Choosing Toys That Are Safe for Your Cat

To get the food sufficient for sustaining herself and her litter, a feral cat goes through the ritual of stalking, pouncing and killing, in a half-day's time. On the other hand, domestic cats feed on a diet that is commercially made and prepared by their owner, which is as effortless as using an electric can opener with their paw. It is no wonder why your cat weighs a little more than normal. If we confine our feline pets to the indoors, we take away their opportunity to work for a living. Although they may be safer inside, their body and mind tend to be inactive. So, you should decide on how to enhance their lives and environment.

Luckily, it is easier to entertain cats. Most of the things in their surroundings could serve as cat toys. As a matter of fact, in most homes, cats ignore commercial cat toys and they would rather play with items meant to be recycled. These include paper bags, shoe boxes, bottle caps and pens that have dried out. What you consider as garbage may be good to rip to your cat. Some people place appliance boxes at the center of the living room so that their cats can use them when playing hide-and-seek.

As you evaluate household items that are safe for your cat, take notice of the pieces that can be bitten and swallowed, get trapped on the claw and keep retraction, or get stuck in your cat's throat or mouth. Though a lot of cats love to hide inside paper bags, they hate it when their heads get used in the handles and the paper bag seems to have a life of its own, chasing them no matter how fast they run. To prevent this kind of problem, you just need to cut the handles before letting your cat have access to them.

The most important law on safety is to know your cat. Find out the things that catch his attention. He may have an oral craving for aluminum foil, plastic milk cap rims or paper curling ribbon. If this is the case, it is crucial to properly dispose these items to prevent your cat from having gastrointestinal problems. However, these same things can serve as well-supervised toys that may be played with occasion by other cats. Before you consider commercial toys as safe to play in your home, they should be carefully inspected. Cats that bat at toys using their paws can play with wands that have fluttering mylar strips. However, if your cat likes to put anything she catches in her mouth, this is not safe for playing.

When you know the habits, as well as play styles of your feline pet by heart, you can carefully select toys for your cat. This will, in turn, offer a mentally challenging surrounding, invigorating exercise and plain, good fun, creating a happier and healthy home companion. …

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Make A Cat Tree From A Ladder

Can you make a cat tree from a ladder? This is the question a friend of mine recently asked me after she mentioned a photo she’d seen of kitty play gym someone had made from a wooden ladder.

Well, sure you can. All you have to do is buy a wooden ladder, wrap it in sisal rope and attach some carpet covered platforms or tubes to the rungs and you’re done.

But why would you want to make a cat tree from a ladder? Aside from the novelty of the thing it’s not a very appealing, space or cost effective solution to your cat furniture dilemma.

Why not build a cat tree that will effectively use the space you have, won’t cost you an arm and a leg (have you priced wooden ladders lately?) and won’t give you any nasty surprises when you are half way through building it. To do this you need a set of modular cat tree plans.

I know, I know, I can hear you now… “But if I invest in a set of plans and change my mind (now or later) about what I want, I’m stuck. Or I’ll have to spend even more on another set of plans. So why not just wing it in the first place?”

Good point!

The truth is if you buy the wrong plans that could in fact happen to you. But seriously, if you’ve priced cat furniture lately you’ll know you can invest in many sets of plans and still come out ahead.

OK, so what to look for in a good set of cat tree plans.

Extensive instructions and lots of photos

A complete materials list

Tips on purchasing materials

Use only basic tools

Instruction for wood or PVC posts

Part layout and cutting diagram

Carpet types and where to shop for carpet

Detailed step-by-step carpeting diagrams

Modular assembly options

This is what I looked for when I set out to build my kitty play gym. I was so worried that it would be difficult or I’d make a mess of it so the more photos the better. In fact the ones I used had about 90 pages of instruction including over 250 photos so I was able to move confidently forward with my project.…

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Dog Halloween Costumes Are a Lot of Fun – Here's How to Make Them a Success!

Halloween is an ancient Celtic festival celebrated on October 31. The festivals would involve bonfires, and children and pets dressed up in scary costumes.

You can have a real good time with your beloved dog on Halloween by dressing him up in a costume for the big day. Dog Halloween costumes get a lot of attention. You can have a variety of fun making a costume for your dog and really enjoy perfecting his look so he can draw admiring glances from all who see him!

Here are some important thing to remember when assembling your dog's Halloween costume:

1. The costume should be appropriate size-wise, do not make it too tight or too loose, as this may cause problems. A tight costume can stop circulation around the legs and can cause discomfort, and injury. A loose costume can get rolled off easily, or snag on furniture or jack-o-lanterns. Help your dog get comfortable wearing the costume by taking it on and off a few times, and letting the dog wear it a few times in advance of the "big day."

2. There must be quite a few openings in the costume. Especially being aware of what will happen when the dog inevitably has to relieve himself.

3. Add a lot of reflective patches to the costumes, just like you do with the kid's costumes. This is especially important if the dog will be out at night.

4. The costume should not be too warm if it's warm outside, as dogs can easily overheat quite quickly. Do not make your dog run around a lot while he's wearing his costume.

5. Avoid using any small parts that the dog might swallow. Beads can be really dangerous to your dog if he swallows them. If you see your dog is nipping at the costume and it's starting to come apart, it's probably not safe for him to wear it.

6. Dogs must be handled and supervised properly, with a leash.

7. Dog should be able to see as well as hear clearly, while in their costume.

Try and follow all the instructions, to make your dog's Halloween really enjoyable as well as safe.

Here are some great dog costume ideas to get your creative juices flowing …

You can make your dog wear a head band like bunny ears and a big fuzzy tail to be like a bunny rabbit, reindeer horns are a hit at Christmas time. Deedlie-boppers can complement a lady bug costume – just experiment with fun hats and headbands you find around the house. Novelty hats with fake hair attached can be hilarious, too.

Your dog can dress as the most popular super hero around (or just as Super Pup) with a cape that goes around the dog's leg and back.

Some people prefer a clown costumes for their dogs on Halloween. You can put a big collar around your dog's neck, a pair of pants and big shoes on his feet. You can also put a …

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Cat Trees – the Answer For Feline Fun

If your cat could talk, what would she say? You might think leave me alone would be a good guess, but what she is crying out for is some stimulation. And cat trees can give her what she wants and save on the wear and tear to your furniture.

Available in several shapes and sizes, cat trees are a great way to entertain both you and your cat. They usually consist of a tower or tree with several platforms or limbs. All are covered in carpet perfect for scratching and some limps might hold cubbies or hammocks for your furry friend.

They will love exploring their new toy and observing the world around them from on high. Some have hanging toys they can bat at and others are just for climbing and resting. Yet traditionally this well loved design does not necessarily garner the same praise from cat owners. In fact some cat lovers have gone without while others have endured what some call eyesores pushed to the corner of the room.

Now, though several new designs have appeared that merge clean lines with molded pine and pressed cardboard in lieu of plywood covered in carpet remnants. You can choose from a Frank Lloyd Wright inspired house for your furry friend or perhaps a snail shell shaped cardboard cocoon would appeal to both you and your cat. Do you go for European style? Well then try an elliptical shaped cubby for your pet on a steel pedestal. One designer has pared down the cat tree to its essence; a wall mounted platform with inset mohair and even carpet.

While these new designs may appeal to some, others are still just as happy with the regular styled cat trees in their living rooms. And your cat? Well he or she would probably be just as happy with the box these things came in. But cats are very adaptable and will most likely be content with anything you give them. So if you want a cat toy that is more modern and aesthetically pleasing to the eye your cat will like it too.

Most cats love to get into anything, so any type of furniture will protect your furniture from excess fur and scratch marks. So surprisingly you don’t have to decide between a happy cat and a stylish pad. Modern cat trees and other cat furniture are almost sculptures or art, for your home. No more shoving them in the corner to hopefully get them out of site. You’ll want to proudly display these pieces.

So indulge your furry friends with furniture like cat trees that you both can love and you won’t be seen as a crazy cat lady with fur constantly flying in the room, a bad smell coming from the litter box are and your living room cluttered with more ghastly cat furniture than furniture for yourself. Instead you will just be a person who has a swanky pad who also has a cat or two to keep …

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Dog Halloween Costumes – Dressing Up Your Pooch For the Spooky Occasion

Halloween is a fun time of year for children of all ages-and all species. For those of you who are pet lovers you might already know that you can find creative cat and dog Halloween costumes to make the holiday even more special for you and your furry friend. If this is something that you are interested in there are a few different options that you can look into to learn more about the topic. The first suggestion would be to search online to get an idea of ​​what you would like to dress your pet up as. You can also go to the larger pet stores to see what they might have to offer you for information on the subject.

Once you know what type of creative costume you want for your pet you will need to decide what you will use for accessories. If you are planning on having your cat be a dog for Halloween you might want to have him wear bones made out of paper around his neck. Just something simple and cute like that would work. Why do not have your pet costume match the theme as your children's? Your little girl could be Bo Peep while your black lab could be her lost sheep. Looking for an idea that is a little more complicated? Have your son be Elliot and your rat terrier can be ET the alien. The most fun part about Halloween is that you get to let your imagination and creativity run wild.

If you are planning on taking your old pooch "trick-or-treating" with the family you will want to take this into consideration, does the costume work well with a collar and leash? You would not want something tragic to happen to your beloved friend on such a joyous evening. In the even that you might be out past dark you should put reflective tape on the collar and leash of your pets. You could also purchase these accessories that are made for doing such activities in the dark. Also, make sure the costume fits properly. Too small of a costume could be hazardous to your pet because it might not allow your pet to move as easily. If danger where to head your way your pet might not be able to get out of the way in time due to the restrictions. Always be sure to never leave your pet unattended while in a costume. An animal can easily become tangled up while wearing a costume and this could lead to serious injuries or even death.

You can shop for your cat or dog Halloween costume at most pet stores. Online is another option for shopping. Many pet suppliers have catalogs that you can have shipped right to your door to look through. You will be able to mail in an order or even make a purchase online. Making your own costume is another possibility. You can find free patterns or patterns for a relatively low cost online …

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Electronic Fences and Bark Collars

Some owners find that the electronic devices work when other behavior modification solutions fail. The negative feedback of the static electric shock, combined with proper training, can help curb unwanted behaviors. These devices have been used to control hunting dogs in the field, to keep dogs from nuisance barking, and to prevent dogs from entering certain, off-limits areas. In addition, there are specific situations where containment is needed and above-ground fences are not allowed. In a case such as this, buried electric fences are the logical alternative. Finally, there are times when shock deterrents are the only form of behavior modification that work to correct a problem. When other attempts fail and the dog’s behavior may lead to removal from the household, electronic collars are a viable alternative. This is often the case with dogs that bark incessantly.

ELECTRONIC COLLARS:

If one is considering the use of electronic correction collars, it is important to learn how they work, how the dog needs to be trained, and which options are available. These training collars work on the concept that an animal will learn to avoid the discomfort of a static electric shock by avoiding the situation that caused the shock. The use of a transmitter and a collar allow the correction to be administered when the owner is not visibly present or touching the dog. Ideally, the dog will believe that the correction is caused by the behavior, not the owner, and learn to avoid the behavior, and therefore prevent future corrections. These types of collars are primarily used to control unwanted behaviors that occur when the dog is physically separated from the owner.

Not all training collars are the same. When choosing a remote-training collar, it is important to identify the stimulus that sets off the correction, the type of correction, and the size of dog that the collar is intended to be used on. Also, check if the collar can be set to different levels of sensitivity (what triggers the correction) and different levels of stimulation (intensity of the correction). Other concerns would be the type of battery (rechargeable, replaceable), the weight of the collar, and whether or not it is waterproof. The combination of these traits will allow you to choose the most appropriate collar for your pet. These collars are available either as training collars, which allow the owner to remotely administer a corrective stimulation in response to an unwanted behavior, or as anti-barking collars, which administer a pre-programmed correction in response to barking and do not require the owner to be present.

Electronic training collars consist of a hand-held transmitter and a receiver attached to a dog collar. Usually, the collars have several levels of stimulation. Many have features that allow the owner to alter the length of the static correction as well as its intensity. Some have a ‘good dog’ tone that the dog is taught to associate with a correct behavior. These collars require training of both the owner and the pet to avoid …

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The Pros And Cons Of Flushable Cat Litter

If you have cats, no doubt you know that keeping the litter box clean is one of the biggest chores you face. And the odor can be a constant problem no matter what you do. To this end, marketers have tried to come up with ways that will make this chore easier. One of these ways is using flushable cat litter.

Flushable litter can be convenient for owners because instead of having to dispose of clumping or other types of litter in waste receptacles, you can simply flush it down the toilet and get rid of smell and mess in one instant. And indeed, this can be a great convenience for many cat owners.

These litters are often also lighter in texture. Typically, the cost is roughly the same as other types of litters in cost per use. They may appear more expensive because of their lighter weight (for example, if regular clumping clay costs 20 cents a pound and the flushing type costs three times that, this looks more expensive, but you should remember that it will weigh less per use and thus can go farther). They can be hard to find as well, but availability of Internet shopping makes this a relatively minor problem, since owners can have it shipped to them if it is not available in their area.

However, you should know that this has its drawbacks as well. One of these is that you exchange contributing to landfill waste with used litter, for water waste and extra sewage. Therefore, it may not be any more environmentally sound than simply disposing of used litter in the trash. Its advantage is that because the soiled mess is flushed instantly, there is usually much less lingering box odor. In addition, some types of litter can be composted once dried stools are removed. This may be the way to have the least environmental impact from your cat’s box.

One other consideration with using flushing versus conventional litter is your cat’s “opinion” of the litter itself. Many cats are so used to the regular texture and feel of clay that they will not use the flushing type. In this case, of course, the most important consideration is whether or not your cat will use the box at all. You should keep careful watch to see if you cat does or does not like the flushable litter.

You may be able to get him or her to use it if you began by mixing a small amount of the flushing litter in with your cat’s regular litter (without flushing this at first, of course, but disposing in the trash as usual) and gradually increasing the amount of flushable litter and decreasing the amount of the clay until you’re using 100% flushable. Even with this type of “break-in” period, some cats never get used to the flushing type and will only stay with tried-and-true clumping variety. However, if your cat does like it, it may be a viable alternative for you.

In …

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Cat Halloween Costumes – Charging Up Your Halloween Experience

People like to dress up unusual and attractive outfits for Halloween. You can choose from different costume ideas and make people around you crazy and delighted. You can go for a scary, humorous and lively costume or imagine your own theme for the party. Cat Halloween costumes are preferred by women and children as Catwoman is a popular movie character, and cat being a household animal.

Cat Halloween costumes can even be worn by babies. Dressing up in a cat costume can charge up the party and animate wearers. You can get ready-made cat Halloween costumes or buy them online at a low price. Before purchasing cat Halloween costumes, make sure they are suitable and fit well. If you want them to sustain for long term, check the quality of the costume. Remember to choose a member of a cat family and wear accordingly.

Cat costumes complemented by accessories and make up will give the complete look. Make sure your costume is different and likable. The most preferred cat Halloween outfit is a black jumpsuit which is made of polyester. Black is a strong color and it reflects the vigor of a cat. It makes the wearer tall, slim and attractive.

The ears of a cat costume should be rightly placed and should not run to the head, as it could be disturbing. The tail in the costume is essential to give you an animalistic look.

Choose the length of the tail according to your height. For children, it has to be short while adults can have long tail for a funny look. The tail should be well set with the costume so that it does not drop while walking. You can make a tail with artificial fur and color papers at home. You can also make use of wire and used tins for making your tail. Apply glue strictly for it to remain firmly.

The face should have clear cat eyes and numerous whiskers. Make up improvements your look. You could go for a simple or heavy make up. If you do not have time for a make up, go for a black leather mask covering half of the face leaving the eyes. This gives the mysterious cat look. For kitten costumes, use headdresses and put a black spot on the nose of the baby. With Broadway makeup styles you can get more shades for your nose.

Get high-heel shoes for your legs. Wear gloves with claw ends or set your fingers with artificial nails. You can wear belts with metal buckles. Carry a whip with you. It would display authority and power, and athletes attention at the party.

After you get your desirable look it is now time to be a real cat. Do not be someone in a cat costume, try to be a cat. Learn the behavior, physical movements and sounds of a cat and display them. You could greet your audience with a 'meow'. Join your partners and family members with the cat costume. They …

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The Importance of Keeping Cat Beds and Cat Toys Clean

Cat beds and cat toys seem to get a lot of use, wear and tear. This is good since that means that they are being put to good use. However, if you fail to keep these items clean then you could be introducing germs into your cat's environment that could be harmful. Luckily, solutions to keeping things in safe working order are simple. This routine is so simple and safe that any member of your family can pitch in and help – even the younger members of your clan.

The largest culprit on cat beds is cat hair. It will seem that each single hair has suddenly developed super human strength as they cling to the fibers of the bed. One trick to unlocking this grip is to first spray the area with Static Guard. The reaction should allow your vacuum cleaner to pick up more hairs.

You can then roll the area with a lint roller or slip on a rubber glove and rub your hand over the surface. This is the second line of defense in eliminating pet hair from cat beds. The strategy here is to get as much pet hair removed before you throw the outer layer of the bed into the washing machine. You do not want to risk having too much pet hair left in the wash machine and then later transferred to your clothing.

You can follow a similar routine for any pet toys that you are planning to put into the wash cycle with the cat bed's outer layer.

Be sure your washing machine is set for a large load and use plenty of laundry detergent which again will help in dislodging that stubborn pet hair. If the bed is extremely dirty, consider running it through a second cycle.

Finally, throw cat beds and toys in the dryer but be sure to use at least one dryer sheet. The use of a liquid fabric softener will not be as effective since the dryer sheet will again help to avoid static electricity and remove more of any lingering cat hair. Remember to use a low setting on the dryer to keep shrinkage at a minimum.

This routine can be followed as needed; However, most owners clean their cat beds and toys once a month to ensure the greatest about of healthy benefits for their cat. …

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How to Build a Cat Tree

No matter what kind of cat tree you want to build, you need to take into consideration the following three things – cost, size, and your construction experience. Do not let any one of these things stop you from building your own cat tree, but do plan according to what you can manage.

Let's start with experience. If this is your first time doing a project like this, you might want to look around and check out what others have done. This will give you ideas for your own project. However, if you have done this before, then you most likely have a good idea of ​​what you want.

Beginners should start with a simple cat tree. This will – most likely – keep the costs down and the size of your project small. However, your cat will never know the difference, and will enjoy your hard work immensely – no matter what the size.

And, if you're concerned about your budget, do not worry – costs can be kept to a minimum, unless you're building an extravagant cat tree or you just want to use really high quality materials. For instance, you can find scrap pieces of plywood from a construction site or carpet squares at a discount from a building store. Maybe a friend or relative just got done with a renovation project and there's left-over scrap materials you can use on your project.

You can also go to your local lumber yard and ask them for scraps or partial pieces of plywood that only cost a couple of dollars, if anything. If you go to a carpet store, you'll be able to find empty tubes or scraps of carpet for anywhere from a couple of dollars to free. By now, you should be getting the idea that you do not have to spend a lot of money to build something nice for your cat.

As far as size goes, you can go as simple as a 14 "x 14" platform mounted to 12 "long center post sitting on a 2 'x 2' base, all wrapped in carpet or fake fur. May decide to go with a more expensive multi-story "cat condo" extravaganza – it's all up to you and what your pocketbook can handle. Can always start small and add to it as time progresses.

To build a simple cat tree, all you really need is a square piece of plywood, a wooden post of appropriate width, carpet, wood glue, and nails. Use the glue to attach the carpet to the base and the post, and use nails to attach the two pieces together. You can then use a spring or heavy rope to attach a fun cat toy to the top of the post so that your cat has something to play with.

Whatever method you use – and although much you spend – you can be sure that your cat will love her new home-built cat tree. As long as you build it with love …

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