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Can cats share your Thanksgiving feast?

Thanksgiving is almost here!  If you’re the sort of person who loves to cook for holiday guests, you might have a cat circling your ankles like a little land shark, waiting for a taste of the delectable feast.  It’s only natural to wonder, then, is it okay for your cat to 

Can cats eat turkey?

At first, logic seems to suggest that if pet food companies offer turkey flavored cat food, then it must be alright for them to eat the real deal.  Slow you roll, there! You can only feed your cat a small amount of turkey under the proper conditions. It must be cooked thoroughly or else you’ll risk giving your cat salmonella.  Remove the skin and never feed the bones, because they are a choking hazard. Likewise, you shouldn’t leave the carved carcass for your cat to chew on because the bones could fracture and puncture your cat’s gastrointestinal tract.

Seasonings are also a risk factor.  According to the ASPCA, “While sage can be a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving stuffing, it (and many other herbs) contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression in pets, especially cats.”  Be especially mindful of garlic, onions, and chives, which can cause severe anemia. Keep your cat away from the stuffing, too!

What about side dishes?

If you’re really falling for those big sad eyes that your cat is giving you while you’re preparing Thanksgiving dinner, Phillip Mlynar of CatTime.com suggests using “simple cheats” method.  For instance, your cat can have a little lick of mashed potatoes before you add any dairy or seasonings.  Likewise, a very small scoop of pureed pumpkin from the can (not pumpkin pie filling) should be okay.

When all is said and done, the ASPCA recommends keeping your pets as close to their regular diet as possible for the holidays.  With many new sights, smells, and people afoot, keeping your cat on the same feeding routine will provide one constant in your kitty’s life.  More importantly, it’ll take one hazard out of the equation when it comes to your cat’s health.

Have you made last minute Thanksgiving plans?  Drop us a line! We have friendly and professional pet sitters available for the holiday.


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.

Image by rihaij from Pixabay

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Thanksgiving treats for your rabbit

What’s not to be thankful for when you have a pet rabbit?  They fill your home with a warm, and happy presence. If you’re looking for a way to show your bunny just how much he or she means to you this holiday, consider the following treats!

Apples

When cutting up apples for the pie, set aside a few for your bunny.  It’s best to leave the skin on for nutritional value, especially if it’s organic.  Just be sure to wash it thoroughly. According to Susan A. Brown, DVM , it’s an especially good to give fruit as a treat to your rabbit every morning.  If your bunny doesn’t come to you for the morning treat, then you know it’s time to go to the vet.

Brussels sprouts

If you don’t have a baked brussels sprout dish on your menu this year, consider adding one!  It’ll be an excuse to pamper yourself when you drizzle on the maple syrup or a splash of wine, and an even better excuse to pamper your rabbit with a non-leafy vegetable that’s in season.

Parsley

To some it’s a garnish, to others it’s an essential ingredient, but to your rabbit it’s a real treat!  If you’re looking to mix up your bunny’s leafy green intake, consider this aromatic herb. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t feed it often, though, due to its high oxalic acid content.  

Whichever treat you decide to surprise your bunny with this Thanksgiving, be sure to introduce it slowly so that you can watch for any signs of stomach upset.

Are you looking for someone who can keep up with your rabbit’s carefully planned diet?  Hire one of our pet sitters! Our diligent pet sitters will follow your instructions to the letter.  Drop us a line 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.

Image by Ajale from Pixabay

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Will indoor cats grow a “winter coat?”

When the daylight shortens, cats don’t need to go to the store and buy big puffy jackets! Lucky for them, they simply grow a thicker undercoat to keep them warm in the winter time. But if a cat stays inside a temperature regulated home, will he or she still grow a winter coat?

What is a “winter coat?”

To understand what a winter coat is, first one must understand how a cat’s fur coat functions. Guard hairs are the long, visible hairs that give a cat his or her pattern and color. Underneath the guard hair layer is a thick, fluffy layer of fur called an “undercoat.” The undercoat is what keeps the cat warm, and it’s usually a grayish color. When the undercoat thickens up for cold weather, it’s referred to as a winter coat.

When does it grow in?

Winter coats begin fluffing up in the fall, when the daylight begins to shorten. Even though indoor-only cats don’t really need the extra insulation, they will still grow a winter coat if they are exposed to enough sunlight. That is because the thickening of the fur doesn’t have to do with temperature at all. On the contrary, it’s a response to the amount of daylight that’s available. 

Is there anything that you need to do to prepare for it?

Most cats are pretty self-sufficient when it comes to grooming, but sometimes senior cats need a little help. Senior who aren’t as flexible as they used to be will sometimes get matted fur when their thicker coat begins to grow. The winter coat can sometimes become tangled with the shorter fur that needs to fall out to make room for the longer fur. 

Are you looking for someone to keep up with your senior cats grooming routine? Drop us a line! We have the perfect pet sitter waiting to meet you!


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.

Image by eendeckel from Pixabay

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Why do crested geckos “fire up?”

As if their uniquely spiny, frilly, and eye-lashey charm weren’t enough, crested geckos naturally change colors to become even more beautiful before your very eyes. Read on to find out what this process is called and why it takes place.

What is “firing up?”

Crested geckos are nocturnal, so when they wake up in the evening, it’s their time to shine! When your crestie awakens, he or she will fire up, which is an intensifying of its skin tones. This is when your gecko will have the richest variation in pigmentation and color. 

Think of firing up a lot like booting up a computer, or turning on a cellphone, or starting up a car. When it’s active, it’s “fired up!” If you want to watch your gecko change colors in the tank without disturbing him or her, install a blue or black light.

What is “firing down?”

It follows that if a crested gecko fires up during the nighttime when it’s most active, it would fire down during the daytime, when it’s time to go to sleep. Firing down is a form of camouflage. Since it’s lighter during the day when cresties rest, becoming lighter in color helps them to blend in at the time when they are less active and more vulnerable.

Think of firing down a lot like the Human Torch, who would say “flame off!” when he was finished fighting crime for the day. Some cresties seem to be fired up or down all of the time, which is perfectly normal. But keep in mind, they will also change color in response to stress and mood.

Are you looking for someone to check on your crested gecko during the evening? Contact us to make arrangements with a pet sitter who can check on your crestie at night.


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.

Image by Karen Arnold from Pixabay

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When to choose boarding over in home pet sitting

Both in home pet sitting visits and boarding in a pet sitter’s home have their perks, but you may be on the fence about which service to choose.  How do you know when boarding is the right choice for your cat? Ask yourself the following questions to decide.

How does your cat behave when left alone?

Destructive behavior is a strong indicator of a cat with separation anxiety.  Bored and anxious cats get into trouble when they are left alone for too long.  If you come home to a total mess, even when you were only gone for a few hours, it might be a good idea to board your cat during your next trip.  That way, your kitty can experience the calm, loving presence of a cat sitter who tends to his or her emotional needs and cleans up after him or her.

Is someone going to be in your home while you’re out of town?

House guests who are inexperienced in looking after cats can inadvertently stress your kitty.  If your guests are vacationing in your home, they may disrupt your cat’s routine. Their noise can also upset your cat, especially if your home is usually very quiet. Moreover, house guests who aren’t used to having cats around might leave windows or doors open through which your cat can escape, or they can create other hazards for your cat. 

Having a pet sitter come to check on your cat doesn’t work as well in these situations because their visits can accidentally interrupt your guests’s enjoyment of your home. Instead, you might want to board your cat for the peace of mind that your cat will be with someone who pays close attention to him or her.

Does your cat need medication?

Sometimes, the least stressful environment is your own home, and moving your cat could aggravate his or her medical condition.  Certain medications, when properly labeled and prescribed by a veterinarian, can be administered by a professional pet sitter who visits your home.   

However, if your cat recently underwent surgery or needs vital medication at precise times, medical boarding at a vet’s office is the wiser way to go.  Just be sure to ask if someone is on staff around the clock, as some practices do not have a veterinary doctor present when the office is closed.

Do you need help deciding if in home visits or boarding is right for you and your kitty? Send us an email, and we will pair you with a friendly sitter or boarder who can answer your questions and guide you.


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.

Image by Navigirl from Pixabay

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Are guinea pigs affectionate?

How can you tell if your guinea pig likes you?  Fortunately, guineas are very affectionate pets, and they have several ways of showing how much they care about you.  If it’s your first time parenting a guinea pig, you’ll recognize some of the behaviors below from some of your other favorite pets, too!

Licking

Many animals lovers with recognize being licked by their pet as a universal sign of affection.  Guinea pigs will lick, or groom, other piggies as well as their pet parents, too.

Kissing

Even though most people would consider licking to be the animal equivalent of kissing, guinea pigs actually give kisses a lot like a human!  It’s not quite nibbling, because they don’t use their teeth. Instead, they gently and repeatedly nip you with their lips for just a moment.

Nuzzling

When a happy guinea will brush its head against you or one of its fellow piggies, it’s known as nuzzling. Cats show this behavior, too, which is called bunting or allorubbing.

Purring

Perhaps their most cat-like behavior is purring.  After you’ve petted or tickled your guinea for a while, you may hear them squeaking.  However, when they’re really content they will emit a smooth, trilling sound. Some would describe it like a pigeon cooing, others say it’s like a cat’s purr.

Are you looking for someone to keep your guinea pig happy while you’re out of town? Hire a pet sitter!  Our sitters do more than just clean. We will pet and play with your guinea pig so that he or she will feel well loved while you’re away.  Drop us a line 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.

Image by Pezibear from Pixabay.

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Natural Remedies for Litter Box Odor

A stinky litter box can be an embarrassing problem. Even if you scoop your litter box daily, a fresh “deposit” from your kitty can send unpleasant aromas back into the air.  If you’re wondering how to remedy the problem in a pet-safe, nontoxic way, consider the following solutions.

Natural remedies that work well

Special scented, pet-safe, soy and beeswax candles can be purchased online and even in many veterinary offices.  Some even contain an enzyme that helps to cleanse the air. After you clean the litter box, lighting one for an hour a day can help remove any smells that may still be lingering in the air.

If you have a chronically malodorous litter box, the litter itself could be to blame, too.  Some clay litters do a good job absorbing liquid but not always the smells. Others are heavily laden with perfumes, which only cover the odor with an even stronger scent.  Consider switching to a pine, walnut, corn, or paper litter instead. Not only are they recycled and environmentally friendly, but they have subtle and natural scent.  

Natural remedies that won’t work

Essential oils may seem like a safe bet at first.  They are derived from plant extracts, and they have a pleasant fragrance.  However, cats can’t break down essential oils in their bodies. If they ingest, inhale, or absorb these oils through their skin, it could lead to fatal poisoning.  It’s best not to use an essential oil diffuser in your home with cats. If you have a question about a cleaning product that uses essential oils, show the ingredient list to your vet.

What’s more, you may not have considered an air purifier to be a “natural” product at first, but their most basic components are a fan, a pre-filter made with activated charcoal, and a HEPA filter made from glass strands.  Many people place air purifiers near litter boxes with hopes of controlling the odor. While it’s true that the air purifier may catch airborne cat litter particles, thereby reducing the smell a little bit, most household models aren’t designed to capture the ammonia and urea that causes the odor in the first place.

Are you worried about your litter boxes’ odor level reaching extreme heights while you’re out of town?  Hire a pet sitter! Our sitters will diligently scoop the litter box every single day. Drop us a line to be paired with one 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.

Image by Yuyu Pang from Pixabay.


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3 Tips to Keep Your Cat Safe on Halloween

Trick or treaters, scary movies, and get togethers are all things that make Halloween a blast for adults but can easily spook your cat!  Be mindful of these three tips this year so that your cat can enjoy Halloween, too, this year!

Provide a sanctuary

Even mellow cats can become irritated and overstimulated when people come over for a party.  However, having children ring your doorbell and shout “Trick or Treat!” can be just as startling for your cat.

Therefore, it’s always a good idea to have a room set aside for your cat on Halloween.  Place food, water, and the litter box someplace quiet and away from your guests. Consider leaving music or a TV on to drown out the noise, and shut the door.  Many cats go missing on Halloween when they dart out the door.

Be careful with decorations

Wispy spider webs and blinking lights on strings not only set the mood, but they look like toys to your cat.  Keep them up high where your kitty can’t reach them, and be extra mindful of placement if your cat is a notorious jumper or climber.

Candles can pose a risk, too, for cats who like to watch their flickering flames.  A sudden noise can make your cat knock the candle over, risking burns to themselves and fire to your home.  If all you’re going for is the effect, opt for flameless candles instead.

Keep candy out of reach

Small, fun sized candy bars are the perfect size for a mischievous kitty to take when no one is looking.  Even if your cat just wants a toy to swat around, they could accidentally ingest wrappers, chocolate, or artificial sweeteners.  These can all lead to fatal veterinary emergencies, so it’s best to simply keep treats where your kitty can’t get to them.

Do you have any photos of your cat in a Halloween costume?  Share them with us on Instagram or 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.

Image by Margo Lipa from Pixabay.

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Don’t forget these 3 essential pet supplies!

Imagine you’re going out of town on a trip that you’ve prepared for weeks in advance. You’re all packed, the pet sitter’s been booked, and you’ve left out a carefully calibrated amount of supplies on the counter. While you’re out of town, you have to extend your visit when the unexpected happens. 

The last thing that you want to worry about is whether or not your pet sitter has everything that they need until you get back, especially if you’re somewhere remote and unreachable. Here are three essential supplies that you’ll always want to have — just in case.

Extra food

While it may seem easy enough to reorder more food if it begins to run low, it’s better not to run the risk of lost or damaged packages. Not to mention, if you happen to receive an unusable batch of food due to a recall or other unsafe condition, your cans or kibble might run out faster than you had expected.

Extra litter

Depending on the type of litter that you use and the number of cats that you have, the entire litter box may need to be changed out every few weeks or so. You might not be gone so long as to need a complete litter change, but when the poop is constantly being scooped, the litter level will likely need to be replenished every now and then.  

Extra baggies

In a world that’s increasingly frowning upon single use plastic bags, (we’re looking at you Jersey City and Hoboken!) it’s easy to run low on poo poo bags.  Even if you usually reuse the bags from the supermarket, it’s a good idea to have a roll of doodie bags as a backup. Extra liners for the kitchen trash and recycling are good to have on hand, too.  That way, you can come home to freshly changed receptacles.  

Do you have any supplies that you like to keep on hand?  Drop us a line in the comments below!


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.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

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Why do cats show their bellies?

One minute your cat is purring, the next he or she rolls over and strikes a pose — a belly pose at that! An experienced cat parent knows better than to pet that tempting tummy.  Yet, if it’s not an invitation, why do cats show us their bellies? Here are a few reasons.

Affection

Most people have seen a “belly pose” while petting their cats.  Usually, the cat will purr loudly and roll around before you’ll see his or her tummy.  A belly pose is a display of affection, and it’s best admired from a distance. Don’t make the mistake of petting your cat’s exposed belly, or else you could be in for a nasty scratch from all four paws!  

Submission

As social creatures, cats must learn their position (or social standing) within their group.  Sometimes, this is achieved through trial and error. Perhaps they play too roughly with a higher ranking cat, or they commit some other faux pas.  The cat of higher status may growl or swipe with a warning paw, and then the lower ranking cat will concede by showing his or her belly.

Contentment

Sometimes, cats simply enjoy some tummy time when all is well. Similar to humans, some cats have been known to sleep on their backs with their bellies to the sky.  Since the belly is one of the most vulnerable areas on a cat, cats will only sleep in this position when they feel safe, healthy, and content. If you see your kitty sleeping this way, take it as a sign that you’ve provided your cherished pet with a comfortable cat habitat.

Do you have a photo of your cat showing off his or her fluffy belly?  Share it with us on Instagram!


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.

Image by Daga_Roszkowska from Pixabay 


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