Cat News, Read All About It!

State of Emergency: The Mail is Here!!! Check it Quick!
Humans, you should let us kitties check the mail more often. This is truly how it’s done!

 

Top Story in The News: Boxes
We were planning on reporting on Colonel Meow’s adept reporting on boxes before we learned of his untimely departure from our world. We are keeping this piece in our news feed in honor of him.

Boxes, boxes, boxes. How does one deal with the enticement of a box (whether empty or not, but preferably empty or full of packing material or warm laundry)? Colonel Meow will help you decide how deal with those boxes.

 

Top Story in Home Decor: Birds
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Let’s face it: I’m a cat and I like birds (and lizards and crickets and bugs … and I keep telling my human that I really do actually want to meet that raccoon that comes through our yard every night!). So guess what?! I found a great website that tells you all about birds. And there’s pictures of birds. And its education about birds. So now when I finally catch one of those silly little birds in the bushes outside the front door, I can bring it back inside and tell my human exactly what kind of bird it is and how to take a fabulous picture of it to decorate our walls with right before I let it go so I can laugh at my humans bad hunting skills. Somehow, whenever I let her do some hunting, the lizard or bug (no birds yet, but that’ll happen, I promise!) inevitably gets back outside again. Man is my human a bad hunter! So where do you find this great website? Here at http://www.facebook.com/becausebirds or at http://becausebirds.com/

 

Top Story in Health: The Death of an Internet Master-Cat
It is with a heavy heart that we must report the passing of Colonel Meow. We are very saddened by this news. Our thoughts are with his humans.

 

Now for your commercial break

 

Top Story in Community: Project Bay Cat
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Project Bay Cat is a San Francisco based feral cat organization helping to spay and neuter feral cats in the area (their facebook page is here and their website is here). They’ve reduced the feral cat population by 59% simply through spay/neuter of the cats there. Research has shown that removing feral cats from an area does not eliminate feral cat populations. Rather, it creates a vacuum for new feral cats to come in and take over the consumption of whatever food source drew the cats to the area in the first place. Food sources can be human created or nature created food sources. If you see feral cats in your neighborhood, please contact a local feral cat organization. The feral cats you see may be part of a managed colony of feral cats, which means they are being cared for by volunteers and depend on generous donations from the community to continue feeding and medically caring for the cats. If the feral cats you see are not part of a managed colony, the local feral cat organization can now do what they can to spay/neuter these new cats and to try to care for them, as well. Please consider volunteering for a local feral cat organization. It’s easy to do. Simple feeding doesn’t take a lot of time for those busy folks. Being a driver to get trapped feral cats to and from veterinary appointments is another great way to volunteer for those who work odd hours and are available during the morning and evening hours (for pick-up and drop-off times). Trapping cats for veterinary appointments (usually for spay/neuter appointments) is another great way to help out. This is usually done at night with the trapper maintaining a safe distance from the trap while keeping an eye on it to make sure you can get the trapped cat to a safe location before predators can harm the cat. Also offering space in your home, if you have it, for cats to recoup from surgery or while waiting for surgery is another great option. However, your space needs to be entirely enclosed with no holes or escape routes for the cat (feral cats are super smart and sneaky when it comes to escaping and hiding). Asking the feral cat organization how to keep feral cats safe while recuperating is a great idea. Also, when

Project Bay Cat's very own Grumpy Cat

Project Bay Cat’s very own Grumpy Cat

contacting a feral cat organization, please keep in mind that most of these are all volunteer organization; therefore, it can take them a few days to get back to you. And lastly, if you’re unable to volunteer, please consider donating to a feral cat colony in your area. Check their websites to see if they have a donation wishlist of items they may need. The green stuff (and I don’t mean catnip) is also a big help and can keep the kitties in food. Also, see if you can sponsor a feral kitty. Be willing to offer the financial needs of that kitty throughout its life (which includes food, veterinary care, and shelter, even if that shelter isn’t an actual home). This can be a great way to care for a kitty if you’re unable to have one of your own (or if you want more than you have but can’t have more than you have – pesky rental pet policies). Do keep in mind that in a feral colony, the caretakes can, in no way, guarantee that the food given by that cat or the shelter provided for that cat will be eaten or used solely by that cat. We’re cats, after all. You know us when it comes to pet beds. You buy the coziest, comfiest pet bed and we still sleep on your pillow or in your laundry basket. And I have been known to share my crunchies and yet steal canned food from other cats.

Keep in mind that the kitties in the video below are Project Bay Cat feral kitties living together in a colony. Watch the love! 

 

Top Story in Opinion: I Read This Story Today
So beautiful. Too beautiful not to share. Please adopt your next best friend!!!

391734_508717015813423_1268174166_n“I RESCUED A HUMAN TODAY Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her. I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn’t be afraid. As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn’t want her to know that I hadn’t been walked today. Sometimes the overworked shelter keepers get too busy and I didn’t want her to think poorly of them. As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn’t feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone’s life. She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well. Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms. I would promise to keep her safe. I would promise to always be by her side. I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes. I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven’t walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one. I rescued a human today. Janine Allen”

Good night and Feed Me Canned Food!

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Check Out These Two

Aren’t these two kitties beautiful? They’re looking for a home in the San Francisco Bay Area. They’re best friends and would love to find a home together. Anyone interested (besides me)?

Doggies and Kitties, Oh My

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Berkeley Humane Society needs your help

Hey everyone. If you live in the San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, East Bay area and have some extra unused blankets or dog beds laying around, the Berkeley Humane Society on Ninth and Carleton could use them. Donations are tax deductable, too, so making end of the year donations can help not just homeless dogs and cats, but you, too!

Also, there’s a dog rescue in L.A. that’s an all volunteer animal charity serving underserved communities like South East Los Angeles, Watts and Compton.  They say, “We offer free services such as spay/neuter, vaccines and basic medical care for dog owners who want to keep their dogs out of a shelter.” Their name is Downtown Dog Rescue and they seem like they do some really good work. I’m not so big on the puppies, but they deserve homes, too, even if I don’t want one.

Holiday Travels with Your Cat, Part 4

I'm ready to go!

I’m ready to go!

Here’s the last part of my installment for travelling with cats …. or, in this case, without cats. Sometimes you humans can’t take us cats with you. Sometimes, us cats don’t want to or can’t go. That means leaving us behind. When you can’t take us with you for whatever reason, you have a few options.

First, there’s boarding facilities. You can find all sorts of different kind of boarding facilities from those that use cages, those that don’t use cages, those that house both dogs and cats, and those at Veterinary Hospitals. The good part about using a veterinary hospital is that if we should get sick, they’re more likely to spot it sooner and react quicker. The down side is that Veterinary Hospitals tend to be short on space, short on time, and tend to use cages. What’s wrong with cages, you ask? Just think of what it would be like for you to go to jail for the holidays. Not exactly you’re idea of a merry time!!! However, not all Veterinary Hospitals use cages, and there are more of them trying to make cat boarding as comfortable as possible for us cats. The Purr-fect Hotel at the Highland Veterinary Hospital in Highland, MD is a great example of a hospital that has some great space for boarding cats. I’d be pretty comfy there!

Standard Cat Boarding Cages

Standard Cat Boarding Cages

Additionally, for some interesting, strange, unidentifiable reason, most boarding facilities that use cages tend to have the cages facing each other (Veterinary Hospitals are typically the exception to this rule, but not always). So, what’s wrong with this, you ask? Well, I’m a social guy; I like other kitties. But if there’s a cat on the other side of the room staring me down because he hates other cats, it doesn’t exactly make my stay very comfortable. In fact, it stresses me out big time. And for that cat who doesn’t like other cats, being at a boarding facility that uses cages will be incredibly miserable for him, incredibly stressful, and make him more susceptible to illness (travel, which stresses us out, will always make us more susceptible to illness, but we’re talking about the difference between possibly getting a little cough to coming down with a full-blown cold). So, in your search for boarding facilities, try not to choose one that has cages …  and try not to pick that one that says it houses cats in cages in a cozy laundry room (I kid you not!). You may pay a little bit more for a cageless boarding facility, but generally the difference in cost is minor.

A view of Camp Kitty

A view of Camp Kitty

So what else should you look for? Try to stay away from boarding facilities that house both dogs and cats. There are cat-only boarding facilities out there. But if you can’t find one near you, try to choose a facility where the dog noise is comfortably muffled. Note: if there are dogs housed at the boarding facility, you won’t be able to get away from dog noise. Also ask to go on a tour of the facility. If they won’t let you, don’t board your cat there. And if there is more than a minimal smell of litter or food (similar to what you’d smell at home), don’t use that facility, either (do keep in mind that if they’ve just cleaned, which is typically done during the morning hours, there may be a stronger odor than if they’d cleaned hours ago). Also ask what veterinarian they use (if you’re not boarding at a Veterinary Hospital). If they don’t freely give you that information, go away. Also, if they don’t allow you to bring bedding, toys and food from home, they probably don’t understand how to make a cat as comfortable as possible (would you want to go somewhere that you weren’t allowed to bring your own clothes and had to wear someone else’s?). And do be sure to bring some comforts from home; it makes us feel a lot better! Know that most, if not all, boarding facilities require that your cat is current on vaccines. If your vet has recommended not giving anymore vaccines (which can happen, especially if the cat is older), talk with them about doing so for boarding purposes or if there are any other alternatives.

A really good example of a cat boarding facility is called Evergreen Cat Lodge in Evergreen, CO. You can house up to 3 cats in one suite for no extra charge (a lot of places do charge extra for more than one cat). The rooms look like little homes. And they don’t charge for little add-on services like nail clippings, administering medications, and ATTENTION!!! The only extra service charges, which is optional, that they appear to have are webcams that you can gain access to for $5 per day. And, let’s face it, that’s a really minimal charge for the pleasure of watching your cats nap all day!!! There’s also the Cat Taxi in the off-chance you can’t bring us yourself. The price of the cat taxi is similar to how an actual taxi works (they charge by mile with a $20 minimum charge).

Feline Wishes and Caviar Dreams

Feline Wishes and Caviar Dreams

Some other good examples of cat boarding facilities are Feline Wishes and Caviar Dreams in San Francisco, CA  and Camp Kitty in Scottsdale, GA. Please be aware that I’ve never been to a boarding facility, so I am not advertising for nor vouching for any of these places. I’m calling them good solely from what information I find online. It’s up to you to choose what you’re comfortable with.

However, in most cases, when you have to leave your kitty behind, using a pet sitter is typically the best option. We’ll be at home where we can hide in our usual spots, smell the usual smells, and not have to worry about going anywhere. How do you find a petsitter? First, find one who specializes in cats. It doesn’t have to be a cat-only pet sitter, but s/he should know cats well, appear comfortable around your cats, and have some good knowledge of cat behavior. Some pet sitters are insured, some are not. Which do you choose? Well, pet sitters that are insured are typically insured to cover mishaps, such as damage to the home (whether the sitter is in the home at the time or not) and sudden illnesses of your cats. What does this mean for you? A pet sitter who’s insured is covered during mishaps while an uninsured pet sitter must pay for mishaps out of their own pocket (and aren’t protected in case the client – you – decides to sue for a mishap). It’s up to you whether you choose an insured or uninsured pet sitter. In most cases, it doesn’t make much of a difference.

How do you get recommendations for pet sitters? You can ask your veterinarian, employees of an animal shelter, friends who have cats, or you can do a search online, like through Yelp or Craigslist. Make sure that you’re comfortable with whoever you choose … you are entrusting them with the keys to your home and your cats. Ask questions that are important to you. Maybe you want to know what kind of experience they have with cats, if they’ve ever medicated a cat, if they know how to work with shy cats, what to look for in sick cats, etc.

So, remember that we cats generally prefer to stay at home.

If we can’t stay at home (like we’re old or sick or….), take us to a good boarding facility like this:

Good Cat Boarding

Good Cat Boarding at Evergreen Cat Lodge

Lastly, remember that this is bad:

Bad Cat Boarding

Bad Cat Boarding

And this is even worse:

Not an actual boarding facility photo.

Not an actual boarding facility photo.