Category Archives: Julia Williams

What Would You Do for Your Pet?

Mickey what would you doBy Julia Williams

I’ve long held the belief that “pet people” are a special breed. I don’t get on that well with people who don’t love animals, don’t want a pet, or have a pet but see it as “just a dog” or “just a cat.” To me, there is no such thing as “just a pet.” My animals are family. And my pets have always been there for me. They don’t place conditions on their love, and they don’t shun me when they think I haven’t lived up to their expectations.

My pets deserve my all…and they get it. I would do anything for my sweet, special furry feline friends. I know, too, that I am not the only one; not by a long shot. At least once a month, I come across a heartwarming story that perfectly illustrates the depths of a person’s love for their animal companion.

People do extraordinary things for their pets. Several years ago, I read about a man who floated in warm water with his 20 year old dog, every day for up to an hour, to ease the dog’s arthritic pain. The emotionally moving photo of him gently cradling his dog went viral; the love between dog and man was obvious.
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6 Fun Homemade Games For Cats

cat games PeteBy Julia Williams

Every cat guardian knows how important play is for a feline’s physical and mental wellbeing. Playtime provides beneficial exercise while stimulating their minds and preventing boredom. If you’re like me, you have an assortment of toys littering your floor. You may have also discovered that a plain cardboard box has as much feline appeal as a new catnip mouse. With that in mind, here are some ideas for homemade games that will entertain your kitty and don’t cost a lot.

Ball Pit

I found a cute video of cats playing in a kiddie pool filled with little plastic balls. Looks like fun! You can also use ping pong balls, and if you don’t have a kiddie pool, just use your bathtub to keeps the balls contained. Rocky loves this game and will play with just one or two balls in the bathtub for quite some time.

Box Jumping

This game takes advantage of a cat’s natural affinity for the box, and their love of jumping. Line up a row or two of boxes as shown in this video. Let your kitty smell a CANIDAE cat treat or piece of kibble, then toss it into the box to start the game. Once they jump into the box and eat that piece, toss another into a different box making sure your cat sees where it goes. Depending upon how food motivated your kitty is and how (ahem) smart they are, you may need to “walk them through” how to play at first. Some kitties enjoy the box jumping game even without the enticing treats.
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Caring for a Terminally Ill Pet

sick pet 1By Julia Williams

Recently my cat, Mickey, was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). There is no cure for CKD, only management until “the end” which varies with each cat. Since then, I’ve been learning all I can about caring for a terminally ill pet. I don’t know how much time I have left with my sweet boy, but I do know I’ll do whatever I can to make sure it is quality time. I also know I will have done everything I could for him; that’s all any pet owner can do.

When you love an animal deeply, it’s a very scary time when they are sick, whether it’s a treatable illness or not. As I said to a friend, pet ownership is not for sissies. Caring for a sick pet can be an emotional roller coaster, but there are things you can do to help yourself as well as your pet.

Be Informed

This is, I believe, the most important thing you can do. When I first found out Mickey had a terminal illness, I felt hopeless. My discussion with the vet about my options was brief; I left thinking there wasn’t much I could do for my cat. As I soon found out, that isn’t really true.

Once home I logged into the cat blogging group on Facebook. I hoped there would be someone here who had experience with CKD and could give me guidance. The internet can be a great resource for pet owners, but it’s also rife with misinformation and it’s important to know where to go for help. My cat blogging friends pointed me to a reputable website devoted to kidney disease in cats, and a Facebook support group for the same. As a result, I’ve learned there are several things I can do that may help slow the progression of Mickey’s disease, none of which were mentioned by my vet.

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How Well Do You Know Your Terrier?

terrier wiggleBy Linda Cole

Terrier breeds come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but even the smallest among them have big personalities and were bred to be feisty for a reason. Terriers are intelligent, tough and energetic working dogs with a proud, stubborn and confident attitude that can get them into trouble if you don’t understand the Terrier personality.

Terriers in the Toy Group are companion pets that weigh just a couple of pounds. Working Terriers are farm dogs and hunters that track, trail and pursue rats, fox, badger and other small prey underground if necessary – although not all working Terriers go to ground. The Airedale Terrier, also known as the “King of the Terriers,” is too big to go to ground. He was bred to hunt down river rat, otter, fox and other larger prey. Bully breeds are powerful dogs bred to bait bulls. However, regardless of their shape or size, what’s common in all Terrier breeds is their feisty, loyal, happy, mischievous and never-give-up personality.

Some Terrier breeds are quieter than others, but canines that pursue prey underground were bred to bark so their owner could find them in a hole and dig out a stuck dog. These excitable canines have an independent streak that can make training challenging. However, when you understand the instincts bred into these dogs, you can meet the challenge – as long as you’re patient, always positive, consistent and fun.
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5 Tips to Help a Stressed Out Cat at Christmas

cat stress jackieBy Julia Williams

This is not the best time of the year to be a cat. Whereas many humans and even some dogs love the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be a bit too much for a cat. Felines are fond of quiet and routine, two things that are typically lacking from late November to January. Mid-December is the most chaotic time of all. The house is filled with all sorts of unfamiliar decorations; people come and go, some stay for a few minutes while others might stay for hours or even days. Oh, and there’s a TREE…in the house! Say what? All the hubbub of the holidays can stress out even the most easygoing feline. Here are 5 tips to help keep your kitty as calm as possible.

Stick to the Schedule

The more you can keep things the same in your cat’s world, the less stressed they will be. It’s not always possible to maintain their regular routine during the holidays, but do the best you can. Feed them at the time they normally eat, and don’t forget to dole out the CANIDAE cat treats at bedtime or whenever you usually have “treat time.” If you normally give them a few minutes of attention (petting, playing, brushing etc.) right when you get home after work, try not to forego it even if you’re rushing around like mad to get things done.

Containment

If you are having people over for a holiday party or dinner, it’s best to shut your cat in a private space where she can feel safe. It may feel like you are locking them up in “kitty jail,” but trust me…they will have far less stress than being out and about when the house is filled with strangers. Put their food and water bowls in the room, as well as a litter box and a few toys, and they’ll be all set. They may even want to use this room as their “retreat” if all of the other holiday activity becomes too stressful.
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Cats Deserve Praise, Too!

cats praise onesharpBy Julia Williams

A few weeks ago, Laurie wrote a very touching post, “In Praise of Dogs.” In it, she discussed various reasons why dogs deserve our admiration. It was a lovely tribute to dogs, and as I read it, I agreed with all of it. Dogs are definitely praiseworthy, no argument there. Then, being the cat lover I am, I said to myself “But cats are praiseworthy, too!” I knew that cats deserved admiration just as much as dogs, so this post is my way of making things even, if you will.

You see, I have noticed that all too often cats get the short end of the stick. Cats – and the people who love them – are frequently discriminated against, as though there is some kind of “pet hierarchy” that places dogs at the top, with cats being inferior; a second-class pet.

I’ll give you just a few examples. Of the three independent pet stores in my area, two make it clear they are “dog stores.” In addition to dog-related store names, 85% of their shelf space is dedicated to dog products. There’s a teeny tiny corner with cat stuff, and it feels like an afterthought.

I’m on the email lists for these pet stores, and they rarely market to cat owners. I’ve lost count of the number of “great sale for your dog” emails I’ve received from them (nope, don’t have a dog.) I do, however, distinctly remember that one lone “cat” email, simply because it was as rare as a two-headed albino alligator. One store recently had a grand re-opening, and there wasn’t a single sentence in their email notice to indicate they even carried cat products.
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