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Does Your Cat Need a New Home?

Try these solutions to 6 common problems before you make that decision.

6 Reasons Your Cat Doesn’t Need a New Home continued...

To help you find a balance between your cat’s normal behaviors and your desire for nice furniture:

•         Learn what’s normal. The best way is to talk to the pros -- vets, CAABs, or veterinary behaviorists. Online research can also help, but stick to reputable sites and acknowledge that not everything has a quick fix. “Pet behavior is as complicated as human behavior and there are as many reasons for behavior ‘problems,’” Moon-Fanelli tells WebMD. 

•         Find help for out-of-bounds behavior. With behavior issues such as scratching, for example, “there’s a gradient as to why a cat might be doing this,” Moon-Fanelli says. Understand why, with the help of a specialist, can often help you understand how to address the issue.

•         Make accommodations. For a cat that likes to scratch, provide scratching posts, trim his claws, or invest in claw caps (also called nail caps) to keep him from damaging furniture.

Cat allergies. Many people have cat allergies, but before you presume you do, visit an allergist. Once you know it’s your cat that is triggering the symptoms, try these solutions:

•         Make your bedroom a cat-free sanctuary. Reserve your bedroom for humans and look for special bedding designed to be less permeable to allergens like pet dander.

•         Take allergy medication. There are both over-the-counter and prescription medications to help you successfully manage allergy symptoms. Over time, allergy shots may also help reduce cat allergy symptoms.

•         Minimize dander. Vacuum, dust, and sweep as necessary to reduce the buildup of pet dander. Minimize heavy drapes, upholstered furniture, and carpet in your house -- places dander loves to dig in and hide.

•         Wash up. You can significantly reduce your exposure to pet dander by washing your hands and face often.

Baby on the way. Mention pregnancy and cats in the same breath and someone is bound to bring up toxoplasmosis. Fortunately, this serious infection -- which can be contracted via uncooked or undercooked meat, garden soil, or infected cats -- is rare in the United States. Still, to minimize your chance of getting it:

•         Avoid changing cat litter while pregnant. Let someone else do it.

•         If you must change cat litter while pregnant, wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.

•         Keep your cat inside the house and don’t handle stray or adopted cats.

•         Don’t feed your cat raw or undercooked meats.

•         Wear gloves when gardening.

•         Wear gloves when handling uncooked meat.

If you’re worried about preparing kitty for baby’s arrival, try these tips for warming her up to the idea: 

•         Encourage visiting babies. Before your baby is born, encourage friends to bring their little ones by, so kitty can get used to infants. Of course, keep an eye on all interactions.

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