Adopting a cat is one of the best ways to support the local pet shelter and a great way to bring some cuddly, furry love into your life. Here are a few reasons you should adopt a cat today:
They are independent – Cats are independent creatures and require little to no supervision. This makes them the perfect choice for city dwellers, workaholics, people who live in apartments and people who are generally mellow. While you can walk your cat if you feel like it, it is not essential to their daily lifestyle.
They are cuddly – Just because they are independent does not mean that they do not like a good cuddle. And unlike large breed dogs that don’t belong on your lap, cats fit in there quite snugly. Plus, they are fuzzy and warm, making them purr-fect material for snuggling.
They groom themselves – Have you ever tried getting a cat into water? If you have, you know that you end up with your fair share of scratches. Cats bathe themselves and leave you with one less chore to attend to. It is win-win for both the parties.
You don’t have to housebreak them – Apart from bathing themselves, most cats are instinctively potty trained. You just have to set up a litter box and your cat will learn how to make use of it without any instruction. If you adopt a cat, you can come home as late as you want and don’t have to take your cat outside to pee.
They are avid hunters – If you are not a fan of mice, lizards or giant beetles, cats are the perfect pet for your household. They are skilled hunters and will help keep the reptile, mammal and bug population down in your home.
They are great entertainers – Cats are capable of entertaining themselves with boxes, toys, drawers and pretty much anything they can get their paws on. Give your cat a window and he can spend hours watching what is going on in the street and plotting world dominance.
Couch companion – Cats spend around 15 hours a day sleeping. This means they will never make you feel guilty about lazing around all day, spread-eagled on your sofa, eating ice cream.
You are giving home to an abandoned animal – Over 8 million dogs and cats are carted off to animal shelters each year and around 4 million of them are euthanized. By choosing to adopt a cat, you are single handedly saving a life. That is quite a big deal.
They are good for your health – Having a pet cat will significantly lower your blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. Just stroking a cat releases endorphins in your brain that make you feel good.
Indoor cats have quite the cushy life as they do not have to hunt for their food, and get to snuggle around in warm laps and soft beds. They also live longer as they do not face the danger of predators, fast cars, adverse weather and deadly diseases. But their natural instincts tell them to stalk, hunt, scratch and mark their territory. If they do not have a chance to do these things, they get bored, depressed, irritated and sick.
Bring in the outdoors
If your cat has always been an indoor cat, try giving him as many perks from the outside world as you can.
Plant some cat grass or place catnip in a sunny window. You can also create a small nursery of pot pleasing plants to please your cat’s olfactory center. Make sure that the plants are safe. A lot of the green plants like amaryllis, English ivy, chrysanthemums, lilies, iris and tulips, are toxic to cats.
Mount squirrel and bird feeders outside a couple of windows so that your cat is entertained by his feathered and furry neighbors.
Offer perches by the windows, on the shelves so that your cat can keep an eye on the wildlife outside your house.
Create a safe outdoor enclosure for your cat so that he can get closer to the breeze, birds and squirrels. It can be a pre-existing enclosure, like a screened porch, or you can build one that is easy for kitty to reach through a window or a cat door. To make it safe, ensure that the enclosure has a roof and walls. It would look closer to a chicken coop, but you should be able to build it with plastic fencing or wire.
There is no denying that your cat wants entertainment when he is indoors. Fortunately, it is much cheaper than what it takes to amuse humans.
Scratching posts and scratch pads give your cat a chance to expend his energy, remove the worn out claw bits and play as much as he wants to. Make the spots a bit more exciting by sprinkling some catnip on top.
Give your cat a lot of toys to keep his interest, keep rotating amongst them and introduce a couple of new ones every month. It does not have to be fancy. A box, a paper bag and wadded paper balls would do just fine.
Hide a few treats throughout your house. Cats can keep themselves busy hunting for treasure for hours on end. You can also get a couple of treat dispensing toys.
A lot of cats love “cat videos” full of close-ups of small mammals and birds. Pop in a DVD to see if your cat starts to track the motion of the other animals and swatting at the screen. You can also try a screensaver with flapping butterflies, burbling fish, scurrying mice and bouncing balls.
Cats are known for their indifference, independence and solitary nature. But, no matter how solitary you think your cat is, there are ways in which he will show you how much he loves you and needs your attention. It can be a little hard to tell sometimes. Watch out for these telltale signs. They are a classic indicator that he considers himself to be a part of your family.
Forehead touch – Even if it is only for a split second, head bunting, which is a slight and almost imperceptible forehead to chin nuzzle from your cat, means that your cat trusts you and enjoys spending time with you.
The Kneader – This is one of the most commonly observed behaviors in household cats. You might have noticed your own cat doing it and probably wondered what it means. The milk tread, or kneading, happens when your cat flexes his front paws and relaxes them against a soft object. The gesture originates from the time they were kittens and they use this behavior to simulate milk release from the teat of their mothers while nursing. However, there are a lot of cats that tend to keep up the behavior when they are content or when they are on something soft.
Tail twitch – It might be hard to believe, but not all cat tail twitches mean the same thing. It is true that a lot of cats puff out their tails when they are scared or annoyed. However, if your cat approaches you with his tail hoisted up in the air and the tip of the tail twitches back and forth, then it is a sign of affection.
Purr power – One of the most commonly recognized signs of love from your household cat are the steady and rhythmic sounds that he emits when he exhales or inhales. In common parlance, this is referred to as purring. This is a sign of contentment and a throaty purr in your presence means that he is happy to relax, kick back and be spoiled by you.
Attention getter – If your cat is fed up with your attention being diverted on other things, he will let you know. Whether it is cramming himself in the nook of your arm while you are sleeping or walking across your laptop when you are working, these interruptions mean that he loves you and he is ready for extra affection.
Gift giver – It can be quite gross when your cat gives you a dead bird, mouse or any other animal as a present. But think of it this way if your cat brings you his dead prized possession, he is actually sharing his prey with you, which is a sign of friendship.
With so many abandoned senior cats looking for a home across the country, you have plenty of opportunities to bring an adult cat into your life. The best part about getting a senior cat is that you know what you are getting into as their personalities are well-developed. But there’s still a bit of bonding you need to do when you bring a senior cat home. After all, he might have gone through a lot and his lifelong routine is going to get disrupted. It will take time for him to get adjusted to the changes. Here are a few tips to ease the process of bonding:
Give him ample space and time – Just like you would give a new kitten his space, you need to give senior cats their distance too. Let him come to you when he is ready. Do not force yourself upon him. If you want to interact with your cat but he does not seem to be in the mood for it, just give him time to adjust to the new environment and people. Eventually, he will come around, especially if he gets his space and if you are gentle, patient and understanding.
Develop trust – Once he has learnt to trust you, he will bond easily with you. Show him that you care about him by giving him a warm bed to lie down on, a scratching post and plenty of yummy treats. Don’t just leave the food out for him to much on as he likes. Make sure that he understands that you are the provider. That will reinforce his trust in you and also prevent him from becoming overweight, which is especially crucial in adult cats as obese cats are prone to arthritis. Pet him gently, talk to him in a soothing and reassuring voice, and give him toys to play with. All of these small steps will eventually add up and prove to him that he is in a safe place, surrounded by people who love him.
A hiding place and a room – Adopted cats take time to adjust to their new homes and a lot of them end up hiding as they are afraid of the new sights and smells in the unfamiliar environment that they find themselves in. Provide your cat with a hiding place that he can call his own, like a cardboard box with a cat bed. A box will make your cat feel safe and secure and his scent will eventually over the inside of the box so that he can claim his own territory. Place the box in a room where your cat can stay while he adjusts. Ensure that the room has water and food bowls on one side and a litter box on the other, apart from scratching posts and other such objects that will make him feel at home. Once he becomes comfortable in the small room, you can let him explore the rest of the house.
Dogs and food are a dicey combination. You love to share your food with your dog- even the nuts and seeds you like to eat, but you also wonder whether it is okay for your pet to gobble down sunflower seeds at the park or watermelon seeds during the course of a hot summer day.
Dogs and nuts
It is okay for your dogs to eat nuts. They should be unsalted and if salted, be best avoided. The list of permissible nuts include peanuts, cashews and almonds. Due caution though, nuts have high fat content which could cause diarrhea and also vomiting in dogs. As a dog owner, you must not feed the pups any macadamia nuts or the black walnuts. Both could cause problems. If peanut butter contains xylitol, the artificial sweetener, then it should be avoided. There is a chance of hypoglycemia and liver failure. Nuts covered in any variety of chocolate must not be given at all. Chocolates are toxic to dogs. In short, you should not give your dog too much nuts.
Dogs and seeds
Similar to consumption of the nuts, dogs may gulp down a large number of seeds. Not all seeds, however, are good for them. If you like sunflower seeds, offer them to the dog after you remove the shells. Fruits seeds are harmless to dogs. The list of safe fruit seeds include watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew. Do note that fruit pits are not similar to fruit seeds. Do not give your dog apricot, cherry, peach, nectarine and plum pits.
A few seeds and nuts are lethal for dogs. However, do remember that even permissible seeds or nuts for dogs could be a health risk. The level of risk depends on the individual dog. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, the nuts should be avoided. This is due to the fact that these kind of dogs are likely to suffer from diarrhea or vomiting afterward. Big sized nuts, like walnuts and whole pecans, due to their large size could cause intestinal or stomach upset in small dogs. There could also be an obstruction. Dog owners must not feed moldy nuts and must not feed walnuts that have been outside for a longer period of time. Molds may cause a number of neurological problems. One of them is epileptic seizures. Moderation, therefore is crucial in any dog’s diet.