As a pet lover, do you ever wonder if you’re doing enough? Or do you ever find yourself comparing your parenting with what you see other pet parents doing with or for their pets? Are you consumed by guilt every time you have to leave your cat or dog alone or decide to say no to something that would be good for them? (Like that uber-expensive spa treatment or therapy?) Trust me, you’re not the only one dealing with pet guilt. Here are tips to help you deal.
How do you stop a cat fight? And how do you know if the cat fighting turns serious—rather than just kitten play? Shadow-Pup thinks it’s great fun to chase and wrestle with Karma-Kat. We supervise, of course, and interrupt the play should one or the other object.
If you’re looking for help with dog aggression, go here.
There are many kinds of cat aggression, and many are perfectly normal behaviors. Certainly, it’s not fair to you or the cats to allow cats to fight. Learn how to recognize the potential and reasons behind cat aggression and fighting cats, and what you can do.
On Monday September 11, 2023, a tiny speck of a kitten made her presence known with very loud MEWS and a personality way bigger than anyone expected. Hungry, full of fleas, and the expected roundworms (and probably tapes because…fleas), her eyes and ears looked too big for her delicate wedge-shaped face.
Now, I get alerts about “found” kittens all the time, and sadly, can’t take any of them. This baby proved different in so many ways–only some of which I can share. While at the grocery picking up kitten food, my husband called and I explained my next stop at church—Trinity Lutheran—where I hoped to find a forever-home for the baby with a family who tragically lost a beloved kitty. And I told him if that didn’t work out, we likely had a third furry wonder for our home.
My friends at church, not yet ready to welcome a new pet, meant that the kitten came home with me. It seems that the Higher Being with whom all things are possible, made sure she found her way to us. He knew we needed her as much as she needed us.
I created an online store to sell my digital and print titles DIRECT TO YOU! In today’s world, with so much up in the air, many authors now make direct book sales available, because we control the price (and can DISCOUNT to you!), and because … well, I have control over Amy Shojai’s books.
Yes, you can still find all of my titles on the various platforms (Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Apple, GooglePlay, Audible, Chirp and more). This way, though, I earn more on each sale while offering you, dear readers, a better deal than other retailers. That means I can write more books, update existing titles, and keep providing you with what you need.
Read on to learn more about Amy Shojai Books Direct!
September 19-25 is National Adopt A Less Adoptable Pet Week, founded by PetFinder.com. The organization encourages shelters and rescues to create special week-long events devoted to giving overlooked pets like those with disabilities a better chance at finding homes.
This struck a chord with me, especially after living with a tri-pawd dog when Bravo lost his leg. He didn’t act disabled, though. Have you ever adopted an other-abled pet or less adoptable pet?
What Is A Less Adoptable Pet
Why less adoptable? They’re the wrong breed or have special needs. Overlooked pets include deaf dogs or deaf cats, blind pets, or those missing a limb. Many folks prefer the ‘perfect’ cute puppy or kitten and don’t want a crippled pet, or just don’t like the color of the dog or cat. Of course, we know black dogs and cats, and those with only one eye, or three legs, still love us with all their furry hearts! Read on…
Congratulations! Your hard work has paid off, and Kitty no longer fears the carrier and handles the car ride with almost no signs of fear, anxiety or stress. Kitty purrs and cheek-bonks the veterinary technicians, and barely notices the doctor’s exam through all the petting and tasty treats. But as soon as you get home, Kitty’s former feline friends snub him, or worse. Why do cats fight after vet visits? What’s up with all the cat bashing?
September is Animal Pain Awareness Month, so I wanted to share this vital information again. We know pain hurts, but pain in pets and treating pet pain when pets hurt confuses us. They can’t tell us they feel pain, or where it hurts. Not like humans.
Because I get to work at home, there are certain perks I enjoy–such as going barefoot to work. But one afternoon last fall I moved too fast and kicked the whey outta my big toe. This wasn’t just a stubbed toe, either—it lifted and peeled the nail back to the quick, bled everywhere and hurt like the devil! Yes, I said a few choice words as I hobbled down the stairs from my office (trying not to leave a bloody trail) to get bandage material. Ooooooh, that puppy throbbed and made me whimper and howl, let me tell you.
I understand how Magical-Dawg felt several years ago. After a run in the field playing fetch, he started shivering when he came inside. The ninety-degree weather argued that he was not chilled. I checked him head-to-tail, and found nothing wrong. But later in the week, he again started shivering, and even growled at me when I asked him to move—very uncharacteristic.
Finally, after several days and two vet visits, we figured out his problem. He’d torn a dewclaw back to the quick. it hadn’t come off, so the injury remained hidden. Seren-kitty had this happen once, too, when her claw caught on bedding as she leaped from the pillow. She hid. But Magic’s short temper, shivers, and hyper-alert behavior resulted from being in pain. Here’s what you need to know to help your pets.
Do you have a pet 1st aid medicine chest for your dogs and cats? The audiobook version of my first aid book for pets includes some DIY home remedies for old pets. While your veterinarian diagnoses and prescribes for your pet’s health issues, pet first aid and minor problems may benefit from human medicines.
Home remedies for pets save $$ and pet lives because Fido and Sheba rarely tears a claw or eats something iffy during regular clinic hours. It’s helpful to know how to use your pantry supplies and human medicine chest to help your cat or dog. Some people prescriptions can be dangerous (especially for cats!) so it’s a good idea to have a handy list.
It’s DOG WALKER APPRECIATION DAY! And maybe you have a regular dog walker (your kid? a company?) that manages when you can’t walk your dog, or go on vacation. Good pet vacation plans depend on the individual pet and your special circumstances. When my mother became ill and then passed away, we need to find a pet boarding place for Shadow-Pup and Karma-Kat to stay. Does your dog love riding in the car, meeting new people at the boarding kennel, hide from pet sitters, or become hyper around strangers? Maybe you’d like to learn about traveling with your pet.
Perhaps Chance the cat enjoys riding in the car but your brother’s dog hates kitties, or Grandma is allergic. Are pets more comfortable at a kennel away from your nephew’s hair-pulling fingers? Or does your pet go on a hunger strike if boarded?
I can’t remember the last time that my husband and I had a vacation together, but I do remember how boarding my dog led to a broken arm (read on for that story!). Since that time, we make an effort to not be gone at the same time. There are times, though, when we must leave them behind, maybe not for vacation but other reasons. Here are some tips for pet vacation issues.
Karma-Kat started sneezing a couple of years ago. When cats have the sniffles, you worry about curing kitty congestion. Cat colds are one of the most common health problems of kittens and adult cats. Feline upper respiratory diseases, sometimes called cat flu, often affect shelter and rescue cats. My cat Seren-Kitty also had a couple of severe bouts with kitty snorkles.
For more information about cat colds and dog coughs, see this post.
We love snuggling baby dogs with sweet puppy breath, Frito-smelling toes, lap snuggles, and then–OH NO, puppy diarrhea! What’s a pet parent to do about dog loose motion? We’ve already had this issue with our new pup, Shadow, and had to deal with it.
Of course, adult dogs also suffer from the occasional loose stool as well or they pass gas (flatulence). At any age, dog diarrhea can be a sign of something serious that needs immediate attention. This is not about puppy accidents during house training, but an illness your dog can’t control. Knowing home remedies, dog first aid, and when to call the vet about puppy diarrhea could save your pet’s life.
It’s NATIONAL ADOPT A DOG MONTH! How will you spend your celebration? Wait, your dog didn’t tell you? Well, for Shadow, it’s “dog week” every week of the year, but the “official” celebration takes place the 4th week of September every year — and has been celebrated since the first event in 1928. But October celebrates dog adoptions all month long. Check out my most popular dog-centric blogs in this post.
Some of my earliest bylines as a “pet journalist” appeared in Cat Fancy magazine. I got my first book contracts because a NYC editor read and liked a couple of my Cat Fancy articles. But the magazine sold in 2013, and published a final issue in 2015. Much of the content remains important and share-able. The last article I wrote for Cat Fancy (updated below) covered feral cats and TNR.
Feral Cats, Community Cats, TNR & New Research
There are an estimated 60 to 100 million free-roaming feral and community cats in the United States. They caterwaul from alleyways, give birth in woodpiles, and slink beneath dumpsters, eking out a meager existence on the scraps of civilization. Nobody knows how many live homeless and unloved, but wherever cats gather, controversy soon follows.
Caring cat lovers tried many “solutions” and opinions abound regarding the best way to deal with un-owned and feral felines. In the last decade, a small army of dedicated and caring cat advocates, including Riverfront Cats, and the Feral Cat Project (which lists several success stories!) believes that TNR is a viable and ethical answer.
New strategies are needed that move beyond trap/neuter/release programs. “The importance of finding viable, safe, humane and cost-effective techniques for nonsurgical sterilization in community cats cannot be overstated,” said Dr. Kathy Tietje, Vice President of Scientific Operations at Morris Animal Foundation. Two studies recently approved by Morris Animal Foundation addresses this issue with nonsurgical methods to control reproductive capacity. “We’re excited about these innovative projects and their impact on population control of this specific group of cats.” The projects begin in 2023 and should last 12-24 months.
Reducing the number of cats entering the shelter system and improving overall feline health outcomes are the primary drivers behind these new studies. An additional benefit will be reducing the environmental impact of free-roaming, community cats through humane population control. The project at the University of Georgia is aimed at developing an oral vaccine to decrease male cat fertility by reducing reproductive hormone levels. The Tufts University project focuses on decreasing hormone levels in female cats through an injectable medication. Until then, TNR continues to lead the charge for feral cat welfare.
Halloween pet safety is needed every year. With the pandemic, many of the traditional trick or treating visits changed but l locally in North Texas (Sherman, new events this year entertain the kids while keeping them safe. There’s also a pet Halloween costume event in Denison on October 30th, but we want our pets to also stay safe from goblins and other dangers. Learn how to get pets to accept costumes in this post.
Halloween at its best is a night of mystery, fun, and thrills for human children and many adults. It’s important to keep your human kiddoes safe with these tips, but no less important for the pets. I write about Halloween pets safety every year because it can be a nightmare for your furry kids.
Why Pets Hate Halloween
The calmest, most laid-back pet may get his tail in a twist when masked villains with flapping capes ring the front doorbell. Cats and dogs identify friends and family not only by scent, but also by appearance. Remember how King barks and growls and doesn’t recognize Uncle Jerry when he wears that baseball cap? Just imagine how King will react to a rubber mask that covers the neighbor child’s face!
Stranger danger can turn confident pets into nervous wrecks. If you know trick or treaters will visit, prepare your pets and put safety first–for you AND the kids. After all, you don’t want frightened pets to lash out at well-meaning kids.
I’ve reviewed other Uahpet products before–the ball launcher and an earlier version of the Wireless Cat Water Fountain. Today, I’m delighted to take a look at the latest updated product, the GLOW Wireless Cat Water Fountain.
Cats conserve water and don’t drink as much as they should. Any incentive to prompt your cat to lap up extra water benefits Kitty’s health. With our new kitten Trinity promoting more exercise (kitten play is thirsty work!), adding water sources means more drinking ops. In fact, water makes up 84 percent of a kitten’s body weight, so with Trinity just over two pounds, water makes up a pound-and-a-half of her weight!
Water for both kittens and adult cats fuels the body, helping to distribute important nutrients, regulating body temperature, and promoting regular bathroom habits. I’ve moved a water fountain into Trinity’s kitten room, the dog has a big bowl in the kitchen, and now Karma-Kat has the benefit of the new GLOW fountain.
Ok, who doesn’t love a little paunch on your favorite pet? I have to admit a round puppy or kitten tummy just begs to be cuddled. Adult cats commonly have a pouch–primordial pouch–that won’t go away even when they weigh the right amount. Even wild cats have this extra-belly, possibly as an added protection from tooth-and-claw, or to give more flexibility when running. But more than that and it’s important to recognize when it’s a sign of something serious or is putting your pet at risk of long-term harm.
I get it. The chubby look on some pets can literally melt hearts! 😍But as someone who has been in this industry long enough, I know that a little chubbiness can lead to some pretty large and serious health issues. Paunch and obesity in pets are serious issues that shouldn’t be ignored. Let’s take a closer look at pet paunch and what you can do to help manage your pet’s weight.
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 87% of veterinary professionals surveyed consider pet obesity a disease. But the same survey found that fewer pet owners think their pets are obese versus the general percentages that actually are. This means a lot of pet parents aren’t recognizing that pudge as a potential problem.
Have you thought about dog bite Halloween safety? and I’m not talking about vampires, either. Many dogs enjoy the howl-idays. But dogs biting kids happens more often at this time of year than any other.
This is a timely subject so I try to revisit the information every year. I write about this every year because it’s so darned important. With Halloween in the offing, this is the perfect time to brush up on dog safety issues and protect your kids, too.
To give equal time, there are many kitty-centric Halloween myth-teries you’ll find fascinating, especially about black cats.
While nonstop doorbell rings and visitors showering attention may be doggy bliss for your pet, even friendly laid back pooches get their tails in a twist over the disruption to routine. That can be dangerous for the pet—and for the human. Learn more about dog bites and kid safety here…
I grew up in Northern Indiana where you recognized autumn by the rainbow-hued leaves painting the landscape. But I’ve lived in Texas longer than anywhere else. While I miss the colorful trees, one of my favorite autumn blessings in Texas brings in refreshing, cooler temps. After many weeks of triple-digits, a 70-80-degree day feels like bliss! Yes, that’s a blessing.
Gratitude meaning…gratitude definition…these may be different for individuals. But I felt inspired to share my take on gratitude.
Do you enjoy dressing up the house—and yourself—for the holidays? If you want to include Halloween pet costumes, start now to get them used to the notion. Most of the costumes don’t fit Bravo-Dawg, and I’ve not yet tried Shadow-Pup. I’ll share pictures if/when that happens.
Meanwhile, be sure to keep pets safe over Halloween, though. Dogs and cats aren’t always fans of wearing Halloween costumes, but with these tips, you can help pets accept the notion.
Halloween Pet Costumes
Some pets enjoy dressing up, particularly the small dogs already used to wearing coats and sweaters in cool weather. There are many pet costumes available from pet products stores, from fancy to plain. If your outgoing, confident pet is willing, you can have great fun with costumes. But if your pets don’t care for dress up, don’t press it. Many pets may bite over Halloween out of fear of change.
Even reluctant pets may be persuaded to wear a fancy collar or bandana or painted toenails.
Visit Amy’s Website
Amy Shojai CACB is an award winning author. You can find all her publications and book her to speak via her website.
On Demand Writer Coaching
AmyShojai.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com http://amazon.com/.