emergency preparedness

Review: Stylish Printable Pet Planner

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Keeping your cats’ records organized can be essential for everyone’s health and safety, whether it’s for travel, medical emergencies, natural disasters, or simply keeping track of important dates. Allegra and Ruby each have a file folder, but to access anything, I have to flip through a lot of papers. When Stylish Printable Planners approached me about reviewing their pet planners, I was intrigued.

Planners are one of the best tools I know of to stay organized. Continue Reading

ASPCA’s New Mobile App Puts Pet Safety First – Enter to Win a Pet First Aid Kit for Your Cat

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The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has launched its first interactive mobile application, which is available for free download on iPhone and Android. This mobile app offers a new tool to help reunite pet owners with lost pets. It includes step-by-step instructions on what to do if a pet goes missing, tailored to each specific circumstance and a pet’s individual personality. The app also allows pet guardians to store medical records, and it provides information on making life-saving decisions during natural disasters.Continue Reading

Are You and Your Cat Prepared for an Emergency?

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Guest post by Lorie Huston, DVM

No matter where you live, there is likely some form of natural disaster that could potentially threaten your home and your family. Whether the disaster is a widespread event (such as a hurricane, tornado, wildfire, or flood) or a more focused threat (such as a house fire or gas leak), being prepared could mean the difference between life and death.

Make a plan ahead of time. Don’t wait for a disaster to strike. By then, it may be too late. Be sure to include your cat in your emergency plan as well. Here are some pointers.Continue Reading

How to Get Your Cat Used to the Carrier

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A cat carrier is an important part of your cat’s life. For most cats, the only time they’re in a carrier is when they have to go to the veterinarian, so the association with carriers is often a negative and stressful one. But carriers can be vital in an emergency, and it’s a good idea to get your cats used to the carrier so that they can associate it with a positive experience.

Pick the right carrier

Carriers come in all shapes and sizes, from hard-sided crates to soft-sided carrying cases,and it comes down to your preference and your cat’s as to which one you choose. Make sure that the carrier is large enough for your cat to be able to stand and turn around in it comfortably. If you plan to travel with your cat, a larger carrier that can accommodate a small litter box may be a good choice.Continue Reading

A word about Hurricane Sandy

Allegra, Ruby and the maple tree

What a difference a few days make. This photo shows Allegra and Ruby relaxing in our sunny bedroom last Wednesday. This evening, we’re preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. Right now, it’s just raining a little, but we’re supposed to get high winds and heavy rain starting Monday morning, and lasting into Tuesday evening. Other areas to the east and north of us are expecting even worse conditions.

We’re as ready as you can ever be for an event like this. I only just returned from Atlanta last night, where I spent a fun-filled three days at Barkworld 2012, a social networking conference for pet businesses. I was a little nervous about not being able to prepare for the storm, especially after I saw numerous photos of bare store shelves on Twitter. When I arrived home, I found that a dear friend had stopped by and dropped off a large case of bottled water and batteries for me. I think it was quite possibly the most thoughtful thing anyone has ever done for me! This morning, I brought in all my deck furniture, cleaned up the leaves so they wouldn’t clog up the drains, and went in search of ice and non-perishable food.

Since Allegra and Ruby are raw-fed kitties, I stocked up on grain-free canned food in case we loose power and the frozen raw food goes bad.Continue Reading

Emergency Preparedness for Your Cats: Lessons Learned

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Tornadoes are a rarity in my part of the United States, but occasionally, we get some pretty wild weather. This past Saturday, a strong cold front was coming our way. Ever since the freak derecho storm that moved through here in June and left us without power for 48 hours, I’ve learned to pay attention when the sky gets dark. I also know to give Allegra Storm Soother and Stress Stopper at the first signs of any storminess. She’s come a long way, but she’s still a bit afraid of storms and prefers to ride them out in her safe space: behind the shower curtain in our downstairs bathroom.

After giving her the remedies, I checked the Washington Post Capital Weathergang Twitter feed, the most reliable weather source in this area, for updates on the coming storm. I certainly didn’t expect to see a tornado warning, with my immediate area directly in its path, and the words “TAKE COVER IN INTERIOR ROOM NOW!” Let me note that the Post rarely uses caps in its Twitter feed, so I knew they meant business.

Allegra was already in the downstairs bathroom, which is probably the safest room in our home. Continue Reading

Prepare Your Cat and Your Home for Your Cat Sitter

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We’ve always had great luck with cat sitters. For almost 20 years, Ronnie took care of my cats. All my cats, going all the way back to Feebee, loved her. She went far above and beyond what I’d expect from an ordinary cat sitter. When she retired, I thought I might never be able to travel again, but once again, we’ve been fortunate: Valerie, the woman Ronnie sold her business to, has quickly become our new best friend

She doesn’t just feed Allegra and Ruby and clean out their litter boxes when she comes over. She also spends time brushing them, playing with them, and just hanging out with them. She often stays a little longer than her normal half-hour client visit if she feels they need a little extra attention.

I don’t like to travel because I miss my cats too much when I’m gone, but when I do, I feel more relaxed knowing that they’re in Valerie’s capable and loving care.

However, even though Valerie has been caring for my cats for several years now, I still leave her written instructions for each visit.Continue Reading

Are your cats prepared for an emergency?

cat in the rain with umbrella

September is National Preparedness Month. We recently experienced an earthquake and a hurricane here in Virginia, all within one week, so emergency preparedness has definitely been on my mind. It also made me realize how woefully unprepared I really am. Irene was one thing: at least with a storm, you get a few days advance warning and can think about what you need to do while you’re not in panic mode. With the earthquake, I truly didn’t know how to react, nor would I have known what to do to keep Allegra and Ruby safe. Now granted, earthquakes are not a common occurrence in my part of the world (the last time Virginia had an earthquake was something like 100 years ago!), but it still provided incentive for me to focus on making a plan and being more prepared in the future.Continue Reading