Is Lavender Safe for Cats?

The question as to whether lavender is safe for cats or not, produces more contradictory answers than possibly any other that is asked about our feline friends. You will get some people who’ll tell you it is safe, and others who tell you whether or not, is lavender safe for cats, so in this article we are going to attempt to clear away any misunderstandings and end the confusion.

What is Lavender?

If we understand exactly what people are referring to when they use the word 'lavender' it may shed some light on why there is confusion. The reason is that some are referring to the flower, some to lavender oil, and others mean lavender in all its forms.

First, we have the flower, which is a member of the mint family and is a very popular flower grown in gardens, both public and private, although they can be found growing wild as well.

The other ‘lavender’ is lavender oil, which is produced commercially as an essential oil. It has several medicinal properties and is used as an anti-inflammatory, and an antiseptic. It is also used in perfumes, balms and cosmetics.

Lavender Flowers – Safe or Not?

First, let's discuss the lavender flower which you or possibly a neighbor, has growing in the garden right now. If your cat were to brush up against a lavender flower, or if it decided it wanted to have a nibble and eat a few flower heads, it is not going to poison them.

That is not to say that lavender doesn't contain anything that can cause problems for cats. There are two substances that are potentially dangerous. The first is linalyl acetate which is often found in essential oils and secondly, there’s linalool, which is used for scenting soaps and shampoos. However, in the quantities that a cat would be ingesting by simply nibbling a bit of a lavender flower, there’s normally not enough to do them harm.

Where there could be problems is if your cat decided it was going to have a banquet and the only item on the menu was lavender flowers. If it then ate all the lavender flowers in the garden or at least a fair proportion of them, they are likely to be in some distress.

We'll discuss that distress in a moment, but the point we must make here, is that there would be problems if your cat ate anything to excess, including its normal cat food. The issue here isn't the fact that it may have eaten lavender, it is when a cat eats large amounts of lavender flowers that the problems can begin.

Lavender Oil – Safe or Not?

As lavender oil is made from lavender flowers it could be presumed that it is also safe but that is not the case. The reason for that is that lavender oils are effectively lavender flowers in concentrated form.

It is to be hoped that in your home the chances of your cat somehow having the opportunity to ingest lavender oil are virtually nil. Nevertheless, if you use lavender oil at all, check right now that is somewhere where your cat cannot get it.

You do not even have to have a bottle of lavender oil for your cat to come into contact with it. Lavender oil is widely used in products like liquid potpourris when the danger is not that they ingest it, but that they breathe it in.

So, lavender oil is most definitely not safe, and if your cat were to swallow any, or if they were to be so close to it that it was absorbed through their respiratory system, they could be making themselves very ill indeed.

Health risks of lavender oil to cats

We've mentioned that the two substances that cause the biggest issues for cats are linalyl acetate and linalool. One of the reasons they are a danger is that a cat's liver does not have the enzymes which can break these down and make them harmless. Once they get into your cat's digestive system or respiratory system they can cause several symptoms to occur:

  • Vomiting
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Excessive drooling
  • Lack of energy
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Soreness on skin, gums or lips

If you suspect that your cat has been anywhere near lavender oil, whether they are displaying any of these symptoms, or not, you must call your cat's veterinarian immediately.

First steps if your cat has suspected lavender poisoning

One thing you must not do if you suspect your cat has swallowed lavender oil is to induce it to vomit. This can make matters worse by causing burning to their digestive tract. Simply take a sample of the lavender oil, along with you, when you take your cat to the vet.

The vet will give your cat a full examination, which could include testing their blood and/or urine. The main concern that the vet will have is if your cat has suffered any damage to their liver or kidneys.

Treatment for cats with lavender poisoning

This will very much depend on how serious a condition your cat has because of the lavender poisoning, and which symptoms it is showing. It may be that it cannot eat due to injuries to its mouth, so it may require a feeding tube.

Other treatments may be those which help settle the stomach and reduce vomiting. The vet may also prescribe antibiotics, anti-inflammatories or painkillers according to your cat's condition.

The good news is that lavender poisoning is not normally fatal, especially if you react quickly enough and ensure your cat is seen by a veterinarian without delay.

Last Thoughts

Lavender in its natural flower form is usually safe for cats, provided they don't decide to munch down a whole flowerbed full of them.

Here's a short video about essential oils and cats:

Lavender oil is very unsafe for cats and any amount of it which have in your home must be kept somewhere that your cat cannot possibly access it.

Childproofing and Pets: Teaching Them to Live Together

Everyone thinks that pets and children just naturally go together. Actually, they do not. That's why we need to learn some things about childproofing and pets.

Yes, there are some instances when a pet immediately takes to a child. But, in most cases, you are not only going to need to train your pet to tolerate children, but also teach your children how to behave properly around pets, whether they are your pets or someone else’s.

Today we are going to take a look at various ways that you can train both your pets and your children to get along, and have that wonderful child/pet relationship that lasts a lifetime.

Training Pets to Tolerate Kids

While most dogs are tolerant of babies because they don’t move around much, once those babies become toddlers, it is often a completely different story. In fact, many problems between pets and kids start when they are toddlers and beginning to crawl and walk.

For instance, dogs with hunting instincts may see small children moving around, and think of them as prey. This predatory behavior can awaken even in dogs that have never been known to be interested in hunting.

In many cases, dogs and cats are afraid of young children, and will tend to not approach them at all.

If a child should approach a pet that is nervous, the pet’s first instinct is going to be to run away. But, should that child start pawing and pulling at the pet, chances are that the end results are not going to be good for the child.

In the case of dogs, keep them in the “stay” position when they are around small children. Reward this good behavior so the dog will well-behaved at all times in the expectation of being petted, praised, or even getting a treat.

If you have a cat, this can be a bit trickier, because you can’t just train a cat to sit and stay. This is when you will need to find ways to keep children and pets separate, until you have taught your child not to grab at or maul cats.

Most of the time, a cat will go out of its way to avoid children in the first place. Obviously, there are some exceptions, but until you can teach your children about how to behave with pets, and know how your pet is going to react to children, it is best to keep them apart as much as possible.

Teaching Kids to Behave Around Pets

We can’t stress enough how important it is to teach children how to behave around pets, and the importance of teaching them at a very early age.

As soon as they are old enough to start moving around, they are old enough to be taught how to interact with pets. There are different things to teach at different stages of life.

Under 2 Years Old

While children this young aren’t bonding with pets, they are aware that they are there, and they will be curious.

They will talk to the pet and call its name, but they don’t have an emotional connection with the pet.

However, the dog may see the child as a littermate, and this can be a problem if the dog starts to become jealous.

Make sure children at this age are always supervised when they are with pets. A playpen is a great tool to keep them separated.

Now is the time to start teaching your child how to interact with pets, including playing too roughly.

Make sure that the pet, particularly a dog, is not banished to the yard or barred from rooms in your home, including the nursery.

Pets are part of the family, and you can teach them to tolerate and even love children.

2-7 Years Old

Children at this age find pets funny, and they start to develop friendships with their pets. A dog may even still think of your children as littermates, and they will likely begin roughhousing together.

Most dogs don’t mind a bit of rough play, but you need to teach your children that they could hurt their pet by playing too roughly, and then the pet may respond by lashing out and hurting them.

Monitor child/pet interactions at this stage, and teach your kids appropriate pet games, such as fetch. Don’t let them play tug-of-war, as this can teach dogs to be dominant or aggressive.

7-11 Years Old

Children at this age are able to understand how to play and interact with pets, and now is the time to let them start taking part in the actual care of the pets.

Let them feed your pets, and even train them to do various tricks and other things.

Children love to train pets, and they are more playful than adults, which most dogs seem to enjoy more. Include your children in a dog’s obedience training, walking, etc.

Allow smaller children to take part in walks, and older children will be able to take the leash once they know how to control the pet.

Even though you want your kids to learn responsibility, it is not a good idea to let them take over all of the pet care and training responsibility. Children cannot give a pet the time it needs, so you do need to play a big role in pet care and training.

If you don’t have pets yet and do not want to take on all of this added responsibility at this time, it is probably best to wait until your family is better prepared to take on the responsibility of pet ownership.

Below are also additional tips about pet proofing your home to make things comfortable, non-irritating and less stressful to your pets.

Pet proofing your home can greatly help with the temperament of your pet as well as controlling their behavior.

Conclusion

Once children start hitting puberty, chances are that while they still love their pets, they are going to have more outside interests. At this stage of the game, you will need to step in and start giving your pet the attention it is now lacking.

Through all of the stages of childhood, you can help to teach your kids how to love and respect pets, and not only will they be learning and growing, so will you.

Pet Safety When You’re Not Home

Whether you're going on a trip or just leaving your pet at home while you go to work for the day, it's important to keep the safety of your furry friends in mind or pet safety when you're not home. This can include their safety under normal circumstances as well as emergency situations.

Typically, most of us would prefer to be with our pet during emergencies and natural disasters, but it isn't always possible. This is especially true if there was an unexpected even. However, there are still some things you can do to make sure they're okay until you can have them safely returned to you.

The Basics

Food and Water

Naturally, living things need food and water. Depending on how long you're going to be gone, you should make sure that you leave enough of both for your pets to be able to survive on. If you can, it's a good idea to leave more than enough just so you don't have to worry about them running out too soon.

For pets that tend to chow down on all the food in the first day, a time-based food machine can be a great option. This will ensure food is given out in measured amounts when you program it to. Leaving some water in multiple locations can also be helpful while you aren't at home.

Chips and Collars

It's incredibly important to make sure that if your pets get lost for any reason, they'll be able to be returned to you. Consequently, you'll want them to have their collars on with tags that clearly state your name and phone number so that whoever finds them can easily get in touch with you.

If you've gotten your pets chipped, that's also a great way to ensure they're able to be returned. That way, even if they manage to ditch their collar, they still have a chance of being returned to you. Many people, animals shelters and vets will check for the chip so that your pet can get home.

Using a Kennel

Using a kennel can be a useful way to keep your pets safe when you're gone, but it does mean they can get less exercise. During the event a natural disaster occurs, a kennel can also make your pets easier to find and safely deliver from danger. However, depending on the kind of disaster it can also become more of a danger than a help.

Under normal circumstances, a kennel can be a good idea for pets that may be more anxious and likely to cause damage while you aren't home. This is definitely a decision that is up to you and the needs of your unique pet.

Temperature Control

Another important factor to consider is making sure your pets are in a comfortable temperature while you're at home. If you have a standard type of household air conditioning or heating, then this might mean just setting a comfortable temperature and leaving it be while you're away.

However, a little more thought needs to be put into this if you don't have a home that has air conditioning or heating. You'll need to make sure that there is somewhere in the home your pets can go to cool off or warm up when needed, so that they can be comfortable.

Emergencies/Natural Disasters

Carry a Card

There are a number of different kinds of emergencies that can occur. Carrying a card is a great one for if an emergency happens to you specifically. Using it, people who are helping you will be able to see that you have pets at home, which will allow them to get ahold of a friend or family member who can check in on them.

After all, it is less likely that you'll have set things up so that they'll be comfortable for a few days if there is an emergency you didn't expect. Just keep a card in your wallet or purse that lets the reader know you have pets at home, and likely what kind they are so that they can be taken care of.

Hide a Key

Along with keeping a card, it's a good idea to have a key hidden somewhere outside your home so that friends and family can get in to help your animals. This can be a tricky concept, as you want to make sure those who might try to break into your home can't find it.

Because of that, it's best to not use an obvious hiding spot. Make sure the key is hidden very well and that the directions to it are written on the card you keep with you so that it can be found when needed. You can also choose to keep a key with the card if that suits your tastes better.

Window Decals

In the event of a natural disaster, it might be possible that first responders need to get into your home to rescue any pets you may have. You can make this process a lot easier by providing an easy-to-see decal that tells them how many pets are in the home and what kind.

That way, responders will know what to look for rather than just grabbing any pets they see and hoping they got all of them. These decals are often rather inexpensive to get ahold of, so it's a small price to pay to help ensure the safety of your pets if you can't be there to save them yourself.

Just for an added info, this short video is about signs that your pet needs some help or attention:

Conclusion

Overall, there are a number of things you can do to make sure your pets are safe and comfortable even if you aren't there with them. These can be useful whether you're just going to work or plan to be away for a few days.

If it helps, you can make a checklist that will ensure you cover all of your pet's bases while you're out of the home. Or if you'd rather, you can always find a quality boarding facility that will allow them a little vacation while you enjoy yours.

Seasonal Pet Safety Tips

Just as with your children, your furry kids need to be kept safe from harm. There are things that you must do in order to protect them year-round, and there are also important seasonal pet safety tips for various seasons that should be followed.

Don’t think of yourself as being an over-protective pet parent; instead, consider it a way to show that you truly love your pet, and that you would do anything within your power to protect them from dangers. Today we are going to take a look at tips for year-round safety, as well as seasonal safety tips that will help to keep your pet safe and healthy. Let’s get started.

Pet Safety: Year-Round

Before we get into the seasonal safety tips, we need to talk about general, year-round pet safety. For instance, you need to pet-proof your home. This can involve removing unsafe houseplants and replacing them with pet-safe plants. This is particularly important if you have cats, because they are well-known for eating houseplants.

Another thing you will need to do in order to pet-proof your home is to gather up any loose wires and cords, as they can be hazardous to pets. Puppies and kittens in particular tend to chew on things, including electrical cords. Make sure that cords are out of reach, and tied or taped in place so your pet can’t chew them. Don’t forget to tie back drapery cords as well. While they may not pose a shock hazard as the electrical cords do, they can be dangerous, especially to kittens who love to climb things.

You may also want to invest in a few socket covers for unused electrical outlets. A tongue or a wet nose against an open socket is not going to lead to a good outcome, so cover those outlets so Fido and Fluffy can’t get electrical shock.

Seasonal Safety Tips

Summer

Overheating can be a big problem for pets in the summer months, so it is important to make sure that your pets always have access to fresh water. They should also have access to shade. Never leave your pet in a parked, hot vehicle. Asphalt can also be a problem, because it gets very hot and can burn the delicate skin on your pet’s paws. Other things you can do to ensure your pet’s safety include:

Prevent Pests

Again, you will have to do some pest prevention. This is the time of year when pests ranging from tiny ants to small rodents will try to sneak into your home. Look for pet-safe ways to get prevent and get rid of pests, and do not use poisons that can make your pets sick or even kill them.

No Fireworks

Many pets are spooked by loud noises, and it is not uncommon to hear stories about dogs running away during fireworks. During the summer celebrations, keep your dog at home.

Parties

If you are hosting summer parties and barbecues, it is important that you keep your pets contained. They should be in separate rooms where they can’t bother guests, and vice versa, and so they can’t get out.

Fall

As long as you have done your best to prevent pests and make sure that your pets are cool and hydrated all summer long, you shouldn’t have much to worry about in the fall. One thing to watch out for is certain wild mushrooms, which can be poisonous. Also, there is Halloween to think about. Your dog is going to want to share the treats, but most of them are not only unhealthy for dogs, but also downright dangerous. Never give your dog any treats that contain chocolate, as it can lead to seizures and even death.

Winter

There are a lot of things to be concerned with during the winter months, especially around the holiday season. Let’s talk about snow and ice for starters. If you use salt on your sidewalks and driveways, make sure that it is pet-safe, as other types can cause irritation on the paws. You may even want to get a pair of dog boots to keep their feet from becoming irritated, and to keep them warm. Your pet should not be out for more than a few minutes at a time when the temperature drops below freezing.

Now let’s talk about the holiday season. There are many precautions that must be taken in order to keep your pets safe and healthy. For starters, avoid giving them a lot of treats from the table. While it is hard to resist those sad eyes, it is not good for them to have food that is dripping with gravy, sweets, etc. Yes, they can have some treats, but keep it to a minimum.

Here's a video for additional winter pet safety tips:

You also need to think about Christmas trees and how you decorate them. Cats will go after tinsel, and it can damage their digestive systems. Use garland instead. Keep ornaments out of the reach of pets. Do not have any poinsettias in the home, as these are poisonous to cats, and cats are notorious plant-chewers.

Conclusion

As a pet owner, you need to take steps to keep your pets safe year-round. In addition to general safety, there are always going to be things that pop up, including holidays, events, pests, etc. that can compromise your pet’s safety. But, when you follow all of these safety tips, you should have no problem keeping your pet safe and healthy.

Pet Proofing Your Home

Getting a new puppy or kitten can be a lot like having a new baby. If it's your first time bringing a new pet into your home, you'll want to make sure that your home is prepared for the new addition. Naturally, you'll probably want them to come into a safe space. As a result, there are some steps you'll need to take that can help with keeping your new pet safe. Puppies and kittens can be especially curious and sometimes it can get them into trouble. By following these tips about pet proofing your home, you'll be able to place a limit on the trouble they can get into.

Locked Cupboards

One of the first things you'll want to do is make sure all of your chemicals, medications and lotions are kept out of reach of your pet. Puppies and kittens have a bad habit of getting into these things, chewing and sometimes swallowing chemicals or other dangerous things.

Luckily, stopping this is easy. All you need to do is place all dangerous substances in cupboards and get some cupboard locks that will keep them from opening easily. That way, your new pet won't be able to get into the cupboards at all.

It might be less fun for them, but it's going to keep them safe and happy in the long run. In time, they'll be likely to lose interest in the cupboards altogether.

Chewing/Choking

There are also a number of items you'll want to make sure your pet doesn't have the opportunity to chew or choke on. These can include wires, board game or toy pieces and other small things that a puppy or kitten might want to play with.

It can be very dangerous for pets to chew on electric cords, as they can be electrocuted in the process. Accidentally swallowing some objects can also result in a blockage, requiring the pet to have surgery to correct. It's much easier to just hide these items to avoid this problem altogether.

To do this, you'll need to be extra vigilant. Keep wires and small objects out of their reach, and make use of anti-chew sprays on objects that you can't hide. These options should help to keep your pet away from these dangerous items, and their attention can instead be drawn to safe pet toys.

Human Food and Wrappers

Another issue that not all people may think about is keeping human food away from your pets. Some food items that they might get into can be poisonous, and not all pets are able to tell which human foods are safe and which aren't.

Not only that, but in some cases wrappers on the food can present a health hazard to your pets. They may chew on and swallow pieces of the wrapper in their attempts to get to the food inside. These kinds of materials can wreak havoc in their digestive systems and require an emergency vet visit.

Cupboard locks can help with this problems as well, but you will need to make sure all food stays locked away. Some pets might be able to get onto the counters to get food sitting on them. You'll also want to keep an eye on the trash can to make sure they stay out of it.

Block Off Small Spaces

You'll also want to consider the smaller spaces in your home that a puppy or kitten might be able to get into. These can be spaces behind appliances, under certain pieces of furniture, and in closets; you'll have to think carefully about the areas they might get into.

In most cases, pets can get in and out of these areas without too much of a problem but they can also sometimes get stuck. This can cause a problem if you're not aware a pet is hidden in a space and block their exit by accident.

Fragile/Sharp Objects

It's also going to be important to think about objects in your home that could easily be broken. These might include vases, knickknacks and other items that you might not normally consider to be a problem. New pets can accidentally knock over these items, causing them to break.

If it's something that is made from porcelain or glass, this can create a new problem for both you and your pet. Pieces can be sharp and may cut you or your pet if they aren't cleaned up thoroughly right away. It's better to try to keep these items out of reach.

Keep An Eye Out

One of the most important things you'll need to do is keep an eye out for your pet. If you're new to having a critter in the house, you'll want to keep track of where they are often. Kittens can get into dryers, or on top of furniture that is too tall for them to safely get down from.

In some cases, new pets can also manage to knock over items that land on them and cause injury or death. Because of that, you'll want to make sure to watch them as they play and run around and remove any items that might become a hazard.

Check this video about how to pet proof your house:

Having a new pet is much like having a small child, as they do have a habit of getting into all kinds of things. It's a fun time, but also a time to be extra aware and make sure your new puppy or kitten stays safe.

Conclusion

There are few things more exciting then bringing a new kitten or puppy into your home, but you'll need to make sure you're prepared. The good news is that if you take the right precautions, you'll be able to trust that your new furry friend is safe and sound in your home.

Without that, you'll be able to focus on the fun, cuddling and training of your new pet rather than having to be concerned about them getting into chemicals or breaking fragile items. Once your home is prepared, you'll be fully ready to enjoy your new friend.

It's always best to keep in mind the safety inside your home. Pet proofing your home doesn't just protect your pet but it also keeps your child safe from accidents with animals at home.

Find out more about parenthood at ORA ADZLIN as she is one of the experts in the field of family, parenting and being a great mom!

She's a mom of 3 years son, full-time multimedia lecturer who also have a hobby in arts, design & technology.

Check out here site at ora-adzlin.blogspot.com!

How To Help Your Cat Adjust To a Newborn Baby

Introducing your cat to a new baby can be an exciting time. However, you'll want to make sure that things go smoothly for both the baby and your cat. Luckily, there are plenty of tips to help you with allowing your pet and baby to get along in the best ways possible. Just try them out and you'll surely find that your cat is happy to welcome home a new little human friend.

Get Your Pet Ready for a Baby

Making an abrupt change can be stressful on your cat, so it's important to start getting them used to the change early. The good news is that pregnancy provides plenty of time to begin this process. You can do things like play baby sounds for the cat to hear, and let them check out some of the clothing and other things you purchase for your new baby.

In addition, you can talk with your veterinarian to get some tips that might be more specific to your cat as an individual. They'll have a clearer idea about how your cat might react, and what steps you can take to keep both your pet and your baby safe.

Take a Minute to Reconnect

Things can be rushed and dramatic when you head off to the hospital to bring your baby into the world, and your pet might be left wondering where you went. If you are away from your home for a few days, then your pet is likely to be excited to see you!

This is a good time for you to take a minute to reconnect with your cat and remind them that you love them. If you can, have someone else take the baby into another room so that you and your pet can have a moment. Your pet will greatly appreciate the time you take to greet them rather than ignoring them in favor of all the baby excitement.

Let Your Cat Get Used to Baby Scents

Before you introduce your cat to the new baby, it can be helpful to let them explore the scent of your new human. A great way to do this is by taking one of the blankets or clothing items your baby has been using and place it somewhere the cat can check it out.

This helps your cat to acclimate to the new human without too much stress and you may even find that they enjoy laying on it! That can be a good sign that your cat is going to be happy to meet the baby and will eventually want to snuggle with them when they're big enough.

Neuter/Spay Your Cat

Getting your pet spayed or neutered is not only good for them with regard to how they might react to a baby, but is also often better for their overall health. Fixed pets are often more mellow and have overall better health in the long run. They can also experience fewer behavioral problems.

A calmer cat is one that you'll be able to feel more comfortable about having around your baby. As the baby ages, they'll also be less likely to be bitten or scratched. Your baby will be far happier, and your cat will enjoy being around the baby more.

Keep Up With Training

While training isn't often as big of a thing with cats as it is with dogs, there are some smaller training tips you can use to allow for more harmony in your household. An example would be teaching your cat to be a little less demanding, only hopping into your lap when you entice them to.

Some may also want the cat to steer clear of the baby's room in general so that the cat and baby only interact when you can keep a close eye on them both. For this, you can make sure of a baby gate or just keep the door closed as much as possible.

Trim those nails

An easy aspect to keep control of is making sure that your cat's claws stay trimmed. That way, even if they do get frustrated with the baby they won't be able to do much harm while swatting at them. If your cat isn't used to getting their claws trimmed, that may be something you want to work on prior to the baby's arrival.

If you need help, you can recruit another adult to either hold the cat or trim the claws. A veterinarian can also help to show you what you need to do if you ask them during a routine checkup. In time, they should get used to the process and you'll be able to handle it yourself.

Making the Introduction

When you decide to introduce your baby and cat, make sure it's in a quiet, relaxing space. It can be helpful to have the baby in a car seat or other area where you can easily pick them up if the cat isn't a fan. It can also help to talk to your cat in a soothing way, letting them know it's okay to explore.

Here's a short video guide that shows how to introduce a baby to your cat:

In many cases, the cat is likely to be only mildly interested in the baby or not interested at all. That's okay! As your baby gets older and starts moving around, they'll have more of a chance to get familiar with your pet. For now, it's mostly a matter of making sure the cat is okay with this new family addition.

Conclusion

Overall, introducing your new baby to your cat doesn't need to be complicated. Just take the steps to allow your cat to make the adjustment more slowly and there's likely to be no serious problems. It can also help to get the advice of professionals to make sure your home is a comfortable place for your cat and your baby.

In time, it's likely that both of these family members will grow to love each other. It's just a matter of making sure your cat has time to adapt.