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How to keep your cat from chewing on wires

There’s nothing quite finding out that your mischievous kitten has chewed through your charger wire. What’s worse is that handling the frayed wires can lead to a nasty shock for you and your cat. Here are a few ways you can keep kitty away from your power cords.

Find the root of the issue

Even though it’s perfectly natural for kittens to seek out items to chew on during teething, dangling wires are very tempting and dangerous targets for them. Normally, the teething behavior starts to disappear after two years, when all of the adult teeth have been set.

However, if your adult cat is chewing on wires, he or she may have a health or behavioral problem that need to be addressed. Wire chewing could be a sign of dental problems, PICA, or even boredom. The Spruce offers a comprehensive overview of the HISS (Health, Instinct, Stress, Symptoms) method that can be used to determine the cause of your cat’s behavior. When in doubt, consult your vet.

Apply deterrents

While you’re getting to the bottom of your kitty’s desire to chew, it’s a good idea to start chew-proofing your wires. Josie. F. Turner of AnimalWised suggests rubbing a blend of vaseline, lemon juice, and ground pepper onto the wires as a homemade deterrent. Dr. Dale Rubenstein of A Cat Clinic recommends Irish Spring soap. dish soap, citrus oil, hot sauce, or sports liniment.

Some pet parents have had success with store-bought Bitter Apple spray. If you use the spray method, avoid spraying it on an outlet or power source. You also don’t want your cat to ingest the spray, as it contains potentially harmful herbal extracts. Usually one taste is enough to keep kitty from coming back to it, but if it doesn’t deter your cat after all, wipe off the spray so that kitty doesn’t accidentally consume it.

Remove temptation

Consider making a stop at the home improvement store to pick up cord management covers, zip ties to bundle wires, and/or tape to secure the wires to the floor or wall. You should also hide cords behind furniture whenever possible, and wrap the excess length tightly around a table leg to keep them from dangling. You can place your video game console and charger wires in a drawer or cabinet when not in use, too.

Last, but not least, treat your kitty to some more appropriate chew toys, such as these crocheted cuties from For Paws and Home, or a more chew-resistant string toy, such as the Cat Charmer. Like with all toys, though, be sure to put them out of kitty’s reach when they are unsupervised.

Are you worried about your kitty having too much unsupervised time while you’re away? Hire one of our pet sitters to come check on kitty, once, twice, or even three times a day. We offer boarding, too, so call 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 J Dimas on flickr

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How to fill your New Year with New York Cats!

So you came to the Big Apple for New Year’s Eve. You should come for the celebrations, but stay for the cats! Here’s how to see lots of New York cats during your trip to the city!

Count the cats in every museum

You can also get your fair share of cats at some of New York’s most famous museums. The American Museum of Natural History has diorama displays of big cats. Or, if art and artifacts are more your style, be sure to check out the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Egyptian section in particular has statues, mummies, and more! My personal favorite is the Old Kingdom relief, whose hieroglyphics read “Lord of Cats’ Town.”

Stock up on cat swag

New York has no shortage of places to find cool cat-themed clothing and accessories. The Brooklyn-based Cat Coven has t-shirts, patches, keychains, and even cat toys. Be sure to check out the seasonal BUST Craftacular, where you can find prints, pins, and more. If you missed the winter holiday show, you can come back and check out the next one in May.

Visit all of the cat cafes

A delightful Japanese concept has started to take root in the United States. New York City in particular has quite a few cat cafes, where you can sip coffee while lounging around cute kitties. The best part? Many feature adoptable cats! So if you fall in love with a special feline, there’s a chance you can take them home. How’s that for a souvenir!

Visit all of the shopkeeper cats

New York’s shops and bodegas are home to many a friendly cat. Serving as unofficial mascots and greeters, these kitties are often quite social and used to the company of people. Need a guide? The book, Shop Cats of New York, will steer you in the right direction. While I personally used to stop in an see Keetah regularly, I’m very sad that both she and Bleecker Street Records belong to the ages. Late at night, I still get to see Allegra in the window at C.O. Bigelow, though!

While you’re out on your big city adventures, feel free to share with us any interesting cats you may find. To keep up with all of the latest cat-happenings in the city, follow us on Facebook.


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 GK12 on Wikimedia Commons

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The five most memorable cat stories of 2017

Where did the year go… As we prepare to say so-long to 2017, let’s take a look back at the cats who captured our attention the most.

5. Dexter the 20-Year-Old Shelter Cat

Dexter was already 20 years old when he was adopted from a local shelter: that’s practically 100 in human years! Because of his age, Dexter’s new family assumed he would pass away soon. But this senior sweetheart lived on for another two years! Dexter bonded especially well with the family’s young son, receiving lots of cuddles and affection, and reminding us all that it’s never too late for love.

4. Luna the Quinceañera Cat

In Latin American culture, a quinceañera is an elaborate celebration thrown when a girl turns 15. For her birthday, Luna the cat was lucky enough to get her own! Luna’s family went all out with a party, food, balloons, cake, and even a special dress for Luna. Luna took it all in stride, and was especially happy to get her own can of birthday tuna. Believe it or not, Luna’s quinceañera was one of the most viral stories of 2017.

3. BenBen The Saddest Cat

BenBen was a shelter cat just on the brink of being put down. Considered unadoptable, he suffered from a crushed spine, several lacerations, and facial injuries that left his face in a permanent frown. But hope came just in the nick of time! BenBen was adopted by a loving family, whose care and attention put him on the road to recovery. While BenBen still looks sad, he is truly a happy kitty now!

2. Hurricane Harvey Cat

The Hurricane Harvey Cat is an image of defiance and grit! This cat was famously captured while paddling his way through flood waters, a snarl on his face and a glimmer in his eye. The viral image provided some much needed encouragement and humor after Houston’s devastating storm.

1. Bone Bone The Fluffiest Cat From Thailand

Last but not least, wrapping up this list on a positive note, is Bone Bone. Have you ever seen such a fluffy cat? With over 30K followers on Instagram, Bone Bone is a feline megastar. Bone bone lives in Thailand, where his owners love to take him out to the park and to meet fans, all while he wears his signature spiky backpack. What a cutie pie!

Psst! Don’t forget to book a pet sitter for your memorable cat. And with that I bid you cheers, and, if I don’t see you, a happy New Year!


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 ArchaeologistDurmus on pixabay

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Celebrating Candace’s 100 Blog Posts!

Hello there Katie’s Kitty family! This is your friendly Manhattan and Jersey city pet sitter taking a moment to say thank you so much for reading our blog. I can hardly believe that this is my 100th post since I joined the Katie’s Kitty team back in 2014.

Over the years, it’s been my pleasure to answer your questions, research and writing “How-to’s” and “Why-do’s,” and deepen our collective well of knowledge on all things feline.

So, in order to commemorate this occasion, I thought it might be nice to take a look back at my 10 most widely shared blog posts. Enjoy!

10. Four tips to keep your cat calm while you’re gone

This is one of the very first articles that I wrote for the blog, and still one of the most frequent questions I get asked.

9. Why do cats stare at fire?

I’ve had a few cats gaze into flames as if summoning a demon, so I thought this would be a fun read for Halloween. Doing the research for this one was a real puzzler, though, as there wasn’t nearly as much information as you’d think on the subject.

8. How to keep your cat away from table food

If your cat is a sneaky table food ninja, you might want to read this one to learn how to keep kitty away.

7. Why cats step back out of the litter box to pee or poop

My cat Comet developed kidney disease at age 15, but we successfully treated him for 5 years before I finally lost him. Looking back, his comfortable golden years were likely thanks to detecting the disease so early and seeking the vet’s advice at every little change. And to think, it all began with one simple question: “Why did he just poop in the pan and get back out to pee on the floor?”

6. How clean is your cat’s water dish?

I uncovered this shocking truth after someone once described a pink film that seemed to grow in their cat’s water dish after a few days. Boy, if you thought all that was going into that dish was clean water, think again!

5. How to treat heat exhaustion in cats

Nowadays, with the way the weather patterns ungulate back and forth like a serpent’s tail, a sudden change of temperature can leave a cat reeling from heat exhaustion. I wrote this post to help people recognize the symptoms of heat exhaustion and act quickly and appropriately if it occurs. More importantly, I wrote it so that people could be prepared and prevent it from ever happening.

4. Where to find feline art in New York City

I was very pleasantly surprised to see when researching these posts that this very early piece I had written is still one of readers’ favorite choices. Some of the exhibits are still on display, and I have a few more recommendations slated to be released in the new year.

3. Exercise routines for your cat

It’s no surprise that we all love our tubby tabbies, but we want them to stay healthy as possible. I’ve got a few tips to get your kitty in motion!

2. No-kill cat shelters and rescues in New York City

Whether it’s to adopt a new companion or safely re-home an old friend, sooner or later, as pet sitters we often get asked about no-kill shelters in New York and Jersey City. When I first compiled this list in 2015, I was appalled at just how hard it was to find a such list of shelters in the city. I’m glad this article is still making the rounds on social media today.

1. Meet five NYC indie store cats

Coming in at number one, the most read post of all time was one of the earliest, when I introduced our readership to five of my favorite independent shopkeeper cats. Keep in mind, this was written years before the book Shop Cats of New York was released, but I probably wasn’t the only one writing about them at the time. I know I’m not the only one who passes by a friendly kitty in a store window and stops to say hello!

And there you have it! I’m looking forward to sharing more of what I’ve learned along the way for years to come.

Just remember, if you have a question of about cats that you’d like me to answer, leave us a comment or send us a note on Facebook. We’re also active on Instagram and Twitter.


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 MarPockStudios on pixabay

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The Icelandic Christmas Cat

“Oh no! The giant Yule Cat has come for me!”

You may have heard of the Krampus, but have you heard of Iceland’s infamous Yule Cat? A creature with sharp teeth and glaring eyes, the Christmas Cat of Iceland is a fabled holiday monster. But who exactly is this ferocious creature and what makes him so scary?

The legend of the Yule Cat

Definitely not the cuddliest of kitties, legend has it that the Yule Cat prowl’s Iceland’s snowy countryside. The cat is said to devour those who don’t have warm clothing to wear for the winter. As a result, it is a tradition in Iceland for family members to gift each other new clothes for Christmas. According to some, the Yule Cat is the pet of another Icelandic creature, the giantess Gryla, who is said to kidnap, cook, and eat children who misbehave. Gryla’s sons, the Yule Lads are quite mischievous themselves — licking pots and slamming doors. How rude.

The Yule Cat’s origin story

Like most monsters, the Yule Cat is more fiction than fact. The story of the Yule Cat originally came from farmers. They told the tale as an incentive for their workers to finish processing the autumn wool before Christmas. It was said that those who worked hard and finished the job on time would be rewarded with new clothes, while those who failed would face punishment from the Yule Cat.

History of the Yule Cat

Iceland’s Christmas Cat is regarded as an ancient tale, but evidence shows that the earliest written accounts of the creature date back no further than the 19th century. It later became popular through the Icelandic poet, Johannes ur Kotlum, whose epic poem describes the cat’s terrifying features.

Are you thinking of buying some cute outfits for your kitty now? Share photos of them with us on Instagram and Facebook! And if you’re going out of town for the holidays, don’t hesitate to schedule a sitter for days that you’re away.


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 Alexa’s_Fotos on pixabay

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Why does my cat lick my hair?

One minute, you and the cat are lounging on the couch. The next, he’s grooming your locks! Whether you find it sweet or annoying, rest assured that it’s perfectly normal when the cat licks your hair. But why does he do it, and should you be concerned?

As a sign of affection

Your cat is most likely showing you affection! It’s quite common for cats who share a special bond to groom one another, especially if the cats are related. When your cat licks your hair, they’re extending this same gesture to you. It’s a sign that they are comfortable, happy, and consider you a member of the family.

A word about hair products

Though licking is often a bonding gesture, it’s not uncommon for cats to be attracted to hair products. You might be using a certain shampoo or mousse that your kitty finds yummy. But be wary. This also means that your cat could be ingesting the chemicals found in those products, which is definitely not great for their health.

How to stop the behavior

If you’re worried about the cat ingesting chemicals, or you just find the grooming annoying, you can take action to stop the behavior. When the cat starts licking, don’t talk to them or engage with them. Move away to another chair or part of the room. If you’re in bed, put a pillow between you and cat. When you stop reinforcing the behavior, it should decrease after some time. However, for extra reinforcement, you can use lemon-scented hair products, as cats don’t like the smell of citrus.

Do you have an affectionate cat? Our sitters would love to meet them! Call today to inquire about pet-sitting and to schedule a meet and greet.


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 skeeze on Pixabay

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How to keep your cat warm in winter weather

Brrr. Boy did the temperate drop! Your cat may have a nice fur coat, but they still need help staying warm when winter weather strikes. One way to guarantee your cat is cozy is to prepare them a proper place to sleep. Here are a few suggestions for creating a nice winter bed.

Self-warming beds

If you’re concerned about your cat staying warm enough, self-heating beds are commercially available for purchase. Heated beds are especially nice for older cats who suffer from arthritis or stiff joints. When picking out a bed, keep your cat’s sleeping habits in mind. Do they like to spread out or curl up in a ball? If they like to stretch, you might opt for a flatter bed (not unlike a heating pad). If they like to curl up, consider a donut-shaped bed that gives your cat something to lean against.

Cat tents and houses

Does your cat like to hide? A tent or house might make them feel right at home! Tents, houses, and A-frame beds are readily available from pet suppliers. Or, you can even make one yourself from downloadable instructions. Keep in mind any mobility issues your cat might have. A cat who has trouble stepping over heights may need a tent with an entrance that’s level with the ground.

Sunny window spaces

You may have noticed that your cat loves sunny spots by the window. Once you’ve picked out a bed, you can place it in your cat’s favorite spot on the so she can take advantage of the sun’s warmth, or you can even attach a bed right on the windowsill. Window perches are easy to install and will keep your cat from having to sit on a cold, hard sill. If you go this route, be sure to eliminate any drafts that come from the window so your cat doesn’t get cold.

Is your apartment drafty in the winter time? Be sure to let your pet sitter know if there needs to be adjustments to the thermostat. We’ll keep your kitty snug and warm while you’re gone.


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 Obsidian_Tanto on pixabay

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How to have Thanksgiving with your cat

On Thursday, you might be tempted to spoil your cat with turkey instead of regular cat food. There’s nothing wrong with preparing them a special feast of their own. However, the wrong foods could mean a trip to the vet, or worse! Here’s how to let your cat in on the Thanksgiving fun without compromising their health.

Which foods to avoid

While some human foods are safe, there are certain foods which are guaranteed to make your cat sick. Onions, garlic, green tomatoes, avocados, and chocolate are definite no-no’s, as are sweeteners and cranberries. Even certain “safe foods” should be treated with caution. Your cat might enjoy small pieces of plain cooked chicken. However, bones, fat trimmings, and gravy should be avoided. In regards to the gravy, there could be traces of garlic or spices that aren’t safe. As a rule of thumb, don’t share it with the cat if you’re unsure.

Which foods are okay

The safest way to let your cat enjoy Thanksgiving is to give them an extra special can of cat food. However, if you want to add a few extra fixings, very small quantities of certain meats or veggies are okay. Proteins like skinless, boneless chicken, lean beef, or eggs make for quite the treat! (Remember, always cooked, never raw, and no bones!) Your cat might also enjoy a little bit of cooked sweet potato, plain pumpkin, carrots, or broccoli.

Where to put your cat when company arrives

Even the most social cats might want to eat their Thanksgiving dinner alone. Lots of company could make your cat stressed or scared. Guests could also mishandle the cats or accidentally feed them foods they shouldn’t eat. During dinner prep and festivities, offer the bedroom as a sanctuary so your cat can enjoy the holiday in peace. If they get curious and wish to step out, make sure guests know the protocol for socializing with your cat.

Did your Thanksgiving plans change and now you’re scrambling, trying to find a pet sitter? There’s still time to book with us! Our attentive pet sitters will make sure your cat is happy and well-fed while you’re away.


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 Gellinger on pixabay

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Why does my cat drop toys in the food or water bowl?

Many cat parents have come home to find the kitty’s favorite toy piled on top of the food dish or “drowned” in the water bowl. While it’s a fairly common behavior, scientists and cat behaviorists are just as baffled as the rest of us as to why cats place their toys in their food or water dishes. Here are a few theories.

A safe place to store leftovers

The domestic cat’s wild relatives such as leopards, bobcats, and wildcats have been known to store their food in a safe location, known as a cache. Since your typical indoor housecat doesn’t often have freshly caught prey leftover to eat for later, the closest substitute may just be a favorite toy. The closest thing kitty has to a safe location in their territory would be the food and water dishes in your home.

However, this caching behavior is not the same as burying food that has been partially consumed. A cat who buries food does not intend to come back to it later.

A gift from kitty to you

Another possible explanation has roots in the relationship between a queen and her kittens. When mama goes out to hunt for food, she’ll often bring back a her prey to show her offspring how to finish off and consume it. If kitty is bringing you her conquered toys (or even leaving you dead mice or birds) your cat may be expressing that she cares for you and wants you to eat well. After all, feeding someone a universal act of love that you show your cat every day.

Speaking of kittens, mama cats will also sometimes bring kittens who have wandered off back to their litter and nest. So it could also be that your cat regards scattered toys as her naughty little children who’ve wandered off again.

Just regular ole playtime

Last but not least, if you’re finding toys in the water dish specifically, it could just be the result of a rousing play session. Cats love fresh, running water not only for drinking, but also at entertainment! Some cats will sit and stare at a fountain or running water, and others may go a step further and dip in their paws to watch the ripples. So when it comes to “drowning” toys, it could be that kitties are combining two of their favorite things.

Does your cat have any weird quirks? Your pet sitter wants to hear about it! These funny variances in your cats’ behaviors is what makes them unique, and we love getting to know your kitties for who they are, quirks and all.


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 milivanily on pixabay

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How to keep your cat from unraveling toilet paper

Because cats are the silly little creatures that they are, we’ve written quite a bit on the blog about the various bathroom behaviors of cats. Yet, perhaps one of the most adorable and diabolical thing kitty can do is sneak into the bathroom and unwind the music roll! Here are a few tricks you can try to discourage your cat from unraveling the toilet paper.

Try the under-hang method

Believe it or not, when the toilet paper roll was first invented, it was intended to be hung with the leading edge facing the user. On the one hand, since kitties tend to pull the paper down toward themselves, hanging the roll with the leading edge against the wall would stop it from coming completely undone. On the other hand, if your kitty just enjoys spinning the roll, it might not be enough to stop him or her from completely shedding the paper in the process.

Change the type of dispenser

As the old adage says, “If you can’t change the behavior, change the environment!” Your toilet paper troubles could just be a quick equipment change away from total relief. For instance, did you know that they make toilet tissues that pops up much like facial tissues? If you don’t like the industrial feel, but like the idea of pop up toilet paper, you could try this canister by OXO that pops up an entire roll like a cool gadget in a spy movie!

Unfortunately it’s been out of stock everywhere for a while, but if you’re crafty, you can probably hack the mundane version with a spring. Or, you know, use it without the pop up feature at all. It’s still quite effective armor for your coveted toilet paper trove. Speaking of armor, some wall mounted dispensers have a cat deflecting shield (also known as a cover).

Or change the orientation

If you feel like don’t need to go to such extremes as buying a suit if armor for your TP, simply turning the roll vertically instead of horizontally may be enough to deter your kitty. This cast iron stretching cat toilet paper holder is a bit of a splurge, but it would make a great gift for a cat lover! Good news, they also have one for dog lovers, giraffe lovers, and dinosaur lovers, too! (But who doesn’t love dinosaurs?)

Hide the toilet paper!

Last but not least, if your cat is particularly cunning, you might just have to put the toilet paper completely away. You could keep it in the cabinet under the sink. For the cabinet-opening variety of cat, try using child proof cabinet locks, or just close the bathroom door to keep kitty out all together.

Do you have a room in your home that your cat isn’t allowed to go in? Don’t forget to let your pet sitter know!


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 Alan Turkus on flickr

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