Monday, May 23, 2011

Some cats play rough sometimes...

If your cat is playful, that's great! Most cats are, but some cats like to play a little rough at times, usually as they get more and more riled up when you're playing using your hand or arm. Sometimes cats will be wrestling with their toys on their own and try to nip as soon as you go in to give them a pet or two. They're riled up, excited, probably still in wrestlemania mode.
My foster kitty, Mickey, can get bitey, and that's not good when I'm trying to help find him a forever home. In fact, our first prospect lost interest when she saw him play bite. Yikes!
After noticing this was a habit, I turned to Tracey Toole, Co-Founder and Director of A Tail at a Time, for advice. She gave some sound advice that worked for me and my little Mickster:
If kitty is playing with your hand, get a plush toy he can use as substitute for your hand. Try to do this before he nibbles.
If kitty starts to bite and grab the hand/arm, tell him "NO" firmly and get the hand away. Kitty will likely pause and wonder what he/she did. Then you give kitty the toy and encourage them to grab it and play with it.

Make sure the toy is not so small that the cat can't rather hug it and really go at it. So a little mouse toy won't work. And it must be plush, so a plastic bell ball won't really do the job either.

Some tried and true ones are the Kitty Hoots from Fat Cat  found here: My childhood cats' fave was the Newt Hoot!

So in summary, stop the action with a firm but not too loud or angry "No", and give kitty the toy to play with, and play with it a little to show him it's the play alternative.

Lastly, don't use your hand as a cat toy. Cats that develop a connection between hands and playtime may nip and bite anyone that goes in to pet them, such as guests or, if he/she is a foster, prospective adopters.
Mickey loves the feather stick

Mickey is still up for adoption, so spread the word!

by Courtney Kistler, foster and Rational Animal Rep.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A kitten found outside with a herniated bladder. Meet Miguel.

Miguel was rescued from our co-founder's neighborhood where he was a favorite of a person, Miguel, who has fed outdoor cats for more than twenty years. He told us that Miguel had broken his leg at one point. When we took him to our vet he could not find any signs of a fracture but discovered that his bladder had herniated through his back just above his tail. Most likely he was kicked in that area.

The surgery was $500 but is well worth it! Miguel is so young (7 months old) and is such a sweet little black kitten who deserves a loving home.

He is still at Narrows Hospital.
Miguel spent an extra week at the vet because of a slight fever and to monitor drainage from the surgery. He is now recovering nicely in a foster home. He has started to play periodically again and is eating well. He should return to state of good health in the next few weeks. Next stop, looking for a purrmanent home.

Your donation helps us continue to help animals like Miguel. Kitties find outside depend solely on public donations.

If you would prefer call Narrows Clinic to give (718-238-5055).

Or you can mail a check to:
Narrows Animal Hospital
9107 4th Ave.
Brooklyn, NYC 11209

Or you can mail a check to A Tail at a Time:
PO Box 1655
NY, NY 10101

Thank you for saving a life!