Choosing the Best Food for Your Cat

Everyone deciding to bring home a cat or kitten needs to decide what cat food is best. What most people don’t realize is that cats have specific needs to be met just like humans. Let’s look at what your cat needs to stay healthy.

Cats are naturally carnivores. This means they are geared to consume mostly protein in their diet. When a cat hunts, it will get protein from the muscle meat of the animals it eats. This meat also provides them with taurine, an important nutrient needed to maintain good health.

A cat also needs to be well hydrated just like we do. They do not naturally drink lots of water. Outdoor cats usually get most of the moisture they need from the prey they consume. Inside cats need our help to make sure they get all the fluids they need. Always leave a fresh bowl of water out for them to drink from but remember this may not give them enough fluids through out the day. A good cat food will help with this.

A good combination of wet and dry foods is best. Canned cat food typically has a high moisture content, between 75% and 78%. This is a great way for them to get the moisture they need to stay well hydrated. Serving about 3/4th of their diet in canned food will help maintain their good health. Giving the additional 1/4th of their food as a dry food will help keep their teeth cleaned and in good shape.

Choosing the right food is very important. Not all canned foods have the nutrients needed to keep your kitty healthy. Check the label for the main ingredients. Chicken, beef or fish should be listed as the main ingredient. Check for a good concentration of the meal in the product. Many manufacturers use smaller amounts so read the label well to make sure the protein is the main ingredient. If the label lists “formula” or “dinner” it will usually have a lower concentration of the main ingredient. Likewise, reading the label on dry food is just as important. Many dry foods have high plant-based proteins. A cats digestive system is not designed to digest the cellulose found in plants. Look for the same main ingredients as in canned food for high quality dry foods.

Proteins should make up approximately 40% of your cats diet. Fats should be around 1/3rd of it. This is why it is so important to choose food with high protein and also the right amount of fat. It is also important to check the carbohydrate level and source. Look for the carbohydrate level to be less than 50%. The main source of carbs should come from vegetables and rice not corn meal. You also want the food to have good amounts of vitamins and minerals like omega-3, taurine and fiber. Look for foods that use natural preservatives rather than artificial ones. Vitamin C and vitamin E are good preservatives and are good for your cat’s health.

If your cat is used to eating dry food now, introducing wet food can be a challenge. Never make drastic changes to your pets diet. Introduce new foods gradually. There are several types of wet foods available such as pate, flakes and chunks. Texture is important to cats so finding one they like make be tricky. Experiment with the different varieties to find the one they like best. While adjusting to wet foods, try adding small amounts of water to their dry food to increase moisture consumed as well as reduce the crunch.

Just remember, the health of your cat is dependent on their diet. Providing a good combination of dry and wet food will help maintain your cats good health. This will give you many happy healthy years with your beloved furry friend.

How to Use Handmade Crafts to Help Cure Depression

A few months ago, someone left a comment on one of my YouTube videos about how crafts can help people work through depression. I thought it was an odd comment but it made me think about how arts and crafts might help people get through the hard times. It is a proven fact, that moderately busy people are happy people. Having something to do in your spare time can really help. Making crafts or showing others how to do crafts can help a depressed person add sunshine to his or her day.

Scrap booking is an excellent way to help with depression. Make a scrapbook of happy and cheerful things. Use bright colors like yellow, light blue, celery green, pink, and lilac. Let the colors lift your spirits. Add pictures of family members and friends who bring joy to your life. You could include pictures of an event where you had a good time. Pictures of weddings, family vacations, and holiday celebrations are wonderful to use for an uplifting scrapbook. Imagine a blue, water themed scrapbook filled with pictures of your cruise vacation that you took last year. Include some cruise ship embellishments. This would also be a great place to store brochures or ticket stubs. When you’re feeling blue, you could look through your scrapbook and remember the good times you had in the past.

I have also found that sharing my crafts with others has added to my happiness. Start a channel on YouTube and upload videos about your crafts. A standard web cam is sufficient enough to get started. To enhance your videos, start a blog. You can get a craft blog going in no time. They are free at blogger.com and WordPress.com. Add pictures of your crafts to your blog. Upload some videos about creative crafts, kids crafts, easy crafts, summer crafts, and Sunday School crafts. Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and Mother’s Day are also excellent topics for craft videos. However, I would wait until right around that specific holiday to upload the video. You will get more views because everyone will be looking for ideas at that particular time.

You can also join some craft networks like Lil Scrap of Heaven and Scraps of Color. Once you set up your YouTube channel and your blog, someone will probably invite you to join one of these networks. This is where the real fun begins because of the swaps and contests. You’ll also get inside information on new products and crafting techniques. Craft networks are excellent for providing an artist exposure for his or her work.

Later on, you may want to specialize in a particular field of interest like papercrafting, recycled crafts, crocheted crafts, or mixed media. Eventually, you will have a lot of craft friends. You will not feel anymore depressed because you will be so busy with all the swaps and contests. A busy person is a happy person. This will lift your depression and you won’t have time for sadness. There is a large handmade craft community waiting to welcome you with open arms.

Choosing the Right Diamond Ring

Choosing the right diamond ring has always been a major headache for all guys since somebody decided to put this sparkling object on a metal ring and suggest it to be a ‘must-have’ for all marriage proceedings. What has become a matter of fact is that this thing has become a symbol of eternal love. Hence, purchasing it has become inevitable for any individual moving on from singlehood to marriagehood. Since it is impossible to hide away from this fact (unless your personal goal is to be a long life bachelor!), it is important to understand some of the factors that should be considered before buying the ring.

Type of Ring

Basically, there are at least two different types of rings. One is the engagement ring, which is the one that is used for wedding proposals and the other which is the wedding ring, which has to be worn ‘at-all-times’ after the actual wedding proceedings. The major difference between them is basically the emphasis of the diamond in the design. For practical reasons, your engagement ring should be able to shine so brightly in the moonlight that your lady would never refuse your proposal. Hence, engagement rings are designed so that the diamond is clearly defined on the ring. Basic engagement ring designs include solitaire rings and three stone rings.

The wedding ring is to be worn most of the time through out the marriage and would be exposed frequently to wear and tear. Therefore, these rings have simpler designs and have diamonds embedded in the ring instead. By understanding the type of ring you want to buy, your efforts can now be focussed on that particular range. It is also important to note that the element of surprise should always be reserved for the engagement ring, hence making it the more difficult ring to get.

Know what she wants

Before getting to know what your lady might like, it is essential for you to get familiarized with the 4Cs of the diamond. The 4C’s stand for cut, clarity, carat, and color of the diamond. These four characteristics of the diamond are used to gauge the quality and hence the price of the diamond. The definitions of the 4Cs will also aid you in getting what you want as you would be using the terminologies that your jeweler would understand.

The next step is to understand her preferences! She will ultimately be the “certified gemologist” and will have a different set of qualities that she likes and wants to have on her diamond ring. Get to know her favourite part of the diamond and her preference so that you would not miss these qualities out! For example, she might prefer a bigger diamond than one with good clarity or a certain shape or color. But you would be in terrible danger if she wants the biggest colorless round shaped diamond in the shop!

The ring band is also an important aspect. Depending on its color and the material it is made of, it can help provide a good contrast or illusion. For example, in the case of a slightly yellow color diamond on a gold ring setting, nobody would be able to notice the yellow on the diamond! Of course, there is also the other quality of the ring band which should be considered, that is the durability or hardness.

What she prefers might not be the best diamond ring. This is because depending on the size of her hand and fingers, certain diamonds would look nice while others would look unsuitable for her. As a general guide, a ring with a diamond of less than 1.5carat on a hand with small and tiny fingers would be obvious and appealing while anything bigger than that would take away the elegance.

Know your dealer

No matter where you are buying your ring from, be it online or from a shop in your neighbourhood, a certain degree of self research should be done. Get to know about the jeweler next door and also look for credible addresses and telephone numbers for online shops. Check out forums on the best places to buy in your neighbourhood or to check on any complaints/feedback given on the online shops you are looking at. Make sure that you are comfortable and trust the place where you are buying from.

There are two things which you should not miss out on during your self-research, these are the shops’ return policies and the diamond certification bodies which they engage to grade their diamonds. Look out for at least a 30 days return period in their policies and that credible organizations such as AGS or GIA are grading their diamonds. In many instances, shops use their in-house gemologists to grade, hence their reports may not be of equal standards with the AGS or GIA which are the international standards.

Final touches

For those proposing, plan for your proposal! Get the place booked! Prepare for contingency plans if it rains! Make sure that you have a plan B available if you cannot proceed with plan A. I have some proposal ideas too if you need some brain storming!

Last but not least, know her ring size! Steal her ring in her drawer if you need to! Get a string to measure the circumference and bring it straight to the shop for measurement. You might want to download a ring sizer from any diamond websites.

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