Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The 4th of July is just around the corner but fireworks are already being set off on private property in rural areas. Your kitty might be experiencing stress due to the nature of the noise. There are things you can provide your kitty to help combat this stress. At the same time try to remain as nonplussed by the fireworks as you can so that your kitty doesn't pick up on your stress. These tricks can help is other stressful times as well, such as when you have houseguests or take on remodeling projects.

Some cats feel safe in a high spot; they can keep an eye on things and feel in control. Other kitties prefer to hide in a cupboard or closet and come out after the noise has stopped, and maybe even hours afterwards. Make it easy for your cat to access his view point or hiding spot and allow him to spend however much time he wants there. If it's meal time and he won't come down or out, take his food to him. He may eat less if he's feeling anxious, but as long he eats a little and stays hydrated he should get through it okay. Offering meat baby food or a special nutritious treat might help him eat. Adding a CBD for pets product in your cat's food, Zylkene, a calming supplement, or gabapentin (available by prescription) is a good idea if he is eating normally. A Feliway Calming diffuser is a good idea, or you can spritz Feliway around the areas your cat frequents. Rescue Remedy for animals (no alcohol) can be put in drinking water or rubbed onto ears. Many folks also play soft classical or "easy listening" music. You can stream music for cats that is very relaxing too.

If your kitty goes outside at all, play it safe and keep him inside over the holiday weekend. Any animal outside can get disoriented and panic from the noise of fireworks. They may run and get lost, even if they normally stay close by. It's commonly known in all animal shelters in the U.S. that the 4th of July is the number one time for lost and missing pets. Wildlife too suffers from fireworks (can you tell I am not a fan of fireworks?!). Be prepared for your kitty to hunker down and hate life with all the noise that happens. Hang in there!

Saturday, March 14, 2020

The Pandemic and your Pets

In light of the current pandemic, I wanted to share information from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. (Keep in mind that many area shelters are closed to the public at this time and may not be accepting new volunteers.) 

What you can do to help keep yourself and your personal pets safe: What you can do to help local shelters and your community:
  • Foster or adopt a pet to help ease the burden on shelters as they experience fewer people visiting. (A little fun four-legged company can also be a welcome distraction from things!) 
  • If you have neighbors who are self-quarantined or otherwise in need of help, offer to walk their dog or take pets for routine visits. (Be sure to follow the CDC’s guidance on interacting with quarantined individuals.)
  • Consider volunteering at your local shelter or rescue group to help support animals and staff members.
  • Use social media channels like Facebook and to help return lost animals to their homes in order to ease the burden on local animal control officers.
  • Consider fostering a stray animal in your home rather than taking the pet to a shelter
I would add that environmental enrichment is extremely important for companion animals who are staying at home, as cats usually do anyway. Interactive play time, and new toys (homemade ones such as cardboard boxes, socks stuffed with catnip, or a ball in the bath tub) are crucial to reducing feline boredom. Bird feeders outside the windows can be entertaining too. 

KittyStar Services is continuing to operate as usual and our services include picking up their food or medication if you are unable to, as well as transporting kitties to vet appointments. However, some veterinary practices are advising that clients skip routine check-ups right now and only bring their animal in if it's an emergency. We would like to be a community resource for your companion animals' needs, so please contact us if you need help caring for your pets. Stay well!