Ten Steps For Starting 
		    A Relationship 
            With A Cat

     Most of my life has been spent with dogs.  I never needed nor wanted a cat until the last few years, and I probably would not have made the choice to get one had I not been tricked…er…convinced…that I actually needed one to function effectively in this world.

     The main problem I ran into was finding an easy manual.  I mean, why can’t instructions for controlling a cat be as simple as the one you get when you buy a GPS for the first time?  If so, the handbook might look something like this:

     Welcome, and congratulations on your recent feline acquisition . Our limited warranty is virtually worthless so get over your silly human expectations, and get on with the business of trial and error.  Especially the error.

     1.  Your cat owns you, not the other way around.  He put out his invisible, magical claws one day and hooked you  You might have been bathing, eating, working or sleeping at the time.  No matter, once selected, you were reeled in, and eventually the two of you were brought together.  You probably were too entranced to hear your cat’s relatively inaudible victory chant, “Gotcha!”

     2.  Introducing your new cat to your home: when you first enter your home with your cat, don’t say things like, “This is YOUR room, Fluffy!”  You will only convince your cat that he’s right about you being a total idiot.  Simply let him loose and he will tell YOU which rooms are his.  Be prepared to find out that YOUR room is now shared quarters.  Give in quickly and save yourself much aggravation.

     3.  First (and every) veterinarian visit: make the cat carrier a home away from home: blanket, food, catnip, water and toys.  He needs to believe he is simply going on a comfy vacation.  Do not, under any circumstances, change your tone of voice when you put him in the carrier.  He will make your life a living hell for the time it takes you to finally get him inside.  In the car ride over, he will change his usual voice to something you never heard from him.  If his usual sound is a high pitched “Meh,” it will become a baritone “Me-yowooooo.”  This is to make you feel horrendously guilty.  You should.

     4.  Teaching him to get along with other beings in the household: your first error is the word “Teaching.”  He’ll teach THEM how to get along with HIM (and, you’re included in “them”).  There is no reward great enough to manipulate her around this issue, so once again, acceptance will be key to your sense of well-being.

     5.  Showing your cat love: He will show you how to love him  This is where trial and error comes in.  You may have to try things out because he just sits there and looks at you.  If you end up with a scratch or bite, probably don’t do that one again.  He may be more demonstrative, but don’t make assumptions.  Sitting on your lap does not necessarily mean “pet me.”  Head butting does not necessarily mean “kiss me.”

     6.  Ask not what your cat can do for you, ask what you can do for your cat.

     7.  Remember that your cat chose you: try daily to understand WHY your cat chose you.  You will very likely learn that it was always in your interest, and your life will only get better.

     8.  Practice gratitude: enjoy the benefits of having a cat in your family.  You will smile and laugh more, be comforted when you are anxious, be warm when you are cold, and have a strong companion and ally.

     9.  Be prepared: make sure your phone has a good camera, and that you know how to use it, quickly!

     10.  Make new friends: don’t expect that your friends who are not attached to a cat will understand your new obsession.  They won’t.  They will just shake their heads and find ways to avoid you.  From here on out, be on the lookout for crazy cat people with whom to fill your social calendar.  They will understand you, and will make you feel like you belong.

     Should you find yourself having regrets, remember, the cat is working fine, so there are no refunds.  There are no defective cats, just ineffective humans.  Reach out for counseling and training.  Classes are for changing people behavior, not cat behavior.  (Hint…the one will automatically change the other.)  Cats get this.

— New York City,

NY NearSay

Feeding Kittens: What, When, How Much

Experts answer six common question about kitten food and more.

by Annie Stuart


     When it comes to cuteness, few critters can compare to kittens. If you’ve just acquired a kitten (or two), you’re probably learning all about kitten care.  You want to do what you can to ensure that your adorable baby grows into a healthy adult.  Proper feeding is a big part of the health equation. After the first four weeks of mother’s milk, a kitten gradually transitions to kitten food, and is completely weaned at about eight weeks.  Here’s what you need to know once you’ve brought your kitten home.


1. How do kittens’ nutritional needs differ from those of adult cats?

     A kitten’s weight may double or even triple during the first few weeks of life.  To support this explosive growth (as well as high activity levels) your kitten may have triple the energy needs of an adult cat.

     These high energy needs make it harder for kittens to get enough calories in one meal, says Jennifer Larsen, DVM, PhD, nutritional consultant and assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California, Davis.  “So most kittens want to eat at least three or four meals a day,” she says.  “It’s also a comfort thing as kittens are snackers at heart.”

    Kittens’ needs for fat, some fatty acids, and most vitamins are the same as for adult cats, Larsen says.  But kittens have a higher requirement for protein, amino acids, and minerals, as well as for some vitamins.  For example, kittens should get about 30% of their energy from protein.

     For these reasons, most experts recommend you feed your kitten specially formulated kitten food until age one.  Although some cat foods are labeled as appropriate for kittens and cats of all life stages, these aren’t appropriate for your kitten unless feeding tests support the label claim.

     Don’t forget to provide plenty of fresh water since it’s a key to keeping cats of all ages healthy.


2. How can I know I’m selecting a high-quality kitten food?

     Mindy Bough, CVT, senior director of client services for the Midwest Office of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) emphasizes the importance of high-quality kitten food.  “I don’t recommend generic or store brands,” Bough says.  Buy from a reputable company—one that veterinarians recommend more frequently, she says.  “Research has determined these kitten foods provide excellent health.”

     How can you be certain a kitten food is of high quality?  One way is by checking the label.  It should at least contain the following: “Meets the nutritional requirements of kittens established by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).”  AAFCO is a group of state and federal officials who regulate pet food.  Even better, look for this: “Complete and balanced nutrition for kittens based on AAFCO feeding trials.”  “Complete and balanced nutrition” means your kitten will require no mineral or vitamin supplementation.  In fact, remember that too much of a “good thing” can be bad for your kitten, causing severe medical problems.  Use supplements only if your veterinarian recommends them.

     Also use caution with homemade diets.  For example, all-meat homemade diets can be low in calcium, leading to a mineral imbalance that causes hyperparathyroidism, a disease more common in rapidly growing kittens.  “If you use a homemade diet, make sure it’s been formulated by a reputable nutritionist,” Bough says.

    After feeding for a period of time, you be the judge.  With proper nutrition, your kitten should be healthy and alert, have a steady weight gain, and a clean, glossy coat.  If not, check with your veterinarian about possible diet changes or ruling out any health problems.


3. What type of food does my kitten need, wet or dry?

     It’s important that very young kittens have at least some canned food to eat as part of their diet.  Very small kittens have very small teeth and can’t chew dry food well.  Without some canned food, they won’t get enough nutrition to grow properly.  If you are feeding your kitten both dry and canned foods, then twice a day canned feedings are sufficient.  If they’re only eating canned food, they should be fed four times daily.


4. How do I switch from one kitten food to another?

     Cats are often considered the epitome of the “picky eater.”  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Get your kitten started off on the right paw.

    “It’s easier to switch foods if a kitten has been exposed early on to different textures and flavors,” Larsen says. “If exposed to the same food over and over, cats tend to get a fixed preference for a particular flavor and texture.”

    If you’re trying to make a switch to a new kitten food, Larsen recommends not mixing it with the old food.  “If the kitten dislikes the new food, this can put them off the old food, too,” she says.  Instead, offer the new food and old foods in separate bowls.  Over time, offer smaller and smaller amounts of the old food along with the new food.  “A little bit of hunger will help them make the transition and resign them to at least trying the new food.”

    Remember that making rapid changes in food can cause stomach upset or “hunger strikes.”  So you may need to make the transition to a new food over four to seven days.


5. What’s the best method for feeding my kitten?

     “Young cats need more frequent feeding,” Bough says, “but as they get older, they can go to twice-a-day feeding.”

     Larsen agrees that it’s fine for young kittens to “free feed,” by making unlimited kitten food available to them all day long, and then to transition to meal eating around four to six months of age.  Free-choice feeding has the additional benefit of reducing stomach distention resulting from rapid meal eating.  It also helps underweight or slow-growing kittens.  Of course, it’s not the best option for overweight or obese kittens.  For these kittens, measured portions offered as meals or until gone is a better choice.  Check packages for suggested amounts.  Even with the energy needs of kittens, overfeeding can become a big problem.

     “Especially control intake around the time of spaying and neutering, which increases the risk for obesity,” Larsen says.  “Preventing obesity is preferable to addressing it once it’s already occurred.”


6. Are there foods I should avoid giving my kitten?

  It’s okay to feed your kitten treats, as long as you follow the “10% calorie rule,” Larsen says.  This means that treats should make up less than 10% of your kitten’s total calorie intake.  But this doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to turn your leftover table scraps into treats for your kitten.  Also, take precautions with the following foods:

  1. Raw meat or liver may contain parasites and harmful bacteria.

  2. Raw eggs may contain Salmonella and may decrease absorption of a B vitamin, leading to skin and hair coat problems.

  3. Raw fish may lead to a B vitamin deficiency, causing loss of appetite, seizures, and even death.

  4. Milk may cause diarrhea in weaned kittens and cats because they lose the enzyme needed to break down milk.

In addition, onions, garlic, chocolate, coffee, tea, raisins, or grapes can be toxic to kittens and cats.

http://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/feeding-your-kitten-food-and-treats#1



See my personal recommendations on  “Information Regarding YOUR Kitten” page

(click to view).

Litter Training Kittens and Cats

     Using the litter box is second nature to most cats.  Training kittens to use a litter box is usually as easy as showing them where it is and dropping them in.

     When you’re introducing your new cat to your home, the litter box should be one of your first stops.  Let her sniff it a bit, and then place her inside it.  She may dig around a bit, or she may hop out.  If she hops out, place her inside it again in an hour or two.

     Continue to introduce her to the litter box when she first wakes up in the morning and after meals.  When she uses the box, praise her lavishly to reinforce the behavior.

     Often, cats will shun the litter box if it’s not in an acceptable spot.  Position it in a quiet, low-traffic location that your cat can access at all times.  Do not place it near her food and water.  Laundry rooms are not optimal locations because of the noise produced by the appliances.

     If you have a mechanical litter box, like a self-cleaning box, make sure there’s a low-tech box available for your new cat.  She can graduate to the high tech versions when she’s ready.

    If you have several cats in your household, make sure the new cat has private access to her very own litter box for the first few weeks after you bring her home.  She’ll be more comfortable if she’s not wading through other cats’ waste when nature calls, and she won’t be perceived as invading your other cats’ territory.  As she becomes integrated into your feline family, everyone will become more comfortable sharing boxes.

Litter Box Tips

     Cats are finicky about their boxes, so the following tips should help you provide the most appealing waste facilities for your cats.

     Clean Daily, Change Weekly – Cats detest dirty litter boxes.  Just as most people don’t like to use filthy, overflowing porta potties, cats don’t like wading through waste to find a tiny patch of clean litter.  Clear the box of waste daily, and change out the litter completely weekly.

     One Box Per Cat Plus One – You simply can’t have too many litter boxes.  The rule of thumb is one per cat, plus one.  If you have three cats, you need at least four litter boxes.  If your home is large or on more than one level, add a couple more.

     Don’t Use Litters That Contain Deodorants – Scented litter is geared toward the cat owner, not the cat.  Some cats will refuse to use a box containing heavily scented litter.  To avoid problems, use a fragrance-free or unscented blend.

     Try Different Litter Types – Even among cats in the same household, some may prefer one type of litter to another.  The four main litter types are clay-based clumping, clay-based non-clumping, crystal, and natural/biodegradable.  If you experience problems getting a cat to use the litter box, experiment with different types of litter.

     Is The Litter Box Big Enough? – Fluffy needs room to do her business, and she might avoid a box that she finds too small.  If you have a large-breed cat like a Maine Coon, try a jumbo-sized litter box.  Your cat is also less likely to have an “over-the-side” accident with a larger box.

     Hooded Or Open? – Some cats love hooded boxes and enjoy the privacy.  Hooded boxes trap odors, which helps keep your house from smelling like a crazy cat lady’s house, but it’s a turn-off for a cat.  Wash both the box and the hood thoroughly every week, and change the filter regularly.

     Wash Your Litter Pan Thoroughly Every Week Or Two – Over time, a plastic litter box will absorb cat urine (even if you use liners).  Wash it thoroughly with soapy water every week or two, and replace periodically.  Be sure to rinse thoroughly after washing so that it doesn’t retain a strong detergent smell.

     Getting used to a litter box isn’t difficult for most cats.  If you’re attuned to feline behavior and your own cat’s litter box preferences, you’re unlikely to encounter any unpleasant accidents.

http://www.catster.com/cat-behavior/litter-training-kittens-cats


good Cat Articles
worth Reading
The following articles are currently available —
  • Introducing Your New Cat to Your New Home
  • Feeding Kittens: What, When, How Much
    • Litter Training Kittens and Cats 
    • Kitten and Cat Dangers Every Cat Lover Should Know
    • Which Crates and Carriers Will Keep Your Pets Safe?
    • The 10 Best Homemade Cat Toys
    • The Best Home Remedies For Fleas
  • Ten Steps For Starting A Relationship With A Cat
  • How to Introduce Your New Cat to Other Cats
  • Tips to Introduce a New Cat or Dog to Your Pet Family
  • Keeping Pets Safe In Your Home


                                                                Articles will continue to be added.

Kitten and Cat Dangers

Every Cat Lover Should Know

by Dr. Debra Primovic, D.V.M

    Cats are naturally curious (you've certainly heard that old saying about “curiosity killing the cat”), and they frequently find ways to get into trouble in way that we humans can't even imagine until we discover them in yet more mischief.  This can be cute sometimes, but it's truly devastating when a cat gets hurt because their owner simply didn't perceive the danger in a situation.

    Please don't be caught unprepared and have to face a sad situation.  Below is a list of possible dangers that your cat or kitten might encounter in your home.  Take a look around and do your best to protect your pets.  I hope that these tips can help you do just that.

1. Chemical and cleaning solutions can be toxic.  Animals can lick bottles or containers or walk through and lick their paws.  Even a small amount, when ingested, can have deadly consequences.

2. Computer and electrical wires are often appealing to cats, who will chase and nibble on them, but they can cause electrocution.

3. Children's toys can contain small pieces of plastic, wood, or more that can be ingested, causing an intestinal blockage.

4. Crawl spaces can be dangerous to cats.  They often will climb and wiggle into spots you may not even know existed, then get stuck in inaccessible areas or be exposed to dangerous toxins, chemicals, poisons, or debris.

5. Doors are dangerous.  Be careful entering and exiting all doorways or even closing windows.  Cats will play around these entrances and can get out or get stuck as a window or door is being shut.  Injuries range from broken feet and tails to more serious problems.

6. Houseplants can be toxic!  Even plants that are not technically considered poisonous generally cause irritation to the stomach and mouths of cats.

7. Plugs and outlets are another source of danger, as cats can get electrocuted when they lick or touch them.

8. Recliners are a serious hazard around cats, especially small kittens.  It is not uncommon for cats to wiggle under the recliners and become injured or killed in the rocking and reclining mechanisms.  Please, PLEASE keep cats away from this kind of furniture!

9. Rubber bands post yet another intestinal blockage hazard as cats will readily play with and then ingest them.

10. Watch your step!  Simply going down stairs or walking through the house without being attentive can lead to injury, as some cats will run between your legs and become hurt or cause you to fall!  Some vets recommend that you shuffle your feet around kittens to prevent stepping on their delicate bodies.

11. A tall stove is appealing to cats who love to be in high places, but they can easily cause severe burns.  A set of burner covers can help protect against this.

12. String, tread and yarn are similar to rubber bands in that they are enticing toys that can cause severe intestinal and gastric trauma if ingested.

13. Chemicals designed to melt snow or ices contain salt and other toxins that cats and kittens can lick.  Many pet lovers inadvertently bring in these toxins on their wet or snowy shoes, and cats lick the puddled water, getting sick soon after for seemingly no reason.

14. Home construction is another potential pitfall; stray nails, stables, razor blades, or glue remnants can cause severe illness or injury for small animals such as cats.

15. The fresh water and enticing noise of toilets are appealing for felines, but the chemicals used to keep them sparkling clean can cause major complications for cats.

16. Although trashcans are fun to pull over and explore, the contents can contain items such as strings from raw meat, chemical-soaked paper towels, and plastic wrap or bags.

17. Spoiled meat is just as dangerous to your cat as it is to you.  Remember: a cat's stomach isn't iron-clad, so don't feed them something that you wouldn't feel safe eating yourself.

18. Keep the water and dryer doors shut.  These machines, especially warm dryers, can seem cozy but if turned on can cause deadly injuries and heat stroke.

19. Open windows and screens are favorite hang-out spots for cats.  Unsecured screens can allow cats to push them out and fall, resulting in life-threatening injuries or allowing cats to become lost and disoriented.

20. Ant and roach traps often resemble toys; so many cats are compelled to play with them.  However, the poison inside them can be deadly, and by the time the owner discovers the symptoms, it may be too late to do anything about them.

    I know this seems like a lot, but I really do want to help you keep your cat or kitten safe. Please take a moment today to look at your home “through a cat's eyes” and see what dangers you can eliminate.


About this author: Dr. Debra Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for PetPlace.com, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.



Click to view “Cat Goodies & Supplies” page.

Study: Which Crates and Carriers

Will Keep Your Pets Safe?

by Lindsay Deutsch, USA TODAY Network

Planning a summer road trip with your pet or, maybe, just bringing your new kitten home?  An eye-opening series of tests hopes to clarify products to keep you and your furry friend safe.

The 2015 Crate and Carrier Crashworthiness Studies, a collaborative effort between the non-profit Center for Pet Safety and pet-friendly carmaker Subaru, announced its findings Friday, including top performing products as well as ones that failed tests despite marketing claims of safety.

If you're a dog (or cat) owner, you want to protect your pet in the worst case scenario.  When it comes to pet-safety products for vehicles, "the words 'safe' and 'crash-tested' are often just marketing claims.  It's very subjective, so this is working to bring oversight and accountability," she told the USA TODAY Network.

There are currently no test protocols or performance standards in the U.S. when it comes to automobile pet safety products.  This study is a follow-up to the non-profit's 2011 testing of harnesses.

What are the top-performing products, according to the study?  For crates, it's the Gunner Kennels G1 Intermediate with 8' Tie Down Straps as the 2015 Top Performing Crate.  For carriers (for smaller dogs and cats), both the PetEgo Forma Frame Jet Set Carrier with ISOFIX-Latch Connection and Sleepypod Mobile Pet Bed with PPRS Handilock got top marks.

Wolko said that when it comes to car safety, there are products that are distraction prevention tools (which will help prevent a crash) and products that will protect the pet if there is an actual crash.  For example, metal crates are simply a distraction prevention tool and do not help in the case of a collision.

"In the event of a crash, it is important for pet crates and carriers to contain the dog/cat and prevent the animal from becoming a projectile.  It is also important for the containment device to remain fully secured at the connection points.  If a pet is unrestrained, or the structural integrity should fail, your pet can potentially strike and injure a human passenger," according to the Center for Pet Safety.

Subaru, which funded the study, is a company in which more than half of drivers are pet owners, and of that group, 69% own at least one dog.

Other tips for pet travel:

  1. Make sure your pet has the right size crate.  They should fit snugly with just enough

  2. room to be comfortable.

  3. Secure crates and carriers using strength-rated cargo area anchor straps.  Wolko says

  4. that elastic or rubber bungee cords "do absolutely no good."

  5. Assess your dog's or cat’s shape, size and personality before deciding whether to use a

  6. crate, carrier or harness when traveling.

The Best Home Remedies For Fleas

by Rita Hogan


Note:  This article was written for dog owners, however some of this informaiton will be helpful to cat owners.  Remember that Ragdoll cats should NEVER be let outside.


   The main goal of natural flea prevention?  Make it through flea season without an infestation, keep flea populations at a minimum and a happy itch-free dog.

   Once fleas are in your house and on your dog, you’ve got a whole lot of crappy work ahead of you…weekly flea baths for your dog, washing every bit of fabric in your house, vacuuming everything under your roof  Several times over, in fact, to make sure the infestation is completely gone.

   Flea prevention is a whole lot easier than trying to get rid of them once they’ve taken over.

   How do you prevent flea infestations and keep them off your dog?  Follow these tips and home remedies for fleas and make natural flea prevention simple and easy.

   But first, let’s start with the outdoors and try to keep the fleas out of your home and off of your dog so you’ll never have to use my remedies.


1. Keeping Fleas Out Of Your Yard

   When soil temperatures rise above 45 degrees for at least tw0 to three weeks (spring, summer and fall in most areas), use nematodes to minimize flea populations.

   Nematodes are your best friends when it comes to keeping your yard flea-free.  If fleas aren’t in your yard, they’re less likely to find their way onto your dog.

What Are Nematodes?

   Nematodes are tiny wormlike multicellular animals found in the soil.  There are a lot of different kinds of nematodes, good and bad.  The good ones I’m talking about here are beneficial in controlling many garden pests like ants, termites and grubs, but they also eat fleas!

   They can be found at many garden centers and online.  I pre-order mine from Arbico Organics to ensure they arrive in early spring.

   They come ready to use; you just add water as directed on the package.  Spray them throughout your yard using a hose sprayer or a watering can.

   Since nematodes are living organisms, you’ll need to use them quickly after they arrive.  Apply them in the spring, summer and fall for effective coverage.

Mowing

   Most people who know me will tell you I’m not a fan of mowing or lawns in general.  However if you live in a flea prolific area, you need to keep your lawn cut short.

Plants That Guard

   Keep pots of lemon balm, sage, rosemary, catnip, lemongrass, basil and mint outside of your main “potty” doors and throughout your yard.  These plants help repel fleas through the natural oils that they secrete and deter fleas from entering the house.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

   Diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic powder made up of fossilized organisms called diatoms that break apart flea eggs and dry them out before they can grow into adult fleas.

   You can purchase DE at most holistic dog supply stores, health stores and garden centers.  Make sure you’re buying food grade DE only.  Industrial grade DE is chemically treated and used for pools and manufacturing.

   Spread food grade diatomaceous earth outside in your yard wherever your dog spends most of his time.  Look for places where the earth or grass is worn down from your dog’s extensive napping or relaxing schedule.

   CAUTION:  DE can irritate your lungs so wear a mask and make sure your dogs and animals aren’t breathing the dust.  After the dust has settled, DE is safe.

Garlic

   Fleas don’t like garlic, so it’s a natural flea repellent that’s safe to use in the yard and with your pets.

      Here’s a recipe (below) you can make to spray in your yard when flea populations are reaching epic proportions.

   Want all of this information and more in one helpful download?  You can grab our Flea Checklist (http://get.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/2017-funnel/the-free-flea-checklist-lm/).  It’s a simple and free download you can keep and follow to rid your dog and home of fleas, for good!


Garlic Water For Your Yard


                           Garlic Water For Your Yard

What you need:

• 8 heads of chopped garlic (there’s no need to peel it for this recipe)

• 1 gallon of almost boiling water

How to make it:

• Place the garlic in an extra large soup pan and pour the water over the top

• Cover and let the mixture steep for 12 hours

• Pour through a strainer into a garden sprayer

• Lightly spray your lawn and garden area


   Note: When treating your yard with garlic, just give everything one light spray.  If you use it too heavily, garlic might harm some of those beneficial bugs you do want in your hard, so just give everything a light spray and don’t soak your grass or plants in the liquid.

   You can also make small changes in your house to keep fleas away.


2. Protect Your Home

   The best thing I ever did was remove all the carpet from my home, especially pile carpet.  If carpet is a must, choose berber.  Berber is the best choice for carpet when you have dogs because the weave is unfriendly to pests.

If you have carpets, follow these steps.

   Steam clean your carpets a least once or twice a year.  This can really get you off to a good start in protecting your home from fleas.  Fleas love to hide in carpets, especially where the carpet meets the wall.

   Vacuum at least once a week in all areas.  Immediately empty the vacuum bags or throw out canister debris in an outside garbage container.

   Once a month during flea season, spread diatomaceous earth all over and vacuum after 48 hours.

   Reminder: DE can irritate your lungs so wear a mask when you’re applying it and keep your pets out of the room until the dust has settled.


3. Protect Your Dog

   These are some of my favorite ways to prevent fleas on your dog.

Feed Garlic

   You can use small amounts of garlic as an internal flea preventative.

   Now you might be screaming, “No, I’ll hurt my dog!”

   Yes, garlic can be harmful if you use really huge amounts (equivalent to 75 cloves of garlic for a 70 lb dog) but garlic is safe to use if you use freshly chopped organic garlic and feed the right amount.

   So always use organic fresh whole clove garlic and avoid garlic supplements.

   You can safely give your pet  love of garlic per ten pounds (use regular sized garlic, not jumbo).  If your pet weighs less than ten pounds, cut a  love of garlic in half and give 1/8  clove.

   No matter how big your dog is, I prefer not to give more than two cloves of garlic per day.  So if you have a hundred pound dog, still give him only two cloves of garlic.

   Start feeding garlic one month before the start of flea season and you’ll find it’s an effective deterrent in your flea prevention tool kit.

Apple Cider Vinegar – Inside And Out

   Fleas don’t like a dog who’s pH balanced.

   Raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV) creates a more acidic environment outside and balanced alkalinity on the inside, making it a must-have for flea season success.

   Feed your dog 1/2 teaspoon of ACV per day per 25 lbs. ACV contains important nutrients, vitamins, minerals, vital acids and potassium.

   Tip: Test your dog’s urine with pH strips before adding ACV to their food or water.  Dogs should have a pH between 6.2 and 6.5.

Apple Cider Vinegar Recipe

   Your dog’s skin and coat should be slightly acidic for fleas to find him inhospitable.  You can easily achieve this by spraying your dog each week with the following solution.


Apple Cider Vinegar Recipe

What you need:

• 4 oz .warm water

• 6 oz. ACV, unfiltered and preferably organic

•  sp. of sea salt or pink Himalayan salt

How to make it:

  1. Mix the ingredients in a small spray bottle and spray your dog’s coat and underbelly weekly, avoiding the eyes or any open wounds.


Essential Oils

   Unless you’re willing to mix your essential oils with a carrier oil (a vegetable oil used for dilution), don’t use them.

   Many people, blogs and companies advocate water-suspended essential oils for fleas.  This practice is dangerous.  Water can’t safely disperse essential oils because essential oils are NOT water-soluble unless they’ve been diluted with a solvent.

   Chemistry is chemistry and anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed.

There are some natural substances that dissolve essential oils, but for do-it-yourself flea and tick sprays, I suggest using a thin carrier oil like grape seed oil or fractionated coconut oil.  Mix one drop of essential oil to one milliliter of carrier oil.

   Here are a few flea repelling essential oils: Lavender, Lemon, Palmarosa, Cedar (atlantica), Eucalyptus (radiata), Clary sage and Peppermint.

   Avoid making or purchasing flea repellent that contain essential oils of wintergreen, pennyroyal and clove.  These oils are dangerous for your dog and should not be used for any reason.

   A note about bandanas or collars infused with essential oils: While this may be a useful idea to protect your dog when he’s outdoors, make sure you dilute the essential oils...and, please take off the bandana after your dog comes inside.

Everyday Flea Repellent

   Here’s my favorite everyday flea spray that’s lightly scented and very effective if you spray your dog each day when he goes outside.  Pay special attention to the belly, tail, legs and ears.


What you need:

• 1 organic lemon

• 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

• 1 sprig of garden sage (Salvia officinalis)

• 1 quart of filtered water

• Optional: 1 sprig of lavender

How to make it:

• Slice the lemon into thin rounds

  1. Place the lemon, rosemary and sage in a large stainless steel or glass bowl

• Add a quart of almost boiling water

• Cover and let steep overnight

• In the morning strain the liquid into a spray bottle

• Refrigerate (lasts 1 to 2 weeks)


Chemical Free Tags

   I live near salt water where fleas are prolific.  Joy.  As part of my all-natural flea prevention regimen I have been testing out two different chemical-free collar tags.  So far, I’m amazed at how well they work.

   The first is a ultrasonic tag that lasts a year.  The cost is approximately $45.

   The second tag is priced at $60 and is much smaller than the ultrasonic tag.  It works with your pet’s energetic field to deter fleas.  The only catch is it takes up to two weeks to reach full strength so it’s a good idea to purchase these tags in the winter to prepare for spring.

   Both tags are working well and I’m pleased with the results.  The great thing is they don’t contain chemicals and I can use them on my cat, too.

Raw Baltic Amber Resin

   Amber is a resin that formed millions of years ago.  Think the mosquito in the movie Jurassic Park.   have yet to try this method but I do know people that swear by Baltic amber resin necklaces for flea and tick prevention.

   Amber has electrostatic properties which help repel fleas and ticks along with its unique smell.  The amber must be raw and not polished like you see in jewelry stores.  Electrostatic electricity makes it impossible for fleas, ticks and other bugs to remain on your pet’s coat.

   You can buy amber resin collars for your dog at Amberstone Pets.

   Adding the foods and vitamins you’ll read about below are great ways to boost your dog’s nutrition and foster an unwelcome home for fleas.  But starting with a fresh, raw diet is key.  Dried dog food goes through high heating and processing which kills the natural nutrients your dog requires to thrive.


4. Health Is The Best Defense

   This last recommendation is probably the most important of all.

fleas are parasites and parasites seek out the weak and unhealthy.  This means if your dog is healthy, fleas will be more inclined to leave his alone and jump on your neighbor’s dog instead!

   Good diet is the foundation of good health.  The most important way to keep your dog glowing with good health is to feed him a diet full of fresh whole foods and unprocessed proteins.

   In particular, supply him with plenty of B vitamins (found in most meats, organ meats, oily fish and eggs), probiotics (such as goat kefir or fermented vegetables), sulphur rich foods (eggs, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts) as well as omega-6 fatty acids (poultry, eggs, flaxseed and hempseed) and omega-3 fatty acids (mackerel, freshly ground hemp and flaxseed).

   Read more about food sources of vitamins and minerals for your dog.


Does Your Dog Have Fleas?

   If you suspect your dog might have fleas despite your best prevention efforts, here’s how you can find out:

Stand your dog on moistened paper towels or a damp white bath towel.  Brush him.  If little specks of dirt fall onto the towels and turn red or brown, your dog has fleas.

Visit (http://get.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/2017-funnel/the-free-flea-checklist-lm/) to grab Dogs Naturally’s Emergency Flea Checklist. It’s free and you can download it and keep it.

Steps For Treating Your Dog For Fleas

   During an active flea attack, wash your dog with citrus Castile soap each week followed by a final rinse with ACV.  For this rinse, use one part vinegar to ten parts water.

   Keeping your dog’s coat clean and using a flea comb is essential to natural flea prevention.  Comb from top of head to the underside of the tail, neck, underbelly and legs.

   Once a week, wash all of your dog’s bedding in hot water with a natural, unscented detergent.  f your dog sleeps with you, make sure you throw your own bedding in the washer once a week too.

   Each week vacuum your carpets and floors, paying special attention to any places your dog hangs out (along with his little flea companions).  An extra diatomaceous earth carpet treatment or two can also help keep fleas from multiplying.

   Because the flea’s entire life cycle, from eggs to larvae to pupae to adults, can be as long as several months, you’ll need to keep repeating these steps to make sure the flea infestation is completely gone.

   Living the All Natural Lifestyle takes a special effort especially when it comes to your sweet pooch.  With a bit of planning, you can be well on your way to a successful flea-free season without resorting to toxic chemicals.

   If your pet has fleas and you are going through hell trying to remove them from your dog and your home, download this free and simple checklist (http://get.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/2017-funnel/the-free-flea-checklist-lm/ ) we put together for times like these.  Even if your dog is flea-free, grab this checklist to keep on hand, just in case!


About the author: Rita Hogan is a canine herbalist and co-founder of Farm Dog Naturals, an herbal remedy company for the All-Natural Dog. Rita combines nature with her love for dogs by offering consulting that focuses on dogs as individuals: mind, body and spirit.  Her practice incorporates herbal medicine, complementary therapies and environmental stewardship to help dogs and people find balance and partnership with nature.  Connect with Rita through her website: www.canineherbalist.com.

THE 10 BEST

HOMEMADE CAT TOYS


Feeling crafty? Homemade cat toys are an inexpensive, creative way to keep your cat amused—and they can be way better than anything you buy in a store! We’ve assembled the best homemade cat toys on the web.

In no particular order, here are 10 easy DIY cat toys you can make with items around your house.

1. HOMEMADE CATNIP YARN BALLS:

Transform glue, catnip, yarn, and Styrofoam balls into irresistible homemade cat toys. See the tutorial.

2. HOMEMADE TOILET PAPER ROLL CAT TOY:

Save the tubes from your toilet paper rolls, and you can make anything from a cool sphere to a treat rattle. Find out how.

3. FEATHER CAT POUNCE TOY:

We love these felt “feathers”—and the little bell is music to our ears. Make your own.

4. CAT TRANSIT SYSTEM:

For DIYers with serious metalworking skills, here’s an outrageous way to route cat traffic in your home. Build it.

5. HOMEMADE CAT TOYS MADE FROM SOCKS:

Finally, a use for all those lone socks who’ve lost their mates! Watch the video.

6. CARDBOARD CAT PALACE:

Take your cat’s love of a good cardboard box to the next level. See the tutorial.

7. PRACTICALLY FREE HOMEMADE MOUSE TOY:

Download an adorable mouse template, break out the cardboard and scissors, and voila! Hours of feline entertainment. Get the template.

8. SUPER SIMPLE PIPE CLEANER CAT TOY:

This one’s so easy, your kids can make it! All you need are a few pipe cleaners—the shinier the better. Learn how.

9. COMPUTER MOUSE CAT TOY:

Rummage through your old computer junk to make this super-cute homemade cat toy. Get step-by-step instructions.

10. MENSWEAR MICE:

Have you been meaning to weed out your closet? Here’s a use for all those old shirts and suit jackets that don’t fit anymore! Check it out.

https://www.worldsbestcatlitter.com/clearing-the-air/2014/03/the-10-best-homemade-cat-toys/




Here’s another homemade cat toy...taken from YouTube’s

“Ragdoll Cats Play With A Homemade Cat Wand Toy”:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7e2-YR6zuYI&list=PLe0S5-3vZ4EBrfJg0LR_QAstQRxHMoeqd&index=7

How to Introduce Your New Cat to Other Cats

    Cats are like potato chips. It is hard to have just one.  There is a right and wrong way to introduce a new cat to your feline residents.  Throwing them together while saying, “Fluffy, I would like you to meet your new brother, Felix, who will be sharing your food bowl, litter box and my lap from now on” can create chaos.  Cat to cat introductions should be gradual and carefully planned so all the cats involved associate initial interactions with pleasantries like treats, attention and play time.  First impressions are important to fine tuning household harmony.

    Some kitties find us.  We have no choice over the cat that appears on our doorstep and wants to be assimilated into the fold; but when selecting an adult cat from a shelter, it is preferable to choose one who previously lived with other cats or one the staff knows gets along with others.

    At certain breeders homes or shelters some cats have communal cages or possibly a mini-mixer while their cages are being cleaned, so the kennel attendants can recommend Mr. or Ms. Congeniality.  You might want to match personalities.  An active youngster deserves an energetic buddy whereas a sedate senior would be better alongside another couch potato.  If you insist on a kitten and your cat is elderly or grumpy, adopt two, so the kittens have each other to pester.  Of course, spayed and neutered cats are much easier to integrate than intact adults.

    No one introduction method is gospel, but many experts suggest that the new cat be a ‘mystery guest,’ housed in a separate, comfy area for at least a week.  This way each feline has the time and space to get used to the sounds, smells, and glimpses of each other from a safe distance before meeting face to face.

    Your cats already have their established territories so the newbie’s temporary quarters can be a bedroom or bathroom equipped with litter box, dishes, toys, scratching post and bed.  It is best to include a large open carrier or crate, so Felix has a hiding place if he feels stressed while acclimating to his new environment.  Close the door behind you, and then go visit your other cats.  They will smell the new guy on you.  They will also sense him through the door.  Give them tantalizing treats so they make a positive connection to eau d’Felix.  Then spend quality time with Felix rewarding him with goodies too.

    Cats have glands in their cheeks that produce pheromones.  When a cat rubs its cheek against your leg or furniture, these secretions promote comfort and well being.  Pheromones are similar to a glandular pen pal.  You can set up a scent exchange by brushing the cats with the same brush, trading blankets or towels or even using synthetic pheromone Feliway® spray or plug-in products which help relieve excitably.

    Then for several days rotate rooms, giving each cat contingent a chance to inspect the lair of the other.  This way the newcomer gets to explore the whole house while rubbing his facial calling card on strategic spots.  Feed the cats (still separate) tasty wet food in each area.  Cats are like men—the way to their heart is through their stomachs.

    Finally visual meet n’greets can be done behind baby gates or opening the door a crack.  Another way is bring the newcomer into the room inside a carrier.  Let everyone sniff through the bars for a time.  Try this for several days, if necessary.  As an alternative, folks who frequently foster cats and kittens often set up larger cat exercise pens within the main traffic flow of the home, but their resident cats are usually accustomed to 4-legged visitors.

    If you try this, you can cover the exercise pen with a sheet when the new cat needs security.  The exercise pen method lets the new one witness his peers up close.  Cardboard boxes with exit holes make safe retreats when all are free together.  (If there is significant aggression, separate the cats and start the sequence again, but more slowly.)  Play time is a special way to cement a bond.  Fishing pole toys allow the new cat to participate in the fun from afar.  Other tips include adding drops of Bach Flower Essences (Rescue Remedy) to the water bowl or feeding the cats at opposite ends of the room and gradually moving them closer.  Treats may entice the cats to stay near each other.

    The process can take days to weeks to months depending on the cat dynamics.  There will probably be some hissing and spitting.  If a huge ruckus erupts, distract them; then praise them when it’s calm.  Do not rush things.  If a cat runs away to hide, do not force close encounters.  Even if progress is made, monitor all minglings for the first few weeks.  When no one is home, the new cat should stay in his ‘safe room.’

    Your patience may well pay off.  Some cats eventually become soul mates.  Your cats may never be best buddies; some, like Garbo, rather be alone; others merely tolerate each other.  When you think about it, there is nothing wrong with peaceful co-existence, either the feline or the human kind.

— by Joanne Anderson




     Tips to Introduce a New Cat or Dog

                                to Your Pet Family    


    If you are a cat or dog owner who has just brought a new animal home, it can some-times be a rough adjustment on your ‘home’ cat or dog!  After all, he or she has been getting all the attention for some time.  However, some cats and dogs adjust instantly and love the addition of a new cat/dog and have no trouble at all, while others need some encouragement and training to do so.  With a little love and effort, you can have a happy household of cats and dogs.

    If you have the time, it is best to introduce your cats and dogs away from home and let them get to know each other before coming home.  That way, the introduction is not as jarring or a surprise.  However, all the steps below can be accomplished in your home.  This article will focus on dogs although the same idea can be applied to cats.

Start by having separate areas for your cats/dogs

    The best way to introduce new cats or dogs to each other is slowly and with caution.  As mentioned above, sometimes it will be love at first sight, while, at other times, it will be a sniffing party and a cautionary meet.  Therefore, it is best to have separate areas for your cats/dogs in case they don’t get along.  You can use a dog’s or child’s gate to separate them, cat or dog crates or put your cats/dogs in separate rooms.  And, make sure that they know, on command, when you say ‘stop’ or ‘leave’ that they will go to their separate areas.

Introduce your cats or dogs in a neutral area where neither cat/dog has been

    If you can introduce your cats or dogs in a spot which hasn’t been occupied by your first (home) cat/dog, this is advantageous as it is common ground.  You might need some help with this (another family friend or neighbor) and you should always have both cats/dogs on leashes.  You can slowly bring them together and see how they respond to each other.  If they seem antagonistic, give them a break and try again later.  If they both react well with each other, praise them and give them treats.

Nice to meet you!

    Don’t force your home cat or dog to protect his or her home area.  If the cats/dogs meet in a neutral location, they are less likely to view the other as an intruder.  Start in a neutral zone such as a neighbor’s fenced in yard or enclosed park that your resident cat/dog has not visited.  Each cat/dog should be on a reliable leash and handled by a separate person.

Positive Reinforcement always works best in introducing new dogs

    You want your cats or dogs to have positive experiences with each other right from the start.  Let your cats/dogs’ sniff each other and greet each other normally.  Give them positive reinforcement through calm verbal affirmations.  After letting them play for a while, put both in a ‘sit’ or ‘stay,’ then let them interact again.  Finally, take them on walks together, allowing them to sniff each other along the way.  Give them both treats at the same time for good behavior.

Play close attention the both dog’s body posture as you introduce your dogs

    Watch out for your cat’s or dog’s body posture which will show a defensive response.  Defensive body posture includes hair standing up the back, teeth-baring, deep growls

and/or a stiff legged gait or a prolonged stare.  If a cat or dog goes into these postures, immediately switch into positive reinforcement mode and get your cat/dog to follow your teachings.  Let your cats or dogs interact again and shorten the distance between the two.

    Once your cats or dogs seem to be tolerating each other, it’s time to bring them home (or in the same room).  Let them run in together, establish their space and you might have to start over with the steps above.

Introducing a puppy to your current home dog or dogs

    As we all know, kittens and puppies are adorable but they are also lots of work and energy (and a bundle of joy).  Since kittens/puppies are still learning, they usually wind up bothering adult dogs to no end.  Kittens and puppies simply have trouble recognizing that their actions are bothering adult dogs.  Most adult cats/dogs with good temperaments will growl or snarl at recklessly playful kittens/puppies in order to set boundaries of acceptable behavior.  This is normal and is actually a positive thing.  However, never allow a kitten or a puppy and an adult dog to be left alone together, for the safety of both animals. Also give your adult cat or dog plenty of time away from the kitten or puppy, and try to give them some quality time alone with you and your family whenever time permits.

    Always have separate cat and/or dog bowls for your current cat/dog and kitten/puppy.  You might even want to feed them separately at the start so they each, especially the kitten or puppy, gets used to eating on his or her own.  If you can put a divider up in the kitchen or feed them in separate rooms, it is a good way to start and eventually you can have them eating at the same time.

    If you take the time to introduce a new cat/dog to your home dog/cat, they will usually get along fabulously.  Make sure that your home cat or dog gets extra attention so he or she doesn’t feel like he is being replaced.  And, if none of the above work and your cats or dogs are not getting along, you should consider hiring a cat or dog trainer.

— petpav.com





Keeping Pets Safe in Your Home  


    Few things fill our hearts with joy like pets, but there is a flip side to this since we worry about the furry members of our family just as much as we do our own children.

    There are certain things that should always be taking into consideration when animals share a house, and this guide will discuss how you can ensure your home is devoid of danger.

General Guidance

    If you’re bringing a pet into your home, or moving to a new family dwelling, you’ll need to ensure that no ill fortune will befall them.  Here is some generic advice on how you can keep every member of your family safe, whether they stand on two legs or four.

  1. American Humane are dedicated to the safety of animals, and they have some great advice on how to keep inquisitive animals (including puppies and kittens) from getting themselves into trouble in the home.

  2. Family Handyman is a blog that’s packed with hints and tips for keeping a home safe for animals.

  3. Petful have bags of advice on keeping a home safe for a new, non-human arrival.

  4. Animal World go into some detail on all the hazards (be they in plain sight of hidden) that any pet will be able to locate in the home, while the The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has collated a list of all poisonous chemicals that can be found in the home.

  5. OVO Energy is a UK-based electrical supplier, but the advice they on keeping pets safe from electrical hazards in the home is truly universal.

  6. The American Red Cross provides essential information on how to help your pets if there’s a fire in your home.  PETA, meanwhile, offer guidance to how you can keep your pet safe during a natural disaster.

  7. Finally, Good Housekeeping magazine summarizes the ways that pets can place risks upon humans.


Room-by-Room Advice

    General advice is great, but sometimes you need to be a little more specific.  Let’s take a tour through each room you’ll typically find in a family home, and shine a light on what may be useful for keeping the vulnerable members of our family safe.

Living Rooms and Bedrooms

    A living room is usually where an entire family gathers to pass an evening and as an increasing number of families include at least one non-human member, that includes pets.  The bedroom, meanwhile, is where a great many pampered pets spend their evenings snoozing alongside them.  As a result, it’s important to ensure that these spaces are safe for any animals.

  1. The average living room will host a TV, a stereo, a video game console and other electrical appliances besides.  That’s a whole lot of cables potentially lying around.  If you have dogscatsrabbits or small animals, you should ensure that no animals can chew through these wires.  Blogger PetsLady has some suggestions on how to hide cables from your four-legged family members, and Apartment Therapy also shares some more general advice on this topic.

  2. First Tank Guide offers invaluable advice for anybody lucky enough to have a fish tank in their living room.

  3. You may love your array of indoor plants, but your pet may take a shine to them too since animals explore the world with their mouths, after all.  Houseplants Expert has a list of houseplants that are potentially toxic to your pets if they decide to chew on the leaves.

  4. If you have any breakable heirlooms, you can be sure that a cat will find a way of breaking them.  PetCareRx offers advice on cat-proofing anything delicate and valuable within your home.

  5. When the holidays arrive, your living room is likely to become a winter wonderland filled with festive trinkets and ornaments–all of which will be very tempting for an animal to investigate.  VetIQ has a guide to decorating a room and keeping it safe for your pets.

  6. Your dog may well be cowering in your living room or bed on nights like the 4th of July, when anxiety-inducing fireworks fill the air.  British TV personality and canine behavior specialist Victoria Stillwell has advice on combatting the panic that will follow.

  7. Open windows can be something of a risk for pets; whether that’s cats that attempt to leap from a great height, or birds that look to make their escape.  If you must keep them open, look into some kind of shield to keep your pets safe.


Kitchens

    We may not spend quite as much time in our kitchens as other rooms in the house, but given half the chance a free-roaming pet would spend all day such surroundings.  The smells alone are enough to hold the intrigue of any cat or dog!

    Always keep food out of reach of animals, and do what you can to mask any scents by using Tupperware or cling film, and ensure that cabinets that house cleaning supplies are very firmly closed.

  1. Trashcans can be irresistible to dogs in particular thanks to the smell of food within, and if a canine gets their face into a bin all kinds of trouble could follow as they swallow bones and rotten food.  PetMD provides advice on how to pet-proof a garbage vessel.

  2. If a bin is enticing, just imagine how tempting it must be to try to gain access to a fridge!  Thankfully, the blog me has a guide to keeping your snooping pets away from your leftovers and fresh produce.

  3. Most kitchens will be home to a wide variety of cleaning supplies, many of which will be lethal to animals.  Eartheasy has compiled a list of the chemicals found in most houses that would cause problems for pets, and suggests alternatives that will be altogether less harmful.

  4. Leaf & Paw and The Honest Kitchen both warn of any common kitchen herbs that could harm an animal, while Cookware looks into general safety for animals in this room–including pet birds, which often call a family kitchen home.


Bathrooms

    A bathroom is potentially the most lethal room in the house for any curious pet.  Razors, medications and cleaning products should all be elevated away from the reach of an animal, and even toothpaste is lethal to dogs due to the toxic presence of fluoride within it.  This doesn’t even begin to cover some animal’s tendency to drink out of the toilet!  Keep dental floss away from any animal.

    It’s best to keep a bathroom door closed as much as possible, as prevention is always better than cure.  The truth is, there isn’t a great deal that can done to make a bathroom pet-safe other than keeping critters out of the area, and placing everything that could do them harm as far from their reach as possible.  Also follow the instructions laid out for kitchen safety where applicable, such as those connected to cleaning supplies.

  1. — HouseholdQuotes.co.uk

Introducing Your New Cat to Your New Home


     Being a cat person you are, of course, worried about how to minimize the stress on your new cat when you bring them home.  This is not to be confused with how to introduce cats or a new cat to any cats that are already in your cat home.

     When you bring your new feline roommate home, it helps to try and put yourself in their place.  Not literally, of course, because I doubt that you’d fit in their carrier.  What I mean is to imagine that you have made yourself at home someplace. You have your routines, you know where the kitchen is, you know where you sleep, you can find your way to the bathroom and you have even gotten to know the neighbors.  You feel safe. Then one day some big stranger scoops you up, puts you in a box, takes you somewhere in a vehicle that you don’t understand and puts you in a whole new place.  All of the things you used to know are gone.  You have no idea where anything is, and you don’t even know if you’re safe.  You’re going to be freaked out right?

     Well, welcome to the reality of your new cat.  If you think about it this way, you can realize that placing a cat in a new environment is very stressful for them.  I don’t want to unduly alarm you, but it is possible that making the transition too stressful can cause your cat to act up (like peeing and pooping in inappropriate places), make them sick (throwing up, or even problems from not going to the bathroom),or create behavioral problems (like biting and scratching and hiding).  The good news is that there are several things you can do to make moving a less stressful transition for your new kitty.

     To reduce your cat’s stress, keep these goals in mind: keep their world small, give them control, keep stimulation to a minimum, make sure they have a place to feel safe and make it easy to find what they need (food, water, and a litterbox).  Each of these goals is important, but let’s review them in order. 

These are a few things you can do when you introduce your new cat:

     First: keep their world small.  Having a spare bedroom to explore and learn is a lot less daunting than having a whole house where who knows what might be waiting to pounce on them.  Before you bring your new roommate home, set up a room for them.  It should be relatively small, you should be able to close the door, and you need to put a food source, a water source and a litter box in the room.  Also: make sure that you can easily maintain the food water and litter.

     Second: give your cat control from the moment you bring them in the room.  Make sure the door is shut then set their carrier down on the floor, open the door, and move away.  Your cat should be able to see you, but you shouldn’t be so close that they feel threatened.  Let your cat come out when they feel like it and do not try and pull them out: it’s terrifying for the cat.

     Third: keep things quiet and relaxed.  Let your cat come to you when they are ready.  Resist the urge to bring out the cat toys and laser pointers.  Cats are curious and, in time, they will come to see who you are.  When they do, move gently.  Offer your finger for them to sniff and, maybe, claim by rubbing their cheeks on it.

     Fourth: give them a hidey-hole or a place to retreat and feel safe.  It works well to just keep the carrier door open so they can retreat into it if they feel scared.  An old blanket formed into a “nest” in the corner works well.  If you are in a bedroom your cat will likely scoot under the bed.  This is okay.  Let them.  They won’t be under the bed forever and they feel safe there.

     Finally: make sure that they know where their food, water, and the litter box is.  Let them find these things on their own (don’t pick them up and “introduce” them).  Again, it might take time, but your new friend will find what they need and all you have to do is be patient while they do.

     These seem like simple, logical things to do, and they are.  Sometimes, though, it’s very difficult to be patient and let your cat adjust.  If you can let your cat adjust to things on their own timetable, you’ll be rewarded with a happy, well-adjusted furry friend.