Cats may act independent and secure, but they still rely on us to provide for their basic needs. This article will give a list of the minimum of items you need for your new cat.
Cats are naturally clean and dislike dirty and smelly litter boxes. The first thing to do to keep both yourself and your cat happy is ensuring the box is squeaky clean.
If the box is squeaky clean and your cat still prefers going somewhere else, take your cat to the vet.
Many household objects can be dangerous to cats, dogs, and even children.
Dogs are physically able to eat and digest many types of food. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they cannot live without eating meat.
There are many discussions on what dogs should eat, and many views on which food is the best.
Yes, cats are obligate carnivores and must ingest meat to survive.
Saying cats are “obligate carnivores” doesn‘t mean they like to eat meat and dislike crops – it means their bodies are unable to produce certain nutrients.
Some cats and dogs get an upset tummy when changing foods, but a gradual change helps prevent problems.
Unless you have or are getting a prescription diet and your veterinarian says otherwise, the following schedule is a good help to transition your pet to a new type of food without problems:
Days 1 and 2 – mix 3/4 of the old food with 1/4 of the new food
Days 3 and 4 – mix old and new food half-and-half
Days 5 and 6 – mix 1/4 old food with 3/4 new food
Day 7 – give 100% new food
If you see signs of problems during the week, slow down the transition.
Many cats and dogs are great friends, but reaching that point can take some patience.
If your dog isn‘t used to cats, start with considering the dog‘s personality.
Cats like to scratch things – it‘s a natural instinct – but it doesn‘t have to a be a problem if we provide options.
Cats scratch for several reasons. Scratching…
Removes the dead outer layer and conditions the claws
Is a way to mark territory.
Cats can be quite territorial – especially if they‘re used to being the only cat – but they can and will form close friendships with other cats. Be patient and give the process time; some cats require up to a year to decide if they like someone or not.
A cat carrier helps keep your kitty safe during transport. You need a carrier to take your cat to the vet, to travel, and in case you need to evacuate your home during an emergency.
A pet door can help get chewing problems under control, but it depends on why the pet chews.
Puppies and adult dogs chew for different reasons. A teething puppy may have an itchy or aching mouth.
Cats like to be warm and often want to curl up in a confined space – like the cat bed – because it preserves body heat.
Cats can get heat strokes jut like humans and other pets, but the average cat likes warmer temperatures than dogs and people.
Many cats live to their 20s and the time put in on raising a kitten will reward you for many years to come.
Depending on the age of your kitten, they may need a special kitten diet – and eat more often than an adult.
Cats are experts at hiding illness, and we humans most often discover it through a change in their habits.
To a human, hiding illness seems counterproductive. If we’re sick, we go to a professional to get help.
Most pets take to their new cat door or dog door quickly – they want to get to the other side – but others need some training. Many get it in a few seconds, others might need a week or two.
Start with propping the door open and call for your pet.
Indoor cats need flea and heartworm prevention – fleas and other insects can catch a ride on your own shoes, pant legs, or with the family dog.
Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes. Heartworm disease is rare in cats compared to dogs, but it still happens and there is no cure for cats.
Allergies are fairly common among dogs, and just like a human, a dog can develop a new allergy at any age.
The most common dog allergy is flea bites, and a couple of bites can trigger a reaction that will last for weeks.
Puppies grow fast; get the size pet door you will need for the dog as an adult.
It may seem logical to start with a smaller door when the dog is small and gradually increase the size, but you will have to buy several doors – and install several doors.
Puppies are adorable and watching them grow up is a rewarding experience – but there are many positives about adopting an adult dog as well.
Puppies have a lot of energy, they‘re learning about the world, and they can be a lot of work.
Sir Isaac Newton is often accredited with inventing the pet door, but humans have had holes in walls for their pets for thousands of years.
It‘s hard to estimate how long ago the oldest pet door would have been built, but we do know both dogs and cats have accompanied humans for millennia.
Dogs may have developed in many different parts of the world, but the DNA of modern dogs has most similarities to DNA from modern day European wolves.
Dogs and humans have been companions for a long time. There is a burial site in Israel carbon dated to 12,000 years ago with a body of a woman and her puppy.
Dogs are thought to have instinctive intelligence, adaptive intelligence, and obedience intelligence.
Instinctive intelligence is what a breed is created to do – and does naturally without extra training.
Dogs and cats are just as susceptible to dental issues as humans – and problems with teeth and gums can lead to other health problems.
You can start brushing your pet‘s teeth at any age, but it will be easier to teach a puppy or kitten than an adult.
Cats are very smart, but they are also more impulsive than dogs and have limited patience.
Yes, lilies are very toxic to cats and ingestion can cause severe illness and even death.
Your cat can be affected even if they aren‘t the type to bite plants – it‘s enough for them to get some pollen on their coat or paws and clean themselves.
The most common mistake people do when bringing a new dog home is not giving enough time to acclimatize to the new environment.
A new furry friend will bring a lifetime of joy and love, but many are still returned to shelters and rescues within the first 24 hours of adoption.
Aging dogs have different needs than puppies, and there are some things to consider when choosing a pet door for an older dog.
Socializing a puppy means exposing them to many different people, environments, and situations – this helps them to get used to the world so they can be well adjusted adults.
Encountering new things is important through a dog‘s life, but probably never more important than between 8 and 16 weeks of age.
Never use products intended for dogs on cats, unless the packaging specifically states the product can be used on a cat.
Cats are completely different than dogs. They are much more sensitive to toxins than dogs, and using “less” of a product doesn‘t make it safe.
Some older dogs develop cognitive issues, as well as problems with vision and sight, but they can still live full and happy lives.
Dogs‘ bodies change with age, just like human bodies do. Some dogs don‘t see as well as they used to.
Antifreeze is very toxic to pets and leads to many deaths every year.
The problem for pet owners is, it‘s not just the antifreeze in one‘s own car – there can be puddles on the road and in parking lots.
If an older dog stops using the pet door, the problem is usually related to aches and pains.
Cats perceive the world in a way different from humans; they see in color, but not the same way we do, and the muted colors help them detect movement.
They can see quite well in low light conditions – they see well at about one sixth of the light a human needs – but they can‘t focus on anything closer than a foot away.
Dogs and cats have a much better sense of hearing than the average human, and sounds that are acceptable to us may be extremely loud to them.
Dogs can pick up sounds that are four times as far away than something a human can hear, and they hear a wider range of sounds than we do.
Cats‘ eyes don’t actually glow at night, but they have a special structure in their eyes that can reflect light.
A cat has something called the tapetum behind the retina in the eye. The tapetum is believed to improve night vision through acting like a mirror.
No pet door can guarantee that the cats don’t go outside with the dog.
The cat may not have a key to open the PlexiDor Electronic, but cats are fast and smart, and if they want to go outside, they‘ll figure out that they can use the door with the dog.
No matter what you want to teach your dog, the training process is easier with some basic knowledge. Here is our top ten tips, in no particular order.
Learn to listen to your dog.
The PlexiDor Extra Large is constructed for dogs up to 220 pounds and will accommodate very large breeds such as Irish Wolfhounds, Great Pyrenees, Newfoundlands, and Great Danes.
Dog doors for pets this size face some unique challenges; a traditional flap door can‘t stand up to the power produced by a 220 pound dog hitting it at full speed.
Physical and mental exercise are the best ways to keep a dog stimulated and occupied – and relaxed in between – but to a certain extent, you can train a more relaxed behavior.
Some dogs are extremely energetic and might not get tired no matter how much physical exercise they get.
The PlexiDor cat door accommodates cats up to 24 pounds and is sufficient even for very large cats.
An average size Labrador will need a large PlexiDor dog door.
Labradors come in a variety of sizes and there‘s a difference between English labs and American labs.
An average size Chihuahua will need a small PlexiDor.
The average size Chihuahua weighs between 3 and 6 pounds. The small PlexiDor is constructed for dogs up to 9 pounds and cats up to 24 pounds.
An average size Beagle will need a medium PlexiDor.
The average size Beagle weighs between 18 and 30 pounds. The PlexiDor Medium is constructed for dogs up to 40 pounds and a perfect fit.
Cats have a unique skeletal structure that allows them to move in ways humans and dogs can‘t – the average cat can jump six times its own height.
It is because of their skeletal structure cats are able to balance on the top of fences, absorb the shock of jumping down from heights many times their own size, and land on their feet.
The average German Shepherd weighs between 75 and 95 pounds. For most pet door brands that will translate to a large dog door.
Once you‘ve decided what dog door properties are important to you – for instance weather proofing, a low level of maintenance, low cost up-front or low cost long-term – it‘s a good idea to weigh and measure your dog.
The Newfoundland is a very large, strong, and energetic breed, and the PlexiDor Extra Large will be the best choice – this door is constructed for having dogs this size running through it.
There are several reasons dogs lick people – and each other. The most common reasons a dog licks include the taste, being rewarded through attention, and showing submission.
We might not think our skin tastes good, but dogs tend to like the salty taste – and love being so close to the scent of their human.
Many believe dogs eat grass because they‘re missing something in their diet, or to throw up, but there is no scientific evidence for this. Some dogs seem to just like the taste of grass.
A dog munching down some grass isn‘t a cause for worry, just make sure they’re not ingesting too much of it.
Dogs tilt their heads to pick up sounds better – it re-positions their ears to pick up sounds from a certain direction.
Then there‘s the cute-factor, of course. They may not know they’re cute when they start doing it, but we humans reinforce the behavior.
Dogs in the wild curl up to keep themselves warm, and to protect their soft undersides from predators. For extra protection and warmth, they often dig out a nest to sleep in and the instinct to curl up remains in our domesticated dogs.
There is no reason to get rid of a cat just because a baby is coming; this is a myth, and pregnant women all over the world have cats.
The myth that pregnant women shouldn‘t have cats is based on a parasite known as toxoplasmosis.
A dry and warm nose doesn‘t necessarily mean a dog – or cat – is sick.
A dog‘s nose can be cool and wet one moment and dry and warm a few minutes later.
Besides the obvious physical differences between dog breeds, they have been bred to perform specific tasks – for instance, most herding dogs are instinctively good at herding – so the breed matters.
To humans the butt-sniffing ritual can seem awkward, but it gives a dog access to a lot of information about a new acquaintance, such as gender, health, and diet. Dogs remember scents too, and the smell can help determine if they‘ve met another dog before.
Many cats like to sleep on their humans; it makes them feel safe, warm, and comfortable.
Cats like to be warm and prefer a slightly higher room temperature than humans.
If your cat yawns when seeing you, it may be an attempt to communicate; cats yawning show a contented and relaxed mood to other cats.
Many puppies and young dogs chase their tails for entertainment – it‘s a built-in toy that can alleviate boredom.
If your dog chases its tail compulsively, you might want to seek a vet to make sure there isn‘t an underlying health problem.
A small Irish Wolfhound may be able to use an electronic PlexiDor, but large individuals will not be able to get through the opening.
Dogs breathe in through the nostrils and out through the slits on the nose. This allows them to always bring new air past their olfactory receptors – and they can breathe in and out at the same time.
Many dogs love car rides, but others associate the car with something negative.
Upper respiratory infections (URI) are fairly common in cats – it‘s like a human catching a cold – and since these infections are caused by viruses, antibiotics won‘t help.
Dogs occasionally develop fears of certain objects – such as the vacuum cleaner. Some are afraid of brooms, the Christmas tree, or a stuffed toy. In most cases, these fears stem from the item being unfamiliar.
Your cat will very likely tell you that only dogs drool, but that isn’t entirely truthful. Cats drool too, often because they‘re happy.
A cat being petted can be so blissful it forgets to swallow.
Dogs often stare at humans to make sure they don‘t miss anything, to try to read our emotions, or to try to get something. “Something” is often a snack, but can also be attention, play time, or a walk.
There are several reasons to why dogs become afraid of children. The dog might not have gotten an opportunity to socialize with children as a puppy, or it may have had negative experiences with children.
Many things kids do – and many things parents find cute – are threatening or uncomfortable to a dog.
With regular veterinary exams and routine care, most indoor cats live to their teens and many into their twenties. The oldest cat recorded lived to be 38 years old.
Cats are often regarded:
Kittens from birth to 6 months of age
Teenagers/juniors from 7 months to 2 years
Adults from 3 to 6 years
Mature from 7 to 10 years
Seniors from 11 to 14 years
Geriatric from 15 years and up
Of course, these stage vary with the individual and with overall health.
While cats enjoy a somewhat warmer room temperature than most humans, they are just as sensitive to extreme heat as we are and can get heat strokes.
Cats can’t sweat like humans; they can only cool themselves through panting or sweating through their foot pads.
Asphalt can get very hot in the sun and burn your pet‘s paws.
Dogs seem so sturdy and it‘s easy to assume they‘re more resistant to the elements than we humans are. By now, most people know not to leave their dog in the car on a sunshiny day and to be alert for signs of heat stroke, but it‘s easy to forget about the pavement.
Arthritis is common in both cats and dogs. Pets are experts at hiding discomfort and disease, but early diagnosis can help manage the pain as well as prevent further damage.
Degenerative joint disease can be caused by wear and tear, normal aging, injury, and even obesity.
If your dog is stung by a bee or a wasp, go inside and call your veterinarian. Placing an ice pack on the sting can help, but not all dogs respond well to that.
Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs, even in cookies, and even if the dog says it‘s okay.
Xylitol is toxic to dogs and even small amounts can cause seizures and death.
Just a few years ago, Xylitol wasn‘t a big problem to dog owners. The substance mostly appeared in chewing gums, and there‘s no reason to give a dog a chewing gum.
Dogs should not eat avocado – both fruit and plant contain a substance called persin that is toxic to many animals.
Dogs can eat peanut butter as long as it doesn‘t contain xylitol or other artificial sweeteners.
Peanut butter is a favorite among dogs. It‘s a good source of nutrients and stuffed in a Kong, it can entertain a dog for hours.
There are several reasons dogs like to chew. Puppies use their mouths to explore and learn about the world – and chewing relieves pain from teething. Adult dogs chew to keep their jaws strong and teeth clean, or to combat boredom.
Dogs like to dig, and understanding why they do it may help manage the instinct. Some dogs never dig, and others love to do it.
One reason to why dogs dig is an instinct to keep their things safe and protected.
A cat‘s whiskers are more than just facial hair – they‘re sensitive organs that provide the cat with information about its surroundings.
The stiff hairs on a cat‘s muzzle, eyebrows, and on the jaw are connected to follicles brimming with nerves.
Kittens in the USA need the FVRCP vaccine, rabies vaccine, and maybe vaccine against feline leukemia. The recommended vaccines can depend on where you live, so it‘s a good idea to discuss with your veterinarian.
There are several reasons dogs start chewing on their paws, such as allergies, dry skin, and nail problems. If you think the behavior is compulsive, it‘s a good idea to consult a veterinarian.
A cat rubbing its head against you or your possessions is a compliment. Cats have scent glands all over their body – and their face – and use these glands to leave a scent mark.
Even very small dog breeds can use dog doors. Pick a door that opens easily, like the small PlexiDor, and make sure you install it at an appropriate height.
Tiny dogs aren‘t all that different from bigger dogs. Some will figure their new door out in a minute and others may need a few days.
Puppies are energetic, curious, and filled with mischief. While these are lovable traits, new owners are often surprised by the trouble their new pet can cause.
This is why puppy proofing your home is vital. A young dog doesn‘t know which items are dangerous or off limits, so it‘s your responsibility to keep them safe.
Toys are important to both cats and dogs, one may even say necessary. Toys keep boredom at bay, provide comfort, and help the pet burn off energy, which in turn prevents behavioral problems.
Some dogs seem to think everything belongs in their mouth, and eating rocks is more common than one might think. Though, it isn‘t a healthy or safe behavior.
Your dog may be eating rocks because of boredom, anxiety, or frustration.
Most dogs love to roll in stinky substances that repulse humans. It is a natural behavior to them, and usually a way to mask their own scent.
Aging dogs get physical changes just like humans. If your dog‘s eyes are changing, see a veterinarian to determine if it‘s a condition that should be treated.
Many cats seem to gravitate toward people who are allergic to cats, or don‘t like cats. This isn’t because of malice; it stems from cat body language.
When cats greet each other, it‘s considered polite to look away.
Puppies usually have all their baby teeth at an age of five to six weeks, and they have around 28 baby teeth. By six months of age, all the permanent teeth should have grown in. Adult dogs have around 42 teeth.
Never give a dog a human pain killer. If your dog needs pain medication, consult with your veterinarian.
Many common items in a home can be a danger to puppies. They tend to explore with their mouths and chew on everything, especially when they‘re teething. Get some ideas on what to look for in the article “The new pet owner’s guide to puppy-proofing a home”
If your cat eats cardboard, plastic, paper, or something along those lines while staring at you, it‘s probably a call for attention. Same thing if the cat stares at you while knocking things down on the floor.
Feel free to call us at 800-749-9609. You can also browse the learning center by category at the main Learning Center page, or try a new search here: