Tips For Growing A Cat Garden! ♥

Cats love the freedom of exploring overgrown, jungle-like gardens, bewitched by playful insects and enjoying the scents and textures of a myriad of fascinating plants. The experience inspires a certain hunting instinct in them that lets them roam with passion.

Exactly what should be included in a garden in order for it to appeal to those fierce feline foragers? Try these simple yet clever tips:

(1) Cats are renowned for adoring the heady scents of catmint, catnip and cat grass. As the names suggest, these selections are the perfect category (wink) to start with. But why not also plant an array of other scented delights? Herbs such as sage, lemon balm, thyme and chamomile will give an overall fragrant cornucopia to your Puss's Paradise.

(2) Plant some larger, bushy shrubs to provide shade and exciting nooks to explore. Although it can be a daunting challenge to select non-toxic varieties that won't pose a problem for your pets, there are many nonpoisonous choices that are perfect garden additions. Asparagus ferns, fuchsias, hibiscus, honeysuckle, Norfolk Island pine trees, palms, rose, umbrella trees and others are all considered safe for not only cats but children too!

(3) Your pet will love to catnap after a session of exploring so plant some soft, springy grasses to provide a comfortable bed. Any of the varieties of mondo grasses, available from your local nursery, would make a good choice.

(4) A great idea to protect your young tree seedlings is to provide a scratching post, handily positioned for any needed claw-scratching sessions; your trees will thank you for the inclusion!

(5) You want the garden to have some splashes of color to add some visual interest so consider planting out a flower bed or two to add a dash of vibrancy. Carefully select annuals and perennials from the following proven safe list. African violets, carnations, dandelion, gardenia, geranium, impatiens, lilac, marigold, pansy, petunia, snapdragon, zinnia. Leave one bedded area clear and well dug, in a private corner, to encourage toileting activities.

(6) Add a few potted plants and well placed rocks for privacy and camouflage purposes and incorporate perches and look-out posts to let your beloved friend claim the best vantage point in her new domain.

(7) A secure fence as a border may be practical to keep the garden area contained.

With sensible planning and a bit of practical forethought an appealing garden is achievable and affordable for most budgets and need not become an overgrown, jungle-like 'cat'astrophe! Happy gardening cat lovers!

How To Care For A Pregnant Cat!

When caring for a pregnant cat allow the expectant Queen to live as normal a life as possible in the early stages. Over-vigilance and strict supervision are not required and you will likely observe your expanding pet spending greater amounts of time relaxing on her side as she approaches full-term. At this time, when she is greatly distended, make sure that she does not climb or otherwise strain herself.

When you first note that your cat is pregnant is it strongly advisable to start adding vitamin supplements to her meals. With young developing inside her, a pregnant Queen needs all the extra nutritional help she can get; she'll no longer be eating for just one and will likely enjoy larger portions at mealtimes.

Added calcium is important for the development of strong bones in the unborn kittens. It is also wise to consult a Veterinarian who can suggest additional vitamin and mineral supplements/powders that will serve as valuable dietary additions; remember to ask about the length of time supplements need to be given. Many experienced breeders swear by raspberry leaf, used as a uterine tonic and general aid, as an addition to your pregnant cat's diet. Administer from the fifth week of pregnancy until a week after kittening for best results; available in tablet form.

On average, sixty-five days is the usual gestation period for a feline; be sure to factor in the usual twenty-one day period after mating, at which stage the queen's deep-pink, slightly swollen nipples should be clearly showing. With increased progesterone levels your cat's behavior may also be more affectionate than it usually is.

Don't be alarmed if the birthing doesn't occur exactly on cue but be conscious of the fact that she will likely begin 'nesting' close to this time so be sure to provide a suitable nesting box, located in a quiet, darkened corner. A simple cardboard box lined with alternate layers of cotton fabric and newspaper should suffice. A pen enclosing the box is a sensible idea but make sure it is disinfected beforehand with a cat friendly substance.

No matter how well-prepared you efforts, some pregnant cats will choose a bedroom cupboard, drawer, or linen cupboard etc, as a suitable place to give birth; if you have provided a comfortable box as an alternative you may be well served. Don't be disheartened if your cat does indeed choose another location, instinctively she will search for a private area, away from potential predators and aggressive male cats in order to protect her precious young.

Make sure to keep a close eye on the Mum-to-be and if any signs of discomfort, undue pain or premature bleeding occur, hasten to consult a Vet. In a small number of cases, a cesarean birth may be required, a procedure which could actually save your beloved pet's life.

Keep your cat away from danger and stressful situations (loud noises, dogs, etc) especially in the later stages of pregnancy. A bit of extra love and unobtrusive attention will help calm her at the time of impending motherhood.

Cat Breed: Abyssinian

The Abyssinian cat is commonly believed to date back to the 1860s, originating in Ethiopia; yet some people claim that the breed can be traced back to the ancient cats of Abyssinia, now called Egypt.

They are known for their sharp intelligence, litheness and a refined, pleasant demeanor, often becoming very attached to their owners. A curious and adventurous nature is the norm with medium length bodies and short, fine coats. They have round, almond-shaped eyes, green, hazel or amber in color, and slender legs of moderate length. Size-wise they tend to weigh between 4-7.5kg (9-16lb).

The Abyssinian has a "ticked" coat, meaning that each hair, light in color, has several dark bands which are evenly spaced. This coloring results in an ideal camouflage for the dry desert lands of North Africa.

These days, the Abyssinian comes in a range of different colors. Anything from red through fawn, lilac, cinnamon, cream and chocolate, amongst others.

They are a popular cat breed and are generally healthy except for occasional blindness, especially an inherited form called retinal atrophy. Although making good companions they can be suspicious of strangers.

Abys are hardy and adaptable as pets and are a popular breed for showing; a good choice for any prospective cat owner.