Sofiya Comes Home – Part 2


At Amsterdam Airport. Screenshot from video by Maartje Schoenmaker.

Maartje sent a short video of Sofiya at the airport – Pawel’s flight from Warsaw to Amsterdam was late, so the handoff was quick. Then Pawel messaged me from the plane with a photo that all was well. I spent the afternoon tracking the flight on Flight Tracker. We packed for an epic journey – food, water, various kitty supplies including litter box, some food, an extra blanket for the carrier, paper towels, and cleaner.

We left about 5:30 p.m., allowing at least two hours for the drive and finding our way around the airport; the plane was due in at 8:30, and was even running a little early. Turned out the airport and Terminal 4 was a clear shot. Our research had paid off and we found decent parking right near the terminal. Read more of this post

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Our Little Dutch Girl – Part 1


Sofiya at 16 weeks. Photo by Maartje Schoenmaker

When you love cats, there comes a time when you feel the siren call, even after a loss. Friends post photos on Facebook. Litters of adorable kittens are born. There’s this tugging on your heartstrings.

More than two years after losing Celica Blue, I felt that tug. There was Stormy, who was a sweet older kitty with various health issues, and yes, an unlimited number of adorable shelter kitties who paraded across my Facebook pages. But my heart longed for one last Russian Blue. Read more of this post

Choosing and Caring for a New Cat


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This article first appeared in Fear Free Happy Homes, April 22, 2019.

When I graduated from college a few centuries ago, I wanted an apartment, a car, and a kitten. (I was lucky enough to have a job lined up.) While cats were a part of the family when I was growing up, this would be my very own cat. I adopted a kitten from a college friend, whose cat had a litter. Alfred – named after a college dean – was with me for many years and was key to my education on cat care.

Cats are often considered to be easier to care for than dogs, and in many respects that’s true. But that doesn’t mean you can just pick up the kitty and deposit her into your household. A new cat’s homecoming should be fun for members of the family and welcoming and stress-free for the kitty.

Continue reading at Fear Free Happy Homes.

 

Why Is My Cat Eating Litter?


Black white  cat uses toilet

w-ings / iStock / Getty Images

Reprinted from my article in The Spruce Pets.

Cats may eat litter—and other undesirable materials—for a variety of reasons. This behavior is referred to as pica, the eating of non-food items.

Continue reading at The Spruce Pets.

 

Is your cat’s litter box stressing him out?


Pulitzer, looking so innocent.

Published in FearFreeHappyHomes.com Jan. 14, 2019.

A mantra for cat caretakers: You can’t scoop the litter box too often.

While there’s a litany of tips for successful litter box training, if the box isn’t scooped often, the prettiest setup is useless.

Cats have extremely sensitive noses, and while they find comfort in familiar scents, a box full of urine clumps and poop is guaranteed to be off-putting. Not only is it smelly, it translates into stepping among feline land mines.

Pulitzer was my problem child when it came to using the litter box. He had a mild case of cerebellar hypoplasia and was a bit of a doofus. As a result, his litter box habits were erratic, but with vigilance we managed the problem. He was my biggest lesson in the importance of maintaining a clean litter box.

Read more here.

Zoom, Zoom! Agility Training Gets Cats Off The Couch


From FearFreeHappyHomes.com

A video circulated around the internet of a little girl leading her kitten through an agility course in her backyard. The girl’s energy and the tails-up, fearless enthusiasm of Suki, the kitten, were endearing.

For most of our cats, their best sport is competitive napping. But the Suki video shows that cats can indeed be trained and love it. Cats need a job, and agility training is just that. Not only does it build confidence, it also encourages them to hone their natural athletic skills.

Continue reading here.

Panda: Pink Nose and Jelly Bean Toes


A happy ending! See the update!

Panda needs a quiet home as an only cat. Her guardians have gone to great lengths to resolve her dislike of the two other cats in her household, but Panda is very unhappy.

Her mom says she is extremely affectionate. However, she’s clearly miserable in her living situation, which she shows by not using her litter box regularly; medication is no longer working.

Panda has panda markings – hence her name. She has a pink nose and matching jelly bean toes. Read more of this post

Immaculate Conception… Or the ‘Oops’ Litter


Mom Emma, the Jesus kittens, and Dad River.

When you work with two different breeds of cats, this is what may happen.

Kaisa Savolainen of Tartu, Estonia, breeds Norwegian Forest Cats and Russian Blues. They’re as different you can imagine: Large fluffy brown tabbies vs. sleek blue, silver tipped beauties.

Savolainen raises her cats under the FI*Lolcats Cattery. She is studying to become a veterinarian and is active on the show circuit. She regularly posts photos of her litters of kittens, who are often born within weeks of each other and freely interact. Read more of this post

Fearless Kittens: Are They Made or Born?


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This article was originally published on the Fear Free Happy Homes website.

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It’s a little bit of both. These tips can help you choose the one who’s just right for you.

Stories abound about kittens who are adopted into new homes, then promptly disappear for days at a time, coming out only at night to eat and use the litter box. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how to improve your chances of bringing home a confident, outgoing kitten who will be comfortable in any home or situation.

Read the rest of the story on the Fear Free Happy Homes website.

Book Review – ‘Claws: Confessions of Professional Cat Groomer’


The image of a typical cat groomer is one of an aproned individual, armed with combs and clippers and a compliant kitty on the table.

Talk to Anita Kelsey and you’ll learn that nothing is further from the truth. And she has the scars to prove it. Read more of this post

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