Nothing to say, everything to watch.
Nothing to say, everything to watch.
Outside cats live for a much shorter time than indoor cats simply because they are exposed to different dangers they would never have been exposed to by remaining indoors. However, that is mostly meant for free roaming cats, not ones we let out occasionally under a controlled environment. But even then, we would have to deal with fleas, ticks or maybe other parasites just to let our cats out for a little while in the backyard. We don't want to see our cats cooped up, bored and depressed. So here are some ways in which we can let them have some freedom while drastically reducing the chances of an accident or parasites getting on them.
In the event that your cat might escape, no matter how careful you are with outside enclosures, make sure they have a collar with their information on it. That way if someone finds them, they can call you and your pet will be returned. Some people like chip implants so the cat doesn't have to wear a collar (which some of them hate wearing). It's a good idea and it's easy for the vet or shelter to scan and identify them so they can notify you where your cat is being held.
Vaccinations are important, as they not only protect your cat, but other cats and humans as well. Certain vets or even stores have clinics for vaccinations that are cheaper than usual. The Vetco website can show you where there are clinics in certain states, or you can look up your local locations or pet stores for them.
You should also spay or neuter your cat so they don't get pregnant or create more outside cats in the process. It might still be a good idea if you're keeping them indoors, unless you really want kittens, because they will probably find a way out anyway. And plus, it helps to stop males from spraying, at least most of the time.
If you have a nicely sized yard, a fence could be a good option, as it gives your kitty a lot of room to play in and they can be free to run and really enjoy themselves. It can be expensive though, unless you already have one, and they need to be erected high enough so the cats can't jump out and escape. As a general rule, cats can jump 5 times their body height, so we're talking about 5 feet high, more or less.
You also don't want the fence to be made of a material that the cat can claw their way out of. Their claws can latch onto just about anything, so a wooden fence might be the better option, versus a chain link fence. Make sure they can't find a vulnerable area to squeeze through either. If you're concerned about parasites, you can give your cat a flea/tick medication ahead of time, and also check them once a week or so. You don't want them on your pet, nor on yourself or in the house either.
You can buy a huge cage to put your cats in so they can enjoy the outdoors and get some fresh air without them stepping onto the grass. This way there is less chance for them to attract parasites or escape the yard. The shelves can be adjusted to change things up and some have a mini hammock for the cat/s to lay on.
They also have some fancy net enclosures that allow your cat to walk around, surrounded in a net/mesh material. However, the bottom might not protect the cats from parasites, though it does allow them to smell the grass and eat it if it comes up through the mesh. They also have hammocks your cats can sleep on just like the cages. These can be more expensive than cages, but allow more freedom for your cat and little canopies that provide shade for them.
If you don't mind that your cat goes wondering close by, you can install a flap on the bottom of the door for the cat to go in and out as it desires. You can let them leave to go outside or onto a screened porch just to get some fresh air. A possible downside to this is that another animal could get in if it leads out to the yard directly.
You can walk your cat just like you would walk a baby, in a stroller. This stroller is enclosed, of course, and gives your cat some fresh air and sights while staying safe. You both get outside time together while they remain shielded from the sun and parasites.
You might even be able to train your cat to walk with you on a leash, but good luck with that, as most cats will put up a really good fight, especially indoor cats that don't go outside a lot. It would be easier if you start this when they are a kitten so they get used to it. They might try to get out of a basic collar, but you can also buy a harness that fits onto their body so they can't escape.
Carriers are a lot like strollers, just without the wheels and you have to carry your cat around. They are especially good for taking your pet to the vet so they can see what's happening around them, although that may not be a good thing necessarily. But in terms of just getting outside, you can carry your cat to the park or backyard and sit there with them.
All of these things could also work for small dogs, and they do have the same kind of products. This article focuses more on cats though, because they can be more fussy and get stressed more easily outside than dogs, if they are not used to it. So with this information, you can decide what is best for you and your cat, depending on the situation. Good luck!
Ferrets are part of the weasel genus and are such fun and energetic pets to have around. They are usually brown and black with white around the face, but there are also multicolored or white ferrets as well. They have been domesticated for 2,500 years or more and live for 7-10 years.
Ferrets are very mischievous and their name actually means 'little thief' because they hide things around the house. They spend most of the day sleeping, are are most active at dawn and in the evening. They prefer to sleep in enclosed areas and can be territorial, and if there is another pet or ferret around, they might mark spots with urine. However, they're very social, so it might be a good idea to have more than one around.
They love to play and are very curious, doing hops sideways, jumping and leaping to let you know they want to play. Ferrets can make little noises like clucking sounds or hissing or squeaking when scared or upset. They are definitely unique pets to have and will keep you amused constantly.
Ferrets need to eat frequently and they can be fed a high quality dry cat food or food labeled 'ferret food' at pet stores. Some pet owners want to keep them close to nature, so they will feed them dead or even alive prey, like rabbits and mice. They can be picky eaters in terms of dry food and can't digest plant matter very well. You can feed them cooked chicken (without bones), fruits like bananas, grapes, and melons, meaty baby foods, and no grain cat food.
There are certain health conditions which threaten ferrets, such as cancer, the flu, and canine distemper. They also can have dental problems and get hairballs, as well as carry a genetic defect that can make them deaf. Regular vet visits and keeping an eye on their teeth are good ideas.
Having ferrets as pets is illegal in certain places around the world, including Australia (although one territory requires a license), New Zealand, California (neutered males might be allowed), Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Washington D.C., New York City, and most military bases. Permits are needed in Rhode Island, and a microchip ID tag is needed in Brazil.
Different countries/cities have different rules, because ferrets are considered wild animals still, and they can cause damage to native animal populations. They should be kept in a cage at night so they don't cause any problems or escape. You can let them out once you can keep an eye on them. If you are going to travel with your pet ferret, you should find out what that state or country's rules are.
Despite being tricky, naughty little things, it's also what makes ferrets so cute. They are very social, active, and need lots of attention and interaction. It would be wise, however, to keep a very close eye on ferrets when they are interacting with children who are 6 and younger. Also, they should be introduced to other pets very slowly to avoid any aggression on either side.
If you are considering purchasing a ferret, you can read more here. If you live alone, they can be a loving and amusing pet, and can even get along with other pets. Go check one out in a pet store and maybe they'll let you hold one so you can get an idea of what they're like!
Let's find out :)
How amazing are parakeets? Find out in this PBS video where you will discover all the amazing things about parakeets:
Words could never convey the swwon factor of this video! Enjoy these awesome little German Shephards in their element, just being cute little pups!
Buying/adopting a bird as a pet comes with many responsibilities, much more than a cat or a dog. There will be an array of things to consider when a bird is in your care. So let's get started...
You might already be acquiring a cage along with your new bird if you're adopting one, but if not, cages can get pretty expensive. Obviously, the larger the bird, the bigger the cage and the more money you will be spending. There are cages that can go up to $2,000 or more, so you may want to consider this when choosing the size of your bird. They need a nice amount of room to move around in if that's where they're going to spend their lives.
Cages will need to be cleaned at certain times, depending on how dirty they are getting. Most of the small cages can be cleaned by separating the cage from the bottom, but big cages are not so easy. The big ones do indeed have a tray to pull out from under the floor bars, which catches a lot of debris and feces. However, bird poop will still get on the bars, and that is unavoidable. So if the bird bites, you will have to remove them sometimes to be able to clean the bars as well.
Smaller cages are easy and just need their trays cleaned mostly, and some people will lay down a paper sheet so all they have to do is lay down a clean one. Make sure that whatever paper you are using is safe for birds to have in their mouths, because they WILL be shredding it. They love to taste things and also destroy things, creating quite a mess. But they are so cute, so we will deal with it.
You must pay attention to a bird's physical condition at all times. Make sure their beak is not cracked for any reason or deformed in any way. Their beak is extremely important for a variety of things, including eating and grabbing onto things.
As with other pets, their nails must be trimmed to avoid difficulties in perching or getting their nails caught on something. To be safe, you should only cut the tips off. If the nail is cut too short, it will bleed and the bird can actually bleed to death from this. You should always have a styptic powder on hand, like Kwik Stop, which can also be used on other pets. If you are unsure how to cut a bird's nails, ask your Vet to show you, or someone you know who is more experienced with birds.
The decision to have your bird's wings clipped is up to you. If you don't want them accidentally escaping and flying away, this is probably a good idea. You also don't want them flying into things like windows or ceiling fans. But if everything is safe around you and you keep a good eye on them at all times, it might not even be an issue.
Birds love to take baths or be sprayed with water, so you can set a shallow dish of water out that's big enough for them to splash in or spray them with warm water. Usually it's the large birds, like parrots, that enjoy a spray or mist. Some birds enjoy this daily, while others prefer bathing on a weekly basis. Observe their behavior and you will know how often to do it. They might get cold though, so keep your house warm or, if they are not scared of it, you can use a hair dryer to dry them. Make sure it's on the lowest heat and you move it around so the heat is not concentrated, because some birds have been burned like that.
Different birds like different foods, but two things they all have in common are seeds and fruit. But it's always a good idea to give them a variety of foods, including vegetables, so they are not bored with the same things. Pet stores will have a pellet or seed mix that is formulated to provide what your bird needs in their diet. That should be their main diet, then vegetables, then fruits and seeds.
Birds can have most fruits and vegetables and seed sticks from the store to chew on, but there are some foods they should never have. When in doubt, make sure to look it up to be safe. Some of the foods on the danger list include chocolate, fruit pits, onions, avocado, and mushrooms. Write them down if you must and keep the paper around so that you and your family know what not to give them.
Lastly, always make sure they have fresh water and the snacks you give them do not stay in the cage for too long and become contaminated or spoiled. And always wash their dishes daily with hot soapy water as well.
Birds love to chew on things and tear them apart, causing a lot of damage. It's a good idea to get them toys to focus on instead of other things you might value, if they roam the house frequently. This also prevents boredom and they can actually have fun with toys.
Large birds love ropes to swing on, big branches, or stands to perch and swing on. Small birds like little toys you can buy at the store like swings and ladders. They all love things that hang, so they can climb onto them and swing or just hang there.
Always be interactive with you bird. You can play with hand fed ones, kiss them and pet them too. If you plan on getting a parrot, some may bite, but you can still try different things to amuse them. African greys are the best talkers, so you can teach them how to say a word by repeating it over and over. It won't take long as they are extremely smart and inquisitive. Other birds like the cockatoo can talk too, but not as well, and with a much smaller vocabulary. They are both very good with mimicking sounds.
Cons Of Owning A Bird
Birds are great pets to have around, they're very amusing, and also provide you with a long time companion who is great company. But there are some negatives to be considered before adopting.
First, if you have bad allergies or asthma, it may not even be healthy for you to have a bird for a pet. Birds have feather dust that can go all over the place when they flap their wings or swing on toys. You may always have to take allergy medications, but asthma is worse, so you definitely have to take that into consideration.
Second, parrots can be particularly destructive to anything they can get their beaks on if you want them to spend time out of the cage. If you want to keep your nice furniture, rugs, etc., you must keep a constant eye on them to make sure they stay unaffected.
Third, parrots can be very loud when they want to be, or when they are frustrated at something and acting up. If you have close neighbors, you might get complaints on the noise. In that case, you may want to look at a smaller bird.
And finally, birds are very sensitive to chemicals, sprays, teflon coated anything (including cooking in teflon pans), smoke, etc. If you use hairspray and they are in close proximity, that could be a problem. If you are cleaning with chemicals, that too could be dangerous, so at the least make sure all the windows are open and you are using the least harsh cleaning product that you can. Also, you would have to smoke outside so they aren't affected by it.
All in all, birds are beautiful, smart, talkative, amusing pets to have. If you can deal with all the cleaning, specialty foods/snacks, potentially higher vet bills for bird specialists, and the noise they can create, and you can keep them safe, they are well worth it. Hand fed birds are especially loving and more well behaved, but they are more expensive as well. Good luck with your new bird love!
We all love our pets and would want them to stay active and healthy all their lives. However, just like humans, the needs and requirements of a pet change as they age. Apart from experiencing various health problems, older pets also exhibit certain changes in their behavior. To help your pet stay happy, healthy and vital, take a look at some of the tips listed below.
Tips For Senior Pet Care
1. Regular Veterinary Checkups - Regular exams can help alert you when something is not right with your pet. It allows the vet to recognize and treat pet issues before they become a major health concern.
2. Proper Diet - Since most elderly pets are less active, it is recommended that you feed them with a low-calorie food or food that can be easily digested. Include supplements in your pet’s diet after consulting your veterinarian.
3. Physical Exercise - Helping your senior pets stay physically active will help them maintain a healthy body weight and stay away from various health issues. Taking dogs for a walk or playing with cats every day can provide great benefits.
4. Mental Stimulation - Stimulating your aged pet's mind with games or toys will not only keep their body and mind working, but also keep them young at heart.
5. Comfortable Beds - Buying an orthopedic bed for your aged pet will give them a restful surface they can lie on and stay comfortable all day.
Pets are a man’s best friend. Taking care of them in their old age can increase their life span and help them stay comfortable during their last remaining years. You can read more at http://www.petmd.com/regularcheckups.