How to Encourage Good Scratching Habits in Cats

As more and more cat owners are realizing the risks and hazards of declawing and letting their cats roam outdoors, they are faced with the issue of unwanted cat scratching behavior in the house.

Why do cats scratch and how can you encourage appropriate scratching?  Here’s some great information from the American Association of Feline Practitioners!

Why do cats scratch?

Cats have claws to help them hunt, defend themselves, and mark their territory.  Scratching is a natural feline behavior that serves a variety of purposes:  keeping their nails healthy, marking objects in their territory, and good old-fashioned stretching!

Some cats may also scratch when they are anxious and stressed.

How to help your cat with scratching issues

The AAFP advises cat owners to trim their cats’ claws regularly.  You can also provide multiple appropriate scratching surfaces and interactive play toys for each cat in the home.

Cats that exhibit stress related scratching (often in multi-cat households) can especially benefit from their own space and scratching materials.

What’s the best scratching product?

Most cats like to stretch upwards and scratch on a vertical surface.  Make sure you get a post that is tall enough for your cat to stretch on.  Horizontal scratchers are also available if your cat uses the carpet.

Cats prefer rough surfaces to scratch on, like tree bark in the wild.  This is why your cat may be drawn to textured furniture upholstery and carpet.

Choose a scratching post made of a rough material like sisal, corrugated cardboard, or wood.

How to encourage your cat to scratch appropriately

Place scratching posts near your cat’s favorite sleeping areas, and also near furniture that your cat likes to scratch.

Encourage your cat to use scratching posts by gently placing her near the post when she scratches furniture or carpet.  Reward good scratching behavior with your cat’s favorite things (treats, play, brushing, etc.)

 

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Video: FACE Success Story Jax and His “Dad” Luis

Back in March we introduced you to a very special dog who we had the honor of helping with a grant for emergency veterinary care.

Jax is a certified service dog for Luis, a military veteran who struggles with PTSD.  They were both seriously injured in a car accident with a drunk wrong-way driver.

Both Jax and Luis needed extensive medical treatment.  While Luis was hospitalized, Jax was also getting the veterinary care he needed.

A FACE grant helped Luis and his family pay for Jax’s treatment.

It’s been a long road to recovery for both Jax and Luis, but we are so happy to report that they are doing well.

Jax, Luis, Jax’s “sister” and the law enforcement officer who responded to the scene of the accident were honored guests at our recent golf tournament fundraiser, where we premiered this moving video detailing their story.

Thank you to everyone who supports our mission to save critically ill and injured pets in San Diego!

 

Happy World Kindness Day!

Happy #WorldKindnessDay from success story “Komet” and all of us here at the FACE Foundation!

Thank you to our wonderful veterinary partners, friends, and supporters for all you do to help us save the lives of beloved family pets in need of urgent veterinary care!

 

Mushroom Safety for Dogs

In many parts of the world, fall is the time of year when mushrooms make their appearance in woods and other natural areas.  Is your dog at risk of poisoning if she eats a wild mushroom while out on a walk?

According to the North American Mycological Association, only 1% of mushrooms are considered to be “highly toxic” to pets.

There are some mushrooms that are attractive to dogs, probably because of their odor.  There are also mushrooms that are toxic to dogs while being harmless to humans.

Some mushrooms contain compounds that are dangerous, and sometimes deadly, if consumed by dogs.

NAMA recommends that dog owners take special care with these mushrooms when out on walks:

Amanita phalloides

Amanita muscaria

Amanita pantherina

Dogs can go into a deep, coma-like sleep after consuming certain mushroom toxins.  Other mushroom toxins can cause gastrointestinal distress.  The effects can last for hours.

If you are concerned that your dog ate a poisonous mushroom, seek veterinary care right away.  You can also call the Animal Poison Control Hotline or one of the NAMA experts in your area.

Click HERE for more information on mushroom poisoning in pets.

 

Sugar’s Journey: Meet a Very Special FACE Success Story

Sugar is a three year old cat who lived with a senior citizen named Charles in an apartment in downtown San Diego.  Sadly, Sugar fell 6 stories out of the apartment window.

Charles took Sugar for emergency veterinary care, but her injuries were extensive, and he could not afford the cost of her life-saving treatment.  Charles and his veterinarian reached out to FACE for financial assistance.

With a FACE grant, Sugar was able to get the first of two surgeries on her badly broken jaw with our partners at the Pet Emergency and Specialty Center.

Charles was told that Sugar would need extensive aftercare at home after her surgeries, including feeding tubes and medications.  Charles realized that he was not up to the demands of caring for such a sick pet and relinquished Sugar to FACE.

This was an unusual situation for FACE, as we are not a shelter or rescue charity, but we could not turn her away.  Luckily, our friends at the Rancho Coastal Humane Society agreed to foster Sugar during her long recovery.

Sugar had her second jaw surgery with Southern California Veterinary Dental Specialties and received additional care from our partners at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital.  She has been recuperating at Rancho Coastal Humane.

Recently, Sugar was put up for adoption at Rancho Coastal.  We are happy to report that Sugar was adopted on the *same day* she became available and is now living with her new “mom” in Chula Vista, CA.

Check out this heartwarming video of sweet Sugar snuggling with her new mom!