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Kitten season: It’s that time of the year again!

kitten on a bed

Shelter and rescue groups across the U.S. are dealing with an overwhelming number of kittens in all shapes, sizes, and colors at the moment. While we all agree there’s nothing more adorable than a kitten, we all know life could be kinder and better for cats and kittens everywhere if people are more responsible about ensuring their cats are spayed and neutered. A kitten can be spayed or neutered as early as four months, and a six-month kitten can become pregnant, so it’s essential to act as soon as the time is right. Your vet will know best.

We can all help spread the word.  When a friend tells you that they think it’s cruel to deprive a cat of having babies, here’s what you can say to help them make the right decision.

Some helpful tips

  • Female cats don’t need to experience motherhood. The more kittens there are, the harder it is for shelters to find homes for them, while also continuing to support adult cats.
  • Pets who are spayed or neutered can live longer since the procedures can prevent life-threatening diseases that might shorten your cat’s lifespan. For example, states that “intact cats have seven times the risk of developing breast cancer when they get older, compared with the risk for spayed cats. Spaying/neutering also prevents testicular tumors and uterine cancer and uterine infections.”
  • If cost is an issue, there are many low-cost clinics supported by organizations like the ASPCA that can provide affordable services. Click on the link for clinics across the country.

The bottom line is cats should be spayed or neutered even if the owner believes they will never be around other cats.

Help your local shelter

In the meantime, our shelters and rescue groups are struggling to feed all those hungry little mouths. If you’d like to help, our friends at KittyKind have an Amazon wishlist here. We’re sure your local shelter group will have the same. Any donation, no matter how small, helps. So, why not take a look on their website or social media pages and see how you can do your bit to help them through this tough period.

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Essential plans every pet owner should make

There’s no easy way to address this, but I need to ask: Have you made plans for your pet if something unexpected should happen to you? 

No-one likes to think about a worst-case scenario, but we’ve read on social media too many tragic stories of pets who’ve been abandoned because their owner passed away and the owner’s family couldn’t or didn’t want to take care of them. Or the owner simply had no known relatives or friends. In these cases, the animal, often a senior, ends up back in a shelter, confused and scared. 

Get ahead of the issue

I always believe it’s good to get ahead of a problem, and making plans could save a whole lot of heartache for your beloved four-legged friend if you’re no longer around to care for them. 

Here’s some basic tips to make a bad situation a little easier:

1. Ask two animal-friendly friends or family members to be temporary care-givers in the event of an emergency. Provide them with keys to your home and an instruction sheet detailing how to care for your baby or babies!

2. Make sure your neighbors know to contact the emergency caregiver if something should happen to you

3. Carry a card in your wallet that lists the names and contact details of your emergency caregivers so that your animal isn’t left alone for an extended period of time

4. Identify someone you can include in your will as the assigned permanent caregiver. Choose carefully and ensure they are truly willing to honor their promise.

5. Include in your will the contact details of a no-kill shelter that can re-home your pet as a back-up should your original plans fall through

If you’d like to know more, here’s a great step-by-step feature on how to make sure your four-legged family member is never abandoned if you are no longer around. 

If you have friends or family who may not have made plans, please share this story with them. 

Cute photo alert

In the meantime, here’s a gratuitous photo of me with my book, in case you are interested!

Love and purrs, Bunny and Team XO

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Pet insurance and what you need to know

When you adopt a young, healthy animal, it’s tempting to skip getting pet insurance. It’s an added expense and you might wonder if it’s really worth it. The reality is something unexpected can always happen, even with the healthiest animal.

My Story

One day, about a year after my adoption, I suddenly lost my appetite and I stopped eating and drinking. So, my folks and I went to the local vets where they ran a series of tests and gave me a steroid injection to stimulate my appetite. The tests came back clear, but I still wasn’t eating without the steroids, and I had to keep returning. A distressing time for me and my folks, to say the least. More tests were conducted, and about four weeks later, they referred me to a truly pawsome veterinarian at the Animal Medical Center in NYC. I had every test, including a spinal tap, an MRI, and all sorts of blood work. It was eventually determined that I had Irritable Bowel Disease. And so, the experts advised my folks to find the right type of food for me to counteract it.

Getting to the root of the problem

Once we identified food that didn’t irritate my stomach, along with a daily dose of probiotics, I was on the road to recovery! I was lucky, and my folks were mightily relieved and glad they’d invested in pet insurance. Because the costs incurred by my Irritable Bowel Disease had run into the thousands. Luckily, my policy covered about 80%. My folks would surely have done everything to help me, even without insurance, but the point is that nobody wants to be faced with unnecessary stress and tough decisions.

A guide to pet insurance

Our furriends at AllAboutCats have just published a must-read report about the wide variety of pet insurance options available in North America. It’s a great guide that will help owners weigh their choices effectively. And you can read it here.

And me? Well, these days I have a pawsome appetite, and I’m actually a whole pound and a half heavier than before my illness! Like I say every day, I’m living the kitty dream.

Love and Purrs, Bunny and Team XO