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How to keep your cat from chewing on wires

There’s nothing quite like 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 needs 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 prevent litter scatter

A few clumps here, a few clumps there. In the kitchen, on furniture, on the bed! When your cat tracks litter through the house, it can be icky and downright frustrating. Is your cat leaving a litter trail? Consider these suggestions for keeping the mess at bay.

Try rugs and litter mats

There are a number of products specially designed to catch litter. These include mats that you can place under or next to your cat’s litter box. When your cat leaves their box, the litter clings to the mat instead of being dragged all over the place. As an alternative to buying one of these mats, you can also try using materials you already have in your house. Rubber boot mats or bathroom rugs can be just as effective as a brand new pet product.

Change the type of litter box

The amount of litter your cat tracks around could depend on the type of litter box they are using. Consider trying a different box design, perhaps one specifically made to reduce mess. Some people have found that boxes with high walls or a top entrance are more effective at keeping litter contained.

Change the type of litter

Some types of litter are just more likely to scatter and leave a trail than others. Try switching out your old litter out for a different brand or one made of a different material. You might notice that heavier clay litters clump more and scatter less than looser lightweight ones of wheat or corn. Crystal litters are less likely to stick to longer fur, too. If you start to notice a lingering bad odor coming from the bits that do scatter out of the pan, it might be time to dump out and refresh the entire litter box.

Is your kitty a little messy? Our sitters pay extra attention to cleanliness, and even vacuum around the litter box. Send us an email to find out more.

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 Lottie on flickr

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Toys for independent play

5345337946_9111728c33_zWhen you’re home, your cat draws joy and entertainment from you. However, when left alone for an extended trip or even just a long day at the office, your cat can grow bored and get into mischief. Here are some of the best independent play toys to keep your cat happy and out of trouble!

The Wrestle and Romp toy by Petstages has a crinkly interior and is the perfect size for cats to bite and kick! It also comes with durable tabs that your cat can use to fling the toy across the room.

Nothing tickles a cat’s fancy quite like a bunch of Yeowww catnip bananas. Cats love to lounge in a pile of fragrant catnip bananas, or you can leave them about the house.

Never underestimate the power of an inexpensive toy. Small paper bags filled with catnip are a good remedy for a kitty who likes to bite or rip things apart. Fold the bag over a few times, and then let kitty have at it!

Did you know that they make exercise wheel for cats, too? It can take some getting used to, but once your cat gets the hang of it, he will never want to step off of it!

A good cat tree goes a long way. You’ll want to make sure that it has plenty of high perches, a box or two for hiding, and enough stability that it won’t wobble when your cat jumps on it. Place the tree by a sunny window where your cat can watch the birds or people passing by.

If you really want to catify your home, you can install specially made cat furniture onto your walls. Items range from single floating shelves, elaborate cat staircases, and even Indiana Jones style rope ladder bridges!

Choosing the right toys to keep your cat entertained is very important, but nothing can replace human interaction. Our pet sitters can shower your cat in love and affection just like if you were home. 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 Jessica Fiess-Hill on flickr

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How often should I change my cat litter?


“How often should I change my cat litter?” As pet sitters, that’s a great question that we hear all the time. The truth is, it depends on the type of litter and how many cats you have.

Check out these recommendations from the top cat litter manufacturers and customer reviews to help you determine how often you should be changing your litter.

Clay clumping litter

On their website, Dr. Elsey’s, the makers of Precious Cat clumping cat litters recommends “totally changing the litter out in the cat box every three to four weeks depending on use. Wash your cat boxes with hot water and a mild detergent like Ivory dish soap and then replace with about 3 inches of new litter.”

On the other hand, Arm & Hammer, the makers of the very popular Clump & Seal, says the process can be more subjective. “Some consumers change their litter box on a regular schedule (every few days, or weekly, or on trash day, etc.), others change it when it looks wet or when odor is noticeable.”

Flushable corn-based litter

World’s Best Cat Litter has a chart that suggests that a 7 lb bag will last about 30 days with only one cat using it. From personal experience, I start to notice a funny odor after about a week. So, if you’re completely changing out your litter 4 times a month and refilling it about 3 inches each time, the bag does indeed last for an entire month.

Wood pellet litter

The Feline Pine product description on Petsmart’s website states, “You’ll know it’s time to change the litter box when all the pellets dissolve, usually in about two weeks for a single cat.” After regularly sifting out the used portion, customer reviews have mentioned that they only completely change the pellets every 3 weeks for cleanliness, but there isn’t any noticeable odor.

Crystal cat litter

Crystal litters are usually made from silica gel, which absorbs the liquid waste. All you have to do is scoop out and flush down the solids. Fresh Step states, “You only need to replace the entire box of litter once every one or two months.”

However, the instructions on a bottle of Precious Cat Long Hair Cat litter states that you should change a box filled with 1 inch of litter about every 2 weeks. With any crystal cat litter, it’s important to rake the crystals regularly in order to give them a chance to absorb more liquid.

Our pet sitters pay extra attention the litter box. We ensure that the surrounding area is swept or vacuumed and that the litter always stays clean and fresh. If you’ll be out of town for a week or more, be sure to show your sitter where you keep the extra litter so that he or she can change it for 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.

“Teddy The Bag Cat, meowing” by gsloan on flickr

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The easiest way to pill your cat


So your vet has prescribed a pill to help improve your kitty’s health, but you’re not sure how to administer it. The good news is that pilling a cat can be even easier than you’d think! Here’s how it’s done.

Prepare well in advance

Some cats will run and hide at the sound of a pill bottle! If this is the case, take out the pills an hour or more before you need them. You can also store the pills in the same drawer as your treats to keep your kitty guessing.

Getting your cat used to being handled will also ease the pilling process. Without giving a pill, regularly hold your cat’s head and practice gently opening his or her jaws. Afterward, give your cat treats, praise, and plenty of petting to help build positive associations.

Disguise the pill in treats or food

With a Greenie’s Pill Pocket®, you can place the pill in the center and then roll the pocket in your hands to completely hide the medicine. For a less expensive option, many Temptations treats come with a soft center. For smaller pills, break the treat in half and hide it in the treat.

If your cat eats wet food on a schedule, you can use this to your advantage. Before the full meal, scoop a little of the wet food into a spoon. Then, place the pill in the middle of the food and let your cat eat from the spoon, pill and all!

Don’t forget to ask your vet first if the pill can be taken with food.

Mix it up!

If you have a crushable pill, use a mortar and pestle to grind it down. Mix the powder with ¼ teaspoon of water, tuna juice, or chicken-only broth. Load the mixture into a needle-less syringe, and then squirt it into the corner of your kitty’s mouth. Do not squirt the liquid into the front of the mouth or too far down the back or else it will gag your cat.

Your vet can also tell you if your cat’s pill can be crushed and mixed with food or water, or if your cat’s gel cap pill can be opened and sprinkled over wet food.

If all else fails

Ask your vet about pharmacies that can specially formulate flavored medicines. The Dechra Academy also has a comprehensive video to help you pill your kitty manually.

Did you know that Katie’s Kitty has pet sitters that can give oral medication to your cat? Give us a call to book an appointment 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 Th_icky on Flickr

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How do I prevent shedding?

Furminating angusSave for perhaps the owners of Sphynx cats, virtually every pet parent has found their clothes and household fabrics covered in fur. So, what causes shedding?

Natural causes

Outdoor cats grow and shed coats according the seasons. This is usually triggered by changes temperature and the hours of light in a day. For indoor cats, artificial lighting and air conditioning can interfere with these natural signifiers. Therefore, it’s not uncommon to see shedding year-round.

Medical conditions

However, shedding in excess can be caused by allergies, infections, and pests. Stress can also lead to excessive shedding. If you notice that your cat is over grooming one area, biting, scratching, or losing fur in large patches, you should consult your vet.

Once your cat has a clean bill of health, try one of the following to help alleviate the plague of fur around your house.

Add brushing to your routine

In addition to removing dead fur that can cause tangles, studies have shown that spending time brushing or petting your cat can have health benefits for you as well. Some cats enjoy a slicker brush, or Kong’s Zoom Groom may be a good alternative. Deshedding tools like the Furminator are actually blades that can help to remove the dead undercoat before it becomes a larger problem.

Try wipes and washes

Sometimes, older cats in particular need a little help from their pet parents for grooming. You don’t need to douse your kitty with water, though. There are a variety of dry shampoos and gentle wipes available at the pet store that can help you keep your cat’s coat clean and shining.

Feed a balanced diet

You may be surprised the difference a high quality food can make. Look for foods that are high in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and are easier for your kitty to digest. Finding a food that’s both healthy and appetizing for your individual cat can take some trial and error, but here is a comprehensive list to set you on the right track.

Think outside the box

Last, but not least — if piles of fur have become a nuisance in your home, you can try adding attractive throws that can be easily washed to your furniture. In the same vein, adding a pet bed may give your kitty a more preferred comfy surface where you don’t mind so much fur.

Shedding is a fact of life for kitties, which is why some of our pet sitters keep a lint roller handy. Just in case.

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.

Furminating Angus” by Paul Joseph is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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Enter to win these toys on Instagram and Facebook!

contest-toys-2015-06Friends and fans of Katie’s Kitty rejoice! From June 23 through June 30th, we’ll be running two contests on Instagram and Facebook. Two lucky winners will be the recipients of this toy prize package.

Kitty parents agree that, in a cat’s eyes, the best toys are free. We’re not just talking about a paper ball, either.

These two sparkle toys will catch the light, and your cat’s attention. Best of all, they’re lightweight. With a simple flick of a kitten’s paw, the toy will fly across the room for hours of chasing and entertainment.

Likewise, these two little toy mice are the perfect size for batting around during the day and carrying around like trophies in the night. Don’t be surprised if your kitty leaves one as a gift in your shoe!

Best of all, these toys come in sets of two. You can keep one on reserve in case the other gets lost beneath the stove or sofa.


Visit us Facebook and Instagram for a second chance to win.*

Best wishes and good luck!

*This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, 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.

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iCPooch lets pet owners video chat with their pets

iCPooch interactive pet appA fourteen year old girl is the brains behind a clever new app that will let pet owners interact with their pets via a mobile device.

From Mobile Marketing Watch:

Last year the remote treat dispenser PetziConnect introduced the idea of providing treats to your dog while you are at the office, or on vacation, as well as giving you the ability to talk to your pet through a device mounted to the wall. However, a new invention called the iCPooch created by 14 year old Brooke Martin takes this idea one step further.

iCPooch is a remote treat dispenser that allows pet owners to communicate with their pets via FaceTime from a smartphone connected to a treat dispenser that sits on the ground. Brooke came up with this idea when her dog was suffering from separation anxiety. The device allows your pet to see your face and hear your voice on FaceTime, then you can dispense a treat remotely so your pet knows you are thinking of them.

Read more here, or visit the iCPooch website for more information.

Would you use the iCPooch app to interact with your pet?

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