Featured: DIY Colorblock Scratching Post by A Beautiful Mess

DIY COLORBLOCKED SCRATCHING POST (Image Credit: A Beautiful Mess)

DIY COLORBLOCKED SCRATCHING POST (Image Credit: A Beautiful Mess)

I love cats. I have two of my own and I want more. I want all the cats, but my husband won’t let me. That being said, I do get to spend a lot of time doting on my cats. I like to buy them all the things they want – or rather, what I think they want – but it gets expensive. Cat towers and scratching posts start at $50 USD on the low end and can get very pricey very quickly. And, worse yet, if you try to build your own it can get really complicated. Unless you’re handy with a circular saw and a drill, it’s too much for the average cat lover to tackle. Continue reading

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Quirky Item of the Week: Cosmic Catnip Bubbles

(Image Credit: Healthy Pets)

(Image Credit: Healthy Pets)

My fiancé has two cats, and I love them more than anything. People always think that cats are low-maintenance pets that don’t need much for toys or entertainment, but I love spoiling our kitties rotten. I buy basically any pet product that is funny or creative, which might be why I love the idea of these Cosmic Catnip Bubbles from ThinkGeek so much.

If you’ve ever spent any amount of time with a playful kitten, you know how hilarious it can be watching them pounce at reflections, bat at dust specks and race crazily around the room. Think of how much more fun you could have by introducing a favorite childhood toy – bubbles!

These bubbles seem like the best pet toy invention since the laser pointer. It would be endlessly entertaining watching a curious kitty chase after floating bubbles, especially when the bubbles pop and disappear.

Cats notoriously go crazy for catnip, which makes these bubbles even better. They would be a great buy to play with your own kitties or as a gift for a cat loving friend. I know I’ll be checking them out!

The Hippest Hollywood Cat Ladies

(Image Credit: Keshaofficial / Instagram)

(Image Credit: Keshaofficial / Instagram)

We all know (or are) those ladies who spend their days talking about their best friend and all the things they’ve done together. In the case of these women, their best friend just happens to be their cat. To prove that the most famous faces in Hollywood are more like us than we may think, I’ve compiled a list of Hollywood’s coolest cat ladies! Continue reading

The Coolest Quirky Pet Products

Pet Products

One day, I’m going to become a crazy cat lady. I only have one cat, but I have names for the next six picked out in my head. It’s a problem. But, this problem allows me to understand those who want nothing but the finest for their little fur balls. Below are just a few of the coolest products designed with pets in mind. Continue reading

National Geographic Pet's Eye View Camera (Image Credit: National Geographic)

Quirky Item of the Week: Pet’s Eye View Camera

National Geographic Pet's Eye View Camera (Image Credit: National Geographic)

National Geographic Pet’s Eye View Camera (Image Credit: National Geographic)

Have you ever wondered what your animals are up to while you’re out? Who knows, maybe Disney got it right all along. Who’s to say your cats aren’t jamming with a band of alley cats downtown, and your dog’s not sneaking out on late-night dinner dates with strays behind the bistro, sharing meatballs and spaghetti in the moonlight? Document your animals’ shenanigans with this ingenious Pets Eye View Camera from Nat Geo Wild. Continue reading

DIY Pet Pillow by Yellow Brick Home

DIY Pet Pillow (Image Credit: Yellow Brick Home)

DIY Pet Pillow (Image Credit: Yellow Brick Home)

Like most pet owners, I spend way too much time and money on my cats. Technically, they aren’t even my cats. They’re my boyfriend’s. But that doesn’t stop me from spoiling them with toys, constantly taking pictures of them and inserting their names into popular songs. Continue reading

Adopting a Pet (Image Credit: Scarleth White)

Your First Time… Adopting a Pet

Adopting a Pet (Image Credit: Scarleth White)

Adopting a Pet (Image Credit: Scarleth White)

As a pet-owner (verging on animal hoarder), caring for my animals has been enormously rewarding. It comforts me to know they have a home because of me. But then again, it is a serious commitment. Pets, by definition, are entirely dependent on their owners—physically, financially and for the rest of their lives. A pet should never be an impulse purchase. If you’re thinking of adopting, first make sure you’re qualified.

Continue reading

How to Help Your Overweight Pet Shed the Extra Pounds

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever (Image Credit: Pete Markham)

Whether you believe it or not, our pets are just as prone to obesity and weight gain as us humans. According to the RSCPA, between 22 and 24 percent of pets are overweight or obese. More serious though is what those excess pounds can mean for your pet. Continue reading

Pet Quirk: A few reasons my cat is crazy, and what he’s taught me…

A few reasons my cat is crazy, and what he’s taught me…

Pet Quirk: A few reasons my cat is crazy, and what he’s taught me…

(Image Credit: Patti J)

My cat may be completely bipolar. Sweet, loving and a cuddle bug one minute, cross him and if he were human he’d spit in your face the next minute. Peter (aka Petey Pie, Peter the horrible, Pete-Pete and $%&?!!) has been in our home since he was 5 weeks old. One reason I think he’s a little kooky is that he was taken away from his mother too young. At only barely 3 weeks he and his 3 other siblings were taken from her. Then at 5 weeks when we took him in, he was raised by our dog. Sometimes I think he think’s he’s a dog. Maybe that’s why he’s a little off, but in any case, he’s very lucky some days that he’s still in our home. Continue reading

Pet Quirk: The Dog (and Cat) Days of Summer…

Image Credit : public-domain-image.com

Since we are officially in the beginning of summer, I thought I’d share some insight in to various ways to keep our pets cool and comfortable all summer long. Some of these seem pretty basic. You might think that these are things that should come easy to pet owners, but you’d be surprised how many pets we see at our office that come in overheated. We also tend to get calls that pets are behaving differently when it’s hot out, even though they are strictly indoor pets. So, turn on the AC, sit back, and take note of the following tips to keep your furry friends happy and comfortable.

Water – Keep everyone and every animal hydrated! The heat affects them the same way as it does us. Except we sweat, dogs and cats don’t officially. They pant, a lot. Whether you are indoors with your pets or spending time outdoors, make sure there is water available at all times, cool and fresh. If you are leaving the house for several hours or the majority of the day, throw a handful at least, of ice cubes in your pets water bowls. You can extend the length of time the water stays cool instead of getting room temperature. When your pets are going to be spending time outdoors with you, remember to bring water with you. Also, investing in a travel bowl is a great idea. They come in leak-proof fabric as well as foldable “rubber” bowls to save space while you travel. Finally, freeze water in water bottles to put in your pet’s favorite spaces. This also works well cages if you have small and furry animals like rabbits or guinea pigs. If you’d enjoy a cold refreshing glass of water, so would your pets.

Image Credit: Flickr User: BotheredByBees

Never EVER leave them in your car – I don’t care if you have your air conditioning on, if you are parked in the shade, or if the windows are open. There is no need to keep your pet in your cat on a hot day. Temperatures inside a car can reach 20 degrees higher or more inside the car then outside. If you think it’s no big deal, get in your car on an 80 degree day and just sit there. No AC, crack a window maybe. You won’t last a minute without getting out for relief. It does not take long for our pets to begin suffering from heat stroke, and their is no errand worth running that could be worth your pets life. (Now people, please do not go shutting yourselves in your car to literally test my theory, that would not be smart folks – but you get my drift)

Pick the best times of day to be active with or take them outdoors – You may have to change your schedule with your dog as far as walks go to limit your time outside when the sun is strongest. Set aside some extra side early in the morning and later in the evening to go for a romp. If you dog isn’t a seasoned jogger, don’t force a faster paced walk to make up for a skipped mid day one. Keep your walk at an easy pace, but just for a longer amount of time, as long as it’s comfortable enough outside. Overweight pets have a harder time keeping up as it is, so running them when they aren’t used to it will have it’s own problems. Make sure you can provide a shady area for them to get out of the sun wherever you may be. Some dog houses are made to provide a much cooler spot for dogs outside. We have a dog house shaped like an igloo and I know there’s a more defined reason, but it is definitely about 15+ degrees cooler in our boys’ house than it is out in the sun.

Leave them home – If you have cats, and they are let outside and aren’t strictly indoor felines, make the indoors a little more fun and don’t let them outside. You cannot guarantee that they’ll find something to drink, or a shady place to cool off for a while. If they do routinely go outside and come back home to be let back in, what will they do while you’re out and about enjoy a hot summer day? Sure you’ll hear a lot more meowing and complaining possibly, but knowing they are safe and cool should give you piece of mind. Invest in some more cat toys, or a laser light to keep them form getting bored. Save a little money and save a cardboard box or 2 and let them have a blast inside. (My cat keeps himself entertained for hours with a box!) For your dogs, unless you can provide a cool place to rest and fresh water at all times, leave your pooches home in a cool house. Young puppies and older dogs should be kept indoors regardless for their safety.

Outdoor bathing – While you can skip the shampoo (unless Butch really needs a washing) if you’ve got access to a hose, water your dog down every few hours to help them stay cool and comfortable. If you are traveling outdoors and your canine companion is along for the trek, aside from carrying water, bring a bandana or 2 along to soak with cold water and tie around your dogs neck. I’ve even soaked and frozen my dogs bandana for long lasting comfort. This is a good option for dogs that aren’t too thrilled about being hosed down. Our lab was petrified of water, but during a major blackout about 8-10 years ago, he was so hot that he stood for being hosed down in the  yard and it’s been a piece of cake ever since.

Image Credit: Pete Markham

Finally, watch and monitor your pets behavior. If you are concerned about anything out of the ordinary, call your veterinarian. Pets can exhibit very different behaviors with they are overheated or suffering from heat stroke. I know I get irritable when I am too hot and uncomfortable, and the same goes for our pets. Some may nip or growl to warn others to leave them alone when they are affected negatively by the heat. When a pets temperature is reaching past 103, 104, etc this is a dangerous zone for them to be in. Higher than that, and our pets are at risk for seizures, even death. It becomes important to cool them off, but at the same time you cannot shock their system by introducing extreme opposite temperatures too quickly without the direction of a Dr. All of that being said, as long as you follow some of my tips, and plan your days or trips ahead of time, you can have an enjoyable summer with your pet whether indoors or out. Enjoy!