Children can form a loving relationship with the family cat that will enrich their lives in so many ways. A close bond between cat and child won’t happen by accident though. As the parent and responsible pet owner, you need to do your part to make sure your children know what to expect when living with a cat. You also need to be sure that the home environment is both kid-safe and cat-safe. Here are six important things children need to know about living with cats.
Cats are Not Toys
In a child’s eyes, a cute, fluffy cat may resemble that stuffed animal she plays with and takes to bed at night. They need to be taught that cats are not inanimate toys but living beings with daily needs that need to be met, including food, water, grooming and cleaning up after them. Children also need to understand that animals experience pain, fear, love and many other emotions, and need to be treated kindly at all times. Your kids might think it’s fun to put doll clothes on the cat and lug her around like a baby, but not all cats will like this. Forcing a cat to do things it finds frightening or objectionable will hinder bonding and may even lead to your cat avoiding the child at all costs.
Learn to Read the Cat’s Body Language
Understanding what the cat is trying to convey through body language is such an important thing for children to learn. As individual beings, cats have different likes and dislikes, and varying degrees of tolerance. What all cats have in common, however, is that they will give off warning signals before resorting to biting or scratching to get away when they’ve had enough petting or don’t want further interaction with you. Kids – and parents – just need to know what that tail, eyes, ears, whiskers and legs are “saying.” My article, How to Read the Body Language of Cats, will give you detailed information. Read More »
Are you more apt to notice a dog or cat walking along the street, but totally miss seeing a human standing on the sidewalk? Do you get all misty eyed as a brave firefighter scrambles down a tree clutching a frightened kitty close to his chest, or do you even see the firefighter because your focus is on the meowing cat? Does finding a human hair in your food gross you out, but you have no problem finding a dog or cat hair?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you’re a bona fide animal lover! Read on for more humorous examples of “You know you’re an animal lover if…”
*Your pet’s Facebook page has way more “friends” than your own page.
*You have so many pictures of your pet on your phone that photos of your human family members are relegated to a miscellaneous file. More embarrassing is discovering you don’t have a single photo of your human family on your phone.
*You wear animal themed jewelry, slippers or T-Shirts, and canine or feline paintings and knick-knacks are proudly displayed around the house. Your favorite coffee cup is an animal themed “treasure” you picked up while on vacation – with matching teapot.
*Vacations are planned around pet-friendly hotels, campsites or parks.
One of the biggest time drains I’m faced with on a daily basis is the trap of looking at cat photos on social media sites. Not surprisingly, most of my connections are animal lovers. They post loads of pictures of their cats being precious and, no matter how many deadlines I have looming, I cannot turn away. It’s like the Siren Song. And yes, I’ll admit it; I’m just as guilty as my friends. If I didn’t exercise some restraint, I’d post multiple pictures of our kitty all throughout the day. I just want everybody to see how darn cute he is when he’s lying on a pile of laundry or hiding in a box or opening a drawer or smoking a catnip cigar or snuggling with our dogs or… oh, sorry. I get carried away.
So, the other day I was sucked into the cat-viewing vortex when I came upon a friend’s photo of a cat she was fostering. This little guy is the weirdest looking cat I’ve ever seen. We tried to identify what breed combination he is but came up short. During this exercise I did learn that there are less than a hundred cat breeds in existence, and the Cat Fanciers’ Association only recognizes 40 breeds officially. Of those 40 different breeds, most of them look fairly similar.
There are a handful of cat breeds, however, that don’t look like other cats. Through genetic mutations and selective breeding, some of these cats have turned out rather odd-looking. Here are three of the most unusual.
Because it’s the giving season, CANIDAE decided to hold a comment-a-thon to benefit PAWS (Pets are Wonderful Support)! I’ll give you all the important details for that below. But first, I want to tell you about a pawsome novel that should be on the bookshelf of every cat lover.
The Dalai Lama’s cat is back, which makes me so happy that I’m purring! Not actually purring, mind you, but metaphorically. I was over the moon when I received my copy of The Dalai Lama’s Cat and the Art of Purring, because it’s a sequel to one of the best books I read in 2013.
In that first book, The Dalai Lama’s Cat, I met and fell in love with a witty, wise and mischievous feline who “had me at hello.” She’s every bit as charming in this delightful new book, which also offers pearls of Buddhist wisdom from a cat’s point of view. The principles are sprinkled so subtly throughout the book that you may not even be consciously aware of them, but they will have a lasting impact nonetheless.
The Dalai Lama’s Cat and the Art of Purring offers gentle but profound lessons about life and most importantly, happiness – where it comes from, how to be joyful not just in the moment but for a lifetime, and how to discover more of the things that make you purr. Although the Dalai Lama’s cat walks on four legs instead of two, the wisdom she uncovers through various events can be applied to all of our lives.
My only disappointment is that the Dalai Lama was absent for most of the book, having left on a trip at the start of the story and returning just a few pages from the end. I do understand the point for his absence – a valuable lesson learned – but I loved the interaction of the Dalai Lama and Little Snow Lion (his affectionate name for the cat) in the first book, and was hoping for more of that.
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have a pet around. Not even when I went to college. Yep, I snuck my kitten in to be my dorm roommate. I admit to being a hopeless pet lover; it’s a label I’m happy to wear since I can’t seem to get all of the dog and cat hair brushed off my clothes. When a pet has captured our heart, the only thing we can do is look for those telltale signs that show how hopeless of a pet lover we’ve become. Take this fun quiz to see just how hopeless!
1. The color coded pie chart you made for household expenses (red), entertainment (blue), food (yellow) and pet expenses (green)…
A. Has way more green on it than any other color.
B. Was eaten by the dog, who mistook it for homework.
C. Has become the cat’s favorite place to sit since you canceled the newspaper to cut back on household expenses.
2. After you’ve met the new neighbors, you…
A. Can remember the names of their pets, but not the names of their kids.
B. Joke after they leave about their dog’s fancy collar and coat while adjusting your dog’s biker vest and Doggles.
C. Wonder if their pie chart looks like yours.
3. People know you have a dog just by looking inside your vehicle because…
A. All of the windows are “decorated” with nose prints and paw prints.
B. Chew toys, tennis balls, dog treats, leashes, water bowls and “dog doody pick up bags” litter the backseat.
C. You have to remove the blanket covering the passenger seat before allowing someone to sit there.
Ah, to love a cat. What’s not to love, really? Well for starters, there are those nights when you get up to use the bathroom and your bare feet step in something squishy. I don’t love my cats all that much in that moment. And then there are those days when they are naughty for no other reason than because they just want to see how red your face can get. But other than that, there are plenty of reasons to love a cat. One that won’t make my list, however, is the oft-used “they give you unconditional love.” I’m pretty sure my cats have at least one condition, which is that they be fed regularly. If I withheld their food for very long, I’m thinking they’d give their love to a neighbor without so much as a backward glance at me. But I digress. Here are my top 10 reasons to love a cat.
10. Cats are such good little helpers around the house. They keep the tub from getting water spots by licking it dry right after you shower. They make sure any crumbs that fall to the floor never need to be swept up. They help you decorate by re-arranging your knickknacks. They keep the coffee table free of clutter, and they make sure your bookshelf is always dusted (with a built in duster no less!).
9. Cats are always willing to give fashion advice. Case in point: the hilarious feline ‘Catfoodbreath’ posted my favorite tweet ever – “I napped on your outfit to keep you from leaving the house looking like someone who didn’t own a cat.” Having a cat also serves as a deterrent to wearing drab black too often. (Black pants are THE biggest fashion faux pas if you have a cat!).
8. Cats are remarkably self cleaning. There are very few good reasons to give your cat a bath, and considering how they react to being submerged in water, it’s not something you should be doing anyway.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.