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How to Give Your Cat More Sunshine

There’s nothing quite so adorable as a cat sprawled out in a patch of sunshine! Just like humans, cats thrive off of natural light. In fact, cats actually need the warmth of sunlight to maintain a normal body temperature and conserve energy.  

However, April showers are on the way, and you’ll want to be sure that your kitty can soak up some rays on the pretty days.  Here are a few tips to optimize your cat’s sunshine time.

Adjust the Windows 

Your windows are the best sources of natural light. In the winter, just a few small tweaks can boost the amount of light that shines through. Keeping curtains open during the day, removing mesh window screens, and trimming any outdoor foliage that blocks the sun are all good options. 

Relocate Your Cat’s Bed 

When the light shines into your home, your cat will likely find a spot on the floor where it can bask in its rays. However, you can encourage him even more by creating an inviting sleeping spot. If your cat has a favorite bed or cat tree, consider moving it to the area or your house or apartment that gets the most natural light. Add a few of their favorite toys or a piece of your clothing to help them feel comfortable.

Create a Designated Window Perch

If you don’t have one already, you can also install a special bed or sitting perch for your cat on a windowsill. Doing so not only offers them a secure spot for gazing outside (providing lots of entertainment), it also means they can sit and nap directly in the sun for as long as the daylight allows. Many cat perches are readily available for purchase online or at your local pet store. 

Update Your Interior  

Believe it or not, there are a number of ways you can update your décor to take advantage of any sunlight that does come in. Painting the walls white, using white or grey-colored coverings on furniture, and picking light-colored drapes allows sunlight to reflect, creating an overall brighter and lighter space for your cat.

If you’re worried about your cat’s warmth and happiness, our cat sitters can visit while you’re at work and open up the curtains to let the sun stream in.

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 Julian Majer from Pexels

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My cat wants to meet my neighbor’s cat


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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Exercise routines for your cat


Cats need exercise to maintain strong muscle mass, high functioning organs, and an ideal body weight that will help them live happily and healthfully into old age. What’s more, a cat that does not exercise enough can become bored, destructive, or just plain irritable. So, what are the best ways to keep your cat in shape?

Turn mealtime into playtime

Ever notice that trail of felines behind you when you open a can or pour some fresh kibble? Dr. Karen Becker of Mercola Healthy Pets suggests using this behavior to your advantage. Try leading the furry parade around your house, stopping at intervals to put down small portions of food. “Believe it or not, I can keep my cats moving for 20 minutes this way,” she boasts. You can also make a game out of moving your cat’s dishes between higher and lower surfaces to encourage them to climb and jump.

Choose more stimulating toys

Cats will get the most out of a toy that caters to their hunting instincts. Dr. Rolan Tripp recommends moving toys to mimic prey animals. In a Q&A with WebMD, he says to “take a laser pointer and skitter it across the floor like a bug [or] get a wand toy that looks like a bird and pretend to land and take off.” Remember to let your cat “win” and capture the toy in the end. Dr. Jean Hofve, author of The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care: An Illustrated Handbook notes that it’s especially important to follow up playtime with the laser pointer with something the cat can physically catch to avoid fixation and frustration.

Make play the highlight of your day

Even older cats enjoy an invigorating play routine. Get in the habit of playing with your kitty 2-3 times a day, for 10-15 minutes at a time. The best times to play are when you come home from work and right before bedtime to burn off extra energy that could be expressed in unwanted ways.

Whether you have a chaotic kitty or a tubby tabby, our pet sitters know how to keep your cat exercising and entertained. Give us a call to find the perfect playmate for your kitty 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.

Milo” by David DeHetre is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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How to meet friends of felines in New York City

15197021552_dd9ee798faNew York City is filled to the brim with events and opportunities to meet like-minded individuals from any community. So, how do you go to find fellow feline aficionados? Here are a few ways to get started.

Join the NYC Cat Meetup

New York City is fortunate enough to have a Meetup group that is dedicated entirely to cat-lovers! In the past, this group has arranged outings to the Egyptian cat exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum as well as a trip to Meow Parlour, which is the first cat cafe to come to New York City. There have even been casting calls for Animal Planet documentaries.

Attend this year’s Broadway Barks

On Saturday, July 11, Broadway Barks returns to Shubert Alley for the 17th year in a row. Stars and celebrities come out to proclaim their love and support for both cats and dogs. The event and concerts are completely free, but the proceeds from raffles, silent auctions, and sales of signed memorabilia benefit local animal organizations. Previous years’ events have lead to the adoption of 200 shelter animals. Maybe it’s no wonder, since Tony-award winner Bebe Neuwirth strutted out on stage and declared herself a proud cat lady before introducing some of the adoptable cats one year.

Sit in on TNR Workshops and Events

Have you ever wanted to help a colony of feral cats in your neighborhood? The NYC Feral Cat Initiative, which is organized by the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC Animals, runs regular events and workshops throughout the year. You can satisfy your handy side by learning how to build feral cat shelters, or spend an adorable hour learning how to bottle-feed kittens. Chances are good that you’ll meet like-minded individuals that love to help cats as much as you do.

Volunteer with a shelter or rescue

Perhaps your home is feeling a little empty, but you’re not ready to adopt a cat of your own. If you become a pet foster parent, rescues will pair you with a loving kitty and plenty of pet supplies to take care of it. If you are unable to keep a cat in your home, you could volunteer at a shelter instead. Not only will you be helping cats in need, but you’ll become a part of a caring network of animal lovers.

Looking for more events, tips, and tidbits on everything feline in New York City? Follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our blog.

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.

“A girl with her cat” by Niels Kliim is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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How to prepare for a visit from your pet sitter


As a courtesy, our pet sitters like to schedule a meet and greet in order to get to know you, your kitties, and your household before you go away on a trip. Here are a few pointers for a helpful and thorough introduction between your pet sitter and your cat.

Feeding supplies

If at all possible, have your pet sitter come around the time of day when you usually feed your cat. That way, in addition to simply showing the sitter where the food is, you can also demonstrate how to prepare it.

Cat waste disposal

For a sitter, knowing the location of the garbage chute or trash room is every bit as important as knowing the location of the litter box. You’ll also want to point out where you store your any cleaning supplies in case kitty makes a mess while you’re gone.

Health and Wellness

If your kitty has a history of making hairballs or has missed the litter box in the past, please tell your sitter. Unusual furballs or litter box behavior is how pet sitters know if your cat is feeling ill. Of course, if you kitty needs any medication, it’s a good idea to show your sitter how to dose your cat.

Toys, toys, toys!

An active cat is a happy cat. When we come to visit, our sitters will give your cats as much attention as they like. So, if your cat has a favorite brush, laser pointer, jingly ball, or feather on a stick, feel free to show your sitter where they are and how to use them. Scratching posts help to keep your cat entertained while you’re gone, but if you aren’t able to get one before you leave, please remember to trim your cat’s nails. Long claws can be uncomfortable for your kitty and dangerous for your sitter.

Favorite spots

Showing your sitter where you like to sit to pet your cat can go a long way to helping older cats or more mellow kitties feel well loved while you’re away from home. If your cat is shy and has any preferred hiding locations, let us know as well.

Katie’s Kitty pet sitters are very knowledgeable and friendly, so feel free to bring up any questions or concerns you may have on your mind. Remember, we love hearing about how your cats are doing after your visit. So be sure to send us photos on Instagram or find 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.

New Toy!” by R∂lf Κλενγελ is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Where to find feline art in New York City

"Bast cat-statues" by Connie Ma

New York City has always been alive with art and culture, and we New Yorkers have likewise always had a soft spot for our cats. Perhaps it’s no wonder that, lately, increasingly more museums and art galleries have taken it upon themselves to curate collections dedicated to the feline image in art. The following 3 collections are just a small sampling of such collections to see this month.

Dogs & Cats: 21 Artists Unleashed and on the Prowl

Mark Miller Gallery
April 5, 2015 – May 3, 2015

On the Lower East Side, the Mark Miller Gallery invites you to takes a glimpse at widely varied representations of pets. The artists and the gallery owner have told the New York Times that collection as a whole is meant to invoke fun, familiarity, and reflection on how our lives with animals can influence our own humanity.

Life of Cats: Selections from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Collection

Japan Society
March 13 – June 7, 2015

Like many modern societies, Japan’s love for cats has deep roots in history. Cats are believed to have been first introduced to Japan in the mid-sixth century aboard shipping vessels arriving with Buddhist scriptures from China. Today, the Japan Society in Midtown East has been gracious enough to display over 120 works of art depicting cats. As a preview, the museum has released several videos animating the prints, which can be seen in this article on Quartz.

You’ll want to hurry to see the exhibit in real life, though, as about 50 of the pieces are being rotated out on April 26.

Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt

Brooklyn Museum
Long-term Installation

With almost 30 different representations of lions, wild African cats, and our favorite felis silvestris catus, this collection commemorates the Ancient Egyptian’s adoration of felines. On display are a limestone sculptures, bronze figurines, and items of luxury. You won’t want to miss the gilded Leonine Goddess (770–412 B.C.E.), which is on public display for the first time since it entered the collection in 1937.

Want to keep up to date with the latest feline happenings in New York City? Follow us on Facebook. Many of our sitters are artists and curators themselves.

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.

“Bast cat-statues” by Connie Ma is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

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How to help feral cats in the wintertime

kittyHopefully, you and your kitties stayed safe and warm inside through all of the snow pummeling New York lately. However, have you ever seen pawprints in the snow and wished you could do something for those who must remain outdoors? We’d probably adopt them all if we could, but here’s what you can do to help your local feral felines without bringing them all inside your home.

Build a shelter

You don’t need advanced carpentry skills to build a shelter for feral cats. It’s relatively easy to modify a styrofoam cooler, plastic storage tote, or even an igloo from the petstore. A variety of plans are available on the Alley Cat Allies’ website and across the web. Just remember to insulate your shelter with straw (not hay) or styrofoam. Blankets, newspapers, and towels hold onto moisture and siphon away body heat.

Put down food

When you can, feed your local strays wet food, because it helps them to conserve energy during digestion. You can keep it from freezing by placing it in the far corner of a shelter. Kitties also intake most of their water through their diet, so dry food can cause them to spend more energy in search of liquid sustenance.

Provide fresh water

If you want to maintain a water dish for your local cats, choose a deep, dark colored bowl. Be sure to place it in a sunny place, ideally in a spot that’s guarded from the wind. Do not place the water inside of a shelter, though, because it can easily be knocked over. To keep the water from freezing, you can cover it in spray foam insulation.

Shovel for the little darlings

While you’re shoveling your property, also be sure to shovel a path from shelters or anywhere you’ve noticed that cats tend to hide. Sometimes cats can get snowed in their homes, too. If you see evidence of feline activity around your house, avoid putting down salt or chemical ice melts that can hurt their paws.

With a little extra care, you can make winter a little warmer for feral cats. Did you take any photos of pawprints in the snow? How about your cat watching the winter storm? Share your photos with us on Instagram!

Photo by Julie Krawczyk (German) on flickr

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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Pet Halloween costumes are quite the rage

dog-halloweenIf you think Halloween is just for people, you couldn’t be more wrong! Pets are getting in on the act now, too – and it’s turning into big business!

From Business Insider:

It’s time to start prepping Fido for trick-or-treating.

The pet Halloween costume business is booming, with consumers expected to spend some $350 million to dress up their pets, according to the NRF.

Earlier this year, we stopped by the trendy James Hotel in SoHo, New York for a dog Halloween fashion show put on by PetSmart.

From caterpillars to bats, cowboys to hamburgers, these are the hottest pet costumes this Halloween.

This golden retriever opted for the banana split costume. While we liked the theme of ‘retro dessert,’ we think she should have picked something that didn’t wash her coat out so much.

Read more here.

If you decide to dress your pet up for Halloween, we have a few pointers to help ensure it goes smoothly.

  • Make sure you can get the costume off easily. Costumes that are complicated to get off may pose a danger if your pet starts having problems.
  • Make sure it fits properly. Tight costumes can cause health problems and costumes that are too loose may make it easy for your pet to trip and harm himself.
  • Stay with your pet at all times. If your pet is left alone wearing a costume, it could cause bodily harm if something snagged or tightened, or if the animal swallowed costume pieces.
  • Remember that some pets don’t like costumes. If your pet falls into that category, don’t force it.

What about your pet? Will your best friend be strutting around Manhattan decked out in a too cute for words or simply scary costume this  Halloween?

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Excercise Tips for your Indoor Cat

Are you concerned that your cat has put on some extra pounds and wish to get her to exercise? Unable to do so? A treadmill may not be an option for your cat, but there certainly are ways to keep your cat slim and healthy. Here are some easy tips to ensure a good workout for your indoor cat:

  • Stop the kitty treats – This might lead to guilt on the part of several owners, but one needs to understand that food is not the only type of treat you can give your pets. Start by getting toys which will induce movements in your inactive cat.
  • Use a laser pointer – Studies have shown that cats love laser lights! The constant movement is irresistible to cats and they’ll bounce after the ever-moving light. Remember never to shine the laser in your cat’s eyes, as it can cause damage.
  • Give you cat something to jump on – Provide your cat with empty shelves, window sills, and cat trees for her to jump on. So even if you are not at home to play with your cat there she still has the option of bouncing and jumping. This can keep your cat busy for hours, as she explores all the nooks and crannies.
  • Try a new trick– Keep the bowls of water and food away from each other. So that while moving from one bowl to another your cat exercises and burns calories.
  • Food move technique – At feeding time move your cat’s food containers from one area to another, forcing her to move from one point to another. Treating your cat while moving her food around is essential, and will keep her interested in the game.
  • Use ordinary objects that grabs your cat’s attention – Most cats enjoy playing with paper, balls, wool, bags, boxes, and bags. Place these objects throughout the house, and your cat will prowl around as she hunts and pounces on her prey.

Follow these few simple tips and you will have an happy, healthy cat.


This is a guest post by Christina Lyttle. She is a pet lover and is especially fond of cats and dogs.

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October is Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month

If you’re thinking of adopting a dog, October is a great month to do so since it’s Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month. The ASPCA in New York City is inviting people to come out and adopt a dog (or a cat!) next weekend (Oct 23-24) during their special Adopt A Dog Month celebration. Here’s the info:

You’re invited to a very special adoption event! October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month, and there is no better place to find a great companion—canine or feline—than at the ASPCA. In addition to all the love, you’ll receive a free gift with your adoption during this weekend event. Come meet the dog or cat of your dreams!

Who: Adoptable dogs and cats
What: Weekend adoption event
Where: ASPCA Adoption Center
424 East 92nd Street (between 1st and York)
New York, NY [map]
When: Saturday, Oct. 23, 11:00 A.M.-7:00 P.M.
Sunday, Oct. 24, 11:00 A.M.-5:00 P.M.

Of course, if you can’t make it to the ASPCA Adoption Center, there are plenty of other places in New York City where you can find a cat or dog companion. Here are a few of our favorites:

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