Category Archives: felidae

Do You Live in a Cat-Friendly City?

By Langley Cornwell

I know, I know. Not many of us actually travel with our cats. Still, we read so much about dog-friendly cities, restaurants and parks, etc., that I thought it was time to study up on cat-friendly cities. And besides, I’m not really writing about cat-friendly cities to visit with your feline friend; I’m writing about cities that have a high-quality level of veterinary care and have strong local, cat-friendly laws and regulations.

Because as omnipresent as dogs may be, my cat never misses an opportunity to remind me that cats rule the world. If sheer numbers were the deciding factor, then my cat would be right: in America, cats outnumber dogs by over 10 million. That’s nearly 89 million cats sharing our homes and hearts in the United States.

The CATalyst Council is a newly-formed coalition that is singly focused on feline issues. In fact, their vision and mission, as stated on their website, is to ensure all cats are valued and cared for as pets. They go on to say: This will be accomplished by raising the level of care and welfare of cats, supported by the highest quality veterinary care, preventative medicine and cat specific products. That’s a noble and cat-approved undertaking.

This council is made up of academics, nonprofits, doctors from the veterinary community, and industry and animal welfare organizations. In an effort to shine a light on cat healthcare and establish a higher level of standardized feline care nationwide, the CATalyst Council assembled a list of cat-friendly cities.

Dan Kramer, senior marketing manager of industry relations for Pfizer Animal Health and chair of the CATalyst Council says “Cats really are America’s number one companion. Our goal is to recognize and celebrate why cats are such popular companions. We applaud the efforts of these major metropolitan areas for providing a wealth of resources for cats and their owners along with their earned accolade of being one of America’s Top Cat-Friendly Cities.”

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How to Tell if You’re a Hopeless Pet Lover

By Linda Cole

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.

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What’s the Smartest Thing your Cat has ever Done?

“Smart cat” Figg

By Langley Cornwell

Well, the cats caught wind of the article I wrote titled “What’s the Smartest Thing your Dog has ever Done?” and demanded equal time. I should have known; cats have been bossing me around for years now! They kept pointing to Julia’s article: Are Cats Smart? Smarter Than Dogs Even? as evidence that yes indeed, they are very smart and I should write about it.

As instructed, I posed this question to my animal-loving friends: What’s the smartest thing your cat has ever done? I received lots of fun answers.

Many cats have learned how to manage without opposable thumbs. Chris once had a Persian cat who would turn door knobs with her paws so she could go outside. Dana’s cat could open door knobs and pull the door open towards him. And Priscilla’s cat Peppy opens the kitchen cabinet by using his front paws and pulling the door open in order to help himself to his own food.

Juniper’s cat loved attention and knew how to get it. He would pet himself to show that he wanted someone to pet him. He would rub one paw on top of his head while meowing frantically until someone would understand what he was “saying” and would pet him. If he did it for a while and the person still didn’t pet him, he would start petting them by repeatedly stroking their thigh with his paw. That’s pretty impressive language for a cat!

My friend Charles and his wife have three indoor cats, Maggie, Sally and Daisy, as well as two outdoor boys, Spinner and Webster. Two of the girl cats have learned how to team up to pilfer food. Maggie, an eight pound shorthair tuxedo, throws herself incessantly at the door handle until she is able to hang on to it just long enough to cause the door to open. Daisy, a big 17 pounder, then goes to work on the FELIDAE bag. Whether it takes 30 minutes or several hours, Daisy gnaws away at the bag until she is able to tear open a hole in the side big enough to let the kibble cascade onto the floor. They then feast until their humans catch them, at which point they scatter like the wind.

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Can Quality Pet Food Curb Misbehavior?

By Linda Cole

When training for a marathon or any other sporting event, a human athlete won’t get very far if all he or she eats is junk food. Diet is so important to keep the body working smoothly, and what we feed our pets matters just as much as what we eat. A poor diet can seriously affect a pet’s health, and can also be a reason for your pet’s bad behavior. Dog training, housebreaking, hyperactivity and aggression issues are some of the things that may be affected by the food your pet eats.

Dog Training 

If you don’t have your dog’s attention, you aren’t going to be able to teach him. Lower quality pet food makes training a puppy or dog harder if they are hungry all the time and have no energy. Training requires a dog to focus, and if he’s hungry or feels sluggish, learning a command is more difficult. Cheaper food may actually require a pet to eat more to feel full, and with lower quality nutrients, he may struggle with his learning. A dog that doesn’t understand basic commands can be harder to control.

Housebreaking

It’s harder to housebreak a puppy or dog if they need to go more because they have to eat more. Fillers in lower quality pet foods are there to help fill pets up. In order for food to be effective, it needs to be absorbed into the body. Poorer quality foods aren’t absorbed as well, and the end result is that a puppy or dog needs to “go” more often. On average, adult dogs should only have one to two bowel movements each day, and puppies are old enough to control their bladder and bowels by the age of six months. If they are going more than that but have no health issues which could cause this, it’s wise to evaluate the food your pet is eating.

Cats eating a lower quality pet food may stop using the litter box if they are using it more often and you find it hard to keep it clean because of more frequent use. Like dogs, a healthy cat should have a bowel movement one or two times a day. Diet can affect a pet’s coat, skin, eyes, muscle development, overall health and energy level.

Pica

Pica is a compulsive eating disorder, and it can be due to a poor diet. A hungry pet may try to satisfy their hunger by eating non food items like rocks, socks, plastic bags, dirt or anything they can find to munch on. A pet that eats non food items should be checked out by a vet to make sure there are no medical problems.

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The Luckiest Cats

My Silly Annabelle

By Julia Williams

My good friend Kevin has been volunteering for his local animal shelter for many years. Kevin, aka meowmeowmans, writes about the homeless cats on his wonderful blog, Animal Shelter Volunteer Life. He tells of the lucky cats who find their forever homes, and he also features the many sweet souls still waiting to be adopted. I love to read the adoption stories, because I know just how much the lives of the animal and their new family will change for the better. I celebrate each of these adoptions, sometimes silently with a smile but very often with a “wahoo!” or a “yay!” In stark contrast, the stories of those not yet chosen make me melancholic. No animal should have to know abandonment and homelessness, yet far too many do.

Recently, Kevin posted about the kitties not yet chosen, and said he hoped they could find a home before Christmas. We know the reality is that most will not, and yet we can’t stop hoping that some will go from unlucky to lucky, if not before Christmas then at least sometime in the New Year. When faced with a reality that is less than ideal, hope is what keeps us going; it keeps us doing what we can do in the moment until a better time.

My version of a Christmas miracle would be loving homes for every homeless pet, nutritious food for every hungry pet, and love for every animal who is alone and lonely. I shudder to think what would’ve happened to my precious cats Rocky and Annabelle if I hadn’t been asked to water someone’s plants, only to discover two tiny kittens badly in need of rescue. If they had somehow managed to survive – which isn’t likely considering they were very ill and no one was caring for them – they wouldn’t have a better life than the one they have now, with me.

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CANIDAE Helps The Pongo Fund Feed Pets in Need

By Julia Williams
Now that The Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank has officially opened its doors in Portland, Oregon, it’s safe to say there will be a lot more wagging tails and smiling faces in this city. Portland’s first food bank for pets opened yesterday, November 8th, handing out CANIDAE dog food and FELIDAE cat food to anyone who needed it. Further, to commemorate this important occasion and honor CANIDAE for their part in making it happen, the mayor of Portland proclaimed November 8, 2009 as “CANIDAE All Natural Pet Foods Day.” How cool is that?
What started as one man’s heartfelt desire to help the homeless feed their hungry animal companions, has become what could well be the largest pet food bank in the United States. Indeed – thanks in large part to the generous donation of $125,000 worth of pet food from CANIDAE, The Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank is poised to hand out around eight tons of dog and cat food every month, says its founder Larry Chusid.
Larry had been providing pet food to animals living in Portland’s homeless, transitional and underprivileged communities since 2007. Through The Pongo Fund, a charity he formed and named after his beloved dog, Larry was helping not only animals, but the humans who loved them. Still, he always dreamed of doing more, and he never stopped thinking about how he could turn his dream into reality.
Fate stepped in and gave Larry a leg up last April, when he met some CANIDAE folks at a pet-product trade show. You see, CANIDAE has a long history of supporting charities that help people and their pets. They had been supporting The Pongo Fund with food donations, but when they heard about Larry’s vision for a pet food bank in Portland, CANIDAE immediately offered him $125,000 worth of food to get the ball rolling.
Now that Larry had been promised truckloads of premium-quality dog and cat food, he had work to do! He secured a nice facility for The Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank to operate out of, and lined up volunteers, grants, and fundraisers. The end result is something that both Larry and CANIDAE can be very proud of. Because one man dared to dream, and a caring pet food company answered the call, Portland’s companion dogs and cats will have full tummies now.
Sadly, many communities in our great nation have no pet food bank to help them. Although most cities and even some small towns are fortunate to have food banks that provide groceries to the needy, most have little (if any) pet food to give out. People who receive food stamps cannot use them to buy pet food either.
With our economy still struggling, the need for more pet food banks grows larger every day. And it’s no longer just the homeless and low-income people who are affected. Jobless middle-class and white-collar workers, senior citizens and even college students are having trouble making ends meet nowadays.
Thank you CANIDAE, for helping The Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank make sure that the residents of Portland are able to feed their cherished animal companions. Perhaps one day soon, every city in America can say the same. Until then, we can all dream, and do what we can to help.
If you’d like to help The Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank, their website is set up to receive cash donations through Paypal. If you live in the Portland area, you can volunteer at the pet food bank, and/or buy some CANIDAE dog food or FELIDAE cat food and drop it off during their business hours.
Photo: “Man and dogs” Courtesy Brian Foulkes © 1989
Read more articles by Julia Williams

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.