Melanie: 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.

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

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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!

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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.

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

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

A while ago, Wendell posted a video of two cats walking on a treadmill. One of the cats was able to keep pace with the treadmill and ended up going pretty fast! Very funny. But in this video, the cat on the treadmill has a different technique. It seems that this cat isn't very athletic, but is very funny anyway. Enjoy!

Pictures_of_cat_groomed_and_posing.jpgBasing their support on the candidates view on animal protection, the Humane Society Legislative Fund has awarded their support to Obama and Biden. This is ground breaking news for the simple fact that they have never supported a president before. Never before has a presidential candidate had a view toward animal conservation like Obama and Biden.

It makes perfect sense to me, when you look at the fact that McCain isn't really interested animal issues and then he goes and chooses Sarah Palin as his running mate. Not only does Sarah Palin hate cats, but apparently, she'll gun down anything with fur. That just makes me think that McCain makes poor decisions. Wouldn't you agree there have been enough poor decisions made in the White House for the past 8 years?

Like most women, I was excited by the prospect of a woman leader in the United States, but this woman? The more I learn about her, the more I see that she is not what the white house needs and certainly not what animals need! Do we really needs someone in office who's attitude toward animals is "Let me get my gun" ? She is barbaric and behind he times. "If Palin is put in a position to succeed McCain, it could mean rolling back decades of progress on animal issues."

The press release also goes on to say, "Voters who care about protecting wildlife from inhumane and unsporting abuses, enforcing the laws that combat large-scale cruelties like dogfighting and puppy mills, providing humane treatment of animals in agriculture, and addressing other challenges that face animals in our nation, must become active over the next six weeks to elect a president and vice president who share our values. Please spread the word, and tell friends and family members that an honest assessment of the records of the two presidential tickets leads to the inescapable conclusion that Obama-Biden is the choice for humane-minded voters. "

pictures_cats_cuddling.jpgRead about the Humane Society's reasons for supporting Obama in Humane Society Legislative Fund Endorses Obama-Biden.

If you care about cats becoming Palin's next fur coat, then vote with your pets in mind, make the humane choice.

No, no one paid me to say this, I was just horrified by the photos in this video of Palin, sitting on her bear skin rug.

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This cat is so comfortable sleeping on a hard wood floor on his back! Hilarious, the cat has a huge belly and reminds me of Garfield. I imagine him saying, "where's my lasagna?"

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Really people, as a parent, all I can say is Neo was too freaked out by the crying and the poop and round the clock feedings to want to even get close to the baby!

picture_cats_kittens_stretching.jpgBut some people say, ….well, the cat gets jealous, so it wants to hurt the baby. My answer to that is, if you go changing their lifestyle, like suddenly locking them in the basement or the garage when the new baby arrives, cats are likely to have some behavior issues.

Just imagine how it is for them if you start doing things differently. One day, they get to run around the house anytime they want, sleep on the sofa anytime they want, get petted by you anytime they want. Then the next day, they are locked in the basement alone for hours on end, or forgotten outside all night.

Sudden changes to the cat’s lifestyle will cause behavior issues. If things are happening to the cat that never happened before, it’s going to be a little disturbing for the cat. And yes, the cat might think that the baby has something to with it. But cats have awareness about them; they know that this new baby is your “kitten” so they won’t hurt it because they love you. Cats are pretty resilient, they get used to the new baby pretty fast.

pictures_cat_bath_baby.jpgRemember that your cat is a part of the family too, and if you are sensitive to the needs of your family members, everyone will get along fine. So don’t make sudden changes to your cat’s lifestyle, and include your cat in the caring of your baby. So if you pet him at the same time every day – keep doing that. You can even pet your cat and speak softly to him while your baby is close by so your cat gets to understand that this new baby is nothing to fear.

Please don’t get rid of your cat or lock him up just because you have a baby. Your baby will learn from young how wonderful cats are!

I tried to cuddle Neo as much as possible and to give him extra play time because I could tell that he was nervous about the baby. Eventually, he became comfortable with her, after he got used to the noise, the smells and having to share my attention. Now he is very tolerant of her and even puts up with her trying to carry him. What was it like for you and your cat when you brought home the new baby?

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...

A new cat breed is now available that doesn’t cause allergic reactions!

allerica_pictures_of_cats.jpgThese cats don’t produce the protein that causes allergies in people. And are they ever cute! ….of course there is a huge price tag (6000.00 up to 28,000.00 USD) and a long wait list (over a year) …..but for cat lovers who have allergies, it might be worth it.

Ok, so you’re asking, what did they do to those poor cats to make them hypoallergenic? Well it’s simple…if you are a geneticist who specializes in genetic divergence…not me for sure, but let me explain it the way I understand it…

Cats produce this protein that causes allergies… you find it on their skin, fur, saliva, everywhere, really…. But these scientists have isolated the gene that produces this protein. No one is telling the scientific secrets of how they found a breed of cats that produces a different version of the protein.

But what they do say is that the new breeds were developed using genetic sequencing. (exactly what breeders have been doing for years… without the science) The result was a kitten that didn’t produce the allergic response.

This type of cat is completely healthy and is bred naturally. They’ve even got two new breeds to choose from now – Siamese and the exotic Ashera. Amazing.

See pictures of hypoallergenic cats online or place your order at Allerca Lifestyle Pets.

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The true story of Christian the lion...

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

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

super+cute+kittens.jpgConsidering getting a cat? Get two.

Already have a cat, want another?

The short answer, Yes! Get two or even three cats!

There are lots of reasons to get two cats, but the best reason is a cat needs companionship too. You have your friends and your family to talk to, but your cat only has humans, it is not the same kind of relationship. Cats play together, sleep together, clean each other and do all sorts of Kitty things together that we humans just can’t do.

And if you don’t believe me, read this article by Franny Syufy, Ten Reasons why Two Kittens are Better than One.

little-grey-kittens.jpgIf you get two cats, it is always best to get two litter mates. If they were born together, they will have already developed a relationship and will be willing to share their territory. But that is in a perfect scenario. As we know life is not like that. If you adopt one cat and then decide you want to get another cat, there are some rules for choosing a cat to add to your family. Then once you decide which cat you want, blending cats into one household can be a challenge.

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always had a cat. There was always someone in my life saying, you have one cat, why would you get a second one? Or …. Two cats is twice the work… Or… let’s see how it works out with one cat….. Or no, you can’t bring that stray home …you already have a cat. But the more I learn about cats the more I realize, my instinct to have two cats was right all along!

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It's no wonder that cats are such good hunters! This cat manages to move toward the camera without being seen moving. Imagine if you were a little mouse and this was happening to you - you'd wonder, what? is that cat getting closer? no, he's not moving, but then.... well, as a mouse you wouldn't have time to finish that thought. Enjoy.

What is it about printers and cats? The clicking, whirring, vibrating get the curious cat every time. This cat attacks the printer and even at one point, stands up to face the evil printer. Very funny and very cute cat.

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I forgot about this video, but a friend reminded me of it when she saw me giving Neo a spanking/massage like this. Neo doesn't like it as rough as this cat does but he sure loves a bum rub at the base of his tail and hind legs.

Cats have a bundle of nerves around the base of the tail and it can feel good to have it scratched, rubbed or spanked. Some cats find that area too sensitive and can't be touched there, but others like Neo, like a little spanking once in a while.

Do a little scratch test, if you scratch your cat at the base of the tail and he turns around and swats you, or gives you the look that tells you to stay away. Take heed and don't do it again. But if your cat lifts his little butt up and meows happily, that's his way of saying keep going!

But don't try it has hard as this cat likes it, this cat likes it unusually hard, you can even see him asking for more when the person stops!

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This is a follow up to the post Abused Lions and Tigers saved by Big Cat Rescue. This video shows how the lions and tigers are adapting to their new life. They have a large area to live in with a pool! They are slimming down and becoming more active.

It is sad to see, but if you look in the cat's mouths you can see that they don't have their big canine teeth. They have to be fed a special diet that doesn't require them to tear their food.

Big Cat Rescue is one of the best facilities. But they need donations to keep their operation running. You can donate as little or as much as you can. If you have a spare $25.00 you can adopt a big cat.

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In this video clip you see a cat giving the reporter ample warning before scratching her. The cat even tried to jump down, but she just kept holding him. Listen to the cat growl and hiss, that is not the sign of a cat, "having fun" like she said.

But do you really have to be a Cat Person to know growling means the cat is getting angry? "Put me down" is not hard to interpret, unless you aren't listening.

FYI, if a cat starts meowing like this one, put him down and leave him alone. Cats don't put up with stupid people bouncing them around and they usually let you know they aren't happy by meowing and growling like this one did.

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Six wild cats, 2 lions and 4 tigers owned by some idiot in Ohio named Diana McCourt had their claws removed and their fangs so that she could let people take pictures and pet the wild cats. These poor cats were mutilated for entertainment!

This makes me sick. But the story has a happy ending. These six cats, kind of formed a pride because they had lived together and endured abuse together for so long. Big Cat Rescue of Florida was able to rescue all 6 cats.

Originally, the only cat to be rescued was Joseph the youngest male who still had his canine teeth. But when it was discovered that the cats were like family and had been for at least 9 years, Big Cat Rescue appealed to it's supporters for funding to take the whole pride.

You can see how they were transported in this video. Thank you to Big Cat Rescue.

If you see or hear of abuse to any animal, you can report it at 911 Animal Abuse. Post pictures and tell your story. Help get the word out and make a difference in an animal's life.

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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.

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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:

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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

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This happy cat is using her post to scratch and climb. Yesterday I blogged about why your cat scratches, and this is a good example of why your cat needs a good scratching post.

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...

Picture_of_mimi_cat_food.jpgThis is Mimi, hard at work delivering food to hungry cats at her local shelter. But she's not just volunteering her time and effort, she has created a way to get other people to help too! Let me explain.

Mimi Ausland, aged 12 from Bend, Oregon wanted a way to help feed hungry animals at her local shelter. So she created a trivia game, designed a website and got corporate sponsorship .... The idea is brilliant. Here is how it works.

Just go to Free Kibble Kat and play the daily trivia game. Each time you play, 10 pieces of kibble are donated. Even if you don't know the answer, you can still help out hungry cats by playing everyday.

It's not for profit, just for cats. Mimi just wanted to help out her local shelter by feeding the dogs and now cats. There are 7 news shelters they've added to the list across the U.S. Do your part and play the daily trivia game. It takes about 10 seconds of your time and it benefits so many cats. picture_cats_mimi_.jpg

Support Mimi, this cause is really easy and such a great idea. You can sign up to get a daily email reminder to play.

Good job Mimi!

Cats need more people like Mimi.

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...

scared-feral.jpgNew Orleans is being hit by Hurricane Gustav, but unlike the disaster of Katrina, plans have been carried out to evacuate people and their pets. While humans rode in buses, their pets rode in carriers in trucks. Each pet had his own space, with a clearly labeled cage and the humans had a wrist band that identified them as the owner.

I've blogged before about what to do with your cat when you have to evacuate. Carriers, medical records, photos and food are the main items needed to keep your cat happy and safe during an evacuation. It seems like the authorities in New Orleans got it right this time.

United Animal Nations came out to help people and pets get to the same place. They had pet stations where owners could register their pets and load them onto a truck that was going to the same place as the owner. At their destination, vets were standing by to treat any ill or injured animals.

It's nice to know that this time, pets are included in hurricane evacuation.

Here are some excellent tips for protecting pets in hurricane Gustav's Path.

Please remember to include your cat in your plans to stay safe during these difficult times.

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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...

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