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Cat Jumping? How to Keep Her Paws on the Ground

In a cat’s world, nothing is off limits: the inside of boxes, underneath a bed, on top of your keyboard. It’s all fair game to a cat that wants to play, rest, hide, or is just plain curious.

That cat privilege extends—in their mind—to perches on the top of your counters, the upper reaches of a bookshelf, and even the top of the refrigerator. After all, cat jumping skills are top-notch. Cats can easily exceed altitudes six times their height. A study in the Journal of Experimental Biology reports that cats are superior jumpers because of the limb length and muscle mass of theCatasir back legs. Cats start a jump in a very deep crouch, then lift their front legs before “an explosive extension” of their back legs.

While there is no argument that a cat’s jumping ability is impressive, it can also be annoying (and dangerous, as Vetstreet notes cats don’t always land on their feet) to have cats regularly leaping to spots in your home that are high above their heads.

How can pet parents keep cats off furniture, shelves, counters, and anywhere else in the home where they don’t belong?

Clean off Shelves

Cats are naturally curious. A pen, a set of keys, or a fragile knick-knack can catch their attention and tempt them to jump up to explore this “toy” that has been left for them to find. By keeping shelves clear of clutter, you can also lessen your cat’s interest in exploring places you don’t want them to go. This can also be beneficial to you as cats are known for knocking things off shelves, and unfortunately they aren’t good at handling a broom and dustpan to clean up the mess after themselves.

Cat Jumping

Keep Food off Kitchen Counters

A cat’s sense of smell is much better than yours, so if they smell something tasty, they are likely to jump up to try to sneak a nibble. That can be dangerous for them, depending on what the food is. By keeping counters clear of food and crumbs, you’ll discourage your kitty from leaping onto your kitchen counters. If you find that your cat is intensely curious about what you’re making for dinner—and won’t stay off the counters while you’re preparing it—simply shut your cat in another room until the kitchen is clean.

Shut the Blinds

Cats like to jump to window sills to take in the outdoor view. If there’s a windowsill that you don’t want your cat to use, simply shut the blinds to take away the kitty TV. But make sure you give your cat at least one spot to look outside, as cats enjoy watching the world go by.

Give Them an Alternative

A cat jumping condo gives your furry friend a place to jump, exercise, and explore. Keep it interesting for them by rotating the toys, boxes to hide in and even crumpled pieces of paper to bat around. Be imaginative! Cat trees are also an excellent way to let your cats jump and climb to their hearts desire. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t completely eliminate your cat’s ability to jump. It’s part of their innate behaviour built into their DNA from their ancestors, where they would climb trees to escape predators as well as stalk their prey from high above before pouncing. Providing an approved place for exercise and jumping will also help keep your cat off of other high areas where they might not be welcomed.

Use Double-Sided Tape

Cats hate the feel of double-sided tape on their paws, so it can be a good deterrent for a cat who continues to jump to a place you don’t want them to go. If it’s a spot you use frequently, attach the double-sided tape to a place mat so it’s easily movable.

Understand Their Jumping Behaviour

It’s true that jumping is coded in your cat’s DNA. They are hardwired to enjoy being up high where they are safe, but it is also good as the parent to understand the need to be hidden away from everyone. If you notice your cat jumping up high more frequently or shying back in hard to reach areas like cabinets or the top of a closet it might be because they are stressed or not feeling their best. Because of their ancestral lineage, cats that are sick or injured will hide themselves away to keep out of reach of predators. They might also be trying to get away from some other sort of danger if they feel afraid. It’s helpful to understand what they might be fearful of to help remove it from the environment. Slowly, as your cat starts to feel safer, they will come back down to your level and interact more.

Cats are natural jumpers so you shouldn’t discourage the behaviour altogether. But with a little training, you can teach your cat where not to leap.

Source: Hills
Writer: Kara Murphy
Website: www.hillspet.co.za

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Bringing a new pet home

Bringing a new pet home

Image: Pixabay

Whether you buy or adopt, whether canine or feline, it can be a challenge to bring a new pet home. The most important thing to remember when introducing a new pet into your home is to take things slow. Time is your friend. Keep in Mind the rule of three, allow your pet the space he or she may need to feel comfortable and settle as the transition may be somewhat stressful. An important thing to remember is that a dog that may display a happy, playful attitude at a meet and greet, may be weary or fearful in a completely new environment.

Watch for cues about how your pet is feeling. If your pet seems timid, try to move slowly, watch for cues about how your pet is feeling. If your pet seems timid, start by sitting calmly in the room, maybe read a book or watch a TV show, let them just be around you until they feel comfortable enough to approach you. If your pet is full of energy and ready to play, get out the toys right away. But be cautious. Pets can be both scared and full of energy. The care you take with your own behavior in early days will pay off in the future as your pet learns that you are someone to trust.

To have the run of an entire house can be overwhelming, especially if it happens too fast. Sheltered pets are used to restricted areas and may feel more at ease in a smaller area of the house at first. Resist the temptation to let your pet run loose in the house during this first week, especially if you have other pets. If your new dog seems comfortable and relaxed (not hiding and is willing to come to you for affection and food) you can provide access to other areas of your home.

If your new dog is the only pet in your home, you can close off “off limit areas” like the garage if you have some toxic items in there that you don’t want your dog getting into and allow them to explore the rest when they are ready.

Cats are creatures of habit and will hide under beds etc. Set up a small, quiet area for your new cat to help establish a safe and secure environment. A small quiet room with a litterbox may be best at first, until your cat is more at ease in the new environment and with you. If your cat seems comfortable and relaxed (not hiding and is willing to come to you for affection and food) you can provide access to other areas of your home.

Bringing a new pet home

Image: English & French Bulldog Rescue SA

If you already have pets at home, you’re no doubt looking forward to a happy, harmonious relationship between all your animals. If you want to introduce a new dog to a resident dog, a walk may be a great way to do so. One person per dog, in a neutral outdoor space. Start on the opposite sides of the street and gradually move closer, rewarding both dogs every time you move a little closer, until they can walk side by side. Allow them to sniff each other while still on leash so you have control over them should something go wrong. Always use a calm neutral tone of voice, high pitches may cause excitement.

When going home with both dogs, allow them to run outside first before allowing them both in the house together. Again, keep that calm tone of voice and leave those leashes on so you have control if needed. Supervise their interactions closely.

If an altercation occurs, separate the dogs for a few days to give them a break from each other. Stress hormones can take this long to return to normal, and if you try to continue the introduction too soon, the altercations could get worse. Some posturing and mild aggression can be normal as dogs become more comfortable, even after a successful first few days or weeks. Don’t panic!

Caring for a pet can be a wonderful way to teach your children respect and compassion for all living things. Make it clear to children that pets aren’t toys. Animals must be treated gently and handled with care. Young children must never be left alone or unsupervised, with any animal, even for a moment. Although children can participate in lightcare activities like grooming and playtime, a parent must be fully prepared to be the primary caretaker.

Even the most docile of dogs can cause harm if teased or frightened or if his/her prey drive is triggered. As a parent, it’s up to you to teach your dog appropriate behavior, as well as teaching your children how to behave around pets. Teach your children to treat animals with respect. Help children understand canine body language so they can recognize when a dog is friendly, fearful, or aggressive. Teach your child to allow dogs to approach them, not the other way around as sometimes a child can make a dog feel threatened. Teach children to respect a dog’s privacy. Never allow a child to disturb a dog while eating, chewing on a bone or toy, or sleeping. Dogs are naturally territorial and may growl, snap, or bite to protect their possessions. Tell children not to look a dog directly in the eye. In dog language, a stare is a threat and may trigger the dog to act dominantly or aggressively.

Your new cat or kitten will need several days to adjust to its new home, so limit your child’s interaction to gentle petting, and only when the cat approaches. Don’t allow young children to pick up, carry or put their faces close to the animal. Sudden movements and loud noises can easily frighten your pet, so children should speak and sit quietly around the cat.

Source: English & French Bulldog Rescue SA

Pet New Years resolutions – part 2

Pet

Image by The Paw Company

Pet New Years resolutions – part 2

Your pets can be healthier and happier in 2024 with some or all of these pawsome pet new year’s resolutions!

A new year brings new goals and more than 300 days of opportunity for you and your pet to bond, develop healthier habits and discover new ways to live a full life. Your pet can live a better tomorrow with your help. An important first step is to avoid becoming overwhelmed thinking you need to make big changes overnight. Baby steps in the right direction are the way to go. The important thing is to make a plan and move steadily forward.

Re-publication: Originally published 11 January 2023

TRY A NEW ACTIVITY, LOOK AT THINGS FROM A NEW ANGLE OR GO ON AN ADVENTURE

You see so much more of the world compared to the animals in your care. To them, you, your family and your home are their world. Let them see more! Do you have an adventurous dog breed? Or a curious cat? Try a new activity with them. Find something you both love doing. Many restaurants are now offering dog-friendly seating areas and during the off-season, more beaches are open to dogs.

INCORPORATE MORE PLAY AND FUN TIME

Besides being fun, playing has a vital role in their development. It promotes confidence. If they are confident, they tend to be less anxious or fearful. You should also play breed-specific games including scent & track, eye & stalk, chase, grab-bite, kill-bite, possess, dissect, and consume. Resolve to get at least one new toy and play with your pet, even just 5 minutes a day. For cats, you can also buy a new scratching post or build a new cat tress. Most dogs love car rides.

SCHEDULE A WELLNESS CHECK-UP WITH YOUR VET AND IMPROVE YOUR PET’S HEALTH

  • Regular appointments are so important for ensuring that your animals enjoy many happy and healthy years. It can help detect any potential problems early. So, consider adding more wellness appointments to your New Year’s resolution list, but do at least one a year.
  • Make sure your necessary vaccinations are up-to-date.
  • Around the age of 8, their wellness and nutritional needs can require fine-tuning every 4 to 6 months.
  • In older animals, it’s very important to review weight, muscle tone, joint range of motion, diet, supplement protocol, and exercise habits at least semi-annually.
  • Through a healthy diet, exercise, enrichment and keeping your home safe and toxin-free, their health can improve drastically.

SEEK MORE NATURAL WAYS TO SUPPORT YOUR PET’S HEALTH

‘Integrated’ health care for domestic animals can combine the best of conventional Veterinary medicine, alongside diet and nutrition, supplements, herbal and homeopathic formulas, physiotherapy and acupressure and acupuncture. All of which can improve our pet’s quality of life.

Schedule an appointment with a natural health care practitioner to see how a more natural approach to your pet’s health care could benefit them this year…… and for every year in the future.

ADD YOUR PETS TO YOUR WILL

What is the immediate and long-term plan for your pets if you die today? Are they included in your will? Will they be taken care of? It is important to list specific instructions in your will! Is there someone in your town who will be responsible to take care of your pets in case of an emergency? You can also LEAVE A LEGACY, by donating part of your estate to an animal shelter.

Pet

Image: pexels

MICRO-CHIP AND REGISTER (OR UPDATE) YOUR PET’S MICROCHIP & ID COLLAR INFO

If your pet doesn’t have a microchip, get one now! There are affordable options and it drastically improves the chances of reuniting your pet with you if they get lost. You have to register your details on a database (preferably more than one) so it can be linked to the microchip number. Otherwise, the microchip means nothing. Make sure your details are up-to-date if you moved or changed numbers. Have a recent photo ready in case they get lost.

CLEAR OUT OLD TOYS & GET CREATIVE BY MAKING SOME NEW ONES

Take a fresh look at their toy collection and stop holding on to old, tatty, and often germ-infested pet toys. Now’s the perfect time to do a good clean and clear and to give your pet something fun and new to play with. Choose safe toys made of natural materials and clean them regularly.

Other things to toss as shared by Bark & Whiskers:

  • Toss this: Retractable leash | Replace with this: 6-foot flat leash
  • Toss this: Plastic food and water bowl | Replace with this: Stainless steel, porcelain or glass food and water bowls
  • Toss this: Old, stinky and ill-fitting collar | Replace with this: New collar
  • Toss this: Dull nail trimmers | Replace with this: Freshly sharpened or new nail trimmers, or a battery-operated rotary tool (e.g., a Dremel)
  • Toss this: Broken or chewed-up toys | Replace with this: Repaired or new nontoxic toys

SCHEDULE SOME DAILY DIY GROOMING TIME

Grooming is important to keep the coat shiny and healthy. Like playtime, grooming is something that most pets look forward to and it’s a bonding activity. Grooming your pet is also a great way to notice if something is off. Make sure their coat/skin is in good condition, nails are trimmed, eyes and ears are clean as well as maintaining good dental hygiene.

Your pets didn’t have a choice when they came to stay with you and since you chose to have them, it is your responsibility to meet their every need! Next week we will continue with the final part of this three-part series on the pet new year’s resolutions. Do better for your pets in 2024!

Do you have a New Year’s resolution for your pet?

WHEN YOU KNOW BETTER, DO BETTER!

Source: The Bulletin

Why Is Training Your Puppy Early So Important?

puppy

Image: Pixabay

Why Is Training Your Puppy Early So Important?

How does a puppy learn?

Happy, sociable, well-behaved puppies are every owner’s dream. However, you’ll have to put in the effort to get the best outcome, and it’s always wise to start training your furbaby when they’re still young and impressionable. They may have even had some basic toilet training and obedience training from their puppy raiser. But now that they’re home, the task is now yours to reinforce.

Puppies tend to learn very quickly, and as obvious as it might sound, they don’t learn what they’re not taught, so you’ll need to teach them how to behave right from the get-go. There’s a ton of literature and advice available on puppy training, and a quick web search should also point you to training courses that may be available in your area. Alternatively, your vet would also be the best person to advise you on the best training professionals and centres for your specific breed, or may even offer their own training resources.

What basics should you keep in mind?

Puppy training can be approached in many ways, and no two trainers will train a dog in exactly the same way. However, they will mostly agree on these few basic golden rules!

  • Positive reinforcement for good behaviour in dogs: If your puppy does a good thing, reward it. Puppies learn by associating their actions with your reactions. If they get a reward for doing something good, they’re more likely to do it again. However, you have to reward them quickly enough to make the connection — about one or two seconds. You can reward your pup with a treat or with praise, or both. You could also turn it into a game to help reinforce their positive behaviour.
  • Ignoring naughty behaviour in dogs: Sometimes your puppy will be naughty, and you’ll need to teach them what not to do. Certain behaviour, like chewing, is part of how they explore their new world. However, your pup won’t know what to chew and what not to chew. Rather than shouting at your puppy or smacking it when it chews the wrong thing, it’s best to ignore them. Just pretend they’re not there.
  • Saying “no” to protect them or others: Occasionally, your pup will do something potentially dangerous, like chewing on a live electric cord. In this case, you will have to intervene, but without shouting and corporal punishment. Interrupt the pup with the word “no” to get their attention. Then, when your pup stops and pays attention to you, reward it. Again, praise or a treat will help to reinforce what they should or shouldn’t be chewing on or playing with.
  • Keeping the training short and digestible: Puppies, like kids, have a short attention span, so it’s best to keep training sessions brief. It’s better to have five or six two-minute sessions per day than one longer session. You should also train your puppy in a variety of environments, for instance, both inside and outside the house, and on walks. Just make sure that your puppy is not distracted. Your pup will have a better chance of understanding your requests when you have its undivided attention.

Source: Hill’s Pet Nutrition