Whiskers To Tails Petsitting is proud to announce that it has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award (SSA) for 2018. This award honors service professionals who have maintained exceptional service ratings and reviews on Angie’s List during the 2018 calendar year.

“The service professionals who receive our Angie’s List Super Service Award represent the best in our network who are consistently making great customer service their mission,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “They have provided exceptional service to our members and absolutely deserve recognition for the exemplary customer service they exhibited in the past year.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award’s 2018 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include maintaining an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade and review period grade. The SSA winners must be in good standing with Angie’s List and undergo additional screening.

This is the 6th time Whiskers To Tails Petsitting has won an Angie’s List Super Service Award since 2011.

Whiskers To Tails Petsitting owner, Linda Deml-Drahota, is proud of her company’s great service year after year and gives full credit for that to her staff of pet sitters. “Our sitters bring a wealth of experience to their jobs and our clients often remark about the quality of care and attention to detail our sitters provide when caring for their pets,” said Deml-Drahota.

Service company ratings are updated continually on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in multiple fields ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

For over two decades Angie’s List has been a trusted name for connecting consumers to top-rated service professionals. Angie’s List provides unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

Whiskers To Tails Petsitting has served the Twin Cities metro and surrounding suburbs since 2010 coming to client homes to care for their pets while they are traveling or working long hours. Services they offer include pet sitting, dog walking, and overnight sitting. Whiskers To Tails Petsitting is bonded and insured. Go to http://www.whiskerstotailspetting.com to learn more or reserve a pet sitting service.

cat- vocabulary

If you’re a cat lover like we are at Whiskers to Tails Petsitting, you’ve probably been known to throw around a few cat puns here and there – or whenever you possibly can. We thought we’d have a little fun with this and develop a comprehensive list of the most purr-fect cat words.


If you’re ever in desperate need of a list of cat puns, words or names for your furry friend, just re-fur to this list!

Cat Puns

Try working these cat puns into your everyday conversations for good laugh. After all, everyone loves a good cat pun!

Claw-ful = Awful


  1. Very bad or unpleasant; especially when pertaining to litter boxes.
  2. “The litter box smelled claw-ful after not changing it for two weeks.”

Cathletic = Athletic


  1. Physically strong, fit, and active.
  2. “After the cat jumped the fence and ran away, it was apparent that he was much more cathletic than my dog, who tried digging a hole underneath it.”

Fur-midable = Formidable


  1. Inspiring fear or respect through being impressively large, powerful, intense, or capable.
  2. “The human was a fur-midable opponent in the famous cuddle battle of last night. I Mittens, however, declare myself the victor.”

Fur real = For Real


  1. Used to assert that a cat is genuine or is actually the case.
  2. “I’m not playing games with you, mouse – this is fur real!”

Purr-fect = Perfect


  1. Having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as a cat can possibly to be.
  2. “My cat strove to be the purr-fect snuggle buddy.”

Fur-tunate = Fortunate


  1. Favored by or involving good luck or fortune for cats.
  2. “The cat was fur-tunate to land on its feet after falling out of that tree.”

Feline = Feeling


  1. An emotional state or reaction a cat instills in its owner.
  2. “The way this kitty snuggles is giving me a loving feline!”

Claw-ver = Clever


  1. Quick to understand, learn, and devise or apply ideas like a cat can; intelligent.
  2. “My cat just taught himself how to flush the toilet. Claw-ver little devil.”

Tail = Tale


  1. A fictitious or true narrative or story that involves famous felines, especially one that is imaginatively recounted.
  2. “Gather ‘round, children, as I tell you the tail of the incorrigible Cat that wore the Hat.”

Purr-haps = Perhaps


  1. Used to express uncertainty or possibility when a cat is around.
  2. “…Did your cat just eat my tuna sandwich? Purr-haps.”

Paw-sibility = Possibility


  1. A thing that may happen or be the case when a cat is around
  2. “…Did your cat just eat my tuna sandwhich? It’s a paw-sibility.”

Fur-end = Friend


  1. a cat whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection.
  2. “My cat is definitely my best fur-end in the whole wide world.”

Purr-ty = Pretty


  1. An attractive cat; beautiful or handsome.
  2. “I have a purr-ty little kitty with bright white spots and razor-sharp claws.”

Cat-ch = Catch


  1. Intercept and hold (an animal or toy that is flying through the air).
  2. “To cat-ch the bird, the cat crawled up to the roof, sprung off, snagged it straight from the sky and landed safely on the ground.”

Litter-ate = Literate


  1. (of a cat) able to read and write.
  2. “Although my cat Mittens isn’t litter-ate in the traditional sense, I’m pretty sure he can read my mind like a book.”

Un-fur-tunate = Unfortunate


  1. Having or marked by bad fortune; unlucky.
  2. “The un-fur-tunate cat developed a skin condition in which it’s coat started shedding profusely.”

Cat-atonic = Catatonic


  1. Abnormality of movement and behavior arising from a stimulated mental state. It may involve repetitive activity.
  2. “The kitten entered a cat-atonic state almost immediately after eating the cat nip. He’s been sleeping for hours.”

Hiss-terical = Hysterical


  1. Deriving from or affected by a cat with uncontrolled extreme emotion.
  2. “As soon as the cat entered the car to go to the vet, he became hiss-terical.”

Meow = Now


  1. At the present time or moment; made popular by the 2001 cult-film classic, Super Troopers.
  2. “Go refill the food bowl – right meow!”

Litter-ally = Literally


  1. In an exact manner or sense; exactly.
  2. “The cat litter-ally flung all of it’s feces around the basement.”

Hiss-tory = History


  1. The study of past major events, particularly in feline affairs.
  2. “The hiss-tory of Ancient Egypt is littered with instances of cats being held in the highest esteem.”

Paws = Pause


  1. Interrupt action or speech briefly, normally with a loud screech or hissing sound.
  2. “The whole party took paws when the cat started to inexplicably screech, perched on the fireplace mantle.”

Kitten me = Kidding me


  1. Used when a cat does something surprising or that seems as if it can’t be serious or true.
  2. “Your cat just leaped from the second story window and ran away. Are you kitten me?”

Paw-don me = Pardon me

phrase of pardon

  1. Express polite apology, without necessarily caring about human’s feelings.
  2. “Paw-don me, were you trying sweep the floor? Let me just scratch the broom to death instead, sir.”

Fur-miliar = Familiar


  1. Well known from long or close association; cat-pals.
  2. “As our relationship grows, my cat has become fur-miliar with the fact that if he rubs up against my leg, he’s getting a treat.”

Paw-some = Awesome


  1. Extremely impressive; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear, especially after eating catnip.
  2. “Dude… this catnip is paw-some. I’m going to crash for, like, ten hours.”

Paw-er = Power


  1. The capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of other cats or the course of events.
  2. “The idea that men should have paw-er over cats is preposterous. Come feed me, human.”

Fur-get = Forget


  1. Fail to remember, unlike a cat.
  2. “I petted my cat too aggressively back in 2004, now he doesn’t like to be touched. He will never fur-get.”

Cat-titude = Attitude


  1. A settled way of thinking or feeling a cat has, typically one that is reflected in its behavior.
  2. “The cat-titude of Mittens was that of defeat after the neutering operation.”

Fur-ever = Forever


  1. For all nine lives; for always.
  2. “The cat will like you always and love you fur-ever.”

A-paw-ling = Appalling


  1. Causing shock or dismay for a cat; horrific.
  2. “The cat smelled a-paw-ling after running around the alleyways all night long.”

Cat-astrophe = Catastrophe


  1. An event causing great and often sudden damage or suffering to the feline world; a disaster.
  2. “It was a cat-astrophe for the entire feline civilization when they stopped printing new Garfield comic strips in the Sunday times.”

Radi-claw = Radical


  1. (Especially of change or action) relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something; far-reaching or thorough.
  2. “Did you just see Mittens completely flatten himself and slide through a seam in your wall? Yeah, he’s stuck in the wall now. Radi-claw.”

Mew-sic = Music


  1. Meowing and hissing sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.
  2. “The single female cat howling in the alleyway was like mew-sic to the ears of all the single male cats in the area.”

In-fur-ior = Inferior


  1. Lower in rank, status, or quality, especially when comparing cats to dogs.
  2. “Those slobbery, drooling dogs are so much more in-fur-ior to our supreme cat bloodline.”

Mew = You


  1. Used to refer to the owner that the cat is addressing.
  2. “I’m going to break through jump out of the window, hunt around the neighborhood and bring back a dead bird. Mew dig?”

Meta-fur-kitty = Metaphorically


  1. A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.; figuratively.
  2. “Speaking meta-fur-kitty, my cat fell through a trap door of depression after I took him to the vet.”

Mew-nimum = Minimum


  1. The least or smallest amount or quantity of cat food possible, attainable, or required.
  2. “I require at least three bowls of food per day. Mew-nimum. Otherwise, I will get hangry. You don’t want to see me when I’m hangry.”

Hiss-self = Himself


  1. Used as the object of a verb or preposition to refer to a male cat previously mentioned as the subject of the clause.
  2. “Did you see Mittens came down with a bad bout of mange? Yeah, he needs to take care of hiss-self.”

Mew-sery = Misery


  1. A state or feeling of great distress or discomfort of mind or body.
  2. “My cat’s favorite past time is capturing mice, playing with them and them putting them out of their mew-sery.”

Fur-ward = Forward


  1. Toward the front; in the direction that a cat is facing or traveling.
  2. “He started up the engine and the sleepy cat moved fur-ward off the tire and out from the wheel hub and wandered down the road to the next parked car.”

Pur-ceive = Perceive


  1. Become aware or conscious of (something) as a cat; come to realize or understand human behavior.
  2. “As the cat perceived, the tuna sandwich was now in fact his.”

Furry = Very


  1. Used for emphasis, when a kitty is being particularly good.
  2. “Who’s a furry good kitty? Is it you? Yeah, I think it’s you!”

Purr-suasive = Persuasive


  1. Good at tempting someone to do or believe something, particularly when it comes to treats.
  2. “Look at that purr-suasive look in her eyes!”


Bonus joke plus some special seasonal puns brought to you by Tuxedo Cat (check out their blog for more fun cat puns):

What’s a cat’s favorite color? Purrple

“Meowy Christmas and Happy Howlidays!”


Cat Words: Try Making Your Own Pun with These

Now it’s time to give it a try. Pick out any of the cat-associated terms below and put together a pun of your own. We know that you’ll do claw-some!

  • Meow
  • Kitten
  • Paw
  • Litter
  • Mew
  • Stroke
  • Hiss
  • Tail
  • Feline
  • Cat
  • Purr
  • Claw
  • Fur


Enjoy Your Fun with Radi-claw Cat Puns!

So, if you and your kitty ever want a good laugh, keep this article bookmarked and put the paw-er of cat puns at your fingertips!

We hope you enjoyed this comprehensive list of cat vocabulary. If you love cats as much as we do, have some fun by speaking completely in cat puns!

If you’re looking for more resources about cats, dogs and pets in general, we have everything you need – just visit the Whiskers to Tails blog today!

When hiring a cat sitter, you want your feline friend to stay safe while you’re away – although we’re sure you already knew that! While there’s usually a million things to plan for an upcoming vacation or business trip, from hotel reservations, plane tickets and more, making sure your cat is cared for is probably at the top of your list.  

So, are you worried about finding a cat sitter that’s compatible? Whiskers to Tails Petsitting is here to help you with what you need to know before hiring a cat sitter.

1) Know Your Cat’s Special Needs

Most cats thrive in quiet environments where they can be independent. A boarding facility can put stress on your cat and expose him to contagious diseases. Consider your cat’s personality; do you think that he’d be better off in his own home, where he’s comfortable and with a person that he’s familiar with? If so, forego the boarding facility and reach out to a professional pet sitting company.

Does your cat have any medical conditions or anxiety issues? A cat sitter is better suited to provide the one-on-one attention your cat may require to stay healthy. It’s also much easier to check in with a cat sitter to see how your cat is doing. You may even be able to get text or email updates throughout the day with photos and video.

2) Know Who Your Applicant Is

It’s imperative that you find a sitter who both you and your cat are comfortable with. This person will be entering and staying in your home, feeding and possibly providing medication to your cat, and dealing with any emergencies while you’re gone. Because of this, it’s good to start your hiring process at least a month before you officially leave town. That way, you can meet multiple sitters if needed and give deeper consideration to each of your candidates.

Look around for reviews online and ask for personal references. Additionally, have them visit your home and interact with your cat to ensure compatibility. This gives you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have to ensure the applicant is the right person for the job.

3) Know which Questions to Ask Your Applicant

When you’re meeting with an applicant, it’s important to know which questions to ask so you can determine if they’re qualified to watch your cat. Here are some questions that you should ask any potential candidate:

  • What do your rates include? For example, are dog walks included, or is that extra? Is there an extra charge for giving the pets medications?
  • Are you licensed, insured and bonded to protect my pet and home from any accidents?
  • Are you available to care for the pet full-time or do you only offer “visits”? For example, a cat sitter might have certain hours where they check in on the cat, but don’t provide 24/7 care.
  • Will you be the only person who will be visiting my home and interacting with my cat?

4) Know the Power of Insurance

It’s good practice for a professional cat sitter to carry pet sitting insurance. Pet sitting insurance covers things like property damage caused by the pet sitter, injuries to your pet or vandalism/theft of your property. While these occurrences are rare, it’s good to have that peace of mind when you’re out of town.

Another great credential for a cat sitter to carry is a pet sitting license. This license means that the sitter has paid the city or county to be registered as a local business, showing that they’re reputable.

5) Know Your Budget

It’s important to discuss your budget and fees with your cat sitter so both parties know what to expect. Will your sitter visit twice a day or stay at your house full-time? Will the sitter provide grooming or walking services? Will she clean up accidents, water the plants or take out the garbage? Are you financially able to pay for a veterinary bill should an emergency happen?

These are all things you should consider when talking about the budget with your sitter.

Good Luck with Hiring Your Cat Sitter!

If you’re worried about finding a sitter that will provide the attention your cat deserves, make sure you keep this list handy as you’re going through the process.
From traveling to accommodations, you have enough to worry about with your upcoming trip. Hire a professional cat sitting company and get the peace of mind that you’re searching for while you’re away. Safe travels!

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

Angie's List - Super Service Award in MinnesotaWhiskers To Tails Petsitting has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2015.

“We are very proud of earning this award again. It is the third time in the last four years we have done so and I credit the hard work of our pet sitting team for this accomplishment,” said Linda Deml-Drahota, company owner. “We are also grateful to our clients for trusting us with caring for their valuable pets and rating our service so highly, she said adding, “We do several thousand pet sits every year, and we treat each visit with equal importance.”

“Only about 5 percent of the pet sitting companies in Minneapolis/St. Paul have performed so consistently well enough to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a really high standard.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2015 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade. The company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check, and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

girl hugging dog

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There is no clear answer to who loves you more as the science that measures the love emotion in dogs and cats isn’t conclusive. There is some unpublished research conducted by neuroeconomist Dr. Paul Zak as part of a new series on BBC2 titled “Cats v Dogs,” which found that dogs produce more of the “love hormone” oxytocin after playing with owners compared with their feline counterparts.

On average dogs were found to produce almost five times as much oxytocin as cats after interacting with their human companions. Only half the cats actually showed raised levels of oxytocin.

The study above was conducted in a lab environment, which may not bring out the love emotions in some pets, especially more reclusive cats. Plus there are other findings that cats are just as fond of their owners as dogs. Their feelings, however, are more subtle and their adoration more muted.

In general cats are more solitary than dogs and evolved in the wild to have different social structures and different hunting strategies. Wolves, from which dogs originate, are highly social animals that live and hunt in packs. Cats, however, go it alone. They form loose colonies based around related cats. Dogs, like their wolf ancestors, are generally pack animals living in a ranked community where there is a single leader. Together they hunt and kill larger prey. Cats are capable hunters in their own right and don’t have a pressing need to be part of a group.

Owner with cat

Image courtesy of artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

According to Anthrozoologist John Bradshaw, cats are just as loving as dogs – you just need to know what to look for. Dogs are very obvious in their love: they wag their tails and slobber kisses all over you.

“The upright tail is probably the clearest way cats show their affection for us,” says Bradshaw. Rubbing their owners’ legs or nearby objects also indicates fondness, as do petting invitations. When a cat jumps in your lap or rolls on their back, they’re inviting you to touch them.

With proper care and attention, both dogs and cats will be faithful, loving pets. That love, whether it’s subtle or obvious, is what makes owning a dog or cat one of life’s best experiences.

Pet Sitting Job Prospects Look Bright for 2016

As an industry, pet sitting continues to flourish. Attitudes about pets have changed in the past decades. MN family pets are now recognized as an important part of the tribe and this feeling among pet owners Woman walking dogs in Minneapoliscontinues to grow. It’s only natural that more and more dog and cat owners are looking to pet sitters to care for their furry friends when work or travel take them away from home.

According to statistics gathered by Pet Sitters International, there are more than 82.5 million pet-owning households in the United States. An increasing number of these pet owners are recognizing the important role a pet sitter can play in a pet’s health and well-being. As long as pet sitters provide the high-quality care that pet owners are demanding, the growth in our industry will continue.

Is this the right opportunity for you?

Our pet sitting opportunities aren’t for everyone. We are looking for people who see pet sitting as a profession. Yes, we have part-time as well as full-time pet sitting jobs. And yes, people come and go as their lives take twists and turns. But they leave an impression with our clients that their pets are the most important thing in their world. That feeling translates into customer loyalty and repeat business.

A professional pet sitter instills trust. Our clients want to know their pets are in good hands and that their home and property are safe and secure while they’re away. Our pet sitters are doing this every day. You can see that in the testimonials on our website. You can also be assured by the Angie’s List awards we’ve won three out of the last four years for our customer service.

Good people are what make our business prosper. We are always looking for just the right people to add as pet sitters and dog walkers to our growing business. Besides giving you the opportunity to do something you love, it can become a satisfying and rewarding career.

Please go to our hiring page for information on how to apply.

We are currently looking for pet sitters in the following Minnesota Cities: Minneapolis, Downtown Minneapolis, Uptown, Edina, Hopkins, along with the Northern and Western Suburbs.

My husband and I have two cats, now two years old. At their next vet visit, we plan to have them microchipped. We live in an urban area with lots of traffic so our cats don’t go outdoors. However, I know that sooner, rather than later, their curiosity about that outside world will entice them to escape the safety of the house for the great outdoors. Microchipping my cats is my insurance against losing them forever.

It’s sad but true that one in three pets goes missing during its lifetime, and getting lost is a pet’s #1 cause of death. Without ID, 90% of pets don’t return home. Those are statistics you’ll find on HomeAgain’s website: public.homeagain.com.  They are one of several pet recovery services that will record your pet’s microchip number acartoon%20dog%20and%20cat%20cropped%20and%20lightened.sig_medium[1]nd your contact information to help locate your lost pet.

Most pet owners don’t realize how easy it is to lose a pet. Digging under fences, running through an electric fence, fleeing from fear during fireworks or a thunderstorm, or accidentally being let out of the house through an open door are common ways pets become lost. Fortunately, microchipping your pets offers a way to permanently ID dogs and cats (or other pocket pets) and give them a chance to be reunited with their family if they are ever lost.

How Microchips Work

  • A microchip is inserted by a veterinary professional at a vet’s office, animal shelter, pet store or humane society. The microchip is the size of a grain of rice and it is injected just under the skin between the pet’s shoulder blades. It serves as a permanent ID that will never fall off or get lost.
  • Pet owners should register the microchip’s unique ID number with a pet recovery data base along with their contact information. Registration is what makes it possible for a pet to be positively identified. Until a pet is registered, it isn’t fully protected.
  • If a pet gets lost and is taken to an animal shelter or clinic, the staff will scan the microchip to read its ID code. Unlike GPS devices, the microchip doesn’t project a pet’s location, take batteries to run, or have any moving parts — so it will never need to be charged or replaced.
  • The staff will then call the appropriate pet registry with the pet’s ID code.
  • As soon as the contact information is retrieved, the pet owner will be contacted and arrangements made for the pet’s reunion with its owner. It’s important to keep the contact information up-to-date, so you, as the owner, can be contacted as soon as the pet is found.

Contrary to what you may think, the microchip insertion doesn’t hurt your pet. It takes only seconds to inject and is about as painless as a vaccination. If you’re adopting a pet from a shelter, your new fur baby may already be microchipped. Check the adoption paperwork or have your vet scan your new pet to detect the presence of a microchip.

The average cost for microchipping is $45 and to register the microchip with a registry about $20. It’s a small price to pay for a lifetime of protection for your furry friends.

Linda 9-6-15 015 Bark Park Expo Logo Whiskers To Tails Petsitting had a booth at the recent Bark Park Dog Expo at the Environmental Nature Area in Brooklyn Park, MN. This was the first annual event at Brooklyn Park’s newest outdoor dog park on West River Road across the street from the Coon Rapids Dam.

The event, held on Saturday, Sept. 12, had perfect weather, and the crowds showed up as a result. We were literally busy interacting with pets and their owners from the start at noon to the very end at 3 p.m. For us it was an amazing turnout!

Other pet-oriented businesses and rescue and adoption organizations had booths there as well.

As an exhibitor, I was struck by the number and variety of dogs that visited the park that day. As I talked with pet owners, I foundOlder dog to adopt that many of these dogs were adopted from shelters and rescue organizations. That’s encouraging as we all know many dogs, cats and other small animals are euthanized when not adopted into forever homes.

The third week of September is designated as Adopt a Less-Adoptable-Pet Week, and there are plenty of animals for pet adoption. There is a website with more information about how to adopt less-than-adoptable pets and where to find them: https://www.petfinder.com/less-adoptable-pet-week/

Less adoptable pets include:

  • Senior pets
  • Adult cats
  • Pets with special needs
  • Less desirable breeds such as Pit Bulls

According to a survey done by Petfinder, these “less-adoptable” pets wait for a home nearly four times longer than the average adoptable pet does — sometimes more than two years!

If your family is looking to add a pet, think first about the “less adoptable pets.” According to Colleen Paige, longtime animal advocate, “In every heart, there is a hole. In every shelter, there is love in which to fill it.”

I’ve been asking myself this same question. My two cats, Mia and Kali, both weighed in over 10 pounds at their last vet visit. According to the vet, they are overweight and, as their owner, I should be doing something to help bring their weight down.

linda 9-6-15 015In my cats’ case, I’ve been feeding them a good quality dry food twice a day and following the manufacturer’s directions for how much to feed them. Once food is in their bowls, however, I don’t have control over who eats it. I suspect my bulkier Mia of eating more than her slimmer sister Kali.

After some research, I found that a dry-food-only diet may not be the best even if it is a high quality brand. Here’s why: cats should eat a diet that is at least 45% protein for optimal health, according to animal specialists. Although some dry cat foods do have 45 percent or more protein, many contain only 35 percent protein.

I also found that cats should eat a low-carb diet to stay healthy. Cats lack the enzymes to digest carbohydrates and simple sugars. Any carbs that aren’t needed immediately for energy will be stored away as fat. Experts like Gary Norsworthy, DVM, DABVP, a specialist in feline medicine based in San Antonio, TX, recommend that carbs make up less than 15 percent of your cat’s diet. Many foods, he cautions, have considerably more than 15 percent carbohydrates. Check the label!

My average-sized cats need fewer than 200 calories per day to maintain their weight, according to Norsworthy. That’s far fewer calories than I, as a cat owner, had thought. Add it up: protein malnutrition, plus carbohydrate and calorie overload causes cats to lose lean muscle and gain fat.

Some suggestions if your felines are a bit on the porky side:

  • Make canned food — not dry — the foundation of your cat’s diet. Choose a high-quality, properly balanced, meat-based food containing at least 45 percent protein. A small amount of dry is acceptable as cats enjoy the crunchy sensation.
  • Avoid free feeding dry food. Cats eat several small meals per day so mimic how your cat would eat in the wild by feeding at least two times per day.
  • Measure your cat’s food to ensure the right number of calories per cup or can.
  • Monitor what your cat eats. If you, like me, have more than one cat it may be hard to supervise them both. You might have to separate your cats at mealtime to prevent overeating.

Any change to your cat’s diet needs to be done gradually so they don’t stop eating altogether. Mia and Kali may not like the change in their diets at first, but they’ll thank me later!


Cat owners who leave empty boxes lying around know that eventually the box will contain a cat. What makes a simple cardboard box so enticing to your cat? Scientists don’t know exactly why cats are attracted to boxes but have several theories.

Kitties in boxOne is the advantage a box provides to stalk prey – whether it be a fellow cat or human or something else that attracts their attention. Cats are ambush predators and boxes provide great hiding places for stalking prey. In the wild seeking out confined spaces is instinctual behavior for cats and lets them both hide from predators and stalk prey.

There’s also a boatload of behavioral research on cats focused on environmental enrichment. The research has found that cats find both comfort and security from enclosed spaces. Cats that are stressed can be profoundly affected by the security of a box in which to hide.

Those who study animal behavior, such as ethologist Claudia Vinke of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, have found that shelter cats in particular that are given hiding boxes while introduced to a shelter suffer less stress than cats without the boxes. The cats with boxes got used to their new surroundings faster, were far less stressed early on, and were more interested in interacting with humans.

This seems natural considering that cats don’t handle conflict well. Their response is to go hide rather than confront whatever the stressor is. In the wild cats retreat to tree tops, dens, or caves while our pet cats find comfort in a shoe box.

My cat Kali is quite shy so any new or odd noise will send her under her cat stoop, which has a blanket draped over it like a tent.kitty in box There’s just enough of an opening for her to peer out and see what’s going on while feeling safe and secure.

Another possible reason for cats liking boxes is that they’re cold and boxes provide the insulation they need to feel warm.  Corrugated cardboard is a great insulator and confined spaces force cats to curl up which then helps them to preserve body heat.

According to a 2006 study by the National Research Council, the thermoneutral zone for a domestic cat is 86 to 97 degrees Fahrenheit.  That’s the range of temps in which cats are “comfortable” and don’t have to generate extra heat to keep warm. That range is also 20 degrees higher than ours, which explains why it’s not unusual to see our cat Mia curled up close to the gas fireplace. To us it’s uncomfortably hot to be that close but she loves the heat.

And, finally, those insulated, stress-relieving, comfortable boxes also provide a safe place for cats to nap. Given that felines sleep for up to 20 hours a day, that’s a pretty big deal. Who wants a cranky cat that can’t get enough sleep?