7 Reasons We Love Shelter Cats & 3 Ways You Can Help Them


7 Reasons Why We Love Shelter Cats & 3 Ways You Can Help Them

1. Everyone loves an underdog! (Or should it be undercat?)

Rogue foster kitten

Rogue the foster kitten

What stories could shelter cats tell us? Many would tell tales of neglect, abuse, escape, or homelessness. We can only guess how hard their lives were before. Their mysterious pasts make us want to give them even better lives in the future to make up for it.




2. Cats love to recycle.

Cats are cheap! They turn paper balls into toys and dirty clothes into beds. Don’t throw out that paper bag; it’s your kitty’s new hidey-hole! Cats don’t care how much you spent on that fancy scratching tree. They’d prefer to climb the drapes and explore under the couch.

3. No one can resist the paw!

kitten paw in shelter Image courtesy of http://hamptonroads.com/2009/07/high-numbers-cats-shelters-euthanized

kitten paw in shelter Image courtesy of http://hamptonroads.com/2009/07/high-numbers-cats-shelters-euthanized

Cats are masters of manipulation. They’re experts at melting your heart with a well-placed paw through the cage bars. When you walk into an animal shelter, odds are you’ll notice the active pets first. Most adopters say the reason they chose that pet was because the pet interacted with them. Reaching a paw, jumping in your lap, meowing when you walk in the room – it’s like they’re asking to come home with you.


4. A little purring in your life keeps you healthier.

By now everyone knows that owning pets reduces stress, and being less stressed improves your immune system and overall health. Pet owners are 40% less likely to die of a heart attack. How many extra years will you live if you adopt that kitty in the window? With an adoption fee of $50-200 plus an annual cost of $500-1,000, a shelter cat more than pays for himself over his lifetime by lowering your healthcare bills and improving your quality of life.

5. Cats have professional training to defend your home from insects and rodents.

Many strays have learned to catch their meals, and they’ll bring that unique skill to your home. Your shelter cat might help keep your home free of bugs and pests. With 4 cats sharing my house, we don’t have live moths or beetles wandering around, or at least not for long. We also had a mouse incident that unfortunately didn’t end well for the mouse, who chose death by cat instead of the safety of a humane trap.

6. A cat’s the perfect cure for a boring party.


Kirsten and Chili the foster kitten

Kirsten and Chili the foster kitten

Thanksgiving is coming, and that means spending time with sometimes boring relatives. Good thing Grandma has a cat to liven things up. ‘Sure, Aunt Mildred, I’ll keep you company while you watch the home shopping network, as long as I can play with the kitty at the same time.’ ‘Oh sorry Uncle Jim, I can’t help wash the dishes; I have a cat in my lap.’ Bring a laser pointer for hours of free family entertainment!


7. Mutts tend to be healthier than purebreds.

Mixed breed cats, also known as Domestic Shorthairs and Domestic Longhairs, are protected from genetic diseases better than purebreds. Purebred cats pass on certain traits for a specific personality or appearance, but they also pass on genetic problems. For example, flat-nosed cats like Persians are known for having dental and respiratory problems, and large breeds like Maine Coons tend to have joint issues. Mixed breed cats don’t have such a limited gene pool, so they’re not as prone to genetic diseases.

Easy Ways You Can Help a Shelter Cat

"You could help me!"

“You could help me!”

1. Donate items you don’t need. Pick a shelter near you and ask them for a list of items they need. Check your house for anything you don’t need that you can donate. Every time you prepare to make a trip to Goodwill, make a pile of stuff you can donate to the shelter too.

2. Go pet kitties at the shelter. You can do a good deed by spending an hour a month socializing cats and kittens in your local shelter. Petting, brushing, and playing with shelter cats is a great way to keep them from being bored. They get exercise from play and become more adoptable by improving their social skills. Plus who doesn’t love getting swarmed by cute, cuddly kittens?

3. Sponsor a cat. Can’t add another pet to your home but still want to help? Sponsoring a cat means you cover a cat’s adoption fees or cost to keep him at the shelter. Potential adopters still have to go through the shelter’s adoption process, so you know your sponsored cat will go to a good home.

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How the Himalayan Blue Came to Be


You may have a pet in your home, but you shouldn’t have to compromise your style! Staying on trend doesn’t just have to apply to people, it can apply to pets, too. At PetSafe®, we recently launched our new Drinkwell® Pagoda Fountain color – Himalayan Blue. As many people know, we have a great time developing new products and are always having fun tinkering with new things. The Himalayan Blue Pagoda Fountain is no exception…

Users voted on two Drinkwell Pagoda Fountain colors: Taupe and Himalayan Blue.

Users voted on two Drinkwell Pagoda Fountain colors: Taupe and Himalayan Blue.

The Himalayan Blue Drinkwell Pagoda Fountain was featured in the 2014 DIY Network™ Blog Cabin series in the oh-so-tranquil sunroom. If you’re not familiar with the Blog Cabin series, this interactive show asks Internet users to vote on a series of design aspects within a home. The DIY Network experts will be on-site to build and incorporate the design aspects that users, just like you, choose. Usually there are a few design features to vote on, and the one with the most votes will be incorporated into the home.

Photo credit: Eric Perry © 2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo credit: Eric Perry © 2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

And you guessed it – Himalayan Blue won… by a landslide! Himalayan Blue received over 390,000 votes and was featured in the Blog Cabin home!

Not only was it featured in the Blog Cabin series, but since it was the people’s choice against Taupe, we made it out newest fountain color, available for purchase now!

Wondering how we got the name “Himalayan Blue” for this fountain color? This story is pretty simple. We turned to our furry friends and got inspiration from the stunning eyes of the Himalayan cat. There you have it – the fruition of the Himalayan Blue Drinkwell Pagoda Fountain, a.k.a. the newest member of the PetSafe family of products! Snag yours today to add a little pizazz to your pet’s area of the home.

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The Best Thing on Your Fall Checklist


October is Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month!

The days are getting shorter and in many parts of the country the temperatures are starting to drop.  Here in East Tennessee it won’t be long till we see our first frost.  This is the time of year when people begin to nest.  We hunker down for the cold, dark winter ahead and dive headfirst into pumpkin spice lattes (or pumpkin ales!).

image via www.ochumanesociety.com

image via www.ochumanesociety.com

What a great time of year to think about adding a new best friend to our lives!  Before those three-dog nights kick in, every household should have at least ONE dog to cuddle in front of the fire.  It is probably more than just coincidence that October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month!



And, even if you aren’t looking for a snuggle buddy, we could all use an exercise partner!  Staying motivated to get off the couch gets even harder when it is cold and dark outdoors.  A dog provides amazing incentive to take those brisk walks and get the blood pumping in spite of the season.

Shelters and rescue groups always have plenty of wonderful dogs (and cats and assorted other critters) awaiting new forever homes.  And, don’t be fooled by the myths or stigmas that often surround shelter pets.  Contrary to what you may believe, they are not “damaged goods”.  Most are homeless through no fault of their own.

Many healthy, happy pets end up in need of new homes not because they are defective, but because their original families had unrealistic expectations.  Rarely do pets come into our lives with a complete understanding of our expectations.  They don’t know our “rules” until we teach them.  They don’t misbehave out of spite, but out of confusion.  And they don’t communicate the same way we do.  Shouting does nothing but frighten and confuse pets (and most people, too).

image via www.rover.com

image via www.rover.com

Training saves lives.  Pet parents must be committed to teaching their best friends what behaviors are acceptable and which are unacceptable.  Once they understand, they inevitably want to please.  It is up to the humans in the relationship to meet all the pet’s physical needs (nutritious food, fresh water, veterinary care and secure shelter) and to meet psychological needs, as well.

At PetSafe we are proud to offer a wide-range of behavior-based products designed to help pet parents meet their pets’ behavioral needs.  Training products such as remote training collars and clickers as well as automated feeders to help maintain schedules and treat-dispensing Busy Buddy toys all help build stronger bonds between pets and their people.

We talk a lot about ways to create more “Best Moments” with our best friends.  No relationship is perfect, but by training our pets and setting realistic expectations, our relationships with our pets can come pretty close to perfection.

image via dogster.com

image via dogster.com

There’s another week left in Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, so head to your local animal shelter and bring home that perfect companion.  And, newsflash…there will still be plenty of wonderful pets looking for new homes in November and December, as well!


Adopt a Shelter Cat Month is coming up in June, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait till then!

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the World According to Cooper- Going New Places


I love, love, love to go new places.  I get so excited that my mom has to have many conversations with me about being calm and behaving as well as I do at the office every day.  I must admit, I really don’t hear a word she says when we get somewhere new.


Humans don’t ever seem to get excited about new places. You all just go and never think anything about all the new sites and smells.  This is another reason I would rather be a dog than a human.  I envy those thumbs of yours, but I’ll take my enthusiasm for life over thumbs anytime.


I recently got the opportunity to go to downtown Knoxville. Oh my goodness!!  I couldn’t believe all of the new sites and smells.  It was like nothing that I have ever experienced before.  Downtown Knoxville is super dog friendly, we are pretty much welcome everywhere down there.

I have to admit, I kind of lost my mind a little bit.  I went out to dinner with my mom and my Aunt Leslie.  I think those might have been the only two humans on the planet that were patient enough to deal with my “enthusiasm”. I know I was wearing my mom’s patience out. I just kept running from side to side and I HAD to smell everything.

asdgI’m sure if she had thought about it just a little more, we would have gone for a very long walk before going downtown.  I really hope I get to go again, really, really soon.  It is awesome.  I can’t promise that I will be any calmer next time without a long walk before we go.  Unlike you humans, I still get super excited for every new opportunity that comes my way.

Hint, hint.  Humans, it is ok to get excited for new stuff.  Take another learning opportunity from your furry children and live in the moment.  Be excited about new things and stop and smell the smells and enjoy the sites!

Talk to you soon.


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4 Tips to Trick-or-treat with Your Pets


That time of year is here. It’s the time for spooky celebrations, pumpkin carving, cider and,yes, trick-or-treating.  Love it or hate it you will either have your neighborhood haunted by children, or you will be making the night-time trek right along with them very soon. Because Halloween traditions are so fun and family-friendly, we think the WHOLE family should be able to attend, and that means family members on two and four legs. To bring your pet on the door-to-door candy mission, it is going to take some planning, some patience and definitely some coordinating costumes.

Here are 4 tips for Trick-or-treating with your pup (or kitten):

1. Bring the necessities

Image via: jerseygirltalks.com

Image via: jerseygirltalks.com

If you are going to take your pet out for the whole night, you are going to have to bring the usual: water, snacks and toys just as you would for a child. Walking all around the neighborhood is a long way for them, and they need to keep their strength up to have a good time. Always be prepared. You never know what mischief they could get into on a Halloween night!

2. Have an escape plan

Image via: www.dog-toys-wold.com

Image via: www.dog-toys-wold.com

Humans have to remember pups and kittens have a short attention span. We may be ableto go to every house on the block, but halfway through the night your pet could be ready to go home. Have a plan for when your pup may go. It may a checkpoint where you take them home or keeping a kitten-friendly carrying case for when your black cat becomes a grumpy cat.

3. Beg for the right treats

Image via: doggies.com
Image via: doggies.com


Please eat your treats responsibly. As most of us know, our animals cannot have chocolate or sugar, and those two things are everywhere on Halloween night. When diving into their candy, ask kids to throw their leftovers away in a safe place out of reach to your furry friends. Also, remind them to never share their candy (not that they would want to anyway). To make it fun for your pet, you can always bring their treats along to make sure they trick-or-treat responsibly.



4. Make sure your sidekick has awesome duds

Image via: http://www.dog-clothes-world.com/

Image via: http://www.dog-clothes-world.com/

Your pet needs to dress the part on Halloween night. Cats and Dogs are man’s best friends and are perfect for a Halloween sidekick costume. Need ideas? We’ve got plenty:

  • Toto
  • Robin
  • Piglet
  • Stitch
  • Tinker Bell
  • Olaf
  • Goofy
  • Genie
  • Pluto
  • Pumba
  • Bolt
  • Abu
  • Barney Rubble
  • Donkey
  • Chewbacca

Remember to keep your pet happy and comfortable while your whole family trick-or-treats. With your necessities packed, escape plan ready, treats in hand and coordinating costumes, you are sure to have a great Howl-o-ween.

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Jack and Lil: The Nose Knows


By Heather Owens, Category Manager

We all know that dogs have great noses. They seem to have that magical ability to tell when someone is in the kitchen making something yummy even from across the house! What you may not know is that dogs’ sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times as acute as a human’s. From hunting companions to narcotics dogs, humans have found amazing ways to harness the smelling power of man’s best friend.

photo 1 (1)Interested in trying out a new activity with Jack, I just completed scent discrimination classes at my local kennel club. What fun we had! My boyfriend and I often chuckle at Jack’s sniffing, as he’ll put his muzzle to the sky and in a bobbing motion inhale quick short sniffs. One thing I did not know before taking the class, is that different dogs have different smelling styles. Some dogs are ground smellers. A ground smelling dog will be great at following the exact path of an animal or a person, being able to say “They went by this bush, then to that tree.” An air smelling dog is going to be more direct to the scent, being able to say “The person is over there by the tree.” Dogs will typically incline towards one or the other method of scent which then can be cultivated for different activities.

The easiest game to start with in scent discrimination is finding a treat. I will put Jack in a room, then go around the house hiding treat filled Easter eggs. I then instruct him to “Find It” as he hunts around the house looking for goodies. In class, we worked our way from finding treats to finding different scents like “Me” which is a cloth smelling like the owner. In nose work competitions, boxes are filled with scents of birch, anise or clove. The dog is then “given” the scent (allowed to smell an item with the same scent they need to find) and then instructed to search the boxes to find that scent. I thought this would be challenging for Jack, but it is amazing how acute a dog’s sense of smell is. I can tell he didn’t like the smell of the oils, yet he was still willing to search for it.

photo 4 (2)

Additionally games can be played outdoors, such as following the track of a scent around a yard or field. One way to play this at home is to drag a cloth with the given scent around the yard and then hide the cloth at the end point. Encourage the dog to follow the path of the scent, rewarding when they find the cloth. If you want to make it realistic, use the scent of a wild animal, which can be purchased online. Jack loved tracking the scent of pheasant and rabbit.



Some dogs have very obvious signals when they find the scent they are looking for, such as jumping on the box or barking. Jack’s cue is very subtle: he typically lingers at the site of the smell and will put his ears back slightly. He makes me work hard to read his signals! Not all dogs like tracking or nose work.  Making it a fun and rewarding game is the best way to engage your dog in scent discrimination. I found it to be a new interesting activity, and after more practice, hope to enter Jack in a nose work trial.

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October is National Adopt-A-Shelter Dog Month


By: Katie Allison

It’s October, a month when we enjoy changing leaves, cooler temperatures and the fun of dressing up for Halloween. But October is also the month when we celebrate all the joy that adopting a shelter dog can bring to our lives.

To mark Adopt-A-Shelter Dog month, many animal welfare groups, shelters and rescue organizations across the country are sponsoring special educational programs and “adoptathons,” making this month a great time to bring a shelter dog home to join your family. If you’re thinking of adopting a new canine family member this month – or any month of the year – here are some things to consider as you get ready for this big decision.


Select The Right Shelter

Selecting the right shelter is the first step in selecting the right shelter dog.  While some communities have only one animal shelter, others may have two or even three shelters from which you can adopt.  According to Jim Tedford, the Petsafe Director of Animal Welfare Initiatives, it’s important to look beyond the surface.

“There are certainly shelter facilities that are more well-funded and highly resourced than others.” Jim explains “But, the important thing is for the staff and volunteers to make the most of whatever they have.  You don’t have to have tons of money to keep a facility clean and the animals well cared for.”

Before you select your new dog, take some time to visit each of the shelters in your area. Talk with shelter staff about their adoption policies, and assess each shelter facility for cleanliness. By carefully choosing your dog’s temporary home, you’re more likely to bring home a healthy, happy new family member.

Let Shelter Staff Help Guide You

One of the joys of adopting from a shelter is the wide variety of dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds that are available to choose from.  Jim Tedford suggests letting shelter staff, with their training an experience, help find the best match for you.

“Most people have pretty strong ideas as to what type of pet they want to adopt. Sometimes their decisions are based on good, solid logic and other times on pure emotions,” notes Jim “.Let the shelter staff help guide you in choosing a pet that best matches your lifestyle. For example, if you are a couch potato, you may not want a Border Collie with loads of energy. Making the best adoption decision is step one in a long-term relationship!”

Capture3Arrange A Meet & Greet

Gone are the days when the only way an adopter could get to know the dogs at a shelter was through the bars of a kennel. Today’s shelters offer play rooms and yards that allow adopters to familiarize themselves with dogs they are considering bringing home before making that commitment. And be sure that everyone in your family comes along for at least one of these shelter “meet and greets” before deciding on a particular puppy or dog.

“It’s important to spend plenty of time, preferably outside the confines of a kennel, to get to know a dog.  Presumably this pet will join your family for 10-15 years or longer, so the decision shouldn’t be made lightly or hurriedly,” explains Jim Tedford.

Manage Your Expectations

Because shelters can be stressful for dogs, the first weeks and months after you bring your new puppy or dog home may present some challenges. Remember that you don’t know what your new dog might have been through before coming into your home, and it can take time for some adopted shelter dogs to learn to trust and feel comfortable. This is to be expected.

“My best advice is to set realistic expectations,” explains Jim Tedford. “A new pet will not automatically know what you expect so be prepared to teach him.  Supervision is critical.  An unsupervised pet is more likely to damage property or find other sources of trouble. When you bring your new pet home, be prepared to work through whatever behavior issues and training necessary.”

Visit TrainMyPet.net for lots of great advice on working with your new family member to help him or her become settled in and adjusted to life beyond the animal shelter.

CaptureGet Ready To Love & Be Loved

If you talk to friends who have already adopted from a shelter, they will tell you that your decision to bring home four legged family member is one of the best you’ll ever make.

As Jim Tedford says, “A shelter is one of the few places where you can find a friend who will love you unconditionally. All you have to do is love him back!”


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What are the Top Dog Breeds in Your City?


By: Meghan Finnegan

A new infographic from Dog Breed Identifier shows the most popular dog breeds in various cities across the United States. The Most Popular Dog Breeds in the USA Infographic was created with data from American Kennel Club in reports detailing dog breed registrations for the past year.

Some interesting highlights from this infographic reveal that:

  • Labrador Retrievers are largely America’s favorite dog breed – they’re the #1 breed in 65% of the states surveyed, and are in every state’s top 5 bracket.
  • Golden Retrievers, while no city’s #1 favorite breed, appeared in 85% of the regions’ top 5 brackets, usually appearing in the 2nd or 3rd spot.

Most Popular Dog Breeds in United States

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National Pet Obesity Awareness Day!


by: Heather Owens, Category Manager

Healthy eating and exercise is just as important for your pets as it is for you! Did you know an estimated 54% of dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese?* October 8 is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day raising awareness on pet weight issues.

How can you tell if your pet is overweight? There are many tools online that show specific breeds and their ideal weight and appearance. The general rule is you should be able to feel your pet’s ribs but not see them. If you place your hands on the sides of their chest and still cannot see them, they are overweight.

What are tips for keeping your pet’s weight in check?

1.  Consult your vet

Your veterinarian is the best resource for helping you create a plan to control, monitor and improve your pet’s weight. They can provide you the best advice to lose weight in a healthy way.

2.  Control the calories

Not all food is the same. If available, check nutrition labels for high quality ingredients instead of fillers. Limit the number of treats and avoid giving table scraps. When giving treats, look for healthy alternatives like carrots or broccoli.

3.  Stay consistent

Put a measuring cup in your food bag for consistency in feeding amounts. Assign family members to each meal so pets are not accidentally overfed and track the amount of treats given. Consider using an automatic feeder, which ensures your pet is fed on the same schedule each day.413-843-11_5 Meal Feeder Dog 1_WG7C






4.  Get out and play!

Exercise is great for you and your pet. For older or disabled animals, a short walk around the block may be appropriate. For younger and more active animals, a swim, running around the park or chasing a laser may be best to keep your pet healthy.

PTY00-14244_Bolt Lifestyle_4046









Obesity in a pet can have the same adverse effects as obesity in humans. Common disorders associated with excess weight include Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and many forms of cancer. So celebrate National Pet Obesity Awareness Day by making a commitment to the health of both you and your pet!

* http://www.petobesityprevention.org/

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