Archive for the 'Feline Family Member Care' Category
The holidays provide great opportunities to gift furry, finned, feathered, or furless family members demonstrating our appreciation for their significance and presence in our lives. Although we know the most important gifts are those that don’t come in gift boxes, it feels great to surprise that someone special with something that will make their tail wag, their eyes light up, and get their purr motors runnin’.
We want our offering to produce excitement, inspire play, and add to their environmental enrichment, while ensuring their health, well-being and safety. We’re becoming more thoughtful and conscientious about the gifts that we provide the ones that we cherish.
Cattress Mattress and Purrfectplay offer products that are:
- Made in the USA
- Composed of Organic Natural Fibers like Cotton, Wool, and Hemp
- Free of Synthetic or Reprocessed Plastics
- Free of dyes and toxins
- Sustainable and Fair Trade
If you don’t buy from us, here are some great suggestions provided by our friends at Purrfectplay.com for finding those earth friendly and furkid safe toys that you can feel good about.
1. Check the label – WHERE was it made? Toys made in other countries like China
have been found to contain heavy metals and toxic chemicals.
2. Stay aware of any recalls and visit pet-related news sites to learn breaking news on toxic pet toys and pet products.
3. Check the label – WHAT is the toy made of? Avoid all synthetics/plastics.
Try to buy certified organic or natural fiber toys.
4. Check the label again for company information. Companies who are concerned about our environment will say what they are doing to help. Support the good guys!
5. Smell and touch the toy. Pet toys should not have a strong chemical smell and shouldn’t feel weird.
6. Avoid heavily dyed toys. Fabric dyes often contain heavy metals and strong chemicals.
7. Avoid toys that have been treated with fire retardants or stain guard.
8. Is the toy inexpensive? If so, the workers may have worked in sweat shop conditions. Sweat shop conditions are rarely earth-friendly.
We hope the following suggestions help you find that purrfect gift while keeping you and yours healthy and happy during the holiday season and throughout the new year!
Wishing you a Happy Holiday, a Meowy Christmas and a Waggy New Year!
Dr. Jennifer Conrad of The Paw Project talks about declawing. Please visit www.PawProject.org
Everything was going great…cat scratch practice had been reconditioned to occur on designated “claws on” surfaces…and then suddenly, your feline family member returns to previous scratching haunts on your furniture, your doorways, and your rugs.
Remember…cat scratch relapses may occur for a number of reasons.
Cat scratch relapses are similar to canine chewing relapses. Kittens tend to scratch indiscriminately as they’re becoming accustomed to their retractable claws in play and attempting to establish space or boundaries within the household by scent glands on the bottom of the paws. Puppies tend to chew on all kinds of things because they’re teething or because they haven’t learned what is an appropriate chew toy.
I once heard someone say, “We don’t detooth a puppy or dog for chewing on the leg of our new table and yet there is often an immediate move to declaw a cat for scratching that same table leg.”
Bring to mind that beautiful canine companion who hasn’t chewed up anything he shouldn’t since he was a puppy. Then one day, you’re a little late getting home to walk him or you leave him with your sister while you go on a three day vacation and return to find your favorite pillow destuffed or your favorite shoes chewed beyond recognition.
Whether it’s a scratch or a rip and a tear, animals may return to former outgrown behaviors to alleviate stress, anxiety, or boredom.
The most important thing is to not take it purrsonally. They are not doing it out of spite or because they’re mad at you. Dogs and cats display behaviors in response to internal (health, energy) and external (new family member, absence of family member, change of residence) changes that disrupt their routine, their environment, their sense of safety, security, and well-being.
Think like your feline family member or canine companion. What could be contributing to their behavioral relapse? What can you do to establish balance or ease their anxiety?
If they’re in a transitional phase, be patient, be consistent, and return to reconditioning methods that worked before or reinvent approaches and rewards that are applicable to your animal companion’s current state and needs.
This is Kitten. Kitten lives next door to the CatAWhack Crew. Kitten is a vertical scratcher. He purrfers the sides of couches and chairs. Although his human provided him with a scratching post, it did not dissuade him from scratching the furniture. Why? Because the scratching post merely provided a scratch outlet…It did not establish a designated space that set up the conditions for the creation of territorial boundaries and scratch perimeters within an inter-species household. His human didn’t know what to do. The veterinarian offered no information about cat behavior, cat scratch reconditioning, nail trimming, or alternatives to declawing. Kitten was scheduled for a declawing procedure at the same time that he was to be neutered.
When the CatAWhack Crew discovered that Kitten was three days away from being declawed, they sent Bret with the new CatAWhack Unit. Kitten’s human was totally unaware that declawing was an amputation of the distal toe digits. However, with this new information, she was open to considering other options. The following was proposed:
- A 14 day period to help Kitten change his established scratch practice (It takes 14 days to break a habit or change a behavior)
- Washing former scratching haunts with a pet odor remover and covering with double-sided tape
- Positioning the CatAWhack Unit next to former scratching haunts to encourage transfer of scratch practice to the designated surfaces of the unit
- Positioning the CatAWhack Scratch Panel in a vertical position since Kitten purrferred the sides of furniture
- Reinforcing scratch practice on the CatAWhack Unit by providing rewards that appealed to Kitten’s pawticular purreferences (treats, catnip, affection, pawsitive praise, play time)
- Gradually moving the CatAWhack Unit away from the former scratching haunts and toward a more permanent location in order to establish Kitten’s purrsonalized designated space creation within the home environment
- Placing the CatAWhack Unit in front of a window with a view for environmental enrichment; mental stimulation; in order to stimulate Kitten’s predatory claw sharpening preparation in response to outdoor critters (birds, squirrels, rabbits)
- Ensuring that Kitten’s daily living activities (eating, drinking, sleeping, snacking, playing, scratching) occurred on or around the CatAWhack Unit Space Creation. This created pawsitive associations with the space and made natural recurrent scent placement a reinforcer for return visits and repeat purrformances.
- Removing double sided tape or Sofa Savers from furniture after new scratch practice was established.
- Placing citrus scents on or around old scratching haunts to make these areas less desirable and therefor deterring a potential cat scratch relapse (i.e., orange rinds;natural orange spray; bitter apple sprays or repellents) NOTE: If spraying directly on furniture, rugs, or carpets, be sure and test on an unseen area before applying
- If Kitten experienced a relapse and began scratching the furniture, exploring what may have triggered the behavior: Was there anything new or different in the environment? Did something such as a loud noise startle or spook Kitten when he was occupying his designated space or practicing his scratch behavior? Was Kitten bored?
- Consider moving the CatAWhack Unit occasionally (every 4-6 months) to another desirable location to keep Kitten engaged, curious, and stimulated OR reconfigure the CatAWhack Unit by moving the scratch panel, bed, or leaf toy OR introduce a new component such as a box, a blanket over half of the unit, or a new toy
When Bret checked in with Kitten’s human at the end of the 14-day period, she reported that Kitten was scratching the CatAWhack exclusively. YES! Way to go Kitten!
Check out these pics of Kitten (When he received his CatAWhack; got a reward for using his CatAWhack; and weeks later as he perches on his CatAWhack and looks out the window):
“Domestic cats are flexible on territory and it depends on us.”
We love this statement by Michael Broad at Pictures of Cats. We refer to territorial signaling and marking regarding scratch behavior and established scratch practice. Territorial signaling is a cat’s way of communicating their presence in an area, creating boundaries, establishing personal space within an open or contained environment. Domestic cats introduced into a new home environment will make attempts to discover their place through exploration and in response to the following: interactions with other home inhabitants; safety, security, and sustenance (sleeping quarters, food, water); activities of daily life and environmental enrichment.
As a cat, I will use various communication methods to demonstrate my intent. I’ll meow and reveal body language to receive food, treats, affection, interaction. I’ll scratch to show you the perimeter, areas, and various locations that I have claimed as my own unless you provide me with incentives that appeal to my pawticular purreferences; provide me with inspurration and show me the benefits of sharing space and responding to your cues; and demonstrate the function and utility of forming seen and unseen boundaries within a mixed species household. All home inhabitants have to discover their identity, purrpose, role within the family structure. Help your feline family members get acclimated by appealing to their sensibilities, the way that they see the world, their natural inclinations. Cats are highly intelligent. It has to make sense to acquire the cooperation of a cat. If it doesn’t, forget about it!
The CatAWhack Crew wondered…hmmm…If Lady Gaga was a feline (she kind of looks like us in her photo below) how would that change the lyrics of her hit song “Born This Way”?
Lady Gaga advocates for the acceptance and understanding of the unique diversity and creative manifestations within the human race and the right to full free expression of who one is without incurring a backlash of fear, insecurity, hatred, and abuse.
What would Feline Gaga advocate for? The acceptance and understanding of the anatomy, behavior, and communication style of felines and their right to full free expression of who they are, claws and all without incurring declawing (surgical amputation of the first toe digits) procedures that are imposed by uninformed or ill advised humans.
We’ve provided Lady Gaga’s music video so that you have the music accompaniment as you sing Feline Gaga’s new lyrics. Go to the next page where you’ll find the new lyrics in blue. Purr and sing to your hearts content!
The CatAWhack Crew caught up with Charlie’s Mom Christy to see how things were going with the new CatAWhack space creation and this is what she said:
“I was just saying to my husband this morning that I don’t see much of Charlie anymore. I guess he stays mostly in his new place. He has only slept with me once since I brought the CatAWhack home. It is in my daughter Ashlee’s room in front of the window so he can see out over the neighborhood. She says he doesn’t sleep with her anymore either. I would take that as he really does like it a lot! I like it that he doesn’t sleep on top of my legs anymore; as it was difficult to move around while sleeping with a 13 pound cat on my legs.
Maybe he uses his CatAWhack as a place to get away from the puppy’s constant hounding too.”
Check out Charlie’s Pics! Lookin’ pretty comfortable there Charlie…
Any tree climbing enthusiasts out there?
A no fear feline mentality paired with agility, strength, and the naturally derived tree climbing claw gear can land a fellow feline up a tree with nowhere to go.
We came across a peep named Dan in Seattle who blessed with the same no fear mentality can shimmy up a rope almost as quickly as we can climb. He has one clear advantage, the ability to repel down safely and within a matter of seconds.
Thanks Dan for being at the forefront of cat-in-a-tree rescue efforts! If you happen to be in our neck of the woods, we would love to stage a race to the top of the nearest tree. Just remember Dan…Not too high K?
The CatAWhack Crew had a POW-WOW-SCRATCH-NOW Meeting to determine what we could be, do, and offer to support fellow felines. How could we make a difference? So we put on our thinking caps, huddled next to our scratching surface, and marked out some objectives that are sure to elevate and uplift cats everywhere!
We will offer an all natural scratch alternative that is 7 products in one (cat bed, tree, perch, scratching surface, enclosure, play station, and exercise unit) with built in pawsitive reinforcers that encourage feline family members to establish healthy cat scratch practice in the area on and around the unit. If you’ve been following us since we first established our purresence on Twitter last March, you’re probably asking, “Where is this CatAWhack Unit you keep meowing about?” As you’ve come to realize, we are very pawticular and quite purrfectionistic when it comes to coordinating operations and offering you the goods fast and furriously while still having fun with the creative process. We want you to shout, “This is pure purrfection!” when it arrives in your paws and you make that first scratch exclaiming, “THIS IS MINE, ALL MINE, BAW HA HA HA HA!” Soon, my furry furriend, very soon. We’re doing everything that we can to offer the first units for purrchase on-line by the end of March. Hang in There! Help is on the way!
If you’re a Peep for Paws-Claws and All, read on…
We believe that cats scratch indiscriminately as a means to establish territory and boundaries. The CatAWhack Unit creates a purrsonalized designated space within the home that belongs to your feline family member…an area where they can express themselves, engage in natural behavior that promotes health and well-being, and establish a sense of safety, security, and comfort.
You can check out more details and photos at www.cattressmattress.com
We believe every member of the family needs their own purrsonal space. We are a young start-up business with the intent to create and provide unique products that will allow cats to be all that they were meant to be, claws and all. We know that what we have to offer appeals to felines pawticular purreferences after CatAWhack Crew feline inspectors gave it the paws up. They love it, especially in front of a window with a great view.
We will also initiate the following to support felines:
1. Every time someone makes a purrchase, any amount that occurs after the decimal point will be contributed to pro-claw rescues and organizations. We call it “Scratchin’ for Change.”
2. Every U.S. or Canadian veterinarian office that refrains from declawing and instead refers individuals to us for cat scratch reconditioning assistance that results in the purrchase of a CatAWhack Unit will be given $10.00 for every referral.
3. Claw Retention Initiatives – Go Pro Claw. This is a program that we are developing using pawsitive multi-media means to educate the public on the importance of claw retention and how it contributes to cat health & well-being. We believe in human beings and their ability to learn, understand, and evolve beyond declawing.
We would love to have your support. If you have any suggestions regarding these initiatives or how we can make a difference, we can’t wait to hear from you!
Scratched , ))))
It was a momentous occasion on February 17th, Purrsday Thursday, at 1:00 pm as we prepared to draw the name of the peep who would bring the CatAWhack home to a hopeful feline. Who better to draw the winner than Kim McCullough, Store Manager of Treats Unleashed, The Natural Place for Pets, at the final display location?!
Click the ‘READ MORE’ tab for more details…