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SF Gate

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Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Costumed dogs parade through Pike Place Market on Sunday. - Nicole Safker/

Cats Natural Instincts
by Anne Pacey

Cats have a unique sense of smell. Cats have approximately 19 million nerve endings in their nose that makes them especially sensitive to smell. While not having nearly as many as some breeds of dogs these nerve endings in the membranes of the nose are considerably more than the 5 million or so nerves that humans have.

This sense of smell helps the cat to determine whether food is suitable for eating as the nitrogen given off by the chemicals of rancid food is picked up by their highly developed sense of smell, stopping them from eating the food.

Kittens love to play and they appear to have boundless energy. They are very inquisitive creatures and love to explore and giving them things to play with and look at will help to keep them occupied and out of trouble as much as possible.

There are lots of different excellent toys available to keep young kittens happy for hours on end, but there is nothing better than the time that you spend to interact with your kitten and develop a relationship that will ensure you have a lot of fun for its entire lifetime.

Kittens will go through various stages in the first weeks of their life, and they will learn about their surroundings and how to interact with other pets and people in the house, and more importantly how to interact with you.

Playing with your kitten will teach it a lot as it develops all the natural instincts from playing around to hunting. You will find that after about six weeks the cat will begin stalking and hunting and often jump out from behind things to attack your leg as you walk by. This is a natural instinct that needs to be developed for you to have a healthy happy cat.

If you find your kitten is jumping out and attacking you or others in the house it should not be reprimanded otherwise it will get confused about something that is only natural. It won't do you a lot of harm but it will do your kitten a lot of good to develop these instincts.

Naturally you will have to stop it from misbehaving, and that is something that it needs to learn as well as all its other natural instincts, but common sense will let you know what it should and shouldn't be doing. Just like children, kittens will test the boundaries and if left unchecked you can have a cat that is very difficult to manage as it gets older.

This is also one of the reasons why it can be quite difficult sometimes to give your cat pills or tablets. Due to their highly developed sense of smell they are aware of anything that has been added to their food and if they think it is something that they shouldn't be eating they will leave that food entirely and the tablets that you've attempted to hide in it.

This applies to various different medications, herbal or otherwise, and the fact that we can't smell or taste anything doesn't mean that the cat is unaware of a foreign substance.

Often it is a lot easier to give the cat an injection of meditation rather than trying to get it to swallow a pill or tablet. If there is no alternative but to give it a pill You will need to tip its head back and get the pill as far back in it's throat as possible then stroke it under the chin to help it swallow the pill. If you don't do this they will often hold it in the mouth until they have been released then spit it out.

If you do need to give your cat medication by pills then follow it around for a short while after you think they have had the pill, because they can hold it in their mouth for a while, until they believe you are not looking before spitting it out resulting in them not getting the required meditation.

About the Author:
Anne Pacey is a caring and loving cat owner. For more information about Cat House Training visit Check out:

Gretchen - a study
by Spartan
Gretchen is my 14 year old cat. She's on her favorite perch - atop the computer.

Selecting Dog Crates Isn't Difficult When You Ask The Right
By ContentMart Editor

Differences Between Pet Containment Systems

If this is the first time you're shopping for dog crates you may find it a little complicated. You may have noticed already that the use of the word kennel can be somewhat confusing. So before making a final selection it's a good idea to learn about the differences between some pet containment systems. Equipped with this information you'll be ready to choose the best crate for your dog.

How Can I Tell The Difference Between Dog Crates, Dog Kennels & Pet Carriers If They're All Called Kennels?

A 'kennel' is a very general term meaning a place where dogs are bred or kept. By its very definition it can be used to describe a broad range of pet containment products such as pet carriers, dog crates, pet exercise pens and outdoor pet kennels.

For example, a wire kennel and a hard plastic kennel sound very similar because both are called kennels. In some ways they are very different. Depending on how you plan to use it there are certain features that you'll need it to have. This is why it's very important to focus on the features that you need. Only after carefully reviewing the features of a specific model can you be certain that it will adequately fulfill all your needs.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

A wire dog crate or kennel is designed to safely contain your pet. But, it's not designed to be picked up and moved around with your pet inside it. Although available in soft-side models, soft crates are usually not referred to as kennels.

A hard plastic carrier or kennel is designed so that your dog can safely travel inside the carrier. Pet carriers also come in soft-side models. Soft pet carriers are not usually referred to as kennels.

Some hard plastic pet carriers make ideal dog crates, but a dog crate is usually not a good substitute for a hard pet carrier.

What Are Some Of The Basic Features of Dog Crates & Pet Carriers

Wire Dog Crates / Kennels

Used for crate training, housing breaking and as an everyday crate
Many models are available with divider panels for growing puppies
Can be used to contain your pet in a vehicle
Available in collapsible or folding models
Not approved for airline travel
Offers the most visibility and ventilation - well suited for heavy-coated dogs

Soft Dog Crates & Tents

Soft crates & tents are light weight, portable, easy to set up & take down
Can be used as an everyday crate
Not approved for airline travel
Pet must be well crate trained
Not for diggers, chewers, aggressive dogs or dogs that experience anxiety while crated

Hard Plastic Pet Carriers / Kennels

Hard plastic pet carriers are used to carry and transport pets
Some models can be used as an everyday crate
Many are approved for airline travel
Not recommended for growing puppies since they don�t come with divider panels
Can be used to contain your pet in a vehicle
Available in collapsible models

Soft Pet Carrier Bags (for pets under 25lbs)

Soft pet carriers are designed to safely transport a small dog
Can be used to contain your pet in a vehicle
A soft pet carrier should not be used as a dog crate
Many are approved for airline travel and some can be taken in the cabin if the carrier fits under the seat in front of you.

What Questions Should I Consider Before Selecting A Dog Crate?

Before you shop for a dog crate, take some time to consider how you're going to use it. This will help you get the most out of your investment. The type you choose will depend on your lifestyle, your dog's behavioral patterns and what type of activities you plan to do with your pet.

A woman holds up her chihuahua, dressed in a ladybug costume, for a photo during the Strut Your Mutt Parade at Pike Place Market. - Nicole Safker/

Pet owners walk their dogs through Pike Place Market during the Strut Your Mutt Parade.
Nicole Safker/

Lenovo's Graduation time means time to save

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