Most commonly associated with “wool sucking,” a behavior in which cats suck or chew on wool, cotton, or synthetic material, this compulsive disorder can progress to true pica in which cats chew and sometimes ingest anything, from wood to sand and plastic bags.
Why can pica be dangerous?
As long as a cat only sucks or chews on the offending substrate, pica itself is not a threat to your cat’s health, but even as a simple obsessive-compulsive disorder, it affects your cat’s quality of life. As humans who are plagued with OCD can attest, no one chooses to indulge in that kind of behavior. However, when cats ingest the things they suck on or chew on, they can lead to life-threatening intestinal blockages that may require emergency surgery.
Symptoms of Pica in Cats
The symptoms of pica in cats vary and it can be difficult to distinguish between normal playful behavior and destructive behavior.
True pica is associated with abnormal frequency or abnormal fixation on the intake of nonfood items.
The following things may be seen in cats with pica:
- Eating items such as paper, toys, etc.
- Chew indoor plants
- Vomiting of non-food items
- Nursing wool or other fabrics.
- Chew holes in fabrics.
Causes of pica
The cause of the pica is not clear. Wool sucking is thought to be a displaced lactation behavior and is sometimes seen in cats that were weaned too suddenly or too young as kittens. It has been associated with various conditions, ranging from nutritional deficiencies to endocrine disorders and brain tumors. The disorder appears to be more common in Oriental races. Genetics and temperament can also play a role. Stress has been identified as a possible risk factor, and to a cat, stress can mean anything from changes in the home to boredom.
Your vet will want to perform a complete medical exam, including blood work, to rule out any medical causes.
Eliminate temptation: place items your cat likes to chew on out of reach. If your cat likes to chew on clothes, store them in a hamper and make sure the cupboard doors are tightly closed. If your cat chews plants, remove them. Keep plastic bags out of reach.
Make Specific Items Unattractive: Use double-sided tape or spray on products that taste bitter but are cat-safe, like Bitter Yuck.
Provide acceptable alternatives to chew: Provide chew toys filled with catnip, kitty grass, or other cat vegetables.
Environmental Enrichment: Provide cat trees and window perches so your cat can observe the outside world. Cat scratching posts and tunnels provide distraction and mental and physical challenges.
General Cost to Treat Pica in Cats
many cases of pica do not require treatment. However, if your cat requires medication or has to undergo surgery for a gastrointestinal foreign body, there may be associated costs.
These costs may include:
Diagnostics to rule out basic medical conditions = $200-$500
Medications to treat pica = $10-$30 per month
Surgery to eliminate gastrointestinal foreign body = $1,000-$2,000
Cat pica treatment costs will vary depending on its location and the veterinary treatment that is required.
Animal shelter – what is it? and why is it important?
An animal shelter is a place where animals especially dogs or cats from the streets are kept as their ‘home’. These animals live a similar lifestyle to how they would have at the owners’ house. They will be given treats, be able to play with toys, and more importantly, provide the necessary care that they need. They are similar to a normal house, only much bigger and house a lot of pets. These also receive all necessary pet items. Plus they will be mostly in the countryside. There are many examples of such shelters here in Pakistan, like Todd’sWelfareSociety, that have provided shelters for animals who have been in such situations.
Importance of an animal shelter
Animal shelters are necessary for those types that are vulnerable and in desperate need of help. These types are usually hurt, abused, kidnapped for cruel purposes, sick, or badly taken care of by their owners. At animal shelters, they are going to be given necessary and proper care for negative or traumatic events they have suffered. They will not only be given physical, but mental treatment as well. The other reasons for putting animals in these shelters could be that the owners are not able to keep them for a while due to some reasons, and they later can get their pets back.
Recruitment method of an animal shelter
There are many methods of recruiting animals. The owners could give their pets to the animal shelters, in the areas where they live. To save animals from such cruelty and abuse, the shelters recruited volunteers that are deployed on the streets where they might be or are in danger, these volunteers will then rescue these animals, by bringing them back to the shelter. If anyone wants to volunteer for this, here is the site.
The way an animal shelter functions
This organization works more like a foster home or an orphanage, where a group of animals lives together in one ‘big house’. They are all given their rooms to sleep in and also a toilet, they are all given the food that they need, there are also toys for each animal that they can play with and they will get all necessary physical and mental care that they need. The volunteers are engaged with the animals’ activities like playing for example and there are group activities where the animals gather and play, work or have eating time together.
Types of departments
Most of the animal shelters in Pakistan are non-government and non-profitable organizations. Meaning that according to some surveys, NGOs tend to have a high degree of trust among the public. So that adds validity to having enough trust to not only have a good amount of volunteers but also have a good amount of supporters for such organizations. Supporters can support by funding the organization so that it can grow by adding and improving facilities. In the end, this will not only help the people employed at the organization but also help the animals’ lives improve.
Most animal shelters, also have adoption centers, where all of the animals who have been fully treated, nurtured, or received successful proper care would be located. This is so in case a new owner wants to adopt them, they can do so from these centers. There is also an online version of these centers, where prospective owners can choose the type of pet, gender, and size for their choice of pet adoption. After selection, the employees at the adoption center would choose the exact pet of the customer’s choice and then deliver it to the customer’s location. An important thing to note is that the shelters will only enter those pets into the adoption center if they have been fully recovered, treated, or received proper care.
Animal shelters are an important part of not only recovering animals from trauma, pain, or suffering but also improving their lives so that they can be in a high level of positive state mental and physical. They are also an advantage in receiving a good amount of public trust, due to their NGO nature. Animal shelters are a ‘new’ home for those pets that want to find a place where they can live safely and have a good quality of life. Animal shelters are similar to a normal house where pets can live, but bigger and can house way more pets than a normal house. Unlike a normal house, pets in animal shelters can have many types of group activities.
The Complete Guide That Simplifies Creating a More Cat-Friendly Home
Sharing your life with a four-legged friend has many advantages. You have a constant companion. A fuzzy buddy to greet you after a hard day at work. A bed warmer. A lower chance of having a heart attack.
But you have some prep work to do. There are a lot of things you don’t think about when designing the perfect cat home.
First, you need to understand your cat. Read on to find out how to turn your home into a kitten paradise.
The Needs and Wants of Cats
Are you considering adopting a cat? It makes you the parent of the animal. Before you can turn your home into a cat-friendly home, it’s your job to understand your cat. Understanding your feline companion will help you gain their trust and ease the transition to family life.
Cats need routine
Just like humans, cats are creatures of habit. They need regular routines. They like to get up at certain times, sleep at other times, and eat meals at set times throughout the day. Many like to drink water in the evening.
If you live a busy life with a busy schedule, you’ll need to plan around your cat. A happy cat is one who knows when it’s time to play and when it’s time to snuggle up on the couch.
Cats like to climb
Heights are synonymous with safety for a cat. They will jump on anything they can: window ledges, refrigerators, shelves, stacks of boxes, and cupboards. From a height, they monitor their surroundings and know that they are in a place where they will not be disturbed.
Providing your cat with extra raised spots will ensure they have a place to acclimatize and get used to your family.
Cats need their space
As a cat parent, giving your cat the space it needs is essential.
A new or young cat will hide and observe its surroundings first. This is normal behavior. Don’t force your cat out. Let him get used to your house and your smell.
Your four-legged friend will be socializing in no time.
Cats are hunters
Cats are nocturnal hunters with razor-sharp senses in the dark.
Don’t be surprised if your cat is active in the middle of the night. They find joy in brief periods of activity. But their predatory nature also means an intense desire to play.
They need an hour of play a day.
Cats will play alone, in pairs, in groups – and with you. It’s important for your cat’s health, and it’s a great time to bond with your cat. Turn your home into a cat-friendly home
Have you chosen your favorite breed?
With a short coat, you won’t have to worry about shedding. Bengal cats are curious, confident, and playful. And Munchkin cats have been known to steal shiny objects and put them away for later.
Whatever forms your furry friend takes, once you’ve signed the cat’s adoption papers, you’ve made the commitment. It’s time to put your house in order.
- Plan the essentials before anything else:
They love a warm, cozy place to rest their furry heads. If you have sunny rooms, you can bet that.
Cats sleep much longer than humans – between 12 and 18 hours a day.
will spend their days following the movement of the sun to bathe in the sun.
And whether you like it or not, they will find several places in the house to let off steam. Cats are comfortable on anything soft, so consider sprucing up your windowsills and armchairs with bedding.
Otherwise, you’ll find them curled up in a pile of clean laundry.
Food and water should be available when your cat needs it. This doesn’t mean you have to indulge them – many cats eat kibble in small amounts throughout the day when hungry.
Their bowls should be suitable for their height, cleaned regularly, and made of glass or ceramic. The water must be changed every day: cats hate stale water.
Cats need clean toilets
There is no getting around a litter box. They’ll use one instinctively – even as a kitten – but they like it clean.
And no, cleaning kitty litter is not a weekly chore. It’s something you’ll need to do every day, or you’ll have a nasty (and smelly) shock before too long.
There’s not much you can do against the call of the wild. But there is something you can do about the smell: high-quality foods reduce cat poop smell to reasonable levels.
A litter box is enough, but for a happier cat, it’s worth following the plus-one rule. That means one litter box per feline and an extra one for emergencies.
Give your cat a safe place
Patience is key when introducing a new cat. Your four-legged friend won’t get used to your house overnight.
You’ll foster a healthier relationship and build trust early on by providing safe spaces for your cat to retreat to. If you do not do this, the cat will create its own hiding place under beds, and sofas – and in these places, you will never think to look.
Let your cat rest and don’t violate the sanctity of hiding. This is where your cat will relax on its own.
Get a scratching post
Cats scratch to cut their claws. This keeps them razor-sharp, but it’s also satisfying for your cat.
Much like safe spaces, you have two options: give your cats a scratching post or they will make their own (probably from the expensive leather upholstery).
- Don’t forget to play
- Playtime with your furry friend is fun for both of you.
- Play the (literal) games of cat and mouse the right way with a toy on a string:
- Move the toy erratically
- Hide behind the corners
- Attract your cat with sound
To play hide and seek
It’s important as a calorie-burning exercise for indoor cats, and it keeps your cat’s mind and senses active. There should also be a healthy variety of toys in the toy box. Toys that mimic prey are best – small, fluffy, and on a string.
And while laser pointers may sound fun to you, they aren’t satisfying to your cat because he never gets the satisfaction of catching his prey.
Give your four-legged friend a perfect home
Your cat-friendly home is just around the corner. All it takes is a pinch of love and a little elbow grease to get everything ready to be a pet parent.
5 Reasons Why You Should Own A Cat
A cat is one of the best pets you can own. If you’re hesitant to take on the responsibility of owning a pet, you may want to revisit the benefits of owning a cat. They are sweet, calm, and independent, and listening to a cat’s purr can melt your heart. These are the top five reasons why you should get a cat.
- Cats can bathe themselves
Cats are clean almost 100 percent of the time. That means you never have to take time out of your day to go through the laborious task of washing and grooming your cat.
- Cats will keep your house and garden free of rodents
If you’re not a fan of rats, chipmunks, voles, or mice in your home, having a cat will take care of that in no time. Your cat can even bring you their treat to make you proud!
- Cats are low-maintenance and independent.
If you think you don’t have the time or energy to have a pet, a cat might be perfect for you. Taking care of a cat requires less responsibility than other animals. Those who have full-time jobs can rest easy, knowing that their kitty can take care of herself for the most part. And when you have extra time, snuggling with your cat will feel better than ever.
- Cats are an ecological pet
Living a “green” lifestyle can be difficult, but a cat is a great option for would-be pet owners looking to stay green. Studies show that the lifetime resources required to feed and care for a cat have a lower carbon footprint than other animals. Also, most cats prefer fish to beef or corn, which is better for the environment. Owning a cat makes you feel good.
- Cats can help reduce stress
We all get stressed, and people have many different ways to relieve their stress. Cat owners can reduce tensions simply by stroking their furry friend’s head. Petting a cat releases endorphins in the brain, which makes you happier. Plus, cats have the softest fur!
There are many more reasons why you should have a cat to fill your home with love. Check out your local shelter to find a kitty that really needs a home.
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