advice and also includes the Fear Factor Calculator that helps to assess how serious a dog's noise fears are. It also links to a variety of useful video clips on my web site.

Give a Dog A Bone

The simplest things are often the best. So, this Christmas, why not "give your dog a bone"?

A raw meaty bone, such as a piece of ox tail to suit the size of your dog, a marrow bone (cut in half width-ways not lengthways, so the fatty marrow is not available), a chicken wing or neck or a lamb shank, makes an ideal treat. A bone will alleviate boredom and will also help to keep your dog's teeth clean. Chicken wings and necks and the smaller ox tails are ideal for cats too.

A bone doesn't have to be messy. Rawhide chews and pigs' ears are suitable for those pets that bring their bones into the house.

Boredom Blasters

Honey sniffing WobblerBoredom is the modern scourge of dogs and cats. The Christmas boredom-blaster that tops my list is the Kong Toy. Kongs are cone-shaped, rubber toys that resemble the Michelin man. They also have a hole through the middle into which you can hide a variety of healthy food treats. Give this to your pooch when you leave for work and it will have something to entertain it for the day.

A Roller Ball or Treat Ball is a similar idea. These balls are hollow and have a submarine-like hatch that allows you to place dry food inside the ball. As your pooch pushes the ball around, the dry food falls out and provides an instant reward for your dog's efforts. My hairy hound loves her Treat Ball. Similar versions are also available for cats.

Other boredom-blasters that are new this Christmas include a range of chewable toys which incorporate movement-activated, computerised noises. Some make the sound of a fire engine, others make the sound of a telephone and there are many other stimulating noises to bowl Rover over.

Bored puss-cats have not been forgotten. There are many motor-driven toys that will drive your cat crazy. Some have a plush mouse that circles around inside a chamber. Paw holes allow your cat to attempt to catch the mouse as it circles.

Also examine the range of carpeted climbing frames and scratching poles that are available. With hiding holes and bouncing attachments, these are a cat's dream.

Litter Perfect

Now down to man's business. Guys, if you're the sensitive, new age type, for a really romantic present for your cat-fanatic lady, why not give her a Litter Maid reallycutetabbycat200- an automatic, self-cleaning cat litter tray. So considerate!

While you mind the fur-ball for a short period (when the footy's on), your dearly-beloved will find it is so much easier to clean the litter tray. This intelligent litter tray uses a motion detector (!) knows when the cat has visited and automatically activates a cleaning comb ten minutes later. The comb moves through the clumping cat litter and scoops the soiled bits out and deposits them in a disposable waste container.

Yup - now that you've mastered the toilet seat bit, you can even help with the cat's toilet manners.

Speaking of entertaining a puss-cat, look for a new device called a Kitten Mitten. Being a caring cat owner, I have bought my Hair Ball one and he thinks it is so much better than the old "Mouse-on-a-Rope". A Kitten Mitten is a glove with extended fingers tipped with cat nip bobbles. It resembles a mutant cross between Edward Scissor Hands and a Joker's Hat. Place the mitten on, wiggle your fingers and your cat will become a fascinated flipped-out feline.

Fish and Tips

For those who are considering an aquarium, I am really taken by the Eclipse systems. These aquariums are much better-looking than the normal square glass tanks. They are made from attractive curved glass, and come complete with a coloured hood, flourescent light, and a bio-wheel power filter and the total package costs around $180.00.

Bird-brained Presents

buzzLet's not forget our feathered friends. If you are feeding your birds a standard seed mix, your fussy feather-face may pig out on its favourite seeds, thus selecting a diet that is not balanced.

The answer is to feed your bird prepared food pellets, much as we do nowadays for dogs and cats. There are many varieties, but the product, Nutriberries, is one variation. This clever product provides an excellent source of nutrition for birds. It combines essential seeds and vitamins, thus providing a balanced diet with each mouthful. The feathered folk think it is wonderful.

Twinkling Teeth for Christmas?

If you have a friend whose pet has 'death breath', give them a big hint by presenting their pet with a toothbrush and toothpaste for Christmas. Your vet and pet store have a pet tooth brush that fits over the end of a finger and a tube of toothpaste that goes with it. The toothpaste comes in unusual flavours like malt and poultry! Essence of postman is the next flavour on the list, especially for Rottweilers and Dobermans!

For cats and dogs, there are a variety of dental chew treats, including Greenies. Rawhide chews are available for dogs and fish base chews for cats.

For pooches and puss cats that are young or for those that are lonely at night why not try a Snuggle Pet? These plush, furry pets come equipped with a vibrating heart that gives off a comforting and rhythmical beating sound that mimics the heartbeat of a companion.

Happy shopping!

 

Cat question solved!

Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 1:13:39 PM EST by Cam Day

Q  Hello Dr Cam,

I haveFree to roam moved from a leafy large residence where my cat was able to spend her days investigating the creek that ran behind my house to a busy suburban residence that has a lot of foot and road traffic.

So now, she is really restricted to the areas that she can go to ‘investigate’. She has since become very ‘cuddly’ and will follow me around and talk to me continually while I am at home.

I try to play with her and provide her with toys around the house but she isn’t interested in the toys and as I work so much I don’t go and play with her outside during the week.

Can you suggest any solutions?

Kelly, NSW.


 

A  Hi Kelly,

With cats, it’s hard to compete with the wonders of the outside world.  Cats that are allowed to roam benefit from the broad tapestry of challenges life gives them – a rich lifestyle maybe - but usually very short and risk-laden.

Cats kept indoors are much safer and live longer and suffer less disease – but the downside if that is, yes, boredom can be a problem.

So, there's a sensible balance that's needed.

Indoors funThe answer is to give the cat the largest territory possible but the safest and the environmentally richest one you can manage.

Cagey Cats

There are various cat enclosure systems that will allow your cat outside access with safety.

Catmax and Cat Nip are two well-established brands but there are others.  Many cat owners will make their own by, for instance, enclosing a deck, veranda or pagoda.

If an enclosure is not possible then you need to work hard to provide a rich lifestyle for your cat where things change on a regular basis.

Feline Frolics

Playing with your cat is important when you are home and a bamboo garden stake with a bootlace attached makes a good ‘fly-fishing rod’  where you can flick the boot lace back and forth to stimulate your cat's predatory instincts.

When you are not at home, look at various ways in which you can provide change during a cat’s boring day.

Timer activated food bowls are readily available. Some cat owners use our DIY Sneaky Leaky Milk Carton Timer to deliver toys, food items and, yes, Kong toys, to their cats.

We often advise cat owners to use a process called Fan Fare Fun. Place a pedestal fan on a timer plug so it turns on and off during the day. Place the fan at table height and make it ‘blow’ interesting items such as ping pong balls and feathers off the table during your absence. Crazy!

The Phun of Pheromones

To make your cat more content in its new home, also consider the use of Feliway Pheromones

More information on boredom relief for cats can be found on this link

Thanks Kelly!


Cam

Page 1   2