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The Origins and History of Rats

Rats have not always been the fun, multi-colored, patterned little pets that we see or own today. There are many different species and they can be found more or less all over the world. They play a major part in history and religions worldwide, as well as today's modern society. This article aims to explore the history of rats in various different cultures.

Let's begin with the origins. Rats are rodents of the Muroidea family. As rodents, their teeth grow continuously and they need to gnaw things on a regular basis to prevent their teeth from over growing and causing painful damage to their heads. They are not picky in what the gnaw, they can even gnaw through concrete and steel and are reputed to have a biting pressure of up to 7000lbs per square inch.

Many rodents and small mammals are described as rats although they are not 'True rats', example of these include the North American Pack Rat and the Kangaroo Rat. 'True Rats' are rats which fall in to the Latin genus Rattus , the most common of these being the Black Rat – Rattus Rattus and the Brown Rat – Rattus Norvegicus . These two rats are the best known and most important to humans. The Black Rat is more timid and less seen compared to the Brown Rat. This is mainly due to the Brown Rat driving out the Black rat, taking over its habitat and competitiveness for its food. Many other species have also become endangered through competition with both the Black and Brown Rat. Fancy Rats are of the Rattus Norvegicus species, the same as sewer rats!

Rats are distinguished from mice by their size, mice generally being smaller and lighter. This is not an entirely accurate way to determine the class, as some rats can have the characteristics of mice and vice versa. As new species are being discovered the standard classifications can be confusing.

Brown Rats originated in Asia in the grass lands of China. They began to spread across Europe in 1553 and arrived in the US in 1775 after hiding away and traveling on cargo ships. Black Rats arrived in Britain long before the Brown Rat although there are no specific records of an exact time. Reports of bones found in London indicate that the Black Rat lived there as early as the mid-third century AD and in York in the 5th Century AD

Today's rat is opportunistic and lives near to humans, quite often in their homes! This has caused them to become classed as pests. Since one pair of rats can produce up to 300 young per year, many places have become overrun with the mischievous little critters.

Most people do not realize that rats are a lot more complicated and interesting than they are depicted. They live in colonies which contain complex hierarchies, where they form deep bonds, often risking their own lives to save family and friends. They are highly social, very intelligent and posses psychological exercises very similar to humans.

A group of rats are known as a pack, or more aptly a 'mischief'. The males are referred to as bucks, females as does and the young as pups or kittens. Dominated rats differ greatly to their wild counterparts, with smaller hearts, brains, livers, kidneys and adrenal glands. They are also more prone to illness, possibly due to inbreeding.

These animals are usually portrayed as being dirty and diseased, though it is not true. Rats are constantly cleaning and grooming themselves and other pack members. Wild rats are generally robust and healthy, though city lodging rats have poor diets and can have internal parasites. These can not be passed on to humans. In fact, rats have very few zoonotic conditions. The most well known of these is Leptospirosis which is also known as Weil's disease and infects the liver, although this is very rare.

Rats have spread all over the world and are worshiped in many cultures. Although in the Western world they are still frowned upon, possibly because of their association with the Black Plague which I will talk about later on.

First, let's look at India, where rats are treated like royalty. In the North West Indian city of Deshnoke there stands an ornate temple dedicated to Karni Mata, the rat Goddess. Many people in our society would describe the obstacles interior as horrifying, but to a rat lover such as myself, the contents are both wondrous and beautiful.

Thousand of furry brown bodies writhe across the floor and scurry up the intricate gold and silver work that lines the walls. The temple is overrun with rats, there are well over 20,000. It is the duty of the attending to put out bowls of milk and grain for the swarm of rats, because they believe that ever, these furry brown souls will be reincarnated as Sadhus , Hindi holy men. People pilgrim to this temple, traveling miles just to sit and share food with the rats, or Kabbas , their name for the holy animal. They often eat and drink from the same bowls as the rats, believing that food touched by a Kabbas is a blessing from God.

Many people in our culture would find this temple to be strange or revolting, but it can not be denied that all religions practice customs that may seem strange to an outsider. The rat loving Hindu temple was constructed in the 1900's by the Maharaja Ganga as a tribute to the rat Goddess Karni Mata. Kings often constructed sentences to Goddesses more than Gods, believing the Goddesses to be more sympathetic and likely to help them achieve their goals.

The legend goes that Karni Mata was a mystic matriarch from the 14th century. It was said that she was an incarnation of Durga, the Goddess of power and victory. At some point during her life, the child of one of her clansmen died. She tried in vain to bring the child back to life, only to be told by Yama, the God of death, that the child had already been reincarnated. Karni Mata then cut a deal with Yama: From that point onwards, all of her tribes people would be reborn as rats until they could be reborn in to her clan once more.

The rat is also recognized in India as the vehicle of Lord Ganesh and pictures often depict him riding on the back of a rat. There are always statues of rats in the temple of Ganesh. In Curzon Park, Calcutta, India there is an attraction simply named 'Rat Park', where hundreds of rats scurry around inside a huge wire enclosure.

In Imperial Chinese culture the rat is the first animal of the Chinese zodiac. Rats are revered for their quick wit, ability to hold on to items of value, friendship, natural charm and loyalty to their friends and family. The year of the rat falls on 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996 and 2008. People who are born in the year of the rat are said to possess the rat-like qualities of creativity, honesty, generosity and ambition, but also a quick temper and wastefulness.

The rat is the first animal of the Chinese zodiac and the story goes that the twelve animals were standing on the bank of a river arguing about who should head the cycle of years. The Gods were asked to decide and they held a contest, who even reached the opposite side of the river first would win and the rest would receive their years in the order that they finished. They all jumped in to the river, but what the ox did not realize is that the rat was traveling on his back. So the rat jumped off first and won. The pig was very lazy and finished last. That is why the rat appeared first, with the ox second and the pig has the last year.

In old Japan, white rats were seen as the messenger of one of the seven Gods of luck, Daikoku. It is because of this reason that rats are not killed. There is an old story about rats in the Japanese culture: An elderly rat coup0le wanted the strongest husband in the world for their daughter. They asked the sun, who declined, saying that the clouds were stronger than him as they could cover him up. They asked a cloud who said, 'The wind is stronger than I because he can blow me away.' The wind could not make the grade either, 'The wall stops me cold,' he said. Even though he wall was honored by the offer, he wailed 'The rat is stronger than I! He can bore a hole right through me! ' So the couple wisely wave their daughter in marriage to another rat, who was indeed the strongest creature of them all. At New year, the Japanese leave rice cakes out to honor the rats.

In Ancient Rome there was no classification between rats and mice, they were simply referred to as 'big mouse' and 'little mouse'. The Romans saw rats as omens, seeing a white rat was considered auspicious, although black ones had unfortunate significance. It was said that if a rat had gnawed your personal possessions, you should postpone any business you may have been considering that day.

It is unclear as to whether or not rats held any significance in Ancient Egypt. There are pictures which show anthropomorphic rats, but there appears to be no rat deity. It is believed that rats were pests in Egypt, destroying crops and belongings, which is probably why the cat is held in high favor.

Perhaps the most memorable event in British history concerned rats is undatedly the Black Plague. It is possibly because of this that the Western world has such a negative association with the rat.

It is often said that the rats were the actual cause of the Black Plague. This is not true, the rats themselves were also victims. The plague was caused by the micro organism, Yersinia Pestis , which was transported by the Tropical Rat Flea. The bacterium blocked the fleas stomach causing an insatiable hunger. So the fleas fed on the rats. During the feeding process the flea would regurgitate some of the bacteria in the open open, infecting its victim. After a while the victim died and very soon the starving flea had less and less to prey on, so it moved on to another victim, humans.

The disease itself flared up in Mongolia in the Gobi desert around 1320 and rapidly spread along the trade route, infecting much of Asia before moving through Europe. The plague ever arrived in Britain in 1348, and by 1349 every town and village in Britain had been infected.

The disease became known as the Bubonic Plague, as it caused painful swapping of the lymph nodes – bubodes. Throughout the years there were many cases as the plague came and went through areas of Britain. But in 1665 the great plague hit London, killing half of its population. The disease was spread from person to person via airborne water droplets, mainly coughs and sneezes. Due to the lack of medical knowledge at the time, it raged through the city. An epidemic was upon us.

It started as an accute fever with headaches, exhaustion, chills and delirium. The lymph nodes swelled up and became hot and painful to touch. The final stages were septicaemia, coughing up blood and a lung infection. Four or five days later, death arrived.

No one really knows how the plague ever came to an end. Reasons could have been lack of food sources, the bacterium becoming weaker or simply the fact that the survival humans were becoming immune. Frighteningly enough, the Bubonic plague is still common in parts of the world today, though it can be treated and does not have the same destructive effects.

During the Victorian ages, London was swarming with rats. Rats being the cheeky, opportunistic creatures that they are, realized that there was plenty of food and places to live instead of having to struggle for survival. The abundance of rats lead to a cruel new blood sport, which although is ghastly and gory, is one of the reasons we have Fancy Rats today.

Rat baiting was seen as an entertaining way to keep the pests under control. Men used large amounts of live rodents and bought them in sacks to public sporting homes. The rats were then dumped in to a pit with a dog, or sometimes even a grown man. The dog (or man) was then timed as it toure through the pack. Whiche dog killed the most rats in the shortest time was declared the winner.

Jimmy Shaw managed one of the largest public sporting homes in London. After a while he began collecting and breeding oddly colored rats to create more colors and patterns. He then sold these 'new' rats to the public as pets.

But the man who can be credited as the originator of the first true domestic rats, was the Royal rat catcher, Jack Black. The rise of the rat population meant that many men had found new employment as exterminators, or rat catchers as they were known at the time. It was often these men who supplied to sporting homes. In his line of work, Black came across many rats and after a while he too began to collect and breed the odd colored ones he found. After a while he had quite the collection; albinos, fawns, greys and marked rodents, which he then sold as pets. Between them, Jack Black and Jimmy Shaw sold hundreds of pet rats, laying down the foundations from which today's Fancy Rats originate.

In the 1800's, colored or 'Fancy' mice became popular pets. People began to realize that these furry little critters made delightful and entertaining companions. They were very easy to keep, only needing small housing as well as food and water, and with the different varieties in color and pattern they were also pleasing to the eye. Interest in mice continued to rise, until in 1895 the National Mouse Club was founded in the UK. The NMC set up the different standards and varieties and also held shows.

Meanwhile, dwelling in the background was a very special lady, Mary Douglas. In 1901, Ms Douglas wrote to the NMC concerning Fancy Rats and asked if their club would consider expanding their interests to include the Fancy Rat. After much debate, the NMC agreed and that same year, the classes for Fancy Rats were staged.

By 1912 the interest in Fancy Rats had exploded and was so high that he had NMC decided to change their name to 'The National Mouse and Rat Club'. It was during this time that the scientific community discovered the benefits of rats in research. In 1921 Mary Douglas passed away and the interest in rats began to wane again. The NMC returned to their old name.

Over the following years, the rat lovers longed for an official club of some description, but the interest in rats as pets was still too low and there was not enough rat fanciers to make a decent club or society. The rat fanciers were left wanting until 1976, when interest was high enough again to start up the National Fancy Rat Society, the first ever rat only organization.

Interest in having rats as pets grew rapidly and very soon new varieties were found and standardized. The National Fancy Rat Society is still active today and remains the UK's number one rat club.

Source by Stacey Silver

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American Mastiff Puppies – Getting the Perfect One

If you found this article you're probably interested in buying a brand new American mastiff Puppy. Congratulations I know you'll be happy with this choice of breed, but if you want to find the perfect American mastiff you're going to need to find the perfect American mastiff breeder first. Here are a few tips.

Search online search engines for "American mastiff breeder" and take down the names and numbers of those that you find.

Go to local dog shows and find any American mastiff show dogs and approach there owners and ask about providing a breeder reference.

Go to the park; an off leash area where many dog ​​owners hang out and see if there is anyone walking there American mastiff. If so go approach them and ask for a breeder reference.

Now that you have several breeder leads, you going to screen out the best. This is done initial with a phone call. Now the scope of this article will not let me go into the specifics on what you would say on this call but you should know what you're looking for.

When you call the breeder you're looking for honesty, confidence, and someone that has a true passion for bringing the American mastiff. In fact I'm confident that you could call any breeder up and if they are a reputable breeder they would start asking you more questions about why you want an American mastiff in the first place.

Through the conversation you should get a general feel for what the breeder is like and if you can have a trusting relationship with them; on to the next phase, the visit.

Now that you have a few breeders you spoke too (it would be good to have two or three) and have setup a visit with them, here are a few important things to look out for upon the visit.

Are the dogs happy ?, Are the mastiffs well fed ?, Are they social ?, and do they have a good home with plenty of space to run around in.

You want to observe a positive environment and a positive happy dog ​​when you visit them. This is what truly reflects on the breeder as being someone who is passionate and loving towards her dogs and her bre choice.

Now, the fun part …
This is where you pick a puppy. Now keep in mind most of the time the breeder will not have puppies available to take home immediately. Most of you will need to wait a period of time for a litter to be born and raised by its mother for sixteen weeks.

I know, the waiting time can be a pain, but the reward is a quality and healthy mastiff puppy that will have less medical conditions and a long life with you and your family.

Have a good life with your new American mastiff puppy!

Source by Steve Blake

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Pet Stain Removal Off Carpets – Organic Pet Stain Removal Tips and Advice

Did your cat mistake your carpet for the litter box again? Other pet stains? Worried about that carpet smell? WAIT! Before you call a professional carpet cleaning service, take a look at some of these expert carpet cleaning and pet stain removal tips on how to remove carpet stains your pets made. All recommendations here also apply to area rug cleaning. Having a door-mat or small area rug in front of your entrance helps prevent a lot of potential pet and dirt stains. If left unattended, these stains can grow into a harmful mold smell. When there is a significant amount of soil, using a good suction vacuum with a good air filtration (one that removes 99% of airborne particles) and spinning brushes is going to help get that dirt and any other detritus out from the bottom of the carpet .

Removing cat urine stains
If it is a cat urine that is causing the stain, do not use ammonia! Cat urine has ammonia in it, it will only cause the cat to return to the same place and do it again. Dab the area lightly with a paper towel. Do not blot it with anything. Once it is dry, mix a 1/2 a cup of white wine vinegar and 1/2 a cup of warm water, pour the solution on the carpet stain, and then sprinkle on baking soda, to quell the odor (of the pet smell and the vinegar). Wait, and repeat if necessary. The area should take several hours to dry.

Removing dog urine stains
We all know how it goes, the bigger the animal, the bigger the mess, and the task of pet stain removal is more challenging. When it is a dog urine smell or stain, and it is strong, you can try using a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide, salt or baking soda with warm water and / or dish soap. You can also use this mixture on cat stains and any other sever pet stains. Remember, always give your pets lots of love, but too much of it, and they might get over-excited and pee on your carpet!

Benefits of using a professional carpet cleaning service
In order to keep the same color tone all over the carpet you may want to have a professional carpet cleaning service attend to the job. The advantages include savings in time and money (keeping your carpet), by wisely applying the most appropriate treatment for the stained area and the entire carpet, maintaining its original uniform looks, using the most advanced methods, processes, solutions and tools.

Source by Judith Chriqui

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The 5 Guidelines You Must Follow In Teaching Your Puppy

Here we have 5 very useful guidelines that you can use when you are working with your puppy. You will want to teach him to be and you also want him to be in the right frame of mind and condition to learn. This will make your experience more meaningful and enjoyable for both of you.

1. You will want to be brief: Compared to a child, how short do you imagine your puppies attention span is. We all know that a child's attention span is short so we will have to make sure that we remember this as we are working with our puppy. Our teaching will only be effective when we have his attention. If your puppy is physically exhausted and tired mentally, while your are trying to teach him new things, you can not expect to see the results that you wish. You will want to put your puppy through his training activity and then move on. You will have to keep it brief.

2. You want to keep things very simple: You will want to teach your puppy in a progressive step by step manner. Puppies learn the best this way so it will be the best possible process for you to take. You will find this will increase enjoyment and your puppy learn at an higher rate of speed if you will take this step by step approach.

3. Please be patient: You do not want to create a bad experience for your puppy. If you expect to have results immediately you will be frustrated and will have your puppy training loose focus. Puppies learn in spurts and these training's will take time. Your puppy will also go through lapses of memory and this is normal. One day your puppy might remember his training perfectly and the next day have completely forgotten it. When it comes to his training you want to relax and be patient.

4. You will have to be gentle: A young puppy can not handle a lot of psychological or emotional stress. They are sensitive and you will have to work with them accordingly. They can learn quickly and if they are handled too rough while going through their training they will pick up fears that will hinder their learning ability. You will have to be nice but also be firm.

5. Work on building confidence: You will find that every health dog will have a fair amount of confidence. This will start with you building confidence in your new puppy. This is not hard to do. You will want to start out by spending as much time as you possibly can with your puppy. If you make sure that this is a positive experience you will find that this will have a huge positive effect in building his confidence. Take time to relax with your puppy. You do not want to always be in a training mode. You will want to get down and spend some time with your dog. Roll around with him and have some fun. If you will let him know that you are his friend he will be your friend for life.

Source by Jason Beachy

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Puppy Training & Dog Training

Puppies and dogs are reliable, usually sensible and sometimes funny. You can never stay angry at them for long and the eyes, when they stare at you, seem to be pleading, asking, begging for something more, but you got to love them. They bring happiness and make their owners smile, with their goofy walking and puppy eyes.

Puppies are innocent and forgiving; they see everything as a fun game where everyone should be playing. Loving your puppy will help them love you; they will become part of your family. Puppies seem to be a fountain of understanding; they know when you feel down and try to comfort you with a nice warm kiss and a little cuddle.

Yet innocence can be deceiving, without puppy training, discipline can be tough and they can become a hell hole. Chunks start disappearing from the couch and your favorite shoes start looking like something mauled by a wild bear. Stinky, warm patches appear in the most unbelievably places and the plants are not where you last left them.

Puppy training is the second thing you look for after you realize that you new furry best friend has just relief themselves all over the kitchen floor; the first being the paper towers that you can never sees to find. Puppy potty training can help fix this problem as can puppy training and behavior training help you enjoy more your new friend. There are many training hints and tips out there even for those dogs older dogs looking for that odd bit of obedience training.

So it's in your and your furniture's best interest to train your puppy.

A well train puppy will grow up into a happy, healthy dog, who will love you as long as you look after them properly and you and your dog will be happy.

Source by Ronald Fritz

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Choosing the Right Breed of Dog

Before choosing a specific breed of dog to bring into your home let's go over a few things to help you make that important decision. Recognized breeds are put into groups according to the job they were originally bred for. These groups are Sporting Dogs, Hounds, Working Dogs, Terriers, Toys, Herding and Non-sporting Dogs. Among the different groups you will find a variety of size and breeds to choose from. Some breeds must be kept busy mentally as well as physically active. Others were developed as companion animals. Most breeds fall somewhere in between these extremes.

The size of the dog will vary breed to breed of the dog and life span rates from 6 yrs. to 16 yrs. with proper care depending on the breed. Choose a dog that matches your housing. Large active dogs are not suited for apartment living. Outside dogs need appropriate sized fenced yard, weather protected shelter with access to fresh water and food. Tying a dog should only be used as a temporary arrangement and a tied dog should never be left unattended.

Things to consider are having location and space for the breed of dog, spaying or neutering the dog, committing the time necessary for giving the dog exercise and play time, researching the breed and becoming knowledgeable in the breed and knowing what is involved in it's care , know that a dog takes a lot of time and money for veterinary care and keeping vaccinations up to date and last but not least be a responsible pet owner. If you can provide all these things then getting a dog may be the right choice for you.

If getting a purebred breed of dog is not for you then check out your local Animal Shelter. You can always find a variety of adult dogs and puppies available. Shelters usually put their dogs through temperament testing, food aggression testing, and testing to see how they react with other dogs and cats. They usually match a family to the right pet for them. You can interact with several dogs and make a final choice on the one that is right for you.

Some supplies needed for the dog consist of proper fitting collar, leashes for walking, play toys, nutritious dog food, treats, water and food bowls. A Kennel Crate sized for the dog is a great thing to have. It can provide a training source for housebreaking and keeping the pet bound when needed. It also provides the dog a place to go for a nap when the door is kept open. Placed in a vehicle it is a safe way to transport a dog to the Vet or for short trips.

I hope this information is helpful to you in making the choice on getting a Dog.

Source by Robert Cunningham

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How to Identify a Neglected Cat

Many people think their cat's behaviors are because the cat was abused or neglected. I want to clear this up for you. Abused cats are rare. Most cats are just wary of strangers. Bad behavior is usually because they were never taught correctly or played with aggressively. So, how can you identify an abused or neglected cat? Let's look at what cat abuse and neglect look like and then we can talk about the cat's responses:

Cat Abuse can be intentional or unintentional. Usually, unintentional abuse is called "neglect" and is addressed by humane societies all over the world. There are actually three levels of abuse. Neglect, Over-Discipline (over use of discipline tools) and Intentional Abuse. This article addresses the Neglect, which is the most benign form of abuse.

Description of Neglect –

Neglect means not addressing the animal's primary needs for survival – water, food, shelter, rest and hygienic elimination. Then there is the more severe type, where a cat is forced to live in filth, restricted to a cage all the time, or denied companionship with people or other animals. Many times, this can be caused by not spaying or neutering your pet. Unwanted kittens, or too many cats, is the primary cause for almost all of this type of abuse. Sometimes, a person is too ill or has allergies. Maybe a person is trying to keep a cat in an environment that makes it impossible to properly care for a cat.

I remember many years ago, seeing a homeless man walking down the street with his habits in a shopping cart. Homeless people were harder to find then, so he stood out. He was pushing the cart with one hand and had a carrier with a cat in it, in the other. I felt sorry for both, but being a child, I did not know what to do. The cat was experiencing neglect, but felt much love. The man, I'm sure, did not know he was doing harm to the cat. He just knew that he could not let his beloved cat go into a shelter – at that time all the Shelters I knew of were kill-shelters.

An older cat (over a year) has little chance of coming out of a kill shelter. Most people want a kitten. The grown cats are often given no more than 2 weeks to find a home and then euthanized. This heartbreaking situation often occurs when people lose their homes, develop allergies or find that they just do not want to deal with the discipline and behavior problems that developed in the cat. The single largest reason people give up a cat is discrimination elimination. Next, come allergies, followed by death of the cat's owner. Some cats are surrendered because the person moves and is unable to find pet-friendly accommodations.

I understood the man's feelings of love and concern for his feline companion. I also understood that the cat could not live in that carrier for long. There was no safe place for them. No homeless Shelter would take a man with a cat. In this case, I think the abuse is unintentional – neglect, by description. However, I think the heart of both the cat and the man were in the right place, just that the situation was unjust.

In news reports, we sometimes hear of breeding farms where cats are bred to the point of exhaustion and kept in sub-optimal conditions. We hear of people who just keep bringing home strays until they are over-run and can no longer take care of them, and the cats become a neighborhood problem. All of these situations can produce neglect.

Now, let's turn to the cat's response to neglect. How does a cat respond? Why does it do that? By understanding the specific situation and response, we can address the resulting problem behaviors with love, patience and training.

Effects of Neglect

A cat left in a cage with other animals nearby is often skittish and afraid of people. It expects food and a clean litter box on occasion, but cuddles and attention may make it uncomfortable. These cats often have no privacy issues in the cage, but once free, they are very private about their litter habits. If the cat was kept in a small carrier, it may soil itself, or hold back elimination until it is very uncomfortable. It may be dehydrated and need medical attention. The cat will be overweight from lack of activity. It may be apathetic when play is offered, not knowing what is expected. Electric lights may be something that set off a fear response in the cat because it means that people are coming. In other cases, darkness may be scary at first. Once the cat's eyes adjust to the light level, it will be all right, but when the lights are turned off or on, the cat may cry or hiss. In the case of a cat kept in the dark except when people are coming, it may be fearful the entire time the lights are on, while also expecting food, water and a clean litter box to be provided.

What Can We Do to Help These Cats?

These cats do not do well with handling. The less you try to pet, hold or cuddle these cats at first, the better. Let the cat come to you. It will, given time. Be sure to care for it's creature comforts – food, water, bed, clean litter box – but do not expect a cuddly cat for a while. That will come when the cat feels that it can trust you. It may be afraid of the sound of your feet on the floor. It may run when you come into a room. As time goes on, the cat will stay and just watch you. Another time, you may be able to approach and offer a scratch behind the ear. Occasionally, you will be able to give a full cuddle. Do not try to pick the cat up, but you can pet it and the cat will not run away or feel asserted. When the cat responds with a purr, an offer of a cheek or an ear, or you can stroke the spine and the cat is not trying to run away, then you have a cat that is only cautious of you. Continue until the cat comes for cuddles, which may already be happening. Still do not try to pick the cat up. If it wants your lap, it will come. This cat may still run from you if discovered in a windowsill, on a dresser or surprised in the litter box. Say your cat's name in a conversational tone and the cat will always not run away and possibly allow a stroke. In the case of the litter box, just say the cat's name, but never try to cuddle a cat in the litter box. If you can provide a privacy screen, the cat may stay in the room.

These cats need socialization. They need to learn to live with others outside of a cage. They need gentle discipline and may not know the meaning of the word "no." They will love feeding time but be afraid if you need to walk near their food bowls, and run from the food. Give them time, move slowly and talk gently in their vicinity. They need to learn what people are about in a good way.

Once your cat has learned to trust you a little bit, enough to not run away when you enter a room or even starts to come to you, then you can begin to bond with your cat. A tickler wand is your best friend for this. Gently shake the wand so that the end twitches. Your cat will be interested, but may only watch at first. If your cat goes for it, excellent! When your cat gets hold of the business end of the wand, allow your cat to feel the success by keeping the wand steady for a few moments. When the cat lets go, you can start to twitch it again. The cat will play with you in this manner for quite a while. When the cat tires, put the wand up out of the way so that your cat is forced to play with you, not just the wand. If your cat grabs the wand in it's mouth and tries to run away with it, offer resistance and do not let go of the wand. Some cats want to take the wand and hide it under a couch or in a corner so they can worry over it for a while. Do not allow this – the cat needs to play with you, not just the wand. After about ten days of playing with the wand, you will see your cat become more accepting of its new circumstances. Your cat should assimilate into the household well. There may be people it does not accept, and those persons can also play with the cat to promote bonding.

Under no circumstances should you perpetuate the abuse or neglect! Any discipline needs to be done gently and with care. A squirt bottle, long a favorite tool for discipline, should only be used in the beginning stages of training, while the cat is learning the word "no." After that, you should not need it. Redirection is your best training technique. When your cat gets into or expresses interest in something that you do not want to see it getting involved with, redirect it's attention to something that it is allowed to be involved with or have.

Some of these cats can be clicked trained, but the bond with the person needs to be present, first. Concentrated training to condition the cat to the clicker will be needed. Some cats may be so skittish that even the best treasures will not condition the cat to the clicker. If your cat runs from the clicker after a week of conditioning, do not continue. Your cat will never be comfortable with the unexpected noise it makes. You are better clapping your hands and saying "no" to stop bad behaviors than trying to clicker train for positive behaviors.

These cats will be extremely grateful for good treatment. One expression of that love, biting, may not be acceptable – especially if the cat bites hard and uses the canine teeth. Push your hand or finger into the mouth instead of pulling out so that the cat will not be able to bite down and cause you injury. You can push in hard enough to cause the gag reflex, but never harder. Never cause the cat injury in response to an injury to your person. Hitting is never acceptable – but raising a flat hand so that the eyebrow whiskers can feel it is acceptable.

If you must pick up your cat, as in putting the cat in the carrier or removing it to another room, pay attention to the cat's body. Be sure to pick the cat up by the ropes and the hind legs at the same time to minimize stress to the cat. If the body is stiff, do not hold the cat to your chest. Allow the cat to struggle, but stay out of the way of the claws. When you place the cat down (do not let it jump), stroke its back if you can. Talk to the cat. It will stop a few paces away and look at you. The cat may come to you for a scratch if offered. Always talk easily and lovingly to your cat.

In Closing –

With all these admonitions and dos and don'ts, you may think that a neglected cat is too much trouble. Not that much, really. They take some time getting used to people, but once they trust you and know you have their best interests at heart, these cats will come to love you very much. The early stages with a neglected cat are the most critical. After that, you may find a loving, caring, demanding cat. Demanding because it may never want to be separated from you. Demanding because whatever it was denied before it will crave from you. Moreover, you will be loved, very deeply. It will care about you in its fashion. If your are down or blue, possibly sick, the cat will worry over you and try to find a way to comfort you. These cats are very responsive to their people. Hypersensitive is a good description. Empathic is another good description of their behavior. Some cats even approach a symbiotic relationship with their people.

Give love and patience, and love and patience will be returned. Give concern and care and those are returned. A neglected cat is one of the best pets for a single, older person. The cat will be tuned to that person in short order. It will give love and affection to ease the loneliness and loss these people sometimes experience. When the person is ill, the cat will understand and be there to comfort, while allowing the person to care for him or herself.

Source by Morgen Marshall

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Why Does My Cat Bite Me First Then Lick Me?

If you're a cat owner you'll sometimes be puzzled by your cats behavior, especially when they give you a nip or bite and then lick you straight afterwards. This kind of behavior is very normal among cats as it's considered as a sign of affection and not aggression. What your feline friend is trying to tell you is, they Love You, it's their way of giving you a kiss!

Sometimes their cat kisses can seem more like a bite or a sharp pinch which can hurt. Remember do not get angry at your cat as you can confuse the poor puss. If your feline friend gives a firm love bite than just be firm and say No! In time your cat will understand it's still OK to show affection but not to cause you pain.

The reason they do this is not to hurt you, they are simply kissing you like they would normally kiss another cat. Because cats have thick fur and their nerve endings in their skin are not close to the skins surface like ours, they need to nip harder in order to express their affection.

For a cat, this type of affection is quite acceptable, but as a pet owner it's not the most pleasant experience being bitten. To stop this type of behavior you can train your cat not to bite, although this can take some time, patience and persistence before you can control this habit or stop it completely.

Although most cats enjoy massage try not to cares them too much as this can over excite them. An over excited kitty will exhibit many tell tale signs like purring, rubbing against you, chirping and a stiff tail that can quiver. Cats that are over excited usually can not control their emotions, so be prepared in case your cat wants to give you a kiss.
Make sure when you approach your cat too look at their tail first, as their tail is like their mood detector. Remember if their tail is quivering with excitement avoid contact as you might end up with a love bite.

Approach your cat when it's in a good mood, their tail will look calm and only the tip will gently move. On the other hand if they're happy their tail will flick from side to side, it's always best to avoid contact with them until they return in a better mood.

Living in harmony with your cat is possible, just try to be aware of their mood swings and if they do bite and lick you (kiss you) remember it's there way of saying I love you.

Source by Catherine Jaquet

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Should You Get A Beagle Puppy?

Many people buy a beagle puppyon impulse. With their soft, sweet looks, joyful nature and happy demeanor, it's easy to fall in love with beagle puppies.

However, reality hits when these owners realize how much a challenge living with a beagle puppy can be. They are self-absorbed, hyperactive and destructive around the house. Leave one alone in your yard for several hours, and you'll understand what I mean.

If trained and cared for properly however, the beagle can be an excellent companion, loyal friend and an amusing pet to have around the house. As they are not aggressive, beagles are excellent with children and a lot of fun too! The following are some beagle characteristics and behavior you need to know about before making a decision:

Beagle puppies are highly active

Beagle puppies fill their time with fun-filled activities, and much of them involve destroy some of your belongings. They have loads of energy enough to keep them going through the day.

The best way to control them is to keep an eye on them when they are let to roam about the home. When you are not at home, keep them caged up or enclosed. Note: Beagle puppies are intelligent. They are capable of learning how to open locks on cages, so be sure to keep that on check.

Beagle puppies are self-absorbed and stubborn

This means that they may not need listen to you. If you discover a good way to capture your beagle puppy's attention though, then you stand a good chance of training him. Also, their self-absorbed nature means that they want to be at the center of your attention. So, if you have other dogs in the house, they can get bullied by your beagle.

Beagle puppies can be noisy

Beagles tend to bark and complain, especially when they are excited. Some even make that half howl and half bark beagling noise. Not all beagles are like that though. This means you've got to spend time correcting undesirable behavior.

Now, your next question is: Then, why are beagle puppies still one of the most popular dogs to have?

Despite some of their shortcomings, beagle puppies are possibly the cutest dogs on earth. They amuse you when you are weary from a tough day at work. And there never seems to be a sad moment in a beagle's life.

Beagles are pack dogs, and there before get well with most dogs (although they tend to compete for your attention). Their short fur is easy to care for, and as one of the older breeds around, they are pretty durable. Also, their relatively small, but strong, build makes them easy to handle. Ideally however, beagles should live in a sizeable home with adequate space or a yard to roam around in.

Finally, if you can accept the Beagle for what he is, be prepared to clean up the mess he makes and spend time on training, then the Beagle is an excellent dog to have. It's always a good idea to talk to other Beagle owners before you make a decision. Otherwise, you may not realize what you are getting yourself into, particularly when your beagle puppy does not look as well as it looks.

Source by NY Chow

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Pest Management: Questions to Ask Before You Choose

If you are tired of pests getting into your house, you might be ready to hire a pest management company to take care of the issue for you. This has many benefits over doing it yourself, including saving you time and ensuring that it gets done the right way. Before you hire a company to do this job, know what information you should find out first.

One of the first questions to ask is what kind of pests the business in question gets rid of. Some only take care of the most common issues, such as ants, roaches, spiders, and mice. Others also include pests that are more difficult to eliminate, such as termites, scorpions, or any other animal or insect that can not be killed as simply as some. Of course, if you only need to get rid of common problems like ants, you will find that almost any company can help you, but you may need to look a little harder to find companies that can take care of more complex infestations.

You should also make sure that the chemicals used by pest management services are pet-friendly if you have cats, dogs, or any other pets that roam free in or around the house. Pet-friendly chemicals are usually not harmful to domesticated animals once they are dry, which means that you should still separate your pets from the substances used while they are wet. The business you choose should educate you on what steps to take to keep your pets safe.

It is best to find out policies before you hire anyone. For example, find out if the pest management business you are considering sprays both inside and outside the house, and what their reasoning is. Get to know where they concentrate most of the chemicals, and why that is. Many pest management businesses have different philosophies on this job, and you should know them to help you decide whether you agree with their policies and principles.

Choosing a company to get rid of insects and other pests is usually easy, but finding a good one can take some research. You need to make sure that you understand and agree with the practices, and know how to shield your pets from harm during the procedure. If you want the best results while also knowing that the domestic animals in your house are safe, you should find out the answers to these questions before choosing a local business to get rid of household pests.

Source by Ace Abbey