Did You Adopt a Cat Over Christmas?

How to Adopt a Cat and Live Peacefully Afterwards

If you are ready to adopt a cat or recently adopted a cat we bet you know cat adoption is rewarding, fun and life saving. Congratulations on bringing that kitty home with you! Here are some tips to get everything off to a great start.

adopt a cat

Chester getting a drink

Socialization  First of all recognize that cats do like human companionship. Although they like to hunt alone they are not the solitary creatures we once envisioned them to be. Be sure to take time to teach your cat to play and interact with you. Pam Johnson-Bennett offers great advice in her book CatWise regarding socializing with other cats, with dogs and with humans.

Declawing  If your new family member has not been declawed we urge you to forego that procedure. Declawing is the amputation of the first joint of all the cats’ digits and is extremely painful. Some cats suffer tenderness in their paws forever. If your cat has been declawed, please don’t let him outside.  He can no longer protect himself without claws.

Scratching  So what to do to protect your furniture from being shredded after you adopt a cat? Recognize that cats scratch to get good shoulder stretches, when excited about something pleasant and to displace tension.

Purchase or make a sisal covered scratching post. Make sure the scratching post is tall enough for your cat to fully stretch his shoulders. You may find it helpful to place the post near the corner of a sofa so it’s handy for your kitty. There are also scratching pads that hang from a doorknob and corrugated cardboard scratching pads that sit horizontally on the floor.  

Litter Boxes  If you live in a multi-level home be sure to have at least one litter box on each level. It’s also a good idea to have one more litter box than you have cats.  Recognize that cats are fastidious creatures and don’t like to use dirty litter boxes.  It’s ideal to scoop the litter two times a day, but please scoop at least one time each day. Remember that cats’ noses are sensitive so unscented litter is the best idea.

Exercise and Nutrition   A fat cat is not healthy so give your cat opportunities for exercise. Did you know you can even clicker train your cat to walk in a kitty harness on a leash? Think vertically so your cat has places to climb and to feel safe. Jackson Galaxy in his book Catification offers lots of innovative solutions. 

Arden Moore writing in her book Fit Cat reminds us that cats need encouragement to remain hydrated. Bubbling water fountains encourage cats to drink water. Canned food or sodium free broth added to kibble will encourage cats to get greater water intake. Cats are obligate carnivores so need protein from chicken, beef, lamb, salmon, turkey or tuna. Avoid meat or poultry by-products.

adopt a cat

This is a cool product

Indoor Happiness In addition to vertical spaces and scratching posts, consider adding a kitty garden and toys to your cats’ space. There are multiple options available but we like SmartCat Kitty’s Garden. Toys run the gamut from crinkled foil and cardboard boxes to tunnels and feather wand toys and laser pointers.  Allow your cat to “catch” the prey to provide satisfaction. Remember to provide a variety of kitty beds and leave her carrier out. If she can go in and out of her carrier at will she will be less likely to hide when it’s time to visit the vet.

Veterinary Care Cats need routine veterinary care for a variety of reasons. Your cat can live a long healthy comfortable and happy life with regular check ups, necessary vaccinations, and dental cleanings. It’s a lot less expensive to be proactive than reactive too. 

Pet Sitting  When you initially adopt a cat it’s best to let your cat become accustomed to her new environment and comfortable in her surroundings. Try not to travel too soon after you bring your new kitty home.  But eventually we know you will need to travel for business or pleasure.  We recommend you hire a professional pet sitter so your cat can stay in the comfort of home.

We offer cat sitting in your home. Our service area includes all of Mooresville 28115 and parts of Mooresville 28117, parts of Mt. Ulla, Davidson and parts of Cornelius. If you reside out of our service area check out the pet sitter locators in Pet Sitters International and National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.

adopt a cat

Where to Adopt a Cat

If you are ready to add a cat to your family please choose adoption. If you live in the Lake Norman area we recommend the following places to find sweet and needy cats.

Iredell County Animal Services

Catering to Cats and Dogs

Lake Norman Animal Rescue

Lake Norman Humane

Cornelius Animal Shelter

How to Protect Your Picture Frames and Glass Items from Your Cat

Cats Gone Wild

The term “cats gone wild” conjures up all sorts of images. Maybe you picture a cat attacking a person or dog. Maybe you picture a cat knocking all the soap and shampoo bottles into the bath tub.  Maybe you picture a cat knocking other cats down the steps. Maybe you picture a cat resisting your efforts to give it a pill.

cats gone wild

Uncle Billy cuddling innocent Angelo

Our story of cats gone wild is much more mundane. Several weeks ago I was on a pet sitting visit with Angelo, one of the cats we take care of on a regular basis. Angelo had gone upstairs and I was downstairs writing my note for his humans. Suddenly I heard a crashing sound. Fearing the worst, I went upstairs and discovered he had knocked over a picture frame on the edge of a table.  I moved all the photos to the other end of the table and hoped for the best.

That incident reminded me of another time when Toby, another one of our cat clients was chasing his sisters through the house. He leaped on the kitchen island and knocked over a beautiful glass figurine.  It shattered into what seemed like a million pieces.  I picked them all up (with broom and then damp paper towels) and carefully inspected all the cats to make sure no one got cut.

Museum Wax

cats gone wild

Museum Wax

Both these incidents made me think about solutions to prevent cats from knocking things over, particularly things that break.  After a little research I found an article in cathealth.com. The solution..tada….museum putty or museum wax! Brilliant!!

You can buy museum wax or museum putty at stores like Home Depot, Lowes,  Ace Hardware and crafts stores. There are numerous brand names.  In addition to holding ceramic and other breakable items in place you can use it to secure a picture frame to the wall.

Museum wax will not only keep your breakables safe from your cats, it will keep them safe from your small children and clumsy adults.  It’s a win-win-win situation.

Whisker Fatigue

What is Whisker Fatigue?

What do you know about whisker fatigue?  Yes, there really is such a thing!!  We loved this article in a recent issue of Modern Cat.  Already we knew that a cat’s whiskers are approximately as long as he is wide so your cat knows if he can fit into a space.  But we also learned that in addition to serving as a ruler, your cat’s whiskers help him to respond to changes in vibrations.

There are proprioceptors at the end of your cat’s whiskers that actually do the work. If you are a human of a certain age you probably have noticed your proprioception has become somewhat compromised. I surely have and am always careful going up and down steps for this very reason.

Your cat’s whiskers are quite sensitive and easily become fatigued.  That’s why it’s so important to give him food and water bowls that allow him to eat and drink without his whiskers brushing against the side of the bowl.  Think low and shallow for food bowls and low and wide for water bowls.  Many cats will also paw at their water bowls so it’s a good idea to have a plate underneath the water bowl to serve as a “catch pot.”

Remember that stainless steel or ceramic bowls are the best option for keeping clean. Washing their bowls daily is a must to keep from getting slimy buildup on the food and water dishes.

whisker fatigue

Chester getting a drink

Or you could just let your cat drink from the sink the way Chester is drinking in the photo above. Gotta love those cats.

How to Play with Your Cats

play with your cats

Curious Cat

Do You Know How to Play with Your Cats?

Who doesn’t love to play?!?  That goes for your cats too. Did you know that cats enjoy playing fetch?  It’s a little different than playing fetch with a dog but just as engaging. Cats enjoy hunting for “prey” so you can put their natural instincts to work. When you play with your cats, be sure to let your cats “catch” the prey or it’s much too frustrating for them.

Choose toys that are sized right for your cat to bring to you in her mouth. It’s much more pleasant to have her bring a stuffed “mouse” than the real thing! Try to mimic actions that mice might make when getting your cat’s attention. Or use a feather on a wand and mimic a bird.  It’s really cool to see the cats we take care of engage with their toys and play time will bring you both a lot of pleasure.

Jonasek the kitten gives us a lively demonstration about the joy of playing with cats on this You Tube clip.

D – I – Y Toys

how to play with your cats

Cat cave by Jess

Toys can be expensive motorized ones, inexpensive stuffed mice or totally free paper bags and boxes. One cool idea is to make a cat cave from a box covered with an old t-shirt. Jess from the blog Practically Functional  writes about how easy it is to make this cat cave. Her step by step written instructions with photos demonstrates how she used objects that otherwise would have gone in the trash.

 

 

Ali Andrews provides a You Tube clip to demonstrate another method of fashioning a cat cave from a t shirt and box.

how to play with your cats

Stella in her blanket cave

Our friend Stella saves her humans the trouble and creates her own cave under the blankets. In the photo you can see me trying to entice Stella out from under her cave with a toy. Stella also enjoys playing with her very own oatmeal box!

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The folks over at World’s Best Cat Litter Blog show a whole bunch more!  Enjoy.

The Playful Kitty Blog provides more ideas.

Inexpensive Cat Toys

play with your cat

cat toys

To help build your bond with your cats it’s a great idea to play with your cats in an interactive manner.  After you play you can put the interactive toys away until the next play session. Your cats will also enjoy the toys more if you rotate them in an out of use just as you might rotate toys in and out of use with your children.

If you are supplying plenty of enrichment via cat caves, elevated surfaces, cat scratchers, cat TV (views of bird feeders outdoors) and indoor kitty gardens your cats will enjoy their day and still get plenty of exercise.

 

You can find these cat toys in most any pet supply store.

Play-time Etiquette 

It’s best to supervise your cat during play time and to inspect the toys  for safety after each play session.  Remember you play with your cats to give them the necessary exercise, build your bond and to teach them how to play gently. With catnip it’s best to see how your cat responds and remember not to over stimulate your cat.

Mimic the action of their natural prey by dragging the toy away from your cat so he has to chase it.  Let your cat catch the toy and “kill it.”  Keep your hands away so your cat does not learn to scratch or bite you instead of the toy.  The “kill” is the natural reward but a treat or two as a reward from you can signal the end of the play session and your cat will associate the reward with you.

After the play session your cat will be ready to curl up in her comfy cat bed or lounge in a sunny windowsill.

play with your cat

Cat lounging in window sill. All he needs is a view of a bird feeder!

 

 

 

 

Love Your Pet Day

Love Your Pet

Love Your Pet Today and Every Day

 Love Your Pet Day

For us every day is love your pet day.  We love our three dogs to the moon and back.  And what a joy it is to take care of so many other well loved pets. Have you told your pet that you love her lately?  Check out our nine awesome was to demonstrate that you love your pet.

Nine Awesome Ways to Demonstrate that You Love Your Pet

  • Let your pet know how much you love his species by volunteering with a pet rescue group. You can transport rescued dogs or cats from a shelter to a foster home, be a foster parent, build a fence for a chained dog, rescue a bird, volunteer at a shelter to take photos of homeless pets or share about lost pets on social media.  We bet you have lots more ideas. Share those ideas with us.
Love Your Pet

Foster Brittanys on a transport

 

  • Take your dogs on a hike. You can go on your own trail on your property, visit a state or national park or just take a stroll around your local park.  Your dogs will thank you for the opportunity for a change of scenery and better yet a change of aromas.
Love Your Pet

Luke shows Daisy Mae around our woods on her adoption day.

  • Brush your dogs’ and cats’ teeth every day.  Did you know that one way to show your pet that you love your pet is to assure they have teeth free of pain, plaque and tartar? Just like humans, dental health is important.  Infection in the mouth can get in the bloodstream and lead to serious damage to major organs.  Even more important, our dogs and cats can not tell us their teeth hurt and will probably try to hide their pain. The link at the beginning of this bullet point provides a self test about your knowledge regarding dental health and gives step by step instructions to teach your cat or dog to accept having their teeth brushed.
Love Your Pet

Our pet dental kit includes various styles of toothbrushes, toothpaste made for dogs and dental chews.

 

  • Play with your cats.  Contrary to popular belief cats do enjoy quality time with their humans. You can use flirt poles to get your cats to turn on their prey drives, spray catnip spray on tiny stuffed mice to get them to engage or drop a ping pong ball on the floor for them to bat around.  And what cat does not like to play in a bathroom sink with the water faucet on? Tell us what kind of play your cat most likes.
Love Your Pet

Nibbles loves to play if approached quietly and calmly.

 

  • Plant a cat grass garden for your cats.  This is particularly important for indoor only cats.  The grasses will stimulate their senses, give them something to nibble on, help to prevent hairballs, aid digestion and steer them away from potentially toxic house plants.
Love Your Pet

Tootsie enjoys her kitty garden.

 

  • Feed your pets the best quality food you can afford.  Prices of kibble ranges from very low to very high.  We know that you have to stay within your budget.  Check out an objective resource to learn what your pet needs and what is in the food you are buying. We recommend against buying your food at a big box retail store unless it specializes in pet supplies.  Two great local places to purchase pet food in the Lake Norman area are Village Paws and Claws in Mooresville and Huntersville and the Dog Supplies in Huntersville. You will find knowledgeable staff at these stores.  You will not find low quality food and that’s important. Both stores offer discounts.
    Love Your Pet

    Canned cat food provides necessary water content for your cats.

 

  • Learn about ways to make your home feel safe, comfortable and inviting for your cat.  Remember that cats love vertical spaces and don’t like to be backed into corners.  That’s why cat trees, elevated shelves and tunnels, and sunny windowsills make them so happy.  You can create “Cat TV” for them by placing a bird feeder outside a window they can easily see out of.  Go a few steps further and put a cat grass garden in the enlarged windowsill or bay window.  Add a scratching post nearby so your cat can keep his claws neatly trimmed and avoid shredding your furniture.
Love Your Pet

Cat lounging in window sill. All he needs is a view of a bird feeder!

 

  • Take your dogs on a pet friendly vacation. There are scores of beach and mountain rentals that accept dogs.  Our two favorite places to vacation with our dogs are Duck, NC on the NC Outer Banks and Hot Springs Log Cabins in the mountains of NC.
Love Your Pet

Daisy Mae and Trooper in Duck, NC.

 

  • Provide regular veterinary care for your pets.  Getting them examined yearly while young and more often when they are seniors ensures that you catch little problems before they become big problems. Regular immunizations and preventives for fleas, ticks and heart worm are essential. Those dental cleanings can be lifesavers tool. No one wants their pet to be in pain.  Our sweet senior Luke had his dental cleaning earlier this week. We had no idea that he had cracked a tooth and that infection had set in. Fortunately his tooth infection had not caused damage to his internal organs but sadly he did have to have a tooth extracted.  I shudder to think what would have happened if we had not gotten a routine dental cleaning for him.
Love Your Pet

Luke with Ms Kim at Village Animal Hospital in Mooresville. He was still a little glassy eyed after his extraction.




We would be remiss if we didn’t recommend that you hire a professional pet sitter when you must leave your pets at home.  We provide daily dog walking services and vacation pet sitting services in the Mooresville, Cornelius, Davidson and Mount Ulla communities.  Call us at 704-662-0973 to arrange a free meet and greet consultation.

Six Facts Your Cat Wants You to Know About Kitty Litter Boxes

6 Facts Your Cat Wants You to Know About Kitty Litter Boxes

We love to look at pet designated days, weeks and months.  Earlier this month we noticed that January 22 is National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day.  The day is designed to remind us to pay attention to what our cats are trying to tell us in the only language they have. Rather than simply being annoyed when your cat pees outside the litter box, scratches your sofa or meows incessantly, you are encouraged to think about the issue from your cat’s perspective.  With thoughts about what your cats might ask we offer 6 facts your cat wants you to know about kitty litter boxes.


 Fact # 1 About Kitty Litter Boxes:  Cats prefer their litter boxes to be located in quiet places.

Unfortunately, many cat owners place the kitty litter boxes in the laundry room which is extremely noisy when the washer goes into spin.  Add to that the sound of the dryer when the dryness sensor goes off. And just imagine what happens if the washer goes out of balance just when your cat is using the litter box!  Those scary noises can negatively impact your cat’s willingness to use his litter box.


 

Fact # 2 About Kitty Litter Boxes:  Cats don’t like scented kitty litter.

Their noses are extremely sensitive and your cat may find the aroma you like quite distasteful.  There’s another reason for your cat to avoid the litter box.  Nobody wants that.


Fact # 3 About Kitty Litter Boxes:  Cats like clean litter boxes.

Think about how you feel if you go to use the toilet and there’s “stuff” in it. Cats with their keen sense of smell are easily put off by the odors from the litter box.  It’s best to scoop the litter box after every use, but that may not be practical.  However; it’s pretty easy to get on a daily or twice daily litter scooping schedule.  Your cat’s nose as well as your own will appreciate the effort.


Fact # 4 About Kitty Litter Boxes:  The standard to strive for is one litter box per cat + 1.

If your house has multiple levels, please put at least one litter box on each level of your house.  How would you feel if you had to run from the second floor all the way to the basement every time you needed to go potty???   By having multiple litter boxes each cat can choose his or her favorite “bathroom.”  If some of your cats prefer different types of litter you can easily use the preferred kind in that cat’s preferred litter box location.  The same thing regarding covered or uncovered litter boxes is true.  It will probably take some experimentation to find the just right combo. But it’s so worth it to keep a beloved family member happy for his 15 – 20 years of life.


 

Fact # 5 About Kitty Litter Boxes:  Cats don’t like eating in their bathrooms.

Just imagine how you would feel if your dining table was next to your toilet!  Not particularly appetizing is it?  It’s best to locate your cat’s food and water bowls in or near the kitchen and to place their litter boxes in the bathroom or in open door closets in quiet low traffic bedrooms or perhaps even in your home office.


 

Fact # 6 About Kitty Litter Boxes:  Sometimes kitty litter box issues are indicators of medical problems.

And…these medical problems can be life threathening particularly when it involves a urinary track blockage in make cats.  Read the blog by our friend and colleauge Rita Reimers the Cat Analyst regarding a cat with a urinary tract blockage.

Rita is a trusted colleague who also offers cat sitting services in the Charlotte area.


When you next need kitty sitting services call us at 704-662-0973. We provide kitty care services for residents in Mooresville, Cornelius, Davidson and Mt Ulla, NC who live within 8 miles of our home base. Check out our kitty sitting page to learn more.

Eleven Awesome Tips to Keep Your Pet From Gettiing Lost

  Here’s the Low Down on How To Keep Your Pet From Getting Lost

Pet owners post pictures and pleas for help about their lost pets on social media on a daily basis.  It’s always heartbreaking to read. There’s nothing like a little prevention to avoid the heartbreak and to keep your pet from getting lost.  Just in case the unthinkable does happen, please get your pet micro chipped and place a collar with ID on your pet.

keep your pet from getting lost

Lost Pet!

Awesome Tips to Keep Your Pet From Getting Lost

keep your pet from getting lost

Nice Catio

1. Keep your cats indoors unless you are actively supervising their time outdoors.

2. If your cats enjoy the fresh air, consider building a catio for them. The catio can be a very simple structure or more elaborate.  The catio pictured to the right was featured in Landscape Design in a Day.  Animal Planet provides plans for the DIY tribe.

3. When entering and exiting your home, do so carefully. If you enter via the garage, be sure the garage door is shut completely before entering the main part of the house.

4. When someone else is pet sitting for you remember that your cat is not as likely to come to them as they are to come to you. So ask your pet sitter to keep your cat inside.

5. If your dog has a fenced in yard, check the perimeter of the fence on a weekly basis to make sure there are no gaps or breaks in the fence. Always check your fence after extreme weather too.

6. Check the latches on the gates on the same schedule.

7. Supervise your dog while she is outside even if you do have a secure fence.

keep your pet from getting lost

Gate with Lock

8. Consider adding a lock on your gate so that any workers (utility, landscape, pesticide etc) need to check with you to gain access.

9. When walking your dog always use a leash that is 4 to 6 feet long. Attach the leash to a harness or head collar that attaches under the chin. Please see the Doggy Care page of our website for recommendations. NEVER use a retractable leash….. they are NOT safe.

10. If your dog uses a doggy door close it when you are asleep or away from home. When someone pet sits your dogs, leave the doggy door closed.  Remember that in addition to pets going missing on their own, people do steal dogs, particularly if they are unsupervised.

11. When your cat or dog is riding in your vehicle, make sure they are in a carrier or crate or harnessed in. Although studies have not indicated such devices protect your pet in a serious crash, they will keep your pet from jumping out a broken window or door. Also, unrestrained pets create a distraction that can lead to an accident.


Prevention is always the best action.  Watch for our post coming soon where we share awesome tips to find a lost pet. As a segue, we remind you to get your pet micro-chipped.  Your pet should wear a collar with ID when you leave the home with your pet. There is divided opinion regarding whether it is safe for your pet to wear a collar when at home, so you decide on that one.

National Cat Day

October 29, 2015  –  Today is National Cat Day

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We celebrate cats everyday. We’re glad one day is set aside for special attention. How do you plan to celebrate National Cat Day?  The founders and sponsers of National Cat Day have identified 20 Ways to Celebrate.

Ways You and Your Cat Can Celebrate National Cat Day Together

  • If you have one or more cats, how about making it a special day for them? One of the ideas we like the most includes baking some cat shaped cookies for your family and friends and some tuna cookies for your cats. Click the link to see a recipe for tuna cookies.
  • Another idea is to update your cat’s supplies.  Is the litter you use safe for your cat.  Does your cat need a new litter box?
  • Does your cat have places to climb and hide; scratching posts; toys?
  • Is your cat’s food healthy for him?  Read the labels and check with your veterinarian to make sure you are providing proper nutrition for your cat.
  • Speaking of the veterinarian, when was the last time your cat was seen by the vet? Cats should be seen by the vet every 6 to 12 months. Well cat visits are important to assess for dental disease, to assure that your cat is at a heathy weight, to assess the need for vaccine updates and for a general head to tail exam.
  • Important Tip: Don’t just pull out the cat carrier when you are ready to visit the vet. Leave it out with a catnip infused toy in it. Consider leaving some of those tasty home made tuna treats in the carrier.
  • Cats frequently don’t drink enough water so it’s important to provide fresh water and to consider installing a fountain.
  • Another great way to get adequate water into your cat is with canned cat food or tuna.
  • Play with your cat. Their minds and bodies need exercise on a daily basis.

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KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Let’s make it the best National Cat Day Ever!!

 

 

Meeting the Needs of Your Cats

What Do Cats Need?

In mid April I had the pleasure of traveling to Atlanta to attend a two day conference of the Cat Division of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC).  Presenters provided information on a wide range of topics including cat nutrition, successful dog – cat interactions, handling aggressive cats, social organization and communication in the cat, compulsive grooming issues, understanding medications veterinarians prescribe and using humane handling and behavior therapy to reduce stress among cats in shelters. In a nutshell, attendees learned about meeting the needs of your cats.

Nibbles

Nibbles

Steve Dale, who delivered the keynote address reminded us that there are more cats in US households than dogs, yet their needs are often overlooked. More cats are given up to shelters than dogs, yet fewer are adopted from the shelters. The most often cited reason for giving up a cat is behavior issues including litter box issues and negative behavior between the cats in a household.

For a long time we humans have believed that cats are independent and non social.  This is just not true. We need to learn to watch for the more subtle cues cats give off when they want to interact and just how they interact.  It’s important for cats of all ages to have toys to play with and to have your home arranged in a welcoming manner for cats.  No, you don’t have to do over your entire home, but consider putting a cat tower in a room, a couple of scratching posts near the furniture you want to protect and some tunnel like areas for your cat to use to satisfy his hunting instinct.

Cat Scratching Post

Cat Scratching Post

When was the last time you took your cat to the vet? Feeling a little uncomfortable with that question?  If you are among the very many cat owners who dread the thoughts of taking your cat to the vet, start thinking like a cat. Instead of only bringing out her carrier when you are going to the vet, leave it out and open so it becomes a part of her every day life. If your cat likes treats, toss a few in the carrier from time to time.  If your cat is stimulated by catnip, place a catnip infused toy inside his carrier.  A trip to the vet will be much easier if you and your cat are not traumatized by the actions necessary to just get in the car.

You might also want to consider using a veterinarian who specializes in the care of cats. If you don’t have a nearby cat specialist, consider using a vet that has a separate entrance and waiting area for cats. All of these steps can ease the stress on you and your cat and go a long way in meeting the needs of your cats.

Curious Cat

Curious Cat

Professionals Who are Interested in Meeting the Needs of Your Cats

Neither Billy nor I have ever lived with a cat, so admittedly we had a great deal to learn when we opened our pet sitting business.  That is the main reason I attended the cat behavior conference  last April.  As we have cared for cats, I have grown increasingly fond of them and have learned a great deal about their needs.  It was time to expand my education and I thoroughly enjoyed doing so.  In addition to continuing education I enjoyed the company of 4 other pet sitters that I regularly “talk with” on line.  We were all interested in learning as much as we can.  These pet sitters know and understand cats and in Rita Reimers’ case, specialize in providing care only for cats.

Rita is also known as The Cat Analyst  and offers cat behavior consultations so look her up if you are experiencing behavior issues with your cat.

Want to Know More about Meeting the Needs of Your Cats?

The IABBC posts a blog that many of you may find helpful.

We also recommend the related articles referenced below.  Happy cat reading!

New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Parents

Those Pesky New Year’s Resolutions

Yes, you know what we’re talking about.  The resolve to lose weight, get more organized, exercise more, get on a regular sleep schedule and so on. All those self improvement resolutions.  How’s that been working out for you?  Not so well you say.  Maybe it’s time to incorporate your pets’ needs into your New Year’s resolutions for a new twist. Here are our top 10 New Year’s resolutions for pet parents.

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Parents

  1. Walk with your dog every day. Play games with your cat.
  2. Brush your teeth twice a day…..and brush Fido and Fluffy’s’s teeth once a day.
  3. Measure your food…..and measure your pets’ portions too.
  4. Play with your dog and cat every day.
  5. Go to bed at a similar time every night and get up at a similar time every morning.  Your dog will happily serve as your lights out monitor every night and alarm clock every morning.
  6. Keep Spot’s brain active with training a few minutes every day. Keep your own brain active by learning how to positively train your cat and dog.
  7. Practice relaxation habits while brushing your pets’ coats every day.
  8. Disengage from electronics for at least one hour every evening.  That’s a great time to walk with your dog, train your cat or brush their coat or teeth.
  9. A place for everything and everything in its place.  That applies to your “stuff” as well as your pets’ blankets, toys, food bowls and beds. Heck, maybe you can train your dog to put his toys in the toy basket every evening.
  10. Laugh every day at the antics of your pets.

 How These New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Parents Benefit You and Your Pets

If you follow New Year’s resolutions for pet parents,  you and your pets will be more relaxed, healthier and happier.  Exercise benefits all species. Walking your dog (or cat too) provides benefits for physical and mental health, reduces negative behavior and helps with sleep. (http://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/general_health/top-ten-health-benefits-walking-your-pet-provides) There is nothing better for bonding with your dog than a daily walk.  You will both release endorphins, get your blood flowing, increase strength, burn calories and enhance your brain power. ( http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389 )

Our general health overall health is affected by our dental health. (http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475 ).  Just as we need to brush our teeth regularly, out pets need good dental care too. (http://www.petmd.com/cat/slideshows/grooming/top-ten-tips-on-how-to-keep-your-cats-teeth-clean)

It does take practice and patience to introduce teeth brushing, but you will be rewarded with a healthier pet.  Never use human toothpaste, instead purchase toothpaste made for cats and dogs. There are substances in human toothpaste that are harmful to pets if swallowed and our pets don’t know to spit out the toothpaste.

dog-toothpaste

cat-toothpaste

When introducing teeth brushing to your pet, start slow.  Put some pet toothpaste on your finger and allow your pet to lick it off.  The next day put some pet toothpaste on a piece of gauze or pet toothbrush and allow your pet to lick the toothpaste.  Continue with this until your pet appears eager to get a taste of toothpaste.  Then you can introduce placing the toothbrush with toothpaste on the outside of your pet’s teeth. Be sure to go at a pace that is comfortable for your pet.

The best exercise is to use our fingers to push back from the table. That’s far easier if we measure our portions and stick to a nutritionally appropriate and balanced diet. The same thing applies to our pets.  It’s up to us to prevent or treat pet obesity because our pets can’t make these decisions on their own. (http://www.ideas4ag-ed.com/uploads/3/7/0/4/3704787/craig_kohn_treating_and_preventing_pet_obesity.pdf)

In our connected, go go go world, relaxation and appreciation of nature become even more important.  Take that break from the television, computer or smart phone and truly engage with your dog or cat.  Taking a walk, brushing your pet, playing an active game of fetch or engaging your cat in mind games indoors will rejuvenate all of you. This is an ideal time to incorporate a few minutes of training into your daily routine with your pets. Just be sure to make it fun and positive.  We especially like clickers for the training activities. (https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/clicker-training-your-pet)

Be sure to laugh every day.  We never tire of watching Luke, Daisy Mae and Trooper’s antics.  We are especially blessed to be able to take care of lots of pets in our pet sitting business and have lots of opportunities for laughter in our daily work.

Luke is obsessed with tennis balls

Luke is obsessed with tennis balls

Jade loves her walks

Jade loves her walks

 

Products for Cats These Pet Sitters Recommend

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Products for Cats

 

As professional pet sitters, we scoop a LOT of kitty litter. Recently we were introduced to a litter that we can rave over. That’s right..the words printed on the box were actually true. We took care of three cats in a household that share one litter box. We made visits two times a day but were concerned about the potential odor. Not one bit. It was like magic in terms of sealing in the odor and not making a mess outside the box. We heartily recommend these products for cats.

 

Another product we were impressed with was the Just for Cats Calming Spray by Nature’s Miracle. We sprayed this on our shoes and notebooks before entering the home of three cats who had a less than perfect introduction when the newest cat was brought in. We were tasked with keeping one cat in a separate room due to a history of cat fights. One day that cat managed to get out of her room, but lo and behold there were no fireworks.

 

Natures-Miracle-No-Stress-Calming-Spray-for-Cats-018065057808

We used the product in two other households where visitors typically do not see one of the cats. Well, wouldn’t you know it….the cats came out of hiding in each household. We count that as a win for felines, feline owners and pet sitters

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer:  We received no compensation for the use of these products or for blogging about them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author:  Beth Leatherman Harwell

Dog Walkers & More at Coddle Creek, LLC