Turkish Van Breed Profile

Origin and History

An ancient breed, the Turkish Van is thought to have origins in the Lake Van region in southeastern Turkey. This cold, rough mountain region likely caused the breed to naturally develop its large muscular body and thick waterproof coat.

The Turkish Van remained unknown to the west until 1955. The Turkish government asked two British photographers, Sonia Halliday and Laura Lushington, to come photograph Turkey and promote tourism. The women were gifted two Turkish Van kittens that accompanied them on their travels throughout the country.

Captivated by the kittens’ appearance, personality and love of swimming, Halliday and Lushington brought them back to England when their assignment was completed. When the kittens matured, they were bred to each other. The resulting kittens looked just like their parents, indicating very stable genetics.

Lushington in particular took an interest in developing the breed. For 14 years she worked to standardize and popularize it enough to be recognized by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF). Finally the breed was accepted in 1969. The GCCF originally called it the “Turkish cat” but changed the name to “Turkish Van” in 1979 to avoid confusion with the Turkish Angora.

The breed did not reach the United States until 1982. The Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) awarded it championship status in 1994. Today the Turkish Van is recognized by all major western cat registries.

An uncommon but extremely sought-after breed, every registered Turkish Van can have its origins traced back to Laura Lushington’s original cats. The CFA reports fewer than 100 new Turkish Van registrations per year, making it one of the rarest breeds.

Coat, Colors & Appearance

Though at first glance the Turkish Van appears to be a white cat with colored patches, the reverse is actually true. The Turkish Van’s head and tail color is its main color, but most of the body is covered in a large white patch.

This striking coloration is known as “van patterning” and is the result of the piebald white spotting gene. Though other breeds can sometimes show van patterning, it is the trademark feature of the Turkish Van.

All standard-conforming Turkish Vans have a white body with a colored head and tail. Small colored patches are permitted elsewhere as long as they are sized and shaped so as not to distract from the overall appearance of the cat. Symmetrical head patterns are most desirable.

Acceptable colors vary by organization but typically include blue, black, cream and red solid varieties. Tabby varieties include brown, red, blue and cream. Tortie and tortie-tabby colors may also occur. Though some registries recognize all-white Turkish Vans without head or tail color, the CFA and the Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe) do not.

The Turkish Van’s fur is often compared to cashmere. Soft and smooth, the coat is single-layered and water-repellent. It lies close to the body, giving a sleek appearance. The plumed tail is long and fluffy.

In terms of size, the Turkish Van is one of the largest breeds. The long, muscular body is top-heavy with long back legs and large paws, causing the cat’s center of gravity to shift forward and making it a highly adept jumper and climber. The head is a broad wedge with prominent cheekbones and large feathered ears.

The eyes of the Turkish Van are large, round and expressive. They can be blue, amber or heterochromic/odd-colored (each eye is a different color). Though blue eyes, white fur and deafness are linked in cats, blue-eyed Turkish Vans are not predisposed to deafness. This is owed to the fact that their white fur is actually a piebald patch, not a true allover body color.

The Turkish Van’s nose is normally pink, but owners report that it turns red when the cat is upset or not feeling social. This can be helpful to gauge the mood of the cat.

Due to high muscle density and long length (sometimes reaching 3 feet from head to tip of tail), the Turkish Van can be quite a hefty cat. Females weigh between 7 and 12 pounds, while males average 14 to 18 pounds. However, it is not unheard of for a male Turkish Van to tip the scales at 20 pounds or more!

Personality

Not one to be content with sitting on your lap all day, the Turkish Van shows high levels of energy and athleticism. Playtime with a Turkish Van is likely to tire you out before the cat is even halfway done! Many owners report that their cats love playing fetch and will bring their favorite toys to their owners whenever they feel like playing.

One of the Turkish Van’s most fascinating traits is its love of water. Your Turkish Van will probably try to join you in the shower, or at least roll around in it after you’re done. She may be fixated on faucets, toilets and water bowls. She may even teach herself to turn on your sinks so she can play in the stream of water! Thankfully, the Turkish Van’s water-repelling coat allows her to dry off easily should she decide to splash around.

We don’t generally think of cats as clumsy but the Turkish Van proves that not all cats are masters of agility. Don’t be surprised if your Turkish Van seems like he has four left feet! His big paws and expressive tail should be kept away from anything fragile lest he accidentally knock it to the ground.

Though they have a strong independent streak, Turkish Vans show an undeniable loyalty to their owners. Your Turkish Van won’t want to be picked up or cuddle with you all the time, but she’ll sleep next to you at night and enjoy pettings, as long as they’re on her terms.

Turkish Vans tend to get along best with other members of their breed. They can warm up to other cats with time and proper socialization but may be standoffish at first. Cat-friendly dogs can coexist with the Turkish Van so long as they do not try to show dominance over the cat.

Children and Turkish Vans often end up being best friends. With equally high energy levels, they play for hours and tire each other out. Children need to be instructed to respect the cat’s strict boundaries, especially since the Turkish Van is so large and powerful.

Grooming and Care

The Turkish Van’s love of water doesn’t make him any easier to bathe. He hates being restrained and his water-resistant coat can make him difficult to lather up. Thankfully, the coat is also quite dirt-resistant, so bathing should be a rare occurrence.

The Turkish Van sheds mainly in spring and fall, with very little shedding in between. Weekly brushing should be sufficient to keep the coat healthy. Older cats may require more frequent brushing if they have difficulty reaching all the necessary areas.

Teeth should be brushed at least once a week to prevent painful gum disease. Ears should also be cleaned once a week with a damp cotton ball.

Health

The Turkish Van’s health is generally very good compared to other purebred cats. They do not typically have any breed-specific health problems, with two exceptions.

Sacrocaudal dysgenesis is known to affect Turkish Van kittens. This is a malformation of the lower spine, near the tail. This condition develops in utero and there is no treatment or cure. Turkish Vans with this condition may have problems with gait and incontinence, though they can still live fulfilling, happy lives.

Heart disease is also reported in a higher-than-average percentage of Turkish Vans, though no genetic link between the breed and heart disease has been discovered. All Turkish Vans should receive yearly vet checkups that include heart health to ensure that any disease is caught early.

Purebred Turkish Vans may have different blood types than most cats. It is recommended to get your Turkish Van’s blood tested so the blood type can be recorded and readily available in the event of an emergency.

What Makes the Turkish Van Different?

Though visually striking, the Turkish Van’s uniqueness isn’t limited to its looks. It is as skilled at swimming as it is at hunting. Its intelligence makes it highly adept at learning tricks – or even teaching itself! With a long lifespan and a taste for adventure, this is a great breed for those who appreciate a cat with an independent nature.

Buying a Turkish Van

Turkish Vans are a rare breed. There are very few breeders out there; this list of breeders shows five Turkish Van catteries in the United States. Because availability is so limited, there may be long wait lists for these cats. Prices vary but generally start at around $600 for a Turkish Van kitten.

Adopting a Turkish Van

If you’re in love with the Turkish Van breed but would rather adopt than buy, a good place to start is the RescueMe Turkish Van page. This page shows adoptable Turkish Vans across the United States. Finding a true Turkish Van in a typical shelter is highly unlikely due to the rarity of the breed.

 

Best Cat Nail Clippers Buying Guide

Our Top 5 Picks

Ranking

Product

Our Rating

Price

1

Pet Republique ® Professional Cat Nail Clippers

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2

JW Pet Company GripSoft Cat Nail Clipper

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3

Safari 770045 Professional Nail Trimmer

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4

Cat Nail Clippers Trimmer By Boshel

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5

Simply Cats: Kittynails Nail Clipper

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Why You Should Clip Your Cat´s Nails?

Cat´s maintain generally maintain a decent length of their claws/nails by scratching objects around them and chewing off the outer layer of their claws, this is also why you should always provide your cat with plenty of surfaces to excercise their need for scratching such as scratch pads or scratching paws.

Older cats that are more immobile and cats that are not able to scratch on nearby surfaces are suseptile to claw overgrowth, which is when the claw or nail grows into the paw pad. This can cause infections and pain. If your cat has long untrimmed nails they also increase their risk of getting their claws stuck in surfaces like carpets, which may hurt them. Cat´s also have what is known as a a “dewclaw” which grows on the inside of their front leg (see picture below). This claw does not get worn down by scratching and therefore needs to be trimmed by you.

  • It helps maintain a good length of nails for older and less active cats
  • It prevents infections that can occur because of overgrowth and when the nail grows into the paw pad.
  • Your cat does less damage to your furniture if they scratch.
  • You lessen the risk of your cat getting their nails stuck in surfaces like carpets and hurting themselves.

Types of Nail Clippers

There are different types of nail clippers that you can use to clip your cat´s nails/claws, but the most common ones are guillotine type clippers, scissor type clippers and human nail clippers. We recommend using scissor type or guillotine type clippers for cutting your cat´s nails. Another thing to consider is the size and design of the clipper. There are clippers with scissor type handles as well as those with plier like handles. This comes down to personal preference for what to choose, but we find that the smaller the clipper, the easier it is to handle and the less obtrusive it is in terms of getting a good view when cutting your cat´s nails.

What Makes a Good Nail Clipper (How did we score our picks)?

These are the criteria which we have have judged the clippers after as we believe that these are the most important factors for whether a clipper is a good choice or not:

  • Small size for easier handling and less obstructions or the tool getting in the way.
  • A reliable grip that reduces the risk of accidents while trimming the nails.
  • Stainless steel to ensure that the blade stays sharp.
  • Sharp blade that makes it easy to cut and does not splinter or crack the claw/nail.
  • Good value for money
  • A safety mechanism to prevent accidental injury to you or your cat.

#1 Pet Republique ® Professional Cat Nail Clippers

 

With its short stainless steel blade and rubber anti-slide rubber grip, this nifty little clipper earns the top spot in our buying guide. We like the overall solid build quality coupled with the small size and easy handling; the value isn´t bad here either as it is competitively priced compared to the rest of the Clippers in this guide.
We especially like that Pet Republique promises to donate 15% of the profits to the American Animal Rescue Society so that you can feel good about helping to rescue cats and dogs while clipping your cat´s nails!

What We Like:

  • The small form factor makes it easily to handle and the clippers will not obstruct your view.
  • It´s size and reliable grip makes it easy to clip precisely, reducing the chance of accidentally cutting into the quick and hurting your cat.
  • When you purchase a product from Pet Republique, they donate 15% of the profits to the American Animal Rescue Society, which helps rescue cats and dogs.
  • Good value for your money.

What We Don´t Like:

  • A small percentage of customers have complained about the build quality.

More Information

#2 JW Pet Company GripSoft Cat Nail Clipper

 

These small and handy clippers from JW PetCompany, are excellent value and the best for those on a budget. Their low price is not a reflection of their build quality, however, as this product as a good overall build quality and sturdy feel to it. Because of their size, they won´t obstruct your view when cutting your cat´s nails/ claws and their rubber grip increases your control further.

What We Like:

  • Very good value for money. The cheapest clippers in our guide.
  • Rubber grip that makes these easy to handle and easier to clip your cat´s nails/claws.
  • Small size that do not obstruct your view when clipping.

What We Don´t Like

  • A small amount of customers find the grip for these too tight.

More Information

#3 Safari 770045 Professional Nail Trimmer

 

The Safari Nail trimmer is the only one in our buying guide with “plier-like” handles, so if you find these types of handles easier to work with, this should be your pick. Solid overall and good build quality get these a spot in the top 3. The safety lock on these is a good feature to ensure that you do not unintentionally cut or clip your cat. We recommend that you get the smallest version they sell for your cat.

What We Like:

  • Good Grip with the rubber handles.
  • Safety lock to prevent unintentional damage while clipping.

What We Don´t Like

  • Some people may find these a bit to large or prefer a different grip.
  • Some customers complain about the blades not being sharp enough and shattering the nail/claw.

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#4 Cat Nail Clippers Trimmer By Boshel

 

These neat little clippers have a good solid feel to them, and the angled blade can be helpful in the clipping depending on your preference. The rubber grips help prevent them slipping during clipping. Boshel offers a 30-day hassle free money back guarantee if you are not 100% satisfied. The main drawback on these is the high price compared to the competition, and they are therefore not in the top 3 in this buying guide.

What We Like:

  • Overall good build quality
  • Angled blade can make it easier to cut the nails/claws

What We Don´t Like

  • The most expensive of the clippers we reviewed.

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#5 Simply Cats: Kittynails Nail Clipper

 

The Simply Cats: Kittynails nail clipper was designed by two veterinarians and is specifically designed to cut the nails of cats and other small animals like rabbits and guinea pigs. It´s small form factor and shortened scissor blade makes it easier to make precision cuts and avoid accidentally hurting your cat in the nail clipping process.

What We Like:

  • Allegedly designet by 2 veterinarians.
  • Small and easy to handle.

What We Don´t Like

  • Some customers complain about poor build quality.
  • More expensive than some of the other choices.

More Information

How To Clip Your Cat´s Nails

Do not expect your cat to like trimming their claws, and do not feel discouraged if you have to cut all of their claws over multiple sessions as your cat may try to get away frequently. If you feel to nervous about cutting your cat´s claw or would like to observe it a few times done by a professional first, consult your veterinarian or a professional groomer to have them show you. We have made a list of steps you should follow to ensure that the clipping process goes as smoothly as possible below:

Step 1: Pick The Right Time

If you want the clipping session to go as smoothly as possible, it is a good idea to start when your cat is either tired or sleepy (after a meal for example).

Step 2: Prepare Equipment

You should have set of clippers ready, styptic powder or a styptic pencil in case of bleeding. Some cats are calmer if they are wrapped in a towel during the session as well. The clipping should be either done on a smooth surface where your cat can´t easily get a grip and get away, or on your lap. What you need is: A pair of clippers, some styptic powder in case of bleeding and a towel to help your cat calm down and sit still.

Step 3: Get Your Cat Ready

If your cat is not used to getting their nails clipped or even their paws handled, it might be a good idea to practice with pushing down on the paw pads to reveal the nails, and get both you and your cat used to this before actually clipping the nails.

Step 4: Expose The Claw(s)

Cats have retractable claws, this means that you are not able to see them right away, but you have to expose them. To expose your cat´s claws, press down on the top of their paw pad, like we show in the picture below. The red area you see is called “the quick” and is a very sensitive area for your cat. You should NOT clip into this area, as this can cause bleeding.

Step 5: Cut The Nail

Cut the nail by positioning the clipper to cut in the area that is about halfway from “the quick” to the tip of the nail, as shown in the video below. If you accidentally cut into “the quick”, apply styptic powder or a styptic pencil to stop the bleeding. If you do not have stryptic powder, apply pressure to the area for some time stop the bleeding.

Do not forget the “dewclaw”. Cats have a small claw on the inside of their paw (see image below), this claw also needs to be trimmed as it does not get worn down by normal scratching and can grow into the paw pad.

Step 6: Reward Your Cat

After you are done with the session (or you can do this after each nail), reward your cat either with praise or a treat – or both!

Thats it! You have successfully clipped your cat´s nails. Well done!

PRO TIP

It is okay if you are not able to cut all your cat nails in one sitting. If your cat is new to getting their nails clipped, you may only be able to clip one or two nails at a time. Take your time, and reward your cat when you are able to clip a nail with praise or a treat.

A Few Words About De-clawing (And Why We Think You Should Never Do It)

There are those that for various reasons have a lot of problems with their cat´s scratching in an unwanted manner. Some of them have a veterinarian perform a de-clawing of their cat to completely remove the claws. This is a brutal and irreversible procedure that is illegal in some states in the US.

The way the claws are removed during a de-clawing procedure is by removing the entire outer most joint of the paw (like cutting of the tip of your finger), in essence amputating part of the paw. If your cat is declawed, your cat is now at a severe disadvantage when it comes to defending itself, therefore, keep a declawed cat exclusively indoors. Please, do not declaw your cat, instead trim their claws naturally and provide them with scratching posts and scratching pads.

If your cat still is scratching in an unwanted manner , talk to your veterinarian or consult a cat behaviorist.

Final Thoughts

As you can see there is not too much that differentiates our top 5 picks from each other (especially the top 3) and it really comes down to personal preference with any of those three and if you would prefer plier-like handles like the Safari over scissor like handles of the Republique or JW´s Pet Company trimmers. We are confident however, that you will find a clipper you are satisfied with out of these 5 picks and wish you the best of luck in trimming your cat´s claws! If you have any suggestions or questions, please feel free to comment below or contact us by going to the contact page.

Russian Blue Breed Profile

 

 

Origin and History

The origins of the Russian Blue breed is shrouded in mystery and fantastical stories. It is both said that the breed originally originated and evolved in the Russian Archangel Isles and that it comes from the Russian Tsars themselves. The stories even say it rode with the Cossacks and frequently sailed the seven seas as a ship cat.Whatever the truth of its origin may be, we know that it eventually made its way to the cat show in the beautiful Crystal Palace in London, England in 1875. There are even rumors that the cat-loving Queen Victoria encountered and fell in love with the breed there.

The Crystal Palace may be lost to history for forever, but the Russian Blue and many other breeds first showcased there are still going strong. Before 1912 it was grouped with other blue cats and went under the names of “Foreign Blue,” “Archangel Cat” and sometimes under the name Maltese.In 1912 however, as it´s popularity slowly grew, it was finally given its own class, and the breeders in England and Scandinavia attempted to develop the foundation bloodlines for the modern Russian Blue.The two World Wars that followed left this blue beauty very close to extinction, but thanks to some dedicated breeders after WW2 and outcrossing programs* that allowed the Russian Blues to be paired with new cats, such as the blue-point Siamese and blue British Shorthairs allowed the breed to survive.

*Outcrossing (also known as Outbreeding)

Is when new genetic material is introduced into a breeding line or a breed´s gene pool.[1] This technique has been used in order to create new breeds from existing ones, such as pairing the Siamese with a variety of other cats, and to keep existing breeds alive when the breed population has been at a critical low point. The Havana Brown for example, due to it´s danger of extinction, has a couple of sanctioned outcrossing programmes to help ensure its continued survival as a breed

Coat Colors & Appearance

The Russian Blue has a short, plush and thick coat, which covers a long, muscular, medium-sized body. The only recognized color is an even bright blue, with silver tipped guard hairs, giving the Russian Blue a silver shimmer. The vivid green eyes contribute to its alert appearance.

It has what is known as a semi-foreign body type with long legs and body but all in proportion. Some kittens are born with “ghost stripes,” but these usually fade as the cat matures into adulthood.

Personality



The Russian Blue is a cat with a quiet, gentle disposition. It may seem quiet and maybe a bit dull to be around to the untrained eye, but the Russian Blue is an intelligent cat with many talents. Many Russian Blue owners report that the cat is ideal to play fetch with and that you can teach this quick study many tricks. So while it may not be the attention grabber as say the Somali, it is sure to be an instant favorite to those looking for a quiet, loving and intelligent cat.

This breed is not a clingy cat and would prefer to lay next to you and chill rather than to jump around everywhere (although like most cats, it loves heights). For this reason, the Russian Blue does better with older children and adults. It is not the type of cat that will greet your guests but would instead like to hang back and observe them until it has deemed them to be okay.It likes to take a careful and measured approach to life and its surroundings. Don’t be surprised if you find him up in high places scoping out the territory and assessing its options, especially if it is in a new environment.

It is not a vocal cat but it can respond if you talk to it, and its high intelligence allows it to learn the meaning of many words that you use.

The Russian Blue is also known for its hearty Russian appetite, and you should watch out for your food while cooking!

Grooming and Care

The Russian Blue requires minimal grooming. Clipping of nails, weekly brushing, and brushing of teeth is enough to keep this blue beauty happy. The Nebelung should be brushed twice a week due to its long coat.

Health

TThe Russian Blue is, in general, a healthy cat with few health problems. If you are getting a Russian Blue make sure to get it from a reputable breeder that can give you extensive information about its background, family, and if there are any health problems in the line. Russian Blues are reported to be prone to bladder stones. Another thing to watch out for is that its love for food does not make it overeat and become overweight. Read more about making sure your Russian Blue is on a healthy, balanced diet in our big food guide, and about weight-loss for cats in our guide.

  • Few Health Problems
  • Prone to Bladder Stones
  • Watch Out For Obesity

What Differentiates The Russian Blue From Other Breeds

Its light blue coat along with its silver shimmer makes the Russian Blue visually stands out, while his intellect, quiet and pondering demeanor makes it a unique and fascinating companion to have by your side.

Buying a Russian Blue

If you want to buy a Russian Blue the most crucial step is to find a reputable breeder near you that can give you extensive information about your prospective kitten´s family background and health. You should never buy from places like pet store because it is unlikely that they know enough about the background of the cat and you risk buying a cat with severe health issues or encounter other problems.Because it is a rare breed, it is not an easy one to find one available for purchase, but your best bet is to either adopt (more on that below) or search for reputable breeders near you. You can start by having a look at the TiCA registered breeders in the US that we have listed below.

Adopting a Russian Blue

If you want to adopt a Russian Blue, we recommend that you start by visiting the Russian Blue section of RescueMe.org or their Facebook Page.

Can Cats Eat Grapes? [List of Safe and Dangerous Food]

The answer to the question is no, as grapes and raisins cause kidney failures in cats. There are a lot more than grapes and raisins to look out for when it comes to food you should avoid giving your cat however, so keep on reading to learn more.Cats are very different from humans and even dogs when it comes to what they can and can´t eat. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they have a strictly meat based diet. The best practice is to keep your cat´s diet and food completely separate from yours.

WARNING

If your cat starts to display symptoms of illness or abnormal behavior after having eaten something it shouldn’t, call your veterinarian immediately or call the hotline at 1-855-213-6680 (in the US) for assistance if your vet is unequipped to deal with the situation.

Below we have compiled a list of dangerous food for your cat and the potential consequences for eating them and the symptoms associated with eating toxic food. It is always better to be safe than sorry, so if you suspect your cat has eaten something it shouldn’t or notice unusual behavior or symptoms, seek help right away.

Food That Is Okay (In small amounts)

Cooked Boneless Meat – Okay, as a treat.

Brown Rice – Okay, as a treat.

Dog Food – Occasionally, but not recommended.

Some dog food now and then does not harm your cat. However, it is NOT a substitute for cat food as dog food lacks some vitamins and fatty acids that a cat needs in their diet. As such your cat would become severely malnourished if it were to eat only dog food.

Tuna – Occasionally.

Cats can become addicted to tuna whether the tuna is made for human or feline consumption. An occasional piece of tuna is not harmful to your cat; however, it lacks all the nutrients a cat needs. An overconsumption of tuna by your cat can lead to mercury poisoning, so be careful not to leave it unattended while preparing your tuna salad.

Liver – Okay in small amounts.

Giving your cat some liver is okay in small quantities, but ingesting too much of it can cause vitamin A toxicity. Vitamin A toxicity is a serious condition that can affect your cat´s bones. Symptoms include deformed bones, bone growths of elbows and spine, osteoporosis and death.

Raw Meat – Okay, but can be dangerous.

Raw meat is part of a cat´s natural diet, however eating raw meat can cause food poising from bacterias like E. coli and salmonella.

Food Your Cat Shouldn’t Eat

Onions – Never

Onion, in all forms, powdered, raw, cooked or dried can break down a cat´s blood red cells, leading to anemia.

Garlic – Never

Digesting garlic will cause gastrointestinal upset for your cat.

Chives – Never

Digesting chives will cause gastrointestinal upset for your cat.

Alcohol – Never

Alcohol has the same harmful effect on a cat´s liver and brain as it has on humans. The big difference is that it takes far less of it to do serious damage.

According to PetMD two teaspoons of whiskey is enough to cause a coma in a 5-pound cat, and one more teaspoon could be fatal. The higher the percentage of alcohol, the more severe the symptoms, and consequences.

Grapes and Raisins – Never

The reason is unknown, but grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in cats and should never be given as a treat. A small amount will make your cat ill and cause vomiting and hyperactivity.

Caffeine – Never

Caffeine in large enough quantities is lethal to cats, and there is no antidote. Symptoms of caffeine poising include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, and fits.
Caffeine is in a lot of products for humans such as some painkillers, energy drinks, cocoa, sodas, and chocolate. It is, consequently, crucial that you keep your cat away from products like these

Chocolate – Never

Chocolate can be lethal for cats. The reason for this is that chocolate (all chocolates, even white chocolate) contains theobromine, which is a toxic agent to cats which can cause a host of symptoms such as abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and death. As mentioned, chocolate also contains caffeine which is also dangerous for your cat.

Raw Eggs – Never

Eating raw eggs can cause food poising from batteries like E Coli and salmonella. It can also interfere with the absorption of the B vitamin biotin. A deficiency of biotin leads to problems with your cat’s coat and skin problems.

Milk Or Other Dairy Products – Never

Even though many cats are depicted in cartoons as avid milk drinkers, but most cats are in fact lactose intolerant, as such digesting dairy products can upset their stomach and cause diarrhea.

Yeast Dough – Never

It’s great when our yeast dough swells and big becomes nice and big when we are baking. It’s not so good when the same things happen inside your cat’ stomach.

The swelling of the dough inside the stomach can stretch the abdomen and cause severe pain. Yeast dough also produces alcohol when fermenting, which could cause your cat to get alcohol poisoning.

Raw Fish – Harmful in large amounts

An enzyme in raw fish destroys thiamine, which is an essential B vitamin [1] in your cat’s diet. A lack of this vitamin can cause severe neurological problems and lead to convulsions and coma.

Bones or Fat Trimmings – Never

Bones can splinter and obstruct or cause lacerations to your cat’s digestive system.

Human medications – Never

A cat´s physiology is different from a human’s, and therefore the medications made for humans should be taken by humans, not by cats or any other animals. Poisoning from consuming a drug made for humans is one of the most common causes of poisoning in cats. Just as you would for your children, keep them stored away in a place where your cat or your kids can’t reach them. Do not give your cat any over the counter medicine unless advised to do so by your vet

Tobacco – Never

Contains nicotine, which affects your cat´s nervous and digestive systems Symptoms include rapid heart beat, collapse, and death.

Macadamia Nuts – Never

Macadamia nuts have been found to contain an unknown toxin which can affect your cat´s nervous and digestive systems as well as muscles.

Baby Food – Never

Since many Baby Food blends contain onion powder which is as mentioned toxic and potentially deadly for cats, you should never let your cat eat these.

Marijuana – Never

Digestion of Marijuana depresses your cat’s nervous system and cause vomiting and changing heart rate.

Persimmons – Never

Persimmon seeds can cause intestinal blockage and enteritis.[2]

Candy and Gum – Never

Candy, gum, toothpaste, baked foods and some diet foods are sweetened with Xylitol.Xylitol can lead to liver failure in your cat. Symptoms soon after ingestion include vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination. Your cat may also experience seizures. Liver failure can occur just a few days after ingestion.

You Can Be Vegan, Your Cat Can’t.

Plants and vegetables do not belong in your cat’s diet, in fact, ingesting them can cause harm to your cat, or even worse, be lethal.

Cats do not usually seek out or eat plants or vegetables by themselves, but a young curious kitten might want to sample the plants or vegetables around him or her, especially if it is an indoor cat that gets bored with being confined to a limited space such as an apartment.

Outdoor cats might accidentally ingest things like plant seeds during the grooming of their fur, causing harm to them. Most cats do however like to nibble on grass or some herbs that may cause them to vomit afterward as a method of cleansing their stomachs.

Sources:

 

[1] http://pets.webmd.com/cats/ss/slideshow-foods-your-cat-should-never-eat

[2]http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1&aid=1029

http://www.petmd.com/cat/emergency/poisoning-toxicity/e_ct_human_food_poisoning

http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/7-foods-you-should-never-feed-your-cat

http://www.hillspet.com/en/us/cat-care/nutrition-feeding/toxic-foods-for-cats

Neutering Your Cat – Why, How & When

Why You Should Neuter / Spay Your Cat

Did you know that euthanasia is the single largest cause of death for cats in the US today?The feline population is already very overcrowded, and neutering your cat will help the fight against overpopulation.According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, millions of cats both stray and eventually abandoned domestic cats are born each year. These cats usually end up in overcrowded shelters or otherwise left to completely fend for themselves, often dying from exposure to the elements, starvation, injury or disease. A lot of shelters are simply unable to handle all these cats, so euthanasia is usually the only way out for many of these cats. This means that millions of otherwise healthy cats are euthanized each year. This includes purebreds as well as mixed cats.

Misconceptions and Myths Surrounding Neutering / Spaying

There are, unfortunately, some common misconceptions and myths out there when it comes to neutering or spaying your cat, which prevents people from neutering or spaying their cat. Some of the most common once are:

1)” It is not natural to intervene and prevent animals from procreating.”

It is also not natural to domesticate and breed animals on a large scale for profit. We have created the overpopulation crisis for cats, and we should take responsibility for it, and limit the suffering and death that feline overpopulation causes by neutering and spaying our cats.

2)”My cat will become fat and lazy.”

It is true that your cat´s hormone levels may change (more on that later), as well as his appetite. It is, however, your responsibility as their owner and caregiver to make sure they are on a balanced diet and get enough exercise to prevent obesity and health problems associated with it.

3) “I want another cat just like the one I have.”

Just like humans, your cat´s children may resemble their mother or father in some way, but you will never get a carbon copy, and every cat will be different.

4) “I don’t need to sterilize my male cat, only female cats have litters.”

Not neutering your male cat not only increases the risk that it could impregnate dozens of female cats and produce offspring, but it also increases the chance for testicular and prostate cancer, as well as enlargement of the prostate gland. A male cat who is not neutered is more likely to get into fights with other cats and contract and spread infectious diseases, or otherwise get seriously injured.

5) “My cat is purebred, so I should let them procreate to keep the breed growing.
”

According to The Humane Society of The United States, 1 out of 4 pets that enter animal shelters is purebreds. As discussed before in this article, millions are euthanized each year.

Health Benefits of Spaying and Neutering

In addition to helping solve the problem of overpopulation, neutering your cat early in their life actually has several health benefits for your cat and helps increase their life expectancy. According to Andrea Looney DVM (in an article written for The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine), spaying and castration can provide these health benefits:

Health Benefits for Female Cats:

  • The risk for mammal cancer is all but eliminated if the cat has the procedure done around 3-6 months (prior to their first heat) when her reproductive organs are nearing maturity but her breast tissue has yet to develop.
  • You take away the risk pyometra, a potentially lethal collection of pus in the uterus.
  • You prevent vaginal hyperplasia, a gross swelling of the vaginal wall that occurs during the normal heat cycle.
  • You prevent uterine prolapse
  • You prevent the bulging of the uterus into the vagina.
  • In addition, you prevent a number of infections, cysts and cancers occurring in the uterus and ovaries.

Health Benefits for Male Cats:

  • Helps prevent prostate cancer.
  • Helps prevent testicular cancer.
  • Helps prevent an enlargement of the prostate gland
  • Male cats stop producing hormones that causes them to roam and show aggressive behavior towards other cats and spray urine to mark their territory.
  • Since neutered male cats fight less, this reduces the risk of injury and limits the spread of contagious diseases.

Preparing for Surgery

Both female and male cats are preferably neutered or spayed before their first heat at 3-6 months of age.A female cat must not consume any food three to four hours prior to surgery. The cat is free to drink as much water as they want leading up to the surgery.

What Happens When Your Cat is Neutered or Spayed?

Female cats:
The female cat is first completely put under by anesthesia, an incision is then made to reveal the reproductive tract. Both of the ovaries are then tied off to cut off blood flow before they are cut loose from the body. The blood flow to the uterus is then tied off to stop the blood flow to the organ before removing it. The incision wound is then closed up using sutures and the cat is left to recover and wake up from the anesthesia.

Male cats:The Castration procedure is preferably done when the male cat is around 3 to 6 months and is considered less complicated than the spaying procedure of a female cat. The cat is first put under anesthesia before its scrotum is shaved and scrubbed. Two incisions are then made, one above each testicle, and they are thereafter removed. Finally, the spermatic cord is then tied off before the cat is allowed to recover and wake up from the anesthesia.

The Recovery Period and What to Expect

The recovery period for both female and male cats after spaying or castration procedures is up to two weeks, after which they should return to normal. After surgery your cat may experience nausea and vomiting due to the anesthesia, this is also why it is crucial that your cat does not eat 3-4 hours before surgery, as vomiting can be extremely dangerous for a sedated cat. Straight after surgery, your cat will more than likely look reduced and weak depending on when he or she is released from the vet clinic. Even though this may look very worrying to you as the owner, it is a normal side effect of the anesthesia. A cat that is recovering at home should be monitored closely.

Diet for A Neutered or Spayed Cat

After a cat is spayed or neutered, it´s energy needs is decreased around 20% – 25% according to experts at the Texas A&M University. This means that you should adapt your cat´s diet accordingly. There are many specific blends of cat food made for neutered or spayed cats, that takes this change into consideration. You still need to make sure that your cat stays active and gets enough exercise during the day, to avoid them putting on weight and becoming overweight or obese. If you think your cat is struggling with its weight, check out our article on cat weight loss here.

Sources for this article

https://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender

http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/Health_Information/spayneuter2.cfm

http://vetmed.tamu.edu/afcat/faqs

https://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics

Cat Weight Loss Tips: A Guide

According to a 2015 study by The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) an estimated 58.2% of US cats are overweight or obese. Just as for humans, obesity can lead to many related diseases and health problems, such as:

  • Arthiritis
  • Feline Diabetes
  • ​Heart problems
  • ​Joint problems
  • ​Torn or strained ligaments
  • ​Respiratory problems

According to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine feline obesity is generally viewed as body weight that is 20% or more above normal bodyweight.

Obesity is a problem largely present in domestic cats that stay indoors. Often times their energy usage is not big enough compared to their calorie intake, and just as their human owners, that will cause them to gain weight.

What Should My Cat Weigh?

Since so many cats in the US are overweight and obese this may indicate that cat owners may not be completely aware of what a healthy weight for their furry companion is. It is important for us as cat owners to monitor our cat´s health and happiness and as such it is important that we educate ourselves on what constitutes a healthy cat weight wise, as to help our cat (indoor cats especially) live a healthy, happy and hopefully long life.


Every cat is different because of their body build and breed, so a helpful tip to see if your cat in specific is overweight or obese is to look at your cat and observe certain physical characteristics.

Severely Underweight
Ribs, spine and bony protrusions are easily seen at a distance. These pets have lost muscle mass and there is no observable body fat. Emaciated,bony, and starved in appearance.

Underweight
Ribs, spine and other bones are easily felt. These pets have an obvious waist when viewed from above and have an abdominal tuck. Thin, lean or skinny in appearance.

Normal/Healthy WeightRibs and spine are easily felt but not necessarily seen. There is a waist when viewed from above and the abdomen is raised and not sagging when viewed from the side. 

OverweightRibs and spine are hard to feel or count underneath fat deposits. Waist is distended or often pear-shaped when viewed from above. The abdomen sags when seen from the side. There are typically fat deposits on the hips, base of tail and chest. 

ObeseLarge fat deposits over the chest, back, tail base and hindquarters. The abdomen sags prominently and there is no waist when viewed from above. The chest and abdomen often appear distended or swollen.

Also, check out this video from HowTo.com to learn about how to assess your cat´s weight visually.

What Are the Cat Weight Loss Tips?


So, you have just established based on the criteria above that your cat is either overweight or obese, and it is time for your cat to lose those extra pounds / kilo´s. As mentioned, weight gain or weight follows this simple equation: Daily calories consumed – Daily Calories burned. If there is a surplus of calories your cat gains weight, if not, your cat will lose weight.. It is really that simple, yet not that easy to manage, just like with humans.

Stop Free Feeding

If you are free feeding your cat, you should stop and go to a regular meal schedule instead. This gives your cat predictable meal times, makes it less stressed about wether or not it will get fed, and avoids your cat overfeeding and gaining weight.

As you probably already have figured out it then becomes crucial to monitor how many calories our cat consumes daily, as well as monitor that they burn the needed amount to lose weight. Because indoor cats dont get to roam outside and burn their energy hunting for food or running, it is even more important that you as a human owner give them a lot of opportunity every day to expend their energy and exercise, this is also important for a cat´s mental health.

Monitoring Food Intake and Choosing the Right Food For Your Cat

If it is particularly difficult for your cat to get sufficient exercise, it is even more important that their diet is lighter when it comes to calories to counter their lack of exercise, while still giving them all the required nutrients a healthy cat needs in their daily diet. A bad diet that lacks the needed nutrients, vitamins, oils or hydration etc can cause your cat to become sick and get related health problems. Ask your vet for advice on your cats diet.

Another reason why so many cats become obese (this is also true for humans) is the abundance of food and ease of access to food they have in these modern times. Cats in the wild, like other predatory animals, may go days without a meal, always searching for the prey that will guarantee their continued survival. This ingrained instinct also cause cats to want to eat all the food that you give them, because they cant be sure of then their next meal will be.

This is also why some cats eat so fast that they get sick and vomit. If that is the case with your cat, spread the meal over a longer period of time (15 minutes for example), in smaller portions at a time. If you maintain a consistent schedule, your cat will know when to expect food, and you will see less of this type of behavior. If you struggle to maintain a regular feeding schedule or your cat wants food instead of letting you sleep at night, you might want to consider an automatic feeder.

Exercise and How to Activize Your Indoor Cat

If you have to have your cat inside an apartment, and especially if the cat is the only cat in the household, the responsibility to activize them falls on you as their owner and friend. If your cat lives with other cats, they activize each other with daily play, even though you still have a responsibility to give each one of your cats a dedicated amount of playtime each day.

Since indoor cats don´t get to naturally use their hunting instinct and run free after prey, it is up to you to stimulate their desire to hunt daily. 

Avoid Laser Pens

You may know that most cats go crazy when you use a laser pen and have them chase the red dot around. While this does stimulate their hunting instinct and does provide ample exercise, fun other mental stimulation, we do not recommend it, for a few reasons:

  • The Cat will never be able to catch their prey. Since light is pretty hard to catch, the cat never gets a sense of accomplishment for having finally caught it´s prey. When your cat catches their prey, dopamine is released into their system, giving them a sense of euphoria and accomplishment. Playing with a laser robs them of this reward and leaves them frustrated.  So when you play with your cat and help them stimulate their desire to hunt, let them catch the “prey” sometimes, so that they can “kill” their prey as their predatory instincts tells them too. But dont make it too easy for them! A challenging hunt is mentally and physically stimulating for them and will give you a much happier (and slimmer) cat.
  • You may damage their eyes, if you accidentally point the laser at their eyes, just like you could do with humans.

References used to create this article

http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/Health_Information/obesity.cfm

http://petobesityprevention.org/pet-obesity-fact-risks/

https://www.purina.co.uk/cats/health-and-nutrition/exercise-and-weight-management/purina-body-condition-tool

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbfa2yMmYfc – HowTo.com – How to see if your cat is overweight

Snowshoe Breed Profile

 

Origin and History

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based Siamese breeder Dorothy Hinds-Daugherty originated the Snowshoe breed in the 1960s when one of her cats produced a unique litter. Three of the kittens sported unusual white points and feet.

Hinds-Daugherty attempted to breed more of these kittens by crossing black and white tuxedo American Shorthairs with seal point Siamese. When these offspring were bred to Siamese, they produced kittens with the white points and feet.

Hinds-Daugherty named the breed “Snowshoe” because of its white feet but did not submit the breed for consideration by cat breed associations. Another breeder, Vikki Olander, took on this duty, writing the first official breed description for the Snowshoe.

Thanks to Olander, the Cat Fanciers Federation (CFF) and the American Cat Association (ACA) awarded the Snowshoe the status of “experimental breed” in 1974. 1983 marked the achievement of CFF champion status by the Snowshoe, kicking off a new wave of interest in the breed.

Today the breed is recognized by the CFF, the ACA, the Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe), the International Cat Association (TICA), the American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE), the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA) and the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF). The Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) does not yet recognize the Snowshoe.

The Snowshoe has experienced a surge in popularity ever since Grumpy Cat (who is possibly a Snowshoe) entered the limelight, but overall the breed is still quite rare due to lack of breeders and difficulty in meeting breed standards.

Coat, Colors & Appearance

All Snowshoes have point coloration – a pale body with darker face, tail, legs and ears. This is inherited from their Siamese origins. The most common point colorations (and the only ones recognized by the ACFA and the AACE) are seal point and blue point with cream, beige or tan body colors.

Other colors are very rare due to the difficulty of breeding Snowshoes. FIFe recognizes chocolate, cinnamon, black, fawn, cream and red point varieties in addition to seal and blue point. They also recognize tortie, tabby, and tortie-tabby patterned Snowshoes. TICA recognizes all colors.

Snowshoe kittens are born fully white and begin developing their point colors at three weeks old. The nose and paw pads can be pink, point-colored or both. Breed-standard Snowshoes will ideally have white color on their muzzles that extends up between their eyes.

White paws should ideally be separated from the light body by a darker point-colored band. The front paws should sport white mittens while the back paws should have white boots – more or less white may disqualify the cat from meeting breed standards.

The Snowshoe’s coat is short to medium length with no undercoat. Some individuals may have a double coat but this is considered a fault. The fur is smooth and soft. True Snowshoes have large walnut-shaped eyes that are strikingly blue. The head should be wedge-shaped, equally long and wide with high cheekbones, topped with medium-large ears.

Snowshoes are medium to medium-large cats, though they tend to be longer than other cats of a similar size. Females tend to weigh 7-10 pounds while males weigh 9-12 pounds. Some Snowshoes tip the scales at 14 pounds or more! The Snowshoe appears to be a lean cat but is actually quite muscular and strong.

Personality

The breed’s heritage is easy to see in its personality. Bossy, social Siamese traits really shine through in the Snowshoe, as does chattiness.

If you’re in a house with a Snowshoe, expect to be meowed at a lot as he tries to let you know how he feels about everything! The Snowshoe’s meow, however, is considerably softer and gentler than the Siamese meow.

Snowshoes require a great deal of attention. They hate being left alone for long periods of time and get upset if their favorite person is not around to shower them in attention.

If you show a Snowshoe love, she will gladly return it at every opportunity. Just don’t be surprised if she’d sometimes rather run around than sit in your lap – she may be affectionate but she’s got plenty of energy too.

Curious and intelligent, Snowshoes enjoy many different activities. They can learn tricks, play fetch and may even teach themselves to open doors. Some Snowshoe owners even report that their cats love swimming! Snowshoes love climbing and being as high up as possible, so a good-sized cat tree (or sturdy furniture) is a must.

Most Snowshoes enjoy being around children, other cats and even dogs. In fact, if a Snowshoe owner is regularly away from the house, a companion cat is recommended to prevent loneliness.

Children love Snowshoes, and that love is reciprocated by the cats, as they love cuddling, are not easily scared and do not generally mind noisy environments. Snowshoes may take a moment to warm up to strangers, but with a little time and kindness they’ll be chatting up any visitors like old friends.

Overall the Snowshoe strikes an ideal balance between affectionate and energetic. Their activity level makes them less prone to obesity than some lazier breeds, but they are not so high-strung that they’ll drive you up the wall.

Grooming and Care

The Snowshoe’s short to medium length coat is easy to care for. It does shed its coat with the seasons, so if you’re looking for a low-shed cat, the Snowshoe is not for you.

A twice-weekly brushing is usually enough to keep the coat in top shape, and the Snowshoe loves affection and attention so much that you may find yourself being begged for a brushing!

Other than brushing, a Snowshoe will take care of all its own grooming, making it a great breed for anyone looking for a low-maintenance (but still beautiful) cat.

As with all cats, dental care is extremely important to prevent tooth and gum disease. Daily tooth brushing is best if you can convince the Snowshoe to accept it.

Health

Overall, the Snowshoe breed is quite healthy, especially compared to breeds such as Persians that are known for their health issues.

Because the Snowshoe breed is so rare, there are no studies available to suggest which health conditions the Snowshoe is predisposed to. However, vets suggest that because of its lineage the Snowshoe may have a higher chance of developing the following conditions.

  • Heart Disease: Siamese cats have a higher than normal risk of heart disease, and this may be inherited by Snowshoes. Heart disease takes many forms and can only be diagnosed by a vet, but the most common symptoms are weight loss and lethargy.
  • Feline Lower Urinary Tract Diseases: Siamese cats are also prone to these, which include bladder stones and urinary tract infections. These commonly present as urinating outside the litter box. A Snowshoe who does this should be taken to the vet for treatment.
  • Allergies: Symptoms are similar to those in human allergies – sneezing and itching. A Snowshoe that licks and scratches constantly may have allergies and should be seen by a vet.

What Makes the Snowshoe Different from Other Breeds?

Snowshoes are great for those who want the stunning looks of a Siamese without the noise. They strike an ideal balance between independent and affectionate, making them a great choice for families.

Their entertaining antics and ability to learn tricks make them a joy to be around. Easy to groom and care for, they’re also ideal for those who are new to cat ownership.

Buying a Snowshoe

Those interested in buying a Snowshoe can find a list of breeders here, though there may be a long wait as there are not many Snowshoe breeders. Prices can vary as well. Blue Eyes Cattery lists its price per kitten as $1800 all-inclusive.

Adopting a Snowshoe

If you would prefer adopting to buying, a good place to start is the Snowshoe Cat Rescue Network, which connects prospective Snowshoe owners with cats in shelters or foster homes. They also help with rescuing other breeds.

 

Havana Brown Breed Profile

Origin and History

The Havana Brown came to be like many other man made breeds, by crossing a Siamese with other breeds. Their ancestors are the solid brown Siamese cats, known under the moniker of Swiss Mountain Cats in England and Europe in the late 19th century. These cats fell out of favour with breeders in the 1920´s, when it was decided that only blue eyed Siamese were desirable.

Just as all seemed lost for the full brown variety of the Siamese, a group of dedicated British breeders started crossing the remaining chocolate- and seal-point Siamese with black domestic shorthairs and Russian Blues. The result was an adorable, eye catching brown cat with emerald green eyes. It is said that they adopted the name “Havana Brown” due to its color resembling that of the exclusive sought after cigar. The Cat Fanciers Association officially recognised the breed in 1964.

The Havana brown is a very rare breed with fewer than a 1,000 cats in existence. As such, the genetic diversity and continued existence of this breed is threatened.

In Britain there is also a breed called the Havana Brown, but this is a variety of the Oriental Shorthair with a different body and head type than it´s US variety.

Coat, Colors & Appearance

The coat, as you can imagine, is chocolate colored (or tobacco brown if you will) for the Havana Brown. The color tends toward a red-brown (mahogany) rather than black-brown. The Breed also has a recognised Lilac variety but these cats are known as Havana´s. This breed is the only one whose whiskers are defined as brown in the breed standard for the Havana Brown variety. The lilac variety has lilac whiskers.

Much like its Siamese ancestors it has a medium sized dynamic and muscular body covered by a short, silky smooth coat. The nose and paw pads are brown with a rosy flush.

They have an alert appearance because of their larger, round-tipped ears that tilt forward.

The kittens and young can have and are allowed to have ghost tabby markings.

The information above is compiled using the information from the Breed Standard taken from the Cat Fanciers Association.

Personality

The personality of these cats can resemble the Siamese, although they are generally not as talkative as their Siamese cousins and their voice is softer. They are intelligent cats that needs stimulation so make sure you have enough toys or other cats to keep them occupied as well as spending time with them each day. They bond closely to their owners and like to follow them around so they are perfect as a companion cat or family cat. Because of their tendency to bond with owners, it would be a good idea to consider getting another cat to keep them company if you are away often during the day. They are energetic cats that love to play and run, but they aren´t extreme “swing from the chandler” type of cat and won´t ruin too many things around the house unless they are bored.

Grooming and Care

The short coat of the Havana Brown requires little grooming, although it is recommended to brush your cat at least weekly, and to trim their nails bi weekly. See below for the grooming check list:

  • Brushing the coat a couple of times a week at least is recommended. If you can do daily brushing, that is great!
  • Daily Dental hygenie is reccommended, at a minimum once per week.
  • Checking the ears once per week and keeping them clean is reccomended.
  • Trimming the nails once every other week is advised.
  • You should clean the area around the eyes with a damp cloth periodically.

What Makes The Havana Brown Different?

The most string difference between Havana Brown and others breeds is its unique appearance. Their unique muzzle shape, unique color matching between the coat and whiskers a long with its brilliant and expressive eyes gives this breed a look that is comparable to no other breed. The fact that there are so few left in the world also makes these cats a rarity to come across.

Health

Havana Brown cats are generally healthy cats but they may be prone to developing calcium oxalate stones in the urinary tract. [1]. No matter if it is a mixed or a purebred all cats can develop genetic health problems, so if you are buying from a breeder, make sure they are serious and the lineage and health history in the line is well documented. It is also a good idea to get a written health guarantee that the cat you are getting is in examined and in good health when you make the purchase.

Buying a Havana Brown Cat

Since there are so few Havana Browns left in the world, Breeders can be few and far between, although you can try to find some here. Always buy from a reputable breeder that can give you a complete background of your new cats lineage, health history etc. We do not recommend that you buy from a pet shop as it is difficult to really know the background of your cat.

Adopting a Havana Brown Cat

Unless you happen to know people who breed Havana Browns, trying to find one at a rescue shelter that takes in breed cats might be your best option. Check out this link to find out more information for rescuing a breed cat from shelters.

Best Flea Shampoo for Cats Buying Guide

In this Buying Guide we will cover our top four picks for flea shampoos as well as go into detail about what fleas are, how to detect them and how to get rid of them.

A Flea Shampoo is useful for getting rid of fleas that are on your cat, and whilst they will not solve your flea problem entirely, they are a good tool to have in your arsenal, and a quick way to give your cat some relief.

Our Top Pick

 

Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor for Dogs and Cats

The Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor gets the the number 1 spot in our buying guide. This shampoo is very efficient in killing the fleas on your cat or dog* to give your cat some much-needed relief. The addition of Precor (an Insect Growth Regulator) is an excellent addition that sees it top this list just ahead of the other flea shampoo from Adams.

* A flea shampoo will not completely solve your flea problem, but only kill the fleas that are on your cat. It is meant to be used in conjunction with other Flea Treatment solutions to combat flea infestation. Read more about that in our Best Flea Treatments for Cats Buying Guide as well as further down in this Buying Guide.

Our Top 4 Picks

Ranking

Product

Our Rating

Price

1

Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor for Dogs and Cats

Check Price

2

Adams Flea and Tick Cleansing Shampoo

Check Price

3

Four Paws Magic Coat Flea and Tick Cat Grooming Shampoo, 12oz

Check Price

4

Sentry PurrScriptions Flea and Tick Shampoo for Cats, 12-Ounce

Check Price

What Are Fleas?

There are thousands of different flea species in the world (over 2000), but the most bothersome and common one to torment our cats is Ctenocephalides felis, better known as the cat flea. Fleas, once attached to an animal, spend the majority of their life on the animal, feeding on the blood of the host and laying eggs (if female).

Ctenocephalides felis, picture by Katja ZSM under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

The Ctenocephalides felis (cat flea), female.

Image Credit: Katja ZSM under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Lifecycle of a Flea

A flea´s lifecycle is roughly a month, sometimes longer or shorter depending on the climate. Fleas prefer warm and humid environments. During its life it passes through several stages in development to become an adult flea. It starts its life as an egg before hatching into a larvae before transforming into a pupae ( a cocoon) as the final stage before adulthood.  The eggs once layed, usually fall of the animal before the flea jumps to a new animal once it is in its larvae or adult state.

Eggs, Everywhere!

According to William Miller Jr., VMD in this article for The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine website, an adult flea lays a minimum of 20 eggs per day, half of which are females [1] and these female fleas can lay up to 1 egg per hour. Because of this high reproduction rate and fast growth, you can be pretty sure there are plenty of friends nearby if you spot a flea on your cat. In fact, you can usually expect 100 immature fleas in the vicinity of a single flea.[2]

Carriers of Disease

Fleas can be carries of bacteria and infectious agents such as the dog and cat tapewom and the bacteria that causes cat-scratching in humans. [3] The blood loss a kitten can suffer from being infested by thousands of fleas can cause anemia. It is therefore important that you always have a flea control routine and take action if you spot a flea. You can read more about how you spot fleas further down in this article, and all the treatments available in the Best Flea Treatments for Cats Buying Guide.

What Makes A Good Flea Shampoo (How We Scored Our Picks)?

There are many flea shampoos out on the market, some more efficient than others. We have picked only shampoos that are suitable for cats as cats have a heightened sensitivity to the toxicity of the pesticides found in these types of shampoos. Never use flea shampoos that are only meant for dogs on your cat, as these can be lethal to your cat.

Insect Growth Regulators

Insect Growth Regulators (IGR) are synthetic growth regulators that help limit the growth of fleas (for example, stops a flea from maturing from a larvae into adulthood) and they are an important and useful tool to combat flea infestations. They are normally only found in other flea treatment solutions but one such IGR, Precor* is in the ingredients of our number one pick. These IGRs are completely harmless to your cat.[4]

* The active ingredient in Precor is Methoprene.

Toxicity

Toxicity is a factor both when it comes to how efficient it is at killing the fleas and whether or not the toxicity level in the shampoo is dangerous to your cat. Cats are more sensitive to this than dogs and it is therefore vital to consider the level of toxicity, as well as to follow the instructions for use very carefully. In this Buying Guide we only recommend shampoos that are specifically okayed for use with cats. Some flea shampoos designer for dogs only are in lethal to cat, so if you have a dog in your household that uses such a shampoo, keep your cat away from the dog while this shampoo is on them.

If you accidently overdose on the amount of shampoo (read the label carefully) or your cat has an unexpected sensitivity to the pesticides in the shampoo, your cat may show signs of toxicity​. Symptoms of this include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, sluggishness, weakness, or abnormal behavior. [5]

​http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vmth/small_animal/dermatology/factsheets.cfm

Effectiveness

How efficient a flea shampoo is in killing the fleas on the cat is of course an important factor in deciding which flea shampoo is the best. Both the Adams shampoos gets top marks from us in this regard.

#1 Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor for Dogs and Cats

 

The Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor runs away with the number 1 spot in our buying guide. This shampoo is very efficient in killing the fleas on your cat or dog* to give your cat some much-needed relief. The addition of Precor (an Insect Growth Regulator) is an excellent addition that sees it top this list just ahead of the other flea shampoo from Adams.
* A flea shampoo will not completely solve your flea problem, but only kill the fleas that are on your cat. It is meant to be used in conjunction with other Flea Treatment solutions to combat flea infestation. Read more about that in our Best Flea Treatments for Cats Buying Guide as well as further down in this Buying Guide.

What We Like:

  • Very efficient at killing the fleas on your cat (if applied correctly, and repeated if needed)
  • The addition of the Precor IGR is a good bonus. This prevents eggs that are laid on your cat to hatch.
  • Good value for your money.

What We Don´t Like:

  • Nothing.

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#2 Adams Flea and Tick Cleansing Shampoo

 

Much like our number 1 pick, this shampoo from Adams does the job when it comes to killing the fleas on your cat and providing much-needed relief and respite from these pesky insects. You can´t go wrong with either of these shampoos from Adams.

What We Like:

  • Very efficient at killing the fleas on your cat (if applied correctly, and repeated if needed)
  • Good value for your money.

What We Don´t Like

  • No IGR included in the ingredients.

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#3 Four Paws Magic Coat Flea and Tick Cat Grooming Shampoo, 12oz

 

Rounding out our top 3 is the Four Paws Magic Coat Flea and Tick Cat Grooming Shampoo. This shampoo does a good job in both killing fleas and grooming your cat´s fur while it´s it at it, making it deserving of a top 3 spot. It is a minus however that you cannot buy it directly from Amazon but have to buy it through private vendors on Amazon.

What We Like:

  • It cleans your cat well and kills most fleas.

What We Don´t Like

  • Some customers complain about the effeciency in killing flees, reporting that it doesn´t kill all the fleas.
  • Can´t buy directly from Amazon itself.
  • No IGR included.

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#4 Sentry PurrScriptions Flea and Tick Shampoo for Cats, 12-Ounce

 

This shampoo in addition to killing fleas is rich in coconut conditioners and acts as a good grooming shampoo for your cat as well and this earns it a spot in this buying guide.

What We Like:

  • Cleans and kills most of the fleas and cleans your cat well.

What We Don´t Like

  • Some customers report that it doesn´t kill all the fleas on the cat.
  • No IGR included.

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How To Detect Fleas

Detecting fleas on a cat can be difficult since cats can be infested with hundreds of fleas without showing any symptoms of infection. Therefore, you should think of flea prevention as a continual process and not wait for your cat to show clear symptoms, as this is usually an indication that the problem is already quite severe.

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Symptoms of Flea Infestation

Many cats will not show any sign of flea infestation until the infestation is well underway. Some cats are sensitive to flea bites and may develop an allergy to the bites, where symptoms include excessive scratching that may cause sores that can be vulnerable to infection. Kittens as mentioned are especially at risk for developing anemia due to the blood loss suffered from fleas feeding on their blood.

Finding Them On Your Cat

You should have set of clippers ready, stryptic powder or a stryptic pencil in case of bleeding. Some cats are calmer if they are wrapped in a towel during the session as well. The clipping should be either done on a smooth surface where your cat can´t easily get a grip and get away, or on your lap.

Combing

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Another way to spot and remove fleas is to comb your cat with a comb like this. If your cat is infested with fleas, you should be able to spot the fleas on the comb if you look closely.

Looking for Flea Dirt

Another thing to look for in addition to the fleas themselves is “flea dirt”. Flea dirt is just a nicer way to describe the feces of the fleas. The fleas will defecate on your cat, and these excrements looks like tiny black spots in your cat´s fur. You may observe red trails next to the flea dirt. This is because the feces is filled with blood that the fleas sucked out of your cat.

How To Get Rid of Fleas

Dealing with flea infestation problems and preventing them is an ongoing and multi part process and is never solved completely with only a treatment option such as a flea shampoo or a flea collar. Be sure to visit the other Buying Guides in this series on flea related products for more information, as well as reading the general tips below.

Clean Your Cat With The Flea Shampoo

We recommend you follow the exact instructions on your flea shampoo closely as the recommended procedure may change based on the product. If you are using one of the Adams flea shampoos they recommend the following procedure:

 

1. Soak your cat under warm water, making sure you soak your cat completely and do not miss any spots spots.

2. Apply the shampoo on your cats head, ears and lather. Repeat the procedure on the neck, body, the behind, finishing off with the legs at the end.

3. Let your cat stay with the shampoo applied for 3-5 minutes. This step is crucial for it to work effectively. Stay with your cat the whole time to make sure your cat does not remove or ingest any of the shampoo.

4. Rinse your cat thoroughly and be sure to remove any trace of the shampoo. Depending on the level of flea infestation on your cat, you may need to repeat the entire process several times.

Clean Your House & Your Cat´s Environment

As mentioned above, using a flea shampoo will only kill the fleas on your cat, and does not solve your flea infestation problems completely. It is also vital that you clean your house and your cat´s environment (the garden and outdoor areas). This requires frequent and meticulous vacuuming and you may need to apply flea killing products such as flea sprays to areas of your house or property if you spot fleas there.

To make your efforts more efficient, target areas that are more likely to be flea infested areas. Indoors this includes bedding areas, feeding areas and in general the areas where your prefers to spend the most time.

Be sure to remove any toys, food bowls etc before applying the products and vacuum very well. Outdoors you should look in and treat shaded and moist areas since fleas thrive in these types of areas. Read more about how to clean your house and outdoor area in the Best Flea Treatments for Cats Buying Guide.

If you are still not able to get rid of the fleas in your house and or property, consider calling a professional exterminator.

Other Flea Treatments

There are other types of flea treatments such as flea collars, topical treatments (treatments that are applied directly on affected areas) and flea sprays. Please read more about this in our Best Flea Collars for Cats Buying Guide and Best Flea Treatments for Cats Buying Guide (overall guide).

Final Thoughts

In this Buying Guide the Adams´shampoos were the clear winners and they are our top recommendations for the best flea shampoos. Be sure to check out the other Buying Guides related to flea prevention and treatment mentioned in this article, since a flea shampoo can never solve the problem of re-infestation. We hope you have found this buying helpful. We welcome your feedback and suggestions on potential improvements, additions or other feedback, so do not hesitate to contact us via email or leave a comment below.

Sources

 

http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/Health_Information/CW_Fleas.cfm

​http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vmth/small_animal/dermatology/factsheets.cfm

http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/hot_topics/families_and_consumers/getting_rid_of_fleas.shtml – Link no longer active

http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/fleas – Link no longer active.

https://www.adamspetcare.com/smarter-pet-care/frequently-asked-questions

Turkish Angora Breed Profile

Origin and History

The Turkish Angora has its roots in the mountainous Ankara region of Turkey. There it occurred naturally, developing its long coat to shield it from the cold mountain winds.

Records suggest that the Turkish Angora may have been brought to Europe by armies returning from the Crusades in the 14th century. However, the first confirmed record of the breed in Europe dates back to 16th century France. The breed became very popular throughout western Europe and was featured in many of the first cat shows in the late 1800s.

Unfortunately this newfound popularity very nearly drove the breed to extinction. Persian breeders began crossing their cats with Turkish Angoras to improve coat length. This resulted in the number of true Turkish Angoras dwindling to dangerously low numbers.

Turkish authorities and cat lovers took notice of this and placed several Turkish Angora specimens in the Ankara Zoo to initiate a breeding program. When U.S. Army Colonel Walter Grant and his wife, Liesa, were stationed in Turkey in 1962, they visited the Ankara Zoo and took a liking to the Turkish Angora. They convinced the zoo to let them bring a pair of cats back to the U.S. to breed.

From there the Turkish Angora’s popularity as its own breed soared. Many breeders traveled from the U.S. to Turkey to procure their own cats. In 1972 the Cat Fancier’s Association awarded championship status to the Turkish Angora. Originally only white cats were acceptable; it was not until 1978 that colored varieties were permitted for registration.

Today all North American and European cat registries recognize the Turkish Angora, including the Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe), the International Cat Association (TICA) and the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA).

Though all-white Turkish Angoras are the most sought-after type, they are also among the rarest today. Very few remain in Turkey, which continues to maintain its white Turkish Angora breeding programs to this day. North American breeders are switching their focus to colored varieties, which are equally as beautiful but tend to have fewer health problems than white cats.

Coat, Colors & Appearance

The stereotypical Turkish Angora is all-white, and indeed some breed purists feel that white is the only true Turkish Angora color. However all western cat registries accept colored varieties.

Other than white, Turkish Angoras may be solid red, cream, black or blue. White and cream varieties have pink noses and paw pads; other colors have matching noses and paw pads. Bicolor varieties are experiencing a surge in popularity, sporting one of the above solid colors on their backs with white chests, muzzles and legs. Tabby, tortie and calico patterns are also acceptable

The only non-permissible Turkish Angora colors are those that indicate crossbreeding, such as chocolate or lavender colors. Point patterning is also not acceptable.

Coats are long and smooth with a silky sheen. The Turkish Angora should not have an undercoat. The tail is plumed and brush-like, wide at the base and tapering to a narrow point.

The large eyes of the Turkish Angora are often described as deep and sparkling. They can be blue, green, green-gold or amber. They can also be heterochromic (such as one blue eye and one amber eye). Heterochromia is a trait that is particularly prized by the Turkish people, though cat registries do not give preference to it over even-colored eyes.

Turkish Angoras are small to medium cats with slim builds. Shoulders and hips are the same width and legs are long. Specimens from Turkey have much thicker bones than show cats in the U.S., where fine bones are preferred. Paws are small and dainty, with tufts of fur between the toes. Despite their fine appearance, Turkish Angoras are quite muscular underneath all the fur.

The Turkish Angora’s head is a medium-long wedge and is slightly small in proportion with the rest of the body. Ears are large and the neck is long. This breed is small to medium sized, with females weighing between 5-10 pounds and males weighing between 8-12 pounds on average.

Personality

Agile and outgoing, the Turkish Angora makes a great companion for those who love to exchange affections with their cats. As a house pet, the Turkish Angora will explore every nook and cranny, meowing the whole time to tell you all about what she’s found.

Your Turkish Angora will gladly interact with anyone who will pay attention to him, but he tends to form the strongest bond with just one person. He will always be there to greet his favorite person at the door. If he perceives danger, his instinct will be to protect you. The love a Turkish Angora feels for his owner is one of the strongest in the cat world

Her delicate looks are deceiving. This is a very active cat who is always in search of an outlet for her energy. She’ll run laps around the house and go “hunting” for dust bunnies. In between workouts you’ll find her perched atop a bookcase or open door, surveying her kingdom from up high. Once she’s all tuckered out for the day, though, she’ll happily fall asleep next to you on your pillow.

All this is not to say that the Turkish Angora is an angel all the time. She has a mischievous streak and a stubborn soul. It is best to be strict when enforcing her boundaries, as she only needs to cross them once to get a taste for trouble.

Her high intelligence only makes her more capable of doing things she shouldn’t, like opening doors and knocking your favorite things off their shelves if you’re not at her beck and call.

Because the Turkish Angora is so hungry for attention, it’s best to have a companion for him if you are not at home most of the time. He will do well with other cats and dogs as long as they are submissive to him. This is a cat who sees himself as the boss and has no interest in changing that. Others will simply need to fall in line.

The Turkish Angora is fine with children and will enjoy playing with them, as long as the children are well-supervised and gentle. This cat does not tolerate tail pulling or being picked up without permission.

Grooming

Though the Turkish Angora has long hair, it’s easy to groom as there is no undercoat to deal with. Weekly brushing should suffice for most cats of this breed. White or cream colored cats may need bathing every other month or so. This may not be as bad as it sounds – some owners report that their Turkish Angoras love water and seem to look forward to bath time!

As with all cats, dental care is important. Teeth should be brushed at least once a week to prevent tooth and gum disease. Ears should also be carefully cleaned to prevent ear infections.

Health

Turkish Angoras are generally very healthy, long-living cats, but they do have several breed-specific health risks.

  • Deafness: Blue-eyed white cats of any breed may be predisposed to deafness of varying degrees. The Turkish Angora is no exception. A white cat with two blue eyes may be partially or completely deaf in both ears. Heterochromic cats may be deaf in one ear. Deaf cats can still live happy, healthy lives but may require special care to keep them safe without their hearing.
  • Ataxia: This rare neuromuscular disorder affects kittens between two and four weeks of age. Kittens with this disorder will exhibit shaking movements. This is a fatal condition and kittens with it do not survive to adulthood
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: This is a rare heart condition where the heart is enlarged. It usually develops between the ages of two and six. This occurs more commonly in Turkish Angoras than in other breeds but a genetic link has not been definitively established.

What Makes the Turkish Angora Different?

The Turkish Angora is the yin-yang of the cat world. A dainty, elegant exterior contrasts an athletic, effervescent personality. Long-lived and fiercely loyal, the Turkish Angora is as entertaining as it is beautiful. Unlike other long-haired cats, it is easy to groom and health problems are relatively rare.

Buying a Turkish Angora

If the Turkish Angora sounds like the right cat for you, your first step will be contacting a breeder. There are relatively few Turkish Angora breeders in the U.S.; this list shows three breeders currently active.

Adopting a Turkish Angora

Turkish Angoras probably won’t be found in your local animal shelter, but there are several resources for adopting one. The Turkish Angora Rescue Facebook page posts regular updates whenever a Turkish Angora is available for adoption. A local purebred cat rescue may also have Turkish Angoras to adopt out. If not, ask if they can notify you when and if they receive one in need of a home.