Tag Archives: animals

Man transforms his house into sanctuary for 300 cats

https://nypost.com/2018/02/05/man-transforms-his-house-into-sanctuary-for-300-cats/

Meet the man who transformed his home into a haven for 300 cats complete with hammocks, heated perches and roast chicken dinners for the pampered residents.

Chris Arsenault, 58, opened his cat sanctuary to cope with the grief of losing his son and has devoted his life to rescuing and caring for abandoned kitties.

The retired train conductor has given his entire house and garden to his feline friends – apart from his small 8-by-12-foot bedroom where he sleeps and eats.

And Arsenault spends his days refilling water bowls, mucking out litter trays, mopping floors and rustling up roast chicken dinners for his furry friends.

Arsenault, who lives in Medford, New York, said: “I don’t find it overwhelming even though there are 300 cats now.

“I truly believe that if you are passionate about something you can handle anything. I really love what I do.

“My house, it’s a big house and there’s a big backyard area. Everything is kitted out for the cats. I designed and build it all myself.

“For me, safety and hygiene have been a priority.

“I have to be able to clean everything, wash everything down.

“The floors are vinyl and the walls are covered in plastic sheeting. Outside, it’s all concrete so it is easy to hose it down.

“I have my own space in the house in the boiler room. I’ve built my own bathroom in there, and I have a little area where I have a microwave, a toaster oven and a sink.

“It’s hard to keep the cats out of there at night, and a few seem to sneak in no matter what I do.”

The Happy Cat sanctuary, founded in 2006, is funded out of Arsenault’s pocket as well as donations from the public.

In 2016 it cost $101,000 to maintain, including $80,000 for animal food and utilities and $21,000 on medicine and veterinary care.

Arsenault, who gets up at 7 a.m. each day to care for the cats, decided to open the sanctuary’s doors after he found “a colony” of sick kittens on the side of a railway track.

The discovery came months after losing his son Eric, 24, in a motorcycle accident on Long Island’s Cross Island Parkway.

Arsenault said: “My son passed away on May 18, 2006, how could you ever forget the day? It changed my life.

“A couple of months after Eric died, I found a cat colony down by the tracks. I was a train conductor for New Jersey Transit at the time.

“There were 30 little kittens and I could tell they were sick. I knew if I left them there they would die so I brought them home with me.

“I am a real animal lover. When I was a kid, I had rabbits and gerbils and dogs, you name it. Animals have always been my passion.

“After my son died, those cats gave me something to do.”

In the years that followed, he contacted local animal charities and shelters and began adopting more and more cats, until the population had swelled to 300.

The sanctuary has a policy to spay and neuter all cats who enter it and Arsenault seeks veterinary care when he can’t treat ailing animals himself.

He said: “Every day I have to treat the sick cats too.

“To keep control of this, I use colored paper collars.

“Depending on their illness, I treat them with different medications, and if it’s something I can’t fix, I make sure the cat gets to the vet.

“Last year I spent $22,000 on vet bills for the cats. I have every cat that enters the sanctuary neutered or spayed.”

Despite the challenges, the dad-of-two says he is proud of the sanctuary he’s built for cats who would have been euthanized without his efforts.

He added: “When I open my bedroom door, there are about 50 or 60 cats waiting for me.

“Most of these cats were abused or abandoned when they came to the sanctuary, so it’s been really a really rewarding thing to be able to give them a home and a place they feel safe.”

Credit to New York Post
By SWNS

Travelling with your cat

Travelling With your Cat

If you are an outdoor person or someone who likes to travel for leisure or even workwise, you may not think of carrying your cat with you but sometimes we may not be as fortunate to have a cat-sitter and then there are some of us who consider our cats to be part of the family and will not want to leave them out!!  If you are thinking about travelling with your cat, it is possible and here you will find a few tips on how to go about doing it.

Choosing an Airline

If you are travelling by air your first step would be choosing an airline that will allow you to travel with your pet.  Once that is done then you will have to find out that specific airline’s pet policies, restrictions and so forth.  Pets are allowed to travel on a commercial airline as checked baggage cargo, as manifest cargo or in-cabin.  In-cabin is the best option for you and your pet, this way you will be able to keep an eye on them throughout the flight.  This option allows for you to stow the carrier under your seat.

The carrier in which is to be used will be specific by the airline, size may vary so make sure to find out the correct dimensions.


Checked Baggage cargo or Manifest cargo

Again you will need to find out which airline accepts Checked Baggage cargo.  Most airlines accept Manifest cargo where your cat will be stored in the cargo hole in a special sized crate. This option is mostly used when you are not accompanying your pet.  We will learn more about this in another article.  When you choose your carrier you will then have to get your cat used to going into it.  This is where planning in advance comes in, by training your cat to go into the carrier even when you are not actually going anywhere will make it a lot easier on the actual day of travelling.  Some ways to do this are:

Give them treats when they go into their carrier without a fuss
Put a catnip toy in the carrier so they will be encouraged to go in
Try putting something belonging to you in the carrier so that they will get your scent and feel more comfortable.
If your cat still doesn’t want to go in, the last alternative would be to use a cat calmer on the day of travelling. Cat calmer is a natural relaxer which will keep your cat calm for several hours.  Perfect if you have a long flight.


After choosing your airline and getting your right size carrier the next step would be to find out what is your destination’s requirements for pets.  Where will you be staying? Is it pet friendly? Do they allow pets?  These are questions you need to find answers to, a pet friendly hotel or bed and breakfast or whatever you choose to stay at.  Next, wherever your destination, there will be certain requirements specific to that country.  Documents will be needed which will have information about the health of your pet.  The most serious of health cases in most countries is rabies so most likely your cat will need to be vaccinated.  These documents also known as a Pet Passport which is attainable by any veterinarian will have to be handed over to officials at the airport.  Best way to keep your documents are in a waterproof pouch or case.
Okay! So now we are all set with where we are going and how we are getting there.  The next step would be packing!

What to Pack

Your cat is part of the family so just think of it as packing for an extra member.  You will need the basic essentials like:

Food and water. It’s always better to be prepared.  Choose what is easier and more convenient for you.  You will need to do more research on where you will be staying if there are any nearby pet stores available for you to purchase food there and be sure they have the same pet food your cat eats.  We don’t want to be changing your cat’s diet because there will be a chance that your cat will refuse to eat.  If it’s not available then you will need to pack extra food.  Bottle water is recommended to be used both for you and your pet.  This can be purchased to limit the weight of your baggage.  Food and water bowls is a must.  Try to keep the feeding routine the same as when you are home because cats on the hold just doesn’t like it when things change.
Litter Box. You will need to pack a litter box as well, because your cat will already be used to it.  A folding travel/portable litter box will be ideal and again don’t change the litter to anything other than what he is used to.  This is also perfect to use if your cat needs the toilet at the airport.  Just put some cat litter in a few Ziploc bags, go into the washroom choose a corner, the litter box doesn’t require a lot of space, put the litter in and your cat will be comfortable to go off when he needs to.  Please discard litter into trash and wash the tray out.  Be considerate to other travellers and don’t wash the litter down the sink.Disposable litter pads will also be useful when your cat is in his carrier.  It will keep the carrier fresh and odor free.


Identification Tags. We all need to keep ourselves and our pet safe, so we need to also be prepared.  If for some reason your cat gets lost an identification tag will be very helpful.  Information like your cell phone # or the # at the hotel you will be staying at will be best if someone should find him.


Cat Harness. You will need a harness if you want to do outdoor activities with your cat, remember this is a vacation for everyone so you can’t exclude him and leave him at the hotel!    Also, do more homework on the different restaurants and café’s that are nearby to make sure they will allow pets to enter their institution.


Cat Bed. This is optional, if you don’t want your cat sleeping on the same bed as you and you want to limit the amount of cat hair on the furniture to make cleaning easier, a cat bed would be a good choice.  You may want to get a small cat pad or bed to take up little space because most rooms in hotels and bed/breakfast are small.  If you already have a cat bed at home it will be wise to get a smaller one that is easy to clean.


Toys.  Your cat will need some toys to keep him occupied while you are engaged in other things, or if you want to have some bonding time with your cat.  Just pack one or two, you don’t need a lot.


Medication.  If your cat is taking any medication do remember to pack it.
Extra sheets and towels. This will be needed just in case of any mishaps your cat may have in the hotel room.  Always better to be prepared.  You may want to cover the furniture with the sheets to keep it clean.
A brush. Your cat will need to be groomed during your stay.
How to keep your cat safe and happy.

Travelling with your cat can be a task, but if you prepare in advance and follow the right procedure then things can be easier.  If you are travelling in a car with your cat be sure to not leave your cat locked in the car even if you think it’s for a short period of time.  Always make sure that the temperature in your vehicle is not too cold or hot, if you are feeling comfortable then sure enough they will be too.  Always keep an eye on your cat at all times, there may be others looking at your cat and they may want to snatch him away.

Keep feeding schedules the same as home as I mentioned above.  Once your kitty has the same routine of eating, sleeping and playing, they will adapt better to the surroundings.

Find the nearest veterinary clinic and keep the contact numbers on hand in case of any emergency.

By following these simple steps I hope it will make it easier for you to travel with your feline friend.

Anyone who has travelled with their cat and would like to share pictures and their experiences I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment in the comment box.

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Caring for your cats

 

How to stop your cat from clawing the furniture

Scratching is a natural activity for cats so clawing on household furniture and furnishings is not destructive behavior in their point of view. It’s natural for them and it is their way of keeping their claws in shape and it’s also a way of communicating territory boundaries to other cats and animals. Clawing leaves visual and scent markings on the object. Scratching is also a source of exercise for cats, by doing this they stretch and retract their shoulders, legs and paws.

By following these steps it may be possible to protect your furniture and other household items:

Be patient and understanding. Cats love their human companions and will try their best to please them once they know they have support and are praised. Overtime with a fair amount of repeated practice your cat will learn to leave the furniture alone and find alternatives to scratch on.
Purchase at least one scratching post or other apparatus. When purchasing    any  scratching post consider a few things first; look for one that is the same height as your cat and not too heavy, make sure it’s sturdy so that it wouldn’t topple over when your cat puts pressure or leans on it. Some cats prefer a horizontal scratching area like a carpet so place the scratching post in a way to match your cat likeness, this way they will be more likely to use it. Whatever you choose, avoid anything fluffy. A scratching post is usually like a tree bark, rough and coarse.
Where to place your cat’s scratching post. You must have an idea of all the furniture and household items your cats like to scratch so place the scratching post next to these items. If your cat scratches more than one item it may be best to have more than one scratching post, especially if you have more than one cat or if you live in a large house. Placing the scratching post next to the cat’s favorite sofa or chair will make it even more enticing.
Train your cat to use the scratching post. Like anything else your cat will find this to be a strange object so you will have to show your cat how to use it. Whenever you see your cat scratching any furniture, gently place him in front or on the scratching post depending on the position it is in. Gently stroke your cat until he responds to the post. Every time your cat uses the scratching post praise him with gentle strokes or a treat.


Do Follow:

How to keep your cat occupied while you are at work.

 

Getting a Kitten? Here is how to get started

There is nothing better than having a kitten to liven up your home.  These sweet adorable furballs will have you and your guests entertained.  If you have kids they will be the best playmates for them and it will also help your kids learn to take care and build their skills of having the responsibility of another living creature.  If you are wondering how to get started and what you need to be able to take care of your first cat, you have come to the right place.   What you will need to get started:

  • A Special Area in your house
    Your kitten will need their own little area to be in, this will not only be for their comfort and benefit but it will also make cleaning up a lot easier for you.  Wherever you choose to place your kitten, be sure to have a window for enough sunlight to enter and for your kitten to be able to see outside.  A window perch will be perfect if your budget allows for it, here are some recommended products, click images for more detail
  • A Litter Box
    This is a must if you don’t want to have cat poop all over the house!  Your kitten will have to get used to his litter box just like everything else and he will have to learn how to use it.  It may take some time for him to get it right but with a little help from his owners it may be much sooner.  He will find a spot that you will notice he is always using as his poop area, place the litter box in that spot.  If he refuses to use the litter box then you may have to change the type of litter brand.  Cats tend to have their own preference when coming to what they poop in!
    Litter boxes come in various shapes and sizes and there are a lot of options to choose from.
  • Food and Water Bowls
    Yes you need these.  Food and water should be in separate bowls and when choosing the bowls make sure it’s the right size for your kitten or cat.  Stainless steel and ceramic bowls are much preferred over plastic because it is easier to clean and also because the plastic tends to host bacteria and fungi.  It also causes cat acne.    Wash bowls everyday to keep them clean and bacteria free.
  • Bedding
    Cats love to sleep!  When choosing a bed for your cat make sure it’s very soft and comfortable because this is where they will spend most of their time.  Having a bed for your cat doesn’t mean that he will not find other places to sleep, like on top your bed or your couch.  If you want to keep him on his own bed then you will have to choose a bed that he will not want to part with.  There are many options to choose from.
  • Toys, Toys and more Toys 
    Kittens love to play, indoors and out.  If you let your kitten outside they will find lots of things to keep them entertained and will run after nearly everything down to a leaf!  But indoors you would want to have special toys for them not only for you to  bond with your pet but to also help with their development and skills.
    See also article on How to keep your cat occupied while you are at work for more options.
  • Grooming 
    Taking care of your cat and making sure he looks good may take some time but it’s also bonding time for both of you.  Grooming is an essential part to your kitty’s start in having a healthy and happy life.  A few things you will need to get started are:A stainless steel comb
    A bristle brush 
    A flea Comb 
    A nailclipper designed for cats 
  • Scratching Posts/Furniture
    Scratching and clawing on furniture is a cat’s way of stretching his muscles and it’s their way of claiming territory, in other words there is no way to prevent them from doing it so in order to keep them off your furniture and to start off with a good relationship with your pet you should invest in a scratching post.   Recommended reading article on how to stop your cat from clawing the furniture will give you some good ideas and tips.
  • Cat Collars and Carriers
    Cat Collars are good for both indoor and outdoor pets.  It’s a safe way of keeping your cat close to you and also it should contain an identification tag.   Cat collars are also a cute way of personalizing their looks.
    A Carrier is a must when you have to travel with your pet.  By no means try to carry your pet to the vet in a vehicle without a carrier!  Nothing is worse than having a scared kitten jumping around in your vehicle.
  • A visit to the vet
    Depending on where you get your new kitten/cat, it’s a good idea to find out when was their last visit to the vet or if it all.  If not then it will be a good idea to carry your kitten for a check-up to make sure everything is good and when they will be needing any vaccinations or for any other health advice.

These are just a few things to get you started in preparing for that big day!  You don’t want to have to be running around like a fish out of water the night you bring your new kitten home to realise that you don’t have one of these items.

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 Allergic to cats?  What can you do….