Use a Harness on Your Cat for Safety, Exercise and Fun!

This is the time of year when your cat may be interested in going outside. Believe it or not, your cat can adapt to using a harness and leash. It just takes some time, patience and practice. You can teach your cat how to use a harness or leash and take your cat for a walk!

Cat trainer and breeder, Lisa Maria Padilla demonstrates how to harness your cat with a Sturdi Harness.

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Photo: Larry Johnson

Be sure to discuss with your vet ahead of time your intention and ask how to properly protect your cat from fleas and ticks.

Below are some tips for you to consider in using a harness and leash:

1. Purchase a harness like the Sturdi harness that is made specially for cats.

2. Leave the harness laying around so that your cat gets used to it and let your cat sniff the harness and get used to it.

3. Use treats to encourage your cat the entire time you are trying the harness on your cat. If your cat objects, don’t get discouraged, just take the harness off and try again another day. Be sure you have two fingers between the harness and your cat’s body.

4. If your cat is agreeable to the harness, let him sit with the harness on wait a bit before you use the leash. Observe your cat to see how relaxed he is and that should give you a guide as to how to proceed.

5. When you attach the leash, follow the same procedure and monitor your cat’s comfort level. You can let the leash drag on the floor until you see that your cat is comfortable. Practice using the harness and leash indoors until you and your cat are comfortable. Keep the leash loose to give your cat room to move, speak in a soothing voice and give him treats to let him know he is doing a good job.

6. Apply gentle but firm pressure. Be sure not to jerk or drag the leash.

7. Once you decide to venture outdoors, take your cat to a quiet spot and sit with him while your cat roams around with you holding the leash.

8. Repeat this process until you and your cat are comfortable. Allow him to explore his surroundings with you following behind with the leash. You will get an idea as to when a good time is to venture further with your cat.

For some inspiration, check out the adventures of “Fish and Chips”, 2 kitties who LOVE going on outdoor trips with their humans!

Nursing Home Companion

In one of the sweetest stories of the week, we learn about Oreo.

Oreo was a black & white stray kitty, living near St. Augustine Health Ministries in Cleveland, OH.

She kept returning to the nursing home, and pretty soon had worked her way into being part of the “staff”.  :-)  Now she spends her days bringing joy to residents and staff.

Read more….

Meet the Chartreux

Chatreux-1Old as antiquity, the robust and muscular French Chartreux (pronounced: shar trew) is built for survival. Its physical appearance still reflects its ancient origin in the harsh arid cold of mountainous Asia Minor. Its large body mass conserves heat, aided by a dense woolly coat that repels dew and seasonal weather. Small, fur-covered appendages-ears, legs, and tail-prevent heat loss and resist frostbite.

 

The Chartreux is a study in contrasts. Often described as a “potato on toothpicks,” the Chartreux has a robust body, broad shoulders and a deep chest, all complemented by medium short, finely boned legs. The Chartreux is also known for its smile. The rounded head with its softly contoured forehead tapers to a narrowed muzzle. This gives the Chartreux an image of smiling.

Chartreux-2

 

Chartreux are highly communicative. Very active tails, ear movements, ever-changing facial expressions, and a vast repertoire of trills, chirps, and coos speak volumes to the observant owner.

 

Chartreux are named according to the French convention of using the letter of the alphabet assigned to a given year. For example, kittens born during calendar year 2005 have names beginning with the letter A; 2006, B; 2007, C; and so on. The letters K, Q, W, X, Y, Z are not used, so letters repeat every 20 years. As a result, fanciers can tell the age of a Chartreux simply by knowing its name.

 

Learn more about the Chartreux…

 

Family Pets Aid Child Development

Kids-And-PetsIn a newly published study, the University of Liverpool examined the benefits to children growing up with pets.

The study concluded that youngsters with pets tend to have greater self-esteem, less loneliness, and enhanced social skills –  research that adds strength to claims that household pets can help support healthy child development.

“The patterns among sub-populations and age groups suggests that companion animals have the potential to promote healthy child and adolescent development,” says WALTHAM researcher Nancy Gee, a co-author of the study. “This is an exciting field of study and there is still much to learn about the processes through which pet ownership may impact healthy child development.”

I don’t think the conclusion of this study is any surprise to those of us who have grown up with pets…  :-)

New Film Opens: Kedi

KediJust opening recently is the new film Kedi – the Turkish word for “cat”.

The filmmaker takes us to Istanbul, and provides us a cats-eye view of the city.

“Hundreds of thousands of cats have roamed the metropolis of Istanbul freely for thousands of years, wandering in and out of people’s lives, impacting them in ways only an animal who lives between the worlds of the wild and the tamed can. Cats and their kittens bring joy and purpose to those they choose, giving people an opportunity to reflect on life and their place in it. In Istanbul, cats are the mirrors to ourselves.”

Find a local screening here:  https://www.kedifilm.com/

Meet the Burmilla

Burmilla-1While the Burmilla is the newest breed to grace the cat fancy as a CFA breed, the origin to this breed dates back over 30 years ago, as a cross between a Burmese and a Chinchilla Silver Persian.

The Burmilla is medium sized cat with a muscular yet elegant body. The head is sculptured in appearance, where the rounded top head, nose profile, medium broad muzzle and well-developed chin set the balance. The eyes can be any shade of green and are often greenish gold to yellowish in youth, with the green coming in as they mature.

Burmilla-2 Their distinguishing feature is their sparkling silver coat, and distinctive “make up” lining the nose, lips and eyes. The Burmilla comes in two coat lengths, semi longhair and shorthair.

The Burmilla is an irreverent and independent cat that adores its owner and displays many kitten-like characteristics even into adulthood. Fun loving, yet quiet and gentle, this sweet natured cat gets along well with children and other animals.

Learn more about the Burmilla…

Affordable DNA Testing Available

The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) unveils CatDNAtest.org, an affordable feline DNA testing tool to effectively provide valuable health information, enabling early diagnosis and treatment of genetic disease. Health impacts are measurable.

“We are very pleased to partner with the Cat Fanciers’ Association to provide cat owners and caregivers the numerous benefits that advanced DNA testing technology can offer,” said GeneSeek’s Lindsey Kock, DVM. “As we’ve found through our many years of working with various animal species and their associated breed registries, DNA testing provides significant opportunities to both improve the overall health of the population through more informed breeding decisions, and provides valuable information about the health and traits of an individual enabling earlier diagnosis and treatment. In both cases, the impact on animal health is significant.”

CatDNAtest.org is a cooperative effort by CFA and GeneSeek, the world’s largest animal genetic testing laboratory. The state-of-the-art testing procedures uses SNP Array Genetic Evaluation (pronounced “snips”). The testing helps identify genetic diseases and traits such as color. Not only does genetic testing offer insights to the health of an individual cat, it also provides genetic information that can be used to make informed breeding decisions and improve the health of future off-spring and long-term viability of a breed.

Cats can be tested at any age via a cheek swab. Participants will receive an officially certified SNP DNA Testing Certificate, which shows all the genetic information obtained from the test.

The service is available to all those who seek feline DNA testing, including breeders, veterinarians, and cat lovers.

For more information, including costs and step-by-step instructions, visit www.catdnatest.org.

Meet the Burmese

BurmeseThe overall impression of the ideal Burmese would be a cat of medium size with substantial bone structure, good muscular development and a surprising weight for its size.

The facial expression of a Burmese is sweet, innocent and unique among pedigreed cats. It has been said that when the Burmese looks at you, it feels like it is “looking into your soul.”

BurmeseThis little bundle is clothed in a shiny, close-lying coat that feels like satin. The Burmese coat come in four colors: sable, champagne, blue and platinum. Sable is the most common of the four, and is a deep chocolate brown color.

These are the ultimate companion cats. They love being with people, playing with them, and keeping them entertained. They crave close physical contact and are referred to by some breeders as “Velcro cats.” They abhor an empty lap, will follow their humans from room to room, and sleep in bed with them, preferably under the covers, cuddled as close as possible.

Learn more about the Burmese…