Cat Blog

 

It’s no secret that millennials love their pets, but did you know that about half of these 18-34 year olds are cat owners?  No longer is it just the “crazy cat lady” stereotype, there is more love for felines then ever before, and there is no sign that this trend will be slowing down.  

Over 57% of millennial cat owners say that their cat is as important as their friend are, and 2 out of 5 consider their cat to be their new “best friend”.  Cats can be the perfect fit for the busy lifestyle of the millennials juggling work and a social life.  Cats provide comfort to their owners and can be warm and friendly with the correct socialization and are not mean and antisocial like most think.  In addition, they don’t require bathroom breaks, walks, or alot of physical activity like dogs do.  This makes them great, love able companions for any on the go adult lifestyle.  

Millennials are now the largest pet-owning generation, having supplanted baby boomers in 2015.  This age group treats pats as they are their very own children, and care just as much about the quality of life they are providing their pets.  They care for their health and wellness as they would care for their very own child.    

One of the most common goals for people is to loose weight and get healthier.  Statistics show that pet owners should share that goal with their cats and dogs. 

Data from Nationwide one of the largest and first providers of pet health insurance, reveals that pet obesity is on the rise for the 6th straight year.  Nationwide members filed 1.3 million pet insurance claims for conditions and diseases related to pet obesity.  The boost in total obesity related claims signifies a 23% growth over the last 3 years.

Similar to their pet counterparts, excessive body fat increases the rick of preventable health issues and may shorten the life expectancy of cats and dogs.  Nationwide recently reviewed its database of more than 585,000 insured pets to determine the top 10 dog and cat obesity related conditions:

Most Common Cat Obesity-Related Conditions 

  1. Bladder/urinary Tract Disease
  2. Chronic Kidney Disease
  3. Diabetes
  4. Asthma
  5. Liver Disease
  6. Arthritis
  7. High Blood Pressure 
  8. Heart Failure 
  9. Gall Bladder Disorder
  10. Immobility of Spine

Pet health can be easily regulated by avoiding feeding table scraps or poor quality treats/foods, keeping a consistent monitored diet of quality pet foods, limiting the treats, and creating a healthy exercise regimen.  All of these will help your pet lead to a longer and better quality of life.    

 

 

Aiming for Long Term Cat Care

If you are planning on or are currently a cat owner, you must be ready for the long term cat care. It is a good idea to do your research to start off on the right foot. Having things planned out is a good idea to help avoid mistakes.

Cats can be a nice companion. But you first must understand their needs. Obviously, your cat has to eat. But you can’t feed your feline friend your table scraps or leftovers. It is better to look for a premium cat food that will give your feline the best chance at good health. At Sierra Fish & Pets we have some of the best varieties of premium cat foods at everyday low prices. Choose from varieties of dry foods, wet/canned cat foods, or altenative foods like freeze-dried or raw.

You need to make sure to allot money to own a cat. Not only for foods and basic supplies, but also regular vetrinary visits to make sure your cat is in the best possible health. It sound silly but you may have to sacfrific some luxuries to be able to provide for your pet’s needs. It is all worth it in the end. Seeing your cat happy will make you happy.

Make sure that the surround you cat in a living space that is free from anything that can cause them danger. Make sure to supply them with lots of toys to help entertain themselves and constant clean water. Even though cats get over 75% of their moisture from wet foods, you must have clean water offered at all times. When it comes to neatness and cleanliness, you have the right pet. Cats are known to be fairly clean (besides the litter box that is) and they take ample time in grooming themselves so typically professional grooming is not always necessary. Basic grooming like brushing, bathing, and examining your cat for mite, fleas, etc needs to be done on a regular basis. Although too much grooming can also be bad because cats can hurt themselves in the process if they dont like to be bathed, or groomed. If you see any signs of fleas, worms, mites, or an other health issues come visit us at Sierra Fish & Pets for some remedies to keep them healty and pest free.

Cats can be very stuborn and vain housemate, you must be tidy with everything. You need to keep their litter boxes clean and well maintained. Did you know that the cat’s sense of smell is 14 times stronger than yours? You may not smell a thing but your cat sure will. A dirty liter box is the easiest way for cats to start to go anywhere else BUT the litter box. Clean your litter box regularly and use a litter that they like. We at Sierra have tons of option of not just clay litter but also other natural litters that can be great for odor control and absortion. Don’t give your cat a reason to stray when it comes to using the litter box. Give them what they want. And it’s a clean and odor free litter box. With lots of style to choose from Sierra Fish & Pets can give you a suggestion on the corrct style litter box. We have basic litter boxes, top-entry litter boxes, or hooded litter pans. Match that with a clay, pine, wheat, silica, or walnut litter, you will have the best possible chance to avoid the accidents that cats can have.

Try to find a good vet for your cats. If you need a suggestion we would be happy to refer you to a vet. Or make sure to check out our monthly mobile vet clinic that visits our store each month. Check out our Low cost Mobile Vaccine Clinic. Talk to your friends and family about a good local veterinarian. Be mindful and aware of the simplest symptoms that your cat may show. Just by observing your pet, you will know if something is wrong and you have taken the first step to a healthy cat. If you notice any issues with the health or activity of your cat come visit us for some over the counter remedies or in severe cases we will suggest you contact a vet.
Long Term

If you are settled at the thought that you want a cat, and can provide for your feline friend long term, then you may really be the right owner for one. Remember just because you see the cute little kittens does not mean you are ready to have a cat enter you life. All Kittens become cats. You cannot act like you want when it is the cute little playful kitten and completely scrap the idea when it gets older and becomes a cat. It won’t be good for your feline friend and it won’t be good for you as well. Make sure that you are able to provide for them the correct way long-term. So before you welcome a kitten or cat into your household, think things through over and over again. Remind yourself of the costs and responsibility long term to keep the cat happy and healty for its entire life. Do not act on your impulse you must be able to carry out the responsibilities of being a cat owner.

Aiming for long term cat care and optimal health is what we want you to acheive. You just need to take the right steps with the help of your neighborhood pet professionals to enrich the lives of your pets as well as yours.

Many of us are continuously trying to do our part in protecting the environment.  But do we always know whether or not these efforts are contributing to a healthier planet?

Here are a list of 6 reasons to switch to eco-friendly products

  1. Animal Friendly:  Using natural or eco-friendly versions of your favorite products will help reduce the risk of our pets or children coming in contact with these harmful chemicals.
  2. Odor:  Many chemicals have a strong smell-making the switch to eco-friendly products will help fill your home with a more natural pleasant odor rather then the strong chemical smell of the counterparts.
  3. Safer:  Just like with our pets and children, using these products makes it safer to use during clean up from them.
  4. Value:  Though some eco-friendly products may have a much higher price, the lasting value on the quality of your home and environment is worth the extra costs.
  5. Conscience:  With the amount of large scale pollution that occurs, it’s hard to think our change will make a difference, but even taking the smallest of steps can help.
  6. Less Toxic:  The more natural the ingredients, the less headaches and issues we will get from the harmful chemical polutants.

All of us can do our part in protecting ourselves, our pets, our children, and our earth by using eco-friendly products as much as possible.   

People who can’t enjoy burger without cheese or a shake without whipped cream understand that some things are just a bit better with some extra flavor on top.  Pet food manufactures and pet owners are starting to think the same thing goes with their furry friends.  Meal enhancers, or food toppers are a rising category in the pet food market.  These emerging sector includes everything from gravies to raw mixers, and will help bring the dullness out of every day kibble foods. 

Here is some data from GFK about the current success of food toppers in recent years:

  • According to their data, meal enhancers contributed $21 million in sales for pet stores in 2015.  That is 332% increase vs. the prior year.  The number of items for the category has doubled since 2013, from 65 to 128, with 4 out of 5 marketed for dogs.
  • Freeze-Dried mixers accounted for 63% of all enhancers sales in 2015, for 625% growth rate over the previous year.  Wet food toppers racked up $6.5 million in 2015 and made up 31% of the total meal enhancer category.
  • GFK’s data also shows pet specialty shops taking a different approach to the category than bi box stores.  Independant retailers appear to be focusing on premium options, with 96% of all meal enhancers sales coming from complete diet freeze-dried, compared to 38% in the superstores.  Despite that 52% of all meal enhancer sales in pet box stores are attributed to wet foods, or gravy food toppers.

Dont be left behind and join in on the growing industry trends and enhance your pets boring foods with one of the many food toppers or mixers we offer.   

  

Flea and Tick Season

Even though it may still seem like winter and it may still be cold in parts of the country, days will soon be getting longer, temperatures will rise, and the seasons will change.  This means that we and our pets will surely be spending more time outside attracting those pesky fleas and ticks.  Flea and Tick prevention is the very best defense against these parasites for both cats and dogs.  It is first very important to recognize the symptom of fleas and tick so you can diagnose and treat your pets fast and correctly. 

  • FLEAS 

Fleas are the most common external parasite to attack common household animals.  Fleas can live for as little as 13 days or as long as 12 months.  During that time if in contact with a host (your pet) they can produce literally millions of offspring or eggs.  Make sure to keep an eye out for these symptoms of fleas on your cat or dog:

  • Dustings of “flea dirt” in their fur
  • Itchy, irritated red skin
  • Flea eggs (tiny, white grains)
  • Tapeworms
  • Hair loss
  • Pale gums

The biggest thing to remember with fleas is that you are not always concerned about the adult fleas but what you should be concerned with is breaking the cycle of those individual adult flea and preventing them from creating millions and millions of eggs by attaching or hosting on your pets.  If those eggs hatch that’s when you have a flea outbreak.  Make sure your treat fleas early and correctly to break the lifecycle.

  • TICKS

Although ticks are not as common in the climate that Western Washington natives have grown to love.  Tick are becoming more of a common problem especially in the drier Eastern Washington climate.  Ticks may not be noticed by the host they are feeding on, but they can transmit diseases to your animal.  Fortunately, most ticks are noticeable by the naked eye.  they are about the size of a pinhead before they bite, and not noticed until the swell up with blood.  Even though they rarely cause discomfort, it is a good idea to check your pets for ticks if you are in an area that tick are more prevalent especially if outside a lot.  If you do happen to notice a tick on your pet it is very important to practice safe and correct removal:

  1. Prepare: Put on latex gloves so you don’t come in contact with the tick or the bitten area of the animal.
  2. Remove:  Using a pair of tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible, pull up with straight and even pressure.  Make sure you do not twist the tick this could leave the mover hooked into your pet.
  3. Disinfect and Monitor:  Disinfect the bit area, wash your hands with soap and warm water, and sterilize the tweezers alcohol or by running it through a flame.  Monitor the bite areas really well for infection over at least 2-3 weeks. 

When it comes to flea and tick safety, preparation and preventions is the key.  Treat your pets with quality flea and tack treatments like topical drops (Advantage, Pet Lock), flea shampoos, and flea dips.  Use a flea comb once a week to help check for fleas especially when they have been outside or around other animals.  If you happen to need to treat your house area, make sure to get under areas that the fleas may be like, pet bedding, dressers, and under any furniture.  Check out all our flea and tick options to help prevent flea outbreaks and to help treat existing infestations.       

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