Monday, May 11, 2009

Dealing with cat hair

Mau grooming herself. I think she's using her claws to comb her hair, so no matting for her. I put in this picture for show 'coz she's lovable.

Cats are delightful. However, dealing with the hair they shed is not. There will be cat hair on the sofa, bed, desks, under the table, on your clothes. Heck, there will even be some strands on your plate when you sit down for dinner.

When I was a novice cat owner, I asked a friend how she deals with unwanted fur. “I love my cats, ergo, I love the hair they shed,” she chirped.

Of course, not everyone shares her view. Caressing a smooth, silky pelt is a joy, but picking off cat hair from your favorite black shirt is something else. Those lint removers are no help either, and no matter how much packaging or adhesive tapes you use, there will always be cat hair swirling, wafting, circulating in your home. Brushing your cat will not solve the problem, unless you strip her bald.

(A bald husband at home is ok, but cats have more dignity than humans.)

No matter how much you vacuum or sweep, the problem is perennial. Cat owners have learned to deal with the hair problem in their own ways. I stock up on packing tapes, having noticed that I pick up many more hair from my shirts/pants that way. In fact, I use those tapes to clean up the bed sheets, too, since a number of my cats would sometimes share the bed.

While combing or brushing will not solve the problem, it is important to groom kitty, even if you see her licking her coat endlessly. Brushing will help avoid mats, especially for long-haired cats.

Dr. Jon of has these tips on how to handle hair tangles:

Removing hair mats is fraught with potential complications. Many mats are firmly attached to the skin, so you must be extremely careful not to cut the skin as you cut off the mat. Many small mats can be removed with thorough brushing. If mats remain, try to make the mats smaller by brushing the hair near the mats.

Once you are sure that the mats can only be removed by cutting the hair, then go for the scissors. Clippers are the safest and best way to remove matted hair. Unfortunately, most people do not own clippers and must make do with scissors. Be very careful. For severely matted pets, it is easier and safer to see a groomer for professional help.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cats and water

Lotus sees the dripping faucet. leaves her bowl of water, and approaches.

Well. it's summer, and this cool cat ain't afraid of a little bit of water on her face.

What is it with cats? They will ignore their water bowls and drink from other sources – a pool, faucet, or even a puddle!

Water is important not just to humans but to cats as well. Since felines are not known to be great water drinkers, cat owners should do their best to lure their pets to drink more. Cats love running water. They will be bowled over a drinking fountain.

Dr. Jon of has these suggestions to make your cat drink more:

1. Make it more appealing. Keep the water bowl clean. If you wouldn't drink from it, chances are he won't want to either. Wash the bowl every day and disinfect it regularly to control bacteria. Change the water several times a day.

2. The better the water tastes, the more likely your cat is to drink it. Try adding some water from a can of tuna to change the taste, or use bottled or filtered water. Cats are cool ... and that's the way they like their water.

3. Cats prefer to drink running water. In nature, cats are drawn to moving water. It tastes better (most cats don't like to drink water out of a bowl).

Our Lotus validates this observation. Lotus, if she can help it, will not drink from her water bowl. She waits at the sink, and quickly dunks her head when the faucet is opened. She paws at the dripping faucet, giving herself a shower in the process.