I'm thinking of getting a cat. What will I need?

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.

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Do you have any tips about the cat litter box?

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.

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What are some common household dangers to cats and dogs?

Many household objects can be dangerous to cats, dogs, and even children.

Kittens and puppies are probably at the biggest risk, since they are so curious.

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What's the difference between dog food and cat food?

Dogs are physically able to eat and digest many types of food.

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Do you have any tips on transitioning my cat or dog to a new food?

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 2mix 3/4 of the old food with 1/4 of the new food

Days 3 and 4mix old and new food halfandhalf

Days 5 and 6mix 1/4 old food with 3/4 new food

Day 7give 100% new food

If you see signs of problems during the week, slow down the transition.

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Is it true that cats can't become vegetarians?

Yes, cats are obligate carnivores and must ingest meat to survive.

Saying cats areobligate carnivoresdoesn’t mean they like to eat meat and dislike cropsit means their bodies are unable to produce certain nutrients.

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Do you have any tips on choosing a cat carrier?

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.

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Will a pet door stop my dog from chewing?

A pet door can help get chewing problems under control, but it depends on why the pet chews.

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My cat scratches the furniture. What should I do?

Cats like to scratch thingsit‘s a natural instinctbut it doesnt have to a be a problem if we provide options.

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Do you have any tips on introducing my cat to another cat?

Cats can be quite territorialespecially if theyre used to being the only catbut 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.

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Do you have any tips on choosing a cat bed?

Cats like to be warm and often want to curl up in a confined spacelike the cat bedbecause 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.

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I have a dog and I'm thinking of getting a cat. Do you have any advice?

Many cats and dogs are great friends, but reaching that point can take some patience.

If your dog isnt used to cats, start with considering the dog‘s personality.

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Do you have any tips on raising a kitten?

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 dietand eat more often than an adult.

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How do I know if my cat is sick?

Cats are experts at hiding illness, and we humans most often discover it through a change in their habits.

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Does my indoor cat need flea prevention?

Indoor cats need flea and heartworm preventionfleas 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.

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How do I teach my cat or dog to use the door?

Most pets take to their new cat door or dog door quicklythey want to get to the other sidebut others need some training. Many get it in a few seconds, others might need a week or two

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I think my dog may be allergic. Do you have any tips?

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.

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If I get a puppy, do I need to start with a small dog door and then upgrade in size?

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 doorsand install several doors.

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Do you think it's better to get a puppy or adopt an adult dog?

Puppies are adorable and watching them grow up is a rewarding experiencebut there are many positives about adopting an adult dog as well.

Puppies have a lot of energy, theyre learning about the world, and they can be a lot of work.

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How long have we had pet doors?

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.

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Where did dogs come from?

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.

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Do I need to brush my dog's teeth?

Dogs and cats are just as susceptible to dental issues as humansand 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.

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Are there different types of dog intelligence?

Dogs are thought to have instinctive intelligence, adaptive intelligence, and obedience intelligence.

Instinctive intelligence is what a breed is created to doand does naturally without extra training.

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How smart is a cat?

Cats are very smart, but they are also more impulsive than dogs and have limited patience.

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Are lilies really dangerous to cats?

Yes, lilies are very toxic to cats and ingestion can cause severe illness and even death.

Your cat can be affected even if they arent the type to bite plantsit‘s enough for them to get some pollen on their coat or paws and clean themselves.

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My elderly dog appears confused, can old dogs get dementia?

Some older dogs develop cognitive issues, as well as problems with vision and sight, but they can still live full and happy lives.

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I want to get a pet door for my old dog. Is there something special I should keep in mind?

Aging dogs have different needs than puppies, and there are some things to consider when choosing a pet door for an older dog.

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Is antifreeze really dangerous to pets?

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 carthere can be puddles on the road and in parking lots.

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Can I use a flea product for my dog on my cat?

Never use products intended for dogs on cats, unless the packaging specifically states the product can be used on a cat.

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What should I think of when bringing a new dog home?

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.

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What does it mean to socialize a puppy?

Socializing a puppy means exposing them to many different people, environments, and situationsthis 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.

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Why did my senior dog stop using the pet door?

If an older dog stops using the pet door, the problem is usually related to aches and pains.

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How do cats see the world?

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 conditionsthey see well at about one sixth of the light a human needsbut they cant focus on anything closer than a foot away.

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Why do cats' eyes glow at night?

Catseyes dont 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.

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How well does a dog or a cat hear?

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.

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Will the PlexiDor Electronic keep my cats in while letting the dog out?

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.

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How can cats jump so well?

Cats have a unique skeletal structure that allows them to move in ways humans and dogs cantthe 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.

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I have a very large cat. Will the PlexiDor cat door be big enough?

The PlexiDor cat door accommodates cats up to 24 pounds and is sufficient even for very large cats.

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What size PlexiDor do I need for my Labrador?

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.

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What are your best dog training tips?

No matter what you want to teach your dog, the training process is easier with some basic knowledge.

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I have a very large dog. Do you have a door that will fit an Irish Wolfhound?

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 cant stand up to the power produced by a 220 pound dog hitting it at full speed.

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How do I make my dog relax?

Physical and mental exercise are the best ways to keep a dog stimulated and occupiedand relaxed in betweenbut 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.

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What size PlexiDor do I need for my Beagle?

An average size Beagle will need a medium PlexiDor.

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What size PlexiDor do I need for my Chihuahua?

An average size Chihuahua will need a small PlexiDor.

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What is the best dog door for my Newfoundland?

The Newfoundland is a very large, strong, and energetic breed, and the PlexiDor Extra Large will be the best choicethis door is constructed for having dogs this size running through it.

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What size dog door does a German Shepherd need?

The average German Shepherd weighs between 75 and 95 pounds.

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Why does my dog lick me?

There are several reasons dogs lick peopleand each other.

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Why does my dog curl up to sleep?

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.

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Why does my dog eat grass?

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.

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Why does my tilt its head when I talk?

Dogs tilt their heads to pick up sounds betterit repositions their ears to pick up sounds from a certain direction.

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I just found out I'm pregnant. Should I get rid of my cat?

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.

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Why does my cat yawn when it sees me?

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.

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Do dog breed characteristics really matter?

Besides the obvious physical differences between dog breeds, they have been bred to perform specific tasksfor instance, most herding dogs are instinctively good at herdingso the breed matters.

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Is my dog sick if the nose is dry and warm?

A dry and warm nose doesnt necessarily mean a dogor catis sick.

A dog‘s nose can be cool and wet one moment and dry and warm a few minutes later.

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Why does my dog chase its tail?

Many puppies and young dogs chase their tails for entertainmentit‘s a builtin toy that can alleviate boredom.

If your dog chases its tail compulsively, you might want to seek a vet to make sure there isnt an underlying health problem.

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Why do dogs sniff each other's butts?

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 theyve met another dog before.

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Why does my cat sleep on me?

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.

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Why do dogs have slits on the sides of the nose?

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 receptorsand they can breathe in and out at the same time.

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Will my Irish Wolfhound be able to use an electronic PlexiDor?

A small Irish Wolfhound may be able to use an electronic PlexiDor, but large individuals will not be able to get through the opening.

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Why is my dog afraid of riding in the car?

Many dogs love car rides, but others associate the car with something negative. The remedy to fear of car rides is practice and positive reinforcement.

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My dog is afraid of children. What do I do?

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.

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My dog is afraid of the vacuum cleaner. What do I do?

Dogs occasionally develop fears of certain objectssuch as the vacuum cleaner.

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How long do cats live?

With regular veterinary exams and routine care, most indoor cats live to their teens and many into their twenties.

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Why does my cat drool?

Your cat will very likely tell you that only dogs drool, but that isnt entirely truthful.

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Why does my dog stare at me?

Dogs often stare at humans to make sure they dont miss anything, to try to read our emotions, or to try to get something. “Somethingis often a snack, but can also be attention, play time, or a walk.

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My cat is sneezing. Why won't the vet give antibiotics?

Upper respiratory infections (URI) are fairly common in catsit‘s like a human catching a coldand since these infections are caused by viruses, antibiotics wont help.

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Can cats and dogs get arthritis?

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.

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Is hot asphalt really dangerous to pets?

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.

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Can cats get heat strokes?

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.

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My dog was stung by a bee. What do I do?

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.

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Can my dog eat peanut butter?

Dogs can eat peanut butter as long as it doesnt contain xylitol or other artificial sweeteners.

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Is Xylitol really dangerous to dogs?

Xylitol is toxic to dogs and even small amounts can cause seizures and  death.

Just a few years ago, Xylitol wasnt a big problem to dog owners.

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Can my dog eat Macadamia nuts?

Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs, even in cookies, and even if the dog says it‘s okay.

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Can dogs eat Avocado?

Dogs should not eat avocadoboth fruit and plant contain a substance called persin that is toxic to many animals.

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I have a teacup size dogs. Can they use a dog door?

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.

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Why do cats have whiskers?

A cat‘s whiskers are more than just facial hairtheyre 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.

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What vaccines should a kitten have?

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.

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Why does my cat rub its head against my computer?

A cat rubbing its head against you or your possessions is a compliment. Cats have scent glands all over their bodyand their faceand use these glands to leave a scent mark.

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Why does my dog chew the paws?

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.

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I'm thinking of getting a pet door, but I'm concerned about my dog digging up my yard.

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.

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Why do dogs like to chew?

There are several reasons dogs like to chew. Puppies use their mouths to explore and learn about the worldand chewing relieves pain from teething

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Why does my dog eat rocks?

Some dogs seem to think everything belongs in their mouth, and eating rocks is more common than one might think. Though, it isnt a healthy or safe behavior.

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My dog's eyes look cloudy. Why is that?

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.

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Why does my dog roll in poop and other stinky stuff?

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.

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Can I give my dog a human pain killer?

Never give a dog a human pain killer.

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The new pet owner's guide to puppy-proofing a home

While these are lovable traits, new owners are often surprised by the trouble their new pet can cause.

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How do I puppy proof my home?

Many common items in a home can be a danger to puppies.

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When do puppies get their teeth?

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.

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Are toys important to dogs?

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.

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Why do cats want to be with the person who is allergic?

Many cats seem to gravitate toward people who are allergic to cats, or don’t like cats. This isnt because of malice; it stems from cat body language.

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Why does my cat chew on cardboard and stare at me?

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.

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Am I feeding my cat enough?

Just like humans, cats need to stay within a certain weight span to remain at optimal healthy. Being too heavyor to thinputs a strain on the body.

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Can rabbits use a pet door?

Yes, there are rabbits who use pet doors, but it may take some training.

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How do I potty train a cat or kitten?

Cats generally don’t need to be house trained like dogs. They like to relieve themselves in sand, and most times you just have to show them where the box is.

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Is tinsel dangerous to cats and dogs?

Tinsel, string, and ribbons can be deadly to cats and dogs, and should be kept away from pets.

Cartoon kittens are often seen frolicking with a ball of yarn, but in reality all forms of stringeven shoe lacespose a potentially lethal danger to cats and dogs.

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How do I teach my dog to look at the camera?

Some dogs seem to love the camera. They look at it and wait for theclickbefore turning their heads. Others seem to squirm and just refuse to sit still for a photo.

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Why does my cat stare at me and blink?

Eyes are the mirrors of the soul, and cats communicate a range of emotions through their eyes. The slow-blink is also known as thekitty kissand signals affection.

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Why do vets take blood samples at check-ups?

When you take your cat, dog, or other pet for a checkup, the veterinarian wants to make sure there aren’t any new or hidden illnesses.

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I'm thinking of getting a rabbit. Do you have any tips for me?

Rabbits are clever and social animals that become wonderful pets.

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Should I weigh my dog or cat?

It is a good idea to keep track of a pet‘s weight. How often they should be weighed depends on age and overall health.

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