Summer in the City for Cats: Making Sure Your Feline Friend Stays Cool

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keep cats cool in summer

Cats Are Cool, Obviously. But Make Sure Your Cat Feels Cool, Too.

Summer is a great time to have a kitty friend. Finally, you get to lounge around in the languid summer heat as much as your cat does every day of the year. Think sunglasses selfies with your furry friend, and endless purring as you enjoy summery drinks and treats by your kitty’s side. But while you enjoy the summer weather with kitty, it’s important to remember that your cat wants to stay cool in the summer just as much as you do.

Because most cats are covered in a delightfully thick coat of fluffy fur, they can become overheated and even suffer from heat stroke. In the warmer summer months, keep an eye out for signs of heat stroke, including hot paws, panting, increased heart rate, and trouble walking.

If your cat starts showing any of these symptoms, wrap your pet in a cool damp cloth and call your vet right away. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to prevent your cat from overheating, so check out this list of ways to keep your kitty cool as a cucumber this summer.

keep cats cool in summer

Hydration Is Key

On especially hot days this summer, put out extra water dishes so your cat can hydrate easily throughout the day. If possible, refresh these water dishes a few times a day to make sure the water is cool and drinkable.

If the temperature is supposed to be extremely hot — we’re talking 80 degrees or hotter — consider stocking the water dishes with ice cubes so your kitty can stay refreshed and satisfied.

Create an Oasis

The best thing for a cat to do on those sweltering summer days is to relax and chill, an activity that it probably has lots of experience with already. Don’t over-exert your feline friend by engaging in tiring activities like laser games. When applicable, allow your cat access to cool spaces like a damp basement or a cool linoleum floor in a bathroom or kitchen.

When temperatures get extreme, consider creating a cool room for your kitty by wrapping a pack or ice or frozen veggies with a cloth and placing it in a cardboard box. Most likely, your cat will enjoy loafing in the cool little space.

keep cats cool in summer

Keep Your Cat Groomed

Brushing your cat regularly can help to keep it cool when temperatures rise. If you have an indoor cat, consider shaving her. However, many vets suggest refraining from completely shaving a cat that spends some time outdoors, since this can make your kitty vulnerable to sunburn. Light-haired are more susceptible to sunburns, so if your cat falls under this category, it might be best to keep her inside on super hot days.

Cool Cats Are the Best Kind of Cats

In addition to taking these measures to keep your cat cool and comfortable in the summer, you should also make sure your house circulates air well. Open windows, box fans, and air conditioning when necessary will help keep both you and your cat cool.

As the summer heats up, make sure to keep your cat cool and to invite your furry friend for summery cocktails on the porch, because furry FOMO (fear of missing out) is the worst kind of FOMO.

Lasers and Cats: Pros, Cons, and What You Really Need to Know

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white cat laying on a bed and yawning

Cats and Laser Toys: Does Your Cat Really Like the Chase?

Lasers get a bad rep as far as toys for cats are concerned. While watching cats play with them may be entertaining for humans, a simple Internet search brings up numerous horror stories of preventable deaths or behavior problems, all of which seem to be associated with laser toys.

To understand the good and the bad sides of cat laser toys, you first have to understand cat biology and how to use laser toys wisely with your particular cat. What’s most important to understand is that the laser toy play needs to mimic a real hunting predator and prey situation in order to be beneficial.

Further, laser toys may be best for bored, overweight, or under-stimulated indoor cats. Given the benefits of physical and mental stimulation, we set out to learn whether laser cat toys were actually good for our cat – read on to learn more now.

cats and laser toys

What Attracts Cats to Laser Toys?

So what exactly is it that attracts cats to lasers, given that the tools are essentially their technological nemeses? It’s not like lasers resemble mice or birds, a cat’s typical prey, yet indoor cats will attack with the same ferocity as if the laser light were alive and fluttering about the house.

According to Ira Hyman, PhD, in Psychology Today’s Blog, cats and humans are attracted to the motion of a laser or other light because it mimics the speed and directional movements of real animals, which he calls “animacy.”

If you think about it, it’s pretty clear. A cat doesn’t tend to show any real interest in inanimate toys. The most popular toys for cats (evolutionarily speaking) are toys that can move or be moved very fast, like feathers, bouncy balls, or laser pointers. This is because cats are natural predators. Most laser toys are just a little mean, because cats can technically never catch them, even if they’re up for the chase.

The Pros and Cons of Laser Toys for Cats

Aside from the occasional accidental blast to you or your cat’s eye, is it safe to use laser toys for cats? The jury’s out on a consensus opinion, but according to Dr. Marty Becker, “America’s Veterinarian,” laser toys can be beneficial – especially for indoor cats that don’t tend to get enough exercise.

The obvious downside Becker mentions is that because the cat can never catch its prey, the animal might get frustrated and start exhibiting problem behaviors like excessive grooming. He suggests using a laser toy for a while, and then switching to a toy on a fishing rod or a toy mouse so that your cat can experience the joy of actually catching its prey and “killing” it.

There are mountains of cat (and other animal) videos on and you may have seen cats literally flipping out over lasers in real life. But if you want your cat to meow and not say “me-owwww,” then you’ll have to be mindful of where you shine that laser toy.

Further, it’s wise to be prepared for the occasional display of aggression – another common negative aspect to using laser toys with cats. This can be alleviated, however, by giving them treats after “catching” the laser. Cats can definitely get hurt from lunging into a wall or cabinet, or by jumping off of furniture. For optimal safety, we suggest avoiding heights, stairs, and dangerous areas when playing with the laser and your cat.

Will Your Cat Enjoy This Video Laser Toy Game?

We are leaning towards a strong “yes” at this point.

So Should You Buy a Laser Cat Toy, or Not?

Though there appear to be many cons to getting a laser toy for your cat, there are very nearly an equal number of positive things to consider. First and foremost, if you want a happy and healthy indoor cat, then you need to keep him or her engaged and active. For this purpose, a laser cat toy can be very handy.

Getting a laser toy makes sense when you want to keep your cats occupied from a safe distance. Moreover, with safe use and indoor play, you never have to deal with dead mice at your door or a missing cat that has followed its hunting instincts right out the door. In the end, consider rewarding your cat with a treat at the end of playtime, to keep him or her actively engaged and happy with the “final catch.”


[Photos via Instructable, Trinacria Photography]

Gamers and Cat Lovers: An Unlikely Audience

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tabby kitten laying on a laptop

Where Cat Lovers and Gamer Culture Collide

Although cats and gamers might seem like an unlikely pair at first, most gamers know that cats make perfect companions. They don’t require constant attention, and they don’t need to go out on walks that take away from your precious gaming time.

If you have a cat and spend your time playing video games, there’s a good chance you’ve spent a decent chunk of time with a cat curled up on your lap while playing your current favorite game. What could possibly be more comforting than a controller in your hand and a warm cat on your lap?

Read on for a few of our favorite examples of when cat and gamer culture have combined to create something truly “paw”-some.

cats and video gamers

Cat Characters in Video Games

Cats and video games aren’t a new combination. As long as video games have been around, there have been cats represented within them. Popular gaming blog Gamespot compiled a list of adorable cats that have appeared in video games throughout history, including Mao, the booze-guzzling female feline in Shadow Hearts, the aww-worthy Socrates in Odin Sphere, and many more.

Cat Simulator

If you’re anything like us, you’ve daydreamed about being a cat more times than you’d care to admit. Pretty soon you’ll be able to play a game through the eyes of a cat in a dystopian future set in Hong Kong. While HK hasn’t been released yet, we’re on the edge of our gaming chairs, ready to pounce on the opportunity to play an entire game as a cat.

cats and video gamers

Cats That Play Video Games

Video games aren’t just for humans anymore, and some cats enjoy getting down with the gaming action too, like these kitties here. Who knew you had so much in common with your furry friend?

Seriously though, there really are video games intended for cats to play with. Take a look at these adorable apps from cat food company Friskies here, and put them in front of your cat for a chance to watch the cuteness in action.

Gamer Cat Web Comic

This quirky web comic about a video game-playing cat, aptly named GaMERCat, is everything a cat lovin’ nerd could ever want. You can even buy GaMERCat t-shirts to let everyone know that cats and videogames are the two most important things in your life.

Cat Collecting App

Cat-loving gamers will be thrilled to know that there’s a mobile app game Neko Atsume, aka Kitty Collector. Regardless of your gaming experience, this is a straightforward and addictive game that every cat lover can enjoy. Though some would barely call this a game due to its extreme simplicity, you’ll fall in love with the different cats you “collect” as you progress through the game.

cats and video gamers

If you’re already a fan of this game, you’ll be glad to know that there is a Japanese live action movie of it coming out this year, though there won’t be any English subtitles. But that may be okay, because let’s be real – we’re watching for the cats anyway!

An Unexpected, But Beautiful Pair: Cat and Gamers Unite!

So there you have it: irrefutable proof that cats and gamers are perfectly matched with one another. At PDX Pet Design, we love drawing inspiration from the unique bonds that humans share with their cats, and there’s something extra magical about the shared love of video game culture and cats that we just can’t get over. To all the kitty-obsessed gamers out there, we salute you!

PDX Pet Design Appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank

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pdx pet design on abc's shark tank

Thoughts on Finding Yourself on Shark Tank

On January 6, 2017, our business made an appearance on an episode of ABC’s Shark Tank. And let me tell you, it was surreal deluxe. Of course, this appearance marks a real highlight for the business of journey, of which there have been many. But this was TV! Who knew it would be so surreal…

We thought it would be a great idea to share some of our thoughts with you on our recent Shark Tank experience. So with that in mind, here are a few of the things that have run through our minds, including some of our best memories (so far). These appear below in no particular order of priority or importance, and we’ve framed them in sort of a self-interview style.Read More

5 Ways You Can Keep Your Indoor Cat Happy, Healthy and Entertained

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How to Keep Kitty From Developing Cabin Fever

Many cat companions will tell you that it’s impossible for a cat to be happy if the animal is kept indoors all the time. They will point to the cat’s natural position as an apex predator in many food chains worldwide, but they will actually be wrong. It is quite possible to keep a cat entertained, happy, and healthy while the live exclusively indoors.

In fact, indoor-only cats typically live longer than outdoor cats, and for several obvious reasons. The trick comes with understanding feline psychology, as well as your cat’s needs as a predator living in an artificial (if very pleasant) environment. Here are five tips to keeping your 100% indoor kitty from getting cabin fever.

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Choosing the Best Cat Toys: What Cats Really Like to Play With and Why

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bored cat laying down on carpet

Finding the Perfect Toy for Your Feline Friend

You may already know how important regular playtime is to the health and wellbeing of your cat. Cats need an engaging, stimulating environment in order to thrive, and regular playtime is a necessary component of that environment. But regardless of these simple facts, purchasing cat toys can still end up being a very frustrating experience.

Not every toy or gimmick that’s being marketed to today’s cat companions are toys that felines will necessarily respond to. So if you’re tired of trial and error, or are just interested in discovering what experts say are the best cat toys, then here’s a quick rundown of what cats really enjoy playing with, and why.

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Your Kitty Hunts Just Like the Big Cats – Now There’s a Toy Worth Hunting

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cat hunting toy SHRU

How Domestic Is Your Cat, Really?

Some household cats lead relatively sedentary lifestyles, but don’t let that fool you. They’re still well equipped to survive on their own. In fact, domesticated cats and their wild counterparts share so much common DNA that some scientists wonder if household felines can truly be called “domesticated.”

Those wild roots and razor-sharp survival skills are obvious when your cat hunts – whether for actual mice, or mice of the catnip-filled variety. It’s clear that your fluffy pal is still a fine-tuned hunting machine.

Let’s talk about the steps cats go through when hunting, and learn why each of them is equally important for your healthy, happy cat.Read More