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Tuesday, June 5,2012

Feline Fabulous Friends

By Tina Valant-Siebelts  
We’ve all heard: “Dogs have masters. Cats have servants”. Some of my dogs’ best friends are……CATS.


It’s true, many devoted dog owners also share their lives with cats. They are not always the snooty, unpredictable, unattentive creatures we see on TV.

It was the day of Michael Jackson’s memorial service. I rescued Paris and Prince, weeks old, flea-infested, feral kittens. The feral mom had been captured by animal control. She was not well. It was a long quarantine period in my master bathroom for them. I kept talk radio on, during the day so they became accustomed to human voices. I stayed with them during meal times. The girls next door helped with handling the kittens (or was it molesting? ha) and showing them, people could be nice. Paris and Prince eventually came around.

Prince’s first furry friend was Dru, a rescued mini aussie I was fostering (pictured above). I thought when she gets adopted, I may have to throw him in to the deal. They were inseparable. Prince actually thinks he is a dog. He is very affectionate and comes when called.

The average house cat will outlive their canine comrade. However, the lifespan of an outdoor cat is significantly lower. Outdoor cats can also jeopardize wild bird populations and harm native wildlife.

Most cats would not enjoy the socialization and places we can bring our dogs (outdoor dining, and dog events). So, how can you make your cat’s life, catastic and feline fabulous?

>^..^< Feed your cat a good quality food (without corn, wheat or by products). Make sure clean water is always available. NEVER give a cat (cow’s) milk. Yes, they like it, but it is not good for them.

>^..^< Stimulation is mandatory.

Banjo, a friend’s cat enjoys a game of fetch with a wadded ball of paper. Sunny, an Abyssinian friend enjoys boxing on TV. He will actually try to get in, on the fight! Cats like terrorizing bugs or small lizards that have made the mistake of wandering into the house. I usually am able to get them back to the great outdoors; often less a tail. I make bundles with organic catnip tied into a square of spare fabric. Some cats like chasing bouncy balls, or going on a search to find hidden treats. Leave the radio on if you have to be gone. Cats prefer calming, classical music.

>^..^< Most cats enjoy being lightly brushed or combed, which can help curb/eliminate hairballs…Speaking of that, WHY do they have to leave them on the sofa or bed pillow? Why not ever the floor?

>^..^< Keep the litterbox(es) clean. A cat may avoid a dirty box, and you don’t need them using your home as one. If I don’t attend to mine, the dogs may attempt “to help”.

>^..^< Look your cat over while you are brushing him/her. Do you notice any strange lumps or bumps? Is her breath fresh? Is her coat in good condition? See any fleas? Visit the vet, at least once a year, with your kitty.

>^..^< Talk to your cat. They really are great listeners, even when they pretend to not be paying attention.


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