Archive for October, 2011

How to Choose a Scottish Fold Cat

The Scottish Fold cat is a combination of other cat breeds, namely the British and American shorthairs. These two breeds are docile and calm, as well as agreeable to extended handling. Therefore, the Scottish Fold is a lovable, devoted and charming cat that displays a British sense of modesty along with an American sense of poise.

There are some standards that should be considered when buying a Scottish Fold cat so that you get the genuine and healthy Scottish Fold cat. Some of these standards are as follows:

  • The head of a Scottish Fold cat is well-rounded with a firm chin and jaw as well as prominent cheeks. It also has a muzzle to have well-rounded whisker pads, head combining into short neck. Its nose is comparatively short with a slight curve. Its overall look is quite moderate.
  • The cat has wide open eyes with a cute expression, which is separated by a broad nose. Its eye color complements with its coat color.
  • The ears of a Scottish Fold cat are folded forward and downward, giving them cap-like shapes. When buying, prefer the cat with smaller and tighter folded ears.
  • Its body is medium with legs in proportion to the body. Its toes are neat and well-rounded, which are five in front and four behind.
  • Its tail’s length can range from medium to long, which should be lithe, tapering, and proportionate to the body.
  • For shorthairs, the length of a coat should be short to medium-short as well as thick, lavish and vivacious. In case of longhairs, the coat should be medium-long to long as well as britches, tail plume, toe clumps, and ears should be plainly visible with a ruff being enviable.
  • Acceptable colors of Scottish Folds are black, blue or cameo smoke; white, black, blue, red, cream, shaded silver, shaded cameo, chinchilla, shell cameo; tortoiseshell, blue-cream; bi-colors of black, blue, red, cream, calico, dilute calico, tortoiseshell & white, blue-cream & white; tabby & white, silver and brown patched tabby & white; all four tabby patterns of classic, mackerel, spotted or ticked in silver, blue, brown, red or cream.
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Facts about Cockatiels

Cockatiels belong to the parrot group, and are mostly gray in color as both the male and female have gray bodies, feet and beaks. Adult male Cockatiels have solid yellow heads and black feathers on the base of their tails whereas adult female Cockatiels have comparatively grayish heads and barred yellow with black feathers on the base of their tails. However, a lot of different color mutations in Cockatiels are also found.

  • Basically, Cockatiels are originated from Australia, where atmosphere is rather dry. Therefore, in the wild, they fly in large flocks in quest of large water bodies so that they can rest, breed, and escape from the heat. Since Australia has banned the export of native birds, therefore the birds, available for sale in the pet stores, might be bred right in that country.
  • There are some breeders who hybridized the Cockatiel with the bird known as the galah, resulting in chicks that are unofficially named as “Galatiels”.
  • When buying a Cockatiel, it is best to opt for a Cockatiel chick that is about 8 weeks old. This will reduce the time period it takes to get it used to the new environment.
  • Cockatiels are the only genus of Cockatoo that can start breeding in their first year.
  • Like any other parrot, Cockatiels make great parents, especially fathers. The responsibilities of mother Cockatiels include hatching the eggs and caring for the newborn chicks whereas the male Cockatiels are responsible for protecting their family. In the wild, they even face much larger birds and predators in order to keep their family safe. Moreover, they are very loving with their young ones, and can perform parenting duties in case the mother Cockatiel was killed or injured.
  • Cockatiels are master in hiding their illness. Therefore, it is very important to research on the early symptoms of avian diseases so that their illness can be treated in its earlier stage.
  • These parrots can share their cage with the same gender Cockatiel. Hence, you can buy two male Cockatiels if you have no plans of breeding them.
  • When it comes to handling a Cockatiel, never place your hand over its head as this will frighten the bird and may make it think that it is being attacked.
  • Cockatiels are very friendly birds and always in need of a company. If they are left alone for the long time, they get dejected and may bang their heads against their cage, refuse to eat, or even become irritable and violent around owners. Therefore, it is advisable to buy a pair of cockatiels if you think you won’t be available most of the day.

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Facts about Green Iguana

Green iguanas are one of the popular exotic pets. They belong to the family of reptiles, a class known Lguanidae. They have short, powerful limbs with sharp claws attached to them, which they use for climbing and digging. Since these reptiles love to climb, therefore always keep some branches in their cages for them to climb.

Green iguanas have extremely strong tails, which they use for defense purposes. They whip their tails for defense whenever a predator hunts them. Similarly, their tails are used to swim. A male green iguana has a dewlap around the throat, which is a flap of skin used to threaten a predator or to attract a female iguana. The dewlap also regulates the body temperatures of green iguanas. A crest of soft spines is lined up in the mid region on their necks and backs. The female green iguanas have much shorter spines as compared to that of males.

When it comes to appearance, the male green iguanas seem much bigger than females. They have bright colored body and a big head. Both the male and female iguanas have about 12 to 13 pores under the sides of the thighs. The pores secrete a waxy substance that helps iguanas in marking their territories and assesses them to identify each other.

The skin of green iguanas has minute scales. Although they cannot change their skin color however some of their skin parts get darkened when exposed to sunlight. The body of young iguanas is pale green in color with black ringed tails. They change earthy in color as they grow up, particularly in areas such as tails and the body.

Generally, the green iguanas mate in the months of January and February. The female iguana lay about 25 to 35 eggs in the sand or soil, which she dig before laying eggs. The young ones hatch in two weeks and are born safe in the pits dug.

Green iguanas are great pets if they are properly taken care of. It is best to learn the ways of treating these extraordinary creatures well so that they can be happy and healthy.

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Information about Abyssinian Cat

The Abyssinian, often called the “Aby”, is active, curious and highly-spirited cat. It is a popular breed of domesticated shorthair cat with a unique ticked coat. Although there are a number of stories about its origin, however the actual origin is unknown.

The Abyssinian cat has a graceful, medium-sized, brawny but slim body. Its short, silky and close lying coat with ticked coloration makes it a distinctive cat. Its head is broad and rather wedge-shaped with almond-shaped eyes. Its eye colors can be gold, hazel, green or copper. The ears of Aby are somewhat pointed, relatively large, and very alert. Its legs are slender, with a fine bone structure. Its paws are small and oval in shape. The tail of Abyssinian is long and fairly tapering at the end.

Apart from ruddy, sorrel and blue colors, Abyssinian cats are also available in rare coat colors, such as Red, Tortoiseshell, Lilac, Chocolate, and Cream.

When Abyssinian cat is viewed in profile, its nose and chin mostly form a straight vertical line. An m-shaped marking, also known as “frown lines”, can be seen in the fur on its forehead (above its eyes). These frown lines can be tinted tawny, sorrel (red, silver cinnamon), blue fawn or red.

Abyssinian cats are extremely intelligent, playful and inquisitive cats. They enjoy their human companions, and like to be involved in everyday family life. However, they are generally not ‘lap cats’. These cats also love to play a game of fetch with their owners. They do not talk much and have a quiet, appealing voice.

Although Abyssinians are active and lively cats, however they have a few genetic defects. They are susceptible to Gingivitis and tooth decay. This problem can be minimized by training the cat to regular tooth brushing, applications of fluoride, and periodic professional teeth checkups. These cats are also prone to Amyloidosis, which is a renal disease considered to be hereditary.

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General Beagle Care

Although a new pet Beagle puppy does not need much care as he is quite self-maintained, however there are a few tips to follow in order to provide general Beagle care for your new pet. The short, compact coat of Beagles is usually waterproof and they have minimal shedding habits, however some general Beagle care will be required to keep your pet healthy and happy.

As part of general Beagle care for your pet, you need to brush your Beagle daily with a hound’s glove or stiff brush in order to remove any dead hair. It is also important to comb them with a flea comb so that any unseen dirt can be removed. During its brushing, make sure that you wipe clean its ears as this will prevent any infections or hearing problems.

Since the ears of beagle dog are floppy and can hold moisture inside the ear canal, which can result in ear infection. Moreover, if your dog is allowed to roam free in a yard then small insects and bugs can find a nice, warm home in its ears. In addition to this, keeping the ears clean and the coat brushed can greatly lessen the likelihood of the development of an odor.

When it comes to Beagle’s diet, you need to provide him a well balance diet. Because of their playfulness and gentle personality, overfeeding is a common problem, which results in the dog becoming overweight. Therefore, it is important to restrict his diet to a cup or two of dry, nutritional dog food daily. Remember that overweighting can result in problems such as heart trouble and hip Dysplasia.

General Beagle care also includes the trimming of eyelashes. This is important because their eyelashes grow long, and tend to curl under and grow into the eye, resulting in irritation, called Distichiasis, which mostly require surgery to correct.

Although Beagle does not need to take to a salon for bathing or grooming, however when occasionally bathing your pet at home, it is better to use no tears dog shampoo, and special care needs be taken in order to complete dry inside their ears so that ear infections can be prevented.

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Guinea Pig – General Information

Guinea Pigs are the native of the high mountains of South America. The people of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador domesticated the Guinea Pigs for food. Even today, there are a number of areas of South America where these small animals are raised for food.

Since Guinea Pigs make squeaking noises, therefore they are known as pigs, though they are not related to pigs. Their scientific name is Cavia Porcellus, a Latin word which means “little pig”.

Scientific Information:

Kingdom – Animalia

Phylum – Chordata

Class – Mammalia

Order – Rodentia

Family – Caviidae

Genus – Cavia

Character Information:

Guinea Pigs are curious, sociable creatures that are easily scared and always searching around for something to gnaw on. Generally, their weight ranges from 1 to 3 pounds and an adult can become as big as 15 inches long. Their average life span is between 4 to 8 years. The unique characteristic of Guinea Pigs is that once they find a mating partner then they stick with that partner throughout their lives.

Unlike other rodents, Guinea Pigs are not agile, and they retreat from climbing, jumping, and heights. Whenever they get excited, they just do little jumps up and down. They can also do limited climbing like going up and down stairs.

These small creatures are perfect pets, particularly for young kids, because they are quite easy to handle. They are generally friendly and enjoy the company of humans. They can make range of noises. Various types of breeds and individual animals differ in size, nature and grooming requirements. Sometimes, they can be nervous, however will seldom scratch or bite. They are basically odor-free. And, they do not create a noise problem.

When it comes to the caring of Guinea Pigs, they need to keep in clean and safe environment.  Their food should comprise of various grains such as wheat, milled oats, grass pellets, and kibbled maize. It is also important to get your pet Guinea Pig checked by a veterinarian on a regular basis.

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African Cichlids – Basic Information

African cichlids are more colorful than any other freshwater fish. They are intriguing to observe and they will entertain you with their intelligence and social behavior.

The East African cichlids are well known for their proliferation. They are among the easiest aquarium fish to breed, especially those from Lake Malawi. Since cichlids gladly adjust to captivity, therefore many species of African cichlids are easily available in local pet shops. They are very hardy fish, making it easy for you to introduce them into new environments and geographic locations as well as to take care of them.

African cichlids show very interesting behaviors. Many are maternal mouth brooders, which mean that the mothers keep eggs and young in their mouths. After a male fertilizes the eggs, the female picks them up, and incubate them in her mouth for 21 to 31 days, depending upon the species. This behavior is believed to be the advancement in the evolution of reproductive methods as it gives more protection to the offspring during their growth period. Even after releasing the young, the mother often take them into her mouth when they are frightened.

Generally, African cichlids are more hostile as compared to the New World fish. They are very greedy and highly territorial. In their natural environment, they mostly live together in groups of similar species. Adult cichlids protect their territory, and they are not convivial and can even act violently to other fish as well as cichlids of different species.

Cichlids frequently show timidity and power through their coloration, for instance, a pale fish might be a sign of a tensed or passive fish, whereas a vivid fish is mostly a hostile or dominant fish. At times, when a male loses his territory, he also loses his vivid coloring. However, a few may hide themselves and maintain their colors of dominance to act as if they are still dominant in expectations of attracting potential mates.

In captivity, where the cichlids are kept in an aquarium, the largest cichlid is mostly the dominant one and will act assertively towards all of the other fish in that aquarium. At times, the larger and more dominant cichlid attacks and kills the smallest cichlid in the aquarium. This situation can be prevented by crowding or overstocking the aquarium.

In the past few years, there is a large increase in the popularity of different kinds of African cichlids in the market. This reason for this is their unique characteristics and unrivaled attractiveness among aquarium fishes.

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