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Sabtu, 02 Februari 2013

Feral Cats: What Is a Feral Cat?

Feral cats make up approximately half of the population of felines in the United States. Because these felines live on the street they must find food and shelter anywhere that they can, including abandoned buildings, alleyways, and beneath dumpsters. Most people are aware that these homeless cats exist, though many people do not know the true story behind these feral felines.
Feral cats have been living among humans for over 10,000 years. These felines are the offspring of other homeless cats, which is why they spend their lives on the street. Feral cats live in colonies with other homeless cats, and these felines work together to find shelter and food.
Feral felines have never been properly socialized with humans, which causes them to be wary of human contact. Because of this, homeless cats will often run away or act aggressively if a human tries to approach them. Feral cats are different from your pet cat, and without years of work to socialize them they will never be interested in trusting, or even playing with a human.
Feral cats are not spayed or neutered, which is a main reason why the homeless cat population continues to grow. In fact, a pair of breeding cats and their offspring can collectively give birth to 420,000 kittens in only 7 years.

Organizations have been implementing Trap Neuter Return programs to reduce these homeless cat population numbers. Trap Neuter Return is a program where volunteers humanely trap feral cats, take them to a Veterinarian to be spayed or neutered, and then return them back to their home colony. These felines are often given ear tips to make it apparent to other volunteers that a cat has been spayed or neutered. Ear tips are created when a small portion of a cat's ear is surgically removed by a Veterinarian. Learn more about Trap Neuter Return and ear tips in this Alley Cat Allies video.

Although some communities have devoted volunteers and organizations working to help homeless cats, most feral cats have a tough time living on the street. This is due to a lack of food, harsh living conditions, the threat of animal cruelty, and viruses such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Feline Leukemia.
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Jumat, 01 Februari 2013

The Abyssinian Cat

Known for its distinctive fur and its country-wide popularity, the Abyssinian cat has become a happy addition to many homes, and seems to be poised to arrive at many more.
Origins
While rumors of the Abyssinian commonly trace back to Ethiopia, this cat's origins remain unclear. Genetic and DNA testing have traced this popular breed to the Indian Ocean or even Egypt, although its name originates from Ethiopia. Although its origins remain uncertain, the breed was developed over time in Egypt, where it is believed the British colonists purchased the distinct animal from traders. Wild versions of the Abyssinian cat still roam the northern parts of Africa, and this breed is said to date back potentially thousands of years.
Features and Characteristics
The Abyssinian cat is most notable for its coat. This distinctive coat can be traced back to a single mutant gene known as the "ta". To the touch, the hair is dense and extremely silky. Appearance, however, is what set this cat's fur apart from the others. Each hair on their bodies has multicolored bands surrounding it that compliment and accentuate the single base color. There are many different color variations within the Abyssinian community, and Abyssinian kittens usually begin darker at birth before growing into their lighter, final color as they mature.
The Abyssinian is also known for its large and prominent ears, which always seem to be on high alert. The rest of the head is wide and shaped like a wedge. The Abyssinian's tail is longer than most other cat breeds as well, and it tapers to a very narrow point at the end. Abyssinian cats are also surprisingly strong and nimble which takes some owners by surprise since their bone structure appears incredibly fine and dainty. They also commonly have "frown lines" appearing above the bridge of the nose and the eyes which most notably forms a very distinctive "m" shape.
Behavior and Temperament
You couldn't ask for a more intelligent and interactive breed. Abyssinian cats are well-known for their curiosity and their playful spirit, and they're very apt to learn quickly and easily. These cats are not known for serious snuggle time - they're more often than not up and about, constantly exploring their surroundings with a curiosity that is usually breed-wide. Many Abyssinians are even known to play fetch when given the opportunity.
These cats spend so much time interacting and exploring their environment that they often don't receive the affection and attention from their human companions that they need. They can slip into depression when the interaction with humans is limited and they need a lot of positive reinforcement and encouragement to remain happy and stable inside their surroundings.
Health Concerns
Because Abyssinian cats are short-haired cats, they require very little in terms of grooming so they are easily cared for. While they may occasionally require a bath, it is not the norm. Brushing semi-regularly may be advisable, and a regular brushing can accentuate their unusual coats even further. Their teeth, however, need to receive special care and it is highly suggested by veterinarians that they are brushed more regularly than they are bathed. Although rare, Renal Amyloidosis has also been found in certain Abyssinian cats, so having their health (especially their kidney functions) checked regularly is also advisable.
The Abyssinian cat is the perfectly suited cat to practically any environment. By maintaining external stimulation and engaging these intelligent and beautiful cats, you can guarantee a world of entertainment for your cat and for your family.
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Rabu, 30 Januari 2013

Choosing a Bird Cage

Deciding to bring birds into your home is likely to have the effect of making a substantial change in your lifestyle so it is not something you do just do on the spur of the moment. Likewise, selecting the right cage is also something you need to take some care about. This is going to be their home as well as being something that should enhance your home environment.
Of course, if it's just one or two birds you're planning on, you would most likely be looking for a portable cage that you can move around the house to take advantage of the prevailing conditions and to enable you to enjoy your birds wherever you happen to be. However, if it's a very large bird or a number of birds you have in mind, then you would most likely be looking for an aviary of some sort.

With a portable cage, the size of the inhabitants should be taken into account as a primary concern. They need to have room to move so the size of cage you would buy for, say, a Cockatoo would need to be much bigger than one you would buy for a pair of finches. Of course, the bigger the cage the better, no matter what size the occupants.I always feel sorry for a Cockatoo sitting in a cage with just one perch to stand on and not even the opportunity to hop. Play-top cages are very popular for members of the parrot family as you can let them out for a frolic (wings clipped of course) and it also enables you to interact with them more. If you don't want to let them out to play, then consider a dome-top cage. This will give them a bit of extra room to play around in.

If you've opted for an aviary, there is virtually no limit to what is available for you to choose from. It doesn't have to be outside, either. There are lots of beautiful indoor aviaries available and all you need is to do is tailor it to suit your individual situation. For instance, a huge cage in a small room would probably be wasted as you couldn't stand back and enjoy the show. Whether the aviary in indoors or outdoors, being able to see your birds from your living areas is a most desirable outcome. After all, that is usually why you have bought them.
So there you go. Just as there is a lid for every saucepan, there is a cage for every bird and every situation. You just need to give it a bit of thought and do a little research or seek some expert advice.

When I was just a lad, I was given a pair of Budgerigars and my father knocked me up a cage out of a small packing case with half- inch wire nailed across the front, a door cut into the side and a nesting box up in the corner. He very cleverly provided an external lid over the nesting box, which proved to be a great asset when they started breeding, as I was able to keep an eye on things and clean out the box when necessary.
The Budgies started breeding like rabbits until there was almost "standing room only" in the cage and so the next move was to a much larger packing case with several nesting boxes and a door big enough for me to climb through. Frenetic breeding continued and I then progressed to an aviary with an enclosed area for roosting and breeding and an open flight area.
All of these cages were home- made because, apart from anything else, the only bird cages you could buy back then were for single Budgies, Canaries and Parrots. No-one was manufacturing the beautiful and functional enclosures that are readily available today.

There is a cage available to suit every variety of bird and every domestic situation. It would have been unheard of when I was a kid to have an indoor aviary but now you can buy a specially designed enclosure to blend in with and actually enhance your indoor decor. Added to that is the sheer delight of a house full of bird chatter. Cages are available in whatever size you want, so you can have one that virtually dominates the landscape or one that fits neatly into a spare corner. Buying a pre-fabricated one is the way to go. That way you don't have to worry about fitting the thing through doorways or navigating it into an awkward spot. You'll get a lovely set of directions and even the biggest dummy will be able to assemble it.

Of course, the most important thing of all is to get an enclosure that suits its prospective inhabitants. That just means doing a little research beforehand. It's all there just waiting for you.

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Selasa, 29 Januari 2013

Top Five Safety Tips For Having Your Dogs Off Leash

Having your dog off leash is a major responsibility. In fact, it's a responsibility that most dog owners aren't prepared for. Your dog can't simply be released and then be expected to automatically obey blindly like those dogs that you see on television. The real world is full of dangers and unexpected obstacles that could easily injure your dog, or worse. Know that your leash is the lifeline that keeps your dog (and others) safe when you're away from home. Unless your dog can follow these five rules for off leash behaviour in a perfect fashion, keep the leash firmly attached.

1. Make sure that your dog is well socialised before they are trusted off leash. A well socialised dog can be trusted, while on leash, to get along with everyone that they encounter. This means that you need to know how your dog is going to react to toddlers, small children, older children, other adults, other dogs, wildlife, and toys that belong to others. Your dog needs to be just as comfortable around the three year old who starts crying as they are around the elderly person using a cane.

2. It is important that your dog obeys everybody, every time, for every command that is given. Having dogs off leash means that you trust your dog to behave perfectly. Regardless of who is issuing orders, your dog needs to obey the command without any problems, and without any hesitation. If your dog's obedience isn't perfect, keep him on the leash until you have complete control over him at all times.

3. Ensure that your dog is trained at being off the leash before trusting him without it. Off leash behaviour requires tailored training and should not be attempted for the first time in a public place. See to it that your dog is obedient when off their leash in your own backyard before taking any chances in other places.

4. Ensure that your dog is well behaved in public. Without your ordering her otherwise, your dog must be trusted to not jump on other people or harass them, even if they have food. Your dog must likewise know that other dogs are to be left alone, and that toys that are lying around aren't theirs to be played with. Without a leash to pull your dog back, this understanding is important for your dog's safety when off leash.

5. Make sure your dog knows to follow you closely at all times. Trusting your dogs off leash means that you are confident your animal will stay at your side at all times. Unless fetch is being played, your dog should know to stay at your side and keep up with you while you walk. Even when you and your pal are playing fetch, your dog must know to retrieve the toy and return straight to you.

These rules are essential to keep your pet safe when off leash. If you are not confident that your dog has the ability to follow these five commands at all times, keep the leash attached and practice until you know he will obey perfectly.

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