Cat Care Tips: September 2008 Archives

Continuing my quest to find the solution to my indoor/outdoor cat issues. So far, I've found underground electronic fences by PetSafe, and a cat gazebo by Kittywalk Systems.

Here is another option called Purrfect Cat Fences and Enclosures. It appears that it works for people with or without existing fences or for people who want to enclose their cats with a flexible fence that lets them see out but not get out. You can see in the video that the top of the fence angles in and over so the cat can't climb out.

Check it out, it looks like it offers your cat a lot of freedom while staying safely enclosed in your yard. They can run, jump and play while enjoying the outdoors.

Ok, so I am continuing my research on ways to keep Neo contained in my yard, without disrupting his fun. Yesterday, I told you about the KittyWalk system that is apparently available at Radio Fence also. I found out that Radio Fence sells PetSafe Premium Electronic Fences for cats.

stray_cats.jpgI've seen them for dogs, and some of the companies say they work for cats, but the collars are huge and the volt too high for a cat. Electronic cat fences were taken off the market for a while but I see they are back. They appear to have smaller collars and lower voltage. By the looks of it, the collar is small enough to be carried around by a cat and the system looks good, but I need more testimonials from real people who've used it.

I found some reviews online about Radio Fence, one of the top sellers of the PetSafe Premium Underground Cat Fences, and the buying experience was excellent, installation was easy, but no one commented on how their cats liked it and how it worked for their cats. So...what I'd like to know is, has anyone used this product on their cat and how well does it work for you and your cat? I'm thinking that this might be the way to go for Neo.

There are a few other options out there, so I'll keep you posted on what I find.

Other posts I think you might like:

The true story of Christian the lion...

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

The European Cave Lion was the largest cat that ever lived...

A cat's daily diary vs a dog's daily diary...

I've begun my research on what to do about Neo outside. He's an indoor cat who wants to be an outdoor cat. I found this KittyWalk product that seems to be very popular.

I'm not convinced that this will be good for Neo, but take a look and tell me what you think. I'll keep researching this and let you know what I find. I am not sure why this person lets her dogs have free run of the yard but not her cat? Maybe because the cat can get away and out of the yard easier than the dogs, but it seems a little unfair to kitty!

Other posts I think you might like:

The true story of Christian the lion...

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

The European Cave Lion was the largest cat that ever lived...

A cat's daily diary vs a dog's daily diary...

Neo snuck out of the house last night. A friend left my front door open accidentally. Neo took the opportunity to escape. He was gone for about 2 hours and I was worried sick. He's not a street wise kind of cat, so any number of things could happen to him. He was born in a feral colony in cottage country in the prairies so he knows the country life, but not so much about the city.

DSCF0005.jpgWhen a friend spotted him (the same friend that left the door open, for those of you keeping track) he was hiding behind a shed and was too freaked out by a dog barking to make his way to the back door. My friend went over to him and Neo walked back to the house taking shelter in shrubs all the way.

With the cooler weather, Neo has been meowing all day and part of the night to get outside. I let him out on a harness as much as I can, but I can't leave him alone. He could get tied up, or break free of his harness and end up who knows where. Not to mention the cars, other cats in the neighborhood and simply the fact that I had a cat get out once and he never came back. I just can't justify letting Neo become an outdoor cat. But my problem is that he loves to go outside. And I do believe that he needs fresh air and sunshine and to chase a few bugs and eat some grass. It's in his nature.

I know this goes against everything I've said before about outdoor cats. And I went on and on about 7 reasons to keep your cat indoors as well as giving you advice on protecting your cat , and tips for preventing your cat from becoming a stray. But I've been doing a little investigating about my options. My brother mentioned to me about a thing called a cat gazebo, so I am doing a little research to see if this is the answer to my problems. I'll let you know what I find out, but in the meant time, if you have any experience with cat gazebos, cat fences or restraints that keep your cat safe outside, please let me know.

Other posts I think you might like:

The true story of Christian the lion...

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

The European Cave Lion was the largest cat that ever lived...

A cat's daily diary vs a dog's daily diary...

If you're new here, please consider subscribing to my feed. If you love cats, you'll enjoy the posts we place online every day. Thanks for visiting!

pet-porte-inuse.jpgFor those of you who have special cat flaps/doors that lead to outside, a new device has been created that might fix some of the nagging problems with traditional cat flaps. This is a great gadget for those that allow their cats outside.

Gone are the days of waking up in the morning only to realize that a strange cat is in your house. Say goodbye to cats that enter your home only to spray or steal your cat's food.

The Pet Porte is a new kind of cat flap that actually reads your cat's existing (assuming you have one) microchip. When your cat approaches the door, it automatically unlocks. Once you're cat is inside, the door locks preventing other cats from invading your home. Pretty kewl eh? If you don't have a microchip for your cat, this would be another good reason to get one.

What's really neat about this cat flap is that it has a unique light sensor that knows when it's daylight or nightime. Let's say you prefer that your cat remains indoors at night; that's no problem for the Pet Porte. Simply set the cat flap to remain closed at night and open during the day and the mornings of getting up early to let your cat out are over! Yes! What every lazy outdoor cat owner needs!

We'd love to get some reactions on this product, if you own one please comment on how useful it's been to you. You can learn more about the product here.

Click here for our past posts, our archives have hundreds of helpful cat information posts for cat lovers. Please subscribe to our RSS feed if you're a cat person that likes cat related information, cat care advice and news.
If you're new here, please consider subscribing to my feed. If you love cats, you'll enjoy the posts we place online every day. Thanks for visiting!

cat_scratching_furniture.jpgProbably the most frustrating part of cat ownership (especially when they are kittens) is their propensity to scratch your furniture, carpet, drapes or anything else they can get their little paws into. Cats have claws which in a sense gives them certain behavioral urges. In the wild, cats scratch tree trunks to sharpen their claws and it also serves as a warning to other cats when they transfer their scent. Your home isn't the wild right? So how can do we fix this behavior? Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Cats love a range of scratching products. Some have carpet, some are card board, burlap, wound twine and so on. If your cat doesn't stop scracthing your furniture, switch to something else.
  • The more expensive scratch posts have cat nip within them, this supposedly encourages your cat to scratch them over your nice sofa.
  • Some cats prefer to scratch horizontally and some prefer to scratch vertically. There's a lot of scratch post configurations that should fit your cat's preference. The key is for you to watch your cat and understand what way they prefer to scracth. My cat Maddy has two scracthing posts; one that she can scratch horizontally and one that she scratches vertically. The vertical one hangs from a door knob and is basically a carpet strip.
  • If your cat refuses to stop scratching your furniture, purchase more than one scratching post. Make sure that scratching posts you purchase vary in configuration. As I mentioned in the previous point, one should be designed for your cat to scratch horizontally and one should be designed to be scratched vertically. Given better choices, your cat will stay away from your furniture.


  • Be patient with your cat when it comes to scratching discipline. Don't yell and don't run up to them in a fury! You'll simply startle your cat and you probably won't fix the situation. Gently take your cat to the scratching post that you have purchased for him. Praise him (by petting or your happy voice) when he scratches his post. This teaches your cat he should be scratching the cat scratch post as opposed to your $2000 sofa. The key with cat discipline is rewarding them with positive reinforcement.

    Click here for our past posts, our archives have hundreds of helpful cat information posts for cat lovers. Please subscribe to our RSS feed if you're a cat person that likes cat related information, cat care advice and news.
    If you're new here, please consider subscribing to my feed. If you love cats, you'll enjoy the posts we place online every day. Thanks for visiting!

    maddy_first_night.jpgMy wife used to tell me how much I would love a cat. To be honest, I hated them. My experiences with cats at that point were pretty bad.

    What changed my mind was a cat named Joey. My friend Frank asked me to pet sit his cat and of course my wife jumped at the chance. I wasn't crazy about the idea but it was for a buddy so how could I say no? Sensing that I wasn't a cat person, Joey made every effort to convert me the first day she was with us. One day and many treats later, I had a new furry friend. I wanted one of my own.

    At the time, I didn't know what to look for in a kitten. I simply visited my local pet store and picked out what I thought would be the quietest cat out of the litter. My cat Maddy (pictured) is the complete opposite of quiet! I found that out twenty minutes after bringing her home.

    The kitten purchasing experience was a blur to me and had no idea of what I was doing. With that in mind, we get a lot of e-mails from subscribers and visitor asking, "what should I look for in a kitten?"

    Here's a check list of what you should be looking for when purchasing a kitten from a litter or a pet store:

  • Kittens learn a lot from their mothers, if the mother is calm and sociable, chances are her kittens will be too.
  • A kitten handled by gentle humans especially during the first days of his or her life will be more sociable and accepting of various social situations.
  • If the kitten appears to be playful and happy, that's a good sign.
  • Look at the kitten's ears and make sure that they are not inflammed, dirty-looking and are free of any odd discharges.
  • Make sure the kitten has pink gums and has musky yet healthy smelling breath.
  • Look for fleas as near the scalp of the kitten's coat
  • Make sure that the rectal area is clean and that there is no sign of diarrhea or tapeworms.
  • Kittens are generally not pot-bellied, if they are, this may signify worms.
  • Even at a young age, your kitten should exhibit very good coordination skills with his or her paws.
  • Compare the kitten to the other kittens in the litter; try and determine if the kitten looks excessively thin.
  • Look at the kitten's eyes and make sure they are clear and free from tearing.
  • Excessive sneezing, coughing or wheezing may indicate that there is an issue with the kitten.
  • Take your new kitten to a vet as soon as possible! This is very important.
  • Choosing a life long companion is a big deal, try and do it carefully. There's nothing worse than bonding with a kitten early only to find out there may be a serious health issue the kitten.

    Has this ever happened to you?

    Click here for my past posts, our archives have hundreds of helpful cat information post for cat lovers.

    So you've done everything, got the double sided sticky tape, the perfect scratching post but your still wont use the scratching post?

    Make sure your scratching post has a toy on it! See this cat go crazy for his toy in this video. A toy on the post makes your cat feel like he's hunting.

    Find out why your cat needs to scratch here and see another cat go crazy for her scratching post here.

    Other posts I think you might like:

    The true story of Christian the lion...

    12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

    The European Cave Lion was the largest cat that ever lived...

    A cat's daily diary vs a dog's daily diary...

    images-4.jpgThe only effective method is double sided tape. Yep. That's it. Just try it. People try all sorts of things, spraying with water, putting vinegar on the furniture, even using chemicals and toxins. But nothing works as well as double sided tape.

    The best way to discourage your cat from scratching is to put some double sided tape on the furniture in the spot where they like to scratch. It may not look nice but it works. you can even get it in clear so it's not as noticeable.

    So here's what you do, look at what he is scratching and try to figure out why your cat likes it so much, maybe it is the height of the chair, or the texture of the fabric, or the loop in the carpet. Because cats need to scratch, you have to figure out why they like that particular thing the most.

    images-1.jpgThen you get your cat scratching post that you want him to scratch that has the same appeal as the furniture. You put the scratching post close to the piece of furniture that your cat wants to scratch and stick some double sided sticky tape to the furniture.

    Cat's hate having sticky stuff on their paws so the double sided tape will work. Trust me. But only if you give your cat an alternative to the furniture he wants to scratch.

    Other posts I think you might like:

    The true story of Christian the lion...

    12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

    The European Cave Lion was the largest cat that ever lived...

    A cat's daily diary vs a dog's daily diary...

    images-5.jpgWell, we've established that scratching is an instinctive feline behavior and stopping your cat from scratching can get you into trouble. Your cat will continue to scratch whether you want him to or not. So it's a good idea to give him an alternative to scratching your furniture.

    A scratching post works wonders, but it has to be made of a material that interests your cat. They are made from carpet, wood, cardboard and sisal and they all have different textures. Finding the one that works best for your cat can get expensive, but it is worth it in the end. images-3.jpg

    Neo loves his plain old carpet scratching post, he naps up there and then gets up, scratches and gets a little stretch in there too. I have a friend whose cat will only scratch cardboard and my sister's cats love sisal. If you are trying to figure out which one your cat likes, all I can say is trial and error.

    Bring one of each home and let your cat sniff and get used to them all, it won't take long for you to see which one he likes. Hopefully, there is a good return policy at the store you got them from!

    Whatever you decide to get for your cat, it is always a good idea to trim your cat's claws. If you do it regularly and make it fun but giving him treats after, he will learn to tolerate the experience. If you're not sure how to trim your cat's claws, watch this video.

    Declawing is never the right answer, your cat needs to scratch and will even do so after his claws have been removed. But it's a very sad sight to see a declawed cat trying to scratch. If you do choose to declaw, expect behavior problems far worse than scratching furniture.

    V5.0

    Other posts I think you might like:

    The true story of Christian the lion...

    12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

    The European Cave Lion was the largest cat that ever lived...

    A cat's daily diary vs a dog's daily diary...

    Pictures_cats_scratching_furniture.jpgWhat should you do about your cat scratching your furniture? There are lots of solutions out there, but most of them don't work, are humiliating for you or your cat, or end up costing you a fortune.

    Wait... don't laugh, it can be very humiliating for your cat when you punish him. He has no idea why, after all, he is just being a cat, scratching is completely natural. So let's get to the root cause of your scratching problem.

    Cat's need to scratch. Their claws grow continuously, just like a human's nails, the differences are a cat's claws grow faster and are very sharp. In the wild, cats scratch and sharpen their claws to help hunt and kill their pray. They will even break a claw during the hunt so fast regrowth is important for the next hunt. But even though your cat gets a daily dose of kibble or canned yummies, they still have sharp claws that are made for killing. But stopping your cat from scratching can be very confusing for your cat.

    It's natural for cats to scratch. Cats scratch to mark their territory, to sharpen and shorten their claws, and to help them stretch. Have you ever seen your cat stick his claws into something and then arch his back? He can hold himself in place and get a good stretch. Their paws also contain their scent so scratching tells other cats and animals that there is a cat in this territory already.

    Another important reason that cats scratch is to tell you something. Yep, if you've been trying to stop him and going craszy, chasing him when he scratches, your cat knows how to get your attention. So now, he may be scratching just because he wants a little excitement in his life.

    pictures_cat_scratching_.jpgScratching is instinctual for cats. So making them stop scratching is not the answer. If you try to stop them, you'll find they are going to do it, just not in front of you! One day, when you are cleaning out the back of your closet, you'll notice debris from cat scratching.

    So now that you understand your cat's scratching, you can find viable solutions that will save your furniture. Instead of working against your cat's natural instinct, work with it.

    Other posts I think you might like:

    The true story of Christian the lion...

    12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

    The European Cave Lion was the largest cat that ever lived...

    A cat's daily diary vs a dog's daily diary...

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