Black cats are a misunderstood type of feline that is often feared by people because of the reputation that they bring bad luck. Although they have a bad reputation in society today, it has not always been that way.
In fact, black felines used to be a sign of good luck all over the world. So how did these beautiful creatures gain such a negative reputation?
To find out the answer to this question it is best to go back to the first mention of these cats in history, which was around 3,000 BC in Egypt.
Black cats in ancient Egypt were actually viewed with respect and honour. This is because they were associated with Bastet, an Egyptian goddess that resided in the form of a black-furred cat.
Egyptians adored Bastet and would always pray to her, asking her to bless their homes with good fortune.
Egypt was not the only place that thought black cats brought good luck. In fact, people all over the world had a positive view of these dark-furred felines. For example, in Japan, Scotland, and England, people believed that:
If you find one on your porch, you are blessed with good fortune.
If a black kitty walks into your home, you are truly lucky.
A black cat that crosses your path brings good luck.
A black cat walking towards you brings good fortune, while one that’s walking away from you brings your fortune with it.
If black cats were viewed as such lucky animals, then how did people start believing that they were unlucky animals?
It all began in America and England during the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages were a time of great superstition in these areas of the world.
With the idea of witches and witchcraft posing a threat to the well-being of people during this time, people became sceptical of anything mysterious or dark in colour. Black cats were soon believed to be witches’ familiars, meaning the cats helped the witches carry out their wicked deeds.
In addition to being familiars, people believed that witches could also disguise themselves as these darkly coloured cats.
This scare led to the loss of many innocent human beings and cats in America and England. Strangely enough, with no cats to control the rodent population, England became over-run with rats, which caused the Black Plague to spread across the country.
This was an unfortunate result of the destruction of cats, though perhaps it provides a lesson about how important cats can be.
The Middle Ages were a turning point for the reputation of black cats. Although these felines were once viewed as a sign of good fortune, this period in history made people believe that they were bad luck. Don’t be fooled by these old superstitions.
Black cats may look mysterious, but they are actually one of the kindest, most loving types of feline.
Niki Rebin, along with her parents Norm and Delva have helped over 3,000 stray and feral cats through their non-profit cat sanctuary Paws On Your Heart. Visit the sanctuary here: http://pawsonyourheart.com. The Rebin family has worked with cats for over 70 years, and they have learned many interesting facts about cats during this time. Get your free cat facts e-book here: http://products.pawsonyourheart.com/95-fun-facts/
Ear mites account for more than half of all ear infections in cats. They are irritating and sometimes painful to cats. Although not dangerous, they are contagious and if left untreated, ear mite infestations can lead to excessive scratching and wounds behind the ears that may become infected.
Conventional treatments involve using an oil-based pesticide to kill the mites. Natural remedies for ear mites in cats are gentler but any treatment will have to continue for some time.
Ear mites can be treated externally with oil. Keep the oil cool but gently warm it before treatment. Never put cold or hot drops into your cat’s ear. To test that the oil has the right temperature you can put some on your wrist.
To create an ear mite lotion, mix 15ml of a base oil, e.g. almond oil and 15ml of lavender essential oil and add 400 international units of vitamin E. Pour 10 drops of this mix into your cat’s ear morning and evening.
Massage the oil thoroughly into the ear and then pour one drop of eucalyptus essential oil into the ear canal. The massaging will help to bring debris up to the outer part of the ear where it can be wiped away with a cotton ball.
After each application, clean the ear with a solution consisting of half a teaspoonful of apple cider vinegar and three teaspoons of warm water. Soak a cotton wool ball in the mixture and apply to the inside of the ear.
Remove as much as possible of the gritty discharge that are the ear mites and then dry off the ears with a hair dryer on low heat for three minutes.
Continue the treatment for five days. Leave a gap of three days and repeat the entire process. Alternatively, mineral oil applied once or twice a week for 3-4 weeks effectively eliminate ear mites. The oil will smother the ear mites and ensure that no new generation can develop.
If the infestation is severe, continue the treatment after the second three day break with the following recipe. Simmer four teaspoons of yellow dock root (macerated) in 150ml of water for 10 minutes.
Then add four teaspoons of chopped horsetail and one tablespoon of chopped yellow dock. Take off the boil and let the mix stand for one minute, then strain the herbs and add 20 drops of lavender essential oil. Allow to cool before adding six teaspoons of apple cider vinegar.
Repeat the treatment for five days as previously but then wait for two weeks before administering the final course of medication.
The internal treatment should be accompanied by daily internal cleansing. Prepare a tisane of equal parts of stinging nettle and thyme and give two dropperfuls, three times daily until the ear mite infection has completely cleared.
To make the tea, infuse one teaspoonful of herb in 150ml of water for one minute. Bring down to body temperature before administering.
If your cat’s ears are very inflamed a horsetail compress with some drops of lavender essential oil will bring relief. Apply a piece of cotton wool that is big enough to cover the ear and bandage to keep it in place.
You can also feed your cat some tonic foods such as finely chopped garlic and watercress to support the healing.
These home remedies for cats with ear mites help to eliminate ear mites and build up your cat’s immune system so she can fight off future infections.
Monika Ruthe is a complementary therapist. She is also the creator of an online information resource on natural and home remedies for cats. To discover the best natural remedies for cats for a variety of common ailments and learn how to use them visit http://www.homeremediesforcats.com
Cats vs. dogs… Cat owners vs. dog owners. It’s a war that has been waged for as long as people and pets have lived together.
While some animal lovers are what I would call “ambi-pet-rous” (equally fond of both cats and dogs), there are just as many die-hard fans of dogs, and cat connoisseurs that would have no other pet.
Today, we’re going to take the stance of the cat lover, and discuss 5 valid reasons why cats are better than dogs. Now, before all you dog lovers start growling at me, in a future article I promise to take the opposite viewpoint, and give dogs their day.
So, without further adieu, here are the top 5 reasons that cats are better than dogs!
Cats are self-training. Many a dog owner has been faced with the problem of house training their puppy. And some dogs, despite the owners’ best efforts, never quite get it. Kittens, on the other hand, take to the litter box like ducks to water.
It’s a cats’ natural instinct to dig a hole and bury it’s pee and poo. All a cat owner needs to do is ensure that their pussycat has a clean litter box tucked away in a quiet corner, and that’s pretty much it.
Cats are quiet. One of the most frustrating aspects of dog ownership is barking. And barking. And even more barking. Many dogs will seemingly bark when so much as a flea farts.
Not so with cats. Although some breeds of cat, such as the Siamese, can be more vocal than others, cat owners definitely do not need earplugs.
Cats are healthier. With the exception of some purebred cat breeds, cats tend to be healthier than dogs.
Dogs can suffer from numerous health problems, including such things as hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, arthritis, allergies and skin conditions. Cats, on the other hand, are generally healthier and live longer – as much as 25 years.
Cats are low maintenance. Cats self-regulate their feedings. Leave a bowl of good quality cat food down for your kitty, and you can rest assured your cat will eat only as much she needs – when she is hungry.
Dogs, on the other hand, can only be fed what they should eat, otherwise they will eat, and eat, and eat (and eat). Dogs wolf down their food and go looking for more.
Cats are self-reliant. It’s a rare occurrence that a cat will suffer from separation anxiety when the family is away at work or school.Cats are happy to take a nice nap while on their own, but still enjoy the companionship of their family when home.
Dogs and puppies are not good when left on their own. They can become destructive, anxious and neurotic, and very often need the care of a sitter, or someone to be home with them most of the time.
These are just a few of the reasons cats are better than dogs. I’m sure cat owners will have many more. So if you’re looking for an affectionate family pet that is lots of fun but not so much work, consider a cat or kitten.
Deborah Moore is a writer, cat expert and webmaster. She is the owner of Cats and Kittens Central, an information portal dedicated to responsible cat ownership. Deborah resides in Newfoundland, Canada.
If you have a hairball problem in your house, then you really need to read this article. Hairballs are called ‘trichobezoars’ in veterinary terms, that can be a recurring problem for many cats.
In this article you will learn what causes hairballs and how to tell if your cat has one. Most importantly you will learn the most effective natural remedies that work quickly and easily.
The signs of hairballs in most cats are of your pet coughing and throwing up fur. Some cats will gag without expelling much hair.
Some dogs will also get hairballs, such as the long haired, small breeds, like Pomeranian. Hairballs are seldom shaped like balls- they are most often slender and cylindrical, often looking like a long sausage.
The elongated shape occurs as it passes through the narrow food tube (esophagus) after leaving your cat’s stomach, then being deposited on your newly cleaned bed..
The causes of moist hairballs are pretty simple: Cats are very clean animals that love to groom themselves. Most hair will pass through the intestinal tract into the stool. A hairball forms when too much hair accumulates in the stomach and has to be expelled.
An easy way to treat hairballs is by using petroleum jelly (Vaseline). Place 1/4 inch in his mouth. If he is uncooperative, then you can place it on his front paws.
Use twice daily for 5 days. Tastier versions are available from pet supply stores, such as Felaxin and Laxatone. These are flavored with added nutrients to make the petroleum jelly go down easier.
Additional dietary fiber will aid in the expulsion of hair from the stomach through the intestinal tract. If your cat gets hairballs on a regular basis, then they should be on a high-fiber diet.
There are specific Veterinary diets higher in fiber. Another option is to add canned pumpkin to their diet; most cats like it. Give 1/2 to 1 teaspoon daily per 10 lbs of body weight.
The less hair your pet has, the lower number of hairballs. Brushing your cat daily will remove loose fur before your cat has a chance to swallow it. The act of regular grooming is very important in preventing recurring hairballs in the long haired cats.
There are a few specific hairball diets. They contain additional dietary fiber as well as papain, a compound found in pineapple to aid in digestion.In veterinary practice, some clients reported that these helped, so they may be beneficial for your cat
Pineapple juice has long been advocated as a hairball remedy. This is used to treat hairballs in rabbits, and may be effective in cats. It contains an ingredient, bromelain, which can break down some hair. The dose would be 1 tsp twice daily, if you can get it into your cat – good luck!
If you have a cat that is regularly regurgitating hairballs, then you should consider some of the suggested at home remedies.
You should be brushing your cat regularly, and using petroleum jelly as a safe, and effective laxative. Eliminating recurring hairballs can be easily done by following just a few of the above mentioned remedies.
Dr Andrew Jones is the author of a Free eBook, Cat Health Secrets, which gives you over 100 safe, natural and effective at home remedies to solve your cat’s health problems quickly and easily at home. He reveals what Vaccines to AVOID and what to give, The BEST food to feed, plus HOW to save money on veterinary fees. Your FREE CAT HEALTH SECRETS BOOK is at http://www.theinternetpetvet.com
If you have an older cat with increased appetite, but also with weight loss then they likely have hyperthyroidism. This is a very common cat disease, primarily affecting middle aged to older cats.
In this article I will explain what hyperthyroidism is, going over the most common signs and causes. I will then cover your options for treatment, including the most effective natural solutions.
This is a disease that occurs only in cats. Your cat will usually be over the age of 10. She will have an increased appetite, but will be losing weight. Her coat will be sparse. She may be urinating more often.
She will have evidence of muscle loss. You may be able to feel an enlarged thyroid gland beside her Adam’s apple. Her heart rate will be elevated (greater than 200 beats per minute).
In hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland enlarges and produces an excess of thyroid hormone. This speeds up your cat’s entire metabolism, producing the signs of weight loss, increased appetite, elevated heart rate and often high blood pressure.
The disease is diagnosed based on a veterinary exam, and in many instances enlarged thyroid glands can be palpated on either side of your cat’s trachea (windpipe).
High heart rate, and elevated blood pressure point towards hyperthyroid disease. A chemistry panel measuring thyroid hormone (T4) can confirm the diagnosis of hyperthyroidism.
One of the safest and most effective ways to treat your hyperthyroid cat is with radioactive iodine. Your cat will be given one dose of radioactive Iodine that selectively targets the abnormal thyroid cells.
It requires a specialized licensed facility, and can only be performed at a few referral practitioners.
Surgery is a potential option, but based on the risks of hypocalcemia, and anesthetic concerns in older cats, it is seldom performed.
Most cats are treated with a conventional medication called methimazole, but the medication has drawbacks.
First medication must be given at least daily, usually twice a day- and this can be a challenge. 15% of cats have some type of side effect, typically GI ( vomiting, diarrhea, innapetance). Some can have allergic type reactions ( ie facial scratching).
A small percent will have serious liver disease, and some can have their bone marrow affected ( this happens in 2-4% of cats on medication).
Carnitine is a supplement that has been found to be effective in reversing the signs of hyperthyroid disease in people. The starting cat dose is 250 mg a day.
Bugleweed Lycopus europeus) and Melissa (Melissa officinalis). These are two herbs that have been used in combination to combat the effects of hyperthyroid disease.
Bugleweed has been shown to decrease thyroid hormone levels in rats 24 hours after administration. The standard dose is 1 drop per lb of body weight of the tinctures given twice daily.
Nat Mur is a homeopathic used for thyroid hormone reduction. Alternate practitioners’ favor Nat Mur 30C as the remedy of choice.
In fact a clinical trial with this homeopathic gave impressive results, treating the hyperthyroidism in many of the cats. Give 1 tab every 12 hours and assess the response after 30 days.
This very common cat disease, hyperthyroidism, has some fairly classic signs of increased appetite, with accompanied weight loss that all cat owners should be aware of.
The cause is due to overproduction of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland, and the diagnosis is fairly simple with a blood test measuring T4. There are 3 primary conventional treatments, but the most common one ( a drug called methimazole), produces side effects in 15% of cats, some very serious.
Fortunately there are a few specific holistic options for you to consider, and they have helped many a hyperthyroid cat.
Dr Andrew Jones is the author of a Free Ebook, Cat Health Secrets, which gives you over 100 safe, natural and effective at home remedies to solve your cat’s health problems quickly and easily at home. He reveals what Vaccines to AVOID and what to give, The BEST food to feed, plus HOW to save money on veterinary fees. Your FREE CAT HEALTH SECRETS BOOK is at http://www.theinternetpetvet.com
Many people think that the primary reason that cats cough is because they are trying to cough up a hairball. However, coughing in cats is usually indicative of something more serious.
Things that can cause coughing in cats include asthma, heartworm-associated respiratory disease, fungal infections, and lung parasites such as lungworms.
Feline asthma: Feline asthma is caused by an allergic reaction to airborne allergens. Clinical signs of feline asthma include coughing, wheezing, and labored breathing.
Airborne allergens that may cause clinical signs include cigarette smoke, fireplace smoke, and dusty cat litter.
Feline Heartworm Disease and Heartworm-Associated Respiratory Disease (HARD): Cats are susceptible to infection with heartworms. Clinical signs of heartworm disease are similar to those of feline asthma and include coughing, wheezing, and labored breathing.
Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitos. The prevalence of heartworm disease is higher in geographical areas with large numbers of mosquitos.
Although outdoor cats are at greater risk of infection, indoor cats represent approximately twenty-five percent of confirmed heartworm cases.
Diagnosing heartworm disease in cats is challenging and frequently requires a combination of tests including blood tests and chest x-rays.
Fungal infections: Coughing in cats can also be caused by fungal infections with such pathogens as Cryptococcus and Histoplasma. Cats can become infected by inhaling airborne fungal organisms from the environment.
Some fungal pathogens such as Cryptococcus neoformans are found worldwide while others are found only in certain geographic areas.
Cryptococcosis is the most common fungal infection of cats. Cryptococcus neoformans is found primarily in bird (especially pigeon) droppings.
After inhalation of the organism, cryptococcus infection is established in the lungs and then can spread to the lymph nodes, central nervous system, eyes, skin, urinary tract, thyroid glands, and abdominal organs.
Clinical signs will vary depending on the organ system involved. A variety of tests may be used to diagnose fungal infections including blood tests and chest x-rays.
Lungworms: Aelurostrongylus abstrusus, the most common lungworm of cats, is found in many parts of the world including the United States, Europe, and Australia. Infection with lungworms can cause coughing, wheezing, and labored breathing.
The life cycle of the lungworm includes frogs, lizards, birds, and rodents as transport hosts of encysted larvae. When one of the transport hosts is eaten by a cat, the lungworm larvae migrate from the stomach to the lungs.
The lungworms live in the lungs and release larvae into the lung tissue. The cat then coughs up the larvae, swallows them, and the larvae are passed in the stool.
Routine fecal examinations used to identify parasite eggs passed in the stool are not useful for identifying parasite larvae.
A special fecal test called a Baermann fecal is used to diagnose lungworm infection by identifying the lungworm larvae passed in the stool.
If your cat is coughing, it is best to take your cat to your veterinarian for a complete physical examination and diagnostics as indicated.
Dr. Rachele Baker is a small animal veterinarian in southern California with over twelve years of experience. She recently introduced an Ask The Vet feature on her blog. Please go to http://rachelebaker.com to read Dr. Baker’s blog posts, subscribe to her blog, and send in your questions to be answered!