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My Favorite Pet Sitter

Newsletter

April 2010 Newsletter

Why Climbing is Important to Cat Health
Courtesy of Drs. Foster and Smith

Cats' playful, watchful, and sometimes private nature guarantees they'll seek posts and perches to survey their surroundings. It ensures they'll select hidden hideouts to nap within and coarse surfaces to scratch upon. It also explains the occasional breaking into hunting mode – when any moving object becomes prey.

The particular perch, prey, scratcher, or cubby your cat chooses is up to you. Appropriate environmental outlets encourage normal, healthy cat behavior while reducing the stress (and resulting inappropriate behavior) of sharing their environment with humans and other pets. A cat tree can help satisfy many basic feline needs in a single, space-saving unit.

Higher and Higher

Spurred by a need to watch over household goings-on, look for prey, and feel secure, your cat chooses the elevated lookout offered by the fireplace mantle, the top of the refrigerator, or countertops when given no other perching choices.

Carpeted, floor-to-ceiling cat trees provide a secure, durable pathway to the highest domain in your home while keeping your cat off surfaces where you display breakables or prepare food. They also place your cat where much of the heat in your home ends up – near the ceiling – and cats love to be where it is warm. If you can locate it near a window, even better.

Unless arthritic, most cats have no problem maneuvering quickly up and down the platforms and in and out of the hideaways on a cat tree. They provide an ideal solution to a cat's innate need for a lofty throne.

Dream On

It is estimated that cats spend over 60% of their time each day sleeping or resting; therefore, lounging and sleeping spots are essential. In multiple-cat households, these spots also help minimize social stress and provide a respite from quarrels – presuming there is a special spot available for each cat. The enclosed hideaway on a cat tree is the ideal napping spot away from the dog, other cats, or the children. Ours include fleece or carpeting inner lining to keep cats cozy and warm.

Cat Scratch Fervor

Cat trees can be instrumental in redirecting inappropriate scratching. Scratching is a necessary cat behavior, but doesn't have to be tolerated on your furniture. Most of our cat trees have at least one sisal post built in. With durable 3/8" thick braided jute, they stand up to intense scratching and last a long, long time. To train a cat to use the sisal, place her on her hind legs, and gently work her front paws in a pawing motion on the sisal. She'll catch on quickly.

Space-saving and Versatile Playground

Designed with a very small footprint, a cat tree occupies less than a couple square feet of your floor space, yet gives many square feet of elevated perching space – ideal for smaller homes or for setting up multiple cat trees. Easy assembly means you can re-locate your cat tree whenever you wish to change the scenery for your cat. And, cat trees can be connected to other pieces of our carpeted furniture with the use of our Carpeted Ramp. Sturdy woodbase ramps let you connect as many pieces as your space and budget allow, creating the ideal cat playground in your home.

Prey Play

Hunting prey is an essential feline behavior, consuming about 15% of a cat's day. Modifying your environment with appropriate prey toys can help prevent your legs, hands, or other objects in your home from becoming the target of your cat's hunting sessions. Hang swat toys or dangling toys from doorknobs, chair legs, or even a cat tree. Our cat trees include one, snap-on swat toy that easily breaks away from the tree should your cat become entangled in the string. Watch amusingly as multiple cats vie for a turn at the swat toy on a cat tree.

Your cat's environment is important to her wellness and behavior. The next time you chase her away from one of your household possessions, take inventory of her alternatives. It may be time to offer something new.

Avoid Stressing Pet on Moving Day
By Gina Spadafori
Courtesy of SacPaws.com

Even in an off year, the housing market traditionally picks up in the spring, as families who need to change residences get moving so the children can be settled into the new neighborhood before the next school year begins.
But moving is tough on families, pets included. Animals always know when something's amiss, even if they can't understand exactly what's changing, or why.
The key to moving pets is to keep them secure before and during the move, and to settle them safely and quickly into a routine afterward.
Cats are a particular worry at moving time because they form a bond not only with the people in a home, but also with the home itself. Because of their mobility, cats can be difficult to keep around the new home long enough for them to realize that this is where the people they love will now stay.
The family dog is a bit easier to deal with: Put his leash on and drive him to his new address. Show him his new, warm home and the securely fenced backyard. Unless the dog is a jumper of Olympic caliber, he'll stay put while he adjusts.

Not so with free-roaming cats. The cases of cats returning to their previous homes are common for people who move short distances, and the instances of cats disappearing forever are just as common for families moving a great distance.
Confinement is essential when moving cats: It keeps them safe while they become used to their new territory and make it their own. Bring your cat inside, if he's not already an indoor cat, before the movers arrive. Set him up in a "safe room" – a spare bathroom or bedroom is ideal – and leave him be. Provide him with food and water, his bed, a scratching post, a litter box and a couple of favorite toys while the packing and moving is under way.
The cat's ride to the new home is best undertaken in a carrier, especially for the cat who rarely sees the inside of a car.
At the new home, work the procedure in reverse: Put the cat into a "safe room" for a few days – until the movers are gone, the furniture arranged and most of the dust settled – and then allow him to explore inside the house on his own terms after things calm down a bit.
Quickly re-establish a routine. Pick a time and a place for feeding, and stick to it for all pets.

If you've been thinking about converting your free-roaming cat to a house dweller for his health and safety, moving to a new home is the perfect time to accomplish this. In your old home, you'd be constantly listening to your cat demanding to be let out into the rest of his territory. In a new home, he hasn't established any territory of his own yet, and you can make the new home his only turf by keeping him inside from Day One.

If you don't want to convert him, keep him inside for a couple of weeks, until he seems relaxed. You can introduce your cat to the new yard by accompanying him on short tours with a harness and a leash. But in the end, you'll have to take your chances, open the door and hope for the best.

Moving is stressful for all, but taking a little extra care when it comes to your pets will help to move them safely and with a minimum of stress and mess at the new home.

Don't forget ID

During a move, your pet is at a high risk for becoming lost. That's why it's essential to get new ID tags on your pets before you disconnect that old phone number, or to update the ID tags with your permanent cell phone number. If you use a tracking service or microchip ID, be sure they know where to reach you as well by updating your records with the registry.

If you need to change veterinarians, let the staff at the old hospital know and provide a working phone number in case anyone calls the hospital because of a rabies tag on a found pet. (Rabies tags usually have the vet's phone number on them.) And finally, check with the animal control department in your new community to get new licenses and find out what regulations cover your pets.

Pet of the Month

This month, I am featuring my own cat, Sonny. Sonny is a highly personable Maine Coon. He enjoys participating as a “Lap Cat” for Folsom Feline Rescue, however he tends to get car sick on the way to the senior centers and has had to take a break.

Sonny

Sonny

How I met our family:

I was rescued by Folsom Feline Rescue and my family fostered me. I loved being with them so much, that I didn't want to leave. So I snuggled with them every chance I got until they couldn't imagine life without me!

What I have to say about the companion human(s) I share my home with:

They know my routines. I get attention in the mornings while they are brushing their teeth. I do this by standing on the bathroom counter and nudging them with my head. Then I get carried into the kitchen, straight to my food bowl. What service! Later, when they are sitting on the couch, I curl up in a lap, then stretch out the length of their legs as I fall asleep. Or sometimes I will straddle my body across two people, making it impossible for anyone to get up.

My favorite hobbies:

I love to cuddle with my mom in the mornings and sleep on laps at night.

My favorite foods:

I love Feline Greenies! Any flavor. I will do anything for Feline Greenies, including taking my heart medication. Just say the magic words and I come running!

My favorite toys:

Other cats. I just give them the “stink eye” and they run away! This works well when they are on a lap that I want to lay on.

Our most exciting adventures:

I have walked on a leash in my backyard. I like all the cool smells outside. But now there is a big dog in the yard who wants to eat me, so I stay inside and chase the other cats.

My idea of a perfect day:

Mom and dad stay home with me all day and we hang out together - eat, sleep, eat, sleep...

Secret skills or abilities that few people know about us:

I have the ability to make people love me the moment they meet me. Several people have threatened to kidnap me.

Service Announcements

If your gate code changes, please remember to let us know. If we get stuck outside a gate waiting to follow a car inside, it keeps your pet waiting and takes time away from the visit.

Please remember to mail your payments before the first visit. Ideally, we should receive your payment before the first visit, however some visits are scheduled at the last minute and this is not possible. In this case, we ask that you please mail the payment immediately after scheduling the visits so that our pet sitters can be paid promptly.

Focus on Fundraising

Folsom Feline Rescue is having a yard sale fundraiser on April 17th from 7am to 1pm at the Orangevale Community Center at 6826 Hazel Ave. between Oak and Greenback.

They are in need of donations for their sale and for volunteers to assist from 6am to 7am for setup, or during the sale. If you would like more information, please email info@folsomfelines.org.

Proceeds from this sale will be used towards their community spay/neuter programs. Folsom Feline Rescue has spent over $240,000 and spayed or neutered over 5,200 cats and dogs since 2001.


   
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