An All Points Guide on Getting Your Cat the Best Treatment During the Holiday

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Making Sure You and Your Cat Companion Enjoy the Holiday in Style

Everyone should have a great time during the holiday season, including your special furry friend. So how can you make sure that your cat has as great a holiday season as you do? Here’s a handy guide to giving your cat the best possible treatment during the holiday season this year, staying out of trouble and enjoying your time together.

Cat Care Tips When You Plan on Going Away for the Holidays:

If you have to go away for the holidays, for example to visit family, then you’ll have to deal with the issue of what to do with your cat companion. You probably won’t be able to bring them along with you – especially if there’s a flight involved – but can you leave them on their own? If not, what do you do?

For starters, Catster.com recommends never leaving your cat on their own when you go away on a trip, and the holidays are certainly no exception. Although cats are more independent than dogs, they will become stressed and agitated if they do not get regular fresh water, food, and litter pan cleaning. Also, one never knows when a medical emergency may strike and your cat won’t be able to dial the number for emergency services without you.

If you can arrange for someone to come into your home to care for your cat, this is the best option. A full-time cat sitter would be best, but at least having someone come in once or twice a day to interact with the cat while they do some basic maintenance should be fine.

If you need to board your cat, do your research first! Check out the facility and make sure the cats have plenty of space to run around, play, hide, and be alone when they want to be. Get to know the staff and get a feel for how they interact with the cats. Bring along a couple of articles of clothing with your smell on them and toys from home (if allowed) to make your cat more comfortable.

Cat Holiday Dangers to Avoid

CatHealth.com urges cat owners to make sure they have the number of a 24-hour vet or animal hospital handy during the holidays in case of an emergency, since your regular vet may not be available. They also urge you to make sure your cat has a collar and ID tag to identify her and to provide information about contacting. This measure is especially important since the holidays are prime times for cats to escape, with doors opening and closing frequently upon the arrival or departure of holiday guests.

Also, be sure to keep your cats away from gift ribbons, which they love to play with but can become entangled in their digestive tract and create a serious health danger. The same danger goes for mistletoe, poinsettias, and other Christmas flora including all lilies, as they can be poisonous to cats.

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How Cats Can Share in the Holiday Fun

On the other hand, your cats can have a great and safe time with empty gift boxes, packing paper, and wrapping paper, so feel free to let your cats go nuts with these items. This may also be a time to present your cats with their own Christmas gifts. Some great options include:

Easyology Roller Cat Toy This interactive tower has three levels of balls and rolling tracks for hours of fun and exercise.

YOUTHINK Cat Scratcher – Your cat will have a blast with this collapsible lounge bed surrounded by high-density scratchable card board, with ball toy, bell and catnip included.

PDX Pet Design SHRU – The SHRU from PDX Pet Design is the perfect toy for the cat who has outsmarted all of her other toys. This fun toy is a smart, interactive plaything that automatically responds to your cat’s actions and is able to mimic a small animal’s sounds and movement patterns. It can keep your cat engaged for hours! Just don’t think this means you can leave your cat at home by herself for the holidays, entertained with a SHRU. That’s definitely not true.

The Best Videos Around for Cats That Love Watching TV (And Why They Do It!)

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The Weird, Wonderful World of Cat TV

Cats are very visual creatures. They love visual stimulation, and many of them will spend great amounts of time posted up on a windowsill watching the action happening just outside their human companion’s home. And as you might have correctly assumed, some cats will even respond to visual images on the television.

This phenomenon has lead to the creation of Cat TV – namely, videos and television programs that are specifically designed to entertain cats, and even to enrich their little kitty lives. Some research has even shown that cats confined to a room without a window can show signs of improved well being if given a television that plays cat videos for them to watch. Sound unbelievable? Read on for details.

Why Cats Love TV (That’s Made for Cats)

As mentioned above, cats are very visual creatures, and they respond to visual stimuli as a part of their hunting behavior. According to some vets, the more prey-oriented a cat is, the more likely they are to be engaged by watching videos designed specifically for cats, nature programming that features birds, and other visual imagery.

Furthermore, most vets seem to agree that there’s nothing wrong with entertaining your cats with videos designed to engage and entertain them. And in case you were wondering, watching television, no matter how close they are to the screen, will not injure their eyes.

The only hazard involved with the practice is the potential for your cat to become frustrated with simply watching the video, as they try to attack the image on the screen (which could injure your television and potentially your cat).

Who Makes These Videos and Why

Aside from nature programming series and documentaries that feature prey animals that your cat may find appealing, there are also a host of videos available on the Internet created specifically for entertaining the feline set.

There is a diverse group of people making these videos too, and for many of them, it seems that they derive direct satisfaction from creating and posting videos that cats will love. There are some pet supply and pet food companies that are also getting in on the action as a part of their content-marketing efforts. But as long as they’re posting videos that cats love…

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The Best Cat TV Available for Your Feline Companion

YouTube is an excellent place to go looking for content for your cat, if you’re just getting into the trend. In fact, there are whole channels devoted to cat-oriented video programming on the site, and the popularity of the videos determines how high they rank in the search results.

For some great examples check out the links to the videos below.

True to its title, this video shows a series of settings in the outdoors, each with a small pile of birdseed and the birds that it attracts. It’s shot in high definition and when viewed by your cat on a large television, this channel will feel very much like sitting right at a bird feeder and enjoying the show, for eight hours straight.

In a nutshell, this is essentially an hour-long video of animated fish in water, seen from above. This one is not as much fun to watch with your cat as Eight Hour Bird Bonanza, but it will entertain the little furry creatures for a full hour, guaranteed.

Much like the bird video listed above, this short video (fourteen minutes in length) shows a pile of seeds in a natural setting and the rodents that it attracts.

To Entertain and Engage Your Cat… Get TV?!

Putting on the television and loading up videos for your cat to watch may seem a little strange at first. But the cats love it, it isn’t bad for them, and if you’re cat never gets to go outside or has a limited view of the outside world, you could be doing them a real service by activating their hunting instincts via television.

Just remember to play with them afterward to help them work out any frustrations they may pick up while watching birds or rodents they can’t quite manage to track down…

Understanding Cats and Grieving: What You Need to Know About Household Members Passing On

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Your Favorite Cat Has Passed On; How Will You Manage the Grief?

Cats can bring immense joy to our lives, but the opposite side of joy is sadness, and when a beloved feline companion leaves us, especially after many years together, it can be devastating. In the end, everyone must deal with pet grief in their own way, and usually only time can truly begin to heal the pain of such a loss. In the meantime, here are a few helpful tips to assist you in dealing with pets and loss.

Feline End of Life Services

One of the first things you will have to deal with when your cat passes away (especially inside the home) is what to do with the remains. As with humans, this is a tough decision that you have to make, and it comes at the worst possible time.

Most people choose between three options, with burial being the first. You can bury your cat yourself if you have a yard or enough outdoor space around your home to do so. There are also pet cemeteries where you can arrange for your cat to be buried.

A more popular option is cremation, and there are many companies that perform this service in cities both large and small. They will often clip some fur or nails and/or take a paw print to give you more to remember your cat by, and some service providers will package up the ashes of your beloved cat.

Rarely, people opt for taxidermy, a third option. This is an expensive choice, and not for everyone, but it may be more comforting for some than the idea of burying or cremating their cat.

Helping Others in the Household Deal With the Loss of a Pet

Everyone grieves the loss of a pet in their own way, and the most you can do is be there to support others in your household. If you have young children, this is a good opportunity to have a conversation about death and the cycle of life with them.

You can explain to your children that we don’t know what happens after death, but we do know that your cat’s spirit is no longer in its body and that it is not in any pain. If your spiritual inclination or religious beliefs dictate that you do, in fact, know what happens after death, then be sure to share that (provided those beliefs extend to your household cats),

You should also know that there are grief services for those who have lost pets, just like for humans, including grief counselors and support groups.

grieving your pet cat

How Pets Deal With the Loss of Other Household Animals

As you well know, cats have very strong feelings too, and if you have two cats who are close and one passes away, you can expect the other cat to be affected. They may spend a lot of time in spots where the other cat often spent time, may even spend a little time searching for them, and may appear more active and agitated than usual.

They may eat less and meow more, too. Eventually, if you continue to shower your cat with love and attention, they should be able to adjust fairly well to the new situation in the home. You might expect something similar if a treasured family member disappears, either through moving away (like a child going to college) or by passing away.

Should I Get a New Cat?

One thing you should not do is ask someone who has recently lost a cat if they are going to get a new one. This is a very common and seemingly logical question, but it often sounds to the grieving person as if you think their treasured loved one is something that can be easily replaced, like a broken dishwasher or an old car. They are aware that getting a new cat is an option, and if they get one, you’ll know about it.

If you have lost a pet and are wondering if you should get a new one, it all depends on your grieving process. While nothing can replace your departed cat, having new life in the home may cheer you up and enable you to make a new friend and better the life of another cat. However, you should certainly not feel in any hurry to add a new cat to your household.

Hopefully your current cats will live long lives and you will have many wonderful years with them. PDX Pet Design can help, with fun toys and accessories to help enhance your cat’s quality of life. To find out more, visit us today.

Calling All Celebrity Cats: Learn How Famous Felines Are Really Treated

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What’s the Deal With Celebrity Cats?!

We all love our cats, even those that may be sharing company with celebrities we see on social media, pawing at their favorite feline and singing their pet-worthy praises. But what about those cats who have made it into the realm of the celebrity feline on their own merits?

Sometimes, it’s true – thanks in large part to social channels like Instagram, cats do become celebrities all by themselves. In fact, some people say that the famous Grumpy Cat earns more money than Lady Gaga!

The cat-loving site Catster speculates that if you’re a feline looking to hit the big time, the best way is to either have a celebrity friend, or to have interesting teeth. But once a cat makes it, is it all catnip and tuna from there? Do these famous felines really have it all?

Here’s a look at some of our favorite celebrity cats and some insight into whether or not they may be living the purr-fect life!

Larry the Downing Street Mouser

Some cats are born famous, and some have fame thrust upon them. Larry the Downing Street mouser has earned his celebrity, protecting the seat of English government from any crawling vermin that may threaten them. Larry, a brown and white tabby, actually has an official title, Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office, and has served under both recent Prime Ministers, David Cameron and Theresa May.

Like everyone in politics, Larry has rivals; in his case, the main one is Palmerston, the Chief Mouser for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. They say Palmerston is actually a better mouser, but don’t tell Larry!

Meredith, by Taylor Swift

Everyone who knows Taylor Swift has probably heard of her legendary love of cats, and you can bet that her adorable Scottish fold, Meredith, never wants for anything.

Meredith, named after the lead character in the long-running soap “Grey’s Anatomy,” is adored by Taylor and often travels with her, as well as making frequent appearances while being pampered by Taylor on YouTube, Twitter, and Taylor’s blog.

The Clinton Family and Socks

While many Presidents have had faithful dogs in the White House, Socks gained fame for his time as the First Feline—and seems to have avoided much of the controversy that often swirled around his human companions, the Clintons.

Socks had it pretty good for a while, having the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion and then the White House as his stomping grounds, getting to be the White House website tour guide (in cartoon form), and visiting schools and hospitals to cheer up children. But unfortunately, the introduction to the house of Buddy, the White House dog, was the end of Socks.

The two were mortal enemies from day one, and when the Clinton’s left the White House, they were forced to leave Socks behind. Never fear, though, he continued to flourish under the care of Betty Currie, Clinton’s secretary.

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Kenya – Mike Tyson’s White Tiger

What about a big cat? After “The Hangover,” everyone knows about Mike Tyson’s obsession with pet white tigers, including the adorable white Bengal tiger named Kenya.

Mike Tyson spared no expense in taking care of his tigers back in the day, paying about $1500 a day in food and $70,000 a year in other expenses, and that does not even include the $125,000 a year for the animal trainer.

Dorito and Calippo

Fans of the mega pop star Ed Sheeran know where to find his two adorable meowing friends, Dorito and Calippo. They have their own Instagram account where they chronicle their daily routine to millions of followers.

Choupette and Karl Lagerfeld

For cats that are living the high life, it’s hard to beat designer Karl Lagerfeld’s kitty, Choupette. Lagerfeld has expressed a desire to marry Choupette and she wants for nothing, as you might quickly discover if you go to her Wiki.

She even has two maids of her own to take care of her grooming and beauty, and to keep track of her moods and activities. Naturally, you can follow up on exactly what’s happening with Choupette at all times on Instagram as well.

You may not have a cat who’s as famous as these felines, but surely you love them every bit as much. When you want to pamper your favorite kitty, check out a few products that can help your furry friend feel just like one of these top cats, from PDX Pet Design.

[images via: Images via: CBC, Reddit]

Cat Feeding: Grazing vs. Set Meal Times and Cat Treats

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What’s the Best Way to Feed a Cat? Is One Way Better Than the Others?!

Cats are fiercely independent animals, and often times, one of the appealing things about a cat as a pet is how well they seem to be able to take care of themselves. If you’re reading this, then you likely co-habitate with one or more cat friends, and you can easily picture them waking and sleeping at their leisure, initiating play time when they have an excess of energy, and cuddling when they feel snuggly. It seems that in nearly every way, they’re truly self-starting, particular creatures.

The independent nature of most cats, however, may quickly lead to some confusion when it comes to feeding patterns and habits, and what may work best for adult cats. Is it okay to just pour a big bowl of kibble out in the morning, and then to leave it out for your cats to graze on throughout the day? Or should you be doling out set portions at set meal times? And what exactly should you be feeding your furry friend?

Food Scheduling for Your Cat

The two options for feeding your cat are free feeding and scheduled feeding. Both methods are fine for your cat, but each has a few pros and cons. If you have multiple cats, for instance, free feeding could be a problem because cats are not known to share and share alike.

In this case, you will have to come up with some method of making sure each cat gets his or her fair portion. Also, if your cat is overweight, you will have to measure out the full daily portion and not refill it if your cat finishes too quickly.

Scheduled feeding allows you to supervise the feeding and to make sure your cat or cats eat just the right amount every time. The downside of this approach, of course, is that you will need to make time several times out of the day to feet your cats.

Also, it may take your cats a while to get used to the idea of not having food whenever they want it, and they may signal their displeasure to you until they do. If this is your preferred method of food delivery, you may want to consider beginning the routine when your cats are kittens.

Healthy Cat Food Options

So, once you decide when you should feed your cat, next you have to look at what you should be feeding your cat.

Store-bought food can be fine, but it’s important to feed your cats a balanced diet. Some carbohydrates are okay for cats, but there needs to be a healthy amount of protein and fat in their diet, as well. To be confident in the food you are giving to your cat, be sure to look for an Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) statement on the package that indicates the product is complete and balanced.

It’s also very important that you feed the right kind of food to the right kinds of cats. Kittens have different nutritional needs than adult cats, for example, and should only be fed kitten chow. Similarly, senior cats may have different nutritional needs and require food that meets those needs as well.

healthy cat feeding

Treats and a Word of Caution About Cat Food

One strict word of caution: never, under any circumstances, feed your cat dog food. Cat and dog nutritional needs are completely different, and your cat could even get sick or go blind from eating dog food instead of cat food.

So what about cat treats? Are there healthy treats, or is just about every one available on the market technically an unhealthy treat? Once again, you can check for AAFCO approval when looking for treats for your cats, to ensure you feed them healthy treat options instead of the equivalent of cat junk food.

Just like humans, cats don’t really need treats, but they can be fun and not unhealthy in moderation – also, if you’re planning on doing any kind of training, treats may be helpful. According to experts, treats should make up no more than 10 percent of the calories in your cat’s diet, with the rest coming from healthy, balanced cat food.

If you’re going to give treats to your cat, you may want to look for treats that are not only AAFCO approved, but also for treats that offer some other benefit, since they have little to no nutritional value. Some treats, for example, offer to control excessive hairball production in cats while others may suggest they have a positive effect on your cat’s dental health.

Other Ways to Keep Your Cat Healthy

In addition to healthy eating, another way to help your cat stay healthy is through play and exercise. For a great toy that can engage your cats for hours and keep them active, take a look at the intelligent cat toys and products offered on our site – when you purchase a SHRU, for example, you are really buying a new BFF for your kitty bestie, and they’re sure to thank you for it every day!

Cat Breeds and Personality Types: Picking the Right Purebred Cat for Your Household

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Choose a Cat Personality That Compliments Your Own

Once you’ve made the decision to buy a purebred cat, the next step is to decide the right breed of cat for you or your family. Different breeds suit different people better, and it’s important to find a cat that will fit well with your unique family dynamic and lifestyle.

Remember: the cat you choose today will be your partner in crime for the next 10-20 years, so be sure to put some thought into the breed before you buy.

If you work long hours and are away from home for the majority of your time, you’ll want to avoid a cat that loves to be around people all the time. Likewise, if you have young kids who are looking forward to snuggling with a kitty, be sure to choose a breed that loves to cuddle.

Allergies are another important factor when it comes to deciding on the perfect breed of cat to get, as some short haired cats are more friendly for people with cat hair allergies. Use this list of popular purebred cats to help you find the perfect cat personality for you and your family.

Persians

Persian cats are characterised by long coats, a stocky body, and a broad, flat face. They are generally very affectionate. Because of their long coat of hair, they require more grooming than short-haired breeds of cats.

Persian cats are usually good lap cats, as they love attention and cuddling. Unfortunately, Persians are vulnerable to some hereditary diseases and so may require occasional trips to the vet. Most Persian owners find that their kitty is worth the trip to the vet because they are so lovely and affectionate.

cat personality types

Siamese

The Siamese cat finds its origins in Thailand. Siamese cats traditionally have short hair, though you can find variations with longer hair. They are characterized by dark markings on the head, ears, and feet. While the Siamese cat is generally affectionate, they can also be bold and vocal.

Siamese cats are known to form incredibly strong bonds with their owner, and can grow anxious when left alone for long periods of time. Though they are very loving, they can be skittish with new environments and people. Give your Siamese cat time to open up to you upon adoption and you’ll find a loving companion.

Burmese

Generally a darker hued cat with short, soft fur, the Burmese cat is stocky and curious. Burmese cats are heavy-boned and can be prone to obesity later in life if nutrition isn’t watched carefully. Burmese cats are playful and affectionate as kittens, but as they grow older, they tend to like to watch the action from a perch or hideout.

You’ll often find Burmese cats on a window sill, watching the world pass by outside. Burmese cats are generally people-oriented, and rarely ever turn down a good back rub.

Sphynx

With little to no hair, the Sphynx is a good option for people with serious allergies to cat hair. Energetic and dog-like, sphynxes love to play and can entertain themselves for hours. They generally like to be the center of attention, so they don’t always play well with dogs or other household cats.

While they love lounging around on laps, they tend to dislike being pet or rubbed. Because they are hairless, they love lounging around on warm surfaces. Expect to find your Sphynx on a sunny windowsill or even under the covers of your bed.

Choosing the Right Cat for Your Home

Choosing the right breed will make all the difference when it comes to sharing a life with your new cat. As you mull over the different types of cat breeds, be sure to keep in mind factors like other household pets, whether you have young children, and whether you have allergies to cat hair. The bond between you and your cat is unlike any other relationship, so make sure you choose a compatible cat.

Why Do Cats Lick Things? An All-Purpose Guide to Your Cat’s Tongue Behavior

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Cats Lick the Strangest Things! (Here’s Why)

Every cat owner knows that delightful, if only slightly disconcerting feeling of a cat’s sandpapery tongue as it licks your skin. Cats are fastidiously clean creatures, and because of this, it’s natural for them to feel the need to lick. It’s entirely natural for your cat to lick him- or herself regularly to keep clean, but there are also many other reasons why a cat may lick things.

licki brush If you notice that your cat regularly licks random items, or compulsively licks itself or you, there may be an underlying cause for all of the action. A cat’s tongue is covered with backward-facing papillae that serve to make eating easier and grooming more effective. For this reason, if your cat occasionally licks to groom, or licks the food bowl after eating, this is a sign that his or her tongue is functioning correctly and that your cat is simply exhibiting proper cat hygiene habits.

However, if you notice that your cat is constantly licking nonfood items, you may want to figure out the cause – here’s a quick guide to a few of the potential issues at stake.

Stress or Boredom

Constant licking or self grooming could be a sign that your cat is bored or anxious. You may notice that your cat started licking more compulsively after moving to a new home, introducing a new pet in the family, or changing the litter box location. Discourage your cat’s constant grooming by giving him or her a little extra attention, engaging in more play time, or just by having a little extra snuggle time.

Constant self grooming can lead to matted fur, skin irritation and infections, and hairballs. If your cat continues to engage in compulsive self grooming, contact your vet to talk about ways to combat this behavior. Your vet may decide to prescribe pheromones which can help reduce unnecessary stress.

Nutritional Imbalance in Your Cat

If your cat is constantly licking random items in your home like pillows, walls, and knick knacks, he or she could be showing symptoms of pica. Pica is a term used to describe the habit of craving non food items such as socks, plastic grocery bags, or dirt. Some veterinarians believe that pica in cats is caused by a deficiency in fiber or fat.

If your cat is constantly licking random items, contact your veterinarian to discuss the dietary needs of your animal companion. Make sure that your cat is eating the right food for her breed and size, and make a switch if your vet deems it necessary.

This could also be a great time to screen for diabetes and other diseases, as licking random items could be a symptom of something more rare.

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Your Cat May Just Love Unique Flavors

In most cases, your cat’s licking is harmless and just a symptom of their innate curiosity. If you notice that your cat occasionally licks harmless non-food items, it’s probably just a sign that he or she is checking out a new smell or item at home. Keep in mind that cats don’t have molars like humans do, so much of the breaking down of food before it hits the belly is done using the tongue.

licki brush adIf you’re okay with a little harmless licking, just make sure that dangerous substances and items are kept out of reach of your cat. Keep toxic cleaning supplies, beauty products, and foods that are poisonous to cats out of reach, for example.

If your cat has a habit of opening cupboards and exploring the pantry, be sure to keep toxic foods like chocolate, coffee, and raw eggs on a high shelf in the fridge to discourage your cat from licking them.

Your Cats Are Licking You Because They Like You

According to Dr. Leslie from The Nose Print, your cat’s mother constantly licked him or her as a kitten to stimulate breathing and suckling. Because of this, your cat may associate licking with affection. Your cat’s licking you may just be a sign that he or she loves you and thinks of you as family.

Thinking About Showing Your Cat? Here’s What You Need to Know

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Everything You Need to Know About Showing Your Cat

If you love your cat even half as much as Jack Byrnes loves his Himalayan, Mr. Jinx, in Meet the Fockers, then chances are good that you’ve thought about professionally showing your cat. And why not? If your cat is a majestic, well-groomed beauty, showing your cat is a great way to invest even more love and attention into your furry companion animal.

Thinking of parading your little cutie? I’ve learned that when it comes to showing pets, not all pet shows are created equal. There are a few quirks and differences when it comes to showing a cat versus showing a dog, and here’s what you need to know!

What Should I Expect From a Cat Show?

When I attended my first cat show, I was pleasantly surprised at the over-arching fun atmosphere. Yes, I said it – fun! – even though cat shows are technically competitions. While dog shows require tens of thousands of dollars for each entrant (just think of the purebred dog cost, training, handler salaries, and kennel fees), cat shows tend to be far more accessible.

Often, those attending cat shows are hobbyists — the events are “exhibition[s] of their animal husbandry talents.”  Don’t believe me? If you need some proof, just know that the city of Santa Monica recently hosted a Tiki-themed cat show… so if Hawaiian shirts and shorts don’t say casual, then I don’t know what does!

How Do I Enter My Pet in a Cat Show?

Alright, so now you’re sold, and you’re feeling ready to take the next step and enter your beloved feline in a cat show. Each year, different organizations including TICA (the International Cat Association) and the CFA (Cat Fancier’s Association) host a range of cat shows nationwide.

If you’ve heard about a cat show in your area, here are a few steps to follow to enter your cat in a competition:

  • Study the show rules of the competition you want to enter, as each show is a little different, and the show rules will help you determine if your cat is eligible.
  • Once you’ve determined the show date and location, you’ll often need to contact an entry clerk to fill out a bit of paperwork. Reach out to the show’s clerk and ask for a show flyer (a quick reference for all the information you need on showing your cat) and an entry form.
  • Make sure you send in your cat show entry form and your fee before the show’s closing date — the competition may not be as steep, but the slots usually fill up!

entering your pet in a cat show

What’s With All the Cages at Cat Shows?

If you’ve attended a pet show, then you already know that the lines of cages might deter you from subjecting your own cat to a day spent in a cage. Fortunately, cat shows make “exhibition cages” more friendly than the spooky metal bars you’ve probably seen elsewhere.

At cat shows, most organizations provide a single benching cage for each cat, but you’re welcome to upgrade your cat’s quarters with double cages and grooming spaces. And another necessity to consider when attending cat shows? Cage curtains.

At cat shows, pet owners take pride in designing elaborate curtains to adorn the inside and outside of the cat’s staging cage. The curtains give your cat a bit of much-needed privacy, but they also help show off your animal’s unique personality. Now that’s a cat mom craft I can stand behind!

Final Steps Before Entering Your Cat in a Pet Show

If you’re curious about entering your cat into a pet show, here’s my pro tip: attend a cat show as a spectator first. The best way to understand the flow, energy, and demands of a cat show is to attend one in person. So what are you waiting for? Grab a friend, and spend your next Saturday ogling the local cats that are almost as show-stopping as your own!

[images via: CFA International Cat Show]

Cats and Other Playmates: How to Inspire and Manage Interspecies Bonding

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In Search of a New Kitten Friend? Cats Are More Willing Than You May Think

You certainly love your cats, but others in your family may not necessarily feel the same way. Whether it’s your kids, a new kitten, or other pets, your favorite feline friend may not cooperate in getting along right away when you introduce him or her to a new living situation, or when you bring a new life into the home with an existing cat.

Here then is an all-inclusive guide with tips on how to get your cat to bond with other cats, other pets, or even your kids – from PDX Pet Design!

Creating Peace Between Cats and Dogs

There’s a reason that people are sometimes said to fight like “cats and dogs,” but these two popular pet species are not natural enemies. While wild dogs and feral cats are unlikely to get along in nature, there’s no reason why your canine companion and feline friend can’t make peace.

If you can get your cat and dog as a kitten and puppy, they may grow up together never realizing they should be anything but the best of friends.

If you’ve already got one or the other in the house, it may take them time to get used to each other. Make sure they each have separate safe spaces and monitor their interactions. When they see you paying loving attention to both, they may follow suit.

That being said, there are some cats and dogs that probably shouldn’t be put together. Hounds, terriers, shepherds and other dogs that are bred to hunt and kill foxes and other small animals probably won’t make the best pals for your cat, and adult cats that grew up feral might be best when kept separate from your dogs.

Cats and Birds Sharing a Home Together?!

Despite what you may see on YouTube, it’s highly unlikely that your cat will see your bird as anything other than a flying meal. That doesn’t mean you can’t keep both as pets.

For starters, make sure your bird stays caged and in a high place in the home, and if your cat starts showing too much interest, a quick spritz with a water bottle should send him or her back towards the much less dynamic prey in the food dish.

If you like to let your bird spread its wings every now and then, it’s probably best to make sure your kitty is safely locked away in their carrier or a different room.

cat bonding kitten

Homing Cats and Kittens

When older cats and kittens meet, it’s like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates—you never know what you’re gonna’ get. Your cat could instinctively take on a maternal role or could immediately take steps to remove the intruder. What’s important is to give your cats a chance to get used to each other.

Start by creating a safe room where the new kitten can live in the house and take care of all of its food, water, and litter needs without encountering the other cat. This will give the kitten a chance to get used to your home, and both cats to get accustomed to each other’s smell from a distance.

After a week or so, rub a cloth or piece of clothing on one cat’s scent glands and put it in the other one’s area, and vice versa. Once they are accustomed to each other’s smell, you can introduce them in short, supervised interactions until it’s clear they have become comfortable with each other, if not best friends.

Cats and Kids

When you have a cat and a child, especially a new baby, the important thing is to make sure your cat has an escape route if the child gets too rough. Give the cat a chance to get comfortable with the nursery or the child’s room, and make sure the cat knows where it can quickly go if it needs to get away.

Make sure to supervise all interactions, especially in the beginning, and instruct your child as best you can that your cat is a living being, not another toy.

Although cats are solitary animals, they can be very friendly and loving as long as they feel safe. With the right approach, your cats can live with other household animals in blissful harmony.

PDX Parking Kitty: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting the Most From the New Portland Parking App

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A Purrfect App for Parking on the Go in Portland, Oregon

The secret got out some time ago: Portland is an incredible place to live. But between the drove of freshly minted Portlanders who just moved in from all over the country and the rapid development and redevelopment of every corner of town, parking in the Rose City has gotten a bit more challenging over the last few years.

The city is expanding its zone parking deeper into the neighborhoods on the East Side, and putting up meters in neighborhoods where they’ve never been before. Hunting for a parking spot in some parts of town has started to feel like a part-time job for residents and visitors alike.

But, in all this parking darkness, there has recently emerged a bit of bright light. A new app-based parking system call PDX Parking Kitty has come to the city. The new program, available to anyone carrying a smartphone, lets you pay for parking with ease, using a zone-based system that communicates directly with the city’s meter readers. At least one aspect of parking in Portland is getting easier – and we’re here to walk you through the new app.

How Does Portland’s Parking Kitty App Work?

Parking Kitty is primarily an app-based system, so your first step will be to go either the App Store or Google Play, depending on your device, where you can download the app. (There is also a browser-based version that you can use, if you just can’t bring yourself to download another app.) Once you have the app on your smartphone, you just enter some basic information about where you’re parking and for how long you plan to be there.

The payments come out of your linked bank or credit card account, and you’re all set. The app will even meow at you to let you know that your time is running out! As long as you have time remaining in the zone you’re parked in, you can add more time to your parking “meter” right from your phone. No more sprinting back to the meter to prolong your stay!

parking kitty cat app

What Are These Zones in PDX?

Street parking throughout the city of Portland is divided up into various zones. There are zones you can park in for as little as five minutes (or not at all—ever) or as much as several hours. Some zones have different restrictions based on what time of day it is, and others based on what day of the week it is.

Regardless of the zone you’re in, there will be signs indicating the rules, and decals on the parking meter that will tell you specifically what you need to enter into the app to start your session. It is important to note, though, that paying with Parking Kitty does not get you out of abiding by the parking rules in the zone you’re in.

Parking Has Never Been Easier in Portland

The Parking Kitty app links directly to the city’s parking enforcement handheld system. That way, Portland meter readers (parking enforcement, or whatever you want to call the people who issue the tickets), know that you paid automatically. Say goodbye to those little paper slips that never seem to want to stay in your window.

And, if you have to track your parking expense for business purposes, that activity just got a whole lot easier for you, too. You can easily access your parking history and get receipts from the app on your phone from the Parking Kitty website.