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Cats Meow

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Cats Meow

Got cattitude? "America's Vet" Dr. Marty Becker is here to help. He says taking care of your feline friend the right way can save you big.

Dr. Becker says cat hair is a big problem for a lot of people.

"Shedding is the number one pet owner complaint. You have shedding. The hair gets too thick; you get a lot of skin problems. That's why you want to do more grooming yourself to save money, save trips to the veterinarian. This product has the world's best name, it's called the furminator. It has this unique way of getting rid of loose hair," said Dr. Becker, "You don't have to take them to the groomer. It's going to really reduce the number of skin infections. That's the number one reason people take cats to the vet."

Dr. Becker says you can also keep your cat healthy by choosing the right kind of food.

"The new recommendations are to feed canned food. Cats are desert dwellers. By nature they tend to be dehydrated. When they are dehydrated they have a lot of health issues. There are two things that will save you money in the long run. One is to buy a water fountain. Get a cat fountain where they can lick off. They consume more water, you will have a lot less trips to the veterinarian. Feed it can food. Less weight problems, healthier. It's going to save you money."

You can also buy the wrong type of cat litter.

"There's stuff made out of newspaper, corn cobs, there's unscented, scented. They've done tests and the number one litter cats prefer is - because after all we want to get what they prefer not what we prefer - is not crystals, is not scented. Simply a clumping, clay litter that's not scented. Ones that have a little carbon in it. They like it about an inch and half deep," said Dr. Becker, "Rather than getting the real expensive litters that look fancy, have these fancy crystals and stuff in there, unscented, clay clumping litter is the number one they prefer."

Dr. Becker says keeping your cat bug free can help your family, too.

"Fleas and ticks carry diseases that can also effect humans as well. By protecting the pets by fleas and ticks and parasites, you are also protecting the human family as well. You want to use a product that kills heartworm, fleas internal parasites and ear mites. Revolution is a broad spectrum parasite control product available from your vet. It prevents heart worm disease, prevents fleas, internal parasites and even ear mites."

If your cat won't cooperate when it comes to taking medicine or grooming, Dr. Becker says try a product called clipnosis.

"The way this works, you just put it right back here on the back of their neck. It allows you -- it's so much easier, you can open their mouth and give them a pill. You can come down here trim their nails, you can groom them and everything and when you are done you can just take it off. It doesn't hurt. You can put it on your skin it doesn't hurt."

Another product Dr. Becker recommends is something called "Feliway."

"When cats rub against you with their cheek they are marking with a feline cheek pheromone. It's basically a good housekeeping seal of approval for cats. There's a synthetic version of that called Feliway. It's in a spray bottle. So if you have a cat that's not in the litter box or they are scratching in the wrong place you simply put the diffuser in and about 95% improvement as far as these cats doing that. It's like a cat that has three glasses of wine and a valium. The number one reason people surrender their cats is for not using the litter box and I think that's the number one area where that improves," said Dr. Becker, "This thing runs you about $32, but this is going to last you two or three years."

And, there's a low cost version that acts the same way.

"There was a zookeeper about five years ago and all the cats loved this guy. I mean, lions and tigers and cheetahs. They thought this guy is the big cat whisperer. But what they found out it was his cologne. It was Obsession for men. It's kind of an 80's thing, right? They found out it works for big cats and also house cats. So you have cats that don't like the scratching post, you simply spritz it with obsession for men and they love it."

And, besides having a companion in a cat, they can help you in other ways too.

"We now know if you have a cat you are 40% less likely to have a cardiovascular incident. That's a heart attack or stroke than non-cat owners. Cats just don't make us feel good, they are good for us," said Dr. Becker.

For more information on Dr. Becker and his new manual on cats check out these websites:

The Live Well Network
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Live Big with Ali Vincent
My Family Recipe Rocks!
Food Rush
We Owe What?
Let's Dish
Mexico: One Plate at a Time
Home with Lisa Quinn
Hiring America
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Military Makeover
The Balancing Act
Pickler and Ben