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  • Behavior Problems? We have answers.Behavior Problems? We have answers.

    Behavior Problems? We have answers.

    Learn about behavior from our team of experts. Whether you have cats, dogs, reptiles, horses or birds, we can help you learn to live with them. Read More
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    Learn about equine science, whether you're an aspiring rider or a long-time owner, we have the latest in products, breeds, and more. Read More
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    Be sure to check this section out before you hit the road with your pet! We've got a look at pet-friendly hotels, the guidelines of air, train, bus and auto travel, and much more. Read More
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    A look at our cold-blooded friends and discovering how to care for these fun loving creatures! Read More
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  • February is National Prevent A Litter Month

    February is “National Prevent A Litter Month” and in the world of cats, there is perhaps no more important month. The reason that this holiday falls in February is because Spring is also known as “kitten season”.  

    Each year, there are more than 2.7 million perfectly healthy cats and dogs euthanized in shelters. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We all love kittens, but sadly, there are just far too many homeless cats in the world.

    We're helping Feline Fix by Five to help educate cat owners on the reasons why cats should be fixed by five months of age. This is an important issue and I hope you'll help spread the message so we can decrease the euthanization rate of cats and help keep our own cats healthy. 

    Here are five more important reasons you should have your cat fixed before they are five months old: 

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    Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium, Leptospira. This is also a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be transmitted to humans.

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  • Why the Removal of USDA information Matters

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    So when the current government administration removed the database of laboratories and breeders from the USDA website last week, you can bet I’m going to be upset... 

    Here’s why this matters: In AZ (and OH, VA, MD, NJ, CT, LA and NYC), it’s illegal to sell puppies in pet stores unless they’re from a reputable breeder. This has not only allowed animal rescues to find amazing homes for millions of dogs and cats, but it’s helped (slowly) start to make an impact on the number of puppy mills around the nation.

    Removing this critical information (all of which was gathered on the taxpayer’s dime), from a public website (also paid for by taxpayer dollars) means we can no longer look up anyone who sells puppies or kittens or horses or any other species, and see if they have any prior citations.  We can't look up laboratories that test on animals and their past citations. We can't track lion breeders or tiger breeders or those who breed thousands of animals in the space of a year under disgusting conditions. 

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  • The Definitive Guide to Stop Cats from Spraying

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    Some believe that female cats don't spray (this is untrue) and others believe that spaying/neutering cats will stop the problem (also untrue - but it will help decrease the frequency). Indoor cats who spray are usually doing it for an entirely different reason. 

    Cat urine has a very distinct odor that repels people and causes other cats to begin spraying, creating a vicious smelly cycle. 

    But, it doesn’t have to be that way. These days, there are many ways to keep this issue under control and your home smelling fresh and clean. Here is your definitive guide to stopping cats from spraying. 

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  • 4 Bath Salts That May Benefit Your Pets

    We're all looking for ways to improve our lives and those of our pets, and nothing says love like natural care! When it comes to curing dandruff, easing itchy paws, stopping skin irritations and helping pets overcome stress and be more comfortable in their skin, nothing gets the job done like natural salts. 

    Your body absorbs the many minerals from these baths through the skin (dermal absorption). There are tons of benefits for people and pets - from relaxation to detoxification. Salts have many other curative effects. 

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    We take a look at all of them and how to best use them on your dogs and cats. 

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Dogs that can't Swim and Some that just aren't very good at it

Summer is officially here in the desert and we have reached temperatures in excess of 100 degrees, so you know Read More

Disaster preparedness with pets

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Keeping Aquariums Alive During Summer Blackouts

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Keeping Pets Safe from Coyotes

No matter where you live, you’ve likely had to deal with wildlife. Whether its mountain lions and coyotes, or squirrels Read More

5 Questions to Ask Before Getting Chickens

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TrackR Uses Crowd GPS To Locate Your Pets

It's tough finding a GPS collar or tag that is small enough for your cat or tiny dog to wear, Read More
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If you have ever bought a fancy cat toy only to find your pet later playing with the packaging instead of the toy, you’re not alone. Baffled cat owners often wonder what went wrong. Some even take it personally. Your independent-minded kitty’s choice of diversion, though, is more a result of its genetics than its feelings towards you. Because your cat is a predatory animal by nature, a simple object that engages all of its instincts will attract its attention the most. Homemade toys often satisfy kitty the most. To better understand their benefits, we consulted with expert Holly Tse, author of Make Your Own Cat Toys: Saving The Planet One Cat Toy At A Time and owner of the Makeyourowncattoys Web site. Along with her insights, she offered useful ideas to help you create your cat’s next favorite toy -- inexpensively and painlessly.

Consider the Benefits

Homemade toys not only benefit your cat, but they may also enhance your own lifestyle. Tse shares her top two reasons that homemade often trumps store-bought when it comes to cat toys: You reduce your environmental impact “Some of the best homemade toys can be made by reusing or recycling items you already have around the house,” says Tse. By putting your “garbage” to good use, you divert usable objects away from landfills and direct them instead toward your eager kitty -- a plus in our eco-conscious times. It’s fun and safe for you and your cat Making homemade cat toys is fun and creative, and it gives you the opportunity to bond more closely with your cat, says Tse. When it comes to safety, there won’t be any scares about lead paint in toys. “If you buy a toy made overseas, you don’t know what materials went into the manufacturing process,” explains Tse. “However, if you make a toy out of an old gym sock, then it’s really up to you to determine how toxic it is,” a smiling Tse adds.

Try It Yourself…

Ready to try your hand at creating your household’s next most popular cat toy? Here are four creative ideas from Tse’s book:

1. Lazy Wrestle Sausage

(prep time: two minutes)

What you’ll need: one sock, one plastic grocery bag, one tablespoon organic catnip, one sturdy shoelace
How you’ll do it: Place the catnip in the sock. Stuff the sock with the grocery bag. It should feel soft and pliable to the touch. If it feels too stiff, cut away excess plastic from the bag. Next, tie the shoelace around the open end of the sock, about 2 inches from the end. The toy is now ready for a game of tug-of-war.

2. D

(prep time: less than one minute)

What you’ll need: one CD, bright sunshine
How you’ll do it: Hold the CD in the natural light so that it casts reflections throughout the room. Try angling the reflection so that your cat can chase the light beam along the floor and walls.

1. Polar Ribbon

(prep time: five minutes)

What you’ll need: old polar fleece jacket or top, one chopstick, one thick rubber band (like the ones used for broccoli), scissors
How you’ll do it: Cut a 1-inch-wide lengthwise strip from the polar fleece top. Continue cutting strips until they add up to 50-70 inches in length. Tie the strips together with double knots to form a very long ribbon. Tie a knot at one end of the ribbon, and tie the other end of the ribbon around the elastic band. Wrap the band around the wide end of the chopstick until it is secure. Now, swirl the ribbon above your cat’s head or dangle it above kitty’s belly. Watch her chase it and swat it.

4. Sweep Around

(prep time: two minutes)

What you’ll need: one toilet paper roll, scissors
How you’ll do it: Cut one end of the toilet paper roll to make parallel lengthwise strips, about 2.5 inches long and 0.3 inches wide each. Cut all the way around the roll to form the bristle end of the broom. Press the toilet paper roll flat, then fold it in half lengthwise. Fold again. Fluff up the sweeper bristles so that it fans out like a broom. Sweep Around is now ready to sweep kitty off her feet. Tse reminds that you should always try to supervise your cat when it is playing with toys, homemade or otherwise. Store the toys in an attractive, covered basket, or other container, until ready for use. As a final word of advice, Tse says, “Avoid items that your cat may want to eat or that have the potential to cause injury.” In fact, she concludes, “when in doubt, just leave it out.”

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stacymantlestacymantle
Author: stacymantle
About the Author

Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.


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