Tag Archives: pets

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

Caring for your cats

If you have a cat or cats and you think of them as part of your family then you would certainly not want to see them unhappy.  Having an unhappy can be both physical and emotional and this can lead to health problems if your cat is not taken care of the right way.

In this article I will touch a little on the areas that are considered to be important when it comes to keeping your cat healthy and living a longer life.  By following this guide it may also save you a few visits to the vet.

 

FEEDING

Cats need to be fed daily, times and quantity varies with kittens and adult cats. Obesity is one of the major factor of heart disease in cats as they get older so they need to be fed according to age and they do need extra supplements and nutrients just as us humans to prevent any health issues.  You can check with your veterinarian for advice on what to give them.

Kittens should be fed 4 times a day, small quantities of food per meal.  At 3 months old they should be fed 3 times a day, then from 6 months, 2 meals per day (morning and evening).     For Kittens wet food is preferred over dry, the softer the texture the easier it will be for them to swallow.  Adult cats will eat both but do make sure to always have water available to them.  Recommended for kittens are:


For Adult cats:


Dental Hygiene

A recent study shows that cats with poor dental hygiene and common forms of oral diseases have a higher rate of testing positive to other serious health problems.  Proper care should be taken to prevent diseases such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), which is the feline version of HIV and Feline Leukemia Virus (FELV).  Both FIV and FELV are highly contagious and could be spread from one cat to the other but humans cannot contract these diseases from cats.  By preventing this type of disease your cat can have a longer, healthier, happier life.

You should brush your cat’s teeth at least once a day.  If this cannot be done then at least once per week, but nothing less than that.  Apart from brushing your cat’s teeth, it is advisable to have your cat see the vet at least once a year for an annual cleaning to prevent tartar build up.   Certain types of toothpaste are available on the market.


Grooming

Cats are known to clean themselves by licking their coats.  Cats have a need to always be and stay clean, if any dirt gets on them you will see them quickly trying to lick it off.  As cat parents we need to do our part in helping them stay clean, trust me they will love you for it.  It’s also a time for bonding with your cat.   To get started you will need to get your cat relaxed by first petting her and stroking her on the head, behind her ears and especially on their cheeks which they love very much.  They will eventually get very calm and then you can start the grooming.  At first only set 5 to 10 minutes a day for a session and then gradually increase the time as your cat gets used to it.

Brushing or combing your cat’s coat will not only leave it clean but will also remove loose fur, dirt and will help in spreading natural oils evenly and will leave your cat tangle free and her skin clean and irritant-free.

For short-hair cats, brushing once a week should suffice and for long-hair cats you will need to brush every day.


Baths

Cats are not too fond of water but they can be trained and grow to like it if you start bathing your cat at an early age.  Older cats will be a little more of a struggle to get them into the water but with some patience you will get there.  Baths should be given when your cat’s coat becomes too oily or if they get themselves into something dirty by being outdoors.

Always use a shampoo that’s mild and safe to use on cats.


Follow these steps to give your cat a bath:

Brush your cat’s coat, to get rid of all loose and matted hair.
Place a rubber mat on the floor of your tub, bath or sink to prevent skidding.
Fill tub or sink with 3 to 4 inches of lukewarm water.
If you have a spray hose that will be better to use if not then an ordinary plastic cup will do, make sure you don’t get a lot of water in your cat’s ears and nose.
Use a cotton ball to wipe each eye to remove any discharge from the corners of the eyes, use separate cotton balls for each eye.
Gently massage in shampoo from head to tail.
Rinse thoroughly and repeat if necessary.
Pat dry your cat with a soft towel.
If you have a cat who refuses to let you bathe him then another alternative would be to use a Water-less cat shampoo.


Nail Clipping

This is not only done to keep your cat from ruining your furniture and clothes but will also help their sharp claws getting stuck to the carpet or elsewhere.  This can be very painful for them if the claws break.  Also nail clipping is a good idea if you have a cat who loves to knead you, am sure it will be more enjoyable for you if their claws weren’t so sharp! Before clipping your cat’s nails you have to make sure your cat is comfortable with you touching their feet.  So first you will need to do daily foot massages and gently rub their paws so that they can get accustom to this feeling.  After a week or two the chances are your cat will allow you to clip their nails with little to no fuss, here’s how to do it:

Gently apply pressure to the top of the paw, this will cause her to extend her claws.
Use sharp nail scissors or clippers to remove the white tip of the nail, just before the point where it begins to curl.
Extra care should be taken to avoid nipping the quick, which is the vein that runs through the nail. This is the pink area that can be seen through the nail.
If you do happen to cut this area it will bleed, you should have styptic powder on hand to apply to the area.



Nail clipping is highly recommended instead of declawing, which is a very painful procedure and sometimes do end up in your cat having other side effects.  More of Declawing can be found in another article.

Fleas and Ticks

By following these few guidelines you may be able to prevent fleas and ticks as well but if your cat is an outdoor cat they may be more prone to picking up these parasites.  It’s easy to know whether your cat has them or not, you will notice your cat scratching more than usual.  If this is the case you should use a flea comb and check at the back of the neck for any black dots.

Fleas and ticks can be treated with ointments, medication or special collars made for this purpose.  There’s a lot of choices on the market, whichever you choose to use, follow the instructions carefully and you should have no problems getting rid of them in no time.


Last but not least

Visits to the Vet

Please make sure to always have your cats vaccinated and be sure to take them to get a general check-up at least twice a year.  By doing this it will save you from spending more money for treating illnesses that can be prevented and/or detected early.

Being a cat parent is a big responsibility and we need to own up to this by making sure our cats are treated well, they are part of the family and they give us love, friendship, and even good health so we need to give back as well.  By following the basic steps above you should be able to keep a healthy cat for a number of years.

Do Follow:

How to stop your cat from clawing the furniture

 

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.

 

Allergic to cats?? What can you do…

Allergies can be a real pest especially if it’s to something we love very much.  For those of us who have the normal seasonal allergies being allergic to your cat too is very unfair, but have no despair there are ways we can minimize these symptoms but you have to be willing because it’s going to take some effort and time!

Normally People who don’t want cats are for reasons like they are not fond of them or can’t stand them at all so for the ones who adore and love them don’t let allergies be a reason to not have them around.  Here are some tips on how you can reduce the symptoms of allergies, just remember it’s not going to leave forever, these are just ways to better manage it.

  1. Wash your hands.  This is a general basic rule which one follows to keep the cold and flu away, the same rule applies to keep allergies at bay. Always wash your hands with soap and water after petting or playing with your cat. Avoid touching your nose, face or eyes before washing your hands, if you are not careful this can lead to itchy, watery eyes and sneezing.  Use an anti-bacterial soap for best results.
  2. Keep your cat clean.  Giving your cat a bath at least once a week can reduce the amount of allergens in your cats’ coat but we all know how cats feel about water, the best alternative is to use a well-known product to spray onto your cats’ coat to lessen the amount of allergens in the air.  Recommended product, click image below for more details.


3. Keep cats off the bed and furniture.  As much as we love our cats and want them close to us at all times this has to be stopped or at least keep them away until you get some relief.  Having them on the bed will only make breathing harder rolling around in cat dander! To be safe wash all bedding at least once a month.
4. Keep cats in one area.  Make a special area in your house where your cat can stay at all times.  This will better control and keep allergens confined to one area in the house and will leave cleaning up a lot easier.
5. Clean area often.  Vacuuming should be done at least twice a week to keep cat dander away.  Allergens are very small particles which can be hidden in all the small crevices and corners of your home.  All carpets, rugs, curtains and furniture should be cleaned thoroughly. 

Another effective way to keep your home cat dander free is by using a vapor steamer. This has been proven to kill off any cat protein or dander lodged into your carpets and upholstery. You can also check vacuums for your pet for more options


By following these steps and keeping at it on a routine basis may help to alleviate your symptoms and make it easier being around and keeping your cat. If you don’t own a cat because of allergies now you can go ahead and get one.

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.

Do Follow:

 Allergic to cats?  What can you do….