What is your cat saying and can technology help with decoding their meows?

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Ever wonder if you can communicate better with your cat? ExcitedCats, a cat-focused website with a team of writers and expert veterinarians, is sharing some information and advice about how to interpret your furry feline’s behavior.According to excitedcats.com, cats communicate with each other primarily through physical contact, body language, and scent. The only real avenue of communication cats use humans is vocalization, especially meowing.Meowing at humans is a learned behavior. Adult cats reserve meowing almost exclusively for human interaction—they rarely meow at each other. Kittens may meow at their mothers to get their attention when they’re hungry or hurt, but once they reach adulthood, they mostly stop.

According to Dr. Paola Cueves, a veterinarian at ExcitedCats.com, “studies have found that meowing is a tool for cats to communicate emotional states to their owners—but our interpretation is limited to our experience with our cats and influenced by our affinity towards them.”

Dr. Tabitha Henson, another veterinarian from ExcitedCats, relates, “I definitely know my cat’s different meows. She has one asking for food, one when she’s excited and has caught a bug or critter, one when she’s stressed in the car (and about to vomit), and one when she sees a stray cat out of the window.”

So, one key to understanding your cat is likely listening carefully and paying attention to the context. Owners should also pay close attention to body language as well.

Can technology help us better communicate with our cats?

New technology and apps like MeowTalk claim to help tell us more about our cat’s meows. Since each cat’s meow is unique to their relationship with their owner, the vocalizations are not compared with a central database but rather tailored to each individual cat. In other words, the app must learn what your cat’s meow means via your input.

This creates a lot of space for the interpretation of different cat owners rather than standardized and likely more accurate data. Dr. Cueves notes that “while something similar could be done in a professionally controlled context and might have some interesting results, in real life, people are forcing cats to vocalize—putting cats in abnormal situations, and even meowing themselves. The algorithm will, of course, be negatively affected by this.”

If cats primarily use meowing to communicate with humans, should we be worried if they’re not meowing or meowing a lot?

Dr. Cueves says no—most of the time. “Some cats are simply quiet and that’s alright, too. On the other hand, if your cat usually meows frequently and has stopped doing so, you should make an effort to find out what is going on.”

Dr. Henson says meowing too much is not typically an issue either. “Just make sure your cat’s needs are being met and have them checked out for any underlying health problems. Some cats are just chatterboxes!”

Learning to communicate with your cat takes a concerted effort on your part, and with some time and dedication, it’s certainly possible to get more accurate over time.




10 great ways to have an eco-friendly pet

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Reducing our carbon footprint and making our everyday lives greener have become important to many people in recent years. Here are 10 ways eco-conscious cat owners can reduce the ecological footprint of their pets.*

1. Kibble is a massive contributor to CO2 as industrial production. Reducing your cat’s daily kibble intake can help, plus help prevent pet obesity.

2. Beef has a carbon footprint of almost four times that of chickens. Try to stick with chicken, animal by-products, or sustainable fish as your cat’s main protein source.

3. While cats are obligate carnivores, they can process and gain nutrition from insect and plant sources in well-balanced commercial cat foods, and these alternatives may help to reduce the reliance on meat production.

4. Try and use second-hand toys or cat trees when possible, or make your own DIY cat playgrounds from reclaimed materials. Cats can use their hunting skills to chase and pounce on a homemade teaser toy or even simply have fun leaping around in a cardboard box before it goes out to be recycled.

5. Consider using cat litter made from recycled paper, corn fibers or pine shaving.

6. Fleas and ticks are a problem for all pet owners, but some of the ingredients in shampoos are potentially environmentally damaging and contain pyrethrins and organophosphates, which can be harmful to your cat. Using flea combs, non-toxic and organic shampoos with biodegradable ingredients can help with flea prevention.

7. Planting a cat-friendly garden including cat grass, catnip, valerian, cat thyme, cat mint, and rosemary will provide enrichment to your cat while also helping to clean the air. Additionally, cat mint flowers help to feed honeybees.

cat with cat grass illustration

By Barbara Bullington

8. Opt for collars and leashes made from sustainable materials like hemp. You can also purchase bedding made from bamboo, and toys, bowls, and collars made from recycled plastic. Also, try using stainless steel bowls as they’ll last longer and are not as harmful to the planet as plastic.

9. Remember to keep your cats indoors. This way, they are less likely to kill birds.

Cat in window illustration

10. Lastly, help reduce the pet population by getting your cats neutered or spayed. This helps reduce everything discussed above and helps to make sure fewer cats are living without loving homes.

If you want to learn more about ways to reduce your cat’s carbon footprint, ExcitedCats.com covers all this and more!

*Please consult your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet’s diet. It is also recommended that you consult a veterinarian for advice regarding cat litter choices and flea prevention.
Source: https://pressroom.journolink.com/excited-cats/release/reducing_your_cats_carbon_footprint_11275

Featured graphic and other illustrations in this post: by Barbara Bullington

Airy, a shy sardine-loving cat, voted most ‘fabulous foster’

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The ARM & HAMMER™ Feline Generous program and the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), announced “Airy” has been named the nation’s most “fabulous foster” cat.

To celebrate Adopt a Shelter Cat Month (June), cat lovers were invited to vote on the ASPCA’s Facebook and Instagram for their favorite “fabulous foster.” As the winner of the “Fabulous Fosters” contest, Airy will be the new face of the ARM & HAMMER™ Feline Generous program and will be sent to his new home with a one-year supply of ARM & HAMMER™ Cat Litter and an adoption starter kit.

Airy will also be featured on the brand’s website and in its new Feline Fostering Guide, a free resource written by Pam Johnson-Bennett, certified cat behavior expert.

Airy’s former ASPCA foster family in New York City describes him as loving to eat, especially sardines.

Since being featured in the contest, Airy has been adopted. He now lives with his new mom in Bronx, NY and has been adjusting wonderfully.

According to the ASPCA, every year approximately 3.2 million cats enter U.S. animal shelters and rescues nationwide and of those approximately 2.1 million cats are adopted each year. Adopting or fostering a pet helps shelters conserve their space and resources, and provides people with comfort and companionship.

“We’re thrilled to have Airy as our Feline Generous ambassador and raise awareness for all the benefits of fostering purrfectly impurrfect cats,” said Rebecca Blank, Associate Director, ARM & HAMMER™ Pet Care in a press release. “Typically, these cats are overlooked for adoption due to age, illness, appearance, or misunderstood personalities and can benefit from loving foster homes the most.”

ARM & HAMMER™ Feline Fostering Guide

For those who may be curious about whether fostering a feline could be for them or have questions about the commitment needed to foster purrfectly impurrfect cats, the ARM & HAMMER™ Feline Fostering Guide is a place to start. The ARM & HAMMER™ Feline Fostering Guide can be downloaded here.

Each person who downloads the guide will be entered for a chance to win a year’s supply of ARM & HAMMER™ Litter and other items to help set up a loving feline home. Please see https://www.armandhammer.com/-/media/AAH/Feature/Promotion/pdf/felinegenerous-rules.ashx for official rules.

The ARM & HAMMER™ Feline Generous program is an online platform that easily connects people to a network of local cat shelters across the country to help increase adoption and generate product and monetary donations, with a specific focus on cats who tend to be overlooked due to age, illness, appearance or misunderstood personalities.

For more information about fostering through the ASPCA or adopting Airy’s other “fabulous foster” friends, please visit www.aspca.org/foster and aspca.org/adopt.

SOURCE Church & Dwight Co., Inc.

Company announces mobile diagnostic testing services for dogs and cats

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Labs and diagnostic testing are an essential part of pet care, but in-office visits can cause stress for both people and pets.

PepiPets has announced that dog and cat owners can now access their new PepiPets Mobile Diagnostic Testing services. PepiPets’ mobile diagnostic testing services provide diagnostic care from the comfort of any pet parent’s home.

PepiPets will work with clients and their veterinarian to ensure that the necessary diagnostic care that a pet’s health requires is delivered quickly.

After booking an appointment at a time that works best for the customer, an experienced PepiPets Veterinarian Technician will come to their home and collect the necessary samples for diagnostic testing. Results are provided in as little as 24 hours following sample collection.

For more, visit https://www.pepipets.com.



ASPCA Kitten Nursery celebrates helping 10,000 kittens, announces kitten fosters are badly needed

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The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) ecently announced a significant achievement by caring for its 10,000th kitten through the ASPCA Kitten Nursery in New York City, which relies on the help of supportive foster caregivers to provide lifesaving care to kittens in need.

Since launching in 2014 in support of Animal Care Centers of New York City (ACC), the ASPCA’s facility has served as the city’s first and largest high-volume kitten nursery dedicated to the care and treatment of neonatal kittens who are often too young to survive on their own.

This milestone comes during the height of feline breeding season, also known as kitten season, a time of year when shelters nationwide are overwhelmed with vulnerable and newborn cats.

The 10,000th kitten, named Zanzibar, a 10-week-old tabby kitten with orange fur, arrived at the ASPCA Kitten Nursery from ACC at four weeks of age in need of specialized medical support for an upper respiratory infection. She was placed with an experienced foster caregiver who provided bottle-feedings, medications and socialization to help Zanzibar gain strength and prepare for life in an adoptive home. Zanzibar is now healthy and strong.

“Reaching this 10,000-kitten milestone demonstrates how much we can accomplish when animal welfare organizations, foster caregivers, and veterinary professionals work together to address a life-threatening animal welfare challenge with the utmost compassion and determination,” said Matt Bershadker, ASPCA President and CEO.

The ASPCA Kitten Nursery is part of ACC’s mission to end animal homelessness in New York City.

Vulnerable kittens under eight weeks old often require round-the-clock attention as they mature, a resource that many shelters don’t have, so foster programs that support frequent bottle-feeding for the youngest of these kittens and medical check-ups are crucial to help them grow and find loving homes.

In addition to the ASPCA Kitten Nursery, the ASPCA has cared for close to 9,000 kittens through its Los Angeles Kitten Foster Program, launched in 2016, which supports Los Angeles County Animal Care Centers.

New Yorkers and animal lovers across the country are encouraged to make a difference this season by fostering vulnerable kittens. Currently, the ASPCA Kitten Nursery has a particular need for foster caregivers who can provide frequent bottle-feeding and support for kittens who may require regular baths or treatment with medication. To learn more about how to foster kittens in New York City and to complete an online application, please visit ASPCA.org/FosterNYC.


Source: ASPCA

Featured photo: From publicdomainpictures.net



How bad are fleas in your area? You can check a flea forecast to find out

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Just posting this story made me a little itchy, but, when it comes to most pets, discussing fleas is a necessary evil.

According to a press release from the Companion Animal Parasite Council, fleas are one of the most common external parasites in dogs and cats, and are more serious than most people realize with the potential to cause serious harm to the health of pets and their owners.

Also according to the release, in its mission to monitor and report emerging threats to companion animals, CAPC developed the Flea Forecasts to alert pet owners of flea activity in their local communities. These forecast maps are updated daily, based on environmental conditions, and can be found at PetDiseaseAlerts.org.

The CAPC Pet Parasite Forecast Maps are a collaborative effort from parasitologists and statisticians in leading academic institutions across the United States who engage in ongoing research and data interpretation to better understand and monitor vector-borne disease agent transmission and changing life cycles of parasites. The forecasts are based on many factors including temperature, precipitation and population density.

Flea activity will continue to increase as summer temperatures rise. These pesky pests are often a primary reason for veterinary visits. Fleas cause skin issues in pets, creating a lot of distress for them and their owners. The red, flaky skin caused by allergic reactions to fleas makes pets less cuddly and everyone is miserable.

Cats sleeping on your pillow or dogs snuggling in your bed can leaving behind flea eggs, flea maggots, and flea feces and that can, in turn, result in pets being banished from areas where their family members spend the most time.

Fleas may carry and transmit other dangerous diseases or parasites that affect pets, including Dipylidium caninum, a type of tapeworm and “Cat Scratch Fever.” This disease can infect both dogs and cats, as well as transmitted to humans when a cat carrying infected fleas scratches or bites a person. Although the symptoms are generally mild in humans, some people develop serious complications and require more rigorous treatment.

Keep calm and use preventative medication

The nonprofit Companion Animal Parasite Council stresses that year-round control is the best way to protect our pets from fleas and other harmful parasites and notes that it is important to keep all pets in a household on year-round flea preventive medication to prevent infestations. Pet owners should talk to their local veterinarian about the best method of prevention for their situations.

CAPC also encourages pet owners and veterinarians to regularly consult the Flea Forecasts at http://www.PetDiseaseAlerts.org.

To view the daily Flea Forecast, as well as the 30-Day Pet Parasite Forecast Maps that covers four parasitic diseases (Heartworm, Lyme, Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis), visit http://www.petdiseasealerts.org.

More about CAPC and Pet Disease Alerts:

Pet Disease Alerts (http://www.petdiseasealerts.org) is a nonprofit focused on alerting pet owners to the threat of pet diseases in their local areas. The Companion Animal Parasite Council (http://www.capcvet.org) is an independent not-for-profit foundation comprised of parasitologists, veterinarians, medical, public health and other professionals that provides information for the optimal control of internal and external parasites that threaten the health of pets and people.

Source: https://www.prweb.com/releases/companion_animal_parasite_council_forecasts_heightened_flea_activity_in_chicago_and_surrounding_area_for_june_2022/prweb18714724.htm

Tips for finding a pet sitter

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With summer travel back on many people’s agenda, Pet Sitters International (PSI) is offering pet parents a few tips for securing a true professional to watch their pets while they are away, according to a press release.

Start the search early:

“Professional pet sitters have welcomed an increase in demand as more people begin traveling again, so pet parents should make finding a professional pet sitter one of the first items on their travel checklist,” said PSI President Beth Stultz-Hairston in the press release. “But if they find that their preferred pet sitter isn’t available, pet parents shouldn’t panic—many professional pet sitters are happy to provide referrals to other local businesses who may have availability for the travelers’ preferred dates.”

Make time for a meet and greet:

PSI advises pet parents to schedule a “meet and greet” or “initial consultation” at their home before booking pet-care services. This meeting provides an opportunity to see the sitter interact with their pets, and review their services and credentials.

“You may be in a rush to finalize your travel plans, but we advise pet parents to never ‘cut corners’ when it comes to booking pet care,” said PSI Founder and CEO Patti Moran. “Not everyone who lists their services on a website or app is a true professional, and you owe it to yourself—and your pets—to select a local professional pet sitter with the business credentials and pet-care training to provide exceptional care.”

Check out a pet-sitter checklist:

Pet parents can download a free Pet-Sitter Interview Checklist, which includes seven important questions every pet parent should ask, including whether the company is insured and bonded, and whether the pet sitter can provide references from previous clients.

To learn more about PSI or to locate a professional pet sitter in your area, you can visit www.petsit.com.

Company releases list of top five hotels with best pet policies

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GoPetFriendly.com’s recently released their choices for the top five hotels with the best pet policies.

The list is part of the Summer 2022 Hotel Pet Policy Guide, which includes pet policies at nearly 150 hotel chains across the U.S. and Canada.

GoPetFriendly.com, which has been advising pet owners on travel since 2009, researched hotel pet policies and ranked them, based on the criteria most important to pet owners, such as affordable pet fees and how many pets are permitted in a room.

The overwhelming winner as the Best Hotel Chain for Traveling with Pets is Kimpton Hotels, part of IHG.

Four other chains topped GoPetFriendly.com’s list:

1. Best Western Hotel Group, which charges a pet fee per room instead of per pet.

2. Red Roof Inn allows pets to stay for free.

3. Drury Hotels has a very clear and comprehensive hotel pet policy.

4. Extended Stay Suites provides a standard pet policy across all their locations.

GoPetFriendly.com also researched hotel chains in the U.S. and Canada to determine their pet policies to include in the guide so travelers can search for information about their favorite hotel and each chains’ rewards programs.

Visit https://www.gopetfriendly.com/blog/pet-policies-us-hotel-… to view the guide and see expert travel tips, reviews and resources for how to enjoy travel with your favorite furry friend.

Source: https://www.prlog.org/12921799-gopetfriendlycom-picks-top-5-best-hotel-pet-policies.html

Hilton and Mars offering special amenities for those traveling with pets

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Hilton and Mars Petcare are expanding their partnership established in September 2021, according to a press release. The companies will now offer access to virtual support from the Mars Pet Expert Team (PET) during their stay via Mars PET On-Demand—an online service to answer questions related to traveling with your cat or dog—at more than 4,600 hotels in Hilton’s portfolio across the U.S. and Canada.

This service is available across Hilton’s seven pet-friendly brands: Canopy by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton.

Perfect Pet-Friendly Stays
Guests and their pets staying at Hilton’s pet-friendly brands in the U.S. and Canada will now have access to pet health, wellness and behavioral support resources to answer questions related to traveling with a cat or dog.

The Mars PET On-Demand service content has been curated by a team of Mars Petcare professionals, including behavior specialists from doggy day care and boarding franchise, Camp Bow Wow and trusted veterinary health experts from BANFIELD, BLUEPEARL and VCA Animal Hospitals.

Hilton guests can also take advantage of a special offer from Banfield Pet Hospital, a provider of preventive veterinary care with more than 1,000 general veterinary hospitals in the U.S. and Mexico, with a waived enrollment fee (up to $75 value) for new customers who purchase an Optimum Wellness Plan.

Banfield Optimum Wellness Plans are smart packages of affordable, preventive veterinary services—including 24-7 access to live Vet Chat advice, convenient virtual pet care options, routinely-recommended preventive care like vaccines and physical exams, and a discount on most Banfield services and products not included in the package. To take advantage of this special offer, guests can ask for access to the Mars Petcare online service upon check-in.

“With 23 million families adding pets to their homes over the last two years, this summer will be the first time many of these pets hit the road with their pet parents,” said Jessa Paschke, pet behavior consultant, Mars Pet Expert Team, in the press release. “Through Mars PET On-Demand, we hope to be able to provide pet parents peace of mind through on-demand articles and one-on-one advice to make the whole travel experience, from packing to settling in at the hotel, as seamless as possible so everyone can enjoy their time away together.”

Many of Hilton’s pet-friendly hotels also offer amenities such as pet bowls and extra waste bags. Canopy by Hilton’s Paws in the Neighborhood program provides guests with dog beds, food, water bowls and a “bark bag” filled with a toy, treats and guide to pet-friendly neighborhood activities. Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton team members provide local pet-friendly resources, such as where to find local dog parks, nearby 24-hour vets, pet stores and pet-friendly restaurants.

To learn more, visit http://www.BetterCitiesforPets.com or stories.hilton.com.

Featured photo:

Hilton and Mars Petcarewill now offer access to virtual support from the Mars Pet Expert Team (PET) during their stay via Mars PET On-Demand — a convenient online service to answer questions related to traveling with your cat or dog — at more than 4,600 hotels in Hilton’s portfolio across the U.S. and Canada.

Social media site lets pet lovers connect and share in numerous ways

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“Pet people” might want to check out PETLOVERSCHAT, which, according to a press release, is the first-ever social media platform devoted to connecting animal lovers and owners.

PETLOVERSCHAT was created to connect and strengthend the pet lover’s community through social media. Unique features include:

  • Pet of the Day (headlining a special pet every day),
  • Pet Play Date (where pet owners can arrange a “date” with another pet),
  • Pet Tricks (featuring special pet talents and skills),
  • Pet Wedding Album (memorializing pet marriage),
  • Pet Lost & Found (where those who have lost or found a pet can create a post and facilitate the reunification of the pet and its owner),
  • Pet Adoption (where users can create a post and find a suitable home for pets up for adoption).
  • Our Ad Center utilizes: ad campaigns/packages are designed to generate revenue for businesses of all sizes with real-time reporting of campaign activity.

The website address is: https://petloverschat.com

PETLOVERSCHAT Social Media addresses:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/petloverschat
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/petloverschat
TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@petloverschat
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/petloverscha