2011/03/31

Bringing Home a New Kitten Can Be a Great Experience

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Bringing Home a New Kitten Can Be a Great Experience

Tina Seay

Whether you are planning on adopting a kitten or found one on your doorstep this morning having a new kitten can be a fun and challenging experience. Kittens are cute, soft and so much fun to watch, but they are babies and as babies they have needs. With knowledge and preparation bringing home your baby kitty can be a great experience for you both.

YOUR KITTEN'S BASIC NEEDS Your kitten's top needs are food, water and a litter box. Kittens need higher levels of protein than adult cats so they will need food formulated for kittens for their first year. Water is easy just raid your cupboard for a small shallow dish, until you can find a more suitable one at a pet store or online. Next your kitten will need a litter box try to stick with the same type of litter that your cat is used to. This will help your kitten to adjust to its new surroundings. If you don't know which litter (if any) your kitten has been using buy any clumping cat litter except the ones with crystals. The crystals may confuse the kitten and there have been some reports of them eating them. Most kittens know by instinct what to do when given a litter box full of litter.

MAKE YOUR KITTEN FEEL AT HOME Another nice item for your new kitten is a soft warm bed, this too can be homemade or store bought. Kitten love to be in enclosed places like baskets or boxes. To help them transition more easily include a soft item from their former home. You will probably find that their favorite place is lying on a shirt that has your scent. Cats originally came from a pride and like lying together in a group so a piece of clothing with your scent makes them feel like they are in a group. This is especially important for a kitten that has just been removed from its family unit.

PROVIDE ENTERTAINMENT Toys and a scratching post are not necessities but if you like your curtains, couch and legs, I highly recommend them. Kittens are very curious and have a lot of energy to burn they are building their hunting and climbing skills. By providing safe outlets for your kitten to explore you will lesson the chance of them tearing up your possessions or possibly getting hurt. Toys such a fury mice give them something to chase, catch and carry. Interactive toys will keep them busy and hopefully wear them out once in a while. A scratching post whether homemade or store bought will provide a legitimate place to scratch. Praising them when they scratch the right place can lead to good scratching habits in the long run.

A SAFE PLACE FOR KITTY The next important thing to give your new kitten is a safe place for them to retreat. This is especially important if there are young children in the house. This can be a small bedroom, bathroom or closet. This will give your kitten the security it needs to feel safe while adjusting to a new home.

KITTEN-PROOF YOUR HOME Remember kittens are just like little kids they love to explore and they frequently get into things that could hurt them. Be sure to kitten proof your home by making sure that there are no long electrical cords that your kitten could get tangled up in. Also watch that they don't chew on electrical cords either and keep the toilet lid down, a small kitten may not be able to get out if it falls in. Don't leave small items lying around such as broken balloons and game pieces. It's also a good idea to put away precious heirlooms for a while until your kitten settles in and learns the rules. Also make sure you put up houseplants, as some may be poisonous and secure mini blind cords, as your kitten could get caught in them and be strangled.

LOVE AND PATIENCE Now you and your new kitten can settle in and get to know each other. It's an exciting day for everyone so many new things to see and do, but remember to take your new kitten to the vet as soon as possible to get his or her vaccinations. One of the first things you will need to do is take your kitten to the safe area and show him/ her their bed and where the litter box is. Then give them some time to explore and become familiar with their surroundings. Be sure to closely observe small children when they interact with the kitten. Teach them how to properly hold and pet the kitten for both their and the kitten's safety. Kittens have very sharp claws and haven't learned proper manners yet, so you and your children may get scratched a lot at first. Be sure to wash any scratches with soap and water and put first aid antibiotic on them right away. Children need to learn when to leave the kitten alone such as when they are sleeping or eating.

Bringing home a new kitten is a wonderful experience. Knowledge and planning will make your kitten's transition into your life smoother and even more enjoyable.

========

Check out ForTheCatLover.com for more cat health articles and cute cat and kitten pictures.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tina_Seay




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Health and Fitness for Friday April 1, 2011

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Religiosity, spirituality impact health

DENVER (UPI) -- A person's religiosity and spirituality independently predicts health outcomes after a collective traumatic event like Sept. 11, 2001, U.S. researchers say.

Daniel N. McIntosh, a professor of psychology at University of Denver; Michael J. Poulin, assistant professor of psychology at the University at Buffalo and E. Alison Holman, assistant professor of nursing science, at the University of California at Irvine, collected data from a representative sample of 890 adults before Sept. 11, 2001. The subjects' health, religiosity and spirituality were assessed six times over a three-year period.

"Across that time span, with numerous controls, religiosity and spirituality were found to be independently and differentially related to mental and physical health, so they are not interchangeable indices of religion," Poulin says in a statement.

The study found following Sept. 11, 2001, religious individuals -- those who participated in religious social structures such as attending services -- had a higher positive affect, fewer unwanted intrusive thoughts and lower risk of new onset mental and musculoskeletal ailments versus those who expressed no religious or spiritual proclivities.

However, those who were high in spirituality -- feeling a personal commitment to spiritual or religious beliefs -- had a higher positive effect, lower odds of new onset infectious ailments and more cognitive intrusions, but a more rapid decline in intrusions over time.

Copyright 2011 by United Press International

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Adults, children at risk for blood clots

CHICAGO (UPI) -- Deep vein thrombosis -- a blood clot -- poses a risk for everyone, not just for travelers on long flights, U.S. radiologists warn.

Dr. Suresh Vedantham, an interventional radiologist and professor of radiology and surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, says patients and their doctors need to be aware that in the United States alone about 600,000 people are hospitalized with deep vein thrombosis each year and more than 100,000 people die of resulting pulmonary embolism -- blood clot in the lung.

"Deep vein thrombosis -- sometimes called economy class syndrome -- is not just a one-time complication from taking a long plane ride. It affects men, women and the elderly -- even children -- whether or not they travel," Vedantham told the Society of Interventional Radiology's 36th annual scientific meeting in Chicago.

In addition to long plane flights, the risk for deep vein thrombosis include prolonged immobility, recent surgery or major injury, hormone therapy, use of birth control pills, current or recent pregnancy, cancer and obesity.

The most serious complication is when a blood clot breaks off and travels to the lung where it can become trapped, blocking the oxygen supply, causing heart failure, which can be fatal, Vedantham says.

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Similar nursing competencies for LPN, RN

WASHINGTON (UPI) -- There is a similarity of professional competency for both two-year and four-year nurses, a policy brief by the American Association of Community Colleges says.

The brief analyzes the 2008 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses and weighs in on a decades-long debate about whether the bachelor's degree in nursing should be the required threshold for entry to practice.

Although there are assertions that four-year nurses are better skilled, the brief underscores both programs do comparable jobs at preparing nurses for licensing.

In 2009, 88.7 percent of bachelor's degree holders passed the nursing license exam and 86.6 percent of associate degree nurses passed, the brief says.

The policy also notes that employers are equally likely to hire associate and bachelor's degree educated registered nurses, but a greater number of associate degree nurses are employed full time at 68.4 percent and those with a bachelor's degree at 64.2 percent.

Walter G. Bumphus, president of AACC, says on average, it will cost a nursing student $6,120 in tuition for an associate degree in nursing at a community college, $16,648 for an associate degree in nursing at a public four-year college and $28,080 for bachelor's degree at a public four-year college.

Copyright 2011 by United Press International

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To lose weight, stop grazing, eat protein

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (UPI) -- An English breakfast and two other square meals a day, with lots of protein, may be key for those losing weight to feel full, U.S. researchers say.

Heather J. Leidy of the University of Missouri, a postdoctoral researcher at Purdue for this study, said 27 obese and overweight men were divided into a high-protein consuming group and a normal-protein consuming group, but all ate a calorie-restricted diet for 12 weeks -- 750 calories less than their normal diet -- an average of about 2,400 calories per person a day.

The normal-protein diet was composed of 14 percent protein, 60 percent from carbohydrate and 26 percent from fat, while the high-protein diet had the same amount of fat, but 25 percent of energy from protein and 49 percent from carbohydrate.

"We found that when eating high amounts of protein, men who were trying to lose weight felt fuller throughout the day; they also experienced a reduction in late-night desire to eat and had fewer thoughts of food," Leidy said in a statement.

"We also found that despite the common trend of eating smaller, more frequent meals, eating frequency had relatively no beneficial impact on appetite control."

The research was funded by the National Pork Board, the American Egg Board, the Purdue Ingestive Behavior Research Center and the National Institutes of Health's Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.

The findings are published in the journal Obesity.

Copyright 2011 by United Press International

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Letter arrives 66 years late

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Letter arrives 66 years late

BOSTON (UPI) -- A letter from New York to a resident in Gloucester, Mass., arrived last week, 66 years after it was first mailed, postal officials said.

A letter carrier found the yellowed, hand-typed envelope bearing four 1 cent stamps in Saturday's mail, The Boston Globe reported.

The letter, empty save for a card bearing the name H. Grimsland, indicates it was sent from Hyde Park, N.Y., to a Mrs. S.E. Lawrence in 1945.

The letter, Nancy Pope of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum told the Globe, was sent on the first day a 1 cent stamp commemorating President Franklin D. Roosevelt was issued.

She said it's common practice among collectors to gather in the place the stamp is issued and send a letter bearing that stamp to other collectors. Hyde Park was home to Roosevelt for many years.

A spokesman for the Greater Boston Postal District told the paper when similar letters re-emerge from time to time, they have often passed the years lost inside postal equipment like a sorting machine.

Other theories bandied around include the chance the sender simply waited or discovered the letter, which was tracked in Seattle this month.

"When you see stamps like that, and type-written, you know something's different,'' Richard Tansey, officer in charge of the Greater Boston Postal District, told the paper.

It was taken to a local historical society before being returned to the post office Monday.

The letter is not thought to be valuable, a collector told the paper.

Copyright 2011 by United Press International

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3 daughters, 3 births, 3 days

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (UPI) -- St. Cloud, Minn., grandparents Mike and Joan Benda welcomed three new granddaughters within three days of each other this month, family members said.

Their oldest daughter, Katie Larson, 30, gave birth to MaKenna March 14 in Minneapolis where she lives with husband Andrew and daughter Alexa, 1.

Taylor Orth was born March 15 to their middle daughter Michele Orth, 29, in Otsego, Minn., where she lives with husband, Jesse, and son Cameron, 2.

Melissa Valen, 29, Michele's identical twin, gave birth to Lyla March 16. They live in Albertville, Minn., with husband Andrew and two children Faith, 7, and Jakob, 2.

The excitement of the triple births started to build as each daughter announced due dates days apart and then said all the babies would be girls. Coincidences multiplied as the granddaughters arrived in their mothers' birth order. The granddaughters even fall in order for height and weight.

"This is a wild family," Faith Valen told the St. Cloud Times as she watched her toddler cousins playing and the new arrivals being rocked to sleep in the arms of her grandparents.

Copyright 2011 by United Press International

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Winning lottery ticket in collection plate

BALTIMORE (UPI) -- The pastor of a struggling Maryland parish recently came across a generous donation in the collection plate -- a $30,000 lottery ticket, officials said.

Maryland lottery officials didn't release the name of the church but did confirm the ticket had already been scratched off when it was placed in the collection plate this month, WBAL-TV, Baltimore, reported Monday.

The pastor, who found the ticket when tallying that Sunday's contributions, said the church would use the money toward operating expenses but hopes some of the money can be shared with those in need.

"I have no idea who did this," the pastor told lottery workers, admitting he had to ask someone if the ticket was indeed a winner. "I really have no clue."

Lottery officials said the winning "Cash Craze Crossword" ticket was purchased at No. 1 Liberty Mart on Liberty Road in Randallstown.

Copyright 2011 by United Press International

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Climber bags world's tallest tower

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (UPI) -- French climber Alain Robert, the so-called French Spiderman, braved high winds Tuesday during an ascent of Dubai's landmark tallest building in the world.

Thousands of students looked on near the base of the Burj Khalifa tower in downtown Dubai late Monday, gathered for the 10th annual Education Without Borders conference.

Robert began what would be a roughly 6-hour climb around 6 p.m., local time, the Gulf News reported, and reached the top of the structure shortly after midnight.

"I'm doing this to show the students there is no edge or borders and to inspire people to break the mould and not limit themselves," Robert told the news organization.

For Robert, climbing the 828 meter (2,717 foot) structure -- the tallest such tower in the world -- was a way of sharing his inspiration with roughly 2,000 students in attendance for the three day educational conference, hosted by the Higher Colleges of Technology.

"I climb because I need to find something I enjoy in life and I enjoy climbing buildings," Robert, who told the news he has already scaled the second-, third- and fourth-tallest buildings in the world, said.

Copyright 2011 by United Press International

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The Dinette Set for Friday April 1, 2011

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Shrinking arctic ice threatens polar bears

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Shrinking arctic ice threatens polar bears

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (UPI) -- The amount of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, at its lowest levels in decades, threatens polar bears that depend on the ice to survive, conservationists say.

The National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., said there was 5.65 million square miles of sea ice this winter, nearly 8 percent less than the average of 6.12 million square miles recorded from 1979 to 2000, the Anchorage Daily News reported Tuesday.

Steven Armstrup of the non-profit Polar Bears International said that 2010 was one of the warmest years on record and last autumn's ocean circulation patterns led to late and weak ice formation throughout much of the Arctic.

"Because polar bears depend on the surface of the sea ice to catch seals, those things are not favorable for polar bear survival," Armstrup said. "So, if you are a polar bear, this could be a tough year -- with increased starvation especially among the young and very old."

Armstrup said he is less concerned with what happens in 2011 or any individual year than he is with rising average temperatures in the arctic.

"If we are lucky, we will have a series of cold years with circulation patterns that conserve sea ice. Ultimately, however, the greenhouse gases signal will clearly emerge," he said.

"After that, all of the years will be bad for polar bears ... and polar bears ultimately will disappear."

Copyright 2011 by United Press International

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Injection needle mimics mosquito bite

OSAKA, Japan (UPI) -- Japanese researchers say they've developed a motorized hypodermic needle patterned after a mosquito's mouth parts that hurts less than a conventional one.

Seiji Aoyagi at Kansai University in Osaka, Japan, said the needle mimics a mosquito's proboscis, which is serrated and barely touches the skin so you don't feel the initial bite, NewScientist.com reported last week.

A smooth, traditional hypodermic needle leaves a lot of metal in contact with the skin, which stimulates nerves and causes pain, Aoyagi said.

His design could help diabetic people who have to take frequent blood samples, he said.

Etched from silicon, the needle imitates a mosquito's mobile mouth parts.

The sections of the needle, vibrated by small crystals, break the skin in the same sequence as they do with a mosquito as observed under high-speed video microscopes.

Aoyagi has tested his needle on himself and three volunteers, who say the pain is much less but lasts longer than with a conventional syringe.

Copyright 2011 by United Press International

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Hunt is on for threatened Ill. frogs

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (UPI) -- A threatened Illinois frog species is the target of researchers who say the rare creatures live in just a few sandy areas suitable for their survival.

"It's really a challenging species to work with," Bob Bluett of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said of the Illinois chorus frog. "They are only above ground for a few weeks, and the habitats they choose to live in are here today, gone tomorrow due to weather, groundwater and other variables."

Scientists say the call of the chorus frog, starting just after sunset, can be heard as far as a mile away on a still night, The (Springfield, Ill.) State Journal-Register reported Sunday.

Bluett and other researchers have been identifying likely habitats using computer models and sophisticated mapping software.

In dry years, the frogs may not be around at all, researchers said, then in wet years the chorus can be deafening.

Scientists say they're unsure what the Illinois chorus frog does in dry years, or what it does after the breeding season in years of ample moisture.

By finding the frogs and protecting their habitats, researchers say they hope to someday remove the Illinois chorus frog from the threatened species list.

Copyright 2011 by United Press International

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Study: Babies are sophisticated learners

BOSTON (UPI) -- Research into how children learn by forming, testing and continually adjusting ideas about the world around them could help teachers, U.S. scientists say.

Until recently, researchers were unsure of the precise ways babies and toddlers start to make sense of their surroundings, but studies are finding young children have a surprisingly sophisticated intuitive grasp of probabilities, which they use to make inferences about things, The Boston Globe reported Monday.

"We start with these newborn babies and by the time they're 4 years old, they have a lot of common sense knowledge about the world," Laura Schulz, professor of cognitive sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said.

"They have ideas about physics, they have ideas about other people, they have ideas about causal relationships," she said. "The way we get the world right is by making bets -- based on probabilities, given the evidence."

One surprise finding in the studies was that teaching too much can stifle exploration.

Schulz and colleagues built a complicated toy and presented it to children.

The toy had many functions: pulling on one tube caused a squeak, pressing a button turned on a light and pushing a pad made music play.

In one session, an adult showed preschool children how the toy worked, but demonstrated only the squeak sound.

In another session, other children were just shown the toy.

In both cases, the researchers encouraged the children to play with the toy and figure out how it worked. They found that children taught explicitly how to make the toy squeak sent less time playing with it and discovered fewer functions than those who merely had the toy demonstrated to them.

Copyright 2011 by United Press International

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