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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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  • Take Your Dog To Work Week

    While we're lucky enough to spend just about every waking with our dogs and cats, we know a lot of you don't have that luxury. Next week, every one will have the opportunity to take their dogs to work - because it's officially "Take Your Dog To Work Week" (#TYDTWW)!

    Having an official week like this is important for corporations, because if it's done correctly, everyone can benefit from having dogs in the workplace. Dogs promote a happier work environment, can keep employees calm just be being around them, and can give everyone a chance to laugh when they may otherwise not do so. We all know how important laughter is in the workplace.

    Today, you should talk to your boss and see what the office policy is on this holiday next week. If they aren't totally sure about allowing this, we have some office antics that can help even the most reluctant boss change their mind...

    Read More
  • 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, but the TrackR tag meets that requirement. This tiny device attaches to your pets collar and uses "Crowd Tracking" (more about this below) to locate your lost pet (or luggage or car or anything else).

    The tracking is not as detailed as the standard tracker, but it's new technology. Rather than pinpoint the item, it tells you when you're near it by using "hot" or "cold" cues (which we all remember from our childhood games).

    A 2-way separation alert (when you pet gets too far from your phone) alerts you so you never have to worry about leaving a pet behind.

    Read More
  • Installing a Pet Door for Summer

    This time of year, I spend most of my day letting dogs in and letting dogs out. It’s annoying. Since I live in the hottest place of the world (in an environment that is actively trying to kill us), every single time I open the door, I let out about $30 worth of air-conditioned comfort.

    My pets don’t really care about our loss of air conditioning - they would be totally content to stand in the doorway letting the cool air waft over them while they were warmed by the sun.

    Their lack of empathy means I have to take precautions to conserve my air conditioned comfort. I don't want to knock a hole in the wall, so what’s a girl to do? The answer is simple, really...

    Read More
  • Protect Our Water by Picking Up After Pooches

    Despite the fact that water covers 71% of the earth, we are finding ourselves with rapidly dwindling water supplies. Those of us in North America are very fortunate because we have large aquifers and a good amount of rain (if you're not in the Southwest).

    But every year, our large population consumes far more water than we should and most of our states are in drought conditions. This makes it a precious resource we should never take for granted. Instead, it's a resource we should be fiercely protecting.

    Contamination is one of the biggest problems and while most of the water contamination comes from humans, dog waste is the third leading cause of water pollution.

    Every single gram of dog waste hosts over 23 million fecal bacteria. This bacteria seeps into the soil, is absorbed by groundwater, washed into storm drains into our aquifer, and then filtered and recycled through waste water treatment plants. Eventually, it ends up right back into our water supply with a final arrival out of our taps.

    And who wants to drink that?!

    Read More
  • Synthetic Dog Could Replace Shelter Dogs for Veterinarian Training

    Just when you think the fate of an abandoned animal can't possibly get any worse. ABC News recently reported that many of these dogs and cats are sold to terminal surgery laboratories where they are used for testing and surgery training, and then euthanized.

    Now, I have to say, we have our doubts about this practice and that story's accuracy. The veterinary schools we know and work with abandoned that practice many, many years ago and only perform surgeries on shelter animals who require surgery. Even then, then they do their best to find homes for the animals through legitimate rescuers.

    On the other paw, many laboratories do purchase animals from "B dealers" (aka puppy mills, horses from slaughterhouses and others who just breed to sell to laboratories).

    Regardless, SynDaver Labs, a Florida-based company, is planning to change any need for anyone to ever have to purchase a live dog for experimentation or training DVMs by replacing them with lifelike and very realistic synthetic dog that mimics nearly every part of a live animal.

    Read More
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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

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

10 Ways to Help Cats #AdoptAShelterCatMonth

June is #AdoptAShelterCatMonth and that means it's time to join in the festivities and celebrate all thing cat! We really 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
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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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