Why felines mark their territory

Why felines mark their territory

 Felines are truly amazing creatures!!  We are frequently asked how difficult it is to litter box-train a young kitten.  Our answer is that kittens really litter box train themselves!!  When raised in a secure, loving home environment, kittens learn by watching their mother use her litter box, and she also encourages her young kittens to use a litter box once they have started the weaning process and are beginning to eat solid foods.  Up until that time, the mother cat takes care of keeping her kittens clean.  When starting young kittens off with a litter box, be sure the first box is small enough for the kittens to easily climb in and out, and use only a small amount of plain clay litter (non clumping, as most young kittens go through a stage of eating and munching on their litter) at first. It is a natural instinct for cats to bury and be extremely clean in all their elimination habits — in fact, cats in the wild will bury their feces and urine to help ensure their survival by not leaving their scent which might attract predators.  Wild cats will also sometimes leave their feces purposefully to define the perimeters of their territory and as a warning to potential intruders.  The point is, felines always have a reason for what they do with their urine and fecal eliminations, and they also have several other ways to “mark” their territory – “marking territory ” is one of the most important ways in which cats communicate with other cats and with humans.

For house cats who suddenly start eliminating inappropriately in the home, the very first thing to rule out is any medical cause.   FUS (Feline Urological Syndrome), which can include such conditions as cystitis, blockage of the urethra, and urethritis, can all cause your kitty great pain when urinating or trying to urinate.  This can lead to your kitty associating that pain with the litter box, and simply refusing to use it.  Taking your kitty in to your vet for a checkup and testing for FUS is a must before looking any further for the sudden change in your kitty’s litter box habits.

It is also important to realize that cats can use their urine, feces and their scratching marks as a means of “marking” what they consider to be “their” territory.   Cats “mark” in a variety of interesting ways, and it is thought that felines have developed their communication system by marking as a means to greatly reduce the amount of actual face-to-face confrontation between cats and thereby increase their chances for survival.   There is also another form of communicating by marking from cats – marking by head rubbing.

 MARKING BY HEAD RUBBING  

Have you ever noticed that your kitty may enjoy rubbing his face onto your leg or face??   Or, how your kitty may rub his face against your furniture, table legs, or cabinets??   Normally, this type of marking is done by a feline to express contentment, and mimics the friendly, comforting type of marking that cats will do in their nest in the wild.  People are usually marked by cats with their forehead, while furniture and other inanimate objects are marked by the sides of their cheeks and their chins.  Cats are most likely to rub someone that they know, and if a cat is not quite comfortable coming up to someone, they may end up rubbing against a nearby table, slowly working their way up to actually head rubbing the newcomer.  This type of communication by marking is usually enjoyed by both the feline and their human family.

 MARKING BY SCRATCHING  

 Many people do not realize that cats also can use scratching as a method of marking, or communicating.   Felines actually have sweat glands in their paw pads, and when they scratch against furniture, fences, and other vertical objects, they are actually rubbing their own scent from those glands onto the object to mark their territory.  The vertical scratch marks also leave a visible mark for other cats to see as well as smell, and the cat will reach up and scratch downward as an indication of how big he is.  The higher the markings, the bigger the animal (translates to tougher the competition!) will seem to another cat.  Where a cat chooses to scratch is going to be determined in part by whether the cat is a vertical or a horizontal scratcher.  Horizontal scratchers will tend to prefer chair cushions, carpets, rugs, and other flat surfaces. Felines usually scratch in rather predictable places – favorites are commonly used entrances and exits to the home; the main front door entrance; favorite sleeping areas; and any boundary that they feel is being “challenged” in some way.

Cats also scratch to groom their claws, and remove old skin and claw sheaths.   Usually, cats who scratch primarily for this reason will scratch in the same spot, vs. cats who scratch in numerous locations, and especially near doors and windows.   This latter behavior is much more likely to be that of a feline marking territory.   One of the best solutions for cats who scratch in the home is to provide them with a good, sturdy, tall piece of cat furniture, preferably one that provides a variety of vertical scratching surfaces such as carpet, wood and sisal rope.   You will want to be sure that the posts of the cat furniture do allow your cat to stretch fully for scratching. You may also want to provide some cat toys with horizontal scratching surfaces.  By observing your feline carefully for several days, you can probably determine the best locations in your home for placing the cat furniture and the special horizontal scratching toys.

 URINE MARKING AND SPRAYING 

Okay, here is one of the most troublesome forms of marking that cats can do.  Remember, if your kitty should suddenly stop using his litter box, the first thing to do is take him in to your vet for a checkup to rule out FUS (Feline Urological Syndrome).  FUS is an extremely common cause of inappropriate litter box behavior in cats.

T here is a major difference between urine “marking” and urine “spraying” in cats.   Both are done deliberately by a cat, and are used to deliver a specific message, usually a message intended for other cats long after the sender is gone.  Urine spraying is done by a cat backing up against a vertical surface such as a wall or curtain drapes, and spraying their urine against the surface while in a standing position.  Urine marking is done with a cat in a squatting position, causing the urine to squirt onto a horizontal surface.  The reason cat urine has such a powerful odor is that there is a fatty ingredient in the cat’s urine which allows it to cling to surfaces and objects, and also causes the strong smell.  Un-neutered male tom cats have urine that is especially pungent and unpleasant.  Contrary to popular belief, BOTH male and female cats can spray and mark with their urine.

W hen dealing with a cat who is spraying or marking by urine, and you’ve ruled out any medical reason for this behavior, your next step is to try to figure out the cause of the behavior.  Stress is one of the leading causes for naturally fastidiously clean cats to start marking or spraying with their urine.  By marking their home/territory with their own scent, this creates a sense of comfort and security to the cat.  Some very common causes of stress for a cat may include smelling or seeing outdoor animals such as other visiting cats, or even birds, skunks, squirrels, dogs, or any other outdoor and/or unfamiliar animals.  Moving to a new house, or changes with the home such as redecorating, home renovations or construction, the addition or loss of new family members (including babies and other pets) – even changes in your work schedule or daily habits can all be extremely stressful to a cat.  Felines like their world to be very consistent, and changes within their world may cause them to feel their territory is being challenged or is in jeopardy.

U rine marking is frequently done by whole males and whole females to attract a mate.   Having your male kitty neutered or your female kitty spayed should take care of this problem.  If your cat sees a visiting outdoor cat through the window, he may spray on the window sills or even on the curtains to the window.  Sometimes, a cat will urinate on anything new that comes in to the home, such as suitcases, shopping bags, etc., that have a new smell.  Cats who are highly territorial may feel the need to mark this new smell with their own smell.  Cats can also mark or spray in hostility or defiance over a stranger coming in to the home and “over-staying” (in the cat’s opinion).  The cat may jump onto the bed after a visitor has been there to mark over that person’s smell.

If you have a cat that is already fixed yet is still spraying, this may be a sign of the cat feeling overcrowded (especially in a multi-cat home), and/or having an aggressive behavior towards other cats.  Even if all your cats seemingly get along well together, it is important to remember that spraying and marking are done very deliberately by cats, and ALWAYS for a very specific reason – they are trying to communicate that something is wrong (from THEIR perspective).


 FECAL MARKING  

This is a much less common form of marking than urine marking.  Sometimes, if a cat feels a need to be noticed, it might leave a pile of feces exposed to try to achieve that.  There is a strong odor associated with the feces, which the cat identifies as its own smell.  If the feces are left next to a litter box, it is probably a signal to you that something is wrong with the litter box itself … from the cat’s point of view … (i.e., box isn’t clean enough; location is wrong; litter type is not to the cat’s liking; litter box type is not to the cat’s liking).  If the cat is using fecal marking to express displeasure (such as protesting a new boyfriend that the cat doesn’t like, etc.), it will usually leave the feces close to the area of protest (such as the bed in which the boyfriend last slept, etc.).  Fecal marking is more likely to occur with cats that spend all or part of their time outdoors, and with cats who have previously lived as strays.

 SOLUTIONS TO INAPPROPRIATE MARKING BEHAVIORS  

If your kitty is marking by urine or feces, here are some things to consider and try.  First of all, rule out any medical problems.  Next, be sure your cat is fixed.  Keep things as simple and stress-free as possible in your home for your kitty.  Try to ensure that your cat feels that he can predict what will happen each day.  When you must make changes at home, be sure to do them gradually, and provide a lot of time and support to your cat while going through these changes.  In serious cases, there are anti-anxiety medications that can be prescribed for cats.  We prefer the use of the natural pheromone spray called “Feliway” which you can get from your vet, or from local pet and feed stores, which can be very calming to cats and reduce their urge to spray and mark.   The newer plug-in version (see the “Comfort Zone” picture and link at bottom of page) is even easier and more effective; one plug-in lasts 30 days.

Do NOT declaw your kitty!!   De-clawing can lead to other behavior problems such as inappropriate marking and emotional insecurities.  Make sure you clean all urine-sprayed areas with an odor neutralizer, and/or a chemical enzyme product which naturally breaks down the urine molecules completely.  If you don’t do this, the problem will never be solved because the odor from that area will trigger the cat to spray there again each time he passes by.  Do NOT use cleaning products with ammonia – ammonia will only intensify the urine odor and encourage your cat to return to that area and mark again.  Take a good honest look at the facilities you have to ensure that you do not have an overcrowded environment for your cat.  You can increase the amount of “territory” for your cats by adding additional tall cat stands.  Cats definitely consider vertical space part of their territory, and several tall cat stands can greatly increase the amount of territory for cats in a small apartment or home.  Another way to increase “territory” for your cats is to build some add-on protected enclosures, extension windows, etc.

You may want to take a good look at your litter box.  The box needs to be as attractive as possible TO THE CAT.  For large cats, do not use a litter box with a swinging lid – large cats will often prefer to keep their heads and shoulders outside the door of a hooded litter box while using the box.  Some cats prefer open boxes; some prefer the privacy of a box with a lid.   Do not use a huge litter box for a small kitten or cat; and do not use a small box for a large cat!!  Common sense will go a long way – try to think from your cat’s point of view.  If you have a multi-level home, there should be a box on each level.  Remember too that some cats prefer to defecate in one box, and urinate in another.  The litter box should be cleaned daily, and the entire contents should be replaced once a week or more frequently.  You should not have more than two cats per box, and if you are having litter box behavior problems, switch immediately to one box per cat. Plastic litter liners can make your job easier, and help keep odors from penetrating into the plastic litter box.

The location of the litterbox is important – your cat will want some privacy, yet will not want to feel vulnerable when he is inside the box.   Especially in a multi-cat household, this is very important to consider, as a dominant cat may take the opportunity to threaten or attack a submissive cat when she is trying to use the litterbox.   And remember to make all changes gradually — cats are creatures of habit!!   If you have recently changed the litter material itself, the inappropriate elimination behavior could be your cat resisting the new litter.  Try reintroducing the material formerly used to see if this helps.   Often, just providing a variety of types and sizes of litter boxes, in a variety of locations throughout your home, with a variety of litter materials, will stop the negative behavior.  Once you find out which boxes/locations/litter material your cat prefers, you can gradually remove the others.

For serious offenders, you may need to isolate them in a small area for awhile, such as a bathroom.   Since cats naturally dislike urinating or defecating near their food and water dishes, your kitty will most likely use her litter box in this small area simply to avoid contaminating her food and water.   Be sure to keep the box extremely clean and praise her when she does use her litter box.  After she has gotten used to using her box again, you can gradually increase the amount of area you give her.

NEVER punish your cat!!   Speaking in harsh tones or using physical punishment can cause your cat to avoid you, which will not solve the problem.  For sensitive cats, make sure that you also provide some quality time for the cat to be alone just with you.   This is especially important in overcrowded situations.  This special time together can include grooming and/or maybe taking a nap together or having your cat sleep on your lap and be close. Consistently providing this intimate one-on-one time and show of affection on your part, you can greatly reduce your cat’s level of stress and sense of competitiveness with other members of the family.

 SOME FINAL THOUGHTS  

It’s important to remember that cats ALWAYS have a reason that makes sense to them for their behaviors.  The difficult part for we mere humans is sometimes to discover what those reasons are.  In our own many years of experience as a Bengal and Savannah cat breeder with a multiple-cat household, we’ve discovered some truly amazing products that sometimes can be exactly what may be needed to provide a good solution.

There is a special kind of litter called “Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract” litter, which comes with the creator’s own system of steps for re-training a cat back to consistent good litterbox habits.  We’re not sure exactly why it works; the litter contains some special herbs which do seem to attract the cat to want to use the litter.  

Tricks dog and cat food brands use:

Tricks dog and cat food brands use:

It’s easy to get swamped by all of the choices of dog and cat foods when walking down an aisle in the supermarket. The list of brand names as well as store brands of pet foods is enormous, and they all claim that they will offer dogs and cats that unique blend of ingredients to promote things like a healthy coat, clean teeth, or added energy. The thing that isn’t always clear though, is what the brand is using as filler in order to take up space in the food selection, and exactly what some of those fillers actually mean. This is where knowledge about the products becomes very important.

One of the biggest scams that some pet food companies use is flavoring. When selling a product, some pet food companies say that their particular blend of food is “chicken”, but if you look closer, there may not actually be any chicken in the food. This is where flavoring comes into play, where when the fine print is examined, it is discovered that the food is actually chicken flavored. This isn’t giving the dog/cat friends everything that they are looking for, and while it may taste good in the moment, it doesn’t promote good health. It’s like feeding your cat or dog junk food. They get the food their bodies need but NO nutrition. So next time you buy dog or cat food, whether it’s canned or dry food educate yourself by reading this:

Unhealthy Dog and Cat Food Ingredients: There are some really bad ingredients that find their way into dog and cat food, and if the consumer isn’t aware of exactly what this means, then it’s going to effect your pets health in the years to come. The problem is that some of them are flat out gross, and could be very bad for a dog or cat to eat:
  • Chicken By-Product Meal — This is the left over parts of the chicken that are ground up to be used as filler. This includes necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines. The bigger problem is that the by-products don’t have to necessarily come from healthy animals.
  • Corn Gluten (Meal) — Corn is often used as a filler to take up space because it is cheap. It however can cause allergies in dogs and cats, and owners may not even realize it. The better dog and cat foods do not contain large amounts of corn.
  • Ash — In a lot of wet dog and cat-foods ash is used as a filler to help fill up a can of food. The ash is exactly what it sounds like; burnt animal remains that wouldn’t be fit for human consumption, which are then mixed in with other ingredients to serve to your pets. Always make sure to check out the ash content in a can of dog and cat food. Don’t buy canned food contained ASH.
  • Wheat – Wheat is another allergen that finds its way into dog and cat foods, but which can cause health problems if it isn’t served up in extreme moderation.

The Worst Dog and Cat Food Ingredient:

Animal Digest is an ingredient that appears in some foods, and which is about as gross as it gets when it comes to a filler. Most pet owners aren’t aware of what animal digest might be, and gloss over it, not thinking how terrible it could be for their pets. Animal digest is best defined as a cooked-down broth of unspecified parts of unspecified animals. The list is extensive as to which animals can be included, but some of them are goats, pigs, rats, horses, euthanized animals from shelters, supermarket waste, and road kill.

How to stop a dog fight

How to stop a dog fight

How to Stop a Scuffle between Two Dogs

Sometimes, despite your best efforts to monitor their interactions, dogs get into fights. Luckily, most fights last less than a few seconds, and you can often interrupt them by simply shouting at the dogs. If the fight continues, however, you should be prepared to physically separate them.

Breaking up a dogfight can be dangerous. To reduce the likelihood of injury to all parties, follow the guidelines below.

General Advice

  • Have a plan. Decide in advance exactly what you’ll do if a fight happens. If you live with multiple dogs and other people, make sure everyone living in your home knows about the plan.
  • Don’t panic. Remember that most dogfights are noisy but harmless. If you stay calm, you’ll be able to separate two fighting dogs more safely and efficiently.
  • DO NOT grab your dog by the collar if she starts to fight with another dog. It seems like the natural thing to do, but it’s a bad idea. Your dog might whip around to bite you. This kind of bite, called redirected aggression, is like a reflex. The dog simply reacts to the feeling of being grabbed and bites without thinking. Many pet parents get bitten this way—even when their dogs haven’t shown any signs of aggression in the past. Another reason to avoid grabbing your dog’s collar is that it puts your hands way too close to the action! You might be on the receiving end of a bite that was intended for your dog.

Plan A: Startle the Dogs or Use a Barrier

Before you physically separate two fighting dogs, try these methods:

  • A sudden, loud sound will often interrupt a fight. Clap, yell and stomp your feet. If you have two metal bowls, bang them together near the dogs’ heads. You can also purchase a small air horn and keep that handy. Put it in your back pocket before taking your dog somewhere to play with other dogs. If you have multiple dogs who get into scuffles, keep your air horn in an easily accessible place. If a startling noise works to stop a fight, the noise is effective almost immediately. If your noisemaking doesn’t stop the fight within about three seconds, try another method.
  • If there’s a hose or water bowl handy, you can try spraying the dogs with water or dumping the bowl of water on their heads.
  • Use a citronella spray, like SprayShield™ or Direct Stop®. Aim for the fighting dogs’ noses. If you walk your dog in an area where you may encounter loose dogs, it’s wise to carry citronella spray with you. If an aggressive dog approaches, spraying the deterrent in his direction may stop him in his tracks and prevent a fight. If he attacks, spraying the deterrent on or near his nose may break up the fight.
  • Try putting something between the fighting dogs. A large, flat, opaque object, like a piece of plywood, is ideal because it both separates the dogs and blocks their view of each other. If such an object isn’t available, you can make do with a baby gate, a trash can or folded lawn chair. Closing a door between the dogs can also break up a fight. Throwing a large blanket over both dogs is another option. The covered dogs may stop fighting if they can no longer see each other.

Plan B: Physically Separate the Dogs

If other methods don’t work or aren’t possible, it’s time for Plan B. If you’re wearing pants and boots or shoes, use your lower body instead of your hands to break up the fight. If they’re covered, your legs and your feet are much more protected than your hands, and your legs are the strongest part of your body.

If you feel that it’s necessary to grab the dogs, use this method:

  1. You and a helper or the other dog’s pet parent should approach the dogs together. Try to separate them at the same time.
  2. Take hold of your dog’s back legs at the very top, just under her hips, right where her legs connect to her body. (Avoid grabbing her lower legs. If grab a dog’s legs at the knees, her ankles or her paws, you can cause serious injury.)
  3. Like you’d lift a wheelbarrow, lift your dog’s back end so that her back legs come off of the ground. Then move backwards, away from the other dog. As soon as you’re a few steps away, do a 180-degree turn, spinning your dog around so that she’s facing the opposite direction and can no longer see other dog.

The Aftermath

After the fight stops, immediately separate the dogs. Don’t give them another chance to fight. It’s important to make sure that they can’t see each other. If necessary, take one or both dogs into another room or area. If the dogs are friends and you’ve interrupted a minor squabble, keep them apart until they calm down.

Why choose a professional pet sitter to care for my pets?

Why choose a professional pet sitter to care for my pets?

  • Most pets, especially cats, dogs and exotic birds, like routine. Using the services of a professional pet sitting service will enable your pets to keep their normal eating, playtime, exercise, and sleep routines.
  • When your pet stays in his own home, he won’t be stressed from being transported to a strange place.
  • Your pet will be able to stay in his own home where he is most comfortable, with the sights, sounds, and smells to which he is accustomed.
  • If your pet is on medication, or other medical treatment, our pet sitter will be able to keep him on his regular schedule.
  • Your pet will not be exposed to illnesses that may be contracted at a kennel.
  • Having a pet sitter come to your home also works as a crime deterrent. Our pet sitters will bring in the mail, turn lights off/on, open/close draperies, do a quick home safety check etc. to help give your home a lived in look. And, in the event of an emergency, we will be able to contact you immediately rather than you coming home to find a problem with your home.
  • You won’t have to inconvenience family or friends. While they may mean well, and intend to give excellent care, sometimes they may fall short of your expectations. When you hire a professional pet sitting service it creates a businesses relationship with clear expectations for you and your pet sitter.
  • Our pet sitters receive ongoing education and continue to improve their skills in order to give your pets the best care possible.
  • Your pet will get consistent and personalized care from one person who knows your pet well. Our pet sitters always become quite fond of your pets and will give them excellent care!
  • It’s more convenient for you. You won’t have to carve time out of your busy schedule to drop off or pick up your pet from a kennel.
  • Your pet will be home, waiting at the door to greet you when you come home!

The hobby pet sitter versus the professional pet sitting business

The “Profesional” Pet Sitter

As pet sitting gains in popularity so do the number of people wanting to jump on the bandwagon and put a “pet sitter for hire” shingle out. Every day it seems there are new pet sitters coming out of the woodwork to give pet owners ” the best pet sitting service” ever. What saddens me is that many of these people are just in it because they think it will be a fun job, and an easy way to make money. Unfortunately for them, and for their clients, they do not take the time to learn about the responsibility that comes along with the job. The truth of the matter is that pet sitting can be a tough, tiring, very involved business. Sure, pet sitters get to hang with pets and have a good time, but there’s a heck of a lot more to it than that.

Professional pet sitters vs. hobby pet sitters

Pet sitters who contract to care for a client’s pets and home when they’re gone are responsible for the health and welfare of that pet’s life. They are the one who will ensure that pet’s life goes on in an uninterrupted manner – making sure he gets food, water, necessary medications, exercise, and that his home stays comfortable and safe. That person is also responsible, in many cases, for all the worldly possessions their client owns – their home and ]all of its contents. Granted, the chances of anything terribly drastic going wrong are not all that great, but they’re probably greater than one might think. Many pet sitters, including me, have had to deal with such pet issues as illness and injury, death, dogs getting out of a yard, dog fights, and more. And, when it comes to housing issues, I know of pet sitters who have been faced with break-ins, fires, floods, broken water pipes, etc. Taking these responsibilities seriously and knowing how to handle the unexpected in an efficient, professional manner is one thing that sets the professional pet sitters apart from the hobby sitters, or KND (kid next door).

Other factors that differentiate professional pet sitters from the hobby sitters is that they will understand the importance of insurance (and possibly bonding), they will seek out ongoing training or other ways to expand their knowledge of pets in such things as pet first aid, cat and dog behavior, how to handle birds, reptiles or other animals, etc. They may belong to local or national pet sitting or other business-related organizations. And on the business end, they will operate in a structured, business-like manner which includes having a service contract, obtaining health and behavior histories of the pets they care for, managing keys in a secure way, setting up policies and ensuring clients are made aware of them, and much more. The bottom line is that professional pet sitters operate in a manner that shows their clients they have a good head on their shoulders and are professional, yet caring.

Hobby sitters come and go. As I mentioned earlier, many people get into pet sitting because they think it will be a fun way to make some money. Although their intentions are good, they dive in without doing enough research on the business. Once they get into it and realize there is actual work involved, they lose their passion and it most often shows in the care they give the pets. They may cut visits short, may not scoop a litter box, or unfortunately may even skip a visit because they have something else they would rather do. Additionally, oftentimes they will come across issues they are not prepared to handle and become frazzled, causing them to make inappropriate decisions. Because of their lack of planning, inexperience, or simply because they are overwhelmed they let their clients down, the pets they are caring for, and themselves. Out of this comes the decision that pet sitting isn’t for them and they move on to something else. Frankly, at that point, the decision to stop pet sitting is probably the best decision they’ve made in regards to the business. Had they done some work ahead of time, and investigated the business thoroughly before jumping in they could have saved themselves, and others, a lot of headaches.

First impressions

I see pet sitters popping up all over, especially on the Internet. Quite often it’s readily apparent that they have done their research before opening their doors. They have contracts and other forms, insurance, policies that are clearly spelled out, training in pet first aid or other pet care, and present themselves in a business like manner. I see others who list their names on websites and say they will petsit, babysit, do yard work, or other various and sundry errands. They make no mention of any type of insurance or training, and definitely do not come across in a professional manner.

As with any other business there are those who have the appearance of being professional and in the end, are not. However, I believe the vast majority of pet owners would be more likely to interview someone who starts off making a good first impression rather than someone who does not take the time put forth a positive and professional image.

Healing Pets Foundation

Their vision is to enable the comfort that comes with providing advanced care for serious illness or injury, and therefore, honor the human-animal bond by helping families keep their pets.

Their mission is to provide partial financial assistance to Colorado families facing unexpected costs associated with advanced care for dogs and cats through specialty board certified veterinarians.

HealingPetsFoundation@gmail.com            or           healingpetsfoundation.org

Local Pet Adoptions

ONGOING ADOPTION FAIRS

9-Lives Rescue Inc. – For cats, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, PetSmart, 2965 New Center Point; 591-4640; colorado9lives.com.

AWR Cat Tails Rescue – 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Pet Pantry, 5148 N. Academy Blvd.; 369-5107, awrcattailsrescue.com.

Chihuahua and Small Dog Rescue – For dogs less than 15 pounds, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Petco, 5020 N. Nevada Ave.; 266-1224.

Dreampower – For dogs, cats and small caged pets, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and noon-3:30 p.m. Sunday, PetSmart, 571 N. Academy Blvd.; dreampower.org , 390-7838.

Four Paws Rescue – 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Wag N’ Wash, 1625 W. Uintah St.; 475-9274, wagnwash.com.

Look What The Cat Brought In – 1-5 p.m. Sunday, 2129 E. Boulder St.; lookwhatthecatbroughtin.org.

Lucky Dog Rescue – Noon-3 p.m. Saturday, Wag N’ Wash, 5830 Stetson Hills Blvd.; bealuckydog.com/rescue.

National Mill Dog Rescue – 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Petco, 3050 N. Powers Blvd. and 9835 Prominent Point; milldogrescue.org

New Hope Rescue Inc. – Dogs, cats, puppies and kittens, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Petco, 1650 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd.; newhoperescue.homestead.com.

Things to know about Coyotes

Things to know about Coyotes!

Coyote behavior varies depending upon its environment. In the wild where they are actively hunted and trapped, coyotes are generally elusive. Near cities or in areas where hunting and trapping is not allowed, coyotes may be aggressive. In urban settings, they can lose their fear of people and may even threaten domestic pets. Although attacks on humans are extremely rare, there have been cases where coyotes have attacked young children.

  • If you live in areas where coyotes have been seen, protect your pets! Coyotes will attack and kill cats and dogs. Do not allow your pets to roam, especially at night. Make sure your yard is appropriately fenced. We suggest at least a six-foot fence, or, better yet, keep your dog in a completely enclosed kennel.
  • Do not allow dogs to run with coyotes. Although it appears they are “playing “, coyotes can turn on dogs to defend their territory.
  • Don’t leave pet food outside. This invites wildlife into your yard and problems may result.
  • Protect livestock, especially chickens, young calves and sheep. Contact your local extension office for appropriate methods to prevent depredation.
  • Keep your garbage in a storage facility or in a tightly sealed container. Clean garbage cans regularly to reduce residual odors by using hot water and chlorine bleach.
  • Coyotes provide an enjoyable wildlife viewing experience. Keep your distance and do not approach the animals. Enjoy the opportunity to view wildlife.
  • Keep your pets on a leash when walking them.
  • If a coyote approaches you or your pet, you can throw rocks or sticks to frighten it away.
  • Use a loud, authoritative voice to frighten the animal.
Reflections of a house sitter

Reflections of a house sitter

I’ve been thinking lately what a blessing this job has been for me.  I have met some wonderful people & their pets, stayed in some beautiful homes, discovered parts of town I never knew existed, and met you & your family & the other sitters.  Plus, I get paid for all this!  So, thank you for developing Little Paws & hiring me!
Hugs, Karen
Mobile teeth cleaning clinic

Mobile teeth cleaning clinic

Annie’s Pet Salon on 4853 Barnes Road hosts a mobile teeth cleaning clinic twice a year! It’s a great deal at $ 185.00 that requires no anesthesia. The visiting vet uses a holistic medicine (drops) that are put in the mouth to calm the dog down. You can reach Annie’s Pet Salon at 719-380-9087 for more information.