"I wanted to send along these pictures of Merlin and Arthur. It is because of your help they are treated and now happily settled in stable homes. Thanks SO much for all you do. I love Second Chance!"
Pet Development and Happiness
The years of joy and companionship a new cat can bring to an individual or household are immeasurable. To get you off to a good start, here are some links with basic information for the development of your cat and a lifetime of happiness.
"All About Kittens" This link provides helpful information on helping you decide if bringing home a new kitten—or preferably two—is for you, how to best “welcome” your new family member, and discussion about play “therapy” for you and your new feline.
"Bringing Home a New Cat or Kitten" Provides valuable information about introducing your new cat or kitten to your household, including other pets you may already have.
"What You Should Know About Selecting a Cat" (.pdf) Provides a two-page pamphlet that includes "Kitten Tips."
"Kitten Care" Provides an excellent resource for kitten care, including what to look for in selecting a new kitten—whether you buy or adopt—kitten care, feeding and training, and litterbox issues.
"Bonding with Your New Kitten" Provides a helpful three-page Q&A format presentation on this important phase.
"Kitten Feeding: What. When. How Much" Covers six common questions new kitten owner have about kitten food, feeding, and more.
"Pet Lover's Guide to Your New Cat" (.pdf) Provides a comprehensive guide for bringing home a new feline. Great photos!
"Raising Kittens Without Mother" (.pdf) Provides basic guidance for raising newborn kittens without their mother.
"Basic Kitten Care" (.pdf) A good guide if you find kittens in the wild and how to determine gender and give them good care.
"Kitty Care Essentials" Even if you haven’t acquired a new feline, this guide is helpful to the seasoned cat owner, providing a list of the top 10 essentials for caring for your feline family member.
"Caring for Your Older Cat" Provides a concise discussion of special care and attention needed for the older cat.
Cats are very playful and energetic creatures, needing stimulation on a daily basis. Often, indoor cats require a little more consideration than their outdoor brethren for staying amused and happy.
"Keeping Your Cat Happy Indoors" This link provides helpful tips on keeping your indoor housecat from getting bored and overweight.
"How to Keep an Indoor Cat Entertained" Provides rudimentary ideas for keeping your feline playful and content, including kitty greens, improved nutrition for the indoor cat, acquiring a scratching post, and more.
There is a passionate debate in the animal welfare field, particular among shelter workers and rescuers, regarding whether pet cats should be allowed to go outside or not. The links below will help you take stock of your situation and make a decision for your cat(s).
"Indoor Versus Outdoor Cats" This link provides a balanced and cogent argument for both indoors and outdoors, with guidance for reducing the risks of each.
"Walking Your Cat" Provides helpful step-by-step tips for walking your cat on a leash, an interesting compromise for the indoor v. outdoor debate.
"Indoor vs. Outdoor" Promotes the "indoor only"” perspective, debunking reasons a cat owner may have for letting a cat outdoors.
Kittywalk.com Offers products for cats to taste the outdoors in safe, contained settings.
WildWhiskers.com Provides safe outdoor settings or "Feline Funhouses."
"Bringing an Outside Cat In" HSUS. Provides useful information for helping to adjust the outdoor cat to a life indoors.
"How to Keep and Indoor Cat Entertained" Provides rudimentary ideas for keeping your feline playful and conent, including kitty greens, improved nutrition for the indoor cat, acquiring a scratching post, and more.
"Keeping Your Cat Happy Indoors" Pprovides helpful tips on keeping your indoor housecat from getting bored and overweight.
"Cats Outdoors! Beyond the Dogma" (.pdf) This article supports the idea of shelters and individuals considering all the facts before deciding whether a pet cat "should" be indoors-only or allowed outdoors, with some compelling statistics.
Your pregnancy and the birth of your child will present new challenges to you and your pet cat. The following links will help smooth out the transition.
"Introducing Your Pet and New Baby" This link provides helpful tips to ease your pet’s stress and help him or her welcome your new baby, while retaining his or her valued family-member status.
"What Is Toxoplasmosis?" Provides important facts about the transmission and prevention of taxoplasmosis, a common parasite in people and cats.
"Pregnancy and Taxoplasmosis" Provides valuable information and facts about toxomplasmosis and how it is—and is not—transmitted.
If you are considering acquiring your next pet from a breeder, the links below will help you decide which breed, which breeder, and whether the decision is right for you.
"Adoption from a Shelter or Go Through a Breeder?" This link is helpful if you are not sure whether to adopt or to buy from a breeder, offering cogent arguments for shelter animals making excellent pets.
"How to Find a Good Dog Breeder" Offers wise counsel on how to select the right dog breeder and what pitfalls to avoid.
"Cat Breeder Rreferral Service" This service is hosted by the Cat Fanciers' Association, self-described as "the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats." It offers comprehensive resources, including how to select the breed that best suits you, how to find a breeder, and discussion about acquiring adult purebred cats.
"Fanciers Breeder Referral List" Provides another option for finding a reputable cat breeder.
"AKC Breeds Index" This link on the renown American Kennel Club website offers a directory for purebred dogs, from a comprehensive list of all breeds, to a spotlight on a specific breed, to learning about "Foundation Stock Service (FSS)," a breeder referral service, breed "classifieds," and a link to breed rescue.
Acquiring a new puppy or even an adult dog presents its challenges, but with a little patience, understanding and love, transitioning a dog into your household will be rewarded with years of joy and companionship.
"The Pet Lover’s Guide to Your New Dog" (.pdf) This Guide offers comprehensive and practical advice on bringing home a new canine.
"Dog Development" (.pdf) Covers the stages of a dog’s life from birth to four years and what to consider at each stage.
"10 Steps to Doggie Bliss" (.pdf) Offers 10 steps that help you understand what your dog needs to create the best bond between you and your canine.
"Socializing Your Puppy" Provides detailed guidance for the critical first few months of your puppy's life regarding proper socialization.
"The 7 Stages of Puppy Development" Provides helpful information about puppy development by stage, as well as a directory for other resources regarding care for your canine.
"Stages of Puppy Development" Provides detailed training tips by stage of development for your puppy, as well as an interesting Q&A format to learn more from other dog owners.
"Puppy Necessities" Provides a helpful short list of what to purchase before bringing a new puppy home.
"Your New Dog" (.pdf) Covers the basics for the new dog in your house, what supplies you’ll need, assigning a “special person,” introducing your dog to his or her new home and other pets and kids, and more.
Housebreaking a new puppy or adult dog takes a lot of patience. But it is a requirement of living with a dog, so buckle in and take notes.
"Housetraining Your Dog" This link points to a comprehensive directory for housebreaking your canine.
"5 Day Puppy Housebreaking" Provides helpful tips and tricks to getting your dog, who ultimately wants to please you, to understand what you want.
"Puppy Housebreaking Tips" Provides basics for understanding your dog's needs, and lists books on the subject of housebreaking.
"Caring for Your Older Dog" Offers helpful tips for caring for the older dog, including recognizing signs of aging such as changes in hearing, housetrained habits, eating habits, breathing, vision, and more.
For a thorough exploration of options for training and restraining your dog from the youngest and smallest, to the biggest and strongest, read below.
"The Collar Controversy" This link provides vital information for selecting the best training collars for your age, size, and breed of dog.
"A Matter of Restraint" Covers all types of restraint collars and leashes for your canine.
"The Truth About Choke Chains, Pinch Collars and Electronic Collars" Provides insight and learning about large dog restraint devices.
"Dog Training Collars: Finding the Right One for You and Your Dog" Provides guidance on dog training collars and how to find the right one for you and your dog.
"Choke and Shock Collars: Obedience Training or Physical Punishment?" (.pdf) Covers the pros and cons of various canine restraint collars, with options other than a pain-based approach.
There is no doubt that an off-leash park for a dog offers one of the best ways to maintain a happy, healthy, well-exercised, and socialized dog. The links below help you to find such resources, give a sense of how they work and when your dog is ready to partake.
Association of Pet Dog Trainers This links provides an excellent overview of the pros and cons of dog parks.
"U.S. and Canada Off-leash Dog Park Guide" Provides a state-by-state listing of off-leash parks throughout the US and Canada.
dogpark.com Another directory of off-leash parks in the US and Canada.
"When Will I Be Able to Let My Dog Off-leash?" Provides insight into how you will know when your dog is ready to go "off-leash."
"The Case for Bringing an Off-leash Dog Park to Your Community" (.pdf) Offers a cogent argument for bringing a new dog park to your community.
Toys for pets is a huge part of the pet care industry and offer hours of exercise, amusement and vital development training for your pet. Not all toys are created "equal," however. The links below can help guide you to what will be a perfect fit.
"Dog Toys and How to Use Them" This link provides a short and helpful guide for safety in dog toys and offers a recommended list of those that are top-notch.
"Tips to Help Your Dog Enjoy Chew Treats and Chew Toys" Offers tips to help your dog enjoy chew treats and toys.
"Choosing the Right Dog Toys for Your Pet" Offers vital information about choosing the right toys for your dog, including identification of the purpose of various toys and important cautions about some.
"Cat Toys" Offers vital information about cat toy safety, offering a recommended list of active, comfort, and catnip-based toys for cats.
"Cat Toys for Free" This link offers guidance on some basic toys for cats that are free!
"KONG Safe User Guide" Why not hear about the KONG’s attributes direct from the "horse’s mouth," the first KONG’s manufacturer.
"Recipe for the Almost Perfect Dog" Includes innovative ways to stuff a KONG.
"KONG is King" (.pdf) For further endorsement of the benefits of a kong, this article doesn’t disappoint!