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Swift Current

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Lets talk about your indoor cats

We posted previously on tips to keep your outdoor animals safe this winter, but what about our indoor cats!? Hopefully you have been enjoying our relatively warm winter so far, however it is evident that the temperature will start to drop soon, making it a perfect time to curl up with a good book, a warm blanket and an even warmer family pet! So here are some tips to help keep our feline friends safe, happy and healthy!

 

  1. Know the mantra of your cat! Hunt-Catch-Kill-Eat-Groom-Sleep! This is what cats want to do, in this order, every day (cat mantra courtesy of Jackson Galaxy). You can help your cat get in touch with their inner ocelot by setting up playtime at the right times of day. Engage your cat in vigorous play right before meal time, feeding them after they have had a chance to “kill” the toy they are hunting. This will inspire the cat to spend 30-60 minutes grooming after the meal followed by a nice long nap. If your cat is disruptive at night, timing this ritual before you go to bed can buy you a few extra hours of shut-eye.
  1. Add some cat-friendly furniture!  Invest in a good quality cat condo that you cat can scratch, climb and sit on. Cats LOVE to sit up high and survey their territory, so the taller, the better!
  1. “Cat up” your living space! Once you’ve chosen an awesome cat condo, don’t hide it away in the basement! Territory is VERY important for cats, so getting the most out of your cat tree usually involves sacrificing some prime real estate – like in front of a living room window. This gives your cat a chance to enjoy your company when you are around but also gives them access to cat TV (the great outdoors) when you are away. Hanging a bird feeder in the front yard can provide even more visual stimulation for cats.
  1. Toys! Having some good quality interactive toys as well as some foraging toys (like treat balls) that you can leave out for your cat to solve helps you cat from becoming bored easily. If your cat is easily bored an interactive feeding dish , such as a puzzle dish can be a great way to keep feline brains busy.
  1. Catnip!  But must be done responsibly! Not all cats like catnip, but if your cat does then catnip is a great way to occasionally spice up your cat’s life. Catnip can be a great way to encourage cats to play more and it can also be used to reinforce the use of specific items in a home (like a new cat tree!). Consider purchasing some catnip scented toys or rub a bit of catnip into the cat tree from time to time to keep things interesting. Some words of caution: Overusing catnip can cause your cat to become bored with it, and if your cat gets aggressive when given catnip you will want to ensure their catnip time is well-controlled.

We hope this helps you keep your indoor feline happy this winter! Do you have another suggestion? Is there something you would like to see featured on the blog in future? Let us know on our Facebook page!

 

Melissa Topham, RVT
Operations Manager
Swift Current SPCA
P.O. Box 1163 Stn Main Swift Current SK,S9H 3X3
Phone: (306)-773-1806 Fax : (306)- 773-2035
Website: www.spcaswiftcurrent.com

 

    Brace yourselves…. Winter is Coming

    Winter is coming….. actually it may already be here! Keeping ourselves safe and warm is extremely important as the weather turns colder, but what about keeping our pets safe and warm?

    Just like us, our pets can suffer from the effects of the cold, they can become hypothermic, or get frostbite as well. Here are some tips to keep your outdoor and indoor pets safe an warm this winter.

    1. If your pet must stay outdoors ensure they have an available water source at all times. Well hydrated animals are less likely to be affected by the cold. Lots of pet stores offer heated water dishes to prevent freezing.
    2. Antifreeze poisoning is a very serious condition that happens frequently in the winter months. Animals love the taste of antifreeze, so ensure containers are kept closed and well out of reach of any type of critter.  If your vehicle leaks any antifreeze onto the snow wash away immediately with lots of water.
    3. Outdoor pets need a sheltered place that is well-bedded with DRY straw, shavings or blanket strips that trap warm air. Remember, animals drag a lot of moisture into their bedded areas from snow, rain and mud. Check their bedding often and change it whenever it is wet.
    4. Most cats prefer to be kept indoors during the winter months but if it is an absolute must that the cat has to be outside always check under the hood of your vehicle before starting as a popular spot for outdoor cats to try and stay warm is on the engine of your car.
    5. When taking your dog for a walk, wipe off dog’s legs, feet and stomach when they come in out of the snow or ice. They can ingest salt, antifreeze or other dangerous chemicals if they lick their paws. Be sure to inspect the pads of their feet for encrusted ice as they may crack from the cold. Many dogs need boots in cold weather
    6. Dogs with very short coots have the least tolerance for cold. These dogs should not go outside without a sweater or a coat. A good coat should reach from the neck to the base of the tail and also protect the belly. But remember that coats will not prevent frostbite on the ears, feet or tail … so even with a cozy coat, don’t keep your short haired dog out too long in freezing temperatures.
    7. If your dog feels the cold, try to walk him in the late morning or early afternoon hours when temperatures are a little warmer, and avoid early morning or late evening walks. Spend time playing outdoors while it’s sunny; sunshine brings the added benefit of providing both you and your pet with vitamin D!

     

    Harsh winter weather brings a wide variety of concerns to responsible pet owners. Bitter cold, numbing wetness or biting winds can cause discomfort for that special animal in your life. Paying special attention to your loyal friend’s well-being during the winter season will ensure that you both enjoy the season to the fullest.And don’t forget that winter cuddles with your little buddy are a great way for everybody to keep warm!

     

     

     

    Melissa Topham RVT

    Operations Manager

      Backpacks!

      Yep you read that right, backpacks! Not just any backpack, your child’s backpack to be specific. With the school year now in full swing, here is some  helpful information you and your kids need to know. Did you know many things found in your child’s backpack can be potentially very dangerous for your pets?  For pets, a school bag thrown on the floor can be absolutely irresistible to investigate. This is why the ASPCA(American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)  encourages pet owners to designate an out-of-reach area in your home where your pets can’t get to the bags. They suggest a wall hook your pets can’t reach, or a closet behind a closed door.

      If unable to get the bag out of sight/reach here are some things to avoid,

      • Sugar-free gum containing the sweetener xylitol
      • Homemade slime
      • Over-the-counter and prescription medications
      • “leftovers” in the lunchbox, especially toxic, or dangerous foods for our pets including, Avocado, chocolate, caffeine, citrus items, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, dairy products (can cause gastro intestinal upset), garlic,and onions to name a few.

      Follow these tips to help keep your pets safe and enjoy a safe and happy school year!

       

       

      Melissa Topham RVT

      Operations Manager Swift Current SPCA

       

        Halloween and your Pets!

        BOO! Halloween is here and while you may not think its too scary it can be a terrifying time for your pet! Here are some tips to make Halloween a less “hallowing” time for your pet!

         

         

        1. If your pet is wary of strangers or has a tendency to bite, put him or her in another room during trick-or-treating hours or provide him or her with a safe hiding place.
        2. Keep your pet inside
        3. Keep lit candles and jack-o-lanterns out of reach of pets
        4. If you plan to put a costume on your pet, make sure it fits properly and is comfortable, make sure it doesn’t have any pieces that can easily be chewed off, and doesn’t interfere with your pet’s sight, hearing, breathing,or movements. Take time to get your pet accustomed to the costume before Halloween, and never leave your pet unsupervised while he or she is wearing a costume
        5. Don’t feed your pets Halloween candy, especially if it contains chocolate or xylitol (a common sugar substitute found in sugar-free candies and gum
        6. And last but not least, make sure your pet is properly identified with a microchip, collar and ID tag (all of which we offer here at the shelter) in case he or she escapes through the open door while you’re distracted with trick-or-treaters.

         

        Happy Halloween!!

         

        Melissa Topham RVT

        Operations Manager

         

          Indoors… is it bad for your cat?

          Quite the opposite actually!

          While some cat owners will argue depriving a cat of outdoor freedom decreases its’ quality of life, the reality is vastly different. There are many dangers posed to cats that are allowed to wander at will. Cats can be hit by cars causing devastating  or fatal injuries, diseases and unwanted pregnancy are also concerns for the animal as well as falling victim to a predator results in the deaths of dozens of cats every year. Cats at large are also prime targets for cruelty, whether that be trapping and inappropriate disposal or they can become easy targets for those looking to abuse animals.

           

          Aside from theses risks associated with letting you cat run at large, depriving a cat of adequate food, water or shelter is an offense under the Animal Protection Act and allowing a cat to run at large could be considered an offense under the City of Swift Currents bylaws.

           

          In closing, Indoors…. not so bad after all.

           
          Melissa Topham, RVT
          Operations Manager
          Swift Current SPCA
          P.O. Box 1163 Stn Main Swift Current SK,S9H 3X3
          Phone: (306)-773-1806 Fax : (306)- 773-2035
          Website: www.spcaswiftcurrent.com

            Our Wishlist!

            We are constantly humbled and grateful for the support we received. While monetary donations are always welcomed, we also have need of the following pet supplies and office and cleaning supplies:

            • Kitten dry kibble (Special Kitty Kitten food)
            • Cat dry kibble (Horizon dry *cowtown* Purina Dry Whiskas dry)
            • Dog dry kibble (Horizon dry *cowtown*)
            • Canned dog food (Pedigree)
            • Canned cat food (Friskies)
            • Cardboard scratchers
            • Wood pellet cat litter
            • Boxes of latex gloves (walmart 100/box)
            • Heavy duty garbage bags
            • Toilet tissue and Paper towel
            • Hand sanitizer
            • Liquid  dish soap
            • 8.5″ X 11″ white printer paper
            • Business envelopes
            • Soft dog treats
            • Canadian Tire Money
            • HE Laundry detergent
            • Bleach
            • Rawhide chews for our doggies
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