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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
  • All About HorsesAll About Horses

    All About Horses

    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
  • Traveling with PetsTraveling with Pets

    Traveling with Pets

    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
  • All About CrittersAll About Critters

    All About Critters

    Take a look at what it means to have ferrets, rabbits, mice, rats, guinea pigs, and more. Read More
  • All About ReptilesAll About Reptiles

    All About Reptiles

    A look at our cold-blooded friends and discovering how to care for these fun loving creatures! Read More
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  • How Tabby Cats Got Their Forehead "M"

    Tabby cats have a rather unique history. If you have seen a tabby cat, you've probably noticed the distinguished looking “M” pattern on their forehead. Due to this marking, most have enjoyed special privilege over the years as being favored by  religious leaders.

    While there are dozens of legends about how Tabby Cats received this special marking, today we're exploring those based on Christian and Muslim faiths.

    There are many beliefs about how this cat received their marking that span multiple religions and mythos, but those of the Muslim faith seem to be the most committed to their feline friends.

    Read More
  • Tabby Cats and Their Patterns

    Tabbies are a big part of our lives.

    If you follow us on Instagram, you probably know that we have three beautiful full-time tabbies: CassieKyra The Cog and Alexandra. We also have one vocal foster cat we call Kreature. Each of these cats is magnificent and it's about time someone came up with a holiday celebrating their beauty.

    And so, in Celebration of #NationalTabbyDay, we're talking about a few fun facts you may not know...

    To begin, a tabby is not a breed of cat, but a general way of referring to a coat pattern. In fact,  usually “tabby” means stripes, swirls or spots on a cat that is orange, brown, white or grey colored cat.  In fact, the word tabby is often used as a generic term for "cat" (just like "hound" is often used as a general term for dogs). Tabby cats are found in a variety of different breeds.

    Let’s take a look at the four basic types of tabby coat patterns.

    Read More
  • 10 Steps for Keeping Your Birds Toys Clean

    If you're new to bird-keeping, you may not know how important it is to keep your birds toys clean. This is a very basic "how to" list for keeping your birds toys free from diseases that may be transferred to other birds (or you) and ensuring your bird's cage is kept as sanitary as possible.

    Keeping bird toys clean and sanitary can be a challenge as they come in so many different types and sizes. However, it’s very important to keep them clean since your bird often has so much beak contact with them. 

    Birds are well known for being the most sensitive animals of the animal kingdom. They are highly sensitive to cleaning supplies, and in some cases, cleaning solutions can be toxic to birds. We suggest you move your birds to a new cage while you embark upon cleaning their current home. 

    Read More
  • Top 5 Alternatives to Catnip

    Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is an amazing plant. It’s been grown for centuries because it has a sedative effect on humans and acts much like chamomile. Best of all, the concentration of its active chemical nepetalactone is reported to be 10 times more powerful than DEET when used as a mosquito repellent! (But sadly, that insect-repelling property only lasts a few hours).

    Many cats love catnip, but the sad fact is that not every cat will react to it. In fact, only about 50% of cats have a reaction to catnip; and if your cat’s under three months old, they will have no reaction at all because they haven't developed the equipment to respond. In addition, the reaction to catnip is an inherited trait and if your cat doesn’t have the gene, well, they just won’t respond to the plant.

    But not all is lost. If you have a cat that doesn't respond to the favored nip, you simply find an alternative that does work. Here is a roundup of our top five favorite alternatives to catnip:

    Read More
  • Keeping Aquariums Alive During Summer Blackouts

    Summer is on the way, and that means possible brown outs (power shortages) and even blackouts (power outages) for most of the country. Things get more complex than being without air conditioning when we have fish and aquariums.

    This is why it’s so important to have a backup plan in case power goes out for longer than a few hours. 

    When power to your aquarium stops, there are three critical events that occur: 

    • Temperature fluctuates
    • Oxygen depletes
    • Ammonia accumulates

    Today we're taking a look at each of these things in detail and offering a few suggestions on how you can prepare for a brownout or blackout in your area of the country.  

    Read More
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5 Questions to Ask Before Getting Chickens

There is a lot of interest in chicken keeping these days. With the cost of food skyrocketing, chickens can be Read More

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

Getting Old Sucks - Cognitive Dysfuntion in Dogs (CCD)

As most of you know, we have a dog who has just turned 15 years old. He’s half blind, almost Read More

Teaching Children to Approach Horses

I have a problem with parents who just allow their kids just run up to strange animals. In fact today, Read More

Disaster preparedness with pets

September is National Animal Preparedness Month. Some natural disasters require that you evacuate your entire family, pets included. Wildfires, floods, Read More

5 Ways to Help Birds in Winter on #NationalBirdDay

January 5 is officially National Bird Day and we're looking at ways that we can help our feathered friends during Read More
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Walking your cat is all the rage these days, and most animal behaviorists agree that it’s one of the more valuable activities you can do with your favorite four-legged feline friend. While some cats are content to lie by the window and nap amongst sunbeams; others will throw themselves against the door, meow miserably against their containment, and dart outside the second someone slips through the front door. These are the cats that most benefit from controlled outdoor exploration. Leashed Exploration

Whether or not to take your cat for a walk can depend on everything from their breed to their temperament. Only you know for sure if your cat would appreciate an outdoor catio or a leashed walk through the neighborhood. And if you don’t know, just try both solutions – your cat will let you know which they prefer.

If you and your cat prefer to roam freely in a controlled environment, the outdoor enclosure (aka "Catio") is for you. An enclosure might be an enclosed patio or kennel area or an entire 5-acre compound. There are affordable fencing solutions available for any situation. By containing your cat, you limit his/her ability to get into trouble with neighbors or other animals, and you protect them from hostile humans and wilder cousins that include bobcats, coyotes and mountain lions. We have a list of suggestions on how to build your own private catio and a closer look at some of the nicest enclosures we’ve ever seen. No matter your budget or available acreage, there is a solution.

 

Precautions for taking your cat outside:

  • Keep your cat up-to-date on vaccinations: Vaccination guidelines vary according to region, so be sure to check with your veterinarian on what is needed.
  • Be sure your cat is on heartworm prevention: This is very important whether your cat is indoor or outdoors!
  • Implement a safe and effective flea/tick program. Your cat will be slightly more susceptible to parasites if you take them outside often.
  • Keep your cat secured. Check your enclosure frequently for areas where animals have chewed or damage from weather.
  • Be sure your cat is microchipped: Chipping your cat increases the likelihood of return (if they are lost) from 2% to 53%! That’s a huge improvement.
  • Be sure your cat is wearing ID tags (We love the Blanket ID tag – it’s small, lightweight and holds up forever. It’s also adorable!)
  • Utilize a GPS tracker: They are inexpensive and easily shared between animals-  a Tagg GPS tracker can be placed on your cats harness if (s)he is over 10-12 lbs.

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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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