Catified Cats Are Satisfied Cats

The verb may be new to the vernacular, but it’s far from a novel concept in “certain circles.”

That verb is catification. The creation of a feline-friendly environment catering to a cat’s natural instincts to climb and perch, rest and play. A “cats only” club whose members own their own space.

Curious about catifying? Then, consider these suggestions.

Since felines are famous for being “busy bodies”, keep them happily busy by giving them a clear view of the world outside their favorite window. Create a lookout point for them using a window seat or perch, a strategically situated shelf or bookcase. One note of caution: the sight of outdoor cats – whether neighborly or feral – may unsettle some indoor cats. Should yours be one of them, find a different window or an equally acceptable alternative.

Expand their world vertically and horizontally by erecting multi-perched and multi-leveled cat trees or by installing specially designed cat shelves, which, when connected, will form a veritable “cat highway.” This allows cats in a multi-cat household to get along more amicably since they can a) claim their own special spots without having to “time share” and b) peer down from on high at the world below. This also encourages them to be more active and to exercise (both sorely lacking in too many indoor cats) by giving them something to aim for and somewhere to jump to.

Rather than concealing scratching posts for esthetic reasons, place them precisely where your finicky feline prefers them. They may be eyesores to you, but they’re godsends for your fabrics and furniture, doorknobs, drawer handles and drapery pulls. Ensure that the scratching posts are extremely sturdy and provide horizontal, vertical, and inclined positions. Two additional benefits to scratching on these posts: cats stretch their back muscles and remove the outer sheaths of their nails.

Some cat behaviorists suggest the “plus one” rule, i.e., when determining how many litter boxes you need, count the number of cats you have and add one. One cat equals two boxes, and so on, each located in places of significance to THEM not YOU. And that usually means as close as paws-ible to you and YOUR favorite places, from couches and chairs, to coffee table and closets. Rather than engage in a cat fight, compromise by placing one litter box in your bathroom and the other near your cat’s favorite window or door.

As supreme self-groomers, all fastidious felines will, not unreasonably, turn up their noses at “kitty bathrooms” that aren’t equally as fastidious. To keep them from turning your carpets or floors into their pottying places of choice, use only those litter boxes specifically designed to fight odors. Ones that optimize natural air circulation, allowing wet litter to properly dry and discouraging the growth of the bacteria and fungus that fill the air – and your cat’s nostrils – with their noxious fumes. The bonus for you? You won’t have to change your cat’s litter as often!

Eliminate the stress on your cat’s whiskers caused by their brushing up against or being confined by the high sides of most food and water dishes. Because a cat’s whiskers are long, fine and delicate, they are also extremely sensitive. Wide, low-sided dishes will allow your cat to lap and lick, feed and feast whiskers-and-pain-free.

Paws crossed that these simple solutions help to create the most catified, satisfied felines ever.


Article by Nomi Berger

Feral Cats Deserve Warmth This Winter

As the thermometer plunges and the days grow darker earlier and stay colder longer, there are entire colonies of cats that could not survive without the compassion and warmth of humans.

With North American winters becoming increasingly more severe, feral cats are faced daily with the terrible reality of either starving or freezing to death. But there are solutions, if members of the human community act humanely to provide the homeless cats in their neighborhoods with the shelter, food and water they lack and need.

In regions where snow falls and accumulates, blocking their usual safe places to live during the warmer months, these homeless cats’ “homes” virtually disappear. Offering them alternative places to live is both affordable and easy.

New or used doghouses provide the best protection as long as the opening is narrowed (6 to 8 inches is best) or covered with a flap to both keep out the elements and other roaming animals. Rubbermaid and Tupperware storage bins are two excellent alternatives, as are heavily insulated meat packing cartons – all with small openings carved into one side

For added warmth, insulation and comfort, place fresh straw (no clothing, which can stick to the cat’s body and freeze) on the floor. Straw helps to retain heat and repel moisture. Because cats will huddle together for warmth, provide a colony of cats with several shelters that can accommodate from three to five cats each. If caring for fewer cats, use a smaller shelter that requires less body heat to keep it warm.

Make certain to raise the shelters off the ground and situate them far from foot or street traffic in as quiet an area as possible. And after a snowfall, ensure that you shovel out the entrances to these shelters to prevent them from clogging up with snow and trapping the cats inside.

Food and water are the next in this trio of necessities. And because most feral cats are terrified of people, leaving some food near the entrances to the shelters will, by their scent alone, entice them close, closer, closest. Then, only a few paw prints away are their new winter homes.

Establish a “feeding station” NEAR each shelter to provide easy access for both you and the cats, then try to establish a regular schedule for feeding and water changing. The cats will quickly become accustomed to this routine while also growing accustomed to and less fearful of your approach.

Feed them larger than usual portions of easily digestible wet food, and on the coldest days, provide them with dry food as well, since the wet food can quickly freeze. But spraying insulation foam onto the underside of plastic dishes will help to keep the wet food from freezing at all. For water, use deep rather than shallow bowls and warm or hot rather than cold water. If possible, change the water twice a day, adding a pinch of sugar each time, to both keep it from freezing as quickly and to provide the cats with an extra energy boost.

And so, simply by acting humanely, we as caring communities can help those most helpless and vulnerable in our neighborhoods stay safe and stay alive this winter.


Article by Nomi Berger



9 Easy Steps to Welcome a New Dog Home

welcome dog

Few things are as exciting as bringing home a new pet. At least for you. But how do you imagine the big introduction between your new dog and your resident pet(s)? Do you imagine handing out treats and name tags at your front door, resulting in happy munches and friendly woofs (or meows) as they bond instantly and forever. Cesar Millan would be so proud.

Then you blink twice and remember that you are living in reality and not in some ideal parallel universe. But reality can match your ideal, when you’re armed with these nine easy to follow steps, and a healthy dose of reality.


  1. Patience. Introducing your new dog to the pets already in your home is a process. To succeed, you must start with a plan and a promise – to yourself — to be patient. The process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks (and in extreme cases, a few months).
  2. Making a Match. To improve your chances of a happy blending of old and new, choose a dog as close as possible in temperament and activity level to the pets you already have. Dogs and cats are creatures of habit, and most dislike any disruptions to their daily lives and routines.
  3. Monitor Temperament. Some dogs are naturally more relaxed and more social than others. Some are more territorial and don’t enjoy sharing at all. Unhappy with the arrival of a newcomer, they may demonstrate their disapproval by fighting with the perceived “intruder” or by marking.
  4. Separate Corners. Allow your new dog to adjust to you and to his/her new surroundings by keeping him/her in a separate room with his/her bed, food, water and toys for several days. This is where having its own crate can be a lifesaver. And make sure to spend as much quality, comforting time with your new arrival as possible.
  5. Maintain Routines. Maintain your other pets’ regular routines – from feeding and pottying, to exercising, playing and together times. This will reassure them that nothing has changed.
  6. The Nose Knows. Since smells are of utmost importance to animals, get them used to each other’s scents as soon as possible. We’ve all witnessed how dog’s get to know each other through the tried and true smelling of the rear. It’s important they have the opportunity to smell each other, but it’s a good idea to keep the new dog on a leash at first, in case you need to take control quickly.
  7. All About Food. Another smell driver is food. Feed your resident pets and your new dog on either side of the door to his/her room, or crate, encouraging them to associate something pleasurable with one another’s smell. Once this has been successfully accomplished, walk your new dog slowly through your home, room by room, allowing him/her to become familiar with its sights, sounds and smells. Keep your other pets behind the closed door of his/her room to allow your new dog a sense of safety and privacy, while promoting a further exchange of scents between them. Repeat this several times a day for a few days.
  8. Good Sightlines. Next, use two doorstoppers to keep the door to your new dog’s room propped open just enough for all of the animals to see each other. Repeat this several times a day for a few days.                                                                                                                                                 But remember, when you leave your home, make sure your new dog in his/her room with the door closed, or secure in its crate.
  9. Reward and Correct. Armed with the tastiest treats and most tempting toys, you can expect sniffing, approaching and walking away. Reward good behavior with praise and treats, but discourage bad behavior by promptly separating the offending parties and gently, but firmly correcting them.

Hopefully, when you’re ready to make the “formal” introductions, your patience and your animals’ pre-preparations will pay off. And they will not only recognize, but also start to accept one another by what they see and smell.

Once again, patience is key. This too is a process, which may take time until the blending is successful, and your family is calmly and contentedly one.

If, however, certain problems persist, speak to your vet or consult a recommended animal behaviorist.

Some additional resources on introducing new dogs to your existing pet family may be found on Cesar’s Way Blog and the Humane Society.

10 Effective Ways to Keep Pets Healthy

10 Effective Ways to Keep Pets Healthy

Jordan Walker loves animals. As the lead content curator of Coops and Cages, and other pet-related websites, he has written several articles about the matter. In this post, he shares the most effective ways in keeping your pets healthy.Photo 1

Raising a pet involves a lot of responsibility from you as the owner. With the happiness and devotedness these creatures bring to the family, it is only just that you give them that same kind of happiness by keeping them safe and healthy all the time.

Dogs and cats, which are the most common home pets, are curious creatures. They can touch anything they see around and eat anything that entice their senses. For that reason, it is very important to pay attention to their needs to keep them safe and healthy all the time.

Providing them a pet-safe home is just one of the major responsibilities you should be aware of right at the moment you decide to have a pet. But other than that, there are other things you have to take into consideration to become a more responsible pet owner. Here are some:

Consider Having a Healthy and Well-balanced Diet.

The health of your pet can be affected by the way you feed and treat them. In fact, a well-balanced diet plan is the key to your pet’s good health condition.

Each pet has its own nutritional needs and it is better to consult the veterinarian before buying any pet food you see at the grocery store. Instead of rewarding them with “people food” or unhealthy table scraps, it is better to give them fresh slices of fruits or vegetables.

Complement Their Food Intake with a Regular Exercise

Pets also need regular exercise in order to keep them mentally alert and active. You can take a walk together with your dog as your early morning routine or buy your indoor cat an exercise toy to keep it moving that will boost its energy and prevent from gaining extra weight.

Visit a Trusted Veterinarian for Vaccination

Seeking the right medical care is also your responsibility as a pet owner to ensure you are providing the optimum health care for your furry pals.

By consulting a trusted veterinarian, you could monitor the weight and health condition of your pet. You will know whether there are any early symptoms of fatal diseases.

Also, your pet needs regular vaccination to safeguard them from harmful diseases, such as rabies, distemper, parvo, and canine hepatitis.


Provide a Safe and Clean Environment

A clean environment is the key in providing long-term health care for your pet. Always remember that germs and parasites usually come from places where they stay most. That is why it is important to keep their home and play area clean and safe from sharp pointed household items that can potentially harm them.


Good Grooming Is of Importance

Just like humans, pets also need good grooming in order to make them look and feel good inside out. Make sure your pet gets the right grooming that it needs, starting from the hair to toenails. Regular grooming could help prevent fleas, ticks, and other possible illnesses that come together.

Pay Attention to Dental Care

Oral health is also an important component when it comes to pet care. Your pet can eat and chew anything, it sees on the floor or ground, which makes them more susceptible to dental threats like gum disease and chronic pain.

Regular brushing or dental cleaning from the vet is the best way to keep your pet’s teeth strong and healthy as they grow.

Spay/Neuter Your Pet

With millions of homeless dogs and cats that are being euthanized each year, spaying or neutering is considered a helpful way to reduce the numbers.

Apart from helping reduce the cases of homeless pets, spaying and neutering also bring health and behavioral benefits to your pets like helping them prevent uterine infections and tumor.

Keep Pets Comfortable Despite the Changing Weather

It is important to keep your pets comfortable during cold or hot season. This way, they can avoid health risks and withstand the varying weather.

Take your pet to cold places during the hot season and avoid leaving them in the car park for long hours. By doing so, heat stroke can be prevented. For the winter season, you can buy them fitted coat for extra protection from the cold temperature and help them avoid colds and runny rose.

Prepare a First Aid Kit

To become fully prepared of any injury or health issues of your pet, it is better to keep a medicinal box or kit for them in your home. Consult your vet on the essential first aid medicine and ointment to include in your kit to ensure you can take care of any possible problem that may arise.

Nourish Your Pet Emotionally

Aside from feeding and giving them the right supplements they need, you should be also able to give your pet a holistic nourishment they need for their mental and emotional development.

Your pet would feel happy and more energetic knowing that he lives in a happy home. But how do you provide the right emotional support that it needs? Simply share bonding activities with your pet, especially during special occasions and give the love and care he deserves. At the end of the day, you’ll see how much he can give you in return.

Image Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Author: Jordan Walker

Jordan WalkerJordan is the lead content curator for Coops and Cages as well as a couple of other pet-related blogs. His passion for animals is only paired with his love for “attempting” to play the guitar. If you would like to catch more of him, you can by following his Twitter account:

Make moving easier for your Cat

Cats, like humans, are creatures of habit. Once comfortable in their surroundings, they are unnerved by change. And trading a familiar home for an unfamiliar one can cause fearfulness and stress. Unless you, the conscientious cat guardian, plan ahead with all the precision of a successful military campaign. Logically, then, moving from one place to another should consist of three stages: preparing for the move; moving day itself; and settling into your new home.


Purchase a large, comfortable carrier and give your cat sufficient time to adjust to being in it. Leave it on the floor with the door open and some treats inside. Keep replacing the treats after your cat has retrieved them.

Set out your cardboard, moving boxes a few days before you actually begin to pack so that your cat can get used to the sight and scent of them.

Maintain your cat’s regular routine for feeding, play and exercise, and quality together time.

If your cat becomes anxious as you start packing, place him/her in a quiet room with some toys and treats and keep the door closed. On the other hand, if your cat is an especially nervous cat, boarding him/her in a professional kennel the day before and after the move may be the best solution — for all of you.

Make certain that your cat’s identification tags carry your new address and phone number. But the best precaution — and the wisest investment you can make — is an updated microchip implant.


Even before the movers take over the premises, tuck your cat safely away from the center of the storm by closing him/her in a bathroom, together with food, water, a bed and a litter box.

To ensure that your cat doesn’t panic and try to escape if the door is opened, put a sign on the door stating that it must remain shut.

Your cat should always travel with you, secure in the cat carrier, and not in the moving van.


Put your cat in a room that will remain relatively quiet for awhile. Before opening the carrier, lay out your cat’s food and water dishes, litter box and bed, and place some treats around the room.

Keep your cat in this one “safe” room for a few days, spending time together, soothing and cuddling, and sharing some low-key activities like reading, listening to music or watching TV.

Cat-proof your new home as soon as possible. Included in your “must do” list:

Tuck drapery, blinds and electrical cords out of reach; plug up narrow spaces where a cat might get stuck; ensure all windows and screens are secure; install childproof latches on your cabinets – particularly those containing cleaning supplies; cover unused electrical outlets with special plastic caps, and keep all toilet seats down.

To help acclimatize your cat more quickly, spritz various objects with a pheromone spray or spread your cat’s own scent (gathered from his/her face and neck) with a soft cloth along the walls, doors and furniture.

Begin gradually walking your cat through the rest of the place, one room at a time, constantly praising and reassuring him/her as you make the rounds. Over and over again.

Restore your cat’s former feeding, playing and exercise schedule so that, hopefully, it will seem that nothing has changed much at all.

Cats may be creatures of habit, but they are highly adaptable as well. And so, whether familiar or unfamiliar, old or new, for them, there is still no place like home.


Article by Nomi Berger

Nomi is the best selling author of seven novels, one work of non-fiction, two volumes of poetry and hundreds of articles. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with her adopted Maltese, Mini, and now devotes all of her time volunteering her writing skills to animal rescue organizations throughout Canada and the USA.

The Downside of Declawing CATS

Like many cat owners, you may be fed up with finding scratch marks on everything from your floors and furniture to your curtains and comforters, cushions and clothes. And skin. But before you consider resolving the problem by choosing declawing as your only solution, be advised that declawing your cat is NOT a matter of solely removing its claws. Nor is it as simple a procedure as a manicure, or in this case, a pedicure.

In fact, it is a serious SURGICAL procedure that requires a general anesthetic. Commonly referred to as onychectomy, implying that only the claw is removed, the more appropriate term should be phalangectomy, which refers to the excision of the toe bone itself. Why? Because a cat’s claw, unlike a toenail, adheres so closely to the bone that to remove the claws on a single foot is to remove the last bone of all five toes. In other words: amputation. Not only is the operation itself extremely painful, but so is the protracted period of recovery. If “recovery” is even the proper word.


A cat’s body is uniquely designed, allowing it to move with agility and grace, and its claws are an integral part of that design. Amputating so vital a part of their anatomy drastically alters the conformation of their feet, and since cats walk on their toes, this surgery actually changes the way their bodies work. Because of this, their back and leg muscles may weaken over time, potentially leading to chronic back and joint pain. Other complications from the procedure may include postoperative hemorrhage, nerve damage, and displaced bone chips that prevent proper healing. Post-operative care can be complicated and difficult, both for you and your cat.

Because a declawed cat must wear bandages on its paws until the incisions heal, exercise must be limited for at least one month and cat litter replaced with shredded newspaper to keep litter granules from embedding themselves in the healing tissue. Your vet may prescribe medications to help with the pain, and you must monitor your cat carefully for swollen paws, bleeding and a reluctance to walk, as well as any changes in appetite and behavior. While some cats exhibit no changes in personality after being declawed, others may become anxious, shy, or show an increase in aggression. Feeling defenseless without their claws may cause them to bite if they feel cornered. And the pain associated with the procedure may result in urinating and defecating outside the litter box.

Because scratching is as innate to cats as purring, most experts recommend other alternatives to the trauma and dangers of declawing. Keep your cat’s nails carefully trimmed and direct its scratching behavior to inexpensive cardboard scratchers, scratching posts or emery scratching pads that dull its claws. Use remote aversion devices such as Scat Mats. But if all else fails, the newest and most popular alternative to declawing is the application of vinyl nail caps, available through your veterinarian or pet store. Non-toxic glue binds the caps to the claws, and the caps are replaced when your cat sheds its claw sheaths (usually every four to six weeks).

While declawing remains peculiar to the United States, an ever-increasing number of countries throughout the world consider it both “inhumane” and a “form of mutilation” (except in the most extreme cases or for medical reasons) and have banned the procedure. In fact, a global online campaign declared March 29, 2014 as Declaw Awareness Day.

What are your thoughts on Declawing? Let us know in the comments section of this blog!


Article by Nomi Berger

Nomi is the best selling author of seven novels, one work of non-fiction, two volumes of poetry and hundreds of articles. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with her adopted Maltese, Mini, and now devotes all of her time volunteering her writing skills to animal rescue organizations throughout Canada and the USA.



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