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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The CFA Disaster Relief Fund Assists Japan’s Cats in Need

Japan’s recent earthquake and tsunami that rocked the northeast part of Japan on March 11, 2011 has left at least 18,000 people dead, with a rising toll of reported dead every day.  While we can ascertain the damage to human life and damage to Japan’s exterior, the often forgotten victims in a tragedy of this magnitude are the animals.  For Japanese pet owners, the decision to leave their animals is out of the question as they struggle to survive in unthinkable conditions. 

Photo Credit: Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support

The CFA Disaster Relief Fund is ready to assist Japan’s cats in need of food, shelter and care.  The CFA Disaster Relief Fund is a totally volunteer effort.  Pam DelaBar, the head of The CFA Disaster Relief effort says,“We are very selective of the recipients and what to ensure from money to resources, as in cages for  affected animals, as with the recent earthquake in New Zealand and we make sure that the donations go to where it is most needed within each affected area.  If the Japanese Region does not establish a cat relief station, as was done after the Kobe earthquake in January 1995, then we will be donating to a Japanese veterinary group who is treating animals affected by the recent disaster."

Cat Island Survives the Earthquake
Amidst all of the sadness, is some good news.  Tashirojima, the small island in Ishinomaki City about 9 miles off the coast of otherwise known as “Cat Island” survived the earthquake.  Cat Island, with its shrine dedicated to cats which exists in the middle of the island, is a favorite of tourists and cat lovers alike.  Cat Island is home to at least 100 mostly elderly, people and many more cats which are valued for their practicality as well as their companionship as they keep the rodent population down in this fishing area. 

To take care of the cats of Japan affected by the earthquake, please send your donations to The Cat Fanciers’ Association Disaster Relief Fund. You can stipulate that your donation goes to a specific disaster effort.  You may send checks or money orders to:

Jan Rogers, Treasurer
PO BOX 1830
Stephenville, TX 76401


Friday, 18 March 2011

Why a Good Scratching Post is an Essential Tool for Your Cat

The most natural thing to your cat to do is for her to sharpen her claws.  Scratching serves as a way for her to get exercise and keep her muscles fit, while at the same time marking her territory and making her feel good.  Scratching is one of the ways a cat expresses happiness.

One of the first things to purchase is a scratching post that your cat easily access.  Preferably, you need to find a high, or even upright or slanted scratching post that has natural wood and is covered with rough material such as sisal.  For safety, the scratching post should be supported by a wide base to prevent tipping and scaring her away from using her scratching post. 

The best time to train your cat is when she is a kitten.  To prevent your cat from using your rugs or sofa as her own personal scratching post, you may need to supervise her introduction to rooms with rugs and upholstered furniture.  Let her examine each piece of furniture or rug but never allow her to claw them.  Remember to trim her claws so that she does not get stuck on the scratching post and become frightened enough not to use it again. 

To get your cat to use the post, refrain from putting her paws on the post.  Your cat is curious and will check out the post in her own time.  Use a teaser toy, suspended from a cord on top of the post and play with her.  As she starts to play with the toy on the post, she will soon discover what the toy is for and begin using her scratching post.  You can also rub a bit of catnip on the post’s material post or even feed or play with her by her post to help her become familiar with her new post. 

Remember to give her frequent praise for using her scratching post and to help her reinforce her newfound habit. 

Related Articles:

Scratching the Surface - Claw Training Basics 
Clipping Your Cat's Claws

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Three Essentials in Socializing Your New Kitten

European Burmese Kittens

 How excited you are!  You have just picked up your new kitten!  It is important to integrate your new kitten into your household and begin his socialization process as soon as possible.  There are three essential things to keep in mind when socializing your new kitten:

  1. Secure a play area or play room and take him into the play room/area as his safe haven or when he cannot be watched so that he can feel safe and secure in at least one area of his new home.  Be sure to include his toys and a comfortable sleep area and make sure his food and litter box are easily accessible. 
  2. Introduce your new kitten to his new surroundings, including family members and other pets, one step at a time.  As soon as you can, establish a routine for meals, sleeping, grooming and play time. Be patient with him as he gains confidence and forms relationships with others in your household. 
  3. Purchase a few interactive toys for the kitten to play with and to keep his play focused and directed.  If he gets unruly or excited when playing or with others, distract him with one of his favorite toys.  Remember that bad habits increase with repetition and will be left behind as long as you don’t pay too much attention to them.  Focus on replacing bad habits with gentle actions and positive reinforcement through interactive play. 

Himalayan-Persian Kitten
Doing these essential tasks are good first steps to introducing your new kitten so that he becomes a happy, confident and well adjusted companion to enjoy for years to come. 

Suggested Links:


Thursday, 10 March 2011

What do you look for when choosing a cat?

When looking for and choosing a feline to share your life, what are the characteristics that you consider important? Watch our series of videos on how to choose a cat which will help you make that all-important choice.

Did you know that according to the 2009-2010 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 62% of U.S. households own a pet. Over 38 million households own at least one cat.

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Join us as we celebrate the felines in your life! Visit here often to learn about cat behavior, health, history and more. Participate in a community where cat lovers like you are the stars - CatsCenterstage!