Should I Send My Cats Outside

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Seems to be strong opinions on this one… .

Before I brought my kittens home, I wasn’t sure if I would keep them inside or let them out. They were born outdoors and lived with other cats until they were about 8 weeks old. All of them seem to be getting along just fine.

I already have a cat door in my house that was used by the previous homeowner. My decision was not based on putting a hole in the wall or anything dramatic like that.

outdoor-kitten

Little Lucas outdoors

It’s one thing to see cute little kittens running around outdoors with other cats when it is not your responsibility.

When I brought them home and their safety and well-being was on me, it was a different story.

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Pet of the Week 4-3-2013

 

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Today I would like to share the Pet of the Week Video from our local Redlands, CA Animal Shelter.

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The Redlands Animal Shelter is responsible for control and adoption of all stray and owner released animals within the City of Redlands. There are many adoptable cats and kittens as well as great adoptable dogs and puppies at the shelter.

They are located at 504 Kansas St Redlands, CA 92373
phone: (909) 798-7644

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Orchids Not Lilies – poison prevention for your cat

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MARCH is Poison Prevention Awareness Month…

This Easter season, Choose Orchids NOT Easter Lilies.

According to the ASPCA, Orchids are non-toxic to Cats, but Lilies are fatal.
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baby-cat-orchid-lily

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Fun Finds: Snow Cat from Greater Lafayette Cat Hospital

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Today is Respect Your Cat Day !

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Found this on FaceBook today…

snow cat

They are located in Lafayette, Indiana

On Facebook: Greater-Lafayette-Cat-Hospital
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Snip Snip Cut Cut – It’s Neuter Time

The Responsible thing to do.

Our Vet recommended that the kittens be neutered at the age of 3 months. There is no decision here, in my mind. A responsible pet owner will take care of this.

They are indoor cats, so some questioned the need to neuter them. But, things happen. It is possible that they could get out at some point. There is no 100% guarantee that they won’t.

The night before surgery, they had to fast. Good thing I was able to take them in early or I would have heard complaints, especially from Rebel.

They were still little, so they both fit in the Pet Taxi.

Off we go…..

Pre-Surgery

The Vet’s office gives you a cafeteria of choices before surgery.
There is a little play on guilt here.

Do you want the upgraded anesthetics?
(am I a bad pet Mom if I say no to this)

Do you want your pets fed intravenously after surgery ?
(of course, I don’t want them to suffer)

You get the idea.

I believe that I made reasonable, cost effective decisions while still taking care of them.

Cost? Multiply everything by 2 !

Leaving my kittens

Okay. This is the first time I left them without family and I admit I was worried. Just like any new Mom, you want your babies to be safe.

I told myself that I trusted the Vet.

a. This is a simple procedure they perform regularly, so the little guys were in good hands.
b. The surgery for male cats is the easiest to perform.
c. And, they had each other.

Post Surgery

At the end of the day, it was time to pick them up :)

Everything went well and they were ready to go home. We followed the Vet’s advice to get them back on their normal diet and kept them clean and protected.

I had to cut the cone things because they were huge on the kittens. They looked so sad. Just stopped in their tracks and dropped their heads. I felt bad for them, but without them the first thing they would do is go after the stitches.

They are so funny. Each one would try to remove the cone from the other one. They really are a team.

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Rebel and Lucas post surgery

Rebel and Lucas post surgery

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Post Surgery faces

Post Surgery faces

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The first night after surgery was the hardest. I even slept with them to be sure they were fine. But now, it’s all over and I’m glad it’s done.
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Why Neuter?

The obvious reason is that there are already too many animals without good homes. It’s the responsible thing to do.

Neutering has a good chance on cutting back on behaviors like…Roaming, Fighting, & Spraying. Good enough for me!

Why Neuter Young?

For me, I trusted the Vet on this one. I also learned that having this done at an early age will be more likely to prevent the bad behaviors listed above. If they never start, that’s good news.

I also found information that cats neutered pre-puberty do not develop secondary sex characteristics, including a more muscular body and thickening around the face called “shields.”

If they stay younger looking, I can live with that….
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Choosing the Right Veterinarian for Our Kittens

We gave this a lot of thought.

Things to consider when choosing our vet:
1. Needs to be relatively close to home
2. How the staff treats pets and pet parents
3. Hours they are open
4. Emergency services available

1. We are lucky to have quite a few choices in Redlands and nearby Loma Linda. We have taken dogs to 2 of the locations in Redlands. I ruled out one that I was unhappy with in the past. That leaves 2 choices – one in Redlands and one in Loma Linda.

2. I want to work with people who are genuinely kind to animals and at the very least polite to their owners. Being technically qualified is really not enough – in my opinion. Communication is also important.

3. One place did not stand out here. They were all pretty standard. I wanted to be sure it was not a part time practice.

4. There is one 24/7 Emergency location in Grand Terrace that all my possible choices recommend. We had a bad experience there with my dog, but I’m hoping they changed doctors since then. Actually, I am hoping I won’t need their services for a very long time.

The Redlands vet is a little closer.  We took our dog here for years, but I was not thrilled with the staff. I would give them an “Average” rating.
The Loma Linda location is a longer trip. Not too far to be a problem. I took our dog there one time to visit a chiropractor & it went without any hassle.

Before making my decision, I checked with friends who are wonderful cat parents. They had a problem with the Redlands vet being mean to their cats & making them feel uncomfortable with the care.

They took several pets to the Dr. in Loma Linda are very happy with him. I trust their judgment. Nothing else ruled out this location, so I decided on this Doctor.

local-vet

Doctor Sigdestad, DVM or “Dr. Sig”

Their staff is helpful and the system they have set up is well organized. Our kitties have been there for their checkup and shots and the care has been very good. I do like the way they communicate with me. That really helps me feel more comfortable.
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Top Cat Names – Popular and Silly

I told the story about  how our kittens were named in a previous post
–  The Case for Two Kittens

Personality, looks and gender are all qualities to consider before choosing a name.

Also something that is distinctive  – “Beau” could sound a little too close to “NO.”

Not that they ever hear that word :)

Top 10 Male Cat Names

1.  Max
2.  Sam
3.  Sooty
4.  Gizmo
5.  Lucky
6.  Charlie
7.  Toby
8.  Buddy
9.  Oliver
10. Simba

 

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Top 10 Female Cat Names

1.  Sassy
2.  Missy
3.  Misty
4.  Samatha
5.  Molly
6.  Coco
7.  Lucy
8.  Maggie
9.  Sophie
10. Daisy

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Here’s a Great Book

to help you choose just the right name
for your kitten or cat:

2001 Cat Names (Kindle Edition)

2001 Cat Names

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Top 20 Silly Cat Names

1. Ozzy Pawsbourne
2. Mr. Meowgi
3. Murderface
4. Fuglee
5. Scruffernutter
6. Corporal Cuddles
7. Cat Masterson
8. Spam
9. Tape W.Orm
10. Louisiana Purchase
11. Kung Fu Kitty
12. Door Stop
13. Speedbump
14. Princess Kevin
15. Toot Sweet
16. Frisky Mccracken
17. Mittens Ninja
18. Sir Oswald Wigglesworth
19. Thug Master K
20. Col Mustard

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Choosing the Right Tower for Your Kitten or Cat – Part 2

Yesterday I wrote about the tower we have that was great when Rebel and Lucas were kittens. Well, they still use it, but now it’s only one of them at a time.

For their first Christmas we bought them a Kitty Condo! They love it. :)

kitty-condo-sm

Kitty Condo

Anything that can get them up high off the floor is okay with them.

I shopped around in stores and online. Most of them were a little more expensive than what I had in mind, so I wasn’t too sure it would work out. Then I found one that fit in my budget & I didn’t even have to pay for shipping. Good deal. It was easy enough to put together just by looking at the diagram.

This is just the right size for the room we have available. The first thing they took care of was to remove that hanging ball thing. It didn’t last long. Now it’s a toy for them, but no longer attached to the tower.

The biggest problem with this model and most of the vertical types I saw is that the base is not heavy enough. Kittens or cats do not gently climb up one step at a time. Nope. They fly from one piece of furniture to the other. So without a solid base, this could be a mess or even possible injury.

Until we were able to fix the base problem, we put a few small tables next to it to give it more support. It could also be set up in a corner.

The landings are soft and nice to look at. I think after time they may have to be recovered, so that is a consideration. The scratching posts are really durable.

Our two guys really enjoy it. They take turns being “top cat” or taking a nap hanging off the top landing. Overall, it was a good choice for our situation.

Other designs available:

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 Boston-Cat-Tree  Memphis-Cat-Tree  Multi-Condo-Cat-Gyn  Cat-Tower-Hideout

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Choosing the Right Tower for Your Kitten or Cat

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The same day I brought my kittens home, one of my neighbors was moving out & had a cat tower sitting by the curb with a FREE sign. Perfect timing. It is 14 inches across with two levels. Just right for two little ones.
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Reb-and-Lucas-yinyang-tower

Lucas and Rebel curl up on tower

Reb-and-Lucas-sleep-tower

Little ones asleep on top of tower

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When they were little, they slept on it together. And hid from each other inside. It was great for both of them until one day we saw it knocked over.

Our kitties were getting a little heavier.

We added a weight to the bottom level & that solved the tipping problem.

They still use it even now that they are almost full grown. It’s a little tough for both of them to fit on top now, but sometimes they still try.
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cat tower

Order Cat Tower

Amazon.com has a similar tower, although theirs does not have a full middle shelf. The half shelf would be okay for the kittens to climb in and out of, but not large enough for sleeping. They do have the bottom shelf as a place to hide or sleep.

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Bottom line:

Our little guys LOVE this tower. They use it every single day.

I would recommend this for kittens, just expect to have to add weight to the bottom as they get larger.

We are keeping an eye out for the same tower in a larger diameter. Maybe another neighbor is moving :)
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Choosing the Right Tower for Your Kitten or Cat – Part 2

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Local Pet of the Week Video

It’s been a busy week getting this blog and newsletter set up and ready to go.

It’s Friday! and today I would like to share the Pet of the Week Video from our local Redlands, CA Animal Shelter.

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The Redlands Animal Shelter is responsible for control and adoption of all stray and owner released animals within the City of Redlands. There are many adoptable cats and kittens as well as great adoptable dogs and puppies at the shelter.

They are located at 504 Kansas St  Redlands, CA 92373
phone: (909) 798-7644

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