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

adjective

  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

adjective

  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

adjective

  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

informal

  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

adjective

  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

adjective

  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

noun

  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

adjective

  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

noun

  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

adverb

  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

noun

  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

noun

  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

adjective

  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

verb

  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

adjective

  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

adjective

  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

noun

  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

adjective

  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

adverb

  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

adverb

  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

noun

  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

verb

  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

phrase

  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

adjective

  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

adjective

  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

noun

  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

verb

  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

noun

  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

adverb

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

A-paw-ling = Appalling

adjective

  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

noun

  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

adjective

  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

noun

  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

adjective

  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

pronoun

  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

adverb

  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

noun

  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

pronoun

  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

noun

  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

adverb

  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

verb

  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

adverb

  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

adjective

  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:

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!

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.

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?

November is “Adopt a Senior Pet Month.” Older pets are often at a disadvantage at shelters as potential owners find cute puppies and kittens more attractive to adopt.However, pet adoption — senior or otherwise — is actually good for you. Here are some scientifically-proven ways pet ownership improves the lives of human companions:

  • Pets can boost self-esteem. Research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology demonstrates that pet owners have stronger self-esteem than non-pet-owners. Research also indicated that pet owners are more extroverted and less fearful than people without pets.
  • Allergy risk is reduced. While it may seem counter-intuitive, owning a pet doesn’t make you more susceptible tosenior dog allergies. Studies suggest being exposed to a pet early in life may decrease your risk of animal allergies later on.
  • Pets keep us positive. Researchers say that thinking about your pet after a negative experience helps you feel less negative.
  • You feel less lonely with pets. One study found that people with pet dogs indicated their social needs were fulfilled just as effectively by their pets as by their friends. Dogs, they said, provided them with a strong sense of self-esteem, belonging and meaning.
  • Pets offer a sense of support. Studies revealed that pet owners feel they get just as much support from their pets as they do from family members.
  • Pets incent us to stay healthy. It’s hard to sit on the couch all day and watch TV if your dog or cat is begging for attention. Whether you’re tossing balls with Rover or dangling wand toys for kitty to chase, you’re substantiating studies showing pet owners are healthier and more active than non-pet-owners.
  • We feel less stress. There is evidence from animal experts that simply petting your dog or cat can help reduce your stress. Their unconditional love and the fact that they don’t judge us are other factors that make pets the best support system during stressful times.
  • We attract other people. Studies find that owning a pet can improve our human relationships and attract others to us. Pets are natural conversation starters, which can draw other pet lovers to us.
  • Pets can help stabilize our blood pressure. A study of stressed out stockbrokers revealed that a group given pets for the course of the study had significantly more stable blood pressure than brokers without pets.  After the study, many from the control group of stockbrokers without pets went on to get a loving pet to help them manage their stress.

 

Ask your local shelter about adopting a senior pet. Because senior pets are usually the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanized in a shelter, you can feel good knowing that you have very likely saved a life. Senior pets offer all the advantages above and, thanks to you, have the chance to live out their lives in a loving home.

If you’re planning a Thanksgiving dinner with pets present, here are some tips to make it a special time for you, your family, and your pets.I’ll never forget a client relating how her beagle  climbed up onto their Thanksgiving table once everyone had retired to an adjoining room for dessert, and gobbled down a huge portion of leftover turkey! No one noticed the deed until much later. Fortunately, the dog was O.K. but was obviously feeling left out of all the feasting happening that day.

There are lots of ways to include your pets in Thanksgiving celebrating without having your dinner spoiled by an overzealous pet. ASPCA experts offer these tips:

  • If you decide to give your pets a bit of turkey, make sure it’s boneless, skinless and well-cooked. Raw or undercooked turkey, as well as turkey left setting out for more than two hours, may contain salmonella bacteria. Mix the turkey in with your dog’s regular food for a treat. Puree turkey with sweet potatoes or pumpkin and add to your cat’s regular food.

 

  • Sage is a great ingredient in Thanksgiving stuffing but it and many other herbs contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression to pets if eaten in large quantities. Cats are especially sensitive to the effects of certain essential oils.

 

  • Keep raw bread dough away from pets. According to ASPCA experts, when raw bread dough is eaten. an animal’s body heat causes the dough to rise in its stomach. As it expands, the pet may experience vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating, which could become a life-threatening emergency.

 

  • If you’re baking Thanksgiving treats, be sure your pets stay out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs. The eggs could contain salmonella bacteria that may cause food poisoning.

 

  • Pets that overindulge in Thanksgiving food could wind up with stomach upset, diarrhea or — more seriously — an inflammatory condition of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. It’s best for pets to stay on their regular diets during holidays.

 

  • Some safe foods for pets from the Thanksgiving table include cooked vegetables like pumpkins, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans and peas. Pet birds also love fresh veggies and fruits, including cooked sweet potatoes and cranberries. Even small pocket pets like gerbils can enjoy raw vegetables like carrots and broccoli if given sparingly.

 

  • While your guests are enjoying Thanksgiving dinner, give your cat and dog their own little feast. Offer them Nylabones or made-for-pet chew bones. Or stuff their usual dinner with a few added tidbits of turkey, vegetables like sweet potato or green beans, and dribbles of gravy into a Kong toy. This will keep them distracted and working hard to get at their dinner from the toy.

 

Make your pet thankful to you by supplying them with safe and healthy Thanksgiving treats. Everyone will have a better holiday experience when you do.

When ghosts and goblins come knocking on your door this Halloween, be ready to make it a good experience for trick-or-treaters as well as your pets. Americans spend an astounding $7 billiion on Halloween costumes, candy and decorations annually. Here are some tips to keep your pets out of harm’s way on this spooky holiday:

cat in Halloween costume– Candy, especially dark or baking chocolate, can be highly toxic to dogs and cats. Same goes for candy made with the artificial sweetener xylitol. For example, xylitol, found in gum and candy, can cause dangerously low blood sugar or liver disease in dogs. Chocolate can create a range of symptoms, from vomiting to abnormal heart rhythm to death. Even snacks that are healthy for humans, such as raisins, can cause a toxic reaction. Keep candy where it’s out of reach for pets.

– Make sure your pet has an I.D. — microchip, collar or ID tag — in case it escapes through an open door while you’re distracted with trick-or-treaters.

– We spend nearly $300 million on pet costumes, but we need to get it right for our pet’s safety. If you decide to dress up your pet in a costume, make sure it doesn’t mind. Some pets are o.k. with it, others are definitely not. If wearing a costume upsets your pet, then skip it.

– Pet costumes should fit properly, be comfortable, and not have any pieces that could be easily chewed off. Your pet’s costume should not impede their breathing, movement, hearing or vision. If possible, let your pet get used to a costume before Halloween by letting it wear the costume for short practice periods. Never leave your pet unsupervised while it’s wearing a costume.

– If you’ve decorated for Halloween, keep in mind that some pets may try to eat decorations, such as pumpkins or objects that include actual corn. These can cause upset stomachs or even more serious digestive blockage, so hang decorations up high and/or out of reach. Be especially careful with lit candles and jack-o-lanterns as pets can easily tip these over and cause fires.

– Kids ringing doorbells all evening can drive dogs and cats a little crazy. Dogs may bark excessively and cats may run and hide — and any pet could dart out an open door. Put your pets in a quiet room far from your front door; put up a baby gate or close the door; or turn on your TV or music to disguise doorbell ringing.

– Kids in costumes can be frightening to many dogs. Only very calm, unflappable dogs should be outside with you on Halloween and only on a leash. Calm, well-trained dogs can be asked to “sit” and “stay” to greet trick-or-treaters and then given treats to reward their good behavior.

– Unfortunately, Halloween can be a time for pranksters, especially those who get kicks out of being cruel to animals. Any pet can
be at risk, but especially black cats. Don’t let your pet out alone in the yard during the Halloween season. Outdoor cats should be kept indoors for the week leading up to and following Halloween.

– For families that want to include their pets in the Halloween festivities, there are Halloween-themed events scheduled in the Minneapolis metro area. Here are a few links to check out for pet-friendly Halloween events:

https://www.sidewalkdog.com/events/
https://woofntreat.com
https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/top-lists/best-pet-friendly-halloween-events-in-minn/

If your pet is still highly stressed by Halloween in spite of all your precautions, ask your vet for suggestions on herbal calming remedies or mild tranquilizers.