Adventures in Catsitting

My friend has arrived back home after three weeks away and wants her cat back. So I am sad. I am going to miss that guy! He taught me something new about my relationship with cats, and I was surprised by that.

I have had a lifelong love affair with cats. I have been owned by one or more cats for most of my life. And now, I help Cats in Tow to help more cats find their forever homes. I love cats! I love their antics, their personalities, snuggle time, just having them in my home. However, I am not owned by any cats right now. I lost a very dear kitty a few years ago and these few years have meant a lot of changes in terms of living situation.

I have been contemplating warming my home with a furry presence for a while but was not sure my current space would really accommodate a cat – or two as my plan currently involves. I shared this contemplation last spring in a series of posts on this blog. If you would like to refresh your memory or are new, here is a link to the last of the series ‘Time for a New Addition’. So when my friend said she was going away for three weeks and needed a temporary home for her sweet guy, Aldi, I thought it was a great idea to have a house guest.

I have never met a cat I did not enjoy, but as I said Aldi surprised me. I will talk about the surprises and what I learned in the next few weeks. In the meantime, if anyone would like to share their stories of furry house guests, whether caring for a friend’s pet(s) or as a foster home, we would love to hear!

aldi01

Make yourself at home, Aldi!

 

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Tricks and Treats

While cats have always been associated with Halloween, this can be a stressful and dangerous day for our feline and canine friends.

We may think our pets don’t want to be left out of the party, but they do! Your pet may be the very, very rare exception, but dogs and cats do not like loud noises, boisterousness, having to dodge strangers or disruption to their schedule at all.

Pets are often panicked by the noise, lights and general mayhem which many humans seem to enjoy on holidays. Too frequently, these pets are lost or get hurt.

If you don’t have a holiday pet plan, you need to think about one – the sooner the better.H

Here are some of the things you need to think about:

  • Keep your pet at home indoors leading up to and on Halloween.
  • Parties are, generally, not a fun place animals. Find a room that will not be used, keep it dark and as quiet as possible. A sign on the door asking people to not disturb is a good idea.
  • An escaped pet is not a treat! When the Trick-or-Treaters start, make sure your pet is secure – a closed room out of the way is best.
  • And as a back up plan only, your pet should be properly identified. Microchips with your current information and an ID tag with their name and your phone number are the best methods – and should be present all year but now is the time to make sure the information is up to date. A current photo is good to have in the event that you have to make signs.

Enjoying Halloween is easier when you know you have done all you can for your pet!

Changing Feelings

We have taken a break from our series, but we are back talking about some of the myths surrounding spaying/neutering. If you need to catch up, here are links to previous posts: Time for a ChangeThe Numbers, Just One Litter, Copy Cat, Good HomesPenny Wise, and Interference.

The connection between personality and spaying/neutering is a fear for many people. They worry that neutering a male cat or dog will make them feel less like a male, or that spaying or neutering their dog will make them less protective of the family and not a good watch dog. Or that cats or dogs will become less affectionate after being spayed or neutered.

All of these fears are ungrounded! There is simply no evidence that spayed or neutered dogs are less watchful; protecting the ‘pack’ is a basic natural instinct of dogs. Neutering will not make a male dog or cat feel less like a male either. We have to remember that even though we think of our pets as family members, they are still animals. Animal personalities are formed by genetics and environment. Dogs and cats don’t have an identity based on being male or female, and are refreshingly free of egos. They nurture their off-spring and protect their families based on the natural instinct to breed and ensure the survival of the species.

The fact is that animals that have been spayed or neutered are often more affectionate with their humans. Why? Because the instinct to breed is gone. They are not driven to urine mark or fight with other dogs and cats to keep their territory. They are not driven to search out mates, so they are less likely to try escaping and roaming. Female cats and dogs are freed of the burden of having to care for each litter. Relieving our pets of these drives reduces their stress. Many dogs and cats calm down after being spayed or neutered and make better pets.

Better pets for us and a better world for cats and dogs – what more do we need?

 

Holiday Planning

fireworks

The 4th of July is almost here. Do you have a holiday pet plan?

We may think our pets don’t want to be left out of the party, but they do! Your pet may be the very, very rare exception, but dogs and cats do not like loud noises, boisterousness, having to dodge strangers or disruption to their schedule at all.

In fact, July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters. They are often inundated by pets that were panicked by the noise, lights and general mayhem. Too frequently, these pets are lost or get hurt.

Of course us humans seem to crave these holiday disruptions, so we are not able to spare our pets the holiday altogether. But we can help them. If you don’t have a holiday pet plan, you need to think about one – the sooner the better.

Here are some of the things you need to think about:
  • Not everybody waits until July 4th to commence their celebrating – fireworks are available now and unfortunately, there are people out there who are not careful with them around people or animals. Put your plan into effect immediately.
  • Do not use insect repellent on your pet! If you need to control pests, use products designed for cats and dogs.
  • Keep your pet at home indoors. Again, waiting until the 4th to do this might be too late.
  • The above especially applies if your are going to a party or public celebration. Fireworks displays are no place for an animal. The least that will happen is stress for your pet. The worst is running away, injury or being lost.
  • And as a back up plan only, your pet should be properly identified. Microchips with your current information and an ID tag with their name and your phone number are the best methods – and should be present all year but now is the time to make sure the information is up to date. A current photo is good to have in the event that you have to make signs.
Enjoying your holiday is easier when you know you have done all you can for your pet!

Friday Fun: Furry, Friendly and Full of Love

What could be more fun than a loving bundle of fur in your life? The mission of Cats in Tow is to find forever homes for cats and small dogs and always has loving animals that are looking for a family. You can come meet them at one of our Adoption Shows which are held Saturday and Sunday from 12:30pm-4:30pm at Petsmart in Brea, on Imperial Highway and Kraemer Boulevard.

Here are some furry friends currently looking for their forever homes.

With the perfect companion, every Friday is filled with fun!