Category Archives: guest post

12 interesting facts about cats that you might not know

Cats, along with dogs, are the most popular pet in the world. And it’s no wonder – these adorable, cuddly creatures are great at winning over our hearts. But even if we think we know them in detail, there are some things about cats that are not so widely known.

I have compiled a list of 12 facts about cats that many people might not know yet. You will be able to understand your cat and their behavior better by knowing some of these things.

1. Cats don’t have a sweet tooth

While us humans enjoy every bit of sweet candy, cats aren’t really interested in eating sweets because they can’t taste sweet. In their natural habitat, cats would eat meat and only meat. But today’s cat food often contains corn and other grains with a bunch of carbohydrates, which is why feline diabetes is so common.

2. Most cats are lactose intolerant

Even though cats and milk may seem like the perfect combination, it is most often not. Most cats lose their ability to break down the sugar in milk after they stop being nursed by their mom. In other words, they become lactose intolerant. That is why milk and dairy products are not something you should feed your cat to every day.

3. Cats have a blind spot under their noses and chins

If your cat doesn’t always notice a treat that is right under its nose, this is the reason! Cats are great at catching motions and often see movements that we can’t notice, but when it comes to seeing things right in front of their noses, they are not that good at it.

4. Spaying and neutering may prolong cat’s lifespan

Banfield Pet Hospital, the world’s largest veterinary practice has found some interesting facts about pet’s lifespan. According to their State of Pet Health 2013 Report, the lifespan of pets has increased from 10 years ago. Lifespan in 2012 was 20% longer than lifespan in 2002, which adds 1 year to a cat’s life. Hooray to that! They also found that spay and neuter may contribute to a longer lifespan. You can find more about it in their research linked above.

5. Kittens are growing while they sleep

When kittens are born, they sleep most of the day because only then is when the growth hormone is released. When cats turn 1, they are pretty much finished growing. A 1-year-old cat is like a 21-year-old human, and each additional year of life is like 4 human years.

6. Cats spend most of their lives sleeping

Cats really like to sleep in (well who doesn’t?). They sleep approximately 12-16 hours a day which makes 2/3’s of their lives! So, an adult 12-year-old cat will have spent 8 years of its life sleeping! They mostly like to be awake and active at dusk and dawn.

7. Cat’s whiskers have a big purpose

Many people assume that a cat’s whiskers are just ordinary hair. But that is far from the truth. Those pointy little thingies are actually touch receptors. They help the cat navigate and without them, the cat would be disoriented and scared. Whiskers also help cats judge if they can fit through an opening since they are as wide as their body.

8. Cats have sandpaper-like tongues

Their sandpaper-like tongues are responsible for good grooming sessions cats give themselves and other cats every day. Cats love to clean themselves and their tongues are designed to give them the best grooming experience and to clean themselves in detail.

9. Cats can make over 100 vocal sounds

While dogs are able to make only 10 vocal sounds, cats can make over 100! Those 100 different vocal sounds include a variety of meows, purrs and growls. I just wish we could interpret what each sound means!

10. Cat’s sense of smell is 14 times better than humans’

Cat rely on their sense of smell to locate the food, find a mating partner or to warn danger. My cat, for example, can immediately smell if I petted a random dog at the street. She starts sniffing my hand and looking at me all funny, like she is disappointed at me 🙂

Because of the cat’s strong sense of smell, you should be extra cautious in using essential oils and perfumes in front of your cat.

11. Cats can drink sea water

Cats have highly efficient kidneys that easily filter out the salt from the sea water. So, unlike humans, cats can stay hydrated from drinking sea water! But, of course, this doesn’t mean you should give sea water to your cats. Fresh water is always the best choice.

12. Extra toes are genetic

If a polydactyl cat (a cat with extra toes) and non-polydactyl cat have babies, there is 40-50% chance kittens will have extra toes too.

Polydactyly is a genetic mutation (adorable one I must say) and it is not harmful to the cat. Most polydactyl cats have one extra toe on each front paw, but they can have an extra toe on the back paws too. In some cases, cats can have up to 7 toes on each paw!

Conclusion

Well, I hope you learned something new about cats and that it will help you understand these cute creatures a little bit better! If you have an interesting cat fact to add, do tell us in the comments!

Author Bio
Monika is a huge animal lover, currently having two cats in her life. She is the owner of a pet blog called Animallama where she writes about pet care, pet tips and advice.

Posted in cats, guest post | 1 Comment

A Microchip Miracle: The Gift of Reunion

Like so many of us who share our lives with a beloved dog, we had our dog Teddy microchipped when he became a permanent family member after a short foster period. And although life is fickle, and nothing we do can guarantee that a lost dog will be reunited with its hopeful humans, anything that can make it possible is definitely worth the effort.

The American Humane Association estimates that over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the U.S. every year. According to the Petfinder adoption site, one in three pets will become lost at some point during their life. And while only approximately 22 percent of lost dogs that enter animal shelters are reunited with their families, the return-to-owner rate for micro chipped dogs is over 52 percent, a staggering 238 percent increase!

While these statistics are eye-opening, there’s nothing like a true-life story to bring home the message that a tiny microchip can make a huge difference in an outcome. When I posted on the National Dog Week Facebook Page asking for someone to share their personal microchip reunion story, Bebe Faryewicz sent me her family’s touching story about their German Shorthaired Pointer, Kris.

Bebe relayed that when her dog-loving daughter Valerie was only nine, she’d saved her money for a German Shepherd dog. She took great care of this dog – feeding, training, providing lots of play time that even included “dressing up” the big dog. At 13, Valerie remained a responsible young person; a good student who’d garnered recognition for many achievements. Bebe, and her husband Jim, thought their daughter deserved another dog.

According to Bebe, “We often visited family friends on their ranch where they had German Shorthaired Pointers. Valerie came to really liked the breed.” At that time, the Farywicz family was living in Plano, Texas, but usually traveled to spend time with family in Arkansas during the holiday season. During one of those visits, Bebe and Jim located a German Shorthaired Pointer breeder in Arkansas.That Christmas, Valerie’s surprise present was a puppy she named Kris, in the spirit of the holiday.

Bebe says Kris was very sweet, affectionate and smart even as a pup. He was a working dog, however, always chasing birds, butterflies, dragon flies, squirrels, and rabbits. His instinct for pointing birds found him running hard on the family’s 500 acre ranch, often until he dropped. Unfortunately, due to these breed traits, Kris eventually became lost in March 2013. “We lived in a house with a fenced in back yard. There was a partially broken picket, and Kris managed to break through the picket, probably chasing after an animal. By the time I realized he was gone, it was too, late,” Bebe sadly recalls.

The Farywiczs searched for Kris long and hard, doing everything possible to find him; visiting at least 50 shelters, calling vets, and putting up signs. But three months later, when the family relocated to Arkansas, the local ground search ended with their move. For several months, however, Bebe continued to search online.

As you can imagine the unresolved loss of their beloved dog was devastating. “Our hearts were broken. I had terrible thoughts of him getting injured, being out in the cold (which he did not like), or crying during storms,” Bebe says. The family held out hope that someone had found Kris and had taken care of him, but remained distressed about his unresolved disappearance.

Then, in June 2017, Bebe received a call from a veterinarian in Texas – Kris had been found by a rescue group in the town of Garland. With the information contained on his microchip he’d been traced to them. “I couldn’t believe my ears,” Bebe says. The rescuers who’d taken Kris in loved him and were so excited about finding his family that they drove that night all the way from Texas to Arkansas; at least a six hour drive, to reunite him with the Faryewiczs.

When Kris was found he was weak, dehydrated, skinny, had hookworms and suffered from lung inflammation. When the rescue group brought him to the vet, it had been determined that Kris hadn’t been on his own that long because he was relatively healthy; he had no liver or kidney problems. At age twelve, however, he’d become blind and deaf. According to Bebe, “We suspect someone took care of him for quite a while, and they either ignored the chip information, or never mentioned he was micro chipped to a vet. And we’re guessing, despite his advanced age, he’d escaped somehow, like he had done with us. I’m sure his new owners loved him like we did. At least, that’s our hope.”

Kris may have begun his life with the Faryewicz family as a Christmas gift, but his lasting gift was that of reunion defined as the act of getting people, and their pets, together again after they have been apart. Bebe, Jim, their son Jimmy and of course Valerie, remain grateful for all those who were involved in their dog’s rescue and return.

Microchipping is an inexpensive, simple, permanent, and painless procedure that can be safely administered by your dog’s veterinarian. Remember to register the microchip so that it’s included in a national database, and keep your contact information updated when you move. To ensure your dog’s chip is operational and critical information is up-to-date, ask your vet to scan your dog during an annual veterinarian checkup.

Hopefully, you’ll never experience the angst and uncertainty experienced when a pet goes missing, or is stolen. But knowing that you’ve had your dog microchipped can offer a sense of hope and ultimately, the gift of reunion. Just ask the Farywicz family.

About the Author:
According to Chinese star-gazers, Lisa Begin-Kruysman was born during the Hours and the Year of the Dog. It’s no surprise then that she’s made canines the focus of her award-winning works of Fiction and Non-Fiction, and social media platform. She is the recipient of the DWAA’s Maxwell Medallion and the North Shore Animal League America Award and the author of Dog’s Best Friend: Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week and Dog World Publisher (McFarland & Co.) and other titles. Her writing is inspired by the licks and love of her adorable foster-to-forever dog, Teddy. For more information please visit: www.lisabegin-kruysmanauthor.com

Posted in guest post, pet care, pet stories | 3 Comments

How hot is too hot for pets?

With Boynton Beach (FL) Police Department’s video saving a dog from heat stroke in a hot car has gone viral (click here to watch), Petplan pet insurance wants to remind pet owners that the heat takes its toll on our four-legged friends much differently. They put together these handy graphics to help pet owners see just how hot is too hot for our pets.

pet heat safety

pet heat safety

Pet heat hacks
It can be dangerous when pets’ body temperatures get just a few degrees above normal. Fortunately, with a little planning and preparation, keeping four-legged friends safe in warm weather can be a breeze. Here are six easy ways pet parents can help their pets beat the heat:

  • Chill out with a tasty treat. Freeze low-sodium chicken broth in a popsicle mold or ice cube tray for dogs and cats to enjoy on a hot day.
  • Hose down hot pavement, patios and porches before letting your pets outside. A little water could go a long way toward keeping paws cool and avoiding paw pad burns. Pet parents can also run cool water over their dog’s feet.
  • Say yes to ice water. Adding ice to pets’ water bowls creates a game for curious canines—they’ll bob for ice cubes and stay cool and hydrated in the process!
  • Cool the crate. If your pet will be crated while you’re away, try freezing two-liter water bottles and placing them on top of the crate. They’ll give off cool air and help keep the spot cool.
  • Wear a cold compress. A refrigerated wet bandana will help keep Fido cool and stylish this summer—this is especially effective because of the temperature receptors around dogs’ necks.
  • Make a splash. A backyard baby pool is a great way for pets to stay cool (and it’s fun too!). Some cats may even choose to toe the water.

When these hazards send pets to the vet, they can cause a deep dive into pet parents’ pockets with treatment costs averaging $2,606 for heat stroke, $398 for dehydration and $913 for hyperthermia. And the risk of heat-related incidents is nearly twice as high for brachycephalic (or snub-nosed) breeds such as Boxers, Bulldogs and Pugs.

Be safe while you are enjoying the summer with your furry friends! Remember, if it’s hot for you, it’s even hotter for them!

Posted in cats, dogs, guest post, pet care | 1 Comment

Burn Notice: Petplan Reveals the Three Biggest Fire Safety Mistakes Pet Parents Make

With Pet Fire Safety Day on July 15, pet insurance provider says failures in prevention and planning put pets’ health in peril

Having a pet can be a real learning curve, but there’s one aspect of pet parenthood that leaves no room for error: fire safety for four-legged friends. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that more than 500,000 pets are affected by home fires each year, and Petplan pet insurance says average costs for burns and smoke inhalation can range from $440 to nearly $3,000.*

With Pet Fire Safety Day approaching on July 15, Petplan is raising awareness about prevention and planning for emergencies, and revealed the most common fire-safety mistakes people make:

Mistake 1: Forgetting the first line of defense.
Petplan says prevention is the most important part of fire safety with four-legged friends, and many pet parents overlook these rules of thumb:

  • Replace traditional candles with flameless ones, remove or cover oven knobs (the NFPA says a cook top is the number one agent involved in pets starting fires), secure wires and cables out of paws’ reach to prevent chewing, and always use a fireplace screen.
  • Keep fresh batteries in smoke detectors and test them often to ensure they work properly.
  • Have at least one home fire extinguisher, check it regularly, and be sure every member of the household knows how to use it.

Mistake 2: Not having an exit plan.
Petplan says every home should have an evacuation plan for their pets, but this is one safety measure many pet parents skip:

  • Keep leashes or carriers in an accessible place close to the exits and be sure your pet is wearing an ID tag (keep a spare on the leash/in the carrier if your pet doesn’t usually wear a collar).
  • Pick several escape locations, in case you’re unable to take your preferred route, and designate duties for each household member. It should be one person’s job to grab the pets and another’s to gather supplies.
  • Consider packing a “go” bag with items like a harness, a muzzle (frightened dogs can and do bite), tranquilizers or natural calming remedies, basic first-aid supplies and a familiar t-shirt or blanket to provide some of the comfort of home.

Mistake 3: Not planning for when pets are home alone.
The scary truth is that pet parents aren’t always home when a fire starts, leaving pets especially vulnerable to injury. Petplan encourages pet parents to:

  • Secure pets near an exit if they are crated while home alone, or keep them confined to the first floor so responders can reach them faster.
  • Put a pet rescue alert in the front window to let first responders know there are pets in the house that need to be found (and where they may be hiding).
  • Consider using monitored smoke detectors to provide an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms. In a situation where pets are home alone, these systems trigger emergency personnel to be dispatched as soon as a smoke alarm goes off in the home.

“No one wants to imagine a fire threatening their home—let alone the life of their pets,” says Natasha Ashton, co-founder and co-CEO of Petplan. “But preparedness is power, and every pet parent should do their due diligence to ensure pets are as safe and protected as possible. If you’re not making any of the mistakes above, then paw it forward by donating or fundraising on behalf of your local fire department to purchase pet oxygen masks. In most states, emergency responders lack the equipment to resuscitate pets. The next best thing to saving your own pet’s life could be saving your neighbor’s.”

For more pet health tips and safety info, and to fetch a free, customizable pet rescue alert, visit www.gopetplan.com/firesafety.

* according to Petplan claims data 2012-2016.

Posted in cats, dogs, guest post, pet care | 1 Comment