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  • 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 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 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 Critters

    Take a look at what it means to have ferrets, rabbits, mice, rats, guinea pigs, and more. Read More
  • 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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  • 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 and deer, we live in a world with a rapidly increasing human population –  which means we are continually infringing on wildlife. The more we infringe on their territory, take their water supply and diminish their prey, the more they will be forced to enter our domestic havens. And whether you like it or not, coyotes are a very important part of nature’s balance.

    The one question we get most frequently is how to deal with wild animals that enter our yards threaten our dogs and cats. We are very strong believers in maintaining a symbiotic relationship with nature, so it’s important to us that we raise awareness on the issue. This week, we are discussing how you can keep your pets safe from coyotes and we’re including a whole section on how to do this in step-by-step format...

    Read More
  • 10 Possible Reasons Your Cat Is Behaving Badly

    If your healthy cat is suddenly peeing on your bed or spraying in your office, if he's taken to running around at strange hours of the night, or mewing inconsolably all night, there are several possible explanations. Of course, you must always take them in for a vet check to eliminate any possible health conditions like blockages or disease. But health problems have been eliminated and your cat is still acting out inappropriately, here are some possible explanations.

    Room Deodorizers

    Everyone has probably used a room deodorizer in their home, particularly if they have cats. One of the most common places to put diffusers and other such items are near the litter-box. Avoid doing this! It can cause undue stress on  your cats and even make it difficult for them to use the litter box.

    Solve This: Instead of placing a deodorizer or diffuser near your cat's box, try one of the helpful Litter Box Deodorizers on the market. You can also tape live charcoal on the side or the bottom of the box or sprinkle the box with baking soda prior to putting cat litter inside.

    Read More
  • Dog Etiquette: Leashes

    Recently, we posted on Facebook that we were out walking our dogs and experienced two small, off-leash dogs aggressively running to our much larger, leashed dogs. My dogs were both on-leash and controlled, but I was still annoyed. After posting my experience, I received a lot of responses - some of which were a bit negative due to the fact that one of my dogs looks like a pit bull (apparently I shouldn't be walking him?). Here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter if my dogs are pit bulls or chihuahuas or golden retrievers. In fact, I could have been walking alone, or riding a horse, or walking my cat. The fact is, dogs of any size should never run up on another person or animal without being invited to do so. It’s a common courtesy that could save your dog’s life.

    Here are just a few reasons why...

    Read More
  • Winter Caretaking of Feral Cats

    We have long been supporters of feral cats and advocate the use of Trap, Neuter & Release (TNR) as a form of managing feral cat colonies. Caretakers who support these animals are a special breed as they are able to care for an animal that is unable to care back – as far as we’re concerned, that’s the truest type of love.

    It makes us very happy when we can introduce new products designed specifically to keep feral cats safe and warm, while making the caretakers job a little bit easier. Today I want to show off a specialty feral cat house and a feral cat feeder that is available for purchase. While it is entirely possible to make a feral cat shelter and feeding platform, we know that many people would prefer to buy one ready-made and Feline Furniture is our “go to” group for these products.

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  • Fencing Solutions to Keep Dogs Contained

    If you have a dog, you know how difficult it can be to keep them on your property. Sometimes dogs just want to escape the confines of their yard, but it's our responsibility as guardians to ensure our pets are within our control at all times - even those times we're not physically with them. Fences make for good neighbors, and they make much safer environments for pets. Here are five ways you can fence your yard and the costs, the benefits and the dangers of each.

    The type of fencing you ultimately select should be based on your geographical region, your HOA guidelines (if you have them), and the type of dog(s) you are containing. You'll also need to consider your weather. If you're in an area with lots of weather, you'll want to consider installing a more durable type of fencing. If you live in an area with snow, the snow can pile up near the gates and provide a near perfect way for your pets to escape. But, if you have a dog that is regularly escaping from your yard, consider reading this article or implementing some of these practical tips below:

    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

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

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

Tapeworms are no problem with #BayerExpertCare for Cats

We recently took in a stray cat that, quite honestly, had no business being out on the streets. This is Read More
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One thing that I’ve noticed in the last nine months of writing this column is that the products I like the most are the exact same products the cats most dislike.  You have to wonder about that.  I mean – are we really that different, cats and humans?  What is it that makes us love the things that our felines despise?  What inert function of the brain controls that wild side of us that once would have once had us pouncing on the very things our feline friends find so fascinating? It’s those kinds of questions that keep me up at night, and probably the same reason I spend my days at home writing a column about cat products instead of sitting in an office with the mass of society...

Alas, I fear that is a philosophical discussion for a later time.

This month, the product that I love, and that my furry friends despise, is called Ssscat Pet Deterrent.  This delightful little product has recently liberated over $2,000 in new furniture, has recovered a bit of my sanity, and has even salvaged my voice – as I never have to yell, hiss, or scatter my pets away from anything anymore. 

 

Note: Remember that this is a "quick fix" solution and the best way to improve behavior forever is through positive reinforcement. While Ssscat! does have it's place and works well, remember that it has the potential to cause other types of behavior problems, as well as potentially make your cat fearful.

This product does it for me.  Personally, I think the good people over at Multivet (the developers of Ssscat) misnamed this product.  They should have called it the same name that I use to refer to it, which is “Bastet”.  For those who don’t know, Bastet is the name given to the Egyptian Goddess of cats when she is shown in her full cat form, Bast when she’s shown with only a cat head.  Ssscat deserves the entire name of Bastet.  Now – why would I equate a cat product with a Goddess?  Well, primarily the reason I do it is because every time I bring up a God of any type, my readers fly into a frenzy and begin sending me email, and it gives me something to do besides write these columns (see “Do Animals Have Souls” if you missed that little gem).  But most importantly, I call Ssscat by the name of a Goddess, because that’s precisely how it performs. Multivet Ssscat Kit Automated Cat Repellent Deterrent Spray + 2 Refills is a cat behavior modification tool if you want to get technical.  I really don’t want too, so I call it a "sprayer".  What it does is offer a pet two opportunities to move off of the counter, or away from the couch, or off the table, or out of a room that you don’t want it in.  The first opportunity for the cat to move is afforded by a loud noise, similar to an air horn (but nowhere near as loud).  This noise just let’s the animal know that they have crossed into territory where they are unwelcome.  The next opportunity is a quick spray of a gas known as "134a", (which sounds like something out of TV show, LOST).  This gas is completely harmless for people and pets, environmentally (ozone) friendly, completely odorless, and just as important - highly effective.  If you're anything like me, you need to be reassured about the "safe" part when a gas such as 134a is mentioned. So, allow me to put your mind at ease.  It's the same gas that is used in ventillin pump for asthma inhalers, and has no side effects.  So don't be alarmed if you accidentally spray yourself - you'll be fine. The other neat thing about this product is that its not just for cats - it works for all kinds of pets.  It even works with kids, and most adults who aren’t smart enough to figure out how to turn it off...

This is where the God part comes in… The pet (or kid or unintelligent adult) is made to believe that they are being disciplined by some kind of “higher power”, and not by their human.  Since Ssscat is motion-activated, running only on 4 AAA batteries, you don’t even need to be home to keep your pets under control!  No more yelling, no more hissing, no more spray bottles!  There is now no need whatsoever (as if there ever were, and PLEASE do not EVEN get me started on THIS subject) to declaw your cat, and there is no need for shock mats or sticky tape.  This is a one-stop shop, folks.  My husband and I started with one unit, just to see what it would do.  We now have six.  All of them are stationed in select areas and turned on and off at select times of the day.  The best part is that cats – being as intelligent as they are – have learned where they are, and are not, allowed to roam.  We are now able to move the units around, and the cats remember where they were not allowed before and do not return to the previous area.  Our furniture is now “cat-free”.  Our newly tiled counters no longer have felines lounging around the tops, scattering hair everywhere.  Our dogs have even learned to stay off the living room furniture, where they once slept on the premise of “guarding the front door.”  It has even eliminated the “door rush” when someone comes to visit.  Our home is almost normal.  Almost.  I would hate for it to get too normal, because I’m an Aquarius, and I don’t handle normal well.  But, I have to say; we’re getting pretty close to what the masses would refer to as normal. Now, as to the cost of this product, it is a little pricey, but there are ways around this.  Order two.  They are worth it.   We’ve had ours for a little over six months, and they have been running 24 hours a day.  We have only replaced the batteries once, and have not had to order refills for the unit at all.  The cats learn quickly.  The beauty of this unit is that it works on several levels:  sight, sound, and feel.  First, your cat will see the canister and learn to stay away from any place it is located, despite its being on or off.  Second, it sounds off with a loud noise as a warning and if you choose, you can leave it only on this setting without a spray.  Third, it offers the odorless gas spray as a reinforcement for the most stubborn, or in my case, the most deaf cats.  As I have several deaf cats, this is a great tool for me, because noise does nothing to warn them away from an area.  The nozzle can be redirected in 15 different ways, and it has a wide range of motion detection so that you can cover a large area. Yes, this is one more product that you must have if you share your home with cats.  Its simplicity is perfect, its cost is not extraordinary, and its effects are lasting.  Bastet, I mean, Ssscat – is truly a revolutionary product for pet owners the world over.

From the Cats:

Hisses & Spits:  Hiss!  Spit!  We want our couches back, our freedom to roam on countertops just as we were allowed in the days of old.  Down with Ssscat!

Purrs:  None… We despise this product!

From the Humans:

Two opposable thumbs up!! We love this product!  Now we can have real furniture, we can keep the dogs off of it, we can keep the cats from clawing it!  Our lives will never, ever be the same again.  Drawback? None – we love it!  Are they selling stock in this company?

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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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