Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cats and Water — It’s Not Just for Drinking

Jeanne, our contributing writer, shares her experiences with her feline friend and shows that there are some cat breeds that are known to enjoy a swim, cats that enjoy the thrill of water play, and cats that will tolerate a bath. Despite what you may initially believe, there are cats that actually do enjoy water and we're not referring to just the beverage.
The “Swimming” Cat:
One breed in particular that stands out as a lover of water is the Turkish Van. Discovered on the shores of Lake Van in Turkey, this breed, which is generally a fluffy white cat with mostly white and auburn markings around the face and tail, loves to go for a swim. It has a silky coat that is said to be water resistant. If you own this breed and they do not have access to a body of water, they will most likely be expressing their love of the water sport by playing in a nearby water bowl, with the water faucet, or even with toilet water.
Not every cat is a swimmer; therefore, you should take precaution and be able to act quickly in the case of an emergency or drowning situation. Water can be a danger for cats and you should never leave a full bath unattended, as a cat could dive in and be scalded by hot water or there is also the potential for drowning. Toilet lids should be kept down due to the danger of any chemicals you may use to clean them. Not all water situations are fun for cats.
Water Play:
Cats have been observed dipping or standing with a paw in their water before drinking. I’ve also found toys submerged in water bowls and witnessed cats at play with drenched toy mice. Actually, as I’m typing this, my cat is placing his paw in his water bowl while drinking. Is he testing the temperature of the water or is he just washing his paw? Why do cats do this?  
There are several theories as to why cats will play with water. One is that a cat will not drink from a dirty water bowl or drink water that is dirty. They have a great sense of smell and may be testing the water with their paw for its safety from chemicals and (yes, as mentioned earlier) to test the temperature. Another theory of water play is that the cat maybe trying to actually catch a reflection with their paw. Still another theory is that some cats like running water over still water. Cats are also known to have weird drinking habits and are found drinking water directly from a faucet, a filled mug in the sink, or a puddle on the patio. 
Cats are usually known to provide themselves with their own bath, but there are occasions that might call for you, your veterinarian, or a professional groomer to provide a bath. These occasions may be if your cat gets extremely dirty; for example with mud, if your cat obtains fleas, or if your cat is a show cat. In these cases, this is where water will come into the picture. Most cats are resistant to water as it gives them an icky feeling to their coat.  If you start bathing your cat at an early age, they can become use to the pampering of a warm bath.  
Morris Animal Inn offers grooming services for your cat and if your cat has a love of water, Morris Animal Inn can also offer our feline guests aquarium views of their fish friends performing one of their favorite water sports –swimming! Contact us to book your cat’s next grooming appointment or lodging reservation and request an accommodation with a water view!
We are pleased to have Jeanne, as a contributing writer for If They Could Talk. Jeanne is a member of our Guest Services team and is a passionate cat owner. We look forward to sharing her contribution on interesting and educational pet topics.

Cats 101. (n.d.). Retrieved from Animal Planet :
Cutts, P. (1992). The Complete Cat Book. New York: Smithmark Publishers Inc.
Haddon, C. (2010). Cats Behaving Badly. New York: Thomas Dunne Books. An imprint of St. Martin's Press.
James R. Richards, D. (1999). ASPCA Complete Guide to Cats. San Francisco: Chronicle Books LLC.
License, C. C.-S. (2012, September 20). Retrieved October 7, 2012, from Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia:
Wilkins, K. A. (2007). Animal Planet. Cats. New Jersey: T.E.H. Publications, Inc.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Your Pet & the Holidays

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, most days are filled with thoughts of recipes, parades and all of the guests we’ll be having for dinner. While this is an enjoyable time for us to see friends and family, remember that for our four-legged friends, this may be a disruption to their otherwise perfect routine.

Cats may show signs of being anxious or stressed during the holidays by hiding, loss of appetite, excessive vocalizing and pacing. Dogs can feel overwhelmed as well. They may feel they need to protect their owners from strangers and visitors. Some signs that your dog is feeling like the festivities are too much may include panting, shaking, loss of appetite and hiding.

Dogs and cats tend to be creatures of habit and a joyous holiday can be far from their routine. You can find yourself with one anxious furry friend for the holidays. To aid in making it enjoyable for the whole family, we've compiled some tips for you and your pet this holiday season:
·        Prior to guests’ arrival, place your pet in a separate and quiet room where they can relax. Make the room attractive to them by providing food/water, a favorite item and a place to snuggle during your soiree. Soft music can be calming for your prized pooch and fabulous feline as well.
·         Providing extra activity to your pet before guests arrive can be beneficial as well. Better to wear out Fido and Fluffy and enjoy some activity before the party begins.
·         Keep your pet’s feeding and exercise routine the same before and during the holidays. 
·         If your pet will be attending the party, be mindful of frequently open doors from arriving and departing guests. Your doggy and kitty may see an opportunity for adventure from that door swinging open.
·         Separate your feline and canine companions from any presents, food and decorations for their safety and your peace of mind

Keeping these tips in mind will ensure a fabulous holiday for all!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Efforts to Help Pets in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

When Hurricane Sandy made landfall, it left much devastation in the New Jersey/New York area. Homes were left shattered and in the dark, and families were left with the painful task of having to put the broken pieces back together of what was left of the destruction. With many homes still deemed unlivable in the wake of the clean-up, homeowners are being forced to find alternate residences. Already having to leave their homes, the idea of finding a new place to live is an added burden for these families who have lost so much.

With everything that has happened, some families are also facing the reality of not being able to care for their pets during these trying times. Temporary living situations, lack of resources, and tight financials are impacting pet owners all over the area and they need our help. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is taking huge strides in trying to provide for these families and animals while they try to rebuild. For thousands of families, pets are the only thing they have left and the ASPCA has responded in the best way. By providing food, cat litter, temporary shelter, and other supplies for these pets, they are eager to find all the help they can get.

Longtime pet lover and celebrity chef Rachel Ray recently donated $500,000 to the ASPCA to help the animals affected by Sandy. A true philanthropist, Ray is setting an example of just how much help these victims need.

If you would like to contribute to the cause and help out these poor animals, every cent counts. Donate here and help make the lives of these families a little easier.

Another example of an organization that has taken great strides to help families and their pets is the The Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MCSPCA). They have an urgent list of items they need for their Pet Pantry Distribution Center as they continue to help those affected by Sandy. Click here to view this list.

We are pleased to have Vin, as a contributing writer for If They Could Talk. Vin is a passionate dog owner. We look forward to sharing his contribution on interesting and educational pet topics.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cat Nail Trimming - A Mani and Pedi for Your Kitty

When you plan your own spa day, make sure that you are planning a regular manicure and pedicure for your cat. An essential part of keeping you and your feline healthy and happy is by making sure you are providing proper nail care. 
Cats will groom their claws on their own by taking off the outer sheaths, which is the covering around the nail.  They do this in several situations by scratching their nails on an indoor scratching post, on a tree (if they are an outdoor cat), or by chewing at their nails to expose the new claw.  Cat owners will want to trim their cat’s nails on a regular basis to protect not only their furniture but their own skin.
It is important to know the details of how to properly and carefully trim your cats nails before attempting the process.  Your veterinarian should be consulted for direction before attempting this on your own for the first time. 
You will want to avoid cutting the quick of the nail.  The quick is the pink area in the middle of the nail that contains the nerves and blood vessels.  Cutting the quick will cause bleeding and pain if snipped.  Bleeding can be stopped by using styptic powder on the nail which contains the bleeding. You will only want to cut the tip of the nail, which is the sharp white point of the nail. Be conservative in cutting in order to keep away from the quick.  Please be mindful that if your cat has dark claws, you will want a professional to complete the nail trim, as you will most likely not be able to see the quick area.
Use only nail clippers specifically designed for cats.  You will not want to use your own nail clippers as they might split the cats nail.  In pet stores, you will see that there are nail trimmers available that are actually designed to locate the quick of the nail. Now how cool is that?  
Do not upset your feline family member!  Approach your cat during a calm or sleepy state to make the experience as pleasant as possible.  You may also want to get your cat used to you touching his or her paws at times other than trimming, in order to keep from having a negative reaction.  
·         With your fingers, carefully squeeze and apply pressure to the pad of each toe.  This action will expose the nail.
·         Clip just the tip of each nail, which is the sharp white point.  Please be cautious of where the quick is.  Remember that you do not want to cut the quick that contains the nerves and the blood vessels.
·         Keep the Kwik Stop powder handy, in case you do accidently snip the quick!
For a kitten, it is recommended to trim the claws once a week.  This will help you in becoming familiar with the procedure.  For an adult cat, a trim every two to four weeks should be sufficient.
If your cat is not cooperative for the nail trimming process, you should book an appointment with a veterinarian or groomer.   Feel free to contact Morris Animal Inn to book a nail trim during your cat’s next visit with us.
Some words of advice for your kitty: Look sharp but don’t be sharp!
Have you tried cutting your cats nail and were you successful?
We are pleased to have Jeanne, as a contributing writer for If They Could Talk. Jeanne is a member of our Guest Services team and is a passionate cat owner. We look forward to sharing her contribution on interesting and educational pet topics.

Cutts, P. (1992). The Complete Cat Book. New York, New York, USA: Smithmark Publishers Inc.
Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. (2008). Hill's Science Diet: The Guide for Lifelong Health. Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc.
Spadafori, G. (2002). Cats for Dummies (Vol. Miniature Edition). New York, New York, USA: Hungry Minds, Inc.
The Iams Company, a division of Meredith Corporation. (1998, 2001). Your New Cat. A Comprehensive Guide to Health, Nutrition and General Care . Meredith Integrated Marketing.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Holiday Photos for Fido and Fluffy!

It's time to think about those holiday greeting cards, calendars and other gift ideas for your friends!

Why not bring your furry friend for a holiday photo at
Morris Animal Inn while supporting a worthy cause?
The cost of the sitting fee is $15 and includes the first 5x7 photo. A portion of the proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish New Jersey.

Call to reserve your spot at 973-539-0377. Choose either the 10am - 12pm session or opt for the afternoon session, which is 12pm-2pm. Limited space is available so call today.

You can purchase more than just photos! Many unique items will be available to order including keychains, mugs, blankets and much more! The very talented Hugo Juarez will be photographing your furry friend! To view some of his amazing work, please visit his website here

Complete your holiday shopping early with personalized gifts of your favorite furry friend!