AOH :: CATS1.FAQ|
Cats FAQ 1/4
Last-modified: 3 October 1993
Periodicity: 20 days
This is the first part of the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) List
for rec.pets.cats. It is posted every twenty days: updates,
additions, and corrections (including attributions) are always
welcome: send email to one of the addresses below.
Copies of this FAQ may be obtained by anonymous ftp to rtfm.mit.edu
(184.108.40.206) under /pub/usenet/news.answers/cats-faq/*. Or send email to
in the body of the message to have all parts emailed to you (leave the
subject line empty).
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. GETTING A CAT
A. What Kind of Cat?
D. Young Kittens.
E. Introducing Cats to Other Pets.
F. Handling Your Cat.
II. BASIC CAT CARE
A. Cat Food.
B. Diets, inc. Vegetarian Diets.
D. Dental Care.
E. Trimming Claws.
H. Pills, Dosing, and Medication.
L. Vaccination and Worming Schedule.
M. What Your Vet Should Check.
N. My Cat is Sick, Should I Take It To the Vet?
O. Disease Transmission (Zoonoses).
P. Toxoplasmosis (when you are pregnant and own a cat).
III. MEDICAL INFORMATION
A. In General.
C. Cat Allergies.
G. Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV, Feleuk).
I. Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP).
J. Feline Rhinotraecheitis.
K. Feline Urinary Syndrome (FUS).
M. Skin Problems.
N. Thyroid Problems.
IV. PROBLEM BEHAVIORS (INSIDE)
A. In General.
G. Drape/Curtain Climbing.
H. Cord (and Other) Chewing.
L. Early AM Wakeups.
M. Toilet Paper.
N. Splashing Water.
O. Ripping Carpet.
P. Closet Antics.
V. PROBLEM BEHAVIORS (OUTSIDE)
A. In General.
C. Your Garden.
D. Local "Attack" Cats.
E. Your Birdfeeder.
A. Scratching Posts.
B. Catnip and Valerian.
C. Other Toys.
VII. CHANGING ENVIRONMENTS
A. A New Baby.
C. International Travel.
VIII. OTHER TOPICS
A. Removing Urine Odor.
B. Cat Owner Allergies.
C. Cats and Water.
D. Indoor and Outdoor Cats.
E. Catching Feral Cats.
F. Finding a Home for a Cat.
G. Dealing with Landlords.
H. Pet Insurance.
I. Cat Genetics and Coloring.
J. Cat Safety in the House.
K. Pet Identification.
L. Do All Cats Purr?
M. Other Cats in the Cat Family.
N. Clever Hiding Places At Home.
O. Invisible Fences.
P. Non-Poisonous Plants.
Q. Finding a Lost Cat.
R. Cat Static.
S. Preparing Food for your Cat.
A. Electronic Mailing Lists.
Rec.pets.cats is a newsgroup devoted to domestic feline issues. The
group has been characterized as friendly and helpful. Flamewars are
limited to two, possibly three, topics: cats on vegetarian diets,
declawing cats, and sometimes whether to keep cats indoor only or
allow them outdoors as well. New readers are advised against starting
these topics up. The facts pertaining to each of those topics, as
well as many others, are in this document.
This newsgroup was formed in the summer of 1991. It is a splinter
groups from rec.pets, which originally carried the feline topics. Adi
Inbar and others initially proposed the split, and Inbar collected the
votes, which proved enough for its official creation.
My thanks to Robin Bush for providing the initial push to put this FAQ
together. My thanks also to the following people who contributed
topics and material to put this FAQ together: Ann Adamcik, Annick
Ansselin, Rona Bailey, Michael Barnett, Kathy Beatty, Sally C. Bemus,
Jon Berger, Lisa Berkenbilt, Harlan B. Braude, Carol A. Buckner, Robin
Bush, Jack Campin, Barbara Carlson, Teresa C.D. Carstensen, Mark
Chadwick, Catharine Chalek, Paul Chapin, Gayle Chidester, Janet
Christian, Joni Ciarletta, Linda Cornell, Ruth Croxford, Carol C.
Denehy, Diana (CatWoman), Jean Marie (Ambar) Diaz, Denise DiGiovanni,
Debbie Douglass, Pam Draper, Dick Dunn, Ann-Cathrin Englund, Nancy
Feagans, Karen Fegley, Sandra F. Feldman, Jamie Ferguson, Cristina
Ferla, Ted Feuerbach, Sandy Fifer, Cliff Frost, Chris Galas, Michael
Gemar, Sally George, Michael Gerlek, Margaret D. Gibbs, Kathleen
Gittel, Diane Gibson, W.K. Gorman, Caroline Granzeau, Jerome Grimmer,
D. Dale Gulledge, David H., Pam Hassell, Leslianne Heimbeck, Ceci
Henningsson/Klussmann, Marsha Jo Hanna, Patty Hansen, Vicki Holzhauer,
Sharon Hope, Stephen Hutchinson, Marianne S. Jocha, Deirdre A.
Johnson, Jennifer L. Johnson, Laura Johnson, Valerie Johnston, Jay
Kadis, Kate (and Ebony), Teresa C. Kelly, Joyce L. King, Ms. Kitty,
Kay Klier, Eunyoung Koh, David Kosenko, Jon Krueger, Karen Kruger, Amy
Kurtzman, Angi Lamb, Marie Lamb, Tracey Dianne Layng, Jane Lecher,
Kristen Lepa, Dave Libershal, Ann Lindstrom, Betty R. Lipkin, Joann
Loos, Sandra Loosemore, Terry Lundgren, Jill McAllister, Bill
McCormick, Rudolph T. Maceyko, Steven Matheson, Chris Mauritz,
email@example.com, Debbie Millard, Carol Miller-Tutzauer, Ruth Milner,
Anne P. Mitchell, Don Montgomery, Pauline M. Muggli, Linda Mui, J.B.
Nicholson-Owens, Carla Oexmann, Didi Pancake, Jeff Parke, Pamela
Pincha-Wagener, Randy Price, Lisa Purvis, Thomas Oates, Lianne Raley,
Steve Reinhardt, Eric D. Remington, Elisabeth Riba, Aristea Rizakos,
Ann Roberts, Roger Rosner, Gary Sarff, Jane Schreiber, Jen Schmidt,
Deb Schwartz, Elizabeth Schwartz, Paul Silver, Maureen Smith, Michele
Smith, Steve Snyder, Debbie Spark, Paul Spencer, Catharine (Cat)
Stanton, Larisa Stephan, Sheryl Stover, Lon Stowell, Cyndie
Sutherland, Lilly Tao, David Thomas, Kristin J. Thommes, "Trish,"
firstname.lastname@example.org, Carolyn Waite, John Werner, Ferrell S.
Wheeler, Christine White, Robyn E. Williamson, Jean Wilson, Julie
Wolfenden, David Wright, Pamela Blalock Wybieracki, Frank Yellin,
Rich Young, an Cindy Zimmerman.
Extra thanks to Jon Krueger for extensive editorial comments with the
NB: Some common abbreviations:
DSH: Domestic Short Hair (just about any short haired cat)
DLH: Domestic Long Hair
I. GETTING A CAT
A. What Kind of Cat?
There are many kinds of cats, but cats are unlike dogs in that the
amount of variation in breeds is small. There are some (occasionally
stereotypic) characteristics of some breeds, such as Siamese cats
being noisy and Maine Coon cats being big and friendly. By and large,
however, cats will vary independently of their pedigree in
Some people wonder whether they should get a kitten or an older cat.
There are advantages with older cats. Kittens require more care and
watching over, they may not have the litter box down yet, and they go
through a wild phase at around 6 months of age when they are
unstoppable bundles of energy. Since kittens are terminally cute,
prospective cat owners often choose a kitten for a new cat.
Nevertheless, do not overlook the benefits of an adult cat.
Many people recommend getting two cats instead of one. A single cat
can get lonely and bored. Two cats keep each other company,
especially during the day while you're away. They tend to get into
less trouble. And they're fun to watch together.
1. Animal shelters
The animal shelter is a good place to pick up a cat and save it from
death in the bargain. Look for a clean, healthy cat. Look for signs
of friendliness and liveliness. Talk with the people caring for the
animals for any information on a particular animal they can give you.
2. Private parties
People who have unplanned litters will advertise their kittens in the
paper. These can be another good source.
If you plan to show your cat, find a reputable breeder. Do not use
newspaper recommendations. Attend cat shows instead and talk to the
owners there. Or look for breeder advertisements in magazines like
Cat Fancy. When you meet breeders, look for people that seem more
concerned with the welfare of their cats than the amount of money
they're making. Look for ones raising the kittens "underfoot" and
4. Pet Stores
Don't buy pet store animals. These are often obtained from "kitten
mills", where animals are poorly treated and bred (and bred and bred)
for profit. By buying from the store, you are supporting these mills
and adding to the pet population problem. Pet store employees are
commonly instructed to tell customers that the kittens were obtained
from local breeders when they were not. It is further suggested that
you don't even patronize such stores. Take your business to stores
that sell pet supplies only, no puppies or kittens.
1. Why you must have a vet
Before you even bring your new cat home, take it to the vet you have
already selected. Never, never, never get a cat without prior
budgeting for vet visits. Do not think that you can get a cat and
never see the vet. Annual shots and examinations are a must for
keeping your cat healthy; certain vaccinations are required by
law in different areas.
If you cannot afford veterinary care for a cat, you should not get
one. Normal veterinary care: yearly shots and boosters, initial tests
for worms, and examination for typical diseases as needed will run
about US$100 a year. This, of course, depends on your vet and on the
health of your cat. Preventive and consistent care is less expensive
in the long run.
2. Choosing a vet
Choose a vet who you are comfortable with and who will answer your
questions. Check out the office: do animals seem just frightened or
are they also out of control? Is it bedlam, or reasonable for the
number of different animals there? Do you have local recommendations
from friends? Does the vet specialize in small animals as opposed
to, say, livestock?
3. 24 hour emergency care
A good vet will either be associated with a 24 emergency care plan or
be able to give you the number of a good place in your area. Keep
this number on your refrigerator and check with your vet when you
visit that it's still up-to-date.
4. Fecal samples
Any time you bring your cat to the vet, try to bring a fresh fecal
sample. Put a small, fingernail-sized sample into a plastic bag, or
ask your vet for a supply of fecal samplers. The vet cannot always
get a fecal sample from the cat, and this saves you extra trips to
return the sample and then bring the cat in if the tests are positive.
5. Cat reactions
Cats largely dislike being taken to the vet. They hate riding in the
car most of all, and the smell of fear and other animals in the office
often distresses them further. Get a pet carrier. A plain cardboard
one will do for infrequent trips; get a stronger fiberglass one for
more travel or destructive cats. Carriers keep your cat under control
at the vet's and prevent accidents in the car en route. Popular
suggestions to reduce your cat's anxiety during vet visits:
* Make sure to drive your cat around (WITHOUT going to the vet) to
get it used to the car.
* Use the relaxant acepromazine.
* Find a "cats only" vet.
* Find a vet who will make housecalls.
* Find a vet who manages the lobby efficiently to reduce waiting time.
* Keep your cat away from dogs in the waiting room.
* Keep your cat in a pillowcase rather than a carrier or box.
6. Further steps
From kittenhood, accustom your cat to being handled. Look into its
ears (clean, white and light pink), eyes (clear, no runniness, inner
eyelids may blink but should remain open), nose (clean and pink (or
its normal color) and mouth (clean, light pink gums) regularly. Hold
it still and look at its anus; pick up its paws and look at the pads
and claws. This will have the added benefit that you will notice any
changes from normal quickly and be able to call up your vet if
something is wrong.
Do arrange for the kitten to meet plenty of people; this will
socialize your cat and it will not hide from people when adult.
7. Vet bills
You should be prepared to handle routine costs from year to year
incurred by yearly physical exams, occassional fecal samples (and
worming medication), plus yearly vaccinations. However, accidents and
major illnesses can happen. Sometimes, pet health care insurance
is one way people use to control these costs. Other times you might
try vet schools which may give you reduced rates for their students
to have the opportunity to work with your cat, especially if the
problem is rare or uncommon.
You might be able to negotiate a monthy payment toward a large bill,
or a slightly reduced one in exchange for a bit of labor or other work
(for example, one accountant prepared his vet's taxes in exchange
for reducing the cost of surgery that his dog had had).
The humane society may know of lower-cost clinics or vets who are
prepared to cut prices for people who are not particularly well off.
It can't hurt to call around and ask.
But as other posters have mentioned, being a vet is a business, too,
and vets tend not to have high incomes. They also have many of the
same expenses as an MD (equipment, office staff) and the additional
expenses of running their own pharmacy (and animal medicine is just
as expensive as people medicine).
D. Young Kittens.
They need shots for distemper, rabies, FVRCP (Feline Viral
Rhinotracheitis, Calici, Panleukopenia -- various respiratory
diseases) and tetanus at an early age. They should also be tested for
Feline Leukemia and given vaccinations for that, especially if they
will come into contact with other cats. Generally, a very young cat
doesn't need the full run of an entire house. Use your judgement, but
leaving it in one room until it is a little older can save both of you
some anxiety. A kitten will need a different diet than an adult; most
brands of cat food will give you "kitten food" versions.
Ideally, kittens should not be separated from their mother until they
are at least 8 weeks old. In other countries, such as Sweden, the
recommendation is that the kittens be at least 10 and ideally 12 weeks
old before separation. This has to do with getting passive immunity
from the mother's milk and psychological readiness to leave the
Most kittens will understand how to use the litter box. Usually their
mother teaches them, but they will pick it up easily on their own. If
you have a too-young cat, you can teach it by confining it to one room
so that access to the litter box is easy and putting it in the litter
box after feeding.
You might wind up with kittens too young to have been separated from
their mother for whatever reason. Consult your vet for advice and
help. You will need to provide a warm draft-free area and use
something like KMR (kitten milk replacement) for food, using an
E. Introducing Cats to Other Pets.
You may need to introduce a cat to other pets. The key to this is
patience. It may take several weeks to a month to achieve desired
results; it may take overnight. Do not give up and don't lose your
It depends on the temperament and ages of the animals involved. In
most cases, you can simply introduce them, let them work it out, and
after a week or so, things are fine. However, sometimes this is a
lengthy process that you will have to work through. In general,
this will work:
Put the cat in its own room, where the original pet can smell it,
but not see it. After a day or so of this, remove the cat from the
room and let the original pet smell and explore the room thoroughly.
Put the cat back in. Depending on the reactions involved, let the
cat out and meet the original pet under supervision. If there is
some hostility, separate them while you are gone until you are
certain that they get along. It is best if you can arrange a
"retreat" for each animal.
You can modify the length of time and amount of supervision as you see
how two cats react. Some forms of cat playing can appear hostile but
are not. Look at the ears for a clue (standing up or forward when
grappling is trouble, flat back when standing and staring is also
trouble). If the fighting immediately stops when one yelps or
squeaks, they're OK.
A puppy introduced to a cat will quickly view it as another sort of
dog and leave it alone or, more often, want to play with it. The cat
will view the dog as a nuisance for some time, but will eventually
learn to ignore it or even to play with it. Introducing a kitten to
an older dog will depend on the dog's temperament. Many dogs are good
with cats, such as Labs or Newfies, and will present no problems
whatsoever. Other dogs may need to be taught to leave the kitten
alone. Soon enough, the kitten will be able to get up out of the
dog's reach when it wants to be left alone. Providing the cat with a
place the dog can't get to is always helpful. This can be achieved by
placing a childproof fence in the door of a room high enough for the
cat to get under but not for the dog. Do trim the cat's claws to
minimize damage to the dog's nose.
According to humane society studies, some combinations of
animals that tend to work best:
* two kittens
* a mature kitten and a puppy
* a pair of mature neutered animals
* two cats
* two dogs
The humane society discourages introducing a male cat into a household
of two or more female cats. Even if all the animals are neutered, you
could have problems. Never try to introduce two un-neutered male
cats. Female animals tend to be more gracious toward any newcomer,
especially if they are spayed. Introducing a puppy or kitten into a
household with an elderly animal already present can be stressful to
the older animal.
F. Handling Your Cat.
Never lift your cat up by the scruff of the neck, even when it is a
kitten. Leave that to the mother cat. When you pick up a cat,
support its hind legs with one hand and hold the chest with the other
hand. This is a stable position that affords the cat some purchase
with its feet. In general, let go of a cat when it wants down; by
doing so you teach it that being held is not being trapped and you
will soon have a cat that does not mind being held. (Laps work the
same way; don't try and hold a cat to your lap and it will eventually
enjoy lying there.)
2. To restrain it
Sometimes you will want to restrain it. There are a number of ways to
do this, but most of them focus on keeping the claws out of your way
and require a helping hand.
You can lay the cat on its sides and hold each set of legs with each
hand. Elevate the legs slightly (as if you were rolling it on its
back). You may need to watch for biting. Roll your hand or arm under
its chin to prevent this. This may loosen the grip on the front
claws; you'll have to decide which presents more danger. A helper can
now look at the cat.
You can wrap the cat in a towel (but this presents difficulties if you
want to get at part of the cat covered by the towel).
You can utilize the reflex triggered by firmly holding the scruff of
its neck (do NOT lift it up!). This will cause most cats to sit very
still, but may not be sufficient for some cats or for high stress
You can also get a cardboard cat carrier and (if possible) put the cat in
the carrier and brace the carrier against your knees. The cat will back up
to the corner in the carrier; grasp the cat firmly on the nape of the neck
and hold on (if someone can help you, have the person grasp the nape and
the butt of the cat, holding it in the box).
II. BASIC CAT CARE
A. Cat Food.
1. Premium cat food
Although more expensive than average brands, these foods are often
better for your cat. They are low-bulk, which means that cats will
digest more of the food, thus eating and eliminating less. They
contain little or no dyes, which can be important if your cat vomits
regularly (easier to clean up); probably also good from a diet
Examples of these kind of brands include Hill's Science Diet, Iams,
Wysong, Nature's Recipe (Optimum Feline), and Purina (One). These
foods are also beneficial for the cats coats and many readers have
attested to their cat's silky fur on these diets.
2. Cat food composition
The Guaranteed Crude analysis provides more nutrition info than you
can get on the vast majority of human foods. If you want more, ask
the vendor. E.g. Purina is 800-345-5678. Any major commercial cat
food is formulated with either natural ingredients (including meat
byproducts which supply nutrients to cats that meat itself doesn't
since cats in the wild eat the whole animal) or are supplemented with
the required nutrients to make them balanced diets for cats.
3. Wet foods
Canned foods contain quite a bit of water. It is expensive. Tartar
build-up may be a problem. Smell (of the food, the cat's breath, or
the cat's feces) and gas may be a problem. The food can spoil
quickly. The dishes will have to be washed every day. Stools will be
softer. On the other hand, cats that have medical conditions
requiring higher water intake may benefit from the water in these
4. Dry foods
Cats will require more water on this kind of diet, but tartar-buildup
may be lessened as a result of crunching on the kibble. Generally
less expensive and less smelly. Dishes will remain clean and food
will not build up nor spoil quickly. Stools will be firmer.
5. Moist foods
These are "soft kibble". The benefits are difficult to ascertain.
They are more appealing to humans than anything else. There is no
anti-tartar benefit and not much difference from canned food. They
are fairly expensive. Some are actually bad for your cat: proylene
glycol found in these products (as a preservative) can damage red
blood cells and sensitize the cats to other things as well. (Source:
August 1992 edition of _Cats Magazine_.)
6. Snack foods
Many snack products are out there for cats. Most are fine as
supplemental feeding, but of course they should never take place of
regular food. In addition, these products can be useful in training.
Most adult cats are lactose intolerant and drinking milk will give
them diarrhea. Otherwise, milk is a nutritious snack.
Cream is even better than milk -- most cats can handle the butterfat
just fine and it's good for them. A small serving of cream will
satisfy the cat more than a saucer of milk and will contain less
8. Homemade Food.
Check Frazier's _The New Natural Cat_. She gives a number of recipies
and general information on making your own catfood and on what foods
are good for sick cats.
A number of cat books contain recipies for making your own
supplemental snack food. These can be fun to make and give to your
9. "People Food."
It is a poor idea to feed cats table scraps or food from your own
meals. First, table scraps do not meet your cat's nutritional needs
and only add unneeded calories or undigestibles to its diet. Second,
you risk having your cat become a major nuisance when you are eating.
Stick with prepared cat treats. Any food you give it should be placed
in its food dish, or you can give it treats as long as you are not
eating or preparing your own food.
That said, there is a pretty wide variety of food that cats will eat
and enjoy. Rec.pets.cats abounds with "weird food" stories ranging
from peanut butter to marshmallows.
10. "Cat Grass."
Cats benefit from some vegetable matter in their diet. When devouring
prey, the intestines, along with anything in them, will also be eaten.
Many owners grow some grass for their cats to munch on, both for a
healthy diet, and to distract them from other household plants!
In general, seeds that are OK to grow and give to your cats (but do
not use treated seeds, identifiable by a dyed red, blue or awful green
color): oats (cheap, easy, big), wheat (not wheatgrass) Japanese
barnyard millet, bluegrass, fescue, rye (but beware of ergot, which is
a fungal infection and produces LSD-like chemicals), ryegrass (annual
ryegrass is cheap and easy to grow, but small), alfalfa sprouts or
bean sprouts in SMALL amounts (these have anti- protein compounds that
reduce the protein value of other things fed to the animal (or
Seeds that are NOT okay: sorghum or sudangrass, which have cyanogenic
glycosides, and can cause cyanide poisoning. These are commonly found
in bird seed and look like smallish white, yellow, orangish, or
reddish BB's, or the shiny black, yellow or straw colored glumes may
11. Dog food
Dog food is not suitable for cats since it does not have the correct
balance of nutrients. Cats need much more fat and protein than dogs
B. Diets, inc. Vegetarian Diets.
You can feed your cat in one of two ways. One is to put down a set
amount of food at specific times of the day. This is necessary if the
food will spoil (canned food, for example) or if your cat will
overeat. Some cats *do* overeat, do not be surprised if this is your
situation. Put it on a fixed schedule to avoid weight problems. Do
*not* assume a cat will only eat what it needs: if it starts putting
on too much weight (check with your vet), give it two feedings a day,
putting down half the recommended daily amount each time. The other
method (called "free-feeding") is to leave food available all the
time. The food must be dry to avoid spoilage. There is no preference
between the two; it will depend on your cat and the food you give it.
You may need to change your cat's diet for any number of reasons.
Often, you will find that your cat refuses the new food. Don't worry.
Leave food out and keep it fresh until your cat is hungry enough to
eat it. Your cat will not be harmed by several days of low food
intake: as a carnivore, it is biologically adapted to going without
food for several days between kills. If you give in to its refusal to
eat the provided food, your cat has just trained *you* to feed it what
If you need to decrease the total amount of food the cat normally
eats, the best way to do this is to reduce the amount of food
gradually. This way, you don't have an upset cat after it's meal.
If you have a cat that bolts its food down (and throws it back up),
you can slow its eating down by placing several one to two inch
diameter clean rocks in its food bowl. Picking the food out will
slow it down. Be sure the rocks aren't so small it could eat them
If you have multiple cats, and one of them requires special food (from
medical to weight-loss diets), then you must go to a fixed feeding
schedule to ensure that that cat not only gets the food, but doesn't
get any other food. If you have been free-feeding, switch them over.
Don't put out any food the first morning; that evening, put out the
dishes and supervise the cats. They will most likely be hungry and
eat most of the food. Take the dishes up after 1/2 hour or so and
wait until morning. Thereafter, remain on the morning/night- or even
just night- scheduled feedings and your cats will adapt quickly
enough. If you have trouble with one cat finishing quickly and going
over to feed on other cats' food, you will have to put them in
separate rooms while feeding.
As for vegetarian diets, cats require the aminosulfonic acid taurine,
which is unavailable in natural vegetable except for trace
concentrations in some plant sources like pumpkin seeds; not enough to
do a cat any good. Lack of taurine can cause blindness or even death
by cardiomyopathy. There are also a few other similar nutrients, such
as arachidonic acid (a fatty acid only found in animals), but taurine
is the most widely known.
Some small manufacturers claim to have produced synthetically-based
supplements that when combined with an appropriately balanced
all-vegetable diet will provide the complete nutrition required by
No one has been able to find studies which demonstrate that cats which
eat such a diet over the long term stay healthy.
Some references (books, articles, and mail-order companies) are
included at the end of the FAQs.
1. Kinds of Litter
There are various kinds of litter available.
* The traditional clay based litter is the most common. This is
composed of clay particles that will absorb urine. In general, you
need to scoop out solid matter regularly, and change the litter
entirely once a week or so. Variations on clay particles include
green pellets (resembling rabbit food) or shredded cedar (like hamster
* There is an expensive cat litter available that solidifies urine
into little balls. This way, the urine can be scooped out along
with the feces. In theory, you never need to change the litter
again, you only add a little more to replace the loss to cleaning
out the urine and feces (which offsets the initial cost).
Sometimes the clumps break apart and there are some "extra strong"
varieties to address this problem. The litter is sandy and tracks
rather easily. Some cats seem to develop diarrhea with this
litter; some people are rather allergic to the very fine dust from
this type of litter.
* There is a non-sandy clumping litter called "Booda's Ultra Clump";
a drawback includes the clumps sticking to the pan itself (baking
soda, pan liners, or small amounts of sandy clumping litter will
remedy this). But it eliminates the tracking problems of the
sandy kind of clumping litter. (It looks like regular clay-based
* 4060 grade sandblasting grit made out of corncobs is an
inexpensive alternative to clay-based clumping litter. It clumps
as well as the flushable kind of clumping litter, and also smells
better. It isn't available in all areas. In Ohio, The Anderson's
General Store chain carries it for around US$10 for a 50 lb. bag,
comparable to plain clay-based litter.
* Coarse corncob litter (commonly sold as "animal bedding and
litter" by pet suppliers) about the size of peas, can be used.
This is used in conjunction with a litter pan that has a screen
and a drain pan underneath, into which the urine drains (and feces
are removed as normal). It is almost completely dust free, unlike
* "Good Mews." It is pelletized organic cellulose fiber ("scented
with cedar oil--a natural flea and tick repellent"). It absorbs up
to 1-1/2 its weight in water. According to reports, it is not
dusty, sweeps up/cleans up easily, does not track, and does not
cling to the tray when moist.
* There is at least one brand of litter that is intended for
multiple cat households. This is Max Cat's Multi Cat. Reports
are that it pretty much works as advertised. This is a clay-based
litter. Another way to control strong ammonia smells is to mix
baking soda in with the litter.
* A litter called "PineFresh" is a natural pine wood litter that
comes in little pellets. The pellets disintegrate in the urine
and solid waste is scooped out. It's a bit expensive, plusses are
described as: you don't have to change the litter as often
provided the solid waste is cleaned out daily and the
disintegrated stuff is sifted out twice a week. There is
virtually no odor and no dust and it comes with a money back
guarantee. It flushes just fine down non-septic systems. The
product is manufactured by: Cansorb Industries 555 Kesler Road
Cleveland, NC 27013.
* Plain sawdust or wood shavings can be used as litter. Some cats
may not like it, since it doesn't absorb as well and may feel wet.
But it is very cheap. Take care not to use cedar shavings.
Some cats seem to prefer certain kinds of litter over others, you may
need to experiment.
When disposing of litter, it is best to wrap it up in two bags and tie
securely, for the benefit of the garbage collectors. For disposal of
solid matter, it is best to put it in the trash in a bag as well.
Some people flush solid matter, but be aware that septic tanks will
not do well with clay litter pieces (even the small amount clinging to
scooped items). Clumping litter is supposed to be flushable, except
with septic tanks.
Do not use kitty litter as a fertilizer in your garden. It is not a
manure since cats are not vegetarians and should not be used as such.
It can be incredibly stinky, can attract neighborhood cats, and
there's a chance that it would be unhealthy for your plants and for
you (if you eat fruits/vegetables which were fertilized by it). Keep
in mind that when an outdoor cat "uses" your garden, it usually
varies its poop-place and so there's not a concentration of feces,
whereas if you dump litter, it's usually concentrated in a single
4. Litter boxes
Cats can be fussy about the cleanliness of their litter box. Many
people scoop solid matter out on a daily basis. If a cat is
displeased with the litter box for a variety of reasons ranging from
cleanliness to the type of litter used, it may well select another
spot in your house more to its liking!
Litter boxes are shallow plastic pans. Some cats have a tendency to
scatter litter outside the box when they bury their stool. This can
be solved by getting a cover for the cat box, commonly available at
pet stores. Another way to minimize litter tracking is to put a rug,
especially a soft rubber one, just outside the litter box.
For easier litter-changing, some owners will use litter box liners.
Some cats rip these while burying their feces; if the problem
persists, just don't use liners.
To contain litter tracked outside the box, it is often worthwhile to
put the litter pan in a larger shallow cardboard box that will collect
most of the litter stuck to the cat's paw pads when it jumps out.
Keep the area around the litter box as clean and free from spilled
litter as you can. This helps the cat distinguish from outside and
inside the litter box. Guess what can happen if this distinction is
If you have multiple cats you may have to put out several litterboxes.
If you have a young cat and a large house, you will either need to
place several litterboxes down so that there will be one near enough
at any point or you will have to confine the young cat to an area of
the house within easy reach of the litter box.
Disinfect the the litter box and top (if any) on a regular basis to
prevent illness and disease. Bleach is a good disinfectant around
cats, although you should be sure to rinse thoroughly and air out all
the fumes. Do NOT use pine-oil based cleaners as these are toxic to
It is possible to train a cat to use the toilet rather than a litter
box. One book is _How to Toilet Train Your Cat: 21 days to a
litter-free home_ by Paul Kunkel, published by Workman Publishing, 708
Broadway, New York, NY 10003, and simultaneously published in Canada
by Thomas Allen and Son Publishing (no address given). ISBN no.
0-89480-828-1. Cost, $5.95.
The cat must be well trained to the litter box first. Move the litter
box into the bathroom next to the toilet. Little by little (2 inches
every two days) raise the litter box until the bottom of the litter
box is at the level of the toilet (seat down, lid raised). Then
slowly move the litter box over to the top of the toilet. This
accustoms the cat to jumping UP to the toilet to eliminate. When the
cat is comfortable with this, cover the toilet (under the seat) with
strong plastic wrap like Saran wrap and fill the middle with litter.
Decrease the amount of litter until the cat is peeing into the plastic
and then make a hole in the middle of the plastic so the cat gets used
to the sound of urine and stool hitting the water. Sooner or later
you eliminate the plastic.
6. Placement of litter box
Beyond making the litter box readily accessible to your cat, there is
some consideration as to an aesthetically pleasing placement. Utility
closets that the cat can always access are useful. Laundry rooms work
well, bathrooms less well (especially in guest bathrooms). One
suggestion was to build a chest with an entrance at one end big enough
to contain the cat box. The chest can be displayed like furniture and
yet be discreet. If you can't build a chest yourself, it should be
relatively easy to saw an opening in the side of a pre-made chest.
D. Dental Care.
1. Tartar buildup
Cats, like humans, have tartar buildup on their teeth called plaque.
An accumulation of plaque can lead to peridontal (gum) problems, and
the eventual loss of teeth. Plaque is a whitish-yellow deposit. Cats
seem to accumulate plaque primarily on the exterior face of their
upper teeth. Reddened gum lines can indicate irritation from plaque.
Some cats are more prone to plaque buildup than others. Some never
need dental care, others need to have their teeth cleaned at regular
intervals. Many vets encourage you to bring your cat in annually for
teeth cleaning, using a general anesthetic. The cost, which can be
considerable, and the risk of the anesthesia itself are both good
incentives for doing some cat dental care at home.
If you must have the vet clean your cat's teeth, see if your vet is
willing to try a mild sedative (rather than putting the cat under
entirely) first when cleaning the teeth. If your cat is an older cat
(5 years or more) and it must be put under, see if the vet will use a
gas anesthesia rather than an injected form.
What you can do:
Brush your cat's teeth once a week. Use little cat toothbrushes, or
soft child-size toothbrushes, and edible cat toothpaste (available
at most vets or pet stores). Cats often hate to have their teeth
brushed, so you may have to use a bathtowel straightjacket and a
helper. If you are skilled and have a compliant cat, you can clean
its teeth using the same type of tool the human dentist does.
Cavities in cat teeth often occur just at or under the gum line. If
your cat has an infected tooth, you will have to have root work done
on it. It is typical to do x-rays after such a procedure to ensure
that all of the roots have reabsorbed. If the roots haven't done so,
then the infection can easily continue on up to the sinus and nasal
passages and from there to the lungs. Such infections require
3. Smelly breath
If your cat has smelly breath, there are various possible causes.
* Teething: at about 6 months of age, cats will lose their baby
teeth and get permanent ones. If the gums are red and puffy and
you can see the points of teeth breaking through here and there,
the cat is just teething and the odor will subside as the teeth
* Gingivitus: if the gums appear red and puffy and you've ruled
teething out, your cat may have a gum infection of some sort.
Take the cat to the vet.
* Diet: certain foods, usually canned foods or prescription foods,
can make your cat's breath smell. If possible, try changing your
* Abscessed tooth: may show no symptoms other than smelly breath.
Drooling sometimes occurs in conjunction. The cat must be taken
to the vet to have the abscess drained and possibly the teeth
involved removed. If this is not done, the infection can easily
spread to the sinuses and cause the face to swell, especially just
under the eyes.
E. Trimming Claws.
As an alternative to declawing and to help stem the destruction from
scratching, many cat owners keep their cats' claws trimmed. This is
easiest if you start from the beginning when your cat is a kitten,
although most cats can be persuaded to accept this procedure.
Use nail clippers available at pet stores. Look for the guillotine
type (don't use the human variety, this will crush and injure your
cat's claw) and get blade replacements as the sharper the blade is the
easier this procedure is.
There are also clippers that look like scissors with short, hooked
blades. These may be easier for some people to handle.
Set your cat down securely in the crook of your "off" arm, with the
cat either in your lap or on the floor between your knees, depending
on the size of your cat and your own size. Pin the cat to your side
with your arm and hold one of its paws with your hand (this is
sometimes a little much for an "off" arm, you may wish to practice).
With its back away from you, it cannot scratch you, or easily get
away. With your "good" hand, hold the clippers. If you squeeze your
cat's paw with your off hand, the claws will come out. Examine them
carefully (you may want to do this part before actually trying to trim
them, to familiarize yourself with how the claws look).
If the claws are white (most cat's are), the difference between the
nail and the quick is easy to see (use good lighting). The quick will
be the pink tissue visible within the nail of the claw at the base.
This is comparable to the difference between the nail attached to your
skin and the part that grows beyond it. DO NOT CUT BELOW THE QUICK.
It will be painful to your cat and bleed everywhere. When in doubt,
trim less of the nail. It will just mean trimming more often.
Clip the portion above the quick for each nail and don't forget the
dewclaws. On cats, dewclaws are found only on the front paws, about
where humans would have their thumbs -- they do not touch the ground.
Some cats are polydactyl, and have up to seven claws on any paw.
Normally there are four claws per paw, with one dewclaw on each of
the front paws. Rear claws don't need to be trimmed as often or at
all; they do not grow as quickly and are not as sharp. You should be
able to hold any of the four paws with your off hand; it will become
easier with practice.
If you have too much trouble holding the cat still for this, enlist
someone else to help. You can then pick up a paw and go for it. Be
careful; this position often means you are in front of its claws and a
potential target for shredding. Older cats generally object more than
younger ones; this means you should start this procedure as soon as
you get your cat if you intend to do this.
Trimming claws should be done weekly. Different claws grow at
different rates; check them periodically (use the same position you
use for clipping: it gives you extra practice and reduces the cat's
anxiety at being in that position).
Claws grow constantly, like human nails. Unlike human nails, however,
to stay sharp, claws must shed outer layers of nail. Cats will pull
on their claws or scratch to remove these layers. This is perfectly
normal and is comparable to humans cutting and filing their own nails.
You may see slices of claws lying around, especially on scratching
posts; this is also quite normal.
Start early with your cat. The younger it is when you begin grooming
it, the more pleasant grooming will be for it. A cat that fights
grooming may need sedation and shaving at the vets for matted fur; it
is well worth the time to get your cat to at least tolerate grooming.
Start with short sessions. Stick to areas that it seems to enjoy
(often the top of the head and around the neck) first, and work your
way out bit by bit. Experiment a bit (and talk with your vet) to find
the brush and routine that seems to work best with your cat. Even
short-hair cats benefit from grooming: they still shed a surprising
amount of hair despite its length.
1. Thick, long fur
Inexpensive pin-type (not the "slicker" type) dog brushes work well.
You may choose to followup with a metal comb; if you use a flea comb,
you will also detect any fleas your cat may have.
2. Silky long fur
Soft bristle brushes work well.
3. Short hair
Try an all-rubber brush, often sold as kitten or puppy brushes.
You should not ordinarily need to bath a cat. Cats are normally very
good about cleaning themselves, and for most cats, that's all the
bathing they will ever need. Reasons for giving them a bath are:
- The cat has got something poisonous on its fur,
- It doesn't take care of its coat as normal cats do,
- You are allergic and need to bathe it to keep allergens down,
- The cat is a show cat and about to be shown,
- You are giving it a flea, tick, or lice dip,
- It is unusually dirty for some reason (perhaps bad weather).
If you just trimmed your cat's claws, now is a good time. Having
someone help you hold the cat definitely helps.
If your cat is long haired, groom it *before* bathing it. Water will
just tighten any mats already in the coat.
* Get everything ready. Warm water, selected bathing place (you
might consider the kitchen sink as being easier on your back and
facilitating control of the cat). Having water already in the tub
or sink reduces the potential terror to the cat at the sound and
sight of the water coming out of the faucet. Put a towel or
rubber mat on the bottom of the tub or sink to give your cat
something to sink its claws into. If you have spray attachments,
either to the sink or the tub, those will help you soak the cat
efficiently. You want to use soap formulated for cat skin, as
human-type soaps will remove all the essential oils and leave the
cat's skin dried out and susceptible to flea infestations or skin
breakouts. There are some soaps formulated for allergic pet
owners. Use sparingly and rinse well after working through coat.
* The garden sprayer can also be used. Fill an ordinary pressurized
garden sprayer (try a hand-pumped type that does *not* hiss) with
warm soapy water, put cat and sprayer in empty bathtub, and use
the trigger wand to soap the cat with one hand while hanging on to
the scruff with the other. Put the sprayer wand down and work the
soapy water into the fur, and finally follow with a bucket of
water as a rinse. This procedure results in low moans from the
cats, but no shrieks.
To dry the cat, towel dry first. You can try hair dryers on low
settings depending on your cat's tolerance. Otherwise, keep them
inside until they are fully dry. If your cat is longhaired, you will
want to groom it as the coat dries. Give the cat a treat after the
bath, this may help them tolerate the process.
If the problem is greasy skin, you may wish to try a dry cat shampoo
If you are attempting to remove grease, oil, or other petroleum
products from your cat's fur, try using Dawn brand detergent first to
remove it, and follow up with a cat shampoo. Dawn is used by
volunteers who clean up birds after oil spills.
H. Pills, Dosing and Medication.
Kneel on floor and put cat between knees (cat facing forwards). Cross
your ankles behind so cat can't escape backwards; press your knees
together so cat can't escape forwards. Make sure your cat's front
legs are tucked in between your knees so it can't claw you. Put the
palm of your hand on top of its head and thumb and index finger on
either side of its mouth; the mouth will fall open as you tilt the
head back. You may wish to stop at this point and use a flashlight to
examine the cat's mouth to see what you are doing. You want to drop
the pill in on *top* of the tongue as far *back* as you can. Keep the
head tilted back, hold its mouth closed, and stroke its throat until
pill is swallowed. Then let your cat escape.
Another trick is to buy a bottle of gelatin capsules. Take the
capsule apart, dump the contents, put the pill in the empty capsule
(in pieces if it won't otherwise fit) and reassemble the two capsule
halves. Some places, especially natural food stores, will sell empty
gelatin capsules, try and get size "00". This makes the
administration of small pills much easier, and can also allow you to
give more than one pill at one time, if they're sufficiently small.
The capsule itself just dissolves away harmlessly. Do NOT use
capsules which have been filled with any other substance but plain
gelatin, since the residue may not agree with your pet!
You can try babyfood as a deception: get some pureed baby food meat,
dip your finger in the jar, and sort of nestle the pill in the baby
food. Offer it to your cat and it may lick it up. Be warned, some
cats are very good at licking up everything BUT the pill.
You can get a pill plunger from your vet. This is a syringe-like tool
that takes the pill on one end and lets you "inject" the pill. You
can insert the pill deep down the cat's throat this way.
To administer liquid medication if the cat will not lick it up: use
the same procedure for pilling, but (using a needle-less syringe that
you can obtain from your vet) squirt the medicine down its throat
instead of dropping the pill. Cats do not choke on inhaled liquids
like humans because they rarely breath through their mouths.
Cats can vomit easily, so keep an eye on them for a while after
they've been dosed: it's not impossible that they'll run off to a
corner and upchuck the medicine. Giving them a pet treat after dosage
may help prevent this.
If your cat has an affected *area* that you must clean or swab or
otherwise handle, try this strategy, especially if the cat is
Start with lots of handling. At first don't handle the affected area,
at all or for long. Gradually increase the amount of handling of the
affected area. Move closer to it day by day, spend more time near it
or on it. Talk to the cat while you're handling it. At the same time
you're handling the affected area, pet the cat in an area it likes to
be handled. After handling the affected area, praise the cat, pet the
cat, give the cat a food treat, do things the cat likes.
As long as the medical problem you're treating isn't acute, don't
restrain the cat to apply treatment. Gradually working up to a
tolerable if not pleasant approach is much better in the long run.
If you must restrain the cat, grab the fur on the back of the neck
with one hand, holding the head down, and clean/medicate with the
other hand. Have your vet show you how. Sometimes wrapping the
cat in a towel helps too.
This information is condensed from Taylor.
* Roundworms: can cause diarrhea, constipation, anemia, potbellies,
general poor condition. They are present in the intestines and
feed on the digesting food.
* Whipworms and threadworms: fairly rare, can cause diarrhea, loss
of weight, or anemia. Whipworms burrow into the large intestine;
threadworms into the small. Both may cause internal bleeding.
* Hookworms: can cause (often bloody) diarrhea, weakness and anemia.
They enter through the mouth or the skin and migrate to the small
* Tapeworms: look for small "rice grains" or irritation around the
anus. They live in the intestines and share the cat's food.
* Flukes: can cause digestive upsets, jaundice, diarrhea, or anemia.
They are found in the small intestine, pancreas and bile ducts.
If you suspect worms in your cat, take it (and a fresh fecal sample)
to the vet. Do not try over the counter products: you may not have
diagnosed your cat correctly or correctly identified the worm and
administer the wrong remedy. In addition, your vet can give you
specific advice on how to prevent reinfestation.
General tips on preventing worm infestation: stop your cat from eating
wild life; groom regularly; keep flea-free; keep bedding clean; and
get regular vet examination for worms.
Actually, you can have fleas and ticks in your home even without pets.
But having pets does increase the odds you will have to deal with
either or both of these pests. There is a FAQ on fleas and ticks
available via ftp to rtfm.mit.edu under
pub/usenet/news.answers/fleas-ticks. If you do not have ftp access,
send email to email@example.com with "send
usenet/news.answers/fleas-ticks" in the subject line (leave the body
The information in this section is mostly condensed from Carlson &
Giffins. The list of poisons is not intended to be conclusive. Nor
are the treatments intended to be sufficient: call your vet in the
event of any internal poisoning.
1. Treatment after ingestion
To induce vomiting in cats:
* Hydrogen peroxide 3% (most effective): One teaspoon every ten minutes;
repeat three times.
* One-fourth teaspoonful of salt, placed at the back of the tongue.
* Syrup of Ipecac (one teaspoonful per ten pounds of body weight).
Do NOT induce vomiting when the cat
* has swallowed an acid, alkali, solvent, heavy duty cleaner,
petroleum product, tranquilizers, or a sharp object
* is severely depressed or comatose
* swallowed the substance more than two hours ago
You will also want to coat the digestive tract and speed up
elimination to help rid the cat of the substances:
To delay or prevent absorption
* Mix activated charcoal with water (5 grams to 20 cc.). Give
one teaspoonful per two pounds body weight.
* Thirty minutes later, give sodium sulphate (glauber's salt),
one teaspoon per ten pounds body weight, or Milk of Magnesia,
one teaspoon per five pounds body weight.
* In the absence of any of these agents, coat the bowel with milk,
egg whites, vegetable oil and give a warm water enema.
If your cat has a poisonous substance on its skin or coat, wash it off
before your cat licks the substance off and poisons itself. Use soap
and water or give it a complete bath in lukewarm (not cold) water.
2. Greenhouse plants
Plants from commercial greenhouses may be sprayed with systemics to
control pests. Some are fairly nasty and long-lasting. More
enlightened greenhouses use integrated pest management techniques and
vastly reduce the costs of pest control, and costs to the environment.
You'll need to ask about what the sprays are, how often, etc. They
should have MSDS (material safety data sheets) on hand for everything
they use. Many greenhouses also buy foliage plants (esp.) from
commercial growers in southern states, rather than raising their own
plants, so you need to ask about that too.
3. Household plants
* Gives a rash after contact: chrysanthemum; creeping fig; weeping
fig; poinsettia; pot mum; spider mum.
* Irritating; the mouth gets swollen; tongue pain; sore lips --
potentially fatal, these plants have large calcium oxalate
crystals and when chewed, esophageal swelling may result,
resulting in death unless an immediate tracheotomy is done:
Arrowhead vine; Boston ivy; caladium; dumbcane; Emerald Duke;
heart leaf (philodendrum); Marble Queen; majesty; neththyis;
parlor ivy; pathos; red princess; saddle leaf (philodendron);
split leaf (philodendron).
* Generally toxic; wide variety of poisons; usually cause vomiting,
abdominal pain, cramps; some cause tremors, heart and respiratory
and/or kidney problems (difficult for you to interpret):
Amaryllis; azalea; bird of paradise; crown of thorns; elephant
ears; glocal ivy; heart ivy; ivy; Jerusalem cherry; needlepoint
ivy; pot mum; ripple ivy; spider mum; umbrella plant.
4. Outdoor plants
* Vomiting and diarrhea in some cases: Delphinium; daffodil; castor
bean; Indian turnip; skunk cabbage; poke weed; bittersweet; ground
cherry; foxglove; larkspur; Indian tobacco; wisteria; soap berry.
* Poisonous and may produce vomiting, abdominal pain, sometimes
diarrhea: horse chestnut/buckeye; rain tree/monkey pod; American
yew; English yew; Western yew; English holly; privet; mock orange;
bird of paradise bush; apricot & almond; peach & cherry; wild
cherry; Japanese plum; balsam pear; black locust.
* Various toxic effects: rhubarb; spinach; sunburned potatoes; loco
weed; lupine; Halogeton; buttercup; nightshade; poison hemlock;
pig weed; water hemlock; mushrooms; moonseed; May apple;
Dutchman's breeches; Angel's trumpet; jasmine; matrimony vine.
* Hallucinogens: marijuana; morning glory; nutmeg; periwinkle;
peyote; loco weed.
* Convulsions: china berry; coriaria; moonweed; nux vomica; water
5. Chemical substances
* Strychnine, Sodium fluoroacetate, Phosphorus, Zinc Phosphide:
rat/mouse/mole/roach poisons, rodents killed by same. Phosphorus
is also found in fireworks, matches, matchboxes, and fertilizer.
* Arsenic, Metaldehyde, Lead: slug/snail bait; some ant poisons,
weed killers and insecticides; arsenic is a common impurity found
in many chemicals. Commercial paints, linoleum, batteries are
sources of lead.
* Warfarin (Decon; Pindone): grain feeds used as rat/mouse poison,
Also used as a prescription anti-coagulant for humans, various
brand names, such as coumadin. The animal bleeds to death.
Vitamin-K is antidote: look for purplish spots on white of
eyes and gums (at this point animal is VERY sick).
* Antifreeze (ethylene glycol): from cars. Wash down any from your
driveway as this is "good tasting" but toxic to most animals.
* Organophosphates and Carbamates (Dichlorvos, Ectoral, Malathion,
Sevin (in high percentages) etc), Chlorinated Hydrocarbons
(Chloradane, Toxaphene, Lindane, Methoxychlor: flea/parasite
* Petroleum products: gasoline, kerosene, turpentine.
* Corrosives (acid and alkali): household cleaners; drain
decloggers; commercial solvents.
* Many household cleaning products. Pine-oil products are very
toxic (especially to the cat's litter) and should be avoided or
rinsed thoroughly (bleach is a better alternative). In
particular, avoid items containing Phenol.
* Garbage (food poisoning): carrion; decomposing foods; animal
* People Medicines: antihistamines, pain relievers (esp. aspirin),
sleeping pills, diet pills, heart preparations and vitamins.
Anything smelling of wintergreen or having methyl salicylate
as an ingredient. Tylenol (acetominophen) will kill cats.
Chocolate: theobromine, which is found in chocolate is toxic to cats.
The darker and more bitter the chocolate is, the more theobromine it
has. More information can be found in the Summer 1992 edition of _Cat
Caffeine: can cause problems for your cat. Do not feed it coffee,
Coco Cola, or other foods containing caffeine.
This article is Copyright (c) 1993 by Cindy Tittle Moore. It may be
freely distributed in its entirety provided that this copyright notice
is not removed. It may not be sold for profit nor incorporated in
commercial documents without the author's written permission. This
article is provided "as is" without express or implied warranty.
Cindy Tittle Moore
Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org USmail: PO BOX 4188, Irvine CA 92716
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