Video: Shelters Prepare For This Year’s Kitten Season

Spring is a very busy time for animal welfare workers and volunteers.  It’s the time of year when the warm weather means that homeless cats in your community (and unaltered pets allowed to roam) will mate and produce lots of kittens.  Each year, animal shelters and cat rescue groups are flooded with homeless kittens (sometimes with mom, sometimes orphaned) that need care.

Want to know what it’s really like to be on the front lines during kitten season?  Cat rescue advocate Hannah Shaw–aka “Kitten Lady”–has recently shared a video about how shelters handle kitten season on her YouTube channel.

If you haven’t heard about the work that Hannah does rescuing vulnerable shelter kittens and raising awareness about this issue, check out the Kitten Lady website to learn more!  And if you’re interested in helping your local shelter or rescue group, you can consider fostering…or donating much-needed kitten season wish list items like kitten food, formula, and other supplies.  Check with you local animal welfare organization to find out what’s needed most.

 

10 Questions to Ask Your New Veterinarian

Did you get a new pet and need to find a veterinarian? Or maybe you moved to a new town and have to look for a new vet. There are lots of reasons why we might be in the market for a new veterinary practice to take care of our companion animals. But whether you’re a first-time pet owner or have cared for animals all your life, there are a few key questions you should be asking any new vet. We’ve gathered the best advice from the experts on what to ask a prospective vet:

1.What services are available at the practice? This includes things like X-ray and ultrasound, lab work, and EKG.

2. How does the vet handle emergencies? Some will take your call outside of office hours, some won’t. If they don’t, what emergency clinics do they recommend?

3. What is their vaccination “policy” in terms of what they think is essential vs. optional, and will they accommodate your preferences?

4. Does the practice recommend that you get pet insurance?

5. Do they have specialists on staff if they are large, or a good referral network of specialists if they are small?

6. What is the average time it takes to get an appointment? A few hours or a few days?

7. Do they have overnight care? Is there a staff member on-site 24 hours a day? Many practices, especially small ones, will not have this.

8. Do they have separate waiting rooms, exam rooms, and kennel areas for dogs and cats to reduce your pet’s stress?

9. What are their prices for typical procedures like dentals, annual check-ups, spay/neuter, and vaccinations?

10. Do they have payment plans, flexible payment schedules, or any special discounts for multiple-pet clients?

 

April 9-15 is National Animal Care & Control Appreciation Week

What month has more animal awareness events than April? Not only is it Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, but there are also many other pet health and well-being awareness activities going on as well. Pet first aid awareness, heartworm and Lyme disease prevention, dog bite prevention, pet ID awareness…to name just a few.

But this week gives us all a chance to thank the hard-working animal care and control professionals in our communities for the dedicated work they do (in often difficult conditions) to help pets in need. National Animal Care & Control Appreciation Week is an opportunity to recognize the people who save the lives of trapped and injured animals, and rescue abused and neglected pets in sad living situations.

Be sure to say “thank you” the next time you see an animal control officer trying to catch a runaway dog streaking through your neighborhood! You can check out the website of the National Animal Care & Control Association to learn more about what these professionals do in your town.

 

Images via the NACA Facebook page.

 

Ohio State University’s Indoor Pet Initiative Advocates for Your Pet’s Well-Being

Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has a great program called the Indoor Pet Initiative, which was created to enhance the health and welfare of our companion animals so that our pets can enjoy optimal well-being and thrive in a safe indoor environment.

As a non-profit that assists pet owners with emergency veterinary care, we have seen many sad cases in which cats and dogs allowed to roam outdoors have experienced life-threatening injuries from incidents like being hit by a car or being attacked by another animal.

The Indoor Pet Initiative provides a ton of information for both veterinarians and pet owners to ensure that our dogs and cats live long, healthy, and happy lives. What kind of information? Cat owners can learn about how to enrich the environments of indoor cats, as well as gain a greater understanding of what makes our cats tick. You can learn about how to solve common behavioral problems and identify stressors in your cat’s environment. They also have great information on the importance of microchipping your cat. Cat information is also available in Spanish!

For dog owners, you can check the website for lots of information on how to care for your dog from puppyhood to old age, including environmental enrichment techniques. Whether you have questions about crate training your puppy, introducing your dog to a new baby, or understanding your dog’s cognitive changes as she ages, you’ll find answers here.

Remember, along with spay/neuter, keeping your pet safely indoors is one of the most important things you can do to reduce the number of homeless animals in your community and improve your own pet’s quality of life.

 

New Study: Our Cats Love Us More Than Food!

We like to keep up with all the latest pet research, and a new study from Oregon State University definitely caught our eye. The researchers tested a variety of preferences among a group of adult cats, both pets and shelter cats. The findings will come as no surprise to cat lovers everywhere…but for those who think cats are not social or friendly, and would take a bowl of food over human company…well, it might be time to re-think that.

The study is nicely summarized on the website Motherboard. Each cat in the study was deprived of food, toys, and human contact for a few hours. Then the cats were presented with stimuli in 4 categories: human socialization, food, scent, and toys. The results? Among both pet cats and shelter cats, human socialization was preferred over any of the other categories.

50% of the cats preferred human interaction over all other stimuli, while 37% preferred the food. The bottom line? Presented with a choice, most cats would take quality time with you over any other type of “treat.” And the fact that the cats in the study were deprived of human contact for some time, makes it all the more important for us to give them the affection they need after we’ve been out of the house for a while!