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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

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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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    Take a look at what it means to have ferrets, rabbits, mice, rats, guinea pigs, and 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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  • Helping Dogs On Deployment with DogIsGood Purchase

    Some companies just step up to the right thing and Dog Is Good is one of them. This month, they are releasing their newest line, "No Dog Left Behind" just in time for Memorial Day.

    The thing I'm most proud to pen is that 100% of net proceeds from the sale of this product line between May 25-31, 2016 will go directly to Dogs On Deployment.

    This concept is nothing new to Dog Is Good. Each year, they choose a beneficiary who shares similar values and objectives, and which focus on the human-dog connection. Obviously, Dogs On Deployment is one of the most powerful and important missions. This is how it works...

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  • The Many Benefits of Cat Grasses

    Benefits of cat grassBenefits of cat grassBenefits of cat grassDespite being obligate carnivores, cats still require greens to stay healthy.

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    Theories on why cats enjoy munching down on fresh grasses vary. Some experts consider cats’ grazing to be a behavioral trait, while others believe it to be an instinctual response and consider it an important part of their cats diets. But most believe it’s their way of increasing their intake of vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber, to help get all that hair they groomed from themselves moving out of their digestive tract.

    (Grass eating usually equates to more hairballs, so here are 10 Creative Uses for Hair and Hairballs!)

    Whatever the reason for making grasses available to cats, there is no denying that most enjoy some fresh grass. (Failure to provide it means your houseplants are likely to fall victim!)

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  • 15 Strange Uses for Shedded Dog, Cat and Horse Hair

    If you're anything like me, (and I suspect you are or you wouldn't be reading this) dog, cat and horse hair and fur is an ongoing problem.

    For people like us, shedding "season" is every single day. Long haired cats, short-haired dogs, horse mane and tail hair; there is no shortage of this highly renewable resource!

    So we decided to take on the challenge of finding useful ways to dispose of it.

    Here are fifteen unique (and often a bit disturbing) ways to utilize your pet's excess fur. (And if that's not enough for us, we have 10 more ways to use fur in 10 Creative Uses for Hair and Hairballs and even some creative ways you can use hairballs in this article, 15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Hairballs!)

    But here are our favorites...

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  • How to Keep Your Dog Out of the Koi Pond

    I know I’m not alone in slowly assembling a veritable menagerie. Most animal lovers would have a zoo if it were practical!

    But sometimes our pets aren’t excited about making friends with other animals. When it comes to dogs, their natural prey drive can cause some problems in our pursuit of a peaceful co-existence.

    Dogs enjoy chasing cats, pouncing on rabbits, snatching birds out of the air and diving for fish in the pond.

    So can you enjoy other pets if you have a dog? Of course! In particular, let’s take a look at how you can have the koi pond of your dreams without your dog snacking on those beautiful fish.

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  • Tabby Cats and Their Patterns

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    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.

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    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.

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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

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

How to Keep Your Dog Out of the Koi Pond

I know I’m not alone in slowly assembling a veritable menagerie. Most animal lovers would have a zoo if it Read More

How Tabby Cats Got Their Forehead "M"

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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
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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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