We often received question on whether Beef is healthy for cats? Or Why should I not feed beef? How about Mutton and Lamb? To answer this we first need to understand the concept of BARF.
BARF is the food closest to nature that we could provide for our beloved cats. It is not just about feeding RAW diet, but much much more. So what is BARF? BARF stands for: BIOLOGICALLY APPROPRIATE RAW FOODS. It is basically a species oriented diet that is closest to nature in terms of it nutrition composition.
There are 2-ways to achieve such nutrition composition:
Getting back to the question, is it healthy for a cat to eat Beef, Mutton or Lamb? By understanding the concept of BARF, it is not advisable. The question we need to ask ourselves is, does cat hunt cows, goats or sheep in the wild? The answer is NO. Cats is a small predator, hence it hunts prey that is around or smaller than it's own size. Also the nutrition composition in big prey is way different compared to small prey. Take Beef bones for example. Bones in beef is denser. Hence most grinders are unable to grind it. Losing the content of its bone marrow, calcium and much more.
So What meat is good for cats?
As BARF tries to replicate the nutrition composition of a cat diet in the wild, there are meat that are well suited for cats. Such as chicken, duck, pheasant, turkey, rabbit/hare, quail, just to name some.
As a cat lover we all love to rescue as many cat as possible out from the streets into our beautiful home. Providing for them as much as we could. Here comes the old age question. How many cats are too many? And to what extend will it be considered cat hoarding?
Although it is true that cats require less space than dogs, there are a lot of factors that we need to consider in order to determine how many cats a household could house the cats. What works for the neighbors next door might not necessary work for you, as there are different home dynamics in every household.
Here are some factors that will influence the amount of cats in a household:
To what extend will it be consider as cat hoarding?
In the above article we have discuss some if not all of the basic needs to keep a cat leaving healthy and harmoniously with other cats in the house hold. Hence if the above basic needs could not be meet, the individual must re-evaluated his/her life situation. Because exceeding his/her capability/resources(such as space, money, health and etc) will have an impact to the other lifes that is under his/her care.
To know more about cat hording [Click Here]
Food introduction is a very delicate process. How willing we are on listening to your cats and how patience we are, will determine how successful we will be. Food introduction must be done slow and the cat will inform us how fast a pace it must be done. As with any food introduction, we have to slowly introduce the new food into the old. Most people or sites will recommend the ration of 1:2 [1 part new food to 2 part old food]. I personally prefer it to be on a ration of 1:9 [10% new food to 90% old food]. And gradually increase it on a daily basis.
Before diving into the plan we have to understand a few things:
* Ratio use in the table is as follow: [New Food : Old Food]
* Table below are just sample. Time varies from cats behaviour and the ability from the human counter-part to perform and understand the situation.
The base of any cat introduction is in the following order:
Sound being the only element that we could not control. Hence making our job easier by shifting our effort to only introduce by scent and sight.
Scent is the 1st thing we need to introduce. During this process we have to elimate the element of sight. We do this by using close door or baby gate with cardboard, towel, blanket or etc, covering the baby gate. The mistake i made years ago was to introduce scent without eliminating sight. Hence i have no improvement for months.
With the proper setup done, u can proceed to introduce scent by scent swapping and meal time near the door/gate and slowly make them closer during meal time on both side of the door/gate. The cat will tell you how fast a pace you should go about. When both are comfortable enough, u can open the barrier (towel, blanket, cardboard and etc) to introduce by Sight
With Sight u proceed the same thing such as scent swapping and meal time on both sides. Hence u need to eliminate any free feeding to have a control environment. The idea here is to make both cats see that each other are no threat. Hence u are associating anything possitive like a meal with each other.
If they are having stress at this point u either distance the bowl further during meal time or go back to having a barrier between the door/gate to once again eliminate sight. We have to remember that we are going at a pace that the cat are comfortable at. Slowly u can play with the cats on either side. This once again to associate something positive to sumthing fun and to make each other see that they are a non threat to each other
As a cat guardian it is best to know methods on how to prevent cats from going missing in the first place. Here are the 2 methods that I personally practise on a daily basis:
A neglected area from some cat guardians is not to mesh up windows and doors. Leaving the cat vulnerable to escape which might lead to injuries and could also be fatal in some cases. Remember cats are a great escape artist, so make sure to do a routine check on all meshes on a weekly basis.
Next best method mentioned above is "cat counting". It is good to develop a habit of counting your cats before leaving home, upon returning home, before and after bedtime. This is to ensure every cats are a counted for. And if any cats are missing, the cat guardian can act immediately. This habit also helps the cat guardian to know the cats' hiding spots over time.
Now we have already discuss some methods to prevent cats or any pets from going missing. So if a cat were to go missing, whats next? Here is a guideline from AVA Singapore. In addition to the guidelines below, also do remember to post your missing cats poster through social media.
*Image courtesy of AVA Singapore. For more visit http://www.ava.gov.sg
sanctuary room is a cat safe heaven, filled with climbing spots, hiding spots, cat scratches, litter, water bowls and etc. A sanctuary room is mainly use to introduce a cat into a new environment. Let it be either a cat moving from a old home into a new home or introducing a new cat into the family, including meeting the resident cats. This is the first place that every cat will have to go through before any form of introduction. It makes the new comer feel safe and secure and allow the cat to get his/her bearings grounded before exploring the house.
So what does the sanctuary room do?
The issue of not having a sanctuary room:
On a future article we will be looking into how to setup a cat sanctuary room.
Plants are beautiful decoration to have around the house, giving a natural ambience to the surrounding. Some cats even go crazy with plants such as "catnip" [actual name: Nepeta catara], rolling around it like no end. Some cats also developed a nibbling habit on plants. Nibbling away any plant they could get their paws on. One way to manage such behaviour issues is to buy or even to grow your very own "cat grass". This help to divert their attention from the foriegn plant to the "cat-grass", which is more desirable and provide some benefits to the cats.
Here are the 3 types of "cat grass":
Link: List of Toxic & Non-Toxic Plants for Cats
*Note this link is from America Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a.k.a ASCPA.
All credit goes to ASPCA for having a broad catalog with images on such important information.
Cat hoarding have always been a problem globally for both humans and cats. So what is cat hoarding?
Definition of Cat Hoarding given by Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium;
*For more info refer to http://vet.tufts.edu/hoarding/faqs-hoarding/
Effects on Humans/Cats