If the thought of training your pet cat seems like a difficult feat, consider the daunting task of training one of nature’s biggest cats. Consider these tips and tricks from professional tiger trainers that you can use to train your cat at home.
How to Train Your Cat
5 tips from a professional tiger trainer
(Family Features) If the thought of training your pet cat seems like a difficult feat, consider the daunting task of training one of nature’s biggest cats.
After welcoming two 4-year-old Sumatran tigers, Frances and Huntley, the keepers at Nashville Zoo are doing just that. The training program, which is sponsored by TEMPTATIONS™ Cat Treats, is on display for the public to learn about how these colossal cats are trained.The trainers offer these tips and tricks from their experiences working with their tigers that you can use to train your cat at home. For more information on cat behavior, visit TemptationsTreats.com.
When beginning the training process, identify your cat’s likes and dislikes. Some cats are motivated by toys while most are motivated by food. When starting the training process, try out a few different treat flavors to identify what gets your cat’s attention. Treats such as TEMPTATIONS™ Cat Treats come in a wide variety of flavors, making it easy to find one that will make your cat come running. For cats with health or weight restrictions, utilize toys or tactile reinforcement like petting for motivation.
Focus on Practicality
Celebrate the Small Victories
Despite the fact that cats are more prevalent as pets than dogs, only about one cat per every five dogs receives regular veterinary care, and there are a number of factors that contribute to limited veterinary visits for cats. Consider these tips and tricks to make your cat’s visits to the veterinarian easier.
Keep Up with Your Cat’s Health
There are a number of factors that contribute to limited veterinary visits for cats. According to a survey by Royal Canin, two-thirds of cat owners simply believe cats have fewer health issues than dogs. However, according to the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), routine check-ups are vital for giving cats long, happy and healthy lives.
Cats age more rapidly than humans, and they are quite adept at hiding sickness and pain, making it difficult to know if there is something wrong that requires veterinary attention. Hidden diseases commonly go untreated for this reason, which is why the Take Your Cat to the Vet initiative was created to spread awareness about the importance of preventative feline veterinary care.
For example, up to one-third of cats over the age of 12 have some form of kidney disease. Managing the progression of the disease, if caught early, can be accomplished with a proper diagnosis and reduced-phosphorous diet. Your veterinarian may recommend an option like one of the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet® Renal Support formulas as part of a treatment program.
Obesity is also a common problem for cats that can lead to more severe health issues down the road. In fact, multiple studies indicate that more than half of the nation’s domestic cats are carrying more weight than they should. A veterinarian can help with dietary recommendations and other suggestions to help trim your cat’s waistline, along with screening for the onset of secondary complications.
Another common cat ailment is urinary stones, which can be extremely painful and cannot normally be detected without professional evaluation. Regular visits to the vet can help assess your cat’s risk for developing stones and determine nutritional changes that may help prevent a problem.
Vet visits are also an opportunity to let your veterinarian know about any behavior changes and implement preventive care measures, which can be more effective than reactive care once a problem is revealed.
However, the very act of getting to the vet can be traumatic for cat owners and cats alike. Repetition is likely to help alleviate those concerns as your cat becomes more accustomed to the process, helping to put you at ease as well. In honor of the Take Your Cat to the Vet initiative, consider these tips and tricks from the experts at Royal Canin and the AAFP to make your cat’s visits to the veterinarian easier:
1. Get your cat familiar with a carrier. Getting your cat into the carrier is often the most difficult part of getting him or her to the vet. Start by leaving the carrier out at all times and make it a safe place by placing food or a cozy towel inside. Using a secure, stable, hard-sided carrier that opens from the top and the front that can also be taken apart in the middle is best. When traveling, it’s also a good idea to place your cat in the carrier rear-first, cover the carrier with a blanket and avoid bumping into things while carrying it.
2. Make the vet visit a positive experience. It’s easy to imagine that vet visits can seem scary to a cat. Feeding your cat veterinary-approved treats from carrier to clinic can help create a positive connection with the trip and distract your pet from the busy waiting room or examination.
3. Take advantage of slow times at the clinic. The waiting room of an animal hospital can be loud and full of unfamiliar animals and smells, making it a chaotic and overwhelming environment. Ask if certain days or times are slower than others. Scheduling appointments at those times may help your cat feel less overwhelmed by a new environment.
4. Give your cat practice exams. In the examination room, your vet will give your cat a full examination. To make your cat comfortable with being touched in such a manner, consider giving him or her practice examinations at home and positively reward your pet for letting you look at and touch his or her stomach, feet, face and ears.
5. Talk to your vet. Your veterinarian is your best partner to help your cat feel comfortable inside and outside the clinic. Discuss with him or her other ideas to help make visits less stressful.
To learn more about the importance of taking your cat the vet, visit royalcanin.com/cat2vetday.
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When it comes to keeping pets at a healthy weight, humans can contribute to both the problem and the solution. Just as people need to control the temptation to overindulge, pet owners need to control the temptation to overindulge their pets. Armed with the knowledge that extra treats and table scraps can have a negative impact on a pet’s health, it’s never too late to make some changes for the better with these tips.
Fight the Beg
Proper feeding habits can help with pet obesity
(Family Features) When it comes to keeping pets at a healthy weight, humans can contribute to both the problem and the solution. Just as people need to control the temptation to overindulge, pet owners need to control the temptation to overindulge their pets.
A survey of pet owners by Royal Canin in 2018 revealed that more than half of cat and dog owners always or often give their pets food if they beg for it, and almost a quarter of cat and dog owners sometimes overfeed their pets to keep them happy.¹
“When sad eyes plead for one more treat or constant meowing reminds you the treats are in easy reach, it’s common for pet owners to give in to the temptation and play into that begging behavior,” said Dr. Eric Mueller, veterinarian and Royal Canin spokesperson. “Unfortunately, in the long run, those quick responses can have some damaging results for a pet’s overall health.”
Estimates suggest that as many as 59 percent of dogs and 52 percent of cats worldwide are overweight1. Yet according to the survey, only a quarter of cat and dog owners describe their pets as overweight. The survey also revealed owners may not understand how much food cats and dogs need or what they should or should not eat.
The strong emotional bond between owners and their pets may be part of the issue. Many owners express affection for their pets through feeding, which can easily lead to the pet consuming more calories than it needs. In the survey, 59 percent of cat and dog owners said they feel rewarded when feeding their pets and 77 percent said their animals get excited about being fed.
However, many owners are not fully aware of the consequences of overfeeding their pets. More than 60 percent of survey respondents were unaware that overweight pets may be susceptible to diabetes and orthopedic disease. Pet owners also reported a lack of awareness in the relationship between their pets’ excessive weight and reduced quality of life, increased risk of heart disease and shorter lifespans.
Armed with the knowledge that extra treats and table scraps can have a negative impact on a pet’s health, Mueller says it’s never too late to make some changes for the better:
Talk to a veterinarian. Obesity is a medical concern. Pet owners should feel comfortable seeing their veterinarian to start a conversation about their pet’s weight. If a veterinarian identifies that there is an issue, he or she can develop a weight loss plan to help a pet reach its ideal weight and body condition, as well as discuss solutions to help control begging during the weight loss process.
Practice smart nutrition. Not surprisingly, proper nutrition is often one of the first solutions a veterinarian is likely to recommend to address a pet’s weight problem. One option your veterinarian may recommend is ROYAL CANIN VETERINARY DIET® SATIETY® SUPPORT cat and dog formulas, which provide great taste and are clinically proven to support weight loss and help reduce begging. The formulas use the highest industry standards and quality ingredients and are designed to help keep pets feeling full and satisfied between meals.
Focus on portion control. Although many varieties of pet food include recommended serving sizes on the packaging, those servings are general guidelines and don’t take into account a pet’s unique circumstances and dietary needs. A better approach when working to bring a pet’s weight down is to measure out the recommended feeding amount directed by a veterinarian.
Encourage exercise. Encourage regular physical activity. This can be anything from brief periods of play to long walks. Remember to adjust the intensity based on the individual abilities of your pet.
Maintain consistency. Changing behaviors can be challenging. Your personal motivation and commitment are critical to the success of your pet’s weight loss program. Remember that a pet is not likely to immediately understand why the treats have ceased or why mealtime looks different. Attention-seeking behaviors may even amplify for a time. Hold firm and be consistent in resisting those begging eyes and you can find the process becomes easier for both of you.
Learn more about managing your pet’s nutritional and dietary needs at RoyalCanin.com .
Photo Courtesy of Getty Images (Dogs playing with ball)
¹ Royal Canin 2018 Online Survey of Pet Owners
If you’ve always thought all pet foods were equal, think again. Veterinarian-developed formulas are created for pets with unique dietary needs but also provide affordable complete nutrition, without sacrificing quality or taste, so you can feed your pets the special diet they need for as long as they need it.
Get Picky About Pet Food
Good nutrition puts pets on track for better health
(Family Features) When a beloved family pet experiences health problems, it can take a toll on the whole family. In some cases, it can take weeks or even months to identify the problem, and more importantly, where the solution lies. In some cases, the answer is as simple as changing what your pet eats.
If you’ve always thought all pet foods were equal, think again. Veterinarian-developed formulas, such as those offered by Diamond CARE, are created for pets with unique dietary needs but also provide affordable complete nutrition, without sacrificing quality or taste, so you can feed your pets the special diet they need for as long as they need it.
Learn more about these common ailments that may be corrected with a new high-quality feeding regimen, and talk with your veterinarian about a treatment plan to get your pet back to better health.
If your dog has skin sensitivities that might be related to diet or allergic skin disease, try a diet with hydrolyzed salmon as the single animal protein source. Ingredients such as omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to be beneficial to skin and coat health. Some sensitive skin formulas not only contain hydrolyzed salmon but are grain-free and made with peas to enhance the flavor and provide high-quality carbohydrates.
Talking with your veterinarian can help identify other ways to help your pet lose weight and also help you rule out any underlying medical concerns that may be causing weight gain or preventing your pet from being as active as it should be.
Understand the Ingredients
Learn more about healthy meal solutions for your pets at DiamondCarePetFood.com/PetHealth.
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