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My cat wants to meet my neighbor’s cat

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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.

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What causes aggression in cats?

Flash by Anne WornerMany pet parents have seen it first hand. Your cat may be friendly and affectionate one moment, and then turn aggressive the next. What happened? Here’s a little insight into why a cat may suddenly lash out.

Petting

Petting can cause a very confusing type of aggression. Your cat seems to be enjoying your attention, yet he or she may suddenly turn and scratch or bite you.

Just as bowing to another person symbolizes humility by putting yourself into a vulnerable position, cats show their bellies as a sign of trust. You wouldn’t slap someone in the back of the head when they bow to you, but this is how some cats feel when you touch their belly when they roll over.

Similarly, some cats only like to be petted a definite number of times, and some cats only like to be petted on the head or neck. Many cats don’t like to be picked up or turned on their backs. Your best bet is to pay attention close to how your cat is reacting while you pet him or her.

Play

Play can also suddenly turn aggressive. You can discourage rough play behavior by bringing new toys that direct the cat’s attention away from your body, like balls or feathers on sticks.

Don’t teach your cat to play with your hands or feet. It may be cute as a kitten, but it’s a tough (and painful) habit to break when kitty grows into an adult.

Some cats play rough, but play should always be silent. A hissing or growling cat is not playing and should be left alone.

Fearfulness

Routines keep animals feeling safe and calm. Sometimes, all it takes is rearranging furniture or adding a new housemate to make some cats feel as if their entire worlds have been flipped upside down.

Hearing a familiar, calm, and gentle voice can also help to soothe an anxious cat. You can try singing, talking about your day, or reading a book aloud. The sound of your voice will also help your kitty to know where you are in the house.

Comfort foods such as treats or canned food for a kitty on a dry diet can also help ease the tension. Some cats like company while eating, but some cats feel safer if you leave the room so that they can eat in peace.

More resources

Alas, sometimes there a triggers beyond your knowledge or control that may upset your cat. The ASPCA has a more comprehensive website on aggressive behaviors and solutions that may help you find the answer.

The most important thing to remember is that if a cat becomes aggressive towards you, give him or her space. If a cat wants to be left alone, it’s important to respect that.


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.

Flash” by Anne Worner is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

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Meet five NYC Indie store cats

Independently owned stores and businesses are some of the greatest sources of character and variety in New York City. They often offer unique selections as well as warm, knowledgeable store clerks. Just ask the following five feline shopkeepers just how personable their staff can be.

The Cats of Park Slope Copy

The twin brother and sister gray and white tabbies at Park Slope Copy go by many names, but most customers know them as The Copy Cats. These little pranksters adore shoulder-rides and laying out on the scanner beds to surprise guests with photocopies of their bellies.

Park Slope Copy Center cats

The Copy Cats – Park Slope Copy Center
Photo by Park Slope Copy Center via Facebook,
used with permission

Tiny the Usurper, at The Community Bookstore

The legend of Tiny the Usurper begins when neighborhood kids in Park Slope left a box full of kittens in front of The Community Bookstore. One by one, his littermates were adopted, but Tiny remained.

Tiny the Usurper - The Community Bookstore Photo by The Community Bookstore via Twitter, used with permission.

Tiny the Usurper – The Community Bookstore
Photo by The Community Bookstore via Twitter, used with permission.

Hampton, at The Corner Bookstore

Meanwhile in the Upper East Side, this literary kitty is a little harder to find. Named after the area where he was rescued, Hampton indulges in the finer side of life by lounging in the travel section by the antique cash register when he isn’t hiding from his adoring fans.

NYC bookstore cats

Hampton – The Corner Bookstore
Photo by The Corner Bookstore via Facebook,
used with permission.

Molly the Cat, at Myers of Keswick

Myers of Keswick in the West Village is a well known traditional British grocery store.  However, Molly herself is known for her harrowing story that was broadcast around the globe when her owner discovered the poor girl stuck beside her store’s building for 12 days.

Molly the Cat - Myers of Keswick Photo by Myers of Keswick via Facebook, used with permission.
Molly the Cat – Myers of Keswick
Photo by Myers of Keswick via Facebook, used with permission.

Keetah (“Creeper”), the cat at Bleecker Street Records

Once one of two cats, Keetah has seen some significant changes in the West Village. In 2013, her record store was forced from its location of 20 years when her owner could no longer afford the astronomical rent. Keetah’s story isn’t all sadness, though, as now the orange and white tabby, Schultz, keeps her company. Tardar Sauce the Grumpy Cat and Oskar the Blind Cat even visited her on tour.

store cats in new york city

Keetah (“Creeper”) – Bleecker Street Records
Photos by Bleecker Street Records via Facebook,
used with permission.

So keep your eyes peeled, because you never know when a new cat may show up at your local independently owned stores.  And if you know of any NYC store cats that we missed, we’d love to hear about them in the comments.

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.

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It’s black cat appreciation week in NYC

Did you know black cats get adopted less than cats of other colors? It’s true. Statistics prove it. So, in an effort to help get more wonderful black cats out of shelters and into loving homes, cat rescues and shelters across the country are celebrating Black Cat Appreciation day. It’s Sunday, August 17, and cat lovers everywhere can celebrate by adopting a new furry friend!

The folks at The New Rochelle Humane Society are celebrating the event, but they’re taking it even farther with Black Cat Appreciation Week! It runs from August 16 through August 23. For eight days they will be offering a 50% discount on the adoption fee for black cats and black & white (Tuxedo) cats.

black cat appreciation day in NYC

Looking for a reason to adopt a black cat? Here are 9 just to get you started . . .

  • Cat hair won’t show up on your black evening gown.
  • Black cats are easy to find in the snow.
  • Cats are good for the heart and good for the soul.
  • Dreaming of a black cat will bring good luck. And let’s face it, if you have your own black cat, you’re more likely to dream about a black cat!
  • If you’re a single woman, black cats are thought to bring many suitors. (Japanese folklore)
  • A black cat on your doorstep means prosperity will follow. (Scottish folklore)
  • You can put a sign up on your front door saying “beware of panther.”
  • Black goes with anything.
  • They’re cats – and cats are cool!

So, are you convinced it’s time to adopt a new best friend – a black cat? If you’re in the New York City area, head on over to The New Rochelle Humane Society before August 23 and tell them you want to give a deserving black cat a forever home. It’ll be good for you, good for the kitty, and good for the shelter!

Thanks to Cat Wisdom 101 for making sure we found out about this event!

Once you adopt your new cat, be sure to give us a call to take care of your new family member when you go out of town. We have cat sitters throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx who would love to meet you and your new kitty!

 

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New York dogs love their dog parks

New York City dog parksNew York City is a very cat and dog friendly city. Cats are pretty easy to care for and since they can spend their time indoors, without the need to go outside. Dogs, on the other hand, can be a bit more of a challenge in a city like New York.

Our clients with dogs want us to make sure their best friends expend some energy while they’re in our care. Sometimes this just means a long walk around the neighborhood, while for others it means getting out and socializing at a local dog park. So while our cat sitters don’t have to worry about getting their little house guests out and about, our dog sitters make the most of the dog walks and dog runs throughout the city. And thankfully here in NYC we have plenty to choose from.

According to dog lovers on Yelp, here are some of the better dog parks in the New York City area.

Carl Schurz Park
1624 York Ave
(b/t 86th St & 85th St in Yorkville, Upper East Side)
85 reviews
4.5 stars

Hillside Dog Park
Columbia Heights & Vine St
Brooklyn Heights
35 reviews
4.5 stars

DeWitt Clinton Park
W 52nd St and 11th Ave
Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown West
19 reviews
4 stars

Pelham Bay Park
1 Orchard Beach Rd
Bronx, NY 10464
26 reviews
4 stars
While not specifically a dog park, there is a dog park in Pelham Bay Park.

Before taking your best friend to a dog park, you’ll want to be sure he or she is the type that gets along well with other dogs. If so, it can be great fun for your dog and you. Your dog will get the chance to get some great exercise and mingle with other dogs. And you will meet other dog-loving people and maybe make some new friends of your own.

Do you have a favorite dog park? If so, let us know if the comments section.

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Dining out with your dog in NYC

dog friendly restaurants in New York CityLast week we offered some tips on taking your dog out in public. This week we want to offer a few places in New York City that you might want to take your best friend when you’re in the mood for a bite – to eat, that is!

More and more businesses, in NYC and beyond, are recognizing the fact that our dogs (and other pets, too) are family. As a result, there are a number of NYC dog-friendly establishments that open their patios and outdoor eating areas to those of us who want to bring our best buddy along.

Here are a couple dog-friendly places you and your buddy are sure to love.

The Barking Dog Restaurant
1678 Third Ave at 94th St.

They say they’re “The best dog friendly restaurant on the Upper East Side of New York City.” They cater to the whole family, including the dog! So, while you’re enjoying a good meal, your dog can socialize with the canine crowd around the doggy fountain.

Fetch Bar and Grill
1649 Third Ave.

Not only does Fetch Bar & Grill have some awesome food, but they also have a wall papered with pictures of dogs looking for a new, forever home. They’re hoping you’ll have a great time while you’re there, but fall in love with one of the furry little guys looking for a new home.

Want more options? Here’s a list of  NYC dog friendly places to eat & drink.

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Tips for taking your dog out on the town

tips for taking your dog out in public in NYCNew Yorkers love their dogs! We are very fortunate to live in such a dog friendly place as New York City. With so many people taking their pets out with them to a neighborhood outdoor cafe, out for a morning run, or just an outing at one of the many local dog parks, it’s important that you and your dog have some manners. Remember, there are plenty of other people out there with dogs (and many without), so keeping others in mind is going to go along way in keeping our city dog friendly.

Here are some tips to help you ensure a fun time for you and your pooch when you’re out and about this summer.

They’re called the Dog Days of summer for a reason, you know.

Between the patios and the picnics, the sidewalks and the social events, there are plenty of places that will welcome your pooch this summer. But getting him to behave — well, that part isn’t always a walk in the park.

We asked professional dog trainer and behavior consultant Bradley Phifer to help us compile a list of best practices to make sure that you and your dog are best in show.

So what makes a well-behaved dog? According to Phifer, it’s one that has a good temperament, is confident, outgoing and trusting, not fearful or phobic.

“Dogs are dogs; they eat feces, chase cats, dig in the mud and jump on people for attention. But proactive training teaches dogs expectations and good habits — most behavior is pattern and habit which allows the dog to self-reinforce,” said Phifer, who has worked as a dog trainer since 2002. He favors the saying that a trained dog is a free dog.

Read more here.

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NYC may lift the ban on ferrets as pets

ferretSince 1999 it has been illegal to own a ferret in New York City, but that may soon change.

From CNN:

Ferrets could be making a comeback in the Big Apple.

The furry, four-legged animal — long absent from the city — could weasel its way back into the hearts of New Yorkers based on a petition submitted to the Department of Health asking it to repeal the city’s 15-year ban on ferrets as pets.

The city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said Wednesday that it is considering an amendment to the Health Code.

Ariel Jasper, a Brooklyn College master’s student, said she drafted the petition in January because she has always loved ferrets and wants to correct the current Health Code, which she claims contains many inaccuracies about ferrets.

“I looked into the Health Code and I saw that they were labeled as wild, dangerous animals, and that confused me because ferrets have been domesticated for over 2,000 years,” Jasper told CNN. “They were actually domesticated before the cat,” Jasper said.

Owning a ferret is legal in 48 states, including in the remainder of New York state, she added.

Jasper said that as part of her petition, she recommended mandatory rabies vaccinations for the animals, spaying and neutering, leash laws, as well as micro-chipping requirements so that they can be tracked if anyone gets rid of them.

Read more here.

Many of our pet sitters have experience caring for ferrets and other exotic pets. So if you need a pet sitter for your exotic pet, please give us a call.

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Free pet adoptions in NYC this weekend

maddiesIf you’re thinking of adopting a dog or cat, this weekend is a great time to do it. New York City shelters and rescue groups are offering free adoptions as part of the Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days.

From the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals:

Thousands of cats and dogs will be available for FREE adoption from more than 90 New York City area rescue groups and shelters!

May 31 & June 1, 2014

Maddie’s® Pet Adoption Days, the biggest free pet adoption event in America, is back this year, and the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals is again leading the charge in New York City! We want to place thousands of dogs and cats in qualified forever homes on May 31 & June 1, 2014. Free adoptions will be offered throughout the weekend at participating shelters and other adoption locations, and at two large, outdoor adoption events in Union Square, Manhattan.

Why Free Pet Adoptions?

Maddie’s® Pet Adoption Days is helping rescue organizations in New York City and other communities around the country to find homes for more animals, including senior animals and those with treatable medical conditions — all of whom can make wonderful companions. The goal of Maddie’s® Pet Adoption Days is to give all healthy, senior, and treatable shelter dogs and cats a second chance. The event also will help rescue organizations financially, thereby allowing them to save even more lives.

See the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals for more information about Maddie’s® Pet Adoption Days in NYC. And remember, after you adopt your new buddy, Katie’s Kitty Pet Sitting is available when you need us!

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In March, New Yorkers can adopt for free at Bideawee

Bideawee animal shelter, New YorkMarch is a great time to adopt a new friend into the family. But March is definitely the time for New York cat and dog lovers to get Lucky –  literally! In honor of the Irish, the folks at Bideawee are naming all of their puppies and kittens “Lucky” and letting them go to a new home without a fee.

From Bideawee:
Getting Lucky means something different to everyone. To Bideawee and animal lovers everywhere, it means long walks in the park, lots of kisses in the morning and a warm snuggle when you get home.

In March, we’ve made getting Lucky as easy as possible by changing the names of all our loving dogs and cats that are 6 months and older to “Lucky.” And as luck would have it, Bideawee is letting pet lovers make Lucky a part of their family for free.

Your luck will run out on March 31st, so be sure to visit one of our adoption center locations in Manhattan or Westhamton to adopt your lucky one this month.

Of course, you’re also free to choose your own name once you adopt one of these Lucky ones. Once you bring them home…we consider you both Lucky.

Visit Bideawee online for more info or go there in person to get your Lucky little friend!

And, of course, after you bring your new buddy home, you’ll want a pet sitter in your corner. So give us a call and one of our pet sitters will come meet you and the new lucky love in your life.

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