Top Menu

New York City Pet Sitting Services
Cat Sitting and Boarding ~ Cat Sleepovers in your Home ~ Exotic Pet Sitting

212-288-5712


Tag Archives | indoor cats

Does your cat like to watch TV?

They say pets resemble their owners, and it seems to stand true for pet parents and kitties who love to watch TV together. Maybe your cat stares intently at the screen, pops up, or even swats at it! If you’ve ever wondered what’s going through your kitty’s mind, allow us to shed a little light on the situation.

Can cats perceive moving images like us?

It’s a common misconception that pets like cats and dogs are only attracted to the flashing lights on the TV. The truth is, your typical television isn’t displaying moving images at all! It’s actually redrawing still images at a rate fast enough that our brains will interpret the images to be moving, which is at least 60 Hz (cycles per second). Cats’ brains process visual information at about 55 Hz, so they do indeed see the same moving images that we do.

What do cats like to watch?

As it turns out, cats like to watch the same things on TV that they like to watch in real life In one study, shelter cats without access to outside windows were given television screens. The cats in the study responded the most to programs featuring their natural prey such as birds, rodents, and fish. Anecdotal evidence has also shown that cats can be attracted to quickly moving objects such as basketballs and soccer on television.

Is it safe for cats to watch TV?

According to Dr. Jillian Orlando, DVM, a veterinary behavior resident at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, sitting too close to the TV won’t hurt your cat’s eyes. However, she goes on to say, “If your cat is really intent on ‘hunting’ the television, don’t let her watch the TV unsupervised. And if you have a large flat screen, mount it to the wall, in case kitty decides to take the leap.”

What are some alternatives to leaving on the TV?

It’s also easy for your cat to become frustrated with prey that they cannot catch, such as laser lights and images on screens. Whenever possible, provide alternatives such as window perches and plenty of interactive toys to help relieve the tension. If you normally are very noisy while you’re home, leaving on a radio can also help your cat to feel less lonely without the risks of kitty toppling the TV.

Have you found that leaving the TV on while you’re out of town isn’t quite enough to keep your cat company? Nothing can compare to the warmth and love a pet sitter can provide while you’re away from home. Call to request a quote today!


Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

photo by Barbara M on flickr

Continue Reading

Should you toilet-train your cat?


Have you been wondering if toilet training is right for your kitty household? Although a cat using a toilet can be quite the spectacle, there are several things to consider before “taking the plunge.”

What are the advantages?

The biggest advantage of toilet-training your cat is eliminating the need for kitty litter. The cost-conscious pet parent could save $70-$150 a year in cat litter, which can add up quite a bit over a lifetime.

Not to mention, teaching your cat to use the toilet means that you will no longer have to tolerate litter box odor or deal with unsanitary litter flecks scattered around your home or floating through the air.

As an added bonus, pet parents who are concerned with space issues appreciate not having a litter box to take up room, which is a concern for many New Yorkers.

What are the disadvantages?

One of the biggest disadvantages has to do with health monitoring. The volume, consistency, and frequency of urine and feces in the litter box are indicators of your cat’s health. When your kitty uses the toilet, you won’t be able to keep an eye on these factors. A clean bill of health for your kitty is also required to avoid the transmission of toxoplasmosis.

Older cats, cats who would have difficulty balancing on or gripping the slick seat, or cats who don’t like to share could also find the toilet to be troublesome. Additionally, some kitties may develop anxiety from falling in or not being able to satisfy the instinct to dig and cover their waste.

One final consideration is that toilet training requires a lot of patience, and accidents are bound to happen. House guests can also accidentally close the lid, leaving your kitty no choice but to eliminate on the floor.

Other things to try

Are you frustrated with your litter box, but still unsure if toilet training is right for your kitty? Consider trying automatic litter boxes and alternatives to clay cat litter until you strike a balance in the human-convenience-to-feline-happiness ratio.

Whatever method you choose, our pet sitters take extra care in ensuring a clean and happy home while you’re away. Give us a call to meet with one of our friendly pet sitters!


This post is a collaboration between Andrea Gores and Candace Elise Hoes.

Andrea Gores is an actor, playwright, and pet sitter for Katie’s Kitty.

Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

photo by minorleo on flickr

Continue Reading

Cat-scratched leather couch triage


Oh no! Your cat scratched up your leather sofa. What do you do? You may think that the leather is ruined, but before you buy a completely new couch, try one of these less expensive alternatives.

For quick repairs

Whether your kitty nicked the sofa by mistake or she has shredded at the arm until it looks likes a million tiny strings, you can do a quick patch job with a hair clipper and leather conditioner. Basically, you would use the clipper to remove the excess fibers and restore the leather to a mostly even surface. Then, the leather conditioner is applied to blend in the damage. For most purposes, you probably wouldn’t even notice the difference.

For more extensive repair

If kitty has been clawing at your couch for several years now, or perhaps the leather is starting to crack and show its age, you can perform a more extensive repair by using a multi-step leather repair kit. The components may vary, but most kits include a cleaner, filler, colorant, and conditioner. The process is similar, but the results are superior.

Keeping kitty away for next time

After restoring your leather, you’ll likely want to discourage kitty from scratching it again. Most cats won’t bother with a leather couch so long as there is a more appealing scratching post available. If your cat still won’t break the habit after that, you can use safe and humane training aids such as rubber nail caps or double sided tape.

Leather couch alternatives

Perhaps you’re ready for a change, and you’ve decided that the leather couch just has to go! For your next purchase, consider a material made from microfiber. Microfiber, also known as ultrasuede, microsuede, and faux suede, is made of ultra-tiny nylon threads that are densely woven together and bonded. Therefore, the material is stain-resistant and an unappealing surface for kitties to sharpen their claws.

Not sure if you have enough cat friendly furniture in your home? Schedule a meet and greet with a Katie’s Kitty pet sitter. Our pet sitters have years of pet sitting experience and tons of knowledge pertaining to keeping your kitty happy and healthy in your home. Call us today!


Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

photo by Rob Marquardt on flickr

Continue Reading

10 Tips for “Kitten-proofing” your home

Kittens! by London looks

Kittens are doubly curious, as they are both babies and cats at the same time! When you bring a new kitten into your home, it’s wise to take precautions to remove potential hazards in kitty’s new environment.

1) Install permanent screens on windows. Do not rely on window guards for children, use temporary bug screens, or crack the window slightly, as kittens can wiggle through them.

2) Tie cords for window blinds and curtains well out of your kitten’s reach. They may be tempted to play with the strings, but they could accidentally wrap around your kitten’s neck.

3) Store toys (for both cats and children) in a chest or box that closes securely. This is especially important for toys with strings and small pieces that could be swallowed.

4) Remove dangerous house plants. The ASPCA has a list of plants that are toxic to cats. If you’re not sure what species your plant is, it’s best to give it away or keep it outdoors.

5) Keep all medicines and cleaning products locked away. Even if the container is closed, it can still be chewed through.

6) Secure drawers, cabinets, and closets with child safety locks. Otherwise, cats could easily pull open the doors.

7) Secure the knobs on your stove. While jumping up and exploring, a cat’s paw could accidentally turn on the gas or a heating element.

8) Keep the oven, dryer, and dishwasher doors closed. Cats like to sleep in dark, warm places, so this could lead to disaster. Always perform a “kitten check” before starting up these appliances, and leave notes to remind others to do the same.

9) Close the toilet lid after every use. A kitten could fall in and drown, or the lid may close and hurt a cat playing in the water.

10) Store plastic in a dispenser that is kept in a secured closet or cabinet. Chewing on and swallowing plastic could harm your cat’s digestive track, or kitty could get trapped in the bag.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but you can read more at the Humane Society, Purina, About Home, and MEOW Cat Rescue.

Are you worried about leaving your kitten alone on vacation? Our pet sitters can come check on your kitty once, twice, or even three times a day to make sure everything is okay! Request a quote for multiple visits for kittens.


Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

“Kittens!” by London looks on flickr

Continue Reading

My cat wants to meet my neighbor’s cat

14256766802_13beb1cee1_z

If you live in New York City, you likely live in a building with multiple apartments per floor. Sometimes you open the door, and your cat runs down the hall to sniff at a door where your neighbor also has a cat. So, you may be wondering if it’s a good idea to have the kitties meet one another face to face.

To figure out if it would be a good idea or bad idea, consider the following:

1) Let them sniff at one another from under your door. If either of the cats starts hissing, getting aggressively fluffy, or swatting from under the door, they probably won’t be friends.

2) Try letting your neighbor’s cats sniff your cat’s brush to see if they hiss or growl at it. Do the same for your cat with your neighbors’ brush. Any hissing or growling is a bad sign.

3) How well do you know your neighbors? If your cat hurts their cats, or if their cats hurt your cat, is it going to ruin your relationship? Do you think they might hold you accountable for the vet bill, and vice versa?

4) Also, keep in mind that successfully introducing cats to each other can be a very, very long process (months) and requires a lot of effort. Does that sound like something you both are willing to do?

If all lights are green, you can read our blog post about introducing new cats to one another. You can also read up on the subject in greater depth on the Humane Society’s website.

If you do decide to give it a try, introductions should only be done under constant supervision. You may want to keep a squirt bottle handy in case things get ugly.

When all’s said and done, it’s probably not worth the trouble.

Is your cat lonely and looking for a playmate while you’re away? Give us a call! Our friendly pet sitters would be happy to look after your fur baby.


Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

“two annoyed cats” by Robert Couse-Baker on flickr.

Continue Reading

Keep your cat indoors

Although cats are smart, alert, and adroit, they are no match for the many perils that await them outside. That’s why the average outdoor cat lives only a third as long than the cat who’s kept safely inside. Consider these threats:

Disease – Feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus are only two of the diseases that are passed from cat to cat and, once contracted, result in the eventual death of the pet. Outside cats are even more likely than dogs to dome into contact with rabid wild animals.

Parasites – Outdoor cats suffer from fleas, ticks, ear mites, and worms that indoor cats are not generally exposed to.
Poisoning – Poisons are found in lawn chemicals, bait left out to kill rodents, antifreeze, and other sources.

Other Animals – Fights with other cats, dogs, and wildlife often leave cats maimed or injured.

People – In our own community as well as others across the nation, cats have been the victims of burning, ritual torture and other abuses.

Cars – Cats often crawl into warm car engines in cold weather and are killed or badly injured when the unsuspecting driver starts the car. Most outdoor cats die prematurely from auto accidents. It is a myth that cats are “streetwise” about cars. No matter how alert, a cat is no match for a fast moving vehicle. Unaltered cats allowed to roam and mate account for millions of the cats who must be euthanized each year because there aren’t enough homes for them.

Becoming Lost or Trapped – Few cats reported missing are recovered by their owners. Some people who notice a cat in the area assume it can find its way home. Others assume the cat is abandoned and care for it without attempting to locate the owner. Cats may become inadvertently trapped for days as they explore a neighbor’s shed or a dumpster.

Cats can be completely happy inside if you provide them with toys, good care, and lots of love and attention. If you have a kitten, start out right by never letting him outside.Older cats often make the transition to being indoor pets easily. Some, however, will take extra time and attention. Gradually reducing the amount of time your pet is allowed outside, increasing play time with your cat, taking it out on a harness and lead, or constructing or purchasing and outdoor enclosure can help ease the transition.

Thanks to Humane Education Committee, Champaign County Humane Society, 1911 East Main, Urbana, IL 61801 USA

Continue Reading