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.

Read more about how to train your cat.

How to Spot an Allergy in Your Cat

The following outdoor allergens can cause allergic reactions to cats who are sensitive:

  • Tree, grass, weed, mold, mildew and dust pollens

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Photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/gem66/2312802044/”>gem66</a> / <a href=”http://foter.com/”>Foter</a> / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>CC BY-NC-SA</a>

Watch for or the following symptoms in your cat, especially this time of year as flowers are blooming and the grass is growing.

1.  Itchy skin and scratching

2.  Itchy, watery eyes

3.  Vomiting and Diarrhea

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Photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/axollot/13391237204/”>axollot</a> / <a href=”http://foter.com/”>Foter</a> / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>CC BY</a>

Visit your veterinarian as soon as you notice symptoms.  Your vet will take a complete history,  conduct a physical examination where veterinarian may determine the source of your cat’s allergic reaction. If an examination is not sufficient, your vet will most probably recommend skin or blood tests and/or a special elimination diet, to find out what’s causing the allergic reaction.

Help Your Cat Avoid These Hazards at Easter

Flowers are lovely and chocolates and candy taste so good!  Be sure to have your cat avoid popular Easter Lillies as they can cause renal failure in cats. Also, you will want to avoid having your cat eat any chocolate bunnies or other Easter candy this year so that you and your cat can enjoy the day without a trip to the vet.

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If kitty does get into something he should not have, please contact your vet immediately as time is of the essence.  You can also contact the Animal Control Poison Center at 1-888-426-4435.  Charges may apply, but it is well worth it for the safety and health of your cat.

Did You Know – There Actually IS a Scientific Reason Why Cats Love Boxes

How many times have you received a shipment, left the box on the floor only to find later that your cat has managed to squeeze himself into a tiny box? It happens all of the time here!

Dr. Claudia Vinke, a Netherlands-based ethologist, who led a study on how stress affects  cats at the Utrecht University in the Netherlands has found four main reasons as to why your cat will choose to sit in a box rather than on the floor:  they feel safe in a confined area, boxes encourages their play so they can stalk and pounce, boxes keep your cat warm and they also help avoid conflict with other animals. Check out Maru below as he tries to fit in a small box.

When in doubt, be sure to get a box your cat can enjoy.

Music for Cats

Your cat will soon have a chance to listen to music created just for her!

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Photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/swanksalot/16318505812/”>swanksalot</a> / <a href=”http://foter.com”>Foter</a> / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>CC BY-NC-SA</a>

Kitty Diddies, Feline Airs and Cat Ballads are some of the types of music created just for cats. The music is chosen based on its appeal to our favorite felines as each style creates a certain mood.

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Photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/anderaz/600346730/”>Anderaz</a> / <a href=”http://foter.com”>Foter</a> / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>CC BY-ND</a>

Flying Cat Book is Published in Japan

Well, here’s an interesting tidbit to note.  Tokyo-based publisher Kadokawa Magazine will publish a photo book dedicated entirely to 100 photographs of flying cats diving, jumping and leaping from wall to wall, roof to roof and even between two floating boats.

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(C) Kenta Igarashi

The book, titled Tobi-Neko,which can be roughly translated as “flying cats,” features images by photographer Kenta Igarashi. Mr. Igarashi’s artwork has become popular after his images were featured on TV programs in Japan in 2014.  The book will sell for $11.

House is Indoor Playground for Cats

Peter Cohen, a home builder, has found a creative way to keep his cats occupied by constructing an elaborate course with catwalks, tunnels, platforms and perches throughout his California home. Take a look at how this creative builder built a fun and safe home for their rescue cats. While most of us cannot go to this extent, it is important to create our own version of a kitty playground to keep our cats occupied.

Cat Commutes into London for a Happy Ending

How many times have you seen this happen in a subway, no less?

With many animals roaming around the streets without a home, the holidays are especially hard.  It goes to show that getting cats into forever homes is a global issue.

Take time to donate to your local shelter this season.

A cat named Oyster was making his way into Central London via the Tube when passengers spotted him sitting on a seat.  A volunteer from a local animal shelter, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, was able to get him into a carrier and transport him to the shelter where she worked.  Quick thinking! We hope Oyster now has a forever home of his own!