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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Choosing A Ferret

Choosing A Ferret

How to Raise Happy and Healthy Ferrets

Choosing a ferret might involve love at first sight. You spot one right away that you’ve just got to have. Don’t be so quick to jump to a conclusion.

You should take your time and consider a few facts before making your final choice.

How Old is the Ferret?

The age of a ferret is a big factor you should consider. Older ferrets may have a couple of factors in their favor – they may already be litter or bite trained.

But younger ferrets have a really big factor in their favor. They will not have formed any bonds with particular humans yet. You can step right in and start forming those important bonds early.

A younger ferret will need to be trained and requires a lot of care. You’ll have to train them not to bite and to use their litter boxes. They’ll also need vaccinations.

Ferrets Are Social Creatures

Ferrets are different from hamsters. Left all day long to their own devices; they can become unruly and unhappy.

Ferrets are domesticated and form strong bonds with their companions, whether human or another ferret. Left alone, they have no outlet.

If you’re going to be gone for long periods at a time, you might want to consider getting two ferrets. This way your ferret will never be lonely for long.

Should You Spay or Neuter Your Ferret?

For health reasons, it’s best to spay or neuter your ferret. Breeding ferrets takes a lot of expense and experience, so you should leave that to the experts. Breeding dos is difficult enough, ferrets are much harder.

Male or Female

Males are little larger, about 18 inches and around 3 – 5 pounds. Females, on average, are slightly smaller – about 15 inches with correspondingly smaller weight. Once spayed or neutered, ferrets of both sexes get along just fine.

Males play and mock-fight with females as much as they do with males and vice versa. But males do have a slightly higher tendency to spray, if they haven’t had their anal scent glands removed.

Incidence of disease is about the same in both neutered males and spayed females. However, non-spayed females will of course raise special concerns.

They come into heat seasonally from March to August. If they don’t mate, they can remain in heat for almost six months.

Apart from their cycle; females can also suffer from a higher incidence of tumors as a result of raised levels of hormones. But males, too, have their own risks in this regard. So the numbers are not radically different between the two sexes.

Ferret Colors and Personalities

Such considerations as color and individual personality are completely personal preferences, of course. But keep in mind that one choice, albinos, can create the need for special care.

Like other albinos, they can suffer from vision problems. They are also more easily preyed on, if they get loose where the dog or cat can get to them.

Hopefully now you’re a little more prepared to make the right choice when choosing a ferret. Ferrets make wonderful pets if you’re prepared to give them a good home.

The Beautiful Bengal Cat

Bengal Cat

Owning a Bengal cat is like having your own baby leopard. But this leopard won’t ever get bigger than an average size housecat – they do look and behave a bit differently from most housecats though.

Bengal Cat Coat Patterns

Bengal cats are known for their gorgeous patterns of spots and/or marbling. These large spots are found on the top and sides of their bodies. They’re often rosetted – a dark or black border with a lighter shade inside. This appears very much like a leopard or jaguar. The rest of their body usually has tabby stripe patterns.

The Bengal Cat Breed

The Bengal cat is known as a hybrid breed – a combination of two different cat breeds. The first breed that is always there is an Asian Leopard Cat (ALC) – a small wild cat found all over Asia. This wild cat is crossed with a domestic breed of cat such as an Abyssinian, Egyptian Mau, Ocicat, American shorthair, or a domestic shorthair. The resulting offspring gives you a first generation Bengal Cat.

This first generation cat is not ideal as a pet – it is very shy and still carries too many undesirable characteristics of its wild parent. It’s not until you get 4 generations removed from the actual Asian Leopard cat do you have a Bengal that makes a good pet.

This 4th generation Bengal has the beauty of the Asian Leopard with none of the undesirable traits – they’ve been bred out. You’re left with an unusually beautiful, highly intelligent, and social domestic house cat. Many owners consider them to be the closest cat you can come to a dog. Some can be trained to walk on a leash, fetch, sit, stay, and roll over.

Bengal Cat Care

Bengal cats don’t usually grow more than the average sized house cat, which is 10 – 15 pounds (although there are exceptions, as with all domestic cats). And they can be cared for and treated like any other domestic cat – litter box, commercial food, etc.

Most Bengals crave much more attention and affection than many other breeds – like I mentioned they’re a bit dog-like in some ways. They have a distinctive voice – and use it often.

Why are they called Bengal Cats? They don’t get their name from the Bengal tiger – it’s derived from the taxonomic name of the Asian Leopard Cat (ALC) – Prionailurus bengalensis.

Taking Care of Kittens

Kittens

Caring for kittens is rewarding and fun, but it’s also a big responsibility. Most children aren’t prepared to take on the full responsibility of taking care of kittens – and some adults aren’t either. But anyone can learn how, if they really want to.

Raising a pet such as a puppy or kitten will help kids develop a sense of responsibility. And many couples decide to practice raising a cat or dog before bringing a human baby into their lives.

Your pet store or animal shelter will usually give you plenty of advice on proper kitten care – not to mention your veterinarian. They can tell you when to feed them, how to train them, what the different sounds they make mean, and all the rest. Even so, you’re bound to encounter some issues you’ve never considered.

This is especially true if you adopt newborn kittens. Experts don’t recommend separating a kitten from her mother before they’re at least 4 weeks old, with 5 or 6 weeks better. But in reality, many kittens are given away almost as soon as their eyes open. In these situations, kitten care can be a bit more of a challenge.

Newborn kittens are prone to get diseases. They’re emotionally and physically fragile, and need to be protected from any kind of shock. Older pets, children, and even family members who mean well can do irreparable harm to these young animals.

Try to get as much good advice as you can when it comes to raising your new kittens. Don’t be afraid to ask friends, family and especially your veterinarian when you have any questions at all. Take advantage of your local library or visit Amazon for excellent books on cat care. And the internet is full of questions and answers on all types of cat care issues.

Although most folks consider raising kittens to be easier than raising puppies, it’s not all a bed of roses. Cats like to scratch and claw things – especially furniture. So you’ll have to try some type of behavior modification or declawing. And some cats (especially males) mark their territory by spraying urine on your furniture. This issue can be resolved by having your cat fixed and changing his environment so that he doesn’t feel threatened.

Once again, caring for kittens is a big responsibility – and it can seem like a chore at times. But it’s definitely worth it. Cats are endlessly fascinating and extremely lovable pets.

Oscar Fish Care

Oscar Fish

Good Oscar fish care starts with learning as much as you can about the special requirements of this beautiful and much sought-after tropical freshwater fish.

The Oscar fish, sometimes referred to as the Velvet Cichlid, Red Oscar or Tiger Oscar, is a tropical freshwater fish that originated in South America. Their coloration varies according to their mood, but most have orange or red patches on a dark green, brown or black background.

They grow very large, up to 14 inches long. Don’t be fooled by their small size in the pet store tank. This means that you’ll need a large aquarium to house them – at least a 55 gallon aquarium for a single fish and at least a 90 gallon aquarium for a pair.

When setting up the aquarium, try to buy gravel that is cichlid safe. And put enough gravel on the bottom of the tank to hold down any decorations. Real plants will be uprooted and eaten, so fake plants are recommended.

An undergravel filter system is not recommended, as they like to chew on everything in their tank. It’s also recommended that you keep an eye on your heater. They just might start chewing on it too. If so, you should buy a heater guard or find a barrier to put around it.

Oscars like to have plenty of hiding places, so you can provide driftwood, rocks, flowerpots or other structures to accomplish this.

As with all aquariums, set up your aquarium and let it age before introducing your Oscar to it. The nitrogen cycle needs time to complete, and this process takes anywhere from 2 weeks to a month. You can speed up this process by adding filter media, water and/or gravel from an already established tank to your new setup. If you don’t have another aquarium, you can add a little bit of flake food each day to your aquarium and this will begin the nitrogen cycle. Buy a testing kit from your local pet store so you’ll know when the cycle is completed.

Oscars will eat just about anything and it’s good to give them variety in their diet. You should feed them a base of quality cichlid pellets. And supplement this with regular feedings of freeze-dried worms, peas, lettuce, and brine shrimp. Some people even feed their cichlids hot dogs and hamburger meat.

Because Oscars are so big, they create a lot of waste. So you’ll need plenty of filtration to clean your large Oscar aquarium. At least two high-powered filters are absolutely essential. When filtering Oscar tanks, there’s no such thing as overkill. If you have a 90 gallon tank, then you want filters that will combine to filter more than a 90 gallon tank.

Oscars are fairly hardy fish that can live 10 years. They’ll do well in a temperature range of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and tolerate a wide range of pH and water hardness levels.

What Removes Cat Urine?

What Removes Cat Urine?

When trying to find what removes cat urine, it really helps to find the cause first.

You can clean up the mess and the smell, but what good is it if you don’t prevent future occurrences of the problem? This article aims to show you the possible causes of cat urination problems, and also tell you how to clean cat urine.

First of all, there’s always a reason why a cat urinates in a place other than their litter box. If they’re urinating on the floor or on the carpet, then they could have issues with their litterbox or they may be suffering from a medical condition such as a bladder or urinary tract infection.

Possible problems with their litterbox could be:

  • It’s not cleaned often enough, and they don’t want to walk into a dirty litterbox. Clean it more often and/or provide them with a second litterbox.
  • It’s located in a high traffic area. Most cats prefer an undisturbed location, with some privacy.
  • You’ve changed to a type of litter that they don’t like. Keep trying different brands and types till you find a variety that they can live with.

A cat suffering from a urinary or bladder infection finds it painful to urinate and they can also lose proper control. You may also notice that they strain while urinating or see the presence of blood in their urine. If you suspect a medical problem, take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

If your cat is spraying objects such as walls and furniture, then they’re marking their territory out of instinct. Cats that are spayed or neutered before sexual maturity often exhibit little or no spraying behavior, but not always. And yes, females do sometimes spray.

Cats spray to mark their territory and to feel more secure. It lets other cats know that this is their territory. It’s more common in a multi-cat household – especially if they’re kept indoors at all times. You may want to keep the spraying cat separated from the other cats, let him go outdoors occasionally, or in extreme cases – find another home for him.

Another possible cause for his/her spraying behavior is what’s going on outside. If there are other cats roaming outside the window, then your cat may be responding to a perceived threat. An indoor cat not only sees the other cat outside, but can many times smell them too. So you might have to keep your windows closed or put some cat deterrent in front of your windows to keep the neighborhood cats away.

Cleaning The Cat Urine Stain

Cat urine stains are usually easy to smell, but sometimes not so easy to see. For this reason, you’ll need to invest in a Black Light which will shed a light on any stains that are present. When you locate a stain, use water and a cloth to blot (not rub) up as much of the urine as possible. Then use one of the enzymatic cat urine removers to finish the job. There are many good cat urine cleaning products on the market today. After cleaning, spray a product called Feliway on the stain to help prevent your cat from revisiting the spot in the future.

Once you figure out why your cat is having problems, then you’ll know exactly how to proceed. And hopefully you’ll eliminate the cat urine smell and gradually prevent any future cat urine problems.

Ferret Diseases & Conditions

Ferret Diseases

Here is a look at some of the most common ferret diseases and conditions.

Ferret Adrenal Disease

One of the most common conditions that affect ferrets is adrenal disease. The growth or enlargement of the adrenal gland typically requires surgery.

External signs of this condition are loss of hair, usually starting at the tail and working forward. Sometimes the back of the neck loses hair. In some cases, the vulva of females becomes enlarged too.

If you catch and treat this disease early, prospects for recovery are good. If left untreated, it is fatal.

ADV

Aleutian Disease Virus (ADV) is a parvovirus that can infect ferrets and their cousin species, such as minks. It produces excessive and rapid weight loss. There’s no cure and it can be fatal, though in many cases it produces symptoms that are treatable.

ADV can be transmitted through urine and feces, so it’s possible for one ferret to be a carrier (but not infected) to infect others. Tests can show whether an animal has the virus and it’s helpful to have one done before introducing a new ferret to your other ferrets. CEP or CIEP (Counter Immune ElectroPhoresis) is the most common test.

ECE

Epizootic Catarrhal Enteritis, also known as Green Slime Disease, is an inflammation of the mucous membranes. It leads to green slimy, foul-smelling feces during diarrhea (hence the name). Yes, all feces smell, but ferrets can get greenish diarrhea for a number of reasons. These are distinctive. The causes are not entirely understood.

This condition may last only a week or two and go away untreated. But in about 20% of cases it can become more serious, leading to wasting away. In any case, owners should seek treatment as early as possible. Only known for a little over 10 years, it’s still being heavily researched. Treatments vary, such as the use of slippery elm bark powder, but should be applied by a vet.

Ferret Ear Problems

It’s very important to keep your ferret’s ears clean – and it’s pretty simple too. Wax can build up, or they can get ear mites and other conditions.

You can use a weak solution of ear cleaner to help loosen the wax then, like a dog, they will shake their heads vigorously to expel the wax.

Treating ear mites requires only a little ear cleaner, then Tresaderm. The procedure should be repeated every day for at least a week. Careful examination with a flashlight and magnifying glass can help reveal any substance that might still be in the ear. A ferret’s ear canal is L-shaped, so piercing the ear drum isn’t a common problem. But they are delicate, so take care.

Cancers

Older ferrets, around 4 years or more (like other aging mammals) are prone to develop tumors and other cancers. Some of these are treatable by surgery, others eventually take the life of the ferret. But ferrets are no more prone to cancer at a young age than a dog, cat or humans.

Still, since they are very curious and exploratory, it’s helpful to ensure they don’t come into contact with common household items that can encourage cancers. Benzene and other organic solvents are known to increase the risk. Be sure to ferret-proof your house.

Types Of Tropical Fish

Types of Tropical Fish

There are many types of tropical fish for you to choose from when setting up an aquarium. It’s wise to understand the different types before making a purchase.

Some varieties of freshwater tropical fish are easier to take care of than others. And not all tropical fish get along with others. This article will point out the best types of fish for beginners.

Among the easiest types of tropical fish to care for are zebra danios. They are pretty little fish with 4 horizontal gold/silver stripes running down their sides. They can grow to a size of 11/2 to 2 inches and look great in groups of six or more. They require no special water hardness or pH levels and do best at a temperature range of 65 – 78 degrees Fahrenheit. They are a non-aggressive species that can be kept with any other non-aggressive fish.

Swordtails and Platies are another type of fish perfect for beginners. It’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between swordtails and platies, except male swordtails have a long sword-shaped tail. These fish do best in a pH range of 7.0 – 8.0 and require no special water hardness. The temperature should be kept in a range of 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. They are a non-aggressive species of tropical fish that can be kept with other non-aggressive fish. They are live-bearers and breed frequently.

Tropical Fish Types

Guppies are another type of livebearer fish that come in plain and fancy varieties. The fancy guppy varieties come in an assortment of beautiful colors. The males are much more beautiful and colorful than the females. They prefer a temperature range of 72 – 78 degrees Fahrenheit, a pH range between 7.0 – 8.0 and hard water. They should be kept in groups of more females than males. Guppies are fin-nippers, so shouldn’t be kept with any long-finned variety of tropical fish.

The Betta or Siamese Fighting Fish is a gorgeous tropical fish that is normally sold in small jars in pet stores. They are easy to take care of, but cannot be kept with another male – as they will fight to the death. And males are usually all you see in pet stores, as they’re more beautiful than females. Bettas can be kept with other peaceful species, but it’s not recommended because of their long flowing fins and slow movement. They do fine in small aquariums or bowls of room temperature water.

Barbs such as Tiger Barbs, Rosy Barbs and Cherry Barbs are very hardy and colorful tropical fish that are easy to take care of. Rosy Barbs and Cherry Barbs are not very aggressive, but Tiger Barbs can be. So proceed with caution when introducing Tiger Barbs into community tanks, especially with slow moving or long-finned fish. All barbs do well at temperatures between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. A pH range of 6.0 – 8.0 is recommended and they tolerate a wide range of water hardness.

Tetras come in various shapes and sizes. Most varieties are peaceful and go well in community tanks, except for the larger varieties like the Black Skirt Tetra and the Serpae Tetra. The larger varieties are fin-nippers and shouldn’t be kept with slow-moving or long-finned fish. And they will attack smaller species of fish. Most tetras like a temperature between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit and a pH of 6.0 to 8.0. Water hardness isn’t much of an issue.

Tropical Fish

Traits Of Himalayan Kittens

Himalayan Cat

There are many traits of Himalayan kittens that make them one of the most popular breeds of cat.

Although the Himalayan breed hasn’t been around for very long, they are one of the most sought after breeds of cat for good reason. Their beautiful appearance and wonderful personalities make them a perfect pet for any cat lover. But make sure you’re aware of the special care required before going out and buying or adopting one of these lovely animals. They’re definitely not your average, run-of-the-mill alley cat.

History of the Himalayan

Himalayan cats (Himmies) began in the 1930’s when a couple of folks had the wonderful idea of crossing Persian cats with Siamese cats to produce a long-haired, Persian-bodied cat with the points of a Siamese. They succeeded and eventually had their new breed recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in 1957. In the mid 1980’s, the CFA moved the Himalayan breed into its Persian division. So the CFA considers a Himalayan to be a Persian Himalayan.

Special Traits of Himalayan Kittens

Himalayan kittens are born without colorpoints, they’re either pure white or cream. After a couple of weeks they begin to develop their colorpoints which are located on their faces, ears, tails, and legs. These points come in blue, seal, lilac, chocolate, flame, tortoiseshell (tortie), lynx (tabby), blue-cream, and cream.

Himmies have distinctive personalites. They inherit a calm and placid nature from their Persian bloodlines and an outgoing and social personality from their Siamese bloodlines. This results in a wonderful combination. Many Himalayans exhibit kitten-like behavior their whole lives. They are very playful and want to be with you much of the time, but they do value their private time.

Caring For Your Himalayan

A Himalayan cat requires special care that any longhaired cat would. You should brush their hair every day and try to bathe them every week or two. If you don’t do this, their hair will become matted and will have to be shaven. They’re also more susceptible to hairballs than shorthaired cats.

A Himalayan’s flat Persian face can also present breathing or respiratory problems and watery eyes (which requires frequent cleaning). This breed is also prone to joint and organ problems, as well as Polycystic kidney disease due to the excessive inbreeding of certain breeders. So do your homework when picking a Himalayan kitten. Stay away from big commercial breeders and ask about the health history of a litter’s parents. Also be sure to get any health and veterinary records for your new kitten.

The traits of Himalayan kittens and cats make them a great pet – if you’re prepared to give them the care that they require and deserve. You’ll probably find that their personality and beauty make up for any special care or work required. It’s very difficult not to fall in love with a Himmy.

Cat Won’t Eat Or Drink

Cat Won’t Eat Or Drink

It can be frustrating and scary when your cat won’t eat or drink. You’ll need to investigate to determine how serious the problem really is.

A cat that won’t eat could either be just fussy or have a serious underlying health problem. Likewise a cat that won’t drink could be getting his/her water from another source or it could also be caused by an underlying health problem. How can you tell the difference? .

First of all, many cats are picky eaters. If you switch them to a different brand or type of food all of sudden, they may protest and not eat at all until you give them their preferred food. It’s always best to gradually change their food over time, when you want to make a change.

Environment is also a factor in their eating habits. If you feed them in a high-traffic area or change where you feed them, they may refuse to eat until you change the situation.

If you’ve remedied any situation that may be interfering with their eating habits and nothing seems to work, then you need to take them to the veterinarian. They may have some health issues that need to be taken care of such as a broken tooth, mouth sores, or any number of serious internal problems.

A cat that won’t drink water could not have a problem at all – he or she may be getting water from some other source that you’re not aware of. They may be drinking water out of the toilet or if you have an outside cat, they may get all of their water from any number of water sources – puddles, streams, flowerpots, etc.

If you’re sure that your cat isn’t getting water from any other source, then they might not like their water bowl or the taste of the water you give them. Get them another water bowl and/or give them dechlorinated, spring or distilled water. And cats that eat moist food get a good bit of water from their food.

If you still don’t believe your cat is getting any water, then it’s time to take him or her to the veterinarian. There may be a serious health issue. And no animal can survive long without liquids.

Always observe your cat closely and be aware of what’s going on in their life. When your cat won’t eat or drink and exhibits behavior that’s out of the ordinary – mood changes, less energy than normal, hissing at you, losing or gaining weight – then it’s time to take him or her to veterinarian. It’s always better to err on the side of caution.

Types Of Home Aquarium Sharks

Aquarium Shark

Certain types of home aquarium sharks add a beautiful touch to any tank. But do your homework before purchasing one.

There are a few types of sharks for home aquariums commonly found in local pet stores. They are the Bala Shark, Iridescent Shark, Rainbow Shark, and the Red Tail Shark. This article aims to take a look at each type and how best to care for them.

The Bala Shark is a beautiful fish that is a shark in name only; it’s really a member of the carp and minnow family. It has: large eyes; silver body with black trim; and an upright dorsal fin. Its silver body shines and reflects light in a striking manner.

Before bringing a Bala Shark home, you should be aware of his special requirements. He does best when kept in a school of six or more, and can grow fairly large: 7 – 12 inches long. This means you’ll need an aquarium of at least 72 – 90 gallons.

The Bala Shark is a peaceful fish that is compatible with a wide range of other fish. They tolerate a temperature range of 72 – 82 degrees Fahrenheit, and will be content with a pH range of 6.0 – 8.0.

The Iridescent Shark is another one of the freshwater aquarium fish often seen in pet stores. It is not really a shark, but a type of catfish. They have a grayish, black body with an iridescent stripe running down their sides.

They do best when kept in schools of 5 or more, but really grow too large for a home aquarium. In the wild they can grow up to 4 feet long and weigh up to a hundred pounds. In home aquariums, they’re usually not given enough space to grow adequately, and so reach only about 6 – 12 inches long. In addition to stunted growth, they usually suffer premature deaths due to organ failure.

Rainbow sharks are another of the small aquarium sharks commonly seen in local pet stores. Once again, they’re not really a shark, but a type of minnow. Their body is a greenish black and their fins are orange or red. They can grow to a size of 4 – 6 inches and shouldn’t be kept with other Rainbows, because they’re very aggressive and territorial. If you’re thinking of adding a Rainbow Shark to a community tank, make sure the tank is large enough – at least 29 gallons or more, because these sharks can be terribly aggressive towards any tankmates.

Rainbow Shark
Rainbow Shark

A Rainbow Shark prefers temperatures between 70 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. They are fairly tolerant of a wide range of pH and water hardness levels.

The final type of home aquarium shark that is readily available in pet stores is the Red Tail Shark. They appear similar to the Rainbow shark, except their body is darker and only their tail is colored red. They typically grow to a size of 4 to 5 inches long and have the exact same compatibility issues as the Rainbow shark. They prefer the same temperature range as the Rainbow, but are a bit pickier about their pH requirements – 6.0 to 7.0.

So there you have it, the most common types of home aquarium sharks found in pet stores. All four types are very beautiful and fascinating additions to an aquarium. But the Iridescent Shark is probably a poor choice for all but the extremely largest of home aquariums.

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