cats

Myths About Cats

Jun 12, 2021
Kevin Dooley [Flickr]

Let's bust some myths that have plagued our feline friends for too long!  All cats are not alike - they can be as different from each other as humans are.  You may wonder what your cat is thinking or feeling, but understanding your furry buddy begins with knowing some facts about cats.  

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The Color of a Cat

Jun 5, 2021
Mindy Norton

Our very first cat, Heidi, was a tortoiseshell kitten.  We thought she was beautiful, and so unique!  The first time we saw another tortoiseshell cat in someone's yard, we were surprised to see a feline that looked just like our pet!  The tortoiseshell coloring is so named because their coat resembles, well,  the shell of a tortoise.  Keep in mind that tortoiseshells can be found in a variety of cat breeds, so their size and personality can vary greatly.  Our current pet, pictured here, is a tortoiseshell named Gypsy.  She is a sweetheart!

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Three Rivers Police Department [Facebook]

Every year hundreds of pets die because they were left unattended in a parked car.  In just minutes an animal can suffer heatstroke, irreparable organ and brain damage and death.  Even if you live in a state where the laws do not allow you to rescue the pet, you can still search nearby establishments to see if you can locate the driver.

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Brief Gasp (Anninna Rutanen) - [Flickr]

When  grooming your pet, brush or comb in the direction of hair growth. Use short firm strokes with a brush or comb and be careful to stop if you encounter a mat in the fur.  Gently work the tangled hair loose before continuing.  Make it a pleasant time for your pet - and for you!

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Plan for Disaster

May 1, 2021
The National Guard [Flickr]

This dog is one of the lucky ones - he survived the tornado, and is rescued!  If his owner had a disaster plan, he might not have needed to endure this.  Make a list of items your pet will need to get by for several days, and make your own "bug-out" bag!  The best advice is to not wait until the last minute to evacuate.  The American Red Cross website has some great information to get you started.  

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National Pet ID Week

Apr 24, 2021
AdamB1995 (Adam Buzzo) [Flickr]

Losing a pet can be traumatic for both owner and animal, but if your furry friend has some reliable ID it greatly increases the possibility your four-legged companion will make its way back home to you.  Check with your veterinarian or local pet store about options for having your pet microchipped.

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Feral Cats

Apr 17, 2021
DF (Denise) Church [Flickr]

When feral cats are spayed or neutered and released, it is possible they may be trapped again.  It is easy to tell if a male has been neutered, but not a female.  To prevent unnecessary surgery, one ear of a spayed feral cat is "tipped" (the tip surgically removed) so that it is obvious the cat has already been spayed!

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petful.com [Flickr]

Having a pet around the house may change the way you celebrate certain holidays, and that includes Easter.   Pets are attracted to shiny objects, or things that have a tantalizing smell.  Taking the time to make sure your best friend stays safe during the holiday will make it a happy time for everyone!

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Easter Bunny

Mar 27, 2021
NHDutch [Flickr]

Contrary to what most people think, rabbits need more to eat than just carrots!  A rabbit needs about 1-2 cups of fresh vegetables every day (like carrot tops, cucumber, etc.), some fresh fruit (apple without the seeds, bananas) and fresh hay - plenty of hay.  A rabbit's teeth grow continually throughout its life, and rough foods like hay help to file down the teeth!  And don't forget to keep the water bowl filled with fresh clean water.

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Nicolò Lazzati Photography [Flickr]

Separation anxiety can happen in a pet when the animal is strongly bonded to its owner and is not accustomed to spending any time alone.  It can be (or become) a serious condition and needs special attention from you to find a way to keep your pet calm in your absence.  It is one of the major reasons a new pet owner gets frustrated with their new furry friend.  Don't give up - you can fix this!

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Routines

Mar 13, 2021
Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue [Flickr]

Clocks don't mean much to our pets.  They keep time by knowing the routines of their lives - and that means they are aware of the routines of our lives.  When those change, it's not only an adjustment for us but our furry friends may also have to adapt to a new schedule.  

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Kelsey MacDonald (kmac989) [Flickr]

Keeping your pet comfortable and healthy means helping it stay free from pesky things like fleas.  But keeping it safe also means using products that will not harm your furry friend.  

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Spay Day 2021

Feb 27, 2021
Daniesq [Flickr]

How many puppies can you count in this picture?  Should be easy to find homes for them - after all, they're so cute!  But if the shelter has already received more than a hundred puppies that day, chances for these little guys are not so good.  Please spay or neuter your pet!

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When A Pet Owner Dies

Feb 20, 2021
KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO [Facebook]

The late Bill Dorris wanted  his faithful dog, Lulu, to be with someone who loved her and would care for her.  The $5 million trust he left for Lulu's care will be managed by a conservator who will reimburse her caretaker for all expenses.  

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Pet Theft Awareness

Feb 13, 2021
Phil Scoville [Flickr]

Estimates are that almost two million pets are stolen every year.    And in the pandemic, there was a significant increase due to the demand for dogs during the lockdown.  It's thought that many are stolen by dog flippers, who hope to make fast money by selling your pet; but unlike flipping a house, dog flipping does not improve the animal.  Your best friend counts on you to keep it safe.  Protect your pet by making sure it does not get stolen.

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Pet Food Recall

Jan 16, 2021
basykes [Flickr]

To be honest, most pets don't really care what the food bowl looks like - it's what is in the bowl that counts.  Unfortunately, some pet owners have learned that the food they have been giving their best friends every day could harm or even kill them.

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Mindy Norton

Many of the New Year's resolutions we make for ourselves could also apply to our pets - eat healthier, get more exercise, regular medical checkup and shots.  But this year my resolutions are for better treatment and concern for all pets!

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New Pet in the House

Dec 26, 2020
Jeffrey P. Home [ Flickr]

Having a new pet in your home can be a fun and exciting time for both of you, but it's important to get things off on the right foot.  Your new furry buddy will need some supplies, and especially attention from you.  After all, it takes time to adjust to all-new surroundings - and people!

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Animals at the Manger

Dec 19, 2020
Prayitno [Flickr]

Most Christmas manger scenes include animals, because the Christ child was born in a stable.  Other than Joseph and Mary, the animals were the only witnesses to the birth of Jesus.  So it seems natural that we would  include our pets in our Christmas celebrations!

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Pet Adoption Scams

Dec 12, 2020
Kim Alaniz [Flickr]

Some internet pet sellers are legitimate, but scammers often use available online photos (like the one shown here) to lure you in.   If you want a specific breed, statistics show 1 of every 4 shelter dogs is a purebred.  So be a hero, and adopt a new best friend from your local animal shelter or rescue group.

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Pandemic and Pets

Dec 5, 2020
brownpau [Flickr]

One way to keep your pet entertained in confinement is to play with it.   Most cats are easily entertained with a peacock feather.  It is lightweight, and usually easily replaced if needed.  For some reason, a cat finds it almost irresistable.  And playing with your best friend is a good way to strengthen the bond between you.

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BobMacInnes [Flickr]

Many dogs go gray in the face as they get older.  Cats, on the other hand, tend to maintain their youthful color and often do not show their age until they are quite old.  Even so, senior dogs and even senior cats need extra attention and care to make sure they (and you) can enjoy their later years! 

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pixabay

Coronavirus continues to upset life in Alabama with an uptick in cases going into the holiday season. Local animal shelters are seeing more adoptions amid the pandemic with more people wanting furry friends, but there’s good and bad that comes with those higher rates.

APR took a trip to the Dog House. A chorus of barking greets anyone who pulls up to the live-in area that houses two volunteer workers with the Humane Society of West Alabama and a pack of dogs spaced out in individual kennels. It’s a special day because a furry friend could soon be on the way to her forever home.

nataliaking [Flickr]

If you are not sure you're really ready to adopt a pet, consider fostering one for your local shelter.  It helps the pet you foster, it helps the shelter, and it may help you decide if having a pet on a long-term basis is right for you!

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Halloween

Oct 31, 2020
marioanima [Flickr]

Before putting your pet in a Halloween costume, is your buddy okay with the ideas?  Make sure it does not interfere with your pet's ability to breathe or see or move, with no small parts, like buttons, that are easily swallowed.  Never leave it alone while in costume, and if your pet shows signs of stress, be kind and remove the costume.  

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Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue [Flickr]

A Veterinary Technician, or "Vet Tech" can make the Veterinarian more effective by running diagnostic tests, administering anesthesia, even cleaning cages if needed.  That allows more time for the veterinarian to focus on diagnosis, determine treatment and talk to the owner.  

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frankieleon [Flickr]

Storms continue to form in the Atlantic region, so pet owners should be prepared to keep themselves and their best friends safe.  If that means evacuating to a safer area, it helps to have a plan so you and your furry buddy will have what you need to weather the storm together.

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WoodleyWonderworks [Flickr]

A newly released British study of cat owners focused on the relationship between cats, people and wildlife.  While some view a cat as a malicious hunter of defenseless creatures, others note the cat's contribution to pest control.  And some just enjoy their feline friend's company.

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July 4th Celebration

Jul 4, 2020
BuzzFarmers [Flickr]

Keeping your pet safe during July 4th celebration might mean confining it indoors, keeping it calm when the fireworks begin - and making sure it always has some form of ID, such as a microchip, or tags on the collar,  so your best friend can find its way home.

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Cat History

Jun 27, 2020
polandeze [Flickr]

Cats have been associating with people for thousands of years.  Cats were even official employees of the Postal Service in Great Britian in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  Their job?  Mouse control.  Probably the most famous was Tibs the Great, a 23-pound cat that served for more than 14 years; when he died, he was honored with an obituary in the Royal Mail's in-house magazine.

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