Meet New Zealand’s Adorable First Cat “Paddles”

Jacinda Ardern was sworn in as New Zealand’s new Prime Minister this week, making history as the world’s youngest female leader (she’s 37).  She’s also New Zealand’s youngest Prime Minister in 150 years and the third woman to lead the country.

Ardern’s adorable polydactyl cat Paddles is now causing a stir on social media.  She made her Twitter debut just a few days ago and already has thousands of followers.

For more on Paddles and other current first pets around the world, check out this BBC News article.  You can follow Paddles at @FirstCatofNZ.  As she says, “Have thumbs, will tweet!”

 

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What Will Be the Top Pet Industry Trends for 2017?

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When it comes to caring for our dogs, cats, and other pets, many devoted pet owners will do just about anything to make sure that our fur kids lead healthy, happy, and pampered lives. Trends in the pet industry reflect our continuing interest in providing the best food, products, and care for our four-legged friends.

What will be the hottest trends in the pet business in the coming year? Industry experts predict the pet industry will continue to grow by leaps and bounds. Here are the top projections:

Natural Pet Products

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Consumers will continue to be aware of the safety and sustainability of the products they buy, and that goes for pet food and other supplies. More and more of us will be seeking out natural pet food, cat litter, flea and tick products, grooming products, and toys.

Specialty Pet Services

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We also will continue to provide our pets with the best care we can. The market for upscale pet services will continue to grow. Areas include training, grooming (and other “spa” services), behavioral consulting, photography, and boarding/pet sitting.

Pet-Friendly Business

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Other pet trends to watch for include the growth of mobile dog and cat grooming services, more businesses like stores and restaurants that welcome pets, pet-friendly travel and hotels, and the growth of pet health insurance.

 

New USPS “Pets” Stamps Feature 20 Different Animals!

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Attention animal lovers: it’s time to put pen to paper and start using good old snail mail again! The U.S. Postal Service officially unveiled their adorable new “forever” Pets stamps on August 2nd. The stamp set features 20 different domestic animals photographed by Eric Isselée. Besides dogs and cats, there are also stamps with fish, reptiles, small mammals, birds, and even a hermit crab!

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The stamp unveiling took place at the SuperZoo National Pet Retailers Trade Show in Las Vegas…complete with a performing cat act! The USPS reports that the stamp set was inspired by Americans’ love of animals, and that the photographs of the critters on simple white backgrounds are intended “to capture the essence of each animal.”

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The Pets stamps, which come in booklets of 20 stamps for $9.40 (47 cent forever first class rate), are available for purchase now. For you stamp collectors out there, check out the USPS website to find out how to get special first day postmarked Pets stamps.