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Cats have very different temperaments from dogs and other animals. There are things you need to keep in mind when travelling with them or you can cause yourself and your cat harm.

Before You Begin: Ensure your pet catís medical records are updated and he has received all his shots and vaccinations.

Acclimatise Your Cat: A few weeks before your trip, get your cat used to the carrier in which he is going to travel with you. The carrier could be a small basket or crate.

Safety For Your Cat: Cats are restless and have a tendency to run away if they are not too comfortable with their surroundings. To prevent your pet cat from venturing out in unknown areas, keep him in your own room and donít leave him unattended.

Accessories: Carry your catís food bowl, bed, toys and litter box. As far as possible try and carry those items that are regularly used by your cat so that he feels somewhat at home.

Checklist: If your cat is being transported by professionals, prepare portions of his cat food and write down his meal timings. Also ensure you give them your catís medical papers that will come in handy in case of an emergency.


What turns a cat into a caterwauler? It could be that the cat is in physical pain or feeling stressed about something at home and meowing is his way of telling you something is wrong. Perhaps your cat is meowing to intimidate intruder cats outside the house. If you've got a sexually intact female cat, she might be vocalizing to try to attract a mate. Or, maybe your cat is meowing a lot because he thinks that's the way to get what he wants: a snack, the door opened, or attention from you.

As lovely as a cat's voice may be, no one wants to live with constant caterwauling. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to try to turn the situation around.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Get your cat examined by a veterinarian. There are many health conditions that could cause your cat pain or discomfort. Taking your cat to the vet will get him the medical attention he needs, as well as address the meowing. If your cat is stressed about a household change or is suffering from separation anxiety, your vet might prescribe an anti-anxiety medication to help your cat function better.
2. Once medical causes are ruled out, try to eliminate or decrease other factors that may motivate your cat to meow. If your cat meows because itís frustrated when it sees the neighbour cat outside your bedroom window, a solution might be to buy some shades for that window or to keep the door to that room shut so your cat can't go in there. If your cat is crying to attract a mate, you should take her to your veterinarian and have it spayed or neutered.
3. Make sure you are not reinforcing meowing. If you are lying in bed and trying to sleep while your cat is meowing and then you finally get up and get your cat a treat to shut him up, you are actually rewarding your cat for vocalizing and teaching him to meow his demands again in the future.
4. When your cat meows in a demanding manner, the best response is to ignore it. It is important that you tough it out and not give in to your cat, because eventually, if he is not rewarded, the behaviour will stop. If you have to, wear earplugs so you can endure the noise.
5. Try to anticipate what your cat is going to want and when -- before it starts meowing its demands. If you know your cat likes to play with the laser pointer after dinner, get it out and start playing with him as soon as you're done eating -- rather than take a nap on the couch and give your cat a reason to go over and try to pester you.
6. Reward your cat for good behaviour. When your cat is being quiet, that's when you should give it all the things it likes -- his food, toys, outdoor privileges, attention, etc. Sooner or later your cat will learn that quiet behaviour -- not marathon meowing -- is the way to make things happen.

Routinely observe your pet for signs of illness, but still arrange for a veterinary examination once a year. A yearly veterinary examination of your pet is a prudent investment. Future problems can be caught at an early stage when they are much easier and less expensive to treat, cure or prevent from developing further. When age- related problems are likely to occur, the frequency of visits should increase according to the vetís advice.

Young female cats usually come into heat after six to nine months, but occasionally a kitty could start her cycle in her fifth month too. Some may not cycle until one year of age. To avoid pregnancy, cancer of the reproductive system, and the potential for infections of the uterus later in life, your pet should be sterilised by 6 months of age. During a heat cycle, even timid, or young indoor cats may do their best to get outside to reach males. It only takes one quick escape outdoors for your feline friend to become pregnan!

Unsterilised cats often repeatedly cycle through heat until they are spayed or bred. These are the signs to watch out for:
ē Your cat will continuously and loudly vocalize, rub and roll about the place.
ē Kitty may place the hind quarters up in the air while flagging her tail.
ē Donít be surprised if you come across urine spraying.
ē She will scratch at doors or windows and make attempts to get outdoors.
ē She will receive loud midnight serenades by courting tomcats, who may urinate, mark the area and fight amongst themselves.

Cats love to be cleaned and will spend as much as four hours a day, grooming their paws, faces and bodies. But that licking habit can cause a lot of hygiene problem for cat owners. Loose fur sticks to the felineís tongues and when swallowed stays in the stomach forming a gooey wad. When enough hair accumulates in the catís stomach it forms a hairball. The hairball may be emitted but can be retained leading to days of constipation that can be set right only with surgery.

To avoid surgery one must take precautionary measures. Administering petroleum jelly on the animalís paws or administering laxatives prevent the formation of hairballs. A diet rich in fibre e.g. oat bran or green beans or even pumpkins, will grab hair and carry it out of the body.
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