How to Treat Cat Bites and Cat Bite Infections

Cat bites happen for a few reasons (which we’ll explore here). How do you treat cat bites and how can you prevent cat bites? What about cat bite infections?

Cat being encouraged to bite. Photo by Shutterstock

I had never been bitten by a cat before I started volunteering at a cat shelter last summer. I’d been nipped at, sure, but never to the point of broken skin. However, none of the cats who bit me meant to do me harm — which is an important thing to remember in my position of continuing to care for them, even with fresh wounds. All had simply been overstimulated. They’re living in an environment with the ever-changing sounds and smells of 130 other cats, so it’s easy to see how cat bites happen.

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What to Do About Dog Stomach Gurgling

Hmm, have you noticed weird noises coming from your dog’s tummy? Is that dog stomach gurgling normal or do you need to see a vet? Find out.

A man petting a dog flipped over on his stomach.

Have you ever thought your dog was growling only to realize the sound wasn’t coming from your dog’s mouth but from his stomach instead? If you have ever mistaken dog stomach gurgling for a regular pupper growl, you’re not alone.

While dog stomach growling isn’t uncommon, you shouldn’t ignore it. Like most symptoms (or weird noises for that matter), dog stomach gurgling can be completely normal — or it can indicate a real medical issue.

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How The ‘Cat Lady’ Trope Came To Be

And what people get so wrong about it.

Dogs are said to be man’s best friend. Cats, on the other hand, are often seen as appealing mainly to lonely social outcasts, especially women.

The “cat lady” trope even has deep historical roots. “If we think about cats historically, at one time they were associated with witchcraft, so that probably contributes to it,” Zazie Todd, author of the Companion Animal Psychology blog, told HuffPost.

She added that in modern times, “The stereotypical crazy cat lady is a woman who has too many cats and isn’t really taking good care of them ― her house smells, and she is a bit of a mess too.”

Pop culture has also contributed to the cat lady stereotype. On “The Simpsons,” the character Eleanor Abernathy is a cliché cat lady who always surrounds herself with a large number of felines and screams gibberish, causing people to avoid her.

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Wondering How Often to Bathe a Dog? It Depends on These Factors

How often to bathe a dog really depends on factors like breed type, activity level and coat quality, to name a few. Let’s learn more here.

A dog getting a bath in a tub.

There are few dog parenting topics with as many differing points of view as how often to bathe a dog. And the answer isn’t a straightforward one, either. Let’s look into some factors that play into how often to bathe a dog right here.

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Cat Tail Language: What Your Cat’s Tail Is Telling You

Let’s dive into understanding cat tail language — what the movements and positions of your cat’s most intriguing appendage mean.

People who say cats aren’t very expressive and are impossible to gauge just don’t have a clue. A cat’s earseyesbody posture and, in particular, her tail, express exactly what she’s thinking and how she’s feeling. You just have to “listen” to cat tail language.

“Since cats are such different animals from us, understanding how they communicate isn’t something that comes naturally to humans,” says Kelly C. Ballantyne, D.V.M., D.A.C.V.B., clinical assistant professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in Urbana-Champaign. “It is important that all cat owners take the time to learn because understanding how cats communicate helps us to understand them better. Once we know their body language, we can read their emotions, identify situations that cause them distress or pleasure and even identify an illness sooner.”

Once you take the time to learn and understand cat tail language and realize that careful study of cat tail signs is vital to both your and your pet’s happiness in the home, you’ll be amazed at the myriad — and very clear — signals and emotions your feline companion shares with you.

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Easy Ways to Deal With Matted Dog Hair

We turned to pro groomers (as well as some of our own tried-and-true tips) to bring you the best ways to deal with — and prevent — matted dog hair.

Dog with curly hair holding brush in his mouth.

Matted dog hair is the worst! It’s ugly, dirty, sometimes painful, and once matted dog hair starts it can snowball out of control and become a health issue.

I used to babysit a brother-sister Blue Picardy Spaniel team. These regal dogs have luscious, wavy feathering on their legs, underside and tail. This breed is also a ball of energy! Add that glorious feathered coat after a long hike with running and romping through streams, and you have yourself some serious matted dog hair!

The kicker — the siblings’ folks were adamant that their fur could not be cut. I’d try to help by brushing them after our outdoor adventures, but I felt bad for the groomer when I’d drop them off and have to remind the staff, “No cutting!” Like magic, those two pups would come back with silky, mat-free feathers. How did those groomers deal with all that matted dog hair? Patience, the right tools, skill and help from vigilant dog parents.

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Hiking With Dogs — Tips for Bringing Your Pup on the Trail

Here’s what to know before hiking with dogs, what to do on the trail and after-hike care for your dog, plus how to find dog-friendly hikes near you.

Mollie is an experienced hiker, despite having 4-inch legs. The Dachshund mix has been hitting the trails most of her life. “She will be going as hard at the end of a four-hour hike as the beginning,” Doug Gelbert says of his 4-year-old dog. “Of course, she will also be asleep in the back seat at the end before I can get the car started.” Mollie has lots of company. The Facebook group Hiking With Dogs, which Gelbert founded, has more than 32,000 members. “It’s a good place to see a lot of happy dogs,” says Gelbert, a Flat Rock, North Carolina, author who has published more than 20 guidebooks on hiking with dogs.

Indeed, a walk in the woods benefits canines and humans.

“Hiking and backpacking is a real quality-time bonding experience,” Linda Mullally says. A Carmel, California, resident and lifelong outdoor enthusiast, Mullally and her husband, David, have co-authored seven books on backpacking or hiking with dogs, with another due out this fall.

Exploring the backcountry with your dog can breed a new and deeper appreciation for nature. “It is a chance to observe the natural world through the dog’s senses,” Mullally says. “You notice plants and trees and birds that you would otherwise pass by. You pay more attention to the way a stream flows and what surrounds it. You soak up scenery at a slower pace every time you pause while your dog investigates a new smell.”

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