Minggu, 25 Juni 2017

Tips for Choosing the Right Cat Boarding Kennel

Pet lovers dread the thought of leaving a cat behind while going out of town. Although cats do relatively well for several days alone as long as they have plenty of food and water, there is always a concern of something horrible happening. To put a person's mind at ease, putting a cat in a boarding kennel is an option to consider. Of course, there are both good and bad kennels, which is why it is so important for a person to know what to look for when making the selection.

Cat boarding services are available throughout the country, even in smaller towns. While some kennels are privately owned businesses others are services provided by veterinarian clinics. Regardless of which option a person feels more comfortable with or the exact option available, it is still important to choose wisely. With the following tips, choosing cat boarding services would be easier.


As a pet owner, an individual has the right and responsibility to check out a facility before leaving a pet in the care of another person. The following are some of the specific things a reputable kennel should provide specifically for the care of cats.

    Individual living/sleep space
    Solid dividers between cat kennels to prevent the spread of disease
    Special area away from other pets for sick animals
    Adequate ventilation, as well as natural sunlight
    Fresh food and water daily
    Safe and functioning heat and cooling systems
    If an outdoor area is available, this area should protect against harsh sunlight, heat, cold, wind, rain, and even snow
    Security for each kennel but also the facility overall
    Strict regulations regarding acceptance of animals that are up-to-date on all required vaccinations
    Clean and safe areas to prevent potential injury

Selecting the best cat boarding facility can be challenging, which is why inspecting several ahead of time is so important. During the visit, a person would have the opportunity to look around but also ask questions. Usually, a friend, family member, neighbor or coworker could offer suggestions but if not, information about qualified kennels can be found through a local Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau, Angie's List, and other trusted sources.

Importance of Cleanliness

Although there are several things to look for, cleanliness speaks volume. Therefore, the premises inside and outside should be tidy and properly maintained, walls nicely painted, no signs of mold, mildew or deterioration, and animal's bowls filled with fresh food and water. Even the smell of a kennel would be a telltale sign. While eliminating all pet odors would be impossible, the facility should never have an overwhelming odor.

On a final note, it would be important to develop a good rapport with the owner of the cat boarding kennel but also staff members. Information should be exchanged in case of questions or an emergency so either party could get in touch if needed. Good planning is essential when choosing a kennel but by looking at several options, asking for references, reading reviews, and actually walking through facilities a cat owner would be able to identify the right place.

Minggu, 18 Juni 2017

Choosing the Right Cat Furniture for You and Your Cat

Cats are unique and have their own distinct personalities. However, they all share one common characteristic. All cats need their own comfort zone and cat furniture can provide that special place for them.

When deciding on what type of furniture to buy for your cat, take a close look at your cat's personality and lifestyle. Is your cat and indoor cat or an outdoor cat? Does your cat like to be secluded or out in the open? Does your cat prefer heights, or does he or she prefer to be near the ground? Is your cat a climber?

What are your preferences? Do you want the furniture to also provide your cat with activity, or do you simply want to provide them with a place to lounge? Do you care if your cat's furniture blends in with your decor, or is your cat's comfort all that matters? The number of cats in your home will also factor into how large or small your cat tree should be.

If you have an outdoor cat, the amount of activity the cat furniture can provide isn't as big of an issue as it is for indoor only cats. Outdoor cats should be getting plenty of mental stimulation and physical activity during his or her time out of the house. A simple place to lounge or even just a cat bed may be all your outdoor cat needs for their comfort zone.

However, if your cat doesn't leave the house, you may want to find a cat furniture model that can also stimulate your cat with some activity. Look for furniture with sisal covered scratching surfaces as all cats like to scratch. The sisal can be either rope or fabric and the scratching surface can be a board or a post. If your cat likes to climb, a scratching post is preferable to a board and it should be at least 32" high. The sisal post can be integrated into the furniture as a support post or it can be a stand alone, replaceable post. If you have a preference for a piece of furniture that doesn't include scratching surfaces, they can also be purchased as stand alone items. However, you'll probably end up paying more buying them "a la carte".

Be prepared to spend quite a bit of money if your cat likes both heights and seclusion. Several carpeted cat tree manufacturers provide enclosures near the top of the tree. These cat trees are quite large and can be a bit pricey. Large carpeted trees can also provide additional play activity with stuffed cat toys dangling from various tiers. When shopping for this type of tree, take special care to ensure that the base is large enough to prevent the tree from tipping, as they tend to be top heavy.

If the carpeted towers aren't your taste, there are several uncarpeted options from which you can choose. Because these trees are not carpeted, they are constructed from either higher quality, aesthetically pleasing materials or natural tree branches. Uncarpeted tree manufacturers don't use OSB or particle board as their primary material, therefore their material cost is higher than their carpeted counterparts. That is why many of the uncarpeted trees are more expensive than a carpeted tree of similar size. One nice advantage that the uncarpeted trees have to offer is that most manufacturers offer replacement wear surfaces. The wear surfaces are the areas that the cat lounges on or scratches. This can greatly increase the life of the uncarpeted furniture versus the life of their carpeted counterparts.

No matter what type of cat tree you decide to purchase, there are some common issues to be aware of. Make sure the tiers are comfortably spaced for your cat or cats. A vertical tier height spacing from 18" to 22" is ideal for most house cats. It gives them plenty of head clearance when they occupy the lower tier and allows them to place their paws on the higher tier before making the jump up. Pay as much attention to the size of the tiers as the quantity. A tree with large tiers can actually hold as many, or more cats, than a tree with more, but smaller tiers. As mentioned before, a large, stable base is essential.

If the furniture you are interested in buying is constructed with OSB, particle board, or MDF, be sure the material came from a Carb Certified Manufacturer. This ensures the material is free from potential formaldehyde emissions. Also, make sure the adhesives used are free from any dangerous toxins. Finally, make sure that there are no staples used on any of the exposed surfaces.

You may want to check to see if the furniture your are interested in has won any awards or other recognition for quality and innovation. Cat Fancy's Editors' Choice Awards are a good place to start. "The (Cat Fancy) editors are looking for innovative products that reflect quality, creativity and originality, and fill a need in the market. Safety and functionality are essential." The Catnip Newsletter (published by the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine) does monthly product reviews, and is another good resource. Catnip does not accept advertising, so their reviews are considered to by 100% unbiased.

There are more cat furniture choices available now than ever before and you can spend as much or as little as you like. Many models cost hundreds of dollars, so make sure to do your research before you decide which cat tower is right for you and your cats. If you have questions or concerns, don't be afraid to call or email the manufacturer.

Minggu, 11 Juni 2017

Automatic Cat Feeders: How To Avoid The 5 Most Common Mistakes When Buying One

Automatic cat feeders are a very good solution for feeding our pets when we are not home or when we are too busy to take care of that task on a daily basis. They are great for us and our pets but buying an automatic cat feeder for the first time can be challenging and a big headache if you ignore some important factors before making any purchase. Believe me; some people have learned this lesson the hard way by buying several automatic feeders, one after another to find out that none of them were a good solution for their cats.

You can avoid wasting time and money by keeping the following factors in mind before buying any automatic pet feeder:

1. Price is not a good indicator of high quality

Some high-priced automatic cat feeders are excellent and are worth the money you pay for them, but on the other hand you can find expensive automatic feeders on the market that are cheap made and not a solution at all for you and your cat. If you want to do a good buy try not to consider the price as a buying criterion. It is recommended to investigate customer reviews and quality of the materials as well. Sometimes "All that glitters is not gold".

2. Automatic pet feeders perform differently depending on pellet sizes

If you feed your cat with small pellet size (1/4" diameter) and you need your cat to eat small portions of food at a time you have to keep in mind that not all automatic pet feeders will accomplish this. Some devices perform better with small kibbles because they are designed with a roller and baffle system which allows them to push the food out in small amounts of food at a time. However, there are other types of automatic feeders that work with a screw system to dispense the food and they perform better with big pellet sizes (1/2" diameter) to release small and specific amounts of food at a time to make a feeding schedule for your cat.

3. It is not a good idea to buy the automatic pet feeder just days before you leave on a trip

Automatic cat feeders were created for us to feed our pets when not being home so it makes sense to buy one if we want to go on a trip, but in order to leave our cat alone with an automatic solution we must go through a learning curve experience before. This is very important because as you use this new device you learn eventually some fails, how to fix them, how your cat behaves with it, etc. And this process takes longer than just a few days, this takes at least 3 weeks before you can leave your pet alone at home and being confident it will get fed on time. Several issues could happen if you don't test the new device enough, some of them are:

    Batteries not lasting as they suppose to and the unit might stop working.
    If it works with an AC adapter, your cat might unplug it while walking around.
    The first week could go smoothly but the following days your cat could break into the feeder and tip it over or figure out a way to gorge itself eating all the food at once.
    The automatic feeder might jump one feeding cycle while you are away because you missed some instruction when programming it.

Incidents like this could happen when your experience with the new automatic feeder is not long enough to detect them on time and fix them.

4. Cats are very versatile animals

With some good exceptions, it seems like human being cannot keep up with cat's versatility when it comes to create automatic feeders. You can buy the best one on the market but there is not foolproof automatic cat feeder if your cat is smart enough or very determined to get extra food from it.

Before buying an automatic feeder for your pet, keep in mind that there is a real risk of your cat trying to break into the feeder. Usually, cats are very obsessed with food and you will have to teach your pet to respect the automatic feeder from the outset and discourage it from trying to break into it.

There are breeds like the Bengal or Siamese that could more likely try to manipulate the unit to get extra food from it, but this isn't 100% true either because all cats have their individual personalities. You better than anyone knows how your cat is. To give you an idea, if your cat is smart enough to open doors or manipulate things in general with its paws, then you need to get an automatic feeder with extra protection. Fortunately, there is one brand on the market that is foolproof for very smart and versatile cats.

5. Some automatic pet feeders do not offer good warranty

This is the last factor and the most important. Some automatic feeders offer very limited warranties that are not long enough. Make sure the automatic feeder has at least a one-year warranty before buying it.

Finally, it is highly recommended to ask a friend to check on your cat every other day or so to make sure your pet will be OK.

Sabtu, 03 Juni 2017

Cat Food Reviews for Overweight Cats: Tips to Help You

It seems we are seeing more and more overweight cats for whatever reason. I'm not the only one who has noticed this, believe me. Cat food companies are seeing this and have already determined that there is huge potential to make money off of it. Now, all over you see specially marked cat food indicated as 'diet food' or 'low carbohydrate' food. They can mark it that way all they want, but it doesn't guarantee that the ingredients are all that different or healthy.

There are many ways to review cat foods to determine what are the healthy, legit brands and those that are not. For overweight cats, these two sections that follow are important to comprehend if you want to pick out a cat food that may help your furry little friend lose weight.

Guaranteed Analysis

This little box of percentages and numbers can be so important, yet overlooked quite often. This isn't the be all and end all of counts, as it is usually inaccurate. It will, however, give you an idea of the protein, fat, and carbohydrate percentages found in the food you are interested in. Let me explain: I have a can of wet cat food and it states that the crude fat minimum percentage is 9%. Now, it is the MINIMUM percentage. Who knows what the maximum is? To really know what the maximum is, you'd have to get into contact with the manufacturer. Anyways, the minimum will tell you that at the very least your cat is getting that much fat source.

So after I do calculations on the guaranteed analysis section I find that the 9% translates into 39.1% fat. This is a good indication for me to know how much percentage of the food is a fat source. I can do the same for protein and carbohydrates, and then I have a better understanding of what my cat is putting into his/her body.

The Ingredients

One of the important aspects to look at is the ingredients listed. Say we looked at the guaranteed analysis section and we feel that the carbohydrate, protein, and fat counts are where they should be. Next step is to see where these sources are coming from. Are these sources coming from high quality, real meat sources? Or are they coming from sources such as 'by-products' or plant based sources? This difference will help you determine if your cat will be able to efficiently digest the food and use it appropriately.

Plant based sources are difficult for your cat to digest. Think of it as feeding your cat McDonalds every day. Over time, that stuff is going to store up in the form of fat and then you will notice that your cat has gained weight. So then you are wondering 'well, the carbohydrate levels are normal I don't know what happened.' What happened was, as mentioned, these carbohydrate sources are difficult, thus slower, to digest. Real meat sources are what cats, by nature, are used to. So make sure that these meat sources are listed and listed close to the top.

As you can probably see, it is a little tricky to determine what exactly is in these so called 'diet' foods. A diet food can be low in carbohydrates, yet still be high in calories and vice versa. There are cat food review tools and programs out there that can assist you and help you determine what would be the right food to give your cat. As with anything though, becoming more knowledgeable and committed to the topic is the most important aspect in helping your cat lose weight.