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

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entering your pet in a cat show

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.

Valentines Day and Cats: How Your Feline Friend Shows She Loves You

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What Are the Signs That My Cat Really Loves Me?

Look, we’ve all been there. Valentine’s Day is approaching and for whatever reason (By choice! It’s totally by choice!), you’re planning to spend the evening at home with the one who’s affection you can rely on. Your cat!

Our cats love us. They do! It’s not just for the food, and the treats, and the toys, and the heated apartment, and the toys, and the scratching post, and the toys, and the scratches behind, the ears, and the toys. It’s real, true love. It is! My cat loves me and I can prove it. I can prove it because I understand cat behavior. Here’s how you can prove that your cat loves you.

valentine's day and cats

The Tail’s Tale Tells

You can tell a lot by watching your cat’s tail. When my cat is frightened or reacting negatively to stimulus, her tails puffs out. When she’s excited about something or feeling super affectionate her tail twitches.

I’ve seen her do it watching birds at the birdfeeder from the windowsill. I’ve seen her do it when she plays with her favorite toy. And I’ve seen her do it when I get home for the day, or enter the room, or sit down near her on the couch.

Love Bites! Head Butts!

Like the eighties hair metal song says, love hurts. I mean, it doesn’t have to. But it can. You can also tell how your cat feels about you from how they choose to hurt you. Does your can bite you gently? Does she headbutt you and then rub her face on yours? Yes? That’s because she loves you!

Your cat gently bites you as a sign of cat affection, much as she would another cat. She also headbutts you and rubs her face on your to rub her scent onto you. She’s marking you (in a much more pleasant way) as being a part of her social group. You’re like an honorary cat!

She Kneads Me, She Grooms Me, and She Trusts Me Enough to be Vulnerable

valentines day and cats

My kitty bakes bread on my lap sometimes. She kneads and kneads, flexing her paws and pulling at the blanket. She does this because she feels close to me, so close to me that she acts like she’s a kitten again, kneading at her mother’s belly.

She also licks me. Her tongue can be a bit rough, but I know that she’s showing me that I’m belong with her. Cat grooming is not wasted on the undeserving.

And I know she trusts me. You too can tell if your cat trusts you. Does she roll on her back to get your attention, showing her belly? She would only ever show her belly to those that she trusts; you can believe that.

My Cat Loves Me, Let me Count the Ways

Whether she’s showing it by grooming me, marking me with her scent by head butting me, revealing her soft belly, twitching her tail, kneading me, or biting me, I know my kitty loves me. This Valentine’s Day, curl up with someone you can prove loves you. Curl up with your cat.

Kedi and Other Movie Kitties: How Hollywood Loves Cats

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The Best Documentary of the Year Was a Cat Video

Hollywood has always loved cats, but 2017 introduced a new, never-before-seen aspect of the feline world to Hollywood that we believe changed Hollywood for the better: 2017 marked the advent of the cat documentary. Kedi, released in February, follows a troupe of Turkish cats who roam the streets of Istanbul.

With adorable shots that illustrate the character and culture that is Istanbul’s cat population, the documentary captured hearts all over the world. Kedi is an objective delight, with its gorgeous street-level shots and whimsical taste of what it’s like to live as a cat in the city of Istanbul. The timeless movie was named best documentary of the year by Thrillist, and will hopefully only bring in more awards and acclaim.

Hollywood’s Best Cat Movies

Although Kedi was the first feature-length documentary about cats, the film was not the first successful cat movie. Throughout history, cats have starred on the big screen, providing countless amounts of joy, cuteness, and entertainment for all.

From animated Disney films about cats to real-life cats with silly voiceovers, Hollywood has been employing cats in movie projects for decades. Let’s take a look at some of the best cat movies of all time.

Aristocats (1970)

Aristocats was Walt Disney’s 20th animated feature. It tells the tale of a family of wealthy Parisian cats who wind up stranded in the English countryside. Adventure, romance, hitchhiking cats, and a catchy score combine to make this cat movie uniquely unforgettable.

With its jazzy tunes and colorful animation, this cat movie is perfect for all ages. Give it a watch when you’re looking for a nostalgic glimpse into the history of Hollywood cats.

Milo and Otis (1989)

Shot in Japan, this heartfelt flick illustrates the unlikely friendship of a cat-dog duo—Milo and Otis. This story of friendship is told completely without human interference. The lifelong friends go on a plethora of adventures.

Otis and Milo follow each other around throughout their adventures and are always ready to help each other out of sticky situations. Narrated in English by Dudley Moore, this is the perfect cat movie for enthusiasts who are looking for something a little different.

Garfield (2004)

Garfield offers a more modern approach to the animated cat movie that Hollywood loves. Using CGI technology, Fox Entertainment brings to life the classic comic strip character that America loves so much.

Garfield the movie is the perfect representation of the lazy, lasagna-loving cat that always seems to wind up in the most unlikely situations. For an added charm, Bill Murray plays the voice of Garfield—what’s not to love?

Harry and Tonto (2005)

Harry and Tonto tells the story of a human-cat friendship between Henry Coombes, an elderly man who decides to take a cross-country road trip with his cat after his Upper West Side apartment is condemned.

This touching movie highlights the challenges of aging while at the same time incorporating a quirky cat, which makes this movie a must-see.

Keanu (2016)

Keanu is the exciting and hilarious story of one adorable kitten who wanders away from its home and into an adventure that could be deadly for Keanu and his owner. Featuring Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, this is not your typical cat movie (and isn’t suitable for younger viewers).

Feline Flicks for the Win!

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to noteworthy cat movies. What’s your all-time favorite cat movie? Leave a comment with cat movies that you think should make it onto the list of best cat movies of all time, and we’ll revisit in a part 2!

Ten Handmade and Homemade Gifts That You Can Give Your Cat for the Holidays

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Ten Handmade and Homemade Gifts for your cat

Make the Purrfect Gift For Your Fluffy Friend This Holiday Season

Your cat will pawsitively love these DIY cat gifts. They’re perfect for any time of year, but with a little holiday twist in December, they are the perfect way to help you and your cat get into the holiday spirit together.

Ten Handmade and Homemade Gifts for your cat

1) Gingerbread Man Cat Toy

Homemade gingerbread men are the perfect holiday gift for the kitty in your life. Soft felt fabric is cuddly and chewable for tiny playful teeth, and they’re inexpensive to make on the fly. Fill the belly of the gingerbread man with catnip or another tasty cat treat to make it that much more enjoyable.

Check out the DIY tutorial on how to make one of these adorable gingerbread men at Dream a Little Bigger. Allison from Dream a Little Bigger decided to make her gingerbread men distressed possibly running from a cat? but you can decorate yours however you like.

Ten Handmade and Homemade Gifts for your cat

2) Cardboard Cat Castle

A cardboard hangout spot is the perfect gift for curious cats who love to lounge in odd locations. You can fill the cardboard palace with pillows and it’s perfect to snuggle up inside of. In the summertime, you can remove the warm layers so your cat can happily lounge around at the right temperature all year round.

We love the DIY tutorial from Happiness is Homemade. Heidi from Happiness is Homemade uses a single box, gluing it together with hot glue and decorating it with paint to make it express the personality of her cat. You can decorate yours to fit with the holiday season, or keep it evergreen with neutral adornments.

Ten Handmade and Homemade Gifts for your cat

3) Homemade Cat Scratcher

You’ll be giving a gift to both your cat and yourself with this clever homemade gift. You can use remnants of an old carpet, dishrag, or other scrap fabric as the body of the scratcher. From there, cover a wooden plank or a two-by-four with the fabric, using wood glue.

You can let the scratcher sit on the floor, lean against the wall, or turn it into a door scratcher when you follow this handy DIY tutorial from Martha Stewart.

Ten Handmade and Homemade Gifts for your cat

4) Homebaked Cat Treats

Cats may not love sugar, but they’ll still love a special treat to munch on during the holiday season. This recipe from Mess for Less uses Tuna for a flavor that your fluffy friend will love.

Use holiday or winter-themed cookie cutters to make these a really festive snack that your cat will go wild over.

Ten Handmade and Homemade Gifts for your cat

5) Soothing Pet Paw Balm

When the weather is colder, your cat’s paws may get cracked and dry just like your own skin. Keep your kitty’s feet moisturized and happy so that he or she can play without irritated paws.

This paw balm recipe from Frugally Sustainable uses coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax, for a luxuriously moisturizing elixir that can be used on both cats and dogs. If you plan on improvising with this recipe, remember that essential oils like lavender oil can be potentially toxic to cats, so make sure to do plenty of research before adding scent.

Ten Handmade and Homemade Gifts for your cat

6) Yarn Ball Catnip Toy

Cats love yarn, and they love catnip so why not combine the two to make a toy that will entertain them for hours? This DIY yarn ball catnip toy starts with a Styrofoam ball. Coat the ball in modge podge and roll it around in a bowl of catnip. Then wrap the styrofoam catnip ball in yarn. Find the full recipe at Joy the Baker.

For the yarn, use holiday colors like blue and white for Hanukkah or red and green for Christmas for a festive spin on this playful cat toy.

Ten Handmade and Homemade Gifts for your cat

7) Holiday Sock Catnip Toy

This catnip toy is probably the easiest one in this list. Simply add a spoonful of catnip to a sock and tie the end tightly. For a holiday-themed toy, use a pair of holiday socks like one from this pack of 12 socks from Target.

And you can tie a bell to the sock for an added sense of holiday cheer and playful feistiness.

Ten Handmade and Homemade Gifts for your cat

8) Cat Hammock

Make your cat a cozy hangout spot that’s perfect for lounging around for hours on a cozy winter afternoon. You can make one using leftover felt or other soft fabric and a cardboard box. Check out this tutorial from One Good Thing to make a two story cat hammock.

Give your cat hammock a holiday twist by wrapping the cardboard structure in wrapping paper or using fabric with winter scenes on it.

Ten Handmade and Homemade Gifts for your cat

9) Paper Towel Roll Cat Toy

Recycle empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls to make these adorable and fun cat toys. Poke holes around the rolls and insert plastic straws into the holes. Use hot glue to secure the straws in place.

You can also use pom poms, pipe cleaners, and feathers to decorate a toilet paper roll. Find the full tutorial at The Samantha Show. You can also fill the rolls with your cat’s favorite treat and fold the ends down for an added bit of fun.

10) Knotted T-Shirt Cat Toys

Use colorful old t-shirts to create fun little toys for your cat to gnaw on and wrestle with. Cut the old t-shirts into short, thin strips and then tie them together with pieces hanging off of both ends.

Trim the ends and let your cat enjoy! Find the full tutorial at Muslin and Merlot.

MEOWY CHRISTMAS!

Show your kitty how much you love and appreciate them with a homemade gift that will entertain them for hours on end. A homemade gift is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit and do something extra special for your extra special friend. If you’re looking for something even more special, PDX Pet Design has all your cat gift needs covered. Check out our shop and pick up a SHRU or LICKI Brush, both of which your cat will absolutely love.

[images via: Dream A Little Bigger, Happiness is Homemade, Martha Stewart, Frugally Sustainable, Joy the Baker, Target, One Good Thing By Jillee, The Samantha Show, Muslin & Merlot]

A Look Behind the Scenes of the “Lick, Lick, Lick” Video

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Licki Brush Video Still

A Few Days in the Life of a Star Kitty Model and Friends

A star is born. She’s a luminous kitty-being with a heart of platinum and four white socks. The dilute calico known only as Frankly made her on-screen debut this year in the production of “Lick, Lick, Lick,” a music video featuring her owner/companion Kevin Marie Byloos, a little-known-in-America but very well known international multi-disciplinary star from Peru. And this is a look behind the scenes of that very production.

Licki brush video still

The script below features behind the scenes trivia, interview questions with cast and crew, notes from Frankly’s on-set diary, and a few fan-related questions that came through social media channels. Feel free to leave a comment on the post if you have more questions you’d like us to answer. And now… read on and enjoy!

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Cat Ancestry: Where is Your Feline From?

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Genetic Testing for Your Cat

DNA Genetic testing has been all the rage lately. If you need something to tide you over while you wait for the results of your 23andme or Ancestry DNA tests to return in the mail, then you’re going to love this.

According to recent news, the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the University of California, Davis has just released the official Cat Ancestry DNA Test. Now, you can find out exactly where Fluffy really hails from, without having to guess which neighborhood cats may have been the responsible pair.

How Cat DNA Testing Works

You may not have known that cats are sorted into 8 major races and 38 different populations. During the testing process, your cat DNA is compared to each of these groups in order to get a solid understanding of their genetic paw print. Then, the data will be compared to the 29 well-defined cat breeds to see where your cat ends up.

The majority of cats come from randomly bred populations, so your feline pal may not end up exactly in the breed you might have guessed. But this can still be a fun and interesting way to learn where your cat is from, especially if you’ve got a couple of little ones involved in the guessing game.

cat ancestry dna testing

What Info Can You Discover With the Feline DNA Test?

The Cat Ancestry report includes information about the genetics of the cat’s coat, fur, fur type, and fur length. The 29 well-defined cat breeds were developed from only 4 of the cat races. These include: the Arabian Sea (Sokoke), the Eastern Mediterranean (Turkish Angora and Turkish Van), South Asia (Ocicat, Birman, Burmese, Havana Brown, Korat, Russian Blue, Siamese, Singapura, and Australia Mist), and Western Europe (Abyssinian, American Shorthair, Bengal, British Shorthair, Chartreux, Cornish Rex, Egyptian Mau, Exotic Shorthair, Japanese Bobtail, Maine Coon, Manx, Norwegian Forest Cat, Persian, Ragdoll, Scottish Fold, Siberian, Sphynx).

The Cat Ancestry test can also be used on a pedigreed cat. Like other cats, it will first be matched to the race origin and then matched with the specific breeds.

Cat DNA Testing Is Easy!

Here’s what to expect when administering the test. Cat Ancestry will provide you with 3 small brushes, and all you have to do is to swab the inside of your cat’s cheek with the brushes for about 15 seconds. Allow the brushes to air-dry for 30 seconds, and reseal them into the packaging that comes included in the testing kit. Then, just ship the package off to the Cat Ancestry Labs and wait 6-8 weeks for the results, which will be emailed to you.

cat ancestry dna testing

Why Do You Need a Cat Ancestry Test?

If you think your cat is part of a very mixed breed that might be undetectable by the test, it will still be fun to know which part of the world their lineage traces back to. Finding out about your genetics is a fascinating experience, and what could be more fun than sharing the activity with your feline pal?

If you are thinking about taking advantage of this fun cat activity, you can learn more about it or order your very own home testing kit at UC Davis’s website here.

Calling All CAT Lovers: Enter Today to Win $250 Cash and Other Special Prizes!

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PDX pet Design $250 cat lovers contest rules

If You Love Cats, You Have to Enter This Contest

This fall, we released our newest video for the original song, “Lick, Lick, Lick” which was written especially for the release of our brand new Glow in the Dark Licki brush. Now, we’re running a fabulous contest where cat lovers of all kinds can easily enter to win a nice pile of cash, just in time for some serious holiday shopping. No strings attached! Here’s what you need to know to enter and win. Good luck!

How to Enter the New Glow in the Dark LICKI Brush Fall Contest

There are only a few rules to get you entered into the contest:

  1. Go and watch our new You Tube video, featuring the hit song “Lick, Lick, Lick” here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-GvPV5LF6o
  2. Leave a comment on the You Tube page so we know who you are
  3. Share the video on your Facebook page, and be sure to tag us: @pdxpetdesign

That’s it! With just 3 easy steps that you complete before 12/15, you will be entered to win $250 cash, an amazing SHRU CAT TOY of your very own, as well as a few more special prizes!

PDX Pet Design Holiday Cat Contest

  • 1 winner will be selected at random from all contest entries
  • 12/15/17 at 5pm PST marks the official end of the contest
  • Winner will be announced via social media and contacted via Facebook

Help us spread the word about the new Glow in the Dark LICKI Brush and our super sweet video, and you could be a winner for the holidays!

PDX Pet Design Holiday Cat Contest

How to Introduce a New Kitten to an Older Cat

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introducing your cat and kitten

So You Just Brought Home a Brand New Kitty…

If you’re a cat owner, you may have experienced this scenario before. You discover an adorable little kitten and decide you want him to join your household. But when you bring him home, you learn that your normally sweet, easy-going (and current boss of the house) cat doesn’t find the new visitor to be so cute.

Next thing you know, there’s hissing, growling, and general terrorizing of the new guy, leading to him hiding under the nearest piece of furniture and trembling in fear. So how can you ease this transition and fully restore kitty harmony in your home?

The good news is that while your cats may never become the best of cat friends, most housecats, although they are generally solitary animals, do find ways to get along. Some just might even act like littermates after a while, but you must be patient. Here are a few tips for bringing your cats together when you’ve just brought a new kitten home.

1. Keep Your Old and New Cats Separated at First

Whatever you do, don’t just toss the new kitten right into the mix. This will terrify the kitten and antagonize your existing cat.

Instead, keep the new cat segregated in its own room or section of the house, with its own food, water, bed and litter. You can also provide them with more of a sense of security by keeping them together with the cat carrier you brought them home in, and the blanket you wrapped them up with.

This transition period will help the cats get used to each others’ smells, and will let the new kitten pick up the smell of your home before getting too close to the other cat. And on that note….

Introducing your cat to your kitten

2. Mingle the Cat’s and Kitten’s Scents

The more the cats smell like each other, the easier it will be for them to get friendly.

Get in the habit of petting one and then petting the other without washing your hands in between. Switch elements of their beds or bedding from time to time, so their beds start to smell like each other.

You can even try rubbing a cloth on the scent glands of the face of each cat, and then rubbing that cloth on the furniture to further disseminate and mix their smells.

3. Let the Cats Meet While Separated

After a week or so, maintain a slow transition by letting the cats see and sniff each other through a gate or partition. This way, they can get to know each other, but still retreat to a safe space the other cat cannot access if they get nervous.

If you immediately get heated hissing and growling from either side, you may need to give the cats a little more separation time before finally bringing them together.

cats get along

4. Give Each Cat His Own Separate Facilities

Once you have put both cats together in a shared environment, don’t force the closeness. Make sure they each have their own bed, and not right next to each other.

It may not be practical to spread two sets of food dishes, water dishes and litter boxes out to different areas of the house, but you can still make sure they each have their own set. They may well decide to start sharing on their own, but give them the choice at first.

This will reduce tension and let each cat feel independent, so that they can befriend the other on their own terms and when they’re really ready. If your cats feel in control of their situation, they are much more likely to be amenable to giving you the positive result you’re looking for.

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