holidays

Coping with Pet Loss and Grief During the Holidays

pet-loss-holidays

Next Friday will make the first anniversary of Ruby’s passing. This is not the first time I’ve experienced grief during the holidays: Buckley died the day after Thanksgiving  2008. As a result, this holiday season has been difficult, complicated as it is by so little about this season being even remotely normal. Last year, I canceled almost all holiday related activities because I knew Ruby didn’t have much time left, and I wanted to spend every minute I could with her. I figured I’d make up for it this year. Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected to spend this holiday season essentially hunkered down at home with Allegra, with very little outside contact except for an occasional walk or get together with a friend around a fire pit.Continue Reading

Don’t Let Holiday Stress Affect Your Cats

cats with Santa hats

The holidays are meant to be a joyful time, but for many of us, they’ve turned into a stressful race to an imaginary finish line. Between parties, baking, shopping, and entertaining, there always seems to be one more thing that needs to get done. And all of this holiday stress affects our cats, too.

Cats are creatures of habit and don’t like to have their routines disrupted. They also pick up on our stress, and your stress can actually make your cat sick. I highly recommend managing your own stress during the holidays and take some time to enjoy the season rather than constantly rushing through the days – your cats will thank you for it.Continue Reading

Conscious Cat Sunday: holiday memories

cat-with-Christmas-tree

Cats and Christmas trees can make for a challenging combination, but I love the holiday season, and one of my favorite parts has always been the annual decorating of the Christmas tree.  Until the tree is up, it just doesn’t feel like Christmas to me, and even though it’s been a little more challening for the past couple of years with two young cats, I’ve made it work.

I’ve collected ornaments for the past thirty some years, and inevitably, bringing out the ornaments each year leads to a lovely, if  sometimes bittersweet, trip down memory lane. I grew up in Germany, and traditionally, our Christmas tree was not decorated until Christmas Eve. As a small child, I was not allowed into the living room while the tree was being decked out in its holiday glory. I can still remember the eager and impatient anticipation of the moment when my parents would ring a small brass bell that hung on the tree, and I could finally enter the room. It was pure magic each time. The tree was decorated with multi-colored glass balls, sparkling tinsel, and real candles – something that we can’t even imagine in these safety conscious times we live in.

When I moved to the United States in my mid-twenties, I was introduced to the traditionContinue Reading

Conscious Cat Sunday: Embrace the season

cat_and_christmas_tree

Guest post by Angie Bailey

In Minnesota, it’s officially cold outside and the holiday season is in full swing. This time of year, I sometimes find myself complaining about the frigid temperatures and stressing about my massive Christmas card list, buying the perfect gifts, and baking 120 dozen treats. OK, I’m exaggerating a bit about the treats, but you get the point. Meanwhile, my cats leisurely nap under the tree, snuggle in cozy blankets and romp in and out of gift boxes. What’s wrong with this picture? Clue: It’s not the ones rolling around on crinkly wrapping paper.

First of all, let’s talk weather. Living in the Upper Midwest means several months of the year will present less-than-tropical temps. We can choose to whine through the inevitable or we can look for the snow cloud’s silver lining. My cats love the seasonal opportunity to press their entire bodies flat against heating vents. Continue Reading

Holiday 2012: Can you foster a lonely cat for the holidays?

Help make the holidays brighter for a shelter cat.

Our cats will spend the holidays surrounded by those who love them, in a warm home, with full tummies and plenty of toys. That’s quite a contrast to how shelter cats will spend their holidays. For them, they’re not going to be any different from any other day spent waiting for that one human who will rescue them and give them a forever home.

To help make the holidays brighter for some of these shelter cats, Petfinder.com is sponsoring its annual Foster A Lonely Pet For The Holidays program, and asks you to open your heart and home to a cat from a shelter or rescue group this holiday season. For more information and a list of participating shelters and rescue groups, please visit Petfinder.com. Staff and volunteers at each organization will be available to answer questions about the fostering process and help select a pet who will be a good match for the foster family’s lifestyle.Continue Reading

Foster a lonely cat for the holidays

foster-a-lonely-pet-for-the-holidays

Our cats will spend the holidays surrounded by those who love them, in a warm home, with full tummies and plenty of toys. That’s quite a contrast to how shelter cats will spend their holidays. For them, they’re not going to be any different from any other day spent waiting for that one human who will rescue them and give them a forever home.

Since everyone deserves a home for the holidays, Petfinder.com is launching its annual Foster A Lonely Pet For The Holidays program for the third year in a row. The program’s goal is to  empty out animal shelters from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day.

“Many people do not realize just how important fostering is among the animal welfare community,” said Betsy Banks Saul, the co-founder of Petfinder.com.Continue Reading

Conscious Cat Sunday: holiday traditions

cat-christmas-tree-cute

It’s hard to believe Christmas is only three weeks away. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa or Hannukah, are you caught up in pre-holiday stress, or are you taking the time to savor the season? In these stress-filled times, making time for holiday traditions is more important than ever.

Holiday traditions are a way to mark the passage of the season. They give us the comfort of knowing that in this world of constant change, some things don’t have to change.

Most of my holiday traditions date back to my childhood, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this. And of course, a lot of my holiday traditions revolve around my cats. Here are some of my favorites:Continue Reading

Help bring some joy to shelter animals this holiday season

Santa Paws Drive

Shelter animals are often overlooked during the busy holiday season. The Santa Paws Drive wants to change that. The drive is dedicated to helping shelter animals have a happy holiday season. With your help, Santa Paws wants to make sure they get the love, attention and gifts that our pets are so fortunate to get, at the holidays, and every day.

Now in its third year, Santa Paws Drive is the first “virtual toy drive” for pets. You can donate either cash or gifts, and the Santa Paws elves will divide up the goodies and money and send them off to six shelters across the world. This year’s goal ist to raise $900 plus collect lots of toys and treats for each shelter.Continue Reading

Make Christmas a little brighter for shelter cats

Our cats are lucky.  They get spoiled all year long, and especially this time of the year.  They live in nice warm homes, sleep in soft beds, and get plenty of love, attention, and toys.   Quite a contrast to the life cats in shelters lead.  While more and more shelters are doing the best they can to enrich the environment for shelter cats, funds are low everywhere, and the cats in these shelters need your help.

Yesterday, Robin Olson posted a wonderful suggestion on how to help shelter cats on her blog, Covered in Cat Hair, titled A Christmas Wish for Shelter Cats, and I loved the idea so much that I decided to share it here with you.

Says Robin:  “Life behind bars for any shelter cat is usually flat out miserable. The poor creatures just sit there and wait around, bored, angry, frustrated. Studies show that cats who are active in a cage are much more likely to be adopted than cats who sit there glumly passing time.

Enrichment for cats can also help de-stress the animal, keeping it healthy longer. This is a very important thing to keep in mind. If fewer cats get sick, fewer of them are euthanized. It doesn’t take much to make their lives better, but with budgets cut and donations dwindling, how can shelters afford the “luxury” of enrichment for the cats when they can’t afford food or litter?”

This is where Stretch and Scratch comes in.   These cage-size scratchers keep cats exercised and entertained.   They’re a simple and inexpensive way to bring a little holiday joy to shelter cats, and there’s still time to some to have some sent directly to your favorite shelter in time to bring some holiday joy to shelter cats.

The scratchers are $45 for a half case, and $75 for a full case.  They’re good quality, sturdy scratchers.   For more information and to order, click here.

To read Robin’s full post about the program, along with some wonderful photos of cats enjoying the scratchers Henry County Care & Control in McDonough, Georgia (and the adorable cats in the photos are all available for adoption!), click here.

Robin Olson is the creator of Covered in Cat Hair.  She is a writer, art director, copywriter, and photographer.  Robin is the founder of Kitten Associates, a Connecticut based cat rescue.  You can learn more about Robin on her blog, and on Covered in Cat Hair’s Facebook page.