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The Tokinese Cat – A Unique Combination of Siamese and Burmese!

The Tonkinese Cat is a human designed breed with the mixture of crossing a Siamese and Burmese breed.  This beautiful kitty is medium in size, solid, and very muscular, and usually weighs 6 to 8 pounds.  With a medium haired, fine silky coat, your Tonkinese won’t shed as much as some other cats and are great indoor cats.   The Tonkinese is chatty, loving and a great cat for kids.

The Tonkinese physical features

Because the Tonkinese started off as a “designer” breed, three coat patterns have become the most common: solid, like the Burmese; pointed (or pale with darker extremities), like the Siamese; and mink, a combination of the two.  The mink is the most popular pattern; the shading is subtle and not as pronounced as the pointed pattern. Mink is generally referred to as a dark coloring, but it also refers to the texture of the fur. The mink can also be in champagne or platinum, for example.  Tonkinese generally have a slim, muscular build.

Tokinese Cat

One of the best known features of the Tonkinese is the beautiful aqua colored eyes that make their breed stand out with the silky mink coat. The appearance of aqua coloring in the eyes is actually a very carefully selected combination of yellow to green, balanced with light reflection. With the reflection of light the eyes appear to be aqua, and will reflect differently depending on the available light, as well as the time of day, just as the blue of the sky appears to change color.

The Tonkinese is a very active cat

The Tonkinese is very active, but not hyperactive. She or he run through the house, making its own little stampede of sound, and flip around like a circus monkey. They make very amusing companions and love to entertain family and guests. But, they can also sit contentedly, affectionately kissing and cuddling with their objects of devotion. They make for wonderful lap cats.

The Tonkinese craves affection, expects it, demands it in her loving way as the Tonkinese is not aloof or snobby. These beautiful kitties are fun to be around, with a good temperament and sense of humor, and they love to carry on conversations. The Tonkinese is a talker and will speak and expects you to understand every word he or she is saying. The Tonkinese is a happy cat that will get along great with children and other pets and will be a constant source of joy, laughter and love.

The Tonkinese does not like to be alone for long and will get into mischief if it is bored too often. This is one of the most playful breeds of cats, it needs to play. If you must leave your cat alone it would be best to have a fellow cat to keep it company.  Why not adopt two Tonkinese!

The Tonkinese is a very healthy cat

One of the more fortunate aspects of being a cross breed is that the Tonkinese does not have any health issues. They are a healthy and vigorous breed with great temperaments and strong genes. This is one ‘designer’ breed that has taken time to really breed the mix and therefore it is a healthy cat.  The Tonkinese has been bred solely with other Tonkinese, and that is because of the conscientious selection process of the early breeders.

Tonkinese cats are mischievous and you need to be prepared

Since Tonkinese are rambunctious cats, it is always a good idea to cat proof your home.  The Tonkinese doesn’t mean to do any harm, but it loves to have fun, and it would be wise to place your breakable treasures in safe locations, where they cannot be knocked over. Its love of play can make it careless in other ways as well, and it is strongly recommended as an indoor only cat.  Look around your home for anything that might be construed as dangerous and make necessary adjustments. 

Tonkinese love to play with toys

The Tonkinese are very active cats and love to play with toys.  It is good to keep them around to make sure your kitty can keep himself busy when you aren’t around. A scratching post, toys to knock around and chase, and a generally safe environment are all that you need to feel that your Tonkinese is safe and busy!

 

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Heartworm Disease in Cats – Uncommon but Dangerous

Heartworm is a parasitic infestation transmitted to dogs and more rarely, cats, by bites from infected mosquitoes. Heartworm is a potentially fatal health threat and often requires aggressive, prolonged and painful treatment. Cats are more likely to have heartworms migrate to other areas of the body than are dogs, causing more problematic infections and symptoms.  Since cats rarely get heartworm, the disease can be misdiagnosed as a respiratory problem.

Common Heartworm Symptoms in Cats

Heartworm symptoms, which include coughing, lack of energy, loss of appetite and weight loss, are similar to that of dogs'. But also, cats can experience shock, fainting, diarrhea and sudden death at the severe end of the infection.

Heartworm Disease in Cats 1

Heartworm diagnosis also depends upon a test for the presence of female worm antigens. These antigens will only be indicated after minimally seven months of infection, so a cat could easily die before the test indicates positive for heartworms. An antibody test is also available, but cats will test positive up to several months after expelling all worms. X-ray and echocardiography tests are used by vets to detect adult worms in the heart.

Heartworm prevention in cats is highly problematic. Heartworm treatment, therefore, imperfectly consists of the use of a monthly heartworm drug and a short-term steroid which is produced in the adrenal cortex. Treatment for cats is spotty at best, right now.

Heartworm prevention is easier to manage than treatment

Heartworm disease is easier to prevent than it is to treat. The first line of defense in preventing your pet from any disease or infection is through taking care of your cat by giving your kitty a proper diet, a fair amount of exercise and play time, minimal stress, and keep your cats up to date with vet visits.

You can also strengthen your cat's resistance (immune system) with whole foods.  Cats are more likely to resist heartworms when they are given all-natural foods, which help keep the immune system strong.

Try to keep your cats away from mosquitoes

If you can keep your kitty away from areas that are a haven for mosquitos, that is the best prevention. Standing water sources are needed for mosquitoes to breed, so whenever possible it is best to eliminate these breeding grounds, which should reduce mosquito bites to both humans and pets. Products like Garlic Barrier will also help reduce the number of mosquitoes and other unwanted insects in your yard.

There are a number of holistic products to help prevent heartworm infection. Many of these are topical sprays featuring blends of various essential oils. Be very careful using these sprays if there are cats in your home, as they can be toxic to resident kitties. Additionally, there are a wide variety of herbs that are recommended (either topically or internally) for the prevention of mosquito bites and thus heartworm (examples include garlic, and black walnut).  And some cat owners have had success using a spray of organic apple cider vinegar.

Talk to your veterinarian about the heartworm preventatives which would be best for your kitty Depending on where you live, you may need to provide heartworm preventatives year round or only in the warmer months when mosquitoes thrive. Ask your veterinarian about seasonal risks and infection rates in your geographic region.

Heartworm treatment

At this time, there is no approved heartworm medicine in the local states or treating the disease in cats. It appears as though heartworms go away without treatment in some cats. For the unlucky cats whose heartworms don’t just go awa, frequent monitoring is a must, prednisone is sometimes advised, and in severe cases, surgery may be an option to remove significant worm loads.

Heartworm medications generally involve a two-step approach to addressing the parasite load. There will be medication for killing the adult worms as well as medications for eliminating the offspring.

Hospitalization will likely be required for some stages of treatment. Additionally, your veterinarian will likely recommend fairly limited physical exercise and possibly even crate rest for all or some of the treatment stages.

I truly hope your kitty never gets heartworm disease as it is very difficult to cure.  Keep your kitten indoors, if possible, and you won’t have to worry about such a disease.  However, if you do need to keep your cat outdoors, try to follow some of the above preventative measures, so your kitty does not get affected.

 

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How to Keep Your Pets Safe During an Earthquake or Natural Disaster

We hate to think about something as scary as an earthquake or natural disaster that could hit us any day.  While we hope one never occurs, it is always better to be prepared for you, your kids and your pets.  After all, our pets can not defend or survive on their own. Some of the things you can do to prepare for something unexpected is to assemble an animal emergency supply kit and develop a pet care buddy system, just as in an emergency. Whether you decide to stay put or move to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets.

Below are some tips and/or reminders to help:

If you evacuate your home, NEVER leave your pets behind! Our pets most likely cannot survive on their own and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.

If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.

Emergency For Pets

Make sure to prepare for us too!

 

Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can't care for your pets yourself. Develop a system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so.

Take pet food, bottled water, medications, veterinary records, cat litter/pan, manual can opener, food dishes, first aid kit and other supplies with you in case they're not available later. Before you find yourself in an emergency situation, consider packing a "pet survival" kit which could be easily accessed if a disaster hits.

Make sure identification tags are up-to-date and securely fastened to your pet's collar. If possible, attach the address and/or phone number of your evacuation site. If your pet gets lost, his tag is his ticket home.

Make sure you have a current photo of your pet for identification purposes.

Make sure you have a secure pet carrier, leash or harness for your pet so that if he panics, he can't escape.

Below are some items to think about keeping on hand in case of an emergency

In addition to an emergency kit, below are some items to consider keeping in or near your pack include:

    • A week’s worth of canned or dry food (be sure to rotate every two months)
    • Disposable litter trays
    • Litter or paper toweling
    • Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
    • Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
    • Pet feeding dishes
    • Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash
    • Copies of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires.
    • Bottled water, at least 7 days' worth for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and replace every few months)
    • A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
    • Flashlight
    • Blanket (for scooping up a fearful pet)
    • Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make "Lost" posters)
    • For cats: Pillowcase, scoopable litter
    • For dogs: Extra leash, toys and chew toys, a week's worth of cage liner.

You should also have an emergency kit for your human family members. Some of the items to include: batteries, duct tape, flashlight, radio, multi-tool, tarp, rope, permanent marker, spray paint, baby wipes, protective clothing and footwear, extra cash, rescue whistle, important phone numbers, extra medication and copies of medical and insurance information.

If you live in an area that is prone to certain natural catastrophes, such as tornadoes, earthquakes or floods, you should plan accordingly.

Make sure to determine well in advance which rooms offer safe havens. These rooms should be clear of hazards such as windows, flying debris, etc.

Try to find easy-to-clean areas such as utility rooms, bathrooms, and basements as safe zones.

Have access to a supply of fresh water is particularly important. In areas that may lose electricity, fill up bathtubs and sinks ahead of time to ensure that you have access to water during a power outage or other crises.

In the event of flooding, go to the highest location in your home, or a room that has access to counters or high shelves where your animals can take shelter.

Let’s hope that you or your pets never have to experience a natural disaster.  But, as always, it is better to be prepared just in case it does occur and you will have the supplies needed and ready. 

 

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The Goldendoodle – Friendly, Adorable, Social Dogs

The Goldendoodle is what is commonly referred to as a "designer dog," or hybrid dog breed resulting from breeding a Poodle with a Golden Retriever. Like all other designer "breeds," the Goldendoodle is not truly a breed of its own, but is a crossbreed and is becoming an increasingly popular dog.  After all with its adorable look and temperament, the Goldendoolde can win your heart instantly.

Goldendoodle size

The Goldendoodle ranges in size from small to large, depending on the type of Poodle that the Golden Retriever is crossed with. Originally bred as a larger alternative to the already popular designer breed known as the Cockapoo, the Goldendoodle has proven to be an excellent family dog.  They generally range from 1 foot 8 inches to 2 feet tall and 50 to 90 pounds.

Goldendoodles are social dogs and not the guarding type

Goldendoodles are very social and get along well with everyone. They don't do well in any type of guarding or watchdog role and should not be used in that capacity. They can thrive in both city and country settings, but they're not well suited to apartment living, since they do better with the space provided by a fenced yard. Goldendoodles should not live outside or in a kennel, however, since they thrive when they are in contact with the people they love.

Goldendoodle The Best Pet

I’m a social pup!

Goldendoodles are easy to train

Goldendoodles can be very easy to train and are a good match for first-time or timid owners. They're not known to have any aggressive traits, but they do need proper socialization to avoid their inerent shyness or fearfulness. Goldendoodles also need daily contact with their owners; they'll suffer from separation anxiety if they're left for too long.

The best way to avoid any destructive behavior is to crate them and to provide toys and treats to keep them busy throughout the day. Keeping the radio on when you're out is another great way to keep them happy.

Goldendoodles are considered to be non- to light shedders and may be a good match for people with allergies. They do require weekly or biweekly brushing, and many owners opt to have them clipped.

Goldendoodles are affectionate playful pets

Usually highly affectionate, the Goldendoodle is gentle and patient and makes a wonderful family companion, especially since he actively enjoys human company. He is loyal and, with proper training, can be highly obedient. He does have a playful side and can be mischievous if the mood hits.

Temperament is affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who's beating up his littermates or the one who's hiding in the corner.

Enrolling him in a puppy kindergarten class is a great start. Inviting visitors over regularly, and taking him to busy parks, stores that allow dogs, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will also help him polish his social skills.

Goldendoodles are great family pets

The Goldendoodle makes a wonderful family pet, especially if his nature takes after the Golden Retriever parent. He's likely to be highly patient and gentle and to get along well with children of all ages.

As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.

The Goldendoodle does well in homes with other dogs and pets and doesn't actively show aggression toward other animals. Of course, as with all dogs, it's important to properly socialize your Goldendoodle from puppyhood.

The Goldendoodle requires daily exercise

The Goldendoodle has an average energy level and will require daily exercise through walks or a good romp in the back yard. Generally speaking, 20 to 30 minutes of daily exercise will be enough to keep a Goldendoodle from becoming bored. He's known for his love of water, so swimming provides another opportunity for appropriate exercise.

Since the Goldendoodle may grow large, he does require room to move. He's not recommended for apartments but should have a home with some type of fenced yard. He's not an ideal pet for outdoor or kennel living, since he thrives when he's with his family, so owners should expect to keep him primarily in the house.

The Goldendoodle can also suffer from separation anxiety, which can lead to destructive behavior, if he's left alone for long periods at a time.  So, leave chew toys out or make sure to keep your Goldendoodle in good company when you do leave.

The Goldendoodle is a great, friendly “designer” breed that does well in almost every situation.  As always, make sure to adopt a Goldendoodle when bringing one in your home as adopting is the best way to go!

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The Bengal Cat – Intelligent, Playful and Demanding!

The Bengal cat is a beautiful, curious, playful and albeit demanding cat and not one for the laid-back types.  The intelligent, curious Bengal is highly active. Constantly on the move, he or she loves climbing to high places, enjoys playing fetch and going for walks on leash, and thrives best when he has access to a large outdoor enclosure where he can indulge in the favorite feline hobby of bird-watching.  While fun and exciting, the Bengal might not be the best fit for your first cat or if you have small children.

 

Bengal Cat Breed Traits

The Bengal's spots are aligned horizontally rather than in random or tabby configuration. Rosettes formed in a part-circle around a redder center is the preferred look. Emphasis is put on the contrast between the spots and the background color; the edges should be sharp and pattern distinct for a show-quality cat. In the marbled pattern, the markings are derived from the classic tabby gene, but the overall look is random, giving the impression of marble.

The Bengal Cat

Bengals often possess a 'glitter gene' that gives the fur an iridescent glow, as if covered with warm frost. Three recessive coat variations have been developed: the snow leopard, the marbled, and the snow marbled. These types are still quite rare.

Bengals demand a lot of attention

Bengals are a lot of fun to live with, but they’re definitely not the cat for everyone, or for first-time cat owners. Extremely intelligent, curious and active, they demand a lot of interaction and woe betide the owner who doesn’t provide it. If you won’t be home during the day to entertain your Bengal, plan to have two of them or don’t get one. When a Bengal gets bored, he is capable of taking things apart to see how they work and opening drawers and cabinets to see what interesting toys or food might be available for him.  Don’t be surprised to come home with your house in disarray!

The Bengal loves his parents and will do anything for attention from them. If he figures out that you don’t like something he does — jumping on the kitchen counter, for instance — he will start doing it all the time because it will get your attention and force you to interact with him. He also likes to take things and hide them. Put your jewelry away in a place where he can’t get it (you hope).

Bengals get along with other pets, including dogs. They are best suited to homes with older children who will enjoy playing with them, but as long as they have an escape route from toddlers they should do well with them.

Bengals love to climb – make sure to buy some vertical perches

This is a cat who needs a lot of vertical territory. Bengals love to climb, the higher the better. Provide them with tall cat trees and window perches. They are also fond of playing water. Don’t be surprised if your Bengal wants to join you in the shower or bathtub. You may find yourself installing a motion-sensitive faucet in your bathroom or kitchen so he can turn the water on and off for himself. If that’s not on your agenda, he will appreciate having a pet fountain to drink from.

Typical size of the Bengal Cat

Bengal cats are usually quite large: males weigh on average between 10 – 15 pounds and females 8 – 12 pounds. Of course you will get some even bigger than that and a few who are smaller too, so don’t be concerned if your Bengal is outside of those averages.

The head of the Bengal should be quite small in comparison to the body, with small ears too, reminiscent of their wild cat ancestry.

Bengals are generally very healthy cats

Bengals are generally very healthy cats if you have bought from a reputable and registered breeder. The life expectancy is the same as many other cats: 14 – 16 years. In line with other pedigree breeds, there are some diseases that they have a slightly higher risk of – HCM (heart disease) and PkDef (chronic anaemia) being two of them. But if you go to a breeder who screens for these things, the risk of your Bengal getting them is much reduced, small though it is in the first place.

Bengals are wonderfully curious, active cats that are great with older children and preferably another pet.  They will keep you smiling with their mischievous ways and outgoing personality.

 

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