Tips to Keep Your Cat Healthy and Happy Throughout Their Lifetime

Keeping your cat healthy and happy can be easy and painless if you follow a few simple guidelines. Consistent daily habits are a great start to your felines best life.

First things first, find a veterinarian that’s a good fit for your kitty and your family.

It’s generally recommended to have a vet that’s close by in case of emergency, and willing to receive phone calls for advice when needed. It’s so important to have a great vet that is happy to receive a call when you’re not sure if something is serious or even when it comes to thoughts on food choices and grooming. Be sure to get all recommended vaccinations and please spay or neuter your kitty. This is important for their health and wellbeing as well as helping by not adding kittens to a world that already has more cats than homes.

Pay attention to the food you chose for your kitty. Cats, unlike dogs, cannot be vegetarians, even for short periods of time. They have adapted to rely on meat as the foundation of their diets. Too much dry food gives your cat too many carbs and can cause your cat to become obese and even develop type two diabetes. It is recommended to feed your cat at least one meal of meat per day and keep dry food to a minimum. Check labels and be sure that the food you choose is high in protein and low in carbs. A can of tuna or other canned meat can also be a great dietary choice in combination with small amounts of high quality dry food.

Pay attention to your cat’s hydration. Cats don’t have the same thirst drive as most other mammals as they have evolved from desert dwelling ancestors. They are most comfortable getting most of their hydration from foods, wet food generally contains 70% or more water while dry food is generally 5% to 10% water. Even though you may not see much water being consumed, it’s so important to keep a clean full bowl of water available for your feline all of the time. Pay attention to signs of dehydration such as sunken eyes, panting or lethargy. This is especially important in nursing kittens and elderly cats. As always, if something seems wrong call your vet immediately.

Be sure you give your kitty enough litter boxes. The rule of thumb is one per cat, plus one extra. So one cat needs two but five cats should have six. Many cats feel vulnerable when using the litter box, so if you notice that your kitty is having trouble using the litter box, try putting it in a place where he has a view of all that’s around him. In the wild they developed the strategy of being in the open where they could watch for predators around them when they were in this compromised state. For the same reason, a litter box with a top may be difficult for some cats. If having the kitty box out in the open is not good for you then you can move it a little each day until it is where you want to keep it. If you are having trouble with your cat peeing outside of the box, even when doing the right thing with placement, it could potentially be a medical issue like a urinary tract infection or other illnesses, so check with your vet.

Do yourself a favor and train your cat to use the scratching post. Start with it in the middle of the room and sprinkle with catnip to make it extra appealing. As your cat gets used to using the post you can skip the catnip and slowly move it to a more out of the way place. If you notice scratching on the furniture in the future repeat the steps over again to remind your kitty of the correct place to scratch.

As gross as it seems, it’s really important for cats to be able to adorn their loved ones with gifts. So if you are presented with a dead lizard or some other gruesome gift, try to be thankful and give your kitty positive attention. This is her way of showing love and feeling autonomy. You may be surprised by her reaction as you will get lots of snuggles and purrs. You can discard the “gift” after she has received her desired attention.

Cats love the outdoors, but having free reign outdoors can be quite dangerous. Cats do especially well with a Hale Pet Door exiting into an enclosed outdoor area such as a catio or cat run. These outdoor areas can be quite inexpensive and give your cat the happiness and freedom of the outdoors without the dangers of being an outdoor cat.

Bathing isn’t generally necessary for cats, but daily brushing goes a long way towards a healthy kitty. This keeps his coat clean and removes dead hairs before your cat ingests them while self cleaning. Removing the dead hairs through daily brushing will cut down on furballs as well as keep that coat soft and shiny. It’s a great way for your cat to get used to daily handling and feel love. It’s also a good habit to be in because you will notice lumps, bumps or irregularities right away.

As always, Hale Pet Door wants you and your family to have a rich and wonderful life with your furbabies. Please log onto www.halepetdoor.com for the highest quality pet doors, pet ramps and security barriers as well as info about our Rescue Rewards Program and tips on how to help your pet live its best life.

Hale Pet Door Road Trip Tips

Ready to take your pooch on a road trip?

Here are some tips to make your trip amazing.

First things first, plan your route. Look for routes with plenty of rest areas or toll plazas. Many rest stops and plazas have some walking trails and even dog friendly parks to stretch your legs.

Make pet friendly accommodations. Many hotels and motels have pet friendly rooms available. Be sure to reserve these in advance so that you don’t end up without a place to stop when you’re ready to call it a night.

Stop by your veterinarian’s office before your trip. Make sure that your pup is up to date on vaccinations, that their microchip is current, and that flea and tick prevention are on board. Request a copy of your pet’s vaccination record and keep this with you on your trip. In case of emergency, you may need these records at another veterinarian’s office, or to board your pet if another member of the family becomes ill or injured.

shutterstock_97846694Bring the essentials. Pack travel bowls for food and water, as well as bottles of clean drinking water for Fido. Remember to bring toys and treats, so you have something to reward good behavior with, or to keep him busy in the car. Don’t forget a comfortable collar or harness with up to date tags. Be sure that the pet tag includes a current cell phone number.

Protect your dog and your upholstery. Many veterinarians recommend using dog slings, seat belts and pet hammocks while in the car. These keep your pet safer in the event of a crash and keep your pet from wandering around the car and causing distractions. Put a liner or blanket under your pet’s seat to protect your upholstery. If you’re using a pet crate, then be sure it’s plenty roomy and add a comfy blanket or towel along with a beloved toy.

Give yourself plenty of time and take many breaks. Puppies will need to use the bathroom every hour or two; older dogs can stop every three to four hours. Be sure to give yourself and your pet plenty of exercise on your breaks. Get out and walk or run with your dog where you find trails and play tug of war or roll around in the grass. A tired pup is usually a well-behaved pup for the next leg of your journey. Before you get back in your vehicle, offer fresh water and maybe some food or a treat, check your dog’s coat and paws to be sure he didn’t pick up any burrs or pests.

Finally, have a great time! Road trips are often the most cherished of memories. Get out and see the sights, take lots of pictures and enjoy the adventure.

HALE PET DOOR wants every family to enjoy their pets when away or at home. Log onto www.halepetdoor.com to browse a selection of beautiful pet doors for all sized pets and for any door or wall or other location in your home, office, or even the motorhome or RV you take on your road trip.

Tips to Help your Pets De-stress During Quarantine

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Most families have been impacted greatly by the coronavirus pandemic and all of the associated changes. It’s easy to forget that our pets have been impacted as well.

Pets are wonderful at adjusting to their human’s routines, however, experts warn that it is difficult for many pets to adjust to their pet parents being around so much more than before. It may be easy to assume that dogs will want their human around as much as possible while cats want their alone time. However, experts note that this need for personal space is much more specific to your pet’s individual personality. Here are some tips to help recognize the signs of stress and help your best friend navigate these uncharted waters.

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Watch for changes in level of activity. Many animals will display restlessness and pace back and forth. Other pets may stay in one place and seem very lethargic. Both of these extremes may indicate anxiousness and can easily be misinterpreted as a need for more attention rather than less.

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Keep your ears open. Listen for higher pitch and more frequent barking from your dog or vocalization from your cat. These can be your pet displaying signs of distress or hypervigilance due to anxiety.

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Keep an eye on body language and aggression. Some animals may feel stiffer to the touch or develop new obsessive behaviors, tics or spasms. For example they may over groom, bite themselves or lick their lips repeatedly. Some pets may show more aggression towards their owners in the form of nips or bites even when being handled or treated the same way as normal.

If your pet is exhibiting any of these symptoms, don’t despair. This is a normal reaction to shifts in your pet’s family life. There are ways you can make this time a bit easier for your furry friend, however. Here are some tips to help your little one out.

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Give your pet their own space. If they have a corner of your home that they spend time in, just let them choose to come out and mingle as they please. Remember, your pet is used to having 8 or 10 hours a day of down time while the family is at work and school. They may be happy to have a place where no one will interact with them until they are ready.

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Stick to a routine. Your dog and cat thrive on routine. Things like when the family wakes up and scurries around, when the smell of food cooking fills the home, the hour before bed that the family sits together in front of the television or when they are walked and played with. Just like people, animals feel confident and comfortable when they know what to expect from day to day.

Finally, slowly reintroduce the change back to your regular routine. If you have been working from home and know that you’ll be going back soon, take a few steps to help your pet get ready too. Reinstitute the daily waking and feeding schedule that is their normal during the work week. Also, start leaving your pet at home for some errands and outings before you are gone for the entire day. This will help your pet to not be shocked when the door closes without them in tow.

Remember, pets and humans are great at adapting and overcoming changes and obstacles. Enjoy your family and your pets during this trying and unexpected time