Pet Talk
Columns, Pet Talk

Pet Talk

June 17, 2020

In this week’s Pet Talk, Maneka speaks about the cat’s bite, diet, behaviour and more

By Maneka Gandhi

Is it OK to let kittens bite?

No. This develops into a bad habit but there some reasons why kittens may be biting. A kitten usually bites because of a socialisation issue.

Kittens develop good manners through interaction with other kittens and their mother; other cats won’t put up with being hurt.

Kittens don’t know that teeth and claws hurt unless you explain it in kitty language the way a mother would. HOW?

Begin training as soon as you get your kitten or cat. A well-socialised adult cat, which knows the rules of cat, play teaches the best lessons to kittens.

Kittens can also bite as a way of communicating a need, as a way of exploring their environment, or because they are teething.

How many times a day should you feed your cat?

There is no quick and easy answer to the frequency with which a cat should be fed, as the age and relative health of your cat, how many cats you have, your own home environment, as well as the type of food you feed, will all play a large part in how you handle feeding. For example, a stay-at-home caregiver will be able to feed food to kittens or geriatric cats several times a day. On the other hand, a single, working owner, or a two-income family, will rely more on dry cat food, with early morning and late-night supplements of wet food.

Which is better, wet or dry food for cats?

Wet food is beneficial for cats because it provides moisture. Cats in the wild get most of their water from the prey they consume, with little or no need for drinking it on the side. In fact, cats have evolved with a very low thirst drive as compared with other species. When eating an all-dry diet, their water intake easily falls short of their actual needs, allowing them to become dehydrated and more prone to kidney disease and urinary tract problems.

 What type of human food is harmful for cats?

Caffeine, Alcohol, Dairy, Chocolate, Turmeric, Medications, Essential Oils, Grapes and Vines, Onions, Chives and Garlic and Yeast dough.


 Why is my cat rolling around on its back?

When you see your cat drop to the ground and roll on its back, your pet’s posture can tell you something. Sometimes this is accompanied by rubbing its head against the floor while meowing. It’s possible your cat has an out-of-the-way itch or just wants a good stretch, but this movement is often a positive signal from your cat. The rolling over motion typically signals the cat feels safe and maybe wants some attention from you. In fact, a cat rolls over on its back when it’s at its most relaxed state. When cats roll over, it usually is more of a solicitation for attention than submission. There may be other reasons why your cat is rolling around on the ground. Since cats have a higher body temperature, they’ll likely sunbathe or sleep near a heater. Because of this, cats may easily get overwhelmed by the sensation and need to cool down. This includes drinking a lot of water, resting in cool places, and rubbing on cool floors. Your cat could also be protecting its digestive system by rolling around in the dirt, coating its fur with bacteria, and ingesting it by licking its coat.

Why is my cat licking his swollen paw?

Soft tissue swelling could mean a few things: insect bite or sting, infection, an abscess, or blunt tissue damage. Bee stings can produce a huge swelling very quickly but aren’t usually too painful. (Cats are generally more prone to getting insect bites/ stings on their paws from batting at bugs). This is an allergic type of reaction and, if it doesn’t get infected, the swelling will go down in 24 hours or less. Your veterinarian can administer or recommend medications to help reduce swelling and stop the allergic reaction.

Do cats like companionship of other cats?

Cats like their own company and should generally be kept on their own. Living with other cats is a common cause of chronic stress which may cause all sorts of health issues for your cat, especially if the cats are hostile to each other.


How to stop aggression between cats?

Adding more territorial space can prevent cats from having to share climbing, hiding, and perching areas where fights can break out.

Avoid rewarding poor behaviour. Giving food or attention to the aggressive cat may calm the angst in the short term, but it rewards the bully.

Cat carriers, or a harness and leash, used in a hallway or large rooms can be helpful.

Feed cats tasty foods, or engage in play, so they learn to associate each other with fun, positive rewards.

 Why do cats fight?

The majority of the time the fighting involves same-sex cats and worsens during mating season — 90 percent of instances of inter-cat aggression can be decreased, or prevented, by spaying or neutering cats.

Environmental changes, such as moving or rearranging cat furniture or feeding and litter box stations, can cause fights.

How can one deduct anxiety in cats?

The typical anxious cat hides, urinates inappropriately, increases scratching, and/or vocalises excessively. Some cats are naturally anxious, while others can suddenly feel anxiety due to environmental changes.

How do I get a scared cat into a pet carrier?

To cats, the presence of a pet carrier usually means something bad is about to happen, like a trip to the vet’s office. If you take the carrier out only when you need to take your cat somewhere, then she will likely learn to fear it. Therefore, it is recommended to leave the carrier out on the floor all the time.

The carrier should feel like a place of comfort and safety to your cat, even if she’s not exactly thrilled about being inside of it. One way to entice your cat into the carrier is to make it smell familiar to her. For example, place her favourite towel or blanket in the carrier.

If your cat seems comfortable spending time in her carrier, try feeding her when she is inside of it. Initially, however, she may not want to eat her meals inside her carrier. She may feel more comfortable eating her meals near the carrier.


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