Written by Brandon Buttler
First-Time Cat Parent? Here’s How You Can Make It Work
When you’re looking for a pet to share your home with, a cat can be a great option. Generally, cats are more low maintenance and easier to train than dogs. They are also quiet and independent, so they make great apartment pets. Still, the decision to adopt a cat requires more preparation. As experts in pet care, Chicago Urban Pets know a thing or two about that. Here’s your guide to successful adoption.
Making the Decision
There are several things you need to consider before you take home a feline companion. First, should you go for a kitten or an adult cat? The answer to which depends on the amount of time you can realistically devote to training. Generally, a kitten will need more supervision, and you may need to kitten-proof your home. An adult cat, on the other hand, is best if you’re looking for a pet with a milder temperament and more independence.
Your home environment also needs to be considered. If you have young children, a kitten may not be ideal as they can injure each other. If you have other pets, you will want to make sure that they have the temperament to handle the new addition to your home. Also, if you are likely to leave your cat alone for long periods of time, it may be wise to adopt a bonded pair.
Finally, consider your expectations. Perhaps you want a cuddly lap pet instead of one that’s more active, or maybe you want a cat that doesn’t need daily brushing. By knowing the kind of relationship you want with your cat, you have a better chance of ending up with the right pet.
Preparing for the New Arrival
When you bring home your new pet, you’ll want them to get comfortable sooner rather than later. It’s a must, therefore, to stock up on the cat supplies necessary to get your new resident settled in quickly. A litter box and good cat litter are definitely non-negotiable if you want to keep messes at bay. You also need toys and a scratching post to protect your furniture. Don’t forget a cat bed, food and water bowls, and a collar and ID tag — to name a few.
Your choice of cat food is also crucial. Naturally, you want to keep your cat healthy and happy. For this purpose, wet cat food is arguably better and healthier than dry food because of its higher moisture content. It’s definitely a must to compare various brands to find one that’s most beneficial to your cat’s overall well-being. Make sure to consider ingredients, vitamin and mineral composition, and possible additives before you make your choice.
As you and your cat settle into your life together, you need to have an understanding of cat behavior. Cats can be quite quirky, but there is often an explanation for many of these affectations. By taking the time to get to know these quirks, you are then better able to separate what’s natural from what isn’t and address it accordingly.
To make life easier for you and your cat both, it’s also smart to get the right kind of help. A veterinarian is a must to keep your cat in tiptop health, so make sure to choose right. It’s also good to find a cat sitter you can trust if you need to travel or work late. Cat sitting should be customizable to your cat’s needs and include tasks like feeding, litter cleaning, and more.
Indeed, a cat is definitely a great choice for a pet. But with research and preparation, you’ll be able to find your perfect feline companion and live happily ever after.
Written by: Nao Mitsutomi
Being a dog and cat lover but being cursed with allergies towards them has got to be one of the saddest things ever.
I myself am allergic to dogs and cats (but don’t worry, I live with a cat so I’ve got things under control 😎), and have had my fair shares of sneezing and watery eyes when being around them. But don’t worry, there are steps you can take to making being around your furry friends more tolerable! Here are some tips and tricks, some of which I myself use, for living with furry friends when you’re allergic!
Create a pet-free zone in your home
It’s recommended that you create a pet-free zone in your home so that you’ll have a guaranteed space where you can comfortably hang out without having to worry about allergic reactions. Often the bedroom is a good option. Yes, unfortunately, this means that you won’t be able to cuddle up with your furry companions at night, but it’s important to have a space where you can take a break from constantly being around allergens!
Clean, clean, clean!
Vacuuming and dusting frequently can help greatly reduce your exposure to allergens!
Get a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter.
Using vacuum cleaners and air purifiers with HEPA filters can help reduce the particles that exacerbate allergies!
Bathe your pet.
Regularly bathing your pet can reduce the allergens on your pet’s coat!
If your allergy symptoms are mild, they can be treated with over-the-counter allergy medication!
Written By: Briseis Schreibmam
Hey there, CUP fam, today we're going to talk about ways you can make traveling with your pet easier!
Whether your pooch only rides in the car for short visits to the vet and groomer or enjoys long road trips, we're here with some tips to help keep you and your furry friends safe and happy.
Three important things to consider when traveling with your dog are
1) managing distractions,
2) slowing the dog's acceleration in case of a crash, and
3) securing the pup after impact. Finding the right restraint for your dog's size and temperament is essential.
The non-profit "Center For Pet Safety" is an excellent resource. They have conducted safety tests on a variety of dog harnesses, crates, and carriers. Center For Pet Safety is a great place to begin your research, though I encourage you to do your own digging to find the best equipment for your furry friend.
Beyond crash safety equipment, we have some suggestions to make your life easier! From cleaning up to your pet's comfort, these tips focus on making every car ride as stress-free as possible.
Written By: Briseis Schreibman
Hey CUP fam, today we'll be demystifying Catnip. Also known as Catmint, Cats' plant, or even "Kitty Crack," this plant is well known for its effect on our feline friends. But did you know that humans also used to use this plant? For centuries, humans utilized Catnip to make teas, herbal cigarettes, and even cooking seasoning. Nowadays, this fascinating plant is used almost exclusively for cats.
What exactly does Catnip do? Catnip is one of the approximate 250 species in the mint family and has a leafy green appearance. Nepetalactone, the essential oil in Catnip, is a mild hallucinogenic that is not addictive and completely feline-friendly. However, sensitivity to Catnip is hereditary and only present in cats over six months of age. The Humane Society has a great description of what your cat experiences while affected by Catnip,
"The most intense catnip experience starts with the nose—one whiff of the stuff and your cat promptly goes nuts. Researchers suspect that catnip targets feline "happy" receptors in the brain. When eaten, however, Catnip tends to have the opposite effect, and your cat mellows out. Most cats react to Catnip by rolling, flipping, rubbing, and eventually zoning out. They may meow or growl at the same time. Other cats become hyperactive or downright aggressive, especially if you approach them. Usually, these sessions last about 10 minutes, after which your cat loses interest. It may take as long as two hours for him to "reset" and become susceptible to Catnip again. Be mindful of overindulgence though—cats are unlikely to overdose on Catnip, but they can get sick if they eat too much. Trust your kitty to know when they've had enough." (The Humane Society)
Now that you have a better understanding of how Catnip affects your kitty, you may be wondering how best to incorporate the plant into your pet's life? First up, consider what form you want to purchase the plant in. Catnip can be purchased as a spray of essential oils and distilled water, an herb-like mixture of dried leaves and flowers, pellets of dried leaves and flower buds, and as catnip-filled cat toys or dental chews. Whatever your preferred form, always make sure the product is fresh and stored in an airtight container in the freezer to extend shelf life. You can also choose to grow your own Catnip as it is a simple herb that can flourish indoors and outdoors.
Finally, it's time to determine the best use. Here is a list of some of the most popular suggested uses:
Written By Briseis Schreibman
Hey there, CUP family! I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I’ve been watching significantly more TV shows and movies lately. I thought I knew what a Netflix binge looked like, but I’ve realized over the past few months that I was sorely mistaken. Sure, some might see this as a waste of time, but I think the key to a successful binge-watch is picking your media carefully. Making a conscious choice about what media you consume can help make all that screen time super productive. It can feel comfortable to click on the same show or turn the tv on mindlessly to a random channel. However, being more intentional with your habits can leave you feeling refreshed and not so media fatigued as watching The Office reruns for the umpteenth time.
To help get you started, I’ve compiled a list of animal-focused tv shows and movies that will be both educational and relaxing!